Elkanah Commandery (1909)

The Cherished Hope of Local Masons for Year Past Has Been Realized. Commandery Instituted and Officers Installed Last Night.

The showing made before the Grand Commandery, which met in Minneapolis  last  year, resulted in the granting of a charter to Elkanah Commandery, and on May 14. 1909  the officers of the Grand Commandery constituted Elkanah and installed its officers.

Eminent Commander: Isaac Black

Generalissimo: W. A. Gould.
Captain General: John M. Richards.
Senior Warden: W. A. Currie.
Excellent Prelate: Herman F. Parshall.
Treasurer: F. S. Lycan.
Recorder: W. R. Mackenzie.
Standard Bearer:  R. H. Schumaker.
Sword Bearer: R. F. Prebble.
Warden: George H. French.
First Guard: Henry Mills.
Second Guard: O. E. Jackson.
Third Guard: George T. Baker,
Sentinel: Euclid Burgeois.

Yesterday morning, Eminent Commander Ike Black took the visiting fraters for an automobile ride around Bemidji and visited all of the interesting points in the city. At the conclusion of the drive Mr. and Mrs. Black entertained the visitors at a sumptuous dinner, at their home, which was served in the elaborate manner for which Mrs. Black has an enviable reputation. Before departing for their various homes, the visiting sir knights all expressed their admiration of Bemidji as a progressive, go-ahead city and they congratulated the local Masons on the very good showing which they have made.

Tent of Maccabees (1898)

Tent of Maccabees (K.O.T.M.)

Edward J. West, after putting in two weeks in Bemidji, succeeded in organizaing a very good tent of the order of the Maccabees, holding two meetings on Monday and Tuesday evenings respectively for the initiation of candidates. The following officers were elected:

Past Sir Knight – D. B. Newman; Lieut. Commander – C. W. Speelman; Commander – Jay L. Reynolds; Record Keeper – Chas. Schroeder; Finance Keeper – C. C. Doty; Chaplain – J. H. Haner; Physician – D. H. Newman; Sergeant – Theo. Welte; Master of Guards – M. Phibbs; First Guard – K. C. Lindberg; Second Guard – Ed Kaiser; Sentinel – James Brennan; Pisket – W. A. Pike. (Bemidji Weekly Pioneer, April 28, 1898)

The Maccabees have rented the Woodland Hall for their regular meeting night –Friday of each week. (June 22, 1899)


Odd Fellows

I.O.O.F. Picnic (1900)
Fair and smiling was the day which the Bemidji lodge No. 119, and I.O.O.F., had chartered for their first annual outing on Lake Bemidji. About eleven o’clock last Sunday, the first boatload of the “Three-Linkers,” their families and friends, left the dock for a six-mile voyage to T. B. Walker’s “Rocky Point,” at the northern end of the lake.

The remodeled and enlarged “Shadow” had been secured for the day, and Captain Sutton, of Scarrot & Sutton, its owners, must have overheard enough complimentary remarks from the passengers to assure him that the Shadow is bound to be a great favorite with excursion parties. The boat has seating room for 50 passengers, but can carry twice that number. A four-horse wood burning engine furnishes sufficient power to send the boat along at an eight-miles-an-hour gait. The boat moves with hardly any jar, even when the engine is pounding the hardest.

The trip was made in quick time through the perfectly-calm waters and past countless floating logs. A lady seated in a row boat trailing behind the steamer had her umbrella destroyed by flying sparks, which furnished the only excitement.

The grounds selected, a high level peninsula, with a little clearing of underbrush, would make one of the prettiest camping points in the country. Here hardwood timber is abundantly mixed with the soft evergreens, and the altitude of the place gives the picnicker the benefit of every breeze.

This point is credited with a famous sparkling spring, but it must have been taking a vacation Sunday. As Village Recorder Holroyd seemed mashed on this vicinity, we may expect to see a resolution bobbing up in the council asking the city to buy and set aside this property for a village park.

Wm. Casler, J. J. Jinkinson, M. Phibbs and A. R. Greeley were the committee having the picnic in charge and they were vigilant in looking after the comfort of the crowd. Mr. Powers was appointed presiding officer of the ice cream and lemonade department, and stood by his post manfully. After dinner, which lasted most of the afternoon, the party amused themselves in various ways, until second boatload from town arrived. This brought J. J. Jinkinson with an appetite for ice cream, fruit and pastry that the crowd could do nothing but in spell-bound amazement watch him fill up.

About 100 persons participated in this good time and each and all are ready to say that there is nothing stingy about the Odd Fellows when they entertain. (May 24, 1900)


R. H. Collard is busy repairing the building recently purchased by the Odd Fellows, from Matt Phibbs. The building will be sided and equipped with a fine new bay window. (May 15, 1902) — likely at NE corner 4th and Beltrami Avenue


Odd Fellows and Rebekahs Have Enjoyable Outing at Titus Place (1906)

The picnic given yesterday at the home of Joseph Titus was one of those old-fashioned affairs where everybody has fun. The picnic was given under the auspices of the members of the Rebekah lodge, and they and their Odd Fellow friends to the number of seventy-five were taken out to the Titus home in rigs, early in the forenoon.

J. J. Ellis, with his violin, accompanied by H. S. Annette on the organ, furnished excellent music to keep the crowd from attacking the tables before dinner was “ready,” and there were other attractions that were very good.

A fine picnic dinner was served, at the conclusion of which T. K. Danforth delivered the following address: “I get back in the background and view the landscape o’er, and look and view to see if there is some more (in brackets) dinner.” He was duly applauded.

Lee Heffron became confused in the route from Bemidji and did not reach the grounds until about dinner time. He is acquainted with the aroma of the coffee which Mrs. Earl Geil makes, and when he recognized the familiar odor, he went in a “bee” line for the table. John Willman partook so liberally of the good things to eat that he was seized with a violent headache which J. J. Ellis cured with hypnotism. Mrs. J. Wagner did a very graceful dance, to the violin music of Joe Ellis. The crowd returned to Bemidji about supper time.


Odd Fellows Hall was on the corner of 4th and Beltrami Avenue in 1904. The address was 400 Beltrami Avenue opposite the post office.

A newly formed company, the People’s Oil Company, purchased the two corner lots on the corner where the Odd Fellows’ hall was located in May 1921. The Odd Fellows then purchased the church building at 723 Minnesota Avenue and moved there.

Odd Fellows Lodge to hold their annual Fall Festival on Oct 4, 1962 in its hall, 8th and Minnesota Ave.

I.O.O.F. Hall. 723 Minnesota Ave (1964)

Odd Fellows not listed as a benevolent organization in Bemidji after 1964.

The building at 723 Minnesota Avenue was vacant in 1967 and by 1970 was the site of the Church of the Prophecy.

City approved a special use permit for the use of the Odd Fellows Building at 8th and Minnesota for the Youth Investment Foundation program. (1976)