We Serve: Bringing them to Marshfield
By Kris Leonhardt
Part III in a series on the Marshfield Lions
Throughout the 1930s, the Marshfield Lions club also worked to support nearby charter clubs, provided sporting equipment to local teams, hosted speaking engagements, and created initiatives to beautify the city.
In May of 1937, the Lions would take on their biggest challenge yet, when they were awarded the state convention for the following year.
“Get the gang out! We got the convention,” Marshfield Lions President Fred Wolff wired H.E. Mueller, president of the Marshfield Commercial Club.
Marshfield beat out Menasha and Waupaca to obtain the 1938 convention.
On June 5, 1938, the convention broke first-day records, when 200 Lions and their spouses registered at the Marshfield convention that Sunday. By Monday evening, that number had grown closer to 300.
Business sessions were held in the Purdy auditorium, with the annual banquet that evening at the Eagles Hall. In preparation for the event, the hall had been completely redecorated.
Entertainment was provided by a blind Merrill student, billed as Miss Runge. Runge played several songs on the piano, which she composed.
A dance was held following the banquet, with the Harold Menning orchestra providing the music.
On Tuesday morning, a breakfast was held at the Hotel Charles for those Lions securing new members.
Business meetings then concluded at the Purdy auditorium, before the men were separated for a “stag” event held at the Eagles Hall and the women attended a luncheon at the Legion Public Golf course. Both groups were entertained by “floor shows” before their departure.
J.P. Adler welcomed the Lions with Monday and Tuesday features at his three theaters – the New Adler, the Relda, and the Adler, showing “Kentucky Moonshine,” “Crime School,” and “Forbidden Valley.”
Local news outlets noted the event to be one of the most elaborate and largest in numbers ever brought to the city.
In May 1941, the Lions celebrated their 10th anniversary with a banquet at the “Blue Room” hall in the Marshfield Hardware and Auto company building on South Central Avenue.
The evening included the recognition of six charter members who still continued to serve the community through membership. Former district governor Dr. D.J. Van Patter presented 10-year chevrons to Dr. H. W. Mennenga, J.W. Messerschmidt, Otto Schmelter, Reinie Karau, Al Wenzel, and himself.
Past presidents, Fred Wolff; M.A. Hansen, Jr.; C.T. Lauman; G.E. Harrington; and Van Patter were also recognized that evening. Four other past presidents – Henry S. Jones, Ivan Prusia, Floyd Tuchscher, and Richard Nines – no longer lived in Marshfield and did not attend.
Continued next week