Rotary Club of Hartford


No. 21

Our Club History

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The Hartford Rotary Story

In the offices of Richard Northrop, at the Travelers Insurance Company, the first organizational meeting of the Hartford Rotary Club was held on December 6, 1910.  The Club was notified on July 24, 1911 that their application for membership in the National Association of Rotary Clubs of America had been approved.


The Club was formed and operated as a men's business club.  In 1986 all that changed when the by-laws of the Hartford Rotary Club were amended to admit women as full members.  This was revolutionary since the action of the Hartford Rotary members preceded the Supreme Court mandate requiring the admission of women by one year.


Richard Nrothup was elected to serve as our first president for the year 1910 - 1911.  Since then we have had 89 presidents.  Charles B. Cook was president on our 25th anniversary; Arthur C. Stevens was president on our 50th anniversary and Louis W. Romanos was president on our 75th anniversary.


The Hartford Rotary Club has been involved in the expansion of Rotary within the greater Hartford area with club formations in East Hartford (1928); Wethersfield (1938); Manchester (1940); Simsbury (1946); Glastonbury (1948); West Hartford (1952); Coventry (1956); Newington (1959); South Windsor (1960); East Windsor (1970); Bloomfield (1972); Avon (1973); Farmington (1974); Windsor (1975) and Hartford Sunrise (1988).


Hartford Rotary has been involved in numerous projects that include a call to arms to assist families struck by the famous Winsted flood of 1954; renovation of the Keney Zoo in the mid 1960's; forging a partnership with the J.C. Clark School through a combination of financial and educational resources; volunteers to assist the Hartford Marathon; Hartford Eagles program working with fifth and sixth grade boys to build self awareness; Junior Rotarians to provide high school students the opportunity to network with business leaders; the Polio Plus campaign in which we raised $150,000; financial support to numerous local charities; participation in the Rotary Group Study Exchange, and the establishment of a student exchange program with our sister city in Hertford, England.


In addition there have been 130 Paul Harris Fellows awarded in our club with multiple Paul Harris Fellows awarded to 35 individuals.