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THE SPIRIT LAKE POSTOFFICE—POSTMASTERS—THE SPIRIT LAKE BEACON, THE PIONEER NEWSPAPER—THE EARLY ADVERTISERS—EARLY HISTORY OF THE PAPER BY J. A. SMITH—ITS SUBSEQUENT HISTORY—OTHER VENTURES IN THE NEWSPAPER LINE—THE DICKINSON COUNTY JOURNAL—THE SPIRIT LAKE DEMOCRAT—"HUCKLEBERRY'S PAPER"—THE SPIRIT LAKE PILOT—THE DICKINSON COUNTY HERALD—CIVIC SOCIETIES—A. F. & A. M.—O. E. S.—ROYAL ARCH—KNIGHTS TEMPLAR—I. O. OF O. F.—PATRONS OF HUSBANDRY—GOOD TEMPLARS—K. OF P.—A. O. U. W.—G. A. R.—M. W. OF A.—AMERICAN YEOMEN.
R. U. WHEELOCK was postmaster from the time the office was established in February, 1858, until up to the time he left the county in 1863. When he left he did not expect to remain away permanently, consequently did not resign, but turned the office over to Mr. Parmenter, who conducted the office in Wheelock's name. He kept the office at his residence, which was at or near the present site of the Presbyterian Church. After about two years he moved to Boone and turned the office over to G. Blackert, who was the next regularly commissioned postmaster. Mr. Blackert being in trade, at the time, kept the office at the store until he quit business and went to farming, when he moved the office to his residence which was on the block now occupied by E. D. Carlton. He remained postmaster until the fall of 1869, when he resigned and was succeeded by Eber Palmer. A year or two previous to this time a second store had been erected by Oliver Compton, and the postoffice was now moved to the new store, where it remained, about a year and a half, when Mr. Compton sold out to A. Willard, and embarked in the precarious enterprise of building a first-class flouring mill to be run by the water drawn from Spirit Lake through a race dug for that purpose. The old race is there yet, all else having disappeared long ago.
The disastrous collapse of that enterprise has already been noticed. Compton lost all he had and Barkman lost heavily, although it did not break him up, but they both found out it takes lots of water and some cash to run a gristmill. In the meantime Mr. Palmer had moved the postoffice into the building which he and Mr. Barkman had been constructing, which afterwards came to be known as the postoffice building. The postoffice was kept here until the building was sold to Henry Baxter and he commenced overhauling it for a hotel, when it was moved to the New York Store. Mr. Palmer held the office until 1883, when he was succeeded by Hon. A. B. Funk, who held it until after Cleveland's first election. Since that time the postmasters have been A. F. Heath, E. L. Brownell, A. F. Bergman, Joseph A. Smith and A. F. Bergman for a second term. It was made a presidential office in 1883.
The Spirit Lake Beacon was the first newspaper in the county, and with the exception of the Northern Vindicator, published at Estherville, was the first in the state west of Algona, and north of Sioux City. The oldest copy that can be found is No. 14, Vol. 1, and bears date December 6, 1870. This would indicate that the first number was issued September 6, 1870. But few numbers of the first volume were preserved. This can be accounted for by the fact that the paper was edited in Spirit Lake, and printed in Estherville, and each party supposed the other was taking care of the files. The regular file commences with the first number of the second volume, and is dated November 10, 1871. There was a break of several numbers between the first and second volumes incident to the buying of a printing outfit and other contingencies. The scattered numbers of the first volume show the Spirit Lake advertisers for 1871 to have been as follows: A. M. Johnson, general store; A. Willard, dry goods; J. T. Whitlock, dry goods; Jemerson & Chisholm, blacksmiths ; Orson Rice, attorney ; R. L. Wilcox, attorney, land and insurance ; A. A. Mosher, attorney and land agent; W. S. Beers, physician; George C. Bellows, boots and shoes; E. Palmer, hardware; E. F. Hill, surveyor ; W. B. Brown, notary public, surveyor and clerk of district court; O. Compton, Spirit Lake flouring mills, Bailey stage and express; O. Crandall, Crandall House. A. W. Osborne was associated with Mr. Rice in the law business before the close of the year. Of the above list two, A. M. Johnson and D. R. Chisholm, still advertise in the Beacon, and it is only natural to suppose that their advertisements varied, of course, to suit the varying conditions, have appeared in every number of the paper from first to last.
