Alpha

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ALPHA LODGE

MA_Alpha.jpg

Location: (South) Framingham

Chartered By: Percival L. Everett

Charter Date: 09/13/1876 1876-59

Precedence Date: 09/02/1875

Current Status: Active

PAST MASTERS

  • William Henry Phipps, 1875-1876; Mem Bio
  • Charles Perkins Knowlton, 1877-1879; Bio
  • Charles Frederic Cutler, 1880 Bio
  • Lucius Marshall Butler, 1881-1882; Bio
  • Henry Lyman Sawtelle, 1883-1884; Bio
  • Alexander Hoyt, 1885-1886; Bio
  • Frederick Adams Pratt, 1887; Bio
  • Lewis Merritt Palmer, 1888-1889; Mem Bio
  • Fred Leslie Oaks, 1890-1891; Bio
  • Alfred Earl Martin, 1892-1894; Bio
  • Orville William Collins, 1895-1896; Bio
  • George Thomas Stevens, 1897-1898; Bio
  • Alfred John Heath, 1899-1900; Bio
  • Frederick March Esty, 1901-1902; SN Bio
  • Frederick Ellsworth Porter, 1903-1904; Bio
  • Henry Otis Stearns, 1905-1906; Bio
  • George Herring Eames, 1907-1908; Bio
  • Frank Woodcock Jennings, 1909-1910; Bio
  • Sands Sanford Woodbury, 1911-1912; Mem Bio
  • Henry Stewart Hilton, 1913-1914; Bio
  • George Ruggles Coolidge, 1915-1916; Bio
  • George Washington Cokell, 1917; Bio
  • Frederick Albert West, 1918-1919; Bio
  • Harry Murray Conrad, 1920-1921; Bio
  • George Duncan Hyndman, 1922; Bio
  • Arba Stearns Baldwin, 1923
  • Foster Reed Wheeler, 1924-1925
  • Richard McIntire Wyman, 1926
  • Ernest Brown Rockwood, 1927
  • Simeon Twichell Hawkes, 1928
  • George Henry Davis, Jr., 1929
  • Floyd Leroy Swift, 1930
  • Newton Frederick Cokell, 1931
  • Joseph William Danforth, 1932
  • Morton Fenton Yates, 1933; N
  • Earl Leslie Hatch, 1934
  • Roderick MacLeod, 1935
  • Spencer Wilson, 1936
  • Robert King Wadsworth, 1937
  • Thomas Francis Kenney, 1938
  • Charles Hasbrouk Hauptman, 1939
  • Carl Otto Swanson, 1940
  • David Hilton, 1941
  • Clarence Edward Rockwood, 1942
  • Ralph Jules Buliung, 1943
  • Frank Wesley Callahan, 1944
  • Harry Lee Augusta, 1945
  • Frank Wilfred Green, 1946
  • Leonard Walter Taft, 1947; N
  • William Hibbert Atkinson, 1948
  • Oliver Stewart Dexter, 1950
  • Frederick Henry Abbott, Jr., 1949, 1951
  • James Herbert Wignott, 1952
  • George Forest Penniman, 1953
  • William Eugene Stickney, 1954
  • Raymond Lloyd Watts, 1955
  • Frank Edward Wilson, 1956
  • Emil Arthur Davis, 1957
  • Charles Denniston Warner, 1958
  • Gordon Joseph Hutchinson, 1959
  • Paul Theodore Burr, Jr., 1960
  • Charles Wenzel Lindsay, 1961
  • George Edmund Leslie, 1962
  • Harold Gray Douglas, 1963; N
  • George Emil Engman, 1964
  • Robert Lawrence Pierce, 1965
  • Richard Edward Allen, 1966
  • Joseph Walker Crommellin, 1967
  • Robert B. Gettys, Jr., 1968
  • Lowell Wendell Plum, 1969
  • Frank True Scales, 1970
  • Robert Sargent Phillips, 1971; N
  • David Moore Sanborn, 1972
  • John Bernard Farrell, 1974
  • Wallace Jack Bennett, 1975; N
  • Walter Weisgerber, 1976
  • Charles Conrad Buchanan, 1977
  • Robert Becker Neff, 1978
  • Robert Allan Howland, 1980
  • Melvin Douglas Voget, 1981
  • Frank Elmer Truesdale, 1982
  • Robert Allen Nourse, 1983
  • Howard Alston Judd, Jr., 1984
  • Harold Victor Barrows, 1985
  • Dennis Russell Coates, 1986
  • William Glen La Counte, 1987-1988
  • George Forest Hamilton, 1989-1990
  • Graham Williard Joy, 1973, 1991
  • Robert Francis Greene, Sr., 1992
  • Antoine Henein Khoury, 1993
  • Charles Henry Noble, 1994-1995
  • Harold Leslie Swindell, 1979, 1996-1997
  • Steven Mason Knott, 1998
  • Robert Everett Havener, 1999 PDDGM
  • Leonard James Constantine, 2000
  • John Thomas Howland, 2001, 2003
  • Daniel Christopher Buentello, 2002
  • Karl Hollis Langmead, 2004-2005
  • James Joseph Pashturro, 2006
  • Scott Ramgoolam, 2007-2008
  • Steven Raia, 2009
  • Richard E. Daley, 2010-2012
  • Nicholas White, 2013
  • Donald W. Crookes, Jr., 2014, 2015
  • Adam C. Marks, 2016, 2017
  • Craig S. Rothman, 2018, 2019

REFERENCES IN GRAND LODGE PROCEEDINGS

  • Petition for Dispensation: 1875
  • Petition for Charter: 1876

ANNIVERSARIES

  • 1926 (50th Anniversary)
  • 1951 (75th Anniversary)
  • 1976 (Centenary)

VISITS BY GRAND MASTER

BY-LAW CHANGES

1887 1890 1893 1909 1913 1917 1919 1921 1931 1932 1933 1935 1937 1938 1941 1942 1948 1949 1953 1965 1968 1971 1973 1976 1979 1983 2000 2012

HISTORY

  • 1911 (Printed History)
  • 1926 (50th Anniversary History, 1926-149; see below)
  • 1951 (75th Anniversary History, 1951-205; see below)

50TH ANNIVERSARY HISTORY, MAY 1926

From Proceedings, Page 1926-149; also in New England Craftsman, Vol. XXII, No. 5, March 1927, Page 419:

By Bro. Frederick Harvey Hilton.

