After looking through more papers, my mother found more about the Needle Circle including some minutes and a more in-depth story of the surprise wedding.
My grandmother, Jessie Smith Yess, wrote this on the occasion of the 75th Anniversary:
Jubilee Needle Circle is celebrating its 75th Anniversary. The circle is still together, although the founders of Jubilee Needle Circle are all passed away, their members of their families and friends have kept it going. Not many Social Clubs like this Needle Circle stands for, have such a record.
We, the present members have many great experiences to talk about. For many years they have met every two weeks, but now once a month for afternoon meetings, or occasionally a breakfast at Jubilee State Park, or a dinner at the Heritage House. When our mothers were living they, in early days experienced many things, we of today do not [know] – such as no electricity, no electric ranges, their first ones were gold old wood stoves or coal ranges, as no electric fans they were very uncomfortable, but didn’t complain too much, just got busy and did what they had to do – and got it done. We realize our Needle Circle cannot last forever, but we do respect the happy times it has given us.
So, we say “Thank You”, Moms and Dads, Friends and Neighbors for the Happiness the Jubilee Neecle Circle has brought to us, and existing, to celebrate it’s 75th Anniversary in 1980. Present Officers: Wenona Tallyn – President, Ruth Corney – Sec. & Treasurer
SELECT MINUTES FROM THE JUBILEE NEEDLE CIRCLE
July 20, 1928 – The Needle Circle met on Friday afternoon at the home of Mrs. Louis Beall’s. Despite the extreme heat a very pleasant afternoon was spent in social chat. Those who cared to brought their own work. A delicious lunch of ice cream, cake and lemonade was served. There were 27 present.
August 31, 1928 – The Needle Circle met at the home of Julie Carleton. About 25 were present to enjoy the afternoon. Everyone had a chance to exercise her brain in writing the names of the Capitals of the States in a contest. The prize was won by Laura Miller.
October 27, 1928 – The Needle Circle met with Mrs. Fronie Duggins for an all day meeting – twenty five present. A bazaar of many beautiful and useful articles which were donated by the members was the attraction for the afternoon. Everything sold well and the neat sum of $13.95 was received for the Society.
December 15, 1928 – The Needle Circle met at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Fred Pierce for an oyster supper and Christmas party, fifty people attended. Each one received a gift, and answered a roll call with a witty saying.
February 16, 1929 – Needle Circle met at the home of Mrs. L. L. Stewart. There was a large crowd present, and it was a special treat to have with us the following Charter members, who have been unable to attend regularly since leaving Jubilee: Mrs. Robt. Symonds, with whom the first meeting was help over 23 years ago, Mr. and Mrs. Ferris Rowcliffe, Mrs. E. P. Slane and Mrs. Josie Hargadine. Time was spent sewing rags for rugs and social chat.
April 11, 1929 – The Needle Circle met at the home of Mrs. Frank Smith. This was a peppy meeting for who but peppy folks would have braved dirt roads, made hub cap deep by several rainy days, in order to get there. The ladies pieced on two quilts, and at this, they report a “ripping” time.
May 23, 1929 – The Circle met at the home or Mr. and Mrs. Fred Pierce to celebrate their silver wedding anniversary. Fifty guests were there and all enjoyed a delicious 2 course supper and a very good time with an invitation to come back in twenty five years to help celebrate their fiftieth anniversary.
July 25, 1929 – The Needle Circle met at the home of Matilda Miller now living near Wyoming, Illinois for an afternoon meeting.
August 4, 1929 – A basket dinner at noon was held at the home of Miss Julia Carleton for an all day picnic. A good crowd attended this event and enjoyed a very good time.
October 24, 1929 – In spite of dreary weather and muddy roads, a very good number gathered at the home of Mrs. Luther Lawrence and Miss Susie Lawrence in the afternoon. A quilt was partly finished in yellow, green and white, the name of it being “Corn and Beans”.
January 2, 1930 – The Needle Circle started the New Year out with a meeting at the home of Mrs. Lulu Rowcliffe, where the men, women and children enjoyed in visiting, talking over old times and looking at pictures and relics of by gone days.
