History of the Order
The Order of Knights of Pythias is a great international fraternity which
was founded in Washington, DC, February 19, 1864, by Justus H. Rathbone,
and embraces more than two thousand subordinate lodges in the United
States and Canada, with occasional lodges having been formed elsewhere.
The primary object of fraternal organizations is to promote friendship
among men and to relieve suffering. Each organization adopts some
outstanding principle as its objective. The individuality of an order is
determined by its ideal sentiment. The distinguishing principles of the
Order of Knights of Pythias are "FRIENDSHIP, CHARITY and BENEVOLENCE".
CLICK TO LEARN MORE
The members of the
Fraternal Order Knights of Pythias are deeply involved in their
communities throughout the United States and Canada.
Their social and charitable activities are directed towards enhancing the
great principles of the Order - FRIENDSHIP, CHARITY, and BENEVOLENCE.
These principles are adhered to very strongly through contributions of
money, time, efforts and supplies to Pythians and non-Pythians alike. The
eventual aim and goal is the betterment of mankind.
For several years the United Cerebral Palsy Association was the primary
charity of the Pythian Order - both nationally and locally. Several
hundreds of thousands of dollars were raised for the cause, and many
Pythians still devote much time and energy on behalf of Cerebral Palsy.
CRESCENS LODGE IS PART OF EVENTFUL
DAY OF THE OPENING OF THE MAXWELL PLANT TIME CAPSULE!
On June 22, 1907, over 20,000 people came to
South 18th Street and I Avenue to witness , what was then, the
unveiling of the largest automobile factory in the world. The
Maxwell-Briscoe building was dedicated. The Vice-President of the
United States addressed the crowd. Mr Maxwell and Mr. Briscoe
assisted the Machinist Union and Crescens Lodge #33, Knights of Pythias
is laying the time capsule and cornerstone for the building in a giant
celebration. One hundred years to the day, "The Vice_President"
delivered portions of the same speech, "Mr. Maxwell and Mr. Briscoe"
were present and Crescens Lodge members CC Jack Kimble, Trustee Jess
Adams and Secretary Dennis Adams were present for the removal of the
time capsule from the cornerstone before a standing room only crowd.
the artifacts were taken to Baker Park for a five hour showing to the
public. The Knights of Pythias of Crescens Lodge #33 and the
Pythian Sisters of Venus Temple #50 served a luncheon of bar-b-q, cole
slaw, baked beans, potato chips, cookies and drink for $5.00 for a fund
raiser. We also received untold amounts of publicity.
It was a great day in history for New Castle, Crescens Lodge and the
VOLUNTEER OF THE YEAR
DINNER/DANCE IS AWESOME!! -
The 4th annual
Volunteer of the Year Dinner & Dance is now history as it was held on Sunday, April 1,
WE WERE CERTAINLY HONORED TO HAVE SUPREME CHANCELLOR
DAVID MEAD AND HIS LOVELY LADY NANCY IN ATTENDANCE!!
Knights, Sisters and guests attended this gala affair! The tables
were adorned with blue, yellow, red & white table covers. They had
baskets of flowers in lodge colors and candles burning in lodge colors.
PDSC Sir Dennis Adams led the group in a very moving invocation which
incorporated thoughts about Palm Sunday and Holy Week. A delicious
buffet dinner was spread by Julie Miller Catering and enjoyed by all.
PC Karl Gregg played wonderful dinner music during our meal.
Following dinner, PDSC Adams introduced Knight and Sister dignitaries as
well as the Officers of Crescens Lodge #33. He then introduced the
2004 Volunteer of the Year Sir Jess Adams and the 2005 Volunteer of the
Year PGC Richard Messer, who took over as Master of Ceremonies.
The lights in the room were extinguished, a spot light came on, and our
great country's flag appeared for presentation. A very stirring
rendition of the National Anthem, sang by Celeste Bramlett, was played.
Following the presentation of the colors, PGC Messer explained how
difficult it was to select the Volunteer of the year. Assisting in
the selection of the candidate from the crowd was PC Jodi Goff of Venus
Temple #50. PC Richard Neal was selected from the crowd and given
a standing ovation. He was presented with a beautiful plaque, a
balloon bouquet and a special gold coin from Supreme Chancellor David
Mead. In a surprise move by the lodge, PDSC Sir Dennis Adams was
honored for his many years of service and dedication to the lodge and to
the Order. He was presented with a beautiful "Lifetime
Volunteerism" plaque and his wife, PGC/GS Maridene with a lovely corsage. Supreme Chancellor David
Mead also presented Brother Adams with one of his special gold coins.
