The earliest women’s club in Galesburg was the Autumn Leaf club, organized in June 1890. Eva Solomon was instrumental in organizing the club, and she recounts the history of the club in an interview she had with Knox College professor J. Howell Atwood. The club’s motto was “Love One Another.” Some women from Autumn Leaf actively participated in district, state, and national associations of Colored Women’s Clubs. By the 1930s the club's membership waned upon the deaths of many of the original members.
The next oldest Colored Women’s club to be organized in Galesburg was the Thimble Circle in 1894. Mary A. Botts was president and the corresponding secretary was May Catlin Green. No documents exist in our present collection that trace the history of this club.
Knox College professor J. Howell Atwood interviewed Addie Garnett about the Culture Club, which was organized in Galesburg in November of 1909. The objective of the Culture Club was “social service and literary improvement.” Mrs. Booker was also interviewed, saying,
“I wanted to see a club with several objectives. Boys & girls after leaving school here ceased to have any literary interests. They had to earn a living. Got into the rut. You don't have to study to learn to sling pots. I quoted to them the thought Lincoln advanced. ‘I'll be ready when opportunity comes. If it doesn't come, I'll be ready anyway.’ Why not help crystalize opportunity along with having a good time club.”
The Phyllis Wheatley Club was organized in 1910 in the home of Eva Solomon. The club’s membership was originally limited to girls age 12-16 but later the age limit to join was raised to 21. The club focused on raising money for Allen Chapel A.M.E. Church and other churches, but its broader objective was “charitable, civic, moral uplift”. The Galesburg club was a charter member of the district association of the Illinois Federation of Colored Women’s Clubs. The club celebrated its 51st anniversary in 1962.