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Location: Hopkinton

Chartered By: William D. Coolidge

Charter Date: 06/12/1861 VI-375

Precedence Date: 07/25/1860

Current Status: Active


This lodge is named for Grand Master John Warren.


  • Lucius H. Wakefield, 1861
  • William H. Phipps, 1862; Mem
  • Owen Wood, 1863-1864, 1870
  • George Archibald, 1865-1866
  • George M. Oakes, 1867-1868, 1873-1874
  • Richard E. Thomas, 1869, 1875-1876
  • Ambrose Woolson, 1871-1872
  • Frederic Whittemore 1877-1879
  • George A. Warren, 1880-1881
  • Amos L. Madden, 1882-1884
  • Rufus H. Hopkins, 1885-1886, 1890; Mem
  • Oscar L. Brown, 1887
  • Melville B. Elderige, 1888-1889
  • Seymour H. Knowles, 1891-1892; SN
  • Frank W. Patten, 1893
  • Clarence J. Woolson, 1894
  • Frank E. Safford, 1895-1896
  • Fred A. Wood, 1897-1898
  • Alvan R. Lewis, 1899-1900
  • George L. Hemenway, 1901
  • William E. Gerry, 1902-1903
  • Daniel P. Day, 1904-1905
  • Wilbur A. Wood, 1906-1907; Mem
  • Edward M. Eldridge, 1908-1910
  • Leroy L. Woolson, 1911-1912
  • Linn F. Playse, 1913-1914
  • Herbert E. Warren, 1915-1916
  • Herbert L. Gerry, 1917-1918
  • Walter M. Hilliard, 1919
  • Wilfred L. Kellett, 1920
  • Arthur R. Phipps, 1921
  • Clifford C. Smith, 1922-1923
  • John S. Sellar, 1924-1925
  • William H. Sheldon, 1926-1927; Mem
  • Clarence B. Hamilton, 1928-1929
  • Arthur L. Kingsbury, 1930-1931
  • Harry N. Hamilton, 1932-1933
  • Charles Robertson, 1934-1935
  • James W. Bancroft, 1936-1937
  • Wayne E. Hughes, 1938-1939
  • Clifton I. Kimball, 1940-1941
  • Russell C. Hill, 1942
  • Edward W. Flood, 1943-1944
  • Harold C. Merrifield, 1945
  • Curtis H. Melvin, 1946; N
  • Alton L. Douglas, 1947; N
  • A. Clayton Waite, 1948
  • Nelson F. Potter, 1949
  • Earl S. Maxwell, 1950
  • Frank B. Doughty, 1951
  • Edward L. Nordstrom, 1952
  • Norman C. Kimball, 1953
  • David E. Taylor, 1954
  • Louis M. White, 1955
  • Henry W. Moore, 1956
  • John L. Berini, 1957-1958
  • S. Douglas Winslow, 1959, 1979
  • Francis E. Arms, 1960
  • Emile L. Dumais, 1961
  • Neilson C. Gass, 1962
  • William J. Robinson, 1963; N
  • John T. Cowern, 1964
  • Wayne O. Auen, 1965
  • Raymond A. Stearns, 1966
  • Ernest H. Marshall, 1967
  • Edward H. Katz, 1968
  • John C. Raleigh, 1969
  • Donald DeZarn, 1970
  • Toussaint Liverpool, 1971
  • Albert F. Berry, Jr., 1972
  • David A. Emerson, 1973
  • Howard C. White, Jr., 1974
  • Richard A. Dunbar 1975
  • Philip J. Jackson, 1976
  • Frederick H. Boyle, 1977
  • Albin Anderson, Jr., 1978
  • Rawland A. Hodges, Jr., 1980
  • Leonard J. Main, 1981-82
  • Norman L. Robinson, 1983
  • James E. Keefe, 1984
  • John A. Smith, 1985
  • David L. Pendleton, 1986
  • Harrison K. Cook, 1987
  • Roger W. Pageau, 1988
  • Charles A. Holman, 1989
  • Dennis J. Robinson, 1990-1992
  • John E. Knowles, 1993
  • Peter Macgregor, 1994
  • Price Hutchins, 1995
  • Stephen D. Mayo, 1996
  • Christopher D. Nestor, 1997
  • Michael P. Bowers, 1998
  • Sean Paul Daly, 1999, 2001
  • Everett Gregory Carr, 2000
  • Charles Stuart Wade, 2002, 2003
  • Paul Chouinard, 2004, 2005
  • Joseph P. Catalanotti, 2006, 2013
  • Donald R. Lee, II, 2007
  • Douglas B. Freeman, 2008, 2009
  • R. Arlen Johnson, 2010
  • Damien D. Tebaldi, 2011, 2012
  • Philippe Pierre Maurice Lefebvre, 2014


  • Petition for Dispensation: 1860
  • Petition for Charter: 1861


  • 1910 (50th Anniversary)
  • 1935 (75th Anniversary)
  • 1960 (Centenary)
  • 2010 (150th Anniversary)



1869 1872 1876 1883 1885 1911 1924 1927 1933 1947 1949 1954 1967 1968 1970 1976 1984 1991 1994 2006 2011


  • 1935 (75th Anniversary History, 1935-173; see below)
  • 1960 (Centenary History, 1960-196)


From Proceedings, Page 1935-173:

By Wor. Edward M. Eldridge.

It is proper at this time that mention be made of the founders of John Warren Lodge.

