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History of the Illinois State Button Society


The first 20 years April 23, 1941 to April 30, 1961

Compiled by Charles H Toothe and read at the Spring meeting of Illinois State Button Society, held at Galesburg, Illinois on April 30, 1961.

April 23, 1941 became an outstanding date for Illinois button collectors.  The first meeting was arranged through the efforts of Mrs. Opal Vogt and was held in the Recreation Room of the Howe Bakery here in Galesburg, Illinois. Nearly 100 were present from Galesburg, Kankakee, Cuba, Pecatonica, Chandlerville, Freeport, Abingdon, Dwight, Prairie City, Knoxville, Wataga and Springfield, Illinois; Burlington, Iowa: Orange, New Jersey and Alamo, Texas. Mrs. Opal Vogt of Galesburg was elected President, Mrs. Maude Taylor of Kankakee, Vice President, Mrs. Mabelle Killius of Springfield, Secretary and Mrs. Helen Ryan of Freeport, Treasurer. Dues were set at $.50.  Mrs. Edna Crotty of Rockford, Illinois was National President at the time.  Mrs. Rosa Kidder of Galesburg, from whom the Kidder Button Club is named, and who was probably the oldest button collector in this area, had a large display of her buttons. Mrs. Vogt and Mrs. C.A. Barton also exhibited.  A Constitution and By-Laws were adopted.

April 26, 1942 The second meeting was held in the Recreation Room of the Howe Bakery in Galesburg, Illinois with about 125 in attendance.  Members were present from Chicago, Orangeville, Kent, Freeport, Dwight, Kankakee, Springfield, Plan, Mansfield, Moline, Champaign, Peoria, Monmouth, Prairie City, Knoxville, Geneseo, Abingdon, Chenoa, Decatur and Galesburg, IL; Burlington, Iowa and St. Louis, Missouri. A large number of trays were exhibited with many members winning first, second or third ribbons.  Mrs. Vogt of Galesburg was re-elected President, Mrs. W. H. Craig of Chicago was elected Vice President and Mrs. Rosa Kidder of Galesburg, Secretary/Treasurer.

1943-1947  Most of the records during these years have become lost.  During this time Mrs. Edna Walton of Freeport and Mr. Hawley Crow of Kent served as Presidents and a good many of the State meetings were held in Freeport and Rockford. Dues were raised to $1.00.

1947-1948   Mr. Hawley Crow of Kent was President and Mrs. Edna Walton of Freeport was Secretary/Treasurer.  Meetings were held in Reed’s Park in Freeport and the Y.M.C.A Lodge in Rockford Illinois. Large number of members was present at these meetings and all enjoyed a picnic dinner along with the business meeting and button exhibits.

1948   Following the National Button Show, several members got together and decided to re-organize the State Society.  Membership had dropped very low, no Bulletins were being published and few State meetings held.  Mrs. Hazel Carlberg was chosen President, Mrs. Rosa Kidder, Secretary/Treasurer and Mrs. Caroline Toothe, Editor of the Bulletin, all to serve until the next annual meeting when elections could be held.

May 15, 1949   Spring meeting was held in a building at the Galesburg Branch of the University of Illinois. Over 330 trays of buttons were on display.  At that time, Mrs. Hazel Carlberg, President, Miss Vera Corbin, Vice President and Mrs. Rosa Kidder, Secretary/Treasurer were serving as temporary officers.

September 25, 1949  Annual meeting was held in the Hotel Custer Ballroom at Galesburg, Illinois with 500 trays on exhibit.  Mrs. Hazel Carlberg was elected President, Mrs. Roswell Johnson, Vice President, Mrs. Rosa Kidder, Secretary/Treasurer and       Mrs. Caroline Toothe, Editor of the Bulletin, The Illinois State Button Round-Up.

May 21, 1950  Meeting was held in the Y.M.C.A. Lodge at Rockford, Illinois.  The same officers carried over.  A large number from Wisconsin swelled the attendance.  Also, present were five National Officers, Mrs. Hortense Scales, National  President,  Mr. Paul Pierce, National Treasurer, Mrs. Caroline Toothe, National Director, Mr. Victor Flint, National Show Chairman and Mr. Hawley Crow, National Chairman of Judges.  Never before or since have we had such a  large group of National Officers present.

May 6, 1951  Meeting held in Morrison, Illinois, with Mr. Earl C. McLennan as Promoter and Host for the show. The meeting space was provided by Mr. Harry L. Shawver, Publisher of the Whiteside County News.  There are being no local club in Morrison, Mr. McLennan took over the duties of host.  The Kidder Button Club attended by chartered bus.  Records show 207 members for 1951.  There was no fall show so officers carried over.

May 25, 1952   Meeting held in Freeport, Illinois at the Machinist Hall with Mr. Hawley Crow as General Chairman.  Mrs. Hazel Carlberg was re-elected President, Mrs. Roy Wagner of Orangeville, elected Vice President and Mrs. Rosa Kidder re-elected Secretary/Treasurer for 1953.

Sept 27, 1953  Annual Meeting was held in the Hotel Custer Ballroom in Galesburg, Illinois. Mrs. Rosa Kidder had passed away March 8, 1953 and Mrs. L. Carl Marlow had been appointed to fill the unexpired term. Mrs. Carlberg presided at the meeting.  Mrs. Lavonna Torley was elected President, Mrs. Roy Wagner of Orangeville, Vice President and Mrs.  Marlow, Secretary/Treasurer for 1954.  Mrs. Charles Toothe was National President at this time, which office she for two years.

