From MasonicGenealogy
Jump to: navigation, search


Location: New Bedford

Chartered By: Melvin M. Johnson

Charter Date: 03/08/1916 1916-61

Precedence Date: 05/08/1915

Current Status: Active


  • William Stitt, 1915, 1917; N
  • Lyman C. Bauldry, 1916; Mem
  • Elton S. Wilde, 1918
  • Hiram A. Linfield, 1919, 1947; N
  • Seth J. Besse, 1920; SN
  • Charles R. Gidley, 1921
  • John M. Lancaster, 1922
  • George H. Nye, 1923
  • Francis C. Rogerson, 1924
  • Frederick L. Woodcock, 1925
  • S. George Davenport, Jr., 1926; N
  • Harold Ashworth, 1927
  • Edmund H. Leland, 1928
  • Albert E. McGrath, 1929
  • Morgan E. Jennings, 1930
  • William W. Batchelder, 1931
  • William B. Ritchie, 1932, 1933
  • William B. Perry, Jr., 1934
  • William O. Rowand, 1935; N
  • Thomas W. Williams, 1936, 1937
  • Rudolph H. Brenneke, 1938, 1939
  • Clayton Taylor, 1940-1942
  • G. Warren Hirshson, 1943, 1944
  • Robert K. Gardner, 1945
  • James E. Balloch, 1946
  • Harold Symes, 1948, 1949
  • Thomas C. Weaver, 1950
  • Jack Turner, 1951
  • I. Arthur Crapo, 1952
  • Charles H. Wardwell, 1953
  • Linville A. Sloane, 1954, 1974; N
  • Joseph W. Wright, 1955, 1956
  • R. Elliott Carruth, 1957
  • William H. S. Preece, 1958
  • Donald H. Rex, 1959
  • George T. P. Mitchell, 1960
  • Laurence A. Westcott, 1961, 1962
  • A. Malcolm Mager, 1963, 1964
  • Lynde G. Williams, 1965
  • Alwyn Ainsley, 1966
  • George L. Dewhurst, 1967
  • Wilbur W. Woodman, 1968
  • Dana P. Wilkins, 1969
  • Robert G. Howard, Jr., 1970
  • Clayton Taylor, Jr., 1971-1973
  • John R. Gardner, 1974
  • Franklin H. Michelsen, Jr., 1975; SN
  • Richard W. Taylor, 1976, 1977; N
  • Bruce E. Rex, 1978, 1979, 1984
  • Kenneth T. Ainsley, 1980, 1981
  • Kenneth C. Russell, 1982, 1983
  • Antone J. Bettencourt, 1985-1987; SN
  • Rodman E. Taylor, 1988, 1989
  • Robert B. Sisson, 1990, 1991
  • Gerald F. Huston, Sr., 1992, 1993
  • George J. Breault, 1994, 1995; PDDGM
  • Gilbert G. Stiles, 1996, 1997
  • Peter W. Ham, 1998, 1999
  • Allen F. Tabor, 2000, 2001
  • William W. Taylor, 2002, 2003
  • Harold J. Gerard, Jr., 2004, 2005; PDDGM
  • Robert K. Gardner, Jr., 2006, 2007
  • Thomas M. Brooks, Jr., 2008
  • August R. Cote, 2009, 2010; PDDGM
  • Randall W. Whittle, 2011-2013
  • Scott T. Brooks, 2013-2015
  • Kenneth A. Gilbert, 2015-2017
  • Charles E. Katsanos, 2018, 2019
  • Emmanuel R. Fernandes, 2020, 2021


  • 1915 (Dispensation; organization of lodge 06/08/1915)
  • 1916 (Constitution of lodge)
  • 1927 (New lodge hall in New Bedford; dedication by Grand Master Simpson)
  • 1930 (Establishment of Howland Fund)
  • 1965 (50th Anniversary)
  • 1976 (60th Anniversary)
  • 1990 (75th Anniversary)
  • 2015 (Centenary)


  • Petition for Dispensation: 1915
  • Petition for Charter: 1916
  • Constitution of Lodge: 1916



1919 1921 1928 1929 1931 1936 1949 1960 1972 1977 1981 1982 1990 1991 2005 2011 2013


  • 1965 (50th Anniversary History, 1965-179)


From Proceedings, Page 1965-179:

By Worshipful G. Warren Hirshon.

In 1914, a number of local Masons who had been considering the need for another Lodge in New Bedford decided it was time to take definite action in proposing its formation. Star-in-the-East and Eureka Lodges had grown to the extent that the group felt there was room in the City for the proposed new Lodge.

