Dawson Study Club
Dawson, Navarro County, Texas


City of Dawson || Dawson Stories Index




Organized  1924


Historical reflections by

Mrs. John Lee McCulloch



It was in the year of 1924 that a group of ladies of the Town of Dawson, Texas felt that the time had come for them to pull away from the drudgery of house work and do a bit of intensive study if they were to keep abreast of the times.   Each one could read and improve her mind at home, she knew, but collective study could be fun as well as work and the blending and exchanging of ideas could truly be beneficial.


Thus, following the above thoughts into action, fifteen ladies met as what is now Grahams Park and organized the 1924  Study Club.


Miss Freddie Sims was Speaker of the House that afternoon and, under her guidance, plans were made for the club.   


By-laws:          Drawn from Roberts Rules of Order           

Colors:            Pink and Green

Motto:                        “Not for self, but for All”

Song:               America, the Beautiful


Officers for the year were elected:


            President                                Mrs. W W Wolfe       was unanimously elected

            Vice President                        Mrs. J R Dickson

            Recording Secty                     Mrs. J F Smith

            Corresponding Secty             Mrs. W E Anderson    ??

            Treasurer                               Mrs. C J Loveless

            Parlimentarian                        Miss Freddie Sims

            Reporter                                 Mrs. F H Butler


Twenty members were to compose the club and the following ladies went down in history  as….Charter Members of The 1924 Study Club…….Mesdames:


            1          W E Anderson           

            2          Winfred Berry

            3          F H Butler

            4          Edd Bounds

            5          Oliver Bounds

            6          E B Dawson

            7          J R Dickson

            8          G G Herrin                

            9          C J Loveless

            10        B F\ Matthews

            11        J L McCulloch

            12        D E McKinney

            13        W C Roberts 

            14        J F Smith

            15        C C Turner

            16        W W Wolfe

            17        A B Worsham


            18        Miss Freddie Sims




Mesdames Anderson, Dawson, Smith, Wolfe, and Miss Freddie Sims composed the first Program Committee and a miscellaneous program was chosen for study….subjects as politics in Texas, home, hygiene, table service, patriotism, music, child welfare,  science….were included into that first year.


A wonderful party was held on the evening of June 1st  in the home of Mr & Mrs D E McKinney, husbands were guests and the game of “42” was the chief source of entertainment, each person donned her best bib and tucker for this occasion, and the McKinney home was gay with cut flowers and festive decorations.


The year of study, work, and play was considered a profitable one and closed on May 21, 1925 with a picnic which was a most enjoyable affair with lots of fried chicken and the children of club members as guests.


October 28, 1925 the Club again assembled for work in the home of Mrs. J R Dickson with Mrs. J L McCulloch , Acting President.    Mesdames 


S H Akers

J M Beasley

W T Boulware           

N G Clark


Miss Winnie Matthews        


joined our forces, and a few resignations  were accepted due to illness, mourning, etc.


Painters, sculptors, poetry, forestry, immigration were a few subjects listed for study.   At the close of the year we began to feel like an institution….. we were two years old and had come from babyhood into childhood.   Mrs G G Herrin, President,  and our membership consisted of nineteen members…New members for the year 1926-1927 were….Mesdames:


            E L Connor                

            J E Evans

            M D Hatley                           

            Carl Matthews

            W M Nelson

            Wilson Pullin

            Jim Berry


We, evidently, sensed the coming of The Depression that year for the opening program was on “The Tragedy of Waste.”      It might  be well to repeat that study in this advanced age of 1947 for in spite of the ravages of two wars, American people are still wasteful.


Very ably and seriously Mesdames Boulware, Smith, Pullins, Nelson discussed such subjects as:


            Waste of production

            Waste of consumption

            Waster of advertising

            Waste of natural resources


We, also, had a program on “”Modernism.”    Quite a treatise was given on the Modern Woman.    One could, perhaps, do a bit of expanding in this year of 1947.


The Christmas Party was held in the home of Mr. & Mrs. W W Wolfe with Mrs Herrin assisting.


The  year 1927-1928 Mrs. E B Dawson served as President with such capable help as, Mesdames:


            C W Matthews

            W W Wolfe

            S H Akers

            J G Garner                 Miss Winnie Matthews has married J G Jim Garner

            E L Connor

            C J Loveless


There was no change in membership that year.   However, Mesdames J F Smith, W M Nelson, and J R Dickson were absent for many meetings due to the tact that Betty Ruth Smith, Margerey Ann Nelson, and Betty Jane Dickson came to join their respective families and thereby increase the population of Dawson.


