CHARLES H(ENRY). TITUS 1819-1878
- MM 1858, WM 1867, King David
- Charter Member 1873, Charles H. Titus
- Grand Chaplain 1869, 1870
- Recording Grand Secretary, 1871-1878
NOTE ON TITUS MONUMENT, WARREN, R. I.
From Liberal Freemason, Vol. VI, No. 5, August 1882, Page 158:
The Titus Monument
This beautiful stone, which has just been erected over the remains of the late Rev. C. H. Titus, in the South Cemetery, in Warren, R. I., attracts much attention. I: is of very handsome millstone granite, from Millstone Point, Conn. The form and design are handsome and in good taste. A large panel which contains the inscription is highlv polished, and the remainder is finely chiseled and retains the natural color of the granite. The base is about twenty inches high, and the proportions are pleasant to the eye. The following is the inscription:
Charles Henry Titus,
Born April 11th, 1819,
Died October 29th, 1878,
His friends have erected this stone."
On the base in large raised letters is the name
Above the inscription and within a semi-circular space, is a vine of English ivy, with raised and polished leaves. The plain simplicity of the inscription is understood to be in accordance with the views and tastes of the deceased. The monument was erected by a few of his many friends, and a multitude more would have gladly contributed if the opportunity had been offered them for doing so. — Providence Journal.
From Proceedings, Page 1873-378:
REV. CHARLES HENRY TITUS, A.M., BOSTON. Methodist, 1869, 1870, 1871.
REV. CHARLES H. TITUS was born in the then Province of Maine, County of Kennebec, town of Monmouth, on the eleventh day of April, 1819. He was the only son of Samuel and Betsey (Kelley) Titus. He had two sisters, Sarah Kelley, older, and Eliza Jane, younger, than himself. Both the sisters and the father have been dead many years. The mother still survives in a hale old age, residing in Monmouth.
Mr. Titus, senior, was a farmer; and the son worked with his father upon the farm in summer, attending the district school during the winter season, until he was sixteen years of age, when he became a student at Monmouth Academy, and began his school-teaching experience the following winter. Until twenty-five years of age his time was wholly given to literary pursuits and teaching. His father was not wealthy, and after his death, which occurred when the son was about eighteen years of age, he declined to receive anything from the limited estate of some §2,000, and paid his own school expenses by devoting a portion of the time to teaching. After leaving Monmouth Academy he became connected with the Maine Wesleyan Seminary, at Kent's Hill, Readfield, where he enjoyed the friendship, counsel and instruction of those eminent teachers of youth, Rev. William C. Larrabee, LL.D. and Rev. Benjamin F. Tefft, D.D., LL.D., whose influence upon his formative mind has proved a continued blessing through all subsequent years. At this school he also enjoyed the instruction of Prof. Walsh, a wonderful linguist, of whom he took private lessons in Hebrew and Biblical Greek. In 1839 he entered the Bangor Theological Seminary, where he spent one year for the special purpose of continuing his studies in the original languages of the Holy Scriptures.
In April, 1840, being enfeebled by overwork, he sought to recruit his health by a change of climate, and removed to Greencastle, Indiana, in company with Prof. Larrabee, who had been elected to a professorship in the Asbury University, located at that place. Here he was immediately elected by the trustees as Tutor of Languages in the Preparatory Department of the college. While fulfilling the duties of this office he enjoyed all the privileges of the college. He completed the course of study, and graduated on the fourteenth day of September, 1842. Rev. Matthew Simpson, D.D., now bishop in the Methodist Episcopal Church, was then President of the university, and invested him with his first literary degree; and, on the evening of the same day, united him in marriage witli Miss Martha Dunn, daughter of Col. William Dunn, of East Poland, Maine, and sister to Mrs. Tefft and Mrs. Larrabee. Their married life has been peculiarly happy; and, during all the years they have journeyed on together, home has been a word of special significance and comfort to them. They have been blessed with two children, Laura Jane, the wife of Mr. Edgar Pratt, of Providence, and Charles Henry (H.C. 1872), now acting as clerk in the Grand Secretary's office.
During the winter of 1842-3 Mr. Titus and his wife conducted, with much success, a private academy at Madison, Indiana. His enfeebled health obliging him to desist from teaching, he spent the following summer in making an extensive tour through the North-west, in company with Rev. Edward R. Ames, D.D., now bishop in the Methodist Episcopal Church. In this journey he traversed Lake Huron, Luke Superior, St. Louis River, and the Mississippi River from Sandy Lake to St. Louis, Missouri. Seven hundred miles of this voyaging were made in a birch-bark canoe, with Indian half-breeds as guides.
