|O. W. Clapp at the Borrowed Time Club, 1914
When retired commission merchant O. W. Clapp presented his remembrances of the 1871 Great Chicago Fire and its aftermath to the 135 members of Oak Park's Borrowed Time Club in 1914, all of its members must have had some personal recollection of the events he described. To join the club, a member had to have reached the age of "three score and ten." Fewer probably knew how Mayor Roswell B. Mason had asked Clapp to coordinate relief efforts and the distribution of the aid pouring into the city from all over the world. His leadership was short-lived. By the end of October, the Relief and Aid Society, dominated by many of his business associates and neighbors, assumed control and Clapp turned to rebuilding his own business that was destroyed by the fire.
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