In yesterday’s letter (1942-05-23 730 AM), my grandfather mentioned the Rotary Club. He asked Gladys to thank the Rotary Club members for the pen they gave him. For a man about to write hundreds of letters, this was a practical gift. On the surface, this would seem like an ordinary gesture; the local Rotary Club giving a leading citizen a gift as he went off to war. However, in the case of my family, there is a second deeper understanding of these events. My family is inexplicably bound to the Rotary movement. You may recall from an earlier post that my grandfather’s middle name was Schiele. Schiele was his mother’s maiden name. My great grandmother was Lovina Jane (Schiele) Yegerlehner. She was the sister of a man named Silvester Schiele. If you know anything about the Rotary movement, this name should be very familiar to you. In 1905, Silvester Schiele and his lifelong friend Paul Harris founded the Rotary Club in Chicago.
Silvester and his wife Jesse were frequent visitors at my grandparent’s house. They would often stop by Kentland on their way to Clay City from Chicago, or on other trips that Silvester took for the Rotary.
If you are interested in learning more about Silvester Schiele, check out the RGHF (Rotary Global History Fellowship) Internet project: http://www.rotaryfirst100.org/leaders/schiele/