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A toast to Wapoo. First officers of the local club, founded in 1937.

Fifty-Ninth Club in Missouri

First Anniversary
celebrated at
the Elms Hotel.

The Excelsior Springs Business Women's Club was presented it's charter by State President Margaret Hickey on February 6, 1939, making it the 59th BPW club in Missouri to be chartered. More than 100 were present.

Liberty BPW had the honor of sponsoring the Excelsior Springs organization and performed the installation of officers, using the impressive candlelight service. The first president of the Excelsior Springs club was Margaret Kay Stewart, who delivered an address "A New Ship Puts Out to Sea" while the muted notes of "Anchors Away" was performed by a string trio.

Stewart had been affiliated with the Business and Professional Women for several years and had served as State Publicity Chairman for both the Washington and Arionza Federation and National Corresponding Secretary for one term.

Officers at the banquet, in addition to Hickey, included Eunice Gardner, State Second Vice President; Bessie Crabtree, president District II; Pearl Gehrig, State Board member; and Anna Church, State International Relations Chairman. Maude Holton, president of the Kansas City Club, was accompanied by 24 club members from Kansas City. Several smaller delegations attended from surrounding cities.

Notable events for the first year included a fall picnic supper at the historic James Farm. Mr. and Mrs. Robert James identified pictures and historic records of the famous old homestead, where Frank and Jesse James were born and where they slept during the days when a fugitive from the law. Robert was Frank's son and the last member of the James family to live at the farm.

On September 21-23, members took a prominent part in the five mile long parade "$100,000 March of Mules", a feature of the 4th Annual Mulesta. More than 25,000 persons attended this parade, at that time said to be the most colorful and unique ever presented in the State of Missouri. The local BPW was responsible for securing riders for the more than 100 "rideable" mules for the event.

On November 24, the club attended the dedication of the "Civic Center" in the new $1 million Hall of Waters.

Early fundraisers for the club included the Wafflesta and Fiesta. The Wafflesta, a waffle breakfast served to the public, was held the last Sunday each May at Alta Beezley's cabin off Cliff Drive. The Fiesta was a chili dinner served in November to the public.

Funds raised were used to help sponsor the Red Cross Mobile Blood Bank unit to come to Excelsior Springs twice yearly and to assist the local Girl Scouts organization. (In 1946, the Excelsior Springs BPW made possible a permanent camp and play ground for the Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts at Sunnyside Park.)

The first newsletter of the Excelsior Springs Club was called "Bus and Pro."

The Excelsior Springs Club was organized in December, 1937, with 20 members. When the charter was presented in February, 1939, the club had grown to 25 women. They included Alta Beezley, Rena Creek, Bertha Davis, Edna Eastin, Dr. Louetta Felhauer, Ina Hockensmith, Louise Hughes, Frances Jackson, Geraldine James, Hallie Kimber, Edna King, Ruth Lawrence, Mary Legate, Ira Jean Martin, Minnie Mattox, Mary McDermott, Ruth McKee, Lucile McIntire, Blanche Ousley, Norma Ann Smoot, Margaret Kay Stewart, Froncie Tindall, Alleen Weary, Cecelia Wilson, and Thelma Wyble. Women who were "joiners" during the first year included Louise Crockett, Leota Crowley, Stella Garinger, Dorothy Hine, Annadel Howdeshell, Lucy Judd, Jospehine Kidwell, Ethel Luckett, Frances Moore, Maxine Pearson, Myrtle Randolph, Rhea Pearl Steele, and Rossie Williams.

Margaret Stewart continued as President of the Excelsior Springs Club until September 1940, when she assumed duties as Executive Secretary of the Missouri State Chamber of Commerce with offices at Jefferson City.

In 1941, the Excelsior Springs Club were hostesses of the 1941 Missouri State Convention held at the Elms Hotel.

Excelsior Springs sponsored the Lawson Club in 1956.

Personal Accomplishments:
Members who have served on the state board are Dot Smith, District II Director, 1948-1949, and Candidate Information Chairman, 1951-1952; Beatrice Satterlee, District II-N Director, 1955-1956; State Public Relations Chairman, 1957-1958; and Sheila Miller, State Treasurer, 2008-2009. Bea Satterlee, Roberta O'Dell, Cleta Ragar, Lisa Shelton, Jerry Lee Clevenger and Sheila Miller have served as District Directors. Norma Bailey, 1978-1979, and Eleanor Griffith, 1987-1988; have served as State Presidents of the Federation. Edna Swafford, editor of Missouri Business Woman and Cleta Ragar also served on the state board. In 2006, Courtney Cole was named the Missouri Young Careerist and represented our State at National Convention, in Texas, where she placed 13th. She is the first YC candidate from our District to win the state competition.

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Norma Bailey, 1978-79

Eleanor Griffith, 1987-88


Margaret K. Stewart, 1939-40

Alta Beezley, 1940-42

Dr. Louetta Felhauer, 1942-43

Bertha Davis, 1943-44

Dot Smith, 1944-46

Frances Brown, 1946-47

Annadel Shoemaker, 1947-49

Lillian V. Snider, 1949-50

Alma Rowland, 1950-52

Helen Mensing, 1952-54

Beatrice Satterlee, 1954-55

Gladys Dale, 1955-57

Nell Cody Widner, 1957-58

Zelpha Glatt, 1958-59

Wilma Bacon, 1959-60

Maria Moran, 1960-61

Billie Lamb, ,1961-62

Zelpha Glatt, 1962-63

Vickie Miller, 1964-65

Iva Cassidy, 1965-66

Edna Swafford, 1965-66

Anna Grace McHugh, 1966-67

Louise White, 1967-68

Mollie Stroff, 1968-69

Jean Walsh, 1969-70

Norma Bailey, 1970-71

Faye Walters, 1971-72

Julia B. Stokes, 1972-73

Shirley Knutter Cooper, 1973

Hilda Campbell, 1973-74

Dorothy Heavelow, 1974-75

Ema Thompson, 1975-76

Viva Banning, 1976-77

Alice Swetnam, 1977-78

Eleanor Griffith, 1978-79

Beulah Wright, 1979-80

Mary Joyce Titus, 1980-81

Roberta O'Dell, 1981-82

Helen Coates, 1982-83

JoAnn Fisher, 1983-84

Sherri Belland, 1984-85

Shirley Kleinbeck, 1985-86

Cleta Ragar, 1986-87

Sylvia Eales, 1987-88

Patsy Martin, 1988-89

Karen Schoonover, 1989-90

Shirley Shelton, 1990-91

Sonya Morgan, 1991-92

Monica Clevenger, 1992-93

Lisa Shelton, 1993-94

Geri Lee Clevenger, 1994-95

Shirley Woods, 1995-96

Betty Jordan, 1996-97

Dana Pair, 1997-98

Sandra Clay, 1998-2000

Sylvia Eales, 2000-01

Shirley Coates, 2001-02

Sheila Miller, 2002-04

Sonya Morgan, 2005-06

Courtney Morgan, 2007-09

Sonya Morgan, 2009-10

Sheila Miller, 2010-12