What it is my privilege to be invited to say to yon this afternoon, my Brethren, may best be entitled:

A THUMBNAIL SKETCH OF ALPHA LODGE.

To attempt in the brief space of one half hour to recite the complete history of fifty years of active life of an organization such as ours is impossible. To refer very briefly to some of the more important events in that period, to chronicle ;i few of the struggles made, difficulties encountered, and problems solved, may be attempted.

Just as nature, through a long winter period, lies dormant, so the village of South Framingham scarcely more than a cross-road, lay without growth, without progress, and without development from its earliest settlement until 1834, when the first railroad, which was to mean so much in the growth and prosperity of our town, was constructed from our capital city in the East to the heart of the Commonwealth on our West. Just as we see the growth of the buds. the grass, and the flowers increase rapidly with the first few warm days of spring, just as night falls swiftly after a long twilight, so this small crossroad village expanded, developed, and grew in succeeding years following that event, until forty years after the first wood-burning iron horse arrived it was the most populous section of the town.

Masonry had existed in Framingham since 1795, when thai illustrious patriot and Mason, Paul Revere, signed the Charter Of Middlesex, our Mother Lodge, then located at Framingham Center. The younger Lodge glories in the history of its parent. It is long and honorable and in the sense that the history of our forefathers is our history so that of Middlesex Lodge is that of every Mason in Framingham. The first Master of Middlesex Lodge, and therefore the first Master of Framingham Masons, was Jonathan Maynard, a distinguished Revolutionary soldier and a citizen esteemed among his fellow townsmen, who, when captured by the Indians and all of bis comrades killed, led into captivity, and bound to the stake, escaped death by fire by giving certain Masonic signs known to Brant, the renegade, then in charge of these British-led savages. This miraculous escape permitted him to be exchanged, to continue his career as a soldier, and later to occupy many positions of trust and responsibility in his home town. So Masonry spreads its mantle over its members in the wilds among savage peoples as well as on the paved thoroughfares of our most populous cities.

In 187S there were Masons in what was then the South Village who were affiliated with no local Lodge. Others were members of Middlesex Lodge. Many of these were railroad men whose time for such affiliations and for the responsibilities of Masonic Brethren were necessarily governed by railroad schedules and therefore limited. There was no convenient means of transportation between the villages and many believed that convenience of the members and the interests of Masonry in the Town required the formation of a Lodge in what had then become its most rapidly growing village.

There were fifty one pioneers, all recommended by the Worshipful Master, Wardens, and Brethren of Middlesex Lodge, who. in the summer of 1875. one hundred years after the shot was fired at Concord which was heard around the world, petitioned the Most Worshipful Grand Master to Charter a Lodge in this jurisdiction. The petition was favorably received and the Dispensation under which this
 Lodge first worked was granted on September second of
 that year.


Alpha Lodge, therefore, takes official precedence from the date of the Dispensation under which it first worked, September 2, 1875. Nine regular and special meetings were held under Dispensation with Worshipful Master William H. Pbipps in the East, the flrst of these on September 28, 1875.

A report and return of the conduct of the members under the Dispensation granted by the Most Worshipful Grand Master was made at the September meeting of the Grand Lodge in 1876, al which time the Charter was 
granted and shortly thereafter, on November 13, 1876, at 
Boston, the Lodge was i stituted and its first officers were installed. Not all of the fifty-one pioneers became members of the new Lodge, the charter, when granted, naming twenty-five Masons in good standing to whom this document was issued.

It is necessary to record thai all of these original Charter members have passed to their reward, from which no traveler returns, and so far as known to me all of the fifty-one petitioners have likewise passed away, the last to answer this call being Brother Ira L, Dunoven, who, although petitioning for the Charter, remained a member of Middlesex Lodge to the time of his very recent death.

The two oldest living members of Alpha Lodge are Austin P. Joy and Brother John M. Shea. The first was initialed in 1878 and the latter in 1880. Of these, Brother Shea has enjoyed the longest continuous membership in the Lodge. Both of these older members, I am glad to say, are able to he with us this afternoon.

The name to be adopted for this infant Lodge was the source of prolonged discussion and much balloting, hut the name which the Lodge has honorably borne from that time to this was finally adopted as the unanimous choice of the Brethren. Just why Alpha was at that time considered appropriate is not recorded.

The good ritualistic work of Alpha Lodge is traditional. It has always been of a high quality. At its first official visitation the Deputy expressed his gratification at the work accomplished and addressed himself to the officers and members in highly complimentary terms regarding the ritualistic work. In this respect ii has amply justified the name it bears, standing as it always has, pre-eminent among its sister Lodges.

With no funds in the treasury, the organization of its work in early days was a task requiring sacrifice and ingenuity.

The problems incident to the official conduct of such an organization were great. Meetings were first held in what was then Irving Hall, which now forms a part of the Porter Building, so called, in Irving Square. But few members were initiated in the first few years, there being only seven candidates in the three years from 1876 to 1879. Not all of these candidates were finally affiliated us members. Alpha Lodge has always set a high standard for its membership. Its history and accomplishments reflect this standard. In the early days, in addition to official means for the investigation of candidates five of the Brethren constituted themselves an unofficial committee and made more than the usual investigation. Hence a more selective list of those raised as Master Masons.

The first work of the Lodge was done with Jewels Loaned by Pentucket Lodge, of Lowell, and it was not until the latter part of 1879 thai Alpha Lodge owned its own Jewels. At thai time a delegation of ninety Masons visited the sister Lodge in Lowell, expressed the appreciation of Alpha Lodge for the use of its Jewels, and returned them safely to the keeping of thai organization.

