Guide to the Pioneer Women's Club Records 1972.8013

Finding aid prepared by History San Jose
History San Jose Research Library
1650 Senter Road
San Jose, CA, 95110
(408) 287-2290


This finding aid was created using Archivists Toolkit, based on an existing finding aid created in 2001.

Title: Pioneer Women’s Club Records
Identifier/Call Number: 1972.8013
Contributing Institution: History San Jose Research Library
Language of Material: English
Physical Description: 0.2 Linear feet (6 books)
Date (inclusive): 1911-1940
Language of Materials note: The records are in English.
Abstract: The Pioneer Women’s Club records document the activities of the club from its inception in 1911 to mid-1940. The records consist of six books which records the monthly minutes of the club and total .2 linear feet in one box.

Immediate Source of Acquisition note

The records were donated in 1970 by Victor C. Pfeiffer, president of the Pfeiffer Electric Company.

Processing Information note

The records were processed by History San Jose staff in 2001.

Biographical/Historical note

The Pioneer Women’s Club originated in the Pioneer District of San Jose. The district of Pioneer is west of the City of San Jose and centered between the districts of Cambrian and Oak Grove. This club was organized by Mrs. Shumann, with the assistance of the first six charter members, who all lived in the Pioneer District. These ladies were Mrs. Russell, Mrs. Millard, Mrs. L. C. Isbell, Mrs. McAbee, Mrs. Rule, and Mrs. George Isbell. The club’s objective, as stated in Article II of its constitution, was “to promote sociability and improvement of its members.” The first meeting was held on February 2, 1911 in the home of Mrs. Shuman. At this first meeting the by-laws were established and the club colors of pink and green were chosen. Three committees were created: the Standing Committee, the Sick Committee and the Committee on Good of the Order. The Standing Committee looked after the business of the club. The Sick Committee visited the sick living within the community. The Committee on Good of the Order was responsible for planning the entertainment at each meeting. These women developed one very unique practice. The roll call became a way of sharing information in creative ways. As roll call was taken each member would recite a verse from Proverbs, share a new recipe, or tell a joke; depending on what had been chosen for that meeting.
Meetings were held in members’ homes. A typical meeting would begin with either refreshments or club business. The women put a lot of time and effort into the refreshments they would serve. Each luncheon or dinner would have elaborate decorations based on a theme such as Halloween, Easter, or Valentine’s Day. They would have some type of planned entertainment. The entertainment could be a game, music, or a reading from a popular magazine. After the refreshments the women would have a work session on such things as quilting or hemming towels. The women always had an annual picnic at a chosen location in the area. Two locations were Guadeloupe Creek and Greystone quarry. In later years it was held at Alum Rock Park.
The Pioneer Women’s Club had a very necessary community function. The women served the community in many ways. For those members who had a death in their families, the women would send floral arrangements to the funeral. They put on parties for the community. They did war relief work during the First World War. One member was the local chairman for the Red Cross Relief Fund.
As the years progressed the amount of members fluctuated. The Pioneer Women’s Club had many honorary members. The women who moved away with their families became honorary members. At one meeting all the women decided that their husbands should be honorary members of their club. The actual age of this club is unknown. There is no documentation on the ending date.
The Pfeiffer Electric Company has a long connection to the Pioneer Women’s Club. Three of the club’s members in the early years were Mrs. C. Pfieffer, Miss Neta Pfieffer, and Miss Nellie Pfieffer.

Scope and Contents note

The Pioneer Women’s Club records document the activities of the club from its inception in 1911 to mid-1940. The records consist of six books which records the monthly minutes of the club and total .2 linear feet in one box. The first book contains the Pioneer Women’s Club constitution, by-laws and years 1911 through June 1914. The five remaining books of minutes contain the years June 1914 through June 1940.

Conditions Governing Access note

The records are open to the public for research by appointment.

Conditions Governing Use note

Property rights reside with History San Jose. For permissions to reproduce or to publish, please contact History San Jose Research Library.

Preferred Citation note

Pioneer Women's Club Records 1972-8013, History San Jose Research Library, San Jose, California 95112-2599

Subjects and Indexing Terms

Pfeiffer, Victor C.
minute books
San Jose (Calif.)
Women Societies and clubs