William P. Dougherty Lodge No. 224, F. & A. M., exemplifies an instance of Masonic work and development calculated to make its members glow with honest pride and to arouse the emulation of brethren everywhere who are anxious to upbuild our beloved fraternity on solid foundations.
Conceived in the minds of several Masons in the year 1917, our lodge was organized with a handful of brethren in 1918, and its growth was so rapid and so well-founded that within half a dozen years it had in excess of 200 members and was housed in its own temple.
Well may the members of the present day pause for a season to contemplate the faith, the farsightedness and the hard work of the pioneers of our Lodge.
In the year 1917 the idea of our present lodge entered the minds of two Masons who lived in the north end of Tacoma. These two were Ernest L. Kasson and Christian Nelsen. Both were members of Tacoma Lodge No. 22, and both were employees of a Tacoma laundry. These two men, one day discussing the fact that it was a long way from the north end of the city to the down-town Masonic temple, expressed the conviction that there should he a Masonic lodge nearer their places of residence to serve that area of Tacoma.
Brother Kasson expressed his opinion that enough Masons could he enlisted to start a lodge in the vicinity of the Sherman school at North 38th and Cheyenne streets, and Brother Nelsen agreed the matter was worth trying. The two of them thereupon promised to devote their time and energy toward interesting other Masons in the project. and they kept their agreement ably and to good purpose.
The first man interviewed was Bro. W. S. Myers, also a member of Tacoma No. 22, who promptly promised his full support. Bro. William J. George \\-its next interviewed. His assistance was especially desired because he was a past master and his guidance would be invaluable. At first Brother George was reluctant, since he had only recently demitted to Tacoma No. 22, but he was finally won over.
Then a number of employees of the Tacoma Smelter were enlisted, including Bros. Lindsay Campbell, Eugene A. White, Pierre H. Tissot, Thomas Lyon, Fred A. Hoffman, and Forrest Wing. Others came into the group one by one until more than a dozen were in the little hand.
The first meeting of the group was held in 1917 in a shack between 34th and 35th streets on Verde street. It was decided at this meeting that the new lodge should he called Defiance lodge, and that work should be pressed so that a dispensation would be obtained at the earliest possible date. The plans were laid before M.W. Bro. George Lawler, Grand Master of Masons of Washington and a respected resident of Tacoma, who expressed his happiness over the proposal for a suburban lodge in the north end of Tacoma and promised his assistance in every possible way.
Organization meetings continued, chiefly in the store of L. F. Freeborn at North 38th and Cheyenne streets. It was decided that Brother George should be the first master of the new lodge, because he was the only past master in the group, and officers were selected as follows:
Finally the names of the necessary 15 charter members were obtained for the roll and Tacoma Lodge No. 22 agreed to sponsor the new lodge. With officers chosen, a sponsor obtained and the assistance of the Grand Master pledged, the path ahead was still rough. There was the difficult matter of learning the work. Some of the officers had no familiarity with actual lodge work, and they had to learn their parts from the ground up. The work of instruction was conducted principally in the residence of Brother George on Verde street and Mrs. George was kind enough to leave her home night after night so the hard task of mastering the ritual might proceed as rapidly as possible.
Brother George, who had forgotten much of the ritual since he occupied the Oriental chair in Franklin Lodge No. 5 at Port Gamble, made himself proficient in each degree, and with the assistance of other officers who had worked in some of the stations and places, he put all the officers through a rigorous course of training.
The officers first learned how to open and close lodge. and then they tackled and mastered the ritual of the three degrees in order. Invaluable assistance was given by Bros. Joseph Bell and Samuel Locke, both past masters of Tacoma No. 22. They were both made honorary members of our lodge in recognition of the great amount of time and attention they devoted to coaching the first officers. Both remained firm and loyal friends of the lodge.
Three months of sweating, drilling and memorizing finally created a group of lodge officers able to put on the work in a creditable manner, and in fact with such excellence as to exceed the endeavors of the ordinary small Masonic lodge. It was felt that the organization was ready for a dispensation and Grand Master Lawler was so informed early in 1918.
During this time the members of the group had nothing in mind so much as calling the new lodge Defiance lodge, as was proposed from the beginning. Grand Master Lawler, however, had suggested the lodge should be named for William P. Dougherty, one of the notable patrons of Masonry in the Pacific Northwest. The members were not greatly impressed with the grand master's advice, and up until the lodge was formed under dispensation it was taken for granted it would be named Defiance lodge.
