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DuSable Museum of African American History

Guide to the Hope Dunmore / Old Settlers Social Club Collection, 1883-1974

Monica Mercado, April 2008

Descriptive Summary

Title:

Hope Dunmore / Old Settlers Social Club Collection

Dates:

1883-1974

Size:

8 linear feet

Repository:

Archives of the DuSable Museum of African American History
740 East 56th Place
Chicago, IL 60637

Subject Headings

Dunmore, Hope,

Old Settlers Social Club (Chicago, Ill.)

African Americans

Access

Contact Museum Curatorial Department, (773) 947-0600, x247

Citation

When quoting material from this collection the preferred citation is:

Dunmore, Hope / Old Settlers Social Club Collection. [Box #, Folder #]. DuSable Museum of African American History.

Provenance

This collection has been grouped as an artificial accession. A record of the donation of these papers has not been found. At the time that this collection was processed, the materials had already been partly processed, and were found in Museum files or boxes already labeled "Dunmore." While it is not certain, it is presumed that most of the contents of the collection were once the property of Hope Dunmore or members of her immediate family; additional materials about the Chicago Old Settlers Social Club and black freemasonry appear to have been collected from other members over the years. According to the contents of the collection, we can speculate that this set of papers was donated to the DuSable Museum after Hope Dunmore's death in 1974, although an exact date is uncertain.

Biographical Note

Chicago native Hope Ives Dunmore was a longtime member of the Old Settlers Social Club, an organization founded by prominent members of Chicago's African American community in the early 1900s. She was born ca. 1894 in Chicago, Illinois, the eighth of twelve children of Anna Bumbry Dunmore and Robert Dunmore. The Dunmores lived at S. Campbell Avenue on Chicago's South Side, where Hope resided until the end of her life.

Little published biographical information is available about Hope Dunmore. Records in this collection indicate that she was educated in the Chicago Public School system. They also confirm that she graduated from the Shields Elementary School and Wendell Phillips High School. However, her professional life is sparsely documented. According to 1920 census records, Hope worked as a clerk in a chiropodist's office, and calling cards in the collection suggest that she was later employed by the Charles S. Jackson Funeral Home. It appears that a younger cousin, Robert Dunmore, Jr., and his mother, Charlotte Bumbry, lived with Hope's family. Robert Dunmore, Jr. was one of the first African-American graduates of Northwestern University's dramatics program. His involvement in theater as an actor, playwright, and director in Chicago and New York, as well as his work with the Harlem Experimental Theater and the Negro Little Theatre of Evanston received frequent mention in the Chicago Defender. Robert Dunmore, Jr., was also a board member of the Chicago Music Club and taught at the Allied Arts Academy (6407 South Parkway) in the late 1930s.

Hope Dunmore and her family members were active in a host of social, fraternal, and religious organizations in 20th-century Chicago. The majority of the Hope Dunmore / Old Settlers Social Club Collection documents the variety of everyday household concerns and voluntary commitments of a family that considered itself among Chicago's African-American pioneers.

The Dunmores were longtime members of Chicago's Old Settlers Social Club, founded by Ida McIntosh Dempsey in May 1902. A permanent group was organized in 1904. Distinguishing themselves from the growing numbers of Southern blacks migrating to Chicago in the early twentieth century, the Old Settlers Social Club limited membership to African-American men and women who could prove their families had lived in Chicago for at least thirty years. "The object of the club," stated in its 1923 Constitution, was "to keep the Old Settlers in touch with each other in this rapidly growing Metropolis." Linking geographic origins to status in the community, the Old Settlers created important social, cultural, and religious networks on the South Side.

