Shattuck, S. F., et. al (ed.) / A history of Neenah
Youth organizations, pp. 451-459 ff. PDF (2.8 MB)
YOUTH ORGANIZATIONS Boys' Brigade THE Boys' Brigade of Neenah-Menasha had its inception one evening in the early fall of 1899, when Dr. J. E. Chapin, then pastor of the First Presbyterian Church, stopped to ask six boys why they were on the streets beyond the nine o'clock curfew. The patriotic fervor of the Spanish-American War was still warm. The boys wanted an "Army" where they could have military drill. Dr. Chapin said he would see what could be done. Something was done. Forty-six charter members of the Neenah Boys' Brigade were signed up on January 22, 19oo. Early leaders were Charles Johnson, Oscar Lindsey, George Jones, with Vernon Holden as drill master. In i9oi, at Dr. Chapin's insistence, Frank Shattuck took over. The Brigade started under the wing of the local Presbyterian Church. Being the only organization of its kind in the town, boys from other churches were naturally attracted to it. It soon became obvious that something must be done to avoid weakening the loyalty of boys to the church of their parents' choice. Such thinking led to the adop- tion of two simple principles upon which the Brigade has developed across the years: i. Membership of a boy must rest upon regular attendance at the church or Sunday School of his parents' choice. A monthly report card, to be presented during the active Brigade season, records the boy's attendance at his own church or school. This record is an important factor in honors awards at the close of each Brigade season. 2. A community is a better place in which to live in which boys of all faiths have the maximum of wholesome common experience together during their adolescent years. In 1947, the Community Chest was organized as a Twin City insti- tution, and the Boys' Brigade became a charter member. Up to this 45I
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