FEMALE TYLER OF A MASONIC LODGE
The first lodge in Kansas was Wyandotte Lodge. It net in the home of the Senior Warden, Matthew R. Walker. Mr. Walker, an Indian, acted as Tyler of the lodge. Later Mrs. Walker became the first Grand Matron of the Eastern Star in Kansas.
THE LARGEST AND THE SMALLEST MASONS
At the time he was raised in Highland Park Lodge No. 382 in Los Angeles, California, John Aasen was eight and a half feet tall and weighed 536 pounds. Twelve craftsmen were required for certain parts of the ceremony. There were 1500 Masons present to observe the ceremony.
Charles S. Stratton, a midget, was made a famous by P. T. Barnum as "General Tom Thumb". He was first presented to the public in 1842; as the time he was two feet high and weighed 16 pounds. In 1844 he married Lavinia Warren, also a midget. He settled in Bridgeport, Connecticut and was raised in St. John's Lodge No. 3 on October 3, 1862.
THE CATHEDRAL BUILDERS
In 1899 Leader Scott (a pen name) published her book, The Cathedral builders, the story of a Great masonic Guild. This was followed in 1910 by W. Ravenscroft's The Comacines, their Predecessors and their Successors. The theory advanced is that when the Roman Collegia of Artificers were abolished, a group of workmen retired to an island in Lake Como where they preserved their technical skills and later built the cathedrals of Europe. This theory was followed by Joseph Fort Newton in The Builder and was widely accepted by readers of his popular book.
THE RHODE ISLAND LEGEND OF 1658
In 1853 the Reverend F. Peterson wrote on page 101 of his History of Rhode Island and Newport of the past: "In the spring of 1658, Mordecai Campannall, Moses Packeckoe, Levi and others, in all fifteen families, arrived in Newport from Holland. They brought with them the three first degrees of Masonry, and worked them in the house of Campannall; and continue to do so, they and their successors, to the end of 1742." This statement has been repeated from time to time, although in 1870 the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts looked into the matter and could find no evidence to support the statement.
HOW MANY MASONS SIGNED THE DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE
Extravagant claims are sometimes made in connection with the Masonic membership of the signers of the Declaration of Independence. There were fifty-six signers of the document. There is satisfactory evidence to prove conclusively that eight were Masons. Twenty-four others are sometimes claimed as Masons, but evidence submitted is not completely satisfactory, being based of hearsay and "tradition", rather than documents. There are twenty-four signers who have never been claimed as Masons. The best answer the question is as follows: "Scholars have proved that eight Signers were Masons. As many as thirty may have been."
SIGNERS OF THE CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED STATES
To counteract similar exaggerations about the Masonic membership of the signers of the Constitution of the United States. Brother Ronald E. Heaton also researched The Masonic membership of Signers of the Constitution, he concluded that thirteen signers were Masons. Their membership is supported by clear and conclusive written records; there are seven signers who are sometimes claimed as members, but the evidence is insufficient and not conclusive; the balance were not Masons.
THE STORY OF THEODORE ROOSEVELT, ELIHUS ROOT, AND THE GARDNER
Occasionally one reads the heart-warming story that President Theodore Roosevelt's gardener was master of at the time. The story illustrates how all men become equal in a Masonic lodge. However there is no evidence to support this story.
FREDERICK THE GREAT HELPS A BROTHER'S WIDOW
Frederick the Great, a Mason without any doubt, while in a jewelry shop in Potsdam, Germany, observed a middle-aged woman exhibiting an article of silver having certain Masonic symbols, possibly a Past Master's jewel. She was trying to borrow money on it. She said she had come to this particular shop to avoid the usurers and because the owner of the shop was a Mason. The jeweler told her that he was not in the pawnbroking business and couldn't make the loan.
Another person in the shop asked her many questions concerning the jewel, whose it was, how she had possession of it, etc. The man offered to buy the jewel and kept raining the price. When he decided to make her the loan, he discovered he had no money in his pocket. He then disclosed to the surprised woman that he was the King.
Fredrick shook his staff at the jeweler and told him that he was not fit to be a Mason and threatened to file charges against him. The following morning the woman went to see Fredrick and the palace and he instructed her to return whenever she was in need of help.
ELIZABETH ST. LEGER or THE HONORABLE MRS. ALDWORTH
In 1735 Lodge #44 at Doneraile, Ireland usually met at Lord Doneraile's home who was Master of his Lodge. His sister also lived with him, Elizabeth St. Leger.
Knowing that the meeting was about to open Elizabeth hid in a storage room adjoining the lodge room. She removed a brick that she had loosened from the wall a few days before and watched the conferring of the Fellow Craft degree.
When the meeting was about to close, Elizabeth realized what she had done, and in her nervous attempt to leave knocked over some storage boxes. The Tiler hearing the ruckus sounded the alarm and ran to dispatch the intruder. Lord Doneraile appeared just in time to save her life.
After questioning her the members re-assembled and deliberated on what to do about this intrusion. After two hours of heated debate, cooler heads prevailed. She was given two alternatives, either she submit to receiving the first two degrees in Masonry or other arrangements would be made for her. Miss St. Leger being able to hear some of the debate gladly accepted.
Mrs., or more appropriately Sister Aldworth after marriage, was so taken by the lessons of charity and Fraternal love shown to her upon being passed to the degree of Fellow Craft that night, that she spent her life and considerable wealth helping the poor in general and the Masonic poor in particular.
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