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Location: Ipswich

Chartered By: William Parkman

Charter Date: 06/14/1865 VII-13

Precedence Date: 08/26/1864

Current Status: Active


  • John R. Baker, 1864-1867
  • John S. Glover, 1868
  • Andrew Geyer, 1869, 1870, 1873
  • William H. Tozer, 1871, 1872
  • Charles W. Bamford, 1874, 1875
  • Nathaniel Shatswell, 1876, 1877, 1879, 1880, 1881, 1889
  • Daniel Howe, 1878
  • John C. Sperling, 1882-1886
  • Edward H. Baxter, 1887
  • Jesse H. Wade, 1888
  • George W. Tozer, 1890, 1891
  • Fred A. Kimball, 1892, 1893; SN
  • George W. Starkey, 1894
  • Frank W. Keyes, 1895, 1896
  • Aurin P. Woodman, 1897, 1898
  • Clark O. Abell, 1899, 1900
  • Arthur C. Glover, 1901
  • Fred M. Gordon, 1902, 1903
  • James Damon, 1904, 1905
  • Aaron Cogswell, 1906, 1907; Mem
  • Charles M. Kelley, 1908, 1909
  • Chester P. Woodbury, 1910
  • Frank R. Starkey, 1911, 1912
  • Charles F. Damon, 1913, 1914
  • George E. Hodgkins, 1915, 1916
  • Daniel E. Measures, 1917, 1918
  • James S. Robinson, 1919, 1920
  • James E. Cole, Jr., 1921, 1922
  • Arthur H. Tozer, 1923, 1924
  • Charles L. Lovell, 1925, 1926; Mem
  • Arthur W. Peabody, 1927
  • Chester A. Foster, 1928
  • Charles R. Lord, 1929
  • Francis C. Wade, 1930
  • Francis E. Wood, 1931
  • Theodore A. Holland, 1932; SN
  • Walter E. Henderson, 1933
  • Henry Merson, 1934
  • C. Gardner Caverly, 1935
  • Edward H. Sargent, 1936
  • Albert W. Haley, 1937
  • Robert M. Dunn, 1938
  • Harry S. Merson, 1939
  • Lawrence E. Anderson 1940
  • Kennard V. Damon, 1941
  • George E. Smith, 1942
  • Edmond T. Brown, 1943
  • Thornton P. Frederick, 1944
  • Roger Taylor, 1945
  • Francis H. Whipple, 1946; N
  • Edgar D. Andrews, 1947
  • Raymond R. Ramsay, 1948
  • Erwin O. Blair, 1949
  • Raymond A. Whipple, 1950,
  • John H. Clogston, 1951
  • Elias A. Jenkins, 1952
  • Lewis S. Clement, 1953
  • Arthur F. Saunders, 1954
  • E. Parker Hull, 1955, 1973; N
  • John W. Dolliver, 1956
  • Gordon C. Player, 1957; SN
  • Frank B. Cook, 1958
  • Rupert W. Kilgour, 1959
  • Lawrence M. Peterson, 1960
  • Lawrence M. Maguire, 1961
  • Kenneth C. Knight, 1962
  • Chandler B. Todd, 1963
  • Robert C. Hagerty, 1964
  • Arthur N. Sotis, 1965
  • Robert H. Leet, 1966
  • Phillip A. Stewart, 1967
  • Henry A. Raby, 1968
  • Guy W. Bragdon Jr., 1969
  • Nicholas A. Markos, 1970
  • Walter H. Hulbert, Jr., 1971, 1972
  • Walter H. Skinner, 1974
  • Richard H. Gwinn, 1975
  • Frank R. Blake, Sr., 1976
  • Jack Isern Jr., 1977
  • William K. Clapp, 1978, 2007
  • Alan E. MacMillan, 1979
  • John D. Dolliver, 1980
  • Lyle R. Drenth, 1981; N
  • H. Edward Brown, 1982
  • Edward P. Newborg, 1983
  • William R. R. Smith, 1984
  • David W. Babb, 1985
  • Alexander R. Pope, 1986; PDDGM
  • Andrew F. Creed, 1987
  • John H. Day, Jr., 1988, 1989, 2000; N
  • Charles W. Ritter, Jr., 1990
  • Dean V. Beskid, 1991
  • George E. Burns, 1992
  • Gregory J. Kantak, 1993
  • Raymond K. Morley, 1994
  • Barry K. Johnson, 1995
  • John E. Smith, 1996, 2001
  • William F. Ford, 1997
  • Raymond E. Ramsdell, II, 1998; N
  • George E. French, 1999
  • John T. Clogston, 2002
  • Perry K. Paone, 2003
  • Roger D. Fowler, 2004
  • George A. Wallick, 2005
  • Daniel D. Slade, 2006
  • Donald K. Clapp, 2008
  • Paul L. Lees, 2009
  • William E. Yanakakis, 2010; PDDGM
  • Kristian W. Clapp, 2011
  • Charles E. Adams, 2012
  • John T. Clogston, Sr., 2013


