History of Sioux City, IA (Part 4 Civic and other Societies)
From: History of the Counties of Woodbury and Plymouth, Iowa
A Warner & Co., Publishers
Chicago Illinois, 1890-91


RIGHTLY interpreted, secret organizations are as beneficent as they are authoritative. The Masonic order, ancient and honorable, rests on the foundation of broad human sympathy. Its objects are by precept and practice to foster virtue, to inculcate charity, to bind the members together in enduring bonds of brotherly love. It is, in short, a professor and teacher of every moral and social virtue.

What is true of Masonry is equally true of other civic orders, of more recent origin. These societies are all based on deeply laid hopes, aspirations and affections of men. If this were not true they never could have come down through the long period covering their existence, adapting themselves to society, evolving and developing with the lapse of time and working in line with the higher attainments of cultured and civilized life.

Masonry. - The earliest meeting of Masons of which any record can be found, was held March 25, 1857, in a log building on Pearl street, near the corner of Third. This meeting was held under dispensation granted, for the purpose of forming a lodge, and this purpose was carried out at this time by the organization of Sioux City Lodge, No. 103, now known as Landmark lodge. The following brethren were present and filled the offices indicated: E. K. Robinson, W. M.; John J. Saville, S. W.; A. W. White, J. W.; A. C. Sheets, S. D.; E. B. Wilson, J. D.; George Avery, sec., Dr. F. Wixson, treas. At this meeting Messrs. Matthew Saville and James B. Curry, both of Indiana, applied for membership under demit, and were accepted, it having been resolved, that any demitted Mason should be admitted to membership.

The second meeting occurred on April 8, at which time the stated meetings were fixed on the Wednesday in, or next preceding, the full moon. At this meeting one application for initiation was received. At the meeting of May 6, A: M. Hunt acted as W. M. At a special meeting on May 13, the applicant of April 8, was initiated. The next meeting shown on the records occurred July 15, at which the charter election took place, the following persons being chosen: A. M. Hunt, W. M.; E. K. Robinson, S. W.; A. W. White, J. W.; George Avery, sec.; John K. Cook, treas.; A. C. Sheets, S. D.; F. Wixson, J. D.; tier, no choice. These officers were installed in due and ancient form by L. D. Palmer, of Muscatine, Iowa, who had been deputized by the Grand lodge for that purpose. At this meeting ten persons applied for membership and were each duly elected.

On August 5, a committee was appointed to secure a suitable room for the meetings of the lodge. The records do not show any action in this direction, but it is known that the lodge removed during the autumn to a building just completed, on the east side of Douglas street, between Sixth and Seventh. This building is now the property of Judge Pendleton and occupied as a dwelling.

Tyrian Lodge, No. 508, A. F. & A. M, was instituted March 12, 1890, by sixty one members. The first elective officers were C. Q. Hopper, W. M.; J. C. Dunlavey, S. W.; A. B. Walker, J. W.; E. Morley, treas.; L. A. Altona, sec. The present officers are: J. Q. Hopper, W. M.; J. C. Dunlavey, S. W.; A. B. Walker, J. W.; W D. Irvine, treas.; L. A. Altona, sec. The lodge now numbers sixty six members and is the last lodge instituted at Sioux City.

Sioux City Chapter, No. 26, Royal Arch Masons, was instituted April 9, 1860, by nine charter members. The first elective officers were L. D. Parmer, H. P.; Robert Means, king; C. K. Smith, scribe; J. H. Charles, treas.; C. B. Rustin, sec. The present membership of the chapter is 117. The present officers are W. D. Irvine, H. P.; C. C. Wales, king; E. Jenkinson, scribe; E. Morley, treas.; L. A. Altona, sec.

Columbian Commandery of Knights Templar, No. 18, was instituted December 18, 1869, with ten charter members and the following officers: Sir Kt. R. T. Bower, E. C.; Sir Kt. William Relan, G.; Sir Kt. C. D. Rollin, P.; Sir Kt. William H. Johnson, R.; Sir Kt. L. D. Parmer, S. W.; Sir Kt. J. H. Bird, J. W.; Sir Kt. W. G. Swan, W.; Sir Kt. W. Wingett, S. B.; Sir Kt. E. V. Derrickson, C. G. The commandery is now in a fair condition, and has for its elective officers Sir Kt. J. W. Martin, E. C.; Sir Kt. A. L. Beach, G.; Sir Kt. C. C. Wales, C. G.; Sir Kt. C. H. Strickland, P.; Sir Kt. G. S. Thompson, T.; Sir Kt. J. R. Jordan, rec.

