History of the E.T. Carson Lodge #598 F&AM
From Humble Beginnings, We're Proud and Honored to be the Largest Lodge in the State of Ohio
(From the 75th Anniversary program)

In the summer of 1906 Walter Laile, Fred Roehr, Harry Walker and Harry Whyrich met with Edwin Aughinbaugh, at his home to discuss the formation of a new Masonic Lodge. From this beginning over 75 years ago has grown one of the most active lodges and the largest lodge in the state of Ohio.

As plans became reality and interest grew, temporary quarters were secured in the United Brethren Tabernacle at Rohs and McMillan Streets opposite Hughes High School. The original group of five soon became one hundred and thirty-four enthusiastic Masons representing thirty-one lodges — twenty in Hamilton County, three other Ohio lodges eight lodges in other jurisdictions. More than half of this group came from five lodges — Hoffner, Vattier, Miami, Yeatman and Hanselman. The largest representation nineteen — being from Hoffner Lodge.

Brother William Dock, of Lafayette Lodge, who was to become the first Tyler, suggested the name that was finally selected for the new lodge.

On February 26, 1907, Most Worshipful Brother Horace A. Irwin, Grand Master, issued a dispensation appointing Worshipful Brother Albert J. Hauser, and Past Master of McMakin Lodge No. 120, Worshipful Master, August Nuernberger, Senior Warden and Edwin D. Aughinbaugh, Junior Warden. With this formal approval no time was lost in holding the first, on March 1, 1907 at the Hall of Walnut Hills Lodge No. 486, then meeting over the Dows Drug Store at Peebles Corner, Gilbert Avenue and McMillan Street, appointing the first officers and receiving twenty petitions. An auspicious beginning for the embryonic lodge.

On April 10, 1907 the first group of six candidates was initiated. The first class of three Master Masons was raised on June 20th, by special dispensation at the Hall of Avon Lodge No. 542, with the officers of Henry Barnes Lodge No. 607, Dayton, Kentucky and Hoffner Lodge N0.253 assisting Carson Officers in the work. Nine days later, on Saturday, June 29th, the Lodge had its first Inspection — also at Avon Lodge — by the District Lecturer, Right Worshipful Brother Joseph W. Kahler.

On October 17, 1907, during the Grand Lodge session at Canton, Enoch T. Carson Lodge, U. D., was chartered No. 598 and the following week the Grand Master granted a special to hold the stated meeting on Friday, November 1st at Avon Lodge for the purpose of being Constituted and electing and installing officers.

At that meeting Worshipful Brother L. C. Goodale, as proxy of the Most Worshipful Grand Master, assisted by Past Grand Master William B. Melish and Grand Secretary J. H. Brownell, conducted the ceremony of Constitution according to the ancient usages and customs. At the election that followed August Nuernberger was elected Worshipful Master; Edwin D. Aughinbaugh, Senior Warden; Rev. Ernst Voss, Junior Warden; Oscar W. Mueller, Treasurer; Harry Whyrich, Secretary; J. W. Morgan, Senior Deacon; Robert L. Stokes, Jr., Junior Deacon and William Dock, Tyler. These officers were installed by Most Worshipful Brother Melish after the Past Masters Degree had been conferred on Brother Nuernberger by Grand Secretary Bromwell.

One of the first matters to take the attention of the newly chartered lodge was the purchase of a site for a temple, but interest soon waned and action was deferred because of the unfavorable financial condition of the country that developed during 1908. However, the following year the project was revived and on May 7, 1909 Frank Helmers was named Chairman of a committee to raise funds and from that time steady progress was made toward acquiring our own temple. Fund raising activities included theater benefits at the old Olympic Theater, Zoo outings, and the ever popular river excursions. Finally, on February, 2, 1917 the purchase of the present site on Ludlow Avenue was announced.

The year 1917 also saw the organization of the wives of the members into the Carson Ladies Auxiliary and with typical feminine industry and ingenuity their energies were also directed to the raising of funds for the temple. One of their projects was a series of lawn fetes at the temple site.

On Saturday, April 12, 1924 at 3:00 p. m. a simple ground breaking ceremony was held that reflected little of the time and effort that had been expended to make it possible. The Worshipful Master, Robert J. Carroll, III, turned the first spadeful of earth after the Chaplin, Worshipful Brother Alvin E. Schmidt had invoked the blessing of God. Short addresses followed by Albert J. Hauser, Chairman of the Temple Building Committee, and Frank Helmers. Four months later, on Saturday, August 16, 1924, the corner stone was laid.

