A secret fraternal beneficiary society incorporated in 1896,
under the laws
of the State of California, empowered to "do business in
other States, formed and carried on for the sole benefit of its
their beneficiaries, and not for profit, having a lodge system,
ritualistic form of work and representative form of government."
Unlike most such societies in that era, it accepted men and women as members on an equal footing. In March 1914, Emma R. Neidig was elected as its Supreme President, the first woman to head such a mixed-gender fraternal organization. Neidig had been Supreme Vice President of the organization since 1898.
The Fraternal Brotherhood had 280 lodges in the States of Arizona, California, Colorado, Illinois, Idaho, Kansas, Kentucky, Montana, Michigan, New Mexico, Nevada, Oregon, Oklahoma, Texas, Utah, Wisconsin, Washington, and West Virginia, with a total benefit membership (men and women) of 23,720 and a social membership of 711 in 1923.
It also had a Juvenile Department for the children of members.
The organization merged with the Iowa-based Homesteaders Life Association in 1931, becoming the Golden West Life Insurance Association. In 1948 it was renamed as the Homesteaderís Life Company.
Homesteaders Life Association had similar origins as a fraternal and mutual insurance organization, the Homesteaders, also admitting men and women on an equal footing. Founded in 1906 by two officers who were forced to resign from the Brotherhood of American Yeomen, in 1923 it had transformed from a fraternal organization to just a mutual insurance group.
Ritual of the Fraternal Brotherhood