GMEaton

From MasonicGenealogy
Jump to: navigation, search

LAURENCE E. EATON 1901-1996

LaurenceEaton1962.jpg

Grand Standard Bearer, 1939
Grand Sword Bearer, 1945-1946
Grand Marshal, 1954-1956
Senior Grand Warden, 1957
Grand Master, 1960-1962


TERM

1960 1961 1962

NOTES

BIOGRAPHY

From TROWEL, Winter 1988, Page 2:

The history of the Town of Needham and that of the Eaton family are more parallel than perhaps most, if not all, other Needhamites. Originally part of Dedham, Needham was established as a town in 1711, the year Josiah Eaton was born and who later was a blacksmith in Needham until his death in 1796. His forebears, William (1677-1718) and John, who was born in Watertown in 1636, were farmers in Dedham descended from John Eaton who was born in Dover, England in 1611, married Abigail Damon in 1630, and emigrated to Watertown on the ship "Elizabeth and Anne" in 1636. But Larry, as he is affectionately known, is a direct descendant of Banqui Thane (Chief) of Loch abar A.D. 1000, thirty generations ago.

Our Past Grand Master was born in Needham Jan. 15, 1901, the son of Alger Eaton, grandson of George, and great-grandson of William (1793-1876), who married Sally Johnson in 1819, a sister of Byron B. Johnson, father of M. W. Melvin Maynard Johnson, Grand Master 1914-16. Bro. Eaton attended the Needham public schools, graduating in 1919 with Clarice May Godfrey, who he married in 1923 following his graduation from Norwich University with a commission as a Second Lieutenant in the U.S. Army Cavalry. An accomplished horseman, he was Captain of his class and a member of Sigma Phi Epsilon Fraternity.

His great-grandfather, William, built a home on Hunnewell St., which is still standing, and as a carpenter, made a coffin for the town in 1818 and charged $3.75 which commenced an undertaking business that is still thriving in Needham and Newton today, operated by the same Eaton family. The business expanded from carpentry to stables, a carriage and hack operation, moving business, and the hearse for funerals when the remains were packed in ice before the age of embalming. When our illustrious Brother was in his teens, one of his responsibilities was to fit and drive a team of horses to the firehouse where he would attach them to a pumper to answer an alarm.

The 65-year marriage of Laurence and Clarice Eaton is an exemplary sharing of devotion blessed by three sons, Laurence G. and Robert P., both of Needham, and Stephen E. of Yarmouthport, and a daughter, Suzanne L. Cranney of Suffern, NY. They speak fondly of their 14 grandchildren and 15 great-grandchildren and the home abounds with stuffed animals awaiting the next visit.

Active in community life, Bro. Eaton is a Past President of the Needham Rotary, a former director of the Needham Co-operative Bank, and has been involved in many civic activities. His Masonic career began in 1923 in Norfolk Lodge where, immediately following his raising, he instructed candidates, and the next year was appointed in line. Serving as Master in 1931, he was subsequently appointed Grand Sword Bearer in 1945 by M.W. Samuel Holmes Wragg for three years and as Grand Marshal by M. W. Whitfield Whittemore Johnson, 1954-56. He was elected Senior Grand Warden and, in December of 1959, was elected Grand Master to succeed M. W. Andrew Gray Jenkins for three years during 1960-62.

Attending the 1960 Conference of Grand Masters in Washington D.C., a memorial was held for Frank S. Land, founder of the Order of DeMolay. M. W. Thomas Sherrard Roy, our Grand Master 1951-53, gave the eulogy. Bro. Eaton stressed the importance of DeMolay and encouraged Lodges to sponsor chapters. He cautioned Lodges about notices and not to permit used notice or lists of members for advertising purposes.

