MILLER REBEKAH LODGE NO. 324
By Miss Alveretta Waltz and Mrs. Pete Meridan
Miller Rebekah Lodge No. 324 was instituted at Eldon on January 19, 1903 by authority of the Grand Lodge of Missouri, I.O.O.F. The Charter was signed on May 21, 1903 by twenty members. The first meetings were held in the Old City Hall Building at First and Mill Streets where the City Parking Lot is now located. In December 1908, the meeting place was moved to what was called the Mason Hall.
Rose St. John was the first Noble Grand and Nellie Lawbaugh was the first Secretary. At the end of the first year fifty-six members had been initiated. The first fund raising project was a dinner given in October 1903, at the completion of the Rock Island Railroad through Eldon.
Maude Temple was the first delegate to the Rebekah State Assembly of Missouri and a delegate's expense of $4.50 was allowed from the lodge funds.
The first draping of the Charter was in October 1903 in memory of Ellen Roark. The last of the charter members, Angie Shepherd Son Bruffy died on September 21, 1972.
Refreshments were served at nearly all the meetings and enough ice cream for the crowd could be bought for one dollar. Coffee was purchased from Bogard and Salisbury for twenty cents per pound. Other supplies were bought from the Eldon Bottling Works, Pete's Drug Store, Harvey and Company and the Eldon Advertiser. The frame and glass for the Lodge Charter was bought from Harvey and Philips, costing $2.00. A new carpet was put down in the anteroom of the hall for $3.25.
In the fall of 1903, members of the Jefferson City Lodge were invited to come to Eldon to initiate a class of candidates. The Eldon Lodge knew it was customary that the entertaining lodge pay the visiting lodge's expense and since they were coming from Jefferson City and would have to remain overnight, reservations were made at the Brockman Hotel. The Eldon members were assessed to pay the bill which amounted to $1.50.
The lodge was very active and attendance was good until World War I, when less time was given to lodge work but in 1919 regular meetings were resumed. On March 3, 1926, the Olean Rebekah Lodge consolidated with the Eldon Lodge.
During the depression years membership decreased and in 1936 due to the lack of attendance, the lodge ceased to have regular meetings; meeting only at irregular times to transact the necessary business. Through efforts of a few faithful members the lodge was held together and regular meetings were resumed in 1938. By 1940, interested had increased and many new members were added. That year the members pieced and quilted a quilt for our Rebekah Home at Liberty, Missouri.
In 1965, a long time dream was realized when the members of the Odd Fellow and Rebekah Lodges voted to build a lodge hall of their own. Bonds were sold and donations obtained and the hall was constructed at Franklin and North Streets in Eldon. Much of the labor was donated by Odd Fellow members. The building was completed by the end of 1965 and installation of officers was held in the new hall January 1966. On June 5, 1966, an open house was held.
Due to money making projects and hard work by both Odd Fellows and Rebekahs the building fund bonds were retired two years early and on December 1, 1973, at a gala celebration in the new hall, the mortgage papers were burned.