Learn more about Hoo-Hoo

The following is a collection of stories and articles about the fascinating world of the Hoo-Hoo!

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Hoo-Hoo International, Not Your Father’s Skull and Bones

January 21, 1892: On this day, the International Concatenated Order of Hoo-Hoo, a fraternal society for men in the lumber industry, was founded in Gurdon, Arkansas.  The Order owes its birth to a train delay. As the story goes, Bolling Arthur Johnson, a journalist for Chicago’s Timberman trade newspaper; George K. Smith, secretary for the Southern Lumber Manufacturers Association in St. Louis; and three others arrived in Gurdon as a connection point. Journeying from the meeting of the Arkansas Yellow Pine Manufacturer’s Association the men were delayed for seven hours and looked for ways to fill time.

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A Brief History of Women in Hoo-Hoo

Not a great many of our members realize that the Concatenated Order of Hoo-Hoo has one member who would not take offense if referred to as no gentleman. In the early days of the organization, and before there was incorporated into the constitution the provision that membership be confined strictly to men over twenty-one, there occurred a lumber convention and a concatenation at Memphis, Tennessee, on which occasion, the ceremonies being somewhat modified, a lady was duly initiated. 

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Who? The Hoo-Hoo

Gurdon, Ark. - With nothing else to do, five men who were stranded in Gurdon in January 1892, created a mysterious fraternity among lumbermen known as the International Concatenated Order of Hoo-Hoo. Almost 117 years later, a museum in Gurdon boasts a collection of artifacts from the fraternity, from the world’s largest known board to a few wooden toilet seats hanging on a wall. The museum is also home to the Hoo-Hoo International Headquarters, where every other year the fraternity’s board — headed by the Grand Snark of the Universe — meets at the mid-year board meeting to discuss Hoo-Hoo business as well as timber industry happenings around the world.

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East Texas Town Site of Historic Lumber Fraternity

Separated by more than 200 miles, Gurdon, Ark., and Lufkin share a unique legacy: the Concatenated Order of the Hoo Hoo, an international fraternity of lumbermen. In the 1890s, Lufkin had a community band sponsored by the Lufkin Weekly Tribune. The “Trib Band” often performed on Lufkin’s downtown Cotton Square. Around 1903, Johnny Bonner, a Lufkin native living in Houston, contacted Tom Humason, a member of the Trib Band, and invited the band to accompany the Texas Hoo Hoo delegation to an international meeting in Milwaukee. The band’s performances, featuring ragtime music, were greeted with such wild enthusiasm by the Hoo Hoo members that the Trib Band was named the official band of the order.
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Gurdon: Home of Hoo-Hoo International and Forestry Museum

Gurdon, a timber town, is famous for its role as the founding place of the International Concatenated Order of the Hoo-Hoo, the oldest industrial fraternal organization in the nation. There is a museum in town you can visit to learn more about this organization called the Hoo-Hoo International and Forestry Museum. This lumbermen’s fraternity was founded in 1892 by six lumber industry workers stranded in town by a train derailment. Staying at Hotel Hall, they started talking about starting an organization that would promote the lumber industry that would be fun and not boring.”

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