On March 28,1960, Bro. Eaton received M. W. Mark Seligman and the officers of the Grand Lodge of lsrael. Bro. Seligman was given the Henry Price Medal. The new pseudo-Masonic group known as the "Sword of Bunker Hill" was discussed and the Grand Master suggested his office should be notified before any meeting the group were held in Massachusetts temples. It was election year and the oath of the Knights of Columbus was reviewed. The Grand Master's committee reported: "We found nothing in the ceremonials and pledges of Order that could be objected to by any person." The Grand Master advised that it was a time when Mason must be tolerant of others.

The issue of what constituted a Past Master arose and a committee was appointed to look into the mattes! Grand Lodge had first stated its opinion in 1864, that Past Master is "a Brother who, having been duly elected and installed, has served at least one term as Master of a Lodge working under the jurisdiction and authority of some Grand Lodge, is alone entitled to the rank and privileges of a Past Master." The issue went before a quarterly communication of Grand Lodge and was not changed.

"Collective" balloting again came in for censure in 1961 and M. W. Claude LeRoy Allen, Grand Master 1935-37, died March 21, 1961. Changes were made to permit Lodges in different towns/cities to meet in the same place but not to affect jurisdictional rulings. At the March 1962 quarterly, Bro. Eaton told of his visit to the Canal Zone and in his report, had the foresight to predict, "With the increase of Panamanians working to replace Americans, the day will come when the area be under entire control of Panama and the Canal Zone Lodges will have to close." (Under legislation signed by I President Carter, 1999 may make Bro. Eaton's prediction a reality.) A special communication of our Grand Lodge was held in Portland, ME to "assist in the observance of the 200th anniversary of the introduction of Freemasonry in Maine by reconstituting Portland Lodge, No. 1 in accordance with our ancient form and ceremony."

Bro. Eaton received the Veteran's Medal in 1973 and his 50-year Past Master's Certificate from the hands of Grand Master J. Philip Berquist in 1981. In York Rite he is a member of Triad Chapter, Cryptic Council, and is the senior living Past Commander of St. Bernard Commandery, junior only to M. W. Whitfield W. Johnson as Past Puissant Sovereign of Bay State Clave, Red Cross of Constantine, Past Chief Adept of Massachusetts College of the Masonic Rosicrucian Society and a past Supreme Magus of that Society in the United States. He is a member of Aleppo Temple, A. A. O. N. M. S.

One of the most notable accomplishments of Bro. Eaton as Grand Master was the renovation of the first floor lobby and the Paul Revere Hall which, for the first time, saw total occupancy of the Boston Masonic Temple for Masonic purposes.

Noted for his dry humor and subtlety, the twinkle still lights up in his eyes when he and Clarice are beloved by all who know them throughout the world. Massachusetts Masons take pride in his accomplishments, delight in his wit, and congratulate them both on their 65th wedding anniversary on October 13.

We thank you, Laurence Emerson Eaton, for your long service and dedication to Freemasonry.

MEMORIAL

FROM PROCEEDINGS, 1996

From Proceedings, Page 1996-158:

Most Worshipful Laurence Emerson Eaton was born in Needham on January 15, 1901, the son of Alger Emerson and Edith Estelle (Toone) Eaton. He attended Needham Public Schools, graduating from Needham High School in 1919 and continued his education at Norwich University, earning a Bachelor of Science Degree in 1923 and a commission as a Second Lieutenant in the United States Cavalry. He was a skilled horseman, Captain of his Class and a member of Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity. He played on Norwich University's only undefeated polo team.

He was the past president and owner of the Eaton Funeral Home in Needham and worked with his brother, Chester W. Eaton, for more than 50 years before retiring. The funeral home was founded by his great-grandfather, Walter Eaton, in 1818, and is still a family operated business today. In his early youth one of his responsibilities was to hamess and drive a team of horses to the firehouse where he would hitch them to a pumper to answer an alarm.

He was a direct descendant of Banqui, Thane of Loch Abar, going back 30 generations, 1000 years ago. Larry's ancestors came to the colonies in 1638, and listening to him reminiscing about family was hearing the history of the Town of Needham. Active in community life, Brother Eaton was a past president of Needham Rotary a former director and vice-president of the Needham Co-operative Bank and a former town meeting member. He was also a Past President of the Massachusetts Funeral Directors Association.

