Knights Templar Hat Artifact Highlight #14

This beautiful Knights Templar hat was donated to our collection in 2015.

The Knights Templar is an organization inspired by the original Knights Templar, which was a Christian military order founded in the early 12th century and which fought during the Crusades. Its full name is the United Religious, Military and Masonic Orders of the Temple and of St. John of Jerusalem, Palestine, Rhodes and Malta.

The mission of the Knights Templar organization is to protect and advance Christian principles by funding schools and scholarships and raising money for Christian causes.

Guy Lukens in Knights Templar uniform. Among his many roles, Lukens served as Chief of the Auburn Fire Department from 1905 to 1946.

There are a variety of crosses that adorn Templar uniforms. The cross on the hat is the Latin Cross or the Passion Cross with rays emanating from it.

This hat belonged to Michael David Lininger, a master builder, Mason and former mayor of Auburn.

Lininger is pictured to the right, circa 1865.

Lininger was born in Cumberland, Pennsylvania in 1842 and moved to Iowa as a small child. In 1861, Lininger married Anna Moore and when the Civil War broke out, he enlisted in the Union Army 28th Iowa Volunteers in the rank of sergeant where he took part in the battles of Vicksburg, Red River, Shenandoah, Berryville, Winchester, Fisher’s Hill and Cedar Creek.

After receiving an honorable discharge in August 1865, Lininger returned to Iowa. In 1872 he moved his family to Ophir and later, to Auburn.

Michael Lininger, known throughout town as “Uncle Dave,” was a building contractor in charge of erecting many buildings in Auburn, including the the Episcopal Church and the Congregational Church.

Auburn Congregational Church c. 1892

He also participated in the political and social life of Placer County, serving several terms in the Auburn City Council and two years as the mayor of Auburn.

Lininger was also a prominent Mason and a member of the Knights Templar.

When he died in Auburn in 1931, his obituary described "Uncle Dave" as a man who was "loved by all who knew him and respected even by those who differed with him on civic enterprises for his honesty in dealing fairly and squarely with every problem which came before him."