|Lodge History (1858-1899):
No record reveals the reason
or the manner in which the name URANIA was chosen for this
lodge. The word URANIA is Greek, meaning heavenly one, the
muse of astronomy. This is indeed a fitting name.
In the year 1858, several
Master Masons residing in this area then known as Pleasant
Valley, Ohio and being members of Palestine Lodge #158,
Marysville, Ohio, and seeing the need of Lodge, petitioned
the Grand Lodge of Ohio for a Lodge of Free and Accepted
Masons be instituted in this place.
A dispensation was granted
October 21, 1858 at the Methodist Church with the following
being present: John Beach, E. R. Cook, A. Downing, T.J.
Downing, A. D. Doolittle, T. W. Fasha, A. J. Ferguson,
Wesley Ferguson, Joseph Guitner, J. K. Holycross, Benjamin
King, W. W. Norton and D. C. Winget.
On the following day, November
17, 1858, a second meeting was held at the same location and
at that meeting Bro. W. T. Snow, District Lecturer was there
to install the following officers: A. Downing, W. M., E. R.
Cook, S. W., J. K. Holycross, J. W., Joseph Guitner, Secy.,
A. Doolittle, Treas., W. W. Norton, S. D., D. C. Winger, J.
D., and Wesley Ferguson, Tyler.
The third meeting was held the
next day and the District Lecturer, Bro. W. T. Snow was
present for the purpose of instruction. On this date, the
Odd Fellows were contacted and quarters were leased for
The first petitioner to Urania
Lodge was Mr. E. W. Barrow, on November 21, 1858.
Bro. Levi Hager, having
received the E. A. and F. C. degrees at Palestine Lodge
#158, Marysville, Ohio was the first to be raised to the
sublime degree by Urania Lodge. This was done January 26,
In July, 1859, the following
brethren, Bros. E. W. Barrow, A. J. Ferguson, J. B. Hagerty
and E. R. Cook were appointed by the Worshipful Master,
A. Downing, to accompany the
remain of Bro. A. G. Curry (the second petitioner of Urania
Lodge) to Washington, Pennsylvania for burial. Their
expenses amounted to $56.44 and was loaned to the lodge by
some of the brethren and later reimbursed by the Lodge.
The Lodge worked under a
dispensation until the charter was granted by the Grand
Lodge and was presented by M. W. G. M. Horace M. Stokes
October 30, 1859.
The first by-laws stated that
the meetings be held on the Wednesday on or before the full
moon, but it seems they met at least once a month and as
often as the Worshipful Master deemed necessary. The
meetings were held at the Odd Fellows hall until 1862,
paying a yearly rent of $18.00. They then rented a room
over McCloud’s Drug Store, which according to records, was
located over what is now Tedrick’s Hardware Store. (The
address is 153 West Main Street, now a chiropractor’s
The records show that on
November 5, 1862, the amount of $10.50 was paid to Mrs.
McCloud for rent.
The first public installation
of officers was held November 16, 1859 at the Methodist
Church. The District Deputy Grand Master, Bro. G. W. Snow
was present to install the officers-elect.
A Tyler sword was presented to
the Lodge by Bro. Thomas Haynes on April 1, 1863. This
sword was later returned to Bro. Haynes’ son upon request.
During the year 1867, the
brethren formed what was known as the Urania Lodge Building
Co. and sold stock to the brethren. The records do not
reveal what happened to the company or if a building was
ever constructed, but sometime during 1867 the Lodge moved
from the McCloud location to the new quarters on the third
floor of the Odd Fellow Hall, paying rent of $37.66 for two
years. On December 27.1867 new officers were installed and
the new Lodge hall was dedicated. Officiating at these
ceremonies were Past Grand Master Thomas Sparrow, Deputy
Grand Master Joseph Stewart, Senior Grand Warden Chandler
and Junior Grand Warden I. E. Bigelow. A sum of $285.61 was
paid at that time for new furnishings for the new lodge
A petition was received on May
31, 1871, from Hilliard, Ohio asking for consent and
recommendation of Urania Lodge to institute a new Lodge in
that place. This was found to be incorrect, was returned
and was again presented on August 30, 1871, under the name
of Zion Lodge. This petition was accepted by our Lodge but
for some reason did not meet the requirements of the Grand
Lodge so again on July 9, 1873, the petition was again
presented to this Lodge under the name of Avery Lodge. This
was accepted and passed by Urania Lodge on this date.
