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Monday Afternoon Club (Fort Madison, Iowa) records

Identifier: IWA0526

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Scope and Contents

The Monday Afternoon Club records date from 1900 to 2003 and measure 3 linear feet. The records are arranged in six series: Historical information, Anniversaries, Minutes, Yearbooks, Photographs and Scrapbooks. The Historical information series consists of account books, annual reports, membership lists and several drafts of the club's constitution and by-laws. This series also contains limited correspondence, citations from the Iowa Federation of Women's Clubs, a few reports presented at club meetings and four club histories written for various anniversaries throughout the club's first one hundred years. The Anniversaries series consists of programs, congratulatory cards, and newspaper articles written for several of the Monday Afternoon Club's key celebrations.

The Minutes series contains the minutes of meetings from 1907 through 2001 and records nearly one hundred years of the club's history. The Yearbooks series adds to that history with one hundred years of programs listing topics that were studied and discussed by club members.

The Photographs series includes a 1931 photograph complete with identifications, photographs from the ninety-fifth and one hundredth anniversaries, a trip to Illinois in 1989, and several undated photographs. There is also a folder of original newspaper clippings that include photographs of club members. Photocopies of these articles are located throughout the location.

The Scrapbooks series consists of three scrapbooks. There are both photocopies and the originals of two of the scrapbooks, one from the fiftieth anniversary in 1949 and an earlier one dated 1930-1931. The fiftieth anniversary scrapbook contains newspaper clippings, correspondence, photographs and a guest list. The earlier scrapbook consists of newspaper announcements and descriptions of club meetings and is decorated with colorful drawings done by Mrs. C. W. Smith. A third scrapbook is from 1980 and contains programs, correspondence, newspaper clippings and photographs.


  • Creation: 1900-2016


Conditions Governing Access

The papers are open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright held by the donor has been transferred to the University of Iowa.

However, copyright status for some collection materials may be unknown. Transmission or reproduction of materials protected by U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.) beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owner. Works not in the public domain cannot be commercially exploited without permission of the copyright owners. Responsibility and potential liability based on copyright infringement for any use rests exclusively and solely with the user. Users must properly acknowledge the Iowa Women’s Archives, The University of Iowa Libraries, as the source of the material. For further information, visit

Biographical / Historical

The Monday Afternoon Club began in the fall of 1898, when ten ladies in Ft. Madison felt the urge to form a cultural club focused on extensive study and reading after finishing a Chautauqua club program. During the first year there was no plan of study. Topics were chosen by individual presenters, with programs mainly focused on Bible stories. By the end of 1899 it was decided that the club should be called The Monday Afternoon Club. Its flower would be the goldenrod, its colors purple and yellow, and its motto-- "There is a firefly in a Southern clime that only shineth when upon the wing, so it is with the mind, when it rests, it darkens."

Membership was limited to twenty-five, with dues set at fifty cents yearly. Programs were based around annual themes voted on by the members, such as History of the Jews, 1899-1900; The Louisiana Treaty, 1903-1904; and The Modern Drama, 1918-1919. The Monday Afternoon Club met every Monday afternoon at 2:30 from October until May for the first fifty-eight years of its existence. Two papers were read at each meeting. Roll call was answered with a quotation from the same author, thus broadening the reading; and one person led the current event discussion. After the presentation of papers and the conclusion of business the group broke for tea. There was a five cent charge for tardiness, a ten cent fine for absence (unless detained by illness or absence from the city), and a one dollar fine for failure to provide a paper when due on the program.

As of 1999, the club was meeting on a bimonthly basis, excluding January and February. One paper was presented at each meeting, which began at 1:30 and no longer included refreshments. The Monday Afternoon Club joined the Iowa Federation of Women's Clubs in 1906, and the General Federation in 1919. In 1973 the members voted to terminate their affiliation with the Federation and concentrate on the original purpose of the club: study and fellowship. [Historical information taken from the multiple club histories contained in the Monday Afternoon Club records.]


3.00 Linear Feet

Language of Materials



Cultural women's club in Fort Madison, Iowa which focused on intellectual improvement through study and reading.

Method of Acquisition

The records (donor no. 915) were donated by Gwen Z. Brown in 2004.

Lisa Mott, 2004.
Language of description
Script of description
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Repository Details

Part of the Iowa Women's Archives Repository

100 Main Library
University of Iowa Libraries
Iowa City IA 52242 IaU
319-335-5900 (Fax)