Mrs. J F Smith was President for the year 1928-1929.   Mrs. F H Simpson, who had recently moved to Dawson from Blooming Grove, accepted membership in our club, as was Mrs. Clyde Sims and Mrs. Onle Griffin.


Mesdames W C Roberts and F H Simpson were hostesses to the Xmas Party which was held January 1st 1929.


The club disbanded for one year.   It was reorganized in 1931 and at that time the name was changed from…The 1924 Study Club….to……The Womans Study Club.


Mrs. J E Davis was Presiding officer.   


Mrs. G L Turner

Mrs. Roy Ponder

Mrs. Aura Garner

Mrs. Robert Hill

were added to the Club Membership.   


Later, came


Mrs. H C Filgo          

Mrs. W E Walkup

Mrs. A W Hearne

Mrs A W Farmer                   ??????

Mrs G T Gooch.


The years passed, our club grew and prospered, became more interesting.   Looking over the rolls of 36-37 years we find Mesdames


M E Allen                  

Douglas Dickson

Oliver Harrison

Paul Potts

Glen Commander      


Miss Stella Berry

were capable members of The Study Club.


More lives were being touched, a greater feeling of oneness, and brotherhood…or should I say “Sisterhood” was being established in Dawson.


The year 1937-1938 brought us


Mrs. Velma Champion,

Mrs M A Royal.                   


Later came


Mrs. Carlos Berry

Mrs. Wayne Davis

Mrs R L Waller

Mrs. L J Grimell 

Mrs. Woychuck        

Mrs. Virgil Davis

Mrs J P Magee         


Miss Mildred Davis.l


September 8, 1941, a called meeting was held in the home of the President, Mrs. W M Nelson to fill two vacancies. 


Mrs. Henry Price


Miss Valley Roberts


were elected at that time.


Then we find appearing on our roll


Mrs. Ross Smith

Mrs C A Willis

Mrs Clarence Holt

Mrs. C M Newton Jr

Mrs Edwin Davis      

Mrs L A Hamilton                

Mrs. G A Burnam

Mrs. Frank Comer,

Mrs. Joe Pitts,

and our newest member

Mrs. (Bryant) Merrill.


A check of our membership from year to year shows  there have been seventy-four (74) different ladies in our club.


We can say with gratefulness and thankfulness that each one is still living.  Some have withdrawn from the club and are still living in Dawson.


Many other have moved away.   We can find old members in almost every section of the state, only one charter member remains with the club.,


Almost the period of time that is called a generation has passed since the club was organized, naturally many changes have come about, there has been sadness and disappointment of course, but as a whole the work has been pleasant and useful, butThe Womens Study Club has had throughout the years a lofty ambition and has worked unselfishly for the betterment of Dawson.


Our Club has been a chain that has drawn us very close together, each Club Member being a link and each link a means of love, loyalty, and fellowship.   The object of our Club has been to stimulate intellectual growth and strength by individual effort by organization.


I want to close by giving the beautiful collect that we have read so many times…


Keep us O God, from pettiness

Let us be large in Thought, in Word, in Deed

Let us be done with Fault Finding and leave off Self Seeking

May we put away all Pretense

And meet each other Face to Face

Without Self Pity and without Prejudice

May we never be Hasty in Judgment

And…always generous.

Teach us to put into action our better impulses.

Straight forward and unafraid

Let us take time for all things.

Make us grow calm, serene, and gentle.

Grant that we may realize that it is the little things

That create differences

That in the big things of life we are as one.

And…may we strive to touch and to know

The great woman heart of us all, and…

Oh Lord, Let us not forget to be kind.





The above was written in 1947 by Mrs. John Lee McCulloch Sr., nee Letha Sims.   Letha Sims was born in Dawson in 1891 to Frank Thad and Belle Sims.   Her brothers were William Gray Sims and Frank Thad Sims Jr.   Her paternal Grandfather was William Franklin Sims, born 1831, a half brother of Margaret Adney Sims Matthews, Lucy Lou Sims, Gant Rufus Sims, Thomas J Sims, A H Dugan Sims, and James Frederick Sims.


