Beginning in 1890, the group began assisting local charities which led to its most ambitious effort when the group “adopted” four French children after World War I. The club grew from 149 people in 1890 to over 400 by the early 20th century. By the 1920s, the performances had moved from the confines of private ballrooms to English’s Hotel & Opera House, the Murat Temple, and the Athenaeum. By the 1950s the performances had been moved to the Civic Theatre. It continues to be an important theater group in Indianapolis.
Throughout its existence the Dramatic Club has attracted some of the leading social, civic and business leaders of Indianapolis including members of the extended Lew Wallace family. In the 1916 Blue Book for Indianapolis members of the Wallace clan listed as members in the Dramatic Club included Zerelda Leathers Grover (niece of Lew Wallace) and Mary Booth Tarkington Jameson (sister of Booth Tarkington and niece by marriage of William Wallace and his wife Cordelia Butler). More distantly related people listed in the 1916 Society Blue Book included Booth Tarkington and his wife, Mr. and Mrs. James Leathers, and Mr. Donald Jameson.
|Lew Wallace, Jr. ca. 1917|
The General Lew Wallace Study & Museum celebrates and renews belief in the power of the individual spirit to affect American history and culture.