On July , 1900, at Mahanoy City Pa., group of miners and other workers organized a fraternal benefit society named Russian Brotherhood Organization of the United States of America. At the first convention held at Hazelton, Pennsylvania on September 10, 1901, John Z. Scmith was elected its first president.
The RBO was born of necessity. In the early 1800’s compensation laws did not exist in the coal industry. That is why RBO organized lodges for the purpose of paying sick or death benefits. The outgrowth of these lodges culminated in the establishment of the RBO.
Our forefathers who migrated from eastern Europe primarily settled in the anthracite region of PA not knowing the Language or customs.
During its 100+ years of existence, the RBO has contributed to many worthwhile charity, patriotic and educational causes.
The RBO not only provides life insurance to its members but also provides help with scholarships. In other words, the basic precept of the RBO is fraternalism, the actual practice of the teachings of “Brotherhood of Man”. This is the principle under which the RBO has lived and will continue to live.