  • Petition for Dispensation: 1864
  • Petition for Charter: 1865


  • 1939 (75th Anniversary)
  • 1964 (Centenary)
  • 2009 (150th Anniversary)



1875 1883 1894 1896 1910 1917 1921 1927 1932 1952 1956 1960 1963 1976 1978 1979 1982 1996 2004


  • 1939 (75th Anniversary History, 1939-275; see below)
  • 1964 (Centenary History, 1964-236; see below)


From Proceedings, Page 1939-275:

By Wor. Charles R. Damon.

Seventy-five years ago this month the first meeting of John T. Heard Lodge A.F.& A.M. was held in Newman's Hall in Ipswich, Massachusetts. Under the leadership of John R. Baker, who had been raised in Liberty Lodge nine years before, the Lodge proceeded to organize. The officers elected at this first meeting were Worshipful Master, John R. Baker; Senior Warden, James H. Lakeman; Junior Warden, John S. Glover; Treasurer, Asa Lord; Secretary, William Wade; Senior Deacon, Reverend Daniel Fitz; Junior Deacon, Charles A. Parsons; Chaplain, John Morris. Besides these officers two other gentlemen, William Heard and Frederick Mitchell, were present. At this meeting these gentlemen established a tradition which has been adhered to to this day. They voted to hold their meetings the first Wednesday of each month, on or before the full of the moon.

It is indeed unfortunate that the Temple fire of 1864 destroyed our early records. Because of it we are unable to find any records of the preliminary meetings wherein these Charter members agreed to petition the Grand Lodge and decided to name their Lodge after John T. Heard. John T. Heard himself had never been, nor did he even become, a resident of the town. He had been a distinguished Grand Master in the Grand Lodge in Massachusetts. His family, however, was a branch of an influential Ipswich merchant family. Doubtless these two factors influenced the early members in their decision.

As for the rest we know from the Grand Lodge records that John R. Baker, James H. Lakeman, John S. Glover, and seven others petitioned the Grand Lodge in 1864 for a Dispensation to hold a Masonic Lodge in Ipswich. This petition being granted, the Lodge proceeded to initiate candidates at a fee of $21. for the three degrees. Thus the Lodge continued under special Dispensation until July 7, 1865, when the records and By-Laws of the Lodge having been reported favorably, the Grand Master William Parkman and other Grand Lodge officers consecrated the Lodge and installed the officers at the Old North Church. After the meeting the Lodge adjourned to the Agawam House on the Hill, where refreshments, liquid and solid, were served by Jacob Tenney, proprietor. Following these festivities, addresses were delivered by the Grand Master, by John T. Heard, and by the Reverend I. G. Collyer. On August 12, 1865 the Grand Lodge voted to grant the Charter, which was received by John T. Heard Lodge, signed by Grand Master William Parkman and Charles W. Moore, Grand Secretary. Thus, with the seal of the Grand Lodge officially on its Charter, the career of John T. Heard Lodge began.

And yet this establishment of a Lodge in Ipswich was but the continuance of Masonry in this town which had had its beginning in the days of the American Revolution. On March 5, 1779, William McKean, Thomas Dodge, and others had petitioned the Massachusetts Grand Lodge praying liberty to hold a Lodge in Ipswich. The petition having been granted, Unity Lodge was established with William McKean as its Master and Nathaniel Wade, friend of Washington, Colonel in the Continental Army and forbear of two of John T. Heard's Masters, among its officers. During its early period Unity Lodge flourished, as did most of the Masonic Lodges of the same period, and its members contributed much to the promotion of the American Revolution. So prosperous was the Lodge in its early days, in fact, that it contributed one hundred pounds to the children of late Grand Master Joseph Warren. Even though it is probable that this gift was in the depreciated currency of the period, no other similar gift by other Lodges is known. Among the list of Lodges in commission in Massachusetts in 1792, Unity Lodge stood fourteenth in rank.

Gradually, from that time, however, the Lodge seemed to be oppressed intermittently with financial difficulties. Five times in the next thirty years the Lodge petitioned for remission of its Grand Lodge Dues, though the request was not always granted. Finally, at an indeterminate date, between 1830 and 1833 Unity Lodge passed unobtrusively out of existence.

And yet 35 years later when Asa Lord and William Wade became Charter members of John T. Heard Lodge and consented to act as Treasurer and Secretary respectively, a direct connection was established between us and the Masonry of the Revolutionary period in Ipswich, for both of these men had been raised in Unity Lodge.

