A dispensation was granted for the formation of Charity Lodge No. -, May 28, 1819, and its charter was issued in December, 1821. Its first officers were Brothers B. B. Chapman, W. M.; Fleazer Copeland, S. W.; Jabez P. Manning, J. W., and Lawrence Myers, Secretary.
Its existence was terminated in 1828 and its number yet remains vacant.
A dispensation was issued for the organization of Milford Lodge No. -, at Milford, Clermont County, December 17, 1819, with Brothers Silas Smith, W. M.; William Williams, S. W.; and Zacheus Biggs as J. W. Its charter, dated December 15, 1820, was granted by the Grand Lodge at its session on December 12th of that year.
Its existence was loyally maintained throughout the trying period of anti-Masonic persecutions; of its early members may be mentioned the names of Brothers Thomas Band, William Williams, L. A. Hendrick, W. Highlands, Darius Penn, Abel Ross, and Joseph Hull.
The Reverend Thomas J. Melish, honored as Grand Chaplain by Masonic Grand Bodies in Ohio, was for a number of years its Worshipful Master. M.·. W.·. Brother William B. Melish, Past Grand Master of Masons in Ohio, was made a Mason in Milford Lodge, and the late Brother John M. Pattison, Governor of Ohio, was also a member of that lodge.
With 180 members upon its roll, it is one among the prosperous and conservative lodges of this Grand Jurisdiction.
On December 13, 1819, the M.·. W.·. Grand Lodge of Ohio ordered that a dispensation should be issued to Brothers William C. Schenck, W. M.; James Lanier, S. W.; Garret A. Schenck, J. W., and others for the organization of Eastern Star Lodge No.-, at Franklin, Warren County.
The dispensation was issued December 17, 1819.
At the Annual Communication in 1820, Eastern Star Lodge was represented by Brother Thomas L. Payne and was granted a charter, which was issued December 20, 1820. Brothers James Lanier, James Robinson, and Jesse Corwin were among its early representatives in Grand Lodge.
Eastern Star Lodge was authorized to meet alternately at Franklin and Miamisburg.
Its Historian, W. Brother N. A. Hamilton, states that "During the period of anti-Masonic Crusade, 1831 to 1838, no Masters were elected nor meetings held."
In 1832 Eastern Star Lodge was represented in Grand Lodge by Brother M.·. W.·. Ward, and was not again represented in Grand Lodge until in 1842; ten years later it was represented by its Worshipful Master, Brother Absalom Death, first elected in 1838, who subsequently became quite prominent in Masonic affairs in Southern Ohio.
The Committee on Charters and Dispensations, at the Annual Communication of the Grand Lodge held at Lancaster in October, 1842, reported that Eastern Star Lodge No.55 of Franklin, Warren County, had resumed its labors without any authority from the Grand Lodge, "a departure from the landmarks of the order, such as, if permitted to pass without notice, might he drawn in as a precedent, and be productive of most pernicious consequences. The committee are gratified at the assurance, however, which has been given them, that (with the exception of the irregularity noted) the work of said lodge, since its resumption, has been such as will be conducive to the general interests of the Craft. The committee recommend that said lodge be permitted to continue its labors under its charter, and that its representative be permitted to take his seat as a member of the Grand Lodge at its present Communication, on payment of the Grand Lodge dues which have accrued since October, 1841."
Since that period Eastern Star Lodge has continued its labors. W. Brother J. D. Miller, one of its members, was for many years a District Lecturer in the Second Masonic District. This lodge now has 121 members enrolled.
Brother P. H. Boynton in his historical report of this lodge briefly states that "King Solomon's Lodge No.56 F. & A. Masons was organized originally under a dispensation granted by Grand Master Chester Griswold, dated December 20, 1819, and that a charter was granted in December, 1821.
"Both dispensation and charter were granted to Heman Fly, W. M.; Jabez Burrell, S. W., and John Reading, J. W.
"Labor ceased in this lodge from 1828, doubtless from the strong anti-Masonic feeling engendered by the Morgan excitement.
"In 1847 an application of the Hon, Eber W. Hubbard and others for permission to resume labor under its charter was rejected by the Grand Lodge.
"The charter, however, with its old name and number was finally restored to King Solomon's Lodge, September 26, 1848, to Brothers Eber W. Hubbard, W M.; Ozias Long, S. W., and Ansel Keith, J. W. Other petitioners were Brothers Robert McEachron, John T. Hotchkiss, Milton Chapman, Elijah Parker, and Ira Tillotson.
"This old charter under which it resumed labor was burned up in a fire which destroyed the lodge room March 15, 1873, and the present charter was granted October 22, 1873, to John W. Hulbert, W. M.; George F. Sloat, S. W., and S. W. Moon, J. W.
"In this last charter it is provided that the rank and precedence of King Solomon's Lodge in the Grand Lodge and elsewhere shall be from December 20, 1819."
One among the most prominent members of King Solomon's Lodge was the late Hon. Brother Heman Fly, prominent in affairs of State and for several years R. F. Grand Commander of Knights Templars of Ohio and also for many years Treasurer General of the Supreme Council 33 of the Ancient and Accepted Rite of the Northern Jurisdiction of the United States.
King Solomon's Lodge is now one of the most prosperous lodges in the Jurisdiction of Ohio, having a membership of 344.
M..·. W.·. Brother John Snow, Grand Master of Masons in Ohio, on January 15, 1820, issued a dispensation for the organization of a lodge at Lancaster, Fairfield County, with Brothers James Wilson, W. M.; Charles R. Sherman, S. W., and Jacob D. Dietriek, J. W.
In the very interesting history of Lancaster Lodge No.57, written by W. Brother L. T. Unks, their able Historian, it is stated that the lodge was organized under its dispensation on January 18, 1820, and in addition to the officers named the following Brethren participated in its organization: C. Ring, Treasurer; Nath C. Gilman, Secretary; L. Ring, S. D.; A. Sawyer, J. D.; H. B. Joy, Tyler, and six others.
As customary at that period, the lodge was first opened in the Entered Apprentice's Degree, in which the business affairs of the lodge were usually transacted.
Among the first petitions to be made a Mason, presented at that meeting, was the petition of Gotlieb Steinman, in after years a very prominent Mason in that locality.
The earnestness with which the pioneer Brethren
of Lancaster entered upon their labors is in evidence, as whilst
under dispensation, "In February of 1820, Grand Master Snow
came to Lancaster for the purpose of lecturing the Brethren, and
was present at the meetings of February 5th, 11th, and 13th. The
appreciation of the Brethren is shown in the following resolution:
'Resolved: That the thanks of this lodge be given the Most Worshipful Grand Master, John Snow, for the kind and obliging manner in which he has attended for some days past to the instruction of the Brethren in the principles and lectures of Masonry; and that we shall ever feel grateful for the essential services rendered us by him.'"
At the Annual Communication of the Grand Lodge held at Columbus, December 12, 1820, a charter was granted to Lancaster Lodge No.57 of Lancaster. The charter was issued and dated December 15, 1820, and the lodge was constituted under its charter on St. John's Day, December 27, 1820. In the history by Brother Unks, it is stated that "They assembled at their hall at 10 o'clock A. M., and after approving the minutes of the night before, 'the Grand Lodge of Ohio was received with due honors.' "
"The lodge was then conducted to the house appropriate for the purpose, where the officers were publicly installed and the lodge constituted in ample form. After enjoying a satisfactory address from Brother Sherman, the Craft were called to refreshment, and at evening repaired to their hall, where the lodge was closed in harmony at 5 o'clock."
Not having a satisfactory lodge room it is stated that "during the year of 1824 the market house and town hall was built, on the northern end of which the Masons built their hall. This they did by generous donations of the Brethren and from other citizens who were friendly to the fraternity."
On St. John's Day, December 27, 1824, the hall was dedicated in ample form by the Grand Master, M.·. W.·. Brother Charles R. Sherman. "Lancaster Lodge met in this hall from 1824 to 1868, and in all that time there were only a few meeting nights when they did not have a quorum. This is remarkable when we take into consideration the anti-Masonic period, which extended from 1826 to 1840. During all these years when, Masons all over the country were afraid to attend their lodges, Lancaster Masons were unmolested."
The dedication of their next place of meeting, a hall in the Rising Building, was an unusually elaborate affair, costing perhaps eight hundred dollars or over. Of it Brother Unks says: "At 11 o'clock A. M. on June 24, 1868, the Masons formed a procession on South Broad Street. The Grand Lodge was then received by marching through the lines. They then marched through the principal streets of the city to the grove north of Mt. Pleasant. After a prayer by the Grand Chaplain, Past Grand Master M.·. W.·. Brother W. J. Reese, proxy for Grand Master Howard Matthews, performed the dedication services. At the close of the services M.·. W.·. Brother Reese delivered an address. The Masons and their families then had dinner served to them in the grove. After dinner Grand Orator Mills Gardener, of Washington C. H., addressed the Brethren, after which they returned to the city, the Grand Lodge closing in the old market house and the lodge in their new hall in the Rising Block."
Of Past Grand Master M.·. W.·. Brother Charles R. Sherman, he says: "Judge C. R. Sherman, first Senior Warden and second Master of Lancaster Lodge, was born at Norwalk, Conn., September 17, 1788. He came to Lancaster with his wife and child in 1811, making most of the journey on horseback. He was the father of General William T. Sherman and Senator John Sherman. He served as Grand Master and Grand High Priest. He was an able lawyer and jurist. In 1823 he was elected a Judge of the Supreme Court of Ohio."
Of Past Grand Master M.·. W.·. Brother William W. Irvin, Brother Unks says: "The honorable William W. Irvin was born April 5, 1779, and died March 28, 1842. He was the third Master of Lancaster Lodge and Grand Master in 1825. He was much respected as a citizen and honored with a seat in Congress and on the bench of the Supreme Court of Ohio. The lodge officiated at his funeral."
Of another eminent Mason and Past Grand Master he says: "William J. Reese, Master of Lancaster Lodge from 1831 to 1838, inclusive, was born in Philadelphia, August 3, 1804, and died December 16, 1883. In 1834 he was elected Grand Master, to which position he was contentiously elected until 1842. He served as Grand High Priest; was elected President of the Council of High Priests, and was Most Illustrious Grand Master of the Grand Council. He was also General Grand Generalissimo of the General Grand Encampment K. T. of the United States."
Of this distinguished Mason, Brother Unks says further: "W. J. Reese was to my mind the most striking character that ever appeared in Masonry in Ohio. He was tall, with a military bearing and graceful diction, besides possessing a fine education, a perfect gentleman of the old school. Immediately after he was raised in 1828 he became active in the lodge.
"It is little wonder that the Grand Lodge selected this fascinating man to preside over them so often during those dark days of the political anti-Masonic period. During all those dark years he traveled up and down the State, nourishing the tottering lodges with his presence and counsel, until at last he had the satisfaction of seeing many of them in a flourishing condition."
Of Past Grand Master M.·. W.·. Brother Michael Z. Kreider, another eminent member of Lancaster Lodge, he says: "M. Z. Kreider, Master in 1844, was born in Pennsylvania in 1803. He received the Masonic degrees in Lancaster Lodge during the months of January, February, and March of 1831."
"He was Grand Master in 1847, 1848, and 1849. At the organization of the Grand Commandery, in October, 1843, he was elected Grand Commander, which office he held two years. He was a true type of the self made man, a physician and surgeon of acknowledged ability throughout the State, who still found time to devote to the healing of souls as a local preacher. Few men have been able to overcome the difficulties of life so successfully as Brother Kreider."
The history of Lancaster Lodge, prepared by Brother L. T. Unks, as may be inferred, is of much interest in its pioneer reminiscences and biographies, and will doubtless have due prominence in the lodge histories to follow the History of the Grand Lodge.
Among the names of many other members of Lancaster Lodge not hereinbefore mentioned, who have received Masonic honors, may be mentioned two Past Deputy Grand Masters, the late R.· . W.· . Brothers Philemon Beecher and Dr. Philip M. Wagenhals; Past Grand High Priest the late Brother James Gates; and of recent times, Past District Lecturer W. Brother Thomas C. Coates and W. Brother John G. Reeves, an Honorary 33d of the A. & S. Scottish Rite N. M. J. U. S.
Lancaster Lodge No.57 now has one among the best arranged and commodious Masonic Temples in Ohio, dedicated by Grand Master George D. Copeland in 1908. It also has a fine Masonic library, to which the zealous Brethren of Lancaster are constantly making additions. The membership of Lancaster Lodge No.57 in 1908 was 236.
A dispensation was issued to Brothers Abram Freese, Rufus Ferris, and Seth Blood for the establishment of a lodge in Medina Village, Medina County.
At the Annual Communication of the Grand Lodge in December, 1820, a charter was granted to Medina Lodge No.58, which was issued December 23, 1820, with Brothers Rufus Ferris, W. M.; Seth Blood, S. W.; Abraham Scott, J. W.; John Briggs, Secretary; Jason Hubbell, S. D.; Julius Chidester, J. D.; Lathrop Seymour and Ransom Clark, Stewards.
