Plainfield Garden Club

Member: Genung, Mrs. Frederick M. (Sarah Newlin Gawthrop) '25

1927 Treasurer Book, under Associate: Mrs. Frederick M. Genung 1/22/37 Pd.

1929 Treasurer Book Active $5.00 (Mrs. F. M. Genung was not listed in the 1928 Treasurer Book)
1930, 1931, 1932, 1933, 1934, 1935 Treasurer Book Active

1932 Directory* Address: 1442 Highland Avenue, Plainfield

* = This directory is not dated but presumed to be from the year 1932.

1936 Treasurer Book: Mrs. Frederick M. Genung 1/18/36 PAID Transferred 4/36
Treasurer Book Associate: 1936, 1937
1938 Treasurer Book, Associate: Mrs. Frederick M. Genung 4/6/38 Pd 8/7/39 Pd.

1940 - 1941 Treasurer Book, Associate: Mrs. Frederick M. Genung 8/8/40 Pd. Her name is crossed out.

Mrs. Frederick M. Genung '32 is the mother-in-law to Mrs. Alfred Gawthrop (Dorothy Madsen) Genung

Grandmother to Mrs. Carter Booth (Sally) '83

Plainfield Library Archives for the Sesame Club

Sesame Club Records

"Progress is the law of life, Strength united is stronger."

Club members on Mrs. Besler's porch, 1919

Part of the Local Organizations Collection at the Plainfield Public Library
Finding aid prepared and encoded by Sarah Hull in February 2009

Overview of the Collection
Repository: Plainfield Public Library, Local History Department, 800 Park Avenue, Plainfield, NJ 07060
Creator: The Sesame Club
Title: Papers of the Sesame Club
Dates: 1865 - 1980, with gaps. Bulk dates 1908 to 1979.
Quantity: 2 linear feet of records
Comprised of 4 boxes:
Two (2) 51/4" x 101/2"x 12" document cases
One (1)) 61/2" x 41/2" x 12" index storage box
One (1) 51/4" x 101/2" x 15" legal document case

Abstract: The Papers of the Sesame Club document the creation and history of the Club from 1865 to 1980. The collection includes a variety of record types, including the Club's annual activity programs, administrative records, such as meeting minutes and roll books, a series of newspaper clippings, and several photographs that document early Club events. There are also two copies of the Club's namesake book, "Sesame & Lilies."
Language: The records are in English.

Historical Information
The Sesame Club, one of Plainfield's oldest literary clubs, was organized on November 10, 1904. The name comes from John Ruskin's "Sesame and Lilies" - the first book read by the club. Three local ladies, Mrs. Stephen H. Voorhees, Mrs. Louis H. Ross, and Mrs. William M. Sandford, are credited with founding the club, which began with twenty-five members. Each year, the club focused on a reading topic, such as a particular author, place or time period, and members prepared programs on it and would review a book or read a paper. Past subjects included: Ralph Waldo Emerson, Rome, and a Winter in Florence. Sometimes members would bring special guests, with topical knowledge or experience, to speak at club meetings. Current events would be discussed at each meeting, which would continue with a planned program. For example, in 1911-12 the annual focus was on Famous Americans; weekly programs consisted of: historians, journalists, humorists, Hawthorne, Walt Whitman, Lowell, musicians, essayists, dialect writers, and so on.

Charter members of the Club agreed to meet every Thursday morning from 10am to 11:45am. The first half hour would be devoted to the roll call and interesting current events; the remainder of the morning would be spent in reading and study. It was the object of the club, "unanimously expressed by the members, that there shall be as little routine as possible and as much absence of formality, so that [the] meetings may be a place where they [could] come with their work and their books, contributing what they can to the general knowledge, and go away feeling that they have been helped by what they have heard from others and that the morning [had] been as profitable as well as a pleasurable one." (Source: Secretary's and Treasurer's Book, page one; November 10, 1904; "The Papers of the Sesame Club," Box 2, Folder 8; Local History Department, Plainfield Public Library, Plainfield, New Jersey)

Scope and Contents
The Papers of the Sesame Club include a variety of historical material spanning from 1865 to 1980, with the bulk of records dating between 1908 to1979. Record types include: annual club programs, constitution and by-laws, roll books, minutes, membership and officer lists, newspaper clippings, photographs, miscellaneous club documents and two books.

