History and Past Masters|
of Garrettsville Lodge #246
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Extracts from the meeting of December 25, 1860 read as follows: "The minutes of the last communication was burnt at the burning of the Hall and could not be read." The Brethren deemed it advisable to send letters to the several Lodges of this State requesting them to aid Garrettsville Lodge No. 246 in its present destitute condition caused by the late fire. Bro. Charles T. Barton, W.M. at that time, was constituted a committee to hire a room from Mr. M. Daily for the Lodge to occupy. In the '60's meetings were held once a month in the afternoon, at least during bad weather, it being noted that the Lodge recessed until 6-1/2 o'clock at times. It is not definitely known where this and succeeding meetings were held.
On December 17, 1861, two days less than one year after the fire, Garrettsville Lodge No. 246 F. & A. M. was located in a home of its own and the Building Committee filed the following report:
MAY, 1862 - Chairs and lamps were purchased for $9.31 and in September a "stand 150." (No doubt this was $1.50).
NOVEMBER 1, 1864 - Bro. Boum, Grand Lecturer was present to give the Lodge instructions, the meeting continued into a three day session. Opening at 1 P.M. the E. A. Degree was conferred and instructions given then recessed until 6 P.M. at which time a candidate was examined and the F. C. Degree conferred, after which a Resolution was passed that Bro. R. R. Boum be retained until Friday evening. Lodge closed to meet at 1 P.M. tomorrow. 1 P.M. November 2nd. E. A. Degree and lecture exemplified by Bro. Boum, then closed to meet at 6-1/2 P.M. F. C. Work and lecture by Bro. Boum. Next M. M. Degree and lecture by Bro. Boum, Lodge closed to meet at 1 P.M. November 3rd. M. M. and lecture after which Lodge closed until 6-1/2 P.M. this evening with another M.M. degree and lecture by Bro. Boum. Bro. R. R. Boum was given an order on the Treasurer for $20.00 for his services to the Lodge.
MARCH, 1865 - The Repairing Committee was authorized to purchase 24 kane (note spelling) seat office chairs.
SEPTEMBER 26, 1865 - Bro. James A. Garfield petitioned Garrettsville Lodge for admission and October 10, 1865 the committee on the petition reported favorable.
DECEMBER 26,1865 - On this afternoon the Lodge convened and exemplified the M.M. Degree on one candidate, then closed until six o'clock that evening for the purpose of repairing to the Congregational Church for a public installation of Officers- A Bro. Day, from Meadville, Pa. officiated.
The taxes on the Lodge property, for the year 1865 amounted to 13 cents.
DECEMBER 11, 1866 - Election of officers held and Bro. James A. Garfield elected as Chaplain.
Work on implements $2.00
AUGUST 31, 1869 - The following Resolutionm, after mature deliberation and ample discussion. was unanimously passed - Resolved that provided a dispensation be obtained for holding a Chapter Lodge in this place, the use of this Lodge room be given for that purpose.
DECEMBER 28, 1869 (Tuesday afternoon) - Committee to purchase privy, for use of Lodge reported it had purchased same of the Board of Education for $3.05. (We have it on good authority that previous to this time the Lodge did not enjoy such a "modern convenience").
SEPTEMBER, 1870 - First mention by the Grand Lodge of the duty and importance of establishing a home for the widows and orphans of Worthy Master Masons. It is recorded that Garrettsville Lodge responded and that a sum of money was deposited in Garrettsville Savings & Loan subject to the order of the committee on Charity of Garrettsville Lodge.
OCTOBER 8,1870 - A communication from the M. W. Grand Master was read referring to the establishment of a home for the widows and orphans of deceased M. M. Also the proceedings thereon of the Grand Lodge for 1869. Also the report of the committee to whom the subject was referred. After considerable discussion. the following amendment was offered - Resolved that Garrettsville Lodge pledge $100.00 for the benefit of the widows and orphans home and that an order be drawn on the Treasury for that amount. The same to be deposited in the Garrettsville Savings and Loan Association. subject to the order of the committee on Charity of Garrettsville Lodge F. & A. M. The report as amended was received and adopted.
DECEMBER 6, 1870 - Bro. James A. Garfield was elected Chaplain "by acclamation."
