Difference between revisions of "MountOrthodox"

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* ''John Joseph Loftus, Jr.'', 1993, 1999, 2000
 
* ''John Joseph Loftus, Jr.'', 1993, 1999, 2000
 
* ''Frederick John Rempp'', 1994, 1996  
 
* ''Frederick John Rempp'', 1994, 1996  
* ''James Robert Cooper'', 1995, 2001, 2002, 2007, 2013; '''DDGM'''
+
* ''James Robert Cooper'', 1995, 2001, 2002, 2007, 2013; '''[http://masonicgenealogy.com/MediaWiki/index.php?title=MANecrologiesAG#COOPER.2C_JAMES_ROBERT_1952-2019 N]'''
 
* ''James Leonard Beauregard'',  1997, 1998, 2003, 2006; '''PDDGM'''
 
* ''James Leonard Beauregard'',  1997, 1998, 2003, 2006; '''PDDGM'''
 
* ''Albert Jeffrey Packard'',  2004-2005  
 
* ''Albert Jeffrey Packard'',  2004-2005  
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* ''James Leonard Beauregard'', DDGM, [http://masonicgenealogy.com/MediaWiki/index.php?title=MADISTRICT29_2003andAfter District 29], 2009-2010
 
* ''James Leonard Beauregard'', DDGM, [http://masonicgenealogy.com/MediaWiki/index.php?title=MADISTRICT29_2003andAfter District 29], 2009-2010
* ''James Robert Cooper'', DDGM, [http://masonicgenealogy.com/MediaWiki/index.php?title=MADISTRICT29_2003andAfter District 29], 2014, 2015
+
* James Robert Cooper, DDGM, [http://masonicgenealogy.com/MediaWiki/index.php?title=MADISTRICT29_2003andAfter District 29], 2014, 2015; '''[http://masonicgenealogy.com/MediaWiki/index.php?title=MANecrologiesAG#COOPER.2C_JAMES_ROBERT_1952-2019 N]'''
 
* Kenneth H. Keyes, DDGM, [http://masonicgenealogy.com/MediaWiki/index.php?title=MASpringfield18_1927-2003 District 18 (Springfield)], 1958-1959;  '''[http://masonicgenealogy.com/MediaWiki/index.php?title=MANecrologiesHM#KEYES.2C_KENNETH_HOMER_1908-1981 N]'''
 
* Kenneth H. Keyes, DDGM, [http://masonicgenealogy.com/MediaWiki/index.php?title=MASpringfield18_1927-2003 District 18 (Springfield)], 1958-1959;  '''[http://masonicgenealogy.com/MediaWiki/index.php?title=MANecrologiesHM#KEYES.2C_KENNETH_HOMER_1908-1981 N]'''
 
* [http://masonicgenealogy.com/MediaWiki/index.php?title=MAGLRMeffen Robert Arthur Meffen], Grand Steward, 1987; Junior Grand Warden, 1990
 
* [http://masonicgenealogy.com/MediaWiki/index.php?title=MAGLRMeffen Robert Arthur Meffen], Grand Steward, 1987; Junior Grand Warden, 1990

Latest revision as of 19:18, 6 September 2019

MOUNT ORTHODOX LODGE

Location: West Springfield

Chartered By: Everett C. Benton

Charter Date: 12/12/1913 1913-253

Precedence Date: 01/30/1913

Current Status: Active


PAST MASTERS

  • Fred Colby Hubbard, 1913, 1914
  • Frank Orville Scott, 1915
  • Herman Frederick Forester, 1916
  • Fred Everett Fairbank, 1917
  • William Porter, 1919
  • Harvey Chandler Holland, 1920
  • Paul Beckman Johnson, 1921, 1922
  • Clyde Humphrey Clement, 1923
  • Fred Ross Scott White, 1924
  • Ralph Foster Morton, 1925
  • James Bushnell Richardson, 1926
  • Edward Simpson, 1927
  • Howard Jerome Bowles, 1928
  • Carl Browning Smith, 1929
  • Robert Arnold Ward, 1930
  • Alfred Dwight Jones, 1931
  • William Ernest May, 1932
  • Harold William Schelenger, 1933; N
  • Earl Henry Winkley, 1934
  • Frank Charles Melber, 1935
  • Edward Henry Sackett, 1936
  • Whiting Alanson Briggs, 1937
  • Harold Edmund Kjoller, 1938
  • Francis Martin Webler, 1939; N
  • Victor Kendall Hunt, 1940
  • Henry Orville Allen, 1941
  • Thomas Clark Hamilton, 1942
  • Frederick William Hauff, 1943
  • James Clyde Bruhm, 1944
  • Harry Richard Babb, 1945
  • John William Fleming, 1946
  • Leo Emmett Sears, 1947
  • Filser Dyer Hoppert, 1948
  • Merton Dickenson Pomeroy, 1949
  • John Franklin Schutt, 1950
  • Ernest Luther Snow, 1951
  • Frank Warren Lyman, 1952
  • Robert J. Shields, 1953
  • Neil Ludwig Gilchrest, 1954
  • Brenton William Barnfather, 1955
  • Kenneth Homer Keyes, 1956; N
  • Wesley James Schutt, 1957; N
  • Linwood Nichols Sarnson, 1958
  • Harold Richard Allen, 1959
  • Hollis Duane Coombs, 1960
  • Arthur Edward Mattson, 1961
  • James Allen Pratt, 1962
  • Richard Albert St. Jean, 1963
  • Frederick Francis Harrison, 1964
  • Gordon Earle Meron, 1965
  • Nelson Wimburn Hogan, 1966
  • Harry Joseph Vennert, 1967, 1990; N
  • Erwin Donald Hill, 1968, 1989; Mem
  • Demetrios J. Kallipolites, 1969
  • William Chapman Connor, 1970
  • Victor Alonso MacDonald, 1971
  • George Carl Bozenhard, Jr., 1972
  • Chester William McNabb, 1973
  • Philip Young, 1974; SN
  • Robert Mawbey House, 1975
  • David Bruce Reale, 1976
  • John Demetrios Kallipolites, 1977
  • Fred Leroy Brown, 1978
  • Donat Joseph Fournier, 1979
  • Erwin Donald Hill, Jr., 1980
  • Norman Joseph Fournier, 1981
  • Leonard Winward, 1982
  • David Emile Fournier, 1983
  • Francis Anthony Dutton, 1984
  • Wesley James Schutt, Jr., 1985
  • Robert Arthur Meffen, 1986
  • David Dudley Ramsdell, 1987, 1991
  • Lyle Scott Tise, 1988
  • Demetrios J. Kallipolites, 1992
  • John Joseph Loftus, Jr., 1993, 1999, 2000
  • Frederick John Rempp, 1994, 1996
  • James Robert Cooper, 1995, 2001, 2002, 2007, 2013; N
  • James Leonard Beauregard, 1997, 1998, 2003, 2006; PDDGM
  • Albert Jeffrey Packard, 2004-2005
  • David John Martin, 2008
  • Hugh Kendall Martin, 2009
  • Michael Phillip Ripa, 2010
  • Robert Dudley Fife, 2011
  • Taidgh Joseph Buckley, 2012
  • Daniel Glenn Carboneau, 2014

REFERENCES IN GRAND LODGE PROCEEDINGS

ANNIVERSARIES

  • 1938 (25th Anniversary, 05/20: 1938-329)
  • 1963 (50th Anniversary, 04/06: 1963-81)
  • 1989 (75th Anniversary; 04/22: 1989-203)

VISITS BY GRAND MASTER

BY-LAW CHANGES

1917 1919 1921 1924 1926 1930 1937 1938 1954 1956 1981 1986 1994 1996 2015

HISTORY

  • 1913 (Petition for Dispensation; 01/30: ?)
  • 1913 (Petition for Charter; 12/10: 1913-253)
  • 1914 (Lodge constituted, officers installed; 01/27: 1914-178)
  • 1938 (25th Anniversary History, 1938-115; see below)
  • 1963 (50th Anniversary History, 1963-138)
  • 1989 (75th Anniversary History, 1989-42; see below)

25TH ANNIVERSARY HISTORY, MAY 1938

From Proceedings, Page 1938-115:

By Wor. William E. May:

There has been accorded me the distinctive honor tonight to present to you the history of the institution and constitution in the celebration of the twenty-fifth anniversary of Mount Orthodox Lodge, and speaking of the history of Mount Orthodox Lodge, one must of necessity touch upon the history of Freemasonry in West Springfield, and it is to tell the story of those olden days which will especially appeal to us at a celebration of this kind. The history of Mount Orthodox Lodge may very properly begin with the introduction of Freemasonry into Hampden County and for the account of its introduction I am very largely indebted to the "Chapter on Freemasonry" written by Henry L. Hines in "Our County and Its People" completed by the late Judge Alfred M. Copeland.

