West Side Council of Parents and Teachers Records

Dates: 1923-1950 (Bulk dates, 1940-1949)
Size: 3.5 linear feet
Repository: Chicago Public Library, Harold Washington Library Center, Special Collections, 400 S. State St., Chicago, IL 60605
Collection Number: NHRC_WSC
Provenance: The collection was culled from other materials related to the Austin Community Collection over a number of years.
Access: No restrictions
Citation: When quoting material from this collection the preferred citation is: West Side Council of Parents and Teachers Records, [Box #, Folder #], Special Collections, Chicago Public Library
Processed by: Johanna Russ, 2013 October

Historical Note

The West Side Council of Parents and Teachers formed on April 4, 1923, as an umbrella group to support PTA units in individual elementary schools on Chicago’s West Side. Six schools originally formed the Council: Robert Emmet, Francis Scott Key, Henry H. Nash, Herbert Spencer, John Hay and Charles Sumner. Three of those, Emmet, Key and Hay, had PTA units dating back to 1910. The West Side Council was affiliated with the Illinois Council of Parents and Teachers (ICPT), as well as the National Council of Parents and Teachers. The West Side Council was also a part of ICPT’s District 23 in Chicago.

The Council grew quickly from six member schools in 1923 to 12 in 1926. Growth continued, and by 1939, the West Side Council had 35 member schools and was the second largest Council in Illinois. Individual membership also grew. In 1943, the Council boasted 3,995 members, and by 1946, there were 9,518 members. During the war years, some schools dropped out, but by 1949, the Council had 48 member schools:

  • Jacob Beidler
  • William Cullen Bryant
  • Robert Burns
  • Thomas Chalmers
  • Frederic Chopin
  • Christopher Columbus
  • Daniel J. Corkery
  • Edward C. Delano
  • Robert Emmet
  • Leif Ericsson
  • Joseph E. Gary
  • John M. Gregory
  • Charles G. Hammond
  • John Hay
  • Samuel S. Hayes
  • Julia Ward Howe
  • George Howland
  • Andrew Jackson
  • Francis Scott Key
  • Key-Clark [George Rogers Clark, branch of Key]
  • William H. King
  • John A. Komensky
  • Jean de M. Lafayette
  • Victor F. Lawson
  • John Marshall Elementary
  • Roswell B. Mason
  • Horatio N. May
  • Cyrus H. McCormick
  • Joseph Medill
  • Moses Montefiore
  • Henry H. Nash
  • Rezin Orr
  • James Otis
  • William Penn
  • Josiah L. Pickard
  • Ambrose Plamondon
  • Nathaniel Pope
  • Martin Ryerson
  • St. Callistus
  • Henry D. Shepard
  • John M. Smyth
  • Jesse Spalding [school for disabled children]
  • Herbert Spencer
  • Charles Sumner
  • Alfred Tennyson
  • George W. Tilton
  • John A. Walsh
  • Eli Whitney

With so many schools, the Council felt it could not adequately serve its members, and a decision was made in 1949 to split into two Councils: West Side Council North, with 22 member schools, and West Side Council South, with 24 member schools.

The West Side Council organized educational courses, conferences and other events to support local PTA officers in their roles of working toward a better educational experience for their children. These activities were accomplished through a number of different committees including Exceptional Child, Health and Summer Round-Up, Historian, Home and Family Life, Hospitality, Juvenile Protection, Legislation, Membership and Room Mothers, Music, Parent Education, Parent Teacher Magazine, Poster and Exhibit, Publications, Publicity, Radio and Recreation, Safety, Scholarship and Student Aid, School Education, Visual Education, Ways and Means and Library.

Scope and Content

This collection covers the West Side Council from its beginning in 1923 up through its division into West Side Council North and West Side Council South in 1949. The collection is especially strong in the years 1939-1946. The leaders of the West Side Council were almost entirely female, so this collection illustrates what type of community and civic engagement was open to women during this time period. Biographical information for individual Council presidents appears, as well as some information about the different schools that were represented by the West Side Council. Information can also be gleaned about the neighborhoods in which the schools operated. Finally, information about the activities of the Chicago Public Library and the state and national Councils of Parents and Teachers is also present. The collection consists of scrapbooks, publications, correspondence, programs, photographs, by-laws and directories.

Arrangement

The collection is arranged in two series and alphabetically within each series. One folder of photographs and one oversized scrapbook are housed in a flat box (Box 6) and listed at the end of the inventory.

Series 1: Scrapbooks, 1923-1949

Various committees within the West Side Council kept scrapbooks documenting their activities. Scrapbooks have been unbound and deconstructed where possible. Original order of material has been retained despite removal of backing pages. Scrapbooks are arranged alphabetically by creating committee.

Series 2: General Files, 1939-1950

It is possible that some of these files were originally organized in scrapbook format as well. These files also document the activities of the Council and its committees. Files are arranged alphabetically.

