History OF Rebekahs       

Odd Fellows, recognizing the need for a woman's touch and her helpfulness in carrying out the principles of Odd Fellowship, brought into being the Rebekah Degree, founded upon the principles of faithfulness, hospitality, purity and dedication to the principles of the Order as portrayed by women characters of the Bible.

Colfax

The degree of Rebekah was accepted in 1851 as written by Schuyler Colfax.

The degree was originally written for Brothers to confer on their wives and daughters and was considered an "Honorary Degree". The degree could only be conferred at a special meeting and Brothers could also receive the degree, much the same as today.

Later the Sisters were allowed to confer the degree on other Sisters, a ritual was adopted with the Sisters taking the parts. Rebekah Lodges were instituted and have continued to flourish.

This ritual has changed very little since 1851. It includes lessons from the biblical stories in the Old Testament of the women of the Bible.


We use emblems teaching lessons that are invaluable to be a Rebekah. The beehive, representing associated industry and the result of united effort. The moon and seven stars which teaches us the value of regularity in all our work. The dove, the beautiful emblem of peace. The white lily, a symbol of purity.


REBEKAH CREED

I AM A REBEKAH:
I believe in the Fatherhood of God, the Brotherhood of man, and the Sisterhood of woman.
I believe in the watch-words of our Order - Friendship, Love and Truth.
Friendship - is like a golden chain that ties our hearts together. Love - is one of our most precious gifts, the more you give, the more you receive. Truth - is the standard by which we value people. It is the foundation of our society.
I believe that my main concern should be my God, my family and my friends. Then I should reach out to my community and the World, for in God's eyes we are all brothers and sisters.
I AM A REBEKAH!


COLFAX BUILT BETTER THAN HE KNEW

When in 1851, the Grand Lodge of the United States gave its sanction to establish the Rebekah Degree, it added the fairest pillar which adorns and supports the Temple of Odd Fellowship. Woman's valuable cooperation in our work of benevolence has long been recognized and at last, to her, was cheerfully assigned to her a place in our history thereby attesting the claims to nobility of character, to faithfulness in friendship, to self-sacrificing love and non-deviating perseverance in all that is good and true. That she has been noble, vindicated that claim is the universal testimony of the Order everywhere and Odd Fellows are not only proud but thankful that her sympathy has been enlisted and her womanly influence added to our strength.

Woman is naturally an Odd Fellow in our acceptance of the term. Did ever the cry of the suffering or the moan of the disconsolate fall unheeded upon her ear? Did ever distress or want call for active ministration of woman in vain? Never! The natural promptings of her heart, kindness, love and tenderness forbid the thought. The full measure of woman's influence in the work of Odd Fellowship has never been properly estimated and only time will enable us to establish its true value and then glancing backward upon its glorious achievements know her true value.

Man in his pride and vigor, when health, like a strong arm circles him about, enabling him to battle alone against the storms of life, may refuse to acknowledge and recognize the true worth of woman but when sickness lays its prostrating hand upon him and strength departs, leaving the boasted giant helpless. When adversity, like a cloud of darkness encompasses him about, when friends who once sang his praises and fattened upon his plenty, turn coldly away and desert him in his need. When life is slowly fading, Rebekah assumes her station.

By J. Edward Stallings.
 

Schuyler Colfax

Rebekah Lodges

Flourish

The International Association of Rebekah Assemblies

One of the most fiercest battles in our fraternal history occurred at the session of the Grand Lodge of the United States held in Baltimore, Maryland, September 20, 1851. After the clouds had passed away it was 46 votes for the Rebekah Degree and 37 against. At the time it really was only a hollow victory because it became a side or Honorary Degree. For seventeen years, there was no real organization and the Rebekahs began to hold their meetings without benefit of a Subordinate Lodge and to make matters worse, their meetings, as well as socials, were held on Sundays.

In 1866, the Most Worthy Grand Sire Veith appointed a committee to study the violations; to either take the Degree of the books or furnish the necessary means to improve it. On September 25, 1868, by a vote of 69 to 28, Resolutions were presented authorizing the institution of Degree Lodges of the Daughters of Rebekah. This authorization put the Degree on a plane with Odd Fellow's Lodges. This gave them the right to elect their own Officers, charge for initiation fees, collect dues and minister to relief and suffering. It is recorded that Past Grand Sire Farnsworth said, "It sure seems silly to call a Brother a sister". In 1874, the name of Daughters of Rebekahs was changed to Degree of Rebekah.

