Hall Of Fame & History

History of the Rhode Island Red Club Hall of Fame

By Robert Blosl

The Rhode Island Red Club is rich in history and tradition since it’s beginning on the cold blizzard of a day in 1898 at Coffee Tavern in Falls Rivers, Mass. During this meeting an interested group of Poultry men started the Rhode Island Red Club of America. At this meeting, much was discussed such as what this new breed of chicken called the Rhode Island Red should look like and its purpose on earth to provide large number of eggs, a useful meat chicken and should be beautiful to the people who raise them. Also, they tried to put together strict standards for members of the Club. In the beginning, a new set of Bylaws was drawn up that would guide the future leaders of the Red Club in their decisions to make the Red Club prosper as well as this new breed of poultry.

In their wildest dreams, the new charter members did not realize that they would produce such an overwhelming interest in a new breed of fowl that would in just twenty years produce over 5000 members for the Red Club and a breed newsletter called The Rhode Island Red Journal that

would be circulated with over 45,000 issues each month. With this large number of members of the Rhode Island Red Club, you would have to believe a few hundred special hard working, outstanding breeders, great prolific writers, judges and over all booster should be honored in some way or manner for their hard work and efforts.

It was in the early 1950s that a group of Red Club officers and members considered a type of Hall of Fame similar to the National Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio to honor past members who stood out over time as members of the Red Club. Ernie Jones, the current Red Club Secretary along with Charlie Naugle, Maurice Delano, Rev. John Melchart, Harold Tompkins, Dr. A J Greve and, C M Terry moved forward to put together a committee to find just the cream of the crop of members from 1898 to that time of 1954. They choose Dr. A J Greve from Ohio to chair this historic committee and to select from a list of 100 members the first class of Rhode Island Red Club Hall of Fame.

The criteria that the Hall of Fame Committee used to locate the top members in good standing with the Club for at least ten years or more, made substantial contributions in the area of breeding, exhibiting and general club works. From the list of 100 members with which Dr. Greve started, he proposed the list to the committee for their selection and they voted on 20 Red Club members for the year 1955. The list of members are as follows: original charter members from the first meeting in 1898 Daniel P Shove first President, John Crowther, first Secretary-Treasurer, Dr. H B Aldrich and Vernon L Stafford, then Robert C Tuttle, I W Bean, John L Payne, Harold Tompkins, Arthur O Shilling, Maurice F Delano, C M Bryant, Philip Caswell, Herbert M Tucker, E G Jones, Mrs. Donald Donaldson, Edward L Pricket, Lester Tompkins, WH Card, James W Simmons and A G Studier.

Then in 1956 a new committee selected another group Hall of Fame members and leading the list was the committee Hall of Fame Chairman Dr. A.J. Greve, Charles A. Naugle Emily Mahood, Len Rawnsley, SM Hannah, W A Dickinson, and Helen Dow Whitaker. In 1957, the class got a little smaller choosing C P Scott, Phil M Ferry, Dr. H R Riddell, F H Staverman and Ralph Knickerbocker. Mrs. Pearl M Daniels lead off the 1958 class with Paul S Wool ever, Pearl M. Daniels, W Fred Fetterly, Rev John Melchert and O R Ernst.1959 revealed W T Brooker, Leslie E Powers, W G McMartin, Kenneth E Bowles and C M Terry.1960 found William E Hunt and Mark Ludwig installed to the Hall of Fame. Then the following year Franklin J Young and Fred C Rubish made the list. R. Paul Webb and David R. Ward made the 1962 list. Then in 1963 it was awarded to Aldon J Wilkie and Maurice C Wallace. In 1964 Charles R Sowers

and Wally Besuden where chosen with Floyd D Wallace and Arthur Burke in 1965. Eugene A Girard and George Underwood were the two candidates picked for 1966. In 1967, J Raymond Hurley and Michael Goosk, Jr. made the list. In 1968, R.O. Forbes and Roy D. Brown were inducted. In 1967, Goldie Barnett, Wilber D. Cook, Joseph L. Hemmel and Perrin M. Johnson were inducted. In 1970, H. J. "Harry" Hutton, Paul E. Palmer, R. H. Purves and Carl Ruud were inducted. In 1971, Richard Gee, Wm. A. Matetzschk, R. L. Dormandy and Paul Zawadzke were inducted. In 1972, T. L. Ricksecker. E. Billings Miner and Morgan Craven were inducted. In 1973, Lila C. Miner and S. N. Allen were inducted. In 1974, C. L. Sibley and Al Hansen were inducted. In 1975, Ray Singer was inducted. In 1976, Tom McLaughlin was inducted. In 1977, Lois Elmes, Phillip Cornelius and Wm. J. Knecht were inducted. In 1978, E.W. Reese, Jr., Lee Roy Jones and Richard Elmes were inducted. In 1979, M.W. (Buddie) Day and James O. Lord were inducted. In 1980, H.H. Andrews and Emmett K. Rachels were inducted. In 1981, George Bishop and Rolland Blockberger were inducted. In 1982, C. H. Cely was inducted. In 1983, no inductees. In 1984, Dr. John E. Butler was inducted. In 1985, no inductees. In 1986, Grant Malone was inducted. In 1987, Howard Kendall was inducted. In 1988, no inductees. In 1989, Dr. Thomas A. Clements was inducted. In 1994, Freely Doss, Rupert Miller, Dennis Myers, Nita Rachels, Adrian Rademacher and Byron "Rip" Stalvey were inducted. In 1999, Larry Lawrence, Vern Sorenson and John Staverman were inducted. In 2001, Lloyd Flanagan,David Belland Mrs. Juanita Gee were inducted.

I hope the names that I have mentioned come to your attention and you may recognize some of these names of past elected Hall of Fame members. If you have purchased the three sets of Classic Rhode Island Red Club articles that the Club is selling, many of these peoples are among this most prestige’s list of Hall of Fame members who shared their secrets of breeding, growing, conditioning and judging RI Reds for you to read and learn from.

In closing, I wanted to give you some general idea of the importance of our Rhode Island Red Club Hall of Fame to our past, present and future. Of all the Hall of Fames that I have studied, the members who are selected are carefully screened for their performance to their craft, sport or trade. In most organizations a committee recommends to the board their selections and that is just how a Salesmen, Football Player, Baseball Player or Fancier gets in to their Hall of Fames. Presently, you as a member of the Rhode Island Red Club can earn your place into the Red Club Hall of Fame by being nominated and chosen by your peers and, in my opinion, the method that Dr Greve designed for us in 1954 is without a doubt the most prestigious method that can be used.