Elks Lodge 1611, Cody

The Elks are a fraternal order with nearly a million members today that began as as a group of actors and entertainers bent on having fun AND avoiding a New York Excise tax in 1867 (Sundays were the ‘dry’ day), this convivial group called themselves the Jolly Corks (for a clever trick with corks they performed on the uninitiateds to win rounds of drinks).

That same year as membership grew, some members wished to become a more benevolent and protective society. Two feuding factions split the group with different philosophies…and the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks was shortly thereafter chartered in 1868 with a new spirit and direction.

Today the Elks is a network of more than 2000 lodges in communities all over the country, a generous charitable foundation that each year gives millions in scholarships, is an inspiration to youth, and a friend to veterans and more.