The first published schedule of the arrival and departure of mails at the Spirit Lake postoffice appears in the issue for March 28, 1871, and is as follows:
"The Blue Earth City mail arrives every Wednesday at six o'clock p. m., and departs every Thursday at seven a. m. Cherokee arrives every Friday at eleven a. m. and departs every Monday at twelve m. Jackson arrives Monday at eleven a. m. and departs Friday at twelve m."
'In the issue of June sixth a change is noticed whereby the Cherokee and Jackson mail is carried each way three times a week. Another change was ordered to take effect February 1, 1873, whereby the mail was carried each way daily over this route. Inasmuch as the Beacon is the pioneer paper of the county it is entitled to a more extended notice. The following account was written by J. A. Smith, one of its early editors, and was published in the issue of December 9, 1875:
"Five years, ago the people of Spirit Lake and Dickinson County made up their minds that a newspaper was necessary to promote their interests. The county then contained about twelve hundred inhabitants. Spirit Lake boasted of a dozen buildings and Milford had just been platted. Not a very promising field truly but the project was discussed pro and con and finally decided in the affirmative. The question then arose as to who would stand sponsor for the literary fledgeling. The responsibility was a grave one. It entailed much labor without remuneration and the chances were about nine in ten that the publisher would sink money.
"Finally Messrs. Orson Rice and R. L. Wilcox agreed to make the venture, Mr. Rice to attend to the financial arrangements and Mr. Wilcox to do the editorial work. Another important problem was the choosing of a name for the embryo journal. This took some hard thought and was for several days the subject of grave deliberation in the Crandall House barroom, George Bellows' boot, and shoe shop and Roscoe Brown's saloon, which were the three principal places of public resort. It was the general feeling that there is everything in a name, and common titles, such as Gazette, Times, Journal, Reporter, etc., were unanimously and indignantly rejected. Who was the first to suggest the `Beacon' cannot be satisfactorily determined, for at least half a dozen different persons claim the honor. However, the name "took" as being remarkably appropriate. Why it is so appropriate we cannot explain better than to give the language of an enthusiastic gentleman who had hand in the parturition. Said he, `The position which Dickinson County occupies geographically, being the most elevated portion of the state, together with our facilities for navigation,' here he paused and wet his throat with some of Roscoe's distilled lake water, `makes it peculiarly fitting and meet that we should have a Beacon to shed its light upon the world and serve as a guide to the weary emigrant seeking a homestead, and by the way, I will show a man a devilish good claim for ten dollars.'
"This last sentence, however, is foreign to the subject and is only introduced for the sake of euphony. The management and name being settled, the question of ways and means was left to the newly installed journalists who decided to commence by getting patent outsides and having the inside printed at the Estherville Vindicator office. Accordingly the arrangements were thus made and in due time the Beacon appeared in seven column folio form with about three columns of home advertising and some two hundred subscribers, including exchanges and deadheads. In a few weeks Mr. Wilcox retired, leaving the whole burden on Mr. Rice. * * * During the balance of the first year the editorial work fell upon the broad shoulders of A. W. Osborne, Esquire, who performed the onerous task faithfully and well. At the end of the first volume Mr. Rice found the balance on the wrong side of the ledger. The cost of having the printing done was greater than the income and he was obliged to have a new deal or give up the game altogether. * * * So he took the other horn of the dilemma, bought a second-hand outfit of Warren, of the Algona Lipper Des Moines, and after several vexatious delays the Beacon commenced its second volume with the outside printed at home.
* * *
"From the commencement of the second volume the concern began to be self-sustaining and in May, 1872, Mr. Rice sold out to O. C. Bates, the founder of the Estherville Vindicator. * * * In October, 1872, Mr. Bates disposed of the office to Lamborn & Owen. During the succeeding winter they made extensive additions and improvements. In April, 1873, Mr. Lamborn disposed of his interest in the Beacon and was succeeded by J. A. Smith. In April, 1874, Mr. Owen retired and was succeeded by A. B. Funk."
Harmoniously and helpfully Smith & Funk pulled together until the fall of 1879, when the latter retired. In the spring of 1881 A. B. Funk bought the paper of Mr. Smith and has ever since been owner or part owner of the same. In 1886 he sold a one-half interest in the Beacon to E. G. Blockert, who has with the exception of two years steadily retained his connection with the paper.