Both Brothers gave short talks and thanked the lodge for the honors
bestowed. But the evening was FAR from over! Supreme
Chancellor David Mead addressed the assembly with a very nice talk about
Pythianism. He also spoke on his Honor Lodge Program. He
then surprised us by naming CRESCENS LODGE #33 as one of his HONOR
LODGES FOR THE UNITED STATES!!!!! WOW!!! What an
HONOR!!! We were blown away , and at the same time VERY
humbled and HONORED! THANK YOU SUPREME CHANCELLOR! Following photo
sessions, music and fellowship was enjoyed by all. It was a GREAT
The New Castle Courier
New Castle, Ind., Friday, June 12, 1891.
A GREAT DAY
Tuesday’s Grand Event the Dedication of the New K. of P. Castle.
GREAT OUTPOURING OF PEOPLE
Imposing Parade – Eloquent Orations – Impressive Ceremonies – Success
During the past thirty years public sentiment has undergone a radical
change in its attitude toward secret benevolent organizations. The growth
of fraternal feeling has kept equal pace with the marvelous development of
the country, and the great benevolent bodies have been abreast of the
grand procession marching with ceaseless tread to that enviable goal – a
higher and happier civilization. Among these organizations which have
sprung up from time to time, one of the greatest growth and widest
influence, and one which has found the readiest response to its teachings
in the generous chivalry of American hearts, is the Knights of Pythias.
This Order found a foothold in Indiana soon after its organization in
1865, and has spread rapidly over the state since that time.
New Castle was one of the communities in Indiana that early sought to have
the beautiful legend of Damon and Pythias perpetuated in its midst and on
the 18th of May, 1873, Crescens Lodge No. 33 was organized, with
twenty-one charter members. It was instituted by Charles P. Carty, Grand
Keeper of Records and Seals, assisted by Past Chancellors Wm. P. Stahr and
John M. Ray, and the entire membership of Cambridge Lodge No. 9. It
required just two days to secure the requisite signers to the petition,
and the following became charter members: D. W. Kinsey, A. W. Coffin, R.
H. Mellette, Emile Kahn, E. B. Mooney, George N. Rea, W. H. Albright,
Leonidas Rodgers, H. L. Mullen, N. T. Nixon, A. M. Grose, C. H.
Cunningham, C. R. Scott, Henry Devins, John F. Murphey, W. G. Hillock, Lee
Harvey, Henry Herliman, Frank Bowers and Thomas B. Loer. The first
officers installed were:
Past Chancellor – A.M. Grose
Chancellor Commander – Thomas B. Loer
Vice Chancellor – A.W. Coffin
Keeper of the Records and Seals – George N Rea
Prelate – H.L. Mullen
Master of Finance – E.B. Mooney
Master of the Exchequer – D.W. Kinsey
Master at Arms – C.R. Scott
Inside Guard – W.G. Hillock
Outside Guard – R.H. Mellette
From its modest beginning, the lodge has grown to be one of numbers and
one of the wealthiest in the state. The membership has increased from the
original twenty-one to much more than ten times that number and the
exchequer from a balance on the wrong side to nearly $25,000. The lodge
itself has not only grown, but all branches of the Order have found a
footing along with it. In May, 1887, New Castle Division No. 34 of the
Uniformed Rank was instituted, and is now in a condition commensurate with
the parent organization. A section of the Endowment Rank is also attached
to the lodge, and many of the members are preparing for the comforts of
the widows, and orphans that are sure to come. Not a little of the fame of
this celebrated lodge has been won, and justly, too, by New Castle’s
famous Knights of Pythias Band, which, under the skillful direction of
Prof. Frank Wilson, has become of the most widely celebrated
non-professional bands in the entire country.
The present officers are:
Past Chancellor – George Rogers
Chancellor Commander – A.D. Ogborn
Vice Chancellor – Dan Monroe
Prelate – J.W. Maxim
Keeper of the Records and Seals – George Wilson
Master of Finance – Ed Mahan
Master of the Exchequer – John D. Wright
Master at Arms – Nal Pence
Inner Guard – Perry Canaday
Outer Guard Linn A. Gander
Years ago the castle hall became too small for the meetings of the lodge
and the subject of procuring another and larger one was widely agitated.