List of Charter Members, 1904
Mrs. J. L. Brownlee
Mrs. Edward Caldwell
Mrs. Arthur H Chamberlain
Mrs. H. T. B. Chase
Mrs. Thomas R. Cone
Mrs. Arthur E. Crone
Mrs. John H. Doane
Mrs. Charlotte W. Foster
Mrs. J. H. McEldowney
Mrs. Frank T. Ostrom
Miss Louise Patten
Mrs. Louis R. Ross
Mrs. William M. Sandford
Miss Pauline May Sandford
Mrs. G. Studart Simons
Mrs. Walter P. Veysey
Mrs. Stephen H. Voorhees

Past Presidents, 1904-1980
Name Dates

Mrs. Stephen H. Voorhees 1904-05
Mrs. Charles W. Tennant 1905-06
Mrs. Charles W. Tennant 1906-11
Mrs. Frederick M. Genung 1911-14
Mrs. H.T.B. Chase 1914-16
Miss Louise Meyer 1916-18
Mrs. Adolph De Leeuw 1918-21
Mrs. Oliver C. Johnson 1921-22
Mrs. Charles Rice 1922-25
Mrs. Stephen H. Voorhees 1925-26
Mrs. Arthur S. Knight 1926-28
Mrs. William C Hubbard 1928-30
Mrs. L. Randolph 1930-32
Mrs. Allan B. Stearns 1932-34
Mrs. G. Stuart Simons 1934-36
Miss Elsie Suffern 1936-38
Mrs. Arthur E. Crone 1938-40
Mrs. C.J. Hellen 1940-42
Mrs. B. Colwell Davis 1942-44
Mrs. Howard W. Boise 1944-46
Mrs. Harriet Satterfield 1946-48
Mrs. Louise Bradshaw 1948-50
Mrs. Frank Lobaugh 1950-52
Mrs. Fred Ruch 1952-54
Mrs. James LaPoe 1954-56
Mrs. Jesse S. Brown 1956-58
Mrs. Carl G. Hartman 1958-60
Mrs. L. Harrison North 1960-62
Mrs. Horace Bunker 1962-64
Mrs. William F. LeCraw 1964-66
Mrs. William Marsh 1966-68
Mrs. Carryll Dunovan 1968-70
Miss Jane Brower 1970-71
Mrs. Marjorie Crane 1971-72
Miss Adθle De Leeuw 1972-74
Mrs. L. Harrison North 1974-76
Dr. Florence Fitzpatrick 1976-78
Mrs. Paul O'Hara 1978-80

Annual Topics, 1904-05 to 1979-80
Year End Topic

1905 Ruskin
1906 Emerson
1907 A Winter in Florence
1908 England
1909 England
1910 Germany
1911 Rome
1912 Famous Americans
1913 A Winter in America
1914 Holland-Schiller
1915 France
1916 France
1917 Miscellaneous Program
1918 New Jersey – Modern Writers
1919 Japan – Drama – Book Reviews
1920 Romance of Indians – Drama – Book Reviews
1921 South America – New Movements
1922 Recent Biographies – Character Sketches
1923 Biography and Modern Poetry
1924 Miscellaneous Subjects – Noted People – Noted Books
1925 Russia
1926 American Spirit in Literature – Spain – Poland – Sweden
1927 London – Put of the Way Possessions – Recent Books
1928 India – Recent Books
1929 Sesame's Own Book Shelf
1930 The "Flavor of Ireland"
1931 Scotland – American Early Furniture
1932 Spain
1933 Scandinavia
1934 The Sesame Caravan
1935 Where Rivers Flow
1936 Where Go The Roads
1937 Our Next Door Neighbor, Mexico – This Changing World
1938 My Country
1939 It's My Land, and Your Land
1940 The Continent of Promise – South America
1941 Our Northern Neighbor – Canada
1942 A Search for Something Abiding
1943 China, Yesterday and Today
1944 Patterns of the Pacific
1945 Relaxations – Miscellaneous Subjects
1946 Russia and Her Neighbors
1947 Our United States
1948 Our Country
1949 America in Today's World
1950 Africa
1951 The Mysterious Sea
1952 Food for Thought
1953 The Air Around Us
1954 The Contemporary Scene
1955 The Contemporary Scene
1956 Browsing Among Books
1957 New World – New Ways
1958 Sesame Sampler
1959 The British Isles
1960 The British Commonwealth
1961 Germany
1962 European Influences
1963 Islands of the World
1964 Nature
1965 Literature 1950-1965
1966 Biographies of Interesting Women
1967 To America With Love
1968 Cities of the World
1969 Frontiers of Today's Society
1970 Frontiers of Today's Society Continued
1971 Sesame at Ease
1972 Things Beautiful
1973 Quest for Adventure
1974 Isms
1975 Tapestry of the United States
1976 Tapestry of the United States Continued
1977 Philosophers
1978 Biographies
1979 The World Around Us
1980 The World Around Us Part II (75th Anniversary)

