Young Women’s Christian Association of Beaumont
Established in 1911 with ten members, the Beaumont Young Women’s Christian Association was officially chartered three years later on January 3, 1914. Meetings were held in the town Temperance Hall until a separate building at 660 Calder was constructed for the members in 1918.
That same year Frances Morris, local teacher, formed a club for the black girls of the city. Through her efforts, it was charted as a branch of the YWCA shortly after her death in 1933. A merger of both chapters was completed in 1969. The Texas Historic Commission dedicated a marker at the site in 1980.
Beaumont Enterprise Article June 12 1997
Just after 1900 there was no YWCA Beaumont. Ten ladies got together and decided Beaumont was going to have a Young Women’s Christian Association. They met in the Temperance Building downtown (which later became the J C Penny Building). That was in 1911.
The group was granted a charter from the State of Texas in 1914. The following community members signed the document: Mrs. J Frank Keith, Mrs. T. S. Reed Jr.,Mrs. W. P. H. McFaddin, Mrs. Charles Chaison, Mrs. J E Carroll, Mrs. J A. Glen, Mrs. D Edward Greer, Mrs. J. W. Mackey, Mrs. F.M. Law, and Mrs. W. A. Shrigley.
The present building was built in 1918 at the cost of $100,000. Architect F. W. Steinmen volunteered to design the four story building at 660 Calder. The building which included an indoor pool, a gymnasium, and residential area for girls opened in July 1918.
In 1930, young women could rent safe, clean living quarters for $2.50 a week. They shared rooms, baths, a kitchen, and chores. It provided a good environment with home influences and all the modern conveniences.
The annex originally was a Christian Science Church. John Gray helped gain ownership of the building.
On May 15, 1983, the Jefferson County Historical Society designated the YWCA building a state historic site.
YWCA Beaumont has a proud history dating back nearly 100 years. Our anniversary was in 2014. At one time the YWCA had three buildings providing wellness classes with a pool, housing, and an array of programs. The age of the buildings and the hurricanes brought about a decision to let go of the old septum of direct services to a new collaborative partnership model. The administrative office is at 700 North St., Beaumont, Texas 77701.