Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Sesquicentennial Stories: The Promise of UK #82

The oldest literary society to remain on the University of Kentucky campus was the Union Literary Society.  It was formed in 1872 by the consolidation of the Yost Club and the Ashland Institute and was operated under a charter from the Legislature.   Eventually, the society had a well-furnished hall in the Main Building which housed a library due in part to an appropriation from the state.  The society held weekly meetings devoted to declamations, essays, and debates. The society held an annual oratory contest on February 22 of each year.  The Union Literary Society was formed at the Agricultural and Mechanical College while part of Kentucky University.  
Union Literary Society circa 1890
The Patterson Literary Society was formed in 1887 under the suggestion of Governor Knott and named in honor of President Patterson.  The society was chartered in 1888 and was also provided a room and a good library. The Patterson Literary Society had a similar contest held on March 26th of each year – the birthday of President Patterson.

Patterson Literary Society, Kentuckian 1913
In 1882, the Philosophian Society was formed by women of the college for literary improvement and social pleasure.  The society also had a well equipped hall for the meetings and events.  In addition to their weekly meetings, the Philosophian Society provided public events consisting of declamations, essays, criticisms, and orations once every year.

Philosophian Literary Society, 1919

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