Last updated 2/18/2012
all stories that have a title like this are fiction.
This is a true story about some history of a community
between Dawson and Humboldt.
And some of us “oldies” who still live in this
community still enjoy this legacy.
One summer afternoon in 1907, Mrs. Martin D. Ulmer and
her sister Mrs. Jacob S Heim, were visiting and among the
general conversation, they remarked about the fact that they
so seldom had the opportunity to visit their neighbors.
Their regret was real and they wondered what could be
done about it. A
later conversation on the subject with other neighbor ladies,
Mrs. Ed Leatherman, Mrs. Jake Snethen and Mrs. Wes Hummel,
resulted in the organization of the “The Country Ladies
Kensington.” These 5 ladies and Mrs. Wilber Burr, Mrs. Homer
Deweese and Mrs. Clarence Allen were the Charter members.
The original purpose of the club was purely social,
furnishing the opportunity for friendly chatter, the exchange
of recipes, piecing quilt blocks, mending and embroidery or
any kind of handwork, keeping their hands busy while they
gossip was frowned upon.
There were no officers, no dues, no formal programs and
no refreshments. They
all had to cook supper for their families when they got home
and refreshments were not wanted as that interfered with their
visiting time. Also,
being a hostess was a much greater pleasure.
Food of a simple type for the children was provided by
The peak membership was around 30.
Anyone could belong. There were no restrictions, so
long as they were country women and their older daughters.
Invitations were by word of mouth as usually someone in
attendance gave the invitation for the next meeting to be at
her home. They
met every two weeks.
These were the horse and buggy days and members either
walked or came by horse and buggy. This club was always well
attended and much enjoyed by all.
Each summer, a big Club picnic dinner was held in some
ones grove or yard where long tables could be set up for
members and their families, everyone bringing food for the
noon meal. The
men often played baseball after dinner and they had a good
In 1916 the Club was reorganized and the name changed
to “Golden Rod Study Club”, a formal constitution adopted
and officers elected, it also became a federated club.
Program books were made for each member and a topic for
the program of each meeting, which were now held once a month.
The idea of no refreshments continued until much later
time when it was changed.
In 1919 there were 31 members, the largest membership
they ever had and at this time they became members of the
“Nebraska Federation of Women’s Clubs” and dues were
$1.25 per member.
During World War One they sent a large box of clothing
for the French refugees and adopted a French war orphan for
one year. $36.50
was sent to him and the receipt is still in the possession of
the Club. Through
the years other acts of charity were practiced by this group
In 1923, 24, and 25 the membership dropped to 18, the
smallest membership to date.
With the Federated Organization the programs were more
literary but the social element was kept alive.
The summer picnic was still held which included the
families of each member; again in the yard of one of the
members, as in days gone by.
In February the regular meeting called the “Winter
Frolic” a noon or evening dinner for the special benefit of
the husbands again being held in the home of one of the
A number of years later the State Federation was
dropped, town ladies were now welcome to join if they so
summer picnic and winter frolic were continued.
They then became a large club of 25 members and
continued to be well attended.
In 2012 the neighborhood club will be well over 100
years of continuous meeting of this happy group.
All Charter Members, as well as all original members of
the organization are now passed away, but their daughters and
granddaughters and daughter-in-laws of
those former members still carrying on and enjoying the
association with each other,
For your information the next “Winter Frolic” will
be held at the home of
Marilyn Ogle this February.
of this article were taken from facts printed in the 1976
Dawson History, published by the Bicentennial Committee and
DCIP organization of Dawson, Nebraska.
The book was compiled by Elma Heim Griffith for the