These women, whose husbands belonged to the
Tustin Knights of Pythias lodge, organized as Pythian Sisters, Tustin Temple
27, in 1926
The Advent Christian Church, organized in
1880, and Tustin Presbyterian Church, dating back to 1882, offered the first
opportunities for Tustin women to engage in social and philanthropic groups.
Possibly inspired by these women, Mrs. C.E.
Utt spearheaded the organizing of a Women’s Christian Temperance Union unit.
By 1902, approximately 40 women had pledged “to abstain from all distilled,
fermented and malt liquors, including wine, beer and cider, as a beverage,
and to employ all proper means to discourage the use of, and traffic in the
same.” Meeting every other Tuesday afternoon at the homes of members, the
ladies also concerned themselves with evangelism, health, motherhood, music
Organized in 1913 when the new grammar and
primary school buildings were opened, the Tustin Grammar School Parent
Teacher Association was the first of Tustin’s many parent/teacher
organizations. It lives on today as Columbus Tustin PTO.
Wives of members of the Knight of Pythias
were chartered in 1923 as Pythian Sisters, Tustin Temple 27. Meetings were
held at the hall above the First National Bank of Tustin building until the
Knights of Pythias building across the street was completed in 1926.
Approximately 50 women organized under the
leadership of Emma Wassum to promote moral, mental, social and physical
elevation of members, minister to the sick, distressed and needy and daily
exemplify the Golden Rule in every possible way. In addition to doing
charitable work, the group sponsored dances and socials for members and
guests. As the lodge members aged, the membership dwindled and the Pythian
American Legion Auxiliary, Tustin Unit 227,
organized next in 1929. Its membership of 49 women under the leadership of
Blanche Young aimed to aid war veterans and their families, promote
community service, Americanism, legislation, civil defense, education and
foreign relations. They, too, served for many years, disbanding only when
women’s interests changed.
Thirty years later the Tustin Area Woman’s
Club was federated after being organized in 1958 by founding president
Lillian Beckwith Providing social, educational and philanthropic
opportunities for women, it is now the largest women’s group in Tustin.
Members participate in special interests such as volunteering at Chapman
Hospital as well as attending section meetings to pursue activities such as
bridge and bowling. Luncheons with business meetings and programs are held
each month for the entire organization.
Assistance League of Tustin was founded in
1962 by Winifred Campbell and chartered by the National Assistance League
1965. With two auxiliaries, Assisteens for high school girls and the
Winifred Campbell Auxiliary, the organization operates a Thrift Shop and
staffs more than a half dozen philanthropic projects ranging from dental
care for children to befriending seniors. They also hold monthly meetings in
their Old Town Tustin facility.
Over the years Tustin women have joined many
countywide organizations in addition to becoming members of service clubs
once limited to men. Although the figures have never been totaled, they are
responsible for giving thousands of hours of service to the community as
well as raising thousands of dollars to benefit its residents.