It was with great fanfare that the Tooele Lion’s Club first organized in 1924 — so great that the Tooele Transcript dedicated the entire front page to news of its organization, with a headline reading “A LION’S CLUB!” in what was probably the largest font available at the time.
“One of the greatest steps taken in the history of Tooele for the advancement of community welfare, from a purely non-partisan standpoint,” the article began, “was the organization of a branch of the Lions International Club last Monday evening.”
The article went on to describe the “heroic” efforts of the club’s founder, Fredrick Kanzler, in creating the club, and then listed the names and positions of the charter members. At the time, more than 800 Lions clubs were in operation throughout the world, and together those clubs boasted 12,000 members. Membership was contingent upon invitation, and reserved for prominent businessmen with honorable reputations within the community.
During that first meeting in Tooele, the charter members set goals for the betterment of the community and dedicated themselves to improving local education, public health, patriotism and to eliminating class distinctions. These goals were included in the article, though no specific details were offered. The Lions code of ethics was reviewed, and also printed on the front page, along with a simple announcement that luncheons would be held on Wednesdays at 12:15.
As time went on, the Tooele Lions would become responsible for organizing a slew of community events — everything from mass Halloween parties to Tunnel Day carnivals, as well as for the creation of a few parks and community venues. The club eventually died out, but was reorganized locally last year.