Monday, March 7, 2011

Lodges of Fountain

This article is on lodges that have existed in Fountain.

Fountain's Square Dance Club met in the Community Hall in the 1950s

Fountain Herald 1940
Odd Fellows
I.O.O.F., Rogers Lodge No. 175 was having meetings in 1919, twice a month, on the second and fourth Saturday evenings. Officers were: Roy Alford, Grand Noble; D.C. Colbert, Vice Grand; A.I. Gearhart, Secretary; D.W. Vandenburg, District Deputy. They met in the Woodmen Hall on Main Street.

Fountain Valley Grange
Fountain Valley Grange No. 253 was organized June 11, 1915. The objects of the order are to advance the best interest in the financial and social life of its members. At present there are about one hundred members. The meetings are held in Woodmen Hall in the Valley of Fountain on the first Thursday evening of each month. We are always pleased to have with us visitors from other lodges and assure them of a cordial welcome. The present officers of the lodge are; R.E. Love, Master; John Wilson, Overseer; Mrs. Prodoehl, Lecturer; Margaret Wilson, Secretary; S.K. White, Steward; Mr. Jones, Chaplain; Don Colbert, Assistant Steward; Mrs. M.F. Oliphant, Lady Assistant Steward; Will Colbert, Treasurer; Frank Prodoehl, Gate Keeper; Mrs. C.R. Crawford, Ceres; Mrs. Jones, Flora; Mrs. Don Colbert, Ramona; A.L. Gearhart, Business Agent. 

The Jones Family

According to Mrs. Neugebauer, the Grange started the Labor Day Pancake Breakfast, and joined the local Chamber of Commerce when it obtained the caboose for the Mayor's Park. The Grange celebrated its 90th anniversary in 2005.

Royal Neighbors of America
The Royal Neighbors order Clover Camp 8121 was organized in Fountain, November 15, 1916, with membership of fourteen beneficial members and nine social members. It now has a membership of twenty-five beneficial members and two social members (1919). The Royal Neighbors of America is the third largest of the fraternal societies of America and is the largest society under the management of women. It has a membership of 412,633. The officers of Fountain Camp are: Oracle, Ellen Christian; Vice Oracle, Mamie Christian; Past Oracle, Emma Oliphant; Chancellor, Lizzie Collins; Recorder, Viva Colbert; Receiver, Sallie Wallace; Inner  Assistant Marshal, Corinne Tucker; Physician, Dr. R.O. Broadway; Managers, Nora Torbit, Grace Foster, and Edith Tulley.
Fountain Valley Homestead No. 1816, branch of the Brotherhood of American Yeomen, the largest fraternal order in the world admitting both men and women, was organized in Fountain May 21, 1908. The present officers are; Foreman, Winifred Bell; Master of Ceremonies, B.C. Bell; Correspondent, Lucy Eichel; Master of Accounts, S.J. Evans; Chaplain, Annie Love; Overseer, Anna Williams; Watchman, I.A. Parker; Sentinel, S.K. White; Guard, J.M. Cell; Lady Rowena, Leola Redmond; Lady Rebecca, Nellie E. Pyles. Dates of the meetings are the second and fourth Thursday nights. A good time is had at every meeting.

The Fountain Valley Community Building at 114 N. Main Street was arranged by the lodges to be built and a building fund was set up for the construction of the building. It was built in 1953-54, and the lodges met there for many years. In 2003, it became the home of The Fountain Valley Historical Society and Museum.  Lodges involved included the Grange, Royal Neighbors, Rebekah Lodge, Odd Fellows, Modern Woodmen, Fountain Valley Extension and Lions Club. 
 Woodmen of the World

Fraternal insurance association Head Camp has $8,000,000 on interest. Fountain Camp No. 231: Arthur Wolf, Consul Commander; T. B. Pyles, Clerk.  An article in the Fountain Herald Aug 29, 1903 notes that Camp 231 was organized October 17, 1896 with 25 charter members.  The first officers were WB Lock, consul, Alvin Ames, banker, JD allen, AS Mills, ES Houghton, EH Kirk, DL Rhodes, Lee Christian, JA Clinger, CC Child, HL Williams, and NS Corbin.  Since its organization, three deaths have occurred: JA Reeves, Ed Houghton and I Eichel, with $6000 in death benefits paid out.  The camp now has 50 members, with present officers: HT Williams, Wm Riddoch, Gus King, JSA Martin, Alfred Williams, WB Lock, HG Haskins, Lee Christian, OS Neff, Jno. S. Mushat, NS Corbin, Fred Crabb and GS Thompson.  
Fern Circle, Women of Woodcraft

The 1903 Herald edition mentions that this organization formed six years ago as an insurance order for the protection of their dependents.  With 46 members, their banker held a neat sum of $70.  Officers were: Annie, QUick, Jessie Williams, Edna Crabb, Mayme Corbin, Lucy Eichel, Etta Rhinehart, Nora Hall, Faith Hughes, Margeret Cell, Armanda Kinder, John Muscat, Ella Reed and Rose Torbit. 

Neighbors of Woodcraft
Fern Circle, Neighbors of Woodcraft, was organized in 1897. For a number of years its membership has averaged 50 to 60 benefit members. It has always taken a prominent part in the social life of the community and is noted for the high standard of its entertainments. Financially, the circle is very successful, and being patriotic has its surplus money invested in Liberty Bonds and War Savings Certificates. The present officers are: Guardian Neighbor, Zoe Quick; Past Guardian Neighbor, Annie Quick; Adviser, May Farrand; Clerk, Etta Rhinehart; Banker, Rose G. Torbit; Magician, Margaret Cell; Attendant, Ella Reed; Captain of the Guards, Anna Riddoch; Musician, Lucy Eichel; Managers, Lottie Smith, Nell Eichel, Lizzie Collins,; Inner Sentinel, Lottie Wilson; Outer Sentinel, Sallie Wallace (1919).

John Aldridge, circa 1920, railroad telegrapher
Modern Woodmen of America
Fountain Camp No. 15592 was organized May 20, 1911, with 20 charter members. It now has 45 beneficial members. The officers for the present year (1919) are as follows: J.W. Sullivan, Consul; P.T. Wommack, Past Consul; W.B. Foster, Adviser; D.C, Colbert, Banker; W.A. Torbit, Clerk; J.O. Collins, Escort; Lee Roy Askey, Watchman; W.J. Munson, Sentry; W.A. Colbert, F.W, Prodoehl, J.O. Aldridge, Trustees; Dr. P.J. Hilgendorf, Camp Physician; Harry Torbit, Camp Deputy. Meetings are held Tuesday nights of each month.  The lodge meetings were held on the top floor of The Woodmen of the World building located at 102 N. Main Street and Ohio Ave.

The early information about the lodges was taken from The Commercial Club’s booklet published in 1919.

From a Fountain Herald article dated Mar 4, 1938 we learn that the Women’s Improvement Club house was wrecked, after 16 years of use.  This building was originally part of wooden school built in 1884-5, and when the brick school was built in 1903, the old wooden one was reused.  The building was moved to the west end of the bank (St. Joseph's Church) and used as an opera house and for the Congregational church for a time.  The church disbanded in 1921.

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