One can’t really talk what goes on of Nacogdoches of importance without bringing up the Cum Concilio Club, according to local historian Scott Sosebee.
“They’ve been behind everything that happens and continue to do so,” said Sosebee, the executive director of the East Texas Historical Association and SFA associate history professor.
In fact, he added, the Texas State Historical Association is set to publish a book on the history of Texas women by the end of the year, “and I just turned in an entry on the Cum Concilio Club of Nacogdoches,” Sosebee told a crowd of about 75 who gathered at the Stone Fort Museum Thursday to celebrate the club’s 125th anniversary.
“Do you think on Jan. 17, 1894, those 15 women — who couldn’t vote, by the way — who joined to form a study club had any idea it would still be in existence and thriving 125 years later?” marveled club president Deanna Speck. “And that it would be the second oldest literary club in the state of Texas?”
Originally focused on study and self improvement, the club took on civic projects through the years: including advocating the preservation of the Old Stone Fort and salvaging its materials for the Old Stone Fort Museum, establishing the first local library and the iconic wrought iron fence that borders the Oak Grove Cemetery, to name a few.
Now with 20 members, Cum Concilio recently raised funds for a restoration project on the Oak Grove Cemetery fence.
Thursday’s anniversary event was held in conjunction with an exhibit showcasing the contribution of women’s clubs in the past century.
“You began to see the kind of projects coming out of the women’s club movement that are the kind of projects that happened in Nacogdoches with the Cum Concilio Club and with many other clubs,” Stone Fort Museum curator Carolyn Spears said.
The women’s clubs exhibit will be on display until February. The museum is open Tuesday through Saturday from 9 to 5 p.m. and Sundays from 1 to 5 p.m.