In the autumn of 1843 Mr. Titus and his wife returned to their native State of Maine; and in August, 1844, he was admitted to the Maine Annual Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church, at its session held in Bangor; was ordained to the office of Deacon by Bishop Hedding; and was appointed to the pastorate of the church in Frankfort. This church he served during the constitutional limit of two years, when, finding the climate too rigorous for his feeble health, he embraced the offer of a transfer to the Providence Conference; and in July, 1846, was appointed to the Pleasant-street Church, New Bedford, where he continued two years. At the session of the Conference held in Fall River, Mass., 1847, he was ordained to the office of Elder by Bishop Janes. In his ministerial work in this Conference he was appointed successively to Woonsocket, R. I., two years; Edgartown, Mass., two years; East Weymouth, Mass., two years; Taunton, Mass., one year, when he was appointed to the office of Presiding Elder of Providence District, embracing in its territory the State of Rhode Island, and Bristol County, Mass., and placing under his care and supervision between forty and fifty churches. During the four years he held this office he resided at Taunton.
When this office expired by limitation he was appointed again to the pastorate as follows: Warren, R. L, two years; Newport, R. I., two years; Phenix, R. I., three years, — the limit of the pastorate to the same church having been extended by the General Conference of 1864 to three years,— and remained at Phenix the fourth year without regular appointment, but still serving the chuich as pastor. At the close of his labors at Phenix he was appointed again to Taunton, two years; then to Warren again, two years, when, April 10th, 1871, he accepted the pro tempore appointment of Grand Master Gardner to the office of Recording Grand Secretary of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts. In June following he was duly elected to this office by vote of the Grand Lodge, and at each subsequent annual election has been continued in the office by unanimous vote.
His first knowledge of Masonry was gained when he was a lad about ten years of age. A remarkable funeral was held in the neighborhood of his residence, which he and all the region round about attended. Major White, the deceased, was an old neighbor and friend of bis father, and a prominent townsman. The major was buried with full Masonic honors, and the ceremonies made a strong and lasting impression upon the mind of the keenly observant lad. The rich Masonic regalia, the mournful music, the muffled drums, the solemn march around the grave, the sprig of acacia reverently deposited by each Brother, saying, as he dropped his emblem of immortality into the open grave, "The will of God is accomplished — Amen — so mote it be !" stirred to the very depths of the soul the excited boy; and he then resolved within himself, that when he became a man he would be a Mason. This was at a time when Masonry was much spoken against, but he was prepared in his heart at that early age to be made a Mason. During the latter part of his residence at Greencastle, Indiana, the Lodge in that place was resuscitated, and he arranged with a friend, who was a member, to present his application for the Degrees; but before they were in a condition to comply with his request, he removed to Madison. In his subsequent itinerant life, and earnest devotion to his profession, he found no convenient time or place to knock at the Masonic door, until his protracted residence in Taunton, while Presiding Elder of Providence District. Having for once gained legal residence and citizenship, he made application to King David Lodge for the Degrees. His petition was recommended by Brother Jacob Burt, and, accompanied by the usual fee, was received by the Lodge Sept. 22, 1858, and referred to Brothers S. N. Staples, William Cox and Charles Lawton. On the 20th of October following, the committee made a favorable report, and he was duly elected to receive the Degrees. On the same evening he was initiated an Entered Apprentice. William M. Parks was then W. Master, Edward Mott, Senior Warden; David A. Jackson, Junior Warden; and the venerable Alfred Baylies, Secretary. Before retiring from the Lodge that night, his name was written by Dr. Baylies, upon the lamb-skin or white leather apron, which he had received from the W. Master as the emblem of innocence, and the badge of a Mason, and which he still preserves as a precious relic. He was passed to the Second Degree Nov. 17, 1858, and on the 15th of December following, was raised to the sublime Degree of Master Mason. Here began his esoteric Masonic life, and to the Brethren of King David Lodge he is much indebted, not only for faithful Masonic instruction, but for unfailing brotherly kindness.
Having been so long prepared in his heart to become a Mason, he at once became zealous in cultivating the ritual and principles of Masonry. During the following year he received the Capitular Degrees in Adoniram Chapter, New Bedford, of which Col. Timothy Ingraham was then, as he had been for many years, High Priest, and from whom he received much valuable instruction. The Council Degrees were conferred upon him by the late venerable James Salisbury, in Providence Council of Royal and Select Masters. During the winter of 1859 and 1860 he received the Orders of Knighthood in St. John's Encampment of Knights Templars, at Providence, R. I. In May, 1860, while residing at Warren, R. I., he was invested with the Ineffable Degrees by Kilian H. Van Rensselaer, in King Solomon's Grand Lodge of Perfection, at Providence. Subsequently, while residing at Newport, he received the remaining Degrees of the A. A. Rite to the Thirty-Second inclusive. In 1867 he was created a Sov. Gr. Insp. Gen. Thirty-Third Degree, at Boston, and elected an Honorary Member of the Sup. Coun. of the Northern Mas. Juris, of the U. S. A.
