On May 26, 1884, William Joseph Peele asked a group Raleigh's leading citizens to meet him. At this meeting the Watauga Club was born. Membership consisted of local leaders who had not served in the Civil War. This was a dramatic step, because Civil War veterans dominated state politics at the time. The Watauga group established itself to discuss and propose new ideas to answer North Carolina's problems. One topic of discussion was the state's education system. Club members argued that farmers did not have a place to learn the latest farming techniques and economics. They saw a need for a new college devoted to agricultural studies. This meeting paved the way for the building of North Carolina State University.