Comments from Lawrence Nelson’s Fortnightly in Redlands at the 1000th regular meeting, November 17, 1960.
Kirke Field, last surviving active charter member, told the story of Fortnightly’s founding.
“The Reverend Doctor Easter came to Redlands as rector of Trinity Church, December 31, 1893. I had arrived in the fall of 1892, and had been seriously engaged in disproving the predictions of my physicians. By the early winter of 1894-95 my health permitted some return to the activities of life. At that time Dr. Easter and I met at a small afternoon reception. We spoke of the difficulty that men had meeting socially and the fact that most of us were recent arrivals, unacquainted with each other. It led us to a discussion of literary and social clubs to which we belonged, and the possibility of establishing some such organization in Redlands.. We finally made a list of twenty men, who might be interested in such a project, and each agreed to see certain ones. As I had more leisure, and going any distance with horse and buggy over our undulating roads required time and patience, prospects living in the country were assigned to me….. In all nineteen were invited to meet at my house, now number 434 West Highland Avenue [In 1995 the address is 834 W. Highland Avenue] Thirteen responded… The foregoing nineteen became the charter members.”
Field was unanimously elected President of the new Fortnightly Club.
The Reverend John D. Easter, Episcopal minister in the Redlands village of 3000. After his first degree from Yale, he had graduated as chemist and geologist from Heidelberg, and had followed this by further studies at the University of Gottingen and the Saxon School of Mines at Freiberg. he had taught chemistry and physics at the University of Georgia until his ordination. At his death he left his valuable collection of minerals to the University of Redlands. He had been for thirteen years a member of the Jacksonville, Illinois, Literary Union, which he proposed as a pattern for the new club. He was unanimously elected vice-president of the new Fortnightly Club. (See notes on founding re Kirke Field)
Doctor Robert Thomas Allen, British born, had come recently from San Francisco, became a practicing physician in Redlands, had two medical degrees from the University of Edinburgh, Soon after reaching Redlands he attained American citizenship.
George W. Beattie was the author of “Heritage of the Valley” and other publications. His son, George F. Beattie was an astronomer, was on the board of the Redlands Unified School District, and was president of the SB Valley College in 1948-49.
A. Harvey Collins, with his bachelor’s degree from the University of Indiana, and graduate work at the University of California, had been in Fortnightly while principal of the Kingsbury School in Redlands, before removing to the public school system in Covina. Returning as professor of history and registrar, and after retirement, as municipal court judge, he resumed membership in Fortnightly.
William J. Dentler. Lutheran minister. In 1930 the club allowed his wife to address it. Mrs. Clara Dentler narrated her observations and experiences in Germany and Austria. After the death of her husband, she resigned her position in the history department of the RHS and became a member of the faculty of the University of Florence, Italy.
Victor Leroy Duke had degrees from Shurtleff College with graduate work at Chicago. He left teaching at Shurtleff to come to U of R as Professor of Mathematics, Treasurer, and later as dean and ultimately as president of U of R.
E. N. Eaton, Professor of Pure Mathematics at Massachusetts Polytechnic, was made an honorary member of Fortnightly at its second session. When the Redlands High School students dedicated the Makio to him in 1927 he was 80 years old. After his age the most memorable thing about him was his dignity. He was groomed and dressed as a gentleman of the old school. his white beard was a neatly trimmed goatee. The coat of his business suit was often unbuttoned to display his vest and the gold chain across it which secured a pocket watch. When he came to Redlands he was so eager to teach that he didn’t wait for the high school to be launched. He conducted a free class in botany for 60 men and women. He was one of the first library trustees and for about two years, a school district trustee.
S. Edwards. In 1882 came here to die, and he did so 51 years later.
John P. Fisk. Broken in health, quit teaching at Beloit College, became Redlands’ first realtor in 1887, died in 1945.
Isaac Ford. In 1884, aged twenty-two, arrived with a life expectancy of six months. He died at 96.
Professor Charles B. Gleason was teaching at the newly-formed high school, which had just graduated its first class, of twelve, who had done so well that already the high school was pridefully accredited in all the five fields then taught at the University in Berkeley, whereas most California high schools were accredited in but two or three. Gleason, a high honors graduate of Harvard, was adept in the classics, in mathematics, and in modern languages. Having been a Harvard player, he coached the Redlands High School’s first football team, he soon left the Redlands High School and the Fortnightly Club to teach at the University of California.
