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  • MM 1879, WM 1894, 1895, Mizpah
  • DDGM, Cambridge 2, 1898, 1899
  • Deputy Grand Master 1900


From Proceedings, 1901, Page 1901-140:

Walworth O. Barbour was born in Saratoga, N.Y., Dec. 25, 1850, the son of Oliver L. Barbour, a noted author of works of law. When about nineteen years of age he spent some time in civil engineering in the Adirondacks. He came to Cambridge about 1874, and entered the employ of the Walworth Manufacturing Company. Later he engaged in business as a member of the firm of Walworth O. Barbour & Co., and still later became senior partner of the firm of Barbour, Stockwell & Co., which was afterwards merged into the corporation of the Barbour-Stockwell Company, of which he was president to the time of his death. In all these positions he was active and industrious, being one of the foremost men in his line of business.

He was a member of the New England Foundrymen's Association, serving as its president in 1899, the National Founders Association, serving as Chairman of the New England Committee in 1899, and a charter member of the National Metal Traders Association. In all of these Associations he was a leading spirit and ably served in positions of trust and responsibility. He was a charter member of the Colonial Club, of Cambridge, and belonged to several social organizations of the Austin Street Unitarian Church of that city, where he was a regular attendant, and to other local societies; in all of which he was much valued for his social qualities. In every sphere of action his tact and ability were soon felt, his counsel sought, and his time and energy were never withheld.

He was married to Sarah G. Hinckley, of East Bridgewater, Aug. 15, 1876. She survives him, with three children, Philip W., Samuel L., and Lillian M. Barbour, all of Cambridge. His record in Freemasonry was brilliant. He was initiated in Mizpah Lodge, of Cambridge, May 12, crafted June 9, raised September 8, taking membership October 13, all in the year 1879. He was appointed Inside Sentinel for the year 1881, Junior Steward 1882 and 1883, Junior Deacon 1888, Senior Deacon 1889, elected Junior Warden for the years 1890 and 1891, Senior Warden 1892 and 1893, Worshipful Master 1894 and 1895. He received the Mark and Past Master's degrees in Cambridge Royal Arch Chapter March 8, 1889, the Most Excellent degree May 10, 1889, was exalted a Royal Arch Mason and became a member June 14, 1889. He was knighted in Boston Commandery K.T., and became a member Sept. 18, 1889. He received the appointment of District Deputy Grand Master for the 2nd Masonic District for the years 1898 and 1899 and was installed Deputy Grand Master at the dedication of the Temple in December, 1899. His only public appearances thereafter were at Beverly, December, 1899, and Wollaston, January, 1900, for on Jan. 10, 1900, less than a month after his installation, he was stricken by the disease which finally took him from our midst. He occupied his chair in this Grand Lodge but once thereafter, at the Annual Communication in December, 1900. He died July 2, 1901.

R.W. Brother Barbour was naturally a leader among his associates. He formed his own opinions in matters of business and pleasure, though, always, hearing and weighing the counsel of friends. Progressive, he cut new paths through the underbrush, or blazed his way through the trackless forests. To get most quickly at the gist of the matter, to cut the Gordian knot, to bring out the meaning of the ceremonies of our Institution, were the grand Masonic aims he had in view. Nowhere in all the range of Masonic literature is there to be found a more perfect piece of instruction to the novitiates, a clearer exposition of the benefit of the Masonic membership, a more graceful charge from the Master to the incoming member, than the one composed and modestly used by him till its beauty and appropriateness won for it the admiration and applause of his Brethren. It is, as was so aptly said by our Most Worshipful Grand Master when he installed R.W. Brother Barbour, 'a distinct contribution to Masonic literature,' and it is with the hope that it will find a permanent place therein by publication in the report of this Communication of the Grand Lodge that we make it a part of this memorial.

Brother Barbour was peculiarly endowed with lovable and genial qualities. Thoughtful of the welfare of those about him, his supreme pleasure was in sharing with others the good things he liked. Nothing at home was quite so good as when some friend had dropped in to share it with him, and no outing was perfect for him unless all his family were with him. When they and a few choice friends were about him, then, and then only, in the language of a friend, were 'the skies a perfect blue, the waters of the brook perfectly clear, and the songs of-the birds:at the height of their melody.' We remember him as he was. With a Mason's hope, we wait till we see him as he is.

