This small archway originally held a place of honor in Ensenore Lodge No. 438 in Auburn, New York. The central Odd Fellows virtues of “Friendship,” “Love,” and “Truth” are painted on the column bases and on the keystone at top center from which the signature three-link symbol seems to hover mysteriously. A board painted with the names of twelve men was originally attached behind the arch. A pencil inscription on the back noted that the archway was intended “in honor to those brothers who offered their services to our country during the world’s Great War for democracy 1917–1918. Made by W. C. Baptist N.Y. [illeg] / [illeg] / 19.” The artist may be Auburn, New York, resident William C. Baptist (c. 1881–?), who was a bookkeeper at a hardware store, where he would have had ready access to the materials used to make this moving tribute.
Stacy C. Hollander, "Backboard Removed from Independent Order of Odd Fellows Archway for Ensenore Lodge No. 438," exhibition label for Mystery and Benevolence: Masonic and Odd Fellows Folk Art from the Kendra and Allan Daniel Collection. Stacy C. Hollander, curator. New York: American Folk Art Museum, 2016.