Bisbee Woman's Club Clubhouse
Constructed in 1902, this building housed one of Arizona's earliest women's clubs. Bisbee's Woman's Club began in 1899 and was the first club in Arizona to join the Federated Woman's Club in 1901. Since then, the club continues to be very active and hosts many events for the town. The building was designed by architect Frederick C. Hurst and is a one-story frame bungalow/craftsman style house.
Backstory and Context
"In 1899 Helen (Mrs. Stuart) French, who belonged to one of the Bisbee reading clubs, conceived the idea of a larger group - a real Woman’s Club ~ which could meet in Library Hall and be of service to the community as well as to each other. The idea was well received. As there were already twenty or more charter members the "Bisbee Woman’s Club" was launched in the fall of 1900.
The members of The Reading Club of 1899-1900 became the first members of the Bisbee Woman's Club. These women included Mrs. S. W. French, wife of Assist. Supt of the Copper Queen Cons. Co., Mrs. Ft. C. Morgan, wife of the Railroad Supt., Mrs. F. Sweet, wife of the Chief of Medical Staff, Mrs. R. Ftundle, wife of a smelter official, Mrs. U. H. Ferguson, wife of an Independent druggist, and Mrs. C. P. Hart, wife of the Copper Queen pharmacist.
The Club became a member of the Federated Woman's Clubs in 1901, and was the first in Arizona to do so. The Bisbee Woman's Club erected its Clubhouse in 1902 and has the distinction of owning the first woman's club building in Arizona.
The first major civic project of the club was a kindergarten. The rapidly growing community needed this kind of school. The school board was going to build a new school of sufficient size to take care of all grades and high school. A kindergarten was to be included. The women turned their fund~raising purpose to supplying a piano and furnishings for the kindergarten room. Also they wanted the upper portion of the windows to be of stained glass, depicting scenes from Mother Goose. The Central School was completed October 3, 1905. Central School building now serves as the home of the studios of many local artists. Through the years, the schools remained a project for the Woman's Club. In 1906 the club began to raise funds to equip rooms for domestic science and manual training.
Another early project of the club was to build a watering trough in Tombstone Canyon just below the site of the present courthouse. For many years thirsty horses and mules stopped there for refreshment after the long haul from Tombstone over the steep mountain roads. There was a small place provided for the men as well. lt stood where the Copper Man now stands
A very significant early project (1907 and following) was dealing with the problems observed at the city jail. The city jail was always crowded, especially on payday, and its conditions were extremely bad, so the members of the Bisbee Woman's Club determined to have it cleaned up and kept clean. They endured a good deal of ridicule and good-natured jesting, but the jail was cleaned and kept clean, as the city fathers never knew when a group of club women would arrive at the jail to inspect its condition."