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Encyclopedia Dubuque


"Encyclopedia Dubuque is the online authority for all things Dubuque, written by the people who know the city best.”
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INDEPENDENT ORDER OF FORESTERS. In 1874 in Newark, New Jersey, a group of people believing in mutual aid and fraternity started The Independent Order of Foresters. As membership grew, the scope of the IOF Foresters broadened into a family fraternity. Picnics, excursions, dances and Court meetings drew the members closer together and strengthened family ties. Foresters have often come to the aid of members who are victims of catastrophic disasters. The IOF Foresters is operated solely for the benefit of its members and their families. There are no stockholders or owners. The IOF Foresters welcomes qualified members of every faith, race and occupation.

The IOF Foresters has three levels of government and activities. At the foundation are members, who belong to Courts close to where they live. There are nearly 500 of these Courts. Members elect Court officers who meet on a regular basis to handle the business of the Court.

High Courts provide the leadership and direction to assist local Courts in their activities. High Court officers are elected representatives of the Courts within their jurisdiction. At the top of the IOF Foresters is the Supreme Court. This body governs the IOF Foresters and meets every four years to elect the Supreme Chief Ranger and other Supreme Court Officers.

Some of the IOF Foresters’ activities are purely social. These could include bowling leagues, golf tournaments, bingo parties, dances, trail bike and camper clubs. Many Courts are involved with the youth in their communities in activities such as scouting, little league baseball and hockey.

Most Courts are involved in charitable activities in their communities. Funds have been raised and donations made of time to many worthy causes. The IOF Foresters have raised money for Habitat for Humanity, a traveling fire safety education unit, cancer research equipment, and guide dogs for the blind.

Robin Hood Lodge No. 4 Independent Order of Foresters was organized on July 7, 1879. Forester Hall was located on the corner of Locust and Eighth STREETS in the Facade Building. Regular meetings were held on the second and fourth Mondays of each month.

The Julien Dubuque Court, Independent Order of Foresters was organized on March 16, 1894. (1)

On August 11, 1958 the Agreement of Association, Articles of Incorporation, Constitution and Bylaws of the Society were amended to change the name of the organization to Catholic Association of Foresters.



1. "A New Organization," Dubuque Daily Herald, March 17, 1894, p. 4. Online: https://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=_OG5zn83XeQC&dat=18940317&printsec=frontpage&hl=en