Much of the material you have been hearing in these vignettes about the early history of Boulder Rotary has come from reporting done by two men over the first 50 years of its existence. I’d like to tell you about them.
Frederick O. “Rep” Repplier was the first. Apparently nobody had thought about doing a 25-year history of the club and records from that time were scarce. Rep, who was Rotary president in 1942-43, was tasked in 1956 with updating the club’s first 39 years. Rep, born in New York in 1896, graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1918 and served until 1922, when he moved to Boulder. He and his wife, Margaret, one of the first women to earn a law degree at CU, built what was called a “landmark” house in 1930 at 1302 Baseline Road.
With the Rotary classification of short story writer, Rep wrote for magazines and other publications. He served on the Board of Education from 1941 to 1956 and published a book, As a Town Grows, about Boulder’s schools. A small street in North Boulder near Columbine School and Park bears his name. He died in 1976 at age 80.
John B. Schoolland updated the club’s history from 1956 to 1969. He came from Grand Rapids, Mich., where he attended Calvin College, later getting a bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan, a master’s from Columbia, and a doctorate from Duke. He joined the faculty of CU in 1929 as a professor of psychology, retiring in 1962. He and his wife, Bee, raised two children in Boulder.
He was also a historian and photographer who published several editions of Boulder Then and Now, updating early Boulder photos by Rocky Mountain Joe Sturtevant with new ones he shot showing the same vistas many years later. He got his first camera at age 10 and learned photography from his father.
A railroad buff, he also wrote about the Switzerland Trail, the narrow-gauge train from Boulder into the mountains, and led fund-raising efforts to buy its engine, Old Number 30, which was located in Central Park for many years. He died in 1989 at the age of 93.
Thanks to these illustrious Rotarians for preserving so much Rotary history.