Updated: Sep 11, 2021
The order of the Modern Woodmen of America is recognized as the largest fraternal secret society in the world. The order has in Montgomery County more than a dozen camps, and a membership of over 1,500 male members. It represents somewhere about $3,000,000, of life insurance and since the organization, about a $500,000 has been paid to the order in the interest of beneficiaries. How much of that has been paid back to Montgomery County beneficiaries we do not know, but we do know that the amount is a considerable sum. A brief description of the various camps in the county will be given:
Litchfield camp No. 352 is the largest camp in the county. It was organized July 2, 1887 and has prospered since then. Its membership at this time is 331. It has paid into the head camp in the interest of beneficiaries the sum of $120,200. The present officers of the camp are: consul, G. W. Shafer; banker, W. H. Logsdon; escort, David Stewart; adviser, R. P. Cline; watchman, Claus Anderson; physicians, Dr. T. W. Williams; managers, F. C. Angle, J. H. Beck and Thomas Lang.
Hillsboro camp No. 283 was organized in December, 1886, with a membership of twenty members. Its first officers in part were: W. A. Howett, Dr. Samuel H. McLain, Doctor Henshie and James A. Brown. This camp has been one of the most active in the county. It has a present membership of 206. Its payments into the head camp in the interest of the widows and orphans of deceased members has been not far from $75,000. Its present officers are: V. L., F. I. Clotfelter; physician, Dr. W. W. Douglas; banker, Frank McLean; clerk, John C. Barkley, and secretary, Jos. Pnckett.
Nokomis camp No. 273 is a large and flourisning camp. It was organized in 1886, with a small membership and has had an uninterrupted growth, at this time having a membership of 180. The officers now in the chairs are: v. c. F H. Bost; w. a. L. A. Prelss; banker, P. O. Evans; escort, T. H. Woodson; clerk, Frank Yackle; watchman, J. J. Collins; sentry. H. M. Sleeth; physician. Dr. E. E. Burnwell; trustees, J. W. Wihl, L. A. Priess and William Dude.
Witt Camp No. 562S is one of the younger camps in the county, but being in a town where the many laboring men need the protection the order affords for their families, has grown and used its opportunities with commendable zea1. It has a membership at the present of 130. Its present official board consist of the following: v. c. Lee Hammock; w. a. Edward H. Speiser; clerk, R. M. Short; banker, J. M. Lounsbury; watchman, William Ransdall; sentry, John Wilson ; and physician, Charles H. Lockhart.
Harvel Camp No. 386 is an active and interesting one. Its membership, though not large, is in proportion to the size of the town. It has a present membership of sixty-one with the following officials in charge: v. c, E. W. Bockwitz; w. a., R. H. Jarrett; banker, Charles A. Tulpin; clerk, H. J. Holmer; escort, H. O. Holmer; watchman, J. H. Matley; sentry, Andrew Walker; managers, F. C. Matli, H. I. Fahrenholtz and George J. Kiein.
Butler Grove Camp, No. 398, is one of the most active camps in the county. Though in a small town the camp has had a greater degree of success than most of the other camps of the county. It has now on its rolls, members to the number of 106 and its present officers are: v. c., J. H. Rainey; w. a., J. A Wallis; banker, Scott Hoes; clerk, E. Busby; escort, W. O. Storey; watchman, A. M. Washburn; sentry, Frank Robinson; trustees, J. H. Ward; R. O. Brown and H. A. Fish.
Walshville Camp No. 1558, is not quite so old as most others in the county, nor is it located where a large membership can be expected, and yet it has been fairly active, and has a present membership of forty-six. Its official roll at present consist of the following: v. c., Albert Tiffin; w. a. Grant Boyd ; banker, Elbert Shields; clerk, C. C. Barlow.
Coffeen Camp No. 1143, is in a very live little town, and has at the present time a membership of 117. Its present officers are: v. c., F. P. Bost; w. a., J. E. Moore; banker, E. Harris; escort, Jesse Hanner; watchman, Albert Huber; sentry, B. P. Donaldson; physicians, Doctors Turney and Barry; managers, C. J. Thompson, W. E. Prater, and J. J. Beckham; clerk. O. A. Edwards.
Donnellson Camp No. 462, though in a small town, has quite a good membership, having at this time on its rolls members to the number of seventy-eight. Its present officers are: v. c., A. I,. Bunn; w. a., R. L. Smith; banker, Roy Brown; clerk, J. L. McCracken; escort, C. A. Kesinger; watchman, E. C. Boone; sentry, O. H. Jones; managers, C. J. Jett, W. D. Voiles and T. Donaldson.
