Brigham

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BRIGHAM LODGE (1892)

Location: Ludlow

Chartered By: Samuel Wells

Charter Date: 06/08/1892 1892-54

Precedence Date: 07/08/1891

Current Status: Active


PAST MASTERS

  • Charles F. Grosvenor, 1892
  • Albert H. Halford, 1893, 1894; SN
  • George W. Miller, 1895
  • James Henderson, 1896
  • Walter B. Aitchison, 1897
  • William H. Tipping, 1898
  • Alexander H. Fobare, 1899
  • Hugh M. Crammond, 1900
  • Richard Tipping, 1901-1903
  • James A. Sime, 1904
  • Alexander F. Winton, 1905
  • Simpson F. McPhail, 1906
  • Walter Benoit, 1907
  • George Elphinston, Jr., 1908
  • William Saston, 1909
  • Walter Winton, 1910
  • Hiram Payne, 1911
  • Edwin H. Wright, 1912
  • Joseph Blundell, 1913
  • James Elphinstone, 1914
  • George Ogilvie, 1915
  • William A. Mason, 1916
  • George Mackintosh, 1917
  • Frank Birse, 1918
  • Alexander H. Graham, 1919
  • Alexander Kidd, 1920
  • Charles Easson, 1921
  • Henry Turville, 1922
  • Alexander J. Butters, 1923
  • Clinton A. Simmons, 1924
  • Frederick T. D. Milne, 1925
  • Emery T. Smith, 1926
  • John J. Whithouse, 1927
  • Alexander W. Kier, 1928
  • Stuart J. Hayes, 1929
  • Ernest L. Bish, 1930
  • Frederick J. Cummings, 1931; SN
  • Alexander Moncrieff, 1932
  • George S. Monroe, 1933, 1934
  • Donald M. Moncrieff, 1935
  • Peter Wilson, 1936
  • Ruben C. Hare, 1937
  • Walter C. Eisold, 1938
  • Ralph I. McCorkindale, 1939
  • Arthur O. Burgess, 1940
  • Warren S. Rowlan, 1941
  • Charles I. Sayles, 1942, 1943
  • Frank S. Moon, 1944
  • Thomas Finn, 1945
  • William E. P. Ehlers, 1946
  • John E. Almgren, 1947; N
  • Harold W. Lawless, 1948
  • William Monroe, 1949
  • William C. Eason, 1950
  • Howard B. Hodge, 1951
  • Ralph W. Armstrong, 1952
  • Theodore M. Mowbray, 1953
  • Alfred J. Kisser, 1954
  • Ralph W. Webster, 1955
  • Edwin Allan, 1956
  • Howard R. Wickman, 1957, 1958; N
  • Edward A. Fuller, 1959
  • Harold R. Peacey, 1960
  • Donald A. Lever, 1961
  • Earl Sherpard, 1962
  • Clyde E. Rhodes, 1963
  • Bertrand A. Varg, 1964
  • Gomer E. Bowen, 1965; N
  • John A. Thomas, 1966
  • Arthur L. Smith, 1967
  • Walter E. Thompson, 1968, 1974
  • Elliot N. Meyer, 1969
  • Robert W. Holmes, 1970
  • Robert D. Hiorns, 1971
  • Raymond E. Potter, 1972
  • George P. Milne, 1973
  • Wallace W. Henderson, Jr., 1975, 1980
  • Thomas H. DeWolf, 1976
  • Lee A. Gorden, 1977
  • Russel E. Gay, 1978
  • Basil A. Crandell, 1979; N
  • John P. Lamondia, 1981
  • John R. Savoia, 1982
  • Raymond P. Bissonnette, 1983
  • John K. Logan, 1984
  • Michael J. Sands, 1985
  • Norman K. Green, 1986; PDDGM
  • Douglas J. McVeigh, 1987
  • William H. Brittain, 1988
  • Edward W. W. Brittain, 1989
  • Robert M. Radowski, 1990
  • Glenn Potter, 1991
  • Donald C. Eggleston, 1992
  • William R. Butman, Jr., 1993
  • James S. Kalita, 1994
  • Alexander Kalita, Jr., 1995
  • Ektor H. Trubounis, 1996
  • Joseph A. Bradley, 1997
  • Terence R. Garner, 1998; PDDGM
  • Marcel I. M. Bissonnette, 1999
  • George E. Como, 2000
  • Richard I. Thompson, 2001
  • Walter J. Woitasek, 2002
  • Michael J. LeClair, 2003
  • Abe A. Monroe, 2004
  • John A. Lysak, 2005
  • William D. Harris, 2006
  • Donald P. Bonzek, 2007
  • Michael J. Jarzabek, 2008; PDDGM
  • John J. Papianou, 2009; DDGM
  • Robert E. Martin, 2010
  • Garth O. Parker, 2011
  • William G. MacKinnon, Jr., 2012

REFERENCES IN GRAND LODGE PROCEEDINGS

  • Petition for Dispensation: 1891
  • Petition for Charter: 1892

ANNIVERSARIES

  • 1942 (50th Anniversary)
  • 1967 (75th Anniversary)
  • 1992 (Centenary)

VISITS BY GRAND MASTER

BY-LAW CHANGES

1892 1894 1898 1902 1907 1910 1912 1921 1922 1924 1925 1928 1931 1934 1935 1936 1939 1943 1946 1947 1948 1949 1950 1955 1960 1968 1976 1978 1979 1980 1986 1991 1992 1997 1998 2004 2011 2012

HISTORY

  • 1942 (50th Anniversary History, 1942-141; see below)
  • 1967 (75th Anniversary History, 1967-232; see below)

50TH ANNIVERSARY HISTORY, JUNE 1942

by Historical Committee: Worshipful Alexander Kidd, Chairman; Worshipful Alexander W. Keir; Worshipful Donald M. Moncrieff.

