Brown County, Minnesota


  Secret, Fraternal and Social Organizations

Brown County has numerous lodges of the different orders, and where it has been possible to secure sufficient data to publish a brief history of such lodge or society in this work it has been done. The number of semi-secret beneficiary companies or societies is almost legion, hence all are not given, but the principal ones are found in this work, as representing the numerous orders within the county.

Ancient Free and Accepted Masons
Charity Lodge No. 98, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons, at New Ulm, was organized on February 3, 1873, by Thomas Montgomery, grand deputy. The charter members were Albert Marden, Henry A. Subilia, Sr., Charles Brust, James M. Thompson, Joseph B. Reynolds, Martin Penning, Jacob P. Current, Frank Shaubut, Charles Berry, John B. Velikanji.

The last report to the grand lodge shows the lodge to now have a total membership of one hundred and twenty nine. The present Masonic block was constructed in 1890 at a cost of five thousand dollars, it is a fine, three-story structure of brick.

The first elective Officers of this lodge were as follow: Albert Marden, worshipful master; Henry A. Subilia, senior warden; Frank Shaubut, junior warden; John M. Broome, secretary; Charles Brust, treasurer; James M. Thompson, senior deacon; Charles Berry, junior deacon; John B. Valikanji, tyler.

The 1916 elective officers are: William F. Meile, worshipful master; C. W. Miller, senior warden; H. G. Bingham, junior warden; A. W. Bingham, treasurer; G. Schmidt, secretary; H. W. Rieke, senior deacon; T. J. Snilsberg, junior deacon; E. F. Wheeler, chaplain; J. Fremont Schmidt, senior steward; William F. Wendt, junior steward; Julius Berndt, tyler.

New Ulm Chapter No. 57
New Ulm Chapter No. 57, Royal Arch Masons, at New Ulm, was organized in 1892 by the grand chapter of Minnesota. These were its charter members: Albert Marden, John C. Toberer, C. W. H. Heideman, John Larson, L. A. Fritsche, Theodore Crone, Jr., O. C. Strickler, O. M. Olsen, Charles Hauenstein, Charles Silverson, S. D. Peterson, C. A. Hagberg.

The present total membership of the chapter is ninety. Excellent work is being accomplished by the order. The lodge room is in the Masonic block.

The original elective officers were: Joseph A. Eckstein, eminent high priest; O. C. Strickler, king; J. F. Crowell, scribe; C. A. Hagberg, treasurer; John Larson, secretary; O. M. Olsen, captain of host; C. W. Heidman, principal sojourner; L. A. Fritsche, royal arch captain; Theodore Crone, master third veil; Charles Silverson, mas ter second veil; Charles Brust, master first veil; Charles Hauenstein, sentinel.

The present (1916) officers are: George L. Schmidt, high priest; E. A. Stoll, king; T. J. Snilsberg, scribe; F. H. Behnke, treasurer; G. Schmidt, secretary; A. H. Stork, captain of host; W. B. McClure, royal arch captain; A. N. Vogel, master third veil; Edward Hoffman, master second veil; Paul Lehman, master first veil; Jacob Klossner, sentinel.

De Molay Commandery No. 26
De Molay Commandery No. 26, Knights Templar, at New Ulm, was organized on March 6, 1901, by Sir Knight S. S. Kilvington, grand captain general, and was constituted by order of Right Eminent Grand Commander J. W. Chamberlain, grand commander of Knights Templar of Minnesota, June 26, 1901. The charter members were as follow:

Joseph Bobleter
W. F. Borden
T. C. Collins
Theodore Crone
Clinton Ellsworth
O. W. Hagen
G. W. Hiles
T. R. Hughes
George Knudson
Albert Marden
O. M. Olsen
R. M. Priest
W. H. Rowe
J. C. Rothenburg
W. A. Smith
G. W. Somerville
H. R. Soote
O. C. Strickler
J. J. Thornton
Thomas Torson
S. G. Updyke
J. W. B. Wellcome
W. T. DeWolf
A. E. Woodruff

At the meeting when the Commandery was constituted, the excellent grand prelate pronounced the words of consecration as follow: "To the most eminent and worthy patron, St. John the Almoner, I do now solemnly dedicate this Commandery, by the name and title of De Molay Commandery No. 26, Knights Templar, and may the God of all grace abundantly bless it and all its members. May each so redeem his time, that he may receive the joyful invitation, 'enter thou into the joy of the Lord.' "

