Washington Women's History Consortium
Women's Clubs and Organizations
Margaret McCready, President, 1917-1919
Washington State Federation of Women's Clubs
Mrs. Norman S. McCready (Margaret Merkley), the eleventh President of WSFWC was born in Iroquois, Ontario in 1865 and
came to Snohomish, WA, in 1889, where she resided ever since. In 1890 she married Dr. N.S. McCready and to them two
sons were born. Norman Merkely in 1893 and Irving Spencer in 1896.
Mrs. McCready was a member of St. John's Episcopal Church for more than 56 years, She served as President and chairman
of Religious Education of St. John's Guild. She was President of the Antituberculosis Association, during which time a
Tuberculosis Sanitarium was established in Snohomish.
Active club work for her began in 1897 when she became a member of the Cosmopolitan Club of Snohomish and of which
she was President for 13 years.
In April of 1913, Mrs. McCready with a few other active clubwomen organized Snohomish District of Women's Clubs and she
served as its President during the first three years.
Before being elected President at the Yakima convention in 1917, she served on various committees in the State Federation.
She was practically unopposed as a candidate for President and it was the first time a Vicepresident of the Federation
had been elected President. She was well equipped for efficient service and she had a charming personality.
Mrs. McCready was most definitely a war President. She worked actively on many war committees in many war organizations
and campaigned from one corner of the state to the other trying to save the clubs from dissolution, pointing out that,
in an emergency, patriotic work could be more effective through an already organized group.
She presided at the twenty-second annual convention June 4-7, 1918 in the Plymouth Congregational Church in Seattle, where
150 delegates voted, and at the twenty-third convention, June 17-29, 1919, at the Baptist Church in Centralia, where 204
The 1918 Yearbook published after her first year in office was very limited. The chairmen of departments and committees,
while attempting to keep things on a basis so that after the war normal work could be resumed, lent their energies during
the country's critical period to its salvation.
At the state convention in Seattle, leaders gave verbal reports telling of the work done along normal club standards but
the program was largely a war program.
A telegram was received from President Herbert Hoover in appreciation of what Washington clubwomen had done in support of
the Food Propaganda Campaign, and most every woman present pledged herself "to abstain from the use of wheat until the next
The 1918-1919 Yearbook displayed on its outside back cover the United States flag in color, while practically the entire
contents was a chronicle of war service work.
Women were urged not to lose interest in the Endowment Fund, even if not able to give it much support during the war.
They were urged to support three bills outlined by the Legislative Committee: A measure for the establishment of a Woman's
Industrial Home; Classes for Immigrants, and School Nurseries for the children of working women; and measures to protect
children from exploitation.
The war was declared April 6, 1917, while the General Federation was in a Council meeting in New Orleans and women from
many states were soon called into service. After the war, the popular words became "Reconstruction" and "Americanization,"
and it became the duty of clubwomen to cooperate in the readjustment as it was to help win the war. In many cases this was
done by an intensification and correlation of the work in departments already functioning.
The University of Washington carried on a survey of aliens in Seattle which gave valuable information. Almost every town in
the state, responded in some way to reach the foreign born residents to help them with the English language and in their
struggle for citizenship.
Ten measures endorsed by the Federation were passed: the bill for the suppression of venereal diseases; the ratification of
the national prohibition amendment; equal pay for equal work for school teachers; two vocational education bills; the
amendment to the age of consent law; the filiation bill; the amendment to the anticigarette law; the amendment to the
mother's pension law; and the compulsory physical training bill.
The tree planting ceremonies were carried out in Seattle and Centralia with fitting addresses by men interested in forestry.