WILLIAM HERRICK LOVELL ODELL 1863-1920
Deputy Grand Master, 1908
FROM PROCEEDINGS, 1920
From Proceedings, Page 1920-572:
The Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of Ancient Free and Accepted Masons met with a most sad loss when on the morning of the 10th of September our well beloved Brother, Right Worshipful William H. L. Odell, went out from our earthly association.
Born in Beverly, Mass., September 5, 1863, he was educated in the schools of his native town and after years of training he became an expert in the preparation and handling of sheepskins, and the firm of Besse, Osborn and Odell which he organized was known far and wide for the honesty of its transactions and the quality of its products, and the success which was achieved and the enviable reputation which it attained were in a large measure due to the genius and business ability of Brother Odell, who was for three years president of the Boston Boot and Shoe Club, and also a Director of the Boylston National Bank.
Big-hearted and sociable, Brother Odell coveted the companionship of his fellow men, and he was a member of the Boston City CIub, the Algonquin Club, the Boston Art Club, the Boston Athletic Association, the Vesper Country Club of Lowell, the Point Shirley Club, the Bostonian Society, and one of the Advisory Board of the Old Colony Club, the Aleppo Temple AAONMS, and Massachusetts College Societas Rosieruciana.
Brother Odell was descended from ancestors whose valor and devotion helped to shape this republic of ours in its earliest days and he was always intensely patriotic. He was a member of the Sons of the American Revolution, the Society of Colonial Wars, the Massachusetts Society of the Founders and Patriots of America, a, member of the Fusilier Veteran Association, a Past Commander, of the Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company, a Vice-President of the Republican Club of Massachusetts, and a member of Kinsley Post Associates of the Grand Army of the Republic.
Brother Odell cherished a hearty veneration for the Christian religion and contributed generously to its support. He was a member of the Pilgrim Congregational Church of Dorchester and served on its Prudential Committee.
Widely, therefore, in the fields we have enumerated, and in many works of benevolence and charity which cannot be tabulated, was the wonderful energy of our Brother constantly expended, but we have yet to consider what we may well unite in affirming - that the foremost inspiration of his life came to him from Freemasonry, and above all other organizations or works tending to promote the welfare of mankind he loved and sought to advance the prosperity and establish the principles of our exalted Fraternity.
He was initiated in Robert Lash Lodge, of Chelsea, January 22, 1890, and he was its Worshipful Master in 1898 and 1899. He was District Deputy in 1906 and 1907 (Third Masonic District). He was Deputy Grand Master in 1908.
He was exalted a Royal Arch Mason in Shekinah Chapter June 4, 1890: He was received and greeted as a Cryptic Mason in Naphtali Council February 28, 1891, and was Thrice Illustrious Master in 1900 and 1901. He was Deputy Grand Master in 1909 and Most Illustrious Grand Master of the Grand Council in 1915, 1916, and 1917, and Grand Treasurer 1918, 1919, and 1920, and in 1918 he was elected General Grand Marshal of the General Grand Council and held that position at the tine of his death. He was Knighted in Palestine Commandery September 10, 1890, and dimitted January 9; 1907, to affiliate with St. Bernard Commandery, of which he was Eminent Commander in 1917.
In the Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite he received. the 14th degree in Sutton Lodge of Perfection March 24, 1905, the 16th degree in Giles F. Yates Council February 12, 1909, the 18th degree in Mount Olivet Chapter February 19, 1909, and the 32d. degree in Massachusetts Consistory April 25, 1909. He was crowned a Sovereign Grand Inspector General of the 33d degree at Philadelphia September 16, 1919, and he was Junior Warden of Mount Olivet Chapter of Rose Croix at the time of his death.
The life of Brother Odell was many-sided and a blessing to all who were privileged to be his associates. One of the most marked of his characteristics was his surpassing loyalty to his friends, and such he numbered in every walk of life. Broad and democratic of spirit, he was as hearty and genuine in his regard for the humble as for the great and affluent and he delighted to bestow favors upon those who could make no return to him.
Thoroughly kind of heart, he deeply regretted any quick, impulsive word he may have spsken and was swift to make apology, and he was one of the most forgiving of men - never cherishing ill-will for those who sought to thwart his plans, but always ready to bury the past and renew the ties of comradeship.
With his convivial spirit and delight in festive occasions, he coupled a serious sense of honor and integrity and a fidelity to the dictates of conscience. He was very human, but withal he was an honest upright, lovable man, and he will be greatly missed now that he is gone.
In this Grand Lodge he was a right hand of strength and helpfulness for long years, and to all those who have been entrusted with the direction of affairs. His readiness for any task, his excellent judgment, and his practical business sagacity have greatly conduced to the success of our enterprises and efforts.
Here he cemented his closest friendships, and for many of us our relationship with him was of such a personal character that it was like losing one out of our own household when he was called away.
He loved the Masonic Home. His whole heart went out toward the unfortunate of the Craft, and he was ready to labor in their behalf to the fulness of his ability. He was a true and worthy Mason, a splendid embodiment of our principles, one of the most honored and most worthy members of our Grand Lodge of Massachusetts.
Sacred will his memory ever be to all of us, and may a full measure of his zeal and devotion to our Fraternity descend. upon us as we reflect that "God buries his workmen, but continues to carry on his works."
