Logan Rotary’s Early Years

Logan Rotary Founding Charter Duplicate, 1944
Logan Rotary Founding Charter duplicate, 1944 [click to enlarge]
(Utah State University, Merrill-Cazier Library, Special Collections and Archives, Manuscript Collection 234, Box 8, Scrapbook 1, Page 3.)

On June 17, 1919, the founding members of Logan Rotary, under the encouragement and endorsement of the Salt Lake City and Ogden clubs, received their official charter from Rotary International (RI) at the 10th annual international Rotary conference held in Salt Lake City.[1] In the early history of Logan Rotary, the club became a home for some of the leading businessmen and professionals of the city.[2] The group originally met at the Hotel Eccles, but moved to the Cardon family’s Bluebird Restaurant sometime in the 1930s.[3] At the Bluebird, a noon lunch every Thursday became the tradition until the early part of the twenty-first century, when Logan Rotary relocated to the Logan Country Club for their midday meal.[4]

"Echoes of Trip of A.C. Glee Club in Atlantic City," 1920
Newspaper report of the UAC Glee Club trip, 1920 [click to enlarge]
(Utah State University, Merrill-Cazier Library, Special Collections and Archives, Manuscript Collection 234, Scrapbook 1, Page 35.)

In Rotary’s first decades, especially in the 1920s, service generally came in two forms: small town boosterism and boys’ work (philanthropic service provided to the community’s youth). The members of Logan Rotary, following the example set by their fellow clubs, took up both. For their first public endeavor, Logan Rotary funded the Utah Agricultural College (UAC, later Utah State University) men’s Glee Club’s travel to the 1920 RI convention in New Jersey.[5] According to newspapers throughout the state, the Glee Club received rave reviews from the world’s Rotarians.[6] Logan Rotary also possesses a history of helping high school students from Cache Valley attend Utah State University (USU) and surrounding colleges. Starting in 1923, the Logan Rotary Club presented two academic scholarships, one valued at $100, and the other at $50.[7] This tradition continues today with Logan Rotary awarding thousands of dollars in scholarships to local high school students each year. 


Boys’ Work

Rotarians enjoyed assisting the community’s male youth because of its status as a non-divisive issue. Boys’ work avoided politics, class arguments, and complications that could otherwise disrupt the fellowship of a local club, and it reflected the growth of many organizations aimed at creating model male youth.[10] Another well-known example is the Boy Scouts of America. In a 1922 address to the Logan club, LDS Apostle David O. McKay told the Rotarians, “The greatest wonder of all, however, is a boy. His ability to become great and do great things is marvelous.”[11] The year prior to McKay’s speech, the Logan Republican reported that the Rotarians of Logan “personally visited the homes of the town and obtained information about the boys—whether they were in school or not, what they were doing with their leisure hours, their reading habits, and how they wanted to spend their lives.”[12] McKay’s speech and the Republican’s article captured the national perception of boyhood. In the 1920s, Rotarians throughout the United States believed that by mentoring the nation’s youth, they could set wayward boys on a straight path to avoid a life of malfeasance.[13]

 Rotary Documents, Speeches, and Correspondence 

[1] Leonard J. Arrington, Service Above Self: A History of Logan Rotary 1919–1969 (Logan, Utah: J.P. Smith Printing, 1969), Utah State University Merrill-Cazier Library SCA, Pamphlet B 407, 9.
[2] For a complete list of the charter members, see the most recent membership directory, Logan Rotary’s webpage, or Arrington’s Service Above Self.
[3] The earliest available date mentioning lunch at the Bluebird is in 1937. “Addresses Rotary,” Salt Lake Telegram, March 23, 1937.
[4] Marilynne Glatfelter, interview with Cody Patton and Tammy Proctor, April 24, 2018, Glatfelter Home; LRCP, Box 1, Folder 14 (Hereafter referred to as Glatfelter interview).
[5] Arrington, 8.
[6] “U.A.C. Glee Club is Hit at Chicago,” Ogden Standard-Examiner, July 5, 1920. “Logan Glee Club Makes Big Hit.” Salt Lake Herald, June 6, 1920.
[7] “Rotary Pays Out $150 to Students,” Salt Lake Telegram, October 18, 1923.
[8] Charles73.
[9] Arrington9.
[10] Charles78.
[11] Arrington, 11.
[12] “The Logan Rotary Club,” Logan Republican, December 20, 1921. 
[13] Charles78-83.