Silver Leaf Benefit Club celebrates 105 years of community service

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

The General Federation of Women's Clubs Silver Leaf Benefit Club of Cassville celebrated 105 years of community service at its November meeting.

Former Senator Emory Melton was the featured speaker at the event, held at the Barry County Museum.

Melton recalled some of the city's most memorable milestones since its founding in 1845. Some of those included "turning on the lights" in Cassville on Dec. 24, 1905; city water coming to residents in 1905; the first automobiles to hit the city's dirt streets in 1908; the operations of Cassville Stoneworks and the buildings still featuring the area's unique Burlington limestone yet today; and the fact the post office did not offer free rural delivery.

"Cassville has had a lot of interesting characters," Melton said. "I'm surprised this club is 105 years old. There aren't that many clubs in Missouri that have been around that long. This club is really the Renaissance for Cassville."

Founded in 1908, the club has continually worked to benefit the Cassville community.

"We are not as old as we seem," said Jean Marney, club president. "I always thought the club was named for the Silver Maple tree, but others seem to think it's for the silver-haired ladies in the club."

Marney went on to recall the many contributions made by the club over the years, including installation of a fountain at the historic Courthouse; well child exams; the annual sophomore pilgrimage to Jefferson City; work on the fountain; trash cans with flower boxes on top; rummage sales; work on the fountain; donations of silk stocking for Korean war brides; attending district and international meetings; and turning the fountain into a flower bed, where it remains today.

"We are still doing many of the same projects today," Marney said.

The club's 19 members and years of service are: Ann Warren, 38; Jean Marney, 33; Ruby Reese, 31; Lee Assing, 28; Ella Dean Lauderdale, 20; Pauline Koweleski, 19; Louise Schultz, 19; Sharon Farrow, 11; Tracie Snodgrass, 11; Pat Chapman, 10; Mary Lou Adams, 10; Sylvia Phillips, 10; Allison Angel, nine; Sarah Marney, eight; Sherry Johnson, four; Joan Bailey, three; Anne Angle, three; Beverly Worman, three; Jana Catt, two; and Heather Edmondson, new.

Honorary members include: Barbara LeCompte, Betty Johnson and Shirley Chaney.

The Silver Leaf Benefit Club meets nine months of the year to work on projects and to determine any new needs in the community.

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