Years 1912 - 1922
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Authors Preface

As The Rotary Club of Jacksonville approached the Centennial year 2012, the Club set forth a committee to combine and complete the Club Centennial History Book. The first fifty year history book, Volume 1, was written by Prim Fisher. It was re-published later to include the first 56 years. The next 18 years, Volume 2, had 18 authors, since each president wrote their own summary. This Centennial History combines the first two volumes and completes them with the next 25 years of Club history. Each Club President wrote their own year in Rotary with the exception of deceased members Max Morris and Dave Hastings.

The Centennial History Book Committee was chaired by PDG Henry Beckwith and Frank Perritt.   Both members worked diligently in choosing the publisher, reminding the presidents of the deadlines, working on formatting and design, etc. The Club was prepared for the cost of this book because, since 1985, we had been putting $800/year into a certificate of deposit for the purpose of publishing the next book. Rotarian Howard Kelley, our Club web designer, web host and guru in software and web issues worked with our Executive Director Miriam Funchess on presentation, design and layout. The Club hired Patrick Flynn, whose expertise and diligence provided great insight as he too worked on scanning, layout and the design of the book. The Club also hired Karen Ramsey, Marty Renaud, Mary Moritz and Yvette Candler who assisted in editing, proofing, proofing and more proofing. The Centennial History Committee Chairs hired Rose Printing to publish the book and we wish to thank Dick Walsh for his professionalism and straightforwardness in helping us produce this “first class” Centennial Edition.

Since we are combining the first two volumes into this Centennial Edition, it is important that the reader understand how the first years were compiled and therefore we are including the preface from Volume 1, the first 56 years, written by Prim Fisher, and also the preface from Volume 2, the next 18 years.

Needless to say, this Rotary Club of Jacksonville History - Centennial Edition is an amazing piece of history that you will see as it unfolds into the history of not only our Club but our city and our country.

Preface first 56 years – 1912-1968 by Prim Fisher

The organization of the Rotary Club of Jacksonville was a definite part of the beginning of the Rotary movement, through the close association of its first president with the founder of Rotary. Had not Paul P. Harris come to Jacksonville to live and had he not entered the employment of George W. Clark, the organization of the Jacksonville club might well have come about
several years later than it actually did. Being the first of the clubs to organize in the Southeast (excepting New Orleans), this conclusion seems inescapable.

I became associated with John A. Hall in 1925 and through this association became a member of the Rotary Club of Jacksonville in 1926. Mr. Hall was the accountant for several companies headed by George W. Clark and it was my good fortune to acquire a substantial acquaintance with him and other early members of the club. Rotary and its members were frequently discussed and formed close ties of friendship among those older members.

Although a large amount of material has been available, there has been a lack of uniformity in the recording of events and some omissions. As a result, it has not been possible to give as much detail of some of these things as of others of equal interest. Wherever possible, I have made reference to the important and many casual happenings in each year. In writing of Rotary club personalities, I have followed the records and information given me and
have not drawn on the imagination, although I am sure that much more might have been written about these persons. As time passes, many things not reduced to written records, and some that have been so recorded, become less available and may be entirely lost in our memories and to our posterity. It is with this in mind that I have undertaken to write this history. To those persons who have assisted me I am grateful, and I wish to express my appreciation of those who have been of service to the Club and to Rotary.

(Rotarily, Prim Fisher, Jacksonville, Florida, June 1, 1962)

Preface – Years 1968-1986

Each year’s history was written first hand from that year’s president and each in his own style. Some presidents felt that they owed their readers brevity while others opted for completeness. All are written informally – as one club member to another. The biographies of the presidents were prepared by the Club History Committee, which also handled further research when needed, proofreading, and much, much reminding about deadlines, in order to meet the 75th anniversary date of publication.

Acknowledgements for Volume 2: Henry Beckwith launched this project in 1978 while he was president, by appointing an ad hoc committee and obtaining a commitment from each president to write his own year. Ken Anderson, while he was president three years later, created the concept of a continuing standing committee on Club History to provide continuity of coordination and an assured timely completion. Executive Secretary Dee Gordon greatly assisted in researching the files for facts and photos, as well as systemizing the club’s historical reference library. Dan Ridgell conceived the pioneering identification phrase, “Florida’s First Club” for use in this book and it was so well received that it quickly found its way onto the Club letterhead, newsletter, banners, and roster (which now contains each year at his suggestion, a thumbnail history of our Club’s founding). Past President Larry Hirsig was first to finish his year’s write-up, and greatly expedited getting all to the printer by having three years retyped on his office word processor. Board member Lawrence Hirsig, II, conducted a helpful financial review of the club’s earlier handling of publication costs of Vol. 1, and lastly and importantly, the joint 1985-86 and 1986-87 boards approved funding the publication. At Paramount Press we can thank Jim Chambers, and April Mills, and the efficient staff both for their impressive professionalism and very friendly cooperation and help in manufacturing an attractive final product.

The Club History Committee: Co-chairmen: John Walters and John Ingle. Vice Chairmen: Larry Hirsig, Don Martin and Bill Hamrick. Members: Quinn Barton, Henry Beckwith, Bob Colyer, Sr., Jimmy French, Del Gibbs, Ralph Henry, Dean Holt, Fred Kent, Sr., Spencer Ladd, Sanford Mullen, Jack Rose and Fred Woolverton, Sr. Special consulting and contributing members: Joe Beeler(paper supply), Barney Daley(binding) and Floyd Benton(front cover).


 

George W. Clark - 1912-1914

George W. Clark and his brothers, Charles A. Clark and Richard Clark, came to Jacksonville with their parents, in the year 1873. Their father was William B. Clark and their mother the former Flora A. Lindsley. George was eight, Charles six, and Richard the youngest. This family lived, prior to coming to Jacksonville at Campbellford, Ontario, Canada, where we understand the father was a farmer. Although they were assumed to have been natives of Ontario, there was some mention of George having been born in New York State. Probably the family had resided there temporarily.

The Clark family purchased land and settled just north of what is now Eighth Street, near Pearl Street; then outside the City of Jacksonville. There they had a small farm. Little is known about Richard Clark, but both George and Charles began to work for Calvin Oak, an undertaker and dealer in furniture and monuments. In 1877, the Clarks bought the business from Oak, but two years later, George sold his interest in the business to Charles and went himself to Canada. At about this time there was a yellow fever epidemic in Jacksonville and, as a result of the many deaths, the undertaking business prospered.

George Clark came back to Jacksonville after a very short stay in Canada and attempted to regain his interest in the business then owned and operated by his brother; but unsuccessfully. Soon he organized a business with another man as Clark and Burns, Undertakers, and became a competitor of his brother. Charles A. Clark purchased a building on the south side of Forsyth Street, between Laura and Main Streets in which he operated his business until his retirement and which he continued to own as investment property until his death on January 14, 1956. Charlie had been an active Rotarian until November, 1934. He was the Club Poet, having the ability to compose and recite verses on any subject, including persons present, extemporaneously.

George W. Clark employed S. A. Kyle in 1905 and Harry A. Moulton in 1909, to whom he later sold his under taking business. This business was operated at the Northwest corner of Main and Monroe Streets in the "Massey Building." In this same general vicinity he operated a stone monument yard. Stone for monuments and fireplace mantels were imported from Italy. About 1905, George Clark became the State Agent for Victor talking ma¬chines. Not much later he began to develop real estate subdivisions. His first venture in this field was known as North Springfield and was not far from his boyhood home. Later, he developed Panama Park, just north of the city. He owned other property in downtown Jacksonville and built the five-story Clark Building at Monroe and Main Streets. He owned a beautiful home with spacious grounds at 2059 Riverside Avenue, but he and his wife spent much of their time, in the several years before his death, on March 13, 1939, at their "Oriental Gardens" Estate on the St. Johns River. They had a son, George W. Clark, Jr., who entered the Jacksonville Rotary Club in July, 1920 with the classification of Real Estate Investments. He resigned from the club on June 17, 1931 and died on December 28, 1947.

As will be inferred from the foregoing facts about George W. Clark, he was fast becoming a business leader in Jacksonville when Paul P. Harris came there in the year 1892. After working for a short time as night clerk at the St. James Hotel, Paul became employed by George Clark who was then twenty-seven and not much older than Paul Harris. The latter traveled the State of Florida in the interest of his employer's marble and granite business, although he left this position in Jacksonville on March 1, 1893 in order to go to Washington, D. C. to witness the inaugural ceremonies of President Grover Cleveland and thence to see more of the country and for a trip to Liverpool, England, aboard a cattle boat. But Paul returned to Jacksonville in October and to his position of traveling for George Clark. This travel included a trip to the granite-producing regions of Scotland and the marble-producing regions of Ireland, Belgium and Italy. After six months in Jacksonville, follow¬ing the trip abroad, Paul left the employ of George Clark.

Jacksonville Skyline 1913
Chesley R. Perry, in his book on The Founder of Rotary, published in 1928, gives full credit to the friendship and influence on Paul Harris of George W. Clark. About Clark, he states that he had an office in New York City and did business in every state in the Union and that he lived in Jacksonville from preference.

Organization of the Club

George W. Clark became the first president of the Rotary Club of Jacksonville, which he helped to organize in February, 1912. He was reelected president for a second year and was later given the title of President Emeritus. He was given honorary membership by the Club Board of Directors on July 9, 1928. On February 27, 1912, the Board requested Mr. David Doig, its attorney member, "To proceed with the incorporation of the Rotary Club as a corporation not for profit."

