The following history was written and presented by Lion Dayton Countryman at the 25th Anniversary Celebration of the Nevada Lions Club, held May 9, 1998 in Nevada, Iowa.




Throughout the twenty-five years, Nevada Lions and its club have been active in community service. Annual events such as Farmers' Night, Senior Boys' Night, Ladies' Night, Teachers' Night, Picnics, annual contribution of meal fees at Christmas time, annual visits by Foreign Exchange Students, occasional help by furnishing funds to underprivileged students (eye glasses especially), annual donations to A.F.S., various donations to deserving causes, such as, Boys State, donations to 1972 Rapid City, South Dakota, Flood Night, outstanding programs and many other interesting and noteworthy Lions Club activities have been accomplished. The Nevada Lions have had representation at international conventions, including Mexico City with Wayne Bierma and Jim Collins attending; Tokyo, New York, and Los Angeles with Jim Taylor attending. In 1952, through the efforts of the then Director, Wayne Bierma, the Maxwell Lions Club was organized with the Nevada Lions Club as sponsor.

The Nevada Lions Club began May 6, 1948, with fifty-seven members. The fist officers were as follows:

President - Dennis Shay
1st Vice President - R. L. Golly
2nd Vice President - Clyde O. Steward
3rd Vice President - Argyll Thompson
Secretary - O. W. Bierma
Treasurer - Leslie Henderson
Lion Tamer - W. L. Lawhorn
Tail twister - James Collins
Director - O.E. Cooley
Director - Lyle Baumgardner
Director - C.A. Ryan
Director - B.M. Soper

It was sponsored by the Ames Lions Club.

October 15, 1948: The first activity sponsored was the Nevada High School marching band trip to Ankeny for a football game.

February 8, 1949: The next activity was the March of Dimes Dance, which netted a profit of $177.00. Comments about the dance were that it was the best dance in town for a long time. This was an annual event for several years.

April 27, 1949: First annual Sernior Boys' Night. First report of Cub Scouting and Lion Herb Englebrecht presented Cub Scout Charter to Ray McDaniel, Cub Scout Chairman.

May 26, 1949: The first annual Ladies' Night was the first anniversary event.

May 17, 1949: The Club sponsored the Great Virgil Show of Illusion; the net profit was $68.61. The Club was now one year old and membership was not fifty-nine.

September 6, 1949: The Lions Ball Team played a softball game with WHO Non-Stars. The Clowns from the Britt Hobo Convention entertained, but bad weather prevailed. Net profit was $30.00.

October, 1949: Erected shelter and storage house at football field; all donated labor; materials were only cost to Lions. Took about two full days.

December, 1949: Big month-- sponsored a box supper with profit of $190.00. Set up shelter at skating pond (Wilson Pond). Sponsored Christmas party for Cub Scouts, a club sponsored group. Scouts decorated a tree which was given to a deserving family. This became an annual affair for many years. Sponsored double-header basketball game--N.H.S. Alumni Stars vs. Cambridge Independents, Nevada VFW vs. Colo Independents. Net profit was $60.00.

February 8, 1950: Guests of Rotary Club - Charles E. Friley, President of I.S.C. was speaker.

May, 1950: Second anniversary: had 62 members.

June, 1950: Donated $30.00 for underprivileged girl to assist with treatment for speech impediment.

August, 1950: City and Nevada Baseball Association furnished materials and Lions erected and painted building at ball park; it had 2 public rest rooms and showers for players--some storate room.

November, 1950: Again sponsored band trip to Ankeny. Sponsored Lions vs. Nevada Faculty basketball game and another game (double header). First basketball of the season and profit of $125.00 was turned over to High School a cappella choir in its activities. The Lions won their game.

January 30, 1951: Another March of Dimes dance. A polio epidemic of serious proportions prevailed in the comunity this year and dance profits of $115.00 were well received by local polio drive workers.

March, 1951: Sponsored cake baking contest for benefit of Red Cross, which received the $52.00 profit after 3 prizes were awarded.

April, 1951: Donated $12.00 for glasses for underprivileged child.

August 1951: Sponsored an Air Show and flight breakfast. Such events were very popular at this time, and it turned out to be the largest event of this type in the State of Iowa to date. Two hundred forty-one planes came in for breakfast with four hundred thirty-three people in all for breakfast--free of charge. Eight hundred fifty people, including local people, were served breakfast, non-flyers being charged. Planes came from Minnesota, Nebraska, Kansas, Illinois, and Iowa. The oldest pilot was 63, and the youngest was 16. The air show in the afternoon was well attended. The Lions operated food stands. The entire event resulted in about a break even circumstance, but the entire community enjoyed it and felt the good publicity was well worth the effort.

October, 1951: Sent N.H.S. Band to Perry for football game.

