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Harris overcomes serious health problems to write five books and travel the world

In 1935 Paul Harris wrote his second major work, "This Rotarian Age," which can be read, in its entirety on our website.

In the book, he writes "The first sixty-seven years of the writer’s life have been high times. He wouldn’t have missed them for anything." However, he then proceeds to tell the world that for the previous four years he has been unable to practice law, due to a nervous breakdown. This is described in very few words on page 200 of his book.

Harris may have retired from the practice of law after nearly 40 years, but in that "previous four years" mentioned in the book, he made a trip, in 1932, to Europe, as a representative of his bar association, to a conference in Holland. He traveled to many Rotary clubs and began planting Friendship Trees. The first European tree was in Berlin. Then, in 1934, the year before this book was published and in this 66th year, he traveled to Great Britain and South Africa on an exhausting journey which included a very important meeting between RIBI and RI, the affects of which may have been long lasting.

However, Harris did take some time to rest and recover. A copy of "This Rotarian Age" has been found with an inscription which indicates that Paul Harris found a home where he and Jean could stay while he rested and wrote.

From references he has made regarding a stay in a Northern Michigan hospital, it may have been there that he stayed in the home of *Elizabeth P. Enos.

His health was a problem from the end of his second term in office. In his final book, "My Road to Rotary (1947)," also posted on our project, and still available in print, he describes his first of two major heart attacks with similar language.

Of his health, Harris writes "Seventy-five per cent of my law class in the University of Iowa now sleep beneath the sod. Of the living twenty-five percent, probably none began life with less promise of health and strength, and probably none has been subjected to greater strain. Truly I have much to thank the country for." My Road to Rotary" page 290

Jack Selway,  Founder & CEO

Rotary Global History Fellowship

Webmaster for www.rotaryfirst100.org


*The 1900 Census of Manistee County, Michigan records 41 year old Elizabeth P. Enos and her four daughters living in the Manistee County village of Onekama which still existed in 2003 when this book was bought by Rotary First 100. Ms. Enos would have been in her 70's when the book was written and when Jean and Paul Harris may have stayed in her home. Rotary Club of Manistee (District 6290) was chartered in 1924, a decade earlier than the writing of "This Rotarian Age."

Elizabeth P. Enos was born in February 1859 in Scotland, also the native country of Paul Harris' wife, Jean Thomson Harris. The four Enos daughters, Marie (Oct 1890), Anna (Feb 1892), Willamena (June 1895) and Elizabeth (Sept 1898) were all listed as being born in Illinois, the home state of the Harris' from 1912 - 1947.

Another copy acquired by RGHF Member Angel Jimenez, RC Houston, D 5890, zone 21.
To my friend of many years of standing,
a friend whom I .... ;one with whom
I find myself in sympathy in most of life's
problems and at his fireside, we have discussed
.... of mutual interest to my great pleasure
and advantages. His receptive mind has been
a proving ground on which some of my pet
theories have been tried out.
No finer hospitality ....ever been tendered
me ... the hospitality of his home
In gratitude I subscribe myself
Yours very sincerely
Sept 35 Paul P. Harris
Submitted 13 February 2010 by Angel Jimenez, posted by Jack Selway
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