Promoters of Art-Literature-Science (PALS) Club History
(1928 – Present)

Promoters of Art –Literature –Science (PALS) Club was organized in September 1928.

The idea of such an organization had its inception in the minds of Dr. William Madison, Allen Borden, Robert Hardeon, Lester Lane and Dr. H. R. Hawkins. Several preliminary meetings were held in the homes of Allen Borden, Lester Lane and in the office of Dr. Hawkins; it was determined that this organization would bring professional men of Xenia and Wilberforce together in fellowship and civic endeavors. PALS membership now reaches throughout the Metropolitan Dayton Area.

The name "PALS" was chosen and the connotation of Promoters of Art - Literature - Science was suggested by Robert Hardeon and was readily accepted by the others in the organization’s meeting.

Allen Borden R. A. Braxton Clarence A. Caliman
Lloyd Clark Wesley Curtis Bruce Green
Robert Hardeon William Hargraves Dr. H. R. Hawkins
Dr. J, Aubrey Lane Lester Lane Dr. J. A Love
Dr. William Madison Col. James Nichols William Rickman
Everett Roberts William S. Rodgers George H. Valentine

The usual activities of meetings, following regular business, with a discussion of some timely topic by a leader who was appointed at the previous meeting. Meetings were followed a session of whist and then "quarter limit" poker. In the beginning the menus were unpretentious; usually potato chips, popcorn and soda pop were served and occasionally, sardines and some type of lunch meat. When sardines were on the menu, the Secretary had to attest to any suspicious PAL-Ettes that they were served!

One of the first enterprises was the sponsoring of the Junior-Senior Prom for the local high school. In prior years, the students were forbidden to dance and could only have a banquet with no other type of entertainment. School authorities and parents agreed for PALS to sponsor the prom at which time dancing would be allowed.

This was done under suitable supervision in May 1929, and thereafter this became an annual attraction for the young people of the community. PALS sponsored their own first formal dance in the Spring of 1930 at the Classic Ball Room in Dayton. The service consisted of cookies and ten gallons of punch highly “spiked” with the best corn liquor available at the time. From then on, the annual dance of PALS was and outstanding social event in the Xenia area; eagerly looked forward to local socialites.

Due to the repressive laws and harsh practices during that era and the secondary status of Persons of Color in the early years, PALS Club organized and highlighted the professional achievements of the Charter Members Most noteworthy, for example, the accomplishments of some of our Charter members:

Borden Master Plumber
Braxton Crusading School Principal
Hardeon Inventive and Innovative Chemist
Nichols Army Career-Man
Caliman Self-made Engineer
Hargraves First Person of Color to graduate from Miami University
Rodgers Lawyer – without a portfolio
Valentine University Fiscal Officer who made bricks without straw
Drs. Hawkins,
Love, and
Early Medical Practitioners

These professions were then most significant under the most oppressive time; not to diminish their accomplishments, which would be considered commonplace today.

These early PALS, as with PALS of succeeding generations, have always assumed leading roles in helping to improve conditions for Persons of Color generally in Xenia and its vicinities; and the fact that there is now practically community-wide integration is due in no small part to the efforts of PALS individually and as a group.

For more than 80 years, PALS Club has grown and endured because of the high caliber often comprising its membership. Despite differing and, often, diverse views and philosophies, PALS have and will ALWAYS work closely together to promote the purposes and ideals of the founders. In addition to the highest degree of good fellowship and camaraderie, the organization has consistently involved itself in worthwhile civic, educational and social activities, and the community at large has grown to expect a high degree of leadership from PALS Club and from its individual members. Listed below are some of the groups and organizations PALS Club has provided continuing assistance to:

The American Cancer Society The American Heart Association The American Lung Association
The American Red Cross The Boy Scouts of America Buckeye Boys State
Central State University (CSU) CSU, Upward Bound Program Greene County Chapter of the N.A.A.C.P.
Greene County Y.M.C.A. Greene Memorial Hospital The Links, Inc.
Little League Baseball Wilberforce University Xenia High School
Xenia Township Fire Department and many other worthwhile enterprises

The men of PALS Club, as stated above, have always been and continue to be leaders. It would not be possible to list all of them and cite their many worthwhile accomplishments. The record of this organization has been an illustrious one and can continue to be in the years to come under inspiring leadership and cooperative endeavors of its members!