P.E.O. is a Philanthropic Educational Organization where women celebrate the advancement of women, educate women through scholarships, grants, awards, loans and stewardship of Cottey College, and motivate each other to achieve their highest aspirations.
Mary Florence Cowell, former treasurer of Missouri State Chapter, brought P.E.O. to Texas with the organization of Chapter A in Whitesboro on September 4, 1902. She would go on to be elected the first president of the Texas chapter. She is affectionately known as the “Mother of P.E.O. in Texas.” A state Historical Marker honoring her can be seen at her home in Whitesboro.
P.E.O. has grown from the original membership of seven to almost a quarter of a million members in chapters in the United States and Canada. P.E.O. is headquartered in Des Moines, Iowa. There are over 240 chapters and more than 10,000 active members in Texas.
About the Archive
The Woman's Collection at Texas Woman's University is the official state archive for P.E.O. State materials document the 1902 founding of the organization under president, Mary Florence Cowell, which has grown to over 10,000 active members in Texas. The collection consists of:
- Published materials
- News clippings