best legal victories I have ever won in my practice of law, and is a
great thing for the Order in this State. It means the saving of more
than $600 a year for our Home."
Bro. William E. Felch, Grand Master of New Hampshire, says: "The
Jurisdiction is steadily increasing. I believe our membership will gain
500 in subordinate lodges and 325 in Rebekah lodges. I feel well
pleased with the work in general. Where, but a few years ago, the
ritual was used by nearly every lodge in doing the work, during the
past year, I have seen only one ritual used in degree work, and that
by an officer filling jiro tern.'"
Bro. Nestor E. Wedge, Grand Patriarch of Connecticut, says:
"There is strong sentiment in Connecticut for Patriarchal Odd Fellow-
ship, and we are keeping the matter before encampments constantly. I
am going to send out one more letter and I will show each encampment
just the number they must take in, in order to make up the 15 per cent
gain asked for by you. 1 have had to do most of my work through
circulars to the encampments, as my health has not been such as to
Iv^^^lofi? f GRAND LODGE OF ILLINOIS, I.O.O.F. 267
Nov. 19,1907. (â–
admit of my going about the State very much, and besides I felt that
by the letter I could reach every encampment at the same time, whereas
if I visited, the season would be gone before I could have brought
these matters before every encampment.
"I believe our officers are in the main responsible for the condition
of their encampments, for results show that where effort is made good
results are shown. I believe the average Odd Fellow is susceptible to
inspiration, and if the Chief Patriarch of every encampment was fully
alive to his obligations and the interests of his encampment, the influ-
ence would be far reaching and results would be much better than at
Bro. L. C. Thoruas, Grand Patriarch of South Dakota, says: "Our
branch of the Order had a net gain January 1, 1907, of 109, and a much
larger gain since that Lime to the present, with three new encampments
instituted since the first of the year. We have set our mark for 1,500
members by January 1, 1908; our membership June 1, 1080. Most of
our encampments are doing well, with bright prospects for the future;
some have suffered by the moving away of members, as is the case
many times in a new country."
Judge Chester F. Miller, Grand Master of Washington, writes:
"The membership of our Order has been increasing very rapidly dur-
ing the last 18 months in the State of Washington, and the lodges are
all in splendid financial condition and doing good work. January 1,
1906, we had 205 lodges with 15,497 members, and on January 1, 1907,
we had 219 lodges with 17,343 members. From January 1, 1907, to
June 1, 1907, when my term of office as Grand Master expired, we insti-
tuted 10 new lodges, making 2r new lodges in the 17 months, and
without the loss of a single lodge. During the first part of this year,
I issued a circular letter asking the lodges to show their appreciation
of the good work done by our Grand Secretary, by initiating a class
of members on the anniversary of his appointment to that office, and
this was followed by letters from the Past Grand Masters who had
held office during that time. As a result of this united effort, we
initiated during January, February, March, and April of this year 1,500
new members, which, with the natural increase during May and June,
should now give us 19,000 members in this Jurisdiction."
Bro. B. A. Sleyster, Grand Master of New Mexico, writes: "Since
my installation into the office of Grand Master, October, 1906, the Order
in New Mexico has made some increase in lodges and membership. We
have instituted four new lodges with a membership of about 125, and I
learn from our Grand Secretary that nearly all lodges show an increase
in members, so that we have to show a total membership of 1,500 or
1,600 in New Mexico this year. We have in view two or three more
places where new lodges will be instituted within the next 60 days. The
268 JOURNAL OF PROCEEDINGS. j Nm^^M967.
Order now owns a site of 10 acres of very choice land, located near
Roswell, N. M., for the 'Odd Fellows' Home.' In the course of a little
time we expect to erect suitable buildings where orphans and old Odd
Fellows and their widows can be taken care of. With the small mem-
bership in New Mexico, this is quite an undertaking, but the entire
membership is enthusiastic on this subject. In proportion to our
membership this Jurisdiction takes care of more sick members of the
Order than perhaps any other. From all over the country sick brothers
come to be benefited by our health-giving climate and to enjoy our
'every-day' sunshine. Hence all lodges have charges of this kind, and
thus the principles of our Order are almost daily brought to our notice.