MARCH 14, 1871 - Brothers Foote, Barton and Udall were appointed a committee of three to ascertain the feasibility and probable expense of a new Masonic Hall and to contact Mr. J. H. Bogrand, also Crane Brothers, both of whom contemplated the erection of brick store buildings on Main Street.
FEBRUARY 12, 1872 (special) - Bro. Barton made a motion that there be a committee of five appointed to receive proposals for the building of a new hall. Motion laid upon the table. Bro. Tidball then offered a resolution as follows: Resolved that we agree to build a new Lodge room over either of the stores that J. H. Bogrand or Crane Bros., propose to build. Which after considerable discussion was carried. Bro. Barton's motion was then taken from the table and adopted as follows: Resolved that a committee of five members be appointed by the Lodge to confer with Crane Bros., and J. H. Bogrand on this proposition of a new Lodge building and report at next stated communication. It was moved, and carried that committee of five be appointed to solicit contributions for the building. Bro. Hobert for Windham, Matterson for Mantua, Todd for Nelson, Hutchinson for Garrettsville, and Strong for Hiram were appointed said committee.
FEBRUARY 20, 1872 - Mr. Bogrand's proposition for a new Lodge room was laid before the Lodge. On motion it was resolved not to accept it. On motion a committee of three were appointed to again confer with Mr. Bogrand and Crane Bros., for a room. (An agreement was reached between Mr. Bogrand and the Lodge Building committee, whereby Mr. Bogrand would own the lot, basement and first floor and the Lodge the second floor; such was the contract entered into, with joint upkeep of the roof.)
MARCH 18, 1872 - Bro. Tidball presented the following, which was adopted: Resolved that the building committee be instructed to contract in the name of the Lodge for building a new Lodge and they are hereby powered to borrow money for that purpose if they find it necessary. And further that the committee be empowered to sell or alter and rent the building now owned by the Lodge for the purpose of raising funds for building said Lodge.
JANUARY 15, 1873 - The dedication of the new Lodge room occurred. Invitations were issued and the Hall was crowded to overflowing. The ceremony was conducted by Grand Master Woodruff of Cleveland, Ohio, assisted by the several Grand Officers. Prof. Nash furnished the music for the occasion. After the interesting and beautiful services, the Lodge, with the friends present, proceeded to Buckeye Hall where a splendid supper had been prepared and music provided and the evening was whiled away in the pleasures of feasting, dancing and social converse until far into the small hours, when with general hilarity and good feeling, all dispersed to their homes, wishing that such a pleasant reunion might occur much more frequently.
FEBRUARY 25, 1873 - The report of the building committee was received and read, showing that the new hall and fixtures had cost $2451.20 with a few small bills not yet in. The committee had received from various sources $1302.21 and that the Lodge was in debt for $1148.99. (Thus came into being the present Lodge Room of Garrettsville Lodge).
MARCH 11, 1873 - Finance committee was instructed to try and borrow money at 8% interest to pay indebtedness on building.
APRIL 8, 1873 - Bill for material furnished and work on Altar amounting to $4.38 presented and allowed.
NOVEMBER 5, 1878 - A petition addressed to the Grand Master of Ohio was received from 18 Masons of Mantua praying for a dispensation to establish a new lodge in Mantua. Action was deferred until the next meeting when the Lodge recommended the establishment of the new Lodge.
MARCH 4, 1881 - Bro. James A. Garfield was sworn in as President of the United States.
SEPTEMBER 24,1881 - A motion was made and carried that the Lodge attend in a body the funeral of Bro. James A. Garfield to be held in Cleveland, Ohio on Monday, September 26th.
DECEMBER 27, 1887 - Committee appointed to invite Bro. E. S. Whitaker to meet with the members of the Lodge tomorrow evening and instruct them in conferring the different degrees. (This was the first event that led to a period when Garrettsville Lodge attained a statewide reputation for proficiency in the degree work.)
MARCH 27, 1888 - It was moved and carried that Bro. E. S. Whitaker of Watertown Lodge No. 30, N. Y., be made an honorary member of Garrettsville Lodge.
APRIL 10, 1888 - Moved and carried that a vote of thanks be extended to the Fire Dept. for the able manner in which they saved our Lodge Hall and contents from destruction by fire on the morning of April 1st. The amount of damage was estimated at about $600.00.
