By Mrs. Mary M. Hoaglin
In January, 1890, Mrs. Emily Burrall, living in the residence which is now the Christian Science church, corner West Erie and South Clinton streets, invited a number of ladies to meet at her home to discuss the question of forming a reading club. This idea met with the approval of all present, and the club voted to meet on Wednesday of each week at the home of Mrs. Burrall, with the following members:
Mrs. Augusta W. Anthony, Mrs. Mary Catherine Thomason, Mrs. Elmira S. Kessler, Mrs. Emelia T. Irwin, Mrs. Mettie E. Gardner, Mrs. Emily P. Burrall, Mrs. Flora E. Gale, Mrs. Rose A. Fox, Mrs. Annie M. Gale, Mrs. Belle Gale, Mrs. E.P. Robertson, Mrs. Melissa Young, Mrs. Ada Iddings Gale, and Mrs. Mary M. Hoaglin.
Thus the club began as a reading club with fifteen charter members and Mrs. Ada Iddings Gale as reader and instructor. The first three years were spent studying Dickens and Emerson.
The club members realized the necessity for organization, and at the beginning of the club year in 1893 officers were elected and a constitution adopted. Mrs. Lua Rowland Miller was the first president. The office of president has been filled by the following:
Mrs. Lua Miller, (1894-1895)
Mrs. Curtis A. Sackett, 1895-1897
Mrs. Mettie E. Gardner, 1897-1901
Mrs. Robert J. Frost, 1901-1903
Mrs. Irving C. Foster, 1903-1907
Mrs. Frederick F. Hoagline, 1907-1909
Mrs. Seymour Y. Hill, April to October 1909
Mrs. Homer C. Blair, 1909-1911
Mrs. Arthur D. Banham, 1911-1913
Mrs. William J. McKone, 1913-1915
Mrs. Edward R. Loud, 1913-1917
Mrs. E. Roscoe Sleight, 1917-1919
Mrs. Fred M. Northwood, April to January, 1919-1920
Mrs. John N. Smith, 1920-1921
Miss Jennie Worthington, 1921-1925
Mrs. Minard E. Farley, 1925-1927
Mrs. Arthur H. Harrop, 1927-1929
Mrs. Walter H. Rogers, 1929-1931
Mrs. Brockway Dickie, 1931-1933
In 1899 a club house was deeded to the city of Albion by Mary Sheldon Ismon, subject to a ninety-nine year lease of the basement and first floor to the Leisure Hour Club, and the second and third floors to the E.L.T. Club.
At the request of Mrs. Ismon the large room south of the E.L.T. club rooms on the second floor was used for the city library until the present city library was completed when the city council gave the use of the former library room to the E.L.T. club, and it has been furnished and is known as the Emily Burrall room in memory of the founder of the club.
The use of the club rooms was donated to the Business Womans Club, also to the teachers of the public schools until another place was secured. The City Federation has held its quarterly and annual meetings there since organization in 1915.
The club rooms are often used for social activities of the sororities and fraternities of the college. At different times the assembly hall has been used for dancing classes sponsored by mothers in the club.
During the year the public is invited to hear speakers on the club program. The anniversary of the dedication of the club house is observed jointly with the Leisure Hour club on February 22 each year. The midwinter picnic is an annual social event.
The E.L.T. club has grown from a reading club with fifteen members to the present organization of one hundred and five members.
The club has broadened its activities by joining the general, state, and city federations of womens clubs, and is striving to do more each year towards the aim which is stated in the by-laws:
“The object of this club shall be the moral, intellectual, and social improvement of its members and of the community.”
The foregoing history was written in 1924 by Mrs. Hoaglin and serves us today in its entirety.
A room in Sheldon Memorial Hospital was furnished by the club and supplies for the same have been replenished at intervals.
The use of the ballot is always stressed and such bills as relate to the interests of women are brought to the attention of the members.
Numerous social events occur during each year and the club, ever mindful of changing condition, endeavors to keep abreast of the times by arranging such programs as are cultural and instructive to the group as a whole.
The club is limited to 75 active, 15 retired and 15 associate members. The club dues are five dollars for active and retired, one dollar for non-resident, and seven dollars for associate members. Life honorary members are Mrs. Melissa Young, Grand Rapids; Mrs. Lua Miller and Mrs. Ellenor Hyney of Albion.
The E.L.T. Club was a charter member of the Michigan State Federation of Womens Clubs, organized in 1895, and is one of the federated clubs of the Southwestern District of the M.S.F.W.C. The club joined the General Federal of Womens Clubs in 1914; is a charter member of the Albion Federation of Womens Clubs, organized in 1915, also a charter member of the Calhoun County Federation of Womens Clubs, organized in 1922, the initial meetings of both of these federations being held in the E.L.T. Club House. The club was incorporated in 1899 and re-incorporated in 1929.
The club Year Book (1930-1931) commemorates the fortieth anniversary of the founding of the club, (1890-1930), and contains not only the club programs for the first year, but also a picture (frontispiece) of the first club president, Mrs. Lua Miller, a brief club history and the constitution and by-laws of the club.
Club officers for the year (1931-1932) are: President, Mrs. Brockway Dickie; First Vice-President, Mrs. Karl Miller; Second Vice-President, Mrs. S.W. Tench; Recording Secretary, Mrs. K.B. Keeler; Corresponding Secretary, Mrs. George Schumacher; Treasurer, Mrs. Paul Ewbank.
Board of Directors are: Mrs. Frederick F. Hoaglin, Mrs. Homer C. Blair, Mrs. L.N. McNair, Mrs. Robert Baldwin, Mrs. R.C. Neal.
Unity of purpose, harmony of club activity and loyalty on the part of all, characterize this club, thereby contributing to community usefulness, personal improvement and to all movements that promote the betterment of our city.
Mary E. Rogers, President (1929-1931)
Source: Krenerick, Miriam. Albion’s Milestones and Memories. Albion, MI: Art Craft Press. 1932. 114-115