Elks History

The Beginning

The Beginning | Early 1900s | A New Elks | Modern Elks| Elks Firsts

The early history of the New Castle Lodge No. 484 B.P.O.E. is something obscure and, while 100 years may not seem like too long a time, it should be remembered that our founders probably where thinking more about the immediate future back in 1899 than they were in preserving a record for 100 years or more hence. Most of the recollections of the early days are from hearsay or from legend.
It is disputed as to where the first meetings of the New Castle Elks lodge were held. The lodge was actually instituted on May 9, 1899. And the most authentic version - although it may be disputed - is that the first meetings of the order were in rooms on the second floor of a building known as the Shroyer building.
The building was at the corner of Main and Broad Streets on the present site of the Citizens State Bank. Some of our members may recall Neff-Barr dry goods store was on the ground floor of this old building for many years. The Shroyer building was erected by a pioneer citizen of New Castle and was wrecked several years ago to make way for the new bank home.

There is also one more definite date in the history of New Castle Lodge 484. That was July 12, 1900, when the charter was presented. It is the 100th anniversary of this charter presentation that we are observing. The charter contains the names of 26 members. The Anderson lodge was in charge of the presentation. The presentation ceremony was held on the third floor of what was then known as the Murphy building on the southeast corner of Main and Broad Streets. This building, which still stands was known later as the Goodwin Building, and today houses the New Castle Chamber of Commerce and other city/county offices. In those days, one of the most active clubs in New Castle was known as the New Castle Club. Its members contained many prominent young men of the community and the story goes that all of the members became Elks and since the New Castle club had the club rooms, the Elks Lodge moved in and took over the quarters. The members joined the Elks enmass. The third floor location has become a tradition. Even before the Elks, it was the first meeting place of the New Castle Masonic lodge and after the Elks it was the second home of the Moose lodge.

Our written records start with a program dated May 10 & 11, 1910. The program was saved from one of many Elks Minstrels that were held as a fund-raiser for the organization. This particular one was held at the Alcazar Theatre and featured Elk Brothers James Mon-up, Maurice C. Goodwin, Willard Beck, Charles Ogborne, Milford Wigel, George Schmidt, Henry Thomas and others. The program shows advertising from nearly all New Castle businesses that were operating at the time. Some of them were Lee Livezy - Jesse French Piano Sales Representative, Clinton & Cannon Livery, Feed and Sale Stable located on Ross St., Chas. B. Thompson - Abstracts, Insurance, Real Estate and Loans, Martin, Martin and Co. - Buy your anthracite now, Maxwell-Briscoe-Newby Motor Co. on Broad Street, Central Trust & Savings Co., Finnegan Brothers - leading decorators located on Broad Street, and many others.