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Celebrating Women’s History in Latah County

Updated: Apr 1, 2020

Celebrating Women’s History in Latah County

By: EmilieRae Smith

“A woman is the full circle. Within her is the power to create, nurture and transform.” -Diane Mariechild

This March, we celebrate Women’s History Month, and here in Latah County we owe thanks to many women who have helped create, nurture and transform our community. Throughout history, women have gone unnoticed, unappreciated and forgotten because of written history accounts. But in reality, we would not have societies without the work of women.

In August of 1895, the Ladies’ Historical Club of Moscow was founded. The club was started by thirty women with the motto, “progression brings happiness.”[1]These women worked tirelessly with the Moscow community to preserve and curate its history, and in doing so, they have created their own history.

Also active during this time was the General Federation of Women’s Club. The General Federation of Women’s Club (GFWC) was started throughout America in the early 1890’s during the Progressive Movement.

In 1894, The Pleiades Club, composed of seven women and named after the astrological constellation, was considered “one of the first federated clubs in the state”[2] and the oldest women’s club in the entire state of Idaho.[3] The Pleiades Club was, and still is, active in the Moscow community. The interests of this particular club are literary, social and scholarly. In 1901, the Pleiades helped bring Moscow our first library and had it up and running in five years by their diligent fundraising.[4] A member of this club also founded the Moscow Historical Society, which would eventually become the Latah County Historical Society that we know and love.

Even after women gained suffrage in 1920, some women saw voting as an arbitrary act for themselves. The GFWC of Moscow, however, decided to encourage women to have their voices heard in the government. In 1933, President of the club, Mrs. Grace Morrison Poole addressed these women by saying, “Women in a changing world has got to take an interest in politics otherwise democracy is a failure.”[5] She went on to say women need to take a stand in their local governments in order to implement real change.

Women in Latah County have been advocating for women’s rights as well as preserving the region’s history for generations, and continue to do so today.

If you want to know more about these clubs and the women in them, please visit Latah County Historical Society and ask to see PAM 2006-04.01


[1]    Cunningham Croly, Jane. The History of the Women’s Club Movement in America.

[2]    Nielsen, Judith. The Pleiades Club Records, 1892-2011/12.

[3]    Frye, Heather.  More Than a Century Later, the Women of Moscow’s Pleiades Club Still Sparkle. June 1999.

[4]    Frye, Heather.

[5]    Spokesman Review. September 1933.

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