The first meeting of the newly organized Rotary Club of Jacksonville was held on February 13, 1912. One week previously, E. L. Murphy of the Chicago Rotary Club had addressed a group of six men at a dinner in Jacksonville on the advisability of establishing a Rotary Club here, and on its aims and objects. These six men were: George W. Clark; David H. Doig, an attorney; Loren H. Green, a marine and casualty insurance agent; George E. Leonard, a real estate man; H. B. Minium, a dealer in wholesale meats; and W. M. Stinson, a physician. At the first meeting of the club, these men were joined by the following seven others, all thirteen of whom became char¬ter members: Billy Foor, Harry Hassan, Charles H. Mann, Frank O. Miller, Clifford A. Payne, H. B. Race and Frank Taylor. George W. Clark and David H. Doig had been honorary members of the Chicago Rotary Club previously.

In addition to Clark, who was elected the club's first President, H. B. Minium was elected first vice-president; D. H. Doig, second vice-president; H. B. Race, treasurer; and George E. Leonard, secretary. The club's first meetings were at the Windsor Hotel but by the end of 1912 they were held at the Aragon Hotel where Rotarian Billy Foor was the hotel manager. Writing in 1930 of the early days of Jacksonville Rotary, David H. Doig said: "Many of the 'Old Guard' can recall that Prince of Rotary hotel men, Billy Foor of the Aragon, for his wonderful meals and personal services." Doig also related how the club held banquets, ladies nights, theatrical skits, etc.
At the meeting of February 13, 1912, the first officers and directors were elected and "The constitution and by-laws of the Chicago Rotary were adopted with slight amendments to suit Jacksonville." The names of the officers have already been mentioned". The directors were: Loren H. Green, Dr. Wm. M. Stinson, Billy Foor, Charles H. Mann, Frank O. Miller and George E. Leonard. At a special meeting of the Board of Directors on March 1, 1912, the annual dues of members were set at ten dollars. At this same meeting an insignia was adopted, consisting of a wheel with two wings, which it was said, had been recommended by the officers of the National Associ¬ation.

The Windsor Hotel

There were twelve meetings of the Board of Directors from February 13 to May 21, 1912, inclusive. On June 18, 1912, "The first annual meeting of the Rotary Club was held in the Board of Trade Rooms, 8:00 P.M. President George Clark presiding." At this meeting, reports of the officers and commit¬tee chairmen were received. Treasurer H. B. Race reported a balance in the club's treasury of $404.36. The following officers were elected:

President — George W. Clark
First Vice-President — H. B. Minium
Second Vice-President — F. O. Miller
Treasurer — Myron L. Howard
Registrar and Statistician — Clifford A. Payne
Sergeant-at-Arms R. L. Boyd
Secretary — James F. Phillips
Directors: David H. Doig, Loren H. Green, H. B. Hoyt, C. H. Mann and W. M. Stinson.

Other members who came into the membership of the club during the initial period and for the remainder of the year 1912 included the following list, which may not be complete:

February 20, 1912: John D. Baker, groceries wholesale; C. H. Barnes, J. L. Boyd; Richard Boyd, telephone service; Francis P. Conroy, Arthur J. Doyle; George L. Drew; John A. Futch, furniture; Frank C. Groover, wholesale drugs; Harry B. Hoyt, manufactured gas; F. W. King; A. D. Stevens.

March 12, 1912: W. R. Carter, newspaper publisher; J. C. Connally, spring beds; George R. Foster, building materials; G. R. Hoi den, surgeon; William D. Jones, pharmacist; H. J. Klutho, architect; C. D. Mills, florist; Claude Nolan, automobiles.

April 23, 1912: Robertson T. Arnold, printing; Angus Baker, merchandise broker; John Balfe, painting and decorating; J. D. Burbridge, bill posting; Leon T. Cheek, coffee roasting; Charles A. Clark, investments; Jacob E. Cohen, retail dry goods; R. P. Collyer, men's clothing; James Coons, plumbing contractor; Montgomery Corse, wood deal¬er; Hardy Croom, electric railways; A. G. Cummer, phosphate; R. N. Ellis, Jr., civil engineer; Gerald Franz, safes and locks; John H. Gay, paint manufacturing; W. K. Hale, express company; J. C. Halsema, mfg. sash and doors; George W. Hardee, cigar manufac¬turing; Walter Hawkins, fruits; Myron L. Howard, turpentine ma¬chinery; F. J. Hyde, wholesale oils; T. G. Hutchinson, public ac¬countant; A. H. James, business college; James F. Lane, jeweler; T. B. Livingston, electrician; J. E. McGraw, bicycles and motor¬cycles; J. F. Phillip, metal products; H. E. Ploof, machinery sup¬plies; Frank Richardson, building contractor; Frank T. Russell, foundries; E. M. Sanderson, dentist; J. Y. Wilson, paving contrac¬tor; G. T. Woodward, photographer.

October 29, 1912: Walter P. Corbett, life insurance; Dr. H. Marshall Taylor, eye, ear, nose and throat specialist; J. D. Steward, representing R. G. Dun's commercial agency.

November 20, 1912: C. L. Bagwell, stocks and bonds; R. M. Barbour, Trust company officer; Ellis Crenshaw, cracker manufacturing; Thomas B. Elton, screens manufacturing; J. D. Holmes, groceries wholesale, associate to John D. Baker; C. Finley Knight, crockery wholesale; J. J. Lo¬gan, coal; Edward S. Spencer, building materials; Ernest L. Vordermark, groceries retailing.

December 17, 1912: A. Wright Ellis, elevators; F. W. R. Hinman, publisher of morning newspaper; John G. McGiffin, ship broker; Harry S. Moulton, undertaker; Lucius B. Wooten, fiber manufacturing.

Captain J. R. Slattery, chief of the U. S. Engineers stationed in Jack¬sonville, addressed the club on March 5, 1912 and, on March 12, 1912 was elected to honorary membership; the first honorary member of the club. On March 26, 1912, F. O. Miller addressed the club on the recommendation of a second ferry across the St. Johns River to be located at Albert Street. This ferry would materially shorten the distance to Pablo Beach, Mr. Miller said.

President George W. Clark was a delegate to the International Conven¬tion of Rotary Clubs, in Duluth, Minnesota on August 6 to 9, 1912. The minutes of the Board of Directors on October 29, 1912 state that "The
em¬blem chosen at the International Association in Duluth was adopted for use by the Jacksonville Club on all stationary and notes." At this meeting the publishing of a club roster was authorized.

During the first year, a weekly bulletin was published and styled the Jacksonville Rotarian. Its first issue, or the first issue now in the files of the secretary's office, is that of January 1, 1913. This publication carried news' of the club, with personal items and paid advertisements. It often urged Rotarians to patronize the business establishments of other Rotarians. In De¬cember, 1914 the name was changed to: "The Centrifugalist." It is interest¬ing to note some of the early advertisers in the Jacksonville Rotarian and the Centrifugalist: George W. Hardee,cigars; H. E. Harkisheimer, butter; Harry B. Hoyt, gas for lighting and heating; Myron L. Howard, turpentine machinery; C. Finley Knight, wholesale crockery; George E. Leonard, real estate; J. J. Logan, coal; Charles H. Mann, hides; F. O. Miller, pianos and violins; Clifford A. Payne, fire insurance; Leon T. Cheek, coffee; The Arnold Fruit Company, oranges. The name of the weekly bulletin was again changed in 1916 to "Rotary Service." The bulletin of November 25, 1913 listed the attendance records of the club's eighty members.

On February 22, 1913, the club held a George Washington Birthday picnic in the "Panama Park" subdivision of George W. Clark. A rather full account of this outing was carried in the Jacksonville Rotarian of February 26, 1913, which elaborated on a baseball game between the "Fats" and "Leans." According to the Jacksonville Rotarian, issue of March 11, 1913, the Jacksonville club was the first Rotary club to have buttons and Rotary pennants.

Nominations of officers for the second year were made at the regular luncheon meeting, at the Cafe Albert, on Tuesday, May 27, 1913. All of the following nominees were elected, at the meeting on June 10, 1913, at the Aragon Hotel:

President: George W. Clark
Vice-President: Harry B. Hoyt
Treasurer: Myron L. Howard
Secretary: Clifford A. Payne
Sergeant-at-Arms: Richard L. Boyd
Directors: F. P. Conroy, Walter P. Corbett, George E. Leonard, Charles H. Mann, W. M. Stinson, Loren H. Green and John H. Gay.

The Metropolis, Jacksonville's Evening Newspaper, carried large pictures of the six officers of the Club, in its issue of Wednesday, June 18, 1913. This paper carried a full story of the Rotary banquet in the evening of the preceding day.

The headlines ran thus:
“ANNUAL FROLIC OF ROTARIANS WAS GREAT SUCCESS”
“Banquet at Aragon Hotel Was Unique in History of Both City and Club. Souvenir Dinner Most Enjoyable.”
Not to be outdone, the Florida Times-Union, morning newspaper, issued a special edition, captioned: "EXTRA! ROTARIAN EXTRA!" Covering four of the seven columns on page one, much humorous detail of the Rotary banquet was given. Vice-President Hoyt was referred to as "Old Harry B. — The Tom Catt of the evening". C. Finley Knight "Rendered the Florodora Sextette from Lucia in a highly ornamental manner." Claude Nolan (Automobile Dealer) "Impersonated a carburetor, furnishing the laughing gas for the evening." Numerous other references to personalities and stunts were published.

