Scope and Contents
This Ledger, 1885-1903, pertains to the Select Knights of the AOUW (Ancient Order of United Workmen), Coldwater Legion No. 8 of Coldwater, Michigan. Recorded are accounts for individual members of this fraternal insurance group and occasionally an account for a special fund. The accounts for individual members include entries such as dues and application fees organized by month and year. In addition to accounts of individual members, there are general account listings around page 200, from page 362 to 363, and from page 520 to 527. Some of the general accounts list the treasurer at the time. In 1887, the treasurer appears to be 'Mr. White,' and in the 1890s, the treasurer was 'Mr. Luiddem.'
There is also an alphabetical member index in front of the volume.
The ledger is not complete and entries for individual accounts end at page 253. The latest date mentioned is 1903 listed under Mrs. Lucinda Burch.
Tucked into the front of the ledger is a leaf of paper titled "Whole No. of Deaths, 2976." This list was issued by the Grand Lodge of the Ancient Order of United Workmen, and lists the deaths reported between January and March 31, 1901. The first page that might be missing since the list begins at number 28. The purpose of the list was to provide an accounting of the beneficiary fund. The AOUW had a death benefit fund to provide for the survivors of its members. The paper also includes an imprint of the seal of the order. It is signed by George Latcham, Grand Recorder, and was approved by the Finance Committee.
Language of Materials
1 vol., 252 pp. (13" by 8 1/2")
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The Select Knights of the Ancient Order of United Workmen, Coldwater Legion No. 8 of Coldwater, Michigan was a chapter of the larger order. The Ancient Order of United Workmen was a fraternal insurance group established in 1868 by John J. Upchurch. The purpose of the organization was to provide relief for the widows and orphans of the deceased members who were part of the working community. Upchurch credits witnessing a strike, which deprived families of much needed sustenance, as the inspiration for the founding of the order. In terms of organization, the Grand Lodge was the head at the state level, with individual branches at the local level. The Coldwater Legion was thus under the jurisdiction of the Michigan Grand Lodge. The Grand Lodge of the AOUW is listed in the Journal of the House of Representatives of Michigan State for 1883 as a "Cooperative and Mutual Benefit Association."
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