District No. 0460

The History the Elks Ladies of Prescott Lodge


The Elks Ladies of Prescott was recognized on the night of December 26, 1933, with fifty members signing the charter. The Ladies organized for the purpose of promoting better relations between Elks' families and to aid the men in any of their social and charitable projects.

Of course, as is only natural with a lodge that nationally does not have an auxiliary, our first meeting caused quite a stir among our brother Elks. We met and set on benches, and that humble beginning is hard to imagine now in our present spacious and beautiful quarters. The men showed much interest, and from time to time came down stairs to see if our meeting was over, and to find out just what we were up to. After the meeting, we went upstairs for doughnuts and coffee and dancing.

One of the first projects of the Ladies was a Christmas Party for all children of the Elks. It is amusing to note that our share of that first party was $12.50, the Elks Lodge assuming an equal portion. These Christmas Parties have grown so that the annual cost is ten times that amount, and now it is a question who derives the most pleasure from the parties, the grown-ups or kiddies. During the first year, many different money-raising projects were held, such as cooked food and rummage sales, card parties, etc. For the Arizona State Elks Association Hospital at Tucson, the first year thermos bottles and dresser covers were purchased, and in October of the year the pro ceeds of the Benefit Bridge, amounting to $60.00 was turned over to the Hospital.

In 1935, the Elks ladies of Prescott presented a check for $25.00 to the Elks at the Kingman Convention, for use at the Hospital. That year the Ladies made jellies and Christmas candies, which along with sheets and pillow cases were sent to the Hospital. At the Kingman Convention, the Elks discussed trying to carry the Hospital one more year, in spite of the growing sentiment for abandon ment of the project. To that date, it had been impossible to fulfill their contractual obligations, and even the most essential items of the operating costs were barely covered. An air of discouragement prevailed. The Ladies in Prescott learned of the difficulties and offered their services. The men, of course, were still pessimistic about women being able to do anything very worthwhile, and so the women set out to show just what they could do, as we all know women do not like to be told that they can't do things. In January of 1936, the Elks Ladies of Prescott voted to send Ruth Dise and George Born to Tucson to see Mr. Starkweather, and with his approval start out over the State to organize the Ladies Elks Hospital Parties, and the first year a check for $1,804.55 was presented at the Yuma Convention, $211.05 of this coming from Prescott. As an Amusing incident, in the 1936 January minutes, there was a motion to have a dinner at the hotel for the Incoming Officers of the Elks Ladies. In the discussion, it was mentioned to try to get the dinner for 50 cents a plate.

In 1937, the State-wide parties continued under the chairmanship of Ruth Dise and netted $3,400.00, which practically saved the Hospital, and assured the men that after all the women are able to "pull the chestnuts out of the fire." At the luncheon that year for the Elks Ladies, It was voted to elect a chairman each year from the Ladies throughout the State, and this procedure followed for the next few years.

Since the beginning, the Ladies have proven themselves a great help in assisting the Elks when they have a convention, whenever they have a public dance. The Elks Ladies Drill Team that was developed shortly before the 1937 convention in Prescott, has not only assisted the men in the check room at every dance, but has been a colorful part of the Annual Flag Day Services. The men have come to look to the Ladies for help in many ways, and the potluck suppers and other joint entertain ments have certainly made for better relationships between the Elks Ladies, their Brother Elks and the world about them, which is the symbol of the Clasped Hands in the very impressive ritual that has been such a beautiful part of the meetings of the Ladies in the past several years.

In addition to the mutual undertakings with the Elks Lodge, the Ladies alone have rendered valuable assistance to many community projects. Unhampered by restrictive by-laws or other regu lations, we have been able to act promptly in emergencies, where other organizations would be considered delayed. One such instance occurred during a scarlet fever and diphtheria epidemic when there was a urgent need for vaccines to be administered to the school children and the Elks Ladies immediately supplied the required funds. This was prior to the time when free State supplies were available.

During the depression years, we furnished milk for the school lunch program for needy children. Many pairs of glasses were paid for by the Elks Ladies for children with defective vision, when the school nurse certified the need and the parents were unable to pay the cost thereof. This continued until the local Kiwanis Club, conforming to a Nation-wide program, assumed the responsibility.

There are numerous cases of shoes bought for the needy children, supplying milk for six months to a family of three small children, etc... to mention a few.

In as much as our initiation fee of $2.00 pcr year, have always been intentionally low so as not to impose a financial burden on any of our members, we have had to resort to various fund raising projects, such as rummage sales, cooked food sales, bingo parties, card parties, etc... to carry on the aforementioned activities, and we proudly boast that we have done it all through our own efforts, without begging donations from merchants and others.

In our thirty (30) years of existence, the enthusiasm and interest of the members is as high as ever, and throughout the entire period, our meetings have always attracted a large audience.

