- 1 NORFOLK UNION LODGE
- 2 REFERENCES IN GRAND LODGE PROCEEDINGS
- 2.1 ANNIVERSARIES
- 2.2 VISITS BY GRAND MASTER
- 2.3 BY-LAW CHANGES
- 2.4 HISTORY
- 2.5 OTHER
- 2.6 EVENTS
- 2.7 GRAND LODGE OFFICERS
- 2.8 OTHER BROTHERS
- 2.9 DISTRICTS
- 2.10 LINKS
NORFOLK UNION LODGE
Chartered By: Francis J. Oliver
Charter Date: 06/07/1819 III-205
Precedence Date: 06/07/1819
Current Status: Active
- Royal Turner, 1819-1821; SN
- Timothy Dorman, 1822
- Luther Thayer, Jr., 1823
- Aaron Prescott, 1824-1826; SN
- Ephraim Spear, 1827
- George Clark, 1828
- John Johnson, 1829
- Bradford L. Wales, 1830, 1835-1837, 1855, 1856
- John Wales, 1831-1833
- Robert Shankland, 1834
- DARK 1838-1854
- John White Belcher, 1857-1864
- John B. Thayer, 1865-1867; SN
- Cyrus Morton, Jr., 1868
- Henry H. Packard, 1869-1871
- Frank Morton, 1872, 1873, 1876; SN
- Samuel A. Bates, 1874, 1875
- J. Tisdales Southworth, 1877, 1878
- N. Everett Buck, 1879-1881
- Carroll A. Thayer, 1882, 1883
- Henry A. Belcher, 1884, 1885, 1888
- Francis Gardner, 1886, 1887
- William H. Balkam, 1889, 1890
- Arthur Alden, 1891, 1892
- Emmons White, 1893
- Asa P. French, 1894, 1895; SN
- Frank C. Granger, 1896, 1897
- Herbert F. French, 1898, 1899
- Edward E. Piper, 1900, 1901
- William W. Beal, 1902, 1903
- Edward J. T. Dexter, 1904, 1905
- A. Howard Holbrook, 1906, 1907
- Frank B. Granger, 1908, 1909
- John W. Porter, 1910, 1911
- Leroy C. Holbrook, 1912, 1913
- Ernest S. Rogers, 1914, 1915
- George E. White, 1916, 1917
- Walter L. Clark, 1918
- Frank W. Vye, 1919, 1920
- Alfred Myrick, 1921, 1922
- Alva Southworth, 1923, 1924
- Alexander G. Squire, 1925, 1926
- Arthur F. Burrell, 1927, 1928
- Carl S. Gove, 1929, 1930
- Joseph D. Wales, 1931
- James D. Durkee, 1932, 1933
- Leo C. Wiggins, 1934, 1935
- Marshall M. Mitchell, 1936, 1937
- Joseph B. Harris, 1938
- Wilfred D. Austin, 1939
- David S. Stratton, 1940
- Warren G. Osgood, 1941; N
- Addison F. Crafts, 1942
- George E. Goody, Jr., 1943
- Henry N. Corp, 1944
- Loyal R. Safford, 1945
- Raapzaad H. Hassell, 1946
- Robert E. White, 1947
- Albert Watmough, 1948; N
- John C. Hadfield, 1949
- Frank P. Yundt, 1950
- Emery May, 1951
- James S. Parker, 1952
- Boeman F. Colburn, 1953
- Gilles Mulder, 1954
- Wentworth A. Ernst, 1955
- William L. Corp, 1956
- John H. Sherman, Jr., 1957
- A. Raymond Metzler, 1958
- Ernest K. Henderson, 1959
- Robert B. Fraser, 1960
- Leo A. Kangiser, 1961
- Frederick Farrer, 1962
- Robert W. Johnson, 1963
- Edward L. Hunter, 1964
- William Tregoning, 1965
- Erik W. Erickson, 1966
- Albert W. Kierstead, 1967
- Herbert D. Glanz, 1968
- Walter F. Pawlowski, 1969
- David W. Hadfield, 1970
- J. Douglas Hadfield, 1971
- Vincent Mouton, 1972
- Robert E. Lovett, Jr., 1973
- Chester R. Irons, 1974
- Charles E. Finch, Sr., 1975
- Theodore M. Haines, 1976
- John C. Finch, Sr., 1977
- Charles E. Finch, Jr., 1978
- Harry Lane, 1979
- Carl V. Dahlgren, 1980
- Philip E. Ford, 1981
- Richard S. Holiver, 1982, 1986, 1998; PDDGM
- Robert G. Olson, Jr., 1983
- Francis W. Gardner, 1984
- George R. Borroughs, 1985
- Richard A. Paul, Sr., 1987, 1991
- Robert N. Gelinas, 1988
- Roger M. Jope, 1989
- Richard F. Jope, 1990, 1996, 1997, 1999, 2000, 2005, 2011; DDGM
- Stanley C. Trask, Jr., 1992
- Craig S. MacPherson, 1993-1995
- David L. Sproules, 2001, 2002, 2012
- Robert E. Lovett, Jr., 2003, 2004
- Richard A. Paul, Jr., 2006-2008
- John P. H. Milson, 2009, 2010
REFERENCES IN GRAND LODGE PROCEEDINGS
- 1919 (Centenary)
- 2009 (150th Anniversary)
VISITS BY GRAND MASTER
- 1866 (Dame; Hall dedication; not in Proceedings, but see below)
- 1880 (Welch; Hall dedication; Special Communication; see below)
- 1881 (Lawrence)
- 1895 (Holmes; Hall Dedication; Special Communication)
- 1896 (Holmes; reception for Deputy Grand Master Henry A. Belcher)
- 1906 (Blake)
- 1907 (Blake)
- 1911 (Flanders; Hall Dedication; Special Communication)
- 1919 (L. Abbott; Centenary; Special Communication)
- 1939 (Perry; reception for Senior Grand Warden George E. White)
- 1944 (A. Coolidge; 125th Anniversary; Special Communication)
- 1969 (Jaynes; 150th Anniversary; Special Communication)
- 1979 (Melanson)
- 1919 (Centennial historical address, 1919-143; see below)
- 1944 (125th Anniversary History, 1944-84; see below)
- 1969 (150th Anniversary History, 1969-179; see below)
CENTENNIAL HISTORICAL ADDRESS, JUNE 1919
From Proceedings, Page 1919-143:
By Worshipful Frank C. Granger.
History is the record of past events. To a few it is dry and uninteresting; to many it is an enjoyable feast. We cannot all be Hazlitts in historical attractiveness, but it is the intent of the writer, who by a vote of Norfolk Union has been honored as its centenary historian, to be as concise as the review of so long a period will allow, and he now invites your attention to the story of one hundred years of the life of Norfolk Union Lodge. Should your patience fail, or your interest in the narrative tire, be pleased to recall that you will not be requested to listen to a similar tale until the year 2019!
On the one hundredth anniversary of a Masonic Lodge it is but natural to ask: "What is Masonry!" "Whence its origin?
The first question can be easily answered. It is an organization of men for mutual benefit and social improvement. The character and historic prominence of men who have been its devoted adherents should be a sufficient guarantee as to its high and noble aims.
The second query is veiled in mystery. Eminent and deep historians have failed in their researches regarding its antiquity and we may well believe that it is co-eval with the civilization of man. I can do no better than quote an eminent authority who says:
"The more my studies take me into the inner facts of the history of the human race, the more profound becomes my respect for the Masons. Than theirs, no ritual is more beautiful and inspiring. Than theirs, no proposed work is more sublime. Than theirs, no brotherhood is more ancient and universal. . I have yet to find the remote period of time when they did not exist.
The song of the morning stars, rejoicing over a new-born world, had hardly ceased to reverberate through space before the Masonic Order was founded.
Over the ruins of the Five Great Monarchies, I find the finger-prints of the Masons. Over the Pyramids to which Napoleon pointed to inspire his jaded troops with new life and courage, I find the everlasting memorial of the Masons.
In every modern revolution where groaning humanity flamed out in revolt, and broke the chains of caste slavery, I see the work of the Masons.
In France, in Germany, in England, in Spain, in Portugal — wherever I look — I see the Masons toiling without haste, without rest, without fear, without selfish motives for the uplift of mankind.
It was the Masonic Lodge that became the shrine in which Liberty kept her torch alight.
Then, when gunpowder put the clodhopper on a plane with the mail-clad horseman of Feudalism, and the printing press gave the courageous pen the audience that overlooked all frontiers, the sacred torch became a beacon on every hill-top. George Washington was a Mason! The corner-stone of our Capitol was laid with Masonic Ceremonies, Washington, the '.Father of his Country,' officiating.
But my task is to review and rehearse in limited space the history of Norfolk Union Lodge. The examination of its records, neatly written and often quaintly expressed, attests that its existence has been attended by stirring and stormy scenes; that through a period of seventeen years its torch was kept burning, though at low ebb, only through the unceasing, untiring, and loyal devotion of a faithful few of its brethren who clandestinely, as far as the public was concerned, officiated at its altars.
The records of the preliminary meetings are a marvel for conciseness and brevity, so much so that it has seemed well to give them in full.
The record begins with a meeting held on January 22, A.L. 5819, in the building now known as the "Howard House, which was then the home of David Jacobs.
The record is as follows:
At a meeting of a number of the fraternity of Free and Accepted Masons at the home of David Jacobs in Randolph,
January 22, A.L. 5819
- 1st Chose Bro. Simeon Alden, Moderator.
- 2nd Chose Bro. Royal Turner, Scribe.
- 3rd Voted to petition the Grand Lodge for a charter for holding a Lodge in the Town of Randolph.
- 4th Voted To choose a committee for drafting a petition for the above purpose.
- 5th Voted That Bro. Ephraim Wales and Bro Royal Turner be of said committee.
- 6th Voted To accept the petition as reported by said committee.