There have been made at different times in the past several efforts to establish a second paper in the town but in the earlier days these efforts remind one of the old nursery rhyme of "Three little bugs in a basket with only room for two." While it was possible for one economically managed paper to eke out a precarious existence on the limited and somewhat uncertain patronage which the earlier days afforded, it was very much of a conundrum whether a second venture could he made a success. The first attempt at a second paper was made by Carl Eastwood, who in 1880 established the Dickinson County Journal. As in all new settlements there were times when personal and political rivalries ran high and each party felt the need of an organ, or at least they thought they did. Mr. Eastwood was industrious and loyal to his friends and worked hard but it was uphill business. A part of the time he conducted the paper in his own name and a part of the time in the name of the firm Eastwood Brothers. It was republican in politics and had as liberal support as could have been expected considering the surrounding conditions.
In 1884 the Eastwoods disposed of it to J. O. Stewart. Mr. Stewart was an old soldier, and a first-class man in every way, and tried hard to make his venture a success. He gave the public a good, clean paper, of more than average ability, and identified himself with the best citizens in all enterprises calculated to advance the interests of the town, but the fact soon became apparent that there was not legitimate business enough to support the two papers, and he got out of it as best he could.
In 1885 the paper came into the hands of C. H. Ayers and A. F. Heath, who changed its name and politics, calling it the Spirit Lake Democrat. Mr. Heath was the same year appointed postmaster. Indeed, after Cleveland's election in 1884 the founding of a democratic newspaper at Spirit Lake was one of the chief factors in the controversy to determine the appointment of the new postmaster, and the Spirit Lake Democrat was the result. But even with the prestige and patronage of the postoffice the load was larger than he could carry and before he realized how he stood he became hopelessly involved and the outfit fell into the hands of the sheriff, and was sold at sheriff's sale.
After various vicissitudes it came into the possession of G. A. Getchell, better known as "Huckleberry," who for a while conducted the publication under the name of "Huckleberry's Paper." This was in the summer of 1887, and he suspended publication in the fall. For two or three years now there was no second paper. About 1890 V. B. Crane bought the old outfit and established the "Spirit Lake Pilot," and continued the publication of it about a year, when he moved to Jackson taking the outfit with him. In December, 1891, Caswell & Clark shipped in a new press and attempted to resurrect the "Spirit Lake Democrat," but with indifferent success. At the end of four months they threw up the sponge, and there was another interval of some three years of but one paper.
In July, 1894, Messrs. Reycroft & Flower shipped in another outfit and commenced the publication of the "Dickinson County Herald," but finding themselves handicapped for want of capital, Mr. Flower soon went out of the concern and his interest came into the hands of William Hayward in February, 1895. Mr. Hayward took hold of the enterprise with his usual energy, and soon worked up a good circulation, but finding that it interfered too much with his regular business, he sold out to H. Van Steenburg, having previously bought Mr. Reycroft's interest. This was July 1, 1896. Mr. Van Steenburg, not being a newspaper man, engaged the services of J. L. Dunham as editor and conducted it as an independent republican paper until March, 1898, when he disposed of it to L. F. Stowe, who leased it to Mr. Dunham for one year, after which an arrangement was made by which G. A. Taft came into possession and control of the paper, and conducted it until the spring of 1901.
Under his conservative management much of the earlier bitterness has been eliminated and as the population, and business of the country increased the prosperity and influence of the Herald increased with it, until it has come to be regarded as one of the permanent and substantial institutions of the town and is gradually working its way into popular favor. It changed owners again in the summer of 1901 and the new proprietors are earnestly laboring to keep it abreast of the best papers of the county.
The civic societies belonging to this period were the Masons, Odd Fellows, Patrons of Husbandry and Good Templars. Twilight Lodge, No. 329, Ancient Order of Free and Accepted Masons, was first organized under a dispensation granted by the Grand Lodge of Iowa on the eighteenth day of September, 1873. The first elective officers were: Alfred Davis, W. M.; C. H. Ayers, S. W.; A. L. Sawyer, J. W. ; A. M. Johnson, Secretary, and Zina Henderson, Treasurer. A charter was granted on the third day of June, 1874. The present membership is sixty. The present elective officers are: O. I. Wilson, W. M.; James Ackley, S. W.; I. N. Blakey, J. W. ; S. L. Pillsbury, Treasurer, and E. D. Carlton, Secretary. The Past Masters are Alfred Davis, C. H. Ayers, O. Crandall, J. A. Smith, J. F. Dare, R. A. Smith, W. F. Pillsbury, George Stoerlein, W. F. Carleton, E. D. Carleton, A. B. Funk and O. I. Wilson.