Grand Master Lawler set the ceremonies of dispensation for March 6, 1918, and Brother Ostrander, who was pastor of Bethany Presbyterian Church at North 1st and Verde streets, granted the use of the church auditorium for the ceremonies that actually launched the new lodge upon the sea of Masonry. At this first communication of the lodge there were present, in addition to the grand master, Rt. W. Bro. Horace W. Tyler, grand secretary; M. W. Bros. John Arthur of Seattle and Royal A. Gove of Tacoma, Past Grand Masters, and many prominent members of the craft from all the Tacoma lodges.
Grand Master Lawler, who had understood the lodge was to he named for William P. Dougherty, refused to read the dispensation under any other name, for which reason our lodge today is William P. Dougherty lodge No. 224, rather than Defiance lodge No. 224. The members had selected the name Defiance because it would instantly have suggested the lodge was located near Point Defiance, while also affording a sonorous and appropriate name. However, the wishes of the Grand Master were compelling.
The Lodge through its name honors one of the pioneers and a leading Mason of the Pacific Northwest. William P. Dougherty was noted through a long life for his practice of all the Masonic virtues, and therefore he stands in Masonic history as a craftsman whom all our members might with profit emulate.
On February 5, 1846, a notice was printed in the Oregon Spectator of Oregon City, Oregon Territory, the first newspaper printed in English west of the Rocky mountains, which led to the introduction of Free Masonry on the Pacific Coast and made William P. Dougherty an important personage in Masonic history. This notice read:
"Masonic Notice: The members of the Masonic fraternity in Oregon territory are respectfully requested to meet at the City Hotel in Oregon City on the 21st instant to adopt some measure for a charter for a new lodge. February 6, 1846. Signed: Joseph Hull, Peter G. Stewart and William P. Dougherty."
The meeting was held in the hotel room of Brother Dougherty on the date specified, February 21, 1846, with seven Master Masons present. It was voted to petition the Grand Lodge of Missouri, the grand lodge nearest Oregon territory, for a charter for a Masonic lodge in Oregon City, and Brother Dougherty was entrusted with the important task of obtaining the charter and bringing it from Missouri to Oregon.
Brother Dougherty transmitted the request for a charter to his friend, James A. Spratt, a Master Mason of Platte City, Mo., by the express of the Hudson Bay Co. Brother Spratt was directed to request the charter from the grand lodge of Missouri on the petition of the seven Oregon Masons, to pay for the charter and to forward it to Brother Dougherty.
The charter was granted by the Grand Lodge of Missouri on October 19, 18 i6, and the lodge was named Multnomah No. 8-1 on the Missouri roster. It is now No. 1 on the Oregon roster. It was the first lodge on the Pacific Coast and it should he remembered it was established when California was still a part of Mexico and when the area between Missouri and Puget Sound as largely unp1(med prairie or unexplored wilderness.
The exact date of the delivery of the charter in Oregon City is not known, but it is recorded that Multnumah lodge No. 84 was constituted on September 11, 18-+8. The charter specified Brother Hull as worshipful master, Brother Dougherty as senior warden and Brother Tendal C. Cason as junior warden, but Brother Dougherty was not present when the lodge was constituted. He also had been afflicted with the gold fever and had gone no California during the time the charter was awaited.
Doubtless it was somewhat difficult to find a Master Mason to carry the charter from Missouri to Oregon, because it was not until April, that Brother P. B. Cornwall, who later attained eminence on the Pacific Coast, started west with it. Brother Cornwall received the charter in December, and in the following spring, with four other persons, lie crossed the Missouri river a little below Council Bluffs, Iowa, and headed for the Oregon country. At Fort Hall Brother Cornwall left the party and went to California, lured by the news that gold had been discovered there. He entrusted the charter to Brothers Orcan and Joseph Kellogg, father and son. They placed it in a small hair-tanned, cow-hide trunk for safe keeping. This trunk was made by Joseph Kellogg in 1834 and is now a valuable relic in the archives of the Grand Lodge of Oregon.
William P. Dougherty was born at Washington, Pennsylvania, in 1812. He was made a Master Mason at the age of 31 and in 1843 in Platte City Lodge No. 56 of Missouri. Later in the same year he emigrated to Oregon territory.
