Courtesy of  Ray Leisy, Club Historian
The year 1931 marked the completion of the first decade for Wooster Rotary and the 25th anniversary of the founding of Rotary itself which had reached 200,000 members worldwide. Wooster Rotary had grown from 24 members to 80 members. The Wooster Rotary Secretary at the time, George Coffey, called the 1930s the “Years of Stress” due to the worldwide Depression and the beginnings of fascism in Europe and militarism in Japan.
The Depression did not spare Wooster Rotary; quite a few members were unable to meet the financial requirements of Wooster Rotary and had to relinquish their membership. Rotary International lost 2,000 members and 27 Clubs were terminated in 1931. Wooster Rotary took action that year by saying “It is the desire of the Board of Directors that everyone of the present membership maintain his affiliation with the Club during this period of stress. Under no circumstances should a member resign because he feels that he cannot afford to carry on. If necessary, in individual cases, we will declare our own holiday and let you eat your lunch at home, if you but come to the meeting afterward.”

In 1933, as matters began to deteriorate both at home and Internationally, Wooster Rotary President John Houser chose to adopt the four-way test on behalf of Wooster Rotary and the use of the teapot, first used in 1924 as a result of the Teapot Dome affair, to remind all Wooster Rotary Members to support what was right and essential for the support of the financial efforts for the charities of Wooster Rotary.

In 1934, after a vote of Wooster Rotary members, the meeting day was changed from Wednesday to Monday. It was also decided a Wooster Rotary pin would be given to all new members. It was also decided that current members who had joined before 1934 would be given a pin as well. The Fellowship Committee decided that badges showing the members name and classification would be used. To further encourage fellowship, the Fellowship Committee decided to use only round tables for meetings.

In 1936 matters began to deteriorate in Europe rapidly with effect on Rotary International. In that year 42 German clubs disbanded, 11 clubs in Austria and 34 clubs in Italy.

In 1938 Wooster Rotary met with other Wooster Civic Clubs and formed the Community Chest resolving that many individual drives for funds should unite for just one drive per year for all members. However, the fears of all people for peace were dashed in 1939 as the war in Europe began with closing of many more clubs as countries began to mobilize for war or defense.