I got a chance to meet Past Grand Master @kingvon__thefirst of District #29 (Another Country)
Aurora Lodge #810 #Nassau #Bahamas. This #brother travels all over the #world. We met at the old District #18 Grand Lodge on Auburn ave. We talked about the #history of our cultures. THE GRAND UNITED ORDER OF #ODD #FELLOWS is a non #secular non #discriminating #fraternity #all races are welcome. As Distict Deputy Grand Master some of my own personal goals are to #grow #connect #rebuild our anicent orderand its presence in the Georgia jurisdiction.

Oddfellowship is an important aspect of #American culture. It’s history predates the organized history of the country itself.  Its global presence has garnered influences from the countries it is practiced in. With English origins it is practiced in may languages and still remains intact as a productive friendly society. With the G.U.O.O.F. one can feel the importance of what this order means to its membership. While reactivating an entire district, one can only feel the possibilities of building and leaving a lasting #LEGACY just as the men and women have done before us all. There is more to come and remeber to stay vigilant for there is strength in numbers.

#FLT #friendship #love #truth #AAV #amistad #amor #verdad


I have to take time out to honor our sisterhood know by all as the Household of Ruth.  I am a little upset about the timing of this find because I was a day late and a dollar short of having the pleasure of interviewing this local heroine….She was District 22’s Most Noble Governor and her husband served as District 13’s Grand Chaplain.

Their names are Donella and John R. Wilson Sr . Her obsequie from Bostick and Tompkins reads :

Roberta Brown Wilson quietly entered into her eternal rest.

Donella Wilson was the only child of the late Henry Brown and Minnie Bryant Brown Logan.  She was born May 24, 1909 on the Peterkin Plantation in Fort Motte, SC, lands on which her grandparents and great-grandparents had worked as slaves. Her paternal grandmother read the Bible to her, taught her to pray, and to bless her food. Early on, Donella wanted to learn to read and to teach others to read and write. By the light of an oil lamp and a Sears catalog, she first learned to read. A teaching assignment took her back to those same lands in Fort Motte as a teacher in a multi-grade, one-room schoolhouse.

In 1933, Donella earned her teaching credentials from Allen University; and when she retired in 1971, she had worked all of her years teaching in the rural counties of South Carolina—serving, training, and helping to shape multiple generations of students.

Donella was married to the late Reverend John R. Wilson, Sr.  At the time of his death in 1998, they had been married 66 years and for 62 of those years, had lived and raised their four children at 1214 Heidt Street, the home they purchased in 1937.

A true Christian woman, she was a lifelong member of Union Baptist Church. Over the years, Donella served in many organizations, following and supporting her husband as he served as pastor and interim pastor in several churches in the Midlands of South Carolina. Until her health began to decline, she served as Mother of the church at Union Baptist.

For many years, Donella and her late husband were active in the Waverly Community, always working to make the community a better place to live.  She voted in every local, state, and national election since 1947.

Over her lifetime, Donella was the recipient of many honors, awards, and citations. Her many associations include: Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc., lifetime membership in the NAACP, District 22 Grand Household of Ruth , Women’s Home Aid Society, the South Carolina and the Richland County Retired Teachers Associations, Allen University Alumni Association, Interdenominational Alliance of Ministers Wives and Widows, Inc., the Columbia Counsel of Garden Clubs and the Carver Garden Club.  Donella was National Superintendent Emeritus of the United Order of Tents, Southern District #4. She was a 2011 honoree of the AT&T African-American History Calendar. In 2017, she was awarded South Carolina’s highest civilian honor, the Order of the Palmetto, by Governor Henry McMaster. She left this earth at the Grand old age of 108 !!!! I can only hope and dream that somehow she saw our work on behalf of the Grand United Order of Oddfellows and we made her proud ! Now and forever she will be known……..


