The Pioneer Club History

The Pioneer Club was founded in 1948 by Mordelo Vincent and L. Lee Welch, to serve as a rendezvous point for Lake Charles businessmen. In 1978, the club relocated to its current location at the top of the Chase Tower where members could enjoy spectacular views of Prien Lake and downtown Lake Charles.

Our Founders Early Correspondents

May 1, 1948

Lobos Island, Mexico

 

Delo,

The idea for a first rate private club atop Lake Charles’ 1st skyscraper seems to be jelling.  WIth all the interest shown so far, getting 250 residents + 200 non-residents should be a snap.  First organizational meeting.

 

Lee

May 20, 1948

Lake Charles, LA

 

Lee,

First board of directors will include Lisle Peters, Oliver Stockwell (who will draft the charter), Frank Hereford, A.T. Miller, Joe Davidson, Gus Quinn, Bill Gorham, Sr., Cullen Liskow, Bob James, J.A. Bonham, Bob Rader, Roger Vincent, Walter Moss, Gordon Gano, and Tom Shearman.  For service of process, 1st address is 1830 S. Ryan or 201 Noble Bldg.  Fishing o.k.?

 

Best,
Delo.

October 15, 1948

Lake Charles, LA

 

Lee,

2nd board meeting set for 11/3 at our office.  We are interviewing S.I. Morris, architect from Houston, to discuss general conditions of his contract with  the Pioneer Club.  We will, of course, have Cullen Liskow’s legal experience to get an agreeable document.  Lake Charles is booming!  Looks like Western Constr. might be low bidder on club, kitchen at $73,000.  Maybe we need a cushion-probably should bump up to $115,000 for hidden expenses.  Hired James Albert Price as comptroller.

 

Best,

Delo.

November 1, 1948

Lobos Island, Mexico

 

Delo,

Think you and I will have to underwrite 150 non-resident memberships at $22,500-membership to meet 11/1 to approve (we hope) expenditure of $115,800 m/l-our $22,500 will bring total assets to $95,000 and change:  $73,000 from sale of memberships + our $22,500, $1,000 net per month expected from club operations.  See you in a few days—no fish.

 

Lee

March 15, 1949

Moss Bluff, LA

 

Lee,

Meeting went well 3/12.  Roger as Sec. will update you with a copy of minutes, major time spent on lease and for our protection should Pioneer Bldg. be sold.  15% gratuity fee in lieu of tipping.  Motion for no children in club defeated.

 

See you Mon.

Delo.

July 12, 1949

Lake Charles, LA

 

Dear Lee,

Met at Cal Marine today.  Had the dubious honor of presenting my views on ladies’ membership.  It was decided to extend a 6 month guest card to any ladies in Pioneer Building.  That’s about it.

 

Regards,

Charlie.

September 26, 1949

Moss Bluff, LA

 

Lee,

You wanted me to keep you posted on Pioneer doings-well, today was a real suffragette’s nightmare.  Judge Pickrel suggested “no ladies” in private dining rooms.  Harold Boling said that would mean a loss to food and bar.  Lisle Peters named a committee to study this matter.  Keep your fingers crossed.

 

 

Delo.

November 29, 1949

Lobos Island, Mexico

 

Delo,

Committee decided on banishing Monday for men only, holding 2 stag smokers per month, having a card room, reading room, also, we will be reimbursed via new membership fees.  We’ll pay off the piano soon, hire Charlie Quirk to keep accounts, have set July 15 for 1st anniversary party.  Kids under 12 will be OK with an adult.  Board wants to give us a testimonial dinner for helping to get Pioneer Club off the ground.  Back Fri.

 

Lee.

September 19, 1950

Lake Charles, LA

 

Delo,

Albert Bel, new Pres… Appointed to entertainment committee.  There are 233 resident members, 4 ladies, and 68 non-residents.  Bought a new oven for $157.21.  Established family night and bingo on Thurs, no cash, just prizes to winners.

 

Lee.

April 26, 1951

 

“Resolved that ladies may use the terrace only from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. during which time they may be served drinks, but no food.  From 1 p.m. to closing, the dining room will be available for the ladies.”

June 14, 1951

Lake Charles, LA

 

Delo,

We approved motion to let Jr. League hold regular business lunch on 1st Sat. of each month.  Bill will be sent to Helen Weber McGehee as per “no cash” policy.

 

Lee.

July 5, 1951

Moss Bluff, LA

 

Lee,

The club will remit final balance to us of $3950.  This will liquidate our advance to Board.  Board moved club to be closed on Saturdays.

 

Delo.

September 9, 1951

Lake Charles, LA

 

Dear Charlie,

Need to have financial report from Quirk et al for 9/20.  Our manager, Alex Petter, will report on club activities.  Garst will report on entertainment committee expenditures.  $25 pet month o.k. for secretarial work.  See you at the meeting.

 

Best,

Albert

P.S. Jan Garber secure 1/11/52

September 20, 1951

 

Delo,

Cecil Colon new pres. Roger Vincent Sec.-Tres.  Moved to close club on Sundays instead of Sat.  Lock Paret appointed Chairman of Election Committee.  A.J. Shepard, Jim Garst, and you were elected to Board.  Congrats!

 

Lee.

February 26, 1952

Lake Charles, LA

 

Lee,

Louise Davidson gave Board a big of $11,000 to redecorate entire club.  Stripped down bid to $7,500.  Expensive.  We discussed whether club should buy a t.v. set and where to put it.

 

Delo.