The lodge ceased to exist in 1828, and in 1831 it was reported in the list of delinquent lodges. In this connection the Grand Lodge record states that it was forced "to yield to the maddened frenzy of popular excitement," and that upon the death of its Secretary, the Honorable John Freese, its books and papers fell "into the hands of its enemies, and the charter was either "lost or destroyed." In 1843, upon presentation of these facts with a petition for its resuscitation, the Grand Lodge in Annual Communication at Lancaster, October 20th, ordered that a new charter be issued to Medina Lodge No.58, with the rank and precedence of its old name and number, with Brothers David Wood, W.M.; Ezra D. Brown, S. W. and Charles Linn, J. W. In 1844 it was represented in Grand Lodge by Brother W. R. Chidester, in 1845 by Brother John A. Rettig, in 1846 by Brother A. Morton, and in 1847 and 1848 by Brother A. Davis.
In the spring of 1849 its charter was stolen whilst the lodge was in attendance at a Masonic funeral, and was never recovered. At the Annual Communication of the Grand Lodge in October, 1849, a new charter was granted to Medina Lodge No.58, with former rank and number.
Two of its members, Brothers A. G. Blake and F. O. Phillips, were members of Congress from that district.
Since that period Medina Lodge has maintained a substantial existence and now numbers 122 members.
At the Annual Communication of the Grand Lodge, December 13, 1819, it was ordered that a dispensation should be issued for the establishment of a lodge at New Philadelphia, Tuscarawas County, "conformably to the petition of Wright Warner, James Clark, James Galbraith, and others." In accordance therewith a dispensation was accordingly issued March 1, 1820. At the Annual Meeting of the Grand Lodge in 1820 no mention was made of New Philadelphia Lodge, U. D., hut at the Annual Session of December 10, 1821, it was voted that New Philadelphia Lodge No.59 was entitled to a charter.
In the excellent history of this lodge by its octogenarian Historian, W. Brother Upton C. Deardorf, it is stated that the charter of New Philadelphia Lodge No. 59 was issued December 21, 1821, to Brothers "Wright Warner, W. M.; Jabez Clark, S. W.; James Galbraith, J. W.; Steven Shank, Thorton Whitaker, John B. Sapington, George W. Canfield, Alexander McGowan, and William Blickensderfer."
After the brief period of but a few years the lodge ceased to exist in 1828.
On the 24th of February, 1845, the Grand Master, M.·. W.·. Brother William B. Thrall, issued a dispensation to Brothers Wright Warner, Matthias Collier, Jacob S. Sterling, Walter M. Blake, Isaac Hartman, S. Brainerd, J. B. Parish, and John Wilkinson to organize Tuscarawas Lodge No. -, at Dover, Tuscarawas County.
At the annual Meeting of the Grand Lodge held at Columbus on October, 1845, the Committee on Charters and Dispensations reported that the proceedings ab by-laws of Tuscarawas Lodge U. D., were in accordance with Grand Lodge requirements, and that the petitioner desired to be rehabilitated under the old charter of New Philadelphia Lodge No.59 only changing its name and location.
In accordance with the action of New Philadelphia Lodge at the time its labors ceased, "the application is based upon the following resolution of said Lodge, adopted February 16, 1828, to wit: Resolved, That this do now adjourn, and stand adjourned, until convened by the order of the M.·. W.·. Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Ohio; and that the secretary of this lodge communicated this resolution to the Secretary of the Grand Lodge.'
"This resolution was communicated to the Grand Secretary, and the lodge has never been required by the Grand Master to resume its labors. They were driven form the field by the intolerant spirit of anti-Masonry, their charter and jewels stolen, themselves persecuted and denounced. They bore the blast with patience and firmness, and have since recovered their jewels. The sound of the gavel is again heard, and the ancient and honorable institution is again preforming its office. Your committee therefore recommend the adoption of the following resolution:
"Resolved, That the Brethren of Tuscarawas Lodge No.-- be permitted to resume labor, under the charter of New Philadelphia Lodge No.59, and that the fee if fifty dollars, deposited for dispensation, be refunded."
On October 24, 1845, a charter was therefore issued to Tuscarawas Lodge No.59 of Dover (now Canal Dover) with its name, number, and rank replacing the former New Philadelphia Lodge No.59. Its officers under its charter were Brothers Wright Warner, W. M.; J. F. S. Holstine, S. W., and J. M. Simmeral, J. W.
Brother Joseph Medill, the founder of the Chicago Tribune and eminent as a journalist and editor, was made a Mason in Tuscarawas Lodge.
Brother U. C. Deardorf, the Historian of Tuscarawas Lodge, is doubtless the oldest Mason in that county, having been made a Master Mason in 1849. His vigorous and interesting sketch of Freemasonry in that county was written in 1906 in his seventy-ninth year, and his labors are doubtless fully appreciated by his Brethren.
Since its re-establishment in 1845, Tuscarawas Lodge No.59 has had a healthy, harmonious existence and now has 103 members.
A dispensation was issued for the establishment of Canton Lodge No.-, at Canton, Stark County, in December, 1820, by order of the Grand Lodge at its Annual Communication, December 12, 1820, and was instituted March, 1821. The petitioners were Brothers "James Drennan, Orin Pitkin, James W. Lathrop, and others." A year later, at the Annual Meeting of the Grand Lodge on December 11, 1821, it was voted a charter by the Grand Lodge, which was issued December 12, 1821.
Its first officers under its charter were Brothers Moses Andrews, W. M.; James Drennan, S. W., and Bradley C. Goodwill, J. W.
Brother James W. Lathrop was one of its frequent representatives in Grand Lodge. Until 1832 Canton Lodge was represented at every Annual Meeting of the Grand Lodge. In 1832, 1835, 1836, 1837, and 1838 it was not represented, and the lodge roster states that work was suspended in 1837 and 1838.
In 1839 Canton Lodge No. 60 was represented in Grand Lodge by Brother John Sala, and at that Annual Meeting, on motion of Brother Hines, it was "Resolved, That Canton Lodge No.60 be exonerated from paying any dues prior to June, 1838."
In 1840 Brother John Sala was again the representative in Grand Lodge. In 1841 it was represented by Brother John Harris. In 1842, 1843, and 1845 the lodge was not represented. In 1844 it was represented by Brother John P. Worstell, and in 1846 by Brother David Gotshall. Since which time Canton Lodge has continued its conservative, loyal, and prosperous existence.
Brother C. L. Hiner, District Lecturer of the Twentieth District, is an honored member of Canton Lodge No.60.
Its membership is 385.
Bethel Lodge, U. D., was granted a dispensation December 11, 1820, and chartered December 12, 1821.
The petitioners for the lodge were Brothers "George A. Troutwine, Jonathan D. Morris, John A. Smith, and overs." The Brethren named were also the first officers under its charter.
This lodge has evidently not been a believer in the modern fad of rotation in office, as from its organization under its charter until 1900 but sixteen Brethren were found necessary to fill the office of Worshipful Master. Prior to 1850, Brothers George J. Troutwine, Jonathan Vandike, John Quinlan, Nelson B. Beale, John F. Morris, J. A. Perrine, R. M. Sinks, Temple C. Sargent, and A. Glasgow served as its Worshipful Masters. From its organization until 1840 there were but four years in which it was not represented in Grand Lodge. Loyally and quietly "pursuing the even tenor of its way," it was not disturbed by the anti-Masonic persecutions rife in many other localities, at least they seem to have been unheeded as would be inferred.
One of the most eminent, perhaps, among its members was Brother Jesse R. Grant, the honored father of General U. S. Grant.
The jurisdiction of Bethel Lodge is somewhat restricted, but it has a membership of seventy-nine.
A dispensation was issued for the establishment of St. Jerome Lodge in March, 1821, and at the Annual Communication of the Grand Lodge at Columbus, commencing on January 13, 1823, a charter was voted to St. Jerome Lodge No.62 at Chagrin. The name and number of St. Jerome No.62 and Evergreen Lodge No.63 seem to have been frequently confused in the Grand Lodge Annals. St. Jerome Lodge No.62 ceased to work in 1828, and its name and number are vacant upon the Grand Lodge role.
On March 17, 1821, a dispensation was issued for the organization of a lodge at Salem, Ashtabula County, and the Grand Lodge on December 12, 1821, granted it a charter. No mention is made either of the names of petitioners or charter members. In 1824 the lodge was represented in Grand Lodge by Samuel Wheeler, subsequently elected Grand Master. In 1825 and l826 the name of its representative is not given. In 1827, however, it was represented by the Honorable Joshua R. Giddings. Its existence ceased in 1828 and the name and number remain vacant.
A dispensation was granted to Brothers Timothy Baker, W. M.; Platt Benedict, S. W., and John D. Hoskins, J. W., in April, 1821, for the formation of a lodge at Norwalk, Huron County.
At the Annual Communication of the Grand Lodge in 1821, on December 12th, a charter was granted to Mt. Vernon Lodge No.64 of Norwalk, Huron County. No historical summary having been furnished by the lodge, it is impossible to give the names of charter members or of the officers under its charter.
In 1824 it was represented in Grand Lodge M.·. W.·. Brother Harvey G. Moore; Brothers Timothy Baker and Platt Benedict also, at different times, represented Mt. Vernon Lodge. In 1828 Brothers Theodore Baker and Benjamin Carmon represented the lodge in Grand Lodge. In 1833 M.·. W.·. Brother Timothy Baker, of Mt. Vernon Lodge No. 64, was elected Grand Master of Masons in Ohio.
Although situated in a part of the State in which the bigotry, slanders, and persecutions of the promoters and followers of the anti-Masonic crusade had full sway, yet Mt. Vernon Lodge No.64 maintained its dignified, loyal, and continued existence throughout the dark days of American Freemasonry. The influence of the venerable Platt Benedict, one of the charter members of that lodge, who was a personage of much note in civil and Church affairs in that part of the State, and who was frequently an honored representative of Mt. Vernon Lodge in Grand Lodge, doubtless had much to do with the continuous autonomy of that lodge. Whilst the ability and influence of Brother Benedict were always recognized in Grand Lodge, yet he evidently was not possessed of any official aspirations therein, as otherwise any such would have doubtless received hearty and prompt recognition at the hands of the Brethren of the Grand Lodge by whom he was much beloved.
Mt. Vernon Lodge No.64 is one of the prosperous and harmonious lodges of the State and has a membership of 245.
January 21, 1821, a dispensation was issued to Brothers George McCook, W. M.; Elderkin Potter, S. W.; Andrew Icion, J. W., and others for the organization of New Lisbon Lodge No. -, at Lisbon, Columbiana County.
It was chartered January 16, 1823, with the officers as named in the dispensation.
Brothers Fisher A. Blocksom and J. Rollin were among its early representatives in Grand Lodge. In 1835, 1836, and 1837 the lodge was not represented in Grand Lodge, but in 1838 and up to and in 1841 it was regularly represented.
Although the lodge had passed through the stormy period intact, yet from 1841 it ceased its existence and its place became vacant.
On August 23, 1859, M.·. W.·. Brother Horace M. Stokes, Grand Master, issued a dispensation for the organization of New Lisbon Lodge No. -, at New Lisbon, Columbiana County.
At the Annual Communication of the Grand Lodge held at Columbus, October 18-21, 1859, a charter was granted to New Lisbon Lodge No.65 at New Lisbon.
The petitioners having requested that the old name and number should be assigned to the new lodge, and although a new organization in all respects, it was so ordered by the Grand Lodge.
The officers under its charter were Brothers Joseph F. Vance, W. M.; Abijah McLean, S. W., and R. B. Pritchard, J. W.
A history of the present New Lisbon Lodge Will doubtless be prepared for insertion in its order in the History of Subordinate Lodges.
Brother Robert W. Taylor, a former member of Congress and now a Judge of the U. S. Circuit Court, is a member of New Lisbon Lodge.
One hundred and seventy-three members are now enrolled by this prosperous lodge.
In the very complete history of Guernsey Lodge No.66, prepared by Brother M. R. Potter of Cambridge, a copy is given of the dispensation issued by M. Brother John Snow on August 14, 1822, to Brothers James M. Bell, Lloyd Talbott, Benjamin F. Bill, Andrew Metcalf, and others, "To open and hold a regular lodge of Master Masons in the town of Cambridge and County of Guernsey," etc.
This is followed by a copy of the charter issued to Guernsey Lodge No.66, and dated January 15, 1823.
Brother Potter is entitled to much credit for his research in finding and caring for the old records and papers pertaining to the early Masonry in Guernsey County.