March 15, 1930 – The circle met with Mrs. L. L. Stewartt. It was a hard times party and Mrs. Calhoun was awarded first prize for the best costume. She was attired in dark blue print with patches of various colors here and there as necessity demanded. Her shoes were very large and badly worn. She wore a safety pin necklace and earrings from which dangled small onion, one with, the other red. Mrs. Jessie Yess received second prize, a dish mop. For her costume of rare gunny sack material, her hosiery was of John’s old shirt. A pretty Eaco flour sack collar, also a rope belt with a handerkerchief made of a Rockford sock completed her costume. Several other very striking outfits were present and everyone declared it to be one of our best meetings.
September 20, 1930 – The circle met with Mrs. Fronie Duggins for a gypsy party. Afternoon was spent with game sand contests. A good attendance of members and visitors.
September 21, 1930 – A picnic of the circle was held in the woods north of Princeville. This was held to celebrate the twenty fifth anniversary of the Needle Circle.
December 20, 1930 A large crowd of t he Needle Circle and their families & friends gathered at the home of Mrs. Pearl Beall where their Annual Christmas party and oyster supper was held. A Christmas tree and Santa Claus.
February 5, 1931 – The Needle Circle surprised Mr. and Mrs. H. E. Calhoun for their 25th wedding anniversary. A large crowd attended and a very pleasant time was had.
November 27, 1931 The Circle met with Mrs. Lois Beall and Stella for an all day
meeting. A lovely dinner at noon.
December 26, 1931 – The Needle Circle met at the home of Ferris and Lulu Rowcliffe for their Christmas party and oyster supper, also in honor of their 25th wedding anniversary. A Fine time was had by all present and all left at a late hour.
January 7, 1932 – The Needle Circle met with Irene Maddox for an all day meeting. Time was spent quilting. A lovely dinner was served at noon.
February 4, 1932 – The Circle met with Mrs. Minnie Wyss for an all day meeting. Time was spent quilting. a fine dinner was enjoyed by all.
March 31, 1932 – The circle met with Mrs. Chas. Challacombe for ran all day meeting. The time was spent making quilt blocks. A chicken dinner was served at noon.
June 23, 1932 – The circle was invited to the home of Zella Lewis, a former member of the Circle.
September 1, 1932 – The circle met with Mrs. Coats and Nelle for the afternoon. It was decided to have a post card shower for Charles Nichols, who at that time was a patient in the Methodist Hospital.
September 30, 1932 – The Circle enjoyed a Depression party at the home of Fronie Duggins, with Florence Koch as Co hostess. It was held in the Duggin’s timber. Thought we may have looked depressed in dress, we were not so in spirit, for everyone was in a jolly mood and much fun was had with races, games and contests, with suitable prizes for the winners and all did justice to the substantial lunch.
November 25, 1932 – The Needle Circle met with Bessie Martlief. It was an ideal day and a large crowd attended.
December 31, 1932 – The Annual oyster supper was held at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Fred Slane. A Crow of about 70 attended. Supper was served at eight and the soup was delicious, so was the homemade candy, which was passed many times.
November 9, 1933 – The Needle Circle met at the home of Mrs. Helen White. It being an all day affair a fine pot luck dinner was served at noon. WE tied new comforters and hemmed some towels.
January 1st, 1934 – Instead of her regular meeting, Miss Julie Carlton entertained the Needle Circle members and their families at a New Year’s party. Almost 40 were present and enjoyed the evening with games, & contests. A lunch of sandwiches, cake, pickles and coffee was served at a late hour, after which all departed, declaring Miss Carlton a very charming hostess.
January 20th, 1934 – Almost 100 men, women & children of the Needle Circle gathered at the home of Mr. and Mrs. John Yess for the annual oyster supper. The evening, after supper, was spent with games and an indoor field meet.
