Days Gone By - stories from the past

Did you know that the Elks Club is an outgrowth of the Jolly Corks from the theatrical profession?

The Elks Club was originally formed in New York as the Jolly Corks from the theatrical profession.

Elks Club house in Mobile ca. 1900

Elks Club house in Mobile ca. 1900

Organized in New York City

The Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks was organized in New York City, February 16, 1868, as the outgrowth of a social club known as the Jolly Corks, composed principally of members of the theatrical profession. The Grand Lodge of the order was incorporated March 10, 1871, and two days later the power to form subordinate lodges was given to the Grand Lodge.

Contributed to relief of suffering

In addition to assisting its own members, the order has been a liberal contributor to the relief of suffering in national calamities, by fire, flood, earthquake, etc. Each lodge of the order holds a memorial service to its dead on the first Sunday in December of each year, which is termed the “Sacred session of the order.” The term “lodge of sorrow” is applied only to funerals. The “Elks Antler,” published monthly in New York City is the official organ of the order. There were 1,400 subordinate bodies, with a total membership of 500,000 around 1918.

Entered Alabama in 1888

The order entered Alabama with the organization of Birmingham Lodge of Elks, March 25, 1888, with 18 charter members. The Alabama Association of lodges was formed at Montgomery in 1916. with John B. Leedy, Birmingham, president, and J. T. Mainor, Eufaula, secretary. The grand secretary of the order is Fred C. Robinson, Dubuque, Iowa. In 1917, here were 3,000 members in Alabama with lodges at Birmingham, Anniston, Tuscaloosa, Talladega, Huntsville, Blocton, Bessemer, Florence, Ensley, Gadsden, Mobile, Selma, Montgomery, Demopolis, Opelika, Eufaula, Troy.



  1. New International Encyclopedia;
  2. letter from L. M. Zilling, office of grand secretary, Dubuque, Iowa, in the Department of Archives and History.


Alabama Deaths from World War I – listed by county and town – great source for family research


E. Peden:Thank you for putting this together, great help in family research! Was exactly the way it should have been written by county and town.

Linda S. Potts: It’s so nice to find something that I can actually use right away in my genealogy program!
Donna does her research and has her sources right in there.
Great Job!



By (author):  Causey, Donna R.

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About Donna R Causey

Donna R. Causey, resident of Alabama, was a teacher in the public school system for twenty years. When she retired, Donna found time to focus on her lifetime passion for historical writing. She developed the websites www.alabamapioneers and All her books can be purchased at and Barnes & Noble. She has authored numerous genealogy books. RIBBON OF LOVE: A Novel Of Colonial America (TAPESTRY OF LOVE) is her first novel in the Tapestry of Love about her family where she uses actual characters, facts, dates and places to create a story about life as it might have happened in colonial Virginia. Faith and Courage: Tapestry of Love (Volume 2) is the second book and the third FreeHearts: A Novel of Colonial America (Book 3 in the Tapestry of Love Series) Discordance: The Cottinghams (Volume 1) is the continuation of the story. . For a complete list of books, visit Donna R Causey

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  1. I remember the Elks Club, next door to the Downtown Theater. Frankly, the Elks Club, Downtown Theater, and the Greyhound Bus Station looked better than the monstrosity there today.

  2. I agree. I remember the elks antlers having blue light bulbs on the tips. Also, for some reason the place creeped me out as a kid waiting to get into the movies!

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