- 7th Voted That a committee of two be chosen to present the petition to the neighboring Lodges for approbation.
- 8th Voted That Bro. Ephraim Wales and Bro. Luther Thayer be of said committee.
- 9th Voted That the above committee having made application as above shall report to the scribe who shall be author ized to call a meeting of the fraternity.
- 10th Voted That the meeting be adjourned sine die.
A true record.
Att. Royal Turner.
David Jacobs was hotel keeper at this time and the first meetings of the Lodge were held in the building now known as the "Howard House." Later the meetings were held in the "Brother Silas Alden, Jr. Hall," located over what is now Crossley's Book Store. In 1825, by a vote of the Lodge a hall was fitted up by Seth Turner Thayer, probably in the old Burrell house. In 1857 the Lodge held meetings in the Hiram Alden Hall, back of Dr. Farnham's, and later in the John Long Hall. About 1877 a change was made to the Old Meeting House on North Street; later to Jones' Block, where they were burned out. After holding meetings in Odd Fellows' Hall, the Lodge removed to Goldsmith's Block, and afterward to a hall especially prepared for them over the Post Office.
The next meeting was called on May 10th, and its record is as follows:
At a meeting of a number of the fraternity of Free and Accepted Masons at the house of David Jacobs, it was—
(May 10, A. L. 5819)
- Voted, 1st To recommend to the Grand Lodge Bro. Royal Turner as our first Master.
- Voted, 2nd To recommend Bro. Ephraim Wales as our first Senior Warden.
- Voted, 3rd To recommend Bro. Luther Thayer as our first Junior Warden.
- Voted, 4th That the Lodge when chartered shall be known by the name of The Norfolk Union Lodge.
- Voted, 5th To choose a committee of two to present our petition to the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts.
- Voted, 6th That Bro. Ephraim Wales and Bro. Royal Turner be of said committee.
Under the date of May 24th we read:
"At the quarterly communication of the Grand Lodge our petition was presented, granted and The Norfolk Union Lodge regularly instituted June 9, A.L. 5819.
- Royal Turner
- Ephraim Wales
- Luther Thayer
- Samuel French
- Leonard Alden
- Timothy Dorman
- Isaac Spear
- Samuel Thayer, Jr.
- Horatio B. Alden
- William French
- Joshua Niles
FIRST OFFICERS INSTALLED.
- Bro. Royal Turner, M.
- Bro. Ephraim Wales, S. W.
- Bro. Luther Thayer, Jr., J. W.
- Bro. Horatio B. Alden, Sec.
- Bro. Timothy Dorman, Treasurer.
- Bro. Isaac Spear, Sr. D.
- Bro. Samuel French, Jr. D.
- Bro. Samuel Thayer, Jr., 1st Steward
- Bro. Leonard Alden, 2nd Steward
- Bro. Joshua Niles, Tyler.
- Bro. Samuel Page, Chaplain.
- Bro. Silas Alden, Jr., Marshal.
The first applications for membership came from David Jacobs and Loren Thayer.
The degree of Entered Apprentice was conferred on these two candidates on July 22, 1819.
At the meeting of September 15th, following, it was voted:
"That the Installation of Norfolk Union Lodge be October 19th, 1819, and the following committee of arrangements was appointed:
- Right W. Bro. Royal Turner
- Right W. Bro. Ephraim Wales
- Right W. Bro. Luther Thayer
- Right W. Bro. Timothy Dorman
- Right W. Bro. Samuel French
- Right W. Bro. William French
- Right W. Bro. Artemus Kennedy
Among the visiting brethren at this meeting was "Bro. McKegg"— possibly of Stoughton — who it is recorded "paid 25 cents," a tax required at this time of all visiting brethren.
ARRANGEMENTS FOR INSTALLATION.
At the meeting of October 14th, Isaac Spear, Luther Thayer, and Ezekiel French were "appointed a committee for preparing the meeting house for the day of installation." This was probably the second meeting-house standing upon the hill. It was also voted to buy a Bible and a pair of compasses.
October 17th Brothers Artemus Kennedy and Ezekiel French were appointed to "bear the Lodge in procession on the day of installation."
- Voted "That Bro. Isaac Spear and Bro. Horatio B. Alden be appointed a committee to consult with the master of the Band and choristers concerning tunes to be performed on the day of the Installation."
- Voted "That Bro. Steward be the person to see that singers are suitably provided with refreshments on said day."
- Voted "That Bros. Ephraim Wales, Timothy Donnan and Samuel Thayer, Jr., be a committee to settle all expenses of the Lodge on the day of Installation."
- Voted To allow Brothers Dorman and Spear 9% per annum for all money which they have or may advance in behalf of the Lodge."
- Voted "To make assessment of $3.75 on each member to defray the expenses of Installation and Consecration of Norfolk Union Lodge."
It would be of interest to know who were the singers upon this occasion; what were the songs they sang; what band furnished its martial music, and of the honored guests who graced this auspicious beginning. All that the records reveal is found in a vote taken in March of the following year (1820), whereby the treasurer of Norfolk Union Lodge is authorized to "present to Rev. William Guild of Milton and Brother Richardson of Hingham ten dollars each for their very able and appropriate services as orators on the day of our late Installation, and from the replies of these gentlemen which follow.
Milton, March 28, 1820.
"Accept my sincere acknowledgement for the expressions of respect and generosity transmitted to me in your highly complimentary note of this morning. It was with no ordinary pleasure that I took a part in the religious exercises at the installation of the Officers of the Norfolk Union Lodge.
I was gratified and abundantly compensated for any extra exertion necessary to prepare for the occasion, by the satisfaction imparted to the Lodge and the deep interest and solemnity discoverable in the audience during the delivery of my hasty discourse. Your apology for any seeming neglect to me is wholly unnecessary. I have never felt the least impression of the kind. It is not in my power to comply with your request to furnish you with a copy of my discourse for publication. It was never designed for the press; but a part of the manuscript is now in my possession, and moreover, a part of the discourse was never written. The pecuniary favor enclosed in your note I have returned to be appropriated to the benevolent objects of your Institution. Accept, gentlemen, for yourselves, and through you, suffer me to assure your Fraternity of my sincere wishes and prayers that Providence may bless you with a long and happy life, make you eminently instrumental in advancing the interests of pure morality, alleviating the sufferings of your fellow men and increasing the aggregate of human happiness."
Yours very respectfully,
- R. Turner.
- E. Wales.
- S. Alden.
Hingham, March 2nd, 1820.
"The kind manner in which you have been pleased to accept my address is acknowledged with grateful pleasure; the generous offering you have tendered for my services I cannot, consistently with my feelings as a brother, willingly accept. To have contributed to your prosperity, my brethren, is to me rich satisfaction.
For the continuance of your prosperity I shall devoutly pray.
Be pleased to present the brethren of Norfolk Union Lodge my cordial salutations as a brother and to receive for yourselves assurances of my best wishes and affectionate consideration."
- Royal Turner
- Silas Alden, Jr.
- Eph'm Wales
As the years passed, the Lodge experienced a satisfactory growth. Until the year 1824, but two deaths are recorded. Under the date of September 8, 1824, we find this record:
"The Lodge met at the Bro. Silas Alden Jr. Hall pursuant to the adjournment of the preceding meeting, and having opened in due form, Rt. W. Bro. Aaron Prescott in the chair, a procession being formed, proceeded to the house of our Deceased Bro. Amasa Stetson, and after prayers repaired to the meeting-house where a short address appropriate to the occasion having been delivered by Rt. W. Bro. Benjamin Putnam, repaired to the place of interment and having deposited, in form, his remains in the Silent Mansions, returned to the hall where the Lodge was closed to stand till our next regular communication &c.
While the Lodge was yet in its infancy it was honored by an invitation to participate in an event of much historical import. Under the date of May 25, 1825, we read:
"Received a communication from the M. W. Grand Master, requesting this lodge to accompany the M. W. Grand Lodge in laying the corner stone of the Bunker Hill Monument on the 17th of June next."
- Voted "To comply with the request of the M. W. Grand Master and attend as Lodge on said day."
- Voted "That a committee be appointed to procure sashes for this Lodge, and R. W. Bro. Aaron Prescott was appointed said Committee."
There is no further record of this important event.
Among other events in which Norfolk Union Lodge was called to participate were:
- Laying of the corner-stone of the Court House in Dedham.
- Laying of the corner-stone of Churches in Weymouth and Abington.
- The Dedication of the Masonic Temple in Boston in 1867.
On June 6th, 1827, the Lodge voted "to celebrate the festival of St. John the Baptist, and the following Committee of Arrangements" was appointed:
- Luther Thayer
- B. L. Wales
- R. Turner
- R. Shankland
- G. Clark
- A. Prescott
- D. Jacobs
- John Wales
- H. B. Alden "whose duty it shall be to provide orators for the day, to engage the choir of singers and band of musick and some person to provide entertainment and make all the other necessary arrangements."
It would seem that the size of the committee and the elaborate preparation might have warranted a detailed record of the day, but we find this brief statement, only.
"Proceeded to form a procession and repaired to the Meeting House, where an eloquent and appropriate sermon was delivered by the Rev. Luther Sheldon, and an oration by the Rt. W. and Rev. William Coggswell in commemoration of the Nativity of our Patron and Ancient Brother, John the Baptist; after which the procession was again formed and repaired to the festive board spread by Rt. W. Bro. David Jacobs. Partook of refreshment and repaired to the Lodge Room."
The establishment of a charity fund was one of the earlier enactments of the Lodge. After a somewhat tempestuous discussion as to ways and means, the fund was started in 1828, by an assessment of ten dollars upon each member and a further assessment of twenty-five cents per capita each month till the desired sum should be reached. The Lodge, although quick in its response to real need, was not prodigal in its charity; the injunction to consider well its financial condition accompanying the order for investigation of petitions for relief.
In 1829 the financial condition of the Lodge became unsatisfactory on account of non-attendance, non-payment of dues, and lack of interest resulting from the spread of the Anti-Masonic movement, which about this time entered into all religious, social, and political relations.
