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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!

Greetings in FL&T,

from the desk of Bro. Supreme Page :

Worthy Brothers and sisters of the Grand United Order of Oddfellows in America and Jurisdiction Happy New Year !!!! The past year for District 13 was chock full of ups and downs yet we are still going strong and still moving forward.  Our strength is only as strong as our weakest members though. With that being said I would emplore all the members who read this to extend your heart in hand to a brother or sister whom you haven’t seen at the last meeting,  someone who you almost forgot about.  Doesn’t necessarily have to be an Elder but even so, check on them often  !!!!!

Our national communication should be more than death notices and Facebook Groups !!!!

It is my sincerest attempt to inspire potential candidates to bring new life into our mysteries yet, I feel compelled to speak with our elders. Understanding that time isn’t on our side, we must seek out,  and bring all our elders back to the “Light” of Oddfellowship.  Not saying you have to go out and hit yelp n look up every past member (although I do) , but how much would it hurt to call and inquire about our lodge or household  pioneers?  The torch can’t be passed if we fail to extend our hands ! These brothers and sisters are our living libraries and some very important events in our history are stored in their minds.

I am on the hunt for stories,  old programs, old photos, etc.  Ultimately it is time for our story to be told to the public, letting the world know about this beacon of light we have been shining since 1843!

 

I am writing a book on our history,  possibly two, because so much has been left unsaid for too long ! I am grateful for the opportunity to speak on behalf of our brethren,  to do research about US ! To browse the personal effects of those who came before us is in itself a jewel worth it’s weight in gold ! Being able to teach a wider audience about all we have done throughout history is a labor of love ! My only hope is that some of you will reach out to me with your own stories about a lodge, household,  or specific members. You can send me an email at:

Supremelyodd@gmail.com

To my up and coming researchers I need your help as well.  Many college libraries have special collections waiting for someone like you to spelunk their volumes ! You can start online and so your journey begins. If you’re interested in our rich history and it’s preservation hit me up…..

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

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

 

It is with esteemed honor that I announce the resurrection of St. John Lodge #1455 of the Grand United Order of OddFellows out of Atlanta, Georgia ! With the consolidated efforts of South Carolina’s District 13 another step forward has been taken! Our chief goal is to breathe life back into this order and I am proud to say that we are bearing fruit from the oddfellows tree. This lodge was initially brought into existence in 1870, a mere 5 years after our brothers and sisters were emancipated!  There are many who share a hand in this arduous task that is indeed worth our consolidation ! We must press on and continue to be a light so bright the sun gotta wear shades …….
Atlanta’s Auburn community was a beacon for black business and quickly rose to prominence and prosperity……like them, our new torch bearing brothers will again shine bright !

This has been one of the most important weekends for the brothers in South Carolina and the order in general ! Many many more to come yall so stay tuned! Special thanks to District 13 Grand Master Shawn Cannon and Brother Tim Reed and the rest of the degree team that traveled south to assist in our growth! Speaking of growth, I want to welcome my brother Geoffrey Powell into our #Mysteriousthree ! I am honored to be among you brothers and together we will be a force for #Friendship #Love and #Truth! #guoof #guoofof #oddfellow #Oddfellowship #3links #flt #oddhistory #philanthropy #doforself #fraternal #threelinks

As the title states,  I am pleased to inform everyone of our latest news ! Firstly, congrats are in order for Bro. Supreme Page jr for being appointed by the Committee of Management to again Chair the Historic Committee.  Our District Grand Master Shawn Cannon has been appointed by the Grand Master to Chair the Grand Legislative Committee as well as Co-chair the Membership Committee.  They will be duly installed in Philadelphia next month !  

On top of S.C.’s District 13 touting two National positions, Bros Shawn Cannon, Bruce Benjamin, and Kevin Williams also recently acquired the degrees for the Past GrandMaster’s Council !!!! The brethren in South Hill, Va welcomed them to move up n delve further into the higher degrees of our Order this past weekend. 