From 1878 to 1884 it was a continuous struggle to meet the financial requirements of the Lodge and conduct its business in such a manner as to inspire respect in the community and satisfy the ideals of its members, both as to its ritualistic work and the quarters which it occupied, yet by sacrifice and devotion this was accomplished.

The growing pains were frequent and severe. Our Lodge has occupied six different meeting places, all. with the exception of its present Lodge-room, more or less unsatisfactory even in those days, and all with this exception necessarily sub-let to other unaffiliated organizations in order thai the financial requirements of the Lodge might be met and satisfied.

The Lodge has held its communications at various times in Irving Hall, Pythian Hall, Odd Fellows Hall, Knights of Labor (now known as Central Labor Union) Hall, Bethany Church, and its present Lodge rooms. There were but one hundred members of Alpha Lodge in 1890, when it first occupied what was considered at that time modern quarters in the Smith Building, paying what was then believed the enormous rental of six hundred dollars per year.

The records contain many references to the difficulties encountered in procuring a suitable meeting place, and to the disadvantages of sub-letting to other organizations not affiliated with Masonry, yet this was necessary for it was not until 1885 that the Lodge possessed any substantial balance in its treasury. At that time it considered Itself extremely fortunate that the Treasurer was able to report the sum of two hundred dollars on hand. Whether the difficulties confronting the Lodge were the cause or not, it is nevertheless a fact that the members of this organization have at all times been remarkably generous to it.

h is worth while to record, especially for the benefit of younger members, that the marble earners for the truncheons of the Wardens, the rough and finished ashler which came from the old Masonic Temple building in Boston, the clock, the furniture, frames for charts, the greater and lesser lights, were all either given by individual members of the Lodge or purchased by subscriptions contributed by them. The altar of the Lodge was a gift from citizens of the town, not all of whom were members of the Masonic Fraternity, and more recently the present indirect lighting system was donated by members.

Not only has the Lodge been generously remembered by its members in this way, but it has itself been generous toward others. In addition to its own Masonic charity of which no public mention is ever made, it contributed generously of its substance at the time of the Galveston flood in 1885, and to the earthquake sufferers in San Francisco, while the Framingham Hospital has in the past used its rooms for the conduct of bazaars, and many worthy objects have benefited from its treasury.

To maintain its present standing in the community, its members must continue to be generous to the Lodge and the Lodge continue to be generous to those less fortunate than its own members. For has not the great guide of all Masons admonished us, "Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them."

Although the organization of the new Lodge caused some temporary resentment among the older members of Middlesex Lodge, the reasons for its organization were so entirely adequate thai time and reason healed the breach and the relations of Alpha with Middlesex, the Mother Lodge, have since been neighborly and cordial It was therefore with pleasure that, under a special Dispensation of the Most Worshipful Grand Master, on June 13, 1895, Alpha Lodge formed in public procession for the purpose of assisting in celebrating the centennial anniversary of the Chartering of Middlesex Lodge. This parent of our own organization had at that time enjoyed one hundred years of useful community activity, for twenty years side by side with the younger Lodge; the members of both enjoying mutual confidence and respect. Their ways have, as two parallel lines when seen from a distance, slowly approached until on January 15, 1924. Middlesex Lodge held its first meeting in the Lodge-rooms of its daughter, and this pleasant association has continued from that time, to the advantage, it is believed, of both.

On September 23, 1900 the twenty-fifth anniversary of Alpha Lodge was observed with Reverend Edward A. Horton as orator of the day and Worshipful Edgar Potter as historian. As a result of the material Brother Potter assembled at thai time, he was subsequently commissioned by Alpha Lodge to prepare and cause to be published the history of the Lodge. This he did, the volume coming Prom the press eleven years later and serving, in part, as the authority for this effort. For the balance of my materia] I am indebted to our philosophical Secretary and our good Past Masters.

In the very early days of our existence consideration was 
given to the possibility of owning our own home, again
 just prior !o the world war it had study and promises of
 support; while last year a joint committee of the affiliated 
bodies, after careful examination of the prospects and pos
sibilities, presented a very definite plan of procedure by which necessary funds might be procured. It is to be hoped the plan may mature and result in a building of size and dignity worthy of its purpose before an event such as this is again observed.

Since 1900 the Lodge has enjoyed continued success and prosperity.

Fortunate in its choice of those occupying the East, it has increased in numbers and resources while continuing in maintain its enviable reputation for ritualistic excellence, charitable deeds, and generous hospitality. In September of 1910, a committee reported the present Lodge-rooms entirely redecorated, thus solving the problem of a meeting place for some time to come.

During the first twenty-five years of the history of this Lodge, one hundred and ninety-two individuals were raised to the degree of Master Mason under thirteen Worshipful Masters, and in the past twenty-live years three hundred seventy-three individuals have been raised or affiliated under the guidance of fifteen Worshipful Masters, including the present occupant of the Oriental Chair. With those affiliated from other Lodges and allowing for deaths and dimits this makes our total membership at the present time three hundred ninety-nine Master Masons. During this later quarter century we have had two District Deputy Grand Masters chosen from our membership, Worshipful Brother Esty and Worshipful Brother Woodbury, while several have received highest honors in Chap
ter and in Commandery.

The social life of Alpha Lodge has never been neglected. While working under Dispensation it was thought wise to hold socials, that members and their friends might become better acquainted not only with each other but with the institution of Masonry itself. Such affairs proved successful, were repeated from time to time, and have been succeeded in more recent years by ladies' nights enjoyed by 
all. Music has become so much a part of our work that in 1915 a member moved thai the Lodge purchase a hurdy-gurdy for the Worshipful Master, but the Lodge refused to consider the suggestion seriously and declined to make the necessary appropriation. What we might have done had we owned such an instrument can only be conjectured.

