King’s Daughters

Activities

King’s Daughters participated in fundraising and welfare work including sewing clothes for the needy, housing dependent girls and women, and providing recreational housing for working girls during the summer.

History

The Evanston King’s Daughters was founded in 1893 by Mrs. Daniel S. Gardner. It is one of the oldest charitable organizations in Evanston and was incorporated by the state of Illinois in 1902. According to its constitution their objective was, “[T]o make such charitable or educational contributions as determined by the directors and approved by the members… to donees selected from corporations, associations, or other organizations… provided such organizations are engaged in charitable, educational, or social purposes.” For fifty years, the King’s Daughters provided a home for dependent young girls and women in Evanston. They opened the first golf course in Evanston in 1899, which was the second in the United States opened by women. Social affairs were a major fund-raising activity for the group, and welfare work, especially among children, was a main focus. In more recent years the chief beneficiaries of the King’s Daughters have been the YMCA, Evanston Day Nursery, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Salvation Army, Family Counseling, and the Evanston Historical Society.

Importance

Founded in 1893 by Mary Spencer Gardner, the King’s Daughters was a service organization for young women wanting to do charity work. Their first projects included sewing clothing for needy families and holding fundraising events to support other charitable organizations. In 1895 the group opened the Fresh Air Home for Girls. Begun as a place for a summer respite for young working girls from Chicago, the home eventually became a full-time residence and school for girls ages 12 to 18. The home was in operation until 1949.

Founded: November 1893

Founders: Mrs. Daniels B. Gardner, Mrs. Peter Taylor, Flora Gardner, Jennie Gardner, May towle, Allie Gardnerm Agnes merriman, Lillian Van Alstyne, Emma van Alstyne, Mrs. Augustus Peabody, Mrs. Lucy Pinney Calner, Louise Grover, Mrs. Lucien Harding.

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