For some years Guernsey Lodge was a prosperous body and had built and owned its own hall, but reverses came, and in this connection Brother Potter states that "September 4, 1838, the hall and lot were sold to the Cambridge Academy for $630. While no cause for the disbanding of Guernsey Lodge No.66 is spread on the Minutes, undoubtedly the forming of an anti-Masonic party in Western New York was the direct one, it having polled 33,000 votes in 1828, 70,000 in 1829, and 128,000 in 1830, spreading over a majority of the Northern States; the campaigns in New York and Pennsylvania on Masonic issues exceeded in venom any ever known in the country. Masons were excluded from churches and their children denied the privilege of schools. In the Presidential election of 1832, the year in which an anti-Masonic candidate was nominated against Andrew Jackson and Henry Clay (both Freemasons and Past Grand Masters), but one State, Vermont, was carried by the anti-Masonic party. After that blow to the hopes of its misguided flowers it steadily declined in numbers and influence, and finally nothingness.
"While, as above stated, Guernsey Lodge left no official record of their reasons for disbanding, the fore-going is without doubt the principal one, as no work was done by the lodge for seven years prior to the winding up of its affairs, the last member being received in 1831, and we are informed by Col. C. P.S. Sarchet that no lodge meetings were held in this interval, it being dangerous for Masons to assemble together in Cambridge at this time."
The defection that occurred must have been the result of unforseen circumstances, as in 1828 six of the Brethren of Guernsey Lodge applied to Grand High Priest Charles P. Sherman for and obtained a dispensation for a Mark Lodge at Cambridge.
Its history and a copy of the dispensation have been carefully written up by Brother Potter, and should be included in the future history of Freemasonry in Cambridge.
On October 11, 1849, M. .W. Brother M. Z. Kreider, Grand Master, issued a dispensation to Brothers R. H. Sedwick, D. K. Wiser, Washington Maynard, Jeremiah Jefferson, D. Daniels, J. S. King, James Motte, George Clancy, Matthew Gaston, and others to organize Cambridge Lodge, U. D., at Cambridge, Guernsey County.
On October 16th, at the Annual Communication of the Grand Lodge in 1850, a charter was granted to Cambridge Lodge No.66, giving it the vacant number of Guernsey Lodge. The charter was issued October 18, 1850, signed by M.·. W.·. Brother William B. Hubbard, Grand Master.
In the membership of this lodge and for two terms its Worshipful Master was that eminent Mason, Brother Killian H. VanRensselaer, the father and progenitor of the Scottish Rite in Ohio and Sovereign Grand Commander of the Supreme Council 330 A. & A. S. Rite of the Northern Masonic Jurisdiction of the United States.
In this connection it is pertinent to state that it was to his indomitable perseverance, courage, and tact that all of the warring elements of Scottish Rite Masonry were united, by the union of 1867 into one body that has now grown to immense proportions and great wealth.
Brother VanRensselaer was the descendant of Masonic ancestry and was made a Mason in the State of New York during the period of the anti-Masonic persecutions, and was ever one of Masonry's stanch defenders.
Brother E. W. Matthews, Sr., another Past Master of Cambridge Lodge, is also honored in the Scottish Rite, having some years since been advanced to the Grade of an Honorary 33 .
There is much that is of interest that should be embodied in a future history of this lodge foreshadowed by the interesting paper of Brother Potter. It is therefore to be hoped that he will continue his historical work.
Cambridge Lodge is a very prosperous Masonic body; it has a fine Temple and has 288 numbers.
In 1822, on June 17th, a dispensation was issued to Brothers A. J. Chittenden, W. M.; James R. Hughes, S. W., and George Dexter, J. W., for the organization of a lodge in Oxford, Butler County, and on January 14th, at its Annual Session in 1823, the Grand Lodge voted it a charter, and on January 16, 1823, a charter was issued to Oxford Lodge No.67 of Oxford.
Brothers Joel Collins, Jesse Corwin, and John Crane were early representatives of Oxford Lodge in Grand Lodge.
Although the Grand Lodge record in 1842 states that this lodge ceased to exist in 1830, yet as in 1831 Oxford Lodge was represented in Grand Lodge, the year was doubtless 1831 instead of 1830. It was not again represented in Grand Lodge until after its resuscitation a dozen years later.
In the absence of any historical report whatever from Oxford Lodge, but a meager mention can be made of the early or later history of this old lodge.
At the Annual Communication of the Grand Lodge in 1843, held at Lancaster on October 21st, the Grand Lodge voted that
"Whereas, Oxford Lodge, having ceased from its labors since the year 1831, and is lately resuscitated: therefore,
"Resolved, That the dues of Oxford Lodge No.67 be remitted to the present time."
In the following year Oxford Lodge was represented in Grand Lodge by Brothers Alfred Luce and Elijah Vance, and frequently thereafter by Brother Alfred Luce.
The lodge now numbers 132 members.
A dispensation was granted April 6, 1822, to Brothers Rial McArthur as W. M.; Gideon Mills, S. W., and Augustus Baldwin, J. W., to organize Hudson Lodge U. D. at Hudson, and at the Annual Communication of the Grand Lodge in 1823, on January 14th, a charter was voted to Hudson Lodge No.68, which was issued on January 16th, following.
This lodge would seem to have been formed under most favorable auspices. Brother Rial McArthur, its first Worshipful Master, was a prominent figure in pioneer Masonry, although in this connection it may have been that Brother McArthur, as customary in that period, may have become its W. M. temporarily, for assisting only in the establishment of the Lodge. As Brother William Coolman subsequently represented the lodge in Grand Lodge, this would seem to be the most reasonable inference.
In 1827 it was represented in Grand Lodge, but not thereafter. In 1831 it was published in the list of delinquent lodges, and in 1842 it was reported to have ceased to exist in 1830. Its existence was but brief, and its number is vacant.
In its printed History it is correctly stated that "Newark Lodge No. 97 F. & A. M. was organized April 5, 1822, under dispensation. The first regular communication of the lodge was held in a room in the Bell Tavern, on the south side of the Public Square, of which Colonel William W. Gault, one of the petitioners, was the proprietor.
"The Reverend Stoddard S. Miles was the first Worshipful Master, and Brothers Lucius Smith and Zachariah Davis, Senior and Junior Wardens; Brother James M. Taylor, Treasurer, and Brother David Bell, Secretary. The members present were Colonel William W. Gault, A. Root, Thomas Taylor, Stephen McDongal, Harvey R. Gilmore, and John H. Cleveland.
"The bylaws adopted are not only an elegant specimen of 'quill-pen' penmanship, but were explicit terse, and forcible. Section 2 provided that No spirituous liquors shall on any occasion be admitted into the lodge.' The annual dues were one dollar and fifty cents. Visitors after their third visit were expected to pay twelve and one-half cents at each visit."
At the meeting of the Grand Lodge in 1823 the dispensation was continued.
"The membership being small between 1824 and 1828, no meetings are recorded. In 1828 Brother Joshua Downer, of Zanesville, Deputy Grand Master, issued a new dispensation to the lodge with Brother Corrington W. Searle as Worshipful Master. The second dispensation fee was returned to Newark Lodge by the Grand Lodge. The Grand Lecturer, Brother Thomas Launders, of Zanesville, was a frequent visitor, and at the regular communication held November 21, 1828, among those present were the Deputy Grand Master, R.·. W.·. Brother Joshua Downer, of Zanesville, and the Reverend Brother S. S. Miles.
"Owing to the bitter denunciation of Freemasonry and the vituperation and slanders against its adherents, between 1829 and 1838 there was but little if any work, and of necessity not many meetings. In 1829, however, at the height of the anti-Masonic persecutions a charter was granted to Newark Lodge No.97 F. & A. M."
No reason was assigned for the change in number from 69 to 97, but as had occurred in some other instances, another U. D. Lodge was about the same time given the same number and was subsequently chartered as No.69, and the change in its number, doubtless, was considered to be the most ready disposition of a clerical error.
"Between 1830 and 1838 the Reverend Brother Miles and a number of Brethren removed from Newark, making it difficult to obtain a working number. Other Brethren, however, about it that time (1838) having located in Newark, a renewed interest was had in Newark Lodge. Brother Henry W. R. Brunner was sent in its behalf to the Grand Lodge in that year, and Newark Lodge was authorized by the Grand Lodge of Ohio to resume its labors under its charter.
"In December of 1838, Brother David S. Wilson was elected and installed Worshipful Master, but died in October, 1839, before the completion of his term of office. Brother Wilson was the father of the late Hon. James F. Wilson, United States Senator from Iowa.
"In 1838-39 there was quite an accession by initiations to the membership of the lodge. Prominent among the initiates were Brothers S. H. Bancroft, George W. Moule, William M. D. Ryan, Dr. Edward Stanberry, A. D. Bigelow, and Samuel White, Jr.
"At the November communication in 1839, M.·. W.·. Brother John Barney presided and installed W. Brother Samuel H. Bancroft, who served as W. Master several years and subsequently died in California, having been among the emigrants of 1849 to the gold felds. In 1830 Newark Lodge was represented in Grand Lodge by Brothers H. W. R. Brunner, Richard Stadden, and Jonathan Moody Smith.
"W. Brother Bancroft was followed as Worshipful Master by Brother A. D. Bigelow. General Bigelow afterwards removed to Cleveland. Zealous and devoted to Freemasonry, in 1851 he was elected Deputy Grand Master by the Grand Lodge of Ohio, and subsequently died of yellow fever in New Orleans before the completion of his official term.
"Brother Jonathan Moody Smith was a very scholarly gentleman and ended his years in the Treasury Department at Washington, D. C.
"Brother William M. D. Ryan subsequently entered the Methodist ministry, for which he had been preparing, and he attained some celebrity in that connection. In 1839 he was appointed Grand Orator of the Grand Lodge of Ohio.
"Among the names of other eminent Brethren who were members or initiates of Newark Lodge No.97, are Brothers William B. Woods, one of the Judges of the Supreme Court of the United States; General Charles R. Woods, Dr. Thomas B. Hood, the Reverend James Gilruth, Past Grand Master M.·. W.·. Brother W. M. Cunningham, and Past Grand Master M.·. W.·. Brother Lewis P. Schaus.
"Whilst there are many other names of whom interesting reminiscences might be written, space, not inclination, prevents further reference thereto. In this connection, however, as a connecting link between the past and present, the following incident will not, perhaps, be deemed as out of place: By the initiation of Sanford Cunningham in 1873 there resulted the rather unusual occurrence of three generations in one family made Masons in the same lodge, viz: John Cunningham, initiated in 1840, who served Newark Lodge as its Secretary for many years, and departed this life in 1884; William M. Cunningham, initiated in 1850, was Worshipful Master in 1858 and 1859, and Grand Master of Masons in Ohio in 1878 and 1879; and Sanford Cunningham, made a Mason in 1873, and was the Grand Representative of the Grand Lodge of Idaho near the Grand Lodge of Ohio, when he was removed to the world beyond in 1880."
It is also pertinent to note herein that the late Brother David C. Winegarner, a Past District Lecturer and member of Newark Lodge No.97, was the M. I. Grand Master in the Grand Council of R. & S. M. of Ohio. Brothers Alonzo P. Taylor and A. F. Crayton served as District Lecturers, and the Nineteenth District is now represented by W. Brother Addison L. Rawlings, a member also of Newark Lodge No.97.
A more complete History of this lodge is ready for publication in its order.
Three hundred and three members are now upon the roll of Newark Lodge.
On September 5, 1823, a dispensation was issued to Brothers Isaac Wilton, W. M.; Isaac M. Morgan, S. W., and Abraham Freese, J. W., for the organization of a lodge at Richfield, Medina County.
In the list of lodges represented the following year it was noted as No.70. On January 14, 1824, at the Annual Communication of the Grand Lodge it was granted a charter as Meridian Sun Lodge No.69, al though Newark Lodge, continued under dispensation the preceding year, had been listed with the same number. It's existence, however, was brief. Brothers Jesse Moore and Willis Welton were its latest representatives in Grand Lodge.
The Grand Lodge record states that it ceased work in 1828, although in 1830 it was reported as represented. Number 69 is yet a vacant number on the Grand Lodge roll and should be restored to Newark Lodge No.97, to which it justly belonged.
Of other lodges established under dispensation in 1823 and 1824 are the following, viz:
A dispensation was granted by the Grand Lodge at its Annual Session in 1824 to Brother "Simeon DeWitt Drown and his associates, to hold a lodge at Chester, Meigs County."
This lodge was granted a charter in 1825 by the Grand Lodge. In 1827 it was represented in Grand Lodge by Brothers John C. Bestow and Theodore S. Ney. It became defunct in 1831, according to the Grand Lodge record.
A dispensation was issued on January 17, 1824, to Brothers Robert Allen as W. M.; Jesse R. Grant, S. W., and John Lindsey, J. W., for the formation of a lodge at Georgetown, Brown County.
At the Annual Communication of the Grand Lodge held at Columbus in 1825, at its session on January 11th a charter was granted to Georgetown Lodge No.72 of Georgetown, Brown County.
Subsequently it was represented in Grand Lodge by Brother Jesse R. Grant (the father of Gen. U. S. Grant), Thomas L. Hamer, and others.
The Grand Lodge record states that its charter was surrendered in 1832.
At the Annual Communication of the Grand Lodge held at Lancaster, June 19, 1838, a dispensation was granted to "John D. White and his associates" for the organization of Georgetown Lodge No. -, at Georgetown, Brown County, and at the Annual Meeting of the Grand Lodge in 1839 it was voted a charter, which was issued October 17, 1839, to Georgetown Lodge No.72 of Georgetown, assigning to it its old number.
It is much regretted that no historical report was made by Georgetown Lodge, the foregoing information being entirely derived from Grand Lodge records. Among its early representatives in Grand Lodge were Brothers John D. White, John T. Smiley, and Peter L. Wilson.
Of these, Brother Peter L. Wilson was for many years subsequently one of the useful members of the Grand Lodge, a quiet, unassuming, genial gentleman of the old school, doubtless without personal aspirations for office, as he was not accorded any official honors in Grand Lodge. One hundred and twenty members are on the roster of Georgetown Lodge No.72.
The only other lodge organized prior to 1825 was Harrison Lodge at Cadiz, Harrison County, of which it was ordered by the Grand Lodge in annual Session on January 14, 1824, " that a dispensation be granted to Walter B. Beebe and his associates to hold a lodge at Cadiz, by the name of Harrison Lodge." No charter was issued and no mention is made of its organization under its dispensation.
The digression for the purpose of giving the history of the pioneer subordinate lodges, a contemporaneous part of the History of the Grand Lodge, has been greater than anticipated, owing to the difficulty in determining the particular period that would entitle them to a pioneer character. In this connection, therefore, all subordinate lodges organized prior to 1825 have been placed in the pioneer list.
The history of other Grand Lodge affairs is therefore now resumed; and in this connection the recital of disciplinary matters relating to subordinate lodges or their members are omitted herein as not being an essential feature in Grand Lodge historical affairs.
In 1817 the Grand Lodge changed the date of its Annual Communications from January to August. In consequence of that change the Grand Lodge on August 4, 1817, held a second Annual Communication within that year.
At this Grand Communication the Reverend Brother and Bishop Philander Chase, the founder of Kenyon College, was requested to deliver an address to the Grand Lodge, and upon his acceptance, on the second day of the session the Grand Lodge, preceded by a band of music, marched in procession to the Presbyterian Church and listened to the address of the learned Bishop, with which the Grand Lodge was so well pleased that at its next session a vote of thanks was extended to the Reverend Brother, with the sum of fifty dollars "as a testimony of their respect for the discourse."
At this meeting of the Grand Lodge, Bishop Chase was elected as Grand Chaplain.
The Annual Communication of the Grand Lodge of Ohio in 1818 "was held in the borough of Columbus, December 14th."
Although an effort had been made from time to time to change the meeting place of the Grand Lodge from Chillicothe to some other town, the effort was unsuccessful, and any proposed change was defeated, until the August Communication of the Grand Lodge in 1817, at which time the Grand Lodge voted to hold its Annual Communication of 1818 at Columbus.
The Grand Master and Deputy Grand Master, both of Chillicothe, not being in attendance, the Senior Grand Warden, R.·. W.·. Brother Chester Griswold of New England Lodge No.4, presided as Grand Master.
A representation from thirty-one subordinate lodges was present. The business of the session was mostly routine only. M.·. W.·. Brother Chester Griswold was elected Grand Master and R.·. W.·. Brother Benjamin Gardiner was elected Grand Secretary, succeeding R.·. W.·. Brother Robert Kercheval of Chillicothe, who had served as Grand Secretary from 1813 to 1818.
In 1819 and even earlier the Grand Lodge had a number of grievance cases under consideration, and its conservative action, and prompt discipline, where demanded, have not been surpassed in later years.
The list of lodges showed fifty-seven subordinate lodges on the roll, but with no returns or representation from eight lodges, whilst two others, Ripley No.47 and Aurora No.52, were discontinued.
At the Grand Communication held at Columbus, December 13, 1819, M.·. W.·. Brother John Snow of New England Lodge No.4, was elected Grand Master and R.·. W.·. Brother Benjamin Gardiner was re-elected Grand Secretary.
On December 11, 1820, the Grand Lodge again held its Annual Communication in Columbus, the Grand Master presiding.
At this meeting of the Grand Lodge it was voted that no lodge should "initiate any person" from the vicinity of another lodge unless by recommendation of the lodge within whose jurisdiction he was a resident.
It was voted also at this session "that no refreshment hereafter be introduced into this Grand Lodge."
A proof sheet of diplomas from a plate engraved by Brother John C. Nutman of Cincinnati received the approval of the Grand Lodge.
R.·. W.·. Brother John Snow was re-elected Grand Master and was also elected as Grand Lecturer.
R.·. W.·. Brother Abram I. McDowell of Columbus was elected Grand Secretary, succeeding R.·. W.·. Brother Benjamin Gardiner.
The revised bylaws follow the proceedings.
Appended to the bylaws adopted by the Grand Lodge in 1820, are the following enactments:
"Resolved, That no lodge, in the absence of the Master and Wardens, shall initiate, Craft, or raise, unless a Past Master is present to preside.
"Resolved, That all applications for initiation, or for membership, shall lie over at least from one regular meeting to another, unless three-fourths of the members present decide the application to be a case of emergency.
"Resolved, That no subordinate lodge shall confer the degrees of Entered Apprentice, Fellow Craft, and Master Mason on any person for a less sum than fifteen dollars; and a unanimous vote shall be necessary to initiate or advance.
"Resolved, That each subordinate lodge shall pay to the Grand Lodge, at each Annual Communication, fifty cents for each initiation, and twenty-five cents for each member thereto belonging.
"Resolved, That no subordinate lodge shall hereafter take notes of hand for fees, or grant any time of credit therefor.
"Done in Grand Lodge, at Columbus,
December, A. D., 1820, A. L. 5820.
"ABRAHAM I. MCDOWELL,
In 1821 the Grand Lodge again called its Annual Communication in Columbus (December 10th).
The report of the Committee on the Report of the Grand Lecturer was a paper of much interest, and although somewhat of a disciplinary character, its historically interesting conclusion is quoted as follows:
"It is evident that many, if not all the lodges, are too much in the practice of indulging in excessive and sumptuous refreshments, thereby in a great degree impairing their ability to perform those charitable acts which ever have been regarded as the fundamental and primary principles of our Masonic superstructure. From a view of the whole report, the committee are induced to recommend to the Grand Lodge the adoption of the following resolutions:
"'1. Resolved, That____,____,____ and____ Lodges be cited to appear, by their proper officers, before the Grand Lodge at its next Annual Communication, and show cause why their respective charters should not be declared forfeited.
"'2. Resolved, That the Master of____and the Treasurer of____ be summoned to appear before the Grand Lodge at its next annual session, and show cause why they should not be dealt with for their contumacious and un-masonic conduct toward the Grand Lecturer, when in the discharge of his duties as such.
"'3. Resolved, That some suitable person or persons be appointed to receive the jewels and effects of____ and____Lodges on behalf of the Grand Lodge, and dispose of them in such manner as shall be most conducive to the interest of the Fraternity.
"'4. Resolved, That the Grand Lodge do recommend to the subordinate lodges within its Jurisdiction the discontinuance of refreshments.'
"Which report and resolutions, being heard and maturely considered by the Grand Lodge, were adopted."
At this session of the Grand Lodge from among the distinguished Brethren present, Brother Elisha Whittlesey of Warren was elected Deputy Grand Master and Brother Thomas Corwin of Lebanon was elected as Grand Orator.
The date of the Annual Communication having been changed from December to January, no Annual Communication of the Grand Lodge was held in 1822.
The Annual Meeting of 1823 was held in Columbus, commencing January 13th, M.·. W.·. Brother Snow presiding.
Among eminent Brethren in attendance were the Hon. Charles R. Sherman and the Hon. Joshua R. Giddings.
The subject of a General Grand Lodge being one of the most important questions then under discussion in the Grand Lodges of the United States, the action of the Grand Lodge of Ohio in that connection is given herewith:
"The committee appointed to take into consideration and report on the proceedings of a meeting of Masons held in the City of Washington, on the 9th of March, 1822, recommending the establishment of a General Grand Lodge of the United States, made a report, which being duly considered is approved and adopted, as follows:
"'The select committee to whom was referred the communications from the committee of "A meeting of a number of members of the Society of Freemasons from various parts of the United States, composed of members of Congress and strangers, assembled at the Capitol, in the City of Washington, March 9, 1822, recommending the establishment of a General Grand Lodge of the United States," and also, communications on the same subject from the Grand Lodges of Pennsylvania, Kentucky, and Indiana ask leave very respectfully to report:
"'That they have bestowed upon the communications and the subject matter committed to them every attention that their limited time and range of inquiry would allow, and now submit the following as a synopsis of their views on the subject: The proposition to establish a General Grand Lodge of the United States seems to embrace three objects, which are specified in the communication from the aforesaid general committee, 1. A grand supervising and visitorial power over all the Grand Lodges of the United States. 2. Uniformity among the Craft in the manner of work. 3. The suppression of spurious books and writings. Although to a superficial view the first of these objects seems to present a keystone to an edifice apparently yet unfinished, yet your committee believe that a clear and ample examination of the situation and standing of the Grand Lodges throughout the United States with satisfy every Mason whose eye is single to the ancient landmarks and the purity of Masonry that there is no keystone wanting, that the building is complete. In the opinion of your committee, the exercise of a jurisdiction so extensive and so particular as that proposed, comprehending not only the most important concerns, but the most minute affairs of subordinate lodges, would be attended with innumerable delays, difficulties, and embarrassments, and would produce the greatest confusion and disorder throughout the whole Fraternity.
"' 'The second and third objects proposed to be attained by the establishment of a General Grand Lodge, are in the estimation of your committee devoutly to be wished, and with the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania they most cordially agree "that an occasional convocation of delegates from the different Grand Lodges would have a salutary tendency, and would furnish a remedy for many of the evils delineated in the communication referred to them" from Washington. The deliberations of such an august and venerable body, consulting upon the great interests of the order, and dependent upon the good sense and judgment of the Craft for the fulfillment of its wishes, would be received with enthusiasm, and its recommendations performed with alacrity.
'But inasmuch as it is yet unknown and uncertain whether the other Grand Lodges in the United States, or any of them, will concur with the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania in sending delegates to the proposed convocation, your committee can not at this time recommend any definite measure upon these important points. One other object seems to have been an inducement with the general committee in recommending the establishment of a General Grand Lodge; that is, "to acquire in a correspondence with foreign nations an elevated stand for the Masonry of this country." Your committee have yet to learn that the Craft in the United States have ever labored under the want of character or respectable standing in the eye of true and ancient Masonry.
While the old enduring landmarks of our order are preserved, and our social intercourse with the universal Brotherhood is governed by the level and the square, we cannot believe that the character and standing of the Masons in the West will be less elevated than the name of our country. Towards every innovation we shall ever march with reluctance, and say at all times with heartfelt devotion, we are unwilling to change. Your committee recommend, therefore, the adoption of the following resolutions:
"1. Resolved, That this Grand Lodge concurs with the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania in their sentiment as expressed in the report of their committee of the 3d of June, A. D. 1822, on the subject of establishing a "General Grand Lodge of the United States."
'2. Resolved, That the establishment of a General Grand Lodge of the United States is at this time inexpedient.
"'3. Resolved, That the M.·. W.·. Grand Master of this Grand Lodge, Brother John Snow, be, and he is hereby appointed a delegate to represent this Grand Lodge in a General Convocation of the Grand Lodges of the United States, or two-thirds thereof, for the purpose of establishing an uniformity of work, and recommending such measures for the good of the Craft as they may deem expedient: Provided, a sufficient notice of the time and place of the meeting of said convocation shall have been by him received before the next Grand Communication of this Grand Lodge; and in ease of the inability of said M.·. W.·. Grand Master to attend said convention and represent this Grand Lodge therein as aforesaid, it shall be his duty to appoint some suitable person, as his proxy, to do the same.
"4. Resolved, That in the opinion of this Grand Lodge, the city of Philadelphia is a suitable place for holding said General Convocation.
"5. Resolved, That this Grand Lodge approves of the time suggested in the resolutions of the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania, namely, the 24th of June, 1823.
"6. Resolved, That the Grand Secretary
be requested. to transmit copies of the foregoing report and these
resolutions to the different Grand Lodges throughout the United
States, and one copy to William W. Seaton, Esq., at the City of
Washington, agreeably to the request contained in the communication
from said general committee.
John M. Goodenow,
Charles R. Sherman
In 1824 M.·. W.·. Brother Charles R. Sherman of Lancaster was elected Grand Master; M.·. W.·. Brother Abram Irvin McDowell was re-elected Grand Secretary, and W. Brother William Fielding of Sidney was elected Grand Lecturer.
Another communication having been received from the Grand Lodge of the District of Columbia relative to the establishment of a General Grand Lodge of the United States, the Grand Lodge of Ohio adopted a resolution of disapproval.
The State having been divided into nine lecture districts, the first Deputy Grand Lecturers in Ohio were: First district, Brother Stephen Faler, Dayton; 2d, G. P. Fitzgerald, Chillicothe; 3d, Samuel Wheeler, Madison; 4th, Henry B. Curtis, Mt. Vernon; 5th, John M. Goodenow, Steubenville; 6th, Ira Metcalf, Worthington; 7th, William Elsberry, Xenia; 8th, William A. Whittlesey, Marietta; and 9th, John T. Jones, of Cincinnati.
January 10, 1825, the Grand Lodge convened in Columbus, M.·. W.·. Brother Charles P. Sherman in the Grand Fast. Fifty-seven subordinate lodges were represented in Grand Lodge.
M.·. W.·. Brother William W. Irvin of Lancaster was elected Grand Master, and R.·. W.·. Brother Henry Brown of Columbus was elected Grand Secretary.
Commencing in 1823 the subordinate lodges holding paper charters were authorized to exchange the same for the regular form on parchment, and in 1825 the Grand Secretary issued twenty-two parchment charters in that connection.
At nearly every Communication of the Grand Lodge cases for charitable relief were reported, and if found worthy relief was granted.
A committee having been "appointed to take into consideration the propriety of joining with the other Grand Lodges of the United States in the erection of a monument in memory of our deceased Brother George Washington," submitted the following resolutions, which were concurred in by the Grand Lodge:
"Resolved, That the Grand Lodge of Ohio most heartily concurs in opinion with the Grand Lodges of New Hampshire and New York, as to the propriety of erecting a monument at the grave of WASHINGTON, at Mt. Vernon, by the Masonic Fraternity.
"Resolved, That the sum of two hundred dollars be appropriated for the purpose aforesaid out of the funds of this Grand Lodge, whenever the sum of ten thousand dollars shall be appropriated for the same object by the Grand Lodges of other States, or by contributions by the Masonic Fraternity, and whenever specific measures shall have been adopted for the erection of the work.
"Resolved, That the Grand Secretary forthwith transmit to the several Grand Lodges in the United States the foregoing proceedings of this Grand Lodge, with a request that whatever may be done by them upon this subject may be immediately transmitted to this Grand Lodge."
A resolution submitted by Brother Thomas Corwin in re non-payment of dues and its penalties was adopted by the Grand Lodge, and therein extreme penalties were first recognized in this Grand Jurisdiction.
It was also ordered by the Grand Lodge that a lodge to which a parchment charter was issued to replace one written upon paper should "retain its original number, date, and rank."
Five subordinate lodges were ordered to show cause why they should not be suspended for neglecting to make return to the Grand Lodge for two or more years.
In 1826, on January 9th, the Grand Lodge held its Annual Communication at Columbus. The Grand Master M.·. W.·. William W. Irvin, was in the Grand Fast. The legislation and proceedings were of routine matters only. At that session M.·. W.·. Brother Samuel Wheeler of Unionville, Geauga County, was elected Grand Master, and R.·. W.·. Brother Bela Latham of Columbus was elected Grand Secretary.
At the Grand Communication commencing January 8, 1827, held at Columbus, M.·. W.·. Brother Wheeler presided and representatives were in attendance from fifty-five subordinate lodges.
The affairs of the Grand Lodge in that year required a large amount of legislation and the session covered three days.
Brothers Thomas Corwin, Charles H. Sherman, Joshua H. Giddings, Gustavus Swan, Thomas L. Hamer, Platt Benedict, David Spangler, P. M. Weddel, William B. Thrall, and a number of other distinguished Ohio citizens were present and participating in Grand Lodge affairs.
On motion of M.·. W.·. Brother Charles H. Sherman, a resolution was adopted recommending that the subordinate lodges "should grant to every Brother a diploma on his receiving the third degree."
M.·. W.·. Brother John M. Goodenow of Steubenville was elected Grand Master and R.·. W.·. Brother Bela Latham of Columbus was re-elected Grand Secretary.
The Annual Communication of the Grand Lodge in 1828 was held in Columbus, January 14th to 16th, with representatives in attendance from fifty-eight subordinate lodges.
In the absence of the Grand Master, M.·. W.·. Brother John M. Goodenow, the Deputy Grand Master, R.·. W.·. Brother Thomas Corwin, presided.
The jurisdiction of subordinate lodges was defined by the adoption of the following resolution:
"Resolved, That in the Opinion of this Grand Lodge, no subordinate lodge ought to initiate any candidate, unless such candidate does actually reside nearer to the lodge where the application is made, than to any other lodge, unless upon the recommendation of the lodge, or the principal officers in the lodge, nearest his residence."
The subject of a Grand Lodge hall or building was for several years under discussion with varied results. Proposals were received from Columbus, Lancaster, Cincinnati, Chillicothe, Worthington, and other towns in Ohio. Money was expended by the Grand Lodge in projects at Lancaster and at Chillicothe, but both were abandoned after quite an expenditure of money at each locality. While of interest, the details of the projects, disappointments, and experiments would be too voluminous for other than brief insertion herein.
In relation to the membership of petitioners for lodges working under dispensation, on motion of Brother henry B. Curtis, it was:
"Resolved, as the sense of the Grand Lodge, That in all cases where any subordinate lodge has heretofore, or may hereafter, forward a recommendation to the Grand Lodge in favor of any number of Brethren applying to the Grand Lodge to obtain a dispensation, a part or the whole of whom have been or may be members of such lodge so recommending, such recommendation shall be considered as a dimission from the lodge so recommending, so soon as such Brethren shall have obtained such dispensation, and have become organized; Provided, such members thus dimitted first pay all dues to which the lodge may be entitled at the time."
At this Grand Communication M.·. W.·. Brother Thomas Corwin of Lebanon was elected Grand Master and R.·. W.·. Brother Bela Latham was re-elected Grand Secretary.
The Annual Communication of the Grand Lodge in 1829 was held in the town of Worthington, commencing January 5th.
In the absence of the Grand Master, Past Grand Master John Snow presided. The only Grand officers present were R.·. W.·. Brother Joshua Downer, Deputy Grand Master; R.·. W.·. Brother Lincoln Goodale, Grand Treasurer; R.·. W.·. Brother Bela Latham, Grand Secretary, and W. Brother William John, Grand Tyler. Forty-four subordinate lodges only were represented in Grand Lodge, with over one hundred lodges on its roll.
At this Annual Meeting a resolution was adopted providing for the payment by the Grand Lodge of mileage and per diem to one delegate from each lodge. It is presumed in the absence of any reference thereto that each lodge had previously compensated its representative when deemed necessary.
At this session charitable relief was extended to widows and orphans in eleven cases submitted by the Committee on Charity.
Two days only were required for the Annual Meeting in 1829. M.·. W.·. Brother John Snow of Worthington was elected Grand Master, and R.·. W.·. Brother Bela Latham we re-elected Grand Secretary.
The Annual Communication of 1830 was again held at Worthington, commencing on January 4th, with the Grand Master presiding and an attendance of representatives from fifty-nine subordinate lodges. As an interesting incident it may be mentioned that at this session one hundred dollars was voted to be sent to the widow of Past Grand Master Judge Charles H. Sherman and asking her to "receive it as a token of the respect this Grand Lodge entertains for the memory and public services of her departed husband, and of the sympathy which is felt in her bereavement."
At this period in the history of the Grand Lodge the animosity of the anti-Masonic political party and the relentless and bitter denunciation and persecution of Freemasons by its fanatical following had become very serious in Ohio, as in other States. In some instances lodge rooms were defaced and stoned; sticks and stones were thrown at Masonic processions, with hoots and yells, even upon the occasion of funeral processions.
The fanaticism also of weak-minded, disloyal converts to their pharisaical pretense of the wickedness of secrecy and Masonic obligations and a religious duty requiring their renunciation, was apparent in many lodges. As an instance, at the Annual Communication in 1830 on motion of the distinguished Brother Joshua R. Giddings it was "Ordered, That the Grand Secretary be and he is hereby directed to issue a new charter to Jefferson Lodge No.87, the former charter having been mutilated by the violence of some evil, disposed and weak, minded person unknown."
The anti-Masonic spirit prevailing, however, in that locality was of such a character that in 1835 Brother Giddings enclosed the charter of Jefferson Lodge No.87 in a letter to the Grand Lodge, and on recommendation of the Committee on Charters and Dispensations, it was "Resolved, That the Grand Lodge rescind said charter, and the Secretary be ordered to place the same on file."
As over three-quarters of a century has now elapsed since the occurrences mentioned, a brief statement of their origin may be of interest.
In 1826 one William Morgan of Batavia, New York, a mason by trade, a man about fifty years of age, and of dissolute habits and loose principles and at times very intemperate, but of good address when sober, having been, it is claimed, incensed at being excluded from membership in a Masonic body, and being desirous of both money and revenge, proposed the publication of an "Exposition of the Secrets of Freemasonry," and for its publication entered into a partnership with David C. Miller, a printer, who also claimed to be a Mason, the publisher of a newspaper in Batavia and an impecunious politician of intemperate habits, who claimed that Masonic influence had caused his paper to become unprofitable.
Both believed that the scheme, if sufficiently advertised, would prove a matter of great pecuniary profit. Miller subsequently claimed that an attempt had been made to burn his printing office. Morgan having been arrested and jailed in an adjoining town for petit larceny and for debt, it was claimed that a party of three or more persons who had compromised the suit and settled the claim against Morgan secured his liberation from jail, and that after his entering into a carriage with these persons he was abducted, taken to Canada, and afterwards murdered, as from that time it was said that William Morgan was never again seen, although an officer of the American Embassy at Constantinople claimed to have seen him in that city, and another man claimed to have seen him in Central America.
For the purpose of carrying out the designs of the nefarious political tricksters, it was alleged that the abductors of Morgan were Freemasons and that the Fraternity was responsible for his disappearance.
When it is considered that Morgan himself was too shrewd to have placed himself in the hands of those whom he would have considered his enemies; and that although there are doubtless fools in all associations, yet it would be difficult to conceive of any such shallow-minded and ignorant Freemason as would have given any serious attention to the pretensions of Morgan, much less to have entered into a conspiracy for taking his life.
The absurdity of the charge is more apparent also when it is considered that Miller, who was the responsible one for the publication of the book, was unmolested. The book when published proved to be unremunerative. Books of the same character previously published in England were doubtless its prototypes.
Although every effort was made for political purposes to substantiate the charge, its flimsy character is apparent in the many fruitless trials had in that connection.
Miller, the publisher, was later elected clerk of the county, as one of the first fruits of the anti-Masonic movement, on the wave of which Alfred H. Tracy in 1829 was elected State Senator in the Eighth New York District and Millard Fillmore was elected to the State Assembly. In that and other States many politicians of the period, among its promoters, became prominent and successful in their aspirations in State and national affairs. The nomination of Wirt, however, for President, on the anti-Masonic ticket, did not prove to be the success anticipated, one State only, Vermont, voting in his favor. After that election the anti-Masonic party influence waned rapidly. A few of its political promoters, however, subsequently became prominent in national affairs.
At the Annual Meeting of 1830, held at Worthington; January 4th and 5th, M.·. W.·. Brother William Fielding of Sidney was elected Grand Master, R.·. W.·. Brother David Spangler of Zanesville, Deputy Grand Master, and R.·. W.·. Brother John L. Starling of Columbus elected Grand Secretary.
The amount of the payroll in 1830 was $570.35. Fifty-five representatives receiving mileage and per diem. The father of General Grant, Brother Jesse P. Grant of Georgetown, was one of the member present. As may be noted, with eighty-four chartered lodges and seven U. D. lodges reported as working lodges, ten lodges having ceased their existence, but fifty-five lodges were represented in Grand Lodge.
The Annual Meeting in 1831 was held at Columbus January 3, 1831. The Grand Master and Deputy Grand Master were not present, and Past Grand Master M.·. W.·. Brother John M. Goodenow was in the Grand East.
The list of representatives shows that forty-two subordinate lodges were represented; the Grand Lodge record, however, states that there were "thirty-four lodges only represented and sixty-five lodges not represented," doubtless a clerical error. Twenty-five lodges were reported as delinquent, charters were granted to two new lodges, and one lodge was voted a dispensation.
On motion of Brother George James, "a Ways and Means Committee' was made one of the standing committees of the Grand Lodge.
M.·. W.·. Brother John Satterthwaite of Waynesville, Warren County, was elected Grand Master, and R.·. W.·. Brother John L. Starling of Columbus was re-elected Grand Secretary.
The 1832 Annual Meeting was held in Columbus on January 2nd; in the absence of the Grand Master, Deputy Grand Master, and Grand Senior Warden, the Grand Junior Warden, R.·. W.·. Brother George James of Zanesville, presided. Thirty-five subordinate lodges only were represented in Grand Lodge.
M.·. W.·. Brother Charles Anthony of Springfield was elected Grand Master; Brother George James of Zanesville, Deputy Grand Master; and Brother John C. Broderick of Columbus was elected Grand Secretary, succeeding the late R.·. W.·. Brother John L. Starling, who had died within the year.
At the opening of the Grand Lodge R.·. W.·. Brother George James of Zanesville, Junior Grand Warden; R.·. W.·. Brother Lincoln Goodale of Columbus, Grand Treasurer; W. Brother William J. Reese of Lancaster, Grand Senior Deacon, and W. Brother William John of Columbus, Grand Tyler, were the only elected officers present.
The other officers were all pro tem. appointments, Grand Master Anthony and Deputy Grand Master James not being present.
At the Annual Meeting of the Grand Lodge held at Columbus, January 7, 1833, the Senior Grand Warden, R.·. W.·. Brother Timothy Baker of Norwalk, presided. The Grand Senior Warden, Grand Treasurer, Grand Secretary, and Grand Tyler were the only elected Grand officers present; the other officers were all pro tem. appointments for that Annual Communication.
Thirty-eight subordinate lodges were represented in Grand Lodge and sixty-three lodges were unrepresented.
The business of the Annual Meeting was of the usual legislative character only. M.·. W.·. Brother Timothy Baker of Norwalk was elected Grand Master and R.·. W.·. Brother John C. Broderick of Columbus was re-elected Grand Secretary.
At the Annual Communication of January 6, 1834, held at Columbus, the Grand Master, M.·. W.·. Brother Timothy Baker, presided.
Thirty out of one hundred and one subordinate lodges on the roll were represented in Grand Lodge. For the first time in some years all of the elected officers (except the Grand Tyler) were present.
At this session the proposed establishment at Steubenville of a manual labor school for the orphan boys of Masons, under the auspices of the Grand Lodge, was first suggested, and like the proposed Grand Lodge building was considered from time to time at a number of Annual Communications, but with no final, favorable result.
The payroll of the Grand Lodge at this session amounted to only $247.80. The epidemic of the Asiatic cholera in many places and the continuation of the anti-Masonic influences were doubtless a sufficient cause for the Masonic apathy then prevailing.
As may have been noted, during the period mentioned a number of Grand Masters and other Grand officers only served as such officers at the Annual Communication at which they were elected and installed.
M.·. W.·. Brother William J. Reese of Lancaster was elected Grand Master and R.·. W.·. Brother John C. Broderick of Columbus was re-elected Grand Secretary. From this date the tenure of official position resumed former conditions.
In 1835 the Grand Master, M.·. W.·. Brother William J. Reese, presided at the Annual Meeting, commencing on January 5th at Columbus. Twenty-six subordinate lodges only were represented at the Annual Communication of that year.
At this meeting the Committee on Foreign Communications in their report expressed their great satisfaction at "the brightening prospects of the Fraternity from the troubles and gloom which for a time have surrounded it."
That the status of Freemasonry in other States at that period may be fully understood, the report of that committee will doubtless be of much interest in this connection. It is stated in the "Proceedings" that the Reverend Brother J. Kilbourn, from the Committee on Foreign Communications, made the following report, which was accepted:
"The committee to whom were referred the communications and correspondence of foreign Grand Lodges, have carefully examined the same viz: from the Grand Lodges of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Kentucky, Tennessee, Indiana, Florida, North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, and Vermont, and find nothing therein requiring the action of this Grand Lodge, further than to reciprocate the favors received. Your committee, however, remark with great satisfaction, from every quarter, the brightening prospects of the fraternity from the troubles and gloom which have surrounded it in many parts; especially in the firm, consistent, and efficient course pursued by the Grand Lodges of New York, Rhode Island, and Vermont, except the general provision of the latter in regard to the resigning of charters. The committee have directed their chairman to read, as a part of this report, an address to the Grand Lodge of Rhode Island, etc., contained in pages 6, 7, and 8 of their communication of June, 1834, and some resolutions of the Grand Lodge of Vermont, passed in October last; which are as follows:
"'To the M.·. W.·. Grand Lodge of the State of Rhode Island, etc.: The committee appointed to draw up a statement of facts respecting the recent Proceedings of this Grand Lodge, in surrendering their civil charter, or act of incorporation, to the General Assembly of said State, and also respecting the present situation of the Masonic institution in this State, respectfully report:
"That the more immediate cause for surrendering the civil charter was, that the Grand Lodge preferred that course rather than to submit to a law, passed at the last January session of the Legislature, requiring all the incorporated Masonic bodies in this State to make annual returns to the General Assembly of their proceedings, with a list of all their members; and, in doing which, the Grand Lodge has surrendered nothing more to the General Assembly than what they had received from that body, it being a naked charter of incorporation, which only enabled the Grand lodge to hold property and to act as a corporate body; without conferring any Masonic power or privileges. This charter was received by the Grand Lodge at a time when it was common for nearly all the societies and companies in this State to petition the General Assembly for corporate powers, but which had become entirely useless in consequence of the Grand Lodge being without property. By retaining the charter, which, being viewed as a contract between the power granting it and the corporation created by that power, the Grand Lodge were considered as being amenable to the Legislature, and liable to vexatious inquiries and odious exactions, which they now feel themselves absolved from.
"The Grand Lodge likewise recommended to the several subordinate lodges under its jurisdiction, having charters of incorporation from the General Assembly, to surrender them; several of which have already done so, after placing their property in the hands of trustees, for the benefit of said lodges; but no subordinate lodge has, to our knowledge, even intimated a wish to surrender their Masonic charter to the Grand Lodge, and, at its last annual meeting, returns were received from all but three lodges, with a list of their officers.
"As lodges in other States have not been incorporated, the civil and Masonic charters have been confounded, when spoken of in reference to this State. We wish it to be distinctly understood by all our Masonic Brethren, either at home or abroad, that the civil charters had no connection with the Masonic charters; that the Grand Lodge retains its Masonic powers as heretofore; and that its members have not relinquished their rights, as citizens, to assemble peaceably together, or to associate as Masons. To avoid the operation of the law referred to, as it respects the Grand Lodge, its charter of incorporation has been surrendered to the General Assembly; by doing which, we have disarmed our enemies and the Legislature of all right to visit us or interfere with our concerns, so long as we remain quiet and peaceable subjects, and conform to the constitutional laws of the land.
"Your committee consider it within their province to give a brief history of the situation of the Masonic institution in this State for a few years past. The anti-Masons, after having formed themselves into a political party, petitioned the General Assembly for the repeal of the Masonic charters, at the same time charging the Masons with high crimes and misdemeanors. After some delay, the Legislature appointed a committee from their own body to inquire into those charges. Several Masons were summoned to meet anti-Masons and seceders before said committee; and after a tedious investigation of nearly a fortnight, were honorably acquitted.
"An act was then passed prohibiting the administration of extra judicial oaths, which was evidently aimed at the Masonic institution; as, during the investigation before the legislative committee, it had been acknowledged that obligations were administered in conferring the degrees of Masonry.
"The anti-Masons subsequently joined with another political party, and, unitedly, gained the ascendency in the Legislature; obtained a summons for the several Masonic corporations in this State to appear before the General Assembly, to show cause why their civil charters (or acts of incorporation) should not be declared forfeited. Three of the corporations in this city employed able counsel, and after a trial of ten days continuance, we came off triumphant in public estimation.
"But the General Assembly, after recalling six charters which they had granted conditionally, left six-teen unrepealed which they had granted in perpetuity, as there was no proof of their having been violated, and imposed restrictions upon them by passing the law referred to, requiring all the incorporated Masonic bodies (during the time they shall remain incorporated) to make annual returns to the General Assembly.
"As it regards the present situation
of the Masonic institution in this State, your committee would
observe, that notwithstanding the enactment of the laws herein
referred to, and the vexations they have otherwise had to encounter,
yet Masons do not despond; and we hope and trust they will continue
to stand firm and "united by an indissoluble chain of sincere
Respectfully submitted by
Joseph S. Cooke
William C. Barker
Providence, June 24, 1834
"Resolved, That this Grand Lodge feel it a duty they owe themselves as well as the whole Masonic Fraternity, to declare that, while its individual members are left to the free and unmolested enjoyment of their sentiments upon the various subjects connected with religion and politics, and the right to judge of men and their actions, they hereby most solemnly declare, that Masonic bodies have not the right to connect the institution with the sectarian or party views of either; that any attempt thereat is a gross innovation upon those principles, which, among good and correct Masons, are universally acknowledged, and should be universally practiced upon.
"Resolved, That the Grand Lodge do at this time, as they have hitherto done, declare to the world, that the object of their associations and motives for continuing therein, are founded upon the principles of brotherly love, relief, and truth. They disclaim the right of Masons to inflict corporal punishment, and acknowledge no other right to enforce obedience from its members, but reprimand, suspension, and expulsion.
"Resolved, That the Grand Lodge recommend to those Brethren who incline still to adhere to the institution of Masonry, to continue to cultivate a spirit of goodwill towards those who may differ from them respecting the origin and continuance of Freemasonry; and while we are ready to forgive those whose fidelity has been shaken by one of those popular commotions incident to our free institution, we are also ready to judge with candor the motives by which they have been governed.
"In presenting the foregoing resolutions, your committee will close their report, in the language of one of the late officers of this Grand Lodge, whose labors on earth are finished:
"We ask you to gaze with us upon the ominous gathering, which to no eye can he viewless; we ask you to contemplate its swelling aspect, its various phases, and its multiform ramifications; listen to its busy notes of preparation and anticipate its maturity of strength, and then imagine its consummation to have taken place. Then cast your eyes around and see how many have quaked and quailed, how many have fled, how many have surrendered at discretion, and how many have renounced their faith and armed to battle us down. Then complete the picture, and when you find the smoke and din of the conflict is past, and the light streaming in upon us once more, not a heart flinching, not a hand palsied, but each and every one still invincible in defense of the mighty truth.
"If Freemasonry falls, her monument
will not crumble nor her epitaph fade. It is erected upon the
everlasting hills, it is firmly planted in the deepest valleys.
The widow's prayer of joy, the orphan's tear of gratitude, as
they ascend, like the dew before the solar influence, bear with
them its eulogy and its praise. So long as there remains a fragment
of the temples of antiquity, so long as one stone of the edifices
it has consecrated shall rest upon another, so long as brotherly
love, relief, and truth obtain among men, so long will its mausoleum
endure. The waves of popular prejudice may beat against it, the
shout of popular clamor may be thrown back in echoes from its
base, the "winds and weathers" of time may press upon
it, but still it will endure; glory will encircle it, honor will
be yielded to it, and veneration will be felt for the hallowed
recollections it quickens into action. And hereafter, when he
casts his eyes over the galaxy of social institutions among men,
the philanthropist will involuntarily associate with his subject
that other and celestial galaxy, and realize, as now, from the
fiat that has effected the one, so then from the economy that
controlled the other, that he will soon have to mourn for a lost
*Pleiades, which can never more be visible in the moral Constellation."
Nathan B. Haswell, Grand Master.
Philip C. Tucker, Dep. G. M.
Lavius Fillmoee, G. S. W.
Solomon Mason, G. J. W.
B. T. Englesby, G. T.
John B. Hollenbeck, Grand Sec'y.
All of which is respectfully submitted.
A. R. Cassady
* A Northern Constellation
The Grand Master, M.·. W.·. Brother William J. Reese, and the Grand Secretary, R.·. W.·. Brother John C. Broderick, were both re-elected.
At the Annual Communication of the Grand Lodge held at Columbus, January 4, 1836, all of the Grand officers were in attendance upon Grand Lodge with, however, a representation from but twenty-three subordinate lodges.
M.·. W.·. Brother Reese and the Grand Secretary, R.·. W.·. Brother Broderick, were re-elected, and the Grand Lodge changed its next place of meeting from Columbus to Lancaster.
The Annual Communication of the Grand Lodge in 1837 was held at Lancaster, commencing June 22d. The Grand Master, M.·. W.·. Brother William J. Reese, presided, with but seventeen subordinate lodges represented in Grand Lodge, the lowest number since the fifth year of its existence. The lowest point, however, was happily reached, and from the year 1837 Freemasonry in Ohio gradually resumed the status and influence to which it was entitled.
M.·. W.·. Brother William James Reese of Lancaster was re-elected Grand Master, which distinguished position he held from 1834 to 1842 inclusive. He was present and presided at each of the Annual Communications in those years. He was a dignified, efficient officer, a scholarly gentleman of fine address, and his Masonic papers were of much interest.
At this Annual Communication R.·. W.·. Brother James D. Caldwell of Chillicothe was elected Grand Secretary, and was continuously re-elected as such until 1843.
