Odd Fellows Hall

Odd Fellows Hall

There have been many organizations throughout the years in the community. There is a whole zoo full of groups including the Elks, Lions and Eagles. There are Knight of Columbus, Templars and of Pythis. Others include the United Order of Foresters, Modern Woodmen and the Grand Army of the Republic. One of the earliest organizations to form in Stillwater was the Independent Order of Odd Fellows.

In the building constructed by William Penny on Chestnut Street in 1848, the organizational meeting of the I.O.O.F. took place on Aug. 15, 1849. The petition for the charter was sent to the Grand Lodge of the United States in 1847, but it was not until April 26, 1849, that the charter was granted. The commission was sent to John G. Potts, District Deputy Grand Master of Quincy, Illinois to install the new Lodge, but it took him until August 15, 1849, to reach Stillwater. The new Odd Fellows Lodge was Minnesota Lodge Number 1, Independent Order of Odd Fellows.

The charter members were Henry L. Moss, Sylvanus Trask, Charles K. Smith, Bushrod W. Lott, and Lysell B. Wait. The first officers of the Loge were Henry L. Moss, Nobel Grand; Sylvanus Trask, Vice Gran; Lysell B. Wait, Secretary and Bushrod W. Lott, Treasurer.

At the next meeting two new members to the Order, Socrates Nelson and Mahlon Black, and were initiated into the Lodge, they being the first two men initiated into the Order in Minnesota. In 1852, the Lodge met at the Carli building on the corner of Second and Mulberry Street. Four years later the Lodge rented a small hall from John McKusick that stood at the southeast corner of Main and Myrtle Street. On Jan. 1, 1855, the Odd Fellows lodge in Stillwater had 68 members.

In 1857, a financial panic spread throughout the nation. This hit organizations such as the Odd Fellows hard as memberships dropped off. In November 1858 it was reported that “not sufficient funds in the treasury to pay the quarter’s rent (which was $250.00 per year.)” In January 1859 the lodge stopped paying salaries to the secretary and janitor. Also that year the due increased $2 per quarter.

When the Civil War broke out many of the young members went into the military, leaving the lodge without much support. In 1863 the Independent Order of Odd Fellows Number 1 folded in Stillwater.

The Odd Fellows have on their logo the letters, F, L, & T, meaning, “Friendship, Love & Truth.” These qualities were found in many that lived in the St. Croix Valley and a new Stillwater Lodge was organized on Jan. 5, 1876. This Lodge, No. 51, had charter members Joseph Wilkinson, Linus Grant, M.J. Muckenhausen, A.O. Hauge, George Low, Richard Daw, and Frank D. Hall.

On April 5, 1878, the Marine Lodge No. 63 was instituted at Marine Mills with the following charter members: George F. Sabin, Andrew Gunderson, Thomas E. Ward, and Emil Graf. Two weeks later, these men were inducted into the Order: Ole Westergren, Wilhem Schmidt, Olaf Anderson, Eugene Welshons, Ole W. Erickson and Peter Kles. The Marine Lodge prospered until the sawmills ceased operating but the lodge continued until June 1933 when it was consolidated with the Lodge at Stillwater.

On Halloween Oct. 31, 1883, the Lodge #51 entertained a “large delegation” from St. Paul with a banquet and dancing. The event took place at their room in the McKusick Block in downtown Stillwater. A special train came with the guests and were met at the depot and escorted to the event. After the customary speeches and welcomes, they all had a delightful dinner. Then the music of Schilling’s orchestra started playing the crowd “trip the light fantastic” on the dance floor. The St. Paul group departed on their special train at 2 a.m. back home.

On Dec. 1, 1883, the old, original Lodge 1 in Stillwater was revived. It was thought it was not necessary to have two I.O.O.F. Lodges in Stillwater so Lodge 51 consolidated with Lodge 1 in January 1887. At the end of 1887, there were 130 members in good standing.

In 1851, the National Lodge started a woman’s group called “Daughters of Rebekah.” This was the idea of Schuyler Colfax who would later become Vice President of the United States under President Ulysses S. Grant. On Feb. 24, 1890, the charter for the Colfax Rebekah Lodge 47, I.O.O.F, was granted in Stillwater. The charter members were Ellen Muller, Annie Connors, Nellie Robbins, May M. Carli, Lena Schaffer, Lena Jarchow, Alice Johnson, Emma Duel, U.S. Emerson, Johanna Westing, Eliza Stout, Rhoda Sherrard, Christine Walters, and Clara Mosier.

The Grand Lodge of Minnesota held its annual session in Stillwater three times, June 1879; June 1934 and in August 1949 to celebrate the centennial of the first Lodge in Minnesota.

The Stillwater Lodges ended up folding and the “Friendship, Love and Truth” that those “Odd Fellows” passed along is no more.

Brent Peterson is the executive director of the Washington County Historical Society.

