This collection contains ledgers and correspondence from the Brotherhood of Railroad Trainmen, Sutter Lodge No. 340 and one
ledger from its women's group, Golden State Lodge.
The Brotherhood of Railroad Brakemen was a cooperative association founded in the summer of 1883 in Albany, New York for the
main purpose of providing disability benefits to its members. A rival Brotherhood of Railroad Brakemen branch was founded
in 1883 by eight brakemen for the Delaware & Hudson Railroad who met secretly in Oneonota, New York. This group became Lodge
No. 1 of the Brotherhood. By 1884, at their first annual convention, they had 39 lodges and 900 members in the United States
and Canada. In January 1889, in Fort Gratiot, Michigan, the Brotherhood created a women's group which they named the Grand
In 1890, the name of the organization was changed to the Brotherhood of Railroad Trainmen. Concerned with practical issues
such as providing pension and disability benefits for its members, the Brotherhood also supported shorter hours, better wages,
education and other improved working conditions for its members. Grievance committees were set up to hear members' grievances
against employers and to try to facilitate a resolution between employees and employers on these issues. The Brotherhood
created an Auxiliary to do charitable works, such as the establishment of a home for indigent and elderly members, and tuberculosis
In 1969, the Brotherhood of Railroad Trainmen merged with the Brotherhood of Locomotive Firemen and Engineers, the Order of
Railway Conductors and Brakemen, and the Switchmen's Union of North America to form the the United Transportation Union.
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