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17-1701. Incorporation; powers and duties. Any religious society, military or fire company, literary, charitable or benevolent association, other than colleges, universities, academies or seminaries, or any grand or subordinate lodge of Free and Accepted Masons, or of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, Knights of Pythias, Knights of Honor, Ancient Order of United Workmen, Independent Order of Mutual Aid, Good Templars, or any other secret benevolent association or organization, may by the consent of a majority of its members become bodies corporate under this act, by filing the charter required by this act, electing directors or trustees, and performing the things as are directed in the case of other corporations; and when so organized shall have all the powers and privileges and be subject to all the restrictions in this act contained, for the objects named in the charter, and shall have the same power to make bylaws for the regulation of their affairs as other corporations, and shall have the power to adopt a bylaw to reduce the number of its directors or trustees to not less than three, and to incorporate with that number, and to prescribe their term of office, and to do and perform all other acts in accordance with the objects of the said lodges respectively. Such directors or trustees shall not usurp or exercise the functions of the officers in charge of the spiritual affairs of any society.

History: L. 1879, ch. 89, § 1; March 13; R.S. 1923, 17-1701.

Source or Prior Law:

L. 1866, ch. 57, § 43; G.S. 1868, ch. 23, § 122; L. 1874, ch. 52, § 1.


1. Fraternal insurance orders cannot take property under a will. Kennett v. Kidd, 87 Kan. 652, 125 P. 36; Kennett v. Kidd, 89 Kan. 4, 5, 7, 130 P. 694.

2. Constitution cannot be amended by bylaw; constitution provides for amendments. Kirkpatrick v. Abrahams, 98 Kan. 685, 687, 159 P. 13.

3. Section cited in specially concurring opinion on question of right of K.K.K. to do business. State v. Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, 117 Kan. 564, 580, 232 P. 254, 262.

4. Religious society may accept gift conditioned on paying annual sum to donor. Barger v. French, 122 Kan. 607, 611, 253 P. 230.

5. Benevolent society held liable for employee's negligence unrelated to charitable purpose. McMillen v. Summunduwot Lodge, 143 Kan. 502, 505, 54 P.2d 985.

6. A church corporation has no immunity as to liability in tort and is liable for wrongful death resulting from fall on church property. McAtee v. St. Paul's Mission, 190 Kan. 518, 376 P.2d 823.

7. An organization incorporated under this statute may be charitable for one purpose and not for others. In re Estate of Bauer, 192 Kan. 538, 539, 544, 390 P.2d 16.

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