Forward by PDG Bill Keller:

As I put the history of District 13 OH1 together; I could not over look adding Lions Clubs International and Ohio Lions history to give a better understanding on how Ohio Lions and our current District was developed.
From a historical stand point, we must consider the Past District Governors of Ohio from 1920-present as our own Governors throughout the multiple times Ohio Lions redistricted.
On the Past District Governors website below, our Past District Governors who had served in the

District 13 OH1 geographical are are highlighted. Many Past District Governors have served Northwest Ohio with honor and distinction.

Any additions, corrections, or additional history content may be sent to PDG Bill Keller.

Melvin Jones

1917:Lions clubs became a dream of Chicago businessman Melvin Jones. June 7, 1917 in Chicago Illinois, an organizational meeting was held and the "Association of Lions Clubs" was formed.
A national convention was held in Dallas, Texas in October of that year. 

1918: The associations first grouping of the states into nine districts. Ohio was included in the Ninth District which included Nebraska, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan and Eastern Wisconsin.


Dr. Beatty

1920: March 13, 1920 the first Lions Club "Cleveland Host" was organized and twelve clubs in Ohio including Toledo and Lima rapidly joined. The first district convention was held in Columbus, Ohio on October 14, 1920 and International President Dr. C.C. Reid presented those clubs with their charters. Dr. B.W. Beatty of Dayton was elected to be the first governor of Ohio Lions. Ohio is now known as "Ohio District".

Charter Dates of Lions Clubs in District 13 OH1 geographical area. pdfsm Revised 6/19/2022.
Past District Governors 1920-1932.
Governors Bio's 1920-1950.  Districts A & D
District officers 1920-1965. 

Orson C. Norton

1921: The second district convention was held on May 25, in Dayton, Ohio, Dr. B.W. Beatty was re-elected to serve as district governor. In July at the International Convention in Oakland, California, Dr. Beatty was elected as third vice president, Beatty resigned as district
governor and Orson C. Norton of Toledo (pictured left) was appointed to serve as district governor.
1922: Lions International had redistrict the entire country and renumbered them, Ohio became known as "District 13". The third district convention was held at Lima, Ohio on May 24,1922. Delegates endorsed a plan for child welfare work to be carried out by the clubs. Orson C. Norton of Toledo was re-elected as district governor.
State conventions in District 13 OH1 geographical area. 
1923: The Sight Center of Northwest Ohio founded as "The Toledo Society for the Blind" was formed by members of Lions Clubs, the Community Chest and the Chamber of Commerce. 

May 24, 1923 at the fourth annual convention in Akron , it was decided to take over as a district project the publication and free distribution of the "Juvenile Braille Magazine". It was voted unanimously to publish the magazine and send it to every blind child in Ohio. Note: The Cincinnati Lions Club had undertaken this project several years before. Albert Ashley of Lima, Ohio elected as State Trustee
1925: June 29, the sixth annual convention of District 13 was held at Cedar Point  in conjunction with the ninth annual International Convention.
 Helen Keller challenged Ohio Lions to become "Knights of the blind in her crusade against darkness."
1926: E.M. Botkin of Lima, Ohio appointed as Lt. District Governor. Ohio has 40 clubs
1927: May 26, the eighth annual convention was held in Toledo. The district was to be administered in nine sub-districts, each under a Lieutenant Governor, thus the District Governor was relived of visiting each club in person. Toledo Society for the Blind incorporated.
1931:When the twelfth annual convention was called to order in Lima on May 19-20, it was noted that fifty-nine of the sixty-nine clubs in Ohio were present, with a total registration of 600 Lions


1933: During the fourteenth annual district convention of District 13 of Ohio Lions held in Cleveland on May 22-23, the State was divided into two Districts to be know as Districts 13A & 13B and a District Governor was to be elected to serve each.

Past District Governors District 13A 1933-1940
1935: Guy W. Brentlinger of Lima, Ohio was elected to serve on the Executive Council Board of directors of Lions International.
Dr. B.W. Beatty passed away.
1936:Edward Ward of Lima, Ohio elected as State  Director.
1937: At the eighteenth annual  Disrtict 13 convention in Toledo on May 16-18 a new District Governors organization was adopted. Each Governor was to have a Deputy Governor and a Zone Chairman

1938:Henry T. Bowers of Toledo was elected to serve a two year term as International Director at the 22nd annual International Convention on July 19-22 in Oakland, California.



