The Berea Women's Club and the Echo Club

Dublin Core


The Berea Women's Club and the Echo Club


The Berea Women’s Club was organized on June 19, 1919 at the Berea Baptist Church by a group of ladies from the Berea community. The purpose of the organization was to bring together women of this area of Madison County for mutual counsel and helpfulness and create a united effort for the welfare of the community while contributing to the best interests of humanity as a whole.

The first meeting was called to order by Mrs. W. J. Herndon, who was president of the Berea Progress Club. Elected for two years terms were the following officers – President, Mrs. Scott T. McGuire; First Vice President, Mrs. William J. Baird; Second Vice President, Mrs. J. J. Osborne; Recording Secretary, Mrs. George G. Dick; Corresponding Secretary, Mrs. W. G. Best; and Treasurer, Mrs. Frank M. Livingood. Mrs. R. J. Crowley chaired the constitutional committee. There were 49 charter members, and by the end of the first year membership in the club was over 100.

In 1918 the women of the Berea community had organized the Echo Club. This organization evolved into the Business and Professional Women’s Club. Much of this material was researched by Andy McDonald for the Register in 1999.

Berea Bookwagon — While on the subject of Berea, in 1916 Berea College began a bookwagon service, a precursor to the modern day bookmobile, which served rural families and was one of the first such services on record in the United States.

In its first year it served five schools and 75 families. The wagon was drawn by a mule.

Access to libraries and community improvements through involvement in civic organizations are both long-time elements of Madison’s heritage.


Dr. Fred Engle




Content may be freely copied for personal and educational purposes with appropriate citation. Permission is required to reprint.



Dr. Fred Engle, “The Berea Women's Club and the Echo Club ,” Madison's Heritage Online, accessed January 20, 2022,