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Independent Order of Odd Fellows (IOOF)

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  • Henry William Iblings (1878 - 1925)
    Henry W. Iblings passed away May 30th, at St. Raphael Hospital at St. Cloud after an operation which was performed May 29th. Mr. Iblings was born November 17, 1878 at Freeport, Ill., where he lived unt...
  • Samuel Ellis Kaufman (1849 - 1922)
    The Daily Clintonian The funeral of Samuel Kaufman. 72 years old, who died at his home near Dana Friday, was held yesterday afternoon from the Dana Methodist church. Burial was in Helt's Prairie cemete...
  • Charles Rufus Lyon (1861 - 1927)
    Toledo, June 8.--Funeral services will be held at the Toledo Odd Fellows Hall at 2 p.m. Friday for Charles R. Lyon, respected pioneer who had lived here the past forty-one years. He was 65 years of age...
  • Jacob R. "Jake" McKibben (1882 - 1953)

The Independent Order of Odd Fellows (IOOF) or Odd Fellows is a non-political and non-sectarian fraternal order founded in 1819 by Thomas Wildey in Baltimore, Maryland, United States. It was originally chartered by the Independent Order of Oddfellows Manchester Unity in England but has operated as independent organization since 1842, although it maintains an inter-fraternal relationship with the English Order. The order is also known as the Triple Link Fraternity, referring to the order's "Triple Links" symbol, alluding to its motto "Friendship, Love and Truth".

While several unofficial Odd Fellows lodges had existed in New York City circa 1806-1818, because of its charter relationship, the American Odd Fellows is regarded as being founded with Washington Lodge No 1 in Baltimore at the Seven Stars Tavern on April 26, 1819, by Thomas Wildey along with some associates who assembled in response to an advertisement in the New Republic. The following year, the lodge affiliated with the Independent Order of Oddfellows Manchester Unity and was granted the authority to institute new lodges. Previously, Wildey had joined the Grand United Order of Oddfellows (1798-) in 1804 but followed through with the split of Independent Order of Oddfellows Manchester Unity (1810-) before emigrating to the United States in 1817.

In 1842, after an elementary dispute on authority, the American Lodges formed a governing system separate from the English Order, and in 1843 assumed the name Independent Order of Odd Fellows.

The Independent Order of Odd Fellows became the first fraternity in the United States to include both men and women when it adopted the "Beautiful Rebekah Degree" on September 20, 1851, by initiative of Schuyler Colfax, Vice-President of the United States.

Beyond fraternal and recreational activities, the Independent Order of Odd Fellows promotes the ethic of reciprocity and charity, by implied inspiration of Judeo-Christian ethics. The largest Sovereign Grand Lodge of all fraternal orders of Odd Fellows since the 19th century, it enrolls some 600,000 members divided in approximately 10,000 lodges in 26 countries, inter-fraternally recognised by the second largest, the British-seated Independent Order of Oddfellows Manchester Unity.