The period from 1870 to 1879 was a most notable one in the history of American Union Lodge. This was largely due to the celebration of the 100th anniversary in 1876, and the contacts thus brought about with distinguished Masons and Masonic Lodges. The subject of the 100th anniversary is considered in some detail, in order to set forth the various features of organization to provide the desired end, which in itself makes an interesting subject for study. The addresses then delivered, very rightly should occupy a place in the entire story.
The old records in possession of Bro. J. D. Caldwell, Secretary of Grand Lodge, came up for consideration on January 17, 1870, because of a communication from him on this subject. A motion to postpone any further consideration of the subject was lost, while a motion to lay on the table was also defeated. The motion was finally made by Brother McCormick, and prevailed, "that the Secretary be ordered to communicate with Brother Caldwell, and advise him that this Lodge still considers those original minutes as their own property, and that no person had or could have the right to dispose of them in any way without the consent of this Lodge." This motion passed. It will be noted farther on that the Grand Secretary was present at the 100th anniversary, and then returned the records requested.
Contributions to fund for Home for Masonic Widows and Orphans, a subject being agitated at this time, were proposed in a meeting on October 3, 1870. A resolution was introduced that the Lodge raise $1000 for this purpose, and that a committee be appointed to solicit subscriptions from members of American Union Lodge. The time was not ripe for such a proposition, and the motion was lost. Later the Lodge played its part in the establishment of the Ohio Masonic Home at Springfield.
A further consideration of the subject of a Hall was introduced on January 2, 1871, when a committee was appointed to see if a suitable Lodge room could be found. The committee was advised to secure Booth Hall at once for five years, with a privilege of extension to ten years if desired. The committee was limited to an expenditure of $750 with which to fit up the same. For this, plans were discussed to raise money. On March 6, the committee recommended changing from Booth to Wells Hall.
Action was deferred, that conference might be had with the City Council relative to putting a third story on their new building then being erected for an engine house. On November 20, it was reported that subscriptions amounting to near $400. had been raised." The committee was continued, and instructed to ascertain definitely the terms on which rooms in Wells' & Dunn's building could be rented: On January 22 the committee was appointed to negotiate for the Wells' building, with authority to purchase. On February 19, 1872 the report was made that the committee was unable to arrange to purchase. On March 1, George H Eells proposed to the Lodge that concerning a building he was erecting, "he would build his walls two stories high, and put in joists, the Lodge then to take the building at that point, and build the third story to suit yourselves. I will build the stairs, and give you free use of them. You pay me $400., and you own the third story. I will give you perpetual use of the stairs." This offer seemed so attractive, it was accepted by the Lodge.
On February 10, 1873, on motion of Brother M. D Follett, the Lodge resolved to become incorporated under the laws of the State. Brothers Hovey, Regnier and McClure were appointed a committee, and the Lodge was to be incorporated under the name American Union Lodge Building Association.
On March 10, 1873, the following resolution was adopted, to secure the erection of the new hall. "American Union Lodge pledges itself to endorse the bonds or notes of the American Union Building Association, when it shall own mo~e than half of the stock of said association, to the amount of $2,000. This to be used in completing and finishing the hall, and the Lodge pledges its revenues in consideration of the rent and free use of the hall as a Lodge room to the amount of $300. per year. This to pay interest on said bonds, and create a sinking fund to pay the principal of the same. The Worshipful Master and Secretary are hereby authorized to receive such stock under this resolution, and make said endorsement." On March 24, it was resolved to accept the shares of stock of the American Union Building Association, held by the following persons (names of 14 here inserted) in sums from $5.00 to $50.00. A committee of five was then appointed to solicit purchase of stock.
On July 22, 1872, the Lodge met in the new hall, owned by it, on the north-east corner of Front and Butler streets. Here was the last home of American Union Lodge, prior to the one in the present Masonic Temple.
A movement to establish life membership was begun early in 1872. On January 22, a committee reported on this subject, and moved its adoption. The subject was under discussion, but at this meeting, the motion was laid upon the table. At a later date life memberships were adopted, and in force until abolished by action of Grand Lodge.
A copy of the original warrant of American Union Lodge No. 1, on January 22, 1872, was presented the Lodge by the Worshipful Master Brother Geo. T. Hovey, who caused the reading to the Lodge of this copy of the original Warrant under which the Lodge worked from its first organization. A resolution of thanks was then tendered Brother A. T. Nye for bringing to light and presenting to the Lodge this ancient and valuable document. The Worshipful Master was authorized to get a suitable frame for it.
A provision for Honorary Membership was made at some time about 1867, but just when the records do not show. The purpose however, was no doubt a recognition of Masonic distinction by the Lodge. The election to Honorary Membership implied an association appreciated by both the giver and receiver of the honor.
Brother Cornelius C. Moore of Cincinnati, was the second person elected an Honorary Member, this being on April 19, 1875. He was born in New Jersey in 1806, where he was educated in public schools. In 1832 he moved to Zanesville, Ohio, where, March 24, 1837, he was made a Master Mason in Lafayette Lodge No. 79, and of which he was Master four years. In 1845 he moved to Cincinnati, where he began publishing the Masonic Review, a monthly magazine of national distinction and great merit. He was both a York Rite and Scottish Rite Mason. He was exalted a R. A. M. in Zanesville Chapter on June 7, 1838, and was Knighted in Reed Commandery No. 8 of Dayton. He received the Scottish Rite degrees to the 32d in Ohio Consistory No. 1 at Cincinnati. He was the author of a number of Masonic books, including "Out-lines of the Temple"; "Leaflets of Masonic Biography"; "The Craftsman"; and "The Templar's Text Book." He published the Masonic Review for thirty years, and through it was a great leader in Masonic thought. He died at Windsor, Canada, June 3, 1883, one of the noted Masons of his day. In 1876 he made an interesting address on the history of the Lodge at the centennial celebration.
In accordance with the custom of American Union Lodge, a special certificate of Honorary Membership was sent Brother Moore. In acknowledgment he sent Worshipful Master Hovey the following very appreciative letter.
Letter from Cornelius Moore regarding Certificate as an Honorary Member:
"Cincinnati, July 15, 1875
Dear Brother Hovey:
"I have just received per express a certificate beautifully engrossed, of my having been elected an Honorary Member of your Lodge, American Union No. 1.
"I assure you I most highly appreciate this unexpected compliment. To have my name enrolled on the records of the oldest Lodge in the West, a Lodge organized in the glorious days of '76, within sight of Bunker Hill, and almost in the smoke of the first battles for American freedom; a Lodge in which patriots met and Washington visited, the first Lodge at work on the soil of Ohio; this is an honor I never expected and poorly merit.
"I can only thank you from my heart, and through you, the members of your Lodge. Please express these thanks to the members and assure them I shall cherish this token of their kindness as a most valued memento of their fraternal regard.
"Wishing you every blessing, and your Lodge abundant prosperity, I remain.
Truly and Fraternally
Honorary Membership was voted Brother Henry Dreseher, a member of Palmyra Lodge No. 18, of Palmyra, Missouri, on October 11, 1875. On December 6, action was taken to elect Brothers Morris, Vaux and Goshorn, but finally a committee was appointed "to correspond with a view for ascertaining the Masonic standing of the Brothers."
A report of Treasurer Cooper of American Union Corporation, was rendered on January 10, 1876. In view of the fact that this is the first financial statement of the incorporated American Union Building Association, it is here presented:
Number of shares 550 2
343 shares A. U. Lodge............................... $1834.00
A. U. Lodge sinking fund............................ 1022.91
Individual stockholders number 44............. 720.50
American Union Chapter, 25....................... 250.00
Total amount.................................................................... $3827.41
Bldg. account............................................... $4375.87
Expense account.......................................... 252.14
Bills received............................................... 366.91
Total amount.................................................................... $5104.45
Interest account............................................ 27.04
Bills payable................................................ 1250.00
Total amount.................................................................... $5104.45
The recognition of Negro Masonic Lodges was brought up on April 3, 1876, at which time the Worshipful Master stated that a vote on recognizing colored Masons in Ohio, would be taken sometime before the next meeting of Grand Lodge. The subject received some discussion, and later in the year, Grand Lodge in formal action declined to recognize Negro Masons.
