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Centennial Back-Flash, 04-18-2019
Silvester Schiele, The First Rotary Club President
Silvester Schiele First Rotary Club President
29 June, 1870 - 17 December 1945
 It was Paul and Silvester who met for dinner on Thursday evening, the 23rd of February 1905.
 
Silvester attended school in Terre Haute. Service in the military during the Spanish American war was followed by a move to Chicago. There Silvester involved himself in the coal trade, perhaps using contacts from the mining areas of Indiana.
 
The story has often been told about how in 1896, he found himself unable to recover 20 dollars which he had loaned to a friend. Passing by his coal office frequently was a young lawyer, and one day Silvester asked this young lawyer to help him collect the money.
 
The lawyer was Paul Harris and thus began a friendship between the two men which continued for the next 50 years. Schiele and Harris even shared a hotel room in those early years of the century when both were still bachelors. They often dined together at Madame Galli's where, on February 23, 1905, the 'gang of four' met to discuss the formation of what later became the Rotary movement.
 
In 1909, Silvester married Jessie MacDonald of Michigan who was to assist him throughout their life together. The two couples, Paul and Jean Harris, and Silvester and Jessie Schiele became great friends and neighbors as well as often holidaying together. In death the two men lie close to each other in the Mount Hope Cemetery.
 
It was Silvester who suggested to Paul that each of the members of the new club should give a talk about their business, thereby starting a tradition for new members which continues to this day. Silvester had become a successful and Christian businessman and was President of the Schiele Coal Company from 1902 until he retired in 1939.   Silvester Schiele became the first President of the Chicago Club and remained involved in Rotary throughout his life.
 
He did not take any international office until July 1945, when he was made International Treasurer. He was not to fill the post for long, dying in Chicago at the age of 75 on December 17, 1945.
 
Silvester set a great example for all the thousands of Rotary club presidents who followed him in the first century of Rotary’s growth and service to humanity.
We will honor him along with our own founder and the 99 other presidents who followed him, August 24, 2019, in “Celebrating a Century of Changing Lives in Marshall – and Beyond”
Rotarians Under Fire of The Camera
Frank Davis was president of the Marshall Rotary club in 1922, and no doubt instrumental in having a pictorial disclosure of the members of the young club published in the newspaper, February 23, 1922, on pages 33, 34, 35, and 36, but the responses of the members suggest that it was not a popular idea, yet, everyone seemed to treat it with a good deal of levity and some respect. 
 
It is hard to imagine that anything nearly as bold as this would ever happen again, and, as far as the newspaper is concerned, it never did.

Nevertheless, the project went ahead, and we are indebted to President Frank Davis and to  the “Morning News" staff, A. M. Howard, Homer Price, and Mr. Corti for their persistence in obtaining the photographs for the paper and recording the responses thereto four days later, in the February 26, 1922 edition.
Here are some of the more hilarious responses of the group, and comments by the photographer taking the pictures:
 
“Frank Davis was in such a good humor that his picture looked pleasant, whether it looked natural or not.”
 
"Riley Boon had to have a second setting because his soft collar was wrinkled. He had to leave to have it changed.”
 
"Will Caven declared his first picture even uglier than he, and had another picture made, hoping for a better result."
 
"Horace Blalock, worried because he looked so old, had to bring in his girl to comfort him by telling him he was still young and good looking."
 
"Watt Barry declared that he had never had a good picture made.  Mr. Corti comforted him by telling him that good looking people seldom take good pictures."
 
"Senator Davidson told the photographer the he had only one handsome picture made of himself and added that he wanted another one just like it for the Rotary edition."
 
Clarence Hall said, “I submit myself to your mercy and hope for the best"
 
E. M Anderson said: “You are a great photographer, if you can make a good-looking picture of me.”
 
“'Pep' Hays was true to his name and came in full of pep and happy over having his picture made."
 
Lansing Irvin said: “Make me as young as possible.”
 
"It took 24 telephone calls to Bryan Blaylock, and three days to get him there.  It took four mules and six automobiles to take him down.  He had just gotten in a car-load of buggies and couldn’t stop looking at them."
 
Joe Lake said, “I want some pictures, provided you can make me good-looking.” "The photographers shook their heads gravely at this."
 
"R. P. Littlejohn trotted down promptly to obey the call, but it took several sittings to secure a picture suited to his masculine vanity.”
 
They had to send Joe Pressler out to bring in E. K. Scott “by force”.
 
J. P. Glasgow was surprised by his own “handsomeness”.
 
A. M. Howard, a professional photographer himself, said “Oh Boy! “I have to make a good picture.”
 
To be sure, a few of them took the whole process seriously: John Keiffer got in at the eleventh hour and rushed down the minute he got back, and R. S. Smith got lost in Dallas, and almost did not make it back in time, and Harry McGee and Dr. Cocke took their families with then to see that their tie was straight and that there were no wrinkles in their clothes.
 
Finally, Ike Hochwald was the most patient of the lot, "He worked for over an hour trying to select a suitable pose."
 
Mr. Corti, the photographer, who had spent a large part of his life in the picture-taking business, said. “this was the first time I have ever succeeded in photographing such a large organization in its entirety.”
 
The is little article in its entirety, will be on display, and forever embedded, in the archives of the Rotary Club of Marshall Texas, to remember Mr. Corti and Mr. Howard and all of those intrepid Rotarians who allowed themselves to be photographed and lampooned that fateful week in the history of our club, when we “Celebrate a Century of Changing Lives in Marshall – and Beyond”, August 24, 2019, at the Marshall Convention Center.
 We encourage each of you to submit your own memorabilia, photos, anecdotes about these members and  projects to either the "Official" email of the Centennial Celebration committee, or leave a message on the dedicated phone number.
email: marshalltxrotary@gmail.com  ---  phone: (903) 471-8030 
Please contact your friends and family who have been a members of the Marshall Rotary Club and ask them to send us their email address, so that we can add them to this "Centennial Back-Flash" list, and share these stories with them as well
Russell Hampton
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