Civic Improvement League of Hughes Township, 1912

Skidmore, Missouri had its own efforts to improve the community.  The ladies of the town formed an Improvement Association in 1900 and their efforts were not appreciated by the editor of the Skidmore Standard.  The women of Graham and the surrounding community made a similar effort in 1912, as we see in this report from the April 11 edition of the Skidmore New Era, page 9:

Home Improvement League Organized.

Women of Graham Will Clean Up Town and Township.  Build Hall and Effect Other Such Needed Improvements As Are Desired.

The women of Hughes township met at the Presbyterian church in Graham last Saturday afternoon and organized The Civic Improvement League of Hughes township.  Those present were very much interested and entered into the organization work with enthusiasm.

The officers elected were:  President, Mrs. Walter Freytag; Vice-President, Mrs. John Wilson; Recording Secretary, Mrs. Frank L. Miller; Corresponding Secretary, Mrs. Clyde C. Trapp; Treasurer, Mrs. Ed Geyer.

The plan is to organize each school district into a committee, and for this purpose the following chairmen were elected to act in their respective districts:  Hickory Grove, Mrs. Mart Moody; Liberty, Mrs. Chas. Lawrence;  Elkhorn, Mrs. Fred Crawford; East Star, Mrs. Gaylord Dilts; Highland, Miss Minnie Fox; Morgan, Mrs. John Neil; Lyle, Mrs. Sam Lyle; Stark, Mrs. Valentine Ham; Barnes, Mrs. Jim Miller; Hazel Dell, Mrs. George McNeil; Hazlett, Mrs. Stoughton Hazlett; Miller, Mrs. Allen McNeal; Singery, Mrs. Jeff Elliot; Graham, Mrs. John Crawford.

The first work to be taken up by the League will be that of “cleaning up” the township, and building a township hall.  The first will be done by clearing the public highways of weeds, old broken down farm machinery, dragging the roads, clearing out dumping grounds along the roads and etc.  The Township board will cooperate with the League in this work.  Also in Graham, the streets and alleys will be cleared of old tin cans and other rubbish which, at present, gives it anything but a flattering appearance.

Grasses will be planted on vacant lots and along the roadsides where weeds hitherto have grown, trees planted where necessary.  The Town Board will cooperate with the League in making Graham the cleanest and neatest town in the county.  And why should not Hughes township stand first in the county, if not first in the state for good roads, civic improvements and civic righteousness.

Next but not least in importance is the building of a Township Hall.  A building of this kind has long been needed.  There is at present no place to hold a public meeting of any kind, no place to hold elections, political speaking, a lecture course, temperance meetings, musicals or entertainments of any kind, rural and town commencements and other school entertainments. Surely the need is evident.

Another thing is if we do not provide clean educational entertainment for our young people, it is our fault if they seek entertainment elsewhere and along lines that do not meet our approval.

The plans of building the Hall is this:  Shares will be sold and a stock company organized, and then by your vote help manage and control it.  The par value of a share will be $5.

Every woman in the township is cordially invited to become a member of the Civic Improvement League.  Come let us all join hands and work together for all that will beautify and make this community a better place in which to live.

A meeting of the Executive Board of the Civic Improvement League will meet at the home of Mrs. Frank Miller, Saturday, April 13, at 2:30 p.m.  It is hoped all members will be present to help formulate plans for the furtherance of our work.


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