On May 12 the S.M. (Schoolmates) Club, a local social club, celebrated their 58th anniversary of existence. The club meets the second Wednesday of every month at 6 p.m. at various dining places and they visit together about everything.
The S.M. Club currently has eight members.(refer to above picture) Mullen explained how the S.M. Club got started. On May 12, 1955, eight young ladies met at the home of Lois Davis and decided to form a club. The following people were charter members: Joan Bell, Lois Davis, Donna DeBok, Donna Gathercale Prather, Joan Kingsbury, Thelma Loynachan Stevenson, Minnie Mullen and Margaret Stansbery. Of the charter members , Bell and Stansbery are both deceased.
All but two of the original members went to Chariton High School. The ones who didn't attend CHS had husbands that went there.
The club members decided to hold their meetings the second Wednesday afternoon of each month. Dues were set at $1 a year and 10 cents a month.
"We met at different member's homes and we talked about everything like we do now. One difference is that we talked more about young children then because we all had young children," Mullen said.
At their second meeting, the club was named the S.M. Club, with S.M. being short for Schoolmates. Everyone took their preschool children to the club and all the children knew the S.M. Club as part of their family. The club had officers, committees and secret pals.
"The secret pals were drawn and you had the same secret pal for a year. They gave each other gifts at each meeting such as nick knacks,", Mullen said.
As the years went by, everyone decided they had enough nick knacks, so they did away with secret pal gifts and donated that money instead to a needy organization.
Dues were raised to $5 a year. As their children got older, the club's members decided to meet in the evening, leaving the children at home with their dads. Finally, the club members decided the woman hosting each meeting would serve dinner to the members.
Dues are now $10 a year. Now as the members are getting older, they no longer cook dinner the second Wednesday of each month. They go out to eat accompanied by their husbands.