On October 13, 1923, he married his high school classmate, Clarice May Godfrey. She survives him as does their daughter, Suzanne L. Cranney, and three sons, Laurence G., Robert P. and Stephen E. Eaton, together with 14 grandchildren and 31 greatgrandchildren. He was predeceased by his brother, Chester W. Eaton and sister, Elizabeth E. Adams.

His Masonic career commenced in Norfolk Lodge, A. F. & A. M., in Needham, where he was raised on November 12, 1923, and served as Worshipful Master in 1931. He subsequently affiliated with Nehoiden Lodge and was a charter member of The Masters Lodge. He served as District Deputy Grand Marshal of the Brighton Fifth Masonic District, Grand Standard Bearer in 1939, Grand Sword Bearer in 1945-46, Grand Marshal in 1954-56, Senior Grand Warden in 1957, and as Grand Master in 1960, 1961 and 1962. He was a Director of the Grand Lodge for 22 years, a Grand Representative from Delaware for 41 years and he played a most important part in the acquisition of the property housing the Needham Masonic Bodies at 1101 Highland Avenue.

His efforts during his term as Grand Master resulted in the ground floor of the Grand Lodge Building being converted from retail space to its present Masonic usage as a fitting entrance and reception area and Paul Revere Hall with stage and adjacent kitchen facilities. At the dedication of the Paul Revere Hall on April 19, 1967, the descendants of Paul Revere were present. It was through Brother Eaton's perseverance that this extensive renovation project came to fruition.

He was Exalted in Newton Chapter, R. A. M. on January 19, 1949; Greeted in Cryptic Council, R. & S. M. on May 19, 1949; and Knighted in St. Bernard Commandery No. 12, Knights Templar on April 13, 1949; serving as its Commander in 1952-53. He was the Grand Representative for West Virginia in the Grand Commandery of Massachusetts and Rhode Island. In the Scottish Rite, he received the degrees in the Valley of Boston on September 25,1939, and entered the line of Boston- Lafayette Lodge of Perfection, serving as Thrice Potent Master in 1954, 1955 and 1956, and was a degree worker in Massachusetts Consistory.

On September 26, 1956, he was created a Sovereign Grand Inspector General, 33°, Honorary member of the Supreme Council at Cincinnati, Ohio and crowned an Active Member at Boston on September 26, 1963. He was appointed Grand Secretary General and Deputy for Massachusetts on February 15, 1967, following the untimely death of Herbert N. Faulkner. Larry held these positions for 14 years and was Grand Representative ftom the Supreme Council of Italy. He served on many committees of the Supreme Council and performed many special assignments.

During his years of service to the Craft, his community and his business interests, he espoused the theme that each person has the responsibility to perform the tasks assigned to the very best of his ability and although he held many offices of great importance, he never lost sight ofthe fact that one should keep a proper perspective of ones own importance.

He was a member of Aleppo Temple, A.A.O.N.M.S., Bay State Conclave Red Cross of Constantine which he served as Puissant Sovereign in 1973. He was Chief Adept of Massachusetts College, Societas Rosicruciana in Civitatibus Foederatis, and Supreme Magus of the Masonic Rosicrucian Society in the United States. He was a member of the National Sojourners; Wistaria Chapter, Order of the Eastern Star; Elliot Lodge, Independent Order of Odd Fellows; as well as many other fraternal related organizations.

Pappy, as he was affectionately known by his family and a few close friends, loved his summer home on Bow Lake, listening to the loons, fishing from his boat or the dock, feeding a chipmunk he had tamed, Fourth of July and the cannon firing (fired at his committal), coffee brandy, all with a great love of life and family and with a very subtle sense of humor.

The friendships he fostered in the Masonic Fraternity were worldwide and his involvement in Freemasonry constituted a major part of his life and that of Clarice, whom he called Pocahontas, with affection. He died in Needham, Massachusetts, on April 17, 1996, at the Avery Manor following a long period of declining health. Most Worshipful Arthur E. Johnson led a large contingent of Masons including five Past Grand Masters to the funeral service on Saturday, April 20, 1996, at Christ Episcopal Church in Needham.