It is fitting that organizations, as well as communities, should have recurrent periods set apart for honoring the times and the men which combined to make up their historic past. Today we meet to celebrate the golden jubilee of Brigham Lodge; to inquire about our ancient craftsmen and learn something of their lives and acts; to talk together of the sweet memories of those who were instrumental in bringing about the institution of such a noble fraternal organization in our community, which can only be surpassed in its lofty ideals by the Christian Church. In doing this, we also celebrate in a wider sense an added milestone in the progress of the larger institution, universal Freemasonry. Our order stands as the noblest ever instituted and sprang into being at the very dawn of history.

Until 1891, the Masons of Ludlow belonged to Lodges in Chicopee, Wilbraham and Springfield. On account of the distance from their homes and the inconveniences of travel, it was suggested that efforts be made to establish a Lodge in Ludlow. Acting on this suggestion, a meeting was called and finally thirty-three Masons petitioned the Grand Lodge in Boston to grant a dispensation for a new Lodge. The result was that an informal meeting took place at the Boston & Albany station on February 3, 1891, at which the following Masons were present: Charles F. Grosvenor, Albert H. Halford, John L. Mann, John Hobson, Frank A. Towne, Emerson F. Lovett, Fred L. Burr, Henry Burke, William O'Neill, John McLeish, George Elphinstone, Sr., Frank S. King, Oscar J. Hunt, John Robinson and A. J. Hobson. At that meeting, a committee was appointed consisting of Charles F. Grosvenor, A. H. Halford and A. H. Bartlett to draft a petition to the Grand Lodge for a dispensation and also to interview District Deputy Grand Master Horace W. Gaylord of Chicopee in regard to the project.

The next meeting was held on February 22, 1891. The committee reported having interviewed the necessary officials and the outlook being so favorable, it was unanimously voted to continue the work. It was voted at that meeting that the name of the Lodge would be Brigham, in honor of Lemuel Hawley Brigham, who for many years had been agent of the Ludlow Mfg. Co. and who had given valuable assistance in its establishment. Lemuel Hawley Brigham was born in St. Albans, Vermont, August 17, 1816, the son of Dr. Luther Brigham, a descendant of Thomas Brigham, one of the first Puritans to come to this country and who settled in Marlboro, Massachusetts, about 1626. He was a man of strong and benevolent qualities, a 32d degree Mason and a member of Chicopee Lodge. He died in Palmer May 6, 1896, and in his memory, the family gave to the Lodge a marble bust of him, which holds a prominent place in the lodge-room.

On July 8, 1891, a dispensation was given by Grand Master Samuel Wells and countersigned by Sereno D. Nickerson, Recording Grand Secretary. On the 31st of May, 1892, a petition to the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of Ancient, Free and Accepted Masons of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, signed by thirty-three of those Brethren who had been associated together as Brigham Lodge, U.D., was sent to the Grand Lodge at Boston, asking that a charter be granted to them to perform all the ceremonies of ancient craft Masonry. The Charter was granted June 8, 1892, and July 9th was the date selected for the constitution of the Lodge and the installation of its first officers; also for the dedication of their new hall. Previous to the erection of our present building, the meetings were held in a room on the top floor of the old high school building. Those quarters being inadequate for Lodge purposes, through the efforts of the late John E. Stevens, then agent of the Ludlow Mfg. Co., that Company erected a hall on Winsor Street and rented it to the Lodge on a five year lease, this lease to be renewed every five years thereafter.

It is a very singular fact that Saturday, July 9, 1892, was the day set apart for the dedication of our present building and the constitution of the Lodge. About 200 Masons were present from all over the State, including the Grand Officers and other prominent members of the Order. The exercises began at two o'clock and the ceremonies were conducted by Grand Master Samuel Wells, assisted by the following suite: Frank T. Dwinell, Deputy Grand Master; Charles I. Litchfield, Senior Grand Warden; Wm. H. Soule, Junior Grand Warden; Richard Briggs, Grand Treasurer; Sereno D. Nickerson, Recording Grand Secretary; Henry G. Gordon, Grand Marshal; Rev. Charles A. Skinner, Grand Chaplain; Horace W. Gaylord, Senior Grand Deacon; Charles G. Robertson, Junior Grand Deacon; Henry Endicott, Past Grand Master; Samuel H. Gregory, Corresponding Grand Secretary, and John H. Chester, Grand Tyler. These officers were assisted by George Streeter and William E. Bridgman of the new Lodge, who acted as Stewards.