The John and Donella Wilson Scholarship Fund
Allen University, 1530 Harden Street, Columbia SC 29204




Our roster like the one I just recently posted on Fraternal lodge 1064, furnished the names of countless individuals, hell bent and heaven sent on getting African Americans their Just prerogatives in the Palmetto State  !!! Brother J.C. Artemus isn’t just a chip off the old block,  he’s the whole blood clot ting eh ?? Our Brother was a proud member of #BeulahLodge2083 , out of Columbia. SC. He is one of many I will mention in the upcoming days……..

From: https://aaregistry.org/story/john-artemus-an-ally-of-union-organizing/

He was born in Edgefield, S.C., of sharecropper parents. At a young age, Artemus realized that this type of farming system benefited only the white landlords and not the black tenant farmers. He was forced to leave Edgefield when he confronted his family’s landlord over unfair wages. Artemus moved to Columbia, where he worked for several of the city’s major merchants as a store clerk. He worked during the day and attended Benedict College in the evening. During these years, he learned carpentry and studied construction and contracting through correspondence courses. He worked on many homes and rental properties in both black and white communities.

After many years, Artemus joined the Columbia office of the North Carolina Mutual Life Insurance Company. For 12 years, he worked as an insurance agent and an assistant manager. Because of the Great Depression of the 1930s, Artemus returned to carpentry, hoping to benefit from the federal building projects started by President Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal. But black workers were barred from these projects. Artemus and a small group of supporters organized Local 2260 of the United Brotherhood of Carpenters to represent black workers throughout central South Carolina.

Their efforts broke many racial barriers. As the union’s business agent from 1939 to 1954, Artemus assured black participation in major construction projects, such as Fort Jackson, Shaw Air Force Base, the Savannah River Site, the DuPont Fibers complex, and numerous federal housing developments from New Jersey to Florida. From 1951 to 1959, he represented the state’s black Americans as vice-
president-at-large of the South Carolina Federation of Labor Executive Board. He became the first treasurer of the newly formed Progressive Democratic party, an organization formed to provide blacks with an opportunity to take part in state and national elections.

New voters flooded polling places in 1948. “J.C.” Artemus never relaxed in his quest to register and give political insight to new African-American voters. By 1950, he was a member of the Columbia Democratic Executive Committee. This great labor leader and political reformer also served as a poll manager at one of the city’s most influential precincts from 1952 until his death in 1964.

“Our history must have a beginning! “, have been my thoughts since I took up this cause…..To peel back 176 years of experiences, lessons, and commonalities, getting at the root ! What it was…..what it is….. that makes our collective “Grand ” !!! In the spirit of humble beginnings I present to you the original papers, displaying the dispensation granted from the first lodge, Philomathean Lodge #646 to open the first lodge in South Carolina: Fraternal Lodge #1064 out of Charleston…. My next move is running through the names and gaining further insight into who these illustrious brothers were……..To the brethren of #District13…..we are about to embark on a journey into the past, in efforts to secure our future………..


Can anyone else appreciate the fact that this lodge was officially announced October 11th in 1865 ?  Not more than a few months since the last shots were fired in the Civil War !!! This is heavy !

There are quite a few names here so bear with me yall. I will report my findings….

I leave as I came in the bond of Friendship Love and Truth

Bro.Page NG Wayman lodge 1339, Dist.13 Gr. Historian and National Gr. Historian for America and Jurisdiction

Special thanks to Bro. Feaster of St. James lodge #1455 hailing from Atlanta!  I owe you a serious debt as I would not have this to share without your astute research !      FL&T!

Noble Grand Albert Davis III of Hartsville is the council’s newest member for Darlington County. Davis will represent District 6 on the council. He is accompany by his wife Whitney Davis who is holding the bible while he is doing the swearing- in ceremonies, officiated by Darlington County Judge of Probate Marvin Lawson.

We the members of Distinct Grand Lodge No. 13 of South Carolina Grand United Order of Odd Fellows in America are proud that one of our very own is now in office serving his community.  As he is about our Order and all about Friendship, Love, and Truth. Good luck Brother Davis.