The Deputy Grand Master, R.·. W.·. Brother William B. Thrall, from the select committee appointed to inquire and report what action is proper on the part of the Grand Lodge in relation to delinquent subordinate lodges, made report:
"That they have bestowed on this most delicate and interesting subject all the attention which their limited time and other duties would permit; and are of the opinion that the time has now arrived when the honor of the Grand Lodge, and the interests of Masonry generally, demand that some decisive measure should be adopted on the part of the Grand Lodge to assert her legitimate authority and maintain her jurisdiction.
"There are within the jurisdiction of the Grand Lodge many subordinate lodges that have made no report to the Grand Lodge for several years past, and have otherwise treated with neglect, not to say with contumely, the edicts of the Grand Lodge. These things ought not so to be; and while permitted on the part of the Grand Lodge, your committee deem it morally impossible for our institution to command that respect in the estimation of the world, or even of its own members, which its great antiquity, the purity of its principles, and the long catalogue of its illustrious patrons should ever challenge. A variety of modes have suggested themselves to your committee as practicable for remedying the evil complained of. All of these modes, however, are subject to objections more or less serious; and your committee have endeavored to ascertain and report such course as promises the greatest amount of benefit and presents obstacles most easily surmounted.
"Your committee are of opinion that no radical cure can be effected by any means short of sending an officer, clothed with the authority of the Grand Lodge, to visit the several delinquent lodges, ascertain their present condition, make inquest of their proceedings since their latest report to the Grand Lodge and, if the same should be deemed necessary, to receive their charter, jewels, and effects, and make report of his proceedings to the Grand Lodge at its next Grand Communication. This is a service, your committee are aware, the due execution of which requires the exercise of both prudence and discretion, as well as firmness and decision of character. But without the faithful performance of this duty, we deem it vain to assert the authority of the Grand Lodge, and idle to talk of its jurisdiction. Your committee therefore recommend the adoption of the following resolutions:
"1. Resolved, That there be elected by ballot, at the present Grand Communication, a Grand Visitant, whose duty it shall be, during recess of the Grand Lodge, to visit each lodge within the State of Ohio, which shall not have reported to the Grand Lodge within the last two years, make inquiry as to their present condition and prospects, as well as to their proceedings subsequently to their last report to the Grand Lodge; and if, in his judgment, the interests of Masonry require it, to receive their charter, jewels, and other effects, and make report of his proceedings, in writing, to the next Grand Communication of the Grand Lodge.
"2. That said Grand Visitant be, and he is hereby authorized to summon a meeting of members of such delinquent lodges, or any of them that he may deem necessary, for the due execution of the duties enjoined upon him by the preceding resolution.
"3. That the sum of $300 be, and the
same is hereby appropriated out of the funds of the Grand Lodge,
to defray the necessary expense incurred by the Grand Visitant
in the discharge of his official duties; and that the M.·.
W.·. Grand Master be authorized to issue his warrant upon
the Treasurer for the amount.
All of which is respectfully submitted.
W. B. Thrall
Brother Samuel Reed, in later years Grand Lecturer, was appointed Grand Visitant, and the result of his labors was subsequently apparent in the new life and vigor imparted to the subordinate lodges visited.
On June 19, 1838, the Annual Communication of the Grand Lodge was held at Lancaster. Twenty-five subordinate lodges were represented in Grand Lodge.
At this session the following report was concurred in by the Grand Lodge:
"Your Committee on Foreign Correspondence have also examined the proceedings of a body styling themselves the St. John's Grand Lodge of the State of New York. From this last document, as well as from the minutes of the Proceedings of the R.·. W.·. Grand Lodge of the State of New York, it appears that an attempt is being made to assert and exercise a concurrent and independent Masonic jurisdiction over the same territory by separate and distinct bodies. This course, if persisted in on the one hand, or tolerated on the other, must lead to results as monstrous in practice as it is clearly antagonistic to every principle of Masonry. Harmony, so essential to the well being of the Craft, can not subsist between two bodies thus constituted, nor between their members. Into the causes which have led to this deplorable state of things we conceive it to be unnecessary for us to inquire, inasmuch as it would be incompetent to this Grand Lodge to exercise any power to correct the error, wherever it might be found. Suffice it for us to deprecate the existence of such a state of things; our duty in the premises is to search for the ancient landmarks, and when found, to direct to 'the old paths.'
"From the best lights your committee have been able to bring to the consideration of the subject, they are clear in the opinion that decisions duly made by the M.·. W.·. Grand Lodge of the State of New York, are, within that State, the supreme Masonic law, from which no appeal can be entertained, unless there shall be constituted a General Grand Lodge of the United States; a measure which your committee suggest for consideration, rather than recommend. While affairs maintain their present posture, however, we conceive that this Grand Lodge, neither in justice to its own character, in justice to its senior, the R.·. W.·. Grand Lodge of the State of New York, nor in justice to the sacred and immutable principles of Masonry, can recognize the legitimate existence within the borders of the State of New York of any Masonic Jurisdiction, aside from and independent of that of the M.·. W.·. Grand Lodge of the State of New York. Your committee therefore recommend the adoption of the following resolution:
"Resolved, That we regard the attempted establishment of 'St. John's Grand Lodge of the State of New York' as schismatic and illegal, and its tendency subversive of the vital principles of Freemasonry; and that therefore the measure meets our unqualified reprehension.
All of which is respectfully submitted.
W. B. Thrall
John M. Gray
In 1839, 1840, and 1841 the Grand Lodge held its Annual Communication at Lancaster in October of each year, with a representation in 1839 from twenty-eight chartered and four U. D. lodges, in 1840 from thirty-one chartered lodges and four U. D. lodges, and in 1841 from thirty-four chartered lodges and nine U. D. lodges. The legislation in the above and a few subsequent years related largely to the project of erecting a Grand Lodge building at Lancaster, which was finally abandoned by the Grand Lodge, as elsewhere mentioned herein, after a considerable loss and some financial embarrassment. In 1840 the Grand Lodge adopted a revised funeral service. The annual addresses of Grand Master Reese were of much interest. Space, however, permits only the following brief excerpts. In his Annual Address in 1841 he says:
"Upon each one of us there is resting a deep obligation to exert, in a special manner, whatever we have of talent and of influence, to advance and elevate, within our respective spheres, the standard of the character of the order. We know that its principles are pure, and good, and true, and therefore eternal; and that they can only be impugned as they are shadowed forth in the public actions of the Fraternity.
"It has appeared to me that more strenuous efforts should be made than in times past to exercise the intellectual capabilities of the order. Within the mystic circle of Masonry there lies entrenched the whole range of natural sciences. They are part and parcel of it, its very essence and vitality, and surely there can be no valid reason why they should not be more pointedly recognized in the work and labor of our lodge rooms. If it were practicable for every lodge in the State to have its library of useful and practical books, and its hours of labor interspersed with essays and discussions upon those sciences which every craftsman is bound to be acquainted with, I am persuaded that the cobwebs and dust would vanish from many a deserted hall, and that interested and zealous members would be enticed back again to their vacant seats.
"Ours is confessedly a benevolent institution, its design is to administer to the wants of the destitute and forlorn; its great end, the promotion of human happiness. As such, it is a most beneficent conception, and it fulfills a beautiful destiny in the accomplishment of results like these. But would it not still be in the path of legitimate duty to assume a loftier stand, and to take upon itself yet broader responsibilities? To join hand in hand, and march shoulder to shoulder with other philanthropic associations; and by its influence, its exertions, and its means co-operate with them to bring about the fruition of the social, intellectual, and moral happiness of man? It would then be Godlike within the range of its glorious latitude, unfettered and un-stipendiary, the parallel of its exalted usefulness only circumscribed by the parallel of its universality.
"I trust, my Brethren, as we have witnessed
the dawning of a period of 'marvelous light,' that all of our
deliberations and all of our doings may be so ordered and regulated
as to accelerate the coming in of the 'full and perfect day' of
William J. Reese
In his Annual Address of 1842 he prophetically says of the dawning of brighter days in Freemasonry and the duties of the Brotherhood:
"On every side there is presented to our gaze a cloudless horizon and a sunny sky, so that there is nothing now wanting but the exercise of firmness aud circumspection among the lodges, to realize all the high benefits that belong to our organization. While I am happy in stating such to be the result in our own Masonic field of labor, it affords me great pleasure to assure you that in our sister States the evidence of general healthfulness and governmental prosperity are strikingly witnessed. Many kindred causes have cooperated to bring about this palmy condition of things; among these I am inclined to place a very high estimation upon the influence exerted by the Grand Lodges of the union. These elevated bodies have learned fully to appreciate the extent and magnitude of their responsibilities to the Craft. Sovereign within their own geographical limits, and in possession of the highest attributes of power, they have so administered that power as to insure the venerable landmarks of the order from violation, and build up upon the broadest bases the associated welfare of their members.
"Having first been taught by experience the necessity there was to respect themselves in the position they occupy, they have since, by wise, prudent, but at the same time fearless legislation, won the respect, the confidence, and attachment of their subordinates.
"And so it will always be. Just in proportion as our Grand Lodges meet every required responsibility, and discharge every duty they owe to themselves and to the Craft, will the interests of Masonry be advanced or deteriorated. The union existing between the common head and the subordinate lodges is so intimate and inseparable, that whatever affects its stability must operate upon their immediate decline. It is to them what the sun is to the system, the center of light, and heat, and vitality. I have lately had occasion to believe that in some of our lodges the relation of the subordinate to the principal is but imperfectly understood. The organization of this body is essentially republican; each lodge in the State is equally entitled to be represented in its deliberations, and therefore its voice, whether in the enactment of a law, the passage of a resolution, an order, an assessment, or an appropriation from its funds, is the united, concentrated voice of all the lodges who compose it. When uttered, it becomes the supreme Masonic law within its Jurisdiction, and exacts implicit obedience from all. This is a fundamental axiom, and as such should be distinctly understood by the Fraternity."
Of the Convention of Grand Lodges in 1842, held at Washington, D. C., he says in his address:
"During the sitting of the Convention of 1842, a report was received and confirmed upon several distinct propositions of general Masonic interest. As this report expresses the deliberate opinion of a very intelligent and elevated body of our order upon certain rules of action for the government of the Fraternity, it is of course entitled to much consideration and respect, and I feel that I can not better discharge the duty required of this chair than by making this report a part of the annual address. The committee say:
"That they regard the paternal intercourse of the members of our institution among the most valuable privileges of the order, which ought to be encouraged, and at the same time guarded by all the means within the ample powers of the Grand Lodges of this union. Free, social Masonic association, protected by pure principles and the sacred ties of Brotherhood, is calculated to expand the kindest sentiments of humanity, to extend the sphere of usefulness of a member far beyond the little circle of his daily walks and duties, and to promote the sweet charities of life among all those who can with confidence prefer his claim as a Brother, or is ready to acknowledge that relationship. To promote and extend the fellowship and acquaintance of Brethren, residing not only in neighboring States, but also in regions as far from each other as the Fast is from the West, various means have been suggested to your committee; the most prominent of which is the representative system adopted by some of our Grand Lodges. This system your committee recommend to the Convention.
"As an additional safeguard against the abuse of Masonic privileges by the unworthy, some of whom are constantly prowling through the land and deriving a support from the charity of the institution to which they are a disgrace, your committee recommend that the Grand Lodge advise, if they do not deem it necessary to require their lodges to demand certificates of the good standing of Brethren who are strangers; which certificate should emanate from the Grand Lodge of the jurisdiction from which they hail. These certificates will not only shield the institution from the undeserving, but will furnish the orphans and widows of deceased Brethren the best evidence of their claims upon the Fraternity.
The committee have been informed that thee is a reprehensible practice of receiving promissory notes for the fee for conferring the degrees. This practice is known to some of your committee to have produced unhappy influences. Its inevitable effect is to degrade the institution, and it ought to be prohibited.'"
Thirty-five chartered lodges and ten lodges working under dispensation were represented at the Annual Communication of the Grand Lodge held at Lancaster in October, 1842.
At this Annual Meeting appropriate "Memoriam" resolutions were adopted relative to the demise of Past Grand Master M.·. W.·. Brother William W. Irvin of Lancaster.
The following list of working lodges published in the Proceedings of 1842 shows that sixty-three subordinate chartered lodges maintained an existence, some of them continuous, regardless of the war made upon them through fanaticism, bigotry, and the hypocritical slanders of political frauds. Forty-one lodges were discontinued in that connection in Ohio; although results were much more disastrous in the State of New York, where the war began, in which State four hundred lodges were said to have ceased their existence.
LIST OF WORKING LODGES
Under the jurisdiction of the Grand Lodge of Ohio, as numbered and registered the current year.
