A FULL MASONIC NAME
Hiram Abiff Boaz was born on December 18, 1866, at Murray, Kentucky. He moved to Texas at an early age. In 1891 he was ordained a Methodist minister. In 1922 he was elected a Bishop of the church. He became a member of Granger Lodge No. 677 of Texas. When he received his third degree, a large attended because of the unusual name of the new member. He served as Grand Chaplain of Texas on 1953.
This brother had many interesting experiences connected with his name. He never tired of telling of the time he was traveling in the Holy Land and arrived at a Mosque in Hebron on the wrong day for visitors. When he told then his name was Boaz, it seemed as if he had given a magic password. Others were not admitted that day, but they opened the gates for him.
THE MAD EMPEROR
Joshua Norton was born in England on February, 1819. He engaged in a number of business enterprises in Africa and migrated to San Francisco in 1849. He immediately entered the real estate business and accumulated considerable wealth. When he tried to corner the rice market, he lost the entire fortune. In order to cheer him up, his friends stated to call him "Emperor."
On September 15, 1859, he proclaimed himself Emperor of the United States. He donned a blue uniform with brass buttons, epaulets, and a military cap. Instead of having his head examined, everyone humored him because of his pleasant and cheerful disposition. He rode the street cars free, attended theaters without charge, and was supplied with the necessities of life by those around him. When he ran short of cash, he issued drafts on the Imperial Treasury. He issued Royal Proclamations designed to better the human race. On Sunday he always attended a church; he had no favorites and visited them all. Merchants and financiers consulted him on business matters and he apparently gave sound advice on these matters.
He was a member of Occidental Lodge of San Francisco and for a time lived in the Masonic Temple and issued some of his proclamations from there. He was given a Masonic funeral when he passed away on January 8, 1889. Fifty-four years later his grave was moved and a monument was erected over his new grave.
SHORTEST LIVED MASON
General Thomas A. Smyth of the Civil War was raised in Washington Lodge No. 1 of Delaware on March 6, 1864. He was killed by a sniper's bullet on April 9 and was buried by his lodge on April 17, 1864.
WYOMING GOVERNORS AND FREEMASONRY
Between 1890 (when Wyoming became a state) and 1951 every Governor of that state was a Freemason, except one. This single exception was Mrs. William A. Ross, who was the wife of a Mason, and she was a member of the Eastern Star.
In Fulda, Germany a dispute arose about the name to be given a new high school. The first name suggested was Professor Karl Ferdinand Braun, inventor of the T V picture tube, and a Nobel prize winner. A protest arose on the ground that he was a Freemason. Finally the school was named after Baron Von Stein, who is known as the father of local self-government. He was a devoted Freemason. It was later discovered that Professor Braun was not a Freemason.
FOUNDER OF CHRISTIAN SCIENCE HELPED BY FREEMASONS
Mary Baker joined her oldest brother in Charleston, South Carolina. In December 1843, she married George Washington Glover. a close friend of her brother. Brother Glover was an honorary member of the staff of the Governor and was called "Major Glover". He was a member of St. Andrew's Lodge No. 10 and of Union Chapter No. 3, R.A.M. A few months after the marriage Brother Glover contracted yellow fever and died; he was given a Masonic funeral. Before he died he requested members of the lodge to help his young bride return to the parental home in New Hampshire. How well they kept their promise was told by the widow, who wrote in 1892, "Here it is but justice to record they performed their obligation most faithfully." Some time after arriving at her parental home she gave birth to her only child, George. Later she married Mr. Eddy; there is no record that he was a Mason.
MASONIC CHARITY HELPED FATHER OF JOSEPH FORT NEWTON
In his lifetime Joseph Fort Newton was the silver-tonged orator of the Craft. With his talks and book he did much for Freemasonry. He told the story that his father became a mason in a military lodge. He had been taken prisoner and was transported to Rock Island, Illinois, where he became desperately ill. An officer of the camp, desiring to help him as a Brother Mason, took him to his home and nursed him back to health. When the war ended the Mason loaned him enough money to get back home. If Newton's father had died on Rock Island, the world would have been poorer for not having had a wise and eloquent minister of the gospel, and the Craft would have been poorer in its inspiration and literature.
CHEVALIER CHARLES D'EON, MAN OR WOMAN?
The Chevalier Charles D'Eon of France was born on October 5, 1728, and was given the name Charles Genevieve Louise Auguste Andre Timothee Deon de Beaumont. He was born of a noble family. Although his sex was being questioned, he became a Freemason in 1766 in the Lodge of Immortality No. 376, which met at the Crown and Anchor in the Strand, London. He served as Junior Warden in 1769 and 1770. He had many talents; he was an export fencer and an able diplomat who successfully negotiated the Treaty of 1763 ending the Seven Years' War.
He had an effeminate appearance and occasionally masqueraded as a woman. His enemies in France accused him of being a woman masquerading as a man. Masons wondered whether a woman had been initiated into the Craft. The controversy about his sex caused considerable gambling and the speculation got out of hand. Finally an insurance company filed a suit to have the matter adjudicated. Witnesses testified that he was a woman. About this time he accepted an offer of Louis XVI to accept a pension, return to France, and resume the garb of a woman. From this time on he wore women's cloths with rare exception. When he died on May 21, 1810, a competent physician performed an autopsy and clearly proved that D'Eon was a man.
THE THOMSON MASONIC FRAUD
Matthew McBain Thomson was born Scotland. In 1881 he settled in Montpelier, Idaho. He returned to Scotland but in 1898 returned to Montpelier with a patent from the "Scottish Grand College of Rites". He used this document to create his "American Masonic Federation", later changed to "International Masonic Federation". He promoted the sale of all sorts of "Masonic" degrees by mail and worked through paid solicitors. Reduced rates were given when groups were large and many joined at the same time. He and two other were eventually prosecuted for using the mails to defraud and in 1922 they were sent to jail.
THE ADVENTURES OF CAGLIOSTRO
One believed to have been given the name of Joseph Balsamo but who later adopted the name "Count Cagliostro", has the doubtful distinction of being the world's outstanding Masonic charlatan. He became a Mason in London in 1776, and later conceived the idea of his "Egyptian Rite", which he formulated and promoted with his wife. The project was a money making scheme; they founded lodges through out Europe. His colorful career came to an end when he established on of his lodges in Rome. He was arrested on December 27, 1789, and charged with the "crime" of being a Freemason. He was imprisoned by the papal police, was questioned, tortured, tried and found guilty. He died some years later while still in prison.
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