of Western Arkansas Scottish Rite Bodies
Welcome to the 75th Anniversary Celebration of the granting of the Charter for the Zabud (Fort Smith) Lodge of Perfection, Valley of Fort Smith, Orient of Arkansas. It is a joyous time and a joyous story the story of the formation of the western Arkansas Scottish Rite Bodies.
Albert Pike, at one time the Sovereign Grand Commander of Scottish Rite Masonry of the Southern Jurisdiction once said: "Every degree of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite from the Fourth through the Thirty Second, teaches by its ceremonials as well as by its instruction that the noblest purpose of life and the highest duty of man is to strive incessantly and vigorously to win the mastery of everything of that which in him is spiritual and divine over that which is material and sensual: so that in him also, as in the universe which God governs, harmony and beauty may be the result of just equilibrium"
For many years Master Masons in western Arkansas eager for light, petitioned the Arkansas Consistory in Little Rock for the Scottish Rite degrees. The lessons learned and the impressions made were lasting ones to them. As time moved on and the members of the Rite came into closer communion, one with the other, the subject of establishing a set of the bodies in the Valley of Fort Smith was discussed.
One afternoon in the spring of 1924, a number of the brethren who were members of the Rite, got together and discussed the situation, and decided it was time for definite action. In this group were Fred W. Kidd, 33°, Hurd J. Miller, 32°, James H. Clendening, 32°, and J. K. Jordan. Mr. Clendening was elected President.
delegation of the local brethren of the Rite attended the spring reunion of the
Arkansas Consistory at Little Rock in 1924 and presented Brother Rosenbaum
recommended to the Supreme Council of the Rite that Letters Temporary be given
for a Lodge of Perfection in Fort Smith to be known as the Zabud Lodge of
Perfection. The Letters Temporary were issued on September 5,1924. The following
members in good standing in Arkansas Consistory signed the Letters Temporary:
Earl T. Allen, Alonzo M. Buckley, Frank Blakemore, David T. Bryan, James Harry
Clendening, Dred R. Dorente, Charles H. Darland, George W. Dodd, Russell H.
Dale, Oscar A. Fentress, Omar D. Freeman, David L. Ford, Jack S. Gregg, Joseph
Earl Henderson, James K. Jordan, Clarence S. Kidd, Frank G. Kerr, Charles
Kruskopp, Captilles A. Lick, C. Earl Leininger, Ernest N. McCall, Hurd J.
Miller, Homer C. Norvell, William T. Oglesby, John E. Powers, John C. Reinhard,
John Loren Swofford, David E. Shapard, Pink Shaw, Fred P. Warren, Curtis C.
Wright, J. Sam Wood, J. E. Blakemore.
The Zabud Lodge of Perfection was granted a charter by the Supreme Council in Washington, D.C., on October 22, 1925. It is the granting of this charter that we are now celebrating. Officers were installed April 30, 1926. In charge of the installation were C. Eugene Smith, 33°, and other officers of the Arkansas Consistory. Brother Rosenbaum was unable to attend because of illness.
The first officers were: James H. Clendening, Venerable Master: Hurd J. Miller, Senior Warden: John E. Powers, Junior Warden; Dred R. Dorente, Orator; Oscar A.. Fentress, Almoner; Robert L. Secrest, Secretary; Alonzo M. Buckley, Treasurer; James H. Clendening, Jr., Master of Ceremonies; Fred P. Warren, Expert; Clarence S. Kidd, Assistant "Expert; Curtis C. Wright, Captain of the Host; end John C. Reinhard, Tyler. Raymond Frazier, 32° did all the work on the scenery used, and Charles Kruskopp, 32°, worked out all electrical effects.
It was a small beginning. Everything had to be started from scratch, as the saying is. At the time, there was no home for the Rite, no music — in fact nothing but faith and "good men." But the chapter was solidly based on the rocks of Love and Wisdom, and members had a deep affection for the Rite.
members were in agreement: that men should not revile others on account of
political, philosophical, or religious opinion; that they never should forsake
or desert a friend when in adversity, in sickness, or in distress; that in all
things they should control their appetites and subdue their evil propensities;
that the Masons should endeavor to practice those precious Biblical attributes
-- Faith, Hope and Charity.
affection of the membership for the full meaning of the Scottish Rite Bodies in
Western Arkansas was so great and their effort and energy was so tremendous that
the Inspector General recommended that the Supreme Council grant Letters
Temporary for a Chapter Rose Croix.
