Finding Aid of Kingsley Woman's Civic Club, 2013

Dublin Core


Finding Aid of Kingsley Woman's Civic Club, 2013


Women--Societies and clubs.


Finding aid of Kingsley Woman's Civic Club records, 1914/1915 to 1987.


Kingsley Branch Library, Kingsley (Mich.)


Local History Collections, Kingsley Branch Library, Kingsley (Mich.)


Traverse Area District Library, Traverse City (Mich.)


2011 (1st edition)
2013 (2nd edition)


Kingsley Public Library, Kingsley (Mich.)


This document is protected by copyright law. Contact the Kingsley Branch Library for permission to reproduce, display or transmit this document.











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Kingsley Branch Library
Local History Collections
Kingsley Woman’s Civic Club, 1

213 S Brownson Ave., Kingsley MI 49649­0427

Creator: Kingsley Woman’s Civic Club
Title: Kingsley Woman’s Civic Club records
Inclusive dates: 1910s­1980s
Bulk dates: 1915­1987
Extent: 1.5 linear feet
Call number: KBL­LHC 001


Material is in English
The records are the primary founding records for the Kingsley
Branch Library. Copyright was transferred to the Library when
the Woman’s Civic Club disbanded in 1987.
Periodic additions to the collection are not expected.
The collection is open without restriction.
See box 1.

A­V Material: None.
Digital Material:
Copyright is held by the Traverse Area District Library.
Processed By:
Amy Barritt, 2013

Kingsley Branch Library
Local History Collections
Kingsley Woman’s Civic Club, 2

Records of Kingsley Woman's Civic Club from 1915 to 1987. The Club's main goals
included the civic improvement of Kingsley, Michigan. To this end, the Club founded the
first Kingsley Public Library and the Woman’s Evergreen Cemetery Improvement
Association of Kingsley, Michigan. The Club disbanded in 1987 because of lack of interest
shown by area women. The series in the collection are: Historical Materials, Bylaws,
Minutes, Correspondence, Financial Records, Banquets and Programs, Newspaper
Articles, Scrapbooks, Yearbooks and Ledgers.
(From Newpaper Articles series, unknown paper and date):
"Kingsley Civic Club Observes Anniversary at Lovely Affair­
The Kingsley Woman's Civic club celebrated its 40th anniversary Tuesday evening at the
clubrooms. The theme of the program, 'It Happened Then' was presented by the chairmen,
Mrs. L.C. Tremain and Mrs. L.H. Kyselka.
They told the story of the beginning of the club. A Lyceum course was dated for Kingsley to
be sponsored by the men of the village. When their advance woman arrived nothing had
been done, so a group of women worked with the men and planned the entertainment.
This group of women, 15 strong, met at the home of Mrs. E.J. Case. They worked hard to
promote projects for the betterment of the town and community and eventually a club was
organized. The name 'Civic' was never a question in their minds, because they stood for
civic improvement in every sense of the word.
In 1916 the women gave a dinner for their husbands and at this time discused [sic] ways
and means of making the town a better town. Mrs. Kyselka recited a poem which she gave
at that time, "It's Not Your Town, It's You." Mrs. Ralph Case spoke at that meeting on what
a nice place Kingsley was to live in. One of the projects the club started was a library. Mrs.
A.B. Stinson was the librarian and acted in that capacity for 25 years.
The ground where the club park is located was given to the club by Dr. and Mrs. J.J.
Brownson. Immediately the women started getting the plot in order to plant. Many
plantings were given in the community. At one time a dedication Wednesday evening and
also "I Believe." She was accompanied by Mrs. Myrna Dunn.
In January 1938 the group moved to the new clubroms [sic]. At that time Mrs. A.B.Stinson
resigned as librarian, and Mrs. H.C.Stinson has been the librarian since. She gave an
outline on the library at that time and as it is today.
Mrs. Charles Wise and Mrs. Henry Rawlings, past presidents of the club, told of interesting
and outstanding events. A letter received by Mrs. George Hodges, the club'sc [sic] second
president, was read by Mrs. Kyselka. Mrs. Hodges will be 89 years old in the near future.

