Timeline - Early History

1917 The Society hosts a rally by the National League to Enforce Peace. Simultaneously, the Society contributes to relief efforts, encourages purchase of Liberty Bonds, and otherwise supports American involvement in the World War I.

1916 Percival Chubb organizes an anti-war demonstration at the St. Louis City Hall. Chubb also calls the local St. Louis papers "superficial and sensational." Journalists took issue with his remarks, but attendance at Chubb's Platform addresses increased considerably.

1913 Percival Chubb revives the Greek Ethics Club, which had been languishing since Sheldon's death, as the Contemporary Literature Circle.

1912 The Sheldon Memorial opens as the Society's first permanent meeting house.

1911 Percival Chubb is selected Leader.

1910 Percival Chubb and Anna Sheldon marry, having both become widowed in 1905 and 1907, respectively.

1909 Anna Sheldon, in memory of her late husband, offers a challenge grant to build a permanent new meeting house for the Society.

1907 Walter Sheldon dies of heart disease. Anna Sheldon takes on interim duties as Leader.

1906 Walter Sheldon travels to Japan.

1904 The St. Louis Society hosts a series of lectures during the 1904 World's Fair.

1901 Following the leadership of Booker T. Washington, the St. Louis Society organizes the Colored People's Self-Improvement Federation, which organized an annual course of lectures for people of color.

1899 The St. Louis Society performs its first wedding ceremony, uniting Hermann Schwarz and Louise Rheinlander on April 16.

1891 Walter Sheldon founds the Greek Ethics Club, a women's group committed to the study of Greek and world literature.

1888 The Society opens free reading rooms for wage earners in downtown St. Louis, establishes a kindergarten directed by the Society's Ladies' Philanthropic Club, and creates the Domestic Economy School to teach homemaking skills that will help working-class women be more self-reliant.

1886 Walter Sheldon (at just 28 years old) delivers three lectures marking the foundation of the Ethical Society of St. Louis, ten years to the month after the movement began.

1883 A group of St. Louisians approach Felix Adler about organizing a fellowship for Ethical Culture in their city.

1876 On May 15 at 8:00 p.m. in Standard Hall at the corner of 42nd Street and Broadway in New York City, Felix Adler delivers an address launching the Ethical Culture movement.

1851 Felix Adler born in Alzey, Germany.


Sheldon to Lovelady

Meeting Houses

Memorial Hall to today