It is clear to see that the Grand Lodge of the United States organized the Rebekah Degree and then left it entirely alone. It soon became apparent that further legislation was needed because the reports were confused and unsatisfactory. A better system was employed with proper papers to report on. Great improvements were made which led to better service.

The first National Convention of the Degree of Rebekah was held in Columbus, Ohio, September 17, 18, 19, 20, 1889. It was quite a celebration with a banquet with 500 in attendance. Many eloquent speeches were made by distinguished guests. The convention was called to order by Past Most Worthy Grand Sire Nickolson of Boston as he was chairman.

Mrs. Mary E. Rea of Missouri was the first President elected. The International Association of Rebekah Assemblies was founded in 1922 at Detroit, Michigan. By 1927, all Rebekah Assemblies had joined except California. That Assembly joined at Sacramento, California in 1949. Being a large Assembly, it added greatly to its membership. The Rebekah Assembly of Cuba joined in 1955.

It was natural and logical that Colfax should use the women of the Bible in creating a Degree for women. He chose Rebekah for affection. He chose Ester for Patriotism. He chose Sarah for Faith. He chose Deborah for Courage. He chose Miriam for Zeal and Devotion. He chose Mother of Sampson and Hannah for Piety. Why did he chose the name Rebekah? Was it because she was the most lovable woman of the Bible? Was it because Daughters of Rebekahs sounded better than Daughters of Sarah?... or Ruth? ... or Ester? It must have been because he wished to symbolize unselfishness because Rebekah, more than others, displayed that trait in the scene at the well. There is a hint of self in all the others, Hannah, Deborah, Ruth, Sarah and Miriam were serving their own loved ones, but Rebekah is shown ministering to the poor unknown stranger. For that reason, the Daughters of Rebekah pledge themselves to follow her example.

History OF ODD FELLOWS

 

Thomas Wildey

IOOF The Independent Order of Odd Fellows

To Improve and Elevate the Character of Man

In 17th century England, it was odd to find people organized for the purpose of giving aid to those in need and of pursuing projects for the benefit of all mankind. Those who belonged to such an organization were called "Odd Fellows". Odd Fellows are also known as "The Three Links Fraternity" which stands for Friendship, Love and Truth.

The Independent Order of Odd Fellows was founded on the North American Continent in Baltimore, Maryland, on April 26, 1819 when Thomas Wildey and four members of the Order from England instituted Washington Lodge No. 1. This lodge received its charter from Manchester Unity of Odd Fellows in England.

Odd Fellowship became the 1st national fraternity to include both men and women when it adopted the beautiful Rebekah Degree on September 20, 1851. This degree is based on the teachings found in the Holy Bible, and was written by the Honorable Schuyler Colfax who was Vice President of the United States during the period 1868-1873. Odd Fellows and Rebekahs were also the first fraternal organization to establish homes for our senior members and for orphaned children.

History of Odd Fellowship:

This page is an excerpt from
 

The Three Link Fraternity - Odd Fellowship in California

by Don R. Smith and Wayne Roberts
 

History of Odd Fellowship

WHY THE NAME ODD FELLOWS?

There are several different reasons given for our strange name. One old and apparently authoritative history of Odd Fellowship gives the explanation, "That common laboring men should associate themselves together and form a fraternity for social unity and fellowship and for mutual help was such a marked violation of the trends of the times (England in the 1700's) that they became known as 'peculiar' or 'odd,' and hence they were derided as 'Odd Fellows.' Because of the appropriateness of the name, those engaged in forming these unions accepted it. When legally incorporated the title 'Odd Fellows' was adopted."

Another, similar explanation is that the original Odd Fellows were men who were engaged in various or odd trades, as there were organizations for some of the larger trades.

Modern references state that the true reason for the name Odd Fellows isn't known or documented. Whatever the reason may have been, the unusual name has been the object of public curiosity (and on occasion derision or mirth) for well over 200 years.

THE BEGINNING OF ODD FELLOWSHIP

Although some books claim to trace Odd Fellowship back to Roman times when members of the Roman Legions in England were called "Fellow Citizens", what is said to be the earliest printed record of an Odd Fellows Lodge appears in a reference to a lodge meeting at a Globe Tavern in England, in 1748. This lodge was numbered nine, so apparently there were at least nine associated Odd Fellows lodges at that time.