Among the many offices he has held in Masonry the following may be enumerated: W. Master of King David Lodge, Taunton; T.I. Master of Webb Council of Royal and Select Masters, Warren, R. I.; Commander of St. John's Encampment, Providence, R. I.; Grand Chaplain of the Grand Lodge of Rhode Island; Grand Prelate, Grand Capt. Gen., Dep. Grand Master, and Grand Master of the Grand Encampment of Massachusetts and Rhode Island. He has also enjoyed the honor of acting as First Officer of the Lodge, Council, Chapter and Consistory of the A.A. Rite; but more for the purposes of the organization and establishment of those Bodies than for actual work in the ritual of that Rite. He is now, as he has been for several years, Grand Prior of the Supreme Council Thirty-Third Degree, and of the Massachusetts Council of Deliberation, A.A. Rite.
His Masonry has, doubtless, been of greater benefit to him, and more highly prized from the fact that he has uniformly paid the regular fees for the various Degrees lie has received, neither claiming nor receiving any remission on account of his clerical profession. He retains his membership in the Bodies which have conferred upon him this honor, and generally in those that conferred the Degrees. In 1872 he united with several of his old associates in King David Lodge, in the formation of a new Lodge at Taunton, which his associates subsequently, against his protest, called by his own name. This Lodge was chartered March 12, 1873, and constituted in AMPLE FORM on the 28th of the same month, under the title and designation of Charles H. Titus Lodge. The engraved steel plate, on which the portrait was printed which accompanies this sketch, was the generous gift of this Lodge.
Though his natural force is somewhat abated, his zeal for Masonry has not lessened, and he is now devoting what strength he has to the good of Masonry in general, and to the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts in particular.
FROM PROCEEDINGS, 1878
From Proceedings, Page 1878-163:
At the Quarterly Communication in June, 1871, the M.W. Grand Master announced that he had filled a vacancy in the office of Recording Grand Secretary by the appointment of Rev. Charles Henry Titus. To many of us he was almost a stranger, and when the ballot followed, seventy Brethren voted for other candidates. Six months later we had all learned to know him and to love him, and no dissenting voice has ever since been heard when that election was called.
At a Special Communication of the Grand Lodge, held in May last, for the purpose of constituting Mumford River Lodge, his weary limbs bore his emaciated body to this hall for the last time. For five long and tedious months he hoped and prayed for strength to resume the work in which he took such delight.
He gave up that hope only two or three weeks before the end came. When the body was almost utterly wasted, the brave spirit realized that this was the last of earth, and, after a severe and painful struggle, calmly, patiently, hopefully, resigned itself to the will of the Master. When the strong soul yielded, the body sank rapidly, and on the 29th of October last the struggle ended. On the 1st of November, at setting of the sun, with appropriate ceremony, we laid his body in the grave which he had chosen.
With what fitting words, though few, shall we now give voice to the general grief? What loving tribute shall we bring to iris precious memory ? In what suitable language shall we clothe the grateful memorial which we would place on our records? His Masonic life of just twenty years was crowded with Masonic work, — an almost unbroken series of Masonic offices and honors. They are set forth in the Proceedings of 1873, as recorded in the lives of our Chaplains. He used to say that he drank in his first Masonic inspiration when a boy of ten years, at the grave of a venerable Brother, and at a time when Masonry was reviled and persecuted of all men. The opinion he conceived of our Institution at that early age, and under such unfavorable circumstances, was abundantly confirmed and satisfied in middle life. His whole experience and training had specially qualified and fitted him to become a good and true Mason. The principles of Masonry were the rules of his life, and their exemplification was easy and natural to him. Brotherly Love, Relief, and Truth were to him a second nature. He was from very early life dependent upon his own resources, from boyhood for many years teacher as well as pupil. When released from that service he entered a profession which requires the constant exercise of the most tender and affectionate sympathies of our nature. All this experience and these influences made him a bright and shining exemplar of the Masonic principle of Brotherly Love. He was brimful and running over with goodwill to men, but especially to his Brethren of the Fraternity. No thought of self seemed to find place in his mind. How cordial and kindly his greeting to all! How evident the desire to render kind offices to all who came near him! That God is Love was to him the most precious tenet of his religion. It seemed to be the all-engrossing thought with him and shaped and moulded all his actions. It is the trait in his character upon which we most delight to dwell, and which furnishes the most instructive example.
The records of many Masonic Bodies attest to his faithful, laborious work; our own bear witness that his duties for the last seven years have been performed with fidelity and zeal. Many of us who have been closely connected with him officially can testify to the modesty, delicacy, and self-sacrifice which characterized him in all our intercourse. He bore labor and trial and suffering bravely, manfully. He discharged every duty faithfully, punctually, cheerfully. But — the best praise of all for the true Mason — HE LOVED HIS FELLOW-MEN!
