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This article is from the Encyclopedia of North Carolina edited by William S. Powell. Copyright © 2006 by the University of North Carolina Press. Used by permission of the publisher. For personal use and not for further distribution. Please submit permission requests for other use directly to the publisher.

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Odd Fellows Lodge

The Odd Fellows Lodge is a benevolent and fraternal organization whose stated goal is to visit the sick, relieve the distressed, bury the dead, educate the orphans, and protect the widows. The group was organized in the United States in 1805, and a lodge was formed in Baltimore in 1819. Some time afterward a lodge was organized in Portsmouth, Va., and in March 1841 one was begun in Weldon, N.C., with a second lodge formed in Wilmington soon after. A Grand Lodge was organized in North Carolina in 1843. During the Civil War the Odd Fellows in Wilmington provided service for the sick and wounded. A witness reported that members "walked amidst the terrors of those hours undaunted, and soothed many a dying pillow with sweet words of love."

From 1819 until 1981 headquarters for the national organization were located in Baltimore, but since that time Winston-Salem has had that distinction. In January 1991 the Grand Lodge of North Carolina established the archives of the state group in a historic building at Goldsboro. In the 2000s Odd Fellows support an arthritis foundation, a world eye bank and visual research foundation, a world hunger and disaster fund, an international youth exchange program, and a variety of local causes including Boy Scouts, Little League Baseball, both senior and youth programs, orphan homes, and the Red Cross.

Certificate of Independent Order of Odd Fellows showing membership dues paid by a W. E. McCoy in Elizabeth City, N.C., 1916. Image from the North Carolina Museum of History.

Additional Resources:

The Sovereign Grand Lodge Independent Order of Odd Fellows official website: http://ioof.org/

Independent Order of Odd Fellows, Seaton Gales Lodge, No. 64. By-laws and rules of order of Seaton Gales Lodge, No. 64, I.O.O.F.: to which is prefixed the constitution and general laws for the government of subordinate lodges in North Carolina. Raleigh, N.C.:Edwards and Broughton. 1886. http://digital.ncdcr.gov/u?/p249901coll37,18817 (accessed August 23, 2012).

Amis, Moses N. "Masonry and Odd Fellowship." Historical Raleigh from its foundation in 1792. Raleigh, N.C.: Edwards and Broughton. 1902. p.101. http://digital.ncdcr.gov/u?/p249901coll26,2904 (accessed August 23, 2012).

Ledyard, Erwin. "Social Life Of The Southern Negro." The Southern States. August 1894. p.299-301. http://digital.ncdcr.gov/u?/p249901coll37,12204  (accessed August 23, 2012).

"An Act to incorporate Manteo Lodge, No. 8, in the city of Raleigh, of the Independent Order-of Odd Fellows."
"An Act to incorporate Thaddeus Lodge, No. 5, of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, in the town of Clinton, Sampson county."
"An Act to incorporate the Mecklenburg Declaration Lodge, No. 9, of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, in the town of Charlotte."
"An Act to Incorporate "Eureka Lodge," No. 7, of the  Independent Order of Odd Fellows, in the town of Newbern."
Laws of the State of North Carolina, passed by the General Assembly at the Session of 1846-47. Raleigh, N.C.: Thomas J. LeMay, Printer. 1847. p. 302-304. http://digital.ncdcr.gov/u?/p249901coll22,165890 (accessed August 23, 2012).

Independent Order of Odd Fellows of North Carolina. Proceedings of the Sixty-Seventh Annual Session of the Grand Lodge of North Carolina Held In Asheville May 20, 21, 22, 1919.  Raleigh, N.C.: Commercial Printing Company. 1919. http://books.google.com/books?id=eDkwAQAAMAAJ&pg=PP7#v=onepage&q&f=false (accessed August 23, 2012).

Independent Order of Odd Fellows. North Carolina Grand Lodge. The North Carolina Odd Fellow. (monthly newspaper) Raleigh, N.C.: B.H. Woodell. circa 1909-1922.

Image Credits:

"Certificate, Accession #: H.1985.49.19." Elizabeth City, N.C. 1916. North Carolina Museum of History.

Comments

Comment: 

I am a member of the falls creek and i really think it's not ran right and would love to speak with the grand Shirley,who ask me to keep in touch

Comment: 

Hello,

This is an encylopedia article about the society. Their webiste is http://ioof.org/

Thanks,

Erin Bradford, Government and Heritage Library

Comment: 

There was once a IOOF Lodge in my community. I actually have a photo of it and an envelope with there lodge number on it.
Fruitville Lodge No. 132 Knotts Island NC
Are there records that would show who the members of the lodge were? Better yet are there other photos?
Knotts Island is a very small community of which my family has been a part of for well over 100 years. So much of our history is being lost. Would love to learn more about this... also some of the older people referred to the building (no longer standing) as the Jr. Hall. Was that a separate fraternal organization or a group within the IOOF?
There was also a Redman Hall in the community. It too is now gone.
Respectfully
Jimmy Cason

Comment: 

Dear Jimmy,

Thank you for visiting NCpedia and posting your comment. For information about Odd Fellows membership records, I suggest checking out their website directly: https://odd-fellows.org/history/genealogy-research/. 

Molly Goldston, NC Government & Heritage Library

Comment: 

When I was 4 years old 1943. My dad picked me up in Hamlet, N.C. Where I was staying with my mother at my grandmothers house. MY dad Robert Lawrence Thomason and my mother Mildred Hartgrove Thomason had divorced in 1943. She had moved back home to Hamlet, N. C. after leaving Tucson, Az. While I was with my dad he had been drinking and had an accident. The police took me to an Odd Fellows orphanage. I think it was in New Bern or some where close by. Is there any information you can give me relating my stay at the orphinage?

Comment: 

Hi Jack,

Thank you for visiting NCpedia. This page is an encyclopedia article about the Odd Fellows Lodge. I recommend contacting the organization directly at https://odd-fellows.org/contact/.

Molly Goldston, NC Government & Heritage Library

Comment: 

Do you have any pictures of the Boy Scouts camping or having outings on the land the Odd Fellows used to own by Umstead State Park? Do you have any pictures of activites and features of Foxcroft Lake on that same tract of land?

Comment: 

Hello, I am trying to find information about the Odd Fellows lodge in Elizabeth City called Achoree Lodge, No. 14. It was chartered in 1847. I would like to find out where the minutes from this lodge are today and if it is still operating. I saw a reference to them in a book on the antebellum history of Elizabeth City. Thank you. Mike Marshall

Comment: 

Dear Michael,

Thanks for visiting NCpedia. You may want to contact the Old Fellows organization for information about available lodge minutes. You can find information about the history of the organization on their website (https://odd-fellows.org/history/)

Francesca Evans, Government & Heritage Library

Comment: 

I understand some of my ancestors may have been odd fellows. I wanted to see if you have listed Absher or Jennings from NC?

Thanks

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