BENEVOLENT AND PROTECTIVE ORDER OF THE ELK (BPOE)
Early BPOElks History- “Elks are never forgotten ~ never forsaken.”
For many years, this preamble served as a guiding principle for actions and activities for its members. Elks were required in the original constitution to attend the funeral of a fallen brother. Their first benefit raised $1,000 for a widow of a deceased Elk – an astounding amount of money at the time. As other Elks died, a special ceremony was created called the Lodge of Sorrow with the first public service being held on March 20, 1870. This became an annual event that we now celebrate as our Memorial Service. Sometime after that a provision was made for the chair Officers to become the Standing Relief committee. Any Elk in distress would petition this committee for help which apparently was often requested and granted. For example, Salisbury lodge archives contain a number of telegrams from members who were stranded far from home and in need of financial assistance to help them with their predicament. For the first 21 years, the Elks grew gradually from one Lodge of 58 members to 158 Lodges with 13,067 members. Once theatrical membership restrictions were removed growth really took off and by 1909, there were 1,155 Lodges with 304,899 members. By the end of WWI, nearly 200,000 more were added to the rolls with the number of Lodges increasing to 1,280. In North Carolina, 20 lodges were chartered during this golden period. All except Washington #822 are still operating.
*Note Early on, members of the Elks began wearing an elk’s tooth as identification.
This incredible vintage fob dates circa 1900’s to 1910’s. The piece features two real or Faux Elk’s teeth, which are encased in an ornate 14k yellow gold cap. 14k Monogramed. Name: Potter, Frederick E. — (I believe). A Democrat. Candidate for Governor of New Hampshire, 1900. Burial location unknown.