January 2015

Chris Cooke Profiled


Brother Chris Cooke, superintendent of cemeteries for Evansville, Indiana, was profiled recently in the January edition of International Cemetery, Cremation and Funeral Association’s (ICCFA) magazine. Click here (pdf) to read it.

In addition to being a brother in our fraternity, Chris is a board member of the Indiana State Board for Funeral and Cemetery Services, current President of the Vanderburgh County Historical Society, and current President of United Neighborhoods of Evansville.

Midwinter Encampment

The Midwinter Encampment of the Department of Indiana will be held January 31, 2015 at the Valparaiso Memorial Opera House at 9:00 a.m. local (Central) time. The Memorial Opera House is located at 104 Indiana Avenue in Valparaiso, Indiana. Parking is available on the streets around the Opera House and also in a city lot next to the American Legion Post on the corner of E. Monroe and Franklin Street. Brothers in the department will be having lunch at the Old Style Inn located one and a half blocks from the Opera House on Lincolnway across form the court house.

Memorial Opera House History


The Valparaiso Memorial Opera House was originally built by the Chaplin Brown Post 106 as a monument to the Union Soldiers who served during the Civil War and named Memorial Hall. Construction began in 1893 with with the G.A.R. raising an additional $9,000 to complete the Queen Anne style brick structure. Memorial Hall was completed on November 8, 1893 and its opening was marked by a parade three days later. Although the Chaplin Brown Post and its allied orders met at the Memorial Hall, it also hosted the likes of actress Beulah Bondi, John Phillips Sousa, the Marx brothers, and has been home to hundreds of local productions and events during its years. The building was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1984. Visit the website for more information at www.memorialoperahouse.com.

In September 2014 the SUVCW David D. Porter Camp No. 116 held its first meeting in the original room where Chaplin Brown Post 106 met. The camp was invited to again use the rooms and Hall our predecessors once so proudly graced. David D. Porter Camp No. 116 members were truly humbled and honored to be able to go home. We therefore felt it was only appropriate that we also honor the boys in blue and our ancestors by returning to have our Midwinter Encampment at the Memorial Opera House. Please join us and enjoy this beautiful building in its 1893 splendor.