In 1920, a group of prominent Saint Paul businessmen founded a civic club which in 1922 became the Saint Paul Exchange Club.  The purpose was social interchange, civic activities, charitable expressions and an earnest effort to put Saint Paul "on the map".  National affiliation with the Exchange Club was supposed to be a big boost to the later purpose.  Much to everyone's surprise, the Club remained financially solvent throughout the Great Depression as the Wednesday noon luncheons proved to be a source of resurrection for the tired and struggling businessmen.  The members literally laughed their way through those hard times!

During Prohibition, Henry Pittelkow with the sheet metal classification, was nationally recognized for making some of the best stills in  the U.S.

Active in the revival of the Winter Carnival in 1937, the Club's float held a position of prominence in the Grande Parade.  However, King Boreas mistakenly showed a preference toward the Midway Civic Club and this resulted in the members' affinity towards the Vulcans which has stood the test of time.

1954 was the year of drastic change.  The charter of the National Exchange Club organization stipulated that membership was to be exclusively Caucasian.  The Saint Paul Exchange Club found this unacceptable and sent its President elect, The Honorable James C. Otis, to the National Convention with the purpose of striking this clause.  Unfortunately the pleas were ignored and when Otis returned to report his failure, the Club responded by resigning from it's affiliation with the national organization on January 8, 1955, and officially became "THE SAINT PAUL CLUB". (Note: Judge Otis later became Chief Justice of the Minnesota Supreme Court.  He passed away in 1993).

The Exchange Club meetings were held every Wednesday noon at the prestigious Saint Paul Hotel.  Byron Calhoun was the manager of the hotel and a member of the Club.  Eventually Rol Sheadle succeeded him and when he resigned to take over the management of the Minnesota Club, he invited the Saint Paul Club to move with him.  As a special inducement, he made the enticing offer of including a free dessert with lunch.  ON July 8, 1964 the move took place and we continued to meet at the Minnesota Club until September 30th, 1997, when we moved to the Pool & Yacht Club.

Today, just as in the 1920's, no member or speaker can ever be sure that he may or may not be the subject of a joke or perhaps a more elaborate "frame".  Therefore, having a good sense of humor is a prerequisite for membership.  The noon luncheons continue to offer a welcome distraction from the tedious life and rigors of the daily business grind.  Enjoying some good laughs with good friends makes for a better life!

Weekly reports by Sports & Board minority Reporters, Sunshine Chairman, Donor Introducer participants, Chaplain and others provide an environment for active participation by the members.


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