The original 29 districts of Kiwanis
The District of Alabama-Florida was organized informally in the fall of 1918. Birmingham, Alabama, was the only club, having organized February 28, 1917. J. Mercer Barnett was the first governor and served until June 1919. Andrew J. Arrant was elected at the Mobile convention in 1919, and served as governor until April 11, 1921.
The Alabama-Florida District continued under that name until the Kiwanis International Board met in July of 1924. At that meeting, the Board designated the two states independent districts. The second club in the district was Mobile. Gadsden and Huntsville tied for third place.
The California-Nevada District was organized in the fall of 1918 as the California District. The first club was Los Angeles, completed August 24, 1917. W. W. Widenham of Los Angeles was the first governor. He was reappointed at a district meeting in Los Angeles in 1919 and served until June 25, 1920. Leslie B. Henry then served until November 4, 1922. On March 24, 1923, Nevada became affiliated with the district, and the Kiwanis International Board approved the name of California-Nevada District at a meeting in December 1924. Long Beach was the second club in the district, with Pasadena third and Oakland fourth.
With the formation in 1947 of the clubs in Hawaii into a division, the feasibility of adding this division to the California-Nevada District was discussed. In 1950, the district forwarded a resolution to the Kiwanis International Board spelling out the arrangements suggested to make the California-NevadaHawaii District operative as of January 1, 1951. This request was approved by the Board.
Originally, the first clubs in the Carolinas were added to the Tennessee District, which had been formed with three clubs in the fall of 1918. On October 25, 1919, the Tennessee-Carolinas District was created by action of the International Board. The man chosen to be governor never served, however, and the district never did function in that combined form. Finally, at a meeting in Chattanooga, Tennessee, on January 12, 1920, it was deemed advisable to separate the Carolinas and the Tennessee clubs and form a new district to be known as the Carolinas.
Paul F. Haddock of Charlotte was elected governor. He was followed by J. Thomas Arnold of Spartansburg, chosen in November of that year at a meeting in Charlotte. He served until October 21, 1921, when W.B. Marrimon of Greensboro was chosen. The first club in the district was Asheville, completed August 11, 1919. The second Charlotte was completed, August 27, 1919; the third, Greenville, South Carolina September 20, 1919. When the district was officially operational, there were seven clubs.
The Capital District, comprising Maryland, Virginia, Delaware, and the District of Columbia, was organized on August 29, 1918, in Baltimore, Maryland. Alfred G. Goodrich was elected the first governor. He was re-elected at the October 4, 1919 convention and served until October 9, 1920. At the 1920 Convention in Washington, DC, J.D. Hank Jr. of Richmond, Virginia, was elected and served until December 31, 1921. The first club in the district was Washington. It was completed August 11, 1917.
Roe Fulkerson, always remembered for his many contributions to the Kiwanis International organization and The Kiwanis Magazine, was the first president. Baltimore was the second club (March 5, 1918) with Wilmington, Delaware, third. Wilmington was followed by five clubs in Virginia: Richmond, Norfolk, Roanoke, Portsmouth, and Lynchburg.
In July of 1924, the International Board separated the Alabama-Florida District into two units. The new Florida District was officially created at a meeting in Orlando on November 6 and 7 of that same year. Scott M. Loftin of Jacksonville was elected governor; he was to serve until December 31, 1925. He was followed by Walter R. Weiser, chosen at Daytona Beach. Weiser was succeeded by Fabian A. Bollinger of West Palm Beach. The first club in Florida was Tampa, the third club formed in the old Alabama-Florida District. It was completed June 18, 1919. Pensacola was completed July 10, 1919; Jacksonville, was October 23, 1919.
Atlanta was the first club in Georgia, and with that one club as a base, the district was established in the fall of 1918. R.S. Wessels was appointed governor, and he was re-appointed in 1920 at a convention in Atlanta. He served until October 6, 1921, when General Walter A. Harris was elected. The Atlanta club was completed May 27, 1918. Rome, the second club completed, was followed by Augusta, Savannah, Athens, Macon, Americus, Albany Eastman, Milledgeville, Washington, Cedartown, Waycross, and Dawson, all formed in 1920.
