Original purpose of the club was as a non-partisan open forum and disinterested service for free discussion of social, economic and political issues. Founder of the club was Stiles P. Jones (1862-1920), who worked for various newspapers including having the St Paul Pioneer Press and the Minneapolis Journal. Stiles founded the club in 1906 as a place where political, social, and economic issues could be threshed out in free debate. Meeting places included Daytonâs Tea Room, the Dyckman Grill Room, Y.M.C.A, Andrews Hotel, and Donaldsonâs Tea Rooms. The club met weekly with scheduled speakers for the months of January through the middle of June and then from middle of September to end of December. Membership included men and women; dues were required. Topics for programs included civil rights, immigration act, foreign affairs, political activities and events. The first members were also members of The Voters League, of which Stiles P. Jones was the secretary.
Many community leaders were active in the club and the speakers were local, national as well as international figures, including: Victor Berger, Thomas Schall, William Jennings Bryan, Louis D. Brandeis, John Haynes Holmes, Jean Longuet, Francis Neilson, Jane Addams, Jeannette Rankin, Alice Paul, Keir Hardie, A.E. Russell, Salvamini, W.E.B. DuBois, Sen. George Norris, Sen. Claude Pepper, Clarence Darrow, Hubert H. Humphrey, Harold Stassen.
Membership included: Frank Melloy Anderson, professor of History, Dartmouth; Judge William A. Anderson; John W. Bennett, Tribune reporter; Governor Elmer Benson; John Berg, attorney; Major B.F. Bowler, State Dairy Commissioner; B.H. Bowler (son of B.F. Bowler); Dr. E. J. Brown; Carl J. Buell; Sampson R. Child; Judge Paul Guilford; Senator Hubert Humphrey; Luther Jaeger, member of the Board of Education; Waldron Jerome; Stiles P. Jones; Judge Louis I. Larson; Judge William Larson; Governor John Lind; Judge Gustavus Loevinger; George S. Loftus (leader, Non-Partisan League; co-founder, Equity Co-operative Exchange); Rep. James Manahan; Homer Morris; Dr. Minor Morris; Governor Floyd B. Olson; Hon. Sidney M. Owen, University Regent; A.W. Rankin, professor of Pedagogy, State Inspector of High Schools; Representative Henry Reigan; Dr. Henrik Shipstead (dentist; U.S. senator; S.A. Stockwell, State Senator; David S. Swenson professor, U. of Minnesota; Board of Education member; E.M. Tousley; Willis M. West, professor of History, University of Minnesota.
Description of Collection
Five boxes of materials which include written histories of the club, articles of incorporation, correspondence, finances for the club, membership material, programs for the club covering the years 1932-1952, and political resolutions as approved by the club. The bulk of the detailed material on the club covers the years 1938-1948.
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