The Emanon Club (an Ames neighborhood social club) was established October 28, 1929 to promote neighborhood friendliness. Nell Berry, Louise Carlson, Clare Fitz, Eula Hiland, Carrie Link, Grace Murphy, Jean Stone, and Lillian Larson were the group’s founding members. The club’s territory originally included homes on Roosevelt Avenue between 10th and 13th Streets; later, the territory expanded to include Marston Avenue. However, club membership was limited to 24 (due to the size of most living rooms), and new members were admitted by vote. The group met monthly in members’ homes to socialize, enjoy an evening program, or sew for charity. An annual picnic has been held in the neighborhood since 1930. The group continues as an active club to this day.
A History of the Emanon Club, Ames, Iowa by Stacey Ross
The Emanon Club (no-name spelled backwards) began with Nell Berry’s surprise party on October 28, 1929. Eight ladies wanted to surprise their neighbor after she had recently recovered from an illness, and that evening they decided to start a women’s club for their developing neighborhood. Today, at 76 years, the Emanon Club is Ames’ oldest continuing neighborhood association.
A typical meeting includes three parts: a program, a business meeting, and dessert. Programs of the past have included discussions of flower arranging, napkin folding, travel abroad, collecting African violets, or solutions to war-time beauty problems. Sometimes the hostess gives the program herself; other times, she invites a guest to educate and entertain. During the business meeting, attendance is taken, hospitality chairs report on the news from their street, and plans are made for future meetings. The evening always closes with dessert and coffee, allowing the women time to socialize.
Through the 1970s, it was typical for around twenty members to attend a meeting. As homes in this area are not large (my own living room is 10’x15’), a hostess often had to go to great lengths to prepare for the evening meeting: one senior member remembers removing the television and other large pieces of furniture to accommodate everyone. Today’s meetings, however, tend to attract a smaller crowd (usually no more than ten members), making their setup a bit easier.
The Emanon Club maintains some timeworn traditions. Each October, the members celebrate Emanon’s anniversary with a potluck supper—in the 1940s and 50s, this event was often a masquerade or hard-times party, with prizes for best costumes. The December meeting features a gift exchange and sometimes includes entertainment provided by the neighborhood children. (When our gift exchange began in 1932, the price limit was ten cents; today, inflation has raised the limit to one dollar.)
An important component of Emanon’s holiday meeting has always been a consideration of those less fortunate. Today, we collect nonperishable foods for donation to the local food pantry, but before these agencies existed, food and homemade blankets were given directly to local families in need.
Off and on since 1930, the club has hosted a neighborhood-wide potluck picnic in June. People of all ages share food and good stories as we get to know our neighbors. Also, since the Club’s 50th anniversary, we have celebrated major anniversaries by enjoying a dinner out with some of our former members.
As members and their families pass life’s milestones, the ladies of Emanon have been at the ready with a small but memorable gift. For many years, a handkerchief was the standard gift for a member moving away from the neighborhood (and thus giving up her membership). On one occasion, three members were leaving around the same time and Florence Austrheim called it a three hankie affair [March 22, 1978, Emanon Minutes].
Reading through the minutes kept from each Emanon meeting since the Club’s inception, one gets a feel for the passage of time and how our changing culture is reflected locally:
- In the first several years, members were referred to by their formal names (Mrs. Berry). By 1945, most members were referred to by their full names (Nell Berry).
- In the 1930s, the ladies often spent Emanon evenings sewing for the Red Cross, reporting in December of 1932 that they had tied one comforter and made sixteen baby garments. In February of 1936, Mrs. Eula Mae Hiland asked the ladies to collect clothing and canned goods to help the Martin family, as the father had passed away and several small children were left behind. After the goods were delivered, Mrs. Claire Fitz reported to the Club that Mrs. Martin was very grateful and thankful because she said it was rather unusual for white people to take an interest in colored people.... [March 12, 1936, Emanon Club Minutes] [i.e. the Al Martin family whose father had died that year. Al was a younger brother of Archie Martin, who housed African-American students attending Iowa State College at a time when they could not live on-campus.]
- The program for the March 1938 meeting was a book review of the popular novel, Gone with the Wind.
- At one meeting, the women purchased $39.75 worth of Defense Stamps [Feb. 1942, Emanon Club Minutes].
- In 1944, the neighborhood ladies baked fifty dozen cookies for the USO Center.
- In 1947, the women had a lively discussion on the length of women’s skirts.
- Television was the night’s entertainment for a few meetings in 1951.
- A donation to the Polio Fund was made in 1954.
- The evening’s program for April 28, 1976 brought in Mr. and Mrs. Farwell Brown to present a program on the history of Ames.
- On the evening of October 29, 1987, the ladies discussed the recent decline in the stock market and some of the elder members shared about living through the first ‘crash’ and how their families managed with less.
- In the summers of 2004, the ladies of Emanon operated a popcorn stand raising money for the Roosevelt Summer Sundays Concert Program. This concert series has brought many local musicians to the neighborhood for toe-tapping good times.
- Since the closure of Roosevelt School in 2005, the club has hosted school board candidates and a city council member as guests, using the opportunity to voice neighborhood concerns about the school’s closure and other local issues.
I have felt privileged to be a part of this neighborhood group. It seems almost like a throwback to an earlier time in some ways, but that’s what’s neat about it: somehow, in spite of changing demographics, changing economics, and changing politics, the group continues on. I guess it goes to show how the more things change, the more things stay the same: no matter what happens, we’ll always have a need to get together, to share our lives with neighbors and friends, and to experience community.
