You hit the nail right on the head, Robert. I often think that while reading obituaries from the past. They were full of flourished expressions and emotions for the departed person and made you think that they really did have a life back then. Not like today's obits where they are often reduced to just a few lines of info.
If not on a farm, mines, etc and in a city and one had "means," and not just to be rich but middle and upper-middle class, I think they had a lot more leisure time. I know when one of my granddad died several decades ago I was amazed at all the various "clubs" he was a member of, or had time for, maybe once a month, maybe more frequently, maybe less? (The various Lions, Rotary, SON, college fraternity, Rotary, church, etc etc.) And the ladies had bridge clubs, garden club, social/charity club, etc. I take that back- maybe not as much leisure time but less opportunities to 'waste' time: tv, internet, etc so did more social club stuff. Plus a lot of business was "who you know" type of stuff. Even so-called working class guy seem to have more fraternal/ethnic organizations, bowling leagues, etc than now. I don't know. I could be wrong.
Also, interesting, back then you could go to law school without an undergrad degree. My granddad got his JD before a BA. Weird.