The History of the Athens Lions Club

In honor of the 100th anniversary of Ohio Lions, the historical account of the Athens Lions Club - which was originally drafted in 1990 - has been updated.

The History of the Athens Lions Club


Some excerpts:


Shortly after World War II had ended, two Lions from Wellston, Ohio approached Walter Cornwell in his jewelry store and discussed the need for a Lions Club in Athens.  Walter, assisted by members of the Wellston Lions Club, gathered together nineteen Athens businessmen who realized that by banding together in a Lions Club, they would be able to accomplish much more than acting alone.  So, they petitioned Lions International for a charter to establish the Athens Lions Club.

The club held its first meeting on April 3, 1946.  On April 12, 1946, approximately 200 persons witnessed the presentation and acceptance of the charter for the Athens Lions Club.  Sponsored by the Wellston Lions Club, the Athens Club pledged as its purpose: “Continuing and systematic service to the community.”

The Athens Lions Club has sponsored the formation of the following Clubs:

  • Pomeroy-Middleport  - 1949
  • Chauncey-Dover        - 1953
  • Nelsonville                  - 1956
  • Alexander                   - 1971
  • Tri-County (Coolville) - 1980 (Name was changed in 1989).


In 1946, the Athens Lions were part of District 13-H because District 13-K did not come into existence until 1966.  In April 1946, there were 183 Lions Clubs in Ohio, and only 5,216 Clubs in existence throughout the United States.  In 2017, the clubs across Ohio were reorganized based upon changing demographics across the state, and our Club became a part of District 13 OH-7.  Today, there are 410 Lions Clubs in Ohio with approximately 12,000 members.  Across the globe, Lions are rolling up their sleeves and taking action. With over 1.4 million members from more than 200 countries, Lions Clubs International is the largest service organization in the world.


This history has been written with a lot of assistance from records and the memories of long-time Athens Lions Club members.  A special thank you to Lions Walter Cornwell, Glenn Gaston, Ken Steward, Cecil McGlone, Bill Rose and Al Squibb.  Unfortunately, eight years of club records were lost in a flood in 1964.  There are no records available for the period 1946-1954.  The March 1990 version of this history was compiled by Lion Ed Green, Club Secretary.

Latest revision updated based upon original History from Ed Green, and the additional of information from our local Athens Lions Club, the Lions District 13 OH-7 organization and Lions Clubs International.


Respectfully submitted,

Lion Secretary Mike Harrington

Summer 2019


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