A very attractive printed program gave the menu of "A Rotary Meeting-by-the-Sea" at the Atlantic Beach Hotel on July 8, 1913. The dinner meeting was billed as a Rotary meeting in honor of the ladies. It was held in the "Japanese Garden" at the hotel, and twelve instrumental musical numbers were played by the Royal Hungarian Orchestra with Louis Zsiga as director. The Florida Metropolis, evening newspaper, carried a cartoon of a character¬ization of Rotarians George W. Clark, Harry B. Hoyt and one other man dancing by the waves of the sea, with mermaids, to the fiddling of King Neptune. Under the cartoon, a note read: "The Rotarian Club motored to the beach last evening and enjoyed a dinner, concert, etc."

The International Convention was held at the Statler Hotel in Buffalo, New York, beginning on Sunday, August 17, 1913. The Florida Times-Union of Wednesday, August 17, 1913 carried large pictures of each of the delegates of the Jacksonville Club to the Buffalo convention, and a generous news account of the purpose and agenda of the convention. Pictured were: President George W. Clark, R. T. Arnold, J. C. Blanton, Robert P. Colyer, David H. Doig, Loren H. Green, Harry B. Hoyt, George E. Leonard, H. B. Minium, Frank O. Miller and Dr. W. M. Stinson. Loren Green was on the program and made a speech at Buffalo.
Apparently, there were no weekly meetings of the club after the annual meeting on June 17 and the dinner meeting at Atlantic Beach on July 8, 1913, until the summer season was over. The Jacksonville Rotarian was published on June 7th and again on October 25th. Just when the luncheons were resumed is not definitely known, but undoubtedly in the early autumn. Since the Jacksonville Rotarian was not then a weekly publication, the Tuesday luncheon programs have not been preserved. Many special events were held at dinner meetings.

On March 17, 1914, a program was carried out at the Aragon Hotel by "The Rotary Troupe of Bad Actors.” The title to the program was "The Follies of 1914" and the meeting was in the evening. The cast was listed, as follows:
John S. Arnold, Jr., The Follies of the Adding Machine; Henry L. Covington, The Follies of the Meat Man; Arthur J. Doyle, The Follies of a Money Lender, George W. Hardee, The Follies of the Auto Agent, Harry B. Hoyt, The Follies of Life Insurance; and Connie Mack, The Follies of the Fans.

On March 19, 1914, the Board of Directors appointed a committee to cooperate with John E. Shelby of Birmingham, Alabama, Southern Vice-President of Rotary, in forming a Rotary Club in Tampa, Florida. Mr. Shelby came to Jacksonville on his way to Tampa and, on April 7, met with the Board, which held a meeting at 8:30 o'clock, A.M., before his departure for Tampa. On that evening the Tampa, Florida Club, No. 117, was organized under the sponsorship of the Jacksonville club. This was Florida's second Rotary Club. John A. Turner of Tampa had already become a member of the Jacksonville Rotary Club. John E. Shelby of Birmingham, Alabama, In¬ternational Vice-President of Rotary Clubs of America, addressed the or¬ganization meeting and Jacksonville Rotarians Arthur J. Doyle, Leon T. Cheek and James D. Stuart attended and each made a short talk about the benefits of Rotary membership.
On April 21, 1914, the club held a dinner meeting at 6:30 o'clock P.M. at the Burbridge Hotel at which J. C. Blanton and H. J. Klutho debated the best site for the contemplated union railway passenger station: Lee Street or Myrtle Avenue. F. O. Miller didn't like either site and predicted Jacksonville would grow to a half million population. New members proposed at the Director's meeting of June 2, 1914 were: Ralph Payne, Barrie C. Smith, W. A. Lloyd and W. M. Bostwick. The sum of thirty dollars was appropriated as the treasurer's salary for the next (1914-1915) year.

The annual meeting was held at the Seminole Hotel on Tuesday, May 26, 1914. This meeting was held in the evening and, according to the news¬paper account, lasted from 6:30 to 11:30 P.M. The following officers were installed: Harry B. Hoyt, President; Francis P. Conroy, Vice-President; Myron L. Howard, Treasurer; Robertson T. Arnold, Secretary; and R. L. Boyd, Sergeant-at-Arms. Directors for the new year were: George W. Clark, Walter P. Corbett, John A. Futch, Loren H. Green, George E. Leonard, George W. Hardee, and Frank O. Miller. Both newspapers published long articles, with bold headlines, about the meeting. The Florida Metropolis carried pictures of Retiring President George W. Clark, Incoming President Harry B. Hoyt and Francis P. Conroy. The headline said: "Real Live Goat Takes Part in Ceremonies when Harry B. Hoyt Becomes Head of Rotary Club." Conroy was the speaker and discussed the forthcoming school bond election and its importance to Jacksonville.

The Florida Times-Union reported on Wednesday, June 10, 1914, that "The Rotary Club held its last weekly luncheon for the summer yesterday at the Mason Hotel." The article closed by saying: "The last meeting of the club for the summer will be held at Atlantic Beach next Tuesday night, when the Rotary Club, with the wives and invited guests, will eat dinner at the Atlantic Beach Hotel and end the season in fitting style."

A printed menu of the dinner at the Atlantic Beach Hotel on Tuesday, June 16, 1914, carried pictures in caricature of President Harry B. Hoyt, a bow of ribbon on his hair, sitting on an oven, inscribed with "Cook With Gas" and holding a toy ferry boat in his arms; and of Rotarian Leon T. Cheek sitting in a big coffee cup. Cheek had charge of the arrangements for the dinner meeting. Directions on the cover of the menu had to say: "Leave Jacksonville four o'clock over President Hoyt's ferry, and have a swim in the surf before dinner, which comes off promptly at 7:00.

On Friday, June 19, 1914, The Florida Metropolis published an article captioned: "Rotary Club Crackers off on Jaunt to Houston, Texas, to Attend National Convention." The heading made use of the word "Crackers" to indicate that a number of natives of Georgia were in the delegation. It continued: "Led by President Harry B. Hoyt, Delegation of Prominent Business Men leave to Show Brother Rotarians the Best Crowd of Boosters that ever Straddled a Pullman Car." The newspaper also carried a cartoon, showing the faces of the nine Rotarians going to Houston. They were: Presi¬dent Hoyt, R. T. Arnold, Ellis Crenshaw, R. M. Barbour, Leon T. Cheek, John A. Futch, George W. Hardee, George E. Leonard and James D. Stuart. Harry B. Hoyt made a speech at the convention in which he nominated John Shelby of Birmingham for vice-president to represent the Southern Division of the International Association. Shelby was elected and Jacksonville Rotarian George E. Leonard was elected a director of the Association.




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.


 

George E. Leonard - 1915-1916

George E. Leonard became the club's third president, having been elected for the 1915-1916 fiscal year, which was the club's fourth year. Mr. Leonard was born on April 30, 1873 in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. He was graduated from the University of Michigan Law School in 1894. For a number of years he lived in the City of Chicago and was active in politics there. He was one of the first members of the Municipal Voters League, which very largely cleaned out the grafters from the Chi¬cago City Council. He was a charter member of the anti-Lorimer organiza¬tion, which began the fight that finally ended with Lorimer's expulsion from the United States Senate.
Mr. Leonard was engaged for several years in the work of handling national conventions for the railroads and was prominently identified with the Roads in their national fight to stop the misuse of transportation by ticket scalpers. Mr. Leonard visited Jacksonville in connection with this work and later retired from work and came to live there.
At January 1, 1916, the club had one hundred and six members. The new "Rotary Service" club organ began under the new name in November, 1915 and was published twice each month. The publishing committee con¬sisted of Lucius B. Wootton, Leon T. Cheek and Clifford A. Payne; but the greatest contributor of published articles and notes apparently was club secretary, R. T. Arnold.
Other officers elected for the 1915-1916 year were: Vice-President, John H. Gay; Sergeant-at-Arms, R. L. Boyd; Treasurer, Myron L. Howard; Secretary, R. T. Arnold; Directors for two years: Harry B. Hoyt, George W. Clark and Giles Wilson; for one year: George W. Hardee, Ellis Crenshaw, Leon T. Cheek and Henry L. Covington, Jr.
Senator Duncan U. Fletcher addressed the club on October 26, 1915. John Temple Graves was a guest of the club on November 23, 1915. At the latter meeting there were sixty-three members and thirty-seven guests, a total of one hundred present. William Jennings Bryan, perennial presidential candidate, was a guest at the luncheon meeting on November 7, 1915. One hundred and thirty members and guests were present. John A. Hall, certified public accountant and W. E. Arnold, printer, associate to R. T. Arnold, were approved for membership on February 16, 1916. Fred W. Long was approved for membership with the classification of Highway Construction, by the Board on April 4, 1916.
On May 28, 1916, the Board named delegates to the International Rotary Convention to be held in Cincinnati, Ohio: Past President Clark and President Leonard; as alternate delegates: Horace Drew, Marcus C. Fagg and George W. Hardee.


