Did you know that the founder of Rockford, Anthony Shane or 'Antoine Chene' was a French-Ottawa Indian who was raised among the Shawnee and of the Catholic faith?  That his wife Lamateshe or 'Aqualanox' was a Delaware Indian who was an avid follower in the Baptist faith?

Rockford Historical Snippet
by Mike Schumm


Did you know that the Parkway High School football field in Rockford once ran east - west?  That there was a airport to its south? That the trees around the field were planted in 1940-41 after the field was shifted to north - south? That the 'stadium' was built in 1964?

Rockford Historical Snippet
by Mike Schumm


Did you know that in 1879 Shanes Crossing doctor Aaron Vaughn submitted an application for a 'Lock Nut' patent? That 1891 Rockford resident Joshua Shellabarger applied for a 'Flood Gate' patent?  That, in 1908, Rockford citizen E.H. Moyer applied for a 'Hay Rack' patent? And, in 1910, Rockford native Frank Lichty applied for a 'Corn Harvesting & Husking Machine' patent?

Rockford Historical Snippet
by Mike Schumm


Did you know that in 1961, Rockford High School
had a record 450 graduates attend their alumni reunion, with the oldest being an 1895 graduate named Clara Penn (who wrote articles in the early 1900's for a bimonthly publication called 'The Kindergarten Primary Magazine')?

Rockford Historical Snippet
by Mike Schumm




Did you know that Rockford once had 4 brickyards
and a hub and spoke factory for making wooden wheels?

Rockford Historical Snippet
by Mike Schumm

Parkway Middle School Students Create Outdoor Art for Village of Rockford
Parkway Middle School students, under the leadership of their art teacher Shannon Painter-Carpenter, are creating a mosaic tile mural to commemorate the 2020 Village Bicentennial. There are 80 students who are cutting the tiles that will read Rockford Est. 1820. They have planned for a train in the 4' by 60' tile mural as well. when completed, the mural will be installed on the concrete wall at the east end of Market Street. The wall was once a part of the Little Grain Elevator that was torn down in the 1980's. Running parallel to the wall was the railroad track that serviced the town and businesses until the mid 70's. The students are having a great time in the creation and execution of this beautiful project.

Our Old Bookcase, April 27, 2017, Mercer County’s 1963 Banner Fair

By  Joyce L. Alig, President, Mercer County Historical Society
Photo caption:  Mercer Count’s 1963  111th Banner Fair Book listed historic businesses.

The 1963 book for the 111th Banner Fair at the Mercer County Fairgrounds was a gift to my husband Alvin from our friends Gary and Rita Rismiller of Darke County.  They belong to the New Idea Historic Preservation Committee and appreciate local history.


Alvin would pick up this 1963 Fair book, in the evening, and look at all of the names of people he knew in the 1960’s.  I thought this book might bring back good memories to you, also.


The Mercer County Agricultural Society hosted the Banner Fair with a goal of promoting and encouraging agriculture, industry, science, art and other interests of Mercer County.  In this 1963 book, the Society preserved the history of businesses and their owners by listing the names of the advertisers in their Fair Book.  In 1963, many local businesses were family-owned.   Have times changed?


I attended the Bicentennial Planning meeting of the Shanes Crossing Historical Society at Rockford, this month.  One of the topics they discussed was the names of old businesses listed in the old Rockford Press Newspapers.  Rockford Citizens do business in the Village, as well as people from the country, and the nearby villages of Mendon, Mercer, Neptune, Chattanooga, and Tama,   Therefore,  it may be of interest to local citizens of Rockford and nearby Villages, to see the businesses which advertised in the 1963 Mercer County Banner Fair book. 


