While our physical offices are closed until further notice in accordance with Austin's COVID-19 "stay home-work safe" order, the Handbook of Texas will remain available at no-cost for you, your fellow history enthusiasts, and all Texas students currently mandated to study from home. If you have the capacity to help us maintain our online Texas history resources during these uncertain times, please consider making a 100% tax-deductible contribution today. Thank you for your support of TSHA and Texas history. Donate Today »


ELKS LODGE. The Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks is a nationally chartered institution founded in 1865. Subordinate lodges are organized in countries that owe allegiance to the government of the United States and only in towns with 5,000 or more population. The Elks' fraternal activities include care for aged members, care for disabled children (regardless of their parents' connection or nonconnection with the order), educational assistance for those who need scholarships, and assistance to members who are called into the armed forces of the United States. Practically every eligible town in Texas has a subordinate lodge; these subordinate groups are coordinated in a state lodge. Texas has furnished two grand exalted rulers of the order–Judge William Hawley Atwell, who was elected in 1925, and Charles F. "Chuck" Williams, who was elected in 1993. The Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks sponsors many youth programs, including scholarships, scouting for boys and girls, and aid to the needy, as well as many other civic and community endeavors. The Elks formerly operated a hospital for disabled children at Ottine, Texas, coupled with an accredited school for regular classroom work. By 1988 the hospital had become a diagnostic center for children. The Elks also sponsor camps for disabled children. Their quarterly newsletter, TESA News, was edited in 1995 by Lonnie and Susan Hart. In 1994 the Texas Elks State Association had seventy-four lodges and 21,951 members, Dallas had the largest lodge in the state, and the president was Bill Hill.


TESA News, Winter 1994–95.

Image Use Disclaimer

All copyrighted materials included within the Handbook of Texas Online are in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107 related to Copyright and “Fair Use” for Non-Profit educational institutions, which permits the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA), to utilize copyrighted materials to further scholarship, education, and inform the public. The TSHA makes every effort to conform to the principles of fair use and to comply with copyright law.

For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml

If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond fair use, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.


The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

Handbook of Texas Online, "ELKS LODGE," accessed August 11, 2020, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/vne01.

Uploaded on June 12, 2010. Modified on August 7, 2014. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
visit the mytsha forums to participate

View these posts and more when you register your free MyTSHA account.

Call for Papers: Texas Center for Working-Class Studies Events, Symposia, and Workshops
Hi all! You may be interested in this call for papers I received from the Texas Center for Working-Class Studies at Collin College...

Katy Jennings' Ride Scholarly Research Request
I'm doing research on Catherine Jennings Lockwood, specifically the incident known as "Katy Jennings' Ride." Her father was Gordon C. Jennings, the oldest man to die at the Alamo...

Texas Constitution of 1836 Co-Author- Elisha Pease? Ask a Historian
The TSHA profile of Elisha Marshall Pease states that he wrote part of the Texas Constitution although he was only a 24 year-old assistant secretary (not elected). I cannot find any other mention of this authorship work by Pease in other credible research about the credited Constution authors...