The Papers of the Sesame Club are arranged into four series:

Series 1: Publications (annual club programs, event programs)
Series 2: Administration (constitution and by-laws, roll books, meeting minutes, membership and officer lists)
Series 3: Newspaper Clippings
Series 4: Photographs and other (books and miscellaneous club documents)

Access and Use
Restrictions on Access
The Papers of the Sesame Club are available for research.
Access is restricted to materials prepared by the Local History department staff. All materials must be viewed in the Plainfield Room and may not be removed to another area of the library without permission of the Library Director or designee. Materials must be handled carefully and kept in order. Materials must not be leaned upon, altered, folded, ripped, or traced upon. Marks may not be added or erased from materials. Materials must be returned directly to Local History department staff and inspected before the researcher leaves the Plainfield Room.

Restrictions on Use
One photocopy may be made (by Plainfield Public Library staff) of each document for the purpose of research; official Local History departmental reproduction fees may apply. Permission to publish must be obtained by the Plainfield Public Library Board of Trustees as delegated to the Library Director. Permission to publish does not constitute a copyright clearance. The researcher is responsible for further copyright restrictions. The Plainfield Public Library is not responsible for the misuse of copyrighted material

Index Terms
This record series is indexed under the following controlled access subject terms.


Sesame Club

Plainfield (N.J.)–History

Ladies Clubs
Literary Clubs

Related Items
The following published books are included in this collection (box 4):

Riskin, John. Sesame and Lilies: two lectures delivered at Manchester in 1864. New York : John Wiley & Son, 1865.

Riskin, John. Sesame and Lilies. Philadelphia : Henry Altemus, 1899.

Plainfield Public Library's local history photograph collection, Grimstead G-722.

Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements
This collection consists of paper documents, photographs and ephemera which do not require any additional technology for access. Two negatives are included in the collection, and require a light box/table for optimal viewing.

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation
Identification of item; Date (if noted); The Papers of the Seasame Club, Box and Folder Number; Local History Department, Plainfield Public Library, Plainfield, New Jersey.

Acquisition Information
The collection was donated in 2003 by the Sesame Club.

Processing Information
This collection was processed by Sarah Hull in February 2009. The finding aid was written by Sarah Hull in January 2009. Finding aid content follows the guidelines suggested by Describing Archives: A Content Standard.

Series Description of the Collection
Series 1: Publications [1906-1979]
Series Description
Series 1 contains documents published and/or distributed by the Sesame Club. It includes the club's annually-printed programs. Each member would receive a small, bound program listing the weekly reading and discussion topics. Also in this series is an oversized, annual luncheon program from 1939. It is composed solely of paper documents – some with handwritten notes in the margins or on the cover. There are no programs for the first two Club years – 1904 and 1905.

Series 1 is arranged chronologically and fills one box, with the exception of the larger material that is held in box 4.

Series 2: Administrative Records [1904–1979]
Series Description
Series 2 contains the administrative records of the Club. This series includes: printed constitution and by-laws, secretary and treasurer books, four (4) bound roll books, bound and unbound minutes, membership and officer lists. It is composed solely of paper documents and bound ledgers. Typed and handwritten minutes were kept by the secretary. The early minute books often resemble scrapbooks; complete with inserted pages of memorabilia, poems, letters, newspaper clippings, and member obituaries. The books contain other hidden treasures such as hand-drawn maps to member's homes, luncheon programs, and photographs. Most notably, there is a map of the militia post at the Blue Hills in 1776, which documents the town's lay-out, as well as a room-by-room list of Washington's Headquarters (in Morristown) – both items associated with that year's topic, "Where Go The Roads," as demonstrated by a member walk along the historical Road to Liberty.

Series 2 is arranged chronologically by subject, and fills two boxes.

Series 3: Photographs and other [1865, 1899, 1919, 1932–1940, 1974-1975, undated]
Series Description
Series 3 contains a series of photographs dating from 1919 to 1974. They include a 1919 portrait (see top of page) of the Club's members standing on the porch steps of the home of Mrs. Besler, the wife of Central Rail Road of New Jersey's Mr. William Besler. There are three scrapbook pages with photographs documenting the 1935 skit for the program, "Where the rivers flow;" some group shots from the Lavallette, NJ cottage get-together in 1940, and 2 images from the 1932 Scandinavian Exhibit - as displayed in the Art Gallery of the old Job-Male library building. Also included in the series are one folder of photocopied newspaper clippings that document several of the Clubs anniversaries and run from 1929 to 1975, with gaps; a folder of memorabilia, two copies of the book "Sesame & Lilies," and a letter and clipping from the Friends of the Plainfield Public Library.