In checking a book entitled
History of Madison County, the name of this village was
changed from Pleasant Valley to Plain City in 1872. The
reason being that several villages had the same name and
goods were being sent to the wrong place. The first record
of a meeting being held under the name of Plain City, Ohio,
was on December 31, 1873.
On August 20, 1874, a special
dispensation was obtained from the Grand Lodge and the Grand
Master, Most Worshipful Bro. Byers attended Urania Lodge,
observed the work, followed the refreshments and later in
the day attended a picnic. The records are silent as to the
location of the picnic.
Because a charge was placed
against one Bro. William Harris for frequent drunkenness, a
special meeting was called on December 2, 1874 and a trial
was held. He pleaded guilty as charged, ballots were taken
and he was reprimanded in a friendly manner by the
Worshipful Master and a brotherly feeling prevailed.
The same brother was again
charged for the same violation on July 27, 1876 and by
ballot, was suspended.
At the regular stated meeting
September 27, 1876, the representative to the Grand Lodge
communication was instructed to vote against the recognition
of the African Grand Lodge of Ohio.
In 1881, the brethren who had
in 1867 purchased stock in the Urania Lodge Building Company
tendered their shares and had their dues paid. The length
of time for the dues payments was determined by the amount
of stock owned. For each $50.00 share, 20 years were paid.
For each $25.00 share, 10 years dues were paid. For each
$5.00 share, 2 years were paid.
One Bro. J. M. Wilson, having
been charged with defrauding a Brother Mason and operating a
house of ill repute, was, on July 6, 1881, expelled from the
Lodge and all Masonic rights. The ballot being 20 black and
One Bro. J. M. Sells, having
been charged with Unmasonic Conduct, a vile tongue and
malicious acts, was, on November 30, 1881, expelled from all
Masonic rights. The ballot being 29 black and 12 white.
The same evening, a beautiful
Bible was presented to the Lodge on behalf of Bro. A. B.
Cohen of Lafayette Lodge #19, Washington, D. C.
On December 27, 1882 the
installation of officers for the ensuing year was performed
at the Aman and Leonard Hall located on the north side of
West Main Street, where a banquet was enjoyed by the Masons
and their wives. All repaired to the Masonic hall for a
A charge was made by Urania
Lodge against Hiram Lodge, Delaware, Ohio and Bros. B. Baker
and Asbury for Unmasonic Conduct and causing the degree work
to be performed upon one F. T. Sells, knowing that said Mr.
Sells had been rejected by Urania Lodge. A trial was held
on October 29, 1884, at Urania Lodge and all received
reprimands from Worshipful Master Bro. R. C. McCloud.
On April 29, 1885, one Bro. H.
H. Arnold, having been charged with forgery, stood trial,
found guilty, and was expelled from all Masonic rights.
On June 7, 1887, Urania Lodge
was visited by the Most Worshipful Grand Master, Bro.
Stacker Williams and the F. C. Degree was conferred upon a
candidate. At this time the Grand Master made necessary
corrections and instructed the officers in their work and
the proper manner in closing the Lodge. The Lodge was
closed in due form and all enjoyed a supper at the Plain
On December 12, 1888 three
officers-elect could not be installed because they had been
declared by the Grand Lodge to be connected with bodies
which were declared clandestine, namely The Royal Masonic
Rite. One Jacob Weaver denounced his allegiance to such
bodies in open Lodge and was then installed as Treasurer.
The other two members retired.
The Masonic records are not
clear as to the date, but it is verified by historical
records that during the year 1889, the Grand Master of
Masons in Ohio, Bro. Leander Burdick, presided at the
ceremonies of the laying of the cornerstone of the
Universalist Church which still stands on the South
Chillicothe Street and which at that time was the only
building in the area having an iron constructed ceiling.
