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Originally named Ben Franklin Lodge

Location: Grafton

Chartered By: George M. Randall

Charter Date: 03/10/1852 V-372

Precedence Date: 03/15/1851

Current Status: Active


  • Levi Rawson, 1852 SN
  • Charles B. Jencks
  • George W. Cromb, Jr.
  • George F. Slocomb
  • W. D. Wheeler, 1862
  • John W. Slocomb, 1863-1865
  • John W. Bigelow, 1866
  • Fred Waterman, 1867
  • Gilbert Cummings, 1868, 1869
  • Silas A. Forbush, 1870, 1871
  • Herbert F. Allen, 1872
  • Andrew Kerr, 1873, 1874, 1886
  • John F. Searles, 1875
  • Marquis E. Steele, 1876, 1887
  • Benjamin F. Gibson, 1878, 1879, 1880, 1883
  • Solon F. Smith, 1881-1882, 1884
  • Charles W. Cambell, 1885, 1888
  • Loender C. Emerson, 1889, 1890, 1893, 1894
  • Frank H. Prentice, 1891-1892
  • Sumner F. Leonard, 1895-1896
  • Stanley H. Holmes, 1897-1899
  • John F. Buxton, 1900, 1902, 1903
  • William Larmour, 1901
  • George A. Dipper, 1904, 1905
  • James H. Johnstone, 1906, 1907
  • Alfred Young, 1908, 1909
  • Lyman A. Isham, 1910, 1911
  • Robert B. Stannis, 1912
  • Walter W. Scott, 1913
  • Michael Hoone, 1914, 1915
  • Walter W. True, 1916, 1917
  • Ernest I. Webster, 1918
  • Lewis A. Hastings, 1919
  • Wallace G. Holbrook, 1920
  • Samuel B. Young, 1921
  • Earle D. Hargraves, 1922
  • Raymond F. Johnson, 1923
  • J. Edwin Wilcox, 1924
  • B. Alfred Wheeler, 1925
  • Albert T. Carpenter, 1926
  • LaForrest W. Lincoln, 1927
  • Alvrado Henry, 1928
  • Carl E. Hatch, 1929
  • J. Warren Ramsey, 1930
  • Ralph W. Nichols, 1931
  • Corydon R. Nichols, 1932
  • Albert Sawyer Cole, 1933
  • William Lyle Macintosh, 1934; N
  • Edward Eames Taft, 1935
  • Henry Rufus Hoyle, 1936
  • Eugene N. Yarrington, 1937
  • Halmer Victor Tornwall, 1938
  • Arthur A. Phelps, 1939
  • Peter Brown Fleming, 1940
  • Charles M. Wade, 1941
  • Leonard Rawn, 1942; N
  • Maurice W. Buck, 1943
  • Milton E. Temple, 1944
  • Willard Barrett Brown, 1945
  • Perley E. Goddard, 1946
  • Clayton H. Cook, 1947
  • Raymond D. Jordan, 1948
  • S. Howard Ricker, 1949
  • James H. Fields, 1950
  • Paul L. Budge, 1951
  • Clyde E. Brown, 1952
  • Nelson L. Pratt, 1953
  • Newell A. Gordon, 1954
  • Leonard E. Richardson, 1955
  • Clayton C. Fowler, 1956
  • Robert C. Roney, 1957
  • Raymond H. Allen, 1958
  • Benjamin J. Garland, Jr, 1959
  • Clarence F. Logan, 1960
  • Wallace E. Lowe, 1961; N
  • E. Andrew Harvie, 1962
  • Clifford F. Howe, 1963, 1983; N
  • Robert W. Forsberg, 1964
  • Sydney H. Arnold, 1965
  • Kazar D. Kazarian, 1966
  • Gilbert W. Nichols, 1967, 1992
  • Clifford O. Brown, 1968; N
  • Donald E. Vorce, 1969
  • William E. Cressey, 1970
  • Robert C. Fox, 1971
  • Allen H. Ojerholm, 1972
  • Richard L. Randal, 1973
  • Russell E. Richardson, 1974
  • Barry L. Dennis, Sr., 1975
  • Wendell P. Barthelmes, Jr., 1976
  • Robert M. Stuart, 1977
  • 'Paul J. Ustin, 1978
  • Wayne R. Modig, 1981, 1982
  • David F. Beaber, 1984
  • William E. George, 1985
  • Richard H. Wood, 1986
  • Herbert Wheeler, 1987
  • Robert W. Dills, 1988, 2003
  • David V. Mankevetch, 1989
  • Jeffrey H. Adams, 1990, 1998, 2000, 2006
  • Steven D. Boyns, 1991, 1999
  • Ross E. Schacher, 1993, 1997
  • Ernest H. Bates, 1994, 1995
  • John B. Campbell, 1996
  • William A. Marks, Sr., 2001, 2002
  • Michael T. Swanson, 2004
  • Grant B. Fritchey, 2005
  • Joseph F. Wronski, 2007
  • Kevin R. Hansen, 2008, 2009
  • John R. Herrmann, 2010
  • Matthew C. Wood, 2011
  • Raymond F. Beland, 2012


