News compiled by Ginny Leap from past issues of
Switzerland County newspapers.
107 YEARS AGO
The Vevay Reveille had a short one-column headline on Page 4 on May 11th, 1893, to report a visit to Vevay by Edward Eggleston. It read:
The Eggleston Club
Give a Reception in Honor of Dr. and Mrs.
Edward Eggleston – A Brilliant and Pleasant
Social Affair – Notes.
After many years absence Eggleston was returning to the town of his birth to give a lecture under auspices of Vevay Eggleston Club. Titled “How They Live in Ireland,” the lecture was given May 4th at Switzerland Baptist Church.
The following is editor W. J. Baird’s account in The Reveille concerning the Eggleston Club reception in Eggleston’s honor.
No event in Vevay’s history has afforded so much pleasure to so many of her society-loving people as the festivities at the reception given at the residence of Captain A. J. Schenck, last Thursday evening, by the ladies of the Eggleston Literary Club, in honor of Dr. Edward Eggleston, for whom the club was named.
The event had been bruited about the city for several weeks, and expectation ran high, as perforce it will in anticipation of an entertainment under the auspices of that liberal club, for all know that whatever the prodigal liberality of the ladies of that elite club will to do, as entertainers, is always done without stint, and a la mode.
Early in the evening the capacious parlors of the commodious mansion were radiant with light – magnificent cut flowers adorned the mantles, and palms and ferns showed Flora had paid heavy contribution to the decorative taste of the fair clubbists, suggestive to the scholar of the bowers of classic Athens, and suggestive to all, of the excellent and refined taste of the ladies of the L.E.L. club.
At 8 o’clock the guest of honor, accompanied by Mrs. Eggleston, arrived, and after receiving a cordial greeting by the President of the club and chief hostess of the evening, Mrs. A. J. Schenck, they were shown to the entrance of N. E. into S. E. parlor, where, standing, they were introduced to each member of the club, and to such invited guests as had arrived, each member and guest, as they were severally introduced, passing into the adjoining parlor.
At 8 1/2 o’clock “The Ladies’ H. and P. Club,” of Ghent, arrived, accompanied by their gentlemen escorts, and were in like manner introduced to the Dr. and Mrs. Eggleston, and at 9 o’clock “The Women’s Study Club,” of Vevay, arrived, and were recipients of a like pleasure – for it was genuine pleasure to receive the warm handshaking and cordial greeting the Doctor and his amiable and accomplished wife extended to each.
Among those present were:
Eggleston Club – Mrs. Alice Barnett, Mrs. C. G. Boerner and husband, Mrs. W. J. Baird and husband, Mrs. A. G. Craig and husband, Mrs. J. P. Carter, (husband absent on business), Mrs. U. P. Craig and husband, Mrs. William F. Goldenburg and husband, Mrs. F. M. Griffith and husband, Mrs. Lizzie Hall, Mrs. J. H. Netherland and husband, Mrs. A. J. Porter and husband, Mrs. S. O. N. Pleasants, Mrs. George S. Pleasants and husband, Mrs. W. R. Protsman and husband, Mrs. Alfred Shaw and husband, Mrs. C. C. Shaw, (husband detained at home, lame), Mrs. J. W. Smith and husband, Mrs. A. J. Schenck and husband, Mrs. C. S. Tandy and husband, Miss Mary A. Rous, Mrs. James M. Scott and husband, Mrs. William D. Ward and husband.
Mrs. Eliza Adkinson, Indianapolis; Mrs. J. H. Shadday, and Miss E. Orlenda Thiebaud, members of the Club, sent their regrets. Husbands of members of the Club, at its organization, were complimented by being elected honorary members.
Visitors – Dr. and Mrs. Edward Eggleston, New York City; Judge Robert N. Lamb and daughter Miss Etta, Indianapolis; Miss Isabella Dumont Greenfell, New South Wales, Australia; Mrs. Reed Carpenter and Mrs. C. F. Carpenter, Mansfield, Ohio; Mrs. J. W. Gibbs, Cleveland, Ohio; Miss Emma Davis, White’s Run, Kentucky; Mrs. Flora Schenck and daughter Perle, Peru, Indiana; Miss Mammie Clark, New Albany, Indiana; Mrs. Maggie Tandy, Ghent.
Mrs. Rebecca Wright, Mrs. Sallie Hall, Mrs. Jane Morerod, Mrs. Amie Morerod, Mrs. W. E. Morris and Mr. Edward Morris, Alfred Rous and wife, Mrs. I. P. Loring, Reverend Manly and wife, Reverend Thompson and wife, Mrs. Sallie Danglade and son, Mrs. George W. Haskell.