A few Masonic Brothers met in the Hall called Liberty Hall in the spring of 1857 and a few times during the summer and fall, with a view to getting a Dispensation for a Lodge in Hopkinton, but some of the Brethren moving away the idea was abandoned for the present.

In 1859 and early in 1860 from eight to ten gentlemen went from our town to Milford and joined Montgomery Lodge, and those, with the old Masons still residing in town, or a considerable proportion of them, made application in due form in July 1860, which was granted, but owing to various unfavorable circumstances the first regular business meeting was not held until Friday evening, November 23, 1860.

Following were the charter members:

William Henry Phipps, Dr. George S. Albee, John A. Thayer, Lysis Lamb, James H. King, Lucius H. Wakefield, Rev. T. Williard Lewis, Owen Wood, Robert M. Rockwood, Ambrose Woolson, Frank G. Clarlin, Lucius F. Williard, Cromwell Gibbs, Eliab Holbrook, Silas Mirick, Marcus C. Phipps, Wilbur F. Clarlin, John W. Hammond, Jubal Weston, William Wheelock.

  • Brother James King was a member of Montgomery Lodge during the Anti-Masonic period and kept the Charter in this town during the troublous time.
  • Brother John Hammond lived in Cordaville. He lectured the new member, and often he would meet the candidate half way between Hopkinton and Cordaville at what is known as the Glebe.

This Lodge was named in honor of Doctor John Warren (Brother of Gen. Joseph Warren) who was born at Roxbury, Mass., July 21, 1753, and died April 4, 1815. Of sturdy New England stock, he made the most of his advantages: eloquent, honest, capable, he was often called upon to address large convocations of the most cultured of his day. December 6, 1782, lit was unanimously chosen Grand Master of Masons in Massachusetts, and maintained his interest in the fraternity through life.

The officers named in the foregoing Dispensation and by virtue of powers granted therein, presented to and did call a meeting of the Brethren who made choice of the Brothers named below to fill the remaining offices of the Lodge: Brothers

  • Silas Mirick, Treasurer
  • Lysis Lamb, Secretary
  • Lucius F. Williard, S.D.
  • Marcus Chauncy Phipps, J.D.
  • John W. Hammond, S.S.
  • Robert M. Rockwood, J.S.
  • James H. King, Tyler.

The first regular communication of John Warren Lodge was held in Sons of Temperance Hall, corner of Main and Cedar Streets over what is now Dolan's paper store.

Present, Lucius H. Wakefield, W.M.; William Henry Phipps; S.W.; Cromwell Gibbs, J.W.; Silas Merrick, Treasurer; Lysis Lamb, Secretary; Lucius F. Williard, S.D.; Jubal Weston, J.D., George Hunt, S.S.; Robert M. Rockwood, J.S.; James King, Tyler.

At the expiration of the time for which the Dispensation was granted, the Brethren in Freemasonry returned the same, petitioning to the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge for a Charter which was accordingly granted. June 17, A. L. 5861, a special communication of John Warren Lodge was held for the purpose of consecrating and constituting said Lodge and also for installing its officers.

The Most Worshipful Grand Lodge proceeded to consecrate and constitute John Warren Lodge according to the customs of Ancient Free and Accepted Masons.

The Grand Master installed the following officers: William H. Phipps, W. M.; Robert M. Rockwood, S. W.; Owen Wood, J. W.; W. Fisk Claflin, Treasurer; F. G. Claflin, Secretary; L. F. Williard, S.D.; George S. Albee, J.D.; J. W. Hammond, S. S.; A. Woolson, J.S.; T. Williard Lewis, Chaplain; M.C. Phipps, Marshal; J. H. Adlington, Tyler. The Lodge was closed with a benediction.

December 7, 5863, a special communication of John Warren Lodge was called for the purpose of dedicating their new Hall (this was the old G. A. R. Hall situated in the north west corner of the Thread Mill Lot).

The Worshipful Master appointed a committee to wait upon and escort the Grand Lodge into the Hall. Brother James King having introduced the Grand Master to the Master of the Lodge, the Grand Master then presented the several officers of the Grand Lodge to the Worshipful Master. The Grand Lodge proceeded to dedicate the hall according to the forms and usages of Ancient and Accepted Masons.

Brother Wilbur F. Clafiin presented a Bible to the Lodge. A vote of thanks was tendered him for his timely and appropriate gift. A special committee appointed to collect money for furnishing the hall. Committee reported $525.00 collected.

December 1, 5876, a communication was received from D.D.G.M. Irving Sayles notifying the Lodge of a meeting at Milford, Wednesday December 6 for an exemplification of the work by the Grand Lecturer.

The matter of collecting dues does not seem to be anything new as the Lodge was constantly admonishing the Brethren that the Lodge was dependent upon them for its support in payment of the dues or it could not go on.

November 10, 5877, Brother Dr. George S. Warren who had just returned from a foreign voyage gave some very interesting accounts of the way and manner the degrees are worked there.

In 5886-88 the Grand Lodge decided to raise funds for finishing the New Temple (corner of Tremont and Boylston Streets) by taxing the members. Several members of our Lodge feeling the tax unjust withdrew from Masonry rather than submit to the same.

In February, 5883, John Warren Lodge decided to have a new hall. Mr. A. A, Sweet built a block just west of our present location and John Warren Lodge took a ten-year lease of the same. Ir was voted to hold 8 fair to raise money for furnishing the new Hall. Right hundred dollars and five cents was raised. October 12, 5883, a regular communication of John Warren Lodge A. F. & .A. M. was held. Grand officers present for purpose of dedicating the hall were:

  • Most Worshipful Grand Master Samuel C. Lawrence
  • Deputy Grand Master Edwin Wright
  • As Senior Grand Warden, Wyzeman Marshall
  • Junior Grand Warden Thomas W. Davis
  • As Grand Treasurer, William Parkman
  • Grand Secretary Sereno D. Nickerson
  • Grand Chaplain Rev. Fielder Israel
  • As Grand Marshal, Henry J. Parker
  • As Grand Deacon, George E. Stacy
  • As Grand Deacon, Daniel Reed
  • As Grand Steward, S. A. Eastman
  • As Grand Steward, William H. Adair
  • District Deputy Grand Master George W. Wiggin
  • J. T. Stetson, P.M., Excelsior Lodge
  • E. P. Chapman, W.M., Excelsior Lodge
  • As Grand Tyler, O. H. Ingalls

The Grand Lodge was opened with prayer by the Grand Chaplain; they proceeded to dedicate the hall, after which the District Deputy Grand Master George W. Wiggin made his official visitation.

November 4, 5883, A public installation of the officers of John Warren Lodge was held. At the close of the installation Mrs. Safford in behalf of the ladies presented the Lodge with a beautiful silver service.

June 17, 5897, a Masonic social was held for the purpose of presenting Jewels to the following Past Masters, Ambrose Woolson, Amos I.. Madden, Rufus Hopkins, Melville B. El-dridge, Seymour A. Knowles, Frank W. Patten, Clarence J. Woolson and Frank E. Safford. Mrs. F. A. Safford read an original poem.

In March, 5900, a very destructive fire swept the business centre of the town and destroyed John Warren Lodge apartments. In June, 5900, the committee to secure a new hall reported that quarters could be secured in the Park House Building at $175.00 provided the Lodge would take a lease of the rooms for five years. Voted to accept the report of the committee and secure the rooms in the Park House.

October 21, 5908, special communication of John Warren Lodge A.F.&A.M. was held for the purpose of receiving the Grand Master and members of the Grand Lodge. In the absence of the Grand Master Right Worshipful William H. L. Odell, Deputy Grand Master and acting as Grand Master, was presented to the Worshipful Master; accompanying him were Right Worshipful William M. Belcher, Senior Grand Warden; Right Worshipful Thomas W. Davis, Grand Secretary; Right Worshipful Melvin M. Johnson, Grand Marshal; Right Worshipful Frank W. Mead, Past Senior Grand Warden, and Right Worshipful Seymour A. Knowles, District Deputy Grand Master. The Grand Officers favored us with very interesting remarks touching mostly upon the proposed Masonic Home.

A communication of John Warren Lodge was held September 12, 5910, for the purpose of celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the Lodge. The Worshipful Master appointed as a committee to introduce the Grand Officers Right Worshipful Seymour A. Knowles, Worshipful Ambrose Woolson, and Brother Robert M. Lockwood. After the presentation of the Grand Officers to the Worshipful Muster, the Grand Officers were formed in the East and given a reception by the Brethren, after which the Grand Officers were called upon for remarks. The Grand Officers present were:

Selections were furnished by the Arno Quartet. An historical address covering the first fifty years of the Lodge was read by Worshipful Wilbur A. Wood. At six o'clock we repaired to the dining room of the Congregational Church where the ladies of the Eastern Star furnished a fine supper. At 7.30 the Masons and their families met in the Lodge-room and listened to a fine concert given by the Arno Quartet assisted by a reader, after which refreshments were served.

November 20, 5918, District Deputy Sands S. Woodbury presented Brother Roswell I. Frail with a Henry Price medal, he having been a Mason for fifty years, and the past forty years having been Marshal of John Warren Lodge. In accepting the medal Brother Frail stated that during his term of office he had been present at the raising of every candidate and also had attended every Masonic funeral that had been held during that time for any member of John Warren Lodge.

There have been thirty-six Masters, of whom seventeen are living, and fifteen are active members at present. We have had four District Deputies, Right Worshipful Rufus H. Hopkins, 5897-98; Right Worshipful Seymour A. Knowles, 5907-08; Right Worshipful Wilbur A. Wood, 5916-17; and Right Worshipful William H. Sheldon, 5934-35.


From Proceedings, Page 1960-196:

By Wor. Frank B. Doughty.

The swiftly running sands of time mark the passing of a complete century in the life of John Warren Lodge, and it is fitting that we should pause to view in retrospect the happenings that we call our history; to evaluate our worth in the light of the high ideals of our Masonic Fraternity, and to chart our future course on the road that leads to better understanding among men.

To be of value, any Masonic history should assist in building stronger character, greater beauty, greater and more lasting worth through a more thorough knowledge of how best to fashion out of the abundance of life's monuments that which will receive the respect and command the admiration of men yet unborn. May we in this spirit review our past and look forward to our future.


In the spring of 1857 a few Masonic Brethren met in a hall called Liberty Hall and lectured a few times during the summer and fall with a view of getting a dispensation for a Lodge in Hopkinton, but with some of the Brethren moving away, the idea was abandoned for the present.

In 1859 and early 1860, several Brethren went to Milford and joined Montgomery Lodge and they, with some of the older Masons still residing in town, or a considerable portion of them, made application to Grand Lodge in due form in July of 1860.

