LORENZO HAMILTON GAMWELL 1821-1896
Senior Grand Warden, 1859.
From Proceedings, Page 1896-380:
Suddenly, on the morning of November 4, 1896, .Brother Lorenzo H. Gamwell, of Pittsfield, was summoned, almost without warning, to join the great majority in the Celestial Lodge above, where the Supreme Architect' of. the. Universe presides.
He was born in the town of Tyringham, Berkshire County, Mass., April 1, 1821, his parents soon afterwards removing to the town of Washington in the same county. Here his boyhood was spent, and his early days saw him engaged in the pursuits which commonly devolved upon, the farmer's boy of that period. He was given a good education, and at the age of about twenty, he located in Pittsfield, where he studied law and was admitted to the bar. He remained in active practice for many years, but during the latter years of his life he gave but little attention to his calling.
His interest in the community in which he dwelt was early, manifested and although zealoushy engaged in the practice of his profession, he yet found time to interest himself in the general affairs of the town and county. The excellent health, the foundation of which was laid in the rugged employments of his early youth, was our Brother's pride and contributed largely to the equipment which enabled him for so many years to be actively engaged in the prosecution of his profession.
Our Brother Gamwell's capabilities were recognized by his fellow-citizens in various ways. He was a charter member of the first public library association in Pittsfield, and ever took a deep interest in the welfare of this potent instrumentality for public good. He served as Associate Justice of the District Court of Central Berkshire for some years, resigning this office upon his election to the lower branch of the State Legislature in the fall of 1885. He served in the House for two terms, and later filled the position of Court Crier in the higher Courts. In all the positions which he was called upon to fill, he was faithful, just, and true, ever exemplifying in his public life the teachings of our Order.
His Masonic life may be said to have begun when his application was made to Mystic Lodge, at Pittsfield, in December, 1851. In those days it meant much to be a Mason, and it was no easy thing in the far western part of the State to secure enough men of ability to fill the Chairs. The confidence and esteem in which Brother Gamwell was held by his Brethren was shown by his election in June, 1852, as Master of Mystic Lodge, a position which he filled most acceptably during the ensuing year, as is testified to by those of his contemporaries now surviving. For many years he continued in its councils, and with experience gained by many years of close attention, to aid in its prosperity. Of him it may be truly said that from the sound of the instructive tongue, he was enabled to perfect himself in the ritual of the Order, and so attain that excellence in matters pertaining to the Craft, which gained for him the election of Senior Grand Warden of the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge in 1859, and his subsequent appointment as Grand Lecturer, a position which he filled with conspicuous ability from 1863 to 1868 inclusive.
He was ever constant in attending to the duties which were incumbent upon the various Masonic offices held by him. As late as the Centennial Celebration of Evening Star Lodge, of Lee, in June, 1895, and that of Cincinnatus Lodge, of Great Barrington, in June, 1896, he was present, and took an active interest in the exercises of those occasions. In the higher Masonic Bodies, and he was a member of the Chapter, the Council, and the Commandery, besides being connected with the A.A.S.R. Bodies, he was active, and at times held high offices, having been first Eminent Commander of Berkshire Commandery.
With all the organizations with which he was connected, he identified himself fully, taking an active interest, and was earnest in carrying out the principle of brotherly love and affection,' and the teaching of Freemasonry and its practical precepts were conspicuous in his truly Masonic life.
Strong in his convictions, rugged in mind as well as in body, he was warm-hearted, generous, and charitable; a steadfast friend, a wise counsellor, a true Mason. His presence will be missed indeed, but the example which he set will remain with us.
" When good men die, their goodness does not perish,
But lives, though they are gone."
F. E. PEIRSON,
WM. P. WOOD,
S. CHESTER LYON,