Elvin Earl Helms, Sr.
Born: July 5, 1898
Initiated: May 10, 1927
Passed: June 14, 1927
Raised: July 16, 1927
Died: December 23, 1972
Brother Helms was a lifelong resident of Petersburg, Kentucky. He was educated in the public schools of Aurora, Indiana. He traveled to school by taking a boat across the Ohio River.
Brother Helms was the owner and operator of Helms Garage in Petersburg, where he worked as a mechanic and ran the service station. During Brother Helm’s lifetime, the garage was the unofficial community center for the Petersburg community. Brother Helms and his wife, the former Emma Nixon, had four children — one son and three daughters.
Brother Helms served as Master of Petersburg Lodge No. 926 in 1931.
Brother Helms served as Secretary of Petersburg Lodge No. 926 from January of 1932 until his death in December of 1972 (41 years).
On September 8, 2007, Petersburg Lodge No. 926 was renamed and rechartered as Elvin E. Helms Lodge No. 926 to honor the service of Brother Helms and his son, Brother Elvin E. Helms Jr.
Elvin Earl Helms, Jr.
Born: July 23, 1927
Initiated: September 14, 1948
Passed: October 23, 1948
Raised: December 22, 1948
Died: January 19, 2012
Brother Elvin E. Helms, Jr. is also a lifelong resident of Petersburg, Kentucky. He is a graduate of Hebron High School (Class of 1945), where he was class valedictorian. He later graduated from the University of Kentucky (Class of 1950), where he received a Bachelor’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering. Brother Helm’s devotion to University of Kentucky athletics is legendary.
Brother Helms spent his professional career with Cincinnati Gas & Electric Company.
Brother Helms served as Master of Petersburg Lodge No. 926 in 1954 and again in 1967. He also served as Treasurer for the years 1969 through 1972. Brother Helms then served as Secretary of Petersburg Lodge No. 926 from January of 1973 through December of 2008 (36 years).
Brother Helms service as Secretary is made all the more extraordinary by the fact that he was born without hands. Declining the use of prosthetics at an early age, Brother Helms learned how to write, drive, and perform life’s daily functions without the use of hands. Below is an excerpt from the Secretary’s Minute Book written by Brother Helms:
As you can see, Brother Helm’s handicap did not prevent him from writing in clear and flowing script.
Every Mason who has attended Elvin E. Helms Lodge No. 926 (or Petersburg Lodge as it was formerly known) in the last half century has been inspired by the work of Brother Elvin E. Helms, Jr. His ability to overcome such a severe handicap serves as a constant reminder that hardship may be overcome through determination and effort. His cheerfulness, brotherly love, and service to his Lodge and community allow us to see our perceived difficulties in a different perspective.
Past Master and Secretary Elvin E. Helms, Jr. enjoyed lunch at The Greyhound Tavern in Ft. Mitchell with Bros. Ed Tanner, P.M. and Dan Kemble. Summer, 2010.