A League Of Our Own

History of BPW/Kansas  


A comprehensive picture of BPW/Kansas cannot be presented without sketching in as a background

the movement, originating in 1918 during the world war, which resulted in the formation of the National

Federation of Business and Professional Women of which BPW/Kansas was a part.


It was realized in 1918 that while men in business and the professions throughout the nation could be

contacted and mobilized by the government without great difficulty, no representative organization

existed for mobilizing the services of women in a time of national emergency.


There is evidence that the Kansas Federation, through its first president, Mrs. Maude E. Smith, as will as

others from the 

Sunflower State, had an active part in the establishment of the National Federation.


On June 12, 1919 seventeen delegates gathered from business girls clubs in Arkansas City, Coffeyville,

Emporia, Hays, Independence, Junction City, Kansas City, Manhattan and

Wichita(R. E. D. Club) to meet

with the Hutchinson Club for the purpose of considering the formation of a state organization.  A constitution committee was appointed, (Peg Waggoner, Wichita; Ruth Fliesbach, Hays; and Dr. Etta Mundell,


A constitution was adopted and the following officers were elected:


              President                                              Mrs. Maude E. Smith, Hutchinson

              First Vice-President                               Emily Miller,

Kansas City

              Second Vice-President                          Clara Casper,

Junction City

              Secretary                                              Peg Waggoner,


              Treasurer                                              Ruth Fliesbach, Hays

              Auditor                                                 Nora Lewis,


BPW/Kansas was a member of the National Federation of Business and Professional Women's Clubs, Inc. until July 2009.  At the annual convention held in Topeka, the members voted to sever ties with BPW/USA and strike out on their own as an independent organization. 

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