During World War I citizens of the United States and their representatives in Congress were directing them interest and attention to the mobilization of the nation's strength and the cooperation in numerous ways toward insuring victory for the nation. Ohio's Masons were interested in these happenings and were devoted to the objectives of National defense. As Grand Master Adams regarded this situation, "the unjust laws of our superiors in number must for the present be forgotten. As citizens, we must do our mite; as Masons, though they are fighting in opposite trenches, they are true to that ancient custom of operative Masons - obedient to the law and loyal to the country in which they added." They watched the efforts of the administration to maintain American neutrality which were finally abandoned in 1917, when Germany undertook its program of unrestricted submarine warfare. However, the war situation had been developing since 1914. Within two months in 1917 six American ships had been torpedoed. President Wilson then proposed to Congress to declare war stating also that the world must be made safe for democracy. The war resolution was passed by Congress on April 6, 1917. The draft was then proposed by Congress of all able bodied males in the ages of 21-31 years. At a later period this age limit was changed from 18-45 years.
Restrictions were placed upon living conditions and taxes were increased. By June, 1917, an American expeditionary force had reached France. The Selective Service Act of 1917 had increased the Armed Forces. The young men were trained in 22 cantonments located in various parts of the country. The Naval Force was increased and the Merchant Marine was expanded. Liberty Loan drives and Victory Gardens were organized by the Treasury for the sale of bonds. Private business was cooperating with the Government and the economic life of the nation was coordinated with the war machine. Transportation was affected, due to the demands of war and in December, 1917, President Wilson assumed control of the railroads and named Secretary McAdoo as Director General to operate them in a unified system. Passenger service was to be curtailed and it became apparent that it was going to be difficult to hold group meetings and conventions.
Prior to this event, one of the great state events in Masonry in Ohio was the commemoration of St. John's Day, June 24, 1917. This was important not only because it was one of the stated commemorations of the Grand Lodge, but also because this date was to commemorate the 200th Anniversary of the Mother Grand Lodge of London, England organized in 1717. There was a widespread response to these meetings which were held in several cities and towns of the state.
When the Grand Lodge of Ohio assembled for its Sixty-eighth Annual Communication in Cincinnati, Ohio, August 14-15 1917, the overtones of the war were heard throughout the meeting. It was in the address of welcome given by Mayor George Puchta of the city of Cincinnati and the welcome addresses on the part of others. Grand Master Adams responded to these addresses. Distinguished visitors included, the Grand Master, J. M. Munday, of the Grand Lodge of Kentucky and the Grand Secretary, William H. Mayo, of the Grand Lodge of Kentucky and Brother M. T. Clay, Past Grand Master of this Grand Lodge. Brother Frank A. B. Hall was Master of Ceremonies.
The Grand Master's Address after its welcome salutation referred to the world war, and among other things he said, "almost the entire world is in the throws of a Bloody war. Christian, Pagan and Fraternal Brethren that are bound by what should be indestructible ties of brotherhood are pitted together and against each other in murderous strife or a questionable supremacy. Oh God! Is there no help for the sons of man! To lift him from the depths of savagery, to separate and remove from his nature the lust of blood, the greed of power and for honor deserved and unmerited? Yes, there is help, in the individual plan of being men that are big enough and free from a disguised and deceitful spirit of selfishness that seeks to rise and prosper at the expense of another's happiness, position and property.'' It was again that he referred to the mission of Masonry in building the ties of brotherhood and of the importance of a thorough knowledge of it and a strict conformity to Masonic duty.
Grand Master Adams installed a new Lodge in Akron, having received application for a dispensation on October 19. On November 24, Mount Calvary Lodge No. 76 of Akron was instituted. The officers were: B. H. Andrews, Worshipful Master; Nathaniel Sheldon, Senior Warden; John A Banks, Junior Warden; M. O. Wolrich Treasurer; Julius R. Johnson, Secretary; Charles C. Jackson Senior Deacon; Joseph Alexander, Junior Deacon; James A. Holloway, Chaplain; Charles R. Lewis, Senior Steward Levi Penn, Junior Steward and G. F. Gross, Tyler. Mount Calvary Lodge was described as being located in one of the greatest growing cities in the country and it was reported that it was full of "the right kind of enthusiasm."
