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Home Historical Committee

History of Elkdom in South Carolina

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(The original document is a typewriter faced legal sizes paper, authored by Cliff Langford, Chairman of the 1938 SC Elks Association Historical Committee. It was meant to be posted on the "bulletin board at the convention in Columbia", which was held in June, 1940. A copy of this document was presented to Penny Montgomery by Howard Barker, and typed on this web page by Jamie Montgomery in 2010)

Brothers: C. Rey Workman, Rock Hill; W. F. Cetes, Anderson; Wm H. Harth, Columbia; Henry Tecklenburg, Charleston; Dr. Sidney F. Hilton, Florence; F. Jenkins Knight, Sumter, and W. W. Beckham, Greenville, Members of the HISTORICAL COMMITTEE.

Dear Brothers:

As you know we were appointed as a Historical Committee, at the Charleston Meeting in 1938, to write the History of Elkdom in South Carolina, which would, of course, included the historians of the Lodges, the State Association etc. Following are facts relating to the formation of the Lodges and the State Association. They are offered merely as a suggestion, and so that you various members might correct mistakes, offer suggestions or rewrite all or any part thereof.

You members of this Committee who have not sent in the History of your Lodges, please do so at once, so they all may be on the Bulletin Board at the Convention in Columbia.

Also, please be frank enough to send me any suggestions as to this PROPOSED history.

Cliff Langford, Chairman.


This week, the week in which the Twenty-Sixth Annual Convention of the South Carolina Elks State Association is held in Columbia, June 5th and 6th, 1940, Elkdom in South Carolina celebrates its forty-eighth birthday. On June 8, 1892 our great Order had its official inception in South Carolina, with the institution of Charleston Lodge No. 242.

The first exalted ruler in the state was Brother E. Guerard of Charleston. Exalted Ruler Guerard, at the same time, enjoyed a second great honor, that of being the first District Deputy Grand Exalted Ruler in South Carolina. The records obtainable do not disclose whether or not there were any Elks in the state prior to that time.

Fourteen Lodges have been instituted in South Carolina. Six of that number no longer exist. The eight remaining Lodges still functioning with efficiency that reflects great credit to the Order and to the Elks who have guided the destiny of those Lodges through some of the turbulent periods attending to their existence.

The eight Lodges are: Charleston, organized as 242, later switching to 890. In 1900 the Charleston Lodge discontinued, but was reinstated under the old No. 242, on July 19, 1906. Sumter Lodge 855 was instituted April 17, 1905, discontinued May 25, 1917 and reinstated December 16, 1935 , with Exalted Ruler Sheppard K. Nash.

Greenville 858 was instituted May 26, 1903, with Capt. Jno. N. Marshall as Exalted Ruler; Orangeburg 897 began on February 4, 1904, with Brother L. H. Wannamaker, Jr., as Exalted Ruler; Florence 1030 was instituted May 30, 1906, discontinued March 28, 1918 and was reinstated on June 23, 1936, with Brother Joe D. Flanagan Exalted Ruler.

Columbia 1190 was instituted April 21, 1910, with brother John A. Young as Exalted Ruler. Their number then was 727, Columbia was discontinued but reinstated with No. 1190; Anderson 1206 was instituted in 1910, with Brother A. H. Dagnall as Exalted Ruler; Rock Hill was instituted (to be added)

The six Lodges now defunct were: Georgetown 900, instituted March 3, 1904, discontinued February 18, 1934; Spartanburg 637-1310 was instituted January 15, 1901 and discontinued in 1925; Newberry 1103 began February 10, 1908 and discontinued September 17, 1918; Gaffney 1305 was was instituted June 5, 1913 and discontinued January 24, 1920; Union 1321 was installed June 4, 1915 and discontinued July 19, 1933, and Greenwood 1329 instituted January 28, 1916 and discontinued September 17, 1918.

The discontinuance of the six Lodges was a distinct loss to the Order, Elkdom in South Carolina, and the communities in which they were located. However, the re-institution of the Florence and Sumter Lodges under the District Deputy-ship of Brother George H. Thompson, of Charleston, with the assistance of other Lodges and Brothers, was enthusiastically welcomed.

Without the enumeration of names it can be unquestionably claimed that the membership and officers of the Lodges in South Carolina have and do very favorably compare with that of any state. Our Lodges have had as officers and members men who have been very prominently identified with the business, social  and political life of our Nation.

State Association

In the files of the Orangeburg Lodge, there is a letter from the then District Deputy E. B. Clark of Columbia, dated April 29, 1904, advocating the formation of a State Association. Columbia Lodge had already endorsed the suggestion. There were then seven Lodges in the state. Brother Clark suggested a meeting in COlumbia on May 25th and 26th.

On June 10, 1912, the South Carolina State Association, with the following eleven Lodges officiating, was formed: Charleston, Spartanburg, Orangeburg, Columbia, Greenville, Florence, Sumter, Georgetown, Rock Hill, Anderson, and Newberry. Brother L. H. Cary of Greenville was elected the first President of the Association.

Elkdom in South Carolina was then in excellent condition, that being the largest number of Lodges ever attained. The Association enjoyed unusually good progress until the commencement of the World War when it became inactive, as did many other State Association and Lodges in various parts of the United States.

Due to the untiring efforts of Brother Wilson G. Hunter, then Exalted Ruler of the Columbia Lodge, and with the assistance of other Lodges and individual members, the Association was reorganized on October 15th, 1930. Since that time, the Association has been very active, and the wonderful work accomplished has more than compensated those who so diligently worked for its reorganization.

(The remainder of the document lists the Past Presidents of the State Association, Convention locations, and Past District Deputies. This information has been incorporated in to the present Directory, which can be found in the links to the left. -JOM)

The Historical Committee.


Download this file (scelkshistory.pdf)scelkshistory.pdf[History of SCEA (1940)]1047 Kb19/04/10 15:34
Last Updated on Monday, 19 April 2010 15:34  

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