Chapman's 1881 History of Grand Rapids

Pages     640 - 662



For many years the Masonic bodies of Grand Rapids met in various halls of the city as suited the convenience of the membership. When the Masonic Temple was built by the Fox Bros. At the corner of North Ionia and Louis streets, an offer was made that if all the Masonic bodies would take long time leases the upper stories would be constructed with special reference to the needs of Masonry and that the building should be called the Masonic Temple.

The building was soon constructed and was completed in 1895. The Masonic bodies took possession of their quarters and on October 15, 1895, there were dedication exercises. In the evening there was a grand reception to the public from 8 to 12 o�clock. The program opened with a parade which was a grand, imposing pageant. Among the visiting Masonic bodies were commanderies from Detroit, Kalamazoo, and Benton Harbor, and lodges from Lowell, Allegan, Rockford, Spring Lake, Middleville, and Grandville. The procession formed on West Bridge street. More than two thousand Masons were in line. Col. Charles H. Rose was Chief Marshal of the day. It was more than half an hour passing a given point. At 4 o�clock in the afternoon there were Grand Lodge dedicatory exercises in the Temple, to which but a few of the throng could be admitted. In the evening more than ten thousand people attended the reception. The vast crowds moved up through the stairways and were let out by the elevator. Of the General Committee. C. W. Davidson was chairman , and Charles Meech was secretary. The public exercises were on Tuesday. The remainder of the week was given up to meetings of Masonic bodies in the new quarters. Altogether it was one of the most enthusiastic Masonic gatherings ever held in Michigan.

Masonic Bodies of Michigan

Grand Lodge, F. and A. M.�Organized in 1844. Grand Masters elected from Grand Rapids have been: Lowell Moore, 1864; John W. Champlin, 1871; Wm. Dunham, 1877; R. C. Hatheway, 1887; Edwin L. Bowring, 1895; John Rowson, 1905. William P. Innes was elected Grand Secretary in 1878 and served until his death in 1892.

Grand River Lodge No. 34, F. and A. M.�Instituted March 19, 1849, under dispensation from the Grand Master of the State. First officers: W. M., Truman H. Lyons: S. W., Ira S. Hatch; J. W., Aaron Dikeman; Treasurer, Harry Eaton; Secretary, Wm. D. Moore; S. D., Julius Granger; J. D., George M. Mills; Tiler, Harry Dean. Membership, 603. The officers for 1906 are: W.M., George H. Hobart; S. W., H. T. Baldwin; J. W., Glenn N. Deuel; Secretary, George M. Peacock; Treasurer, Fred H. Hosford; S. D., A. G. Girsberger; J. D., C. S. Cornelius.

Valley City Lodge No.86�First meeting under dispensation, Nov. 25, 1856. First officers W. M., Dacid S. Leavitt; S. W., James W. Sligh; J. W., Edward S. Earle; Treasurer, Seymour S. Porter; Secretary, Wm. H. Reynolds. Has 450 members. The officers for 1906 are: W. M., J. E. Hyde; S. W., Charles S. Dake; J. W., Richard Brumler; Treasurer, George G. Stetee; Secretary, D. W. Gallup; S. D., Rolland J. Cleland; J. D., Joseph Brown; Tiler, E. S. Cornell.

Doric Lodge No. 342, F. and A. M. �Instituted January, 1877. First Officers: W. M., Wm. K. Wheeler; S. W., N. B. Scribner; J. W., W. B. Folger; S. D., Joseph Albright; J. D., David E. Emery; Treasurer, John B. Folger; Secretary, Charles W. Loud. Until the Masonic Temple was built, Doric was a West Side lodge with lodge rooms on West Bridge street. The following are the officers for 1906: W. M., Frank S. Gould; S. W., Carl F. Meyer; J. W., George W. Powers; S. D., Harry H. Luton; J. D., George W. Bowen; Treasurer, Thomas W. Strahan; Secretary, John P. Wheeler. Its membership 327.

York Lodge No. 401, F. and A. M.�The first meeting looking to forming York Lodge was held April 20, 1904, at the Commandery rooms in the Widdicomb block. Those who asked for the dispensation were Charles Fluhrer, Ed. M. Barnard, Fred H. Ball, Lucius M. Cary, Jno. A. Seymour, Lucius D. Harris, Frank A. Rodgers, Wm. H. Boyns, Frank Wurzburg, Charles E. Fink, Per J. Lundquist, John Gillett, J. Eugene Williams and Milford L. Fitch.

The first meeting under the dispensation, a special communication, was held September 7, 1894, when it was decided to hold the meetings of the lodge Thursday evenings, that the initiation fee should be fifty dollars, and the annual dues two dollars. Chas. Fluher was named in the dispensation as W. M., Edmund M. Barnard as S. W., and Fred H. Ball as J. W., and at this meeting other permanent were chosen as follows:

Treasurer, J. Eugene Williams; Secretary, John A. Seymour; S. D., Lucius D. Harris; J. D., Frank A. Rodgers; Tiler, Noah H. Reynolds. The first regular communication was held September 13, 1894. The present officers of York are as follows: W. M., H. B. Moore; S. W., Guy Johnston; J. W., Harry E. Rodgers; Secretary, Frank W. Boughton; Treasurer, Hobart B. Miller; Chaplain, J. Herman Randall; S. D., Guy W. Lewis; J. D., S. Eugene Osgood; S. Steward, A. B. Merritt; J. Steward, Fred J. Zwald; Marshal, J. H. P. Hughart; Organist, Phin K. Miller; Tiler, C. L. Davidson.

Grand Rapids Chapter No. 7, Royal Arch Masons.�Organized March 19, 1850. First officers: M. E. H. P., Samuel L. Bigelow; King, Joshua Boyer; Scribe, Amos Roberts; Treasurer, Truman H. Lyon; Secretary, F. D., A. Foster; C. H., James P. Scott; P. S. and Tiler, Harry Dean. Number of members 446. The officers for 1906 are as follows: M. E. H. P., Fred H. Hosford; King, Wm . E. Clark; Scribe, Charles S. Reeves; Treasurer, Thomas S. Freeman; Secretary, George W. Peacock; C. H., N. A. Fox; P. S., Frank E. Spraker; R. A. C., John Ogden; M. 3rd ., Clarence E. Hosford; M. 2d. V., Charles S. Davies; M. 1st. V., John Hardiman.

