The Galesburg Rotary Club

One of the First Clubs in a community of less than 25,000 people

The Galesburg Rotary Club was

Organized April 29, 1914

Chartered by Rotary International December 1, 1914 as Club #133

It is now designated Club # 3221 and is a part of District 6460

Rotary Club of Galesburg, Illinois, USA History

The Galesburg Rotary Club was started locally on April 29, 1914 by twenty of the young aggressive leaders of the city. Reports of the success of the nearby Rotary Club established in Peoria encouraged these young men to form a hobby club.
On May 13, 1914, a formal application was made for affiliation with Rotary International. The Rotary International rules at that time did not permit clubs in cities as small as Galesburg. It was believed then that such a small city could not properly implement the Classification Principle of Rotary. Not satisfied with the initial failure the charter members began several months of convincing negotiations. This included buttonholing the members of the Board of Directors of Rotary International at the annual convention.

The young men continued to meet as a club even though not officially recognized. As a result of that
persistence the club Charter was received on December 1, 1914 naming Galesburg as Club No. 133. Galesburg became the first Rotary Club ever established in a city having a population under 25,000 people.

The same enthusiastic attitude brought immediate success and rapid growth to the Galesburg Club, whose members have provided leadership in the Galesburg community since that time.

Chuck Farrar, D6460 Communications Officer

“…many of the photos of events of that era were lost in a community library fire in 1957.” Chuck Farrar

Submitted by RGHF Senior Historian Basil Lewis, UK, 26 June 2007
Subsequent research suggests that this was not the first club to be started in a small city of under 25000. That honour seems to go to Beaumont

Basil Lewis