It is interesting to note the change in membership over a period of years. In 1865 there were 26 members. Between 1865 and 1870 the membership increased to 92. From 1870 to 1880 there was little change but between 1880 and 1890 its membership decreased to 75 members. Between 1890 and 1900 there was a marked increase from 75 to over 100 members. During the war there was a marked influx of new members, as in Masonic Lodges throughout the country. This increase in membership continued, even after the period, until, in 1931 the membership attained an all time high of 366. From 1931 to the present, however, the membership has dropped to 288 which seems to be normal for the size of the community.

On January 13, 1894, all of the main business section of Central Street was destroyed by fire and the Lodge lost its valuable library, beautiful banner, regalia, furniture, and some other things. The Charter and records were in the safe. The Charter was almost destroyed but, through the efforts of Worshipful Master John G. Spurling, it was pieced together and is hanging in the Club House. The records were not damaged except the binding. In 1910 the present quarters in the Tyler Building were dedicated.

The Lodge celebrated its 50th anniversary beginning an August 23rd, 1914, with members attending the service in the Methodist Church and then again on August 26th a special meeting was called after which a banquet was held in the Town Hall.

One may judge of the vitality of an institution by the faith which its individual members express. When men give long hours of their time throughout their whole lives to the interests of an organization, and when even in death they remember it, we may be sure that its basic principles are sound. Measured by such a standard, John T. Heard Lodge is indeed a healthy organization.

To the present time there have been 42 Worshipful Masters, twenty-three of whom are now living. On March 1, 1939 the Master Mason Degree was exemplified by the Past Masters. Twenty of the twenty-three were on hand.

Four Masters whose sons have occupied the East are Glover, Wade, Starkey, and Merson. There is one instance of three generations having served, namely William H. Tozier, George W. Tozier, and Arthur H. Tozier.

Right Worshipful Frederick A. Kimball, Aaron Cogswell, and Charles Lovell have served as District Deputy Grand Masters.

Another remarkable example of service exists in the office of Treasurer. There have been only five treasurers over a period of 75 years; one serving for one year, one for three years, two for 26 years, and Bro. Charles Damon who is now serving his 19th year.

The office of Secretary has attracted men who have served long and well. There have been 13, Worshipful Jesse H. Wade having served for 34 years, and Brother M. Charles Arthur and Worshipful George W. Tozier next in years of service.

In 1898 the officers of John T. Heard Lodge were installed by Worshipful Brother Frederick A. Kimball and Worshipful Frank W. Keyes. So well did they perform their duties that they continued to do so annually, with but few exceptions, until present officers were installed. At the last installation appropriate recognition was made of their faithful and distinguished service and to each of them was awarded an illuminated scroll on which was inscribed the record of their service to the Lodge, a record unequalled perhaps by any other Masons in Massachusetts, and an appropriate expression of the gratitude of the members.

Fourteen Brothers have received Veterans medals; those now living being Worshipful George W. Tozier, Frederick A. Kimball, Charles M. Kelly, and Henry A. Wells.

In 1910 the permanent fund of the Lodge was started with the investment of the sum of $1200. This permanent fund was increased from that time, until today it amounts to over $4900.

In 1927 the charity fund was started and now amounts to some $1900.

On June 21st, 1933, Wor. Bro. Chester P„ Woodbury died and established an extremely generous trust fund for the benefit of the Lodge.

In 1935 Bro. Joseph King bequeathed to the Lodge the sum of $500.

Tonight we assemble here with a tradition of 160 years of Ipswich Masonry behind us. Because of the loyalty of a great many men whose names have been read and of a countless number of others whose names we have not now time to mention, our present Lodge has lasted for 75 years. In the accumulation of finances and of a tradition of friendliness which comes from long years of service we are stronger than we have ever been before. We look forward with complete confidence to the next quarter of a century of our Masonic life.


From Proceedings, Page 1964-236:

By Brother Raymond S. Barrows.

One hundred years ago, while our country was in the midst of its great Civil War, John T. Heard Lodge had its origin, when its ten charter members petitioned the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts for permission to hold a Masonic Lodge in Ipswich. Dispensation was granted on August 12, 1864, the precedence date established as August 26, 1864, and the charter dated June 14, 1865, but it was not until July 7, 1865 that Grand Master William Parkman, accompanied by several other Grand Lodge Officers, consecrated the Lodge and installed its officers at the Old North Church, after which adjournment was made to the Agawam House, where refreshments were served by Jacob Fenney, proprietor, with addresses by Grand Master William Parkman, Past Grand Master John T. Heard, and Reverend I. G. Collyer.

