Franklin History Book - Service Organization
<Back MAIN Next>

We would like to pay tribute to the organizations that have contributed so much to the progress and welfare of our community. Probably one of the oldest, but which has now ceased to exist, was Franklin Lodge No. 121, I.O.O.F. (Odd Fellows) which was instituted in 1853. Despite the trials and tribulations of four fires which destroyed their headquarters and furnishings, the members of the lodge, in conjuction with its auxiliary, the Daughters of Rebekah, Lodge No. 103, gave much towards disaster relief as well as death benefits to local residents and other charitable causes. After their last fire in April 1907, plans were immediately made to rebuild and the two story, brick building on the east side of the square at Main Street was completed in December of that same year. The upper floor is used by the Rebekahs, Masons, and Eastern Star.

After many years the Franklin I.O.O.F. Lodge, No. 121 ceased to exist, and the building was purchased by the Rebekahs. Wadley Lodge No. 616 A.F. and A.M. was chartered on Oct. 5, 1869. Charter Masonic members were Frances M. Wadley, Worshipful Master; James M. Crabtree, Senior Warden; and John M. Hayes, Junior Warden. Other members were William P. Hart, Francis F. Scott, John B. Mansfield, John A. Boer, Abraham Lewis, William S. Slack, Simeon VanWinkle, Alexander H. Wright, William H. Wright, William C. Wood, Milton Wood and Albert W. Cox. A strong lodge has been maintained through the years and meets regularly in the I.O.O.F. hall.

The Franklin Lions Club was organized in 1952 after the Men's Community Club and the Booster Club had been successfully active for many years in the village. As a part of the Lions International, the largest service organization in the world, the local chapter has 58 members. It is one of the top-ranked clubs in District 1-6 which consists of 48 clubs. In 1980-81, the Lions Club ranked first in a district contest. Many service activities have been carried out in the 30 years since the club was chartered. The club contributes much to the local area through family assistance, recreation development, sponsoring youth organizations, granting scholastic awards, and actively supports assistance programs for the blind and deaf throughout the world.

In January 1977, the club purchased the building known as the "Shamrock" from C.D. Kenny. Considerable improvements have been made on the building. Various organizations hold meeting here.

To finance it work in the community and elsewhere, the Lions Club sponsors several fund raising activities throughout the year. The main event of the year is the annual 4th of July celebration and burgoo sale.

The Lions' Den in 1982