Our Founders

Mrs. Anne M. Sweeney

Member of California Institute No. 1

Mrs. Emily Coogan

Member of Dolores Institute No. 7

Mrs. Mary E. Richardson

Member of Dolores Institute No. 7

YLI History

The following account of the organization of YLI was compiled by Annie M. Sweeney. Annie, her sister Mary E. Richardson and their dear friend Emily Coogan are honored as the Founders of our Order.


“The Young Ladies’ Institute was founded in San Francisco, September 5, 1887. It was on the occasion of a social visit by Mary Richardson and Emily Coogan to the home of Annie Sweeney that the YLI had its inception. In Annie Sweeney’s home at the time, resided a young woman, who, while in good health, occupied a position that afforded her a comfortable livelihood. Later, however, she contracted tuberculosis, and as time passed, her health gradually failing and being without income, her funds became exhausted. Having no immediate relatives to care for her or help her financially, her friends rallied to her assistance.



Initiation Ode
Initiation Ode Accompaniment