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California Genealogy and History Archives

San Bernardino County and Riverside County


SAN BERNARDINO AERIE NO. 506, FRATERNAL ORDER OF EAGLES has been an institution of growing power and influence in the city for eighteen years. It was instituted October 16, 1903, with a charter membership of 131. The first meeting was held in Damron Hall at 541 Third Street, and of the officers chosen who are still members mention is made of Joseph Ingersoll, past worthy president, Harry Groves, worthy president, and R. B. Goodcell, trustee. The second meeting was held in Native Sons Hall, now occupied by Chocolate Palace. The Aerie prospered both financially and numerically, and toward the end of 1908 they purchased the lease and furniture of the Elks Club, and on January 1, 1909, held their first meeting in the new Eagles Hall in the Home Telephone Building. The six years they occupied this home was a period of steady growth and prosperity, and in November, 1917, the Brunn property, ground and building, was bought and on a portion of the ground the new building erected. It has the distinction of being the only fraternal building in the city financed without the sale of stock or shares to members. This building has the finest auditorium in the city. To satisfy the requirements of the immediate future plans have been made, with the clearing away of the indebtedness of the Aerie, to remove the old portion of the building and cover the entire site, 75 x 120 feet, with a two-story structure to be utilized altogether for fraternal purposes.

This Aerie has performed its functions as a fraternal institution, and through the privileges and advantages conferred its membership has had a steady increase. Of the charter list of 131, only 33 are now on the rolls, the greater part of the remainder having been called by death. The present membership is 685. During the World war forty-nine from this Aerie answered the call to the colors, though fortunately none made the supreme sacrifice. During the war the auditorium was always ready and free for patriotic movements. A familiar expression was "If you want any help, a place to meet, the use of dishes or tables, go to the Eagles." This Aerie bought $3,000 in Liberty Bonds, and at all times encouraged the members to do their best. During the influenza epidemic the Aerie lost twelve of its members, with nearly a hundred ill with that disease, but every dollar of sick and death benefit was promptly paid. The records show that since the Aerie was instituted over $20,000 have been expended in sick and funeral benefits. The Aerie motto is: "If I can*t speak well of a man I wont speak ill of him." The aim is : "To make the world a better place for men and women to live in."

The present list of officers are : Junior past worthy president, Frank T. Bates ; worthy president, Charles E. Showalter ; worthy vice president, Douglas Shaw; worthy chaplain, M. Firebaugh; treasurer, A. Mespelt since 1907; secretary, James Gunnison since 1912; inside guard, C. H. Q)sner ; outside guard, John Molnar ; conductor, Lloyd E. Collins ; trustees, Harry A. Snyder, W. J. Hanford. James C. Amos; physician, Steele Forsythe. Our colors Red-White-Blue.


History of San Bernardino and Riverside Counties 
By: John Brown, Jr., Editor for San Bernardino County 
And James Boyd, Editor for Riverside County 
With selected biography of actors and witnesses of the period 
of growth and achievement.
Volume III, the Western Historical Association, 1922, 
The Lewis Publishing Company, Chicago, ILL

Transcribed by Peggy Hooper 2011