Written by Mary Born Noyes in 1966, a Charter member of the Elks' Ladies and 1944 President


This program we have planned is just for fun. - Trusting there will be offense to none.
Our plans are that you shall hear, - Of the Elks Ladies' brave career.
It was in the year of thirty-three; - The men were really up a tree.
The Elks Lodge No. 330 in store, - No women allowed, just men galore.
The gals got together, and decided to see, - What they could do about a degree.
They had heard about so and so riding a goat, - Or someone else rocking the boat.
Then there was the knife and fork degree - which filled them with curiosity.
There wasn't a chair or table in sight - And a gavel, too, would help their plight
But they were determined as you can see - Using brange box crates and planks from a tree,
A dinner was planned for a social event. - Fifty cents was the limit to pay for all who went
They decided to take a poll - And get all eligible to sign the roll.
It was in October in '34, - They decided to open up the door.
Ruth Dise was crowned Sister Supreme; - Everything was peaches and cream.
The Mountain laurel was the flower bright, - The Uniforms were purple and white.
Ruth Dise on that special day, - Took the gavel and then made hay.
She felt a strong and zealous call - To create good fellowship for all.
The sisters held their breath with awe, - At the wonderous visions that she saw,
Not only dinners, dances and parties, too, - There were numerous charities that they could do.
It was in the year of '35, - Well established and much alive,
Blanche Carr took the gavel, - Working hard the flaws to unravel.
In '36 'twas Florence Cline; - After three years was next in line
Depression reigned; there was much unrest, - But Florence was in there riding the crest.
In '37 Georgie Born presided, - To organize "The Elks Hospital" she decided.
She traveled North, South, East, West - Giving her time and doing her best.
The presiding officer in '38 was Bonnie Connell. - About then Europe was overrun from hill and dell,
With Hitler's hordes and Eytes too, - There was nothing much that she could do .
In '39, 'twas Irene Young, she was grand, - With smiles and labors and willing hand
Her charties reached far and near; - She was busy all the year.
Irene Condit in 1940 served us well, - Our nation's fate was shaky and who could tell,
We were conscious of our Red, White and Blue, - For it, we warited to be true.
Now ladies, as I said before - '33 no women allowed, just men galore.
The time marches on, the changes are here - Ladies! Where is that men poor dear!
Anona Payne 1955

