Historic Knights of Pythias group similar to Masons

From the mailbag:

Jacque Armstrong writes, “You mentioned in today’s column that the Greenfield American Legion first met in the Knights of Pythias building in 1919. I think I’ve seen the building with K.P. on it and wondered what it was. I had never heard of the Knights of Pythias, except that my grandfather had a sword and a ring from them, so I assume he was a member. Since he died in 1964, nobody in the family seems to know anything about them. What can you tell us about the group?”

Eureka Lodge, No, 22. Knights of Pythias, was organized Feb. 29, 1872, on the second floor of the building known as the Walker Corner, which was replaced by the old Masonic Building. The Knights also met in the old Masonic Building on the corner of Pennsylvania and Main Street, a room over the Capital State Bank, and several other places.

In 1908, the Lodge purchased three-eighths interest in a building known as the Strickland Building. In 1911, they purchased the entire building. At that time, they had 324 members. A uniform rank of the Knights of Pythias was organized Dec. 14, 1903, with Judge Hinchman as first captain.

The lodge flourished for a few years and then declined. In 1914, it was reorganized. At that time, it had 32 members. There were also Knights of Pythias Lodges in New Palestine, Wilkinson, and Maxwell. I am sure the Lodge was similar to a Masonic Order. There were also women’s groups.

Do you remember Edna’s Corner in Charlottesville?

Edna Chestnut, who ran the operation for many years, recently passed away.

She was very active in her church, Brandywine Community Church, and was a missionary to Brazil. She also worked for Another Addison Auction and served in the office of World Renewal International, a Greenfield-based nonprofit organization that works to build churches, schools, clean water systems and more in impoverished areas. She will be missed by many.

Enough. I have told you everything that I know and some things. I don’t. Talk to me.

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Rorye Hatcher is a reporter at the Greenfield Daily Reporter. She can be reached at ​317-477-3211 or rhatcher@greenfieldreporter.com.