A fraternal order is a group with religious or medieval customs. Contemporary fraternal orders typically have secular purposes, including social, cultural and mutually beneficial or charitable goals. Many benefit societies and mutual organizations take the form of a fraternal order.
After the American Civil War in the 1860s, America experienced a golden age of fraternal order growth. The effects of the fraternal organizations on the development of government and society were profound. They brought together a broad range of classes under each fraternal banner. Fraternal orders also provided a very important haven for the average workman, and they brought organization to various political objectives.
The Independent Order of Odd Fellows (or “IOOF”), the Quality Rebekah Lodge, and the Magnolia Lodge were just a few of the fraternal societies that thrived in Marceline in the early 1900s.
The luxurious Magnolia Building before you was dedicated on September 15, 1915. It contained a very large meeting hall upstairs for various fraternal orders. Prior to meeting here, these orders met in the old Miners Hall on the corner of Gracia and Kansas Avenue.
In the earliest days of this building, a grocery store occupied the downstairs area. An ad for this store in June of 1919 referred to an airplane event at the new Marceline airport. The ad said, “See the airplanes, then come to the store for your Eats”. About that time, local resident Mary Daily became the first woman in Marceline to ride in an airplane.
There was always something happening in Marceline.