Scope and Contents
This collection includes correspondence, official records, newspaper articles, program listings and notices, membership proposals, and yearbooks from members of the Century Club in Indianapolis, Indiana and elsewhere in the United States ranging from 1889 to 1935 regarding club organization, membership, duties and activities of members.
Conditions Governing Use
Legal title, copyright, and literary rights reside with Rare Books and Manuscripts, Indiana State Library, Indianapolis, IN. All requests to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted to Rare Books and Manuscripts.
The Century Club of Indianapolis was founded in December, 1888 by Alfred Fremont Potts, with 30 charter members, including: William C. Bobbs, Hilton U. Brown, James W. "Billy" Fesler, William Fortune, Allen Hendricks, William L. Taylor, Charles N. Thompson, and Evans Woollen. The club was organized "as a protest against exclusiveness and old fogyism in club life." It grew to around one hundred members, in addition to non-resident and two honorary members, F. Hopkinson Smith and James Whitcomb Riley. The Century Club had been affiliated with the Indiana Union of Literary Clubs since 1892. Members included Louis J. Bailey, Ernest P. Bicknell, Jacob Piatt Dunn, William P. "Pink" Fishback, John L. Griffiths, Meredith "Nick" Nicolson, and George Reisner, among others. The club originally met weekly on Tuesdays, though the meetings grew less frequent over time, and required members to present papers, of their own topic, regularly. Potential members were recommended by current members and then elected or rejected. Dues varied between $4.00 and $8.00, per annum.
There were frequent banquets (some in honor of Indiana writers) and outings and a guest night each month, which non-resident men and women were allowed to attend, upon the invitation of a member. Guest speakers included Anthony Hope Hawkins, author of Prisoner of Zenda.
Information found within the collection.
Hendricks, Allen. The First Years of the Century Club; A Paper. Indianapolis, IN: The Century Club, 1937.