Rotary Club of Yanceyville
Rotary Club Presidents’ Photographs

The following photographs are archived by the Club:

1937 Mr. Sam Bason
1938 Mr. Clyde Cole
1939 Mr. Erwin D. Stephens
1940 Mr. Holland McSwain
1941 Mr. Clyde V. McKinney
1942 Mr. E. Fred Upchurch
1943 Mr. John 0. Gunn
1944 Rev. Joyce V. Early
1945 Mr. W. Richard Grey, Jr.
1946 Mr. J. Burch Blaylock
1947 Mr. Thomas J. Ham
1948 Rev. H. J. Womeldorf
1949 Mr. Leon F. Lyday
1950 Mr. William L. Gunn
1951 Mr. Earl J. Smith
1952 Mr. George A. Holt
1953 Mr. Bill R. Murphy
1954 Mr. C. Lee Price
1955 Mr. C. L. Pemberton
1956 Mr. Herman L. Gunn
1957 Mr. Thomas H. Whitley
1958 Mr. Luther T. Hicks
1959 Mr. H. V. Massengill
1960 Mr. William E. Niven
1961 Mr. Norman S. Upchurch
1962 [Mr. Fred Patterson, photo missing] (part of term)
1962 Mr. Dalton Proctor (part of term)
1962 Mr. James Foster (part of term)
1963 Mr. J. E. Foster
1964 Mr. Hines Hatchett
1965 Mr. J. Neal Watlington
1966 Mr. Ryland Farmer
1967 Mr. W. Henry Hicks
1968 Mr. Layton J. Everitt
1969 Mr. C. C. Jernigan
1970 Mr. Buford B. Pearson
1971 Mr. Tom McPherson
1972 Mr. Millard Q. Plumblee
1973 Mr. Ben W. Gentry
1974 Mr. Tommy P. Davis
1975 Mr. Tony W. Wolfe
1976 Mr. W. Willard Woodard
1977 Mr. 0. B. Watlington
1978 Mr. Tommy Florence
1979 Mr. J. D. Gwynn, Jr
1980 Mr. Ed Meadow
1981 Dr. Allison Page
1982 Mr. Tommy P. Davis
1983 Mr. Danny Lentz
1984 [Mr. Marty Allen, photo missing] (part of term)
1985 Dr. Allison Page (part of term)
1986 Mr. Neal Watlington
1987 Rev. William W. Newman
1988 Mr. David Emmett

We have no photographs since the 1988-89 President. All photographs are 8” x 10” and most are black-and-white although a few are sepia and one or two are “tinted”. None are color photographs.


On May 7, 1937 thirty-two men from Caswell County saw a dream come true when the Yanceyville Rotary Club was officially formed. Sensing the need for an organization to promote the development and advancement of the Yanceyville community, these men turned to the high aims and achievements of Rotary International. In 1905 a few man in Chicago committed to the ideal of fellowship and cooperation in business began the first Rotary Club. Paul Harris, the founder of Rotary, initiated the procedure of selecting the leaders from various business and professional men to be members of that first Rotary Club. As early as 1936, a group of Yanceyville citizens formed an organization to develop and improve this community. Special committees were appointed to study the local situation and a compromised report was approved for the establishment of a Rotary Club with a special Industrial Committee to seek new industries for the town. The Yanceyville Rotary Club was organized on March 16, 1937, and through the sponsorship of the Burling-ton Rotary Club, the Yanceyville club was admitted to Membership in Rotary International on May 7, 1937. The charter members were:

PresidentS. M. Bason
Vice President H. L. Gwynn
Secretary C. C. Cole
Treasurer C. L. Pemberton
Sgt.-at-Arms L. W. Lillard

J. B. Blaylock
Holland McSwain
W. J. Swicegood
C. S. Buchanan
George C. Neal
E. F. Upchurch
J. H. Gunn
H. H. Page
R. F. Warren
Jno. 0. Gunn
L. G. Page
Roy F. Whitley
R. L. Hall
Howard P. Richardson
D. W. Wright
W. V. Hall
C. B. Rogers
H. W. Hooper
H. L. Seagrove
W. B. Horton
E. J.Smith
H. M. Lilly
T. E. Steed
S. A. Malloy
Erwin D. Stephens
W. L. Maness
David 0. Sunderland

Letters of congratulations were received by the Yanceyville Rotary Club from Rotary Clubs around the world. On file are letters extending the hand of fellowship from the Rotary Clubs of Liverpool and Hull, England, Dauphin in Manitoba, Canada, Helena, Arkansas, Monrovia, Calif., Lake Wales, Fla., and many other places. John O. Gunn, a charter member, still remains an active member of the Yanceyville Rotary Club,

The local club was incorporated with the Secretary of State, Thad Eure, on March 29, 1945, for the purpose of forming a non-stock no-capital corporation to conduct a recrea-tion and community center for citizens of the county. The Caswell County Board of Commissioners on April 2, 1945 deeded 12.98 acres of land to the Yanceyville Rotary Club, Inc, for the sum of $500.00. This parcel of land contained a log building which was built in the 1930's with WPA funds. Construction was by the local Civilian Conservation Corps unit.

The Rotary Club of Yanceyville took the initiative to begin the industrializtion of Caswell County. In 1938, when the club was just in its second year, an industrial committee was appointed under the chairmanship of John O. Gunn, and it reported some specific plans to the club. The result was the organization of the Caswell Development Company with Gunn, T. E. Steed, and S. A. Malloy as incorporators. When the company was organized C. C. Cole became president while T. E. Steed and Hubert H. Page were vice president and secretary-treasurer, respectively. An intensive campaign was begun to raise funds to construct an industrial building, and with the full cooperation of the Rotary Club and other citizens in the county a substantial sum of money was raised to begin construction. Additional money was borrowed and construction was completed very early in 1939 so that the Caswell Knitting Mill opened in late February. A. Glenn Holt of Burlington (Company Shops) had recommended this particular type of industry and he became the operator of the mill, which gave employment to around 150 people. This was a significant beginning and it was symbolic of the future.

Source: When the Past Refused to Die: A History of Caswell County North Carolina 1777-1977, William S. Powell (1977) at 304.

The Rotary Club House. Always a great place for parties and I was delighted to be invited to play the piano for the club's singing time. My husband had a turn as Rotary Club president about the time "Mr. Sam" who always arranged for his wife "Ms. Marnie" to play for singing time retired after almost 40 years. I inherited "Ms. Marnie"s role as musician. Their programs were always interesting. The food prepared by women's clubs to earn their project money was delicious!!! Special times like Christmas and other holidays were delightful. Spouses helped decorate the club and always attended those events. Many bridal parties, etc. occurred in the Rotary club. Some group should purchase that club building, move it to an accessible area and give it a new life. This building was part of the cluster of buildings that were home for CCCs or other group needing jobs during the 1930s. Lib McPherson 5 May 2015 Post to the Caswell County Historical Association Facebook Page.
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