Length of residence in Chicago qualified black Chicagoans for membership in the organization, and, accordingly, the Old Settlers were especially interested in the history of their community. Sharing this interest in black history, Hope Dunmore and her siblings produced a small pamphlet entitled "Dunmore Family's Magazine: Historical Sketches and Stories of Negroes in Chicago Mostly True" (1935). Their "Magazine" included stories, maps, and profiles of black Chicago's notable people and places. Hope and her brother Robert Dunmore also appear to be involved in the formation of the "Chicago Native Club" in 1925. This social club had a similar mission to that of the Old Settlers, but its relationship to the Old Settlers Social Club is unknown. Both groups received mention in the social columns of the Chicago Defender newspaper.

Hope Dunmore and her family also participated in a host of Masonic organizations. Membership overlap between clubs like the Old Settlers Social Club and black freemasonry may have been high in the early twentieth century. Black freemasonry has been documented as early as the American Revolution; however, women's auxiliaries did not emerge until the late nineteenth century. Ida McIntosh Dempsey, founder of the Old Settlers Social Club, was an early member of Chicago's Fidelity Court #22, Heroines of Jericho, Order of the Eastern Star. Hope was a longtime member of the Heroines of Jericho and honored as a Grand Matron; her mother, Anna Dunmore, was a charter member of Fidelity Court #22 and a Grand Matron as well. Distinguished by costume and ritual, these fraternal groups provided another social outlet for many of Chicago's first African-American families.

A lifelong member of Chicago's St. Thomas Episcopal Church, Hope also helped to organize church activities, including the parish's Sunday Church School. St. Thomas attracted many of the "old settlers" to its pews when it opened in 1878 as Chicago's first black Protestant Episcopal congregation.

Hope Dunmore died on January 23, 1974. Many of the groups she participated in are still active to this day.

Bibliography

"Old Settlers Talk About Early Chicago." Chicago Defender. October 19, 1929: 2. "Robert Dunmore Jr. Wins Poetry Prize." Chicago Defender. March 29, 1930: 3. "'Chicagoans' Meet, Decide on Program." Chicago Defender. March 25, 1935: 13. "Heads New Arts School." Chicago Defender. January 29, 1938: 7. "Women's Work Reaches Out in Diverse Ways." Chicago Defender. October 1, 1938: 17. "Set Freedom Jubilee for History Museum." Chicago Defender. March 22, 1965: 6. Brown, Tamara et.al., eds. African American Fraternities and Sororities: The Legacy and the Vision. Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 2005. Knupfer, Anne Meis. The Chicago Black Renaissance and Women's Activism. Urbana: U of I Press, 2006. Reed, Christopher. Black Chicago's First Century. Columbia: University of Missouri Press, 2005. Best, Wallace D. Passionately Human, No Less Divine: Religion and Culture in Black Chicago, 1915-1952. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2005.

Scope and Content Note

The Hope Dunmore / Old Settlers Social Club Collection numbers approximately 800 items, consisting of intermittent correspondence, writings, ephemera, serials, and photographs from throughout Hope Dunmore's life and pertaining to the voluntary organizations to which she and her family belonged. A small number of duplicates, damaged, and unstable items (primarily envelopes and photo album pages) have been removed from the collection and discarded. Acidic folders that were added by DuSable Museum archivists have also been removed. Plain paper enclosures and envelopes in good condition have been kept with the letters in which they were sent. Because the original order of these materials did not seem to be of great use to researchers, the collection has been reorganized into the following six series, organized by subject: Dunmore Family Papers, Old Settlers Social Club Records, Freemasonry Records, St. Thomas Episcopal Church Records, Photographs, and Miscellaneous and Oversize Materials.

Dunmore Family Papers, 1883 - 1974

Series I consists of the personal papers of various members of Hope Dunmore's immediate family, and includes invitations and programs for events attended in Chicago; correspondence with family and friends; and notes on household expenses. It also includes items pertaining to the theatrical career of Robert Dunmore, Jr., Hope's cousin, who was a graduate of Northwestern University and a professional actor.