However, this was not the beginning of Ipswich Masonry, which dates back to March 5, 1779 when William McKean, Thomas Dodge and others petitioned the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts, praying liberty to hold a lodge in Ipswich. Such petition was granted and Unity Lodge established with William McKean as its Master and Nathaniel Wade, a friend of Washington, Colonel in the Continental Army and forbear of two of John T. Heard's masters, among its officers. During this early period, Unity Lodge flourished, and its members contributed much to the promotion of the American Revolution. Among the list of lodges in commission in Massachusetts in 1792, Unity Lodge was fourteenth in rank. The period after the Revolution was a time of great hardship, causing Unity Lodge to run into financial difficulties, and finally, at an indeterminate date, between 1830 and 1833, Unity Lodge passed out of existence. All of its records were later destroyed in the Temple fire of 1864. In 1934 a Unity Lodge diploma which had been presented to Brother Moses Jewett in 1817 was presented to the Lodge and is presently stored in one of the outer apartments.

It is not known why the charter members of John T. Heard Lodge chose to name the Lodge after the then living Past Grand Master, John T. Heard, as the records of the preliminary meetings at which plans were formulated to petition the Grand Lodge were also lost in the fire of 1864. John T. Heard was never a resident of Ipswich, but was related to the Heards of Ipswich, an influential merchant-shipping family. He had been a distinguished Grand Master in the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts, reintroducing the custom still practiced of the Grand Master's wearing the cocked hat of the Revolutionary period, and was a major figure in enabling the Grand Lodge to acquire the property at Boylston and Tremont Streets in Boston, where the Grand Lodge building now stands. These factors probably influenced the charter members in their choice of a name. John T. Heard was present when the Lodge was consecrated in 1865, and he presented a most valuable library to the Lodge in 1866.

The first recorded meeting of John T. Heard Lodge was held on September 14, 1864, in Newman's Hall, Ipswich, organized as follows: Worshipful Master, John R. Baker; Senior Warden, James H. Lakeman; Junior Warden, John S. Glover; Treasurer, Asa Lord; Secretary, William Wade; Senior Deacon, Reverend Daniel Fritz; Junior Deacon, Charles A. Parsons; Chaplain, John Morris. In addition to these officers, two other brothers were present, William Heard and Frederick Mitchell. At this first meeting it was voted to hold regular meetings on the first Wednesday of each month, on or before the full of the moon, a tradition which has been kept to this day.

On January 13, 1894 the same misfortune befell John T. Heard Lodge as had earlier befallen Unity Lodge, when all of the main business section of Central Street was destroyed by fire. The Lodge rooms burned, and the Lodge lost its valuable library, beautiful banner, regalia, furniture and many other things. The charter and records were in the safe. Fortunately the only damage to the records was to their bindings, but the charter was almost destroyed. Through the efforts of Worshipful Master John G. Spurling, it was pieced together and is on exhibit in the outer apartments. Duplicates were issued by the Grand Lodge on May 16, 1894 and December 15, 1896; the former is presently used for inspections and the latter is framed and stored in the outer Lodge apartments.

In 1914 the Lodge celebrated its Fiftieth Anniversary by attending services in the Ipswich Methodist Church on August 23rd, and holding a Special Meeting of the Lodge on August 26th, which was presided over by Worshipful Master Charles F. Damon, with several Grand Lodge officers in attendance. After the meeting, a banquet was held in the Town Hall, at which Right Worshipful Charles Proctor, representing the Grand Master, addressed the gathering, along with others, and the history of the Lodge was presented by Brother James S. Robinson. The evening was concluded with entertainment and dancing.

The Seventy-fifth Anniversary was observed in 1939 with three major events. A regular meeting of the Lodge, presided over by Worshipful Master Harry S. Merson, was held on September 6th, at which Grand Master Joseph Earl Perry and Suite were received, and a history of the Lodge was presented by Worshipful Charles F. Damon. On September 8th a Ladies' Night was held in the Town Hall, with a program consisting of entertainment and dancing. On September 10th the observance was concluded with a Special Meeting at which the brethren formed a procession in front of the Lodge Hall and marched to the Methodist Episcopal Church, where divine services were conducted by Reverend Daniel A. Thurston. The procession was led by Brother Charles Glover's Band and was accompanied by twenty-five members of the Newburyport Commandery in full uniform.

The following statistics on this first Century of Masonry are of particular interest. The Lodge had ten charter members at its first meeting in 1864. In 186S, only one year later, its membership had increased to 26. In 1870 it had 92 members. Then, for a decade, there was little change, but between 1880 and 1890 membership decreased to 75. Between 1890 and 1900 there was a marked increase from 75 to 100 members. During World War I there was an influx of new members, which continued until 1931 when a high of 366 was reached. Membership then dropped off for a number of years and that peak was not reached again until 1948 when a new mark of 372 was set. The 400 mark was passed in 1952, and the 500 mark in 1959. An all time high of 514 was attained in 1961. Membership at the end of our 100th year is 507.

