The Family Fraternity

Though the Moose fraternal organization was founded in the late 1800s
with the modest goal of offering men an opportunity to gather socially, it
was reinvented during the first decade of the 20th century into an
organizational dynamo of men and women who set out to build a city that
would brighten the futures of thousands of children in need all across
North American.
When Dr. John Henry Wilson, a Louisville, Ky., physician, organized a       
handful of men into the Loyal Order of Moose in the parlor of his home      
in the spring of 1888, he and his compatriots did so apparently for no
other reason than to form a string of men's social clubs. Lodges were
instituted In Cincinnati, St. Louis, and the smaller Indiana towns of
Crawfordsville and Frankfort by the early 1890s, but Dr. Wilson himself
became dissatisfied and left the infant order well before the turn of the      
Dr. John Henry Wilson Founder,
Loyal Order of Moose
Davis' marketing instincts were on-target: By 1912, the order had grown
from 247 members in two Lodges, to a colossus of nearly 500,000 in more
than 1,000 Lodges. Davis, appointed the organization's first chief executive
with the new title of Director General, realized it was time to make good on
the promise. The Moose began a program of paying "sick benefits" to
members too ill to work--and, more ambitiously, Davis and the
organization's other officers made plans for a "Moose Institute," to be
centrally located somewhere in the Midwest that would provide a home,
schooling and vocational training to children of deceased Moose members.
James J. Davis Founder:
Mooseheart & Moosehaven
The Birth of Mooseheart

After careful consideration of numerous sites, the Moose Supreme Council in late 1912 approved the purchase of what
was known as the Brookline Farm--more than 1,000 acres along the then-dirt surfaced Lincoln Highway, between
Batavia and North Aurora on the west side of the Fox River, about 40 miles west of Chicago. Ohio Congressman John
Lentz, a member of the Supreme Council, conceived the name "Mooseheart" for the new community: "This," he said,
"will always be the place where the Moose fraternity will collectively pour out its heart, its devotion and sustenance, to
the children of its members in need."

So it was on a hot summer Sunday, July 27, 1913, that several thousand Moose men and women (for the Women of
the Moose received formal recognition that year as the organization's official female component) gathered under a
rented circus tent toward the south end of the new property and placed the cornerstone for Mooseheart. The first 11
youngsters in residence were present, having been admitted earlier that month; they and a handful of workers were
housed in the original farmhouse and a few rough-hewn frame buildings that had been erected that spring.

Addressing Need on the Other End of Life: Moosehaven

Mooseheart's construction proceeded furiously over the next decade, but it only barely kept pace with the admissions
that swelled the student census to nearly 1,000 by 1920. (Mooseheart's student population would reach a peak of
1,300 during the depths of the Great Depression; housing was often "barracks" style - unacceptable by today's
standards. Mooseheart officials now consider the campus' ultimate maximum capacity as no more than 500.) Still, by
the Twenties, Davis and his Moose colleagues thought the fraternity should do more--this time for aged members who
were having trouble making ends meet in retirement. (A limited number of elderly members had been invited to live at
Mooseheart since 1915.)

They bought 26 acres of shoreline property just south of Jacksonville, Florida, and in the fall of 1922, Moosehaven,
the "City of Contentment," was opened, with the arrival of its first 22 retired Moose residents. Moosehaven has since
grown to a 63-acre community providing a comfortable home, a wide array of recreational activities and
comprehensive health care to more than 400 residents.

As the Moose fraternity grew in visibility and influence, so did Jim Davis. President Warren Harding named him to his
Cabinet as Secretary of Labor in 1921, and Davis continued in that post under Presidents Calvin Coolidge and Herbert
Hoover as well. In November 1930, Davis, a Republican, won election to the U.S. Senate from Pennsylvania, and he
served there with distinction for the next 14 years. As both Labor Secretary and Senator, Davis was known as a
conservative champion of labor, who fought hard for the rights of unions--but felt that the workingman should expect
no "handouts" of any sort. In the Senate, it was Davis who spearheaded passage of landmark legislation to force
building contractors to pay laborers "prevailing" union-level wages in any government construction work. The law bore
his name: the Davis-Bacon Act.

An Independent, Autonomous Women's Component
Katherine Smith First Grand Chancellor
Women of the Moose
When the 19th Amendment had granted women the right to vote in 1920, Smith, (from Indianapolis,) reasoned correctly,
that women in politics would be a "growth market." She quit her secretarial job to go to work in Warren Harding's successful
Presidential campaign--and, still in her 20s, she was rewarded with an appointment as Director of Public Employment in
Washington. Labor Secretary Davis was her boss, and he immediately recognized her talent and drive. It took him five
years to convince her to quit her government job and go to work for him running the Women of the Moose. A stereotypical
"women's program" held no interest for her, Smith argued. "So get out there and make a program," Davis retorted. She did
exactly that, as the organization's first Grand Chancellor, for the next 38 years until her retirement in 1964, at which point
the Women of the Moose boasted 250,000 members. (It has since grown to more than 540,000, in approximately 1,600
As Davis committed more time and energy to his Washington duties in the 1920s
and beyond, he had less time to run the Moose fraternity. In 1927 the day-to-day
management of the Order's business was assumed at Mooseheart by Malcolm R.
Giles, in the office of Supreme Secretary. Giles, an accountant by training who had
worked full-time for the Moose since 1915, set out to implement a reorganization of
the fraternity's finances, and in 1934 modernized its recruitment apparatus into a
formal Membership Enrollment Department, under the direction of a gregarious
and talented young man named Paul P. Schmitz.
Malcolm R. Giles Director General
    1947 - 1953
Davis' health was uncertain as he left the Senate in early 1945, and he settled into an elder statesman's role with the Moose.
He collapsed on the podium while addressing the Moose convention in August 1947, and died that November. Giles continued
to run the organization's business as he had for 20 years; in 1949, the Supreme Council granted him the title of Director

