Columbus, GA, USA
Service Above Self!
- 1 The Early Years
- 2 Societal Contributions—Avenues of Service
- 3 Presidents
- 4 Meetings and Information
- 5 District
- 6 Club Virtual Presence
- 7 Categories And Links
The Early Years
The Rotary Club of Columbus was organized by fourteen men who met at 1:00 p.m. on Monday, November 15, 1915 at the Ralston Hotel. By classification they were a minister, a baker, an undertaker, an attorney, a hotel manager, an office supplies dealer, an osteopath, a railroad manager, a soft drink manufacturer, a coal dealer, a grocer, a merchandise broker, and two insurance brokers. The group received a charter on February 1, 1916 as Club 200 of Rotary International. Charter members in addition to the founders were a telephone manager, a telegraph manager, a theater owner, and a seed dealer. (per Michael Herndon)
For the 100th year anniversary of the club, Columbus is the 34th largest club in the world. It has almost 350 members.
Charter Members 1915
G.C. Shackleford, Retail Druggist; J.B. Everidge, Baker; L.C. Wells, Industrial Insurance; W.W. McKenzie, Life Insurance; C.P. Bush, Hardware; C.L. Torbett, Undertaker; R.J. Crane, Retail Grocer; Howell Hollis, Attorney; C.A. Johnson, Hotel. P.R. Puckett, Office Supplies; J.C. Smith, Seedman; L.R. Christie, Minister; C.E. Lorenz, Osteopath; J.F. Pou, Coal Dealer; Dan Joseph, Broker; C.A. Sears, Soft Drink Manufacturer; James Johnson, Theater; Hans Mozwn, Telephone; Thomas W. Peters, Light & Power; L.L. Dozier, Telegraph.
- L.R. Christie -- President
- C.A. Johnson -- 1st VP
- Hans Mozen -- 2nd VP
- Thomas W. Peters -- Secretary
- L.C. Wells -- Treasurer
- P.R. Puckett -- Sgt. At Arms
- Founding Board of Directors -- J.R. Everidge, C.A. Sears, Howell Hollis, J.F. Pou, J.C. Smith, C.E. Lorenz, W.W. McKenzie, R.J. Crane, and Dan Joseph.
How We Got Here
Clubs formation in Georgia- Rotary Club of Atlanta - 1913; Rotary Club of Augusta - 1914; Rotary Club of Savannah - 1914; Rotary Club of Columbus - 1915
Between March 15 and the end of 1916 the Club inducted 27 new members, a first-year increase of 150%. One of those inducted on March 15, 1916 was James B. Key, who served as president of the club in 1920. Later presidents included son Jack B. in 1935, grandsons James W. "Billy" in 1965 and Jack B. Jr. in 1976, and great-grandson Jack III in 1997, five presidents in four generations of the Key family.
The vision and enthusiasm of those first members attracted others like them, and The Rotary Club of Columbus was soon composed of the area's business and professional leaders. Our 2007 membership ranges between 335 and 340, and includes descendants of eleven of those members of 1916. An early accomplishment of those early Rotarians was to bring the annual Georgia-Auburn football game to Columbus, where it was played from 1916 through 1958. Since 1949 our club has played a key role in the establishment and growth of Columbus College, now Columbus State University.
Our club's close relationship with Fort Benning began in 1917, when a committee of Columbus Rotarians was instrumental in the establishment of a U.S. Army camp here. The installation was named "Camp Benning" in response to a 1918 Rotary Club resolution recommending the name. Benning's commanding officer has been a member of our club since 1919, since joined by the Chief of Staff, the Chief of Chaplains, the Public Information Officer, the Chief of Protocol, and the Commandant of the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation. George C. Marshall was an active member of our club from 1927 to 1932, while he was Assistant Commandant of the Infantry School. We are fortunate to have a number of retired military members, including six general officers.
We take particular pride in our 94% attendance, the best of all clubs of our size in Rotary International, for which there are three primary reasons: fellowship and the pleasure we take in each others company, interesting programs, and Executive Secretary Mary Reed. Our speakers through the years include General George Patton, Coaches Bobby Dodd and Terry Bowden, Dr. Norman Vincent Peale, Dean Rusk, Dale Murphy, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, General Alexander Haig, and numerous other luminaries. A particular honor for us was the attendance of Rotary founder Paul Harris at a club meeting.
Our club supports the Objects of Rotary through a number of local efforts and projects in Central and South America and Eastern Europe. Our president has represented us at every R.I. Convention since 1916. We have sponsored four new clubs: Fitzgerald in 1937, Warm Springs in 1947, East Columbus in 1965, and Muscogee in 1991. Five of our members have served as District Governor. The club has produced 475 Paul Harris Fellows and 81 Will Watt Fellows, and a number of current members are sustainers in both programs. There are 7 Major Donors and 10 Paul Harris Society Members. We have sponsored a foreign student under Will Watt's Georgia Rotary Student Program for the past 56 years.
