Community History – Covington – Elk Lodge 314

Neighborhood: Downtown

The Covington Lodge of Elks was established in 1895 with 32 charter members. The initial meeting was conducted in Hermes Hall at the northeast corner of 4th and Court Streets. The first permanent hall for lodge purposes was acquired in December 1895 on the third floor of the old First National Bank building (west side of Madison Avenue between 4th and 5th Streets).

Mr. Maurice J. Richmond served as the first Exalted Ruler of the Covington Elks. Ben Adams was appointed the first secretary. The first elected officers were: Harvey Myers, Exalted Ruler; Ben Adams, Secretary and Henry Holtrup, Treasurer.”

In 1905, the Covington Elks purchased the Homer Hudson residence on the north side of 5th Street. The home was completely remodeled and a large hall and kitchen were constructed as an addition to the rear of the building. The dedication of these new large quarters took place on March 7, 1905. J.J. Fitzgerald, a past Exalted Ruler of the Louisville Elks, presented the main address. Elks from Cincinnati, Newport, Louisville and surrounding cities attended the festivities.

As the membership in the Covington Elks increased, the need for a larger lodge building became apparent. The old Hudson residence and hall addition were demolished in 1937 to make way for a new building in 1937. The new lodge quarters were dedicated on January 31, 1938. The building was brick and featured Classical Revival detailing. The new structure contained meeting rooms, a large hall and kitchen.

The 1940s were very busy years for the Elks. In 1940, the Covington Elks hosted the Kentucky State Convention in their new building. During the Second World War, 44 members of the Covington Lodge served in the armed forces. Two of these members, G. Gibson and Eugene G. Finke Jr., made the supreme sacrifice. In the last year of the decade, the lodge hall was severely damaged by fire. The members of the lodge quickly financed the reconstruction of the facility.

In the post-World War II era, membership in the Covington Lodge began to decrease as Covington residents moved to the suburbs. In the mid 1940s, membership reached a peak of 800. By 1979, membership had declined to 171. At that time the lodge building on 5th Street was sold to Senior Services of Northern Kentucky. The Elks continued to meet, however, in the Coach and Four Restaurant on Scott Street in Covington.

In 1984, the remaining 144 members of the lodge decided to purchase a building in Burlington, Boone County, for use as a new lodge home. This ended 89 years of continual service of the Elks in the City of Covington.

The Exalted Rulers of the Covington Elks Lodge No. 314 were:
Mr. J. Richmond 1895, Harvey Myers 1895-1897, Thomas M. Jenkins 1897-1899, Frank M. Tracy 1899-1900, John D. Cawein 1900-1901, M. T. Shine 1901-1902, R. C. Becker 1902-1903, R. J. Dibowski 1903-1904, James F. 0’Dowd 1904-1905, R. G. Williams 1905-1906, Henry Hultrup 1906-1907, B. J. Linnenmann 1907-1908, L. J. Ante 1908-1909, L. L. Applegate 1909-1910, P. J. Carroll 1910-1911, F. J. Hanlon 1911-1912, Elmer Becker 1912-1913, Theo. VonHoene 1913-1914, Edward J. Tracy 1914-1915, John J. Seiler 1915-1916, George A. Hill 1916-1917, Maurice L. Galvin 1917-1918, H. G. Meiners 1918-1919, George E. Phillips 1919-1920, Herman A. Hehnhorst 1920-1921, R.T. VonHoene 1921 1922, John B. Odenthal 1922 1923, Robert H. Haines 1923 1924, George M. Sheridan 1924 1925, William Madden, Jr . 1925-1926, A. J. Kreutz 1926-1927, John B. Eagan 1927 1928, Wm. M. Sellrneyer 1928 1929, Arthur B. Walker 1929-1930, Harry H. Behman 1930 1931, Albert A. Hohnhorst 1931 1932, Edward Jung 1932 1933, James C. Rogers 1933 1934, Alfred P. Lewis 1934-1935, Carl L. Ritter 1935-1936, Wm. E. Terwort 1936-1937, Alfred Schild 1937-1938, B. L. Rutemiller 1938-1939, Thos. L. Ward 1939-1940, Reynold H. Jobert 1940-1941, Harry H. Martin 1941-1942, Rueben Hodges 1942-1943, Thos. E. McGill 1943-1944, Anthony A. Hohnhorst 1944-1945, Clarence H. Robbins 1945-1946, Fed Wells 1946-1947, Omer H. Stubbs 1947-1948, Leo R. Schmidt 1948-1949, Clarence J. Nienaber, 1949-1950, John J. Moloney, 1950-1951, Eldon R. Frick 1951-1952, Willard E. Burk 1952-1953, Carl Losekamp 1953-1954, Charles Moeves 1954-1955, Samuel A. Hauser 1955-1956, Howard Holiday 1956-1957, Howard A. Pauly 1957-1958, Charles J. Stander 1958-1959, Charles H. Murray 1959-1960, William E. Terwort 1960-1961, Terry W. Hughes 1961-1962, Robert Tosella 1962-1963, James F. Wessels 1963-1964, Kenneth D. Collins 1970 1971, George H. Albrink 1971-1972, Thomas C. Wessels 1972-1973, Charles J. Stander 1973-1974, James H. Cummings 1974-1975, Frank Wolnitzek 1975-1976, Leo A. Schott 1976-1977, William J. Kloeker 1977-1978, Dr. Paul Baldwin 1978-1979, C. Ralph Stevenson 1979-1980, Frank Wolnitzek 1980-1981, James Mirick 1981-1983, Ray Bricking 1983-1984, Sonny Kyle 1984-1986, Frank Wolnitzek 1986-1987, Matthew Kloeker 1987-1988.

Kentucky Post, February 14, 1905, p. 3, February 24, 1905, p. 3 and March 6, 1905, p. 1; Elizabeth J. Chavez, The Covington Elks. The Papers of the Kenton County Historical Society, Vol. II, pp. 132-138; Official Program of the Kentucky State Convention, June 2,3,4,5, 1946, KCPL Collection; Official Program of the Kentucky State Association, B.P.O.E., June 16,17,18,19, 1940, KCPL Collection; Pictorial and Industrial Review of Northern Kentucky (1923), p. 44.

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