West Virginia Code


Chapter 35     Entire Code



§35-3-1. Acquisition of real estate by unincorporated grand lodges; maximum quantity; exemption from taxation.

It shall be lawful for the grand lodges of the Knights of Pythias, Independent Order of Odd Fellows, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons, Junior Order United American Mechanics, Improved Order of Red Men, and other organizations of like character, to acquire by purchase, devise or gift, and hold the same for the purpose of establishing, erecting, and maintaining thereon homes or asylums for the care and support of orphans and widows of deceased members, and of disabled and aged members of said organizations in indigent circumstances, respectively, such quantity of real estate within this state, as shall be necessary, not exceeding five hundred acres of land in the aggregate, upon which to erect, construct and maintain such buildings as may be necessary to care for and maintain therein and thereon all such persons as may be eligible to admission thereto; and all of such land to be cultivated, or otherwise utilized, for the benefit and support of such homes or asylums. The real estate thus acquired together with such personal property as may be needed in the administration of the affairs of said homes or asylums shall be exempt from every species of taxation as long as used for the purpose of such homes or asylums.

§35-3-2. Regulations and boards for government.

Any such grand lodge desiring to establish a home or asylum shall adopt and prescribe such rules and regulations for the government and control thereof as may be deemed wise by such grand body; and it shall appoint a board of directors, trustees, regents or commissioners, composed of a specified number of persons from its own membership, not fewer than seven nor more than eleven, to serve for definite periods; and any such grand lodge may select for each of such boards two members from the associate branches of the orders, known as Pythian Sisters, Rebekahs, Eastern Star, or other like organizations, as the case may be. Such board shall have the management and control of the home or asylum for which it is appointed, under the prescribed rules and regulations adopted by said body for the government thereof. Such board of directors, trustees, regents or commissioners shall organize by the election of a president, secretary and treasurer, and, if necessary or expedient, an executive committee, all from its own membership.

§35-3-3. Boards to be corporations; powers.

Such boards shall be corporate bodies; and as such shall be governed by all the provisions of law relating to, and have and exercise all the privileges and powers of, nonstock corporations.

§35-3-4. Corporate name.

Each board of directors, trustees, regents, or commissioners, appointed under the provisions of this article, shall be styled and known by such corporate name as may be designated and bestowed thereon by the grand body appointing or creating such board.

§35-3-5. Incorporated grand lodges may establish homes or asylums.

Any grand lodge enumerated in this article, or any similar grand lodge, heretofore or hereafter incorporated as such grand lodge under the laws of this state, shall be authorized and empowered to take by purchase, gift, devise or otherwise, land not to exceed five hundred acres for the purpose of establishing and maintaining homes or asylums for orphans, widows, aged and indigent members and dependents, and in and under its corporate name may hold or dispose of such land under such regulations and restrictions as said grand lodge may prescribe.

§35-3-6. Provisions of article not to apply to organizations connected with churches.

Nothing in this article contained shall authorize the incorporation of any society or organization connected directly or indirectly with any church, religious sect or denomination, and nothing in this article contained shall authorize any society or organization, connected directly or indirectly with any church, religious sect, society, or denomination to have or acquire any real estate.

§35-3-7. Enticement of residents away from fraternal home; harboring or influencing inmate to violate rules; improper intercourse with female resident of home.

Any person who shall entice or attempt to entice away from any home maintained or kept by any of the fraternal organizations specified in section one of this article, or any other organization of like character, any resident of any such home; or shall aid or abet any resident of any such home to leave the same without proper authority; or shall harbor, conceal or aid or abet in harboring or concealing any resident of any such home who shall have left such home without proper authority; or shall in any way knowingly cause or influence or knowingly attempt to cause or influence any resident in any such home to violate any rule of the home, or to rebel against the government of the home in any particular; or shall have or attempt to have any improper or unlawful communication or intercourse with any female resident of such home, knowing her to be a resident thereof, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and, on conviction thereof, shall be fined not less than $10 nor more than $500, or imprisoned not exceeding one year, or, in the discretion of the court, both fined and imprisoned.

If any person shall aid or abet the commission of any of the offenses named in this section, or aid or abet an attempt to commit the same, he shall be punished as herein provided the same as if he were the principal. In the trial of any indictment for committing any of the offenses named in this section, the accused may be found guilty of an attempt to commit the same, or of aiding or abetting another in committing or attempting to commit the same.

Note: WV Code updated with legislation passed through the 2017 Regular Session
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