“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”

Waterloo in Monroe County, Illinois — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)

The Odd Fellows Building

202 South Main


— Waterloo, Monroe Co. Ill, Laid Out in 1818 —

The Odd Fellows Building Marker image. Click for full size.
September 29, 2019
1. The Odd Fellows Building Marker
Inscription.  Elizabeth and William Sinnhold were the first owners of the land of which the Odd Fellows building sits today. In 1875, M.C. Rodenberger and Wm. Kestner, established M.C. Rodenberger and Company, which made and sold marble and granite monuments, headstones and tablets. There are also stories of a brickyard being on this land, from which came the bricks that built the Kunster building. The original bandstand was first located here, before it was moved to Pautler Park and then to the courtyard where it is today. In February 1877, the Sinnholds sold the land to Emory Slate and David Tripp. When Tripp died in 1886, he gave his portion of the land to his wife Johanna Tripp, home then gave it to the Odd Fellows upon her death in August, 1914.

An architect from East St. Louis A. B. Frankel, drafted sketches for a three-story building for the Odd Fellow lodge and by December 1925, construction by contractor F.A. Neuhaus of Red Bud, was nearing completion. The first floor was the lodge room to be used for business purposes, the second floor was an auditorium with a stage for performances and the third floor was the third floor was the lodge
The Odd Fellows Building image. Click for full size.
By Thomas Smith, December 20, 2019
2. The Odd Fellows Building
rooms. The basement was dug out by mules pulling scrapers, and had a banquet hall, kitchen, and a small auditorium. In its heyday, many of the community’s major social events took place at the Odd Fellows building. Banquettes were held in the basement ad high school proms, school plays even graduation ceremonies were held in the second floor hall, which was the largest space of its type in town.

To decide on a name for the theater, a contest was held asking participants to enter their idea into a hat for a drawing. The winner was Mrs. John Van Buren of Alton with her entry of The Capitol. She won $5.00 in gold.

Opening night for the theater was March 20, 1926 under its first owners, Mr. & Mrs. A. Hall of Dupo. A full house of nearly 300 people attended for the premier of The Dancer of Paris, a silent film that received lots of praise, especially since it was shown first in small-town Waterloo rather than the populous city of St. Louis. During silent movies, the audience read dialogue on the screen while an organist played the corresponding soundtrack.

Robert Noelke, of Waterloo, remembers the first movie he saw was a silent western titled, The Covered Wagon. The theater operator invited kids to turn their radio flyer wagons into covered wagons for a parade through downtown. Those who did were given free admission to the show!

In June
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1934, new ventilators, the Arctic-Nu-Air Cooling System were installed. New films called talkies were introduced that incorporated sound synchronized dialogue and sound effects. Sylvester Schroeder and Augustus Freirdich took over the theater after Mr & Mrs. Hall retired.

In support of President Franklin Roosevelt's polio ailment, the theater held an annual March of Dimes dance to raise funds for polio research in the late 1930s and early 1940s.

The theater changed ownership again with the Tobin Family of St. Louis. After that, it was operated by Vernal Elliot, Tom Kutterer, Tony Giglotto, Don & Barb Crook, Paul Carlson and, finally, again by Giglotto.

In 1999, the Monroe Actors Stage Company (MASC) formed and on the 75th Anniversary of the Capitol Theater, MASC debuted their first live play, Harvey and still perform several plays every year.

The building is still used as the meeting place for the Waterloo Oddfellows Lodge #27. The basement hall is used by Waterloo Knights of Columbus and since February 21, 1975 is home of the Waterloo Barbershoppers. Petrie Insurance was once located in the building as well.

Researched by Gibault Students Paige Lane, Emily Larsen, Amanda Schmidt & Jess Wittenauer
Erected 2016 by The Waterloo Beautification Committee.
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38° 20.096′ N, 90° 9.001′ W. Marker is in Waterloo, Illinois, in Monroe County. Marker is on South Main Street just south of West 3rd Street, on the left when traveling south. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 213 South Main Street, Waterloo IL 62298, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The Braun Property (a few steps from this marker); Harrisonville Telephone Company (within shouting distance of this marker); Monroe County Bicentennial Bandstand (within shouting distance of this marker); The Küenster Building (within shouting distance of this marker); a different marker also named The Küenster Building (within shouting distance of this marker); Henry's Grocery (within shouting distance of this marker); City Hotel (within shouting distance of this marker); The Adelsberger House (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Waterloo.
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Credits. This page was last revised on December 20, 2019. This page originally submitted on October 3, 2019. This page has been viewed 59 times since then and 4 times this year. Photos:   1. submitted on October 3, 2019.   2. submitted on December 20, 2019, by Thomas Smith of Waterloo, Ill. • Devry Becker Jones was the editor who published this page.
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