Lions Club International

Founder of
Lions Club Intl

History of
Dr. William Perry Woods
and His Founding of Lions Club International

Certified Document
from F. E. Coss

Affirming Dr. Woods as
Founder of Lions International

Articles of

International Association
of Lions Clubs

Dallas Morning News
October 9, 1917

International Association
of Lions Clubs

Lions Clubs in the 21st Century by Paul W. Martin - 1922-2009

A long-time Lions Club member, Mr. Martin in 1991 wrote a 324-page book detailing the history of Lions Clubs International, called "We Serve: A History of the Lions Clubs."  In doing research for the book, he interviewed Jim Cameron, a past Lions Clubs International director. "He dug up a whole bunch of stuff that no one else knew about," said Cameron.

Mr. Martin was commissioned to work with co-author Robert Kleinfelder on a 383-page update of the book, titled "Lions Clubs in the 21st Century," published in 2008.

(Available online @ Google Books)

Key Points Made by the Author

  • At a 7 June 1917 meeting of the Chicago Business Circle at the La Salle Hotel in Chicago, "Dr. William Woods is listed in the minutes" as "President, International Association of Lions," and representing 27 Lions Clubs listed under this name.
  • "The corporate records of the State of Indiana show that on October 24, 1916, Dr. Woods, Carmi Hicks and C.R. Conan filed Articles of Incorporation for a non-profit organization titled the International Association of Lions Clubs."
  • "All Lions clubs chartered after August 30, 1916, were organized under that name and by June 1, 1917, there were 35 clubs that had received charters from the association."
  • Charters for membership into the International Association of Lions Clubs  were subsequently issued to the Vortex Club of St. Louis, Missouri (July 25, 1917) and "the Chicago Central Club" on  2 August of 1917.
  • Melvin Jones and the Business Circle apparently postponed a decision pending further study on the matter.  It was not until 19 June 1917 that Jones reportedly wrote to the Secretary of the Ardmore, OK., Lions Club seeking greater insight.   J.T. Coleman of  The Ardmore club responded with a high recommendation.
  • On 21 July 1917, "Dr. Woods" notified all clubs that "The first convention of the Lions Clubs will be held in the city of Dallas, Texas, on the 8-9-10 of October of this year."