In 1852, after the gold rush to California had subsided, he returned to the Pacific Northwest and took a donation claim in Pierce county near Tacoma and Steilacoom. He took a dimit from his Oregon City lodge and became a member of Steilacoom lodge No. 8 under the Oregon jurisdiction, the present Steilacoom No. 2 of Washington. For many years Brother Dougherty was a familiar and respected figure in Masonic circles in Steilacoom and Tacoma and he did not pass away until April 16, 1898, at the ripe age of 86.
Additional light on the career of Brother Dougherty is contained in our lodge minutes of an important communication on January 15, 1919, when Clover Lodge No. 90 visited our lodge in a body and presented us with a large Bible for our altar. Brother Ramsdell of Clover lodge presented us with our rough and perfect ashlars on behalf of his mother, Mrs. Mary Cook, a daughter of Brother Dougherty. A letter from Mrs. Cook was read to the lodge as follows: "I am glad to have the opportunity on this occasion of expressing my sincere appreciation of this fine tribute paid to the memory of my deceased father. To those whom he left behind, such a tribute of the respect and esteem in which he was held by his brethern in the Masonic fraternity must be regarded with the warmest feeling of gratitude.
'W. P. Dougherty was one of the pioneers of the great Northwest and his children can look hack with pride on the part which he took in its upbuilding. They can be proud of the reputation he established as an honest man and a good citizen.
"He came from Washington, Pa., to Oregon in 1843, just 75 years ago, and took up a homestead on the land on which Oregon City, Oregon, is now located.
'In 1845 lie married Mary J. Chambers and shortly sold his claim for $500 and came to Puget Sound, locating on what is known as the W. P. Dougherty donation claim. In 18-i8 he joined the rush of gold seekers to California and remained there one year in which time he accumulated $2,700, and then he returned to Puget Sound to spend the remainder of his life.
"His connections with the Masonic fraternity are known to the members of that order. To him belongs the honor of having instituted the first Masonic lodge in this state at Olympia, and the second at Steilacoom, hoth of which are still in existence. As a further evidence of his standing in the community in which he spent so many years of his life, it may be stated that he was elected judge of the probate court, in which position he served 1-i years.
"He continued to live on his claim until April 16, 1898, when after a brief illness he passed away at the age of 86 years." Brother Duugherty was buried in the Tacoma cemetery. He was a member of Steilacoom Lodge until the end. His survivors included two nephews, Paul and Floyd Dougherty, who became early members of our Lodge.
M. W. Bro. Thomas M. Reed, former Grand Master and for many years the beloved Grand Secretary of the Grand Lodge of Washington, says in his work, "Pioneer Masonry":
"One particular feature of interest in the Masonic life of this venerable and beloved brother, William P. Dougherty, exists in the fact that, in so far as we have any knowledge, or can find to the contrary, it was he who first brought Masonry to this western shore of our continent."
Brother Reed often expressed the wish that a Lodge should honor Brother Dougherty by adopting his name. It fell to the lot of our Lodge to fulfill this desire and thus erecting to Brother Dougherty a monument more enduring than marble and more honorable than at shaft piercing the firmament.
Now to revert to the first communication of the lodge at which it was formed under dispensation. Grand Master Lawler read the dispensation authorizing the lodge to work under the officers already specified, and with the following 19 initial members, whose names are given together with the Lodges from which they dimitted:
At this first communication there was evidenced the fact that the lodge was destined to command a steady growth and that it filled a genuine need in the community which it had chosen as its field of Masonic endeavor. Petitions from eight men were received. These eight were elected to receive the degrees at the second stated communication on April 3, 1918. They were J. C. Elder, W. F. Hanna, Hans Kongslie. John Whitmore, Frank F. Madden, George S. Pray, T. D. Bryan and Ed Austin.
The first degree conferred was upon Frank E. Madden, who was initiated on April 10, 1918, with Brother Samuel A. Locke in the East. At this same special communication George Pray and John Whitmore were also initiated. During the first year until December 31, 1918, the membership more than doubled with 23 raised as an addition to the 19 charter members.