Mr. Hines writes (vol. 1, page 464) "organized Masonry was introduced into Hampden County in 1796. Previous to this date, however, Masonic meetings were held in the homes of members of the craft or in rooms set apart for this purpose in the public taverns. At these meetings the lectures would be.rehearsed and the brethren were undoubtedly as perfect in the work as were those who had the advantage of frequent attendance on regular and special communications of lodges." The first Charter granted a lodge in Hampden County was given to Thomas Lodge, of Palmer, and it is dated December 13, anno domini 1796; A.L. 5796 and is signed by Paul Revere, of immortal fame, as Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts.

The second Lodge chartered in the county was Sylvan Lodge, of Southwick, in 1807. Three years later the Lodge was removed to West Springfield and changed to the name of Friendly Society Lodge. Grand Lodge records note that the permit to move stipulates that the Lodge should hold its meetings six months at West Springfield and Southwick alternately, but there is no record of any meetings held in Southwick after 1810. In West Springfield the Lodge met in rooms on the second floor of the old Belding Tavern near the corner of Park and Elm Streets which stood north of the present town library building and opposite the water trough at the lower end of Elm Street. After its removal to West Springfield the Lodge grew in membership, but several members withdrew in 1817 to form Hampden Lodge, of Springfield, and from that time the Lodge lost ground. Very few members were admitted after 1817 and when the anti-Masonic sentiment became pronounced in 1838, the few members who had labored for the life of the Lodge were forced to give up the struggle and the charter was surrendered.

Somewhere I have read of an interesting custom of the early Masons in this section — it was to the effect that they were accustomed to hold their meetings early in the afternoon so that no artificial light was necessary, and also that the meetings were held about the time of the full moon, so that Brethren coming from a distance and unable to reach home until after night fall, might more readily find their road. Their journeys were made by the slow means of horse and wagon,_ or more often on foot, and with a lantern to whose flickering and uncertain light the moon's radiance was most welcome and even a necessary assistance.

The keeper of the old tavern at this time was Rufus Colton who kept the tavern for more than thirty years. At one time he owned a line of stages and ran between Springfield and Albany. Colton was undoubtedly a member of Friendly Society Lodge, or he would not have tolerated the meetings in his tavern for the small rental and occasional bar-room patronage of the Brethren. That he was a member I cannot readily prove for unfortunately many of the records of the early Lodges have been destroyed by fire.

Previous to the formation of Mount Orthodox Lodge, there was a goodly number of Masons living in West Springfield, Agawam, and Feeding Hills, who were members of the Craft but were affiliated with other Lodges. A certain local pride and the belief that their home town could and should have a Lodge of its own led to the agitation among members of the Craft for a Lodge in West Springfield which finally on November 13, 1912 crystallized into definite action.

Among those who were most active in this movement were Worshipful Brother Fred Colby Hubbard, Past Master of Hampden Lodge, Right Worshipful D. Edward Miller, D.D.G.M. Eighteenth Masonic district, and Past Master of Springfield Lodge, Right Worshipful Edwin A. Blodgett, Past D.D.G.M. and member of Hampden Lodge, Brother John S. Fox, member of Roswell Lee Lodge, Brother Samuel Garfield Smith, member of Roswell Lee Lodge, Brother Charles E. Hamilton, member of Roswell Lee Lodge, and Brother Nelson Sherburne. These members of Roswell Lee Lodge, being free and accepted Masons desirous of forming a Lodge in West Springfield, met at the Masonic Club in the Masonic Temple in Springfield and after consideration it was deemed advisable, not only for the prosperity of the Craft but for the convenience of the Masonic Fraternity in the community that a preliminary meeting be held to promote interest and that the Brethren of West Springfield and Agawam be informed of the intent.

On November 18, 1912, an informal meeting was held at the home of Brother Samuel G. Smith for the purpose of considering the advisability of organizing a new Lodge. Brother Fred C. Hubbard called the meeting to order. Brother John S. Fox was elected temporary secretary. A motion was made that the secretary prepare subscription papers to solicit the Masons of West Springfield and Agawam, also prepare a petition to the Grand Master for a Dispensation for organizing a new Lodge. Brother Fred C. Hubbard, as chairman, appointed a committee of three to meet the parish house committee of the First Congregational Church in regard to leasing the Old White Church for a meeting-place. On December 4, 1912, a meeting was called to order at 8:30 P.M. by Brother Fred C. Hubbard, and Brother Nelson Sherburne made a report of the meeting with the parish house committee who were in favor of leasing the building for a period of five years. We were to assume any repairs and alterations on leasing the church on Mount Orthodox Hill, so called to Masons, for five years. Brothers Hubbard, Sherburne, and Desoe were appointed a committee of three to confer with the parish house committee and arrange terms of lease, same to be ratified later by the Lodge. The chairman reported that a petition had been drawn and sent to all Masonic Lodges in Springfield, Holyoke, Westfield, and Chicopee for the jurisdiction for the towns of West Springfield and Agawam. It was also voted that Brother Fred C. Hubbard be named Master in the petition to the Grand Master; Brother Frank O. Scott as Senior Warden; and Brother Nelson Sherburne as Junior Warden. It was voted that Mount Orthodox be the name of the Lodge, to meet Tuesday evenings. Those present contributed one dollar and a half each to make the necessary fifteen dollars payment to the Grand Lodge for the Dispensation.

Another meeting was held December 9, 1912, at the home of Brother Samuel G. Smith when Brother Sherburne withdrew his name for Junior Warden and Brother Herman Foerster was selected for that office. By a vote Brothers Hubbard, Scott, and Foerster were appointed to arrange for, a general meeting of Masons in the towns of West Springfield and Agawam. At a meeting at Brother Hubbard's home on January 4, 1913, the final arrangements Were made for a general meeting to be held on January 14. This meeting was held in the Selectmen's office at the Town Hall, being called to order at 8:15 P.M. by Brother Hubbard. It was deemed advisable as a precautionary measure to have all present declare their Masonic affiliations, and twenty-one members were present from various Lodges. The chairman called the meeting to order to resume transaction of business and reported all Lodges favorable of granting jurisdiction for the towns of West Springfield and Agawam. Arrangements were made to meet on Tuesday evening, February 4, 1913, at the White Church to receive the Dispensation. Brother William R. Harvey was elected Treasurer, Brother William R. Armstrong was elected Secretary, and a vote of thanks was extended to Brother John S. Fox who resigned.

On February 4, 1913, a preliminary meeting was held. Masons from this vicinity assembled in the Grange rooms in the White Church at 7:00 P.M. The meeting was called to order by Brother Hubbard to introduce the D.D.G.M. William E. Gibbs, for the Eighteenth Masonic District. After words of greeting, D.D.G.M. Gibbs announced that he was the bearer of a Dispensation from the Most Worshipful Grand Master of Massachusetts to names on a petition authorizing and constituting this a Lodge of Masons to be known as Mount Orthodox A.F. and A.M. Following instructions in the Dispensation, D.D.G.M. Gibbs appointed:

  • Fred Colby Hubbard, Worshipful Master
  • Frank Orville Scott, Senior Warden
  • Herman Frederick Foerster, Junior Warden
  • William Ruby Harvey, Treasurer
  • William Root Armstrong, Secretary
  • Alfred Willard Harrington, Chaplain
  • Nelson Sherburne, Senior Deacon
  • Fred Rudolph Link, Junior Deacon
  • Charles Edwin Hamilton, Marshal
  • Frederick Everett Fairbanks, Senior Steward
  • Roland Edward Desoe, Junior Steward
  • Herbert Orville D. Scott, Inside Sentinel
  • William Henry Gay, Tyler

D.D.G.M. Gibbs then announced that Mount Orthodox A. F. and A. M. was qualified to do business.

The preliminary meeting was adjourned and the first regular meeting of Mount Orthodox Lodge A.F. and A.M. was opened at 7:30, this same evening, February 4, 1913, A.L. 5913. Thirty-seven petitions were received for degrees and it was decided to secure the White Church as a meeting-place, a lease being signed by the parish house committee of the First Congregational Church for a period of five years, rental to be twenty-five dollars a month. Words of congratulation and encouragement and advice were given by Past D.D.G.M. Edward Miller and a vote of thanks was given to him by the Lodge for the interest he had taken in the formation of this Lodge. During the period of Dispensation Mount Orthodox Lodge held eleven regular and forty-seven special communications and eighty-nine petitions were accepted for degrees. As we look back we find many Brethren who had made the history of Mount Orthodox Lodge possible. As in all institutions there are outstanding members, so Mount Orthodox has its own. Perhaps the outstanding men in the formation of this Lodge were Brothers Fred C. Hubbard, Herman F. Foerster, and Frank O. Scott. Worshipful Brother Hubbard was made a Master Mason in Hampden Lodge and served us as Master in 1913 and 1914. Endowed with those enduring qualities of strength and character, he clothed our Lodge with dignity. Quiet, modest, and unassuming, he gave an administration that was efficient and harmonious. Faithful in every duty and considerate in every need of sympathy, he has held a fond place in our hearts.

