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Election Day

Did You Know?

Did you know that Texas women could vote in 1836? For 10 years, women in the Republic of Texas had the right to vote and likely didn’t even know it. Women lost the right to vote when the Republic became a State.

When Texas was annexed by the United States in 1846, early women’s rights activists across the U.S. were calling their crusaders to defy the norm. Texans would not take up the campaign for many more years. Nevertheless, women played a crucial role in Texas history from before the beginning.

Texas Business Women's History

Texas Business Women has a powerful history. Over the years many women have worked to pave the road that Texas women now walk. We appreciate their time, dedication, and service to the organization and each other. 

Forty Texas women met in Dallas on July 12, 1919 and organized the Texas Federation of Business and Professional Women’s Clubs (BPW/TX). In later years, it was come to known as Texas Business Women. The following women were elected as BPW/TX officers: President Minnie L. Maffett, M.D., Dallas; First Vice President Virginia Marr Find, Dallas; Second Vice President Bertha Ward, El Paso; Recording Secretary E. Vance Hay, Austin; Corresponding Secretary Sallie Louise Bridges, Houston; Treasurer Florence Sands, Dallas, and Publicity Secretary Mrs. B.H. Gibeau, Dallas.


In August 1948, a permanent state office was established in Fort Worth and BPW of Texas was incorporated under the laws of the State of Texas.


At that first BPW/TX meeting, three delegates were selected to attend and represent Texas working women at the inaugural National Federation of Business and Professional Women’s (BPW/USA) Convention to be held 2 days later in St. Louis, MO. Two hundred twelve delegates from forty-five states met to form a non-profit, non-sectarian, self-supporting, and self-governing organization with a definitive program. BPW of the USA was formed on July 16, 1919.

The Collect

Keep us, O God, from pettiness;

let us be large in thought, in word, in deed.

Let us be done with fault-finding and

leave off self-seeking.

May we put away all pretense and meet each

other face to face — without self-pity

and without prejudice.

May we never be hasty in judgment and

always generous.

Let us take time for all things;

make us to grow calm, serene, gentle.

Teach us to put into action our better impulses,

straightforward and unafraid.

Grant that we may realize it is the little

things that create differences,

that in the big things of life we are at one.

And may we strive to touch and to know the great,

common human heart of us all, and,

O Lord God, let us forget not to be kind.

–Mary Stewart

Women Holding Hands

The Collect (actually pronounced ‘caw-lect’); begins every meeting of Texas Business Women from local organizations to the state conference to serve as an inspirational beginning for members in attendance at these gatherings.

During the second BPW/USA Convention in July 1920 in St. Paul, MN, delegates officially adopted the “Collect for Club Women” (The Collect) as their opening devotional. BPW/TX followed suit. 

Mary Stewart wrote The Collect in 1904 as a member of the Fortnightly Club, the forerunner of the Longmont (Colorado) BPW Club. Mary stated: “I called it a ‘Collect for Club Women’ because I felt that women working together, with wide interests in large ends, which was a new thing under the sun and that, perhaps they had need for a special petition and meditation of their own.” Mary Stewart worked for women’s suffrage nationally and was in attendance at the BPW/USA meeting in St. Louis in 1919, where she was elected the first corresponding secretary. Ms. Stewart took an active part in the growth of the organization by service on several BPW/USA committees. The author, who until 1910 signed The Collect with her pen name, “Mary Stuart,” remained involved in BPW/USA until her death in 1943.

The first printing of The Collect was an obscure paragraph in a column of club notes in the Delineator, an American women’s magazine of the late 19th and 20th centuries, founded by the Butterick Publishing Companies.  In 1909, Paul Elder and Company in San Francisco printed it as a wall card. The Collect has been adopted by women’s organizations throughout the world.

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