As to the general condition of the lodges, Grand Master Adams reported that at no time in its history could the Grand Lodge of Ohio boast of better conditions than that in which she is enjoying today.'' It was his observation that there was a tendency toward efficiency, the drawing of the line against things discreditable to good morals, the conduct of the lodge business in an intelligent manner, and the result was that the craft was rapidly increasing in numbers with the type of men who were highly respected in their communities. Attention was called by him to the improper use of the black ball by some misguided or resentful member, and he urged the proper use of it. He said that frequently the lodge was deprived of men valuable for ability and influence through the wrongful use of the blackball. Office seeking was also called by him as a detriment to harmony and a besetting sin of the Grand Lodge.
Reference was made to the National Compact which had continued to prolong the case against the Grand Lodge of Ohio in the Courts of Franklin County and the Grand Master appealed to the lodges to continue to contribute their proportions to the Legal Defense Fund. The Grand Lodge of Ohio had ''won every step of the way,'' but the court had given the National Compact the opportunity to amend its second Petition, but instead they had carried the case to the Court of Appeals and they were remanded to the Court of Common Pleas since a final decision had not been rendered in the lower court. They were seeking to amend their Petition in the Court of Common Pleas and no further action could be taken until the September term of the court.
The Grand Master had found that the difference between the Grand Lodge of the State of Kentucky and the Grand Lodge of Ohio did not warrant further attention during that the mistake that had been made had been erased. In view of the fact that the Grand Lodge of Ohio had no desire to remain in the territory of the Grand Lodge of Kentucky, it was his opinion that further consideration of the controversy should be dropped. In reference to the Massachusetts situation where Brother William L. Reed was implicated, he felt that this controversy did not warrant any severance of fraternal relations.
Deputy Grand Master J. Foster Lewis' report called attention to John A. Bell who claimed to be a Mason and was distributing a circular intending to discredit the origin and legality of Negro Masonry. He was posing as "Sovereign Grand Master of the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge, Ancient and Accepted Masons, Jurisdiction, the United States," but the Grand Master described him as "another degree peculiar." One of his contentions was that Prince Hall was a slave at the time he was said to have been made a Mason. The Deputy Grand Master went to Wilmington, Ohio, where this allegation had been broadcast and gave an address with a sketch of the life of Prince Hall, the origin of the Prince Hall Grand Lodge and proof of its legitimacy. He also stated that it was definitely agreed that Bell had not succeeded in his endeavor. The Grand Lecturer, John C. Logan, had traveled extensively and found the affairs of the subordinate lodges in excellent shape.
The Committee on Grand Master's Address voted approval of the action with reference to Mount Calvary Lodge at Akron, Ohio, and the approval of the receipt of the application from Sandusky, Ohio, to establish a lodge there and the action of the Grand Master in participating in the organization of the Booker T. Washington Lodge in Bridgeport, Ohio, across the river from Wheeling, West Virginia. There had been some contention with the Grand Lodge of West Virginia concerning some of the men who were initiated. The Grand Master stated that "the lodge was named after the great Educator and eminent patron of our Fraternity, Booker T. Washington, to whose name we shall ever pay a loving tribute and give all honor."
The number of lodges represented at this Grand Lodge session were 44, five were not represented. There were 17 Grand Officers, 73 permanent members, 51 representatives present, a total number of members in attendance of 141. The elected and appointed Grand Officers were as follows : Howard T. Greer, Cincinnati, Grand Master; J. Foster Lewis, Columbus, Deputy Grand Master; Robert J. Evans, Cincinnati, Senior Grand Warden; A. G. Holloway, London, Junior Grand Warden; Otis G. Fields, Toledo, Grand Treasurer and Joseph J. Lee, Columbus, Grand Secretary.
A report was made at this Grand Lodge of the assembly of representatives of all Jurisdictions in Chicago, Illinois, in August, 1916, in the International Conference of Grand Masters and Grand Secretaries. Twenty-one of the thirty-five jurisdictions were represented. The most important work of this Conference was the final approval of the Ritual and its floor chart. Grand Master Adams said, "Ohio may again derive pleasure from the fact that she produced the Ritual for their consideration, which, after it was demonstrated to their utmost satisfaction, received, with possibly one exception, the unanimous vote of that potent Body for approval." Credit and honor were given to the Ohio Committee which had worked on the Ritual with the idea of procuring uniformity in Masonic work in all jurisdictions. This was a historic accomplishment.
