Thousands of images, texts, and audio/video from ECU's diverse collections and beyond.

A brief history of the Greenville Rotary Club

Date: 1955 | Identifier: HS2725.G72 R67X 1955
A brief history of the Greenville Rotary Club : commemorating the fiftieth anniversary of Rotary International 1905-1955 and the thirty-sixth anniversary of the Greenville, North Carolina Rotary Club 1919-1955, Club Number 565 in district 279 of Rotary International / prepared by Howard J. McGinnis. [Greenville, N.C. : Rotary Club, 1955] 24 p. : ill. ; 22 cm. more...

The Greenville Rotary Club
Greenville, N.C.


Rotary International Emblem]

Club Number 565 of district 279 in Rotary International
"He Profits Most Who Serves Best"

A Brief History
The Greenville Rotary Club

The Fiftieth Anniversary of Rotary International
The- Thirty-sixth Anniversary Of
The Greenville, North Carolina Rotary Club
1919 - 1955
Club Number 565 in District 279
Rotary International February 23, 1905 December 18, 1919 Prepared by Howard J. McGinnis


The Golden Anniversary of Rotary International in the year 1955 finds more than four hundred thousand members of this great organization inspired with renewed zeal to carry forward its principles of unselfish service to all manking in the making of a better world for all of us.

As a feature of the Golden Anniversary celebration clubs are encouraged to prepare or bring up to date their club histories and publish them in bulletin form in order to better acquaint members and the public with Rotary, and to preserve the history of the Club as a matter of record. Hence this brief story of the Greenville, North Carolina Rotary Club.

It would be impossible to encompass within these few pages the complete story of the Greenville, N. C. Rotary Club which has had thirty-six years packed full of vigorous Rotary activity and wholesome fellowship with kindred souls interested in serving their fellowman unselfishly.

Rotary's beneficent influence will continue to spread from year to year throughout the world, tending to make it a better place for all men to live, rear their families, and enjoy the products of their labors in peace and contentment. The consummation of this objective is the ardent desire of every true Rotarian.


Camp Hardy17
Orthopedic Clinic18
Student Loan Fund18
Christmas Baskets18
CLUB ROSTER (Current)20

This building was erected and dedicated within two years after the formation of the club. It has the distinction of being the first home ever erected by a Rotary club for the sole purpose of providing its members a convenient and satisfying meeting place.


Home of the Greenville Rotary Club
Rotary Avenue and Johnstone Street

Picture of Greenville Rotary Club]


The relationship may seem remote but the Greenville Rotary Club traces its beginning to the great American game of baseball—to a game played in Ayden in the summer of 1919 and attended by four wide-awake businessmen of Greenville. These men were J. B. Kittrell, broker, Dave Clark, lawyer, Alex Blow, insurance agent, and Paul Clodfelter, banker, all ardent baseball fans.

On the way back to Greenville from the game their conversation led around to the needs of their city, and by common agreement they said it was a men's organization for fellowship and frank, open discussion of community improvement. The four men were determined to do something about meeting this need. Though they knew little about Rotary, the word drew their thoughts like a magnet.

Paul Clodfelter had lived in Wilson and knew there was a Rotary Club in that city, so the next morning he suggested that they get in touch with Tom Pettus of the Wilson Club and inquire about the possibility of getting a club at Greenville. “Later that day,” says Sky Pilot Sam Phillips who apparently became club historian, “they saw Buddy Gorman, Bill Hall, and Ernest Willard. Buddy had a new Haynes auto which he wanted to try out, and Ernest wanted to go to Wilson anyhow, so these six decided to cut out the phone and go in person to Wilson.”

“In Wilson they found Tom Pettus, simultaneous Christian and Rotarian, and so full of both that they always radiated from his person. . . . After a wonderful conference, in which the six were not only thoroughly inoculated, but were made willing disciples and filled with a pep that has never yet failed, request for a charter through the Wilson Club was made.”

“The six came home and went to work. Carefully, earnestly, and enthusiastically they sought to gather about them some charter members.” They held their organizational meeting in the Farmer's Bank on Dickinson Avenue August 18, 1919. Charter night was held December 18, 1919 and charter number 565 in Rotary International was presented to the new Club by the then District Governor, Roger W. Davis. This meeting was held, significantly enough, in the showroom of Haywood Dail's automobile agency on the corner of Fifth and Reade streets, opposite the present High School, because there was in the city no other suitable place for such an assemblage.

The infant Club showed remarkable vitality for in the spring of 1920 sixteen members attended the District Conference at Greenville, S. C. and won the attendance prize. The district then was large and getting to the district assembly and the district conference, with the transportation facilities available, was quite unlike travel today—thirty-six years later when the conference will be only thirty miles away and the assembly only forty.

