Lodges of Sheboygan


The Sheboygan lodge of Masons was chartered and organized May 29, 1847, but Harmony Chapter, No. 10, R. A. M., preceded it, having been organized in 1845 with six charter members. The fraternity grew in numbers as the years went by and today its roster contains at least 200 names. The first quarters of the lodge were in a small building on Pennsylvania avenue and later they were moved to the building now occupied by the Herald. The next place of meeting was on the corner of Pennsylvania avenue and from there the lodge was comfortably established in the third story of the Zaegel block and remained there until 1909, when a permanent home, the Townsend residence, on the comer of Seventh and Niagara streets was occupied by the lodge, and in May of that year, the beautifully remodeled structure was dedicated.


...has been in existence for several years and meets the second and fourth Thursday of the month in Masonic Hall.


The above named fraternal order was organized in 1895. The charter members were A. Mahlendorf, F. Roenitz, G. B. Mattoon, J. R. Riess, Frank Geele, G. Schrage, F. Benfey, G. Huette, O. Foeste, H. Imig, L. Roenitz, J. End, O. Neumeister, H. Roenitz, E. Mattoon, W. G. End, F. Thayer, O. Trowbridge, H. Thomas, A. Pfister, J. A. Winter, G. Hart, R. Whitehill, O. Ballshnieder, O. B. Bock, Theodore Benfey, P. Koehn, W. Kowalke, Theo Zschetzsche, A. Boales. The first officials were: Exalted ruler, R. L. Whitehill ; esteemed leading knight, O. B. Bock; esteemed loyal knight, H. F. Roenitz; lecturing knight, J. A. Winter ; secretary, A. Pf ister ; treasurer, A. Mahlendorf, esquire, John R. Riess; Tyler, W. G. End ; chaplain, A. Boales; inner guard, R. G. Hayssen.

The first home of the club was in the Geele block, where it remained until early in 1909, when the organization took possession of a beautiful club house of its own, a remodeled residence property on the comer of Wisconsin and Seventh streets.


Organized December 14, 1846, and is one of the oldest fraternal bodies in the state. The charter members and officers were: I. B. Rice, Stephan A. Call, Samuel Clinton, I. B. Farnsworth, Eli Shouler, E. P. Eaton, H. C. Hobart, F. G. Peabody, Moses D. Chapman, George H. Smith and J. T. Kingsbury. Officers: N. G., H. C. Hobart; V. G., F. G. Peabody; Sec., George H. Smith. Through stress of circumstances, however, the charter was temporarily surrendered July 9, 1855, and the Civil war later calling for many of the members, the lodge was practically disrupted. At the time of the lapsing of the charter Alvin Driver was noble grand and C. B. Grinnell was secretary.

In 1877 interest in the rehabilitation of the lodge grew to such an extent that application was made to the grand lodge for reinstatement and on July 23, 1877, the lodge was reorganized under its old number and name, with the following charter members: M. D. Hotchkiss, William Elwell, H. N. Ross, John Laing, N. W. Kilton. The lodge is now in good standing, is financially secure and has a membership of 82. The lodge rooms are in the third story of the Geele block. Present officers : N. G., Fred Kneevers; V. G., Edward Kempf; Sec, William Mayberry; Fin. Sec., Barney Steinpass; Treas., Con Vanderjacht.


Organized March 11, 1902, and was named in honor of Rev. Robert Blow, a minister of the Grace Episcopal church for twenty-eight years, and who died February 12, 1890. The following were the charter members: Mrs. Elenor Sonneman, Miss Emma Kirst, Miss Annie Schneider, Mrs. Louisa Fisher, Mrs. Sophia Schlyter, Mrs. Viola Whiffen, Mrs. Clara Peterson, Mrs. Elizabeth Gunderson, Mrs. Ella Payne, Mrs. Harriet Briggs, Mrs. Minnie Fairweather, Mrs. Katie Zierath, Mrs. Minnie Anderson. The first officers elected were: N. G., Viola Whiffen; V. G., Elizabeth Gunderson; Sec., Louisa Fisher; Fin. Sec, Elenor Sonneman; Treas., Annie Schneider; Con., Clara Peterson ; Warden, Harriet Briggs; O. G., W. C. Fairweather; L G., Emma Kirst; R. S. N. G., Andrew Whiffen; L. S. N. G., Minnie Fairweather; R. S. V. G., Katie Zierath; L. S. V. G., Ella Payne; Chaplain, Minnie Anderson.

