Washington Women's History Consortium
Women's Clubs and Organizations
Esther S. Maltby, President, 1925-1927
Washington State Federation of Women's Clubs
Mrs. Harold Emory Maltby was the second native daughter of the state of Washington honored as President of the Federation.
Esther Stark was born in Auburn the daughter of pioneers James Rice and Elizabeth Lydia Stark.
She received her education in the public schools and at the College of Puget Sound. Mr. and Mrs. Maltby were married in
Lynden, but within a year moved to Seattle. Mr. Maltby, of the Maltby-Thurston Company, was co-owner of the splendid
hotels extending up and down the coast from Vancouver, B.C. to the Oregon line.
A public spirited person, Mrs. Maltby's activities and affiliations with organizations working for the betterment of
mankind were many. She was a long time member of the Sorosis Club of Seattle, was a life member of the Seattle City
Federation and acted as its President. She developed the "Know Your City" group in the Federation and later in her
group in the Plymouth Church. She was a charter member of the Woman's City Club and served in some official capacity
for 22 years. She organized the Decouvrir Club and was a member of Seattle's Park Board and the Northwest Conservation League.
She was elected Vice-president of WSFWC in 1924, and as its President in 1925. She served as Director of the GFWC from
1928-1930. She served as Vice-president of the Western Federation for three years and was Secretary for five vears and
then President for three years of the National Club of State Past Presidents.
The thirtieth annual convention of WSFWC was June 23-25, 1926, in the auditorium of the North Junior High School,
Everett. There were 369 registered delegates. The thirty-first annual meeting of the Federation was June 15-18, 1927,
in the Auditorium of Memorial Hall, Whitman College, Walla Walla.
The program chairmen for each of these conventions took occasion to pay tributes to pioneers. At Everett, an event of the
moment was the banquet honoring the founders of the Federation. The program at Walla Walla was prepared in honor of Rev.
and Mrs. Cushing Eels, pioneer missionaries.
It was the endeavor of this regime to follow closely the plans and outlines of many phases of the work begun earlier:
the reestablishment of the Industrial Home for Women, opposition to the use and production of narcotics, efforts to keep
the Volstead Act in force, calling for uniform federal laws upon marriage and divorce; support of the proposed
constitutional amendment prohibiting child labor, and many other worthy projects. Intensive emphasis was placed on
the conservation program and concentrated efforts were made in soliciting funds with which to purchase a tract of
virgin timber to bequeath to posterity for its perpetual pride and pleasure.
Dreamer though she was, Jeanne Caithness Greenlees had a tenacity of purpose which was unquenchable and in spite of
her many frustrations, never once relinguished her objective of saving big trees and preserving primeval forests for
parks. She talked, wrote, rhymed, and sang about her longings, and urged the women of the Federation to be "park-minded
until the last duty of the State Federation is fulfilled toward the park of big trees."
When Mrs. Maltby took office, she was determined to make preserving forests one of projects of her administration. She
systematically worked to imbue the clubwomen of the state with the fact that to purchase a tract of timber for a natural
park would take money.
Negotiations were opened with George Long, manager of the Weyerhaeuser interests and President of the Snoqualmie Falls
Lumber Company. The result was the tract could be bought for $30,000, the Federation to pay in actual cash $25,000 and
the company donating $5,000.
Funds were raised by popular subscription. Trees were sold for $100 each, the purchaser allowed to select a tree, and place
upon it a metal plate with his or her name or that of an honored friend. "Save a Tree" buttons sold for $1. Donations came
from individuals outside of the Federation. At Mrs. Maltby's solicitation, the National Geographic Society sent a check in
the amount of $1,000.
It was a source of great regret, that at the end of this administration, the fund was not quite complete. It should be noted
that Mrs. Maltby remained the indefatigable leader in negotiating with the State Park Commission and others concerned in
securing the larger, more accessible and superior Federation Forest which will now remain in its primitive state for the
The Federation was honored in having Mrs. Maltby appointed on the Mayor's committee of five to entertain Queen Marie of
Rumania when she visited Seattle.