As a result of the petition, signed by twelve local Brethren, dispensation was granted as of July 25, 1860, and Most Worshipful Winslow Lewis, Grand Master, in full confidence of the integrity and ability of the petitioners, appointed Lucius H. Wakefield to be the first Master, Eliab Holbrook the first Senior Warden, and Cromwell Gibbs the first Junior Warden.

The original petitioners are recorded as follows:

  • Lucius Wakefield, Lawyer
  • Eliab Holbrook, Manufacturer
  • Cromwell Gibbs, Manufacturer
  • James H. King, Harness Maker
  • Lysis Lamb, Hardware Dealer
  • John A. Thayer, Livery Stable Keeper
  • John Pickett, Farmer
  • William Wheelock, Box Manufacturer
  • Marcus C. Phipps, Box Manufacturer
  • Lucius Willard, Boot Maker
  • William H. Phipps, Boot Maker

While no reason is advanced for the selection of the Lodge name, the early records contain the following transcription:

This Lodge was named in honor of Dr. John Warren (brother of General Joseph Warren), who was born in Roxbury, Mass., July 27, 1753, and died April 4, 1815.

He was the "Beloved Physician," Patriot, Soldier, and Teacher, — A MAN in the largest and truest sense, respected and beloved by all, the peer of any of his chosen profession.

Of sturdy New England stock, he made the most of his advantages. Eloquent, honest, capable, he was often called upon to address large convocations of the most cultured of his day.

He was elected Hersey Professor of Anatomy and Surgery of Harvard University, November, 1772, and a month later, December 6th, was unanimously chosen Grand Master of Massachusetts Grand Lodge. His was not a long life, but the estimate of a true man is in his deeds, not years.

At his death full Masonic honors were accorded him. His mortal remains rest in the family tomb at the foot of Boston Common.

The Lodge has ever been proud of the noble man whose name we bear, and if we strive to measure up to the life of this noble man, then will the world be better for our having lived in it.

Owing to various unfavorable circumstances, the first regular meeting of the new Lodge was not held until Friday evening, November 23, 1860. The meeting was held in a hall rented from the Hopkinton division of the Sons of Temperance, located at Main and Cedar Streets, what is now the Gassett Block.

Seven applications were received at the first regular meeting, by-laws were adopted, degree fees established at twenty dollars, and the following officers chosen for the busy year ahead:

  • Lucius H. Wakefield, Master
  • Eliab Holbrook, Senior Warden
  • Cromwell Gibbs, Junior Warden
  • Silas Mirick, Treasurer
  • Lysis Lamb, Secretary
  • Lucius F. Williard, S. D.
  • Marcus Chauncy Phipps, J. D.
  • John W. Hammond, S. S.
  • Robert M. Rockwood, J. S.
  • James H. King, Tyler.

The first degree work occurred on Saturday evening, December 29, 1860, and our local officers were capably assisted by three Brethren from Montgomery Lodge of Milford.

Nine applications were received during the year with seven considered favorable. The calibre of the early candidates is attested by noting that one substituted for an officer though he had received but two degrees.

Five candidates received full degrees during the abbreviated year and the work showed consistent improvement, particularly after the arrival of a Grand Lecturer from Boston, who spent two days and one evening lecturing the line officers.

At the expiration of the time for which the dispensation was
granted, it was returned, and the Brethren petitioned Grand
 Lodge for a charter, which was granted as of June 12, 1861. Some
 twenty Brethren were now recorded as charter members: William Henry Phipps, Dr. George S. Albee, John A. Thayer, Lysis Lamb, James H. King, Lucius H. Wakefield, Rev. T. Williard Lewis, Owen Wood, Robert M. Rockwood, Ambrose Woolson, Frank G. Clarlin, Lucius F. Williard, Cromwell Gibbs, Eliab Holbrook, Silas Mirick, Marcus C. Phipps, Wilbur F. Clarlin, John W. Hammond, Jubal Weston, William Wheelock.

During the immediate years ahead, four of the above charter members were privileged to serve as Master of the Lodge. Worthy of mention is Lysis Lamb, the first Secretary, who inscribed the early records with copies of the Dispensation, the By-Laws, and other pertinent information. Brother Lamb's service to the Fraternity was of brief duration, as he succumbed to an illness and died in 1862 at the age of 61.

James King was born in the Oliver Wendell Holmes house. He was a member of Montgomery Lodge during the anti-Masonic period (1839-1845) and kept their charter in this town during the troublesome times. John Hammond lived in Cordaville and lectured the new members. Often he would meet the candidates halfway between Hopkinton and Cordaville in the section known as the "Glebe."

Frank G. Claflin served the Lodge well as Secretary prior to serving in the great Civil War. In 1863 he wrote to the Lodge members thanking them for a remembrance:

A few more months and I hope to again meet you in the Lodge. Often I think of you and those pleasant meetings we used to have and wish I were there. But I will not complain, we have been highly favored thus far. While many of our brethren have been slain in battle, we have been spared. May the day soon come when this dreadful rebellion will be over and brothers both North and South will again meet on the level.

Unfortunately, Brother Claflin never returned to the Lodge he loved so well. Word was received of his death in a southern prison camp in 1864.

June 17, 1861, was an eventful date in the history of the new Lodge. At 3:00 P.M., the Lodge was constituted by the Grand Lodge Officers, led by Most Worshipful William D. Coolidge, Grand Master, in due and ancient form. Following the impressive ceremonies, the Grand Lodge Officers retired to a nearby hotel to relax and refresh prior to returning to the Lodge at 8:00 P.M. to install the newly-elected and appointed officers. The installation ceremonies were public and attracted a capacity gathering of the local elite. The Glidden Quartette featured the auspicious evening, opening the ceremonies with the hymn America and concluding with forceful rendition of the Marseillaise.

