Rotary Club of Howell History by D. L. Zemper

Related Pages
Photo Albums


Paul Harris and four friends started a club in Chicago in 1905 as a service group.  These men who worked in the same building, on the same floor took turns holding their meetings in each other's offices---thus the name "Rotary Club."  The idea caught fire and by 1911 there were clubs being formed in Canada and Europe and Rotary was on its way to becoming the worldwide service organization it is today, with over a million members in 150 countries.


Early in 1924 John S. Page, Howell Superintendent of Schools, was approached by members of the Ann Arbor Rotarians about forming a club in Howell.  He became excited about the idea and talked with several Howell business members and they agreed.  Howell Rotary Club No. 1746 was chartered on May 5, 1924 with 17 members who took on the work of establishing the new club.  The first officers were William H. Cansfield, President; William E. Robb, Vice President; John S. Page, Secretary; Herbert R. Gillette, Treasurer.  The club included members: Glenn H. Beurmann; Sherman J. Field; Dr. James G. Erwin; Dr. Ernest J. Browne; Don Goodnow; Wilber B. Johnson; R. Bruce McPherson; William McPherson, III; Albert L. Smith; William McPherson Smith; Charles H. Sutton; and Don W. Van Winkle.  Each year the membership increased and by 1949 eighty men were enjoying the fellowship, friendship, privileges, and benefits of Rotary.


It was decided that their first and principal project would be crippled children's clinic.  Each year in the spring, children were brought to the school (and later to the Methodist church parlors) where they were examined by doctors and optometrists to see what help they might receive.


Read the entire story here: