The Palmer House
The Federation was founded here in 1938.
The story of Republican women's clubs begins many years before women even had the right to vote. Inspired by the Republican Platform of 1872, which said: "The Republican Party is mindful of its obligation to the loyal women of America for their noble devotion to the cause of Freedom ...," Republican women’s clubs were off and running. In fact, the oldest such club on record was founded in Salt Lake City in the late 1800s. Hundreds of independent Republican women’s clubs grew up around the nation.
The Los Angeles Republican Study Club, under the leadership of Florence Porter, became a model for other cities and led to the formation of the California Federation of Republican Women (CFRW) in 1925. At this time the California Northern and Southern Divisions were formed, and in 1937-1938 the Central Division was formed.
In 1938 Marion Martin, assistant chairman of the Republican National Committee, called a meeting at the Palmer House in Chicago to organize these clubs into a national organization (NFRW). California was one of the eleven charter states of NFRW. The delegates adopted rules governing the establishment of a National Federation of Republican Women’s Clubs, with the following purposes:
"to foster and encourage loyalty to the Republican Party and the ideals for which it stands - to promote education along political lines - to encourage closer cooperation between independent groups and the regular party organization, which are working for the same objectives, namely sound government - to promote an interchange of ideas and experiences of various clubs to the end that the policies which have proven particularly effective in one state may be adopted in another - and to encourage a national attitude and national approach to the problems facing the Republican Party."
At the time of NFRW’s founding, three states – Maryland, Virginia, and Alabama – had not even ratified the 19th amendment to the U.S. Constitution granting suffrage to women. The campaign of 1936 had reelected Franklin D. Roosevelt over Alf Landon with only two states – Maine and Vermont – going Republican. There were only six Republican governors, 89 Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives, and 16 in the Senate. And yet the National Federation of Republican Women – born in a climate of defeat – grew in size and strength, providing a vehicle for women concerned with the direction of our government. In its earliest days, the Federation was a lobbying group.
In 1940, the NFRW reported that thirty-four states, as well as the District of Columbia, were represented in the Federation through statewide federations and/or individual clubs.
Today, the NFRW consists of thousands of active members in local clubs across the nation and in several U.S. territories. The goals of those women who met in Chicago in 1938 continue to be the goals of the NFRW – to encourage women’s participation in the governing of our nation, to elect Republicans to office at all levels, and to promote public awareness of the issues that shape America.
Biennial national conventions have been held in cities across the nation, with U.S. presidents and vice presidents, first ladies, cabinet members, legislators, party leaders, political experts, and celebrities attending. Presidential candidates never miss these meetings. They know that many of those attending will be delegates to the Republican National Convention or will be instrumental in the delegate selection process. They know that these women are the GOP’s grassroots activists.
Programs such as NFRW’s campaign management schools, women candidate seminars, and polling schools have trained literally thousands of Republican women and men to help elect GOP candidates, and communities throughout the nation have benefited from the volunteer services of NFRW’s Caring for America and literacy programs.
Lake Arrowhead Republican Women, Federated (LARWF) was founded with a Charter for 10 members in May of 1960. The first President was Mrs. Ethel Capstaff, and one of the founding members was Mrs. Mary Putnam, Henck, the namesake for our Middle School. Because we represent all of the communities from Crestline to Running Springs, we secured a second Charter in 1987 to reflect our name change to Lake Arrowhead Communities Republican Women, Federated (LACRWF). We are part of the San Bernardino County Federation of Republican Women, and are part of the Southern Region, California, and National levels as mentioned above. The objective of our club remains the same as mentioned above when the Federation was founded in 1938