Inventory of the Owl's Whist Club Records, 1924 - 1989

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Descriptive Summary

Abstract: The Owl's Whist Club was founded by sixteen African American men on February 14, 1914 in Charleston, South Carolina. The purpose of the club was to provide these men an opportunity to play cards, socialize, and discuss social issues. The Owl's Whist Club remains a social organization for professional African American men and is still active today.
The collection documents the history of the Owl's Whist Club of Charleston, South Carolina, from 1924-1989. Materials include administrative papers consisting of meeting minutes, constitution and by-laws, and governing rules; financial material made up of receipts, membership dues documentation, and transaction books. Other membership material includes membership rosters. In addition, the events conducted by the club can be traced through the programs and invitations over the course of thirty years.
Title: Owl's Whist Club Records, 1924 - 1989
Creator: Owl's Whist Club.
Repository: Avery Research Center at the College of Charleston
Call Number: AMN 1091
Language of Material: Material in English
Extent: 2.25 linear feet
(5 archival boxes)

Historical Note

The Owl's Whist Club was founded by sixteen African American men on February 14, 1914 in Charleston, South Carolina. The purpose of the club was to provide these men an opportunity to play cards, socialize, and discuss social issues.

For nearly twenty-five years, the club members would host monthly meetings in their homes or rent space from halls. It was not until 1939 -- after the club's 25th anniversary celebration -- that they decided to purchase land. In 1945, two lots were purchased from Leola Ezekiel in Ashleyville, South Carolina for $300. The club charged an assessment to each of its members for the cost of construction, totaling $20,000. The club building was designed by H.A. DeCosta and built by Thomas Pickney in 1947. It is referred to as the Roost.

In 1945, the club became incorporated.

The Owl's Whist Club remains a social organization for professional African American men and is still active today. The group will celebrate its centennial anniversary in 2014.


Collection Overview

The collection documents the history of the Owl's Whist Club of Charleston, South Carolina, from 1924-1989. Materials include administrative papers consisting of meeting minutes, constitution and by-laws, and governing rules; financial material made up of receipts, membership dues documentation, and transaction books. Other membership material includes membership rosters. In addition, the events conducted by the club can be traced through the programs and invitations over the course of thirty years.

Collection Arrangement

1. Administrative Material, 1924-1989

2. Financial Records, 1949-1984

3. Committees, 1949-1984

4. Membership Material, 1952-1978

5. Events, 1954-1984

6. Other Material, 1951-1981



Subject Headings

  • African American men -- Societies, etc. -- History -- 20th century.
  • African American men -- South Carolina -- Charleston -- Social conditions.
  • African Americans -- Societies, etc. -- History -- 20th century.
  • African Americans -- South Carolina -- Social life and customs.
  • Owl's Whist Club.


Detailed Description of the Collection

1. Administrative Material, 1924-1989.

Arranged chronologically.

Box 1-2   Folder 1-7
Minutes, 1924-1974
Includes information relating to membership dues.
Box 2   Folder 8
Incorporation Documents, 1945 and 1973
Box 2   Folder 9-10
Constitution and By-Laws, 1946-1989
Box 2   Folder 11
Constitutional Amendments, 1949-1985
Box 2   Folder 12
Governing Rules, 1961
Box 2   Folder 13
Correspondence: Taxes and Assessments, 1975-1978
Box 2   Folder 14
Agenda, 1984
Box 2   Folder 15
Job Description and Employment Contract, 1985

2. Financial Records, 1949-1984.

Arranged chronologically.

Box 2   Folder 16-17
Correspondence, 1949-1977
Box 2   Folder 18-19
Receipts, 1949-1984
Box 3   Folder 20-23
Membership Dues, 1963-1978
Box 3   Folder 24-29
Bank Statements, 1970-1977
Box 4   Folder 30
Checks and Transactions Books, 1971-1977

3. Committees, 1949-1984.

Arranged alphabetically.

Box 4   Folder 31
Auditing Committee, 1949-1977
Box 4   Folder 32
Board of Trustees, 1949-1958
Includes treasurer's report.
Box 4   Folder 33
Committee Lists, 1965 and 1976
Box 4   Folder 34
Program and Planning Committee, 1953-1984
Box 4   Folder 35
Special Committee, 1956 and 1979
Box 4   Folder 36
Ways and Means Committee, 1951

4. Membership Material, 1952-1978.

Arranged chronologically.

Box 4   Folder 37
Member Applications and Resignations, 1950-1980
Box 4   Folder 38
Announcements, 1952-1978
Box 4   Folder 39
Welcome Letters, 1965-1970
Box 4   Folder 40
Membership Packet, 1973-1975
Includes committee information, constitution and by-laws, and member roster.
Box 4   Folder 41
Members Roster, 1978

5. Events, 1954-1984.

Arranged chronologically.

Box 4   Folder 42
Invitations and Programs, 1954-1984
Box 4   Folder 43-45
Guest Lists and Register, 1954-1978
   Oversize Paper Folder 1
Photographs, circa 1960s
Box 5   Folder 46-47
Memorabilia, 1972-1977
Box 5   Folder 48
70th Year Celebration: Merit Award, 1984
Box 5   Folder 49
Banquet Menus and Prices, 1984

6. Other Material, 1951-1981.

Arranged chronologically.

Box 5   Folder 50
Correspondence: Thank You Letters, 1950-1979
Box 5   Folder 51
Correspondence: Other Organizations, 1951-1981
Box 5   Folder 52
Plat Map, undated


Administrative Information

Access Restrictions

No restrictions.

Copyright Notice

The nature of the Avery Research Center's archival holdings means that copyright or other information about restrictions may be difficult or even impossible to determine despite reasonable efforts. The Avery Research Center claims only physical ownership of most archival materials.

The materials from our collections are made available for use in research, teaching, and private study, pursuant to U.S. copyright law. The user must assume full responsibility for any use of the materials, including but not limited to, infringement of copyright and publication rights of reproduced materials. Any materials used for academic research or otherwise should be fully credited with the source.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Owl's Whist Club Records, Avery Research Center, College of Charleston, Charleston, SC, USA.

Processing Information

Processed by Melissa Bronheim, March 2010

Encoded by Melissa Bronheim, March 2010

Edited by Amanda Ross, May 2010

Funding from the Council on Library and Information Resources supported the collection processing and encoding of this finding aid.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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