The Saturday Club – Red Cross Emergency Hospital for Influenza patients

The Saturday Club

At the annual meeting held in April 1887, it was voted to reduce the dues from three dollars to two dollars. However, “All men becoming life members pay $3.00 and this gives them a membership for life.” Apparently not many availed themselves of this opportunity, for at a meeting held a year later it was “moved that the money be refunded to these gentlemen who have paid their dues for this year and that those who have assisted us be elected honorary members.” Dr. Egbert and Dr. Abbott being the only ones who had paid these dues, the secretary was instructed to return $3.00 to each one.

When Mrs. Stocker was elected president in 1891, she said in her inaugural address, “The Club movement for women is a factor for modern progress. It has stimulated an intellectual and social life without in the least detracting from the duties of wifehood and motherhood. On the contrary, the conscience as regards these duties has been quickened, the ideas broadened and activities stimulated. It is impossible for men to comprehend the narrow groove in which the majority of women have ben forced to live, more and have their being in the past. Club life has revealed women to each other; it has established fellowship on purely human foundations and has opened the doors for a new Heaven and a new earth in which all differences are melted in a simple gospel of unity.”

Club House Built

On October 17, 1898, the board authorized the president and secretary to sign a contract with J. D. Lengel of Wayne for the building of a club house on a lot purchased from the Wayne Estate. Mrs. Ralston C. Ware was chairman of the building committee. David Knickerbocker Boyd was the architect and the total cost of lot and building was $5,145! Then in June, 1912, during the presidency of Mrs. Marshall H. Smith, the contract for alteration to the club house was signed with Mrs. Parke Shoch as chairman of the building committee. These alterations included changes in the basement to provide a dining room and the erection of a stage at the west end of the building. This is the building as the community knows it now, except for the enclosure of the porch which was done in 1930. It is the oldest Woman’s Club House in Delaware County and one of the oldest in the state.

In October, 1907, the twelfth annual meeting of the State Federation of Pennsylvania Women’s Clubs was held at the Devon Inn with the Saturday Club as hostess club. Some four hundred women from all parts of the State were in attendance. Mrs. Sayen (then Mrs. Campbell) was State president at the time.

Aids War Effort

During the years of World War I, the Club devoted much time to Red Cross, to talks on food conservation, to canteen luncheon, to Liberty-Loan programs. In October, 1918, the Club House was turned into a Red Cross Emergency Hospital to care for influenza patients who could not gain admittance to regular hospitals. The children’s ward was in a large tent outside the Club House.

Again in World War II, the Club dedicated itself to the Red Cross by giving the use of its building as an emergency hospital which was also used for all Blood Donor days; by having surgical dressings classes and by maintaining membership in the Wayne Camp and Hospital Committee.

Today the Saturday Club functions as a departmental club with membership in the Delaware County Federation of Womens Clubs, the Pennsylvania State Federation and the General Federation of Women’s Clubs. With a membership of more than 200 it meets each Tuesday, October through May, alternating stated meetings with departmental work. Now more than ever before, the Club House is the center of much community activity. Here the First Church of Christ Scientist of Wayne holds its meetings; the Wayne Footlighters give their plays and various dancing groups are in session throughout the week. In addition other community groups meet here less frequently from time to time.

Presidents of the Club during its sixty-three years of its existence include in the order of their terms of office: Mrs. Jane Campbell, Miss Anna Markley, Miss Buxton, Mrs. George R. Stocker, Mrs. E. L. Campbell, Mrs. Charles B. Stilwell, Mrs. Henry Birkenbine, Mrs. Stilwell (2nd term); Mrs. W. B. McKellar, Mrs. George M. Wells, Mrs. C. W. Ruschenberger, Mrs. R. C. Ware, Mrs. E. L. Campbell, Mrs. W. A. Nichols, Mrs. Clarke J. Wood, Mrs. M. W. Orme, Mrs. Parke J. Schoch, Mrs. Marshall H. Smith, Mrs. Henry Roever, Mrs. Smith (2nd term); Mrs. W. Allen Barr, Mrs. John J. Mitchell, Jr., Mrs. Walter H. Dance, Mrs. C. H. Howson, Mrs. Henry Roever, Mrs. F. A. McCord, Mrs. E. E. Trout, Mrs. W. W. Crawford, Mrs. T. Magill Patterson, Mrs. H. H. Kynett, Mrs. F. A. Wallace, Mrs. J.S. freeman, Mrs. A. E. Livingston, and Mrs. Richard Howson, the current president.