Here is the main post for George Harvey Denton (1870-1918), Ancestor #5/52.
According to his obituary, George Harvey Denton was a member of the I.O.O.F. in La Junta, Colorado. Alice Denton was a member of its sister organization, the Rebekahs.
This two story red brick former IOOF building is located at 14 W 3rd. The first floor has two large bays with windows on either side of a main door with an arched awning. The arch has a large white capstone. The second story has two windows, then a portal window, another window, another portal window, and finally two more windows. Along the top of the building is larger diamond, smaller square pattern in the brickwork. There appears to be a false third story with the date “1929” above the filled in window. The roof is tile. Above the arched door is the three links of chain and “IOOF No. 74”. Photo and description from Waymarking.com, 8/24/2013.
The Independent Order of Odd Fellows (IOOF) was founded in the United States in 1819. Meetings were held once a week during the year, typically Tuesday evenings. A special convention was held during the month of October. IOOF meetings followed parliamentary procedures with a Secretary, Treasurer, Vice Grand, and the Noble Grand who were elected every seven months.
The building was meant to serve two major purposes. One was to be the Lodge’s home, a place for its ceremonies and other activities. The other was to yield income to support Lodge activities, a common plan for Odd Fellows Halls of two stories. The downstairs spaces, divided into two, sometimes more, spaces, was rented more or less long term to various enterprises to earn income. The second floor held the room or rooms where the Lodge met and held its ceremonies.
The Odd Fellows cared for their members in a time when there were no systems in place to ensure one’s welfare, health, or job protection. Salida, Colorado Odd Fellow Roy Kelly Sr. explained: “They took care of each other. If a man needed a job, the Odd Fellows would help him find one. If they couldn’t find one locally, they would pay his way to the next IOOF lodge and this would continue until he got a job.” The Odd Fellows provided each other with a type of self-generated insurance that covered employment, death benefits, health benefits, and care for widows and orphans.
The IOOF mission still reads, “To visit the sick, relieve the distressed, bury the dead and educate the orphan.” The IOOF has always been open to everyone. Their partner sister organization is called the Rebekahs.
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George Harvey’s gravestone was put up by the I.O.O.F. Their symbol, seen on his gravestone, is the three link chain: Friendship, Love, Truth.