Side A: Marion civic leaders Shauck Elah Barlow and Ida Harsh Barlow built “Waldheim,” their Colonial Revival residence, between 1903-1905. Ida Barlow, then president of the Marion Women’s Club, hosted a December 1905 meeting in her new home. Members discussed art, music, literature, and ideas for “civic improvement.” In 1909, this and other Marion clubs reorganized as the Marion County Federation of Women’s Clubs. Federation members soon organized into action: providing college loans to young women; sponsoring visiting city and later school nurses; purchasing trash receptacles; providing dental clinics for low-income residents; and funding railroad crossing safety equipment. Upon her death in 1945, Barlow bequeathed her house to the Federation as the “Women’s Club Home.” The new Federation headquarters offered meeting space for the Executive Board and the many associated clubs. (Continued on other side)
Side B: (Continued from other side) By 1954, Marion’s Federation included 900-1,000 women coordinating their progressive reforms across more than 30 member clubs. While providing social and educational experiences for club members and the wider community, the Federation also supported construction of the new Marion City Hospital, advocated for the establishment of a modern health department, championed school funding levies, called for safety upgrades in new transportation projects, and raised money for the poor and disadvantaged. The 1962 addition of an auditorium wing to the Club Home provided space for larger public meetings, presentations, and musical performances. The auditorium was named for Abigail Harding Lewis, a Federation member, teacher, and the sister of U.S. President Warren G. Harding. Marion Women’s Club Home was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2019.
Sponsors: William G. Pomeroy Foundation, Marion County Federation of Women’s Clubs, Inc., Ohio History Connection