Posted on Feb 19, 2018
          The story behind the man, Issac "Ike" Hockwald, The Founder and First President of the Rotary Club of Marshall Texas
          
The story of the early beginnings of The Rotary club of Marshall Texas is a story of a few business men who were actively involved in the social and business issues of the community of their day. The stories behind the story of the Rotary Club of Marshall Texas and the men who founded it, are as fascinating as the stories themselves.  Long before the club was chartered into the International Association of Rotary Clubs on August 1st, 1919, the men involved in its beginning were hard at work guiding and shaping the character and direction of the city.  Ike Hockwald was one of those men. 
         Born April 13, 1865,  Ike Hockwald, a twelve-year old Jewish orphan was adopted by Lionel Kahn in 1887.  He was the driving force behind the establishment of Marshall Rotary in 1919.  He would become the first president of the Rotary Club of Marshall.  In a classic "Rags to Riches" story, he became one of the most successful businessmen in East Texas.  As the manager and cashier of the Kahn's railroad supply store he oversaw quite an extensive business when Marshall was the linchpin of the Texas and Pacific Railroad.
 
           After his adopted father, Lionel Kahn died, he was instrumental in establishing the Marshall Hospital on Polk Street, in building a new Jewish Temple in Marshall, and he served as president of the East Texas Council of Boy Scouts.  He was considered the "Father of organized baseball in East Texas" and brought Major League teams to Marshall on several occasions to play the local teams.  He was a close friend of President William Howard Taft and had him as his guest in Marshall many times.  Later he helped arrange a special train to carry Ex-President Taft to Marshall, where he spoke to the Marshall Rotary club and then to other Rotary clubs in Texas.