Fraternally submitted,




A part of the Barbour memorial in the Proceedings, beginning on Page 1901-146; also appears in New England Craftsman, Vol. XXXV, No. 12, August 1940, Page 254.

"And now, my Brother, the ceremonies of this degree are concluded. You have been; initiated, crafted and raised,: and have received all the instruction pertaining to Ancient Craft Masonry laid down in the ritual adopted by the Grand Lodge of this State. It is yours to enjoy all the privileges, pleasures and benefits of this revered and venerable Institution of ours, and I sincerely hope you may soon learn to recognize and appreciate their great value.

"Conceived in the early days of civilization, so remote that the date is lost in the dimness of antiquity, and organized for the instruction and protection of the workmen of that period, the Fraternity has been a factor of ever-increasing importance in the changing civilizations of the . succeeding centuries, and exercises a potent influence on that of our own times. Its founders builded far better than they knew. They erected a structure to serve the material needs of the operative Brethren of their time, but they adorned it so richly with symbolism, and with teachings so noble and pure, that it has withstood the lapse of time, the attacks of ignorance, prejudice and superstition, and survived by many generations the conditions which called it into existence.

"There is inspiration and hope for the future of the Fraternity in the study of its past, and food for proud reflection in the thought that amid all the changes of social life and custom, amid the rise and fall of empires, dynasties, races and nations, amid the birth, growth and decay of religious sects, and creeds, amid all the changes of thought and growth of knowledge, Freemasonry remains the one human Institution without fundamental change. The reason is not far to seek. From its inception the Fraternity has been the exponent of verities as old as humanity itself, and- destined to last 'until the wide firmament is rolled up like a scroll'; so simple that all men can understand them and which all men must admit, accept, admire and reverence. Truth, justice, charity, — meaning in a broad sense, manhood, honesty and love for one's fellow-man, — these three broad stones were builded securely into its very foundation, and on them men, not only of every country, sect and opinion, but of every age and every time, and of almost every degree of education and intelligence; have found place.

"When men no longer needed the assistance and protection of the Fraternity to gain a livelihood, its purposes underwent a modification. But the great underlying principles remained the same, appealing to the best there was in all men and binding them loyal and steadfast in their affection for it; and from generation to generation they have given of their time, thought, influence and money in loving and faithful service, receiving in return, rewards that differed with their varying needs and tastes.

"You are, to-night, received into full membership in this great Fraternity. You have every reason to be proud of the family which has adopted you. See to it that the family has reason to be proud of you.

"The Fraternity stands to-day, as it has stood from time immemorial, as a wise and generous mother offering to her children, from an abundant store, gifts whose value is beyond estimate and whose beauty grows upon us day by day.

"Her very greeting to you was a smile of approval, and her first words — spoken before your feet were permitted to cross the threshold of her sanctuary — an appeal to every sense of manhood and honor you possess. 'Because my children think well of you,' she said, 'because you are a man and have been found worthy, therefore do I open my doors unto you and bid you enter.' Once within, she takes you by the hand and conducts you through the courts and chambers of her magnificent temple; she displays, to you the glorious trophies which the centuries have brought her. She spreads a feast before you where presides the genius of modern Masonry, true and disinterested friendship. Do you desire friends? Every man does every man should.

He who lies a thousand friends has not a friend to spare,
And he who has an enemy will meet him everywhere.

She does not give you friends. You would not value them if she did. Indeed, she could not do so if she would.

For friendship is not a plant of hasty growth,
Though planted in esteem's deep-fixed soil,
The gradual culture of kindly intercourse
Must bring it to perfection.

"She offers you the esteem, good-will and companionship of men with whom it is an honor for you, or any man, to become associated. The rest remains with you. Accept it gratefully, at her hands, use it aright, improve it, and friendships will come into your life to enrich it and make it glad so long as it shall last. Nay, she does even more than this. She helps to make you worthy of such friendships. In the ritual of the three degrees she gives you a series of lessons, written in the most beautiful symbolism imaginable, inculcating a morality as lovely and lofty as that of any system of religion or philosophy, ancient or modern, and entirely free from cant, bigotry or dogma; a charity as broad as the universe itself; a faith in God, immortality, and one's fellow-man as simple and direct as that of a child.

"She lays her hand on your shoulder and on mine, and directs to high thoughts, pure lives, unselfish deeds. Strong, impressive and lasting are the lessons of the good mother. I charge you, my Brother, give heed to her voice and so shall you show to all the world the full stature of a man."

Distinguished Brothers