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Brief histories of the "First 100" Clubs

Rotary Club of Los Angeles 5

Rotary International District 5280

CLUB NO. 5*

ESTABLISHED JUNE 1909

Charter Dated 25 June 1909

The Rotary Club of Los Angeles is the fifth oldest of over 32,000 Rotary Clubs in the world, and, with nearly six hundred members, we are one of the largest. Founded in 1909, LA5 (as we are called) meets every Friday at 12 noon in the Wilshire Grand Hotel in Downtown Los Angeles at the corner of Wilshire Blvd. and Figueroa Street.

In 1922 Los Angeles hosted the 13th convention of the "International Association of Rotary Clubs" and at that convention the name was shortened to "Rotary International." Rotary International's 99th convention was also held in Los Angeles in 2008.

The story of LA5 from the San Francisco Rotarian who help start it all, Homer Wood

Most of the early files and records of the Los Angeles Rotary Club have never been found. However, some of the early rosters and directories, as they were sometimes called, give the organization date as June 25th, 1909.

Jerry Muma's letter to the Rotary Club of Chicago, dated October, 1910, states that thirty-one (31) men attended the organization meeting and thirty (30) of the thirty-one (31) became charter members of the Club. No information has as yet been found that would tell who these (30) men were.

The historical files of the club contain a roster marked No. 4, carrying no date, and not listing any of the officers. It contains a list of 103 members. This roster appears to have been printed about July or August, 1909. There is also a roster marked No. 5, carrying no date and no list of officers. It lists 142 in the membership. It is estimated that this roster was printed in September, 1909.

Both of the above rosters were printed by the Curran Printing Company at 211 New High Street, which, according to some of the earlier members, was succeeded by the House of Ralston. The Los Angeles Improvement Association News in an issue of October, 1909, lists 140 names as the roster of the club at that time. This list is headed by Honorable George Alexander, Mayor, and contains other names of many other men who were prominent at that time including L. H. Schwaebe, former Collector of Customs for Los Angeles Harbor, and Frank Wiggins, former Secretary-Manager of the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce.

This list, which also includes some of the members who are still in our Club, has been placed in the historical file in the club office.
 

The files of Rotary International at Chicago reveal the following officers and directors for 1909:

PRESIDENT - IRWIN J. MUMA
VICE-PRESIDENT - R. P. PROBASCO
SECRETARY - H. C. QUICK
DIRECTORS:
IRWIN J. MUMA
H. C. QUICK
WILL D. STEPHENS
DICK FERRIS
E. GERSON
DEXTER SAMASON
H. J. BRAINERD

Doug Rudman

*A final twist is Paul Harris' own version of the order of the clubs organization from "This Rotarian Age," page 77 in which he writes that Oakland was number 3 and Los Angeles was number 4. That information is linked here.

Also see: The National Rotary Club of Los Angeles

See the delegates to the first convention of Rotary in 1910, in Chicago when the National Association of Rotary Clubs was formed. Los Angeles was a forming club and was there.

See our delegation at Rotary's 2nd convention in Portland, Oregon, USA in 1911. A rare, early Rotary Global History photo.

"Golden State" First 100 Clubs  

San Francisco 2 

Oakland 3   

LA5 

San Diego 33

Stockton 92

Sacramento 97

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