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LAFAYETTE LODGE (Boston Highlands / Roxbury / Norwood)

Location: Roxbury; Norwood (1958)

Chartered By: Charles C. Dame

Charter Date: 06/13/1866 VII-83

Precedence Date: 06/12/1865

Current Status: merged with Dover Lodge to form Lafayette-Dover Lodge, 08/31/1985.


  • Charles J. Danforth, 1865-1867
  • John Kneeland, 1868, 1869
  • William F. Mullin, 1870, 1871
  • Frederic M. Briggs, 1872
  • Ambrose Davenport, 1873, 1874
  • Horatio W. Brown, 1875, 1876
  • John O. Smith, 1877, 1878
  • William G. Fish, 1879, 1880
  • Franklin Burr, 1881, 1882
  • Henry W. Gore, 1883, 1884
  • Henry Sawyer, 1885, 1886
  • Albert B. Blodgett, 1887, 1888; Mem
  • John C. Warren, 1889, 1890
  • Edward A. Flint, 1891
  • Edgar E. Gray, 1892, 1893
  • Gardener F. Packard, 1894, 1895
  • John A. Williams, 1896, 1897
  • William W. Merrill, 1898
  • Austin E. Carpenter, 1899
  • Arthur T. Reed, 1900, 1901
  • James W. Blaisdell, 1902, 1903
  • Bertram J. Watson, 1904, 1905
  • Sherburne N. Miller, 1906, 1907
  • George H. Perry, 1908, 1909
  • Charles S. Hall, 1910
  • Frank Vogel, 1911, 1912 RW
  • Ralph H. Whitney, 1913, 1914
  • Louis A. Anderson, 1915, 1916
  • Daniel R. Knight, 1917
  • Frank Salter, 1918
  • Charles H. Pike, 1919
  • Arthur B. English, 1920
  • William E. Crosby, 1921
  • George E. Murray, 1922
  • Frank C. Hendry, 1923
  • Louis J. Van Ham, 1924
  • Walter H. McGee, 1925
  • Harry J. Kenworthy, 1926
  • Clarence A. Bates, 1927
  • Leon W. Barritt, 1928
  • Arthur M. Green, 1929
  • William O. Watt, 1930; Mem
  • Andrew B. McCollock, 1931, 1932
  • James H. L. Erdis, 1933
  • Lester B. Young, 1934; N
  • Noble B. Steeves, 1935
  • Warren L. Robinson, 1936
  • Reginald E. B. Bagnall, 1937
  • Earle P. Wittet, 1938
  • Kenneth M. Barney, 1939
  • Waldo E. Booth, 1940
  • Carl M. H. Oberg, 1941
  • Lealon H. Gould, 1942
  • Loren C. Hiltz, 1943
  • Harold E. Hiltz, 1944
  • William J. Carter, 1945
  • Chester A. Pindell, 1946, 1947
  • William Kershaw, 1948
  • Ira L. Ripley, 1949
  • Howard W. Eldredge, 1950
  • Albert E. Richwagon, 1951
  • Robert R. Gair, 1952
  • Charles A. Perkins, 1953
  • Philo C. Epps, 1954
  • Leonard Osmond, 1955
  • Peter A. Panacy, 1956
  • Russell O. Barritt, 1957, 1969; N
  • Vincent J. Krajewski, 1958
  • Charles A. Miller, 1959
  • Strates Frangules, 1960
  • Arnold G. C. Andersen, 1961
  • Guilford M. Langill, Jr., 1962
  • Fred L. Toppan, 1963
  • Hamilton B. McGee, 1964
  • Alvah N. Crosby, 1965
  • Walter J. Collyer, 1966
  • Edwin Moores, 1967
  • David H. Foshey, 1968
  • Eldon A. Scott, 1970, 1972
  • Arnold G.C. Andersen, 1971
  • James B. Kershaw, 1973; PDDGM
  • Horace F. Scott, 1974
  • David Gregory, 1975
  • Justin K. Hagar, 1976
  • Arthur M. Papas, 1977, 1978
  • Edward I. Waldman, 1979
  • Donald M. Chambers, 1980; N
  • Nathan Nuel Rosenhek, 1981; N
  • Gerald P. Michael, 1982
  • Karl A. McCarthy, 1983
  • Harry K. Knudsen, 1984, 1985


  • Petition for Dispensation: 1865
  • Petition for Charter: 1866
  • Consolidation Petition (with Dover Lodge): 1985


  • 1890 (25th Anniversary)
  • 1919 (50th Anniversary)
  • 1965 (Centenary)



1869 1870 1871 1873 1882 1886 1889 1898 1901 1907 1910 1912 1913 1914 1917 1918 1921 1923 1926 1928 1932 1936 1940 1944 1951 1957 1980 1983


  • 1893 (History at Hall Dedication, 1893-27 reference; not in Proceedings)
  • 1915 (50th Anniversary History, 1919-542; see below)
  • 1965 (Centenary History, 1965-165; see below)


From Proceedings, Page 1919-542:

By Rt. Wor. Albert Novatus Blodgett. Read at the Fiftieth Anniversary, June 12, 1915.

"History is a recapitulation, almost a resurrection of past events, which brings again to recollection those incidents which the lapse of time has partially obscured.

"The meaning and potency of all events, even of those which may have been considered of minor importance, grow with every rehearsal of them. That light which during their occurrence spread over a comparatively long period, is focussed as it were, into a few brief moments; and, as in perspective, we see much that the participators in these events could not really perceive; and see the true importance of many things which they were then unable fully to realize.

"The habit of observing anniversaries is worthy the most extensive development, if for no other reason than that it tends to deepen and spread abroad a warmth of feeling and of active sympathy. In keeping with this sentiment, we today commemorate the events which marked the inception and establishment of Lafayette Lodge, A.P. & A.M., and honor the memory of those worthy Brethren who laid its foundations so deep and broad; well worthy the noble Institution of Free Masonry, this Institution whose life in some form can be traced backward into the remote past, far beyond the confines of authentic history, and whose votaries are found in every land and on every sea, an Institution wonderfully adapted to meet the needs and to remedy the defects and to make strong the weaker parts of our faulty, limited human nature, to build up noble and manly character, and to make all its devoted disciples better men and more worthy their places in every relation of life. {From Address delivered by Bro. Edward P. Sherburne at the Fiftieth Anniversary of Mount Vernon Royal Arch Chapter, Masonic Temple, Boston, March 8, 1915.}

"General Lafayette came to this country when he was about nineteen years old, and immediately entered the family of General Washington. It is related, with a considerable degree of probability, that he never received an independent command and never realized that he had the entire confidence of General Washington until he had been made a Mason in one of the Army Lodges. After that the way was entirely clear. He and General Washington were for the rest of their lives the most devoted friends.

"Some of those present may possibly remember to have heard in their younger days of the triumphal march which Lafayette made from one end of the country to the other in the year 1825. From every part of the country, as he made that grand progress, there was echoed and reechoed the sentiment so felicitously expressed in the lines which greeted the hero as he crossed the boundary between the town of Roxbury and the City of Boston:

"The fathers in glory shall sleep,
That gathered with thee in the fight,
But the sons will eternally keep
The tablet of gratitude bright.
We bow not the neck,
and we bend not the knee,
But our hearts, Lafayette,
we surrender to thee.

"The Masonic Fraternity was conspicuous in all the honors paid to Lafayette and there were none that he seemed to value more highly than those that came from our Fraternity. This illustrates the character of the men who were prominent in the service of their country for courage, for intelligence, and for true devotion to the principles which the Masonic Fraternity professes and exemplifies. The founders of the Roxbury Lodges acted wisely in canonizing the two most brilliant exemplars of those principles, men whom the whole human race will always delight to honor.

{Historical Address by R.W. Sereno D. Nickerson, Recording Grand Secretary, at the Centennial Celebration of Washington Lodge, A. F. & A. M., March 17, 1876.}

The history of Lafayette Lodge, A. F. & A. M., Roxbury, Mass., begins in 1865, coincident with the return of peace after the Civil "War. Previous to this time, the dignity and exalted character of the Masonic Institution in Roxbury had been worthily maintained and jealously guarded by the already venerable Washington Lodge, whose history extends back to the days of the distinguished Patriot and Brother for whom it is named. Its rolls bear the names of some of the most notable men of three centuries, and its archives are rich in association which have to do with many of the most important events of our civic history.

