Twentieth Century Club celebrates 125th anniversary

CONTRIBUTED PHOTO Members of the Twentieth Century Club celebrate the 125th Anniversary on Sept. 25.

Twentieth Century Club members celebrated the group’s 125th anniversary at the Fall Luncheon held on Sept. 25 at the First Methodist Church. “A History of Leadership,” a video presentation about the founding members and the early history in Marshalltown, provided the program. A catered luncheon completed the afternoon’s events.

Twentieth Century Club began in October 1898 when Mrs. Alice Glick Fletcher, Mrs. Jennie Reed Kirby, Mrs. Maria Garvin, Mrs. Alice Mannery Simmons and Mrs. Anna Belknap Howe organized a group fo 50 men and women with the goals of promoting the systematic study of topics of interest to the members, particularly art and literature, and of enjoying social interaction. Meetings were held in member’s homes. Speakers and musicians come from as far away as Chicago to present cultural performances. Carl Sandburg presented a program here in 1948.

Twentieth Century Club has a long history in marshalltown; it was the first club in Marshalltown to invite men to join. One of the founding women, Belknap Howe, helped establish the Marshalltown Public Library. Glick Fletcher helped start a golf country club and organized the Iowa State Federation of Women’s Clubs. The list of presidents and members reads like a who’s who of Marshalltown’s history and reflects the many years of community leadership these talented and inspirational women have contributed to local history.

The club has elected officers and an executive board of directors which are all volunteer positions. They plan the year’s monthly meetings, keep minutes of the group/board decisions, and keep a historical record of the club’s events. Meetings are held from September through April at various locations in Marshalltown.

Guest speakers highlight cultural, civic and social events in the community and promote learning and entertainment opportunities for the members. Programs have featured the mayor, city council members, local business owners, educators and non-profit groups. In addition to the monthly meetings, two special evening events are planned each year such as bus trips for shopping, theater, museums and restaurants.


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