JUNE 6, 1883 - Special meeting to receive M. W. Grand Master Bro. S. S. Williams. After witnessing the work in all three degrees he highly recommended the work of Garrettsville Lodge.
FEBRUARY 4, 1890 - Extract from Grand Lodge Report of 1889. "July 23, 1889 I visited Garrettsville Lodge No. 246 accompanied by Bro. B. J. Taylor of Old Erie No. 3. There are few Lodges in this district, if any, more zealous and active in everything pertaining to Masonry and its advancement than this ... A stereopticon instrument and electric lights are among their improvements ... The 3rd Degree was conferred in my presence with such magnificence and elaboration of detail as has yet to be equaled. The perfection of drill required in all their floor work excels any lodge work I have ever witnessed and can only be brought to this high scale of execution by patient and untiring drill. One witnessing their work must wonder where they get so much masonry ... Although this Lodge ... is located in a town of only about 1200 inhabitants it is the 4th Lodge in this district in membership. As a visiting brother remarked - "How does it happen that so many good men and true live in one place." - Signed Carroll F. Clapp, First District Lecturer
MARCH 12,1891 - Excerpts from Garrettsville Journal of this date:
Frederic J. Crane, the Worshipful Master of Garrettsville Lodge No. 246 F. & A. M., having at the last session of the Grand Lodge been appointed District Lecturer for the First Masonic District of Ohio, comprising the counties of Ashtabula, Lake, Geauga, Trumbull, Mahoning and Portage, by recommendation of the Grand Master, convened the Masters, Wardens and Secretaries of the thirty-two Lodges of the District at this place, on Tuesday, March 3rd, and invited Garrettsville Lodge to exemplify the work of the first three degrees. Some two hundred visitors were in attendance, and the occasion was further graced by the presence of the Grand Master of the State, Levi C. Goodale, of Cincinnati, the Junior Grand Warden, Carroll F. Clapp, of Warren and the Grand Secretary, Jacob H. Bromwell of Cincinnati. The visitors were met and escorted from their trains by a delegation of Garrettsville Lodge, wearing silk hats and carrying light canes, making quite an imposing appearance. At 2 p.m. the Lodge was opened in due form, and the Grand officers were received with the grand honors, and formally introduced by Brother E. S. Whitaker, an old acquaintance.
"MOST WORSHIPFUL GRAND MASTER, RIGHT WORSHIPFUL JUNIOR GRAND WARDEN, RIGHT WORSHIPFUL GRAND SECRETARY: - The honor of welcoming you to our Lodge and to our hearts has fallen upon me. Let me assure you that no one could feel more proud of such distinction. You have confirmed your sincerity and your fidelity by a greater testimonial than by simply "plucking off a shoe and giving it to a neighbor," for you have journeyed across an entire State and have testified by your living presence, thereby giving us a token of the respect, solicitude and love which you bear toward the Masonic Fraternity of Northern Ohio. Let me, in return for this, on behalf of all these brethren present, on behalf of all our brethren absent, on behalf of all the subordinate Lodges of District No. 1 and of Garrettsville Lodge whose guests you are, extend to you the warmest fraternal greetings of Ashtabula, Lake, Geauga, Trumbull, Mahoning and Portage counties; and further, Most Worshipful Sir and Brother, to express to you and to those with you, who give strength and support to you in your glorious undertakings, all the loyalty and fealty, all the love, honor and respect which we owe to you as the representative head and choice of nearly 40,000 Free and Accepted Masons of this grand old State of Ohio. And now, Most Worshipful Brother allow me to present to you my right hand, and with it the grip of a Master Mason which is felt 'round the world and ask you to kindly accept from me this gavel of authority, and that you occupy the East for such time as may best please you; that the fact may be spread upon our minutes, and the same be laid up with the records in the archives of our Lodge as a memorial, that our Most Worshipful Grand Master Levi C. Goodale, did at one time and for sometime preside over the destiny, the welfare and the hearts of Garrettsville Lodge, No. 246, and of her distinguished guests. "
They were then conducted to the posts of honor, each giving a very happy response before taking his seat. The degree of Entered Apprentice was then conferred in full form, succeeded by the degree of Fellow Craft with full musical accessories, and much to the delight of the visitors. A recess was then taken until about half past seven P. M., when the lodge room was crowded to its fullest capacity, and the work of the third degree was exemplified by the full corps of officers in costume, and in the careful manner which has gained for this Lodge a wide-spread reputation. The attention throughout was marked, and notwithstanding the crowded condition of the lodge-room, the utmost quiet was observed evincing the interest manifested. At the conclusion, the Grand Master and his associate officers made some highly complimentary remarks. The Lodge was closed, and under direction of the Marshal the lines were formed and the distinguished guests escorted to Buckeye Hall, where the ladies of the Masonic Aid Association had spread a handsome repast.
