Blue and white illustration of a leaping fish. Text in dark blue on outer rim, white background.
The first known Boys’ Club was known as “The Dashaway Club,” founded in 1860 in Hartford, Connecticut. Three women took pity on a group of lonely and shabby boys and invited them into their homes for refreshments and recreation. The club became so popular that they rented a meeting hall and offered dramatics, music and books. In 1880, Mary Stuart Hall – another public-spirited woman from Hartford (and the first female lawyer in the state of Connecticut) reorganized the “Dashaway Club” as “The Good Will Boys Club.” Hall wanted to prove that even tough street kids, given opportunity and guidance, could get along in society and abide by the rules. She drew upon her legal training to teach these young “citizens” to live by the rules of law.