Supreme Lodge Colored Brotherhood of Honor [Simpson County, KY]In May of 1886, the Kentucky General Assembly approved the Act that chartered the Supreme Lodge Colored Brotherhood of Honor in order to unite Colored men to promote benevolence, morality, and economical industry among the Colored people of Kentucky and the United States. Enoch C. Dinning, the group's adviser, is listed as white in both the 1870 and 1880 U.S. Federal Census. Dinning was born in Kentucky around 1847 and lived in Simpson County, KY. J. Wes McClanahan, the treasurer, was also white; he was born in Robertson, TN, around 1828. McClanahan lived in Franklin, KY. All of the corporate managers were also white men, most of whom were born in Kentucky and lived in the Simpson County area: Charles W. Milliken, a lawyer, b. 1827; Eli H. Blewitt, an auctioneer, b. 1838; James B. McLean; William B. Booker, b. 1820; John A. Norris, b. 1862; and Henry G. Booker, b. 1850.
Two years later after the group was chartered, the Kentucky General Assembly amended the original act to include Colored women into the Supreme Lodge Colored Brotherhood of Honor. The establishing of the lodge for African American men and the opening of the membership to African American women were both fairly progressive acts for Kentucky. For more see Chapter 904 of the 1886 Acts of the General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Kentucky [available online at Google Book Search]; and Chapter 85 of the 1888 Acts of the General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Kentucky [available online at Google Book Search].
The following additional information was provided by Gayla Coates, Archives Librarian at the Simpson County Kentucky Archives. The men who founded the Supreme Lodge Colored Brotherhood of Honor were very prominent in Franklin, KY. Most of them have biographical sketches in Kentucky, a history of the state, by Perrin, Battle, and Kniffin. Four of them belonged to the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, and two were Masons. One belonged to the Supreme Order of the Knights of Honor, a benevolent and fraternal organization that provided death benefits for its members; the organization was established in Louisville, KY, in 1873. James McLean (listed above), was also one of the founders of the Franklin Knights of Pythias, which was established in 1896. Other African American fraternal organizations in Franklin are the American Legion Post 202, the Good Samaritan Lodge, The Knights of Pythias Lodge (organized in 1916), and the oldest organization in Harristown, the Odd Fellows Lodge, established in 1862 according to African American Heritage of Simpson County, Kentucky.