Odd Fellows Lodge by Bryon Weesner, Dexter Historian

The Independent Order of Odd Fellows Lodge was important to the growth of Dexter’s business district in the late 1800 and early 1900s.

A very active group made up of men from various trades, they were instrumental in the building of the Odd Fellows building on Marshall Street. (The lodge was on the top floor and the bottom floor was shop space–at one time Downey’s and later Adkins Foods).

This is a reversible ribbon badge that would have been worn by members in the early 1900s. The colorful side was worn during IOOF rituals and meetings and the “mourning side” was worn facing out during funerals and in the month of November and December when the lodge recognized the passing of members from that year.

The letters FLT in the Odd Fellows logo represents the cornerstones of Friendship, Love and Truth.

My great grandfather M. S. “Sherd” Goff had been a member of the I.O.O.F. Lodge at Guthrie Center, Iowa, for 27 years. He undoubtedly attended meetings at Dexter when they lived there from 1924-his death in 1930. But he already had a burial plot in Guthrie Center, so after his funeral in Dexter, interment was made in the Guthrie Center cemetery.

The Guthrie Center I.O.O.F. was in charge of the graveside service. Now I can picture that they were wearing their badges with the black side showing.


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