Albert Davis III swearing-in

I must beg forgiveness of the world for not posting about our Illustrious brother Dr. James McCune Smith sooner !
Dr. McCune Smith was considered one of the most broadly accomplished black intellectuals and activists in America. Born in New York on April 18, 1813, McCune attended the #FreeAfricanSchool in #NYC with a number of our founding members !
Upon graduation from the African School, James McCune Smith sought, but was denied admission to quite a few #American colleges. Not to be discouraged, He then managed to raise money to attend the #UniversityofGlasgow in #Scotland, where, after completing #bachelor’s and #masters’ degrees, he completed a #medicaldegree in 1837. Thus he became, as far as I can see , the first #GUOOF Brother to be awarded a degree in #medicine in this Jurisdiction !!!! After completing a medical internship in Paris, France, he returned to New York City, where he opened a medical office and a pharmacy at 93 West Broadway that attracted interracial clientele. Here he served both white and black patients in the front of the pharmacy. In the back, he met with fellow activists and conspired to end slavery in the South, to win the vote for blacks in New York, and to educate black youth.
Together with #abolitionists such as #FrederickDouglass, #GerritSmith, and #JohnBrown, he helped found the #RadicalAbolitionistParty. His pharmacy was a place where many escaping slaves found help.
Throughout his own career, along with his classmates, Bro. Smith helped bear much fruit from the #oddfellows tree. He was a member of #Hamiltonlodge 710, One of the earliest dispensations of the Order in the United States! Smith also served nationally as #GrandSecretary……
Smith wrote about medicine, science, education, racism, and literature….He quickly emerged as a powerful #antislavery and #antiracism organizer, orator, and author.
Smith’s untimely death came in November of 1865. He was still working tirelessly for his people, felled at the age of 52. This was five months after the end of the Civil War….. I am proud to be counted as a brother to this fellow
If you would like to know more about this brother just a simple Google search for his name will suffice…..


In Friendship Love and Truth


As we grow as GUOOF members , we must remember the reasons we are searching for our history is a lack of communication between the Seniors and new members. Our senior member are responsible for education the new members on the rules, history, and all things required to enrich us so that we become as they are, well educated in our past. Finding ways to gain this information from our senior members, sometimes puts us at odds with them. But as a Senior they should be proud to pass on their knowledge because we are their future, as they were when they came to the understanding which lead them to become members. Every member of our order is a history lesson in work because as we travel as Guoof members we shine light on people we come across and we are remembered by our deeds. We are a family and each member with members above and below them in status are beckons of light to each other, because we will not harm one another but only educate and help as a Family does. Our founding Father did his job to bring light to the Order. When things did not go as planned in the beginning, he continued to move forward and do a remarkable job to start and maintain the ideals of our Order as we know it today. When speaking with our Senior advise them that you are not being disrespectful to them, but only trying to make them proud to see that after they have moved on the lessons they taught us are working. History is being made everyday by our Brothers and Sisters. Holding true to our Order and reaching one and teaching one is the key. When you look at the words Friendship, Love and Truth, they are not just words but words that a Family will live and die by. As a member who wants the security of our Order to be secure, I only express my views and hope all who read these words understand that we continue to exist because we live by our creed. I leave you as I came in Friendship, Love and Truth


Bro. Emanuel Page Sr.

Wayman lodge #1339

Bro. Ransom W. Westberry, was born July 1871 in Horatio,Sumter County, SC
His childhood was split between working the farm and attending some grade school. Later, he attended Benedict College as well as Wilberforce University for a term.
For 15 years he lived in the city of Chicago where he worked as a mail carrier.
Bro. Westberry served in Company C. 8th Illinois United States Volunteer Infantry in the Spanish American War.
The 8th Illinois was the first African American regiment to have all African America Officers. They were mustered in at Springfield, IL., and traveled by the Cruiser Yale from New York City to Santiago, Cuba, where they garrisoned the town of San Luis de Cuba. They spent nine months in Cuba and returned on the steamship Sedgwick to Newport News, VA.; then by rail to Chicago, where they were mustered out on Aug 3, 1899.
Once back in the Carolinas , Westberry accumulated quite a few properties and started the R. Westberry Realty Co. He held a slew of prominent positions in and around Sumter. He was Secretary of the Mutual Undertaking and Embalming Association, Sec. of the colored State Fair Association, President of the National Farmers Association, President Auxiliary of the National Negro Business League etc….
Among the secret societies work he was of course an OddFellow, G.U.O.O.F , serving for years as head of the State Endowment Dept. He was also known among the Good Samaritans , the Knights of Pythias, and the Masonic GL of South Carolina where he served as Grand Director. He died , November 1928 and was buried in #LincolnCemetery in #Illinois

