"One of the more unique clubs in Topeka in the early years was the St. Ananias Club. It had its roots in the city room of the old Topeka Daily Commonwealth Building, but eventually moved to a large room in the Stormont Building, 107-109 W. 6th, and remained there until it disbanded.
The Shawnee County Historical Society Bulletin on "The Clubs of Shawnee County, From A to Z" states that the St. Ananias Club, named after the patron saint of liars, was established on July 4, 1776, organized on June 26, 1873, and incorporated on Aug. 10, 1886.
According to the constitution of the club, its purpose was "the cultivation of the members' imaginations and social recreation." According to Chubb, it was mainly for drinking and playing cards.
But it did indeed encourage active imaginations of its members, as the club's constitution also states: "One new and original lie had to be told at each meeting and at the first meeting of each month a new tall tale would be asked for."
Official titles of some of the club's charter members included: Capt. J.B. Johnson, Truth Torturer; Norris L. Gage, Quaint Quibbler; Henry Strong, Racy Romancer; H.P. Dillon, Felicitous Fabricator; and W.L. Gordon, Brilliant Boaster. When a member met someone who told an interesting tall tale, he would reward the storyteller with membership in the club. Honorary memberships were distributed throughout the world.
The only time the club allowed women in the club room were the annual January and June banquets, at which time members could bring their "wives, sweethearts or neighbor's wife." This rule was bent when Mrs. Orville N. McClintock, referred to on the club roster as "John Hodgins," became a member and the club's historian.
The doors to the St. Ananias Club were locked for the first and last time in 1907 when the club disbanded."
From a brilliant article that contains more interesting facts about Topeka than you could possibly imagine.
The photo of the Hotel Jayhawk is from here.