Series 3 is arranged chronologically by subject, with photographs at the end.

Contents Listing

Box Folder Title Dates
11Programs 1908-1919

2 Programs 1920-1929

3 Programs 1930-1939

4 Programs 1940-1949

5 Programs 1950-1959

6 Programs 1960-1969

7 Programs 1970-1979

* See Box 4 with additional programs 1906-1911, 1915-1917

21Constitution and By-laws 1931

2 Constitution and By-laws 1934

3 Constitution and By-laws 1943

4 Constitution and By-laws 1956

5 Constitution and By-laws 1957

6 Constitution and By-laws 1965

7 Constitution and By-laws 1978

8 Secretary's and Treasurer's Book 1904-1912

10 Roll and Minutes Book (combined) 1913-1920

11 Roll Book 1920-1933
12 Roll Book1933-1945
13 Roll Book 1945-1960
14 Membership Lists 1959-1979 with gaps
15 Officers List 1904-1973

31Minutes 1939-1947
2 Minutes 1947-1955
3 Minutes 1955-1964
4 Minutes 1964-1972
5 Minutes 1972-1978
See Box 2 with additional minutes 1913-1933

4 1 Anniversary Materials: 1925, 1930, 1935, 1950, 1975, 1980 1925–1980

2 Constitution and By-laws 1905
3 Friends of the Plainfield Public Library: letter and newspaper clipping 1927 and 1960
4 Programs 1906-1911, 1915-1917
5 Luncheon Program 1939
6 Newspaper clippings (photocopied) 1911–1979
7 Miscellaneous Items: 1 heart-shaped Valentine card and 1 event document "Soliloquy." Undated
8 "Sesame & Lilies" by John Ruskin, 2 editions 1869 and 1865
9 Photographs 1919, 1932, 1935, 1940, 1974

1963 Amherst Biographical record

KIRK, Leander Raney son of Howard M. and Elizabeth Raney born New Castle, PA May 29 1903. Married May 12, 1928 Mary, daughter of Frederick Genung, Plainfield, NJ. Children: Sally; David Raney; Paul Frederick, brother William H. (Amherst 1931). Died Plainfield, NJ September 19, 1955


2004 - 2005 Members Naples Botanical Garden

Mr. and Mrs. Frederick M. Genung II

Hance - Madsen Nuptials The Daily Register December 2, 1968

Hance-Madseri Nuptuals

Crescent Avenue Presbyterian Church was the setting here
Saturday for the wedding of Miss Nancy Bandolph Madsen, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. John Edward Madsen, of Plainfield and Bay Head, to Charles Ellis Hance of Little Silver and New York City. He is the
son of Mr. and Mrs. Winfield White Hance, 401 Branch Ave.; Little Silver.

The Rev. Dr. Charles L. Mead officiated.
A reception was held in the Plainfield Country Club.
Miss Sarah Madsen Genung was the maid of honor for her cousin. Also attending the bride were Mrs. Ronald Fogan, Mrs. Henry DeH. Manley 3d, Mrs. Henry B. Laidlaw 3d, Miss Ann M. Gonder and Miss Elizabeth M. Perkins.

John W. Hance was his brother's best man. Ushers were Warren S. and Robert V. Hance, brothers of the bridegroom; Or. John E, Madsen Jr. a n d ' t y t ym # sen 2d, brothers of the bride; Brewster B.
Perkins, Henry B. Laidlaw 3d and Frederick M. Genung 2d, cousin of the bride; '·'.fHMrs. Hance is a graduate of the Cartridge School, Plainfield; Bennett, Junior College, Millbrook, N. y., and Jackson College
of Tufts University, Medford, Mass. She. is a member of the Junior League of Plainfield, and was presented at the League Cotillion. She is on the, faculty of St. Luke's School of Trinity Parish, New York City.
Mr. Hance, an alumnus of St. Andrew's School, Middletown, Del., Trinity College, Hartford, Conn., and Columbia Law School,
N. Y., is a member of St. Anthony Club, New York City. He is a member of the New York law firm, Carter, Ledyard and Millburn,
and is a private in the U. S. Army Reserve, Ft. Hancock.
The couple will reside in New York City.
The Daily Register, 2 December 1968

Hillside Cemetery October 2011

Sally Booth

Hillside Cemetery October 20, 2011

The Genung marker
Sally Genung Booth led us to her family's site and there, told us stories of her Aunt Ella, one of the first women to work on Wall Street. She worked for a German company and when the US declared war on Germany, Aunt Ella no longer received her income. She then became dependent on her brother which gave birth to a family joke of taking care of one's sisters.


