Silverleaf Community Club (Normal Township) Collection

Processed by
William R. Miller
September 2005

Table of Contents
Pickett School was one of four schools which made up the Silverleaf Community Club.
Pickett School was located in the Normal Township.

Collection Information
Volume of Collection:
One Box.
Collection Dates:
1925-1962, with historical record to inception in 1918
Reproduction Rights:
Permission to reproduce or publish material in this collection must be obtained in writing from the McLean County Museum of History.
Alternative Formats:
Other Finding Aids: None.
Location: Archives.

Historical Sketch

  At the December 18, 1917 meeting of the Belvidere Home and School Association, D. O. Thompson, farm advisor of McLean County, suggested the organization of a community club for several rural school districts in the western end of Normal Township and the eastern end of Dry Grove Township, McLean County. In January 1918, a committee was appointed to ask a Mr. Thompson to help organize such a club. At the second meeting, held in February 1918, a president and secretary were elected. At the April 1918 meeting a constitution and by-laws were drawn up. It was decided to name the organization the Silverleaf Club, for a landmark tree located within the original member school districts: Belvidere (Dry Grove Township) and Pickett and Rose Hill (both Normal Township). The Garfield district (Dry Grove Township) was added in 1924. The Silverleaf Club met from February 1918 until June 1962, although no meetings were held from October 1918 through February 1919, because of the Influenza Pandemic.

  Meetings were usually held the first Thursday of each month. Dues were set at 10 cents per member. Meetings generally consisted of cultural or educational activities. Most meetings included a program, presented either by a member (or members) or by a guest speaker or performer. Programs usually involved a combination of a musical presentation, dramatic reading or lecture. Each year, the club held a picnic in spring and a wiener roast in fall. Correspondence indicates that the club sometimes made donations to worthy causes. In 1959, the club members voted to meet only two times a year, for the picnic and wiener roast. By September 1961, members began discussing discontinuing, because of declining attendance. It was felt there were too many other competing activities. It was suggested that the club meet with the Silverleaf 4H for the annual wiener road. The last meeting was held on June 12, 1962.

Scope and Contents Note

  The Silverleaf Club Collection consists of one box. The dates of the materials range from 1924 to 1962. The club's minutes make up the bulk of the materials. The Collection consists of the club's history for the first twenty years, the club's minutes from 1924-1962, club rosters, correspondence, a newspaper article and booklets.

  There is an undated club history, but it appears to date to 1937 - as evidenced by the list of presidents, an invitation to the Daily Pantagraph to attend the annual picnic, and a June 12, 1937 article on the picnic and the club. The minutes are concise and provide a record of meetings, indicating who hosted, who served on what committees, the nature of the program, refreshments and club business. On rare occasion there is a description of the weather or historical events. The minutes also include membership lists, election results and dues collected.


Box and Folder Inventory

Folder 1:
Club History
"Silverleaf Community Club to Celebrate 20th Birthday," Pantagraph, June 12, 1937
"The Silverleaf Community Club" club history, author unknown
Invitation to Silverleaf Community Club 20th anniversary picnic postmarked June 13, 1937


Folder 2:
Club Minutes 1924-1925
Bound book of minutes, August 21, 1924 - December 18, 1925, provide a record of meetings including musical performers, refreshments served, committee presentations, and club business. On rare occasion there is a description of the weather or historical events. The minutes also include membership lists, election results, and dues collected


Folder 3:
Club Minutes 1926-1939
Unbound book of minutes, from January 1926- November 1939, provides a record of meetings including musical performers, refreshments served, and club business; some minutes are typed and some handwritten also includes membership lists


Folder 4:
Club Minutes 1940-1962
Unbound book of minutes, from January 1940-September 1961, provides a record of meetings, musical performers, and club business


Folder 5:
Miscellaneous Correspondence
Correspondence from Ab and Edna Neubauer to Friends in Christ (Silver Leaf Community Club) dated April 17, 1954
Receipt from a donation made to the Baby Fold dated March 11, 1955
Correspondence from William A. Hammitt (The Baby Fold) to Mr. Albert Kuntz dated March 15, 1955


Folder 6:
"How to Organize a Community Club," from the Prairie Farmer's Community Book, undated and author unknown
"Home Talent Chautauqua; Report and Suggestions from Experiences of Radcliffe Community in Hardin County-1924"
"Picnic Suggestions; the annual Township or Community Play Day for Everyone"


McLean County Museum of History Collections and Research