There have been sixty-nine Worshipful Masters, thirty-one of which are still living. There is one instance of three generations having served as Masters, namely, William H. Tozer, George W. Tozer, and our present Senior Past Master, Arthur H. Tozer. Five have served as District Deputy Grand Masters: Frederick A. Kimball, Aaron Cogswell, Charles L. Lovell, Theodore A. Holland and Francis H. Whipple.

A remarkable evidence of service exists in the office of Treasurer. There have been only six treasurers over this hundred-year span, one having served for one year, one for three years, two for twenty-six years, one, Worshipful Charles F. Damon, for thirty-seven years, with incumbent Right Worshipful Francis H. Whipple now commencing his eighth year.

There have been sixteen serve in the office of Secretary, Worshipful Jesse H. Wade having served for the longest period of thirty-four years.

The Charity Fund, started in 1927, has been used on numerous occasions to provide assistance to worthy brothers in distress. It was recently the benefactor of a #20,000.00 bequest under the will of our late Brother Arthur S. Lord.

In 1864 the first candidates were initiated into the Lodge at a fee of $21.00; today the fee for initiation is $76.00.

The By-Laws of the Lodge have been revised twice, once in 1932 and a second time in 1960.

In 1962, under the direction of the Presiding Master, Worshipful Kenneth C. Knight and Blood Committee Chairman Fotis Sotiropoulos, the Lodge inaugurated a very successful blood donor program. For two consecutive years it has obtained more blood for the Masonic Blood Bank than any of the other lodges in the Gloucester Ninth Masonic District, and ranks among the leaders of all lodges throughout the State. Citations were presented to the Lodge by the Grand Lodge in 1962 and 1963 in recognition and appreciation of its outstanding participation in the Masonic Blood Donor Program.

The Lodge apartments have been located at three places: Meetings were first held in Newman Hall; in 1870 the Lodge moved to the Wilde's Block; and in 1910 from the Wilde's Block to its present quarters in the Tyler Building. These quarters were refurbished at considerable expense in 1931, and again in 1958. A Hammond Electric organ was purchased in 1948 and installed in the Lodge room. This instrument continues to add considerable pleasure to the work of the evening. The Lodge rooms are still ample to accommodate the membership on most occasions, but being on the third floor are inconvenient for some members. In 1956 a Building Committee was appointed to look into the possibility of building a new Masonic Temple in Ipswich. A campaign was undertaken in 1957, at which time funds were collected and pledges secured. On October 7, 1958 the Ipswich Masonic Temple, Inc., was organized to further promote the building of a new temple, and continues active, meeting regularly on the first Thursday of each month. On September 3, 1958 the Lodge voted to approve the purchase of the Walter Hayward property on Topsfield Road, which consisted of a fine old colonial house and eight and one-half acres of land. It was intended to utilize the spacious rooms of the house for ante-rooms, kitchen and banquet hall, and to add a new wing to provide a Lodge room. However, the property was only used for a few social occasions, when, on April 9, 1961, the house was totally destroyed by fire of unknown origin. The Corporation still has the valuable land and hopes to build a Temple on it in the near future. Plans are formulated for an all-out drive this fall to attain the necessary funds, in this John T. Heard's One Hundredth Anniversary year.

We can look back over the past hundred years with pride, noting that much progress has been achieved by the Lodge, that it is firmly established as a part of the Ipswich community, and with the assurance that it will attain great things in the future. Some of us will assist only a little to further its work, some not at all, but there will always be a strong, hard core of men who are willing to devote a major portion of their time, that will come forth and carry on the work that must be done to insure the continued success and growth of Masonry in Ipswich.


  • 1919 (Jurisdictional dispute, 1919-197)



From Moore's Freemason's Magazine, Vol. XXIV, No. 10, August 1865, p. 295:

JOHN T. HEARD LODGE, Located in the old and pleasant town of Ipswich, in Essex County, was duly constituted on the 7th July last by the M. W. Grand Lodge. The Consecration and Dedication services took place in the Hall of the Lodge; at the conclusion of which the Brethren, with the Grand Lodge, moved in procession to the North Church, where the Installation services were performed by the M. W. Grand Master, in the presence of between four and five hundred ladies and gentlemen. The body and galleries of the church were filled with Brethren, (many of whom were from the neighboring towns, and residents of the village.) The music was performed in very excellent taste by a large and select choir, and added much to the interest of the occasion. At the conclusion of the services M. W. Grand Master Parkman delivered one of his racy and interesting addresses. A procession was then formed and marched to the Town Hall, where the tables were spread for supper. That having been disposed of, brief speeches were made by the Grand Master, and by R. W. Past Grand Master Heard, in compliment to whom, and in recognition of his eminent services to the Fraternity, the new Lodge is named. Short speeches were also made by Rev. Mr. Collamore, of Ipswich, and W. Br. Tarbell, of Boston, when the company was dismissed.