The Illinois-Eastern Iowa District was first organized as the Illinois District on September 27, 1918, at a meeting in Rockford. At that time, four clubs had been formed: Aurora, Peoria, Chicago and Rockford. Victor M. Johnson, later to become President of Kiwanis International, was the first governor. A section of Eastern Iowa was added to the district by the Executive Committee of the Kiwanis International Board on October 25, 1919, thus forming the Illinois-Eastern Iowa District.
At a second meeting of district leaders in Chicago on April 5, 1919, Victor Johnson was re-elected governor. At the 1920 district convention in Peoria, he again was elected and served until November 4 of the following year when George A. Shurtleff of Peoria was appointed. He was followed by Daniel S. Wentworth, Chicago, another name long to be remembered for his personal impact on the early days. The first club completed in the district was Aurora formed September 20, 1916. The second club was Peoria, November 6, 1916; with Chicago the third, January 6, 1917.
The Indiana District was organized December 27, 1918, at South Bend, with seven clubs in the state. J.L. McCulloch was the first governor. On October 23, 1919, at the next convention in Lafayette, he was re-elected and the same thing happened at the Indianapolis meeting on September 30, 1920. John N. Bromert of Indianapolis was the second governor, being elected at Kokomo on September 30, 1921. The first club was Indianapolis, completed August 17, 1916. Lafayette followed on September 8, 1916, and the third club was South Bend, which was completed October 28, 1916.
The Kentucky-Tennessee District was organized at Nashville, Tennessee in the fall of 1918 as the Tennessee District. At that time, there were three clubs in Tennessee: Nashville, Chattanooga, and Memphis. Esmond Ewing was appointed governor, but he resigned. The Carolinas clubs were added to the Tennessee District, but because no governor was appointed to succeed Ewing, the so-called Tennessee-Carolinas District never functioned. When a decision was made to establish a separate Carolinas District on January 12, 1920, Dr. O.P. Darwin was selected as governor of the Tennessee District. During the interim period, the Tennessee District had no active leadership. W.H. Lambert had been chosen at a Knoxville meeting on October 18, 1919, but he chose not to serve, as did Judge Will D. Wright.
At the same time the Carolinas clubs set up their own district, Kentucky was asked to join the Tennessee clubs. Dr. O.P. Darwin became the first governor of the new Kentucky-Tennessee District. He served until September 8, 1920, when Charles R. Roberts was elected governor in Louisville, Kentucky. The first club in the district as it finally came to be established as a functioning unit was the Louisville, Kentucky club, which was completed November 1, 1916. The second was Nashville, formed February 28, 1917; the third was Chattanooga, March 9, 1918. Memphis had been completed June 20, 1918, but this club was among those in Tennessee that became a part of the Louisiana-Mississippi-West Tennessee District.
The Louisiana-Mississippi District was organized on January 9, 1920, in New Orleans. There were five clubs in the two states: New Orleans, Baton Rouge, Alexandria, and Lake Charles, Louisiana; and Jackson, Mississippi. Major T.J. Bartlett was chosen governor, and he continued in office until October 20, 1920, when W.H. Frazer of Jackson, Mississippi, was elected. Unfortunately, Frazer was unable to complete his term, and the Rev. Charles W. Crisler of Brookhaven, Mississippi, was elected to succeed. He served until November 2, 1921, when A.T. Prescott was elected. The first club was New Orleans (March 29, 1919); the second, Jackson (April 21, 1919). The third was Baton Rouge (April 24, 1919). It was not until November 4, 1938, that the West Tennessee territory was added and the name of the district was changed to Louisiana-Mississippi-West Tennessee.
The Michigan District started out as the Michigan Federation of Kiwanis Clubs, which was formed in Lansing on April 25, 1918. Russell Ward of Jackson was the first president of the federation. In June, the idea of a district plan for the whole organization was presented at the Kiwanis International convention in Providence, Rhode Island. Russell Ward explained to the delegates the plan of the Michigan Federation. Only a few weeks after the Providence meeting, Ward was appointed by the Kiwanis International President as a temporary chairman of a conference to be conducted September 24, 1918, to elect a governor for the district of Michigan. At that meeting in Jackson, Russell Ward was elected at what may well be called the first convention of the Michigan District as both president of the federation and governor.
