Washington Women's History Consortium
Women's Clubs and Organizations
Rose B. Larson, President, 1921-1923
Washington State Federation of Women's Clubs
Mrs. A.E. Larson was the fourteenth President of the State Federation. She was born in Vancouver, WA, and as a child went with her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Samuel Hawkins, to the Yakima Valley in 1870. She attended the pioneer Ahtanum School and was one of the first graduates of Woodcock Academy. She was a teacher of English.
In Yakima, which was her home for many years before her death, she was a leader in women's organizations. She was a charter member of the Twentieth Century Club and later took a leading part in combining it with the Yakima Woman's Club to become the Yakima Woman's Century Club.
Mrs. Larson's beautiful and spacious home was always open for club activities. She was keenly desirous of helping younger women and often demonstration meetings were in her home for the benefit of young brides and other junior club members.
She and Mr. Larson were world travelers and many precious and rare souvenirs from the Orient, Europe, Mexico and South America interested the fortunate visitors in their home.
She passed away January 20, 1945, in an Ellensburg hospital after more than a year's illness.
Mrs. Larson presided at the 26th and 27th annual conventions. The 26th was in Spokane, June 12-15, 1922, in the Central
Methodist Church, at which there were 260 registered delegates, three of whom were General Federation Officers. The 27th
convention was June 25-28, 1923, in the Union High School, Mt. Vernon.
The influence of World War I was still dominant and the General Federation added a new department, that of International
Relations, "which will work toward enlightening the women of America and the women of other nations."
In keeping with the trend of the times, clubwomen were being recognized as intelligently trained leaders. President Harding
was the first President of the United States to recognize them internationally.
As in former administrations, stress was laid upon the District Federations, as a medium through which the club members of
the different rural districts of the state, were brought together in open forums for exchange of ideas on their community problems.
During this administration, a survey was made by the chairman of the Citizenship Training Department, and it was found that
outside of the large city schools, there was an urgent need for a definite course in civics in the elementary grades.
American Citizenship activities continued with increased interest. Committees met incoming ships to aid any immigrants who
might be aboard. Classes were conducted in English for Norwegian girls and foreign women. The classes were either in their
homes or in the branch libraries in the larger cities. This work continued even after some of the women had become naturalized.
This was the age of pageantry and from all sections of the country came the story of the great movements of the day -
religious, literary, civic and patriotic - expressed in the beautiful and effective pageantry.
The Conservation Committee continued to warn the public that the stands of timber in the state were being used up two or
three times faster than the forest lands were reproducing trees.
There was a greater call for money from the Educational Loan Fund at this time than since its inauguration. This was due to
the business depression, which made it in some cases, impossible for the home to give further assistance. Nearly $5,000 was
out in 24 loans. About 71 girls had been helped by the fund so far.
A significant event in the history of the Federation was the completion of the $13,000 Endowment Fund, which was started in 1913,
at Ellensburg. When Mrs. Larson took the chair, the fund needed $5,000 to complete it.
The General Federation Headquarters was established in Washington, D.C. A home at 1734 N Street NW was purchased for $70,000.
It was noted that Washington State Federation sent its first check to apply on this payment, in the amount of $210 in 1924.
The custom of presenting $50 each year to a girl excelling in 4-H club work had its incipiency in this regime. There were
245 clubs in the State Federation at this time.