Salisbury Benevolent and Protective
Order of Elks History.
Sterling Smith and W.J. Roberts applied for a dispensation to form an Elks
lodge. Grand Exalted Ruler Jerome B Fisher approved the application on April
24th 1901. On May 11, the Lodge was instituted with great fanfare. The
lodge spent most of its first quarter century renting the second floor of
the Meroney theatre. Click on the picture to enlarge it. The Mason's
rented the third floor. Click here
for a brief 4 pg history in an adobe pdf file listing a few details from
1901 to 1957.
- Front page Article that
announced the birth of a new Elks Lodge. Salisbury Truth-Index, May 14, 1901. In
adobe file format. Also in same page of
this paper the candidacy of Lee Overman for the US Senate was announced.
Brother Lee joined this lodge in 1902 and remained one until 1910 or so when
he requested an absolute demit.
- 1910 Memorial program. This is a neat program that
Brother Jim Roberson was observant and thoughtful
enough to spot and buy off of ebay and donate it to the Lodge. Click
here to download.
- Empire hotel article- Salisbury Elks mentioned in article as one of three
social spots in early 20th history
- The Lodge which was located on the second
floor of the Meroney in downtown Salisbury allowed a group called the
Traveler's club to meet there. On March 13, 1911, the library association
was first formed. Archibald Henderson Boyden was elected chairman and that
family offered the small law office on the corner of Fisher and Church
streets as a temporary home for what would become the library for the city.
- Henry Clay Grubb
was a member of this lodge and he was also the man behind a building that is
known as The Plaza but for many years was called the Wallace building. Henry
had quite a colorful past and actually ended up being killed by his wife.
for more on his fascinating but tragic life click
|Here's a copy
in three parts of the 1914 Memorial program. They like,
most Elks took their fraternal bonds quite seriously. From L-R- cover,
program and Elk officer's and list of departed brothers. Click to
- May 8 1915 the Lodge had a barbeque for all
the members and their families at the
- Charles Sparks operated the Sparks circus.
They wintered in Salisbury up until 1919. Here's
a great article about this unique circus man and Elk. Here's another
article that is in a historical book
about Salisbury. It also includes a story on Otto wood and the wreck of Old
- The 1916 Secretary and Treasurer report. Click
here to download it in
||Here's a great picture from
March 1916. This lodge was sponsoring a minstrel show which it had done for many
years. Most of the women and blacks appear to be white men dressed up!
Also, in 1916, they had a barbeque on June 2nd.
A local contingent went to Raleigh for the state convention.
- April 10, 1918, the lodge had or attended a
Charles Chaplin parade.
- The State convention was held here in 1920. To
read these fascinating articles about a mid-week convention that attracted
over 1000 Elks click
here for May 25 and
here for May 26 two fascinating front page Salisbury Post articles. For
more on the State association click
- On March 9, 1921 a minstrel dinner was held at
the Empire hotel. Mar 23 DD Maupin made his official visit. The annual
barbeque was held on June 28. Nov 11, 1921 the Lodge had a float in a parade.
- A minstrel show was held in March of 1922.
- A minstrel show was held in February of 1923.
On June 13, 1923 the lodge furnished a room at the hospital for Elks. A
barbeque was held on June 26th.
|On April 16, 1924, the lodge
voted to move to the Washington building temporarily until the Yancy
building was completed. The lodge was located there until 1953. The
building is now called Hardiman's and is located on the corner of Lee
and E Innes St. Click
here for an Elks Magazine article describing there official opening.
New Elks Hall open house article in Elks
Magazine. This special event that will be open to the public will occur
sometime in the fall of 1924. Click
here for the
article in adobe.pdf.
A minstrel was held 1/26 to 27th in 1925 (could
be Nov instead of Jan). Henry Foote's name was mentioned.
