Modern Woodmen of America (MWA) - Beech Camp No. 1454 (1913 Postal Card Overview)



Overview of Modern Woodmen of America

Modern Woodmen of America is a fraternal benefit society founded on January 5, 1883, by Joseph Cullen Root in Lyons, Iowa. The organization was created to provide financial security to families, particularly through life insurance, and to foster community through local chapters known as "camps".

Fraternal Benefit Society

As a fraternal benefit society, MWA operates differently from traditional financial institutions. It is member-owned and focuses on providing financial services, member benefits, and community impact. The organization offers life insurance, retirement planning, and other financial services while also engaging in social, educational, and volunteer activities through its local chapters.

Local Chapters and Activities

The postal card mentions Beech Camp No. 1454, which is one of the local chapters of MWA. These camps were central to the organization's community-building efforts. They held regular meetings, social events, and activities to engage members and promote camaraderie. The card notes that the camp meets every Friday evening at the M.W.A. Hall, indicating the importance of regular gatherings for the members.

Financial Obligations and Membership

The card is a notice for the June assessment dues, highlighting the financial obligations of members. Members were required to pay dues to maintain their membership and benefits. The dues mentioned on the card ($1.25 for the 3rd quarter) were likely used to fund the organization's activities and insurance benefits.

Historical Context

In 1913, when this card was issued, MWA was already well-established, having moved its headquarters to Rock Island, Illinois, in 1897. The organization had grown significantly, with numerous local chapters across the United States. The card's mention of winning the state banner and encouraging members to recruit new members reflects the competitive and community-oriented spirit of the organization at the time.

Community Impact

MWA has always emphasized community service and impact. The card's encouragement to recruit new members aligns with the organization's goal of expanding its reach and enhancing its community presence. This focus on growth and community involvement has been a consistent theme throughout MWA's history.

In summary, the postal card from Beech Camp No. 1454 is a reflection of the Modern Woodmen of America's mission to provide financial security, foster community, and engage members in meaningful activities. The card's details about dues, meetings, and membership recruitment are indicative of the organization's operational and community-focused approach during that period.


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