The Woman’s Club History

The Woman’s Club, organized in 1895, was originally known as the “Mutual Improvement Circle.” There were twenty members in the early group who undertook to improve their minds, to serve the community, and to fight for the rights of women. The Club aided in bringing the Carnegie Library to Bryan by securing a grant in 1902 from the Carnegie Foundation. It kept the library grounds and bought books for the shelves. The organization was instrumental in getting horses and wagons off Main Street and aided in the eradication of mosquitoes. It helped with the beautification of the courthouse lawn and started the Civic Improvement Association, which among other things, landscaped the park at 26th Street and South Tabor. In 1909-1910 the Mutual Improvement Circle became “The Woman’s Club.” Its purposes were civic, literary, and philanthropic. It first met in the members’ homes and later met in the Carnegie Library. In 1928-1929 the Club moved to a new clubhouse at the corner of 27th Street and Washington. The Woman’s Club met there until the building was declared unsafe for meetings, and a need for more space was recognized. Meetings were held for a time in various auditoriums in Bryan.

In 1942 the old clubhouse was sold, and the Sims home on Bryan Street was purchased for the Club’s second home. It was remodeled in 1949, but by 1967 it was deemed inadequate and was sold. Then for several years the Club met in the Medallion Room of the Bryan Utilities Building. A site was purchased in 1970, and by 1972 the new clubhouse was completed at 1200 Carter Creek Parkway. The clubhouse was redecorated and modernized in 1982-1983. Renovations were made to the kitchen and butler’s pantry in 2009-2010, the ladies’ restroom in 2013-2014, and the men’s restroom in 2014-2015.

In 1986, the year of the Texas Sesquicentennial, two antique clothing style shows provided funds that were used to obtain a historic marker dedicated in 1990 from the Texas Historical Commission. A history of The Woman’s Club was also compiled. In celebration of The Woman’s

Club Centennial Year 1995, a commemorative pin was commissioned. Continuing The Woman’s Club tradition of community involvement, a Heritage Style Show held in 1994 provided funds donated to the 1995 restoration project of the Bryan Carnegie Library. The millennium was celebrated at each of our meetings by short accounts of happenings during our past one hundred years. A Waterford Millennium Champagne Bucket was raffled, and the profit permitted us to give another generous gift to the Bryan Carnegie Library. The motto of the Mutual Improvement Circle is as challenging today as it was in 1895: “We must move with the times.”