History

History of Sellersville Lodge 1539

Sellersville Lodge No. 1539, L.O.O.M., was instituted June 18, 1914, with a charter membership of 50 loyal Moose, banded together under the leadership of the late B. Harvey Smith, serving as the first appointed dictator to carry on the work of the our great leader, Honorable James J. Davis, Director General and Founder of the Loyal  Order of Moose. Honorable James J. Davis’ foresight for the future generations and the observance of the American flag, the welfare of the child whose future depended solely upon the environments and conditions in which our children are educated. Brother Davis conceived the idea for an ideal home for the children whose parents were called to the great beyond. Under this direction, the Board of Governors were called together into a conference, whereupon 1,023 acres were recommended to be purchased between Batavia, Illinois and Aurora, Illinois, in the beautiful Fox River Valley where today, Mooseheart, the city of childhood, over 196 children from all parts of the United States and Canada are being housed, schooled and trained to the respective trades and business courses given to them through the help of each individual member who is in good standing with the Loyal Order of Moose. Realizing that this work has just begun and wishing to share our burden with others with this worthy cause for the child who we may look forward to in future generations with pride as patriotic men and women of this universe. Mindful that in our growing fraternity, hardships befall many and as age creeps upon us together with poverty, with nothing more but to live in distress, discontent waiting for the grim reaper to call us to the great beyond. Again seeing the visions for the aged, Mooseheart Governors again assembled for a conference, and in January 1921, one hundred and seventy five acres were purchased at Orange Park, Florida 10 miles from Jacksonville on the beautiful St. John’s River, were today we have over 227 who will live their happy declining days together in peace and contentment through the board efforts and leaders of our great Fraternity. In comprising this great Fraternity, Sellersville Lodge No. 1539, as a unit has developed a keen vision to do its part of the future burdens that may be required to carry on the work.

            Sellersville Lodge 1539, L.O.O.M., was organized by William Fryling of Doylestown and was instituted in the former Dutch Club located on Main Street, off Fairview Avenue. The first officers were:

Dictator                       Harry B. Smith

Past Dictator                William Hill

Prelate                         Robert Taylor

Secretary                     William H. Becker

Treasurer                      Joseph Hunsberger

Sergeant at Arms         Lester Gardner

Outer Guard                Joseph Loeffler, Jr.

Inside Guard                Gervasf Martin

Trustees            Jacob R. Esser

                                                                        Joseph S. Kline

                                                                        William Taylor

 

            The Lodge moved to the Bilger Building adjacent to the present Sellersville Movie Theater. The meetings were held on the second floor, with rent set at $10.00 per month.

            On April 14, 1921, the Lodge was moved to the former Walz residence at 75 N. Main Street, which is now the location of the Sellersville American Legion. When purchased, the building was a six-room house, which was then renovated. In April 1928, a rear annex was completed. This annex was used as the Grill Room and auditorium. In 1965, this annex was completely renovated for the benefit of our members.

            With increased participation by our member, and ever-growing membership, the Board of Officers undertook the responsibility of finding new quarters to satisfy our growing needs.

            The former Pittman building was purchased, and in the early months of 1978, the Lodge was moved to its present location of 301 W. Park Avenue. This new location offers much improved Lodge and social quarters. It offers easy access for our members with improved parking facilities. In addition to the fine building, the Lodge has made available a park for our members’ use.

            From a charter membership of only 50 members, our Lodge has grown to a membership of over 1053 members of the Loyal Order of Moose.

            Out of the 66 past Governors, there are still 20 surviving past Governors with us. They are Willard Loux, Fred Koehler, Bruce Berger, Thomas Loughridge, Douglas Lachman, Gerald Erb, Gary Burke, John Geiger Jr., Russell Handy Sr., Eles Barnes Jr., William Kozma, Deane Hamm, Raymond Polichetti, George Keefer, Charles Staley, William Henry, Steve Wampole, Phillip Febus, Alan Erney, Robert D. Windsor Jr.

            There were eight Secretaries, none of which are surviving. This position is now known as the Administrator. There are 1 surviving past Administrator John Geiger Jr. and the current Administrator Phil Febus.

            There are four Degrees in the Loyal Order of Moose: The Lodge, The Legion of the Moose, Fellowship Degree and Pilgrim Degree.

            The Fellowship (an Honorary Degree) is given only to members who belong to the Legion of the Moose and through their enthusiasm and efforts have contributed outstanding service for the advancement of Sellersville Lodge. There are 23 members holding the Fellowship Degree in Sellersville Lodge 1539.

            The Pilgrim Degree, the highest Degree of the Order, is received only in the House of God at Mooseheart. It is given to members who belong to the Legion of the Moose, and hold the Fellowship Degree, and who through their exceptional contributions to the program of the Local Lodges, as well as District and State activities, receive the Degree from the Pilgrim Council of the Supreme Lodge. Sellersville has six Pilgrims. They are: Fed Koehler, Bruce Berger, John Geiger Jr., Gerald Erb, William Kozma, and Deane Hamm.

            We at Sellersville are proud of our past accomplishments and look forward to the challenges of  the future. We welcome you to our 100th Anniversary celebration of Moose progress to the members of our Lodge and service to our community.

 

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