- 1 NEAL, WILLIAM H. 1840-1907
- 2 NEEDHAM, FREDERICK JAMES 1884-1943
- 3 NEFF, FRANK A. 1867-1938
- 4 NELSON, WILLIAM JOHNSON 1826-1908
- 5 NEWELL, JOEL 1790-1880
- 6 NEWHALL, A(DAM). CLARKE 1839-1910
- 7 NEWMAN, ROBERT 1755-1806
- 8 NEWTON, EDWARD BARTLETT 1850-1911
- 9 NICHOLS, JOHN 1790-1831
- 10 NICHOLS, SMITH WOODWARD 1809-1881
- 11 NICKERSON, JOSEPH P. 1808-1859
- 12 NICKERSON, OSBORN 1846-1914
- 13 NORRIS, CHARLES SEWELL 1871-1919
- 14 NORRIS, THOMAS F. 1792-1853
- 15 NORTH, HOWARD M. 1879-1936
- 16 NORTH, JOHN H. 1843-1908
- 17 NOURSE, BENJAMIN FREDERICK 1814-1886
- 18 NOURSE, HENRY M. 1848-1930
- 19 NORVISH, FRANKLIN 1911-
- 20 NOWLAN, PHILIP ANTHONY 1945-
- 21 NURSE, GILBERT 1798-1885
- 22 NYE, BONUM 1794-1890
- 23 NYE, EVERETT I. 1851-1923
- 24 NYE, HAROLD FRANCIS 1915-2004
- 25 NYE, SETH F. 1791-1856
NEAL, WILLIAM H. 1840-1907
- MM 1866, Revere
From New England Craftsman, Vol. III, No. 5, February 1908, Page 193:
Brother William H. Neal, for many years in the woolen business in Boston, died at his home in Cambridge, December 20. He was born in Boston, but has resided in Cambridge many years. Bro. Neal was a member of Revere Lodge. He was also a Civil War veteran.
NEEDHAM, FREDERICK JAMES 1884-1943
From Proceedings, Page 1943-20:
Born in Danvers, Massachusetts' on September 22, 1884, Brother Frederick J. Needham died suddenly in Marblehead on January 28, 1943.
Brother Needham was raised in Starr King Lodge of Salem on July 13, 1908, serving as Worshipful Master in 1926 and 1927. He was appointed as District Deputy Grand Master of the (Lynn) 8th Masonic District in 1931 and 1932 by Most Worshipfuls Herbert W. Dean and Curtis Chipman.
In the collateral bodies of the York Rite he was a member of Washington Chapter, R.A.M., Salem Council, R. & S. M., and Past Commander of Winslow Lewis Commandery, K.T. In the Scottish Rite Bodies, he was Past Thrice Potent Master of Sutton Lodge of Perfection; presiding Most Wise Master of Emmanuel Chapter of Rose Croix and a member of Massachusetts Consistory.
Our Brother was commissioned a Captain in the U. S. Army during World War I and later became an active member of Post No. 32 of the American Legion at Marblehead. In civil life he was Yardmaster for the Pequot Mills in Salem.
Funeral servlces were conducted at Saint Peter's Episcopal Church in Salem by Brother Rev. Charles W. G. Lyon January 31st, after which Post No. 32, American Legion, performed the final rites.
Our Brother's whole life was one of service and no call, either civic or Masonic, was made upon him that he did not eagerly respond. His untimely death leaves us sad indeed, but "God's finger touched him and he slept."
NEFF, FRANK A. 1867-1938
From Proceedings, Page 1938-276:
Brother Neff was born in Boston, December 17, 1867, and died at his summer home in North Sandwich, New Hampshire, June 22, 1938.
Until his somewhat recent retirement he was the proprietor of a stationery business in Salem. He was one of the Directors of the Salem Co-operative Bank.
Brother Neff became a member of Starr King Lodge in 1907 and was its Master in 1920-21. He was District Deputy Grand Master for the Eighth Masonic District in 1925 and 1926, by appointmeht by Most Worshipful Dudley H. Ferrell and Most Worshipful Frank L. Simpson.
He was a member of Washington Royal Arch Chapter and of Salem Council, a member and Past Commander of Winslow Lewis Commandery, a member of the Scottish Rite Bodies in Salem and Past Most Wise Master of Emmanuel Chapter of Rose Croix, and a member of Massachusetts Consistory.
Never aggressive, he was always faithful and dependable, and was much loved by his friends and associates, boih within and without the Masonic Fraternity.
NELSON, WILLIAM JOHNSON 1826-1908
- MM 1866, Old Colony
From New England Craftsman, Vol. III, No. 8, May 1908, Page 280:
Brother William J. Nelson, a member of Old Colony Lodge, Hingham, Mass., died March 19. He was well known as a builder and contractor. Among his achievements as a master builder was the erection of the Hotel Nantasket in six weeks. The seventh day be was on the job he sustained a fracture of one leg. For the remainder of the time he had to be carried about with his leg strapped to a board, to supervise the work. He erected many of the public buildings and private residences on the South Shore. He held the office of inside sentinel in his lodge for a period of forty-one years.
NEWELL, JOEL 1790-1880
- MM 1824, Thomas
From Liberal Freemason, Vol. IV, No. 11, February 1881, Page 339:
We are indebted to our much esteemed Brother, M. L. Youngs, for Masonic news from Wisconsin, and gladly print the following from the same source.
Milwaukee, January 4th, 1881.
Dear Liberal Freemason: — The old veterans in our ranks;— those who in their younger day in the long, long ago, left their homes in the far East, and all their loved associates, not only in social life, but in the Fraternity, and who came to this, then new and sparccly settled territory, to make for themselves and their children a home, and to plant in our midst the Order they loved so well,— are passing away. Since my connection with the Grand Lodge of Wisconsin, I have been called upon to perform the last rites of Masonry over a large number of such, and to-day there are but very few left who composed the Grand Lodge in 1857, when I first became a member of it. We miss their presence, but we still feel their influence, and who can say but what although their material form has been laid in the silent tomb, that their spirits may not still be in our midst, working unseen, but yet most effectually in the cause they loved so well.
These thoughts are suggested by the recent death of one of the oldest Masons in our State, Father Newell of Berlin, Green Lake County, but formerly from your State — Massachusetts — where he received all his degrees in Masonry.
Presuming a brief notice of this old and well-tried member of our order may not be uninteresting to some of your readers, I send you an extract taken from one of our daily papers, written by our Grand Secretary.
The noble and venerable Father Newell, so long prominent in Masonic circles in Wisconsin, died at his residence in Berlin, this State, December 24th, and was buried the following Sunday. In conformity with a request of Father Newell, he was buried with the Templar service, J. W. Woodhull of this city, officiating as Grand Commander, and H. I. Palmer as Grand Prelate.
Joel Newell was born in the town of Charlton, Worcester County, Mass., March 22d, 1790, and he was therefore nearly 91 years of age, at the time of his death. In his early youth, he was remarkable for his inventive genius, and many coopers' tools now used all over the world were invented by him. His employers at the factory where he worked, were loth to part with his services, but he was, as he termed it, seized with the Western fever, and started for what was then supposed to be a vast wilderness, the valley of the Ohio. He remained in Ohio for a short time and then took up his residence in Rockford, Illinois. Still not satisfied, he moved farther north, and finally settled in Berlin, Wisconsin. His unswerving integrity, generous disposition, and fine intellectual attainments, made for him many friends and admirers wherever he sojourned. For many years he worked at his trade, that of a cooper, and in every locality where he labored, he was loved and highly respected, by every one who knew him. Naturally modest and retiring, he was not well known outside of his own neighborhood, except by a few; but the true heart and charitable disposition of the venerable old man will never be forgotten by those who knew and loved him. He was an enthusiastic Freemason, and was held in high esteem by his brethren.
He received the first three degrees and became a member of the lodge in Charlton, Mass., in 1824. He received the Chapter and Council degrees in Greenwich, Mass., in 1825, and the Commandery orders in the same place in 1826. He was a charter member of the first lodge at Rockford, I11., and of Berlin Lodge, No. 38, and Berlin Chapter, No. 18, of Wisconsin. At the time of his death, he was an honorary member of Berlin Commandery No. 10. He had been a Master Mason over 56 years, a Royal Arch Mason 55 years, and a Knight Templar 54 years. The old black uniform purchased by him 54 years ago, lay upon the coffin when it was borne by tender hands to its last resting-place, a beautiful memorial of the olden time, speaking words of more profound eloquence than could be uttered, by any living man. From tne par]or, in which, as his wife states, the first lodge ever opened in Berlin was held 29 years ago, the remains of this true and noble man were removed, to be escorted by his brothers to the cemetery. The old men who bore that coffin from this room, all old and tried friends of Father Newell, could not suppress the tears which dampened their wrinkled cheeks. Sympathetic tears they were, for none of them who helped to carry the remains of the brother can expect to long survive him.