The observance of Washington's birthday by appropriate exercises in the afternoon and a banquet in the evening has become an annual event in this Dodge, thus appropriately observing not only the natal day of the Father of our Country, but at the same time emphasizing his close and active connection with Masonry in the early days of the nation.

With a patriotism second to none, Alpha Lodge met the issues raised by the outbreak of the world war with characteristic determination. Already numbering among her members many veterans of the Civil and Spanish-American Wars, she furnished no less than forty-six young men for active service at home and abroad with the colors of the country, thirteen of whom were commissioned officers. Its members remaining at home gladly gave of their time and substance in all of the campaigns for funds, and other work incident to the task of keeping the home fires burning and supporting the troops in trench and training camp, while one of its members, Brother John M. Merriam, rendered distinguished service as Secretary of the Local Exemption Board. The Lodge as such curtailed, as requested by the public authorities, its use of light, fuel, and food, thus necessarily reducing its activities and making an extremely difficult period for the Worshipful Master of that time.

The appreciation of Alpha Lodge for those who served actively in this crisis in the world's history was tendered by their Brethren at a reception on February 23, 1920, and at that time the pride of the Lodge was appropriately expressed to them and souvenirs presented to each.

Shortly after this pleasant event, in 1921, Past Master's aprons were presented with appropriate exercises to the Past Masters of the Lodge, while each retiring Master was presented with the jewel of his rank.

During the period subsequent to the issue of the official history of the Lodge, a further opportunity to indicate the generous and patriotic impulse of the members of Alpha Lodge was furnished by the project to construct with funds contributed by the Master Masons of the country the George Washington Memorial near the capital city bearing his name. Alpha Lodge met this opportunity with the same generosity and devotion to duty as had characterized the members of the Lodge in its earlier days, one hundred percent of its membership contributing to this worthy object. Not only was every member of the Lodge represented in these contributions, averaging nearly two dollars per member, but of all the Lodges in the country Alpha stood but fourth in per capita gifts, a notable result. The completion of this memorial will mark a milestone in Masonic achievement, worthy of the great Fraternity.

And so we may see from this brief history of Masonry in this portion of our town, how it has lived and grown, its struggles and its achievements through Alpha Lodge, whose natal day we now observe.

The history of Alpha Lodge belongs to Framingham. It is to a remarkable extent the history of our good town. Fifty years ago the municipality was here. Originating in the pioneering minds of men who one-half a century ago were among the leaden of community thought and civic activities in their day, the Lodge was born.

Trace the history of our town and we write, in the broadest sense, the annals of our Lodge, for throughout the en
tire period of its existence as a Lodge the members have
 been men of affairs in the Community, leaders in its Civic
 Life, influential in its business progress, pioneers in its development, and at all times a mighty influence for morality, for law, and for the right, and as our town has grown and prospered, as has our Lodge gained in strength, in the number of its members, in resources, and in the capacity for good in the community within which it exists. May it continue! Let those in whose hands the fathers placed an honorable institution cherish and maintain it for generations to come, thai Masonry may continue to hold a proud place in our community, that friendships may be cemented through brotherly love, and that Alpha Lodge may continue in the glorious work of building character and manhood through the Masonic principles which the great Fraternity teaches us all.

75TH ANNIVERSARY HISTORY, NOVEMBER 1951

From Proceedings, Page 1951-205:

By Brother William L. Oldroyd.

Tonight Alpha Lodge is celebrating the seventy-fifth anniversary of its constitution, which occurred November 13, 1876. We are fortunate in having records of all the communications of the Lodge since the original dispensation was granted in 1875, but the details of the period just prior to 1875, when consideration was being given to the possibility of forming another Lodge in Framingham, are not available. Such information came from previous histories written by Wor. Edgar Potter, Bro. Frederick H. Hilton and Wor. George W. Cokell.

From those histories we learn that Masonry was first established in this town in 1795, when a charter was granted to a group of Masons to organize Middlesex Lodge. At that time the town was divided into three sections known as Framingham, South Framingham and Saxonville. Today these same locations are known as Framingham Centre, Framingham and Saxonville.

The section originally known as Framingham was the most active part of the town and was the home of Middlesex Lodge. In 1834, when the Boston and Worcester Railroad, now the Boston and Albany, was constructed, it came to South Framingham and resulted in the rather rapid growth of that section of the town. With the railroad came employees who were Masons and it was not convenient for them to attend Masonic meetings in Framingham. As a result, in 1874 or about that time, an effort was made by Masons living in South Framingham to have Middlesex Lodge move to that section from Framingham, but this did not meet with favor; and in 1875 some fifty-one Masons living in South Framingham petitioned the Most Worshipful Grand Master for a dispensation praying to be congregated as a regular Lodge, which dispensation was granted by Most Worshipful Percival Lowell Everett on September 2, 1875.

Of the fifty-one Brothers who signed the petition, twenty-five were present at the first meeting held September 28, 1875, and thirty-one became charter members of the Lodge. Of this number sixteen came from Middlesex Lodge, the balance from various Lodges throughout New England. Because of the fact that over half of our charter members came from Middlesex Lodge, we have always considered Middlesex as our mother Lodge.

After operating under dispensation for a year, a charter was granted to Alpha Lodge with precedence commencing September 2, 1875, A.L. 5875; and on November 13, 1876, the members of the Lodge attended a special communication of the Grand Lodge at Boston, where Alpha Lodge was duly constituted in Ample Form agreeably to the Ancient usages of the Craft.

The first twenty-five years in the life of Alpha Lodge were troublesome ones. Membership growth was slow. Money was scarce. Equipment needed was in many cases borrowed, including the jewels, which were loaned by Pentucket Lodge of Lowell. To raise funds during this period it was necessary to ask the membership for many contributions, as the returns from fees and the apparent inability to collect dues left the treasury in a depleted state. It was not until 1888 that consideration was given to establishing a Permanent Fund, and in 1892, the fund totaled less than $300.00. It is interesting to note that ten years after constitution, with a membership of seventy-four, nearly sixty per cent were in arrears for dues, while after fifteen years of activity when the membership was 104, approximately fifty per cent were in arrears.

