The Viorus Club of Erie County
Erie County, PA Biographies

The Viorus Club, of Erie, was organized in 1908 and its present roster contains names of many of the young professional and business men of Erie, numbering 68 members. The original 13 members were in the Sunday school class of C. E. Zinram, at Trinity Memorial Church, and their ages were from 15 to 18 years. Charter members included William Hug, Carleton Hug, Daniel Regan, John Humble, Charles Humble, Millard Mehl, Edward Kent, Kenneth Decker, Harry Kent, Archie LeJeal, Earl Olberg, and Earl Cornell.

William Knox was connected with the Viorus Club of Cincinnati, and the Erie boys adopted the name, derived from the Greek and Latin, and signifying the violet rays of the rising sun. Purple and gold naturally followed as the club's colors and their motto is "Not by might nor by strength, but by example". Meetings were at first conducted in the members' homes. The first club rooms were occupied in 1914 at 210 West 8th Street. Small dances were given in the chapter house of St. Paul's Cathedral. In 1912 the club sponsored the appearance in Erie of Harry Burleigh, world famed singer and composer, a native of Erie, in one of the most distinguished concerts of that season. Its first public dance was given Friday, Oct. 13, 1919, and each year since the club has sponsored many elaborate parties, including the "Oriental Ball", the "Black and White", etc. In 1922 the club published its first magazine, "The Mascot", now named the Viorian.

Entertainment alone is not the chief aim of the club. At Christman tide, many homes that would otherwise have been devoid of cheer, have received baskets of food from the club, No story of the Viorus Club would be complete without telling of its war service. All the boys were in service, most of them overseas, among the many thousands who were enacting America's brave role in the thrilling and terrible days of '17 and '18.

Earl Cornell, of the firm of P. R. Cornell & Son, West Ninth Street, is now the only active charter member of the club. Officers for 1924-25 are: Robert C. Robison, president; Wilfred L. Kennedy, vice president; Frederick D. Breter, financial secretary; Paul C. Wagner, recording secretary; Harold E. Adams, William F. Lewis, Max H. Morrison, house committee; William F. Liljenberg, Samuel R. Mason, Claude H. Miller, trustees.

After several moves, in accord with business changes, the club is now located at 719 State Street, with the entire third floor, 24 x 100 feet, arranged for club rooms and a dance floor of equal proportions for its social functions.

History of Erie County, Pennsylvania
By: John Elmer Reed
Historical Publishing Company

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