- 1 HUMANITY LODGE
- 1.1 NOTES
- 1.2 PAST MASTERS
- 1.3 REFERENCES IN GRAND LODGE PROCEEDINGS
- 1.4 EVENTS
- 1.5 DISTRICTS
- 1.6 LINKS
Chartered By: Timothy Bigelow
Charter Date: 06/10/1811 II-484
Precedence Date: 06/10/1811
Current Status: unknown; no returns after 1828; 1875-215 notes regarding "striking" of lodge.
The Historical Celebration of the Town of Brimfield, published in 1879 to commemorate the event held in October 1876, has some information about the lodge and contains biographies of some of the known members.
Humanity Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons was organized at Holland, the charter for the same being granted by the Grand Lodge, on petition of Ezra Webber and others, A. L. 5811 (1811).
A petition was presented to the Grand Lodge from Humanity Lodge, June 14, 1813, signed by Stephen Pynchon, per order of the committee, praying that a dispensation might be granted for the removal of said Lodge from the town or district of Holland to Brimfield. A remonstrance against the removal was presented by Thomas Lodge, Monson. The petition and remonstration were referred to a committee who reported in favor of removal; their report was accepted, and the Lodge removed to Brimfield. The Lodge appears for some years to have been strong in numbers and influence, many of the prominent men of this town and vicinity being members. The name of Humanity Lodge does not appear in the records of the Grand Lodge after December 28, 1829. By the records of the lodge, its last meeting was held January 15, 1834.
JOHN B. COOLEY 1793-1858
From "Historical Celebration", Page 437:
John B. Cooley was born in Granville. He was admitted to the bar in 1818, and opened a law office in Brimfield. Hon. W. G. Bates says of him, in an address at the dedication of the new court house in Springfield, 1874, April 28:
"He was a man of talent, but not a hard student, nor a laborious practitioner. He was a man of wit and humor and desirous rather of having a jovial time than of accumulating money or fame."
In 1831 he removed to New York State, where he spent most of the rest of his life. He died at Wilbraham, November 4, 1858. November 1, 1821, he married Persis Morgan, daughter of Abner Morgan. She died in New York in 1854. They had one son, Randolph Morgan Cooley, born August 23, 1822.
EATON HITCHCOCK 1795-1837
From "Historical Celebration", Page 415:
Eaton Hitchcock, b. 1795; d. Feb. 28, 1837; m. Eunice Brown, March 27, 1823; she d. Feb. 13, 1871.
- Francis Blake, Oct. 29, 1824; d. April 27, 1847.
- Jane Maria, Aug. 31, 1826; m. Lyman Webster, Nov. 29, 1843.
- Edwin Lyman, Aug. 4, 1828; d. Aug. 29, 1878; m. Julia Ann Brown, Nov. 27, 1851.
- Children: Edgar Blake, Oct. 23, 1855, d. Feb. 7, 1858; Frank B., d. Aug. 1861; Charles, Nov. 1864.
- Mary Ann, Aug. 24, 1830; m. Charles W. Bacon, Feb. 7, 1847.
- Julia Brown, Feb. 9, 1832; d. when two years old.
- Julia Elizabeth and Charles (twins); Charles died about two years old; Julia m. Elijah E. Tarbell, Nov. 24, 1852.
- Sarah Delia, Aug. 12, 1838; m. K. B. Webster, Sept. 1855.
Eaton Hitchcock is recorded among the Brimfield men serving in the War of 1812.
AUGUSTUS JANES 1787-1846
From "Historical Celebration", Page 424:
Augustus (Janes), son of Peleg C. Janes, b. May 12, 1787; d. June 18, 1846; m. Betsey Bingham of Royalston, Vt., Feb. 19, 1818; she d. May 16. 1870.
- Thomas B., Jan. 3, 1819.
- Lucy Ann, Sept. 16, 1821.
- Henry B., June 1, 1823.
- Adeline A., Nov. 7, 1824; m. David Hitchcock, Aug. 5, 1856.
- Edwin A., Dec. 9, 1826; m. Mrs. Carrie (Moore) Wallis, Aug. 18, 1857. Children: George H., Dec. 6, 1862.
- Timothy C., Aug. 25, 1830.
EBENEZER KNIGHT 1792-1857
From "Historical Celebration", Page 178:
Dr. Ebenezer Knight, for the long period of forty-two years a physician, honored and beloved in this community and in all the neighboring towns, was born in North Brookfield, 1792, January 14. He studied in Providence with Dr. Drown, attending lectures at the same time at Harvard Medical College. He came to Brimfield in 1814, and at first was in partnership with Dr. Keyes. After two years, however, he bought out Dr. Keyes, and bought also Dr. Keyes' house, where he resided until 1842. Then, on the death of his father-in-law, Ichabod Bliss, he bought out the other heirs, and refitting the Bliss place removed his family there. In that house he died, after protracted suffering from heart disease, 1857, July 4.
He had been honored by his townsmen with various public offices, had been a member of the church for twenty-four years, and served also as cleark of the society. The sermon preached by Rev. Mr. Morse, on the occasion of his death, and the eulogy by Rev. Dr. Vaill, bear testimony to the marked benevolence of his character, as well as the public spirit ever manifested by him, and his deserved reputation as a "beloved physician."