Worshipful Brother Frank O. Scott was elected Master in 1915. Always alert to preserve equality and justice, he executed his trust and ability as Master with fidelity. He has always been considerate and devoted to Masonry. He has served our community well in the office of Selectman, and as a member of the state House of Representatives for the town of West Springfield. Although being in retirement of late years, he is still remembered by those associated with him in his more active days.

Of Worshipful Brother Herman F. Foerster I will refer later to his abilities. To the Brethren of our Lodge whose work is unheralded and whose virtues are unsung, we are very grateful. Through their co-operation, their ideals and lofty purposes, a promising future is assured.

Mount Orthodox Lodge A.F. and A.M. with visiting Brethren assembled in this Lodge room at seven o'clock P.M. for the purpose of being Constituted under the Charter which had been granted them by the Grand Lodge of this Commonwealth into a regular lodge. Grand Lodge having been opened in one of the rooms on the first floor, Master-elect Fred C. Hubbard, with Senior and Junior Wardens Frank O. Scott and Herman F. Foerster, repaired to the room occupied by the Grand Lodge, and being admitted to the room, informed the Grand Master that the Brethren of Mount Orthodox Lodge were now convened for the purpose of being Constituted into a regular Lodge agreeably to the ancient usages and customs of the craft.

The Grand Lodge was represented by the following Brethren.

During the ceremony of constituting the Lodge after the pouring of the corn, wine, and oil, the Charter members of Mount Orthodox Lodge were requested to take their places in the West as their names were called and face the East. The Grand Marshal was directed to present to the Most Worshipful Grand Master, Master-elect Fred C. Hubbard, who was told to face the West. The members of Mount Orthodox Lodge acknowledged Brother Hubbard as their choice for Master. He was therefore installed as the first Master of Mount Orthodox Lodge A.F. and A.M. by Most Worshipful Grand Master Melvin M. Johnson. The other officers were then installed by Deputy Grand Master Emery B. Gibbs as follows:

  • Frank O. Scott, Senior Warden
  • Herman F. Foerster, Junior Warden
  • William R. Harvey, Treasurer
  • William R. Armstrong, Secretary
  • William Porter, Marshal
  • Alfred W. Harrington, Chaplain
  • Nelson Sherburne, Senior Deacon
  • Fred E. Fairbanks, Junior Deacon
  • Herbert O. Scott, Senior Steward
  • Clarence M. Moore, Junior Steward
  • William H. Gay, Inside Sentinel
  • Robert W. Hitt, Organist
  • Joseph Scott Loomis, Tyler

The usual proclamation was then made that Mount Orthodox Lodge was qualified to do business.

Reverend Dr. F. W. Merrick gave the address of the evening. At the close of the address the Grand Lodge officers retired from the Lodge-room.

At the banquet which followed, D. Edward Miller acted as toastmaster and called upon Most Worshipful Grand Master Melvin M. Johnson; Past Grand Master John Albert Blake; District Deputy Grand Master William E. Gibbs; Past Junior Grand Warden C. C. Spellman; Right Worshipful Edwin A. Blodgett; Grand Secretary Thomas W. Davis; and Past Senior Grand Warden Leon M. Abbott for speeches.

Mount Orthodox Lodge commenced its existence under the most favorable conditions, and the work done by it under Dispensation is the largest in the history of the Grand Lodge. Since the Constitution of the Lodge we have had two Tylers and two Secretaries. Brother Joseph Scott Loomis, our first Tyler, though a man of mature years when he became a member of the Lodge, gave his devoted services, was an excellent ritualist, and was also lecturer for some time. He served as Tyler from years 1913 to 1928. Brother Loomis was one of activity and usefulness in the community and in our Fraternity. He was a great lover of flowers. His passing was a great loss. Our present Tyler, Brother Benjamin B. Reed, has served since the year 1928. He is a splendid example of friendliness and loyal to his office as Tyler.

Brother William R. Armstrong, our first Secretary, passed away in October, 1916. Genial and companionable, honorable and kindly, he inspired respect and affection. His passing was a loss to the Fraternity. Brother William J. Buffum was appointed secretary October 16, 1916. By virtue of his keen and intimate knowledge of every member of the Lodge, he has won our respect and affection through his devotion in his dealings with the Brethren of Mount Orthodox Lodge. And now Brethren, we must pause for a moment in remembrance of two of our Past Masters who have passed beyond the East Gate, Worshipful Brother Herman F. Foerster, Master in 1916, and Worshipful Brother Ralph F. Morton, Master in 1925. Worshipful Brother Foerster, modest and unassuming, gave an administration which was efficient and harmonious. Faithful in his duties as Master, he held a fond place in our hearts ,and inspired many of the candidates after his term as Master by the wonderful way he rendered the charge of the third degree. Brother Foerster was a man of genial and kindly personality, devoted to Freemasonry, honored for his high integrity and his civic interest and his unfailing friendliness in the community which he served and the Fraternity which he loved.

Worshipful Brother Morton; his earnestness, devotion to duty and able executive ability won him the admiration of his fellow-men. He was a kindly, genial character, full of human contacts and warm friendships. Brother Morton's life was one of activity in the community, and in our Fraternity by virtue of his abilities and his spirit he rose to the prominent position as Grand Master of Odd Fellows in Massachusetts. Thus to Brother Morton, passed from our midst, leaving to those that knew him a loving memory; and to our Fraternity a grateful remembrance. To us, our departed Past Masters will be symbols of what Masonry should be and an inspiration which shall assist us in moulding our own Masonic characters and the yardstick tp measure the quality of our service to all mankind.

The systematic records of past events we have in our records, so let us reconstruct a period and from it may you, our guests, and the younger members learn why Mount Orthodox Lodge has not only prospered and grown in this sturdy building made of oak timbers one hundred and thirty-eight years old, but from good fellowship and brotherly love that has prevailed during the past twenty-five years. So let us carry on the work laid by those pioneers, our Charter members, who with but little of a material nature established in this community another link in our Fraternity. For a moment let us pause and call the roll of our Charter members, rejoicing with the answer present, regretting those unable to be with us, and mourning those who answer in spirit only.

  • William R. Armstrong
  • Harry J. Astley
  • Ernest N. Bagg
  • Walter S. Barr
  • Robert Bell
  • Edward P. Bragg
  • Edward Bromage
  • Frank M. Butler
  • Clarence W. Chapman
  • Arthur J. Cilley
  • John M. Collins
  • Charles E. Cooley
  • Leroy Z. Cutler
  • Irving A. Darling
  • Edward B. Dearden
  • Edward G. Desoe
  • Harlan J. Desoe
  • Harold F. Desoe
  • Theodore Desoe
  • Fred E. Fairbanks
  • Charles D. Farnsworth
  • Riley S. Farnsworth
  • Wralf B. Farnsworth
  • John R. Fausey
  • Payson J. C. Flagg
  • Herman F. Foerster
  • John S. Fox
  • William H. Gay
  • Charles E. Hamilton
  • Alfred W. Harrington
  • William R. Harvey
  • Otto Hoelzel
  • Leroy P. Howes
  • Fred C. Hubbard
  • Eliphalet W. Jackson
  • Caleb S. Kroh
  • Fred R. Linke
  • Daniel E. Miller
  • Julius A. Morrill
  • Wilson N. Morrill
  • Guy F. Nevins
  • Harry R. Nunn, Jr.
  • Edward A. Phinney
  • Edward H. Phinney
  • John L. H. Prince
  • George L. Rodier
  • Frank. W. Rogers
  • Henry E. Schmuck
  • Frank O. Scott
  • Herbert O. D. Scott
  • George H. Seymour
  • Nelson Sherburne
  • Charles F. Smith
  • Robert W. Smith
  • Robert W. Smith, Jr.
  • Samuel G. Smith
  • Melvin D. Southworth
  • Harley F. Williamson
  • Frank B. Workheiser

Our Lodge has done much in the way of relief and assistance through our service representatives, particularly during the years of 1927 and 1936. The flood of 1936 was outstanding in our history. On the night of March eighteenth, this building was opened for a number of our Brethren who were in the flooded area, also for other refugees. We housed approximately one hundred and sixty men, women, and children, served about three hundred and fifty meals a day. For three days nine hundred meals per day were served, taking care of extra refugees who were housed in school buildings and churches where there were no means of cooking meals. To the ladies of the Eastern Star we are grateful in the preparation of these meals. We are also grateful to the supervision given by the two Masters who worked hard and well. Instances abound of the friendly counsel and moral support given and the gestures of understanding of sympathy to spread the spirit of Masonic friendship.

