History of the Elks

The Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks

The Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks of the United States of America is one

of the oldest and largest fraternal organizations in the country. Since its inception in

1868, the Order of Elks has grown to include more than 1 million men and women in

more than 2,100 communities.

"The history of the Derry-Salem Elks Lodge relates back to the early months of 1961 when several local businessmen conceived the idea of organizing an Elks Lodge for the Derry-Salem area. 

The founders of the Derry-Salem Lodge, Joseph Wagenbach, Fred Lumley, William Engstler, Theodore Hallin, Harry Mullen and Frank Bowser, held the first organizational meetings in the old Woodbury Inn. Later meetings were also held at the Oxen Yoke Restaurant in Derry. 

Also, very active in the formation of the lodge was James Dawson of the Exeter-Hampton Elks lodge who at the time was on the Grand Lodge Committee for Organizing New Lodges. 

After untiring efforts by the founders, 140 members were accepted for initiation into the order. 

The election of lodge officers resulted in the choice of Joseph P. Wagenbach as the first Exalted Ruler. The other officers elected were as follows: 

Esteemed Leading Knight - William T. Engstler; Esteemed Loyal Knight - Frank Bowser; Esteemed Lecturing Knight - Arthur Janikas; Secretary - William K. Gladfelter; Treasurer - Robert Mason; Esquire - Harry Mullen; Chaplain - Robert Marshall; Tiler - James Vail; Inner Guard - Terrence McGrath; Organist - James Tebo. Trustees: Fred Lumley, Theodore Hallin, Robert Diltz, Morris Subilia and Ernest Sparre. 

The institution of the newly-formed lodge was conducted by the Portsmouth Elks Lodge under the leadership of Brother Ronald Simpson. 

Past Exalted Rulers