The brethren of Wayman lodge 1339 are still moving strong with their philanthropy and charity with their 2nd annual Toys for Tattz program !  Stay tuned as more will be shared in the near future!  In FLT and PHP..

 

 

 

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

There are three types of people in this world :

1. Those who make things happen.

2.Those who watch what happens.

3. Those who wonder what happened.

It pleases me to announce that here in Columbia, SC.  The brethren of Wayman Lodge 1339 are growing.  It goes without saying that fraternal organizations are experiencing a decline worldwide.  There exists a social and generational gap between these organizations and the world in which we live. The world is in a state of disarray with accountability being the word of the day!   The lodge however is managing to capitalize and fulfill the needs of worthy brethren  through our bond of Friendship, Love, and Truth  !  We still manage to shine a light through societal darkness. This past month we initiated two individuals who are more than worthy….. May I introduce to the world Brothers Tim Reed and Terrance Hayes !

These two new additions to our Lodge are living proof that we’re on the right path. These two fellows are a testament to our plight as their presence in turn brings more light and life to the Order. No longer are we a thing of the past but a staple for the future ! Many good things are in order for this new young brand of Odd fellows,  sticking to traditional values while implementing innovative methods of fellowship and continuing this rich legacy……

Pictured above is the brethren from left to right (PNF) Emanuel Page, (OG) Andrew Williams, (W) Andre Williams, newly initiated Brothers Terrance and Tim, myself (NG) seated left, and (VG) Jarrett Jenkins, but minus (WC) Bro. Humphrey and our Double Odds from Texas…..

At our last gathering we were presented with an apron that was worn by our predecessors,  gifted to the lodge by our Past Noble Father, who continues to enlighten us….He still travels 6 hours one-way to attend meetings and assist us, never letting the lodge down!  

Some might not understand this brotherhood,  and we’re okay with that, because Oddfellowship isn’t for everyone, but our earnest goal is to help everyone that we can.   Being a part of history is a rewarding feeling of itself,  making history shall be the reward of those who come after us……

I leave as I came in the bond of friendship, love, and truth……

 

 

District 13’s #threewisemen were at it again, traveling to #Virginia this time to visit with the #PastGrandmastersCouncil ! The brothers went to learn and attain their wisdom as we move forward in our goal to become the Hub District for the #GrandUnitedOrderofOddFellows in #America and Jurisdiction and then the #World!

 

Through positive examples of #Friendship #Love and #Truth We shall meet and exceed all barriers and expectations. To whom much is given, much is expected so we are enduring our share of the work. It is almost our 175th #anniversary of existence in this country so it’s our duty to make sure we last another 175 years. It can be done by sticking to the script, yet enhancing the narrative! Special thanks to Bro. Bobby Stone and the brethren of #HayesChapelLodge #8123 for their gracious #hospitality and outright #discipline in teaching us how to carry the light of #Oddfellowship….

Our founders would be proud !
#oddfellows #oddfellow #guoof #guoofof #blackhistorymonth #americanhistory #flt #threelinks #District13 #DistrictGrandLodge #AreaII

Brother Joseph H. Rainey was born on June 21, 1832 in Georgetown, South Carolina, a seaside town consisting mainly of rice plantations. His mother  Grace Rainey was of French descent. His father,Edward Rainey was a barber, and his master permitted him to work independently if he shared some of his profits, as required by law. Rainey used his earnings to buy his family’s freedom in the early 1840s, and in 1846 the family moved to Charleston, South Carolina, where Edward became a barber at the exclusive Mills House Hotel. As giving official instruction to black children was illegal, Joseph Rainey received a limited education and his father taught him the barber’s trade. In 1859, Joseph Rainey traveled to Philadelphia, where he met and married his wife, Susan, also a half–French mulatto, originally from the West Indies. Rainey continued to work as a barber, and the couple had three children: Joseph II, Herbert, and Olivia.

