Chicago Old Settlers Social Club Record Books

Institution: Chicago History Museum
1601 N. Clark Street
Chicago, IL 60614
Phone: (312) 642-4600
Date: 1904-1918
Extent: 2 Linear Feet
Finding Aid: None

Biographical/Historical Note:
Distinguishing themselves from the growing number of Southern blacks migrating to Chicago in the early twentieth century, the Old Settlers Social Club limited membership to African-American men and women who could prove their families had lived in Chicago for at least thirty years. “The object of the club,” stated in its 1923 Constitution, “is to keep the Old Settlers in touch with each other in this rapidly growing Metropolis.” Linking geographic origins to status in the community, Chicago's Old Settlers created important social, cultural, and religious networks on the South Side during the first half of the twentieth century.

Scope and Content Note:
Two volumes of club records for a social organization of African Americans who were long-time residents of Chicago. The members book contains alphabetized, handwritten entries for members, including name, address, date of arrival in Chicago, occupation, and death date for participants in the club. Attendance book lists names, year of settlement in Chicago, and date of death (through 1918) for club members, and includes a few notes and other items that were inserted among the pages of the book. Also present is a copy of the Chicago Tribune Magazine, February 23, 1992, containing a cover story by Jeff Lyon about the Atkinson family of Chicago, who were included among the people named in these books.

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