“Without the National Federation of Republican Women, there would be no Republican Party.”
– Barry Goldwater, from an NFRW news release, ca. 1955
OREGON FEDERATION OF REPUBLICAN WOMEN HISTORY
In September 1935,
under the leadership of Irene Gerlinger and Ella Allen Scott of Portland,
a group of politically active and civic-minded women organized
a women's group in Oregon
- Republican Women of Oregon, Inc.
In October of 1935, the group also organized under the auspices of
Pro America, National Organization of Republican Women,
and on November 22, 1935
filed Articles of Incorporation with the State of Oregon.
Pro America was founded by Mrs. Theodore Roosevelt
with headquarters in Seattle, Washington.
The Oregon Chapter of Pro America
met in a top floor meeting room
of the old Public Service Building in Portland.
Chapters were soon organized in Salem,
Eugene and numerous
other Oregon communities and grew to over 5,000 members in 1941.
In 1938, Miss Marion E. Martin,
then assistant Republican National Committee Chairman,
founded an organizationknown as National Federation of Women's Republican Clubs (NFWR).
The name was changed in January 1953
to the National Federation of Republican Women (NFRW).
By letter dated May 28, 1940, Marion Martin,
Executive Director of the the National Federation, advised that the application of the Oregon Chapter of Pro American had been approved to become a member of the National Federation of Republican Women's Clubs.
Wilam Bishop was State President at that time.
Oregon held dual membership in both national organizations
(Pro America and National Federation of Women's Republican Clubs) and maintained a state office in the old Oregon Building in Portland.
In 1945, then Oregon Republican National Committeewoman, Irene Gerlinger,
founded yet another group,
the Council of Oregon Republican Women, Inc.,
and a group called Republican Women, Inc., was also in existence and
active. In May 1946, Oregon Pro America State President Eda Ridelagh corresponded with Presidents of both
groups, Irene Gerlinger and Eleanor MacMillan,
respectively, and attempted to unite the three organizations in order
to "marshal forces" and unite the strength of Republican women to work
"toward one goal" Republican victories in
While the two national organizations to which Oregon held dual memberships shared many mutual and common goals,
there were some distinctions that contributed to a period of ideological dissent.
In 1948 a vote was taken at
an annual meeting to drop membership in Pro America and continue with the
National Federation of Women's Republican Clubs.
In February 1948, the Oregon Chapter of Pro America filed Supplemental Articles of
Incorporation with the State of Oregon changing its name to
Republican Women's Federation of Oregon.
In April1963 by vote of the governing body,
the organization name was again changed to the current
Oregon Federation of Republican Women (OFRW).
The report was originally prepared by 1998-2001 State President Linda Flores and updated in 2020
OREGON FEDERATION OF REPUBLICAN WOMEN PAST PRESIDENTS
1935-37 Irene Gerlinger
1937-38 Ellea Allen Scott
1939-41 Wilma Bishop
1942-44 Sylvia Wood Riggs
1944-47 Eda Ridehaigh
1948-50 Ztlph Zeli Burns Marcks
1951-55 Mabel McCall
1956-59 Esther Pallady
1959-60 Cappy Strawn
1961-63 Genieve Leveton
1963-65 Helen Daugherty
1966-67 Vivian Adams
1968-69 Ila Venator
1969-70 Shirley S. Miller
1971-73 Jean Young
1973-75 Doris Thoen
.1975-76 Beryl Stephens
1977-80 Beverly Myers
1981-82 Bettye Jo Scofield
1983-85 Eleanor Boese
1985-86 Heidi Smith
1986-89 Eleanor Boese
1990-91 Char Merriman
1992-93 Millie Glodowski
1994-97 Nancy Aamodt
1998-2001 Linda Flores
2002-05 Linda Hellenthall
2006-07 Margie Hughes
2008-11 Joyce Waggoner
2012-15 Sally MacLeod
2016-17 Janice Williamson
2018-19 Linda Neace