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Centennial Back-Flash, 05-23-2019
Marshall Metro Rotary Club 1981-2018
The announcement of the forming of a new Rotary Club in Marshall was published in the February 13th, 1981 edition of the Marshall News Messenger, announcing the forming of the Rotary Club of Marshall Metro.
 
The first meeting as a provisional Rotary club was April 3, 1981, when officers and board of directors were elected.
 
The club was officially chartered May 7, 1981. It was sponsored by the Marshall Rotary club, H. A. Tony Bridge, Special Representative of District Governor Don Ross, Longview, District 583 (now District 5830). 
 
The President of the Marshall club was Kelly Baird, and Joe McGee and Charlie Smith were co-chairmen of the steering committee. Additional members of the steering committee were Billy Smith, George Rogers, Ed Baker, Truitt Ingram, and Dr. Ben Condray.
 
The Charter Banquet was held Friday, June 26, 1981, at the Ramada Inn of Marshall.
 
Bob Knowles was the charter president. 
 
The charter members were Mac Abney, Don Alford, Monte Bacon, Joe Black III, Wayne Courtney, Al Dillon, Billy Furr, Jack Gray, Jim Hartt, Bill Hinch, James Hortman, Gill Kidd, Bob Knowles, Dr. Bob Koenig, Luis Lopez, Pall Martin, Shields Mitchell, jack Sanders, Max Sandlin, Chuck Spenser, Allen Staggers, James Ware, Wallace Watkins, and Raymond Williams.
 
Formed initially as a convenient makeup the club, it soon became a significant contributor to civic and education affairs in Marshall and to world humanitarian and educational projects and programs. 
 
The club sponsored college scholarships for outstanding Marshall high School graduates, hosted International students and Group Study Exchange teams from around the world. 
 
It aided a group from Michigan, carrying buses, trucks, and books to Belize.
 
It sponsored RYLA students to a youth leadership camp in Carthage, sponsored a Back-Pack program for needy school students, in Marshall, and contributed several thousand dollars to the POLIO Eradication campaign.
 
It received outstanding club awards several years and worked tirelessly for the good of Marshall and District 5830.
 
The club sponsored Past District Governor Carrol Fletcher as District Governor for 1990-1991, who went on to lead the district to new highs in giving to the Rotary Foundation.
 
The turn of the century brought on many challenges for the little club, and its membership began to decline as the economy weakened and jobs were lost in Marshall, and Harrison County.
 
The club continued to support many of its civic, humanitarian, and educational programs even into 2018, when it participated in planting trees at the new elementary schools and junior high, but was unable to find a president for 20018-19, and sadly had to give up its charter and disband in June of 2018.
 
However, with the combined successes and contributions of the Marshall-Metro Rotary club and District Governor Carrol Fletcher, fresh in our memories, it can be proudly said that the Marshall Rotary club, and its members in 1981 who sponsored the Marshall Metro club, will be fondly remembered, when we honor them in “Celebrating a Century of Changing Lives – in Marshall and Beyond”, August 24, 2019, at the Marshall Convention Center in Marshall, Texas.
Unexpected Notoriety
Bobby Rosborough was an interesting person in his own right, charming, charismatic, somewhat flashy and debonair.  He was the son of J. C. Rosborough, a prominent doctor, so it was not unexpected that he became a Rotarian, having started a thriving insurance business in 1926, fresh out of A & M.  He served as District Governor Frank Davis’s Conference Secretary in 1932 and later served as the club secretary for four years after that.
“Bobby” as he was called, enjoyed the game of golf and was well known in various tournaments.  Then came the unexpected part of his colorful, brush with notoriety.
 
In 1932 he became the victim of the notorious “Pants Burglar”, so dubbed because he rifles his victim’s pockets and then leaves the trousers on the doorstep.  A piece posted in the Marshall News Messenger, October 16, says, “At the home of J. C. Rosborough, on Rosborough Street early Saturday the man took from the trousers of Robert F. Rosborough, about $35.  He entered the house through an unlatched front door, C. M. Ezell, chief of police, said.”
 
That was not the only time that his path would cross with chief Ezell, but this time it was much different.  The headline read “Stolen Car Recovered”.  Bobby’s 1932 Ford convertible, stole in January was returned to him by chief Ezell, with an extra 2,700 miles on it and a square hole cut out of the passenger’s-side door.
 
As it turns out that was to accommodate a tripod WW1 water-cooled machine gun.  Yep, it was the infamous 1932 B-400 Ford Convertible sedan of Bonnie and Clyde fame, and Bobby had a photo of Bonnie and Clyde to prove it, but at the time the car was stolen Bobby did not know who had taken it, or why.
 
Frank R. Ballenger’s “Bonnie & Clyde’s Hideout” reveals the details of the episode:
 
“The Bonnie and Clyde B-400 (Ford convertible) was registered to R.F. Rosborough of Marshall, Texas. Stolen in March 1933 (actually January) and believed to have been abandoned shortly after the Ruston Caper. After the Barrow gang's Joplin escape, Detective Ed Portley began an investigation into this fancy Barrow automobile. “
 
“The sheriff at Carey, Kansas answered Detective Portley's all-points bulletin stating that at around six p.m. on April 13th, while making his rounds, he spotted a dark colored mud spattered 1932 Ford turn south off of the dirt road leading from Joplin. It was traveling through Carey at a speed of 40 mph and accelerated to 60 as it headed toward Oklahoma's Cookson Hills.”
 
“After Mr. Rosborough got his prize vehicle back, it had an extra 3,000 hard driven miles added to it's odometer and was minus it's tags. He then traded it in on a new 1933 V-8 Coupe.”
 
Not your typical Rotarian, Bobby Rosborough and the infamous Bonnie & Clyde Ford will be remembered when we celebrate a century of changing lives in Marshall – and Beyond, August 24, 2019.
 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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