This was previous to the annexation of Roxbury to the City of Boston; when Roxbury was a separate municipality, and its people naturally and properly felt a civic pride and a personal responsibility for the dignity and the honor of everything that concerned their affairs. The City of Roxbury was the object of the pride of its residents, and was justly considered one of the ornaments among the municipalities of the Commonwealth.

At that time, Washington Lodge was already a very large body, was in affluent financial circumstances, and was a power in its influence upon the people in its vicinity. It was felt that there was room in Roxbury for another Masonic Lodge, which sentiment was also expressed by the Brethren of Washington Lodge, by whom it is said the name of the new Lodge was suggested.

In 1865, thirteen Masonic Brethren, belonging chiefly to Washington Lodge, but some to other Masonic bodies, gathered on June 8, at the regular meeting of that Lodge, when this matter was laid before the Brethren and permission was cordially conferred for a new Lodge. These Brethren, with the consent and approval of Washington Lodge, appealed to the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge for the establishment of a new Lodge, under the name suggested by the Brethren of Washington Lodge: Lafayette. Their prayer was granted; and later these brethren, with eleven others, received authorization from the Grand Lodge, and "Lafayette Lodge" was established. The new Lodge was first organized under what is called a "Dispensation" from the Grand Master, and was awaiting the expected Charter from the Grand Lodge; and during this time the members of the new Lodge retained their original membership in the Lodges to which they had formerly belonged, as was then the custom. Wor. Brother Kneeland writes under date of June 12, 1866, "Attended Washington Lodge in the evening. Got my discharge with others belonging to Lafayette, as the Grand Lodge have granted us a Charter.

On July 2, 1866, Wor. Brother Kneeland writes: "Lafayette Lodge was constituted this evening by the Grand Lodge. Ladies were present at the Installation of Officers.

On October 8, 1866, "The Lodge received the District Deputy Grand Master, Rt. Wor. N. A. Thompson."

On November 12, 1866, Wor. Brother Kneeland writes: Lafayette in the evening; first degree; our Pastor was the only candidate."

The Charter which was conferred upon the Lodge on June 12 of this year bears the following names as Charter Members: Right Worshipful Charles Jarvis Danforth, Charles Lowell Thayer, George Woods Rice, Franklin Smith Merritt, William Franklin Mullin, Charles Edwin Miles, William Hobbs, Jr., Daniel Wheeler, John Kneeland, Julius Bacon, Charles Carroll Harvey, George William Gregerson, Stephen Guyer Taylor, George Percival Knox Walker, Charles Lowell Lane, George Bowler, Jr., Frederick Milton Briggs, William Bird May, William Henry Hill, Augustus Parker, George Jerome Arnold, Horace Grenville Willis, Christian Berbann Graves, and Joseph White, Jr., twenty-four in all.

Their Charter bears the signatures of Most Worshipful Charles C. Dame, Grand Master; William Sutton, Senior Grand Warden; Wyzeman Marshall, Junior Grand Warden, and Rt. Wor. Charles W. Moore as Grand Secretary, attesting these signatures.

The first Master of Lafayette Lodge was Rt. Wor. Charles Jarvis Danforth, who presided over the Lodge for three years. He was later elected Junior Grand Warden of the Grand Lodge, and died while holding that office. As so few of our present members can recall our first Master, it may be appropriate at this place to include as a fitting tribute to his character the Report of a Committee of the Grand Lodge which was appointed to draw up, and present resolutions to that body on the occasion of his death; which is as follows:

"In the vigor of life, in the midst of his days, Charles Jarvis Danforth, our Right Worshipful Junior Grand Warden, has been called from the beloved wife and children, whose love so endeared him to the domestic joys of his pleasant home; from his partners and associates in business life where his true manhood, courage, and integrity had secured for him a position of honor and esteem; from the place of public worship, where his seat had been seldom vacant during the many years that he had associated with the congregation assembled in the old church in Eliot Square, and from his old and warm friend, Dr. Putnam, now for more than forty years its beloved Pastor; from the various Masonic circles and associations where his worth was appreciated, and from the earthly fellowship of his Masonic Brethren, to whom he was united by the strongest ties of sincere affection. The places that have known him will know him no more. But from all these associations will come the one testimony — that a good man has fallen; upright in his dealings, courageous and persevering in business, prompt and thorough in all the work his hands found to do.

"Charles Jarvis Danforth was born in Taunton, this state, August 11, 1825. He died at his residence in this city, 58 Thornton Street, on May 17, 1877, aged fifty-one years, nine months, and six days. He was buried at Forest Hills Cemetery on Monday, May 21, by the Grand Lodge, accompanied by Lafayette Lodge, of which he was a member, and by delegations from Columbian, Aberdour, Washington, andJoseph Webb Lodges, and from bodies in other departments of Masonry, with which he was, or had been connected.

"Brother Danforth was made a Mason in Columbian Lodge, Boston, January 6, 1859. He received the Second Degree February 3, and was made Master Mason April 7, of the same year. On the 5th of May following he became a member of this Lodge.<br
He was honorably discharged from membership, January 2. 1862, and became a Charter Member of Aberdour Lodge, Boston. Of this Lodge he was Senior Deacon from its organization until November 11, 1862, when he was elected Master, and was reelected November 10, 1863.

"This Lodge voted December 13, 1864, to present him a Past Master's jewel. The Secretary of Aberdour Lodge, Brother Charles I. Eaton, says, 'While a member he was constantly called upon to serve on committees, and upon different occasions, which, I am informed, he was always ready and anxious to do.'

"He became an Honorary Member of Joseph Webb Lodge June 2, 1877.

"In 1865 he joined with others in the organization of Lafayette Lodge, Boston Highlands, and served as Master under Dispensation granted by Grand Master Parkman June 12, 1865; and was elected Master after the Lodge was chartered and for the three following years, presiding ever the Lodge four years. The Secretary of this Lodge, Brother John D. Willard, in a communication to your committee, speaks highly of 'the esteem and respect in which he was held by the members of Lafayette Lodge, to whom he was ever their faithful friend and mentor.'

"In December, 1871, he was appointed District Deputy Grand Master for the Third Masonic District by Grand Master Nickerson, which office he continued to fill for four consecutive years, the last by appointment of our present Grand Master Everett. This District comprises the twelve Lodges located in East Boston, South Boston, Boston Highlands, Dorchester District, and West Roxbury District, all within the present limits of this city.

"At our last Annual Communication he was elected Junior Grand Warden, receiving all but three votes of the three hundred and fifty-three cast, and he died while holding this honorable position in the Craft.

"In all his Masonic work he was earnest, efficient, prompt, and thorough. He was well skilled in Masonic usages, and possessed a very general and correct knowledge of Masonic ceremonies and rituals. He did so well whatever work was assigned to him that he was never without some work to do.

"It is manifest that such a man must gain the esteem and love of his Brethren. This was sometimes shown in valuable presents bestowed, such as a very valuable clock from Lafayette Lodge, and a set of Appleton's Cyclopaedia, in elegant library binding, from the Lodges of the Third Masonic District.

"In other departments of Masonry he was equally zealous and efficient, having held the first office in Chapter and Council, and at the time of his death was the presiding officer of the Grand Council of the State. He had but recently received the Orders of Masonic Knighthood; and held no official position in that branch of Masonry.
"Your committee submit the following resolutions:

  • "Resolved, That in the death of our Junior Grand Warden, R. W. Charles Jarvis Danforth, we mourn the loss of one who had become endeared to us by his fidelity to the great principles of our Order, his readiness to accept and perform whatever Masonic work was assigned to him, by the conscientious and thorough manner in which he executed whatever his hand found to do for the welfare of the Craft, and by the heartiness he manifested in social intercourse, making him always a pleasant companion and a Brother beloved.
  • "Resolved, That while we mourn our loss, we will cherish with grateful recollection the influence of his manly life, his devotion to duty, his friendship which made a Brother's welfare his own, and of a life, in all its varied relations, well spent.
  • "Resolved, That the Recording Grand Secretary be instructed to
forward to the widow of our deceased Brother an attested copy of
these resolutions.
  • Charles H. Titus,
  • J. Elliot Bond,
  • Henry G. Fay,
  • Committee. "

As has been recorded in the Proceedings of the Grand Lodge, Rt. Wor. Brother Danforth continued to be the Master of Lafayette Lodge during the first years of its existence.

