The University of Michigan, an encyclopedic survey ... Wilfred B. Shaw, editor.
University of Michigan.
Page  412


THERE have been two clubs organized among the bachelor members of the faculty as a means of providing themselves with homelike places to eat and live. The older of these, the Apostles, is still in existence, and the other, the Churchwardens, after having been a separate club from 1905-6 to 1918, was merged with the Apostles.

In October, 1900, J. A. Fairlie, A. Ziwet, H. D. Carrington, E. B. Escott, A. H. White, W. B. Pillsbury, G. A. Hulett, E. C. Sullivan, M. Winkler, I. N. Demmon, F. N. Dunlap, and J. S. P. Tatlock decided to form an organization of this kind, upon which the name "Apostles" is said to have been conferred by Mrs. James B. Angell. The next year A. L. Cross, H. C. Sadler, E. W. Dow, and S. J. Holmes joined the group, and the roster has been added to and subtracted from ever since, as new members have come in and old ones have left the club on marriage or departure from Ann Arbor. For some ten years the club contracted with its landlady, Mrs. Stowe, to furnish the members a dining-room, but eventually they rented a house at 1008 Hill Street, which has now been removed to make way for the Psi Upsilon house. In 1913 a larger house at 819 South State Street was taken, and in 1924 the club bought its present home at 1015 Church Street.

The Churchwardens originated in informal gatherings of a group of young instructors for Sunday-night suppers at the rooms of Herbert A. Kenyon. Others in the original group included W. A. McLaughlin, W. V. N. Garretson, J. G. Winter, F. B. Marsh, R. R. Kirk, H. P. Breitenbach, and W. E. Bohn. In 1906 this group took a room of its own at Mrs. Morrell's boarding house on Monroe Street, later moving to Mrs. Tower's on College Street. After two years at this place, quarters were secured at Mrs. Cline's on Washtenaw Avenue, which was the headquarters of the club until the entry of the United States into the war began to decimate the membership. At that time, as has been stated above, the two clubs combined, and the Churchwardens did not attempt to reorganize separately after the return of more normal conditions.

During their forty years of existence the Apostles have claimed a very large membership; typically this club consists of younger, unmarried members of the faculties with a sprinkling of older bachelors, and not infrequently it has been used as a place of sojourn by former members whose families are temporarily absent from Ann Arbor. Other delightful visitors have been persons like the late Jesse Lynch Williams, holder of the fellowship in creative art in 1925-26, and Professor H. A. Brouwer, of the University of Delft, during his year at Ann Arbor as an exchange professor.

Several picturesque customs have survived from the earliest days; for example, the custom of sitting around one large table and that of levying fines for puns or other indecorous behavior at the table. To enforce the latter regulation, a somewhat informal officer with unlimited powers, called the "Bouncer," has been in existence since the time of the late Professor Alfred O. Lee. Chess, card games, and music have been the after-dinner amusements, and in their day both the Apostles and the Churchwardens have promoted dances. While both clubs were still in existence, it was Page  413customary for them to engage in an annual baseball game, which was continued for several years after the merger of the two clubs, in the form of a game between the active members and the so-called "henpecked husbands." The war, of course, took its toll of both clubs. All four ranking officers of the two divisions of naval militia were recruited on the campus. Professors A. E. R. Boak, J. R. Hayden, O. M. MacNeil, and E. A. Harrington were Apostles, and many others of the active members went into service of one kind or another. For a year or two the Apostles existed with a more or less temporary membership, but the club soon recruited its full strength after the return of peace.


Robbins, Frank E."The Apostles — Organized in 1900."Mich. Alum., 38 (1932): 424-26.