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Optimist Club of San Antonio
Club History
1945-1954 - Our Third Decade
John E. Zeller

Ed E. DeWees


Bill Heil

Alvin E. Schmidt

Oscar E. Miller

J. B. Norton

Roy Akers

Peter P. Hindelang

B. W. "Joe" Johnson

Marvin Bradford
1945 - Dues were increased to $21.00 per quarter due to a rise in cost of meals.

The program to recognize the Outstanding member each year was started. First Outstanding Member was Mart Kilcoyne, 1945-1946.

1946 - The Optimist Bowling League was proposed and organized. Benno Clemens was named Outstanding Member 1946-1947.

1947 - Woodlawn Optimist Club was chartered January 24, 1947. This was closely followed by our club's chartering Pan American Optimist Club and South San Antonio Optimist Club.

The Knothole Gang committee procured special stands to be used at Mission Stadium.

B.W. "Joe" Johnson was Outstanding Member 1947-1948.

San Antonio was host city to Optimist International Convention, June 23-26. Raymond Gerhardt was General Chairman. All members of the club gave leadership and support.

We hosted the Annual Christmas dinner for the children at Ella Austin Orphanage.

Raymond Gerhardt was named Outstanding Member, 1948-1949.

1949 - Members visited Warm Springs Foundation at Gonzales and added this as a Boys Work Project.

A special luncheon was planned in June to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the Optimist Club of San Antonio. Speaker was Dr. Nelson Greeman, Sr.

By Board approval, the summer was declared - "Tieless Summer". Any member wearing a tie to a meeting might have it cut off with scissors by one of the Roughnecks or his assistants.

Louis Sein was Sixth District Governor. J Gid Noel was Outstanding Member for 1949-1950.

Dr. Nelson Greeman, Jr. was named "Young Man of the Year."

1950 - The Board of Directors adopted a resolution in favor of "O.P." Schnabel's drive against plastering political posters on utility poles. "O.P." was backed 100 percent.

Marvin Bradford outlined a plan for Little League in San Antonio. The Board of Directors was asked to consider the proposal to sponsor Little League activity in San Antonio.

The Optimist/Kiwanis joint venture of Boysville had outgrown its first home on Avenue A. The property was sold to Pearl Brewing Company for approximately $25,000. Slighty over 180 acres was purchased on Austin Highway for a new home, to develop the land and provide the buildings needed, a city wide campaign was launched to raise $300,000. The community responded and the result is what you saw for years on Austin Highway - all buildings, recreation facilities, and the adjoining farm.

   B.W. "Joe" Johnson was Outstanding Member 1951-1952, the first member named more than one year for the award.

1952 - The Optimist News Boys were featured in the Optimist Magazine.

Little League was started in our club. Thurman Guess was named chairman.

Sale of Christmas trees as a fund-raising project was proposed by Eddie Reichardt. Pete Hindelang, club president, named Abbie Strunk chairman for the Christmas tree sales. Profit from the first year of sales was $1,621.07.

C.M. "Sonny" Baetz was named Outstanding Member 1952-1953.

B.W. "Joe" Johnson was given authority to go before the membership at large to solicit funds to send the Jefferson High School Band to the Optimist International convention in Washington,D.C. The goal of $1,500 was reached at one meeting.

Chinese-American Optimist Club was chartered May 21, 1953.

Optimist road signs were ordered from Optimist International and installed all over the city.

Jimmy Butler was named Outstanding Member, 1953-1954.

1954 - Highlands Optimist Club and Alamo Heights Optimist Club both chartered March 15, 1954. This was a busy day for our Club.

1955 - The club held a birthday party for Brother Rector on April 24, to pay special tribute to his long-time friend of the Club on the occasion of his 100th birthday.

Optimist-Lions Charity baseball games were still being played, and profit from the sale of Christmas trees had grown to $6,553.