Organizations & Clubs

Q: What was the Jefferson Barracks?
A:
Jefferson Barracks was a social club that was incorporated in the State of Illinois in 1913. It was organized by Elmhurst tradesmen and businessmen who were looking for a place to host social events and dances in a family-friendly setting. Members built a club house at 204 Illinois Street (pictured right). The first floor was an open hall for social events, dances and women’s meetings. The lower level had a large area for card games and a beer bar. The club disbanded in 1921 and sold the clubhouse to a realtor. The house was remodeled to serve as a traditional home, and it was a residence until it was razed circa 1999.

Q: Where was the Elks Lodge in Elmhurst located?
A:
The door of the former Elks Club at 136 N York St. A: The Elks Lodge No. 1531 was at 136 N York from 1928 until it moved to 711 W St. Charles Road in Elmhurst in 1987. The Elmhurst Lodge was organized in 1927 with 89 members from Elmhurst and the surrounding area. Members originally met in a second floor apartment at 126 N York, so they were happy to move into their new quarters with a lodge room, club rooms, billiard room, gymnasium, kitchen and offices. Citibank is located at 136 N York today. Note the letters BPOE over the doorway.

Q: What was the Fine Arts and Civic Foundation?
A:
The Fine Arts and Civic Center Foundation was organized in 1974. It was a not-for-profit foundation to raise funds to build and maintain an art museum. The Elmhurst Artist’s Guild had already acquired three lots of property in hopes of building a museum sometime in the future. The Elmhurst Art Museum opened in one room in the Community Center at Eldridge School in 1980. When the Park District sold the former Eldridge School building, the Community Center moved to the former Madison School, and the Art Museum moved with it. For more information on the Elmhurst Art Museum, go to elmhurstartmuseum.org

Q: Do you have any information on the Elmhurst Elmhurst Travelers Football team?
A:
In 1927 Elmhurst residents George Kulton, Mickey Hild and Lawton Davis organized the Elmhurst Travelers football team, recruiting ten former York Community High School players and nine others. The three organizers also played on the team. After a knee injury prevented Kulton from playing, he went on to coach and manage the Elmhurst Travelers through a long and distinguished career. Kulton did not receive any payment for his coaching. The Travelers, an independent semi-professional team, played 1927-1967 and had 292 wins, 80 losses and 30 ties. They were the Du Page County champions 1927-1951. The Travelers franchise was sold to Rockford, Illinois in 1968.

Q: When was the Elmhurst Newcomers and Neighbors Club founded and what did they do?
A:
Elmhurst Newcomers Club was founded in 1949, and its purpose was to “extend help and friendship to newcomers in our midst.” The club started with 30 members and had 275 members by 1960. From its inception the club had interest groups for its members and offered social gatherings. Over the years the organization has supported various charitable causes from the Du Page Convalescent Home, Elmhurst Hospital and in the 1950s the Mother’s March on Polio. The organization is now known as the Elmhurst Newcomers and Neighbors Club. More information is available at www.ennc.org