Sphinx Club Records, 1912-2000


Call Number: MG-341

1 box     21 folders     1 cubic ft.

Repository: LancasterHistory.org (Lancaster, Pa.)

Shelving Location: Archives South, Side 8

Description: This collection contains the official records of the Sphinx Club in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. The minute books date from 1912-1985. Histories of the club were prepared in 1934 and 1962. Dinner programs, membership lists, meeting and speaker schedules, correspondence and speeches make up the bulk of the collection. There are images of some of the earliest members, as well as articles about the statute of the Sphinx.

Creator: Sphinx Club (Lancaster, Pa.)

Conditions for Access: No restrictions.

Conditions Governing Reproductions: Collection may not be photocopied. Please contact Research Staff or Archives Staff with questions.

Language: English

Source of Acquisition: Gift of the Sphinx Club via H. Herbert Poole, secretary, 14 April 2004.

Administrative History: Processed by DW. Finding aid prepared by KK, March-April 2014.


Folder 1 Sphinx Club Records

Insert 1 “Twenty-three years of the Sphinx Club,” prepared by [V. W. Dippell]. In the fall of 1911, the club was founded by Rev. George I. Browne and Rev. John Wallace Cooper. There were to be only thirteen members at any time. Also includes a list of hosts, topics being discussed and leaders of meetings. The last three pages span from November 1945 to December 1961 and list the hosts, leaders and topics.

Insert 2 “Our golden jubilee of the Sphinx breaks her silence,” prepared by [A. N. Sayre. 1962] Recap of the first fifty years of the Sphinx Club, with an outline of the organizational structure.

Insert 3 Duplicate of Insert 2.


Folder 2 Sphinx Trivia

Questions, concerns, dimensions of structure. History of Sphinx, religion, myths surrounding the office


Folder 3 Minutes Vol. I: Book of minutes for the years 1912-1933

Among some of the features: First membership list (select, elect); Initiation Rites held 14 May 1913; The 120 meetings have minutes listing those present and the subject. Concludes on 15 May 1933. Dinner meeting on June 19th at Mt. Gretna. Concluding the event, the secretary-treasurer stated the day was beautiful, the evening lovely and all hearts beat as one in friendship, a good fellowship.


Folder 4 Minutes from 1933-1967 Vol. II

Introductory pages list members and officers to date. 123rd meeting kicked off 23 October 1933. Concludes with 390th meeting on 8 May 1967 among other highlights. Dinner meeting on 9 June 1941, obituary of Dr. Twombley, obituary of Dr. Appel, and resignations.


Folder 5 Minutes from 1967-1985

Among the highlights for meetings 391- 546: Photographs of the Sphinx according to Picasso; Discussion of “French Azilum”; Ladies Night topic “Parting of the Red Sea What Happened?”; 11 November 1968 (401) Minutes of club to be deposited at the Lancaster County Historical Society; 13 June 1969 topic of local government in PA; Brochure on visit to St. Peter’s Village; 10 June 1974 Banquet held at Alfred’s Victorian Restaurant with accompanying brochure; Resignation letter from Tom Kilby dated 30 May 1980; 2 February 1981 “Molly Magling” the subject; 7 October 1985 with guest, Peter Schmitchew, on our “Spirited Nation”—Jefferson was the prophet, Lincoln the priest.


Folder 6 Annual Dinners and Outing

Insert 1 Dinner program held at Accomac Inn Symposium—Cosmetics (13 June 1930)

Insert 2 Dinner held at Accomac—Waffle eating contest between Dr. Herman and Professor Kunkel, FDR speech, Republicans, various tidbits 1940. Meeting with chicken and waffles and a history of the site (Accomac Inn) discussed. 1946.

Insert 3 Held eleven miles from the Conestoga Bridge on Monday, June 14, no year. A little information on the Amish and Mennonites in the area.

Insert 4 Letter of inquiry to utilize Stokesay Castle in Reading as a possible venue for the annual dinner. Banquet menu also included.

Insert 5 The napkins are the proof of admission to the Mt. Gretna Annual Dinner held in June accompanied by Best Girl, A Good Story and One dollar.

Insert 6 A banquet memo worksheet enclosed for 8 June 1980 dinner at the Hamilton Club of Lancaster, includes menu.


Folder 7 Toasts

50th anniversary of club as reflected in various toasts—some puzzling, polite and humorous.


Folder 8 Ladies’ Night

Insert 1 Meeting of 15 June 1965, “Rain Affair”

Dinner flyer for 8 June 1984, Meadow Brook, York

Dinner flyer held at Lemon Tree, 7 October 1985

Insert 2 Two Memos to Austin for future meetings.

Message dated 23 August 1983 to Paul Davidson on rescheduled Johnstown Flood Talk.