The Club met every two weeks for a dinner, business and fellowship. The last was fervent and sincere but the quality of the dinner and business were subject to the vagaries of change in the place of meeting. The Club met wherever it could find a congenial roof and kind hands to prepare a meal—the basement of the Christian Church, the Memorial Baptist Church, the Episcopal Church, “in the new but then unoccupied store of John Horner and Co.,” a corner in a noisy restaurant, or perhaps in a boarding house.

The inspiration of the conference in South Carolina struck fire in the charter members of this infant Club which began work on a home for the Club in the fall of 1920. A neat two story brick building was constructed at a cost of $20,000, and it was dedicated with appropriate ceremonies on March 14, 1921. The home was well equipped with a dining room, kitchen, serving room, and storage space on the first floor, and the second floor was given wholly to a well equipped gymnasium for the use of Club members and the Boy Scouts who were permitted to use it without cost to them.

Perhaps the picture should be cleared a bit by saying the Club building has approximately four thousand square feet of floor space as follows: dining room 28 × 53 feet, reception room (built in 1928) 23 × 31 feet, kitchen and serving rooms 18 × 28 feet, gymnasium 45 × 53 feet, besides ladies’ powder and rest room, men's rest room and servants’ rest room. Members of the Club made generous cash gifts toward the cost of the building, each agreed to retire four shares of Building and Loan stock, and a small sum was borrowed through the Building and Loan.

Thus the Greenville Rotary Club initiated one of its firsts—the owning of its meeting place with all the security, comfort and quietness this fact assured them. Another first of which even the present members are proud is the fact that soon the charter members of the Club, desiring closer fellowship with other Rotarians, promoted and held the first inter-city meeting ever held among Rotary Clubs, after getting the approval of the proper officials in Rotary International.


PRESIDENT—Charles B. Bissette

VICE PRESIDENT—N. Oliver VanNortwick

SECRETARY-TREAS.—Wendell W. Smiley

SERGEANT-AT-ARMS—Lawrence A. Stroud

Board of Directors

J. Roy MartinRobert F. ThompsonJoseph C. Bateman
F. Harding SuggElmer E. BrowningGuy C. Evans
D. Branch ArmisteadF. Badger Johnson


PRESIDENT—N. Oliver Van Nortwick

VICE PRESIDENT—Bancroft F. Moseley

SECRETARY-TREAS.—Lawrence W. Smiley

SERGEANT-AT-ARMS—Lawrence A. Stroud

Board of Directors

J. Roy MartinDavid J. WhichardRobert Lee Boone
F. Harding SuggErnest W. LarkinRobert E. Wilfong
Robert F. ThompsonCarl L. AdamsCharles B. Bissette


The twenty-two charter members of the Club were a cross-section of the most progressive business and professional men of the city—men who were eminently successful in their chosen vocations and endowed with the vision to see what might be accomplished for their city through the unselfish co-operation of its citizens. These charter members were:

**Dr. C. J. (Sis) Ellen—Eye, Ear, Nose Specialist.

*J. E. (Jasper) Winslow—Livestock.

*L. A. (Lawrence) Stroud—Furniture, retail.

P. T. (Paul) Anthony—Wholesale grocer.

**D. L. (Dave) Turnage—Fertilizer, retail.

**D. M. (Dave) Clark—Lawyer, general practice.

**T. T. (Tom) Hollingsworth—Hotel, proprietor.

C. D. (Claude) Tunstall—Ladies clothing, retail.

*E. L. (Ernest) Willard—Merchant, retail.

*W. H. (Haywood) Dail—Automobiles, retail.

**J. C. (Claude) Gaskins—Farmer, general.

P. L. (Paul) Clodfelter—Banking.

**W. L. (Bill) Hall—Merchant, feed and seed, retail.

**O. L. (Othos) Joyner—Real estate.

**S. B. (Sam) Underwood—Education, Supt. of County schools.

*J. B. (Honest John) Kittrell, Broker.

**J. E. (John) Gorman—Tobacconist, warehouse proprietor.

R. M. (Ralph) Garrett—Tobacconist, leaf tobacco.

**A. L. (Alex) Blow, Jr.—Insurance, general.

**R. L. (Bob) Crow—Merchant, shoes retail.

J. L. (Jim) Mayo—Newspaper publisher.

**B. S. (Burney) Warren—Druggist, retail.



Time, fate and their own zeal for Rotary has given the Club and its present members the pleasure of greeting five of the original twenty-two charter members each Monday evening by his given or nick-name as we assemble for the regular weekly meeting. Their enthusiasm, wisdom and counsel continues to give strength to the Club. They furnish the newer members examples of what a good Rotarian should be and do. All five have been faithful in attendance at meetings throughout the years and active in all the work of the Club. Five are past presidents of the Club and the fifth has been sergeant-at-arms for many years.

In the background are the past presidents of the club in Chronological order.

