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Brief histories of the "other 100th clubs" Clubs
Rotary Club of South Bend #105
Rotary International District 6540
A LOOK AT THE PAST
ROTARY CLUB OF SOUTH BEND
January, 1914, fourteen local businessmen met to adopt the
Constitution and By-Laws for the 4th Rotary Club organized in
Indiana. The Charter Members were: Samuel Adler, Harry Badget,
George Bertner, Edgar T. Bonds, Sherman Chard, Harry Engman, Jr.,
Horace Greene, Charles Herr, Otto Knoblock, Harry Lundy, Solon
Rider, George Robertson, William Sibley and Rome Stephenson. Mr.
Charles Herr was elected President, and he appointed two
committees: Membership and Entertainment. The initial dues
assessment was set at $11.00. The members chose to meet every two
weeks on Tuesday at the Oliver Hotel located on the corner of
Washington and Main Streets in "Downtown" South Bend.
On March 3 a special evening meeting was held to welcome the R.I. President, who officially acknowledged the Rotary Club of South Bend as the 105th club elected to membership in the International Association.
An April planning meeting took place to discuss Club goals and activities. The Board resolved to pledge primarily to the establishment of recreation centers in South Bend and to give active assistance to Federated Charities (now United Way). Our Club's support of the city's desire to purchase a tract of land on its southwest side took on added significance when Rum Village Park was opened in 1916. By September, plans were being discussed to form a state association with the Indianapolis, Terre Haute and Evansville clubs and we had been assigned the 1916 District Conference which included clubs from Kentucky and Illinois. Our first year of operation ended with the addition of Studebaker Corporation partner, George M. Studebaker, bringing total membership to 56.
In April, 1915, we hosted a conference of Rotary dignitaries who discussed the future course of Rotary International and drafted the first objectives of Rotary. At that time the motto was "He Profits Most Who Serves Best."
Meetings continued at the Oliver Hotel until 1967 when we moved to the Indiana Club located at 224 West Jefferson Blvd. The last move was November, 1977, after members had contributed $25,000 to the building of Century Center through a voluntary dues assessment. The following year South Bend Rotary hosted the District 6540 Conference in the new building and the Frank C. Rogers Community Service Award was instituted. By then the Club had contributed in excess of $200,000 to local civic projects, assisted in the formation of the Roseland and South Bend South Clubs and Rotary International was reporting the existence of 18,340 clubs.
South Bend Rotary Club
There were fourteen charter members: Charles C. Herr (President 1913-1915), Otto M. Knoblock (President 1915-1916), Rome C. Stephenson, Edgar T. Bonds, Harry L. Lundy, Sherman G. Chard, Samuel M. Adler, George A. Robertson, William C. Sibley, Horace L. Greene, Solon D. Rider, Harry A. Engman, Jr.,
Harry S. Badget and George B. Beitner.
The first president of our Club was Charles C. Herr. He was born in 1867 in Goshen, IN and came to South Bend in 1902 and purchased a book and stationery store from the South Bend Tribune located at 111 W. Washington Street. He died in 1955 at the age of 88.
One of the Charter Members was Edgar T. Bonds who was the local manager
of Indiana Bell. At the time the Club was being organized in 1913, Bonds volunteered to serve as a secretary and ultimately served continuously in that capacity for the next 37 years! He also was the father of the present system of dividing the nation into districts with each district entitled to an international director.
Another successful merchant comprising the elite group of fourteen was
George A. Robertson, Sr. who founded the Robertson Brothers Department Store in 1904. Robertson’s was a landmark in downtown South Bend for many generations. The old store was renovated and reopened as a high rise apartment building just off the intersection of Jefferson Blvd. and Michigan Street. Mr. Robertson died in October, 1931.
George B. Beitner was a successful city merchant who had a strong vocation as a musician. When South Bend celebrated its 100th anniversary in 1916, Beitner organized a 130-man band that paraded the downtown playing Louis Elbel’s “Victor’s March” which he had written for the University of Michigan as its fight song.
Harry Engman came to South Bend as Vice President of the Malleable Steel Range Co. He later founded the Engman-Matthews Range Co. Later in his career he presented the Natatorium Building to the City of South Bend.
|Provided by the Rotary Club of South Bend and posted on 17 August 2010 by Jack Selway|