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Brief histories of the "First 100" Clubs

Rotary Club of Jacksonville 41 - 1912

Rotary International District 6970

 

Also see The Early History of Jacksonville 41

Paul Harris, Rotary's founder, moved to Jacksonville in 1892 and took a job in the marble and granite business with George W. Clark, a prominent local businessman. Harris returned north after one year, continued his education, and started Rotary 13 years later.

Clark must have made quite an impression on young Harris as he gained honorary membership in the young Chicago Rotary club for George Clark.

Seven years after the founding of Harris' Chicago club, a delegation was dispatched to organize a Jacksonville club. The Chicago club had been organizing clubs for just two years* at this point and were beginning to reach across the country. The only other Southern club up to 1912 was New Orleans

There are now 310 Rotary clubs in Florida who can trace their roots to Jacksonville, George Clark and his friend, Paul P. Harris.

*History records that a San Francisco businessman, Homer Wood, who formed San Francisco in 1908, created three other West Coast clubs in 1909 before the Chicago club created its first "sponsored" club in Minneapolis and then St. Paul, in 1910. By 1 May 1912, when Jacksonville was chartered by the National Association of Rotary Clubs they became the 41st club. By convention time that year there were fifty clubs including one in Canada and the United Kingdom. See our cities main page for more dates and data.

This history was provided by Rotary Club of Jacksonville and edited by Jack Selway.

Kendrick Guernsey, president of Rotary International in 1947

President Guernsey's Convention was in 1948

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