Much of this history was being lost, however, because the Grand Historiographers and others who should have had a sense of history were not aware of the influence of their contemporary actions upon the future. When Grand Historiographer John H. Bowles made his report to this Grand Lodge of 1917, he called the names of his predecessors in office, Brothers Charles A. Cottrell in 1908; William In. Clemens, 1909-1910; William M. Sparrow in 1911; W. W. Cordell in 1912 and added that "no record of compiling anything by the first four historians is in existence."
Shortly after the close of the Grand Lodge of 1917, the movement to organize a new lodge in Dayton, Ohio, began to gain momentum. On September 4, 1917, application was made by several Brethren to Ancient Square Lodge No. 40 and approval was given for establishment of another Grand Lodge there. Grand Master Howard T. Greer was present on October 19, 1917, when Harmony Lodge No. 77 was instituted with the following officers: G. W. Dunn, Worshipful Master; James Tann, Senior Warden; Sylvester Stone, Junior Warden; Joseph Brown, Secretary; Sanford Williams, Treasurer; Clarence Warmack, Senior Deacon; John Valentine, Junior Deacon and Clarence Richardson, Tyler. This meeting was held at Wesley Methodist Church. Grand Master Greer stated "it was a memorable evening for all who had the pleasure to attend."
As the World War progressed and the participation of the United States in this war was increased, there were regulations which had to be met by individuals and by organizations. These interfered with the regular procedures and progress of the Grand Lodge and the local lodges. After the railroads were employed mainly in traffic affecting the war, the traveling public was requested to use these roads only when it was necessary and assemblies of the people were banned. The next session of the Grand Lodge had been called to be held at Youngstown, Ohio, August 20-21, 1918. Grand Master Greer called together the Trustees of the Grand Lodge for consultation at Columbus, Ohio, and issued a proclamation postponing the Sixty-ninth Annual Grand Communication. At the same meeting the Trustees decided to disburse $2000.00 for the purchase of liberty bonds during the fourth campaign for this purpose.
The official Proclamation was issued from Cincinnati, Ohio, July 1, 1918, by Grand Master Howard T. Greer. This was as follows:
"Postponing the Sixty-ninth Annual Communication of the Grand Lodge Free and Accepted Masons of the State of Ohio, and its Jurisdiction.
"Whereas, the United States of America and her Allies, being now engaged in the greatest war the world ever knew, and because this condition of affairs has made the financial, industrial and commercial position of our government a hard one; and seeing that the railroads and many public utilities are under governmental control, and believing it to be necessary at this time to concentrate every energy in the struggle in which this country is engaged, and which it is the backbone and sinew, and feeling further that every man, woman and child should be engaged in doing something that will in the end bring success to our Allies over there, and further that we, who are at home, should not be unmindful of the fact that many of our Brethren are now in the front line trenches or preparing to be, and also, that we should consider it a pleasure as well as a duty to give aid and comfort to them while so engaged, and feeling that the coal, steam, men, cars and every other convention city could be employed by our state and government in transporting foods, munitions and every article which must of necessity be used by those at the front, in cantonments and barracks.
I feel it my duty as Grand Master of Free and Accepted Masons of the State of Ohio and its Jurisdiction to issue this Proclamation to the craft that the Annual Communication of the year 1918 will be called off.
I am sure that you will agree with me when I say that we must sacrifice every personal ambition and put forth every effort and use all our forces, moral, intellectual and physical, to the end that America and her Allies are victors in the struggle for world democracy.
We must rally around "Old Glory" and sec that it does not touch the ground.
And while our boys are going over the top with bayonet and gun, we must go over the top at home, with patriotic fervor.
The money that would be required to transport us to Youngstown, to house and entertain us while there, can be used to a better advantage by our Grand Lodge in purchasing liberty loan bonds during the next campaign, so that we may go on record as having done something worthwhile in assisting to bring this war to a successful conclusion.
Masters and, Secretaries of Subordinate Lodges are instructed to send as usual their annual returns to the office of the Grand Secretary.
Officers of the Grand Lodge, Chairman Committee Foreign Correspondence, Representatives of Foreign Jurisdictions as commissioned, and the following Standing Committees, Finance, Library and Masonic Temple, as appointed by our Past Grand Master, Cory Adams, will do likewise.
All lodges U. D., which have the approval and recommendation of the Grand Lecturer during the year, will be granted Charters upon applications properly filed with the Grand Master.
