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Source: "Past and Present of O'Brien and Oseola Counties", 1914


Rising Star Lodge No. 496, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons, received dispensation from the grand master under date of April 18, 1888, to organize a lodge at Sanborn and on April 24, 1888, it held its first meeting, officers being as follows: J. B. Dunn, worshipful master; W. S. Armstrong, senior warden; F. A. Turner, junior warden; J. S. Nye, treasurer; E. L. Ballon, secretary; C. H. Winterble, senior deacon; Thomas T. McMann, junior deacon; H. E. Thayer and George J. North, stewards; George M. Shuck, tyler; D. Algyer, chaplain.

The charter members included the above and James Shaw, G. W. Alexander, James D. Wilson, Thomas Rollins, E. C. Foskett and W. H. Brown. Masters since the organization have been as follows: J. B. Dunn, W. S. Armstrong, C. H. Slocum, David Algyer, J. S. Nye, S. A. Carter, J. E. Stott, E. J. English, R. Hinman, Alexander Stewart, W. W: Artherholt, D. H. Smith, H. A, Mitchell, J. P. Knox, O. H. Montzheimer. The present membership is eighty-seven and the present officers are: O. H. Montzheimer, master; D. B. Shearer, senior warden; E. E. Richards, junior warden; R. Hinman, treasurer; J. S. Nye, secretary; David McCreath, senior deacon; J. H. Knox, junior deacon; W. A. Rosecrans and Alex McCreath, stewards; J. S. Nye, Jr., tyler.

Samara Chapter No. 105, Royal Arch Masons, was instituted at Sanborn August 23, 1883, special dispensation having issued by the grand high priest of Iowa under date of August 7, 1883. The first officers were: George H. Olmsted, high priest; T. J. Alexander, king; Cal Bradstreet, scribe; H. D. Chapin, captain of host; Harley Day, principal sojourner; George B. Davids, royal arch captain; E. M. Brady, master of third veil; George W. Schee, master of second veil; George McCullow, master of first veil.

On August 2, 1900, by order of Grand High Priest N. B. Hyatt, issued in pursuance of vote of the chapter previously held, the chapter was removed to Primghar, where it has since been located, being the only chapter of Royal Arch Masons in the county. Those who., have held the office of high priest are George H. Olmsted, Cal Bradstreet, William Marker, J. H. Wolf, Harley Day, O. H. Montzheimer, Alexander Stewart and Roy King. The present membership is eighty-three. The present officers are: Roy King, high priest; Arch Shearer, king; William Ortman, scribe; R. Hinman, treasurer; J. S. Nye, secretary; Alex. Stewart, captain of host; H. B. Bossert, principal sojonrner; D.. Shearer, royal arch captain; Jess Byers, master third veil; Alex McCreath, master second veil; Ed. Fritche, master first veil; J. B. See, sentinel.

Primghar Chapter No. 241, Order of the Eastern Star, was instituted June 22, 1898, with the following first officers; Miss Ella Seckerson, worthy matron; Ralph Hinman, worthy patron; Mrs. Fannie Stott, associate matron; J. S. Nye. secretary; J. E. Stott, treasurer; Miss Merte Rogers, conductor; Miss Glo Stearns, associate conductor; Mrs. Eva Stearns, Adah; Mrs. Carrie Armstrong, Ruth; Mrs. Jennie Montzheimer, Esther; Mrs. Emma Williams, Martha; Mrs. May Rosecrans, Electa; H. L. Williams, warder; W. A. Rosecrans, sentinel.

The present officers are: Mrs. May Rosecrans, worthy matron; Roy King, worthy patron; Miss Edith Brown, associate matron; R. E. Langley, secretary; Jennie Montzheimer, treasurer; Mrs. Nellie Olander, conductor; Mrs. Ethel Wolf, associate conductor; Mrs. Minnie Mejtcalf, chaplain; Miss Ethel Shearer, Adah; Mrs. Harriet Hinman, Ruth; Mrs. Marie Bossert, Esther; Mrs. Edith King, Martha; Mrs. Vida Peck, Electa; Mrs. Jessie Hinz, warder; Alex. Stewart, sentinel; Miss Dorothy Stamp, marshal; Mrs. Hiltna Thatcher, organist. Number of members at present time, one hundred and twenty-two.

