Biography / Administrative History
Scope and Content of Collection
Title: Independent Order of Odd Fellows. Phoenix Lodge No. 239 (Galt, Calif.) records
Collection number: MS0020
Independent Order of Odd Fellows. Phoenix Lodge No. 239
Independent Order of Odd Fellows. Rebekah Lodge No. 136
3 linear feet
Center for Sacramento History
Sacramento, California 95811-0229
Abstract: This is a collection from the Galt Independent Order of Odd Fellows (I.O.O.F.) formerly located at 204 Fourth Street in Galt,
California. It is divided into six series: Correspondence, Financial, Rebekah Lodge, Administrative, Ephemera, and Bound
Volumes. Contained within these series are letters pertaining to lodge activity, membership, benefits, as well as financial
information, meeting minutes, and annual convention documents. The collection consists of loose papers and bound volumes,
the dates of which range from 1875-1938 with the bulk being from the 1930s. A significant portion of the collection is letters
from other lodges to the Galt Lodge and correspondence regarding membership and relief benefits.
Physical location: 30K1
Languages represented in the collection:
Collection is open for research use.
All requests to publish or quote from private collections held by the Center for Sacramento History (CSH) must be submitted
in writing to email@example.com. Permission for publication is given on behalf of CSH as the owner of the physical
items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the patron.
No permission is necessary to publish or quote from public records.
[Identifcation of item], Independent Order of Odd Fellows. Phoenix Lodge No. 239 (Galt, Calif.) records, MS0020, Center for
Donated by Bob McCabe to the Center for Sacramento History in 2000 (Accession #2000-108).
Collection processed by Steven J. Melvin, 2006. Finding aid prepared by Steven J. Melvin, 2006. Sean Heyliger updated the
finding aid according to DACS and changed the name of the collection from Galt I.O.O.F. Collection to Independent Order of
Odd Fellows. Phoenix Lodge No. 239 (Galt, Calif.) records in June 2019.
Biography / Administrative History
The Independent Order of Odd Fellows (I.O.O.F.) is a benevolent and social society with initiatory rites and ceremonies, gradation
or degrees in membership, and mystic signs of recognition and communication. Its chief purpose is the welfare of its members,
providing them with aid in times of need such as illness, unemployment, or injury and providing relief to the families and
widows, of deceased members.
The I.O.O.F. has its origins in the English Order of Odd Fellows that began in the mid-1870s. By the early nineteenth century,
charter lodges of the English Order existed in the United States. These North American lodges separated from the parent organization
in 1834 and became the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. Originally an exclusively male organization, the I.O.O.F. eventually
created an auxiliary lodge for women know as the Rebekahs.
Odd Fellowship spread across the United States in succeeding years. In 1849, the first lodge in California, California Lodge
Number One, was established in San Francisco. The Grand Lodge of California, was formally established on May 17, 1853 and
had jurisdiction over lodges in the Oregon and Washington Territory, along with those in British Columbia. Gradually, I.O.O.F.
lodges existed in almost every city and town in the state. The Galt I.O.O.F., known as Phoenix Lodge Number 239, was formed
in 1875. Members met at the Odd Fellows Hall at Fourth and B streets. Among the activities of the Phoenix Lodge were providing
aid to members in need and maintaining a cemetery. The Galt I.O.O.F. also had a Rebekah Lodge.
Scope and Content of Collection
The Independent Order of Odd Fellows. Phoenix Lodge No. 239 (Galt, Calif.) records consists of one cubic foot of documents
and bound volumes ranging in time from 1875 to 1938, with the bulk of the material from the 1930s. It is arranged into six
series: Correspondence, Financial, Rebekah Lodge, Administrative, Ephemera, and Bound Volumes. The items are arranged chronologically
within each subseries. The first series, Correspondence, is divided into six subseries: Official, Personal, Sick Letters,
Benefits, Membership, and Official Notices. The Official subseries largely contains letters to the Galt Lodge from other
I.O.O.F. lodges and, to a lesser extent, letters from other organizations and businesses. The Personal subseries consists
of letters from individuals to the Galt Lodge. Many of these letters are from people thanking the lodge for providing financial
support during times of need. Sick Letters is a subseries with correspondence from individuals testifying to a member’s health.
Benefits has correspondence which document the aid paid to needy members. There is a clear relationship between the Sick
Letters and Benefits subseries and in some cases categorization was difficult. Many of the documents contained information
suitable to both subseries, therefore, placement of a few documents difficult. Anyone interested in this topic should examine
both subseries. Membership contains documents relating to payment of dues and Official Notices are largely correspondences
sent out by the Grand Lodge to all California Lodges.
The second series, Financial records, is arranged in two subseries: Receipts and Statements. The first contains receipts
for expenses of the Galt I.O.O.F. consisting largely of commercial receipts and receipts to individuals for goods or services.
The latter subseries has financial statements of the lodge. The Rebekah Lodge series has no subseries and contains a variety
of documents relating this female auxiliary organization consisting mainly of letters from the Rebekah Lodge to the Galt I.O.O.F.
Lodge. Administrative has subseries Lodge Minutes and Employment Committee Report. Ephemera has two folders: General and
Jesus Fans. The former is an assortment of documents such as event tickets, envelopes, and Christmas cards. The latter has
two wood and cardboard hand-held fans imprinted with an illustration of Jesus.
The final series is Bound Volumes, which contains the subseries Lodge Minute Books, Stub Books, Annual National Convention
Proceedings, Annual State Convention Proceedings, Constitution, Grand Master’s Visitation Proceedings, Membership Register,
Ledger Book, Receipt Book, Annual Report of the Odd Fellows Home, and Stylograph Book. Perhaps the most interesting of these
volumes is the Lodge Minute Book covering 1875-1882. This contains the proclamation establishing the Galt I.O.O.F. in 1875
by the Grand Master. It also has the names of the original members and membership during the early years of the lodge. The
Lodge Minute Book subseries also has minutes from meetings containing valuable information about the issues concerning the
lodge and lodge proceedings. The titles of the other subseries in this series accurately describe their contents.
Series 1. Correspondence
Series 2. Financial records
Series 3. Rebekah Lodge
Series 4. Administrative records
Series 5. Ephemera
Series 6. Bound Volumes
The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in
the library's online public access catalog.
Independent Order of Odd Fellows