September 1, 2012

Ties to the past...The Ribbon

     We live in a world that is growing more and more impersonal; a world that forgets its past at the peril of losing a connection with the bedrock of where it came from.  Preserving ties to the past is an important aspect of maintaining that connection and remaining grounded with who we are as a people.  I felt compelled to write something about this ribbon that  we  found at a garage sale today. It is a two sided ribbon ,  each side identifying the lodge it  came from. Bob found this sitting on a table, along side of some war time memorabilia,  to be a IOOF Haskell Lodge ribbon. It was obviously very old and  since my mother was a Rebekah member for many years, I looked at the ribbon rather closely and found it to be from the same building she attended lodge at...The Lee Center Abigail Rebekah Lodge, which was held in the Haskell Building.This ribbon apparently from an older IOOF group there in Lee Center. .

In September, 1913, Mrs. Abigail L. Haskell, widow of George E. Haskell, attended a ceremony dedicating a building erected through her generous contribution. The odd Fellows used the upper part of this building for their lodge meetings and banquets. Thee was a kitchen in the basement, where dinners would be held. . On the main floor there was a large store room which  was converted into a grocery store and  operated by Earl McNinch for many years.   my mom's lodge  used the top floor and kitchen of  the building  for meetings and dinners... Later,  she  moved her  craft store there from her own home, called Grandmas House. This ribbon really was a find  for me. One day I will donate it to the Amboy Depot Museum, as it has a significance in  the  history of Lee County.
Back of ribbon
Inserted card says
Made by Ward-StilsonCo, Anderson Indiana
Manufacturer of Badges
"Banners, badges and all secret society goods"

From 1913 through the 1950s, the Ward-Stilson Company was one of the country's largest producers of uniforms, regalia, furniture and props for the Freemasons, the Odd Fellows and dozens of other U.S. fraternal organizations.) Mr. David Klein, Vice President, C.E. Ward Inc. New London, Ohio. He stated that the company was founded in 1895 by Mr. C.E. Ward. In 1905 Mr. Ward formed a partnership with a Mr. Stilson, manufacturers regalia for lodges, military etc. They remained in New London until 1913 at which time the company moved to Anderson, Indiana. Mr. Ward and Stilson broke up in the 1920's.

This ribbon is an  original early 20th century reversible odd fellow badge. The brightly colored satin ribbon contains embossed lettering, ivory medallion with all-seeing eye, flags, gilt emblematic bar and gold bullion fringe. the ribbon reverse is also known as the "funeral side."... I bet  a Mason could tell us more about it  though...I imagine they had this to recognize a member's lodge they were from when attending funerals. ?

You just never know what you will find at the next garage sale! I love researching things like this, especially when it has ties to my family's past.

IOOF Building 1913

Dedication of the cornerstone  May 13, 1919 

Helen adds...
The McNinch family lived in a very small apartment in the back of the store; there were stairs leading down in back of the store to the area with the pump. Out in back was the outhouse. Earl had a panel truck that he used to deliver groceries out of town. Inside in front of the store there was a raised area in front of the windows with a trap door to go to the basement where he could store things that needed to be kept cool and other storage. My Lippencott postcards show IOOF day for laying the corner stone to be May 13, 1913. I have 2 different views of that; one with the crowd around a stage where the building would be build and the other is a street scene, sure looked like a lot of people turned out for the event

Post a Comment