Center for Archival Collections

Reference Services | Manuscripts by Subject | CAC Homepage

Modern Priscilla Club (Sandusky, Ohio) - MS 440

Introduction | Agency History | Scope and Content | Series DescriptionInventory

Introduction

The records of the Modern Priscilla Club date from 1905 to 1972. The history and activities of this Sandusky, Ohio women's literary club are reflected in minutes, membership records, correspondence, obituaries, a financial ledger, newsclippings, and club yearbooks.

The records were donated to the Women's Studies Archives Project of the Center for Archival Collections in October, 1985, by Helen M. Hansen, curator of the Follett House Museum, Sandusky, Ohio. Literary and property rights have been dedicated to the public and duplication is permitted for the purpose of preservation and scholarly research. The register was prepared by April Dougal, graduate student at the Center for Archival Collections, in February, 1986, and revised by Marilyn Levinson, Curator of Manuscripts in February, 1992.

Agency History

The Modern Priscilla Club was organized in 1904. The ladies adopted their constitution in 1905 and associated with the Sandusky Federation of Women's Clubs from 1916 to 1923, and with the Erie County Federation from 1919 to 1961.

The stated objective of the Modern Priscillas was "the intellectual and social development of members." Their motto was "By persistance and perseverance great things are gained." Officers included: President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, and Critic. The office of Critic was eliminated in 1931, and the position of Librarian was added in 1907 and dropped in 1925. There was also an executive Committee composed of the officers and two members chosen by the President.

The first officers recorded were for 1905-1906, and included Mrs. Alice Prout, President; Miss Marietta Harrington, Vice President; Mrs. G.F. Huntley, Secretary; Miss Katharine E. Hastings, Treasurer; and Miss Elva Beatty, Critic. These officers plus Mrs. L.E. Hastings and Mrs. B.J. Ford were on the Executive Committee. Other charter members included Mrs. A.E. Moyer, Mrs. V.L. Sutton, Mrs. H.H. Wood, Mrs. J.E. Bragg, Mrs. G.B. Ramsdell, Mrs. Josephine H. Starr, Mrs. B.H. Rogers, Mrs. S.C. Prout, and Mrs. J.F. Harrington.

The Modern Priscilla Club met every third Saturday until 1931, when they were changed to the third Saturday of each month. The club year began in September and ended in August with election of officers. In June, the Priscillas held their annual club party.

Meetings generally consisted of reading the minutes of the previous meeting; old and new business; a topical response to roll call; a program which included a speech, paper, movie or recitation; adjournment; and social time.

Membership was limited to 12 from 1904-1907, when it was expanded to 15. Then, in 1909, it was raised once more to 18, where it remained. Dues were 25 cents a year until 1925, when it was increased to one dollar. Fines were assessed for such violations as failing to take the alloted part in the program, failure to answer roll call with the required response, or serving more than six articles for lunch.

Scope and Content

The minutes of the Modern Priscilla Club provide some information on general club procedures and the social activities after the meetings. The minutes are from April 1949 to October 1973, with some minor gaps. The information that can be gleaned from the minutes is primarily on special presentations and motions.

The bulk of information in the collection can be found in the yearbooks, which date from 1905 to 1972. These contain records of the annual topics, such a literary works, periods, and writers; countries and their customs, literature, poetry, and music; art; the Bible and religion; and occasionally a topic based on current events. The yearbooks also yield information on who gave presentations; guest speakers; the hostess of the meeting; names of members, officers, committee members, and in later years, a list of deceased members. There are gaps in the yearbooks, most notably between 1933 and 1936, with others missing throughout the sequence. The yearbooks provide an outline of the types of subjects the ladies were interest in, both socially and academically.

The financial ledgers are organized chronologically and give accounts, though sketchy, of the expenditures of the club, such as cards, flowers, donations, and minor business expenses. The financial ledgers date from October 1937 to May 1970, with very few gaps.

Series Description

PROCEEDINGS

MINUTES
Sept 1949-Oct 1973
Arranged chronologically
2 volumes.
Contains notes on meeting dates and hostesses, presentations given, number of members present, and social activities. Occasionally a treasurer's report is included.

CONSTITUTION AND BYLAWS
1931
Contains objective, meeting times, dues, fines, officers, membership limitations and procedures, defined duties of officers, and election procedures.

MEMBERSHIP RECORDS
Sept 1956-Aug 1970; Oct 1971-Sept 1973
Arranged chronologically
Contains yearly membership records and attendance.

CORRESPONDENCE

CORRESPONDENCE - INCOMING
Feb 1960-May 1966
Arranged chronologically
Contains letters and notes from Erie County Federation of Women's Clubs, thank you notes, resignations from the club, and acceptances into the club.

LITERARY PRODUCTIONS

OBITUARIES
1949-1969
Arranged chronologically
Contains newspaper clippings, reminiscences of deceased members, thank you notes for sympathy arrangements, tributes, poems, and "resolutions of respect".

FINANCIAL DOCUMENTS

LEDGER
October 1937-May 1970
Arranged chronologically
Contains itemized expenses and dues, and total monthly disbursements.

SCRAPBOOKS AND SCRAPBOOK MATERIALS

NEWSCLIPPINGS
1954-1966
Arranged chronologically
Contains club news, 50th anniversary article, human interest story on one member, Erie County Federation of Women's Clubs articles.

PRINTED MATERIAL

YEARBOOKS
1905-1932, 1937-1972
Arranged chronologically
Contains notes on speakers, special programs, roll call subject, quotes, hostess' name, and membership lists. Constitution and by-laws included until 1931.

Inventory

Box 1

  1. Minute book, Sept 17, 1949-Sept 11, 1965
  2. Minute book, Oct 6, 1965-Oct 1972
  3. Constitution and bylaws, 1931
  4. Membership rosters, Sept 1956-Sept 1973
  5. Correspondence - Incoming, Feb 1960-Aug 1969
  6. Obituaries, 1949-1970
  7. Ledger, Oct 1937-May 1970
  8. Newsclippings, 1954-1966, n.d.

Box 2

  1. Yearbooks, 1905-1920
  2. Yearbooks, 1920-1937
  3. Yearbooks, 1938-1959
  4. Yearbooks, 1959-1972

Manuscripts by Subject | Women's Studies Collections