John R Thomason - Woodman Of The World
Photograph - Photograph
This grave is for John R. Thomason a Woodmen of the World. Taken in Wetumpka, AL.
A brief history of the Woodmen is below:
Woodmen of the World is the largest fraternal benefit society with open membership in the United States. It is an insurance organization founded by Joseph Cullen Root in Omaha, Nebraska on the 6th of June, 1890.
The first certificate of membership was issued to William A. McCully of Independence, Kansas on the 29th of December, 1890. Six months later, Woodmen paid its first death claim on the life of teenager Willie O. Warner who drowned on the 14th of June, 1891, in Niles, Michigan.
Early Woodmen of the World policies provided for a death and a monument benefit. Gravestones were originally furnished to members for free and later were offered to those who purchased a $100 rider.
During the 1920s the Society stopped providing markers to members when the cost of gravestones increased and cemeteries began prohibiting above-ground memorials for maintenance reasons. For many years after that, members and lodges arranged for markers and monuments on their own.
According to the Woodmen of the World website, although the monument benefit is no longer included, the Society does not let graves go unmarked.
February 22nd, 2021
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