Union League documents just arrived

Well, as the archivist described, it isn’t much–but nevertheless, I am truly fascinated and excited!

First, there was the candidate’s register from 1895, not much to see there except date, name, town and occupation. The later register, 1897, when he was admitted to the Union League, included basically the same thing, date, name, and town–but it was signed, and all the information appeared to be handwritten by M.H. Kulp himself. It is the first handwritten document I have found, with the exception of his signature on the marriage license which I discovered back in May.

Page one

Page two; both business and residence addresses list only the town, Shamokin

The Union League Pt. II

Well, the archivist (a very friendly and helpful lady!), says that they do have a few records. Not a great deal, just candidate’s registers–but to me, it’s still something. The registers, she informs me, say that he became a candidate for membership May 14, 1895, proposed by one Ellery P. Ingham, and was admitted November 1, 1897. The archivist said she would photocopy these documents at no charge, so…now we wait! I know it isn’t much, but any bit of information adds to what I know, and any bit of information is therefore very much welcome.

I also tried to call the nearby Masons and Elks people today, but they are not answering their phones. I have decided that on Sunday I am going to call Trinity Episcopal Church again. When I was there at the time of the festival, they explained that I musn’t call on weekdays, no one is around. I thought they’d all be in church on Sunday, not in the office, so I didn’t call then, but whatever. I don’t know what records the church would have other than perhaps a marriage register mentioning MHK and his wife; but then, the fact that I don’t know is precisely why I should call.

The Union League

Recently I got to thinking that it was about time for me to start looking into the society and fraternal organizations connected with my research. There ought to be some records there, no? Documents, photos? (Ah, yes, the eternal quest for documents and photos!)

So I went over the long, long list of organizations that M.H. Kulp, the foremost individual in my research, belonged to. As listed in Floyd’s biography of him:

…the Elks, the Eagles, the Red Men and the Masons, in the latter
associating with Shamokin Lodge, No. 255, F. & A.M.; Shamokin Chapter, No. 264, R.A.M.; Shamokin Commandery No. 77, K.T.; Philadelphia Consistory, thirty-second degree; and Rajah Temple, A.A.O.N.M.S. He was one of the organizers of the Cresco Club of Shamokin, was a member of the Rosa Club [think they are referring to the Ross Club] of Williamsport, of the Manufacturers Club of Philadelphia, and Union League of Philadelphia.

Where to start?? Well, I began by consulting my local telephone directory to see if any of these Mason or Elk chapters are still around. Apparently not. The closest Elk lodge is in Mt. Carmel and the closest Masons are in Sunbury and Danville (!).

I thought about contacting the Mt. Carmel Elks anyway to see if they knew anything; according to another of Floyd’s biographies, MHK’s brother Gilbert was once an exalted ruler of some Elk chapter or other, so it seemed as if the Elks were a good place to start. However, I also thought I had better look into the Philadelphia organizations, as that’s a major city and their organizations might be more long-standing.

Sure enough, the Union League of Philadelphia is very long-standing. Their website explains that the League was founded in 1862 as a society supporting the policies of Abraham Lincoln. They have been around ever since and appear to be highly classy, to say the least! 🙂

The site said that those looking for further information on the League’s history should contact the director of the library and historical collections, which is what I did. I explained in my email that I was writing a biography of a legislator from Shamokin, Pennsylvania, who became a member of the League between 1894 and ’99. However, I received an automatic reply explaining that the director is currently away from his office, and for immediate service I should contact the librarian. I then forwarded my message to there, and this morning received a message from the librarian saying she was going to forward the message to the archivist…well, after that, I received a very quick reply from the said archivist, who seemed eager to assist. I explained to her exactly what I was looking for, and am currently awaiting a response. Hopefully, this may turn up something. I get the impression that the League keeps very detailed records, so there should be some info.

Also, readers may have noticed that the category and tag system here has changed. Actually, I’m still in the process of reorganizing it, so you’d best be using the search engine for a while! I’m afraid I shall never be a good taxonomist. 🙂

Red Cross again…?

This afternoon, passing the time before leaving for an appointment, I browsed through a copy of Greater Shamokin Centennial, published in 1964, the 100th anniversary of Shamokin’s incorporation as a borough. I first learned of the Red Cross connection (see posting of May 21) in this book, and today while browsing through that section, I came across a photo captioned: “Life Honorary Memberships being presented by area Red Cross.”

I’ve been through this book, cover to cover, before, but now I happened to study this particular photo more closely. Strangely, one of the men in the photo distinctly reminded me of M.H. Kulp, though the time period was much too late (I estimate 1960’s). There was no identification of the people in the photo, but I am thinking he may have been a relative. Even some of my family members say they notice a resemblance, and they don’t keep up with my research generally.

I’m still waiting for the Mount Carmel Red Cross to call back. Will have to ask about that honorary membership thing and see if I can find out the names of the people in the photo. A rather interesting development today.