Imperial Order of Muscovites
The Imperial Order of Muscovites was an
unofficial, appendant body to the Independent Order of Odd Fellows in the
United States. The IOM was founded in 1894 in Cincinnati, Ohio, and
lasted until the mid-1920s. The
basic body or unit of the order was called a Kremlin, with officers styled as
Czar, Patriarch, Regent, Commander, and so forth. The relationship between the
IOM and the IOOF was indirect, with the Muscovites being created and styled by
and for Odd Fellows, but with no direct or jurisdictional link. The membership
regalia of the order was a charcoal grey fez with a black woolen band,
emblazoned with an emblem representing two bear heads flanking a banner of red
and yellow, divided diagonally, with the legend "IOM" arranged vertically.
The order apparently engendered controversy
within Odd Fellowship, and it was eventually disbanded. Minutes from the Grand
Lodge of Illinois for 1910 record that all Odd Fellows were commanded to
abandon their membership in the Imperial Order of Muscovites, and that further
membership in the body would result in expulsion from the parent body. While
new Kremlins were instituted at least as late as 1921, the order was
apparently absorbed, along with other appendant Odd Fellow bodies, into the
Ancient Mystic Order of Samaritans.
A special "Thank You" to Bro.
Tyler Anderson of Sandia Mountain Lodge #72, AF&AM, Jurisdiction of NM for
submitting the description and picture of a Imperial Order of Muscovite Fez
from his collection. Thank you Bro. Tyler!