Ancestor member of the IOOF

Charles Bowers Obit

This week 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks theme is as follows:

“The federal census that we use in the US is sometimes comprised of more than one schedule. The one that we usually use is called the “population schedule.” However, there are some censuses that have additional schedules, such as:
– 1850-1880 Agricultural schedules

– 1850-1880 Industry and Manufactures schedules

– 1880 Defective, Dependent, and Delinquent Classes

– 1890 Schedule of Union Veterans and Widows

Have you found your ancestor on one of these schedules? What did you find?

Another way you could look at this theme is to write about something related to an ancestor, such as a church, school, or organization they were affiliated with.”    

I have not found any of my ancestors in any of the schedules listed above.  I have found them in church, school, and organizations.  Mostly, I find this information in the newspapers through the various digitized newspapers.  For example my one ancestor, Charles Bowers, is listed in the Ottawa Free Trader newspaper as belonging to the Independent Order of the Odd Fellows. 

The Independent Order of Odd Fellows (IOOF) is a non-political and non-sectarian international fraternal order founded in 1819 byThomas Wildey in Baltimore, Maryland, United States. Evolving from the Order of the Odd Fellows founded in England during the 1700s, the IOOF was originally charted by the Independent Order of Oddfellows Manchester Unity in England but has operated as an independent organization since 1842, although it maintains an inter-fraternal relationship with the English Order. Beyond fraternal and recreational activities, the Independent Order of Odd Fellows promotes the  Ethic of reciprocity and charity, by implied inspiration of Judeo-Christian ethics.”[1]

In December 1879 he is listed as being inducted as an officer[2] and in February 1882 he is listed as the C. P. (Chief Patriarch – presiding officer of encampment) of the Ottawa Encampment #33.[3]  In January of 1883 he is listed as I. G. (Inside Guardian)[4] and in January 1885 he is installed as an officer in lodge #41.[5]  I don’t know if the number changed from 33 to 41 or if it is an entirely different lodge.  This is not the most exciting news, but it does give me a glimpse into his life.  It is just one more component of his life to add to the other parts that make up his whole life. 

I knew he belonged to the IOOF from his obituary, but I did not know the extent of his involvement until I found more information in the newspapers.  His Obituary states that Ottawa Lodge, No 41, IOOF had charge of the obsequies at the cemetery.[6]  It also states that he was a member for over 30 years.[7]

Copyright © 2018 Gail Grunst


[1] From website:

[2] Ottawa Free Trader (Ottawa, Ill.), December 27, 1879,  Image 1.  From:

[3]  Ottawa Free Trader (Ottawa, Ill.), February 25, 1882 Image 1.  From:

[4] Ottawa Free Trader (Ottawa, Ill.), January 13, 1883, Image 1.  From:

[5] Ottawa Free Trader (Ottawa, Ill.), January 3, 1885,  Image 1.  From:

[6] Obituary for Charles Bowers: Republican Times (Ottawa, LaSalle County, Illinois) February 18, 1897.

[7] Ibid.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.