Vintage Kansas

his record of the officers and dinners of the Knife and Fork Club, from its beginning to the present time, including portraits of the gentlemen who, with their  wisdom,

 eloquence and wit, have entertained the members at those dinners, has been prepared by a committee acting under the instructions of the directors.  A glance at its pages will serve to recall the many pleasant occasions that the members have enjoyed in the past four years, and it will be of interest, also, to new members who have not had the opportunity to share in the pleasures of the full course.  It is the belief of the directors that the record should be supplemented with a regular year book to be ready for distribution at every October meeting hereafter.

This is not a prospectus, put forth to attract new members.  An organization which, without propagandists, and without any artificial stimulus, has attained the size and importance of the Knife and Fork Club, does not need a herald to sound its praises or to tell of the reasons for its existence.  In four years it has acquired a membership of nearly 400, and established a  place as one of the important institutions of Kansas City.  Its members include representative citizens engaged in the active professional and mercantile life of the city, and its purpose is good fellowship.  It brings men together in a manner so informal, and so inviting to friendly communion one with another, that the best mental and social qualities are drawn out and mutual respect and good feeling are developed.  There is a great difference in the spirit which pervades a company of men meeting once a month informally for a seven o'clock dinner, and that which characterized the attendance on a formal banquet at a late hour, for which elaborate preparations are made, and which often becomes a tiresome function.  In the Knife and Fork Club dinners there is no stiffness of restraint.  The mechanism of the Club is simple and it is purposely operated so that it does not in any way interfere with the full enjoyment of the monthly dinners.  The management is entirely in the hands of the directors, with a constitution and by-laws so flexible that it is rarely necessary to bring any matter of business before the members when they assemble once a month to dine and smoke and talk and be entertained.  Even the election of officers is a perfunctory process, quickly disposed of, though care is always exercised to appoint a nominating committee large enough to give a full representation in the selection of candidates.

The Club has just one purpose - to hold monthly dinners which will bring together the young business and professional men of the city in social intercourse, and which will afford an opportunity to present addresses of high character on the important subjects that are engaging the attention of the thinking men of the times.  In carrying out this purpose it is the aim of the Club to be ready always to entertain distinguished guests in a manner worthy of them and of Kansas City.  In addition to the pleasure which the members enjoy on these occasions, they feel that the Club is performing a distinct service to Kansas City in giving its non-resident guests an opportunity to become acquainted with the real spirit of Kansas City, which the Club exemplifies in a high degree.

The Knife and Fork Club was organized November 29, 1898, at the Coates Hotel, by about fifty gentlemen who met for that purpose, at the suggestion of Herbert S. Hadley, Denton Dunn and J. J. Vineyard.  To Mr. Arthur Grissom belongs to the credit of naming the Club.  The charter members who are still active in the Club are indicated by an asterisk in the roll of members given in this book.


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Vintage Kansas


Men Who Made Kansas City ~ Biographies of Promineent Turn of the Century Kansas Citians