According to the statement of David Algyer. of Paullina, in his history of the town, the history of Fulton Lodge No. 499, is as follows:

On the 16th day of June, 1888, by authority of the grand lodge of Iowa, a dispensation was granted to J. D. Laudi, John V. Adkins, W. H. Barber, George Haase, Stephen Harris, George Hakeman, A. Hanson, W. W. Johnson, C. R. Waterman. W. N. Dunham, Jacob Fisch, J. C. Doling, A. C. Dunn, Wr. H. Wilkerson, and George P. Buell to organize a Masonic lodge in Paullina, to be known as Fulton Lodge No. 499, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons. These brethren, having been faithful to their trust and efficient in their workmanship, were on the 4th day of June, 1889, granted a charter. The first officers of Fulton Lodge were: J. D. Laudi, worshipful master; John V. Adkins, senior warden; W. H. Barber, junior warden; George Hakeman, treasurer; George P. Buell, secretary; Stephen Harris, senior deacon; A. C. Dunn, junior deacon; George Veeder, senior steward; A. Hanson, junior steward; C. R. Waterman, tyler. The lodge has grown and prospered and has a membership of seventy-four Master Masons and the following named have served as worshipful masters since its organization : J. D. Laudi, J. V. Adkins, S. Harris, George P. Buell, George Veeder, Edward Bachman, Henry Scott, David Algyer, and F. V. D. Bogert.

On the 23rd day of October, 1901, a charter from the grand chapter of the Order of the Eastern Star of Iowa was granted to the following named ladies of Paullina; Mrs. Marie S. Algyer, Mrs. A. W. Adkins, Mrs. Z. Dudley, Mrs. Ruth Fitton, Miss Helen Algyer, Mrs. Minnie Henderson, Mrs. Kate Hendry, Mrs. Byrdette Harris, Miss Nettie Metcalf, Mrs. Harriet E. Moffit, Mrs. Annie L. Pratt, Mrs Laura Veeder, Mrs. M. J. Williamson, Mrs. L. A. Wollenberg, Mrs. A. Watts and Mrs. Ella Warner, to organize Sweet Brier Chapter No. 299 at Paullina. The first officers of the chapter were; Mrs. Marie S. Algyer, worthy matron; J. V. Adkins, worthy patron; Mrs. Annie L. Pratt, associate matron. The chapter is in a flourishing condition with the following officers; Mrs. Byrdette Harris, worthy matron; F. V. D. Bogert, worthy patron; Mrs. Gertrude Bogert, associate matron; Mrs. B. J. Maytom, conductress; Mrs. Helen Raak, assistant conductress; Mrs. J. V. Adkins, treasurer, and Miss Lena Moorhead, secretary.

Beacon Lodge No. 495, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons, at Hartley, was instituted March 10. 1888, with the following charter members; John I. Story, D. T. Stewart, E. B. Messer, F. L. Searls, Frank Patch, John W. Lothian, R. G. Allen, M. L. Gilbert, Peter Sitler, Frank L. McOmber, A. J. Brock, T. M. Corns, W. S. Fuller, C. H. Westfall, R. Hodgson, Sr. The first list of officers were; John I. Story, worshipful master; D. T. Stewart, senior warden; E. B. Messer, junior warden; F. L. McOmbes, senior deacon; A. J. Brock, junior-deacon; R. G. Allen, senior steward: C. H. Westfall, junior steward; Frank Patch, secretary; W. S. Fuller, treasurer; Peter Sitler, tyler; W. G. Lothian, chaplain. The lodge now has a membership of ninety-seven. The second floor of the Stewart building, on the west side of Main street, has been occupied by this lodge since 1901. The elective officers in November, 1913, were; H. T. Broders, worshipful master; H. J. Grotewohl, senior warden; C. C. Planck, junior warden; R. O. Rumann, secretary; Frank Patch, treasurer; F. A. Conn, senior deacon; Charles Boyce, junior deacon; A. Teakle, senior steward; C. H. Westfall, junior steward; John Haynes, tyler; G. R. Gilbert, chaplain.

