important to know our history--lest we forget! Two
significant milestones were reached in 2009 -- the OFRW celebrated its
80th Anniversary. Additionally, the NFRW held its 35th Biennial
Convention in Orlando, Florida, celebrating its 70th
The Ohio Federation of
Republican Women was organized on November 29, 1929 by Mrs. Hugh Clark.
years ago, on November 29, 1929, Elizabeth “Lizzie” Clark (Mrs. Hugh),
a Steubenville, Ohio school
teacher, had a vision of seeing women serving our country as leaders.
To this end, she began the Ohio Federation of Republican Women in an
to educate and encourage women.
was a dynamic woman, a nationally recognized orator, and a dedicated
Republican. She was a delegate to the Republican National Convention in
1929. Keep in mind that this was only nine years after women received
the right to vote. She worked hard in the presidential campaign of
Herbert Hoover, traveling around the country speaking on behalf of
was a charter member, and twice elected state president, of the
American Legion Auxiliary. She cared deeply about the soldiers serving
the country and was determined to help do everything possible from home
to give them some comfort. She was part of many more committees and
organizations then there is space to mention. She was a leader
organizations where no woman had led before -- blazing a path for
others. While it is not known what she said in her
she may well have encouraged women to run for office
good solid Republicans get elected. Maybe she told them to put aside
petty differences, grudges, and other meaningless grievances, and work
for the good of the party she loved.
I researched her life and read about all her involvements and the
comments made about her, I realized she was not only dedicated to
Republican beliefs, but she knew the importance and power of women
working together – united." stated Sharon Gingerich in the history
presentation she delivered at the 2009 OFRW Fall Conference. "It’s
interesting to note that Clark started the OFRW during the great
depression – when our country needed something to believe in – very
much like today. As another year approaches, think about what
Lizzie would have been telling you to do. She would have wanted you to
support our wonderful statewide Republican candidates. Get involved in
a judicial race by supporting one of the candidates or on a local
level. Campaigning is hard and it is lonely – even when surrounded by a
roomful of people. Help your candidates – financially if you can – but
get involved in their campaigns on any level. I don’t have to tell you
about how much rides on the outcome of the 2010 elections.
are Lizzie’s legacy."
a statewide rally in Columbus on April 30, 1930, the
organization became inactive until
when it was revived through the efforts mainly of Katherine Kennedy Brown.
a meeting with the Ohio Republican State Central and Executive
Committee to reactivate the organization. Katherine K. Brown
was elected President
of the OFRW and served in that capacity until 1972. To see a 1944 Life Magazine
photo of Brown, click HERE
goal was to educate women about the Republican Party and to
encourage women to be active in the party. To be a member of the NFRW,
a State was required to have clubs in 60 per cent of its
counties. Ohio, with 88 Counties was accepted into the NFRW in
1940, with 200 clubs and 6,000 members.
January of 1941, the OFRW had a victory ball to celebrate the
election of John W. Bricker as Governor of Ohio. At that time, they
boasted a membership of 331 clubs and 15,000
Kennedy Brown had a goal of 50,000 members in Ohio.
The closest that goal came to being reached was 369
clubs and 40,000 members in 1970.
following women have served as President of the OFRW:
1 ─ March 12, 2008
2008 ─ December 31, 2009
1991 NFRW Biennial Convention was held in Cincinnati. This was a major
event for the OFRW. The entire OFRW slate of officers, board members
and many members from local clubs worked as a team to welcome over
3,000 guests. The team successfully raised $200,000 to pay for the
convention. It was the first and only time that a state raised more
money than was needed to pay for a convention. The additional $25,000
was used to purchase the Ohio room at the new NFRW headquarters in
use these important milestones in celebration of past
accomplishments and to lead us on to complete our present
objectives and future goals. To make an organization work it takes a
team. We, as Republican women, can do it if we all contribute. We need
your ideas, your talent and whatever time you can spare. Put on your
'thinking caps' and let’s make a difference. Increase the membership.
Recharge. Rebuild." encourages President Jean Turner.
Gingerich gave a detailed, enlightening and entertaining presentation
of the history of the Ohio Federation of Republican Women at the 2009
Fall Conference. The above is partially based upon that presentation
additional information she submitted to the December OFRW Voice,
coupled with information from the OFRW Leadership Manual. Look
for more history from Sharon! Sharon may be contacted via
email at email@example.com