At the suggestion of Bro. Zacheus C. Dunham, a member of Star-in-the-East Lodge, a meeting was called of those interested in the movement. After full discussion and careful consideration of the petition for a Dispensation for a new Lodge, it was voted to bring the proposal before the City's two lodges. As expected, there was strong opposition, but the petitioners finally convinced both bodies that the formation of a new Lodge was warranted for a number of well founded reasons. With assurance that the petitioners understood fully the financial and administrative requirements, responsibilities and problems involved in the operation of such an organization, Star-in-the-East and Eureka Lodges agreed to approve the action.

Following approval, a meeting of the petitioners was held and application for a Dispensation for a new Lodge of Ancient Free and Accepted Masons was made to the Grand Master of Masons in Massachusetts.

On June 8, 1915 a meeting was held in the old Masonic Hall (quarters prior to present Masonic Temple). The meeting was called to order by District Deputy Grand Master, George B. Luther, for organization under Dispensation granted by M. W. Melvin Maynard Johnson, Grand Master of the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of Masons in Massachusetts.

In addition to R. W. George B. Luther, D. D. G. M. of the Thirtieth Masonic District, the following Brethren were present: William Stitt, Elton S. Wilde, Seth J. Besse, Hiram A. Linfield, Zacheus C. Dunham, Channing Wilde, Wor. Lyman C. Bauldry, Allen W. Milliken, Richard Knowles, Richmond Wood, John L. Weeks, William K. Wagner, George H. Nye, William E. Kern, Jr., Howard I. Wordell.

Abraham H. Howland, Jr., Lodge was duly organized under Dispensation, a transcript of which follows:

GRAND LODGE OF MASSACHUSETTS For all Persons to whom these Presents may come, Greeting:

Whereas, a petition has been presented to me by sundry Brethren, to wit: William Stitt, Elton Sumner Wilde, Allen Webster Milliken, Zacheus Chase Dunham, Howard Irwin Wordell, Channing Wilde, Seth James Besse, Richard Knowles, William Kempton Wagner, George Herbert Nye, Hiram Adel-bert Linfield, John Lorimer Weeks, Richmond Wood, William Edward Kern, Jr., and Lyman Carlton Bauldry, praying to be congregated into a regular Lodge under the name and title of Abraham H. Howland, Jr., Lodge with permission to hold the same in the City of New Bedford, in the County of Bristol, and Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

And whereas said petitioners have been recommended to me as Master Masons, in good standing, by the Worshipful Master, Wardens and Brethren of Star-in-the-East and Eureka Lodges holden in New Bedford, and their petition having been countersigned and approved by our District Deputy Grand Master for the Thirtieth Masonic District: Therefore I, Melvin Maynard Johnson, Grand Master of The Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of Massachusetts, reposing full confidence in the recommendation aforesaid, and in the Masonic integrity and ability of the petitioners, do by virtue of the authority of my office, and of Ancient Masonic usage, hereby grant this Dispensation, authorizing and empowering our trusty and well beloved Brethren aforesaid, to form and open a Lodge after the manner of Ancient, Free and Accepted Masons, and therein to admit and make Free Masons according to the ancient custom, and not otherwise. And their Dispensation is to continue in full force until the Quarterly Communication of our Grand Lodge aforesaid, to be holden in the City of Boston in the month of March, A.D. 1916, A.L. 5916, unless revoked by me or by authority of our Grand Lodge.

And I do hereby appoint Brother William Stitt to be the First Master, Brother Elton S. Wilde to be the first Senior Warden, and Brother Hiram Adelbert Linfield to be the first Junior Warden of said Lodge. And it shall be the duty of said Master and Wardens and their associates, and they are hereby required to return this Dispensation, with a correct transcript of all proceedings had under the authority of the same, together with an attested copy of their By-Laws, to our Grand Lodge aforesaid, at the expiration of time herein specified for examination and such further action in the premises as shall be deemed wise and proper for the general interest of the Craft.

Given under our hand and the Seal of our Grand Lodge, aforesaid at Boston this Third day of June A.D. 1915, A. L. 5915.

Melvin Maynard Johnson, Grand Master
Attest: Frederick W. Hamilton, Recording Grand Secretary

By order of the District Deputy Grand Master, Wor. William Stitt assumed the East, whereupon the Dispensation was entrusted to him for his safe keeping. Elton S. Wilde, Senior Warden, and Hiram A. Linfield, Junior Warden, then took their stations.

