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1821 – John Snow

To William Snow, Captain in the Revolutionary Army, on February 15, 1780 in Providence, Rhode Island, a son, John, was born, who was destined to leave a lasting imprint on Ohio Freemasonry.

In 1794, at the age of fourteen, John Snow began his apprenticeship as a jeweler with one, Nehemiah Dodge. Seven years later, upon the completion of his apprenticeship, he moved to Newport, Rhode Island, where he opened a jewelry store in 1802. That same year he married Mary Thurston, to which union were born four sons.

In 1806 John Snow abandoned his jewelry store and became a tavern operator in Providence until 1810, at which time he opened a grocery store. This operation continued until he moved to Ohio on June 10, 1817.

In the interim M. W. Brother John Snow was admitted to Mt. Vernon Lodge No. 4 of Providence, Rhode Island on June 13, 1808. In 1810 and 1811, he joined Providence Chapter and St. John’s Commandery. Intimately acquainted with Thomas Smith Webb, he became one of Webb’s most ardent admirers. He studied and mastered Webb’s lectures and, upon moving to Ohio, is said to have done more than any other single individual to establish the Webb system of work into Ohio Freemasonry.

Almost immediately upon his settling in Worthington, Ohio, Snow’s Masonic qualities were recognized by the brethren of New England Lodge, and he was elected Master of New England Lodge on October 7, 1818. He held this office until October 30, 1822, and was again elected in 1827 and continued serving as Master until 1832. John Snow as active in Horeb Chapter in Worthington and under a dispensation from Webb, he instituted Mt. Vernon Commandery at Worthington, on March 15, 1818.

M. W. Brother John Snow and Thomas Smith Webb were associated in the ill-fated Worthington Manufacturing Company, and upon its failure, Snow opened a drug store in Worthington, which he continued to operate up to the time of his death, May 16, 1852. He was buried in Walnut Grove Cemetery in Worthington, where the Grand Lodge erected a suitably inscribed marble obelisk.

M. W. Brother Snow was undoubtedly the prime mover responsible for the construction in 1820 of the Masonic Temple used for many years by New England Lodge No. 4. He secured the lot for the Lodge on which the Temple was built, and subsequently John and Mary Snow conveyed it by deed to the Governor of Ohio in perpetuity for Masonic purposes. The annual communication of the Grand Lodge of Ohio was held in this building in 1829 and again in 1830. Today this Temple is the property of the Grand Lodge of Ohio, and houses the Grand Lodge Museum. It is the oldest Masonic Temple, west of the Appalachian Mountains, built and used continuously for Masonic purposes.

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