Elks Treasure in Search of an Owner

TR Staff
Staff Writer

By Ellie Boese
Joe Duesler was at the 1998 National Elks Convention in Anaheim, CA, when he came across an item for auction––a tooth mounted on a pentagonal cap of gold, the relief of an elk and a clock at 11 on one side and number-letter engravings on the other. It was an Elks tooth, which serves as a symbol of status and dedication for active Elks in the country. For Duesler, he’d worked toward getting his own Elks tooth as a member of the group.
“When I was active, I wanted to have all the trappings of the Elks,” he said, “and the tooth is a big part of that.”
He purchased the tooth at that 1998 convention for $130, the same year that Valley City’s Elks Lodge surrendered its charter and ceased activity. Coincidentally, the number on the back of this particular tooth, 1100 linked it directly back to Valley City’s Lodge–#1100–even more specifically to a possible former member of the VC Elks. That individual’s initials are BLA, also engraved in the metal cap.
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