The Worshipful Master made the following appointments: Treasurer, Zacheus C. Dunham; Secretary, Channing Wilde; Chaplain, Wor. Lyman C. Bauldry; Marshal, Allen W. Milliken; Senior Deacon, Seth J. Besse; Junior Deacon, Howard I. Wordell; Senior Steward, John L. Weeks; Junior Steward, William K. Wagner; Inside Sentinel, Richmond Wood; Tyler, James Slater.

During the business section of this first meeting U.D. there were three petitions for the degrees presented and accepted. The first bills, amounting to $31.53, were read.

It was voted that the petitioners for Dispensation be assessed $10.00 each.

It was also voted that fees for the degrees be $75.00.

Up to this time, expenses incurred in petitioning for Dispensation and first meeting U. D. had been covered by petitioners. Previous to the first meeting U.D. the following letter from Miss Mary Tucker Howland was received by Bro. Zacheus C. Dunham.

May 25, 1915

Dear Sir:

Your note of May 19th received. The suggestion regarding the new Lodge about to be formed in this city gives both my sister and myself pleasure to have our brother's name perpetuated by the society to which he was most deeply attached.

Mary Tucker Howland

It had been decided by the petitioners for Dispensation to name the new organization Abraham H. Howland, Jr., Lodge, A. F. & A. M., in honor of New Bedford's most eminent Mason and distinguished public figure.


Abraham H. Howland, Jr., was born in New Bedford, May 29, 1840, and died here April 20, 1887. At the time of his untimely death he was the youngest of eight surviving Past Grand Masters.

He was elected to receive the degrees in Eureka Lodge, March 3, 1865, and on May 12 of the same year was raised to the degree of Master Mason.

After serving in various subordinate offices he was elected Worshipful Master in 1869 and served for three years.

In 1871, he was appointed District Deputy Grand Master for the Fourteenth Masonic District, holding office during 1872-73-74, and was reappointed to serve in 1875.

In December 1875 he was elected Senior Grand Warden, serving during the year 1876. Seven years later he was elected Grand Master and held this highest office during 1884-85-86.

Becoming a member of Adoniram Royal Arch Chapter, April 5, 1865, he held subordinate offices previous to being elected Most Excellent High Priest, serving in this capacity from 1871 through 1874.

He petitioned Sutton Commandery, Knights Templar, for the Order of Knighthood, December 21, 1865, and was elected to receive the orders on January 6, 1866. He became Eminent Commander for the year 1874-75.

In addition, he was an Honorary Member of the Supreme Council of Sovereign Grand Inspectors General of the Thirty-Third and last degree of the Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite of Free Masonry for the Northern Masonic Jurisdiction of the United States of America, having previously received the degrees in the various bodies in this State under its jurisdiction.

M.W. Abraham H. Howland, Jr., served as Mayor of New Bedford in 1874 and 1875, bringing to that high office the same sterling character and administrative capacities that distinguished his dedicated service to the numerous Masonic orders of which he was a member.


It might be of interest at this point to note that there were only two Lodges in New Bedford when the petition for a Dispensation was made: Star-in-the-East Lodge (1823) and Eureka Lodge (1858). Although Star-in-the-East is now the oldest Masonic Lodge in the City, it was not the first one organized in this area. Washington Remembered Lodge was organized in what was then known as Bedford Village in the year 1803. During its existence, this Lodge enrolled a total of k l21 members, but the influence of the War of 1812 proved a disastrous one and its charter was returned to the Grand Lodge in 1816. The first Master of this Lodge was Lieutenant William Ross who was stationed here at the time of the Revolutionary War. He remained after the Revolution and was proprietor of a public house at the corner of Union and First Streets until 1809. The records of Washington Remembered Lodge indicate a sort of military method of dealing with attendance of members. Any prolonged or unexplained absence from meetings led to an inquiry and possibly to some discipline. Often members expecting to be absent were granted "leave of absence". The frequency of these indicates that members may have been largely mariners, and in fact, were often referred to in the records as "Captain".

During the first year U.D. there were 34 petitions presented; 31 were elected; 26 initiated; 20 passed; 16 raised.


Having concluded the prescribed year U. D., a Special Communication of the Lodge U.D. was held in Masonic Hall, Tuesday afternoon and evening May 23, 1916 for the purpose of Constituting Abraham H. Howland, Jr., Lodge, and the installation of its officers by the Grand Master and Officers of the Grand Lodge.

All Charter Members were in attendance: William Stitt, Elton Sumner Wilde, Allen Webster Milliken, Zacheus Chase Dunham, Channing Wilde, Seth James Besse, Howard Irving Wordell, William Kempton Wagner,, George Herbert Nye, Hiram Adelbert Linfield, John Lorimer Weeks, Richmond Wood, Richard Knowles, William Edward Kern, Jr., Lyman Carlton Bauldry.

