History of the Household of Ruth
Grand United Order of Oddfellows
At the 12th .C., held in New York City, September 1856, Brother Patrick Reason,, delegate from Hamilton Lodge No. 710, presented a proposition requesting the A.M.C. To take into consideration the prosperity of establishing a Degree to be conferred under certain conditions on “Females”. After a full explanation by Bro. Reason, the proposition was referred to the Sub Committee of management, now the Committee of Management, for action and report at the next annual meeting.
On July 13, 1857, the Sub Committee of Management referred the matter to a Committee with instructions, “To prepare the Ritualistic Work.” On July 23,1657, the ritual was submitted to and approved by the Sub Committee of Management: and then sent to the Committee of Management in England for approval.
On March 3,1858, the Committee of Management in England returned the Ritualistic Work of the Ruth Degree to our Sub Committee of Management after having approved the same.
Grand Master Davis W. Bower, Deputy Grand Master, John C. Bower; and Grand Secretary, James F. Needham, Sr., were appointed a Committee to design a Ritual Degree Warrant which they did and submitted to the Sub Committee of Management, July 12,1858. The same was approved.
The design or object of the Household of Ruth Degree is to enlist the sympathies and assistance of women in behalf of the Grand United Order of Oddfellows and to unite the wives, daughters and other sisters more intimately with their fathers, husbands, and other brothers of the Order in working out the beauties of Oddfellowship. To encircle in one social band, the wives, daughters, widows of the Odd Fellowship and entwine around the mystic cord that each and all may be mutually benefited and more closely united in the noble work of relieving the needy, the sick and the distressed.
Brother Patrick Reason, the author of the proposition creating the Ruth Degree, was the first person to be invested with the honor of an inmate (now Brother or Sister). The Committee of management conferred the degree upon him as a mark of honor, August 23, 1858.
Brotherly Love Lodge No 896 applied and received the first Ruth Degree Warrant and was styled Household of Ruth No 1, September 29,1858. Both Brotherly Love Lodge No 896 and Household of Ruth No 1 were located in Harrisburg, PA. On the same date a warrant was granted to Phoenix Lodge # 894, Philadelphia to open Household of Ruth No 2, Philadelphia, PA.
Today, there are Households of Ruth throughout United Stated, Canada, Trinidad, Bermuda,, Bahamas, Netherlands, Republic of Dominica, Aruba, Puerto Rico, Suriname, St. Lucia.
PAST MOST WORTHY GRAND SUPERIORS
Bro. J.W. Grant 1887-1904 TENN
Sis, Alice Parker 1908-1927 WASHINGTON, DC
Sis. Martha Wells ** 1927-1929 PENNA
Sis. Mary Hendley 1929-1932 TENN
Sis. Alice L. Anderson 1932-1934 FLA
Sis. Lucy Hughes 1936-1940 TEXAS
NO BMC IN 1944 DUE TO LACK OF TRANSPORTATION AND COUNTRY AT WAR
Sis. Alma Layton 1946-1952 VIRGINIA
Sis. Lillie Prattis 1952-1954 NEW YORK
Sis. Susie F. Jones 1954-1970 MASS
Sis. Vivian CD Mayers 1970-1988 NEW YORK
Sis. Ida M. Walker ** 1988-1993 IND
Sis. Bernice B. Hogan* 1993-1996 WASHINGTON, DC
Sis. Magnolia M. Barnes 1996-2002 VIRGINIA
Sis. Estella M. Pinder 2002- 2006 BAHAMAS
Sis. Ermytrude Edgar 2006-2008 NEW YORK
Sis. Minnuie S. Martin 2008-2016 ILLINOIS
Sis. Jeanette Carter 2016-Present INDIANA
** Died while in Office