Excerpts from Emanon Club Minutes
October 28, 1929. "Mrs. Berry entertained the ladies of the neighborhood at her home on Mon. evening Oct. 28. Plans were discussed for organizing a neighborhood club. It was voted to hold club meetings in the evening of the 3rd Thur. of each month. It was voted to charge a membership fee of 25¢ and monthly dues of 5¢. Mrs. Hiland, Mrs. Fall, Mrs. Berry, Mrs. Link, Mrs. Stone, Mrs. Carlson, Mrs. Fitz, Mrs. Hausrath, and Mrs. Murphy were present at this meeting and by common consent became members of the club. Mrs. Carlson and Mrs. Fitz were appointed to call on Mrs. Peterson, Mrs. Carpenter, Mrs. Prather, Mrs. Sjurson, Mrs. Lynch, and Mrs. Larson and invite them to join the club."
November 21, 1929. "Names for the Club were discussed and voted upon. It was voted to call it the Emanon Club [no name spelled in reverse]."
June 11, 1930. "Plans for a picnic were discussed. It was voted to have the picnic June 25, all families to be invited. It was voted to raise the number of members to 24 instead of 20."
September 10, 1930. "It was voted to limit the membership of the Club to people living in the territory between 10 &13th Sts. on Roosevelt Ave. and those on the east side of street on Marston Ave. It was voted that a member moving from the neighborhood loses her membership; but may remain in the club for the rest of the year."
November 12, 1930. "The following persons were suggested as guests for the Christmas party; and to be invited personally as follows: Mrs. Arrasmith by Mrs. Fitz; Mrs. Eller by Mrs. Carpenter; Mrs. Johns by Mrs. Link; Mrs. DeVore by Mrs. Larson."
August 19, 1931. "Meeting was held at the home of Mrs. Sjurson. The meeting was in the nature of a shower for Mrs. Hansen."
October 1931. "The October meeting of the Emanon Club was a masked Halloween party at the home of Mrs. Hiland..."
November 1931. "A duet was sung by Jimmy and S.B. Larson accompanied by Mrs. Larson at the piano. A reading was given by Mrs. Link on the Thanksgiving of the old days. ... A motion was made that the Club give $5.00 to a needy family. The Henry family was named. A committee was appointed to investigate the Henry family. Mrs. Gore of the Red Arrow Store kindly offered to give us groceries for cost for the needy family. It was voted we give the money to Mrs. Gore and the Henry family choose the groceries they needed."
January 13, 1932. "It was voted to drop the boundary line of the club. Voted that property owners be given preference when considering new members here after."
May 1932. "It was moved and recorded that a constitution and set of by-laws be drawn up for the Club by a committee."
September 1932. "The constitution and by-laws were presented to the club by a committee consisting of three ladies--Mrs. Link, Mrs. Hausrath, and Mrs. White. ...Two copies to be made, one for the president and one for the secretary." [The earliest constitution in our records is 1949.]
November 1932. "Mrs. Stone, Mrs. Carlson, and Mrs. Hiland were appointed as a committee to find a worthy family to give two comforters and a pair of blankets to. The evening was spent tying these two comforters. It was decided that the Club help sew for the Red Cross. Twenty-two nightgowns were given out."
December 1932. "A humorous play was given by Mrs. Wymore, Mrs. Hausrath, Mrs. White, and two visitors, Mrs. Gray and Mrs. Blomquist. At the close of the evening Santa Claus presented each one with a ten-cent gift, each member having brought one. Lovely refreshments in keeping with holiday season were served. A special meeting was called by the president to sew for the Red Cross in Nov. One comforter was tied and sixteen baby garments were made."
January 1933. "A report was given that the comforters made by the club, and the blanket, was given to a family named Ingersol and was very much appreciated. The evening was spent making housedresses and piecing blocks for comforters for the Red Cross. Six dresses were made."
May 1933. "Miss Hansen from the college gave a very interesting talk on 'Better Homes' followed by a discussion."
October 10, 1934. "The Emanon Club enjoyed a masked Halloween potluck supper at Groves Cabin with Mrs. Link and Mrs. Everds hostesses. Weird stories and appropriate games were planned and carried out by the program committee Mrs. Hiland and Prather. All report an interesting evening."
October 9, 1935. "The meeting of Amnon [sic] Club called to order by our president Mrs. Wymore. ...The Club decided that each member should make at least 6 blocks for our nine patch quilt and try and get it tied at our November meeting. Mrs. Gore and Mrs. James were appointed to buy the material, bat and yarn [bill came to $1.60]. ...A very interesting talk on “Old Glass” was given by Mrs. Ray Palmer. Two dance numbers were given by Betty Comstock and Arline Passmore."
December 18, 1935. "Mrs. Link reported about giving the comforter the Club knotted to a very needy family on Douglas by the name of Price. It was appreciated very much. Mrs. Peterson was reported ill and had been bed fast and it was suggested by our presidents that flowers be sent."
February 12, 1936. "Mrs. Hiland made an announcement of a family in need by the name of Martin. The father had passed away and left small children ranging in age from 4 to 11. It was suggested anyone having any clothes that this family could use, see that Mrs. Hiland would get them. Also every member would take some canned vegetable or fruit so that Mrs. Hiland could see that the family would receive it."
March 12, 1936. "Mrs. Hiland gave report about the Martin family the Club helped by sending canned food and clothes for the children. Mrs. Gore sent three dozen cans and everyone thought this was very considerate. Mrs. Fitz delivered the box and Mrs. Martin was very grateful and thankful because she said it was rather unusual for white people to take an interest in colored people so it was suggested that we keep the family in mind and help them again soon."