War pressure became so great that Ward resigned his office on April 19, 1919. Because the first vice-president of the federation was in France, Alva Cummins became governor for the balance of the term. He had been second vice-president of the federation. The Rev. J.B. Pengally of Flint and Michael A. Gorman of Saginaw were other governors in the early years. The first club in the district was the first club in all of Kiwanis, Detroit Number One. It was completed on January 21, 1915. The second was Grand Rapids (November 3, 1916); the third was Muskegon (December 13, 1916).
The Minnesota-Dakotas District originally was formed as the Minnesota District in the fall of 1918 in Minneapolis. There were three clubs; Minneapolis, St. Paul, and Duluth. North and South Dakota were combined with Minnesota to form the Minnesota-Dakotas District by the Kiwanis International Board on November 27, 1920. At that first meeting in Minneapolis, Albert P. Kimm of that city was selected as governor. He served until October 22, 1919. Louis A. Muessel of St. Paul was selected as his successor at a convention in Duluth on October 22, 1919. He served until August 20, 1921, when John C. Pollock of Fargo, North Dakota, was chosen. The first club in the district was Duluth completed January 30, 1917. The second was Minneapolis, April 18, 1917; and the the third was St. Paul November 15, 1917.
The Missouri District was established in the fall of 1918 in St. Louis. At that time, there were only two clubs: St. Louis and Kansas City. Lee W. Grant was appointed governor and, through reappointment, served until November 22, 1920. At another meeting in St. Louis, A.C. Maher of Joplin was elected governor, serving until January 1, 1922. On November 27, 1920, the Executive Committee of the Kiwanis International Board combined Kansas with Missouri to form the Missouri-Kansas District. On June 30, 1923, Arkansas was affiliated with the district to form the Missouri-Kansas-Arkansas District, which was to continue until Kansas became a separate district in the early 1950s. The first club in the district was St. Louis, which was completed April 16, 1918. The second was Kansas City (October 12, 1918); third was Lawrence, Kansas (November 28, 1919).
The Montana District was created by the Kiwanis International Board of Trustees on June 24, 1921. On August 29, a meeting of the four clubs then organized at Billings elected George E. Snell governor. He was re-elected at Great Falls the next year, and served until the end of 1923. The next district convention, at Lewistown on August 13 and 14, elected Harold W. Hoover of Great Falls governor. The first club in the district was
Great Falls, completed September 1, 1920. The second was Billings, completed October 18, 1920.
The Nebraska-Iowa District originally was organized as the Nebraska-Western Iowa District on January 6, 1920, in Des Moines. The original plan had been approved by the Executive Committee of the Kiwanis International Board on October 25, 1919. A.R. Admiston of Lincoln, Nebraska, was elected the first governor. At that time the district had but three clubs - Omaha and Lincoln, Nebraska, and Des Moines, Iowa. A.R. Admiston was re-elected at the next convention in Des Moines, and he served as governor until September 16, 1921. He was succeeded at the Omaha convention by Joseph L. Long of Des Moines, who served until September 8, 1922. On May 29, 1922, the name of the district was changed to Nebraska-Iowa. The first club was Omaha, completed February 13, 1919. The second was Lincoln on March 21, 1919, and the third was Des Moines on June 30, 1919.
The organization of the New England District occurred on November 15, 1918, in Worcester, Massachusetts. There were thirteen clubs in the district at that time. Charles S. Webster of Portland, Maine, was the first governor. He was re-elected the next year at a Springfield meeting, and he served until October 8, 1920. At the 1920 convention, in Holyoke, Massachusetts, Thomas E. Babb, Jr. was elected and he, too, was reelected and served until the end of 1922. The first club in the district was Hartford, Connecticut, which was completed July 15, 1916. The second club was Worcester on November 11, 1916, and the third was Springfield, Massachusetts, on January 10, 1917.
