My Great Grandfather was a member of the IOOF (Independent Order Of Odd Fellows). I had always thought this was a military uniform, but in fact an IOOF uniform.
In the 17th and 18th Century, life was hard and benefits for the poor and needy were scarce. Ordinary people from different trades and walks of life found it necessary to group together as brothers and sisters and contribute some of their hard-earned wages to a common fund which they could use for unfortunate times such as sickness, losing a job and even death. They would work together to help each other and the unfortunate families back on their feet, whether it was rebuilding a barn that had burned or putting in a new crop after a devastating season.
Such altruistic and friendly society came to be known as “Odd Fellows” because it was odd to find people organized for the purpose of giving aid to those in need and of pursuing projects for the benefit of all mankind. It was believed that they were “an odd bunch of fellows” who would behave in such a selfless and seemingly impractical fashion. Odd Fellows are also known as “The Three Link Fraternity” which stands for Friendship, Love and Truth.
Very proud to be a part of his legacy and to hear the stories of his life and acts of giving.