Collection Title: Avondale Mothers’ Council

Collection Number: 133

Dates of Collection: 1928-1997

Repositiory: Chester County Historical Society, West Chester, PA

Language: English

Project Archivist: Margaret Miles Baillie


The Avondale Mothers’ Council (AMC) was established on November 21, 1928 with 15 charter members.

The AMC was organized to “answer the needs of several frantic mothers” (“History…” Box 2, folder 1). In the beginning, they held meetings every two weeks in each other’s homes (with their children present). The club’s social events dealt with various issues of parenting (corporal punishment, children’s entertainment and supervision, etc.) They also hosted many holiday parties and get-togethers.  One of their early projects was to establish “Play Day” groups to give their members a day off from their children in order to go shopping or out to lunch, etc. The AMC was not just for the benefit of mothers, they also included programs aimed at fathers. Over the years, the scope of their programming broadened to include outside speakers, including local teachers. They compiled their own traveling library of books and other references on parenting.  In 1939 they began producing The Contributor, the club’s “magazine,” with content supplied by members.

 A partial list of members’ surnames includes: Alcock, Bartram, Brosius, Bulkley,  Corbett, Cooper, Darlington, Detweiler, Dyer, Errett, Garrett, Harvey, Hawkins, Heald, Heess, Hemenway, Hood, Hollingsworth, Hoopman, Humpton, Humphrey,  James, Johnston, Kirk,  LaFond, Larmore, LePatourel, Leedom, Marie, McMurtrie, Mercer, Miller, Moore, Morse, Mullin, Mackey,  Olsen, Pennock, Palmer, Paschall, Park, Pierce, Pierson, Pyle, Phillips, Pusey, Ravenell, Romig, Sinclair, Slvan, Spencer, Stabley, Street, Strode, Schrack, Sharpless, Smith, Street, Todd, Wade, Walter, Walton, Watson, Webb, Wilson, Woodward, and Yeatman.

While the group’s activities would evolve over time, the friendships formed endured.  The last meeting of the AMC was held on May 2, 1997, at which three charter members were present.

Autumn of 1985 found Avondale Mothers’ Council convening for another year.  While our activities have changed through the years, we are grateful to be alive, alert and able to enjoy one another……..The decision was made to assure the care of our records: minutes, scrapbooks, Contributors….Who knows that perhaps sometime one of our granddaughters or great-granddaughters will peruse them and find material for writing another, “And, Ladies of the club…   From the 1985-93 Scrapbook.

Collections Scope:

Includes records of the AMC from its inception in 1928 through 1997. Records include scrapbooks, meeting minutes, history of AMC, programs, photographs, correspondence, reports, clippings, constitution and by-laws, publications (Contributor, 1938-1974), etc.

Collections Contents:

Box 1:

Includes: Attendance and Minutes of Meetings 1932-1997 (Folders1-6, 1949-1955 and 1973-1983 missing); Photos/Negatives of Children’s Party late 40s/early 50s & 30th Anniversary (Folder 7)

Folder 1:  Attendance and Minutes of Meetings, 1932-1938

Folder 2:  Attendance and Minutes of Meetings, 1938-1941

Folder 3:  Attendance and Minutes of Meetings, 1941-1949

Folder 4:  Attendance and Minutes of Meetings, 1955-1962

Folder 5:  Attendance and Minutes of Meetings, 1962-1972

Folder 6:  Attendance and Minutes of Meetings, 1983-1997

Folder 7:  Photos/Negative of Children’s Party, 30th Anniversary, Wedding photo of Albert Harvey & Dorothy J. Swope 9/20/1958 and photo of baby son Richard B. Swope June 1959.

Box 2:

Includes: History of AMC, programs, constitution and by-laws, correspondence, reports, anniversaries, photographs, etc.

Folder 1:  History of AMC 1948 – 5 typed copies

Folder 2:  History of AMC 1958 – 4 typed copies and 1 handwritten

Folder 3:  Yearly programs, Officers and Committee Members 1940-1993

Folder 4:  1932-1933 Program Report and Social Report

Folder 5:  Constitution and By-Laws 1935/37, 1952, 1971

Folder 6:  Correspondence – Resignations, New Members, etc.