Columbia Chapter No. 132, Royal Arch Masons.�Was organized in 1893. Its first Excellent High Priest was Harvey C. Taft. It now numbers 300 members and its officers for 1906 are as follows: E. H. P., W. A. Stowe; King, Stanley N. Allen; Scribe, Henry N. Stone; Treasurer, Charles S. Coburn; Secretary, Adam S. Mitchell; C. of H., Claude L. Chambers; P. S., William A. Brown; R. A. C., John G. Gronberg; M. 3rd. V., David L. Keeler; M. 2d. V., John W. Powers; M. 1st. V., Oscar C. Garrett; S. S., William S. Rowe; J. S., John H. Goss; Sentinel, Eli A. Kahler; Organist, John Hardiman; Finance Committee, George E. Luther, Kirk E. Wicks.

Tyre Council No. 10, Royal and Select Masters.�Chartered in 1861. First T. I. M., Ed. D. Benedict. It now numbers about 250 members. The officers for 1906 are as follows: T. I. M., Fred H. Hosford; Deputy, H. B. Miller; P. C. and W. Charles A. Greeman; Treasurer, Thomas S. Freeman; Recorder, W. L. Freeman; C. S. C., Charles W. Howard; C. O. N. C., D. L. Keeler; Sentinel, Edwin Wade.

Knight Templar.

De Molai Commandery, No. 5, K. T.�Organized at Grand Rapids, July 23, 1856. First officers: Em. Com., David S. Leavitt; S. W., James W. Sligh; J. W., Wm. K. Wheeler; Treasurer, James W. Sligh; Recorder, John McConnell. The official roster for 1905-�06 is as follows: Eminent Commander, Sir W. H. Booth; Generalissimo, Sir Chas. L. Fitch; Captain General, Em. Sir Jas. G. Robinson; Senior Warden, Sir Mark Norris; Junior Warden, Sir Geo. J. Calkins; Prelate, t. Em. Sir Chas. P. Bigelow; Treasurer, Sir Geo. G. Steketee; Recorder, Sir H. C. Taft; Standard Bearer, Sir L. J. Katz; Sword Bearer, Sir W. J. Clark; Warder, Sir H. G. Robertson; Captain Guard, Sir D. Egery; Organist, Sir P. K. Miller, Adjutant, Sir F. E. Spraker; Quartermaster, Sir E. J. Herrick; Surgeon, Sir J. W. Riecke; Bugler, Sir F. Wurzburg. The Past Commanders are as follows: Rt. Em. Sir R. D. Swartout, 1889; Em. Sir J. E. Herkner, 1890-�91-�92; Em. Sir J. D. Utley, 1894; Em. Sir C. M. Heald, 1895-�96; Em. Sir F. M. Briggs, 1898; Em. Sir H. K. Dean, 1899; Em. Sir C. E. Fink, 1900; Em. Sir J. Rowson, 1902� Em. Sir J. H. P. Hughart, 1902; Em. Sir J. G. Robinson, 1903; Em. Sir W. M. Adams, 1904. The Commandery numbers 323 swords. It has in its membership two Past Commanders of the State: Rt. Em. Sir Charles P. Bigelow elected in 1888, and Rt. Em. Sir R. D. Swartout, elected in 1904.

Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite

Moriah Lodge of Perfection, P. and S. M.�Organized April 23, 1868. P.T.G.M., E. D. Benedict; H.T.D.G.M., P. V. Fox; G.K. of S. and A., Charles T. Hills. Officers for 1906 are W. R. Andrus, P.T.G.M.; S. Eugene Osgood, Deputy: Charles S. Coburn, S.W.; R. R. Hayslett, J. W.

Cyrus Council Prines of Jerusalem.�Organized April 24, 1868. First officers: M.E. S.P.G.M., J. W. Champlin; V.G.S.K. of  S. and A., George Voorhis. Officers for 1906 are as follows: M.E.S.P.G.M., L. B. Weinsor; Deputy, Mark Morris; S.W., J. H. Thompson; J.W., H. S. Hoebeck.

Robinson Chapter of Rose Croix de H-R-D-M.�Organized at Kalamazoo under charter dated December 10, 1866. Reorganized at Grand Rapids, August 15, 1878. Officers: M.W. and P.M., W. P. Innes; R. and P.K. Treasurer, J. Barth; R. and P.K. Secretary, Richard D. Swartout. Officers for 1906 are: M.W. and P.M., E. S. Rankin; S.W., James Fraser; J.W., Isaac Goldberk.

DeWitt Clinton Consistory S. P. R. S. 32 Degree.�Organized at Kalamazoo. Date of charter, December 1, 1866. First officers: Commander-in-Chief, Charles H. Brown; Grand Minister of State and Grand Orator, Foster Pratt; Grand Chancellor, Colly A. Foster; Grand Secretary and Keeper of Seals and Archives, James W. Hopkins; Grand Treasurer, George G. Gale; Grand Engineer and Architect, John B. Robinson. August 15, 1878, the charter having been burned, they reorganized at Grand Rapids. The date of the present charter is September 19, 1878. The officers in 1906 are the following: I.C.C., John H. P. Hughart; 1st Lieutenant I.C.C., John Rowson; 2nd Lieutenant I.C.C., Clarence W. Sessions; Secretary, R. D. Swartout.

The following are the thirty-third degree Masons of Grand Rapids at the beginning of the year 1906. For Grand Rapids to have five who have received the coveted honor, speaks well for the Masonic spirit of the Valley City: Perrin V. Fox. Richard D. Swartout, Daniel Egery, John H. P. Hughart, Harvey C. Taft.

Saladin Temple

Ancient Arabic Order Nobles of the Mystic Shrine.�Organized under dispensation April 2, 1886. Chartered June 20, 1886. Its first officers were: Potentate, George E. Pantlind; Recorder, Samuel E. Watson . The officers for 1906 are: Potentate, Hutson B. Cvoleman; Recorder, Charles E. Fink. In 1900 Saladin Temple furnished the highest officer for the Imperial Council, Louis B. Winsor being elected Illustrious Imperial Potentate. The next year the Council made a pilgrimage to Honolulu and established there a Temple at which Grand Rapids was well represented.

