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Location: Quincy

Dispensation presented to:

Current Status: dispensation declined due to opposition by local lodges.


In October 1928, a group of Masons resident or active in Quincy but in many cases members of lodges in other cities presented a petition to the Grand Lodge for a new lodge in Quincy. Freemasonry in that city had grown considerably in the last few years; Rural Lodge, chartered in 1801, had been joined in 1899 by Wollaston Lodge in nearby Wollaston, as well as

The letter accompanying the petition specified that the lodge would be restricted to 100 members, and would accept only six initiates every year and only increase its membership by 10 overall. Further, any candidates would receive degrees at least eight weeks apart.

The petition was circulated to local lodges. Wollaston Lodge (on 10/04/1928) and Atlantic Lodge (on 10/19/1928) endorsed it; but Rural (11/01/1928), Manet (no date) and Theodore Roosevelt (11/05/1928) rejected it. This came as a great surprise to Wor. T. Rutherford Edwards, the nominated Master to be, who had expected little or no opposition.

On 11/06/1928, Edwards wrote a letter to Wor. Roy Prout, Secretary of Rural Lodge, in which he wrote: "I had supposed there would be no opposition from Rural. There must be some good reason for this refusal, and I would like to know what it is. None of your Committee approached either myself or any of the petitioners for information . . . The restrictions which we placed on membership (for which we have ample precedent) assured the existing Lodges that the interference with prospective candidates who might otherwise have come to them is negligable {sic} . . . " No reply was received.

On 11/15/1928, he specified further what he had heard and learned about regarding the opposition in a letter to Wor. Willis C. Witte, Secretary of Theodore Roosevelt Lodge: ". . . It {the petition} has been described as an attempt to run a 'high hat' Lodge. The very nature of our organization makes it necessary that we be somewhat selective as to the quality of material . . . beyond this we have no intention of going. I understand Rural Lodge declined about forty percent of applicants last year. I do not anticipate we would have to be more selective than this. . .

"On matters of finance, that is strictly our problem and all we did or failed to do in this direction will be for action between ourselves and Grand Lodge. . .

"We do feel that if given a hearing . . . we could have made out a good case, and not have to sit quietly and listen to arguments based on misunderstanding heard from indirect sources after the damage had been done . . . To put the matter in a nutshell, I am endeavoring to accomplish an object which is recommended throughout the Fraternity and when I apply to the Brethren of my home city for some brotherly love and assistance it does not seem to be forthcoming from a small group who under present conditions have the power to prevent me in my accomplishment."

Wor. Bro. Edwards met with Grand Master Simpson on 12/20/1928; there is a handwritten note among the correspondence indicating that the Grand Master would not consent to the dispensation without the assent of at least four of the five lodges in Quincy. It appears that the petition was set aside after that meeting.

In the spring of 1930, Edwards resumed the petition, sending it to Grand Secretary Frederick Hamilton with a description of a change of meeting place on 04/25/1930.

When it was received by the Grand Lodge, Grand Master Herbert W. Dean was out of the country and it was received by Deputy Grand Master Louis A. Jones, who indicated that it would be held for the Grand Master on his return. In his accompanying letter, Edwards wrote: "I am quite at a loss to understand how the place of meeting became such a stumbling block. At the outset is was a secondary consideration and if matters had gone smoothly the dispensation would have been granted before we really decided where to meet so long as it was within the City of Quincy.

"Later when we had opposition from the local Lodges, it was seriously considered to revise the petition and meet in Boston, but a realization of the difficulties at that time of obtaining releases for candidates kept us from doing so,

"The community idea was in the composition of the majority of the membership and not in the place of meeting . . . If a small Lodge modeled on the lines of the Lodge of St Andrew is not desired we would like to know . . . "

The petition was either withdrawn or rejected.


    • Member of Paumanck Lodge #855, NY
  • T(HOMAS). RUTHERFORD EDWARDS 1894-1954 (Recommended as first Worshipful Master)
    • no card
    • Member of Solon #197, Scotland
    • MM 1924, Milton
    • Suspended 1961
  • FREDERIC C. RAWSON 1888-1970 (Recommended as first Junior Warden)
    • MM 1915, Delta
    • Affiliated 1921, Rural; demitted 1934
  • RALPH L. RHODES 1899-1932 (Recommended as first Senior Warden)
    • MM 1924, Manet
    • Demitted 1938


Grand Master Simpson
Grand Master H. Dean

Massachusetts Lodges