On this day in 1903, the initial members of the newly created Athens Chamber of Commerce elected their first officers and formally established the organization and committees.
The officers were L. F. Edwards, President; W. F. Bryan 1st Vice President; M. G. Michael, 2nd Vice President; T. W. Reed, Secretary; and C. H. Phinizy, treasurer.
Earlier in the month, the Weekly Banner published this list of charter members of the Athens Chamber of Commerce:
Abbott, S. K.Abney Brothers Co.Anderson, J. T.Arnold Grocery Co.Arnold, John L.Ash, W. C.Athens Banner, TheAthens Gas Co.Athens Hardware Co., TheBoley, SidneyBondurant, E. J.Brandt, R.Brooks, A. L.Bryan, W. T.Burnett, W. B.Carithers, J. Y.Collett & IngleConway, H. C.Cooper, J. C.Darwin, John A.Davison, A. H.Dearing, A. P.Dornblass, J.Dorsey & FunkensteinDorsey, E. H.Dorsey, J. H .Dozier & Co.DuBose, R. ToombsEdwards, L. F.Eppes-Wilkins Co.Flanigen, C. D.Fleming, T. & SonsFleming, W.Globe Racket StoreGreen, T. F.Griffeth Implement Co.Griffeth, J. H.Griffith, A. E.Griffith, C. B.Haselton, D. P.Head & McMahanHodgson Cotton Co.Hodgson, A. H.Hodgson, C. N.Holder, Jr., B. F.Hulme & Co., Geo.Humphrey, J. E.Hunnicutt, J. A.Johnson, M. C.Joseph, MaxKenney, D. M.King & Co., J. S.Klein & MartinLipscomb, F. A.Mallory, W. A.McCurdy, J. M.McGregor, D. W.McMahan, J. C. C.McNeely, W. A.McWhorter, HamiltonMichael Bros.Miller, D. F.Morton, I. P.Morton, John WhiteMoss, R. L., Jr.Motes, C. W.Nicholson, G. R.Nicholson, M. G.O’Neal, W. B.Orr Drug Co., ThePalmer, H. R. & SonsPeeples, W. J.Petrie, C. B.Philpot, S. T.Phinizy, Billups,Pitner, J. A.Quillian, D. D.Reed, T. W.Rhodes, AlexRhodes, J. F.Shackleford, T. J.Sizer, R. W.Skalowski, M. H.Sledge, E. D.Smith, E. I.Stern, Chas. & Co.Strickland, J. J.Talmadge Bros. & Co.Talmadge Hardware Co.Thomas, W. W.Tuck, H. C.Turner & HodgsonVincent, T. P.Vonderau, W. P.Webb & CrawfordWilkins, J. J.Williamson, G. H.Willis, E. F.Wingfield, W. C.
Mayor J. F. Rhodes was chairman of the committee to draft a constitution and by-laws for the organization, and after his presentation, both passed with "a few minor amendments."
The meeting schedule would be on the 2nd Tuesday of every month, with quarterly items on the agenda in January, April, July, and October, and their annual meeting in January.
A total of 17 committees were being formed, covering Agriculture, Education, New Enterprises, Express Service and Railroad Transportation, Advertising and Publicity, Postal and Telegraph Service, and one covering Streets, Roads, and Parks.
The Board of Directors would be the officers and the chairmen from the Arbitration, Finance, and Manufacturers committees. Once committees were organized, they would "take up several matters of importance to the city and discuss and act upon them."
Stated the Weekly Banner, "It is the universal opinion that this new business organization will do much toward advancing the interests of the city."
- Weekly Banner, Aug. 1902 - Dec. 1905 on Microfilm in the Heritage collection.
- Athens Historic Newspaper Archive in the Digital Library of Georgia.
- History of Athens and Clarke County, Georgia by H. J. Rowe in the Heritage and general collections.
- Athens of Old by the Athens Area Chamber of Commerce in the Heritage collection.
- Athens, Georgia: In the Heart of Expansion, a Very Pleasant Place to Live by the Athens Area Chamber of Commerce in the Heritage collection.
- Athens, Georgia, the Classic City: Tradition with Progress by Donald A. Smith in the Heritage collection.
- Localvesting: The Revolution in Local Investing and How to Profit From It by Amy Cortese in the general collection.
- World Class: Thriving Locally in the Global Economy by Rosabeth Moss Kanter in the general collection.
- Athens Area Chamber of Commerce website.