Michigan Masonic Home Association.�Organized in 1885.

First officers: President, Wm. Dunham; Vice-President, R. D. Swartout; Secretary, John D. Jennings; Treasurer, Jacob Barth.

The home is under the management of the Masonic bodies. It is situated at Reed�s Lake, and has been open for many years, affording a home to many aged Masons, their wives and widows. The following were the officers at the close of 1905:

Trustees of the Home Properties�For the Grand Lodge, Andrew W. Durkee, St. Johns; for the Grand Chapter, Charles D. Blanchard, Marquette; for the Grand Council, George P. McMahon, Detroit; for the Grand Commandery, George A. Dunham, Manistee.

The Board of Control

For the Grand Lodge.William Wente, Manistee, to 1906; Reuben C. Webb, Detroit, to 1907; Wilson R. Andress, Grand Rapids, to 1908.

For the Grand Chapter.�Frank N. Clark, Northville, to 1906; Maro M. Read, Ypsilanti, to 1907; Judson E. Rice, Grand Rapids, to 1908.

For the Grand Council.�Charles L. Fitch, Grand Rapids, to 1906; E. L. Bates, Pentwater, to 1907; Elias C. Phillips, St. Louis, to 1908.

For the Grand Commandery.�Charles H. Pomeroy, Saginaw, to 1906; John Rowson, Grand Rapids, to 1907; William C. Grobhiser, Sturgis, to 1908.

For the Grand Chapter, O. E. S.�A. Augusta Matteson, Middleville, to 1906; Margaret T. Moore, Bay City, to 1907; Helen E. C. Balmer, Lansing, to 1908.

Organization of the Board

Maro M. Read, Ypsilanti, President; Chas. L. Fitch, Grand Rapids, Vice-President; R. V. McArthur, Grand Rapids, Secretary� William Wente, Manistee, Treasurer.


Executive.�John Rowson, Chas. L. Fitch, Helen E. C. Balmer, William Wente, W. R. Andress.

Finance.�J. E. Rice, A. Augusta Matteson, Elias C. Phillips.

Ways and Means.�William C. Grobhiser, Margaret T. Moore, E. L. Bates.

Officers of the Home

Rial V. McArthur, Superintendent; Olive McArthur, Matron; Dr. Collins H. Johnston, Home Physician.

Order of the Eastern Star

Founded 1876. Object to provide for the wives, mothers, sisters, daughters and widows of Master Masons. Robert Morris LL. D., was one of its founders.

Oriental Chapter, No. 32.�Chartered, October, 1883. Charter officers: W,M, Mrs. M. M. Parsons; W.P., N. B. Scribner; A.M., Mrs. T. W. Strahan; Treasurer, T. W. Strahan; Secretary, Miss Lizzie Anderson. From a charter membership of about twenty, the lodge has grown to number 400 in 1905. The present officers for 1906 are: W.M., Mrs.Emma Harper; W.P., Dr. Orville M. Barton; A.M., Eugenia Swan; Secretary, Miss Lora V. Foote; Treasurer, Mrs. Frank J. Sokup.

Peninsular Chapter, No. 65.�Organized in April, 1890. Its first officers were as follows: W.M., Mrs. Jennette Spraker; W.P., . C. Hathaway; A.M., Mrs. George F. Owen; Secretary, George F. Owen; Treasurer, Clara T. Boldie. It now numbers 535 members. Its officers for 1906 are: W.M., Mrs. H. N. Stone; W.P., Charles S. Reeves; A.M., Mrs. J. H. Horton; Secretary, Miss Florence N. Greene; Treasurer, Mrs. Mary E. Tibbitts.

Signet Chapter.�Application for dispensation for this Chapter was made in March, 1906, with 29 charter members. The first officers are: W.M., Mrs. Frank S. Gould; W.P., Harry E. Rodgers; A.M., Mrs. O. M. Barton.

White Shrine of Jerusalem, Palestine Shrine No. 1, Grand Rapids, has Chapter No. 1 of this order. The local Chapter was organized in 1896 and incorporated in 1897. Only members of the Order of Eastern Star are eligible to membership in the White Shrine of Jerusalem. The charter members were: Fred H. Hosford, John Rowson, George F. Owen, John Van Alden, E. M. Butler, Edwin Wade, George Snyder, Charles D. Stebbins, Oscar Allen, L. D. Mosher, and Mrs. Mary A. Pearsall. The Chapter numbers 225 members. The officers for 1906 are: W.H.P., Mrs. Mary A. Horton; Secretary, Miss Florence N. Greene; Treasurer, Miss Emma Harper. In 1898 a Supreme Body was organized with Headquarters at Grand Rapids, of which Fred H. Hosford is Supreme Chancillor. There are now (1906) 25 subordinate bodies in the country, of which 20 are in Michigan.

Independent Order of Odd Fellows

The first lodge in Grand Rapids of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows was established January 15, 1846, with five charter members. They were Samuel B. Ball, Harvey P. Yale, William D. Roberts, Benjamin Smith and Joseph Stanford. It was known as Irving lodge, No. 11. Its first lodge room was in Irving Hall, a large brick building near the foot of Monroe street, south side, and which took its name from the lodge. Irving Lodge continued work eleven years, and then surrendered its charter to the Grand Lodge, January 21, 1857, at which time its lodge room was in Public Hall, on Canal street. During its life this lodge had a large membership from among the prominent business and professional men of the place. In a long list of names are found those of Charles H. Taylor, George C. Evans, Ebenezer Anderson, William Otis Lyon, Wright L. Coffinberry, Reuben H. Smith, John T. Holmes, Lewis Porter, Franklin Everett, Henry Martin, Jacob Barns, Henry Smith, George H. White, C. P. Babcock, Warren P. Mills, T. W. White, A. X. Cary, Harvey K. Rose and Robert M. Collins.

Grand Rapids Lodge No. 11, was established February 5, 1858�a revival of Irving, No. 11, under a new name. First officers�N.G., Lewis Porter; V.G., James M. Green; R.S., Eben Smith,Jr.; T., Ebenezer Andersson. Its first lodge room was in the Commercial Block, which stood at the foot of Monroe street, where now is Campau Place. From there it moved to the Lovett Block, and thence to the Pierce Block. It now meets at No. 10 Lynn street. It has a good outfit of lodge furniture and regalia. Present officers: N.G., O. V. Benham; Secretary, W. O. Kimball. Originally this was what was known as a non-benefit lodge, not paying stated amounts and assisting only members who were in want. The by-laws were changed, and it now pays a benefit to sick or disabled members.

