South Albion Woman’s Club, 1887
South Albion Womans Club
By Mrs. A.E. Thunold
The South Albion Womans Club was organized January 17, 1887, at the home of Mrs. William Delbridge. The plan had its inception at a large evening party given by Mr. And Mrs. Delos Snyder to their neighborhood friends of South Albion the previous week. The ladies were mostly formers wives, bright, intelligent, and with a goodly amount of education. They wished to cultivate the mental, spiritual and social faculties. As the years have advanced the membership has changed until most of the members live in the city.
At the time of its organization the club was known as “The Gleaners” and met on Thursday afternoons once in three weeks at the homes of the members. The charter members, seven in number, were Mrs. Myron Knickerbocker, Mrs. Henry Knickerborcker, Mrs. Horace Ball, Mrs. George Aldrich, Mrs. William Anderson, Mrs. William Curtis, and Mrs. William Delbridge.
The first officers were Mrs. George Aldrich, president; Mrs. Horace Ball, vice president; Mrs. Henry Knickerbocker, secretary; program committee, Mrs. William Anderson, Mrs. William Delbridge, Mrs. Horace Farley.
These meetings opened with singing, Lords prayer and Scripture reading, roll call answered by quotations. A business meeting, then a literary program of written papers, readings, current events, tea table talks, question box, music, followed by a “royal supper”.
Six years later, in 1894, the name of the society was changed to the “South Albion Womans Club is the oldest club in the Albion Federation of Womens Clubs, organized in 1922. The club joined the Michigan State Federation of Womens Clubs in 1921, but withdrew in 1927.
The club color is blue, and its motto, “United we stand, divided we fall.” The object of the club is literary, social and charitable improvement of its members, and in the forty-four years of its existence it has proven itself ever loyal in helping to promote all worthy projects of the community. Mrs. Mary B. Dickie, wife of Dr. Samuel F. Dickie, and president of the W.C.T.U. for over 20 years, was an honored member of this club.
We are indebted to one of our beloved charter members, Mrs. William Anderson, for much valuable information contained in a club history written for her in the year 1924-1925, and from which we have selected the following excerpts: “An honor bestowed upon our club was a request from Prof. Smith Burnham of Kalamazoo Teachers College asking that some member of the club write a paper entitled Service of Womens Clubs, to be read at the fifteenth annual Rural Progress Day at Kalamazoo, March 11, 1921. The club complied with the urgent request and assigned the task to one of the charter members, (Mrs. William Anderson). “Here are a few of the subjects considered in a more or less exhaustive manner during the life of the South Albion Womens Club. The most noted philanthropists, dramatists, journalists, explorers, painters, poets, scientists, musicians, some of Shakespeares works, popular book reviews, different countries, Alaska, Mexico, and many of the most interesting republics of South America. During the past few years our work has been miscellaneous. This club has had its quota of banquets, picnics and social gatherings.”
The officers this year, (1931-1932) are: Mrs. G.W. Ray, president; Mrs. Floyd Moore, first vice-president; Mrs. Carleton Ball, second vice-president; Mrs. E.E. Ball, secretary; Mrs. James Smith, treasurer; Mrs. A.L. Braden, chaplain.
The past presidents are: Mrs. George Aldrich, Mrs. Horace Ball, Mrs. William Delbridge, Mrs. M.E. Henry, Mrs. Henry Knickerbocker, Mrs. Emma Howell, Mrs. George Yost, Mrs. Sarah Banks, Mrs. William Loder, Mrs. David Sutton, Mrs. Elmer Ball, Mrs. Elma Williams, Mrs. John Houck, Mrs. A.L. Braden, Mrs. F.A. Houck, Mrs. A.E. Anderson, Miss Vera Franklin, Mrs. A.E. Thunold, Mrs. Frank Krenerick, and Mrs. Fred Main. The club has lost 30 members by death.
The club helped organize the Three-Quarters-Century Club when Mrs. Fred Main was president. This year, a special club program, honoring the George Washington Bicentennial was given. The club contributed to the fund raised to purchase furniture for the City Library when it was built. It cooperates in sending music students to the National Bank and Orchestra Camp at Interlochen, has given money toward the improvement of Victory Park, also gives annually an entertainment at the County Home and at the Tubercular Hospital, Christmas baskets to needy families, and helps in the social service work of the Albion Federation of Womens Clubs.
Source: Krenerick, Miriam. Albion’s Milestones and Memories. Albion, MI: Art Craft Press. 1932. 112-113