Royal Neighbors of America, the largest fraternal life insurance society
administered by women, is headquartered in Rock Island, Illinois. It was founded
as a social order on December 5, 1888, in. Council Bluffs, Iowa. Royal Neighbors
of America was chartered in Illinois as fraternal benefit society on March 21, 1895.
The first local or suburban camp, designated as Camp No. 1, was instituted in
Council Bluffs on July 3, 1890, and is still in existence.
Bradley Royal Neighbors of America Pansy Camp No. 1129 was founded on
September 7, 1898, and is an active camp. There were 21 charter members. Edward
Wright, Pauline Wynne, Anna S. Gustafson, Mary E. Wright, Cecelia Book, Jesse
E. Schumaker, Elsie Pearson, Jennie H. Gailbraith, Sylvia L. Miller, Ida Hirt,
Letta A. Orr, Fannie Miller, W. R. Miller, C. T. Morel, Ed Schumaker, Andrew
Pearson, B. F. On, Gussie E. DeLong, Johanna Moran, Theresia Gillen, and Annie
Several generations of families included in this Bradley organization are
Hayes, HubertRittmanic, Yakofish-Sebastiani, Ott-Vaughn, Falkenham, Lambert,
Haack, Anderson, MannCoash, Walters-Mulligan, Gonderman, Grill, Heinze,
Knickerboker, Benoit, Nemitz, Reilly, LaMontagne, Lenfert, Altmeyer, Tannehill,
Atkins, and many more.
Gen Lenfert retired as recorder in December 1989 after 44 years of dedicated
For a period of time, the women wore white dresses to their biweekly meetings
and white formals to the annual Kankakee County conventions. These conventions are
rotated each year to different camps within the county. The first Kankakee County
Convention was held in Kankakee in 1921. Former meeting places in Bradley were
Woodmen Hall (NE corner of Grand Ave & Broadway), I.O.O.F Hall (upstairs, SW corner
of Wabash & Broadway). In 1992 the meetings were held at the Bradley American