April 27th, 2009


Freeland Castle, Knights of the Golden Eagle was instituted on November 3, 1887, with the work being conducted by District Grand Chief F.A. Robbins of Paxinos, assisted by delegations from Williamsport, Sunbury, and Danville. The following officers were installed: P.B. Walton, past chief; S.C. Hartranft, noble chief; Charles M. Bailor, vice chief; E.N. Johnson, high priest; Dore Burr, venerable hermit; J. Ward Diehl, master of records; Edward Waldschmidt, clerk of exchequer; D. L. Grier, sir herald; C.R. Goodman, worthy bard; H.G. Weidenhamer, worthy chamberlain; W.N. Albright, ensign; A.J. Keller, esquire; J.A. Walton, first guardsman; E.B. Ketner, second guardsman; and E. Sherman Follmer, W. T. Russell and W.C. Hunter, trustees. There were forty-one charter members, and much of the credit for the successful start of the order in Watsontown was due to Mr. P.B. Walton, who was not only the originator of the work, but continued it to a successful conclusion. The Castle met regularly every Friday evening in the P.O.S. of A. Hall in Hollopeter’s building. When the Marsh Block was erected, a room was fitted up expressly for Freeland Castle and they met there every Tuesday evening. The national organization was founded in 1873 in Baltimore, MD and had a militaristic/Christian perspective in its rituals and ceremonies. There were three degrees based on events and legends surrounding the Crusades of the Middle Ages: Pilgrim, Knight, and Crusader. According to Axelrod’s International Encyclopedia of Secret Societies and Fraternal Orders the organization went extinct sometime during the 1960s-70s, however, current research has shown that this group is still active in three states providing scholarships to college students. One unfortunate piece of history that overshadowed the KGE was that one of their members was responsible for the assassination of President William McKinley. The woman’s auxiliary was called the Ladies of the Golden Eagle.

Noble Chiefs
S.C. Hartranft188719021917
18901905E.M. Boughter1920
1891Charles Boughter19061921
E.L. Ficks1892George Michiner19071922
W.R. Johnson189419091924
W.A. Robbins189519101925
W.H. Whitman189619111926

Last Modified: 12.27.22

2 Responses

  1. Larry Rohrbach Says:

    My mother was a member of the Ladies of the Golden Eagle and has recently passed away. I found a notice of a Death Benefit but cannot find a current contact person to use for this information.
    Can you help?

    Comment by James Robison: The best I can do is share the following address with you. Perhaps they can help connect you with the proper information. Knights of the Golden Eagle; 412 Brookside Drive; Perkasie, PA 18944 ~ Hope this is helpful.

  2. Myla Pyne Says:

    A round of applause for your article post.Really looking forward to read more. Really Great.

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