The  of the Commandery were elected on , and were these:

First Officers, June 26, 1901 Present Officers, 1916
Joseph Bobleter, eminent commander
O. M. Olsen, generalissimo
O. C. Strickler, captain general
G. B. Weiser, senior warden
E. T. Critchett, junior warden
Rev. S. G. Updyke. prelate
F. H. Behnke, treasurer
Albert Marden, recorder
W. R. Hodges, standard bearer
N. Henningsen, sword bearer
H. L. Beecher, warder
George Marti, sentinel
Herman Held, eminent commander
A. G. Meile, generalissimo
J. F. Armstrong, captain general
Emil Mueller, senior warden
A. H. Stork, junior warden
Rev. Christian Hohn, prelate
F. H. Behnke, treasurer
Albert Marden, recorder
Jacob Klossner, standard bearer
F. R. Emmings, sword bearer
J. F. Garrow, warder
George Marti, sentinel

The past commanders have been: Joseph Bobleter, O. M. Olsen, O. C. Strickler, G. B. Wieser, E. T. Critchett, H. N. Somsen, A. W. Bingham, H. L. Beecher, Paul Lehmann, J. H. Siegel, N. Henningsen, E. F. Wheeler, E. G. Hage.

The total membership in April, 1916, was eighty-five.

Orient Chapter No. 60
Orient Chapter No. 60, Order of the Eastern Star, at New Ulm, was organized on June 15, 1893, by Mrs. Joseph Eckstein. The charter members were:

Mrs. Maude Crowell
Mrs. Maggie A. Henningsen
Mrs. Lizzie Velikanji
Mrs. Lucy Behnke
Mrs. Caroline Blanchard
Mrs. Amelia Fritsche
Mrs. Sophia Klossner
Mrs. Adeliah Marden
Mrs. Belle Scott
Miss Emma Hummel
Mrs. Annie Eckstein
Emil Mueller
J. F. Crowell
Jacob Klossner, Jr.
N. Henningensen
L. A. Fritsche
Alex. Scott
Joseph A. Eckstein
A. Marden*

* Honorary member of Virginia chapter.

The first elective Officers and present Officers

June 15, 1893 Officers 1916  Officers
Mrs. Maude Crowell, Worthy matron
Albert Marden, Worthy patron
Mrs. Lucy Behnke, Associate matron
Amelit Fritsche, Secretary
Annie Eckstein, Treasurer
Mrs. Caroline Blanchard, Conductress
Mrs. Maggie A. Heningsen, Associate conductress
Mrs. Olga Bingham, worthy matron;
Dr. C. W. Miller, worthy patron;
Miss Vera Strickler, associate matron;
Miss Eunice Starr, secretary;
Mrs. Luella Mueller, treasurer;
Mrs. Marjorie Minium, conductress;
Mrs. Emma Emmings, associate conductress.

The chapter now has a total membership of one hundred and twenty-five.

Keystone Lodge No. 94
Keystone Lodge No. 94, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons, at Sleepy Eye, Minnesota, was organized on January 10, 1872, by John Moore, James W. Cordell and John Newman. The elective Officers in 1916 are: W'. F. Round, worshipful master; J. R. Hollister, senior warden; H. P. Peterson, junior warden; F. E. Palmer, treasurer; C. J. Hansen, secretary. The lodge has a total membership of ninety-one. Early in the seventies a hall was erected for lodge purposes, the same costing twenty-five thousand dollars.

Albert Chapter No. 31
Albert Chapter No. 31, Royal Arch Masons, at Sleepy Eye, was instituted on October 12, 1875, and now has a membership of fifty-eight. The organizers of this chapter were: John Moore, J. W. B. Wellcome and J. W. Thompson. The 1916 officers are: G. J. T. Davey, Frank W. Meyer, F. P. James, W. F. Rounds, L. C. Hansen, H. P. Petersen, F. E. Palmer and C. J. Hansen.

Zenith Lodge No 200
The Ancient Free and Accepted Masonic Lodge No. 200, known as Zenith, was organized at Springfield, Minnesota, January 14, 1892. Its charter membership consisted of J. C. Rothenburg, John B. Schmid, Isaac F. Fletcher, M. Flaig, George Leatherman, Eugene Leatherman, Henry Von Volkenberg, Dailel J. Sheffield and Milton S. Allen. The present total membership is one hundred and three. The first elective officers in this lodge were as follow: J. C. Rothenburg, worshipful master; J. B. Schmid, senior warden; Isaac F. Fletcher, junior warden.

