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OUR HISTORY

The Dayton (OH) Chapter of The Links, Incorporated was chartered on May 28, 1949, at the home of Mrs. Letitia D. Rose. Our chapter is the 1st Chapter Chartered in the State of Ohio, the 2nd Chapter Chartered in the Central Area, and holds a unique position in Link history as the “13th” — formed before The Links became a nationally recognized organization in June 1949. The organization was formally incorporated five years later in 1951.

Seated: Melissa Bess, Beatrice Darnell, Katie Greene (Philadelphia Chapter), Letitia Rose, Remintha Ford, Viola Finley, Louise Wesley,Standing: Visitor, Lyllian Taylor, Margaret Robinson, Lucie Taylor, Bessie Jones, Hortense Campbell, Ruth Lewis, Cora Peters, Ruth Smith

In the early years, potential Links chapters were closely affiliated with the Philadelphia Club – intertwined through mutual friends and friends of friends. Consequently, the Dayton group was chartered by Link Katie Greene, a member of the Philadelphia Club, The Links’ first public relations officer, and personal friend of Dayton (OH) Chapter member, Link Letitia Rose. Like the Philadelphia Club, membership in the Dayton (OH) Chapter was limited to fourteen members. Charter members of the Dayton (OH) Chapter were Melissa Bess, Beatrice Darnell, Viola Finley, Remintha Ford, Bessie Jones, Ruth Lewis, Cora Peters, Hortense Poindexter, Margaret Robinson, Letitia Rose, Ruth Smith, Lucie Taylor, Lyllian Taylor, Louise Wesley.

Once chartered, members of the Dayton (OH) Chapter continued the legacy — reaching out to friends and family across the country to expand the Links chain of friendship and community service. Between 1950 and 1951, the Dayton (OH) Chapter is credited with organizing the chartering of eight other Links chapters: Cincinnati, Columbus, Chicago (IL), Roanoke (VA), Detroit (MI), Charleston-Institute (WVA), Indianapolis (IN), and Louisville (KY). In 1955, the Dayton (OH) Chapter hosted the Central Area Assembly.

1960 – 1990: Through the years, the Dayton Chapter has continued to grow in size and expand its efforts to serve the Dayton community. Members are recognized for outstanding achievements and community involvement beyond the organization – including appointments to city/county/state boards, appointments as state officials, and recognitions by the city/county/state for outstanding service. Within The Dayton Chapter of The Links, Incorporated, members have been appointed and served in both area and national level positions. Two Dayton members have been elected and served as Central Area Directors: Link Laura Jones (1964-1966) and Link Marion Sweeney (1987-1991). Programming highlights included establishing the Sinclair Community College Scholarship Endowment – which continues today and establishing Hospice of Dayton's “Caring Touch Salon.”

Dayton (OH) History continued...

1st Row (on floor): Louise Snow, Odessa Johnson, Carolynn Fisher, Evelyn Crawford. 2nd Row (seated): Jane Shelton, Tommie Jones, Marion Sweeney, Grayce Toles, Reba Gaston, Linda Kaye Taylor. 3rd Row (standing): Lucie Taylor, Constance Thomas, Jacqueline Duncan, Audrey Parker (President), Ruth McGantis (Wilberforce Chapter), Hattie Wills, Anna Louise Payne, Anne Lucas.

Laura Jones

Central Area Director

1964-1966


Marion Sweeney

Central Area Director

1987-1991

PAST PRESIDENTS

DAYTON (OH) CHAPTER 

THE LINKS, INCORPORATED

(IN CHRONOLOGICAL ORDER)


1949 - 2021

Letitia Rose 

Ruth Smith

Hortense Campbell 

Margaret Robinson

Laura Jones

Ruth Lewis

Billye Dasher

Lucie Taylor

Reba Gaston*

Vashti Taylor

Odessa Johnson

Ann Payne

Norma Gaston

Grayce Toles*

Tommie Jones*

Odessa Johnson

Reba Gaston*

Rubye Bouquett

Marion Sweeney*

Gail Littlejohn*

Joyce Hannah

Virginia Hill

Anne Burns

Alma Jackson

Marion Sweeney*

Norma Gaston

Gail Francis Johnson

Ro Nita Hawes-Saunders

Alma Jackson

Janice Allen

Helen Jones-Kelley

Janice Allen

Belinda Matthews-Stenson

Alma Ivey Clarke

Carolyn Mack


*Deceased



Dayton Chapter of The Links, Incorporated

P. O. Box 381

Dayton, OH 45409

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