PERRYSVILLE -- Around 1917, a local council of the Junior Order of United American Mechanics (a secret fraternal organization) formed in Perrysville as The Mohawk Council.
The Council (and national Junior OUAM) provided charitable activity and community service in Perrysville, but were also known as an Insurance Order -- helping provide for the families of members that had fallen on hard times or passed away.
Although the exact bylaws for the Mohawk Council are unknown, they likely were similar to those adopted in other communities across the country. The objects of the order were employment assistance, supporting member's businesses, assisting ill members, and providing funeral and survivor benefits. Meetings were each Wednesday evening with dues at 15 cents a week.
There were disability benefits of $5 for first 13 weeks, $4 next 13 weeks, and $3 onwards. Funeral benefits were $100, or $50 for a spouse, and donations to distressed families were limited to a maximum of $2.
The funds were invested in "good real estate securities," while the parent organization ran an orphanage in Tiffin, for the children of deceased members.
As for helping the community, the Mohawk Council provided immense benefits to Perrysville, including paving the village's streets with bricks, building curbs along the roads, and even installing the village's Water Works plant.
More information on the Cleo Redd Fisher Museum can be found at this link.