Women Who Reached For The Stars: Margaret Tufts Yardley

A series exploring NJSFWC’s proud legacy​

As we enter our 125th year, this series will introduce you to the women who had the vision to reach for the stars. Please enjoy this series and continue the legacy by supporting the NJSFWC Shining Future Endowment Campaign.

Participating in the campaign will assist NJSFWC in its support of Continuing Funds, and building membership. Visit the NJSFWCshiningfuture.org website to make a donation or explore our goals and history.

Margaret Yardley
Margaret Tufts Yardley (1844-1928) was elected the first President of NJSFWC, 1894-1896. Mrs. Yardley was 50 years old when she became President and died at the age of 84.

She was a member of the Woman’s Club of Orange, the oldest club in NJ. Margaret served as director and President of the Orange Orphans’ Society and helped start the first Homeopathic Hospital of the Oranges. In this position, she also fought for the improvement of state child labor laws.Yardley remained an active part of political life in East Orange until her early eighties.In addition, she was a member of the Colonial Dames of America and founded the Essex County chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR).

Despite having five children, she found time to be an active member of several philanthropic organizations. She served on the Board of Managers at the Columbia Exposition in Chicago in 1893. Here she received a gold medal for her two-volume collection of the works of New Jersey women writers, which she compiled and exhibited.

Did You Know?
Mrs. Yardley’s Board, consisting of the officers and nine elected representatives of the clubs, met December 4, 1894, in the home of the president. A badge designed after the state coat of arms was submitted for consideration by Mrs. Brooks of the Monday Afternoon Club of Passaic. A shield with a plough, a rising sun, the word Unity, and the letters NJSF, done on a pale blue enamel – cost not to exceed sixty cents – was accepted at the third meeting in February 1895.

Margaret Yardley Fellowship Fund
In 1929, at the NJSFWC State Convention in Atlantic City, the Margaret Yardley Fellowship Fund was established to provide a fellowship for a qualified woman to do graduate work in her field. The first contribution to the fund, in the amount of $5,000, was given by her son Farnham Yardley, in his mother’s memory. This fellowship is still awarded today.

Women Who Reach For The Stars Committee
The committee would like your assistance in reaching out to corporations or individuals who may be interested in this campaign. Please send an email to info@njsfwcshiningfuture.org. Your assistance is appreciated.

NJSFWC Shining Future Endowment Campaign
New Jersey State Federation of Women’s Clubs of GFWC
55 Labor Center Way
New Brunswick, NJ 08901-1593