In The Beginning

The minutes, files, records and club publications of the Zanesville Rotary Club in its early years have been lost. However, the late Orville B. Littick gathered the following material in many hours of research through the files of the Times Recorder and The Zanesville Signal newspapers. Orville B. Littick’s research is but a small part of the full history of the club compiled for the years of 1915 to 1950. With equal dedication, present club historian, Charles F. Goelz, has researched Rotary years 1951 to present.

The first story of Rotary in Zanesville appeared in The Zanesville Signal on page one in the issue of February 6, 1915. It carried the headlines, “Business Men of Zanesville Form New Organization. City Will Have Branch Organization to the Famous Rotary Club System. Members Will Have Weekly Luncheons. Only One Man From Each Line of Business Can Belong to Club.”

The story went on to tell that the club, which held an organization meeting on February 2, 1915, would hold luncheons every Tuesday and that it was “organized for the purpose of obtaining education in the methods of increasing efficiency and for getting more business.” It was reported that as soon as the local club secured 25 members, it expected to affiliate with the national organization, which had about 100 clubs throughout the United States and six each in Canada and Great Britain.

Zanesville Rotary Club owes its existence to A. Clyde Reasoner, a local real estate dealer. In 1915, he attended a meeting of Rotary in Columbus. While riding back to Zanesville on the interurban, he decided to recommend a club in Zanesville.

Twelve local businessmen met on February 2, 1915, at the Zane Club rooms on North Fifth Street, later the home of the University Club. Under the sponsorship of the Columbus club, Zanesville Rotary was organized.

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