Imperial Order of Muscovites

The Imperial Order of Muscovites was an unofficial, appendant body to the Independent Order of Odd Fellows in the United States.  The IOM was founded in 1894 in Cincinnati, Ohio, and lasted until the mid-1920s. The basic body or unit of the order was called a Kremlin, with officers styled as Czar, Patriarch, Regent, Commander, and so forth. The relationship between the IOM and the IOOF was indirect, with the Muscovites being created and styled by and for Odd Fellows, but with no direct or jurisdictional link. The membership regalia of the order was a charcoal grey fez with a black woolen band, emblazoned with an emblem representing two bear heads flanking a banner of red and yellow, divided diagonally, with the legend "IOM" arranged vertically.

The order apparently engendered controversy within Odd Fellowship, and it was eventually disbanded. Minutes from the Grand Lodge of Illinois for 1910 record that all Odd Fellows were commanded to abandon their membership in the Imperial Order of Muscovites, and that further membership in the body would result in expulsion from the parent body.   While new Kremlins were instituted at least as late as 1921, the order was apparently absorbed, along with other appendant Odd Fellow bodies, into the Ancient Mystic Order of Samaritans.

A special "Thank You" to Bro. Tyler Anderson of Sandia Mountain Lodge #72, AF&AM, Jurisdiction of NM for submitting the description and picture of a Imperial Order of Muscovite Fez from his collection.  Thank you Bro. Tyler!




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