At the meeting following the constitution of the Lodge and the installation of officers, the newly-installed Master presented a bill of $8.90 for entertainment of the Grand Lodge Officers. While possibly payment of this amount did not deplete the treasury, it is noted that the Treasurer was authorized to borrow $50.00 in the name of the Lodge for future expenses.

The thoughtfulness of the members and officers of that era is indicated by a letter to Grand Lodge requesting permission for the Tyler to sit within the lodge-room so that he might witness the sterling degree work. Unfortunately, the request was denied.

Even at that early date, the desire for more suitable quarters is evidenced by the appointment of a committee authorized to contact the owner of a new building being erected at the corner of Maine and Grove Streets. About thirty cents an evening was currently being paid to the Sons of Temperance for use of their quarters, with an additional twenty-five cents required for cleaning, lighting and warming the facilities.

Other noteworthy actions during this early period included the acceptance of the Lodge Seal designed by the Secretary and Treasurer, and a membership assessment of one dollar to offset current obligations. In 1863, after weeks of negotiating, a Mr. Lee Claflin moved a building to front on Church Street, which was leased by the Lodge for twenty years. The building was located on the northwest corner of the Thread Mill lot and was later known as the G. A. R. Hall. Rent was established at $100.00 annually.

A committee was immediately appointed to procure funds to furnish the new hall. On April 4, 1864, the committee reported the sum of $525.00 had been raised, certainly a substantial amount for that period. A special meeting was held on December 4, 1863, for the purpose of dedicating the new hall and installing the newly-elected officers, but with the Grand Lodge Officers unable to be present, the ceremonies were postponed until December 7th, when Most Worshipful William Parkman, Grand Master, officiated at the dedication.

During the year 1864 many unusual events occurred. In June a special meeting was held to hear the objection of Lucius Wakefield to the initiating of a certain candidate. The objection was defeated 19 to 4. From that moment, Wor. Brother Wakefield's interest in the Craft declined and some five years later, our first Master was suspended for non-payment of dues.

In July a special meeting was held to assist in laying the cornerstone of the John Alden house in Ashland. Also taking part were the Brethren of Montgomery, Middlesex, and United Brethren Lodges. During the ceremonies a history was given tracing the descent of the Alden family from the Pilgrims. An excellent free collation was enjoyed by the Brethren in a nearby grove, and for all who participated, it was a day long to be remembered.

Details in the minutes of 1864 indicate an increase in the application fee to $25.00; the purchase of twenty-four hand fans; and the offer of a melodeon for Lodge use for interest payments only. The offer was accepted.

The regular October meeting found many members absent to attend the cornerstone laying of the new Masonic Temple in Boston. All business was deferred until a more favorable time.

The year 1864 finally came to a close with a special meeting called to elect and install officers for the ensuing year. All officers previously elected at the annual meeting in October had declined to serve. During the years immediately following, the Lodge prospered as membership gradually increased with some seventy members being recorded in the year 1866. A temporary drop in membership was sustained latt-r in 1866 with the formation of a Lodge in Westboro.

Additional interesting details from the minutes of that era include the call of a special meeting on April 19, 1865, to attend memorial services for the late President Abraham Lincoln. The Lodge members, accompanied by the Hopkinton Band, formed a procession and marched to the Methodist Church for the ceremonies.

During 1866 the sum of $115.00 was voted to purchase a Gem Organ for the musical entertainment of the Brethren. In March, 1866, we received from the Brethren of Montgomery Lodge a set of door knockers and a fine ivory gavel with an inscribed silver band. This same historic gavel is still in use after ninety-five years of service.

On the 24th of June, 1867, a special and very exciting communication was held prior to traveling to Boston to witness the dedication of the Masonic Temple. Some forty-six members were on hand and marched from the Hall on Church Street through Main Street escorted by the Hopkinton Band. At Cedar Street carriages were waiting to convey the members and the band to Cordaville where they entrained for Boston, together with members of the Lodge from Westboro.

On arriving in Boston, the procession was again formed and all marched to the American House, where the Lodge had engaged rooms for the occasion. A colorful description of the historical event is taken from the minutes:

After spending a short time renovating the inner and outer man the procession was formed and marched to the Common where we took our place in the Twelfth Division of the Grand Procession which was composed as follows: 354 Masons in carriages, many of them being aged and infirm, and their venerable appearance made them a center of great interest and attraction. On foot there were some 8,545. There were forty-nine bands of music numbering in the aggregate 958 men, making a grand total in the procession of nearly 10,000 men. As the procession passed from the Common it was reviewed by Andrew Johnson, President of the United States, and a member of the order.

The streets through which the procession passed were one solid mass of humanity. The windows were filled to capacity by the ladies who, by their smile, and hearty recognition of the order, added to the pleasure and beauty of the occasion. After passing through various streets, many of them beautifully decorated, the procession returned to the Common, following which we returned to the American House where we partook of a bounteous dinner much to the pleasure and gratification of all.

After satisfying the inner man, the procession again formed and marched to the depot — all being full satisfied with the glory, dust, and heat of the day, and happy to set their faces homeward where we arrived at the Hall in safe condition at eleven o'clock P.M.