To be a friend of Larry's was a pleasure and a privilege; to be a confidante was an honor. May the Grand Architect of the Universe have him in His Holy Keeping.

Respectfully submitted,
M.W. David W. Lovering
M.W. Edgar W. Darling
M.W. Albert T. Ames
M.W. David B. Richardson
M.W. J. Philip Berquist
M.W. Stanley F. Maxwell
M.W. Donald W. Vose, Chairman

FROM TROWEL, 1996

From TROWEL, Fall 1996, Page 25:

Most Worshipful Laurence Emerson Eaton was born in Needham on January 15, 1901, the son of Alger Emerson and Edith Estelle (Toone) Eaton. He attended Needham Public Schools, graduating from Needham High School in 1919 and continued his education at Norwich University earning a Bachelor of Science Degree in 1923, and a commission as a Second Lieutenant in the United States Cavalry. He was a skilled horseman. Captain of his Class and a member of Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity. He played on Norwich University*s only undefeated polo team.

He was the past president and owner of the Eaton Funeral Home in Needham and worked with his brother, Chester W. Eaton, for more than 50 years before retiring. The funeral home was founded by his great-grandfather, Walter Eaton, in 1818, and is still a family operated business today. In his early youth one of his responsibilities was to harness and drive a team of horses to the firehouse where he would hitch them to a pumper to answer an alarm.

He was a direct descendant of Banqui, Thane of Loch Abar, going back 30 generations. 1000 years ago. Larry's ancestors came to the colonies in 1638. and listening to him reminiscing about family was hearing the history of the Town of Needham.

Active in community life. Brother Eaton was a Past President of Needham Rotary, a former director and vice-president of the Needham Co-operative Bank, a former town meeting member. He was also a Past President of the Massachusetts Funeral Directors Association.

On October 13. 1923. he married his high school classmate, Clarice May Godfrey. She survives him as does their daughter. Suzanne L. Cranney. and three sons, Laurence G.. Robert P. and Stephen E. Eaton, together with 14 grandchildren and 31 great-grandchildren. He was predeceased by his brother, Chester W. Eaton and sister. Elizabeth E. Adams.

His Masonic career commenced in Norfolk Lodge, A. F. & A. M., in Needham where he was raised on November 12, 1923, and served as Worshipful Master in 1931. He subsequently affiliated with Nehoiden Lodge and was a Charter Member of The Masters Lodge. He served as District Deputy Grand Marshal of the Brighton Fifth Masonic District. Grand Standard Bearer in 1939, Grand Sword Bearer in 1945-46, Grand Marshal in 1954-56, Senior Grand Warden in 1957. and as Grand Master in 1960, 1961 and 1962. He was a Director of the Grand Lodge for 22 years, a Grand Representative from Delaware for 41 years and he played a most important part in the acquisition of the property housing the Needham Masonic Bodies at 1101 Highland Avenue.

His efforts during his term as Grand Master resulted in • the ground floor of the Grand Lodge Building being converted from retail space to its present Masonic usage as a fitting entrance and reception area, Paul Revere Hall with stage and adjacent kitchen facilities. At the dedication of the Paul Revere Hall on April 19, 1967, nine descendants of Paul Revere were present. It was through Brother Eaton*s perseverance that this extensive renovation project came to fruition.

He was Exalted in Newton Chapter, R. A. M. on January 18, 1949; Greeted in Cryptic Council, R. & S. M. on May 19, 1949; and Knighted in St. Bernard Commandery No. 12, Knights Templar on April 13, 1949; serving as its Commander in 1952-53. He was the Grand Representative for West Virginia in the Grand Commandery of Massachusetts and Rhode Island. In the Scottish Rite he received the degrees in the Valley of Boston on September 25, 1939. and entered the line of Boston-Lafayette Lodge of Perfection, serving as Thrice Potent Master in 1954, 1955 and 1956, and was a degree worker in Massachusetts Consistory.

