Order of Sparta

From Kook Science

Order of Sparta
Motto "With It or Upon It"
Formation 1879
Dissolution 1917
Purpose/focus Mutual assessment insurance [1]
Headquarters Philadelphia, PA
Membership 7000 (in 1899); 2000 (in 1915)

The Order of Sparta was an American fraternal insurance society, formed by Ancient Order of United Workmen members J.B. Moffitt, Robert A. Welsh, James McConnell, Alexander J. McCleary, and William H. Smith, at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1879.[1] By 1915, the Order became embroiled in legal disputes over member assessments and payments,[2] eventually culminating in its being declared bankrupt in late 1917,[3] effectively dissolving the organisation.


The order was organised into local chapters known as Senates, presided over by elected officers — High Priest, King, Regent, Captain of the Guard, Recording Secretary, Financial Secretary, Treasurer, Page, Herald, Warder, Ephori, Hurtles, and Medical Examiner — which, in turn, were under the executive jurisdiction of the Great Senate.

Initiation into the Order of Sparta was restricted to Christian men of "good physical health", between twenty-one and fifty years of age. The ritual was based on the history of ancient Sparta.[1]

List of Senates

Senate Name No. City/County State Founded Dissolved Notes
Lycurgus 1 Philadelphia PA 1880
Leonidas 2 Philadelphia PA
Thermopylae 3 Philadelphia PA
Marathon 4 Philadelphia PA
Delphi 5 Philadelphia PA
Apollo 6 Philadelphia PA
Athena 7 Philadelphia PA
Dorian 8 Philadelphia PA
Corinthian 9 Philadelphia PA
Laconia 10 Philadelphia PA
Tithonian 11 Philadelphia PA
Ionic 12 Gloucester City NJ
Cleomenes 14 Philadelphia PA
Olympian 15 Philadelphia PA 1882-04-18
Minerva 16 Philadelphia PA
Plato 17 Philadelphia PA
Orestes 18 Philadelphia PA
Perseus 19 Philadelphia PA
Lysander 21 Philadelphia PA
Homer 22 Allentown PA
Socrates 23 Baltimore MD
Archimedes 27 Merchantville NJ 1895-08-22
St. Paul's 28 Philadelphia PA 1895-08-19


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Stevens, Albert C., ed. (1899), "Order of Sparta", The Cyclopædia of Fraternities, New York City; Paterson, N.J.: Hamilton Printing and Publishing, p. 175,, retrieved 2016-06-11 
  2. "TROUBLES OF ORDER OF SPARTA AIRED IN COURT; Fraternal Organization Must Show That Receiver is Not Needs for Its Affairs.", Evening Ledger (Philadelphia, PA): 2, 1915-07-30,, retrieved 2016-06-11, "Judge Staake, in the Court of Common Picas, No. 5, today decided that the Order of Sparta, an incorporated fraternal organization, had become both decadent and unable to meet its maturing death benefit certificates, and granted the petition of members to compel the organization to show cause why its affairs should not be placed on the hands of a receiver." 
  3. "ORDER OF SPARTA ADMITS LARGE DEBTS; Statement in Court Shows Liabilities of $163,132.39 and Assets of $81,256.78", Evening Ledger (Philadelphia, PA): 5, 1917-10-09,, retrieved 2016-06-11