Chapter XXIV
Secret Societies 


The Masonic Order in Jefferson County - Hobah Lodge - John W. Jenks Lodge - Jefferson Chapter - The Independent Order of Odd Fellows - Different Lodges in the County - The Knights of Pythias - Different Organizations of the Order - Patriotic sons of America - The Patrons of Husbandry - The Granges in Jefferson County - Membership - Finances, etc.


HOBAH LODGE No. 276 F. and A.M., located at Brookville Pa., was chartered by the R.W.G. Lodge of Pennsylvania, on the 5th day of September, A.D. 1853, A.L. 5853. Constituted by brother Robert E. Brown, specially appointed for that purpose on the 2d day of November, A.D. 1853. The officers were: James L. Gillis, W.M.; David S. Deering, S.W.; Evans R. Brady, J.W.; I.G. Gordon, Sec’y. The lodge room was in the upper story of the first American House. This building was burned down on the 23d day of May, 1856. There was a special meeting of the lodge held in the courthouse to make arrangements for the funeral of Brother William McCandless on the 28th of May, 1856, this being the first Masonic funeral of the lodge.

The stated meeting in June, 1856, was held in the building owned and occupied by Louis Theil, situated on lot No. 30 on the south side of Main street, as was all the meetings of the lodge up to and including March 3, 1857.

The stated meeting of March 10, 1857, and all meetings of the lodge up to January 28, 1869, were held in the Evans building, located on lot No. 65, on the north side of Main street.

On the 28th of January, 1869, the lodge moved into the Nicholson building, situated on the south side of Main street on lot No. 32, the third story of which was owned by the Masonic Hall Association. This building was destroyed in the fire of November 20, 1874. A special meeting of the lodge was called and held in the Matson building on the same evening.

The next meeting of the lodge was held December 3, 1874, in the hall, in the third story of the building of McKnight and Brother, situated on the eastern half of lot No. 35, then occupied by the Independent Order of Red Men, at which time they purchased of the I.O. of R.M. their furniture, carpets, etc., leased the hall, and still occupy said hall. The charter members were, James

L. Gillis, David S. Deering, Evans R. Brady, Henry P. Sullivan, T.H. Van Valzah, O.P. Reynolds, G.R. Barrett and Henry Raught. There are but two of the charter members now living to-wit: David S. Deering, who resides in Independence, Iowa, and Hon. George R. Barrett, who resides in Clearfield, Pa.

The officers of Hobah Lodge for 1887 are: W.M., E. Clark Hall; S.W., Cyrus H. Blood; J.W., John M. Van Vliet; Sec’y, W.D.J. Marlin; Treas., George W. Means. The entire membership of the lodge since its organization, 273; deceased, 35; resigned, 103; suspended, 39; expelled, 3; present membership, 93.

The following compose those who have filled the different chairs since the organization of the lodge: Past masters, James L. Gillis, 1853-54; Evans R. Brady, 1855-56; Pearl Roundy, 1857; John Henderson, 1858-59; Alexis L. Gordon, 1860-61; John Henderson, 1862; Alexis L. Gordon, 1863-64; William C. Evans, 1865; Alexis L. Gordon, 1866; Lewis A. Grunder, 1867; Madison M. Meredeth, 1868; James P. George, 1869; Wilson R. Ramsey, 1870; James L. Brown, 1871; Robert R. Means, 1872; John McMurray, 1873; James K. Hamilton, 1874; William A. Frank, 1875; Philip H. Shannon, 1876; Williamson D.J. Marlin, 1877; James H. Maize, 1878; Charles Corbet, 1879; John J. Patterson, 1880; Solomon Kaufman, 1881; George W. Means, 1882; William B. Cowen, 1883; Abraham F. Balmer, 1884; Benjamin M. Marlin, 1885. Senior wardens, David S. Deering, 1853-54; David Maclay, 1855; Oliver P. Reynolds, 1856; John Henderson, 1857; James P. George, 1858; John Henderson, 1859; Orlando Gray, 1860; James P. George, 1861; William C. Evans, 1862; Augustus R. Marlin, 1863; Isaac G. Gordon, 1864; Madison M. Meredith, 1865; Lewis A. Grunder, 1866; Madison M. Meredith, 1867; James P. George, 1868; Irvin McFarland, 1869; James L. Brown, 1870; Robert R. Means, 1871; John McMurray, 1872; James K. Hamilton, 1873; William A. Frank, 1874; Philip H. Shannon, 1875; Williamson D.J. Marlin, 1876; James H. Maize, 1877; Charles Corbet, 1878; John J. Patterson, 1879; James P. George, 1880; George W. Means, 1881; William B. Cowan, 1882; Abraham F. Balmer, 1883; Benjamin M. Marlin, 1884. Junior wardens, Evans R. Brady, 1853-54; Thomas H. Van Valzah, 1855; Pearl Roundy, 1856; Hugh Brady, 1857; Orlando Gray, 1858; Augustus R. Marlin, 1859; James P. George, 1860; Reed B. Brown, 1861; James C. Rankin, 1862; Morrow B. Lowry, 1863; William P. Jenks, 1864; Solomon Kaufman, 1865; Edward Scofield, 1866; William H. Gray, 1867; George A. Jenks, 1868; Wilson R. Ramsey, 1869; Robert R. Means, 1870; James H. Maize, 1871; James K. Hamilton, 1872; Philip H. Shannon, 1873; William A. Frank, 1874; Williamson D.J. Marlin, 1875; James H. Maize, 1876; Solomon Kaufman, 1877; John J. Patterson, 1878; David Eason, 1879; Thomas H. Means, 1880; William B. Cowan, 1881; John J. Patterson, 1882; Benjamin M. Marlin, 1883; Frank X. Kreitler, 1884. Treasurers, Isaac G. Gordon, 1853-55; William McCandless, 1856; Louis Thiel, 1857; Robert R. Means, 1858-59; Christopher Fogle, 1860-70; Madison M. Meredith, 1871-74; Robert R. Means, 1875-77; Thomas H. Means, 1878; Solomon Kaufman, 1879; Frank X. Kreitler, 1880-83; George W. Means, 1884. Secretaries, Isaac G. Gordon, 1853; Alexis L. Gordon, 1854; William McCandless, 1855; James McCahon, 1856; Wakefield W. Corbet, 1857-58; Evans R. Brady, 1859-61; John T. Reed, 1862-63; Morrow B. Lowry, 1864; Lewis A. Grunder, 1865; William C. Evans, 1866; Joseph B. Henderson, 1867; E. Heath Clark 1868; John McMurray, 1869-70; Williamson D.J. Marlin, 1871-74; Samuel A. Craig, 1875-77; Williamson D.J. Marlin, 1878-84.