A very large gathering of distinguished Masons from near and far was present for the occasion.

Wor. William M. Farrington, Grand Marshal, informed the elected Master and Wardens that the Grand Lodge was in session in an ante-room. Wor. Lyman C. Bauldry, Master, Elect; William Stitt, Senior Warden Elect; and Hiram A. Linfield, Junior Warden Elect were admitted and informed the M. W. Grand Master that the petitioners for a Charter under the name of Abraham H. Howland, Jr., Lodge were assembled, and respectfully requested that they be constituted into a regular Lodge. The M. W. Grand Master gave appropriate reply stating he would proceed with the ceremony forthwith.

A procession was formed of all presiding Grand Officers and many Past Grand Officers, and conducted into the Lodge room. Duly received, the Grand Master assumed the Oriental Chair, the other Grand Officers occupying their respective stations. Then proceeded the forms and ceremonies prescribed by the Grand Lodge Ritual.

Proclamation was made by the Grand Marshal that Abraham H. Howland, Jr., Lodge was regularly constituted and duly registered as such in the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts. A recess was called at 6:00 p.m. by the M. W. Grand Master, and Grand Officers with invited guests were escorted by members of the Lodge to the banquet hall where an excellent dinner was served. About 2S0 brethren enjoyed the repast.

Following the recess, the assembly returned to the Lodge to witness installation of the officers. The M.W. Grand Master installed Wor. Lyman C. Bauldry as Master. Each of the elected and appointed officers of the Lodge were then installed by a Grand Lodge Officer of the same station.

Note: When application for a Dispensation was first made, the Grand Master informed the original petitioners that no one on the list was qualified to be Master at the Constitution of the Lodge, not that they were incapable, but it was stated in the Grand Constitution that no brother could serve as Master who had not been regularly installed as a Warden. It was then voted by the petitioners to invite Wor. Bro. Bauldry, a Past Master of George H. Taber Lodge to sign the petition. After careful consideration he consented to join the petitioners and lend his efforts in their behalf. Subsequently, after the year U. D. he became the first Master of the Constituted Lodge.

On May 29, 1916 Brother William E. James was raised to the degree of Master Mason, and being a member of a local military company, a large number of the military were present to assist in, and observe the work of the evening. Officers working the degree were:

  • W. M. John A. Stitt, Eureka Lodge;
  • S. W. Harry A. Skinner, Pioneer Lodge;
  • J. W. Edward G. Hopkins, Ionic Lodge;
  • Treas. Zacheus C. Dunham, Howland Lodge;
  • Sec. Channing Wilde, Howland Lodge;
  • Marshal, Frederick R. Fish, Howland Lodge;
  • S. D. William Stitt, Howland Lodge;
  • J. D. Harold N. Gunn, George H. Taber Lodge;
  • S. S. Edwin Roth, Jr., Vineyard Lodge;
  • J.S. Harry R. Vaughn, Army & Navy Lodge;
  • I.S. Frank A. D. Bullard, Pioneer Lodge.

Also taking part in the work were: A. G. Crowell, Titus Lodge; N. E. Danforth, Ionic Lodge; Richard Wascott, Ionic Lodge.

With few exceptions, the officers participating in the work were in full uniform. The interesting evening provided the opportunity for many brethren to renew masonic-military friendships.

On June 13, 1916 Brother Richard Knowles was elected first Proxy to Grand Lodge.

Expression of appreciation for gifts to the Lodge were made to:

  • Star-in-the-East Lodge for Gavel.
  • Eureka Lodge for Working Tools.
  • Wor. Bro. Elisha H. Fisher for Officers' Jewels when attending Grand Lodge.
  • Bro. Arthur D. Delano for Three Great Lights: Bible, Square and Compasses.

The First Annual Meeting was held on September 12, 1916. The Treasurer reported $2,199.50 received as dues from IS Charter Members; fees from 34 petitions for initiation, 34 Entered Apprentices, 20 Fellowcrafts, 20 Master Masons, and sale of Supper tickets. Payments totaled $1,401.19 leaving a balance of $798.31.

The First Official Visitation took place on October 24, 1916. This was a memorable occasion, recording the first Official Visitation to Abraham H. Howland, Jr., Lodge by the District Deputy Grand Master. The Master appointed Brothers Frederick R. Fish, Frederick R. Brown and Arthur S. Francis as a committee to escort the District Deputy into the Lodge. Accompanied by a large and distinguished suite, he was duly received, and following the official duties of his office, spoke on matters of interest and concern to a new Lodge. The Masonic Choir of Fall River rendered several selections during the work.