On September 26, 1956. he was created a Sovereign Grand Inspector General, 33°, Honorary member of the Supreme Council at Cincinnati. Ohio and crowned an Active Member at Boston on September 26, 1963. He was appointed Grand Secretary General and Deputy for Massachusetts on February 15. 1967, following the untimely death of Herbert N. Faulkner. Larry held these positions for 14 years and was Grand Representative from the Supreme Council of Italy. He served on many committees of the Supreme Council and performed many special assignments.

During his years of service to the Craft, his community and his business interests, he espoused the theme that each person has the responsibility to perform the tasks assigned to the very best of his ability and although he held many offices of great importance, he never lost sight of the fact that one should keep a proper perspective of one's own importance.

He was a member of Aleppo Temple, A. A. O. N. M. S., Bay State Conclave Red Cross of Constantine which he served as Puissant Sovereign in 1973. He was Chief Adept of Massachusetts College, Societas Rosicruciana in Civitatibus Foederatis. and Supreme Magus of the Masonic Rosicrucian Society in the United States. He was a member of the National Sojourners; Wistaria Chapter, Order of the Eastern Star: Elliot Lodge, Independent Order of Odd Fellows as well as many other fraternal related organizations.

Pappy, as he was affectionately known by his family and a few close friends, loved his Summer home on Bow Lake, listening to the Loons, fishing from his boat or the dock, feeding a chipmunk he had tamed, fourth of July and the cannon firing (fired at his committal), coffee brandy, all with a great love of life and family and with a very subtle sense of humor.

SPEECHES

AT THE CENTENARY OF DALHOUSIE LODGE, MARCH 1960

From Proceedings, Page 1960-85:

Brethren, in celebrating a birthday, we often look back to the beginning to see what was going on at that time and then follow events to the present, as you have heard in the fine history just read. We then can sometimes predict what the future holds. In looking back into the proceedings of one hundred years ago, I was forcibly reminded that Masonry has not always enjoyed the respect in which it generally is held today. The thought arises, Can it happen again? And the answer is surely "Yes" — if we do not conduct ourselves as Masons should. Even now we are under constant attack by our foes. I see many pamphlets and newspaper articles that first refer to us as Atheists, then as a false religion; they hold up our beliefs and ceremonies as childish in an effort to discredit us with the public at large and undermine the loyalty of our Brethren.

Maybe we need better public relations. It is a subject widely discussed today by Grand Lodges in the light of decreasing initiates. To do this we could build public confidence and trust by continuing to be good, honest and public-spirited citizens. Then we must attract the kind of initiates who are looked upon as leaders, not forgetting those who already are members. We should not hide our light under a bushel. Dignified articles in the press about those activities of ours that are properly public should help gain the respect of community leaders, legislators, educators and others.

We can take a lesson from the past. Let me tell you what I found in the records of March 10, 1858, in the report of a committee for the restoration of the Charter of Bethel Lodge of Enfield, which had been surrendered during the anti-Masonic period:

There are in all sixteen members of the Lodge now surviving. Enfield itself is a town of about eleven hundred inhabitants. There were, prior to the antimasonic invasion, Lodges in Belchertown, five miles, and in Ware, seven miles, distant. The nearest Lodge now, is at Palmer Depot, distant twelve miles. There are two others — one at Northampton, and one at Barre — distant eighteen and seventeen miles.

In the days of its prosperity, Bethel Lodge built a Hall, which was purchased, and is now owned by Brothers J. B. and Leonard Woods — two of the petitioners.

Nowhere were our Brethren more acrimoniously persecuted during the dark ages, than at Enfield. Their Lodge-room was broken open, and their jewels stolen and divided among the thieves, as a reward for their virtuous and valorous attacks upon their peaceful and law abiding neighbors.

