In 1914 the Ellenboro Betterment Club was organized by local resident Hattie Poe Johnson. Mr. Ross Hill, the county superintendent of education at the time, had asked Mrs. Johnson to organize a club so it could help with a school bond vote which was coming up. At the time, there was only a four month school and it was felt that a six month school was needed. A group came together and organized what was called then a Betterment Club. This was the first community effort of what soon was renamed, more appropriately, the Ellenboro Woman’s Club.
In 1922 the club was one of the first Woman’s Club in North Carolina to be federated. The club continued to help in all phases of doing good for the community. If something needed to be done, the Ellenboro Woman’s Club was always there to help.
An Ellenboro resident fondly referred to as “Aunt” Kate Harrill donated land in 1925 for construction of a permanent Woman’s clubhouse. A historical note is that the clubhouse used lumber from the old Ellenboro Hotel. The knotty pine and wooden walls are still there. The facility stands today and is in constant use. The club meets on the fourth Thursday of each month at the Woman’s Clubhouse located at the corner of Highway Business 74 and Glenn Street. New members are always welcome and annual membership dues are only $10.00.
This band of 25 members continues to contribute overwhelmingly to all community activities. The present President is Diane Murray, who has been President for the last five years. She is very proud of her club and members. Ms. Murray will tell you: “The Ellenboro Woman’s Club is a wonderful organization. We serve our community as much as possible. Every month we collect things for Hospice. We give paper products to The Church of the Exceptional, at Christmas we also make gifts for them. We also give to the Back Pack program and are a part of the town wide yard sales. We sponsor 4-H Club events and at the Hospice Survivors Dinner, “Relay for Life”, we bake lots of cakes for dessert. We also help at the annual Colfax Fair and Fiddler’s Convention too. Every year we give a scholarship to a local East High School student. This year we gave two scholarships in honor of our 100 year anniversary.”
The list goes on and on. It seems that when you want something done for the good of the Ellenboro community and its’ people, you can always count on the Ellenboro Woman’s Club.
As the ladies gathered, wearing white roses, a very special day was held on October 19th. The Mayor of Ellenboro, Jim Rhyne, presented the club with a proclamation honoring their existence and achievements. After there was a reception for all.
Without a doubt, the Ellenboro’s Woman’s Club has made its’ mark on the community and deserves the highest congratulations for a “job well done”.