Bro. Henry Rutherford Butler, a respected physician and pharmacist with offices on Auburn Avenue on the Oddfellows block in Atlanta, was a pioneer in medicine and healthcare for African Americans during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. He was married to Selena Sloan Butler, a prominent teacher and education advocate in Atlanta.
In addition to establishing the first licensed black-owned pharmacy in Georgia, Butler was a founding member of several African American physicians’ organizations, as well as a civic leader and prolific writer. In many ways, his life represents the historical yet paradoxical development of a southern urban African American elite class between the eras of Reconstruction and the modern civil rights movement, decades marked by widespread segregation and discrimination.

Early Life and Education


was born on April 11, 1862, to Caroline Noyes and Henry Butler in Fayetteville, North Carolina. Between 1872 and 1874 his family moved to Wilmington, in the southern portion of the state. He had one known brother, Philip. Like many African Americans living in rural environments during the late nineteenth century, Butler spent his youth on a farm, where he received no formal education. As he grew older, he helped to support the family through work in local hotels and lumber mills.

During this time E. E. Green, a noted African American educator who later became a physician and druggist in Macon,

Georgia, played a pivotal role in Butler’s education. In the evenings after work, Green and his wife tutored Butler in preparation for college. The effort proved a success, and in 1883 Butler entered Lincoln University in Pennsylvania. After graduating four years later, he continued his education at Meharry Medical College in Nashville, Tennessee, where he graduated with a medical degree in 1890.

That same year, Butler moved to Atlanta, where he began his medical practice. In 1893 he married Selena Sloan, a native of Thomasville and a graduate of Spelman College. Henry Rutherford Butler Jr., the couple’s only child, was born in 1899. Following in his father’s footsteps, Butler Jr., a graduate of Atlanta University (later Clark Atlanta University) and Harvard University Medical School in Cambridge, Massachusetts, became a doctor and established a medical practice and family in Los Angeles, California.
Professional Career

As Jim Crow took hold of the region, Butler and his Meharry classmate Thomas Heathe Slater established a medical practice and drugstore for black residents on Wheat Street (later Auburn Avenue) in 1891. The two obtained the first pharmacy license in Georgia to be granted to African Americans. Butler and Slater purchased a store owned by J. C. Huss, a white druggist who trained Moses Amos, the first licensed African American pharmacist in Georgia. After two decades in business, Butler Slater and Company changed ownership when Amos bought the drugstore, reopening it in 1914 in the Odd Fellows building near the corner of Butler Street (later Jesse Hill Jr. Drive) and Auburn Avenue. Butler’s medical practice, however, spanned forty years. Later in his career, around 1912, Butler furthered his studies in gynecology, obstetrics, and pediatrics at Harvard University Medical School.

Outside of his practice, Butler cofounded the first professional organizations for black physicians at local, state, and national levels. These included the Atlanta Medical Association of Physicians, Dentists, and Pharmacists (later Atlanta Medical Association) in 1890 and the Georgia State Medical Association of Physicians, Dentists, and Pharmacists (later the Georgia State Medical Association) in 1893. While the Cotton States and International Exposition of 1895 cast a spotlight on Georgia’s African Americans, primarily through Booker T. Washington’s famous “Atlanta Compromise” speech, it also was the occasion that bore witness to the birth of the National Medical Association, cofounded by Butler. His other contributions to the health and well-being of the city and state’s black citizenry included the establishment in 1909 of Atlanta’s Fair Haven Infirmary, a contemporary of other hospitals that opened during the early twentieth century for African American doctors and patients. Butler also served as both dean and principal teacher at the School of Nursing at Morris Brown College in Atlanta.

