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Midway Woman’s Club records – an update

March 19, 2014 in Oral history, Research methods

Photo of the home to the Midway Woman's Club

Midway Woman’s Club


With gratitude to Reinette Jones of the UK Libraries and hearty congratulations to my former UK History students Angelia Pulley, Kyle Shaw, and Brad Wexler, I am proud to announce that the finding aid for Midway Woman’s Club records they helped to collect during their service learning project now is available for viewing on ExploreUK.

You can view their project, “Midway Woman’s Club and the ‘Better Community’ Project,” including original oral history interviews and images from their work on the Club’s archives at

Angelia Pulley, Kyle Shaw, Brad Wexler

(l-r) Angelia, Kyle, Brad presented their findings on the Midway Woman’s Club at their winter holiday meeting, Dec 2010


Build a Better Community Prize Winner!

December 8, 2010 in 1940s-1950s, Primary source, Social history

In May of 1949, the Midway Woman’s Club entered the Build a Better Community Woman’s Club Federation Contest sponsored by the Kroger Company. In June of 1950, they were awarded first prize of 100 dollars for the best work on community improvements in class B for Kentucky.

They contributed their success to group meetings in which they studied the community, planning carefully which projects would best meet the needs therein. Organization was represented by several committees working together within the Woman’s Club, sharing ideas, hosting social functions, and making presentations to community partners. The club was visited by Miss Chloe Gifford, State Chairman of Community Planning and the Bureau of Information. Her enthusiasm was contagious and summoned participation from all 70 club members.

Many projects were brought to a successful conclusion. The City Clean-up Campaign resulted in the purchase of a new lot three miles from town and a new truck for collecting and hauling of rubbish for waste disposal. The club sponsored a Mobile Unit for TB Tests, and helped the Lion’s Club solicit donors for the Blood Bank. A vacant lot was secured for free use as a playground for underprivileged children. Midway’s African American school was supplied with cafeteria equipment, and a library was established. In addition, books were added to the Midway Woman’s Club library. The work of these club committees extended to include the entire community and “an adventure in community cooperation and unity” was begun. Money for all the projects was made through rummage sales, a baseball game, two square dances (which were directed by the folk dancing team from the University of Kentucky), and by donations.

Many of the projects were continuing, and therefore required concerted efforts of all organizations and institutions of the community. In recognition of this need, a Build a Better Committee member suggested that a permanent Civic Planning Board be established including one representative from each of the following groups: Woman’s Club, Lion’s Club, City Council, Ministerial Group, School Board, Midway Junior College, Masonic Order, Boy Scouts, Homemakers, PTA, Community Chest, and Citizens’ Health Committee – a significant outgrowth of the board which was encouraged through the advice of the State Board of Health.

Sources: Midway Woman’s Club scrapbooks

by Syle

Midway Women’s Club

November 5, 2010 in Research methods, Social history

Yesterday my group and I attended the monthly Midway Women’s club meeting and had the chance to meet some very interesting individuals that we will be meeting with in the coming weeks. I will admit going into it, I was not sure what it was going to be like and was a little unsure about it. However, after meeting with some of these women and hearing brief stories that they had shared I will admit I was blown away by these women. Sitting in this meeting also made me think about what we have been talking about in class recently, and how women have been doing this for decades. Micromobilization has been the base of everything that happened during the civil rights era and it still continues today.

Up until this point, I have been looking for women that stand out because of things that they have done, such as leading a movement, or being the first woman in political office. While these women deserve to be researched and noticed for what they have done, I believe I have been looking past many other great women. The ones that lit the match that started the fire so to speak. Maybe they were not the ones that gave a public speech, sat somewhere they were not supposed to, or just made their opinion known.

I have decided to switch my way of research and find these women that maybe held meetings, like the one I was able to attend, and were essential to success in teh civil rights movement. Clubs like the Midway Womens Club have been around for a long time and maybe by meeting a couple hours every couple weeks, or maybe once a month, they were able to accomplish many things and deserve to be brought into the public eye.

Belinda Robnett, “African-American Women in the Civil Rights Movement, 1954-1965: Gender, Leadership, and Micromobilization,” The American Journal of Sociology 101, 6 (May 1996): 1661-1693.
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