IAGenWeb Project
Winnebago County
USGenWeb Project

Directory of Fraternal and Civic Organizations in Forest City


The oldest civic organization in Forest City, the Truth Lodge, no. 213 A. F. & A. M., was granted a charter on June 4, 1867. Charter members were: Robert Clark, Richard Burge, J. J. Otis, James R. Burge, David Secor, John S. Blowers. S. W. Herrick, C. D. Smith, Austin Orvis, B. Gillespie and J. P. Gardner.

Eastern Star

The sister organization of the Masons, Truth Chapter O. E. S., was organized in 1869. The
following officers were elected: Mrs. Marcia Hewitt, W. M.; J. E. Howard, W. P.; Mrs. Clara K. Thompson, A. M.; Mrs. Emma Gruver, conductress; Mrs. Nettie Wheeler, assistant conductress; O. A. Olson, treasurer; S. E. Hewitt, secretary; Mary Thompson, Adah; Bernice Stevens, Ruth; Mrs. Norma Babbitt, Esther; Mrs. Nora Howard, Martha; Mrs. Jennie V. L. Peters, Electa; Mrs. Hattie Jones, chaplain; Mrs. Alice Irish, marshall; Mrs. Nora Jones, warder; M. C. Wheeler, sentinel; Ida E. H. Hanson organist. Other charter members were Mrs. Florence L. Kelley, C. H. Kelley, George D. Peters, C. H. Gruver, W. H. Jones, H. R. Irish, J. Thompson, George Babbitt and V. A. Jones.

Independent Order of Odd Fellows

Forest City Lodge No. 440, I.O.O. F., was instituted Dec. 27, 1881. The first elected officers were J. D. Leland, noble grand; J. E. Howard, vice grand; W. H. Fisher, recording secretary; Nels Thorsen, financial secretary; and P. Metz, treasurer. Other charter members included W. H. Jones, M. C. Wheeler and J. J. Sharp.


March 19, 1896 marked the beginning of the Northern Light Rebekah Lodge. Charter members were Harry Rider, J. J. Sharp, W. H. Fisher, James Smith, C. B. Easler, G. H. Macomber, Leoni H. Barth, Anna B. Stout, Mina Lackore, Emma M. Gruver, Reaca Clark, Berthina Easler, Hattie J. Halverson, Matilda Sharp. Phoebe Macomber, Myrle Sharp, Loey Cook, Adaline Schader, Emily G. Clark, Julia Holt, Emma J. Ambrose, Nora Howard, Nettie Wheeler, Anna Sonnickson, Florence A. Fisher, Martha J. Rider, Cathrina Smith, Sarah J. Countryman, Martha A. Anderson, Ellen Chase, Melissa Gettis, Mrs. E. S. Anderson, Marg. A. Elder, Lillie Pinckney, Frances Secor, J. H. T. Ambrose, J. D. Stout, E. A. Pinckney, E. J. Sharp, John Holt, W. E, Mayes, E. S. Anderson, M. C. Gettis, C. A. Cook, R. W. Clark, C. E. Johnson, J. H. Holmson, G. W. Elder, O. A. Olson, C. H. Gruver, E. C. Schader, M. Daniels, Stephen Countryman, C. H. Lackore, A. J. Chase, Andrew Sonnickson, J. E. Howard, M. H. Mosier, M. C. Halvorson, John A. Barth, J. M. Clark and J. E. Anderson.

P. E. O. Sisterhood

Chapter H. W., Forest City, was organized April 11, 1934 with the following elected officers: Mrs. G. D. Eaton, president; Mrs. H. F. Thompson, vice president; Mrs. Olan Ruble, recording secretary; Agnes Jacobs, corresponding secretary; Mrs. L. D. Prewitt, treasurer; Mrs. J. Ellit Grayson, chaplain and Mrs. B. J. Perry, guard. Other initiates included Helen Mar Thompson, Mrs. O. N. Gjellefald, Mrs. G. E. Osmundson, Mrs. B. J. Perry, Margaret Sharp, Mrs. R. R. Jacobs, Mrs. W. T. Peterson, and Charlotte Bridge.

Camp Fire Girls

The 1927 chapter of the Forest City Camp Fire Girls included Viola Holt, Nelsine Kristensen, Grace Stephenson, Phyllis Conner, Florence Holt, Thelma Branstad, Thelma Schrievseth, Janice Thompson and Beatrice Handy. Minda Hegreberg and Selma Sime were the leaders.

Lions Club

The Forest City Lions Club was chartered in June, 1930 with the following members: O. S. Anderson, C. Tim Anderson, Emil Anderson, James B. Anderson, Tom Boynton, A. E. Clauson, Dr. Frank J. Colby, M. J. Charlson, Dr. H. W. Divine, Dr. R. E. Hansen, A. J. Hill, L. A. Jensen, D. C. Keasey, Harry Larson, Frank P. Oleson, Sidney Reuben, H. N. Rye, E. M. Salveson, N. T. Thurston and Floyd C. Valley.

Rotary Club

The Forest City Rotary Club was chartered March 17, 1925 were "Burt" Thompson (president), "Ray" Jacobs (vice president), "Rusty" Osmundson (treasurer), "Oscar" Lyders (secretary), "Herb" Cleophas (sergeant at arms), Jay Brooker and Thorwald Thorson (board members), and other charter members: "Al" Bloom, "Minn" Brown, Dennis Cregan, Harry Ehred, A. C. Hanson, Will Suchow, Carl Helgen, "Gus" Koto, Oscar Larson, W. R. Prewit, "Cam" Ross and Merle Thompson.

-abstracted by Sheryl McClure for the Winnebago co. IAGenWeb, from the Centennial Edition of the Forest City Summit, July 28, 1955