Kingsley Branch Library
Local History Collections
Kingsley Woman’s Civic Club, 3

Mrs. Ruth Kline, Mrs. H. Rawlngs and Mrs. Lane Fenton read letters from three past
presidents, Mrs. H. Gibbs, Mrs. Marion Sargent and Mrs. J.J.Brownson. A letter was read
from Mrs. E.J. Case, a charter member.
Mrs. Charles Snyder read a history of her parents and events in the pioneer days.
The serving table was centered with a large birthday cake and lighted with green and white
tapers. A large bouquet of white stock with green foliage graced one of the tables. The
arrangement was presented to Mrs. L.C.Tremaine, charter member of the club, by Mrs.
Irwin Mox, hostess chairman."
(From Kingsley Branch Library website, “About the Kingsley Branch Library”, retrieved 19
March 2012, <>):
In 1914, the men of the village of Kingsley wanted to sponsor a traveling lecturer course
and proceeded to schedule it. They got all the material together for the event and promptly
"pigeonholed it," according to the late Mable Smith, a former Civics Club president. When
a representative of the traveling lecturer arrived at the village two days before the event, it
was discovered that no arrangements had been made. A group of ladies came to the
rescue and made it a successful event. The group decided they would like to do more civic
functions and formally organized into the Civics Club.
One of the club's first and main projects was the library, starting on a small scale in 1914.
The club moved many times and the library with it. In 1939, they purchased an
800­square­foot building at 104 S. Brownson Ave., which was previously a bank ­ the vault
is still there. Funding for the Club's good works, including the library, came from bingo
parties, auctions, bake sales, harvest dinners, and arts and crafts fairs. The group created
a cookbook to sell in 1934.
The Civics Club Library became a public library in 1962, with a contract between Mayfield
and Paradise Townships, covering payment of penal fines and each township paying 0.3
mil tax revenue annually. By this agreement, the library became a "district library" and
became eligible for state aid as well. Funding came from three sources ­ the millage
revenue, plus penal fines and state aid, based on census population.
The first librarian was Mrs. A.B. Stinson, who was in charge from conception until 1940,
when Nell Stinson "temporarily" took over and remained in that position until 1973. It was
during this time that the library really began to grow. In 1946, Kingsley elementary teachers
began to bring their students to the library by the classroom. This proved to be very
successful and continues today. For many years, Ms. Stinson wished to retire, but the
library Board was unable to find a replacement. In 1973, at the age of 80, she retired and
three of the library Board members took over her position. Jane Kaule, Dorothy Westrate,
and Lorene Sedlacek completed the Beginner Librarian Workshop and revamped the card
catalog. Shortly thereafter, Jane took a position elsewhere, leaving Dorothy and Lorene to
carry out the library duties. Dorothy officially retired in 2009 (there is a lovely Butterfly
bench in the library's garden, in her honor).”

Kingsley Branch Library
Local History Collections
Kingsley Woman’s Civic Club, 4

Scope and Content Note
The series in the collection are: Historical Materials, Bylaws, Minutes, Correspondence,
Financial Records, Banquets and Programs, Newspaper Articles, Scrapbooks, Yearbooks
and Ledgers.
The Ledgers series is particularly rich in information; Bylaws, Minutes, Financial Records,
Members Lists, Attendance Lists, Annual Reports and other Historical Materials are all
contained in the bound Ledgers, handwritten by the Officers of the Club over many years.
Includes records from the Club, as well as the early records of the Kingsley Public Library
and the Woman’s Evergreen Cemetery Improvement Association.

Kingsley Branch Library
Local History Collections
Kingsley Woman’s Civic Club, 5

Container No.
Historical Materials
Box 1
Member Lists, 1982­1983 and undated
Recipes, ca. 1950
Photographs, 1982
Financial Records
Banquets and Programs
Newspaper Articles
1959­1983 and undated
1926­1928, 1930­1933, 1935­1941, 1943­1949
1962­1965, 1968­1969, 1970­1971, 1972­1978
Box 2
Kingsley Woman’s Civic Club
26 October 1915­ June 1948
14 June 1927­ 7 June 1938
28 July 1938­ 21 May 1952
30 September 1952­ 10 June 1959
27 September 1959 – 23 October 1972
26 May 1964­ 21 May 1979
27 March 1974­ 28 April 1987
Kingsley Public Library
June 1948­ 24 September 1959
1 June 1959­ 30 June 1973
Woman’s Evergreen Cemetery Improvement Association
22 May 1907­16 February 1926

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