June 13, 1954  State picnic was held at the home of Mr. Hawley Crow of Kent, Illinois. Large number of  collectors were present from both Illinois and Wisconsin. During the year Mrs. Marlow of Galesburg had resigned as Secretary/Treasurer and Mrs. John Walter of Galesburg had been appointed to that office.  No business meeting was held, so officers were held over another year.  Membership at the end of the year was 192.

May 15, 1955   Plans were made to hold the annual meeting at the Senate Hotel in Freeport, Illinois but, were cancelled on account of the death of Mr. Hawley Crow.  So  all officers were carried for another year.

May 20, 1956  Annual Meeting was held at the Senate Hotel in Freeport, Illinois. Mrs. Torley, Mrs. Wagner and Mrs. Walter were again elected for the following year.

May 5, 1957   Custer Hotel in Galesburg, Illinois was the location for the Annual State Meeting. All officers were carried over for the next year.

May 18, 1958   Annual Meeting was held in the Emerson Hotel at Mt. Vernon, Illinois   Mrs. Torley, President presided. Prior to the meeting, Mrs. Walter had resigned and Mr. C.H. Toothe of Knoxville, Illinois  had been appointed Secretary/Treasurer. Those elected at this meeting to serve in 1959 were             Mrs. Mary Ulrich, Mt. Vernon, Illinois - President, Mrs. Lois, Calkins, Palos Park, Illinois - Vice President and Mr. C.H.Toothe, Knoxville, Illinois -   Secretary/Treasurer.

April 25, 1959   Annual meeting was held in the Morrison Hotel in Chicago, Illinois under the sponsorship of the Chicago Area Club.  There was a large attendance of both members and friends.  The same officers were re-elected to serve in 1960.

May 1, 1960   Mattoon, Illinois was the host city for the Annual meeting, sponsored by the Eastern Illinois Button Club.  Mrs. Mary Ulrich, President, presided. During the proceeding years a number of changes and amendments had been made to the By-Laws.  The records on of them are available and finally in 1960, a complete revision of the Constitution and By-Laws was acted upon and all articles as submitted to the membership previously, were approved.  Before the end of the year the President, Mrs. Ulrich, move to California and Mrs. Lois Calkins, Vice President, assumed the duties of President. At this meeting,  Mrs. Mary Seymour of Charleston, Illinois - President, Mrs. Lois Stearns of Berwyn, Illinois - Vice President and C. H. Toothe, Knoxville, Illinois - Secretary-Treasurer were elected for the following year.

April 30, 1961   Annual meeting is being held in the Galesburg Woman’s Club Building at Galesburg, Illinois with Mrs. Mary Seymour, President, presiding. This the  20th Anniversary meeting of the Illinois State Button Society.  Many of those who helped to bring the organization into being have passed on to their rewards.  Several members who were present at that first meeting are here today.  To them it seems a very short space of time in looking back to April 23, 1941.

We have a good solid organization function now.  Since 1949, four Bulletins have been issued each year, each consisting of 48 pages and the National Button Society as well as the various States.

Societies recognize it as an outstanding bulletin for the Button Hobby.  Many of the articles in the ROUND-UP have been reprinted in the NATIONAL BUTTON BULLETIN, JUST BUTTONS magazine and other State Bulletins.  Mrs. Toothe is to be complimented for this publication for her untiring efforts to promote the good of the Society.  She is now serving as Editor for the 13th year.

We are mindful of the parts that many people have played in the Illinois State Button Society during the past 20 years. A big vote of thanks is due those who have served as its officers, those have attended the shows and meetings, those who have provided the button for competition and exhibition, those who have donated in order to keep the Society financially sound and those who have written articles for the Bulletin, and to every member who by just being one of us, has contributed to the support of the organization, The Illinois State Button Society was always been of a high standard.  We not only have pleasure collecting buttons but we do it in such a way as to command the respect of all collectors and non-collectors alike.

In closing, may we ask “What will we accomplish in the 20 years?” It really depends on each on of us.

(These records were compiled from State records, from State Bulletins and newspaper clippings from the Scrap Book of Mrs. Grace Cheek).


History of Illinois State Button Society to be continued………………………………………


The first twenty years of the history of this society from April 23, 1941 to April 30th, 1961 was reported by Mr. Charles Toothe in the July-August-September issue of the Illinois State Button Round-Up ,1961.

At the 1971 Annual meeting, a report on the next ten years was given, but was never printed in the bulletin.

As  I have not received sufficient material to fill up the pages of this bulletin, I will proceed to continue this history.

1961 The officers for the year 1961 were Mary Seymour, President, Lois Stearns, Vice President, Charles Toothe, Secretary/Treasurer and Mrs. Caroline Toothe, Editor.

May 20, 1962   Annual meeting and show was held at the Emmerson Hotel in Mt. Vernon, Illinois with the King City Button Club as hosts.  There had been a sale on Stephen Douglas buttons and a report on them was given by President Mary Seymour. Lois Stearns, Lois Stearns, Vice President, Charles Toothe, Secretary/Treasurer and Caroline Toothe , Editor.  There were 118 adults and 10 Juniors members listed for that year.

May 25, 1963   Annual meeting and show was held at the Burgess-Osborne Auditorium in Mattoon, Illinois with the Eastern Illinois Club as hosts. It was agreed at this meeting to have sheets of Religious Symbol cards printed which had compiled by Dora George.  Since that time, there have been two more printings of these sets of cards. Officers Lois Stearns, President,  Florence Bubser, Vice President, Charles Toothe, Secretary/Treasurer and Caroline Toothe, Editor.   140 Adult and 6 Juniors members listed for the year.

May 9, 1964   Annual meeting and show was held at the Morrison Hotel in Chicago, Illinois wresident and Charles Toothe Secreatary/Treasurer