  • Petition for Dispensation: 1852 originally named Ben Franklin Lodge.
  • Petition for Charter: 1852


  • 1942 (90th Anniversary)
  • 1952 (Centenary)



1881 1917 1919 1920 1924 1929 1931 1935 1949 1957 1967 1979 1993 2003 2006 2015 2016


  • 1942 (90th Anniversary History, 1942-48; see below)
  • 1952 (Centenary History, 1952-136; see below)


From Proceedings, Page 1942-48:

History of Franklin Lodge - 1852-1942
by Worshipful Edward E. Taft

Ninety-one years ago, nine members of Olive Branch Lodge of Sutton, Massachusetts, petitioned the Grand Lodge of Masons in Massachusetts for a dispensation to form a new Lodge in Grafton, this new Lodge to be known as Franklin Lodge, A. F. & A. M. This petition was dated March 15, 1851, and was signed by the following: E. W. Ellsworth, A. P. Benchley, Royal Leland, Levi Rawson, Thomas Harris, Hiram Fernald, William B. Fenner, John W. Slocomb and Hilliel Baker. Approximately a year later, on March 10, 1852, ten members of Franklin Lodge, all of them from Olive Branch Lodge, petitioned for a Charter as follows: Levi Rawson, John W. Slocomb, Charles B. Jencks, Robert W. Flagg, Royal Leland, Hilliel Baker, James Merriam, Jr., George A. Field, E. W. Ellsworth and Hiram Fernald. Ninety years have passed since these Brethren, through their desire to build and expand the Temple of Freemasonry, affixed their signatures to the document which, by recognition of the Grand Lodge, created Franklin Lodge of Grafton.

We are here assembled to commemorate that event.

Ninety years is a considerable period of time, particularly here in this country which is so young in comparison with the other nations of the world. Much has been accomplished in that period of time, and Masonry has been no exception. Franklin Lodge was founded by men of high ideals, as evidenced by the report of the District Deputy Grand Master of 1857, which says:

"During the year 1857 Franklin Lodge at Grafton has not made a Mason. The Lodge is small and has but twenty-two members. They occupy their time in acquiring a knowledge of the ritual and perfecting their work, that they may, when they have work, do it as directed by the Grand Lodge. Though few in number, they perhaps justly pride themselves on the worth and character of their members, which they think of more consequence to sustain than to increase their numbers."

In 1862, a fire destroyed the town hall in which the Lodge met, together with all the Lodge regalia and records, so that we have no history to draw upon until October 21, 1862, when the members met to reorganize their affairs and prepare to continue in the work that they had started. Until they could find a suitable place in which to meet, they met at the home of Brother George F. Slocomb and at the Hotel Kirby, now known as the Grafton Inn. They later procured a hall from Captain Warren for fifty dollars per year, this building being later sold to the town and is the one in which we are now assembled. The lodge room, I understand, is the same, although the rest of the building has been remodeled, in that the factory space which occupied the west end of the structure has given way to town offices.