Old Enterprise Lodge, No. 212, was instituted August 5, 1873, with 18 charter members. First officers: N.G., Henry Baldry; V.G., H. M. Reynolds; R.S., A. W. Paris; P.S., A. G. Duffers; T., Allen Engle. Its lodge room was in Luce�s Block. June 29, 1885, it was consolidated with Grand Rapids Lodge, No. 11, to which it turned over its property and $549.22 in cash. Many of its members are still with the Order in the various lodges of the city.

Other Bodies of Odd Fellows are Furniture City Lodge No. 41, which meets at No. 60 West Leonard street; South End Lodge No. 250, which meets on South Division at the corner of Sycamore street; Enterprise Lodge No. 406, which meets at Odd Fellows Hall, 213 Stocking street; Imperial Lodge No. 427 which meets at the corner of Madison avenue and Hall street; Equity Lodge No. 459, which meets at Simmons Hall, No. 500 South Division street.

The next grade in the order of Odd Fellows higher than a subordinate lodge is the Encampment, to which the requirement for admission is a scarlet degree membership. Grand Rapids Encampment No. 43 was instituted September 1, 1870. The charter members were George W. Griggs, James D. Lyon, Ebenezer Anderson, S. O. Kingsbury, Alfred X. Cary, Jacob Barns and E. M. Fitch. First officers: Chief Patriarch, E. M. Fitch; High Priest, George W. Griggs; Senior Warden, Jacob Barns; Junior Warden, James D. Lyon; Scribe, S. O. Kingbury; Treasurer, Ebenezer Anderson. The fee for admission was fixed at $10. And it quickly acquired a larger membership. It has worked uninterruptedly since. Its place of meeting for many years was in the rooms of Grand Rapids Lodge No. 11. It now meets at No. 213 Stocking. Adam Weymer is C.P., and W.G. Peterkin is Scribe.

Canton Pierce, No. 24, P. M., was organized during the winter of 1886-�87, and was mustered in March 15, 1887, with twenty-one charter members. The name was adopted in honor of Col. E. S. Pierce, who had been identified with the Order almost from its start in this city. First officers: Captain, Adrian Yates; Lieutenant, Henry N. Wilder; Ensign, George H. Jacobs; Clerk, Clark S. Slocum; Accountant, Miles S. Carpenter. Canon Pierce at once took high rank among the cantons of the State for military proficiency. It took the first prize at Muckegon July 4, 1887, for the largest and best drilled canton, in competition with many rivals. Officers (1905): Captain, Wm. D. Bryant; Clerk, M. L. Lindhout. It meets at No. 213 Stocking street.

Next, of the allied bodies of Odd Fellowship, is the Daughters of Rebekah, to which are admitted the wives and daughters of Odd Fellows. The ritual for this degree was prepared by the late Schuyler Colfax, Vice-President of the United States. Purity Lodge, No. 14, of this order was instituted in this city February 22, 1879, with thirty-six charter members. The active lodges now in the city are Violet Lodge, No. 34, which meets at 213 Stocking street, Ethelyn Lodge, No. 121, which meets at the corner of South Division and Sycamore streets, and Herkimer Lodge, No. 353, which meets at 500 South Division street.

Knights of Pythias

This fraternity is of Michigan origin, having been conceived by Justus H. Rathbone while he was teaching school at Eagle Harbor, sometime prior to 1861. The first lodge was instituted in the city of Washington in 1864. The first lodge of Grand Rapids was instituted November 23, 1872, known as Eureka Lodge, No. 2. It was afterwards, in 1881, reorganized under the same name and number. The first lodge was instituted by W. J. Long. In 1891, Pythian Temple was completed. It was built by Pythians by whom it was controlled for several years as a stock company. Dr. Walter A. Dorland finally obtained a controlling interest and for several years he has been the owner. The Temple is located on Ionia street, between Monroe and fountain streets, and is a landmark of the city. The following are the lodges of Grand Rapids: Cowan Lodge No. 89, meets at 617 South Division street, and has a membership of 135; Eureka Lodge No. 2, meets at Pythian Temple and numbers 176; Imperial Lodge No. 154, meets at 701 Wealthy avenue, and has a membership of 231; Lily Lodge No. 110, meets at the corner of Plainfield and North Coit avenues; it numbers 180. Valley City Lodge No. 124, meets in Pythian Temple, and has 274 members. There is also Furniture City Co. No. 3, M. R. R. P., which meets in Pythian Armory. The ladies are interested in Pythianism and Grand Rapids has Mispah Temple No. 6 of the Rathbone Sisters, which meets in the Temple twice a month. There is also the D. O. K. K. Kaaba Temple No. 69, which meets in the Temple..

Grand Rapids has furnished several Grand Chancellors for the Supreme body of the State. William James Long, of Eureka Lodge, was Grand Chancellor from 1873 to 1876. William H. Loomis, of the same lodge, was Grand Chancellor in 1882-1893. Leo A. Caro, of Lily Lodge, was Grand Chancellor in 1901-1903. William H. Loomis is Brigadier-General of the Michigan Brigade, Uniform Rank.

Knights of the Modern Maccabees

The Knights of the Modern Maccabees is a fraternal insurance organization of Michigan origin with headquarters at Port Huron, which during the past twenty years has had a phenomenal growth. There are six local Tents which meet as follows: Abraham Lincoln Tent No. 564, at Good Templar�s Hall; Crescent Star Tent No. 152, at No. 12 Lyon street; Division Tent No. 479, at No. 617 South Division street; Oriental Tent No. 644, at No. 10 Lyon street; Schiller Tent No. 171, at 54 West Bridge street; Valley City Tent No. 496, at 462 South Division street.