The Rotary Club of Columbus has a long history of service, and we look forward to carrying our heritage and traditions into the future.
Last updated: July 14, 2008.
Societal Contributions—Avenues of Service
- 1917 - Camp Benning established, name recommended by Columbus Rotary Club
- 1937 - Columbus Rotary sponsors Fitzgerald Rotary Club
- 1947 - Columbus Rotary sponsors Warm Springs Rotary Club
- 1965 - Columbus Rotary sponsors East Columbus Rotary Club
- 1991 - Columbus Rotary sponsors Muscogee Rotary Club
- Clubs sponsored
- Rotaract Club
- Rotaract Club
- Interact Club
- Dictionary Project
|1915-1916 L. R. Christie||1916-1917 C. A. Johnson||1917-1918 Dan Joseph||1918-1919 J. Homer Dimon||1919-1920 G. Gunby Jordan|
|1920-1921 James B. Key||1921-1922 Harry L Williams||1922-1923 A. Howard Bickerstaff||1923-1924 Charles M Woolfolk||1924-1925 Paul K McKenny|
|1925-1926 Laurens H Crowell||1926-1927 George B Philips||1927-1928 Abe Illges||1928-1929 Josiah Flournoy||1929-1930 James H McDuffie|
|1930-1931 Milo B Clason||1931-1932 H Dixon Smith||1932-1933 Frank H Naylor||1933-1934 Pierce Harris||1934-1935 Charles W Weeks|
|1935-1936 Jack B Key||1936-1937 Knowles D White||1937-1938 Carl C Colbert||1938-1939 Maynard R Ashworth||1939-1940 Theo G Reeves|
|1940-1941 J Quentin Davidson||1941-1942 Tom B SLoan||1942-1943 Paul Munro||1943-1944 W C Pease Jr||1944-1945 Fred H Schomburg|
|1945-1946 Joe W Blackmon||1946-1947 M G Murray Jr||1947-1948 Bryan W Collier||1948-1949 J Arthur Lynch||1949-1950 Cliford J Siwft Jr|
|1950-1951 Ralph I King||1951-1952 John R Kinnnett||1952-1953 George S Murray||1953-1954 George S Murray||1954-1955 Rupert A Triplett|
|1955-1956 Henry Y Reeves||1956-1957 Frank W Thompson||1957-1958 Hugh McMath||1958-1959 Oscar L Betts Jr||1959-1960 R L Rudolph|
|1960-1961 Novel R Boyd||1961-1962 Henry B Pease||1962-1963 J Tom Morgan||1963-1964 William H Zimmerman||1964-1965 William t Miller|
|1965-1966 James W 'Billy' Key||1966-1967 I W Gregory Jr||1967-1968 J Dan Reed||1968-1969 Lee Henkel Jr||1969-1970 T A Hamby Jr|
|1970-1971 Harry C Jackson||1971-1972 Jac H Rothschild||1972-1973 J Steverson Knight||1972-1973 Wilson M Camp||1973-1974 Jack L Riley Jr|
|1975-1976 George C Trussell||1976-1977 Jack B Key Jr||1977-1978 Lovick P Corn||1978-1979 Louis T Kunze||1979-1980 Edward W Neal|
|1980-1981 W E Gross Jr||1981-1982 Thomas B Buck Jr||1982-1983 E H 'Bud' Ruffner||1983-1984 Mathews D Swift||1984-1985 J Norman Pease|
|1985-1986 Otis B Burnham||1986-1987 T Earl Taylor||1987-1988 J Thomas King Jr||1988-1989 William J Cunningham||1989-1990 Michael N Herndon|
|1990-1991 Brown Nicholson Jr||1991-1992 Robert George||1992-1993 Frank Brown||1993-1994 William J Smith||1994-1995 Thomas Flowers|
|1995-1996 Ben Williams Jr||1996-1997 Dan Parker||1997-1998 Jack Key III||1998-1999 Ronald E King||1999-2000 J Ronald Mullins|
|2000-2001 Philip T Schley||2001-2002 Ccil M Cheves||2002-2003 Joy Loudermilk||2003-2004 Carole Rutland||2004-2005 George G Flowers|
|2005-2006 J Edward Sprouse||2006-2007 George E Wade III||2007-2008 Carmen Cavezza||2008-2009 Mallon Faircloth||2009-2010 J Robert Jones|
|2010-2011 Betsy Covington||2011-2012 Jimmy Elder||2012-2013 John D Allen||2013-2014 Greg Camp||2014-2015 Ryan Clements|
|2015-2016 Michael Silverstein||2016-2017 Elizabeth Barker||2017-2018||2018-2019||2019-2020|
Meetings and Information
Please join us at our weekly meeting!
Wednesday of each week at 12:00 pm
Convention & Trade Center
801 Front Street
Columbus, GA 31901
Contact us at Rotary Club of Columbus
P.O. Box 1138
Columbus, GA 31902