Five Charter Members in the Club


Left to right: Ernest Willard, J. B. Kittrell, Haywood Dail,
Jasper Winslow, Lawrence Stroud.



In its history of thirty-six years the Greenville Rotary Club has had thirty-five presidents, each of whom has led the Club onward and upward in the furtherance of Rotary ideals and Rotary accomplishment. Only one, J. B. Kittrell, has served more than one term. Here is the chronological list with years served and classifications:

1919-1920—C. J. (Sis) Ellen—Eye, Ear, Nose Specialist.

1920-1921—S. B. (Sam) Underwood—Education, Superintendent of Pitt County schools.

1921-1922—J. B. (J. B.) Kittrell—Broker.

1922-1923—J. E. (Jasper) Winslow—Livestock.

1923-1924—W. L. (Bill) Hall—Merchant, feed and seed, retail.

1924-1925—R. H. (Bob) Wright—Education, President East Carolina Teachers College.

1925-1926—D. L. (Dave) Turnage—Fertilizer, retail.

1926-1927—W. H. (Haywood) Dail—Automobiles, retail.

1927-1928—W. H. (Bill) Rogers—Engineer, highway.

1928-1929—K. B. (Karl) Pace—Medical practice, general.

1929-1930—F. C. (Fordy) Harding—Law, general practice.

1930-1931—J. H. (Herbert) Waldrop—Banking.

1931-1932—H. J. (Howard) McGinnis—Education, Registrar East Carolina Teachers College.

1932-1933—A. W. (Gus) Fleischman—Religion, Protestant, Pastor Memorial Baptist Church.

1933-1934—K. W. (Kinchen) Cobb—Tobacconist, warehouse.

1934-1935—Herbert (Herb) ReBarker—Education, Department head, East Carolina Teachers College.

1935-1936—W. W. (Bill) Lee—Building and Loan.

1936-1937—J. B. Kittrell (Second term).

1937-1938—T. H. (Tom) Grant—Religion, Protestant, Pastor Jarvis Memorial Methodist Church.

1938-1939—J. L. (John) Winstead—Medical practice, surgery.

1939-1940—C. L. (Carl) Adams—Education, Department Head, East Carolina Teachers College.

1940-1941—J. W. (Johnny) Overton—Banking, investments.

1941-1942—H. L. (Lyman) Ormond—Grocer, wholesale.

1942-1943—S. G. (Steve) Wilkerson—Funeral director.

1943-1944—J. G. (John) Fleming—Meat packing, distribution (Swift and Company).

1944-1945—J. S. (Joe) Moye—Banking, trusts.

1945-1946—J. C. (John) Proctor—Accounting, C.P.A.

1946-1947—J. H. (Judson) Blount—General merchant, department store.

1947-1948—R. W. (Bob) Bradshaw—Religion, Protestant, Pastor Jarvis Memorial Methodist Church.

1948-1949—E. L. (Ernest) Willard—Insurance, general.

1949-1950—E. S. (Ercel) Webb—Dairy products, milk distribution.

1950-1951—F. F. (Floyd) Hendrix—Farm machinery, retail.

1951-1952—C. A. (Charlie) White—Variety stores, retail.

1952-1953—J. K. (Knott) Proctor—Communication, postmaster.

1953-1954—F. B. (Badger) Johnson—Automobiles, retail.

1954-1955—C. B. (Charlie) Bissette—Chemical industry, drugs, retail.


This Club has had eighteen secretaries to whose records this brief history is deeply indebted. On this officer rests a heavy responsibility for the effectiveness of the Club president and the success of the Club. Following is the chronological list of secretaries of the Greenville Club with their classifications:

1919-1920—A. L. (Alex) Blow, Jr.—Insurance, general.

1920-1921—A. L. (Alex) Blow, Jr.—Insurance, general.

1921-1922—A. L. (Alex) Blow, Jr.—Insurance, general.

1922-1923—W. L. (Bill) Hall—Merchant, feed and seed, retail.

1923-1924—P. L. (Paul) Clodfelter—Banking.

1924-1925—L. A. (Lawrence) Stroud, Furniture, retail.

1924-1925—L. A. (Lawrence) Stroud, Furniture, retail.

1926-1927—J. T. (Jim) Little—Mechanical refrigeration.

1927-1928—J. J. (Julian) White—Building and Loan.

1928-1929—H. J. (Howard) McGinnis—Educ., Registrar E.C.T.C.

1929-1930—H. J. (Howard) McGinnis—Educ., Registrar E.C.T.C.

1930-1931—H. J. (Howard) McGinnis—Educ., Registrar E.C.T.C.

1931-1932—R. B. (Raleigh) Lee—Lawyer, general practice.

1932-1933—J. C. (Claude) Gaskins—Farmer, general farming.

1933-1934—J. C. (Claude) Gaskins—Farmer, general farming.

