The Vidette-Messenger Centennial EditionThe 1936 special edition celebrating Porter County's centennial year . . . .

The following article has been transcribed from the August 18, 1936, issue of The Vidette-Messenger, published in Valparaiso, Indiana. This particular special edition focuses on Porter County's centennial celebration and contains a 94-page compendium of Porter County history up to that time.

Return to the index of articles from The Vidette-Messenger's Porter County Centennial special edition.

Source: The Vidette-Messenger, Valparaiso, Porter County, Indiana; August 18, 1936; Volume 10, Section 3, Page 18.


Charity Rebekah Lodge Is 65 Years Old; Has Enjoyed Fine Career; First Citizens Members

Before Porter county's court house was built -- before the day of paved streets and before electric lights and the telephone were introduced, Valparaiso Charity Rebekah Lodge, No. 64, was instituted. This was sixty-five years ago -- May 1, 1871.

It was on that day that a little group of people met and duly organized under the Rebekah banner to carry on and extend the principles of fraternalism as taught by this order.

the following comprised the charter members list: Milan Cornell, Cornelia Cornell, E. M. Whitcomb, Reason Bell, Jr., Adelia Bell, T. T. Maulsby, Mrs. T. T. Maulsby, Azariah Freeman, A. Freeman, Alfred Kellogg, J. B. Kellogg, H. J. Upthegrove, Mrs. H. J. Upthegrove, J. N. Bradley, Nathan Cooper, Mrs. Nathan Cooper, George Nicholson and Clarinda Nicholson.

At the time the charter was issued W. H. DeWolf was grand master and E. H. Barry, grand secretary.

the lodge continued to function until 1892, when through lack of interest, it was discontinued.

A few years later the lodge was reorganized by E. M. Whitcomb with the following members: E. L. Whitcomb, Milan Cornell, Cordelia Cornell, Charles Fernekes, Katie Fernekes, Martha Kellogg, Isadore Kellogg, Katie Whitcomb, Mary Holiday, Henry Stratton, Katie Marquart and Annie Marquart.

Soon after the re-organization a ritual was adopted by which meetings and initiations were conducted. A degree team was organized and much interest was shown in the organization.

All branches of Oddfellowship for many years met in the "Empire Block," on Lincolnway, which at that time was owned by the Masons and now is occupied by the Modern Woodmen and Royal Neighbors.

In 1882, the Odd Fellow Lodge built a building on the site now occupied by the J. Lowenstine and Sons Department store. J. Lowenstine at that time was on the first floor of the building. His business soon grew to such an extent that he purchased the building.

The Odd Fellows then purchased the old Grand Opera House on West Lincolnway now occupied by them. The building was remodeled, the dressing rooms were changed to ante-rooms, wash room, and the stage to a dining room and kitchen.

Noble grands of Charity Rebekah Lodge, No. 64, since 1899, are as follows: Anna Marquart, 1899; Ella Leffingwell, 1900; May Yohn, 1900; Mary Sager, 1901; Goldie Lowenstine, 1901; Mrs. C. E. Smith, 1902; Ophelia Pennock, 1903; Mary Fox, 1903; Lillian Perry, 1904; Bess Smith, 1905; Lucy Durand, 1905; Cora Sherwood, 1906; Lois Jellies, 1906; Anna Dean, 1907; Ina Cunningham, 1907; Maggie McKay, 1908; Jennie Perry, 1908; Nellie Rotruck, 1909; Mary Stiles, 1909; Maude Harris, 1910; Josephine Frazier, 1910; Ella Longshore, 1911; Josie Miller, 1911; Cora Holman, 1912; Lydia Bornholt, 1912; Mary Olds, 1913; Jessie Wise, 1913; Ida Bell, 1914; Mina Rockwell, 1914; Mary Longshore, 1915; Celia Ebright, 1915; Ida Bloom, 1916; Jane Beck, 1916; Anna Hughart, 1917; Myra Dolch, 1917; Maude Field, 1918; Anna White, 1918; Flora Lembke, 1919; Anna Small, 1919; Hattie Bell, 1920; Eva DeCrow, 1920; Ellen Kuehl, 1921; Eva Collins, 1921; Lillian Hearne, 1922; Adella Harris, 1922; Lottie Freeman, 1923; Estella Lembke, 1923; Ella Casbon, 1924; Ada Cornwell, 1925; Ada Zimmerman, 1925; Ethel Wertsan, 1926; Mattie Robinson, 1926; Louise Meud, 1927; Ruth Casbon, 1927; Lizzie Campbell, 1928; Mathilda Keene, 1928; Nellie Ludington, 1929; Rose Hagen, 1929; Julia Wareham, 1930; Edna Prentiss, 1930; Olive Bottington, 1931; Mary Kuell, 1932; Edith Martin, 1932; Millie Duclos, 1933; Ida Cowdrey, 1933; Gretchen Billings, 1934; Sadye Conover, 1934; Cora Duclos, 1935, Litha Wheeler, 1935; Mary Leise, 1936; Rebecca Mockler, 1936.

The Rebekahs were very active in assisting the Odd Fellows in securing suitable furniture for the lodge rooms, having won a piano which is now used in a contest conducted by the Lowenstine store, and through various activities managed to save enough money to purchase a rug for the lodge room.

Charity lodge, while not an organization which would attract wide public attention, is proud of its 123 members, and continues to function in a quiet manner, rendering assistance to its members in distress and to the community in general.

Hypathia Lodge, No. 492, organized at Wheeler on September 25, 1895, and Miriam Lodge, No. 791, organized at Kouts on July 3, 1905, both institutions being by officers of Charity Rebekah Lodge, are now non-existant, but the members are affiliated with Charity lodge.

Charity lodge was also instrumental in instituting Phoebe Rebekah Lodge, No. 706, at Chesterton, on March 15, 1907. Officers of Phoebe lodge are: Peral Hess, noble grand; Edith Shultz, vice grand; Viola Rosbrough, right support noble grand; Marie Lamb, left support noble grand; Catherine Vaughn, warden; Ellen Olsen, conductress; Mattie Heiden, chaplain; Mattie Crawford, inside guardian; Hattie Reglein, outside guardian, Edna Knap, musician; Mrs. Frank Swanson, right support vice grand; Eva McCorkel, left support grand; Golda Tofte, past noble grand.

Article transcribed by Steven R. Shook


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