A mysterious box full of letters was recently donated to the Newberg Area Historical Society. Upon opening, we discovered that it was the correspondence of an organization called the “Friendly Club.”

With such a name, we at first assumed it must be part of the local Friends Church, but to our surprise, it was actually a separate organization, unrelated to the Quakers.

The Friendly Club, which ran from 1919-1960’s, was a women’s social club devoted to building strong friendships and building community among the women of Newberg. While engaging in charitable work. 

Their club poem, below, showed their values and interests:

Friendly Club, by Phoebe Damewood Hill

        F-     Is for friendly, a magic word

                It’s golden chains your heart will gird.

        R-    Is for royal, the banner we bear

                Willing each other’s problems to share.

        I-      Is for ideals, for which we stand

                Giving the needy a helping hand.

        E-     Is for endless, the good things to share

                And like the rain, they must fall everywhere.

        N-    Is for near, a comforting thought

                To know that close by in the friendship you sought.

        D-    Is for deeds, Oh, let ours be bright

                Do unto others that which is right.

        L-    Is for love, it has boundless worth,

                Tis the one small word, that will conquer the earth.

        Y-     Is for years, let everyone fill, 

                 Each day it contains, with cheer and good will.

        C-     Is for the courage, we need everyday

                 To live our lives, the very best way.

        L-     Is for loyalty, and we should feel 

                 We owe to each other a loyal deal.

        U-     Is for union, the joining of hands

                 Divided we fall, united we stand.

        B-     Is for beauty beyond compare

                 The Friendship the members of Friendly Club share.

These women were engaged in charitable work throughout the city. A “lookout committee” watched for areas of need in the community and reported to the club where support was needed. Their activities included supporting schools by raising supplies, raising funds for needy students, clothes for needy families at Christmas time, funds for a war memorial, sending cards to patients in rest homes for holidays, and other things to help wherever they saw a need.

Notable members of the club include Mable Rush, Daisy Reid, Blanche Heater, Helen Winter, Opal Mills, and many more!

Was your family involved with the Friendly Club? Do you have stories to share? Let us know!