The Confederate Army called Rainey to service when the Civil War broke out in 1861. At first, he dug trenches to fortify the outskirts of Charleston. He later worked as a cook and a steward aboard a blockade runner, a Confederate ship charged with carrying tradeable goods through the Union Navy’s blockade of the South. In 1862, he and his wife escaped to Bermuda. The self–governed British colony had abolished slavery in 1834, and proved a hospitable home for the Raineys, who took advantage of the thriving economy and growing population that resulted from the lucrative blockade–running business. The Raineys lived in St. George and Hamilton, Bermuda, where Joseph set up a successful barbershop and Susan Rainey opened a dress store. It was here that he became one of our brethren,joining Alexandrina lodge no.1026, the second oldest lodge in the West Indies.

The Raineys were informed about the progress of the Civil War by passing sailors and, after the Union victory, returned to Charleston in 1866.

The wealth Joseph Rainey acquired in Bermuda elevated his status in the community, and looked upon as a leader, he soon became active in the Republican Party. In 1867, Rainey returned to Georgetown, South Carolina, and became the Republican county chairman. When a state constitutional convention was called in 1868, Rainey traveled to Charleston to represent Georgetown. In 1869, he also attended a state labor commission and served as Georgetown’s census taker. In the late 1860s, he worked as an agent for the state land commission and was a brigadier general in the state militia. Joseph Rainey was elected to his first public office in 1870 when he won a seat in the state senate, where he immediately became chairman of the finance committee.

In February 1870, Representative Benjamin F. Whittemore resigned his northeastern South Carolina seat, having been charged with selling appointments to U.S. military academies. The Republican Party nominated Rainey for the remainder of Whittemore’s term in the 41st Congress (1869–1871) and for a full term in the 42nd Congress (1871–1873). On October 19, 1870, Rainey won the full term, topping Democrat C. W. Dudley by a substantial majority (63 percent). On November 8, he defeated Dudley once again, garnering more than 86 percent of the vote, in a special election to fill the seat for the remainder of the 41st Congress.  Joseph Rainey was sworn in on December 12, 1870, as the first African American to serve in the U.S. House of Representatives. One month later he was joined by the second black Member, Representative Jefferson Long of Georgia. Rainey’s moderate policies were met with approval by both African–American and white voters, and he was elected without opposition to the 43rd Congress (1873–1875).

Rainey advocated for his constituents—both black and white. He used his growing political clout to influence the South Carolina state legislature to retain the customs duty on rice, the chief export of the district and the state. He also submitted a petition to improve Charleston Harbor and fought against an appropriations cut for Fort Moultrie and Fort Sumter in Charleston. However, Rainey’s committee appointments and policies reflected his desire to defend black civil rights, and his loyalty to the Republican Party. Rainey received seats on three standing committees: Freedmen’s Affairs (41st–43rd Congresses), Indian Affairs (43rd Congress), and Invalid Pensions (44th–45th Congresses, 1875–1879). He also served on several select committees, including the Select Committee on the Centennial Celebration and the Proposed National Census of 1875 (44th Congress) and the Committee on the Freedmen’s Bank (44th Congress).

Rainey’s work on the Committee on Freedmen’s Affairs—created in 1865 to handle all legislation concerning newly freed slaves—earned him the most recognition.  On April 1, 1871, he delivered his first major speech, arguing for the use of federal troops to protect southern blacks from the recently organized Ku Klux Klan. Enumerating the dangers of returning home to South Carolina on congressional breaks, exposing himself to violence by the Red Shirts—a virulent South Carolina white supremacist organization—Rainey said, “When myself and my colleagues shall leave these Halls and turn our footsteps toward our southern homes, we know not that the assassin may await our coming, as marked for his vengeance.” The Ku Klux Klan Act was signed into law by President Ulysses S. Grant on April 20, 1871, but the bill failed to stop Klan terrorism.  After his speech, Rainey received a letter written in red ink instructing him and other advocates of black civil rights to “prepare to meet your God.” White southerners virtually ignored the Ku Klux Klan Act, and congressional opponents circumvented its provisions by eliminating funding. In March of 1872, Rainey found himself arguing for the federal appropriations needed to enforce the act.

