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Brotherhood of Northwestern Thresher and Tractormen

The Brotherhood of Northwestern Threshermen was organized in 1910 by John H. Kershner and P. P. Keating.

The daring, progressive spirit of these two men was admired by some, ridiculed by others and ignored by still others, yet they went right on with the true western spirit of doing and daring, called their convention, and prepared to establish their organization. A few live wires responded to the call, and enough exhibits and exhibitors were on the ground to make a convention. And plans were completed to hold a convention annually, the first of April.

This organization became a vital factor to Mr. Kershner, and he took great care to advertise it and boost it at every opportunity, often paying out his own money to do so, and now, although it is but six years old, it has grown to be one of the biggest organizations and foremost enterprises of the day. The 1916 convention was the second largest in the state, being outclassed only by Hutchinson, and the exhibits were the best in the state. 

At this meeting the Tractormen united with the Threshermen, and the name of the organization was changed to The Northwest Brotherhood of Thresher and Tractormen.

In this number of the News appears a photo of the Tractor parade, or a portion of it, which exhibited here last spring. (page 8)

Capt. Jarvis Post G. A. R.

Capt. Jarvis Post No. 209 Grand Army of the Republic was organized and mustered in as a post in May 1883. The post was named after William Jarvis, captain in the 13th Ohio Calvary one of the early pioneers of Norton. The following men were charter members : Wilson Adams, Lewis C. Baur, W. J. Bower, I. P. Burk, A. W. Clawson, E. E. Dopps, Samuel Enfield [Edenfield], F. L. Eibert, Enoch Fackler, J. W. Graves, Truman Gilbert, Luther C. Havelin, George N. Kingsbury, Peter R. Mittan, C. W. Posson, Cyrus Ramage, Reuben Rowley, John R. Rule, F. M. Snow, D. E. Stevens, Granville Sheley, Frank Stoddard, R. H. Seymour, A. J. Rhodes, Samuel Means, Samuel Witt, Emerson White, G. A. Bronson and Isaac B. Hardy.

The first officers were: J. W. Graves, Post Commander; F. M. Snow, Adjutant; Samuel Means, Senior Vice Commander; D. E. Stevens, Junior Commander; W. J. Bower, Quartermaster; L. C. Baur, Chaplain; Emerson White, Surgeon; A. N. Clawson, Officer of the day; G. N. Kingsbury, Sergeant Major; E. E. Dopps, Quarter Master Sergeant. (page 9)

Capt. Jarvis Relief Corps No 149 was instituted February 24, 1887, with 35 charter members. The first officers were Mrs. Mary White, President; Mrs. W. Adams, Senior Vice President; Mrs. F. Duvall, Junior Vice President; Mrs. J. Bridegroom, Secretary; Mrs. F. M. Snow, Treasurer; Mrs. Geo. Kingsbury, Conductor; Mrs. W. J. Bower, Guard. (page 9)

Norton Camp Sons of Veterans was mustered August 27, 1887. (page 9)

Knights of Pythias, Norton

The Knights of Pythias was organized in Norton Oct. 9, 1885. The Charter members were: C. W. Spensler, John W. Taner, E. L. Preston, C. L. Emery, L. M. West, Geo. F. Davis, L. L. Stewart, A. M. Reeves, M. M. Reeves, W. W. Miller, F. M. Duvall, W. A. Meeker, P. A. Blue, P. H. Loomis, A. S. Kuney, W. T. Shoemaker, A. M. Robinson, N. L. Johnson, W. H. Hiles, J. A. Martin and E. J. Davis. The first officers were: C. W. Sponsler, C. C.; John W. Tanner, P. C.; E. L. Preston, V. C.; C. L. Emery, K of R. S. (page 10)

Odd Fellows, Norton

Norton Lodge No. 157 of the Ancient Order of Odd Fellows was instituted May 14, 1885. The officers were, David Reagan, N. G.; A. G. Chambers, V. G.; W. E. Case, Secty.; Reuben Rowley, Treas. The following were charter members: Reuben Rowley, David Reagan, John Wallace, Julian DeJean, A. G. Chambers, W. E. Case, and A. F. Harmer. After a fire on January 2, 1886, when the records burned the lodge did not hold a meeting for several years and in April 1893 it was reorganized. (page 10)

Norton County Agricultural Association

The Norton County Agricultural Association was organized in 1876. The first officers were: Albert Graves, president; R. F. Hudsonpillar, vice president; George H. Griffin, Treasurer; M. J. Fitzpatrick, secretary.

