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The Order of Independent Americans

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posted on Sep, 6 2015 @ 04:51 PM
Hey ATS,

I need some help. I ran a search for my topic, and all I found was someone else's post about a bible that belonged to this organization. I did a Google search for the organization myself, but can only find a few articles and a bunch of memorabilia on ebay.

The organization I'm referring to is the Order of Independent Americans. In that post about the bible, someone said that it looked like it primarily operated out of Pennsylvania. I can find absolutely no information on this secretive fraternity, but I'm about ready to head to all of the local historical sites and ask around. Someone has to know something.

The reason I'm looking is because Three generations back, I had connections to someone who was in the organization. My great-great-uncle was a member of some importance. I'm mainly just curious to know more about what their order did or believed. All I can say for sure is that their emblem is a whole heck of a lot like the masonic symbol.

Here are the links that I've found so far:

From A Local township board

The name Pleasant Valley Grange was selected over the names Mountain View Grange and Wooddale Grange. Meetings were held for a time at the Order of Independent Americans Hall at Wooddale. (This was the Masonic Lodge which was located behind the old red brick house on East Keefer Road - the lodge no longer exists)

...and here's another interesting but ultimately not-so-helpful article: Berks-Mont Columns

...and finally, this one: Order of Independent Americans: Council #36

From that last link:

A note on the back of the photo mentions that these men had accumulated 492 years of membership at that date."

...and that picture was from 1942. The earliest any of those members in that picture were instated was in 1884. Also, I think the figure 492 was just the amount of years accumulated between the men, but it's still a staggering number.

So yeah, it sounds like it's an interesting and (at least was a) pretty prominent secret society in Pennsylvania. It's just also incredibly elusive (go figure...)

Any and all help would be extremely appreciated.

posted on Sep, 6 2015 @ 05:09 PM
I've never heard of this organization. Maybe I can learn a little from this thread.

How can someone be an independent American and still belong to an organization? You would not be independent.

posted on Sep, 6 2015 @ 05:54 PM
a reply to: mysticrecluse

Hmmmm now that's what I call a real secret society. Hmmmmm what if they are control the US from behind the scenes.

And post a picture of this Bible. Maybe someone else might recognize it.

posted on Sep, 7 2015 @ 04:38 PM
Interesting, never heard of them either.
PA was an where a lot of early Masons and Rosicrucians settled., founding a printing and publishing business, and building churches, schools, and lodges.
The O of I's emblem is definitely Masonic, and it says they met at the Masonic lodge.
On the website for Old Chester you linked, if you click at the top back to "Lodges," (or click here: Old Chester Lodges) you will see there is quite a large number of orders in that area - including the "Wheels of Soul Motorcycle Club." I'd love to be hanging at their picnic today lol.
edit on 7-9-2015 by KAOStheory because: (no reason given)

posted on Sep, 8 2015 @ 12:53 PM
Thank you for your responses, everyone. I've been away for a few days, so I didn't get a chance to respond until now. But yeah, individual responses below to save from posting multiple times in a row:

rickymouse: I could be wrong, but I feel like a lot of things that started out in the 1800's didn't make much sense (at least in their names). I hope I can learn a bit as well - It's really got me scratching my head.

starwarsisreal: I know, right? The thought crossed my mind: What if they are the true original secret society? Well...I guess they wouldn't be THE secret society. Weren't the Masons around back when the country was founded? Also, here is a link to that other post on here about the bible. (ATS Post)

Last but not least, KAOStheory: I didn't know that Pennsylvania was home to a lot of Masons and Rosicrucians. It's kind of exciting to think about - You'd think there'd be some trace of them, but they did a good job staying secretive.

I did catch that they met at the Masonic lodge (on that site), but I didn't dig too deep in the Old Chester Lodges website. Thanks for pointing that out! Yeah, Wheels of Soul? Hmm, sounds like a church choral group or something. (Don't tell them that).

Anyway, the only thing that I can confirm from experience is that there's a high presence of Freemasons in my immediate area. Very frequently I see cars with Masonic plates or badges stamped (magnets?) through the trunk. Also, a good friend of mine (back in high school) had a dad in the PA State Police. He was a mason, and claimed that almost all of the officers at his station branch were freemasons. He never talked about it, but my friend sure was proud of it. I doubt my friend followed in his father's footsteps...he kind of hit rock bottom shortly before graduation lol)

Thanks again for the posts guys. I'll keep digging around and share the results when (or if) I find anything.

posted on Jul, 17 2019 @ 09:54 PM
My great Grand father was a member of Independent Order of Americans, Ontelaunee Council, No. 985, Leesport PA above Reading PA. Also some other organizations. Knights of Friendship Charity Chamber No. 23, and Knights of the Golden Eagle. I too find it difficult to get any info. I know that after the Civil War many fraternal organizations sprung up. I have been a Freemason now for 32 years and have served twice as worshipful Master of my lodge in West Reading, PA. I am also a 32 degree Scottish Rite Mason, A past high Priest of York rite masonry as well as a Knight Templar, a Shriner, Tall Cedar of Lebanon, and a member of an AMD masonic council. Have you found any info on these now seemingly defunct organizations?

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