The Birth of No. 593
During the spring of 1900 a group of prominent citizens of grays harbor conceived the idea of instituting an elks lodge in Aberdeen. This group was headed by Walter R. MacFarlane, a live wire of the community, who became the first Exalted Ruler. All arrangements were taken care of, and on June 30, 1900, the officers and many members of Tacoma Elks lodge No. 174 came to Aberdeen on a special train to institute Grays Harbor Lodge No. 593. Among the Tacoma group was Albert Johnson, at the time writing for the Tacoma News and later congressman from this district for a period of 20 years. But let Brother Johnson tell of the occasion in his story written at the time, a copy which has since been preserved as an historical document. The text of the document follows:
“To say that the excursion of the Tacoma Elks to Aberdeen Saturday and Sunday was the big, the grandest event of its kind in recent years, is not an exaggeration. About 100 Elks accompanied by the Tacoma military band took a special train at 5 o’clock Saturday for the Grays Harbor country, stopping at Aberdeen where a lodge of Elks was instituted with the solemn and impressive exercises of the order.
“The new lodge, while located in Aberdeen, is composed of gentlemen residing in Hoquiam, Aberdeen and Cosmopolis and starts with a membership of more than 50 of the most prominent business men of that section. The prediction is made that in less than six months this new lodge No. 593 will have at least 150 members.
“After the installation of the lodge the newly made Elks took charge of the visitors and conducted them to the Firemen’s hall in Aberdeen where a most elaborate social session was held. As the hotels of the little city were crowded, most of the visitors thought they could do no better than to extend the time of the social session far past the mystic hour of 11. The hall was decorated with an artistic grace and in elaborate extravagance. In the center was a great round piece, containing the heads of five elk, and the tables extended in five directions from this imposing center. The banquet, which was prepared by Caterer Samuel Baratich, is said to have been positively the most elaborate and expensive ever given in Grays Harbor country. It was certainly a grand and gorgeous spread of all the things bountiful and after it had been thoroughly discussed, the prince of Elks, Jay Sedgewick acting as toastmaster, called for a number of toasts, which were most happily proposed. The responses were neat, short and bright. Among the speakers were Mr. Clyde weatherwax of Aberdeen, Hom. A. P. Stockwell, Mayor of that city, Mr. Johnson Nickens and others of Tacoma.
While the speeches were very interesting, it is a fact, (and a fact that will perhaps, never occur again) that the corks were popping so fast that it was with difficulty that the speeches could be heard. Wine simply ran in rivers and if the people of the Grays harbor country intend to keep up this magnificent reputation for hospitality, they will have to import millions of bottles of Extra Dry at once.
“About 9:30 o’clock Sunday morning the Aberdeen Elks took their visitors to Westport-by-the-Sea. The staunch little boat, T. C. Reed was tendered by Major Stockwell and the trip was one not to be forgotten.
“The principal attraction of Westport was a grand balloon ascension, conductyed by Professor B. I. Gwind, and the balloon was inflated and went up at 2 o’clock just as advertised as they say on the show bills. The sending up of the balloon was a daring feat, for had the wind changed a few points, the Professor would have been blown out to sea and perhaps drowned.
At the hotel in Westport, dinner was served, over 175 persons being seated at the table.
Afterwards the boat brought the Elks back to Aberdeen where the special train was waiting and at 10 o’clock the excursionists were bavk in Tacoma, tired but happy.
The charter members organized the Grays Harbor lodge with these officers:
Walter Rodney Macfarlane………Exalted Ruler
Charles H. Rychard……………Esteemed Leading Knight
A. Frederick Peterson…………Esteemed Loyal Knight
Marc R. Sherwood……………..Esteemed Lecturing Knight
William J. Patterson………….Secretary
James H. Fuller………………Treasurer
Leonidas H. Chamber…………..Trustee
Sherman L. Johnson……………Trustee
William G. Douglas……………Tiler
Fred G. Foster……………….Esquire
Richard H. Falconer…………..Chaplain
Dewoody R. Jones……………..Inner Guard
Frank A. Whitney……………..Organist
In addition to the above names, the following are charter members:
Grover M. Antrim, William L. Adams, A. G. Wellington,
Fred P. Williams, Thomas L. Douglas, W. B. Crammatte,
Peter Autzen, Albert A. Brauer, Owen Jones, Chris D. Hansen, Fred H. Green, Joseph B. Egerer, Claude M. Morris, W. S. McLaughlin, Phil S. Locke, Percy M. Littler, Harry B. Martin, A. J. McIntyre, Leslie L. Maley, Edward F. Murray, Henry L. Sauers, Lewis M. Roser, G. W. Overmeyer, Adolph T. Olsen, F. L. Thurber, E. T. Taylor, J. W. Scammel
Daniel F. Spiegle, Noah Waymire.
After the charter had been closed, about 20 additional citizens desired to join. These, of course, had to be initiated in the regular way by the new lodge, and this work caused some little delay, but furnished a great deal of fun.
While the Elks were in session, the Tacoma Military band gave a concert at the theatre, which was largely attended and which was a pronounced success.