The Independent Order of Odd Fellows (I. O. O. F.) is a fraternal organization that formed in England in the 1700s as a service organization. The American association was founded in Baltimore, Maryland, on April 26, 1819. According to the I.O.O.F. Website, “Thomas Wildey and four members of the Order from England instituted Washington Lodge No. 1. This lodge received its charter from the Manchester Unity of Odd Fellows in England.”
Members of the Odd Fellows, like many other society members, choose to be buried in common burial grounds. There are several Odd Fellows graveyards in the United States. In other cases a portion of the cemetery is dedicated to the lodge members, as is the case in the Glendale Cemetery at Akron, Ohio. Here a large monument was built to honor the members of the fraternal organization. Behind the screens are the names of the members who belong to the lodge. Members are buried in a space close to the monument reserved for Odd Fellows members.
The main symbol of the Odd Fellows is the three links of the chain which can been on top of the monument or on this simple metal marker that is placed next to one of the members buried in another part of the cemetery. Within the three links are many of the markers display three letters, F L T, which signify the organizations motto: Friendship, Love, and Truth. This marker, however, is simple only displaying the links.