Ladies of the Modern Maccabees

The ladies have organized society with Knights of the Modern Maccabees, and now have eleven hives in the city. Connor Hive No. 265, at 23 Fountain street; Division Hive No. 299, at Pythian Temple; Easter Hive No. 811, at Strahan�s Hall, West Bridge street; Emma E. Bower Hive No. 573, at 182 East Fulton street; Furniture City Hive No. 656, at 611 North Coit avenue; Grace Hive No. 56, at 10 Lyon street; Independent Hive No. 489, at 462 South Division street; Isabella Hive, meets at 23 Fountain street; Oriental Hive No. 350, at 10 Lyon street; Valley City Hive No. 194, at Pythian Temple; West Side Hive No. 599, corner Fulton and Jefferson streets.

Modern Woodmen of America

This is a fraternal organization which has had a healthy, rapid growth in Grand Rapids. Its camps are as follows: Batavia meets at 10 Lyon street; Excelsior, meets at 460 South Division; Kent, meets in the Herald Building; Loyal, meets at the corner of Coit avenue and Quimby street; Star, meets at the corner of Leonard and Turner streets; Sycamore, meets at 662 Wealthy avenue; Valley City, meets at 10 Lyon street.


Grand Rapids Lodge, B. P. O. E., was chartered in 1886. They meet at the Elks Hall in the new Clark Building on South Ionia Street. The officers are David E. Uhl, E. R.; G. D. Bostock, Secretary.

Independent Order of Red Men

Owashtauwong Tribe No. 19 meets at 52 Lyon street.

Ancient Order of Hibernians

Division No. 1 was organized in 1883, and meet at Hibernian Hall, 257 North Ottawa street.

Knights of Columbus

Grand Rapids Council No. 389, meet at 186 East Fulton street.

Royal Arcanum

Bryant Council meets at Pythian Temple, Grand Rapids Councils meets at 52 West Bridge street, Valley City Council meets at Pythian Temple.

Grand Rapids has many secret societies besides those mentioned which are doing a good work in charity and fraternity. Many have other features, but all are doing a fine work.

City Clubs

The Peninsula Club.�Organized October 26, 1881, and incorporated October 26, 1883. It purchased the site of the present club house, 66 by 99 feet, on the northeast corner of Ottawa and Fountain streets, and erected in 1883 the building which now stands there. The cost of the lot and building was $50,000. It was opened with great reception on February 25, 1884. It has several hundred members, and since its organization has been the leading social club of the city. Its Officers since its organization are as follow:

Presidents, with dates of their election.�Edwin F. Uhl, October 26, 1881; George G. Briggs, January 21, 1885; John S. Lawrence, January 14, 1886; Amasa B. Watson, January 15, 1887; F. A. Gorham, January 11, 1888; Charles W. Watkins, January 12, 1889; Willard Barnhart, January 17, 1891; William R. Shelby, February 11, 1896; John A. Covode, January 14, 1898; George H. Davidson, January 12, 1899; Charles M. Herald, April 11, 1899; Closson L. Lockwood, January 13, 1900; J. H. P. Hughartt, January 9, 1901; O. E. Brown, January 15, 1903; Mark Norris, January 16, 1904; Mark Norris, January 16, 1905; Mark Norris, January 15, 1906.

Vice-Presidents, with dates of their election.�George G. Briggs, October 26, 1881; Wilder D. Stevens, January 21, 1885; Thomas J. O�Brien, January 14, 1886; John C. Bonnello, January 15, 1887; Noyes L. Avery, January 11, 1888; Daniel McCoy, January 16, 1892; John W. Champlin, January 11, 1893; John A. Covode, February 11, 1896; John McQuewan, January 28, 1897; William Judson, January 14, 1898; E. L. Maddox, January 12, 1899; William Judson, January 13, 1900; C. S. Burch, January 9, 1901; O. E. Brown, January 15, 1902; McGeorge Bundy, January 15, 1903; L. W. Welch, January 16, 1904; W. C. Winchester, January 16, 1905; W. C. Winchester, January 15, 1906.

Treasurers, with dates of their election.�Charles E. Olney, October 26, 1881; F. A. Gorham, January 21, 1885; Closson L. Lockwood, January 11, 1888; McGeorge Bundy, January 16, 1892; Richard D. Swartout, January 11, 1893; Fred H. Ball, February 11, 1896; Benjamin S. Hanchettt, April 25, 1896; E. L. Maddox, October 18, 1897; W. Fred McBain, January 12, 1899; Closson L. Lockwood, August 8, 1899; O. E. Brown, January 20, 1900; John S. Lawrence, January 15, 1903; L. W. Welch, January 16, 1904; L. W. Welch, January 16, 1905; L. W. Welch, January 15, 1906.

Secretaries, with dates of their election.�John S. Lawrence, October 26, 1881; Anton G. Hodenpyl, January 14, 1886; John W. Blodgett, February 8, 1887; John McQuewan, January 11, 1888; Henry D. Waldbridge, January 28, 1897; John P. Homiller, March 30, 1897; James M. Crosby, January 6, 1899; Roger W. Griswold, January 13, 1900; George F. Sinclair, January 9, 1901; Mark Norris, January 15, 1903; John Duffy, January 16, 1904; George P. Dowling, January 16, 1905; George P. Dowling, January 15, 1906.

Its Directors for 1906 are as follows: Mark Norris, L. W. Welch, John Duffy, George P. Dowling, Dr. D. S. Sinclair, George F. Sinclair, William M. Wurzburg, John T. Byrne, E. J. Keate, W. C. Winchester.

The Owashtanong Boat Club

This club was organized July 12, 1883, and soon after opened rooms in the Commercial Bank building. Its first officers were: President, Fred H. Smith; Secretary, Charles W. Chancey; Treasurer, Asa B. Kennan. In 1886 it built a boat and club house at Reed�s Lake, at a cost of $12,000, being the pioneer club at the Lake. Soon after the club house was opened, the Northwestern Amateur Rowing Association was held at Reed�s Lake. The same year the club fitted up fine club rooms in the Barnhart building, at the corner of Ionia and Louis streets, at a cost of $12,000. In building the club house and fitting up its down town rooms, the club assumed an indebtedness which it was unable to pay. It ran until 1892, when it was obliged to close its doors, and its property was sold at auction to pay its debts. In social and athletic affairs the club was a success. It was essentially a young men�s club and many middle aged men of the present remember with pleasure their connection with the old Owashtanong Club.