A charter was granted the new Lodge by the M. W. Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons of Washington on June 13, 1918, and M. W. Bro. A. E. Emerson of Ellensburg, our Grand Master, ordered constitution of the Lodge on July 2-I. 1918, and assigned it the number 22. Our Lodge was duly constituted at a notable ceremony with the following Grand Lodge officers, many of them appointed for the occasion by Grand Master Emerson, who unfortunately found it impossible to be present:
These officers constituted a notable group, including three Past Grand Masters, one who later became a Grand Master, and another who became Governor of Washington.The first year was one of great industry and zeal. During 1918 nine stated and 35 special communications were held. During this period the lodge obtained a three year lease on the old fire hall on Cheyenne street north of the Sherman school, a place of blessed memory to the early members. By dint of hard work this hall was fitted up as a suitable lodge room and the members enjoyed a fellowship that has never since been excelled. Hard work was indeed the order of the day. As. W. Bro. William J. George said in his report at the end of the year, there was scarcely a night during the first year that did not find some member of the lodge at Masonic work in one way or another for the present or future wellbeing of the organization. By the time 1918 closed William P. Dougherty Lodge, although still in its swaddling clothes, was already known as a virile association of Masons who attempted to practice the Masonic virtues of friendship and brotherly love, and who always had a helpful hand ready to guide newly admitted brothers.
OUR NEW TEMPLE
The first important step in the history of the Lodge following its establishment was the acquisition of a new Lodge home. The Lodge was less than a year old when many of the members realized a larger and more appropriate meeting place than the old fire station would have
The Lodge was new and small and had little money, but to he acquired, and that right speedily. There was plenty of enthusiasm and energy. The first members who spoke out boldly that a new temple was an immediate necessity found such encouragement that early in 1919 such a project was taken for granted.
Ernest L. Kasson and Christian Nelsen were the Masters in 1919 and 1920 when the temple at North ;8th and Cheyenne streets was conceived and erected. Few lodges any place have built so adequately under such handicaps, and the members of the lodge back in 1919 made a record of progress it will be difficult to surpass in the years to come.
The first mention of a new Lodge home in the official minutes of the Lodge is found for the stated communication on January l. 1919, the first under Brother Kasson as Master. On that date Brothers John Chalmbers and Calvin W. Stewart were appointed a committee "to look up some available property to be purchased as the future home of the Lodge." Brothers Chalmers and Stewart conferred with other members from time to time, and on July 2. 1919, they reported to the Lodge that it would seem a good move to purchase the two lots South of the fire station on Cheyenne street, where the Lodge was then meeting. These two lots were for sale for $300, and the special committee advised the purchase. It was moved by Brother Eugene A. White that the committee investigate further and then buy two lots if that were deemed best. This notion carried and the two lots were later purchased.
The lodge at this time was growing faster that perhaps any of its original members had deemed possible. As many as five degrees were often conferred in one evening, and the fire hall was being outgrown faster than could have been imagined a year before. Agitation for the new building grew apace, and on October 1. 1919, a resolution was passed appointing the Worshipful Master, the Senior Warden and the Junior Warden a board of trustees to handle all property of the Lodge.
Definite official action was next taken on February 4, 1920, when Bro. Fred A. Hoffman moved that a committee be appointed to keep an eye on the possibility of obtaining a building from the Whitworth College campus as the college was about to remove from Tacoma to Spokane. The motion carried and Worshipful Master Christian Nelsen appointed Brothers Chalmers, Stewart and Kasson its the committee.
A report from the committee was expected at the March stated communication but more time was sought. The Lodge granted the committee an additional month and requested it to report on a site for a lodge hall in April and empowered it to take an option on the main Whitworth College building if it saw fit to do so.
The committee reported on April 7, 1920, advising the Lodge that the college building could be acquired for $500 and recommending its purchase. The Lodge voted 34 to 6 to purchase the building. Then it was necessary to decide on the site for the new temple. There was a considerable difference of opinion on this important question and three locations had adherents. A ballot was taken with the following result: at the corner of North 38th and Cheyenne sweets, 33 votes; at the corner of lists and Cheyenne streets, 8 votes; and on the lots owned by the Lodge adjoining the old fire station, 9 votes. Thus the corner of 38th and Cheyenne streets was chosen and the lodge empowered its committee to sell the lots south of the fire station for any fair price.
Three lots at North 38th and Cheyenne were purchased from Brothers William J. George and W. S. Myers for $775 and plans were begun to move the college building to the site and reconstruct it into a temple. On May 5, 1920, on recommendation of the building committee the lodge voted to issue bonds in the sum of $8,000 to move and make over the building. The bonds were issued for 10 years and bore five per cent interest. They were sold to members of the lodge and in a few cases to other members of the fraternity. It was a feat of enterprise to float this bond issue, and its success demonstrated the high spirit of the Lodge at that important time.