The following officers were installed after the constitution ceremonies:

  • Charles F. Grosvenor, Worshipful Master
  • Albert H. Halford, Senior Warden
  • Frank S. King, Junior Warden
  • Frank A. Towne, Treasurer
  • Frederick L. Burr, Secretary
  • Charles F. Howard, Chaplain
  • Emerson F. Lovett, Marshal
  • Walter B. Atchinson, Senior Deacon
  • George L. Streeter, Junior Deacon
  • George W. Miller, Senior Steward
  • Henry Burke, Junior Steward
  • John Hobson, Tyler

The Lodge started on its career with about fifty members and under the most favorable auspices.

During the afternoon exercises, Amos O. Kinney, Worshipful Master of Chicopee Lodge, presented to Brigham Lodge a fine, ivory gavel, as a token of fraternal regard of their Chicopee Brothers. Brother L. H. Brigham, the Father of the Lodge, and to whom the members owe a debt of gratitude, also presented the Lodge with a handsome organ to add to the Lodge equipment.

After the exercises in the lodge-room, a bountiful collation was served by Caterer Barr of Springfield in the banquet hall. The time remaining after the banquet until train time was occupied with brief speeches by the visiting officers, who congratulated the members of Brigham Lodge on their handsome home and their bright prospects.

The present building was built by the Ludlow Manufacturing Company at a cost of about $5000 and was most excellently adapted for Lodge purposes. It has indeed been used by the Masons to its utmost capacity. The upper floor of the building is used by the Lodge and James W. Hannum Chapter No. 150, Order of the Eastern Star. The lower floor is used as a banquet hall and also subrented to different organizations.

Among the names of the visitors present upon this very important meeting of the Lodge were Past Master S. B. Spooner, Charles C. Spellman, H. A. Prouty, Asher Bartlett, John Dunbar, John E. Oakes, A. P. Wade, A. E. Butler and G. O. Vose of Springfield; B. F. Herrick J. R. Johnson, William M. Angee, John Stuart and N. F. Vosher, all of Holyoke; Guy C. Allen, W. H. Bridgman and J. W. Jackson of Belchertown; W. S. Clark of Granby; P. W. Whalen of Worcester; William B. Kimball of Enfield and L. H. Brigham of Palmer.

The Charter members of the Lodge were composed of men of every station in life and to their efforts alone and their zeal in the cause of Masonry and its noble teachings, are due the success of this noble institution and the occasion of us, as descendants of the original Charter members of this Lodge, being gathered together at this time to celebrate the SOth anniversary of the constitution of the Lodge. The Charter members were:

  • Charles F. Grosvenor
  • David C. Jones
  • Frank S. King
  • Albert H. Halford
  • Frank A. Towne
  • Frederick L. Burr
  • Emerson F. Lovett
  • Charles F. Howard
  • George L. Streeter
  • George W. Miller
  • Henry Burke
  • Walter B. Atchinson
  • Alfred J. Hobson
  • John Hobson
  • Alfred H. Bartlett
  • Austin F. Nash
  • Oscar J. Hunt
  • George T. Greenhalgh
  • Charles Sikes
  • Marquis DeLafayette Towne
  • Benjamin F. Burr
  • James Lawe
  • John L. Mason
  • Gilbert Atchinson
  • Austin E. Morse
  • George Elphinstone, Sr.
  • William O'Neill
  • Henry W. Keyes
  • Charles A. Smith
  • Edward E. Fuller
  • David L. Fuller
  • John B. Bergeron
  • 
George D. Green

Two of them are still alive, namely: Walter B. Atchinson and George T. Greenhalgh, who are still members of Brigham Lodge.

Since the constitution of the Lodge in 1892, Brigham Lodge has had forty-six Masters. The rule has been on most all occasions that a Master's term be only one year, in that way allowing the members an opportunity of more rapid advancement in their respective offices. With very few exceptions, all the Masters have served the Lodge faithfully in nearly every minor office before assuming charge of the destinies of the Lodge. The years and names of those who have filled the Chair since the constitution of the Lodge are:

  • Charles F. Grosvenor, 1892
  • Albert H. Halford, 1893-4
  • George W. Miller, 1895
  • James Henderson, 1896
  • Walter B. Aitchison, 1897
  • William H. Tipping, 1898
  • Alexander H. Fobare, 1899
  • Hugh M. Crammond, 1900
  • Richard Tipping, 1901-1903
  • James A. Sime, 1904
  • Alexander F. Winton, 1905
  • Simpson F. McPhail, 1906
  • Walter Benoit, 1907
  • George Elphinston, Jr., 1908
  • William Saston, 1909
  • Walter Winton, 1910
  • Hiram Payne, 1911
  • Edwin H. Wright, 1912
  • Joseph Blundell, 1913
  • James Elphinstone, 1914
  • George Ogilvie, 1915
  • William A. Mason, 1916
  • George Mackintosh, 1917
  • Frank Birse, 1918
  • Alexander H. Graham, 1919
  • Alexander Kidd, 1920
  • Charles Easson, 1921
  • Henry Turville, 1922
  • Alexander J. Butters, 1923
  • Clinton A. Simmons, 1924
  • Frederick T. D. Milne, 1925
  • Emery T. Smith, 1926
  • John J. Whithouse, 1927
  • Alexander W. Kier, 1928
  • Stuart J. Hayes, 1929
  • Ernest L. Bish, 1930
  • Frederick J. Cummings, 1931
  • Alexander Moncrieff, 1932
  • George S. Monroe, 1933, 1934
  • Donald M. Moncrieff, 1935
  • Peter Wilson, 1936
  • Ruben C. Hare, 1937
  • Walter C. Eisold, 1938
  • Ralph I. McCorkindale, 1939
  • Arthur O. Burgess, 1940
  • Warren S. Rowlan, 1941
  • Charles I. Sayles, 1942, 1943

