Reprints: 1951 — Historical Review of Lafayette Odd Fellows Lodge No. 91

The Charter of the Lodge was issued on April 25th, 1890, to the following: William Yates, William D. Jenkins, Sep Wood, Charles Neal, John T. Jenkins, Robert Young, William Beamand, George M. Bauers and William Ellsworth.

The first meeting place was the on the second floor of the old brick schoolhouse.

The first Noble Grand was W.D. Jenkins. Among the members were Tom Beynon and Dick Donald. Dave Maxwell was the first to be initiated after the charter was issued. After a while the Lodge moved to the Noble & Faull Building, [at Michigan and E. Simpson] erected where the old bank used to be. During this stay, 18 more joined the Lodge, including such names as John Irwin, Alfred Peterson, Swan Edison, George Miller, John Wennberg, Doc J.H. Couch, and the three brothers George, Matt and Jack Stobs.

Lafayette, Colo. Odd Fellows membership roll, circa 1905
Odd Fellows ceremonial costume, from a 1910 Ward-Stilson regalia catalog

The first Noble Grand here was Frank Vanderine, who joined while at the schoolhouse. All this time the Degree Captain was Ed Beckett, who was Postmaster here.

After many years, the Noble & Faull building caught fire, and Tom Faull built a building for a store and a Hall above, where the present Hall now stands. The Odd Fellows moved into this Hall.

During the time that we were here, Fisher and Reddington built a shop and store, directly east of the present post office [on Simpson Street], and they sold the Odd Fellows the idea of building a Hall of their own above their stores. Forty members got together and each put up the money. The building cost more than $8,500. Then the Building Association was formed, and the members signed notes of $350 each. The money was borrowed from Mr. Frank Harmon. This building went up in flames and the Odd Fellows lost every cent they had put into it. The Secretary at this time was Mr. George Barrett, who rushed into the building and saved the Charter.

After this the Odd Fellows moved back to the Rocky Mountain [Fuel Company] Hall, where we stayed until the Webbers prepared to change their building [into an auto repair business]. This caused us to return to the Rocky Mountain Hall. After a short stay, the Rocky Mountain Coal Co. gave all the lodges orders to move as they were going to sell and demolish, as the Hall had become unsafe and would cost too much to repair.

This time we moved to the basement of the Baptist church, during which time, through the efforts of Goody Pierson, Gus Waneka, Harry Crews, Edison and others, the Odd Fellows bought the Rocky Mountain building and saved it from destruction. This was done by means of a loan from Mr. Gus Waneka, who was one of the principal movers of the matter. A great deal of repairing went on for a long while. The two stores on the ground floor were made habitable and rented. A goodly amount of repairing has been done since, and still more needs to be done.

I have now brought you up to the present time. We are about to pay off the remainder of the loan. Very possibly to make yet another loan later. Who knows?

From The Samaritan, published April 1951 by the Lafayette International Order of Odd Fellows Lodge No. 91, William Moon, Noble Grand; Rebekah Lodge No. 72, Bessie Lawson, Noble Grand.