Dr. Knight married, 1818, September 24, Thirza W. Bliss, daughter of Ichabod Bliss of Brimfield. Of his children, John McCall died in infancy. The second child was Eunice B.; the third, Elias P., who married Richard S. Wilcox of Ovid, N. Y., and died 1854, December 1. Fitz Henry Knight, born 1835, May 2, died in Troy, N. Y., 1867, June 17. Mary T. Knight married, 1865, October 10, Rev. C. M. Hyde.
- Find A Grave page
- Ebenezer Knight also served as Town Clerk and Justice of the Peace.
JUSTIN MORGAN 1777-1843
From "Historical Celebration", Page 437:
Justin (Morgan), s. of Aaron Morgan, b. March 8, 1777; d. Jan. 13, 1843; m. Polly Moulton, Dec. 23, 1799; she d. Oct. 19, 1809; m. (2) Sarah Tyler Dec. 1, 1814; she d. Feb. 7, 1856.
- Maria, Jan. 7, 1801; m. Harding Slocum Sept. 20, 1818.
- Horace, Feb. 24, 1803.
- Albert, April 15, 1816; d. July 3, 1818.
- Mary Tyler, April 28, 1818; m. Jeremiah Bean Oct. 1, 1838; d. Feb. 12, 1850.
- Thomas, Nov. 30, 1819; d. Nov. 30, 1819.
- Franklin Jones, Jan. 10, 1821; d. April 27, 1822.
- Thomas Jones, Feb. 12, 1823.
- Jane Elizabeth, June 29, 1825; m. Chauncey Bean, Oct. 30, 1845.
- Moses Tyler, Jan. 9, 1827.
- George B., Feb. 3, 1831.
- Sarah R., Sept. 6, 1833; m. D. M. Halbert Feb. 17, 1855.
- Justin Morgan also served as Selectman in Brimfield.
- Find A Grave page
STEPHEN PYNCHON 1769-1823
From "Historical Celebration", Page 183:
Stephen Pynchon was of the ancestral family who first opened the Connecticut Valley to settlement, and planted the colony at Springfield. This was his place of birth, being the son of William and Sarah Pynchon, and born January 31, 1769.
After completing his education, he graduated at Yale College in the class of 1789, and, concluding his studies for the legal profession, he took up his residence in Brimfield after the year 1790. He was elected town clerk in 1797, and was continued in office by annual elections until his death. In the following year he was commissioned by the governor a justice of the peace, and discharged its functions with a wide range of jurisdiction and large number of causes, retaining the position to his demise. In 1805 he was chosen a representative to the General Court, and continued in the Legislature, with only two intermissions, those of the years 1808 and 1817, dying at his post of duty, February 5, 1823. In 1819 he was appointed by Gov. John Brooks, chief justice of the Court of Sessions for Hampden County. He was appointed postmaster on the establishing of the post-office in Brimfield, in 1806, and held the office for the remainder of his life.
Holding a prominent station during a long period of years, with a local reputation which had nothing of imputation upon his integrity, he discharged all of his trusts with a fidelity which brought credit to his name, and leaves his memory as a valuable inheritance to the deserving family. He justly occupies an enviable place in the annals of the town, of which its unimpaired confidence is marked by his long continuance in the public service.
Not brilliant as a lawyer, he possessed a sound and matured legal judgment which won the confidence and regard of his fellow citizens. Without ambition, and lacking the impulse which stimulates to the attainment of eminence in the labors and struggles of life, he pursued the even tenor of his way, uneventful and tranquil, in the quiet routine of the practice of his profession, remunerative to a moderate degree, but not increasing to wealth.
He was a member, and in advanced degrees, of the Masonic fraternity, then a social and political power, and the last offices of earth at his demise were solemnized after the ritual and ceremonies of the order. Dying in the prime of manhood, he has a mound and memory in the village cemetery, than which there is none more worthy of honor and respect.
He married Sarah, daughter of Dr. Israel Trask, of Brimfield, January 13, 1799. Their children were Lucy Lawrence, born December 19,1799; William Harris, born January 4, 1802; Edward Elliot, born March 27, 1804; Sarah Whiting, born April 23, J807; James Lawrence Trask, born August 2, 1809; Augustus, born and died October 13, 1811; Elizabeth Sewell, born December 5, 1812; Charlotte Davis, born May 25, 1815.
HARVEY SESSIONS 1778-1849
From "Historical Celebration", Page 449:
Harvey Sessions, son of Alexander Sessions, b. Sept. 14, 1778.
- Stephen Pynchon, 1813?
- Harvey Sessions, 1814
- Ebenezer Knight, 1826
REFERENCES IN GRAND LODGE PROCEEDINGS
- Petition For Charter: 1811
- 1813 (Protest against the lodge, II-561; removal to Brimfield, II-573)
- 1820 (Report regarding delinquency, III-281)
- 1826 (Report regarding delinquency, IV-57)
- 1829 (Report regarding delinquency, IV-170)
ø Charter surrendered 06/11/1834.
OFFICER LIST, MARCH 1826
From Masonic Mirror and Mechanics' Intelligencer, Vol. II, No. 10, March 1826, Page 74:
Officers of Humanity Lodge, Brimfield, Mass.
- Bro. Ebenezer Knight, R. W. M.
- Bro. John B. Cooley, S. W.
- Bro. Augustus Janes, J. W.
- Bro. Justin Morgan, Treasurer.
- Bro. Eaton Hitchcock, Secretary.
- Bro. A. Hoar and E. Tucker, Stewards.
Annual meeting for choice of officers at their regular communication in October.