Woman's Club of Wisconsin History

In 1876, Martha Mitchell (pictured above) hosted the organizational meeting of the Woman's Club of Wisconsin in her parlor. 


Milwaukee’s visionary women leaders founded the Woman’s Club of Wisconsin in 1876, putting them at the forefront of the “Women’s Club Movement,” which provided women a forum for the free exchange of ideas and for improving their communities. A few years later, WCW members formed a women-owned stock company, bought land, and built the very first women’s club building in America. It served as a model for clubs across the land. Today the WCW is the  longest operating women’s club in the country. It is housed in a Historic Landmark building that was the first of its kind as a women’s club and also as Milwaukee’s longest standing building erected as a private club.

Since its inception, the WCW has been dedicated to the welfare of society. It is a place of service, learning, and friendship. Members work diligently on Club-sponsored community outreach projects and use their membership to learn about and further community activities that they can do individually. The Club’s Foundation solicits monetary donations from members and their friends and has distributed over a million dollars in grants to worthwhile nonprofit organizations since it was established in 1965. Club lectures and other events widen horizons, challenge thinking, and help members and the public develop an understanding of the complex issues facing the local community and beyond. Members make and maintain lifelong friendships. Time and again, WCW members show they care about community, both within and outside the Club’s historic walls.