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Historical overview of the Odd Fellow & Rebekah Rehabilitation Health Care Center, Inc.

The Odd Fellow Fraternal Organization originated in England in the eighteenth Century. The sole purpose of the Organization was to help the needy with charity and caring. No one in need was ever turned away. The Odd Fellow Order became known as the benefactor of the human race. The Order teaches a higher ideal of life, that gives men a new faith in Virtue, Charity and Love. Because of their motto, "Friendship, Love and Truth", they became known as the "Three Links" Society. To this day their mission continues "to visit the sick, relieve the distressed, bury the dead and educate the orphans".

Sir Thomas Wildey brought Odd Fellowship to the United States, establishing the first lodge on April 26, 1819 in Baltimore, Maryland. Since thousands of Lodges were chartered, many continue to serve their local communities. On December 18, 1951 United Lodge # 98 was chartered In Lockport, New York, remaining active today, supporting those in need locally.

The Rebekah's, a sisterhood of the Odd Fellows was formed to assist Odd Fellow brothers. With the same charitable goals, their motto is "Friendship, Love and Truth".

In the spirit of caring, and charity, the Odd Fellows built and maintained homes throughout the United States to educate and care for the orphans and widows of Odd Fellows, Rebekah sisters and the aged and infirmed members. Were it not for the Odd Fellow Homes many of these people would have been homeless or illiterate.

The original Odd Fellows Nursing Home in Lockport, New York was built on a former eighty-acre fruit farm on Lake Avenue. The facility was well equipped with a dining room, kitchen, serving room, laundry, infirmary, auditorium, and accommodations to house less fortunate members. The Home provided a clean, wholesome living for members, and the farm produced a variety of the finest fruits.

Due to changing governmental rules and regulations the Home on Lake Avenue was replaced by a new Home on Old Niagara Road in 1975. The new 120 bed facility, The Odd Fellow and Rebekah Rehabilitation Health Care Center, was able to accommodate those in need of health-related services, as well as skilled nursing care.

In 1986, the Board of Directors and Administration recognized the growing needs for individuals with dementia and Alzheimer's disease. Consequently, a special unit was dedicated to the care of these patients. This involved physical structural changes as well as special training. The Odd Fellow and Rebekah Rehabilitation Health Care Center was the first to provide such special care in the United States. As a result, Lockport's Odd Fellow and Rebekah Rehabilitation Health Care Center received numerous awards and recognition for their contributions to the special needs of individuals.

Faced with a changing health care financing environment and the consolidation of health care providers, the Board, with supporting member Lodges, decided to re-focus their efforts by transforming operations. Ownership of the Odd Fellow and Rebekah Rehabilitation Health Care Center was transferred to a sustainable long-term care system, the proceeds of which resulted in the establishment of a multimillion dollar 'Historical Fund'.

This fund, The Odd Fellow and Rebekah Benefit Fund, now provides a foundation for continued support of the Odd Fellows original concept of providing support for the less fortunate and those suffering hardships, as well as carrying on the tenets of their Order, Friendship, Love and Truth.

Eugene L. Urban
Former Executive Director
Odd Fellow and Rebekah Rehabilitation Health Care Center
104 Old Niagara Road
Lockport, NY 14094


The Odd Fellow & Rebekah Benefit Fund, Inc. aims to help our fellow men, women and children who are in need or distress.
We support those who are elderly, infirm, disabled, chronically ill and/or the disadvantaged with special health needs.

Odd Fellow & Rebekah Benefit Fund, Inc

508 Bewley Building, Lockport NY 14094 | (716) 434-4055

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