Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Center
Croghan Chautauqua Literary
Scope and Content
The Croghan Chautauqua Literary and Scientific Circle records have been donated to the Hayes Presidential Center by the organization.
The Croghan Chautauqua Literary and Scientific Circle in Fremont, Ohio was founded in 1891 by Mrs. Joseph Van Doren. The first of four Chautauqua Circles in Fremont, it was located on the east side of the city and named after Col. George Croghan. Mrs. Van Doren had attended the Chautauqua, New York meeting in 1878 when the Chautauqua Circle idea was developed and was one of the first graduates of the program. The purpose of the circles was to encourage home reading in towns across the country. The program became a model for book clubs, study groups, and university extension courses.
There is very little information regarding the group=s first years but the circle was reorganized in 1912 by Miss Harriett Coe with the motto, AWe study the Word and work of God. Let us keep Our Heavenly Father in the midst and never be discouraged.@ Meetings were held weekly, usually on Monday evening. The meetings started with singing, Bible verses, or recitation of the motto and included a short business meeting, a review of a book from that year=s reading list, and discussion of related topics.
In the early years there were as many as 25 active members, a number determined by how many ladies could comfortably gather in the members= homes. Later that number was reduced to 10 or 12. At least 131 ladies have been members of the Croghan Circle since its founding in 1891. Reduced to 5 members in 2007 and without prospects of gaining new members, the organization voted to disband on September 3, 2007
Scope and Content
The bulk of this collection consists of record books starting with the reorganization in 1912. These record books include secretary=s minutes of meetings, membership records, officer lists, constitutions, tributes to recently deceased members, and reading lists. The minutes of the meetings give some insight regarding current events and local issues as well as topics of concern to the members. Some of these minutes provide a brief summary of the book reviewed. Many newspaper clippings covering these meetings are also included.
Other items of interest regarding the Croghan Circle are annual program booklets from 1935 to the present, a photo album for the years 1991 to 2000, and member cards for all of the ladies who have belonged to the circle since 1912.
1 1/4 linear ft.
Ac. 1853, 2191, 5220, 5541, 5732
Folders 1-7 Minute Books #1-7 Oct. 1912-May 1979
Folder 1 Program Booklets 1935-present
2 Minute Book # 8 Aug. 1979-April 1992
Folder 1 Member Cards 1912-2001
2 Newspaper Clippings 1992-2001
3 Photo Album 1991-2000
4 Minute Book #9, Sept. 1992-May 1998
5. Minute Book #10. 1998 – 2007
5. Program Booklets, 1990-1991, 1998-1999 to 2006-2007; Book list, 1878-2000