Charles Jarvis Danforth was the son of Jarvis and Susan Keith (Williams) Danforth, and was born in Taunton, Mass., August 11, 1825. His parents removed to Boston when he was about sixteen years old, and then began his mercantile life, which continued in this city until his death. He married January 9, 1851, Sarah E., daughter of Daniel Bobbins of Boston, and to them were born five children, three of whom are living, Louisa Wilson, who married Wor. Bro. S. Everett Tinkham; Alfred William, who is in business at Los Angeles, Cal., and Susie Williams, who married J. Danforth Dunbar, and now lives in Canton, Mass. The other two children, Charles Edward and Francis Christian died before reaching their majority.

'This record is kindly prepared by Wor. Bro. S. Everett Tinkham, Past Master of Washington Lodge, A. F. & A .M., Roxbury, Mass.

"At the meeting of Lafayette Lodge in its Regular Communication on May 14, A.L. 5877, Rt. Wor. Charles Jarvis Danforth was the Chairman of a committee to nominate the officers in Lafayette Lodge for the ensuing year.

"On May 21, A.L. 5877, the Lodge was assembled in a Special Communication for the purpose of paying their last Honors to their Right Worshipful Brother, and together with large delegations from the many Masonic bodies with which he was connected. At this Communication a committee was appointed to draft resolutions of respect to the memory of Rt. Wor. Brother Danforth, and present them at the next meeting of the Lodge.

John D. Willard, Secretary.

Records of Lafayette Lodge, October 14, A.L. 5878.

"At the Annual Communication in June, 5877, Wor. Brother A. Davenport brought the subject of a monument to the memory of the first Worshipful Master of Lafayette Lodge to the attention of the Lodge, and in accordance with his motion, a committee was appointed, consisting of Wor. Brother Smith, Wor. Brother Davenport, Wor. Brother Mullin, Wor. Brother Briggs, and Brothers Fish and W. H. Sawyer, with full powers. The cooperation of the several Lodges in the Third Masonic District was sought, and the contributions, mainly the result of individual subscriptions, are as follows:

  • Lafayette Lodge, $170.00
  • St. Paul's Lodge, 125.00
  • Gate of the Temple Lodge, 50.00
  • Washington Lodge, 125.00
  • Eliot Lodge, 50.00
  • Rabboni Lodge, 21.00
  • R. W. Seth C. Ames, D .D. G. M., for the Third Masonic District 10.00

"The Worshipful Master, Wor. John Oliver Smith, congratulated the Lodge on the successful carrying out of the project (originating in this Lodge) for the erection of a monument to the memory of our late brother, Rt. Wor. Charles Jarvis Danforth.

"The entire cost of the structure was $550. Its design, a broken column executed in Hallowell granite and mounted on an appropriate pedestal, was approved by the committee, Among several presented by the Sculptor. It is erected in Lot No. 2250, Forest Hills, Girard Path, and the Brethren are invited to visit it. On motion of Wor. Brother Smith, a vote of thanks was tendered to the Lodges in the Third District which by their hearty cooperation and material (aid) insured the election of this elegant tribute to the memory of R. W. Brother Danforth."

In the Record of the Regular Communication April 14, A.L. 5879, is the following:

"Voted: that the thanks of the Lodge be extended to Mr. C. M. Leland, for the donation of a portrait of R.W. Charles J. Danforth, painted by his son, Henry Leland."

In the Records of the earlier years of the existence of the Lodge are many facts of interest to us on the present occasion. One of these is particularly worthy of notice at this time.

"During the first year, while the Lodge worked under a Dispensation, ten candidates were Initiated, Passed, and Raised to the sublime degree of Master Mason."

These brethren all joined the Lodge as soon as it was chartered, and on July 2, A.L. 5866 (1866), the record of the Communication for the Dedication of the Lodge, when its Charter had been granted, contains the following entry:

"After a sufficient interval, the Lodge was called to order by the 
Most Worshipful Grand Master, when Brother Linus B. Comins, Jr.,
 in a neat speech presented to the Lodge on behalf of Brothers

  • John Mclnness,
  • Cornelius O. Spaulding,
  • William P. Fowle,
  • Linus B. Comins, Jr.,
  • George E. Foster,
  • Amos A. Brewster,
  • Horatio Wm. Brown,
  • Thomas Peirce,
  • Henry Faulkner and
  • George McBride,

the ten Brethren initiated under the Dispensation, an elegant set of Jewels.

The Jewels now worn by the officers of the lodge were presented by these ten brothers.

Extract from Records, April 6, A.L. 5867.

"Brother F. S. Merritt in a few appropriate remarks, presented to the Lodge a Seal. On motion of Brother Kneeland it was voted that the Seal be accepted, and the thanks of the Lodge be presented to Brother Merritt for his valuable and timely gift."

From Address by Worshipful Ambrose Davenport, Jr., June 14, A.L. 5875.

"Brethren, one more consideration,—the name which our Lodge bears — Lafayette. It is but another name for 'patriot,' 'soldier,' and 'statesman.' This distinguished man, a Frenchman by birth, left his home in a vessel at his own expense to assist a liberty-loving but oppressed people to achieve their freedom. Years later, as a Freemason, by invitation of the Grand Lodge of this Commonwealth, he laid the Corner-stone of Bunker Hill Monument, and received the intelligent homage of the Nation whose cause he had espoused in behalf of popular Liberty. . .

"What more distinguished appellation, next to that of Washington (whose friend and companion he was), could we possessf Let us see then, as a Lodge and as individual Brethren, that we bear the name of our illustrious Brother the deepest reverence and honor."

Brother John Kneeland succeeded Rt. Wor. Brother Danforth as Worshipful Master in June, 1868.

On June 8, 1868, Wor. Brother Kneeland writes: "Attended Lodge meeting; and am sorry that I was chosen to the chief office; 'Worshipful Master.' "

On September 14, 1868, Brother Kneeland writes: "Attended Lodge meeting and was installed Worshipful Master of Lafayette Lodge succeeding Rt. Wor. Brother C. J. Danforth."

John Kneeland was born in Plymouth, Mass., November 25, 1821, the son of Joshua and Harriet (Harlow) Kneeland. Of his early childhood we know little. He attended the district school of that town, and later the high school (so called), until he was eleven years old. He then went to work in Russel's nail factory; and continued there at work for about four and a half years,—until the financial crisis in 1836 caused the closing of this factory. He then began to attend school again, first in that district, and then at the high school. At the suggestion of the master of that school, and through his kindly aid, he began teaching at the age of seventeen, in the Long Pond District School in Plymouth. Through that winter and in succeeding winters he taught district schools, doing such work as came to hand and devoted much time to study in the intervals. In the spring of 1841, he entered the Bridgewater Normal School and studied there till the next winter, when he taught in Walpole. The next winter he taught in Hingham, where lie became a permanent teacher, remaining four years. He then left this place, to take a private school at Dorchester Lower Mills at the suggestion of some friends; but as this did not promise much in the way of advancement, he gave it up and soon after received the appointment of principal of the "Little Neck," now Washington Village, School, from the Dorchester School Committee.

He began that school October 11, 1847. On July 18, 1852, he was transferred to the Mather School by the Dorchester School Committee. From that school, he went to the Washington School in Roxbury September 5, 1854, continuing its principal for twelve years. He then left the public service, and for five years conducted a private school, which gave him better financial returns and more freedom.

Mr. Kneeland had always shown great interest in Sunday Schools, acting as teacher or superintendent from time to time in many such schools. This led to his election as Secretary of the Unitarian Sunday-school Society, to the duties of which office he devoted himself for four years. He then accepted the appointment of agent of the State Board of Education. This position he held only a year and a half. The Legislature of 1877 was so economical that it cut down the appropriation for agents of the Board to $5,000; so two of the agents had to be dropped, and the last one appointed had to be one of them. The Board, however, gave him a very handsome endorsement; so that in the spring of 1878 the Boston School Committee made him a member of the Board of Supervisors. This office he held about fifteen years, finally resigning September 1, 1894,— at that time having nearly completed the seventy-third year of his age.

