The 19th Century Club, a distinguished Oak Park social organization founded in 1891 and incorporated exactly 100 years ago, has been getting some unwanted attention from Cook County, which rescinded the club’s tax-exempt status and stuck them with a hefty tax bill (see our front page story last week).

For local residents who aren’t familiar with them, according to their 2009-2010 yearbook, the club’s motto, attributed to Robert Browning, is “Why stay we on the Earth unless to grow?”

Did you know the club colors are green and white? According to the yearbook, “These colors were chosen in remembrance of the colors worn by our founders in the movement for suffrage.”

The organization maintains a number of committees, including the benign sounding Benevolence Committee – something the Cook County board could use.

Although the name was originally 19th Century Woman’s Club, the group now has male members, including Treasurer Michael Leavy and Building & Grounds Committee Chair Don Peaselee.

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