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Name Order of the Owls
Notes Owls, Order of (OOO). - South Bend, Indiana, was the city where this "animal" Lodge was born. John W. Talbot and a small group of his associates in November of 1904 formed this fraternal group. When it was founded, the order sought to assist its members in business and in employment, provide help to the widows and orphans of the deceased members, and to enjoy mutual fellowship with one another. This order has no relationship with the onetime Masonically related group, the Independent Order of Owls, that was organized in St. Louis, Missouri, in 1890.
The OOO has four degrees, plus the presence of a ritual, passwords, and fraternal grips. The ritual, as in most fraternal orders, is intended to be secret. The OOO publications (e.g., brochures) contend that its ritual has no religious elements. An older edition of the ritual states: "We advocate no creed. We know there are so many gods, so many creeds, so many paths that wind and wind. We believe that the art of being kind is all this world needs."
Membership has been open only to white males. During the early 1920s the OOO had over 600,000 members in 2,148 local Lodges, called "Nests." Since the 1920s, the order has been losing members rather significantly. Its 1979 membership roster has about 40,000 members.
Nowadays the order has Nests in five US states: New York, West Virgina, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Indiana.
The founder of the Order, John W. Talbot, was sentenced to five years at Leavenworth in 1921 as a result of a morals charge involving a nurse at the Owls' Hospital.
Local units, as noted, are called "Nests." The national governing body is known as the "Supreme Nest." Its main officer is named "Supreme President."
Additional information may be gained by consulting William Whalen, Handbook of Secret Organizations, 1966; Arthur Preuss, A Dictionary of Secret and Other Societies, 1924. Back issues of the society's periodical, The Owl, are also helpful. [http://www.phoenixmasonry.org/masonicmuseum/fraternalism/owls.htm 4/3/2010]
Places of residence Redwood City, CA - A BENEVOLENT FRATERNAL ORGANIZATION FORMED IN 1914, DISBANDED IN 1997

Associated Records

Image of 1999.080.003A - Order of the Owls Nest No. 1484 Banner, c. 1914-1929. Blue cloth banner has a gold 1 1/4" outer ribbon border. It is rectangular in shape with an outward curve at the center bottom from which 3" metallic tasseled fringe hangs. Embroidered in gold in the center are three 13 1/2" owls with white bellies sitting on a single branch. Also in embroidered in gold at the top is "ORDER OF OWLS / NEST No. 1484" and, at bottom, "REDWOOD CITY  /  CALIFORNIA"  with a stylized "T"  shape below that. Backing is a light blue cotton material. There are six 1 1/4" loops of the gold border material affixed to the top through which a 31" wooden dowel is mounted. There are loose brass-colored end-caps and finials in the shape of acorns which mount to the ends of the dowel. From top ends 7 1/2" tassels are suspended by 20" cordage that are wrapped up around the dowel ends. Similar 4" tassels are suspended from 2" cordage at the bottom of the corners. Additional cordage that is approximately 68" in length is also suspended at the bottom corners. Affixed to the dowel ends are two 1/2in eye screws and in center one 1" eye screw. A gold cord is affixed to the eye screw and has a loop in the center for hanging.

1999.080.003A - Order of the Owls Nest No. 1484 Banner, c. 1914-1929. Blue cloth banner has a gold 1 1/4" outer ribbon border. It is rectangular in shape with an outward curve at the center bottom from which 3" metallic tasseled fringe hangs. Embroidered in gold in the center are three 13 1/2" owls with white bellies sitting on a single branch. Also in embroidered in gold at the top is "ORDER OF OWLS / NEST No. 1484" and, at bottom, "REDWOOD CITY / CALIFORNIA" with a stylized "T" shape below that. Backing is a light blue cotton material. There are six 1 1/4" loops of the gold border material affixed to the top through which a 31" wooden dowel is mounted. There are loose brass-colored end-caps and finials in the shape of acorns which mount to the ends of the dowel. From top ends 7 1/2" tassels are suspended by 20" cordage that are wrapped up around the dowel ends. Similar 4" tassels are suspended from 2" cordage at the bottom of the corners. Additional cordage that is approximately 68" in length is also suspended at the bottom corners. Affixed to the dowel ends are two 1/2in eye screws and in center one 1" eye screw. A gold cord is affixed to the eye screw and has a loop in the center for hanging.

Order of the Owls Nest No. 1484 Banner, c. 1914-1929. Blue cloth banner has a gold 1 1/4" outer ribbon border. It is rectangular in shape with an outward curve at the center bottom from which 3" metallic tasseled fringe hangs. Embroidered in gold in the center are three 13 1/2" owls with white bellies sitting on a single branch. Also in embroidered in gold at the top is "ORDER OF OWLS / NEST No. 1484" and, at bottom, "REDWOOD CITY / CALIFORNIA" with a stylized "T" shape below that. Backing is a light blue cotton material. There are six 1 1/4" loops of the gold border material affixed to the top through which a 31" wooden dowel is mounted. There are loose brass-colored end-caps and finials

Image of 1999.080.003B - Two-piece wooden pole for an Order of the Owl banner (1999.080.003A).  Unstained wood has a clear gloss varnish and is bulbous in the center.  There is a brass coupling at the center of each piece where the two connect, as well as a brass hand-grip next to the couplings.  Top section has a brass eagle mounted to the top below which a cup-hook is screwed into the wood for securing the banner.

1999.080.003B - Two-piece wooden pole for an Order of the Owl banner (1999.080.003A). Unstained wood has a clear gloss varnish and is bulbous in the center. There is a brass coupling at the center of each piece where the two connect, as well as a brass hand-grip next to the couplings. Top section has a brass eagle mounted to the top below which a cup-hook is screwed into the wood for securing the banner.

Two-piece wooden pole for an Order of the Owl banner (1999.080.003A). Unstained wood has a clear gloss varnish and is bulbous in the center. There is a brass coupling at the center of each piece where the two connect, as well as a brass hand-grip next to the couplings. Top section has a brass eagle mounted to the top below which a cup-hook is screwed into the wood for securing the banner.