Center for Archival Collections

Reference Services | Manuscripts by Subject | CAC Homepage

Men's Literary Club (Sandusky, Ohio) - MS 297

Introduction | Agency History | Scope and Content | Series DescriptionInventory


The records of the Men's Literary Club span the years 1899-1954. The collection contains fairly complete minutes (1899-1944), Club calendars (1903-1954), and membership recods (1899-1946). Also included in the collection are guest speaker lists, memorial tributes and two of the members' papers.

The collection was donated to the Center for Archival Collections by the Sandusky Public Library in February 1983. No restrictions exist on the research use of this collection. The collection was processed and finding aid prepared by Susan Hagemeyer in February 1984.

Agency History

The Men's Literary Club of Sandusky, Ohio was organized on the evening of December 29, 1899. The next evening the seventeen members elected officers and adopted bylaws. On January 8, 1900, the first regular meeting was held.

The object of the Club, as stated in the bylaws, was "to promote the intellectual improvement of its members," specifically accomplished through the presentation of papers written by the members and followed by a general discussion. Membership was limited to twenty-five. The first meetings were held at members' homes and followed by refreshments. At the end of the Club's calendar year (October-May), a banquet was held at which a prominent person was invited to address the Club.

The Club remained strong and active despite one episode of disbanding due to lack of interest and attendance. On September 28, 1908, the Men's Literary Club officially disbanded. By the next month, a group of men reorganized the Club and it continued to operate as before. Subjects of papers were varied and reflected the interests of the men, many of whom were lawyers, merchants, bankers, clergymen, physicians, and educators. "The 8 Hour Day," "International Relations," "The Modern High School," "Confidence," and "The Machine Worker's Personality" were examples of some of the papers presented. Although the research interests of the members continued to be an important aspect of the Club, in its later years, the Club became more social and included activities with family and friends.

Scope and Content

The strength of the Men's Literary Club collection lies in the completeness of the minutes (1899-1944), membership lists (1899-1946), and Club calendars (1903-1954), which contain a listing of officers, members and the papers presented at the meetings. The minutes provide details on how the Club was organized and administered, while the Club calendars, specifically the listing of papers presented, provide insight into the interests and concerns of the Club's members. It is unfortunate, however, that only two original papers--one on India and the other an executive report--are included in this collection. The actual papers would have provided much more information on members' concerns and values.

Also included in the collection are two memorial tributes to members as well as thank-you notes for other such tributes, a guest speaker list (1909-1939) and a listing by member's name of the papers presented (1900-1940).

Series Description


December 1899-June 1944
Arranged chronologically
Describes business conducted at meetings, including planning of programs, amending the constitution and reporting of finances. Also includes correspondence, banquet programs and membership attendance.

Arranged chronologically
Includes two pamphlets providing membership lists, status (whether withdrawn, removed, or deceased), bylaws, record of papers presented and an historical sketch of the Club. Also includes a separate listing of members from 1899 to 1940.

Arranged alphabetically by member's name.
A listing of the member, title and date of each paper that the member presented to the Club.

Arranged chronologically
A list providing the date, title of paper and name of speaker.


1927, 1945, n.d.
Arranged chronologically
Thank-you notes to the Club for the memorial tributes sent to the families of deceased members.


1920, February 11, 1946.
Arranged chronologically
Includes two papers--one an executive report on the administration of the Club and the papers presented and the other on the "Government of India."

Memorial tributes to George Feick, Jr. and Dr. Chester B. Bliss.


November 4, 1942.
Newsclipppings regarding the death and funeral of Lester E. Milkey.


1915, 1916, n.d.
Arranged chronologically
Includes menu and program for annual banquet. Some program booklets are included in the minutes.

1903-1954, missing 1909-1910 and 1952-1953.
Arranged chronologically
Calendars contain lists of officers, members, meeting and paper assignments, order of business and bylaws. The 1916-1917 and 1922-1923 calendars also contain a history of the Club and its literary record.


Box 1


  1. Minute Book, December 29, 1899-September 28, 1908
  2. Minute Book, October 19, 1908-May 25, 1914
  3. Minutes, October 12, 1914-May 30, 1917
  4. Minutes, October 8, 1917-May 24, 1920
  5. Minutes, October 11, 1920-May 10, 1926
  6. Minutes, October 11, 1926-May 9, 1932
  7. Minutes, October 10, 1932-May 25, 1936
  8. Minutes, October 12, 1936-May 27, 1939

Box 2


  1. Minutes, October 9, 1939-May 10, 1943
  2. Minutes, September 27, 1943-May 19, 1944
  3. Membership and Summary of Activities, 1899-calendar year 1940/41
  4. Membership and Summary of Activities, 1941-1946
  5. Membership List, 1899-1940s
  6. Papers Presented List, 1900-1940
  7. Guest speaker list, 1909-1939
  8. Memorial tribute correspondence, 1927, 1945, n.d.
  9. Papers, 1920, February 11, 1946
  10. Memorial tributes, 1945
  11. Newsclippings, November 4, 1942
  12. Banquet programs, 1918, 1916, n.d.
  13. Club calendars, 1903-1904, 1904-1905
  14. Club calendars, 1905-1906, 1906-1907, 1907-1908
  15. Club calendars, 1908-1909, 1910-1911, 1911-1912
  16. Club calendars, 1912-1913, 1913-1914, 1914-1915
  17. Club calendars, 1915-1916, 1916-1917, 1917-1918
  18. Club calendars, 1918-1919
  19. Club calendars, 1919-1920, 1920-1921
  20. Club calendars, 1921-1922, 1922-1923, 1923-1924
  21. Club calendars, 1924-1925, 1925-1926, 1926-1927
  22. Club calendars, 1927-1928, 1928-1929, 1929-1930
  23. Club calendars, 1930-1931, 1931-1932, 1932-1933, 1933-1934
  24. Club calendars, 1934-1935, 1935-1936, 1936-1937, 1937-1938
  25. Club calendars, 1938-1939, 1939-1940, 1940-1941
  26. Club calendars, 1941-1942, 1942-1943, 1943-1944
  27. Club calendars, 1944-1945, 1945-1946, 1946-1947
  28. Club calendars, 1947-1948, 1948-1949, 1949-1950
  29. Club calendars, 1950-1951, 1951-1952, 1953-1954

Manuscripts by Subject | Miscellaneous Collections