Woodmen of the World

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Joseph Cullen Root was the founder of ( MWA) Modern Woodmen of The World in 1882. This original fraternal organization only operated in 9 of the central western states, By 1890 , Mr. Root was dissatisfied with MWA (Modern Woodmen of America) and left it to organize Woodmen of the World . According to their brochure and brief history they sent this is what they have to say about the origins or forming such organizations.

When Joseph Cullen Root founded Woodmen , he envisioned an organization dedicated to helping its fellow man . Its purpose was "to minister to the afflicted to relieve distress; to cast a sheltering arm about the defenseless living ;... to encourage broad charitable views..."

Lifestyles have changed since Root wrote those goals into the Objectives of Woodcraft , but fraternalism remains strong . "The objects of Woodcraft have always exemplified love, honor and remembrance, "said Executive Vice President Wayne Graham, the director of the Society's fraternal programs. "Fraternalists are concerned with helping others, promoting patriotism and civic responsibility , and providing financial protection for their families.

Today , Woodmen members do not simply share the fact that they have purchased insurance or annuities through the same organization . Woodmen is a fraternal benefit society , with members connected by their membership and also their desire to better their lives, their families' lives and their communities.

Woodmen is a nonprofit organization , owned and governed by its members. Delegates are elected from 2,600 local lodges to jurisdictional (state) conventions and then to the National Convention. These national delegates elect members to the Board of Directors to four -year terms of office where they help to determine policies and directions of the society.

The development of the fraternal beneficiary system in America was actuated by the same desires which prompted its organization in the Old World.Societies had been organized and disbanded one after another , until the organization of the Ancient Order of United Workmen was perfected by John Jordon Upchurch at Madville , Pennsylvania , on October 27, 1868.

Mr. Joseph Root founded the society in Omaha , Nebraska , which is still one of their main offices. Until 1957 Woodmen did not admit women and girls to the society. The financial statement as of Dec 31, 1891 listed Membership at 5,461 . The first certificate of membrship was issued to Wm. A. McCully , Camp #1, Independence , Kansas , on Dec 29, 1890. The first Camp charter was issued to Alpha Camp #1, Omaha , Nebraska , Jan 10 1891. This lodge is still in existence.

The first death claim paid was that of Willie O. Warner , who drowned June 14, 1891, in Niles , Michigan . In 1910 , a class of 7,800 candidates was initiated at Louisville, Ky. From 1909- 1947 , 12,000 members with tuberculosis received free care at the Modern Woodmen Sanatorium in Woodmen ,COL.

At one time in its history , WOW did offer grave monuments to families of deceased members. Sometimes these monuments have the motto Dum Tacet Clamat, which means "Though silent, he speaks , " etched on the stone.

For a brochure on the history of Modern Woodmen of America , you can write: Modern Woodmen of America, 1701 1st. Avenuw, P.O. Box 2005, Rock Island, Ill. 61204-2005

For their "Woodmen And Fraternalism" brochure , try Woodmen Tower, 1700 Farnam St., Omaha , NE 68102.

Information donated by: Dale Foresythe ,2000