After several years of shrinking membership and low attendance at monthly meetings, late in 1909 the Society realized that it needed to do something to get back on track. Current members were encouraged to become more active and new members were sought out. Over 200 new members were nominated for membership, with 176 of them recruited by the Society’s new president, Ignatius Grubb. At this time, new members still had to be presented for membership at one meeting and approved at the next.
President Grubb’s accomplishment reflects not only his own commitment to the Society but also the lack of support he received from fellow members. He described the November meeting, with scant attendance, as “rather depressing if not disheartening.” After he was elected president, he reached out to other members for guidance and assistance, “but they vanished like the will-o’-the wisp with apparently absolute faith not only in my infallibility but also my inexhaustibility. Full discretion and a free hand, however, have this advantage—one is not hampered by the differing views, or handicapped by the obstructing plans of others. Therefore, I proceeded at once to set upon my own view and plan…” Grubb recruited his members through personal or telephone conversation with each one of them—a formidable task.
The Delaware Historical Society is still a membership organization, and the support and contributions of members are greatly appreciated. If would like to become a member, visit http://www.dehistory.org/join for information.