Abiff Lodge No. 347, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons, at Sutherland, was instituted June 7, 1876, by the subjoined persons: D. H. Wheeler, J. C. Doling, A. H. Willett, C. W. Inman, E. C. Brown, G. W. Schee, Harley Day, Elmer C. Faskett, William H. Brown, S. J. Jordan, William Pursell, Moses Dimon, John T. Stearns, James Wykoff, A. B. Husted. R. C. Jordan is present worshipful master; Leigh Drake, senior warden; H. H. Hendrick, junior warden; F. L. Nichols, secretary; H. N. McMaster, treasurer. The present membership is about seventy-four. The lodge owns their own hall, valued at fifteen thousand dollars. Every member is paid up to date and every past master's picture hangs upon the walls of the lodge room. It will be observed that this lodge is in a flourishing condition and must stand for the good things to be enjoyed by the great fraternity.

At Sanborn, Onyx Lodge No. 419, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons, was instituted in 1909. Its officers are: W. H. Wheaton, worshipful master; C. H. Barber, senior warden; A. V. Brady, junior warden; H. H. Britton, secretary. The present membership is one hundred. The lodge leases its hall. The past masters have been: D. Barker, C. S. Cornell, F. W. Horton, J. A. Johnson, G. W. McFarland, H. Vanderlip, T. Zimmerman.

Mistletoe Lodge No. 376, at Sheldon, was instituted June 20, 1876, by the following persons: H. B. Wyman, E. M. Winslow, J. C. Elliott, J. A. Brown, S. W. Harrington, J. D. Bunce, E. A. Ward, Robert Sturgeon, J. A. Wagner, A. E. Frear, O. A. Borden, W. J. Dunham, W. J. Newell, W. N. Strong. The present officers are: F. E. Frisbee, worshipful master; C. L. Dixon, senior warden; F. J. Brown, junior warden; E. A. James, senior deacon; F. W. Miller, junior deacon; Benjamin, Jones, treasurer; Scott Martin, secretary; C. B. Brownslow, tyler. The lodge now has a membership of one hundred and twenty-two. The past masters of this lodge have been: H. B. Wyman, J. C. Elliott, W. N. Strong, Ed C. Brown, F. Howard, W. D. Boies, O. P. Mabee, D. E. Dean, P. W. Hall, James Cowie, H. J. Cram, A. J. Walsmith, H. E. Palmer, J. R. Elliott, H. J. Brackney, F. E. Frisbee. The blue lodge is all of Masonry that is represented at Sheldon.


Odd Fellowship has long had a stronghold in O'Brien county. . The fraternity now has prosperous lodges in various parts of the county, including the following who have kindly furnished the facts for the author:

At Hartley there is what is known as Hartley Lodge No. 507, which was instituted October 23, 1890. Among the first members were: F. N. Drake, L. C. Green, Frank Kelley, J. E. Wheelock and C. E. West. The 1913 elective officers are William Franke, noble grand; H. C. Gunnerman. vice-grand; C. Boyce, secretary; J. F. Eichner, financial secretary; D. C. Maass, treasurer. In 1900 the lodge erected a fine hall, costing three thousand dollars. Three degrees of the order are represented in Hartley, and the total membership is ninety.

There is also a lodge of this fraternity at Sanborn, known as No. 434, and also an encampment. The bodies here are in a prosperous condition and are a power for good in the surrounding community, as the rule is to properly exemplify the teachings of the order. There is a lodge at Sheldon.

Paullina Lodge No. 483, of Odd Fellows, was instituted on the 9th day of February, 1885, and the following officers elected at that time; Wr. F. Clark, noble grand; W. R. Johnson, vice-grand; George Hakeman, secretary; W. W. Johnson, treasurer; T. Lasson, inside guard; I. L. Rerick, warden; C. S. Paul, right supporter noble grand; W. W. Johnson, right supporter vice grand; C. A. Collett, left supporter vice grand. The lodge was organized by E. R. Wood, district deputy grand master, with eight charter members, being W. R. Johnson, Theodore Larson, W. F. Clark, C. S. Paul, C. A. Collett, I. L. Rerick, George Hakeman and W. W. Johnson.

