KNIGHTS OF ZOCAH
REQUIREMENTS TO JOIN
On March 8, 1928, B. W. Draper called five older Scouts, Harold Albert, Harrison Crotty, Jake Wardlaw, Dwight Hunter, Jr., and Harry Logan, to his office to plan the organization of the junior service club. Among the first initiates were Ford Boulware, Luther Coulter, Fred Nibling, Ralph Logan, Willard Crotty, Marshal Borders, Bomar Horton and Charles Harris.
Here is the story of the initiation of three of those new members as told by Dwight Hunter, Jr. in the April 1, 1928, "SCOUT NEWS" section of the SAN ANGELO STANDARD-TIMES. The story was printed thus:
"Whoope! The Honorable Knights of Zocah started the initiation of three new members into our club. They were Clovis Rogers, Ford Boulware, and Jerry Nibling. Little Clovis had to dress up as an Indian and ride a stick horse and yell in every store in town. At one store he ran into Joe Manning, who, thinking that Clovis was a little off, started to take him in till he saw his alligator ears.
"Bolivar (Ford) was dressed up as a cute little innocent girl in a pink dress, big balloon and sucker, and leading a red wagon with a big doll. The town is still laughing.
"Jerry was also a girl and had a big pink ribbon on his head and carried a lantern and looked under all the cars. It was the rule that he should not stop until he was asked by twenty people what he was doing. He had not come in 3 hours later.
"We wish to announce that any Star Scout fifteen years old is eligible to join. See any member and get an application. Let me tell you we have a club and any guy that doesn't get in is sure lost. Be one of the first in and get to help initiate the others. Let's go Zocah's - Dwight Hunter."
On April 23, 1928 reporter Dwight Hunter, Jr., reported that the first degree of the Honorable Knights of Zocah was given to four Boy Scouts.
"Fred Nibling was dressed as a preacher with a stiff collar and a black high vest. Bomar Horton was the 'flower girl' dressed up in a large flour sack and he dance around the wedding ceremony, throwing flour. Robert Hodges was dressed as the bridegroom with a swallow-tail coat and Bill Shufford was the beautiful blushing bride. The ceremony was held at every intersection of Chadbourne and was also given for the Camp Fire Girls. The wedding was quite a success. "Every applicant of the marvelous club is a sap before he becomes a real member. All of the saps were notified to be at home in their pajamas at nine thirty and were given no reason. After they were all collected they were drilled on a little vaudeville entertainment. They were taken to two parties where they were marched in and almost forced to give the stunt."
On May 6, 1928, it was reported that the regular monthly banquet of the Knights of Zocah will be held Monday evening at 7:30. All Knights and saps were requested to be present on time. The Knights of Zocah were to put on the Kiwanis club program Tuesday noon. Life Saving and first aid were to be the subjects.
When the Scout Village was built, a four room tenant house was remodeled for a club room for the Zocahs. On October 26, 1930, Bill Wright was appointed as the new Sponsor of the group. On January 7, 1929 it was reported that the Zocahs had many social activities. These included a Valentine party complete with dancing, bridge, black jack, checkers, dominoes and fool games.
Monthly banquets were planned in 1929 for the first Saturday of each month in addition to their regular meeting nights. By then the Zocah Lodge was furnished and finished in the Scout Village. During the summer the Zocahs acted as junior assistants at summer camp and helped put the camp over.
They had two house parties planned in 1929, one at the Utilities Club in March and a second at Jake Wardlaw's ranch in May. During Scout Week, February 8, 1931 a story in the paper reported that twenty-five Boy Scouts over 15 years of age were members of the Knights of Zocah, honorary Scout organization which was active in promoting the Scout movement. Willard Crotty was president, Charles Harris, vice-president, Sam Scheuber, secretary, and John Logan, treasurer.
ZOCAHS TO WORLD OLYMICS IN 1932
They were able to get five people to take their cars, Brice Draper, Bob Brown, Ed Keyes, Edwin Sawyer, and Doyle Maddux. Each car pulled a two-wheel trailer so that they could carry everything they needed such as bedding, tents, Vicrolas, baggage, etc. The trailer that rode behind Doyle Maddux's Plymouth carried the kitchen equipment. Maddux built a chuck box on the back of the trailer and a refrigeration box on the front. They took two Coleman gas camp stoves, a ten gallon cream can to carry water in, and a two gallon milk can to carry milk in. They also had a two gallon ice cream freezer, which was used quite a lot according to Doyle Maddux. They borrowed cooking utensils from the kitchen at Camp Louis Farr. Izzac Walker, who had been a cook at Camp Louis Farr, went along as chef and rode with Doyle.
READY TO LEAVE
HIKE OUT OF GRAND CANYON TOUGH
About a third of the way back up they passed a mule train going down. This did not help, but it gave them the thought that when they returned, they might bum a ride. They continued to trudge along slowly and sure enough, late in the day, the mule train returned. They could not get on and ride double as they had hoped, but some of the boys were able to hold onto the mule tails and finish the hike out of the Canyon.
There were two boys who were so exhausted that they could not walk. Four of the other Scouts made pack saddles and began to carry them along. When the boys who were hanging onto the mule tails got back to camp, and told of the trouble, the rest of the men and boys came to help and it was 9:00 that evening before all of them got back to camp.
Doyle said, "It is needless to say that some of us saw a beautiful sunrise in the Grand Canyon and not so beautiful sun set in the Canyon."
ON TO LOS ANGELES
UP TO SAN FRANCISCO
Finally, the group returned to San Angelo by way of Amarillo, tired and worn out after having been on the road for six weeks.
THEY DID HAVE CAR TROUBLE
EDWIN SAWYER RECEIVES AWARD
ZOCAHS WHO MADE TRIP
They saw several automobile accidents while on the trip but were not involved in any of them. Their pictures appeared in most of the daily papers of the cities they visited and they were mentioned on the National Broadcasting Company's coast-to-coast hook-up with the Coon Sanders Band of Denver.
CELEBRATED UPON RETURN
ANNUAL HOUSE PARTY AT CAMP LOUIS FARR
In addition to house parties, we found stories in the paper where the Zocahs would sponsor tennis tournaments, kite contests, and other sporting events as well as dances and parties. By the end of 1937, having passed their 10th year with colors flying high, the Zocahs now had nineteen members, with Bill Johnston as President. By now they were composed mostly of students of Junior College, Juniors and Seniors in High School. They were meeting each Monday night at city hall.
In 1940, the group took a very active role in athletics. Teams were entered in the major city athletic leagues, and they won the second half city baseball trophy. The group had also taken well organized trips to San Antonio, Austin, Corpus Christi, and Kerrville in past years. Eventually other chapters were organized in Beaumont, Brady, Bronte, Eldorado, McCamey, Midland, Sherman, and in Austin at the University of Texas.
All members of the Zocahs
we interviewed agreed that the Zocahs were a social club designed to keep
the older Scouts active and helping out at special events and summer camp.
The club served its purpose well and was the forerunner of the Explorer
program being organized in the Council. The Zocahs were still active
in the mid 40's. The officers of the Zocahs for 1940 were H. C. Jones,
President; Bill Humlong, Vice-President; Ralph Chase, Secretary; Norman
Elrod, Treasurer; and Walter Ray, Sentry.
Information for this story taken from "Panjandrum A History of Scouting in the Concho Valley Council 1911-1941, 1990, by Frank T. Hilton
Last Updated: January