Knights of Pythias. - This flourishing order which is now attracting the attention of the better class of young men throughout the country, was first represented at Sioux City by the institution of what is known as Columbia Lodge, No. 13, April 8, 1872. The charter members included the following: P. P. Royce, George W. Kingsnorth, Frank Moulten, J. B. Crawford, Charles Wise, J. R. Brink, J. F. Smith, D. A. Magee, C. D. Woodley, L. M. Rodgers, Charles Gunderberg and W. N. Bradley. The charter was granted in July, 1872, and good work followed, but the lodge finally went down. It was reorganized in December, 1875. They removed to the new hall January 1, 1883. On January 9, 1885, the hall and all its contents were destroyed by fire, including the record books. The building was rebuilt and leased by the K. of P. in October, the same year. The present membership of the lodge is 130.

The Grand Lodge met at Sioux City in October, 1884.

Scanda Lodge, No. 234, K. of P., was organized in June, 1889, with fifty six members, Special Deputy Grand Chancellor A. Fellner officiating. The first officers were A. Halseth, P. C.; John H. Swanson, C. C.; C. M. Anderson, V. C.; William Williams, prelate; John N. Murphy, K. of R. and S.; C. J. Stransberg, M. of F.; C. C. Telander, M. of E.; John F. Gross, M. at A. The present membership is eighty six. The present officers are C. M. Anderson, P. C.; William Williams, C. C.; C. C. Lattimer, V. C.; W. H. Beaumont, prelate; O. L. Johnson, M. at A.; John Olson, M. of F.; C. C. Telander, M. of E.; John A. Swanson, grand lodge representative.

Sioux Lodge, No. 14, K. of P., was instituted August 4, 1885, with twenty two members. The highest membership to this date is 115. The first elective officers were C. E. Foster, P. C.; R. E. Sackett, C. C.; F. H. Peavey, V. C.; John Ansler, prelate; William A. Kirk, M. at A.; R. N. Monaghan, M. of E.; H. E. Stetson, M. of F.; William Fuchs, K. of R. and S. The present officers are W. L. Eagan, P. C.; C. T. Westcott, C. C.; R. N. Monigan, V. C.; S. G. Humphy, prelate; A. Fullner, M. of F. and K. of R. and S.; L. L. Kellogg, M. of E.; Frank Loveitt, M. at A. They meet at their finely equipped hall in Haakinson's block, corner Fourth and Nebraska streets.

Uniform Rank Division of Sioux City, No. 6, was organized November 8, 1883, with forty eight members, by Col. E. H. Hibbens, A. D. C. The original officers were John R. White, capt; W. L. Wilkins, first lieut.; William Swartz, second lieut. The present (1890) officials are R. W. Sloan, capt.; William L. Eagan, first lieut.; R. N. Monigan, second lieut. The present membership is sixty. They meet at Sioux Lodge, No. 14, K. of P. hall. The Iowa Brigade officers of this division are Col. Fred T. Evans, Jr., asst. quartermaster gen.; Maj. A. Feilner, A. D. C., brigadier general's staff. The regimental officers are Col. W. A. Kirk, com. fourth regiment; Lieut. B. J. McKean, adjt; Capt. Cornell, chaplain.

Hussar Mounted Division, No. 34, K. of P., was organized July 6, 1889, with thirty two members. It was instituted by Col. E. H. Hibbens, of Marshalltown, Iowa. The present membership is fifty. The regiment and brigade are represented by A. D. Collie; lieut.quartermaster of Fourth regiment. The first officers of Hussar division were G. W. Kingsnorth, capt.; A. D. Collie; first lieut.; G. J. Ross, second lieut. The present officers are G. W. Kingsnorth, capt.; G. J. Ross, first lieut.; C. C. Lattimer, second lieut.

This was the first mounted division to be organized in America, and at present only one other exists, that of Chicago, Ill. At the grand annual conclave at the city of Milwaukee, in July, 1890, these two divisions were present and won high honors. A special train was run from Sioux City, which conveyed the knights and their horses.

Odd Fellows. - Sioux City Lodge, No. 164, Independent Order of Odd Fellows, was instituted October 26, 1868, with six members, as follows: T. J. Kinkaid, P. P. Royce, F. McKercher, F. W. McManus, Charles Breun, A. F. Brown. The first noble grand was T. J. Kinkaid. The lodge is the oldest in the city, and now enjoys a membership of 138. The present officers are William Ellemund, N. G.: Joseph Lovoliett, V. G.; H. Osborne, treasurer; C. R. Marks, recording secretary; W. S. Gard, permanent secretary. At the present, and for the past six years, this lodge has occupied the K. of P. hall on Fourth street.