In the year 1934, Worshipful Brother Earl Winkley started a glee club which has been quite active in singing at Lodge meetings throughout this vicinity, besides sponsoring a minstrel show each year. These shows have been very successful, and every year they look forward to going to the Masonic Home in Charlton to give the minstrel show for the benefit of our guests there.

Mount Orthodox Lodge A.F. & A.M. was instituted February 4, 1913, was constituted January 27, 1914.

  • Have initiated from March 11, 1913 to May 20, 1938 — 626
  • Present membership is 460
  • Regular communications have been 261
  • Special communications have been 604

This is in brief the history of Mount Orthodox Lodge. However it may appeal to others, to the Fraternity, and especially to the members of the Lodge, its record of twenty-five years of usefulness in the active duties of true Masonry fills the heart with pride. Mount Orthodox Lodge stands out as a monument to its founders, a monument which from its inception has slowly but steadily increased in size and strength, directing the way to friendship, morality, and brotherly love; an inspiration to its members to lead lives characterized by temperance, fortitude, prudence, and justice set forth in the teachings of Masonry. The future of this Lodge is yet to be written. That it will continue to grow we feel sure—twenty-five years is but a fleeting moment—and it remains for us and those who shall come after us, by hearty co-operation and steadfastness of purpose, to see that Mount Orthodox Lodge shall continue to be a creditable monument to its founders. The pioneers in the formation of this Lodge had the high ideals of the true principles of Freemasonry, friendship, morality, and brotherly love but, my Brethren, there is one more tenet of this great institution of ours, interwoven throughout the history of Freemasonry, the tradition of wholesome comradeship. In every Masonic gathering there are assembled true friends and good fellows. Let us begin tonight and make it our business in this and other Masonic meetings we attend to get acquainted with as many Brothers as possible. As you give, so will you receive—a hearty handshake, an encouraging word. This ancient Fraternity has been a part of the life and growth of man in all ages past, so, will it be for ages to come. Let us then be true to our country, true to the community in which we live, true to our Lodge, and true to ourselves. May our Lodge remain a firmament of Masonry, a beacon light to guide humanity to higher and nobler aims in life, until time shall be no more!

THE HOME OF MOUNT ORTHODOX LODGE

In the year 1798 the old meeting house on the Common, which had been used for nearly a century, became so badly dilapidated that it was no longer fit for use, and the members of the Parish, realizing that it must soon be replaced, began discussing the problem.

So many suggestions were made as to location, probable cost, size, etc., that for months the community was nearly split in two over the matter. In fact it came near being split into three or four parts by the various factions living near the Center, in Ashleyville, in Tatham, and the group on lower Main and Bridge Streets.

Influential families lived in all these sections, and it was a long and bitter controversy, which was finally solved by a generous offer from a public spirited citizen, and by the wise counsel and advice of Reverend Dr. Joseph Lathrop, who preached from the pulpit in this church from 1802 till 1820. His entire pastorate covered a period of sixty-five years.

When Dr. Lathrop announced one Sunday morning that Mr. John Ashley had offered to give the land for a new meeting house and cemetery, it was only natural that many thought Mr. Ashley would choose a location in his own neighborhood, but Dr. Lathrop's confidence in Mr. Ashley's fairness and public spirit finally prevailed, and when the announcement of this site was made, the controversy gradually subsided, for a majority of the people looked upon the choice as ideal. He offered in addition to contribute to the building fund and to the maintenance of public worship, and all this on condition that he be allowed to name the site, that the building should be started at once, and that services should be held regularly for one hundred years.

The contract price for this building was $1,400.00 and ten gallons of St. Croix rum. Whether the rum was the contribution to the building fund by some loyal supporter, or for the use of the workmen, history does not state. Rum was commonly used in those days and as six men worked on the building for two years it may be they had use for it when they were "called from labor to refreshment."

Timothy Billings, of Hatfield, was the builder, and some of the tools he used are among the treasured relics of this Lodge. He was chosen by the building committee because he had constructed several meeting houses and was well recommended by all who had employed him. The local carpenters, however, were outspoken in their criticism, saying that one of their own number should have been employed, instead of going out of town for "a young fellow who hasn't even got a beard."

Although sit down strikes and sabotage were not practiced in those days they evidently had labor troubles. While it may have been intended for a joke, it is related that somebody cut a fraction of an inch from the ten foot measuring stick Mr. Billings used in marking his timbers. As he kept on using it they supposed he had not discovered that it had been tampered with, and they looked forward to the day of raising, when before the assembled crowd the young builder would find his measurements wrong. Except for Mr. Billing's keenness, events might have happened as his enemies planned, but he, made due allowance for the discrepancy in all his calculations, and when, with the help of men from the neighboring shipyard and many volunteers the sides were raised, the tenons and mortises fitted perfectly, and the dowel pins were driven into place to the cheers of all present. Even the guilty ones joined in for it would hardly do for them to remain silent.

No better use could have been made for this venerable building than the purpose for which it has been rededicated. Built, and used for more than one hundred years for the worship of God and the advancement of righteousness, as a Masonic Temple, it still carries on the same high ideals.

Many were reluctant to give it up as a place of public worship, but at the time the best interests of the community seemed to be better served by the merger of two church organizations operating in the same field. So it came about that the larger, better located edifice was chosen in an effort to reunite the two societies, and Mount Orthodox Lodge of Ancient Free and Accepted Masons, became the owner of this ancient building, now so well suited to its needs.

Much more might be said regarding events in its history, of the distinguished men and women who have spoken from its pulpit, the notable occasions celebrated here, of the songs that have been sung, the hopes expressed and the prayers uttered. Its bell has called the people to worship, has tolled its solemn tones for many a funeral, and rung in joy for many a celebration. This bell, cast at the Holbrook Foundry, formerly Paul Revere's, hung originally in the first church on the Common. It has been recast once, and was lowered from the upper balcony to its present position, because the people complained they did not hear its tones and were late to church.

Mention may be made of the observance of the dawning of the 20th Century, when at the hour of midnight, December 31, 1899, the tones of the bell joined with many others, while a group including two former Masters of this Lodge held a ceremony on the balcony of this tower, and then sat down to a specially prepared banquet in the adjoining room, directly over the bell.

The walls of this room show the names of many of more or less note who have visited it, to gain the superb view it affords. Though remodeled from time to time the exterior remains little changed. In 1880 the old time galleries were floored over, and the organ removed from the place it occupied near the tower, to its present location.

Many tales have been told regarding its rather unique weather vane. Some have likened it to a fish, and one local wit who was familiar with the famous "Double Ditch" shad fishery on the opposite side of the river, said it was so placed that the sun reflected from it would attract other fish. It probably is intended to symbolize "an ear of corn fully ripe for the harvest." It is six feet, two inches long, and the tower from the ground to the finial is 125 feet.

Three times the steeple has been struck by lightning, and once, except for the prompt work of the fire department and a fortunate down-pour of rain, the building would undoubtedly have been destroyed. For over seventy-five years a heavy wrought iron rod, hooked together in ten foot sections hung down the north side of the tower. As there was no evidence of the building having been struck, and as it was considered a menace because of its weight, it was removed about 1880 arrd the building was unprotected for about twenty years during which it was struck three times. Early in 1900 two lengths of old trolley wire were secured and fastened to the iron scroll just below the weather vane, since when there is no evidence of damage from lightning.

Originally the ornament at the top of the spire was of yellow pine, nearly eighteen inches through. This became decayed, and was replaced by one made of metal, and the portion that was sound is now fastened over the back door of the house across the way. The clock was placed in the tower by a descendant of John Ashley in the year 1892.

50TH ANNIVERSARY HISTORY, APRIL 1963

From Proceedings, Page 1963-81:

By Wor. William E. May:

Today we are commemorating the Fiftieth Anniversary of Mount Orthodox Lodge. "Fifty years," you say; "but that does not tell us much." Perhaps we may be helped to a clearer conception by taking a little trip back through the years until we stand by the side of our Brethren who petitioned in the year 1913 to establish a Blue Lodge of Masons in West Springfield.

Previous to the formation of Mount Orthodox Lodge, there were a goodly number of Masons living in West Springfield and Agawam who were members of the Craft, but were affiliated with other Lodges. A certain local pride and the belief that their home town could and should have a Lodge of its own led to the agitation among members of the Craft for a Lodge in West Springfield, which, on November 13, 1912, crystallized into definite action.

