Independent Order of Odd Fellows

From Kook Science

Independent Order of Odd Fellows

I.O.O.F. symbols: three-linked chain above the Eye of Providence

Motto "Amicitia, Amor et Veritas"
("Friendship, Love and Truth")
Formation 26 April 1819
Legal status U.S. 501(c)(8)
Fraternal Benefit Order
Founder Thomas Wildey

The Independent Order of Odd Fellows (IOOF) is an American fraternal order, founded at Baltimore, Maryland in April 1819 by Thomas Wildey and members of the English Independent Order of Oddfellows Manchester Unity.



  • Gould, S. C., ed. (Nov. 1896), Independent Order of Odd Fellows, "Masonic and Arcane Societies in the U.S.", Miscellaneous Notes and Queries 14 (11): 281,;view=1up;seq=295, "We need say but little about this well-known Order. It was organized in the United States at Baltimore, Md., on April 26, 1819, by five members of the Order of the Manchester Unity, England. The leading spirit in this movement was Thomas Wildey, who has the honor of being "The Founder and Father of American Odd-Fellowship." The other four associates are worthy of record: John Welch, Richard Rushworth, John Duncan, and John Cheatham. Wildey, "The Father of American Odd-Fellowship," very appropriately corresponded with Washington, "The Father of his Country," which was the name of the first Lodge of Odd-Fellows. There are at present time almost 11,000 subordinate lodges with a membership of over 800,000. There are nearly 2,700 subordinate encampments with a membership of over 133,700. There are over 4,000 Rebekah lodges with a membership of over 253,000. The Order's supreme power for all its subordinates — Grand Lodges and Grand Encampments, subordinate lodges and encampments, Rebekah lodges and Conventions, and Patriarchs Militant — is contained in a "Sovereign Grand Lodge," meeting annually."