In 1864, the Knights of Pythias was founded by Justus H. Rathbone, making it the very first fraternal organization to receive a charter under an Act of the United States Congress. Local chapters like the one in Bloomington, Indiana, began to spring up in communities in every state. The building has a large “KP” on top of it, along with a street entrance that leads up to the lodge on the second floor.
Above the entrance is lighted triangular sign that features many of the symbols that are significant to the Knights of Pythias: the silhouette of a knight’s helmet sitting in the middle of a pyramid-shaped shield with three letters, “F”, “C”, and “B”. The three letters stand for their motto, FRIENDSHIP, CHARITY, and BENEVOLENCE.
The cast-iron grave marker was manufactured by the organization to mark the graves of members. The small marker displays the three letters “F”, “C”, and “B” and the Lodge Number 104.
The society is based on the Greek story of friendship from 400 B. C. between Damon and Pythias, members of a school founded by Pythagoras.
According to their Website, Pythians: promote cooperation and friendship between people of good will, find happiness through service to mankind, believe that friendship is essential in life, view home life as a top priority, show an interest in public affairs, enhance their home communities, respect and honor the law of the land, and expand their influence with people of like interests and energy.