October 14, 1936. "The Emanon Club entertained their husbands at a “Hard Times” Halloween supper at Groves Cabin. A most enjoyable evening was planned by the Entertainment Committee."
December 12, 1936. "The annual Christmas party was held at the home of Mrs. Hiland, with Mrs. Lechner assisting. The evening was spent dressing dolls for the Legion from materials donated by the group. ...After a perplexing deciphering of jumbled Christmas words, we were allowed to open our Christmas gifts and later enjoy tasty refreshments."
January 13, 1937. "It was decided that members would be remembered by flowers only in severe sickness, since so many were ill with the Flu."
July 1937. "The annual July picnic was held at Brookside Park. Each member brought two dishes, sandwiches, and drinks for family. In spite of a downpour of rain, the group enjoyed the delicious supper held under the shelter." [$2.21 spent for ice cream.]
October 1937. No meeting on account of illness in the neighborhood.
December 1937. "A report of the comfort committee was given. Miss Gronlid, the school nurse found a family named Anderson on South Kellogg who was badly in need of bedding."
February 1938. "It was moved and seconded that a fine of five cents be paid if a member does not notify the hostess before the meeting that they can not come."
March 1938. "Mary Johns gave a very fine book review of the popular novel “Gone with the Wind. ... Every member was requested to wear a green hat; this caused much merriment."
January 1939. "The Jan. meeting of Emanon was a Hobo party at the home of Mrs. Larson, Mrs. Radke assisting. ...Meeting turned over to program committee who showed the Hobos a gay evening at the close of which we received a very generous hand out."
December 1939. "A Christmas program was much enjoyed, there being two cornet solos by Wayne Wymore, a reading by Betty Lou Knudson and musical selections by Ted Haugh and Dean Hausrath. [Here begins a tradition of the Club's Christmas entertainment provided by the members' children.] We enjoyed a ten-cent gift exchange. Everyone gave generously to our food basket for a needy family..."
September 1940. "There was no secretary's report as the books were in quarantine."
December 1941. "The following children of some of the members of our group participated in our program. Jane Mendon, JoAnne Sorenson, and Donnie Hausrath played piano selections. Anne Stiles sang a Christmas song. Suzanne Wymore, Mary Schwarte, and Janet Wilson did a lovely Hawaiian Dance and Song in Costume. Marcia Barnard, Mary Schwarte, Michael Ritland, Dean and Don James, and Phillip DeVore entertained us with Christmas readings. Their program was enjoyed very much by the group, and the children were treated to candy by the committee. The remainder of the evening was spent in drawing pictures of our husbands. The game "Truth and Consequences" was used to carry out our gift exchange."
January 1942. "Kay Schwarte and Betty Ritland ... gave very interesting and instructive talks on suitable and interesting books for children. During the evening a quilt was sewed for the Red Cross."
February 1942. "A little time was spent in purchasing defense stamps. The members purchased $39.75 worth. The remainder of the evening was spent in sewing for the Red Cross."
March 1942. The evening's program consisted of "Miss Marian Bordman, a student from Iowa State College who gave a very interesting and instructive talk on meat cuts. After Miss Bordman had answered our various questions on meat there was an exchange of meat dish recipes."
April 1942. For this evening's program, "each member named their favorite flower and gave helpful suggestions in planting and care of plants. We then had a plant exchange."
May 1942. "Helen introduce Mrs. R. McCormick who presented a very interesting and informal talk on flower arrangements and also made several displays for us. We all enjoyed this very much."
January 1943. "Sewing hints were presented by Sadie Fenley and Ivadelle Mendon, followed by a discussion of today's trend in styles and materials."
February 1943. "Mrs. Pascoe introduced our guest speaker, Mrs. Gladys Farrington who presented wartime beauty problems and discussed current hair styles and beauty aides. She stated that permanents are not new, but originated early in history but are now greatly improved."
March 1943. "Mrs. Baustein introduced the guest speaker, Mrs. Anthony, who reviewed Salsette Discovers America by Jules Roumains, a story of great interest telling of a Frenchman, Salsette who came to America to get an idea of our customs and how impressed he was with our country. However, he saw only New York and surrounding states. She also reviewed "And the Green Grass Grew all Around," a story of the people of the Ozarks by Margaret Lyons and told of their ways of living. She herself lived in the Ozarks. She also wrote, "Take to the Hills." Mrs. Anthony stated that one should read them both to appreciate the author. The Women of the Ozarks made jams and jellies from berries gathered in the hills and put the jams on the market under the name of Mountain View Jams. The United Food Stores of Ames stock them."
April 1943. "Mrs. Fitz ... gave a discussion on "Short Cuts in House Cleaning" which was appreciated by all."
May 1943. "A special pot luck dinner was enjoyed by the members. It was given in honor of Marjorie Pascoe and Margaret DeVore who have moved from the neighborhood. ... [The honorees] were each given a handkerchief as a farewell gift."
October 1943. "A lovely pot luck dinner and hard times party was held at Bertha Egemo with Nell Berry assisting hostess. ...Barbara Egemo played delightful piano numbers. A letter was read by Mrs. Wilson from Mary Hausrath and afterward each member wrote a few lines to her."
November 1943. The group agreed to continue to give handkerchiefs to departing members, but to also hold a potluck dinner in their honor. A white elephant gift exchange would replace the traditional 10-cent gift exchange.
