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Centennial Back-Flash, 02-28-2019
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”
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Rotary's Got Talent
Who knew that Rotarians had talent?  Apparently, they thought they did May 10, 1949, because someone slipped into one of the Thursday-noon meetings, took notes, and turned them in to the Marshall News Messenger, which blabbed it all, over town.
 
It started innocently enough with group singing lead by Nathan Goldberg, after which cigars were passed out by O. H. (Sam) Clark, bearing the inscription, “It’s A Girl”, and Bill Nutt was recognized the MISD student for the month.
Apparently, the Rotary club had a talent committee in those days, and V. H. Hackney was chairman, and they had a pianist, Mrs. Dana Taylor, who served as the accompanist.  Gordon Boone acted as Master of Ceremonies, in what was described as a “Big Time-Hollywood-Radio-Style” production.
Many talents were showcased that day, beginning with Dr. W. L. Munden and Dr. W. H. Rickles, mystifying the crowd with their team magic act, followed by Martin Hirsch, on the violin, who was so good he had to do an encore.
Then Wade Lane, widely known as “The Whistler” accompanied a couple of recordings, including “Tea for Two, and one other to the delight of the crowd.
R. M. Dick) Williams offered a couple of numbers on his trusted banjo, surprising four others by calling Eddie Graham, the Rev. Bruce Brannon, Mr. Hackney, and Nathan Goldberg to the front.  They learned that they were to be a quartet with him as the accompanist. Needless to say, they weren’t asked for an encore.
Program Chairman Dudley Taylor called a special meeting of the program committee at the conclusion of the program, to which Master of Ceremonies, Gorgon Boone shouted: “You need it”.
I suppose it pretty much killed their chance of going pro, and no one knows if Mr Hackney survived as Talent Chairman, but the club survived that brief, but giddy moment in the spotlight, to go on doing what they did best, “Changing Lives in Marshall – And Beyond”, and for that we will fondly remember their 15-minutes-of-fame, when we meet August 24, 2019, in the Marshall Convention Center to celebrate this and the many other wonderful memories of the Rotary Club of Marshall, Texas, USA.
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 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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