Indiana Moto Club Secretary 1909

Virtually forgotten today, Robert Strum was a leader in the Indianapolis motorcycle market during its pioneering days. This image is derived from microfilm records of a photograph that was published in the August 7, 1909, Indianapolis News.
Strum served as secretary of the Indiana Motorcycle Club, a chapter of the national organization, the Federation of American Motorcyclists, a governing body that has also been obfuscated by the passage of ensuing decades. The club worked with the management of the new Indianapolis Motor Speedway to bring the FAM organization to the Hoosier capital for a week of motorcycle-themed activities. The crescendo was to be the high-speed race meet at the Speedway but also the week's events included a 368-mile endurance run from Cleveland to Indianapolis, the annual convention of FAM members, a motorcycle parade throughout the city and entertainment during the evening.
This photo appeared alongside those of three other of the club's officers:

The caption supporting all four images read as follows:
"Early in the month of October 1907, a few motorcycle enthusiasts met at the home of Charles Wyatt, in Lexington Avenue, to form a motorcycle club. At that time there were probably not over fifty machines in the city. The local dealers had not been pushing sales because the motorcycle had only been out of its experimental stage for a few years, and the central United States, including Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Missouri, and Michigan, was far behind the extreme eastern and extreme western sections.
Charles Wyatt was the prime mover in the organization of the Indiana Motorcycle Club. He and Robert H. Sturm had plans roughly outlined prior to the meeting at Wyatt's house. The club was organized that night, the officers making over half the membership. The membership was so small that a vice-president was dispensed with, and the following officers were chosen: President, Charles Wyatt, Secretary Robert H. Sturm; Treasurer; Walter Berner. The entire membership was composed of these three, and other charter members as follows: Henry Habeny, Rollo Bootes and Joe Quinzoni.
President Wyatt and Secretary Sturm have held office practically ever since. The officers of the club today are: President, Charles Wyatt; Secretary, Robert H. Sturm, and Treasurer, Harry Graff. This coterie of officers and the various committees have pushed to a successful completion all arrangements for the annual convention of the national Federation of American Motorcyclists. They have seen the club grow from a membership of forty a few months ago to over one hundred. President Charles Wyatt probably has done as much as any one member to boost the coming meet.
The club has a modern home at 444 West Vermont Street, with pool tables, reading room, and all up-to-date facilities. The officers of the club have foregone the pleasure of entering any of the races. They will put in their time at the meet as track officials. The dealers of this city have given both of their time and money to make this meet successful. They are all regular members of the club."

Sturm_opt.jpg65.66 KB