Our Order (though perhaps this is the smallest Jurisdiction in mem-
bers) in New Mexico is thriving; and with the steady immigration to
our territory, I look for a healthy growth in membership."
Bro. Dean W. Self ridge. Grand Master of Montana, says: "It affords
me great pleasure to report to you at this time that Odd Fellowship is
doing well in Montana. While the increase has not been as large as we
hoped, still it is a gain. I am not able at this time to furnish the fig-
ures as to the membership, but will say, we have instituted five new
lodges and have an application for charter for the sixth. Two of the
lodges have consolidated and one is about to give up its charter because
of removal of the members to other parts. This leaves an increase of
three to date and one to be instituted as soon as they are ready. I have
great hopes of getting two more applications before the end of my term
in October. We do a great amount of relief in this Jurisdiction and the
true fraternal spirit prevails in all gatherings of Odd Fellows."
Bro. H. P. Cooper, Grand Master of North Dakota, says: "During
the past year North Dakota Odd Fellowship has gained more than in
any year since its organization. Twelve new subordinate lodges were
chartered, and there as a net gain of 765 members, being a 20 per
cent increase in membership.
"The Home Fund Treasurer reported receipts during the year of
$2,862.84, making the fund $14,697.50. We expect that our State will
be well represented at St. Paul in September."
Bro. W. S. Bogart, Grand Patriarch of Michigan, says: "Am pleased
to report that the Patriarchal branch is now in better condition in
every way than it has ever been before. Plenty of members were
admitted last year, but in December nearly every camp had a house
cleaning of delinquent members and started the new year with a clean
roll of live members backed up with the right kind of enthusiasm. Our
gain last term was between 500 and 600 members. Five new camps
were instituted and five revived, and one petition was received too late
to be instituted before the session. I made a special effort during my
year to take up the charters of the dead camps and clean up on the
Novffollw?. I GRAND LODGE OF ILLINOIS, I.O.O.F. 269
delinquent members and put the Jurisdiction in a sound business con-
dition, and in this we were very successful."
Grand Master P. B. H. Shearer, of Indian Territory, says: "I can
not give you the exact work done during the last 12 months, but we
have increased about 2,000 in the subordinate, and I think about 1,200
in the Rebekah branch. We have also completed the addition to our
Home at the expense of about $20,000."
Bro. Philip Pond, Grand Master of Connecticut, writes: "During
the past 12 months of my term of oflBce as Grand Master in this Juris-
diction, which term expired May 15, 1907, special attention was given to
the work of increasing the interest and activity of the Deputy Grand
Masters in the belief that thereby the subordinate lodges would be
more effectually reached and their interest and active participation in
the enlargement of Odd Fellowship improved. The work of the deputies
was increased by asking more frequent reports from them and reports
upon other subjects than their mere routine work, and also in requiring
them to report the full lists of all officers installed and the increase of
membership in their districts. The lodges, too, -were by a circular letter
called upon to put forth a special effort to reach a given goal, namely,
the attainment in this Jurisdiction of a stated membership, and were
advised to try in the interests of the Order the exemplification of the
initiatory and of the degrees by contesting degree staffs made up in
various ways. Every encouragement was given^ also, to the interchange
of fraternal visits by the several lodges, and such visits were frequent
during the year. As a result of these special efforts our year closing
December 31, 1906, showed a net gain larger than we had shown for
mauy years, although confessedly not as large as this Jurisdiction ought
to show. The activity during the winter was marked, and on the first
of April special reports from the Deputies showed a net gain for the
three months of the new year considerably larger than the net gain for
the entire previous year, so tha,t at our Grand Lodge session May 15, it
was felt that the Order iu this Jurisdiction is experiencing a gratifying
forward movement. Personally, I regarded the year as a successful one
and it is generally so regarded in this Jurisdiction, although it seems
to me that far more can be accomplished, and should be in Connecticut.
The Order, however, is in a gratifying condition here with its future
Bro. Walter M. Crawford, Grand Master of Alabama, says: "The
work has actually commenced on the Home. The cost of the Home
will be $50,000. We have 120 acres of fine land and the property will be
well worth $80,000 when the Home is completed. Five years ago a
proposition to start a Home was voted down, but the sentiment in
favor of a Home has been gradually increasing until at the meeting of
the last Grand Lodge, when the Home proposition came up, there
wasn't a single negative vote.
