Publication Date


Document Type


Committee Members

Ava Chamberlain (Advisor)

Degree Name

Master of Humanities (MHum)


This thesis is about the Women's Club Movement in Dayton, Ohio, using the music clubs as a case study. The dates encompassed range from the formation of the Mozart Club in 1888 to the formation of the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra in 1933. The formation of women's clubs, by both white and black women, was a national phenomenon, and Dayton exemplified what was going on throughout the United States. This thesis traces the roots of women's activism and association building from the early benevolent and religious reforms of the early nineteenth century to the formation of clubs, and finally the establishment of major cultural institutions, including orchestras. The research was collected by using primary sources such as local club records and nineteenth century women's memoirs, as well as secondary sources on the women's club movement and women's activism. The significance of this research reveals an interesting story about Dayton, and the major impact women had on fostering a love of culture in their city.

Page Count


Department or Program


Year Degree Awarded