Lodge held a barbeque and dance at Crystal Lake
park on August 12, 1926.
||Click on the picture which shows the Elks
Magazine Purple and White Car. This was a neat publicity stunt that they
did well into the 30's. Essentially 4 cars would start out from
different parts of the country and make their way to where ever the GL
convention was going to be. Click
for article from one of the magazines.
The lodge hosted the State Association meeting
in May of 1935.
It was noted in the minutes that the Lodge
celebrated its 40th anniversary on June 25, 1941. Nothing about how it was
Salisbury Elks 1951 Ritual team. There are lots of pictures in the Lodge
room of ritual teams as well as awards and trophies.
- New Building sought 1948-
Did you know that had Leo Wallace Jr offer to
sell been accepted by the building committee back in the late 40's, our
lodge would be located at 508 S Fulton St.? At the time, the building
committee was intrigued with that offer and commissioned Walter Wagoner of
Piedmont Engineering to do a study to determine the feasibility and cost
to remodel. Their report concluded that it would require an investment of
$70,000 to do so and that weekly yard maintenance fees would be $50.
The Wallace mansion by the way had 20 rooms, 6 baths, a ballroom on the 3rd
floor, a full size basement and a large garage consisting of 2 rooms, a
bath with room to park 4 cars. Of course, don't overlook the 1200' stone
wall that surrounds the property!
The building committee however decided against
Brother Leo's offer and ultimately built at our current
location at 508 S Main St for about $120,000.
From the early 40's to 1953 the
lodge membership had tripled and outgrew the 3rd floor of the
Hardiman building. Looking for a new home and after ruling out other
locations (including the Wallace mansion) they decided to build a new
building. A vote was held in March 1953 and 101 Elks were present. Only 1
voted against it so that must have been quite a meeting considering there
was only 231 members at the time. The eventual cost of the
building was about $105,000 and was completed in late 1953.
Some of the interesting aspects of
the building are the costs of some of the wood that was furnished by
Goodman Lumber. The four 24" x 22' columns in the front of the
building cost $350 each. The hardwood flooring for both floors totaled
$3900. Quite a bargain!
Following, the completion of the building, the
lodge grew rapidly and by April 1957 had doubled in size listing 492 on
it's roster. That was also the year the Lodge hosted the
State convention. A copy of that newsletter is listed here on this
|Click on the picture to see
the current building. There first meeting was held on Feb 17, 1953. To
see the newspaper announcement click here
- List of Exalted Rulers from 1901 to 1954. Click on picture
to see. Some very prominent Salisburians were leaders in the Lodge.
- Salisbury Elks June 1957 news letter.
State convention summary as well as neat pictures of the Memorial Service at
St John's Lutheran Church. Also, Thad Eure picture who was the long time
Secretary of State for NC is pictured. This is a 2.3 megabit file in Adobe.pdf
format. Click here to
download. The Lodge had over 500 members at the time and utilized both
upstairs and downstairs.
- Lodge hosted the State Association meeting in
May of 1966.
- Recent article on Elks in Salisbury Post. Click
here for Jan 4, 2004
pdf file 1.9 meg
- Salisbury City manager David
Treme helped by the Elks thru a scholarship years ago.
- It's history now. the DD clinic on April 10,
2005. Click here for pictures.
- The new Ritual Team for Salisbury. First
initiation performed before 10 new candidates and 25 Elks and guests was on
Nov 16, 2006.Click to enlarge.
- Memorial Service for 2006 was a very nice
service. Brother Harry Agner did a great job describing Elkdom to the 30 or so
in attendance. Click here for the program
in adobe pdf.
(If someone was interested in helping expand
this collection, all they would need to do is go to the Library, find
articles relating to the events above, made copies (they cost .10 cents each)
and give them to the Lodge.)
Click here to go to our web
album and view and download some of the pics from above as well as many
others concerning the lodge and its activities.
Salisbury Elks Lodge 699 home page
For a more extensive history archive of the
national organization, click here.