Old IOOF Lodge -- Kaufman TX
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Benchmark Blasterz
N 32° 35.387 W 096° 18.527
14S E 752598 N 3609008
Quick Description: The former IOOF lodge building on E Grove Street just off the square in downtown Kaufman has been vacated by many tenants since the last IOOF meeting was held here.
Location: Texas, United States
Date Posted: 12/2/2014 2:07:43 PM
Waymark Code: WMN0GZ
Published By: Groundspeak Regular Member kbarhow
Views: 1

Long Description:
It has been such a long time since the IOOF brothers net here that there is no record of the lodge that we could find.

The only evidence that this was once an IOOF lodge are the lodge initials inset in stone at the point of the building façade, and a photo of this building identifying it as a former IOOF lodge built in 1900 on the Wildey IOOF Lodge No. 21 website: (visit link)

"Texas Odd Fellows Past and Future

At the bottom of this page you will see a collection of pictures of old Texas former Odd Fellow Lodge buildings. Most of these buildings had an upper floor which was the lodge hall. The lower floor was usually rented out to a business for income purpose. These old buildings represent our past. Many of these Lodges are no longer in existence because much of our membership has gotten older and many have passed on to eternity, but these old lodge buildings remain standing as a testament of what once was. Many of them were built in the late eighteen hundreds or early nineteen hundreds.

During the "Golden Age of Fraternalism (1850 -1920) you may be surprised to know that the Odd Fellows were a larger organization than the Masons. Our membership peaked in 1920 with 1.7 million Odd Fellow members. But during the 1930s Great Depression the Odd Fellows nearly went bankrupt. Many lodges could not make the mortgage payment on their lodge halls due to a drop in membership. Also with the advent of the various forms of government assistance it made the Odd Fellows brand of charity almost obsolete. By the 1960s the Odd Fellow membership was cut in half.

Today there are still many active lodges in Texas, but we have a dilemma. Not only must our Order survive, but it must grow. If our goal isn't for growth, then what are we doing? When you look at all the old buildings below think of the people that had lodge meetings there. Think of their hopes, dreams and desires to help their fellow man. Think of the work they did to “visit the sick, relieve the distressed, bury the dead and educate the orphan.” We must carry this rich tradition on and seek to make a better world for our children's children. It is our duty as Odd Fellows. We have all assumed the obligations. A person may wonder how this "duty" came to exist, and how relevant it is to Odd Fellowship in modern times. Some may ask "why do I need to help people?" "Isn't that what the government is for?" It is true that the various forms of governmental assistance have contributed in years of decline in the popularity of fraternal organizations including Odd Fellow and Rebekah Lodges. But times are changing. The total cost of all federal assistance programs -- including Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and various welfare programs -- accounts for nearly one-half of all money spent by the federal government. That is a doubling of the percentage since the 1960s. The Government can not afford to continue to go into debt. The Government can not continue to spend beyond its means. It will reach a breaking point if things do not change. You know the numbers, almost 18 trillion national debt. Look at this link for the National Debt Clock You will be shocked to see the magnitude of the mess we're in. At what point do we run out of money? Can the Government go broke? What if it does? So what will happen then? The needy will be forced to go to other sources other than government for help. This is where we come in... We will be needed more than ever before. Private efforts have been much more successful than the federal governments failed attempt at charity anyway. Sometimes it is the small things that make a world of difference. For example suppose a poor mother has a job offer. But she can't get to the job because her car battery is dead. A government welfare program can do nothing but tell her to wait two weeks until her welfare check arrives. Of course, by that time the job will be gone. An Odd Fellow can simply go out and buy a car battery and put it in for her (or even jump-start the dead battery). The Good Samaritan modeled acts of kindness, service, and respect when he offered practical help. As an Odd Fellow we are expected to make the same commitment.

Although there was a decline in membership in fraternal organizations in general during the 20th century, membership in the 21st century has started to increase. Odd Fellows experienced its fifth straight year of membership increase in the United States. Volunteerism is on the rise. It is estimated that almost 50 percent of Americans over age 18 do volunteer work, and nearly 75 percent of U.S. households contribute money to charity. We need them to come and be a part of what we do. We invite them to look around to learn more about us and how we serve our community. Many people may have heard of the I.O.O.F. but really don’t know what it is or what we are about. It is our job to tell them. This is the purpose of this website. If anyone needs addition information please be sure to contact us. We will get back with you as soon as we are able. We are looking for people that are willing to serve their community and make a difference in the lives of people in their World. The purpose of life is not to be happy - but to matter, to be productive, to be useful, and to have it make some difference that we have lived at all. Please come and join us in that effort.

If you see a lodge building below from your hometown and wish they still had an Odd Fellow Lodge near you or even in your hometown, you might wish to organize a new one. The Grand Lodge of Texas is willing to help you get started. For instruction on how to get started read the following link and call the Grand Lodge of Texas at 1-800-299-7434.

Former Texas Odd Fellow Lodge Buildings [photos]"
Location Details:
The lodge building is about 1/2 block east of the northeast corner of the square.

Date of construction: 1900

location website: [Web Link]

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Recent Visits/Logs:
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Benchmark Blasterz visited Old IOOF Lodge -- Kaufman TX 12/24/2014 Benchmark Blasterz visited it