December 1943. "This was our Xmas party and the members were entertained by children of our group. Mary Schwarte read a Xmas story. Piano numbers by Suzanne Wymore, Barbara Egemo and Jane Mendon who accompanied Davine Schroeder in a vocal number. Janet, Mary, and Suzanne danced a Hawaiian number accompanied by Margaret Blythe at the piano. Janet Wilson played a violin solo with Margaret Blythe at the piano. Jane Mendon played Xmas Carols and members sang." The group decided to give cookies to the USO Center in place of the traditional Christmas basket.
January 1944. The club made plans to furnish 50 dozen cookies to the USO Center.
April 1944. A potluck supper was held. "The girls brought delicious food for the dinner which proves that there are good cooks in the club."
November 1944. "A letter was read from the Ames Women's Club. A motion was made and seconded that we donate $1.00."
September 12, 1945. Dues raised from 50 cents to 75 cents.
October 10, 1945. The group held a potluck and hard times party. The Club agreed to meet the fourth Wednesday of each month, rather than the second Wednesday.
November 28, 1945. "[The evening’s program] had Ida Williams and Carrie Link as captains and chose sides on a debate--Shall Ames have a town clock? It was interesting and fun. Sadie Fenley and Kay Schwarte were judges and decided Ida's team won--that Ames should have a town clock." [And yet, still no town clock in Ames.]
January 30, 1946. "Jo Sorenson and Claire Fitz delivered our Xmas basket to needy family and they appreciated getting it. The family had had a fire and lost everything. ...A paper was passed and each one wrote a note to Eula Hiland, who is ill. We all hope she will soon be better."
April 24, 1946. The group voted to send five dozen cookies "to the boys at the Knoxville hospital."
October 23, 1946. "Helen Wilson asked for blood donations to hospital."
January 1947. The Club voted to include all of the west side of Marston among the club's territory. [Sadie Fenley, 1121 Marston, had been a member since 1939, so only part of Marston's west side was included prior to this decision.]
September 24, 1947. "[The program] consisted of a piano solo by Miss Egemo and a discussion on the popular subject, the length of ladies skirts. Also a quiz contest, all of which were much enjoyed."
December 10, 1947. "A very entertaining Xmas program was given by the children.
Xmas carols were sung after which the following numbers were given--Piano Solo, Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2 by Lizst, Mary Kay Schwarte; Clarinet Duet, White Xmas, Don and Dean James, this was their own arrangement; Piano Solo, Romance, Suzanne Wymore; Reading, Peggy Guyer; Piano Solo, Sara Joyce Blythe; Xmas Rec, Aaron Gunderson; Song, Jingle Bells, Dorothy Sue Mendon; Piano Solo, Stepping Stone, Mary Hillyard; Rec, Caroline Guyer; Song, 20 Froggies, Margaret Hillyard; Skit, Hill Billies from MO., S. Wymore, Isabel, Janet Aicken, Lu, Schwarte, Ma, Uncle Zeke, Pa, Janis Tavins. This was very humorous and much enjoyed by all. Treat of dixie cups and cookies were given to the children."
March 24, 1948. "Mrs. Joe Robinson had on display many articles she had painted. She also gave a short history of Pennsylvania Dutch designs which is her hobby and she displayed her collection of playing cards which she has received from all parts of the U.S. as well as foreign countries."
April 28, 1948. A guest, "Mrs. Hicks ... gave a demonstration of textile painting also shared some of her work. One especially was a pair of men’s pajamas which were stenciled with different kinds of animals."
October 27, 1948. A costume party was held. "Pauline Hillyard, dressed as Ma Perkins” was judged most original. While Helen Wilson, as “Madame X” was most beautiful."
December 15, 1948. $2 each donated to Tuberculosis Association of Story County and to the Ames Junior Chamber of Commerce.
January 26, 1949. Concern was raised about the mass of accumulated cards and receipts among the club records. It was agreed that each secretary should "clean house" at the end of each year before handing the books on to the next secretary.
March 23, 1949. The group took a field trip to Mrs. Whitfield's home [speculation: 625 W 8th ST, as listed in the 1940 Polk's City Directory] to see some of her 700 African violets and to receive tips on their cultivation.
April 27, 1949. A revised constitution was approved.
May 25, 1949. "Hobby Nite" -- The ladies brought examples of their hobbies to discuss with the group. Some program suggestions were made for next year: book reviews, health programs, screen printing, entertainment by neighborhood children, games, quiz program, entertain husbands a square dance, home movies, figurine painting.
December 14, 1949. The group was entertained by the children of the neighborhood. They also held a 25-cent gift exchange. It was voted to give $2 to the Christmas Seals and $5 to the JayCees for food for Christmas baskets.
January 25, 1950. $2 given to the March of Dimes. The ladies played bingo and everyone received a prize.
February 22, 1950. Mrs. Meads of KASI had contacted the club for information for a program for all the clubs of Ames. This program was scheduled for Feb. 28. A brief description of the Emanon Club was prepared for this purpose. The group contributed 50 cents each toward a "durable gift" to Mrs. Link who would soon celebrate her Golden Anniversary. The next month we find Mrs. Link thanked the group for the gift of dishes.
April 26, 1950. The ladies agreed to provide a gift of $1.50 to each of their entertainers.
October 1950. The club held their annual Halloween costumed potluck party. Among the costumes was a "little black sambo."
January 24, 1951. Janet Wall [guest speaker] displayed a collection of Guatemalan textiles and carvings that were available for purchase through her home.