Reserving the right to do what we think best for the jurisdiction during the recess of the Grand Lodge, announce that the officers, elective and appointive, remain the same, until such time as the Grand Lodge decrees otherwise. Youngstown, Ohio, to be our next place of meeting unless, by majority vote of Grand Officers and representatives of Subordinate Lodges, which shall be called for by the Grand Master three months prior to the date of Annual Communication, declaring that it be held elsewhere.
The officers of the Ideal Mutual Masonic Benefit Association will also send their reports to the office of the Grand Secretary, to be recorded in the printed proceedings of the year 1918.
In calling off our Annual Communication we have received expressions of commendation from Hon. F. C. Croxton, Chairman Ohio State War Council, whose exact words will he transmitted through the office of the Grand Secretary.
Finally, do all you can, individually and collectively, that victory may be attained; and when peace has been declared you will feel that you have done your share toward bringing about such a result.
Then know ye, to whom these greetings come, that the Grand Master of the State of Ohio and its jurisdiction, F. & A. M., being the Executive Officer, do hereby on this 25th day of June, 1918 A. D. (5918 A. L.), after careful consideration and mature deliberation, call off the 69th Annual Communication, which was to be held at Youngstown, Ohio, August 20th and 21st, 1918 A. D. (5918 A. L.).
HOWARD T GREER, Grand. Master
However, Grand Master Greer declared that the business of the Grand Lodge and the subordinate Lodge should be carried on as usual, their annual returns should be sent to the Grand Secretary and the Ideal Mutual Masonic Benefit Association was to continue its work. A blanket dispensation was issued to all subordinate lodges in the Jurisdiction desiring to participate in any and all patriotic street demonstrations without further permission from his office. An addition was added to this dispensation and that was, that such participation could be had with the exception that no organization known to be clandestined by this Grand Lodge was participating.
The Seventieth Annual Commutation of the Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons for the State of Ohio and its Jurisdiction was held in Columbus, Ohio, August 19-20, 1919. The Grand Lodge convened at Odd Fellows Hall and was opened in due form by Deputy Grand Master J. Foster Lewis and Grand Master Howard T. Greer was escorted to the chair and was received with grand honors. The Grand Master addressed the representatives and referred to the fact that they were living through an epoch-making period when the sods and minds of men the world over were being tried to the utmost. His declaration was, ''there were times during the terrible days during 1917 and 1918 when we were not sure that the tasks we had chosen and promised to accomplish would be fulfilled; but the supreme architect of the universe who guides the destinies of all men filled our hearts and minds with courage that assisted us in the end to make the sacrifices that were so necessary to bring about the thing we desired - victory." He said that there had been losses to the Grand Lodge through this most terrible of wars but that he felt that ''this Jurisdiction had done its share toward bringing the great world war to a speedy end thereby adding luster to its brilliant achievements."
Grand Master Greer listed several communications that had been issued during these past two years. As a review of directives he found the craft in good condition and urged each Brother to strive to be at his best. His report was that there was only one lodge working under dispensation, The Booker T. Washington Lodge U. D. at Bridgeport, Ohio, which had been issued on September 7, 1917. Following its organization on July 17, 1917, a release of jurisdiction from Mt. Moriah Lodge No. 53, of Bellaire, Ohio was required, because its territory was affected. The lodge was organized with the following officers: Lawson Heath, Worshipful Master, Arthur Willis, Senior Warden; Martin Grigsby, Junior Warden; William Goode, Treasurer, and if. B. Logan, Secretary. The Charter of this lodge was granted by this Grand Lodge. Harmony Lodge No. 77, was organized and its officers installed on January 17, 1919, with Grand Officers present. Its officers were George W. Dunn, Worshipful Master; James H. Tann, Senior Warden; Sylvester Stone, Junior Warden; Joseph Brown. Secretary; and Sanford Williams, Treasurer.
The Grand Master recommended that the lodge should be vigilant at all times concerning clandestine bodies and he added that some men seemed prone to accept the counterfeit for that which is real simply because it was cheap. He recalled an incident in Cincinnati when Bishop Alstock representing the Ancient Free and Accepted York Masons came from Birmingham, Alabama, to participate in a street parade as did also John A. Bell, July 27, 1918 He said, "we quietly informed the Chief of Police by a letter presented by Brothers William Copeland and George W. Haynes who these men were and what they represented. When their lines were formed and their bands were playing they were told to get off the street by the police. At another time they made application for a street parade but the same was refused after I had a visit to the Office of the Chief of Police. I was threatened with a lawsuit but so far I have not been served with the papers from the court." This was another evidence of courage against that which was regarded to be erroneous in Masonry.
