Household of Ruth History

History of the Household of Ruth

Grand United Order of Oddfellows

America Jurisdiction

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.


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


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