Concord Red Men tied to early American societies

Concord Red Men tied to early American societies

Concord Red Men tied to early American societies
Members of the Concord Red Men Drum Corps in front of Veterans Hall on the corner or Colfax and Willow Pass. From left, first row, Steve Lee, Elmer Mortenson, Harold Rodini, Claude Rice Sr., John Bagnaschi, Claude Rice Jr. and George Sandi. Second row, Clyde Mitchell, John Devincenzi, Chester Brunelle, John O’Dello and Walter McAtee. Third row, Joe Santos, Victor Lavignino, Frank Devincenzi, Pete Bacciglieri, Charles Enos, Louis Bisso and Albert Trette.

CONCORD, CA (Sept. 26, 2022) — The Concord Red Men Drum Corps, Wahoo Tribe 194, is part of the Improved Order of Red Men – the oldest order in this country of purely American origin.

The inception traces back to those patriotic societies whose goals were resistance to British tyranny and establishment of freedom for the colonies. Other groups were the Sons of Liberty and Tamina.

These societies were influential throughout the period of the revolution. From them came the Declaration of Independence and the Improved Order of Red Men. Their motto is freedom, friendship and charity. The primary objective of the order is to promote the principles of true benevolence and charity. One of the commendable features was to plan aid for orphans of deceased members.

1907 origins

Our Wahoo Tribe, organized in 1907, stood as the second largest tribe in California. They were always active in civic affairs and scouting, having sponsored the first Boy Scout troop in the Concord area. Also, they originated the Pow Wow parade and festival, which they sponsored for seven years. They marched in the pow wow until the end of the ’70s. They also participated in competitions all over America and won.

The woman’s degree of Pocahontas is still very active. In the late ’50s, they had a young auxiliary called the Anonas. When they turned 16, the teens could join their parents with the degree of Pocahontas or Red Man. This young auxiliary only lasted 10 years.

Frank and Madelyn Armstrong and their children, Bill, Jack and Maddy, were very involved in the Improved Order of Red Men Wahoo Tribe 194. Frank was elected head chief of California, otherwise known as the Great Sachem. Bill followed in his footsteps and was the Great Sachem of California and also the Great Incahonee of the United States.

The Red Men continue going strong in America, with our Concord tribe being transferred to Oakley under the direction of Maddy’s sons, Matthew and Brian Tate, a few years ago. Currently, 40 men stay active in the tribe. Frank would be so proud of his grandsons for keeping such a worthy organization going.

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Carol Longshore
Carol Longshore
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Carol Longshore has been a Concord resident since 1950. She is a community leader and past president of the Concord Historical Society. Send comments and suggestions for future topics.