The “Rotary Ann’s” of Murfreesboro

The Daily News Journal, May 7, 1934

The Rotary Anns are mentioned 108 times in the Daily News Journal, dating from 1927 till 1972, meeting at locations such as the Women’s Club, the James K. Polk Hotel, Middle Tennessee State Teachers College (present day MTSU), even the old Seward Air Force Base.

For quite some time the wives of male Rotarians were affectionately called “Rotary Ann’s.”  Rotary Ann was never meant as a disparaging name, but as an endearing moniker for the dedicated women of the various Rotary Clubs.

The year was 1914, the location was the Rotary Convention, Houston, Texas.  A train from San Francisco included passengers Rotarian Bru Brunnier and wife Ann Brunnier.

Wives rarely attended Rotary conventions at the turn of the century thus Ann Brunnier was introduced as the Rotarian’s Ann.  Soon Ann relished this new nickname as ‘Rotary Ann.’

But there was another ‘Ann’ at the Rotary Convention, Houston, Texas, 1914 – Ann Gundaker of Philadelphia, wife of Rotarian Guy Gundaker.

So, here we have two wives of Rotarians, both named ‘Ann’.  ‘Rotary Ann’ became a name of respect for all wives in attendance that year; the name ‘Rotary Ann’ became an endearing label.

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