Much discussion ensued during the first twenty-five years concerning proper quarters and the possibility of constructing a Temple, but the prime reason in each case was that of reducing expenses. During this time the Lodge met in six different locations, moving in 1893 to the Manson Building, where it remained for many years. In 1898 when we were at war with Spain, it is presumed that Alpha Lodge was represented in the Armed Forces, but the records fail to give any information on the subject.

As we came to the end of the first twenty-five years, we found a membership of 199 and a sum in the Permanent Fund of nearly $800.

The second quarter century, 1901 to 1926, saw conditions much improved. With an increase in the number of applicants and an increase year by year in the actual membership, with a decided improvement in the receipts from dues, the membership and financial situation had a much brighter aspect. The net membership doubled in the period and at the end of the Masonic year 1926 was 399.

The records are again silent as to the number of members who were active in the Armed Forces during the Mexican border activities, but fortunately Wor. Bro. Cokell compiled a record of the members who served in the first World War. Forty-six members served their country in that conflict, and of this number, there are still twenty-four who are members of the Lodge.

In 1907 we find the first record of a Past Masters' Night. The custom of having our Past Masters do the work at least once a year has continued, and we look forward to the occasion as one of the highlights of each year.

In 1924 Middlesex Lodge moved from their quarters at Framingham Centre to occupy with us the quarters in the Manson Building, thus bringing all Masonic bodies and affiliated orders under one roof in Framingham. Because the previous histories of Alpha Lodge covered in detail the early life of the Lodge, I have intentionally referred only briefly to the first fifty years and shall cover in more detail the next twenty-five years, as well as a resume of the entire seventy-five years.

From 1926 to 1929 the membership increase was small, then came the depression years and, as was the case in many other Lodges and organizations, membership declined steadily until in 1936 we reached a low point of 341 members, a net loss of fifty-eight in ten years, putting us back to where we were in 1919. However, the growth in the past fifteen years has been steady, rather slow during the war years, but rapid since 1946, and we closed the Masonic year 1951 with 565 members.

In 1929 we were notified by the owners of the Manson Building that we would have to look for new quarters, and in September 1930, moved to our present lodge rooms in the Smith Block, which quarters we had vacated thirty-seven years previously.

Forty-five of our members saw service in the second World War, many of them becoming members after joining the Armed Forces. Forty of these Brothers are still members of the Lodge. In addition there are eleven daughters and ninety-six sons of members in the service. Of the latter group, ten have since become members of Alpha Lodge.

We are indeed fortunate that the last twenty-five years have been much brighter than the first twenty-five or even fifty, for at this point we find the Lodge in a very healthy condition. Our membership is the highest in our history; our finances, both the Permanent and Relief Funds, are in good condition. We can look forward to the coming quarter century with much more assurance than was the case twenty-five years ago.

One may well ask what has made up the life of the Lodge. Without going too deep into the statistical elements, may I present a very few facts. We have accepted 1137 members by degrees and affiliation during our seventy-five years and have lost during that period by death, dimit, suspension, etc., 572 Brethren, leaving our present membership of 565. None of the charter members are now alive, but we have thirty-five members who were born before the Lodge was constituted, the oldest in point of age being Bro. Harry A. Chandler. The oldest member from the date of becoming an Entered Apprentice is Wor. Bro. Frederick E. Porter. Sixteen members hold Veterans' Medals, which are given by the Grand Lodge to Brethren who have been Masons in good standing for fifty years.

At the close of the last Masonic year a total of 1426 regular and special communications have been held. Fifty-two Brothers were elevated to the station of Worshipful Master, and of these, three have served the Grand Lodge as District Deputy Grand Master.

The only record of outside participation was in 1926, when on November 26th, twenty-five years ago today, the Lodge assisted in laying the corner stone of Grace Congregational Church.

We have always responded promptly and to the fullest extent to all requests for help received through the Grand Lodge, such as relief in connection with the serious Florida hurricane, for flood areas in Mississippi Valley floods, calls for the Red Cross and many other similar cases, and for aid in connection with the Masonic service centers during the last war.

We would be remiss if we did not refer to the fact that at present we have fourteen members and sons of twenty-one members serving in the Armed Forces, many of whom have seen service in Korea.

We cannot overlook the assistance being rendered by our officers and members at Cushing Hospital, where each Sunday morning a group of members help the crippled veterans to and from the Protestant Church service conducted by our own Brother, Rev. L. George Butt, Chaplain at Cushing Hospital. That service means much to the veterans who otherwise would be unable to attend the morning worship.

During the lifetime as a Masonic Lodge many gifts have been presented to the Lodge, not the least being a gift of the Altar, which we are still using, this coming from townspeople, many of whom were not Masons. The rough and perfect Ashlers were given by Wor. Bro. Stevens and Porter and came from the old Masonic Temple in Boston. There have been many other gifts to the Lodge, but in many cases the records are not too clear concerning the details.

We have had the pleasure of visits from several of the Grand Masters of Masons in Massachusetts including Most Worshipful Brothers Everett C. Benton, Melvin M. Johnson, and Frank L. Simpson. Needless to say, we have enjoyed having them visit Alpha Lodge, even as this evening we are happily privileged to receive the presiding Grand Master of Masons in Massachusetts, Most Worshipful Thomas S. Roy. It is an honor to have with us at any time the Grand Master and his Official Suite, and we hope that we may again be honored in this manner long before our100th Anniversary.

In closing, may we look back on the past seventy-five years with pride in what has been accomplished and look ahead with hope and expectation to the next twenty-five years, anticipating even greater benefits in every way for Alpha Lodge and its membership.