Moving along with our history, in 1869 we find the annual dues increased to two dollars. At the annual meeting in October, 1859, the Lodge failed to provide a majority ballot to elect officers for the ensuing fiscal year. By letter they were admonished by the Grand Master and ordered to hold a special meeting for the express purpose of selecting officers. After due deliberation, Wor. Bro. Owen Wood was chosen as Master, although he had served two terms in previous years.

Dues were increased again in 1872 to four dollars, and in 1883 the by-laws were amended to change the meeting date from Friday to Wednesday evenings.

Considerable space is devoted in the minutes of that era to the intemperance of one of the Brethren and the resulting injurious and damaging eftects upon the reputation of the Lodge. After due deliberation, a committee of three was appointed to approach the Brother and inform him of the minds and action of the Brethren. The chastened Brother promised to repent, and he was either equal to his word, or more careful with his social activities, as he remained in good standing until his demise some fifteen years later.

John Warren Lodge, along with many other Lodges, lost many members in this era who withdrew from Masonry rather than pay the membership tax imposed by the Grand Lodge. The tax was levied to raise funds to complete the new Boston Temple at the corner of Boylston and Tremont Streets.

Although many of the local manufacturing plants were not rebuilt and were lost to the town following the disastrous fire of 1882, the Lodge in general prospered. In October of 1883, Wor. Amos L. Madden was elected to serve a third consecutive term as Master — the membership totaled about eighty-four — and the zeal and fidelity exemplified during the formative years proved a firm foundation on which to build the future.


With the anticipated expiration of the twenty-year lease on the Claflin Building, interest was keen among the membership to seek newer and larger quarters. After several weeks of negotiation, space was leased in the new A. A. Sweet Block, sometimes known as the Highland Block, located at the present site of the Savings Bank and the D. P. Day store.

The new Hall was dedicated on October 12, 1883, by Grand Lodge Officers, with Most Worshipful Samuel C. Lawrence presiding. More lavish ceremonies were held the following month at the public installation of the officers. The talented Mrs. F. A. Safford, in behalf of the lady friends of the Lodge, presented it with a beautiful silver water pitcher, goblets, finger bowl, and salver, with the following original poem:

Your friends, the ladies, kindly give you greeting,
And clasped in hand, in closest friendship meeting,
We, most heartily congratulating, come,
Greatly admiring your beautiful new home;
Not as Sister Masons may we be enrolled —
To aspire so high we ne'er could be so bold.
Never rival order soundeth forth our fame,
Wives of Masons only proudly we remain.
Like the moon our shining with reflected light,
But who loveth not fair Luna's face so bright?
Coming at your bidding bring we gifts to you,
Proving our devotion to a cause so true.
From your lady friends this offering receive,
Kindest wishes with it you may well believe;
May this silver's lustre long undimmed remain —
Emblem of your record, pure and without stain.
Sparkling wine of nature fill the pitcher high,
Pledge our love and friendship, may they never die!
Harmony and peace within these walls prevail,
No foes within, without, your fair fame to assail.
Heaven's choicest blessings on all your good deeds rest,
Is the wish of each one who names herself your guest.

Following the happy occasion, all proceeded to the dining hall to partake of a collation. The seating capacity of the banquet hall was about ninety, and three times were the tables spread e'er the appetites of all present were satisfied.

At this meeting, Bro. Roscoe I. Frail was installed as Marshal, a position he was to hold almost continuously for the next forty-three years.

Many famous Masonic names contributed to the history of the Middle Years. R. W. Rufus Hopkins, who transferred from North Star Lodge of Ashland, was certainly one of the notable Masons of that era. He was outstanding as Master in the years 1884-1885 and became our first District Deputy, serving in that capacity in 1897-1898. He served as Secretary for twenty-two years and his name was continually linked with the history of that period.

R. W. Seymour Knowles, also a transfer from North Star Lodge, became our second District Deputy, serving in 1908-1909 following terms as Master in 1891-1892. Frank Safford, M. B. Eldridge, D. P. Day, Wilbur Wood, E. M. Eldridge, Leroy Woolson, "Doc" Playse, all of these and many more wrote our history in bold, clear characters. Such was the calibre of these men that the Lodge continually prospered and became a vital part of the community life of that era. The membership, however, remained fairly constant. The Year Book of 1909 lists eighty-nine members and a similar publication of 1917 shows ninety-three.

A Lodge of Instruction (similar to our Exemplification) was held in Milford in 1890. Taking part were four other Lodges which with John Warren Lodge comprised the 20th Masonic District. Originally John Warren Lodge was in the 4th Masonic District — 1861-1866; in the 12th District — 1867-1881; the 20th District —1882-1909; and finally in 1910 became part of our present 23rd District.

In 1881 the Lodge voted the sum of $107.60 for the purchase of a new piano to replace the old Gem Organ which had permanently ceased to function. Also authorized was the purchase of one-half dozen spittoons, presumably the big, shiny brass ones.

A very special occasion was the 17th of June, 1887, when a Masonic social was held for the purpose of presenting all who were entitled with Past Masters' jewels. The Lodge had appropriated $224.00 for the purchase of these jewels.

On the morning of March 15, 1900, fire destroyed the Lodge quarters, and for a time meetings were held in the hall belonging to Eagle Lodge, No. 114, I.O.O.F. About $400.00 worth of Lodge property was saved from the fire, and in addition, $1500.00 was received from insurance.

