On February 16, 1868, they
established the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks
Greater Spokane Elks Lodge #228
Who We Are
The Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks was born in New York City. It began as a group of actors and entertainers under the leadership of Charles Vivian, and was called the 'Jolly Corks.' Their initial endeavors were mostly of a social nature but did include benefit concerts for worthy causes. When one of the members died just before Christmas in 1867, leaving his wife and children destitute, they decided they needed an organization more devoted to helping and serving others in need. On February 16, 1868 they established the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks.
The Elks Membership grew rapidly. As Elks members traveled to other cities they spread the word of the Brotherhood of Elks. Soon other towns and cities were requesting help to charter their own Lodges and the mechanisms were initiated to do that. It wasn't long until Elks Lodges had spread throughout the country. Total Elks Membership today is around 750,000 in nearly 2,000 Lodges.
Although the original Elks were actors and entertainers, members of other professions soon joined the organization. Today's Elks represent just about the full spectrum of occupations in America. Throughout the course of the Order's history, many celebrities from the entertainment field, business and public service have been Brother Elks.
Presidents Warren G. Harding, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry S. Truman and John F. Kennedy were all Elks. Former President Gerald Ford belonged to Grand Rapids Lodge No. 48, where his father served two terms as Exalted Ruler. Of course, many members of Congress have been Elks, too. Former Speakers of the House Tip O'Neill, Carl Albert, John McCormick and Sam Rayburn all belonged to the Fraternity. Former Speaker Tom Foley belonged to Spokane, Washington Lodge. And the late Hale Boggs of Louisiana was also an Elk.
General John "Blackjack" Pershing, American general and hero of the First World War, hailed from New York Lodge No. 1 as a lifelong member. 70,000 Elks served in the First World War; 1,000 gave their lives in the service of their country. 100,000 Elks served in the Second World War and over 1,600 made the supreme sacrifice for American freedom.
Entertainers Lawrence Welk, Will Rogers, Jack Benny and Andy Devine were Brother Elks, too. Brother Devine served as Exalted Ruler of San Fernando Lodge No. 1539 and Brother Clint Eastwood is a member of Monterey Lodge No. 1285. William F. Cody, better known as "Buffalo Bill," was also a Brother Elk. From the sports world, the Order has counted among its members the likes of Vince Lombardi, Casey Stengel, Mickey Mantle, Whitey Ford and Jim Finks.
Spokane Lodge #228 of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks was chartered on February 13, 1892 with only 45 charter members. Over the years the membership grew to over 8,000, second only to the size of the Lodge in Los Angeles, California!
An Elks Lodge was established in Spokane Valley September 28, 1965 and Chartered as Lodge number 2328. As membership dwindled in both lodges, as with most Fraternal Organizations of the day, it was determined to merge them in 1999. As the merger was completed, the Lodges consolidated into the quarters of Spokane Valley Lodge on Robie Road and became Greater Spokane Elks Lodge #228
In June 2018 the Lodge sold the property on Robie Road, and is now located at 9320 East Mission Ave in Spokane Valley, WA where the members continue their charitable work and inculcate the values of CHARITY, JUSTICE, BROTHERLY LOVE, and FIDELITY!