A lodge of Master Masons was opened at 2:00 p. m. at Avon Lodge Hall, where our lodge was then meeting, and at once proceeded in a body to Hanselman Masonic Temple where the Grand Lodge of Ohio was in session and from there to the site on Ludlow Avenue. The High Noon Lodge Band and the Hanselman Commandery Band furnished the music for the procession which was composed of members from all the Blue Lodges and Commanderies in the City.

Upon arrival at the site, Worshipful Master, Robert J. Carroll, III, presented the Trowel to Worshipful Brother Harry Englehardt, Senior Grand Deacon of the Grand Lodge of Ohio, representing the Most Worshipful Grand Master C. M. Voorhees, who in his most gracious way conducted the ceremonies as prescribed by the Code. At the completion of the ceremonies, Worshipful Brother Albert J. Hauser, spoke of the hopes and aspirations of all the brethren of our lodge in the ownership of a temple. In the words of Worshipful Brother Englehardt, the program was carefully planned and successfully carried out and reflected great credit upon the officers of the lodge.

A year later the temple was completed and on Saturday, September 12 1925 at 8:00 p. m. was dedicated by the Most Worshipful Grand Master, James B. Ruhl, assisted by all the officers of the Grand Lodge with the exception of the Grand Chaplin who was represented by one of our past masters, the Reverend Ernst Voss. Music with Brother Louis J. Windgassen at the organ and Herbert Nagel as soloist lent its own inimitable charm to the success of the dedication.

An important contribution to the furnishing of the temple was made by the Carson Ladies Auxiliary in completely equipping the kitchen and supplying all the necessary silverware. Assistance such as this is still given by our loyal ladies and we have the good fortune to meet and work in a pleasant home-like atmosphere largely because of their untiring efforts.

With the occupation of the new temple Carson continued to grow and prosper until the "Thirties" when with the depression came the inevitable decline in membership and the resulting financial difficulties. If one individual is to be singled out as the savior of the temple during this period August Nuernberger must be mentioned. He was tireless in his efforts to raise funds and at the same time was responsible for arranging reductions in the interest charges on the temple indebtedness.

Dorcas Chapter came forward with substantial cash contributions as did the ever faithful Carson Ladies Auxiliary. This period of adversity produced a close knit, cooperative group of dedicated men from which emerged a new leadership and an increased scope of activity.

In 1941, the first of many out-of-state trips was made by the lodge to Richmond (Indiana) Lodge No. 196 to raise a candidate in the Ohio Ritual. This trip was made to honor Worshipful Brother George W. Piehl, a Past Master of Richmond Lodge and an affiliated member of Carson Lodge. Since that time the Carson Degree Team has become well known in Tennessee, Kentucky, Indiana, Illinois and other Ohio Districts.

Also in 1941 the first of the Annual Carson Corkscrew shows was produced by the Carson Club — the social organization of the lodge that had been organized in 1916.

An outgrowth of these musical productions was the Carson Glee Club organized in 1946 under the direction of Carl Esslinger who was followed by George Mueller and he in turn by John Bolten, the present director.

Through the years, Carson Lodge has always been active in promoting various youth groups. In 1947, for example, the lodge sponsored its first knothole baseball team and this program escalated to a point in which hundreds of young men were participating each summer in Knothole baseball under the Carson Name.

In 1962, the Carson Chapter Order of DeMolay was instituted and many of these young men have since joined the lodge in Masonry. And our Rainbow Girl's Assembly came to us in 1978.

In the meantime, we have sponsored Pee Wee football, basketball and softball teams including those teams sports for your women activities.

And, our membership has contributed freely during the years to sponsor these teams and also also give our DeMolay's gainful employment in and around the temple during the summer months.

Carson's wealth is in the spirit and wholehearted cooperation of all the members whose time, energies and special skills are freely given to the many projects and activities that have had an important part in bringing our lodge to the position it now holds and have made it a potent force for good in the community.

Fortified with this same spirit and zeal we hope to carry on with the same sense of social responsibility that motivated our founders 75 years ago. When we of today have become names on the pages of tomorrow's history may we be held in such esteem as we now hold them and may it be said of us, as we now say of them, "Well done, thou good and faithful servant."

Officers of the Lodge - 1907

Albert J. Hauser    Past Master    McMakin No. 120     Worshipful Master 
August Nuernberger    Hanselman No. 208    Senior Warden
Edwin D. Aughinbaugh     Henry Barnes No. 607, Dayton, Kentucky    Junior Warden 
Oscar W. Mueller    Kilwinning No. 356    Treasurer
Harry Whyrich    Miami No. 46    Secretary
Rev. Ernst Voss    Avon No. 542    Senior Deacon
John W. Morgan     Goodale No. 372, Columbus, Ohio    Junior Deacon 
J. T. Singleton    Hoffner No. 253    Steward
Charles Ehlers    Vattier No. 386    Steward
William Dock    Lafayette No. 81    Tyler