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Thirteen members formed the branch of the Young Men’s Institute, which was created on 24 December 1893.  Named the H. J. Witte Council #213, the “club house” was a 2 ½ story framed building located on the corner of Carthage Pike (Vine Street) and Bertus Street. It was described as having seven handsomely furnished rooms.  Council, reception and dining rooms were on the first floor, while billiards and card rooms were on the second floor.

Young Men's Institute

Newspaper articles suggest that this was an organization with ties to St. Clement Church.  For their new banner dedication, they formed a procession from their “clubhouse” to St. Clement’s, where the banner was dedicated by local pastor, Fr. Ubaldus Webersinke.  Visitors included H. J. Witte, Dr. Bernard Pulskamp, William Spieier, George Schroeder, John Finke and B. H. Wess, all prominent citizens of St. Bernard.

As the name implies, it was for men only, but almost one year later, on 16 November 1894, the council inaugurated a ladies’ night euchre party.  This was to be held only during the winter months “in order to invite more sociability among members of council and their friends.”

Officers of the club included Henry J. Tapke, Harry J. Storch, Charles Overberg, George Schroeder, Charles Schildmeyer, A. Slacke, Herman J. Witte, Charles Burckhardt, Henry Smith and John Witzman.

Jerry Day’s Auto Service operates in this location today. 

Kay Heller Phillips

Source:  The Cincinnati Enquirer, 10 Sep 1894; The Cincinnati Enquirer, 16 Nov 1894; St. Bernard-Ludlow Grove Files.

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