The "Proof of Our Value": Community Service

For a quarter-century the Moose had directed its efforts almost completely toward Mooseheart and Moosehaven; now, with
discharged WWII Veterans driving Moose membership to nearly 800,000 members, Director General Giles set out to broaden
the organization's horizons. In 1949 he conceived and instituted what was to become the third great Moose endeavor of the
modern era, the Civic Affairs program (later renamed Community Service). Giles explained his rationale: "Only three
institutions have a God-given right to exist in a community, the home, the church and the school. The rest of us must be
valuable to the community to warrant our existence, and the burden of proof of our value is on us." The Community Service
program has since flourished into a myriad of humanitarian efforts on the local Lodge level, as well as fraternity-wide projects
such as the Moose Youth Awareness Program , in which bright teenagers go into elementary schools, daycare centers and
the like to communicate an anti-drug message to 4- to 9-year olds.
Malcolm Giles' term as Director General was cut short when he suffered a
heart attack and died, at just age 59, in September 1953. He was replaced on
an interim basis by J. Jack Stoehr, the well-respected Director of its most
successful geographic region, which included Ohio, Pennsylvania and West
Virginia. For a permanent successor, the Order turned to the commanding
presence of Schmitz, the Membership Director who in 19 years had nurtured
the fraternity from a low of 240,000 members during the worst of the Great
Depression, to nearly 900,000 by the early 1950s.
J. Jack Stoehr Director General
Schmitz, an Aurora, Ill., native, led the Moose for nearly 21
years, longer than anyone except Davis. During his tenure,
both the Mooseheart and Moosehaven physical plants received
substantial modernization, and he guided the Moose smoothly
through the tumultuous 1960s into the 1970s with continued
steady membership growth, to more than 1 million men (in more
than 2,000 Lodges) and 300,000 women before he retired in
April 1974.
Paul P. Schmitz Director General
 1953 - 1974
Mr. Schmitz turned over the Director General's office to Herbert W.
Heilman--the first time a Mooseheart graduate (Class of 1934) had risen to
lead the organization that had raised him at its Child City. Heilman, a
teacher and athletic coach, had been hired by Giles in 1948 to run the
fraternity's sports program, then had worked for 17 years as Membership
Enrollment Director under Schmitz. Heilman's tenure saw men's and
women's combined Moose membership rise to nearly 1.8 million before his
retirement in January 1984.
When Paul J. O'Hollaren, a lawyer and insurance executive from Portland
Ore., became the Supreme Council's choice to succeed Heilman, it was the
first time since Davis that a non-employee had assumed the Director
General's chair. O'Hollaren had of course, been an active Moose for a
quarter-century: charter Governor of his Lodge, President of the Oregon
Moose Association, Chief Justice of the Supreme Forum, and, in 1978-79,
Supreme Governor.
Paul J. O'Hollaren Director General
1984 - 1994, 1999  
Director General O'Hollaren's whirlwind decade in office saw a full computerization and modernization of the fraternity's
business operations; the change of its corporate name to Moose International; the stirring observances of the
organization's Centennial in 1988, a completely updated redesign of the fraternity's ceremonial degree regalia (away
from headgear and robes to distinctive color-coded blazers and neckties); a rebuilding of Mooseheart's utilities
infrastructure, and the start of a long-range construction program to completely renovate or build new residential space
for every Mooseheart student and Moosehaven resident.
O'Hollaren retired in February 1994; his successor, Director General
Frank A. Sarnecki, continued the pattern of coming to Mooseheart from
the Moose "volunteer corps." Sarnecki, a real estate and insurance
executive from New Jersey, served as Secretary of the Perth Amboy
Lodge for 12 years in the 1960s and '70s; he rose to become Supreme
Governor in 1988-89.
Frank A. Sarnecki DirectorGeneral
  1994 - 1999
In his first few years in office, Sarnecki guided the fraternity into four sweeping changes: a fully equitable relationship
between its men's and women's components in use of Lodge facilities; a drive to transform those facilities into "Moose
Family Centers"; an extension of Moosehaven eligibility to all Moose men and women, and an expansion of Mooseheart
admissions to accept applications from all children in need--a move that inspired renowned ABC Radio commentator Paul
Harvey to refer to efforts of the Moose Family fraternity, in an August 1994 broadcast to his 24 million listeners
throughout North America, as "a dynamic demonstration of civilized man's better self."
After 5 years in office, Director General Sarnecki resigned in April 1999 to
return to business and family interests in New Jersey. Paul J. O'Hollaren
stepped in as Director General on an interim basis from mid-April to
mid-June. On June 15th, 1999, Donald H. Ross , who had served 16 years
as Supreme Secretary, was appointed by the Supreme Council to become
the organization's eighth Director General. Two months shy of his 50th
birthday as he took office, he became the fraternity's youngest chief
executive in more than 75 years.

Though the Women of the Moose (originally termed the
Women of Mooseheart Legion) had received formal
recognition as a Moose auxiliary in 1913, they at first had
little structured program of their own beyond the Chapter
level. That changed in 1921, when Davis met and hired a
remarkable woman named Katherine Smith.
Herbert W. Heilman Director General
   1974 - 1984
Donald H. RossDirector General
1999 - Present