Inez Crosby, well-known Rebekah
Since I was a child, many years ago, I always read The Camden Herald. It seemed that a lady named Inez Crosby was mentioned in the “Rebekas," and I thought, "what a dedicated woman." For some who may not be familiar with the organization Rebekas, it was made up of ladies connected with the Mt. Battie Lodge 102 of the I.O.O.F. (Odd Fellows).
Inez Sedgwick was born at Dexter on Oct. 24, 1881, the daughter of Matthew and Mary Sedgwick. She graduated from Camden High School and studied bookkeeping and stenography at Gray’s Business College in Portland. On Sept. 3, 1906, she married Herbert M. Crosby.
She became affiliated with the Maiden Cliff Lodge of Rebekahs of Camden and served the local lodge as chaplain; right and left supporters of the vice-grand; right supporter of the noble grand and advanced to noble grand in 1912. In 1920, she served as President of the Rebekah Assembly of Maine. While in that office, the Lodge earned $117, donated for the benefit of a sick member. Also 40 new members were added to the lodge roster that year. She also served the Camden lodge as director of tableaux during that time.
President Crosby is quoted in speaking to the Rebekahs’ Assembly of Maine:
“One of the important goals toward which our Rebekah organization is striving, is augmenting the Odd Fellows and Orphans’ Home Fund, in hope that some time the Odd Fellows and Rebekahs may have in the state of Maine an Odd Fellows and Orphans Home. Of course, the Odd Fellows are also working to attain this purpose, but the Rebekahs are taking a deep and active interest in this phase of the work.
During the coming twelvemonth, it is the aim of our Rebekah womanhood and manhood to redouble their endeavors to practice the message of the Golden Rule and more and more are the realizing that things of the heart are more interesting than things of the mind. The Odd Fellows and Orphans Home project is very dear to the hearts of all true Rebekahs, and this year I am requesting each lodge to create a supplemental aid to the home fund and to form constructive plans, whereby pledges of two cents per week or one dollar during the present year, shall be a fulfilled promise made by each member. [Remember money was scarce during the Depression.] On the occasion of my visits to the many lodges of our State, I am urging the members to make this offering an expression of thankfulness for having an order that stands for everything good.
At present, to be sure, the home itself is an ideal toward which we are striving for fulfilled attainment; but we know that trying will bring anything to pass, and trying will make the Odd Fellows and Orphans’ Home a reality. In this giving of our mite we are coming into a fuller realization and a deeper individual consciousness that the home represents a great purpose, that of providing a haven of rest for many a weary Odd Fellow and Rebekah, pilgrims who would otherwise be helpless and homeless.”
In addition to all her work in the Rebekas, she was active in many other organizations. Mrs. Crosby was a member of the Seaside Chapter, Order of the Eastern Star; a member of the White Shrine of Jerusalem and a member of the Bethlehem Shrine. She was a member of the Knox-Lincoln Association of Past Noble Grands, and a trustee for the Home of Aged Women of Camden. Added to that, she was past president of the Maine Association Ladies Auxilliary Patriachs Militant and served at one time on the Republican State Commission.
Mrs.Crosby was a member of the Methodist Church of Camden for 35 years and past president of the WSCS of that church.
Inez Sedgwick Crosby died at age 89 in the Camden Hospital. Her husband, Herbert G. Crosby had predeceased her. Her only surviving relative was one cousin, Clyde V. Nichols of Pittsfield.
Funeral services were on Sunday, April 4, 1971, at the Methodist Church with Rev. Ronald H. Stead officiating and her interment is at Mountain View Cemetery.
That day Camden lost a faithful worker.
Barbara Dyer is the official town historian for Camden.