Rockford:  Bigham’s Cities Service, Carr and Shindeldecker Standard Oil Products,  Dean Hellwarth Pioneer Corn, Dinner Bell, Farmers Grain & Supply Co., Fast Auction Sales, J. Dolan Purdy Insurance, Ken’s Barber Shop, Ketcham’s Funeral Service and Furniture, Lloyd Motor Sales, Lugbihl Feed Mill, Paul Dudgeon Seed Co., Paul E. Miller & Son Mil-Ket Farm, Ole Sites & George Jr. Schroyer & Glenn Hasis Bulk Lime & Fertilizer Spreading, Pierstorff Seed Farms, Polar Stores, Inc., Rockford Locker Service, Rockford Lumber Co., Sharp Canning, Inc., The Rockford National Bank, Rockford Stone Co., and The Rockford Press.


Chattanooga:  Andrew’s Garage & Saw Mill, Berne Equity Exchange Co., Bollenbacher’s Cash Store, Carl Schroeder Beef & Dairy, Fisher & Sons Farm Implements, Inc., Kenneth Hoblet Auctioneer, and Wendel Bros. Motor Sales,


Mendon:  A. and T. Sohio Service, Archer Pipe & Supply, Bud Hays Barber Shop,  Carol’s Beauty Shop, Claud Hansel’s Recreation Hall, Dick & Sons, Don Nuding-Rockford Agri-Limestone, Drake & Shaffer Motor Sales, Ellis Insurance, Fisher’s Market and Locker Service, Griggs Garage, Krogmans Garage, L.W. Diegel Sales, Maurer’s Hardware, Mendon Farm Store, Mendon Live Stock Exchange, Mendon Service Co., and Ray’s Pure Oil Station.


Mercer:  Beougher’s General Store,  and Motor Inn Truck Stop.

Neptune:  Roebuck’s Elevator, and Schnarre’s Garage and Implement Sales,

Tama:  Berne Equity Exchange Co., and Canary Bros. Concrete,


For you local historians of these Villages, how many of these family businesses are still in the family?

The Mercer County Fair Board is planning an historic celebration.  Will businesses advertise in the Fair Book because they want their name to be remembered in Mercer County’s History? 


Mercer County Historical Society President Joyce Alig, may be contacted at 3054 Burk-St. Henry Road, Saint Henry, OH 45883,  or or 419-678-2614.] 


Our Old Bookcase


By  Joyce L. Alig, President, Mercer County Historical Society

Photo caption:  Shanes Crossing (1888) was known as “Half Way Cross,” in 1755.


Shanes Crossing Historical Society invited me to their meeting in 2014, when they were discussing ideas for their 200th Anniversary Celebration in 2020 (Twenty-Twenty).   We shared many ideas about how various communities in Mercer County had celebrated anniversaries of their historical events.


Now that they have had three years to consider various plans, they invited me to return this April.  I went back to my computer, to see if I had kept my outline of plans related to their history, the last time I was there.  At that time, I was impressed with the depth of thought which they had applied to their ideas at those early planning meetings. 


When I was writing about inventions, I wrote, “Creative individuals are thinkers and dreamers; they are the ones who come up with the light bulb moment.”  Today, I am asking the thinkers and dreamers to create ideas for a local community to plan and implement for their historic celebrations.


Prehistoric Artifact collectors of arrow heads, stone axes, flint pieces, and shards of pottery, have found extensive examples of artifacts along the Saint Marys River in Dublin Township.  Map collectors may have early maps of Mercer County.  The earliest map I have found which identifies a site in Mercer County, is the 1755 English map which includes “Half Way Cross,” which refers to the site of Shanes Crossing of the St. Marys River.  (This Crossing was half way between two Indian Villages; do you know their names?) 


Military Historians study military action which relate to people in Mercer County.  In Dublin Township, during the 1790’s Indian Wars, the U.S. Military constructed Fort Adams and crossed the St. Marys River.  During the War of 1812, the U.S. Military crossed the St.  Marys River.   Treaties were made between the Native American Tribes and the U.S. Government, in the early 1800’s.  Anthony Shane played an important role during that time period.  Shanes Crossing Historical Society has Members who study this heritage.  Local organizations honor our Military Veterans in several ways.  German Prisoners of War worked for local businesses in Rockford, in the 1940’s. 


