Marshall Historical Society

Deansboro Travelers Club 50 Years
by Marcy C. Cleary

Deansboro. On a sunny summer's day in 1913, sixteen women took a breather from their household chores to organize a club to broaden their social and intellectual life. They named the club the Deansboro Travelers' Club, elected Mrs. William Small their first president, adopted a constitution and bylaws and embarked on a prodigious study of the world around them.

That they were highly successful is evident this week by their fiftieth anniversary of the founding of the club. A large group of members and former members met last night at the home of the president, Mrs. Harriett Skinner, West Hill Street, for anniversary festivities.

Mrs. Dorothy Hart, Waterville, and Mrs. Ethel Day, Deansboro, presided at the tea table. Mrs. Esther Sanders gave a detailed history of the club. Mrs. Hart and Mrs. Day are honorary members, as are Mrs. Adah Hones and Mrs. Georgia Goodwin, both of Clinton. Women may become honorary members after 25 years' participation. Officers are: President, Mrs. Skinner; Vice President, Mrs. Veda Williams; Secretary, Mrs. Ella Ingersoll; Treasurer, Mrs. Ruth Nelson; Librarian and Historian, Mrs. Margaret Rummell; Reporter, Mrs. Dorothy Carpenter. Other active members include: Mrs. Betsy Fowler, Mrs. Ada Leeworthy, Mrs. Barbara Lorenzen, Miss Eva Peck, Mrs. Winifred Peck, Mrs. Beulah Scoones, Miss Edith Small, Mrs. Kathryn Stockbridge, Miss Ethel Trainor, Mrs. Jeanette Vale, and Miss Alice Yale. Associate members: Mrs. Mildred Inman, Mrs. Laura Hunman, Mrs. Sanders, Mrs. Edith Iles & Mrs. Eunice Peck.

Originally the club provided opportunities to learn more about the geography and history of their own locality and state, but soon the blub branched out to include many varied topics. A perusal through minutes of early meetings discloses references of early field trips. The club chartered a bus driven by Howard Barber and visited Herkimer's Home, Amsterdam, Johnstown, Fourth Lake and Cooperstown.

Later, in autos, they traveled to Sherburne Falls, Chittenango, Stockbridge and Lake Moraine. The trip to General Herkimer's Home on August 29, 1919, entailed two year's planning, but according to the secretary's report, the trip through the picturesque Mohawk Valley was very worthwhile.


Deansboro Travelers Club March 1963 - 50th Anniversary Photo

Travelers Club 1963

Sitting left to right: Ethel Trainer, Ethel Day, Mrs. Johnson, Mrs. Howard, Mrs. Leworthy, Dorothy Hart, Laura Hinman.

Standing left to right: Ruth Nelson, Edith Small, Mrs. Rummel, Elsie Sanders, Charlotte Bishopp, Winefred Peck, Esther Sanders, Harriett Skinner, Dorothy Carpenter, Mildred Lawson, Eloise Harrington, Mildred Inman, Veda Williams, Ella Ingersoll & Mrs. Leworthy's daughter, Mrs. Mairs.

Absent members: Eva Peck, Eunice Peck, Edith Glea & Alice Yale


Later, in autos, they traveled to Sherburne Falls, Chittenango, Stockbridge and Lake Moraine. The trip to General Herkimer's Home on August 29, 1919, entailed two year's planning, but according to the secretary's report, the trip through the picturesque Mohawk Valley was very worthwhile.

Glancing through the programs which were printed in all but the first years of the club's existence, we find a formidable list of topics on which the energetic ladies put their minds and talents to work. For instance, in 1919, these subjects were studied: Shall women serve on juries, Political parties and candidates, women and life in the home, the Bok peace plan, forestry, and socialism. In the 1920s they turned their attention to labor unions, men and money, Shakespeare, and the 50th anniversary of the telephone ? among others. They visited county hospital to investigate the condition of children there, and debated whether the Philippines should be granted independence. In later years, they became interested in the role of women in politics, the Barge Canal, fox farming, spelling bees, and an analysis of newspapers.

They did not neglect the finer arts. A favorite meeting place was the home of Mrs. Lucia Shaul, who often played the latest records on her victrola. Musical selections by members were of every meeting for years.

The Outbreak of the Second World War found the club evaluating the democratic advance of social life, education, and religion during the previous 25 years. During the was they made a detailed study of America's crescent of defense from Greenland to Bermuda, the Virgin Islands and Cuba. After the war, a popular topic was the territories seeking statehood.

All was not abstract study, however. Through the years the members have championed such projects in their own community as improving sidewalks, a library, an addition to the school building and better maintenance of the playground for the former school, whose site is now a private home on West Hill Street. The club was responsible for the erection of the sign, ?Deansboro on the Chenango Trail?, now maintained by another local organization.

Although the club has delved into a wealth of subjects, its members have used fairly the same type of program. The club meets monthly from September to June at homes of the members. Roll call is answered by a contribution in current events. If any member is unprepared, 10 cents goes into the flower fund. The program chairman and her committee set up the topics for the year after culling the best ideas contributed by all the members at the annual meeting in June. The leader of each meeting takes her job seriously to prepare a round table discussion on the assigned topic. Each member does her ?homework? - research on a particular aspect of the topic. If a member is unable to be present, someone substitutes by reading here paper. Exhibits on the topics are displayed and field trips to area museums have been taken.

On May 28, [1963] the club plans a guest night at the Musical Museum in Deansboro with a tour led by Mrs. Sanders. Miss Small will be the hostess.


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