Note dated 12 March 1988 on topic entitled “Discoveries by Accident” courtesy of Austin.

Insert 3 Memo on affair to be held at Mount Joy Country Chef, 5 June 1989

List of attendees dated 2 October 1989.

Insert 4 Advance notes on June 1990 dinner meeting to be held at the Railroad House in Marietta. Topic, directions and menus.

Insert 5 Letter dated 10 June 1991 to Dr. Hager, Jr. from Mr. Honing informing Hager that he owes $43.54 for the tab of the last dinner.

Insert 6 Memo for directions to Alfred’s Victorian, site of 13 June 2000 dinner.


Folder 9 “Men in the Kitchen”

Insert 1 Summons to dinner meeting June 10 from Sphinx Hartman. With carbon copy of letter. No date.

Insert 2 Creatively written directions to Bynden Wood (Berks County). Manuscript and typescript copies. No date.

Insert 3 Poem by Mrs. Dippell which begins “Here’s to the man in the kitchen…” No date.

“Give the Devil his due,” by Mrs. W. Stuart Cramer. Begins with her observation and gratitude and ends with the poem. No date.

Insert 4 Prose from Mrs. Kresge.

Insert 5 Prose from Mrs. Herman.

Insert 6 Prose from Mrs. Bromer.


Folder 10 Articles and Speeches

Insert 1 Typed list of meeting dates and names of presenters. November 1941 to January 1948.

Manuscript list of meeting dates, hosts and leaders. October 1942 through 1947.

Insert 2 Lists of meeting dates, hosts and presenters. 1947-1963.

Insert 3 Invitation and directions to Accomac and its history for a dinner party to be held 9 June 1931.

Invitation to 5 October 1931 meeting with hosts Mr. and Mrs. Richards presenting their summer in Europe.

Insert 4 “Our Certainty of Other Minds”, by Ray H. Dotterer. Reprinted from Philosophy of Science, Vol. 7, no. 4, October 1940.

Insert 5 E. M. Hartman discussed an article by Howard P. Smith, “Men Under Stress-A Synopsis”, which explains the psychology of post-traumatic stress disorder. Reprinted from The Harvard Educational Review, Vol. 16, no. 2, Spring 1946.

Insert 6 Sphinx Bromer. “The Great Twentieth Century Question: What is Democracy?”

Insert 7 R. M. Kell. “Exploding the Popular Fallacy that a Clergyman and a Fisherman cannot be Synonymous!” 23 May 1927.


Folder 11 Speaker Schedules

Insert 1 Schedule for 1961-1962 on index card

Insert 2 Postcards for meetings held 3 October 1988 – 5 December 1988

Insert 3 Six postcards addressed to Dr. N. E. Hager. February to November 1989.

Insert 4 Eight postcards announcing meetings for 1990.

Insert 5 Seven postcards for the meetings of January to June of 1991.


Folder 12 Schedule of Program

Itemized list of programs 1986-1992 showing the speaker and the host.


Folder 13 Membership Lists

Insert 1 Membership list, 1947-1956.

Insert 2 Membership list, April 1986.

Insert 3 Membership list, 1987.

Insert 4 Membership list, 1988.

Insert 5 Membership list, 1990.

Insert 6 Membership list, 1991.

Insert 7 Membership list, 1992.

Insert 8 Membership list, 1993.

Insert 9 Membership list, 1995.

Insert 10 Membership list, 1997.


Folder 14 Photo Album

Photocopied images of members from 1912-1999. Group photograph, 1999. Compiled by H. H. Poole 2002


Folder 15 Members

Insert 1 Note from M. M. Donner to Dr. Hagen with holiday greetings and conveying a letter which is no longer attached.

Insert 2 A note from David Maugans with his change of address.

Insert 3 Postcard informing Edwin M. Hartman of his election to the Sphinx Club. He is also invited to the annual dinner. With a photocopy of a 1912 photograph. 1914.

Insert 4 Photocopy of a photograph of an unidentified member.

Insert 5 Letter from Dr. Dunn to Nat concerning the meeting and the new position of secretary. 9 November 1965.

A resignation letter Robert W. Duke to Dr. Dunn stepping down as secretary. 18 October 1965.

A note from Roberts R. Appel to Mr. Hager informing him of the address of new member, Stanley Honig. 1 February 1967.

Insert 6 List ofrecent text books published by the Franklin & Marshall faculty. F&M Today, Spring 1988.

Insert 7 StanleyMichalak appointed director of the Center for Liberal Arts and Society at Franklin & Marshall College. Beverly Michalak joins the development office. F&M Today, Spring 1999.

Insert 8 A program from the burial service for Nathaniel Ellmaker Hager. 1991.

