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HISTORY OF REPUBLICAN WOMEN
 OF KERR COUNTY

Up until the 1960s Texas was a solidly Democratic state but then a major change started with Republican Kerr County Judge Julius Neunhoffer in the forefront. Many conservative Democrats turned to the Republicans to be part of the "revolution" which over time wound up with Republicans holding all statewide elected offices for a period of time.

In 1967 Theda Schlieter suggested that Republican women in Kerr County organize. On May 26th at a meeting in the Taco Hut on Lemos Street, the Republican Women's Club of Kerr County was formed with twenty Charter members. Charter members were Theda Schlieter, elected president; Phyllis Keidel, Sue Phillips, Elizabeth Kelley, Billie Mavor, Lorraine Dyas, Zella Morrow, Lillian Real, Mary Reiter, Virginia Cummings, Lorna Auld, Sue Hopkins, Tops Stieler, Sue Waggoman, Gladys Fawcett, Alice Johnson, Elva Duby, Geneva Neunhoffer, Mamie Webb, and Barbara Lewis.

The club grew to fifty members by September and its first big function was helping host a visit by Congressman George H. W. Bush who spoke at a Columbus Day Rally.

Any woman believing in the principles of the Republican Party and who intends to support its candidates is eligible for membership. Objectives are to be an auxiliary to the Republican Party, to support the objectives and policies of the Party, to work for the election of Party nominees, to promote an informed public through political education and activity, to increase effectiveness of women in the cause of good government through active participation, to facilitate cooperation among Republican Women of Texas, to encourage qualified women to run for office, to help promote the welfare and growth among Republican Women's Clubs and to foster and encourage loyalty to the Republican Party and its candidates.

The Kerr County club - now officially known as Republican Women of Kerr County - belongs to the Texas Federation of Republican Women and the National Federation of Republican Women. Delegates are sent to every TFRW and NFRW convention and the organization has received many awards for outstanding work.

Charter member Barbara Lewis became president of the TFRW, Elizabeth Rohn served as TFRW District Director and member of the State Republican Executive Committee. Lorraine Dyas was chosen Republican Women of the Year at the 1971 TFRW convention and later was awarded the only lifetime membership ever given by the local Republican Women's Club. Several members have been county chairman while others have held elected positions in City and County government and served on state appointed boards and committees.

Presently, Rebecca Williamson is TFRW Vice President of Programs and State Republican Executive Committeewoman for Senate District 24. Capy Alexander is TFRW Deputy President of Region XI and in 2009 received the TFRW "Ten Outstanding" Award. Janet Rose Maltman is County Chairman of the Kerr County Republican Party.

Members of the organization feel their efforts, past and present, have contributed to the change in the county from Democraticdominated politics to today's strong Republican majority of offices held in Kerr County.

Among political activities conducted by the RWKC are registering voters, studying the issues, working at elections, campaigning efforts such as stuffing envelopes, telephoning, block walking, doorbell ringing and hosting functions to introduce Republican candidates to the public. Community activities include giving flags which have flown over the U.S. Capital to local nursing homes and other facilities, donating books to the Butt Holdsworth Library, VA Hospital, local schools and every other year dictionaries to all third graders in the county. Support has gone to groups such as the Special Opportunity Center, Salvation Army, Peterson Medical Center, the VA Hospital, Doyle School Community Center, Project Love (fingerprinting small children) and Crime Stoppers. Items collected countywide and sent to troops and lunches are provided for Habitat for Humanity workers.

One of the highlights of the past few years was having Gov. Rick Perry as our speaker as Kerr County kicked off the celebration of its sesquicentennial.

Meetings are held on the third Friday of the month at the Inn of the Hills for lunch, a brief business meeting, and programs featuring elected officials and heads of statewide commissions except in the months of July when we have our Games Day Party, August when we hold our Open House at Republican Headquarters, and December to have our Christmas Party.

Prospective members and visitors are welcome.


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