Sandburg's Hometown

February 2, 2015

The "Dirty Dozen" with Carl Sandburg
The "Dirty Dozen" with Carl Sandburg
(Row 2, far right)
Seated from the left:
Charles Bloomgren, Robert G. Samuelson, Lyle Tapp, George W. Erickson.  Standing: Charles Juneau, Fred Cook, Martin Sandburg, Willis Calkins, Oscar F. Larson, Lawrence Futhey, Victor Thurine, Carl Sandburg. 

[The boys are identified on p. 31 of George Swank's CARL SANDBURG: GALESBURG AND BEYOND, c1983.]

The Monarch Club

by Barbara Schock

The name Dirty Dozen came into being one Sunday afternoon when the Sandburg brothers and ten of their friends met to have a group photograph taken. They were dressed in suits, vests and neckties. It was a far cry from the times they had played baseball in the dusty street. They recalled their mothers had given strict orders to wash their feet before coming into the house. A quick lift of the pump handle on the backyard cistern was enough of a rinse to satisfy the boys, if not their mothers.

When they were sixteen or seventeen years old, Carl Sandburg and other members of the The Dirty Dozen decided to organize a dance club. They had heard some other teenage boys were holding dances once a month and had named their club The Golden Rod.

Members of the Dirty Dozen decided to name their dancing organization The Monarch Club. It had a fancy sound to their minds. They thought the name carried the cachet of a fifty cent Havana cigar.

Each member contributed twenty-five cents to pay for the hall and musicians. Along Main Street there were many second-floor rooms available to rent for meetings and other activities. A couple of violinists were hired to play music from eight to eleven on the night of the dance.

The young people enjoyed dancing the quadrille, an historic dance with four couples arranged in a square. The different sides of the square took turns performing the various patterns and changing partners in time to the music.

They also danced the polka, a quick dance which was introduced in the United States in the 1840s and was popular into the twentieth century. It is believed to have originated in Eastern Europe. The Schottische, another historical European dance, was also included in the program. A waltz usually followed to allow the dancers to catch their breath. The two-step was probably danced most often during the evening. It was easy to learn and it could be danced to many popular tunes of the day. The dancing closed with the playing of “Home Sweet Home.” Some of the young people went off to a nearby ice cream parlor for refreshment.

Inviting sisters and sweethearts of the club members made a large party of dancers. The girls were dressed in their prettiest garments and every one of them looked charming. The young men were able to show their social manners and dancing ability. They dressed in their best clothes and enjoyed an evening of dancing for a minimal amount of money. More than likely the boys felt they were the most accomplished dancers in Galesburg and looked forward to the next “two-bit” dance.


Sandburg's Hometown
Date Title
February 2, 2015 The Monarch Club
January 26, 2015 The Silver Dollar
January 19, 2015 The Fulton County Narrow Gauge Railway
January 12, 2015 The Four Corners
December 22, 2014 Swedish Christmas
December 8, 2014 Christmas 1878
December 1, 2014 Bunker Boots & Shoes
November 24, 2014 Galesburg, Illinois
November 17, 2014 It was Buffalo Bill's Day
November 10, 2014 The Election of 1896 (A follow-up story)
November 3, 2014 The Election of 1896 (continued)
October 27, 2014 The Election of 1896
October  24, 2014 The Rissywarn
October 20, 2014 The Parlor Stove
October 13, 2014 Ashes to Ashes
October 6, 2014 Jesse James
Sept. 29, 2014 Lester T. Stone, Public Servant
Sept. 22, 2014 It's Who You Know
Sept 15, 2014 Mother of the Illinois Flag
Sept 8, 2014 The Scissors Grinder
Sept 1, 2014 Baseball
August 25, 2014 Howard K. Knowles, Capitalist
August 18, 2014  Alcoholic Beverages
August 11, 2014 Soda Water
August 4, 2014 Sweet Corn
July 28, 2014 Marching Through Georgia
July 21, 2014 The Knox County Fair
July 14, 2014 The Panic of 1893
July 7, 2014 The Rev. T. N. Hasselquist
June 30, 2014 The Knox County Courthouse
June 23, 2014 The Family Photograph Album
June 16, 2014 Parades
June 9, 2014 Lingonberries
June 2, 2014 Where We Live
May 26, 2014 Old Main
May 19, 2014 Rhythms of the Railroad
May 12, 2014 Spring Tonic
May 5, 2014 The Milkmen
April 28, 2014 Gray's "Elegy..."
April 21, 2014 Off to War
April 14, 2014 Swedish Easter
April 7, 2014 A Father's Face
March 31, 2014 Secret Societies
March 24, 2014 George A. Murdock, Merchant
March 10, 2014 Trade Cards
March 3, 2014 The Demorest Medal
February 24, 2014 Rip Van Winkle
February 17, 2014 Cabbage Soup
February 10, 2014 Lincoln's Birthday
February 3, 2014 4  The Colonel
January 27, 2014 The Lincoln Penny - A Little History
January 20, 2014 Walking to Work
January 13, 2014  A Small Abode
January 6, 2014 Birth of a Poet
December 30, 2013 Christmas 1880
December 23, 2013 Swedish Christmas
December 16, 2013 The Reporter Sees Santa
December 9, 2013 The Coming of Christmas
December 2, 2013 The Fire Boys Talk
November 25, 2013 Galesburg Will Feast on Turkeys and Cranberries - Thanksgiving 1893
November 18, 2013 Mary Sandburg Johnson
November 11, 2013 Carl Sandburg's Bicycle
November 4, 2013 Lace Curtains
October 28, 2013 The Front Room
October 21, 2013 A Warm Breakfast
October 14, 2013 Marion D. Shutter
October 7, 2013 Cigars and Consumption
September 30, 2013 Forrest F. Cooke & August Sandburg
September 16, 2013 Forrest F. Cooke, Mayor
September 9, 2013 Dusty Streets
September 2, 2013 Typhoid Fever
August 26, 2013 Coffee and Water
August 19, 2013 A Horse! A Horse!
August 12, 2013 Gaddial Scott
August 5, 2013 The Racetrack
July 29, 2013 John Peter Algeld - Part II
July 22, 2013 John Peter Altgeld - Part I
July 15, 2013 Tramps, Tramps, Tramps
July 8, 2013 Lady Liberty
July 1, 2013 Galesburg's Fourth
June 24, 2013 John H. Finley
June 17, 2013 The World's Columbian Exhibition
June 10, 2013 Fruit Short-Cake
June 3, 2013 Horatio Alger, Author
May 27, 2013 Memorial Day, 1887
May 20, 2013 Professor Jon W. Grubb
May 13, 2013 Beginnings of Lombard University
May 6, 2013 Young Sandburg’s View of Lombard College
April 29, 2013 Thinking
April 22, 2013 Robert Colville, Master Mechanic
April 15, 2013 The Galesburg Opera House
April 8, 2013 Grocery Stores and Sample Rooms
April 1, 2013  A Hearty  Breakfast 
March 25, 2013  The Lost Wallpaper Legend 
March 18, 2013 Martin G. Sandburg
March 4, 2013 The Edison Talking Machine
February 25, 2013 Joe Elser, Civil War Veteran
February 18, 2013 Remember the Maine...
February 11, 2013 Lincoln's Birthday
February 4, 2013 Curiosity