Manuscript Group 1533, A. J. Smith Council, Newark, NJ, Account book, 1910 – 1916

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Manuscript Group 1533, A. J. Smith Council, Newark, NJ

Account book, 1910-1916, 0.1 feet / 1 volume

Organizational History:

A. J. Smith Council is a Newark, New Jersey based chapter of an unidentified fraternal organization. The Council was formed by charter on December 9, 1910 and consisted of 28 founding members, mostly men in their 20s who lived in Newark. Members worked in a variety of professions, including policeman, silver plater, clerk, jeweler, “tester,” machinist, and florist.

Each member paid weekly dues of 20 cents to remain in good standing. He was also eligible for entry into a Funeral Benefit Association, which provided for the member’s funeral costs or provided the deceased’s family with an insurance-like payment.

The Newark city guides from the time period show a Pride of A. J. Smith Council, No. 196 of the Daughters of Liberty, a female organization. There is no similar male organization listed. (However, the first member account listed is for Charles D. Munson, whose father, Edward W. Munson, was a founder of the Daughters of Liberty.)

Provenance Note:

The volume was found in Schwaben Halle, a former German meeting hall on Springfield Avenue in Newark, New Jersey. From about 1966 until the present, the hall has been occupied by a Masonic lodge. One of the Masons, Jerome Woodward, found the ledger in the building and gave it to Warren Grover, a member of the board of trustees of The New Jersey Historical Society for donation. The ledger was acquired by the Society on March 22, 2001 and assigned the accession number 2001-03-28a.

Scope and Content Note:

The ledger dates from 1910-1916 and contains the accounts of members of the A. J. Smith Council of an unidentified fraternal organization based in Newark, New Jersey. Each account contains the “brother’s” name, the date he was admitted to the organization, his age at the time he joined, his address, and a record of dues payments. Some accounts also record a birth and death date and an occupation. Accounts are marked with notations reading “audited” or “suspended” and the ledger contains a list of “Brothers suspended for non-payment of dues” and “Brothers made honorary members being in arrears.” There is also a list of “Number of members enrolled with both Funeral Benefit Assoc’s.”

The accounts start with those of the 28 founding members, who were “admitted by charter” on December 9, 1910. The accounts are indexed.

A note in the rear of the volume reads, “We the auditing committee of A. J. Smith Council have duly audited the books of the Financial Secy for the term ending June 29, 1911 and do hereby report that same have been found correct.”

Processed by Kim Charlton, March 2001

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