The Lodge struggled bravely through the years between 1829 and 1833. From November, 1834, until June, 1835, no regular meetings were held.
Under the date of June 13, 1835, we find this record:
"The record of this year's doings of the Lodge is lost. No business whatever was transacted this year except what related to financial matters, with occasional lecturing on the several degrees. These meetings were held at David Jacob's Hall."
"The election of officers did not take place June 1836, but December 6, 1836, at which time the annual meetings were changed from June to December."
Under the date of June 13, 1835, is recorded a "list of members of Norfolk Union Lodge under a new organization, who have signed the Bye-Laws, paid their dues, &c., and make the following declaration":
"This certifies that the meetings of Norfolk Union Lodge have been much neglected and for the most part wholly suspended for two years, '33 to '35, but the spirit of our fathers becoming once more aroused in the breast of a few of the brethren, a meeting was called, the dues to the Grand Lodge were paid, and a mutual pledge was given by the brethren present that they would be no longer browbeaten ■ from their duty by Cries of Persecuting Anti-Masons, nor be frightened from assembling themselves together by the Ghost of William Morgan, but with cheerful hearts and clear heads have made a firm resolution to stand by and uphold the Institution of Masonry, whatever or whoever oppose, and if it dies through the abandonment of its members, Norfolk Union Lodge will claim the privilege of at least becoming one of its pall-bearers."
The following is a list of members under new organization June 13, 1835:
- Bradford Wales
- David Jacobs
- Jonathan W. Belcher
- Isaac Spear
- John Alden
- Joshua Thayer
- Miles McCarty
- Loring Thayer
- Hiram Packard
Attested a true copy,
Bradford L. Wales."
Meetings were held from this time till April 3, 1837, when we find this record:
Norfolk Union Lodge after making a new effort to sustain the institution in Randolph have become satisfied that it cannot be done; that it is utterly impossible to induce their brethren to sustain the meetings either by their contributions or their attendance, and have come to the solemn conclusion with great reluctance, to have their Charter suspended, and Brothers Wales and Prescott were authorized to take charge of the regalia, jewels and other property and surrender the same to the Grand Lodge."
From this date, 1837, until the year 1855, there are no recorded meetings of the Lodge.
Under the date of January 31, 1855, the records bear a "Memorandum," as it is called, of the time and reasons for the surrender of the charter in 1837. The record continues, as follows:
"Thus for seventeen years, Masonry became extinct in Randolph so far as any regular meeting of the Masons was concerned. During this period many of the brethren passed away to that 'bourne from whence no traveler returns,' but the few who remained having been revived by the Gentle Spirit of Masonry, again petitioned for the return of their Charter, the whole number—being seven—of the original members living, petitioned to that effect, and in conformity to chap, vi, sec. iv of the By-Laws of the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of Massachusetts, the Charter was returned to the following Brethren, viz.,
- Isaac Spear
- Loring Thayer
- Jonathan W. Belcher
- Joshua Thayer
- Bradford L. Wales
- John Allien
- Hiram Packard
and after several preliminary meetings had been holden, at which the By-laws were revised and adopted, furniture and pharaphernalia purchased, etc., etc., Norfolk Union Lodge was duly organized by the Installation of its Officers on Wednesday, January 31st, 1855."
God bless Norfolk Union Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons!
Such is this noteworthy record.
Note. Charter surrendered in 1837. Returned in 1854. Lodge reorganized, January 1855, with the following list of Officers:
- W. Bro. B. L. Wales, Master
- W. Bro. Isaac Spear, S. W.
- W. Bro. Ezra S. Conant, J. W.
- Bro. Loren Thayer, Sec.
- Bro. John Alden, Treas.
- Bro. Joshua Thayer, S. D.
- Bro. Hiram Alden, J. D.
- Bro. William E. Esty, S. S.
- Bro. Hiram Packard, J. S.
- Bro. Jonathan W. Belcher, Marshal
- Bro. Gorham Upham, Tyler
On the reverse of the returned Charter we find this note:
"In pursuance of the vote of the Grand Lodge, and by order of the Grand Master, the return Charter with all of its original powers and purposes is hereby devised and returned to the preliminary petitioners and their successors.
- Jonathan W. Belcher.
- Isaac Spear.
- Loring Thayer.
- Joshua Thayer.
- Bradford L. Wales.
- Hiram Packard.
- John Alden.
At this point it may be well to speak briefly of the Anti-Mason excitement which originated in the disappearance of William Morgan, a renegade Mason, from the little town of Batavia, N. Y., in 1826, and of the epidemic of anti-Masonry which followed.
From New York and Pennsylvania the epidemic spread to Massachusetts. Lodges were broken up, dissensions in homes, churches, and business circles followed, and men known to be Masons were jeered at in the street.
Moral courage was the only weapon with-which to meet the situation. Accordingly, in 1831 a small company of staunch and intelligent Brethren from Boston and yicinity (who, like the faithful few of Norfolk Union Lodge, were not to be frightened by the "Ghost of William Morgan"), met at the home of a venerable and beloved brother (Robert Lash, by name), and agreed to come out over their own names and give the lie to the scandals with which Masonry was assailed.
They drafted what is known as the "Declaration" which was accepted, and means taken to have it signed by Masons. It was signed by more than six thousand Masons in New England. Among these we find the names of forty-two brethren of. Norfolk Union Lodge.
The following is: a copy of this document. The signers from Norfolk Union Lodge were:
- Royal Turner.
- Simeon Alden.
- Jonathan Wales.
- David Jacobs.
- John Wales.
- Apollus Wales.
- Aaron Prescott.
- Bradford L. Wales.
- William Cole.
- H. N. Crooker.
- John Johnson.
- Horatio B. Alden.
- Isaac Spear.
- Jonathan W. Belcher.
- Robert Shankland.
- Jacob Niles.
- Benjamin F. Tower.
- Joshua Niles.
- Theophilus Thayer.
- Henry Thayer.
- Isaac Tower, Jr.
- James Wait.
- Loring Thayer.
- Joshua Thayer.
- Eleazer Beals.
- Ezra S. Conant.
- John Alden.
- Hiram Alden.
- Isaac Thayer.
- Alexander E. Du Boise.
- Silas Alden, Jr.
- William French.
- James McIntosh.
- Ruel Packard.
- Jonathan Belcher, Jr.
- Thomas Howard.
- Joseph Tower, Jr.
- William H. Esty.
- Benjamin Dickerman.
- Amos Wilkins.
- Ephraim Spear.
- Miles McCarthy.
This document, signed by thousands of men of prominence and known integrity, completely changed the trend of public opinion in Massachusetts. Lodges were reorganized and an era of prosperity for the Institution of Freemasonry followed.
In this connection may be mentioned a vote taken by the Lodge in 1866.
- Whereas, Several of our aged brothers, to wit: Bro. John Alden , Bro. E. S. Conant, Bro. B. L. Wales, Bro. Hiram Alden, Bro. Joshua Thayer , Bro. Gorham Upham, have sustained the Honor and Reputation of our Ancient and Honored Masonic Institution through the dark and trying period of Antimasonry, and have continued to uphold and protect its in terests with equal Fidelity, and finally delivered it into our charge in all its Ancient purity, and
- Whereas, The members of this Lodge appreciating their long and arduous service are desirous of making them Honorary Members of this Lodge, and relieving them from any further expense, Therefore
- Resolved, That on and after the passage of these Resolutions they shall not be subject to the payment of Dues and Assessments like other members.
- Resolved, These Resolutions shall not be construed to militate in any degree the privileges which these Brothers now have in the Lodge."
The years between 1855 and 1861 bear record of healthful growth and prosperity. Then followed the period of public unrest and agitation consequent upon the attitude of the southern States. Fort Sumter had been evacuated. The first gun of the Civil War had been fired, arousing every patriot to the defense of the Union.
Norfolk Union Lodge was not lacking in loyalty or self-sacrifice.
Under the date of April 18th, 1861 (an adjourned meeting from April 3d), is this record.
"Met according to adjournment, but the Officers being so full of Patriotism, no meeting was held."
The following is a list of the members of Norfolk Union Lodge, who, marching in step "to the music of the Union," gave their service or their lives for their Country's honor.
- Capt. Horace Niles
- Capt. Hiram C. Alden
- Lieut. William Palmer
- Lieut. Edmund Cottle
- Lieut. Jonathan W. Ingell
- Lieut. William P. Gill (died in service)
- Sergt. George Henry
- Sergt. William H. Alden
- Sergt. N. Everett Buck
- Sergt. P. Webster Thayer
- Sergt. Francis A. Belcher
- Sergt. George C. Spear
- Sergt. Samuel White
- Sergt. R. T. Pratt
- Sergt. Nelson Mann
Of these, Brother Lieut. Edmond Cottle, P.M., N. E. Buck, and Brother George C. Spear are still living. Norfolk Union Lodge was soon called to pay its last tribute of respect to one of its soldier dead, Captain Horace Niles.
The record of October 1, 1862, reads:
"The W. Master announced to the Lodge in a few appropriate remarks the death of Bro. Horace Niles, Capt. of Company E, 35th Regt. Mass. Volunteers.
Voted: "That the Lodge engage the services of a band of music and that the deceased Brother be buried under full Masonic Honors."
Pursuant to this vote, we read:
"A special communication of Norfolk Union Lodge was held in Mason's Hall, Randolph, on Thursday Oct. 2nd at one o'clock, p.m., A.L. 5862, W. Bro. J. White Belcher in the chair, for the purpose of attending the funeral of Bro. Horace Niles and paying the last tribute of respect to his memory. Members of Rising Star Lodge, of Stoughton, were present, and took part in the ceremonies. The Lodge was marshaled under the direction of Bro. Archibald Woodman, Bro. Joshua Thayer acting as Chaplain who proceeded to the First Cong. Church where the last rites were held, the Rey. Wm. F. Stubbert officiating. The remains were then conveyed to the North St. Cemetery, where our Bro. J. White Belcher delivered a solemn address appropriate to the occasion. The members then returned to the Lodge which was closed in due form."
