On this date in 1901 the cornerstone of the second Knights of Pythias lodge hall was laid at Main and 3rd streets.
This is the first hall, built in 1881 at the same location. The original suit of armor—nicknamed “St. George”—can be seen in the corner niche. At some point in time St. George lost his right “hand” to gunfire, possibly administered by rowdy cowboys.
The current St. George is a replica that was made when the second building was restored in 1981.
The cornerstone of the first building boasts that it was the first Pythian temple ever built, although it certainly was not the first Pythian building.
In 1899 the two local Knights of Pythias lodges had announced plans to replace the 1881 building.
This is the 1901 sketch of the second building by architects Sanguinet and Staats.
The building now houses Haltom’s jewelry store.
The new building opened on May 19, 1902. The fraternal organization was founded in Washington, D.C., in 1864. Pythias was a figure in Greek legend who exemplified friendship.