The Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks is a nationally chartered institution founded in 1865. Subordinate lodges are organized in countries that owe allegiance to the government of the United States and only in towns with 5,000 or more population. The Elks' fraternal activities include care for aged members, care for disabled children (regardless of their parents' connection or nonconnection with the order), educational assistance for those who need scholarships, and assistance to members who are called into the armed forces of the United States. Practically every eligible town in Texas has a subordinate lodge; these subordinate groups are coordinated in a state lodge. Texas has furnished two grand exalted rulers of the order–Judge William Hawley Atwell, who was elected in 1925, and Charles F. "Chuck" Williams, who was elected in 1993. The Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks sponsors many youth programs, including scholarships, scouting for boys and girls, and aid to the needy, as well as many other civic and community endeavors. The Elks formerly operated a hospital for disabled children at Ottine, Texas, coupled with an accredited school for regular classroom work. By 1988 the hospital had become a diagnostic center for children. The Elks also sponsor camps for disabled children. Their quarterly newsletter, TESA News, was edited in 1995 by Lonnie and Susan Hart. In 1994 the Texas Elks State Association had seventy-four lodges and 21,951 members, Dallas had the largest lodge in the state, and the president was Bill Hill.
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TESA News, Winter 1994–95.
The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.
Handbook of Texas Online,
accessed August 15, 2022,
Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
Original Publication Date:
Most Recent Revision Date:
August 1, 2014