1934-1935—J. C. (Claude) Gaskins—Farmer, general farming.

1935-1936—J. C. (Claude) Gaskins—Farmer, general farming.

1936-1937—G. N. (Gerald) Mitchell—Insurance, industrial.

1937-1938—C. W. (Wesley) Harvey, Jr.—Refrigeration, frozen food lockers.

1938-1939—L. A. (Lee) Folger—Automobiles, retail.

1939-1940—J. C. (John) Proctor—Auditor, C.P.A.

1940-1941—J. C. (John) Proctor—Auditor, C.P.A.

1941-1942—J. C. (John) Proctor—Auditor, C.P.A.

1942-1943—J. C. (John) Proctor—Auditor, C.P.A.

1943-1944—R. A. (Robert) Darr—Finance, savings and loans.

1944-1945—L. M. (Buck) Buchanan—Insurance, general.

1945-1946—J. W. (Johnny) Overton—Banking, investments.

1946-1947—E. L. (Ed.) Hester—Confectionery, distribution.

1947-1948—W. W. (Wendell) Smiley—Education, librarian E.C.C.

1948-1949—W. W. (Wendell) Smiley—Education, librarian E.C.C.

1949-1950—W. W. (Wendell) Smiley—Education, librarian E.C.C.

1950-1951—W. W. (Wendell) Smiley—Education, librarian E.C.C.

1951-1952—W. W. (Wendell) Smiley—Education, librarian E.C.C.

1952-1953—W. W. (Wendell) Smiley—Education, librarian E.C.C.

1953-1954—W. W. (Wendell) Smiley—Education, librarian E.C.C.

1954-1955—W. W. (Wendell) Smiley—Education, librarian E.C.C.


Sept. 8, 1919 When twenty-two business and professional men of Greenville met in a local bank on Dickinson Avenue and organized a Rotary Club.

Dec. 18, 1919 When Rotary charter number 565 was presented to the new Club in a meeting in Haywood Dail's show room on the corner of Evans and Reade streets, in the presence of their Rotary Anns and other guests.

Spring, 1920 When sixteen of the twenty-two charter members of the Club attended the District Conference in Greenville, S. C., and were awarded the attendance prize—a handsome loving cup.

March 14, 1921 When the new home of the Greenville Club was dedicated with appropriate ceremonies. Rotarian guests came from the clubs at Norfolk, Newport News and Portsmouth, Va., and elsewhere.

April, 1921 When 100% of the membership of our Club, with sixteen of their Rotary Anns attended the District Conference at Norfolk, Va., and earned a loving cup for this record attendance.

June 22, 1921 When the first inter-city meeting of Rotary Clubs ever held, was promoted by and held under the auspices of the Club. On invitation of the Kinston Club the meeting was held in that city. Representatives came from the Rotary Clubs of Wilmington, Fayetteville, Wilson, Goldsboro, New Bern, Kinston, and Greenville.

January 19, 1927 When International President Harry Rogers visited and spoke to the Club. He was accompanied by District Governor Wade Marr of Raleigh and Past District Governor Gene Newsome of Durham who later became president of Rotary International.

March 25, 1924 When the Club entertained as guests the Rotary Clubs of Ayden and Farmville, and other guests.

April 12-13, 1951 When the Club was host to the District Conference, attended by more than six hundred Rotarians and Rotary Anns, and a member of the Club was the District Governor.

1920, ’22, ’23, ’36, ’37, ’42 When the Greenville Rotary Club sponsored the organization of Rotary Clubs at Washington 1920, Farmville 1922, Ayden 1923, Robersonville 1936, Bethel 1937, and was joint sponsor for the Snow Hill Club 1942.


Dec. 17, 1928 The Club voted to give $100 to charity through the welfare office of the county.

Feb. 18, 1929 The Club voted to contribute $10 toward the Chamber of Commerce exhibit at the Farmville Exposition.

July 8, 1929 The Club voted to contribute $200 toward organizing Boy Scout work in the Greenville community.

Jan. 30, 1930 The Board of Directors passed a resolution directing that more appetizing meals be served and that the cost be within forty cents per member.

Oct. 6, 1930 A committee was appointed, consisting of J. B. Kittrell, Bill Rogers and Howard McGinnis, to prepare a history of the Club, assembling all data possible and making it as complete as possible.

Oct. 30, 1930 The Rural-Urban Committee of the Club invited and had present for the meeting twenty farmers from as far away as New Bern, Grifton and Belhaven.

Nov. 14, 1930 Observing National Child week each member was asked to bring a child to the next Club meeting as his guest.

March 30, 1931 This was Father and Son Night at the Club. Thirty-five sons and nine daughters (a few borrowed from other parents) were guests of the Rotarians. (Five of the boys later became members of the Club.)

