On October 22, 1945, this group of unidentified individuals were photographed seated around a table after what appears to be a dinner at the USO #2, 713-15 Commerce St. (photograph by F.L. Powell of Tacoma)
This undated photograph was taken in front of the snack bar at the USO No. 2 in Tacoma. At the head of the table was Arthur Hayes and at the end closest to the camera was Helen B. Stafford, local civic activist. USO No. 2 opened at 713 Commerce Street in September 1942 to serve Tacoma's African American servicemen and closed in March 1947. This location also served servicemen during World War I as the Army-Navy Club.
Undated photograph of the Matrons Club. The woman seated front left is Helen Beck Stafford, one of the founders of the group. Dr. Stafford moved to Tacoma in 1926 to marry Wendell P. Stafford on New Years Eve. Even though she had taught for a few years in Kansas schools, Tacoma school personnel directors refused to hire a black teacher. She stayed at home and cared for her husband and daughter. She and several other women who stayed home to rear their children would get together for a social outlet. In 1927, they formally organized the Matrons Club. The women who attended the meetings often brought their children along and the children would play together. (TNT 2/22/1982- NWR clipping file) (photograph by Liberal Engraving Co., 907 1/2 Commerce)