One who knew him well says of him:
Men may, by joining in the strife of politics or war, attain to eminence, and become known throughout the world; but those who by constant labor become the real brains and sinew of the land, may die almost unknown. Such was true of Joel Newell. He was one of God's noblemen. He lived in retirement, labored for those around him, with a heart tender as a child, but an intellect second to no man in our country. When the time comes, if it ever does, that noble manhood shall take precedence of bombast and ignorance, then such men as father Newell will be appreciated and loved.
NEWHALL, A(DAM). CLARKE 1839-1910
- MM 1870, WM 1889-1890, William Sutton
From Proceedings, Page 1910-178:
Worshipful Bro. A. Clarke Newhall, Secretary of William Sutton Lodge of East Saugus, died suddenly Nov. 18, 1910. For many years he has been a representative of his Lodge to this Grand Lodge. He was a member of the town Finance Committee, and had served on the Board of Registrars, the Board of Selectmen and as an Overseer of the Poor.
Brother Newhall was very active in Masonic affairs, deeply interested in the welfare of his Lodge, and a worthy exponent d the principles of our Fraternity.
NEWMAN, ROBERT 1755-1806
- MM 1783, Masters'
- Grand Tyler 1792, 1793
- card says he was born 1752 and died 05/26/1804, according to Babcock's "Old North Church", published 1947
From New England Craftsman, Vol. XVII, No. 5, February 1922, Page 171:
THE MASON WHO HUNG LANTERNS IN OLD NORTH CHURCH
Robert Newman, who hung out the lanterns at the Old North church, April 18, 1775, was born in Boston and was a cousin of M. W. Isaiah Thomas the bold editor of the "Massachusetts Spy." Robert Newman was born in 1755, and died March 23, 1806, aged 51 years He was buried in the Copps Hill Burying Ground in tomb No. 27, on the Snow Hill street side.
The stone, with Masonic emblems, etc. was probably the suggestion and work of M. W. Isaiah Thomas, who was Grand Master the year Robert Newman died.
Robert Newman became a member of St. Johns lodge in 1783. Dec. 26, 1792, Robert Newman was chosen one of the "Toilers" (Tylers) "for the ensuing year," with directions "for attending more strictly to duty."
NEWTON, EDWARD BARTLETT 1850-1911
- MM 1887, Winthrop
From New England Craftsman, Vol. VI, No. 5, February 1911, Page 165:
Bro. Edward B. Newton, a well-known Mason of Winthrop, Mass., died suddenly, Jan. 16. His funeral was on Friday, Jan. 20th, and was attended by a large number of Masonic and business associates. The church service was followed by the Masonic burial service. No member of the Masonic fraternity in Winthrop will be more missed than he; without desire for office, he faithfully contributed his support to every measure for the advancement of both lodge and chapter that were located in his town. He was the leader in the movement for establishing Winthrop Royal Arch Chapter and while he would never consent to being advanced to the position of High Priest he was undoubtedly the strong pillar of its support from the beginning until the day of his death.
NICHOLS, JOHN 1790-1831
- MM between 1811 and 1831, Meridian
From Boston Masonic Mirror, New Series, Vol. 2, No. 33, February 12, 1831, Page 263:
The funeral of Mr. John Nichols, whose death was noticed in the Mirror of the 29 ult. was attended on Sunday afternoon, 30th at Newton, Lower Falls, by a large concourse of citizens. He was interred with Masonic honors, under the direction of the Boston Encampment of Knights Templars, of which he was a beloved and valuable member. The number of Masons present was about two hundred. The procession formed at the Masonic Hall and moved to the late residence of the deceased, where the corpse was received and conveyed to the Episcopal Church: two Master Masons; two Royal Arch Masons and two Templars, with their appropriate regalia, officiating as Pall Bearers.
At the church, the usual funeral ceremonies were performed; and an appropriate and affecting discourse was delivered by Rev. Mr. Baury. "The circumstances attending the death of this gentleman were of the most melancholy and appalling nature. Cut off in a moment by the irresistible power and uncontrollable operation of a water-wheel in his own mill, in the full vigor of life and in the midst of his usefulness, he has left a bereaved widow and young family to mourn the awful event of a sudden and inscrutable Providence. It is but justice to the memory of the deceased to say, that in the various relations which he sustained in society, his probity, benevolence, and active usefulness, had procured him the confidence and esteem of a numerous circle of acquaintances to whom his noble philanthropy, ardent sincerity, and generous disinterestedness had endeared him by the strongest ties of friendship and affection. In him without exaggeration may it be said, the poor and be that had none to help him, found a friend and benefactor. As a devoted, affectionate husband, an anxious and faithful parent, the loss to his family is irreparable. Over the different societies of which he was a member, his untimely death has diffused a deep gloom, while it has filled the hearts of his relations and numerous friends wish mourning and melancholy regret."
NICHOLS, SMITH WOODWARD 1809-1881
From Liberal Freemason, Vol. V, No. 9, December 1881, Page 282:
W. Bro. Smith W. Nichols, of Melrose, died Friday morning, November 25th.
He had been a resident of Melrose a quarter of a century or more, removing thither from Boston, where he was born April 16th, 1809. He received his education in the Boston schools, and served his apprenticeship to the mason's trade. After removing to Melrose he continued his business in Boston until quite recently. Bro. Nichols was greatly interested in Freemasonry, with which he connected himself forty-five years ago, taking membership in St. Andrew's Lodge, Boston, March 10th, 1836. He was Master of the Lodge from 1844 to 1847. He was a Past High Priest and Honorary member of St. Andrew's Chapter of Royal Arch Masons, and a member of De Molay Commandery. He assisted in establishing Masonic organizations in Melrose, and was a charter member of Wyoming Lodge, Waverley Royal Arch Chapter, and Hugh de Payens Commandery. He was a member of the Massachusetts Charitable Mechanic Association. He was one of the originators of the Congregational Unitarian Society in Melrose, which was organized in 1867.
He leaves a widow, four sons and three daughters.
NICKERSON, JOSEPH P. 1808-1859
From Moore's Freemason's Monthly, Vol. XVIII, No. 10, August, 1859, Page 319:
Brother JOSEPH P. NICKERSON.
At a meeting of Matter Masons from Mount Horeb Lodge, West Harwich, Benjamin Franklin Lodge, West Dennis, and Pilgrim Lodge, U. D., of South Harwich, held at tbe room of Pilgrim, W. F. Hebard in the Chair, a committee of five were appointed to draft resolutions, consisting of J. K. Baker, W. M., and E. G. Doane, J. W., from Mount Horeb; V. B. Nickerson, W. M., from Benjamin Franklin; F. H. Hebard, W. M., and Z. H. Godfrew, J. W., of Pilgrim Lodge, who presented the following resolutions, which were unanimously adopted : —
- Whereas, it has pleased tbe Supreme Architect of the Universe to remove suddenly from our midst by death, our late Brother, Joseph P. Nickerson, Esq., therefore
- 'Resolved, That while we would bow with becoming submission to the Providence which deprives us of his companionship, we would also be forcibly reminded of our own frailty, and the importance of living in a state of fitness to meet our final change.
- 'Resolved, That in the death of our Brother, we feel that an affectionate husband and father—a worthy and useful citizen—a sincere christian, and a loved and true Brother has been taken from our midst.
- 'Resolved, That a suitable mortuary tablet be prepared to commemorate the death of our Brother, and placed in the Lodge-room of Pilgrim Lodge, of which he was a member, and that we wear the customary badge of mourning for thirty days from the adoption of these resolutions.
- 'Resolved, That we tender our warmest sympathies to the family and friends of the deceased, and would especially commend them to Him, who has promised to be a husband to the widow and a father to the fatherless.
- 'Resolved, That a copy of these resolutions be prepared and presented to his family, and also published in the Barnstable County papers and the Freemasons' Magazine, of Boston.
