This is the story of the founding of the Faternal Order of Eagles.
It was a far different time, the 19th century, when men from all over the world left their native lands and came to America to seek their fortunes. They found jobs in logging camps, mines and in the other booming industries of that day.
Saving money frantically so they could send for their families, they led lonely, Spartan existences. They lived in rooming houses located in the dreary sections of communities where there was not much in the way of recreation. In those days, of course, there were no automobiles, radios or movies. These were the days of the big picnic, the tug-o-war, the clambake and the corner lot baseball game.
Many fraternal organizations came into being. Oddly enough, most of them took the names of animals, and some, such as The Deer, The Buffalo, and The Bear, are now extinct.
But others, like the Eagles, survived and are great because of their leadership.
According to one of the founding fathers Considine, six men began the Fraternal Order of Eagles. The men founded this Order in the Moran Shipyards in Seattle, Washington on February 6, 1898. They were John W. Considine, John Cort, Tim J. Considine, Harry Leavitt, Mose Goldsmith, and Arthur Williams.
All six of these men were in the theatrical business, and got together often to talk over common problems. On that February 6th they all sat down on a lumber pile in the shipyards and decided to form an organization called the "Order of Good Things."
A few weeks later, they opted to go with the trend of the new fraternities, and changed the name to Fraternal Order of Eagles.
Why? Because the bald eagle was the emblem of America and they wanted the fiercely independent, proud monarch of the skies as the symbol of their new Order, too.
At their organizational meetings, the founders decided that their goal should be to establish a place where the average man could come and associate freely with his friends.
And so today, at 4940 Bluffton Road, the Fraternal Order of Eagles #248 continues that tradition.
Eagles #248 was chartered on October 1, 1902. The photo above was taken in 1911. Their first location was on Main Street in Fort Wayne, just East of Henry's. In 1959 a new larger building was built on Broadway and in September of 1999 the present Bluffton Road facility.
"We are just good Waynedale people," states Nick Griffith, Secretary, "supporting local charities such as Spinal Bifida, Special Olympics, Shop with a Cop, Harvest Food Bank, and Crossroads, just to mention a few." "The Waynedale F.O.E. elects to keep the majority of their money right here, locally. The Auxillary does the same. It's a joint effort."
Currently #248 offers weekly entertainment like bingo, karaoke and live bands. They are one of few that have a bowling center with computerized scoring.
On Sunday, October 6th, 2002 F.O.E. #248 invites members and their guests to join them in celebrating their 100 year anniversary.
Currently there are over 1000 (men and women) members of the Fraternal Order of Eagles #248, Bluffton Road, Waynedale, Indiana. As for becoming a member, just ask one of the officers and they would be happy to help you.