On May 11, 1905, the Almont Rebekah Lodge #405 was instituted with seven charter members: Kate Way, Ida Chard, Jessie Lee, Ina Smith, Maude Lee, Frank Way and E. R. Lee. The first Noble Grand was Kate Way and the Secretary was Ida Chard.
The Rebekahs, also known as the International Association of Rebekah Assemblies (IARA), and originally the Daughters of Rebekah is an international service-oriented organization and a branch of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. It was initially designed as the female auxiliary of the IOOF, but now allows both female and male members.
It is one of the units of the IOOF, but women need not be related to an Odd Fellow to be a member of the Rebekahs. As long as she meets the moral, ethical and age requirement for admission, any woman may join. In most jurisdictions, women aged 16 or 18 years old and above can join a Rebekah Lodge.
The general duties of the members of this unit are, “To live peaceably, do good unto all, as we have opportunity and especially to obey the Golden Rule, Whatsoever ye would that others should do unto you, do ye even so unto them.”
In 1850, Schuyler Colfax was tasked to write a Degree for women. The Rebekah Lodges were founded on 20 September 1851, when, after considerable debate, the Sovereign Grand Lodge of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows voted to adopt the Rebekah Degree, largely due to the efforts of an Odd Fellow named Schuyler Colfax, U.S. Vice President from 1869 to 1873. The first Rebekah Degrees were honorary awards only, conferred on wives and daughters of Odd Fellows at special Lodge meetings, and recipients were known as “Daughters of Rebekah”. The name is taken from the Biblical character of Rebekah.
These early Daughters of Rebekah had no lodge system of their own, and operated in an informal and local manner. On September 25, 1868, the IOOF voted to establish Degree Lodges of the Daughters of Rebekah, mirroring the existing arrangements for their male counterparts. The Daughters were given the right to elect their own officers, charge for initiation fees, collect dues and undertake charitable and benevolent activities. The name was changed to “Degree of Rebekah” in 1874.