On other occasions after this date a like scene was enacted, as the members of the Lodge, with measured step and muffled drum, followed a soldier Brother to his honored resting-place.
On October 24, 1862, after impressive services at the First Congregational Church, Masonic services were conducted at the grave of 1st Lieut. William Palmer, Worshipful Brother J. White Belcher, officiating.
On November 10, 1862, Brother George Henry of Company E, 35th Regiment Massachusetts Volunteers, was buried with full Masonic Honors, Lodges of Stoughton, Weymouth, North Bridgewater, and Quincy being represented.
A Masonic record of November, 1862, reads:
"Thus are laid near together three brethren of the Masonic Lodge, (Capt. Horace Niles; 1st. Lieut. William Palmer; 1st Sergt. George Henry) all wounded while successively in command of Company E, 35th Regt. Massachusetts Volunteers at the battle of Antietam.
Deeply do we mourn their loss. May God in his infinite mercy spare us from more such inflictions.
"So Mote It Be."
On August 26, 1863, resolutions were adopted upon the death of Brother William Gill of Company D, Fourth Regiment nine months' men.
On September 8, 1864, Masonic funeral rites were performed over the body of Capt. J. Wilson Ingell, who was wounded at Reban's Station, near Petersburg, while in command of the Thirty-fifth Regiment, Massachusetts Volunteers, he being the senior Captain present.
As the great pendulum of a Nation's destiny swung from the shadows of civil war, through the depression of the following years, into the sunshine of peace and prosperity, the activities of Norfolk Union Lodge turned naturally toward a more social development. Installations were generally public. Lectures by noted speakers were given in Masonic Hall and the public invited. Masons, "with their wives, and their friends and relations,"— the quotation is from the records — visited Nantasket Beach and other points of amusement and interest. Fairs were held in which the ladies took a prominent part, and the grandmothers and grandfathers of today lightly tripped out the measures of the polka, the schottische, the quadrille, and the waltz to the music of Porter's Brockton Orchestra. During the seventies and early eighties, the social affairs of the Lodge became the leading events of the town.
That the part which the ladies took in these affairs was appreciated* by the Lodge is shown by a record of February, 1866, which reads:
"Voted, the thanks of the Lodge to the committee on the Levee, and also to the Ladies who have carried the Levee through so successfully and efficiently."
In 1870 it was voted that Past Master J. White Belcher be a committee to publish a card of thanks to the Ladies who assisted in the Levee.
This Levee of 1870 — as these parties were called — was held in the John Long Hall. It purpose, in part, was to benefit the financial condition of the Lodge. Many of the ladies of the present day will recall this event and their own share in its success.
During the years immediately following, Norfolk Union Lodge pursued the even tenor of its way, preserving a healthful growth and interest, ever ready through its spirit of universal brotherhood to lend its aid to the necessities of want, age, fire, flood, or disaster whenever and wherever real need was found.
In 1896, R.W. Brother Henry A. Belcher was appointed Deputy Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Masons in Massachusetts. This is the highest office ever bestowed by the Grand Lodge upon any member of Norfolk Union Lodge. In honor of this event the Lodge tendered him a public reception which was the social event of the season.
Brother Belcher was widely and affectionately known in all Masonic circles. He was a member of the Charity committee, a trustee of the Grand Lodge, also one of its building committee, and his name adorns the tablet commemorating the builders of the temple.
He was a self-made man, keen in his judgment, discriminating in his endeavors, just in his dealings, a true and patriotic American citizen, and an enthusiastic Mason.
A full list, as far as obtainable, of the members of Norfolk Union Lodge who have been honored by appointments from the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts, is as follows :
- R. W. Bro. Bradford L. Wales, Senior Grand Warden 1857
- R. W. Bro. Bradford L. Wales, Dist. Dep. Grand Master 1859
- R. W. Bro. Royal Turner, Dist. Dep. Grand Master 1831-1832
- R. W. Bro. Aaron Prescott, Dist. Dep. Grand Master 1833-1838
- R. W. Bro. Frank Morton, Dist. Dep. Grand Master 1877-1878
- R. W. Bro. John B. Thayer, Dist. Dep. Grand Master 1881
- R. W. Bro. Henry A. Belcher, Dist. Dep. Grand Master 1891-1892
- R. W. Bro. Henry A. Belcher, Deputy Grand Master 1896
- R. W. Bro. Henry A. Belcher, Director of Grand Lodge 1897 till death
- R. W. Bro. Asa P. French, Dist. Dep. Grand Master 1897
- R. W. Bro. Herbert F. French, Dist. Dep. Grand Master 1908-1909
- R. W. Bro. Herbert F. French, Junior Grand Warden 1912
- R. W. Bro. Herbert F. French, Board of Masonic Belief 1915
Time and space will not permit many special, personal tributes, but of our venerable Secretary Emeritus, who for nearly half of the Lodge's existence has been its permanent historian, whose concise and legible records have lightened the labors of your historian, making it a delight to review his work; who by the faithful performance of his duties has reared for himself "a monument more lasting than stones and lettered monuments," it is fitting to speak.
Brother John H. Field was born in Randolph in 1836. He was made a Mason over sixty years ago, and for forty-seven years served the Lodge faithfully and well. He has been an exemplary citizen, holding successive offices of public trust, both federal and local. He enjoys the confidence and respect of his townsmen, as well as of Norfolk Union Lodge, for his honesty, fidelity, and regular attendance upon the communications of the Lodge. Brother Field has exemplified this injunction to the Secretary.
"Make thou the record duly,—
Our Maaon life is there;
Make thou the record clearly,
With close and anxious care:
The labors on the busy stage,—
At every step—from age to age.
Make thou the record plainly,—
How oft does error lurk!
Herein our children mainly
Will read their father's work:
Herein will trace with joy or gloom
Our pathway to the closing tomb.
Make thou the record kindly,—
Omit the cruel words;
The Mason-spirit blindly
A gentle shroud affords:
Oh, let thy record grandly prove
Freemasonry's a thing of love.
Make thou the record swiftly,—
Time's scythe is sweeping fast:
Our life dissolving deftly
Will soon, ah, soon be past:
And may a generous eye o'erlook
Our record in the Heavenly Book!
The Past Masters of Norfolk Union Lodge have been thirty-eight in number. Their names are as follows:
- Royal Turner, 1819-1821
- Timothy Dorman, 1822
- Luther Thayer, 1823
- Aaron Prescott, 1824-1826
- Ephraim Spear, 1827
- George Clark, 1828
- John Johnson, 1829
- Bradford L. Wales, 1830
- John Wales, 1831-1833
- Robert Shankland, 1834
- Bradford L. Wales, 1835
- J. White Belcher, 1858-1865
- John B. Thayer, 1866-1869
- Cyrus Morton, 1870
- Henry H. Packard, 1871-1872
- Frank Morton, 1873-1874
- Samuel A. Bates, 1875-1876
- J. Tisdale Southworth, 1877-1879
- N. Everett Buck, 1880-1881
- Carroll A. Thayer, 1882-1883
- Henry A. Belcher, 1884-1885
- Francis Gardner, 1886-1887
- Henry A. Belcher, 1888
- William H. Balkam, 1889-1890
- Arthur W. Alden, 1891-1892
- Emmons White, 1893
- Asa P. French, 1894-1895
- Frank C. Granger, 1896-1897
- Herbert F. French, 1898-1899
- Edward E. Piper, 1900-1901
- Willard W. Beals, 1902-1903
- Edward J. T. Dexter, 1904-1905
- A. Howard Holbrook, 1906-1907
- Frank B. Granger, 1908-1909
- John W. Porter, 1910-1911
- Leroy C. Holbrook, 1912-1913
- Ernest S. Rogers, 1914-1915
- George E. White, 1916-1917
- Walter L. Clark, 1917-1918
Twenty-one of this number have passed to that "bourne from whence no traveler returns":
- Royal Turner,
- Timothy Donnan,
- Luther Thayer,
- Aaron Prescott,
- Ephraim Spear,
- George Clark,
- John Johnson,
- Bradford L. Wales,
- John Wales,
- Robert Shankland,
- J. White Belcher,
- John B. Thayer,
- Cyrus Morton,
- Henry H. Packard,
- Frank Morton,
- Samuel A. Bates,
- J. Tisdale Southworth,
- Henry A.Belcher,
- Francis Gardner,
- William H. Balkam,
- Edward J. T. Dexter.
"Their memory shall survive the passing time."
When the United States entered the gigantic struggle now scarcely closed, Norfolk Union was not found wanting. As in the Civil War, her Boll of Honor was signal and efficient.
The record is as follows:
- P. M. Maj. Frank Butler Granger, Boston, U. S. Medical Corps.
- Capt. Harris Edward Dexter, Randolph, U. S. Gas & Flame Regt
- S.W. Lieut. Alfred Winthrop Myrick, Randolph, U. S. Medical Corps.
- Lieut. Warren Francis Hoye, Holbrook, U. S. Aviator.
- Ensign Frederick W. Bancroft, Randolph, U. S. Naval Aviation.
- First Sergt. Carl Stanley Gove, Randolph, U. S. Hospital Train.
- Earl Moulton French, Randolph, U. S. Naval Aviation.
- Ralph I. Bates, Holbrook, U. S. Army.
- Leroy Norman Chandler, Holbrook, U. S. Navy.
- Walter Clifford Crooker, Holbrook, U. 8. Ambulance.
- Leon Herbert Crothers, Jr., Randolph, U. S. Infantry.
- Ernest Clifford Hawes, Holbrook, U. S. Navy.
- Alonzo E. Hooker, Holbrook, U. S. Merchant Marine.
- Lemuel George Murray, Randolph, U. S. Army.
