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Walking the Buckeye Log

(p.257) Conclusion
Gone to the Grave
Abby Burnett
University Press of Mississippi

The role played by the fraternal lodges (Masons, Odd Fellows, Woodmen of the World, etc.) is described, as many of these organizations had, as part of their creeds, burial of the dead and aiding widows and orphans. To this end, many lodges established widows’ homes and orphanages and set up burial insurance plans for members. African Americans, denied access to whites’ hospitals and burial insurance, founded fraternal lodges to provide these services to members. Many of these organizations, founded in Arkansas, flourished outside the state until the Depression. This chapter discusses some of the many ways life has changed since the days when the dead were buried by members of their community.

Keywords:   Masons, Odd Fellows, Woodmen of the World, Orphanages, African American lodges

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