OTHER

  • 1936 (Petition to reduce fees; approved)

GRAND LODGE OFFICERS


MATERIAL FROM THE 1911 HISTORY

In 1910, the Lodge voted to appoint Wor. Edgar Potter, Secretary of the Lodge, as "Historian of Alpha Lodge and that he be requested forthwith to prepare a history of the Lodge for the first thirty-five years of its life as a constituted Lodge." Brother Potter's efforts resulted in a fine printed volume: History of Alpha Lodge A.F. & A.M., South Framingham, Mass., 1875 to 1911. It was published by the Lodge that year, and included many portraits of members and Past Masters, and biographies of members.

This section includes these pictures and biographies. Where not otherwise listed, necrologies are given for these Craftsmen.

CLARENCE LEVERNE BUTLER 1850-1925

ButlerC.jpg

LUCIUS MARSHALL BUTLER 1838-1905

ButlerL.jpg

History of Alpha Lodge, Page 42:

was born in Hinsdale, N.H., April 9, 1838.

Attended school in his native town until seventeen years old when he entered a railroad machine shop and followed that business all his life, for many years being Master Mechanic for the N. Y., N.H. and H. railroad.

He received his first instruction in Freemasonry in Hampden Lodge, Springfield. Was one of the charter members of Alpha Lodge and was Master in 1880-1. Removing to Auburn, R.I., he became a member of Doric Lodge of that place, Providence R. A. Chapter, Providence Council R. & S. Masters, St. John's Commandery and R. I. Consistory 32nd degree A. & A. S. Rite.

His Family History Page on butlerlink.com Thanks to a relative found on ancestry.com

GEORGE W. BUTTERWORTH 1889-1956

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EDGAR M. CASWELL 1852-1915

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GEORGE WASHINGTON COKELL 1872-1953

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ORVILLE WILLIAM COLLINS 1857-1910

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  • MM 1878, Oxford #18, Norway, ME
  • WM 1894-1895, Alpha

History of Alpha Lodge, Page 78:

was born in Stark, Me., July 30, 1857.

Graduated from Bates College 1876. Was Supt. of Schools in Framingham twenty years from 1884 and for several years Chairman of the school committee. He graduated from the Harvad Medical School in 1887.

He took a great interest in the Framingham Hospital and Training School for Nurses, and for twenty years was a member of the staff. At the time of his death, Sept. 5, 1910, he was President of the District Nursing Association, He served two years as President of the Framingham Board of Trade. He was made a Mason in Oxford Lodge, Norway, Me., 1878, became a member of Alpha Lodge in 1888. Received the Capitular degrees in Concord R. A. Chapter and Templar degrees in Natick Commandery. He served two years as Master of Alpha Lodge and one year as Worthy Patron of Orient Chapter O. E. S. He died Sept. 5, 1910.

H(ARRY). MURRAY CONRAD 1879-1964

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  • MM 1906, WM 1919-1920, Alpha

GEORGE R. COOLIDGE 1876-?

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  • MM 1900, WM 1914, Alpha
  • Suspended by Grand Lodge 1934

CHARLES FREDERIC CUTLER 1841-1907

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History of Alpha Lodge, Page 40:

Was born in that part of Framingham, now Ashland, July, 1841.

For several years after leaving school he was associated with his father and brothers in the grain business in Ashland and South Framingham.

He early saw that the telephone possessed great possibilities and with others organized the first Telephone Company in this state, and constructed the line from Boston to Worcester. After a few years developing the business here he sought larger fields in New York, where he became a leader in the business.

He received the degrees of Symbolic Masonry in North Star Lodge, Ashland, and was a Charter member and first Senior Warden of Alpha Lodge. After four years in that office he served one year as Master in 1879. He died at Saranac Lake, N. Y., May 19, 1907.

GEORGE HERRING EAMES 1867-1953

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  • MM 1896, WM 1906-1907, Alpha

History of Alpha Lodge, Page 102:

was born in Framingham, Feb. 7, 1867.

And has always lived in the "Old Red House," he being the fourth generation in direct line that has occupied that historic house for nearly two hundred years.

He was educated in the public schools of the town.

For several years he was engaged in the manufacture of leather goods, but more recently in the manufacture of straw goods.

He was made a Mason in Alpha Lodge in 1897 and received the Capitular degrees in Concord R. A. Chapter.

After serving the several lower positions he was chosen Master in 1906 and served two years. At present he is Secretary of both Alpha Lodge and Concord Chapter.

FREDERICK MARCH ESTY 1852-1931

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History of Alpha Lodge, Page 94:

Born in Framingham, July 27, 1852.

Educated in our public schools and Phillips Academy, Andover.

Was admitted to the bar in 1882, appointed Deputy Sheriff in 1887 and later Court officer for the Supreme and Superior Courts.

Was afterwards appointed permanent officer for the Probate Court and in 1904 Assistant Register of Probate and Insolvency for Middlesex County, a position he still holds.

He was made a Mason in Alpha Lodge in 1885. Received the Royal Arch degrees in 1887 and Templar degrees in 1892.

Was Master of Alpha Lodge in 1900-1, High Priest of Concord R. A. Chapter in 1896-7, D. D. G. H. Priest for the 9th Capitular District in 1899-0, D. D. G. Master 21st Masonic District in 1904-5. He also served one year as Worthy Patron of Orient Chapter O. E. S.

ARVILLE E. FRENCH 1876-1956

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ALFRED JOHN HEATH 1860-1933

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  • MM 1888, WM 1898-1899, Alpha

History of Alpha Lodge, Page 90:

was born Feb. 19, 1860 in Brooklyn, N.Y.

In early life he was employed as clerk ir various stores in New York City. In 1881 he engaged in business with his uncle at Three Rivers, Palmer, Mass. After some two years he sold his interest in the concern and entered the employ of Sears & Co., Boston, as travelling salesman, a position he held for more than twenty-three years. He is now engaged as Commission Merchant and real estate agent.

He received his Masonic degrees in Alpha Lodge in 1888, the Capitular degrees in Concord Chapter and the Knight Templar degrees in Natick Commandery. He was Master of Alpha Lodge in 1898-9.

