Words, Women and Wednesdays: Twelve Women Who Shaped a City on the Frontier, by Bonnie G. Buchanan

Words, Women and Wednesdays: Twelve Women Who Shaped a City on the Frontier, by Bonnie G. Buchanan

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By Bonnie G. Buchanan


With careful attention to historical accuracy, Words, Women and Wednesdays shines important light on several remarkable women in Appleton, Wisconsin's history.   Author Bonnie G. Buchanan first examines factors at play in the mid-to-late 1800's that made the growth of Appleton possible. She then turns her attention to twelve women who marked the town and played significant roles in shaping the character of the city.  Among other accomplishments, they founded  and participated in a literary study club which has remained active and vibrant, 138 years later.   

Buchanan dedicates a separate chapter to each of twelve women, describing first the reasons each arrived in Appleton and then details their contributions to the city's development. These include the shaping of school systems, the city's first public library, renown as artist or writer, church expansions, and the growth of Lawrence University. Each chapter concludes with the woman's role in The Wednesday Club, a rigorous literary study club founded in 1881. 

Estella Lauter, Professor Emerita UW-Oshkosh and author of Women as Mythmakers says of the book: 

Based on archival research with notes and appendices, Bonnie Buchanan’s engaging book provides fascinating revelations of the substantive roles women played in building a viable midwestern community. The book focuses on the lives of twelve heretofore invisible women who founded and nurtured a club based on literary research that has lasted 138 years in roughly the same form! Their determination to continue their own education and that of other women is an important element in the untold history of Appleton, WI. Both the Wednesday Club and the book are multifaceted gems.

The book is hard bound and is 296 pages.