Transportation History is studied about rivers, trails, railroads, airports, and high ways.  Rockford can  claim history for each of these methods of travel.  Communication History is another topic, with studies of the social events, written history, Morse Code, newspapers, telephones, cell phones and computers.


Communities study their Township and Village Government histories, Business histories, School histories, Library history, Church histories, and Service Organization histories.  Community events’ history includes arts and music programs, parades, festivals, fairs, and holiday celebrations.  Sports historians not only study school sports, but also study adult and children’s sports of baseball, basketball, and other options, including local swimming pools, and race tracks.   Architectural styles in family histories of homes would be of interest.  The untold stories of Prohibition in the 1930’s might find a place for story-telling?  Those oral histories of the community may need a night of “Twice Told Tales.”


The easiest reference books for you to read about Rockford’s history are Mercer County History books and Rockford’s History books at the local Libraries in Mercer County.  You may email Mike Schumm at and share your knowledge and your ideas of projects for Rockford’s 200th Anniversary in 2020, with Shanes Crossing Historical Society.


Mercer County Historical Society President Joyce Alig, may be contacted at 3054 Burk-St. Henry Road, Saint Henry, OH 45883,  or or 419-678-2614.] 






By Joyce L. Alig, President, Mercer County Historical Society, Inc.

Photo Caption:  Anthony Shane’s log cabin may have been the site of the first U.S. Post Office in Mercer County.  Credit for Post Card:  Shanes Crossing Historical Society, Rockford, Ohio.

Old Post Cards about Mercer County, and Grand Lake, and Post Marks (from old closed Mercer County Post Offices) will be on exhibit on Sunday, November 13, 1:00 – 4:00 at the Mercer County Historical Museum, 130 East Market, Celina, Ohio (a block east of the Mercer County Courthouse).

Last week, I wrote about the historic site of Rockford, Ohio being identified as “Half-Way Cross,” at the historic river crossing of the St. Marys River, on the 1755 English map, with the site being later platted as the Village of Shanesville, by Anthony Shane on June 23, 1820.  The Shanes Crossing Post Office was established on October 4, 1823.  Most of the very early Post Offices in Mercer County, were either in a home, or a general store.  Dublin Township had the two oldest Post Offices in Mercer County, being Shanes Crossing, October 4, 1823 and Ruckman’s June 22, 1832.  There is a strong possibility that the first U.S. Post Office in Mercer County was the Shanes Crossing Post Office, at the Village of Shanesville, in the home of Anthony Shane.  I was wondering if Anthony Shane might have built a two story log cabin along the St. Marys River, between 1820 and 1823.


In quest of more information about log cabins on the St. Marys River, at that time, I read Captain James Riley’s “Journal,” where he wrote about moving his family in the midst of the winter, January 1821, to the banks of the St. Marys River, “Intending to build mills, I immediately commenced improving my purchase of land, by erecting a dam across the river and building a log cabin into which I moved my family.”  Riley’s two story log cabin was built in three sections.  Captain James Riley [not to be confused with his son James Watson Riley who platted Celina in 1834], laid out the plat of Willshire in 1822. The Village of Willshire received its Post Office in 1822, and Roswell Riley, Captain Riley’s brother, was appointed as Postmaster of Willshire on November 1, 1822.  Therefore, on the Saint Marys River, Anthony Shane platted the Village of Shanesville in 1820, and Captain Riley platted Willshire in 1822, and the Willshire Post Office was established in 1822, and the Shanes Crossing Post Office was established in 1823.  The log cabin of Anthony Shane is the site of the first Mercer County Post Office,  Willshire Post Office is the first Van Wert County Post Office.

Last week, I said that I would give you a list of the closed Mercer County U.S. Post Offices.  First, I will list the Mercer County Ohio Post Offices which are in operation in 2016:  Rockford, Mendon, Celina, Montezuma, Coldwater, Fort Recovery, Saint Henry, Maria Stein, and Burkettsville. 