South Harwich, June 2d., A. D., 1859.
NICKERSON, OSBORN 1846-1914
From New England Craftsman, Vol. X, No. 3, December 1914, Page 106:
Osborn Nickerson, a prominent citizen and Freemason of Chatham, Mass., died Nov. 10. His funeral service was conducted by St. Martin's Lodge.
Mr. Nickerson was until recently postmaster at Chathamport for nearly 20 years. He was born in Chatham, May 25, 1846, and when a young man entered business in Chicago, remaining there until 1879. He had since resided in Chatham.
He represented this district in the State Legislature in 1892, and was chairman the Republican Town Committee for years. He had been a Selectman, and several terms a member of the School Committee. He was secretary of the Pilgrim Monument Association until the monument was completed.
NORRIS, CHARLES SEWELL 1871-1919
From Proceedings, Page 1919-184:
R.W. CHARLES SEWELL NORRIS was born in Wenham, Mass., April 10, 1871, and died at his residence in Melrose Highlands, March 26, 1919. He was the son of Worshipful Brother George E. (Past Master of Liberty Lodge, of Beverly) and Abbie C. (Garvin) Norris and was a descendant of Rev. Edward Norris, 3d, who succeeded Roger Williams at Salem in 1636.
When Brother Norris was about ten years of age he removed with his parents to Malden, where he attended the public schools. After graduation from the High School in 1890 he was connected with the Malden Savings Bank as one of its incorporators and also its Teller until August 1, 1907. Resigning that position he was chosen Treasurer and Trustee of the Home Savings Bank, in Boston, positions which he held at the time of his decease. He was also a director of the new Second National Bank in Malden.
Apart from his business life, Brother Norris had other interests, chiefly in music. He officiated, as organist for the Masonic bodies in Malden at various times, was organist in the Universalist and Baptist Churches of Malden, and after removing to Melrose was organist of the Congregational Church at Melrose Highlands. He was also a member of the Cecilia Society, of Boston, and was its Secretary.
Brother Norris received the degrees of Ancient Craft Masonry and membership in Converse Lodge, of Malden, in 1890 and was its Master in 1905 and 1906. He served as District Deputy Grand Master for the Seventh Masonic District in 1917 and 1918. He was also a member of King Cyrus Lodge, of Stoneham. In 1918 he was appointed by me Master of Fidelity Lodge (Under Dispensation), of Melrose, and died in office. He received the Capitular degrees in Tabernacle Chapter, Royal Arch Masons, of Malden, in 1906.
In his business relations Brother Norris was considered conservative, careful, and efficient. His election to be Treasurer and Trustee of the Home Savings Bank - which began its business in Masonic Temple in 1869 -is sufficient evidence of his character and ability.
To make a portrait in words of R.W. Charles Sewell Norris is very difficult if not impossible. He was so genial in his greetings; so cautious and wise in counsel; so efficient in every work and office he undertook; so willing always to "lend a hand"; so Christian in character and in life, that words seem inadequate to portray his true self. Those of us who have had the pleasure of an intimate acquaintance with Brother Norris realize that business interests have lost a sterling captain of industry; Freemasonry has lost a zealous and proficient Brother, and humanity has lost one whose pleasure it was to relieve distress and bless mankind.
The passing of R.W. Brother Norris was especially sad. Mrs. Norris, worn out with care and anxiety at her husband's bedside, became ltl with pneumonia and passed on at six o'clock on the morning of March 26th and her husband followed her at twelve o'clock at noon of the same day, leaving of the immediate family two sons and a daughter to whom the sympathy of the Fraternity goes out in the largest measure.
The funeral services were held on Saturday, March 30th, at the Highlands Congregational Church, the pastor, Rev. Brother John O. Paisley, officiating. The church was filled with prominent bankers, Freemasons, and friends, including delegations of Masonic and Musical Societies. I regret very much that an engagement in the western part of the State prevented my attendance. The Apollo and Schubert Quartets sang several appropriate hymns and Brother Merton D. Williams, Junior Warden of Fidelity Lodge (U. D.), presided at the organ, rendering selections which were favorites of Brother Norris. The burial took plaee at Wenham in the family lot.
"To me thou art not dead, but gone an hour
Unto another country fair and sweet;
Where thou shalt, by some undiscovered power,
Be kept in youth and beauty till we meet."
NORRIS, THOMAS F. 1792-1853
From Moore's Freemason's Monthly, Vol. XIII, No. 3, January 1854, p. 93:
Brother Norris died at his residence, in Somerville, on Wednesday, Dec. 21st. He was extensively known as the founder and editor of the Olive Branch, published in this city. As a Mason he was most true and faithful, and at the time of hie death, was the Chaplain of St. Andrew's Chapter, of this city. He was a minister of the Protestant Methodist Church, by which denomination of Christians his death will be deeply felt and deplored.
NORTH, HOWARD M. 1879-1936
From Proceedings, Page 1936-144:
Right Worshipful Brother North was born in Quincy June 8, 1879, and died in Waban August 20, 1936.
Brother North attended Worcester Academy and Harvard College, but left before graduation to study surgery in Berlin. He abandoned the idea of professional life and returned to Boston to enter the service of the Oriental Tea Company, of which his father was and is President. He remained with that business during the rest of his life, and at his death was the second member of the firm.
He took his Masonic degrees in Winslow Lewis Lodge in 1901 and was its Master in 1972 to 1914. He served as District Deputy Grand Master for the First Masonic District in 1916 and 1917, by appointment of Most Worshipful Melvin M. Johnson and Most Worshipful Leon M. Abbott.
Brother North's Masonic service was marked by the same qualities of broad vision, accompanied by thorough attention to detail, which were the foundation of his business success.
A host of friends mourn his passing.
NORTH, JOHN H. 1843-1908
- MM 1871, WM 1887, St. John's (Boston)
From New England Craftsman, Vol. III, No. 10, July 1908, Page 346:
Brother John H. North, a well known merchant and freemason of Boston died at his residence, Brookline, Massachusetts, May 9, after a long and painful illness. Brother North was born in Bowdoin, Maine. April 2, 1843, but came to Boston in his infancy where he resided until he removed to Brookline recently. He was in the wholesale hat business which he has followed all his ijfe. He was first with Mayor Hart's firm; Hart, Taylor Co., later with O. B. North & Son, then with North, Fiske & Co., and finally president of the John H. North Company, 59 Bedford Street, which position he held up to his death.
Brother North was a member and past master of St. John's Lodge, A. F. & A. M., a member of St. Andrew's R. A. Chapter, of Boston Commandery, K. T., and the First Worshipful Masters Association. These constituted his Masonic affiliations all of which he highly prized and faithfully served. He was a member of the Brimmer School Association, Boston Merchants Association and the Old School Boys' Association. He was a member of the Beacon Universalis! Parish of which he was Moderator and Superintendent of Shawmut Universalist Sunday school for 25 years, he was also past president of Boston Universalist Club.
He was loved and respected by all who were associated with him in the various activities in which he was engaged. This regard was attested by the large number who were present at his funeral. No Masonic service was used, for his desire for simplicity was respected, but the esteem of his friends and their love for him was well expressed in the tribute spoken by his friend and pastor. Rev. George L. Perin, D. D., which it is our privilege to give, who said:
"I cannot let this occasion pass without putting into words what seem to me to have been a few of the dominating motives and characteristics of this good man's life. I confess that I loved him as I have loved few men that I have ever been associated with, and my affections would naturally color my estimate of the man, but so far as possible, I want to hold in restraint anv mere eulogy that might be born out of my love and speak only of those things in which all of you who knew him as well as I did, will agree.
In the first place, you will agree that he was a very earnest man. No man could ever think of John H. North as a trifler. He threw himself into the tasks of life with an energy and a force that could have been born only of genuine earnestness. He thought earnestly, he worked earnestly, he lived earnestly. It was not that type of earnestness some-limes seen in a man who works persistently because he has to, but rather that type of earnestness that has its springs in the very character of the man. It was a deep consciousness that life means something, that what he could do was worth while, that God called him to his tasks. Though it often seemed to me that he worked as hard as a slave, he never worked like a slave. He worked bravely, cheerfully and hopefully. He worked as if God and man needed what he could do, and with the earnestness that always goes with a pride in genuine service.
"In the second place, he was an honest man. I do not mean merely that conventional honesty that goes with the motto 'honesty is the best policy,' and that leads a man to pay his debts and keep his obligations because it is the best policy. Of course, he did that, yet not because it was the best policy, but because he was at heart and fundamentally an honest man. He could have been trusted anywhere and absolutely. He could not be bought nor bribed nor cajoled nor flattered into doing a dishonest deed. How many times I have heard him say to the boys in his Sunday School, 'Boys, tell the truth and be honest,' and it had weight with the boys because the boys believed the advice came from an honest man.
"In the next place, he was a man of convictions. He was never a disciple of that easy going milk and water philosophy that is expressed in the familiar phrase, 'It doesn't matter what a man believes so he does right,' which is much like saying it doesn't matter whether the electric current is turned on or not so the telephone works. With him character was born of convictions and convictions belonged with character. Nobody ever had any difficulty finding out what John H. North believed. To him certain things were right and certain other things were wrong, and though he stood epiite alone, he stood for his convictions and found his consolation in the reflection that he had been true to himself.
"Again he had a genius for friendship. During his long and painful illness his rooms were like a flower garden, and he used sometimes to say, 'I don't understand why people should be so kind to me. I have never done anything for them.' That was the beautiful thing about it, he thought he never had done anything, yet he had been doing things for others all his life. For the most part, the friends of his boyhood and early manhood were his friends till he died. In spite of his bhmtness, men respected him and honored him, and loved him. Where any principle was involved, he could be as firm as a rock. Yet he was as tender-hearted as a little child, and the embodiment of justice and fair-mindedness. Therefore, if anyone was ever offended with him, which was seldom, it was never for long, for his genial manner and his genuineness was sure to win them back. Nothing that could have happened would ever have made me doubt that he was my friend. The presence of nearly all of you here today is a silent witness to his genius for friendship.
"Finally, he was a man of faith. Perhaps this was almost his dominating characteristic. He was never emotionally or sentimentally religions, but actually he was deeply religious in the sense that his faith in (lod never wavered. Some men say they believe in God and then live as if there were no God, in practical atheism. Tie said little about it, but lived as if God were with him every day,—a faith vital in all the affairs of life. In scores of albums belonging to his young friends, he has written these words which he called his motto:
Woulds't have a friend?
Woulds't know what friend is best?
Have God thy friend —
Who passeth all the rest.
"Dear friends, these words spoken against his own living protest are but the beginning of what I would say if I could let myself loose to speak what is in my heart for I loved the man, and I would gladly voice your feelings as well as my own. But I give heed to his wish for simplicity and brevity.
"But this I say in conclusion. I am glad that he lived. I have been honored in his friendship, and so have you. I am sorry he is gone, but I believe absolutely, as he did, in the continuity of life beyond what we call death."
NOURSE, BENJAMIN FREDERICK 1814-1886
- MM 1845, Hiram
- Affiliated 1846, WM 1852, Amicable
- Charter Member 1864, WM 1863, 1864 U. D., Mount Olivet
- Grand Lecturer 1856-1860
- Grand Tyler 1873, 1876, 1877
From Liberal Freemason, Vol. VIII, No. 9, December 1884, Page 256:
On the thirtieth day of December, 1856, the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge F. and A. M. of Massachusetts assembled at 9 o'clock, a. m., for the purpose of exemplifying the Work and Lectures of the three degrees under the direction of Wor. William C. Martin, Grand Lecturer.
In the organization reported in the proceedings of that date, Benjamin F. Noursc was Junior Grand Deacon, p. t., but when Grand Master Winslow Lewis announced the names of his appointed officers, that of Brother Nourse appeared as Grand Lecturer, a position from which he voluntarily retired after several years of valuable service.
This appointment was the legitimate outcome of the fidelity of our Brother to the ritual of the degrees as sanctioned by Grand Lodge, and his skill in imparting information to others had made him conspicuous among the craft.
Benjamin F. Nourse was born in Boston, Mass., February 28th, 1814, and educated principally in the Franklin School.
For a time he was employed in a lawyer's office, but later, learned the trade of book-binder, a business he afterwards conducted for himself in Boston.
Like many, perhaps most boys, the sea had a charm for him, and he made a long voyage, during which he met with mishaps, found good advisers, and abandoned it for more congenial work on land.
When about seventeen years of age, the family removed to Cambridge, Mass., where he has since lived and enjoyed the confidence of his fellow-citizens. Quiet and unobtrusive in his demeanor, he never pushed for political preferment, or sought for honors he might have won; he has, however, in various ways, been called to serve his fellow citizens, and always with approval.
He was a member of the Common Council three years, was on the Board of Assessors five or six years, and in 1875 was elected Superintendent of Lamps, by concurrent action of the Board of Alderman and Common Council. A little later he was also appointed Sealer of Weights and Measures.
Tn 1833, he and Susan M. Roberts were united in marriage; to them seven children were born, four of whom survive, and these lend cheerful presence to the home which their parents established and have maintained in high domestic comfort.
When Freemasonry began to revive from the anti-Masonic depression, Mr. Nourse was attracted by it, and when opportunity presented, he petitioned Hiram Lodge in West Cambridge, now Arlington, and was there made a Mason, April 2d, 1845.
He was made a Royal Arch Mason in St. Paul's Chapter in Boston, December 11th, 1854, admitted to Boston Council of Royal and Select Masters February 15th, 1855, and the honors of knighthood in Boston Commandery, being created a Knight Templar February 27th, 1855, by that eminent Templar, Dr. Daniel Harwood.
Brother Nourse took membership in Amicable Lodge, Cambridge, in 1846, and was its Master in 1852 and 1853, and is now an Honorary Member.
He was one of the founders of Mt. Olivet Lodge in Cambridge, chartered in 1864, and its Master, U. D. Of this Lodge he is a Life Member.
After being admitted into the Chapter, he was at once appointed Royal Arch Captain, and served as such for several years, but declined promotion. He was then elected Treasurer; held the office a number of years and until he declined re-election.
In the A. and A. Scottish Rite he has long taken an active interest, and has many reminiscences of his early history in this Rite. He, with two or three others, went to New York something like twenty-five years ago and received the Degrees from the 4th to the 32d, from the officers of the "Supreme Council of the United States of America, its Territories and Dependencies;" these officers afterwards came to Massachusetts, and on May 3d, 1862, conferred the 33°, or that of Sov. Grand Inspector General, on Brothers Nourse, Gilbert Nurse, A. K. P. Welch, and John D. Jennings, in Amicable Lodge Hall, in Cambridge. The body conferring these degrees was then presided over by Edmund B. Hays, 330, M. P. Sov. Grand Commander.
These Massachusetts brethren at once attracted other material, and the scene of their labors was transferred to Stacy Hall, then numbered 46 Washington St., Boston, where many brethren, some of whom have since been active in the Rite, and received from it the highest honors, received the degrees, and gave increased impetus to the newcomer.
Many changes have taken place since then in the management and general history of the Scottish Rite, but Brother Nourse is still active in its behalf, and holds membership in Massachusetts Consistory, meeting in Masonic Temple, in Boston.
Our Brother has been a member of the Odd Fellows since 1843, and has occupied the principal chair in his Lodge during two different periods in office.
He has also been a Life Member of the Massachusetts Charitable Mechanics' Association since January 4th, 1860.
We may here add that during his earlier time in the A. and A. S. Rite, he received the degrees in the Rite of Memphis, and holds a diploma to the 94°.
It will be seen that our Brother has taken more than a passive interest in society organizations, but his abiding interest is more active in the American Rite ; for many years several of the Lodges, both Chapters, and Boston Commandery, meeting in the Temple in Boston, have secured his services as Sentinel ; this has also been done by the bodies in the Scottish Rite, meeting in the same place. As Sentinel, he is the first to meet strange brethren, who may want to visit, and to greet them with a courteous welcome. There the brethren hope to see him for these many years to come, confident that the duties entrusted to him will be well done, and hopeful that age will continue to sit lightly upon him.
From Liberal Freemason, Vol. X, No. 10, January 1887, Page 311:
The Liberal Freemason gave a sketch of Wor. Bro. Benjamin F. Nourse in Volume VIII, also, of his "golden wedding," and to those the reader is referred for particulars not repeated here.
It is impossible that a brother with forty-one and two-thirds years' experience in Freemasonry, who has filled pretty much every office in the lodge, from Tyler to Master, can pass away without being missed and regretted by those of his brethren who knew him, if only by sight; but when he has been a teacher, as Brother Nourse was, and thoroughly consistent also with his professions as a Mason, one may well look about inquiringly for some one to continue the work as faithfully.
