(11/11/2002)

IOOF Lodge Hall adjacent to Rick's Place at Minnora

A two-year-old $500,000 lawsuit between Richard Horsley, owner of Rick's Place, a convenience store at Minnora against Minnora IOOF Lodge No. 246 and its members, was settled in Calhoun Circuit Court last week. The settlement was made before Thomas Evans III.

The lodge was in existence for almost 100 years, but membership had decreased in recent years. "We're mostly just a bunch of old folks," according to a member. The current building was erected in 1909.

Horsley was awarded the historic lodge hall and property after he filed a suit alleging his water well was tainted by sewage from a system owned by the lodge. located within a few feet of his business. The suit claimed the lodge installed an un-permitted septic and leach system in 1978 which later leaked into Horsley's water source which he was using for a restaurant in his store.

One of the defendants, Kenneth Keaton, said "The state lodge surrendered to the lawsuit. A majority of the members wanted to have it over." The defendant's had claimed the problem did not result from actions taken by the lodge, and Horsley had created his own problem.

Horsley told The Herald, "It has going on for a long time, and I am glad to get it behind me."

The lodge's had a large membership through the 1960's

The building was built about 1909, but the lodge was about 100 years old

The suit said a test conducted by the Mid-Ohio Valley Health Department in 1999 "determined that effluent and human waste from the defendants' facility was being illegally discharged." The problem, according to the suit, caused Horsley to import water and created a loss of income. It also claimed Horsley's wife became ill because of the problem, ingesting e-coli, and incurred medical expenses.

During the 1960's the lodge had over 100 members, not including women who belonged to the Rebekah Lodge.

The suit was filed in 2000 against Kenneth Keaton, Kenneth Sears, William DeWeese, Carol Sears, Carolyn DeWeese; D. C. Conley, H. C. Knotts, Ferel Starcher, their successors and members of Odd Fellows Lodge No. 246 and Rebekah Lodge. Horsley was represented by Thomas R. Zimmerman of Parkersburg and the lodge was represented by Tom Whittier of Spencer.


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