Masonic Mutual Benefit Society Insurance Certificate

In 1869, 4 years after the end of the Civil War, President Andrew Johnson, the 17th President of the United States, (1865-1869) signed a congressional act chartering the Masonic Mutual Relief Association of the District of Columbia. This association was created to provide death benefits to the widows and orphans of Freemasons.

The above certificate was issued by the Masonic Mutual Benefit Society of Indiana as a 3rd Class Insurance Policy to Brother Phillip H. Ferguson on the 22nd day of December 1888.  The monthly premium for the above third class policy was 95 cents per month and paid a death benefit of $1,500.00.  This would generally have been enough to pay off the mortgage on the family farm and perhaps support the family thereafter. (This is most likely the origin of the term "he bought the farm" meaning he died.)

A special "Thank You" to Ms. Avis A. Ferguson of Alexandria, Virginia, who was the great-great-grand daughter of the late Brother Phillip H. Ferguson, for whom this certificate was issued, for donating it to our museum collection.





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