Letters Temporary were granted by the Supreme Council on June 8, 1928. In
tribute to a "good man and Mason," the Chapter became known as Fred W.
Kidd Chapter Rose Croix. Officers at the time were: John E. Powers, Wise Master;
Dred R. Dorente, Senior Warden; David L. Ford, Junior Warden; Robert L. Secrest,
Secretary; Harry Padgett, Treasurer, Wallace R. Bacon, Orator; Oscar Fentress,
Almoner; Tom A. Cutting, Master of Ceremonies; Harlan H. Conger, Senior Expert;
William H. Simpson, Assistant Expert; J. Wheeler Wood, Guardian of the Temple;
and John C. Reinhard, Tyler.
in Masonry and Masonic activity was now at a high peak in the Fort Smith area.
"new" Masonic Temple in Fort Smith, built through the cooperation of
all the Masonic bodies in Fort Smith and costing $385,000, was dedicated on
September 16, 1929.
resolution presented by R. L. Secrest at the meeting, changing the
name from Zabud Lodge of Perfection to Fort Smith Lodge of Perfection was
adopted unanimously. October
21,1931, the Charter for the Council of Kadosh and also the Charter for the
Consistory in the Valley of Fort Smith, Orient of Arkansas, were issued by the
Supreme Council 33° Scottish Rite of Free Masonry, Southern Jurisdiction of the
United States of America.
for the Fort Smith Council of Kadosh were: Robert C. Coffey, 32°, Commander;
William T. Oglesby, 32°, Recorder; Harry Padgett, 32°, Treasurer; Burt
Clendening, 32°, Master of Ceremonies; Charles Kruskopp, 32° Turcopolier; J.
Sam Wood, 32°, Draper; Thomas K. Morton,
32°, 1st Deacon; John Andrews,32°, 2nd Deacon; Robert B. Cutting, 32°,
Bearer of Beauseant; Roy R. Gea, 32°, Bearer of White Standard; Robald Gardner,
32°, Bearer of Black Standard; R.C. Wilson,32°, Lieutenant of Guard; John C.
Reinhard, 32°, Sentinel.
for the Fort Smith Consistory were as follows: David K. Shapard, 32°, Master of
Kadosh; A. M. Leitzell, 32°, Prior; D. E. Wiest, 32°, Preceptor; Walter W.
Ayers, 32°, Chancellor; James A. Foltz, 32°, Minister of State; Oscar
Fentress, 32°, Almoner; R. L. Secrest, 32°, K.C.C.H. Registrar; Harry Padgett,
32°, Treasurer; Frank P. Anderson, 32° (Elbert Hefner) Prelate; R. C. Mack,32°,
Marshal of Ceremonies; J. G. Putman, Jr., 32°, Expert; Earl Henderson, 32°,
Assistant Expert; Joseph A. Day,32°, Captain of the Guard; John C. Reinhard, 32°,
the fall of 1952 a letter was received by the Bodies from Brother Joshua K.
Shepherd, Sovereign Grand Inspector for the State of Arkansas suggesting that
the names of the Fort Smith Bodies be changed to Western Arkansas Bodies.
the regular stated meeting October 1,1952 the following resolution was duly
presented end passed.
"BE IT RESOLVED that the:
Fort Smith Lodge of Perfection
Fort Smith Chapter of Rose Croix
Fort Smith Council of Kadosh
Fort Smith Consistory
henceforth be known as:
Western Arkansas Lodge of Perfection
Western Arkansas Chapter of Rose Croix
Western Arkansas Council of Kadosh
Western Arkansas Consistory
and that we do ask the Sovereign Grand Inspector General to approve this
change in name and to so inform the office of the Secretary General of the
Bodies name now reflected the area from which its membership was gained.
there are approximately 3,000 members of the Western Arkansas Scottish Rite
Bodies, approximately 7,000 in the Little Rock Scottish Rite Bodies and around
1,200 in the new west Memphis Scottish Rite Bodies.
Among the various charities and activities of the Western Arkansas Bodies, a program has been actively pursued by placing the Scottish Rite Dyslexia Training Program in 30 public school systems to date. This program benefits dyslexic children that have speech and learning difficulties due to genetic brain abnormalities.