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Field, Mrs. Frank

 Person

The Monday Club of Johnson City originated in 1892 when Mrs. J. E. (Ida R.) Crandall and ten other ladies formed “The Ladies’ Reading Circle.” In October 1893, the circle reorganized as “The Monday Reading Club,” only to reorganize again on August 6, 1894 with Mrs. J. E. Stevens elected as president. At that time, the club changed its’ name to the “Monday Club” and began the movement to create a public library in Johnson City, Tenn. During these early years, the club met in members’ homes with membership being limited to 15 women. Eventually, the number of members was increased. By the 1950s, the Monday Club boasted over 300 members and was an active member of the Tennessee Federation of Women’s Clubs.

During 1895-1896, the Johnson City Public Library was established by the club. Various fund raising efforts were undertaken to purchase books, magazines, and tables. With this nucleus, the library was opened in a room in the Reeves Building. In 1913, Samuel Cole Williams donated a lot and the initial capital to build the Mayne Williams Library, the public library’s first building, on North Roan Street, beside Munsey Memorial Methodist Church. The library was incorporated at that time and became the main project of the Monday Club thereafter. In 1938, the club organized the Junior Monday Club, whose membership age limit was 35. Its’ initial focus was supporting the children’s department of the Johnson City Public Library. Both groups continue to operate, providing important charitable work to the community. Records of the Monday club were originally maintained by Mrs. Frank Field, the club historian.