270 JOURNAL OF PROCEEDINGS. ) nJv.^^9^1967
"Our State is being organized into districts and public meetings
are frequent. Anniversary celebrations, memorial occasions, public
installation of officers and Odd Fellow rallies have done much toward
increasing the Odd Fellow sentiment throughout this Jurisdiction.
"The Odd Fellows of this section have done much in bringing to-
gether the divided sections of this country. Outside the power of God,
I firmly believe that Odd Fellowship has done more toward unifying
the people than any other agency."
Bro. Henry J. Suder, Grand Master of Arizona, says: "Arizona
made a net gain of 147 members last year, and so far this year we have
Hearly duplicated our last year's gain, while both Rebekah and En-
campment branches are joining in with a general prosperity which we
feel is but a beginning of unusual prosperity for Odd Fellowship in
Arizona, and from now on you will see Arizona holding her own in
percentage of gains made with any of her larger sister Jurisdictions
We are prosperous here, and all members are trying to keep it so.'
Bro. Ernest W. Bradford, recent Grand Master of District of Colum
bia, writes: "The growth in this Jurisdiction is, I think, upon a groW'
ing and prosperous basis. The growth is not very rapid, but is con-
tinuous and substantial. During the last year we showed very nearly
a 10 per cent net increase in membership.
"I think the special work which is being done in this Jurisdiction
most entitled to mention is the work of raising a fund to establish an
Odd Fellows' Home. We now have in pledges and cash in bank some-
thing more than $10,000 for this purpose. I hope in the not distant
future that an Odd Fellows' Home will become a reality in the District
â– of Columbia."
Bro. J. M. Stevens, Grand Master of Idaho, says: "It is safe to
â€¢estimate the increase of membership at 2,000. We are making no
special effort to institute new lodges, but are trying to build up the
membership of the older ones, particular attention being paid to weak
lodges. It was the policy of my predecessor in office to establish lodges
wherever a sufficient number of charter members could be found, and
much of our time and energy has been expended in keeping some of
these alive. The officers of the Grand Lodge are working in perfect
harmony, and we hope to be able to count this as one of the most
prosperous years Odd Fellowship has ever known in Idaho."
Bro. Joseph Belcher, Grand Master of Massachusetts, says: "I am
pleased to report to you that the net gain in our subordinate lodges
during the six months ending June 30, 1907, was 850, our membership
then being 57,493. Without the institution of a single new lodge to
help swell the numbers, we think this is a very creditable showing."
Bro. H. L. Hart, Grand Patriarch of Maritime Provinces of Canada,
says: "A net increase of membership of 177 for the year, and thus
nIv^W 19()7 i UHAXD LODGE OF ILLINOIS, I.O.O.F. 271
making a total of 1,020, over 21 per cent. Trust this percentage over
the 15 per cent asked for will please you."
Bro. Philip J. Vetter, Grand Patriarch of Pennsylvania, writes:
"Our terms expire with March 14, and September 14, so it is difficult to
give you an accurate estimate of our increase or other statistical reports
you might desire. September, 1906, with 252 encampments we have
15,996 in membership. To June 15, or nine months, we have 257 en-
campments and 16,856 in membership, being an increase of 860. This
is rather under than over the actual membership, so that I feel safe
in reporting a gain of about 1,200 for the year ending September 14,
Bro. 0. B. Quin, Grand Master of Mississippi, writes: "The Order
in Mississippi is in a healthful and prosperous condition; the past year
has been fairly satisfactory and successful. There has been no big
increase in new lodges or new membership, but a substantial growth
and a marked improvement have been obtained in the lodges through-
out the State as a whole. Odd Fellowship here is made up of the
best people, and the Order commands the highest respect and esteem
throughout the State. The prospects for the future are bright and
encouraging, and we expect to show large additions to our membership
in the near future. The healthful condition of the subordinate lodges
is vellected, of course, in the Grand Lodge, and it is gratifying to note
that this body is in better financial condition than ever before in its
history, and that it is an institution that commands influence and
power ia the Jurisdiction.