The officers in the spring of 1916 are: E. L. Nippolt, worshipful master; E. Adolphson, senior warden; August G. Erickson, junior warden; P. W. Kuske, senior deacon; Elton G. Blackmun, junior deacon; J. S. Watson, secretary; C. H. Asch, treasurer.

In 1900 the lodge built a hall of brick and stone, two stories high, with all modern conveniences. The order occupies all of the second floor. It is provided with all that is modern, including ante rooms, banquet hall and kitchen.

Ionic Chapter No. 84
Ionic Chapter NO. 84, Order of the Eastern Star, has a total membership of one hundred and fifty-one. The present officers of this auxiliary to the Masonic lodge at Spring field are: Mrs. Susan Dickerson, worthy matron; Albert C. Blue, worthy patron; Mrs. Emma Mowry, associate matron; Elton G. Blackmun, secretary; Oscar Erickson, treasurer; Mrs. Eliza Stuart, conductress; Miss Ora Dickson, associate conductress.

McKinley Chapter, Royal Arch Masons
McKinley Chapter No. 69, Royal Arch Masons, at Springfield, was organized on July 8, 1902. It was constituted by John Fishel, grand high priest, December 5, 1903, and a charter was issued on October 13, 1903. The charter members were as follow: J. C. Rothenburg, H. R. Soot, A. Frederickson, John B. Schmid, Ernest Altermatt, Michael Flaig, J. Westinghouse, William Kraling, J. S. Shrader, M. J. Falig. John R. Schmid, Oscar M. Bean, George T. Olsen, Lyman Parsons, Frank H. Specht, John Schmelz, W. M. Blackmun, C. A. Hintz.

The chapter has a membership of fifty-six. The present elective officers are: N. E. Nelson, high priest; W. F. Runck, king; J. S. Watson, scribe; P. W. Kuske, captain of host; E. L. Nippolt, principal sojourner; C. H. Asch, royal arch captain; John R. Schmid, secretary; Oscar Erickson, treasurer.

The high priests have been: J. C. Rothenburg, A. Frederickson, Michael Flaig, Ernest Altermatt, J. S. Shrader, John R. Schmid.

Independent Order of Odd Fellows
New Ulm Lodge No. 53, Independent Order of Odd Fellows, was organized on March 7, 1876. The first meeting was held in the rooms over Doctor Weschke's drug store. The first officers were as follow: Oscar Hanft, noble grand; A. H. Schleuder, vice-grand; Andrew Peterson, secretary; F. W. Baarsch, treasurer. The hall occupied by this lodge was destroyed by the cyclone of 1881, after which for a time the meetings of the lodge were held in a room over Crone's dry goods store. It had a membership of thirty-nine in 1882. Its membership at the present date (1916) is fourteen. The finances of the lodge are in good condition.

New Ulm Encampment No. 18
New Ulm Encampment No. 18, Independent Order of Odd Fellows, was instituted on November 17, 1879, with thirteen members. The first elective Officers were as follow: A. H. Schleuder, chief patriarch; S. Lowenthal, high priest; Ole Johnson, senior warden; X. Rosskopf, junior warden; F. W. Baasch, treasurer; Peter Manderfeld, scribe.

Sleepy Eye Lake Lodge No. 83
Sleepy Eye Lake Lodge No. 83, Independent Order of Odd Fellows, located at Sleepy Eye, was organized on October 21, 1881, by J. Newsalt, with charter members as follow: Francis Ibbeson, L. W. Douseman, Michael Fohl, Frank Burginger, Samuel Billig, August Schwertieger. It now enjoys a membership of ninety-two and owns its own hall building, a two-story structure and is entirely out of debt. It has always been a highly progressive, active organization, and has been a source of unalloyed pleasure to its members and has done vast good in the community. Besides owning its own property it has fine fixtures and furniture. Its assets now amount to over five thousand dollars. It has ever been very liberal in expenditures for benevolent purposes.

The first officers of this lodge were: Francis Ibbeson, noble grand; Samuel Billig, vice-grand; Michael Fohl, secretary; Frank Burginger, treasurer. The elective officers at present (1916) are: Lawrence Schultz, noble grand; Charles Anderson, vice-grand; Henry Hummel, secretary; W. W. Smith, treasurer.

