National Cash Register & The Phoenix Musical Club

This National Cash Register was built about 1910. It has an old finish, original milk glass shelf, oak trimmed base, number 313 on top plate and the original label “The National Cash Register Co. Dayton, Ohio on the bottom. It still works!

It was used by the Phoenix Musical Club in the City of St. Louis which was organized in 1886, incorporated in 1898, and disbanded in 1984.

Irvin F. Tongay writes about the beginning of the Phoenix Musical Club. Some of the information is passed down by theYoung’s: George Sr., George Jr. and Dick.

 

It all started in the 1880s when the above held meetings in the Young’s coalshed on Third Street in the historic Soulard district an amazing group of 10 your men just bumming around together. It actually was Young’s parents and the Schneider people who urged them to organize and rent a more suitable place to hang out in, and that they did. The dues were 25 cents a month and they sure did prosper and grow in the next few years to about 50 members. The exact year of the Club was 1886, then known as the Phoenix Musical Club. On April 7th, 1898, The Phoenix Musical Club was incorporated.

Originally the boys spent much time and devotion to the neighborhood kids, and helped many into playing musical instruments which the members managed to beg from the local South Broadway merchants and the Soulard market people. This lasted until the Prohition era, when we like The South Broadway Athletic Club, the Stag Atheletic Club, The Schuck Quoit Club, The White Rabbit Club, and The Peerless Club, started making home brew which was given free to their members, on presentation of a paid up dues card which at that time our club had increased its dues to the 50 cents level a month.

 

To my knowledge all of the above clubs were never bothered or raided, because all had a strict rule to never, ever pass hard liquor over their bars, and really the Feds were looking for the big guys anyway, and let us be.

 

These clubs continued to prosper even after the end of prohibition, and continued to help aid and assist the underpriviledged of the area.

 

There was constant rivalry among the groups such as horseshoe leagues, corkball, quoits bowling–often The Phoenix Club was at the top. A Ladies Auxiliary developed and they helped support the club.

 

Monsanto bought our building at 1712 So. Third Street. Next we purchased the Old Soulard Library Building at 7th and Lafayette across from Soulard Market.

Next we moved to the Odd Fellows building on Lemp near Arsenal. We owned this building from 1974 to August 1983. We sold the property and now remain an organized club without a club, but still breathing.

 

We were all connected with the then unknown Barry Street Gang who played baseball on a back cinder lot with rock slabs for bases, the area just north of this was known as pigs foot alley around 4th and Chouteau. A peanut park divided Broadway and 4th street and just south of there was the French Market, a street gathering farmers, hucksters of the sort. I remember the con artist who put up a stand and offered a hot remedy that would cure anything from the grip or toothache, corns, stomach etc. I even saw a guy operating a shell game.

 

The Phoenix Musical Club disbanded August 18, 1984. At that time Charles Heisler was President, William Soukup was Vice-President and James Heisler was Financial Secretary.

4 Responses to National Cash Register & The Phoenix Musical Club

  1. Penni says:

    Cool blog! Is your theme custom made or did you download it from somewhere? A design like yours with a few simple tweeks would really make my blog shine. Please let me know where you got your theme. Appreciate it

  2. Carol Young Roberts says:

    I was so intrigued by your blog on the NCR cash register and the Phoenix Musical Club. My great grandfather was George Young, Sr and my grandfather was George Young, Jr. My father was also named George Young. My father moved his family to Dayton, Ohio in the 1960’s and my husband actually worked at NCR for 19 years in the 1980’s and 1990’s. I have an obituary for my grandfather that was published on Nov. 24, 1982 in a publication that I believe was put out by the Phoenix Musical Club. Irvin F. Tongay’s name and address is stamped on it. I was at the Phoenix Club as a child while visiting relatives in St. Louis. It was located across from Soulard Market at that time in the old library building. I am very interested in further information regarding the Phoenix Club, as my father talked about it all his life. He recently passed away. Do you know of anyone who is still alive that would have additional information, or a written history of it? I would especially like to know who the early members of the club were, as they may have also been relatives. Thank you for posting this!

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