Sioux City Encampment, No. 44, of I. O. O. F., has eighty seven members. It was formed with seven members, to-wit: T. J. Kinkaid, E. B. Spalding, R. B. Kimball, H. A. James, Robert Ramsey, Joseph Langdell, D. F. Urmy. The first elective officers were T. J. Kinkaid, C. P.; Robert Ramsey, H. P.; J. Langdell, S. W.; R. B. Kimball, J. W.; E. B. Spalding, scribe; H. A. James, treasurer. The present officers are Charles Johnson, C. P.; J. Metzell, S. W.; J. B. Walker, J. W., M. F. Metzell, H. P.; W. A. Gilman, scribe; George W. Coulson, treasurer. The amount of funds now on hand is $600.

Canton Sioux, No. 18, of Patriarchs Militant (I. O. O. F.) was organized April 17, 1888, with twenty eight charter members. The present membership is the same. The first officers of this degree (the highest of the order of I. O. O. F.) were J. K. Prugh, capt.; Frank Clark, first lieut; M. W. Gardner, second lieut. (ensign). The present officers are Frank Clark, capt.; F. J. Metzell, first lieut.; J. B. Walker, second lieut. They meet the first Wednesday of each month.

In addition to those already named, there are the following societies: Ancient Order of Hibernians, James P. Wall, president; Ancient Order of United Workman, J. W. Lloyd, past master workman; Modern Woodmen of America, A. Fellner, clerk; Royal Society of Good Fellows, M. V. B. Johnson, secretary; Sons of Herman, Dr. G. Brasch, president; Grand Army Posts - B. F. Smith Post, No. 22, George H. Stultz, adjutant, and Hancock Post, No. 396, M. B. Davis, adjutant; Woman's Relief Corps, Mrs. E. N. Peterson, president. The Knights of Labor have a strong assembly here also; J. A. Bernard is master workman.

Social Societies. - That Sioux City is, and has been for years, a place of great sociability, is evinced by the fact of her present clubs and associations, formed for amusement, literary cultivation and bodily exercise. Those who may chance to read this book away down in the next century, will doubtless find things herein of interest, that the present generation can not fully appreciate. To note the changes in church, state, society and lines of commerce, from one part of a century through the various generations of men, is indeed valuable, as well as replete with interest. Prominent among the societies may be mentioned the following:

The Cooking club is composed of a band of ladies, who, for a few years past, have been improving themselves in the culinary art. In the meantime they have given some very swell receptions to their friends, serving elaborate teas.

The Hawkeye club, composed exclusively of gentlemen, has elegant club rooms, having purchased the E. R. Kirk, residence property for $40,000. They give very elaborate banquets, and royally entertain their friends at home and from abroad.

The Euclid is a new club, formed among the young men, with a membership of about fifty.

The Elks is another organization among the gentlemen for purely social purposes. It is its province to banquet visiting celebrities from the musical, theatrical, commercial or literary world. In fact any visitor of note is always looked after and entertained by the Elks.

The Amitie club comprises a membership of thirty ladies, who meet one afternoon of each week for social enjoyment (and some gossip!). They bring their fancy work, and compare patterns and designs.

A tennis club was organized in 1889, and the game has come to be a great pastime for both sexes.

The Sioux City Boat Club own a fine boat house at Riverside, on the Big Sioux, and have it equipped with many boats, from which much pleasure is derived in the summer months. Every day there is boating, racing, picnics, and each week a grand dance is given at their park.

Among the literary societies should be named the Agathoi-Philo club, the oldest in the city; the Anakrisians, now in existence ten years; the Delvers, who study the Chautauqua course, meet each week.

The Young Men's Christian Association has come to be a society of wonderful power, and the means of great moral good in Sioux City. The matter of organizing such an association began to be discussed in the spring of 1884. Several young men who had been members elsewhere, became leaders in the good work. Other business men, together with pastors of the various churches, soon became interested. In August, that year, an organization was perfected by State Secretary C. G. Baldwin. The original officers were IV. P. Manley, president; J. H. Keith, treasurer; J. F. McClelland, corresponding secretary. Rooms were secured on Pearl street, near the old variety theatre. The growth has been far above the average in cities of like size. At the end of the fifth year, September, 1889, the total membership was 820. The work has outgrown its present quarters and a magnificent building is now being erected on the corner of Pierce and Seventh streets. It is to be occupied solely by the association. Its cost will be $80,000; lot, $20,000. The present officers of the association are W. E. Higman, president; S. W. Hallam, vice president; W. P. Manley, treasurer; Oscar Middlekauff, recorder; John L. Speers, general secretary; D. Chapman, assistant.

