History

The Austin Woman’s Club (AWC) was founded in 1929. That same year, with a $6000 down payment and the endorsement of the American History Club, AWC purchased the North-Evans House from the Evans Estate for $36,000.

The founding members joined with twelve other women’s groups (including the Settlement Club, the Readers Guild, the Jewish Council of Women and the Violet Crown Garden Club) to secure a place for women to gather, learn and network. One hundred and sixty-two women were charter members, with family names prominently associated with Austin in the 1920s—including Governor Miriam A. Ferguson, Mrs. Percy V. Pennybacker, Mrs. Walter Bremond, Mrs. John D. Howson, Miss Lilia Casis, Mrs. J. E. Pearce and Mrs. Z. T. Scott.

In 1939 a Junior Austin Woman’s Club was organized so that daughters and granddaughters of members could prepare for future membership in the senior club. In 1986, membership rules were revised to include daughters-in-law and granddaughters-in-law and other outstanding young women of Austin.

Over the past 80 years, the Austin Woman’s Club has been active in the Austin community. In its early years, the AWC protested cutting down trees on the Court House lawn, paid for marking the city’s streets in our historic downtown neighborhood and then urged the City to mark all streets. Members insisted that tarpaulins be placed over open garbage wagons and advised the Chief of Police about implementing more stringent traffic rules. They also urged the City Council to leave the “moon glow towers” standing since the lights enhanced the beauty of our Capitol City. During WWII, volunteers came to the Club to roll bandages for injured troops. In the 1940s and 1950s, the Club was a boarding house for students from The University of Texas at Austin..

The Club has hosted numerous and noted authors, musicians, architects, poets, artists, historians, and civic leaders as part of its active programming —50 meetings each year.