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 major cities.

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.
Open to both men and woman, major projects that have
been sponsored included the Fourth of July fireworks
display, Christmas 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 members
in the club.