Other evidence suggests that our origins were in an organization known as the Ancient Order of Bucks which thrived in England in the 18th Century, and had as its emblem three bucks with their antlers intertwined. These men had as their leader a "Most Noble Grand" and met in club rooms and taverns. One of their principal emblems was "a bundle of sticks," familiar to modern Odd Fellows as signifying strength in union. They dropped "Bucks" from the name in 1802. Whatever the origin, solid evidence begins to be found in the late 18th Century. By 1796 Odd Fellow organizations were numerous in England, and each was independent from the others. Fraternal groups such as the Odd Fellows were suppressed in England for a time, but by 1803 the Odd Fellows were revived by an organization called "London Union Odd Fellows," which later became known as the "Grand Lodge of England" and assumed authority over all Odd Fellow lodges in that country.

Victory Lodge in Manchester declared itself independent of the Grand Lodge of England in 1809. In 1814, the six Odd Fellows lodges in the Manchester area met and formed The Manchester Unity of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, which elected officers and proceeded to standardize degree work of the lodges.

ODD FELLOWSHIP IN NORTH AMERICA

Among the first records of the Order in America is that of five Brothers of the English Order who met in New York City in 1806, and formed Shakespeare Lodge No. 1.

The founders were three boat builders, a comedian and a vocalist - a group befitting the name "Odd Fellows," indeed. The lodge was self instituted, a common practice in those times.  Their first candidate was a retired actor who was the keeper of the tavern where they met. Accounts state that lodge meetings were accompanied by merry making and mirth, and that the wares of the tavern were freely indulged in. This lodge was dissolved in 1813 due to poor attendance brought on by controversy over the War of 1812.

Another lodge of which little is known existed briefly in New York in 1816. In 1818, Shakespeare Lodge in New York was re-instituted, in the Red Cow tavern, operated by a former member who had in his keeping the books and papers of the former lodge. They claimed to have received a charter from the Manchester Unity which gave them authority over all other Odd Fellows Lodges in the United States, but this authority was not accepted by other lodges. Several more lodges were founded in the New York City area, and one in Philadelphia, due to the efforts of the Brothers of Shakespeare Lodge.

The Independent Order of Odd Fellows as we know it today began in Baltimore, Maryland, where five members of the Order from England founded Washington Lodge No. 1 on April 26,1819, by self-institution. One of these Brothers was Thomas Wildey, the first Noble Grand and the man revered as the founder of Odd Fellowship in North America. A charter was received from Duke of York Lodge in Preston, England, in 1820, a year and a half after its self-institution.

A second lodge was formed in Baltimore in 1819, but these two lodges and those in New York were unaware of each others' existence for some time, communications being slow in those days, and there being no reason such information would travel from one city to another except by pure chance.

In 1821, the "Grand Lodge of Maryland and of the United States of America, of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows," was founded. Brother Wildey also served as the first Grand Master/Grand Sire of the first Grand Lodge, for a period of 12 years. Several more lodges were established, and in 1824, the "Grand Lodge of the United States" now termed "The Sovereign Grand Lodge," was separated from the Grand Lodge of Maryland. The Independent Order of Odd Fellows in North America (United States and Canada) became independent from the Order in England in 1834.

ODD FELLOWSHIP EXPANDS WEST

There were several abortive attempts to establish Odd Fellowship in the Western United States, beginning in the late 1840's.

One of the first occurred when a member, leading a party sailing from Gloucester, Massachusetts, to what he called "the City of Oregon, on the Columbia River," obtained a charter through what was, at best, irregular channels. He had written to both the Grand Sire and the Grand Secretary of the Grand Lodge of the United States, after which he alleged that they had directed him to obtain necessary papers and authority from a Deputy Grand Sire in Massachusetts. Asked by the Deputy Grand Sire to see the letters, the Brother in question stated they had been packed by mistake, and were now on the ship, about to sail for Oregon.

However, the ship and its party of Odd Fellows reached not the "City of Oregon," but the Sandwich Islands, and established the first Odd Fellows Lodge west of the Mississippi River, Excelsior Lodge No. 1, in Honolulu, Hawaii, with the charter signed by King Kamehameha, the reigning monarch of the Sandwich Islands which were later renamed the Hawaiian Islands.

