The story of a forgotten America.

Abandoned Fraternal Organizations

A gallery of abandoned fraternal organizations in the United States.

American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO)

The American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) is the largest federation of unions in the United States comprised of 55 national and international unions.

Indiana State AFL-CIO UFCW 1546

This is a view of the Indiana State AFL-CIO UFCW 1546 in Butlerville, Indiana.

Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks

Cairo Lodge No. 651

Cairo Elks Lodge No. 651 of Cairo, Illinois was organized in January 1901 and initially met at 611 Commercial Avenue. 10 By January 1911, the Lodge had begun the search for a larger clubhouse. 7 It initially considered constructing a large four-story building with room for a bar, restaurant, and other businesses on the first floor, two halls on the second floor for the Elks, two halls on the third floor for other organizations, and one on the fourth floor for the Masonic fraternity.

In March, the Lodge considered a proposal to have erected for them a new building at the corner of Washington Avenue and 9th Street. 5 Chris Beck, president of the Cairo Brewing Company and the owner of the corner lot, offered to build a lodge at the cost of $35,000 and give the Elks a 20-year lease at 6% of the cost, with the privilege of buying the building at any time. The Lodge agreed to the proposal in April, 6 and the three-story building was completed in January 1912. 8 It featured a cafe and other businesses on the first floor, space for the Lodge on the second floor, and offices on the third floor for other organizations.

Seeking more space for their growing club, the Lodge acquired the home of Harry E. Halliday bounded by Elm, 29th and 30th Streets, and Washington Avenue in November 1929. 9 It later moved to the second floor of the circa 1912 Cairo Board of Trade Building on 8th Street 11 and then into the former Kimmel/Jackson/Rodgers/Lincoln Theatre on 9th Street. 12 It later moved to a location on 16th Street where it remains active today.

Masonic Lodge

Laurel Lodge No. 104

The charter for Laurel Lodge No. 104 was granted on November 15, 1906. 3 Members met in Lawton, West Virginia, below the Layland mine tipple in the lodge. After that building burned in 1962, they met at Longdale Lodge No. 14 in Lookout before moving to Meadow Bridge to the I.O.O.F. building in March 1964, while a new building for Lodge No. 104 was built in Danese.

Furnishings and floorings for the new lodge came from the Thurmond Lodge in Thurmond, while brick, roofing materials, and slate came from the old McKendree Hospital, donated by Warren B. Thomas Jr., a resident of Meadow Bridge. 3

National Grange of the Order of Patrons of Husbandry

The National Grange of the Order of Patrons of Husbandry (Grange) is a non-profit, non-partisan fraternal organization that advocates for rural American policies and agriculture.

“If any man will not work (doing something that the world needs to have done), neither let him eat.” 1

Independent Order of Odd Fellows

The Independent Order of Odd Fellows (IOOF) is a non-political and non-sectarian international fraternal order of Odd Fellowship. The IOOF became the first fraternity in the United States to accept women when it adopted the Degree of Rebekah on September 20, 1851. 2

The Lindside Odd Fellows building was constructed in 1909 by the Modern Woodsmen of America. 4 At one time, the lower floor contained a casket shop and furniture store, while the upper floor was used as a place of worship for 20 years by the Methodists. The Odd Fellows then occupied the second floor while the post office took over the lower floor.



  1. Atlman, J.T. The State Grange.” The Star [Reynoldsville], 21 Jun. 1905, p. 4.
  2. “History.” The Sovereign Grand Lodge Independent Order of Odd Fellowsarticle.
  3. Valente, Kim A. “Laurel Lodge No. 104 AF&AM.” West Virginia History Property Inventory Form, Sept.-Oct. 1994.
  4. Motley, Charles B., editor, Mabel Ballard. “Lindside.” Gleanings of Monroe County, West Virginia History, Commonwealth Press, Radford, VA, 1973, pp. 115-116.
  5. “A $35,000 Home for Cairo Elks.” Cairo Bulletin, 23 Mar. 1911, p. 2.
  6. “Cairo Elks Unanimously Accept $35,000 New Home.” Cairo Bulletin, 8 Apr. 1911, p. 8.
  7. “Cairo Elks Would Build Four Story Business Block.” Cairo Bulletin, 17 Jan. 1911, p. 1.
  8. “Elks Will Hold Social Session Friday.” Cairo Bulletin, 19 Jun. 1912, p. 8.
  9. “Cairo Elks Buy Halliday Home for New Home.” Carbondale Free Press, 25 Nov. 1929, p. 1.
  10. Walker, Geo B. “Secret Associations.” Walker’s Cairo City Directory for 1908-9. p. 23.
  11. Sanborn Fire Insurance Map from Cairo, Alexander County, Illinois.” Sanborn Map Company, 1914.
  12. Lincoln Theatre.” Cinema Treasures.

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