Container List

Series 1: Scrapbooks, 1923-1949

Box 1 Folder 1 West Side Council Scrapbook: History, undated (1 of 3)
Box 1 Folder 2 West Side Council Scrapbook: History, undated (2 of 3)
Box 1 Folder 3 West Side Council Scrapbook: History, undated (3 of 3)
Box 1 Folder 4 West Side Council Scrapbook: History/Biography, 1923-1939 (1 of 4)
Box 1 Folder 5 West Side Council Scrapbook: History/Biography, 1939-1942 (2 of 4)
Box 1 Folder 6 West Side Council Scrapbook: History/Biography, 1942-1944 (3 of 4)
Box 1 Folder 7 West Side Council Scrapbook: History/Biography, 1944-1945 (4 of 4)
Box 1 Folder 8 West Side Council Scrapbook District 23: Homemaking, 1938 (1 of 11)
Box 1 Folder 9 West Side Council Scrapbook District 23: Homemaking, 1939 (2 of 11)
Box 1 Folder 10 West Side Council Scrapbook District 23: Homemaking, 1940 (3 of 11)
Box 1 Folder 11 West Side Council Scrapbook District 23: Homemaking, 1941 (4 of 11)
Box 1 Folder 12 West Side Council Scrapbook District 23: Homemaking, 1942 (5 of 11)
Box 1 Folder 13 West Side Council Scrapbook District 23: Homemaking, 1943 (6 of 11)
Box 1 Folder 14 West Side Council Scrapbook District 23: Homemaking, 1943 May-September (7 of 11)
Box 1 Folder 15 West Side Council Scrapbook District 23: Homemaking, 1944-1945 (8 of 11)
Box 1 Folder 16 West Side Council Scrapbook District 23: Homemaking, 1945-1946 (9 of 11)
Box 1 Folder 17 West Side Council Scrapbook District 23: Homemaking, 1946-1947 (10 of 11)
Box 2 Folder 1 West Side Council Scrapbook District 23: Homemaking, 1948-1949 (11 of 11)
Box 2 Folder 2 West Side Council Scrapbook District 23: Legislation and School Education, undated (1 of 2)
Box 2 Folder 3 West Side Council Scrapbook District 23: Legislation and School Education, undated (2 of 2)
Box 2 Folder 4 West Side Council Scrapbook District 23: Library and Publications, undated (1 of 3)
Box 2 Folder 5 West Side Council Scrapbook District 23: Library and Publications, undated (2 of 3)
Box 2 Folder 6 West Side Council Scrapbook District 23: Library and Publications, undated (3 of 3)
Box 3 Folder 1 West Side Council Scrapbook District 23: Parent Education, undated
Box 3 Folder 2 West Side Council Scrapbook District 23: Posters and Exhibits, undated
Box 3 Folder 3 West Side Council Scrapbook District 23: President, 1942-1945 (1 of 2)
Box 3 Folder 4 West Side Council Scrapbook District 23: President, 1942-1945 (2 of 2)
Box 3 Folder 5 West Side Council Scrapbook District 23: President, 1945-1947
Box 3 Folder 6 West Side Council Scrapbook District 23: President, 1948-1949
Box 3 Folder 7 West Side Council Scrapbook District 23: President Correspondence with Harold G. Lawrence, 1945-1946
Box 3 Folder 8 West Side Council Scrapbook District 23: Program, undated
Box 4 Folder 1 West Side Council Scrapbook District 23: Publicity, undated
Box 4 Folder 2 West Side Council Scrapbook District 23: Radio, undated
Box 4 Folder 3 West Side Council Scrapbook District 23: Visual Education, undated (1 of 2)
Box 4 Folder 4 West Side Council Scrapbook District 23: Visual Education, undated (2 of 2)

Series 2: General Files, 1939-1950

Box 4 Folder 5 West Side Council Annual reviews and meeting minutes, 1946-1950
Box 4 Folder 6 West Side Council Annual Spring Conference, 1940-1949
Box 4 Folder 7 West Side Council Awards, publicity, undated
Box 4 Folder 8 West Side Council By-laws and elections, undated
Box 4 Folder 9 West Side Council Correspondence, 1948-1949
Box 4 Folder 10 West Side Council Directories, 1948-1949
Box 4 Folder 11 West Side Council District 23 Exceptional child, undated
Box 4 Folder 12 West Side Council History, undated
Box 4 Folder 13 West Side Council District 23 Magazine, 1944-1949
Box 5 Folder 1 West Side Council District 23 Membership, 1939-1948
Box 5 Folder 2 West Side Council Minute book, 1942-1949
Box 5 Folder 3 West Side Council District 23 Publicity, undated
Box 5 Folder 4 West Side Council District 23 Recreation and music – Corkery PTA, Mrs. Chas Molcar, 1942-1943
Box 5 Folder 5 West Side Council District 23 Recreation and music – Francis Scott Key PTA, Mrs. Raymond Shidiler, 1943-1944
Box 5 Folder 6 West Side Council District 23 Recreation and music – Gregory PTA, Mrs. Chalmer Faw, 1947-1948
Box 5 Folder 7 West Side Council School of Instruction, 1939-1949
Box 5 Folder 8 West Side Council Study Group Techniques for Parent Teacher Associations, undated
Box 5 Folder 9 West Side Council District 23 Ways and Means, undated (1 of 2)
Box 5 Folder 10 West Side Council District 23 Ways and Means, undated (2 of 2)
Box 6 Folder 1 West Side Council District 23 Scrapbook: Posters, undated
Box 6 Folder 2 West Side Council Photographs: 8 images showing Council members and leaders at various Council events, undated
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