On January 8, 1863, Franklin Lodge opened on the third degree, waiving all ceremony as was the custom during this period, and proceeded to elect officers, by virtue of a dispensation from the Grand Lodge, as follows:

  • George F. Slocomb, Worshipful Master
  • Fred Waterman, Senior Warden
  • Richard R. Crane, Junior Warden
  • Rufus E. Warren, Treasurer
  • Hiram Fernald, Secretary

On January 29th they received their first application for the degrees in their new quarters.

Worshipful Brother Levi Rawson, who was our first Master, was appointed District Deputy Grand Master for the Fourth Masonic District and served in that office during the years 1857, 1858 and 1859. Not until December, 1935, was Franklin Lodge again favored by recognition of Grand Lodge in the appointment of Worshipful Brother William L. Macintosh as District Deputy Grand Master for the Worcester Twenty-Second Masonic District. Franklin Lodge has also been included in the Twelfth, Twentieth and Twenty-First Masonic Districts.

The affairs of Franklin Lodge have been, with few exceptions, in capable hands, as evidenced by the long terms of some of its officers, the most outstanding being the office of Treasurer. There have been only four Brethren who have held that office, the present incumbent now serving his forty-third consecutive year. Other instances which were out of the ordinary was the election to the office of Master of Brother Benjamin F. Gibson, who served Franklin Lodge in no other office, being elected nine months after affiliating with Franklin Lodge from Montgomery Lodge of Milford, and the election of John W. Bigelow as Master. This Brother had been elected and installed as Senior Deacon on January 5, 1865, by Right Worshipful Charles C. Dame, Deputy Grand Master of the Grand Lodge, and on November 11th of the same year was elected and installed Master.

Many instances of how the members of Franklin Lodge have upheld the traditions of Masonry may be found in going over the records. The most striking example, however, is recorded in the year 1866, and Franklin Lodge is on the receiving end. One of our Brethren, Augustus Slocomb, became ill and died in Natchez, Mississippi. The correspondence between Franklin Lodge and Andrew Jackson Lodge No. 2 of Natchez follows:

March 7, 1866

"To the Worshipful Master of Andrew Jackson Lodge No. 2 of Natchez, Miss.,

My Dear Sir and Brother:

As the Secretary of Franklin Lodge, F. & A.M., it becomes my duty to transmit herewith to you a copy of the resolutions passed by this Lodge on the death of Augustus Slocomb.

Permit me also, in behalf of our Brethren here, to tender through you, the most sincere and heartfelt thanks of our Lodge to those whose kindness and sympathy were bestowed upon our late Brother, but whose names it was impracticable to embody in the resolutions. I trust that the truly Masonic deeds recorded in the accompanying resolutions will have their due influence in convincing the uninitiated that Masonry is not influenced by sectional prejudices or party animosities; and I am sure I do but express the sentiments of our Brethren here, when I say that those deeds will never be forgotten by us, or by those who shall follow us in days to come.

Truly and Fraternally yours,

G. Cummings

Secretary of Franklin Lodge, F. & A.M.

Natchez, April 25, 1866.

My Dear Sir and Brother:-

Your letter of the 7th March together with the resolutions of thanks to the members of Andrew Jackson Lodge No. 2 and other Masons for their attention to our late Brother Augustus Slocomb, a member of your Lodge, was received and read in open Lodge. In answer to your letter permit me to say, it matters not how widely we may have been politically separated, we have never known and I hope we shall never know any difference when called upon to discharge any of those great duties we owe to each other as Masons, and if doubtful in all else, place full confidence in us as Masons. I have the pleasure of introducing to your kind attention Brother C. Tyler who will hand you this letter, he is a good and true Mason.

Yours Fraternally,

S. M. Stewart, W. M.,
Andrew Jackson Lodge No. 2.

This bit of correspondence has been incorporated in every history of Franklin Lodge, but it seems to so aptly demonstrate the tenet of Brotherly Love that I have again used it in these pages.

On February 2, 1871, the family of the late Brother Hiram Fernald presented the Lodge with a small book containing the names of the petitioners for Dispensation and the Charter members of Franklin Lodge. It also contained the names of all the members made in the Lodge to that time, the dates when they were entered, passed and raised and all the names of members admitted and when. This gift was accompanied by a request that this book be placed in the hands of some Brother,'so that in case of fire it would be preserved. This book is still intact and was evidently the work of Hiram Fernald, who was our first Secretary. It was placed in the hands of Brother William S. Wood and was evidently passed on by him to others, as the last entry reads, "William Gillespie raised Sept. 8, 1908."