The present officials are : N. G., Minnie Giesman ; V. G., Apianda Giesman; Sec, Elinore Olson; Fin. Sec, May Baker; Treas., Blanche Sonneman. The membership is 50.


Chartered and organized May 26, 1853, and had for its first officers William Reichal, William Kaestner, Charles Meyer, Kasper Guck, and John Hauenstein. The lodge now has a membership of over one hundred. The present officials are: N. G., W. Blatzer; V. G., E. Schetzer; R. S., Charles FesterHng; F. S., Otto Beinemann; Treas., J. Kraus.


Organized January i8, 1871, by Carl Zillier, J. Weiskopf, D. F. Kriundick, H. F. Piderit, L. A. Descombes, Theodore Roeder and O. W. Meyer. Present officers: C. P., Ph. H. Schneider; H. P. Louis Olson; S. W., B. Fairweather; J. W., J. E. Wetzel; Scribe, Otto Beinemann; Treas., J. Kraus.


Organized June 6, 1876, with twenty-five members. Officers for 1912 are: N. G., Lena Bandle; V. G., Lena Schmidt; R. S., Elfrieda Schmidt; F. S., Minnie Beinemann; Treas., Antonia Poethig.


Organized June 1, 1894, with the following charter members: M. J. Lynch, Frank L. Bessinger, George W. Brown, J. Cooper, F. E. Fairchild, W. Waechter, August Ortmeier, G. Fitzgibbon, E. J. Kempf, H. F. Klotsch, William Meyer, C. H. Maurer, A. G. Roth, C. H. Ryan, F. C. Runge, Hans Scheer, John Wilson, E. J. Zufelt, Dr. A. Genter.

The lodge is one of the strongest in the state and now has 260 members. The officers for 1912 are: P. C, H. A. Arpke; V. C, L. L. Lebermann; W. A., H. G. Brueckbauer; E. B., L. C. Tasche; Qk., E. J. Kempf; Escort, Ed Tousley; Phy., H. G. Brueckbauer; Trus., Henry Kohlhagen, C. Pepper, E. L. Slyfield.


The Eagles have the strongest fraternal order in the county. Their aerie was organized November 13, 1902, with about fifty charter members. Their past worthy presidents are as follows : C O. Fairweather, Theo. Benfey, T. M. Bowler, Edward Voigt, H. W. Ullrich, August Scheck, Charles Pepper and Ed. F. Oehler. The present officials are : Worthy president, A. P. Croghan; worthy vice president, W. M. Root; worthy chaplain, A. H. Friese; secretary, F. Giesman; treasurer, L. C. Meyer; conductor, Henry Roessing ; iqside guard, W. Koglin ; outside guard, E. Allbright ; trustees, A. L. Theumler, Val Herman, E. L. Baldwin ; physician. Dr. G. W. Crosby. The membership now numbers 500.

On April 18th, 1908, ground was broken for an Eagles' hall and on the night of October 17, 1908, the building was dedicated and the event terminated with a grand ball, the receipts from which amounted to $3,000. Bonds had been issued to the amount of $20,000 to defray the cost of the building, but before the structure was completed $35,000 had been expended. The building committee was composed of Theo. Fleischer, Jacob Schlicht, T. M. Bowler, Edward Voigt, Theo. Benfey, Douglas E. Meyer, Edward Koellmer and A. L. Thuemler. The splendid building, which adjoins the Opera House on New York avenue, is a fitting monument to the fine taste and business capacity of the committee.


