My Social Butterflies

My mother and my grandmother turned out to be more sociable in their youth than they were by the time I knew them. Here are a couple of photographs I found of them being social butterflies.

Progressive Twelve Club – Montgomery, Alabama – 1911

Some of the young women in the Progressive Twelve Club were relatives. My grandmother, Fannie Mae Turner wrote the song. Daisy Turner was her sister. Naomi Tulane and Jennette McCall were first cousins. Some of them are also in the photo below. The information on the back of the photo was stuck to the album page so I’m not sure who is who.  The purpose of the Progressive Twelve Club seemed to be sewing. I wish I could have heard them sing this song.

"Fannie and friends"
Fannie and friends at Holly Springs, MS

Progressive Twelve Club Song
Composed by F.M.T. 1911


It was a bright September day
In dear old 1911;
our club of 12 was organized
An hour to needlework given
We hear the name “Progressive 12”,
As you’ve already seen;
the Kilarney rose adorns us
Our colors are pink and green.


We’re loyal to our motto
with it we like to delve;
See…hear..speak no evil
as do the Progressive Twelve!
We’re loyal to our motto.
With it we like to delve
see no–hear no–speak no evil,
Oh you! Progressive Twelve!


On Thursdays to our meetings
In sunshine or in rain:
We go to greet our hostess,
and new inspiration gain.
We’ve carried a record high and fair
on which we look with pride
Not only in art but in music,
we’re noted far and wide.



Mesdames Campbell and Dungee sing,
Washington and Miller too,
McCall and Tulane join in,
(while) Laurence and Wilson sew.
Mayberry makes the music
Jones and the Turners two
just work and think of our motto,
with hopeful hearts and true.



 The Social Sixteen – 1937 – Detroit, Michigan

My mother, Doris Graham is in the back row center with the flowered dress on.  Her sister, Mary V. is seated in the very front. First man in the back right is Frank “Buddy” Elkins who Mary V. would later marry. My father’s sister, Barbara Cleage is seated on the far right, front. I don’t know what exactly the Social Sixteen did but my Aunt Barbara told me that the only reason they had her in the club was because of her 4 older brothers.  The young woman at the other end of the couch was my mother’s best friend, Connie Stowers. We used to go visit her once a year. Which I still don’t understand because she lived across town, not in another city.

"The Social Sixteen"
The Social Sixteen – 1937

5 thoughts on “My Social Butterflies

  1. I would say that Ms. Doris Graham was the bright star in the group. She has the flowered dress and the big smile — your eye just goes to her.

    I’m also trying to imagine how many young women of today would be getting together to do some needlepoint. Hmmmm…

    Peace …

  2. I wonder while they were in Holly Springs if they had a connection to Rust College.

    1. Linda, some of my grandmother’s cousins attended Rust College and one of the older ones taught there for several years.

  3. I love the the names of the social organizations: Social Sixteen, Progressive Twelve. I remember my Cousins and their Friends forming and naming their “clubs”. The Kingsmen, The Eltilons, and I can’t remember the other popular club of the time but it was someone’s name spelled backwards LOL They would have hats, coats and sweaters with their names and logos. Bus Rides, Parties, and selling dinners supported the socially responsible projects. Sewing and other circles of knowledge sharing had waned by then. We have knit, crochet and other craft clubs now with a lot “hipper” names and acronyms. With all the technology implications I wonder how these connections will evolve. Thanks Kristen, as usual your work is a trigger for remembering the details of our memories. <3

    1. People have book clubs now and I’m sure there are lots of social clubs out there too. Glad it triggered some memories for you.

Comments are closed.