The New Jersey District was organized in September 1918 in Newark. Newark, Paterson, and Trenton were the three clubs already organized. Weston E. Good was elected governor. On October 1, 1919, William E. Duffy was elected governor in Paterson, and he served until September 22, 1920. The next convention was in Trenton on that date, and Joseph B. Hottel was chosen to lead the district. He was re-elected at Atlantic City the next year. The first club in the district was Newark, completed January 10, 1918. The second club was Paterson on February 15, 1918, and the third club was Trenton on May 15,
The New York District was organized September 27, 1918, in Syracuse. Clarence A. Nelson of Utica was elected governor to serve until September 25, 1919, when the next district meeting conducted at Elmira, selected Albert Dodge of Hamburg. R.A. Mansfield was selected next to lead the district at the Utica convention on September 22, 1920. He served until October 7, 1921. The first club in the district was Rochester, completed May 1, 1916. Its president was George F. Hixson, the first president of Kiwanis International. The second club was Lockport, completed on July 3, 1916, and the third was Buffalo on July 3, 1916. Albert Dodge was the first president of the Buffalo club and was elected as the first Secretary of Kiwanis International.
The Ohio District came into being on September 26, 1918, in Cleveland. There were 10 clubs in the district. Richard J. Birch was elected governor, and he served until October 15, 1919, when delegates at a convention in Columbus selected Edmund F. Arras as the next governor. On September 28, 1920, Albert H. Miller was elected to the district’s top post, and he served until September 28, 1921. Cleveland, the first club in the district, was the second club in all of Kiwanis and was completed on October 19, 1915. The second club in the district was Columbus, completed on May 10, 1916. The third club was Dayton, completed on May 31, 1916.
The Ontario-Quebec-Maritime District was organized on September 25, 1918, in Toronto, Ontario. At that time the district boasted four clubs: Hamilton, Toronto, Ottawa, and Montreal. At the first meeting, A.H. Fitzimmons of Ottawa was chosen governor, and he served until October 23, 1919. At that year’s convention in Hamilton, Dean C.E. Jeakins of Brantford was elected governor. On October 29, 1920, at a convention in Ottawa, E.J. L’Esperance of Montreal was elected and he served until October 7, 1921. The first club in the district and the first club in Canada was Hamilton, which was completed November 1, 1916. Toronto was the second club completed on June 8, 1917. The first change of name for the district came on December 7, 1927, when Maritime was added making the name the Ontario-Quebec-Maritime District. Later, a request was made of the Board for a change of name to Eastern Canada and the Caribbean District to reflect addition of the Caribbean nations.
The Pacific-Northwest District was organized in the fall of 1918 in Tacoma, Washington. Guy E. Kelly was named governor, and he was re-elected at a second meeting in Tacoma to which four clubs sent delegates. The date was January 17, 1919. At a convention in Vancouver, British Columbia, on November 15, Dr. H. W. Riggs was selected to be governor. He served until a third meeting was conducted in Tacoma on November 26 and 27 in 1920, when Charles F. Riddell of Seattle was elected governor. Riddell served until January 1, 1922. Tacoma was the first club in the district and was completed October 8, 1918. Portland was the second club, completed on December 28, 1918, and the third club was Seattle, completed on January 16, 1919. In 1950, steps were taken to add Alaska to the territory of the Pacific-Northwest District.
The Pennsylvania District was organized in Lancaster on September 25, 1918. There were 13 clubs in the district. P.J. Wilson of Johnstown was elected governor, and he served until October 6, 1919. At Altoona on that date, Ellwood J. Turner of Chester was chosen governor. At the next convention in Harrisburg in October of 1920, James G. Sanderson of Scranton was elected governor, and he was re-elected the next year in Pittsburgh. The first club in the district—and third in all of Kiwanis—was Pittsburgh, completed on January 31, 1916. The second club was Erie completed on August 26, 1916. The third club was Scranton, completed on April 18, 1917.
The Rocky Mountain District was organized September 25, 1918, in Denver, as the Colorado District. Denver was the only club at that time and Raymond H. Turner was appointed governor. He served until November 12, 1919, when George O. Wolfe was appointed by the Denver club, which still was the sole Kiwanis club in the area. Wyoming was combined with Colorado to form the Colorado-Wyoming District on November 27, 1920. On February 18, 1921, the first meeting of the Colorado-Wyoming District was conducted at Colorado Springs, and Clem W. Collins of Denver was elected governor. He served until January 1, 1922. At the next convention, in Denver, Wolfe was asked to serve as governor again, and he served through that calendar year. Denver was completed on February 2, 1918. The second club was Pueblo, completed on October 4, 1920, and the third club was Colorado Springs, completed on December 22, 1920.
