District No. 7240

The History of Okmulgee Elks Lodge 1822

The Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks became a part of Okmulgee Ok. on October 27, 1908, when Lodge # 1136 was instituted. Although we don't have much information of Lodge # 1136, it existed until April 13, 1940, when its charter was surrendered. No one is really sure why the charter was surrendered. The Grand Lodge, however, stated that there were a group of members who were actively pursuing a new charter for Okmulgee for the 10 years between lodges. This was the reason we were granted our 100 year status in 2008 by the Grand Lodge.
Lodge #1822 was instituted June 30, 1950, and Robert E. Ishmael was Exalted Ruler. Dick Bailey, the only charter officer still living today, was Chaplin at the time this Charter was granted.
The original Lodge #1822 was located on the second floor of the Cloon Building, at 5th and Grand in downtown Okmulgee when instituted. On June 29, 1962, Lodge 1822 purchased the Charles Wilson Home at 701 S. Mission Rd. in Okmulgee and moved there.
The building of the Charles Wilson Home was started in 1923 and completed in 1925, at a cost of $150,000. Mr. Wilson, an oil producer and cattleman, for some unknown reason, shot himself in one of the out buildings in 1931. We do not know how long the family lived here after that. It is said that Mr. Wilson still visits us from time to time.
Many changes have taken place over the years. Early on, the Lodge meetings and dances were in the ballroom of the third floor. Our club-room then was on the second floor, and at one time, was located in what is now our pool room.
In 1966 construction was started on what is now our kitchen and dining room area. The Lodge meeting hall, which is now known as Ivey Hall, was constructed about 1972, and our club-room addition was constructed shortly thereafter.
In 1998, member Frank Kubicek, while working under the building, found a box containing a full set of Lodge Jewels. These were most likely the first set of Jewels purchased by Lodge #1136. By whom and when this box was hidden under this Lodge building is still a mystery. Trying to do the right thing, Frank returned them to Grand Lodge. The Grand Secretary returned them to us for display. The Jewels and a letter from Grand Lodge are now on display in Ivey Hall.
Okmulgee Lodge 1822 has a very strong Ladies Auxiliary. The first Auxiliary President was Ann Hyer in 1951. Our auxiliary has always been just exactly what the word auxiliary means, a helping hand. Our Ladies Auxiliary has saved us countless times with their support and hard work.
Several members have served as District Deputy Grand Exalted Ruler over the years: Floyd Hyer, who was also Special Deputy, James "Buddy" Dennis, Ollie Erdberg, Bill Heady, Marvin Sears, Ed Gregorio and Earl Dale Sibert Jr. We have now had two state presidents from Okmulgee. Our first was Bill Heady in 1989. Our second was Ed Gregorio, in 2011.

As told by,
Marvin E. Sears
Past Exalted Ruler

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