The Shamus Club was the original name of the Emma Morris Milk and Cookies Fund.

Adirondack Daily Enterprise, August 9, 1948

Shamus Club Goal of $300 Reached In Current Drive

The Saranac Lake Shamus club reached its goal of $300 over the weekend in a month-long campaign for funds to provide free milk and cookies for village children at the William Morris Memorial playground.

Irving Altman treasurer, reported this morning that the club had received contributions in the amount of $302.25 and that the campaign was now concluded.

The funds received have guaranteed for the remainder of the summer a sufficient supply of milk and cookies for all of the children at the playground. The refreshments are given twice daily and milk is provided at cost by Dairy Dell.

Final donors to put the drive over the top included the following: Mr. and Mrs. Benton Ressler and Mr. and Mrs. Irving Altman, $5.50; Arnie Cohen, Emmanuel Bernstein, Mr. and Mrs. Grant Cane, Dr. and Mrs. E. F. Mulflur, Mr. and Mrs. George Downing, William Scheefer, Mr. and Mrs. Philip Gingold, Mr. and Mrs. Michael Cimbrec and anonymous, $5.

Dr. and Mrs. A. P. Bouton, anonymous, John E. Vogt, A. F. Shortt, Peter Trombley, Millar Johnson and William LaPan, $2; Daniel Sullivan, William Kerr, William O'Connor, Leo Wood, Peter Munn, William McDermott and Douglas Bombard, $1.

In addition to cash donations during the campaign a see-saw and swing for four was given by Dr. and Mrs. E. S. Welles. The club has announced that its aim for next year is the purchase of new equipment for the play ground.

The playground is open throughout the summer months and two supervisors are in charge of the youngsters. The park is used daily by 125 to 150 local children.

Plans are now being, formulated for a carnival and show to be given by the children later in month. It will mark the conclusion of park activities for the season.

Adirondack Daily Enterprise, June 10, 1958

Many Contributors Give To Shamus Club, But Much More Needed

Irving Airman, treasurer of the Shamus Club, announced that the milk fund drive returns are $616 for the first week of the appeal. Mr. Altman hopes that the required amount of $1,800 will be reached before the end of June.

All the equipment at the William Morris Memorial playground and the Baldwin Park is being painted and put into first class condition by the village employees. No replacements are needed at the William Morris Memorial playground.

The Baldwin Park needs marry new pieces of playground equipment and these will be bought as soon as the funds are raised and the placement of the new equipment is decided upon. A slide for the kiddies has been ordered and it is to be delivered before the opening of the park.

During the past 13 years the officers of the Shamus Club have learned which type of play equipment is most enjoyed by the children of the William Morris Memorial playground, and this will be used as a pattern for the Baldwin Park.

Arrangements have been made with the Dairy-Dell milk company to supply both of the playgrounds with milk daily. Cookies is also on order for the summer.

As soon as it is possible, a meeting will be held with the playground committee of the PTA to plan for the special events for July and August.

Contributions have been received from the following friends of the Milk Fund: Adirondack National Bank and Trust Company, Manuel Kretis, Mr. and Mrs. Richard E. Basile, Roby's Gifts, Meyers Drug Store, Arthur Jackson Slattery, Mrs. Mabel O'Reilly. John F. Burke, Mrs. Florence Bennett, In Memory of Clara M. Neiderbuhl, Bloomingdale Ave. Liquor Store and Mr. and Mrs. George Carter.

Also, Mr. and Mrs. Leonard Houghton, Dr. William Swanton, Rev. and Mrs. Lionel R. Driscoll, Mr. and Mrs. Elwood Ober, Michael K. Ryan. Mrs. Rosamond Nadon, Mrs. Helen M. Scopes. Mr. and Mrs. S. K. Sherman, Mr. and Mrs. Frank Baker, Mrs. William Morris, Sr., Mrs. William Chapman White, Mr. and Mrs. W. O. F. Hall.

Also Mr. and Mrs. Roy A. Floyd- Jones, Miss Madeline Smith, Dr. and Mrs. George E. Wilson, Mrs. Frederick K. Tousley. Mr. and Mrs. Snair Cohen. Lt. and Mrs. James Maclntyre, Thomas L. Stearns. Mr. and Mrs. Frederic J. Koernig, Mr. and Mrs. R. A. Tyrell, James L. Lewis, Mr. and Mrs. J. Arter Fisher, Mr. and Mrs. Lawrence Norman, Mr. and Mrs. John L. Leary, Mr. and Mrs. Thomas F. Finnigan.

Also Dr. and Mrs. Richard P. Bellaire, Mrs. Helen G. Trudeau, Mrs. Lauretta Fielder, Mrs. Mabel C. Baker, Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Wederholt, Albert Bagdsarian, Richard Morse, Archie LaDue, Don Ross, Mr. and Mrs. Joseph D. Hanning, Dr. and Mrs. F. X. Ipolyi, Mrs. Gertrude Kingman. Mrs. Soteria Maltesios.