The members who have served as noble grand of the lodge are: W. F. Clark, W. R. Johnson, O. D. Hamstreet George P. Buell, J. P. Bossert, J. W. Bunker, I. L. Rerick, A. Thompson, J. D. Smith, L. N. B. LaRue, James Manley, W. J. McCauley, A. P. Jacobs, George Carfield, George Veeder, A. W. Proctor, George Hodgdon, William Steen, C. Meltvedt, W. T. Winn, S. R. Hovland, F. M. Bethel, M. L. Peterson, J. L. Delmage, A. W. Barney, Charles Ihle, J. R. Gruver, W. M. Slitter, M. Zimmerman, \V. A. Hamilton, Charles Delmage, H. M. Sutter, A. Meltveldt, Elmer Bryson, J. E. Thompson, Albert Ihle, Theo. Moll, H. G. Gulp, John Tjossem, Carl Krull, Oscar Wallquist and George Miller. The lodge has enjoyed a good, wholesome growth.

Wild Rose Lodge No. 294, Daughters of Rebekah, at Paullina, has the subjoined history in brief: It was October 21, 1904, when a large number of wives and daughters of members of the Odd Fellows fraternity at this point organized a lodge. It now has a membership of one hundred and seven.

Sutherland Lodge No. 415, Independent Order of Odd Fellows, was organized October 20, 1887, with James Parks as noble grand; H. A. Peck, vice grand; C. H. Brintnall, secretary; B. Thompson, treasurer. Other charter members were James Park, F. L. Bidwell, I. D. Modesitt, Thomas Short, Thomas Bethel. The lodge now enjoys a total membership of eighty-two. They erected a substantial hall in 1911, twenty-five by'one hundred feet, at a cost of nine thousand dollars. Three degrees of the order are here represented. The officers (elective) in the fall of 1913 were as follows: Fedder Fedderson, noble grand; W. M. Andrews, vice grand; F. W. Hulser, secretary; George Braungard, financial secretary: R. W. Boyd, treasurer.

Primghar Lodge No. 506, at Primghar, was organized October 23, 1890, with the following membership: F. M. McCormack, W. H. Noyes, J. R. Borland, H. O. Smith, Hans Johnson, Frank A. Turner and E. H. Cook. The first noble grand was H. O. Smith, and the vice grand was R. P. Jones. The present (fall of 1913) officers are: Alexander McCreth, noble grand; Thomas Irvin, vice grand; R. P. Jones, secretary; W. H. Brown, financial secretary; J. B. Sanders, treasurer. The lodge now has a membership of eighty-four. The lodge was organized in the court house and the first night there were twenty-one new members initiated into the fraternity. For a time lodge was held over the creamery and later was removed to the store room of the Noyes building, which later was destroyed by fire. Then the lodge, feeling the need of permanent quarters, in connection with Jacob Wolf of the Bell newspaper office, erected the present fine brick building on the corner of Main and Cross streets, facing the south. In this building, which was erected in 1895, tne order has a fine lodge room and all the furniture needed to carry on the work of the subordinate lodge. The part owned by the Odd Fellows—the second story—cost between five and six thousand dollars. The Yeomen and Woodmen lodges have from time to time leased from the Odd Fellows. A Rebekah lodge was organized a few years after the original organization of the Odd Fellows lodge and still supports the order in excellent shape. Among the men who have served as noble grands may be recalled the following: H. O. Smith, R. P. Jones, M. S. Metcalf, J. B. Sanders, Richard Gray, George Kruse (deceased), A. V. Conway (deceased), Henry Johnson (deceased), W. H. Christopher, Thomas Byers, Thomas Kameria, Frank Edington, John Irvin, W. H. Brown, W. N. Hulbert, John A. King, John F. Doyle, Charlie R. Asquith, James Beers, Bert Bertelson and George D. Smith.


