Knights of Pythias

Our purpose is to help preserve the rich and colorful history of The Order of Knights of Pythias.
To accomplish this, we rely on our brothers, sisters, historians and Pythian friends to send us
information and web links about past events, former members and related historical subjects.

Uniform Rank, Knights of Pythias



the Uniform Rank (UR) was instituted as the uniform branch of the KoP in the late 1880s, different swords were associated with each specific rank. There were Knights, Sergeants, Field Officers,Staff Officers, and Medical Staff with a different pattern for each group. The officers swords were curved 1870 style sabers with lions head pommels.

All swords from the Uniform Rank have the letters UR somewhere on the hilts. Swords from years prior to the development of the Uniform Rank do not have this lettering. For Sir Knights, the sword is straight bladed with a cruciform brass hilt. The pommel is a knights head and helmet with a lion on the top, and there is a chain knuckleguard. The counterguard has a lily and the letters UR on it. The grip is leather wrapped with wire. The sergeants swords have a straight blade, a more elaborate brass hilt with a solid knuckleguard with either a leather grip with wire wrapping or an ivory grip. Field officers (Lieut. Capt, etc.) used a curved brass mounted cavalry saber similar to the US pattern of 1870 cavalry swords. For staff and Field officers (Colonel and above) the swords were again straight bladed and had elaborate hilts with ivory grips.

Medical staff used swords similar to the 1840 Army Medical staff and/or paymasters swords. These had the letters MD for Medical Department on them, diffentiating them from military medical swords which have MS for Medical Service. # Knights sword from the Uniform Rank, Cruciform hilt, knights head pommel with lion on helmet, gryphon quillon, counterguard with letters "UR" and a lily, brass mountings, leather grip, single twist of wire around grip, chain knuckleguard.

The sword company " the M.C. Lilley & Co. Columbus, OH." was in business from 1882-1925.

Source: Nova Treasure

Ceremonial swords

Early in the group's history, when a man was inducted into the Knights of Pythias he received a ceremonial sword. Such swords might be given to a Pythian by family members, business associates, or others as a token of esteem. In recent decades, rather than require each member to own a sword, the local chapter maintains a collection of swords for use by its members. Long, narrow swords are generally used in public during parades and drills, while short swords are used in displays.

Markings on swords varied widely. Most swords were inscribed with the acronym "FCB," which stands for the Pythian motto ("Friendship, Charity, Benevolence"). Images on swords were also somewhat common, and included: A man, woman and child (symbolic of Pythias saying goodby to his family); a man looking out of a building, with a group of people below (symbolic of Damon's pending execution); a man between some pillars, pulling them down (similar to Samson destroying his enemy's temple); or various types of weapons (swords, axes, hammers, etc.). A full Knight of the Pythian order often inscribed his sword with the image of a knight's helmet with a lion on the crest. Many also carried the image of a sprig of myrtle (the Pythian symbol of love) or a falcon (the Pythian symbol of vigilance).

Early in the group's history, some Pythians formed the Uniformed Rank, which adopted military terminology for its organization. Swords owned by a member of the Uniformed Rank might be inscribed with the acronym, "UR," a dove, or a lily. (The Uniformed Rank was banned in the organization in the 1950s.)

Source: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Sword Samples (Images)

Captain E.T. Eubanks Commisary 2nd Regt. U. R. K. P. Pittsburg, Kansas. (Photos)
Edwin T. Eubanks' widow Laura and sons Everett and Roy living in Fort Smith, Arkansas in the 1930 census
Died 26 Feb. 1914 - Announced in local paper (K.P. Lodge No. 65, Pittsburg).

Sword Instructions: Rules & Regulations

Knights of Pythias 1904 Book - Drill Regulations - Draw Saber

Swords: Name on blade,
owners, location
G. A. Altenhoff - Grand Lodge of California (Archives)
R. A. Henry - Private Collection (CA) - Pythian

George LaForge - Grand Lodge of California (Archives)

Today's Pythians
The Order of Knights of Pythias - (National & International)