He served two years as Worthy Patron of Orient Chapter, O. E. S.

HENRY STEWARD HILTON 1875-1929

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  • MM 1900, WM 1912-1913, Alpha

ALEXANDER HOYT 1843-1902

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  • MM 1872, Meridian
  • WM 1884-1885, Alpha
  • Charter Member, Alpha Lodge

History of Alpha Lodge, Page 48:

was born in Industry, Me., Oct. 27, 1843.

For more than thirty years he was a resident of South Framingham and was employed the most of that time as conductor on the Boston and Albany Railroad, winning the love and respect of both his employers and the public he served.

He was made a Mason in Meridian Lodge, became a charter member of Alpha Lodge and was Master in 1884-5.

He died December 5, 1902.

GEORGE DUNCAN HYNDMAN 1884-1978

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  • MM 1906, WM 1921, Alpha

FRANK WOODCOCK JENNINGS 1867-1948

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  • MM 1898, WM 1908-1909, Alpha

History of Alpha Lodge, Page 106:

was born in Little Compton, R.I., Feb. 20, 1867.

Received his education in the common schools of that town.

His first employment was with the New Bedford Gas and Electric Light Co. Some twenty years ago he came to South Framingham as Superintendent of the Framingham Gas, Fuel and Power Co., a position he still holds.

He received his degrees in Freemasonry in Alpha Lodge being raised Jan. 24, 1898. After serving in the various offices from Inside Sentinel to Senior Warden he was installed Worshipful Master in 1908 and filled that office two years.

He served one year as Worthy Patron of Orient Chapter O. E. S.

CHARLES PERKINS KNOWLTON 1833-1910

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History of Alpha Lodge, Page 36:

was born in Jaffrey, N.H., September 28, 1833.

His education was received in the common schools of that day. At the age of seventeen he entered the employ of the Boston and Worcester Railroad. After a few weeks in the machine shop he was given the position of fireman. After four years' service in that capacity he returned to the machine shops for three years. At the age of twenty-four he was promoted to engineer and for more than fifty years followed that occupation.

He was one of the Selectmen of Framingham in 1890 and 1891

He was made a Mason in Middlesex Lodge June 13, 1873. Received the Capitular degrees in Concord Chapter, and the Knight Templars degrees in Natick Commandery. He was a Charter member and the first Master of Alpha Lodge after its Constitution, a position he held for three years. He had served as Eminent Commander of Natick Commandery, and at the time of his death was Prelate.

He died Nov. 30, 1910.

ALFRED EARL MARTIN 1852-1922

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  • MM 1888, WM 1901-1903, Alpha

History of Alpha Lodge, Page 68:

was born in Brooklyn, Conn., Sept. 23, 1852.

And attended the public schooL of that town and the Academy of Woodstock until eighteen rears of age. For a time was engaged in teaching. In 1873 he entered the office of the Sewer Department of Providence, R. I., as a student in engineering. He continued in this business at Providence and Boston until 1879.

For four years he was engaged at Ashland in the construction of a dam for the Boston Water Department.

In 1885 he came to South Framingham, and aided in the construction of our water supply system and became its Superintendent, a position he held until Feb., 1903, when he resigned to become Superintendent of the Water Department of Springfield, a position he still holds.

He received his Masonic Degrees in Alpha Lodge in 1888, the Capitular Degrees in Concord R. A. Chapter. He was Master of Alpha Lodge in 1901-2-3.

He also served one year as High Priest of Concord R. A. Chapter and one year as Patron of Orient Chapter O. E. S.

FRED LESLIE OAKS 1854-1938

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  • MM 1885, WM 1890, Alpha

History of Alpha Lodge, Page 60:

was born in Athens, VT., Nov. 16, 1854.

In early life he came to South Framingham and was employed in the grocery store of his brother, C. S. Oaks.

When the South Framingham National Bank was instituted in 1880, he entered it as clerk, and when that institution was absorbed by the Framingham National Bank he became cashier, a position he still holds. For several years he was town Auditor. He served one year as President of the Framingham Board o{ Trade.

He received the degrees of Freemasonry in Alpha Lodge in 1885 and the Capitular degrees in Concord R. A. Chapter. He served two years as Master of Alpha Lodge, and later seven years as Treasurer, and two years as Chaplain. He served one year as Worthy Patron of Orient Chapter O. E. S.

LEWIS MERRITT PALMER 1860-1919

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See the Memorial.

History of Alpha Lodge, Page 52:

was born in Litchfield, Me., Sept. 2, 1850.

Graduated from Bates College and Harvard Medical School. he located in So. Framingham in 1882 and since that time has been an active participant in the civic, social and fraternal life of the town. He served six years on the school committee, six years on the Board of Health and for the past nine years has been Medical Examiner for the District. He served two years as President of the Board of Trade.

Always an enthusiastic worker for the Framingham Hospital and a member of the staff from its beginning.

He received the degrees of Freemasonry in John Warren Lodge, Hopkinton; became a member of Alpha Lodge in 1883. Received the Capitular degrees in Concord R. A. Chapter and the Templar degrees in Natick Commandery.

He served two years as Master of Alpha Lodge, two years as High Priest of Concord Chapter, two years as D.D.G.M. for the 21st Masonic District, two years as D. D. G. H. P. for the 9th Capitular District and one year as Worthy Patron of Orient Chapter, O. E. S.

RALPH H. PARKER 1877-1932

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WILLIAM HENRY PHIPPS 1833-1913

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See the Memorial.

History of Alpha Lodge, Page 22:

Born October 9, 1833.

All his long life he has been a close student of Freemasonry and a devoted worshipper at its shrine. He was made a Master Mason Sept. 21, 1858, in Montgomery Lodge of Milford. He was one of the charter members of John Warren Lodge of Hopkinton, and was Master of that Lodge in 1861. He was a charter member of Alpha Lodge, and its Master under Dispensation. He is at present a member of Live Oak Lodge of Oakland, California. He was D. D. Grand Master of the 12th Masonic District in 1879.