Misses Lizzie Rous, Jane Kincaid, Emma H. McCulloch, Mollie Mottier, Zella Ward, Belle Dupraz, Lela Barnett, Mr. Lewis Mills, Master George Pleasants.
Woman’s Study Club – Mrs. G. W. Van Pelt and husband, Mrs. W. L. Fisk and husband, Mrs. F. L. Grisard and husband, Effie Morrison and Mac Danner, Kate McHenry and Julian Lamson, Edith Goldenburg and Sid Dupraz, Anna Boerner and Dr. Sexton, Nettie Northcott and M. C. Waldon, Sada Hall and John Knox, Grace Stepleton and W. H. Pleasants, Dora Kessler and Dr. Geiger, Jennie Demann and Will Demann, Mary Van Pelt and Perry Simpson, Emma Grisard and Milton Boerner, Belle Melcher and Professor Melcher, Mollie Hall and O. M. Pleasants, Julia Bell and Lul Dupraz, Lou Protsman and Armond Rous, Adah Hall and Jesse Knox, Lula B. Ward and Mr. Harris, Lide Griffith and Walter Benedict, Lette Dyer, Nora Lewis and Dr. Dalgleish.
H. & P. Literary Society, Ghent, Kentucky – Miss Caby Froman and Reverend Loving, Mrs. Mac Froman and husband, Mrs. Charles Wise and husband, Mrs. Brown and husband, Mrs. Scott and Reverend C. C. Brown, Mrs. Wiggington and Vernon Driskell, Misses Perley Chamberlain and George Hall, Prewett McDonald and Tandy Ellis, Carrie Duiguid and Carrie Driskell, Jessie Tandy and Louis Jex, Clara Brightwell and Ed Gex, Jessie Brown and James McDonald, Lula Brown and Dr. J. S. Brown; Mrs. Robert Howe and husband, Carrollton.
(Among the large number, it is possible we have failed to give all present, but have not intentionally omitted any.)
The formality of introduction being over, 180 guests, representing men venerable in age, matrons gray, both sexes of middle-age, belles, boys and misses, cheered by the bewitching strains of the tuneful harp manipulated by a cultured Italian artist, were free to follow their own “sweet” pleasure, without let or hindrance, or fear of conventional interdiction – it being the wise rule of this sensible club that no arbitrary restraint shall mar the enjoyment of any when their object is to make all joyous.
There is great temptation to mention some ladies of the club for their conspicuous complaisance, but as every member seemed to consider it her mission to render everybody happy, it would be invidious to say more than that the President was generous to prodigality in hospitality, and had an equally generous aid in every member of the club.
The dining room contained five tables, decorated in the center with choicest flowers. At each table six guests were seated, and served with most delicious and delicate refreshments, prepared a la L. E. L. club.
When it is remembered that nine score guests partook of the refreshments and slaked their thirst with that grateful cooling beverage, the choicest “ice cold lemonade,” without exhausting the supply, the reader will have an idea of the munificent scale upon which this club dispenses hospitality.
How did they spend the evening? Well, how would you, fair or stern reader, while away the time in such an assemblage with a carte blanche from the powers that had “the say” to follow your own pleasure? So acted they.
We are not Argus, and could not see through walls of different apartments of the mansion, nor is our hearing so acute as to simultaneously detect the sayings of 200 voices and the melody of many instruments; but some things we did see and hear – pretty women and rich costumes, and melodious music, instrumental and vocal, and a “sound of revelry by night” – “and when music arose with its voluptuous swell, soft eyes looked love to eyes which spake again.”
And we saw the veritable Eggleston take the floor and eager people crowd around him, and we hear him render some of his own quaint characters in his own attractive style – but to such a limited extent that many voices said they “wish he would read more.”
And we, or at least gallant, beaux, saw Miss Edith Goldenburg and Miss Lou Protsman seated at the aforesaid piano, and a duet that was a duet followed: and we heard the charming sisters, Misses Lulu and Birda Ward, sing a duet that delighted and electrified; and we heard Vevay’s own belle – Miss Belle Melcher – render a solo not so low but that everybody said: “‘Tis Belle, ’tis Belle.”
What else did we see and hear? Well, we saw and heard whatever refinement, taste and culture could devise and contribute to the highest enjoyment and supremest delectation to everybody whose good fortune it was to be of the happy numbers, and heard from many voices, “Captain Schenck’s a ‘trump,'” and Mrs. Schenck and all the ladies of the club ought to have gold medals” and we saw dejected countenances as their owners took a long, last, lingering look at the noble mansion, as they emerged from beneath its hospitable roof.
News compiled by Ginny Leap from past issues of