F. Harper. Came here because of his daughter’s illness.
George D. Knights held degrees from Colgate and Rochester. He was pastor at Upper Alton, Illinois, when Victor Leroy Dukes persuaded him to come to U of R as Professor of English.
The Riverside lad who as little Willie Kyle had visited Redlands in his boyhood, returned as James W. Kyle, professor of Latin and Greek, with degrees from Denison and Chicago, and further study at the Royal Museum at Berlin and the American School of Classical Studies at Athens.
The Reverend S. F. Langford in 1922 suggested that the admission of women to membership might pep up the club. After listening to the remarks engendered by his proposal he lapsed into a well-informed silence.
E. Lockwood. In 1891, Fellow in Physiology at Clark University, found his strength overtaxed, resigned, came to Redlands.
George L. Melton came to the deanship of the college and to Fortnightly with a one-year old Ph. D. from the University of Chicago, where he had been for two years instructor in history and superintendent of library purchasing.
Frank P. Morrison. Fortnightly charter member. President of First National Bank. He had spent three years in Yale’s Sheffield Scientific School.
T. Painter. Pittsburgh physician and medical editor, arrived in 1891, recuperated, opened an office for eye, ear, nose, and throat.
Edwin F. Partridge. Philadelphian. After a highly successful career in banking and manufacturing, achieved despite severe physical infirmities, he died in Redlands at 64.
W. Porter had been a dean at University of Berkeley.
Charles Putnam. Deprived of a college education by reason of his own illness, came here for his wife’s health.
George Robertson, A.B., McGill University was already a member of Fortnightly, in 1896 when he was on the original faculty of the University of Redlands. Born in Canada, he was the Congregational pastor of the Mentone Community Church before becoming the highly revered professor of geology and botany at the U of R. After his death the first endowed professorship was established in his honor.
Doctor Charles A. Sanborn had finished the medical course at Bowdoin, at the Bellevue Hospital Medical College in new York, and had twice taken post-graduate courses at the Postgraduate Medical College in new York City.
H. Sinclair, marine lawyer, worked on a Redlands ranch to recover his health, and pioneered what grew to be the Southern California Edison empire.
Quaker Alfred H. Smiley with a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree and teaching experience, all at Haverford, formerly headmaster of his own privately owned prep school, formerly public high school principal, formerly city superintendent of schools, became a wealthy inn-keeper and philanthropist. He personally gathered pledges to start the first free public library in Redlands, for which his twin brother, Albert K. later gave the library building. The Smileys had sponsored at their own expense perhaps the most significant conferences in America on Indian affairs, on the welfare of negroes north and south, and on international arbitration.
Twin brother, Albert K. Smiley, was made an honorary member of Fortnightly at its second session. He had been for twenty years a trustee of Brown University. For the decade since its beginning, he had been a trustee of Bryn Mawr College, and had been the president of the board of trustees of the New York State Normal ever since its founding.
William M. Smith. Member of the Army Board of Medical Examiners in Washington, D.C., Later the most far sighted and successful health officer the Port of New York had until then. He had come to Redlands in 1894 after traveling widely in search of health.
The Reverend Orange H. Spoor. came to Redlands in 1887; at once began to recuperate from illness caused by overwork.
Ill health drove W. M. Tisdale from law, made him the manager of three hotels in Redlands, and ardent frequently published author.
Howard White. after graduation from Harvard, had continued his education as a civil and sanitary engineer in Europe He engineered sewers in New York, helped engineer the harbor at San Pedro, caused the buying of the Pillsbury and Washburn mills in Minneapolis, came to Redlands a consumptive, and was the first Fortnightly member to die.
Daniel Willard was a graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
The Reverend John H. Williams was a graduate of Amherst and of the Andover Theological Seminary, he had been a high school teacher of Latin, Chemistry and Rhetoric.
Quaker Lindley Murray Winston, had gone to Haverford. He had been a civil engineer for the CB&Q Railroad, a bridge builder for city of Philadelphia, and a construction engineer for the Santa Fe railway.