The Knights of Pythias lodge at Sheldon has been written up by one of its worthy leading members in the following style—rather unique:

"If we shall depart from the stale usage of identifying ourself by a number, as though we were an 'item' of stock in trade or some such thing, and insist that our name is our identity in the community in which we live. and elsewhere, and accordingly introduce the reader to Malta, Knights of Pythias, the reader will understand Malta has some reasons satisfactory to itself for doing' so.

"Our reasons are historical, and probably too abstruse to interest the uninitiated. Let it be said, Malta stands quite alone among the many subordinates—not in the least subordinate, but paramount and excellent in the precepts of a ritualism at once sublime, far-reaching and appealing to every better instinct of man, and making itself especially attractive to decent men. "There is a reason for Malta, among the many, and the foregoing, conscientiously practiced, is the reason. It is the reason why Malta will celebrate her quarter century anniversary August 7, 1914, with a membership considerably in excess of one hundred.

"In that quarter of a century, Malta has witnessed the decay of every castle hall in this county, but one, more recently organized, and the single one in which Malta had no part.

"Malta has seen the wreckage of Hartley, Sanborn, Primghar, Sutherland, Rock Rapids, LeMars, Sioux Centre, Hull, and some few more distant places, washed with the ebb and flow of what once promised to be pleasant seas. But the men at the wheel and in the chart house failed in the critical time when channels varied from the marked course, and hidden reefs were unchartered.

"Of the twenty-two men who accepted charter for Malta, August 7, 1889, PP. XXV, eight are active members today.

"Early in their experience it was observed one cannot have mental reservations in taking solemn obligations,—extraordinary obligations as binding as any oath known to man,—and then fail therein, with any greater degree of esteem by one's neighbors than any other form of perjury.

"Moved by such meditations, these men carefully nurtured the future of Malta by the admission of those, in the main, who could and would easily accept the standard set for them.

"With sincerity of purpose, it was also observed that efficiency in ritualism is of first importance in dignity and spirit of the organization.

"The same spirit controlled the Uniform Rank company, which disbanded after having taken three consecutive first prizes, with statewide competition, for excellency in the manual of arms and full company movements, as prescribed by the judges. The greatest performance was the complete manual of arm and company movements on a baseball diamond in seventeen minutes, with no error charged to the work.

"Such a thing as a pre-arranged set of officers, or slate has never been and would not be tolerated, if attempted.

"Harmony is another word for friendship, in knighthood, at least, and among the Maltese men friendship is not endangered by any individual's ambition.

"Malta declines, emphatically, to indulge in any of the noisy and claptrap methods, sometimes prescribed; neither does Malta tolerate dissipation in any form; but of fun and frolic of the wholesome kind, there is plenty. Every meeting night after business, a smoker, or musical by the quartet, are among the usual features.

"Those who were officers twenty-five years ago, those who are officers today, and those who will be after the first of each year cannot possibly interest the reader."

Purity Lodge No. 196, at Calumet, was organized in January, 1908, and now has a membership of fifty-two. The first officers were: F. Notty chancellor commander; George Reifsteck, vice chancellor; Gene Grant, prelate; Thomas Rehder, keeper of records and seal; Fred Smith, master of exchequer; E. Mann, master of finance. The order leases a hall over the business house of Mr. Fleer, on the south side of Main street. The 1913 elective officers were: Webb Clark, chancellor commander; Honnis Weise, vice chancellor; Gene Grant, prelate; Guy Bidwell, master at arms; J. Redmann, master of work; Ollie Sohm, keeper of records and seal; George Reifsteck, master of exchequer. The past chancellors have been C. S. Sievers, George Reifsteck, E. W. Miller, J. H. Doling, F. Nott.

Empire Lodge No. 202, Knights of Pythias, at Sutherland, was chartered October 3, 1888; has a membership of seventy-six, and leases a hall. The present officers are: C. J. Phillips, chancellor commander; George Butler, vice chancellor; F. L. Nichols, secretary; Ed. Briggs, treasurer.

O'Brien County Iowa Genealogy - The IAGenWeb Project