Shortly thereafter, the Lodge leased two floors in the Park House Building, later more commonly known as the Bank Block. An annual rent of $175.00 was established, and these quarters became our permanent home until they were destroyed by fire in 1941. Many of our present members have pleasant recollections of those quarters which were located on the very site of our present Temple. Immediate regulations for the new Hall restricted marching, dancing, or card playing.

The cost of furnishing the new hall and ante-room amounted to $925.68. Additional monies were spent for kitchen material — $270.86, and a new piano, $200.00, totaling in all $1396.54, which was covered by the insurance check. Appropriations of ten and five dollars respectively were voted for two of the committee members for their services in fitting up the lodge-rooms.

"Progress was the most important product" in December of 1906 as the Lodge voted to install electric lights at a cost not to exceed $130.00.

The first Past Masters' Night, now an annual affair, was held in 1908. R.W. Rufus Hopkins occupied the East, and the remaining stations were assumed by Past Masters of the Lodge, excluding the Tyler and Inside Sentinel positions.

With the coming of the year 1910, an historic milestone was realized, the fiftieth anniversary of John Warren Lodge. Wor. E. M. Eldridge, serving his third consecutive term as Master, opened the special communication at two o'clock in the afternoon to receive the Grand Lodge Officers. Remarks were made by many of the distinguished visitors, an historical address was given by Wor. Wilbur Wood, and a quartette organized by Wor. Frank Safford rendered appropriate music. The Lodge closed at 6:00 P.M. Supper, served in the nearby Congregational Church, preceded a social evening for members and their families.

With the completion of the first half century, the Lodge eagerly prepared for the immediate years ahead. Degree fees were increased to $30.00. In 1916, Wor. Wilbur Wood became the third member of the Lodge to be selected as District Deputy.

On November 20, 1918, Bro. Roscoe Frail received the Henry Price Medal, having achieved fifty years of Masonry. In May, 1926, he was made an honorary member of the Lodge. He continued as Marshal, last serving in that station in March 1929. A special medal contained in our archives commemorates his long period of service to the Lodge.

While the present quarters were satisfactory, the Lodge considered the purchase of the Methodist Church located on Church Street. However, no positive action was taken on this proposal. The committee appointed in 1921 to solicit funds for the proposed George Washington Memorial was more successful. $107.00 was donated by the members for this worthwhile project.

With the progress of time the degree fees became $40.00 in 1924, and the annual dues $6.00. In 1932 we joined with other Lodges in the district to form a Lodge of Instruction. The bylaws were altered in 1933, changing the meeting date from Wednesday to Tuesday evening. The Lodge was again honored in 1934 by the appointment of Wor. William Sheldon as District Deputy Grand Master.

Wor. Charles Robertson was the presiding Master when our 75th anniversary was observed. Following a banquet served in the Congregational Church, the members returned to the Lodge to receive the Grand Master and Suite. During the evening a history of the Lodge was read by Wor. E. M. Eldridge. The records reveal that some two hundred and fifty were present, although that number would far exceed the capacity of the hall. Following remarks by the Grand Master and guests, the Lodge closed at 9:50 P.M.

A committee headed by R.W. William Sheldon journeyed to the Masonic Home in 1940 to plant a tree in memory of R.W. Rufus Hopkins. The years passed swiftly and pleasantly as the middle period came to a close.


In the early morning of January 11, 1941, fire broke out in the Bank Block which housed the Masonic quarters. The building was occupied on the ground floor by the Post Office, Goudey's Drug Store, and the National Bank. The second floor contained the offices of Judge Daniel Riley, lawyer, Dr. Frederick Clancy, dentist, and the kitchen and banquet hall of John Warren Lodge. The entire top floor contained the apartments of the Lodge.

The fire completely destroyed the top floor and portions of the first and second floors. All of the furniture, fixtures, and regalia of the Lodge were destroyed. Pictures of departed Past Masters, many old petitions, applications, and other papers of historical value were forever lost. The records, register, and the frame containing Past Masters' jewels were contained in the safe on the second floor and were undamaged. The Lodge equipment was insured for $3000.00, which was collected in full.

For two years following the fire meetings were held in the Grange Hall on Hayden Row Street, also in lodge-rooms of adjoining towns. In January of 1943, we first met in Eldridge Hall of the Congregational Church, which was to become our home for the next ten years. Committees were appointed periodically to locate suitable quarters for the Lodge, but no definite progress was achieved until June 26, 1945, when the Acacia Club was formed expressly to raise funds and promote activities which would lead eventually to the building of a new Masonic Temple.

Details of the Acacia Club activities through the years which culminated in the erection of the beautiful building we now occupy is not required in this publication, since the complete history of this vital organization is contained in a pictorial brochure entitled The Building of a Temple which was released in February of 1959.

The use of temporary quarters had little effect on the activities of the Lodge, as some 149 applications were received during the homeless years. Our historic gavel, which had been damaged by the fire, was beautifully restored by Wor. Victor York of Montgomery Lodge.

A long tenure of service came to a conclusion in 1946 when Wor. "Doc" Playse resigned as Treasurer to take up residence in Florida. He had served the Lodge faithfully and efficiently in that office for twenty-nine long years. In 1950 R.W. Alton L. Douglas became the fifth member of our Lodge to be chosen District Deputy.

The year 1951 featured a "Silver Anniversary Night", honoring all who had achieved twenty-five years' membership in John Warren Lodge.