Also Mr. and Mrs. Erwin Heck, Wilbur Gonyea, Mr. and Mrs. James O'Keefe, Demos Kaftas, Dr. and Mrs. Anthony B. Gedroiz, Mr. and Mrs. Dan Ward, Miss Loretto Leonard, Mr. and Mrs. Martin Koop, Mr. and Mrs. August asur [sic], Leon J. Thompson, David Lewis, Miss Etta Buthe, James E Courtney and Andrew Janos.

Adirondack Daily Enterprise, April 3, 1959

Shamus Club Work to LOCAL GROUPS Be Supported by Fund

Honor "Mother" Morris by Change

The officers of the Shamus Club of Saranac Lake have voted to change the name of the club to the EMMA MORRIS MILK FUND in memory of the late Mrs. William Morris.

The Shamus Club was founded fifteen years ago by Irving Altman and Benton C. Ressler to provide the children of the William Morris Memorial playground with cookies and milk, twice a day during the summer months. The club also supplied new equipment and replaced equipment as needed. Special events were financed by the club. Last year the new Baldwin Park playground on Lake Flower Avenue was added to the Shamus Club's work with a donation of equipment.

The Emma Morris Milk Fund will continue the fine work of the last fifteen years of the Shamus Club. It is the hope that the Baldwin Park playground will attract as many children to its playing area as the William Morris Memorial playground.

Charles Swasey Barnet has written an interesting article of the Saranac Lake Day Nursery on the site which is now the William Morris Memorial playground. We quote from Mr. Barnett's article.

"Many newer residents of the village might be interested to know that the drinking fountain at the William Morris Park is a Memorial for the late William Morris, whose untiring efforts and great generosity were responsible for the purchase and the successful maintenance of the Saranac Lake Day Nursery for many years. The Memorial Drinking Fountain was designed by William G. Distin, Sr., and it was constructed by J.J. G/Connell & Sons Inc. In 1938 the property was deeded to the Village of Saranac Lake to be used as a public playground. Many of the older residents will recall how successfully the Day Nursery filled a need in this community, but only a few know how this institution started. How It Started During the summer of 1918, several members of the Friars Club the well-known theatrical club in Nov York, were visiting Mr. and Mrs. William Morris at Camp Intermission. Mrs. Julius Cone, wife of Dr. Cone, dropped in to tell the Morris' about a poor family in town. The father had TB and it was necessary for the mother to find work. The problem was how to take care of their two children while the mother was employed. The guests at the camp became greatly interested and right then and there started a fund to organize a Day Nursery. "The minute the late Col. Walter Scott, a friend of the Morris family, heard about it, he was most enthusiastic and sent a large check. The Colonel continued to be a rnost generous supporter.

The Day Nursery was opened in September 1919 with an attendance of five children and a few years later had as many as thirty children.

In 1922 and in 1927 two huge Vaudeville Benefit shows were held in New York City under the direction of Mr. Morris, at which appeared more than fifty of vaudeville's leading artists. For several years, beginning in 1927, Mr. Morris also sponsored an annual fourth of July benefits at the Pontiac Theatre in Saranac Lake. Old timers will remember these wonderful shows headed by a galaxy of stars that the Palace Theatre in New York, during it's heyday might well have envied.

The many stars appearing here not only gave their services, but frequently paid their own expenses and made contributions. With the proceeds of these shows, and other local benefits and contributions, the Day Nursery property was purchased in 1921 and the operating expenses taken care of. After the death of Mr. Morris in 1932, there seemed to be no one who could carry on this fund raising activities and furthermore the attendance at the nursery had dwindled down to a few children and the Matron, Mrs. Catherine Drew, was unable to continue her faithful and kindly services due to a severe illness. For these reasons the directors decided to close the nursery and deed the property to the village.

Col. Walter Scott had always served as Honorary President and Mrs. William Morris as Honorary Vice-President. The first President was Mrs. Julius Cone, followed by Mrs. F. F. Hewitt, Mrs. James Latour, Mrs. L. B. Judson, Mrs. Charles H. Goldsmith, Mrs. A.C. Pittinger, Mrs D. S. McCrum, Mrs. Walter Laidlaw, Mrs. Andrew Callanan.

The early Treasurers were Mrs. F. H. McKee, Mrs. J. H. Hallock and Mrs. C. F. Wicker. Mrs. C. S. Barnet has served as Treasurer since 1927.

The officers of the EMMA MORRIS MILK FUND are Benton C. Ressler, President, T. Jefferson Newbold, Vice-President, Alton B. Anderson, Secretary and Irving Altman, Treasurer.

See also: Saranac Lake Day Nursery