Work was started at once under the able direction of Bro. John Chalmers, assisted ably by other members. Every member of the Lodge was working hard, and especially the finance committee, consisting of Brothers J- Frank Isley, William J. George, R. C. Jenkins, Calvin W. Stewart, John Chalmers and Ernest L. Kasson. The building was moved at a cost of $2,580, reconstructed for $1,918; lathed for $104, plastered for $337, while plumbing cost $810 and the heating plant $1,040. The building was painted inside and out for $675 and other work brought cost of the building and lots to $11,113.40. In addition furniture and fixtures cost $1,606.90, so that the total investment was $12,720.30.
On September 1, 1920, the building was so near completion that it was voted to hold the official dedication on September 29, 1920. Brothers J. C. Elder and Eugene A. White were appointed to take charge of the entertainment on the second floor while Brothers Calvin W. Stewart and W. S. Myers directed activities on the first floor. The dedication was an outstanding event in Tacoma Masonic circles. Grand Master James Begg was present and delivered the main address of the evening and other prominent Masons spoke. A large attendance from the Lodge of Tacoma and adjacent territory was present and excellent refreshments were served. Early members of the Lodge will never forget the dedication of the new temple.
The first stated communication in the new temple was held October 6, 1920, and at that time all bills were ordered paid so that the Lodge cleared away all its indebtedness except its bonds and certain contract items.
Worshipful Master Nelsen in his report at the end of 1920 said: " I consider the new building a masterpiece and a credit to our community and to our city, as well as to our fraternity. It was indeed a great undertaking and was made a success only by the good fellowship and love for Masonry which always prevails in our Lodge."
The new building was a good looking structure situated on a prominent corner. It consisted of two stories and a small basement holding the heating plant. On the first floor was the kitchen, dance and banquet room with a small stage at one end. On the second floor was the Lodge room, regalia room, rest room for women and card room for men. It was tastefully decorated and furnished and in every way aroused the pride of the Lodge members.
GROWTH AND DEPRESSION
Our Lodge in the first five years of its life enjoyed a remarkable growth that may never he duplicated. When William J. George turned the Oriental chair over to Ernest K. Lasson at the end of 1918 the Lodge had 43 members, an increase of 24 over the original 19 charter members. During 1919, 26 more members were added for a total of 69 at the end of that year.
This growth was exceptional. but nothing compared with what was to come. During 1920 with Christian Nelsen as Master there was a gain of 37 members to a total of 106. And then in 1921, under Bro. Eugene A. White as Master, the lodge had the greatest growth in its history, the net gain being no less than 60 to a total of 166.
The growth continued at a slower pace for a few years. Under Calvin W. Stewart in 1922 there was a net gain of 19 to a total of 185 and under Bro. George S. Pray as Master in 1923 the membership grew to 199, an increase of 14. The gain was seven members to 206 under Bro. Fred A. Hoffman in 192-i. There was a drop, however, in 1925 with Bro. Charles A. Green as Master, the loss being four members to a total of 202. The next year, 1926, there was an increase of three to 205 under Bro. Paul W. Harvey as Master.
The next year with Bro. George S. Shumake its Master the Lodge gained 12 members and reached a peak for more than two decades with 217 members. The lodge held its own in 1928 with John Chalmers in the East, but in 1929, with Bro. Lloyd L. Sell as Master showed a loss of six to 211. There was a gain of one to 212 in 1930 with Bro. Frank 1.. Poole as Master, but thereafter the great business depression that began in 1929 began to get in its deadly work.
Under Bro. Grover C. Skidmore as Master in 1931 there was a loss of three members to 209. The loss was six to 2(13 under Bro. Lawrence F. MacLean in 1932, and in 1933 with Bro. Harry I.. Keil as Master the membership dropped below the 200 mark to 193, a loss of 10. In 1931 with Bro. Harry M. Bruce in the East the loss mounted to 16, leaving 177 on the roll at the end of the year, slightly less than the total of 13 years before. But the low point was still ahead. In 1933 under Bro. Donald F. Crammond as Master there was a further loss of nine members to 168, and there was another loss of eight members to 160 under Bro. Frederick William "I'raill in 1936, and another loss of five members to 155 under Bro. Arthur Berryman as Master in 1937.