Although one of the late ones to be attached to the galaxy of fraternal orders of Sheboygan, the Knights of Pythias ranks high, both in standing, membership and prosperity. The lodge was instituted June 12, 1890, with the following charter members and officers : W. S. Elwell, C. W. Nelson, A. Mahlendorf, W. D. Cockburn, W. C. Cole, W. H. Waechter, Carroll Quimby, P. Peacock, C. H. Keyes, F. H. Denison, W. H. Johnson, Ed. Peacock, H. Halverson, F. C. Pagan, Jacob Schlicht, J. A. Neill, O. H. Qarke, Jacob Imig, George C. Hart. Officers: P. C, F. C. Pagan; C. C, C. H. Keyes; V. C, W. S. Elwell; M. of F., W. D. Cockburn; K. of R. & S., W. H. Burk; M. at A., J. A. Neill; I. G., Jacob Imig; O. G., W. H. Waechter. The officers for 1912 are: C. C, Otto Koch; V. C, Charles Bub; P., G. F. Honold; M. of W., Oscar L. Wolters; K. of R. S., W. H. Burk; M. of F., Oscar T. Schmidt; M. of E., M. L. Brinkman; M. at A., David E. Jones; I. G., A. J. Merget; O. G., Delmar E. Brown.

The members of this lodge take an active interest in its well being and growth and at this time the membership numbers about 225. Efforts are always for the benefit of the lodge socially, fraternally and financially.

There is a Pythian orchestra to entertain, and a reading room, where the members can discuss the best literature produced by leading magazines. A distinction, in which the local lodge takes great pride, is that of having the head officer of the grand lodge at Sheboygan - Grand Chancellor R. I. Warner, proprietor of the Grand Hotel.


This society was organized in Sheboygan in 1892 and was first known as the Columbian Club and its membership was limited to 25. Its object was to study topics concerning the World's Fair which was later to be held in Chicago. In 1900 the membership was increased to 75, and in 1908 it was enlarged to 100, while in 1910, the number was increased to 125, which is the present membership. In about a year after the organization of the club the name was changed to The Woman's Club, having for its chief object "the intellectual culture and practical improvement of its members."

At first the meetings were held at the homes of the members of the club, then for a time at the Foeste Hotel, while still later the meetings were held in the parlors of the Congregational church. Since the erection of the Carnegie Public Library, of which the Woman's Club was the prime mover, they have met in a room especially arranged for the purpose. The club pur- chases many valuable books for study in its meetings, which are afterward donated to the library. The first presiding officer was Mrs. Nellie S. Mattoon. The present officers are : Mrs. Fred Koehn, president ; first vice president, Mrs. John Lyke; second vice president, Mrs. J. W. Hansen; secretary, Mrs. E. J. Barrett; corresponding secretary, Mrs. F. H. Denison; treasurer, Mrs. W. J. Hoehle. The club meets once a week from the 1st of October to the ist of April.


February 9, 1860, the Concordia Singing Society was organized in Sheboygan, and February 9, 1910, its golden jubilee was celebrated. Its origin and its existence for a half century are due to the Germans' love of song. Shakespeare did not have them in mind when he wrote:

"The man that hath no music in himself,
Nor is not moved with concord of sweet sounds.
Is fit for treason's, stratagems and spoils."

Despite their love of song and their enthusiasm in keeping alive the melodies of the "fatherland," it was not always easy to keep up their organization, especially during the first several years. The great Civil war was in progress and the American people had little time for pleasure had they been much disposed to have. The Concordia Society, however, never lost its identity. It gave its first concert in October, 1861, and the audience was so well pleased that the members were encouraged to continue. Its next appearance was at Howard's Grove in the spring of 1862, and gained 300.

At the close of the rebellion in 1865, William Nehrlich was chosen director, and the society took another start. It was not until 1873 that several ladies joined the society, and the following year the mixed chorus gave a concert, which proved a marked success.

