Washington Women's History Consortium
Women's Clubs and Organizations
Mrs. R.C. McCredie, President, 1911-1913
Washington State Federation of Women's Clubs
Mrs. R.C. McCredie, of Sunnyside, was the eighth President. She assumed office with enthusiasm and a determination to do great things for the Federation. She was the first president to be foreign born, being a native of Staffordshire, England but of Scottish parents. She was under the supervision of a governess until she was 14 and then went to The Ladies College in Edinburgh, Scotland. She visited the United States and in 1891 met and became engaged to Robert C. McCredie of Illinois. They were married in Scotland in October 1892. They lived in Wisconsin for two years and in Illinois for 12. The McCredies then lived in Sunnyside for many years, until Mr. McCredie's death.
The sixteenth annual convention, the first of Mrs. McCredie's term, was in Tacoma, June 17-20, 1911. The seventeenth was in Ellensburg, June 17-20, 1912.
Mrs. Amy P.S. Stacy, "Federation Mother," then President of the President's Council of Tacoma welcomed the delegates. This was last convention attended by Mrs. Stacy.
At the biennial convention of the General Federation in Cincinnati during the year of 1910, the lack of funds to carry on the work of the Federation, was one of the principal topics of discussion. There were 800,000 members and an income of only $7,500 a year, less than one cent per capita. Feeling that dues should not be increased led to the adoption of the plan to raise an endowment of $100,000, the interest from which should be used to carry on the work. State chairmen were named and the amount to be raised was apportioned among the states. Washington's share was $1,000.
Through the generosity of clubs, individuals and business firms, the apportionment for Washington was completely raised, with a surplus of $275. It was determined to use the surplus as a nucleus toward raising a $13,000 endowment for state work. The amount of $13,000 was decided for the unique reason that the project was undertaken in the year 1913.
The Library and Legislative Committees were gratified at the passing of a bill of great importance to the smaller libraries. It authorized county commissioners to aid city libraries where it was possible for them to serve the county.
The Literature Committee, during the two years researched and compiled a list of authors of the State of Washington and the Northwest.
The Arts and Crafts Committee undertook the routing of the first Traveling Art Exhibit secured from the Art Department of the General Federation. The exhibit consisted of 25 original oil paintings from the Chicago Society of Artists, 23 water colors and 19 etchings loaned by the St. Louis Artists Guild.
The Anti-Tuberculosis Committee was a special committee appointed for the purpose of aiding the Washington State Association for the Prevention and Relief of Tuberculosis, and to secure legislation that would be of the most benefit in carrying out the aims of the Association. The committee was most interested in a bill, drawn by the Anti-Tuberculosis Association, providing for the establishment of county hospitals for those suffering from tuberculosis. The bill passed the House of Representatives unanimously and the Senate with but one dissenting vote.
Besides serving on the Board of Health, Mrs. McCredie served on one of the Minimum Wage Conferences called by the State Industrial Welfare Commission as well as in other state appointive capacities. Experience gained through these contacts often led to the introduction of practical work in the Federation.
The Federation had no official organ in the state for the dissemination of club activities. The lack of Federation interest except at convention was a notable fact. It was not the result of indifference but rather a lack of knowledge of what other clubs were doing.
The Western Woman's Outlook was a paper published in Seattle, whose aim was to report woman's work in the state. The paper was owned, managed and edited by women. It was decided to adopt this publication as the official organ for the furtherance of Federation work. The editor was Helen Norton Stevens, one of the best known and interested club women of the state.
Four worthy projects were paramount in this regime: the completion of the allotted amount to the General Federation Endowment Fund; the origin of the state Endowment Fund of $13,000; the establishment of an official publication; and initial steps were taken in the organization of several district organizations.