Modern Woodmen of America
Monitor Camp No. 200, Modern Woodmen of America, was organized at Springfield in 1892. It has a membership at present of sixty-one. Its officers in the spring of 1916 were: B. F. Mowrey, consul; H. M. Leimn, advisor; William Kraling, banker; J. S. Watson, clerk; A. Nieumann, escort; A. Wandsee, watchman; Harry Olson, secretary.

Comfrey Camp No. 7306
Camp No. 7306, Modern Woodmen of America, at Comfrey, was organized in 1908 by Thomas Nelson. It now has a membership of fifty-seven. Its officers in the spring of 1916 were as follow: W. B. Brooks, venerable consul; Thomas Englof, worthy advisor; G. W. Shafer, clerk; C. W. Miller, escort; E. C. Meltser, banker.

Royal Oak Camp No. 2239
The ladies' auxiliary is Royal Oak Camp No. 2239, Royal Neighbors of America, consisting of twenty-one beneficiary and seven social members. Officers: Past oracle, Mrs. Mae Cady; oracle, Mrs. Minnie Melster; inner sentinel, Mrs. Freda Arndt; vice-oracle, Mrs. Anna Hickle; outer sentinel, Mrs. Mary Adams; recorder, Mrs. Blanche Wallin; receiver, Miss Alice Linde; marshal, Miss Delia Holm.

Hanska Camp No. 3437
Hanska Camp No. 3437, Modern Woodmen of America, was organized in 1889 and now has a membership of fifty. There is also a camp of Modern Woodmen of America located at the city of Springfield.

Modern Brotherhood of America
Hanska Lodge No. 319, Modern Brotherhood of America, at Hanska, was organized in 1898. It now has a membership of fifty.

Grand Army of the Republic
Hecker Post No. 48, Grand Army of the Republic, at New Ulm, was organized in the eighties and has been a strong post, but with the passing of years many have answered the last roll-call, until today (May, 1916), there are only twenty-four survivors Of the Civil War belonging to this post. They have rooms at the new Armory building. The present Officers are as follow: Jacob Klossner, commander; B. Marschner, vice-commander; Fred Grebbe, junior vice-commander; John Lauden, adjutant.

Ancient Order of United Workmen
Comfrey Lodge No. 265, Ancient Order of United Workmen, was organized at Comfrey in 1900 and now has a membership of nineteen. Its present elective Officers are: Joseph Shoemaker, master workman; Axtel Stark, receiver; Emil Erickson, foreman; E. Samuelson, recorder.

In conjunction with this lodge is the Daughters of Honor, the ladies' auxiliary society, formed in 1902 and chartered as No. 193. It has twelve members, all beneficiary members. Officers are: Past chief of honor, Lottie Schoedle; chief of honor, Mary Showens; lady of honor, Amy Stark; chief of ceremonies, Alex Stark; recorder and financier, Mary Samuelson; receiver, Emil Samuelson; usher, Edna Schwenger; inside watch, Lilly Gegner; outside watch, Elizabeth Renner.

Springfield also has a good lodge of this fraternity.

Knights of Columbus
The only council of this order in Brown County at this date is St. Patrick Council No. 1076, organized at New Ulm on June 28, 1906, by John H. Nightengale. The first elective officers were: Robert J. O'Donnell, grand knight; Andrew J. Eckstein, deputy grand knight; J. J. Moriarity, chancellor; John L. Cuddy, financial secretary; William A. Pfefferle, recorder; John E. Bobleter, warden; Dr. John P. Graff, treasurer; Edward Bayley, lecturer; John Schneider, W. Eibner, P. R. McHole, trustees; W. F. Eckstein, advocate; John Schaeffer, inside guard; William J. Julius, outside guard; Reverend Anthony, chaplain. In May, 1916, the officers of this council were as follow: Henry J. Berg, grand knight, John J. Loudon, deputy grand knight; Rev. Robert Sclinkert, chaplain; O. J. Seifert, chancellor; Edward J. Berg, financial secretary; Carl P. Manderfeld, recorder; Albert L. Gag, warden; Robert Fensenmaier, treasurer; W. H. Dempsey, advocate; George Fensenmaier, lecturer; William A. Pfefferle, John Brey and Carl P. Eckstein, trustees; Dr. O. J. Seifert, in side guard; Jacob Potts, outside guard.

  Brown County |Minnesota AHGP 

Source: History of Brown County, Minnesota, L. A. Fritsche, M.D., Editor, Volume I, 1916.


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