Junior Order of United American Mechanics

Old Brick Reformed Church Cemetery, Holmdel, New Jersey

Motto: Our Country                                                                                                                 Creed: Principals, Not Men

The Junior Order of United American Mechanics, founded May 17th, 1853, in the Germantown neighborhood of Philadelphia, had its origins in a faternal group called The United American Mechanics, which was founded in 1845.  The JOUAM became independent in 1885.  It was a secret and political organization formed to combat the influence of the wave of Irish Roman Catholic immigrants into the labor market. All members were to be male, white, between the ages of 16 and 50, favored a separation of church and state, supported a free and public education, and professed a belief in a supreme being. 

Eventually, the organization began to open up membership to a diverse population including women, African Americans, Jews, and Roman Catholics.  They also began issuing insurance to protect workers who were injured or to pay death benefits.  The organization had a membership of over 200,000 at its zenith at the beginning of the twentieth century.

Nearly from the beginning of the organization’s founding, the Junior Order of United American Mechanics set out to support charities, especially those for children.  In the late 1890s JOUAM built an orphanage in Tiffin, Ohio, and a second one in Lexington, North Carolina, in 1929.  Today, JOUAM supports many charities foused on Lupus, Cerebral Palsy, and scholarship programs.

The primary symbols are an arm holding an hammer, the square and the compass set in the center of a shield. 

Mitchell Cemetery, Mitchell, Indiana

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