How We Started
The Order of DeMolay was founded in 1919 by Frank Sherman Land, a 33rd Degree Mason, in Kansas City, Missouri. “Dad” Frank S. Land formed what at the time was thought to be just a small club after meeting Louis Lower who had lost his father in 1918. “Dad” Land arragned an original meeting with Lower and eight of his other friends in the Temple one night, and thus the seeds of the organization were planted.
These nine boys, although they had only wanted to start a baseball team were in for a whole lot more. Through the Order of DeMolay, which was officially launced on March 24, 1919, “Dad” Land wished to give these young men better leadership skills and prepare them for their adulthood.
Using the name of the ancient marytr Jacques DeMolay, the last Grandmaster of the Knights Templar, “Dad” Land hoped to inspire in boys around the world with the virtues of fidelity and toleration.
The first use of officers are they are known today was September 16, 1919. The ritual that was used during this time, most of what we use today, was later created over one night by Frank A. Marshall and was used on September 27th. Louis Lower would then go on to be the first active DeMolay to be elected Master Councilor.
Over time the Order of DeMolay has evolved into what we know today as DeMolay International with members located in countries around the world.
The History of Nebraska DeMolay
Dr. Zoro D. Clark, a prominent dentist in Omaha, Nebraska, is responsible for bringing DeMolay to the state of Nebraska. Dr. Clark’s introduction to the organization came during a visit with his good friend Frank S. Land in Kansas City. Land had recently started a youth organization called DeMolay and he asked Dr. Clark to extend his stay in order to see what it was all about. Dr. Clark did so and was very impressed. So much so, in fact, that he wished his own two sons could join just such an organization in Omaha. After returning home, Dr. Clark worked diligently to bring DeMolay to Nebraska. His persistence came to fruition on May 8, 1920, when Omaha Chapter of the Order of DeMolay was instituted.
“Dad” Frank S. Land, Founder of the Order of DeMolay, brought a degree team from Mother Chapter in Kansas City to initiate the 67 young men of Nebraska. Omaha Chapter has the distinction of being the world’s second DeMolay chapter and is the parent organization for all chapters in Nebraska.
At the request of Dr. Frederick Eiche of Lincoln, Omaha Chapter initiated 127 young men into the first class of candidates for Lincoln Chapter. In November 1920, Dr. Clark saw the third chapter in Nebraska instituted when 75 young men became DeMolays in Hastings.
Today, DeMolay has 9 chapters in Nebraska with a current membership of more than 400