Sunday, October 3, 2010

Idaho Gem of the Mountains - I.O.O.F Ribbon & Medallion - A.K. Steunenberg, P.G.M.

I recently acquired this I.O.O.F ribbon and medallion. A.K. Steunenberg was an active I.O.O.F member and as you see on this ribbon, a Past Grand Master (P.G.M.) to the Sovereign Grand Lodge. I do not know if A.K. was at this 1906 session of the Sovereign Grand Lodge or not, what with the assassination of his brother, Ex-Governor Frank Steunenberg, having occurred just nine months prior on December 30th, 1905. He was busily involved with representing the family interests during the course of the investigation. Unbeknownst at the time, A.K. was nearing his own death--to come all to soon on March 16, 1907.

From Big Trouble:
"Early in 1907, Operative 21 reported on a bold attempt to infiltrate some of the community's 'respectables' on the defense's behalf. The target was the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, one of Idaho's most active fraternal organizations. Ralph Gilbert, a tender of irrigation ditches in Parma and a 'sympathizer with the prisoners,' had long been an Odd Fellow in Parma. Operative 21 reported that Gilbert had agreed, 'on condition that his name was never brought into the affair,' to make regular reports to the defense on the conversations of Fred E. Fisk, chairman of the Canyon County Board of Commissioners, and other prominent Odd Fellows. If the Parma lodge was replete with local muck-a-mucks, Caldwell's boasted an even showier roster useful to the defense. A. K. Steunenberg held high rank, having served successfully as grand secretary, grand master, and grand representative to the Sovereign Lodge. John, Will, and Pete Steunenberg also belonged, as did their confidant Monte Gwinn, John Rice, Albert F. Isham, and Sheriff Nichols. Moreover, as of January 1907--thanks to A. K.'s efforts--the Caldwell lodge, in its brick building by the railroad tracks, became the headquarters of Idaho's Odd Fellows. If Ralph Gilbert kept his ears open around the lodge bars in Parma and Caldwell, there'd be no end of information he could pass on to Darrow's defense team."
-- Big Trouble by J. Anthony Lukas

--Early Caldwell Through Photographs

Although most of the architectural details have been covered, lost or modified, the following Google street view is the same IOOF Lodge building today near the old Caldwell Train station.

View Larger Map
Click above link for larger view on Google maps. It may take a minute or two or require you hit reload a couple times to get a larger and clearer picture. Seems to be going slow. Those of you receiving email notifications probably won't see the above Google map image. Go to my blog post as that is always a better view anyway.

Related Blog Posts
Seventh & Main Street

More A.K.Steunenberg and the I.O.O.F

No comments: