The CLEVELAND MANX SOCIETY was organized from Mona’s Relief Society and Mona’s Mutual Benefit Society, which provided assistance to immigrants from the Isle of Man, Mona once being the name of the Isle of Man. Mona’s Relief Society was organized by 21 Manx settlers in 1851, 25 years after the first Manxmen arrived in Cleveland, for “the mutual improvement of its members, and the charitable relief of” Manxmen in need. It was supplemented 4 years later by Mona’s Mutual Benefit Society, a fraternal insurance society charging monthly dues and providing sick and death benefits. In 1935 the Benefit Society had 200 members.
Between 1876-86, Mona’s Relief Society had 268 relief applicants and paid $1,745. The society bought a burial lot in WOODLAND CEMETERY, burying 60 there until 1911, when it bought a larger lot at Highland Park Cemetery. Mona’s Relief Society became a major social and cultural institution in the Manx community. In 1853 it began annual Manx festivals, and in 1880 initiated an annual picnic; both raised funds for relief work. By 1886 the society had 65 members; it began a debating club for young people in the late 19th century. In 1899 an endowment fund was created and the Ladies’ Auxiliary was established; its quilting and sewing meetings provided a more regular income for the society’s relief work. The society supported “the First Great Manx Homecoming,” a visit to the homeland, in 1927. By the mid-1970s, Mona’s Relief Society was known as the Cleveland Manx Society, and had 133 members.
More information can be found on the early history of the society on Manx Notebook
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