History of the Elwood Chamber of Commerce
In 1936, realizing a critical situation due to the loss of business and industry, a group of businessmen and women formed the Elwood Industrial Bureau, with the sole purpose of attracting new industries to Elwood. Officers were, president, King Leeson; vice-president, Orla A. Wann; treasurer, Rolland Neese; secretary, Sheridan Clyde. The directors were Robert H. Carpenter, Roy Laughlin, Merle Hoppenrath, Fred Van Tine, George Bonham, Jessie Dietzen and C.G. Norris.
In 1946, The Elwood Industrial Bureau became the Elwood Chamber Of Commerce with John C. Klumpp as the first paid full time secretary. Mr Klumpp held this position until his resignation in 1950.
In 1949, the Woman’s Council of the Chamber of Commerce was formed. Except in Indianapolis, Elwood was the only Chamber of Commerce in the state to have a Woman’s Council as an auxiliary. The purpose was to aid in civic undertakings. One project was to visit new families who move into the city.
While preparing a short history of Elwood in 1952 for the first newcomers party, members of the Woman’s Council realized the Centennial year was at hand. They began at once to interest Elwoodians in the celebration of the Centennial. Members of the Centennial Committee were chosen from a group of delegates from lodges, churches, sororities, clubs, and from other interested citizens who had been contacted by the Woman’s Council. Led by this group, the citizens of Elwood sponsored Elwood’s Gala Week. Reviewing the past hundred years we realize the people of Elwood have always risen above their difficulties. Upon this realization we base our firm conviction that the problems of the next hundred years, different though they may be from those of the past century, will be successfully met.
Today the Elwood Chamber of Commerce continues to be an energizing and vitalizing force of the community. It seeks to unite all industrial, commercial, and civic interests for the purpose of concerted action in supporting those activities which are broader than any single business or industry, but which promote the welfare of the entire Elwood area.
The Elwood Chamber of Commerce is a working partnership of businesses, professionals, industries, and concerned citizens who are joined together for the purpose of advancing our community. It is an organization of people who know the wisdom of coordinating their efforts under effective leadership and who are committed to the success of our City.