Though not a fraternal organization, many national fraternal leaders, as well as educators and businessmen, were added to the board of the National Benefit Life Insurance Company just before its collapse due to growing too rapidly. The company was founded as a mutual aid association by Georgia native Samuel Wilson Rutherford in 1898. It soon grew to rival North Carolina Mutual and Atlanta Life. For more on its growth and collapse, see here: The Rise and Fall of Samuel Rutherford’s National Benefit Life Insurance Company.

Included in the photograph are businessmen Constant C. Dejoie of New Orleans and Robert “Bob” Church of Memphis; fraternal leaders J. Finley Wilson and William “Gooseneck Bill” McDonald; educator Robert R. Moton; attorneys William LePré Houston and his son Charles Hamilton Houston; and many others. (Photo: The Louisiana Weekly (New Orleans), 16 May 1931.)

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