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Articles & Local History > 1899 - A History of Tampico Camp No. 9, Modern Woodmen of America

Tampico Tornado, June 10, 1899

Illustrated with Photos of All Its Present Officers and a Number of Its First Officers

A short Sketch of Each Officer

The benefit of life insurance as a protection to the family is no longer a debatable question. When a man marries and thus assumes the responsibility of family cares, he rests under certain obligations not alone to his wife and children but to society. ONe of these oblgations is to see thtat, in the event of his death, the family shall not be left pennniless and be compelled to rely on the charity of the world or become a public charge. To the man of moderate resources the only way to guarantee that this obligation whall be discharged is to secure a life insurance policy fo such an amount as he can carry without materially affecting hisincome, and then see that it is continued in force.

The development of life insurance during the last forty years has made it possible for even the very poor man to thus protect his family. Life insurance is not a speculation in any sense of the word. It is the conservation and distribution of savings. It is true that some companies offer what seems to be an attractive ******ment in connection with the insurance. It is not the purpose of this afticle to enter into a discussion of this feature connected with companies, but to give briefly a history of what our life insurance organization has done and is still doing in our midst. We refer to the Modern Woodman, and beg to lay before our readers certain facts in connection with the growth of the order as a whole and some special reference to Tampico camp No. 9.

The Modern Woodmen of America was authorized to do business in this stae early in 1883. It is thus sixteen years old, and has passed away beyond the experimental state. At the close of the biennial term Mar. 21, the amount of insurance in force was $661,332,000. Tampico camp no. 9, has a membership of 113 and carries insurance to the amount of $237,000.

Since its organization the order has paid death losses amounting to upwards of $13,000,000.Prior to 1890 the then young order experienced some stormy times, and at one time seemed in danger of going to pieces. Tampico camp as an organization and representative members from it exercise no small force in assisting in straighten out the entanglement of the earlier period.

J. C. ROOT of Lyons, Iowa, was the founder of the order and much credit is due him for his work in the early days. Dr. P. L. McKINNIE of Evanston was also a prominent factor in the period prior to 1890. An unfortunate, discussion in relation to the responsibility for an alleged, fraudulant claim arose between these two men, who at that time were at the head of the order, and threatened to disrupt it; but the members took the matter in hand, and after a series of conventions entirely reorganized the institution, and an entire new set of officials were elected. Mr. ROOT returned to Omaha and founded the Woodmen of the World, Dr. McKINNIE is the founder of the Home Forum. Since 1890 the growth has been remarkable, and it still continues. The administration of its affairs has been highly satisfactory to the members and everything indicates a long continued career of prosperity for the order.


E. E. WHEELOCK was elected first Venerable Consul, at the organization meeting at Tampico Camp inJ ne 15, 1883. He served two terms, and the third term E. L. HALSTED was elected to fill that position. On December 10, 1884, Mr. WHEELOCK was again elected Consul and served until June 24th, 1885, when Geo. B. JACKSON was elected. Mr. WHEELOCK was sataisfied with the honor the camp bestowed upon him and from that time until the present he has never consented to be a candidate for any office. He being the first Consul, he became the first Past-Consul and the camp took advantage of his positin and he was always called upon to install the officers, whic duty he accepted and performed in a most commendable manner.

Tampico Camp was among the first organized, as its number indicates, and to George B. JACKSON must be credited the first effort in putting  the matter in a favorable light before the people. He solicited the membership and when enough members had ********* ******** charter was obtained and the Camp organized. This occurred on the evening of June 15th, 1883. The Charter members were:

  • George W. KNOX
  • Charles MYERS
  • Wilbur HUGHES
  • W. L. GOWEN
  • George B. JACKSON
  • A. C. SMITH
  • Joseph OLSSON

As will be perceived there were ten charter members, out of which number there are five whom are now members of the Camp, and one, A. J. MAXFIELD, has died.

The Camp was organized in the office of Dr. A. C. SMITH, then located in the upper story of James H. CAIN's store building on the west side of Main Street, the auditorium room being about 12x16, giving ample space for the entire membership.The ceremonies incident to the formal launching of the new camp was conducted by a Head Deputy, assisted by George B. JACKSON. The camp was named "Tampico Camp No. 9," it being the 9th camp then in existance. In passing, we mention the fact that there are now 6,500 camps in the order.

