Artifact of the Month
"Letha Brogdon Lounge" Resolution and Lethan Brogdon's Typewriter
Donated by Springdale City Clerk's Office
Letha Brogdon (1894-1984) served as Springdale city clerk from January 1953 to December 1974, the first woman elected to the office. In Brogdon's first race for city clerk, three women vied for the position. Brogdon won with 839 votes—beating the other two candidates by nearly 300 and 600 votes, respectively.
According to the Springdale News (April 11, 1930), the first-ever woman candidate for Springdale city clerk ran in 1930, coming in third. Her name went unmentioned in the article.
When Letha Brogdon started as city clerk, city offices were housed in a renovated Presbyterian church on Spring Street (across the street from present-day Spring Street Grill). A new city hall was built in 1960 on the site of the old city park, also on Spring Street (still the location of Springdale City Hall today). In the south wing of the new building were offices for mayor, city clerk, and city inspector, along with a room designated as the lounge.
In 1970, Brogdon decided women employees at City Hall needed a lounge of their own. After three years of requests from Brogdon, Mayor Park Phillips and the Springdale City Council finally voted to finance the project using revenue-sharing funds. The lounge officially opened in December 1973, complete with Brogdon's official signature painted on the door. City staff threw a party to inaugurate the facilities. Brogdon, who had been out several months recovering from an accident, attended the festivities, where Mayor Phillips presented her with City Council Resolution 36-73:
"A resolution in recognition of the tireless efforts of Letha Brogdon in establishing a lounge area within the City Administration Building of the City of Springdale, Arkansas."
The resolution recognized Brogdon for "her thoughtfulness and concern for the well-being of employees of the City of Springdale," and officially named the lounge the "Letha Brogdon Lounge" as a way to offer a "humble expression of esteem for [Brogdon] in using her influence to promote the establishment of that certain recreational facility."
Photo above right: Letha Brogdon is presented with Resolution 36-73 by Mayor Park Phillips in the Letha Brogdon Lounge at Springdale City Hall, December 17, 1973. Springdale News Collection