Railroad Men's Club


Bill Parks
 

In cleaning out my parent's house, we came across a stock certificate (see below) for the Railroad Men's Club that my grandfather bought (1 share for $100) in 1925 when he was working for the Seaboard Airline in Jacksonville.

I've done a Google search, but can not find any information about this organization.  Does anyone know anything about it?

Thanks in advance.




--
Bill Parks
Cumming, GA
Modelling the Seaboard Airline in Central Florida


Ken Vandevoort
 

I checked the Florida State Department list as that is where all Florida corporations are registered, but it isn't even shown as inactive.  That is where I would start unless the corporation was registered in a state other than Florida.

Ken Vandevoort


mel perry
 

what i find interesting is it is listed as a
non profit @ $100 a share and only
tranferable only to other railroaders?
was this an early attempt at humor?
;;-)

On Sat, May 1, 2021, 10:23 AM Bill Parks via groups.io <BPARKS_43=YAHOO.COM@groups.io> wrote:
In cleaning out my parent's house, we came across a stock certificate (see below) for the Railroad Men's Club that my grandfather bought (1 share for $100) in 1925 when he was working for the Seaboard Airline in Jacksonville.

I've done a Google search, but can not find any information about this organization.  Does anyone know anything about it?

Thanks in advance.




--
Bill Parks
Cumming, GA
Modelling the Seaboard Airline in Central Florida

Attachments:


kevinhlafferty
 

On Sat, May 1, 2021, 10:23 AM Bill Parks wrote:

 

In cleaning out my parent's house, we came across a stock certificate (see below) for the Railroad Men's Club that my grandfather bought (1 share for $100) in 1925 when he was working for the Seaboard Airline in Jacksonville.

I've done a Google search, but can not find any information about this organization.  Does anyone know anything about it?

 

Bill,

Can’t say I know anything about this particular Club but it seems they may have been fairly common in the ‘20s timeframe. I found a couple of other references, one to a Southern Pacific Railroad Men’s Club and another to a Frisco Railroad Men’s Club. I think they were private “social” clubs specifically for members of a particular railroad. The reference I found to the SP club involved a court case as a result of a police raid at the San Francisco clubhouse with several members run in for gambling. Also, a non-profit organization cannot sell stock so I suspect the “stock certificate” may have been in lieu of dues. Perhaps it was an effort to make it more palatable to your significant other that you were investing in stock rather than paying dues to a social club?

Interesting stuff none the less.

 

Kevin Lafferty

 


Bill Parks
 

Kevin - 

Thanks for the feedback.  I did some more digging last night and came the same conclusion.  These were probably local social clubs that may have had some support (official or unofficial) from the railroads.  I also found on EBay (when all else fails, search there) where someone is selling a page dated late 1800s that showed a Railroad Men's Club that was built by the Vanderbilts for their employees.

As a former stock broker, I found it a bit odd that a non-profit would issue an actual stock certificate.  Looking at it, this is not something someone decided to just print up so you can show you're a member.  It has all the legal jargon and seals, and appear that everything was registered with the state under existing incorporation laws of the day. Like you, I have never seen a private club do this.  Normally, you pay an initiation fee, then on-going dues.  At the same time he joined this club, my grandfather was the secretary for the German-American Club in Jacksonville, and documents we have relating to that indicate just initiation fees and dues.  No mention of "stock".  I'm wondering if some lawyer talked the Railroad Club into doing it this way.  A question we may never know the answer to.

This has given me the idea of possibly creating stock certificates for the operating group I'm in.  Might make a fun Christmas present.

This is an interesting piece of railroad history, and hopefully one not totally lost to time.

As an aside, my grandfather grew up on a farm and believed only in investing in real estate.  I remember him saying many times that if you can't go and physically see what you own, and run your fingers through the dirt, then don't buy it, and through out his life, he always owned multiple rental properties.  Given that, this is probably the only "stock" certificate he ever put his name one (my grandmother, on the other hand, played the market and did quite well).

