The Hillbillies were started in the late 1960s at El Hasa Temple in Ashland, Kentucky, by Noble Jim Harris. Harris decided there needed to be a sideline degree that devoted its time and resources to the Shrine Hospitals. He received permission from his Potentate to start The Grand and Glorious Order of the Hillbilly Degree. Calling on his experiences as a real hillbilly, he then wrote a ritual. Today, it is the largest group within the Shrine, with more than 175 Temples having charters.