Rotary Club 32

St Joseph MO, USA


The History of Rotary Club 32 

Club 32 Beginnings


Interpretation and Thumbnail History of Rotary

Club 32 First Members 1911 - 1919 1920-1929
1930 - 1939 1940 - 1949    1950 - 1959
1960 - 1969 1970 - 1979 1980 - 1986
1987 - 2002 2002-2003


            It is never easy to determine beginnings.  The very word “history” comes from a Greek word meaning “inquiry”.  We must question the past so in this spirit we have complied this history of our own St. Joseph Rotary Club.  Much data is missing from the early years, as all records prior to 1921 have been lost.


            The impetus for the foundation of a Rotary Club in St. Joseph seems to have come from Mr. Leo Batt, a member of the St. Louis Club.  Mr. Lee Mettler, President of the Kansas City Club, who had occasion to make frequent trip to St. Joseph, also assisted in spreading the movement.  Mr. Batt was a manufacturer of pianos and he first interested Mr. Carl Hagen, who owned a hardware store on King Hill and Missouri Avenue, and also sold pianos.  Carl Hagen, with the help of Leo Batt and Lee Mettler, held several meetings of small groups in December of 1910 to discuss the possibility of forming a club.  Late in the summer of 1911 the following men agreed to proceed with forming our St. Joseph Rotary Club:


C. A. Cook              Luther A. Reid                   William R. Seaman            J.W. Lehr

W. P. Tracy            Frank Schuske                   John Andrews                   Sol Connett

W. S. Aldrich        Carl Hagen                        Claude Madison                  Mel Platt

Dr. W. F. Kimball     Jack Hann

             C. A. Cook acted as chairman and W. P. Tracy kept the minutes of each meeting.  For a short time this group and such additions as were made, met semi-monthly in the offices of the American Printing Co.  As the members increased the meeting place was changed to the assembly room of Platt’s Commercial College in the Bartlett Building on Ninth Street.  At this time, the meetings were held in the evening and on a weekly basis.  The original charter or organization date has always been accepted as November 7, 1911, and agrees with all data available.

             The club has always accepted this as its “Birthday Date” even though there is no supporting documentary evidence.  On this date the club was made a permanent organization by the election of the following officers who served throughout the year of 1912:

                                    W. A. Bodenhausen                President

                                    J. W. Lehr                            Vice President

                                    W. S. Aldrich                        Secretary

                                    Max Andriano                        Treasurer

                                    J. H. Cameron                        Registrar

             As near as can be determined from a compilation of lists available the following twenty-six members may be considered our foundation or charter members:

                                     W. S.  Aldrich                         Architect

                                    John Andrews                          Fire Insurance

                                    Max Andriano                          Banker

                                    George BeGole                         Undertaker

                                    W. A. Bodenhausen                    Clothier

                                    J. H. Cameron                           Advertising

                                    C. A. Cook                                 Telephone

                                    Sol Connett                               Brick Manufacturing

                                    John O’Day                               Life Insurance

                                    George Furbeck                         Asbestos Goods

                                    Carl Hagen                                 Pianos

                                    Dr. Walter F. Kimball                 Optometry

                                    William R. Seaman                      Metal Working

                                    John Hann                                  Horses and Mules

                                    J. C. Hedenburg                          Abstracts

                                    George Jones                              Drug Store

                                    J. W. Lehr                                  Contractor

                                    Claude Madison                           Coal Dealer

                                    O. E. Martin                               Dry Goods

                                    Orestes Mitchell, Sr.                  Lawyer

                                    Mel Platt                                    Business College

                                    Luther A. Reid                            Electrical Supplies

                                    Frank Schuske                            Roofer

                                    W. A. Schultz                             Photographer

                                    W. B. Snyder                               Painter

                                    W. B. Tracy                                 Printer

             Based on information obtained from Rotary International the three following dates are authentic.

                 November 7, 1911 - - Organization Date.

February 1, 1912 - - Admission to the National Association of Rotary Clubs       As  Club #32.

June 2, 1913 - - Charter Date.


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