An account of the charities of Colorado Springs in 1901 would be incomplete without some notice of the Ernest Whitney Boy's Club. The idea of the club originated with Mrs. John Campbell, wife of Judge Campbell of the District Court of El Paso County, later of the Supreme Court of the State! Through her influence others became interested in the movement and the matter was taken up by the Everready Circle of King's Daughters, of which Mrs. F.T. Blackmer was leader. After much thought and consultation it was decided to take definite steps toward the organization and maintenance of a Boy's Club, and in 1893 the Ernest Whitney Boy's Club Association was made a corporate body. Mrs. Campbell was its first President, and under her leadership the work was inaugurated, a vacant store building hired on South Tejon Street, and its doors opened two evenings a week to any boys who might wish to avail themselves of its privileges. The movement proved popular from the start.
The women interested in the club took turns in providing entertainment for the boys, and one or more of them was in attendance every evening. An organ was loaned to the club, games were contributed by interested friends. While magazines and books were solicited and read with much interest. Soon it seemed wise to secure the services of a regular leader, and a young man was engaged to be present every evening the room was open and superintend the boys' work and play. He was ably assisted by the women of the city and the Boy's Club Association has always directed the affairs of the club and worked heartily for its interests. Since the beginning much has been done to make the evenings at the club rooms attractive as well as improving declamation contests have been very popular and the boys have been stimulated t o earnest effort by prizes contributed by store keepers and citizens. Exercises of interest are arranged for the close of the season when the club adjourns for the summer, and the Christmas celebration and an occasional "ice cream social" are always occasions of great popularity.
The room is now open four evenings a week, and classes in carpentry and drawing are open to members of the club. For several years the place of meeting has been on East Costilla Street. A few years ago the Association acquired in part by purchase and in part by gift from the Colorado Springs Company, a lot which has recently been sold at a large advance so that at present the treasury holds the sum of twenty-eight hundred dollars ($2800). With this as a beginning the Association hopes soon to purchase a site for a building and erect a thoroughly modern club house in which results can be accomplished far in advance of what has been possible with the former limited accommodations. The men of the city have not been unmindful of the value of the work and have given financial assistance when necessary. The following report published in the Colorado Springs Gazette after the annual meeting of 1901 gives a concise idea of the present statue of the work.
"The Boy's Club Association of Colorado Springs and vicinity held its annual meeting at the residence of Mrs. F.L. Martin Thursday March 4 at 10:30 A.M. After the regular routine business the following officers were elected to serve during the coming year. President, Mrs. William E. Riddle, First vice president, Mrs. A.S. Denis, Second vice president Mrs. J.B. Gregg, Third vice president, Mrs. C.E. Noble, Directors Mesdames F.T. Blackmer, A.S. Holbrook, C.C. Dickey, H.C. Lowe, E.E. Griswold, A. Korsmeyer, W.W. Williamson, H. McAllister Jr., Charles S. Spragues, W.W. Arnold, J.P. Barnes, William Masi, W.G. Shapcott, C.C. Hamlin, G.C. Hemenway, A. Sutton, S.E. Solly, A.E. Touzalin, C.B. Seldomridge, R. Ashby, F.E. Robinson, A.J. Pearcy, J.R. Robinson, D.N. Heizer, C.M. Williams, G. McClurg, J.F. Humphrey, J.W. Ady, L.A. Giddings, C.L. Tutt, C.E. Palmer, M.G. Nildes, L.R. Ehrich, G.R. Buckman, E.W. Davis, M.W. Hatch, P.C. Heldreth, E.T. Postlethwaite, B.F. Webster, B.H. Bryant, A.T. Grinnell, F.O. Nood, J.C. Conner, Misses Elizabeth Martin and Carrington Secretary, Mrs. E.O. Baker, Treasurer, Mrs. E.T. Eusign. The Boy's Club room at 113 East Costilla Street is open four nights of the week. On Monday and Thursday night the boys may be found around work benches, being taught the use of tool, making useful articles which they take to their homes or sell. Wednesday night the class in drawing meets and is doing excellent work. Saturday is general play night and usually upon this night they are found playing games, reading and also enjoying some good music, and the boys are very fond of their fine piano. There is in the club room a small but well selected library and friends provide boy's papers and also magazines.
Mr. William Baucroft, teacher and director at the club is most ably assisted by his wife. The building fund shows a prosperous growth and the association hopes in the very near future to break ground for a building of their own, suited in every way to manual training and boy's club work. More people seem to realize as time goes on, that in training the boys, many of whom work all day long, they are helping the men of the future."
Mrs. Riddle the present President of the Association brings to the work enthusiasm time and ability, and much of its success is due to her efforts. We look forward to larger things in the future and believe that in the development of our city the Ernest Whitney Boy's Club may be one of the factors working for uprightness, order and stability.
August 4,1901 Sara Coolidge Brooks
(Mrs. Franklin E. Brooks)
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