During his active years, Mr. Kneeland was well known in all educational associations, and other similar movements. In 1852 and 1853 he was President of the Norfolk County Teachers' Association, in 1861 and 1862 of the Massachusetts Teachers' Association, and in 1868 and 1869, of the American Institute of Instruction. For several years he was one of the resident editors of the Massachusetts Teacher. In one period of his life he represented his ward for six years in the Boston School Board.

It will be seen that his life has been spent almost wholly in educational work and in the service of the young. He has been connected with many reform movements,— temperance, anti-slavery, pure politics, and the like. At the age of forty-four years he joined the Freemasons, taking his degrees in Washington Lodge, Roxbury, but went almost at once into the new Lodge then petitioned for, Lafayette, as Senior Warden; and was for many years the only living charter member of that Lodge.

It is probably not known to most of our members, that Brother Kneeland was, with all his other activities, also a Clergyman. In his Records are frequent allusions to his sermons, and the texts upon which they were based.

Brother Kneeland was married June 4, 1848. His first wife was Elizabeth, daughter of Mr. Isaac Sampson of Plymouth. After marriage Mr. Kneeland lived in Roxbury, occupying the mansion house built by Mr. Weld, at 31 Winthrop Street, where he ever afterward resided, and in which he died almost sixty years later.

Mrs. Kneeland died in 1857. On October 28, 1861, Mr. Kneeland was married to Mrs. Mary Frances Fessenden, the widow of Charles H. Fessenden of Boston, who died in 1876, leaving one son, Mr. Herbert F. Kneeland, born November 20, 1862.

In 1879, Mr. Kneeland married Mrs. Harriet M., the widow of Mr. Henry T. Miles, of Boston (who was one of the partners of the Book and Publishing House of Little, Brown & Co.), with whom he lived in the greatest happiness for thirty-nine years, until her death on November 6, 1910. Mrs. Kneeland was a lady of superior attainments, of affectionate and amiable disposition, and in every way adapted to make a suitable companion for a man of Mr. Kneeland's refinement and character.

For almost fifty years Wor. Brother Kneeland was a constant and faithful attendant upon the meetings of his Lodge, where by his urbanity, his wisdom, and his unfailing courtesy he won and retained the love and admiration of all his Brethren. Even after his unspeakable bereavement in the loss of his beloved wife, he was unremitting in his interest in the cause of Masonry, when he attended the meetings of the Lodge on the arm of an old and sincere friend, being a large portion of the time a sufferer from a disease which was fatal in its character, but which he concealed from even his most intimate friends. On the Monday of the week in which he died he was intending to go to the Lodge, but his friend advised him to remain at home, as he wished to attend the "Old Schoolboys' Association" on the succeeding Wednesday evening. He did attend this gathering, and returned home apparently in good spirits, but after retiring he was found to be very ill and soon became unconscious, and died at one p.m., on Friday, October 16, 1914. His funeral was held at his home on Winthrop Street, Roxbury, on October 19. His remains were taken to Plymouth, where they rest beside those of his family in the cemetery near the place where he was born.

At the next meeting of the Lodge, a Committee was appointed to present suitable resolutions upon his death, which was adopted by the Lodge, and a copy was sent to his only son, Mr. Herbert F. Kneeland, of Braintree, Mass.

From his early youth, Brother Kneeland had cultivated educational pursuits, and as an example of his ardent endeavors to prepare himself for the various duties and responsibilities of life, he had started a daily journal of the principal events which took place, or which attracted his serious attention. This journal he continued for nearly seventy years, entering a daily account of his doings, or of what was being done, particularly in relation to educational or other similar efforts for public improvement. It is from the pages of this remarkable journal that many matters of interest in his life, as well as concerning our Lodge, have been gathered through the kind permission of his son, Mr. Herbert F. Kneeland, to whom your Committee desire to express their grateful thanks for his great courtesy and constant kindness in facilitating their labors in relation to the Lodge, as well as to this sketch of the life of our revered Brother.

On October 11, 1866, the records of Washington Lodge contain the following entry:

"A communication was received from Lafayette Lodge, thanking the Lodge for 'the free use of their hall for six months, the use of their jewels and regalia, and for many acts and expressions of kindly interest' and rejoicing 'to believe that as Washington and Lafayette lived in the closest friendship' so might Washington and Lafayette Lodges, united by a sacred obligation in a common object, work together in the utmost harmony."

Wor. Brother William Franklin Mullin succeeded Wor. Brother Kneeland as Master in 1870, and served the Lodge in that capacity for two years. He was a man of sterling qualities, of integrity, and of most conscientious intentions. His influence for a strict adherence to the ancient requirements of the Masonic Institution was always actively felt, and he, by the exercise of these wise and judicious principles, doubtless did much to establish the Lodge upon the firm and consistent career which has since characterized Lafayette Lodge. Wor. Brother Mullin was a sufferer in the great Boston Fire of 1872, which affected his business and made inroads upon his vigorous constitution from which he never fully recovered. He was a faithful member of our body, and his action as well as his voice was always in favor of strict and unswerving justice to all without distinction.

Wor. Brother Mullin was succeeded as Worshipful Master in 1872 by Brother Frederick Milton Briggs, who was widely known in and about Roxbury, both before this city was annexed to Boston and after it was incorporated with the larger municipality. He was an active laborer in the efforts of the Roxbury Charitable Association to relieve the needs of its helpless or sick poor; and thus be became directly instrumental in the several activities for the benefit of the respectable indigent citizens of this great district. He took part in the establishment of a wood-yard connected with that institution, by which persons might obtain relief for their necessities without the humiliating association of so-called "charity," and in many other ways* Wor. Brother Briggs ministered to a class of society which is often little understood in a large city. He lived to realize the success of his endeavors, and died regretted by all with whom he had labored, or who had received the benefit of his public-spirited endeavors.

Owing to the pressure of his public duties, Wor. Brother Briggs held the office of Worshipful Master only one year. He then resigned the Chair, in order to devote himself to his larger duties for the relief of his less fortunate fellow-citizens. The next Master of our Lodge was Wor. Ambrose Davenport, who presided over the Lodge from 1873 to 1875, and who was subsequently a member of our body for twenty-four years.

He was followed by Wor. Brother Horatio William Brown, from 1875 to 1877. Brother Brown became a member of the Lodge in 1866, and had served the Lodge in various capacities during several years before becoming its Master. Brother John Oliver Smith succeeded Wor. Brother Brown as Master from 1877 to 1879. Brother Smith joined the Lodge in 1872, and began his service as an officer of the Lodge in 1873. Wor. Brother Smith has the distinguished merit of having by his generosity established the first fund in Lafayette Lodge devoted to the charitable relief of its members. On February 8, 1886, the Treasurer, Brother Hastings, informed the Lodge that Brother Graves had placed in his hands the sum of Fifty Dollars, which Wor. Brother John 0. Smith had given him to be presented 'to Lafayette Lodge, with a view of establishing a Charity Fund for the Lodge. This notable effort has since been furthered by the Lodge. In the official report to the Lodge at its Annual Meeting, June 13, 1887, the Treasurer reported that the Charity Fund on that date was $226, which was deposited in the Roxbury Institution for Savings, to the credit of the Charity Fund. Again, on October 13, 1903, Wor. Brother Win. F. Mullin presented, on behalf of Wor. John 0. Smith, a certificate for one share of stock in the Roxbury Masonic Association to the "Trustees of Charity Fund, asking that the same might be accepted by the Lodge, and a suitable acknowledgment of his kindness sent to Wor. Brother Smith. This suggestion of Wor. Brother Mullin was adopted by a formal vote.

