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Persons > Minot B. Saunders in IOOF Regalia
Minot B. Saunders in IOOF Regalia
Minot Bacon Saunders, Gainesville grocer and businessman, was a popular member of the IOOF (Independent Order of Odd Fellows) when he posed in his uniform and regalia for this portrait around 1910. Mr. Saunders was prominent in other fraternal organizations, including the Knights of Pythias and the Masonic Order. For many years members of the Odd Fellows were prohibited from wearing regalia and emblems in public, except for funerals. But in 1865 the prohibition was relaxed, and wearing regalia and uniforms became ever more common. Civil War veterans saw value in the camaraderie and shared loyalties of army life and hoped to bring some of that spirit into their fraternal organizations. Fraternal orders became more semi-military, and for a few years the membership in Odd Fellows was larger than that of the Masons. But membership has fallen steadily over the years. Still, membership numbered more than 375,000 persons in 2003.
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