History

1879 The original “Ladies History Club” is established by seven cultured, educated, and influential women bringing arts, education, and literature to a rough prairie village.

1892 The club is admitted into The General Federation of Women’s Clubs. The GFWC was established in 1890.

1901 The History Club is a charter member of the GFWC of SD State Federation; the first State President is the club’s own Mrs. Winona Axtell Lyon.

1915 A pivotal year as The History Club transforms from a study club to an altruistic club with a new focus of hands on volunteer work in service to the community.

1920 Now over 100 members, the need for their own space for meetings and events inspires The History Club to incorporate and start a building fund.

1940 A gift of land from Mrs. Lyon makes it possible to build a clubhouse. The grand opening is celebrated by 380 members, and a special edition of the Argus Leader commemorates the work and women of The History Club.

1950-1970 Membership is healthy, and The History Club thrives with variety in its programs and projects and the clubhouse is the hub of activities both public and private.

1980-2006 Membership drops as lifestyles and “club work” changes; community service

moves into the private or corporate sectors. The beloved clubhouse, which is a contributing property in the All Saints Historic District, falls into disrepair and is in danger of being lost to both The History Club and the Sioux Falls community.

2007 Public awareness of the club’s plight grows, and membership swells from 18 to over 70 members by year’s end. It’s a new club with new energy and a clear focus on the changing needs of a growing community yet intent on preserving the traditions of the past.

2011 The membership reincorporates as The History Club with new bylaws and articles of incorporation and a vision toward the future.

2012 The membership brings the national First Book program to Sioux Falls to provide books to children in the community.

2013 Awarded Deadwood Fund Grant from South Dakota State Historical Society to refurbish windows in the clubhouse.

History Club of Sioux Falls