Old Temple

The Moolah Temple In St. Louis


Strange as it may seem, Moolah Temple actually had its inception in East St. Louis, Illinois. Ten Nobles of Medinah Temple from Chicago, Illinois met weekly to dine at the Stockyard Hotel and decided to form another Shrine Temple for St. Louis. They applied for a charter, which was issued on April 23, 1886, and became the 28th Shrine Temple so recognized in Shrinedom. The ten Nobles who signed the petition were: William H. Mayo, Alman B. Thompson, W.H. Mead, Elihu T. Crandall, John T. Nixon, William Walsh, E.B. Overstreet, Robert D. Hunter, John J. Baulch and Horace W. Hibbard. Today, it takes 1000 new members to secure a petition for a Charter of a new Temple.


Origin Of The Name "Moolah"


The name "Moolah," an Arabic word meaning "Title for one learned in teaching dignity for the law of the Koran or religion," was suggested by Noble John T. Nixon. It is not a title conferred by authority, but rather an expression of public respect. The name was adopted and has held the respect of Shriners and the public alike ever since. Meeting Places In the early years, from June 20, 1894, until December 16, 1896, Moolah Temple's meetings were held at the Freemasons Hall, 17th and Chestnut streets. On January 20, 1897 it held its first meeting at Tuscan Hall, 28th and Washington Avenue - its last meeting being held there on March 21, 1897. Other meetings were held at Harmony Hall, Union Hall, the Mercantile Club, the West End Hall, the American Theatre, and the Grand Avenue Masonic Temple Building.


Moolah Temple On Lindell Boulevard In St. Louis


In 1912, Potentate Walter Ashton assisted by his officers, took action toward building a home to house Moolah Temple. On April 12, 1912, Past Potentate Herman Mauch presented a resolution to appoint a building committee, and steps were taken to form a corporation to purchase real estate and build a Temple. Articles of Incorporation and a Pro Forma Decree Charter were certified and filed in Jefferson City on August 9, 1912.


From then on things began to move fast. Plans were submitted and many sites considered - one being at Theresa and Morgan, another at Taylor and Washington avenues, and the chosen location on Lindell Boulevard. The financing of the building construction was arranged and Ernest Helfenstellar, Jr., of Hirsh and Watson was chosen architect. Ground was broken September 11, 1912, at midnight with a ceremony illuminated by colored lighted torches. The Cornerstone was laid at midnight, October 21, 1913 with a parade starting at the Masonic Temple Building. Imperial Potentate Henry Niedringhaus, Jr., Imperial First Ceremonial Master Wiles Jacoby, Moolah Divan and Nobles participated and witnessed these ceremonies.


For three years work progressed rapidly and Moolah held its first meeting in the new Temple on March 18, 1914. Dedicatory ceremonies were held on April 25, 1914 with a class of 133 novices. In December 1920 the Temple building bonds were retired, with a final payment being made to Mississippi Valley Trust Company. This project culminated a term of nine years from January 1912 to December 1920. In 1931 East and West wings were added to enlarge quarters for the Potentate and the Divan, the Temple Office and Unit Rooms.


In 1988, Moolah Temple moved to a West County location on Fee Fee Road to be closer to its members' homes and to take advantage of the growing population there to help increase its membership. The Moolah Shriners purchased a former Junior High School campus consisting of a 120,000 square foot building on 25 acres. The facility has been extensively renovated and redecorated on the interior. It features a ballroom which can accommodate over 500 guests and an Oasis (or dining room) which can handle 250 guests. Several other large meeting and social gathering rooms are available, as well as a gymnasium and soccer field for sports activities.



Developed by Rodd Dierker. Managed by Jim Tracy©2011 St. Louis Moolah Shrine Center | 12545 Fee Fee Road | Saint Louis, Missouri 63146 | Toll Free: (888) 966-6524
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