The report referred also to the law suit of the National Compact, stating that the Grand Master had been advised by attorneys, and particularly Attorney Wilbur E. King, that the matter should rest for the present. The Grand Lodge was assured that there was every reason to believe that it would not be long before the status of the Grand Lodge would be established. The recommendation was made that the sum of $2,000.00 which had been expended by the Trustees of the Grand Lodge for the purchase of liberty bonds be paid into the Grand Treasury by levying an assessment on each member of the Jurisdiction, of $1.50. The funds so accumulated would be known as the W. T. Boyd Memorial Fund to be used in establishing a memorial to his memory, namely a Temple to house the Library which he bequeathed to the Grand Lodge. It was also recommended that each member of the Jurisdiction be assessed the sum of $1.80 a year thereafter under the same conditions to be added to the Memorial Fund until such time as the Temple Committee felt that it had enough to erect a Temple.
In referring to the Library bequeathed to the Grand Lodge, Grand Master Greer said that Charles W. Chestnut of Cleveland was the Attorney and he with the Grand Master, the Grand Secretary and Grand Lecturer witnessed the reading of the Will at Cleveland, Ohio, July 21, 1919. As the lodge had been informed several years before the Will had provided that the Library should be accepted by the Grand Lodge of Ohio. If not by them, then it could be offered to the Grand Lodge of Washington, D. C., and if not by them could be turned over to the Library Association of the Grand Lodge of Ohio (white) with headquarters at Cincinnati. He stated that by a Resolution adopted at Cincinnati, Ohio, August 15, 1917, the Library was to be put in charge of Menelek Lodge No. 74 at Marietta, Ohio. He recommended that this Resolution be carried out until such time as the Grand Lodge had erected a Temple in which to house the Library permanently and observed that he agreed and signed to take possession of the Lobrary and that it was now the property of the Grand Lodge.
The services and the funeral of Past Grand Master William T. Boyd were held in Cleveland and it was suggested that a memorial service be arranged by a committee for the long years of service to Masonry which Grand Master Boyd had rendered.
Concerning another Past Grand Master, William E. Clemens, the Grand Master said that he was seeking reinstatement to membership and hi examining the circumstances it seemed to him that since he was penitent and desired to make friends, his reinstatement should be made.
In closing his term of service the Grand Master observed that the war had made the future for the Negro in America a deep problem, that his services in the Army and his sacrifices were not appreciated, and then the question was raised by him, "What should be the attitude of Masonry toward the reconstruction?" He said that it must teach the lesson that out of these conditions will arise a race equal to any task so that in the end the Negro can become a powerful good, morally, intellectually and financially. The Brethren were urged to "make a new start to assist in preparing the race for the new problems that confront it."
The recommendations of the Grand Master were approved by the Committee on Grand Master's Address. Brother Wilbur E. King, Attorney for the Grand Lodge in the litigation pending in the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas of the so-called National Compact York Masons versus The Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of Ohio gave a brief summary of the case and reported that its present status was entirely satisfactory, "that the case was practically won and only awaited the court's decree to establish that fact.'' A Resolution was passed commending him for the able manner in which he had handled the case.
The Grand Secretary's report showed that of all receipts from all sources amounted to $4,507.63 and disbursements were $1,568.76, leaving a balance in the Treasury as of June 30, 1918 of $2,938.87. For 1919 the total funds from all sources amounted to $6,792.62 with disbursements of $1,892.67, leaving a Grand Lodge credit balance of $3,892.67. The Grand Officers elected at this Grand Communication were: John C. Logan, Columbus Grand Master; Charles L. Porter, Dayton, Deputy Grand Master; Robert J. Evans, Cincinnati, Senior Grand Warden; A. G Holloway, Junior Grand Warden; Otis G. Fields, Toledo, Grand Treasurer and Joseph J. Lee, Columbus, Grand Secretary.
The incoming Grand Master, John C. Logan, issued a proclamation shortly after the session of the last Grand Lodge declaring that now that America had been relieved of the sacrifices of the World War, men now seem to be endeavoring to pull down the ''temple of freedom to obtain their objectives. He said that Freemasonry had always played its part in reconstruction periods and now that the world had emerged from this period of strife there was greater responsibility upon them. Every subordinate lodge was requested to represent all that is right and righteous in the community. No other Ritual should be used, he said, except the one adopted by the Grand Lodge of Ohio, no candidate no candidate should be passed or raised unless he made necessary proficiency in the proceeding degree.
