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J. E. Hershberger Collection - MS 51
The J. E. Hershberger Papers mainly consist of the organization correspondence between J. E. Hershberger, Brigadier General Commanding, Ohio Brigade, Uniform Rank of the Knights of Pythias, and various officers in the Ohio and Michigan Uniform Rank.
This collection of more than 450 items (1/2 linear foot) of incoming and outgoing correspondence, dating form January 1922 to May 1926, was acquired with the city of Tiffin municipal records by Louis Rock, Local Records Specialist, and Ann Bowers, University Archivist, Center for Archival Collections. Rebecca A. Harkema, Graduate Assistant, Department of History, Bowling Green State University, processed the collection and completed the register.
Biographical information concerning J. E. Hershberger presently is unavailable.
The founding of the social and fraternal Order of the Knights of Pythias is attributed to Justus H. Rathbone, who on February 19, 1864, organized the first lodge in Washington, DC. Friendship, charity, and benevolence are the three basic principles of the organization, and the story of the friendship of Damon and Pythias is the basis for its lessons and ritual.
One of Rathbone's objectives for founding the new organization was an attempt to alleviate some of the hatred caused by the Civil War. Impressed with the teachings and rituals of the Order, President Lincoln advised the organization to apply for a national charter through the United States Congress. Subsequently, through the May 5, 1890 enactment by Congress, the Supreme Lodge of the Knights of Pythias was incorporated and thereby became the first fraternal order to be chartered in this manner.
The organization of the Knights of Pythias is comprised of a Supreme Lodge, having jurisdiction over the so-called "supreme domain" and over local lodges; fifty-five grand lodges with secondary jurisdiction over the lodges within states, provinces, and other areas; and over three thousand subordinate or local lodges.
The Knights of Pythias have several recognized auxiliaries: The Pythias Sisters, the Dramatic Order Knights of Khorassan, and the Junior Order Princes of Syracuse.
The J. E. Hershberger Papers pertain to yet another aspect of the Knights of Pythias: the Uniform Rank, which is the military feature within the Order. Using the army as a model, the Uniform is similarly organized, drilled, uniformed, and disciplined. Its ranks are recruited from members of the Order who are both in good standing and have attained the rank of Knight.
In little over one hundred years, the Order of the Knights of Pythias has grown to embrace more than three thousand subordinate lodges throughout the United States and Canada.
The J. E. Hershberger Papers exclusively pertain to the Ohio Uniform Rank of the Knights of Pythias. Dating from January 1922 to May 1926, the bulk of the correspondence deals with the first two years in which Mr. Hershberger served as Bragadier General Commanding of the Ohio Brigade (1922 and 1923).
This collection provides information concerning the responsibilities of Brigadier General Hershberger including: receiving reports and monies from various Ohio Uniform Rank Companies, applications for commissions, mustering reports, Brigade meetings, resignations, and dispatching General Orders.
The J. E. Hershberger Papers are arranged in chronological order, combining both incoming and outgoing correspondence. This solved the problem created by Hershberger's arrangement, whereby carbon copies of outgoing correspondence were often typed on the reverse side of incoming correspondence.
Included in this collection of correspondence are miscellaneous items: proposed legislation circular and two muster reports.
Revision of Article of Rules and Regulations of the Uniform Rank.
January 1922 - May 1926, n.d.
Includes information on Hershberger's responsibilities as Brigadier General including: receiving reports and monies, applications for commissions, mustering reports, Brigade meetings, resignations, dispatching General Orders, sympathy notes, and correspondence with other states' regiments.
REPORT OF MUSTER
Includes company name and number, location, date of being mustered, total membership, and list of first officers.
- Correspondence, January 1922
- Correspondence, March 1922
- Correspondence, April 1922
- Correspondence, May 1922
- Correspondence, June 1922
- Correspondence, July 1922
- Correspondence, August 1922
- Correspondence, September 1922
- Correspondence, October 1922
- Correspondence, November 1922
- Correspondence, December 1922
- Correspondence, January 1923
- Correspondence, February 1923
- Correspondence, March 1923
- Correspondence, April 1923
- Correspondence, May 1923
- Correspondence, June 1923
- Correspondence, July 1923
- Correspondence, August 1923
- Correspondence, September 1923
- Correspondence, October 1923
- Correspondence, December 1923
- Correspondence, January 1924
- Correspondence, February 1924
- Correspondence, March 1924
- Correspondence, April 1924
- Correspondence, May 1924
- Correspondence, June 1924
- Correspondence, January 1925
- Correspondence, February 1925
- Correspondence, March 1925
- Correspondence, April 1925
- Correspondence, May 1925
- Correspondence, July 1925
- Correspondence, August 1925
- Correspondence, September 1925
- Correspondence, October 1925
- Correspondence, January 1926
- Correspondence, February 1926
- Correspondence, April 1926
- Correspondence, May 1926
- Correspondence, n.d.
- Report of Musters, May 1922
- Proposed legislation circular, n.d.
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