Looking back to our local newspapers and as you read you will see that we have always had social clubs and organizations which sometimes used acronyms — you know, the letters that form a type of abbreviation, like an ATM where you can draw money from. If you see that, you know exactly what it is, and it was no different in the local newspapers. Trying to guess what they mean is a trick, to say the least, so let’s learn about some of them.

Each week there would be articles in the newspaper when these societies would meet. The articles would tell us who attended these meetings, what was talked about and where the next meeting would be.

The K.O.T.M stood for the Fraternal Order of the Knights of the Maccabees. (Spring Tent 19) was organized Nov. 30, 1886, and in 1907, there were 85 members, and Fred Bartholomew was the Commander with Byron A. Walters being the recordkeeper.

L.O.T.M. (local hive 122) was, of course, the Ladies of the Maccabees and was organized in 1894. Nellie Wood was the Lady Commander, Lora Hopper was the recordkeeper and Katharine Joslin was the Finance Keeper.

I.O.O.F. was Independent Order of the Odd Fellows. (Springville Lodge 588) was organized on Oct. 2, 1890, and the membership for this area was 130, and believe it or not, Fred Bartholomew was the Noble Grand of this organization as well. John Horning was the Vice, Secretary was Dudley O. Dean and treasurer was Herman Glass.

An article in the newspaper in 1907 states that… “Members of the Order are proud of its record, the order of Odd Fellows has helped over 2,500,000 of its members in times of need.”

GAR (Grand Army of the Republic) was organized in 1881 and had a membership in 1907 of 42. George H. Barker was the commander. The Log Cabin built by them is still standing on North Buffalo Street and is a private residence.

WRC (Women Relief Corp) was a great help to the GAR. Pheobe Jackson was the president, with Ellen Dunbar the Vice President. They did a lot of fundraisers, such as dinners and ice cream socials, to pay for building the log cabin as well as for decorating the cabin with rugs and items on the wall, and they made sure all the local schools had American flags.

With machines replacing skilled labor, those involved in this new technology banded together to form societies that attempted to address their concerns. These were not considered unions but social organizations such as the Ancient Order of the United Workmen (AOUW).

The Springville Club was organized on Dec. 3, 1883. The rooms they met in were on the third floor of the Citizen National Bank Building. It was equipped and furnished with a pool, billiard and card tables. W.H. Morgester was president, Carl Collard was vice president, Ira Woodward was treasurer and George L. Smead was secretary.

In 1912 a new group was being organized in Springville, the Oriole. It states that it was the fastest-growing fraternal in the United States. Free medical attention for the family and for more information you could contact Edward Gage at the Leland House.

F&AM (Springville Lodge 351), or the Free and Accepted Masons, was instituted in 1851. The officers in 1907 were Ben Shippy, Master, George Elson, Senior Warden, Loven Chesbro Secretary and Ira Vail was the Treasurer. Eastern Stars were the auxiliary for the Free and Accepted Mason and were just as active as the men were.

Royal Arch Mason (Springville Chapter 275) was organized in 1880 with a membership of 75 in 1907. Ira W. Smith was the High Priest, Henry Curtis was King and Scribe was Warren S. Furman.

Running Deer Tribe 452 I.O.O RM (Independent Order of the Redman) came about in 1902 with a membership of 60 in 1907. Sachem was Andrew Greiger, Senior Sagmore, Albert Salzer, Jr. Sagmore was Charles Colling and Chief of Records was John Seider. The City Club was organized in 1902 by the younger folks in the village. The rooms were located in the Richmond building and were well used by the Members.

W.C.T.U. was the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union. This was an active international organization where women were devoted to social reform. They, of course, were totally against drinking any spirits. Created in 1873 in Ohio, one of its main goals we to create a sober and pure world. Alcohol and other drugs were creating problems in the household and they wanted to rectify the problem. They were also big on endorsing women’s suffrage.

Well one thing for sure is that the people from this area were sure not sitting around and doing nothing. A lot of them belong to two or more groups and were actively involved in all the groups. They would band together to help each other out as well as the families of the members. Most of these groups offer insurance or some type of burial insurance.

Stop down at the Lucy Bensley Center and look in our archives and local newspapers to read up more on these and other groups. Each group had benefits and it is fun to research them. What groups were your family members in? Come in and tell us about it. We love to hear your stories!

We are open Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. You can send us an email at lucybensleycenter@gmail.com or call us at (716) 560-1981. If you are not sure we are open due to the weather, just give us a call, or even if you would like to come at a time we are not open, call and we will schedule that for you as well.