Washington Women's History Consortium
Women's Clubs and Organizations
Sue Lombard, President, 1905-1907
Washington State Federation of Women's Clubs
Sue Lombard (Horsley), the fifth woman to fill the office of President was born in New Bedford, Massachusetts,
September 11, 1858, the daughter of Henry H. Lombard and Eunice K. Sears Lombard. Sue was educated at Iowa State
Normal School and taught in a country school when only 16 years of age.
In Washington her home was in Yakima where she lived for many years. In 1917, she was married to Frank Horsley.
Before her marriage, she was the head of the Woman's Building at the annual State Fair in Yakima. She was the first woman
appointed on any Washington State Normal School Board, having been a member of the Ellensburg Normal School Board for 12
years. Sue Lombard Hall of that institution was named in her honor.
The first convention at which Miss Lombard presided was in Port Townsend, May 9-11, 1906; the second in Spokane, May 28-30,1907.
During this regime a great interest developed in the welfare of the blind, particularly to help the able bodied adult who
should, under favorable conditions, be made nearly or quite nearly self-supporting. Dr. Alexander Graham Bell had founded
a Bureau of Information for interested people in the prosperity and happiness of the deaf, and such a bureau was urged by
club women for the blind.
Although the traveling libraries had been turned over to the state library yet the interest in them did not cease. Library
work is especially the task of women. The public libraries of many Washington cities - Seattle, Tacoma, Bellingham, Port
Townsend, Spokane, Everett, Walla Walla and a host of others owe their existence to collections made by interested women
before clubs were organized. When enough books had been accumulated they were turned over to a city library.
The Historical Committee at this time gathered material from clubs and other organizations relative to early history
of their respective localities, including interesting, romantic or adventurous episodes among early settlers. After being filed and catalogued at the University it was made available to any interested person. The value of such work was exemplified by the fact that such accredited writers as Jack London, Kirke Munroe and Eva Emory Dye sought its data.
Quoting from Miss Lombard's address at one of the conventions: "The forest and its needs constantly demand our attention and
in order to have it, like the poor always with us, we must be diligent in its defense." Conservation was still in its
beginning stage but very much alive.
Quoting further: "General Federation is not political yet its influence is felt in every state Legislature. and it has the
proud boast of having been a great factor in passing the long disputed Pure Food Bill during the present session of Congress."
In the state of Washington the club women were no less interested in legislation. They lent their efforts toward the
passing of laws relative to Child Labor. Delinquent Children, larger appropriations for the State School for the Deaf and
Blind, and the eight hour law for women. (The latter passed the House but lost in the Senate.)
The Arts and Crafts Committee devoted much time to American Art. A collection of masterpieces was secured for display in the
state of Washington. Any club could secure it for a time by applying to the Arts and Crafts Chairman. The Perry and Brown
prints were very popular.
Amendments worthy of note were made in the constitution during Miss Lombard's regime. It was "voted that officers, duly
accredited delegates, chairmen of standing committees and Past Presidents, alone, shall have the right to make and support
motions and to vote." Also "that the expenses of the President and Recording Secretary for attendance at the annual meetings
of the Federation be met by funds of the Federation."
It was "voted that the time of the annual convention be changed from spring to fall," and "that the President, by virtue of
her office shall be one of the delegates to the General Federation Biennials." And it was recommended, "That all clubs hold
their annual elections of officers, for the ensuring year, in March or earlier so that the federation's annual report may be
completed as soon as possible."
The Past Presidents were granted a vote in the deliberations in connection with the work of the State Federation.
Two new committees were formed, the Industrial and Civics. Needs of women and children called into existence the Industrial
Committee, and love of clean living and sanitary beauty was responsible for the Civic Committee. These committees were
destined to function prominently in subsequent Federation activities.