Wor. Brother Smith was followed in the East, by Brother William G. Fish, a scholarly and able Brother, under whose wise administration the Lodge was highly prosperous and maintained all its previous traditions in the fullest degree. Wor. Brother Fish was Master during the years 1879 to 1881, and witnessed the commencement of a period of increase in the membership of the Lodge which was notable in our annals. Wor. Brother Fish was followed as Master by Wor. Brother Franklin Burr, a devoted Mason, and a Brother whose labors were consecrated to the welfare of the Lodge. Delicate in health, he was sometimes unable to preside over his Lodge, but his spirit was ever active for its benefit, and his loss later was a grief to all the Brethren.

Wor. Brother Burr was succeeded by Wor. Brother Henry W. Gore, who presided over the Lodge during the years 1883 to 1885. Wor. Brother Gore had been a soldier in the Civil War, and his official record from the Office of the Adjutant-General shows that he was mustered into the service of the United States on May 26, 1862, and was mustered out July 2, 1862, at the age of twenty-one. He was Second Lieutenant in Company C, 33 Regt. Mass. Vol. Infantry, July 24, 1862. He was mustered August 6, 1862, for three years. Discharged February 20, 1863, at Stafford Court House, Va. (service of seven months).

Wor. Brother Gore is still with us, and after a life of various vicissitudes is now in the Soldiers' Home at Chelsea, Mass., where he is passing the evening of his active life in the ease and comfort which this national institution offers to those who took part in the defence of the Country in the sad days of its greatest peril.

Wor. Brother Gore was succeeded as Master by Wor. Brother Henry L. Sawyer, from 1885 to 1887. Wor. Brother Sawyer was a teacher in the Boston schools. His administration was successful, and he retired from the East in June, 1887, taking his dimit from the Lodge soon after retiring from the Master's position.

The succeeding Master was Brother Albert N. Blodgett, who presided over the Lodge during the years 1887 to 1889, when the Lodge was increased to the extent of twenty-five additions to its membership. With the growing popularity of the Lodge there was also an extension of the feeling of fellowship, and the simple collations which followed the meetings of the Lodge were seasons of comradeship and enjoyment which added to the pleasures of the evenings in no unappreciable degree. The Lodge was prosperous, and the Brethren were happy.

Wor. Brother John C. Warren succeded to the East in 1889, presiding until 1891. The administration of Wor. Brother Warren was made notable by the Celebration of the Twenty-fifth Anniversary of the foundation of Lafayette Lodge. The exercises accompanying this event were held in the ample apartments of the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge in the Masonic Temple in Boston. The entire building was granted by the Directors of the Grand Lodge to the service of the Lodge, and the occasion was made distinguished by the presence of ladies and other friends of the Lodge, as well as by the highest official representatives of the Fraternity, the M. W. Grand Master Samuel Wells, M. W. William Parkman, Recording Grand Secretary Sereno D. Nickerson, R. W. W. H. H. Soule, R. W. Solomon A. Bolster, Past Senior Grand Warden Henry G. Fay, Rt. Wor. Edwin B. Holmes, and many others. Wor. Brother John Kneeland presented a Historical Address. In it he paid a most graceful tribute to Wor. Brother John C. Warren, the Master of the Lodge at the Twenty-fifth Anniversary, and later, Brother Kneeland extended this History to the year 1895; which is here included:

Worshipful John Calvin Warren, who was reinstalled as Worshipful Master at the Twenty-fifth Anniversary exercises, and to whose energy and splendid executive ability the success of that occasion was largely due, died November 5, 1894. At the Masonic funeral, which was in the South Congregational Church, Newbury and Exeter Streets, the burial service was rendered by Lafayette Lodge and a most impressive eulogy was delivered by the pastor, Rev. Edward Everett Hale. A large representation from Mt. Vernon Royal Arch Chapter and Joseph Warren Commandery (of which bodies the deceased was a member and the organist) was present. The draped organ, which was played by Worshipful Brother Warren at the regular Sunday services the day before his death, was silent and forcibly reminded the fraternity of the uncertainty of life. Interment was at Milford, Mass."

At the close of Brother Kneeland's address, Wor. Brother Albert N. Blodgett, in a few well-chosen words, presented a handsomely bound Bible to the Lodge as the generous gift of Brother Robert H. Kerr. Worshipful Ambrose Davenport followed, presenting in the name of a few brothers the Square and Compasses for use on the altar, as an expression of their interest in the occasion. Wor. Brother Henry W. Gore next,, in the name of Brother Francis P. Norton, presented a beautiful set of Working Tools for the East. The Worshipful Master, Brother John C. Warren, in behalf of the Lodge, expressed his great pleasure in receiving these appropriate gifts, and returned the thanks of the Lodge to the generous donors.

In June, 1892, occurred the removal of the Lodge to the elegant and spacious Masonic Hall at 2307 Washington Street, Roxbury. The Lodge occupied this Hall until the completion of the splendid New Masonic Temple, built by the Masonic Fraternity in Roxbury, and now owned by the various branches of Masonry in Roxbury, entirely free from debt, admirably adapted to the uses for which it is intended, and furnishing an eloquent testimonial to the devotion and loyalty of all our Brethren to the cause of Masonry and to the advancement of those virtues and principles which our great Institution proclaims and inculcates.

Since the celebration of our twenty-fifth anniversary, three of our Past Masters have joined the Celestial Lodge above; Wor. Brother William G. Fish, Wor. Brother Edgar E. Gray and Wor. Brother William Waldo Merrill, having occupied the East in the years 1879-1881, 1892-1894, and 1898-1899 respectively. Of the latter, two were removed from our midst soon after their terms of office in the Lodges, and their Masonic careers closed with their elevation to the exalted position of Master of this Lodge. Peace be to their memory.

During the period 1885 to 1887, a fine portrait of General Lafayette, the friend and confidant of General Washington, which had been painted from an authoritative source, was brought to the attention of the Brethren of the Lodge, and an effort was made to obtain it for our Lodge. For reasons which need not now be recalled, this could not be accomplished at that time, and the portrait was purchased by our sister organization, Washington Lodge.

In the Records of December 12, 1904, is the following:

"The Worshipful Master being informed that a delegation from Washington Lodge awaited his pleasure, the following committee was appointed to receive and escort them to the East: Wor. Brother F. M. Briggs, Bev. Brother William T. Beale, Brothers F. M. Edwards, I. A. Basset, and Frank Priest. Wor. Brother Watson invited Wor. Brother Albert N. Blodgett to assume the Oriental Chair.

"Wor. Brother S. E. Tinkham, Master of Washington Lodge, expressed the pleasure of the delegation in visiting Lafayette Lodge, and introduced the following committee: Chairman, Rt. Wor. John K. Berry, Rt. Wor. John Carr, Wor. John F. Newton, and Brother G. N. Waterman. Rt. Wor. Brother Berry explained their visit by reading the following Resolution passed by Washington Lodge at its regular meeting October 13, 'that the Portrait of Lafayette belonging to this Lodge hanging in these apartments be presented to Lafayette Lodge as an expression of the good will and Brotherly love of the Lodges to each other.' "

Signed under the Seal, by Brother G. F. Alden, Secretary.

The Right Worshipful read a most interesting sketch of the lives of Washington and Lafayette, in which he spoke of their fraternal spirit and Masonic affiliations. In presenting the portrait of General Lafayette to our Lodge he spoke of the friendly feeling that had always existed between Washington and Lafayette Lodges, and gave expression to the hope that the spirit which had existed between the two men might ever be in evidence between the two Lodges.

Wor. Brother Blodgett in behalf of the Lodge expressed their appreciation and gratitude for so munificent a gift, and gave expression also to the hope that brotherly love might ever continue between the two bodies. The "Wor. Master appointed Wor. Brother A. N. Blodgett, Wor. Wm. F. Mullin and Brother R. N. Wiswall a committee to draw up a set of resolutions expressing the thanks of the Lodge for the Portrait.

