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Newspaper Articles About The AHTA June 1894 to June 1902

Newspaper articles from July 1902 to December 1902

AHTA 1895 Oklahoma and Indian Territory Roster

1903 List of Kansas Central Protective Agency




Origin of the A. H. T. A.


 I have conflicting dates as to Origin of A.H. T. A.


The following information taken from 1911 A.H.T.A. Booklet:


          The A. H. T. A. was first organized at the Highland School House in Clark County, Missouri, near the Missouri-Iowa line.  The first lodge that bore the name A. H. T. A. was organized in the fall of 1854 by Major David McKee and five others.  Hugh Allen Stewart was the treasurer of the first lodge.

          Three or four other lodges were organized in that section between that time and 1863.  In September 1863, these lodges held a meeting at Luray for the purpose of forming a co-operative agreement.  On October 23, 1863 the representatives of four lodges met at Aetna, Missouri and organized what has since become known as the National Order of the A. H. T. A.  Major David McKee was elected president at that meeting and Jacob S. Bennington was elected secretary.


          The following information taken from 1903 A.H.T.A. Booklet


 The first lodge of the A. H. T. A. was organized at Luray, Clark County, Missouri, in September 1865.  In October of the same year this lodge met at Millport, Missouri and completed the organization, adopted a constitution and by-laws and elected Major David McKee as the first president and William Everhart the first secretary.

          The A. H. T. A. was born of necessity.  At the close of the Civil War thieves and robbers were thick in Missouri and the officers of the law could not cope with them.  Something had to be done to protect the people, and the A. H. T. A, was organized.  It did good and effective work.  It helped rid the country of the lawless elements.  Other localities saw the benefit of the association and organized branches. 

Courts recognize its value and approve it, ministers praise it and all good people recognize it as a great exponent of right, justice and honesty.


1903 Jurisdictions


          The national order of the A. H. T. A. is sub-divide into five division or jurisdictions known as Missouri, Illinois, Kansas, Oklahoma and Indian Territory jurisdictions. 

The Missouri jurisdiction is composed of all the sub-orders in the states of Missouri, Iowa, Arkansas and Louisiana;

The Illinois jurisdiction of the sub-orders in Illinois, Michigan, Indiana and all the territory south of the Ohio and east of the Mississippi rivers not otherwise districted;

The Oklahoma jurisdiction, of those in Oklahoma, Texas, and all of the Indian Territory south of the south line of the Cherokee nation;

The Indian Territory jurisdiction, all of the Indian Territory not embraced in the Oklahoma division;

The Kansas jurisdiction of those in Kansas, Nebraska and all territory north, south and west not otherwise districted.


1911 Jurisdictions


          The National Order is dived into Sate Divisions, with jurisdictions as follows:


Missouri Division-- with jurisdiction over Missouri and Iowa.

Illinois Division—Over Illinois, Michigan, Indiana, and all territory south of the Ohio and east of the Mississippi rivers, not otherwise districted.

West Oklahoma—Over West Oklahoma and New Mexico.

Indian Territory Division—Over West Oklahoma and Texas.

Kansas Division--Over Kansas, Nebraska, and all territory North and West, not otherwise districted.

Ohio Division—Over Ohio, Kentucky, West Virginias and Pennsylvania.

Arkansas Division—Over Arkansas and Louisiana.


Form Of Union


The A. H. T. A. Is Composed Of Three Distinct Departments Or Orders:

National Order

State Orders or Divisions

Sub-orders or Lodges


“Thou Shalt Not Steal”


          The National Order is composed of its officers and delegates from the State Orders.  It meet annually on the first Thursday in October, at which time it elects its officers, makes the General Laws for the entire Order, and formulates a Secret Work for the ensuing year.

          A State Order or Division is composed of its officers and delegates from the Sub-orders within its jurisdiction.  It meets annually, in October, elects its officers, makes he laws for its government and for the Sub-orders; elects delegates to the National Order and imparts the secret work to the delegates, who carry it to their respective Sub-orders.

          A Sub-order is composed of individual membership.  It makes the laws for is local government, elects its officers and delegates to the State Order meeting annually, in September.  It meets monthly, or oftener, if it chooses and holds special meetings if it is necessary.  The sub-orders have direct charge over the work of the order in their respective localities, but may call on and receive assistance from other Sub-orders when needed.

Who May Join and How

          Any reputable citizen, twenty-one years old or over is eligible to membership.  Widows and other ladies owning property may secure the protection of the order by paying the membership fee and the annual dues provided the sub-order accepts their application but the ladies cannot attend the meeting of the sub-order.

          Persons wishing to join the A. H. T. A. should apply to the sub-order nearest to their home.  In localities where there no sub-orders a new sub-order may be organized upon the petition of twelve or more reputable citizens, by applying to the president of the estate or division in which they reside.  The charter fees for a new lodge are $5, and should accompany the application for a charter.  If there is no sub-order in your locality, write to the state president of the division in which you reside, for instructions and blank application for charter.

          Only law-abiding citizens are permitted to become members of the A. H. T. A. and retrogrades are promptly expelled.  The best men of the country in which it exists compose its membership and employ no methods in carrying out the work of the order that cannot be readily endorsed by any good citizen, minister of court of justice.  The order in no way interferes with private affair or molests law abiding citizens, but does much to show rascals that truly “the way of he transgressor is hard.

          Any Lady may make application to become a Protective member, and have her property protected by paying the membership fee and lodge dues, provided, the lodge accept her application.  Widows of deceased members are under the same protection of the Order as if the husband had lived.  Ladies cannot attend regular meetings of the order.

Methods of Operation

          One great strength of the A. H. T. A. lies in the co-operation of the sub-orders.  If a thief is now to be going in a certain direction the telegraph or telephone wires are used to notify the Antis ahead and they are put on the lookout for the thief and take him in charge when he arrives.

          The expenses of capture thieve and recovering property is paid by the sub-orders, and the value of the article stolen is frequently not taken into consideration when searching for thief.  The order decrees that the laws of the land must be obeyed and it goes after the thief to capture him even though it costs two or three times the value of the stolen property.  Thieves have learned this fact and the result is they do much less stealing, especially from the A. H. T. A.  An individual would not spend $50 to recover a $25 horse; the A. H. T. A. would, because of the moral effect of such actions.


          The seal of the Grand Order shall consist of a circular impression two inches in diameter.  Around the margin shall be the words: “Oklahoma Grand Order A. H. T. A.,” and inside the foregoing a delicate “horse-shoe,” and inside the horse-shoe, “Organized December 26, 1895,” above the horse-shoe and inside the outer circle the words, “Semper Fiedles,”—The Latin Motto—“Always Faithful.” Constitution Oklahoma Grand Order







On Covers Of The Booklets Used For Reference



The Cost


          The membership or adoption fee to a sub-order is $1.  The local lodge dues are regulated by each sub-order according to its needs.  Each jurisdiction fixes its grand lodge or state dues.  In the Indian Territory division the only sate dues are 25 cents per member, annually.  The A. H. T. A. is the cheapest fraternal, protective organization in existence.


A.   H. T. A. In Oklahoma


The first charter of the Anti-Horse Thief Association in Oklahoma Territory was granted on July 27, 1894 with headquarters in Arapaho. The Grand Order of the A. H. T. A. of Oklahoma was organized in 1895.

In 1893 the first sub-order of the A. H. T. A. was established in Cleveland County.




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