May 24, 1887, John Schmidt succeeded Mr. Nehrlich as director, and was himself succeeded by Professor Theodore Winkler, December 24, 1893. Of the directors all survive but Mr. Kroehnke, who served the society from its organization until 1865.

Its first own place of meeting was provided in 1874, and on June 27th of that year was first used for that purpose. It possessed no such qualities as elegance, convenience or commodiousness. It was, indeed, rather a plain and crude structure. It was, moreover, unsuited for public entertainments. The need of something better was soon seriously felt and Concordia Hall was built on Ontario street, between Seventh and Eighth.

The society has grown from year to year and with its growth in numbers, interest has increased. At the annual concerts held by the society, Sheboygan has been made familiar with many of the best German songs and literary works, and thus has the society done much to cultivate a taste for good music.

In 1887 the Concordia Society became a member of the Northwestern Saengerbund and has continued its membership in that organization ever since. Two Saengerfests of the Eastern Wisconsin circuit have been held in Sheboygan, the first in 1892 and the second in 1905.


The Turnverein was organized at Sheboygan in 1854, and in 1904 the society held its golden jubilee, with exercises and festivities of various kinds. There is some contention, however, as to the exact date of the society's birth, certain members holding out for the year 1853, but on the old standard of the society is embroidered the year 1854, so that year takes the preference.

During the late '40s and the beginning of the '50s a great number of liberty-loving Germans immigrated to America, expatriated by reason of political conditions then existing in the fatherland. They sought points of contact where they might exchange views and foster their ideals and for this purpose the first turnvereins were founded, many of them coming into existence in the first half of the '50s.

Regarding the original founders of the Turnverein, Mrs. Marie Kemper, of Milwaukee, only daughter of Ernest W. Schlichting, the so-called bush king says that it was Johanna Schlichting, a daughter of Reinhard Schlichting, and a sister of Herman Schlichting, one of the founders, presented the standard, to which reference has been made, to the Sheboygan verein. Herman Schlichting still lives in Houghton, Michigan, but his sister is long since deceased. Among the active members in 1855 were John Plath, von der Beck, Herman Eschenbury. Otto Zwictusch, Christian Reich, Anton Blocki and Herman Schlichting.

The followers of "Father Jahn" were forced during the first years to hold their "meets" in the open air and readily received permission of the village board to use the public square. In this square in the summer of 1855 was duly and solemnly presented the society's emblem. After the verein was firmly established it became a member of the great North American Tumerbund.

For several years the public square served as the turner hall, but through the enterprise of members of the society $600 was raised and for that amount the property of the late August Pott, Sr., corner of Michigan avenue and North Seventh street, was purchased, with the object in view of erecting a turner hall there. This project, however, was not consummated and was later abandoned. During this time, however, a large hall was added to the Blocki Hotel, which was used by the Turners, whose membership was growing rapidly. This condition necessitated the purchasing of a lot on the corner of Jefferson avenue and North Seventh street, upon which was erected a turner hall. Some time later the property went into possession of the Kohler, Hayssen, Stehn Manufacturing Company. In time the Turners returned to their old headquarters in Blocki's Hall and some time thereafter built a hall 20x50 feet on Pennsylvania avenue between Seventh and Eighth streets. Here the Verein flourished, especially through the efforts of the old instructor, Hugo Pantzer, who later took up the practice of medicine in Indianapolis. This hall soon became too small for any unusual festivities and a larger hall was built on the corner of New York avenue and North Seventh street, which was later known as the Opera House, but the expense of keeping up the establishment was too great and the society consequently languished. It must be said, however, that nine of the members kept up their standing in the national organization and in 1885 they again engaged an instructor.