Jefferson Chapter R.A.M. No. 225. - On the 5th day of August, A.D. 1869, A.I. 2399, a warrant was granted by the Grand Holy Royal Arch Chapter of Pennsylvania, to Jefferson Chapter, No. 225, R.A. Masons to be held at Brookville, Pa., the following being the charter members or officers thereof to-wit: Companions, Madison M. Meredith, M.E.H.; Philip H. Shannon, king; James L. Brown, scribe.

The chapter was constituted on the 7th day of October, A.D. 1869, A.I. 2399, by District Deputy High Priest Companion Miles W. Sage, assisted by a number of Royal Arch Masons, in Masonic Hall, in the Nicholson building, south side of Main street, Brookville, where the meetings of the chapter were held till after said hall was burned down, when they removed with Hobah Lodge No. 276, F. and A.M. to McKnight and Brothers building, opposite the court-house where they still hold their meetings. The first officers of the chapter were Madison M. Meredith, H.P.; Philip H. Shannon, king; James L. Brown, scribe; and George W. Andrews, treasurer; and Robert R. Means, secretary.

Madison M. Meredith served as high priest for 1869-70 and 1876; Philip H. Shannon, 1871; James L. Brown, 1872 and 1877; James S. George, 1873; Wilson R. Ramsey, 1874 and 1882; James K. Hamilton, 1875 and 1880; John J. Thompson, 1878; Nathan Carrier, 1879; Thomas L. Templeton, 1881; John N. Garrison, 1883; Alexis L. Gordon, 1884; George W. Means, 1885; John J. Patterson, 1886. The treasurers were, George W. Andrews, 1869 and 70; Madison M. Meredith, 1872 and ‘75; Williamson D.J. Marlin, 1871; Robert R. Means, 1876-77; William H. Gray, 1878; Isaac F. Steiner, 1879-81; James K. Hamilton, 1882-86. The secretaries were, Robert R. Means, 1869-71; Williamson D.J. Marlin, 1872-86. There have been admitted, 59; died, 7; suspended, 5; resigned, 7; leaving 40 members.

John W. Jenks Lodge No. 534, F. and A.M., is located at Punxsutawney, and meets in the I.O. of O.F. Hall on the first Tuesday evening of each month. This lodge was instituted March 9, 1875, by William B. Meredith, R.W.D.D.G.M. The following members were its officers for the first year: W.M., Thomas K. Hasting; S.W., Jacob Zeitler; J.W., James C. Shields; Sec’y, James A. Minish; S.D., John Crawford; J.D., William J. Smith; Pur., George W. Porter; S.M.C., William Altman; J.M.C., Andrew P. Cox; Chaplain, James E. Mitchell; Tiler, Adam B. Hoch; Treas., Joseph Shields.

The following are the present officers: W.M., James A. Minish; S.W., John W. Parsons; J.W., John Davis; Treas., David P. Frampton; Sec’y, R.M. Swisher; S.D., George W. Porter; J.D., Theophilus Pantall; Pur., John B. Bair; S.M.C., Robert C. Robinson; J.M.C., Henry A. Ham; Chaplain, James E. Mitchell; Tiler, John Crawford. Number of members 42.


Brookville Lodge No. 217, I.O. of O.F. - This lodge was instituted March 16, 1847, with the following officers: Pearl Roundy, N.G.; David S. Deering, V.G., John Hastings, Sec’y; J.S. McCullough, Ass’t Sec’y; William McCandless, Treas. There is no means of ascertaining the names of the other charter members, the lodge being burned out and surrendering its charter September 12, 1856, to A.J. Johnstone, D.D.G.M.

The lodge: was reorganized December 14, 1869, by D.D.G.M., A. Rudolph, of Jefferson county. The lodge started with a membership of nineteen, as follows: A. Craig, B.T. Hastings, W.W. Corbett, K.L. Blood, G.W. McKinley, D.G. Gourley, S.J. Fryer, J.D. McKinley, Edwin Snyder, J.C. Shobert, R.M. Matson, L. Schnell, George H. Kennedy, O.H. Brown, John M. Espy, J.E. Long, A.B. McClain, Abram Snyder, and William Davie. The following officers were installed at the reorganization: A. Craig, N.G.; B.T. Hastings, V.G.; W. Corbett, Sec’y; K.L. Blood, Treas.

