Odd Fellows and Red Men

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Odd Fellows and Red Men


I had a call the other day from a man asking me about the local Odd Fellows Lodge. I told him their hall was on the upper level of the building that was once on the northeast corner of North Second and Irvine streets. There was a sign and an arrow pointing up a set of outdoor iron steps. I never saw anyone going up or down those steps! The building has been torn down, and the new county courthouse annex now occupies that space.

Officially, this local group was the Madison Lodge No. 14 of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows (I.O.O.F.). The state association maintained a home for elderly members and a home for dependent children of members, both in Lexington. Our local lodge was organized April 27, 1843. Charter members were R.D. Mahoan, I.C. Peacock, William L. Neal, Pat W. Clarke, David I. Fields, William L. William, and I.P. Ballard. The first lodge was built in 1903; a second one was located on Main Street near the old Federal Building. The third lodge was in the Irvine/Second Street building mentioned earlier. I assume the lodge has disbanded — but when, I do not know.

The Red Men Lodge traces itself back to the Boston Tea Party and claims George Washington as an early member. The Tribe in Richmond (Floating Canoe No. 76) was organized in 1902. I remember the lodge hall was the upper floor of a building across from the county courthouse on North First Street. I do not know when the local lodge closed down.

Two other fraternal organizations, the Masons and the Elks, still are going strong.


Dr. Fred Engle




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Dr. Fred Engle, “Odd Fellows and Red Men,” Madison's Heritage Online, accessed April 13, 2024, https://madisonsheritage.eku.edu/items/show/1824.