Old Settlers Social Club Records, 1905 - 1948

Series II consists of the records of the Old Settlers Social Club of Chicago, including meeting minutes, budgets, invitations, and correspondence between members. Highlights include copies of the club's Constitution and By-Laws (1923); membership application files from 1905-1943 (not inclusive); meeting minutes; and the pamphlet "Dunmore Family's Magazine: Historical Sketches and Stories of Negroes in Chicago Mostly True" (1935). Materials pertaining to the Chicago Native Club are also included with this series.

Freemasonry Records, 1884 - 1967

Series III consists of materials related to Masonic groups in Chicago. This series consists of event invitations and programs; meeting notes and correspondence; catalogs; and serials. Most of these materials document the Order of the Eastern Star, a women's auxiliary to which Hope Dunmore belonged. A smaller number of materials document other groups in which Dunmore family members may have participated, including the Order of the Golden Circle and the Western Consistory No. 28, Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite Masons. This series includes letters and notices from a variety of Masonic orders mourning the death of Hope's mother, Anna E. Dunmore, in 1927.

St. Thomas Episcopal Church Records, 1900 - 1963

Series IV consists of materials pertaining to the Dunmore family's church, St. Thomas (Protestant) Episcopal. These include church bulletins primarily from the 1930s; various memoranda and notes; and records of Hope Dunmore's involvement with the parish Church School.

Photographs, 1909 - 1960s

Series V consists of thirty-eight photographs that were originally filed with the Dunmore family papers. Many are formal portraits from the early 20th century and appear to have been given as gifts to Hope Dunmore or members of her family. Highlights include a 1909 portrait of Ida McIntosh Dempsey, founder of the Old Settlers Social Club; and portraits of Robert Dunmore Jr., Hope's cousin, and his classmates at the New York Institute of Photography in 1924.

Miscellaneous and Oversize Materials, 1892 - 1940s

Series VI encompasses various materials that were originally found with the Dunmore family deposit, including a small number of serials; "souvenir images" from Chicago newspapers at the time of the World's Columbian Exposition in 1893; and issues of the Chicago Defender newspaper. This series also houses the a small amount of ephemera, including an empty photo album of Hope Dunmore's decorated with her name, holiday greeting cards saved by the Dunmore family and the elementary school diplomas of Hope Dunmore and four of her siblings.

In addition to the DuSable Museum's holdings, other archival materials documenting the early activities of the Old Settlers Social Club are held by the Chicago Public Library, Carter G. Woodson Regional Library, Vivian G. Harsh Research Collection of Afro-American History and Literature and the Chicago History Museum.

INVENTORY

Series I: Family Papers, 1883-1974

Items in this series are arranged first by type, then chronologically. A copy of the 1920 census record listing the Dunmore family at 4120 S. Campbell Ave., Chicago, has been copied and placed in this series for reference. A small group of holiday greeting cards saved by the family that did not contain personal notes has been removed and filed in Series VI: Miscellaneous and Oversize Materials.

Box 1

Folder 1

Hope Dunmore: personal items and family history (1886-1974)

Box 1

Folder 2

Robert Dunmore Jr., New York Institute of Photography (1924)

Original photographs are filed in Box 6

Box 1

Folder 3

Robert Dunmore Jr., personal items (1920s-1940s)

Box 1

Folder 4

Dunmore Family Invitations and Event Programs (1898-1963)

Box 1

Folder 5

Dunmore Family Correspondence (1900-1928)

Box 1

Folder 6

Dunmore Family Correspondence (1930-1968)

Box 1

Folder 7

Dunmore Family Notes/drawings/mss. clippings (1900s-1968)

Box 1

Folder 8

Dunmore Family Household records (1883-1968)

Series II: Old Settlers Social Club Records, 1905-1948

Items in this series are arranged first by type, and then chronologically. Records of the Chicago Native Club have been separated out from and follow those of the Old Settlers Social Club.