--
Bill Parks
Cumming, GA
Modelling the Seaboard Airline in Central Florida


Doug Paasch
 

This is pure guesswork but I heard somewhere long ago that all members of a club are considered "owners" of the club and can be held personally liable for any actions against the club, such as injury lawsuits, etc.  Perhaps by incorporating the club, it was now a corporate entity and members are now just stockholders rather than actual owners of the club in order to hide behind a corporate shield???  I could be totally off here though.

Doug Paasch


On Sun, May 2, 2021, 8:04 AM Bill Parks via groups.io <BPARKS_43=YAHOO.COM@groups.io> wrote:
Kevin - 

Thanks for the feedback.  I did some more digging last night and came the same conclusion.  These were probably local social clubs that may have had some support (official or unofficial) from the railroads.  I also found on EBay (when all else fails, search there) where someone is selling a page dated late 1800s that showed a Railroad Men's Club that was built by the Vanderbilts for their employees.

As a former stock broker, I found it a bit odd that a non-profit would issue an actual stock certificate.  Looking at it, this is not something someone decided to just print up so you can show you're a member.  It has all the legal jargon and seals, and appear that everything was registered with the state under existing incorporation laws of the day. Like you, I have never seen a private club do this.  Normally, you pay an initiation fee, then on-going dues.  At the same time he joined this club, my grandfather was the secretary for the German-American Club in Jacksonville, and documents we have relating to that indicate just initiation fees and dues.  No mention of "stock".  I'm wondering if some lawyer talked the Railroad Club into doing it this way.  A question we may never know the answer to.

This has given me the idea of possibly creating stock certificates for the operating group I'm in.  Might make a fun Christmas present.

This is an interesting piece of railroad history, and hopefully one not totally lost to time.

As an aside, my grandfather grew up on a farm and believed only in investing in real estate.  I remember him saying many times that if you can't go and physically see what you own, and run your fingers through the dirt, then don't buy it, and through out his life, he always owned multiple rental properties.  Given that, this is probably the only "stock" certificate he ever put his name one (my grandmother, on the other hand, played the market and did quite well).

--
Bill Parks
Cumming, GA
Modelling the Seaboard Airline in Central Florida


BillM
 

A thought is as some have said a social club. Private “social” clubs were a way to get around blue laws or other ordinances like dry counties. Just a thought.

Bill Michael

 

From: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io <main@RealSTMFC.groups.io> On Behalf Of Bill Parks via groups.io
Sent: May 1, 2021 1:23 PM
To: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io
Subject: [RealSTMFC] Railroad Men's Club

 

In cleaning out my parent's house, we came across a stock certificate (see below) for the Railroad Men's Club that my grandfather bought (1 share for $100) in 1925 when he was working for the Seaboard Airline in Jacksonville.

I've done a Google search, but can not find any information about this organization.  Does anyone know anything about it?

Thanks in advance.




--
Bill Parks
Cumming, GA
Modelling the Seaboard Airline in Central Florida


Bill Parks
 

On Sun, May 2, 2021 at 10:14 AM, Doug Paasch wrote:
This is pure guesswork but I heard somewhere long ago that all members of a club are considered "owners" of the club and can be held personally liable for any actions against the club, such as injury lawsuits, etc.  Perhaps by incorporating the club, it was now a corporate entity and members are now just stockholders rather than actual owners of the club in order to hide behind a corporate shield???  I could be totally off here though
Doug - 

That is probably why the incorporated.  Even today non-profits incorporate (NMRA for an example) thus providing a legal shield for the members (among other reasons).  It is possible 100 years ago, Florida required stock to be issued for any "corporation".
 
--
Bill Parks
Cumming, GA
Modelling the Seaboard Airline in Central Florida


Mike Settle
 

It was an expensive share of stock, too. 100 dollars in 1925 is equivalent to just a little over 1500 dollars today.


Dennis Storzek
 

On Sun, May 2, 2021 at 08:51 AM, Mike Settle wrote:
It was an expensive share of stock, too. 100 dollars in 1925 is equivalent to just a little over 1500 dollars today.
The thought occurs to me that this organization may have owned lodging in some major terminals, and the payment was for pre-paid lodging. Incorporation is governed by state laws; I seem to recall some states allowed Not-for-profits to sell shares.

Dennis Storzek