Rotary Club of McAlester, Oklahoma

Club Number 2484
(Organized October 14, 1914 - Chartered in 1915 as Club Number 164)
Weekly Meetings Tuesday at noon
The Meeting Place 104 East Choctaw, McAlester, Oklahoma, USA


The Beginnings
and Early History

In the early part of 1914, a group of McAlester business and professional men, having heard about an organization called "the Rotary Club," started making plans to organize a local club. On May 10th, 1914, Mr. Clyde Coon wrote to Secretary Eugene Whittington of the Oklahoma City Rotary Club, asking for information. The inquiry was referred to the International Association of Rotary Clubs, whose Vice President at that time was Bob Cornell of Houston (Texas).. On July 21st, 1914, helpful literature and information was sent to Mr. Coon. The local group met on September 24th, 1914, and elected the following temporary officers:
Elmer Hale, President
Dr. E. H. Troy, 1st Vice President
E. A. Daniels, 2nd Vice President
R. L. McPheron, Secretary
Clyde Coon, Treasurer

The first meeting was a luncheon, on Tuesday, September 29th, 1914, at the Busby Hotel. Frank Craig, then President of the City National Bank, discussed "the new banking laws." There were 20 members in this new organization, one from each of as many businesses. President Elmer Hale announced that the number of members would probably increased to 40 or 50 in a short time. The second meeting was held the following Tuesday, with 30 members present. At that second meeting Guy Andrews, local attorney, spoke on "why a lawyer should be consulted before, instead of after, a business transaction."

Correspondence was continued with the International Association, and on October 14th, 1914, Mr. Coon notified Rotary International that the McAlester club was now officially organized as the McAlester Rotary Club. This is the date the Club considers as its founding date. There were 40 members in the Club on that date. The temporary officers were re-elected as officers for the new Rotary Club. It was not until June 1st, 1915, that the McAlester Rotary Club received its Charters, signed by Russell F. Grainer, President of Rotary International, and Chesley R. Perry, Secretary. The McAlester Rotary Club is number 164 of the tens of thousands of Rotary Clubs around the world. The McAlester Rotary Club was not sponsored or organized by any other Rotary Club. The only assistance received from the Oklahoma City Rotary Club was the mailing address for the International Association of Rotary Clubs (now known as Rotary International). The Charter does not bear the names of the "charter members" and no record has been found listing them. It is known that in addition to the officers named above the following were very likely charter members:
Dr. W. S. Phillips
A. B. Ringland
Frank Craig
Fred Struble
W. G. Masterson
Guy Andrews
F. A. Willard
Joseph Mazer
Herman Levin
W. P. Freeman
W. H. Fuller
W. S. Ambrose
Dr. J. E. Davis
Kent Gay

Originally compiled from personal interviews, club records and all available means, by Lloyd Puckett (Club President, 1950-1951)
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Club Contact information: Rotary Club of McAlester c/o Jim Henley, Secretary 5211 South Chambers Road McAlester, OK 74501
Phone: 918-426-5555 (work) 918-429-0675 (home)
Contact Jim Henley