Husband: Frederick M. GENUNG
Born: at:
Married: 22 OCT 1903 at:
Died: at:
Other Spouses:
Wife: Sarah Newlin GAWTHROP
Born: 6 OCT 1874 at:
Died: at:
Father:Alfred GAWTHROP
Mother:Hanna J. STROUD
Other Spouses:
Name: Mary GENUNG
Born: 18 JAN 1905 at:
Married: at:
Died: at:
Spouses: Leander Andrew KIRK
Name: Alfred Gawthrop GENUNG
Born: 21 NOV 1908 at:
Married: at:
Died: at:

Frederick Mitchell Genung, born 23 February 1872 in Monticello, Sullivan, New York3287,3288,3289; died 08 March 1961 in Plainfield, Union, New Jersey3289. He married (1) Anna Wickham 30 November 18973290; born Abt. 18763291; died 18 May 1900 in New York, New York3292. He married (2) Sarah Newlin Gawthrop3293 Aft. 1900; born Abt. 1871 in Wilmington, New Castle, Delaware3293,3294; died 15 March 1960 in Plainfield, New Jersey3295.
Notes for Frederick Mitchell Genung:
Wholesale coffee dealer in New York City. Presbyterian.

Notes for Anna Wickham:
No children.

1925 Meeting Minutes

December 11, 2013 Gathering of the Greens at Hillside

The Cox and Genung Markers

Situated under some beautiful old Spruce trees – which have been allowed to billow in their natural form – are the grave markers for Sally's family, the Genungs, and the Cox family.

Sally, if you did not know, is the third generation to belong to the PGC.

Mrs. Frederick M. (Sarah Newlin Gawthrop) Genung '32
Mrs. Alfred Gawthrop (Dorothy or "Dot" Madsen) Genung '69

And here are the Cox family members:

Mrs. Archibald (Frances Perkins) Cox '25
Mrs. Edward Vermilye (Julia Bulkley) Cox '35
Mrs. Fred J. (Elizabeth Rand Adams) Cox '35

December 11, 2013 Gathering of the Greens at Hillside

December 11, 2013 Gathering of the Greens at Hillside

December 11, 2013 Gathering of the Greens at Hillside

Monday Afternoon Club Membership

October 17, 2014

October 17, 2014

Sally does it again!

Over our 100 year history, the PGC has submitted TEN local gardens for inclusion in the Smithsonian's Archives of American Gardens. As you know, it has been the Garden Club of America's great initiative to document gardens across the nation and have their photos and plans preserved there. Our own Mary Kent just concluded her two-year term as the National Chairman of that GCA committee titled "Garden History & Design." GCA clubs from across the US have painstakingly documented gardens for the Smithsonian. But as most of us can recall, technology wasn't what it is today so some things became "lost" in the great vaults of the Smithsonian. One of these things were the submitted photographs of 1332 Prospect Avenue in Plainfield.

1332 Prospect Avenue was home to Plainfield Garden Club Founding Member Mrs. Thomas Rowe (Lucy Otterson) Van Boskerck '15. Later, it was home to Honorary Member Bernice Swain. Before it became the current home of Jim McGreevey, it belonged to Chris and Kathleen Onieal. Your Editor was once showed these photographs as they were told "they stay with the house" but again, they had been misplaced.

In comes Sally. Sally is friends with Mrs. Van Boskerck's granddaughter, Caroline Norman, who resides in Seattle. Sally remembers visiting 1332 Prospect Avenue often as a child and tells great stories of playing in the attics. Sally, who is a third generation member of the PGC, inquired once more of her friend Caroline if she could locate these mythical photographs. And today they were found and returned to us – and the six sepia photographs are every bit as beautiful as Your Editor remembered.

In addition, Caroline sent along never-before-seen photographs of her Aunt Ethel Tyler and her house at 520 8th Street. We also received our first photo of Mrs. Noss. And perhaps best of all, we are the recipients of some beautiful photographs of 17 year-old Sally, a dashing young Carter and Sally's beautiful children. ENJOY!!

1332 Prospect Avenue and other photos for the Van Boskerck, Tyler, Clendenin, Noss, Genung, Madsen & Booth Families