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About this collection

Images from the Irvington Union of Clubs

 

 

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Irvington, the classic suburb of Indianapolis, was known for its clubs. One of the earliest organized was the Irvington Woman’s Club, which was founded in 1890 by Grace Julian Clarke, and in the following years numerous other clubs were formed, each devoted to unique interests.  In 1926, at the suggestion of Mrs. Elijah Jordan, these clubs came together to form the Irvington Union of Clubs in order to work as one voice on projects that would benefit the Irvington community. Eventually more than thirty clubs became members of the Irvington Union of Clubs, with each club appointing a president and a designated alternate to represent their respective club at meetings.

 

The Irvington Union of Clubs was instrumental in securing a public high school for the community – Thomas Carr Howe High School. It also sponsored the Irvington Art Exhibit, an annual exhibition displaying the works of the Irvington Group, during the 1930s, and it was influential in the building of Community Hospital in the 1950s.  The group founded the Art League of Irvington in 1962, and later it was instrumental in the formation of the Irvington Historic Landmarks Foundation, which acquired and restored the Benton House.  In the 1980s, the organization sponsored the listing of Irvington on the National Register of Historic Places. By the 1990s, several of the constituent clubs ceased meeting and the Irvington Union of Clubs slowly faded away as more contemporary organizations took up similar objectives.  

 

This collection includes minutes, scrapbooks, photographs, letters and documents from the 1930s to the 1980s and traces the activities of the many clubs comprising the Irvington Union of Clubs: Irvington Monday Club, Irvington Tuesday Club, Irvington Fortnightly Club, Irvington Catholic Woman’s Study Club, Irvington Chautauqua Club, Irvington Coterie Club, Irvington Home Study Club, Irvington Mothers’ Study Club, Irvington Quest Club, Irvington Shakespeare Coterie Club, and the Irvington Social Study Club. Important documentation of above-mentioned projects can be found, as well as many smaller events throughout the club’s tenure.

 

Special thanks to the Irvington Historical Society for loaning us this collection for digitization.

  

Made possible by Friends of the Library through gifts to the Indianapolis Public Library Foundation. 

 

 

 

 

 

 
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