Two Cove women the first females to join male-only fraternal organization
By LYNETTE SOWELL
History was made on November 9, when two Copperas Cove women joined the ranks of Knighthood into the Order of Knights of Pythias.
Pamela Knutson and Madison Youngblood, mother and daughter, became the first two women in the 155-year history of the Pythian Order and its 145-year history in Texas.
Knutson’s husband, Wayne, is the current District Deputy Grand Chancellor for district #1 and is the Representative for the Knights of Pythias of Texas to the Supreme Lodge, Order of Knights of Pythias.
After successfully meeting the required test, both Knutson and Youngblood received their honors of knighthood at the Nov. 9 ceremony. Also in attendance was Robert Lautenschlager, Grand Treasurer for the Knights of Pythias of Texas.
“For several years, I have seen and heard about what the Knights of Pythias does for children, especially with the Read & Ride Program, where bicycles are given to students for participating in their schools’ reading programs,” said Pamela Knutson, who teaches at S.C. Lee Junior High, on what drew her to the organization. “They take literacy so seriously, not to mention what happens at the Texas Pythian Home. Seeing that place firsthand and knowing the amount of love that is put into that place to take care of children who were in a horrible situation, is inspiring. Knowing what I know, why wouldn’t I want to join and be a part of a group that promotes so much for children? I’m glad that the opportunity now exists and it would be great to see more in the community get involved with the Knights of Pythias.”
Youngblood also shared her reason for joining the organization. “What attracted me to join the organization was its philanthropic nature. Their community involvement, especially when it comes to youth, tugs at my heart strings,” said Youngblood. “I’ve seen firsthand the good work that they do to promote literacy and enrich live of students and children that I personally know and many more that I don’t. It’s a privilege to now be a part of something, bigger than what I do in the classroom for my community.”
Both Knutson and Youngblood are members of Davy Crockett Lodge #193, which is located in Copperas Cove.
The Order of Knights of Pythias was founded in Washington, D.C. on February 19, 1864, with the Knights of Pythias of Texas formally organized on April 6, 1874, in Houston.
The Order was the first American Order chartered by an Act of the Congress of the United States.
In 2018, an amendment to the Supreme Lodge, Knights of Pythias’s constitution was made and was subsequently passed in 2019 by the majority of state domains across the nation. This action and its passing formally opened the door for women to join the organization.
The Knights of Pythias of Texas provides financial support to the Pythian Children’s Home in Weatherford, Texas. Known as the “House that Love Built,” the home provides a place for children, whose parents or grandparents, due to circumstance, have difficulty properly caring for them. The home cares for children ages 3 – 14 from across Texas.
Locally, the Knights have distributed bicycles to elementary students in CCISD who have successfully completed reading logs.