Bro. W. A. Lamont, Grand Master of Colorado, writes: "The lodges
In this Jurisdiction have been doing good work; this is especially the
case with the lodges in the farming districts. A number of lodges claim
to have far exceeded the 10 per cent increase asked for at the com-
mencement of the term. One lodge in particular wrote me that they
had initiated 26 applicants at one meeting. In the mining regions I do
not look for much increase, but altogether Colorado has had more than
an average year if I am not badly mistaken. I have made official visits
to more than half the lodges in the State, and have nearly four months
yet to serve. It has been my aim to visit the weaker lodges as much as
possible. Four new lodges have been instituted, one resuscitated, and
the charter of one lodge which my predecessor arrested has been
restored. The prospect is bright for three or four more new lodges
to be instituted before the session of the Grand Lodge."
Bro. Oscar N. Falk, Grand Patriarch of New Jersey, writes: "The
net increase in the Encampment branch in New Jersey during 1906 was
151; since that time it is impossible to give a full report, but I feel
satisfied that the increase for the past six months is at least 300, and
have good reasons to believe that the net increase for this year will
273 JOUENAL OF PROCEEDINGS. â– ! xt'^'"^^o^?X;
I Nov. 19,190
be 500. Nearly all the encampments are active and doing good work.
I enclose a few circular letters which I am sending out from time to
time and also a system of reports which I adopted for the purpose of
keeping in touch with the progress made in the various districts
throughout the State."
Bro. C. C. Vaughan, Jr., Grand Master of Virginia, says: "Virginia,
during the past year, has kept abreast of the times in Odd Fellowship.
On April 1, 1907, our membership was 26,800, giving a net increase for
that year of 3,340. The greatest difficulty we experience is the large
number of suspensions for non-payment of dues. I am glad to say, how-
ever, that the last year has shown a decided improvement over previous
ones and the percentage of suspensions has been somewhat reduced.
This year I am trying a new plan to help along this line. The lodges
in Virginia have been requested to furnish me with a list of the mem-
bers they are to drop at the end of June, 1907, and I am writing a per-
sonal letter to each one of these members, bringing to their attention
the great mistake they make in permitting their names to be dropped
from the roll, and explaining, briefly, the advantages the Order gives
to good men for benefiting themselves and also benefiting their fellow-
men. I do not know, of course, what the result will be, but if it only
brings back a few of these members, it will be time and money well
spent. Perhaps in Virginia the conditions the Order is called upon to
face are different from those in the States north of us, but certainly,
from the records available, they are not different from those in the
other Southern States, and it is in these States that the greatest per-
centage of drops is found, and we are applying ourselves in Virginia
to discover, if that is possible, the causes that produce them. We have
been accused in the South of favoring what is called the club plan, but
I am convinced that this plan is a good one in certain localities, espe-
cially in the rural districts, where money is not so plentiful, and per-
haps it is the exercise of this plan that has given us our best increases.
If, in the future, this plan proves detrimental to the best interests of
the Order, we will discontinue it, but just now, I feel that it is doing
"We have an excellent Odd Fellows' Home in Virginia, both for
orphan children and for old and indigent members of the Order, their
wives and widows. This Home has been so well managed that in the
brief period of four years we have received at it more than 60 orphans,
and we have applications pending for others. The Home for old people
is just completed; at this time the first resident has been received. This
Home has been the greatest advertisement the Order has ever had, and
the fact that the Odd Fellows have this Home has brought thousands of
good men to our ranks that, probably, would not now be members of
the Order. As the Home increases in usefulness so, I expect, the Order
in Virginia will increase.
Iv^q^lMT ( GRAND LODGE OF ILLINOIS, I.O.O.F. 273
"The Order in Virginia is growing so large that not more than six
cities in the State can accommodate the Grand Lodge in annual session,
and this feature is bound to receive attention in the next few years."
Bro. J. S. Romine, Grand Master of Oklahoma, writes: "I will say
in brief that the Jurisdiction of Oklahoma is progressing very nicely,
with a steady increase of lodges and members. We have erected an
Odd FelloN\s' Home at a cost of $39,510.63, and dedicated the same upon
April 26, 1907, free from debt, which causes us to feel proud of the
fact that we now have a Home for the orphan children and the aged
Odd Fellows, and have paid for same without working any great hard-
ship upon the young lodges, and can maintain it, I think, without plac-
ing any great strain upon the Order in the Jurisdiction."
