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Monday Afternoon Club (Fort Madison, Iowa)



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.]

Found in 1 Collection or Record:

Monday Afternoon Club (Fort Madison, Iowa) records

Identifier: IWA0526

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

Dates: 1900-2016