The officers elected at this meeting for the ensuing six months were:

  • E. E. WHEELOCK, Venerable Consul
  • George B. JACKSON, Worthy Advisor
  • Joseph OLSSON, Excellent Banker
  • Charles R. ALDRICH, Clerk
  • Wilbur HUGHES, Watchman
  • A. J. MAXFIELD, Sentry
  • George W. KNOX, Escort
  • Dr. A. C. SMITH, Physician

At the second meeting of the camp, June 19th, Geo. B. JACKSON and Chas. R. ALDRICH were elected delegates to represent the Camp at the first Head Camp meeting, which was held at Fulton, Ill. Each delegate received the sum of $3 toward paying their expenses.

Geo. B. JACKSON, the present clerk, has been a leading member in the camp from the day of its organization and is yet considered so. He was the the principal factor in establishing the camp and has always held an office of hpnor and trust. He was chosen their first Worthy Advisor and on June 24, 1895 was chosen Consul which office he held for one year. On Nov. 21, 1886, he was chosen banker which office he helduntil Dec. 18, 1889 when he was chosen Clerk, which office he now holds at a salary of 50c per capita per annum. Mr. JACKSON has been an enthusistic worker for the order, served as delegate to the First Head Camp meeting, held in Fulton, June, 1883, and was there elected Head Escort and acting Director. While holding this office the Head Camp took out its charter and the head office was located at Fulton, Ill. He was agian elected delegate to the Head Camp meeting in Sterling, Ill., in 1886, and there appointed Chairman of the Head Camp committee on resolutions for two years. Attended the Head Camp at Des Moines, Iowa, in 1888, as chairman of the above committee. In 1891 he was a witness in an important case for the Woodmen in a trial before a federal court at Omaha. In 1884 he was appointed Deputy and through his efforts, the Fairfield, Annawan, Atkinson, Mineral, Hooppole, Hahnaman, Spring Hill, Harmon, LaMoille, Princeton, New Bedford and Thomas Camps were established, and besides he gave the work to several independent members.

During the period from June 15th to Nov. 27, 1883 there were ten meetings held and ten new membes taken into the camp. Of these ten, three have since died, viz.: E. L. HALSTEAD, Albert GLASSBURN, and James WOODARD. During the first term of six months, the Camp secrured the necessary equipment and moved into the Masonic Hall, Charles MYERS acting as janitor at a salary of twnety-five cents per meeting.

On November 27th, 1883 the second election of officers was held, resulting in the re=election of the old officers, with one or two minor exceptions.

In 1884 nothing of any general interest took place until August 19th, at which time the first public reception and ball was held in Union Hall. The committee on arrangements consited of Geo. B. JACKSON, Geo. W. KNOX and C. F. GIFFORD. The occasion demonstrated not only their ability in that particular line, but also the fact that the public was becoming interested in the organization. The reception was attended by a large number and the affair proved a social success. At this time the contract for renting the  Masonic Hall was completed, the annual rental being $37.50.

Joseph OLSSON was a charter member and was elected Banker at the first meeting, which office he held from June 13, 1883 - June 24, 1885. Living in the country he had not the time to devote to the duties of the office longer. He has been a staunch member and always adhered to its teachings and stood by the order manfully in the days of the infancy and feels justly proud of being  a member now, in the days of its prosperity.

The Camp at this time was called upon to pay its first mortuary assesment called by the death of Cephas HURLESS of Coleta. He was the first member of the order to receive the benefits of his insurance. The membership at this time was not sufficient to pay the full amount ofhis $2000 policy, but the call realized about $1200.

In the election of officers onDec. 10th of this year, F. M PALMER was was elected delegate and C. F. GIFFORD alternate to the Head Camp meeting at Fulton.

In April 1885 the camp joined with the I. O. G. T. and purchased an organ, which added materially in rendering the ceremonies still more attractive. The Camp was prospering and its financial condition was such that it felt able to pay the clerk a salary, and the very modest sum of 25c per meeting was fixed as the compensation of that official.

On May 22nd, the first death of a member of the Camp occurred, Neighbor Elijah H. hALSTEAD. A committee of resolutions consisting of Rev. J. A. WHIPPLE, F. S. JOHNSON, and C. F. GIFFORD was appointed, and the funeral was held under the auspices of the camp. Mr. HALSTEAD's beneficiaries received the full amount of his policy, $2,000 promptly.

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