A receipt of old papers, the property of this Lodge, but for some time in possession of A. T. Nye, on May 8, 1876, was reported by Worshipful Master Hovey as turned over to the Lodge. A letter from Brother E. Winchester stating that he had finally completed his arrangement of old papers entrusted to his care as a member of a committee appointed several years ago, was read. Said papers had been forwarded to the Treasurer of the Lodge, with files of old Masonic Reviews.
The introduction of the idea of a Centennial
Celebration of the Lodge, was introduced in a formal manner on
February 15, 1875, when a committee of five was appointed, consisting
of Brothers McCormick, Water, Stevens, Cooper, Mason and, Whiffing,
to consider the propriety and possibility of holding a celebration
on the 100th anniversary of the Lodge, which occurs about one
year from this date. The committee was instructed to report at
the next stated meeting.
The first report of a Centennial Committee, was made on March 13, 1875, and was as follows:
"Your committee to whom was referred the subject of a Centennial Celebration by this Lodge, respectfully reports:
"1st. That we recommend that such a celebration be held in Marietta on 24th day of June, 1876.
"2d. That we recommend that a preliminary circular accompanied by a brief history of our Lodge be sent to the several Lodges of Ohio and others, at an early day, with a view of preventing other like celebrations being inaugurated for that day, and for the purpose of interesting Brother Masons in our enterprise.
"3d. That we recommend that means be taken to ascertain as nearly as practicable the probable number who will attend.
"4th. That suitable refreshments be furnished for which such rates be charged as will have a margin to assist in defraying expenses.
"5th. That music for the day be procured and that musicians of such skill and repute be employed, as will draw a paying house on the evening of an entertainment given for the benefit of the Lodge.
"6th. That a Historian, a Poet and an Orator for the occasion he procured, and also original odes.
"7th. We also recommend that a Committee of Arrangements be appointed consisting of 15 Brothers, with power to sub-divide into committees of three, on each of the following heads: Ways & Means; Music; Refreshments; Orator, Poet, Historian; Transportation; Local arrangements ; Printing, Advertising, Correspondence & Invitations.
"8th. That we further recommend that a Committee of Reception to consist of 25 Brothers be appointed, to meet and properly receive Lodges and Brethren as they may arrive.
McCormick, Walter, Cooper, Stevens, Whiffing."
This report was accepted and the committee discharged. On motion Brother McCormick was appointed a committee to write Brother John D. Caldwell, Grand Secretary, of the time fixed upon for the celebration, and also to have it announced through the Associated Press, that American Union Lodge will celebrate its centennial on St. John the Baptist's Day, June 24, 1876.
On April 19, Brother McCormick reported that in accordance with the motion he had written Brother Caldwell, and he had replied that he would be there and would then deliver the original minutes of the Lodge on that occasion. On motion the Secretary was ordered to write Brother Caldwell, "requesting return of the old minutes at an earlier date than he had suggested," as he had promised our Worshipful Master that he would return the original minutes if we would send him old papers to examine.
The Centennial Committee on Arrangements was appointed as follows by Worshipful Master Hovey: Brothers A. W. McCormick, Henry Bohl, S. A. Cooper, M.D. Follett, D. R. Green, R. B. Hoover, Wm. B. Mason, L. E. Moore, Jacob Mueller, Jewett Palmer, W. U. Regnier, Jos. W. Sturgiss, Jas. W. Whiffing, Z. D. Walter and James Stevens. This committee was ordered to procure a book and keep a record of its proceedings. The Chairman, Brother McCormick, reported that the committee met on May 4, and sub-divided into committees of three.
The Centennial Reception Committee appointed,
was as follows: Jas. McClure, Jno. P. Campbell, W. H. Johnson,
Geo. W. Caywood, M. I. Morse, S. S. Wood, L. J. Nixon, W. H. Jennings,
H. W. McCormick, Chas. Jones, John T. Matthews, I. W. Baldwin,
Jacob Theis, A. N. Hill, H. L. Sibley, H. Angert, Geo. P. Dye, .Wm. Strachan, Chas. T. Lewis, John Farley, Geo. C. Hawkins, P. A. Palmer, M. P. Wells, Jno. R. W. Rhodes.
The need of a Centennial Guarantee Fund was emphasized at the meeting on May 17, 1875, and the importance of raising money at once. A subscription paper was then and there started, and $350.00 was at once subscribed by members and visitors present. Several Brethren spoke on the necessity of having a preliminary circular printed at an early date. On December 6 a resolution was adopted empowering the Secretary to have a circular printed and mailed to members of the Lodge on need of money for current expenses, and urging upon them the necessity of subscribing liberally toward the guarantee fund. Brother Mason moved subscriptions be made in shares of $5.00 each. Carried. Moved that the Secretary record names, with amounts subscribed, in a reference book and that the Secretary also furnish the members of Finance Committee with list of same. A motion was made to ascertain how much each member present would subscribe, and the results showed 118 shares taken, equivalent to $590.00. Provision was also made for a committee to visit Lodges in Washington County, and Caldwell Lodge in Noble County, for the purpose of ascertaining how much these Lodges will subscribe to-ward the Centennial. The committee appointed consisted of Brothers McCormick, Walter, Jones, Strachan, Follett, Palmer, with Henry Bohl at large.
Celebration of the 100th anniversary on February 20, 1876, the date when American Union organized as a Military Lodge, was proposed in a motion on December 6, 1876. As Feb.20 was Sunday, the 15th was agreed upon, and a committee of five appointed to make necessary arrangements. On February 15, 1876, Lodge was opened with the officers, 15 members and 18 visitors present, when the following brief program was conducted:
"Worshipful Master George T. Hovey read a brief history of the Lodge, which he had prepared, that was ordered spread on the minutes. The Charter was then read by Brother Mason. On motion, the date on the banner was ordered changed from the 20th to 15th of February. This was followed with a song by the quartette. Refreshments were then served, after which the Lodge was called to labor, when an oration was delivered by Brother MD. Follett, 'On the foundation and growth of American Union Lodge, and of the conception by the founders of the Lodge of the idea of American Union.' Brothers Mason, Sibley, McCormick and others followed with short and pointed remarks. The Centennial preliminary circulars were then read by the chairman of the Printing Committee. Brother Russell Barnes of Summerfield Lodge was called for, and he sang, 'We meet upon the Level and part upon the Square,' which was highly applauded. Upon motion a committee consisting of Brothers Walter, Sturgiss, McClure and Stevens was appointed to solicit for the guarantee fund among citizens. The meeting then closed."
Centennial year compensation for the Secretary was made a matter of record at the January 10, 1876, meeting. In view of the amount of extra work required of him, "he was allowed seven per cent of the receipts for his services." The source of said receipts is not indicated.
The official Historian on the celebration program, on March 6 was announced by the chairman of the Committee on Orator, etc., to be Brother Cornelius Moore of Cincinnati, editor of the Masonic Review.
Invitations to the Centennial Celebration were subject for discussion at the March 6 meeting. The chairman of the Invitation Committee stated that they had invited all of the Lodges in Ohio, and wished to know how much further they should go. On motion the committee was instructed to invite the officers of each Grand Lodge in the United States, the Grand Lodge officers of England, Scotland and Ireland, and to notify editors of Masonic papers that all Masons throughout the United States will be welcome on that occasion.
The original seal of American Union Lodge No. 1, described on page 76, was in use during the Revolutionary period, but after the reaction of 1790, a new seal was introduced. However, at the March 6 session, a motion prevailed which "ordered that the necessary steps be taken to return to the use of the original seal used by this Lodge."
The earliest certificate of American Union Lodge recorded was made known on March 17, 1876, through a letter to the Secretary from Mr. Charles Dickinson of Columbiana, Ohio. In this he stated that he had a diploma granted his grandfather by American Union Lodge No. 1, in March, 1776, while the Lodge was stationed at Roxbury, Massachusetts. This diploma was written on parchment, and had all the appearance of being genuine. There is a hole where the name of the Junior Warden is written. The Secretary was ordered to have the Dickinson letter printed in the Marietta Register, and to invite him to our celebration and bring the diploma. If unable to come himself, to request some one else to do so and bring the diploma.
