Skip to main content

Riverside Culture Club records

Identifier: MSS-062

Scope and Contents

The collection includes material pertaining to the club's activities and involvement with the Muncie community. Letters, treasurer's reports, news clippings, photographs, and pamphlets provide information about the club from the date of its founding in 1902 through 1975. Certificates, such as those for community improvement and for support of the General Federation of Women's Clubs' CARE program, indicate some of the club's civic contributions. Financial statements and records, as well as the minutes of each meeting ranging from 1913 to 1975, further describe club activities. Several similar accounts of the history of the club written by members from approximately 1926 to 1955 are also included in the collection.

Newspaper clippings, from 1918 through 1975, mostly describe club meetings and the special topics presented at each. Earlier news clippings contain a more detailed description of program topics. Also included in the collection is the short story, Mother Julia, written by a few of the members and published in The Muncie Sunday Star in September 1934. Club elections, book reviews, foreign travel, club anniversaries, and obituaries of members make up the remainder of the news clippings.

Annual yearbooks, dating from 1907 through 1974, provide a brief description of the themes for each meeting and list both local and corresponding members of the club. Five scrapbooks, ranging from 1902 through 1962, include a wide variety of materials such as news clippings, photographs, memorials, programs and duplicate copies of yearbooks. In the miscellaneous folder is a list of charter members in 1902, a program hand-out of a 1919 musical presented by the club, a few writings from club members, a list of the club's study themes for 1934, several loose reports of club minutes, and two similar pamphlets entitled Mary Stewart’s Collect.


  • Creation: 1907-1975

Language of Materials

Materials entirely in English.

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Legal title, copyright, and literary rights reside with Archives and Special Collections, Ball State University Libraries, Muncie, IN. All requests to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted to Archives and Special Collections.

Historical Note

On November 11, 1902, a group of women from Riverside in Muncie, Indiana met to form a club for women in the area. On that day, nine ladies were present in the home of Mrs. Frank Mann: Mrs. C. E. Crandall, Mrs. H. O. Hoppes, Mrs. Frank Gorton, Mrs. James Orr, Mrs. F. A. Shaw, Mrs. Fred Crandall Mrs. Roy Martin, Mrs. F. A. Neff, and Mrs. Frank Williams. The first officers were Mrs. Mann as President and Mrs. Neff as Secretary Treasurer. Initially, the group called themselves the Culture Club, as suggested by Mrs. Fred Crandall, but later was changed to the Riverside Culture Club.

In 1904, the club became a member of the Delaware County Federation of Clubs. In 1905, it adopted its first constitution. According to the constitution, objectives of the club were the promotion of intellectual and social improvement of its members and the assistance in civic and welfare interests of the community. It was decided that meetings would be held every two weeks on Wednesdays. The club joined the Indiana State Federation of Women's Clubs in 1906.

During the first ten years, members presented programs on topics such as travel, religion, domestic science, art, various women throughout the ages, and parliamentary procedure. However, literature was the most heavily discussed subject during most of the meetings. Often members read books or papers and gave reviews of these works.

Throughout its existence, the group made financial contributions to causes such as the Visiting Nurse Association, the New Castle Hospital, the Red Cross, and the Camp Isanogel Fund. During the late 1950's and early 1960's, the club sold goods made by the Board of Industrial Aid and Vocational Rehabilitation for the Blind. Members also did sewing at Ball Memorial Hospital and made cancer pads for the Cancer Society as community projects. Other club activities included luncheons, tours, plays, holiday celebrations, and annual picnics and anniversary parties.

The club disbanded in 1975 due to the aging membership. This collection was donated by Mrs. John Lewellen, daughter of the last president of the club, Julia M. Harris.


2.4 Cubic Feet (4 boxes)


Arranged in the following series:

Series 1: Riverside Culture Club records, 1948-1974

Series 2: Riverside Culture Club constitution and bylaws, 1923-1976

Series 3: Riverside Culture Club financial records, 1922-1965

Series 4: Riverside Culture Club histories, 1926-1963

Series 5: Riverside Culture Club minutes, 1913-1975

Series 6: Riverside Culture Club newspaper clippings, 1918-1975

Series 7: Riverside Culture Club programs, 1921-1969

Series 8: Riverside Culture Club yearbooks, 1919-1971

Series 9: Riverside Culture Club scrapbooks, 1902-1962

Series 10: Riverside Culture Club photographs, 1949-1952

Custodial History

This collection was received by Archives and Special Collections as a donation from Mrs. John Lewellen on 1983/10/24.


No further additions are expected.

Related Archival Materials

Materials relating to this collection may be found in the following collections in Archives and Special Collections, Ball State University Libraries, Muncie IN:

Women`s History Resources in Archives and Special Collections

Processing Information

Collection processing completed 1983/10/24 by Mrs. John Lewellen. EAD finding aid created 2011/05/06 by Helen Boyer. EAD finding aid revised 2011/05/06 by Bethany Fiechter.

Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script

Repository Details

Part of the Stoeckel Archives of Local History Repository

Alexander M. Bracken Library
2000 W. University Avenue
Muncie Indiana 47306 USA