Courtesy of  Ray Leisy, Club Historian
In 1915, Walter D. Foss, President of the Wooster Brush Company, after the death of his wife, decided to retire and move to Cleveland. Once he arrived in Cleveland, he decided to take up residence at the Hotel Carter in downtown Cleveland. He commuted back and forth to Wooster once or twice each week to keep in touch with the Company and family in Wooster.
At some point, he joined the Cleveland Rotary Club and soon decided that Wooster could benefit as well with a Rotary Club. 
He enlisted his son, Walter R. Foss, President of Wooster Brush, Walter Whitaker, a Wooster Insurance Agent, and William Harris, a cashier at the Citizens National Bank. Together they compiled a list of candidates for the Wooster Rotary Club. They approached each candidate personally and explained the principles of Rotary and the qualifications for membership and all of the rules and regulations of Rotary. Some potential members who were approached declined, others who were not approached asked if they could join.
Soon, 24 potential members were selected, being an adequate number to apply for a charter and a meeting was set for January 21, 1921, although that is not the “official” date for Wooster Rotary. Walter D. Foss received a letter from the International Association of Rotary Clubs dated 28 February, 1921 accepting the Wooster application. The Charter itself carries a March 1,1921 date; Charter No. 834. So, we can have three celebrations if we want.
After receiving Charter No. 834, Wooster Rotary elected the first officers of the Club:
L. Albert Woodard, President
William Harris, Vice President
Walter R. Foss, Secretary
Robert R. Woods, Treasurer
Herman Freedlander, Sergeant at Arms
The twenty-four Charter Members were:
Clarence L. Allis 1883-1950
Samuel H. Bell 1889-1954
George W. Blake 1886-1922
Henry L. Boigegrain 1868-1953
William R. Curry 1876-1952
Emmett C. Dix 1873-1953
Walter R. Foss 1897-1970
Herman Freedlander 1879-1974
Frank C. Gerlach 1870-1948
Charles M. Gray 1859-1929*
William Harris 1870-1945
Joseph W. Hooke 1868-1953*
George C. Maurer 1862-1957
Emile E. Paumier 1875-1936
Thomas D. Prosser 1872-1963
James B. Rahl 1882-1964*
Harry A. Reiman 1886-1964
Alvin Rich 1871-1955
Guy Richard 1885-1973*
Alonza C.Smith 1887-1943
Charles A. Weiser 1861-1938
Walter G. Whitaker 1865-1931
Robert R. Woods 1875-1960
L. Albert Woodard 1874-1964*
* Served a term as President
A brief biography of each charter member follows:
Clarence L. Allis 1883-1950 was born in Valpariso, Chile. He attended the College of Wooster, Columbia University and Stanford University. He began his career with the American Telephone and Telegraph Company and then Youngstown Sheet and Tube Company.  He returned to Wooster in 1910 and married Miriam Hurd in Wooster in 1911. She passed away suddenly in 1912. He married Marguerite Bange in 1921. She died in Wooster in 1965. He had returned to Wooster in 1910 to become general manager, secretary and treasurer of Wooster Light and Power Company. Upon his retirement he moved to Massillon, Ohio. He died in 1950 and is buried in the Wooster Cemetery. Classification: Light and Power.
Samuel H. Bell 1889-1954 was born in Wooster and went to work as a bookkeeper for his father in Wooster who was an importer and horse breeder. In 1912 he married Charlotte Miller. During World War I he served as a Major in the Quartermaster Corp. He also was a 32nd degree Mason. When his father retired he took over the family business calling it the S.H. Bell Corporation with himself as Chairman. He died in Wooster in 1954 and is buried in the Wooster Cemetery. Classification: Live Stock.
George W. Blake 1886-1922 was born in Moundsville, West Virginia. He attended Kenyon Military Academy, Kenyon College and the University of Virginia. He began his career in Moundsville in the Real Estate business. He also became a Justice of the Peace in Moundsville. He moved to Wooster in 1902 and founded Buckeye Aluminum. In 1910 he married Mary Ellis in Wooster. He died in 1922 following an operation for appendicitis and is buried in Wooster Cemetery.