Then the Lodge reached its low tide under Bro. Clarence William Ferris as Master in 1938 with at loss of one member to 15i. It remained in the trough of its decline with Bro. Albert H. Mellish as Master in 1939, showing neither loss nor gain.
The long and disastrous slump was ended at last. "There was a tiny gain of one member to 155 under Bro. Pierre H. Tissot in 1940, and proof that the tide had turned was given in 1901 when there was an increase of six members to 161 under Bro. Thomas Lyon as master. There was another increase of two members to 163 under Bro. George S. Harris as Master in 1942, and another slight gain of one under Bro. Bafford G. Floyd in 1943, the year that marked the 25th anniversary of the lodge.
The depression hit our Lodge such a hard blow that our membership of 164 when we were 25 years of age was two less than it was at the end of 1921, just 22 years before. Our lowest membership of 154 in 1938 and 1939 was 63 less than our highest membership of 217 in 1927. More significant, perhaps, is the fact that our Lodge did not receive a single petition for the degrees in 1933, 1934 and 1935, at the worst of the depression.
The black side of the picture has been painted. But there is a brighter side. While the Lodge was losing members and had little degree work its morale was kept high by able leadership and the continuous support of good members of the Lodge. Outstanding communications were held regularly, excellent speakers addressed the members from time to time, Masonic study was carried on and the principles of Masonry were stressed and inculcated in the brethren.
Also during the hard times the mortgage on the lodge property was reduced and retired. The original bond issue of 1920 became due in 1930, at which time the original ,88,000 issue had been reduced to $4,100. Bro. Frank L. Poole as Master arranged to pay off the outstanding bonds through a mortgage on the lodge property to the State Savings and Loan Association in the sum of $4,100, drawing six per cent interest, and to be paid off at the rate of $51 a month, principal and interest. In 1940 this mortgage debt had been reduced to about $325, and our Master, Bro. Pierre H. Tissot, determined to pay off the mortgage and leave the Lodge free of the burden of debt that had persisted for 20 years. The membership accepted the challenge with the result that the mortgage was burned at an enthusiastic ceremony on November 13, 1940.
The Lodge was thus free to improve the Lodge property as funds would permit, and a comprehensive plan of improvement was adopted in 1944 and more than $1000 was spent on improvements in that year.
During our first 25 years we had the honor of seeing one of our members chosen as Grand Master of Masons in Washington. Bro. Frank L. Poole, our Master in 1930, became active in Grand Lodge affairs and in 1931 was appointed Senior Grand Steward, and in 1932 Senior Grand Deacon. Grand lodge in 1934 elected him Junior Grand Warden, and he became our Grand Master in 1937.
Our Lodge held a notable reception for Grand Master Poole at the downtown Masonic temple in Tacoma on June 23, 1937, shortly after his elevation to the highest Masonic post. All Tacoma Lodges took part in this important Masonic event. On September 8, 1937, our Lodge held a reception in our temple for M. W. Bro. Poole and for our Bro. J. P. Boyd, who was Grand Master of Odd Fellows of Washington. It was exceptional that two of our members should be head of two of the great fraternal organizations in Washington at the same time.
Bro. Paul W. Harvey, another Past Master of our Lodge, was appointed Grand Historian of the Grand Lodge in 1933 and 1934, and in these two years he wrote historical papers on 'A Short History of the Washington Masonic Code," and "A Short History of Masonry in Washington," which were read to Grand Lodge and are to be found in our Grand Lodge Proceedings. Brother Harvey was also Deputy of the Grand Master in District No. 14 in 1938-39.
It should also he mentioned that Bro. Fugene A. White. our Master in 1921, extended his interests in Masonry to such an extent that he was honored by being made a member of the 33rd degree of the Scottish Rite. He has headed the various Scottish Rite bodies in Tacoma and has also served as Potentate of Afifi temple of the Shrine.
In our first quarter century we raised 246 members, affiliated 82, restored 33 and rejected 34, while 57 of our members died, 59 dimitted and 80 were dropped for nonpayment of dues. A number of the latter have been restored.
