This week local history librarian Amanda Flannery cataloged a 1947 photo of the Range Line Forest Club which prompted some additional research about this organization’s purpose and origin.
1947 Range Line Forest Club members include: Mrs. Metcalf, Mrs. Steffens, Grace Haney, Ruth Metcalf, Nina Statezny, Marie Simandal, Amy Grandine, Clara Ritter, Lela Gretzinger, Elise Gretzinger, Mrs. Ernest, Mrs. Queen, Mrs. Feight, Mrs. Marvin, Florence Ottinger, and Vera Statezny.
According to Amanda, the club’s beginning can be traced to January 6, 1925 when Mrs. James Feight was thrown a surprise birthday party. Many of the ladies in attendance enjoyed the group dynamics and comm-ented on the need for a club so they could gather together on a regular basis. The group decided to meet a few weeks later in the home of Mrs. Silas Smith and the organization continued to exist until at least 1979. The purpose of the group was “to promote friendliness and neighborliness and to help anyone in need” (Forest Republican 1979).
The club was responsible for purchasing war bonds during WWII, raising money for the Crandon Medical Center, sponsoring a child in the Philippines, and much more. The ladies were in charge of the Town of Lincoln booth at the Forest County Fair every year, where they won several ribbons for their impressive vegetables. A member of the club, Mrs. Paul Statezny, was asked how the club endured for so long and she replied “We have never let politics or religion become an issue. And we don’t allow gossip discussed in our club” (Forest Republican 1979).
If anyone knows when the club’s final year of existence was or has more photos and documents from the group please stop by the library and share your information.