Gwladys and her Group

The 1920 census shows Hillcrest resident and doctor Gwladys Morgan, 39, living at 3768 Eighth Street (now called avenue) with her older sister Mabel Elliott, also a physician, Mabel’s teenage son David and the girls’ younger sister Janette. Their large home still stands near the Robinson Street onramp to Highway 163 south. Gwladys was also a poet who in her spare time created children’s literature about Wales. Two years later she led one of San Diego’s most prestigious organizations gaining national “who’s who” status for the group and their officers.

145-gwladys_morganGwladys was the president of the San Diego Business and Professional Women’s Club in 1922. The group’s 140 members represented nurses, doctors, librarians, bookkeepers, accountants, musicians, stenographers, clerks, buyers, teachers and welfare workers. The club held luncheons on the first and third Wednesdays of each month with dinner parties on every second and fourth Wednesday. When a rare fifth Wednesday occurred the ladies threw an evening soirée. The parties, as well as other functions, gave the members the opportunity for social companionship since the busy women were employed throughout the day. The various programs allowed the women to live vicariously through travel presentations showing the beauties of far-off lands, the thrill of adventures and the glow of accomplishment from local portrait painters or musicians.

The club sought to broaden its members’ horizons so they could “find happiness and enrichment in her own life as well as in the development of a consciousness of world life.” The club planned to expand with “its own rooms so that there will be a greater comradeship among the members” and hoped to establish a Vocational Placement Bureau which would also be a great service to the community. The San Diego Business and Professional Women’s Club set the highest standards for their members and allowed a social outlet for the ladies to widen their opportunities.

Other officers of the 1922 club were Jeanette Townsend, 1156 22nd Street, Nellie Parsons, 1058 Second Street, Theresa Kruse, 2740 Granada Avenue, Lillian Gabbs, 1465 Tenth Street and Lena Port, 4239 Cleveland Avenue.

First published in HillQuest, an Urban Guide to 92103 & Beyond, volume 5

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