The Engineers Club History
Colonel Edward A. Deeds and Charles F. Kettering founded The Engineers Club of Dayton in 1914. At the time, both men realized that Dayton was among the leading industrial cities in the United States due to the various highly-skilled engineers and technicians working in the city. Deeds and Kettering were members of a group known as Barn Gang. The Barn Gang met in a barn on Deeds property to discuss engineering and other scientific issues.
On February 20, 1914, Colonel Deeds called together a handfull of key engineers and proposed to them the idea of establishing an Engineers Club of Dayton. Colonel Deeds proposal was overwhelmingly approved and Colonel Deeds and Mr. Kettering arranged for the Engineers Club to meet at a Delco(Dayton Engineering Laboratories Company) owned property on the corner of Second and Madison Streets. The original charter members of The Engineers Club were: Colonel Edward A. Deeds, Charles F. Kettering, F.M. Tait, H.B. Canby, Arthur E. MOrgan, H.M. Williams, H.J. Williams, H.G. Dorsey, H.G. Kittredge, D.A. Kohr, Harry I. Schenck, J.H. Hunt, O.H. Hutchings, Oscar, Kressler, and F.O. Clements. On April 15, 1914, the charter members signed the articles of incorporation of The Engineers CLub of Dayton. Colonel Deeds was elected the Club's first president (1914 -1915).
By June 9, 1914, the number of Club members had reached 60. The membership increased in 1915, and to stimulate interest, Colonel Deeds and Mr. Kettering brought in distinguished speakers from all over the country to discuss various topics. Also in 1915, John H. Patterson, the founder and President of NCR, was made the first Honorary Member of the Club. The first annual meeting was held on Jne 1, 1915. Professor Dexter S. Kimball was the speaker. Officers were elected that evening and Colonel Dedds was elected president of the CLub for the 1915 - 1916 season.
In 1916 the CLub was making changes. The Board of Governors decided that lunches would be increased to $0.35. Colonel Deeds and Mr. Kettering needed to find a new home for the Club because Delco needed the property to build a new factory. The search was on for a new home. Finally, Deeds and Kettering decided upon the present-day location on the corner of Monument and Jefferson. The architectural firm of Schenck and Williams were asked to design the new Club and supervise the construction.
A building committee was created. The committee, funded by Deeds and Kettering, spent one year inspecting clubs across the country. The purpose of these inspections was to obtain ideas concerning the layout of the new home of The Engineers Club of Dayton. Deeds and Kettering were not impressed with the design and layout of other clubs. They wanted the best.
From Madison to Monument
On February 2, 1918, the new building was deicated. More than 300 Club members and guests were present. Colonel Deeds and Kettering presented the Club to the members. Orville Wright made a rare public speech and accepted the "keys to the property," which he then turned over to the membership. In this speech, Orville emphasized the responsibility of the membership, present and future. Among the list of distinguished guests were Governor James M. Cox, Maj. J.G. Vincent, United States Army, and William B. Mayo.