Odd Fellows Organize, 1899

From the November 17, 1899 Skidmore Standard:

A Triple Link Lodge.
J. W. Bryant, District Deputy of the I. O. O. F., was in town Wednesday, arranging for the organization of a lodge at this place. He secured a number of pledges for a charter membership in the proposed lodge and a petition for a charter was started. Members of the order and those desiring to become charter members are requested to give their names to Arch Hitchcock, Dr. J. E. Pierpoint or John Gray.


The Odd Fellows society is one of the best fraternal organizations in existence and there is no reason why a strong lodge can not be built up in Skidmore. The only surprise to us is that it has not been done before. The field is a good one and there is plenty of good timber to build up one of the strongest lodges in the county.

There was nothing odd about it – Skidmore was growing, as were a number of organizations designed to engage the citizens of the town. The Odd Fellows officially organized, as reported in the December 22, 1899 Skidmore Standard, page 1:

A Triple Link Lodge Organized.
Skidmore Lodge No. 586 of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows was oranized Wednesday evening by special deputy J. H. Bryant assisted by W. L. Holt, J. T. Schroyer, F. E. Detz, A. Johnson, William DeNeen and W. S. Wiley, representing the Grand Lodge. After the dispensation authorizing the organization was read the following charter members were elected to membership:


John Gray, Dr. J. E. Pierpoint, J. C. Dunkle, A. F. Hitchcock, G. S. Porter, A. S. J. Smith, T. E. Haynes, James Parrish, Frank O’Neal, John Orton, E. D. French, G. L. Murray, Lee Chadduck, Geo. Stoolfer, Samuel Laughlin, Robert Barrett, Clyde Barrett, C. W. Barrett, J. W. Privett, Walter Sandifer, J. R. Bagby, G. E. Porter, James M. French, W. T. Bohannan, Lewis Miller, G. R. Davis, G. W. Kretlow, James F. Cook, E. C. Dawson, and C. E. Owens.


The election of officers resulted as follows:
Arch F. Hitchcock, N. G.
Dr. J. E. Pierpoint, V. G.
E. D. French, Secretary.
G. S. Porter, Treasurer.
W. M. Howden, Conductor.
Samuel Laughlin, O. G.
C. E. Owens, I. G.
S. C. Dunkle, R. S. N. G.
Lee Chadduck, L. S. N. G.
W. T. Bohannan, R. S. V. G.
G. R. Davis, L. S. V. G.
G. E. Porter, R. S. S.
Clyde Barrett, L. S. S.
J. R. Bagby, Caplain.


The night session was devoted to illustrating the floor work of the different degrees. Maitland, Quitman and Mound City teams gave the initiatory. Then Quitman team conferred the first, second and third degrees.  This work was witnessed by about 250 members of the brotherhood. The work closed at 4 o’clock a.m., after which a fraternal “love feast” was held in which several good speeches were made.  The lodge is to meet on Tuesday evening of each week. The place of meeting has not been selected but a committee was appointed to secure a suitable hall for lodge room use.



Skidmore was overrun by Odd Fellows Wednesday night. The town was full; but there were about thirty new ones made during the night.  There were about 230 triple link visitors present.  The night was next to the longest in the year but it was the shortest, so far as sleep is concerned, with the ‘chain gang.’  About one hundred visitors came in on the evening passenger. When all had left the coaches and the train pulled out for Quitman there were not enough passengers aboard to keep conductor Clark company.


The new lodge starts off with a fine membership. They are all good fellows.  Charlie Crane, a barber in Mound City was the biggest Odd Fellow in the gang! He weighs 375 pounds and our “Fatty” Mitchell looks like a baby beside him. They say his wife is an extra large lady, weighing 310 pounds.


J. W. Bryant, editor of the Post, and G. W. Sayler of the Junction were two of the Odd Fellows who called at the Standard office. They are both very pleasant gentlemen.