Another item of interest is recorded on July 18, ,1872, when a communication was received from Hiram Lodge No. 10 of Washington, D. C., informing the members of Franklin Lodge of the death of Brother C. A. de la Mesa, a member of our Lodge. It stated that he had died in the Military hospital there and that Hiram Lodge No. 10 had buried him with Masonic honors in Arlington Cemetery. The members of Franklin Lodge voted to reimburse Hiram Lodge for their expenses in connection with the Brother.

In 1882, on November 9th, Franklin Lodge was honored by a visit from the Grand Master, Most Worshipful Samuel Crocker Lawrence, on the occasion of the installation of officers. The Master-elect was installed into office by the District Deputy, Right Worshipful Brother Arba C. Slater. After his installation, the Grand Master "assumed the East and made an earnest speech in regard to the Masonic Temple and of the indebtedness of the Grand Lodge and made a strong appeal for all members to pay the seven dollars commutation tax this year and was followed by Right Worshipful Edwin Wright who explained why it should be paid and the benefit derived by so doing by both Grand and Subordinate Lodges also to individual members after which Right Worshipful Brother Wyseman Marshall assumed the East and installed the Officers for the ensuing year." This matter had been a bone of contention for some time and on previous occasions had been laid on the table without even very much discussion. At the close of the above mentioned meeting, the Brethren adjourned to the banquet hall for a collation and were entertained by Right Worshipful Brother Marshall, who recited several poems) "to the delight and edification of all present and a cordial good time was enjoyed by all."

A special communication was called on Nov. 21st for the express purpose of acting on the Grand Lodge commutation tax, and after much discussion, a motion was made and carried that the members assume this tax. Whether the "cordial good time" had anything to do with the acceptance of this tax is not apparent but the Lodge voted to borrow the money to pay Grand Lodge; the members to reimburse the Lodge as they could.

Another matter that did not meet with the approval of the Lodge was an appeal for funds from the Trustees of the Washington Masonic Memorial Temple. This was first brought before the Lodge in 1890, again in 1908, and finally the Lodge voted to contribute five dollars in 1909. This might lead one to the impression that the members of Franklin Lodge were what might be termed "tight Yankees" and by the way, I have been told that a "generous Yankee is tighter than a tight Scotchman" but there are numerous instances recorded where Franklin Lodge has come forward to the assistance of individual members, other Lodges, and even some who were not members of the Craft.

As has been mentioned before, William L. Macintosh was installed District Deputy Grand Master for the Twenty-second (Worcester) Masonic District Dec. 27, 1935. On October 29, 1936, Franklin Lodge had what I believe to be the largest meeting in its history in point of attendance. It was the occasion of the official visit of Right Worshipful Brother Macintosh, but the real thrill of the evening was the conferring of the Master Mason Degree on Brother George Paul Zarynoff, better known in sporting circles at least, as "The Count." A dinner was served that evening at 6:30 at which 286 were seated. This dinner, like the one tonight, had two halls for the accommodation of the Brethren, the town hall and the vestry of the Unitarian Church. Later at the meeting, the official count was as follows: eighty on the Suite, 259 visitors and ninety members of Franklin Lodge. All in all, it was the kind of a meeting that we like to remember.

This is the condensed history of Franklin Lodge for the past ninety years. To complete the record, it only remains to set down the events of this evening. Tonight, two of our members have been honored by receiving from the hands of the Grand Master of Masons in Massachusetts their Veteran's Medals, signifying fifty years of membership in the Masonic Fraternity. They are Jefferson Henry Lyford and Theodore Francis Smith. It has also been our privilege and pleasure to welcome and be host to the Grand Master of Masons in Massachusetts, Most Worshipful Albert A. Schaefer, and his Suite. It has been a pleasure also to have the many friends of Franklin Lodge present and to share this evening with them.

