Grand Fountain of the United Order of True Reformers (William Washington Browne)
The Grand Fountain of the United Order of True Reformers was an African American fraternal organization founded in 1881 by William Washington Browne. It was initially conceived to teach temperance and provide sickness and death benefits. Expanding dramatically, the Grand Fountain ventured into real estate, education, social services, and chartered the first black-owned, black-operated financial institution in America. Among the most successful African American enterprises in the U.S., the Grand Fountain’s legacy remains as a vehicle for cultivating a black middle class in the era of Jim Crow.
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