The roots of Odd Fellowship are believed to begin as far back as 587 B.C. in mutual relief groups such as guilds. The oldest documentation of "Odd Fellows" was a mention of Aristarchus Lodge #9 in 1748.
Thomas Wildey brought the Odd Fellows to the United States in 1819 dedicated to "Visit the sick, relieve the distress, bury the dead and educate the orphan." This is why you see Odd Fellows cemeteries. orphan homes and housing projects.
The discovery of gold brought many to California, including several Odd Fellows, who formed California Lodge #1 preceding statehood by one year. Our Lompoc Lodge #248 was established July 12, 1876.
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The doctor who wrote "An Essay on the Shaking Palsy" (Parkinson's Disease). A Samuel Collins glicee painting from 1789 bears his name alluding to his membership in an Odd Fellows Lodge in London. It was common for a lodge to have professionals like a lawyer or a surgeon.
According to British Oddfellows, the future king had encountered an Oddfellows meeting at the Feathers Pub in Pimlico and insisted on becoming a member and the Noble Grand (leader) of the lodge. He became a lifelong member. (The British say "Oddfellows" as one word.)
19th President of the United States and an abolitionist. He fought in the Civil War and was wounded. Historians claim that he restored faith in the presidency as he promised to not seek re-election and became a civil rights advocate.
18th President of the United States and Commanding General of the US Army (most senior soldier), served with distinction in the Mexican-American War and led the Army to victory during the Civil War. He also created the Department of Justice and implemented a gold standard.
17th Vice President of the United States and known for his opposition to slavery and the founder of the Republican Party. He wrote the degree for women to become members of the IOOF as Rebekahs and the degree was adopted by the Sovereign Grand Lodge in 1851.
The first American woman to graduate from dental school and practice as a dentist. She was denied admittance to dental school twice and moved to another state to practice where school was not required. When women were allowed to enroll, she graduated as a doctor in 1866.
25th President of the United States who led the country to victory in the 100-day Spanish-American war. He did not ask Congress to go to war but they decided to do so. Preferring negotiation, he said, "War should never be entered upon until every agency of peace has failed."
Marshall of Tombstone, Arizona (territory) and one of the winners in the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral. Perhaps more notable as the hero of a book written about him than the real man, but nonetheless was an Odd Fellow just the same and carried the mantle of helping others.
32nd President of the United States and leader in bringing about the Social Security Act he requested to be written and signed into law. Today Social Security provides the kinds of benefits that the Odd Fellows provided for years.
First Lady of the United States from 1933-1945 over the course of 4 terms. She also served as the U.S. Delegate to the U.N. General Assembly. President Truman called her "First Lady of the World" for her human rights work.