First Rotary ClubOn the evening of February 23, 1905, Paul Harris and three friends, Sylvester Schiele, Gustavus Loehr, and Hiram Shorey, met in Loehr's business office in Room 711 of the Unity Building in downtown Chicago to discuss Paul's idea that businessmen should get together periodically for camaraderie and to enlarge their circle of business and professional acquaintances.From their discussion came the idea for a men's club which would meet weekly and whose membership would be limited to one representative from each business and profession. After enlisting a fifth member, Harry Ruggles, the group was formally organized as the Rotary Club of Chicago. By the end of 1905, the club's roster showed a membership of 30 with Sylvester Schiele as president and Ruggles as treasurer. Paul Harris declined office in the new club and didn't become its president until two years later.Derivation of the Rotary nameThe name Rotary was chosen to reflect the custom, in the early days of the first Rotary Club in Chicago, of rotating the site of club meetings among the members' places of business. This rotation, an integral part of the founder's original concept, was designed to acquaint members with one another's vocations and to promote business, but the club's rapid growth soon made the custom impractical.