In closing, permit me to say something which does not affect Franklin Lodge, except as Franklin Lodge is a small part of the whole Masonic picture. Freemasonry is as a house that is builded upon a rock. There it stands. "The lapse of time, the ruthless hand of ignorance, and the devastations of war, have laid waste and destroyed many valuable monuments of antiquity on which the utmost exertions of human genius have been employed. Freemasonry notwithstanding still survives." Let each one of us vow to uphold the principles of Brotherly Love and Affection, one for the other, so that when the final chapter is written there shall be for all men the reality of a democratic and a peaceful world.


From Proceedings, Page 1952-136:

By Right Worshipful William Lyle Macintosh.

One hundred years ago, on March 10, 1852, Franklin Lodge received a charter from the Grand Lodge of Masons in Massachusetts. We are assembled in the Town Hall this evening not only to commemorate that event, but to pause in our labors that we may evaluate ourselves and our work. We are mindful that our thoughts and actions should ever concern the future but it is prudent to pause occasionally and look backward over the years to determine whether we are really progressing or whether we have swerved from our course and are expending our energies in false pursuits. An anniversary, and particularly an anniversary marking a span of one hundred years, affords an excellent opportunity for such a review of our actions.

Many of the problems and issues of daily life have not changed since Franklin Lodge came into being in 1852. Then as now, the national issue in our foreign policy was whether we should intervene in world affairs or contain ourselves at home. The following quotation from the Massachusetts Spy of that time might well be found in substance in today's newspapers:

Men of enlarged sympathies and world-wide philanthropy . . . are doing their utmost to raise a popular clamor for the "oppressed of all nations" . . . We want no man in the presidential chair whose . . . sympathies would involve us in a crusade for liberty around the globe.

In community life, the problems, then as now, involved control of gambling, lotteries and the use of alcoholic beverages. Then as now, the country was shocked with charges of graft and corruption in high government circles and the acceptance of gratuities by government officials. Then as now, the threat of war hung over the country, the great problem of that day being slavery, as our present problem is communism. May we handle our problem as fearlessly and successfully as our Brethren f that day handled theirs.

Tl e petitioners for Franklin Lodge were all members of Olive Branch Lodge, which was then situated in Sutton.

All of the official records of the Lodge prior to October 21, 1862 were lost when the Town House was destroyed by fire, and the subsequent great fire of Boston destroyed many of the Grand Lodge records so that very little can be ascertained about the early activities of the Lodge, although much effort has been devoted by various persons to that end. Worshipful Edward E Taft set forth the available information when he wrote the history for the ninetieth anniversary of the Lodge, and since that history has now become a permanent record, it is the purpose of your present historian to supplement rather than to repeat it.

The records indicate that our Brethren of former times were very attentive to their duty of practicing charity. From their very meager funds, they responded to varied appeals. Among them was a gift to Alert Lodge, No. 89, of Starkville, Mississippi, which had lost its property by fire; twenty-five dollars was given to the yellow fever sufferers of the South; assistance was given to Ashler Lodge of Rockport, Massachusetts; and a contribution was sent to the "suffering Brethren of Galveston, Texas, many of whom had been rendered homeless by the devastation of fire." There are also many cases of assistance to members of the Lodge. Before life insurance was as popular as it is today death meant a serious financial blow to a family so far as funeral expenses were concerned. The Lodge faced the problem squarely and on many occasions paid all or part of a deceased Brother's funeral bill. The duty to help, aid and assist a widow or contribute to her relief was recognized as a solemn obligation that required action and not words. In fact it was voted in open meeting on June 13, 1867, "That it is the duty and privilege of this Lodge to pay all charges at the death of any Brother." This was voted at a time when the dues were one dollar annually and the membership was small. With such limited income, it was inevitable that there should be requests for contributions from the members to carry on the work of the Lodge. The usual procedure was to appoint some Brother to solicit the others for a particular cause and at a succeeding meeting the amount of the collection would be reported. There were many such solicitations, in fact the Lodge had to borrow money at times and pay interest. It can be surmised that the annual dues were maintained at a level that could be afforded by anyone who was worthy of becoming a Mason, while the financing of desirable activities was imposed on the individual member according to his ability and his conscience. Such solicitations have not been required for many years. One of the greatest advances the Lodge has made has been the slow, but steady improvement of its financial position. Long range planning, competent administration, frugality and patience have now established Franklin Lodge in a solid financial position. No organization can function to its full capacity or perform its mission in the community unless it is sound financially. The Brethren who planned during the hard days for a better financial future for Franklin Lodge are to be honored for their wisdom and revered for establishing a tradition of thrift and systematic saving that promises a secure and brighter future.