University of the Northwest is located at Morning Side, the most beautiful suburb of Sioux City. A person can stand on the campus and have a bird's eye view of the city. The waters of the broad Missouri stretch away to the west and south under the eye of the beholder, while the undulating hills and valleys of Nebraska and South Dakota, with an unobstructed view of from twenty to thirty miles, add picturesqueness to the scene. Indeed, a more, beautiful site for an institution of learning would be hard to find, while for healthfulness it could scarcely be excelled. It is two and one half miles from the center of the city, and is easily reached by the rapid transit and elevated railway.

While this is not strictly a Methodist Episcopal college, yet it has the fostering care of the church, which, in company with eastern capitalists and Sioux City men, have undertaken to carry the gigantic enterprise through. It will be second to none in the west, and before long will probably be one of the educational factors of the Methodist Episcopal folks for this portion of _the northwest, yet free from strict sectarian discipline. A college of liberal arts and a medical department will be special features. The buildings now in course of construction are of the famous "Jasper" stone of Minnesota, and in design and size equal the best known to our modern builder, while the large campus is destined to be a spot of beauty seldom seen. It is expected that the buildings will all be completed by January 1, 1892. The officers are Rev. Wilmot Whitfield, D. D., president; Rev. Ira N. Pardee, financial agent and secretary; E. C. Peters and Rev. R. C. Glass, vice presidents; A. S. Garretson, treasurer.

The City Library. - Among the things in which the people of Sioux City take a just pride, is the city free library, which, at an expense which is not felt by the tax payer, embraces a good assortment of books in all departments of literature, and is at the disposal of all the citizens, and also to the stranger who seeks the reading of good books. This institution has, like every good thing, cost time and money to start.

The idea of a free library was first put into practical shape by the Young Men's Literary Association, a society which originated in the autumn of 1869. In November of the same year, the executive committee of that association held its first meeting, Hon. A. W. Hubbard presiding, and Rev. G. B. Pratt, J. H. Bolton and L. Wynn were appointed a library committee. Among the enterprises conducted by the association was the procuring of lecturers. Brock L. McVicar was the first, and addressed an audience November 30, 1869, and was followed by noted men throughout the winter and spring. From the proceeds of this lecture course a fund was raised for the purchase of books to form the nucleus of a library. All these matters appear from the minutes of the meetings, and from the same sourced it appears that Charles Collins donated the first books of what is now the public library.

The first purchase of books arrived in March, 1870, and on the nineteenth of that month the library was opened to the members of the association and their friends. The members then took turns in acting as librarian. On May 7, that year, the books show that there were 322 volumes on hand, fifty of which had been donated. In March, 1875, Capt. B. F. Smith, who had been much interested in the affair, with T. H. Conniff, Jr., and H. W. Chase, prepared a proposition for submission to the voters, asking the city council to levy a library tax, under the provisions of the state law; but it was not until the March election of 1877 that this proposition was submitted. It carried almost without opposition, and the Young Men's Association then turned over the 600 volumes they held, which had cost them $1,500. The library was kept a year or two, in the rooms of the Ladies' Christian Association on condition that the city add not less than $200 worth of books each successive two years. Having ratified this agreement with the city, the association adjourned for one week, but never met again. The city being in possession of the library, a tax of one mill was levied for the purchase of new books, room rent and salary of a librarian. The levy amounted to $850.

The council appointed, as a committee of citizens to select books: J. C. C. Hoskins, E. H. Avery, B. C. Lenehan, A. A. Norman, F. Munchrath, Dr. William It. Smith and Capt. B. F. Smith. T. H. Conniff, Jr., who was city clerk at the time, was chosen as the first librarian. In 1878 a levy of one half a mill was made, which brought $425, and in 1879 a levy amounting to $900 was made. In 1880 the library contained 1,594 books. Miss Helen Smith, the librarian, in 1880 gave a statement of the order in which books were called for as follows: First, novels; second, travels and adventures; third, poetry; then history, biography and scientific works.

From 1880 to 1890 the library had its sunny and also cloudy days, but at last it is on a solid basis. Money is on hand; a most excellent lot, on the corner of Douglas and Sixth streets, has been purchased, and a library building is to be erected in the near future. At present the books are kept in one of the city buildings, and the rooms are daily thronged with visitors.

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