by J.K. Medberry

The Brotherhood of American Yeomen, a fraternal insurance society is an Iowa production, and was organized by J.E. and C.B. Paul, at Bancroft, Iowa, February 25, 1897, under the name of "Farmers' Mutual."  The society was popular from the start, the founder evidently having formed a plan of mutual insurance that seemed reasonable and just and which provided for a surplus fund for reserve.  The name, however, did not altogether suit and before the articles of incorporation were filed it was changed to Brotherhood of American Yeomen.  The word yeomen as used in old times meaning land holders.  Soon after incorporating the headquarters were removed to Cedar Rapids and later to Des Moines, where they are now permanently located.  The order has had a rapid growth and its jurisdiction extends from ocean to ocean north of a line drawn east and west through the mouth of the Ohio river, with a few exceptions.  The society has an entertaining ritualistic ceremony of adoption, the work being taken principally from Scott's "Ivanhoe."  The members are called archers and the lodges homesteads.



At present there are three homesteads in Lyon County, viz:  Rock Rapids, Larchwood and Lester the first two were instituted in 1899, by W.E. Davy, the present chief correspondent of the society.  Lester was instituted by C.W. Elliott, district manager in 1903.  All the homesteads are in good condition, the combined membership being 252.  Both sexes are admitted to membership and social meetings are a feature of the order appreciated by all.

Rock Rapids, Iowa, June 27, 1904.


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