©   Photo by Athena bust Wikipedia

The Athenaeum Society
Hopkinsville, Kentucky

Founded April 1902


A Short History of the Athenaeum of Hopkinsville

See elaborate details in the Paper by Wm T. Turner

On 18 April 1902 nine Hopkinsvillians met over a dinner at the Latham Hotel given by Bethel Femal College professor William H. Harrison. An account may be read in the Kentuckian for Tuesday, 22 April 1902. Wanting to establish a men's literary society but unable to decide on a name, they chose to meet the first Thursday of each month.

The afternoon of 21 April 1902, at a meeting in the office of Dr. Frank M. Stites, the name ATHENAEUM SOCIETY was chosen

The first meetings held in the Latham Hotel. This hotel, at the corner of Seventh and Virginia Streets, was constructed in 1894 and boasted of guests like Theodore Roosevelt, Ethel Barrymore, and John Philip Sousa and his band.

See photos of charter members

Latham HotelFrom a postcard

The first newspaper account available seems to be one in The Kentuckian, 6 May 1904, and tells about the Society's second "Open Meeting" that lasted from 8 to 12 at Hotel Latham. From the article can be compiled the membership list: E. B. Basset, A. C. Kuykendall, R.F. McDaniel, H.C. Smith, Rev. G.C.Abbitt, H.H. Abernathy, Dr. T.W. Blakey, Judge James Breathitt, Dr. Manning Brown, J.G. Cooper, J.W. Downer, J.C. Duffer, George E. Gary, Judge J.T. Hanberry, Rev. Mr. E. Harrison, Col. Jouette Henry, Capt., Clifton Long, Judge Joe McCarroll, Charles M. Meacham, Gordon Nelson, Rev. Mr. W.L. Nourse, Dr. W.W. Ray, Frank Rives, John Stites, T.C. Underwood, Ira L. Smith, Dr. J. W. Stephens, Dr. R.L. Woodard, and F.L. Wilkinson. Six speeches were given instead of the customary two papers.

The Kentuckian (a Hopkinsville Newspaper) reported 6 April 1916 that Frank Rives and T.C. Underwood were presenting papers that night at Hotel Lartham.

The Kentuckian on 31 May 1917 said Ira D. Smith and Dr. F.M.Stites would present papers on Tuesday, June 7.

The Kentuckian 3 May 1918 noted that the Athenaeum was 17 years old but had not had banquets its first two years. Membership was limited to 30. The May meeting was "always an open session with speeches instead of papers and usually an elegant meal is spread for a maxium of 120 persons each member being entitled to four seats". However, as a wartime patriotic gesture no food was served May 1918; instead, a $1 donation was made to the Red Cross.

The Kentuckian on 5 April 1919 relates the Athenaeum meeting at the Latham Hotel that week with papers by Grover C. Coffman on federal ownership of railroads (Railroads After The War) and a second, by H. W. Linton, on Joan of Arc. Newly elected officers were: J. A. McKenzie, President, L.E. Foster, Vice President, and H.W. Linton, Secretary.

The hotel burns 4 August 1940The Latham Burning

Members before 1930 (according to Meacham's History)

1. Geo. C. Abbitt. 2. H. H. Abernathy. 3. James Breathitt, Jr. 4. F. M. Brown. 5. E. H. Barker. 6. T. W. Blakey. 7. C. H. H. Branch. 8. John E. Byars. 9. Austin Bell. 10. H. G. Brownell. 11. John F. Bible. 12. P. B. B. Brooks. 13. E. B. Bassett. 14. Phil E. Chappell. 15. Alvan H. Clark. 16. A. G. Chapman. 17. D. A. Clark. 18. Geo. W. Crenshaw. 19. Jno. S. Crenshaw. 20. J. W. Clotfelter. 21. J. G. Cooper. 22. Lucian H. Davis. 23. John C. Duffy. 24. J. W. Downer. 25. L. W. Doolan. 26. Randolph Dade. 27. A. H. Eckles. 28. W. M. Elliott. 29. John T. Edmunds. 30. F. E. Fallenstein. 31. W. T. Fowler. 32. L. E. Foster. 33. Geo. E. Gary. 34. R. B. Grider. 35. W. E. Gary. 36. J. G. Gaither. 37. J. W. Gaines. 38. W. J. Garnett. 39. H. T. Gill. 40. J. 0. Goode. 41. Jouett Henry. 42. W. B. Holmes, Jr. 43. Barksdale Hamlett. 44. Edmund Harrison. 45. W. H. Harrison. 46. J. T. Hanbery. 47. J. Newton Jessup. 48. Millard A. Jenkens. 49. G. C. Koffman. 50. Horace Kingsbury. 51. A. R. Kasey. 52. A. C. Kuykendall. 53. H. W. Linton. 54. H. A. Long. 55. T. W. Long. 56. Chas. M. Meacham. 57. Rodman Meacham. 58. Jas. A. McKenzie. 59. H. F. McDaniel. 60. T. J. McReynolds. 61. E. C. McDanald. 62. B. G. Nelson. 63. W. L. Nourse. 64. Lewis Powell. 65. Paul S. Powell. 66. T. W. Perkins. 67. W. S. Peterson. 68. Frank Rives. 69. E. V. Rawn. 70. E. D. Sloan. 71. Ira L. Smith. 72. Ira D. Smith. 73. W. H. Southall. 74. W. 0. Soyars. 75. John Stites. 76. Denny P. Smith. 77. H. D. Smith. 78. H. C. Smith. 79. F. M. Stites. 80. H. P. Sights. 81. Everett S. Smith. 82. S. Y. Trimble. 83. Willis Thompson. 84. W. T. Tandy. 85. C. M. Thompson. 86. F. P. Thomas. 87. T. C. Underwood. 88. P. C. Walker. 89. Ed L. Weathers. 90. S. Pettus White. 91. Lorenzo K. Wood. 92. C. E. Woodruff. 93. Arkley Wright. 94. R. L. Woodard. 95. James West. 96. J. C. Wailer. 97. F. W. Fink. 98. B. W. Gaither.

List of all members from 1902 to 2002