There were admitted at the time of reorganization by initiation eleven members. Since the reorganization there have been admitted by initiation one hundred and seventy-eight, and by card fifty-three members. Of these some have died, others have been suspended, and many have withdrawn by card to join other lodges. There are now in membership one hundred and fifteen. This lodge has furnished charter members for many of the sister lodges in this and adjoining counties. Since the reorganization it has paid out for the relief of brothers, their widows and orphans, the sum of $2,670. The present assets of the lodge are $4,679.62. The officers for the ensuing term were installed April 4, 1887, by D.D.G.M., Peter B. Cowan, as follows: N.G., J.R. Heasley; V.G., E.V. Richards; Sec’y, J.W. Walker; Ass’t Sec’y, J.C. Snyder; Treas., John S. Moore; R.S., to N.G., T.A. Hendricks; L.S., E. Snyder; W., J.W. Cox; C., L.S. Edwards; R.S.S., O.T. Stewart; L.S.S., J.C. McMannigal; Chaplain, William P. Steele; O.G., A. Snyder; I.G., James Vasbinder; R.S. to V.G., W.H. Hoover; L.S., K.R. Hindman. Besides administering to the relief of her own members, Brookville Lodge No. 217, has frequently cast her mite for the relief of those who had no claim upon her treasury. This lodge was among the first to respond to the call of distress at the time of the Chicago fire, and the response was so liberal, that a part of it was returned to the lodge.

Laurel Lodge No. 672, I.O. of O.F., was instituted at Punxsutawney, on the 27th day of July, 1869, by D.D.G.M., A.L. McClusky, assisted by several of the P.G. of Palladium Lodge, No. 346 of Indiana. Six of the charter members were present, viz., J.M. Brewer, D.S. Altman, J.C. Green, J.P. Drum, H. Fackner and A. Rudolph. After the institution and organization there were four applicants for membership; H.C. Campbell, D.R. Donnelly, J.R. North and B. Zigler, all of whom were, by dispensation, initiated in all the five degrees. The first officers of Laurel Lodge were, J.M. Brewer, N.G.; D.S. Altman, V.G.; J.C. Green, Sec’y; J.P. Dunn, Ass’t Sec’y; H. Packner, Treas.; D.R. Donnelly, S.W.; H.C. Campbell, Conductor; J.K. North, O.G.; B. Zigler, I.G.; H. Ernst, R.S. to N.G.; H. Iserman, L.S. to N.G.; C. Spindler, R.S. to V.G. Since the institution of the lodge one hundred and seventy-seven members have been admitted. The lodge in 1887 has a membership of 88; funds in treasurer’s hands, $90.57; amount invested, $5,909.76; regalia and furniture, $831.70. Total assets of lodge, $6,842.03.

Cicerone Lodge No. 897, I.O. of O.F., was instituted at Brockwayville, on the 6th day of January, 1875, by Andrew Craig, of Brookville, beginning with sixteen members. The first officers elected were N.G., A. Thrush; V.G., J.C. Moorhead; Sec’y, R.O. Moorhead; Treas., William G. Quigley. Number of members since admitted, one hundred and twenty-eight; members now in good standing, ninety-four; amount of receipts, $6,775.10; amount of disbursements, $4,077.43; invested in real estate, etc., $3,650; in hands of treasurer, $250. Present officers: N.G., A.R. Chapin; V.G., T.S. Kline; Sec’y, W.D. Clark; Treas., James H. Groves.

Dr. W.C. Niver, a member of this lodge, is believed to be the oldest in Odd Fellowship of any one in the county. This lodge has furnished many of the charter members for the lodges instituted at Ridgeway, Du Bois and Centerville.

Summerville Lodge No. 793, I.O. of O.F., was instituted March 25, 1887, by District Deputy Grand Master P.B. Cowan, of Brookville, assisted by Past Grands, J.S. Moore, of Lodge 217; J.H. Groves, of Lodge 897; W.P. Steele, of Lodge 217; J.H. Monks, of Lodge 813; F.W. Space, of Lodge 963; R.A. Summerville, of Lodge 813; F.P. Hummell, of Lodge 918; D.D.G.P., A. Craig, of Encampment No. 202; P.C.P., S. Kaufman, of Encampment No. 202; P.C.P., J.W. Walker, of Encampment No. 202, and others from neighboring lodger The following officers were elected and installed: N.G., W.F. Flick; V.G., D. Davis; Sec’y, R.B. Vermilyea; Asst. Sec’y, J. Fenstermaker; Treas., J.C. Smith. Noble Grand’s appointments: W., J.A. Haven; C., J.K. Brown; O.G., G.A. Garvin; I.G., D.K. Moore; Chap., J.J. Guthrie; R.S., H.C. Anderson; L.S., J. Horner; R.S.S., J.C. Simpson; L.S.S., J.K. Myers. Vice Grand’s appointments: R.S., H.W. Carrier; L.S., D.W. Smith.

The new lodge starts out with a membership of forty-five, has an excellent hall nicely furnished, and is out of debt; conditions that indicate a prosperous career.

Amor Lodge No. 608, I.O. of O.F., was instituted at Marchand, Indiana county, and the charter granted September 2, 1867. The charter members were Hugh J. Brady, James W. Shields, A.J. Hamilton, J.M. Rifenberick, John M. Brown, S.S. Shaffer, S.C. Brown, S.W. Brewer, D.B. Brewer and James S. Crawford. The officers consisted of Hugh J. Brady, N.G.; James S. Shields, V.G.; A.J. Hamilton, Sec’y; Samuel C. Brown, Treas. From September 2, 1867, to August 12, 1879, there were two hundred initiations. Amor Lodge was the nucleus from which the lodges at Cherry Tree, Plumville, Smicksburg, Marion, Ringgold and Punxsutawney were organized.

