1920s - 1940s

1920s

  • The first League project in 1925 was forming a “motor corps” to drive nurses and social workers on visits to the poor and ill, deliver free milk and ice to babies, and drive mothers and children to doctors’ offices.

  • In 1926, League members began working to raise money to create the “best planned, best equipped day nursery in the Southwest” when the Cleveland Avenue Day Nursery was shut down by city inspectors. JLW’s nurseries provided care for children of working women. 

1930s - 1940s

  • The League began its tradition of giving swimming lessons to crippled children.
  • The League opened the JLW Salvage Shop in 1932 at 2142 N. Market. It was renamed to The Thrift Shop in 1940, and it served as a JLW fundraiser for more than 75 years, raising more than $1.5 million before it closed.
  • The Town Talks lecture series began in 1937 to address women’s and community issues. Eleanor Roosevelt spoke at the series in 1960.
  • A League marionette production began after League members attended a marionette institute in 1937. That year the show reached 4,350 children. By 1942, the production became so popular that it led to the beginning of the Wichita Children’s Theatre.
  • JLW began the Dental Clinic in 1940 in conjunction with the Wichita Public Schools Board of Education to assist children needing dental care. The clinic was turned over to the Sedgwick County Board of Health in 1945.
  • Throughout World War II, JLW assisted in the sale of war bonds and stamps, served and knitted for the Red Cross and handed out donuts, coffee and smiles at Union Station.


Junior League of Wichita

6402 East 12th Street
Wichita, Kansas 67206-1306
Phone: 316.682.7473