Sedalia Business Women History
BPW/USA: Founded in 1919, the National Federation of Business and Professional Women’s Clubs, a nonprofit, non-sectarian, self-governing, and member supported organization is dedicated to achieving full participation in the workforce, equity, and economic self-sufficiency for working women. Membership is open to those who are now or have been actively engaged in business or the professions and share the BPW goals.
BPW/MO: There were a number of women’s clubs in Missouri prior to 1919. Several were members of the Women’s Association of Commerce and they sent representatives to the meeting in St. Louis in 1919. The Missouri contingent of the Women of Commerce had hoped that their group would join with the Business and Professional Women, but this did not materialize and Missouri was not a part of the National Federation of Business and Professional Women.
A few months later the Kansas City Business Women’s Club was formed and it was this group of women that was instrumental in getting the women of Missouri together on June 13, 1921 to form the organization of a State Federation of Business and Professional Women. There were 5 charter clubs.
This new State Federation was busy. A delegation was sent to the 1921 National Convention in Cleveland and came back to Missouri with the commitment that the National Board Meeting would be held in Kansas City in March 1922.
The Missouri Manual was first published in 1936 and was so well received that we have had it every year since.
The State Federation coordinated program goals. Prior to that the National suggestions were used by the individual clubs.
Missouri can boast that two National Federation presidents were from the State of Missouri: Margaret Hickey 1944-46 and Judge Hazel Palmer 1956-58.
The History Project
The record is good. It is ours. Let us be proud. ~ Marjorie Garansson, Club President 1959-1960
In 1960, Club President Marjorie Garansson compiled the history of Sedalia Business and Professional Women’s Club from 1923-1960. A scrapbook donated to Sedalia Business Women by the family of Donna Harrison had a copy of this booklet. Donna had also collected back issues of the newsletter.
I’m pleased to announce that I have started the process of converting this history to electronic form so that the historical accomplishments of our local women may be shared with our community. This is a work in progress, but I’ll share with you as it moves forward.