How was Barberton Lodge No. 750 Formed?
Information taken from a report from
Worshipful Brother Edward C. Bernhardt
Barberton Lodge No. 750
Early in 1952, by direction of the Grand lodge of Ohio, the District Deputy Grand Master of the 21ST Masonic, Right Worshipful Brother Eugene F. Edgerly, appointed two Past Masters of National Lodge No. 568, Right Worshipful Brother Ernest D. Heppert and Worshipful Brother Frank W. Love as a committee to investigate the possibilities for establishing a second Lodge in the City of Barberton; after considerable deliberation and several preliminary meetings , and the brethren of National Lodge being favorable to the proposal a joint meeting was called to order Wednesday evening , March 11TH , consisting of the original committee , Brother Love and Heppert , together with the Officers and Past Masters Of National Lodge, officers and Past High Priests of Portage Chapter No. 202 and Members of the Temple Board: This group being unanimously in favor of the project , Worshipful Brother Frank W. Love, Chairman name Worshipful Brother James A. Evans , Past Master of National Lodge to serve as Worshipful Master of the New Lodge.
An Organization Committee was then appointed, consisting of Worshipful Brother James A. Evans, Chairman, Brother John Soquel Senior Warden of National Lodge, Excellent Companion, Edward C. Bernhardt, High Priest of Portage Chapter and also representing the Sojourners in vicinity of Barberton, Worshipful Brother Ralph G. Finnell, PAM representing the Tempe Board also Right Worshipful Brother Ernest D. Heppert and Worshipful Brother Frank W. Love. Chairman Evans then set Monday Evening March 16TH for the first meeting and named Worshipful Brother Reginald E. Anderson to assist the committee in preparing the papers and petition for Dispensation, Worshipful Brother Anderson having had considerable experience in establishing recent Lodge in Summit County.
The Organizational meeting of March 16TH selected the name “Barberton Lodge”; they also selected the first Friday of each month for the regular meetings and set the fees for those signing the Dispensation, also for those petitioning for degrees.
Worshipful Master Evans, set the evening of March 27th for the petition for dispensation and each Friday evening thereafter until April 27TH, when the Charter would be closed. At the meeting of March 27TH, Worshipful Master Anderson explained the procedures and of the 75 brethren present, some 15 signed, and paid their fees, headed Brother Bernhardt; the meeting of April 27TH found 88 signatures on the Petitions for dispensation, thus becoming Charter Members of Barberton Lodge.
During the Month of May, the officers carried the petition to Thirteen Lodges of Summit County, which would be effected by the new Lodge, seeking their consent; and the officers returning in June obtained the consent of all Thirteen Lodges by the 17TH of June; the following morning the petition and necessary paper were forwarded to the Grand Secretary. A Dispensation was granted and received in Barberton, June 24TH and a meeting was called by Worshipful Master Evans for June 26TH at 7:00pm at the Temple.
The First Meeting of Barberton Lodge U.D was open in the lodge room of the Barberton Masonic Temple on June 26TH at 7:00pm by Right Worshipful Brother Eugene F. Edgerly, D.D.G.M of the 21ST Masonic District. There were a total of One Hundred Ninety-Eight Masons in attendance, including Seventy-Three Charter Members of Barberton Lodge, Officers and Brethren of National Lodge, and visiting brethren: A Lodge of Master Masons was opened by the Officers of National Lodge. Right Worshipful Brother Edgerly, then presented the Dispensation to Worshipful Brother Evans, who took the East and presented each Officer with a beautiful Charter Member Card and the officers in turn presented a similar card to each of the Charter Members present. Fourteen Petitions for degrees were received and were referred to a newly appointed Investigating Committee.
The First Stated and Business Meeting was held on Friday Evening, July 2ND 1953 at 7:30pm. The Worshipful Master appointed additional committees and set work dates for July. The Investigating Committee reported favorably on thirteen petitions, and after balloting they were declared eligible for the degrees in Barberton Lodge. During the Month of July, the Enter Apprentices Degree was conferred on all Thirteen Candidates, by the Officers of Barberton Lodge and with the assistance of the Officers and Members of National Lodge No.568: this was one of the warmest summers in memory.
At the August Stated Meeting, examinations were conducted in the Enter Apprentices Degree and all Thirteen Candidates were found satisfactory and eligible for the Fellowcraft Degree which was conferred during the month of August and at the September Stated Meeting were examined in the Fellowcraft Degree and found proficient. The Master Mason Degree was conferred on the Candidates, after which all records and data were sent to the Grand Secretary for consideration of the Grand Lodge at the Annual Communication in Cincinnati, Ohio –October 16TH & 17TH 1953.
At the Last Meeting of Barberton Lodge U.D, Worshipful Master Evans announced that a Charter Meeting would likely be held in October after the close of Grand Lodge; also he was accompanied by Brother Terpe, Senior Warden and Brother Thompson, Junior Warden would attend the Grand Lodge Meeting. Thus this is the record of Barberton Lodge U.D. A Charter was granted to Barberton Lodge No. 750 by the Grand Lodge of Ohio on October 17TH 1953 and a Consecration and Charter Meeting was called by Most Worshipful Ernest F. Schafer, Past Grand Master of the Masons of Ohio., who was named as proxy for the Grand Master John L. Guss, for Friday Evening, October 30TH 1953 at Barberton Masonic Temple.
The Charter Meeting was one of the most colorful and impressive in the history of Barberton Masonry; when the meeting was called to order , there were Sixty-Eight Officers and Members of Barberton Lodge present, together with Distinguished Masons and Visiting Brethren to a Total of Two Hundred- Sixty-Five . Most Worshipful Schafer, in the name of the Grand Master of Ohio, convened an emergent meeting of the Grand Lodge and Consecrated and Constituted Barberton Lodge No. 750, following which, Most Worshipful Schafer Installed Worshipful Brother James A. Evans as first Worshipful Master, together with the other Officers. Most Worshipful Schafer then addressed the lodge and recalled that some years past, while serving as District Deputy Grand Master, he had urged that another Lodge be established in Barberton, and this evening Right Worshipful Brother Edgerly has brought it to fruition. The Lodge was then presented with a number of valuable gifts such as robes, working tools, jewels, aprons, Bible, Etc. by various Masonic Organizations and Individual Masons.
The Officers of Barberton Lodge U. D-
March 1953 to October 29th 1953
Back Row –
George Clemmer, Treasurer – Edward C. Bernhardt, Senior Deacon
Henry M. Swartz, Tyler- S .Dean Cuppett, Chaplain
Donald Burleigh, Junior Deacon Robert Brown, Secretary
Carl W. Anderson, Junior Steward Marvin H Miller, Senior Steward
Front Row : Frank A. Terpe , Senior Warden
James A. Evans, Worshipful Master
T.G Thompson, Junior Warden