ODD FELLOWSHIP IN CALIFORNIA

The good works of Odd Fellowship were in evidence in California prior to the official establishment of the fraternity here. The official establishment of Odd Fellowship in California had its birth in the City of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where a short time prior to January 12, 1849, the Most Worthy Grand Sire, Horn R. Kneass, issued a charter entitled "California Lodge No. l."

Due to the excitement of the discovery of gold at Coloma, in January, 1848, the Port of Yerba Buena (San Francisco) was in a turmoil throughout 1849. Two of the three petitioners left for the gold fields in the "Mother Lode," to seek their fortunes. Everything pertaining to Odd Fellowship was left with James Smiley. He made one or two attempts, within the next three months to organize an Odd Fellows lodge, but with so many leaving for the gold fields, the idea was abandoned.

When some of the brothers returned from the gold fields, he was able to gather a sufficient number of former brothers to assist in making up the complement of charter members, required by the laws under which they secured the charter. On September 9, 1849, one year to the day before California was admitted to the Union as the 31st State, California Lodge No. 1 came into being, in the City of San Francisco, with Brother Smiley instituting the lodge.

San Francisco Odd Fellows Temple

SAN FRANCISCO ODD FELLOWS TEMPLE: The Odd Fellows Temple, located on the corner of Seventh and Market Streets in San Francisco, was one of the showpieces in the city. The structure was destroyed during the 1906 earthquake, the Odd Fellows rebuilt on the same site with a comparable building. For many years the Grand Lodge office was located in the San Francisco Odd Fellows Temple.

Several months previous to the organization of California Lodge No. 1 the brothers of San Francisco were at work relieving the suffering, and during a few months they expended over $100,000. It was not unusual during this period, and for a number of years, to cost a member $5.00 or even $10.00 to attend a meeting, for there was no regular means of collecting dues, or paying benefits, and the calls for aid were many.

An interesting feature of California Lodge No. 1 during their formation period was their dues structure. They adopted their first By Laws November 25, 1850, and the initiation fee was set at $50.00; dues, $10.00 per quarter in advance; and no benefits were to be paid a Brother who was able to pay his own expenses. Two years later San Francisco Lodge No. 3 was established.

In Sacramento an association was organized by a Texas Odd Fellow, A. M. Winn, later the founder of the Native Sons of the Golden West. The brother published a notice in the "Pacific News" calling all Odd Fellows together. More than 100 three linkers assembled on August 20, 1849, to organize a relief association. They had no authority to organize and adopt the Odd Fellows name but the necessities of the times demanded prompt action. Brother Winn was elected President, and he was authorized to call upon any member to nurse the sick free of charge, when nurses were receiving $16.00 a day for such services. The Odd Fellows were joined by the Masons in establishing the first hospital in California, and within a few months had expended some $30,000.00 in relieving distress. Shortly thereafter Sacramento Lodge No. 2 was instituted and the following year Eureka Lodge No. 4 was formed. Odd Fellow relief associations were also organized in Stockton and Marysville, soon followed by the institution of Charity Lodge No. 6 in Stockton and Yuba Lodge No. 5 in Marysville. In addition to San Francisco, Sacramento, Stockton and Marysville, many Odd Fellow lodges were soon established throughout the Mother Lode area of the Sierra Nevada Mountains.

In time, Odd Fellowship spread throughout the state. The list of lodges once included almost every city, town or hamlet, in the "Golden State". At one time, lodges in the Oregon and Washington Territory, along with those in British Columbia, were under the jurisdiction of the Grand Lodge of California.

INTERNATIONAL ODD FELLOWSHIP

The early day Odd Fellows in California played an important part in the spreading of Odd Fellowship to other countries when Templer Lodge No. 15 of San Francisco by unanimous vote appropriated $1,200 to establish the Order in Germany in 1869. Wuerttemberg Lodge No. 1 of Stuttgart was instituted the following year by John A. Morse, a Past Grand Master of California. From Germany the Order spread to many other countries and territories throughout Europe. The Order is presently located in Australia, Austria, Belgium, Chile, Cuba, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, Labrador, New Zealand, Norway, The Netherlands, Peru, Puerto Rico, Sweden, Switzerland, Uruguay, and Venezuela. Due to recent political changes in Eastern Europe and the Balkan countries, Odd Fellowship has already been re-established in Leipzig, Germany. The ground work is being laid to establish lodges in other parts of the former Eastern area of Germany, Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia, Poland, and Hungary, under the leadership of the Odd Fellows in Europe.

