In 1842, Patrick H. Reason, James Fields and a few scholars were members of the Philomathean Institute, a Literary Debate Society of Colored Men in New York City.

After being denied a multitude of times by Thomas Wildey’s Independent Order, The brothers petitioned for a dispensation from the Grand United Order of Odd Fellows in England,through our worthy founder Peter Ogden.  Peter Ogden was himself  a member of Victoria Lodge no #448 in Liverpool England. It was he who all but guaranteed that the charter could be obtained and delivered the request himself by boat. It was approved January 6th,1843. The Committee of Management convened on Elm Street in New York City and appointed 5 Grand Masters and a Noble Father. Needless to say he was correct and subsequent to his action the founding of our illustrious Order on March 1,1843 becomes American history….Patrick Reason later went on to establish  Hamilton Lodge #710. That Lodge, the second one of our Order in America, is still in existence and is one of our best Lodges.

Patrick Reason represented his Lodge in the early A.M.C. (now B.M.C.) and was active in promoting the interests of the Order during his membership in the same. Patrick Reason, by profession, was a noted engraver. At the 4th A.M.C. held in Albany New York in 1848, he presented for acceptance of that A.M.C. a proof of a copper plate designed, arranged and engraved by himself as a Certificate of Membership in the Grand United Order of Odd Fellows. The same was approved and accepted by the A.M.C.

At the 13th A.M.C. held in New York City, in September 1856, Brother Patrick Reason, the delegate from Hamilton Lodge No. 710, presented a proposition requesting the A.M.C. to take into consideration the propriety of establishing a Degree to be conferred under certain conditions on “Females”. After a full explanation by Brother Reason, the proposition was referred to the Sub-Committee of Management (now Committee of Management) for action and report at the next meeting.

On July 13, 1857, the Sub-Committee of Management referred the matter to the committee with instructions: “To prepare the Ritualistic work”. On July 23, 1957, the Ritual was submitted and approved by the Sub-Committee of Management in England for approval. On March 3, 1858, the Committee of Management in England returned the Ritualistic Work of the Ruth Degree to our Sub-Committee of Management after having approved the same. Grand Master David B. Bowser, Deputy Grand Master John C. Bowser, and Grand Secretary James F. Needam, Sr., were appointed a Committee to design a Ritual Degree Warrant, which they did and submitted to the Sub-Committee of Management July 12, 1858. The same was approved.

Brother Patrick Reason, the author of the proposition creating the Ruth Degree, was the first person to be invested with the honors of inmate. The Committee of Management conferred the degree upon him as a mark of honor August 23, 1858.

Brother Love Lodge No. 896 applied for and received the First-Degree Warrant for Household of No. 1 under the date of September 29, 1858. Lodge No.896 and Household No. 1 are both located in Harrisburg, PA. On the same date a Warrant was granted to Phoenix Lodge No. 894 of Philadelphia, Pa to open Household of Ruth No. 2 of Philadelphia, PA. Both Household and Lodge are still in existence.

The design or objective of the Household of Ruth Degree is to enlist the sympathies and assistance of women on behalf of the Grand United Order of Odd Fellows. To unite, the wives, daughters, and other inmates intimately, with their fathers, husbands, and other brothers of the Order, in working with the beauties of Odd Fellowship. To encircle in one social band, the wives, daughters, widows of Odd Fellows and entwine around the mystic cord, that each and all may be mutually benefited and more closely united in the noble work of relieving the needy, the sick and the distressed.

They are found in 36 states in the United States, Canada, Amsterdam, Holland, Liberia, Africa, Puerto Rico, Cuba, Jamaica, Panama, Costa Rica, Bermuda, Virgin Islands, Bahamas, Haiti, Republic of Dominican, Sierra Leone, Nicaragua, Dutch West Indies, British Honduras, Spanish Honduras, Trinidad, St. Kitts, and several other Islands of the West Indies.

Current Presiding Officer: Most Worthy Grand Superior Jeanette Carter

Name and location of your oldest unit that is still: Queen of Sheba Household of Ruth #4, Newark, DE. (Charter was given to Lodge in Wilmington, DE to organize this Household on Nov 8, 1858.

Name and location of the newest unit: Diamondnique Household of Ruth #6997, Rochester, NY.  Organized Nov 19, 2010

 Colors associated with this branch:  Pink and White