In the year 1917, the Ludlow Mfg. Co. offered the present building for sale at a very reasonable offer, on the condition that it be moved from its then present location. At that time it stood on the corner of Chestnut and Winsor Streets. At a special meeting of the Lodge, it was voted to accept the offer of the Company, they to give us the lot where the building now stands and the Lodge to pay moving expenses. Being caretaker of the building at that time, the writer has vivid recollections of the many inconveniences which had to be overcome. For a few nights it stood in the middle of Winsor Street and the meeting had to be conducted by candle light. A new steam heating plant was installed at considerable cost and has given very good results. It must be admitted that the building is small and is not to be compared with some of the beautiful temples in our larger cities, but with very few exceptions, it has proved to be always ample for the needs of Brigham Lodge.

Previous to the year 1897, no jewel was given to the Master of the Lodge when he retired from office, but during that year, all the Past Masters were presented with handsome jewels as a mark of esteem of the Brethren for their faithful and untiring efforts in behalf of Brigham Lodge, and since then, each retiring Master is presented with a jewel at the close of the installation ceremonies of his successor. It is indeed a very appropriate token and one to be highly cherished, representing as it does, years of hard and zealous work.

Brigham Lodge has on two occasions been honored by the most Worshipful Grand Lodge of Massachusetts by having two of its Past Masters appointed as District Deputy Grand Masters —Right Worshipful Albert H. Halford, appointed in 1903, and Right Worshipful Frederick J. Cummings, appointed for 1937-8.

The highest point in membership attained by the Lodge was in 1923, when it reached 276. This dropped in 1934 to 225 and for several years thereafter showed a steady decline. Today our membership as of August 31, 1941, is 155, part of which we can blame on the years of depression through which we have passed. Other forms of attraction, such as the automobile, radio, etc., have also had a tendency to attract members from Lodge activities. It is our earnest hope that in the future a greater interest will be manifested and that Freemasonry will again stand out as a shining light to all mankind. None of us can predict what lies ahead in the years to come, but we earnestly trust and pray that Freemasonry may continue to flourish and that many who are here at this celebration today may be present again when the Masons in Brigham Lodge celebrate their seventy-fifth anniversary.

Four of our members have belonged to the Craft for over fifty years.

  • Worshipful Brother Walter B. Atchinson, born in Wilbraham, Massachusetts, March 29, 1868, was raised to the sublime degree of a Master Mason in Newton Lodge Nov. 19, 1890, and became a charter member of Brigham Lodge. He dimitted from Newton Lodge April 6, 1892, and was the first Senior Deacon of the new Lodge. Going through the chairs, he served as Worshipful Master in the year 1896.
  • Brother George Thomas Greenhalgh, born in Fall River, January 10, 1864, was raised to the sublime degree of a Master Mason in Newton Lodge September 3, 1890, also becoming a Charter member of Brigham Lodge. He dimitted from Newton Lodge May 4, 1892. There is no record of this Brother ever having held any office.
  • Worshipful Brother Alexander H. Fobare, born in Clinton, New York, March 24, 1862, received all his degrees in Brigham Lodge, becoming a Master Mason Dec. 23, 1891. He went through the chairs and served as Worshipful Master in the year 1899. Until a few years ago, Brother Fobare was one of our most enthusiastic members. He now lives in Longmeadow, which is quite a distance for a man of his age to travel to Ludlow.
  • Rev. Brother George Francis Durgin was born in Oxford, Maine, July 19, 1860. He received all the degrees in Brigham Lodge and was raised to the degree of Master Mason May 17, 1892. There is no record of this Brother ever having held any office.

Today we hope to see these Brothers honored for their faithfulness to Freemasonry by having Veteran's Medals, as given by the Grand Lodge, presented to them by Most Worshipful Grand Master Albert A. Schaefer.

