Register of the Records of the
LOYAL ORANGE INSTITUTION OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA ORANGE HALL ASSOCIATION
Richard D. Chicko
The Loyal Orange Institution originated in Ireland in 1795, as a fraternal society among the Protestants of County Armagh. Named in honor of King William III of England, Prince of Orange, lodges were established in most Protestant centers of Ireland by 1800, England and Canada by 1808, and among Ulster immigrants in New York City by 1867. Rapid growth in the society led to the establishment of a Grand Lodge for the United States in 1870. By 1873 there were 100 lodges claiming a national membership of 10,000, growing to 364 lodges and 30,000 members by 1914.
The society was founded on the principles of Protestantism, patriotism, and preservation of the concept of separation of church and state. Membership was restricted to Protestant men eighteen years of age and older, who professed a life of temperance. Though not exclusive to a particular ethnic group, most members are Scotch-Irish or of Scotch-Irish ancestry.
Originally organized as a fraternal secret society, over the years the Loyal Orange Institution in the U.S. has become philanthropic in practice. In 1902, the Orange Home was founded in Hatboro, Pennsylvania, as a residence for orphans. It became a retirement home in 1948, with renovations and additions being made in 1964 and 1974.
The Loyal Orange Ladies Institution was organized in Philadelphia in 1876 with the same principles as the men's society. However, it was not recognized as an auxiliary order until 1906. The men's and women's societies now meet at the same time and location, and both support the Orange Home.
SCOPE AND CONTENT NOTE
The records of the Orange Hall Association consist of an incomplete series of correspondence pertaining to functions and maintenance of the building. Other materials in the collection include records for the hall from 1971, and books outlining the rituals and practices of the Loyal Orange Institution.
The records were donated to the Balch Institute in 1990 by Mr. George A. Dunn. The collection was processed by Richard D. Chicko in July 1991 with the assistance of Balch archivist Monique Bourque. The collection is open to accredited scholars and genealogists. There are some restricted materials in this collection.
The box list of the register of the records of the Loyal Orange Institution
of the United States of America Orange Hall Association is one page long.