Danish Brotherhood In America

thThe Danish Brotherhood (DB), originally Det danske Brodersamfund, was a national fraternal insurance association for Danish immigrant males. Formed in Omaha, Nebraska, in 1881, as an outgrowth of several Danish immigrant veterans’ organizations, the organization was initially open to “honorable men, born of Danish parents or who were of Danish extraction.” The first six lodges were chartered in July, 1882, and lodges were soon started in many communities where significant numbers of Danes had settled, providing a forum for nurturing Danish culture and language as well as providing financial assistance to members in case of death or illness.

Some 350 lodges were formed in the U.S.; as well as three in British Columbia, and one in Copenhagen, Denmark. In 1916 a monthly publication, Det danske Brodersamfunds Blad/The Danish Brotherhood Magazine, later renamed The American Dane, was started to further communication among members and lodges. After 1920, as Danish immigration lessened and the number of eligible males dwindled, lodges opened their membership to include both American-born daughters, and later, spouses and children of lodge members, gradually evolving into a social organization for the entire family.