There have been many organizations throughout the years in the community. There is a whole zoo full of groups including the Elks, Lions and Eagles. There are Knight of Columbus, Templars and of Pythis. Others include the United Order of Foresters, Modern Woodmen and the Grand Army of the Republic. One of the earliest organizations to form in Stillwater was the Independent Order of Odd Fellows.

In the building constructed by William Penny on Chestnut Street in 1848, the organizational meeting of the I.O.O.F. took place on Aug. 15, 1849. The petition for the charter was sent to the Grand Lodge of the United States in 1847, but it was not until April 26, 1849, that the charter was granted. The commission was sent to John G. Potts, District Deputy Grand Master of Quincy, Illinois to install the new Lodge, but it took him until August 15, 1849, to reach Stillwater. The new Odd Fellows Lodge was Minnesota Lodge Number 1, Independent Order of Odd Fellows.

The charter members were Henry L. Moss, Sylvanus Trask, Charles K. Smith, Bushrod W. Lott, and Lysell B. Wait. The first officers of the Loge were Henry L. Moss, Nobel Grand; Sylvanus Trask, Vice Gran; Lysell B. Wait, Secretary and Bushrod W. Lott, Treasurer.

At the next meeting two new members to the Order, Socrates Nelson and Mahlon Black, and were initiated into the Lodge, they being the first two men initiated into the Order in Minnesota. In 1852, the Lodge met at the Carli building on the corner of Second and Mulberry Street. Four years later the Lodge rented a small hall from John McKusick that stood at the southeast corner of Main and Myrtle Street. On Jan. 1, 1855, the Odd Fellows lodge in Stillwater had 68 members.

In 1857, a financial panic spread throughout the nation. This hit organizations such as the Odd Fellows hard as memberships dropped off. In November 1858 it was reported that “not sufficient funds in the treasury to pay the quarter’s rent (which was $250.00 per year.)” In January 1859 the lodge stopped paying salaries to the secretary and janitor. Also that year the due increased $2 per quarter.

When the Civil War broke out many of the young members went into the military, leaving the lodge without much support. In 1863 the Independent Order of Odd Fellows Number 1 folded in Stillwater.

The Odd Fellows have on their logo the letters, F, L, & T, meaning, “Friendship, Love & Truth.” These qualities were found in many that lived in the St. Croix Valley and a new Stillwater Lodge was organized on Jan. 5, 1876. This Lodge, No. 51, had charter members Joseph Wilkinson, Linus Grant, M.J. Muckenhausen, A.O. Hauge, George Low, Richard Daw, and Frank D. Hall.

On April 5, 1878, the Marine Lodge No. 63 was instituted at Marine Mills with the following charter members: George F. Sabin, Andrew Gunderson, Thomas E. Ward, and Emil Graf. Two weeks later, these men were inducted into the Order: Ole Westergren, Wilhem Schmidt, Olaf Anderson, Eugene Welshons, Ole W. Erickson and Peter Kles. The Marine Lodge prospered until the sawmills ceased operating but the lodge continued until June 1933 when it was consolidated with the Lodge at Stillwater.

On Halloween Oct. 31, 1883, the Lodge #51 entertained a “large delegation” from St. Paul with a banquet and dancing. The event took place at their room in the McKusick Block in downtown Stillwater. A special train came with the guests and were met at the depot and escorted to the event. After the customary speeches and welcomes, they all had a delightful dinner. Then the music of Schilling’s orchestra started playing the crowd “trip the light fantastic” on the dance floor. The St. Paul group departed on their special train at 2 a.m. back home.

On Dec. 1, 1883, the old, original Lodge 1 in Stillwater was revived. It was thought it was not necessary to have two I.O.O.F. Lodges in Stillwater so Lodge 51 consolidated with Lodge 1 in January 1887. At the end of 1887, there were 130 members in good standing.

In 1851, the National Lodge started a woman’s group called “Daughters of Rebekah.” This was the idea of Schuyler Colfax who would later become Vice President of the United States under President Ulysses S. Grant. On Feb. 24, 1890, the charter for the Colfax Rebekah Lodge 47, I.O.O.F, was granted in Stillwater. The charter members were Ellen Muller, Annie Connors, Nellie Robbins, May M. Carli, Lena Schaffer, Lena Jarchow, Alice Johnson, Emma Duel, U.S. Emerson, Johanna Westing, Eliza Stout, Rhoda Sherrard, Christine Walters, and Clara Mosier.

The Grand Lodge of Minnesota held its annual session in Stillwater three times, June 1879; June 1934 and in August 1949 to celebrate the centennial of the first Lodge in Minnesota.

The Stillwater Lodges ended up folding and the “Friendship, Love and Truth” that those “Odd Fellows” passed along is no more.

Brent Peterson is the executive director of the Washington County Historical Society.

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