ebook  History of Watertown, Wisconsin


Watertown Rotary Club



1928 Rotary Intl ribbon.  






In 1936, during the city's centennial celebration, Mrs. Holmes reigned as the centennial queen and occupied one of the floats in the parade.   Mrs. Sheldon E. Holmes, granddaughter of Watertown's first settler, Timothy Johnson, died last evening at her home at the age of 75 years.  She had been in failing health for some time.  Mrs. Holmes' mother was Jane Johnson, daughter of Timothy Johnson and her father was John A. Chadwick.




Fred W. Kehl, 829 Richards Avenue, has been elected president of the Watertown Rotary Club for the year commencing July 1.  He now is club vice president.  Ralph Ebert was re-elected secretary.  Three board members were elected at yesterday's club meeting. They are George Wolff, Harold Blaesius and Dr. E. E. Burzynski (incumbent).  Other directors are S. J. Luchsinger, Kehl and S. J. Gamroth, retiring president.   WDT


05 11       35th Anniversary

The 35th anniversary of the founding of the Watertown Rotary Club was observed last night with a ladies' night inter-city dinner program, held in the upper hall of the Elks Club.  A total of 225 Rotarians and Rotary Anns from Jefferson, Lake Mills, Fort Atkinson and Watertown, together with special guests, were present to mark the occasion.  The Watertown club was organized by the Madison Rotary Club. The charter night was held on January 16, 1924, with 150 Rotarians from various cities, including Madison and Waukesha, present.  The Madison club was represented by 80 Rotarians who came over by special train.  The Waukesha club made the trip by interurban.   WDT




The Watertown Rotary Club is going to meet at the Legion Green Bowl starting in August.  Ever since the club was founded here the membership has met every Monday noon at the Elks Club, in the lower dining hall.  The space in the lower dining hall is limited and the same table arrangements have to be followed week after week, it was pointed out.   WDT



05 09          FRED KEHL

Fred Kehl, Watertown, governor of Rotary International district 625, made up of 41 Rotary Clubs, last night was accorded a standing ovation at the banquet which concluded a two day district conference, held at the Dell View Hotel, Lake Delton.  Kehl, in summarizing his 10 months as district governor, told the conference that the district membership shows a net gain of 70.  He also told the conference he visited 10 of the clubs in the district three or more times, 18 two times and 12 clubs one time.  He told the assemblance he plans to make several more club visits before his term expires on July 1.  WDT



11 20          BEN THAUER

Ben Thauer, associated with Skinner & Thauer, on Monday was recognized by the Watertown Rotary Club for a perfect attendance record over a period of 35 years.  Thauer was presented with a 35-year pin by Gerald E. Flynn, club president, in behalf of Claire Thomas, governor of District 25, which includes Watertown.  The presentation was made at the weekly luncheon meeting of the club, held at the Legion Green Bowl.  On Nov. 24, 35 years ago, Thauer became a member of the club.  He was the club’s 14th president, serving in 1937-38. Also, for a period of many years, he served as club treasurer.    WDT




Henry Stoeppelworth took over the reins of the Watertown Rotary Club on Monday at the club’s weekly luncheon meeting, held at the Legion Green Bowl. He succeeds Robert Franz, who has served as the club’s top officer for the past year.  Franz, in turning over the gavel to the new president, expressed his gratitude to the club for having had the opportunity to head the club for the past year.  He said being president for the past 12 months was a most enriching experience.  Franz announced an all-time high for membership in the club.  He said the club now has 78 members.  He announced that during the past year 12 members of the club had a 100 per cent attendance record.  They are: Gerald Flynn, Theodore Guse, Max Stueber, Dr. J. R. Casanova, L. J. Lange, Arthur Mallow, William Schumann, Ben Thauer, Walter Thrams, Arthur Weihert and George Wolff.    WDT



02 11       60th ANNIVERSARY

The 60th anniversary of the founding of the Watertown Rotary Club was observed with a Ladies Night Dinner held Saturday night at the Watertown Country Club with President Gary R. Smith presiding. The local service club received its charter at a Charter Night dinner held at the Elks Club on the evening of Jan. 16, 1924. The Watertown club was sponsored by the Madison club. A special train was chartered to bring 79 Rotarians from Madison. Also present were 10 Rotarians from Milwaukee, 19 from Waukesha, one from Manitowoc and one from Antigo. Eighteen Watertown Rotarians were present.   WDT



10 25          KASPAR PETER

Kaspar Peter, a longtime member of the Watertown Rotary Club, was accorded the designation of honorary member of the club.  The award was presented to Peter by attorney Donald Abraham, past district governor of Rotary and a past president of the local club.  Peter’s son, Kaspar, and the younger Peter’s wife, Barbara, were present for the meeting.  Peter is only the third person to receive this honor in the history of Watertown’s club.  The other two were Fred Kehl, a past district governor, and the late A. E. (Mike) Bentzin.  WDT




Donald L. Abraham of Watertown is retiring from Rotary Club after being an active member since 1970.  Abraham has had a perfect attendance record for the past 29 years.  Among his many achievements, he has served as president of two clubs, and also as governor of District 6250 (formerly District 625).  Abraham will have his last day in Rotary on Oct. 4, after joining the international organization on Oct. 1, 1970.  He was district governor from 1987- 1988.  While he was governor, the district raised $598,211 for the Polio Plus project; began admitting women as members; and added two new clubs.    WDT




William “Bill” Ehlinger of Watertown has been named recipient of the fifth annual Watertown Rotary Club Community Achievement Award.  He will be presented with the award at the annual Rotary dinner on Saturday night at the Watertown Country Club.  This award recognizes someone who has made great contributions to the community through work, civic activities or other means.  The award is based upon the four-way principles of Rotary of truth, fairness, goodwill and building better friendships, and being beneficial to all concerned.   WDT




The Watertown Rotary Club hopes to join forces with the Watertown Park and Recreation Department to leave a lasting legacy for the city as well as the civic organization.  The two entities hope to work together to take advantage of grant money to restore the Rock River shoreline at the Riverside Park island and its Rock River channel adjacent to the mainland.  If the grant is received and the shoreline is restored, the park would have a new look that will enhance the environment for future generations.   WDT


10 10       JOE DARCEY

Joe Darcey of Watertown has been named recipient of this year’s Rotary Community Achievement Award.  Darcey has been named recipient of the award by the Watertown Rotary Club because of his many contributions to the community.  Darcey created the Darcey Foundation to provide funds for students who have expressed an interest in agriculture education.  This past year, the foundation awarded six $5,000 scholarships.  Recipients are selected by the Watertown High School Scholarship Committee.   WDT




Residents will get a chance this weekend to discuss the plan of action for this month’s restoration project of the shoreline at Riverside Park.  Project Manager Augie Tietz of the Rotary Club will be holding a general discussion of the project at the park on Saturday and Sunday from noon to 2 p.m.  The actual restoration process will take place June 16-18 from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.  Tietz said he is still actively pursuing volunteers for the program.  He added he hopes to get at least 30 to 40 volunteers.   WDT




Cross References:

William Sproesser was for many years the song leader of the Watertown Rotary Club, of which he was a member.  He and John W. Keck worked together in many Rotary musical programs, Mr. Keck being one of Mr. Sproesser’s favorite accompanists on such occasions.




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History of Watertown, Wisconsin