Civic Involvement

Adding to Butler’s professional achievements were his community activities. He wrote general interest columns and stories about the city’s African American community for the Atlanta Constitution and the Atlanta Independent, a black newspaper published from 1903 to 1928 that described itself as the “official organ of the Grand United Order of Odd Fellows and Knights of Pythias.” He played a significant role in establishing social and cultural institutions for African American boys and young men, chief among them the Butler Street YMCA and, along with educator John Hope, District Ten of the Atlanta Area Boy Scouts of America. Butler and his wife were early members of the Commission on Interracial Cooperation, founded in 1919, which later merged with the Southern Regional Council. He was also a member of the Big Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church, where he served as a steward until his death.
Among Butler’s fraternal affiliations were Omega Psi Phi and Sigma Pi Phi fraternities and the Prince Hall Masons of Georgia. In the latter, Butler was the ninth grand master of the Most Worshipful Prince Hall Grand Lodge of Georgia from 1901 until his death in 1931, when he was succeeded by John Wesley Dobbs, who served until his death in 1961. Under Butler’s leadership, the lodge went from an organization encumbered with liabilities to one that prospered. When the Pan-African Congress, organized by W. E. B. Du Bois in 1919 to challenge the European colonization of Africa, held its second meeting in 1921, Butler served as a delegate representing the Masons of Georgia.
Butler died on December 17, 1931. He and his wife, who died in 1964, are buried in Atlanta’s Oakland Cemetery. In 1955 Lincoln University, Butler’s alma mater, awarded him an honorary Doctor of Science degree. That same year, the Yonge Street Elementary school in Atlanta was renamed Henry R. Butler Elementary School. The family papers of Selena Sloan Butler are housed at the Auburn Avenue Research Library on African American Culture and History in Atlanta.
From : Carmolingo, Nicole. “Henry Rutherford Butler (1862-1931).” New Georgia Encyclopedia. 28 August 2013. Web. 11 July 2018.

On September 11, 1865–nearly four months after the end of the Civil War– Zerubbabel Lodge No. 1187 in Baltimore was granted permission to open Shealtiel Lodge No. 1024 in Saint Michaels, Maryland.  A year later Shealtiel Lodge put in a request and was allowed to change its name to Freedom’s Friend Lodge No. 1024.  This change was likely spurred by the great hope and faith that the end of slavery evoked from the founders of the lodge, many of which were Civil War veterans for the Union Army.  In 1867 the elected officials of the lodge, including Robert Brown, Joseph Leeds Johnson, Daniel E. Chaney, and William Skinner, were granted a deed for the plot of land on which the lode now rests.  However, the location of the lodge’s meetings for the first nineteen years is unknown. Perhaps they held meetings in the Union Methodist Episcopal Church, of which a number of their officers were members and even trustees. Maybe there was some smaller house on the property that they utilize? It is possible that the members of the lodge met at the house of Daniel Chaney’s father, who lived next door to the lodge in 1860.  In 1883 the organization finished construction of its lodge. On January 14th of the following year the lodge became duly incorporated.  The present appearance of the lodge is the result of a partnership between the Maryland Historic Trust and the members of Freedom’s Friend Lodge No. 1024.

Purpose of the Lodge

“Fidelity,” “Justice,” “Charity,” “Brotherly Love”—these are the words that once hung in the meeting room of FFL. These words precisely represented the purpose of the lodge, which was to serve the community in the form of “a beneficial society for the purpose of assisting each other under certain specified circumstances as provided for in [its] Constitution.”  Specifically the society was:

“1st, To unite fraternally all male colored freemen of sound bodily health and good moral character who are socially acceptable and above the ages of twenty one years. 

2nd, To give all moral and material aid in its power to its members and those dependent upon them.

3rd, To educate its members socially, morally, and intellectually.

4th, To establish a fund for the relief of sick and distressed members.”

In other words the Lodge was to be a pillar for the community. It aided in the burial of its members, provided welfare for the distressed, educated, and encouraged people to draw strength from their faith in God. In an era before the creation of large public and private insurance companies assuring that a relative would be properly buried and cared for if stricken with illness, the lodge was very important to many people.