MAY 1, 1906 - A communication was received from the Grand Master of Ohio asking for a donation to aid the Masonic sufferers of the San Francisco earthquake.
OCTOBER 2, 1906 - Garrettsville Lodge attended the Portage County Masonic Field Day held at Kent, Ohio. In the afternoon the Masters Degree was exemplified by Unity Lodge No. 12, Rockton Lodge No. 316 and Mantua Lodge No. 533.
MARCH 5, 1907 - Committee on Transportation to Chagrin Falls reported arrangements made for street car to leave Garrettsville at 3 P.M. Returning leave Chagrin Falls at 11 P.M. at a cost of $30.00 and $5.00 additional for each hour later.
MARCH 6, 1907 - On this date about 50 members of Garrettsville Lodge journeyed to Chagrin Falls upon an invitation from Golden Gate Lodge No. 245. They were met by the brethren upon arrival and escorted to the Hotel where a beautiful supper was served. After which adjournment was made to the Lodge room where Garrettsville Lodge exemplified the M. M. degree in their usual excellent form. A lunch followed by speaking and visiting concluded a very pleasant occasion.
APRIL 16, 1907 - Bro. L. V. Snow reported that Bro. Hagelberger had missed his train and would not be able to inspect the work on this date.
MAY 7, 1907 - District Lecturer Bro. H. M. Hagelberger made his report of inspection with comments very favorable to Garrettsville Lodge.
APRIL 17, 1908 - Garrettsville Lodge conferred the 2nd Degree in Woodward Temple at the invitation of B. D. Babcock Lodge of Cleveland. The occasion was honored by the presence of M. W. Grand Master, Bro. Griffiths. More than 400 masons were present which is the best praise possible for the reputation of Garrettsville Lodge. George L. Higby, W.M.
APRIL 1, 1924 - After general discussion in regard to building the kitchen, the W. M. appointed Bros. L. F. Layer, G. J. Chapman and L. V. Snow as a committee to work with the R. A. M. chapter and proceed with work necessary to build a kitchen.
JUNE 5, 1928 - The last wish of W. Bro. George L. Higby was that he be buried at "low twelve" with a Masonic service. His wife had passed on five years before and they had no children. The minutes read:
"Lodge repaired to the home (on Windham St.) where the regular services were conducted, the commitment services to be postponed until after regular Lodge meeting and at "low twelve" tonight in Park Cemetery"
C. A. Parker was W. M. and Elman L. Caldwell Pt. Chaplain. It was raining very hard when the town clock struck midnight. Any citizen traveling Center St. that night might have seen a very strange sight. Twenty five or 30 wet and muddy figures, 12 of them holding blue burning torches (the F.C. torches) standing around a coffin. The Chaplain leading the service was wearing a fireman's raincoat and boots. The mud was so bad the grave caved in before the commitment was completed and it had to be finished in the morning.
SUMMER, 1937 - For two years, Philip Mallory, then S.W., had been working on ideas to dramatize the F.C. Degree to make it more interesting and impressive. In the summer of 1937 his ideas fell into place and a flight of portable winding stairs joining a outer and inner door, was built. Many of the members were not in favor of these new ideas and most of the work was done by Joe Angel, Earl Long, Harold Meadows, and Philip Mallory. Mallory carved the five columns to scale making them 16 inches high.
OCTOBER, 1938 - The dramatized version of the Fellow Craft degree was presented in Garrettsville Lodge for the first time.
MARCH 4, 1939 - Arthur E. Crain, our oldest member, passed away at 93 years of age. 70-1/2 years a Master Mason.
