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The Knights of Pythias describes the Order of Knights of Pythias as being "an international, non-sectarian fraternal order, established in 1864 in Washington, DC, by Justus H. Rathbone and was the first fraternal order to be chartered by an Act of Congress." Domains of the Order exist in most states and provinces, and subordinate lodges are located in many cities and towns across the United States and Canada.
Preamble to Charter of the Knights of Pythias ~ Darrtown, Ohio
Paul L. "Pete" Jewell shared a lodge ledger that included the preamble that appears below and the list of lodge member names that appear in the slide show - below.
The header of the first page in the Darrtown K. of P. ledger (reproduced in the image below, left) includes a preamble regarding the "Signatures to Constitution."
The preamble reads as follows:
"Bonhomie Lodge No. 578
City of Darrtown State of Ohio
We, whose names are hereunto subscribed agree to yield obedience to the By-Laws of the Subordinate Lodge of which we may become members, and to abide by the Constitution, Laws,and Edicts of the Grand Lodge under which the same shall be holden, as they now are or may be hereafter legally amended."
BELOW: This excerpt from the 1932 diary of Mr. L.A.MIller confirms the date when the Darrtown K. of P. Lodge No. 578 was organized.
"January 30: This p.m., I went to Bethany [Ohio] to attend P. C. Convention, K of P. A good attendance. I met some old friends and some of my former scholars, when a teacher at Bethany, 1887 and 1888. I received the first and second degree, K of P, at Alexis 202, Bethany, Ohio, April 19, 1890. My third degree, May 24, 1890. Withdrew card from Alexis K of P Lodge, Bethany, Ohio. Organized Bonhomie 578; instituted May 13, 1892."
Names of lodge members are available
Thanks to Pete Jewell's willingness to share the K. of P. Lodge ledger, we are able to provide a list of those who became members of the lodge in its early days. The following slide show includes three pages of handwritten records and two pages of typed names. The handwriting varies, which suggests that, POSSIBLY, these are the actual signatures of the lodge members. The numerals on the list are the ages of the members. Question marks on the typed list indicate that the handwriting was illegible on the handwritten list.
Two items of note:
(1) The name "G. W. Owen" appears on line 5 of the typed list. In the original ledger, the name "Washington Owen" was entered and then crossed out. Both entries listed the individual as 27 years of age. It seems likely that "G. W. Owen" was actually "G. Washington Owen."
(2) The name "John Darr" appears on line 14. John "Johnnie" Darr was the last known descendant of the original Darr family to live in Darrtown.
The slide show plays automatically; however, you may control it by placing your cursor on the screen to pause or use the arrows at the either side to view slides at the left or right.
Darrtown Knights of Pythias Lodge No. 578 created in 1892
The 1900 U.S. Federal Census reports that L. A. MIller was born in 1862. When L.A. Miller signed his signature to the list of charter members of K. of P. Lodge No. 578, (see slide show below), he listed his age as 30. His birth year (1862) plus 30 years means he joined the lodge in 1892.
The 1880 U.S. Federal Census reports that George Kolb was born in 1866. When George Kolb signed his signature to the list of charter members of K. of P. Lodge No. 578, (see slide show below), he listed his age as 26. His birth year (1862) plus 26 years means he joined the lodge in 1892.
More confirmation of the 1892 founding...
Fillager Family Artifacts add to K of P Lodge History
While attending the April 21, 2012, Darrtown "Gathering," Harry and Susan Fillager contributed the following items, which relate to the history of the Darrtown K. of P. Lodge.
Time-worn envelope holds two historic Items
The envelope shown in the image at the right contained two items; a round K of P "badge" and the "lodge 578" ribbon. See images of both, below.
Instructions on the front of the Whitehead and Hoag Co. envelope offered this advice: "If you want to keep your badge in good order, keep it on the card board and in this envelope."
The condition of the two items that were found in the envelope suggests that the instructions for keeping the badge in "good order" were correct.
RIGHT: The metal-backed badge is approximately two inches in diameter.
FAR RIGHT: The ribbon is approximately seven inches long and two and one-half inches wide.
Darrtown K. of P. Lodge Stationery Found!
Kirk Mee III shared these examples of stationery used by the Darrtown K. of P. Lodge.
RIGHT: This is the "return address" that appeared on a K. of P. envelope.
BELOW: This is the letterhead that appeared at the top of a sheet of lodge stationery.
The former Knights of Pythias Hall ... located on East Street in Darrtown ... in the latter part of the 20th century ... after it had been used as the Medallion restaurant and then converted to living quarters.
the history of the Darrtown Stock Prevention Company includes this statement, "In 1908, after the K of P Hall was built, the meeting was held there..."
Hence, it seems logical to place the consruction of this building at or near the year 1908.