The original impetus for the establishment of an Elks Lodge in Ames came from a group of businessmen during 1938. For several years the group had held get-togethers at the Sheldon-Munn Hotel to further acquaintances and to implement community growth. The fellowship and the effectiveness of these meetings met with such favor that a number of Elks included in the group suggested the possibility of petitioning for the establishment of a lodge in Ames.
The originators of the idea promptly surveyed the community for members of the order and found eighteen residents who were affiliated with various lodges. These members together with the original group proceeded to lay the groundwork. Elks included in this planning were: F.B. Allen, E.H. Allen, Leo Armstrong, Clint Behnke, John Granson, M.C. Goslin, George Howe, Ed Kooker, Frank Lang, C.G. Lee, O.J. McCaffrey, Charles I. Merrick, R. D. Morris, S.B. Osborn, H.O. Parsons, J.M. Parsons, Art Pose, B. J. Ryan.
The Boone Lodge was petitioned and dispensation was granted by Exalted Ruler McCormick. With this clearance the Ames Lodge was at the threshold of reality.
Initiation of 87 charter members by the Boone Lodge officers was held at the Country Club on July 7, 1939. At this same time the following officers were installed: S.B. Osborn, Exalted Ruler; F.B. Allen, Esteemed Leading Knight; Mark Walsh, Esteemed Loyal Knight; Arthur H. Bowman, Esteemed Lecturing Knight; J.M. Parsons, Secretary; J. Ed Judge, Treasurer; Arthur Pose, Elmer Hart, Herman Cole, Trustees; Herman Erickson, Tiler. Appointive officers named were: H.J. Pollock, Esquire; Francis Huntley, Inner Guard; Sherman Needham, Chaplain.
Temporary quarters were loaned to the lodge by the American Legion. During that fall remodeling of permanent quarters at 234 ½ Main Street was progressing. Occupancy of the remodeled permanent quarters transpired during November of 1939. These rooms were the home of Ames Lodge No. 1626 until March of 1957 when our dreams of a building of our own finally became reality. The spacious, split-level, 50 x 100 ft. building at 522 Douglas Avenue was built by Thompson Construction from plans created by architect Herbert Arthur.
Attracted by the feeling of brotherhood engendered by fraternal association and the worthwhile local, state and national charitable projects, membership grew 10-fold in the first twenty-five years. Charitable works of the local lodge include help to those in need, youth service as evidenced by leadership and financial aid in recreational projects and scholarship activities. At the state and national level the Ames Lodge joins other lodges in projects of service to youth activities, scholarship, veterans, and Camp Sunnyside for crippled children. Members of the local lodge play an active part in leadership of the committees of the state association and occasionally have the opportunity to serve on Grand Lodge committees. In addition, members are active in all forms of Ames community life.