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University Club of Evanston (Evanston, Ill.)

 Organization

The University Club of Evanston was established in 1904 to increase fellowship between college men and to emulate the university clubs established in other cities.

On February 13th, 1904, fourteen members of the Northwestern faculty met at the Avenue House Hotel on Chicago Avenue to organize a club--The Northwestern University Club--under the presidency of Charles Beach Atwell. Two weeks later, a constitution was adopted for the club. The club’s name was changed to The University Club of Evanston, Illinois. The club’s plan was later adapted to include all college graduates residing in Evanston.

The purposes of the club were to promote good fellowship and social intercourse among college men in the city of Evanston; to provide a place for rest and recreation for the members; to provide a library and a reading room with such literature as college men enjoy; to provide a headquarters for non-resident members when visiting in the city and to furnish chambers for guests from out-of-town ad for a few resident bachelor members. The club was also to house and maintain a dining room or restaurant for members.

The club’s constitution offered four grades of membership: honorary, active, associate, and non-resident. All male college graduates living in Evanston and non-resident graduates of Northwestern University were eligible for membership. Annual fees varied from five to twenty-five dollars. While most of the club’s members were graduates and faculty of Northwestern University, its members also represented Harvard, Union, Boston, Wesleyan Princeton, Clark, Johns Hopkins, Syracuse, Cornell, Rochester, Ohio Wesleyan, Toronto, Michigan, Chicago, Wisconsin, and Minnesota.

The first meeting place of the club was a frame house at 722 Emerson Street (1904-1905). Club rooms were comfortably furnished and open to members at all times. Saturday nights are “club nights,” during which professors, doctors, preachers, lawyers, editors, teachers, and business men gather to socialize. There was special entertainment and a wide variety of speakers of local, national, and international acclaim.

In 1905, a house at 1741 Hinman was leased until a new building at 1704 Hinman was completed in 1910. This became the home of the University Club until 1981.

There were many changes in the composition of membership, but it was always a private club for members of Evanston’s professional and business community and Northwestern faculty. For many years it was a club for men with college degrees only. Women were originally invited for dinner, dances, and special lectures on one night per week, but in 1980 became eligible for membership.

The University Club of Evanston vacated 1704 Hinman in 1981, after 70 years in the building; subsequent meetings were held in the University Club Room in the Orrington Hotel at 1710 Orrington.

Found in 1 Collection or Record:

Records of the University Club of Evanston

 Collection
Identifier: 55/33
Abstract The University Club of Evanston was founded in 1904 to promote good fellowship among college men. The collection includes meeting announcements, correspondence, treasurers' files, invoices from local venders, and publications that provide a snapshot of Northwestern faculty and alumni life as well as the commercial life of Evanston.
Dates: 1905 - 1965; Other: Majority of material found within 1905 - 1940