East Side History Madison’s Blog

By and for the East Side History Club, a project of the Goodman Community Center

East Side Women’s Club: Photo Brings Back 1941 Memories

Posted by eastsidehistorymadison on November 25, 2010


On the back of the photo, someone had written “Toastmistress ESWC Banquet. 1. Ann Johnson. 2. Flossie McDowell. 3. Sally Reznichek.” Without that note we would not have these women’s full names.

The club thanks Sharon McDowell for surprising us with this photo treasure for our November meeting on the East Side Women’s Club.

This photo, along with 5 others, was published on the society page of the Wisconsin State Journal on Sunday June 8, 1941. The photo spread described the annual Spring Banquet, held on Tuesday June 3, 1941 in Langdon Hall, the private dormitory at 631 Langdon Street.

The caption for the photo reads: Mrs. Earl McDowell, newly elected vice-resident and toastmistress, started off the program with a smile.  Mrs. Henry Johnson left, and Mrs. Cyrus Reznichek, right, corresponding secretary, smile with her.

The article mentions that Mrs. Browne and Mrs. Crosby, who then was Alma Hall, organized the club in the fall of 1925 as a “community” organization.  Mrs. Browne was the first president. Mrs. Crosby was living in Hollywood in 1941 and works in the movies.  She appeared in such productions as “In Old Chicago”, “Doomed Battalion” and “The Good Fairy”.

East Side Women’s Club activities mentioned in the 1941 article include “contributions to 6 Madison charities; camperships to one Girl Scout, one Girl Reserve and 3 for girls to the Volunteers of America camp in Pardeeville; gives 100 gifts at Christmas to children at the Morningside sanatorium and this year gave 20 new and current books to the Lakeview sanatorium.  In addition the club has a tree fund to be used for planting unusual trees in Olbrich Park, and gives an annual tuition scholarship to the UW to an outstanding East Side High School girl.  In 1941 it went to Betty Brown, whose family lived in Lake Edge Park.  The club has also contributed a sleeping cabin to be constructed at the Volunteers of America camp in Pardeeville.”

By coincidence, the photo that Nettie Slickman Spevacek contributed to An East Side Album (page 9) was also a part of the June 8th, 1941 photo spread.

By Ann Waidelich

More information about the East Side Women’s Club will appear on this blog soon.
If you have East Side Women’s Club memorabilia, please let us know, by commenting on this post. We’d love to capture more images like these.

2 Responses to “East Side Women’s Club: Photo Brings Back 1941 Memories”

  1. Nadine said

    My maternal grandmother was a long-time active member of the East Side Women’s Club. Those yearbook covers look very familiar — and perhaps one of these days I’ll find one in the box marked “Grandma’s Address Books” (there were/are many). In the meantime, here’s a link to a Vinje photograph of her at an East Side Women’s Club event in 1956:


  2. Nadine said

    Sarah tells me a left an incorrect link the first time. This one should be correct:


    Looks as though I lopped off the last digit when I did a copy and past of the URL.

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