The Lakeside Club

The Lakeside Club was organized February 6, 1895. Its first directors were: J. Boyd Pantlind, C. W. Black, C. B. Kelsey, T. F. McGarry, W. Swetland, D. E. Waters, G. Stewart Johnson, W. H. Boyns, Don J. Leathers, W. E. White, Henry Spring. It has a fine club house at Reed�s Lake on the site of the old Owashtanong Club house, and is one of the leading social clubs of the city. Otto H. L. Wernicke is President, and Fred W. McBain is Secretary. Its membership is full and vacancies are eagerly sought after.

Kent County Country Club

This club was organized April 12, 1900. It has pleasant grounds and a magnificent building at the corner of North College avenue and Sweet street. It has the best golf grounds in Western Michigan; the house and grounds are kept open the entire year for the enjoyment of summer games and winter sports. The officers are: J. C. Holt, President; Edward Lowe, Vice-President; Clay H. Hollister, Treasurer; and Charles H. Bender, Secretary.

The Grand Rapids Boat and Canoe Club.�This club was organized on January 25th, 1902, and its first officers elected on January 27th, 1902, at the Military Club rooms. The following were its organizers: Chas. McQuewan, Huntley Russell, A. Guy B. Dayell, Seymour B. Conger, Chas. W. Boltwood, Albert A. Carroll, Wm. Edward Raiguel, Comstock Konkle, Alfred Baxter, Bryson Reynolds.

The club has quarters at North Park and during the boating season the river is often alive with members and their friends enjoying the water and aquatic sports. The present officers are: Abram Jennings, President; Robert Y Speir, Treasurer, and Joseph R. Taylor, Secretary.

The Grand Rapids Curling Club

The Curling Club was organized January 8, 1902, with the following incorporators: Mark Norris, John W. Blodgett, Charles B. Kelsey, John McNabb, N. Fred Avery, Wm. Miller, T. Stuart White, E. Crofton Fox, J. H. P. Hughart, Lewis H. Withey, George H. Davidson, William E. White, A. Harry Sherwood, C. A. Renwick. It has an attractive club house at the corner of Lake and Norwood avenues, which in the winter season is the scene of many contests and festivities. Lewis H. Withey is President, and James A. Coye is Secretary.

Knickerbocker Society

Membership in this club is limited to those of Holland descent. It was organized in August, 1898. The first President was J. A. S. Verdier, and its first Secretary, Herman Van Aalderen. It meets quarterly, and has its annual meeting on August 31, the birthday of the Holland Queen. Its object are fellowship and the preservation of Dutch virtues and the Holland spirit. Its present officers are G. G. De Graaf, President, and William H. Van Leeuwen.

Sons of the Revolution

The Michigan branch of this society was organized February 22, 1896, and ever since has celebrated Washington�s birthday with a banquet. Its membership is limited to the lineal descendants of those who took part in the American Revolution on the American side. Its object are to promote fellowship and Patriotism among its members. It sometimes meets on other days than the 22nd of February, like Bunker Hill day, and Yorktown day. Its present officers are: Dr. John Beardslee, President; Andrew B. Coffinbury, Vice-President; Robert W. Merrill, Treasurer; Dwight Goss, Secretary; and Laurens W. Wolcott, Registrar.

The Daughters of the American Revolution

This is a patriotic society confined to ladies who are lineal descendants from Revolutionary ancestors who served the American cause in the was for independence. The officers of the Grand Rapids Chapter are: regent, Mrs. Edwin F. Sweet; Vice-Regent, Miss Fanny H. Boltwood; Secretary, Miss Laura E. McKee; Historian, Miss Rebecca J. Coffinbury; Treasurer, Miss Mary E. Barnard. The society is intended to inculcate the spirit of patriotism and a love of American history. It numbers more than one hundred members.

The L. L. C.

(Prepared by Mrs. L. P. Rowland)

The Ladies� Literary Club of Grand Rapids owes its origin to Mrs. Lucinda H. Stone of Kalamazoo, who is justly named "The Mother of Clubs." During the winter of 1869-70 a small company of woman, whose single purpose was self-improvement, under her skilled direction formed a small club, known as "The History Club," Mrs. Stone came to Michigan in 1843, a New England woman, with a wide experience and years of study and travel. A teacher by instinct, keenly alert intellectually, and an inspiring leader, Mrs. Stone had already sent out from under her instruction many young women all over our land. Her interest in the intellectual development of women led to the formation of literature and history classes in many towns in Michigan that eventually became women�s clubs.

The seed once planted grew and thrived. The History Class of 1869 became in 1873 by a natural process of evolution an organized club. The germ of intellectual progress planted at that early date became later a vigorous Tree of Knowledge, bearing abundant fruit in the present, active, altruistic L. L. C. of Grand Rapids.

An invitation extended through the daily press to all women interested in books and study led to a preliminary meeting in the parlor of Mrs. S. L. Fulter, followed by a subsequent meeting, in April, 1873, in Park Congregational Church, and the Ladies� Literary Club was no longer a vague ideal. It was an established fact. A constitution was framed at this initial gathering, and Mrs. L. D. Putman was chosen its first honored President. It is interesting to observe that the constitution framed and adopted at the very outset still forms, with occasional revision, the basis of the work of the present club. The early constitution called for regular sessions on Saturday afternoons and programs provided by chosen committees upon "Art and Literature," "Science and Education," "History" and "Entertainment, with President�s day whenever a fifth Saturday occurred. L. L. C. still treads the old, well-worn paths, but with a broader vision, and a very different point of view.

The club organized with about one hundred members, rapidly increased to 500, even passing beyond that limit, when it was decided that a working, definite membership of 500 was more practical than an uncertain enrollment and by official vote the membership was limited to 500, and has remained there ever since, with a long waiting list, forming a separate organization known as the Fortnightly, knocking admission to the work and privileges of the large club.

The growth and prosperity of the club led to its incorporation, under and pursuant to the provisions of an act of the Legislature of the State of Michigan, entitled an act to authorize the formation of corporations for literary and scientific purpose, approved March 21, 1865. The Articles of Incorporation bear the signatures of thirty-three members, and it is declared that the Ladies� Literary Club is incorporated for a period of thirty years, from April 18, 1882.

