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Jolly Neighbors Club Records (Prophetstown)


Scope and Contents

Administrative Information

Detailed Description

Box 1

Box 2

Scrapbooks (2 volumes)

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Jolly Neighbors Club Records (Prophetstown), 1915-1980 | Northern Illinois University

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Collection Overview

Title: Jolly Neighbors Club Records (Prophetstown), 1915-1980

ID: RHC/RC/112

Extent: 0.75 Linear Feet

Date Acquired: 09/22/0198

Subjects: Farm life, Jolly Neighbors Club, Prophetstown (Ill.), Rural women, Women--Societies and clubs.

Languages: English

Scope and Contents of the Materials

The Jolly Neighbors Club Records document the establishment and history of a local woman’s social organization formed to alleviate the isolation of rural life.  A nearly complete set of minute books (1915-1980) details the business and social activities of each club meeting.  Several program calendars and a program book supplement the minute books with lists of hostesses and activities for each meeting.  Three scrapbooks contain photographs and newspaper announcements documenting picnics, card parties, and other social functions sponsored by the organization.  Researchers should note that a club history and by-laws highlight the founding and purpose of the Jolly Neighbors Club.  In addition, literature collected from the Illinois Federation of Woman’s Clubs contains information on the statewide activities of woman’s clubs in Illinois

Collection Historical Note

The Jolly Neighbors Club was organized on May 20, 1915 by eight women from Prophetstown, Illinois.  Mrs. Harry Lawrence, Mrs. H.B. Lyon, and Mrs. Arthur Glass served as president, vice-president, and secretary-treasurer, respectively.  The club formed to fulfill a need of local women to gather socially and partially lessen the loneliness characteristic of rural life.  The group held their meetings in members’ homes or at the Prairie View School House.  Meetings usually began with a treasurer’s report followed by an entertainment program such as demonstrations of cooking, recipe exchanges, interior decorating, antique collecting, or health presentations.  In 1918, the Jolly Neighbors approved a constitution and by-laws complete with the club’s motto, “If you want a friend, be one.”  The group joined the Illinois Federation of Woman’s Clubs in 1927, but ended its federation affiliation when membership declined in later years.  

During its sixty-five year history, the Jolly Neighbors Club sponsored various social activities such as picnics, ice cream socials, card parties, and lectures.  The club also participated in community affairs, particularly with donations to the local orphanage and soldier’s home.  Unfortunately, interest in the organization declined so low in the 1970's that the club disbanded in May 1980.

Subject/Index Terms

Farm life
Jolly Neighbors Club
Prophetstown (Ill.)
Rural women
Women--Societies and clubs.

Administrative Information

Repository: Northern Illinois University

Access Restrictions: There are no restrictions on access to the collection.

Use Restrictions: Property rights in the collection are held by the Regional History Center; literary rights are dedicated to the public.

Acquisition Source: Mrs. Leroy Gibson

Acquisition Method: Mrs. Leroy Gibson, Prophetstown, Illinois donated the Jolly Neighbors Club Records to the Northern Illinois Regional History Center on September 22, 1980.

Related Materials: The Regional History Center holds several other collections related to Illinois woman’s organizations such as the American Association for University Women’s Club Records (RC 56), the DeKalb Women’s Club Records (RC 211), and the Rockford League of Women Voters (RC 178).  Researchers interested in rural women’s history should see the Woodbury-Forsythe Diaries (RC 8).

Box and Folder Listing

Browse by Box:

[Box 1],
[Box 2],
[Volume 1-2: Scrapbooks (2 volumes), 1937-1940],

Box 2
Folder 1: Minute Book, 1976-1980
Folder 2: Correspondence, 1931-1978
Folder 3: Program Calendar Announcements, 1927-1979
Folder 4: Program Book, 1950-1951
Folder 5: Illinois Federation of Woman's Clubs Literature, 1926-1952
Folder 6: Scrapbook, 1932-1934

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