Fifth District PTA was originally “San Bernardino County Federation” which was organized March 12, 1913. The meeting was held in Ontario in the new Chaffey High school. Mrs. C.C. Noble, State, and National membership chairman were organizing officer. Mrs. L.M. Mertz of Ontario was elected president. There were seven associations in this beginning countywide organization. The teachers were very active in the work so meetings were held on Saturdays.
Although the County Federation was not organized until 1913, we find that as early as 1898 Kingsbury School parents in Redlands started a mothers club; in 1906 Mt. Vernon, San Bernardino parents followed. Then in 1908 came Bryn Mawr (near Redlands), organized as a PTA by the principal, Mr. Latham. Following in rapid succession were units in Ontario, Upland, and Redlands which were disbanded later when the schools were closed. In December 1910, McKinley in Redlands was organized as a PTA.
Fifth District PTA was organized in December 1915 with Mrs. S.U. Stewart of Del Rosa as President. Mrs. Mertz had resigned as County Federation president but became second vice president of the newly named Fifth District PTA. Charter associations were Bloomington, Central, San Antonio, South Euclid (in Ontario), Lowell, Lugonia, Lincoln, McKinley (in Redlands), Mt. Vernon and Meadowbrook (in San Bernardino); Victorville and Cucamonga. At the close of Mrs. Stewart’s term, in 1919, there were 34 associations and 1035 members – more than twice the original number.
Since our inception on March 12, 1913, the Fifth District PTA has served the children and youth of San Bernardino County for over 99 years. With nearly 30,000 members in 10 councils and 172 associations, the Fifth District PTA strives to maintain the highest level of commitment and service to all communities.