THE ODD FELLOWS Of Hazel Green and Other Nearby Towns Celebrate the 86th Anniversary of Order
April 26 has been a day long looked for in the local branches of the I.O.O.F. On this day the 86th celebration of the birth of the order was to be observed, and Hazel Green Lodge No. 167 was to be the hostess of all the lodges in the surrounding country. In the early morning of the great day showers of rain threatened to keep many of the guests away, but as the hours rolled on the clouds were dispersed and the visitors began to gather in large numbers. About 10 o’clock all was in readiness at the hall, but as yet no sight of the Campton delegation had been reported. The band from West Liberty was present, and well prepared to lead the way. Finally the Campton brothers, headed by the genial Greenberry Stamper, came in, and the line was quickly formed. Bro. Reynolds was unanimously elected Marshall, and at once proceeded to arrange the ranks.
Following the band came the local lodge, which was represented by a large majority of its membership; close behind the locals came the representatives from Campton, West Liberty, Frenchburg, Caney, Lee City, Ezel, Maytown, and other lodges.
After a parade through the principal streets the line of march was broken at the grove, where a large concourse of people had gathered. Noble Grand Clay Lacy, of Hazel Green Lodge, in some very appropriate introductory remarks introduced the speakers and announced the day’s program.
The opening address was made by Prof. G. W. Woodbury, who welcomed the assembled brothers and friends to the hospitality of Hazel Green. He was followed by a response from Greenberry Stamper, of Lykins Lodge No. 305, of Campton. Mr. Stamper spoke feelingly and well concerning the reputation for hospitality long held by Hazel Green, and thanked the local brothers for this, another tribute of their good will. Dr. Center, Warden in the local lodge and Chairman of the Committee on Arrangements, then gave a hearty invitation to all present to share in the dinner, which should be prepared while the line of march was being reformed.
Upon return of the paraders dinner was ready. Bro. Williams, a Past Grand in the order and a hustling member of the local committee, pronounced the blessing and started the feasting. A great abundance of good things had been prepared by Bro. Townsend and his helpers, all of which was greatly appreciated, as the ready disappearance of hog, sheep, chicken, etc., etc., soon testified. A heavy shower of rain drove the large crowd into the school-house, blacksmith shop, etc., soon after dinner.
The band enlivened the wait between the dinner hour and the time of speaking by rendering a fine selection of patriotic and sentimental airs. When the sun reappeared all repaired to the grove, where the Noble Grand again took up the task of introducing the speakers. Bro. Ben Sewell, of the Campton Lodge, made an eloquent address on Odd Fellowship. So touching was his appeal for the order that his hearers were moved to tears. At the conclusion of his address Bro. L. T. Hovermale of the Frenchburg Lodge, spoke on the subject, “What an Odd-Fellowship Is Not.” His remarks were very pointed, very witty, and very well received. Bro. Greenberry Stamper closed the speaking by a few well chosen remarks on the aims and purposes of the order, and the time of adjournment was at hand.
Many thanks are due the Committee on Arrangements for the splendid manner in which all things were conducted. A word of approval should also be given the West Liberty band for their good music and for their show of patience upon being obliged to wait so long for the visitors.
The popular verdict from all concerned was: A Hearty good tie, good music, a good dinner, good speaking and a good Order to join.
In the photo, below one man is written "Grandpa Stidham." The reference is to William Floyd Stidham, born Wolfe Co. 1876, died 1954 in Lincoln Co. OK. It's his family who supplied the photo. The article comes the Hazel Green Herald, 27 April 1905. - donation by Wayne Pounds