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The Thirteenth Club

Friday the 13th has a bad reputation. There are many theories on why people associate the day with bad news or bad omens. However, one person sought to change public perception: Captain William Fowler. Captain Fowler created The Thirteenth Club in an effort to remove the stigma attached to the date. His efforts seem to be made in vain—although, admittedly, he lived his life surrounded by the number.


The number 13 was prevalent in Captain Fowler’s life. For instance, consider the following:

  • He attended and graduated from Public School #13;
  • He was 13 years old when he finished school;
  • He was a builder whose company built 13 buildings;
  • His last day on a job was April 13, 1861;
  • He was a soldier in the Civil War and was in 13 battles;
  • He resigned his commission on August 13, 1863;
  • He purchased a pub on September 13, 1863. He would rename the establishment the Knickerbocker Cottage;
  • He sold the Knickerbocker Cottage on April 13, 1883;
  • He claimed to be associated with 13 secrets clubs. He was a 32nd degree Mason;
  • His name is the 13th listed on the roll of the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine;
  • The Thirteenth Club had 13 original members;
  • The club’s first meeting was on September 13, 1881.
  • Finally, I write this blog on April 13, 2018. Could it be he had a stronger relationship with the date April 13th?