For much of the nineteenth century, Cincinnati was the center of culture and learning in Ohio and throughout the Midwest. During this period, the residents of the city often founded their own organizations to sponsor cultural and educational activities. The Literary Club of Cincinnati is one such organization. It was founded on October 29, 1849.
Since its founding, the club has had no more than one hundred members at any given time, all of them men. Members have included many prominent Cincinnati residents, including Rutherford B. Hayes and William Howard Taft. Members present papers of a literary nature at club meetings, and occasionally famous writers have spoken to the club’s membership as well. Among the Literary Club’s guest presenters have been Ralph Waldo Emerson, Booker T. Washington, Mark Twain, and Robert Frost. The Literary Club of Cincinnati is the oldest organization of its kind in the United States.
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