St. John's Day Observance was suggested to be made by all lodges and the members were urged to identify themselves with every community interest and cooperation and unity throughout the realm of the Ohio Jurisdiction.
The Seventy first Annual Grand Communication for the Grand Lodge of the State of Ohio and Jurisdiction assembled in Columbus, Ohio, August 17-19, 1920. The Grand Lodge was opened in due form by the Deputy Grand Master, Charles L. Porter. The devotions were led by the Grand Chaplain, General L. Hicks, and the Grand Master John C. Logan was escorted to the east and was received with Grand Honors. The Committee on Credentials reported. There was the roll call and the appointment of committees. With the Deputy Grand Master Charles L. Porter presiding, the Grand Master delivered his annual address, calling attention to the termination of the War and said "the greatest conflict of all ages has passed, but the titanic problems of readjustment and reconstruction have just begun." He challenged Masonry to light its torch of wisdom and to send its rays of light into the surrounding wilderness, and asked, "can we forget that in the convulsions of the recent gigantic struggle, when kings and kingdoms were swept away in the vortex of revolution, and thrones and governments crumbled into ruins, tottered and fell from their foundations Masonry towered above all that is perishable in the organization of human institutions and stands today unmoved and unshaken like the Rock of Gibraltar." This belief was that ''we must now establish a new world - a world builded upon the fundamental principle that the right of ever man is the responsibility of all men."
This period of dawning peace was begun with the armistice on November 11, 1918. During the next year there was the diplomatic struggle over the treaty of peace and the League of Nations, and in the spring of 1920, the Senate returned to a consideration of the treaty and the reservations which were attached to it. This period was characterized by the liquidation of the war organization and by government indecision during the closing days of President Woodrow Wilson's administration, while industrial strife and social unrest was widespread. The American Legion formed by World War Veterans in 1919 undertook the demand for a bonus for all ex-soldiers. This was not accomplished until several years later.
With this situation before the Grand Lodge it was not strange to have the Grand Master speak of the readjustment which seemed to be necessary for Masons to make. However, the election of Senator Warren G. Harding of Ohio as President of the United States in 1920 was regarded as a return to normal conditions. Ohio had become something of a divided state because of the nomination of Governor James M. Cox of Ohio as the Democratic nominee, but there was little reflection of this divided vote in the ranks of the Grand Lodge.
Grand Master Logan reported that he had received the fullest cooperation, that there had been marked increase in membership in the subordinate lodges and that men were still knocking at the doors of the lodges seeking admission. A new lodge had been organized in Cleveland and on September 20, 1920, he had journeyed to Cleveland where, with the assistance of a number of leaders in Masonry, the William T~ Boyd Lodge was created with 96 applicants. Since its creation, the number of members had increased to 156 and it was one of the largest lodges in the Jurisdiction. The charter of William T. Boyd Lodge No. 79 was received at this convention, August 18, 1920. It was granted to Robert Wilson, Worshipful Master; Joseph W. Brown, Senior Warden and James F. Green, Junior Warden. One of the outstanding leaders in this organization movement was Brother Robert Wilson who was born at St. Thomas, British West Indies, August 22, 1872, and arrived in America at the age of eighteen years. Seven years later he was made a Master Mason in Cadthagarian Lodge No. 47 of Brooklyn, New York, serving later as its Worshipful Master. In 1912, he came to Cleveland and joined by demit Eureka Lodge No. 52. Seeing the need for another Lodge in Cleveland, he undertook the leadership for this purpose and organized a club which became William T. Boyd Lodge No. 79.
Another lodge had been initial in Mansfield Ohio, on October 25th, known as the Pride of Ohio Lodge which also received its charter at this Grand Lodge under date of August 18, 1920, with a membership of twenty-one. The charter was issued to William I. Ford, Worshipful Master; Joy Hugh Cook, Senior Warden; J. C. Smith, Junior Warden; John Smith, Treasurer; Edward Stephens, Secretary.