The resolutions reported by the committee follow:

"January 9, 5905. Report of the committee appointed to draw up resolutions expressing appreciation of the gift of the portrait of Lafayette from Washington Lodge: Whereas; Washington Lodge, A. F. & A. M., has ever shown a deep interest and Masonic sympathy in the welfare and prosperity of Lafayette Lodge: and

  • "Whereas; Washington Lodge has again evidenced its fraternal sentiments and good will toward this Lodge by the gift to the Lodge of a fine oil portrait of the distinguished citizen, the accomplished statesman, and noble-minded and self-sacrificing patriot who was the Companion, Friend, and Masonic Brother of the illustrious George Washington during the war of Independence, and for whom our Lodge was named; be it therefore,
  • "Resolved; That Lafayette Lodge is deeply sensible of the tender consideration and delicate courtesy on the part of Washington Lodge toward us, and also,
  • "Resolved; That by this renewed testimonial of friendship, Washington Lodge has conferred a most precious boon upon our Lodge, the character and worth of which words cannot adequately express, and which will ever excite the admiration and gratitude of the Brethren of Lafayette Lodge.
  • "Resolved; That the heartfelt thanks of Lafayette Lodge are sincerely extended to the Worshipful Master and Brethren of Washington Lodge for the generosity which prompted this inestimable gift, as well as the gracious manner in which the Portrait was presented to Lafayette Lodge.

"Albert N. Blodgett,
"William F. Mullin,
"Romanzo N. Wiswall,

Upon motion duly seconded it was voted; that a committee be appointed by the Worshipful Master to present the resolutions to Washington Lodge.

Upon motion duly seconded it was voted; that the Worshipful Master and the Marshal of Lafayette Lodge accompany the committee. The Worshipful Master appointed as the committee Wor. Brothers A. N. Blodgett, Wm. F. Mullin, J. William Blaisdell, and Brothers R. N. Wiswall and F. M. Edwards.

On April 11, 1904, the record states that

"A communication was received from the Joseph Warren Monument Association stating that it was expected that a statue of General Warren would be dedicated in Roxbury June 17. It was desired that the local Military and Civic Organizations and Societies cooperate with the City of Boston in the exercises, and Lafayette Lodge was invited to send two delegates to serve on the Committee of Arrangements. Upon motion duly seconded it was voted that Brothers I. Austin Basset and Francis M. Edwards represent the Lodge on the said Committee."

In 1912, through the noble and tender affection of a friend, not of our Order, for one of our elder Brethren, our Lodge became the possessor of an autograph letter with the signature of our distinguished Patron, General Lafayette; which was presented to one of our Past Masters, and with the permission of the donor was given to our Lodge. This is our most treasured possession and is carefully preserved in a suitable mahogany casket and is exhibited on all occasions of importance in which our Lodge is able to participate.

Brother Edwin C. Miles, one of the charter members, was a physician long settled in Roxbury, of great experience in his chosen profession, and widely and favorably known in that region. He held no important office in the Lodge, but was known for his quiet benevolence and his many silent efforts for the benefit of his fellow-citizens. His active life extended over more than two generations of human life, and his presence did much to facilitate the entrance of many of his fellows into the world, and doubtless was also extended to smooth the way at the end of life to those passing out of it. He had a most kindly face, and was a particular favorite with children.

Brother Christian Burbann Graves, another charter member, was for many years a seafaring man, being captain of a large vessel, and making long voyages to distant parts of the globe. During his stay on shore, Brother Graves made his home with Rt. Wor. Brother Danforth, who was a relative, and probably was thus included among those who applied to the Grand Lodge for a Charter for Lafayette Lodge. He was a most amiable man, an earnest example of what a Mason should be and a kind and considerate friend. After Brother Graves retired from active life at sea he made his home at the house of Rt. Wor. Brother Danforth, and after the decease of Brother Danforth, when his home had passed into the hands of his son-in-law, Wor. Brother S. Everett Tinkham, Brother Graves continued to reside there, and there died.

Rev. Joseph Eayrs Barry was one of the elder members of Lafayette Lodge, being entered on its membership April 8, 1872. He was for more than half a century connected with the Children's Mission Home, and was active in the benevolent work of that great charity. Many men, later distinguished in important walks of life, have been aided in their earlier years by this good man, and have often borne testimony to his truly Christian character. He was for more than forty years the Chaplain of Lafayette Lodge, where his life was ever a guide to his Brethren, his presence an inspiration, and his word a benediction. He died full of years and honors, July 26, 1912. Brethren of Lafayette Lodge performed the dignified service of the Masonic Burial over his remains, and provided an escort to his final resting-place. Peace be to his blessed memory. Amen.

Our Lodge also took an active part in the plans and designs for the New Masonic Temple in Roxbury, which was erected by one of our Past Masters, and is a credit to the Institution of Masonry, and an ornament to Roxbury. This edifice occupies a noble site on Warren Street, and is an object of pride and admiration to the residents of that section of our city. This stately building was completed at the expense of the Brethren of Roxbury and vicinity, and has fully satisfied the requirements of our Order and is at present owned by the various Masonic bodies located in Roxbury. From its central location it is also very popular as a place of meeting for many organizations not strictly Masonic, it being admirably adapted to the requirements of the various societies, conventions, and other gatherings of similar character which meet in Roxbury.

We cannot close this hasty sketch of the history of our Lodge without directing a glance upon its future. We have now an excellent and devoted company of faithful Brethren, numbering about four hundred and fifty members. The coming time is beyond our ken, but from the past we may indulge a forecast of the future. What that future will be, must depend upon the Brethren now with us, and those who may henceforth be admitted into its membership. If we have made errors in the past, we should avoid the same errors in the future career of our beloved Lodge. One of the most essential requirements for sustaining the high rank of our membership is to be sought in the careful investigation of every person seeking admission; not only for the protection of. our own Lodge, but, equally for the protection of the entire Fraternity. This duty at times seems to be looked upon as entirely perfunctory, or at least is often somewhat carelessly performed, and the character of the entire Masonic Body is thus endangered. One ill-advised admission may not only so act as seriously to deteriorate the Lodge, which has been neglectful in investigation of the applicant, but may lead to untold harm in the future. If all the Brethren realized that the honor and reputation of the entire Masonic Institution is thus placed in their keeping, there would be developed not only a more jealous guard over the vital interests of the whole Masonic Body, but a greater feeling of accountability than now exists for the careful examination of every candidate for the honors of Masonry.

With, the gradual growth of our numbers, which should be greater than in the past, will also come an increase of the personal responsibility of each Brother to keep the ranks of our organization at the present high standard. In case of any question concerning the fitness of a candidate for the honors of Masonry, the whole Fraternity has a just right to the benefit of the doubt which a more careful investigation by the Brethren may either confirm or disprove. This is the great and sacred obligation of every Brother to whom is committed this duty, and each Brother should strive to maintain the importance of that obligation. Each member of the Lodge is therefore bound to do all in his power to preserve inviolate the high principles of our Order, and so contribute to the lofty consideration which the Masonic Fraternity now enjoys among the social organization of our day.

Few of the Brethren now present will live to see the celebration of our Centennial Anniversary, fifty years from this day. It therefore becomes our duty to strive in all ways that our beloved Lodge, as well as the whole Institution, shall have the benefit of our best endeavors to elevate its character even higher than at present, and to transmit the tenets of our Institution to those who shall come after us pure and undefiled from generation to generation.


From Proceedings, Page 1965-165:

By Worshipful Waldo E. Booth.


The History of Lafayette Lodge begins in 1865 coincident with the return of peace after the Civil War. Previous to this time the dignity and exalted character of the Masonic Institution in Roxbury had been worthily maintained and jealously guarded by the already venerable Washington Lodge, whose history extends back to the days of the distinguished Patriot and Brother for whom it was named.

This was previous to the annexation of Roxbury to the City of Boston when Roxbury was a separate municipality. At that time Washington Lodge was already a very large body, was in affluent circumstances, and was a power in its influence upon the people in its vicinity. It was felt that there was room in Roxbury for another Masonic Lodge, which sentiment was also expressed by the Brethren of Washington Lodge, by whom it is said the name of the new lodge was suggested. In 1865, thirteen Masonic Brethren belonging chiefly to Washington Lodge gathered on June 8 at the regular meeting of that Lodge when this matter was laid before the Brethren and permission was conferred for a new Lodge. These Brethren, with the consent and approval of Washington Lodge, appealed to the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge for the establishment of a new Lodge under the name "Lafayette".

