Washington, MO 1559

Lodge 1559 History

It was on June 30, 1929 that lodge number 1559 of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks was organized and instituted in Washington, Missouri. Through the efforts of John J. Ernst, J. Harry Dickbrader and John C. Jacobs a class of fifty new members was initiated, who together with fifteen Elks who transferred from their former lodges made up a total of sixty-five charter members. The first regular meeting was held in the Odd Fellows Hall located on Main Street with John J. Ernst presiding as the first Exalted Ruler. It was here that the first initiation of new members by Lodge 1559 was held. This event, in October of 1929, was the first of many to follow which would eventually make the Elks Lodge in Washington, Missouri the largest in the state. Two years later, on March 10, 1931, the Lodge moved from the Odd Fellows Hall to the new Masonic Temple just completed at 109 Lafayette Street. Increasing membership made it necessary to acquire more spacious quarters. Yet this move too, was only temporary, since within another year the Lodge would acquire its own building and establish a permanent location with adequate facilities to accommodate its accelerating growth: On August 4, 1932, the members voted to incorporate as an Elks Club and to issue shares in the amount of $50.00 each to finance the purchase and renovation of the former Turner's Hall which was located on the south-west corner of Third and Jefferson streets. Over $5,500.00 was raised at the time of incorporation and it was immediately voted to buy the Turner Hall for $5,000.00. On November 22, 1932, Exalted Ruler Louis J. Mintrop appointed a committee to form the Elks Club and Building Association. In the future this club would be responsible for the administration of the property and facilities of the Lodge. The first Lodge meeting in the permanent quarters was held on December 20, 1932 with 114 members listed on the membership roster.