The Records and seal were preserved; and the more bulky furniture, but little injured, now remains the property of the Lodge. Since that time, now a quarter of a century, the Lodge-room has remained as it was left, awaiting the time when the sound of the gavel should again call order out of chaos; and the Brethren to renew their peaceful labors.

The Brethren to whom the Charter has been restored, are among the most worthy and wealthy of the town. They are full of Masonic zeal — and rejoice in the restoration of a Charter identified with their early Masonic years, that, in their old Hall and in their ancient seats, with a large and bountiful field before them, and with the mysteries of Masonry safely deposited in their faithful breasts, they may rebuild the Lodge of their youth in Wisdom, Strength and Beauty.

Brethren, this report paints a vivid picture of the days prior to your beginning. Then we find, at the evening session of Grand Lodge December 27, 1860, when Winslow Lewis was Grand Master, that initiates in 1860 numbered 1324. Now we have upwards of 4000. It was also reported that on August 30 a dispensation was granted for a new Lodge named Dalhousie in Newtonville to William D. Coolidge and thirty-five others. Later the report says that R.W. Wm. D. Coolidge of Newtonville was installed in due and ancient form as Grand Master. The Charter was granted on June 12, 1861, and war was getting under way. It is interesting to note that at that communication a patriotic circular from the Grand Master and other distinguished Brethren of Tennessee was read on the lamentable condition of our beloved country and expressing hope that "if the sword must still be the last resort, and accepted as the final arbiter, the Brethren engaged in the awful conflict might remember that a fallen foe is still a Brother, and as such is entitled to warmest sympathies and kindest attentions".

At the communication of December 27, 1861, in the Grand Master's annual address, we learn that on June 24 he constituted and consecrated Dalhousie Lodge and installed the officers.

You were then really in business and you might be interested in this R. W. William Dawes Coolidge, who was born in Boston February 15, 1808. His father was William Coolidge, a dry-goods merchant. His mother was Matilda Curtis, daughter of Capt. Nathaniel Curtis, famous contractor for building of wharves, streets and other public utilities. William Dawes, merchant celebrity of Boston, was his great grandfather, and no doubt father of Revere's riding mate. R.W. Brother Coolidge was educated in the Boston schools in 1821 and was connected with the dry-goods business, finally going into business for himself and becoming recognized as an expert on wool and the wool market. He was in the collector's department of the Boston Custom House, member of the Common Council of Boston, secretary of the committee having in charge the introduction of the Cochituate water, was a member of the General Court, served in Boston Light Infantry, moved to Newton in 1856 and served as Deacon of Channing Church of Newton. It was worthy of note that his second marriage in 1879 was to the widow of Timothy Walker, a member of Dalhousie, and that the diploma of Mrs. Coolidge's first husband was signed by her second husband as Grand Master.

Grand Master Coolidge was raised in Columbian Lodge March 3, 1842, and became a member May 19, 1842, and was Master in 1852-1853. He was Exalted in St. Paul's R.A. Chapter and Knighted in Boston Commandery, K.T. He received the 32° in the Scottish Rite in 1863. He was an Honorary Member of Dalhousie Lodge, Newton R.A.C., Gethsemane Commandery, and Robert Lash Lodge of Chelsea. He served Grand Lodge as Grand Steward, Grand Sword Bearer, Grand Marshal and Junior Grand Warden and was Grand Master in 1861-1862. He took a deep interest in seven Army Lodges that he chartered. At the outbreak of the war he was a Director of a R. R., and while away on its business, received a complimentary banquet by the Grand Lodge of Louisiana at New Orleans. In Texas, soon after, he narrowly escaped being made a prisoner of war. Privately warned of his danger by Masonic friends and given a means of escape, he reached home safely.

May I congratulate you, Worshipful Master, and all who have assisted you in planning this anniversary. Officially, I bring you the Masonic greetings and best wishes of your Brothers in Massachusetts and this Grand Lodge, and wish all success and prosperity to you and your Lodge as you start on your second one hundred years.

CHARTERS GRANTED

None.

RULINGS



Grand Masters