Their prayer was granted and later these brethren, with eleven others, received authorization from the Grand Lodge, and Lafayette Lodge was established. For the first year the Lodge operated under the dispensation from the Grand Master with the official charter being issued by the Grand Lodge on June 12, 1866. On July 2, 1866 the Grand Lodge constituted Lafayette with elaborate exercises, at which ladies were present and officers were installed. The Charter bore the name of twenty-four earnest and sincere Masons who certainly built well an organization which has survived wars, depressions, hurricanes and other major catastrophies.

The first Master of Lafayette Lodge was Right Worshipful Charles Jarvis Danforth, who presided over the Lodge for three years. He was later elected Junior Grand Warden of the Grand Lodge and died while holding that office. History lays heavy stress upon the accomplishments of this eminent Mason. He was buried at Forest Hills Cemetery by the Grand Lodge accompanied by Lafayette Lodge and other Lodges. Lafayette Lodge, together with five other Lodges in the Third Masonic District, assembled a fund of Five Hundred and fifty dollars, ($550.00) for the purpose of erecting a suitable monument to his memory. The design, a broken column, executed in Hollowell granite and mounted on an appropriated pedestal, was erected on Lot Number 2250, Gerardia Path, Forest Hills Cemetery.

A succession of able and conscientious presiding Masters followed through the years, each bringing to the East his own personality and expending his best efforts in behalf of the Lodge.


In 1890 the Lodge celebrated its Twenty-fifth Anniversary. The exercises accompanying this event were held in the ample apartments of the Grand Lodge in the Masonic Temple in Boston, and were attended by the ladies and other friends of the Lodge as well as by the highest official representatives of the Fraternity headed by Most Worshipful Grand Master Samuel Wells. Brother John Kneeland presented an Historical Address. The presiding Master of Lafayette at the time was Worshipful John Calvin Warren, who at his death had a most impressive eulogy delivered by Reverend Edward Everett Hale.

At this Twenty-fifth Anniversary Brother Robert H. Kerr presented a handsomely bound Bible to the Lodge. Square and Compasses for use on the Altar were presented by a group of Brethren, followed by the presentation of a beautiful set of Working Tools by Brother Francis P. Norton. Early meetings of the Lodge had been held in Freemasons' Hall, believed to have been located on Washington Street in Roxbury. In June 1892 occurred the removal of the Lodge to the elegant and spacious Masonic Hall at 2307 Washington Street in Roxbury. The Lodge occupied this Hall until 1901 when it again moved, this time to the splendid new Masonic Temple at 171 Warren Street also in Roxbury. In 1958 the changing character of the area caused concern by Lafayette Lodge about its future and it gratefully accepted an invitation from Orient Lodge of Norwood to share its Masonic Temple on Day Street.

On December 12, 1904 Washington Lodge presented Lafayette Lodge with a portrait of General Lafayette as an expression of the good will and Brotherly love of the Lodges to each other.

On June 17, 1904 Lafayette Lodge was represented at the dedication of the statue of General Warren in Joseph Warren Square in Roxbury.

In 1912 through the noble and tender affection of a friend, not of our Order, for one of our elder Brethren, our Lodge became the possessor of an autographed letter with the signature of our distinguished patron, General Lafayette. This is our most treasured possession and is carefully preserved in a suitable mahogany case and proudly exhibited on special occasions.

A Mason's concern for the well being of others has been traditional and it early became a part of Lafayette's activities as shown by the records stating that on February 8, 1886 Worshipful Brother John O. Smith presented a gift of $50.00 to the Lodge to establish a Charity Fund. This Fund has been added to many times by gifts and bequests from earnest and sincere Brethren.

In March 1919 a page was set aside in the Secretary's records in memory of Brother Gordon Kenneth MacKenzie, who died in service in France June 14, 1918 and was given a citation for heroic action by the French Commander, Marshal Pétain.


In June 1915 the Fiftieth Anniversary of the Lodge was held with a series of events. The first on Saturday, June 12, was the official recognition of the occasion by the Grand Lodge with a visitation by Most Worshipful Melvin Maynard Johnson and a distinguished suite. As part of the program a 50-year history was read by Right Worshipful Albert Novatus Blodgett, to whom we are indebted for most of what has preceded.

On the next day, Sunday, church services commemorating the Anniversary were held at Eliot Congregational Church in Roxbury with the then Grand Chaplain, Rt. Rev. Bro. John W. Hamilton, delivering the address with the boy choir from Trinity Church, Boston, furnishing musical selections. Then on Monday the Lodge again convened, and the Grand Master Melvin Maynard Johnson was received and accepted with gracious words his unanimous election as an Honorary Member of the Lafayette Lodge.


The Seventy-fifth Anniversary of the Lodge was held with appropriate ceremonies on June 10, 1940 with the Grand Lodge represented by R. W. Samuel H. Wragg and other Grand Lodge officers.

In retrospect, let us join an old-timer as he revisits the former Masonic Temple in Roxbury (now a victim of the demolition crew of the Boston Redevelopment Authority).

As he slips into his accustomed seat on the well worn comfortable benches on the side-lines, memories flood in — before him is the Altar with the open Bible (Bob Kerr's 25th Anniversary Gift)—on it, the familiar Square and Compasses, and the visualizes one of our devoted Chaplains kneeling before them as he invokes God's Blessing on the Lodge's activities. It might have been Doc Martin or Billy Nicholas (who afterwards became an Army Chaplain and later Connecticut Grand Lodge Chaplain) or Father Marshall or Bill Carter.

Melodic tones come from the organ and he glances up, half expecting to see Franz Reissmann, who presided at that organ for so many years (Franz was also organist for the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts).

His gaze travels to the East and he remembers with nostalgia the beautiful words of the Masonic Ritual conducted by the seventy-two Masters who have faithfully served Lafayette Lodge during the Century.

He knows that the Lodge is safe from intruders since outside the door a faithful Tyler stands; the first to greet candidates and members and bid them welcome; how well he remembers Ed Hook, and now Wilson Burleigh.

Business matters of the Lodge, he recalls, have been meticulously handled by our long time Treasurers and Secretaries: sitting at the Treasurer's desk long service was rendered by Job Gaskin, Arthur Greene, and presently Lealon Gould; at the Secretary's desk he pictures George Murray, who served for 23 years, Leon Barritt and Bobby Gair, all Past Masters, who continued to serve their Lodge with fervency and zeal.

He knows of the splendid work in the Sodality Class of Jim McKnight, who taught the candidates for 27 years and who was honored by the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts with the Joseph Warren Medal for Distinguished Service to Masonry.

As he watches and listens to the degree work of the officers, he realizes that hours of rehearsal time have been given by these Brethren and that a patient, tireless Ritualist is guiding them. Such a man was Bill Watt, who afterwards was appointed a District Deputy Grand Master, and our present Vin Krajewski, Past Master and loyal worker.

Musing further, our old-timer gazes around at the beautiful Temple, and he gives credit to our own Sherb Miller, who was Chairman of the Building Committee.

He remembers Les Young, who after serving as Master of Lafayette Lodge, headed the Fourth Lodge of Instruction, was appointed a District Deputy Grand Master, received the Grand Lodge's Joseph Warren Distinguished Service Medal and was further honored in the Scottish Rite with the coveted 33rd degree.

He also thinks of Waldo Booth, another Past Master, who during World War II, while serving in the U.S. Navy, represented the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts Military Service Committee, organized a Military Masonic Club and a Degree Team, with which he raised more than SO candidates and was awarded the Grand Lodge Distinguished Service Medal.

His thoughts wander to some of the special activities of the Lodge and he pictures the side-lines filled with Masonic Brethren from Doric Lodge, Warwick, R. I., on one of the many interchange visits; the wrestling matches put on by Noble Steves; the Masonic Quizzes led by Doc Martin; the peanuts cracking at the Father & Sons Nights; the enjoyable Ladies Nights; the airplane trip to Martha's Vineyard in 1937, when Warren Robinson led 20 members in a history-making flight to the Island to visit the Lodge there. The return trip take-off from the grass airport was assisted by automobile lights lining the runway.

