Photograph: Effie Dimmick (Mrs. F. F.) Hollier in the later years of her life.
Carola Lillie Hartley
Publisher and Contributing Writer
This week, on Thursday, March 16th the Opelousas Woman’s Club is holding a celebration for National Women’s History Month, a celebration of women’s contributions to history, culture and society. One of those who did just that in Opelousas was Effie Dimmick Hollier, the first president of the Opelousas Woman’s Club. This is her story.
Effie Dimmick Hollier
Born on September 6, 1880, Effie was the daughter of Ceos Dimmick (1858 – 1892) and Addie Dimmick (1859 – 1892). The Dimmick family came to Louisiana from Iowa sometime after the Civil War, settling in the Turkey Creek area of the state. Following the death of both her parents in 1892, Effie and her three siblings (Bessie (1885 – 1933), Ira Clinton (1887 – 1976) and Willis (1892 – 1962) went to live with her uncle Frank Dimmick and his wife Mary in Bellevue, near Opelousas.
In 1909, Effie married Fred Frank (F. F.) Hollier (1881 – 1853). The couple had four children: Nancy Hollier Ryder (Mrs. J. G. Ryder), Irene Hollier Moise (Mrs. Edward Moise) and Frederick Frank Hollier (b.1914), who all grew to adulthood. In 1913 they lost their young daughter Elizabeth. Effie and Fred Hollier made their home in Opelousas where Fred was a clerk at the B. Bennet store on Landry Street in downtown Opelousas, and later as manager of Star Brand Shoe Store.
In 1902, Effie was appointed by the St. Landry Parish School Board as an assistant at the St. Landry High School for a salary of $50.00 per month. In 1906. She was 1st Assistant to the Principal W. B. Prescott of St. Landry High School at a salary of $65.00 per month. In 1907 she taught Algebra and Science at the high school. She continued to teach at the high school for several years.
From an early age Effie became involved in the Opelousas and St. Landry Parish community, joining several civic and social clubs. She was a member of the Evening Club in Opelousas in 1905, attending their frequent evening gatherings to play the card game Euchre. She belonged to the Opelousas Teachers’ Institute in 1906 and for the remaining years she taught school.
In 1907 Effie was a charter member of the Opelousas Civic League where she was chairman of the Library Committee. In 1911 she was chairman of the committee for cemeteries. She was an active member of the Women’s Society of Christian Service. In 1913 she was part of the Sewing Circle in Opelousas, and in 1915, she was on the reception committee for the State Presidential Postmasters Convention held in Opelousas that year.
Also in 1915, Effie Dimmick Hollier became a charter member of the newly organized Opelousas Woman’s Club. At the first meeting, she was elected to serve as its first president. She continued to work for the Woman’s Club throughout the rest of her life. She was the last remaining charter member of the club when she died.
Effie Dimmick Hollier died on May 18, 1958, in Opelousas. She is buried in Myrtle Grove Cemetery in Opelousas, LA.
In 1948 the Opelousas Woman’s Club raised funds and held a groundbreaking ceremony for the new library building on Bellevue Street in Opelousas. Today that building serves as the Opelousas Woman’s Club House.