The following are closed Mercer County Post Offices, listed by Township:  Blackcreek Twp., Pond; Butler Twp., Philothea; Center Township, Boetia and Neptune; Dublin Twp., Mercer, Ruckmans, and Shaffers Station; Gibson Twp., Violet; Granville Twp., Cranberry Prairie and Wendelin; Hopewell Twp., Earley, Stedke (Stedcke) and Tamah; Jefferson Twp., Reservoir; Liberty Twp., Brehm, Chattanooga, Durbin, Hinton, Price, Scudder, and Skeels Crossroads; Marion Twp., Carthagena, Chickasaw, St. Rosa, and Sebastian; Recovery Twp., Ferner, Saint Peters, and Victoria; and Washington Twp., Erastus, Macedon, Padua, and Wabash.


At this Sunday November 13 Exhibit, we are seeking historic Mercer County post cards and/or old envelopes with post marks of closed Post Offices.  Anyone who brings an old envelope with a postmark of a closed Mercer County Post Office will receive one free $5.00 local history book.  


On Sunday, November 13, Guests bringing old post cards to the Mercer County Historical Museum may ask for information from the experts, Bob and Sharon Poor, Dale Poeppelman, and David Gray.


 [The Mercer County Historical Society President Joyce Alig may be contacted at 3054 Burk-St. Henry Road, Saint Henry, OH 45883, or or 419-678-2614.]





By Joyce L. Alig, President, Mercer County Historical Society, Inc.

Photo Caption: This Rockford Carnegie Public Library building, 162 S. Main St., Rockford, Ohio, was dedicated on May 1, 1913.  The first Library at Rockford was opened January 1, 1903.  (Photograph by Bob Maurer, Fiscal Officer, Rockford Carnie Library.)


On January 17, 1902, a number of ladies met at the home of Mrs. W.T. Barbour to consider the establishment of a Free Public Library in Rockford, and they organized the Rockford Library Association.  Members paid dues and held socials and entertainments to raise funds to establish a Library.  On January 1, 1903, the first Library Room was opened in the Dysert Opera House, which stood on the southwest corner of Main and Pearl Streets.  The Library may have been located in other rooms, also, prior to having the Carnegie Library location.

In 1904, the Village Council determined that the Association be given the yearly rent of $24.00 from the Town Hall and an annual appropriation of $175.00.  The Council also voted to add one-half cent for library purposes at the next general tax levy.  Citizens donated books and the Traveling Department of the State Library provided books.  Mrs. D.C. Kinder was selected as the regularly employed Librarian in 1905.  At first, the library was opened free to Rockford residents, with non-residents paying one dollar per year for library service.  By 1910, the library was free to all residents of Dublin Township. 

At that time, Miss Mary Downey, Representative from the State Library, suggested that the Rockford Librarian request funds from Andrew Carnegie to building a Library.  A ten thousand dollar grant was received from Carnegie and the Library was built on the present site.  The new building was opened on May 1, 1913. By 1969, the library was doubled in size when an addition was put on the back of the building.  In the 1978 “Mercer County History,” this Carnegie-Rockford Public Library was identified as the “smallest Carnegie Library in the Country.”   Today, this Library is the only Carnegie Library located in Mercer County.

The library was organized under the School Board plan in 1927.  Those serving as Librarian/Director were Mrs. Mary Kinder (1905-1934), Mrs. Vida Smith (1934-1940), Mrs. Elsie Koepple (1940-1950), Mrs. Ethel McSherry (1950-1972), Mrs. Harriet Pugh (1972-1974), Miss Marcia Winscott (1975-1988), Ms. Deborah Williams (1988-1989).  Mrs. Rozann Maurer has served as Librarian since 1989.

