Sacramento in Sacramento County, California — The American West (Pacific Coastal)
Old Odd Fellows Plot
The Independent Order of Odd Fellows
They were an order that inscribed upon their banners, “Visit the sick, relieve the distressed, and bury the dead.”
“To the benevolent – If there is any of that commodity called charity in this community, we earnestly call upon those possessing it to exercise it forthwith.”
So went out the plea to the Brotherhood in an editorial appeal that appeared in the Placer Times, August 18, 1849.
General Albert V. Winn was the first to move in this direction, summoning his brother members of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows at large to assemble under most extraordinary circumstances and form an association for the relief of the sick, the distressed, and to bury the dead. The call was answered and they came, forming the first Odd Fellows Association in Sacramento on August 24, 1849. And that their children’s children might point with pride, this was the first organized effort for dispensing relief and humanity to the sick and dying in that darkest hour of Sacramento history.
The Odd Fellows Plot is the largest privately owned section in the City Cemetery, the Order
Erected by The Sacramento City Cemetery.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Cemeteries & Burial Sites • Charity & Public Work • Fraternal or Sororal Organizations.
Location. 38° 33.713′ N, 121° 30.034′ W. Marker is in Sacramento, California, in Sacramento County. Marker is located at the Sacramento City Cemetery at the southern end of the Old Odd Fellows Section. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 1000 Broadway, Sacramento CA 95818, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Luella Buckminster-Johnston (within shouting distance of this marker); Old Masonic Cemetery (within shouting distance of this marker); Sacramento Turn Verein (within shouting distance of this marker); Charles Duncombe, M.D. (1787 – 1862) (within shouting distance of this marker); John Bigler (within shouting distance Theodora Tiffee Purkitt, M.D. (within shouting distance of this marker); James Logan Butler (within shouting distance of this marker); Jane Norris (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Sacramento.
1. Odd Fellowship In California
This page is an excerpt from The Three Link Fraternity - Odd Fellowship in California
by Don R. Smith and Wayne Roberts
History of Odd Fellowship
The good works of Odd Fellowship were in evidence in California prior to the official establishment of the fraternity here. The official establishment of Odd Fellowship in California had its birth in the City of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where a short time prior to January 12, 1849, the Most Worthy Grand Sire, Horn R. Kneass, issued a charter entitled "California Lodge No. l."
Due to the excitement of the discovery of gold at Coloma, in January, 1848, the Port of Yerba Buena (San Francisco) was in a turmoil throughout 1849. Two of the three petitioners left for the gold fields in the "Mother Lode," to seek their fortunes. Everything pertaining to Odd Fellowship was left with James Smiley. He made one or two attempts, within the next three months to organize an Odd Fellows lodge, but with so many leaving for the gold fields, the idea was abandoned.
When some of the brothers returned from the gold fields, he was able to gather a sufficient number of former brothers to assist in making up the complement of charter members, required by the laws under which they secured the charter. On September 9, 1849, one year to the day before California was admitted to the Union as the 31st State, California Lodge No. 1 came into being, in the City of San Francisco, with Brother Smiley instituting the lodge.
Several months previous to the organization of California Lodge No. 1 the brothers of San Francisco were at work relieving the suffering, and during a few months they expended over $100,000. It was not unusual during this period, and for a number of years, to cost a member $5.00 or even $10.00 to attend a meeting, for there was no regular means of collecting dues, or paying benefits, and the calls for aid were many.
An interesting feature of California Lodge No. 1 during their formation period was their dues structure. They adopted their first By Laws November 25, 1850, and the initiation fee was set at $50.00; dues, $10.00 per quarter in advance; and no benefits were to be paid a Brother who was able to pay his own expenses. Two years later San Francisco Lodge No. 3 was established.
In Sacramento an association was organized by a Texas Odd Fellow, A. M. Winn, later the founder of the Native Sons of the Golden West. The brother published a notice in the "Pacific News" calling all Odd Fellows together. More than 100 three linkers assembled on August 20, 1849, to organize a relief association. They had no authority to organize and adopt the Odd Fellows name but the necessities of the times demanded prompt action. Brother Winn was elected President, and he was authorized to call upon any member to nurse the sick free of charge, when nurses were receiving $16.00 a day for such services. The Odd Fellows were joined by the Masons in establishing the first hospital in California, and within a few months had expended some $30,000.00 in relieving distress. Shortly thereafter Sacramento Lodge No. 2 was instituted and the following year Eureka Lodge No. 4 was formed. Odd Fellow relief associations were also organized in Stockton and Marysville, soon followed by the institution of Charity Lodge No. 6 in Stockton and Yuba Lodge No. 5 in Marysville. In addition to San Francisco, Sacramento, Stockton and Marysville, many Odd Fellow lodges were soon established throughout the Mother Lode area of the Sierra Nevada Mountains.
In time, Odd Fellowship spread throughout the state. The list of lodges once included almost every city, town or hamlet, in the "Golden State". At one time, lodges in the Oregon and Washington Territory, along with those in British Columbia, were under the jurisdiction of the Grand Lodge of California.
— Submitted October 14, 2008, by Syd Whittle of Mesa, Arizona.
Credits. This page was last revised on July 6, 2019. It was originally submitted on October 14, 2008, by Syd Whittle of Mesa, Arizona. This page has been viewed 2,020 times since then and 36 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on October 14, 2008, by Syd Whittle of Mesa, Arizona.