November, 1951: First record of Farmer's Night.

January, 1952: Gave $100.00 to Leader Dog Fund through sale of seals. Made about $125.00 through sale of front auto plates. (Could this have been when we were issued only one license plate for the rear?) Annual March of Dimes dance had a profilt of $125.00.

March 26, 1952: Rotary Club members were guests of Lions.

April, 1952: The aforementioned auto plate sale profit was used to purchase a water cooler drinking fountain for the Story County Hospital.

June, 1952: Had 74 members but only about 50% attendance record. Cub Den Mothers were guests of the Club.

June, 1953: Conducted popularity contest in connection with Centennial Celebration and had a float in the parade.

July 8, 1953: Went on joint tour with Maxwell Lions Club and Rotary Club; 78 were in attendance for the conservation tour.

August 13, 1953: First record of annual family picnic at Indian Creek Country Club; 37 members and their families attended.

August 26, 1953: First record of swimming pool proposal.

November 9, 1953: Contributed $150.00 to swimming pool fund.

February 10, 1954: Joint meeting of Rotary, Lions, and Community Clubs; 180 were in attendance at the Legion Hall.

April 28, 1954: Ladies' Night at Legion Hall; 98 attended; the program was in charge of the Tailtwisters.

June, 1954: First record of participation in Legion's Boys State Program; $25.00 was contributed.

August 11, 1954: Joint Meeting with Nevada Rotary Club and Maxwell and Collins Lions Clubs. Visited ISC agronomy farm and had dinner at Memorial Union after the tour.

August 25, 1954: 150 members attended the annual family picnic at the Indian Creek Country Club.

November, 1954: Sponsored a Bill Riley Talent Show.

January, 1955: Provided transportation and advertising for special school election.

April, 1955: First record of participation in A.F.S. Program. Contributed $33.00 to the program.

May, 1955: Record of furnishing looipops toward the polio vaccination program, which also probably brought an end to the annual March of Dimes dances; these dances were noted several places in the records previously.

June, 1955: Bill Riley Talent Show netted $85.00.

October, 1955: Rosedale Village was sponsored by Club. This is recalled as being a miniature replica of a small town which was demonstrated in action on a truck or trailer. Profits came to $26.47.

November, 1955: Another Bill Riley Talent Program.

January, 1956: Contrubted $75.00 for A.F.S. Program.

April 21, 1956: Held street auction and turned over $450.00 to the swimming pool fund.

July, 1956: Launched a project to build a wading pool in connection with the swimming pool project. Plumbing work was started.

October, 1956: Eye bank project was proposed.

November, 1956: Contributed $50.00 to Story County Association for Retarded Children.

March, 1957: Launched an American Flag sale campaign; continued to support A.F.S. program with $75.00.

April, 1957: Contributed another $300.00 to swimming pool.

July, 1957: Swimming and wading pool are in use.

December, 1957: "One for the Books"--Sponsored Dr. Green, The Hypnotic Marvel, which turned out to be a disaster and a flop. Dr. Green failed to carry out his contract in the number of show performed and the type of entertainment promised. The Lions Club went on public record as condemning this show and advised all other Lions Clubs to "stay clear".

April, 1958: Celebrated 10th anniversary with a Ladios' Night. The Vinton blind students presented an entertaining and educational program. Sixteen charter members were honored, two of which received ten-year perfect attendance awards.

June 28, 1958: Another street auction to offset the hypnotist's sad failure.

July, 1958: Sponsored a Brown Swiss Cattle Show and netted $15.00.

December, 1958: First record of omitting second December meeting and contributing equivalent of meal charges to some worth charity. Believe this practice began before this. The last few years the recipient of this contribution has been Iowa Lions Sight Conservation Foundation (ILSCF).

March 1959: Plans for continued annual observance of Senior Boys' Night with Rotary Club to include boys from Nevada, Shipley, Nevada Township, and Fernald. Donated $150.00 to N.F.S.

July, 1959: Park improvement program launched. Spent $400.00 for new picnic tables and painting them. Other civic organizations are "catching the same bug" and it looks like many park improvements will be made this summer.

June, 1960: New playground equipment arrived; it was assembled and put in place in the 4-H Park; it cost approximately $786.00.

September, 1960: The third and last "Harris Hop" teen dance was held. Over-all, about $100.00 profit was realized with over 200 teenagers participating. Proceeds were applied to the playground equipment.

September, 1961: Two teenage dances scheduled; the club realized a profit of $142.19. Also, the Lions had two booths which profited $58.60 at the Nevada Street Days.

October 11, 1961: Fire Prevention Month. The Nevada Lions invited the Nevada Firemen as guests.

June 27, 1962: The annual family picnic included ten A.F.S. Students being entertained by four Lions families as house guests on a U.S. Tour; all were from various foreign countries.

