About Our Club

Subpages
Related Pages
Links
Files
Photo Albums
 
HOW TOMBALL ROTARY BEGAN

HOW TOMBALL ROTARY BEGAN

 (The following history is based upon the FIRST TEN TEARS OF TOMBALL ROTARY as recorded by an unknown author on the occasion of the club's tenth anniversary)

     The year was 1945 and life for the residents of Tomball was very different due to changes brought on by World War II. The last automobile had rolled off the assembly line in early 1941 and gasoline was unavailable without the coveted GASOLINE RATIONING STAMP. The same was true at the grocery store where it was necessary to produce the proper FOOD RATIONING STAMP for many products chief among them, SUGAR! A visit to the drygoods store created problems for the ladies as nylon and silk products were seldom on the shelves. And for everyone, resoled shoes were the standard, not the exception.

     Victory gardens were everywhere. Boy Scouts collecting paper and scrap iron for the war effort was a daily occurrence, as everyone wanted to do his or her part for the war effort.

     Franklin D. Roosevelt had just been elected to an unprecedented fourth term as President of the United States . His untimely death in April of 1945 saw his unheralded vice-president Harry S. "The Buck Stops Here!" Truman ascend to the highest office in the country.

     In rapid fashion, Victory in Europe came in May of 1945. And, with the ushering in of THE ATOMIC AGE at Hiroshima and Nagasaki , Japan , Victory in Japan came in August of 1945. The war had ended, peace was high on the agenda, and the men and women who survived the war years returned home with a new leash on the future.

     This was the setting in which local banker, Allan H. Keefer, Millard Ford, Sr., Will Holderrieth, A.B. Klein, Sr., and other business leaders of the community "reckoned" that the efforts of the Tomball Businessman's Club was insufficient in scope to address the economic development needs of a growing business community. Contacts with Rotarians of Conroe, Texas gave encouragement to the group that a Rotary Club was the answer to their immediate and future needs of giving leadership and direction to the economic development to their community, " Oil Town U.S.A. ", Tomball , Texas .

     With the groundwork established, this group of hearty and dedicated businessmen met at Swanson's Cave (City Cafe) on the evening of October 24, 1945 to set the wheels in motion to finalize the chartering of Tomball Rotary Club. As expected, Allan H. Keefer was named the Temporary Chairman of the group and Harry Erwin was named the Temporary Secretary. For each, the temporary was soon to be removed from their titles.

     The Rotary Club of Conroe, Texas sponsored the group, gave them guidance and on November 8, 1945 , the Secretary of Rota International approved their application. However, the Charter Meeting was not conducted until December 27, 1945 .

     The Charter Meeting was held in the Humble Recreation Building in the Humble Oil and Refining Camp south of Tomball. Chairman Allan H. Keefer called the meeting to order promptly at 7:30 p.m. Twenty-three of the charter members were present. Also present were District Governor Wiley Johnson and members of the sponsoring Conroe Rotary Club. Charter Number 6118 was presented, entertainment was presented by Walter Jen kins and friends, the newly-elected officers were installed, and Rotary was a reality in Tomball , Texas !!  

    The foregoing history was published in the Rotary Club of Tomball, Texas on the occasion of the 50th Anniversary of the club.  Ray Coffman, Editor.