The Delaware County Fraternal Orders digital collection includes pamphlets and publications documenting the formation and history of the Free and Accepted Masons, Knights of Pythias, Knights Templar, Odd Fellows, and Red Men orders in Muncie and Delaware County, Indiana from 1846-1931.
The history of fraternal organizations in Delaware County began in the fall of 1842 when a number of Masons met and petitioned the Grand Lodge of the State of Indiana for recognition as Delaware Lodge No. 46. The lodge met in an upper room of the Dr. Samuel Anthony home at 116 S. High St. and Dr. Anthony was appointed first master. A short time later, the Lodge moved its meeting rooms to the West upper room of the Courthouse.
The second oldest lodge in Delaware County was that of the Odd Fellows. On November 9, 1849, nine local men organized Muncie Lodge No. 74 in Anthony's building, on the south side of Main Street, one door east of the southwest corner of the square. Once the group was organized, the members met in Galliher's building, between Walnut and Mulberry and then for about a year in Masonic Hall. Finally, in 1853, a third floor was built on the Rady Building on the north side of Main Street, between Walnut and Mulberry and the lodge moved their meeting place again.
Another popular lodge of the period was the Knights of Pythias, who organized Welcome Lodge No. 37 on August 14, 1873, in the Odd Fellows Hall on Main Street. The principles of the organization were to promote Friendship, Charity, and Benevolence. The first wigwam of the Red Men was instituted August 26, 1873. Meetings were held in the Wysor Grand Opera House hall for about six years and in 1879, the order took up quarters on theeast side of Walnut, just north of Jackson Street. The officers were given names of supposedly Indian origin, such as Sachem, Sagamore, Prophet, and Keeper of Wampum.
This online collection is part of the Fraternal Orders collection in Archives and Special Collections.
Archives & Special Collections, Fraternal Orders collection finding aid