Rainey also advocated Radical Republican Senator Charles Sumner’s Civil Rights Bill of 1875, which outlawed racial discrimination on juries, in schools, on transportation, and in public accommodations. Sumner believed a law passed in 1872 granting amnesty to former Confederates should be conditioned by the passage of his civil rights bill. Although Rainey favored the Amnesty Act, which allowed most former Confederates to regain their political rights, he agreed with Sumner because of personal experience with discrimination in both Washington and South Carolina, ranging from exorbitant charges for drinks at a pub, to more serious violations of his civil rights. Rainey also described widespread segregation on public transportation, including trains and streetcars. Speaking for his black constituents, he declared, “We are earnest in our support of the Government. We were earnest in the house of the nation’s perils and dangers; and now, in our country’s comparative peace and tranquility, we are earnest for our rights.”

Rainey focused on the bill’s provisions for desegregation in public schools, an issue that had bedeviled race relations for more than a century. Breaking from fellow Republicans, he was among the minority favoring a $1 poll tax to support public education. Other Republicans successfully argued this would disfranchise most freed slaves. Nonetheless, Rainey continued to advocate education, later arguing that money from the sale of public land should be used to fund public education. Though the Civil Rights Bill passed the House on February 5, 1875, with the Senate quickly concurring, its diluted provisions failed to address desegregation or equality in public schools.

Rainey’s fight against discrimination was not limited to prejudice against African Americans. Appointed to the Committee on Indian Affairs, he made history in April 1874 when he took the chair from Speaker James G. Blaine, becoming the first black American to preside over the House of Representatives.  He oversaw the debate on an appropriations bill providing for the management of Indian reservations. Rainey also generally opposed legislation restricting the influx of Asian immigrants to the United States.

Throughout his career, Rainey involved himself in the economic issues that affected his race. Established by Congress in 1865, the Freedmen’s Savings and Trust Company (Freedmen’s Bank) was envisioned as a means to help newly emancipated African Americans build capital through secure savings. Two–thirds of the bank’s holdings were originally invested in United States treasury bonds. In 1870, an amendment to the bank’s charter allowing half of its deposits to be invested in real estate bonds came to the floor. Recognizing the instability of such an investment, Rainey opposed the amendment and stood behind congressional control over the institution: “I am opposed to any one man holding assets of that bank, having them wholly at his disposal, I do not care who he is, whether he be colored or white, whether he be a German or an Irishman it makes no difference to me. I want no one man to handle the assets of the bank.”  His position on the Select Committee on the Freedmen’s Bank gave him a voice, but he and his colleagues were unable to prevent the bank’s failure in 1874.

After an easy re–election in 1872, Rainey’s subsequent campaigns were made vulnerable by the growing threat to Congressional Reconstruction in the South. In 1874, Rainey faced Independent Republican Samuel Lee, another African American and a former speaker of the state house of representatives, in a dangerous and close campaign. When Rainey planned to travel to a meeting in Bennettsville, South Carolina, friends warned him that Lee’s supporters were planning a violent intervention. Accompanied by a large posse of friends and met by U.S. soldiers upon his arrival, Rainey arrived safely and the meeting was peaceful. Rainey won the election, taking 14,360 votes (52 percent) to Lee’s 13,563, but Lee demanded that the House Committee on Elections void some of Rainey’s votes due to a spelling error in Rainey’s name on some ballots.  The committee upheld Rainey’s election, with the whole House concurring in May 1876. That same year, Rainey defeated Democrat John S. Richardson for a seat in the 45th Congress, again winning a tight campaign with 52 percent of the vote.  Richardson later accused Rainey and the Republican Party of voter intimidation. Noting the presence of federal troops during the election, Richardson also claimed that armed black political clubs and black militia were scaring voters at the polls. Richardson’s election had been certified by Democratic South Carolina Governor Wade Hampton, and Rainey maintained that only the South Carolina secretary of state could certify elections. Rainey took his seat, but in May 1878 the Committee on Elections declared the seat vacant, citing irregularities. The House failed to act on the committee report, and Rainey kept his seat for the remainder of his term.