In connection with the Masonic lodge, Twilight Chapter No. —, Order of the Eastern Star, was organized at Spirit Lake under a dispensation granted by the Grand Chapter some time during the winter of 1876 and 1877. The minutes of the chapter for the time they worked under dispensation cannot be found and therefore we have to depend on the memory of the earlier members for what facts are obtainable. The old files of the Beacon contain an account of a public installation held June 24, 1877, which was followed by a festival under the management of the Eastern Star chapter which fixes the date of their first organization back of that time. Mrs. Fannie Jemerson was the first Worthy Matron and Mrs. Anna L. Rice, Associate, with Mrs. Jane Ayers, Secretary, and Mrs. F. I. Pillsbury, Treasurer. Mrs. Jemerson was succeeded by Mrs. Rice as Worthy Matron either in 1878 or 1879. The charter bears date February 26, 1880. The first Worthy Matron under the charter was Mrs. Anna L. Rice with Mrs. D. Eighmy, Associate, and J. A. Smith, Worthy Patron. Mrs. Rice was succeeded by Mrs. E. Palmer in 1882 or 1883.
After a time the interest began to flag. The attendance was light until finally the meetings ceased altogether. A small company of members, consisting of Mrs. F. I. Pillsbury, Mrs. Minnie Francis, Mrs. Ella Johnson, Mrs. Anna Chisholm, Mrs. M. C. Cory, Mrs. Jennie Avers and possibly one or two others (this list is made from memory), rather than see the charter surrendered and the chapter fall to pieces, kept up the Grand Chapter dues and the annual reports and did what else was necessary to keep the organization intact and save the charter. Matters drifted along in this unsatisfactory manner until 1894 when the members who had stayed by it decided that it was time to make an effort either to revive the work and place the now nearly defunct organization on its feet once more or to abandon it altogether.
The attempt at reorganization was a marked success. Many accessions to the membership followed and soon the chapter came to be one of the most popular of the social organizations of the day. The first set of officers under the new dispensation was as follows : Worthy Matron, Mrs. L H. Farnham ; Patron, L. H. Farnham ; Associate Matron, Mrs. J. W. Cory ; Secretary, S. L. Pillsbury ; Treasurer, Mrs. S.. L. Pillsbury. In 1899 Mrs. Farnham was succeeded by Mrs. Palmer as Matron, who in turn was succeeded by Mrs. H. A. Miller in 1901. The other officers at the present time are: Associate Matron, Mrs. V. C. Hemenway; Patron, Thomas Burt; Secretary, Miss Mabel Carlton, and Treasurer, Mrs. S. L. Pillsbury. The total membership is about forty-five. Much credit is due the faithful few who stood by the organization in its hour of adversity and contributed so much to its subsequent prosperity.
A chapter of Royal Arch Masons was organized at Spirit Lake May 24, 1901, under a dispensation granted May 15, 1901. The Beacon of June seventh gives the new organization the following send-off:
"Spirit Lake Chapter, Royal Arch Masons, is now in working order under dispensation officered as follows : High Priest, Chas. I. Reigard; King, Dr. Q. C. Fuller; Scribe, T. E. Burt; Treasurer, J. W. Cravens; Secretary, W. A. Siddall ; Captain of the Host, L. H. Farnham; Principal Sojourner, W. P. Stone ; Royal Arch Captain, A. B. Funk ; Master of Third Vail, H. A. Miller ; Master Second Vail, P. E. Narey ; Master Second Vail, C. T. Chandler; Tyler, O. Crandall. The regular night of meeting has not yet been appointed. The next meeting will be this (Friday) evening. Nine candidates await initiation."
Soon after the building of the railroads to Spirit Lake some members of the Grand Commandery of the Knights Templar conceived the plan of erecting somewhere in the lake region a structure that would be regarded by members of the Order as a kind of home or headquarters where they could spend their annual summer vacation and which would serve as a proper place for holding their annual conclave and banquet. In pursuance of this design a committee was appointed to examine and select suitable grounds for that purpose. After examining several that were offered them they decided to report in favor of what has since been known as Fort Dodge Point on West Okoboji Lake, but when this report was presented to the Grand Commandery it was so strongly opposed by the officers and agents of the Burlington, Cedar Rapids & Northern Railway, who were mostly members of the order, that they succeeded in defeating it and a second committee was appointed.
