State History

Highlights of Indiana State Knights of Columbus History


Indiana Knight's History - 200 words at a time

The newest history about Joe Gawry is his retirement from the State Directorship as Museum Curator. Nineteen years ago when Joe became the fourth State Director his predecessor passed on a pile of yellowing papers, a stack of By-Law Books and several boxes of State Convention records; all of which had been stored in garages, back bedrooms and basements of past Director's homes or parish churchs.

They were well organized by date and Councils showing proper care and concern. They were not worthy of a presentation unless you were into dull reading about a very active group of Indiana men. Joe's dream was to open an actual museum to present the colorful history of those Indiana Knights. His getting "Round Tuit" success represents the first, and to date, only state to have an actual State Museum!

It is located on the campus of Gibault in Terre Haute. The thousands of items on display include swords, ceremonial robes, pictures of World War I & II Knights in uniform and enough lapel pins, if spread end to end, to reach the National Knight's Museum In New Haven Conn. Come see and enjoy your heritage as a Knight.


  • The Indiana State Historical Museum and Archives are relocated to the previous Administrative Building next to the Visitors Building at the front Entrance to the Gibault Campus
  • The Circle of Honor trophy comes back Home again to the Indiana state Council
  • Indiana State Council has 186 councils and 33,000 plus members


  • July 20th - Jasper County Youth Center becomes licensed to become a Satellite facility for Gibault (Rensselear, Indiana)
  • November 1st - McGivney Health Care Center was licensed to become a satellite facility for Gibault in Carmel, Indiana


  • September 15, 2007 the Indiana State Historical Museum and Archives is opened and dedicated by Archbishop Daniel Buechlein and State Deputy Norm Stoffel in Sherer Hall on the Gibault Campus in Terre Haute, Indiana.
  • May 1st - Shelbyville Girls Group Home becomes licensed to become a satellite facility for Gibault


  • Indiana State Website is put into action.
  • Indiana State Council calendar was changed to coincide with Supreme from July 1st to June 30th.


  • Bob Geary and Father Vamos introduce Anita Beeler from Ronald McDonald house. Anita thanked the Squires for collecting over 1000 pounds of Pop Tabs for Ronald McDonald house.
  • Tony Kotlowski, Council 8080 present the "Wooden Cross" award to John Holloran, PSD Council 3660.
  • "Quick Books" Computer Accounting System is instituted by the State Officers.
  • "Hoosier Knight" publication is discontinued due to high costs of printing and distribution.
  • Third Degree Fund is established.
  • Indiana State Council passes the 32,000 in membership.
  • Contribution of $100.00 by all Councils and Assemblies for the Indiana State Museum and Archives was voted on and passed at the State Convention.
  • Indiana is chosen by Supreme to institute the Hispanic Development Field Coordination program.


  • CPA audits of the Tootsie Roll and Gibault Raffles occur. Formation of new councils keeps Indiana membership growing. Redistricting is set up to curtail District Deputies traveling.
  • The promotion of the "Honorable Withdrawal" Cards curtails suspensions.
  • The Indiana state Council sends $500.00 to the site of the Columbus landing at San Salvadore.
  • The "Fran Gallagher and Richard Scheiber " awards are established. The First Degree initiations are held for the first time at State Convention. Joseph Gawrys Appointed new State Historian
  • March, 1997, Emergency Disaster Relief Fund is established. Indiana "Blitz" members drive is started.
  • Fr. Michael McGivney Guild is started and headed by Fr. Gabriel O'Donnell in New Haven, Connecticut..
  • Planning started for State 100 anniversary.
  • Formation of Spanish Speaking Councils is stated.
  • K of C "Long Term Care insurance is introduced.
  • Indiana State Song is Introduced.
  • Indiana State Council reaches 99th Anniversary on Feb.,3,2002.
  • Shining Knight Award is introduced.
  • Gibault Becomes co-educational with Satellite areas.


  • Chaplains had discussions about Practicing Catholics versus Practical Catholics. Membership grows to 31,900 members, 22 Squires Circles.
  • Participants in K of C sports must be Third Degree members and play for their own councils.
  • The SOS program for Seminarians began.
  • The Icon of Our Lady of Czestohowa is chosen for State Topur. Existing councils donate $10.00 to newly formed councils.
  • The Knights of Columbus motto now reads, "Catholic, Family, Fraternal Organization.
  • Andrew Novotny new State Historian.
  • K of C needs to complete Fraternal Surveys to keep its tax-exempt status. The need for more and better publicity thru various media is discussed.


  • Surge for Service replaces the 6 Point Program.
  • The "Know Your Government Know your Candidates" program is sponsored by the councils.
  • Bean Suppers started with the Masonic Organizations in Indianapolis, Widow ID cards are suggested by the State Deputy.
  • A new dorm is built at Gibault and the cost rises to $11.50 per day. VIP and VEMP programs are launched.
  • Indiana hosts the Supreme Council for the third time in Indianapolis. Eli Lilly participates in matching funds program for State Charities. Paul Brooks, Logansport, becomes the First State Historian


  • New Indiana State by-laws are approved.
  • The film, "Perversion for Profit", is shown by the Decent Literature Committee. Chaplain Crowley suggested that the Pastors be consulted before prospective members take the admission test.
  • Gibault tuition is raised to $4.00 per day and endeavors went under way to raise funds for the school.
  • A change in accounting procedures is adopted.
  • A program to re-educate members about Gibault is suggested.
  • It is noted that "Fraternity" is the most essential ingredient in the 6 Point program.
  • Fourth Degree promotes having an American Flag in every classroom. Alonzo Watford, an African American, Council 3228, receives the Catholic Layman of the Year Award.


  • Various programs such as Catholic affairs, Way of the Cross, discussion groups and speaker groups, oratorical contests, Dignity of Man, and campaign to Start Men of the Eucharist was started.
  • Membership grew to 25,513, with 77 councils.
  • The ABC manual and Five Point Programs are activated.
  • Indiana hosted the Supreme Bowling Tournament.
  • Indiana submitted to having "under God" inserted into the Pledge of Allegiance.
  • During this time, boxing is held at Gibault, which now housed 125 delinquent boys.
  • The per capita tax structure changed to $1.70.
  • Historical Commission is recommended. A new Chapel is erected at Gibault.


  • The 1942 State Convention is held for the first time on a boat on Lake Michigan. Following World War II, the State entered into an expansion period. Membership jumped to 23,00, with 69 councils.


  • A per capita tax of $2.35 is voted in. $2.00 is allocated to Gibault. This temporarily resolved the financial problems.


  • Chartrand Hall, built and dedicated at Gibault.
  • The collections for the Notre Dame Endowment Fund are initiated.
  • In 1931, Indiana hosted the Supreme Convention at French Lick, Indiana.


  • At the end of the first decade, Indiana had 48 councils and 7,200 members.
  • The following ten years are dedicated to the establishment of the Gibault School for boys.
  • The 1916 Convention voted to establish Present Home as our contribution to the 100th Anniversary of Indiana Statehood. The Gibault home is dedicated on October 9. 1921.
  • By the end of 1921, the order had 1800 members and 65 councils.


  • On June 25, 1899, the first Council # 437 is instituted in Indianapolis.
  • On October 15, 1899, Council 451, Fort Wayne was instituted. This could have been the first council but there was a foul up in protocol.
  • In South Bend, in February 1902, the First Indiana State meeting is held, with leadership provided by Wm. J. Mooney of Indianapolis.

State Historian

David Gorrell