1941: MD13 divides into 4 new sub-districts 13A, 13B, 13C and 13D.
Past District Governors of 13D 1941-1959

 1945: Guy W. Brentlinger of Lima was ^elected to serve a two year term as International
Director at a special board of directors meeting on September 10, in St. Louis, Missouri.
Due to war there was no International Convention or District Conventions. Each sub-district held its own meeting for general business and election of officers. 
^Some history accounts say elected other accounts appointed.
1947:On May 23-25, 1947 the twenty-eighth annual convention was held in Toledo. This was the largest convention ever held up to this time. One notable highlight was the delegates of the convention endorsement of Guy W. Brentlinger of Lima for third vice president of Lions International. Brentlinger will be supported at the International Convention in New York city in 1948.
It was an outstanding year for Lionism in Ohio. 23 new clubs had been organized making a total of 207 clubs and 11,295 members. Two new Districts were added known as District 13E and District 13F.

1948-1950: MD13 divides from 6 sub-districts to 7 sub-districts and adds 13G in 1948.
MD13  divides from 7 sub-districts to 8 sub-districts and adds 13H in 1950, the two previous re-districting cuts 13D in half.
1950-1957 map shown here.

District Conventions OH1 geographical area 1950-Present.
1952: Ohio Lions Research Foundation created.
1954: The motto "We Serve" was adopted by Lions Clubs International.
1956: The Sight Center of Northwest Ohio receives a new building at 1819 Canton made possible by private donations from individuals, Lions and Zonta Clubs.
1957: Sub-district 13A divides into two new sub-districts 13A-1 and 13A-2. (no effect on District 13D)
1959: Sub-district 13F divides into two new sub-districts 13F-1 and 13F-2 (no effect on District 13D)

1960:Change in sub-district designation from 13A-1, 13A-2, 13B, 13C, 13D, 13E, 13F-1, 13F-2, 13G, and 13H to sub-districts 13A, 13B, 13C, 13D, 13E, 13F, 13G, 13H, 13I and 13J (no effect on District 13D).
Guy W. Brentlinger passes away.
Ohio Lions adopt Pilot Dogs as a state project.
Past District Governors of Districts 13D, 13A, and 13E 1960-1969.

1961: Founder of Lions Clubs International, Melvin Jones passes away at his home in Floosmoor, Illinois on June 1st.
Lions Magazine 1961 Melvin Jones Tribute article

 1961: Northwestern Ohio Lions Eyebank History.

1963: District 13I changes letter designation to District 13K, The reason not to be confused with MD131.

1966:Another state wide redistricting took place and was done all over MD13 to make an equal distribution of clubs and membership among the sub-districts. This redistricting creates District 13A replacing District 13D and changes all of the sub districts letter designations. District 13A includes the following counties: Allen, Defiance, Fulton, Hancock, Henry, Lucas, Paulding, Putman, Van Wert, Williams, and Wood.
Ohio now has 447 Lions Clubs and 20,800 members.
Past District Officers 1966-1969. 
Past District Cabinet Secretary-Treasurers 1966-1969.
District Directories 1966-Present.
1967: Lions Clubs International adopts the Leo Club Program as an official program of the association. District 13A-OH1 Leo Clubs.

1969: W.R. "Dick" Bryan of Doylestown, Ohio was elected as Ohio Lions first President at the 52nd annual International Convention in Tokyo, Japan.
Ohio now has 481 Lions Clubs and 21,100 members.
Past Zone Chairs 1969-1970.  (District 13E)
The first Leo Club in District 13A "Perry" Leo Club 1969.
1970: Past District Governors of Districts 13A and 13E 1970-1979. (AKA Past District Governors of OH1)
District Governors Bio's 1970-1979. 
Past District Officers 1970-1979. 