Many practices of the early years are unknown to us now. For years there was no custom, as there is today, that an appointed officer who is faithful and attentive to his duties will progress through the various stations and in the normal course of events be elected to preside over the Lodge. Many members who held the office of Warden were never elected Worshipful Master, and the Master frequently served several terms. Apparently there was no requirement that an officer serve as Warden before his election as Master. There are instances of persons being elected Master who had not served as Warden, and in one case a Master was elected who had held no other office in the Lodge.

Matters of jurisdiction were handled then by the subordinate Fudges rather than by Grand Lodge. It is interesting in this connection that at a conference of committees from Franklin and Solomon's Temple Lodge of Uxbridge it was agreed that each Lodge should have jurisdiction over applicants from Rockdale and Riverdale. Franklin Lodge also accepted appli- from Northbridge at that time. Considering that those Brethren either walked to Lodge or were conveyed by horse and carriage, they must have been truly zealous in their love of
 Masonry to travel such distances. We are further reminded, from votes of the Lodge allowing the free use of its quarters by the Street Light Association, that our Brethren had to provide their own light on dark nights by carrying a lantern.

It was a revelation to your historian that installation by proxy was once commonly practiced. It is doubtful if any one would be installed in office in a subordinate Lodge today unless he was personally present. In any event, the former practice has been abandoned except under certain conditions in the Grand Lodge.

A case is recorded of a trial before the Lodge. A Brother was accused of having accepted applications for the degrees, together with the accompanying fees, from two persons and of having failed to submit the applications to the Lodge or return the money to the applicants. He was summoned before the Lodge and given a hearing. The master then ordered a secret ballot of guilty or not guilty. A majority ot the members present voted guilty and the accused was expelled from the Lodge. Such a situation, with its inevitable publicity in the community, could not arise today because of our present requirement that applications be issued only by a pre-application committee. The former practice of members' possessing and issuing applications is now unknown. The present practice is a definite improvement in the handling of our internal affairs.

The quick response of our Brethren to the call of duty is illustrated by an entry on April 26, 1876. At ten o'clock that morning a telegraph message was received from the Master of Mount Tabor Lodge in East Boston requesting the performance of the Masonic Burial Service that afternoon. In those days, before the telephone, the problem of notifying the officers of the Lodge must have been most difficult. However, Lodge opened at two o'clock in North Grafton, which was then known as New England Village, with a full complement of officers, and the service was performed.

Every known history of Franklin Lodge has included record of an exchange of correspondence between Andrew Jackson Lodge, No. 2, of Natchez, Mississippi, and Franklin Lodge. Therefore, this record is included in the centennial history. This correspondence illustrates admirably the universality of Freemasonry and that a Mason's charity should equally extensive. It also establishes that our tenet of Brotherly Love can surmount all obstacles.

One of our Brethren, Augustus Slocum, became ill and died in Natchez, Mississippi, in 1866. He was a Northerner in the South at a time when the War between the States had only recently ended, when the wounds of that War had not healed, and hatred and bitterness was at its height. Brother Slocum was attended and cared for as a Mason during the last days of his earthly life by the members of Andrew Jackson Lodge, No. 2, of Natchez. The resolutions adopted by Franklin Lodge on the death of Brother Slocum read in part as follows:

That the most hearty thanks of the Lodge are due and they are hereby tendered to our Brethren of Andrew Jackson Lodge, No. 2, of Natchez, Mississippi, for the kind offices of Brotherly Love and affection bestowed by them upon our late Brother in the closing hours of his earthly life; and that we are the more deeply sensible of, and we do the more truly appreciate, their unremitted attention to his every want, in that he was at the time of his death a sojourner in a strange City, separated from the endearments of home and denied the last affectionate ministrations of his beloved family.

