P.O.S. of A.

April 27th, 2009


Washington Camp, No. 229, Patriotic Order Sons of America, was instituted May 13, 1884 with the following officers: Past President Henry Snyder; John Kline, president; C.D. Waltman, vice president; M.F. & C., W.E. Steckle; Wilson Straub, recording secretary; J.S. Mincemoyer, assistant recording secretary; William Florey, financial secretary; William Reed, treasurer; William Reeser, conductor; G.W. Williamson, inspector; George H. Wenck, guard; Charles Waltman, chaplain; and Thomas McQuay, C.I. Waltman, and James Zettlemoyer, trustees. Camp 229 had a hard fight to maintain its existence during the early years of its organization, but has continued to grow in membership and interest. The Camp moved its meetings from their former quarters to Smith’s Hall over W.L. Weidenhamer’s on the corner of Main and Third Street in March 1900. The Camp met there for seventeen years and then in February, 1917 rented the rooms in the Marsh Block that has been formerly occupied by the Odd Fellows. These rooms were completely equipped with new furniture and carpets, the latter having been placed by Albert Fisher, the Ash Street furniture and carpet man. The rooms met the needs of the Camp made necessary by their rapid growth in membership during the previous year. The rooms were jointly occupied by the Washington Camp as well as the Huth Commandery of the P.O.S. of A. The Patriotic Order Sons of America was founded as the Order of the Junior Sons of America on December 10, 1847 in Philadelphia, PA by Dr. Reynell Coates. It was originally open to American boys aged sixteen to twenty-one. Dr. Coates devised the Order on the Masonic lodge system, with local units called “Camps,” meeting around fraternal altars on which the Holy Bible was placed. Secret modes of recognition, such as hand signs, grips or secret handclasps, and passwords were devised and taught to the members. Each camp was named “Washington Camp # ___” a tradition started by Dr. Coates to honor the Father of our County – General George Washington. Towards the end of the Civil War, the Order met at Norristown, PA and reorganized on August 17, 1864 as the P.O.S. of A. and the age limit of 21 was discontinued. The Order adopted a sash, worn from the right shoulder to the left hip, bearing the blue canton and white stars, and red and white stripes, of Old Glory as the official regalia for POS of A brothers. Jewels of office consisting of red, white and blue ribbons and silver emblematic devices were adopted for the camp’s officers to wear on their sash. In the Masonic tradition, a three-degree ritual was adopted by the Order, and was designated as the Red Degree, White Degree and Blue Degree.

John Kline188418991914
18861901Samuel Gray1916
18871902Morris Moser1917
Walter S. Blair189419091924
William McLain189519101925
John McIntyre189619111926

Last Modified: 12.27.22

One Response

  1. Danielle Phillips Says:

    My Grandfather just found journals full of minutes from meetings of this organization held in the 1870’s in the basement of his home.

    Comment by James Robison: Would love to take a look at them sometime if possible

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