District 6060 occupies the eastern border of Missouri, from the city of Hannibal in the north to the Arkansas state line on the south. The district at one time contained 57 club and 2,600 Rotarians.
The history of District 6060 began in 1910 when the St. Louis Rotary Club was organized on February 22, 1910. Founded by Bruno Batt, a local piano dealer, the St. Louis Club became the 11th club chartered by Rotary International. Within six months of receiving its charter, the club grew to 249 members. Bruno Batt, the club’s first president, was instrumental in extending Rotary to other cities in 1910 including Kansas City, Missouri on May 15, Lincoln, Nebraska on June 10 and Detroit, Michigan on July 25.
Rotary soon spread throughout eastern and central Missouri and by 1934 the St. Louis Club had sponsored ten Missouri Rotary clubs – Jefferson City (1918), Kirksville (1918), Cape Girardeau (1919), Columbia (1922), St. Charles (1924), Webster Groves (1924), Clayton (1925), Kirkwood (1925), University City (1929) and Bonne Terre (1934). These clubs in turn sponsored additional clubs increasing Rotary’s presence in Missouri.
The tremendous growth of Rotary led to the formation of divisions (later called districts) based on geographic groupings of clubs. District designations and boundaries changed as the number of Rotary clubs in eastern Missouri increased. Most of the clubs now in District 6060 have been affiliated with the following districts:
1911-1918 – District 11
1918-1922 – District 17
1922-1937 – District 14
1937-1949 – District 135
1949-1957 – District 196
1957-1991 – District 605
1991-1999 – District 6050
From 1957 to 1999 the boundaries of District 605/6050 ran south from the border of Iowa along the western boundaries of the following counties: Schuyler, Adair, Macon, Randolph, Boone and Cole; and then eastward along the southern boundaries of Osage, Gasconade, Franklin and St. Louis Counties. The Mississippi River formed the eastern border of District 605/6050 up to the Iowa border. A genealogy chart, prepared by PDG Donald D. White (1970-1971) best illustrates the history of the 40 clubs that formed District 605/6050 in 1977.
From 1957-1999 District 609/6090 bordered District 605/6050 to the south with the Mississippi River on the east and the Arkansas border on the south. The western boundary included the following counties: Miller, Pulaski, Texas and Howell.
The Formation of District 6060
Rotary year 1999-2000 ushered in a big change for Missouri Rotarians following a major redistricting by Rotary International. Many of the northern Missouri clubs, once a part of District 6050, became part of the newly formed District 6040. Several of the central Missouri clubs, also formerly with 6050, became part of the newly formed District 6080. The boundaries of the newly formed District 6060 became narrower and longer as the District gained clubs to the south that previously belonged to District 609/6090.
The charter date and sponsoring club for each of the clubs in District 6060 is available on a Genealogy Credits chart.
The success of Rotary depends in large part on the strength of club members, the dedication of club leaders to inspire members, and dedicated district leaders. District 6060 and its predecessor districts have been blessed with strong club members and leaders. One such Rotarian was Robert E. Lee Hill, a charter member of the Rotary Club of Columbia, Missouri. Hill served as Club President in 1925-26 and as District Governor (District 14) in 1927-28. From 1934 to 1935 Robert Hill served as Rotary International President. Hill went on to serve as a trustee of the Rotary Foundation from 1935-1940. As mentioned above, the Rotary Club of Columbia was originally sponsored by the St. Louis Club and is now in District 6080.
RI President in 2010-11 Ray Klinginsmith, a member of the Rotary Club of Kirksville, (District 6040), has strong ties to District 6060. A Rotarian since 1961, Ray served as District Governor of District 605 in 1975-1976. He later served as the first president of the Show Me Rotary Planning Council. Show-Me-Rotary, founded in 1979, was one of the first multi-district training programs in Rotary International. Show Me Rotary’s outstanding program of training Presidents Elect (PETS) and Secretaries Elect (SETS) served as a model for succeeding multi-district training programs. Ray’s leadership in Missouri is an inspiration to all. On July 1, 2010, he became the 100th president of Rotary International.
District 6060 and its predecessor districts have a strong tradition of supporting The Rotary Foundation. The District’s first Paul Harris Fellow was PDG Robert R. Wright, a member of the Clayton Rotary Club. Robert became a Paul Harris Fellow in 1959 after donating the check he had received from Rotary International to cover his expenses as District Governor of District 196.
Under the tutelage of Todd Lindley, District 6060’s former Foundation Chair and District Governor 2010-2011, Foundation giving has increased greatly. In Rotary year 2008-2009, Rotarians in District 6060 gave $311,695.91 to the Annual Programs, $63,525.32 to Polio Eradication and $11,500 to the Permanent Fund for a total of $386,721.23 to The Rotary Foundation. In Rotary year 2007-2008, forty-four (44) of the District’s sixty (60) clubs reached a goal of Every Rotarian Every Year by averaging over $100 per member in support of the Annual Programs Fund. Twelve clubs exceeded $200 per member, three clubs exceeded $300 per member and one club, The Rotary Club of Overland, Missouri exceeded $500 per member. District 6060 served as a pilot district for the Future Vision program of The Rotary Foundation.
Martha L. Henderson
District 6060 Historian
Charter Dates for District 6060 Clubs: