Front View of Thomas House

Ward-Thomas Museum

Ohio Association of Historical Societies and Museums

Five images of buildings and grounds

Red Man Lodge

Ward — Thomas Museum
Home of the Niles Historical Society
503 Brown Street Niles, Ohio 44446

Click here to become a Niles Historical Society Member or to renew your membership

Return to the Homepage

Click on any photograph to view a larger image.

 

Email Us

Phone: 330.544.2143
Mail: PO Box 368 Niles, Ohio 44446

Individual Membership: $20.00
Family Membership: $30.00
Patron Membership: $50.00
Business Membership: $100.00
Lifetime Membership: $500.00
Corporate Membership:
Call 330.544.2143


Do you love the history of Niles, Ohio and want to preserve that history and memories of events for future generations?

Click here to donate:

As a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, your donation is tax deductible. When you click on the Donate Button, you will be taken to a secure Website where your donation will entered and a receipt generated.


 

 

 

 

 

A view of the exterior of the building that housed the Redman's Lodge on the second floor; as well as The Niles Daily News and the East Ohio Gas Company.

A view of the exterior of the building that housed the Redman's Lodge on the second floor; as well as The Niles Daily News and the East Ohio Gas Company.

It was located on South Main Street before the construction of the viaduct(possibly between West State Street and Water Street). South Main Street is sloping down to the PRR tracks and Mahoning River since the viaduct was not built until 1933. PO2.286

Improved Order of the Redman, Niles Lodge.

Redman Lodge, like Niles, also Celebrates the Centennial This Week.(September 1934. Ed.)
Genesee Tribe Instituted In Niles In March 1904

Co-incident with the City of Niles, Ohio, the Improved Order of Redmen is celebrating its Centennial the week of September 10th, 1934. The celebration is to be held at Baltimore, Maryland where the order was instituted and has grown until it now has over five hundred thousand members, all of whom are citizens of the United States.

Genesee Tribe No. 15 of Niles, Ohio, was instituted in March 1904. The first meeting place was in the Frech building now occupied by the American Legion, with the following officers in charge: Prophet, A. D. Williams; Sachem, L. W. Bach; Senior Sagamore, E. V. Rader; Junior Sagamore, Robert McCarty; Collector of Wampum, I. Campbell; Keeper of Wampum, I. Don Holeton.

The Genesee Tribe met in this location for two years until the completion of the Morgan-Williams building which was designed especially for the order and is still the home of the Redmen.

A feature peculiar to the Redmen is the care of the orphans of deceased members. They maintain no orphan’s home but contribute to the support of the children in their own homes.

The degrees of the order are founded on the customs and traditions of the American Aborigine and the League of the Iroquois. The motto is Freedom, Friendship, and Charity.

Meetings are held weekly on Wednesday evening in Redmen Hall. In charge of Sachem, Edward Reese; Senior Sagamore, Roy Campbell; Junior Sagamore, A. Zigler; Keeper of Wampum, D. L. Boyd; Trustees: Chas. Duff, C. A. Edwards, J. T. Rose.
Al. Tailbitzer


A photo of the members of the Niles 'Red Man Lodge' in front of the Odd Fellows Hall on Main Street. October 12, 1918 for a special Columbus Day event.

Left: A photo of the members of the Niles 'Red Man Lodge' in front of the Odd Fellows Hall on North Main Street. October 12, 1918 for a special Columbus Day parade.In the background is the site of the McKinley Memorial.PO1.1606

Right: An advertisement for a Redmans Lodge dance at the Redman Hall. It appeared in the October 17, 1914 edition of the Niles Daily Times.PO1.2340

An advertisement for a Redmans Lodge dance at the Redman Hall. It appeared in the October 17, 1914 edition of the Niles Daily Times.


New JerseySachem Medallion of the Improved Order of the Redman.

New Jersey Sachem Medallion of the Improved Order of the Redman.

History of the Improved Order of the Redman.
Sources
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Improved_Order_of_Red_Men

Membership
The Improved Order of the Red Men grew in membership in the late 19th century. It reached 519,942 members in forty-six states in 1921, but had declined to 31,789 in 32 states in 1978 and to 15,251 by 2011. Until 1974, the Order was open to whites only.

On December 16, 1773, a group of colonists — all men, and members of the Sons of Liberty — met in Boston to protest the tax on tea imposed by England. When their protest went unheeded, they disguised themselves as their idea of Mohawk people, proceeded to Boston harbor, and dumped overboard 342 chests of English tea.

In the late 18th century, the Tammany Societies, named after Tamanend, were formed. The most well-known of these was New York City's Society of St. Tammany, which grew into a major political machine known as "Tammany Hall."

For the next 35 years, the original Sons of Liberty and the Sons of St. Tamina groups went their own way, under many different names.

Around 1813, a disenchanted group created the philanthropic "Society of Red Men" at historic Fort Mifflin in Philadelphia.

The organization grew in the 1820s. Parallel lines of advancement were offered in the Order of Red Men: a series of military titles and a set of Indian rankings.

Class and ethnic differences introduced by new immigrants, anti-Masonic persecutions, attacks on fraternal groups based on excessive drinking, and, ultimately, a wide-spread cholera epidemic in 1832 led to the decline of the organization.

In 1834, the Improved Order of Red Men (IORM) was started as a revival in Baltimore. It was focused on temperance, patriotism and American History. In 1835, with only two tribes in place, a larger IORM was organized. Unlike the original Order, the IORM uses only expanded Indian titles. Rather than the public display of Indian costumes, the IORM uses its regalia in private gatherings.


In 1886, its membership requirements were defined in the same pseudo-Indian phrasing as the rest of the constitution:

Sec. 1. No person shall be entitled to adoption into the Order except a free white male of good moral character and standing, of the full age of twenty-one great suns, who believes in the existence of a Great Spirit, the Creator and Preserver of the Universe, and is possessed of some known reputable means of support.

In one 1886 tribe, a member's 12 cent a week dues went into a fund which was used to pay disability benefits to members at a rate of about "three fathoms per seven suns" ($3/week) for up to "six moons" (6 months) and then two dollars a week. Some medical care ("a suitable nurse") was available, and also a death benefit of one hundred dollars. The fund was invested in bonds, mortgages, and "Building Association Stock". Meetings were held weekly on Friday nights.

The Order has a three tiered structure. Local units are called "Tribes" and are presided over by a "Sachem" and a board of directors. Local meeting sites are called "Wigwams". The state level is called the "Reservation" and governed by a "Great Sachem" and "Great Council" or "Board of Chiefs". The national level is the "Great Council of the United States". The Great Council consists of the "Great Incohonee" (president), and a "Board of Great Chiefs", which includes the "Great Senior Sagamore" (first vice-president), "Great Junior Sagamore", "Great Chief of Records" (secretary), "Great Keeper of the Wampum" (treasurer) and "Prophet" (past president). The headquarters of the Order has been in Waco, Texas, since at least 1979. They maintain an official museum and library in Waco.

Auxiliaries and side degrees
A side degree of the order was founded in 1890 as the National Haymakers' Association. There was also once a uniformed division called the Knights of Tammany, as well as a group called the Chieftains League, which consisted of members who had been exalted to the Chief Degree and were in good standing within their respective Tribes.

In 1952, the Order created the Degree of Hiawatha, as a youth auxiliary for males 8 and up. Most of the members of the Degree of Hiawatha were concentrated in New England. In 1979 there were less than 5,000 members in approximately 125 "Councils".

The Order female auxiliary is the Degree of Pocahontas and dates to the 1880s and the Degree of Anona, a junior order of the Degree of Pocahontas, was formed in 1952.


Ambulance presented to U.S. Government by Tribes and Councils of the Improved Order of the Redman

Unknown Author: http://collections.mnhs.org/cms/display?irn=10706288

Philanthropy and positions
The order has historically opposed federal welfare programs, waste in government and Communism. However, there are examples of substantial socialist participation in the organization in pockets of the United States; for example, in southern West Virginia, during the build up to the West Virginia Mine Wars, "the Improved Order of Red Men [was] . . . the most comfortable lodge for Socialist miners and other radical workers."

The IORM supported the founding of the Society of American Indians in 1911 and helped organize the SAI's first two conferences.


Source: http://redmen.org/redmen/info/

America's Oldest
Fraternal Organization
Chartered by Congress
Freedom * Friendship * Charity

The fraternity traces its origins back to 1765 and is descended from the Sons of Liberty. These patriots concealed their identities and worked "underground" to help establish freedom and liberty in the early Colonies. They patterned themselves after the great Iroquois Confederacy and its democratic governing body. Their system, with elected representatives to govern tribal councils, had been in existence for several centuries.

After the War of 1812 the name was changed to the Society of Red Men and in 1834 to the Improved Order of Red Men. They kept the customs and terminology of Native Americans as a basic part of the fraternity. Some of the words and terms may sound strange, but they soon become a familiar part of the language for every member. The Improved Order of Red Men (IORM) is similar in many ways to other major fraternal organizations in the United States.

The Improved Order of Red Men is a national fraternal organization that believes in…Love of and respect for the American Flag.
Preserving our Nation by defending and upholding the principle of free Government.
America and the democratic way of life.
Preserving the traditions and history of this great Country.
Creating and inspiring a greater love for the United States of America.
Helping our fellow men through organized charitable programs.
Linking our members together in a common bond of Brotherhood and Friendship.
Perpetuating the beautiful legends and traditions of a once-vanishing race and the keeping alive some of the traditional customs, ceremonies, and philosophies.
Legally, The Improved Order of Red Men is a patriotic fraternity chartered by Congress. It is a non-profit organization devoted to inspiring a greater love for the United States of America and the principles of American Liberty.

History of the Red Men
The Improved Order of Red Men traces its origin to certain secret patriotic societies founded before the American Revolution. They were established to promote Liberty and to defy the tyranny of the English Crown. Among the early groups were: The Sons of Liberty, the Sons of St. Tammany, and later the Society of Red Men.

On December 16, 1773 a group of men, all members of the Sons of Liberty, met in Boston to protest the tax on tea imposed by England. When their protest went unheeded, they disguised themselves as Mohawk Indians, proceeded to Boston harbor, and dumped overboard 342 chests of English tea.

During the Revolutionary War, members of secret societies quenched their council fires and took up muskets to join with the Continental Army. To the cause of Freedom and Liberty they pledged their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honors. At the end of the hard fought war the American Republic was born and was soon acknowledged among the nations of the world.

Following the American Revolution many of the various secret societies founded before and during the conflict continued in existence as brotherhoods or fraternities.

For the next 35 years, however, each of the original Sons of Liberty and Sons of St. Tamina groups went their own way, under many different names. In 1813, at historic Fort Mifflin, near Philadelphia, several of these groups came together and formed one organization known as the Society of Red Men. The name was changed to the Improved Order of Red Men in Baltimore in 1834.

At Baltimore, Maryland, in 1847, the various local tribes came together and formed a national organization called the Grand Council of the United States.

With the formation of a national organization, the Improved Order of Red Men soon spread, and within 30 years there were State Great Councils in 21 states with a membership of over 150,000. The Order continued to grow and by the mid-1920s there were tribes in 46 states and territories with a membership totaling over one-half million.

Today, The Improved Order of Red Men continues to offer all patriotic Americans an organization that is pledged to the high ideals of Freedom, Friendship, and Charity. These are the same ideals on which the American nation was founded. By belonging to this proud and historic organization you can demonstrate your desire to continue the battle started at Lexington and Concord to promote Freedom and protect the American Way of Life.

Goals of the Red Men
To promote patriotism and the American Way of Life, to provide social activities for the members, and support various charitable programs. Our activities include:

Flag Recognition Program — A program to honor those patriotic Americans who display the flag regularly.
Faith Of Our Fathers Chapel — Chapel erected at Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, to memorialize the ideals and principles of our founding fathers.
Annual Pilgrimage To Faith Of Our Fathers Chapel — Annual meeting to renew and strengthen our beliefs in the American Way of Life.
Children with Cognitive, Intellectual, and Developmental Disabilities Program — Support of various projects and programs of the ARC (formerly Association for Retarded Citizens) and Special Olympics.
Red Men's Day At Arlington National Cemetery — Annual ceremony to honor our unknown soldiers and all brave Americans who have fallen in battle to protect our Freedom.
Red Men's Week — Week of December 16th, designated as National Red Men's Week, commemorating the Boston Tea Party in 1773.

Charitable Programs
The National Charity project of the Improved Order of Red Men is Alzheimer's research. Since 1991, the organization has given over three million dollars to the Alzheimer's Association. Alzheimer's disease knows no social or economic boundaries; but it does incline heavily toward older people, affecting seven to nine percent of Americans over the age of 65, yet it strikes those in their 40s and 50s as well. Indeed, some of our own members have been stricken with this dreaded disease. Our members not only give generously, but work with local Alzheimer's Chapters across the nation.


     

  Copyright©2008-2022, Niles Historical Society, All rights reserved
  Back to top