The charter was called in by the Grand Lodge in the latter part of 1879, and was, on the petition of J.G. Mitchell, S.S. Shaffer, John C. Neale, Sharp Neale, W.H. Heckendorn, John Frampton and others, reissued November 13, 1884, with authority to locate the lodge at Perrysville, Jefferson county. The first officers under the new organization were William Neale, N.G.; W.P. Postlethwait, V.G.; G.A. Blose, Sec’y; R.H.L. Neale, Treas. The lodge is in a prosperous condition, with thirty-three members in good standing, and is out of debt with a surplus fund in its treasury of from $150 to $200. The present officers are Daniel Brewer, N.G.; N.H. Heckendorn, V.G.; T.D. Brewer, Sec’y; W.L. Henry, Treas.

Corsica Lodge No. 813, I.O. of O.F., was instituted at Corsica October 25, 1872, with twenty-three charter members, by D.D.G.M., A. Craig, of Brookville; burned out June 2, 1873, all furniture and regalia saved. Met during the summer in the public school building. November 7, 1873, moved in and dedicated new hall. Charter members: H.A. Smith, C.C. Baker, M.D., J.E. Orcutt, R.A. Summerville, John H. Dehaven, E.B. Orcutt, William Cowan, W.F. Delp, T.A. Hamilton, J.H. Monks, J.W. Martin, P.A. Fleming, A.M. Slack, G.W. McKinley, G.H. Siar, T.D. Spence, George Shultz, W.H. Scott, H.D. Morrison, T.S. Elder, T.F. Richey, A.S. McPherson, G.W. Cummings. First elective officers: N.G., C.C. Baker, M.D.; V.G., William Cowan; Sec’y, T.D. Spence; Ass’t Sec’y, G.H. Siar; Treas., A.M. Slack. Present elective officers: N.G., J.H. Simpson; V.G., John Knabb; Sec’y, A.P. Simkins; Asst. Sec’y, A.M. Slack; Treas., J.H. Monks. Whole number initiated, 157; admitted by card, 10; withdrawn by card, 35; deceased, 2; present membership, 77. Total available assets, $1,467.57; invested in regalia and furniture, $900; total, $2,367.57; amount paid out for relief, $1,150.50.


This order was first instituted in the city of New York twenty-four years ago, and now has a membership of 200,000. The declaration of principles adopted by the order show the basis upon which it is founded:

"Recognizing the universality of human brotherhood, its organization is designed to embrace the world within its jurisdiction - intended solely and only to disseminate the great principles of friendship, charity, and benevolence, nothing of a sectarian or political character is permitted within its portals. Toleration in religion, obedience to law, and loyalty to government are its cardinal principles. Misfortune, misery and death being written in fearful characters on the broad face of creation, our noble order was instituted to uplift the fallen; to champion humanity; to be his guide and hope; his refuge, shelter, and defence; to soften down the asperities of life; to subdue party spirit; and by sweet and powerful attractions of the glorious trinity of friendship, charity, and benevolence, to bind in one harmonious brotherhood men of all classes and all opinions. The brightest jewels which it garners are the tears of the widows and orphans; and its imperative commands are to visit the homes where lacerated hearts are bleeding; to assuage the sufferings of a brother; bury the dead; care for the widow, and educate the orphan; to exercise charity toward offenders; to construe words and deeds in their least unfavorable light; granting honesty of purpose and good intentions to others; and to protect the principles of knighthood unto death. Its laws are reason and equity; its cardinal doctrines inspire purity of thought and life; its intention is peace on earth, and good will toward man.’"

District Deputy Grand chancellor for Jefferson county, P.C., Thomas H. Scott, 1880-83; P.C., A.F. Balmer, 1883-84; H.C. Campbell, 1885; Thomas H. Scott, 1886.

Valiant Lodge No. 461, Knights of Pythias, was instituted at Reynoldsville, on the 29th day of November, 1879, by the (then) Grand Chancellor, Thomas G. Sample, of Allegheny, Pa., assisted by P.C., Thomas H, Scott; P.C., W.H. Van Lew; P.C., David Hartman; and Brothers Heemer and Riston, of East Brady. At that meeting there were four admitted by card, and ten new members initiated, after which the following officers were elected to serve until December 30, 1880. P.C., Josiah Dent; C.C., W.H. Van Lew; V.C., W.W. Crissman; prelate, John A. Ulrich; M. of E., David Hartman; M. of F., James R. Johnston; K. of R. and S., Solomon Shaffer; M. at A., J.W. Fink; I.G., E.D. Hartman; O.G., Joseph H. Watson; D.D.G.C., P.C., Thomas H. Scott, for Jefferson county.

This lodge started out with fourteen members and an indebtedness of about two hundred dollars; but with an increased membership, was almost out of debt when the fire of the 29th of October, 1880, destroyed the building in which their lodge room was situated, and the lodge lost nearly all its property, which was, however, partly covered by insurance. A new room was rented, and the membership went diligently to work to keep all expenses paid up, and soon cleared off all debts, and now find their order in a prosperous condition. The old hall having been rebuilt where the lodge was first organized, it was leased for a term of five years, and fitted up at a cost of about two hundred dollars. The finances of Valiant Lodge are now as follows: Invested in hall furniture and fixtures, together with the working materials of the lodge, $600; four U.S. bonds, $517.50; one Reynoldsville borough bond $100; balance on hand (clear of all indebtedness), $218.75; total, $1,436.25.

