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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: 

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

Comment: 

Dear Darren,

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

Francesca Evans, Government & Heritage Library

Comment: 

My great grandfather (CW Anderson) was a member of Odd Fellows in Wilmington, NC about 1890 to 1900 ish. In 1902 my grandmother and her siblings were sent to the Goldboro orphanage. Her name was Beulah Herndon Anderson, after her mother died. Where was CW Anderson at this time? How and why did these children end up at the Odd Fellows orphanage? Would someone help me with this? Direct me in the rigt direction? It would be appreciated so much.

Comment: 

During the Civil War my great grandfather Oliver Roscoe was here. He was wounded and this was in 1865. He was still there when Lincoln pardoned him and he came back to Patrick in Chesterfield County SC. I was wondering if there are any records of these soldiers who were there.

Thank you for your help,

Rachel Roscoe Brock

Comment: 

Hi Rachel,

Thanks for visiting NCpedia and sharing your comments.  I am forwarding your question to our reference department for additioanl information.

Carla Morris, Government and Heritage Library

Comment: 

I have this medallion: No 263 is this the lodge number if so where is it located
Front of medallion:
I. O. O. F
No
3 GHAIN LINKS
263
His name is here
1908
Andrews, N.C.
Back of medallion:
Lumber Inspector
Home
Pisgah Forest
N.C.

Comment: 

Is there a Rebekah organization in Wilmington, NC?

Comment: 

My father was raised in the area of Hazel Creek/ Forney Creek in Swain County, North Carolina and at least one of his brothers was an Oddfellow. Is there any way I can get a list of the members in that area? I have a few pictures of them. This would have been in the early to mid-forties. Thanks for any information you an give me.

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