As a past president of the Thursday Club, I am privy to bits of its history. The club, according to our records, began like this: “Upon invitation sent by Mrs. Jesse Knight, interested women of our valley met at her home in October 1912 and formed this club with a membership limited to twenty-five. Monthly meetings were held at the homes of members.”
One problem with the Thursday Club records is that the women always used their husband’s names. Mrs. Charles Pate. Mrs. N.A. Maynard. Mrs. S.J. Evans. Those are the names of some of the early presidents. It would be nice to know more about these ladies.
The founder, Mrs. Jesse Knight, was the club’s third president. She was born Elizabeth Lily Knight in 1845, the daughter of John Pleasant Lilly and Amanda Hardin in Gentryville, Mo. She was the second of 10 children. Elizabeth was 16 years old when the Civil War started. As a result, she had little formal education, but became a school teacher after the war.