The members were a unit on the proposition that the lodge should meet in
its own, and it was finally decided to build a castle which should be an
ornament to the city, an honor to the lodge and a lasting monument to the
beneficent teachings of friendship, charity and benevolence. The resources
were converted into cash, and in 1887 a tract of ground 82 ½ x 165 feet,
facing the public square was purchased. This exhausted the exchequer, and
then, on account of lack of funds, there came that hardest task of energy
and enthusiasm - a long wait. Finally sufficient money was realized from
various sources to begin the building. Plans for a magnificent structure
were prepared, and in the summer of 1890 the walls began to rise. Since
that time six hundred thousand brick, one hundred cars loads of stone,
five thousand yards of plastering and other materials in proportion have,
by the hands of half a hundred skilled mechanics, converted this structure
into a handsome edifice.
The castle faces south on Broad Street. It is of brick, trimmed with
stone, 82 ½ feet front, 55 feet high, three stories and is 82 feet deep.
Its architecture is a style of its own – being a combination of all the
modern styles blended into an edifice beautiful to behold. The front and
west sides are set in red mortar, and at first glance one would suppose
that pressed brick had been used. It is supplied with water and gas – the
latter for both lighting and heating. Inside it is furnished entirely with
quartered oak, with hard maple floors. The basement is divided into
compartments, with strong heavy walls and modern improvements. This is
used by the three merchants who occupy the three store rooms on the first
floor. The front is of iron, with French plate-glass windows, 68 x 144,
rooms 30, 22 and 26 feet respectively, in the clear. The entrance to the
second floor is at the southeast corner, up a five foot oak stairway. At
the end of a little hall running south from the top of the stairs is the
wicket that opens into the ante room 25 x 26, with a cloak room 12 x 14.
The castle hall proper is 50 x 52 ½, with twenty-six foot ceiling. It is
lighted from the south and west by eleven windows, each fourteen feet high
with a stained glass, hinged transom. There are registers and ventilators,
and by means of a large shaft, the air in the room is changed every five
minutes. The ceiling is paneled and molded in a very artistic manner. In
one corner is the property room, twenty-five feet square and at the north
end shut off by sliding doors sixteen feet wide and eleven feet high, is
another 24 x 26 foot assembly chamber. The officers room is 15 x 26.
To the east of the castle hall, and through a hall fourteen feet wide, is
the waiting room for candidates, which is also used for a reading and
smoking room. The room is 18 x 26. By means of a wide hall, the third
story can be reached without touching either the waiting or lodge rooms. A
hall fourteen feet wide separates the third story into three different
apartments. Near the head of the stairs is the kitchen, 18 x 26, and
opposite it is the banquet hall, 26 x 60 with a ceiling 17 feet high. Here
can be seated 200 people. Across the hall from the banqueting room is the
Armory for the Uniformed Rank which is 26 x 14. The building is exceeding
well plumbed, and fitted up with closets and wash rooms, and particular
attention has been paid to sanitary matters and acoustics.
To dedicate this modern castle – the home of the newer and nobler
chivalry; the chivalry of forbearance and fraternal love ; of kindness and
true manhood – the members of Crescens Lodge set apart last Tuesday.
Carrying into the preparation for this momentous event in the history of
their lodge and city that ceaseless energy which has marked their course
thus far, they arranged to make the occasion one long to be remembered,
not only by themselves and the citizens of the city, but by Knights of
Pythias all over the country.
Notwithstanding the threat of bad weather for two days before and even up
to 9 or 10 o’clock in the morning of the eventful day, the trains arriving
Monday night and Tuesday morning brought large delegations, the arrival of
which filled the hearts of the anxious and doubting with renewed hope and
courage. The labor of decorating with arches, flags, bunting and evergreen
commenced Monday afternoon and was prosecuted with diligence and to good
effect. By 10 o’clock Tuesday morning New Castle was array in holiday
attire. The town was never before so elaborately decorated. Everybody
seemed to enter into the spirit of the occasion. Neighbor vied with
neighbor to produce the most striking and attractive effect. Everywhere
the colors of the organization, blue, yellow and red, were prominently
displayed, banners and shields with K. of P. devices and emblems hung from
every window, and there was literally no end to the exhibition of National
flags. The iron arches across Main and Broad Streets were turned to good
use, and were made things of beauty by the touch of artistic hands. The
scene was magnificent.
At an early hour Tuesday morning the whole city was astir, and the
measured tramp of feet betoken the coming host. Every arriving from north,
south, east or west brought its quota of Uniformed Rank and other Knights.
Soon the air resounded with strains of music, and divisions marched hither
and thither, in preparation of the grand parade, followed wherever they
went by crowds of people anxious to admire their attractive uniforms and
witness their maneuvers. The attendance of citizens from Henry and
adjoining counties was very large, the streets being in a perfect jam from
morning until far into the night.