 

John Henry Gay - 1916-1917

John Henry Gay was elected president of the club for its year begun on July 1, 1916 and ended June 30, 1917. He had been the club's vice president in the preceding fiscal year and had been on the Board of Directors in 1913. He was born No¬vember 26, 1863 at Sharpsburg, Cowita County, Georgia. He was a member of the Riverside Baptist Church, Treasurer of its Sunday school and a Deacon. His hobbies were hunting, fishing and dogs. He was formerly superintendent of the Southern Bell Telephone and Tele¬graph Co.
Mr. Gay was president of Dozier and Gay Paint Company with store and office at 46 West Bay Street. This company enjoyed a wide and enviable reputation, as it still does, for paints of its own manufacture. The company was organized in 1901 and has retained its good name in paints over much of the State. Its office and factory is presently located at 2245 Main Street in Jacksonville, and our own Rotarian Linwood Jeffreys is its president. It might be well to refer here to Mr. Gay's election to Governor of the Eighth District of Rotary International in the fiscal year 1918-1919, having come into membership of the club in June, 1912. Mr. Gay died June 16, 1946 at the age of seventy-seven years. His wife died on February 26, 1961 at the age of ninety-one years.
The report of the club election held on May 8, 1916 showed that on the first ballot Mr. Gay received thirty of seventy ballots cast, being more than any one of several others voted for. On the second ballot, he received forty votes and Giles L. Wilson received thirty votes, electing Mr. Gay. Other offices elected were: for vice president, Giles L. Wilson; for sergeant-at-arms, R. L. Boyd (reelected); for secretary, R. T. Arnold (reelected); for treas¬urer, M. L. Howard (reelected); for director for two year terms; Messrs. Horace Drew, F. C. Groover, Finley Knight; Marcus C. Fagg; for one year term to replace Mr. Wilson who was elected vice-president, George E. Leonard.
At the meeting of August 7, 1916, reports on the International Conven¬tion in Cincinnati were made by President Gay and Horace Drew, Marcus Fagg, A. B. Potter, Ralph Payne and George E. Leonard, all of who had attended the convention.
At its meeting of September 16, 1916, the Board approved for member¬ship: Telfair Stockton for the classification of Clay Products, manufacturing; R. R. Meyer with classification of Hotels, with John E. Kavanaugh as his associate; Thomas B. Hamby, real estate; and Fred C. Hedrick, concrete manufacturing.
Since many of the club members today remember the Windsor Hotel, it is of interest to note that the "Rotary Service", the club's bulletin, carried an item in its issue of December 18, 1916 about the remodeling and redeco¬rating of the hotel at that time. Great praise was lavished upon Messrs. Meyer and Kavanaugh who operated the Windsor and who, more than incidentally, were members of the Jacksonville Rotary Club. John E. Kava¬naugh joined the club in September, 1916 and has been a member since. We quote a paragraph from the rather lengthy account of the changes in the hotel:
"They couldn't move the park over to the hotel because the trolley wires were in the way so, b'gosh, they built the hotel over to the park — or leastwise it seems that way when you sit in the spanking, brand new Terrace Dining Room, on the second floor porch and drop your cherry (or olive) down in the park for the birdies."
Although no attempt has been made, heretofore in these pages, to men¬tion the names of all of the members of the club, it seems well to say that during this Rotary year, Jack Kavanaugh entered the club in September, 1916, with the classification of Hotels, and has since been a member; William Marcy Mason entered in February, 1917, with the classification of Lumber, served as president in 1948-1949 and remained a member until his death on September 9, 1952; William E. Ross, M. D. entered the club in March, 1917 and remained a member until his death on May 17, 1959. Only Rotarian Cecil Willcox died during the year.
The District conference was held at the Aragon Hotel in Jacksonville on November 13 and 14, 1916. One of the features of entertainment was an oyster roast. The Board of Directors, on January 26, 1917, appropriated the sum of five hundred dollars from the treasury of the club for the support of a public brass band to play in Hemming Park. At the Board's meeting on February 2, 1917, the following designations were made: February 6 as "Good Roads Day"; February 13 as "Military Service Day" and February 20 as "On to Atlanta Day." A topic for discussion suggested for February 13 was: "How we can best help the Military Service Club out of their financial troubles." On to Atlanta referred to the International Rotary Con¬vention to be held there later in the year. On May 17, 1917, Giles L. Wilson and Marcus C. Fagg were named delegates to the convention in Atlanta and Ralph Payne and John H. Gay were named alternate delegates.


 

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.


 

George W. Hardee - 1918-1919

George W. Hardee, sixth President of the Rotary Club of Jacksonville, was born in New Orleans, La., December 29, 1872. He attended the city public schools there and the Christian Brothers School at Bay St. Louis, Mississippi, and later Tulane University. He was in the U. S. Government Engineers service and was once connected with the British Consulate in New Orleans.

George Hardee came to Jacksonville as manager of Gonzales and Sanchez Company, cigar manufacturers, in which company he acquired an interest. The author of this history remembers him as one of the best dressed and best poised men in Jacksonville. About 1922, the Chamber of Commerce appointed George Hardee, W. E. (Ted) Arnold and Henry L. Covington, all Jacksonville Rotarians, to formulate a plan of organization for conducting a Mardi Gras type of celebration in Jacksonville. George had lived in New Orleans and knew about these things. They organized, first, the April Follies in which a queen rode on a float in a street parade and, after a year or two, they organized the Revellers which has an annual ball and elects a king and queen; and which has continued as a principal social event in Jacksonville.

Ted Arnold remembers that George Hardee once took a memory course, following which he called each Rotarian by name and classification very quickly, to the entertainment of the club. George W. Hardee had served as a director from 1914 to 1918 and was elected president to serve from July 1, 1918 to June 30, 1919. He was elected to honorary membership in the club in 1929. He died on August 21, 1943 in Baltimore, Maryland. He was survived by his wife, Mrs. Elvina G. Hardee. He was a devout Catholic.

The club had a Philanthropic Committee in 1918-1919 with Captain A. B. Potter as Chairman. Several appeals for money to finance local, civic and charity projects were referred to this committee. Also, William D. Jones was chairman of the Fraternal Welfare Committee. This committee, accord¬ing to the Directors' meeting of August 18, 1918, had started work on the financing of the Florida Preserving Company and had requested an audit be made of that company. On October 26, 1918 the Committee reported that the club should not undertake the financing of the aforesaid company.

On November 1, 1918, the Board of Directors voted to cooperate in a campaign to raise $50,000.00 for the Children's Home Society of Florida. At the same meeting, President Hardee appointed a committee, composed of Ralph Payne, Myron Howard and Ansel Elliott, to cooperate with the United War Work Campaign Committee.

In January, 1919, William L. Whitehead of the Publix Theater Cor¬poration; Roy A. Benjamin, Architect; and Lance C. McCubbin, Plumbing Supplies, came into the Club and remained in the membership for several years, Whitehead dying in August, 1935.
President George W. Hardee appointed, on January 17, 1919, commit¬tees to serve in organizing work preparatory to erecting a proposed me¬morial to soldiers and sailors who had given their lives in the war. The gen¬eral chairman of these committees was Morgan V. Gress. For the commit¬tee on Design and Site for the memorial were: George W. Clark, Chairman, Harry B. Hoyt, George B. Hills, R. N. Ellis, Jr. and W. H. Mouser. Named to the committee on Names and Records of the soldiers and sailors were: L. W. Josselyn, Chairman, W. Ansel Elliott, W. R. Carter, J. M. Braxton and Telfair Stockton. A committee on Subscriptions and Finance was com¬posed of: A. P. Anthony, Chairman, Marcus C. Fagg, J. Thomas, R. V. Covington and W. H. Riggle.

The Memorial Committee reported to the Board of Directors on March 21, 1919 that the site selected for the war memorial was the present Me¬morial Park on Riverside Avenue. The records do not relate any of the details of the election of Loren H. Green as president for the 1919-1920 year, but the minutes of the Board of Directors on May 16, 1919 indicate that the election had already been held and that he presided over the Board. Apparently he took office immediately upon his election to the presidency. The Board appointed: R. T. Arnold, secretary; Myron L. Howard, treasurer; Ralph L. Payne, sergeant-at-arms. At this meeting, John H. Gay and A. Betts Potter were appointed delegates to the International Rotary Con¬vention to be held in Salt Lake City, later in the year. Morgan V. Gress was appointed alternate delegate to the convention. On May 29, 1919, the Directors of the club authorized the expenditure of one hundred dollars toward a dinner to be given the business men of Jacksonville on June 10, 1919, by the "Committee of Fifteen."

John H. Gay, who had been president of the club in the 1916-1917 year, was elected Governor of the Eighth District of Rotary Interna¬tional, for the 1918-1919 year. This District, which has several times since been divided into districts, comprised Florida, Georgia, Alabama and Cuba. John H. Gay was one of the early governors of the District and the first from the Jacksonville club.
The Gainesville, Florida Rotary Club, organized in August 1918, was sponsored by the Rotary Club of Jacksonville. The delegation that officiated in the organization meeting in Gainesville consisted of: Governor John H. Gay, President George W. Hardee, R. V. Covington, John A. Futch, Fred W. King, Frank O. Miller and Giles L. Wilson.

During 1918-1919 the club lost one member by death. John W. Sackett died in July, 1918.