March 20, 1952

Moss Bluff, LA

 

Lee,

Board moved to buy 50 dining room chairs at $11.50 each.  Ed Taussig and Lock Paret elected to Board.  Jules Reinauer to be chair of entertainment committee.  Good parties ahead!  Charlie Quirk will be auditor.  We decided to buy a Philco t.v. for the club.

 

Delo.

July 23, 1953

Lake Charles, LA

 

Delo,

A.J. Shepard elected permanent Chairman of Pioneer Club by acclamation.  A.J. Miller, Secretary.  J.R. Bass, J.A. Bonham, J. Geer Wilcox elected as 3 yr. term directors.  Ed Taussig was elected President by acclamation.  Biece Gordon admitted with Gordon’s Drug Store membership.

 

Best,

Lee

November 15, 1953

 

Delo,

Ed Taussig will donate as his personal Christmas gift to the club- a new set of china.  Ed, as president, is also looking for a new manager.  Clergy memberships, with member/sponsor OK.  Ed appointed a committee to help hire a new manager.  Bingo games being investigated as a future activity.  Watch out Vegas!  Also, a gin rummy tournament.

 

Best,

Lee.

January 24, 1955

Moss Bluff, LA

 

Lee,

Taussig and Board filed a motion today to hire Jorgen Anderson as manager on a 3 month trial.  He is now at River Oaks Club in Lafayette and my friends there tell me he is a real artist and really knows about A+ food service, buffets, ice scultprues, and is a nice fellow to boot!  We will get Ted Weens orchestra for club dance if you think $10.00 fee a couple isn’t too much to cover a $600.00 fee.

 

Delo.

July 1, 1958

Moss Bluff, LA

 

Lee,

Newly decorated clubrooms enthusiastically received at party.  Jack Doyle cut the ribbon, Maestro Duke Voss played sweet music, Jorgen Anderson and staff provided the most superb and magnificent buffet.  Quirks, Raggios, Schindlers, Halls, and Chet Standish, our decorator, along with Congressman T.A. Thompson, John Groh, Chris Christman, and Joe Tritoco were all there.  We’re planning a Hawaiin feast 8/2- whole roast pig.  Hula girls as well!

 

Delo.

March 3, 1959

Lake Charles, LA

Lee,

Due to extra costs, “Waggin’ Tongue” will be published every other month.  Jorgen gets a 3 week vacation- going to Denmark to visit his family.  Roger Vincent elected Pres. and Garland Mahaffey-V. Pres.  We’re studying getting a new ice machine, membership list to be mimeographed instead of printed.  Budget always a factor.  10 years operations went by might fast, eh partner?

 

Delo.

August 3, 1959

Lake Charles, LA

 

Lee,

Board moved that Roger Vincent sign a new 5 year lease with Pioneer Bldg. Corp. for $1,000 mo. with 5 yr. option – we also approved reciprocal with University Club of Houston.  It’s been hot as hades her.

 

Delo.

December 5, 1961

Lake Charles, LA

Lee,

New Board members elected today were Jimmy Taussig, Bill Phelps, and Marshall Abadie.  Adolph Marx is House Committee chairman, looking into a new piano for the club.  Allen Boudreaux named as Assistant Manager.  He knows the ropes.  We authorized $20,000 maximum on remodeling the club.

 

Delo.

March 7, 1962

Lobos Island, Mexico

 

Delo,

What do you think will be going on in 1998- our 50th year?  I see maybe Wilmer Boudreaux, Ed Taussig, Jules Reinaur, Steve Plauche’s families involved in a big celebration!  Bobby Boudreaux might even be president- lots of parties and fun if he is like his dad!  Alex Petter doing well as manager.

 

Lee.

July 9, 1962

Lake Charles, LA

Lee,

Dunn and Quinn gave an estimate of $20,732 on a blub re-do.  This was approved.  Jimmy Taussig, new Vice-Pres. moved Allen Boudreaux be named as new Club manager-$750 mo.  With $25 extra for Sunday openings.

 

Delo.

March 24, 1964

Lake Charles, LA

 

Dear Lee,

Jimmy Taussig, new President, presided today.  We will sign a new lease with Pioneer Bldg. Corp. with Dick Gerard’s approval- same terms.  Raymond Landry passed away.  What a loss.  Board sent resolution in appreciation to his dear family.

 

Delo.

November 17, 1964

Lake Charles, LA

Lee,

Decided to re-carpet dining room and get Muzak or FM radio for club.  We will purchase a $10,000- 6 month C.D. from Lakeside Bank.  Wilfred Quirk nominated again as Sec-Tres.

 

Delo.

March 16, 1967

Lake Charles, LA

 

Lee,

Hired Peggy Ritter as Sec-Bookkeeper.  She is great and has a lot of potential- very organized.  She likes the office work and get in the kitchen with Houston Pete to make your favorite Mississippi Mud pie.

 

Delo.

December 17, 1970

Delo,

Well, the sixties went by in a big hurry.  Tragic about the Kennedys.  Remember the big night they came to the Pioneer Club?  No more Camelot- looks good for the oil business and the Florence Club, Pioneer Club- little pecan.  Circle drilling, etc. our Camille Berman opened Maxim’s in Houston- dinner for two $97!

 

Lee.

December 15, 1977

Lake Charles, LA

 

Dear Lee,

Well we’re seeing an end to our best tenants.  Pioneer Club moving to new Lakeside Bank Bldg. where Gatsby opened on top floor.  Capital view of the lake.  Chesson Oil will take over their lease.  Times are a changin’.  Good luck in the new year.

 

Delo.