It all began on March 10, 1924 in Loves Park. Twenty-seven Brethren who were interested in forming a club, met at the Presbyterian Church in Loves Park and organized a club, which at a later meeting was named the Square and Compass Club.
Officers elected were:
Chairman - W. Bro. Elmer Brown (Past master of Star in the East Lodge #166)
President - Verne Goldy
Vice President - Charles Oswald
Secretary - Daniel Timmis
Treasurer - Cy Perkins of Patterson Lumber Yard- donated the coal to heat the meetings.
A By-Laws Committee was apointed and the second Monday of each month was to be the regular meeting night. The next few meetings were held at the Winnebago Tractor Building, 414 Grand Avenue. It was very evident in the minutes of the May 12, 1924 meeting, the direction this club was about to persue. A motion was moved and seconded that they invite the three Rockford Masonic Lodges and the Roscoe Lodge to attend a booster meeting. Brother Timmis was on the Refreshment Committee and served sandwiches and milk. At the June meeting, P.M. Brother W. Dennis, Rockford Lodge #102, gave a talk on Masonry.
The club at that time had a membership of 42. The second year of the Square and Compass Club's meetings were held at various member's homes. A committee was appointed to explore the possibility of purchasing property or a building for their future meetings.R. W. Bro. Timmis was elected president. In October of 1925, a committee was appointed to talk to the District Deputy Balliet about the possibility of starting a Masonic Lodge in Loves Park. On October 9, 1925, an election was held and the following officers elected:
The following bretheren were appointed by W.B. Brown to fill the other offices:
Bro. C.O. Robeson - Chaplain Bro. Roy Genrich - Senior Deacon Bro. Frank Oswald - Junior Deacon Bro. R.C. Caldwell - Senior Steward Bro. C.G. Carlson - Junior Steward Bro. Fred Haye - Marshall Bro. Tom Braas - Tyler
These officers were installed under the direction of of R. W. Bro. Karl J. Mohr D.D.G.M. and Loves Park Lodge #1145 A.F. & A.M., under dispensation, was in business. While working under dispensation, Bro. Walter C. Schoonover, Bro. Willard W. Clark, and Bro. Harry Shouler were raised to the sublime degree of Master Mason.
The charter to constitute a regular Lodge was issued at the Grand Lodge meeting October 12, 1926.
On October 30, 1926, a special meeting of the Grand Lodge was held in the Masonic Temple of Rockford and the charter was presented and the officers of the Lodge regulary installed. Four of the brothers who were present to constitute the Lodge and install the officers later became Grand Masters. They were Bros. Karl J. Mohr, Wm. Tinsley, Edward C. Mullen and Grover C. Niemeyer.
The following is a list of the charter members of the Lodge:
Elmer E. Brown, Daniel Timmis, Ralph E. Garman, Robert C. Caldwell, Cloyd O. Robeson, Charles R. Oswald, John S. Hyer, Harrison J. Caldwell, Albert W. Geskey, Tom N. Culbertson, Theodore T. Braas, Joseph T. Jones, Chas. A. Horneman, Theodore A. Baumann, Irl C. Martin, Joseph T. Williams, Wm. O. Peterson, George H. Benedict, Wm. T. Bradley, Fred H. Haye, Chester A. Worsley, Merrill L. Parker, Wm. R. Howerton, Frank C. Oswald, Roy F. Genrich, Wm. F. Genrich, Ezra A. Thurston, Ned W. Melin, Wm. R. Becker, Harold F. Shannon, Verne A. Goldy, George N. Whitford, Wiley E. Pruner, Robert A. Renwick, Eric J. Benesch, Chas. G. Carlson, James S. Conklin, George R. Wales, Walter C. Schoonover, Willard W. Clark, Harry E. Shouler.
The meeting place of the new Loves Park Lodge was in the J.C. Snow building at Snow's crossing, known as the Snow Pickle Works. This building was also occupied on the ground floor by Keck & Shippee's Sausage Factory. Owner H. C. Snow, a P.M. of Rockford Lodge #102, allowed the Lodge to meet there for three years rent free.
Bro. Dan Timmis said, "I can remember the good clam chowder dinners and the dances we had at the old pickle works, corn meal on the floor to two step more sprightly".
The building later burned to the ground and everything was lost, with the exception of the records, which Bro. Brown had carried home with him.
A new charter was issued on November 1, 1933 by Grand Master Grover C. Niemeyer. After the fire, a dispensation was issued to meet in the Masonic Cathedral at Rockford Lodge #102. They continued to meet there until the Loves Park Church of Christ and an adjacent lot at 410 Merrill Avenue were purchased in 1934.
With a building that they owned and a membership that grew from 41 to 360, the remodeling and refurbishing of the curch began. Bro. Tom Brass, born in Luxembourg, and a stone mason by trade and Bro. Dan Timmis, born in Scotland, and a carpenter by trade (Operative and Speculative in the highest degree), did much to remodel the front.
The stone with the church name was taken out and reversed and Bro. Brass engraved the stone with MASONIC TEMPLE above the door and one side with A.F. and A.M. and the other side with the Square and Compass.
Bro. Dan Timmis remodeled the front door and much of the inside. The lodge was rented to many clubs and groups and returned a tidy sum of money which was placed in government bonds. Bro. Timmis at this time was not only the carpenter, but the Secretary, as well as the janitor, Bro. Timmis by being the thrifty Scot as his name implies, helped amass over $6,000 for the Lodge.
Although the church building, was better than a rented building, it did not meet the demands of a growing and ambitious Lodge of Masons. It was becoming most difficult to handle meetings and social affairs on the sane floor and the subject of either an expansion of present facilities or an effort for a new building was discussed.
With the money Sec. Timmis had accumulated and the Second Degree commitment to the building fund, the Lodge brothers felt that a more positive approach was needed.
In 1955, W.M. Charles E. Edwards wanted to promote better facilities for Loves Park Lodge and appointed a building committee with Bro. Jack Rapp as the chairman. Jack was quite aware of the fact that success comes with lots of discouragement and facts needed to be approached and determined by a lawyer.
So, Jack asked Jim Maynard, a Brother, for legal help. Contributions and the like came hard - especially from working men, and Jack could see a slow, long pull to accomplish his aim.
At one particular time, Jim Maynard called Jack and informed him that he would be out of town for a time and if he wanted any legal advise, he should feel free to call his father, Attorney Frank Maynard. The need arrived and during the conversation with Mr. Maynard, Frank remarked that he had been busy with his law practice these many years and had not kept up his duties to his Lodge. He would like to do something for Loves Park Masonic Lodge. Bro. Frank Maynard proposed that if they built a new Lodge, he would match dollar for dollar up to $25,000 against the Lodge's effort to raise money for such a new building. The generosity of Brother Frank Maynard was the impetus that made the realization of a new lodge building come true.
The Merrill Avenue Temple was sold and vacated in October 1959, and Loves Park Lodge #1145 A.F. & A.M. met in the Roscoe Lodge #75 Temple for about one year while the present Loves Park Temple was under construction. Roscoe Lodge earned our gratitude for the true Masonic spirit in which they welcomed us and made our stay most convenient as well as enjoyable.
Brother Roy Estell oversaw the construction of our new Temple and was on hand to overcome any obstacles that arose which might have delayed completion of the building. Much of the time and labor in the construction of the new Temple was donated by the brethren. Large and difficult chores became small when the hands of many cooperated to accomplish a common end.
The new Temple was first occupied in Nov. 1960 and the beautiful surroundings were reflected in the proficiency of the officers in the ritual. The attendance of meetings reached new highs as Loves Park Lodge #1145 A.F. & A.M. reasserted itself as a force for good in our communiaty of Loves Park. This Temple stands as a monument to the Tenets of a Mason's profession which are Brotherly love, Relief, and Truth.
Dated this day June 30, A.D. 2001 A.L. 6001
Loves Park Illinois