The charitable aims of the Odd Fellows included burying the dead. This particular aim provided a strong incentive for men to join at a time when families might otherwise be unable to afford burial expenses. Funds contributed by the brotherhood were dispensed to aid a member in need or his family. This imposing sign, probably made by a professional sign painter who was not necessarily a member, once hung prominently in an Odd Fellows lodge. Its stark but effective message is picked out in gold leaf, which would have glittered in the lighting of the period, drawing the eyes to its words and accentuating their meaning.
Stacy C. Hollander, "Independent Order of Odd Fellows Bury the Dead Sign," 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.