The arrangements for the parade involved the reception of the Knights
arriving on the morning Panhandle and L., E. & W. trains from the north,
east and south thence across town to receive the divisions and delegations
expected on the “Big 4” from Indianapolis and other points, thence back to
the Panhandle in time to meet the Hamilton contingent, which were down on
the program as escort to Governor Campbell of Ohio. Belated trains
interfered with arrangements to some, but not a serious degree. It was 12
o’clock noon when the column started from Broadway, east of the railroad,
and moved in imposing splendor on the line of march in the following
(unreadable) O. Barnard, Marshal, and staff;
New Castle K. of P. Band;
Brig. Gen. James R. Ross and staff;
First Regiment Band;
First Regiment, Indiana Brigade, Uniform Rank;
Logansport Uniform Rank Band;
Detached Divisions, Uniformed Rank;
Third Regiment, Indiana Brigade, Uniform Rank;
Judge George K. Nash, Gen. James R. Carnahan and;
Other Distinguished members with escort, in carriages;
And marched west to Main Street, north to Mooney, west to Elliott, south
to Broad, east to Court, south to Indiana avenue, east to Main, south on
Main, countermarch and north on Main to Broad when the line broke ranks.
The display exceeded the most sanguine expectations of the most
enthusiastic planners of the demonstration.
At the conclusion of the parade a vast assemblage collected about the
speaker’s stand erected in the court house yard, where the program as
further arranged was proceeded with. Hon. L.P. Mitchell, in eloquent and
fitting words extended a cordial welcome to the city’s guests. Hon. Henry
U. Johnson of Richmond, responded in a happy vein, after which an
adjournment was taken until 1:30 pm.
In anticipation of an enormous demand upon the culinary resources of the
town, the lady members of several of the churches had made arrangements to
feed the hungry for a small consideration. The Presbyterians established
themselves in Gough’s room, corner Broad and Court streets, the Lutherans
in the room recently vacated by Williams, Gilbert & Runyan, the Christians
in the room of W.F.Boor, on east Broad, the Methodists in the Powell room
opposite the Courier office, and the Episcopalians under canvass adjoining
the K. of P. castle. All of these places were quickly transformed into the
appearance of first-class restaurants. All were crowded at the meal hours
on Tuesday with hungry patrons, who were mostly satisfactorily fed at
moderate cost. It was a day of toil for the ladies and their male
assistants, but the financial results were good.
At 1:30 o’clock p.m. the crowd again assembled in the courthouse yard,
where, after music by the K. of P. band, Judge George K. Nash, of the Ohio
Supreme Court, delivered a scholarly and interesting oration. Governor
Campbell, of Ohio, had agreed to come and full arrangements had been made
with his home lodge at Hamilton to escort him, but at a late hour the
serious illness of the Governor’s wife prevented him from keeping the
engagement, and he sent Judge Nash as his substitute. Naturally there was
disappointment with many in there not being able to hear Governor
Campbell, but he surely could not have delivered a more entertaining
address than that of Judge Nash.
At 3:30 o’clock the Castle Hall became the center of attraction on account
of the dedicatory exercises set for that hour. The second and third floors
of the great structure were quickly packed with a mass of living but
orderly humanity. Hon. C. S. Hernley, for and on behalf of Crescens Lodge,
in an eloquent recital of the history of the efforts of New Castle
Pythians, resulting in the grand edifice now owned and occupied by the
lodge, presented the castle to the Grand Lodge for dedicatory purposes.
Past Grand Chancellor Chas. E. Shively, assisted by a coterie of Grand
Lodge officers, performed the beautiful and impressive ceremonies
consecrating the castle to the purposes designed by its projectors. With
this occasion was concluded the official exercises of the day, and after
it the knights were free to enjoy themselves as best they could until the
hour of departure for their several homes rolled around.
The grand ball in the evening, for which several hundred invitations had
been issued, kept many. This proved one of the most brilliant affairs ever
recorded in the city. Over two hundred couples were present, and although
the room is a very large one, the floor was at times so crowded as to be
uncomfortable. But everybody was happy and seemed to think that if they
could not dance they could talk and laugh. Montani Bros. full orchestra
furnished the music, and the ball was a decided success in every
This is the accounting of the dedication of the Castle Hall dedication
that is still used by Crescens Lodge No. 33 today! We hope you have
enjoyed reading this part of our history!