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Independent Order of Odd Fellows Records

Identifier: AC-466

Scope and Content Note

The Independent Order of Odd Fellows (IOOF) records date from the 1880's to 1991. The content of these records are from the Beaumont Lodge, Neches Lodge, and Silsbee Lodge that include membership records, minutes, and financial records. In addition, the records of the Junior Lodge, auxiliaries, and encampment consist of minutes of their meetings and attendance.

This collection includes ledger books, binders, and loose papers, including correspondence, billing statements, memoranda, membership certificates, and receipts. These papers range in date from the 1880's to 1991.


  • Creation: 1880s-1991


Language of Materials

Materials are in English.

Access Restrictions

Some restrictions may apply.


The Tyrrell Historical Library holds copyright. The researcher must secure permission to publish. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted to the Tyrrell Historical Library. The researcher assumes full responsibility for complying with copyright, literary property rights, and libel laws.

Historical Note

The Odd Fellows developed in England as an organization of working men who dedicated themselves to helping one another in times of distress, such as in loss of work or caring for families after a death. This and other "friendly societies" may have developed from the European guilds in which skilled labor was developed, nurtured, and overseen. These first guilds, with their apprentices, fellows, journeymen, or master craftsmen, were the watchmen of society, keeping the high standards of their crafts and passing them on to future generations.

The Odd Fellows in America began in Baltimore, Maryland, on April 26, 1819, with Thomas Wildey and four members of the Order from England establishing Washington Lodge No. 1. They received their charter from the Manchester Unity of Odd Fellows in England, and over time established charters throughout the United States. At the time of Wildey's death in 1861, there were approximately 200,000 Odd Fellow members in the United States.

With the formation of the Daughters of Rebekah in 1851, the Odd Fellows became the first national fraternity to admit both men and women. Membership in the Odd Fellows decreased during the Civil War, but experienced dramatic rejuvenation from 1865 to 1910/1920. During this era, sometimes known as the "Golden Age of Fraternalism" in America, the Odd Fellows became the largest among all fraternal organizations in the nation.

The date of the founding of the Beaumont lodge is unknown, but by 1891, the lodge had eighteen members. The great oil rush of 1901 increased the size of the lodge precipitously: in December 1901, it had sixty-five members, and by 1903, it had 104 members. The women of Beaumont also formed their own Rebekah Lodge. The lodges met regularly, elected officers, and tended to the needs of their members. Health, employment, and death benefits were provided at a time before Social Security and Medicaid existed. The Odd Fellow lodges included the Beaumont Lodge No. 278, Neches Lodge No. 621, and Silsbee Lodge No. 591. The auxiliaries include the Rebekah Lodges No. 17 and No. 54, the Junior Lodge No. 23, and Encampment No. 95.


10.5 Cubic Feet (10.5 cubic feet in 12 boxes)


The Independent Order of Odd Fellows (IOOF) is an international altruistic and benevolent fraternal organization. This collection contains records from the Beaumont Lodge of the Odd Fellows, and its auxiliary chapters for women and adolescents.

Organization of Collection

This collection is organized into 13 boxes.

Acquisition Information

Donated anonymously in 2006 July.


No further accruals are expected.

Processing Information

Processed by Tyrrell Historical Library staff, 2006.

Finding aid revised and encoded by Tyrrell Historical Library staff, 2013 July.

Finding Aid for the Independent Order of Odd Fellows Collection, 1880s-1991
Tyrrell Historical Library Staff
2014 June 05
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Tyrrell Historical Library Archives Repository