Woman's Club of Nashville / J.B. Daniels House
The Woman's Club of Nashville at the J.B. Daniels House (image from the Woman's Club of Nashville)
Backstory and Context
History of the Club and the House
In 1909, the first women's civic club in Tennessee was founded by a group of young women who wanted to help their community. They were originally known as the East Nashville Civic Club and met in the homes of its members; their first project, the "Children's Hour," at which members met with children to read stories in public spaces such as parks and playgrounds, helping to acquire funding for three Carnegie branch libraries for the city. Other projects led to clean health laws, the McNeilly Day Home for the provision of food and care to children, the first school board position for a woman in Nashville and subsequent improvements to education, and a women's suffrage march on the State Capitol. They helped Nashville achieve an airport and influenced law enforcement, as well as forming the City Beautiful Commission. After World War I, the Club's name changed to the East Nashville Woman's Club, and on July 31, 1931 (with over 1,000 members) changed again to the Woman's Club of Nashville. Their purpose was stated as: "To bring together women interested in education, civic progress, protection of youth, literary studies, and homemaking," . The club had, of course, grown too large to meet in individual homes, and had met in hotels and public halls until October of 1931, when they moved into their first Clubhouse on Louise Avenue. On November 14, 1957, they moved to their current, much larger Clubhouse on Hillsboro Road—the J. B. Daniel House .
Judge John Beauregard Daniel (1861-1963), had come to Nashville after graduating from Cumberland University in 1883, and formed a legal practice with Colonel A.S. Colyar. Daniel and his wife, May, bought five acres on Hillsboro Pike, and the four-story Greek Revival house was constructed in 1927. It was only one of several houses built for Judge Daniel, who practiced law in Nashville for 65 years and lived to the age of 102 . The Woman's Club purchased the house in 1957 and added the Haley Hall Auditorium (named for the club's first president) in 1977. The Club sold two and a half undeveloped acres of the property in the 1980s in order to fund repairs to the house, which is listed on the Tennessee Register of Historic Sites and the National Register of Historic Places .
Today, the Woman's Club contributes to and holds fundraisers
for many medical and health foundations, the Nashville Symphony, family and
abuse centers, as well as providing scholarships to young women seeking higher