April 1951. Pauline Hillyard [a local activist for the Cancer Society] showed the group "educational films taken from the American Cancer Society." The evening's delightful refreshments were Jell-O salad molds, open-faced sandwiches, nuts, candy and coffee.
May 1951. After the business meeting, the ladies spent "the remainder of the evening watching Television" which must have been a novelty.
1951-52. Some of the evening programs included: a talk from someone from the Lutheran Children's Home, a talk on table settings, a florist from Everts spoke on table and mantle arrangements, and the usual children's Christmas program. Donations given throughout the year to various causes, such as March of Dimes, Red Cross, Cancer Society, and the Chamber of Commerce who produced Christmas baskets for the needy.
1952-53. Evening entertainment: television viewing, Halloween masquerade potluck, games, and some travel slide shows. At the Christmas party, the children provided entertainment, then Santa Claus arrived and they had their usual gift exchange.
1953-54. In September, Mrs. Weber (a guest speaker) spoke on her trip to Europe where she attended the coronation and visited her native Scotland. Some members resigned from the Club, leaving space for new membership. In November, Eugene Van Pelt, an Iowa State student and exchange student from Denmark, spoke on customs and mode of living in Denmark.
1954-55. In November, Miss Woods was a guest speaker on the subject of Africa. In December, the group held their usual Christmas party with a children's party and gift exchange; Mary Schlott from the Ames Tribune took pictures of some of the group [these pictures are in AHS archives]. In January, $4.00 was given to the Polio Fund. February's program was an imitation of the TV show "Two for the Money." In April, Bernice Griffin showed slides her son had taken in Liberia.
1955-56. October's guest speaker, Mrs. Arthur gave a review of the book "The Gift is Rich" by S. Russel Carter. Hilda Bean [i.e. Been], January's guest speaker, showed slides of her trip to Europe. In March, the club used their new coffee maker, for which the group collected 458 stars and mailed with their request [This coffeemaker is lost to the current members of the Club]. Also in March, Lloyd Cafferty from Ames Nursery was a guest speaker. Also in April, Doris Joy gave a book review on Louise A. Stinetorf's 'The White Witch Doctor." In May, Bernice Griffin showed slides and spoke on her son Bob's work in Africa.
1956-57. In September, the group voted a notice for the Emanon Club meetings should go to the newspaper so as to appear in Saturday's paper. In October, the Club amended the constitution to automatically make anyone participating in the club for 25 years an honorary member. Also in October, the club agreed to be a social club rather than bringing in outside entertainment for the programs. In February, Ivadelle Mendon and Mona Theis showed slides of their recent vacations to New Mexico, Mexico, Florida, and Cuba.
1957-58. Also this month, the group was entertained by "Dennis Kelso who played a number of delightful selections on his accordion"; Dennis received first place at a contest in Chicago during the summer. In addition, Dorothy Kee shared her newly remodeled basement with the group. In October, Mabel James became an honorary member, having joined Emanon in 1932. In November, the program was provided by Dr. and Mrs. L.E. Pinney, Mid-west Travel Agency who showed slides and trinkets of a trip to the Hawaiian Islands. December's meeting included the usual children's Christmas program, 29-cent gift exchange and a return to the tradition of providing food to local needy families; this year they donated money to the Junior Chamber of Commerce for this cause. March's program was "a game testing the senses of touch and smell... Some of us seem to be somewhat lacking in these faculties." Throughout the 1950s, the ladies held an annual breakfast the first part of June; no neighborhood picnic was held during this time. A committee of members would provide the meal. At the breakfast meeting, members with perfect attendance for the year would be commended.
1958-59. The group wanted to donate money to the Hospital Fund, but the group's budget limited their actions ($16 annual budget). It was decided in January to give $25 over the course of three years time. In February, Mrs. Textrum, a guest speaker, gave a slide show on a recent trip to Chile. March's program involved a quiz on TV program titles. In May, the constitution was amended to allow for 26 dues-paying members in addition to the 25-year honorary members.
1959-60. In September, the ladies voted to send cards to those members celebrating 50th wedding anniversaries. The club celebrated its 30th year in October with their usual potluck supper and a "beautiful birthday cake" baked by Grace Davis; for entertainment, Ruth Jensen shared a club history she compiled. In March, the ladies invited past club members who still live in town to visit Emanon; Sadie Fenley shared the club history she compiled [this document is among our records]. Former member Dorothy Kee hosted the club's June breakfast in her new home.
1960-61. In February, the constitution was amended to include the homes on Roosevelt Avenue between 9th and 10th in the club's territory. In March, the evening's entertainment was provided through a game in which the ladies divided into teams and turned out the contents of their purses to see which team had the most items on a list. April's entertainment had each lady describe the lady to her left using the initials of her name.
1961-62. In November, the group voted that in case of a death of a member or husband or child at home a gift of $5.00 would be given in flowers or memorial. In January, the ladies voted to donate $5.00 to help equip the pediatrics ward of Mary Greeley Hospital. In February, another $5.00 was donated to the Judy McHone fund; Judy was due for heart surgery.
1962-63. In February, an Ames Tribune photographer took pictures of the club's honorary members.
1963-64. In April, the ladies were entertained by Pearle Lawson sharing pictures of her trip to Hawaii.
October 1964. Lillian Larson shared slides and stories of her family's vacation camping in Canada. In May of 1965, the ladies sent a sympathy card and basket of fruit to the McCurdy family whose son died in a car accident.