At the present time, Brigham Lodge has six of its members serving in the Armed Forces of their country—Brothers Dr. R. M. Mackintosh, Norman F. Hines, William C. Easson, Walter M. Janes, Norman P. Sunter, John P. Birrell. We wish these men Godspeed, with the heartfelt wish of every member of Brigham Lodge that they return safely to their families when peace is again restored to the world. Several of our members also have sons serving in the Army and Navy. The present officers of Brigham Lodge are:

  • Charles L. Sayles, Worshipful Master
  • Thomas Finn, Senior Warden
  • Frank S. Moon, Junior Warden
  • David Irvine, Treasurer
  • Alexander Kidd, Secretary
  • Warren S. Rowland, Chaplain
  • John Janes, Marshal
  • Wesley R. Brehart, Senior Deacon
  • Norman P. Sunter, Junior Deacon
  • William E. P. Ehlers, Senior Steward
  • William B. Johnson, Junior Steward
  • William MacFarlane, Tyler

It has been most interesting to this Committee to look over the old Records of Brigham Lodge in the preparation of this history, and as we bring it to a close, we can but wish for Brigham Lodge and its members the same successful years in the future that have marked those of the past.

75TH ANNIVERSARY HISTORY, MAY 1967

From Proceedings, Page 1967-232:

By Wor. Earl N. Shepard.

There is an old and often repeated Chinese Proverb: "If you would walk a thousand miles, you must take the first step". This is the story of the first step in the history of Brigham Lodge, and of some of the people who brought it about.

Turning back the pages of history to the late 19th Century we find a strange world indeed. The "horseless carriage", the "flying machine", and the "motorbike" were no more than hazy visions in the minds of but a few dreamers. Locally, the only means of transportation were "shank's mare", horse-drawn vehicle or horseback; for longer distances there was the steam train and, perhaps, the electric car. And except for these latter two, things had been the same for more than two hundred and fifty years. Yet, what appears to us to be hardships were but the accepted way of life to our brethren of 75 years ago.

Their interest in Masonry was such, however, that they thought little of an hour's journey over muddy and deeply-rutted roads in order to attend lodge. For those Masons residing in Ludlow the nearest lodge was Newton Lodge in Wilbraham, a considerable journey in those times; yet it appears from the records that many of them made this journey regularly.

The rapid growth of the local mills after the Civil War had brought to Ludlow many skilled workers from neighboring towns, as well as from England and Scotland. Many of these men were Masons when they came here; many others, being favorably impressed, were desirous of becoming Masons. Hence, it is not surprising that on. July 4, 1888 an attempt was made to move Newton Lodge to Ludlow. This motion was defeated by a narrow margin of 16 for and 21 against.

The next mention we find of an attempt to establish a lodge in Ludlow is contained in the earliest known records of Brigham Lodge. On February 3, 1891 a group of fifteen Master Masons met in the Boston and Albany railroad station in Ludlow for the purpose of exploring the possibilities of organizing a lodge in Ludlow. Frank S. King was chosen as Chairman and Fred L. Burr as Secretary; Charles F. Grosvenor, A. H. Halford and A. H. Bartlett were appointed a committee to meet with the District Deputy Grand Master regarding steps to be taken to secure a Charter; and Charles F. Grosvenor was appointed to draft the petition to Grand Lodge. Others present were John L. Mann, John Hobson, Frank A. Towne, E. F. Lovett, George Elphinstone, Henry Burke, Oscar J. Hunt, John Robinson, John McLeish and A. J. Hobson. All present made themselves a committee to invite all interested brothers to meet with them at their next meeting.

At the second meeting of this committee held on the evening of February 22, 1891, in the same place, the following brothers had joined the movement: Edward E. Fuller, Wor. Bro. George L. Streeter (Past Master of Newton Lodge), F. N. Andrews, Gilbert S. Atchinson, James Lawe, Charles F. Howard, George D. Green and Lewis J. Nolde. This must, indeed, have been an exciting meeting; how we wish we might have been there as an unseen and silent observer. The committee which interviewed the District Deputy Grand Master made a favorable report including the steps to be taken to secure a dispensation and, eventually, a Charter. A committee was appointed to prepare and present petitions to Newton, Belcher, Roswell Lee and Hampden Lodges; those who would serve as Master and Wardens of the new lodge were chosen; steps were instituted to assure the lodge of temporary quarters and the name of the lodge was chosen by unanimous consent.

The records do not show any further meetings of this committee; but they do indicate a great deal of activity during the next five or six weeks. Frequent meetings were held with the District Deputy; at least one meeting was held with the Grand Lecturer, who informed the brethren that, if they did get a dispensation, he was sure that the Grand Lodge had an extra set of regalia which they would lend the Lodge until such time as they secured a Charter and could get their own. Arrangements were made for the temporary use of a large room on the second floor of the Grammar School building; this room had been used by the Board of Selectmen, who graciously sought other quarters for their regular meetings. Petitions were presented to Belcher Lodge by Frank S. King, to Roswell Lee Lodge by Albert H. Halford, to Hampden Lodge by Charles F. Grosvenor; Fred L. Burr presented the petition to Newton Lodge and, although they well knew that this would mean a substantial loss in their membership which it would take them years to recover, they approved the petition.

The records of Grand Lodge show that in April 1891 the Grand Master received a petition from fifty Master Masons, asking for a dispensation for a new Lodge to be called "Brigham Lodge", and to be located in Ludlow. After the necessary investigation, approval, and recommendation, the Grand Master issued the Dispensation on July 8, 1891. It is interesting to note that this Dispensation was granted almost exactly three years after the motion to move Newton Lodge to Ludlow was defeated.

