Tri-Counties Genealogy & History by Joyce M. Tice
A Pictorial Catalog of
Commemorative Flagholders & Plaques
 of Organizations & Military
Improved Order of Red Men
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Commemorative Plaques & Flagholders
 of Military and Organizations
as Photographed by Joyce M. Tice 

Improved Order of Red Men

See Also Degree of Pocohontas

The Indian above is not crying. Those are not tears but raindrops threatening to chase me out of the cemetery. While I don't mind a bit of summer rain on me, I really don't want condensation in my camera, so for the sake of the Sony, I left.

The Improved Order of Red Men is another extinct organization, as far as I know. (Wrong!!> The Redmen is still is existence and you can learn more about them at In this central NY area, a few markers are found in the cemeteries, but not large numbers of them. Except for one cemetery in Chenango County, I have not found them in abundance. The markers appear in quite a variety of forms and all are very attractive. Most are in good condition.

The Degree of Pocohontas is the women's branch of this organization.

And what does the T.O.T.E. found on these mean? (Answer: "T.O.T.E.  is a SECRET PASSWORD of the Improved Order of Red Men, known only to members." Yours truly, Regina Jarvis, Admin. Assistant Great Council of the United States, IORM) My published reference says this is "Totem of the Eagle."

.(Afternote: See See historical writeup below the photos at bottom of page.

In Mansfield PA, the "tribe" was the Micca Hatke Tribe, No. 324 of the I. O. R. M. 

A Simpler Design than other examples
Genegantslett Tribe No. 326
F. F. & C. 104
Freedom, Friendship & Charity
Slightly different from the above
September 2005 - Attached are two photo, front and back, of a cast iron marker a friend of mine brought back from Seattle.  I believe it to be of the Improved Order of Redmen but that is about all I can figure out about it.  As I mentioned, I believe it to be cast iron about 181/2" tall in the shape of a hatchet.  On one side it has a silhouette of a native american indian facing left with the letters "io" on the left side and the letters "Rm" on the right side.  On the other side it says "TANPAH" with the number "102" under the "PAH" on the right side.  If possible, I would like to get your opinion about it and maybe some helpful information about it.

Thank you very much,
Dave Wieske
Grand Rapids, Mich.

Thanks for sending this in, but we hope VERY much that the person who brought it from Seattlle did not take it from a cemetery. Someone did take this from the grave of a person it honored - a tragedy to have it removed.  Do NOT buy or sell these items. Making a market puts them all at risk.  JMT

The IORM claims to be the oldest of the secret societies in America. The claim is based on its evolution from earlier organizations founded even before the American Revolution including the Sons of Liberty and the Sons of Tamina. They claim that the Sons of Liberty worked underground in Colonial times to establish freedom and liberty. As known now, the IORM was founded in 1834 and was organized as the Great Council of the United States by 1847, with HQ in Baltimore, Maryland. At its peak in 1921, there were 519,942 members in forty six states. In 1978 its membership was 31,789. I do not have present day statistics. Past members of note include Franklin D. Roosevelt, Theodore Roosevelt, and Warren G. Harding.

The IORM secret ritual, like so many others, shows Masonic influence. Its three basic degrees are Adoption, Warrior and Chief. A fouth degree is related to Insurance Beneficiary elements. Local lodges are called "Tribes." Non-members are called "Paleface." A meeting site is a "Wigwam." The language of the American Indian, at least by the terms of our written history, is that of the American Indian.  T.O.T.E. its secret code, means Totem of the Eagle.

It is conservative in social and political agenda.In the heyday of its existence, it included a uniformed rank called Knights of Tammany. And it had a Chieftan's League of high ranking members of various tribes. It is open only to men although a women's branch is called Degree of Pocohontas. There is also a Degree of Hiawatha for boys eight years and older. And a Degree of Anona is open to girls. It was closed to non-whites until 1974 when its 106th session of the Great Council elminated the racial requirement. The IORM has become active in support of American Indian Development programs designed toaid in education and health of native American children.

 (Source: Greenwood Encyclopedia of .... Fraternal Organizations, Alvin J. Schmidt, Greenwood Press, 1980, pp 287-289.)

Following are photos of other I.O.R.M. memorabilia sent in by guests to the site.
From New Mexico Honor Badge Veterans in I.O.R.M.
Introduction on Flagholder Section Warning on Sale of Cemetery Memorabilia Obtaining Present Day Flagholders

Published On Tri-Counties Site On 06/05/2003
By Joyce M. Tice

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