October 1965. The constitution was amended that when a vacancy is available in the club membership, invite the person who has lived in the neighborhood the longest, provided she has been a guest. The constitution was amended again in January, 1966 to require a quorum of 2/3 of the membership to amend the constitution. No March meeting was held because of bad weather.
October 1966. The club donated $5.00 to the Belmond Fund. Christmas party involved a 49-cent gift exchange; gifts were numbered and each lady given a balloon containing a number, which determined her gift. In May 1967, Mrs. C.D. Lee and Dr. Birdsall of McFarland Clinic showed a film and spoke on the subject of cancer.
1967-68. In January, a list of previous Club members was prepared and plans were made to invite these ladies for a potluck supper. April's meeting was spent in planning for the May potluck guest night; for entertainment, each member brought a baby picture and guessed their identities. In May, the Club hosted their former members at a potluck supper held in the basement Council Rooms of the 1st National Bank. 17 members and 20 guests were present; the Sweet Adelines sang for the Club's entertainment. A list of the 20 guests (former members) and their addresses is included in our records.
1968-69. In March, a granddaughter of Sadie Fenley spoke with the Club of her time in Hawaii as an exchange student. In May, Doris Warren's daughter visited with the ladies about her trip to the United Nations.
1970. The group held a "hard times" potluck dinner with a prize to the worst dressed, Grace Davis. [photo of the ladies included in the archives.]
January 31, 1973. The group voted to give a remembrance (not to exceed $5.00) for all members who celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary. Lorraine Dresser gave a program on her trip to London, where she visited her son who teaches there.
March 28, 1973. Sadie Fenley and Billie Drummond gave a program titled, "Emanon Reminiscing."
November 28, 1973. The group planned to each bring a can of food to the December meeting for donation to MICA (Mid-Iowa Community Action is the local food pantry), and so begins an annual tradition continued presently.
December 19, 1973. Billie Drummond dressed as Santa Claus, and the ladies sang Christmas carols to conduct the 75-cent gift exchange.
March 27, 1974. The ladies entertained themselves by reminiscing to the time when they each were 12 years old; "it started some lively discussion and of our early years."
May 22, 1974. The constitution was revised to increase the membership to 35 members. Former guests were invited to fill the membership.
April 28, 1976. Plans were made to sponsor a float in the Ames Bicentennial parade; an antique car would carry the charter and long-time members of the Club. For the evening's program, Mr. and Mrs. Farwell Brown presented a program titled "Ames Album" describing the history of Ames from the late 1850s through slides and narration.
September 22, 1976. Mrs. Aufi and her daughter from Ghana gave a talk about their lifestyle in their homeland.
January 26, 1976. The ladies' entertainment involved unscrambling jumbled words: "Several of the scrambled letters really taxed our brains. Florence Austrheim said she would have to go home and say she flunked Emanon. Needless to say we had an enjoyable evening."
January 25, 1978. The meeting was held in the afternoon to accommodate visiting with a senior member who does not go out in evening.
March 22, 1978. Florence Austrheim writes, "If the handkerchief is Emanon's farewell gift--it seems we have a '3 or 4 hankie' affair coming up (sorry to say)" as a number of ladies shared their moving plans.
March 28, 1979. The ladies shared their daydreams about preferred features if they were to build a new house: a utility room on the main floor and more closet space were the top choices.
September 26, 1979. Betty Dennis shared with the group her experience of attending a Nigerian wedding here in Ames.
October 24, 1979. "Emanon Club celebrated their 50th Anniversary... with a dinner and entertainment. Twenty-one members and one guest, Rosalie Yacknin, Ames Tribune Community Life Editor, met together for a delicious dinner in the Cardinal Room of the Memorial Union on the ISU Campus. Corsages were presented to Mary Abby, our newest member and Clare Fitz, one the of the founding members of Emanon Club. After our dinner, Grace Davis... invited everyone into her home for entertainment and reminiscing. Sarah Austrheim, Florence's daughter and a senior at ISU, entertained beautifully with her guitar and voice."
December 15, 1982. The ladies asked a local Boy Scout troop to share their caroling through Emanon's neighborhood this year.
March 23, 1983. Ardith Maile was a guest speaker sharing about her mission nursing experiences in Liberia, West Africa.
February 22, 1984. A calling tree was designed to remind everyone of upcoming meetings.
May 23, 1984. Plans for the June picnic were made. A petition would be passed to have a stop sign placed on Roosevelt at 9th Street [there is presently a stop sign on 10th Street at Roosevelt.]
December 18, 1985. An article appeared in the Ames Tribune about the Emanon Club.
February 26, 1986. The ladies agreed to discard "old thank you letters, etc."
Garage sale mentioned May 1986 (I think these happened through early nineties at least).
October 22, 1986. Club voted to write a letter to the Mayor expressing the neighborhood's favor of his dropping the "town center project."
November 19, 1986. Meeting cancelled due to snowstorm.
December 17, 1986. Christmas program included musical entertainment by the children of the group (drop of nostalgia?) again in 1987.
September 23, 1987. The ladies "discussed the recently completed Roosevelt playground and what an addition it is to the neighborhood." This was the first playground of its kind in Ames and was built mainly from volunteer labor.
October 29, 1987. "We had a very interesting discussion about the recent decline in the stock market and how it affects the economy. Many members shared about how their lives were affected by the first 'crash' and how their families managed with less."
January 27, 1988. Following a program of Carolyn Bittner displaying her travel memorabilia from Czechoslovakia, "we reflected on the feeling of lack of freedom in that country and how we tend to take for granted what we have."