Among those who took part and were active in the movement of the organization of a Masonic Lodge in West Springfield were seven Master Masons, members of Hampden Lodge and Roswell Lee Lodges in Springfield. Being free and accepted Masons, they had the vision, and, after consideration, it was deemed advisable not only for the prosperity of the Craft, but for the convenience of Master Masons living in West Springfield and Agawam to establish a Lodge in the vicinity.

We honor those seven Master Masons, who by their devotion to Masonry instituted and constituted Mount Orthodox Lodge:

  • Right Worshipful D. Edward Miller
  • Right Worshipful Edwin A. Blodgett,
  • Right Worshipful William E. Gibbs
  • Worshipful Fred Colby Hubbard, Past Master of Hampden Lodge and the First Master of Mount Orthodox Lodge
  • Brother John S. Fox
  • Brother Samuel Smith
  • Brother Nelson Sherburne

They were fully imbued with the great principles of Free Masonry, and, although few in number, they were closely allied and stood firm and united. They have long since departed this life.

By slow degrees, the Institution which they founded here has increased until now it occupies its present proud position. So, Brethren, let us remember that whatever honor we have heretofore ■mined, whatever prestige we have gained from the past, and however high and influential our Society has become, its present {prosperity and future triumphs must depend upon our lives and our separate and individual exertions. Let us not live alone, but let us make proof of our own ministrations, striving to build higher ires the walls of our Temple.

The history of Mount Orthodox Lodge may very properly begin with the introduction of Freemasonry into Hampden County. Previous to this date, however, Masonic meetings were held in the homes of the Craft or in rooms set apart for meetings in public taverns.

The first charter granted for a chapter of a Masonic Lodge in Hampden County was given to Thomas Lodge, dated December the 13th, Anno Domini 1796, and of Masonry 5796.

The second charter in the County was given to Sylvan Lodge, of Southwick, in 1807. Three years later the Lodge was removed to West Springfield and changed to the name of Friendly Society Lodge., the Lodge grew in membership. Several members withdrew in 1817 to form Hampden Lodge, of Springfield. Very few members were admitted after 1817, and in 1838 they surrendered their charter.

The systematic records of past events we have in our records; so let us reconstruct a period, and from it may you, our guests, and the younger members of Mount Orthodox Lodge learn why Mount Orthodox has not only prospered and grown in this sturdy Masonic Building, made from oak timbers one hundred sixty-three years old, but also of the good fellowship and brotherly love which has prevailed the past fifty years. Its achievements, high minding, and fine reputation are indeed a great inheritance. We ild be deeply grateful for the honorable past; so let us carry on the work laid by those pioneers and our charter members. We have a responsibility to carry on. In the light of what has been done, and with reliance upon the Lodge as it is today, may we go forward with confidence and determination to preserve and continue the high character of its achievements, and increase the lustre of its reputation.

The second Meeting house built, the gift of Mr. John Ashley on Orthodox Hill, is now known as the Masonic Temple in West Springfield.

In November, 1696, the inhabitants on the west side of the Connecticut River, numbering thirty-two families, received from the General Court permission to "procure and settle a learned orthodox minister to dispense the word of God unto those who dwell there," and for that purpose the region now included within the Towns of Agawam, Holyoke, and West Springfield were constituted the Second Parish in West Springfield. In June 1698, "the First Church in West Springfield" was organized, and Rev. John Woodbridge was installed pastor. The first meeting house was built in 1702, and stood near the center of the common.

Until 1743, the people assembled for worship at the call of the drum, but in that year a bell was procured; the bell was cast in Paul Revere's foundry of immortal fame. The bell was broken twice, and was recast, and was later transferred to the present meeting house of worship on Orthodox Hill. The second — the present — house of worship was erected in 1800-1802.

In the year 1798, the old meeting house on the Common, which had been used for nearly a century, became so badly dilapidated that it was no longer fit for use, and the members of the parish, realizing that it must soon be replaced, began discussing the problem. Many suggestions were made as to location, probable cost, size, etc. Influential families lived in all sections of the Town. It was finally solved by a generous offer from a public-spirited citizen, and by the wise counsel and advice of Reverend Dr. Joseph Lathrop. When Dr. Lathrop one Sunday morning announced that Mr. John Ashley had offered to give the land for a new meeting house and cemetery, the majority of the people looked upon the choice as ideal. He offered in addition to contribute to the building fund and to the maintenance of public worship; all this on condition that he be allowed to name the site, that the building should be started at once, and that services should be held regularly for one hundred years.

Timothy Billings of Hatfield was the builder, and some of the tools he used are among the treasures and relics of this Lodge. The contract price for the building was $1,400.00 and ten galIons of St. Croix rum. Whether the rum was the contribution to the building fund by some loyal supporter, or for the use of workmen, history does not state. Rum was commonly used in those days, and as six men worked on the building for two years, it may be that they had use for it when they were "called from labour to refreshment."

Mr. Billings was chosen by the building committee because he had constructed several meeting houses and was well recommended bv all who had employed him. The local carpenters were outspoken in their criticism of going out of town for a "young man who hasn't even got a beard." Your historian has no information on who drew the plans for die building, but someone connected with the building of this meeting house must have had some Masonic teachings or was a Mason, as there was active Masonry in West Springfield at the time the building was erected. In the center of the top of each window there is a wooden keystone which seems to the writer of this history to point to a connection with masonry.

In 1855 an organ was placed in the church. In 1882 the entire interior was radically remodeled. No changes on the inside of the Lodge Room have been made since. The clock was placed in the tower by a descendant of John Ashley in 1892. The clock was made by Seth Thomas Clock Company, and is still giving fairly accurate time.

Up to the time that the William R. Harvey Masonic Building Association took possession of the building the Lodge paid $25 a month. When it was decided that the Association had sufficient funds to buy the building from the parish, a committee was formed to make arrangements with the officers of the parish for the sale of the building. Agreement was reached and the building was purchased. About 1920 changes were made in the first floor rest rooms for ladies and men, a new stairway and heating plant were added, as well as an addition at the rear of the building. The changes were a great improvement, especially in providing heating arrangements in place of the two one-pipe furnaces which had been used up to that time. Also the organ was electrified.

Today we own our Masonic Temple free and clear of debt. The William R. Harvey Masonic Building Association officers deserve much credit for the changes made since we took control of the building, and for the upkeep and maintenance.

No better use could have been made for this venerable building than the purpose for which it was rededicated. Built and used for more than one hundred years for the service of God and the advancement of righteousness, as a Masonic Temple it still carries on the same high ideals. This brings us to the present year of our existence as a Masonic Lodge, and a very creditable membership in which to date of January 1st, 1963, 1,270 Masons have enjoyed membership in Mount Orthodox. The Past Masters have given faithful and devoted service. Our relations with the other Lodges are pleasant and cordial, and we have faith that this Lodge can expect in an extended and prosperous future to promote and exemplify the best traditions of our Masonic Fraternity.

The record of fifty years in Mount Orthodox Lodge has been written. It is a story of good fellowship and service in the Masonic life of these communities of which every member should be justly proud. But we as Masons have a challenge to meet in these days of uncertainty. When ideals are abandoned, no one with certainty can predict the future. However, in that future, there is a definite challenge to Masonry. "Truth is eternal and must prevail." We need an enduring faith today in the thought that can be answered in the prayer of the Great Emancipator, uttered in other days that tried men's souls. "That this nation under God shall have a new birth of freedom and this government of the people, by the people and for the people, shall not perish from this earth."

This is in brief the history of Mount Orthodox Lodge. However it may appeal to others, to the Fraternity, and especially to the members of this Lodge, its record of fifty years of usefulness in the active duties of true Masonry fills the heart with pride. A passage or two of this history, however, fully suits tonight's celebration and it is well worth repeating. To recount the deeds of max founders is always an inspiration to better living, to higher endeavor, and more zealous efforts. "To those who shall stand in «mr places twenty-five or fifty years hence, to recall, as we have recalled, the progress of this Lodge, we would anticipate their uniting with us in our expressions of love of our founders. We extend to them our right hand and place in theirs the emblems winch will teach them to walk uprightly in their stations before God and man, and to square their every act by the square of virtue.

This, my Brethren, is the story of Mount Orthodox Lodge at rais our fiftieth anniversary. I do not hesitate to predict that we will strive to continue and protect the legacy which has been left ib from fifty years. We will maintain the high standards and excellence in the work of ritual and if we will follow the tenets m this Great Order, which teach us to believe in the Fatherhood of God and the Brotherhood of Man, then the progress of Mount Orthodox Lodge must be onward and upward forever until time all be no more.

In the closing of our fiftieth commemoration, may I leave you these words of a great German philosopher and Mason: "Great architect of earth and heaven
By time nor space confined
Enlarge our love to comprehend
Our brethren — all mankind.

