Edward W. Cory who is fondly called “The father of our Blissfield Rotary Club” decided it was time to bring Rotary into Blissfield. Ed was a native of Blissfield, the son of Charles and Amelia Cory. Early in Ed’s life he showed a determined spirit, which enabled him to achieve his goals in life.
A graduate of West Blissfield High School under Superintendent Earl R. Rice, he worked his way through Ypsilanti Normal, and the University of Michigan in 1918. He then married Bessie Turner. He was Superintendent of schools at Clinton, Michigan and for fifteen years at Richmond, Michigan. He retired to his small farm near Blissfield in 1939, but worked at selling life insurance for Mutual of New York. He sold at least one policy a week for 889 consecutive weeks. Mr. and Mrs. Cory had four children (two boys and two girls).
While in Richmond, Edward came to his Blissfield home each summer. Here is what he says about the organization of the Blissfield Rotary Club: “I joined the Richmond Club many years ago, and I like Rotary. I don’t think I have ever missed a meeting. When coming to Blissfield each summer I either had to make-up (meetings) somewhere else, or try to form a club in Blissfield, so on July 30, 1934 I called some men together to talk about a Rotary Club in Blissfield.”
On August 3, 1934, fifty-eight Rotarian’s from Tecumseh, Adrian and Richmond met here (Blissfield) to form a club. Twelve men signed. August 7, 1934 a meeting was held in Gilson’s Hardware store. Five more men signed, making seventeen in all. August 21, 1934 a meeting was held and all officers were elected. August 28, 1934, final organization of the Blissfield Rotary Club with District Governor Roscoe Bonisteel of Ann Arbor here, and eight Rotarian’s from Richmond. November 9, 1934 was Charter night. The District Governor (Roscoe Bonisteel) and the entire Richmond club were present. There were twenty-one Charter Members.
The Blissfield Club meets at the Main Street Stable Restaurant in Blissfield on Wednesday at 11:45am. This club is involved with both international and community projects. In 2012 they sent a much needed fire truck to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. Locally, they provided an ice rink in their community park. Annually they host a community Halloween Party including a bonfire, 1,000 hotdogs, 50 gallon of apple cider, costume contest and more. Their annual Spring Rotary Auction includes local TV anchor Jerry Anderson as guest auctioneer. This event features silent as well as live auction items along with raffles and other games to fill the evening. Need to do a make-up? Come on out to the Rotary Club of Blissfield!