Dec. 7, 1931 Twelve sons and daughters of Rotarians, students at East Carolina Teachers College were entertained at dinner with the Club. Only one was from Greenville.

April 4, 1932 Bob Wright made a motion that the rule against card playing in the Club building be waived on the evening of the Inter-City Meeting. Motion passed.

May 9, 1932 Motion of Herbert Waldrop that Club dues for the following year be reduced by $2.50 a month, was passed.

Jan. 20, 1933 The Greenville Rotary Club met with the Ayden Rotary Club, on invitation from that Club.

Jan. 23, 1933 The Rotary and the Kiwanis Clubs of Greenville had a joint dinner meeting at the Rotary Club building.

June 12, 1933 The Club endorsed a movement to secure a municipal swimming pool.

June 26, 1933 The Club voted to buy twenty-five dollars worth of swimming tickets to help finance the building of a municipal swimming pool.

Feb. 5, 1934 Karl Pace and Alfred Schultz were appointed as a committee

to secure additional funds for a patient's expenses at the sanitorium.

April 2, 1934 The Club voted to have a picnic supper at the baseball park with the Kiwanians after playing a baseball game with that club.

July 23, 1934 The Club voted to contribute five dollars on the expenses of Miss Pearlie Barnhill, a health contestant, in the health meeting at Raleigh.

Oct. 29, 1934 The Club voted to take Junior membership in the local music society at a fee of $175 to help maintain the music center in Greenville.

Oct. 14, 1935 The Club voted to entertain the Englehard Rotary Club on Monday night, October 28.

Dec. 16, 1935 The Club provided thirty-eight baskets of groceries and fruit for the needy at Christmas time.

Dec. 30, 1935 The Club entertained thirty football players of Eastern North Carolina who are in training here for the New Year's game.

Jan. 20, 1936 The Club entertained the local Scout leaders and Scout executives at dinner tonight.

April 27, 1936 The Club voted to take steps to help underprivileged children of the community.

May 18, 1936 The Club voted to sponsor county (health) clinics.

Aug. 10, 1936 The Club voted to sponsor a donkey baseball game. Volunteer players from the Club were named.

April 12, 1937 The Club voted to sponsor a program for the Fine Arts Festival put on by the Woman's Club.

The Club program this evening was put on by students from East Carolina Teachers College.

Oct. 11, 1937 The Club voted to sponsor a troop of Sea Scouts.

Sept. 26, 1938 The Club voted to raise its dues to $15 per quarter. It also assessed each member $10 to put a new roof on the Club building (at a cost of $349.50) and make other repairs and improvements about the property.

July 10, 1939 The Club voted to sponsor and pay $15 to send a boy to the American Legion Educational program at Chapel Hill.

Dec. 11, 1939 Twenty-five farmers were present as guests of members of the Club at the meeting tonight.

Dec. 18, 1939 The Board of Directors ordered the committee to purchase metal signs for highway approaches to the city showing time and place of Club meetings. The cost, $42.50.

Feb. 5, 1940 The Club agreed to award a prize of $7.50 for the best

essay by a Greenville High School student on the subject “What Does Rotary Mean to the Community?”

Feb. 12, 1940 The Club voted to pay $21.89 on the Sea Scout uniforms.

June 24, 1940 The Club voted to donate $15 to the Salvation Army to help send three boys to summer camp.

Oct. 21, 1940 The Club agreed to contribute $10 monthly toward the support of a local crippled children's clinic.

Dec. 16, 1940 The Club voted to send four subscriptions of Revista Rotaria to South Americans chosen by the District Governor.

March 3, 1941 The Greenville firemen were given permission to use the Club gymnasium and its athletic equipment. (This equipment was given them later for their own gymnasium.)

May 5, 1941 A donation of $5 was made by the Club to the cancer campaign.

August 18, 1941 On motion of Wyatt Brown the Boys’ Work Committee was authorized to sponsor the Sea Scout troop.

April, 1947 Club members made personal contributions amounting to over $3,000 for construction, repair and improvements needed at the Girl Scout camp, Camp Hardy, on the Pamlico river.

May 15, 1954 Club members made their annual contributions for the cleaning up and putting in readiness for opening the Girl Scout camp, Camp Hardy, on the Pamlico river.


Proof of Rotary's appeal to vigorous, progressive business and professional men may be found in the fact that the Greenville Club has in its present membership three generations of men from one family—father, son and grandson. This is quite unusual but not unknown in a few other Clubs in R. I.

Sam T. White, organizer and proprietor of the White's Variety Stores, became a member of the Greenville Rotary Club in November, 1921. His son, Charles A. White who is associated with his father in the operation of their chain of variety stores became a member of the Club in March, 1936. Sam T. White II, the son of Charles and grandson of Sam, who is an optometrist in this city became a member of the Greenville Rotary Club in November, 1951.

