Researchers looking for notes on Meramec Valley Genealogical and Historical Society history uncovered a handwritten manuscript that details the origin of the library in Pacific.
Long before it became a branch of the Scenic Regional Library, a group of forward thinking citizens, who called themselves the Twentieth Century Study Club, became a federated club with the mission of creating a library in Pacific.
Genealogy researchers found the old manuscript when looking for material to help them acknowledge the role that Scenic Regional has played in the collection of family histories in the Pacific area.
The Twentieth Century Club, organized in November 1937, contacted other federated clubs in the tri-county area. Within months, the club received donated books from the Webster Groves Public Library, The Friday Club of St. Louis and St. Louis Public Library. The following year the Tuesday Club of St. Louis donated 60 books.
To raise funds to buy more books, the Pacific club organized a series of rummage and bake sales and a comedic community revue titled, “A Womanless Wedding.”
The club selected a high school sophomore each year to send to Jefferson City on a study trip.
Officers of the Twentieth Club were members of the leading families of the time. They endeared themselves to every other club in the community. They solicited books from them and in turn supported their programs and fundraisers.
The club helped the Lions Club to collect toys for needy children at Christmas and sewed clothes for dolls that were donated for the project. They helped the Junior Chamber of Commerce in its efforts to collect clothing for children in an orphans home.
When World War II came along, club members wrapped bandages, sold war bonds, raised funds for the local USO and donated their rationing stamps to help needy families.
The five-page document, which appeared to be recopied minutes of the club’s meetings from 1937 to 1954, was found among the early papers of the MVGHS, was the handwritten manuscript detailing the club and its contribution to the community.
Genealogical Society Vice President Ruth Muehler, often with the aid of a magnifying glass, read the tiny script to Chris Branson, who rewrote it in large looping cursive, so it could be typed as part of the unpublished history of the society.
“We say all our material is available to the public,” Muehler said, “but occasionally we find a jewel like this that we didn’t know we had.”
The paper noted that the Twentieth Century Club listed 34 charter members:
Mrs. Jas. Anding Miss Agnes Booth, Mrs A. L. McNay, Miss Claire McNay, Mrs. C.R. Salley, Mrs. E. F. Harris, Mrs Ray Powers, Mrs. W. H. Justice, Mrs. J. L. Thiebes, Mrs. A. S. E. Corbett, Mrs. D. B. Ecker;
Mrs. Adam Brandt, Mrs. Richard Orr, Mrs. Delber Wilson, Mrs. Mildred Zitzman, Mrs. Ralph Anderson, Mrs. Eugene Gross, Mrs. Fred Coy, Mrs. D Moore, Mrs. Edw. Zitzman, Mrs. Glenn Gross;
Mrs. E. L. Howard, Mrs. Vera Close, Mrs. H. W. Olm, Mrs. Marie Wallace, Mrs. F. B. Runge, Mrs. J. J. Mauthe, Mrs. Eula Lightfoot, Mrs. J.H. Anderson, Mrs. Otto Nut, Mrs. Lucy Grolton;
Miss Elda Zitzman, Mrs. A. B. Coe and Mrs. J. O. Reynolds, resigned.