Independent Order of Good Templars

In 1867, residents of Vienna Township created the Phoenix Lodge Number 329 of the Independent Order of Good Templars. Founded during the post-Civil War coal boom, the Lodge was but one of at least four organizations established to combat the growth of saloons and taverns in the Township. Its establishment and activities mirrored the larger temperance movement in Trumbull County, the State of Ohio, and the United States in the years after the Civil War. This movement would eventually work to outlaw the production and sale of alcohol in the nation through the Seventeenth Amendment to the Constitution. This "Prohibition Era" lasted from 1919 to 1933.

National Organization

The Independent Order of Good Templars was founded in Utica, New York, in 1851. It adopted a ritual similar to that used in Freemasonry. In 1859 the Good Templars adopted a six-point platform:

  • Total abstinence from all intoxicating liquors as a beverage.

  • No license in any form or under any circumstances for the sale of such liquors to be used as a beverage.

  • The absolute prohibition of the manufacture, importation and sale of intoxicating liquors for such purposes--prohibition by the will of the people, expressed in due form of law with penalties descried for a crime of such enormity.

  • The creation of a healthy public opinion upon the subject by active dissemination of truth in all the modes known to an enlightened philanthropy.

  • The election of good, honest men to administer the laws.

  • Persistence in efforts to save individuals and communities from so direful a scourge again all forms of opposition and difficulty until our success is complete and universal.

The Good Templars grew quickly after the Civil War, from 60,000 members in the United States in 1865 to over 400,000 members in 1869, the years that the Prohibition Party was formed.

The organization today is known as the International Order of Good Templars.

Vienna's Phoenix Lodge Activities
Western Reserve Chronicle, August 4, 1869, p. 3.

Updated 8/13/2020