The Lodge is in a prosperous condition, and we understand has it in contemplation to erect a new Hall, which it much needs. The officers for the current year are as follows:—

  • John R. Baker, W. M.
  • John S. Glover, S. W.
  • R. T. Dodge, Treas.
  • N. R. Wait, Sec.
  • A. Geyer, S. D.
  • J. W. Bond, J. D.
  • S. Hunt, S. S.
  • C. R. Jewett, J. S.
  • J. W. Walls, T.


The installation of the officers of this Lodge occurred on Wednes¬ day, the 6th instant, and was an occasion of much interest, not only to its members, but to their friends, ladies and gentlemen, who were invited to witness the ceremonies. The number of members of the Lodge is eighty-five; the number of persons present, including members, was about two hundred and twenty-five. The commodious and elegant lodge-room was filled to overflowing, so that the ante-rooms, which are extensive, became requisite for the accommodation of a portion of the large company. The Lodge was opened, without form, at 8 o'clock, P. M., when Wor. E. A. Annable, Past Master of Starr King Lodge, of Salem, and Wor. W. F. Annable, Master of Essex Lodge, also of that city, were introduced; the former as installing officer, the latter as his Marshal.

R. W. John T. Heard, Past Grand Master, then entered the hall, and was presented to the audience by the Master, Wor. Charles W. Bamford, in complimentary terms, to which Bro. Heard replied : "It always affords me pleasure to meet my Masonic Brethren inside or outside of a Lodge, but it is peculiarly gratifying to me to meet the Lodge which has conferred upon me a very distinguished honor." The officers were then installed by Bro. Annable, viz :

  • W. M., Charles W. Bamford
  • S. W., Nathaniel Shatswell
  • J. W., Daniel Howe
  • Treasurer, James W. Bond
  • Secretary, E. H. Martin
  • S. D., James N. Webber
  • J. D., Samuel G. Brackett
  • Chaplain, John A. Newman
  • Marshal, George Spencer, Jr.
  • S. S., George H. Green
  • J. S., Albert P. Hills
  • Tyler, Ezra W. Lord.

The installation having been concluded, and the proclamation made that the Lodge was duly organized for the ensuing year, the Master briefly addressed Bro. Heard, and requested him to make some remarks to the Brethren. In reply, he said:

"Worshipful Master:

I need not repeat the expression of pleasure I experience in being present with you to-night. Our installation services, always impressive, have, on this occasion, been conducted in so thoroughly graceful and elegant a manner as must have enlisted the serious attention of those present who are not of the Fraternity. Although the charge to the Secretary was more than usually comprehensive, yet I would add a few remarks to which I would ask the attention of that officer.

Of course, I have no official position through which to order or instruct ; yet, perhaps, a word from one who takes the liveliest interest in the welfare of our Institution will not be disregarded. I would therefore charge the Secretary to make his records full and complete, showing all the transactions of his Lodge; so that, in after years, when the historian or archaeologist shall examine them, he will find a reliable response to his inquiry. It is to be presumed that the recording officer, under the direction of the Master, will be discreet in excluding every thing of an esoteric character; with this qualification, all that transpires at a Lodge-meeting should be faithfully recorded.

During my Masonic experience, embracing a period of thirty years, I have repeatedly been led to consult the records of the Grand Lodge of this jurisdiction, and of many of the older subordinate Lodges belonging to it. To a considerable extent these records are remarkable for elegance, many of them possessing artistic merit; and generally they appear to faithfully reflect transactions. Though elegant chirography is to be commended, 1 would not have the securing it interfere with a full, intelligent, and accurate registry of facts. In the course of my examination of records, I have been struck with the fact that our chroniclers, especially those of more than a century ago, have given the names of all Brethren present at Lodge-meetings, of those who were visitors, as well as of the officers and members of the Body convened. I found, from the book of records of the Saint John's Grand Lodge, that Benjamin Franklin was present at a meeting held on the 11th of October, 1754; his name standing at the head of the list of visitors. On turning to his autobiography, it is there men¬ tioned that he was in Boston at that time. Through the same means I learned that the distinguished James Otis was a frequent visitor. It appeared that at one time he was a member of that Grand Lodge, as a Warden of a subordinate Lodge. Many other leading men of that day, whose names I do not recall, have a place in the registry of visitors. The records of the Massachusetts Grand Lodge afford similar mention of distinguished persons, both members and visitors.

