As Industrialization and Urbanization brought many new
problems to society, citizens began forming voluntary organizations
to address the needs of their communities. In some areas, groups
took the name “optimist club” to express their desire
for a positive outlook in the face of all these problems. The first
offcial Optimist Club was formed in Buffalo, N.Y. in 1911. Impetus
for a nationwide Optimist movement began when the Optimist Club
of Indianapolis, Indiana, was formed in May 1916. Envisioning a
nationwide organization, founders of the Indianapolis club moved
ahead in the summer of 1916 to start Optimist Clubs in many other
These clubs quickly grew to over 100 members each. As a result,
a national conference of the American clubs was held in 1917 in
Indianapolis. The association of clubs that is known today as Optimist
International was formed on June 19, 1919, the name International
Optimist Club. In 1922, the Optimist Creed was adopted as the official
creed of the organization. Written by Christian Larson, the creed
was originally published under the title “Promise Yourself”
in 1912. Optimist in California found the Optimist spirit well expressed
in the 10-line statement and pushed to have it adopted organization-wide.
From the beginning, Optimist Clubs directed major efforts toward
youth service. As a result, in 1923, the motto “Friend of
the Delinquent Boy” was chosen, setting the course of the
organization. In 1972, Optimist International’s motto was
changed to “Friend of Youth”, to reflect service to
both girls and boys.
Today more than 122,300 members in over 3,600 clubs continue to
serve their communities with innovative programs that meet the needs
of a rapidly changing society.
Chartered on June 15, 1965 with 30 members, the Taylorville
Optimist Club has been extremely active in the community.
both men and woman, major projects that have
sponsored included the Fourth of July fireworks
for Kids, Scholarships, and numberous
contributions to other community
groups. The club also
operates a concession trailer which sells
food at various
community activities. There are currently over 65
in the club.