Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks

From Kook Science

Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks
Formation 16 February 1868 [1]
Legal status U.S. 501(c)(8)
Fraternal Benefit Order
Predecessor The Jolly Corks
Headquarters New York City, NY; Chicago, Il.
Founder Charles Algernon Sidney Vivian

The Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks (BPOE), or simply the Elks, is an American fraternal order, founded by Charles Vivian and fellow theatrical professionals of the minstrel scene at New York City in early 1868,[2] initially as a purely social order (and possibly as a means to skirt New York liquor laws) patterned after the Buffaloes, before eventually expanding to offer insurance benefits to members and other fraternal work.



  1. Ellis, Charles Edward (1910), An Authentic History of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, p. 35 
  2. Gould, S. C., ed. (November 1896), Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, "Masonic and Arcane Societies in the U.S.", Miscellaneous Notes and Queries 14 (11): 281,;view=1up;seq=295, retrieved 2016-11-25, "The Order of Elks was first organized in New York City, May 21, 1868, by a few gentlemen of the theatrical profession drawn together for social intercourse. It has now developed into a widespread and powerful Order of Benevolence, with Lodges in over 300 of principal cities of the United States. It aims to promote the brotherhood of man, and it designs to offer its members the certainty of warm hearts and welcome hearths in the various cities to which business or pleasure may summon them. One of their first tenets are these lines: "The fault of our brothers we would write upon the sands; Their virtues upon the tablets of love and memory." The Order is a child of America, and its founders had no conception of the scope and possibilities of the present organization. The first four officers are Exalted Ruler, Esteemed Leading Knight, Esteemed Loyal Knight, and Esteemed Lecturing Knight. It is a very popular organization with an excellent suggestive ritual."