Much might be said upon the "Mission of Freemasonry," but we are told that he who would attempt this "must be a poet, a musician and a seer — a master of melodies and of long far-sounding cadences." Tour historian claims none of these achievements.
Therefore, M.W. Grand Master, and friends, having recorded the past as briefly as is consistent with the subject, with reverence toward those who have passed beyond and honor to the living who are rapidly following, allow me to thank you for your kind attention and to conclude this record with a poem by the Masonic Poet Laureate, Robert Morris, entitled The Checkered Pavement.
No Emblem teaches a more practical every-day lesson to a Freemason than the Mosaic Pavement, denoting human life, checkered with good and evil.
THE CHECKERED PAVEMENT
"I on the White Square, you on the Black;
I at fortune's face, you at her back;
Friends to me many, friends to you few;
What then, dear Brother, binds me to you?
This, The Great Covenant, in which we abide—
Hearts charged with sympathy—
Hands opened wide—
Lips filled with comfort,
And God to provide.
I in life's valley, you on its crest
I at its lowest, you at its best;
I sick and sorrowing, you hale and free;
What then, dear Brother, binds you to me?
This, The Great Covenant, in which we abide —
Hearts charged with sympathy —
Hands opened wide—
Lips filled with comfort,
And God to provide.
They in death's slumber, we yet alive;
They freed from labor; we yet to strive;
They paid and joyful, we tired and sad —
What then to us, Brother, bindeth the dead?
This, The Great Covenant, in which we abide —
Hearts charged with sympathy—
Hands opened wide—
Lips filled with comfort,
And God to provide.
Let none be comfortless, let none despair;
Lo, round the Black grouped the White Ashlers are!
Stand by each other, black fortune defy,
All these vicissitudes end by and by.
Keep The Great Covenant wherein we abide —
Hearts charged with sympathy —
Hands opened wide —
Lips filled with comfort,
And God will provide."
125TH ANNIVERSARY HISTORY, JUNE 1944
From Proceedings, Page 1944-84:
By Reverend Brother Joseph J. Russell.
In undertaking to present in the time available for it the history of Norfolk Union Lodge, I am not going to go into great detail. The excellent paper written by Worshipful Frank C. Granger and presented at the Centennial celebration twenty-five years ago covers the first one hundred years so thoroughly that to duplicate that would be a waste of time and effort. It may be, however, that we can learn to evaluate and appreciate what Norfolk Union Lodge has stood for in the past if we begin by taking a brief glimpse at the times and circumstances when it was instituted.
If we were presenting a biographical sketch of some individual, we should naturally begin by inquiring into three things. Into what kind of a world was he born? What do we know of his family? What was his home environment? There are certain similar questions to be asked about an organization. Into what kind of a world was Norfolk Union Lodge born when it first saw the light of day on June 9, 1819? The United States was then at the height of a period known as "The Era of Good Feeling." This name arises from three principal facts. It was an era in which the party strife so typical of our national politics was temporarily unknown. The old Federalist party which had had its last strongholds in New England was dead. The party of Thomas Jefferson, known first as the Republican party, and later the Democratic-Republican, and finally the Democratic, ruled supreme. So there was at least an absence of political ill feeling in any partisan sense.
More important for our purposes, however, is the optimism of the period. The great west was rapidly opening up. Americans were becoming conscious that the little nation along the Atlantic seaboard possessed the greatest potential wealth of any country in the world. Emigrants were pouring westward. It may be of interest in this connection to note that the same meeting of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts which approved the petition for the establishment of a Lodge in the Town of Randolph also dealt with a petition from a Lodge in Marietta, Ohio, which had been organized under a "traveling charter" for use "in the town of Roxbury and elsewhere," and which, being asked to submit itself to the authority of the Grand Lodge of Ohio, which was a comparatively new organization, sought to assert its original relation to that of Massachusetts. The point at issue in the petition is of little interest to us, but it is significant that Masonry was following the ox-carts into what had only recently been the Northwest Territory.
The third factor about the Era of Good Feeling was the expansion which almost everything in our national life was undergoing. This was true in the old communities along the Coast as well as in the great Northwest. New England shipowners were expanding the commerce of the seaports. Even manufacturing, which had been but a small element in our national economy, was expanding and New England showed signs of becoming the great industrial territory it now is. Everyone in America, East and West, was ready, as we should say today, "to go places."
That there was a threatening under-current in our national life must also be recognized. Expansion westward was bringing an extension of slave territory, and the Northern states, with an economy based on free labor, were uneasy. At the very time our Lodge was organized, Missouri was preparing to ask admission to the Union as a slave state. This would give slave holders a majority in the United States Senate, and the so-called "good feeling" of the day was giving way to sectional rivalry. The issue was postponed by the Missouri Compromise of 1820 by which Maine, formerly a "district" of Massachusetts, was admitted as a free State to restore the balance. It is a matter of interest to Masons that this compromise, like the one thirty years later which was so much more complex, was engineered by one of our Brethren, Henry Clay.
Truly, Norfolk Union Lodge was born in exciting times, and they were times when Masons were playing an important part. Not only was Henry Clay a member of the Order, so was the rough and ready hero of the frontier soon to become one of our most able presidents, Andrew Jackson. And of even greater importance at the moment, the President of the United States was a Mason. James Monroe had been initiated an Entered Apprentice in Williamsburg Lodge in Virginia on November 9, 1775. The absence of any record as to when he received the other two degrees gives support to the tradition that he received them in a Military Lodge while serving under General Washington. At any rate, he was a member of Williamsburg Lodge in good standing while serving as President. The Governor of Massachusetts was also a Mason. Brother John Brooks was elected in 1816 and served for several terms. A curious fact regarding his first campaign will be mentioned a little later.
Just how many Lodges there were in this Commonwealth in 1819, I have not been able to ascertain, but the Order was growing rapidly. Seven years later there were 107 Lodges, with a total membership of about 4500. In the towns near or adjacent to Randolph, there were four then existing which still carry on. Old Colony of Hingham had been instituted in 1792, Fellowship of Bridgewater in 1797, Rising Star of Stoughton in 1799, and Rural of Quincy in 1801. Norfolk Union has the distinction of being second oldest Lodge in the 26th (Quincy) District.
Now a few words as to Randolph itself. The town, which we all know included what is now Holbrook until 1873, was partaking of the expansion typical of the period. Although the actual size of the figures may sound ridiculous in comparison with those of today, the growth from 1802 to 1816 may be significant. In a paper read by Worshipful J. White Belcher at the 150th anniversary of the First Congregational Church of Randolph in 1881, he states that in 1802 the town raised $700.00 for town expenses, and $300.00 for schools, but by 1816 this had grown to $1000.00 for town expenses and $600.00 for schools. One wonders what the tax rate would be today if the combined budgets of Randolph and Holbrook amounted to only $1600.00! The expansion of population in the town is shown by the fact that the inhabitants living East of the Cochato River had determined to have their own meeting house, and in 1819, in spite of opposition, the Second Congregational Church was founded. This Church was the parent of the Winthrop Congregational, which was founded thirty-seven years later and which soon became the only Church of that order in East Randolph. That new ways were appearing in religion is shown by the fact that the First Church opened its Sunday School in May, 1819, an event which they duly celebrated a few weeks ago. The change which was creeping into the town's religious life is further shown in the establishment of the First Baptist Church of Randolph the same year.
It was a time for new undertakings and Masons were ready to take advantage of them. On a corner where the Jenney Filling Station now stands there was a tavern where one David Jacobs entertained strangers and where he also began to entertain Brothers. On January 22, 1819, say the old records, "at a meeting of a number of the fraternity of Free and Accepted Masons at the home of David Jacobs in Randolph" it was "voted to petition the Grand Lodge for a charter for holding a lodge in the Town of Randolph." Brothers Ephraim Wales and Royal Turner were appointed a committee to draft the petition, and Ephraim Wales and Luther Thayer a committee to present it to the neighboring Lodges for approbation. On May 10th, another meeting voted to recommend Brother Royal Turner as the first Master, Brother Ephraim Wales as the first Senior Warden, and Brother Luther Thayer as first Junior Warden. The name "Norfolk Union Lodge" was adopted. The Grand Lodge saw fit to grant the petition, and on June 9,1819, Norfolk Union Lodge was regularly instituted with eleven charter members.
What sort of men were these who first held forth the principles of Masonry in this community? Perhaps the best answer which can be given in a short time is to read the following brief statement which appears in the 150th anniversary history of the First Congregational Church, from which I have already quoted. It is in a list of liberally educated men who were numbered among the parishioners of that Church. "Royal Turner, Colonel, son of Seth and Abigail (Wales) Turner, born 1792; graduated at Harvard 1813; died December 31, 1862." This is no biography, but it suggests the kind of man our first Worshipful Master was. Twenty-seven years of age when elected to that office, he was a man of education. Where he received the title "Colonel" is not stated. Possibly in the War of 1812, at least the dates would allow such a possibility. But it seems to me more likely that he was a Colonel in the local militia. At any rate, it would appear that he, as presumably the other charter members, was a man of good standing in the community, a solid, substantial resident, and a church man. It may be worth remembering that Horatio B. Alden, the first Secretary of the Lodge, is also listed among the men of the First Church who received a liberal education and rose to prominence in the community.
The new Lodge was formally installed that autumn, Brothers Isaac Spear and Horatio Alden being appointed "to consult with the Master of the band and choristers concerning tunes to be performed on the day of the Installation," and Brother Steward being charged "to see that the singers are suitably provided with refreshments on said day." Nothing is said as to what tunes the band and choristers "performed," nor as to whether the "refreshments" were such as to inspire the tenors among the Choristers to any special effort. Our imaginations may answer the latter question. The former must remain forever a mystery. The addresses on the occasion were delivered by the Reverend Brother Samuel Guild of Milton, and Brother Joseph Richardson of Hingham, both of whom set an excellent example by returning the fees proffered them for their services.