It might be said that in several instances the Club has had father and son combinations in its membership, has two now, and the fathers of several members were Rotarians before them.

Father, Son and Grandson


Left to right: Dr. Sam T. White II, Sam T. White, Charles A. White.

Camp Hardy

Camp Hardy on the Pamlico river below Washington, is an elaborate camp for Girl Scouts, provided through the generosity of Mr. H. M. Hardy, recently deceased, of Norfolk, Virginia, and a native of Pitt County. Because official sponsorship by an established organization is required, the Greenville Rotary Club was asked by the Scout officers to sponsor the operation of the camp.

The Club has been sponsor of this excellent project for the training and the building of young womanhood for many years. Annually, in the spring, the Club members either go themselves in a body on a given day and clean up the grounds and buildings in preparation for the opening of the camp, or they provide the funds for that work. The Club and its members have also given several thousand dollars, over the years, to construct and to build quarters and provide certain services at the camp.

The Boy Scouts

The Greenville Rotary Club building has been at the services of the Boy Scouts ever since Scouting was established in the city. Troops meet for conference and instruction in the reception room, and for games and other activities they have free use of the gymnasium on the second floor. Rotarian Bill Drum has been Scout Leader for many years and has rendered outstanding service to the boys and to the Club in his work with the Scouts.

The Girl Scouts

Local Girl Scout units have also had the use of the Club's facilities for their regular weekly meetings. Under the guidance of Mrs. J. Knott Proctor, trained Girl Scout Executive, Mrs. E. L. Henderson, Camp Supervisor, and Mrs. Sherman Parks, Scout Leader, the units have grown and have been very active for a long period of years. To make their meeting place in the gymnasium attractive and warm in the winter, the Club ceiled the gymnasium and installed a large oil heater. For their further convenience and enjoyment a piano is provided and shelves and cabinets provided for equipment.

The Sea Scouts

In 1941 the Club authorized the Boys’ Work Committee to take over the duties of looking after the Sea Scout unit which the Club had voted to sponsor. Rotarian J. B. Newman was leader of the unit and steps were taken soon to secure a suitable craft for the training of the boys. From the Roanoke Rapids unit a suitable craft was secured and put into operation after considerable repairs had been made. The Sea Scout unit has been active now for fourteen years and has shown steady growth in numbers and much vigor in its activities. Its ship, named “TAU-O-LINA,” has carried them on many trips on the Pamlico, the Roanoke, the Pamlico Sound and the Core Sound. The Club has been generous in providing funds for the ship's conditioning and improvement.

Orthopedic Clinic

In October, 1940, the Greenvile Rotary Club assumed as one of its permanent projects the sponsorship of an Orthopedic Clinic in connection with the Pitt County Health Department. These clinics have been held once a month in the Pitt County Health Department Building, and the work has consisted of free examinations by a visiting orthopedic surgeon from Raleigh, North Carolina. The examinations include both children and adults, and are followed by appropriate corrective treatment, surgery or other measures, in order to correct the bone or joint defects which have been found.

The visiting orthopedist gives his professional services free of charge, but his travel stipend has been paid by this Club. The number of patients seen in this clinic has grown gradually with the years, and in the last several years the number of patients has increased from 444 in 1951 to 788 in 1954. In addition to this, the Rotary Club has paid the expenses of sending one child with an orthopedic condition for rehabilitation to the Coastal Plains Convalescent Camp near Washington, N. C. This additional project has been in effect for the past three years. Certain essential drugs needed for the treatment of these crippled children have been paid for also by the Rotary Club.

Many children who have been crippled from birth, and who have no hope of ever walking again, have been improved immensely by treatments originating at this clinic. They are now normal healthy boys and girls who are able to run and play with other children of their ages. They will become happy citizens of this community and will be able to earn a living and enjoy life with their fellow men.

The Student Loan Fund

The Greenville Rotary Club began to build a Student Loan Fund a good many years ago by donations and fines of members for late arrival at meetings. The fund now in hand, though not large, has been of help to students who have found themselves in need of funds to continue their studies in the local college.

The Club has also contributed to the Rotary Foundation Fund which was founded several years ago as a memorial to the founder of Rotary, Paul Harris. Last year our Club had a candidate for one of the Rotary Fellowships under this Foundation, Ruel W. Tyson, Jr., son of Sheriff and Mrs. Tyson, but in the seven-way contest the award went to Miss Nancy Lee Smith, the candidate from the Washington, N. C., Club.

Christmas Baskets

It has been the practice of the Greenville Rotary Club, down through the years, to provide as much Christmas cheer as possible, for the needy of our community. To this end we have cooperated with the welfare department of the city, with the churches and with the Salvation Army in providing baskets of food, fruit, candy and toys to help lighten the hearts of the less fortunate. Many members of the Club volunteer in the assembling and the distribution of these tokens of good will.

