History of New Washington Masonic Lodge #167 F&AM
148 years of community service in New Washington


148 years of Masonry





Leadership Team

2003 Goals


Upcoming Events

Freemasonry Info

Our Grand Master

Try Freemasonry

Indiana Masons

Lodge Photos


Contact Us


The following information was taken from the book New Washington Community History and the information on our lodge was written by Jess "Pete" Barnes, PM of New Washington Lodge #167 on the occasion of the lodge's 100th anniversary on June 17, 1955, and accompanying footnote written on the occasion of the Town of New Washington's 175th anniversary, July, 1990.  Another footnote has been written by the current Worshipful Master, Tom Fellows bringing us up to date with the current year 2002.

The purpose of setting forth herewith some factual information concerning New Washington Masonic Lodge #167 is to save for posterity, briefly:  the beginning, the growing pains, the ambitions, the disappointments, and the victories, if any, of a group of Master Masons of each generation dating from December 12, 1855 to the present month of June, 1955.

On the 12th of December 1854, Henry C. Lawrence, Grand Master of the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of Indiana granted to a group of Free and Accepted Ancient York Masons a dispensation, thereby allowing them to assemble and work together as a regular lodge.  This dispensation to be in full force until the next annual meeting of the Grand Lodge of Indiana in the town of Indianapolis on the fourth Monday of May, 1855.

At the meeting of the Grand Lodge in May, 1855, a Charter was granted to New Washington Lodge #167 and the Most Worshipful Grand Master, Bro. Downey, appointed Bro. Smidtlap to install the officers of New Washington Lodge #167, this installation taking place June 22, 1855.  The officers installed were:   T.S. Falkenburg, Worshipful Master; T.D. Fouts, Senior Warden; I.T. Crosby, Junior Warden; T.W. Fields, Secretary and T.M. Fields, Tyler.  Where these Master Masons, who constituted the petitioners for a charter, had received their initiation in Masonry, is unknown to the writer but does show that there were a number of Masons in the community prior to the organization of the lodge.  Charter members of New Washington Lodge #167 are listed as:  T.S. Falkenburg, a Methodist Preacher; T.D. Fouts, a farmer; J.F. Crosby, J. McLean, a blacksmith; W.A. Plaskett, W. Ketchum, H. Peck, a farmer; J. Stutesman, O.P. Orr, J. Adams, and Newkirk.

From all available information, the first hall used for purposes of the lodge was the second floor of the old Seminary Building, located approximately on the center of the block which had been set aside by the owners of the land when the town of New Washington was surveyed and laid out in lots.  This building continued to be used by the lodge until the year of 1894, when Washington Township completed the then new school building.  By agreement with the township officials, the lodge paid $400 to complete the third floor of the new school building and used the hall for lodge purposes until the township built a new building in a new location.  After the completion of the new school, the lodge purchased the old building and remodeled the second floor so that it might be used for lodge purposes.   This work was completed in 1930.  The first floor was converted into a theater and was operated as such for a number of years.  In 1954, the first floor was made into a banquet hall with a kitchen added.  Along with this improvement was another progressive step, the modernization of the restrooms and running water in the building.

The first 100 years has seen the lodge move from a rented hall over the Seminary Building, to partial ownership of the third floor of a school building to the full ownership of a Temple that is rather complete and truly the home of New Washington Lodge #167 and Ella Fisher Chapter #487 Order of the Eastern Star.   It should be said that the Eastern Star Chapter has been of invaluable service to the lodge by helping to furnish and defray expenses for all improvements.

The total number of members as of June, 1955 is 114, one honorary member, five entered apprentices.  In reading the minutes of the early meetings one must wonder at their sincerity of purpose and the austerity with which they meted out justice to one another and among themselves; truly laudable.  A look at their finances discloses also the many changes that came over the century.  Many bills were for candles .50-.85 cents, etc. Spittoons by the half dozen, one dozen chairs of Bro. Calvin's make.  Here was simplicity displayed again and again, but stability of the highest degree.  Shortly after the dispensation meetings were changed from the 1st Monday to the first Saturday on or before the full moon.

To the memory of our founders and leaders, we should make mention of one outstanding Brother, specifically Bro. Andrew Martin Fisher who throughout his active days of Masonry was elected and served 30 years as the Master of the Lodge.  It is a record.

July 1990

This date marks another 35 years for the New Washington Lodge #167, F&AM, who still meet monthly in the same building with 93 members at present.

One hundred and thirty-five years of Masonry in a town celebrating its one hundred and seventy-fifth anniversary, sets the scene for a good future for both.

Submitted by:  Jess Barnes
                            Past Master
                            New Washington Lodge #167, F&AM

April 2002

Twelve years have passed since Bro. Barnes last penned any history of our lodge.  He has since advanced to his home, eternal in the heavens to meet face to face the GAOTU.  Much has changed, yet much has stayed the same with New Washington Masonic Lodge #167, F & AM.  We no longer have an Eastern Star chapter in New Washington, as, due to declining membership and interest, that charter was surrendered many years ago, however Masonry is experiencing a resurgence, one that we hope will continue many years into the future.

In August, 2001 the lodge began construction on its new Temple, located behind and to the right of the old building.  Over the years, the cost of maintaining the old structure had simply became too much of a burden on the lodge financially, and it was decided upon to construct a new, more modern structure.   The old facility was sold to Mr. Marvin Maxwell, who has since renovated and restored the building to what we as a lodge could at best only have hoped for, thus preserving a vital piece of New Washington's history. Thank you to Marvin on behalf of our lodge for investing your time and love of community into this old landmark.

Guided by the able hands of Bro. David DeCamp, P.M. and Bro. Tim Cochran, the members of our lodge united in purpose and task to assist these two men in pouring concrete, raising the walls and hanging the drywall with a vision in mind of completing a new Temple that would serve Masons for many years to come in New Washington.

In December 2001, just four short months later, we were able to hold our first Christmas Banquet in our new facility, and in January, 2002, New Washington Lodge #167 received permission from the Most Worshipful Grand Master Richard Wierzba to move our charter into our new Temple.  This culminated a dream that had remained elusive for over 30 years!

In the first three months of 2002, we have initiated 3 Entered Apprentices, passed 1 Fellowcraft and are preparing to raise our first Master Mason in the new Temple on April 13.

As Worshipful Master for the year 2002, I am deeply grateful to Bro. DeCamp and Bro. Cochran, as well as each and every member of our lodge who contributed of their time, their talents, their muscle and labor, as we now can truly appreciate the realizing of a dream that Bro. Barnes and his peers had even 40 years ago.

September 2002

September was an exciting month for New Washington Lodge #167.  We spent the entire month planning and preparing for the dedication of our new Masonic Temple.  On September 28, 2002, we were privileged to host the public dedication of our Temple by the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of Indiana, F&AM, under the leadership of Most Worshipful Grand Master
Roger S. VanGorden.  This was a most exciting night, with an estimated 90 Masons and community members attending.  We are inspired by the Grand Master's charge to us that truly a small lodge can do great things with the right attitude, vision and leadership.  Congratulations, New Washington Masons!  You are truly the best!!!


Thomas E. Fellows
Worshipful Master
New Washington Masonic Lodge #167, F & AM
New Washington, Indiana