Americus Rotary Club - A Rich History

The Rotary Club of Americus, Georgia (District 6900, USA, Club Number 432) was organized on August 7, 1918. Sponsored by the Rotary Club of Albany, Georgia, the Americus Rotary club was chartered on November 18, 1918 as part of District 8 (Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Cuba, & Puerto Rico).

Charter Members of Americus Rotary included Dave Andrews, C. H. Burke, W. W. Dykes, G. R. Ellis, W. L. English, A. J. Harris, Frank Harrold, Hubert Hawkings, J. E. Hightower, S. F. Howell, J. E. Johnson, Frank Mangum, J. E. Mathis, L. L. McCleskey, Arthur Rylander, Walter Rylander, John Sheffield, W. W. Taylor, Paul Westbrook, and M. H. Wheeler.

Three Americus Rotarians, successive generations of the same family, have served as District Governors: John Sheffield (District 39, 1926-1927); John West Sheffield (District 690, 1961-1962); and Langdon C. Sheffield (District 690, 1975-1976). To commemorate the service of the Sheffield family, the Americus Rotary Club created the Sheffield Leadership Award in 1994. The Sheffield Award is presented annually to the District 6900 club president in each of the three size categories who best exemplifies the qualities of leadership represented by the Sheffield family.

In 1995 the Americus Rotary Club inducted Jimmy Carter, 39th President of the United States and 1994 recipient of the Rotary World Peace and Understanding Award, as an honorary member.

Discussions in the Americus Rotary Club regarding the need for a civic auditorium in Americus led to construction of the Rylander Theater in 1921. After being closed for more than 40 years, the newly-restored Rylander Theater reopened in 1999 and the Americus Rotary Club was a significant contributor to its restoration.