Was made a Royal Arch Mason in Mt. Lebanon Chapter, Milford, in November, 1858, and is still a member of that Chapter. Received the Knight Templar degrees in Milford Commandery, in 1859, and was Eminent Commander in 1864. Received the degrees of the A. & A. S. Rite in Massachusetts Consistory of Boston in 1865 and those of Royal and Seleci Masters in Worcester Council in 1866. He is an active member of the Masonic Veteran Association of the Pacific coast.

FREDERICK ELLSWORTH PORTER 1868-1960

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History of Alpha Lodge, Page 96:

was born in South Framingham, March 21, 1868.

Was educated in the public schools of the town, and always resided here until four years ago when he moved to Wellesley where he now resides. After leaving school he engaged in the retail shoe trade, which he still pursues.

He received his Masonic degrees in Alpha Lodge in 1890; the Capitular degrees in Concord R. A. Chapter.

Was Master of Alpha Lodge in 1902-3.

EDGAR POTTER 1856-1919

  • MM 1865, WM 1875, Middlesex
  • Charter Member of Alpha Lodge

History of Alpha Lodge, Page 113:

was born in Waterville, Vermont, Dec. 4, 1831.

Became a citizen of Framingham in 1859.

For more than twenty-five years he was engaged in the "$how Business," for five years he was Editor of the Ashland Advertiser and Framingham Gazette, and for the past twenty years has been in the real estate business. He served five years on the School Committee, was Secretary five years and Treasurer three years of the Middlesex Agricultural Society, twenty years as Curator and two years as President of the Framingham Historical and Natural History Society, has been Secretary of the Board of Trade for thirteen years.

He was made a Mason in Middlesex Lodge in 1865, a Royal Arch Mason in Concord Chapter in 1867 and Knight Templar in Milford Commandery 1868. He was High Priest of Concord Chapter in 1872-4, Master of Middlesex Lodge in 1875, and served twenty-one years as Secretary of Alpha Lodge. He served one year as Worthy Patron of Orient Chapter O. E. S.

FREDERICK ADAMS PRATT 1854-1912

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  • MM 1878, WM 1886, Alpha

History of Alpha Lodge, Page 50:

was born in Leominster, Feb. 10, 1854.

Came to Framingham when young and was educated in the public schools of this town. He adopted book-keeping as a profession.

He received his Masonic degrees in Alpha Lodge in 1878 and was chosen Secretary of the Lodge the same year anil served five years in that office. Was S. D. in 1883, J. W. in 1884, S. W. in 1885 and Master in 1886.

He has lived in Westboro for the past twenty years or more, and has served as Worthy Patron of Bethany Chapter O. E. S., in that town.

HENRY LYMAN SAWTELLE 1849-1922

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History of Alpha Lodge, Page 44:

was born in Berlin, Mass., Sept. 20, 1849.

He received his education in the common schools of that town.

When seventeen years of age he engaged in railroad work as freight brakeman, and was soon promoted to freight conductor on the Boston, Clinton and Fitchburg railroad. In 1871 he came to So. Framingham in charge of supplies, a position he held for thirteen years. He was then transferred to Marlboro Junction as station agent where he remained twenty-one years. He is now conducting the telephone exchange at Northboro.

He received his Masonic Degrees in Middlesex Lodge in 1875, being raised March 31st, of that year.

He was one of the Charter members of Alpha Lodge and after holding several subordinate offices, was chosen Master, September, 1882, a position he held two years.

HENRY OTIS STEARNS 1858-1941

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  • MM 1896, WM 1904-1905, Alpha

History of Alpha Lodge, Page 100:

Was born in Framingham, September 7, 1858, and received his education in the public schools of that town.

After leaving school he was clerk for Mr. Willard Howe in his grocery store and Post Office for three years. He was with the Howard Clock and Watch Company and the Waltham Watch Co., for several years as machinist. For the past eighteen years he has worked as a machinist in straw goods manufacturies.

He received the degrees of Freemasonry in Alpha Lodge in 1896 and after passing through the several subordinate positions was chosen Master in 1904 and served two years.

GEORGE THOMAS STEVENS 1867-1933

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  • MM 1890, WM 1896-1897, Alpha

History of Alpha Lodge, Page 84:

was born in Haverhill, Mass., Nov. 22, 1867.

And came to Framingham in 1876.

Received his education in the public schools of the town, and French's Business College of Boston.

He is engaged in the ice business with his father.

Received his Masonic degrees in Alpha Lodge in 1890. After serving as S. D., J. W., and S. W., he was chosen Master in 1896 and served two years,. He is also a member of Concord R. A. Chapter, Natick Commandery, K. T. and Aleppo Temple, Mystic Shrine. He served as Worthy Patron of Orient Chapter in 1909.

FREDERICK ALBERT WEST 1873-1962

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  • MM 1900, WM 1917-1918, Alpha

SANDS SANFORD WOODBURY 1848-1934

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See the Memorial.

History of Alpha Lodge, Page 110:

was born in Bremen, Me., Sept. 18, 1848.

He received his education in the public schools of that town and at Lincoln Academy, New Castle, Me. When eighteen years of age he came to Boston and was engaged as clerk in various trades, and taking evening lessons at Come/s Commercial College. In 1885 he acquired an interest in the Massachusetts Boot and Shoe Co., and since that time has been interested in the shoe business, at present owning a store in Haverhill. In 1902 he engaged in the manufacture of curtains which he still continues.

He became a citizen of Framingham in 1895. He received his Masonic degrees in Alpha Lodge in 1900, the Capitular degrees in Concord R. A. Chapter and the Templar degrees in Natick Commandery. He is the present Master of Alpha Lodge and Excellent King of Concord Chapter.


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1883: District 21 (Framingham)

1911: District 23 (Milford)

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