The Sunday Oregonian. (Portland, Ore.) 1881-current, July 07, 1912, SECTION SEVEN, Page 5, Image 77

Below is the OCR text representation for this newspapers page. It is also available as plain text as well as XML.

    , ' mi? . SUNDAY . OREGOXIAy. rORTLAND. JUL.Y 7, 1912.
iJii' .kiEJ liJy
. . . . fc
I . - - ' I
HISTORY regarding the early
:career of the Benevolent and Pro
tective Order of Elks is not ex
tctly clear and many points are In
doubt, especially those relating to the
transitory, stage from the original
"Jolly Corks"' to the organization of
which New York Lodge .No. 1 is the
juccessor. '
That Charles Algernon Sidney Vivian,
a talented actor of English birth, was
the founder of the present Order of
Elks is the generally accepted' theory
among lodge members, but historians
of the organization do not agree on
that point. They all accept Vivian as
the organizer of a club or society com
posed of actors and known1 by them as
the "Jolly Corks," but :cme authorities
declare that Vivian was not the found
er of the Elks.
It Is agreed, however, that the Elks
were the logical successors of the
Jolly Corks, and whether Vivian was
or was not the founder of the popular
organization which begins its annual
sessions in Portland this week Is prob
ably a matter of personal opinion, as
the Question would have to be decided
on a technicality.
"Corks" Meet First la 1S67.
The Jolly Corks, according to the
published account written by George
W. Thompson, first exalted ruler of
New York Lodge, had their beginning
in the Winter of 1S67, holding their
meetings on Sunday evenings in a
frame building, 17 Delancey street, over
the saloon of Paul Sommers, near the
Bowery, in the City of New York.
Vivian was the leaderof this merry
crowd. He was the chairman. Other
members were: John T. Kent. W. Lloyd
Bowron, Harry Bcsworth, E. W. Piatt,
Richard R. Stelrly. George F. McDonald,
M. G. Ashe, J. G.. Wilton, Thomas G.
Riggs. William Sheppard, William
Carle ton. Frank Langhorn, John H.
Blume and Harry Vandermark. of these
Langhorn. Bowron and Piatt are still
All these men as well as nearly
everyone who affiliated with the Jolly
Corks were actors or journalists, or in
various ways connected with the stage
or the newspaper profession. Their or
ganization grew into popularity and
rapidly increased in membership.
Larger quarters were secured and a
change in name for the organization
Invited. In all these activities Vivian,
according to best authorities, was one
of the moving spirits. In England,
With the exception of the ses
sion of 1S77. which was held In
Philadelphia, the grand lodge
from the date of Its organization
In 1S71 met annually In New York
City until 1890, after which It
migrated as follows:
1890 Cleveland. O. '
ISOl Louisville. Ky.
IS92 Buffalo, N. T. . - r
IS03 Detroit. Mich.
1SW Atlantic City. If. J.
1S95 Atlantic City, N. J.
1S3 CInelnatti. O.
1807 Minneapolis. Minn.
1898 New Orleans. La.
JSU9 St. Louis. Mo.
1900 Atlantic City. N. J.
10O1 Milwaukee, wis.
1902 Salt Lake City. Utah. '
1903 Baltimore. Mi
1904 Cincinnati. O.
1905 Buffalo. N. Y.
190 Denver. Colo.
1907 Philadelphia,- Pa.
1908 Dallas, Tex.
1009 Los Angeles. Cal.
1910 Detroit. Mich.
1911 Atlantic City. N. "J.
1912 Portland. Or.
where he' lived before coming to Amer
ical, he had been connected with an or
ganization known as the Buffaloes, and
this name was suggested. It was dis
carded, however, and after a - careful
search of the various other animals in
the category the name "Elk", was
Committee Hunts for Kme.
Accounts vary as to how the order
came to be called "Elk." One theory
has it that a committee of "Corks" as
signed to find a new name went to
Barnum's. museum, where they studied
the various animals on exhibition. All
others met with some objections until
they came to the elk. with its grace
ful antlers, its timidity, its gentleness
and its readiness- to protect others of
its kind in time of danger. .
In his history of the origin of the
order. Thompson gives the following
version of how the name came to be
adopted: "Finally Brother Thomas G.
Riggs, who was born on Elk street. In
Buffalo, hit upon the name Elk, and
on again visiting Cooper Union, we
found , in Goldsmith's "Animated Na
ture" a description of the animal,
which 'Brother McDonald ; afterwards
utilized in the lecture."
On February 16, 186S, the name was
changed to the Benevolent and Pro
tective Order of Elks, its present form.
A committee on constitution was ap
pointed and drafted" a form of laws, the
outline of which remains the basis of
Elk Jurisprudence today. - v
Vivian Elected to Highest Office.
