History of Goldsboro Elks Lodge #139

Goldsboro Lodge #139, Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, was first Chartered on July 9, 1890. The Lodge was reorganized on May 8, 1902 and has been in continuous service to the Youth, Veterans, and the General Public of Goldsboro, Wayne County, and the surrounding area since that date.

As written by our late Brother Lionel Weil, on May 13, 1919:

Date of Institution: May 8, 1890

Date of Charter: July 9, 1890; defunct 1891; reorganized in 1902

Date of Charter: August 14, 1902.
First Exalted Ruler: E.G. Porter

The Goldsboro Lodge #139 of BPOE, United States of America, was instituted on May 8, 1902, having as one of its charter members, E. G. Porter, who belonged to the former Elks Lodge in Goldsboro which had given up its charter. (Brother Porter's son and grandson are members of our lodge now.) We were given the old #139 back when this new lodge was instituted.

The charter members of the new lodge came mostly from the Olympia Club members, a social club which came out of the old Fireman's Club. So the Goldsboro Lodge had an auspicious beginning with 27 charter members--all jolly good fellows and loyal Elks. The charter members consisted of the following names, named in the order in which they signed the register on initiation day:

Wm Spicer, A.A. Joseph, John Spicer, Murray Borden, W.H. McKee, Lionel Weil, W.A. Wooten, H.G. Griffin, A.H. Edgerton, Myer Strauss, B.H. Griffin, W.S. Moye, W.H. Fonville, F.K. Broadhurst, E.B. Borden, Leslie Weil, E.G. Porter, J.W. Lamb, W.E. Stroud, J.W. Aycock, W.J. Jones Jr., Jas. S. Crawford, Walter E. Borden, Adolph Oettinger, H. Weil, K.J. Davis, A.N. Hummel.

The first meeting was held on the afternoon of May 8, 1902, in what is now known as the Epstein bld. In the Odd Fellows Hall (now means May 13, 1919). Henry Gherkin of Wilmington, District Deputy, together with James F. Jordan, Secretary, and members from Wilmington and Raleigh Lodges, conducted the initiation ceremonies and while this group and the newly installed members were accorded the freedom of the city, the proceedings became so boisterous and noisy and the devices and explosive spankers were used to such a high tension, that the police were listening and waiting. E.G. Porter was elected Exalted Ruler; A.A. Joseph, Esteemed Loyal Knight: Murray Borden, Esteemed Lecturing Knight; J.W. Aycock, Secretary; A.H. Edgerton, Treasurer; W.A. Wooten, Tiler, William Spicer, Esquire; H.S. Griffin, Chaplain; and Herman Weil, Inner Guard. The newly initiated members, after their labors of the afternoon called it a day, although a formal banquet was held that night at the Hotel Kennon. This was no ordinary occasion as wine and champagne flowed to the accompaniment of an elaborate repast, after which there was the usual formal speech making. A.A. Joseph was Toastmaster of the occasion, and the Address of Welcome was made in his usual inimitable style by Col. Jos. E. Robinson. The subject of "our district" was handled by Henry J. Cherkin, District Deputy. W.B. Snow of the Raleigh Lodge spoke on our sister lodges and Dr. W.J. Jones on the city's possibilities.

So in this way the Goldsboro Lodge #139 was started on its career of usefulness, which has proven a potent influence for not only good fellowship but for the development of benevolence and community spirit.

Even though Goldsboro Lodge was away from Elkdom for eleven years, the Lodge was the first Lodge instituted in the state of North Carolina in 1890, thus the reason for their claim to the title "Mother Lodge of the State of North Carolina”.

Goldsboro Lodge #139 hosted the North Carolina State Fall Convention in 1990, celebrating the 100th anniversary of Elkdom in the state.