This committee, after examining the several points offered, reported in favor of the place that was afterward selected and which is now known, as "Templar Park." This consist of a wooded promontory of about twenty acres situated on the south west shore of Spirit Lake and but a short distance from, the Burlington depot on the isthmus. This tract was purchased of Mr. A. Kingman by the people of Spirit Lake and the Burlington, Cedar Rapids & Northern Railway and donated to the commander for the purpose heretofore indicated. It was conveyed by deed to Right Eminent Sir James Martin, Grand Commander; W. A. McGrue, Very Eminent Deputy Grand Commander; S. J. Bennett, Eminent Generalissimo, and A. R. Dewey, Eminent Grand Captain General, and their successors in office as trustees of the Right Eminent Grand Commandery Knights Templar of the state of Iowa. The work of improvement commenced in the summer of 1885 and has been gradually carried forward to the present time.
Minnie Waukon Lodge, No. 274, Independent Order of Odd Fellows, was organized March 5, 1874. The officers elected for the first term were as follows : A. A. Mosher, Noble Grand; L. E. Holcomb, Vice-Grand; William Helms, Treasurer; N. J. Woodin, Permanent Secretary, and R. D. Owen, Recording Secretary. This lodge has had a somewhat checkered existence. A portion of the time it has been on the high waves of prosperity, and at other times the interest has fallen to a low ebb. The present membership is forty-one. The Past Grands are: A. A. Mosher, L. E. Holcomb, J. A. Smith, S. E. Evans, George Hilbert, Orson Rice, C. C. Perrin, D. L. Riley, C. A. Arnold, E. F. Hill, William M. Smith, J. S. Everett and Clarence Hite. The present officers are: N. G., J. E. Russell; V. G., W. F. Beerman ; Secretary, J. W. Chestnut; Treasurer, A. Hurd; Conductor, Chas, Linder, and Warden, O. Bjornson. The Rebekah degree was organized September 5, 1876. At the present time the lodge is in first-class condition and prospering finely.
The Patrons of Husbandry were but are not. When first organized they manifested a great degree of zeal and enthusiasm. But it soon died out and the organization itself went a glimmering years ago. The Spirit Lake Grange, Patrons of Husbandry, was organized March 17, 1874, with officers as follows : W. B. Brown, Master; S. E. Evans, Overseer; C. E. Abbott, Lecturer ; Isaac Ames, Steward; H. C. Owen, Assistant Steward ; William Helms, Chaplain; George Hilbert, Secretary; James Cousins, Treasurer, and James Evans, Gatekeeper. Mrs. James Helms, Ceres; Mrs. W. B. Brown, Flora; Mrs. William Helms, Pomona, and Mrs. Thomas Pegdon, Lady Assistant Steward. The average membership was about sixty. The organization was maintained with a great deal of enthusiasm for about five years when the interest began to flag and by 1886 the organization was numbered with the things that were but are not.
A lodge of Good Templars was another of the early day institutions of Spirit Lake. Statistics are not at hand for much of an outline of it. Among its more prominent promoters were G. S. Needham, A. W. Osborne, J. L. Coppoc, C. H. Ayers and others of the principal citizens of the town. In 1876 J. A. Smith of the Beacon wrote of it as follows:
"A lodge of Good Templars has been in existence at Spirit Lake for several years past with intermittent. success, sometimes flourishing and then gradually losing ground. At present the tide of its fortune is at such a low ebb that it can scarcely be reckoned among the living institutions of the county."
These four comprise the civic societies of the pioneer days. Those of later date are the Grand Army of the Republic, the Knights of Pythias, Ancient Order of United Workmen, the Modern Woodmen of America and the American Yeoman.
Winget Post, No. 226 of the Grand Army of the Republic, was organized under a charter bearing date November 2I, 1883. The first list of officers was as follows : Commander, C. Perrin; Senior Vice-Commander, D. L. Riley; Junior Vice-Commander, E. L. Brownell ; Chaplain, H. Wood ; Quartermaster, Isaac Tucker; Officer of the Guard, S. B. Miller; Quartermaster Sergeant, Peter Flemming; Surgeon, E. L. Brownell ; Adjutant, J. O. Stewart. Subsequent commanders have been: D. L. Riley, E. V. Davis, George Baxter, S. B. Miller, J. W. Klein, Peter Flemming, H. H. Campbell and E. L. Brownell. The present officers are: Commander, E. V. Davis ; Senior Vice-Commander, H. H. Campbell; Junior Vice-Commander, Newton Farmer ; Post Surgeon, A. Kingman ; Chaplain, J. W. Klein, and Quartermaster, H. H. Green. The membership is now about twenty. As the old veterans are mustered out there are none to fill their places.