Classification: Kitchen Supplies.
Henry L. Boigegrain 1868-1953 was born in Mt. Eaton, Ohio. He moved to Wooster with his family in 1879 and went to work at the D.Q. Liggett clothing store, then H.G. Church and then Oberholtzer and Beebe. In 1893 he went to work for the William Annat Company from which he retired in 1943. He married Mary Jones, who died in 1934. They are buried together in Wooster Cemetery. Classification: Dry Goods.
William R. Curry 1876-1952 was born in Wooster and attended the College of Wooster. In 1899 he went to work for the D.C. Curry Company with his father, D.C. Curry, and his brothers John R. Curry and Wellington Curry. The company had been founded by his grandfather, James Curry. He served as a corporal in the Spanish American War. He was one of the original founders of the Wooster Country Club. He married Edna Smith in Wooster. They are buried together in Wooster Cemetery. Classification: Lumber.
Emmett C. Dix 1873-1953 was born in Atwater, Ohio. He attended school in Hamilton, Ohio and was graduated from Hiram College. He became Editor of the Wooster Daily Record in 1911 and added the title Publisher in 1922. He held both positions until retirement in 1950.  He married Edna Vorhees in 1900. He died in Florida in 1953. Classification: Newspaper Editorial.
Walter R. Foss 1897-1970 was born in Wooster a son of Walter D. Foss, President of the Wooster Brush Company. The Company had been founded by his grandfather Adam Foss. He married Camilla H. Burdett in 1919 and began his career at Wooster Brush alongside his father and three brothers as Research and Advertising Manager. He worked closely with his father Walter D. Foss, who had moved to Cleveland, to obtain the charter for the Wooster Rotary Club in 1921. He is buried in Wooster Cemetery. Classification: Brush Manufacturing.
Herman Freedlander 1879-1974 was born in Buffalo, New York and came to Wooster in 1884 with his family. His father had opened the Buffalo One Price Store in Wooster in 1884, but when his father’s health began to suffer Herman, at age 16, took over the operation of the store. His father died in 1898. He married Edna Anthony in 1904, she died in 1948. He, along with Albert Dix, organized the Wooster Borad of Trade. The organization is now known as the Wooster Chamber of Commerce. The Freedlander Park and the Freedlander Theater at the College of Wooster are both named in honor of Herman Freedlander. He continued daily management of the the Freedlander store until shortly before his death in 1974. Classification: Mens Clothing.
Frank C. Gerlach (1870-1948) was born in Wooster. He attended the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy and began his career in Wooster as a pharmacist. He also joined the Ohio National Guard and quickly achieved the rank of Captain. In 1898, the 8th Oho National Guard, based in Akron, was ordered into duty as the 8th Ohio Infantry and sent to Cuba to serve during the Spanish- American War. After his release from duty Gerlach returned to Wooster, his pharmacy career and married Florence McClarran. They had two children, Mary Frances and Harry McClarran Gerlach. From 1909 to 1913 he served as superintendent of the Ohio Boys Industrial School in Lancaster but then returned again to Wooster. In 1918, the 8th Ohio Volunteer Infantry (OVI) was again called up for active duty in France at the start of World War I. This time Gerlach was promoted to Colonel of Company D of the 146th U.S. Regiment of the Army Infantry. The United States Congress awarded Col. Gerlach the Distinguished Service Medal for the Ypres Offensive. He returned to Wooster again in 1920 and served as Wooster Postmaster from 1920 to 1924 when he became a Director and Treasurer of the Wayne Building and Loan Company. Gerlach died in 1948 and is buried in the Wooster Cemetery with his wife who died in 1954. Classification: Postmaster.
Charles M. Gray (1859-1929) was born in Wooster. He attended Wooster schools. In 1880 he went to work in his father’s business, Gary & Son, Coal Merchants. He continued the business after the death of his father until 1921. He married Nellie Gray, this was also her family name, in 1893. He sold the coal business in 1924 and became President of Peoples Building & Loan. He died in Wooster in 1929 of shock following surgery for appendicitis. He is buried in Wooster Cemetery. Classification: Coal Retailing.
