District No. 8360


In Nov., 2002, the Cumberland County Elks celebrated their start some 14 years ago. Paul Schlencher is an Honorary Life Member from Findlay, OH, and is the sole remaining member of the Cumberland Cty. Organization Committee. In the mid 1980’s with more and more Elk members moving to this area, they soon discovered that the closest Elks Lodge was 30 to 40 miles away in Cookeville or Oak Ridge, TN. In 1988 Richard Baker and wife Peg invited those interested in starting an Elks Lodge to visit their home for a meeting. An Organizational Committee was elected with Dick Baker as Chairman, Paul Schlencher, Secy.; Al Banghart, Treas. In the beginning, meetings were held in the meeting room of the Art Circle Public Library. By May, 1989, 40 applicants had responded favorably, and in 1989 the local VFW offered the use of their bldg. for our meetings. By August of 1989 the necessary goal of 100 applicants had been achieved. On Oct. 8, 1989, the institutional ceremonies were held at the Cumberland Cty. High School auditorium. Grand Lodge officers headed by PGER Honorable Ted Callicott of Paris, TN performed the institutional ceremonies, designating the new Lodge as Cumberland County, TN Elks Lodge #2751. Initiation ceremonies followed and the new officers were Robert S. Rogge, ER, William Ellsworth, Leading Knight; William Jewel, Loyal Knight; Ronald McDonald; Lecturing Knight; E.H. Christianson, Secy.; Al Ganghart, Treas.; Richard Burris, Tiler; W.T. Martin, Esq., Robert Greenwood, Inner Guard; Robert H. Van Allen, Chaplain; Chester E. Brown, Trustee; John E. McNulty, Trustee; James E. Decker, Trustee. Richard Burris would go on to be Exalted Ruler and later the first Grand Lodge officer as a Dist. Deputy. The Lodge has grown from an oridinary machine shop (building wise) into the beautiful bldg. of the present. There are 22 charter members who are still “active” in the Lodge; 78 of the original 100 have gone to the “Great Beyond.”

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