On November 14, 1916 the Lodge's vote of thanks was sent to Mary Tucker Howland for her gift of an oil portrait of her brother Abraham H. Howland, Jr.

On February 13, 1917 during the regular meeting, Wor. C .E.P. Thompson of George H. Taber Lodge presented a beautiful silk flag to the Lodge, making a very impressive presentation and historical address. The gift was accepted for the Lodge by Wor. Lyman C. Bauldry, who very ably responded to the presentation speech, expressing the Lodge's thanks to our Fairhaven Brethren for their thoughtful, generous token of fraternal goodwill.


1917, May 23: Note: Although entered in the records on this date as the first anniversary, it must be considered the second, as the Lodge worked the first year Under Dispensation, with Charter dated April 1915, and the second year as a Constituted Lodge.

However, the occasion was well celebrated with a sumptuous banquet catered to a large gathering in the banquet hall. Following the repast, an entertainment featuring a remarkable demonstration of legerdemain was heartily enjoyed by the members.


On September 11, 1917 it was voted that members who enlist in the Armed Forces be exempt from dues for the ensuing year.

On November 13, 1917 the Lodge's Service Flag was displayed for the first time, with six stars representing the following enlisted brethren: Richmond Wood, Arthur Fuller Spare, Edward Andrew Wilde, William Edgar James, Morgan Butler, William Ball Young. October 1918. Because of influenza epidemic all Masonic meetings were postponed until notice from the Grand Master.

On March 8, 1921 it was voted to participate with the other Lodges in the movement to investigate possibilities of building or buying a new Masonic Temple in New Bedford.

May 8, 1923 it was voted that Master and Wardens act as a committee to make permanent arrangements for placing a suitable floral piece on the grave of M.W. Abraham H. How-land, Jr., on Memorial Day of each year. A note from Mary Tucker Howland was received later expressing her thanks to the Lodge for the floral tribute in memory of her brother. A standing order with a local florist for this annual memorial is still in effect.


In 1924 the Lodges in New Bedford were informed that the rented quarters, which had been in use for over 60 years, would cost the Masonic bodies after August 1st $7,500 per year. The very substantial increase raised a storm of protest. The old quarters being inadequate and poorly ventilated, the Hall Committees of the five lodges were authorized to act as a body in seeking new quarters. Sometime in 1925, the "Richmond property" on the North side of Union Street was purchased and plans drawn by a Boston firm for a five-story building with stores on the street level.

At a general meeting called to inspect plans and review the entire situation, it was voted to abandon this program. The plans were paid for and the property sold.

Later, the Wamsutta Club property at County and Union Streets was purchased. Two members of Eureka Lodge, local architects, were commissioned to prepare plans and specifications for a new Temple. The Hall Committees of the various lodges formed a Masonic Temple Corporation and carried out the project of building and equipping our present building.

On April 11, 1927 a Special Communication was held in the new Temple at 8.00 p.m. in a convenient apartment for the purpose of dedication. After the opening, adjournment was made to Doric Hall, where Star-in-the-East Lodge was opened in form by Walter Slocum, Wor. Master; an honor given to the City's oldest Lodge. The Marshal then introduced Wor. William S. McRobert, Grand Sword Bearer, who announced the M. W. Frank L. Simpson, Grand Master of Masons in Massachusetts, was in an adjoining apartment having come for the purpose of "dedicating the new Masonic Temple to the Ancient Customs and Usages of Freemasonry."

The Wor. Master then appointed the following Committee to wait upon and escort the M. W. Grand Master and his Suite into the Lodge: R. W. Henry W. Mason of Star-in-the-East Lodge, Chairman; Wor. Henry T. Phillips, Eureka Lodge; Wor. Lyman C. Bauldry, Abraham H. Howland, Jr., Lodge; Wor. Daniel W. Baker, Paskamansett Lodge; Wor. George E. Allen, Quittacus Lodge; Wor. S. George Davenport, Abraham H. Howland Jr., Lodge; Wor. Arthur S. Babbit, Paskamansett Lodge; and Wor. Walter P. Morton, Quittacus Lodge.

The Grand Lodge was represented by the following:

After the Grand Master and his Suite had been received and welcomed, they were conducted to their respective stations by the Grand Marshal and prayer was offered by the Grand Chaplain.

Wor. Erford W. Poole, Master of Eureka and an Architect on the new Temple, was presented to the East, expressed his thanks for the honor of his appointment, and hoped the exertions of the workmen would be crowned with the approbation of the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge.