Indeed, it was a part of his character to be faithful; his mind was fashioned as if of integrity, and no better example of steadfastness has wielded mallet or sword in his generation. So true was he to his convictions that he sometimes appeared to take on an air of grimness; but this characteristic was born of his virtue, and belonged to him as clearly as his sense of right. Gentle was he also, where gentleness meant "brotherly love, relief and truth," and who could do a kindly act or lend a helping hand with less show of ostentation? His judgment was rarely at fault, his heart never. He was sensitive and quick to be grieved at neglect, but he was not a man to assert himself in contention for preference or place, and so it came to pass that less deserving men reaped where he had sown; but he was true to Brother Nourse, and therefore was not "false to any man."
As Grand Lecturer in the Grand Lodge, he was one of the most correct, and in the functions of that office flattery could not cajole him, or power swerve him to "alter or change" a word, but no man was more obedient to regularly constituted authority. As Master he assumed not to make the law, but held himself responsible for the execution of it, therefore he was temperate, affable, prudent and just. As Tyler, his sword became the emblem of honor and of juice also, and among men he was of the most honorabj^, and of the most just.
His example in the ante-room and at the door of the lodge was good, for all tylers and members also. He was quiet, unassuming, non-communicative in the sense of withholding comment on the methods of officers, but pleasant to strangers and a skilful examiner of their claims to visit any one of the Masonic bodies under his care.
Of these, he tyled for Lodge, Chapter, Council and Commandery, and for the several bodies in the A. and A. Scottish Rite, meeting in the Temple in Boston, in all of which he was trusty and skilful, being in the latter one of the oldest members of the Thirty-third degree.
Brother Nourse tyled, for the last time, on December 21st, 1886, for St. Paul's Royal Arch Chapter, his mother Chapter, and one to which he had belonged, as the sketch alluded to shows, thirty-two years; his death followed close upon his latest work, and occurred on Wednesday evening, eight days after.
The funeral ceremonies, which took place on Sunday, the second day of the New Year, 1887, were performed, chiefly, in the First Universalist Church, in Cambridgeport, attracted a large audience aside from his brethren in Freemasonry, and the Odd Fellows, of which Order he had been a member many years.
A service according to the church forms, was conducted by the pastor, Rev. A. E. White; after which, the Templar Burial Service was performed by Boston Commandery, of which Brother Nourse had been a member thirty-one years, Sir Knight E. H. Richards, E. C. and E. Sir Knight James H. Upham, Prelate. The music throughout was by a selected quartette of male voices, and was impressively rendered. The floral tributes received were numerous and elegant, comprising the following: a pillow bearing the word "Father" from the children of the deceased; an ivy cross from Alfred F. Chapman; a sheaf of wheat from the Odd and Even Club; a wreath, square and compass from Mt. Olivet Lodge; a crescent and star from the Mystic Shrine; a tablet of ivy, and a sword laid thereon, from the Grand Commandery of Massachusetts and Rhode Island; an ivy tablet with a triangle thereon, from the Royal Arch Grand Chapter of Massachusetts; a keystone on a stand of roses from St. Andrew's Chapter; a triangle from St Paul's Royal Arch Chapter; a cross on a tablet of ivy from Massachusetts Consistory, Scottish Rite; a cross and crown from Boston Commnndery; jewels of the order, scales of justice and upturned sword and five stars inclosed-in a triangle, from G. F. Yates Council, Princes of Jerusalem, Scottish Rite; standing cross of ivy and roses from Mt. Olivet Chapter of Rose Croix. The remains of the deceased were laid at rest in Cambridge-Cemetery, prayer being said at the grave.
NOURSE, HENRY M. 1848-1930
From Proceedings, Page 1930-276:
R.W. Bro. Nourse was born in Monkton, Vt., Jan. 27, 1848, and died in Melrose March 9, 1930.
Bro. Nourse came to Boston at an early age, educated himself for the profession of architecture, and practiced as an architect for many years. During the later years of his life he was Assistant Curator at the Old State House. Nearly ten years ago his health became seriously impaired and since that time he has been living in retirement. He was never married and leaves no near relatives.
Bro. Nourse was entered in Aberdour Lodge September 14, 1886, passed October 12, 1886, and raised January 11, 1887. He served the Lodge as Master from 1897 to 1899, and was its Secretary from 1903 to 1921. He was District Deputy Grand Master in 1908 and 1909 (Second Masonic District) by appointment of M.W. John Albert Blake and M.W. Dana J. Flanders.
Bro. Nourse was a man of fine appearance and courtly, manners. He was popular among his associates and his enforced retirement from all activity was a source of deep regret.
NORVISH, FRANKLIN 1911-
- MM 1938, Paul Revere
From TROWEL, Summer 1996, Page 6:
Brookline. Massachusetts has a history all of its own, but a little known part of that history took place at 325 Harvard Street during the dark days of 1941-45. World War II. The world was at war and men and women everywhere were fighting the oppression of the Axis forces on two fronts— the European and the Pacific. It was a time for hard work that united us as never before or since, all working toward the ultimate objective of winning.
Today in 1996, we look back on those days and honor the men and women who sacrificed much during that time. Last year in 1995 a plaque commemorating a small, little known part of that war was placed in Brookline by the Veteran's Services to acknowledge the contribution of 150 special agents of the Counterintelligence Corps. During the war the sign in front of 325 Harvard St. read "Hoover Vacuum Cleaner Co." but the men that came and went at all hours were in fact members of the Counterintelligence Corps of the U.S. Army. It was here that they received their training in security, surveillance, and undercover work that would be used in overseas ventures.
One of these men, Bro. Franklin Norvish, lives in Needham and in a recent interview looks back on those days and the people with whom he worked. Bro. Norvish was born in Brockton. Massachusetts in 1911. After attending Brockton High School he went on to Colby College in Maine and then to Yale University where he obtained a graduate degree in English. He joined the faculty of Northeastern University in 1936 where he taught for 40 years. Bro. Norvish can speak several languages- French. German and Lithuanian which helped him in his Military Service. He joined Paul Revere Lodge in Brockton on April 5th. 1938, and is still active today. When asked why he chose to join the Lodge he replied: "My brother had joined a couple of years before and many of the people I knew and respected were Masons, so I wanted to join with them." He has said that one of the reasons that he chose English as a Major in college was a High School teacher that he had studied under and respected was Carl MacPherson, a well known Mason in the Brockton area.
Previous to being drafted in 1943, Bro. Norvish approached the Counterintelligence agency and indicated an interest in intelligence work. He was given a telephone number and told to call it when he became 1-A and then burn the number and never call it again. This he did and after being inducted at Fort Devens and sent to Edwards Air Force Base for basic training he was interviewed again by the CIC (Counterintelligence Corps). After Basic he was told to report to the agency where he was given vouchers for civilian clothing and told not to appear in uniform at any time. His neighbors, noticing that he did not wear the uniform, actually called the military because the\ thought he was AWOL. After schooling in Massachusetts and Maryland, he was assigned to watch for German Intelligence activity in Boston.
In January of 1944, he was sent overseas, landing in Scotland. He remembers this very well because he said that he was never so sick in all his life as during that 2-week trip.
Normally it would take far less time to journey from here to Scotland even by ship, but this was wartime and to throw the enemy intelligence off they went south for 2 days, then turned north to Iceland and then to Scotland. He and his shipmates were assigned to deck 1 and thought that they might even have a window overlooking the sea, unfortunately the British number their decks differently than Americans, Deck 1 was below the waterline. Upon landing in Scotland he actually kissed the dock because he was so happy to see dry land again. He spent the next several months in England studying names, addresses and locations, committing them to memory in preparation for the invasion of France.
On D+l (June 7th, 1944) he went ashore in France was second in line off the Landing Craft. The first drove off and sank in a shell hole, so they moved the craft and Bro. Norvish was told to drive out. His partner in the jeep with him, turned to him and said "For God's sake, don't stall it!!!" (He didn't.) Attached to the 7th Corps he followed the combat troops into Germany where his skills in German were put to good use. He was instrumental in interrogating German prisoners and found 1 several that were officers posing as enlisted men trvingl escape. Working in either plain clothes or an army uniform without rank or unit badges, he was shot at, and took some shrapnel in the foot. One of the experiences was a visit to Nordhausen, one of the concentration camps in Germany. There he saw first hand some of the prisoners and the shape that they were in. He was instrumental in capturing several German nuclear scientists and their notes and experiments who wereH being pursued by the Russians. In August, 1945. Frank Norvish returned home to marry and raise his family. To this day he is active in keeping in contact with his former associates in the intelligence community.
NOWLAN, PHILIP ANTHONY 1945-
- MM 1995, WM 2001, 2002, Friendship
- DDGM, District 2, 2011, 2012
- Member 2002, WM 2014, 2015, Major General Henry Knox
From TROWEL, Winter 2005, Page 22:
Being a self-proclaimed late bloomer, Masonically speaking, hasn't slowed down his desire to learn or to serve. In fact, since Wor. Philip A. Nowlan of Wilmington's Friendship Lodge took his degrees, he hasn't slowed down one bit and can be found at most Masonic events north of Boston taking photographs to memorialize the proceedings.
Since being raised in 1995, he has jumped into the craft with both feet, immediately becoming a line officer. He was installed as Worshipful Master of Friendship Lodge in 2001 and served for two consecutive years. A Vietnam veteran, he affiliated with Major General Henry Knox Lodge in 2002.
Bro. Nowlan has served as chairman of the 1st and 13th Masonic Forum and was appointed District Awareness Officer in 2003. As the Forum Chairman, he restructured the finances of the Forum. At the end of his term, despite the many obstacles he faced, lodges were hosting his Forum rent-free, attendance improved due to better programming, and he turned over a small surplus of funds to the new Lodge of Instruction for seed money. As the D. A. O., he brings his camera to every visit to record important events for publicity in Trowel, local newspapers and lodge archives. He has urged every lodge in his district to appoint a lodge photographer, and they have realized the value of this position.
Upon hearing stories of poor attendance at Masonic funerals within his district, he set up a Funeral Assistance Team. With the support of the Masters of each lodge, he created a phone chain of brothers to respond to local funerals when needed on very short notice.
Following his tour in the Army, Bro. Nowlan was employed by the Gillette Company in 1969 as a precision measurement inspector. He started a part-time photography business and, when it flourished, he left Gillette in 1985 to devote his full attention to his company. Some of his photographic shoots include the Gillette Company, Miss Teen America, Mrs. America, and Herb Reed & the Platters. One of the most intriguing shoots he took on was to photograph the original Prince Hall Masonic Charter. He says he was nervous on that shoot due to the strict lighting requirements and the historical significance of the document.
His first introduction to Masonry came from his close friend, Susan, who later became his wife. It took his future mother-in-law and future brother-in-law to introduce him to the Masonic fraternity and its values. She is a Past Worthy Matron of Eastern Star and he is a Past Master of DeWitt Clinton Lodge in Northfield, Vermont. After Bro. Nowlan and Susan married, everything practically fell into place. But he had to wait another two years before joining due to a commitment to his local cable access television station.
After attending the Most Wor. J. Philip Berquist Class of the Masonic Leadership Institute, he stayed on as an advisor to the Most Wor. Arthur E. Johnson Class and continues guiding and shaping the leadership skills of his fellow district officers.
He believes in leading by example, and does not ask anyone to take on a project that he would not do. To him, Masonry is a second family and he values it as such by taking his obligation as a "brother" very seriously.
He believes that the fraternity must promote itself to the general public. He says there are too many good men who would be excellent Masons if they only knew more about the craft. All he has to do is look in the mirror to see a good example of a man who waited too long solely due to a lack of knowledge. While he has devoted a lot of time and energy to the fraternity in just a few short years, he feels he has received so much more from Freemasonry than what he invested, and wants everyone to know just how valuable the fraternity is.
Wor. Philip A. Nowlan is a Mason at work and play, and is another example of Masonry making a good man better and helping him realize his potential.
NURSE, GILBERT 1798-1885
- MM 1822, Fredonia
- Member 1822, WM 1827, 1828, 1844, Mount Lebanon
- Junior Grand Steward 1834, 1835
- Senior Grand Deacon 1836
- DDGM, District 1, 1842-1843
- Grand Pursuivant 1845
- Grand Marshal 1846
FROM LIBERAL FREEMASON, 1885
From Liberal Freemason, Vol. IX, No. 8, November 1885, Page 251:
Gilbert Nurse, formerly a well-known citizen of Boston, and long prominent in Masonic circles, died at his home in Pepperell, Mass. early in the evening of November 6th. Brother Nurse was born in Royalston, Worcester county, in 1798, and came to Boston when a young man. While a resident of this city he was actively engaged in reorganizing the police force, and was appointed July 19th, 1852, by Mayor Seaver, to be Chief of Police. He held this office under Mayors Seaver and J. V. C. Smith until May, 1854. In that month the Boston Watch and Police were united under the name of the Boston Police Department, and Mr. Nurse retired.
He was initiated in Freemasonry in Fredonia Lodge, Northboro, Mass., in 1822. In October of that year he affiliated with Mount Lebanon Lodge, Boston, of which he was W. Master in 1826-27, and again in 1843. He was elected an honorary member of the Lodge in 1836. He was a member of St. Paul's Royal Arch Chapter, of which he was High Priest in 1831, and which he served sdfcie time as Secretary. He was created in Boston Commandery, Knights Templars, Sept. 1st, 1824, and was elected Eminent Commander of that body in 1835, being at the time of his death the oldest Past Commander. He also held the office of Recorder some time.
During a residence in St. Louis, Mo., he was in 1839, W. Master of Naphtali Lodge in that city. Among other offices which he held, were Grand Captain General of the G. Commandery of Massachusetts and Rhode Island, 1834; G. Generalissimo, 1835; G. Recorder, 1842-49; G. Lecturer of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts, 1842-3 ; D. D.-. Grand Master, 1843, and Deputy Grand High Priest, 1848-9. He had received all the degrees in A. and A. S. Rite, the 33° being conferred on him May 2d, 1862. A very companionable man was Brother Nurse, and ever ready to do good as opportunity offered.
FROM COUNCIL OF DELIBERATION, 1886
From Proceedings of the Massachusetts Council of Deliberation AASR NMJ, 1886, Page 433:
Born in Royalston, Mass., 1798; died in Pepperell, Mass., Nov. 6, 1885.
The public, social and Masonic record of our departed frater, if fully presented here, would furnish the best obituary which could be written, and prove to be the proudest monument to his memory. Coming to Boston in early youth, he engaged in the hardware business, to which, subsequently, he added that of dealer in agricultural implements, which calling he assiduously prosecuted, both in Boston and St. Louis, Mo. Returning from the latter city in 1841, to Boston, he immediately resumed his position among the active men of that day, in public and social life. In 1852, he was appointed chief of police of this city, which office he filled with honor to himself and credit to the city, until 1834, when the two forces of Boston Watch and Police were consolidated under the name of the “Boston Police Department,” and Brother Nurse retired, carrying with him the love, esteem, and confidence of his associates and of the public. For several years, after retiring from public office, he was engaged with the firm of Ruggles, Nurse & Mason, in his old line of trade; and on the dissolution of that firm, he retired from active business pursuits. Socially, he was one of the most genial and companionable of men; generous toward the faults and foibles of others, remarkably free from envy and its associate evil, jealousy, he rejoiced in others’ prosperity, and dropped the silent tear at their misfortunes. His countenance symbolized benevolence, his smile was a benediction, and his cheery, hearty laugh was like a bugle call to joy and mirth. By the death of his beloved wife, and the marriage of his children, his home became desolate; but his declining years were tenderly guarded, and his last days made happy by his devoted daughter, in whose quiet, peaceful home, they were passed, as
“His head was silvered o'er with age.”
But it was in our beloved Order of Freemasonry that the sterling qualities of head and heart, which he possessed, shone resplendent amid the many notable jewels of his time and its associations.
