History

Early Years

In 1926, a group of civically-minded women met at the home of Mrs. A. H. Whitmarsh to discuss the formation of an organization that was to become the Junior League of Texarkana. The charter membership luncheon was held on February 26, 1926, and officers were elected. From the beginning, the Junior Service League patterned its constitution after that of the Association of Junior Leagues of America with the intention of becoming a part of the organization, a goal that was realized in 1947.

Early League meetings, luncheons, training courses, bazaars, and children’s programs were held in the Little White House at Third and Hazel Streets. League headquarters were later relocated at Hack’s Jewelers and the Temple Home.

Charter Officers

President, Mrs. John Ware Holmon (Marguerite Whitmarsh)
First Vice-President, Miss Lois Dale
Second Vice-President, Mrs. M. F. Morgan (Lottie Conway)
Corresponding Secretary, Mrs. Charles N. Temple (Mary Watlington)
Recording Secretary, Mrs. James Dawson (Mary Eakin)
Treasurer, Mrs. George B. Stuart (Cornelia McElroy)

Charter Members

Mrs. James Hugh Anderson (Bennie Foreman)
Miss Anna Arthur (Mrs. Earl Buchanan)
Mrs. David Bruton (Harriet Mann)
Mrs. Benjamin Estes Carter (Hilda Arnoldson)
Miss Hazel Coley (Mrs. Morgan Fitzwilliams)
Miss Evelyn Estes
Mrs. Booker Ellis (Lucy Arnold)
Mrs. Talbot Field (Mrs. Iola Edwards Webber)
Mrs. T. E. Fuller (Emiline Grim)
Mrs. Leon Haydon (Mary Turner)
Mrs. William Hibbits (Katherine McCartney)
Miss Jean Logan (Mrs. Joe Elliott)
Miss Frances Mullins (Mrs. Frances Cannon)
Mrs. Josh Morriss (Marjorie Offenhauser)
Mrs. Henry Moore, Jr. (Olivia Smith)
Mrs. Andrew Rose (Lena Buford)
Mrs. Arthur Temple (Katherine Sage)
Miss Corrine Turner
Miss Betty Townsend (Mrs. Dilbeck)
Miss Eloine Wadley (Mrs. Eloine Mosley)
Miss Betty Whitmarsh (Mrs. Joseph C. Andrews)
Miss Carol Whitmarsh (Mrs. Brian Carpenter)


Community Impact by Decade

1920s

  • Educational plays, puppet shows, and shadowgraphs were presented to children.
  • A pediatric dental clinic was established, and free services were provided to children in need.

1930s

  • Prenatal and hospital care was provided, free of cost, to women in need.

1940s

  • The League’s Community Service Council was strengthened and a social service exchange and central index were established. This later became an integral part of the Community Chest Organization.

1950s

  • The Library Board received assistance in the acquisition of a building for Texarkana Public Library.
  • The Red Cross received assistance in the operation of a blood mobile for Texarkana.
  • League members served as volunteers at St. Michael’s and Wadley hospitals and led efforts in the formation of the Wadley Hospital Auxiliary.

1960s

  • Educational programs for children with exceptionalities were established.
  • Summer classes were provided to school children.
  • In collaboration with Arkansas Arts Center, JLT provided fine arts programs to children.
  • Musicals were performed for the community.
  • Wadley Hospital Research Laboratory received funding for research projects.
  • A vision screening program was established for preschool children.
  • JLT provided support in the establishment of Texarkana Volunteer Services Bureau, Inc.
  • Beauty in Texarkana, a city beautification project, was established.

1970s

  • Music therapy was provided to children and senior citizens.
  • League members produced and presented a puppet show, The Enemy is Us, to promote environmental awareness among children.
  • In collaboration with The Little Theater and local dance schools, League members produced and performed plays and ballets for children.
  • Books were provided to mothers and children in need.
  • In collaboration with Texarkana Medical Society, JLT provided drug prevention programs to children.
  • JLT provided financial and volunteer support for art programs and sponsored the Texarkana Regional Art Show.
  • Playground equipment was purchased and installed at Spring Lake Park.
  • The Texarkana Regional Arts and Humanities Council (TRAHC) was established with support from JLT.
  • League members preserved Texarkana’s oldest historic home.