Since its institution the lodge has paid out for sick benefits to date, May 1, 1887, $535; to other lodge members, $22. There have been no deaths in the active membership of this lodge; the only death being one who had been suspended for non-payment of dues some two years previous to death. The present membership is seventy-seven, while seventy-five have been suspended for non-payment of dues, from the close of the December term 1881, to the close of the last term ending December 30, 1886. During the same period four have withdrawn from the lodge. The present officers of Valiant Lodge are: P.C., Lewis G. Sidler; C.C., August Kleinhaus; V.G., George B. Blanchard; prelate, Alexander L. Best; M. of E., George H. Allis; M. of F., Wallace W. Ford; K. of R. and S., Thomas H. Scott; M. at A., William Copping; I.G., Joseph Shaffer; O.G., William Gibson; representative to Grand Lodge, Thomas H. Scott; trustees, Joseph Shaffer, M.S. Sterly, and A.J. Broadhead.

Brookville Lodge No. 477, K. of P., was the second lodge of the order organized in Jefferson county; was instituted November 29, 1881, with thirty-six charter members, by D.D.G.C., Thomas H. Scott, esq., of Reynoldsville, assisted by the following past chancellors: E.N. Geer, of Corry; E.V. Marsh and J.L. Kribbs, of New Bethlehem; T.J. Boyer, of Du Bois; W.H. Van Lew, J.H. Gross, J.S. Watson, David Hartman, S.J. Broadhead, of Reynoldsville, and others. The first officers of the lodge to whom the charter was issued were as follows: P.C., J.W. Truesdell; C.C., A.F. Balmer; V.C., Andrew Craig; prelate, Scott McClelland; M. at A., Peter B. Cowan; K. of R. and S., John McMurray; M. of E., Thomas C. Lawson; M. of F., E.L. Kimple; I.G., John B. Means; O.G., W.S. Weaver. There have been initiated and received into membership in the lodge since its organization one hundred and thirty-one members, of whom two have died, three withdrawn, thirty-two were suspended for non-payment of dues, leaving the present membership ninety-four. The lodge pays a weekly sick benefit of $3.50, and in this behalf they have expended $913, also a funeral benefit of $50, and in addition to having an elegantly furnished lodge-room, have over one thousand dollars in their treasury. The past officers of the lodge, according to their seniority, are: J.W. Truesdell, A.F. Balmer, T.C. Lawson, E.L. Kimple, W.S. Weaver, Andrew Craig, A.C. White, P.B. Cowan, Q.S. Snyder, J.R. Van Lear, W.A. Thompson, J.S. Linsinbigler, Samuel C. Ewing and Abram Snyder. The Grand Lodge representatives were as follows: A.F. Balmer, 1881 and 1882; A.C. White, 1883 and 1884; W.S. Weaver, 1885 and 1886. The present officers are: P.C., Abram Snyder; C.C., James J. Webb; V.C., George W. Snyder; prelate, Theodore W. Chesnutt; M. at A., Lawrence M. Snyder; K. of R and S., W.S. Weaver; M. of E., Joseph R. Heasley; M. of F., J.C. Snyder; I.G., John H. Buel; O.G., J.S. Linsinbigler. Trustees: W.A. Thompson, Edwin Snyder and William Glenn. Representative to Grand Lodge: W.S. Weaver.

Keystone Division No. 10, Uniform Rank K. of P., was organized October 10, 1882, the officers being sir knight commander, James E. Long; sir knight-lieutenant commander, H.S. Deal; sir knight recorder, P.B. Cowan; sir knight treasurer, A.C. White; sir knight guard, J.R. Emery; sir knight sentinel, L.J. Boyer. This division has a membership of thirty-two - its membership being made up from Brookville and Du Bois Lodges, with armory in the hall of Brookville Lodge.

The beneficiary features in addition to weekly benefits consist of an Endowment Rank, on the death of a member of which $1,000, $2,000 and $3,000 are paid according to the class to which the member belongs. The assessments are paid monthly, and are graded according to age. This feature of the order is controlled by the Supreme Lodge. The Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania controls a funeral benefit organization known as the "Knights of Pennsylvania Relief Fund." Any Knight of Pythias in general good health is eligible to membership in this fund. The monthly dues are twenty-five cents, and the funeral benefit is $250.

Charity Lodge No. 488, K. of P., was instituted at Brockwayville, March 26, 1883. First Officers, P.C., Rev. H.M. Burns; C.C., R.O. Moorhead: V.C., T.M., Myers; P., J.G. Dailey; M. of E., J.B. Allen; M. of F., C.F. Green; K. of R. and S., Anthony Groves; M. at A., M.S. Longwell; I.G., Arnold Groves; O.G., R.A. McElhaney. Present officers; P.C., W.T. McLaughlin; C.C., Thomas Kearney; V.C., M.M. Rankin; P., G.A. Bowdish; M. of E., G.S. Himes; M. of F., R.O. Moorhead; K. of R. and S., F.R. Knapp; M. at A., C.H. Yates; I.G., John Chilcott; O.G., Thomas Chilcott. Number of members, seventy. No deaths.

