Malvern Daily Record
Tidbit in time Malvern Woman’s Club
The Malvern Woman’s Club had the distinct honor of being the oldest civic club in our town at one time. It was March 8, 1899, that a dream that had been in the hearts and minds of several cultured ladies, became a reality. The Malvern Woman’s Club was organized with 13 charter members. Ten days later this club joined the Arkansas Federation of Women’s Clubs, and became a part of the General Federation as well. Mrs. Martha Butler Sumpter was the first president.
When the club federated April 22, 1899, it chose; the club colors of pink, green, and white, the club motto “Truth, Purity, and Strength” and the club flower, the pink geranium. At first, they met in the spacious home of Mrs. Sara Mckee Vance ( grandmother of Vance Jernigan and Mrs. Albert Mange). She was remembered as a gracious hostess.
When Mrs. Vance passed, the time had come for the club to realize its second dream – that of a club building of its own on the corner of Third and Ash Streets. This building later became the Hot Spring County Library, made of buff brick that was a special blend suggested by Mr. W. R. Bennett, president of Acme Brick Company. Both he and Emmett Nunn, the builder, gave time and money for the project. An open house was held on March 13, 1928.
The Malvern Woman’s Club stood for culture and civic responsibility. They undertook many projects through the years such as: The AR Children’s Colony, State Hospital Benton Unit, Yearbook and Scrapbook contests, Children with Learning Disabilities, Juvenile Courts, and Summer Art School. Some of the club’s proud memories include placing trash cans on Main Street and purchasing a concert piano for the new Malvern High School built in 1927. And then there was a “new baby” – the Malvern Garden Club was organized from the Garden Department of the Woman’s Club in 1933.