The Lodge prospered for the first few years of its existence, but soon a period of hard times set in for the Order, which threatened to wipe it out of existence altogether. A memorandum dated January 31, 1855, says of the charter of the Lodge, "Surrended in 1837, Returned in 1854." Those brief words introduce us to one of the strangest episodes in American History —the Anti-Masonic Movement.
It would be cheap and easy to say that this Movement was entirely the result of an underhanded plot on the part of unworthy men to destroy a great and high-minded organization, but that is to over-simplify the facts. Masons are human, and subject to human temptations and weaknesses, and one of the most insidious of human weaknesses is the one which leads those who have good intentions to go too far in carrying them out. In those optimistic days of the era of expansion, Masonry was strongly suspected of plotting to become a sort of invisible government wherein intelligent and high-minded men should run the Country for its own good. Well-meaning people are often easy victims of the temptation to say: "If we could only run things our way, it would be all right." In the second decade of the 19th century some groups had undertaken this sort of thing and the general public, which does not take kindly to the idea of handing over its affairs to even the best of men to run, was suspicious and sensitive.
The idea that Masons wanted to do this was given some color here in Massachusetts by an indiscreet political article which appeared in the Boston Centinel during the political campaign of 1816. You will remember that I said that John Brooks, Governor of the Commonwealth when Norfolk Union Lodge was instituted, was a Mason. When he ran for Governor for the first time, he was opposed by Samuel Dexter, who was not a Mason. The article in question in the Centinel was signed, "A Master Mason," and bore the Square and Compasses. It stated: "All other things being favorable, a Master Mason is bound by every Masonic obligation to vote for the one who is a Free and Accepted Brother, in preference to one who is not." Since the editor of that paper was Grand Master of Masons in Massachusetts at the time, it is little wonder that the general public was lead to suspect that Masonry was trying in its own name to exercise political power. We wonder what might happen if such an incident were to occur today!
Right Worshipful Frederick W. Hamilton, from whose interesting paper of 1915 on the Anti-Masonic movement I culled the above quotation, is my authority for stating that this kind of indiscretion furnished the fuel for a fire which was kindled in another state by a curious and mystifying incident. When one William Morgan published a book in Batavia, New York, revealing the whole ritual of Masonry, a book of which a few copies are still in existence, he suddenly disappeared. What happened to him no one knows. His disappearance was charged to the Masons, who were said to have murdered him. Then there swept across the country one of the curious and tragic waves of intolerance such as have been directed against other groups at other times, and which may again prove to be among the most unlovely aspects of American public life.
Lodge after Lodge was threatened by mob violence, and went into hiding. In 1836, only nine Lodges were represented in the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts. I believe I am correct in stating that our neighbor Lodge, Rising Star of Stoughton, was one which never gave up. Here and there a few individuals stood by their obligations. Gradually the movement died down. Prominent citizens who were Masons came out with declarations which finally had some effect, and by 1854, it was possible for meetings to be resumed. While we honor the determination of our Brethren in those unhappy days, and marvel that such an institution of ours could have been the victim of prejudice, let us take warning lest we in our day, not as an order, but as individuals, be drawn into an anti-anything movement founded on fear, for history usually manages to vindicate the victims and condemn the persecutors.
For the period from 1854 to 1919, there is not enough time to do more than say: "See Worshipful Brother Granger's excellent work." It may be well, however, to mention the fact that fifteen members fought in the Civil War and that a record for November, 1862, reads: "Thus are laid near together three Brethren of the Masonic Lodge, Captain Horace Niles; 1st Lt. William Palmer; 1st Sgt. George Henry, all wounded while successively in command of Co. E, 35th Regiment Massachusetts Volunteers, at the Battle of Antietam. Deeply do we mourn their loss. May God in His infinite Mercy spare us more such inflictions." And to this prayer, we of today, thinking of how many of our Brethren are in the fighting ranks, will add devoutly as did those of old, "So mote it be." In World War I, fourteen members served in the armed forces.
The whole period from 1854 to 1919 was marked by prosperity, and this was due to the observance of the principle that "harmony is the strength and support of any institution, more especially this of ours." Great was the rejoicing when the end of the first hundred years was reached. On Tuesday, June 3, 1919, a special communication of the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of Massachusetts was held in Randolph with anniversary exercises in the Church with which the early history of Norfolk Union Lodge was in many ways associated. The address of welcome was given by Worshipful Frank W. Vye, Master. Worshipful Frank C. Granger read the historical address. That evening a dinner was served, at which the Grand Master spoke, as did also Right Worshipful Albert P. Ballard, a special military deputy. And then Norfolk Union Lodge was ready to start on its second hundred years, one-fourth of which have already rolled by.
Nothing could be said about the period from 1919 to 1944 which ignored the two great experiences the world has undergone during that period — the great Depression, and the coming of another war. The depression had its effect on Masonry as it did on every institution in our society. Men out of work who could scarcely support their families could not pay initiation fees and Lodge dues, so the number of new members received during the period was small. Meanwhile, death took its inevitable toll, and the membership of Norfolk Union Lodge dropped from its high point of 306 in 1930 to 222 in 1943. It is encouraging to see that it is now increasing again, and we trust that the increase will continue. The membership at the time of the writing of this paper is 246.
Before we speak of the other great experience of our era, we may well pause to note a few of the events which meant much to members of our Order in the honoring of some of their Brethren. In 1923, the 33rd Degree was awarded to Right Worshipful Herbert F. French, and during this period also, fifty year Veteran's Medals were awarded to the following members of this Lodge: Brothers Lester Holbrook, Walter E. White, Edmund S. Piper, George H. Thayer and Arthur M. Towns. While the hearts of the Brethren have been gladdened by the honors thus received by our members, we have also been saddened when our fellowship has been visited by the Reaper. Saddest of all among the losses we as a Lodge have incurred, was on July 1st, 1942, when Right Worshipful George Edwin White was suddenly stricken, and in a few moments of time had passed to the Celestial Lodge on high. Right Worshipful Brother White was Master of this Lodge in 1916-17, and had been Senior Grand Warden of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts. The meeting at which, in that capacity, he raised his son, now our Senior Deacon, to the Sublime Degree of a Master Mason, will remain in the memories of many members of this Lodge as one of the important events in this last quarter century.
Among the events of interest during the period may be listed the decision reached on December 14, 1921, to purchase the building in which are our present quarters. This has provided us with a convenient and commodious place for all our activities. The ability of the Lodge to carry on its charitable work was increased by the receipt of a bequest of $2000 on January 8, 1930, from the estate of Right Worshipful Henry G. Belcher. The income from this bequest is used for these purposes. An important meeting which many will recall was held on April 17, 1929, when Most Worshipful Winfield Scott Solomon, a Past Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Rhode Island, spoke on American Masonry in Germany during the first World War.
Honorary memberships in the Lodge were conferred during these years on the following: Brother Charles H. Spear, 51 years a member, Brother Charles T. Chevigny, 48 years, Brother George M. Reed, 47 years, Worshipful Carroll A. Thayer, 44 years, Brother William Crossley, 43 years, Brother Walter E. White, 43 years, Worshipful Frank C. Granger, 41 years, and later on, Worshipful Arthur W. Alden, Worshipful John W. Porter, and Brothers Walter O. Crooker, George H. Thayer, Thomas F. Stetson and Harry F. Burrell.
After the hopes which had risen in every man's heart following the first World War, that freedom and peace had been established, even though those hopes had been gradually undermined, it was with a profound shock that we, like everyone else, realized that the world had been plunged into the abyss of another war. But when the progress of events proved to us that America must take its part, the history of 1861-65 and 1917-18 repeated itself. Norfolk Union Lodge has now on its roll of members in the armed services twenty names. To date we have not been forced to affix any gold stars to that roll, and it is our sincere prayer that we shall never have to. But if we do, we still have the faith which our Order teaches, that beyond this life there is a greater, and that those who have served faithfully in this life will attain to that blessed one. May God grant that we all so learn the lessons of brotherly love that in time to come there may go out from our Order an influence which shall help create a brotherhood of man. Then the principles of friendship, morality and brotherly love will come to full fruition, and all men will meet on the level, act on the plumb, and part upon the square.
150TH ANNIVERSARY HISTORY, JUNE 1969
From Proceedings, Page 1969-179:
By Bro. John H. Pierce.
The Masonic history of Randolph antedates the institution of Norfolk Union Lodge. On the eighth of June, 1801, the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of Massachusetts, reposing special trust and confidence in the prudence and fidelity of our beloved William P. Whiting, Thomas B. Wales, Jonathan Wales, Thomas French, Jr., Joshua Niles, Elisha Bates, Isaac Walker, Eleazer Beales, Ephraim Wales, John Turner, Theopilus Wentworth, Isacher Snell and William French, constituted and appointed them a Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons, under the title and designation of Rural Lodge, giving them full power to convene and act as Masons within the town of Randolph, Norfolk County, Massachusetts. William Whiting was its first Master, Thomas B. Wales, Senior Warden and Jonathan Wales, Jr., Junior Warden. Meetings were held from this time until October 24, 1803. At this meeting a petition to the Grand Lodge for a Charter from a number of brethren at Quincy was presented to the Lodge for approval, but was laid over until the next meeting. In the meantime, preliminary arrangements were probably negotiated for the removal of the Charter of Rural Lodge to Quincy. After the removal, Jonathan Wales was for two years its Master and Thomas French, Junior Warden of Rural Lodge of Quincy.