Brigham Lodge, U.D., held its first meeting on July 11, 1891. At this meeting it was "Voted to change Stated Communication from second Saturday to Tuesday on or before the full moon". This is not so amazing when one considers that for most people traveling at night the only available light was moonlight. The Lodge was also addressed at this meeting by Brother Lemuel H. Brigham of Chicopee Lodge "in an eloquent and feeling address, which was received with much enthusiasm".

At the second Stated Communication held July 21, 1891, it was . . . "Voted that the Secretary purchase . . . fifty palm leaf fans, for the use of the Lodge". Do it yourself air-conditioning! Applications were received from Eugene Howrey Hubbard of Ludlow, Frank Lawe of Springfield and Alexander Henry Fobare of Springfield. At the request of Bro. Oscar J. Hunt, the Worshipful Master announced that the large and elegant Bible which appeared upon the altar for the first time was the property of Brother Hunt and that it was his desire that it be used by Brigham Lodge until they should secure a Charter, after which Brother Hunt promises himself the pleasure of presenting it to the Lodge. This Bible, bearing the inscription "Presented to Brigham Lodge by Bro. Oscar J. Hunt, July 21, 1891", is on display. During the first year we received seventeen applications for the degrees, only one of which was rejected. Fifteen candidates were raised that year; the remaining applicant, Dr. James W. Hannum, received his first degree January 19, 1892 and his second and third degrees on September 12, 1893. No explanation is given for this long hold-over.

On January 12, 1892 a committee of five was appointed to make all necessary arrangements to secure permanent quarters for the Lodge. Apparently they had no doubts about securing a Charter. They had already processed fourteen applications, and had a by-laws committee hard at work. On March 8, 1892 this Building Committee presented several plans and the matter was opened for discussion. What the several plans were is not indicated in the records; but, after much discussion, it was "Voted, that the plans submitted by the Ludlow Manufacturing Company be committed to the existing committee with power to accept the proposition of said Company and secure the completion as soon as possible of the Masonic Hall". And, on April 12, 1892 it was reported by the Building Committee that the Masonic building now being constructed would in all probability be ready for occupancy some time in June next. All of which had reference to the building now occupied by Brigham Lodge, which originally stood diagonally across Winsor Street at the corner of Chestnut Street. A photo of it at that location is on display.

Finally, on May 31, 1892, in the belief that they had satisfied all requirements, thirty-three of the original petitioners for dispensation submitted another petition to Grand Lodge, this time for a Charter. This petition, along with the records and by-laws, was referred to the appropriate committee in Grand Lodge which made a favorable report and "recommended a Charter be granted to Brigham Lodge".

Saturday, July 9, 1892, must have been a very large day in Ludlow. That was the day set aside for the dedication of this Masonic Temple, the Constitution of Brigham Lodge and the installation of its officers. Grand Lodge was opened at 1:15 P.M. in the ante-room after which the Grand Officers were conducted into the lodge room where they assumed their respective stations. After appropriate prayer had been offered the working tools were surrendered by the Architect and the building was then examined by the Grand Officers. Their report being satisfactory the new Hall was then solemnly dedicated by the M. W. Grand Master to Freemasonry, to Virtue and to Universal Benevolence. Brigham Lodge was then formally constituted, immediately after which the officers were duly installed. Upon completion of the installation the Grand Officers withdrew and Grand Lodge was closed in Ample Form at 3:30 P.M. Thus, in the short space of a little more than two hours, another milestone in the history of Masonry in Massachusetts was erected.

From that point on the history of Brigham Lodge seems to parallel the history of most any lodge anywhere in the world. We've had our ups and downs, our financial problems, our periods of prosperity, happiness, sorrow, good times and bad. But through it all we have survived more than seventy-five years without interruption, although it did appear that some interruption might be necessary back in 1917. For in that year the management of the mills decided they needed the land upon which this Hall stood; so they offered to sell the building to the Lodge if we would move it to its present site on land donated by the mills. During the process of moving the building, no small undertaking in those days, it was necessary to leave it in the middle of Winsor Street for several days. Unfortunately degree work had previously been scheduled for one of those nights; but did this stop our Brothers? Of course not. The degree was conferred by candlelight in this building sitting in the middle of Winsor Street.

It is interesting to note that in 1891 Newton Lodge had a membership of 78; one year later, after the Constitution of Brigham Lodge, Newton Lodge had but 55, Brigham Lodge 47. In 1902, ten years later, Brigham Lodge had double and Newton Lodge had dropped to 47 members. Enough cannot possibly be said for the generosity of our Brothers in Newton Lodge, who, in 1891 approved the petition for Brigham Lodge; for, had they disapproved it, they being the closest lodge to Ludlow and the one most apt to suffer, it is likely that Brigham Lodge would never have come into being. And Newton Lodge might have gained many of those who built Brigham Lodge to its present membership. Surely, their decision to approve the petition must have been arrived at after a great deal of thought and in the true spirit of "submitting to the will of the majority for the good of the whole", thinking first of the good of Masonry in general and giving only secondary thought to the effect on their own Lodge.