In another letter Mr. Dickinson contributes the text given on the certificate, which is as below:
"And the darkness comprehendeth it
not ......................... from the East, a place of Light,
where reigns Silence and Peace, we the Master, Wardens and Secretary
of American Union Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons, No.1, now
in Roxbury, held by authority under the Rt. Honble. Richd. Gridley,
Esqr., Provincial Deputy Grand Master of all Masons in North America,
where no special Grand Master is appointed, to all Persons Enlightened
throughout the World send Greeting.
Know ye that our faithful and well beloved Brother, Jacob Dickinson, having been made an entered Apprentice, was passed a Fellow Craft and raised to the sublime Degree of a Master Mason in this Lodge. In Testimony of which we have hereunto set our Hands and the Seal of the Lodge this 20th day of March in the year of Masonry 5776 of Salvation 1776.
Order Joel Clark, Master.
John Parker, Sr. Warden,
..................., Jr. Warden,
Jona.. Heart, Secretary."
Red wax seal, upon a blue ribbon, somewhat broken, but showing the faint outlines of square and compass.
Mr. Dickinson writes, on March 17, 1876, to the Secretary of American Union Lodge No. 1:
"Jacob Dickinson was my father's father, and according to the family record now in my possession, resided in Roxbury, Massachusetts, about that date; on the family record it states that he resided in a house belonging at one time to St. John's Lodge."
This is probably one of the most interesting
Lodge Certificates in the United States. Mr. Dickinson refused
to donate it to the Lodge at this time, but later it came into
The following historical sketch of Jacob Dickinson, is quoted from manuscript of Bro. Geo. T. Hovey.
Jacob Dickinson came from Scotland to America at the age of 19. He married Grace Redfield, daughter of Capt. William Redfield, who was made a Mason in American Union Lodge No. 1 at Mrs. Sanford's house, Reading, Conn., Feb.15, 1779. He served as Steward and Junior Warden of the Lodge. He signed many petitions for membership. He was appointed to adjust the accounts of the Lodge, and was an active member.
Jacob Dickinson resided at Roxbury, Mass., and lived in a house that belonged to St. John's Lodge of Boston. He was present at a meeting called by Joel Clark, Feb. 16, 1776, to make arrangements for the organization of American Union Lodge under the Charter. On his powder horn which he carried in the Revolutionary War, is engraved two ships and the following inscription: "Jacob Dickinson B His horn made in Roxhury, Mass., March 4th, 1776. Sergeant of the 4th Company of the 17th regiment."
The idea to dispense with a Poet for the
Centennial was suggested at the April 3 session. This from the
Committee on Orator, Poet and Historian, who reported "it
would be best to dispense with a Poet. Brother Moore of Cincinnati
is also of this opinion." No special action seems to have
prevailed at this time. At the session on April 25, the committee
was instructed "to write Brother Saxe to see if he could
not furnish us with an ode for the celebration." This motion
was amended so that the committee might correspond with any other
poets they saw fit so to do. It is interesting to note that Brother
Robert Morris, Masonic Poet Laureate of distinction, served in
that capacity at the Centennial.
A scrap book in which to file letters, newspaper articles, etc., relative to the Centennial, the Secretary was ordered to purchase. The only things of the kind which seem of record today, are two common public document volumes of standard size, in which Worshipful Master Hovey pasted many interesting and valuable items and articles relative to American Union Lodge. These books, in the possession of Brother Geo. Walter Hovey, his son, have furnished the writer valuable assistance in preparing this history, and for which he feels very thankful.
A letter from Washington Lodge, Roxbury, Mass., was read by Bro. McCormick on May 8. In this acknowledgment was made of the receipt of the invitation to the Centennial celebration, and many questions were asked regarding American Union Lodge, which Bro. McCormick stated had been answered by him.
Dining service for June 24 received considerable attention, and the Refreshment Committee was directed to advertise for proposals to feed from 2000 to 6000 persons. Brother Stevens talked with several persons about furnishing dinner, etc. and said there seemed considerable difference of opinion about the method of management. Jesse Sharp proposed to furnish the dinner, but his price was too high it was thought. However, he finally cared for the service, and the price charged for dinner was 50 cents.
The matter of use of Halls June 24 was regarded important. Brother Whiffing reported that the City Council had granted use of the City Hall for that date for ten dollars ($10.00), which offer was accepted with thanks. At a meeting on May 17, it was the sense of the Lodge that it will be desirable to obtain use of all the halls in Marietta on the 24th of June.
A concert was proposed by Brother Cooper, and a motion was made providing arrangements for one. The Worshipful Master thought it not necessary to have a special committee, and in due season the concert was given.
The price of admission was discussed on June 5. Some favored one dollar for one person, while others the same sum for two. This was referred to a sub-committee of the Committee of Arrangements.
Accommodations for guests over night were also discussed at the June 5 meeting. This resulted in a motion being adopted, that the Reception Committee assist the Committee of Arrangements, in finding places for the guests, etc. On June 12 Brother Stevens reported that the Clerk of the Steamer Lizzie Cassell, had told him that they would have 200 to 300 or more Masons Friday night than they could accommodate. Brother Sturgiss was directed to see the Captain of the Steamer Rankin, and see how many he could accommodate. Brother Whiffing was also directed to have notices in the papers asking citizens who had carriages, if they would assist the visitors in getting about.
Martial Music and Mottoes were discussed at the June 12 meeting. A motto presented by Worshipful Master Hovey, was approved by all present, which was as follows: "The Grand object of Masonry is to promote the happiness of the human race, G. Washington." On June 19, Brother Walter reported a sentiment sent by Brother Robert Morris for a banquet, in case one should be held.
A special meeting was held on June 23, at which all the regular officers, 22 members, and 11 visitors were present. At this time the Worshipful Master appointed Brother M. D. Morse to carry the Holy Writings, Brother John Farley the Stars and Stripes and Brother J. D. Templeton, the Lodge banner. It was voted that the Lodge proceed in a body to the railway station to receive the Grand Orator and other distinguished Masons. They then proceeded to the station and received M. W. Brother Richard Vanx, after which the Lodge returned to its hall and closed.
Centennial Celebration Saturday, June 24, 1876.
The day was ushered in with booming of cannon and ringing of bells. The dark clouds that had hovered overhead with light rain, cleared up as the crowds came to town. The Lodge had secured a room for headquarters of Brother Dye at 65 Front St. The Reception Committee was busy here from Friday at 10 p. m. until 11 a. m. on Saturday, receiving and escorting delegations to their quarters. All the halls in the city had been secured for this purpose. Brothers were left in charge of each hall, to sell dinner tickets, and assist in forming delegations in line when the procession should form.
The Lodge opened in the Master Mason degree, with its full staff of officers, 80 members, and the following Grand Lodge of Ohio officials present at the opening:
D. G. M. W. M. Cunningham, Newark; S. G. W. Louis H. Williams, Russellville; G. Treas. Flavius I. Phillips, Georgetown; G. Secy. John D. Caldwell, Cincinnati; G. Chaplain Rev. Bro. A. G. Byers, Columbus; and G. Orator, S. M. Sullivan, Dayton. There were also present seven visitors by name, and many whose names were not known.
A gift of silver mounted Batons and a Gavel from Washington Lodge in Roxbury, Massachusetts, was the notable event following opening of the Lodge. These were received by Brother McCormick, who represented Washington Lodge. They consisted of three rich and costly silver mounted Batons, and a Gavel made from the old elm which grew upon the homestead of General Warren, on Warren St., Boston, formerly Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Mass. Engraved on the Batons and Gavel was the following inscription:
Presented to American Union Lodge No.1,
F. & A. M.
Marietta, Ohio, by Washington Lodge F. & A. M.
June 24, 1876
Conjuncti B Fraterno B Amore
A Centennial Procession was an essential feature of this celebration, so it was planned to have it form at 10 o'clock, but dispatches from trains on the M. & C. R. R., which had 13 coaches en route, containing large delegations from Columbus, Chillicothe, Nelsonville, Shortsville, etc., and the train on the M. P. R. R., which had delegations from Cambridge, Cumberland, etc., stated that these trains would not all be in before 11 o'clock, which delayed the forming of the procession. At 11:15 a. m. American Union Lodge left their hall and proceeded to Turners Hall and Independent Order of Odd Fellows Hall on Greene St., where they met the delegations from those halls. They then marched up Front St., American Union Lodge leading, headed by Regnier's Cornet Band. At the Knights of Pythias Hall the Independent Order of Red Men, and Order of Good Templars, joined the line, which continued on to Putnam St., receiving delegations from each hall on Front St. At the foot of Putnam St. the Lodges from the City Hall, the Grand Lodge officers, Brother Col. Stone and other old members of the Lodge rode in carriages, along with members of the Masonic Historical Society who joined the procession. This halted at Putnam St. for some time to await the coming of the train from Columbus that was late. On its arrival the different delegations fell in at the rear, and the procession again took up the line of march, up Front to Washington St., then to Fourth, and thence down to the Marietta College campus. After the procession had entered and guests seated, the exercises opened as follows by Worshipful Master George T. Hovey:
Masonry teaches us before entering upon any important undertaking to invoke the blessing of God, we will therefore unite with Rev. Brother A. G. Byers in prayer.