February 24, 1988. Club dues raised to $2.00 to allow for more charitable contributions.
May 18, 1988. Emanon traveled to rural Alleman to meet in the home of former member Nancy Miller.
September 28, 1988. Two sales associates from Seifert's (a store in the North Grand Mall) were guest speakers to display fall fashions and to demonstrate various scarf-tying techniques.
October 25, 1989. The Club's 60th Anniversary dinner was held at Wetzel's Restaurant. 19 members and 8 guests (former members) were in attendance. Clare Fitz, one of the charter members, told of the formation of Emanon in 1929.
April 1991. Barbi Greenlaw registered Emanon as a neighborhood association with the City of Ames.
December 18, 1991. Cookbooks with recipes from Emanon members were distributed among the membership.
Spring 1991. Discussion of school board considering closing Roosevelt School.
June 27, 1993. "The picnic was held on the rain date as we had rain and storms on the first day. We had a big turnout at the picnic including many new neighbors and a guest from Turkey. The food was delicious and plentiful and many families helped to set up. Sue and Don Celania and Diane Hugdahl planned games--bubble gum blowing contests, rope pulls (tug of war), 3 legged races and balloon tosses. The women beat the men in the tug of war. A great time was had by all."
November 17, 1993. Ed Ruppert, husband to member Marty Ruppert, gave a program on Beloit. He shared case histories from the first admittance records of 1890 as well as discussing the needs of the current residents.
December 15, 1993. Reggie Greenlaw, husband to member Barbie Greenlaw, entered the ladies with Christmas carols played on his hammered dulcimer, a tradition which continued for a number of years afterward.
February 23, 1993. Barbie Greenlaw researched jazz songs titled "Emanon." Dizzy Gillespie, Artie Shaw, and Brandon Marsalis have all performed the tune.
November 16, 1994. "Barbie shared some history about Emanon from Clare [Fitz]. Emanon started as a surprise birthday party that was enjoyed so much by everyone that it was decided they would get together once a month. The by-laws were set up at the first meeting. Marge Emerhoff thought up the name Emanon. Halloween costume parties were some of the most enjoyable meetings for early club members. Years ago the secretary sent written invitations to invite new people to join. Meetings were to end by 10 p.m. but often went later than that. Diane Bryne has the honor of being our only second generation Emanon member."
December 14, 1994. The ladies planned a night to decorate the neighborhood with luminaries. Fliers were distributed among the neighborhood to encourage everyone to participate. This tradition continued through 1998.
May 27. 1998. During the annual election, no one stepped forward willing to serve as club president, so it was decided to rotate the role of president among those hosting meetings. A president was again elected in May, 1999.
October 2000. A potluck was held in honor of our 71st anniversary and there was a nice variety of delicious foods. Tonight Halloween costumes were optional. Karen Robak dressed as Little Red Riding Hood and Claire Uldrich was adorned as a spooky spider.
January 2001. Tonight Florence Austrheim showed us some old pictures of the neighborhood. One was from 1938 and another from 1949. It was interesting to see how much Ames had grown in that amount of time. We were all interested in finding out more about the history of our neighborhood.
April 2002. Jeff Benson, the Ames neighborhood liaison Program Coordinator met with us to discuss The Neighborhood Grant Program. A number of options were discussed. Jeff encouraged us to request caps on our street lights to save energy, reduce light pollution and improve lighting. The group enjoyed an opportunity to meet with a city official and to discuss a variety of city issues.
May 2002. New officers were elected. The group also decided to change the meeting night from Wednesdays to the second Thursday of the month. We hope to attract more members who might have had conflicts with church night.
April 2003. Cindy Hanson demonstrated a rabbit construction created by folding and rolling wash clothes and tea towels into bunny shapes. They were fastened with rubber bands and ribbons. They were quite attractive and useful for decorations during the Easter season.
June 2003. Roosevelt Summer Sundays started as a program of the Roosevelt Elementary Parent-Teacher Association. It’s a free outdoor concert at Roosevelt school playground. Terrific local bands and regional bands take the stage each Sunday evening from June through mid-August. Concerts begin at 7:00 p.m. Bring a blanket or a lawn chair, bring your friends, and we’ll see you there.
May 2004. This year there will be seven free concerts presented on the Roosevelt school playground. EMANON will provide popcorn at the concerts using the popcorn machine from the First Credit Union. The popcorn packs cost $18.
March 2005. The Ames Historical Society expressed interest in storing our old minutes and scrapbooks. We would have access to them and we could keep copies with our own records. The Ames Tribune interviewed several of our members at the home of Marty Helland. They are doing a story on neighborhood associations and it should appear during the week of March 18.
May 2005. Roosevelt School 1923-2005 named for Theodore Roosevelt located at 9th and Roosevelt Avenue closed, there was some talk of demolishing the old building. Instead the school district decided to see if anyone would purchase the school, and find a new use for it.
March 2006. This year’s concern was the closing of the Roosevelt Elementary School. The neighborhood was active in school board discussions. A decision to close the school was made and discussion centered around our sadness and hopes that the decision may be reversed.
October 2007. We are feeling the effects a little bit of the housing market starting to collapse. There are several homes for sale in our neighborhood that aren’t selling and have been on the market for a long time.
April 2008. Mary Jurenka, a current school board member and neighbor joined us as a guest speaker. She talked about school board issues including budget and overcrowding in our elementary schools. We were able to ask questions about future land issues for the Roosevelt property. There were also concerns shared about trash and general maintenance of the grounds. Although Mary couldn’t provide many answers, she was a good listener and noted our concerns.
