The New International Encyclopædia/United Workmen, Ancient Order of

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UNITED WORKMEN, Ancient Order of. A fraternal benevolent order founded at Meadville, Pa., in 1868. The constitution provided that only white persons were eligible as members and that when the first 1000 should be enrolled an insurance feature should be added guaranteeing the payment of $500 on the death of the insured member. This amount was later increased to $2000. In 1895 the membership had reached 320,000 in the United States, and up to that date the order had paid to the beneficiaries of deceased members $70,000,000. The governing body of the order is the Supreme Lodge, which controls the dispensation of death benefits in States where there is no Grand Lodge. The subordinate lodges are controlled by the Grand or State Lodge. The payment of sick and funeral benefits is optional with each lodge.