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The time was May 1, 1909. The place was the Masonic Temple (Second & Locust Streets, Evansville, IN). The purpose was the instituting of this Shrine. Noble E.J. Jacoby, as Deputy of the Imperial Potentate, presented a dispensation from the Imperial Council, empowering the newly organized Temple to transact business as a Shrine. 
    The meeting, called to order at 8:00 PM was presided over by the following officers as Deputies of the Imperial Council: Elias J. Jacoby of Murat Temple, Imperial Potentate, Charles Mays of Murat Temple, Chief Rabban, Harry E. Sharrer of Murat Temple, Assistant Rabban, Robert A. Woods of Murat Temple, High Priest & Prophet, David W.     Scammell of Crescent Temple, Oriental Guide, Henry F. Fenneman of Murat Temple, Treasurer, Clifford Shopbell of Murat Temple, Recorder. The name Hadi was suggested by Noble Clarence Hinkle and was adopted for the new Temple. 

The election of officers by ballot

resulted in the following: 
John R. Sterne: Illustrious Potentate
Edward F. Sonntag : Chief Rabban
Robert H. Pennington : Assistant Rabban
F. Harold VanOrman: High Priest & Prophet
Henry Faul: Oriental Guide
Henry F. Fenneman: Treasurer
Clifford Shopbell: Recorder


At the next meeting, Illustrious Potentate Stern appointed 8 more nobles to complete the first Divan.


They were: 
Edward P. Busse: First Ceremonial Master
John E. Barnes: Second Ceremonial Master
Clarence Hinkle: Director
Dan M. Fairchild: First Assistant Director
Will W. Sipp: Second Assistant Director
Harry H. Ogden: Marshall
Howard Anderson: Inner Guard
Charles Seeley: Outer Guard


    The Historic Beginning of the Ancient Order of Nobles of the Mystic Shrine reads like a colorful book from the exotic Orient. In part, because of the vivid imagination and fervor of the two men, the colorful beginning of Shrinedom was born.
The Shrine was founded in 1872 by an actor Billy Florence and a Civil War surgeon, Dr. Walter M. Fleming, who, according to history, could have qualified as a magician and a juggler. 
    Billy Florence was in Marseilles, France, doing what he did best, acting. In attendance to Billy’s show was an Arabian diplomat who invited Billy to an elaborately staged musical comedy, at the end of which guests were initiated into a secret society. Billy Florence came back to the United States and with great imagination and excitement told Dr. Fleming about the Party. The two, with the fertility of Billy’s mind and the doctor’s ability to create the mystic and the magic of the Far East, put together the first Shrine.
Before being accepted into this new order of fun-loving, jolly men with red fezzes, these candidates must be Members in good standing of the Scottish or York Rites Masonic organization. They too confer “degrees” on their members using elaborate and dramatic rituals. But, where do these men come from? These men are the foundation of all Masonic work.
    Approximately 5,000 Master Masons are exposed to further degrees in Masonry if they choose. About 1.5 million Master Masons, are 32 Masons. Over 1 million Master Masons are Shriners. The growth of this great philanthropy depends on more Master Masons.
   Our early American history is steeped in Masonic activities dating way back to this country’s 200th birthday.
   Our great Shriners philanthropy will live indefinitely and great things will become a fact, through the influence of Master Masons throughout the world and this Great Nation, God willing and the people, and more especially Master Masons, believe and understand...

Watch the 150th Anniversary Video! 

The Evolution of the
Editorial Without Words

    Known as the "Editorial Without Words," the universally recognized image of the Shriner and little girl represents the Shriners fraternity's rich history and tradition, and honors Shriners International's role in build­ing and supporting Shriners Hospitals for Children as its official philan­thropy. What most people don't know is that the original photograph (right) was taken almost by accident. 
     The photographer, Randy Dieter, was at the Mesker Amusement Park in Evansville, Ind., for the local temple's annual outing for children with disabilities. This is what Randy Dieter said about that day: "I was taking shots of the midway and was using my telephoto lens. I saw a local Shriner walking by carrying a little girl in one hand and her crutches in the other. My camera wouldn't fire; then they were too close for my lens. I ran past them, but the camera jammed. I had to take my last shot as they walked by. It was the end of the roll.

If I had to think about it, I wouldn't have come up with some­thing like that. Fate guides you." 
     Bobbi Jo Wright, a former patient at Shriners Hospitals for Children -St. Louis was the little girl carried by the Shriner, Al Hortman. Years after the photo was taken, Bobbi Jo said, "It still seems unreal. I have many wonderful memories of the years I was a patient at the St. Louis Shriners Hospital. They greatly improved my ability to walk." 
     The "Editorial Without Words" image has been reproduced in

vari­ous ways, including statues, featured prominently outside hospital and temple buildings, as well as the for­mer Shriners Hospitals for Children logo.

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