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AfriGeneas Genealogy and History Forum

Re: Grand United Order of Odd Fellows

Mr. Howard,

I saw your recent posting on the AfriGeneas Genealogy and History Forum and am writing in hopes of getting membership information from the early 1900's. My great grandfather, the Rev. Albert Sidney James Allen lived in Alachua County Florida from the 1870's until his death in 1904. Rev. Allen was a leading Methodist minister in north central Florida (Alachua, Gainesville, Newnansville, Jacksonville) as well as a highly-respected school teacher. On April 2, 1904 Rev. Allen informed his neighbor, a white farmer by the name of J.L. Shaw that Shaw's new fence was encroaching onto his land. According to the Jacksonville Times-Union newspaper, the two men began arguing over the disputed boundary line whereupon Shaw pulled a weapon and shot Allen dead.

My research shows that Black lodges and churches mobilized to bring J.L. Shaw to justice. The Masons and Odd Fellows lodges raised funds for a legal team and hired a lawyer from Jacksonville who was able to get the case heard before a grand jury in October of 1905.

This prompts the question: was grandfather (known as ASJ Allen) a member of the Masons or Odd Fellows? Do you have access to membership records dating back to that period?

With thanks,

Alonzo Felder

18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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