K.O.T.M. was a fraternal organization of
working men which provided insurance benefits. member organizations were called Tents. Recently, we received an insurance KOTM certificate for John C. Hudson, 1902, of Mt. Pleasant. Many people who did not have any other means to help their families if they were killed or died bought insurance through various groups in the late 19th-early 20th century. This was before they had a cushion through Social Security in case things went horribly wrong.
This certificate is very similar to another we have, Benefit
Certificate No. 96790, worth $1,000 in insurance, in case of Adolph Nelson's
death, to his wife, Juda Elizabeth Nelson. The certificate was issued by
the K.O.T.M. (Knights of the Maccabees) Great Camp of
Michigan. It was signed on March 31, 1897 by state officers Great
Recorder Thomas Watson, Great Commander N.S. Bynton, Sir Knight
Commander A. W. Farr, and Recorder E. Upton of Onekema Tent No. 12 on
April 3, 1897. The form measures approximately 11 x 17 inches (front and
back totals 2 p.) printed in black and red ink with information added
in handwriting in black ink. It is illustrated with a seal and symbols.
It has an orange seal and a gold seal. For his insurance Nelson paid a
rate of $1.25. The rules of the policy are listed on both sides of the form.