Watsonville Woman’s Club History

Pajaro Valley’s Past

Compiled by Steve Bankhead

Dorothy Skillicorn

1991 Woman of the Year Dorothy Skillicorn in a 1966 photo. Skillicorn died on Feb. 6, 2016 on her 103rd birthday after a lifetime of community service, including 78 years as a Woman’s Club member.

25 years ago on Dec. 30, 1991: The Chamber of Commerce named George Menasco and Dorothy Trafton Skillicorn its Man and Woman of the Year. George is the third generation of Menascos serving as president of the Charles Ford Company, and his mother Jennie was a director. He saw combat during World War II in the Philippines, returning to Watsonville in 1945, and was later appointed general manager of Ford’s . Elected president in 1962, he’s recently retired. He’s founding president of the Downtown Business Association, a 40-year Rotary Club member and a Chamber of Commerce director. Skillicorn , like Menasco, is a local native and Watsonville High graduate. During World War II she collected for the Red Cross, taught English, and served as an airplane spotter. She’s been active with many community groups, including as Historical Association director, Woman’s Club president, and provides space on her ranch for use by nonprofit and charitable groups.

100 years ago on Dec. 29, 1916: The Woman’s Club Civic Section, under direction of Mrs. F.W. Biebrach, has completed plans for the grand New Year’s festival and dance in the civic auditorium, and a tremendous crowd is expected to attend. The hall has been decorated with evergreens and colored lights, which will present a pretty sight for tomorrow’s program, and A.D. McEwen’s large orchestra has prepared some of the latest popular music for the dance which begins 9 p.m. The program preceding the dance will include drill by the high school cadets, a ukulele chorus accompanying four clever little Hawaiian dancers directed by Miss Emma Spaulding, and introductions of Father Time and the New Year. Mrs. W.H. Volck will have charge of sale booths of carnival goods, plus eatables and drinkables which will be served cafeteria style. All proceeds go into the municipal playground fund for additional equipment and beautification.