Mountain Cliff Lodge No. 393, Knights of Pythias, was instituted April 8, 1873, at Barclay, Bradford county, by District Deputy Grand Chancellor H.S. Clark, of Towanda, Pa., with the following officers: W.C., Fred. Miner; V.C., William Johnston; R.S., John Noble; W.B., Henry Crawford; W.G., James Johnston; W.F.S., Thomas Dilchburn; I.S., Walter Hay; O.S., James Duncan; V.P., John Kellock. Barclay is situated on the top of a mountain, and is a small mining town. Owing to the mines becoming exhausted, the members had to seek employment elsewhere, and the lodge was transferred to Beechtree, Jefferson county, April 7, 1886. The lodge is in good condition, with a membership of one hundred and ten, and since it was first instituted has lost eight members by death. The paraphernalia and fixtures of the lodge are valued at $700, and it has a fundof $1,041. The present officers for 1887, are: P.C., John D. Cameron; C.C., Frank Pride; V.C., John McNeil; prelate, William Archibald; K. of R. and S., Andrew Beveridge; M. of E., William Cheery; M. of F., Frank Yard; M. at A., Daniel Jones; I.G., David Ruddocks; O.G., George Buntin. Andrew Beveridge has been K. of R. and S., of this lodge since 1875.


This order was first organized in the city of Philadelphia, in 1847; but prior to the Rebellion its organization was very imperfect, and its progress consequently slow, the camps not extending much beyond the Middle States. When the war broke out a general enlistment of its members compelled its entire suspension. In 1866 the order was reorganized and placed upon a more substantial basis. The order has for its object the inculcation of pure American principles, the cultivation of fraternal love; the opposition to foreign interference with State interests in the United States of America; the preservation of the Constitution of the United States, and the propagation of free education. Its primary object is to build up an order based upon patriotism, education, charity, and fraternity, and aims most particularly to educate its members in the principles of our government, to use all honorable means to defend and perpetuate the institutions of our country. Its immediate benefits are home benevolence, the care of its sick, the burial of its dead, the protection of and assistance to all who may be in need. There are two camps of this order in Jefferson county.

Washington Camp No. 268, Patriotic Sons of America, was instituted at Reynoldsville, May 9, 1883, by District President J.D. McClintock, of Lock Haven, Pa., with eighteen charter members, The camp now numbers forty-one members, and is in a prosperous condition. George Roller is president and A.L. Best, secretary. No deaths have occurred since the camp was instituted. The amount of camp property and funds in the treasury is $275.25. Washington Camp meets every Thursday evening. Past president, W.H. Van Lew and A.L. Best of this camp having successively filled the office of district president for Jefferson, Clearfield and Cameron counties.

Washington Camp No. 131, Patriotic Sons of America, was instituted at Brockwayville, on March 4, 1887, with thirty charter members, and is officered as follows: Senior past president, J.P. Keys; president, A.R. Chapin; vice-president, R.S. Welsh; master of forms and ceremonies, J.A. Green; chaplain, Rev. I.M. Smith; secretary, R.W. Hoey; assistant secretary, R.S. Mith; treasurer, S.C. Bond; conductor, E.V. Coville; inner guard, E.A. Green; outer guard, F.L. Himes. The camp holds stated meetings on every Tuesday evening. J.P. Keys was appointed and commissioned district president of Jefferson, Elk and Clarion counties two weeks after the organization of the camp.


The first organization of farmers in the association known as the Patrons of Husbandry was effected in Washington City, D.C., December 4, 1867, by a few men interested in agriculture, and at that time, connected with the Department of Agriculture. The officers were: William M. Ireland, master; Anson Bartlett, overseer; O.H. Kelley, secretary; J.R. Thompson, lecturer; William Muir, steward; and William Saunders, treasurer. The other offices were left vacant at the time of the organization simply because there were not members to fill them, but subsequently others were elected and Potomac Grange No. 1, as it is known in history, had a complete corps of officers. From this small beginning has come the association of farmers with granges in every State and Territory and almost every county in the United States. The rapid increase of this association is without a parallel in history. The farmers saw in it a means by which they could improve their condition by education and social intercourse, knowing that these tend only to elevate and refine; and they began to realize that they could not compete with other classes unless they did unite and work together for their common good. They sought relief from the grinding heel of monopolies and great moneyed corporations of our land, which had begun a series of oppressions well calculated to reduce the farmers to a condition but little better than the tenant farmers of Europe. At this critical time the grange was organized, and our farmers, believing it to be their only hope, united with it, hoping for relief. In this they were not disappointed, although relief came slower than was expected.

When the order was incorporated in January, 1873, over twenty-three thousand dispensations had been granted to subordinate granges, mostly in the south and west, and during the years 1873 and 1874, there were eighteen thousand six hundred and forty-one additional dispensations granted by the National Grange in Washington to subordinate granges, mostly in the Eastern States. Since no dispensation was granted to less than thirteen, nor more than forty persons, we can see how rapidly it grew. In fact when the first organization was effected in Jefferson county, there was an actual membership in the United States of more than eight hundred thousand. We give this brief sketch of the organization and success of the National Grange as a prelude to the order’s history in Jefferson county.

The first grange, Porter No. 252, was organized by Deputy at Large Asa Battles, of Girard, Pa., in the commissioner’s office, Brookville, May 12, 1874. R.A. Travis was elected master, and J.P. George, secretary. There were twenty-six charter members. This grange, like Potomac Grange No. 1, had but few persons in it who were eligible to membership, or who would be so considered to-day; but at that time few understood the organization or its purposes. Some of its members dropped out and it was moved to Porter township, where it increased in numbers and influence until we find it numbered seventy-seven members in January, 1883; this is the latest correct date received.