March 29, 1934 – The Needle Circle met with Mrs. Pearle Beall. It was a pleasant day and quite a number were in attendance. Guests of the day included Mrs. Zella Lewis, a former member, Miss Minnie Bouton, Mrs. Nelle Beall, Mrs. Sadie Cornish, Mrs. Ruth Beall and Marielly. After a lovely dinner served at noon, the afternoon was spent at games and sewing.
June 21, 1934 – The Needle Circle met with Ruth Slane with a shower for Mrs. Harold Slane. Gooseberry stemming and games were the entertainment of the afternoon. Opal received many beautiful gifts. A delicious lunch of ice cream, cake and ice tea was served. With the beginning of the year, the members voted to hold their meetings alphabetically with the first names of the members. Collection was $1.26.
July 19, 1934 – The Needle Circle met with Mrs. Birdie Calhoun. The afternoon was spent visiting, it being too warm to sew. a 25th Wedding Anniversary party for August 3 was planned for Mr. and Mrs. James Searle. The guest of the afternoon were Mrs. Friedman, & Mrs. Oertley of Princeville. A dainty lunch of cake, fruit salad & ice tea was served.
October 11, 1935 – A weiner roast was held at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Tom Beall. A large crowd attended weiners, buns, Apple Pie and Coffee was served, and Tom and Ida had sweet cider which all enjoyed.
January 30, 1935 – The Needle Circle met at an all day meeting with Nelle Coats, it was a very bad day, and many could not attend, due to bad roads.
October 5, 1936 – Fifty five Needle Circlers circled into the home of Mr. and Mrs. P. P. Miller to celebrate their wedding anniversary. It was the 49th, but the celebration was a “golden wedding day” affair. The evening was superb and a number of the “used to be” regular members but now “not so regular” were there.
December 1, 1936 – The Needle Circle enjoyed an all day meeting with Mrs. Ida Beall at her home in Princeville. As it was the last meeting before Christmas, an exchange of ten cent gifts was given.
January 29, 1937 – A postponed oyster supper & party was held at the home of the Howard Bealls. About 60 people were in attendance. The evening was enjoyed with games and contests —- and cards.
July 30, 1937 – No meeting today everyone too busy cooking for threshers.
Jan 13, 19238 – No meeting too many having “mumps”.
June 12, 1938 – The members of the Needle Circle and their families enjoyed a basket dinner picnic at Jubilee State Park. 63 were present to enjoy the wonderful dinner served at noon.
September 29, 1938 – A weiner roast was held at Jubilee State Park. It was a beautiful night. About 60 present to enjoy the food.
November 3, 1938 – Needle Circle met at the home of Blanche Symonds and Verna Smith as hostess to a hard time party. An afternoon of fun was had by all present laughing at the “hard time” clothes.
December 29, 1939 – Needle Circle met with Ruth Corney for the afternoon and Christmas party was held with an exchange of gifts.
May 16, 1940 – Needle Circle met for an all day meeting with Mrs. John Price, time was spenet visiting and quilting, a fine dinner was served at noon and enjoyed by all. Mrs. Robert Symonds one of the oldest members were present. Pictures were taken.
July 25, 1940 – Needle Circle met with Verna Smith for the afternoon, time was spent visiting and a few guessing games. It was 104 in the shade. A find lunch was served.
September 12, 1940 – About 60 were present at Jubilee State Park for a weiner roast.
October 3, 1940 – Needle Circle met with Nelle Coats. The afternoon spent guessing games & election of officers. It was voted to take up a nickole [nickel] collection instead of a dime.
February 6, 1941 – Mrs. Adal invited the members of the Needle Circle to her home for an all day meeting. Time was spent quilting and visiting. A lovely dinner was served to all present.
June 12, 1941 – The Needle Circle spent the afternoon with Myrtle Slane, time was spent stemming gooseberries. A lovely lunch was served.
June 29, 1941 – A picnic at Jubilee State Park, were about 70 present for the basket dinner. All had to hurry home as a severe storm came.
December 11, 1941 – Needle Circle met at the home of Stella Beall. Time was spent visiting and bingo, after which Santa Claus came with presents for the children and ladies. A lovely lunch was served.