For this history, the four sources were the “Souvenir Journal, Rockford Sesquicentennial, Shanes Crossing, Mercer County, Ohio, 1820-1970,” the 1978 “History of Mercer County, Ohio,” “Our Post Card Past; Rockford, Ohio,”  and “The Free Press, Shanes Crossing, Ohio.”  These three books and the Newspaper microfilm may be read at the Rockford Carnegie Public Library, 162 South Main Street, Rockford, Ohio.

 [The Mercer County Historical Society President Joyce Alig may be contacted at 3054 Burk-St. Henry Road, Saint Henry, OH 45883, or or 419-678-2614.]



By Joyce L. Alig, President, Mercer County Historical Society, Inc.

Photo Caption: The November 22, 1919 Rockford Bank Robbery took the headlines of “The Celina Democrat” newspaper on November 28, 1919.


“ROCKFORD ROBBERY,” was the headline of “The Celina Democrat” Newspaper, on Friday, November 28, 1919.  This old newspaper provides another one of Mercer County’s History Mysteries, from the Historical Files of Jim Johnson, Fort Recovery Class of 1959.  Since the Village of Rockford is celebrating its 200th Anniversary of the June 23, 1820 Platting of Shanesville by Anthony Shane in the year 2020, this Bank Robbery at Rockford is a part of its history.


The description of this robbery is right out of the annals of American History in the “Roaring Twenties.” 

Those scheming crooks entered the bank through a cellar window.  They cut into the Vault of the Farmers Savings Bank at Rockford, with an acetylene gas torch and chiseled open safety deposit boxes of the bank patrons.  Those robbers burglarized only eighteen of sixty deposit boxes, apparently between two and three o’clock on Saturday morning, November 22.


Sheriff Betz was investigating this robbery.  He was told that “two well-dressed strangers” had been in Rockford for several days before the robbery.  Betz also suggested that the robbers had some “local help.”  As for the eighteen safety deposit boxes which were opened, they each had an “X” mark, scratched on the face of the box, which enabled the robbers to go straight to those eighteen boxes to rob. Also, the robbers knew exactly in which desk drawer to find the key, to the second door of the vault, without disturbing the contents of that drawer.  [How did that happen?]


The robbers may have obtained unregistered government bonds totaling nearly $150,000.00, as well as documents, wills, mortgages, notes, deeds and other records.  Various citizens were quoted as to the amount of money that they lost due to this robbery.  The Rockford Postmaster Rolla Frysinger reported that he lost $1000 in postage stamps.  A young male lost $300 in Liberty bonds, which he had saved to pay for college.  A Senior Citizen lost his life savings in bonds.  Those who lost money had stories to tell.  [I wonder if the Bank carried some type of insurance for protection of its Bank Customers in case of theft, at that time in history?]


A Reward of $11,000.00 was offered by the Directors of the Bank, for apprehension and conviction of the burglars and the recovery of the stolen bonds and other papers.


Here is the Mercer County History Mystery for Rockford Citizens.  Were the 1919 Bank Robbers captured?  Were the stolen bonds and papers recovered?  “The Rockford Press,” would be a good source of local information, for local historians.  When Rockford celebrated its Sesquicentennial, 1820-1970, they published the book, “Souvenir Journal, Shanes Crossing, Rockford Sesquicentennial, Mercer County, Ohio, 1820-1970,” by Martha Baltzell.  Fred and Martha Baltzell were Managers of The Rockford Press, from 1957 until June of 1977, when Mr. and Mrs. Larry Baltzell and Mr. and Mrs. Gary Baltzell took over management.  In that 1970 book, the history of “The First Banks,” was included on page 27.  This article states, “Entrance was gained thru the coal chute and then the door at the top of the stairs was broken open; 19 safety deposit boxes were forced into.  This robbery caused the bank to undergo some improvements:  a new vault door, a new safe, and a Cannon Ball alarm system.”  There is no mention of the bank robbers being caught in this history book.


A local bank robbery is a devastating event, especially to the families who were robbed.  Who remembers the story of the bank robbery being re-told at your family reunions?  The Memory of that Bank Robbery goes down in Rockford and Mercer County’s local history books.




