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York Township Birthday Club (Fulton County, Ohio) - MS 213

Introduction | Agency History | Scope and Content | Series DescriptionInventory

Introduction

The records of the York Township Birthday Club date from 1926 to 1991. The one-half linear foot of minutes, newspaper clippings, and photographs reflect the ihstory and activities of this Fulton County social club.

The records were donated to the Women's Studies Archives Project (WSAP) of the Center for Archival Collections, Bowling Green State University in January 1982 through the cooperation of Jeanette A. Short, a club member, and Jill Gates Smith, field specialist for the WSAP. Literary and property rights have been dedicated to the public and duplication is permitted for the purposes of preservation and scholarly research. The register was prepared by Paulette Weiser, Graduate Assistant for the WSAP.

Agency History

Although reminiscences indicate the group first started meeting during World War I, sewing and completing handwork for the war effort, the records show the first formal meeting of the Birthday Club was held in November 1926. The group was organized for purely social reasons to allow members the opportunity to visit and relax with friends.

Monthly meetings are usually held in members' homes. Members draw at the December meeting to determine the hosts for the next year's meetings. Occasionally children are brought to the meetings and families included one or two times a year. The dues have been nominal, beginning with one cent per month, rising to twenty-five cents per year, then to $1.00 annually by the 1970s. When the treasury is low, it is augmented by a small fee assessed each member. Dues are spent on cards, flowers, or plants for members who are sick or have new babies, or memorials for deceased members.

Membership is held at twenty-four, based on two birthdays in each month of the year. New members are suggested, voted on, and invited by the current membership to replace those who have died, moved away, or dropped membership. Officers include the president, who appoints a flower committee, vice president, and secretary-treasurer.

Meetings consist of a call to order by the president; roll call; treasurer's report and payment of dues; sewing, entertainment, games, or puzzles, or visiting; refreshments or full pot luck dinners at the August picnic and December holiday meetings; and adjournment.

Scope and Content

The minutes, poem, and photographs of the Birthday Club reflect the efforts of some rural women in York Township, Fulton County, Ohio, to provide themselves the opportunity to relax away from the daily routine, to socialize, and to support each other through illnesses, births of children, and deaths in the family. Although not an extensive collection, the minutes especially illustrate the ways these women met their needs within a rural environment.

Series Description

PROCEEDINGS

MINUTES
November 1926-November 1930; January 1944-November 1, 1977, March 1985-December 1991.
Arranged chronologically
Contains notes of club meeting activities, including order of business, numbers of members present, guests, treasurer's report and account records, flowers sent to sick members, gifts to new babies of members, memorials to deceased members, elections of officers, entertainment and special programs and refreshments.

NEWS CLIPPINGS.

CLIPPING.
June 30, 1955.
One item.
Contains a poem entitled "The Birthday Club" written by club member Bertha Ernst and published in The Delta Atlas, Delta, Ohio.

PHOTOGRAPHIC MATERIALS

BLACK AND WHITE PHOTOGRAPHS
ca. 1926; June 4, 1946 (?)
Arranged chronologically
Contains two group photographs of club members.

Inventory

  1. Minutes, November 1926-November 1930
  2. Minutes, January 1944-December 3, 1946
  3. Minutes, January 7, 1947-December 7, 1948
  4. Minutes, January 4, 1949-December 5, 1967
  5. Minutes, January 2, 1968-November 1, 1977
  6. Minutes, March 5, 1985-December 3, 1991
  7. Poem, "The Birthday Club," June 30, 1955
  8. Two group photographs of club members, ca. 1926; June 4, 1946(?)

Manuscripts by Subject | Women's Studies Collections