The Turnverein was incorporated in the last half of the '60s, and among the charter members were the following: William Reichel, Fritze Karste, Charles Bach, John Pantzer, Paul Weigand, George Reinold, Albert Mahlendorf, Gottfried Heyer, Ernst Lohmann, Fritz Tiedemann, Wolfgang Morgeneier, Charles Witte, John H. Plath. These names show that the Verein from the beginning was the center of German social life and there are still cited masquerades, concerts, theatricals and other entertainments, the most splendid with which even those of today hardly compare.

In 1885 occurred the reorganization of the Verein, when quite a number of Turners came together in Concordia Hall. There was Louis Wolff, chairman ; J. G. Froidel, secretary ; and a committee consisting of Louis Wolff, J. H. Roth, H. C. Prange, John G. Froidel and Henry Pott. The old church building at the corner of Wisconsin avenue and North Seventh street was rented and J. Henry Roth was engaged as instructor. He was succeeded by Hermann Boos, who received his training in Germany, and was engaged in 1886 to teach German and singing in the public schools. Boos was succeeded by Gustav Eckstein. It was not long after this that the present hall was erected on the corner of St. Clair avenue and North Ninth street and in 1897, by the holding of two fairs $2,700 was raised, which released the society from debt. Today the society's property is probably worth $12,000, and the Sheboygan Verein is firmly established.


Like all cities with a population like Sheboygan, there are numerous fraternal bodies, kindred societies and clubs. There are so many of them that to go into their history would entail much time and call for more space in this work than can be spared. A list of them follows:


Sheboygan branch, No. 13. John D. Heck, president; Joseph Sonntag, P. B.; H. W. Trester, R. S.; Louis Sonntag, F. Sec.; J. J. Froidel, Treas.


St. Leo Court, No. 267. Otto Trilling, chief ranger; Charles Brown, secretary.


Frank J. Olle, G. K.; M. H. Hand, Dep. G. K.; J. Davey, R. Sec.; Frank Maersch, Treas.; Dr. G. E. Knauf, chancellor; J. Detling, Adv.; Rev. E. J. Meyers, chaplain.


Sheboygan Lodge, No. 43; Sec, E. J. Kempf.


C. A. Born, Capt. ; H. W. Trester, ist Lieut.; Otto Geussenhainer, 2d Lieut.


Independent Order of Foresters, Chair City Court, No. 1185. Chief ranger, Henry L. Schuri ; Rec. Sec, W. C. Roenitz ; Fin. Sec, F. H. Dennison.


Evergreen City Council, No. 78, Sec, E. J. Kempf.


Jonathan Tent, No. 16. Record keeper, E. J. Kempf. David Tent, No. 27. Record keeper, G. M. Hanson. Ladies of Maccabees Hive, No. 93. Record keeper, Mrs. E. J. Kempf. Ladies of Maccabees Unity Hive, No. 46. Record keeper, lima Schoerger Hopkins.


John A. Logan Council, No. 263. Sec, Geo. Lebermann.


Washington Lodge, No. 163. Sec., Frank Vollbrecht


Oak Council, No. 509. Sec., Henry Scheele.


Royal Neighbors of America. Rec. Sec, Mrs. Meta Dow.


Armenia Lodge, No. 26. Sec, William Gehr.

Niederwald Sister Lodge, No. 1. Sec, Mrs. William Gehr


Carl Witte Camp, No 37. Sec, Delmar Brown.


Cor. Sec, Robert Fenn.

Ladies' Auxiliary of the N. A. S. E. Sec, Mrs. Robert Edward.


Sheboygan Lodge, No. 71. Worthy Pres., George F. Dusold; V. P., Dr. George Knauf; Sec, E. L. Kausler.