Fairs were held on the old fair grounds just north of the Municipal Light and Water Works, on the land now owned by Mr. Wallgreen.

This association was disbanded in 1888 and nothing was done toward reorganization until 1900 when a few prominent men of the county held a meeting and organized the present association. M. F. Garrity was elected president and J. L. Miller secretary.

The best county fairs ever held in Northwest Kansas have been held under the auspices of this association, and they now own Elmwood Park where they have build a fast track and sufficient building to house the exhibits. The city and county has free use of the park at all times, and in return they have supported the association, and made possible the excellent fairs.

Elmwood Park is one of the most beautiful natural parks to be found in the west and Norton and Norton county is very proud of it.

The present officers of the Norton County Agricultural Association are: A. J. Johnson, President; J. E. Gleason, vice president; Fred L. Strohwig, Secretary; C. W. Campbell, Treasurer. The following men compose the present board of directors: J. E. Gleason, Arthur Saum, M. F. Garrity, H. J. Milz, Fred L. Strohwig, C. W. Campbell, A. J. Johnson. (page 11)

Norton Co-Operative Association

The Norton Co-Operative Association was organized in June 1914 with 40 members and a capital of $4,000. Through successful management and the good business judgment of its directors, the membership has been increased until they now have 250 members and a capital of $8,000. When the Asso. was first started all it owned was a cream station. Now it owns besides this, an elevator with a capacity of 20,000 bushels, and the building across from the Rock Island station. The following men were instrumental in its organization and to them is due the credit: F. H. Fawcett, Henry Backman, Edward Rappy, Sam Sweely, S. Fordice, Amos Calfee, Wm. Wiley and James O'Toole. (page 14)

Knights of Pythias, Lenora

The Knights of Pythias was organized at Lenora on March 20, 1889. (page 25)

Masonic Lodge, Lenora

Lenora Masonic Lodge 181 was organized May 14, 1885. The officers were Louis Hall W.M.; J. H. Wright S. W.; J. H. Green J. W.

The charter was issued February 18, 1886. (page 25)

Lenora Mercantile Association

The Lenora Mercantile Association was organized in April 1914 with a capital of $800.00 and this has been increased until now it is over $13,000. Last years the sales reached $60,000 with every indication that they will be higher this year, and the stock has been turned thirteen times within a period of six months. At its organization the Association had 120 members and have increased in membership until there are now over 300 members. It has been a great success from an investment standpoint and has helped the farmer in many ways. A new elevator is being built and will be completed within a short time. (page 26)

Laphtali Masonic Lodge No. 310, located at Almena was instituted May 15, 1888. The following were officers: John B. Welpton, W. M.; John T. Harmonson, S. W.; Ira H. Reeves, J. W. The charter was granted February 20, 1889. (page 29)

The Live Stock and Breeders Association

On May 5, 1916 the business men of Norton through J. E. Gleason, George S. Scott, M. F. Garrity, Byron Wheeler and D. G. Hamilton as a committee invited the Stock Breeders and farmers of Norton county to attend a banquet given to them for the purpose of formulating plans and organizing a stockmen and breeders association for Norton county.
The organization was organized, and the following officers elected: Samuel Teaford, President; Arthur Saum, Vice President; C. F. Behrent, Secretary. The board of directors are Samuel Teaford, Arthur Saum, C. F. Behrent, A. B. Conkey, Peter Luft, C. A. Conkey, Fred Welter, C. A. Whitney. The association aims to improve the live stock of Norton county by promoting the use of pure bred sires, and to encourage the introduction of more and better live stock within its borders, as Norton county. This might seem unnecessary to some but the association for the short time that it has been organized has done much for the farmers of Norton county and the men who organized it, and those who are interested in it should be commended and the Norton county Livestock and Breeders Association is sure to become a potent factor in the greater success of Norton county. It started with a membership of 79 but now has over 90 and at this year's fair over 95 per cent of the exhibitors were members of the association. (page 31)

