The Junior League of St. Paul was formed on May 7, 1917 with 50 charter members. The founding leaders were Elizabeth Ames Jackson, Elizabeth Crunden Skinner, and Anne Turney White. The St. Paul League was the 19th League to be formed in the United States and was one of 30 which helped found the Association of Junior Leagues of America in 1921.
The mission of the St. Paul Junior League parallels the purposes of other Junior Leagues across America and have not, in essence, changed since the St. Paul League was originally founded. In brief, their mission is to provide volunteer services and charitable contributions to improve the social, economic, educational, and cultural conditions of the community. Membership is open by invitation to women between the ages of 18 and 40 and each member is expected to give a minimum number of hours in weekly volunteer service. Because the League also requires its provisional members to pay an initiation fee as well as annual dues, membership has typically appealed to the more privileged classes of women's society.
Since its beginnings, the Junior League of St. Paul has participated in a number of diverse projects and activities. Some of the League's first projects included participating in Red Cross campaigns and Liberty Loan drives during World War I, volunteering in the St. Paul Neighborhood House, teaching at the Phalen Park Hospital for Crippled Children, and sewing and mending clothing. In 1923 the League began its first independent project by opening and staffing a convalescent home for women which operated for eight years. The League also helped organize the Children's Hospital Association in 1933 to raise money for a free bed fund. A part of the fund raising for the Children's Hospital Association included bringing the first Ice Follies to St. Paul. In 1949 the League opened its longest standing fund raising project to date, the Next-to-New Shop, a second hand clothing store to which all members are required to make donations and from which proceeds are used to support the League's philanthropic causes. In 1950 the League conducted a Community Arts Survey to explore the cultural needs of St. Paul. The results of this survey and the League's later cooperation with the city's Council on Arts and Sciences provided the impetus for a great many projects dedicated to promoting the arts throughout the latter part of the twentieth century.
Historical information was taken from the collection.
From the guide to the League records., 1917-1991., (Minnesota Historical Society)