Inventory

Knights of Columbus Records
Dates:  1901-1922
Accession Number:  20071128
Donor:  Vigo County Historical Society (original donor: John Ragle)
Description: Four document cases

History

The Mother Theodore Guerin Council No. 541, Knights of Columbus was chartered in Terre Haute, Indiana on November 18, 1900 with 72 members.  The organization was formed as a means to provide fellowship for and enhance the spirituality of Roman Catholic men.

In December 1900, the Mother Guerin Council established an executive committee and elected Daniel Reagin as their first Grand Knight.  Council 541 held their first meeting in May of 1901 in the Hall (auditorium) of  St. Joseph's School.   Later meetings were held at the Tune Building, at 5th Street and Wabash Avenue.

To attract new members, the Knights participated in the national Knights of Columbus insurance program which assisted widows and orphans of deceased members and helped pay funeral expenses at a time when there were no welfare programs of any kind.  Membership increased enough that Council No. 541 was able to purchase the Thomas Kinser residence at 9th and Ohio Streets as its headquarters.  The three-story house was remodeled to handle the needs of Council No. 541 and featured a council chamber (meeting room), recreation rooms, a library, an auditorium, and a ballroom.   A gymnasium was added during World War I.

Members of Council No. 541 participated in several ways during World War I.  According to papers in this collection, 115 members of the Mother Theodore Guerin Council enlisted in the armed services and 56 of those men became commissioned and non-commissioned officers. During this time, the council was also asked to fulfill financial quotas to support the United States war effort through the Knights of Columbus War Activities Committees, locally and nationally. The Knights also participated in boosting morale overseas by providing service centers called K of C Huts.  After the war local councils helped their military veteran members find employment.

Local 541's involvement in the creation and dedication in 1921 of the Gibault Home as a school for at risk boys is the last major project covered by materials in this collection.  Council No. 541 was instrumental in purchasing the Fred B. Smith estate in Allendale in southern Vigo County for the school.   In May 1921, motions to purchase the property and to construct a dormitory were approved at the state convention hosted in Terre Haute by Council 541.  The completed dormitory was commemorated with the celebration of a Mass in October 1921 and in May 1922 the Gibault Home was the site of the state convention.

As of 2007, the Mother Theodore Guerin Council No. 541 was located at 1320 Lafayette Avenue in Terre Haute and meets the first and third Mondays of the month.

Content and Scope of Collection

This collection is comprised of minutes, correspondence, membership records and financial records (bills, receipts, and budgets) of the Mother Theodore Guerin Council No. 541, Knights of Columbus from 1901 to 1922.

Of particular note are the materials concerning the Knights' benevolent activities in World War I including letters from soldiers overseas and the local preparations for the dedication ceremonies for the Gibault Home in May 1921, October 1921 and May 1922.

Document Case 1

 

 

 

 

Folder 1

History

1921

 

 

 

Folder 2

History

n.d.

 

 

 

 

Song list: 

We Meet Tonight

n.d.

 

 

 

Onward, Christian Soldiers

 

 

 

 

While Borne O'er the Waters

 

 

 

 

Sing Ye His Praises

 

 

 

 

 

Folder 3

Minutes, resolutions, initiation
  programs, and committee reports

1902-1919

 

 

 

Folder 4

Budget materials

1910-1912

 

 

 

Folder 5

Membership Lists

1902-1904

 

 

 

Folder 6

Membership Correspondence (A-E)

1911-1913

 

 

 

Folder 7

Membership Correspondence (F-J)

1911-1913

 

 

 

Folder 8

Membership Correspondence (K-R)

1911-1914

 

 

 

Folder 9

Membership Correspondence -
 James H. Murdock

1913

 

 

 

Folder 10

Membership Correspondence (S-Z)

1910-1913

 

 

 

Folder 11

Membership Records

1913

 

 

 

Folder 12

Membership Dues

1912-1913

 

 

 

Folder 13

Membership Dues

1913-1914

 

 

 

 

 

 

Folder 14

General Correspondence

1901

 

 

 

Folder 15

General Correspondence

Jan 1, 1902-
Feb. 12, 1902

 

 

 

Folder 16

General Correspondence

Feb. 15,1902-
March 24, 1902

 

 

 

Folder 17

General Correspondence

March 1902-
Nov. 1902

 

 

 

Folder 18

General Correspondence

Jan. 1903-
Feb. 1903

 

 

 

