Newton Elks celebrate 100 years of community service in Jasper County
In January 1954, Newton Elks Lodge #1270 Secretary Marvin Ham breathed a sigh of relief as the club’s safe was opened at the Tri-State Advertising Company. Only part of the Elks’ archival documents were scorched and all notes dating back to the club’s 1912 inception were still intact.
The safe was pulled by crane from the debris left behind from what the Newton Elks’ centennial history booklet calls a “devastating fire.” The lodge was forced from its home on Newton’s downtown square when the building burned along with adjacent structures. But that was 1954. In 2012, on the day of its 100th anniversary celebration, the Newton Elks are still in operation and thriving, said current Exalted Ruler Bill Cobb.
Nationally, the Elks have lost nearly half of their membership in recent years. But Cobb said that Newton’s lodge is beginning to rebound from that loss, with 390 current members and more initiated monthly. Newton’s lodge is solvent with “money in the bank,” Cobb said in a phone interview this morning. This strength allows the Elks to concentrate on what they are known for — philanthropy.
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