Wor. Walter Slocum, Master of Star-in-the-East Lodge, then addressed the Grand Master stating that the Craft having erected a Masonic Temple for their convenience and accommodation were now desirous that it be examined by the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge, and if meeting with their approbation, that it be solemnly dedicated to Masonic purposes agreeably to Ancient Form.

The Deputy Grand Master and Grand Wardens, then examined the building and reported it to be in conformity with the requirements of the Grand Lodge. The Most Worshipful Grand Master and Grand Officers then dedicated the Temple '"in due and ancient form."

Nearly 700 brethren were present, 200 of them assembling in Egyptian Hall where they were addressed briefly by the Grand Master. On April 12, 1927 the first regular communication was held in the new Masonic Temple. The first candidate was raised to degree of Master Mason in the new Temple by Wor. S. George Davenport, Jr.

On September 13, 1927 at the conclusion of the regular meeting, a semi-public installation was held. Each member was permitted to invite a lady guest. About 110 members and guests attended. Among the guests present was Miss Mary Tucker Howland. This occasion was one of the very few semi-public installations held by the Lodge.

On December 13, 1927 Right Worshipful Elton S. Wilde was elected Junior Grand Warden, the first member of the Lodge to be so honored by the Grand Lodge.

On April 3, 1929 the membership was saddened by the death of Bro. Channing Wilde. A charter member, Brother Wilde had been Secretary since the formation of the Lodge. A highly respected Mason and citizen, faithful and diligent as an officer, his passing was a deep-felt loss to the Lodge and his many Masonic friends.


Named in the will of Miss Mary Tucker Howland, the Lodge received a substantial bequest from her estate in 1930. This thoughtful remembrance in the form of a portfolio of well invested stock and bonds was given in memory of her brother. At a meeting September 9, 1930, the Lodge voted to appoint a committee of not less than seven members to consider and report back to the Lodge a plan to manage the funds to be received from the estate of Miss Howland. On December 19, 1930 the committee comprising: W. M. Morgan E. Jennings, Ex-officio; Wor. Bro. Albert E. McGrath, Chairman; Bro. Irving W. Cook, Bro. Frederick H. Taber, R. W. Elton S. Wilde, Bro. Allen W. Milliken, Wor. Bro. John M. Lancaster, Wor. Bro. Edmund H. Leland, made a lengthy report. The following month recommendations of the committee were accepted.

Notable in the recommendations were suggested change the By-Laws to accommodate the bequest and circumsc the management, administration and perpetuation of the Fund by its Trustees.

At the time, an abstract from Miss Howland's will related to the bequest, together with a list of the securities, was read.

The Lodge has been most fortunate, since the first trusteeship, in having members highly qualified to manage the Fund. Without remuneration, the Trustees have given generously of their time and experienced counsel. Through their astute and conscientious management, the Fund's continuing strong position, through good times and bad, has greatly benefited the Lodge, and enabled it to aid numerous worthy Masonic causes.

Since the Fund was first established, its Trustees have worked so unobtrusively and without due recognition that many members have been unaware of their valued service. It is, therefore, most appropriate on this special occasion, our 50th Anniversary, for the membership to express to Trustees its sincere appreciation. The Trustees: Originally, 1930-34: Wor. Edmund H. Leland; Bro. Frederic H. Taber; Bro. Irving W. Cook. 1935-52: Bro. Irving W. Cook; Bro. Allen W. Milliken; Bro. Elmer E. McGowan. 1953-57: Bro. Elmer E. McGowan; Wor. William P. Perry; Wor. Charles H. Wardwell. Present, 1958-: Wor. William B. Perry; Wor. Charles H. Wardwell; Wor. William O. Rowand.

On June 14, 1932 Wor. S. George Davenport, Jr., was elected Secretary. He has served in this office continuously to date.

On May 14, 1940 the Lodge celebrated its 25th Anniversary with appropriate ceremonies.

On March 10, 1953 a tragic incident took place at the me ing. Early in the evening previous to the fraternal visit R.W. John W. Wilde, D. D. G. M., Bro. William S. Anthony Treasurer, was suddenly stricken and died in the parlor of the Temple before medical aid arrived. A short memorial service was held. Bro. Anthony's passing was a great shock to the members, and a distinct loss to the Lodge which he had faithfully served as Treasurer for 30 years.

On May 12, 1953 R. W. William Stitt was elected Treasurer, and has served in that capacity to date.

On December 14, 1954 the first Masonic Bible to a candidate on being raised to the degree of Master Mason was presented. This custom has continued to the present time.