No. Names of Lodges Where Held
2. N. C. Harmony, Cincinnati
4. New England, Worthington
5. Amity, Zanesville
6. Scioto, Chillicothe
8. Harmony, Urbana
9. Mt. Zion, Mt. Vernon
13. St. John's, Dayton
14. Franklin, Troy
15. Cleveland City, Cleveland
16. Belmont ,St. Clairsville
17. Washington, Hamilton
23. Pickaway, Cireleville
24. Warren, Piqua
25. Paramuthia, Athens
26. Lebanon, Lebanon
28. Temple Harpersfield, Ashtabula Co.
29. Clermont Social, Williamsburg
30. Columbus, Columbus
33. Ebenezer, Wooster
35. Mansfield, Mansfield
38. Highland, Hillsboro
44. Columbia Harrison, Hamilton Co.
45. Steubenville, Steubenville
46. Miami, Cincinnati
47. Clinton ,Massillon
48. Aurora, Portsmouth
52. Wilmington, Wilmington
53. Charity, Galena
54. Milford Milford, Clermont Co.
55. Eastern Star Franklin, Warren Co.
57. Lancaster, Lancaster
60. Canton, Canton
61. Bethel Bethel, Clermont Co.
64. Mt. Vernon, Norwalk
65. New Lisbon, New Lisbon
70. Marion, Marion
71. Union, Clermont Co.
72. Georgetown ,Georgetown
74. Wadsworth and Seville, Seville, Medina Co.
76. Somerset, Somerset
77. Sandusky, Tiffin
78. Leesburg Leesburg, Highland Co.
79. Lafayette, Zanesville
81. Lafayette, Cincinnati
82. Boliver Eaton, Preble Co.
83. King Solomon in Perfection, Akron
86. Centre Johnstown, Licking Co.
87. Salem New Salem, Fairfield Co.
88. Hiram West, Alexandria
89. Friendship Barnesville, Belmont Co.
90. Jefferson Middletown, Butler Co.
93. Chardon Chardon, Geauga Co.
97. Newark, Newark
100. Orphans' Friend Wilkesville, Gallia Co.
102. Neville Neville, Clermont Co.
103. Friendship Dresden, Muskingum Co.
104. Tarlton Tarlton, Pickaway Co.
105. Moriah Jacobsburg, Belmont Co.
106. Fellowship New Paris, Preble Co.
107. Washington Washington, Fayette Co.
108. Washington, West Carlisle.
109. Batavia Batavia, Clermont Co.
110. Union . . .
At this Annual Meeting the Grand Representative system was adopted by the Grand Lodge and official recognition was extended to the Grand Lodge of Michigan.
The revised Constitution and Bylaws of the Grand Lodge followed the Proceedings of 1842.
The Grand Lodge of Ohio in 1843 convened in Annual Session at Lancaster on October 20th. Forty-five chartered lodges and three U. D. lodges were represented in Grand Lodge.
In the absence of the Grand Master, M.·. W.·. Brother William J. Reese, who had changed his residence from Lancaster, Ohio, to Philadelphia, Pa., R.·. W.·. Brother David T. Disney of Cincinnati presided.
In the interesting annual address of Grand Master Reese, which was read to the Grand Lodge, reference is made to his attendance upon the "Baltimore Convention of Grand Lodge Representatives in 1843," to which the Grand Lodge of Ohio had also sent R.·. W.·. Brother John Barney as its accredited representative. M.·. W.·. Brother Reese is happy in his commendation in that connection of the venerable Brother Barney, who with M.·. W.·. Brother John Snow and R.·. W.·. Brother Thomas Smith Webb were the great expositors of Masonic ritualism in their day, and all deviations from the "Work" as taught by them have been detrimental innovations destructive in character.
It was at the Baltimore Convention of 1843 that the great wrong was perpetrated upon the Entered Apprentice's degree in the United States, by the denial to Entered Apprentices of their inherent rights as Freemasons and by divesting the degree of the executive character to which it was entitled, and which is happily yet accorded it in all foreign Grand Jurisdictions.
In his annual address Grand Master Reese in re' reports on foreign correspondence forcefully forecasts results subsequently obtained, as follows:
"The foreign correspondence of the Grand Lodge will be found this year extremely interesting. At each succeeding Communication it will become more and more voluminous; and as the representative system begins fully to extend its benefits, we may anticipate the period when the doings of the whole Fraternity around the globe will become through this medium of communication accessible to every member of our order; and thus there will be belted around the earth a chain whose links of Brotherly affection and intelligence can neither be sundered nor riven. Then will be the bright day of the consummation of Masonry; and a spectacle of the moral sublime will be realized, which no agency short of inspiration can bring about or produce.
"I have, on a previous occasion, adverted to the peculiar duties devolving upon your Committee on Foreign Communications, which I regard as one of the most important of the standing committees of the Grand Lodge. The time has passed by, and I trust forever, when the annual business of the Grand Lodge will be hurried through with locomotive rapidity, or transacted according to the stereotyped formula of modern preciseness. Masonry claims universality, both in design and operation; and it can only accomplish this lofty attainment by bringing into close and intimate relationship all the Masonic governments in the world. This will never be done until some plan is devised and put into operation which will make each Masonic Jurisdiction familiar and acquainted with the doings of each other. As a very important and preliminary step, indeed an essential one to the attainment of this end, I once more venture to suggest that your Committee on Foreign Communications make out hereafter a detailed report upon all subjects of general Masonic interest gathered from the Proceedings of those Grand Bodies in correspondence with you, and in this manner bring them directly before you for action and approval. It amounts to a direct slander upon the intelligence and usefulness of our Brethren, to say, in customary language, that there is nothing to be found of moment or interest in the journals of their Masonic doings. Let such a course be adopted as is here recommended, and the published Annual Proceedings of the Grand Lodge will become an exceedingly interesting document of intelligence, sought after and read by the Fraternity throughout the State. They will cease to be a sealed communication to your lodges, only received to be consigned away among the rubbish of the Secretary's desk."
Of the narrow-minded bigotry of a few foreign Grand Lodges in their interdiction of Jews from Freemasonry, he justly says in his address:
"I notice that some of the Grand Lodges abroad, and in the United States, have protested against a practice which has lately sprung up in Germany, of interdicting the admission of Jewish Brethren into the Lodge rooms. To any one conversant with our Masonic constitutions, so broad and catholic in all matters of religious tolerance, it will appear strange that such an interdict should have ever been seriously thought of, let alone practiced upon. Especially does it seem most strange and unnatural, that the lineal descendants of our 'ancient Brethren,' who projected the comprehensive system of Freemasonry, should be deprived of those inestimable privileges which their fathers planned for every 'good man and true,' upon the face of the broad earth. I do not suppose that a question like this has ever been agitated in any lodge of the United States; and I trust that the day is very far distant when such a partisan interpretation of Masonic qualifications will obtain among our Fraternity."
There having been complaint made against foreign Jurisdictions for making Masons of sojourners from Ohio, the able special committee, to whom it was referred, in concluding a very comprehensive report say:
"Your committee would recommend to her subordinate lodges not to recognize as Masons those who have willfully and knowingly gone out of the Jurisdiction of this Grand Lodge, for the purpose of obtaining the degrees in Masonry in a foreign Jurisdiction. And that, in all other cases, when the person who has been admitted to the privileges of the order in a foreign Jurisdiction, without knowing that in so doing he, with such foreign lodge, was violating the usages of Masonry, he be, if otherwise worthy, recognized as a Brother.
All which is respectfully submitted.
W. B. HUBBARD SAMUEL REED
M. Z. KREIDER JOHN BARNEY
T. B. DRINKER
An effort made for re-numbering lodges was not successful.
At this Grand Communication, M.·. W.·. Brother William B. Thrall of Circleville was elected Grand Master, and was re-elected and served as such until 1847. M.·. W.·. Brother Thrall was a genial, suave gentleman of pleasing personality, a devoted Freemason, and deservedly popular with the Craft.
The legislation of the Grand Lodge at this Communication required four days for its completion.
The Annual Communication of 1844 was held in the City of Columbus, commencing on October 23d, with a representation in attendance from fifty-eight chartered lodges and eight Lodges working under dispensation.
The representation in Grand Lodge indicated the continuation of its new era of prosperity.
Grand Master Thrall in his annual address says in this connection:
"It affords me pleasure to be able to announce to you my belief that the Order of Freemasonry now enjoys throughout our country, and especially within our Jurisdiction, an exemption from the malign influences of envy and detraction, to a degree rarely before experienced; that is keeping pace with the onward progress of civilization and art, and gradually making its way into the favorable consideration of an unprejudiced and intelligent community. As evidence of this fact, individuals, 'good men and true,' are shaking off the lethargy of years, and earnestly casting about for the means of that innocent social gratification which first they enjoyed in the lodge room. A recurrence to the mystical 'point within a Circle' awakens within them recollections which, once aroused, can not be repressed; and their hearts go forth in earnest desire for a Brother's welfare.
"Lodges, which long since fell into listless suspense, are arousing themselves to active duty, and burnishing anew their jewels, which had become dim from long neglect and disuse. And new lodges are springing into being in districts where hitherto our rites have been wholly unpracticed and unknown."
A charter granted to the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge F. & A. M. by the "General Assembly of the State of Ohio" was accepted by the Grand Lodge.
R.·. W.·. Brother John T. Arthur of Zanesville was elected Grand Secretary, and was re-elected in 1845.
The necessity of the Book of the Law in Freemasonry having been called in question, an able report thereon was submitted by the special committee to whom it was referred, as follows:
"It is one of the oldest requisitions of the Fraternity, that no regular and well governed lodge can be without its Bible. The Bible is held up to the candidate on his initiation as the first great light in Masonry. He is told that it is the inestimable gift of God to man. His onward pathway, in its entire extent, is lighted up by its blessed precepts. The faith, the hope, the charity, in which he is admonished to abound, is the faith, the hope, the charity of the Bible. The star which shines from the center of one of the three ornaments of the lodge, is the star which appeared to guide the wise men in the Fast to the place of the Savior's nativity. The two eminent patrons of the order, to whom Christian Masons dedicate their lodges, are the Sts. John of the Bible; the precepts of which they present as a wall of defense round about every Brother within which he may walk securely and never materially err. No station in the lodge is too high for the reach of the duties which the Bible enjoins. The Worshipful Master in the Fast must humbly bow to its authority. On him, as he is about to enter upon his arduous labors, is laid the obligation, weighty above all others, of a diligent observance of the Holy Scriptures, which, he is instructed, is to be a rule and a guide to his faith. And when sorrowing Brethren gather around the final resting place of the departed they mourn not as those who are without hope; the sprig of acacia tells of an ever verdant and bright land beyond the grave. The Lion of the Tribe of Judah has vanquished the foe, and hope and consolation are imparted by the thoughts of that life and immortality which the Bible, and the Bible only, has brought to light.
"These are but a few of the many evidences that might be presented, to show how essential the Bible is to the existence of Masonry. What, then, is Masonry without the Bible, the Bible acknowledged in the truth of its divine inspiration? It is the casket without the jewel. It is the body without the soul. It is the world without the sun; and what might be its value despoiled of this, its richest treasure and brightest ornament, would not be worth the trouble of a conjecture.
"Your committee, in their search for grounds on which to sustain an opposite opinion, have found nothing meriting that character, unless it be a single clause in section sixth of our rules and regulations; the language of which is, 'that no religious test shall be required of any applicant for the benefits of Masonry, other than a steadfast belief in the existence and perfections of Deity.' In regard to this provision, it is respectfully submitted whether a proper belief in the existence and perfections of Deity does not of necessity imply a belief in the divine authenticity of the Bible, since from that book we derive the only intelligent and satisfactory knowledge of Deity; and whether, therefore, said clause was not predicated upon this hypothesis. But, whatever interpretation may be given to this provision, and granting that it requires only such a belief in Deity as natural religion may afford, your committee are of opinion that it is entitled to no serious weight against the abundant and clear testimony furnished by the lectures and charges, the authority of which no well informed Mason, it is thought, will be disposed to gainsay or resist. In view, therefore, of the whole subject, your committee recommend the adoption of the following resolution, viz:
"Resolved, That this Grand Lodge is clearly of the opinion that a distinct avowal of a belief in the divine authenticity of the Holy Scriptures should be required of every one who is admitted to the privileges of Masonry, and that a denial of the same is an offense against the institution calling for exemplary discipline."
"All of which is respectfully submitted.
W. B. HUBBARD
This report was agreed to and the committee was discharged.
After many efforts to resuscitate the project of the erection of a Grand Lodge building the scheme was finally entirely abandoned; its site, the adjoining land, and Grand Lodge securities were ordered to be sold, and all Grand Lodge indebtedness in that connection was ordered to be paid and subscriptions therefor refunded.
Three days sufficed for the Annual Meeting of this year. Over a third of a century had elapsed since the organization of the M.·. W.·. Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons of Ohio. The difficulties incident to its establishment under pioneer conditions and the subsequent dark days of Masonic persecutions had become matters of the past, and the inauguration of a new and prosperous era in Freemasonry under the most favorable conditions had become an established fact.
The Proceedings of the year 1844 conclude the first part of the History of Freemasonry in Ohio from 1791 and the history of the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of Ohio from 1808 to 1844 inclusive, with a brief history of its Pioneer Lodges organized prior to 1825.
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