Where'er we are, whate'er we do,
Thy presence let us own;
Thine eye, all seeing, mark our deeds,
To those our thoughts are known.

While Nature's work and Science's laws
We labor to reveal,
O! Be our duty done to thee
With fervency and zeal.

With Faith our guide, and humble Hope
Warm Charity and Love,
May all at last be raised to share
Thy Perfect Light above." </blockquote>

75TH ANNIVERSARY HISTORY, APRIL 1989

From Proceedings, Page 1989-42:

HISTORY OF THE INSTITUTION AND CONSTITUTION
OF MOUNT ORTHODOX LODGE AND
SPECIAL EVENTS OF THE PAST SEVENTY-FIVE YEARS

(For additional highlights of the History of Mount Orthodox Lodge, refer to the 1963 Grand Lodge Proceedings, pages 84-90.)

Worshipful Master, Most Worshipful Grand Master, Right Worshipful District Deputy Grand Masters, distinguished guests, and brethren, there has been accorded me the distinctive honor tonight to present to you the history of the institution and constitution in the celebration of the seventy-fifth anniversary of Mount Orthodox Lodge, and speaking of the history of Mount Orthodox Lodge, one must of necessity touch upon the history of Freemasonry in West Springfield and it is to tell the story of those olden days which will especially appeal to us at a celebration of this kind. The history of Mount Orthodox Lodge may very properly begin with the introduction of Freemasonry into Hampden County.

The first charter granted a lodge in Hampden County was given to Thomas Lodge of Palmer and it is dated December 13, anno domini 1796; A.L. 5796 and is signed by Paul Revere, of immortal fame, as Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts.

The second lodge chartered in the county was Sylvan Lodge of Southwick in 1807. Three years later the lodge was removed to West Springfield and changed to the name of Friendly Society Lodge. Grand Lodge records note that the permit to move stipulates that the lodge should hold its meetings six months at West Springfield and Southwick alternately, but there is no record of any meetings held in Southwick after 1810. In West Springfield the lodge met in rooms on the second floor of the old Belding Tavern near the corner of Park and Elm Streets which stood north of the present town library building and opposite the water trough at the lower end of Elm Street. After its removal to West Springfield the lodge grew in membership but several members withdrew in 1817 to form Hampden Lodge of Springfield and from that time the lodge lost ground. Very few members were admitted after 1817 and when the anti-masonic sentiment became pronounced in 1838, the few members who had labored for the life of the lodge were forced to give up the struggle and the charter was surrendered.

Somewhere I have read of an interesting custom of the early Masons in this section - it was to the effect that they were accustomed to hold their meetings early in the afternoon so that no artificial light was necessary, and also that the meetings were held about the time of the full moon, so that brethren coming from a distance and unable to reach home until after night fall, might more readily find their road. Their journeys were made by the slow means of horse and wagon, or more often on foot, and with a lantern to whose flickering and uncertain light, the moon's radiance was most welcome and even a necessary assistance.

Previous to the formation of Mount Orthodox Lodge, there was a large number of Masons living in West Springfield, Agawam, and Feeding Hills, and were members of the craft but were affiliated with other lodges. A certain local pride and the belief that their home town could and should have a lodge in West Springfield which finally on November 13. 1912 crystalized into definite action. Among those who were most active in this movement were Worshipful Brother Fred Colby Hubbard. Past Master of Hampden Lodge; Right Worshipful D. Edward Miller, D. D. G. M. Eighteenth Masonic District, and Past Master of Springfield Lodge; Right Worshipful Edwin A. Blodgett, past D. D. G. M. and member of Hampden Lodge: Brother John S. Fox, member of Roswell Lee Lodge; Brother Samuel Garfield Smith, member of Roswell Lee Lodge; Brother Charles E. Hamilton, member of Roswell Lee Lodge: and Brother Nelson Sherbourne. member of Roswell Lee Lodge. Being Free and Accepted Masons desirous of forming a lodge in West Springfield at the Masonic Club in the Masonic Temple in Springfield and after consideration it was deemed advisable, not only for the prosperity of the craft but for the convenience of the Masonic fraternity in the community that a preliminary meeting be held to promote interest and that the brethren of West Springfield and Agawam be informed of the intent.

On November 18, 1912 an informal meeting was held at the home of Brother Samuel G. Smith for the purpose of advisability of organizing a new lodge. Brother Fred C. Hubbard called the meeting to order. Brother John S. Fox was elected temporary secretary. A motion was made that the secretary prepare subscription papers to solicit the Masons of West Springfield and Agawam, also prepare a petition to the Grand Lodge for a dispensation for organizing a new lodge. Brother Fred C. Hubbard, as chairman, appointed a committee of three to meet the parish house committee of the First Congregational Church in regard to leasing the Old White Church for a meeting-place. On December 4, 1912 a meeting was called to order at 8:30 P.M. by Brother Fred C. Hubbard and Brother Nelson Sherbourne made a report of the meeting with the parish house committee who were in favor of leasing the building for a period of five years. We were to assume any repairs and alterations of leasing the church on Mount Orthodox Hill, so called to the Masons, for five years. Brothers Hubbard, Sherbourne. and Desoe were appointed a committee of three to confer with the parish house committee and arrange terms of lease, same to be ratified later by the lodge. The chairman reported that a petition had been drawn and sent to all Masonic Lodges in Springfield, Holyoke, Westfield, and Chicopee for the jurisdiction for the towns of West Springfield and Agawam. It was also voted that Brother Fred C. Hubbard be named Master in the petition to the Grand Lodge; Brother Frank O. Scott as Senior Warden; and Brother Nelson Sherbourne as Junior Warden. It was voted that Mount Orthodox be the name of the lodge, to meet Tuesday evenings. Those present contributed one dollar and a half each to make necessary the fifteen dollars payment to the Grand Lodge for the dispensation.

Another meeting was held December 9, 1912. at the home of Brother Samuel G. Smith when Brother Sherbourne withdrew his name for Junior Warden and Brother Herman Forester was selected for that office. By a vote Brothers Hubbard, Scott, and Forester were appointed to arrange for a general meeting of Masons in the towns of West Springfield and Agawam. At a meeting at Brother Hubbard's home on January 4. 1913, the final arrangements were made for a general meeting to be held on January 14. This meeting was held in the selectmens* office at the town hall, being called to order at 8:15 P.M. by Brother Hubbard. It being deemed advisable as a precautionary measure to have all present declare their Masonic affiliations, and twenty-one members were present from various lodges. The chairman called the meeting to order to resume transaction of business and reported all lodges favorable of granting jurisdiction for the towns of West Springfield and Agawam. Arrangements were made to meet on Tuesday evening, February 4, 1913, at the White Church to receive the dispensation. Brother William R. Harvey was elected Treasurer, Brother William R. Armstrong was elected Secretary, and a vote of thanks was extended to Brother John S. Fox who resigned.

On February 4, 1913 a preliminary meeting was held. Masons from this vicinity assembled in the Grange rooms in the White Church at 7:00 P.M. The meeting was called to order by Brother Hubbard to introduce the D. D. G. M. William E. Gibbs of the Eighteenth Masonic District. After words of greeting, D.D.G.M. Gibbs announced that he was the bearer of a dispensation from the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of Massachusetts to names on charter authorizing and constituting this a lodge of Masons to be known as Mount Orthodox A.F. and A.M. Following instructions in the dispensation, D.D.G.M. Gibbs appointed:

  • Fred Colby Hubbard, Worshipful Master
  • Frank Orville Scott, Senior Warden
  • Herman Frederick Forester, Junior Warden
  • William Ruby Harvey, Treasurer
  • William Root Armstrong, Secretary
  • Alfred Willard Harrington, Chaplain
  • Nelson Sherbourne, Senior Deacon
  • Fred Rudolph Link, Junior Deacon
  • Charles Edwin Hamilton, Marshal
  • Frederick Everett Fairbanks, Senior Steward
  • Roland Edward Desoe, Junior Steward
  • Herbert Orville D. Scott, Inside Sentinel
  • William Henry Gay, Tyler

D. D. G. M. Gibbs then announced that Mount Orthodox A. F. and A. M. was qualified to do business.

The preliminary meeting was adjourned and the first regular meeting of Mount Orthodox Lodge A. F. and A. M. was opened at 7:30, this same evening, February 4, 1913, A.L. 5913. Thirty-seven petitions were received for degrees and it was decided to secure the While Church as a meeting-place, a lease being signed by the parish house committee of the First Congregational Church for a period of five years, rental to be twenty-five dollars a month.

February 11, 1913, our second meeting was held and thirty-two petitions were received.

The lodge voted to outfit the upper room of the church, for a lodge room, at a cost not to exceed $200. March 11, 1913. our lodge worked its first degree.