The Club Building as a Community House

Lacking a community house in the city, the Rotary building has served very largely in that capacity ever since it was constructed in 1920. It has been used for a wide variety of gatherings and as a

meeting place for several other organizations in the city. The Kiwanis Club, Junior Chamber of Commerce, Lions Club, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Sea Scouts and other groups have had the advantage of its facilities from time to time. The charge for its use, when any is made, is only enough to cover the expense of operation which is moderate.

The Club Meetings

The Greenvile Rotary Club is noted for the warmth and cordiality of its fellowship and the hearty handclasp given to visitors. It is an unusual club meeting when there are not several visitors present—members of other Rotary Clubs making up meetings, business or professional guests of club members, and sons and daughters of members who like to visit the Club with their fathers.

And it is known as a singing Club. Under the leadership of any one of several members who are excellent leaders the voices ring out in strong musical harmony. While a few favorite songs are used frequently, the Club does equally well on a large number found in the official song book.

One of the most enjoyable parts of a club meeting is the live, friendly discussion that takes place during the regular evening meal before the beginning of the program. This discussion is so enjoyable and vigorous sometimes that the president must give the gong a second stroke to secure quiet in order to begin the formal part of the program.

It is the practice of the Club to give at least twenty minutes to the formal program which may be an address or talk, a forum, music, a novelty number, an observance of Christmas, Thanksgiving or other holiday, a program by high school, college or other students, or other appropriate kind. Club members give a large proportion of the programs.

In general the Club attendance is good, usually running in the high eighties in percentage. Many members are faithful in making up a meeting that must be missed at home.

Entertaining Regional Meetings

It has been the pleasure of the Greenville Club to entertain the District Conference only once. That was in April, 1951 when one of its members, Howard McGinnis, was the District Governor. The Club made every effort to do its part in entertaining the visitors and help to put on an outstanding conference. It received many compliments on its efforts, for which we are appreciative.

The Club has entertained inter-city Rotary meetings several times. Probably the largest and one of the best was held here in the spring of 1932 when about three hundred Rotarians gathered in the North Dining Hall of the college for an evening of fellowship, song, good food and Rotary inspiration. Rabbi Israel L. Freund of Goldsboro was the speaker for the occasion.

In the summer of 1951 the Greenville Rotary Club was host to a district forum, suggested by Rotary International. Past President of Rotary International, Donald Adams, was leader of the forum and all present agreed that it was a highly informative and inspirational meeting.

February 1, 1955

MemberEntered RotaryRotary Ann
Carl L. AdamsFeb. 1929Lyda May
Branch ArmisteadMarch 1946Dorothy
Alton BarrettMarch 1949Helen
Joseph C. BatemanMarch 1946Ruth
Charles B. BissetteMay 1940Ola Day
Judson H. BlountNov. 1921Clyde
Robert Lee BooneAug. 1952Joyce
J. Frances BowenSept. 1945Dorothy
Morris BrodyOct. 1953Lorraine
Larry BrownApril 1935Sybil
Wyatt BrownFeb. 1934Tricey
Elmer E. BrowningSept. 1933Marie
L. M. BuchananJan. 1942Elizabeth
James W. ButlerAug. 1937Gloria
Henry E. ColemanJan. 1954Mildred
Wm. Haywood DailSept. 1919
Wm. A. DardenFeb. 1943Mildred
F. D. DuncanJan. 1950Elizabeth
W. Connor EaglesNov. 1948Elizabeth
Guy C. EvansFeb. 1944Charlotte
James L. FlemingNov. 1945Ellen
Fitzhugh L. GammonJuly 1926Helen
Philip L. GoodsonJuly 1926Hortense
Ken G. HarrisJan. 1954Katherine
Floyd F. HendrixMarch 1938Dorothy
Robert Lee HumberSept. 1946Lucie
William M. HowardFeb. 1941Ada
C. Fred IronsJan. 1946Malene
F. Badger JohnsonAug. 1937Jean
B. McK. JohnsonMarch 1946Sara
Alton R. JohnstonJan. 1948
J. B. Kittrell, Sr.Sept. 1919Elizabeth
J. B. Kittrell, Jr.April 1948Betty
Wm. T. KyzerMay 1921Winifred
Ernest W. Larkin, Jr.Dec. 1951Frances
J. Roy MartinNov. 1938Lillian
Howard J. McGinnisMay 1924Nellie
Bancroft F. MoseleySept. 1938Helen
Joseph S. MoyeApril 1936Elizabeth
James B. NewmanDec. 1950Esther
Lyman H. OrmondJan. 1933Dorothy
Johnathan W. OvertonSept. 1931Nina Elizabeth
Karl B. PaceNov. 1921Lida
Sherman M. ParksMarch 1946Lillie
Willie M. PateMarch 1947Grace
W. Reid PerkinsFeb. 1943Virginia
J. Knott ProctorSept. 1922Ada Gray
John C. ProctorJan. 1938Carolyn
E. Leon Roebuck, Jr.June 1946Nell
Junius H. RoseNov. 1921Lenna Elizabeth
Wendell W. SmileyNov. 1945Elva
A. B. StallworthApril 1946Dorothy
Lawrence A. StroudSept. 1919Maggie
F. Harding SuggOct. 1951Anna Belle
Martin SwartzMay 1926Flonnie
Charles TerpenningNov. 1954Stella
Harold L. ThomasFeb. 1948Carolyn