Brother Nurse was initiated in Fredonia Lodge, Northboro, Mass., in 1822; Oct. 28, 1822, he took membership in Mount Lebanon Lodge, Boston, which he held at the time of his death, having maintained a continuous membership for over sixty-three years; he was Senior Warden in 1826, Worshipful Master in 1827, 1828, and 1844, and was elected an honorary member Oct. 31, 1836; he was also elected and served as Master of Naphthali Lodge, St. Louis, in 1839; he was Grand Lecturer of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts, in 1842 and 1843, D. D. Grand Master in 1843. Companion Nurse was exalted in St. Paul’s Royal Arch Chapter in 1824; he was elected High Priest in 1829 and 1830, and served as Secretary from 1832 to 1836; in 1848 and 1849, he was Deputy Grand High Priest of the Grand Chapter of Massachusetts. Sir Knight Nurse was created a Knight Templar in Boston Commandery, K. T., Sept. 1, 1824; after filling various offices therein, he was elected Eminent Commander in 1835 1and was at the time of his death, the oldest Past Commander; of the Grand Commandery of Massachusetts and Rhode Island: he was Captain-General in 1834; was elected Grand Generalissimo of that body in 1835, half a century before his decease.
Illustrious Brother Nurse had received all the grades in the Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite, that of Sovereign Grand Inspector General, the thirty-third and last degree, having been conferred on him May 2, 1862. Owing, no doubt, to his advanced age at the time these grades were first worked in full in this vicinity, our Ill. Brother never took an active part in them, but all the degrees and orders of the York Rite received his best thought; as a ritualist, he was painstaking and accurate; as a presiding officer, graceful and accomplished. He was the last of that noble array of zealous workers in the mysteries of Freemasonry, among whom were Fowle, Waterman, Moore, Harwood, Hammatt, Lash, Bradford, Dame, and a long line of illustrious heroes “whose matchless valor has shed undying lustre” on the Orders they loved and served so well. “So man lieth down and riseth not, till the heavens be no more; they shall not awake nor be raised out of their sleep.” And thus, —
“Friends depart, and memory takes them
To her caverns, pure and deep.”
John L. Stevenson, 33°,
Chas. E. Pierce, 32°,
Erastus H. Doolittle, 32°,
NYE, BONUM 1794-1890
BIOGRAPHY FROM LIBERAL FREEMASON, 1890
From Liberal Freemason, Vol. XIV, No. 7, October 1890, Page 210:
The name of Bonum Nye is too familiar in Massachusetts Masonry to call for any further introduction, but our purpose here is to quote from the Worcester Spy of September 25, 1890, an account of recent ceremonies, in which all Freemasons may feel interested, because of the great age of the brother, to whom special attention was paid. The story is told as follows:
Right Worshipful District Deputy Grand Master E. B. Dolliver, accompanied by Right Worshipful D. M. Earle, Right Worshipful A. F. Earle and Worshipful H. C. Wilson, went to Brookfield yesterday, to pay his annual visit of inspection to Hayden Lodge of that place. The occasion was taken advantage of by the local Masonic fraternity to give a complimentary banquet to Captain Bonum Nye, who was present in the lodge-room as an honored guest.
At the close of his official visit, District Deputy Dolliver took occasion to refer, in his official capacity, to the honored guest of the evening. He said: "The presence of Worshipful Brother Nye, without question the oldest Freemason in our country, who is, at the age of ninety-five, in the full enjoyment of his mental and physical powers, honored and respected wherever he is known; who, for seventy-four years, has been a steadfast and loyal supporter of Masonry and a living exponent of the principles which are its lasting foundation, is an event which, as the representative of the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge, I deem it my duty, as it certainly is my great pleasure, to refer to at this time. Seventy-four years ago a demand at the door of Meridian Sun Lodge, the mother-lodge of this vicinity, apprised the brethren that a young man but twenty-one years of age, standing upon the very threshold of life, desired to be admitted to the rites and privileges of Masonry, and who "declared upon his honor that he was prompted to solicit the privileges of Masonry by a favorable opinion conceived of the institution, a desire for knowledge, and a sincere wish to be serviceable to his fellow-man." In due time he was initiated, crafted and raised, and admitted to membership, assuming the same obligations to Masonry which have since been assumed by each of us.
District Deputy Dolliver alluded to the standard of life suggested in the beautiful charge which follows the raising of a brother to the sublime Idegree of Master Mason, and how well Brother Nye had lived up to it. In due time, Brother Nye, on account of his zeal for Masonry, was elected and installed Worshipful Master of Meridian Sun Lodge, a position he held with credit to himself and honor to the fraternity. During the years when prejudice and jealousy cast its blight upon Masonry, Meridan Sun Lodge was forced, by a lack of adequate support, to surrender its charter, and until Hayden Lodge was chartered in 1863, there was no lodge in this vicinity. In those dark days Masonry had many members who stood loyally steadfast, and true and conspicuous among them was our worthy brother, Honorable Bonum Nye, whom we delight to honor to-night. Every Mason owes him a debt of lasting gratitude for the brave and fearless stand he made for right and duty.
In closing, District Deputy Dolliver said: "Worshipful Brother Nye, I anticipate no more pleasing duty in my official relation than I now take in extending to you, on behalf of the Most Worshipful Grand Master, his most cordial and fraternal greeting and the kind and tender regard and best wishes of the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of Massachusetts, which once having honored you, has in turn been honored by the great service you rendered Masonry in its darkest days by your example and the influence of so noble and honorable a life as yours.
The district deputy also read the following fraternal greeting from Morning Star Lodge of this city:
Worcester, Mass., September 23, 1890.
Morning Star Lodge, A. F. and A. M., sends its congratulations to Wor. Bro. Bonum Nye.
The mother lodge of this district is proud and happy to do honor to one who for three quarters of a century has borne the Masonic name without fear and without reproach.
Fred W. Leavitt, W. M.
Per F. M. Lord, Secretary.
Appropriate remarks followed from several of the visiting brethren and Captain Nye and other members of the local lodge responded. The banquet followed the exercises in the lodge-room.
MEMORIAL FROM PROCEEDINGS, 1891
From Proceedings, Page 1891-100, in Grand Master's Address:
The ranks of our past and present Grand. Officers and of the Permanent Members remain unbroken. The angel of death has passed over and spared them all. Last month, however, a distinguished Mason passed away, and although he was never a member of this Grand Body, except as Master of his Lodge, his memory is worthy to be preserved on our records. I refer to W. Bro. Hon. Bonum Nye, of Hayden Lodge, Brookfield, who died on November 12 last, in his ninety-seventh year. It was my good fortune on October 16 last, on the occasion of a visit to Quinsigamond Lodge, Worcester, to meet this venerable Brother, and to have an interview with him, in which he gave me many interesting reminiscences of his long Masonic career. He was doubtless then the oldest living Mason in this State, and there were probably few older in the country.
From an eloquent and appreciative eulogy, written by R.W. Edward B. Dolliver, I quote some facts relating to the history of our deceased Brother. He received his Entered Apprentice degree in Meridian Sun Lodge, of Brookfield, October 1, and was raised on Dec. 31, 1816. He had, therefore, at the time of his death, been a Mason for seventy-five years. After he had been Master of his Lodge came the trying times of the anti-Masonic period, during the whole of which he was loyal to the Institution, at the cost of great personal annoyance and even persecution.
At the time of my visit to Quinsigamond Lodge, referred to above, he delivered an excellent address, giving many interesting anecdotes of that disastrous time. For the manly and brave course that- he took during these troubles his memory should be held sacred and revered by all true Masons. Among the people with whom he passed his long life he was honored and respected, and received from them many positions of trust, in all of which he proved himself faithful. R.W. Bro. Dolliver, accompanied by a suite of distinguished Masons, attended the funeral on November 14 and there paid him the last Masonic honors.
NYE, EVERETT I. 1851-1923
From Proceedings, Page 1923-149:
R. W. EVERETT I. NYE was born in Sandwich, August 2, 1851, where he passed the early years of his very useful life. In 1883 he took up his residence in Wellfleet, where he resided until his death. He was a blacksmith by trade and, like many another New Englander of his type, became a leader in the life of his community, a man of affairs and of wide information.
For the last sixteen years of his life he was postmaster of Wellfleet. Ile also served the town for many years as a member of the School Board and a trustee of the public library. He was also a director of the Pilgrim Monument Association at Provincetown. He wrote and presented a historical sketch of Wellfleet on the occasion of its Old Home Week celebration in 1921.
R.W. Bro. Nye was Raised in Adams Lodge October 23, 1877, and was its Worshipful Master in 1890, 1891, and 1892. The depth and persistence of his Masonic interest and the value of his Masonic service are shown by the fact that he was appointed District Deputy Grand Master for the Thirty-second Masonic District in 1916 and 1917, twenty-four years after he left the Master's chair. His service as District Deputy Grand Master was of the highest order.
