Who are the “Odd Fellows?”
In 17th Century England, it was “odd” to find people organized for the purpose of giving aid to those in need and pursuing projects for the benefit of all mankind. Those who belonged to such an organization were called “Odd Fellows.” Odd Fellows are also known as “The Three Link Fraternity” which stands for Friendship, Love, and Truth.
The Independent Order of Odd Fellows was founded on the North American Continent in the Seven Stars Tavern in Baltimore, Maryland, on April 26, 1819, by Thomas Wildey. The founders instituted Washington IOOF Lodge No. 1. This lodge received its charter from the Manchester Unity (England).
Odd Fellowship became the first national fraternity to include both men and women when it adopted the beautiful Rebekah Degree on September 20, 1851. This degree is based on the teachings found in the Holy Bible and was written by Schuyler Colfax, Vice President of the United States (1868-1873). Odd Fellows and Rebekahs were also the first fraternal organization to establish homes for the elderly members and orphans.