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Order Sons of Italy in America, Illinois Grand Lodge records

Identifier: IHRC1789


The Order Sons of Italy in America, Illinois Grand Lodge, was founded in 1924. Records include Illinois Grand Convention minutes (1955-1987), Columbus Day banquet programs (1973, 1987), scholarship awards (1977-1983), and Grand Lodge and local lodge officer lists (1955-1987). Also included are materials relating to activities and programs of the Illinois Grand Lodge such as insurance policies, applications, correspondence, and benefits (1924-1987), juvenile insurance policy holders (1937-1970), and death benefits paid (1925-1931). In addition, there are miscellaneous issues of "Il Leone," the Illinois Grand Lodge newsletter (1975-1977); membership applications (1921-1968); local lodge membership lists (1979-1982); material relating to the Enrico Fermi Memorial Fund, the National Home Fund, Villa Scalabrini Brick Sale Phase III, and several ritual books, by-laws, OSIA Constitution and General Laws, and photographs.


  • 1924-1987

Language of Materials

Mainly in English; some items in Italian


The Order Sons of Italy in America. Illinois Grand Lodge. collection is available for public research.


This collection may be protected by the Copyright Law of the United States (Title 17, U.S. Code). It is the user's responsibility to verify copyright ownership and to obtain all necessary permissions prior to the reproduction, publication, or other use of any portion of these materials. Researchers may quote from the collection under the fair use provision of the copyright law.

Biographical / Historical

The Illinois Grand Lodge was the 15th state lodge chartered by OSIA in 1924. Since then, 86 local lodges and 23 junior lodges have been organized in the state. The state Lodge established a Mortuary Fund, and in 1938 it became the first in OSIA to adopt an actuarially based death benefit system. The Grand Lodge's membership in 1958 stood at 2,300, dipped to 2,001 in 1971, and leveled off at 1,644 in 1982.


4 Linear Feet


The original arrangement of the files at the time of their transfer to the IHRC has been largely maintained. Series categories were artificially established in processing the material but drew upon pre-existing groupings within the OSIA collection.

The collection is organized as follows: 1) Historical; 2) National; 3) State; 4) Local; 5) Non-OSIA groups and activities; 6) Mortuary Fund death claims; 7) Miscellaneous. The collection spans the years 1928-1987, but most of the material dates from the 1950s to the 1980s. The majority of the material is in English, with a few items in Italian.

The collection includes lists of state officers from 1955 to 1987; state convention minutes (1979, 1981, 1983, 1985); Documentation concerning the activities of various committees dealing with a wide range of projects from charitable work and scholarships to immigration/refuee legislation; Correspondence from Franklin D. Roosevelt and Benito Mussolini; Photographs of local, state and national officers since the 1920s and of Grand Lodge events in the 1940s; Original applications for local charters.

The majority of the collection (6 of 10 boxes) are Mortuary Fund Death Claims. These records contain important demographic information on members, such as employment, family and medical histories, within such documents as death certificates, insurance applications and family correspondence.

Inventory of the Order Sons of Italy in America, Illinois Grand Lodge records.
IHRC Archives
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding Aid in English

Collecting Area Details

Contact The Immigration History Research Center Archives Collecting Area