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[84]

The men's Club

Fred L. Coburn
The suggestion of Rev. L. M. Powers that the social life of the membership in the church could be greatly strengthened by the organization of a men's club, whose work should aim to quicken a spirit of human brotherhood, and to advocate a deeper feeling of Christian kindness toward each other within the church circle, and to many without, led to the first meeting, which was held in the vestry on the evening of March 3, 1898.

Its first president was John F. Mills, and the board of officers was completed by the choice of Frank M. Russell as vice-president; Fred L. Coburn as secretary; F. M. Wilson as treasurer; and Charles S. Soule, Frank M. Hawes, and I. H. Wiley as executive committee.

The meetings were frequently held, and the attendance was very gratifying, for the programmes offered for the consideration of the members were invariably of a high order. Within a month from its first meeting, thirty-eight new members were enrolled, many of whom were in no other way connected with the church.

It has been the policy of the executive committee to secure talent of a wide range, of good reputation, and of abundant worth for entertainment and instruction. The labor performed by the board of officers along these lines has been wonderfully successful from the beginning, as a brief recital of some of the names of our entertainers will indicate: Rev. J. M. Pullman, D. D., Dr. E. H. Capen, D. D., Rev. George W. Bicknell, D. D., General Bancroft, Rev. C. W. Biddle, D. D., Frederick G. Pettigrove, Rev. R. Perry Bush, George W. Wilson, Judge W. H. H. Emmons, Mayor Edward Glines, Rev. A. E, [85] Winship, Hon. Robert Luce, Rev. Frank O. Hall, Koda Koaymar, Dr. Parker, of Harvard College, Rev. Peter MacQueen, Brigadier-General Aaron S. Daggett, Colonel Edwin C. Bennett, and many others, whose names will readily occur to those of our members who were fortunate enough to be present at the particular entertainments at which they presided.

It should be mentioned here, and gratefully, too, that many of them, in fact, most of them, cheerfully contributed their services gratuitously to the cause, and oftentimes, too, at considerable personal inconvenience. They were satisfied with the rather meagre reward of grateful and enthusiastic audiences, and the consciousness of having aided in the commendable objects of the club.

It has been the custom of the club now for many years to set aside one evening of the season as Ladies' Night, which should be foremost in many respects of all the club offerings. One of the features would be a banquet, followed by a varied entertainment of musical and literary excellence, the artists frequently coming from long distances to be present.

The rapid growth of the club under the vigorous administration of its first president, Mr. Mills, and his able corps of officers amply shows how well and heartily were these efforts supported by our members.

Isaiah H. Wiley was our second president, being elected December 21, 1899, and continuing in office for six years. The other officers were F. W. Marden, vice-president, A. M. Haines, secretary, F. M. Wilson, treasurer, and Rev. H. D. Maxwell, Harry Haven, and A. E. Southworth as executive committee, who have ably assisted him in his many and varied successes, both from the standpoint of rapid gains in membership and from the delightful programmes brought for our consideration.

The season of 1904 opened with the following board [86] of officers: President, I. H. Wiley; vice-president, F. W. Marden; secretary, Roy K. Goodill; treasurer, F. L. Coburn; executive committee, A. M. Haines, F. DeWitt Lapham, and Frank Lowell; and a membership of 125 members, all of whom entered cordially and with a harmonious and co-operating ambition into the social and self-educating principles of the club. There seemed to be a strong undercurrent of good feeling, and a desire to attain larger and larger successes. The first of the programmes for the season was soon arranged, indicating that a good beginning had been made, and that all now needed was a continuance of the spirit that animated the start, and which rapidly developed with the season.

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