  1. Barbers Union, No. 631. Pres., Alfred Quasius; Sec, H. Eisold.
  2. Central Labor Union. Sec, Gust Toepel.
  3. Brewers Union Local, No. 277. Sec, Joseph Samner.
  4. Cigarmakers Union, No. 323.
  5. Gill Net and Hook Fishermen's Union, No. 657.
  6. Retail Qerks Union.
  7. Shoemakers Union, No. 197.
  8. The Amalgamated Sheet Metal Workers International Alliance, Local Union, No. 158.
  9. Bairischer Ludwig's Unterstuetzungs Verein.
  10. Crocker Aid Society.
  11. Deutsche Gilde, No. 36.
  12. Dillingham Aid Society.
  13. Deutscher Landwehr Maenner Verein. Pres., Fred Schmidt; Sec, Joseph Dluzewski.
  14. Freier Saengerbund.
  15. German Mutual. Fire Aid Society. Sec, W. E. Zimmermann.
  16. Germania Verein, G. U. G. Sec, Joseph Dluzewski.
  17. Harmonie Singing Society.
  18. Horseshoers Association.
  19. Humane Society. Sec, E. A. Zundel.
  20. Libertas Verein. Sec, A. Markwardt.
  21. Liederkranz Singing Society.
  22. Master Plumbers' Association.
  23. Mattoon Aid Society. Treas., Charles Hoppert.
  24. Oesterreichisch Ungarischer Franz Josephs Unterstuetzungs Verein.
  25. Phoenix Aid Society. Sec, William Mayer.
  26. Sheboygan Building and Loan Association. Pres., Thomas M, Blackstock; V. P., W. C. Gunther; Sec, W. C. Roenitz; Treas., H. W. Trester.
  27. St. Boniface Society. Sec, Anton Mayer.
  28. St. John's Young Men's Society. Sec, Al. Gottsacker.
  29. St. Peter Claver Society. Pres., Peter Mannebach; V. P., Phil. Guenther; Cor. Sec, Alois Freihammer; Fin. Sec, Robert Vosseler; Treas., Gottlieb Kleefisch.
  30. South Sheboygan G. U. G., No. 42. Pres., Robert Polster; Sec, A. Winkler.
  31. South Side Branch Family Protective Association. Sec. and Treas., Max Schurrer.
  32. Sheboygan Chair Company's Aid Society. Pres., Paul Diehl; Sec, Frank Vollbrecht.
  33. Sheboygan Dairy Board of Trade.
  34. Sheboygan Gun & Rod Club. Sec, A. W. Bock.
  35. Sheboygan Laborer Mutual Aid Society. Pres., Henry Schilder; Sec, August Stahl.
  36. Sheboygan Mutual Aid Society (Kranken Verein).
  37. United Aid of Sheboygan, Widows' and Orphans' Benefit Fund.
  38. Veteran Corps of Evergreen City Guard.
  39. Vollrath Aid Society.
  40. Arbeiter Unterstuetzungs Verein. Pres., Frank Gottsacker; Sec, Robert Vosseler.


For many years Colonel Charles Born conducted an amusement park at the corner of Lincoln avenue and Fourteenth street. Here was laid out a beautiful private park, with rustic arbors and seats, refreshment halls, bowling alleys and other attractions. Some time ago Colonel Born bored a well on his grounds and obtained an overflowing well of sparkling water which, upon being analyzed by a practical chemist, was found to have considerable medicinal virtues. So much so in fact, that a stock company was organized, under the title of Bom's Park Sanitarium) and many patients have since been treated there for rheumatism and other maladies with gratifying results. A large, commodious hotel is kept in connection with the sanitarium, and a swimming pool that is open at certain hours to the general public. The Bom Sanitarium advertises Sheboygan mineral salt water baths and hot and cold treatment for chronic diseases.


The sweetest of charities is exemplified in a substantial manner in the Home of the Friendless, an institution established by a numiber of Christian men and women of Sheboygan. The building is located on Ontario street, between Seventh and Eighth streets and is a commodious brick structure formerly used as a private residence. The present matron is Mrs. Helen Balkins.


Information gathered and adapted from History of Sheboygan County, Wisconsin, Past and Present
Carl Zillier, Editor
Pubished by The S.J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1912, Chicago, IL

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