Modern Woodmen of America members, undated

99.48.2 (Jahl).jpg

Dublin Core


Nine uniformed men stand in a triangle formation, the point of which is directed away from the camera. The eight men forming the sides of the triangle hold axes, while the man at the point holds up a swagger stick by his face. This man also has an additional braid across his hat the other men do not have, suggesting he is the leader of the group.

As part of the uniform, each man has six pins on his collar, three on each side. These pins spell out "M", "W", and "A". The pins, along with the presence of the axes, suggest these men form a chapter in the fraternity Modern Woodmen of America.

The Modern Woodmen of America was founded by Joseph Cullen Root in Lyons, Iowa on January 5, 1883. The society was chartered in Illinois the following year; the headquarters moved to Rock Island, Illinois in 1897.

Chapters of the Modern Woodmen of America were founded in several states, including Iowa, Illinois, Minnesota, Missouri, and Nebraska. While Coralville specifically may not have had a chapter, it is possible area residents joined other local chapters. This photograph was likely taken in the late 1800s to early 1900s.

The archivist mainly relied on the newspaper articles listed below as sources for this description. These articles and more can be found through the Chronicling America database through the Library of Congress and the Iowa Digital Newspaper Project through the State Historical Society of Iowa.


Coralville Public Library. Coralville Digital History Library.


Late 1800s-early 1900s


Educational use only, no other permissions given.






“Modern Woodmen of America members, undated,” Coralville Digital History Library, accessed May 24, 2024,

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