Posts

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……..

CHARITABLE DONATIONS MAY BE MADE TO:

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

 

 

 

If anyone asks……….it’s for the cause of so many of our predecessors whose souls I hope to stir, as we honor their all but forgotten legacies……..

I attended the Grand opening for an exhibit titled “Justice for All” at the University of South Carolina’s special collections department in the library. There are over 300 rarely seen telics of a time not too long ago.  These displays highlight the contributions of South Carolina’s own Black American freedom fighters.  Dr. Donaldson was the Master of Ceremonies for the evening,  for what it’s worth,  he has been a motivating force for highlights of our history as the head of African American studies at University of South Carolina.  This vast body of work, the culmination of himself and his team of dedicated archivists and researchers.  The guest speaker needs know introduction,  but I will speak with great esteem, at having the honor of conversation with Dr. Cleveland Sellers.

His story:

A three-year-old mascot; pardoned civil rights activist; author; educator; devoted husband and father. These are the roles that have indelibly shaped the legacy of Cleveland L. Sellers Jr., PhD, the eighth president of Voorhees College.

He grew up in Denmark – in the shadows of Voorhees – and became active in the 1960’s civil rights movement as an advocate for voting rights, justice and human rights. He aligned himself with veterans of the movement such as Ella Baker, Fannie Lou Hamer, Esau Jenkins, Modjeska Simpkins and Septima Clark. He was a victim of the Orangeburg Massacre that resulted in only one arrest – his. He used the detention to rededicate his life to empowering others through education – his life’s calling.

Under Dr. Sellers’ leadership, the South Carolina State Commission on Higher Education has recognized Voorhees College as the only Historically Black College and University (HBCU) to receive the 2008-2009 Service Learning Award for exemplary academic service learning programs of public and private higher education institutions. The college also made history as one of only two HBCU’s to be featured in the first Inauguration Debate Series held at the National Museum of Natural history in Washington, D.C.

Previously, Dr. Sellers served as director of the African American Studies program at the University of South Carolina. An alumnus of Shaw University, Harvard University, and the University of North Carolina-Greensboro, his affiliations include the Kosmos Club, South Carolina State Board of Education, South Carolina African American Heritage Committee, the Organization of American Historians, and Southern Historical Association. Among his numerous awards are the 2009 “Preserving Our Places in History” Lifetime Achievement Award, South Carolina African American Heritage Commission……He is a remarkable figure whom everyone should know. 

Now if that wasn’t enough,  lets get into the displays!  Did you know that Martin Luther King Jr was originally scheduled to speak in Columbia when he was killed?  Yeah, he rescheduled to make that trip to Memphis instead and paid the ultimate price for us.  There’s proof within those displays.  While viewing I met a white photographer who was ultimately beaten within inches of his life by police officers, because he was  filming the carnage ensuing because brothers and sisters were boycotting stores in downtown Columbia.  His pictures tell a story,  his films even more.

I met sons and daughters of some of our members as well.  They were proud to know that District 13 is back,  I plan to do some interviews with them so stay tuned !!! I read the names of a good bit of our brethren mentioned amongst the greats, like Luther James Battiste, Isaiah DeQuincey Newman, Judge Matthew Perry, and J.C. Artemus…..If you don’t recognize the names a quick Google search will set you straight….

There aren’t that many ancestors left so we must focus on a new generation to care for the and carry the torch…..

I won’t post anymore pictures in hopes that you will take time off to come and see it for yourselves.  For the Grand United Order of Oddfellows?! I am working with Dr. Donaldson currently to assist with telling our unique history.  Hopefully we will be able to host an event like this all our own.  Til then though I will continue to bring you the latest and greatest ,as I find new information…..

Black History is this month, March should be “Odd History Month” !!!

 

I leave as I came in the bond of Friendship Love and Truth with a touch of  Peace Hope and Prosperity…..

 

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

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

 

The 63rd Biennial Movable Conference was a memorable experience for all inattendance this year. The scene: The Astor on Canal Street, the heart of New Orleans. The mood: intense yet warming  The mantra: Moving forward with integrity and love…

It was among the most august of events with the sisters and brothers from all over the United States as well as our family from the Islands in attendance.  Me being able to attend was a blessing although I wasn’t afforded the opportunity to address everyone. I found myself quite content just to make small talk with individuals whom I had only seen in pictures.   The mayor and current president of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc. Gave us warm wishes and thanks for hosting our event in their city. 

MNGS Sis. Martin @ the grand opening

There is much to be gained from the wisdom our predecessors possess if we only take the time to look listen and learn.  Current advice taken, I learned when to be fierce and when to be humble. I also learned that there is a plethora of knowledge about the order I have yet to attain.  To be a good teacher one must also be a good student.  The brethren of Wayman Lodge should be proud as one of their own received an award, in recognition of the work done for the preservation of the History of the Grand United Order of Oddfellows .  It is a must for next BMC to have more from the carolinas in attendance ! #squadgoals

My takeaway prize from attending the BMC was that my family was able to travel with me. My wife, my mother, my daughter and my big sister got to see me in action ! The looks on their faces ! How proud they were to see me dressed up in a suit n tie, which is not my daily attire !!!   Priceless !

As a business owner and tattoo enthusiast I may not look like many of the others, but I’m proud that they  accept me as I am, tattoos and all ! They recognize they taken the same oath as I, some before I was born…. I only see a bright future ahead for my lodge, my district,  my area, and the entire jurisdiction if only I can bring more light to the mysterious three that aren’t that mysterious, lol….

 

 

I would like to further my writings about the future of the Order and I will absolutely be trying to contact as many who attended for their wisdom and insight. But for now, I  will drop some pictures for your viewing pleasure!  I leave as came in the bond of friendship love and truth…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Brother Supreme Emanuel Page Jr. NG, Wayman Lodge 1339, District 13 Gr. Historian. National Historian GUOOF America and Jurisdiction

 

 

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

Events

Nothing Found

Sorry, no posts matched your criteria