J. H. ThomasNov. 1932Rosabelle
Robert F. ThompsonMay 1930Virginia
Earl G. TrevethanDec. 1954Ruth
Ruel W. TysonDec. 1943Annie
Samuel B. UnderwoodFeb. 1932Alma
N. O. VanNortwick, Sr.Jan. 1932Lida
N. O. VanNortwick, Jr.July 1935Ramona
Tyrus I. WagnerOct. 1937Rosamond
J. Herbert WaldropMarch 1927Lois
T. Y. WalkerSept. 1930Thelma
John B. Webb, Jr.May 1936
Ercell S. WebbFeb. 1946Sara
David J. Whichard IIIFeb. 1951Kathryn
Sam T. WhiteNov. 1921Helen
Charles A. WhiteMarch 1936Nancy
Sam T. White IINov. 1951Colleen
Robert E. WilfongNov. 1953Miriam
S. Lindsey WilkersonNov. 1944Pauline
Ernest L. WillardSept. 1919Mary Kathryn
Hugh C. WinslowMarch 1936Mary Rachel
Jasper E. WinslowSept. 1919Effie
John L. WinsteadSept. 1930Margaret
F. C. (Fordy) HardingOct. 18, 1926Annie

Fordy is a loyal, enthusiastic member of the Club and a strong devotee of Rotary. A past president of the Club (1929-1930), many years on the Board of Directors and having served effectively on most of the Club committees, he has rendered a distinct service to the Club, to Rotary and to his community.


Our Club members take a great deal of pride in the convenience, comfort and attractiveness of the Club building, and we are especially pleased with the dining room which is attractive. Over the president's head hangs a plaque indicating the date of the dedication of the building—March 14, 1920. To the right of it hangs a picture of Paul Harris, the founder of Rotary. On each of the side walls to the right and to the left of the president hangs a mounted sail fish. They are trophies presented to the Club by two of its members who caught the fish in the Gulf Stream and had them mounted. It has been the practice of the Club to mount the picture of its past presidents in order by years on the north wall of the dining room. Other equipment is a piano, trophy case, telechrone clock for the benefit of long-winded speakers, and an American flag.


Photo of Rotary Members in the Club Dining Room]




Eight of the governors, past and present, who have served the Greenville Rotary Club and District 279 and the nominee for 1955. Left to right: Jim Butler ’46, Edmund Harding ’36, Charlie McCullers ’53, Howard McGinnis ’50, Irvin Morgan ’38, Frank Ruble nominee ’55, Maynard Fletcher ’30, Jean Booth ’48, and Ralph Wellons ’54.


Rotary International has had a phenomenal growth during the past fifty years. The officers, through the Secretariat at Chicago, keep a close check and record of changes in the number of clubs and members; but because reports to the Secretariat are likely to be as much as a month after the addition or reduction of a club or of a member, it is not possible to pinpoint the exact number of clubs or of members on a given date. Hence the estimated figures below.

YearEstimated No. ClubsEstimated No. MembersLandmarks
19558,400400,000Golden Jubilee
19507,000341,000Over 200 Rotary districts
19455,400247,000U. N. Charter week set up
19405,000213,000Rotary Relief Fund established
19353,800162,000Went into Tunisia
19303,300153,000Past Service Memberships formed
19252,000108,000Four more countries entered
192075056,000First Boy's Week
191516020,000Code of Ethics adopted
19101618,000Nat'l Ass'n formed
1905122First Club formed


The Greenville club, formed in 1919, was the sixth to be formed in North Carolina. Clubs preceding it were Raleigh 1914, Wilmington and Asheville 1915, Charlotte 1916, and Wilson 1917. Then next in order came Washington, New Bern, Kinston and Fayetteville in 1920.

Due to the great increase in the number of clubs, this district, which originally included all of eastern North Carolina and part of Virginia, has been divided several times and has carried six numbers viz:

Seventh 1914-1922, inc.

Thirty-seventh 1923-1925, inc.

Fifty-seventh 1926-1936

One hundred eighty-ninth 1937-1945, inc.

One hundred eighty-eighth 1945-1947, inc.

Two hundred seventy-ninth 1948-1955

Un-cataloged item icon

The details for this item have not yet been reviewed by cataloging.

To request review of this item, click here.