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Ancient Order of United Workingmen of Illinois, Auburn Lodge #49 records

Identifier: MS-BC20


Organized March 14, 1877 in Auburn, Ill. as member lodge of the national secret fraternal organization founded for social and economic betterment of its members by furnishing low cost medical and death benefits. The first of these lodges was founded by John Upchurch in1868, who planned the secret rituals and devised the idea of a small payment by each member. Then in the event of a member’s death another fee was assessed in order to pay the beneficiary a sum of $2,000. The society grew rapidly and when a state had 2,000 members in local societies a grand lodge was formed. In 1873 the state societies met in Cincinnati and organized the Supreme Lodge of the A.O.U.W. The states were responsible for their own assessments and payments but the Supreme Lodge helped out if there was a disaster or epidemic occurring in a state that hindered the ability to pay benefits. When the Auburn lodge was formed, its members elected W.W. Lowdermilk as its Grand Master and G. W. Hutton as its secretary and all members were initiated into the “secret signs and mysteries or the order”.

Minutes, application forms, letters, bank booklets, pamphlets, monthly reports, and beneficiary register. The minutes include those from the first meeting where the constitution and by-laws were passed in 1877 through 1893. A few letters regarding changes in fees or policy. Pamphlets about the society. Monthly reports and beneficiary register list the amount of fees collected and the amount paid out as well as who is delinquent and who is restored after paying past fees.


  • 1877 - 1906


.21 Linear Feet (1/2 MS box and 2 bound volumes)

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Repository Details

Part of the Manuscript Collection Repository

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Springfield IL 62701 US
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