Folder 19

General Correspondence

June 1903-
Dec. 1903

 

 

 

Folder 20

General Correspondence

1908-1913

 

 

 

 

 

 

Document Case 2  

 

 

 

 

Folder 1

General Correspondence

June 1916-
Dec. 1, 1917

 

 

 

Folder 2

General Correspondence

Jan. 7, 1918-
March 28, 1918

 

 

 

Folder 3

General Correspondence

April 1918

 

 

 

Folder 4

General Correspondence

May 1918-
Sept. 1918

 

 

 

Folder 5

General Correspondence

Oct. 1918-
Nov. 1918

 

 

 

Folder 6

General Correspondence

Dec. 1918

 

 

 

Folder 7

General Correspondence

Jan. 1919-
March 1919

 

 

 

Folder 8

General Correspondence

April 1919-
May 15, 1919

 

 

 

 

 

 

Folder 9

General Correspondence

May 16, 1919-
June 30, 1919

 

 

 

Folder 10

General Correspondence

July 1919-
Nov. 1919

 

 

 

Folder 11

American Committee for Relief  in Ireland

1920-1921

 

 

 

Folder 12

American Jewish Relief Committee

1919

 

 

 

Folder 13

Assembly Building (metal plate)

n.d.

 

 

 

Folder 14

Chair of Secular History, Catholic  University of America

1901-1903

 

 

 

Folder 15

Midwest Floods

1913

 

 

 

Folder 16

Initiation Programs - other cities

1910-1913

 

 

 

Folder 17

Insurance

1911-1919

 

 

 

Folder 18

State Council, Knights of Columbus

1902-1904

 

 

 

Folder 19

State Council, Knights of Columbus

1920-1921

 

 

 

Folder 20

Knights of Columbus, National

1901-1903

 

 

 

Document Case 3                           War Activities

 

 

 

 

Folder 1

Report of Activities at Camp Rose,
  Camp Normal, and the Local 541
  Clubhouse During World War I

1919

 

 

 

Folder 2

General Correspondence

June 1917-
May 1918

 

 

 

Folder 3

General Correspondence

May 1918-
Dec. 1918

 

 

 

Folder 4

General Correspondence

Jan. 1919-
June 1918

 

 

 

Folder 5

General Correspondence

July 1919-
March 1920

 

 

 

Folder 6

Correspondence from Soldiers

Jan. 1918-
July 1918

 

 

 

Folder 7

Correspondence from Soldiers

July 1918-
Oct. 1918

 

 

 

Folder 8

Correspondence from Soldiers

Oct. 1918-
Dec. 1918

 

 

 

Folder 9

Correspondence from Soldiers

Jan. 1919-
May 1919

 

 

 

Folder 10

Correspondence from Soldiers

n.d.

 

 

 

Folder 11

War Activity Materials

1917-1922

 

 

 

Folder 12

Overseas Employment Requests

1918

 

 

 

Folder 13

War Camp Fund

1918

 

 

 

Folder 14

Employment Cards, Knights of
  Columbus, War Activities Committee,
  Reconstruction and Employment Service

1918-1919

 

 

 

Folder 15

History of the Knights of Columbus
  in World War I project

ca. 1919

 

 

 

 

 

 

Document Case 4

Gibault Home and Financial Records

 

 

 

 

Folder 1

General Correspondence

May 4, 1921-
Sept. 30, 1921

 

 

 

Folder 2

General Correspondence

Oct. 1921

 

 

 

Folder 3

General Correspondence

May 1922

 

 

 

Folder 4

Newspaper Clipping, Dormitory Dedication Program,
  Indiana State Convention Program

May 1922

 

 

 

Folder 5

History of Knights of Columbus
  (press release)

1922

 

 

 

Folder 6

Convention Committee Records

1921

 

 

 

Folder 7

Financial Records

1902-1903

 

 

 

Folder 8

Financial Records

1912

 

 

 

Folder 9

Financial Records

1912

 

 

 

Folder 10

Financial Records

1912-1919

 

 

 

Folder 11

Financial Records

1917-1918

 

 

 

Folder 12

Financial Records

1918

 

 

 

Folder 13

Financial Records

1921-1922

     
Folder 14 Photographs of members Charles M. Fortune and Dr. Joseph Frisz (with biographical information added by archivist) n.d.

 

 

 

Folder 15

Metal plates of photographs
  (2 unidentified individuals and 2 pictures of the Gibault Home)

n.d.