Music then followed.
The Worshipful Master then introduced the purpose of this meeting and the speaker of the day, as follows:
"Brethren and Friends:
"The occasion that brings us together today is the one hundreth anniversary of the organization of American Union Lodge. I am glad to see so many of you present on this interesting occasion, and feel proud as I look over this vast audience, and recognize in you the happy thought that we are a band of Brothers, derived from the same source, traveling the same road, working to accomplish the same purpose. It has been said, and that too by non-Masons, that our public assemblages represent the better class of citizens, and I think we can safely say that the present audience is no exception to this assertion. I will say in behalf of the Lodge that we have looked forward to this meeting with some feeling of pride as well as of regret, knowing well our incapacity to entertain so large a number as would be present with us today, in such a manner as we would be glad to do. But Brethren our town is free to you, also our houses and our hearts. In behalf of American Union Lodge and the citizens generally, I extend to each and all of you a cordial welcome.
"The order of exercises will be according to the program which has been distributed. The first in order with be the Oration, and I now have the honor of introducing our Most Worshipful Brother Richard Vaux, of Philadelphia, Past Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania F. & A. M., the Orator of the day."
The address of M. W. Brother Vaux is not being reproduced here. It is a philosophical presentation of some length, in which Time and Truth were shown to play a vital part in all history. The relationship of these to the ancient mysteries and Biblical times permeated much of his discussion. No effort was made to deal with the historical life of American Union Lodge. This address was published in full in the Marietta Register. Music followed.
The presentation of the Ancient Records of American Union Lodge as made in camp and carried from post to post in the chests of these patriot Masons, were presented to the Lodge with a neat speech and reading of extracts from the records by R. W. Bro. John D. Caldwell, Secy. Grand Lodge of Ohio, Cincinnati. These records were accompanied by the correspondence and papers of the Lodge from 1791 to 1797 inclusive. These were kept in the hands of Gen. Rufus Putnam at the time, and have continued in the families of his descendants up to the present time.
The growth and prosperity of the country, the State and the Order, in the century past, were considered by M. W. Charles A. Woodward, Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Ohio, Cleveland, who spoke rather briefly.
The meeting then adjourned to the City Hall where dinner was served, after which the people gathered at the College grounds to listen to the next subject on the program, which was
An address by Brother Cornelius Moore, Editor of the Masonic Review, at Cincinnati, who discussed the history of American Union Lodge from its organization to the present time. Brother Moore closed his address by delivering a poem written for the occasion by a lady at Waskngton, D. C., wife of a Member of Congress from Illinois.
At the close of the address by Brother Moore, an ode by Brother Rob Morris, L. L. D., was sung by the audience. This was
THE CENTENNIAL ODE
Dedicated to American Union Lodge No. 1,
F. & A. M.
By Brother Robert Morris, L. L. D., LaGrange, Ky.
How the souls of friends departed,
Brood around this joyful scene
Tender, brave and faithful hearted
They have left their memories green;
Could we view them
Smiles npon each face were seen.
As they scan our gladsome meeting
They recall a thousand joys;
As they list our cheerful greetings
'Tis to them a glorious voice;
'Tis the echo
Of an hundred years of joys.
One by one those loved ones perished
Leaving there the chain still wound;
Every virtue that they cherished
Here is found, as here they found;
Thus in Heaven
Blessed souls to ours are bound.
So shall we when long departed,
And an hundred years are sped,
Join the brave and faithful hearted
Who around this Lodge shall tread;
And our Memories
Shall be cherished here though dead.
Brother W. M. Cunningham, R. W. D. G. Master Grand Lodge of Ohio, was introduced and made a few brief remarks. Bro. M. D. Follett of American Union Lodge followed in a short and well directed talk. Bro. Simpson of St. John's Lodge No. 13, Dayton, 59 years a Mason, and "Father" Benjamin another aged Mason, were introduced.
A concert at the City Hall on Saturday evening closed the festivities of this Centennial celebration. The following is the program of musical selections:
at City Hall
Saturday evening, June 24, 1876
1. March. Erinnerung an Heidelberg.......A.
Parlow Regnier 's Band
2. Quartette. Star of the Summer night....F. Abt. Messrs. Beck, Cooke, Adams and Kestermeier.
3. Masonic song. We meet upon the Level..Rob Morris Mr. Russell Barnes
4. Piano solo. Bird of Paradise......Sidney Smith Miss Jones
5. Solo. O give me a home by the sea.....Hosmer Mrs. McGee
6. Fantasia.............B. Hill For piano, violin, cello, cornet, flute.
Mrs. Palmer, Messrs. Mueller, Kreuthoffer and Regnier
7. Solo. The old arm chair............Russell Mr. Ridgeway
8. Serenata Veneziana Op. 98........Keler Bela Regnier's Band
9. Solo. It was a dream.........Cowen Miss Franks
10. Piano solo. Andante from Op. 28................Mendelssohn Mr. Vincent
11. Solo. When we went a gleaning..........Ganz Miss Whiffing
12. Quartette. Night's shade no longer......................Rossini
Mrs. McGee Mr. Adams
Mrs. Loomis Mr. Regnier
13. Duo for two violins. Alessandra Stradella.............Floton Messrs. J. and L. Mueller
14. Selection from the Merry Wives of Windsor..........Nicolai Regnier's Band
The following Lodges were present and marched in the procession. The figure after the name of the town indicates the number of Brethren present. Paramuthia No. 25, Athens, 75; Mt. Moriah, No. 7, Beverly, 60; Cambridge No. 66, Cambridge, 30; Columbian No. 134, Cumberland, 40; Sharon No. 136, Sharon, 35; Valley No. 145, Malta, 55; Philodorian No. 157, Nelsonville, 40; Webb No. 252, Stockport, 40; Bartlett No. 293, Plymouth, 30; Stafford No. 300, Stafford, 18; Aurelius No. 308, Macksburg, 40; Coolville No. 337, Coolville, 40; Matamoros No. 374, New Matamoras, 30; Harmar No. 390, Marietta, 50; Lowell No. 436, Lowell, 30; Noble No. 459, Caldwell, 50; Graysville No. 479, Graysville, 25.
Delegations were also present from the following Lodges, and marched in the procession, though no record of the number present was made.
Amity No. 5, Zanesville; Scioto No. 6, Chillicothe; Columbus No. 30; Tuscarawas No. 59, Dover; Newark No. 97; Moriah No. 105, Powhatan Point; Mt. Olive No. 148, Chesterfield; Pomeroy No. 164; Mingo No. 171, Logan; Doric No. 172, Deavertown; Lone Star No. 175, Newcomerstown; New Philadelphia No.177; Bridgeport No. 181; Monroe No. 189, Wood sfield; New Birmingham No. 231; Clarington No. 263; Bellaire No. 267; Orphan's Friend No. 275, Wilkesville; Amesville No. 278; Boggs No. 292, DeGraff; Point Pleasant No. 360; Middleport No.363; Portsmouth No. 395; Summerfield No. 425; Constitution No. 426, Marshfield; Masterton No. 429; J. B. Covert No. 437, Withamsville; Siloam No. 456, Cheshire.; Racine No. 461; Savannah No. 466, Athens; Zaleski No. 472; New Straitsville No. 484; Ohio City No. 486, Martinsville.
Lodges from other States at this Centennial were represented from the towns listed, in the States specified.
West Virginia: Clarksburg, Grafton, Jane Lew, Parkersburg, Moundsville, Sistersville, St. Mary's, Wheelmg, Volcano. Kentucky: Ashland. Illinois: South Mason.
The number of Masons in the procession is estimated at 1100 to 1500.
