History of this Elks Lodge
Elks Lodge No. 1546 was originally the home of Frederick Davis, Jr., built in the late 1860s by Mr. Davis, a native of England. Mr. Davis and his family moved into the elegant house in April, 1869. The stones used in the construction of the mansion, as it was called then, had been used to build the jail in Montour Falls (Havana) in the early 1850s. When the county seat was firmly established in Watkins Glen, the jail was demolished.
Mr. Davis made his living in the malting business and established the F. Davis, Jr. & Co.’s Malt House. This business took advantage of the growth of the barley culture in Schuyler County. Eventually, two malt houses were erected in Watkins, one being located on Seneca Lake directly below the Davis home.
F. Davis, Jr. passed away at the age of 86 on November 4, 1909 after a long illness. The home was sold to John Lang, then to Charles Coleman, and then to Harry C. Stouffer before it was sold to the Elks on April 3, 1929. Installation of the Lodge took place shortly after on April 18th under the direction of the Corning Lodge. There were 100 chartered members and 50 applications for membership. The leading drivers of the chapter were J. B. Macreery, F. A. Haughey, J. D. Lantz, F. L. Millen, Eugene Gailey, and E. C. Cooper, who became the Lodge’s first Exalted Ruler.
About the Elks
The Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks is a fraternal order with nearly a million members and has been in existence for over 140 years. The Elks’ network consists of more than 2000 lodges in communities all over the United States. A generous charitable foundation, the Elks give millions of dollars in scholarships, provide inspiration to youth, are a friend to veterans, and more.
The Elks organization was founded in New York City on February 16, 1868 under the name "Jolly Corks" by 15 actors, entertainers and others associated with the theater. In ensuing years, membership expanded to other professions.
This Fraternal Order was founded "To promote and practice the four cardinal virtues of Charity, Justice, Brotherly Love and Fidelity; to promote the welfare and enhance the happiness of its members; to quicken the spirit of American Patriotism and cultivate good fellowship."
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