Upon July 31, 1887, the corner-stone of the present club house, on Sheldon street, was laid with appropriate ceremonies, and on December 31 of the same year the building was dedicated and opened by the club for their exclusive use. Hitherto the club had occupied rented rooms, but about $1,500 in the treasury as a nucleus, an assured annual income, abundant enthusiasm and an unswerving purpose, which last formed their principal asset, led to the decision to have a home of their own. The result was the present club house. The exterior is plan and unpretending. The interior is attractive and homelike. Years have added many useful and decorative touches. Here are enshrined the accumulated possessions of the club;--books, pictures, piano, and furniture. The club house is built of Ohio blue-stone, with white brick and terra-cotta trimmings, slate-roof, stained glass, and French plate glass windows. The main entrance opens into a reception hall, with a broad oaken stairway. Upon the left sliding doors form the entrance to the library, that is finished in oak. The walls are lined with book cases, containing many valuable volumes used both for circulation and reference. Beginning in 1887 with 1,500 books, additions both by gifts or purchased have been made year by year. Above the mantel a panel bears the word "Books" in bold carved letters and encircling it the legend "Round these our pastimes and our happiness will grow." The exigencies of the passing years have rendered imperative the enlargement, improvement and redecoration of the auditorium, and today with ample facilities for study, committee work, class work and social entertainment the L. L. C. club house is not only a satisfaction to its owners, but a source of pleasure and profit to the entire community.

Those women who laid the foundations of the club built more wisely than they knew, and have remained constant and active friends throughout its history. The primary purpose of all women�s clubs was self development and education. In the words of a distinguished club leader, the first object was "self culture, mental improvement, self development, enlargement of powers." No one lives to himself alone, and unless the club would become dwarfed and stunted, it must share its growth with others. The vitality of the club was expressed by the organization of Study Classes, oldest and most permanent, the Shakespeare Study Group, followed by Shakesperiana, and classes in Art, Parliamentary Law and Current Events. Next in order came the organization of the Evening Club for Business Women, with officers of their own and a club woman as leader.

An occasion of unusual interest was the gathering of the National Association for the Advancement of Women in October, 1891, in response to the invitation of he club. This was their greeting:

"The ladies� Literary Club of Grand Rapids flings open its gates and bids you enter, on this the occasion of your Nineteenth Annual Congress. We welcome you, good friends, to our city, our halls, our homes and to our fallow fields of thought.

Bring to us, with these bright autumn days, the garnered harvest of your wide experience, kindle, we pray, the torch of truth that shall shine with no uncertain light. Balance for us an even scale of justice that we may judge wisely is all the plans and purposes of life. Lift aloft a right and true standard of honor to guide and direct our days.

We welcome you with receptive minds, with ardent hopes, with warm and cordial sympathies."

It was a notable gathering of distinguished women. Mrs. Julia Ward Howe was President. Able papers were read, "Women in Colleges," by Miss Octavia W. Bates; "The Conditions of Success for Women," by Mrs. Charlotte Emerson Brown; "the Wise Economy of Time and Strength as a part of Education," by Miss Mary A. Ripley. The speakers were all women of national reputation and strong personality. The three days� sessions were crowded, with practical discussions. Other topics considered were "The Responsibility of Women for the Tone of Public Sentiment," "Women�s Relation to Labor Reforms," "Women in the Forum," "The Right of Children," "Ideal Homes," and "Scientific Charities." The motto of the Congress was "Truth, Justice, Honor." The visit of the Congress was a fine example and stimulus.

The club is a democratic institution. Every member stands upon her own merit. The club is a great educator. It gives to the individual member, motives for study, self confidence, and the power of expression. The club is a friend of progress and reform. There is an old classic tale of the father who took in his hand a bundle of faggots. He showed his sons that while he could easily break a single faggot, it was impossible to bend them, when they were bound together, so the influence of a single member may count for nothing but the united club is a mighty force.

During the thirty-three years of it existence L. L. C. has had twenty presidents. All but four of these are living and except when removed by distant residence are faithful friends of the club.

L. L. C. expresses its growing interest in municipal affairs by the formation of committees to consider local needs, and conditions. The special committees of the present year are the Committee on Civil Health and Beauty, upon Local, Philanthropic and Industrial Conditions, one upon City Schools and Home Science, and the Lecture Committee. Among petitions signed by resolutions of the club were one against the sale of liquor to minors; one asking for the established of a juvenile court, and one urging a tuberculosis sanitarium. The Committee of Civil Health and Beauty has done valuable work by the encouragement of both school and home gardening.

Recent notable events have been the increase of annual club dues from three to five dollars, the formation of a standing advisory committee of ex-presidents, and the completion of the Stone Memorial Fund, by the gift of $300 from the Club Treasury.

A special philanthropic interest of L. L. C. is the Henry Memorial fund. This was originally a tribute to the memory of Miss Dexa E. Henry, a much loved teacher in the public schools. It was established in 1880 by the gift of $102. This sum has been increased year by year, and now amounts to #1,084.40. The interest is used chiefly to provide shoes for needy school children.

L. L. C. has hung upon the walls a beautiful picture by Fred S. Church in loving memory of Mrs. Harvey J. Hollister, an early president, and untiring friend of the club. The complex mechanism of club life will not run, without the application of time and thought, and energy. Here was a woman who gave her very best.

The Arthuretta S. Fuller Memorial District Nurse Fund originated in April, 1904, by a collection amounting to $102.58. The club moved to take a similar collection annually on election day, in memory of Mrs. S. L. Fuller, a former president, the interest to be given each year to the District Nurse of Grand Rapids, for the sick poor.

L. L. C. has celebrated its tenth anniversary, the attainment of its majority, and its silver birthday.

Among the changes that time has gradually brought are a less conservative altitude toward guests, the frequent introduction of gentlemen upon its platform, the discussion of topic of the day, and the "ensemble evenings," that are a practical instance of the ideal club�the club of men and women.

The sentiment that introduces the Year Book for 1906 is "That which comes after, ever conforms to that which has gone before."

Hence we argue larger influence, better days for the future L. L. C., since the club that has been is the pledge and promise of that which is to be. Administrations are fleeting, organizations are permanent.