Our Order was started in '33 - And has been active as you can see.
It was all summed up in '55 - And showed how we worked to grow and thrive.
Now to pick up the thread and go on from there - And show how the gals still work and care.
We've made many changes, as time went by; - To improve and develop was our reason why.
Louise Strubee took over in '56 - And the Elks Ladies roomin the hospital was fixed.
An invitation was given to join the Doe's, - But the "yeas" were outnumbered by a majority of "no's".
In '57 Mary Molner was "boss", - And she continued to put our lessons across.
We helped the Chamber at Christmas time - By donating dolls that we dressed so sublime.
Dorthy McClymonds presided in '58; - And the new Drill Team uniforms really looked great.
Anniversary number 25 was celebrated. - We remodelled the kitchen, which was highly rated.
LYDIA Schemmer hetd the reins in '59, - We redecorated the Lodge rooms and they looked fine .
The hospital needed a Porta-Lift, - So we gave them one as an Elks Ladies' gift
The year 1960 gave us Allene Seale - Who extended herself with effort and zeal.
To our beloved country, we added two states; - Now our flag boasts 50 stars, not 48!
Aeta Cramer led us in '61. - Our membership grew, 'twas a year "well done".
In the interest of history, a scrapbook was started - Before those who knew it from our ranks departed.
We had Eleanor Bellgardt in the year '62 - With Drill Team uniforms so pretty and new.
Lodge room improvements were made with our aid; - And at the end of the year, all our bills were paid.
Erma Braito was President in '63, - We installed Jerome Ladies to be such as we.
We gave them a plaque and a gavel to use - With the hope that its powers, they wouldn't abuse.
Audie Mersereau was elected in '64 - Her husband gave us a podium, and more.
Our Constitution, Bylaws and Ritual we did revise - As we learned and we grew,becoming more wise.
It was Midge Malyjurek, in '65 - Who next took over to help us thrive.
Her mother was initiated, welcomed and seated. - Catherine Aldous made a banner, Audie's letters completed.
IN '66 Mary Knuth presided. - For the Drill Team, material for new uniforms was decided.
Our membership still was on the decline; - But everything else was 'doing fine.
In '67 Catherine Aldous took over, - Jerome Ladies reactivated and soon were in clover.
Five years perfect attendance was attained by three members, - And a lovely hanging was a gift from the Schemmer's.
Jean Tharp took the gavel in '68 - And when the Elks building sold. We awaited our fate.
Our Bylaws were amended; on July 4 we had a float; - We sent the Elks Hospital pajamas by vote
Hazel Swenson was next in line, - Taking over in '69.
The Drill Team got new Uniforms - the kitchen caught fire; - But hopes for our future kept getting higher.
In 1970, Margaret Croxdale held sway; - And the Apollo 13 astronauts got away.
Their walk on the moon, thought impossible, was won - Through the faith and persistence our own members have shown.
Jeanne Roth was installed in the year '71 - And a new life in our new Lodge was began.
The officers got sashes, the Drill Team new capes; - And we gave $3000 for the kitchen and drapes.
In '72 Pauline Gray was Supreme - Our Bylaws were amened to fit in our scheme.
The men's chimes were broken in the move, last May - So we bought them new ones, as that is our way.
'73 was Maxine Niethammer's year - To do all she could for the Order she held dear
One goal which was reached of the membership's wishes - Was cabinets built for the storage of our dishes.
In the years '37, '49 and '59, - Pictures were taken of our Drill Teams which were perfect, fine.
Our Past Presidents Club had them framed for presentation; - And President Nixion's resignation astounded our nation.
In '74, Laura Johnson was elected - As our next Supreme Sister and her officers selected.
Our number of initiates for years was bested - And $2000 for Certificates was invested.
In '75, Edie Collins held forth; - And there were new Drill Team Uniforms to prove our team's worth.
We bought the Lodge silver and half the coffee urn - As well as a hot water heater, to do a good turn.
IN '76, we were led by Mayry Payne. - Our Bylaws were amended, a goal to attain.
We saved enough coupons some silver to buy - And enjoyed a good year, with the months flying by.
Jerome Ladies were invited to attend our June meeting; - And ten of their members carne to receive our warm greeting.
In November, they reciprocated with an invitation to us, - And several of our members drove over by bus.
IN '77, Opal Mumaugh won the vote. - A cookbook was compiled of redipes of note.
As the Lodge's treasury was rather lean, - We gave them $300 towards the printing machine.
Our ladies room carpeting was one of our big events; - And we gave $100 for Christmas ornaments.
Older members were honored with a Golden Memories tea - And the loss of the Panama Canal was an event we did not foresee.
In '78, Laura Houston was next; - And we helped fill the planters when the men were perplexed.
We gave $100 for Christmas decorations - To make the Lodge attractive for our holiday celebrations.
Addie Merseau stepped in in 1979 - To keep things going until all was fine.
We gave dishwasher and installation money to the men - And $150 for Christmas decoration, again.
Then '80 rolled around - And Doris Conahay next was found.
Our rules and ritual we did revise - And officers workbooks were thought wise.
Our files and records were brought up-to-date - And our history, too, as this will relate .
Supplies for the Lodge were bought for their suppers - And aprons were made to cover our uppers.
We gave $200 to the ritualistic team - And a carpet sweeper to keep the lounge clean.
We gave $100 for Christmas decoration - To make the Lounge attractive and fill all with elation.
Our cherished ideals of love, Purity, and Truth - Now are represented by our flowers,' forsooth.
Lily of the Valley and violets, pink roses of beauty - Remind us of ideals which are our duty.
Our colors and goals remain ever the same, - Orchid and yellow our colors, true friendship our aim.
We worked for our Lodge and for our community, - Striving ever to aid and for our own peace and unity.
Our nation got a new Presidnet, in 1980 - And he was confronted with many problems weighty.
Our 52 hostages carne back horne - And they were welcomed with much aplomb.
Now as this is ended, covering the past 15 years. - Recording our growth,with its laughter and tears.
May the Elks Ladies Order continue to flourish and grow - Into an even larger "family" than the one we now know.
And a few years from now, may some Sister have decided - To up-date our history noting all who presided.
We've corne a long way, in the 37 years past - And we'll try, with God's help, to insure that we last.
Doris Conahay,P.P. January 1981
Marycatherine Colvin Past Elks Ladies President has been
gracious in sharing with us her Elks Ladies Memories Book.
Here are pdf versions of items in her book.

Acceptance Speech by Marycatherine.pdf
Arizona Elks Bring Herd of Elk to Arizona.pdf
Elks Ladies Business Meeting Agenda.pdf
Elks Ladies St.Valentine's DinnerDance and Thank You Card.pdf
Elks Ladies Telephone Committee.pdf
Elks National Youth Week Program May 2006.pdf
Fashions for the Arizona Woman - Program.pdf
Flag Day Program June 2006.pdf
History of the Elk-Horn Chair.pdf
History of the Elks Ladies of Prescott.pdf
In Memory of Tom Hoyt PER.pdf
Installation of Officers 2006 - Program.pdf
Installation of Elks Ladies Officers.pdf
Monthly Message from Elks Ladies President April 2006.pdf
Monthly Message from Elks Ladies President December 2005.pdf
Monthly Message from Elks Ladies President February 2006.pdf
Monthly Message from Elks Ladies President January 2006.pdf
Monthly Message from Elks Ladies President July 2006.pdf
Monthly Message from Elks Ladies President June 2006.pdf
Monthly Message from Elks Ladies President March 2006.pdf
Monthly Message from Elks Ladies President May 2006.pdf
Newspaper Article - First Female Elks Exalted Ruler.pdf
Newspaper Article - Oldest Elks Lodge in Arizona - July 2006.pdf
Photos of Elks Ladies Luau Dinner/Dance in 2006
Prescott Elks Ladies General Information.pdf
Raffle of Painting by David Van Gorder.pdf
Report of Sunshine and Sickness Chairman.pdf
Thank You Card & Gift from the Elks Ladies.pdf
Thank you letter from AZ Elks Major Projects.pdf
What the Elks Ladies Due for the Lodge.pdf
Why we Don't Walk between the Exalted Rulers Station and the Alter.pdf

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