Folder 7:  Members’ Addresses, Phone numbers, Husband’s Name, 1977-78, 1986-87, 1990-91, 1992-93.

Folder 8:  Quotes, poems, writings for programs and the Contributor.

Folder 9:  Children, Grandchildren and Great-Grandchildren Report 1960

Folder 10: Children, Grandchildren and Great-Grandchildren Report 1991-92

Folder 11: Children, Grandchildren and Great-Grandchildren Report 1992

Folder 12: 20th Anniversary 1948 – clippings, rubber stamp, photos & original photo envelope.

Folder 13: 25th Anniversary 1953 – RSVP’s, Children update, 30th Anniversary  newspaper clipping.

Folder 14: 50th Anniversary 1978 – Correspondence, clippings, program, speaker’s notes.

Folder 15:  22 – 1.5”x 1.5” color negatives 50th Anniversary Dinner, 60 color photos of couples, guests at 50th Anniversary Dinner (all identified), 36 – 1.5” x

1.5” color negatives of 50th Anniversary Dinner, 1 negative of Marion and Barnard Darlington.

Box 3:

Includes: The Contributor, 1938-1952 (1943-1944 and 1944-1945 missing)

This is a collection of writings, recipes, jokes and quotes, submitted by club members (and sometimes by their children) for publication at the end of a club year.   Most of the time, there was a theme for each issue. Every member received a copy.   The 1938 issue is not in the collection, but all the submitted material is.  During World War II, only one issue was published each year and read aloud.  In 1972, a special “Grandmothers” edition was printed.

Folder 1:  Contributor, March 28, 1939, 1939-1940

Folder 2:  Contributor, 1940-1941, 1941-1942

Folder 3:  Contributor, 1942-1943

Folder 4:  Contributor, 1945-1046, 1946-1947

Folder 5:  Contributor, 1947-1948

Folder 6:  Contributor, 1948-1949

Folder 7:  Contributor, 1949-1950

Folder 8:  Contributor, 1950-1951

Folder 9:  Contributor, 1951-1952

Box 4:

The Contributor, 1952-1964

Folder 1:  Contributor, 1952-195

Folder 2:  Contributor, 1953-1954

Folder 3:  Contributor, 1954-1955

Folder 4:  Contributor, 1955-1956

Folder 5:  Contributor, 1956-1957, 1957-1958

Folder 6:  Contributor, 1958-1959, 1959-1960

Folder 7:  Contributor, 1960-1961, 1961-1962

Folder 8:  Contributor, 1962-1963, 1963-1964 ‘

Box 5:

The Contributor, 1964-1974 (1969-1970, 1970-1971, and 1971-1972 no copies/editions)

Folder 1:  Contributor, 1964-1965, 1965-1966

Folder 2:  Contributor, 1966-1967, 1967-1968

Folder 3:  Contributor, 1968-1969

Folder 4:  Contributor, 1972-1973, 1973-1974

Folder 5:  Contributor, 1971 Anthology of 1940-1954, List of Editors 1938-1974

Folder 6:  Contributor, 1970 M. C. Grandmothers

Box 6:

Scrapbooks (5), for years 1928-1993 (1928-1948, 1948-1958, 1958-1968, 1968-1985, 1985-1993)

Included in the scrapbooks are:

  • Yearly schedule with Hostess, Co-Hostesses and Topics to be discussed.
  • Officers, committee members and, later, telephone numbers and husbands’ names.
  • Minutes (condensed.)
  • Photos of new babies and the yearly children’s party in June (except for the years 1942-1945.) Parents sometimes appear in photos.
  • Newspaper clippings of meetings.  Local charities helped by the AMC.
  • Poems or articles that had been read at the meeting.
  • Wedding announcements – beginning in the 1940s.
  • Children’s achievements at school and elsewhere.
  • Obituaries.