Norfolk Union first saw the light of day on June 9th, 1819. These were exciting days. The United States was then at the height of a period known as the era of good feeling. This name arose from three principal facts. It was an era in which the party strife so typical of our national politics was temporarily unknown. The old Federalist Party which had its last stronghold in New England was dead. The party of Thomas Jefferson, known first as the Republican party and later the Democrat Republican, and finally the Democrats ruled supreme. So there was at least an absence of political ill feeling in a partisan sense. The great west was opening up, Americans were becoming conscious that the little nation along the Atlantic seaboard possessed the greatest potential wealth of any country in the world. Immigrants were pouring westward, New England shipowners were expanding the commerce of the seaports all over the world, manufacturing, which had been a small element in our national economy, was expanding and New England showed signs of becoming a great industrial territory. Everyone and everything was ready to go places, Norfolk Union included. The examination of its records neatly written and often quaintly expressed attests that its existence has been attended by stirring and stormy scenes. Through a period of seventeen years its torch was kept burning, though low ebb, only through the unceasing, untiring and loyal devotion of a faithful few of its brethren who clandestinely, as far as the public was concerned, officiated at its altars.
The record begins with a meeting held on January 22, 1819. This was in the building known as the Howard House, which was then the home of David Jacobs. On May 24th, 1819, it was voted to petition the Grand Lodge for a Charter for holding a lodge in the town of Randolph. At the quarterly communication of the Grand Lodge the petition was presented and granted and Norfolk Union Lodge was regularly instituted June 9th, 1819. First officers of the lodge installed were Royal Turner, Master; Ephraim Wales, Senior Warden; Luther Thayer, Jr., Junior Warden; Horatio B. Alden, Secretary; Timothy Dorman, Treasurer; Isaac Spear, Senior Deacon; Samuel French, Junior Deacon; Samuel Thayer, Jr., First Steward; Leonard Alden, Second Steward; Joshua Niles, Tyler; Samuel Page, Chaplain; and Silas Alden, Marshal. All the foregoing officers except the named Chaplain and Marshal together with Robert Shankland and William French constituted the original twelve petitioners. The first applications for membership came from David Jacobs and Loren Thayer.
The degree of Entered Apprentice was conferred on these two candidates on July 22, 1819. On October 14th a committee was appointed to prepare for the day of installation, and it was also voted to buy a bible and a pair of compasses. The first installation was attended by singers of the day, and a band furnished martial music. It is of interest to note that the Treasurer of Norfolk Union Lodge was authorized to present Rev. William Guild of Milton and Bro. Joseph Richardson of Hingham ten dollars each for their very able and appropriate services as orators of the day. The answering letters of these two distinguished gentlemen brings to mind the quaint expressions of the day. Bro. Guild's Letter:
Accept my sincere acknowledgement for the expression of respect and generosity transmitted to me in your highly complimentary note of this morning. It is with no ordinary pleasure that I took part in the religious exercises at the installation of the Officers of Norfolk Union Lodge, I was gratified and abundantly compensated for any extra exertion necessary to prepare for the occasion by the satisfaction imparted to the Lodge and the deep interest and solemnity discoverable in the audience during the delivery of my hasty discourse. Your apology for any seeming neglect in regard to me is wholly unnecessary. I have never felt the least impression of the kind. It is not within my power to comply with your request to furnish you with a copy of my discourse for publication. It was never designed for the press, but a part of the discourse is now in my possession, and, moreover, a part of the discourse was never written. The pecuniary favor enclosed in your note I have returned to be appropriated to the benevolent objects of your institution. Accept, gentlemen for yourselves and through you; suffer me to assure your fraternity of my sincere wishes and prayers that Providence may with a long and happy life, make you emminently instrumental in advancing the interests of pure morality, alleviating the sufferings of your fellow men and increasing the aggregate of human happiness.
Yours very respectfully, Saml. Guild."
Rev. Bro. Joseph Richardson's Letter:
Hingham, March 2nd, 1820
The kind manner in which you have been pleased to accept my address is acknowledged with grateful pleasure. The generous offering you have tendered my services I cannot con-sistant with my feelings as a brother, willingly accept. To have contributed to your prosperity, my brethren, is to me rich satisfaction. For the continuance of your prosperity I shall devoutly pray. Be pleased to present the brethren of Norfolk Union Lodge my cordial salutations as a brother and to receive for yourselves assurances of my best wishes and affectionate consideration.
While the Lodge was yet in its infancy it was honored by an invitation to participate in an event of much historical import. Under the date of May 24th, 1825 we read: "Received a communication from the Most Wor. Grand Master, requesting this Lodge to accompany the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge in laying the cornerstone of the Bunker Hill Monument on the 17th of July next". Among other events in which Norfolk Union Lodge was called to participate were, laying of the cornerstone of the court house in Dedham, laying of the cornerstone of churches in Weymouth, and Abington, and the dedication of the Masonic Temple in Boston, in 1867.
The Lodge prospered for the first few years of its existence, but soon a period of hard times set in for the Order which threatened to wipe out its existence altogether. A memorandum dated January 31st, 1855, says of the charter of the Lodge surrendered in 1837, "Returned in 1854." Those brief words introduce us to one of the strangest episodes in American history, the Anti-Masonic movement. When one William Morgan in Batavia, New York, published a book revealing the whole ritual of Masonry, he suddenly disappeared. His disappearance was charged to the Masons who were said to have murdered him. Then there swept across the country one of the curious waves of intolerance such as have been directed against other groups at other times, and which may again prove to be among the most unlovely aspects of American life. Lodge after Lodge went into hiding after being threatened by mob violence. Prominent citizens who were Masons came out with declarations which finally had some effect, and by 18S4 it was possible for meetings to be resumed. A few years of healthful growth and prosperity was then followed by a period of public unrest and agitation consequent upon the attitude of the Southern States. Fort Sumter had been evacuated, and the first guns of the Civil War had begun to fire, arousing every patriot to the defense of the Union. Norfolk Union was not lacking in loyalty or self-sacrifice. Many a scene was enacted whereby with measured step and muffled drum, a soldier was laid in his honored resting place. As the great pendulum of a nation's destiny swung from the shadows of civil war through the depressions of the following years, into the sunshine of peace and prosperity, the activities of Norfolk Union Lodge turned toward more social development. Installations were generally public. Lectures by noted speakers were given in Masonic Halls and the public invited. Masons with their wives and friends and relations, it is recorded in the records, visited Nantasket Beach and other points of amusement and interest. Fairs were held in which the ladies took a prominent part and the grandmothers and grandfathers of the day lightly tripped out the measures of the Polka, Schottische, Quadrille and the Waltz. During the seventies and eighties, the social affairs of the Lodge became the leading events of the town.
In 1896, the Rt. Wor. Bro. Henry A. Belcher was appointed Deputy Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Masons in Massachusetts. This is the highest office ever bestowed by the Grand Lodge upon any member of Norfolk Union Lodge. In honor of this event the Lodge tendered him a public reception which was the social event of the season.
The whole period from 1854 to 1919 was marked by prosperity and this is due to the observance of the principle that harmony is the strength and support of any institution, more especially this of ours. Grand was the rejoicing when the end of the first hundred years was reached. On Tuesday, June 3rd 1919 a Special Communication of the Most Wor. Grand Lodge of Massachusetts was held in Randolph with which early history of Norfolk Union Lodge was in many ways associated (1919 Mass. 142-171). The address of welcome was given by Wor. Frank Vye, Master, Wor. Frank C. Granger read the historical address, and Rt. Wor. Arthur D. Prince, Deputy Grand Master, also gave an address. Church services were held in the afternoon with a banquet in Stetson Hall at which the Grand Master spoke as did also Rt. Wor. Albert P. Ballard, a special military deputy. Then followed a concert which was in order in those times, and dancing closed out the festivities. Interesting sidelights of the one hundredth anniversary were many and the modes of travel in those days were also. Randolph was served by a railroad and the Wor. Master from Weymouth coming to the anniversary fell asleep, and wound up walking from North Easton at the end of the line.
The anniversary meant something more to the members of Norfolk Union Lodge as it meant that they were again back in their Lodge, after having been burned out. The facilities of the Odd Fellows Hall were used during the rebuilding. Wor. Frank Vye had a few moments of anxiety when one of the soloists did not show up, but vexed even further when the soloist demanded to be paid anyway. Nothing could be said about the period from 1919 to the present which ignored the two great experiences the world has undergone during that time. The depression had its effect on Masonry as it did on every institution in our society. Men out of work who could scarcely support their families could not pay initiation fees and Lodge dues. So the number of new members received during that period was small. After the hopes which had arisen in every man's heart, following the first World War, that freedom and peace had been established, it was with profound shock that we, like everyone else realized that the world had been plunged into the abyss of another. But when the progress of events proved to us that America must do its part, the history of 1861-1865 and 1917-1918 repeated. During this period in 1923, the 33rd degree was awarded to the Rt. Wor. Herbert F. French and fifty-year pins were awarded to the following members of this Lodge: Bro. Lester Holbrook, Bro. Walter E. White, Bro. Edmund S. Piper, Bro. George H. Thayer and Bro. Arthur M. Townes. On July 1st 1942, Rt. Wor. George Edwin White passed on and was deeply mourned. He had been Master of this Lodge in 1916 and 1917, and had been Senior Grand Warden of the Grand Lodge in Massachusetts. On December 14th, 1921, the decision was reached to purchase the building in which are our present quarters.
The minutes of the Regular Communication of that date read in part as follows: "Report of the Building Committee was made by Wor. Bro. John W. Porter who reported that they had made preparations for the purchase of building known as the Masonic Block which is the present quarters of Norfolk Union Lodge. Voted that the report of Committee be accepted. After some discussion it was voted that the committee be authorized to purchase the property. Voted for forming a Corporation and to elect officers for same and the following officers were elected. . . . Voted that the Corporation be capitalized for the amount of $25,000 and that 2,500 shares be issued at $10.00 par value. . . . Voted to name the Corporation the Masonic Realty Trust, Inc. Voted that a committee of nine be appointed for the purpose of soliciting the members for the sale of shares. . . ."
