Rotary International (RI) was founded on February 23, 1905 and the Rotary Club of Martin was chartered on March 14, 1928 [sponsored by the Rotary Club of Paris, Tennessee]. Our club was the 15th to be chartered in Rotary District 6760 (Nashville was the first).
Charter members of the new club included officers: D. Walter Harper, President; T. L. Bearce, Vice-President; A.B. Adams, Secretary; John M. Martin, Treasurer; L.E. Taylor, Sgt-at-Arms; F.J. Duke, Director; Karl Warren, Director and members: W. M. Wells, P.M. Fitts, Dr. R.M. Little, J.E. Jenkins, A.S. Johnston, George M. Brooks, E.M. Burge, and L.F. Hicks.
Throughout its history, club membership has waxed and waned and during World War II the club nearly disbanded. Members have always met at noon on Thursdays and various locations around the town of Martin have served as club meeting sites.
Martin Rotarians have always engaged in service projects designed to improve the community and through Rotary International to address solutions to major issues throughout the world. Locally, notable projects included support for University of Tennessee at Martin scholarships, funds to construct the Hardy M. Graham Stadium, establishment and improvement of community parks and recreational facilities, and donations to social service projects and activities.
Local fundraisers included beauty pageants, community-wide drives, ham breakfasts, golf tournaments, singing competitions, horse shows, and special celebrations.
Martin Rotarians historically have supported youth activities including cooperative ventures with UT Martin, hosting and providing foreign exchange students, sponsorship of Interact/Rotaract clubs, and establishment of youth recreational opportunities.
Internationally, the club has joined Rotary International projects related to the eradication of polio, literacy initiatives, and humanitarian relief throughout the world.
Since 1987, the previous all-male Rotary clubs have admitted women members and the Rotary Club of Martin’s current membership is a diverse mix and cross-section of the local community.
Two Martin Rotarians have served as District Governor – E.B. “Bud” Pritchett (1956-57) and Norman Campbell (1978-79) – both were affiliated with the University of Tennessee at Martin.
Rotary’s primary charitable arm is The Rotary Foundation and major donors are recognized as Paul Harris Fellows (Paul Harris was Rotary’s founder). Twenty-three members of the Rotary Club of Martin are current Paul Harris Fellows.
Martin Rotarians have historically and presently embraced the RI motto Service Above Self through their unselfish participation in volunteer service activities, programs, and projects.
Golden Anniversary Commemorative Booklet – 1978
This document is the April 3, 1978 program commemorating fifty years of service.
Brief History of Charter and Past Presidents
This document is a brief history of the Club’s meeting locations, and a list of Past Presidents to 2014.
Rotary Club of Martin Past, Present, and Future Presidents
This is a list of the Presidents from 1928 – 1929 to 2015 – 2016.