History of AMTA-WA

(Taken from Ruth Williams, 25 years History in the Making, (full document on archive.org and also early newsletters of AMTA-WA (1953-1962) that I have scanned and uploaded to archive.org)

September 26, 1943 – State group of Massage Operators at the house of Mr and Mrs. Hugh Murray in Seattle WA. The minutes mentions some of the people who attended: Hugh Murray, Wilbur Malone, Elsie Miller, Jessie LaBaron, Al Stilley, Vern Zeller, Miss Holt and Mrs. Gardner. Robert Cram was appointed as chairman and first president of the Seattle Association of Masseurs and Masseuses.

September 16, 1944 – celebrated the 1st anniversary

November 1, 1944 – SAMM adopted City Constitution and By-laws. The purpose was to deal with the problem of city licenses. Della Myers serverd as Secretary-Treasurer.

November 2, 1945 – Joe H Heisler elected President. Topic of discussion fo rt his year was the question of a state law governing massage. The organization was asked to join the A.F. of L. Health Machine Operators but it was never done.

December, 13, 1945. Dr. E.E. Morrison was elected as President.

May 28, 1946 – Group resolved itself into a committee to attempt to form as State Organization of Masseurs and Masseuses. Named changed to WA Sate Massage Operators. Began the statewide meetings.

November 3, 1946 – Massage Operators of Washington adopted a State constitution and by-laws. Dr. Clark Cottrell spoke of a national organization by the name of the American Association of Masseurs and Masseuses.

November 3, 1947 – WA Massage Operators was disbanded in favor of joining with the National AAMM.

From 25 years. History in the Making by Ruth Williams (see full text on archive.org)

History of AMTA National and AMTA-WA.

August 16, 1943. Post graduate class of the College of Swedish Massage on East Ohio Street in Chicago, IL was presented with the idea of forming and association of Masseurs and Masseuses. The purpose would be to further the interest of it’s members and help each other become more efficient in their work. There was a letter in which Milton Niedfeldt wrote to Dean Swanson of the college in early 1943 suggesting they start an organization for their school. Some of the classmates were members of other organizations but were dissatisfied with them feeling like it was just a way for sales people to bother them.

Officers Elected: President – Charles Williams of Sausalita, CA
Vice President – Sargent Ira Lewis of Colfax, WA
Secretary – E.D. Easter, Indianapolis, IN
Treasurer – Mrs. Glen Anderson, Indiana
Honorary Membership given to Harry McConnell, Registrar of the College of Swedish Massage.
First Years Dues – $.50

December 1943 – Changes in leadership. Easter resigns because of war efforts he was involved in. Mrs. Gaevert asked to be secretary but did not accept. Charles Williams (President) took on the office of secretary along with his position as President.

1944 – Mrs. Gaevert resigned and Charles Williams took over the role of treasurer also. Ira Lewis (VP) was asked to be President and he accepted. so Williams could take care of finances and secretary role.

1945 – President Lewis relieved of office. Clark Cottrell of Aberdeen WA was asked to take over which he agreed to.

1945 – National Constitution and By-laws created based on the Seattle Association of Masseurs and Masseuses.

1945 – 68 members.

August 14, 1946 – Continental Hotel, Kansas City Missouri, bylaws presented and adopted. Dues increased to $2.50 per year. Cottrell and Williams were re-elected. Blanche E Petrie was elected to Vice President. Ermal Rothgeb of Winthrop WA was appointed secretary/treasurer and was charged with the duty of getting the WA Massage Operators into the AAMM. The first convention was controversial as it was hosted in Kansas City, MO where they were skeptical of a group called Masseurs and Masseuses. The managers of the hotel were invited to the meetings to see for themselves.

1946 – News Bulletin “The Masseur” created.

March 10, 1946 – Mrs. Taylor held a meeting in Spokane WA to get people interested in becoming members of the Washington Massage Operators but no one was interested.

November 3, 1946. Massage Operators of WA met in Wenatchee WA at the office of Ivar Larson. Main topic was the A.F of L wanted them to join the union. Mrs. Ermal Rothgeb presented the idea that they should join the National Association rather than the A.F. of L. Clark Cottrell, President of AAMM also told them about the National AAMM and invited them to join. Milton Nedfeldt inquired more about membership and was told that it would take 4 members to form a state chapter. He was the first to join along with Ermal Rothgeb, Ivan Larson and Clark Cottrell.

July 26, 1947 – WA Massage Operators met at Soap Lake and were encouraged to join AAMM. The meeting was adjourned forever and the Convention of the WA State Chapter of AAMM was started. Milton Niedfelt became Secretary/Treasurer, Ivar Larson became President.

July 26, 1947 – Cottrell went to the National Convention in Kansas City and invited them to hole their 1948 convention in WA State. It was accepted

August 7, 1947 – National Convention held in Kansas City, MO with 10 members and 14 visitors in attendance. Board of Directors Elected, one each from the North, South, East, West. Gerva Connor of Kansas City, MO; Mae Stover of Arkansas; Archie Corey from Michigan and Arthur Molson from Illinois. Dues and fees were increased to $7.00 for application and $5.00 dues. A salary of $.15 (15 cents) per active member per month was voted for the Secretary-Treasurer. 126 paid members representing 38 states. Lecturers and demonstrators were: John Granger, Harry McConnel, Paul Wendel and Gerald Petersen.

1947 – After the National Convention, Charles Williams stopped in Seattle to add 14 new members to the WA Chapter, bringing the total to 22. Milton Niedfelt was elected President of WA Chapter and Fred M. Spees elected secretary/treasurer. Niedfelt led the organizing of the Spokane Chapter which only had one member at the time – Florence Taylor

July 11, 1948 – First annual WA State Convention held to make plans for holding a National Convention on August 6, 7 and 8th 1948. (Milton Niedfelt married Carol! who was given an honorary membership later.)

May 25, 1951. Spokane Chapter meeting.

June 24, 1951. Chapter meeting in Pasco, WA. Ruth Williams installed officers. Paul Walthew appointed Chairman of Legislative Committee, Florence Taylor, President; Milton Niedfelt, Vice President; FE Bloom, Secretary/treasurer. State newsletter created called WA Massage News. Publication began in Sept 1951. See the full issues of 1953-1963 on the History of Massage at archive.org

June 6, 1952. Seattle Chapter moving forward on a bill with the help of Senator Hess and Senator Eastvold. Ruth Williams was appointed as the Editor of WA Massage News.

1953. WA Chapter planning for National Convention to be held in Spokane.

Aug 7, 1953, 8th National Convention held at Davenport Hotel, Spokane WA with 65 voting members present.

June 5, 6, 1954. WA Chapter met in Vancouver WA. Chiropractors were wanting to become members and be listed as massage therapists because the chiropractic exam was too difficult to pass. It was ruled that they could join if they had a diploma in massage in addition to their diploma from chiropractic school. Voted to donate 100 hours of treatments to children afflicted with polio if massage was prescribed by their physicians.

Sept 12, 1954. Seattle Chapter meeting in Snohomish WA.