Rotary Club METROPOLITAN

The Early Years of Rotary

The Early Years of Rotary

The first Club, in Chicago, with its initial four members, soon added Harry Ruggles and Bill Jensen to their number. Gus Loehr and Hiram Shorey did not stay as members for very long but new members were enlisted and, within just a few months, the Club membership grew rapidly.

By 1907 membership of the Club had risen to 87. In the following year, the second Club was formed in San Francisco, through a personal friend of Paul Harris. The San Franciscan Rotarians then formed a third Club in Oakland, a fourth in Seattle and a fifth in Los Angeles. New York and Boston soon followed.

In 1909 the Chicago Club had 300 members.
At the start of 1910 there were 16 Clubs, all in the USA, with a total membership of 1.800.
The First Convention – Association – and President.

In 1910 Paul Harris and Chesley Perry (also of the Chicago Club) wished to extend the Rotary Movement and so set up the first Convention, in Chicago, in August 1910. At the Convention, attended by 1.500 of the 1.800 members, it was decided to set up a national Association. Paul Harris was elected President and Chesley Perry as Secretary. A Board of Directors was set up and a Treasurer and Vice-President elected.

Key Dates and Facts 1905 – 1910

Number of Clubs:
1905: 1
1910: 16

Membership:
1905: 80
1910: 1.800

Annual Conventions:
1910: Chicago

RI Presidents:
1910 – 1911: Paul Harris

Key events:
1905: Rotary founded in Chicago, Club number 1.
1906: Wagon wheel emblem adopted.
1908: Second Rotary Club formed in San Francisco.
1910: First Annual Convention in Chicago.
1910: National Association of Rotary Clubs formed in the USA.


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