Monday, March 11, 2013

History of Corydon's Friday Club


Friday Club is Corydon's oldest club. Present day members still meet once a month in each other's homes for dinner and a program. 
 
From previous research that I had done about Corydon's history, I knew that Friday Club had been meeting for many years because I had seen it mentioned in old newspaper clippings, but I had never determined exactly how old the club was and who the charter members were. I had asked members of the present day Friday Club, but no one could give me the answers. Last Friday, while I was trying to find information on another topic, I came across a newspaper clipping with the information I wanted. In October of 1951, Friday Club celebrated its 50th anniversary. Friday Club has existed in this town since 1901!  


The caption below this photo reads, "Above: Three former members are served by Mrs  Merle Meacham, president of Friday club. Mrs. Eva Miles, Mrs. Margaret Walker and Mrs. Winifred Carter. Mrs. Walker was a member of the club for forty years."

The article reported, "Observing its 50th anniversary, the Corydon Friday club entertained at a reception Sunday afternoon Oct. 7 at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Homer Grismore.

The club was organized in 1901 and Dr. W.C. Martin, a retired Methodist minister who then lived in Corydon, is credited with having planned the organization. Charter members were: Mrs. H.K. Evans, Mrs. H.H. Hamilton. Mrs  R.W. Halpenny, Mrs. C. Holliday, Mrs. C.F. LeCompte, Mrs. W.C. Martin, Mrs. Lewis Miles, Mrs. E.A. Rea, Mrs. A.M. Shea, Mrs. F.M. Smith, Mrs. John Stiriling, and Mrs. F.D. Waynick. 

Although organized as a woman's club, it had from the beginning the unusual feature of including the husbands of members at a dinner following the afternoon study, with a concluding study in the evening conducted by the men. 

Of the charter members, three are still living, although none was able to attend the anniversary Sunday. They are:  Mrs. H.K. Evans of Des Moines, Mrs. E.A. Rea of Oak Park Ill., and Mrs. A.M. Shea of Pennsylvania. Only surviving husband of a charter member is Mr. Shea.

The Grismore home was beautifully decorated Sunday with cut flowers. Two lovely bouquets were presented to the club. One of yellow mums was from Mrs. H.K. Evans and her two daughters, Mrs. Portia Cooney and Mrs. Genevieve Starzinger. The other of gladioli, was from Mrs. Eva Miles and Miss Miriam LeCompte.

The reception table was set in silver and crystal. The centerpiece being an attractive arrangement of grasses and harvest grains painted in gold color. 

Mrs. Elwood Johnson and Mrs. Archie Bridges presided at the punch table. Mrs. John Warren, Mrs. Allan Minger, and Mrs. Harold Bishop were dining room hostesses, taking their turn presiding at the table.

Mrs. Laurence Fry, Mrs. Robert White, Mrs. Kenneth Hayden, and Mrs. Gilbert West were parlor hostesses.

During the afternoon, short talks were made by Mrs. Eva Miles, Mrs. Winifred Carter, Mrs. Eleanor Carris, Loren E. Lair, and Homer Grismore.

Mrs. Merle Meacham, the club's president, read an early history of the club written by Mrs. E.A. Rea. Mrs  Kenneth Hayden gave an original poem representing the attitude of the younger members toward the founders of the organization.

Letters and greetings from distant former members were read.

The guest list included all former members. Four daughters of charter members were present: Mrs. H.H. Carter, Mrs. Fred Jackson, Mrs. John Morrison, and Miriam LeCompte. Out of town guest present included: Dr. and Mrs. F.C. Edwards of Centerville; Rev. and Mrs. Loren E. Lair of Des Moines; Mrs. Margaret Walker and Mrs. Eleanor Carris of Des Moines, and Mrs. Jackson of Pasadena, Calif. All present members of the club were able to be present except Mr. and Mrs. Ben Grismore."
Four daughters of charter members were present at the anniversary. From the left, Mrs. Lois Jackson and Mrs. Winifred Carter, daughters of Mrs. Lewis Miles; Miriam LeCompte, daughter of Mrs. C.F. LeCompte; Mrs. Hattie Morrison, daughter of Mrs. John Stirling.

It was the fifties; notice the hats and white gloves. 

I was intrigued to find answers to questions that I have had about this club. In the article I recognized the names of many of our prominent founding citizens. Do you recognize any of the names?

1 comment:

  1. The club has really evolved into something different from those early days. It is not nearly as formal and the members not as stoic as they have been in the past - let us say it has changed with the times. bg

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