April 2009. Members passed around copies of a study titled Roosevelt Elementary School Facility Reuse, which was from the Smart Growth Alliance. This study concerned making the old school into rental property. There was a discussion of the proposal and the 15% tax increase.
April 2010. This is a summary of topics discussed at the April meeting. It is typical for us to discuss a variety of topics during each meeting. We talked about plans for the annual neighborhood picnic held in June, summer travel plans for members, the Roosevelt Summer Sunday concert series and birthday celebrations. We also discussed city events and neighborhood news.
May 2011. The May meeting was held at the home of Kelly Peuse. Kelly and her husband had just completed renovations of the upstairs. As we entered her home we were welcomed by a red carpet and Kelly gave us a tour of the upstairs in their home. Everyone was supposed to wear red!
September 2012. Citizens for Roosevelt Park formed as the Ames Community School District debated the Roosevelt School building and ground’s future. CFRP’s 200+ members have been dedicated to preserving the valued green space at Roosevelt. Their focus is the park development.
April 2013. Developer Dean Jensen of RES-Development purchased the old Roosevelt School with plans to convert building into condominium units. RES-Development has a team of people who work to not only make shiny new living spaces, but also add historic touches to buildings. The community gathered to say goodbye to the well-loved, community-built playground through a community work party organized by Citizens for Roosevelt Park. We salvaged some features for use in the new City park, including the 50-foot-long potluck table and the chimes. Many community members also salvaged features for use in their backyards. Have you seen a Roosevelt turret on Roosevelt Avenue or elsewhere in Ames?
May 2013. Friends of Roosevelt Park formed and encompasses the Roosevelt Summer Sundays Concert Committee and Citizens for Roosevelt Park. Their activities include outdoor concerts, public events for all ages, community building opportunities, and avenues for charitable giving. The School District Board voted unanimously to donate the 1.3 acre grassy field to the City of Ames for the development of a permanent city park.
November 2013. Started with introductions and how long we have each lived in the neighborhood. This led to stories from the past and people who have come and gone. Also discussed was a recent report in the Ames Tribune about recent burglaries near our part of town. A reminder was given to be vigilant and aware of strangers, unusual activity and locking up when leaving home. Also talked about recent storm damage.
September 2014. Conversation tonight leaned towards summer happenings and changes in the neighborhood since May. We all had questions about the new Roosevelt renovations and the units nearing completion. Mary had some answers for us since she had an opportunity to look inside. We also talked about the needs at the Roosevelt green space. A committee is being formed to help raise money and partner with the city.
February 2015. This month the community is getting to see the end result of purchase of the old school by RES-Development. Over a number of months, they have converted the building into 20 condominium units. Selling for prices range from $170,000 to over $300,000. So far, almost all of the units have been sold. Each unit has its own story, its own history and Jensen wanted to expose as much of that as they could.
April 2015. Friends of Roosevelt Park challenged our community to continue the legacy of Roosevelt community by raising more funds for the park. Emanon gave a large denotation for the cause. Later this month we will be having a tree planting in Roosevelt Neighborhood by The Ames Foundation. The Ames Foundation is planning to plant 50 trees. Friends of Roosevelt Park also have plans to sponsor a rummage sale and kid’s art/bake sale at the park in May. Many people signed up to volunteer and donate.
October 2015. This month many of our friends and neighbors gathered for a celebration of Roosevelt’s grand opening. Though the temperatures were chilly, the sun shone on the park’s ribbon cutting at the stage and a second ribbon-cutting was held at the playground; a mass of Roosevelt kids, each armed with little scissors, inaugurated the new playground. Then we all gathered for a huge potluck supper which very nearly filled our 50-foot table. So much delicious food was shared, including tasty ice cream cones and hot cocoa donated for our event-thanks Hy-Vee! While folks munched their meals and visited about the park’s features, the Vinyl Vegabonds inaugurated the new concert stage. We also talked about the new Habitat for Humanity home that is nearly complete and new neighbors will be moving in at the end of the month.
January 2016. New business included Kelly Peuse gave an update about the letter she submitted to the city council and mayor several months ago in hopes of getting an additional stop sign on the corner of Roosevelt Avenue and 10th Street. Good news-the City accepted the traffic study and gave approval for another stop sign. This now makes that a four way stop. This intersection is the closest to the new playground structure in the Roosevelt Park. Everyone was pleased the city responded so quickly to the request. Currently there are several houses for sale on both Marston and Roosevelt. Two on Roosevelt have recently sold and we heard about new neighbors moving in soon.
September 2016. We celebrated our 87th anniversary with a picnic under our new Roosevelt Park. We heard there will be a new home built on Roosevelt Avenue after the demolition of a previous home this fall. We plan to do luminaries again this winter over the Christmas season.
April 2017. We discussed about the increase in our property value of our homes. Most went up 15-20%. Our time usually comes to a close around 9 p.m.
December 2017. Our annual holiday party took place in the home of Stacy Ross with an amazing orange layer cake served by Sandra Norvell and tasted as great as it looked. We had fun with our $1.00 gift exchange and had lots of “stealing” this year. We all enjoyed catching up on the news of the neighborhood and everyone’s travels. Association business included a discussion on the new Roosevelt Neighborhood Association being proposed. An information meeting will be in January. Emanon will remain the same but our members could belong to both. Luminary will be displayed on Marston and Roosevelt. It was voted to give MICA $30.00 in addition to our canned goods. The meeting ended with a cookie exchange.