Summit Lodge, No. 86, Knights of Pythias, was organized at Spirit Lake October 18, 1882, and received its charter the twenty-sixth of the same month. There were sixteen charter members. The first officers were : G. P. Hopkins, P. C. ; W. A. Siddall, C. C.; W. B. Brown, V. C.; D. L. Riley, Prelate E. F. Newell, K. of R. and S.; F. E. Hopkins, M. of A.; C. S. Fletcher, M. of E.; William Hayward, M. of F. ; S. P. Fisher, I. G.; J. F. Olmstead, O. G. The C. C.'s (Chancellor Commanders) since that time have been D. L. Riley, E. L. Brownell, E. F. Merrill, E. C. R;nken, J. G. Waite, E. G. Blackert, C. F. Clark, M.'(W. Reason, G. P. Hopkins, Jos. A. Smith, C. C. Perrin, J. A. Swailes, H! VanSteenburg, H. F. Requart, V. A. Arnold, S. A. Peters, H. H. Buck, H. E. White, J. E. Mitchell, L. A. Hemenway, R. S. Gruhlke and W. B. Slattery. The present membership is about thirty-two. It was at one time much larger, but many have moved away and their places have not been filled. The present officers are: W. B. Slattery, C. C.; M. G. McClintock, V.C.; L. A. Hemenway, K. of R. and S.; V. A. Arnold, Prelate.
The Ancient Order of United Workmen organized a lodge in Spirit Lake August 1, 1893, when the following officers were elected and installed: P. M. W., C. B. Fountain; M. W., George Tuttle ; Foreman, R. F. Gruhlke ; Overseer, James P. Miller; Recorder, C. W. Price ; Financier, Wilbur Evarts; Receiver, S. B. Miller ; Guide, B. W. Blanchard; J. W. O. Sterner; O. W., A. Hartley; Trustees, A Hartley, T. H. Price and E. Kephart; Medical Examiners, Doctors Fountain and Brownell. The lodge is known as Spirit Lake Lodge, No. 254. The Master Workmen since that time have been Georg S. Tuttle, R. F. Gruhlke, George F. Arp, A. E. Arp, A. M. Owen, A. F. Merrill, J. P. Miller and C. F. Price. The present officers are: R. F. Gruhlke, P. M. W. T. Price, M. W.; John Hafer, Treasurer; B. L. Francis, Overseer; A. F. Merrill Financier; A. E. Arp, Recorder; W. A. Price, ReceiverC. A. Lynn, Guide; W. Taylor, J. W.; Walter Peck, O. W.
Spirit Lake Camp, No 4479, Modern Woodmen of America, was organized at Spirit Lake January 21, 1897, at which time the first set of officers were elected and installed by State Deputy Adelshein acting as installing officer. The following is a Litt of officers : Venerable Counsel, Charles I. Reigard ; Worthy Advisor, A. D. Gray; Banker, H. E. St. Clair; Local Clerk, A. H. Jemerson; Escort, D. C. Wells; Physician, J. B. Stair; Watchman, R. S. Miller ; Sentry, E. Kephart ; Managers, D. N. Guthrie, W. F. Beerman and H. H. Buck. Venerable Counsuls since that time have been: 1898, D. C. Wells; 1899, C. L. Knowles; 1900, C. Linder; 1901, A. D. Gray. The present officers are: Vice-Counsel, A. D. Gray ; Worthy Advisor, C. L. Knowles ; Banker, L. D. Goodrich; Local Clerk, W. F. Dexheimer; Escort, Charles Linder; Physician, A. E. Rector; Watchman, J. E. Raymond; Sentry, J. M. Hardman. The present membership is one hundred and sixteen. The organization has prospered from the start and much interest, and enthusiasm has been manifested.
Spirit Lake Homestead, Brotherhood of American Yeomen, No. 273, was organized October 18, 1899, with the following officers duly elected and installed : W. T. Davidson, Foreman ; A. F. Merrill, Correspondent; H. E. St. Clair, Overseer; Henry Arthur, Master of Ceremonies ; James Crowell, Watchman ; Frank Ellston, Guard; Hattie Farnham, Rebecca; Mrs. Clara Jones, Rowena ; and C. P. Soper, Physician. At the time of founding the Homestead was composed of sixty-two members, and is now in a flourishing condition. The position of Foreman has been held by W. T. Davidson, Charles I. Reigard, H. E. St. Clair and C. H. Wylder, in the order named. Of course this order being new not much has occurred in its history worthy of special mention. Like all other fraternal insurance companies its success will depend on the tenacity with which the individual members cling to the organization.
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