History of the Junior League of Fort Smith

Women Building a Better Community since 1960

In February 1960, the Fort Smith Service League Day Nursery attained Junior League affiliation and became known as the Junior League of Fort Smith, Inc. Under the Leadership of President Mrs. S.W. Jackson, Jr, the Junior League of Fort Smith became a part of a worldwide movement of promoting volunteerism, improving the community, and developing the potential of women through the effective action and leadership of trained volunteers.

Since its founding in 1901 by social activist Mary Harriman, The Junior League has evolved into one of the oldest, largest and most effective women's volunteer organizations in the world, encompassing 155,000 women in 293 Leagues in four countries.

Our mandate has not wavered: to develop exceptionally qualified civic leaders who collaborate with community partners to identify a community's most urgent needs and address them with meaningful and relevant programs and initiatives that not only improve lives, but also change the way people think. This important work has won us dedicated community and corporate partners and loyal supporters for more than 112 years as well as an enduring legacy as the foremost provider of civic leadership training for women.

Many of the Greater Fort Smith Regions most precious community projects and non-profit developments started with the Fort Smith Service League Day Nursery and the Junior League of Fort Smith, and those women committed to building better communities.

They don't call us the Volunteer Powerhouse for nothing.

A few of the JLFS's Past Projects, 1950-2013:

  • Children's Theatre
  • Bargain Box
  • Book Mobile
  • Comprehensive Juvenile Services
  • Voluntary Action Center
  • Heritage Foundation
  • Gateway House
  • Clayton House
  • Grantmanship Library at Westark Community College
  • Project LEAD (Legal Education to Arrest Delinquency)
  • Old Fort River Festival
  • Gregory Kistler Treatment Center
  • Project Literacy
  • Pregnancy Clinic
  • CASA
  • WHO (We Help Others)
  • Kids in the Kitchen
  • Immunization of Children
  • Adult Education Center
  • Done in a Day
  • Children's Emergency Shelter
  • Table to Table
  • Buckle Up and Be Safe
  • Project GEM
  • Skills 4 Life
  • Independent City
  • Foster Parents' Night Out
  • JLFS Scholarship for foster teens
  • Day at the Derby
  • Fostering Fashion

Your JLFS History

Are you a Sustainer or past member of the Junior League of Fort Smith?  Do you have memories, pictures, or memorabilia to share from your time serving?  If so, we would love to have you contact us so that we may continue to share in our history.

Contact us

Past Presidents of the Junior League of Fort Smith

1950-51: Ann Martin Ross


SERVICE LEAGUE

1951-52: Virginia Hinton Thompson

1952-53: Gladys Dahin & Daisy (Boots) Walton Maurras

1953-54: Martha Wood Bentley

1954-55: Mrs. John R. England

1955-56: Jane Warner Williams

1956-57: Lucy Brown Randall

1957-58:  Lucy Brown Randall

1958-59:  Nancy Eads Hornberger


JUNIOR LEAGUE

1959-60: Paula Lemley Jackson

1960-61.: Mitty Hunt Hawkins

1961-62: Katherine Simmons Nelson

1962-63: Nancy Turner Wenderoth

1963-64: Marilyn McEwen Kelsey

1964-65: Jane Warner Williams

1965-66: Sally Lick Vick

1966-67: Rosemary Meriwether Rapley

1967-68: Lucy Yantis Thompson

1968-69:  Virginia Taylor Randall

1969-70: Elizabeth Wolferman Haupert

1970-71: Missy Armstrong Roebuck

1971-72: Patsy Malone Linder

1972-73: Mary Ellen Everett Jesson

1973-74: Kay Barclay Field

1974-75: Nancy Dills Lee

1975-76: Nancy Rogers Stell

1976-77: Carole Buell Beattie

1977-78: Jane Crenshaw Williams

1978-79: Carolyn Eason McGowan

1979-80: Sherron Sipes Shuffield

1980-81:  Linda Evans Schmidt

1981-82: Amalie Buck Koenig

1982-83: Jackie Gregory Dean

1983-84: Davie Boal Slates

1984-85:  Bonnie Taylor Stout

1985-86: Karen Hicks Hayes

1986-87: Carol Sue Gibson Wooton

1987-88: Leigh Donoho Merry

1988-89:  Lyn Forsgren Ward

1989-90:  Pam Ward Hornberger

1990-91: Michele Johnston Evans

1991-92: Marcia Robertson Henson

1992-93:  Jeannette Berlau Falkner

1993-94: Janie Wenderoth Goins

1994-95:  Leigh Randall Crawford

1995-96:  Cindy Shavey Lohse

1996-97: Lisa Caperton Thompson

1997-98: Lisa Hinton McGhee

1998-99: Suzanne Williams Henson

1999-00: Mona York Eads

2000-01: Sara Viguet Goodwin

2001-02:Shelly White Gilker

2002-03:Deanie Stevenson Mehl

2003-04: Denise Brewer McDaniel

2004-05: Lianne Radell Forsey

2005-06: Kelly Graham McGill

2006-07: Wendy Coffey Sharum

2007-08: Abby Lux Novak

2008-09: Kellie Barrett Gilkey

2009-10: Janet L.Bledsoe

2010-11: Renee Robinson Durham

2011-12: Christy L. Williams

2012-13: Amanda Tolbert

2013-14: Ashley Ahlert

2014-15: Lauren Hall

2015-16: Shevonne Coleman

2016-17: Barrett Milam

2017-18: Lindsey Robinson