History of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows in America


The Independent Order of Odd Fellows (IOOF) is a global altruistic and benevolent fraternal organization derived from the British Oddfellows service organizations of the 18th century.The Independent Order of Odd Fellows was founded in North America in Baltimore in 1819 when members of theOrder from England instituted the first Lodge in Washington DC. Odd Fellows Lodges prospered and eventually were found in virtually every town in the US as well as countries across the globe.

    Where does the name "Odd Fellows" come from?  Most of the origin stories we have heard have turned out to be apocryphal. The most likely are that it was considered odd for an organization to pursue projects for the benefit of all mankind. It was also odd that a lodge should open its doors to the working class who in the 18th century did not ordinarily belong to fraternal orders.

    The Order has a "Triple Links" logo – three links contain the letters F, L and T, (Friendship, Love and Truth). You'll see this logo on the back wall of our hall and on our sign.

  • Comfort the sick.
  • Bury the dead.
  • Take care of the widow and orphan.

These precepts are the Mission of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. Santa Fe Lodge #2 has chosen to follow this mission by providing music in the Public Schools. Starting in 1997 we have raised money to provide music teachers, instruments, sheet music etc for Santa Fe public schools. At this point we're proud to say, Santa Fe has one of the best music programs in the USA.

    One of the events the Lodge holds every year is a dinner at the hall for all the Santa Fe Music Teachers and their administration. It's exciting and moving for us to hear about the teachers' experiences.

Independent Order of Odd Fellows

Odd Fellows' Mission

Odd Fellows lodges in the US generally have a cemetery attached to them. Here are some photos of Santa Fe Lodge #2's cemetery which is adjacent to the hall. Some of the graves date back to the 1800's.


History of the Odd Fellows

Santa Fe Lodge #2

For information about the New Mexico State Organizations, click here.