A series of short historical articles in an 1988 issue of The Illinois Odd Fellow, from which some of these notes were taken, mentions that in 1827 the fourth lodge in Maryland, William Tell Lodge No. 4, was chartered to work in the German language. Eventually, many jurisdictions had German-speaking lodges, and German Rituals were provided. In California, Harmony Lodge No. 13, Concordia Lodge No. 122, and Hermann Lodge No. 145 were all established in San Francisco in the 1850's and 1860's, originally working in the German language as did lodges in other California cities. Likewise lodges working in the Italian, Swedish, and French languages were instituted, and today Franco-American Lodge No. 207 is still a bilingual French speaking lodge in California.
 

Thomas Wildey
Founder of North American Odd Fellowship

Thomas Wildey, founder of Odd Fellowship in North America, was a man of immense vitality, humor, and warmth.

Thomas Wildey was born in London, England, in 1782. He was left an orphan five years later - and the Odd Fellow pledge to "Educate the Orphan" sprang from his personal childhood experiences. At the age of 14, Wildey went to live with an uncle. After he had 9 years of schooling, he became an apprentice to a maker of coach springs. He joined the Odd Fellows in 1804.

When restlessness brought Thomas Wildey to America in 1817, the British were still unpopular in the States because of the War of 1812. In that year Baltimore was suffering both a yellow fever epidemic and mass unemployment. An outgoing personality, Wildey missed companionship and advertised in the newspaper to determine if there were any other Odd Fellows in Baltimore; he requested them to meet him at the Seven Stars Inn.

On April 26, 1819, Wildey and the four men who responded to the advertisement formed the Independent Order of Odd Fellows in North America, dedicating the Order to achieve philanthropic goals. Other Englishmen who were Odd Fellows had grouped in the states along the Eastern Seaboard, and Wildey gathered them all into the newly formed fraternity. He traveled widely to set up lodges in the most recently settled parts of the country.

At the time of his death in 1861, there were more than 200,000 members of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows in 42 states.

Back to Top


So successful was American Odd Fellowship that it came in conflict with the Odd Fellow’s “world headquarters” or the Grand Lodge of England.   After the separation in 1843 they changed their name to the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and within ten years the number of lodges leaped to 2,941 in 33 states and a total of 193,000 brothers.

“There’s Nothing Odd about these Fellows”

“What’s so Odd about the Odd Fellows?--- nothing”

 

What was the largest fraternal organization during the so-called “Golden Age of Fraternalism” (1870-1910)?  You may be surprised to know it was not Freemasonry but the Odd Fellows. In 1890 Freemasonry had 609,000 brothers while the Odd Fellows had over 672,000. You may also be surprised to know the Scottish Rite Masonic National Heritage Museum probably holds the largest public collection of Odd Fellows artifacts, and materials in the county; some 700 items. Just as many men joined both the Craft and the Odd Fellows, so our museum collections both Masonic and other American fraternal history. Indeed the relationship between the Freemasonry and Odd Fellowship was quite similar and often truly fraternal.

            As with Freemasonry, the Odd Fellows is a British institution. They began in England in the late 1700s as a “friendly society” for working class men and artisans. Meeting in taverns to socialize they also pooled their recourses to help each other in times of need and for burial fees. That such an “odd” assortment of men would organize for such benevolent purposes was considered “odd” for the times and from which perhaps their name sprang. That they also practiced such broad charity may have also caused these fellows to be considered “odd.” Whatever the origin of the name the first lodge proudly adopted the title and have continued to care for each other for well over 200 years.

Like Freemasonry there were individual Odd Fellows in the United States prior to the first lodge forming in 1819. The revered founder and first “Grand Sire” of the American Odd Fellows is Thomas Wildey (1782-1861).  A coach-spring maker, he became an Odd Fellow in London before immigrating to America in 1817. Through his efforts he organized the first lodge in Baltimore and received a charter from the English Grand Lodge to spread the fraternity in the United States. Blessed by boundless energy and a dedication to help those in distress between 1819 and 1840 he started 155 lodges in 14 states that initiated over 11,000 brothers. Its great national Grand Secretary Thomas Ridgely who served the fraternity from 1833 to 1880 further supported Wildey’s fledgling order.

