“Knights of Pythias Celebrated in 1914”

Carroll County Times article for 3 December 2000
by Jay A. Graybeal

In 1914 the local lodge of the Knights of Pythias celebrated its 50th anniversary.  An article about their event appeared in the February 27th issue of this newspaper:

Knights of Pythias Lodge, it being the 50th Anniversary of the order and in commoration of fifty years of fraternal work in the field of human endeavor, by giving public expression to the teachings and principals of the order, so that the world may know what Pythian Knighthood means, and what it stands for “Friendship, Charity and Benevolence.”

Charity Lodge, No. 58, of this city, held its services in the meeting room of the Fire Department building, where the members and invited guests were received by the reception committee and escorted into the parlors and from there they were escorted to the upper room where the following program was rendered.

Ritualistic services by the lodge officers:  C. C., Theo, F. Brown; V. C., Prof. Geo. F. Morelock; P., Harry Berwager; M. at A., Geo. R. Fisher; M. of E., J. Thos. Anders; after which J. Milton Reifsnider, Esq., delivered an able and interesting address on Pythianism, which was listened to with marked attention by the large audience, then came a solo by Mr. H. M. Kimmey and an address by Chancelor Commander, Theo. F. Brown.

After the close of the services the large number of members and their ladies and invited guests formed and marched to the banquet hall, where the committee of arrangements had prepared the banquet consisting of roast capon chicken, Campbell’s sliced ham, potato chips, celery, pickles, olives, finger rolls, biscuits, cheese, butter, coffee, harlequin ice cream, cake and cigars for the gentlemen, which was served in abundance by a corps of waiters.  Before being seated, Knight Rev. Wm. H. Hetrick, pastor of Grace Lutheran Church asked the diving blessing.

After enjoying the good things, the guests returned to the parlor and spent some time in social conversation and enjoyment and at a late hour all left for their homes hoping that the next 50 years will find Charity Lodge in existence and celebrating its one hundred anniversary.

The evening exercises were much enjoyed and the committee of arrangements have the thanks of their brethren for the able manner in which they discharged their duties.  The following had charge of the banquet:

Messrs. Oliver M. Crouse, Geo. F. Morelock, Frank W. Mather and J. Thos. Anders, committee of arrangements; Messrs. Geo. E. Mathews, Frank W. Mather, and Harry Starr, reception committee; Messrs, Walter H. Davis, W. Frank Thomas and John B. Saylor, had charge of the supper room; the waiters at the tables were:  Messrs. DeWitt Shunk, Noah Schaeffer, Russell Schaeffer, Frank Tracey, Trump Herr, Ober Herr, Joseph E. Hunter, Denton Gehr, Robert Billingslea, Albert Mitten, Luther Bankert, and John Whitmore.

The following composed the choir that rendered several selections which called forth applause:  Messrs. James D. Mitchell, Robert Billingslea, Harry M. Kimmey, Edwin Gehr, Walter Zepp, Claude T. Kimmey and Albert C. Mitten, Mrs. Harry M. Kimmey presided at the piano.  The Westminster High School Orchestra furnished fine music during the evening, and were much applauded.  The following are the members of the orchestra, Prof. Geo. F. Morelock, John Evans, Erma Kauffman, John Schweigart, Paul Morelock, Miss Ida Lockard, presided at the piano. Despite the disagreeable weather over 250 were present and all had a pleasant evening.”

The hope in 1914 that the Knights would still be around in 1964 was easily realized.  And although times have changed, the organization is still active in the charitable work in the community.  Today they help fight drug and alcohol abuse with an annual poster contest, support the Special Olympics and work for United Cerebral Palsy. 
Photo caption: The members of Charity Lodge, No. 58, Knights of Pythias, posed on the steps of the Westminster Armory in c1925.  Historical Society of Carroll County, J. Leland Jordan Collection, gift of the Commissioners of Carroll County, 1955