As we mingle our tears with those of the bereaved family, we offer them the consolation afforded by the recollection of his consistent, useful, helpful life, and the humble, though confident, hope that with him all is now peaceful, blissful. The weary spirit is at rest, and our benedictions follow him. Thus we place them on perpetual record.
FROM LIBERAL FREEMASON, 1878
From Liberal Freemason, Vol. II, No. 8, November 1878, Page 246:
The M. W. Grand Lodge of Massachusetts was specially con vened in the Masonic Temple in Boston on Friday, November 1st in the forenoon, to attend the funeral ceremonies of the Rev. Charles H. Titus, late Grand Secretary.
The Services in the Temple were necessarily brief, as the remains were to be conveyed to Warren, Rhode Island, for final Sepulture, in the same Cemetery and near the spot where repose those ol Rev. George M. Randall, Grand Master of Masons in Massachusetts in 1851-53. At the grave the Burial Service was fully performed by M. W. Charles A. Welch, Grand Master of Masons in Massachusetts. In connection with the services in the Temple, Grand Master Welch gave the following obituary sketch: —
Brethren, we have met to perform the last ceremonies over the remains of our late Recording Grand Secretary.
Charles H. Titus was born in Monmouth, Kennebec Co., Me., April 11, 1819, and was the only son of a farmer of that place. His father died when he was eighteen, and with that generous consideration for others, which was so marked a trait in his character he declined to receive his portion of the estate, and supported himself and paid his school expenses at the academy in Monmouth by teaching.
At first his health and subsequently his duties as a clergyman of Be Methodist Church, which never had a more sincere Christian in its fold, carried him into different parts of the country. In 1842 he was married, and marriage proved to him one of his greatest blessings. /
While stationed in Taunton in 1858 he petitioned King David's Lodge to be admitted to the Masonic degrees, and his petition being granted he received in due course the degrees of E. A., F. C., and Master Mason, the last, Dec. 15, 185S, and became a member of that Lodge. The next year he received the Capitular degrees in Adoniram Chapter of New Bedford, being exalted Jan'y 5th, and became a member of that Body. In 1859 and 1860 he received the orders of Knighthood in St. John's Commandery of Providence, R. I., and became and continued till his death a member of that Commandery. Subsequently he received the various degrees of the A. and A. Rite, and in 1S67 the 33°. When the Lodge bearing his own name in Taunton was chartered, he became a member of that Lodge, and being at his death its most honored member, that Lodge will join us in performing the burial service to-day.
He held at various times many different offices in Masonic bodies, and my own acquaintance with him commenced when as Grand Master, or one of the Council of the Grand Encampment of Massachusetts and Rhode Island, he visited St. Bernard Commandery, of which I was then an officer. Little did I then suppose that in a few years I should be so intimately associated with him in this Grand Lodge.
In April 1871, he was appointed by Grand Master Gardner Recording Grand Secretary, and in June 1871 he was elected by the Grand Lodge to this office, and at each annual communication has been reelected, as the account of him in the Appendix to the Grand Lodge Hrocccdings of 1873, correctly 1 believe, stated, by an unanimous vote.
Brethren, no words of mine can add to the high estimate you all have of the beautiful character and of the Masonic worth of our departed brother. I can truly say, without fear of being accused of exaggeration, that nowhere could a person have been found more Buited by the purity of his character and the gentle courtesy of his fcnanners, to the office which he held. What Brother ever visited the Grand Secretary's room without coming away happier for the courtesy and kindness with which he was treated? what Grand Master but must acknowledge the substantial benefit he derived from the Recording Grand Secretary's intelligence and Masonic learning, united as it always was. with a polite and respectful consideration for the official dignity of him whom he aided with his council? And this kindness, this courtesy was not merely an external polish of manner; it came from a warm, kindly, affectionate heart, overflowing with love for all men. Nor were there wanting, united with these gentle qualities, decided opinions, a firm will and a quiet resolution to say and do what his judgment approved as right.
As for his attachment to this Institution, I will only add that a few days before his death he told me how much pleasure he had derived from his connection with Masonry and his Masonic brothers, and therefore he wished that those to whom he had been so much attached in life, should perform the last offices at his grave. As most of his life had been spent in Warren, R. I., and he and the members of his family had many friends there, lie desired you to commit
His body to that pleasant country's earth,
His soul he gave unto his Captain Chief
Under whose colors he had fought so long.
Brethren, to-day we comply with his request.
Most Worshipful Brother Welch had previously obtained the consent of M. W. Charles R. Cutler, Grand Master of Masons in Rhode Island, to officiate in that jurisdiction. After the ceremonies were concluded, Grand Master Cutler very kindly invited the Grand Master and Brethren from Massachusetts to the hospitalities of his home, for which thoughtful provision they express themselves under many obligations.