Hurricane Camp No. 2230, is perhaps the youngest and the smallest camp in the county, having on its rolls at the present only twentyone members. Its present officers are: v. c., Matthew Smith; w. a., George Romilin; banker. William Blankinship; clerk, F. M. Miller; esort, C. Rupp; watchman, J. H. Rupp; sentry, M. T. Richardson; managers, Matthew Smith, W. C. Greenwood and W. C. Greenwood.
Irving Camp has a present membership of 160. Its present officers are; v. c., James Drew; w. a., William L. Marks; e. b., Frederick W. Keisling; clerk, Frederick L. Fowler.
Waggoner Camp No. 677 has a membership at this time of seventy-nine. W. R. Lewis, is the venerable counsel; C. S. Norvell is the clerk; N. D. Burch is the banker. The ladies of these Woodmen also have a camp of the Royal Neighbors, of sixty members of which Mrs. James McAtee, is the present oracle, and Mrs. H. Shoptaw the recorder.
Farmersville Camp No. 666 was organized in June, 1888, with a small membership. The camp has been efficiently managed, and now has a membership of eighty-five. The counsel is F. O. Burns and the clerk is G. C. Browning.
The Woodmen only receive men into the camp but the ladles have an auxiliary organization known as The Royal Neighbors. We give sucb of these as we have the information regarding them.
Golden Rod Camp No. 2075, R. N. of Nokomls, was organized Septemebr 22, 1908, with a membership of twenty. At present it has a membership of eighty. The names of officers at present with positions they fill are: oracle, Mrs. Jennie E. Todd; vice oracle, Mrs. Lena Yackle; past oracle, Mrs. Hattie Evans; chancellor, Mrs. Joe Williamson; receiver, Mrs. Joseph Brenner; recorder, Mis Stella Yackle; marshal, Mrs. Minnie Liticker; assistant marshal, Mrs. Dora Kerr; inner sentinel, Mrs. Edna Ernst; outer sentinel, Mrs. Elizabeth Singler; managers, Mrs. Ella Patterson, Mrs. Carrie Weakley, Mr. William Dude, faith, Mrs. Nora Vandever; courage, Miss Margret Bottemiey; modesty, Mrs. Ada Haller; unselfishness, Miss Hannah Keiser; endurance, Mrs. Elizabeth Bottemiey.
Irving Camp, R. N. has a present membership of 150. Its present officers are: Mrs. C. K Laws, oracle; Mrs. Jessie Bost, vice-oracle; Mrs. J. L. Gregory, recorder; Mrs. L. H. Gregory, treasurer.
Coffeen Camp, R. N. has a present membership of sixty-two. Its officers are: Ida Green, oracle; Mrs. S. Harris, recorder.
Hillsboro Camp No. 127, R. N., is perhaps the most active camp of the order in the county. The camp has a membership of over one hundred members and holds meetings with commendable zea1. The present officers are: Mary Nail, oracle; Sarah Greenhalgh, v. o.; Valleda Lanaghan, p. o.; Sophia Tobias, chancellor; Lura Clark, recorder; Ella Jones, receiver; Mary Warf, marshal!; Lottie Brant, l. s.; E. Lewey, o. s.; Emma Weingand and Emma Moore, managers; Doctor W. W. Douglas, physician; Delia Henry, musician; Emma Best and Jennie Little, corresponding secretaries.
Flllmore Camp, R. N. is an efficient and active camp. The officers for 1917 are as follows: oracle, Jennie Fessor,; past oracle, Addie Matkin; vice oracle, Lydia Fish; chancellor, Julia Wolcott; recorder, Sarah Finley; receiver, Mary Livingston; marshal, Goldie Livingston; inner sentinel, Laura Toberman; outer sentinel, Sophronia Sanders; managers, Maggie Sanders,
Zella Wolcott and musician, Ethel Weller; physician, Dr. O. A. Fish.
At Litchfleld, the Woodwomen have a camp of the Royal Neighbors known as Silver Leaf Camp No. 197, it being one of the oldest and largest in the county. The officers elected in 1916 for the ensuing year are as follows: oracle, Mary Calcott; vice oracle, Anna Anderson; chancellor, Nellie Borror; recorder, Jennie Barton; receiver, Laura Duncan; marshal, Zena Angle; inner sentinel, Ella Potts; outer sentinel, May Cline; manager, Francis Jackson; physician, Dr. T. W. Williams; musician, Winnlfred McNamara; delegate to state convention, Lula M. Logsdon; alternate, Mary J. Smithson.