About the Yelduz Shrine

Yelduz Shrine was chartered on July 14, 1904 by The El Zagal Shrine Center of Fargo, North Dakota, as the sponsoring shrine. Yelduz was the 92nd of 191 Shrine Centers to receive a charter. Nobles come from all over northern South Dakota and southern North Dakota. Until 1999, the Shrine Centers were noted as “Temples”.

Yelduz Founding Fathers:

  • W.T. Clark
  • A.J. Clocksin
  • Lewis B. Geisler
  • Elmer R. Judy
  • N.H. Wendell

Yelduz has exclusive Jurisdiction in Brown County and concurrent jurisdiction in an area that extends 250 miles east and west, and 50 miles north and south. This area is located mainly in the northeast quadrant of the state of South Dakota.

The first Potentate of Yelduz Temple was N. Howard Wendell, who was a well known businessman in the early Aberdeen area. The temple held its first official meeting on October 6, 1904. The installing officials from El Zagal Shrine arrived by train with a large number of its members, who then marched up Main Street to the present Masonic Lodge for the formal christening of the Yelduz Shrine. Yelduz is the Turkish word for “star”. The first Imperial Potentate to visit Yelduz Temple was Imperial Sir J.F. Trent on October 12, 1911.

The Yelduz Shrine remained in the Masonic Lodge building until 1970 when it moved to its present location at 802 South Main Street. Currently, Yelduz has over 800 Nobles and most of the members belong to one of 24 different parade units.

Each year numerous events are conducted to raise money which supports our Hospitals whose services are free of charge to the patient. Some of the fundraising events are the Shrine Football Game, Circus, aluminum can collections, laser cartridge programs, Road Runner pancakes and many others, including a large number of donations to the Shrine Hospitals and the Road Runners through memorials and endowments.

To celebrate our 100th anniversary in 2004, members of the El Zagel Shrine again visited Yelduz Shrine and joined with us in the annual Gypsy Day parade. The Shrine Horse Patrol journyed by horse to Fargo to pickup the Charter and delivered it back to Yelduz on September 25, 2004. The Imperial Potentate from Baltimore, Maryland participated in the ceremony.

Yelduz Temple was a charter member of the Midwest Shrine Association. It has hosted the summer sessions in 1949, 1961, 1973, 1985, 1996 and 2008 summer and winter sessions.

Memorable Dates in the History of Yelduz Temple:

7/3/1916Temple Building Committee was appointed.
12/6/1917Widow’s Benefit Fund organized.
5/29/1919Pilgrimage on train to El Zagel Temple in Fargo, ND.
10/5/1922Yelduz Nobles attended the cornerstone laying for the Shrine Hospital in Minneapolis, MN.
1926The Drum and Bugle Corp went to the Imperial Session in Philadelphia, PA.
2/7/1935Potentate E.R. Judy appointed a committee for the first Yelduz Shrine Football Game.
5/20/1949Yelduz hosted it’s first Midwest Shrine Association meeting in Aberdeen.
June 1967Yelduz Temple was made one of the beneficiaries of the Shoblom Trust.
10/15/1970Yelduz Nobles voted to purchase the Bradbury Building for a Shrine Temple.
1/23/1971First Potentate’s Ball held in the new Shrine Temple honored then Potentate Allan H. Rylance.
1980Start of the Annual Elmer Diedtrich Golf Tournament.
1982Yelduz Shrine Hospital Transportation Fund established.
2/6/1982Yelduz was awarded the George Van Wagenen Traveling Trophy for having the highest annual percentage increase in membership during 1981.
1987Yelduz Nobles attended the cornerstone laying for the new Shrine Hospital in Minneapolis.
1991Yelduz Shrine started the Road Runners Unit in 1991. Unit members volunteer to drive patients to the Twin Cities Hospital for Children.
1/26/1995Board of Trustees moved that the interest of Widow’s Benefit Fund be credited to the Yelduz Transportation Fund.

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