The Southern Aid Society

June 21, 1902


An entirely negro-run organization provides social benefits to its members who “pay a nominal initiation fee and a small weekly premium”.


An Institution of great value to the community.
(Ter Centenary Number, The Evening Times-Herald, Newport News, Va., May, 1902)
But few institutions in the State of Virginia are more favorably known or have accomplished better work than the Southern Aid Society of Virginia, whose home offices are in Richmond.
This society was incorporated on February 25th, 1893, with a capital stock of $5,000. From the date of its organization was a high one and that its aims were fully deserving of support. Its growth, therefore, has been remarkably rapid and to-day it has nearly 20,000 paying members. As has been stated, the aims and methods of the society are deserving of unstinted praise. It was organized by colored people, and it exist exclusively for colored people. Every member of the society, by paying a nominal initiation fee and by paying a small weekly premium or dues, is entitled to all of the benefits which are usually granted by the old line insurance companies, and at a much smaller cost.
For instance, when a member pays a weekly premium of five cents he is entitled to $1.50 a week in case of disability from sickness, and his family is entitled to $15.00 as a burial in case of death. Ten cents a week entitles a member to $3.25 a week in case of sickness and his family to $35.00 burial fee in case of death. Larger premiums being proportionately larger benefits. It is especially worthy of note that members not only secure benefits which are very valuable in proportion to the cost to themselves, but that every just claim is settled immediately and without littigation.
A very important feature in the society also is the social privileges that it extends to members. These become better acquainted with each other and become mutually helpful in case of sickness or accident.
Some idea of the extent to which the Newport News branch of the Southern Aid Society of Virginia has been appreciated may be gained from the fact that this branch has already secured a membership of about 500, and this number is rapidly increasing. Since the middle of January, this year, 100 new members have been obtained. The society is doing a splendid work among the colored people of the city, and it has become one of our really important institutions. The officers have proven themselves to be men of ability and character and they have every reason to feel gratified at the success which has attended their efforts.
The Newport News branch of the society is located at No. 624 23rd street, and is under the direction of C H. Green. Mr. Green has been with the society in Newport News for nearly a year and he has amply demonstrated his fitness for the responsible position. Besides being a prominent business man he is actively identified with the higher love of his city and section. He is a consistent and influential member of the First Baptist Church of Williamsburg. He is also well known in social circles, being a member of the Royal Arch Chapter of Masons, in which he has gained a thirty-second degree; the Knight Templar; the Mystic Shriners; the Knights of Pythias, in which he is a grand lodge officer; the Odd Fellows, in which he has gained the fourteenth degree, and of which he is Past Most Venerable Patriarch.
He is a man of education and of pleasing address and he has gained the undivided respect of all classes and of both races. He is accomplishing a splendid work and we bespeak for him a liberal share of public patronage.
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Brooke Royer


“The Southern Aid Society,” Black Virginia: The Richmond Planet, 1894-1909, accessed April 23, 2024,