The second was Elder No. 503, organized by Deputy R.A. Travis, at the residence of J.M. Elder, in Oliver township, March 16, 1875, with thirty charter members, twenty men and ten women. S.B. Williams was their first choice for master, and C.N. Morris sec’y. They have since then initiated fifty-one members. Some of the best patrons of our county took the degrees in this grange. Among these we recall S.B. Williams, J.N. Jordon, C.A. Morris and others, the last named having served eleven successive terms as secretary, and is now occupying the master’s chair. H.M. Means is the present secretary. They have a good hall of their own, nicely finished and furnished, in which they meet regularly twice a month.

Ridge Grange No. 516, was organized by Deputy R.A. Travis, in Perry township, March 24, 1875, with thirty-one charter members, and J.N. Kelly, master; W.A. Kelly, secretary, and have since initiated ninety-three, making a grand total of one hundred and twenty-five. They have a commodious hall in which they hold interesting and instructive meetings each alternate week. Ridge Grange has furnished more active, working members of Pomona Grange than any other in the county. This is explained by the statement that the Gourleys, Kellys, Lewises, McCrackens and others have taken an interest in the work, and have made their grange what in reality it should be - a neighborhood home; and the result is seen in the high standard of culture and refinement to be met with among the members. Their first master has been re-elected several times, and is now occupying that position. A worthy recognition of a worthy man.

Beaver Grange No. 521, was organized in Beaver township, March 29, 1875, by R.A. Travis. Master, Daniel Reitz; secretary, J.C. Simney; nineteen charter members and sixty initiates. This grange has made education a specialty, and well have they succeeded in their efforts, than which none have done better. The pleasant faces and fraternal grip of Brothers T.R. Holt, Daniel Reitz, Elias Jones and others will be held in kindly remembrance long after they have received from the Great Master the pass-word into the Grange above.

Mahoning No. 587, was organized by R.A. Travis, with thirty-six charter members. William C. Gillespie was chosen master, and William Perry, secretary. They initiated thirty-four. Among those who by earnest work have won recognition are Brothers Porter, Minish, Perry and Gillespie.

McCalmont Grange No. 590, of McCalmont township was organized by R.A. Travis, August 25, 1875, with thirty-three charter members. A.J. Limerich, master, Peter Uplinger, secretary. This grange although started under favorable auspices, through internal difficulties lost their grip and fell by the way with no stone to mark their last resting-place.

Union Grange No. 609, organized by R.A. Travis, in Pine Creek township October 20, 1875. They had but thirty charter members, but with these as a nucleus, they soon became one of the wealthiest, most influential and prosperous granges in the county. D.B. McConnell was their first master, and C.A. Carrier secretary. Among those who have been active supporters not only of the grange, but of grange principles, and labored earnestly to carry them to a practical conclusion we can recall James Suffolk, Charles Shobert, Joseph Bullers, Charles Frost and their estimable ladies. The ladies of Union have entertained Pomona oftener than those of any other grange, and the tables they prepared were a sufficient guarantee that they were well skilled in the culinary department, and their hospitality was equaled only by the grace with which they dispensed it.

Corsica Grange No. 640, comes next on the roll, being organized by R.A. Travis, January 6, 1876, with twenty-two charter members. G.W. McKinley, master; D.M. Hindman, secretary, and forty-two initiates. The members of this grange were not clothed in the proper regalia, or proper spirit, and failed to realize the benefits usually derived from this organization, and having erected a hall in the spring of 1884, they quietly expired, and the hall remains to this day as a memorial, not to what they are, but to what they might have been. We regret these things, but we are not making history, we are only writing it.

Rose Grange No. 653, organized by R.A. Travis, January 27, 1876, is located on the farm of Joseph Thrush, in Rose township. This grange started out with twenty-nine charter members, and has kept the faith; new members. uniting with it from time to time until forty-one have been initiated and instructed in the lessons of the degrees. Abner Spyker was the first to fill the master’s chair. Joseph Thrush was their secretary for many years.

Pleasant Hill No. 656, with Miller Harding as master, and Mark H. Williams as secretary, and thirty-two charter members, began its interesting and prosperous, though checkered career, February 8, 1876, and during their more than eleven years of active work, they rarely failed to hold their regular weekly meetings on Friday evening; being the only grange in the county that meets once a week. Their accessions amounted to one hundred and three, and the good they have done cannot be estimated; and they are more prosperous now than ever before. The citizens of Knox township who are prevented from uniting with it on account of its secrecy, regard it as second only to the church. Much of this success is due to the moral and religious influence of Mrs. S.A. Hunter, Mrs. M.A. Anderson, Mrs. Rosa McAninch, Mrs. Martha Chitester, Mrs. M.A. Cavanore and other ladies connected with it. There are many good men and true inside the gates, but they willingly yield the palm to the ladies. Among the ever faithful, S.A. Hunter, I.S. Davis, S. McAninch, S.R. Anderson and others are well entitled to recognition. Brother Hunter has been treasurer during all these years, while the others have filled various offices. C.C. Chitester is now master, and E.E. Hunter secretary. The record of the past is only excelled by their prospects for the future.

Sigel No. 666, was organized February 24, 1876, with thirty-eight charter members: James Coon, master; G.A. Carroll secretary. It existed but a short time and then surrendered its charter to be reorganized several years later under a new name and more favorable auspices.