Bro. E. L. Dimick, Grand Patriarch of Nebraska, says: "The in-
crease in the Patriarchal branch of our Order in Nebraska is about 180
to 200 net."
Bro. H. Schwartz, Grand Master of Texas, says: "Texas is in the
zenith of her glory as far as Odd Fellowship is concerned. Am pleased
to say to you, that 42 lodges have been instituted since the Grand Lodge
met in March, and supplies are out for several others. Great interest
has been manifested in anniversary and also memorial ceremonies, and
the demand for speakers for said occasions has been very great."
Bro. Chas. H. Morrill, Grand Master of Maine, says: "I am pleased
to be able to state that Odd Fellowship in Maine is in a very prosperous
condition, and we have made a substantial gain the past year."
Bro. John W. Brown, Past Grand Master of Wisconsin, says: "We
have not been able to reach the 10 per centum that you requested, but
we have done so much better than in some recent years that I am
feeling quite elated to-day to learn that our growth from July, 1906,
to July, 1907, has been about 800."
Bro. W. H. Williams, Grand Patriarch of Idaho, says: "There was a
big falling off in the membership during the year ending December 31,
1906. But from what reports I have had from the encampments we
will be able to show a satisfactory increase at the end of the present
Bro. Harry Pine, Grand Secretary of New Jersey, says: "For the
subordinate lodges of New Jersey I am glad to report progress all along
the line. Net increase in members last year was 263 (plus error in re-
port of 1905, of 150, which we have made good), and this year we expect
to show a net increase of 1,000; already three new lodges this year
(none last year). We report net assets of lodges, $1,093,496.62, as
against $573,471.54. (More accurate reports insisted on from lodges.)
Greater disbursements for relief, etc., and larger proportionate income.
274 JOURNAL OF PROCEEDINGS. â– ! Nov^^9'l9()7
We are this year raising $30,000 by assessment to start a Home for
aged and indigent Odd Fellows and their wives. We are going to have
a Home for every Odd Fellow who needs it."
Bro. Fred A. Groom, Grand Patriarch, of Maryland, says: "In
answer to your letter of May 23d, I will say that Maryland, the Mother
Jurisdiction, will show an increase of about 200 in the Encampment
branch this year, ending June 30. This is the largest gain in one year
for a long time and the Patriarchal branch numbers more than it has
done in the last decade."
Bro. Lucien J. Eastin, Grand Master of Missouri, writes: "Our year
ends with December 31, and all reports submitted to the Grand Lodge
at its meeting in May speak for the period ending with the year. At
the beginning of 1906, the total membership was 50,698; at the begin-
ning of 1907, it was 55,081, a net gain of 4,383.
"I realized at the beginning of my term that the most distressing
condition ahead was the prospect of an enormous suspension list. Our
Grand Secretary was also awake to this baleful prospect, and we set
about reducing it by every method in our power. On December 20, I
called a general meeting of all lodges in the State, urging especially
that a full attendance be secured and all possible precaution be brought
to bear upon delinquents on that night. I received a large number of
letters saying that efforts along this line on that night have saved to
the fraternity many good men who had grown distant and careless.
Along the same line the Grand Secretary in all his communications to
the lodges urged that the names and addresses of all who were liable
to suspension be given him, in order that he might write personal
letters to them. This work he faithfully did, and I am sure it aided
"I am inclined to believe, with all our efforts, that changed condi-
tions aided us materially. Some four or five years prior to 1904, the
minimum price of admission was reduced to eight dollars, and straight-
way the majority of the lodges â€” and a great majority, too â€” reduced to
that figure. For a while members were taken in wholesale, but many
of them were as those 'who received the seed into stony places' and
could not endure. In 1904, the minimum was made $14, and in the
latter half of that and the whole of the following year many became
offended. All the evil results of this law have not yet befallen us, but
it is encouraging to note that they are decreasing.
"During the year 26 subordinate and 44 Rebekah lodges were char-
tered and organized, so that we now have in this Jurisdiction 740 sub-
ordinate and 388 Rebekah lodges."
Bro. C. L. Charrest, Grand Patriarch of Manitoba, says: "At the
beginning of 1906 the membership of this Jurisdiction was 837. We
made a gain of 307, thus raising our numbers to 1,144, and entitling us