Who were the Rebekahs?

Laura Goff was a member of the Rebekahs.

The Daughters of Rebekah, also known as the Rebekahs and the International Association of Rebekah Assemblies, is an international service-oriented organization and a branch of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. Laura’s husband “Sherd” Goff was a member of the I.O.O.F.
Symbol: Three-link chain, dove, lily, moon and seven stars
Founder: Schuyler Colfax
Founded: 1851
Parent organization: Independent Order of Odd Fellows

Rebekah Creed

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.

bracelet

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“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.

14 comments

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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!

  4. 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!

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