As he glances at the Lodge Communication, his attention is attracted to a Father-Son listing: Walter McGee served as Master in 1925-26, was appointed a District Deputy Grand Marshal, and had the distinct pleasure of installing his son, Hamilton B. McGee, as Master for the Centennial Year. Another Father-son listing is Leon Barritt (Master in 1928-29) and son Russell Barritt (Master in 1957-58). Other family foot-step notes are Loren and Harold Hiltz, who were brothers and served as Masters in successive years; Jim McKnight and son, Jim; Bill Carter and son, Melvin; (both of whom served as Chaplains) and the Swangrens: Oscar William, the grandfather; Sven Oscar, the father; and Oscar William, the son, recently raised to Master Mason and all Lafayette members.

We could not close this brief history of our Lodge without paying tribute to all those who have contributed so much of their time, effort and finances to furthering the aims of Freemasonry, especially those who have labored so earnestly in preparation for the 100th Anniversary: officers and committees and members such as John Hamilton, who single-handed ran a paper drive and other fund raising activities for the event. Many others deserve special mention, but the history is not nearly long enough to include them.

A special note of thanks is due to our Mother Lodge, Washington, now in Lexington, who assisted so greatly in our early days and with whom we have had so many pleasant and worthwhile fraternal activities and to Orient Lodge of Norwood, who have welcomed us to Norwood and shown us such warmth and friendship.

With faith in the future, with a devoted and loyal membership, with the direction of an able line of officers, and with the help of Almighty God, Lafayette will continue to guard and nurture that with which it has been so solemnly entrusted, the teachings and principles of Freemasonry.


  • 1872 (Endorsement of charter due to annexation of Roxbury by Boston, 1872-109)
  • 1884 (Petition for a Lodge of Instruction, 1884-185)
  • 1894 (Participation in burial lot dedication, 1894-85)
  • 1896 (Participation in centennial for Washington Lodge, 1896-71)
  • 1902 (Participation in corner-stone laying, 1902-126)



From Moore's Freemason's Monthly, Vol. XXV, No. 10, August 1866, p. 319:


This new Lodge was constituted and its officers were installed on Monday evening, July 2, 1866. The ceremonies were performed by the Grand Lodge, M. W. Charles C. Dame, Grand Master, assisted by the Grand Officers. The exercises were interspersed with music, performed by a choir of male voices in a very admirable and effective manner. The elegant hall of the Lodge was conveniently filled by the members and their ladies, the latter being admitted after the ceremony of constitution.

Before proceeding with the installation of the officers, one of the ten brethren who had been initiated while the Lodge was working under dispensation came forward, and for himself and associates present*") the Lodge, in a modest speech, with an elegant and costly set of Jewels. They were received by the W. Master, Br. C. J. Danforth, in appropriate and fitting terms, and handed to the Grand Master, who immediately proceeded to install and invest the officers with them, as follows:

  • C. J. Danforth, W. M
  • John Kneeland, S. W.
  • William Hobbs, Jr., J. W.
  • W. B. May, Treas.
  • C. L. Lane, Sec
  • W. F. Mullen, S. D.
  • F. Briggs, J. D.
  • D.Wheeler, S. S.
  • H. W. Wills, J. S.
  • J. Bacon, Marshal.

At the conclusion of the exercises in the lodge-room, the gentlemen with their ladies repaired to the banqueting-hall, where tables were handsomely spread and bountifully furnished for their refreshment.


From New England Craftsman, Vol. II, No. 10, July 1907, Page 379:

On Monday, May 13, 1907, an original letter from General Lafayette, with his signature, was presented to the lodge which was named in his honor, by Worshipful Brother Albert N. Blodgett, to whom it had been given for this purpose by Francis D. Donoghue, M. D., of Boston. After reading the letter of gift, the Worshipful Master, Worshipful Sherburn N. Miller, made some appropriate remarks upon the presentation of so valuable a gift, and remarked that he considered the most precious possession of Lafayette Lodge, next to its charter from the Grand Lodge, and that it would be held in all honor and reverence by the lodge, for the admiration and imitation of the noble qualities of the distinguished writer whose life furnishes a continual history of unceasing effort for the liberty of men, and for freedom of conscience from oppression of every kind. The close friendship and mutual confidence which existed between Lafayette and the immortal Washington, cemented as it was more closely by the ties of Free Masonry, was alluded to by the Worshipful Master, who also mentioned the intimate bonds of brotherly love and friendship which exist between Washington Lodge and Lafayette Lodge, which could not be more close and indissoluble than now.

A committee was appointed to draw up appropriate resolutions to be forwarded to Dr. Donoghue as a token of the high appreciation and gratitude of the lodge for this noble token of regard for the order, and for the invaluable character of his gift. Of this committee the venerable Senior Past Master of Lafayette Lodge Wor. Bro. John Kneeland was appointed chairman, and the other members were Wor. F. M. Briggs, Wor. Bro. J. W. Blaisdell and Bro. Harrison G. Hunt.


From New England Craftsman, Vol. III, No. 4, January 1908, Page 141:

Lafayette Lodge, Roxbury, Mass., enjoyed a ladies' night and public installation of its officers, Friday, December 13. The officers were installed by R. W. George J. Tufts, District Deputy Grand Master of the Second District, who was assisted by Wor. William A. Kennah as Marshal. The officers installed were: Sherburne N. Miller, Worshipful Master; George H. Perry, Senior Warden; Charles S. Hall, Junior Warden; Francis M. Edwards, Treasurer; George Epps, Secretary; Rev. Joseph E. Barry, Chaplain, for the 35th time; Associate Chaplains, Rev. William T. Real and Rev. David I. Martin; Job E. Gaskin, M.; Francis S. Wells, S. D.; Frank Vogel, J. D.; Ralph H. Whitney, S. S.; Herman I. Stearns, J. S.; Louis A. Anderson, I. S.; Walter E. Young, O., and Jacob Schaffer, T. A past master's jewel was presented to Wor. Bro. Miller. A large framed picture of Rev. Joseph E. Barry was presented to the lodge by Bro. Joseph Hendrick.


From New England Craftsman, Vol. IX, No. 3, December 1913, Page 96:

Grand Master Everett C. Benton with the assistance of Grand Marshal George C. Thacher, and Worshipful Master George T. Wiley, of Rabboni Lodge of Dorchester, installed the officers of Lafayette Lodge, Roxbury, Mass., Monday, November 17.

A committee, headed by Past Master Arthur T. Reed, escorted the grand master to the East, where he was welcomed by Worshipful Master Vogel, who said that Lafayette Lodge was grateful for the presence of the head of the craft to usher in the new administration. Ralph H. Whitney was inducted into the "Oriental chair" by the Grand Master, with Grand Marshal Thacher assisting. Then the Grand Marshal affixed the jewel of their respective offices upon the others of the line, with Worshipful Master George T. Wiley of Rabboni Lodge officiating as marshal. The charge was delivered by Grand Marshal Thacher.

After the installation, the immediate Past Master requested the presence of Jacob Schaeffer, who had been Tyler eleven years, and twenty years a member of the lodge. He was conducted to the head of the room where he was presented with an ebony cane and a gold ring with diamond setting as an expression of the affection of the brethren.

Worshipful Master Whitney presented a sheaf of chrysanthemums to the Grand Master, who asked permission to hand the blooms to an old and dear friend, whom he knew when he first came to Boston in 1882, and saw then for the first time, in his own lodge. He referred to Samuel Abbott, who was almost dazed as the marshal led him to the front and he received the floral token with thanks. He joined the lodge forty years ago. There were also flowers for Grand Marshal Thacher and Worshipful Master Wiley.

The organization of Lafayette Lodge for 1913-1914 is as follows: Ralph H. Whitney, W. M.; Louis A. Anderson, S. W.; Daniel R. Knight, J. W.; Job E. Gaskin, T.; Bertram J. Watson (P.M.), S.; Rev. William T. Beale, C; Harry C. Bradley, M.; Frank Salter, S. D.; Charles H. Pike, J. D.; Arthur B. English, S. S.; John Wentworth, J. S.; George E. Murray, I. S.; Charles F. Dennee, Organist; Ernest E. Fitch, Tyler.




1865: District 12

1867: District 3 (Boston Highlands)

1883: District 4 (South Boston)

1911: District 4 (South Boston)

1927: District 4 (Dorchester)

1958: District 25 (Hyde Park)


Massachusetts Lodges