One of the most interesting personalities to come to our attention was our first Master, Worshipful Charles F. Grosvenor. He was an astute businessman, civic-minded and every inch a Mason. He served the Town of Ludlow for three years as Moderator and four years as Selectman. From 1888 to 1893 he was a Representative to the General Court in Boston from this District. He was the first President of Ludlow Savings Bank, having been appointed to that office by the original incorporators of the bank, all of whom were intimately connected with the early history of Brigham Lodge. He, along with Benjamin F. Burr and Edward E. Fuller, purchased 18 acres of land along Center Street, (near Haviland Pond) as the site for Island Pond Cemetery. It was Mr. Grosvenor's charge to lay it out and prepare it for use. In 1881 he was appointed to be the second trial justice in the Town of Ludlow, an office he held until 1892 when he moved to Palmer. He is said to have been a very rich man in his time. But adversity came upon him in his later years and rather than save himself through bankruptcy, he paid out over a quarter of a million dollars in two weeks, worked as an ordinary mill bookkeeper until his eyesight failed, and died dependent upon Grand Lodge relief. He was literally buried by a committee of Past Masters of Brigham Lodge, who actually lowered his remains into the grave and covered the casket. At the time he retired as Master it was not the custom of the lodge to give a Past Master's jewel. He purchased from personal funds the jewel which he proudly wore the rest of his life; upon his death it became the property of the Lodge and is, by tradition, entrusted to the Senior Past Master of the Lodge. It is now worn by Worshipful Brother Frank Birse, who was Master in 1918. Truly, this jewel is a beautiful piece of work.

Lemuel Hawley Brigham, for whom this Lodge was named, was born in Saint Albans, Vermont, on August 17, 1816, the son of Dr. Luther Brigham and Eunice Hawley Brigham, and a direct descendent of Thomas Brigham, a Puritan, who settled in Marlboro about 1626. He attended the local schools after which he completed his education at Mt. Pleasant Academy in Amherst, Massachusetts.

In 1836 he moved to Chicopee where he was employed as Superintendent of the Dwight Manufacturing Company for thirty-two years. While living there he was a key figure in the growth and development of the Universalist Church in that City. In 1868 he persuaded Charles T. Hubbard, owner of the Boston Flax Mills in East Braintree, to move his entire operation to Ludlow. They formed a company known as the Ludlow Manufacturing Associates and purchased the existing mills in Ludlow together with much of the land on both sides of the Chicopee River. During the next twenty years until his retirement. Mr. Brigham was the Agent for the mills, and their growth and development made of Ludlow a prosperous "mill town". He was one of the original incorporators of Ludlow Savings Bank, when it was founded in February 1888, being associated in this venture with, among others, Dr. James W. Hannum, Marquis D. L. Towne, and James Henderson all of whom later became members of Brigham Lodge.

Studious and well-traveled, both here and abroad, he acquired during his lifetime a liberal education. He was for many years a member of the Lyceum Lecture Committee and as such frequently lectured around the area. He could have gone far in politics but, although frequently sought by the Republican Party, he consistently declined to be considered for any public office. He was known to have given liberally to charity, carefully avoiding any publicity. During the twenty years he lived in Ludlow he appears to have become one of the most prominent men in Town; yet, we find no public building, nor even an alley, named for him. There is, so far as we can find, only BRIGHAM LODGE a living memorial to a distinguished man, and an outstanding Mason.

Lemuel Hawley Brigham was raised in Chicopee Lodge on December 20, 1859. He was a 32° Mason, a member of Massachusetts Consistory (his sword hangs in the glassed case over our Tyler's station). His name appears on the Charter of Unity Chapel of Royal Arch Masons, September 27, 1876, but we have not been able to locate his previous affiliation, presumably either Morning Star or Mount Holyoke Chapter. He was a member of Springfield Commandery #6 Knights Templar at the time of his death; they conducted his funeral service. On September 6, 1892 he received his demit from Chicopee Lodge immediately following which he applied for membership in Brigham Lodge; he was ballotted on and accepted in November 1892. So highly was he regarded by his brethren in Brigham Lodge that on January 6, 1894, "Brother John Hobson presented a fine large photograph of Brother Lemuel H. Brigham to the Lodge, which was paid for by subscriptions from the members". This photograph, though slightly faded with age, still hangs beside the Tyled door; a fresh copy, made only this year, hangs downstairs and we hope this Lodge will never be without a good likeness of him.

Brother Brigham died peacefully at the home of his daughter, Mrs. E. P. Ball, in Palmer, on May 6, 1896. A Special Communication of Brigham Lodge was opened at 10:14 A.M. on Saturday May 9th to attend his funeral. Burial service was by the Knights Templar; Brigham Lodge furnished the pallbearers. According to the records, there were 47 officers and members present at the cemetery. His remains were deposited in the family plot in Maple Grove Cemetery in Chicopee.