 

Loren H. Green - 1919-1920

Loren H. Green, the club's seventh president, served in that of¬fice in the July 1, 1919 to June 30, 1920 year. He was born in Cairo, Illinois, in September, 1872. His boyhood days were spent in Ocala, Florida and he attended the Gainesville Military School. He later studied law at the University of Virginia. He moved to Jacksonville and en¬tered the real estate business. His career in this and the fire and cas¬ualty insurance field lasted for forty-five years. His company was the Loren H. Green Company. Loren H. Green died January 26, 1946 at the home of his brother-in-law, Charles J. Williams, in Jacksonville. His funeral was officiated by Dr. Albert A. Holt of the First Presbyterian Church. Williams was also a member of the Ro¬tary Club from March 1913 until his death on January 2, 1956.
The philanthropic work of the club had caused a deficit in its treasury, taking into account several unpaid bills. The Board of Directors met on August 15, 1919, at the Florida National Bank, took note of its list of un¬paid obligations and authorized President Green and Treasurer Howard to borrow three hundred dollars with which to meet these debts. Captain Pot¬ter, reported for the club's Philanthropic Committee, that owing to the finan¬cial assistance already given, the Rotary Club could undertake no more campaigns for the time being. Needless to say, this report was favorably received by the Board.
At the luncheon meeting on September 9, 1919, there were sixty-five members present, with thirty-five reported absent from the city. At this meet¬ing the Club adopted a resolution condemning the lynching of two negroes in Duval County.
Fred W. King died in September, 1919, the only member of the club to die during the 1919-1920 year.
President Loren H. Green and Secretary Robertson T. Arnold attended the District Conference in Macon, Georgia in September 1919.
A notice by the secretary was sent to the members, on October 1, 1919, regarding the increasing of the club dues from twenty dollars per year, not including the price of the luncheons, to seventy-five dollars, to include forty-five luncheons and two ladies night tickets. Favorable action was taken on this change, by the membership on October 14, 1919. The Board of Direc¬tors authorized the renting of an office and the employment of a full time assistant secretary. At the Directors' meeting on December 1, 1919, action was taken to give credit from dues for attendance at another Rotary club.
Miss Sarah Lyon, celebrated Y.M.C.A. worker, was invited to address the club on December 9, 1919. On December 17, 1919, the Board author¬ized the sum of $150.00 for the purchase of shoes for poor children, at Christmas, the money to be turned over to Rotarian Marcus C. Fagg, for the purpose. The Board of Directors, on January 9, 1920, authorized the pay¬ment of a bill of $119.18 for a Rotary-Kiwanis barbecue. At that time, the club had 119 members.
Captain A. B. Potter was appointed by the Directors on September 26, 1919, chairman of the "On to Atlantic City" Committee, for the next Inter¬national Convention. On October 24, 1919, the Board of Directors granted a leave of absence for six months to Roy A. Benjamin, architect, to super¬intend work in Texas.
The February 3, 1920 meeting was designated "Good Roads Day” and Frank O. Miller, Sr. addressed the club on the subject of roads. All dur¬ing this Rotary year, except for special meetings, the club luncheons were held at the Mason Hotel. The Rotary Bulletin, issued each week, carried paid advertisements of: Arnold Printing Company, The Florida National Bank, Gilbreath and Sharkey's Restaurant, Florida Talking Machine Com¬pany (W. M. Dunham and Walter M. Edwards, Rotarians), Greenleaf & Crosby Jewelers, Ellis Crenshaw's Crackers, Standard Clothing Company (Henry L. Covington, Rotarian), Joseph H. Walsh Co. (Tires), F. O. Miller Piano Company, Gonzales and Sanchez Co.'s Havana Cigars (George Hardee, Rotarian), Clifford A. Payne Insurance, Jacksonville Gas Company (Harry Hoyt, Rotarian), The Harkisheimer Co. Groceries (Ernest L. Vodermark, Rotarian), W. D. Jones, Druggist, Maxwell House Coffee (Leon T. Cheek, Rotarian), Republic Theater (William L. Whitehead, Rotarian), John A. Hall, Certified Public Accountant, Harry W. Hebb Supply Co.
Walter P. Corbett, F. O. Miller and Assistant Secretary Harry Whittier attended the newly formed St. Augustine Rotary Club on Wednesday, Jan¬uary 28, 1920. The District Conference was held in Tampa, Florida on March 18 and 19, 1920. A number of Jacksonville Rotarians attended and several went in a party by special Pullman cars, the train leaving Jackson¬ville at 1:00 o'clock P.M. and arriving in Tampa at 7:00 P.M. The dele¬gation took with it Captain Berry and his brass band. Many Rotarians will remember Captain Berry, a bandleader in Jacksonville for many years. According to the accounts in the Rotary Bulletin, the trip was an event to be remembered by the large number of Rotarians who went to the conference.
The club meeting on Tuesday, February 17, 1920 was held with the boys of the Boys' Home at the Old County Armory at Forsyth and Market Streets. The club met with the St. Augustine Rotary Club, in St. Augustine, on April 10, 1920, at 3:00 o'clock P.M. and stayed for a Rotary dinner in the evening. The Jacksonville club held a Ladies' Night Party at the Flor¬ida Country Club, Tuesday evening, May 4, 1920. The Rotarians were re¬quested to wear dark coats, white trousers and white shoes. There were dancing and souvenirs.
Members of the Jacksonville club were invited to attend the organiza¬tional meeting of the Orlando club on May 12, 1920.
Among the new members to come into the club during the 1919-1920 year, were the following:
George H. Baldwin Edward R. Hoyt
H. B. Bailey James L. Irwin
Clement D. Gates J. H. Keen
Waldo E. Cummer Joseph F. Marron
Dr. Paul Davis Ambrose C. Martin
Howard W. Dexter George Z. Phillips
Walter M. Edwards Fulton Saussy
Claude D. Fish Wayne Thomas
Fons A. Hathaway W. E. Williams, Jr.

The only member lost by death during the year was Fred W. King.
The annual election of officers and directors was held on May 11, 1920. Frank C. Groover, affectionately referred to as "Pa" Groover, was elected president. Robertson T. Arnold, who had served for seven years as secre¬tary, was elevated to the vice presidency of the club. At the Directors' meeting on May 14, 1920, William Edwin Arnold (Ted), Bert's brother, was elected secretary, and Myron L. Howard was reelected treasurer. Dr. William E. Ross was made the new sergeant-at-arms.
Elected as directors were: George B. Hill, Walter P. Corbett, John H. McKinnon and Bill Logan. Carryovers on the board were: W. Ansel Elliott, Francis P. Flemming, Morgan Gress, Clifford A. Payne and Joseph H. Walsh. These nine and the officers comprised the board. The club office was located at No. 429A, St. James Building.
The delegates to the International Convention at Atlantic City, N. J., were: F. C. Groover, Dick Lowry and R. T. Arnold. A group of Jackson¬ville Rotarians met the Cuban delegates when they passed through the city on June 16, 1920, en route to the International Convention in Atlantic City. The Jacksonville delegates also met with about twelve delegates to the con¬vention who had come from other Florida clubs, by train to Jacksonville and then by Clyde Line Steamer from Jacksonville to Atlantic City.
On June 24, 1920 the Rotary Club held a picnic at Pablo Beach. The Rotary Bulletin says between 115 and 125 Rotarians and friends attended the picnic and were caught in a downpour of rain. Prizes were awarded for many things and a good time provided by Joseph H. Walsh and his Picnic Committee. On July 13, 1920, Clifford Payne, A. B. Potter and William Whitehead reported to the club on their trip to the Atlantic City Conven¬tion.


 