Clandestine Masonry was mentioned in the address of Grand Master Logan with the statement that it dated back many years and his belief was that one of the effective weapons which the Grand Lodge could use was for its members to welcome familiar with the genealogy of the Grand Lodge, for this could be used to combat the illegal organizations during the year he had gone to Cleveland and conferred with Attorney Alexander H. Martin with reference to the clandestine lodges in that city, but after conferring with him it was decided that it would be unwise to institute any proceedings in Cuyahoga County while the National Compact suit was pending in Franklin County. He added that there had been negotiations with the attorney for the National Compact with the view of a settlement of the case if "the clandestine status of the Plaintiff was declared and made apparent in that settlement." A change of attorneys by this group prevented the continuance of this negotiation. The Grand Lodge attorneys assured the Grand Master that no advantage had been lost in the delay and that instead it was an advantage to have the decision postponed. Deputy Grand Master Charles L. Porter was also of the opinion that the setting up of new Lodges would not help in putting down clandestine Masonry in the state, but that the living of exemplary lives as Master Masons in the community would be one way to cure this evil, and he added, "holding our light high, we have nothing to fear.''
A report from the Committee on the William T. Boyd Library stated that this committee had the Library in storage subject to the will of the Grand Lodge, and that this fine list of books and pamphlets was being safeguarded. The Committee consisted of Brothers George A. Weaver and A. C. Alford. A resolution instructing the Grand Secretary to correspond with the Grand Secretary for the Grand Lodge of Ohio relative to the transfer of Rubicon Lodge No. 27 and Tuscan Lodge No. 58, both located in Kentucky, from the Jurisdiction of Ohio to the Jurisdiction of Kentucky. This resolution was adopted. This was the settlement of a dispute which had existed for a number of years. The Ideal Masonic Mutual Benefit Association showed that there had been 11 assessments made during the year totaling $2,493.50 and that of this amount $1,980.00 was paid to the beneficiaries of deceased members, leaving $513.50 in the reserve fund.
There were 46 lodges represented at this Grand Lodge session, with two not represented of the 48 enrolled. There were 19 Grand Officers, 59 permanent members and 56 representatives who were present, making a total of 134 members. Grand Treasurer Otis G. Fields reported the total amount of Grand Lodge funds received during the year was $6,256.38. The elected Officers were: John C. Logan, Grand Master; Charles L. Porter, Deputy Grand Master; A. C. Alford, Senior Grand Warden; George W. Holland, Junior Grand Warden; Otis G. Fields, Grand Treasurer and Joseph J. Lee, Grand Secretary.
These war years were not only years in which the nation was at war, but the Grand Lodge found itself to be in continuous warfare in order to defend itself against the National Compact. While the law suit which had been started by this group was several years old, it was in this period that there were court maneuvers which placed the Grand Lodge either on the defensive or the offensive continuously. The year 1921, however, brought these to a conclusion. On July 19, 1921, Judge Robert P. Duncan of the Common Pleas Court of Franklin County rendered a decision in the case in which the Most Worshipful National Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Ancient York Masons of the United States of America was the plaintiff, and the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons for Ohio and jurisdiction was the defendant. The court found that both parties to the suit had been in existence so long and had acquired so many rights that the court of equity would not at this date interfere with either of them. A temporary injunction restraining each one from interfering with the operations of the other was ordered.
This case had been in litigation for a long period because the Compact group had fought bitterly to obtain an injunction against the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of the State of Ohio to stop it from using the name of Masons, according to the original pleadings in their case. As the case progressed they found themselves on the defensive and had to fight to continue to exist as a Grand Lodge as a result of the Answers and Cross-Petitions which the attorneys of the Grand Lodge filed. The evidence presented by the Grand Lodge of the State of Ohio clearly stated the purity of its lineage from the Charter granted by the Grand Lodge of England in 1784 to the present time. There was an unbroken record of long years of existence and continuous activity of the Grand Lodge since its organization in Cincinnati, Ohio, in 1849. It was also declared and was clearly proven that the National Grand Lodge had assumed its authority in 1847 and its existence was questioned until 1874, when all the state Grand Lodges which were formerly identified with it had withdrawn except Delaware and Kansas.
The Court agreed in its decision that there was a period, a hiatus, a period of 11 years during which the National Grand Lodge ceased to function or exist. This was between the years, 1887 and 1898. The court said that in this latter year there was a reorganization or resumption of activities of the National Grand Lodge. The attorneys for the Grand Lodge of the State of Ohio denied this continuance and many of the members of the Grand Lodge wanted to request the court to explain again how it arrived at this conclusion. It was later said by the board of Trustees that ''the Judge dodges the issues and renders his decision from a viewpoint neither plaintiff nor defendant dispute.''
