Timeline

  • 1886

    1886

    - Felix Adler addresses an organizational meeting of the Society for Ethical Culture of St. Louis
    - Initial membership: 93

  • 1887

    1887

    - Sunday school opens
    - Joined the Union of the Societies for Ethical Culture
    (later renamed the American Ethical Union)
    - Expenses totaled $3,235 ($81,000 in 2018 dollars)
    - Membership: 196

  • 1895


    - Housed in the basement of the St. Louis Museum and School of Fine Arts

     

     

  • 1896

    1896

    - First social event held by the Society, previously all events were focused on education
    - Name changed to the Ethical Society of St. Louis

  • 1898

    1898

    - Operating budget: $4,461 ($127,000 in 2018 dollars)

  • 1902

    - Membership grows to 360

  • 1907

    - Walter Sheldon (our first Leader) dies at age 48

  • 1910

    - Purchased land on Washington Boulevard for the future home of the Society.

  • 1911

    - Formed the first membership committee.

  • 1912

    1912

    - Sheldon Memorial Hall opened as the Society's first permanent home. Cost, including land, was $125,000 ($3.1m in 2018 dollars)

  • 1914

    1914

    - First woman elected to the Board

  • 1915

    1915

    - First all-member canvass (annual pledge drive)
    - Membership: 515

  • 1925

    1925

    - Sheldon Memorial, a valued community resource, hosts more than a dozen community organizations an average of forty-five meetings each month.

  • 1928

    1928

    - Fire damages building and organ, $6,000 in damages ($87,000 in 2018 dollars)

  • 1929

    1929

    - Voted to sell the Sheldon

  • 1930

    1930

    - Voted NOT to sell the Sheldon

  • 1946

    1946

    - Appointed a committee to locate and recommend possible building sites, centrally located in the county,
    - Committee reported that prices on real estate were too high and advised postponing any action until a more favorable time,
    - Special fund-raising to support a 60th anniversary celebration. Target set at $20,000 to $25,000 ($253,000 to $316,000 in 2018 dollars),

  • 1947

    1947

    - Added non-discrimination clause to membership rules
    - Board members suggested that Sunday School put too much emphasis on Bible stories
    - Sheldon mortgage paid off
    - Spent $5,673 repairing Sheldon roof ($62,000 in 2018 dollars)

  • 1950

    1950

    - Created an endowment account
    - Operating budget: $25,000 ($233,000 in 2018 dollars)

  • 1954

    1954

    - Platform given by Julian Huxley

  • 1957

    1957

    - Platform given by Ashley Montague

  • 1958

    1958

    - Purchased Clayton Road property for $35,000. ($299,000 in 2018 dollars)

  • 1959

    1959

    - Platform given by Margaret Meade

  • 1960

    1960

    - Platform given by Buckminster Fuller
    - Operating budget: $45,000 ($375,000 in 2018 dollars)

  • 1961

    1961

    - American Ethical Union (AEU) meets in St. Louis

  • 1965

    1965

    - Dedicated new building on Clayton Road

  • 1966

    1966

    - Tuesday Women's Association (TWA) , an outgrowth of the Women's Auxiliary, founded

  • 1968

    1968

    - Weekday nursery school opens

  • 1974

    1974

    - Sold Sheldon Memorial for $25,000 ($125,000 in 2018 dollars); later became the Sheldon Concert Hall

  • 1983

    1983

    - Membership: 450

  • 1990

    1990

    - Expanded the parking lot and put in new playground
    - Operating budget: $361,000 ($682,000 in 2018 dollars)

  • 1997

    1997

    - Began full summer schedule of programs for adults

  • 1999

    1999

    - Construction completed on new wing and elevator at a cost of $733,000 ($1,085,000 in 2018 dollars)

  • 2001

    2001

    - American Ethical Union (AEU) meets in St. Louis

  • 2003

    2003

    - Ethical Society Mid Rivers begins as satellite of the Ethical Society of St. Louis

  • 2005

    2005

    - Kate Lovelady hired as Leader
    - Started online podcasts of Platform talks
    - Legacy Committee and Estate Planning Funds started

  • 2007

    2007

    - Split collection Sundays started
    - Hosted Youth of Ethical Societies national conference
    - Adopted Senior Connections as Society-wide project

  • 2009

    2009

    - Ethical Society Mid Rivers becomes independent of the Ethical Society of St. Louis
    - American Ethical Union (AEU) meets in St. Louis
    - Young Ethicals group for 20- to 40-ish year-old members begins

  • 2011

    2011

    - Memory Garden dedicated

  • 2012

    2012

    - Ethical Navigators program begins

  • 2014

    2014

    - Began funding 4-year scholarships for girls at Ugandan Humanist Schools
    - New governance structure implemented

  • 2015

    2015

    - James Croft hired as second Leader
    - 50th anniversary of the Clayton Road building

  • 2016

    2016

    - American Ethical Union (AEU) meets in St. Louis
    - Auditorium upgraded with new lighting and audio-visual systems

Leaders

Sheldon to Lovelady

Meeting Houses

Memorial Hall to today