Bands of music were present from Athens, Bellaire, Cambridge, McConnelsville, Middleport, Nelsonville, Parkersburg.
At the conclusion of the exercises at Marietta College, the Lodge returned to its hall and closed in due form and harmony.
The advance guard attending the Centennial received the following interesting presentation in the Marietta Register:
"The late trains Friday evening and the early trains Saturday morning brought many visitors, but it was left for the boats and special trains to empty a population upon us with banners and music that made all hearts leap with joy and welcome. On the Marietta and Cincinnati road, a special train from Columbus and Chillicothe arrived about ten O'clock, with sixteen cars by the main line. On the Old Line a train of four cars came in. The Marietta, Pittsburgh and Cleveland road brought in a special train of sixteen cars. On the Muskingum river there were the Carrie Brooks, Lizzie Cassell, Oella, and
J. H. Hubbell, all alive with people, and on the Ohio river, the Express, Chesapeake, Kittie Nye and Thanhauser. These brought, all told, not less than three thousand people, and as they marched up our streets they found a hearty welcome in the countenances and words of our citizens, and in the mottoes and decorations of the city. Evergreens and flags were hung from every column and window, and a hearty good cheer went up from a thousand hearts. Besides these who came by rail and boat, there must have been well on to two thousand who came by wagon, on horse back, and afoot. The jam and the crowd was tremendous. On the College campus seats were supplied for an audience of 3000, and in the Park an eating house sufficient to accommodate 1000 at a sitting, was erected for the occasion. This was under the management of Mr. Jesse Sharp of Harmar, who had the contract to furnish the dinner."
A toast from Bro. Rob. Morris was offered in a letter to American Union Lodge No. 1, for June 24, 1876, and this was as follows:
Accept my best wishes for a prosperous occasion, and if my poor name is mentioned at your banquet, offer in my behalf this sentiment:
"The Centennial of American Union Lodge.
"May the Celestial Grand Master grant His Dispensation for a hundred more years."
"The thanks of this Lodge, by vote, were extended to the ladies who assisted in decorating the speaker's stand at the College Grounds; to all who assisted in the concert given as a Lodge benefit, to Bro. Richard Vaux for his oration; to Bro. Cornelius Moore for his History of American Union Lodge; to Bro. Rob Morris for his Centennial Ode; to the various societies who granted the free use of their halls for the occasion; and to the citizens who assisted in numerous ways to make our celebration a success." The Secretary was directed to notify home parties of this action of the Lodge through a card in the Marietta Register, and foreign parties by mail.
The Most Worshipful returned the thanks of the Lodge to the Committee of Arrangements, and Reception Committee for services rendered in getting up the celebration, to which Bro. McCormick made a brief reply.
The following brief financial statement of the Centennial expense was submitted to American Union Lodge by the Finance Committee.
From 64 members American Union Lodge................
Proceeds Concert........................................................ 155.50
Subscribed by Citizens............................................... 127.00
Cash subscriptions by Masons (3).............................. 13.50
Miscellaneous items................................................... 480.53
The committee to examine the accounts, found them correct. Following the above statement, also, is a receipt for $11.50
Paid on account of above...........................................
Balance on hand........................................................ $5.40
A communication on the Centennial from Washington Lodge, Roxbury, Massachusetts, was read July 3, and ordered entered upon the minutes, and on motion a committee consisting of Brothers McCormick and Follett appointed to reply to the letter. The letter reads as follows:
"To the Worshipful Master, Wardens and Brethren of American Union Lodge No. 1, F. & A. M. of Marietta, Ohio.
"Washington Lodge F. & A. M. of Roxbury, Massachusetts, sends greeting:
"At a regular meeting of Washington Lodge held April 6, 1876, your kind invitation to be present and join you in celebrating the centennial anniversary of your Lodge on the 24th of June, was presented, and it was voted."
"That the subject be referred to a special committee with full power to take such action as they might in their opinion deem expedient. The committee after careful consideration of the subject, desiring to express the good wishes of the Lodge, deemed it eminently fitting and proper that our Lodge being the oldest in this jurisdiction, whose Charter dates to March 17th, 1796, and bears the honored name of Paul Revere as M. W. Grand Master, should take some action towards your Lodge, which received its birth in Roxbury one hundred years ago. Under such patriotic motives and devotions to love of country, and the noble principles of our order, that inspired the founders to press forward in the cause of Liberty and Justice, and who have transmitted their sacred inheritance of those watch words to us as a Nation, as well as our beloved institution.
"Under these circumstances the committee have caused to be prepared and transmitted to you, in behalf of Washington Lodge, and ask that you will accept the gift specified below as a slight token of our fraternal regard, and as a Centennial offering for the use of your Lodge."
"A Master's Gavel, set of Truncheons for the Wardens, and Baton for the Marshall, all made from the elm whose branches overshadowed the birth place of General Joseph Warren in Roxbury, Mass., who was M. W. Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts in 1772, and held that office at the time he fell a martyr to his country on the 17th of June, 1775.
"Today as you stand on the threshold of another century, and gather around the consecrated Altar of your Lodge and thank God for His goodness and watchful care over you, may it be with thankful hearts for the past, and a firm reliance on His care for the future, and may the records of your Lodge continue to testify, prosperity, unity, and the practice of all the Masonic virtues.
June 24, 1876
Robert G. Molineux, W. M.
S. A. Bolster, S. W.,
B. F. Ayers, J. W.,
John F. Newton, P. M.
The following communication from St. John's Lodge No. 1 of Newark, N. J., was read and ordered spread upon the minutes at the meeting of June 24.
"Extracts from the minutes of St. John's Lodge No. 1, A. F. & A. M Special Communication held Wednesday evening, June 21, A. L. 5876.
"The Worshipful Master presented a Communication from the M. W. Marshall B. Smith, Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of New Jersey covering the order of exercises to take place on the occasion of the Centennial Celebration of American Union Lodge No. 1 of Marietta, Ohio, on St. John's Day, 1876, and suggested the propriety of some acknowledgment by this Lodge to American Union Lodge No. 1 of the receipt of said enclosure. It was on motion of Bro. P. Grand Master William Silas Whitehead, ordered that the M. W. appoint a committee to prepare and report to St. John's Lodge a suitable memorial of the occasion, to be forwarded to American Union Lodge.
"The Most Worshipful appointed the following Brethren as the committee: P. G. M. Wm. Silas Whitebead, P. M. Osceola Currier and Caleb W. Harrison. The committee reported the following preamble and resolutions, which on motion were adopted:
"Whereas, St. John's Lodge No. 1 A. F. & A. M. of Newark, New Jersey, has received through the hands of the Most Worshipful Grand Master of New Jersey, a communication from American Union Lodge No. 1 of Marietta, Ohio, being a copy of the order of exercises to take place on St. John's Day next, upon the occasion of the Centennial Celebration of the institution of that Lodge;
"And whereas, it is becoming and proper
that this Lodge which dates its existence from the 13th day of
May, 1761, should appropriately recognize the coming to the Masonic
age of distinction of the younger members of the family.
"Therefore, Resolved, That St. John's Lodge No. 1 hereby transmits to American Union Lodge No. 1 of Marietta, Ohio, its hearty and cordial greetings with congratulations upon the memorable event of the occurrence of its Centennial Anniversary.
"Resolved, That in tendering the fraternal courtesies suggested by the occasion to American Union Lodge, St. John's Lodge is reminded that this is not the first occasion on which an exchange of the courtesies of the Craft has taken place between this Lodge and American Union Lodge, and that the ancient records of St. John's Lodge of the date of December 24, A. D. 1779, show that on that date the Working Tools and Jewels of this Lodge were loaned to American Union Lodge for the purpose of a festival meeting of the last named Lodge held at Morristown, New Jersey, December 27, 1779, on which occasion Brother George Washington was recorded as one of the visitors of American Union Lodge.
"Resolved, That St. John's Lodge No. 1 rejoices to learn that advancing years have not palsied the arm or abated the vigor of American Union Lodge, but that it continues to enjoy the full strength and elasticity which animates its youth and invigorates its maturer manhood.
"Resolved, That the Revolutionary memories which cluster around the name and story of American Union Lodge must thrill with pride and exultation the heart of every patriotic Mason, and that its history and memories demonstrate the truth of the fundamental axiom, that every true Mason is a true lover of his country.