Frank Clayton Groover - 1920-1921

Frank Clayton Groover, eighth President of the Rotary Club of Jacksonville, was born in Brooks County, Georgia on January 26, 1861. He came to Jacksonville in 1883 and entered the wholesale fruit and produce business. Very soon thereafter he disposed of his interest in that kind of venture and entered the wholesale drug business. He was president of Groover-Stewart Drug Company, probably the largest wholesale drug company in Florida with branches in Tampa, Miami, and Orlando. About 1930, this firm was merged into the McKesson and Robbins chain and became known as McKesson-Groover-Stewart Drug Com¬pany.
Mr. Groover was active in religious and civic affairs. He was president of the Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce from 1915 to 1917; president of the Florida Country Club about 1920; a past president of the National Wholesale Druggists Association. He was a director of the Barnett National Bank. Mr. Groover was active in the organization of the Community Chest in Jacksonville and a past president of the Chest. He was a member of the Board of Deacons of the First Presbyterian Church. He was a Mason and Shriner. Mr. Groover was married on May 23, 1887 to Jessie T. Bernard of Tallahassee, Florida.
He entered the Rotary Club of Jacksonville in April 1912 and resigned June 30, 1929. He died on January 28, 1944.
On July 9, 1920, the Board approved classification changes for William N. Dunham and his associate, Walter M. Edwards, from "Victrolas" to "Talking Machines, Wholesale" and for William E. Arnold from "Printing" to "Talking Machines, Retail."
A letter written to the Board of Directors by the Classifications Com¬mittee, on July 29, 1920, recommended classification changes for certain members and disapproved others. The letter referred to the sixty percent of one's business requirement for a classification and warned against improper classifications under this rule, which it termed "subterfuges." The letter was signed by the three members of the committee: R. T. Arnold, J. H. McKinnon and Myron L. Howard.
On September 17, 1920, President Groover appointed a committee to get up a program for "All Florida Day" at the State Fair in Jacksonville. The committee consisted of: R. T. Arnold, Chairman; B. K. Hanafourde, Joseph H. Walsh, Myron L. Howard, Finley Knight and W. Ansel Elliott.
On October 16, 1920, the Board of Directors' minutes noted: "For the sec¬ond time this year there was trouble in getting a quorum and, on motion by Mr. Hill, seconded by Mr. Payne, it was ordered that in the future any director missing two consecutive meetings of the directors without reason¬able excuse be dropped from the board and that this action be published in the Bulletin."
On September 7, 1920, the club was addressed by Don Senor Francisco de Rodriquez. He was billed as a "Distinguished Spanish Gentleman." He spoke through an interpreter and the Rotary Bulletin says this interpreter was Rotarian George Hardee. Dr. E. Conradi, President of Florida State College for Women, addressed the club on September 14, 1920. A week later, Ernest St. John of the Virginia Chautaugua addressed the club on "Russia and Bolshevism."
Harry W. Whittier, who had served the club as assistant secretary, re¬signed this position on October 1, 1920. R. V. Covington addressed the club on November 16, 1920. His subject was "General Business Conditions."
The club bulletin, on December 20, 1920, announced "A big time next Tuesday at Southside Dance Pavilion." Again on January 3, 1921, the Bul¬letin carried an item, as follows:
"For the past few months little groups of Rotarians have been going across the river to the dancing pavilion and enjoying an evening of dancing on a good floor to very good music. Now it has been suggested that these groups get together and pick out some night in the week that all can go and have this a sort of Rotary night over there."
The All Florida Day at the State Fair was held on November 23, 1920. Rotarians met the trains with their automobiles and took the guests from the depot to Gilreath's restaurant for breakfast. They were then taken to the headquarters at the Windsor Hotel and registered. At 10:30 o'clock A.M., Rotarians met at the Windsor and took visitors for a tour of the city. Rotary luncheon at the Mason Hotel provided entertainment with speeches and vaudeville acts. After the luncheon, a cavalcade of automobiles paraded to the fair grounds where special parking was provided for the cars of Ro¬tarians. After seeing the exhibits at the fair, a barbecue was served to Ro¬tarians and their parties, then another tour of the fair at night. A bill for the day of $1,050.00 covered 300 breakfasts at fifty cents each; 300 lunches at seventy-five cents; barbecue for 400; badges, invitations, etc., and 400 admissions to the Fair at fifty cents each. However, the total expense rose to $1,534.88 as other bills came in.
On January 11, 1921, Mr. B. H. Barnett of the Barnett National Bank, who had just returned from abroad, addressed the club on European con¬ditions and their effect on Jacksonville business.
On January 25, 1921, the officers of the Civitan Club were guests at the Rotary luncheon. The Rotary Bulletin of that week complained that the Rotarians should learn the words to Dixie so that they might sing it; and it carried the words to the chorus of the song. On February 15, 1921 the club was host to the St. Augustine Club, and a large number of St. Augustine Rotarians came to the meeting. On February 22, 1921, the club celebrated Rotary's Sixteenth Birthday. The Past Presidents: George Clark, Harry Hoyt, John Gay, Giles Wilson, George Hardee and Loren Green were in charge of the program.
The meetings of the club were held at the Mason Hotel, but on March 15, 1921 the luncheon was held at the Windsor "before Jack Kavanaugh closes the dining room for the summer." The following week the club re¬turned to The Mason. The District Conference was held in Birmingham, Alabama, in March 1921. Jacksonville Rotarians to attend the conference were: Frank C. Groover, R. T. Arnold, Charles Mann, George Hardee, Eddie Cohen, George Avent and George Phillips. A ladies' night party was held on April 12, 1921 at the Mason Hotel. The Mason Hotel closed its dining room for the summer, and the club's luncheons were held on Tuesdays at one o'clock, as usual, at the following places:
April 26: Chamber of Commerce lunchroom; May 3 to November 23: Seminole Club; November 30: Seminole Hotel; December 6 to 27: Seminole Club.
On May 6, 1921, John S. Arnold, Sr. was appointed the club's delegate to the Rotary International Convention in Edinburg, Scotland. In June 1921, the club had a float in the parade to celebrate the opening of the St. Johns River Bridge.
Ten Kiwanis Club members were guests of the club on June 28, 1921, and were seated at a special table for them. The June 6, 1921 issue of the Rotary Bulletin announced a "New Seating Arrangement" for the next luncheon meeting, with the following classifications:
Titewads
Profiteers
Fat guys
Debonair bachelors
Lean and Hungry
Always late
Marble domes
The old boys
Peanut politicians
Happy tho married
Orators

Among those coming into membership of the club during the 1920-1921 year were the following men: Merle E. Bowlin, George W. Clark, Jr., Walter F. Coachman, Abel A. Coult, Charles W. Dishinger, Kay Dixon, Thomas W. Dunk, Frank D. Fant, Linwood Jeffries, Ernest Landrum, Francis S. Mason, Charles C. McCubbin, Ernest R. Paris, William D. Phipps, Jack F. Schad, T. H. Scoville, Sidney S. Simmons, George W. Thames, Neal F. Tyler, Harvey R. Worthington and Howard P. Wright.
Francis P. Conroy died in August 1920, the only member lost by death during the fiscal year.
At May 31, 1921, the club had one hundred and thirty-nine members, divided into thirteen teams of ten members each and one team of nine mem¬bers. The roster was composed of the following members:
Henry Aird, A. P. Anthony, John S. Arnold, Sr., John S. Arnold, Jr., R. T. Arnold, W. E. Arnold, George Avent, Horace Avery, John D. Baker, H. B. Bailey, George H. Baldwin, J. J. Balfe, R. A. Benjamin, Vernon Borum, M. A. Bowlin, R. L. Boyd, J. M. Braxton, W. E. Carter, C. D. Gates, Frank Cartmel, Joshua C. Chase, Leon T. Cheek, Chas. A. Clark, George W. Clark, George W. Clark, Jr., W. F. Coachman , Eddie Cohen, John Cooke, W. P. Corbett, A. A. Coult, H. L. Covington, R. V. Covington, Ellis Crenshaw, W. E. Cummer. Paul Davis, Howard Dexter, Joseph S. Diver, Kay Dixon, David H. Doig, B. C. Dorsey, Horace Drew, W. N. Dunham, Thomas W. Dunk, William Edwards, W. Ansel Elliott, Marcus C. Fagg, Frank D. Fant, Claude D. Fish, E. P. Flemming, John Futch, John H. Gay, G. Golden, Loren H. Green, Morgan V. Gress, Frank C. Groover, John A. Hall, B. K. Hanafourde, Benj. E. Hardacre, George W. Hardee, E. C. Harrell, Harry Hasson, F. A. Hathaway, Harry Hebb, Fred C. Hedrick, G. C. Henry, George B. Hills, Myron L. Howard, E. R. Hoyt, Harry B. Hoyt, F. Hyde, James L. Irwin, B. N. Jones, William D. Jones, Jack Kavanaugh, J. H. Keen, B. R. Kessler, Finley Knight, E. L. Landrum, W. A. Lloyd, W. C. Logan, Fred W. Long, M. Maher, Chas H. Mann, Joseph F. Marron, Ambrose C. Martin, Francis S. Mason, W. M. Mason, Chas. C. McCubbin, Lance C. McCubbin, J. H. McKinnon, Frank O. Miller, Sr., C. D. Mills, Harry S. Moulton, Will Mouser, J. P. Murphy, Ralph B. Murphy, Claude Nolan, Wm. O'Connell, H. O'Dell, E. Paris, Clifford A. Payne, Ralph Payne, George Phillips, Bill Phipps, A. Betts Potter, David W. Ramsaur, F. S. Robinson, C. Roper, Wm. E. Ross, Paul Saunders, T. Scovill, Jack Shad, Bill Sharkey, S. S. Simmons, Ed S. Spencer, John Stephens, L. Stinson, J. N. C. Stockton, Telfair Stockton, H. Marshall Taylor, J. C. Temple, George W. Thames, B. Thyson, Jeff Thomas, Wayne Thomas, E. H. Tomlinson, Neal F. Tyler, James Stuart, E. L. Vodermark, Joseph H. Walsh, Wm. L. Whitehead, Chas J. Williams, W. E. Williams, Jr., Giles L. Wilson, J. Millar Wilson, Lucius Wooten, M. R. Worsham, H. R. Worthington, J. M. Wright.