William T. Harris (1870-1945) was born in South Wales, England. He came to the United States in 1880 with his parents and siblings who settled in the Paulding, Ohio.  He graduated in 1897 from Hiram College with a Divinity Degree and became a Minister. He then became a casher in a Paulding Bank and then furthered his career by moving to Wooster to join the staff of the newly organized Citizens National Bank. He quickly advanced from Teller to President of Citizens until his retirement in 1940. He died in 1945 and is buried in the Wooster Cemetery. Classification: Bank Cashier.
Joseph W. Hooke 1868-1953 was born in Degraff, Ohio. He attended Mt. Morris College in Illinois and began his career as a school teacher in Crawford County, Ohio where he married Bertha Morrison in 1894. In about 1905 he moved to Wooster where he went to work at Peoples Savings & Loan Association where he progressed to Manager by the time of his retirement. His wife died suddenly in 1922. He subsequently married Harriett Davidson in Wooster. He continued his career at Peoples until 1945. He died in Wooster in 1953 and is buried in Wooster Cemetery. Classification: Savings & Loan Association.
George C. Maurer (1862-1957) was born in Bolivar, Ohio. He attended the Smithville Academy and graduated from the College of Wooster 1890. Over the years he also took summer courses from the University of Chicago, New York University, Ohio Northern and Harvard University. He was Superintendent for Loundonville Schools from 1890 to 1893, He married Georgia Pocock in Wooster in 1891. They had one son, Horace “Hap” Maurer. He became superintendent of New Philadelphia Schools in 1893 until 1912 when he became Superintendent of Wooster City Schools, which he held until his retirement in 1932. He and his wife retired to Florida, but returned often to visit in Wooster. His wife died in 1947 and he died in 1950. They are buried together in Wooster Cemetery. Classification: School Superintendent.
Emile E. Paumier (1875-1936) was born in Louisville, Ohio. He attended Louisville schools and the Canton Business College. He began his career in a Canton Shoe Store until 1900 when he moved to Wooster and bought a local shoe store. He soon became well known for the manufacture of shoes also operated an overall factory at the same time. He was a charter member of the Wooster Country Club. After 1920 he became a Director of the Citizens National Bank and also became active in the oil and gas industry. He died in 1936 and is buried in the Wooster St. Mary’s Cemetery with his wife. Classification: Shoe Manufacturing.
Thomas D. Prosser (1872-1963) was born in Wheeling, West Virginia. He graduated from Mt. Union College (Ohio) and began his career in the office of the Labelle Iron Works in Wheeling as assistant to the President. He married Elanor Holtz.  in 1902. In 1905 he opened his own business as a broker in steel and iron in Wheeling. The business was known as the Thomas D. Prosser Co. In 1919, he opened a branch in Wooster and moved to Wooster to market iron and steel. In 1925 he closed his Wooster office and relocated to New York to continue as an iron and steel broker. He later moved to Putnam, Connecticut where he became an active member of the Putnam Rotary Club. He died in Woodstock, Connecticut in 1963 where is buried. Classification: Iron & Steel.
James B. Rahl (1882-1964) was born in Madisonburg, Ohio, since annexed by the City of Wooster. He attended the Ohio Northern School of Pharmacy and returned to Wooster to gain experience from other pharmacists. He married Harriett Munson in Wooster in 1909. In 1909 he opened the Rahl Pharmacy in Wooster. He continued his pharmacy career and store until 1938 when retired for a short period. He soon took on new duties as Superintendent of the Wooster Cemetery Association. He also became Secretary of the Wooster City Park Department. He died in 1964 and is buried in the Wooster Cemetery. Classification: Retail Druggist.
Harry A. Reiman (1886-1968) was born in Wooster and graduated from Western Reserve University and the Western Reserve Dental School. He moved to Toronto, Canada to complete his studies and married Della Sara Morganroth from Easton, Ohio in Toronto in 1915. They returned to Wooster where Dr. Reiman opened a private dental practice in the Peoples Bank Building in downtown Wooster. Della Reiman died in 1963 and Dr. Reiman died in 1968. They are buried in Wooster Cemetery. Classification: Dentist.