Vivian was elected "right honorable
prlmoV of the new organization, a posi
tion corresponding to that of the ex
alted -ruler in the present-day lodge
There were three "deputies." corre
SDondlng to the three chairs of today.
A recording secretary, a -corresponding
secretary, a treasurer and a tyler com
pleted the list of officers.
It is a matter of record that Vivian
presided at but -one or two meetings
of the new organization, professional
engagements at Philadelphia - or in
Pittsburg detaining him.
Vivian, however, is . credited . with
composing some of the principal parts
of the early-day ritual. The new ritual
was adopted May 27. 1868, but Vivian,
it seems, was not present at that meet
ing, still being absent with a profes
sional company, of which he was a
member. The others who had been
members . of the "Jolly Corks" were
present and were obligated. Vivian
still held the office of "Right Honor
able Primo." but, to use Thompson's
account, "he had been, written to fre
quently, asking him to be present and
take the degrees, but no reply was re
ceived. " Consequently when the elec
tion took place. Brother -George W.
Thompson was elected exalted ruler
and right honorable primo."
Elks Give Their First Ball. '
On June 8. 1868. the newly organized
Elks gave a ball at the Academy of
Music in Fourteenth street. New York.
Vivian returned from Philadelphia in
time to attend this function, but those
who had the affair in charge had not
made provision for his presence, inas
much as he bad not become an obligat
ed Elk. A week .later he applied for
initiation in the regular manner, but
was rejected. From that time he never
again was connected with the order.
Vivian died March SO. 1880. at Lead
vlUc. Colo., where he had conducted a
variety theater. His body was interred
there, but early in 1889 it was exhumed
and placed In the Elks' Rest, .Mount
Hope Cemetery. Boston, where a sub
stantial monument .has been- erected
to his memory. On the. great copper
plate, embedded in one side of it. ap
nuri these words. "Charles Algernon
Sidney Vivian. Foiinder of the Order of
Elks a lover of his kind, who founded
a great order and by so doing wrought
much good.
Although some historians, among
them Thompson, refuse to give Vivian
credit for founding the order, the late
Meade D. Detwellerj -when he was grand
exalted ruler, wrote what is consid
ered a very authentic history, In which
he used the following words: "X re
gard . as forever settled, beyond any
cavil or question the fact that Brother
Vivian is ' the man to whom belongs
m:c i if M 11 r? J Li ;o
C A - " -
l g ' j
. If C Q I & 1
SAN FRANCISCO Elks will come to
Portland- 250 strong to . wage a
campaign for the reunion, the year
of the Panama-Pacific Exposltlon.-
The party ' is headed ' by ' Louis T.
Bylngton, who is chairman of the Port
land committee of the San Francisco
lodge. J. H. Harbour, whose term as
the honorable .title of 'Founder, of the
Elks,' inasmuch as the suggestion of
perpetuity -was made by him and which
I believe will be fully demonstrated
by a careful perusal of this - brief
epitome of the various steps of evolu-
exalted ruler expired this year, ,1s the
official delegate to the local conven
tion and will waste no time In. letting
his fellow Elks know that his city is.
a contestant for : the 1915 honor.
W. B. Frazer is chairman of the pub-,
iicity committee; "W. Webster, chair
man of the committee on: transporta
tion; S. A. White, chairman of the com-
-I'M' -
' If;- - I ;
tion accompanying the Institution of
an order of which. , we are proud to -be
members.." .. '
" Ellis Says Vivian Is Founder.
Charles Edward Ellis, of Chicago, a
recent historian, does not seem to doubt
FOR 1915
mlttee on uniforms and badges. P. J.
Lynch is vice-chairman of the Port
land committee, and Harry Catlin
chairman of the conference committee.
Among the prominent members of the
San Francisco lodge who have been
active in the preliminary campaign are:
W. J. Boyd, William M. - Abbott, N.
Dennis and Alex F. Williams.
: '5aV '
a rf - I? , '
H --socks
the reliability of the claim made by
Vivian's friends that he was the
founder of the order. In recent years
efforts have-been made to have Viv
ian's name placed on the roster along
with those of the early members of the
original lodge, but havo failed. Some
grand lodge members predict that
eventually this will be done.
For nearly three years following the
transition of the Jolly Corks into the
Benevolent and Protective Order of
Elks the organization thrived as a club
or society in itself. The idea of spread
ing out and establishing branches in
the various other cities did not suggest
itself until early in 1871. It is prob
able that on account of the nomadic
life led by many of the members, near
ly all of whom were actors, the neces
sity of having branches in the various
other cities became manifest.
Meetings of the New York lodge
were held at irregular Intervals in
Philadelphia, Chicago, San Francisco
and other cities in which actors were
likely to gather In large numbers. Re
peated requests were made of the so
ciety in New York for the organization
of branch bodies. As the order in
New York was incorporated in that
state., it .could not be given authority
to establish branches in other states.