 

 

Robertson Tanner Arnold - 1921-1922

Robertson Tanner Arnold was born in Louisville, Ken¬tucky, on July 12, 1881. He came to Florida with his family dur¬ing the same year, first to Orange County where he lived until he was fourteen years old. The family then moved to Gainesville for a short time and in 1901 to Jacksonville. He at¬tended Rollins College and the East Florida Seminary, forerunner of the University of Florida at Gainesville, Florida. He also attended and was graduated from Alabama Polytechnic Institute in 1901.
After living out of the State for a brief period of time, he returned to Jacksonville in 1907. He established the Arnold Printing Company in 1910 and continued in that business until his retirement in 1953. Bert was a director of the Jacksonville Chamber of Com¬merce, a director and vice-president of the Jacksonville Automobile Club and a member of the board of directors of St. Luke's Hospital. He joined the Rotary Club in June, 1912, served seven years as secretary, one year as vice-president of the club; was elected its president for the 1921-1922 year, and was Governor of the Thirty-ninth District of Rotary International in 1927-1928. He was a communicant of the Church of the Good Shepherd, a member of the Florida Yacht Club and the Timuquana Country Club. He died at his home in Jacksonville on May 28, 1957.
Bert was married in 1907 to Miss Mary Leysath of South Carolina. Their children are John Robertson Arnold, a member of the Club; and Caro¬line Arnold, who is now Mrs. Gerald Warthen of Augusta, Georgia.
The annual election of officers and directors was held on Tuesday, May 10, 1921. Robertson T. Arnold, who had been the secretary for seven years and vice-president for the 1920-1921 year, was elected president. He became the ninth president of Jacksonville Rotary and probably shared with George W. Clark in responsibility for the club's success in its early years. In doing the detail work of the club's operation, in attending conferences and conven¬tions, in writing for and printing the Rotary Bulletin, Bert was the man be¬hind the scenes. He was associated in Rotary, during the earlier years, with older men who had made their mark in the business and professional life of the community and, but for his age and modesty, he very likely could have been elected to the presidency of the club a few years earlier. He was thirty years old when elected president of the club and the youngest man to hold the office up to the year of his election, and appears to have been the young¬est of the forty-nine presidents of the club at their respective years of office. Probably he worked harder and gave more of his time over a period of sev¬eral years than did any man in the club.
Directors elected for the 1921-1922 year were: Bill Sharkey, Frank Cartmel, Vernon Borum, Milton Worsham, Waldo Cummer and Jeff Thomas. Held over directors were: George B. Hills, John McKinnon and Bill Logan. Walter P. Corbett was elected vice-president; W. E. Arnold, secretary; My¬ron L. Howard, treasurer; and David Ramsaur, sergeant-at-arms.
It is interesting to note the meeting places of the club during Bert Ar¬nold's tenure of office as president. During July, August and September, 1921, the regular meeting place was the Seminole Club. However, on August 23, there was a beach party at Atlantic Beach, attended by sixty-three Rotarians and seventy-seven ladies; and Tuesday, September 14, the luncheon was held at the Donax Shell Tea Room at Atlantic Beach. The October, November and December meetings were at the Seminole Club, except that on November 2, there was a joint meeting with Kiwanis and Civitan at the Ma¬son Hotel and on November 29, the meeting was at the Seminole Hotel. Then, apparently, the meeting place was changed from the Seminole Club to the Seminole Hotel where all of the meetings for January, February and March, 1922 were held except that, on Tuesday, March 14, the club returned to the Seminole Club and, on March 21 a special musical program was held at the Mason Hotel. The April and May meetings were at the Seminole Club, except that the last meeting in May was at the Mason Hotel and the time changed from Tuesday at 1:00 o'clock to Monday at 7:30 o'clock in order to entertain delegates to the Los Angeles International Convention, who would be passing through Jacksonville.
The meetings in June 1922 were held on Peck's Floating Pavilion. The Rotary Bulletin of June 6, 1922 announced: “The Meeting for Tuesday, June 6th, will be held on Peck's Floating Pavilion and they have promised us great things. The boat leaves the foot of Laura Street promptly at 12:45 p.m. and every five minutes thereafter for the floating pavilion, so please be on hand promptly so as to avoid the rush. Luncheon will start promptly at 1 o'clock.”
"Directors' meeting immediately after the luncheon. Stay on the boat. Important but short."
The meeting continued at Peck's Pavilion all during July and August and into the month of September 1922.
At the meeting of July 26, 1921, reasons for the proposed Community Chest in Jacksonville were discussed. Milton Worsham was the chairman of the Rotary's Community Chest committee. Also, at this meeting a quintet of Rotarians entertained with some vocal selections. These vocalists were: Harry Hasson, John A. Hall, Howard P. Wright and Lucius Wooten.
On August 2, 1921, the Rotary Club of Jacksonville adopted a resolu¬tion approving the organization of the Community Chest in Jacksonville. On August 9, 1921, John S. Arnold, Sr. made a report to the club on his at¬tendance as a delegate to the Rotary International Convention at Edinburgh, Scotland.
The Rotary party at Atlantic Beach on August 23, 1921 featured a baseball game between a Rotary and a Kiwanis team. Harry Moulton was captain of the Rotary Team. Although Kiwanis won the game, Dr. Bill Ross' home run was the high point of the game. The account given of a 100-yard foot race says the first 25 yards showed great speed. Afterwards, it was a case of who could go the whole route. A. P. Anthony won the race. A greasy pig-catching contest was won by Neal F. Tyler with George B. Hills a close second.
In the November 15, 1921 issue of the Rotary Bulletin, George W. Clark, the club's first president, suggested that the Board of Directors— "call a halt on taking in more members until we assimilate those we have. Let us not enter into undue competition with other clubs for numerical strength." He then expressed the hope that every member of the club would read an article in the November Rotarian entitled "The Lure of the Luncheon Hour."
Also, in November, the Bulletin had to say: "Miss Virginia Hall, daugh¬ter of President Hall of the Indianapolis Club, has been in Jacksonville as one of the 'Post Card Girls' this week and several of the unattached, attrac¬tive, debonair and otherwise delightful, youthful Rotary bachelors have been right in behind her most of the time." The article goes on to tell of the enter¬tainment provided for Miss Hall by the Club and its officers; including a dinner dance at the country club. A number of Rotarians and others were in on this entertainment of the pretty visitor. Arthur Milam and Stockton Broome "piloted a Paul Jones" at the dance. On Thursday, Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Walsh took Miss Hall to Mandarin to pick oranges. Mrs. Alfred Ulmer gave a tea for Miss Hall. George Clark, Jr. was her escort at a dance at the Seminole Club. Mr. and Mrs. John A. Hall took her to the Fair and went along as chaperones when Joe Diver and Bob Pentland took her to Gerbing's Oyster Farm at Fernandina.
The Duval High School football team were guests at the Rotary lunch¬eon of December 20, 1921. On December 6, 1921, the directors approved a bill of $10.00 from Bo-Kay Perfume Company. No explanation is made of the club's purchase.
Marcus C. Fagg was appointed chairman of the Ladies Night Commit¬tee in January 1922 and, on February 7, the Board of Directors set Febru¬ary 22 for the affair, allowing $750.00 for the entertainment. After making the arrangements, Marcus could not be present because of the death of his mother, and Finley Knight assumed the chairmanship. The party was a bril¬liant affair and included many forms of entertainment.
The District Assembly was held in Savannah, Georgia on February 23, 1922. President R. T. Arnold and eighteen other Jacksonville Rotarians were booked to go via Pullman. R. T. and nine others were accompanied by their Rotary Anns.
Through the courtesy of Rotarian Frank O. Miller, the club was privi¬leged to hear Daisy Jean, noted Belgian cellist, and Souvainne, celebrated American Pianist, on March 21, 1922. The announcement said:
"Souvainne will perform on the Chickering and it is--through the aid of the Chickering Piano Company that Frank Miller is enabled to give us this treat, which is costing him over $1,000.00."
The International Convention was held in Los Angeles, California, in June 1922. R. T. Arnold, the outgoing president, and Lance McCubbin, the incoming secretary, attended the convention as delegates of the Jacksonville club.
During the year ended June 30, 1922, the club received new members, including:
N. L. Bedford Robert Pentland, Jr.
McGarvey Cline Dr. Shaler A. Richardson
David G. Coit Dr. J. Knox Simpson
Montgomery Course A. V. Snell
Albert McKay Jewell S. Taylor
W. W. Zachry

Lost by death were: John P. Murphy, John N. P. Stockton and The Rev. Milton R. Worsham.
There were a number of resignations and losses by reason of non-attendance, so that the year ended with a membership of one hundred and thirty-seven, a net loss of two members.
The annual election was held on Tuesday, April 11, 1922. Walter P. Corbett was elected president and Frank O. Miller, vice-president. Lance McCubbin continued as secretary, Myron L. Howard as treasurer, and Paul R. Davis as sergeant-at-arms. Directors elected were: Horace C. Avery, George H. Baldwin, Joshua C. Chase, and George Z. Phillips. Hold-over di¬rectors were: Vernon Borum, Frank Cartmel, Waldo E. Cummer, William L. Sharkey and Jefferson Thomas.


