Friday, August 31, 2012

Oldtime EWGS News

Lola McCreary passed to me a box that had been in past-president Marvelene Carney's basement for years. The box contained little black binders filled with typed or mimeographed notes on the minutes, doings and history of EWGS for the years  1935 (the founding year of EWGS) to 1963. The EWGS publication then was called Tree Talks.  The first issue of Tree Talks, our first EWGS publication, was dated May 1963. 

I gleaned out some tidbits and pearls for you from those early notes:  About 1945:  "The Society has been deeply interested in the formation of the Friends of the Spokane Library Association. Members worked individually to promote this idea."  AND "The Society shall maintain a committee to guide beginners in accordance with our aims and purposes to assist all person who so desire to delve into their ancestry."  AND  "EWGS dues will be $1.00 per year and 50 cents for out-of-town members."  AND  "Many of our EWGS core library was purchased and donated during these years (1942-1947)."  AND  "By April 1, 1958, over 42,000 index cards had been created and filed by Lee Patchen."   AND  "Officers in 1944 (today's Board positions) were: President, 1st VP, 2nd VP, Recording Secretary, Corresponding Secretary, Treasurer, Librarian and five Directors." 

Early EWGS programs included:  A Paper on Christian Names Used in Early Colonial Days of America; Oldest Towns in America;  Jamestown in Virginia;  Settlers of Rhode Island;  Old Style-New Style Calendar;  Migration of Early Settlers of NJ and DE into Pennsylvania;  Educational, Social & Domestic Life in the New Settlements;  History of Township 26, North/Northeast of Spokane;  Mechanics of Library Work.

From the minutes:  May 2, 1953…. 5 members and 1 guest were present at the meeting;  31 Jan 1958…. the 24th Anniversary Lunch…. 23 members and guests were present;  between 1949-1959 some 63 new members joined. As of 31 Dec 1947, our bank balance was $2.26;  1 Dec 1951 it was $25.29;  by May 1962 it was $54.65.

In Feb 1959, EWGS committees were: membership,  programs,  telephone,  general indexing,  book committee,  genealogy help committee, work committee (to work on the EWGS scrapbooks).
Did you realize that in these early days, folks applied for EWGS membership and might be refused??
Are you asking yourself the same question that occurred to me?  How did so few members with such small funds purchase or acquire such a wonderful large collection of books????

What will EWGS be doing in 2062, some fifty years from now? Do you think there will be an EWGS??

I just HAD to share this postcard tucked into the 1959 binder:   "Dear Mr. Burleson: Thank you…. as Secretary of E.W.G.S…. for informing me of my election (without consent) to be Librarian of the Society. Therefore to you I send my resignation with regret that I am unable to accept the honor. Sincerely yours, Ruth C. Austin, Spokane 9 January 1959."

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