The letter from the Secretary of Franklin Lodge forwarding this resolution to Andrew Jackson Lodge, No. 2, states:

To the Worshipful Master of Andrew Jackson Lodge #2 of Natchez, Miss.:
My dear Sir and Brother:
As the Secretary of Franklin Lodge, A.F. & A.M., it becomes my duty to transmit herewith to you a copy of the resolutions passed by this Lodge on the death of Augustus Slocomb.

Permit me also, in behalf of our Brethren here, to tender through the most sincere and heartfelt thanks of our Lodge to those whose kindness and sympathy were bestowed upon our late Brother but whose names it was impracticable to embody in the resolutions. I trust that the truly Masonic deeds recorded in the companying resolutions will have their due influence in convincing the uninitiated that Masonry is not influenced by sectional prejudices or party animosities; and I am sure I do but express the sentiments of our Brethren here, when I say that those deeds will never be forgotten by us, or by those who shall follow us in days to come.

Truly and fraternally yours,
G. Cummings, Secretary of Franklin Lodge, F. & A.M.

The inspiring reply from the Secretary of Andrew Jackson Lodge, No. 2, is as follows:

Natchez, April 25, 1866
My dear Sir and Brother:

Your letter of the 7th March together with the resolutions of thanks to the members of Andrew Jackson Lodge #2 and other Masons for their attention to our late Brother Augustus Slocomb, a member of your Lodge, was received and read in open Lodge. In answer to your letter permit me to say, it matters not how widely we may have been politically separated, we have never known and I hope we shall never know any difference when called upon to discharge any of those great duties we owe to each other as Masons, and if doubtful in all else, place full confidence in us as Masons.

Yours fraternally
S. M. Stewart, W. M.
Andrew Jackson Lodge #2

Your historian has avoided naming any particular member of franklin Lodge or his accomplishments or service to the Craft since it is apparent that the Lodge could not have survived and prospered over a span of one hundred years unless many members had served the Lodge with deep devotion and had given generously of their time and abilities to the promotion of its welfare. Accordingly, it would be unmasonic to mention the accomplishments or services of any particular Brothers unless all of them could be included and that is impossible in this brief history. However, as a matter of historical interest, and as a supplement to the history at the ninetieth anniversary, it should be here mentioned that Brother Joseph Dudley Goddard, who was elected Treasurer of the Lodge on May 4, 1899, lived to serve the Lodge in that capacity for more than fifty consecutive years and it is doubtful if this record is paralleled in the history of Massachusetts Masonry.

It should also be recorded that Brother Jonas Osgood Nichols, who joined the Lodge on February 17, 1876, and who is fondly remembered by many of us, attained the longest term of membership in Franklin Lodge. On the occasion of his seventy-fifth anniversary as a Mason he was greeted in his home by the present Grand Master and an appropriate Masonic award was bestowed upon him. When he died at the age of slightly more than one hundred four years, he was the seventh ranking Mason in point of service in the United States of America.

March 6, 1888, was a sad day for Franklin Lodge. On that date, the Lodge was called into special communication to perform the Masonic Burial Service at two separate funerals for two of its prominent members. They were Brother Rufus E. Warren, who was Treasurer at the time our recorded history starts in 1862 and served in that office until 1887, when his health failed, and Brother William S. Wood, who was elected Secretary in 1871 and was still serving in that office at the time of his death.

Although Franklin Lodge has had many inspiring meetings and many unusual meetings, the evening of March 12, 1942, is worthy of comment in a history. On that occasion Most Worshipful Albert A. Schaefer visited the Lodge in connection with the observance of the ninetieth anniversary. Grand Lodge opened in the lodge-room and thereafter the Grand Master entered the Town Hall with his suite. Seven Masonic Veterans of Franklin Lodge were present representing four hundred forty-four years of Masonic service. Their names and dates of joining the Lodge are as follows:

  • Jonas O. Nichols, 1876
  • Jefferson H. Lyford, 1883
  • Ellsworth E. Howe, 1884
  • Alfred Young, 1886
  • Dr. Joseph I. Lindsay, 1889
  • George Hartness, 1890
  • Theodore F. Smith, 1892

The Grand Lodge record of that meeting states:

At exactly nine o'clock, upon the sounding of the air raid sirens, the lights were all extinguished. A practice blackout, involving fifty-six towns and cities in that section of the state, was in effect for twenty minutes, during which time the Brethren, under the leadership of the organist, Brother William B. Leland, and the Ionic Quartet of Worcester, enjoyed community singing of patriotic and popular songs. This occasion was unique in the history of Masonry in Massachusetts and shows the readiness of the Craft to co-operate in every way with the civic authorities in preparation for an actual air raid. Many of the Brethren present, being air raid wardens, immediately left the hall for their assigned posts and returned upon fulfilling their several duties.