On June 16, 1961 R.W. Hiram A. Linfield and R. W. William Stitt were presented Masonic watches by Wor. Master George T. P. Mitchell, in recognition and appreciation of their services to the Lodge in particular and Masonry in general for over fifty years.

On September 9, 1961 Laurence A. Wescott was installed as Worshipful Master by his father, Wor. Albert L. Wescott. This is the only time a Master of Abraham H. Howland, Jr., Lodge has been installed by his father.

On November 12, 1963 R.W. William Stitt was appointed chairman, and Wor. William O. Rowand, vice-chairman of a committee to arrange for the 50th Anniversary in 1965.

On December 10, 1963 Wor. Master A. Malcolm Mager raised his son, A. Malcolm Mager, Jr., to the degree of Master Mason. This was the first time a presiding Master of Abraham H. Howland, Jr., Lodge had the prideful privilege of raising his son in his own Lodge.

On March 10, 1964 Wor. Bro. Robert K. Gardner raised his son, Robert K. Gardner, Jr., to the degree of Master Mason. This second raising of a son by his father in the Lodge was an eventful and happy Masonic experience for both.

At this meeting the Lodge voted the transfer of funds to defray expenses of the 50th Anniversary.


For many years, Members' Night and Ladies' Night have been held annually in the Masonic Temple Banquet Hall or, on a few occasions, in other local accommodations. At these affairs full course dinners are served, and the finest available entertainment presented. On Ladies' Night, corsages and gifts are received by the ladies, and dancing follows the entertainment. On Members' Night male guests are invited by members. On both occasions a most enjoyable evening is provided.

A number of our members have had their Master Mason degree worked by Degree Teams from local industrial plants where they were employed. Teams from Goodyear Rubber Company, Acushnet Process Company, Morse Twist Drill & Machine Company and Revere Copper & Brass Company have been most impressive in their work on fellow worker candidates.

Officers of the Lodge have worked degrees on a number of courtesy candidates at the request of lodges in other jurisdictions. Masonic funerals have also been conducted for members of distant lodges.

Not recorded, but happy events in the memory of many older members, were the annual convivial cruises to Cuttyhunk for lobster dinners and other enjoyable exercises.

Since the Lodge's Constitution, every Grand Master during his term of office has visited Abraham H. Howland, Jr., Lodge or visited District Meetings sponsored by the Lodge.

In fifty years the Lodge has had only three Treasurers and four Secretaries.

The following have been recipients of Fifty year Veteran's Medals: R. W. William Stitt, R. W. Hiram A. Linfield, Bro. Frederick W. Steele, Bro. Patrick Sweeney, Bro. Edward E. Langshaw, Bro. Daniel A. Anthony.

The following have been Junior Grand Wardens: R.W. Elton S. Wilde, 1928, and R.W. George R. Dewhurst, 1960.

District Deputy Grand Masters have been the following: R. W. Elton S. Wilde, 1923-24; R. W. Lyman C. Bauldry, 1929-30; R. W. Seth J. Besse, 1931-32; R. W. S. George Davenport. Jr., 1935-36; R. W. Hiram A. Linfield, 1949-50; R. W. George R. Dewhurst, 1955-56; and R. W. William Stitt, 1957-58.

Grand Lodge Representatives have been the following: R. W. Lyman C. Bauldry, 1931-33; R. W. Hiram A. Linfield, 1955-64: R. W. George R. Dewhurst, 1961 to present.

The following have been the recipients of the Henry Price Medal: R.W. Elton S. Wilde, 1928, and R.W. George R. Dewhurst, 1961.


For many years, the Lodge's financial position has made it possible to aid numerous deserving Masonic projects. This assistance was rendered in the form of gifts and donations for renovations and equipment at the Masonic Home, Juniper Hall Nursing Home (formerly called Masonic Infirmary, and Masonic Hospital) and the New Bedford Masonic Temple. In addition, substantial contributions have been made at Christmas and on many other occasions for the pleasure, comfort and entertainment of our elderly guests at the Home and Hall. Included in these contributions were an organ for the Masonic Home Chapel, motion picture equipment, its maintenance and subsequent replacement, medical equipment and other recreational or beneficial appurtenances. Among other recipients of small sums on several occasions has been the Lodge of Instruction. Donations outside the Craft have also been made, such as an early type oxygen tent purchased for the New Bedford Medical Association, when urgently needed for use by the general public.

Up to the present time, the Lodge has shared its substance for worthy purposes in the amount of approximately $20,000. Note: All gifts to the Masonic Home and Juniper Hall have been made upon recommendations of the Grand Lodge, and those to the Masonic Temple on recommendation of members of the Temple Corporation.