I think I have said sufficient to show that I deem it important that Lodge-records should be full and accurate — discreetly so, of course. If others think as I do on this point, may we not hope that all installing officers and Masters of Lodges will instruct Secretaries to perform this part of their work as I have suggested? The labor of writing into the record the names of all Brethren present, in country Lodges, would not be great; the task would fall on city Lodges, especially those of the metropolis, where the attendance amounts often to three hundred persons. But if the large Lodges would provide a book in which all Brethren should write their names, record themselves, no undue labor would fall upon the Secretaries ; they would have the custody of the registries, and keep them with their record books. These registries should not supersede the giving the names of officers, and, perhaps, of prominent members, as is now done in the minute books.

Worshipful Master and Brethren: I have not come prepared to make an address, nor shall I attempt to make one. Out of respect to the intelligence of this assembly I would not venture to speak on any subject suited to the moment without preparation. I received your kind invitation to visit you to-night only on the evening of the 4th inst. The lapse of time since has hardly admitted of my getting up remarks in form, even if I had supposed such a thing was expected of me. Then the invitation was accompanied by a "Programme", the extent of which clearly indicated to my mind that you would require an entire evening to go through with it, and therefore did not expect me to take a partin your exercises. I came as a listener and observer, not as a speaker.

Before leaving my home this afternoon, however, it occurred to me that I had some extracts from Grand Lodge records which I made in 1850, relating to early Freemasonry in this ancient town. Thinking that they might be interesting to the older members of your Lodge, I have brought them with me. I did not intend to present them in open Lodge; but will do so, and read them, if your time will permit. The first Masonic organization in Ipswich was named Unity Lodge. It derived its Charter from Massachusetts Grand Lodge, the first Grand Master of which was General Joseph Warren, of revolutionary fame. The vote in that Body granting the Charter was passed on the 9th of March, 1779. From the records of the Grand Lodge, after the union of the two Grand Lodges I have referred to, it appears "that Unity Lodge was the twelfth in rank, and that its Charter was dated March 8, 1779." During its existence of forty-five years, the period which the extracts cover, it seems at several times to have languished, and been in a "deranged situation," and unable to fulfil its pecuniary obligations to the Grand Lodge. It will be observed that the last extract I present is dated December 27, 1824, about two years before the anti-Masonic excitement commenced. So long a time has now elapsed since I examined the records, that I do not remember whether or not I extended my researches beyond 1824; had they been continued, it seems almost certain that I should have come across evidence of the time when the Lodge ceased to work. It is, however, very probable that it surrendered its Charter to the mother Lodge during the excitement referred to.

These extracts have been placed on the Unity Lodge page.

In the course of my remarks I have mentioned three Grand Lodges, namely : Saint John's, Massachusetts, and that formed by the union of these two. It may be proper, for the information of those who are not furnished with our history, that I should state, in the briefest way possible, the dates of their origin, respectively; and, also, such other facts connected therewith as the statement may suggest. Saint John's and Massachusetts were Provincial Grand Lodges ; the former was organized in Boston, in 1733, under a dispensation issued by the Grand Master of England ; the latter was also organized in Boston, in 1769, by authority of a warrant granted by the Grand Master of Scotland. During the Revolutionary war, the former suspended its meetings almost entirely, while the latter did not, or with but few exceptions. On the 14th February, 1777, the Massachusetts Grand Lodge took steps which soon led to its declaring itself an Independent Grand Lodge; that is, independent of the Grand Lodge of Scotland. Still, it continued to be styled as before. After the war, on the 5th of March, 1792, these Grand Lodges united under the name of "The Grand Lodge of the Most Ancient and Honorable Society of Free and Accepted Masons for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts." Since then, the legislative Masonic Body thus formed has been the only supreme authority in this jurisdiction.

Had it not been for the deplorable loss, by fire, of the Masonic Temple in Boston, in 1864, and the consequent destruction of almost every thing in it, we should not now, probably, have to grope about in the manner we have done to find the little which has been told of Unity Lodge. Its Charter, books and files of papers were in the Temple, in possession of the Grand Lodge, and, of course were all consumed. Could we have had them before us to-night, how much of real enjoyment and satisfaction should we not have experienced in examining them! How much their revelations of transactions and of personal history would have heightened the interest of this occasion! May we not hope that there may yet be found papers of some kind, in possession of some of the families here living, which can give us something more of the life of Unity Lodge than we now possess? Before I sit down, Worshipful Master, permit me to present to you this work—Masonic Memorials—for your library. It has been but a few weeks in this country. It was compiled and edited by the distinguished English Brother, William James Hughan, who has dcvuted his great ability in finding out the ancient past of Freemasonry. In that part of the work which gives the history of the several Grand Lodges in England, will be seen the rise of the Royal Arch Degree.

(The Ipswich Chronicle, on the Saturday following the installation, gave a full and interesting account of it. The editor, Edward L. Davenport, Esq , though not a Mason, seems to have well understood the occasion, and has pleasantly described it.)