February 14, 1942 – A number of Jubilee Circle members went to the home of Mr. and Mrs. Jack Maddox for the evening to celebrate their 25th Wedding Anniversary.
September 5, 1942 – A weiner roast held at the Jubilee Park. About 70 present for the evening.
November 11, 1943 Ruth Corney had a Thanksgiving party. A lovely lunch and a good attendance.
April 21, 1944 – Needle Circle met at Mrs. Vera Searles home. A good crowd attended, and several lap robes were sewed.
December 7, 1944 – Needle Circle met at the home of Helen Smiths. It was the Christmas party exchange of gifts.
February 6, 1945 – The Golden Anniversary of Mr. and Mrs. Robert Symonds. She was one of the first members of Jubilee Needle Circle.
February 14, 1946 – Needle Circle met with Ruth Corney and Ruth Slane for an all day meeting, very few present as roads were drifted shut with snow.
December 19, 1946 – Needle Circle met at Blanche Symonds & Florence Miller as hostess to an all day meeting and Christmas Party.
September 28, 1947 – The Needle Circle picnic was held Jubilee State Park. A very chilly day and crowd was small. A fine chicken and plenty of ice cream was enjoyed by all.
June 24, 1948 – Members and their families were invited to a surprise party on Red and Ruby White for their 26th Wedding Anniversary.
April 22, 1947 [Not sure what the correct date is for this. This is typed in the same order as written.] – Needle Circle met at the home of Mrs. Marvin Huffman for an afternoon meeting, time was spent visiting and games, after which lunch was served.
January 13, 1948 – Needle Circle postponed because of ice.
April 21, 1948 – Needle circle met at Florence Koch’s with Fronnie Duggins and Anna Oppe as hostess for an afternoon meeting.
June 12, 1949 Needle Circle met for an afternoon meeting with Polly Duggins. Time was spent with games, and a dainty lunch was served.
September 18, 1949 – Needle Circle met with Erma Huffman for an afternoon meeting – meeting the first time after summer vacation.
Jubilee Needle Circle story about a surprise wedding at a meeting [handwritten by a member, but not Jessie Yess]
The ladies had long planned and looked forward to meeting with Mrs. Ida Beall. They’re plans were at last realized on Oct. 26th. Before noon ladies and G. W. and Ferris Rowcliffe had arrived.
It had been decided to have a lap dinner so the party was seated and the dinner had been served as far as fruit salad when all were attracted by seeing a single buggy to which was hitched a thin white horse drive into the yard. We were all anxious to know who else was coming to sew.
Soon we discovered it was G. W. Smith and son Alvie, but who the lady was! We had never seen her before. They wished to talk to G. W. Rowcliffe. One lady reported that a neighbor had told them that Smith had recently returned from the west and brought a wife with him.
Soon G. W. Esquire (Rowcliffe) came back into the house to get Mamma Rowcliffe’s consent. Some one piped out “oh! We are going to have a wedding.” The secret was out.
Mamma said, “bring them in. we can have a wedding can’t we Ida?” “Sure” Ida said and G.W. Rowcliffe (Esquire) returned to the buggy and told them the good news. They at once emptied their pocket books and handed the contents with the necessary legal papers to him. Ferris acted as usher and prevented them getting in through the back door. Esquire Rowcliffe astonished us by pronouncing the ceremony so well, it being his first wedding.
Afterwards Esquire Rowcliffe told us his first wedding had been one of his dreams of his life. That he had repeated the ceremony daily hoping for a fee and when the bride answered to the important question, “Yes, God Bless You”, he felt well repaid. The bride was Miss Sara Meals, aged 26, of Oklahoma. The groom Mr. G. W. Smith, aged 63 of Illinois, “who always had and thought he always could support a wife”. Mrs. Symonds and Mrs. Bush acted as witnesses.
The ladies served a wedding dinner in good style.
The bride wore a dress of red with a grey hat, a grey sweater and grey golf gloves. The Wedding ring being worn on the outside of the glove on the first finger. The groom wore Conventional clothes and a big long overcoat.