The following are ex-presidents of the Club: Mrs. L. D. Putnam, 1873; Mrs. Marion Bliss, 1874; Mrs. S. L. Fuller, 1875; Mrs. S. L. Withey, 1876; Mrs. Geo. Fitch, 1877; Mrs. Harvey J. Hollister, 1878-9; Mrs. J. C. Herknerr, 1880-1; Mrs. A. J. Daniels, 1882-3; Mrs. Enos Putman, 1884-5; Mrs. Henry S. Smith, 1886-7; Mrs. J. Morgan Smith, 1888; Mrs. Loraine Immen, 1889; Mrs. J. C. Wenham, 1890-1; Mrs. L. P. Rowland, 1892-3; Mrs. Cyrus E. Perkins, 1894-5; Mrs. H. E. Thompson, 1896-7; Mrs. Dwight Goss, 1898-9; Miss Ellen Morrison, 1900; Mrs. Jose A. Gonzales, 1901-2; Mrs. Sherwood Hall, 1903-6.

West Side Ladies� Literary Club

The West Side Ladies� Literary Club was organized April 3, 1875, by fourteen ladies who responded by Mrs. A. J. Rose and Mrs. Wellington Hibbard for the purpose of forming a club for mutual improvement. They met at the home of Mrs. Rose. The first officers were: President, Mrs. P. M. Goodrich; Vice-Presidents, Mrs. E. B. Ketcham and Mrs. A. J. Rose; Secretary, Mrs. E. B. Escott; Corresponding Secretary, Miss H. A. Lathrop; Treasurer, Mrs. J. Widdicomb. Committees were appointed, courses of study outlined, and details for work planned. At first they met at private houses, but the growth of the club soon enabled them to rent rooms in the Martin Block. June 19, 1875, the block was destroyed by fire. It commenced while the club was in session, but the ladies by an effort saved their property. They then for a time met in the parlors of the Presbyterian and Methodist churches. They then secured rooms in the new Scribner Block, then building, which they occupied in December with a membership of seventy-five, easily paying the rent of $100 per year, and adding much to articles for use and comfort in their new quarters. Private donations of books and other things also aided them. For several years the society kept up its membership to nearly its maximum, but as the novelty wore off many dropped out, leaving only those who were earnest workers and still clung to the original idea of self-culture. Its growth has never been so much in numbers as in educational progress. Financially it has been able to sustain its place of meeting, meet its necessary expenses, and has never closed a year in debt. Its real work has been steadily carried forward to the satisfaction of all its members. Works of history, of art, science, English, French and American literature, and educational and religious themes (avoiding doctrinal and sectarian controversies). Have been the subjects of their studious attention and discussion. In its social aspects, the friendly feeling engendered, and in its recreations, the experience of the members of the club has been valuable to them. Presidents of the society have been: Mrs. P. M. Goodrich, Mrs. E. B. Ketcham, Mrs. E. . D. Holden, Mrs. I. M. Turner, Miss H. A. Lathrop, Miss Bertha Kutche, Mrs. C. H. Holt, and Mrs. H. J. Felker. Its present officers are: Mrs. H. J. Felker, President; Miss H. A. Lathrop, Vice-President; Mrs. Laura Escott, Recording Secretary; Mrs. V. M. Tuttle, Corresponding Secretary; Mrs. Gertrude Dubridge, Treasurer; Directors, Mrs. E. G. Holden, Mrs. Clark Brown, Miss Frances Van Buren, Mrs. H. P. Belknap.

Its President, Mrs. Felker, is also President of the State Federation of Women�s Club. It owns its Club House at 52 Scribner street, which was opened in November, 1902.

Grand Rapids Women�s Club

The Grand Rapids Women�s Club was organized in 1890 under the tile of the "South End Ladies� Club," and in 1892 it became incorporated. In 1895 it joined the State Federation. In 1897 it built its own Club House at 490 Cass avenue, and in 1900 its name was changed to the "Grand Rapids Women�s Club." Its original membership was seven, which has been increased to two hundred, and its membership is limited to three hundred. The following is a list of its Presidents: 1890, Mrs. Clara J. Denton; 1891, Mrs. Emma P. Noble; 1891-2, Miss Effie Van Valkenburg; 1892-3, Mrs. Mary E. Waller; 1893-4, Mrs. Mary A. Hosford; 1894-5, Mrs. Helen J. Hood; 1895-6, Mrs. Frances B. Turner; 1896-7, Mrs. Ella Beneke; 1897-8, Mrs. Mary E. Waller; 1898-9, Mrs. Frances H. Turner; 1901-2, Mrs. Adeline Powell; 1902-3 Mrs. Ida E. Fish; 1903-4, Mrs. Caroline H. Wright; 1904-5, Mrs. Harriet Hilliker; 1905-6, Mrs. Edith Versluis.

The following are its present officers: President, Mrs. Edith Versluis; First Vice-President, Mrs. Hanna M. Lewis; Second Vice-President, Mrs. Florence Johnston; Recording Secretary, Mrs. Lena Lamoee; Corresponding Secretary, Mrs. Leota Keil; Treasurer, Mrs. Josephine Buchanan; Directors,1905-1906�Mrs. Margaret H. Downs, Mrs. Mary Phillips, Mrs. Mary Lewis; 1906-1907�Mrs. Flora Pursel, Mrs. Maria Jessup, Mrs. Kate DeGraaf.

The purpose have been set out by a member as follows:

"The Grand Rapids Women�s Club is not a church, nor is it a university, still less is it a theater. It is a happy combination of what is best in all three. It is akin to the church in its philanthropy and practical usefulness, to the university in the mental stimulus and educational discipline it affords and to the stage in the artistic and recreative purpose it fulfills. It is democratic, extending �Equal rights to all and special privileges to none.� It is republican in its application of the old and true maxim �E Pluribus Unum.� It is inclusive rather than exclusive, believing that a fence�however ornate�shuts out more than it shuts in, and finally it is self supporting, having struggled through the years to a position where it can grant rather than solicit favors."

In recent years with the development of the city there have been many organizations perfected with club features, but having their chief functions along special lines. There are many flourishing athletic associations, and many fraternal organizations with club features. The Military Companies have generally had a club. The Masonic bodies for years have maintained a club. Many of the churches have organizations with club features. There are many successful neighborhood clubs for social intercourse and mutual acquaintanceship. Many of the large industrial institutions have clubs for the benefit and improvement of their employees There are many successful literary clubs for the study of special subjects. The more highly and specially society is organized the greater need for clubs and more they flourish.

Transcriber: Barb Jones
Created: 29 September 2007