From Liberal Freemason, Vol. I, No. 10, January 1878, Page 319:

The Annual Visitation to John T. Heard Lodge was made by W. Bro. W. C. Maxwell, D. D. G. Master of the Fifth District, and suite, on the evening of November 21. The work on the second degree was exemplified by Worshipful Master N. Shartswell and associate officers, in a manner to receive the approbation of the Deputy and other distinguished visitors. About forty Brethren from neighboring Lodges were present, representing Lynn, Danvers, and Beverly. A banquet followed; some ringing Masonic speeches were made, and a very cheering and social evening was passed. These neighborly visits from one Lodge to another are bonds of union worthy of being cultivated.


From Liberal Freemason, Vol. III, No. 11, February 1880, Page 349:

The evening of January 6th was noted in the history of John T. Heard Lodge, as an occasion for the public installation of Its officers. Notwithstanding the rain, the apartments were well tilled by the brethren and their ladies, who contributed largely to the excellent collation that was served, and materially increased the interest in the ceremonies. After the officers were installed, a pleasant entertainment was afforded of readings and imitations by a son of the late Wor. Bro. William Sayward, of Dorchester, and music by local talent. This Lodge expects soon to occupy new apartments in a new building, and to hold a fair in aid of their enterprise.

The officers were installed by Wor. Bro. Alfred F. Chapman, assisted by Wor. Bro. John H. Lakin, both of Boston. The list is as follows: N. Shatswell, W. M.; H. P. Willcomb, S. W.; John S. Sperling, J. W.; James W. Bond, Treasurer; Wm. H. Tozer, Secretary; Wm. E. Tucker, Chaplain; Samuel Coombs, Marshal; Geo. W. Sisson, S. D.; John A. Johnson, J. D.; E. H. Baxter, S. S.; Samuel H. Thurston, J. S.; N. A. Dickerson, Sentinel; J. B. Wells, Organist; J. H. Shatswell, Tyler.


From New England Craftsman, Vol. V, No. 11, August 1910, Page 400:

The new lodge room of John T. Heard Lodge, Ipswich. Mass., was dedicated Monday, June 6th, by Grand Master Dana J. Flanders.

Several hundred members of the order were present, including representatives from lodges in Salem, Beverly, Newburyport and other places.

The visiting officers and brethren were welcomed in a speech by the Worshipful Master of the lodge, Chester P. Woodbury.

A short historical sketch of the lodge was given by Brother James S. Robinson and John S. Glover, the only living charter member of the lodge, which was established in 1864. It now has 152 members.

The new hall in addition to a beautiful lodge room, has an ample banquet ball, ante rooms, billiard and reading rooms. The quarters occupy the whole of the third or top floor of a new brick block on the corner of the two prominent business streets of the town.

Addresses were made by Grand Master Flanders, Deputy Grand Master Rev. William H. Rider, Rev. Edward A. Horton, Wm. H. H. Soule and Grand Secretary Thomas W. Davis. The exercises were followed by a collation.

The officers of the lodge are: Chester V. Woodbury, Worshipful Master; Frank R. Starkey, Senior Warden; Charles I. Damon, Junior Warden; Samuel H. Thurston, Treasurer; Jesse H. Wade, Secretary; Frank H. Lord, Chaplain; Frank W. Keyes, Marshal; George E. Hodgkins, Senior Deacon; Raymond F. Tozer, Junior Deacon; Harry M. Sayward, Senior Steward; Daniel E. Measures, Junior Steward; James S. Robinson, Inside Sentinel; Arthur H. Tozer, Organist; Clark O. Abell, Tyler.


From New England Craftsman, Vol. IX, No. 12, September 1914, Page 417:

The members of John T. Heard Lodge, A. F. & A. M., Ipswich, Mass., observed the 50th anniversary of the lodge, Wednesday, August 26, with a banquet, in the Town Hall, which was attended by nearly 600 members and friends. At 6 o'clock there was a reception to the grand officers. The ushers were George Hodgkins, Frank R. Starkey, James S. Robinson, Geo. R. Fuller and Charles L. Lance.

Following the reception came the banquet. At 7.30 remarks were made by Senior Deacon James S. Robinson. A very interesting address was given by Charles F. Proctor, junior grand warden. Among the other speakers were R. W. William H. Rider of Essex. An address of welcome was given by Chas. Damon, master, who acted as toast-master. John S. Glover, the only living charter member of John T. Heard Lodge, was presented with a medal by C. F. Proctor, acting for the Grand Master.

At 8.30 an entertainment was given by a Boston quartet, assisted by a humorist and impersonator. Later dancing was enjoyed.




1864: District 2

1867: District 5 (Salem)

1883: District 9 (Newburyport)

1911: District 9 (Gloucester)

1927: District 9 (Gloucester)

2003: District 10


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