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The Independent Order of Odd Fellows

Volume 10: Stephanie Müller (2008): Visit the Sick, Relieve the Distressed, Bury the Dead and Educate the Orphan: The Independent Order of Odd Fellows. A scientific work in the field of cultural studies

Heartland 10 / WVT 2008

ISBN 978-3-86821-093-4

€ 22,00 • $ 29,00

 

Up until now, the “three links”, symbol of the International Order of Odd Fellows, can be found at the buildings of schools, community centers and churches throughout the United States.

But what do they represent, what does this ancient Order stand for?

This work provides an overview of the Order’s history from its very beginnings until today. It explains its organizational structure and gives a comprehensive insight into its concept and contents, its symbols and ceremonies. In addition, it discusses the role famous Odd Fellows, such as U.S. presidents and politicians, played in society. Finally, information on the Order’s current situation and its future perspectives is provided.

This work is one of the few recent documents written about the Odd Fellows in the United States. It can serve as an accessible overview for readers interested in the Order’s nature and is at the same time a well-documented source of profound knowledge of the Odd Fellows.

166 pp., 106 fig.

 

Table of contents

1 INTRODUCTION 7
1.1 About this work 7
1.2 The importance of cultural studies for translators 8
1.3 Research methodology 9
1.4 Use of ambivalent terms 11

2 HISTORY OF THE ODD FELLOWS 12
2.1 Odd Fellows in Ancient History 12
2.2 Origins in England 12
2.3 Foundation of the Order in America 14
2.3.1 Beginnings of American Odd Fellowship in Maryland  14
2.3.2 Massachusetts
2.3.3 New York  18
2.3.4 Pennsylvania 19
2.4 Separation from Manchester Unity  20
2.5 Expansion westwards 21
2.5.1 Sandwich Islands  21
2.5.2 California 21
2.6 Odd Fellowship outside the United States 24
2.6.1 Canada  24
2.6.2 The IOOF in the British Islands 24
2.6.3 The Order worldwide 24
2.7 The end of the 1st IOOF generation: A resume of Thomas Wildey’s work 25
2.8 The IOOF during the American Civil War and Industrialization 26
2.9 The end of the founding period 27
2.10 Founding Lodges in North America 27
2.11 Overview of the spreading of Odd Fellowship 33
2.12 Overview of membership growth in Odd Fellows Lodges 35
2.13 The IOOF in the 20th century 36
2.14 Recent events. 39

3 ORGANIZATIONAL STRUCTURE OF THE ORDER 40
3.1 Institutional hierarchy 40
3.1.1 The Sovereign Grand Lodge 40
3.1.2 Grand Lodges, Rebekah Assemblies and the IARA 41
3.1.3 Odd Fellow and Rebekah Lodges
3.1.4 The Encampment branch 42
3.1.5 Overview of the institutional hierarchy of the IOOF 42
3.2 Offices 42
3.3 Degrees 46
3.3.1 History of the degree system 47
3.3.2 Odd Fellows Lodges 47
3.3.3 The Rebekah Degree 49
3.3.4 The Encampment Degree 52
3.3.5 Ladies Encampment Auxiliary
3.3.6 Patriarchs Militant 57
3.3.7 Ladies Auxiliary Patriarchs Militant 58
3.3.8 Junior Lodges 59
3.3.9 Theta Rho Girls’ Club 59
3.4 Odd Fellows Lodges in the world 60

4 CONCEPT AND CONTENTS OF ODD FELLOWSHIP 61
4.1 The name Odd Fellows 61
4.2 Odd Fellows and Freemasons
4.3 Emblems and their meaning 62
4.3.1 Emblems of the Initiatory Degree 63
4.3.2 Emblems of the Degree of Friendship 64
4.3.3 Emblems of the Degree of Brotherly Love 65
Truth 67
4.3.5 Emblems of the Encampment 68
4.3.6 Emblems of the Rebekahs 71
4.4 The seal of the Sovereign Grand Lodge 73
4.5 The Three Links 74
4.6 Jewels and regalia 74
4.6.1 Odd Fellow jewels and regalia 75
4.6.2 Rebekah jewels and regalia 78
4.6.3 Sovereign Grand Lodge jewels 79
4.6.4 Encampment jewels and regalia 80
4.6.5 Ladies Encampment Auxiliary jewels 81
4.6.6 Patriarchs Militant jewels and decorations 82
4.6.7 Ladies Auxiliary Patriarchs Militant jewels 83
4.6.8 Junior Lodge jewels and regalia 84
4.6.9 Theta Rho jewels 84
4.7 The Work 85
4.8 Odd Fellow duties 85
4.9 Moral principles 88
4.10 Joining procedure 88
4.10.1 Eligibility criteria 88
4.10.2 Past membership restrictions 90
4.11 Lodge ceremonial 91
4.12 Odd Fellow Sites 92
4.12.1 The Odd Fellows Wildey Monument 92
4.12.2 Odd Fellow Cemeteries 93

5 FAMOUS ODD FELLOWS AND THEIR WORK 96
5.1 Schuyler Colfax, U.S. Vice President (1869 – 1873) 96
5.2 Ulysses S. Grant, 18th U.S. President (1869 – 1877), General-in-Chief of the Union’s forces in the American Civil War 98
5.3 Rutherford B. Hayes, 19th U.S. President (1877 – 1881) 100
5.4 William Jennings Bryan, the “Great Commoner”, Secretary of State (1913 – 1915) 102
5.5 William McKinley, 25th U.S. President (1897 – 1901) 104
5.6 Franklin D. Roosevelt, 32nd U.S. President (1933 – 1945) 105
5.7 Warren G. Harding, 29th U.S. President (1921 – 1923) 108
5.8 Earl Warren, U.S. Chief Justice (1953 – 1969), Governor of California (1943 – 1953), Head of the Warren Commission 110
5.9 The impact of Odd Fellow membership on people in public life 111

6 THE ODD FELLOWS NOW AND IN THE FUTURE 113
6.1 The Odd Fellows’ role in American social life 113
6.2 Current projects 113
6.3 Recent membership development 115
6.3.1 Against the trend: Century Lodge No. 492 116
6.3.2 Aims, appeals and incentives 117
6.4 Factors of the Order’s decline and development perspectives 118
6.5 Conclusion

7 BIBLIOGRAPHY 123

8 APPENDIX 130

 

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