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Cuero in DeWitt County, Texas — The American South (West South Central)
 

Knights of Pythias Hall, Jewel Lodge No. 103

 
 
Knights of Pythias Hall, Jewel Lodge No. 103 Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Brian Anderson, April 5, 2019
1. Knights of Pythias Hall, Jewel Lodge No. 103 Marker
Inscription.  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
Knights of Pythias Hall, Jewel Lodge No. 103 image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Brian Anderson, April 5, 2019
2. Knights of Pythias Hall, Jewel Lodge No. 103
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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

 
Erected 2003 by Texas Historical Commission. (Marker Number 15641.)
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Fraternal or Sororal Organizations. A significant historical month for this entry is March 1889.
 
Location. 29° 5.543′ N, 97° 17.456′ W. Marker is in Cuero, Texas, in DeWitt County. Marker is at the intersection of North Espanade Street (U.S. 87/183) and West Courthouse Street, on the right when traveling south on North Espanade Street. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 302 North Esplanade Street, Cuero TX 77954, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Grace Episcopal Church (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); St. Mark's Lutheran Church (about 400 feet away); Proctor-Green House
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(about 400 feet away); The Edward Mügge House (about 500 feet away); Heaton-Breeden House (about 500 feet away); DeWitt County War Memorial (about 600 feet away); General August C. Buchel (about 600 feet away); De Witt County Courthouse (about 700 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Cuero.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on April 23, 2019. It was originally submitted on April 23, 2019, by Brian Anderson of Kingwood, Texas. This page has been viewed 144 times since then and 28 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on April 23, 2019, by Brian Anderson of Kingwood, Texas.

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Aug. 16, 2022