The Norton Woman's Christian Temperance Union

Norton has a very active Union of over 50 members which has done much for the temperance cause and the educational cause of this county. It works continually and while it covers many topics, its chief fight is put up against alcoholic liquors and tobacco, especially the cigarette. The present officers are; Mrs. Effie Hicks, President; Mrs. Annie Boddy, Vice President; Mrs. Lillie Mallam, Recording Secretary; Mrs. Anna Rawlins, Corresponding Secretary and Mrs. Laura Howell, Treasurer. (page 34)

The United Commercial Travelers of Norton

A more jolly crowd could not get together than a crowd of traveling men. Poor hotels, late trains, a three o’clock call, etc., never erases the smile from the face of a traveling salesman. For a long or blue-faced salesman never sold enough goods or sent in enough orders to satisfy any sales manager.

Any town that has its share of travelingmen is well advertised, for their business is to boost their goods and their town, and whenever you meet a U.C.T. you meet a good booster and usually a good fellow.

The Norton lodge of United Commercial Travelers has a membership of over 75, of whom about 40 reside here with their families.

The present officers are: Arthur Rasch, Senior Counselor; Geo. Tubbs, Junior Counselor; H.N. Waller, Secretary and Treasurer. (page 60)

The Knights of Pythias was organized at Almena on April 4, 1886. (page 67)

The I.O.O.F. Lodge at Almena was organized in 1888. (page 74)

Norton Commercial Club

The Norton County News of Dec. 7, 1905, has this to say, “Last Friday about 40 representative business men met in the court house at 7:30 o’clock for the purpose of organizing a commercial club for Norton. Temporary officers were appointed to serve until a constitution and by-laws could be drafted and adopted. Committees were also appointed to look after the selection of a suitable room for the purpose of holding meetings. The officers elected for the present were: C. M. Sawyer, Pres.; M. F. Garrity, Vice Pres.; J. L. Miller, Secty; and C. K. Powell, Treas.”

The meetings were held over Elrod’s store until the Auditorium was completed when the club rooms were moved to the second floor of this building.

The Club now has a membership of over 200, and as fine a club room as can be found anywhere. Anything pertaining to the commercial progress or welfare of Norton is submitted to the club, and what they go after they get, and to this club and its wide awake, and progressive members Norton owes much in a commercial line. 

The present officers are: M. F. Garrity, Pres.; B. V. Wheeler, Vice Pres.; H. A. Johnson, Treas.; J. E. Gleason, Secty; and Carl Smiley, Financial Secty. (page 94)

Clayton has three lodges, all holding charters, they are: Modern Woodman, organized 1899; Royal Neighbors of America, organized 1907; Occidental Mutual, organized 1912. (page 96) 

The Masonic Lodge at Norton was organized May 19, 1880. The following men helped to organize it. Albert Graves, W.R. Cannon, Henry Oliver, Wilson Adams, Sam Means, R. H. Seymour, Wallace Harmonson and F. M. Lockard. The following were the officers at its organization: Albert Graves, W. M.; Henry Oliver, S. W.; W. R. Cannon, J. W. (page 101)

The first secret society organized in Norton county, was the Masons, at Leota, November 29, 1878. The lodge was discontinued the following year, and the following men were given certificates of good standing: S. L. Green, L. P. Boyd, R. W. Ellis, C. Conkey, H. T. Carlisle, N. Weaver, J. H. Main, George Waters, G. W. Hood, M.A. Morrison, A.D. Hoyt, J. A. Graff, A.M. Kelly, J. G. Garton, J. A. Schesser, O. L. Clark, A. S. Burroughs and S. L. Bishop. (page 103)

[This information not included in the Historical Number, but of interest in this category]

 Knights and Ladies of Security: a benefit society started in 1892 in Topeka, Kansas. Currently Security Benefit Life Insurance Company. [source: Hoovers online] several members in the Clayton area noted in their individual biographies.



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©2005 Ardie Grimes.  Transcribed from Norton County News Historical Number 1870 - 1916, re-organized and re-formatted for ease of use. These pages are dedicated to free access to records, documents and photos of historical and genealogical value. Documents contained herein may be copied for personal, non-commercial use as long as this statement remains on all copied material.   These records, documents and photos may not be reproduced, published or re-published for any reason, in any format,  including electronic (web pages or CD's) and print, without prior written consent of the contributors or copyright holders.

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Ardie Grimes 


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Last updated 26 February 2005