"Resolved, That with the congratulations of the occasion, St. John's No. 1 of New Jersey sends to American Union Lodge No. 1 of Ohio the benediction of an elder Brother, and the sincere and heart-felt prayer that success, prosperity and fraternal affection may attend the future, as they have blessed the past of American Union Lodge.
"Resolved, That the Secretary of St. John's Lodge No. 1, be and is herby directed to forward to American Union Lodge No. 1 of Marietta, Ohio, proper extracts from the minutes of this communication, together with a copy of the foregoing resolutions, under the seal of the Lodge, also a photographic copy of the record of this Lodge of December 24, A. D. 1779, referred to in the foregoing resolutions.
W. H. Garrison, Secy.
William Silas Whitehead
C. W. Harrison
Brothers McCormick and Follett were also appointed to reply to the communication from St. John's Lodge No. 1 of Newark, New Jersey.
A letter from American Union Lodge to Washington Lodge in reply to their communication of June 24, 1876, was authorized in the appointment of a committee of two, Brothers McCormick and Follett, for that purpose in the following month of July. This committee postponed report, and on several occasions asked for an extension of time, always promising to report at the next meeting. Later Brother McClure succeeded Bro. Follett. Finally on April 23, 1877, ten months after the Centennial celebration, the Committee, presented the following report, which was adopted and ordered sent to the Lodge at Roxbury, Mass.
"To the Worshipful Master, Wardens and Brethren of Washington Lodge F. & A. M., Roxhury, Mass. American Union Lodge No. 1 F. & A. M. sends greeting:
"The very handsome and tasteful present sent to American Union Lodge, Marietta, Ohio, by your Lodge, June 20, 1876, to wit: a beautiful silver mounted Gavel for the Worshipful Master, set of Truncheons for the Wardens, and Baton for the Marshall, all handsomely engraved, were duly received, and on the 24th day of June, A. D. 1876, being the day of the celebration of our 100th Anniversary, they were presented in open Lodge by Bro. A. W. McCormick on behalf of your Lodge, and were received by Worshipful Master Bro. Geo. T. Hovey, with an appropriate address of acceptance. He enjoined upon the Lodge to cause them to be transmitted from Master to Master, and to be used at the next Centennial anniversary. Thereupon the Lodge unanimously resolved that the thanks of American Union Lodge be tendered to Washington Lodge for their kind remembrance of us, And the undersigned were appointed a committee to respond to the very kind letter which accompanied these presents.
"We therefore assure you, Brethren, that we will ever cherish them among the most precious treasures in our keeping, and that they will be transmitted by the officers for whose use they are intended, to their successors, with the' admonition that they ever be used for the preservation of order, peace and harmony among the Brethren. The fact that they come from Washington Lodge, one of the most illustrious as well as the oldest now in the jurisdiction of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts; and the further fact that they are a part of the famous old elm which waved over the birth place of the distinguished patriot and soldier and worthy Brother Mason, General Jos6pli Warren, adds much to their value.
"We also acknowledge with gratitude the receipt from you of a beautiful volume of the History and Laws of Washington Lodge.
"Our centennial celebration was a success, and will ever remain a proud day in the minds of all worthy members of American Union Lodge. The Grand Lodge of Ohio, and a large number of other Lodges, the Masonic Historical Society of the State, and many distinguished Masons were present with us. The addresses of our distinguished Orator M. W. Richard Vaux of Pennsylvania, and others, were all one could have hoped; our only regret is that distance prevented the attendance of Brethren from the birth place of our Lodge, who so kindly remembered us in the way of appreciative presents though unable to join personally in our festivities.
"While your Lodge bears. the honored name of Washington, we feel a pride in the fact that the name of our Lodge is the embodiment of the grand thought of our American Union.
"Our hope is that your Lodge may continue to prosper as in the past; that your Centennial anniversary may be as pleasant as ours; that you may spread the light of Masonry, and every moral and social virtue cement us while here, and that we may all eventually meet in the presence of the Supreme Grand Master above.
A. W. McCormick
Reply to the congratulatory letter from St. John's Lodge No. 1 of Newark, N. J. by American Union Lodge No. 1 of Ohio, was likewise entrusted to Brothers McCormick and McClure. In April 1877 they reported the following letter, which was ordered sent:
"To the Worshipful Master, Wardens and Brethren of St. John's Lodge No. 1, Newark, New Jersey American Union Lodge No. 1 of Marietta, Ohio, sends Greeting:
"The very courteous communication we received from you on the occasion of our Centennial anniversary, with extracts from the minutes of your Lodge, covering resolutions adopted by you, were duly presented to American Union Lodge, and also the photograph of a page of your record of 1779, showing a loan of your Jewels to our Lodge on an occasion when the illustrious Washington visited American Union Lodge.
"Much interest was manifested in these valuable papers when read, and the thanks of our Lodge were unanimously tendered to St. John's Lodge for these manifestations of your Masonic regard and Brotherly love.
"We learned with pride that our early history was so agreeably blended with that of a Lodge so distinguished as St. John's, and the undersigned were appointed a committee to respond to your memorial. We assure you, Brethren, the courtesies extended us by St. John's Lodge will ever be held in grateful remembrance, especially do we prize these tokens coming from one of the few Lodges now working in America that can claim an existence more ancient than our own. As this is not the first, we hope it may not be the last exchange of courtesies between our Lodges, and that our intercourse in the future may be as pleasant as was that of our Forefathers in days that gave birth to the American Union.
A. W. McCormick
A safe for the storage of old papers and other documents, was made a subject for discussion on July 31, 1876. A committee consisting of Brothers Whiffing, Greene and Jones was appointed to ascertain upon what terms such a safe could be bought or rented. On Jan. 29, 1877, the committee were advised to see Brother Whiffing regarding a safe he had for sale. On February 26 the committee reported on several propositions, so they were continued, and were authorized to buy a safe if price and terms were satisfactory.
R. W. Brother Richard Vaux, P. G. Master of the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania, was elected an Honorary Member on July 31, 1876, and the Secretary was instructed to prepare a certificate to that effect. Right Worshipful Brother Vaux was honored because of his distinction as a Mason, and in recognition of his address as Orator at the Centennial celebration on June 24. His certificate as an Honorary Member of American Union Lodge was exhibited to the Brethren on November 19, 1876.
The publication of the Proceedings of the Centennial Celebration on June 24, 1876, was brought up before the Lodge on December 25, 1876. At this time Brother McCormick stated that Brother Morris had returned his manuscript, but nothing had yet come from the Deputy Grand Master, nor Grand Secretary.
A farewell address as Worshipful Master,
was made by Bro. George T. Hovey on January 29, 1877, after which
the Lodge voted that it be spread upon the minutes in full, and
that its publication be sought in the Masonic Review and Marietta
Register. The address is as follows:
"I have now opened American Union Lodge in all probability for the last time as your Worshipful Master. As I have ;been Master for many years, I ask your indulgence for a few moments while I make a few remarks. There are many matters I would like to talk about, but cannot without encroaching upon the necessary business to be transacted at this meeting. I remember well the first time I opened this Lodge on the 14th of October, 1861. From that time to this I have opened this Lodge 344 times, conferred the Entered Apprentice degree 123 times, Fellow Craft degree 110 times, Master's degree 101 times; conferred 334 degrees on 135 different persons, which, at $10.00 a degree would be $3340. The work and business of the office would occupy the Master's time every day for one year. I am conscious of my shortcomings, but feel that my services have to some extent at least, been satisfactory from the fact of my frequent re-elections.