R. W. Bro. Nye died April 7, 1923, leaving a widow and one daughter, Mrs. Austin Young.
R. W. Bro. Nye enjoyed the respect and affection of the Fraternity throughout the whole of Cape Cod and beyond.
Always kindly, sympathetic, and helpful, he was clear sighted and firm where wisdom and decision were needed. He will long be remembered and greatly missed.
NYE, HAROLD FRANCIS 1915-2004
- MM 1946, WM 1954, Pythagorean
- Member 1988, Metacomet Daylight
- Member 1990, Quittacus
- Member 1992, Abraham H. Howland, Jr.
- DDGM, Nantucket 31, 1965-1966
From TROWEL, Spring 1994, Page 8:
When Harold F. Nye took Margaret A. Hodgson as his bride in 1939, they never had an inkling that another lady would soon enter his life. Call her Big Mammie or Mighty Mammie, it didn't matter much to the men who served on the USS Massachusetts during World War II. Following the bombing of Pearl Harbor most eligible young men knew they were going to be involved in some branch of the armed services. Harold chose the Navy in February, 1942, and before long his romance with America's newest battleship began.
U. S. S. Massachusetts
Christened by Mrs. C. F. Adams, it slid down the skids on September 23, 1941. The keel had been laid in 1939, and she was commissioned in May, 1942. Following boot camp at Newport, Harold was assigned to the USS Indiana. Then a foot infection hospitalized the young sailor, and when he was released he was reassigned to Mighty Mammie.
When the ship left the Fore River Shipyard of the Bethlehem Steel Co., it was a cold April day, and the crew was ordered to man battle stations. "My station was air defense forward, the crow's nest next to the top of the ship. Believe me, it was cold, and I was frightened. But we knew the worst was yet to come. We headed for the Army Base in South Boston." Big Mammie would be his home away from home until he was honorably discharged in November, 1945.
Life began for Harold Nye in the beautiful coastal town of Marion, south of Fairhaven and New Bedford. The town is the home of Thayer Academy where many young people have "prepped" for college. When Harold was seven, the Nye family moved to East Grand Rapids, MI, but returned to New England in 1936. He began working as a greenhouse man at the Huntington Hartford Estate, Newport where his green thumb helped to produce flowers that often reached the Boston flower show. Later he worked at the E.P. Charlton estate in Westport.
The USS Massachusetts has a overall length of 680 feet, the beam is 108 feet, the displacement 29 feet and a weight of 35 million tons empty and about 45 million tons when loaded. With a designed speed of 28 knots, the ship could go almost 32 knots to accompany aircraft carriers. It was designed to accommodate 115 officers and 1,678 enlisted men but usually carried 2,300 officer! and men. It was armed with nine 16-inch guns (45 caliber), twenty 5-inch .38 guns, eight quadruples of 401 mm. and forty 20 mm. guns. She had 20 catapults and three scout Kingfisher planes.
"On the shakedown cruise I knew deck work was not for me, and I applied for galley work and got accepted. I was 'Cookie' from then on cooking was (and still is) my hobby and I soon learned." When he became a third class petty officer he was in charge of the refrigerators (four large coolers and two large freezers) and had to keep an inventory, supply the galley and butcher shop, order supplies from a supply ship or supply depot. "We had to provide for a 90-days at all times."
In October, 1942, Big Mammie became the flag ship for Rear Admiral Robert C. "Ike" Griffen who died in 1962. His Task Group 34 was given orders to protect cargo transports and three cargo ships carrying some 20,000 men who would be put on the beaches of North Africa when Operation Torch began. When the captain ordered "Play Ball," the war began for Nye. Casablanca was no longer the romantic place to be. The ship score five hits on the French battleship Jean Bart, putting her out of commission and sunk five ships. Big Mammie received a hit through the American flag that later hung in the Hall of Flags in the Massachusetts State House and is now preserved aboard the ship at Battleship Cove beneath the Braga Bridge in Fall River. Two bombs hit the deck, but nobody was killed.
The ship then sailed halfway around the world to Rennell Island south of Guadalcanal in the Solomon Islands. The squeeze through the Panama Canal burned the hawsers. It saw action in the Solomon, Marshall and Aleutian Islands. In 1944 the Massachusetts was the part of Vice Admiral Admiral Willis A. "Ching" Lee's task force. He was second in command to Admiral William F. "Bull" Halsey. She logged 225,000 miles from Casablanca to Tokyo and the China coast, took part in 35 engagements against the enemy, shelled three Japanese home islands, shot down 18 planes and rescued seven flyers from the drink. "We never lost a life in action; we fired the first and last shells of World War II." She was decommissioned and put in mothballs at Norfolk, VA until former crew members saved the ship from the scrap heap. On June 4, 1965. the ship was transferred to the Massachusetts Memorial Committee, thanks to the school pildren and others who contributed $50,000 to give Mighty Mammie a permanent home in Fall River. "We provided our own food and drink, no electricity (only oil lamps) and the trip north took five days. Under tow we were dead in the water. After 20 years we all had hearts of happiness because the ship is the only memorial to all men of all the services who lost their lives from Massachusetts."
The Navy's loss was Freemasonry's gain. On May 5, 1946, Harold F. Nye was Raised in Pythagorean Lodge, Marion. He served as Master 1954-55 and was appointed by Most Worshipful [http://masonicgenealogy.com/MediaWiki/index.php?title=GMOsgood A. Neill Osgood as D.D.G.M. of the Nantucket 31st for 1965 and 1966. He is an honorary Member of Union Lodge, F. and A. M., Nantucket; Metacomet Daylight Lodge. Taunton; and Oriental Lodge, Vineyard Haven. He is completely immersed in York Masonry, member of the Southeastern Valley of Scottish Rite in Wareham. Palestine Shrine Temple in Rhode lsland. Cape Cod High Twelve Club, Old Colony Masters' Association, holds the Zerubbabel Key for his work in DeMolay. and an active member of St. Gabriel's Church. Marion.
He is a member of the Massachusetts Archaeological Society and served as its president for two years, director of the USS Massachusetts Association, Inc., the Marion Cemetery Commission, served three 3-year terms on the town's school committee and prizes the meritorious citation given him by Admiral Shaffroth for feeding the men of Big Mammie a full meal while under battle conditions.
Harold and Margaret are parents of Donald E. Nye, 46, who has a Ph.D. in entomology and working in Philadelphia, and a daughter. Dianne A. Huggins, who is a nurse in New Bedford. Her son and daughter make Harold and Margaret happy grandparents.
NYE, SETH F. 1791-1856
- MM 1812, Fraternal
- Charter Member, DeWitt Clinton
From Moore's Freemason's Monthly, Vol. XVI, No. 2, November 1856, Page 62:
The funeral of the Hon. S. F. Nye, took place from the Unitarian Church in Sandwich, on Monday, Oct. 31, theUniversalist Church, where he worshipped, not being large enough for the purpose. The services in the Church were conducted by the Pastors of the Universalist and the Unitarian Societies. The body was followed to the grave by De Witt Clinton Lodge of Freemasons, a delegation from Fraternal Lodge, of Barnstable, and a large concourse of citizens, where his remains were deposited under the solemn and impressive ceremonies of the Masonic ritual.
On Monday afternoon the stores in the village were closed as a testimonial of respect to the departed. At a meeting of De Witt Clinton Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons, held last Saturday evening, the following preamble and resolutions were passed by (he Brethren on the occasion of the demise of their Brother, Hon. Seth F. Nye:
The Brethren of De Witt Clinton Lodge, having now for the first time assembled together to aid in the solemn ceremonies usual on an occasion like this, and being deeply impressed by the loss of their Brother, who was ever attentive to the practice of the Masonic virtues of Brotherly Love, Relief and Truth, would express their grief and respect by placing the following resolutions on the records of their Lodge:
- Resolved, That by the death of our Brother, De Witt Clinton Lodge is deprived of one of its warmest friends, — his associates of a cheerful and open-hearted companion, — his domestic circle of a kind and affectionate husband and father.
- Resolved, That the Brethren respectfully tender to the afflicted family their deep sympathy for their irreparable loss.
- Resolved, That his memory will be long endeared to us, — he was mild, affable, and generous.
- Resolved, That a copy of these resolutions be sent to the family of our departed Brother, and that they be entered on the records of the Lodge, and furnished for publication in the Cape Cod Advocate and the Masonic Magazine.