Local businessmen and supporters gathered at the Courthouse on January 11, 1923, to discuss the future establishment of a Chamber of Commerce in the city of Lexington. Dr. Robert H. Tucker, an economics and business administration professor at Washington and Lee University, became the Chamber’s first president and William C. Firebaugh the first secretary. In a News Gazette article on Dr. Tucker’s interest in a Chamber of Commerce for Lexington it stated, “One of the prime factors, said Dr. Tucker, of organizations of this kind is the promotion of neighborliness among the residents of the community; for, said he, we are apt to like people when we know them through common interests in a common cause.” The meeting included a reading and discussion of the existing constitution and bylaws and the development of two committees—one for bylaws and the other for organization.
One week later, Chamber members met again at the Courthouse to officially organize the Lexington Chamber of Commerce. Key speakers included Louis Henry Smith, President of Washington and Lee University, James McDowell Adair, and Curtis Walton. Further business of the meeting included approval of the constitution and bylaws and voting for the first board of directors. The first board of directors included Dr. Tucker, Benjamin Hunger, Paul M. Penick, Leo G. Sheridan, Montgomery B. Corse, John L. Campbell, G. A. Rhodes, and William R. Humphris. A link to the News Gazette article about this meeting can be found here.