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Fraternal Orders collection

Identifier: MSS-010

Scope and Contents

The collection includes pamphlets, clippings, and other documents related to the formation of the following local lodges: the Masons, the Knights of Pythias, the Odd Fellows, and the Redmen.


  • Creation: 1846-1976

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Copyright Notice

Legal title, copyright, and literary rights reside with Archives and Special Collections, Ball State University Libraries, Muncie, IN. All requests to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted to Archives and Special Collections.

Historical Note

The history of fraternal organizations in Delaware County began in the fall of 1842 when a number of Masons met and petitioned the Grand Lodge of the State of Indiana for recognition as Delaware Lodge No. 46. The lodge met in an upper room of the Dr. Samuel Anthony home at 116 S. High St. and Dr. Anthony was appointed first master. A short time later, the Lodge moved its meeting rooms to the West upper room of the Courthouse.

The second oldest lodge in Delaware County was that of the Odd Fellows. On November 9, 1849, nine local men organized Muncie Lodge No. 74 in Anthony’s building, on the south side of Main Street, one door east of the southwest corner of the square. Once the group was organized, the members met in Galliher’s building, between Walnut and Mulberry and then for about a year in Masonic Hall. Finally, in 1853, a third floor was built on the Rady Building on the north side of Main Street, between Walnut and Mulberry and the lodge moved their meeting place again.

Another popular lodge of the period was the Knights of Pythias, who organized Welcome Lodge No. 37 on August 14, 1873, in the Odd Fellows Hall on Main Street. The principles of the organization were to promote Friendship, Charity, and Benevolence.

The first wigwam of a thoroughly American order, the Redmen, was instituted August 26, 1873. Meetings were held in the Wysor Grand Opera House hall for about six years and in 1879, took up quarters on the east side of Walnut, just north of Jackson. The officers were given names of supposedly Indian origin, such as Sachem, Sagamore, Prophet, and Keeper of Wampum.


0.2 Cubic Feet (1 box)

Language of Materials



This collection is arranged by alphabetically.

Custodial History

The Fraternal Orders collection was received by Archives and Special Collections as a donation from Althea Stoeckel on 1976/02/02.


No additions expected.

Processing Information

Collection processing completed 1992/03/02 by Nancy Turner. Finding aid created 1992/03/02 by Nancy Turner. EAD finding aid completed 2009/01/11 by Maren L. Read. EAD finding aid revised 2012/01/17 by Bethany Fiechter.

Fraternal Orders collection
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script

Repository Details

Part of the Stoeckel Archives of Local History Repository

Alexander M. Bracken Library
2000 W. University Avenue
Muncie Indiana 47306 USA