Our list of dead includes some of the best and most loyal members the Lodge has had. Space forbids mentioning them all, but their records and their Masonic achievements lie on perpetual record in the minutes and the annual year books of the Lodge. It should be mentioned that we have lost six Past Masters up to 1945, including our first Master, William J. George, who died April 3, 1935. Our Lodge conducted fitting memorial services for him the evening after his death. He was born on Vancouver Island. British Columbia, August 20, 1864, and his parents brought him to Whidby Island, Washington, the following year. Later he removed to Port Madison, and became Master of Franklin Lodge No. 5 at Port Gamble. After he came to Tacoma he became head sawyer of the Defiance lumber mill and he was widely known and respected. Many fine tributes were paid him.
Three Past Masters died in 1937, and all at an early age. They were Harry L. Keil, 47; George S. Shumake, 46; and Grover C. Skidmore, 50. All had served the Lodge well. George S. Pray, 62, died in 1939. No Master of our Lodge knew the work better or put it on with more simple dignity. John Chalmers, 79, died in 1944. He was the first treasurer of the Lodge and was a tower of strength in erecting our temple. He was elected Master in 1928 to honor him for his outstanding service.
Finally in reviewing the first quarter century of our group it might be well to call attention to the fact that while a Masonic Lodge is designed to make its votaries wiser, better and consequently happier, it also of necessity has a business side. During our first 25 years no less than $65,621.59 was turned into the lodge treasury from all sources. The largest year was 1920 with total receipts of $6,465.26, including sale of bonds, and the next largest was 1921 with $4,508,51, also including bond sales. The receipts in 1918, our first year, were $1,=179.70. The largest income for any year from dues and fees only was 1924 with a total of $3,711.97. The smallest was in 1935 with $1,556.91.
BRIGHT DAYS AHEAD
At this time, the occasion of our 27th anniversary, it is apparent that Masonry in the nation, the state and Tacoma is enjoying a great expansion. Judging the future by the past we can expect this period of growth will last for several years, perhaps a decade. This evening we have 17members on our roll, and 1944 was such a good year for us, with Bro. Everett W. Cummings as master, that we showed an increase of 11 members to 175. The increase this year under Bro. Linn O. Alger is found to be larger still and it can reasonably he expected that in a few years we will have more members than the 217 of 1927, though it is not the ambition of our members to build up a large lodge.
Our group was established principally to become it community lodge. When it was founded it appeared this section of Tacoma would enjoy a rapid growth because of its many advantages as a residence section. This growth was postponed by the depression, but in the last two or three years there has been much construction in the area adjacent to the lodge and it can be expected that the great building boom after the war will further develop the environs of our temple. The lodge, therefore, can expect to have more and more Masons in its natural field.
While the record is still incomplete, a list of our members in the armed services should be a part of this short history, to be revised from time to time. Our members serving or having served in the army and navy are: Lt. Col. Gustave B. Appelman, Louis Neal Ashury, Lt. (j. g.) Robert B. Brown, Maj. Ellsworth B. Bailey, Samuel Elyn, Thomas J. Jordan, John Richard Lyon, John Edward Murphy, Conway K. Puffer, John Sepich and Lt. Roy L. Stephens. In addition Bro. Arthur E. Burgess served as a war correspondent in the South Pacific and experienced all the sharp actualities of war.
Also our distinguished 50 year members should he acclaimed. They are Elba J. Kay, raised March 26, 188-i, 61 years ago this month; Charles Hy Ramming, one of our charter members, raised June 1, 1893, almost 52 years ago; and Almas Lapham, raised March 11, 1893, also 52 years ago.
Growth of our Lodge library is also a matter for pride. It was established in 1933 and was named the Rex. W. Norton library in honor of Rex. W. Norton, Our Senior Deacon. who died in that year at the untimely age of 35. His Masonic books were presented to the Lodge as a nucleus of the library, which has been managed by Bro. Frederick William Traill. The library now contains the full proceedings of Grand Lodge from its beginning, along with many Masonic books and papers. It will he widely used in the future and its creation was an act of foresight and wisdom. It merits donations from all our members,
On this 27th anniversary our members can feel they have wrought well. The lodge is prosperous and busy, it is free of debt, peace and harmony prevail, and most important of all it strives diligently to turn its candidates into good Masons with a conscientiousness not exceeded and seldom equaled by any other Lodge in this Grand Jurisdiction. This latter is the rock bottom, the foundation of Masonry, and our sincerest endeavor is to inculcate into our candidates tolerance, benevolence, charity, temperance, prudence, fortitude, justice, brotherhood, fidelity, respectability, social conscience, public and private morality, and in fact every virtue through which Masonry is adorned and society benefited.