Accordingly the New York lodge sur
rendered its rights as a supreme body
and a new application was made to the
state for a grand lodge charter. As
many newspaper men then, as now,
were connected with the order, they
secured the consent of the Legislature
on March 10. 1871. The grand lodge
then issued a charter to the old organ
isation, which became known as New
fork Lodge, No. 1. - Soon thereafter a
charter issued to Philadelphia LodiTe.
The first meeting of the grand lodge,
as such, was held in New York two
days following the granting of the
charter by the Legislature. George J.
Green was elected the presiding officer
and therefore became the first grand
exalted ruler. . .
San Francisco Chartered In 1S70.
. It was not until 1876 that a charter
was granted for the organization of a
lodge in San Francisco. It was about
this time that Henry P. O'Neil became
prominently idenitfied 'with the order.
He was a man of peculiar talents and
Introduced numerous original features
that nave assisted to make . Elkdoro
popular. He wrote a new set of laws,
which today remain the basis of the
Elk government. Chicago Lodge. No.
4 was instituted while he was in pow
er. From that time the order grew
At this time Arthur C. Moreland. the
veteran editor of the Alks Antler, of
New York, served as grand secretary
and did nuch to place that office on a
business basis. He also assisted in
levlsing the ritual and introduced
many of the features that are popular
today. It is with regret that many
Klks learn of his iability to attend the
Portland convention.
Continued growth and prosperity
blessed the organization until 1890,
when the first attempt was made to
hold a grand lodge session outside the
City of New York. The grand lodge
convened in Cleveland, O., and the New
York members rebelled. It seems that
the organization, which originally had
been composed of actors and newspa
per men almost exclusively, now was
dominated by business men, who want
ed to niaKe the grand lodge migratory.
A rEl convention, attended by mem
bers of various Eastern lodges, was
held In New York and for a time a
disruption was threatened. The Cleve
land convention . won Its contention,
however, and that makes possible the
grand ludsre meeting in Portland this
week. TJirfe years later '.he New
York'ljlge was restored to good stand
ing in :)ic order. . i
Two Conventions Are Held.
It was only the following year, how
ever, when further difficulties threat
ened the order. Through a misunder
standing ' between 'the grand - trustees
j1a.'is 1
on one hand and the grand exalted
ruler and grand secretary on the other,
two sessions of the grand lodge were
scheduled for tne Summer of 18M the
one at Jamestown. N. Y.. and the other
at Atlantic City, N. J. It seems, how
ever, that the Atlantic City meeting,
which was sanctioned by the trustees,
has become recognized as the official
session. The same place was select
ed for the 1885 meeting, with the ad
herents of the Jamestown convention
still refusing to attend. The following
year 1896 witnessed a reunion of
both branches at Cincinnati and since
then all has been peace and harmony
in the organization. To Meade V.
Detweiler. who- began his term as grand
exalted ruler the following year, is
given much of the credit due to the
successful adjustment of the difference
between the two factions.
In the following years the order ad
vanced steadily to its present plan of
substantiabllity and popularity that
makes it the pride and source of de
light and happiness to each of Its 885,
000 members. '
Pioneers of ' Lane County Kecall
W inter He Spent With Them.
Pioneers of Roseburg and other parts
of Lane County have a peculiar In
terest in the present grand lodge con
vention by reason of the fact that they
cherished an intimata acquaintance
with Charles A. S. Vivian, the reputed
founder of the order. Vivian spent the
greater part of the Winter of 1873 in
Roseburg, and although' at that time
he was not actively connected with the
New York lodge, which he had been
instrumental in starting, he is said to
have practiced in every day life those
precepts which modern EJkdom ex
emplifies. L. F. Lane, one of the early day resi
dents of Lane County, was a very in
timate friend of Mr. Vivian and a
strong mutual admiration existed be
tween them. There are many porsons
living In Roseburg today who recall
Vivian's visit to that city and his many .
pleasing traits of character. -
On the occasion of the death of
Charles A. S. Vivian, reputed
founder of the Elks, Joaquin
Miller, the "poet of the Sierras,"
wrote the following verses:
la Memorlnm.
Who makes two blades of grass to
prow, . -
Two blades of crass where grew but
' one.
Is sreater than Napoleon, .
Or he who wrought his overthrow.
And chained his chafing soul In
thrall, i
But he who plucks up wrinkled care
And plants a smile of pleasure thera
Plants two red roses In the sun
Where dim and doubtful grew but
. one
Is greater, nobler far than all.
I count this sunny, loving boy.
This laughing Vivian who drew
All hearts to his, because he knew
The curse of care, .the pay of Joy,
The patron saint of chastened pride.
To babe, or mother, young or old.
Ills hands : were as - hands full of
" gold,
A smile for all, a tear for all, ,
He never caused one tear to fall.
Save when he bowed his head and
. . died. . '
x Ass