Rainey’s final two terms were wracked by setbacks for African–American civil rights in South Carolina and the final blow that virtually ended federal Reconstruction in the South. On the American centennial on July 4, 1876, black militia celebrated by parading through a street in Hamburg, South Carolina. When a group of white men attempted to cross the street, the black soldiers refused to stop. The white men subsequently fired upon and killed several militiamen. Debate over the incident became bitter on the House Floor during Rainey’s final term in the 45th Congress. Rainey condemned the murders and exchanged coarse remarks with Democratic Representative Samuel Cox of New York, who believed the “Hamburg massacre” resulted from poor government by black South Carolina leaders.  Bolstered by renewed Democratic control in South Carolina, John S. Richardson defeated Rainey in the 1878 election for the 46th Congress (1879–1881) by more than 8,000 votes. Joseph Rainey retired from the House on March 3, 1879.

Upon his departure from Congress, Rainey was promised that Republicans would nominate him as Clerk of the House of Representatives; however, Democratic control over the 46th Congress precluded Rainey’s selection as Clerk. When Republicans regained control of Congress in 1881, Rainey spent time in Washington trying to secure the appointment, but he lost the nomination. In 1879, Rainey was appointed a special agent of the U.S. Treasury Department in South Carolina. After being endorsed by 84 Representatives, including future President James A. Garfield of Ohio, Rainey served two years. In 1881, he started a brokerage and banking business in Washington, but the firm collapsed five years later. For one year, he managed a coal mining operation and a wood yard before returning to Georgetown in ill health. Joseph and Susan Rainey opened a millinery shop shortly before Joseph died of congestive fever on August 1, 1887.  There is no doubt in my mind that Oddfellowship was/is a pillar upon which our people are lifted out of despair! We just need to look at our long proud history to find the courage to do away with complacency and seek triumph in our future!

Our brother is another fine example of the what can be accomplished if we believe in our noble cause and do the work….In the bond of Friendship Love and Truth

 

Bro.Page NG Wayman lodge no.1339

http://history.house.gov/People/Listing/R/RAINEY,-Joseph-Hayne-(R000016)/

I assume this means as much to us Odd Fellows as it does to the Prince Hall Masons of SC……

Here lies Dr. Charles Catlett Johnson or C.C. Johnson……Dr. Johnson (b. 1860, d. 1928) was born in Orange County, Virginia. He graduated from Howard University Medical School in Washington, D.C. in 1888, and opened a medical practice soon afterward in Columbia, South Carolina. His is a complicated story. Charles Catlett Johnson, Sr. was born in Orange County, Virginia on December 24, 1860. His mother, Mary Jane Reed, was of Scotch parentage, and his father, Louis Johnson, was an Irish immigrant.
After his father died in 1865, his mother married Nicholas Poindexter, a black man, and Charles and his two sisters grew up in Washington, DC, along with children his mother birthed for Poindexter.

Throughout his life, he remained a “voluntary” black man, though his blonde hair, blue eyes and fair skin never failed to raise eyebrows. Likewise, there are few facts known about the early days in Columbia, South Carolina, where the young doctor began his practice at 1103 Plain Street. We know from published biographical records that he was the first physician of color to practice in that city, and that he was the first doctor ever to administer the small pox vaccine there. He was also the first physician of any race to use the X-ray machine in surgical practice in South Carolina. In addition, he taught chemistry as a professor at Benedict College for a time there in Columbia….He went on to become one of Aiken County, South Carolina’s founding fathers with another worthy Oddfellow, Prince Rivers…

In opposition to the “Atlanta Comprise”:

Dr. C.C. Johnson, was a colleague of the famius Dr. DuBois an esteemed black physician and surgeon. In a letter to DuBois, Johnson wrote that he “could not believe that in the long run it can be for the real good of any race to oppress unjustly any man or set of men anywhere in the world”.  Continuing in this manner Dr. Johnson wrote that “It surely needs no argument to any fair minded man to be convinced that the national sin of our country today is the shameful injustice to which our race is subjected in practically all parts of the land, both in a private and a public way”.  

 

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