This home is given to the Massillon Woman's Club
in loving remembrance and in perpetuation
of the memory of
J. Walter McClymonds
And Flora Russell McClymonds
By their daughters
Edna McClymonds Wales
And Ruth McClymonds Maitland
"It gives my sister and me great happiness to give you
their home and our home - as a center of community life
and thought for the women of Massillon. A place in which
every woman, from whatever walk in life she may come, shall feel at home in the truest sense of the word.
A place dedicated to service, to splendid comradeship,
which is fostered by working and playing together.
And to the pursuit of the fine and the enduring things
in life --- bearing in mind always that the basic need
Of all is the deepening and the strengthening of the
life of the spirit. It may be for you, as it has been for us, a place of love, of inspiration, and of peace."
The Massillon Woman's Club was founded in 1919. During World War I, many Massillon Women gathered to roll bandages, sew, knit and help the Red Cross in any way for the soldiers. They had a genuine comradeship and wanted to continue to meet when the war ended. They organized a Woman's Club and had their first meeting at the First Methodist Church in Massillon on September 5, 1919, with 400 women present. They hoped to foster general social, cultural and civic activities. Both Edna and Ruth Mcclymonds were pleased with the success of the organization and Edna ( Mrs. Arvine Wales) even served as the second president.
Custodian of Five Oaks, an Historic Massillon Landmark on the National Register of Historic Places
The Woman's Club is still a very active, welcoming, diversified group. It is comprised of multiple sections that meet monthly at various times and days. Each section has a different focus ranging from cooking, antiques, history, music, euchre and bridge to wine and gardening. Any woman is welcome to join. Your membership provides access to the open meetings, a newsletter and the ability to join a section or multiple sections. The web site, www.massillonwomansclub.weebly.com provides more information on the Woman's Club's activities or call 330-833-4896 to speak with the tea room manager.
In 1973, the Woman's Club was successful in their petition to the Department of the Interior to place Five Oaks on the National Register of Historic Places. During the 1970's the building required extensive and expensive repairs. The women raised the needed money, but with difficulty. I was decided to create the Massillon Heritage Foundation, Inc., a non-profit, charitable entity, and transfer the deed to the Foundation. As a non-profit agency, the Foundation would be eligible for grants and tax-deductible donations. The remaining heirs had already given up claim to the property. Transfer of the property was approved by the Woman's Club on March 12, 1976.
In October of 1924, after the Club had been established for five years, the McClymonds sisters gave Five Oaks, which had been vacant for seven years, to the Massillon Woman's Club. There were two stipulations . . . that any woman of Massillon could be a member and the building must be maintained or it would revert to the heirs.
A bronze plaque in the great hall expresses the intent of the daughters.