HISTORY of ABDALLAH
During October, 1886, several Knights Templar of the Leavenworth Kansas Commandery No. 1 held a series of informal meetings to devise the ways and the means to organize a Temple of The ancient Arabic Order Nobles of the Mystic Shrine. A decision was reached to communicate with Illustrious Noble William S. Patterson, Imperial Recorder of the Imperial Grand Council for the United States. On November 11, 1886, a petition was sent to Noble Patterson. The petition requested that the Order of the Mystic Shrine be conferred upon a suitable number of Knights Templar, and that they receive a dispensation to form and open Abdallah Temple, of the Ancient Arabic Order, Nobles of the Mystic Shrine, with Richard A. Ketner as Illustrious Potentate.
After considerable correspondence, it was arranged that Illustrious Noble James H. Thompson of Chicago, Chief Rabban of the Imperial Grand Council, would travel to Leavenworth and confer the Order on the petitioning Sir Knights. On March 28, 1887, twenty-four Sir Knights met with Noble Thompson in the Leavenworth Masonic Temple. He read his commission as Special Deputy of the Imperial Council, authorizing him to confer the Order; after which he proceeded to confer the Order of the Mystic Shrine on these Sir Knights for the purpose of enabling them to organize a Temple of the Order.
On the evening of April 29, 1887, the Nobles created by Noble Thompson met once again in the Leavenworth Masonic Temple. Noble Richard A. Ketner called the meeting to order and appointed Noble LaMartine Cretors as Secretary. The first officers of Abdallah Temple were: Richard A. Ketner, Grand Potentate; Dwight Byington, Chief Rabban; Carle A. Woodruff, Assistant Rabban; Tulius C. Tupper, High Priest and Prophet; Edward W. Osgood, Oriental Guide; John M. Laing, Treasurer; LaMartine Cretors, Recorder; William B. Fletcher, First Ceremonial master; Edward Jacobson, Second Ceremonial Master; Frank S. Hastings, Marshall; Thomas E. Conklin, Captain of the Guard; Rudolph Jost, Outer Guard. Abdallah Shriners is the 30th Shrine Temple to be charted, and was the first of the five Shrine Temples to be chartered in Kansas.
The first regular meeting of Abdallah Shriners was on May 13, 1887. Arthur McArthur, (the father of Gen. Douglas McArthur) was among several Nobles created at this meeting. The Abdallah meeting minutes show thirty two members designated as charter members.
Initially, Abdallah Shriners had jurisdiction over the entire state of Kansas. Meetings were held on the first and third Fridays of each month with special meetings being called to initiate new candidates. Abdallah Shriners initiated over 8,600 members during the first fifty years of its existence.
Isis Shriners in Salina was established soon after Abdallah, then came Midian Shriners in Wichita, Mirza Shriners in Pittsburg, and Arab Shriners in Topeka. These newer temples assumed responsibility for their portion of Kansas. Today, Abdallah Shriners serves ten counties in Northeast Kansas. In 1954 the Abdallah membership voted to transfer headquarters to Kansas City, Kansas. A later vote in 1977 transferred the location of Abdallah Shriners to Overland Park, Kansas. Abdallah Shriners met in rented facilities while searching for a permanent site to build a new Mosque.
The site of our present location at 5300 Metcalf, Overland Park, Kansas, was purchased in 1979, and ground was broken on September 14, 1980. The first meeting lasted only 5 minutes and was held outside on December 9, 1980. The building was completed and dedicated on June 28, 1981.
The first Abdallah Shriners parade unit was the Foot Patrol formed in 1909. The unit represented Abdallah that year at the Imperial Council meeting in New Orleans. Today, there are 14 parade units and 15 clubs that represent Abdallah Shriners in a wide variety of civic parades and activities throughout our ten county area.
Our major fund raising program is the Abdallah Shrine Rodeo and Demolition Derby. Several hundred Nobles work countless hours before, during, and after the event to make it more successful each year.
In conjunction with all other Kansas Shrine Temples, Abdallah is a cosponsor of the Kansas East-West All Star High School football game that benefits the Shriners Hospitals for Children, and the Abdallah Shriners Children's Hospital Transportation Fund.
For Several years, Abdallah Shriners has maintained a membership of between 900 and 1,000 members. We continue to mix a wide variety of fun and social activities with the always present desire to support our Children’s Hospital charitable activities.