APRIL 15, 1939 - Garrettsville Lodge traveled to Alexandria, Va., to confer the E. A. Degree on one candidate in the unfinished George Washington Memorial Temple. We were the second Ohio Lodge to confer degree work there. The candidate, Walter Phelps, the worshipful master, Philip Mallory.
NOVEMBER 8, 1939 - Eighty-fifth Birthday Celebration. Many Grand Lodge Officers were present, including M. W. Grand Master Dillon Crist. It was on this occasion that our present memorial service was inaugurated.
MAY 18, 1940 - Garrettsville Lodge traveled to Alexandria, Va. and conferred the F. C. Degree in dramatized form in the George Washington Memorial Temple. The candidate was Fay Angel, the Worshipful Master, Joe Angel.
APRIL 13, 1941 - Our first Easter Sunrise Service was held. Two hundred and sixty persons attended this service which was held in the lodge dining room. Worshipful Bro. Mallory was in charge of arrangements.
MAY 19, 1942 - By request, Garrettsville Lodge conferred the dramatized Fellow Craft Degree before the Grand Masters Reception of the 22nd Masonic District in Cleveland. There were 700 brothers present.
FEBRUARY 24, 1949 - The dramatized Fellow Craft Degree was presented with "black light" for the first time. Bro. Huber King was in charge of painting the set with black light paint.
EASTER, 1954 - Through the years our Sunrise Service has grown in popularity as witnessed by the fact that over 600 people were present at this service, the first to be held outdoors.
NOVEMBER 18, 1954 - Worshipful Master George Beckett, announced this to be a Special Meeting called for a reception for our member Past Master Brother Joseph Barlow, appointed District Deputy Grand Master of the 25th District, a memorial service to our members who died during past year, installation of elected and appointed officers, and visitation of Past Grand Master William Pringle, who has become a familiar sight in Garrettsville Lodge.
APRIL 24, 1958 - Annual Inspection was held and the Lodge was inspected in the Fellow Craft Degree. What made this inspection stand out from others was the large number of dignitaries on hand. Some of the distinguished brethren present were: Collin B. Montis, Senior Grand Deacon of the Grand Lodge of Ohio; E. G. Kasper, W. G. Drantz, and E. A. Kenny, all District Deputies of the 22nd Masonic District; L. E. Taylor, Past District Deputy of the 22nd District; our own Past District Deputy, Joseph A. Barlow; and Rt. W. Bro. Ernest Clabaugh the inspecting officer. Lodge was closed by the Senior Grand Deacon C. B. Montis, in the East, W. M. Lloyd Craver in the Junior Deacons place, and the rest of the stations filled by the visiting District Deputies.
NOVEMBER 16, 1967 - Rt. W. Brother James C. Booth, Past District Deputy and member of Western Reserve 501, West Farmington, was presented an Honorary Membership in Garrettsville Lodge. It was presented by our P.D.D. Rt. W. Bro. Joseph Barlow, assisted by P.D.D. Rt. W. Bro. Ernest Clabaugh, an honorary member, W. M. Raymon Atwood, and Franklin Mills, Junior Deacon.
MAY 23, 1968 - This meeting was set aside to honor our 50 year members and present 50 year pins. Fifty year members present were: Dr. J. A. Thomas, 65 yrs.; Anderson L. McCandless, 58 yrs.; Louis F. Layer, Sr.., 54 yrs.; Lloyd A. Waller, 53 yrs.; Lester A. Bock, 52 yrs.; Elmer "Mike" Vine, 52 yrs.; and Ralph H. Edney, 50 yrs. The three who were unable to attend were: Edwin C. Daugherty, 60 yrs.; Leon A. Waters, 57 yrs.; and Arthur M. Barnett, 52 yrs. There were two other members present who will receive their 50-year pins before the year is up, Francis M. Corrine and Ned T. Lansinger.
Two 50 year pins were presented by Robert C. Stevens of Niles, the District Deputy. One went to Sterling Trefry, a member of Old Erie Lodge and a long time resident and business man of Garrettsville. The other pin went to Jerry C. Angel, a native of Garrettsville who moved to Chicago 25 years ago. There he rose up through the ranks of Commandry to be elected Eminent Grand Commander of the Grand Commandry of the state of Illinois. One of his traveling companions was David Wenerstrand, also a Past Grand Commander of the state of Illinois and a Knight of the York Cross of Honor.