On June 1, 1897 the Worshipful Master brought to the attention of the Lodge "communications which had been received from Miss Linda H. Brigham, requesting the Lodge to undertake temporarily the custody and care of a marble bust of her father, and give it a position in the Lodge Room, where the friends of our late Brother might have the pleasure of seeing it, until such time as she might ask for its return". This bust has graced the southeast corner of our Lodge-Room ever since.

In the early days of this Lodge, it was customary, upon the death of a member, for the Worshipful Master to appoint a committee to draw up appropriate resolutions. Such resolutions were usually quite formal and often reptitious, yet, many of them revealed quite plainly the sentiments of the Lodge. Such, we think, was the resolutions passed by the Lodge upon the death of Brother Brigham, which is as follows:

"Whereas, it has seemed good to the God and Father of all men, to take from us our late Brother, Lemuel Hawley Brigham, after a useful and well spent life, and whereas in the death of our Brother this Lodge has sustained the loss of an honored and beloved member, whose name our Lodge has the honor to bear, whose heart was with us in the upbuilding of our beloved institution, whose hand was ever ready to aid and assist in the work, and whose memory will be cherished by each and all so long as memory shall endure:

Be it Resolved that the Altar be draped in mourning for three months, and that we extend to the family of our deceased Brother, our most sincere and heartfelt sympathy to them in their bereavement, that this resolution be entered upon the Records of the Lodge, a copy thereof be transmitted to the family of our deceased Brother and copies be publicized in the daily press.

Benj. F. Burr
James Henderson
Alfred H. Bartlett"

The record of the second meeting of the "founding committee" contains the following: "Voted unanimously, that the name Brigham be chosen as the name of the Lodge". No other remark was found regarding the choice of a name, nor was there any elaboration on this notation. It appears, then, that there was no doubt in anyone's mind as to who should be immortalized. We wondered why this was so, and now we know.

And so ends the story of the First Step. We have taken many steps since then, and have grown from the original 33 Charter Members to 422 as of now. We look back upon our heritage from the past and hopefully forward to the time when Masonry will have accomplished in the world all those things it, and it alone, is capable of doing, for we believe the time must come when mankind will adopt the universal brotherhood, charity and understanding and eliminate bigotry and intolerance from all aspects of life. And we are sure that, as we come to understand these things and to practice them ourselves, we set an example which others must eventually follow.

The past is history, the future, hope. Let us, then, hope for an even brighter and more prosperous future; may this hall continue to shelter this Lodge and all it represents for many, many more years, and may this Lodge endure till time shall be no more.

OTHER

  • 1914 (Presentation of flag to Grand Lodge)

EVENTS

INSTALLATION, NOVEMBER 1989

From TROWEL, Summer 1990, Page 16:

Brigham Lodge Installation

A family affair on Saturday evening. Oct. 28. 1989, saw the installation of officers for 1990 of Brigham Lodge, Ludlow, held in an open ceremony at the Springfield Masonic Temple.

The officers installed were: Wor. Robert M. Radowski, Master; Bro. Glenn Potter, Sr. Warden: Bro. Donald C. Eggleston, Jr.. Warden; Wor. John A. Thomas, Treasurer; Wor. Norman K. Green, Secretary; Wor. Michael J. Sands. Chaplain: Bro. James T. Bottum. Marshal: Bro. William R. Butman, Jr.. Senior Deacon; Bro. James S. Kalita, Junior Deacon: Bro. Alexander Kalita. Jr., Senior Steward: Bro. Ektor H. Trubounis. Junior Steward; Bro. Ralph W. Pierce, Tyler.

The family affiliations were many: Wor. Norman K. Green installed his son-in-law, Bro. Robert M. Radowski; Wor. Raymond E. Potter installed his son, Bro. Glenn Potter; Wor. William H. Brittain installed his son-in-law, Bro. Donald C. Eggleston. Wor. Edward W.W. Brittain is brother to Wor. Williams H. Brittain; Bro. Alexander Kalita. Jr. and Bro. James S. Kalita are twins: Wor. Robert M. Radowski and Bro. Glenn Potter are brother-in-laws. A number of relatives of Barbara Green, wife of Wor. Norman K. Green, came from Vermont to attend the installation. They included her brothers, Rt. Wor. Stanley S. Hinkley, Past D. D. G. M. of Vermont District #2 and P. M. Adoniram Lodge #42 of Manchester, VT; Wor. Roger E. Hinkley, P.M. Vermont Lodge #18 of Windsor, VT; Wor. Evered W. Hinkley. P.M. Vermont Lodge #18 of Windsor; Wor. George A. Hinkley, P.M. and Secretary St. John's Lodge #41 of Springfield, VT; Bro Robert H. Hinkley, Jr., Deacon St. John's Lodge #41; and her nephew, Wor. Robert Treat, P.M. Adonirman Lodge #42.

A reception at Brigham Lodge immediately followed the ceremony.

Submitted by: Ektor Harry Trubounis. Brigham Lodge.


GRAND LODGE OFFICERS


DISTRICTS

1891: District 16 (Chicopee)

1911: District 18 (Springfield)

1914: District 33 (Springfield)

1927: District 18 (Chicopee)

2003: District 28


LINKS

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Massachusetts Lodges