            So successful was American Odd Fellowship that it came in conflict with the Odd Fellow’s “world headquarters” or the Grand Lodge of England.   After the separation in 1843 they changed their name to the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and within ten years the number of lodges leaped to 2,941 in 33 states and a total of 193,000 brothers.

Similar to Prince Hall Freemasonry, African Americans have their own Odd Fellows lodges. In 1842 the English Odd Fellow Grand Lodges issued a warrant to black sailor named Peter Ogden from New York City. Unlike Wildey however, Ogden never separated his lodges from England and to this day it remains part of the Grand United Order of Odd Fellows. When Ogden died in 1852 there were 32 lodges, by 1863 there were 50 and by 1900 2,253 with 70,000 members. The GUOOF continues to this day and are headquartered in Philadelphia.

            Although heavily influenced by Freemasonry’s rituals, symbols and tenets, a large measure of the Odd Fellows’ success came from its dedication to serve its members. Its three secret ritual initiations taught the “three links” of fraternity as “Friendship, Love and Truth” and commanded its brothers to “Visit the Sick, Relieve the Distressed, Bury the Dead, Care for the Widow, and Educate the Orphan.”  In the forty years between the founding of Wildey’s first American lodge and his death in 1861, Odd Fellow’s paid out nearly $9,000,000 in relief. After the Civil War State grand Lodges began building homes for widows and orphans. With the first opening in Meadville, PA in 1872 by 1927 there were 62 home in the United States. Between 1830 and 1936 the fraternity had paid out over $247 million in relief.

            In other ways the Odd Fellows innovated before Freemasonry. Before the Order of the Eastern Star for female relatives of Masons the Odd Fellows started the first women’s auxiliary.  Call the Daughters of Rebekah it was begun by future Vice President of the United States (and Freemason) Schuley Colfax in 1851. The Rebekahs have one initiation degree based on wife of the Hebrew patriarch Isaac. Within 50 years of its founding it had over 340,000 daughters and it membership peaked in 1925 at just over one million. In 1932 Rebekahs formed their girls’ youth group called Theta Rho.

            Similar to the Masonic Royal Arch Degrees of the York Rite, the Odd Fellows established “higher” degrees in the Encampment. Containing three degrees, the Patriarchal, the Golden Rule and the Royal Purple they originated in England and were first performed in the United States in the 1820s. Like the Royal Arch the Encampment had its own state and national hierarchy but ultimately remain subordinate to state and national grand lodges.

            Building upon the success of the Encampment, in the 1870s and 80s the Odd Fellows established their own Masonic Knights Templar-like order. Call the Patriarch Militant it officially became part of the Order in 1886. Rather than commanderies, the Patriarch militants met in Cantons. Individual members were titled chevaliers and within three years of its organization it had over 12,073 members in 356 cantons. The Militants' mottos are “Justitia Universalis” (Universal Justice) and “Pax aut Bellum” (Peace or War) and its insignia is the crossed crock and sword with crown. Several factors led to the Militants success; a love of marching and military music after the Civil War, a fear of labor unrest and riots after 1877 and a huge war surplus of uniforms and swords.

The Odd Fellows even created their own Shriner’s in the early 1900s. Several different groups were attempted, called the Order of Muscovites, Prophets of Bagdad and the Knights of Oriental Splendor. The successor of these and most successful were the Ancient Mystic Order of Samaritans or AMOS who wore red fezs with the motto “We Never Sleep.”

            The Odd Fellows membership peaked in 1920 at 1.7 million brothers. While still strong during the Roaring ’20 the Great Depression nearly bankrupted the fraternity. The Stock market crash caused families to drop their membership, lodges to fail to meet their mortgages and homes to lose donations.  The advent of social security, welfare, private health insurance and other forms of relief made most of the Odd Fellows’ charity obsolete. The popularity of radio, movies, and later TV and other forms of leisure all help to erode Odd Fellow, and most other fraternal orders’ membership.  By 1960 the Odd fellows had half the members they did in 1920.  Today there are still many active Odd Fellow lodges across the country, mostly in small town and rural communities, yet firmly linked by “Friendship, Love and Truth.”

 

 

Sources:

      -         Theodore A. Ross, The History and Manual of Odd Fellowship. M.W. Hazen Co. 1900.

-         Album of Odd Fellow Homes. Ida F. Wolfe, editor. Minneapolis, MN: the Joseph M. Wolfe Co., 12th edt., 1927.

-         Schmidt, Alvin J. Fraternal Organizations. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 1966.