"My mind often reverts to my early
Masonry, and while there are a few dark spots, caused by confusion
among the workmen, I have many pleasing recollections, that are
deeply impressed upon my heart and will last as long as I will
myself. As I look around me tonight I see few Brothers of my early
Masonic days. Some have removed to other localities and still
continue to be active members of the Masonic family. Some have
gone to their last home, and I trust have found a final resting
place in the Grand Lodge above. Some have allowed the Masonic
fire of love, once kindled in their bosoms, to smother and die,
and thus their Masonic labors have come to sad close. A few,
who seemingly at first were most zealous, now linger by the road
side, and while they nominally hold membership in the Lodge, they
show symptoms of Masonic death, and unless the Corn, Wine and
Oil be properly administered, their Masonic lives will soon be
"As the Centennial of our Lodge, as well as that of the Nation, is now closed, it would be well for us to benefit ourselves by the experience of the past; clean up our Trestle Boards, and make fresh designs for the future. In doing this it would be well for each of us to survey our past lives and see for ourselves how far we have failed to do our duty. We have a great and noble work to perform. Let us be free with our counsel in carrying it out. To be successful we must all be interested; we must be interested in each other morally, religiously, physically, and last but not least, financially; for talk as you may, think as you will, upon this last duty our success largely depends. You may gather around the festal board as often as you please, and be as sociable as you like, but just so far as we have an interest in the moral and financial success of our Brothers, just so far will we be useful and good as Masons. I have given this matter considerable thought and have been, I think, a somewhat close observer of the feelings and actions of Masons, and can come to no other conclusion than that this is the mainspring of Masonic action. I would then have it written on every Mason's heart, 'We are a band of brothers,' for Masonry is so constituted that what effects the interest of one member, effects the interest of the whole Lodge. If you will reflect a moment, it will need no illustration to prove this association.
"We all should be proud of American Union Lodge No. 1. Its history is a noble one; born and reared in the midst of the roar of cannon, she has marched to the music of drum and fife to cheer many a wounded soldier and give hope to many a dying Brother. She has been in numerous battles, and given corn, wine and oil to both friend and foe. Its members have been imprisoned, suffered, bled and died. But American Union Lodge still lives to wipe away the tears of sorrow and gladden the hearts of the distressed.
"Let our minds go back for a few moments to those perilous times before the inhabitants of this country were a free and happy people. As we recall the many hardships these brave and noble men were called upon to endure while' struggling in the army of the Revolution for their independence, our Masonic lore will be intensified when we allude to the fact that American Union Lodge was there on duty! She was not there by order of those in command, but of her own free will and accord. She was not there with the weapons of warfare, but with her working tools of peace and love. She was there with her trowel to spread the cement of Brotherly love and affection. She was there to comfort the dying and cheer Brothers and Crusaders on the road that leads to Immortality. This was her only object. Her motto was then, as it is now, 'Faith in God, Hope in Immortality, and Charity to all mankind.'
"I cannot let this opportunity pass without alluding to what is uppermost in my mind, the name of Joel Clark, the first Master of this Lodge, and who was the first of whom we have any record, out of that little band of Brothers of 1776, who laid down his life for the benefit of those who would follow him. Of his history I know but little, but this we do know, that he lived 100 years ago, and taught the same immortal lessons then that had been taught by those who had gone before, and are taught by us today.
"'These shall resist the empire of
When time is o'er and worlds have passed away.
Cold in the dust the perished heart may lie,
But that which warmed it once, can never die.'
"One hundred years hence as we moulder in our graves, other forms will tread the checkered floor, the same lessons will be taught by them as they have been taught by us today in the then long ago. Thus it is, men and their history pass away and are forgotten; but Free Masonry lives on; the more she is persecuted the brighter she shines.
"And now wishing the officers elect a bright career and American Union Lodge abundant prosperity, I will close my official acts by installing the Worshipful Master elect."
Bro. Hovey turned over to the new Master the Gavel and Truncheons received from Roxbury Lodge, and requested the Worshipful to see that they were duly handed over to his successor, and so on until they should come to be used on next centennial anniversary.
A Book from Washington Lodge. At the meeting on February 26, Bro. Hovey presented Lodge with a very handsomely bound book from Washington Lodge, Roxbury, Mass. On motion of Bro. Sibley, this was placed with the other presents from Roxbury, and the Secretary ordered to make immediate acknowledgment of the same.
Masonic funerals in American Union Lodge were a very common feature during its entire history from 1790. The services were usually well represented in the membership of the Lodge, and from time to time the books of the Secretary made note of members requesting Masonic funerals. One of the most remarkable members of this Lodge was Brother Thomas J. Westgate. The following beautiful expression of the Lodge on the books of the Secretary at the time of his death, May 21, 1877, is well worth recording here. "He was made a Mason in this Lodge on January 13, 1829. For 48 years he had been an attendant at the meetings, an active and useful member of the fraternity. He served many years as the Senior Deacon, was Junior Warden in 1844-45, Senior Warden in 1846, and received the highest honors in 1847, being then elected Worshipful Master. His great interest in the cause of Freemasonry never ceased from the time he first saw the Mystic Light, to the last days of his life. In all the vicissitudes and perplexities of a long life, he practiced those principles out of the Lodge that are taught in it, and died as he had lived, 'a just and upright Mason.' We will miss him at our meetings. His erect and manly form will be seen no more, carrying the Holy Bible, Square and Compasses at Masonic funerals, which ceremony he so much admired, and often requested, even to the very last, might be performed at his grave. We will cherish his memory, and his virtues will stand engraven on our hearts forever.
"Resolved, That we bow with humble submission to the will and pleasure of the Supreme Grand Master of the Universe, in the removal of our beloved Brother from our midst to the Grand Lodge on high.
"Resolved, That in the death of Bro. Westgate, American Union Lodge has lost a useful, zealous and venerable member, and the community an honest and valuable citizen.
G. T. Hovey
J. W. Whiffing"
At the June 25 session, the following resolution was adopted:
"Quite a debate occurred on the question of the tribute of respect to Bro. Westgate, and as a matter of record and explanation it should be known that Bro. Westgate had repeatedly during his life, and but a few days before his death, expressed his wish for a Masonic burial. His family however, after his death, objected to such a ceremony, and in deference to the wishes of the family, no Masonic burial services were performed by the Lodge."
Soon after the death of her husband Mrs.
Westgate presented the Lodge with his apron.
The binding of the old minutes and papers of the Lodge were considered on November 17, 1877, and the Worshipful Master was appointed a committee, at reasonable compensation, to attend to the matter. On December 9, 1878, he made a detailed report of his work in arranging the old minutes and papers. He spoke of the trouble he had been to years ago in securing some very valuable papers and of the time spent in examining them. He concluded his remarks by presenting the Lodge with the old minutes from 1790 to 1811, nicely bound in one volume. All the papers from the first organization of the Lodge he had put up in packages, and nicely labeled them. He read some very interesting extracts from the minutes. Those of November 8, 1807, showed the election of Colonel Stone. A committee was appointed to consider compensation. for Brother Hovey for his time and labor, and they. reported favoring an allowance of $25.00, which was granted. The Secretary was directed to place the oldest and most valuable papers in a tin box and deposit it in the bank vault for safety.
The Life Membership plan was again introduced at a session of the Lodge on March 18, 1878. On motion a committee of three, consisting of Brothers Cooper, Strachan and Jones was appointed to consider and report upon the life membership plan, fees, scale of the same, etc., and also the question of dues. The wisdom of offering a resolution addressed to Grand Lodge relative to reducing the dues, and also to consider membership fee, which at this time according to by-laws was four dollars ($4.00). On June 18 the committee reported upon the expediency of reducing the annual dues, and recommended amending the by-laws, providing a fee for a dimit, and establishing a life membership. The recommendations were $3.00 for dues, admission $1.00, and a life membership $30.00, but on submitting the question to vote on August 12, the reduction of dues from $5.00 to $3.00 was lost 10 to 5, and similar fate fell to reducing the admission fee from $4.00 to $1.00. No action was reported on life membership. However on September 29, the amendment to the by-laws abolishing the admission fee for membership when accompanied by a dimit, was adopted.
The poem "Old Number One," was written by Brother Robert Morris, complimentary to American Union Lodge, which he visited on April 1, 1878. He was introduced to the Lodge by Worshipful Master Bro. George T. Hovey, with appropriate remarks. On this occasion 38 members of the Lodge were present, 19 from Harmar No. 390, and 12 from other Lodges. The following poem, was recited by Brother Morris in an impressive manner, and appreciated by the Brethren present:
Old Number One
I stand tonight within a hallowed place,
The memories of a hundred years combine
To give this Lodge its glory, in this chain
The generations have assumed in turn
The covenants of the Craft, have walked the round
In mystic darkness, worn the ancient Badge
Of innocence, wielded the implements
And honorably borne the loads of life.
Oh happy hour that brings my footsteps here!
