Years 1912 - 1922
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Harry B. Hoyt - 1914-1915

Harry B. Hoyt was the second president of the Rotary Club of Jacksonville. He was born in 1874 at Ravenswood, West Vir¬ginia. His father was Colonel H. B. Hoyt of the Confederate States Army. Harry was married in 1902 to Miss Betsey Dawes of Marietta, Ohio. Her brother, Charles P. Davis, a Chicago banker, was Vice President of The United States, 1928 to 1932.

Mr. Hoyt came to Jacksonville in 1907, where he became associated with the Jacksonville Gas Company. He later became the president of that company. He is remembered as the man who built the large Union Terminal Warehouse in Jacksonville. He was the president of that company also. He headed the company that oper¬ated the ferry across the St. Johns River, to South Jacksonville. He became the president of the Jacksonville Tourist and Convention Bureau in 1916, not long after its organization. In 1925, he was president of the Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce. In May, 1914 Jacksonville was the site of the annual reunion of Confederate soldiers, and Mr. Hoyt assumed responsibility for much of the planning and supervision of the events incident to the reunion.

Harry was a dapper man who smoked a big cigar. He was at the center of much of the civic and social activity in the community. He came into membership of the club on February 20, 1912, one week after its organiza¬tion. During the second year, George W. Clark continued as president and Harry B. Hoyt was vice-president. Harry’s election to the presidency came at the beginning of the club's third year. This was a year of great activity in Jacksonville Rotary, as will be seen in the accounts that appear herein¬after.
Harry was a horse fancier. He moved to the country just outside Jack¬sonville, where he kept a number of riding horses. He died November 21, 1952 and was survived by Mrs. Hoyt and three children: Mary Dawes Hoyt, who did not marry and died in 1956; Nancy Elizabeth Hoyt married Thomas Caldwell and lives at Coral Gables, Florida; and Henry Dawes Hoyt is an Epis¬copal Minister of Cedar Key, Florida.

After a summer vacation, the club met for lunch at the Mason Hotel, on Tuesday, September 29, 1914. President Harry B. Hoyt presided. The theme of the program was the honoring of George W. Clark, the club's first president. Several members addressed the meeting. A resolution was adopted, approving a Day of Prayer for World Peace and urging the citizens of Jacksonville to attend church. In another resolution, the club authorized the purchase of a bale of cotton, from its treasury.

The first night meeting of the season was held at the Seminole Hotel on Tuesday, October 20, 1914. Souvenirs were presented and several Rotarians spoke on a variety of subjects. Foremost among these subjects was the meet¬ing of the Southern Rotary Clubs in Jacksonville, a week hence. The pro¬gram for the big meeting was titled: "Official Program. First Get Together Meeting, Southern Division, International Association of Rotary Clubs." The headquarters of the meeting was the Aragon Hotel. The officers were:


Chairman: John E. Shelby, Birmingham, Ala.
Vice-Chairman: John S. Banks, Savannah, Ga.
Secretary: A. B. Freeman, New Orleans, La.
Asst. Secretary: Houston W. Fall, Nashville, Tenn.
Treasurer: Myron L. Howard, Jacksonville, Fla.
Registrar: John A. Turner, Tampa, Fla.
Sergeant-at-Arms: Ralph D. Quisenberry, Montgomery, Ala.
Directors: George E. Leonard, Jacksonville, Fla. and W. E. Morton, Richmond, both directors of the International Associa¬tion of Rotary Clubs.

A loving cup was presented to the Rotarian who made the best five-minute talk. President of the International Association, Frank L. Mulholland of Toledo, Ohio, was present and addressed the meeting. Boat and automobile trips were made. Much publicity was given to the meeting by the local news¬papers. The Florida Metropolis issued a Rotary Supplement of thirty-two pages, with its issue of Wednesday, October 28, 1914. Rotary Clubs from nineteen Southern cities were represented. It was voted to hold the next (1915) meeting of the Southern Division in the City of New Orleans, Louisiana.