September, 1962: A Fish Fry was held in connection with Street Days. The profit was $160.00.

September, 1963. The second record of annual Fish Fry. 290 people were served. There were 44 active members at this time; bear in mind that new attendance rules, deaths, and other circumstances contributed to this reduction in active membership.

March 11, 1964: First record of annual Pancake Day. A profit of $385.00 was realized.

August, 1964: First record of annual Junior Baseball Tournament. First year's profit was $200.00.

March, 1965: Second annual Pancake Day was hald March 17. The net proceeds of $200.00 went to the Mobile Glaucoma Unit.

September 8, 1965: First record of entertaining men teachers of Nevada Community Schools: it has been an annual event thereafter.

October 22, 1965: Fish Fry profit of $127.10 was applied to the cost of a dish washer for Gates Hall kitchen; this is the beginning of this project.

March 16, 1966: Annual Pancake Day net proceeds of $335.00 were applied to Gates Hall kitchen equipment.

1967: The Club incorporated for the usual reasons.

August, 1967: The proceeds from the Annual Junior Baseball Tournament were used to send the local Junior Babe Ruth Team to see a "Twins" game at Minneapolis.

February 20 and 21, 1968: The State Lions Mobile Glaucoma Unit was in Nevada. 203 people were tested from 12 communities. Several suspects were referred to their local doctors for further examination. Important: A request for return of the Mobile Glaucoma Unit, which will be back in Nevada in late 1973 or early 1974.

March, 1969: The usual projects have been going on for about 18 months. The profits are generally going into the usual annual civic projects but the Lions have quietly been building a fund for a dishwasher for the Gates Hall kitchen. This date finds the project completed and the dishwasher installed in time for the 1969 annual Pancake Day. This four year undertaking cost $3,400.00, but was a most notable achievement. Some balance is yet due, but it will be paid through future fund rasing projects until the final payment is made.

February, 1971: Special recognition is made of charter members, eight of which were present.

March, 1971: Proceeds of the annual Pancake Day of $300.00 were used to purchase a book drop for the Nevada Public Library.

May, 1972: The Nevada Lions donated $1,000.00 toward the lighting of the Nevada Girls' softball field. The Nevada Boosters' Club added $100.00 to this contribution at a special presentation at the annual family picnic in June in reply to an inter-club challenge.

February, 1973: The most recent community project of the Nevada Lions Club was the presentation of a safety glass monitor outfitted with glasses to the Nevada Community School workshop. This was at a cost of approximately $200.00.


1948-1949 Officers: Dennis Shay, President O.W. Bierma, Secretary 1949-1950 Officers: R. L. Golly, President Robert Lattig, Secretary 1950-1951 Officers: Jim Collins, President Robert Lattig, Secretary 1951-1952 Officers: Ray McDaniel, President R. A. Dans, Secretary 1952-1953 Officers: Wayne Bierma, President W. L. Lawhorn, Secretary (Roy) 1953-1954 Officers: W. L. Lawhorn, President (Roy) Warren Curtis, Secretary 1954-1955 Officers: Leslie Henderson, President Warren Curtis, Secretary 1955-1956 Officers: Henry Scudder, President Dr. Earl Laughlin, Secretary 1956-1957 Officers: Frank Lounsberry, President Dr. Earl Laughlin, Secretary 1957-1958 Officers: Mort Cockshoot, President Dr. Earl Laughlin, Secretary 1959-1960 Officers: John B. Miller, President Dale Collings, Secretary 1960-1961 Officers: Fred Lehnhardt, President Milo Pitcher, Secretary 1961-1962 Officers: Wm. G. Dial, President Milo Pitcher, Secretary 1962-1963 Officers: Donald L. Williams, President Milo Pitcher, Secretary 1963-1964 Officers: Wm. L. Tipton, President Milo Pitcher, Secretary 1964-1965 Officers: Donald Olson, President Milo Pitcher, Secretary 1965-1966 Officers: Harold Walter, President Milo Pitcher, Secretary 1966-1967 Officers: T. M. Ryerson, President Milo Pitcher, Secretary 1967-1968 Officers: James Taylor, President Milo Pitcher, Secretary 1968-1969 Officers: Dale Collings, President Milo Pitcher, Secretary 1969-1970 Officers: Alvin Smith, President Milo Pitcher, Secretary 1970-1971 Officers: Irving Thompson, President Jack Argotsinger, Secretary 1971-1972 Officers: Wesley Ebert, President Bill Abbott, Secretary 1972-1973 Officers: Russell Krieg, President Leslie Henderson, Secretary

The Nevada Lions Club thanks Leslie Henderson and James Taylor for the many hours they spent in gathering these facts from the Club's records.

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