Is it but fancy? do I only dream
That in this tyled retreat, there is a group
Of spirits hovering, though all unseen,
Who share my joy tonight? They speak in
Those voices of the dead, they speak of days
Purer than ours, of nobler Craft who stood,
With Level, Plumb and Square to guide the work!
They speak in warning accents to our souls.
Hear them, O Brethren............
"Let the name of God
The sacred name, the name Omnipotent,
Be honored here, Spread the cement of Love,
The only bond can bind the Mason's heart.
Walk justly in the sight of God and Man.
The hungry feed, the naked clothe, the poor
And needy take as almoners of God,
And so when with us in the silent grave
Your name like ours shall live thro' coming time."
. . . . . . . . . . . .
Hail workmen of Mystic Labor, hall!
Tonight let all things that have language speak,
Here in the image chamber of the Craft
Where truth and virtue gleam on every hand,
Above, the spangled Arch whose diamond rays
Twinkle sweet welcome on our road to Heaven.
Around, emblems of truth eternal, grand,
Quaint old imaginings of by-gone days,
Before, oh, blest eternally of God,
Yon Book whose secret is undying hope;
Beneath, the earth, our Mother, whence we sprung
And in whose bosom we shall sleep at last.
All these inspire and move the Poet's heart
To claim a welcome, Brothers, in your band.
And let them speak: those Pillars that look
In brazen Symbolism on the scene;
The Golden G. that names the Sacred Name;
The sheaf that marks His bounty and His love;
The Gavel ringing in submissive ears;
The Level, Plumb and Square on faithful breasts;
The Gauge wise monitor of fleeting time,
Of time whose sands no mortal can recall;
The Trowel with its soothing tale of peace;
Each has its voice, and let it speak tonight!
On completing the recital of his poem, Brother Morris announced that he would give an address on the subject.
Freemasonry Around the World, which he had been invited to deliver. He spoke first of preparations for Masonic explorations of the Holy Land, and then led along a course in which the following items were more or less discussed for an hour. (2) Freemasonry around the world; Masonry and Mormonism; the vicious Masonry of France; the Masonic flag; initiation societies; methods of examination. (3) Condition of Freemasonry in the Kingdom of Solomon and Hiram; the seven sacred localities; the materials of the Temple; Freemasonry in Egypt; the Great Pyramid. (4) Opening the first Lodge in Jerusalem by Bro. Morris in 1868; the Great Cavern underlying the city; progress and present condition of that Lodge; formation of a group of fifty American Masons to visit Jerusalem in 1878; Masonic Temple proposed. (5) His Masonic experience among the Orientals; Masonic prayer and ode; burial of the dead. (6) Mt. Moriah as it was and is, illustrated by map of Jerusalem; corner-stone and foundation of Solomon's structure; secret vaults; the Sanctum Sanctorum. (7) Primitive Freemasonry; an Arab Lodge; Lodge of the Dervishes. (8) The Masonic emblems and traditions in the Holy Land; opening a Sarcophagus; Royal Arch Masonry; Council Masonry and Orders of Knighthood. (9) Reading God's words in the Land of God.
The lecture was illustrated with numerous objects such as a Masonic flag, which Bro. Morris carried in the Holy Land; the three ancient Scriptures; wood and stone from the Temple; ancient coins; the shekel and penny of the Mark Master; the widow's mite; the resurrection plant; diplomas; amulets from sarcophagi, etc.
Following the lecture, the Lodge was called from labor to refreshments. After returning to labor, Bro. Morris related a number of interesting anecdotes, both serious and humorous, after which he recited his famous poem, "The Level and the Square," which he composed in 1854. The evening was very profitably spent, and Lodge was not closed until about midnight.
The old army chest formerly owned by Brother General Rufus Putnam, inherited by Colonel Wm. R. Putnam had long been looked upon by American Union Lodge with envious eyes. At the session of the Lodge on April 15, 1878, the Worshipful Master, Brother Hovey, stated that Colonel Putnam had finally agreed to give the Lodge the old army chest, which was good news to the Brethren. On May 13 the chest was reported in the Tyler's room, from which it was later brought before the Lodge for examination. For his generosity the Lodge extended a vote of thanks to Colonel Putnam.
This chest is made of pine, is three and one-half feet long, eighteen inches wide and sixteen inches deep. A small till or tray extends across the inside at one end. On the exterior of the chest there is the original lettering, very clearly to be seen of "R. Putnam, Lieu't. Colo'n 22 Reg." This chest saw much service in the hands of General Putnam, and it may be considered a most important historic treasure of this Lodge.
Brother Robert Morris was elected an Honorary Member on April 15, 1878, being proposed by the Senior Deacon, following eulogistic remarks. Brother Morris was born August 31, 1818, and was made a Master Mason in Oxford Lodge, Mississippi in 1846. Most of his life however was spent in Kentucky. He passed through the various York and Scottish Rite degrees, was a leader in the organization of the Eastern Star in America, and Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Kentucky in 1858-59. He was one of the leading Masonic scholars of his day, and author of several well known Masonic books on jurisprudence, the ritual and handbooks. He was also author of a large book of about 600 pages on "Freemasonry in the Orient," that passed through many editions. He was known as the Masonic Poet Laureate, and author of the famous poem, "The Level, Plumb and Square." He was the author also of an imposing book entitled "The Poetry of Freemasonry," published in 1884, of 400 pages. He died in 1888.
An original copy of the first minutes of American Union Lodge was reported to Worshipful Master Hovey by Brother Rob Morris and is in his possession. On motion the Lodge on April 15, 1878, directed the Secretary to correspond with Brother Morris relative to procuring these old papers. At the May 13 session the Secretary was also directed to write Brother Morris for a copy of the Masonic Review of several years previous, containing an article by him regarding the Lodge.
The publication of a history of the Lodge was again brought up on June 10, 1878. A committee appointed to consider the propriety and cost of printing the history, including the Centennial celebration of June 24, 1876, made a report of the cost, and it was their opinion that it was not then advisable to attempt it. Considerable discussion followed. The committee was continued and directed to ascertain how much of a guarantee fund might be obtained, and how many books might be sold. On July 7 the committee reported that printing and binding would probably cost $300. or $400. and it was its opinion that this amount could not be raised. The report was received and the committee discharged.
The death of Col. Augustus Stone occurred on June 14, 1879. Had he lived until July 23, he would have been 99 years old. He was born in Rutland, Mass., in 1780. On Feb. 1, 1808 he was made a Master Mason in American Union Lodge. In 1809 he received the Royal Arch degree. He served as Secretary of the Lodge in 1808, 1809, 1810, 1811, and was Worshipful Master in 1816, when he took an important part in reorganizing the Lodge and establishing it within the jurisdiction of the Grand Lodge of Ohio. In his time, Bro. Stone was regarded as the oldest Master Mason, Secretary, Past Master, and Royal Arch Mason in the United States. He had been a Master Mason 72 years at the time of his death.
Brother Stone had moved to Ohio with General Rufus Putnam in 1788. He taught school for several years, and in 1805 President Jefferson appointed him a Surveyor General, and he also held other positions of public trust with honor to himself and the Fraternity. He was the first Colonel of the First Regiment of Ohio Militia. In his later years he and his wife had but a very limited income. The funeral services were held in the Harmar Congregational Church, after which he was laid away by American Union Lodge with suitable honors, as one of its most beloved Brethren.
A certificate of Honorary Membership for Brother Robert Morris was sent him, and on October 27, 1879, the Secretary reported that he had received the following letter in reply.
"La Grange, Kentucky, 20th Oct., 1879
The W. M. Wardens, Officers and Brethren
of American Union Lodge No.1
My Kind Brethren:
"Believe me I shall cherish the compliment you have done me as long as I live, and when I am dead my sons will take care that the elegant diploma you sent me shall be honorably kept.
I would fain hope that nothing in my life may ever make you ashamed of this association of my name with yours.
With grateful esteem
A Jewel said to have perhaps belonged to
Brother General George Washington was reported to the Lodge on
November 24, 1879 by the Worshipful Master, who stated that he
had been at considerable pains to recover it. This Jewel at this
time was said to be in the possession of a Mr. Lovell of Covington,
Kentucky. A member of the Lodge, Brother Nye, stated that Mr.
Lovell was a cousin of his, and that he would do all in his power
to obtain said Jewel. On motion Brother Nye was appointed a commit-tee
of one to secure it if possible. We have no further record of
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