Lorain Rotary Club - Part of Lorain's History 

The Lorain Rotary Club was organized on May 13, 1926 and admitted to membership in Rotary International on May 25, 1926. Joseph M. Markely who was the President of the Canton School Board was the organizer and sponsor of the Lorain Rotary Club initiative. Dr. William Edward Wheatley, a local general surgeon, was the first President of Lorain Rotary. Lorain Rotary celebrated its 75th Anniversary with a Cuyahoga River Dinner Cruise on June 28, 2001; over eighty people attended.

From the Lorain Journal 5/26/1926:
The charter members of the Lorain Rotary club met at a luncheon at the Hotel Antlers this noon to lay plans for the charter installation night on June 2. A program of activity and entertainment is being arranged for 400 guests expected when Lorain receives its charter from a representative of the international committee of Rotarians.

From the Lorain Journal 5/28/1926: “Lions Support New Club of Rotarians”
At the regular noonday luncheon of the Lorain Lions Club at Hotel Lorain, yesterday, members went on record to pledge their support and cooperation to the newly formed Rotary club.

Offering aid wherever possible in making the charter presentation on the night of June 2 a success. The Rotarians are working out an elaborate program for the 400 guests expected here the day of the installation

From the Lorain Journal 6/1/1926:

Nearly 300 Rotarians from all parts of Ohio and from several clubs in Michigan are expected to attend ceremonies at the Hotel Antlers tomorrow night in which the newly organized Lorain Club will be presented with it’s charter.

The number of the Lorain charter is 2355. Joseph M. Markedly, president of the Canton school board and organizer of the Lorain club will have charge of the meeting. Presentation of a gavel will be made by Samuel W. Squires of Elyria, former district governor of the 21st district of Rotary.

From the Lorain Journal 6/2/1926:

More than 21 years ago four men gathered around luncheon table in Chicago and organized the first “Rotary” club. Tonight 300 Rotarians, drawn together from several states, will participate in the presentation of the charter of the Lorain Club—No. 2355. “Rotary” is more than a luncheon club. It is a philosophy of everyday living. It undertakes to inspire men to realize fully their individual capacity for 100 per cent citizenship in the community, state and nation. “Rotary” was suggested as name because the meetings had been held in “rotation” at the places of business of the members. It is now a word that stands for better business practices, for broader acquaintances, and for lofty ideals of service in business and professional intercourse.

From the Lorain Journal 6/3/1926 "250 Rotarians From All Parts of Ohio Take Part In Lorain Installation":
With about 250 visiting Rotarians looking on, 22 Lorain men became officially enrolled in the ranks of Rotary last night and their wives became Rotariannes. Delegations from a dozen or 15 clubs attended the presentation of the charter, No. 2335, at the Hotel Antlers. It followed a banquet and a lengthy program of musical numbers and speeches.

From the Lorain Journal 6/26/1986 “Rotary Club tripled at 60th Anniversary”:

Starting from humble beginnings with only 23 members in 1926, the Lorain Rotary Club today has 77 members as it celebrates its 60th anniversary. The venue for the celebration is the Hotel Antlers, the place where the club began 60 years ago. Members will meet for dinner at 6:30 p.m. today at the hotel.

At the meeting, Richard Martin is to be inducted as president by retiring President Robert Mackin. Dr. Will Wood is to be named vicepresident while William Boykin will be named secretary and Thomas Boyer, treasurer. For many years, Lorain had been one of the largest cities in the United States without a Rotary Club. That changed with the formation of Club No. 2355 in 1926.


Did you know?

When the Rose Garden at Lakeview Beach was dedicated in 1932, Lorain Rotary was one of 17 community organization that sponsored it. The shape of the garden is the Rotary wheel with eight spokes. Approximately 2,500 roses are planted in 48 beds.

Steel Wheel Newsletter
Lorain Rotary Club Events