Franklin Rotary Club's History

The Franklin Rotary Club was organized on May 1, 1921, with 17 charter members under the leadership of President George B. Jabson. “Service Above Self” is the motto of Rotary International and the local club has sought to give feeling and meaning to those words. Throughout the years, the Franklin Rotary Club has quietly been involved in efforts to make the Franklin Area a more pleasant place in which to live and work. Further, the Club participates in many projects that include a larger local “community” and the international sphere as well.
Rotary International is, itself, a service club, but within the membership are many members, who are also active in various communities, educational, and religious projects and programs. All of these are aimed at helping the Franklin community to grow and prosper. Our Club members welcome the opportunity to assist the Franklin area in leadership roles by serving on various boards and government agencies. We participate as volunteers for the United Way, Salvation Army, Chamber of Commerce, church organizations, civic groups, and also interact with other service clubs and initiatives.

The History of Rotary International

Paul P. Harris organized Rotary as a club in Chicago in 1905. The first group met in rotation in the offices of the charter members, where the name Rotary was derived.
Rotary today is an international organization. Rotary Club in the free world are divided into divisions within the international organization that are know as Rotary Zones and Districts. Within Rotary today, there are over 500 Districts spanning 163 countries. These Districts contain more than 34,000 Rotary Clubs and boast a membership of over 1,250,000.
The Rotary International Headquarters is currently located in Evanston, Illinois. A fifteen-member Board of Directors, which includes an international President and President-elect, governs the operations of Rotary.


Rotary's founder Paul  Harris in his private office at the Law Offices of Harris, Dodds, and Brown in Chicago in 1909.
The first four Rotarians: Gustavus Loehr, Silvester Schiele, Hiram Shorey and Paul p. Harris.
Picture was taken between 1905-1912 in Chicago
The first six Presidents of Rotary International at hte 1939 Rotary convention in Cleveland, OH, USA.
Font row: Paul P. Harris, Glenn C. Mead.
Back row: Russsell F. Greiner, Frank L. Mulholland, Allen D. Albert, and Arch C. Klumph.

  Our ongoing commitment

Rotary members have not only been present for major events in history — we’ve also been a part of them. Three key traits have remained strong throughout our history:

We’re truly international. Only 16 years after being founded, Rotary had clubs on six continents. Today, members in nearly every country work to solve some of our world’s most challenging problems.

We persevere in tough times. During World War II, Rotary clubs in Austria, Germany, Italy, Japan, and Spain were forced to disband. Despite the risks, many continued to meet informally, and after the war, Rotary members came together to rebuild their clubs and their countries.

We’re committed to service, and we’re not afraid to dream big and set bold goals. We began our fight against polio in 1979 with a project to immunize 6 million children in the Philippines. Today, polio remains endemic in only three countries — down from 125 in 1988.



Was the first amount donated to The Rotary Foundation in 1917.


Was the first gift from The Rotary Foundation to the International
Society for Crippled Children in 1930

Rotary will continue to grow and help others around the world.