Laura Goff was a member of the Rebekahs.
I AM A REBEKAH:
I believe in the Fatherhood of God, the Brotherhood of man, and the Sisterhood of woman.
I believe in the watch-words of our Order – Friendship, Love and Truth.
Friendship – is like a golden chain that ties our hearts together. Love – is one of our most precious gifts, the more you give, the more you receive. Truth – is the standard by which we value people. It is the foundation of our society.
I believe that my main concern should be my God, my family and my friends. Then I should reach out to my community and the World, for in God’s eyes we are all brothers and sisters.
I AM A REBEKAH!
Earliest membership card Laura saved was when Goffs lived at Dexter. She paid $1.00 dues to the Eva Ann Rebekah Lodge No. 197 I.O.O.F of Dexter Jurisdiction of Iowa on May 10, 1926. Good until May 1, 1927.
It’s interesting that even after Laura moved to Omaha with her sons, she still kept up her membership in Dexter.
After World War II, when her daughter Leora lost three sons and was widowed, they moved Guthrie Center to live together. Guthrie County was where both were born, grew up, and still knew and were related to so many people there. Laura transferred her membership to the Mizpah Rebekah Lodge, No. 92, at Guthrie Center. May 17, 1948. She’s listed as a Past Noble Grand.
Her daughter Leora also joined the Rebekahs at Guthrie Center. I remember attending a meeting as a child. Grandma Leora wore a long white dress and during the meeting, the ladies kind of did a sedate square dance. At least that’s how it seemed to a young girl.
I know that they regularly patched and sewed at the Guthrie County Hospital.
“Leora Goff Wilson Aug. 12, 1968
“Donald took picture on Polaroid Camera
“Guthrie Center Iowa”
Must have been a special meeting for her to be wearing a corsage.
A small bell charm dangles from her watch. It’s the souvenir bell from Capri that her fourth son Danny Wilson bought when he first got to Italy for combat.
This is fascinating, Joy!
As many times as I’ve driven by Odd Fellows’ halls over the years, I’ve never known what they’re actually about. From the link you shared, the Rebekahs are still active today. Very interesting!
The one at Guthrie Center has disbanded. Monday’s post will be about the Odd Fellows, by a Dexter historian, who is the reason I was lured down this rabbit hole! I forgot about the bracelet, so added a photo of it at the end.
Oh, good! I’ll look forward to learning about the Odd Fellows. I was wondering when I first saw Leora in her white dress if the bracelet was the one with Danny’s charm.
I had to look up more info on these two groups. I found membership in each allows both sexes. They are still active worldwide. Eleanor Roosevelt was a member of the Rebekahs.
The lodge at Guthrie Center has disbanded, and I don’t think they’re active anymore at Dexter. A Dexter historian posted photos of the ribbons the IOOF members wear, one side for funerals, which sent me to Sherd Goff’s obituary, which pulled me deeper down this rabbit hole.
I do remember this organization. It seems you don’t hear much about them anymore.
Some of their goals are worthwhile, but the rituals and secrecy seem pointless. But I’m not much of a “joiner” anyway.
Love the photo of Leora in the long, white dress. Very interesting to learn about this society. It seems a very good support group since she continued her membership for many years. The premise of friendship, the more you give, the more you receive, is lovely.
She was also an active member of her church, Legion Auxiliary, VFW, and the garden club there. Mom used to quip that she needed to make an appointment to see her own mother. Grandma Leora didn’t drive, walked anywhere she didn’t have a ride to, and kept busy!
[…] Who Were the Rebekahs? on Joy Neal Kidney […]
I have a textile piece, dated 1927, Rebekah Lodge #197, Lucas…thought to have come from Toledo, Ohio area. There are several women’s names embroidered on the piece. Can you share any other info about that lodge? Or direct me in my research? Thanks!
It was hard to do any research about this group, but you might start with their website, a they are still active today: http://www.ioof.org/IOOF/About_Us/Whats_an_Odd_Fellow/Rebekah/IOOF/Rebekah.aspx?hkey=b56bd9ab-9e56-4eec-a8bc-8faeee1420e3
[…] The last week of September, Leora went to a funeral, canned a little tomato juice, cut back the peonies and iris, filled three clothes lines with all the bedding she’d washed (and hauled up from the basement), and went to the hospital to help patch with the Rebekahs. […]
[…] own home until her passing. She was a member of the VFW Auxiliary, The American Legion Auxiliary, Rebeccas, the Christian Women’s Fellowship and the First Christian Church of Guthrie […]