Over 107 years have passed since the McDonough Woman’s Club was founded, and it remains as active, involved, and vibrant today as in 1916 when 38 women began meeting in homes – socializing, supporting one another, and performing acts of charity and kindness within their Henry County community.
One of this group’s earlier projects was to begin a local library. Those pioneering ladies donated the first books from their own collections and subsequently enlisted friends and others to donate books, bringing the number of books in their “library” to 1,065 by its third year in existence and continuing to grow thereafter. Building on that success, they initiated a fund drive in 1971 for the building of a library in McDonough. That year, the Club sponsored a “Tour of Homes,” which raised more than $2,500 for the new library. They followed the fundraiser by holding a countywide tea to raise additional needed funds for the library in 1973. Such were the humble beginnings of the Henry County library system we now enjoy. Still today, the Woman’s Club continues its support of the Henry County Library System.
These women also actively and patriotically engaged in efforts at home to support our country during World Wars I and II by making bandages, buying and selling war bonds and stamps, fostering the Red Cross, sponsoring a war orphan, and contributing to various relief funds. Their work fulfills the club’s motto, “A Vision and a Task.”
Members of the Woman’s Club also took a special interest in beautifying the McDonough city square as well as the city cemetery. Multiple fundraisers, the production of plays, and hosting bazaars where cakes, cookies, and candies were sold were all efforts undertaken by the women to help make possible the building of the stone wall that surrounds the park in the city square and to plant shrubs and flowers in both the square and the cemetery.
Through the years, the club has contributed in a variety of ways to multiple projects, including one that was part of bringing Henry General Hospital (now Piedmont Henry Hospital) to our community.
Today, the club and its members contribute financially and in other ways to 13 local charities within Henry County, including Henry County Scholastic Foundation, Henry County Meals on Wheels, Henry County Library System, A Friend’s House, Helping in His Name Food Pantry, Ferst Readers of Henry County, Hands of Hope Clinic, Connecting Henry, Heritage Park Veterans Museum, Our World at HOPE Park, Veterans Support Group, Haven House and Gigi’s House.
The women no longer need to meet in the homes of members. Thanks to the City of McDonough, much fundraising, and the generous donations of others, they have enjoyed meeting in a clubhouse since 1957. Their current clubhouse is located at 199 Turner Street.
The McDonough Woman’s Club holds monthly meetings from September through June on second Tuesdays at 2 p.m. to conduct business, enjoy an educational guest speaker, share refreshments, and socialize. In late September 2023, the ladies hosted a lovely afternoon fall tea in honor of the 200th birthday of the City of McDonough.
For more information, visit McDonough Woman’s Club on Facebook.
By Diane Harris