Of all the members and officers that devoted their lives to the Lodge, Robert Brown is one man who stands out as a shining example of an Odd Fellows member. He was one of the founding officers of the lodge in 1867 as well as an original Trustee to the Union Methodist Episcopal Church in Saint Michaels.

Community Involvements

The lodge offered its space to various organizations, most of them African-American, in Saint Michaels. For example, there’s evidence to suggest that the FFL No. 1024 gave concert space to the Golden Rule Concert Band, a Black marching band in Saint Michaels.

In addition to this some scholars affirm that the 1991 renovations were made by a Black business, Gehlsen and MacSorley Contractors, on the eastern shore.  Also there is some speculation that the company the lodge utilized  to print its membership dues cards, the Sewell Printing Company, was a Black business located in Saint Michaels.

Remaining true to its belief in God, its strongest community tie was with the Union Methodist Episcopal Church, currently known as the Union United Methodist Church. One of the first officers, Robert Brown, the Noble Father, was also a Trustee of the Union ME Church.  In addition to this FFL held their annual Thanksgiving sermon on the second Sunday in May at Union.

Freedom’s Friend also has its own burial grounds located at the rear of the lodge. According to findagrave.com there is only one name, Aretter Brown, listed in the cemetery.

Daniel E. Chaney (b. circa 1832 – d. 1882)
MSA SC 5496-51879
Founding Officer of Freedom’s Friend Lodge No. 1024, Trustee of Union M.E. Church, Talbot County

Daniel E. Chaney was a devoted member of the Grand United Order of Odd Fellows as well as the Union Methodist Episcopal Church, both of which were located in Saint Michaels. He was born into a religious family that valued hard work and charity. He received his freedom by 1860, a date much earlier than most of his fellow Black Odd Fellows.  The only known parent that is listed in the Census for Daniel is his father, George Chaney.  According to the 1860 Federal Census Daniel was living in Saint Michaels with his father and brothers in a house that his father owned.  George and his brothers constructed the house in 1850 after they purchased a lease for a plot of land in Saint Michaels.

It seems that Daniel followed in his fathers footsteps by becoming an Oysterman.   By 1863 Daniel married a young woman named Ellen.  But his matrimony could not keep him from answering the call to duty. In 1863 he and his brothers John, William, Samuel, and Charles were drafted by the Union Army to fight in the Civil War.

After the end of the war in 1865 it is likely that Daniel returned to Saint Michaels to raise a family of his own.8 He and Ellen had five children: Morris (or Maurice), Harriet, Ella, Sedden, and William.  The family had $600 worth of real estate and $300 in personal estate as of the 1870 Census.

In 1867 Daniel was elected to serve as the Vice Grand for Freedom’s Friend Lodge No. 1024.  In this same year Daniel and the other officers—Robert Brown, Joseph L. Johnson, and William Skinner—purchased land from William Green, who was also the same man that lived on George Chaney’s land in the 1860 Census.  The land that they acquired belonged to the organization and would be used to support the African-Americans of Saint Michaels for decades. But it was not just Daniel who believed in the philosophy of the lodge. His nephew, Thomas N. Chaney, also supported Freedom’s Friend.

Daniel’s dedication to the lodge could only be rivaled by his involvement with the Union Methodist Episcopal Church, of which he was one of their earliest Trustees. In 1867 Daniel and another Trustee, James Mitchell, purchased land from the (Whites-only) Methodist Episcopal Church in Saint Michaels.  The land deed that he received enabled Union M.E. Church to increase its territory and influence.

The good times in Saint Michaels would be shortened when, in 1879, Daniel and his wife sold their land and moved to Baltimore.  But before leaving Daniel assigns the rights of a large portion of his land and possessions to his eldest son, Maurice.

It goes without saying that these little tidbits of valuable information are slipping through the cracks of time and unfortunately, I am only one brother who truly cares about our history being preserved .  We all must endure our share to keep the story alive!

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