The Entered Apprentice degree was presented for five candidates, with George Washington Gove being the first candidate of record. The lodge met two and three times a week for the rest of that year to work the candidates. One hundred four petitions were received that first year, and eighty-nine were accepted. On November 11, 1913, Mount Orthodox Lodge received their first Official Visitation by D.D. Grand Master William E. Gibbs. He was accompanied by four Grand Lodge officers and a large suite. There were two hundred fifteen present in the lodge.

During this first year of dispensation, the lodge met forty-seven times, with eleven regular and thirty-six special communications. On January 27, 1914, Mount Orthodox Lodge A.F. and A.M., with visiting brethren, assembled in this Lodge room at seven o'clock P.M. for the purpose of being constituted under the charter which had been granted them by the Grand Lodge of this Commonwealth into a regular lodge.

Grand Lodge having been opened in one of the rooms on the first floor. Master-elect Fred C. Hubbard with Senior and Junior Wardens Frank O. Scott and Herman F. Forester, repaired to the room occupied by the Grand Lodge, and being admitted to the room, informed the Grand Master that the brethren of Mount Orthodox Lodge were now convened for the puipose of being constituted into a regular lodge agreeably to the ancient usages and customs of the craft. The Grand Lodge was represented by the following brethren:

  • Most Worshipful Grand Master, Melvin M. Johnson
  • Past Most Worshipful Grand Master, John Albert Blake
  • Deputy Grand Master, William E. Gibbs
  • Grand Treasurer, Charles H. Ramsey
  • Grand Secretary, Thomas W. Davis
  • Grand Chaplain, Rev. Frank W. Merrick, D. D.
  • Grand Marshal, W. M. Harrington
  • Senior Grand Warden, Chauncey E. Peck
  • Junior Grand Warden, Charles S. Proctor
  • Junior Grand Deacon, Robert G. Wilson
  • Junior Grand Steward, B. W. Carver
  • Grand Tyler, George W. Chester
  • Grand Lecturer, Edwin L. Davis
  • Past Senior Grand Warden, Leon M. Abbott
  • Past Junior Grand Warden, C. C. Spellman
  • Past District Deputy Grand Master, D. Edward Miller
  • Past District Deputy Grand Master, Joseph G. Stoddard
  • Past District Deputy Grand Master, Samuel D. Sherwood
  • District Deputy Grand Master, David J. Kempton

During the ceremony of constituting the Lodge after the pouring of the corn, wine and oil, the Charter Members of Mount Orthodox Lodge were requested to take their places in the West as their names were called and face the East.

The Grand Marshal was directed to present to the Most Worshipful Grand Master. Master-elect Fred C. Hubbard who was told to face the West. The members of Mount Orthodox Lodge acknowledged Brother Hubbard as their choice for Master. He was therefore installed as the first Master of Mount Orthodox Lodge A.F. and A.M. by Most Worshipful Grand Master Melvin M. Johnson. The other officers were then installed by Deputy Grand Master William E. Gibbs as follows:

  • Senior Warden, Frank O. Scott
  • Junior Warden, Herman F. Forester
  • Treasurer, William R. Harvey
  • Secretary, William R. Armstrong
  • Marshal, William Porter
  • Chaplain, Alfred W. Harrington
  • Senior Deacon, Nelson Sherbourne
  • Junior Deacon, Fred E. Fairbanks
  • Senior Steward, Herbert O. Scott
  • Junior Steward, Clarence M. Moore
  • Inside Sentinel, William H. Gay
  • Organist, Robert W. Hitt
  • Tyler, Joseph S. Loomis

The usual proclamation was then made, that Mount Orthodox Lodge was qualified to do business.

While reading the records of Mount Orthodox Lodge one cannot help but be impressed with the parallel displayed in the history of our great country and the history of our Lodge.

The records also reflect humor, tragedy, and the growth of our great fraternity and country.

There was several notations in 1917, 1918, 1919 where the Lodge voted to buy "Liberty Bonds."

History repealed itself in 1943 and 1944 when the lodge voted to direct the trustees to buy "Victory Bonds."

Some interesting notations in 1918:

  • June 11, 1918. Frederick M. Fox received the first degree. June 13, 1918, a dispensation from the Most Worshipful Grand Master Leon Abbot was received and read on that day. Frederick M. Fox received his second degree.
  • June 14. 1918. Frederick M. Fox received his third degree and signed the By-Laws. He was in the service and was leaving the country.

After World War I it was common to see ten to thirteen petitions read off month after month at stated meetings. The same thing occurred after World War II hut not with those high numbers.

The annual report of 1918 stated that forty-six meetings were held that year - eleven regular meetings and thirty-five special meetings; and the war was still on.

In 1920 and 1921 the lodge often worked two or three nights a week. and THINK ABOUT THIS!! Most nights they worked two degrees. Often the first and second degrees or the second degree and the third degree. Several times they worked the first and third degrees, usually on four and five candidates for each degree. Can you imagine the length of those nights?

On December 21, 1920, the Fellowcraft degree was presented for four candidates. The lodge was then closed and entertainment was presented to commemorate the 300th anniversary of the landing of the Pilgrims at Plymouth Rock.

In 1920 a discussion was held on increasing the annual dues to $5. due to an increase in Grand Lodge assessments.

June 21, 1921, a discussion was held about the rent being raised to $780 a year. (We pay over $500 a month in 1989.)

March 1, 1924, a petition was presented from thirteen masons to form a new lodge in West Springfield.

April 1, 1924. the lodge opened at 9:00 A.M. so that the officers might march in a parade in Springfield for the purpose of laying the cornerstone of the new Masonic Temple in Springfield.

In the early 1920's frequent requests were sent and received for the release of Jurisdiction for prospective candidates. The request was most frequently not granted. A study of our records did not show many of the same candidates applying for membership in our lodge after being refused a release of jurisdiction.

October 1, 1925. dues were increased to $8 per year. Membership at that time was five hundred thirty-six.

In 1925 a discussion was held about the increase in cost of a candidates's white lambskin apron. The price was increased to 75 cents.

In 1926 the minutes reflected a prayer for a departed brother, that read more like a legal document than a prayer:

"Whereas, the Grand Master of the Universe has called our beloved brother, "John Doe" from the labor and toil of the earth, to the rest and refreshment of the celestial lodge above."

Another incident, tragic, yet some humor is there.

"Brother John Doe died on this day. He was driving from Agawam, to the Bowles airport when two pigs ran across the road in front of his car. Brother Doe hit the pigs, went off the road into the ditch, rolled over and was killed."

A question was raised in the lodge in 1918 about "TRAVELING CARDS." The Grand Master has forbidden traveling cards to be written in any foreign language, except the cards provided for and issued by the Grand Secretary. One of the Past Masters stated that he would see the Grand Secretary at the next session of Grand Lodge.

A notice was read about the next session of the Grand Lodge. Many of the members of the lodge were railroad men, and if anyone wanted to go to Grand Lodge, they should speak to the Lodge Secretary and seats would be obtained for them on the train with Brother John Doe.

October 4. 1932, the Worshipful Master read a letter from the Grand Master to all Lodges regarding the adoption of monthly reports from the Treasurer and Secretary of each lodge.

A reflection of the tragic times was seen in our lodge minutes of 1932. 1933. 1934, 1935, etc. Names read off of delinquent members, nonpayment of dues.

  • 1932: 187
  • 1933: 214
  • 1934: 237
  • 1935: 270
  • 1936: 282

After reading the names each year, for several months the dues were remitted. Remember, the dues were only $8 a year at that time. New petitions read off:

  • 1933: two were read
  • 1934: none were received
  • 1935: four were read
  • 1936: none were received

The amazing part of these times was the attendance. Fifty, sixty, seventy at a regular meeting: two hundred eight at a fraternal visit of the D. D. G. M. On April 7, 1935 the Third Degree was exemplified in compliance with a request from the Grand Master that each slate of Lodge Officers must work their three degrees during their term of office.

A motion was brought before the lodge on November 1, 1932 with a request to bring a ticker tape to lodge next week on Tuesday, November 8. 1932. to hear the results of the Herbert Hoover/Franklin D. Roosevelt election. The motion did not carry.

Our Lodge has done much in the way of relief and assistance through our service representatives, particularly during the year of 1936. The flood of 1936 was outstanding in our history. On the night of March 18, this building was opened for a number of our Brethren who were in the Hooded area, also for other refugees. We housed approximately one hundred and sixty men, women and children, and served about three hundred and fifty meals a day. For three days, nine hundred meals per day were served, taking care of extra refugees who were housed in school buildings and churches where there were no means of cooking meals. To the ladies of the Eastern Star we are grateful in the preparation of these meals. We are also grateful to the supervision given by the two Masters who worked hard and well. Instances abound of the friendly counsel and moral support given and the gestures of understanding of sympathy to spread the spirit of Masonic friendship.