Box 2

Folder 1

Black History materials (undated)

Box 2

Folder 2

"Dunmore Family Magazine" (1935)

Box 2

Folder 3

Ida McIntosh Dempsey (1909)

Original photograph is filed in Box 6

Box 2

Folder 4

Old Settlers Social Club official documents (1920s-1940s)

Box 2

Folder 5

Old Settlers Social Club Membership Applications (1905-1906)

Box 2

Folder 6

Old Settlers Social Club Membership Applications (1907-1908)

Box 2

Folder 7

Old Settlers Social Club Membership Applications (1909-1910)

Box 2

Folder 8

Old Settlers Social Club Membership Applications (1911)

Box 2

Folder 9

Old Settlers Social Club Membership Applications (1912)

Box 2

Folder 10

Old Settlers Social Club Membership Applications (1913)

Box 2

Folder 11

Old Settlers Social Club Membership Applications (1914)

Box 2

Folder 12

Old Settlers Social Club Membership Applications (1915)

Box 2

Folder 13

Old Settlers Social Club Membership Applications (1916)

Box 2

Folder 14

Old Settlers Social Club Membership Applications (1917)

Box 2

Folder 15

Old Settlers Social Club Membership Applications (1918)

Box 2

Folder 16

Old Settlers Social Club Membership Applications (1919)

Box 2

Folder 17

Old Settlers Social Club Membership Applications (1920)

Box 2

Folder 18

Old Settlers Social Club Membership Applications (1921)

Box 2

Folder 19

Old Settlers Social Club Membership Applications (1922)

Box 2

Folder 20

Old Settlers Social Club Membership Applications (1923)

Box 2

Folder 21

Old Settlers Social Club Membership Applications (1925)

Box 2

Folder 22

Old Settlers Social Club Membership Applications (1930-1933)

Box 2

Folder 23

Old Settlers Social Club Membership Applications (1934)

Box 2

Folder 24

Old Settlers Social Club Membership Applications (1935)

Box 2

Folder 25

Old Settlers Social Club Membership Applications (1936)

Box 2

Folder 26

Old Settlers Social Club Membership Applications (1937)

Box 2

Folder 27

Old Settlers Social Club Membership Applications (1938)

Box 2

Folder 28

Old Settlers Social Club Membership Applications (1939)

Box 2

Folder 29

Old Settlers Social Club Membership Applications (1942-1943)

Box 3

Folder 1

Old Settlers Social Club event notices (1932-1947)

Box 3

Folder 2

Old Settlers Social Club correspondence (1920s-1948)

Box 3

Folder 3

Old Settlers Social Club meeting minutes, notes, and expenses (1920s-1930s)

Box 3

Folder 4

Old Settlers Social Club meeting minutes, notes, and expenses (1934-1940)

Box 3

Folder 5

Old Settlers Social Club meeting minutes, notes, and expenses (1942-1948)

Box 3

Folder 6

Old Settlers Social Club minutes book (1911?)

Box 3

Folder 7

Old Settlers Social Club collections and expenses notebook (1937)

Box 3

Folder 8

Old Settlers Social Club membership notes (1939-1940)

Box 3

Folder 9

Chicago Native Club event notices (1925-1949)

Box 3

Folder 10

Chicago Native Club correspondence (1925-1942)

Box 3

Folder 11

Chicago Native Club meeting minutes and notes (1925-1935)

Box 3

Folder 12

Chicago Native Club dues and receipts (1925-1943)

Box 3

Folder 13

Chicago Native Club financial book (undated copies)

Series III: Freemasonry Records, 1884-1967

Items in this series are arranged first by type, and then chronologically.

Box 3

Folder 14

Membership credentials (1900-1924)

Box 3

Folder 15

Constitutions and By-Laws (1906-1949)

Box 3

Folder 16

Ceremonial instructions and Club Songs (undated)

Box 3

Folder 17

Event Invitations (1900s-1939)

Box 3

Folder 18

Event Invitations (1942-1967)

Box 3

Folder 19

Delegate ribbons (1928?)

