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History of the Bi-State/Tri-State Association


The beginning of the Tri-State Association was in Salisbury, Maryland in June 1923.  Some of the organizers were: James Stewart, Salisbury, MD, Raymond Coates, Baltimore, MD, President; George M. Benson, Wilmington, DE, Secretary, Charles Oliver, Annapolis, MD, Treasurer; Tiffany Oliver, Roanoke, VA; W. Emerson Brown, Salisbury, MD and Dr. G. D. White, Salisbury, MD.  The charter was granted by Dr. J. Finley Wilson the Grand Exalted Ruler.


In 1924, the Association became known as the Bi-State Association of Maryland, Delaware, and Virginia.  In June 1925, the first Annual Convention was held in Wilmington, Delaware.  Brother George Benson was elected as President.  In 1931, the Bi-State name was changed to the Tri-State Association with the District of Columbia being accepted.  Virginia soon became independent of this Association.  It now consists of Maryland, Delaware, and the District of Columbia. 


The first President of the Tri-State Association after organization was Brother Oliver Hill who served until 1944.  Brother Linwood Curlin of Hagerstown, Maryland served as President for one year.


Brother Bernard Harris, Sr. of Baltimore, Maryland was elected President and served admirably until his death. Among Brother Harris' accomplishments were: the wearing of the White Fez and Collar of Past State Presidents, "a first in the order of the Elks."; appointed as the National President of all State Presidents "the first to hold this position."; also, the Tri-State Cotillion was organized under his administration.


Brother Harris had a string Cabinet of Officers that included Brother Milton Robinson, Fred Graham, Frank Lewis of the District of Columbia, Augusta Knox, Doswell Brooks, Charles H. Carroll, Spearman Butler, David Shockley, Jimmy Hill of Maryland and William S. Fountain of Delaware. Brother Harris passed away while in office. Brother Milton Robinson, the First Vice President served as President until the next Annual Convention when there would be an election of officers.


Brother William S. Fountain was elected President. He too had an admirable Cabinet of Officers. While in office, Brother Fountain organized a great deal of working departments of the Tri-State Association. One of the largest public activities was the Annual Bull Roast that was held yearly at the Rod and Reel Club in Delaware, the Annual Inspirational Breakfast held each year at the Convention, and presented to the body for all Officers to take a $10 ad in the Convention Anniversary Book. Brother Fountain served the Grand Lodge Cabinet also. Due to Brother Fountain's health in 1987, he did not seek re-election.


At the next Annual Convention held in 1988, Brother Elmer E. Moore of Baltimore, Mary1and was elected President. He also had an admirable Cabinet of Officers and was able to bring many new ideas with him. They included: all departments turning over their monies to the Tri-State Association Financial Secretary for it to be earmarked for departmental use with each department keeping working capital each year. He, along with his cabinet organized a $10,000 Education Endowment Fund with three Universities. The Universities included were the University of Maryland Eastern Shore (Maryland), Delaware State University (Delaware), and the University of the District of Columbia (Washington, DC). In 1997 Brother Moore did not seek re-election.


At the Annual Convention held in Dover, Delaware in 1997, Brother Franklin Murray was elected as President of the Tri-State Association. Our programs that were already established continued to grow. Due to failing health he passed away in August of 1999.


Working Co-Ed departments of this Association included: Conservation of Sight, Education, Publicity, Family Day, Health, Cotillion, Beauty and Talent, Joint Past State President Collaring, Civil Liberties, and Athletic. The Presidents Council/Club are separate units, however, they have joint activities.


From the onset of the Bi-state to the present date of the Tri-State Association, there have been eight outstanding Presidents that include our past President Brother Clarence N. Crim, Jr.


To take a look at the current Tri-State President and his staff, please click here.

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