A meeting September 27, 1938 was cancelled due to the damage in the town of West Springfield from the great hurricane and Hood, shutting off the roads and the electricity.

It was a common occurrence for the lodge to introduce special groups of members who were attending lodge that month. Those with birthdays on the month in question. Those who were raised in the past ten years, on the month in question.

1941 saw frequent notice of members and their sons serving in the Armed Service and a plaque was hung in the Lodge with their names. During World War II large attendance records were reflected in the minutes of our meetings, noting that gas rationing was on and car pools were available.

Several special event meetings were held, with large attendances recorded.

  • March 20. 1948: 362 attended a Master Mason degree with a visit from Shepard Lodge #78. Naugatuck, Conn.
  • January 25. 1949: 115 attended a Master Mason degree; no visitation.
  • April 9. 1949: 200 attended a portrayal of "Rose on the Altar."
  • January 24, 1949: 160 attended. Visit of Triune Lodge #782, Poughkeepsie, NY.
  • May 3, 1952: 686 attended a Master Mason degree held at the new West Springfield High School, with a visit of the La Universal Lodge #751 of New York.
  • February 21. 1967: 158 attended a Master Mason degree with a Past Potentates fight. Seven Past Potentates present, with Worshipful Harold Kjoller presiding in the East.

The 1970's brought the entry of fourth generations of members, submitting petitions. to Mount Orthodox Lodge, and subsequently were raised.

  • Andrew John Meffen petitioned October 6, 1970
  • Franklin Philip Schutt petitioned April 5, 1977
  • Wesley James Schutt Jr. petitioned September 4, 1979

April 28. 1981, one hundred and one attended the Master Mason degree of Robert Michael Johnson. The Presiding Potentate of Melha Temple and the Melha Divan attended The HADJI degree team presented the work.

Mount Orthodox Lodge has had six District Deputy Grand Masters:

  • R. W. Harold W. Schellenger 1942-1943
  • R. W. Francis W. Webler 1954-1955
  • R. W. Kenneth H. Keyes 1958-1959
  • R. W. Wesley J. Schutt 1968-1969
  • R. W. Philip Young 1980-1981
  • R.W . Erwin D. Hill 1984-1985

Mount Orthodox Lodge received visits from six Grand Masters.

  • January 27. 1914: Most Worshipful Melvin M. Johnson and fourteen Grand Lodge Officers, to present the charter to Mount Orthodox Lodge
  • May 30, 1938: Most Worshipful Joseph E. Perry for the 25th anniversary of Mount Orthodox Lodge. 196 present in the lodge representing thirty-six lodges. Worshipful Harold E, Kjoller, presiding Master.
  • April 6, 1963: Most Worshipful A. Neil Osgood for the 50th anniversary of Mount Orthodox Lodge. 170 in attendance. Worshipful Richard A. St. Jean as presiding Master.
  • March 6. 1976: Most Worshipful Stanley F. Maxwell paid a fraternal visit with seventeen Grand Lodge Officers and 110 in attendance. Worshipful David B. Reale as presiding Master. Master Mason degree presented for David J. Gabour.
  • September 11, 1979: Most Worshipful Arthur H. Melanson, fraternal visit with seven Grand Lodge Officers and 104 in attendance. Worshipful Donat J. Fournier Sr. was the presiding Master. The Master Mason degree was presented for the Master's son Paul S. Fournier.
  • December 14. 1981: Most Worshipful J. Philip Berquist paid a fraternal visit with seven Grand Lodge Officers. Worshipful Norman J. Fournier was the presiding Master. The Master Mason degree was presented for F. C. Brother Daniel A. Meffen, the son of the Presiding Potentate of Melha Temple. The Grand Master presided in the east during the second section. There were 116 in attendance.

Three other Grand Masters have visited Mount Orthodox Lodge, as Grand Lodge Officers, before they were Grand Masters.

Mount Orthodox Lodge A.F. and A.M. was instituted February 4, 1913. was constituted January 27, 1914.

  • Have initiated from March 11, 1913 to January 1, 1989: 1621.
  • Present membership 392.
  • Regular communications have been 761.
  • Special communications have been 1311.

This is in brief the history of Mount Orthodox Lodge. However it may appeal to others, to the fraternity and especially to the members of the Lodge, its record of seventy-five years of usefulness in the active duties of true Masonry fills the heart with pride. Mount Orthodox Lodge stands out as a monument to its founders, a monument which from its inception has slowly but steadily increased in size and strength, directing the way to friendship, morality, and brotherly love; and inspiration to its members to lead lives characterized by temperance, fortitude, prudence, and justice set forth in the teachings of Masonry. The future of this Lodge is yet to be written. That it will continue to grow we feel sure, seventy-five years is but a fleeting moment - and it remains for us and those who shall come after us, by hearty co-operation and steadfastness of purpose, Mount Orthodox Lodge shall continue to be a creditable monument to its founders. The pioneers in the formation of this lodge had the high ideals of the true principles of Freemasonry, friendship, morality, and brotherly love but. My Brethren, there is one more tenet of this great institution of ours, interwoven throughout the history of Freemasonry, the tradition of wholesome comradeship. In every Masonic gathering there are assembled true friends and good fellows. Let us begin tonight and make it our business in this and other Masonic meetings you attend to gel acquainted with as many brothers as possible. As you give, so will you receive - a hearty handshake, an encouraging word. This ancient fraternity has been a part of the life and growth of man in all ages past, so will it be for ages to come. Let us then be true to our country, true to the community in which we live, true to our Lodge, and true to ourselves. May our Lodge remain a firmament of Masonry, a beacon light to guide humanity to higher and nobler aims in life, until time shall be no more!

OTHER

GRAND LODGE OFFICERS

OTHER BROTHERS


EVENTS

CONSTITUTION OF LODGE, JANUARY 1914

From New England Craftsman, Vol. IX, No. 5, February 1914, Page 172:

Mount Orthodox Lodge, West Springfield, Mass., was constituted and its officers installed in accordance with ancient ceremony and in the presence of a large and distinguished company, Tuesday, January 27th. Grand Master Melvin M. Johnson and his official suite reached Springfield in the early afternoon and went immediately to the Hotel Kimball, where they were entertained by the local brethren and a luncheon served at 5 o'clock. From the Kimball the party went by special cars to the Masonic Hall in West Springfield. Among the official suite attending Grand Master Johnson were: past grand masters Most Wor. Bro. John Albert Blake; Most Wor. Bro. Dana J. Flanders; Senior Grand Warden Chauncy E. Peck; Junior Grand Warden Charles S. Proctor; Charles H. Ramsay, Grand Treasurer; Thomas W. Davis, Recording Grand Secretary; Emery B. Gibbs, Deputy Grand Master; Rev. Dr. F. W. Merrick, junior Grand Chaplain; William M. Farrington, Grand Marshal; George W. Chester, Grand Tyler and many others.

At the conclusion of the ceremony of constitution interesting addresses were made by Grand Master Johnson, Deputy Grand Master Emory B. Gibbs, Recording Grand Secretary Thomas W. Davis, Past Senior Grand Warden Leon M. Abbott and others.

The officers of the new lodge are: Fred C. Hubbard, Master; Frank O. Scott, Senior Warden; Herman F. Forrester, Junior Warden; W. R. Harvey, Treasurer; W. R. Armstrong, Secretary; A. W. Harrington, Chaplain; William Porter, Marshal; Nelson Sherburne and Frederick E. Fairbank, Deacons; Herbert O. Scott and Clarence H. Moore, Stewards.

The dispensation to Mt. Orthodox Lodge was granted by the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts at their quarterly meeting in Dec. 1912. They have worked under the dispensation until the quarterly meeting of the Grand Lodge in Dec, 1913, when their charter s granted. The dispensation granted by the Grand Lodge was signed by 32 Master Masons of West Springfield.

During the past year 69 new members have been taken into the lodge. The petition to the Grand Lodge for the charter had 57 names, making 126 members. The Masonic hall in West Springfield is in the old White church.

75TH ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION, APRIL 1989

From TROWEL, Winter 1989, Page 26:

Mt. Orthodox Lodge Celebrates 75th Anniversary

Mt. Orthodox Lodge of West Springfield celebrated its 75th anniversary on April 22. A prime rib dinner preceded the festivities and M. W. Albert T. Ames and a distinguished suite was received. Wor. Robert A. Meffen, Past Potentate of Melha Temple, prepared and delivered a history.

The Grand Master honored members of the Lodge entitled to receive the Veteran's Medal and 25-year pins. Several members of the Grand Master's suite were called upon and the affair was concluded with a talk by Bro. Ames.


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