1980s

  • League members presented The Follies.
  • The Junior League Thrift Shop was opened as both a fundraiser and service to the community.
  • In collaboration with local schools, JLT provided drug prevention programs to children.
  • Texarkana Public Library received funding for a security system.
  • Pregnancy education was provided to teens.
  • In partnership with Hallmark’s Kaleidoscope program, JLT offered art programs to children.
  • JLT contributed research toward the establishment of Hospice of Texarkana.
  • League members sang at local nursing homes.
  • Financial support and/or volunteer hours were provided to non-profit organizations:
    • Domestic Violence Prevention, Inc.
    • Hospice of Texarkana
    • Latch-Key Children’s Hotline
    • Literacy Council of Bowie and Miller Counties
    • Pediatric Angles
    • Texarkana Museums System
    • Texarkana Public Library
    • Texarkana Regional Arts and Humanities Council (TRAHC)
    • Wadley Prenatal Clinic

1990s

  • The Children’s Dental Clinic was established, and free services were provided to children in need.
  • Discovery Place Children’s Museum received funding for a complete renovation.
  • Children learned about emotions, self-esteem, and coping strategies through programs provided by JLT.
  • League members approved the adoption of community projects:
    • The Environmental Classroom
    • Teacher Take Wing*
    • Star Lab*
  • Financial support and/or volunteer hours were provided to non-profit organizations:
    • Children’s Defense Fund
    • Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) for Children – North East Texas
    • Domestic Violence Prevention, Inc.
    • Drug Abuse Resistance Education (D.A.R.E.)
    • Literacy Council of Bowie and Miller Counties
    • Opportunities, Inc.
    • Teen Court
    • Texarkana Museums System
    • Texarkana Public Library
    • Texarkana Regional Arts and Humanities Council (TRAHC)
    • Watersprings Ranch

2000s

  • JLT was the founding, presenting sponsor for Susan G. Komen Texarkana – Race for the Cure.
  • JLT was the founding sponsor for Texarkana Symphony Orchestra and Texarkana Youth Symphony.
  • In collaboration with the American Red Cross, JLT provided babysitting courses.
  • JLT sponsored dental health exhibits at Discovery Place Museum.
  • Playground equipment for children with special needs was installed at Temple Memorial Rehabilitation Center
  • League members approved the adoption of community projects:
    • Bags of Hope
    • Holiday from the Heart
    • Kids in the Kitchen
    • Shoes for the Soul*
    • Spring Into Reading*
  • Financial support and/or volunteer hours were provided to non-profit organizations:
    • American Red Cross
    • Boys and Girls Club of Texarkana
    • Boy Scouts of America
    • Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) for Children – North East Texas
    • Domestic Violence Prevention, Inc.
    • Girl Scouts of the United States of America
    • Harvest Regional Food Bank
    • Junior Achievement
    • Leadership Texarkana
    • Literacy Council of Bowie and Miller Counties
    • Opportunities, Inc.
    • Randy Sams Outreach Center, Inc.
    • Ronald McDonald House Charities
    • Runnin’ WJ Ranch
    • Susan G. Komen Texarkana
    • Teen Court
    • Temple Memorial Rehabilitation Center
    • Texarkana Museums System
    • Texarkana Public Library
    • Watersprings Ranch
    • The Y (YMCA)

2010s

  • League members approved the adoption of community projects:
    • Clothes for a Cause*
    • Once Upon a Prom
    • Open Hearts Food Pantry*
    • Packs for a Purpose*
  • Financial support and/or volunteer hours were provided to non-profit organizations:
    • Boy and Girls Clubs of Texarkana
    • Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) for Children – North East Texas
    • Domestic Violence Prevention, Inc.
    • Faith, Hope, & Love Foundation
    • For the Sake of One
    • Harvest Regional Food Bank
    • Hospice of Texarkana
    • Mommies Enduring Neonatal Death (M.E.N.D.)
    • Randy Sams Outreach Center, Inc.
    • Runnin’ WJ Ranch
    • Teen Court
    • Texarkana Symphony Orchestra
    • Texarkana Toys for Tots
    • Watersprings Ranch

*Current community project