The cost of the building was $7,000.00. The fact that the
weather was very bad did not prevent the members of Urania
Lodge from making a nice representation. A letter was sent
on November 6,1889 to the Grand Master thanking him for his
On April 2, 1890, a committee
reported that they had made arrangements to purchase the
third floor of the Odd Fellow Hall for the sum of $800.00.
The sum of $225.00 was paid at that time and the balance was
to be paid on or before May 1, 1890. The Lodge at that time
not having the money, was loaned and the balance by Bro.
Geo. W. Stevens. The sum was repaid with 8% interest and
the interest being applied to Bro. Steven’s dues.
Urania Lodge on July 2, 1890
rented their hall to the I. O. R. M. (Independent Order of
Red Man) for the sum of $75.00 yearly to be paid monthly.
At a later date, January 17, 1894, Urania Lodge received
upon demand, a stove, carpet and chairs from the I. O.R.M.,
allowing $25.00 credit on delinquency rent on the hall.
At no time prior to the year
1894 do the records reveal any scheduled inspections of the
work of the Lodge. From time to time, the Grand Master or
District Lecturer was present to witness the degree work and
give instruction. On March 21, 1894, the District Lecturer
or District Deputy as we know the title was present to
inspect the work in the E. A. and M. M. Degrees.
On June 15, 1894, the members
of Urania Lodge met at the train depot to welcome members of
York Lodge. These brethren exemplified the work of the M.
M. degree upon Bro. Ernest Beach. This was followed with a
banquet, serving 195 brethren at a cost of $83.00.
At the July 31, 1895 meeting,
Urania Lodge granted Order of the Eastern Star (O.E.S.)
permission to use the Lodge hall for chapter meetings.
In June 1896 Urania Lodge
purchased from Bro. G. T. Black 48 chairs for the sum of
$100.00. (We believe these to be the same chairs we now
use in our lodge room. They are still very comfortable and
in very fine condition.)
On August 19. 1896 it was
resolved and carried that the use of tobacco in any form be
prohibited in the Lodge room.
The installation of officers
on December 16, 1896 was combined with the installation of
officers of the O. E. S. After the Masonic officers were in
due form installed, the Lodge room was turned over to the
Eastern Star Chapter and after they installed their
officers, they then retired and the Lodge was closed in due
Sometime prior to April 27,
1897, the Lodge hall must have sustained some type of fire
damage. A vote was taken and a letter of thanks was sent to
the Plain City Fire Department for their services. The
records are silent as to the details but some of our
brethren have witnessed some of the results of that damage.
On March 2, 1898 the Lodge was
opened and the minutes of the previous meeting were read.
The Tyler appeared in the Lodge room, stating he had been
overpowered and the anteroom was full of strangers. The
Lodge was called from labor to ascertain the cause of the
commotion. When the door was thrown open the strangers were
found to be members of the O. E. S. After a short social
visit, order was called. Miss Bessie Lane sang the lines
from Robert Morris, “We Meet upon the Level” followed with
music by Miss Jennie Black. At this time refreshments
prepared by the ladies were enjoyed by all. The Worthy
Matron, Miss Lucy Robinson, gave a short talk on future
social activities and then the ladies retired. The Lodge
was then closed in due form.
On April 6, 1898, Bro. Howard
C. Black presented the Lodge with a Masonic sword to replace
the one previously returned. It is a beautifully engraved
sword and at this time is in its proper place, the Tyler’s
station. Also on this night, Bro. Samuel J. Lafferty,
District Lecturer was present and presented instructive
criticism which was very well received.
Before going to Lodge on
February 22, 1899. The brethren assembled at Bro. Black’s
furniture store, which is believed to have been located
where our Lodge now stands (102 East Main Street).
They purchased a rocking chair for the sum of $4.50 and
proceeded to deliver it to the home of Dr. Gardner, this
being his 51st birthday and also afflicted.
After a short visit, they proceeded to the Lodge feeling
much happier for their charitable deed.