Knights of Pythias Hall, Jewel Lodge No. 103

Knights of Pythias Hall, Jewel Lodge No. 103 (HM2FXR)

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N 29° 5.543', W 97° 17.456'

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In 1864, in response to the tensions surrounding the American Civil War, Justus Henry Rathbone organized the Knights of Pythias, a fraternal order. The first Texas lodge, in Houston, was assembled in 1872; two years later, the Grand Lodge of Texas was established. In March 1889, a small group of Cuero citizens petitioned the Grand Lodge
for a charter, becoming the Jewel Lodge No. 103. Dr. D.B. Blake became the first Chancellor Commander. He and John T. Wofford, both charter members of Jewel Lodge, later served as Grand Chancellors of Texas.

Cuero's lodge membership increased steadily, and in 1892 the organization purchased this site from Caroline Olson. Ten years later, lodge members hired noted Central Texas
architect James Wahrenberger to design a lodge hall. The Rathbone Sisters, a women's auxiliary group, raised funds to help furnish upstairs meeting rooms. Local architect
Jules C. Leffland may have assisted Wahrenberger in the hall's design, which is Richardsonian Romanesque in style. The building's main facades are asymmetrical, featuring a corner tower and arched windows. Elaborate brickwork is seen in the dentils of the window arches and in the corbelled parapet. As was common in lodge halls, the
ground floor was leased to various businesses, including, from 1903 until 1912, Moore & Sames Wholesale Grocery. In the

mid-1910s, the Nagel Motor Company and Dodge Brothers leased the ground floor and altered it to accommodate vehicles.

The lodge sold the hall in 1975 and disbanded in 1982, but the group's history remains a significant part of Cuero's past. The hall itself is an important example of early 20th century architecture.
Recorded Texas Historic Landmark - 2003
Year Placed2003
Placed ByTexas Historical Commission
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Tuesday, April 23rd, 2019 at 5:01pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)14R E 666327 N 3219427
Decimal Degrees29.09238333, -97.29093333
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 29° 5.543', W 97° 17.456'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds29° 5' 32.58" N, 97° 17' 27.36" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Which side of the road?Marker is on the right when traveling South
Closest Postal AddressAt or near , ,
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