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Paul Harris Checks
Check to Paul Harris' sister Nina May (Harris) Abbott Back of the same check The Nina Abbott Check has been mounted in a display for presentations at conferences and speeches The back of the display shows the reverse of the check.

Check found in a first edition copy of "My Road to Rotary" by Paul P. Harris and made out to Nina M. Abbott. Courtesy DG Danny Brock 2000-01, D5420 (Utah)

Nina Abbott's endorsement. She remained with her mother when Paul and Cecil were taken to live with Paul's grand parents

The Wallingford Rotary Club has a copy of "My Road to Rotary," which was given to them by Jean Harris. Inside this book is a check from Paul Harris in the amount of $4.25, issued almost 2 years later, than the check above, on August 7th, 1943 from the same bank.
This book was found in Indiana, PA (near Pittsburgh). It was in a collection of things my father found. He was a collector and had an interest in vintage items and would search flea markets and yard sales looking for items of interest or value. I don't know where he found the book, but somewhere in Pennsylvania. It was found in the 1948 book "My Road to Rotary: The Story of A Boy, A Vermont Community and Rotary - Autobiography of Paul P Harris, Founder of Rotary. It was published and copyright by A. Kroch and Son, Chicago. It has a yellow and blue dust jacket. (provided by Cheryl Klinginsmith)


Some speculation has been made by our researchers that these cancelled checks might have been used for book marks!

The check is made to "Kroch Book Store" (see below)

A. Kroch and Sons (see reference in first edition website) was the publisher of the book

Courtesy of Matts Ingemanson & Rotary Club of Wallingford

It should be fair to conclude that a signature on a check would be a reliable one. Especially when written to one's own sister. Nina May Harris remained with her mother and father, in Racine, Wisconsin, USA, after Paul and and his older brother Cecil were taken to live with Paul's fraternal grand parents. There are only two references in Paul's three books to his sister. One, in "The Founder of Rotary" in July of 1871 and the other in "My Road to Rotary" when he next encounters his mother on a street in Wallingford, Vermont, USA.

The rest of the signatures on this page are, in the opinion of Rotary First 100, reliable. Experts will, hopefully come to the front on this issue. It is of significance only in the fact that there are those who would "sell" Harris' signed work to an unsuspecting, but eager Rotarian not knowing of the authenticity of that signature.   John M. "Jack" Selway

A Kroch and Co was a firm of booksellers in Chicago whose history begins almost at the same time as Rotary.  They had 3 shops in the city and would doubtless have been well known to PH.  Adolph (A) was the father of Carl who helped fund a major library for Cornell.  Some of the family may well have been Rotarians in Chicago.  The company later ran Kroch and Brentano, booksellers.  Could 4.25 have been the price of 'My Road to Rotary'?  Basil Lewis (The first edition showed a "retail price" of $5.00, but Paul may have received a discount or may have purchase another item from his friend. js)  (also see Carl Kroch's 1999 obituary)

Nina M Abbott was PH's sister and when the family split up in 1871, Nina went with her mother to Racine while the boys went with father to Vermont. Nina later returned to live in Fairhaven not far from Wallingford and met Paul on several occasions. However, when her parents moved to Denver at the end of the 19th century, Nina went there and married one Lucien Abbott. Basil Lewis

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