Kiwanis - Serving the Children of the World
Serving the Children of the World

In January 1915, professional organizer Allen Browne founded the first Kiwanis group. Originally named "The Benevolent Order of Brothers," the purpose of the organization was the mutual exchange of preferred treatment in professional and business dealings. Within a year, the name had been changed to "Kiwanis", taken from a native American term "Nun Keewanis" which means roughly "Self-Expression." The organization changed its purpose to "community service" a humanitarian concept from which Kiwanis has never deviated.

At the suggestion of the Chicago Club Kiwanis International sent an organizer to the Kankakee area in the Fall of 1919, who met with Dr. E. L. Longpre, J. Bert Miller and Wayne Dyer, Sr. With these three men forming the nucleus of the Kiwanis Club of Kankakee, a charter group of 56 men signed up. Issued December 27, 1919, the charter was presented in February 1920, the 188th club chartered. J. Bert Miller served as the club's first president.

In the pioneering days of Kiwanis, club members met in the elegantly furnished Hotel LaFayette Bar in the 200 block of South Schuyler Avenue. Later, the club moved to McBroom's Restaurant in the 100 block of North Schuyler. For many years afterwards, the club met in the Gold Room at the Hotel Kankakee at Merchant & Schuyler. When that hotel closed in 1984, the club moved to the Redwood Inn, Route 49 & Interstate 57, Kankakee, until that restaurant closed in 2001. Then the club met at the Warming House of Olivet Nazarene University in Bourbonnais until 2003, later meeting at the Quality Inn on Route 50 in Bradley, followed by currently meeting at Tucci's Restaurant.


1920 J. Bert Miller* 1951 Sidney Fousie* 1982/83 Wesley E. Walker
1921 Dr. J. H. Roth* 1952 Herman W. Snow* 1983/84 Bruce W. Payne
1922 Rev. R. E. Carr* 1953 Charles A. Mueller* 1984/85 Dennis C. Hess
1923 Arthur E. Gray* 1954 R. M. Jeffries* 1985/86 J. Scott Swaim
1924 Warren R. Hickox* 1955 Fred R. Stith* 1986/87 F. Franklyn Wise*
1925 Dr. C. R. Lockwood* 1956 Minott Silliman, Jr.* 1987/88 Donald E. Gallois
1925 William A. Schneider* 1957 Donald E. Cooper * 1988/89 Phillip L. Ribbe
1926 Eben B. Gower* 1958 Dr. Harry A. Hartman* 1989/90 David H. Schroeder*
1927 Phillip T. Lambert* 1959 Humphrey Christensen* 1990/91 Walter H. Volkmann*
1928 Dr. E. L. Longpre* 1960 Dr. Edwin Hamilton* 1991/92 Armond LaMontagne
1929 Fred H. Burkett* 1961 Henry W. Wulffe* 1992/93 LeRoy Wright*
1930 Ralph E. Francis* 1962 Dr. Russell Rogers* 1993/94 Gary Wright
1931 Romy J. Hammes* 1963 Charles H. Stinson* 1994/95 Charles H. Smith
1932 Amos R. Beard* 1964 Lloyd D. Graham* 1995/96 Marshall R. Dusenbury
1933 E. Munroe Curtis* 1965 Walter J. Charlton* 1996/97 William E. Herzog
1934 James G. Ginger* 1966 Frederick R. Meyer* 1997/98 Bruce Clark
1935 Donald Gray* 1967 Ray O. Speckman* 1998/99 Charlene Dybedock
1936 Arthur L. Beckman* 1968 George T. Swaim, Jr. 1999/00 Terry Johnston
1937 Vernon McBroom* 1969 Don R. Frank* 2000/01 Larry Linman
1938 J. E. Robertson* 1969/70 John C. Martin 2001/02 Jerrold Jurina
1939 R. Y. Allison* 1970/71 James G. Schneider* 2002/03 Phil Angelo
1940 C. A. Rollison* 1971/72 Charles C. Huber* 2003/04 Bruce Matthews
1941 Roy Strasma* 1972/73 Leo E. Phillips* 2004/05 Kay Green
1942 Vernon Butz* 1973/74 John R. Tate* 2005/06 Mike Stanfa
1943 Edward J. Strasma* 1974/75 Claire Hendrix* 2006/07 Dan Borschnack
1944 Ruel Hall* 1975/76 Richard L. Witt* 2007/08 Marty Whalen
1945 Maurice Holohan* 1976/77 R. Gene Mitchell* 2008/09 Jeff Smith
1946 Dr. George E. Irwin* 1977/78 R. Thomas Zwetschke 2009/10 Mary Thomson
1947 Paul G. Diamond* 1978/79 Norman E. Strasma 2011/12 Pam Dunlap
1948 Fred C. Hefter* 1979/80 Ronald R. Rieken 2012/14 David Robinson
1949 Paul R. Branch* 1980/81 William R. Dyon

2014/15 Phil Angelo

1950 E. P. Bergeron* 1981/82 Paul F. Blanke 2015/16 Sandra Knight