A life like his hath never close,
But ever on its influence flows,
The clay that held the odor sweet
May fall all shattered at our feet,
But yet. the fragrance will abide,
And shed its blessings far and wide,
Ancl though o'er earthly garments frail
The cruel hand of Death prevail,
The love lives on, for you and me
An inspiration still to be.
Be this my prayer for each clear friend:
May memory its magic lend,
That we forever holding fast
The precious vision of the past,
The wondrous joy and sunshine rare
It hath been ours a while to share,
May find in these the prophecy
Of what I feel again will be
When we have gained the heavenly shore
And, reunited, part no more.
FROM COUNCIL OF DELIBERATION, 1921
From Proceedings of the Massachusetts Council of Deliberation AASR NMJ 1921, Page 43:
It is seldom that, at the same moment and because of a common loss, so many hearts are touched with sorrow as when, on the tenth of September last, the word went forth that our Brother Odell had been called “to take his chamber in the silent halls of death.”
“Tears,” some one has told us, “are the emphasis we place upon a blessing with which we have been called to part,” and such wide extended sadness attests the esteem in which Brother Odell was held by an innumerable company whom he numbered as his friends.He was born in Beverly September 5, 1863, and educated in the schools of his native town. In early manhood he acquired in factory and tannery a thorough knowledge of sheepskins and later went on the road as a salesman. In 1906 he formed the corporation of Besse, Osborn & Odell, of which he was vice-president and general manager until the time of his death.
He was a wise and sagacious business man and by his tireless energy and his honest dealing he attained a large measure of success.He was a director of the New England Shoe and Leather Association; a member of the Boston Boot and Shoe Club and its President for three years; a member of the Boston Shoe Trades Club, and a director of the Boylston National Bank.
Brother Odell had inherited from worthy sires of old colonial days an intense patriotic zeal and devotion which led him to participate in affairs of state and nation and to ally himself with organizations dedicated to the preservation of the ideals of the founders of our Republic and the intensifying of the love of country.
He was a member of the Sons of the American Revolution and the Society of Colonial Wars; a member of the Massachusetts Society of the Order of Pounders and Patriots of America; a member of the Fusileer Veterans Association; a member and Past Commander of the Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company; a member of Kinsley Post Associates, of the Grand Army of the Republic, and a vice president of the Republican Club of Massachusetts.Brother Odell had a big heart and a kindly and sympathetic nature. He coveted friends.and found them in every rank and station of life. He delighted in social and festive assemblies.
He was a member of the Boston City Club, Algonquin Club, Boston Athletic Association, Boston Art Club, Vesper Country Club of Lowell, Point Shirley Club, Bostonian Society, one of the Advisory Board of the Old Colony Club, and a member of Aleppo Temple, A. A. O. N. M. S., and of Massachusetts College, Societas Rosicruciana.
He was also one of the standing committee of the Pilgrim Congregationalist Church of Dorchester, and a generous patron of many enterprises, public and private, which were dedicated to the welfare of the unfortunate.
His Masonic record was as follows:
- He was raised in Robert Lash Lodge of Chelsea, March 26, 1890, and was its Worshipful Master in 1898-99. He was District Deputy Grand Master in 1906 and Deputy Grand Master in 1908. He was long a member of the Board of Masonic Relief and an ardent worker for the Masonic Home.
- He was exalted as a Royal Arch Mason in Shekinah Chapter in Chelsea June 4, 1890.
- In the Cryptic Rite he received many honors and filled many offices with marked efficiency. He became a member of Naphtali Council of Chelsea February 28, 1891, and was its Thrice Illustrious Master in 1900- 1901. He was Deputy Grand Master of the Grand Council in 1909, Most Illustrious Grand Master 1915, '16, and '17, Grand Treasurer 1918, '19, and ’20, and at the General Grand Council of the United States, in 1918, was elected General Grand Marshal, which position he held at the time of his death.
- As a Templar he was knighted in Palestine Commandery of Chelsea, September 10, 1890, and demitted therefrom oh January 9, 1907, to affiliate with St. Bernard Commandery, of which he was Eminent Commander, 1917 and '18.
- In the Scottish Rite he received the fourteenth degree in Sutton Lodge of Perfection, of Salem, March 24. 1905, the sixteenth degree in Giles F. Yates Council of Princes of Jerusalem of Boston, on February 12, 1909, the eighteenth degree in Mount Olivet Chapter of Rose Croix of Boston, February 19, 1909, and the thirty-second degree in Massachusetts Consistory April 25, 1909.
He was in every sense of the word a “true and upright Mason,” an embodiment of full many of our best and foremost principles and worthy of all the honors bestowed upon him by the brethren. He delighted to contribute to the welfare of the Craft and to assist in all possible ways those who were entrusted with the direction of affairs.He will be sadly missed from our councils and companionship.
The funeral service was held in the Pilgrim Congregationalist Church on September 12th and the burial was in the family lot at Beverly. He is survived by his widow, Carolyn Beals Treloar, whom he married in 1905, and a stepdaughter, three brothers, a sister, and two grandchildren.
There is no vacant chair. The loving meet —
A group unbroken — smitten, who knows how?
One sitteth silent only, in his usual seat:
We gave him once that freedom. Why not now?
Perhaps he is too weary, and needs rest:
He needed it too often, nor could we
Bestow. God gave it, knowing how to do so best—
Which of us would disturb him? Let him be.
There is no vacant chair. To love is still
To have. Nearer to memory than the eye.
And dearer yet to anguish than to comfort, will
We hold him by our love that shall not die.