There were 13 Past Masters of Garrettsville Lodge present, the oldest of which was W. Bro. Louis F. Layer, Sr., a Past Master for 43 years. He was Master in 1925.
In charge of arrangements for this meeting were Past Masters C. Raymon Atwood, William B. Owen, and Lloyd Craver.
As this history is written in 1968 a great number of our Past Masters are remembered in name only. In recent years death has claimed many of our members who have been our last living link with those whose interest and effort are responsible for the great heritage Garrettsville Lodge enjoys today.
In checking our records it would appear that PM C. T. Barton must have occupied a most important part in the building of our Lodge. Our third Master, he served eight terms during the period 1860 thru 1869. He was followed by M. E. Francis who served five terms from 1867 thru 1872.
It was the privilege of this writer to have known by sight Dr. A. H. Tidball who was W.M. in 1873. A prominent Garrettsville physician and surgeon he was also the first H. P. of Silver Creek Chapter in 1879.
The Crane family has been well known in the history of Garrettsville Masonry. Bro. C. M. Crane served as W.M. in 1887-88 and is remembered by this writer for his good nature, sly wit and beard. His brother, Frederick J. Crane, was one of our most illustrious members. Serving as W.M. in 1889-90-91 he became a District Lecturer (now known as District Deputy) and continued his career in Royal Arch Masonry to become Grand High Priest of the Grand Chapter of Ohio in 1915-16. Another brother, Arthur E. Crane, although never holding office did retain his interest in the lodge and at the time of his death in 1939 had been a member of Garrettsville Lodge for over 70-1/2 years at age 93.
We cannot close without commenting on a few. W.M. Walter C. Stockwell who was recognized for the perfection he demanded in the delivery of the ritual. He delivered the Fellowcraft Lecture for many years and in the M.M. Degree he was well known for his work at the east gate.
Dr. F. L. Tidball who although W.M. in 1905 could be called upon when over 80 years old to fill the Master's chair for any degree on Past Masters' Night.
W.M. George L. Higby was known for his sly humor and the Past Master that was buried at low twelve. He was also in charge of the fellow craft team for many years. It was said that he demanded perfection from the team and received it. This is one of the reasons that our lodge put on one of the most impressive Master Mason Degrees in the state for many years.
W.M. L. F. Specht was known for his ability in the ritualistic work. He was able to deliver any lecture or fill any position. He gave the Fellowcraft Lecture for many years, served often as Chaplain in the degree work and was secretary for 19 years.
It should also be mentioned that although never going through the chairs Bro. Forest A. Ganong faithfully served as secretary for 35 years before retiring in favor of Bro. Specht. He was the first member of our Lodge to go to the Masonic Home.
Another P.M. who devoted time and effort in the performance of degree work and special duties for the lodge was Bro. Howard H. Knapp. In conjunction with Bro. Specht they for a long period conducted with distinction the funeral rites of our deceased brethren.
These remarks were written by Philip J. Mallory. The remainder of the "Names To Remember" column is a composite of memories from Past Masters dating back to 1925.
W. Bro. E. L. Caldwell was highly respected for his knowledge of the ritual and was always there to help. He also conducted the funeral services for many years. W. Bro. F. F. Mott is remembered for the outstanding manner in which he performed his duty at the South gate in the second section of the M. M. degree. W. Brothers Cassius W. Payne, Fred J. Quirk and Lloyd A. Waller did outstanding work for many years as the three conquest in the M.M. degree.
R.W. Bro. Joseph A. Barlow is our English born P.M. who was appointed District Deputy in 1954.
W.Bro. Philip J. Mallory has contributed much to the history of our Lodge. Besides his outstanding work in developing our dramatized version of the Fellow Craft Degree, he organized our first Easter Sunrise Service in 1941 and inaugurated our first memorial service. He served as Installing Officer for 25 masters of our Lodge and also installed another 25 masters in neighboring Lodges. His ritualistic work was always done with a degree of perfection and ease that has never been surpassed in our Lodge.
Bro. James W. Chalker served the Lodge faithfully for 24 years as Treasurer, retiring in 1967.