April 27th, 2009


Watsontown Lodge No. 619, Independent Order of Odd Fellows was organized by twenty charter members, who were initiated into the order at Milton, PA on December 7, 1867, and are as follows: Cyrus O. Bachman, Frederick H. Knight, James W. Johnson, Henry K. Whitman, David T. Krebs, Noah Ware, Thomas Carl, Aaron Kline, Henry I. Johnson, A. Yarnell, Henry Tobias, Benjamin F. Grier, Abraham G. Johnson, Samuel Thomas, Joseph Albright, John Y. Ellis, William F. Berger, William H. Miller, Nicholas Gauger, and C.G. Wyckoff. A charter was granted to the above members by the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania on January 25, 1868, under the name C.O. Bachman Lodge No. 619, I.O.O.F. and the first regular meeting of the Lodge was held on February 8, 1868 in the Shay Building, located at the corner of Main and Third Street, in the hall over the store now occupied by W.W. Welsh. This hall having been sublet to them by the American Mechanics. At this meeting the following officers were elected: John Y. Ellis, Noble Grand; Frederick H. Knight, Vice Grand; Thomas Carl, Secretary; James W. Johnson, Asst. Sec’y; and Benjamin F. Grier, Treasurer. They would meet every Saturday evening. During the first year the lodge admitted forty-five new members and from that time on there were very few new members added. Owing to the hard times and the depression in 1873 and 1874, a large number of members dropped their membership greatly reducing the number of members and thus decreasing the funds of the lodge to the point where there was but $33.42 in the hands of the Treasurer. After passing through this depression, the lodge emerged in 1880 with thirty-four members. The membership did bounce back so that by 1907 there were 137 members. In 1870 the lodge moved its quarters to the second floor of the Nicholas Gauger building on the corner of Main and Second Streets, now occupied by T.G. Caldwell’s store, and in 1871 the lodge changed its name to the Watsontown Lodge. August 23d of that same year they moved their quarters to the third floor of the Mansion House, then owned by John Foresman and afterward occupied by John Gilbert. They remained in this location for several yaers and then moved to the third floor of the Shoe Factory building. In a April 1890, they moved into a room on the third floor of the Marsh Block, which had just been completed, and occupied these rooms until they moved to their new quarters on the third floor of the Municipal Building on the southeast corner of Main and Fourth Streets in March 1913. They continued to meet here at least to June 1925. The Lodge never refused an appeal for aid and is always among the first to lend a helping hand. They were the second lodge to sign the application to the court for a charter for the Odd Fellow’s Orphans’ Home at Sunbury for the purpose of caring for the orphans of brother Odd Fellows. In 1907, this institution was caring for 77 children ranging in age from 5 to 18 years. In that same year a movement was started for the erection of a home for aged Odd Fellows in connection with the Orphans’ Home and this lodge was one of the most liberal contributers to this worthy cause. Up through 1907, this lodge had paid out in benefits $7970.78 for the relief of its members, their widows and orphans.

Noble Grands
John Y. Ellis186818891910
Thomas Carl186918901911
G.R. Miller188119021923
1882A.A. Killian19031924
1884Nelson Hester19051926
1886George Walters19071928

Last Modified: 12.27.22

Leave a Comment

Please note: Comment moderation is enabled and may delay your comment. There is no need to resubmit your comment.

Posted by jamesdrobison and filed under | No Comments »