Part 5 (to view previous articles go to the ARCHIVES page.)
Brother Joseph Crookes who was our Lodge in 1857, 1858, 1859, 1862, 1863, 1864, and again 1867. Bro. Crookes was Master for seven years and this record still stands today. In 1861 and in 1862, 89 lodges had to give up all meetings because of war: and 23 lodges were sacked and burned, losing their equipment and meeting places. Most of these lodges located in the smaller communities in the State. During Bro. Crookes tenure of office, the Grand Lodge decided to abandon its project in education, and agreed to drop the Masonic College which it had been supporting at Lexington, Missouri.
In 1881 the Grand Lodge adopted a committee to investigate the practicability of establishing a home for widows and orphans of Masons. In 1882 the Grand Lodge adopted the Masonic Funeral Service, authored by Brother Thomas E. Garrett, which we still use today.
Several of our past members where very influential in the formation of the City of St. Louis. This is evident in that several streets, parks, schools, and cities were name in their honor. Wor. Bro. Scott H. Blewett was Master during the year 1885. His two brothers as well as himself were educators Bro. Scott was an Officer of the American Car foundry Co. on St. Charles, MO. Bro. B. T. Blewett was head of a ladies seminary located in Jennings, in St. Louis County where Blewett Avenue now commemorates the family name. His Brother Ben Blewett served as Superintendent of the St. Louis Public schools and Blewett High School bears his name. Wor. Bro. George W. Strodtman was in real estate and a developer of Walnut Park as well as other subdivision. His philanthropies included among them the donation of a square block of ground at thirteenth and Branch Streets for a city playground for children of that community. He named “Beacon Avenue’ in Walnut Park after our lodge. Strodtman Place, a street in North St. Louis, was named in his honor.
Wor. Bro. Harry B. Piatt served us from 1893 to 1895. He was very active and proficient in the lectures and received his three degrees, all within a period of forty days, as did some of our other members who joined at this period which was before the Grand Lodge law requiring at least thirty days to elapse between degrees. During this period the Grand Lodge held its annual meeting at the Capitol in Jefferson City, meeting in the Hall of the House of Representatives. It was during this period Union Station at 18th and Market Street was completed.
1898 the lodge elected Wor. Bro. Byron Chaphe to preside over the lodge. This election is significant in that the Lodge celebrated its fiftieth anniversary and Bro. Chaphe was only twenty-five years of age. I think this is remarkable.
To Be Continued Next Month