The handwritten history was recently discovered in old family papers by Becky Davis, Grand daughter of Letha Sims McCulloch, and daughter of John L McCulloch Jr.   Becky Davis resides in Houston, Texas.



Akers, S H                              Taught Mary Hardin Baylor, husband farmer

Allen, M E                              Husband managed Dawson Oil Mill late 1930s

Anderson, W E

Beasley, J M                          Beasley’s Dry Goods, sister of ????

Berry, Carlos                         Husband was Post Master, Old Dawson family

Berry, Jim                              She taught at Spring Hill, moved to Corsicana

Berry, Miss Stella                 Sister of Winfred Berry, teacher, moved to Denton

Berry, Winfred                       Husband was farmer and rural mail carrier

Boulware, W T                       Husband was Methodist minister

Bounds, Edd                           Family may have owned Bounds Chevrolet

Bounds, Oliver                       Same

Burnam, G A

Butler, F H                             Husband was Editor of Dawson Herald, son Glenn

Champion, Velma                   nee Marguerite Allard, daughter of C D Allard

Clark, N G                              Husband managed Spencer Lumber Co

Comer, Frank             Husband was farmer

Commander, Glen                  Husband was Pastor, Baptist Curch

Connor, E L                            Store in Dawson…moved to Waco, had shoe store

Davis, Edwin                          Nee Mary Nell Sanders

J E Davis                                Early Dawson teacher, husband worked at bank

Davis, Virgil                           ????

Davis, Wayne                         Daughter-in-law of Major Davis

Dawson, E B                           Early school teacher, husband worked at bank, son E B Jr

Dickson, Douglas                   ???

Dickson, J R                          ???

Evans,  J E                             ????

Farmer, A W                          ????

Filgo, H C                               Husband School Superintendent

Garner, Aura                          nee McCulloch, dau. Jane, son James Henry

Gooch, G T                             wife of Gaston T Gooch, both school teachers

Griffin, Onie                           ????

Grinnel, L J                            School teacher

Hamilton, L A             Physician????

Harrison, Oliver                     Husband was a farmer

Hatley, M D                           Husband owned “Tailor Shop” next to Sig Powell Barber Shop

Hearne, A W                          ????    Owned Tailor shop???

Herrin, G H                            Husband was School Supt., son

Hill, Robert                            Daughter-in-Law of Dr. B W D Hill

Holt, Clarence                        Husband was farmer

Loveless, C J                         Husband owned Loveless Drug, died late 1920s

Magee, J P                             School teacher

Matthews, B F                       Husband owned Matthews Drug

Matthews, Carl                      Husband owned Matthews Market

Matthews, Winnie                  later shown as Mrs. J G Garner, Husband was grocer

McKinney, D E                      Husband owned automobile dealership…Edroy & Frances

McCulloch, J L                      Husband had interest in McCulloch Gin

Merrill, Bryant                       Husband was School Superintendent

Nelson, W M                          Daughter of W P Johnson, husband owned garage

Newton, C M Jr.                    Husband was 2nd Generation Dawson banker

Pitts, Joe                    

Ponder, Roy                           With husband, owned The Green Hut

Potts, Paul                              Husband owned grocery store

Price, Henry                           Husband was Methodist minister

Pullin, Wilson

Roberts, W C                         nee Avis Wright, husband worked for W W Wolfe

Royal, M A                            Mother of Mrs. Paul Potts

Sims, Clyde                            Husband was grocer, partnership with Jim Garner

Simpson, F H                          Husband was a banker from Blooming Grove

Smith, J F                               Husband worked at Bank, old Dawson family

Smith, Ross                            Husband was Methodist minister

Turner, C C                            Husband was cotton buyer, real estate investor

Turner, G L                            Husband was farmer

Walkup, W E                          Husband died in 1920s, owned “Tin Shop”

Waller, R L                            Miss Noble who married Ray Waller, both teachers

Willis, C A                              Husband was farmer

Wolfe, WW                             Husband was owner Wolfe Hdwe & Funeral Home

Woychuck, N A                      Teacher,…Husband was Presbyterian minister, Bible scholar

Worsham, A B                        Husband was Dawson physician for many years


Davis, Miss Mildred             Daughter of Guy Davis, sister of Edwin Davis

Roberts, Miss Valley                        Lived with her Father. Mose Roberts

Sims, Miss Freddie                Teacher, Married Robert E Robinson 1954




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