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Senior Grand Warden, 1885


From Proceedings, Page 1900-20

Early on the morning of Tuesday, Feb. 27, 1900, at the entrance to the hotel in Brandon, Vt., R.W. Bro. Charles Herbert McClellan, a member of this Grand Lodge, was suddenly, without a moment's warning, summoned to the celestial Lodge above, where the Grand Architect of the Universe presides.

Impressed as we are by this sad event, with a deep sense of the shortness and uncertainty of human life, and bowing in meek submission to the will of that Supreme Being who doeth all things well, we would yet preserve the sweet memory of our departed Brother, and place on record a brief tribute to his many virtues.

He was born at Colerain, Mass., Feb. 15, 1845, the son of Deacon Hugh and Margaret (Washburn) McClellan. His early life was spent on his father's farm, and his education obtained at the district and a select school in his native town, and at Powers Institute, Bernardston. When of age he removed to Greenfield, Mass., where for over twenty years he was engaged as clerk and subsequently partner, and then principal, in the dry goods business. His career was characterized by honesty, integrity and uprightness in all his dealings. His word was as good as his bond. He took an active interest in the affairs of the town and the welfare of his fellow-citizens. He was wel known in social life as a genial and pleasant friend and companion.

He was a man of literary tastes, showed a nice sense in his choice of authors, and quoted freely from his favorites. He was happy in his off-hand speeches and addresses, and added to the interest and enjoyment of many a Masonic banquet. He took a great interest in antiquarian pursuits, and as a result was an active and efficient member of the Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association of Deerfield. He contributed greatly to the success of its annual meetings and its field days.

He wrote a history of Colerain. It cost him several years of careful, painstaking research and hard labor. It is almost needless to say that the book is a recognized authority. It was a labor of the heart, the author loving his native town with the affection of a loyal son, and having a warm place in the hearts of its people. His name, with them, is a household word.

He was known by his Brethren as a wise and accomplished Mason, the following being the record of his career in our Fraternity: He was regularly initiated E.A., in Republican Lodge, Greenfield, Mass., July 21, 1870; passed to the degree of F.C., Aug. 25, 1870; and raised to the sublime degree of M.M., Sept. 22, 1879.

He was advanced to the degree of Mark Master Mason, in Franklin Royal Arch Chapter, Greenfield, Mass., Dec. 27, 1871; regularly passed the chair, Jan. 31, 1872; and wasreceived and acknowledged Most Excellent Master, and also was exalted to the sublime degree of a Royal Arch Mason, June 26, 1872.

He was admitted to the rights and honors of a Royal Master, the secrets of the Secret Vault, and the secrets and honors of a Super Excellent Master, in Titus Strong Council, Greenfield, Mass., Feb. 3, 1873.

In Connecticut Valley Commandery, Knights Templars, Greenfield, Mass., Oct. 23, 1874, he was created and constituted a Knight of the Illustrious Order of the Red Cross; March 16, 1875, he was created and dubbed a Knight of the Valiant and Magnanimous Order of the Temple, and Jan 2, 1877, he was advanced to the rights and privileges of the Order of Malta.

He was Past Master, Past High Priest, Past Thrice Illustrious Master, and Past Eminent Commander of these several Bodies.

He served as District Deputy Grand Master of the Eighth Masonic District during the years 1881 and 1882, and of the Thirteenth Masonic District in the year 1883.

"In the year 1885 he served as Senior Grand Warden. After retirement from office, though living at a long distance from Boston, he was yet a frequent attendant on the Communications of the Grand Lodge.

"His funeral, in charge of Connecticut Valley Commandery of Knights Templars, was at Colerain, on Friday, March 2, 1900, where his dust reposes with that of his forefathers.

"Now that our dear Brother has gone from us, it may be truthfully said of him, in summarizing his life, that he early recognized that

"The common problem, yours, mine, every one's,
Is - not to fancy what were fair in life,
Provided it could be - but finding first
What may be, then find how to make it fair
Up to our means.

"This was the governing principle of his entire career. He built no air-castles. But he took things just as he found them, and, as a wise master-builder, did honest work.

"Resolved, That this memorial be spread on our records and that the R.W. Recording Grand Secretary be instructed to send a copy of it, together with an expression of the sympathy of this Grand Lodge, to the widow and sons of our deceased Brother."

Fraternally submitted,

Distinguished Brothers