A roster of the club members as of October 1, 1914 was printed and contributed by Arnold Printing Company. It contained the names, addresses, telephone numbers and classifications of the eighty-eight members; a direc¬tory of the officers and directors; and a rotary wheel on its beautiful grey cover. A Rotary songbook was issued in 1914, bearing the name of the Rotary Club of Jacksonville. It had the words to thirty-one songs, most of which were old favorites, but included the then popular songs, such as: Waiting for the Robert E. Lee, Everybody's Doin' It, Oh, You Beautiful Doll and When the Midnight Chu Chu Leaves for Alabam'. This songbook may have been printed locally or furnished by Rotary Headquarters.

Sixteen committees were appointed for the year; Rivers and Harbors; Ways and Means; Finance; Transportation; Grievance; Resolutions; Frater¬nal; New Enterprises; Publicity; Membership, Entertainment; Nominating; Judiciary; Good Roads; Public Affairs; Convention. The December 25, 1914 issue of the "Centrifugalist", the club's paper, carried pictures of new Rota¬rians: J. N. Cooke, D. S, Colwell, Horace Drew, Frank Cartmel, J. A. Wrigley, L. W. Josselyn, Arthur F. Perry, H. C. Buckland, Henry G. Aird, A. B. Potter and Joseph H. Walsh.

Death came to three Jacksonville Rotarians in this, the third fiscal year of the club's existence. The following three members were the first of the club's membership to die: James F. Lane, in October, 1914; F. W. R. Hinman, in November, 1914; and.W. N. Conoley, in February, 1915.

At the Board of Directors' meeting of January 20, 1915, Dr. G. R. Holden's classification was changed from Surgeon to Gynecologist and the secretary instructed to notify Dr. Holden of the change. On March 2, 1915, the Board voted to change Treasurer Myron L. Howard's classification from Turpentine Machinery to Investments, and Charlie Clark's classification from Investments to Motion Picture Exhibitor.
A joint meeting of Jacksonville and Tampa Rotarians was held in Tampa on March 17, 1915. A placard showing a man in a "top hat and tails" was captioned: "AN IRISH WAKE, Presented by Jacksonville Rotarians at the Tampa Rotary Club Luncheon." The Tampa Bay Hotel printed a menu of special dishes, captioned "A 'Rotten' Time for Jacksonville Rotes". To men¬tion only a few of the items with names of Jacksonville Rotarians, there were: Arnold (Diamond K) Cocktails; Gas Meteor Steak, Hoytaise; Clifford Payne Killer; Finley Knightra Dishes; Myron Howard Tips; Covington Dressing. The menu had a beautiful green cover, bearing a Rotary wheel and a shamrock. The Tampa Morning Tribune carried a red streamer across the first page of its second section: "Two Towns With But a Single Thought, Two Rotary Clubs That Boost as One."

Among the business handled by the directors at their meeting of March 30, 1915 was an attendance problem. The hotels had taken exception to the preparation of lunches in excess of those consumed at the weekly meetings of the club, and the following is noted in the minutes with reference thereto: "On motion the secretary was instructed to notify the hotels that it was the sense of this meeting that a larger attendance would be had if the lunch was lighter and the price reduced to fifty cents per person and that the directors recommended that such a luncheon be provided in the future."

At the director's meeting of April 6, 1915 a letter from P. M. Ulsch of the City Council, requesting a subscription for sending the boys' band to Richmond for the Confederate reunion, was read. President Hoyt instructed the secretary to advise Mr. Ulsch that the club was not now in a position to subscribe for this purpose owing to its loss in the Commercial Bank failure.
On April 27, 1915, the club voted several amendments to its constitution and by-laws. Seventy-three members were present and voted thereon.

In 1915, areas known as Districts were set up in Rotary. Florida, Geor¬gia, Alabama and Cuba formed the Eighth District. Later, Cuba was sepa¬rated and became the Twenty-fifth District. Then, Alabama was removed from the three state combination and became the Twenty-sixth District. Georgia and Florida stayed together as the Thirty-ninth District until 1928, when Georgia became the sixty-ninth district.