Years 1912 - 1922
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Giles L. Wilson - 1917-1918

Giles L. Wilson was born in Gascon County, North Caro¬lina. His family moved to Chester, South Carolina where he at¬tended the graded school and Wofford College at Spartanburg. After gradua¬tion he taught school for two years. He then became secretary for a cot¬ton mill and assumed the duties of bookkeeper. Later, he spent four years in South America including six months in building railroads in Ecua¬dor.
He started in the banking business in 1901 and served for five years as State and National bank examiner. He became affiliated with the Florida National Bank in 1912 and later be¬came its vice-president. His hobbies were fishing, bridge and golf. He was elected to the presidency of the Club for the 1917-1918 fiscal year, becoming its fifth president.
Giles Wilson was a man of fine appearance and he possessed much dignity. These characteristics contributed to him as a banker and also as the club's presiding officer.
In addition to President Wilson, the following officers were elected for the fiscal year 1917-1918: Robertson T. Arnold, secretary for the fifth year; Myron L. Howard, treasurer for each year since June, 1912; Loren H. Green, vice-president; and Ralph Payne, sergeant-at-arms. The board of directors included: the officers and John H. Gay, William D. Jones and George Hardee. The new sergeant-at-arms succeeded Richard LeRoy Boyd who had held the office since 1912 and was probably the first and only ser¬geant-at-arms until Ralph Payne. Also, George W. Clark had been a member of the board of directors, each year, until 1917-1918. "Dick" Boyd was for many years district manager for the Southern Bell Telephone and Telegraph Company.
During the year several new members were added, among whom were Benjamin E. Hardacre and George B. Hills. John W. Sackett was the only member to die during the year.
It is interesting to note in these days when, in our fiftieth year, the club's classification committee is trying to properly classify the members of the legal profession, that the Directors met on July 13, 1917 and voted to abolish the general classification of lawyer and establish classifications of: Civil Lawyer, Criminal Lawyer, Corporation Lawyer and Real Estate Lawyer, Mr. David H. Doig, the club's lawyer member, received the real estate lawyer classification. At the Director's meeting of October 19, 1917, Edward S. Spencer, Chairman of the Membership Committee, recommended member¬ship for Frank P. Fleming for Corporation Lawyer and William A. Hallowes for Criminal Lawyer. At this meeting David W. Ramsaur was recommended for associate membership with Frank C. Groover with the wholesale drugs classification.
The minutes of the Directors' meeting of December 21, 1917 contain some interesting and unusual matter. One of the motions adopted instructed the secretary to write to Mr. R. R. Meyer that his name would be dropped from the membership rolls if he did not make Jacksonville his home. Another resolution required the appointment of a committee to "Call on Rotarian W. Frazier Jones and bring to his attention the fact that this club is interested in him and would like to see him get on the water wagon." On January 4, 1918, Mr. Fagg reported to the Board of Directors that he and Mr. Hardee had distributed shoes to the poor at Christmas as authorized by the directors and stated that the Everybody's Shoe Store had given better value for two dollars than at any other time in the past. A payment of one hundred and fifty dollars was authorized to Everybody's Shoe Company.
The club luncheon on March 2, 1918 was held on the State Fair grounds. In 1918 the State Fair was held in Jacksonville and Tampa's fair was known as the South Florida Fair. At the Directors' meeting on March 1, 1918, Mr. J. N. C. Stockton was approved for the classification of Farmer; Mr. Ralph B. Murphy for the classification of Hot House Vegetables and General J. W. Sackett for the classification of U. S. Engineer. At the Directors' meeting on March 15, 1918, the Rev. Dr. Worsham was approved as Minister, Episcopal, and The Rev. Father Maher as Minister, Catholic. At the meeting on April 16, 1918, Mr. Morgan W. Gress was approved for the classification of Cross Ties and Benjamin E. Hardacre for Surety Bonds. At this time the meetings of the Board were held at the Mason Hotel. The regular weekly luncheon continued to be held on Tuesdays at one o'clock at the Seminole Hotel.
The annual election of officers was held at the luncheon meeting on May 14, 1918. Present were sixty-two members. There were forty-two members absent. A motion that the vice president become the president was discussed and tabled. At this election there were two ballots cast for presi¬dent. Upon the first ballot, George W. Hardee received 23 votes with the other votes scattered among several other members. This was not a majority and, upon the second ballot, he received 37 out of 61; one member not voting. Other officers elected were: William D. Jones, Vice President; R. T. Arnold, Secretary; Myron L. Howard, Treasurer; and Ralph Payne, Sergeant-at-arms. Directors elected for two years were: Edward S. Spencer, James C. Elanton, Giles Wilson, A. B. Potter and Dr. Frank Watson. Clifford A. Payne was elected for a one-year term.
All of the members present at the May 14, 1918 meeting agreed to participate in the Red Cross parade on Saturday, May 18th. A Board meet¬ing was held on May 31, 1918 and several matters were referred to the Club's War Activities Committee. One of these matters was a suggestion from Mr. Gay that the members eat no wheat that summer. On June 7, 1918, the Board received a letter from the president of the West Palm Beach Chamber of Commerce, stating that he and others were starting a Rotary Club and asking for suggestions.