Sunday, October 7, 2012

Reapers Club

Hi everyone,  Attached is some information on the Reapers Club written by Ruth May Fox.  I have concluded that Margeret Stewart Gardiner was a member of the Reapers Club.  There were 22 members in the Club in 1899.  I will be sending out a couple of clippings that mention her and the club.  The Reapers Club was one of the clubs founded by Emmeline Wells so that may be why Clarence referred to his mother as one of "Emmeline's girls".  I wish I knew where the minutes of the Reapers Club is.  Also, if I ever get a chance I would love to go through Emmeline Wells' journals at BYU to see if they mention Margaret.  Nathan

"The Press Club usually met on Saturday evenings, sometimes at the homes of the members but more often at the Exponent Office or at Dr. Ellis R. Shipp’s office in the Constitution Building.  In this club I, as well as other members, had a turn in every office from Treasurer to President.  We were encouraged, almost required by direct assignment, to speak as well as to write.  Dr. Ellis R. Shipp often entertained the members of the club at her home and Aunt Em’s birthday was always celebrated.  The birthday observance party in February 1897 was held in my home in the Fourteenth Ward.

This group entertained many noted visitors.  I recall two Misses Chase from Boston, Dr. Elliott, a speaker of some renown; Mrs. Keeney, Mrs. Yates, an ardent suffragette from California; Miss Beecher, a relative of the famous preacher by that name.  The ladies of the Trans-Mississippi Congress were entertained at Saltair where Mrs. Bryan, wife of the Great Commoner, made what she declared was her first political speech.  J. Marion Crawford, a noted writer and lecturer, was given a reception.  Even royalty did not escape the hospitality of that energetic group.  I remember one particular case that happened in Dr. Shipp’s office.  It was a very warm evening and many of the ladies were already seated when I entered.  As usual, being very informal and sociable, I wielded my fan and walked gaily around the room, fanning everyone present, when to my amazement I had fanned a countess to whom I had not even been presented

Only those whose writings had appeared in print were eligible for membership in the Press Club.  Thus, many prominent women were excluded.  Accordingly, Sister Wells promoted the organization of another association, The Reapers’ Club, having for its purpose “the social and intellectual development” of its members.  This group held its first meeting October 3, 1892 and continued for many years.  Because the meetings were held in the afternoon, I could not attend regularly; home duties as the mother of a large family demanding my time.  However, I participated occasionally and had opportunity to develop my ability to express myself in prepared and extemporaneous addresses."