Box 4

Folder 1

Event programs (1898-1929)

Box 4

Folder 2

Event programs (1937-1959)

Box 4

Folder 3

Masonic Lodge supplies catalog (1910s)

Box 4

Folder 4

Masonic Lodge supplies catalog (1920s)

Box 4

Folder 5

Correspondence (1884-1924)

Box 4

Folder 6

Correspondence (1925-1927)

Box 4

Folder 7

Correspondence (1933-1960s)

Box 4

Folder 8

Membership lists (1900s-1950s)

Box 4

Folder 9

Meeting minutes, notes, and expenses (undated)

Box 4

Folder 10

Meeting minutes, notes, and expenses (1920-1921)

Box 4

Folder 11

Meeting minutes, notes, and expenses (1921 - Hope Dunmore's notebook)

Box 4

Folder 12

Meeting minutes, notes, and expenses (1922-1926)

Box 4

Folder 13

Meeting minutes, notes, and expenses (1927-1930s)

Box 4

Folder 14

Meeting minutes, notes, and expenses (1944-1953)

Box 5

Folder 1

Financial records, Mt. Hebron Lodge (1902-1927)

Box 5

Folder 2

Misc. lodge financial records (1915-1928)

Box 5

Folder 3

Serial: National Fraternal Review (1928)

Box 5

Folder 4

Serial: O.E.S. Bulletin (1936-1938, 1941)

Series IV: St. Thomas Episcopal Church Records, 1900-1963

Items in this series are arranged first by type, and then chronologically. Materials related to Hope Dunmore's work at the St. Thomas Church School have been separated out from general Church items.

Box 5

Folder 5

St. Thomas Episcopal Church, cards and invitations (1900-1963)

Box 5

Folder 6

St. Thomas Episcopal Church, correspondence, general (1900s-1963)

Box 5

Folder 7

St. Thomas Episcopal Church bulletins (1912-1928)

Box 5

Folder 8

St. Thomas Episcopal Church bulletins (1933)

Box 5

Folder 9

St. Thomas Episcopal Church bulletins (1934)

Box 5

Folder 10

St. Thomas Episcopal Church bulletins (1935-1943)

Box 5

Folder 11

St. Thomas Episcopal Church School records (ca. 1932)

Box 5

Folder 12

St. Thomas Episcopal Church School records (1933)

Box 5

Folder 13

St. Thomas Episcopal Church School records (1934-1940)

Box 5

Folder 14

St. Thomas Episcopal Church School records (1941-1942; undated)

Box 5

Folder 15

Religious programs and serials collected by Hope Dunmore (1916-1945)

Series V: Photographs, 1909-1960s

Photographs have been arranged chronologically. Where dates are not available they have been estimated. A set of photographs removed from a small leather photo album has also been retained in its original order, although the damaged album was discarded.

Box 6

Folder 1

Photographs (ca. 1900s)

Box 6

Folder 2

Photographs (1909)

Related manuscript materials filed in Box 2

Box 6

Folder 3

Photographs removed from Hope Dunmore's photo album (ca. 1910s)

Box 6

Folder 4

Photographs (ca. 1914-1919)

Box 6

Folder 5

Photographs of Robert Dunmore, Jr. and NY Institute of Photography classmates (1924)

Related manuscript materials filed in Box 1

Box 6

Folder 6

Photographs (ca.1925-1935)

Box 6

Folder 7

Photographs (ca. 1940s-1960s)

Series VI: Miscellaneous and Oversize Materials, 1892-1940s

Items in this series are arranged by type. Serials are arranged alphabetically.

Box 6

Hope Dunmore's photo album (undated; no photographs found at time of processing)

Box 7

Diplomas (1897-1909) - stored in oversize flat box

Box 8

Folders 1-5

Greeting Cards saved by Hope Dunmore (1910s-1940s)

Folders 6-13

Souvenir Images (1890s)

Box 9

Serials (1893-1940)

Box 10

Newspapers (1915-1927) - stored in oversize flat box

Hope Dunmore / Old Settlers Social Club Collection Page 1