The court stated in its decision ''that the defendant, the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of the Most Ancient and Honorable Fraternity of Free and Accepted Masons of the State of Ohio was organized in the year 1849 by certain subordinate lodges of Free and Accepted Masons and that the Masonic lineage of said defendant Grand Lodge is clearly traced to the original Masonic warrant for colored Masons; that there was a fraternal affiliation between the said National Grand Lodge of 1847 and this defendant Grand Lodge, and that this defendant Grand Lodge withdrew from the 'National Compact' and ceased affiliation with the said National Grand Lodge of 1847 and that this withdrawal and cessation of affiliation took place in the year 1868; that said withdrawal from said 'National Compact' and the cessation of said fraternal relation was on account of the question between the said National Grand Lodge of 1847 and certain state Grand Lodges including this defendant, as to the Masonic right of existence of said National Grand Lodge and its claim to Jurisdiction over state Grand Lodges." The decision found further that "the said defendant Grand Lodge had a right to withdraw from said 'National Compact' and from the Jurisdiction of the said National Grand Lodge and to terminate its Masonic affiliation with said National Grand Lodge, and that by doing so, all Jurisdiction of the said National Grand Lodge of 1847 and of this plaintiff National Grand Lodge thereby ceased and determined as to this defendant Grand Lodge.
The determination of the court was in its finding "that each of the parties, plaintiff and defendant, is therefore lawfully entitled to peaceably continue its existence, operations and functionings as Masonic lodges, and the practice of the rights and ceremonies of Free and Accepted Masons, and the exercise of the rights of lodges and Grand Lodges; that each is entitled to use the word 'Masons' and to the use in its appellation to the words 'Free and Accepted Masons.' It is therefore ordered that each party be and is hereby enjoined from in any manner interfering with the lodges or members of the other in the free exercise of their rights, privileges and functionings as Masons, and from any manner interfering with the property rights of the other. It is further ordered that injunction be and it is thereby denied both plaintiff and defendant, except as hereinabove set forth. It is further ordered that the costs herein be borne and paid by both parties equally." The final proceedings in this case were to be made available in the 1922 proceedings.
It was evident from the above that the Grand Lodges of the State of Ohio had successfully defended itself, but there were many Masons who were under the opinion that a new offensive should be undertaken by the Grand Lodge rather than to have permitted itself to be placed entirely in this defensive position. This particular war had seemed to end in a stalemate and as all wars the victory was an empty one and yet one which permitted the continued existence of the Grand Lodge without legal interference. These war years had brought victories which were not entirely without their values.
Grand Master Greer had manifested Masonic leadership in these endeavors as a result of an active fraternal career. He was born in Cincinnati, May 31, 1874, and was educated in the Cincinnati public schools. His career included appointment as patrolman and detective in the Police Department in 1903 and as Field Deputy of the State Department of Industrial Relations by Governor Myers Y. Cooper in 1929, serving until 1933. His Masonic life began with his initiation in Corinthian Lodge No. 1 in 1905, when he was passed and raised in the same year. This service was continued as Worshipful Master of his lodge, 1909-1911, Grand Orator of the Grand Lodge, 1912; Grand Junior Warden, 1913; Grand Senior Warden, 1914; Deputy Grand Master, 1915 and 1916 and Grand Master, 1917-1919). He was subsequently to serve the Grand Lodge as Grand Secretary and as chairman of the Committee on Correspondence. This background made him eminently qualified as the Grand Master during these war years.
The second period had witnessed the accession to leadership of Grand Master John C. Logan who was born in Yellow Springs, Ohio, April 20, 1874. He was initiated, passed and raised in St. Mark's Lodge No. 7 and after serving as its Worshipful Master, he had come up through the ranks to Grand Lodge leadership. Following his Grand Mastership, he was to serve as Chairman of the Committee of Correspondence for 17 years. He was described as a man of "keen understanding, executive ability, good fellowship and with the confidence the Masons in Ohio reposed in him he brought this Grand Jurisdiction up to the standard that was the peer of any organization."
With such leadership the Grand Lodge was
not only able to maintain itself in troubled times, meeting attacks
which concerned its existence in Masonic tradition and the war
time conditions, but also to make advancements in memberships
and in the interpretation of Masonry in community life and action.
With restrictions upon travel and the necessities of life, the
Grand Lodge continued its historic march through the years.
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