It was the first time in history that the Grand Lodge had met under blackout conditions and it is probably the only time that such an event had happened.

The meeting was unusual in another respect. Worshipful Master Leonard Rawn presided over Franklin Lodge at the time of that celebration and the Right Worshipful District Deputy Grand Master for the Worcester 22nd Masonic District, Thomas Sherrard Roy, was a member of the Grand Master's suite. Both of them are with us again tonight, but in different capacities. Brother Roy is now the Most Worshipful Grand Master of Masons in Massachusetts and Brother Rawn is the Right Worshipful District Deputy Grand Master for the Worcester 22nd Masonic District. We welcome both of them to this ceremony and express our appreciation for their attendance.

As a matter of history, it is also a coincidence that Most Worshipful Brother Roy is the third Grand Master from Worcester and Right Worshipful Brother Rawn is the third District Deputy Grand Master from Franklin Lodge.

We rejoice that Franklin Lodge is now so well known in the Worcester District, and indeed, that in Grand Lodge the talents and faithful service of Right Worshipful Brother Rawn were recognized beyond the confines of our Lodge so that he was chosen for appointment to the highest office in that District, comprising as it does, four of the Worcester Lodges and five of the County Lodges.

We are delighted that we know our Grand Master personally and that he knows us. We know him as a line officer, as Master of his Lodge, as District Deputy Grand Master, as Deputy Grand Master, and now as the third ranking Mason in the world, the Grand Master of Masons in Massachusetts. The Grand Master is no longer an unknown, mysterious person in Boston. He is a kind, warm, lovable person whom we know as "Brother Tom." After one hundred years, our little country Lodge is no longer isolated. It is an active, recognized integral part of the great Masonic Fraternity.


  • 1869 (Complaint by a Brother left off the charter; VII-406)




From Moore's Freemason's Monthly, Vol. XI, No. 9, July 1852, Page 288:

Franklin Lodge, Grafton, Mass., was consecrated on the 2d of June, by R. W. Horace Chenery, Dist. Dep. G. Master for the sixth District,-after which rhe following Brethren were installed as the officers for the present year,-

  • W. Levi Rawson, M.
  • C. B. Jencks, S. W.
  • R. W. Flagg, J. W.
  • J. W. Slocumb, Treas.
  • J. W. Leland, Sec.
  • A. P. Benchley, S D.
  • H. Fernald, J. D.
  • J. Merriam, Jr. and J. Robinson, Stewards
  • W. F. Slocumb,Mar.
  • Rev. H. Baker, Chaplain; and
  • C. R. Leland, Tyler.


From Masonic Monthly, Vol. I, No. 4, February 1864, Page 190:

On the evening of January 21st, the following officers of Franklin Lodge, Grafton, Mass., were duly installed:—

  • G. F. Slocomb, W. M.;
  • F. Waterman. S. W.;
  • R. R. Crane, J. W.;
  • R. E. Warren, Treas.;
  • A. Slocomb, Sec.;
  • S. A. Forbush, S. D.;
  • H. Crippen, J. D.;
  • J. W. Plaisted, S. S.;
  • R. F. Knowlton, J. S.;
  • W. D. Wheeler, Marshal;
  • Wm. G. Scandlin, Chaplain;
  • A. M. Stowe, T.

The ceremony was ably performed by P. M. W. D. Wheeler.

The Lodge have just taken possession of their new, commodious and well furnished hall, in Warren Block.


1851: District 4

1867: District 12 (Milford)

1883: District 20 (Milford)

1911: District 21 (Worcester)

1927: District 21 (Worcester)

1931: District 22 (Worcester)

2003: District 23


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