Visit Shanes Park and sit around a hickory tree on our new circle
bench designed and constructed by Lowell Beougher and
Steve Thompson.   Lisa Kuhn says, “Thanks guys !” (Pictured are Lydia and Kylie enjoying some sun.)




Local Man and Wife Build a Mini Replica of the Rockford Depot

The Cincinnati / Northern Railroad was built in Rockford in 1894.   In 1938 the passenger service was discontinued and then was used strictly for freight.  The Rockford Railroad Depot was located behind the library.  The depot was torn down in the 1980’s.

Shanes Crossing Historical Society member Steve Thompson with help from his wife Marcia, recently built a mini replica of the Rockford Depot.  This project took 3 weeks to complete.  He used 2 pictures and his memory to build the replica.  Growing up, Steve lived several blocks from the rail and spent a lot of time watching rail cars come and go.  


Pictured is Steve Thompson with the mini replica.  He has donated this project to the Shanes Crossing Historical Society located at 151 E Columbia St.  The museum hours are Monday – Thursday 8 am – 4:30 pm and on Fridays till 3:30 pm.

In the background you can see the original ticket window that was donated by Jim Grieshop.  








By Joyce L. Alig, President, Mercer County Historical Society, Inc.

Photo Caption:   Willshire’s School System was a part of the long-term vision of Captain James Riley, when he platted the Village of Willshire in 1822.  This brick and stone school building was constructed in 1901, on the site of the previous school building.  

On June 23, 1819, Edward Tiffin, U.S. Surveyor General, appointed Captain James Riley as Deputy Surveyor.  Riley began “to run off into Townships, Ranges and Sections, the lands then lately purchased from the Indians in the Northwest section of Ohio.”  As of November 20, 1819, Riley was at the head of the Wabash River, south of the former military fort, known as Fort Recovery.  When Riley was surveying along the St. Marys River, he chose to purchase land under the Federal Land Act of 1820, with the intention of erecting a dam across the St. Marys River, establishing a mill, and constructing a log cabin.  Riley platted the Village of Willshire at that site in 1822, and recorded his plat at Greenville, Ohio, January 31, 1823, because the Counties of Van Wert and Mercer were established in 1820, and were first attached to Darke County, Ohio.

Captain Riley was always looking ahead and planning for the future of the wilderness.  Since Willshire was platted on the St. Marys River, in Van Wert County, adjacent to the Mercer – Van Wert County Line, and just east of the Ohio-Indiana State Line, Riley believed that Willshire had a great future, being located on the well-traveled transportation route of the St. Marys River.  Captain Riley established the first school at Willshire, in Van Wert County and asked his daughter Amelia to teach.  Amelia Riley was the first teacher in a log building, on Willshire’s Public Square.  The 1882 “History of Van Wert and Mercer Counties, Ohio,” stated that Amelia Riley’s students included her sister Phoebe Julia Riley, and two brothers Horatio Sprague and William Willshire Riley, and Roswell Riley’s children and Jonathan Lewis in 1827.

Highlights of the history of Willshire’s Schools is included in the book, “History of Van Wert County Ohio,” published by the Van Wert Co. Historical Society in 1981, and the book, “A Collection of Favorite Recipes and Historical Happenings from the Willshire Community.”  By 1848, the Willshire community built a frame schoolhouse.  By the end of the Civil War in 1865, a brick schoolhouse was erected on Green Street.  During the late 1890’s, that building was razed to build a new school, which was completed in 1901.  Later, an addition, which included a gymnasium-auditorium, restrooms, and kitchen, was made to that school building,.  Additional classrooms were added in the 1950’s.  This building was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1981.  Qualification for this honor was based upon the building’s significant architecture and its history of education in the Willshire area.

Ultimately, this Willshire School became a part of the Parkway Local Schools, which was established in 1961 with the consolidation of Rockford Schools and Willshire Schools and the 1992 addition of the Mendon Union Schools.

