About Us

Our History - Highlights From Earlier Years

Early in 1925, Cal Callison, a Rogers Rotary Club member, surveyed the Springdale area and determined that the Springdale Rotary Club would be formed. On March 27, 1925, Callison (the "Daddy" of the Springdale Club) met with 18 charter members.

Springdale was originally in International District 15. In 1937, the area was changed to 136; in 1949 to 198; and in 1957 to 611 and is now 6110. It remains the only district in the country that is composed of four states: Northwest Arkansas, Northeast Oklahoma, Southeast Kansas, and Southwest Missouri.

The Springdale Club first met in the basement of the First Presbyterian Church on Spring Street. The Club met later at the Southern Hotel on Holcomb where it stayed until 1936 when it moved back to the same building on Spring Street which in the interim had become City Hall. Meals were served by the women of the First Methodist Church. In December of 1936, the meeting place was again changed to the basement of First Methodist Church.

Left to right, back row: Boyce Vaughn, Howard Ewalt, Walter Watkins, Ralph Brooks, Wade Luckett, Jeff Brown, E.R. (Marty) Stafford, Alex Johnson, John Trice, Lowry Walker, Ulys Lovell; left to right, center row: Glenn Riggs, Rev. H.O. Bolin, Autry Wilson, Timothy Applegate, Ellis Posall, R.T. (Doc) Henry, Howard Clark, E.L. McNally, Louis Lichlyter; left to right, front row: Al Hollingsworth, Harry Hayes, Roger Sanders, Clara (Ewalt) Hough, Carl Watson, all stand in front of Springdale Methodist Church, Springdale, Arkansas, 1937.
CreditCourtesy Shiloh Museum of Ozark History / Louis Lichlyter Collection (S-95-36-1)
The first project the Club considered was the need of a hospital suggested by Dr. R.T. Henry. It was prompted by the possibility of a proposed hospital in the Ozarks, sponsored by the Methodist Church.

In th 1927-28 Rotary Year, the Club entertained the high school football team.

In 1928-29, the Rotary Club sponsored the "Four Square Boys Club" of twenty boys, 10-15 years of age.

In the 1930's, the Rotary Club began giving a banquet for senior high students and contineud for many years.

Throuh the years, the Club sponsored a calf club for high school students and an Easter egg hunt for the children.

In 1930, wiht the assistance of the Chamber of Commerce, opened a swimming pool with a capacity of 125.

In 1933, when the high school was forced to charge tuition, the Rotary Club paid the tuition for 15 students.

In 1934, the Club sponsored the first Boy Scout troop.

Springdale Rotary Club softball team, 1936. Left to right, back row: E.L. McNally, Autry Wilson, Glenn Riggs, Wade Luckett; left to right, center row: Gene Shaw, Marty Stafford, Ellis Poisall, Lowry Walker, Ralph Brooks, Walter Watkins, John Trice; left to right, front row: Boyce Vaughn, Harry Hayes, Gary Nelson, Roger Sanders, Carl Watson, R.T. Henry, Louis Lichlyter
CreditCourtesy Shiloh Museum of Ozark History / Louis H. Lichlyter Collection (S-95-63-2)

Five Hundred dollars was raised for the USO.

In 1949, $1,575 was pledged to buy uniforms for the high school band.

The Club was supportive of the farming community by honoring a farmer at an annual banquet each year, sponsored a farm implement contest with a first prize of $500, second prize of $250, and third price of $125 to the farmers showing the greatest overall improvement in their farming operation.

Left to right: Ulys A. Lovell, Harold Whitridge, Edith Whitridge and Luther E. Johnson present for Farmer of the Year Award by Rotary International, 1950s.
CreditCourtesy Shiloh Museum of Ozark History / Springdale Chamber of Commerce Collection (S-77-9-296)

Springdale Rotary Club, composite, Springdale, Arkansas, 1952.
CreditCourtesy Shiloh Museum of Ozark History / Archie Knight Collection (S-92-92-41)

Rotary birthday party, Springdale, Arkansas, 1954, Howard Clark (photographer).
Credit:  Courtesy Shiloh Museum of Ozark History / Caroline Price Clark Collection (S-2002-72-2130)

In 1956, chairs and umbrellas were furnished for Murphy Park.

Rotarians have always been active in the Rodeo of the Ozarks.

Rotary club presentation at plane, woman in front may be Eileen Sanders, Springdale, Arkansas, July 1958, Howard Clark (photographer).
CreditCourtesy Shiloh Museum of Ozark History / Caroline Price Clark Collection (S-2002-72-441)

In 1959, the Club gave $100 to the athletic department of the local schools for a trampoline and began giving scholarships to outstanding seniors.

Five Hundred dollars was given for the local press box at the high school athletic field.

In 1962, a flag pole was erectd at the Youth Center in Murphy Park.

The Club supported community organizations such as the Red Cross, Heart Fund, Cancer Fund, and the Bookmobile.

The Club supports Rotary International and over the years has supported numerous international students.

Fifth from left: Walter Watkins, 6th from left: Jimmy Driftwood, Dr. Stanley Applegate in foreground, at Rotary luncheon, 1970s.
CreditCourtesy Shiloh Museum of Ozark History / Springdale Chamber of Commerce Collection (S-77-9-36)