The Joseph A. Caulder Collection
Past Rotary International Director 1928-29   -  Regina, Sask., Canada

"Eyewitness to Rotary International's First 50 Years"


JOSEPH A. CAULDER - An eyewitness to Rotary International's first 50 years.

Album 1 - Pages 43-44:  Arthur H. Sapp, 17th President

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Arthur H. Sapp

Rotary's 17th President




Rotary Biography of


Huntington, Indiana, U.S.A.

President, Rotary International, 1927-28.

(Deceased: 9 August, 1946)

Arthur H. Sapp was born in Ravenna, Ohio. Following his graduation from Ohio Wesleyan University, he taught school in Chattenooga, Tennessee; Kansas City, Missouri; and Huntington, Indiana. He received his legal education at the University of Chicago and at the Indiana Law School, and began practicing law in Huntington in 1912, and served as district prosecuting attorney for three terms.

Mr. Sapp became a member of the Rotary Club of Huntington in 1917 and was President of that Club. He had served Rotary International as President (in 1927-28), First Vice-President, Director, District Governor and as committee chairman.

Mr. Sapp had been a Trustee of Depauw University and Evansville College, President and Director of the Huntington Y.M.C.A., Chairman of the State School Aid Commission, and member of the State Highway Commission. He also had been President of the Rural Bankers Legion Life Insurance Company of South Bend, Indiana.

From Rotary International,

35 East Wacker Drive,

Chicago 1, Ill., U.S.A..

March 1954.



By Harry H. Rogers.

President of Rotary International -1926-1927

Rotary Club of San Antonio, Texas

                                                    From- The Rotarian,

                                                            Oct. 1946

Another of Rotary's leaders is gone, but memories of his service live on.

How full and fruitful a man's life can be if he stirs himself to make it so! That is the thought that comes to me over and over as I call up my many memories of my dear friend Arthur H. Sapp, the man who in 1927 stepped up to the Presidency of Rotary International as I stepped down. Past President "Arthur" died on August 9,1946 - an event that shocked and saddened the entire Rotary world. We were ill prepared for such news; we knew only that he had not been well.

Away back in 1924, a 43-year old lawyer in Huntington, Indiana, closed his desk, packed his bags with some facts, figures, and clothes, and climbed on a train. He had just become Chairman of Rotary's Vocational Service Committee (which we then called "Business Methods") and was going to do something about it. He was going to talk to every trade-association convention that would listen on the crying need for better business ethics and he did! "Put your standards down in black and white for all to see... Adopt a code of ethics!" was his plea to business and professional groups throughout the United States and in Canada and Mexico, too --- and you may well find that it was a man named Arthur H. Sapp - for he, of course, was the traveller - who stirred your craft to frame that code of ethics on your office wall.


It was during this crusade that Arthur Sapp came down to the old 13th (all Texas) District, of which I was then Governor, to represent Rotary International at our annual Conference, and it was here that I first got to know him well. I'd known that he was Governor of his District the year before, but now I learned the more intimate things, such as that he was born in the little city of Ravenna, Ohio, but grew up on a near-by farm; that by peddling books, trimming trees, managing boarding houses, and teaching Latin he had put himself through college, earning an A.B. degree at Ohio Wesleyan and his professional degree at Indiana Law School; that in 1912 he'd hung out his shingle in Huntington, which he'd first seen

as a boy book peddler; and that he and his wife, Clara, and their little daughter, Helen Louise, were very happy. He's been prosecuting attorney three times and was busy in bar-association work, school work, Methodist church work, Y.M.C.A. work, Red Cross work, Rotary work, and all the rest and relished it.

What came after that year, 1924-25, in the life of Arthur Sapp is well known to most readers. The following year he and I served together on Rotary's international Board, he as First Vice-President; then during my year as President, which followed, he was Chairman of one of the principal Committees. But it was at Ostend, Belgium, in June of 1927, that Rotarians of the world accorded him their highest honor.

Arthur Sapp had already contributed to Rotary's greatness in many ways. He had proved a worthy successor to Ray Havens and Guy Gundaker in furthering Vocational Service. His work in Rotary extension had been outstanding, his address at the first Denver Convention on "How Rapidly Shall Rotary be Extended?" having been one that will long be remembered. Then, during his year as President, he carried his mission a long step further. It was during his term, incidentally, that the first Rotary Club in Germany was chartered, at Hamburg. Wherever he went, whether among the kings and premiers of Europe or the farmers of his own Midwest, he was at ease, and revelled in the joys of fellowship. As a public speaker, Arthur Sapp had few equals. At the council table his judgment was excellent. Just last Spring at a Rotary Conference in St. Louis, he told me his year as President had been his greatest and his thanks were due to Rotarians who had given him this opportunity.

Arthur Sapp was the kind of Rotarian I'd like to be. We shall miss his firm handclasp, happy smile, and spirit of optimism, but his life here enriched all who were fortunate enough to come in contact with it, and his wholesome influence will continue to be felt throughout the years.

From: The Rotarian

[Reprinted by Permission]





Arthur was Rotary's 17th President. We roomed together in Chicago at the 1928 Assembly. Arthur was a man with very high standards of personal conduct.

He pulled a real boner when in England in 1927 after being elected President of R.I. at Ostend a few days earlier. A large party of Rotarians visited Stratford-on-Avon, the birthplace of Wm. Shakespeare and the town or City Council tendered a banquet in honour of Arthur and his officers. In speaking at the dinner he said he was surprised that the town of Stratford-on-Avon could have produced the peerless Shakespeare. This was a horrible boner and to square it, Ches. Perry, when he was called on for a few words said, "The wonder is that the town of Huntington, Indiana could produce a President of Rotary International." This saved the day.


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