Captain Riley’s vision of the community and the educational system at Willshire can be found by visiting the historic Village of Willshire today.

 [The Mercer County Historical Society President Joyce Alig may be contacted at 3054 Burk-St. Henry Road, Saint Henry, OH 45883, or or 419-678-2614.]



By Joyce L. Alig, President, Mercer County Historical Society, Inc.


“The Pythian Sisters,” is the title on the front of this post card, sent to me by Charlyn Stammen from Coldwater.  She wrote, “I found this postcard in a piece of furniture I bought in Rockford, some time ago.” The post card was addressed to Mr. Grant Coats, % Still Rock Spa, Waukesha, Wisconsin and was postmarked from Rockford, February 2, 1915. 


The name, “Still Rock Spa,” caught my attention, and I went to the internet for information about Waukesha.  “Saratoga of the West,” was the marketing phrase Waukesha citizens used, in the late 1800’s. The many mineral springs were thought to cure a variety of ailments, including depression and diabetes.  At that time, newspapers announced that twenty-five trainloads of people arrived daily to visit the Spas.  For historical research, John Schoenknecht wrote “The Great Waukesha Springs Era:  1868-1918.”


Apparently, Grant Coats was employed at the Still Rock Spa, at Waukesha, or he was enjoying a summer vacation there.  I could not read the signature of the person sending the post card.  However, Grant Coats must have had relatives at Rockford, because the writer commented, “I would send you these familiar faces because the dogs are there.”  The Collie in the photograph is surrounded by baskets.  Were the baskets were filled with the Collie’s puppies?


The 1907 “History of Mercer County Ohio,” edited by Hon. S.S. Scranton, wrote about Rockford’s fraternal societies, which included the Knights of Pythias.  “Shane Lodge,K. of P., was organized May 8, 1898.  The first officers were J.J. McLaughlin, C.C.; W.F. Penn, V.C.; and Leroy Pence, K. of R. & S.”


Martha Baltzell, “The Rockford Press,” wrote the “Souvenir Journal,” for Rockford’s Sesquicentennial celebration, 1820-1970.  On page 22, she wrote, “Shanes Lodge No. 293 Knights of Pythias chartered May 8, 1888, with 32 members and two card members. They met in Castle Hall.  The first C.C. was J. J. McLaughlin.  The Pythian Sisters disbanded and the Temple’s Property was sold in 1925.”


Knights of Pythias is an international, non-sectarian fraternal organization which engages in many benevolent activities.  The Knights of Pythias was the first fraternal organization to receive a Charter under an act of the United States Congress. It was founded by Justus H. Rathbone, who had been inspired by a play by the Irish poet John Banim about the legend of Damon and Pythias.  The Fraternal Order ofKnights of Pythias Members are dedicated to the cause of Universal Peace Through Understanding.


The Order of Pythian Sisters, the independent auxiliary of the Knights of Pythias, was organized at Warsaw, Indiana on October 22-23, 1888 by a Knight, Joseph Addison Hill.  Mr. Hill prepared the ritualistic forms, the ceremonies and emblems of the Order.  The principles of Purity, Love, and Fidelity provided a pattern for a good and meaningful way of life, the aim and object of the Pythian Sisters.


The theme of “Universal Peace through Understanding,” is a theme to many cultures of the world, including our Country.  This theme is repeated throughout fraternal organizations, social organizations, and religious organizations.  Perhaps, some communities in the world would benefit by hosting the Knights of Pythias.  How many thousands of years have gone by, whereby citizens have prayed for Universal Peace through Understanding?  Remember President Woodrow Wilson, and World War I, and the term “War to end all Wars,” in 1914?  What happened?  Have enemies taken advantage of the good will of our United States Citizens for over the two centuries of our existence?  Can our U.S. A. citizens have peace and prevent war on this planet?  Is Universal Peace through Understanding possible?

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