 

Walter P. Corbett - 1922-1923

Walter P. Corbett, Presi¬dent of the Rotary Club of Jacksonville in the 1922-1923 year, was born in Dublin, Geor¬gia in 1886. He moved to Jackson¬ville in 1903 and served as State Manager of the Prudential Insurance Company until his retirement in 1926. He was a veteran of the Span¬ish-American War and World War I. After retirement he moved to Frostproof, Florida. He also had a home at LaGrange, Georgia where he died on May 29, 1946. Mr. Corbett became a member of the Rotary Club of Jacksonville in June 1912, only four months after the club was organized. He served as a director of the club during the two years 1913-1914 and 1914-1915 and again in the year 1920-1921. He was elected vice-president for 1921-1922 and president for the 1922-1923 year. He was elected to Honorary membership in 1927.
On July 1, 1922, Florida, which had theretofore been a part of the Eighth District of Rotary, became parts of the Twenty-sixth and Thirty-ninth Districts. The Twenty-sixth District took in the State of Alabama, Pensacola, Florida and four towns in Georgia. All of Florida and Georgia, ex¬cept those towns and cities described, became the Thirty-ninth District.
On July 6, about twenty Jacksonville Rotarians motored to St. Augus¬tine where the baseball teams of the two Rotary Clubs engaged in five inn¬ings of baseball. The account of the game, carried in Rotary Bulletin, said that "Unfortunately the game had to be called after the end of the fifth inn¬ing on account of 'Weakness' with the Jacksonville club on the long end—" "The score keeper was unable to keep a correct record of the runs made by each side, but announced at the end that he had marked up Jacksonville 17 runs and St. Augustine 7 runs." A return match of these two teams was played on Thursday, August 10th at the Southside Park. The admission of fifty cents added up to a nice sum, which was contributed to the Boy Scouts. The Jacksonville Rotary teams consisted of the following players:
Earl P. Luce, catcher
Neal F. Tyler, pitcher
Lucius B. Wooten, first base
Eddie Cohen, second base
Walter Edwards, third base
Ted Arnold, short stop
Shorty (H. R.) Worthington, center field
Harry S. Moulton, right field
George B. Hills, left field
The Jacksonville Rotary team won the game with the St. Augustine club but played a Kiwanis Club team a week later and lost the game.
On the agenda of the Directors' meeting of July 25, 1922 was a letter from a prominent business man and member of the club, that he be given credit for a meeting he had missed because of being tied up with an inspector from the Internal Revenue Department. Action on this request was unfavor¬able and the secretary was instructed to advise the member that the Board was without authority to grant the request.
The Board of Directors, on July 25, 1922, approved the placing in the club's budget the sum of $250.00 for a scholarship to the University of Flor¬ida. This action was taken upon a motion by Fons A. Hathaway, Superin¬tendent of Public Instruction in Duval County. A committee was appointed to consider the qualifications of a worthy student and to set up rules for awarding the scholarship.
The meeting for August 15, 1922 was cancelled and the members jour¬neyed to Camp Johnson where they were entertained by General Lovell and the other Rotarian officers in the camp. There they witnessed a parade at 5:00 o'clock, P.M. and "chow" was served at six o'clock.
On August 28 (Monday), the officers and directors of the club jour¬neyed over to St. Augustine and, at the invitation of the St. Augustine Ro¬tary Club, took charge of their meeting. Bert (R. T.) Arnold presided and talks were made by Bill Sharkey and Paul Davis. At the luncheon at Peck's Pavilion, September 26th, questionnaires were furnished the members, to de¬termine their preferences as to the meeting places used by the club. The re¬sult was overwhelmingly for the Mason Hotel. So the September 26 Bulletin carried the headline: "Back to the Mason."
The District Conference of the new Thirty-ninth District was held at Thomasville, Georgia on September 21, 1922. President Corbett and Secre¬tary Lance McCubbin of the Jacksonville club attended the conference.
The Board of Directors met in the lobby of the Mason Hotel, on Sep¬tember 26, 1922 and, as a part of the agenda, appointed a committee of John H. Gay, Harry B. Hoyt and Joseph S. Diver to make a classification survey and to re-classify the existing classifications. Also, a committee was appoint¬ed to be known as the "Good Roads" committee. This committee of three would meet with similar committees of three from each of the other service clubs. Appointments to the Good Roads Committee were: R. V. Covington, chair¬man, John D. Baker and Telfair Stockton.
November 14, 1922, designated as "All-Florida Day," was celebrated at the Tampa Rotary Club. Jacksonville Rotarians were urged to attend. A letter received from the Tampa Club advised that: "Members of the Jack¬sonville Rotary Club will be greeted, upon their arrival in Tampa on Tues¬day, November 14th, with a new version of the old song, 'Mother of Mine' for which rehearsals by a special chorus of the Tampa Club are now in progress." November 20, 1922 was set aside by the State Fair Association as Rotary Day at the fair.
Despite the great desire on the part of the club members to get back to the Mason Hotel for the weekly luncheons, after eight meetings there, be¬ginning on September 26, the meetings, beginning on December 5, 1922 to January 2, 1923, were held at the Seminole Hotel and the meetings on Janu¬ary 9, 16 and 23 were at the Windsor Hotel. On January 30, the club re¬turned to the Mason Hotel where it continued until the end of the fiscal year and thereafter until the end of August 1923.
New member, Victor Covington, was introduced to the club on Decem¬ber 12, 1922. His classification was Hosiery Broker. Our 1961 edition of the club's roster shows that Victor's classification was Mortgage Loans before it was changed to Senior Active and that he re-entered the club in April, 1928. But, please do not be misled by the facts. Victor may have been out of the club prior to April 1928; but he was there in July 1923 when he was right fielder on Ted Arnold's Rotary Club baseball team. Incidentally, Ted had moved up from his previous year's position as shortstop to Manager of the team. We find another new member, Walter Shelly, as the team's new pitcher. We may as well give the names of the whole new team in 1923: Earl Luce, catcher; George Hills, center field; Victor Covington, right field; Walter Shelly, pitcher; Ralph Paris, short stop; George Avent, first base; Harry Moulton, left field; Walter Edwards, second base; Neal Tyler, third base; Lance McCubbin, utility. Neal Tyler wrote to the players urging them to put in their spare time in practice and "limbering up." He stated to them that: "We have finally decided that we will put a baseball team in the field and intend to play games immediately with the St. Augustine Rotarians, Jacksonville Kiwanis and Civitan Clubs."
The December 12, 1922 meeting was devoted to a memorial program in honor of "Those Good Rotarians who have departed this life." The Bulletin announcement said further that: "There will be several beautiful songs by Mrs. Watson and a short talk by Father Maher." The last meeting in De¬cember, 1922 was given over to vocational talks: Bill Dishinger on photog¬raphy; Dave Ramsaur on wholesale drugs; and Claude Roper on clay prod¬ucts. The reason given for moving back to the Mason Hotel on January 30, 1923, was the bad accoustics at the Japanese Room in the Windsor Hotel. That was before the days of electronic aid of microphones and loud speakers.
The ladies night party was held on Tuesday, February 13, 1923. No midday meeting was held on that day. The February 20th meeting was moved ahead to the 22nd and a Washington's Birthday party was held at Finley Knight's country estate "Robin Wood" at Mandarin. The District Conference was held at St. Petersburg on March 23 and 24, 1923. George Hardee was the Conference committee chairman. S. Kendrick Guernsey was elected District Governor at the conference. The Board of Directors, on March 13, 1923, appointed Parson Charles A. Ashby, as Rotary's repre¬sentative on the Better Films Committee, to succeed Marcus Fagg in that capacity.
On March 27, 1923, the Board of Directors resolved to accept an invita¬tion from the Chamber of Commerce, to put a float in the April Follies pa¬rade. Fifty dollars was allowed for his expense and George Phillips, Horace Avery, and Myron Howard were appointed a committee to make the arrange¬ments for the float.
The club was not without its differences of opinion in those good old days for we find, on March 13, 1923, the entire membership committee re¬signed because the Board of Directors had "assumed undue authority in electing a member without the final approval of the committee." The Board appointed a committee of three of its members to meet with the Membership Committee and, on April 3rd, the resignation was withdrawn.
The annual election, held at the meeting of April 10, 1923, chose Frank O. Miller, as president; Waldo E. Cummer, vice-president; and the following directors: W. E. Arnold, Nat Bedford, Marcus Fagg, Dr. Knox Simpson and Neal F. Tyler. Hold-over directors were: Horace C. Avery, George H. Bald¬win, Joshua Chase and George Phillips. Frank O. Miller was not present at the election and was notified by telegram; to which he replied from Talla¬hassee: "Please express my sincere appreciation; my greatest effort in life will be to serve you well." The Board of Directors re-elected Lance McCubbin, secretary; Myron Howard, treasurer; and Paul Davis, sergeant-at-arms. The club voted on May 8, 1923, after due notification, to amend the constitution to abolish the office of vice-president. The secretary reported that there were one hundred and forty members on May 1, 1923.
On June 5th, Rotarian Bill Sharkey appeared before the Board of Directors and presented a letter from Harry S. Baldwin, past president of the National Restaurant Association, asking for support of the club's delegates to the Inter¬national Rotary Convention in the candidacy of Guy Gundaker, Restaurateur of Philadelphia, Pa. for the office of President of Rotary International. At this meeting, the Board elected delegates to the International Convention of Rotary in St. Louis, Missouri, on June 18 to 22, 1923. These delegates were: Secre¬tary Lance McCubbin, Ted Arnold and Joseph F. Marron. On May 22, 1923, John A. Hall was elected a director, to fill a vacancy on the Board.
New members in the 1922-1923 year included the following men:
Charles A. Ashby, Protestant Churches
Harry H. Buckman, Chemical Engineering
Victor M. Covington, Hosiery Broker
Samuel McL. Estes, Soft Drinks Bottling
John P. Ingle, Street Railways
Charles J. Jackson, Y.M.C.A. Secretary
Earl P. Luce, Civil Engineering
French Nestor, Wholesale Talking Machines
Walter D. Shelley, Real Estate Agency
Edwin S. Wadsworth, Advertising Agency, Associate of Jefferson Thomas
Roy A. Ziegler, Artificial Gas

Only one member, Charles D. Mills, was lost by death during the fiscal year.