Insert 9 “An Old-Timer Recalls Memorable Dinner Down at Cross Creek,”by Cynthia Parks. Florida Times-Union, Jacksonville, Florida. Article is about an elite private club called Mensheviki. April 1991.

Insert 10 “New book Highlights Decorating Trends from Turbulent Decade,” by Susan Jurgelski. New Era, Lancaster. Article highlights Interior 1960s Solutions from Armstrong, by Sphinx Club member, C. Eugene Moore. 26 February 1999.


Folder 16 Rollin Steinmetz

Insert 1 Obituary of Mr. Steinmetz, dated 4 September 1986.

Insert 2 Note card from Grace (Mrs. Steinmetz)

Note from Ted to Nat

Letter from Grace to Ted relating the Ron’s excitement upon being admitted to the club.

Insert 3 Note from H. L. Mencken thanking Ron for the wonderful interview he had in Lancaster. Also relayed Mr. Hergesheimer’s thoughts.


Folder 17 Theodore A. Distler

Insert 1 Letter from secretary inviting President Distler to be a member of the club.

Insert 2 Image of Distler holding hood presented to him by N.Y.U. which appeared in an F&M publication. [1986]

Insert 3 Article about Dr. Distler tenure as the president of F&M, 1941-1954, and his years at the college during WWII. F&M publication, Spring 2000.


Folder 18 “Sphinx Twombly-1941”

Insert 1 Two postcards from Concord, NH

Insert 2 Note card dated January 1941 from E. M. Hager as Christmas card. Relates fishing and wildlife stories.

Insert 3 A newspaper article from Hanover, NH relates practice of the local “Sphinx Club” at Dartmouth and their escapades.


Folder 19 Correspondence

Insert 1 Letter from John C. F. [Lo] to the Sphinx Club with holiday greetings and sharing updates from the School of Art, Huachung University, Wuchang, China. 17 December 1947.

Insert 2 Two notes from Flo Rudisill on behalf of husband, Carl, to members regarding the affection he had for the club. 1970.

Insert 3 Resignation letter from Paul Davidson to Nat Hager. 24 August [1989]

Insert 4 Resignation letter from Ted Schwalm to Nat Hager because of wife’s health issues. 26 April 1990.

Response from Nat Hager with stating that Schwalm was made a Sphinx Emeritus. 15 May 1990.

Insert 5 Resignation letter from Paul Davidson to Stan Honig. 6 October 1991.

Response from Stan making Paul an Emeritus member. 6 December 1991.

Insert 6 Resignation letter from Dave Maugans to Stan Honig due to family members’ health issues. 28 September 1994.

Insert 7 Letter from Paul Davidson to Stan Honig about fully quitting the club. 4 May 1992.

Letter from Stan accepting resignation and telling the club. 6 October 1992.


Folder 20 Miscellaneous Records

Insert 1 Notes for a meeting about economic policy regarding China and Japan, dated 7 December 1992.

Insert 2 Postcard template for meeting announcements. 1991.

Insert 3 Notes for meeting topic on the English public school system. Held at Schwalm’s. Speaker was Dr. Richard Thornley. 11 April 1966.

Insert 4 Ladies’ Night held on 7 October 1985 focused on the Stock Market, commissions, investing etc.

Insert 5 Poem which begins “You go your way and I’ll go mine…” 50th anniversary. [1961]

Insert 6 Obituary and memorial service card of Margaret Honig. October 1993.


Folder 21 Sphinx

Insert 1 Image of the Sphinx at a museum.

Insert 2 “The Mortal Sphinx,” The New York Times Magazine. 13 May 1990.

Also a book review by John Roy on the book entitled Riddles of the Sphinx, by Paul Jordan. TLS, 12 June 1998.

Insert 3 “A unique approach to unraveling the secrets of the Great Pyramids,” by Dora Jane Hamblin.A colorful pictorial and historical depiction of the Sphinx. There is a field cut of the Gaza Plateau 260 B.C.E. the Sphinx and its temple. No date.

Insert 4 “Mythologic Monster,” M D News Magazine, January 1965. Article about the Sphinx.

Insert 5 A humorous take on the Sphinx appeared in Saturday Evening Post. An electronic Sphinx is depicted.

Insert 6 Four newspaper articles are included; all deal with the deterioration of the monument and how to reform it.

“Restoration gives Sphinx new life.” 7 January 1991.

“Experts examine Sphinx; say prognosis for recovery mixed.” Sunday News, 31 March 1989.

“Sphinx to be repaired, but some riddles remain.” The New York Times, 12 June 1988.

“Experts puzzle over riddle of how to save the Sphinx,” by Mimi Mann. Sunday News, 12 February 1989.

Insert 7 Originals of the four articles in Insert 6. Do not use.