The framework of the new Temple was erected in 1952 and the basement made ready for occupancy. Finally, on September 16th of that year, a special communication was held in the new banquet hall to install the Lodge officers. It is interesting to note that on that evening Wor. Norman Kimball was installed as Master of the Lodge, and that his father, Wor. Clifton Kimball, had been presiding Master when the previous quarters were destroyed by the fire of 1941.

The banquet hall was to be our home for the next six years while work progressed on the main hall and lobby. Considerable pride was taken in our new building, which was the first property and real estate actually owned by a local Masonic organization.

The by-laws were revised, republished and distributed to the membership in 1954. Also in that year, a five-dollar annual assessment was levied on all members to offset building expense and to "remain in effect for the duration of our needs, and shall be terminated on the advice of the Worshipful Master with the vote of the Lodge."

On the evening of June 9, 1953, while enjoying a fried chicken dinner in Eldridge Hall of the Congregational Church prior to convening at the Temple for degree work, temporary failure of the electrical system gave advance warning of a devastating tornado that plunged this general area in chaos. Little damage occurred in Hopkinton, and the evening's program continued without further interruption. Because of blocked roads in the Southville area caused by falling trees, our organist, Bro. Maurice Guy, was unable to reach Hopkinton from his home in Marlboro. This marked the first absence of Bro. Guy in some twenty-three years of continuous service as Lodge Organist. Bro. Guy was made an honorary member of the Lodge in 1938.

On May 10, 1955, our late Past Master, Wor. D. P. Day, graciously accepted a Grand Lodge Scroll in recognition of fifty years as a Past Master. The fine spirit of brotherhood was also exemplified in April, 1957, when Wor. Curtis Melvin and Wor. Earl Maxwell were presented Past Masters' Aprons in recognition of their service to the Lodge and in the construction of the new Temple. Currently, all Masters receive their Past Masters' Apron on the evening of the installation, a pleasant custom that originated in 1951.

The greatest day in our one hundred-year history fell on the cold winter evening of December 8, 1958. After years of devoted effort, our ambitious building program came to a climax, and for the first time in eighteen long years the officers and members were privileged to use a completely equipped and carpeted lodge-room. No written page could adequately describe the untiring efforts of our craftsmen and the cooperation of the membership during the final years which transformed the upper section of our building into one of the most beautiful lodge-rooms to be found anywhere.

These were indeed exciting times for the members of John Warren Lodge with the completion of the new Temple and the approach of the Centennial Year. In February, 1959, a beautiful, illuminated scroll, together with honorary membership, was presented to our talented craftsman, Bro. William Hamilton, for his superb skill and tireless labor in finishing the lodge-room.

As we complete the cycle of one hundred years of Masonry in this Town and anticipate our official observance in October, we are ever cognizant of the gallant men who preceded us and who faithfully served the Lodge since its inception. So many contributed so much that it is impossible to give due credit for all individual accomplishments. It is fitting, however, that we pause in tribute to our gallant predecessors: "There are stars that go out in the darkness, But whose silvery light lingers on. There are roses whose perfume still lingers, When the blossoms are faded and gone. There are hearts full of light and of sweetness, When no longer their life current flows. Still their goodness lives on with the living, Like the souls of the star and the rose.

The sands of time flow steadily onward as we prepare for the new century ahead. May we draw from the records of the past added inspiration for the future. The past is gone, and we can use it only as an example. The future is our challenge. Let us meet this challenge with courage and foresight — our heritage for those who follow.


  • 1872 (Past Grand Master John Warren appeared on the program for the Feast of St. John)



From Liberal Freemason, Vol. II, No. 8, November 1878, Page 254:

John Warren Lodge F. and A. M. have elected the following officers for the ensuing year: Fred Whittemore, W. M.; F. E. Tucker. S. W.; C. E. Wheeler, J. W.; B. F. Coburn, Treasurer; B. F. Hodge, Secretary; J. H. King, Chaplain; A. L. Madden, S. D.; E. L. Warren, J. W.; John McCuen, S. S.; E. M. Caswell, J. S.; William Kennedy, Tyler; Charles H. Millard, Marshal; A. G. Brewer, Organist. The following are chosen as Relief Committee: C. H. Millard. Ambrose Woolson, Dr. George S. Albec, Marcus Wood, George H. Hunt.

It is reported that there will be a public installation of the officers on Friday evening, Nov. 22d.


From TROWEL, Summer 1990, Page 17:

John Warren Lodge Installs Three Brothers to Offices

At the installation of officers of John Warren Lodge of Hopkinton another page of its illustrious history was added. The Hon. Dennis J. Robinson, Justice of the Peace in Franklin, was seated as the Master, his brother George was installed Junior Warden, and another brother, Wor. Norman L., was installed Treasurer. It is the first time in the history of the Lodge, which was chartered in 1860, that three brothers have held three of the top four offices of the Lodge. They are the sons of the late R.W. William J. Robinson who presided as Master of the Lodge in 1963 and who died of cancer in 1983 as the D. D. G. M. of the Natick 23rd. Had he lived to see Dennis installed as Master, it is possible Bro. Bill would have been installed Secretary, an office he held during his life. His photographic skills were part of his trademark. Bro. Bill's three sons have inherited his penchant for good ritual.

Wor. Norman Robinson. Wor. Dennis Robinson, and Bro. George Robinson.




1860: District 4

1867: District 12 (Milford)

1883: District 20 (Milford)

1911: District 23 (Milford)

1927: District 23 (Natick)

2003: District 15

2009: District 15 (South)


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