Past District Cabinet Secretary-Treasurers 1970-1979.
Past Zone Chairs 1970-1979. (District 13E)
1977: Lioness and Leo Clubs Charter and Closed Dates.  Delphos Lioness Club 1977.   Delphos Leo club 1977.
Past Zone Chairs 1977-1979.  (District 13A)
1979:District13 E Governors Pins who served in the current District13 OH1 geographical area.
1980: Past District Governors of Districts 13A and 13E 1980-1989 (AKA Past District Governors of OH1)
District Governors Bio's 1980-1989.
Past District Officers 1980-1989.
Past District Cabinet Secretary-Treasurers 1980-1989.
Past Zone Chairs 1980-1989 (District 13A)
Past Zone Chairs 1980-1989 (District 13E)
1981:District13A and District 13E Lions, Lioness club pins and banners in the current District13 OH1 geographical area.
1982:Ada Lioness Club Chartered
1982: District13A Governors Pins who served in the current District13 OH1 geographical area.
1983: The 
Pandora Ohio eyeglass sorting center formed, the center collects and processes recycled eyeglasses for VOSH Ohio missions. Over 100,000 pairs of eyeglasses are processed per year since the center was started, and well over a million pairs of recycled have been sorted, cleaned, and filled by Lions volunteer workers.
1990: Past District Governors of Districts 13A and 13E 1990-1999. (AKA Past District Governors of OH1)
District Governors Bio's 1990-1999
Past District Officers 1990-1999
Past District Cabinet Secretary-Treasurers 1990-1999.
Past Zone Chairs 1990-1999.   (District 13A)
Past Zone Chairs 1990-1999.  (District 13E)

1993: James T. Coffey of Toronto, Ohio was elected as Ohio Lions second President at the 76th annual International Convention held in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
2000: Past District Governors of Districts 13A and 13E 2000-2009. (AKA Past District Governors of OH1)
District Governors Bio's 2000-2009
Past District Officers 2000-2009.
Past District Cabinet Secretary-Treasurers 2000-2009.
Past Zone Chairs 2000-2009 (District 13A)
Past Zone Chairs 2000-2009.  (District 13E)
2007: Ohio Lions District 13A received a grant from Lions Clubs International Foundation (LCIF) and Ohio Lions Foundation (OLF) to assist flood victims in Allen, Hancock, and Putnam counties. Victims were able to purchase needed cleaning supplies, paper products, and other items to aid in the recovery process.

2009: Jerry Smith from Wauseon, Ohio was elected to serve a two year term as International Director at the 92nd International Convention held in Minneapolis, Minnesota, July 6-10, 2009
2010:Past District Governors of Districts 13A,13E 2010-2015. (AKA Past District Governors of OH1)
District Governors Bio's 2010-2015
Past District Officers 2010-2015.
Past District Cabinet Secretary-Treasurers 2010-2015.
Past Zone Chairs 2010-2015.  (District 13A)
Past Zone Chairs 2010-2015. (District 13E)
2016: A statewide redistricting takes place and was done all over MD13 to make an equal distribution of Lions Clubs and membership among the sub-districts. This redistricting creates District OH1 and changes the sub-districts letter designations to OH1-OH7, MD13 now has seven sub-districts. OH1 is composed of the following counties: Allen, Auglaze, Defiance, Fulton, Hancock, Hardin, Henry, Logan, Lucas, Mercer, Paulding, Putman, Shelby, Van Wert, Williams, and Wood. District OH1 has 52 Lions Clubs and 1,443 members*.
MD13 Ohio Lions has 418 Lions Clubs and 12,098 members*.

Past District Governors 2016-2021. (District 13 OH1)
District Governors Bio's 2016-2021.
(District 13 OH1)
Past District Officers 2016-2021. (District 13 OH1)
Past District Cabinet Secretary-Treasurers 2016-2021. (District 13 OH1)

Past Zone Chairs 2016-2021.  (District 13 OH1)
District 13 OH1 Governors pins
District 13 OH1 District pins

History researched from:
Ohio Lions History from 1920-1958 by E.C.and Alice Baum.
MD13 Redistricting History. Author Unkown.
The World's Biggest Doers-The Story Of The Lions by Robert Casey
Lions Clubs International Magazine "The Lion".
Pandora Eyeglass Center (website).
Sight Center of Northwest Ohio (website)
Press Release for Flood Relief 8/29/2007 by DG Dan Ritter.
MD13 History 101 (website) by PDG Bill Keller.
* Stats taken from MyLCI Membership Reports.
Newspaper articles taken from or, they have copyrights of their own.

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