It is unfortunate that there exists no complete list of members of local lodges who have served in the armed forces of our country. An impressive bronze tablet in the entrance hall of the Temple records the names of veterans of World War I, compiled soon after the conflict ended. However, it is only a partial list as many veterans joined the Craft after the list was completed. Also, apparently no list was ever made of participants in later conflicts.

While there is no list of veterans, as such, in the records of Abraham H. Howland, Jr., Lodge a roll call of members would show the Lodge has been well represented in the services from the time of its organization fifty years ago.



From New England Craftsman, Vol. XI, No. 9, June 1916, Page 285:

A new interest has been awakened among the Masons of New Bedford, Mass., by the constitution of a Lodge bearing the name of Past Grand Master Abraham H. Howland, Jr., an honored son of New Bedford and former Mayor of the city.

The Lodge was constituted Tuesday May 23, by Grand Master Melvin M. Johnson and officers of the Grand AjOdgg among whom were: William H. L. Odell, as Deputy Grand Master; D. Edward Miller, Senior Grand Warden; Roscoe Learned, Junior Grand Warden; Frederick W. Hamilton, D. D., Grand Secretary; George B. Luther, District Deputy Grand Master of the 30th District, which includes New Bedford; and Past Grand Wardens William M. Belcher, William H. H. Soule, Leon M. Abbott, and George H. Rhodes; R. Perry Bush, Grand Chaplain; William M. Farrington, Grand Marshal, and George W. Chester, Grand Tyler. Of these brethren Rt. Wor. Bro. Soule is the only living warden of the six that were associated with Grand Master Howland during the three years of his term as Grand Master.

A reception to the grand officers was held at 4.30 o'clock. The dignified ceremonies of constituting the Lodge were then performed. Dinner was served at 6. The hall was ornamented with palms and the emblems and colors of the grand lodge were displayed upon the wall of the banquet hall above the head table.

When the ceremonies were over, Melvin M. Johnson, the Grand Master; Leon M. Abbott, of Boston, past Senior Grand Warden and Past Junior Grand Warden William H. H. Soule spoke. Then Past Master Henry W. Mason in behalf of Star in the East Lodge, A. F. & A. M., presented the new Lodge with a gavel; John A. Stitt, Master of Eureka Lodge, A. F. & A. M., in behalf of his Lodge, presented a set of working tools, and Senior Warden William Stitt, in behalf of a member of the Abraham H. Howland, Jr., Lodge, who was out of town, presented a Bible. Zacheus C. Dunham, Treasurer of the new Lodge, in behalf of Elisha H. Fisher, past master of Eureka Lodge, presented a set of the Grand Lodge jewels.

The following are the officers of the new Lodge and were installed by the Grand Master and other officers of the Grand Lodge: Lyman C. Bauldry, Worshipful Master; William Stitt, Senior Warden; H. A. Linfield, Junior Warden; Zacheus C. Dunham, Treasurer; Charming Wilde, Secretary; Elton S. Wilde, Chaplain; Allan W. Milliken, Marshal; Seth J. Besse and Howard J. Wordell, Deacons; John L. Weeks and William K. Wagner, Stewards; Charles R. Gidley, Sentinel; Alfred W. Bradley, Organist and James Slater, Tyler.

Abraham H. Howland, Jr., whose name has been adopted by the new Lodge was one of the youngest brethren who have served as Grand Master. He was born in New Bedford, Mass., May 29, 1840, and died in that city April 20, 1887. He received the degrees in Eureka Lodge of New Bedford and was made a Master Mason May 12, 1865. He was elected Master of the Lodge in 1869 and held the office three years. He was District Deputy Grand Master 1872-75, senior grand warden 1876, Deputy Grand Master in 1877-78, and grand master 1884-86. He was High Priest of Adoniram R. A. Chapter 1871-74, and Eminent Commander of Sutton Commandery, K. T., 1874-75. He was also an honorary member of the Supreme Council of the A. A. S. Rite. The excellent qualities of Grand Master Howland are well expressed in the memorial prepared for the Grand Lodge by Past Grand Master Welch who said of him, "No one could have been more faithful or successful than he was in the discharge of various duties that devolved upon him,— his presence always carried enjoyment with it; for his social qualities, cheerful temper, and kind consideration for the feelings of others, made his companionship delightful to all those who were favored with it." All who were privileged with acquaintance with Abraham H. Howland, Jr., will attest that the new Lodge honors itself by adopting his name for their own.




New Bedford Masonic web site

Massachusetts Lodges