The Southwest District was organized October 12, 1918, at El Paso, Texas. El Paso, Phoenix, Arizona, and Albuquerque, New Mexico, were the three area clubs in existence. J.W. Kirkpatrick of El Paso was elected governor, and he served until October 6, 1920. No convention was held in 1919. At the second convention in El Paso, Dr. Henry M. Bowers of Albuquerque was elected governor, and he was re-elected at the next convention, in Albuquerque in October of 1921. El Paso was the first club to be completed on March 10, 1917, Phoenix was the second club on May 15, 1917, and the third club was Albuquerque on October 3, 1917.
The Texas-Oklahoma District was organized February 10, 1918, in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Joe A. Gerrity of Dallas was elected governor. At the next district convention in Fort Worth, Texas, in September of 1920, Dick O. Terrell of San Antonio was elected governor. The first club in the district was Dallas, completed February 10, 1917. The second club was Oklahoma City on April 25, 1918, and the third was Tulsa on June 7, 1918.
The Utah District was organized March 24, 1919, at Salt Lake City. Salt Lake City appointed Alexander Eberhardt to act as governor. The Executive Committee of the Kiwanis International Board added Idaho to the territory of the district on November 27, 1920. The Utah-Idaho District came into existence as of December 16 of the same year. By mutual agreement, ratified by the Kiwanis International Board, the panhandle of Idaho consisting of 10 counties north of the Salmon River was added to the Pacific Northwest District in July of 1925. The Utah-Idaho District’s first convention was in Salt Lake City on December 16, 1920. At that session, Herbert Van Damn, Jr. was elected governor at a convention in his home city. The first club in the district was Salt Lake City, completed October 10, 1918. The second club was Pocatello, Idaho, on August 5, 1920, and the third club was Boise, Idaho on August 10, 1920.
The Western Canada District originally was organized as the Manitoba District because Winnipeg was the only club in the area at the time. The organization meeting was in Winnipeg on October 9, 1918, and H.B. Andrews was selected as governor. With the establishment of clubs in various surrounding territories, the district name was changed to Middle Provinces and finally to Western Canada at the request of district leaders. Winnipeg hosted another convention, on October 14, 1919, when P.M. Anderson of Regina, Saskatchewan, was elected governor. In Brandon in 1920, Fred W. Hobson was selected, and at Saskatoon in 1921, Dr. V.E. Black of Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan was chosen to be governor. The first club in the district was Winnipeg, completed June 15, 1917. The second club was Brandon on February 7, 1919, and the third was Regina on March 11, 1919.
The West Virginia District was organized at a meeting in Huntington on September 2, 1919. Three clubs were organized at the time: Charleston, Wheeling, and Huntington. H.R. Stapp of Charleston was the first governor. On July 17, 1920, when the first convention was held in Charleston, L.N. Frantz of Huntington, was elected governor. The next convention was conducted in Huntington, and Dr. O.W. Burdats of Wheeling was elected governor. He served until December 31, 1922. The first club in the district was Wheeling, which was completed on September 24, 1918. The second club was Charleston on January 2, 1919, and the third club was Huntington on June 11, 1919.
The Wisconsin-Upper Michigan District was organized as the Wisconsin District on September 24, 1918, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Six clubs had been organized. E.A. Marthens of Milwaukee was the first governor, and he was re-elected January 24, 1920, at another Milwaukee convention. He served until January 19, 1921. Upper Michigan was joined to Wisconsin to form the Wisconsin-Upper Michigan District by the Executive Committee of the Kiwanis International Board on November 27, 1920. The 1921 convention was January 19-20 in Racine, Wisconsin. John H. Moss was elected governor, and he was re-elected the next year in Green Bay. His term of office was completed August 7, 1923. The first club in the district was Milwaukee, completed October 24, 1916. The second was Madison on February 5, 1917, and the third club was Racine, on March 20, 1917.
Source: Dimensions of Service, The Kiwanis Story by L.A. “Larry” Hapgood.