Alvin J. Rich (1871-1955) was born in Smithville on his family farm. He spent his early career working on the farm but soon moved to Wooster in 1895 to become a clerk in the hardware store of his uncle H. A. Rich and his partner J. P. Blough. He soon took over the store as sole proprietor which he operated until 1950 when he closed the store. He served for many years as a director of the Wooster Board of trade and was very active in Wooster civic affairs. He succeeded George Swartz as Director of the Wooster Museum, now the Wayne County Historical Society, in the late 1920s and was active as Director until his death. He was known as Wooster’s unofficial historian throughout his life. He is buried in Wooster Cemetery.. Classification: Retail Hardware.
H. Guy Richard (1885-1973) was born in Wooster and attended Wooster City Schools. He attended the College of Wooster Conservatory of Music. He went to work in the Alvin Rich Hardware Store and opened his own store around 1910 known as Richard & Wile. He married Lena O. Kettler in 1910. She died in 1952. He remarried Doris Fetzer. After closing his own store around 1920, he went to work for Akron Brass as Treasurer and then as General Manager of Nicolay-Dancy, Inc. He ended his public career as Executive Director of he Wooster Board of Trade. He served as Choir Director for the Wooster Presbyterian Church for 20 years. He is buried in Wooster Cemetery. Classification: Brass Casting.
Alonzo C. Smith (1887-1943) was born in Loudonville and graduated from the College of Wooster. He married Gail M. Kinney in 1911. Upon his graduation from the University of Michigan Medical School in 1913 and after further training as a surgeon he returned to Wooster in 1916 to form a partnership and opened the Kinney-Knestrick Hospital in Wooster. Dr. Smith died in 1943 and Gail Smith died in 1963. They are buried in Wooster Cemetery. Classification: Physician.
Charles A. Weiser (1861-1938) was born in Emmanus, Pennsylvania. He graduated from the Ohio Northern University and the Ohio Northern School of Law and moved to Wooster. He opened a law practice in Wooster and was elected Probate Judge in 1913. During his career he was also elected to the Ohio Legislature, President of Wooster City Council, President of The Wooster Board of Trade and President of the Wooster Cemetery Association. He married Malinda Shafer in Wooster and they are buried together in Wooster Cemetery. Classification: Attorney.
Walter G. Whitaker (1865-1931) was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and moved to Wooster at the age of 15 to live with a relative, Henry Childs. Childs owned a clothing store in downtown Wooster where Whitaker became  a salesman upon his arrival in Wooster. He married Catherine P. Snyder in Wooster in 1888. After the store was closed, he became a traveling salesman of dry goods. In 1911, he opened an insurance agency know as “Walter G. Whitaker Insurance” which he operated until his death. He was a Director of the Wayne County National Bank and active in a large number of Wooster Fraternal Organizations. Classification: Fire Insurance.
Robert R. Woods (1875-1960) was born in Akron, Ohio. He graduated from Ohio Northern University in 1893. He became a teacher but soon changed careers to become a bank teller in Portage, Ohio. In 1897 he married Alice Laubert in Portage. He left the Bank to become an insurance salesman in Summit County, but returned to Banking in 1915 when he moved to Wooster to become the Cashier of the Wayne County National Bank. Upon his retirement he became a financial advisor in Wooster. Classification: Commercial Banking.
Louis Albert Woodard (1874-1964) was born in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He graduated from University of Michigan with a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering. His first job was in a machine manufacturing facility in Ft. Wayne, Indiana where he married Helen Dryer in 1899.  In 1905 he moved to Boardman, Ohio to become Manager of a Machine Company and then to Wooster, Ohio where he opened the Woodard Machine Company. He became the first President of the Wooster Rotary Club in 1921. In 1924, the Woodard Machine Company merged with McIntosh-Hemphill with Woodard as Vice President. In 1928 he moved to Zanesville, Ohio to become President and General Manager of Tristate Engineering. He retired to Poland,Ohio in 1950 where he died in1964. Helen died in Poland, Ohio in 1962. Classification: Manufacture Steel Rolling Mill.