by Alonzo Hardy
My great grandmother Jennie (Patton) Farmer Williams, 1856-1938, was a former slave in Jefferson County, Florida who became a midwife for 20 years. She was born in December 1856 in Nashville, Davidson County, Tennessee. She was also a member of the Mt. Herman Lodge No. 3517 Grand United Order of Odd Fellows (G.U.O.of O.F.) in Bartow, Polk County, Florida.
The G.U.O.of O.F. Ribbon/Badge Lodge No. 3517 she is wearing is in the photo is a treasured possession of my aunt Alice Hardy of Cleveland, Cuyahoga County, Ohio.
The Household of Ruth. This organization was the women’s auxiliary to the African American Odd Fellows order. Household of Ruth was organized in 1857 for the admission of the wives or women related to men in the fraternal order of Odd Fellows.
Photo: Courtesy of Alonzo Hardy