Sugar Hill No. 713, organized by O.S. Cary, June 2, 1876, had thirty-two members: W.C. Bond, master; Miss Florence Marshall, secretary; thirty-seven accessions, and are in good standing in the county and State granges.

Troy No. 672, and Warsaw No. 691, existed but a short time and then surrendered their charters, many of their members connecting by demit with other granges. Fidelity No. 692, of Rockdale, and Prudence No. 707, have a similar record.

O.S. Cary Grange No. 693, of Brockwayville, organized by O.S. Cary, April 8, 1876, with thirty charter members: A.R. Thrush, master; D.D. Groves, secretary. This grange has the largest membership and the finest hall in the county. The members are the most hospitable and generous, and their works are characteristic of the people composing it. Brothers Smith, Hutchison, Keys and others are familiar names in grange circles throughout the county.

Mill Grange No. 712, organized June 1, 1876, started with a complete corps of members: J.G. Allen, master; R.F. Morrison, secretary, and have since added forty-two. Among those whose names are on the roll of honor are E. Perrin and lady, J.G. Allen and wife; R.F. Morrison, T.F. Daugherty, G.W. Brenholts and others.

Richardsville No. 729, A.J. Bartlett, master; G.W. Richards, secretary; organized by O.S. Cary, January 9, 1877, with twenty-two charter members, and after initiating thirteen it yielded to the inevitable and remained dormant until May 5, 1884, when it was reorganized by C.A. Carrier; but lacking the true grange spirit it was but a question of time when it returned to its former condition, and if it is not dead it is because it has not energy enough left to die.

Darling Grange No. 768, was organized by James McCracken and C.A. Carrier, February 3, 1883, with twenty members: Moses Johns, master; Miss P.R. Carrier, secretary. After its organization it promised to be the banner grange of the county; not succeeding in that, it failed in everything else, and is no longer anything but a name. A few of its members, among them Moses Johns and family, were true to their principles and connected with Rose Grange.

Green Valley No. 770, of Knox township, was organized by James McCracken, March 31, 1883, with seventeen members: S.P. Himes, master; H.D. Morrison, secretary; twenty-one additional members have since been added. They are live, earnest, active workers, and although young in years, have taken an advanced position among their fellows.

Howe No. 777, organized by James McCracken, February 26, 1884, with sixteen charter members: W.J. Gayley, master; G.M. Gayley, secretary; has become a permanent organization with excellent opportunities, and the will and disposition to improve them. The recognized leaders are David White, W.J. Gayley, B.H. Whitehill and G.M. Gayley.

Jefferson Grange No. 778, organized by Deputy James McCracken in Polk township, February 27, 1884, with sixteen members, is the youngest of the family. Lewis Evans was chosen first master, and Miss Maggie V. Smith, secretary. They have initiated twenty-four members, and are in a prosperous condition, holding their meetings regularly every two weeks in the house of Brother Perry Smith, one of their most active members.

Since the first organization in the county there have been twenty-three dispensations granted, and a total of six hundred and thirty-three charter members, and eight hundred and fifty-six initiates. Of these, six granges are either dead or dormant, the others in good standing. In addition to these we have a county grange known as Pomona Grange No. 20, of Jefferson county, organized December 4, 1875. The membership of Pomona consists of the masters of subordinate granges and their wives, and three delegates elected annually by each subordinate grange. It meets on the first Wednesday of January, April, July and October, at the different grange halls in the county. The officers are elected for a term of two years. This grange has charge of the educational work of the order, and also recommends the persons to be appointed deputy. The deputies have been appointed by the State Grange Master, and have been R.A. Travis from 1874 till 1876, when he was succeeded by O.S. Cary, who in turn was succeeded in 1878, by C.A. Carrier, whose successors were James McCracken, jr., and M.A. Fitzsimmons appointed in 1880. The latter being reappointed every year since. R.M. Morrison was appointed in 1884, and S.W. Temple in 1886, and James McCracken re-appointed in 1887, completing the list up to the present time.

Space will permit me but a few words more of this brief history of the origin and progress of the order in Jefferson county. It has proven to be "one of the most beneficent and useful secular institutions in the land." We have endeavored to show how and by whom it was inducted into our midst, by whom it was supported and upheld when its growth was slow and feeble, and when it was but little understood and less appreciated, but through all, its advocates labored earnestly and diligently, and it is now to them a source of unwonted satisfaction to know that those earlier years of toil and sacrifice for the cause have already contributed many happy hours to hundreds of farmers’ families, besides otherwise securing to them innumerable benefits. The unprecedented success of this order is one of the most prominent incentives on record to perseverance under trying and almost insurmountable difficulties. Let those engaged in the good work take courage and bear in mind that he "who causes two blades of grass to grow where but one grew before, is greater than he who taketh a city."

The foregoing history of the different lodges and societies of Jefferson county is full and correct, with the exception of one or two organizations of Odd Fellows and Knights of Pythias, the secretaries of which would not furnish the necessary data.

There have been other orders represented in the county from time to time, but their record has died with them: notably among these was a lodge of the Sons of Malta, and one of the Improved Order of Red Men, both organized at Brookville. The former was short-lived, but the latter was kept up for several years, surrendering its charter some time during the year 1877. It was at one time strong in membership.

* Prepared by W.D.J. Marlin.
** Prepared by M.A. Fitzsimmons, of Brookville.

Source:  Page(s) 309-324, History of Jefferson County by Kate M. Scott. Syracuse, N.Y., D. Mason & Co., 1888.

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