Ancient Order of United Workmen, Newhall Lodge No. 218.
The Ancient Order of United Workmen was America’s first fraternal or mutual benefit organization to the extent that it provided financial protection to its members in the form of insurance — life insurance at first, and later medical and other types of insurance. In the beginning, members paid $1 and their survivors received $500 when they died; the payout was soon increased to $2,000. When a member died, each member would pay another $1 to replenish the fund.
According to the online Masonic Museum and Library, the A.O.U.W. was started by a Mason, John Jordan Upchurch, in Meadville, Penn., in 1868, shortly after the conclusion of the Civil War. It was a time of urbanization and industrialization. “ The railroads created the potential for national markets,” and factories “created opportunities that tempted many people to move away from the farms, villages, and hamlets to pursue their fortunes in the growing urban centers.
Upchurch’s idea was to adjust “all differences which may arise between employers and employees” for the benefit of both, in the belief that “the interests of labor and capital are equal and should receive equal protection.” The initial members in 1868 consisted of mechanics, engineers, firemen and day laborers on the Atlantic and Great Western Railroad, and the merchants who serviced them.
The organization used a lodge system, like other (later) fraternal organizations, and it used Masonic symbols including the all-seeing eye, the Bible, anchor and compasses. Its motto was “Charity, Hope and Protection.”
By 1884, there was a Newhall lodge of the A.O.U.W. (No. 218). Members came from all parts of the SCV, including present-day Canyon Country. Among the local group’s officer positions were doctor and medical examiner (i.e., coroner). By 1885 the A.O.U.W. was the nation’s largest fraternal organization; as of 1895 its national membership exceeded 318,000.
In 1929 the organization’s leadership decided to abandon the lodge system in favor of a national congress. Individual lodges disbanded; some morphed into life insurance companies.
ADVERTISE WITH US
Well, Alex and I made it on the cover this month! It was a hot, blustery day, but I was so happy to join Amy Daniels of the Wish Education Foundation, Corrine Barchanowicz, Senior General Manager and Audra Cheney, Marketing Manager of Westfield Valencia Town Center...read more
Featured on our cover this month are Corrine Barchanowicz, Senior General Manager and Audra Cheney, Marketing Manager of Westfield Valencia Town Center, Amy Daniels of the Wish Education Foundation and Linda Hafizi, Publisher of the Santa Clarita Magazine. Here it is,...read more
Hoedown for Hope - A BBQ Competition event benefitting Circle of Hope and Hope’s Haven Cancer Wellness Center will be held on September 14, 2019 from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Put on your boots and cowboy hat and get ready to chow down some fantastic BBQ featuring family fun,...read more
ABOUT THE MAGAZINE
Santa Clarita Magazine has set a high standard for excellence in advertising for over 29 years. A family owned and operated business, Santa Clarita Magazine has grown with the Santa Clarita Valley since 1990 and become the #1 place to advertise locally.