April 17, 1929, an address was given by the Most Wor. Winfield Scott Solomon, Past Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Rhode Island, who spoke on Masonry in Germany during the First World War. In 1929, during the tenure of Wor. Carl Gove, the three hundred membership mark was reached for the first time. Of interest to note at this time was the visit of Germania Lodge of Boston who visited our Lodge and conferred the Third Degree in German on a German candidate. Wor. Carl Gove and suite returned the visit and worked the Third Degree on a candidate in their Lodge.
During the 1950 and 1951 period, our building was moved back to make room for the widening of Main Street and it necessitated many inconveniences for Wor. Master James Parker. Heat was lacking in many instances, with a space heater taking room alongside the altar, and in the extreme, canvas pipes bringing heat from the lower floors. It was during this time that we were visited by a tremendous snowstorm and a minimum of officers showed up for the Second Degree, but the candidate came all the way from Newport, Rhode Island, and some had to do double duty.
With the onset of the great depression of the 30's, membership fell from a high of 306 in 1930 to 222 in 1943, and then with probably the greatest growth ever experienced in one year, reached 246 in 1944 and has continued upward thereafter. During the term of Wor. Wentworth A. Ernest in 1955, membership passed the 400 mark and is slowly increasing despite the yearly losses of many of the older Brethren.
The present Masonic Apartments were dedicated on Oct. 25, 1911. With the continuing growth in numbers and utilization of the quarters by the ladies of the Order of the Eastern Star, the Rainbow Girls and the boys of the Order of DeMolay, the youthful Lodge members in recent years have concerned themselves with future accommodations. Thus Wor. Albert W. Kierstead, during his term of office, on Jan. 11, 1967 appointed a Building Feasibility Study Committee composed of the following Brethren: Wor. Leo A. Kansiger, Wor. William L. Tregon-ing, Wor. John C. Hadfield, Wor. Frederick Farrar, Bro. Thomas E. Durant, Bro. John H. Pierce and Bro. Russell H. Anthony who was elected chairman.
No doubt future history will prove the timeliness of his action as Norfolk Union Lodge continues to grow with the community.
Past Masters of whom we can be justly proud are Rt. Wor. Warren G. Osgood who in 1947-1948 was District Deputy Grand Master and Wor. George E. Goody, Jr. who was his District Deputy Grand Marshal; Rt. Wor. Albert Watmough was Master of the Lodge of Instruction in 1952 and District Deputy Grand Secretary in 1958 and District Deputy Grand Master in 1965-1966; Wor. Frederick Farrar was his District Deputy Grand Marshal. Many high Masonic honors have become the lot of Norfolk Union Lodge members. The Lodge of Instruction has beckoned our officers for their expertise. Wor. Edward L. Hunter, Jr., became Monarch of Taleb Grotto during this, our 150th year and Wor. William L. Tregoning during this same year became President of the South Shore Shrine Club. Wor. Master James S. Parker is still remembered from years back for his graceful delivery and gentlemanly revelations of Masonry in the 26th Masonic District, and it seems like the day before yesterday when we at Norfolk Union Lodge gave special honors to the Rt. Wor. Albert Watmough on his last Official Visitation as D. D. G. M. to a "standing room only" assemblage as the brethren took seats in the South, West and East.
Indeed, Norfolk Union's "Alumni" have proceeded onward and upward to other high honors in the related Masonic organizations in such numbers that space would not permit a complete listing. Thus, one example will have to suffice, and to avoid the impression of favoring one group over another, let us merely consider the usual first move beyond Norfolk Union Lodge. The "Fourth Step" is most frequently made at Mt. Zion Chapter, Royal Arch Masons, since it is the closest Collateral Body to Randolph geographically. Small wonder that just among LIVING members we find the following Past High Priests of Mt. Zion: Brothers Earle M. French, C. Lloyd Gaff,
Allan Turner, William A. Johnston (also PDDGHP of the 14th Capitular District), Robert Johnston, Jr., David H. Sproules (also Past Eminent Commander, Bay State Commandery No. 38), Thomas E. A. Bailey, Gustave Benson, Kenneth Lyons, Frederick Farrar. There will undoubtedly be many more in the years that follow. During the 1967-1968 Masonic Year, Norfolk Union Lodge was honored, for the first time a Brother of the Hebrew Faith presiding in the East in the person of Wor. Herbert D. Glanz; the highlight of a most memorable year was the Masonic Service on March 15, 1968 at the Jewish Synagogue, Temple Beth Am, in North Randolph. Services commenced at 8:30 P.M. with the Brethren properly attired in regalia and in the traditional Yarmulka in symbolic blue and appropriately imprinted with square and compasses and souvenir inscription. The evening concluded in a warm spirit of ecumenical friendship with an outstanding collation and social hour hosted by the ladies of the Temple.
Thus on our 150th anniversary we make notes, collect memoirs and gather momentum to carry us into the years beyond. In May, 1956, Wor. William L. Tregoning finally printed in the introduction to his comunication the words which had first been voiced and exemplified by him throughout his term—"THE ACTIVE LODGE."
In the communication of October 1, 1968, Wor. Walter F. Pawlowski moved this challenging phrase to the outside of the communication to demonstrate the vitality of Masonry as exemplified by Norfolk Union Lodge; each month became a surprise as a different color ink was used in each communication to make for a "Colorful 150th". In such ways do we express the spiritual flexibility of Masonry which has carried us from antiquity to our present day. Materially we have changed with a passing world and a great future is obviously ours because of a fruitful past that we can justly be proud to call our foundation. We can understand how much Masonry meant to our ancient Brothers and how flexible its structure to be able to be a moving force with us today — more particularly Norfolk Union Lodge for what it has done for us and what we can do for it.
- 1866 (Jurisdictional dispute, VII-66)
- 1972 (Participation in Holbrook cornerstone re-laying, 1972-215)
OFFICER LIST, JULY 1826
From Masonic Mirror and Mechanics' Intelligencer, Vol. II, No. 30, July 1826, Page 233:
Officers Elected and Installed in Norfolk Union Lodge, Randolph Mass.
- Ephraim Spear, R. W. Master.
- George W. Clarke, S.W.
- John Johnson, J. W.
- Isaac Town, Sec'y.
- David Jacobs, Treasurer.
- Libbeus Leach, S. D.
- Seth T. Thayer, J. D.
- H. B. Alden, S. S.
- J. Wales, J. S.
- Silas Alden, Jr., Marshal.
- Ezekiel French, Tyler.
INSTALLATION OF OFFICERS, JUNE 1830
From Boston Masonic Mirror, New Series, Vol. II, No. 3, July 17, 1830, Page 19:
At the Annual Meeting of Norfolk Union Lodge holden at Randolph Mass. the following officers were elected for the current year.
- John Wales, M.
- Robert Shankland, S.W.
- Alexander Edson DuBois, J. W.
- Jacob Niles, T.
- Loring Thayer, S.
- Appollas Wales, S. D.
- Joshua Thayer, J. D.
- Jonathan W. Belcher, S. S.
- Henry Thayer, J. S.
- Rev. Benjamin Putnam, C.
- Joseph Tower, Jun., M.
- Reuel Packard, T.
INSTALLATION OF OFFICERS, JUNE 1831
From Boston Masonic Mirror, New Series, Vol. III, No. 4, July 1831, Page 27:
At the Annual Meeting of Norfolk Union Lodge holden at Randolph Mass. June 22 A. L. 1831, the following officers were duly elected officers for the ensuing year, viz:.
- John Wales, M.
- Robert Shankland, S.W. or Shanklin
- A. E. DuBois, J. W.
- Bradford L. Wales, T.
- John W. Belcher, S.
- Apollos Wales, S. D.
- John Johnson, J. D.
- Loring Thayer, Henry Thayer, Stewards.
- Aaron Prescott, Mar.
- David Jacobs, Tyler.
HALL DEDICATION, MAY 1866
From Moore's Freemason's Monthly, Vol. XXV, No. 8, June 1866, p. 231:
Norfolk Union Lodge at Randolph having recently leased and fitted up an elegant and convenient hall for its future accommodation, the same was formally dedicated by the M. W. Grand Lodge on the evening of the 3d of May last, in the presence of a large assemblage of brethren and their ladies. The occasion was one of more than ordinary interest, inasmuch as the ceremony was new to many of those who were present, and especially to the ladies, who had taken a deep interest and an active part in furnishing the hall and in the general arrangements. The ceremonies were performed by Grand Master Charles C. Dame in an effective and impressive manner, the. interest of which was enhanced by the singing of an excellent quartette choir.
At the conclusion of the services, the party were escorted to the banqueting-hall, and partook of an elegant entertainment prepared by the ladies; after which the company returned to the Lodge room, where short and appropriate speeches were made by the Grand Master and other brethren.
We are happy to know that the Lodge is in a prosperous condition, and that its future prospects are highly encouraging.
CORNER STONE LAYING, JULY 1878
From Liberal Freemason, Vol. II, No. 6, September 1878, Page 188:
The Corner Stone of a new Town House was laid in Randolph, Mass., July 10th, with Masonic Ceremonies, Hon. and Bro. Edward Avery being the orator of the day.
Norfolk Union Lodge, with about fifty members, and Bay State Commandery of Knights Templar, with fifty-five members, formed the Masonic part of the procession.
In the absence of the most Worshipful Grand Master, who had sailed for Europe, the services under the auspices of the Grand Lodge, were conducted by R. W. Abraham H. Howland, Jr. and other officers.
HALL DEDICATION, OCTOBER 1880
From Liberal Freemason, Vol. IV, No. 7, October 1880, Page 223:
The Boston Journal reports the dedication of the new Masonic Hall in Randolph, Mass., as follows:
Another milestone in the history of Norfolk Union Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons was reached Friday evening, Oct. 1st, the occasion being the dedication of their new hall, which was enjoyed by a large number of invited guests, who filled the hall to its utmost capacity. The hall is in the third story of G. T. Jones's new block, on the East side of Main street, and has been furnished, carpeted, and frescoed very handsomely by the ladies, who raised upwards of six hundred dollars at a fair held last spring for this purpose.
The hall was very tastefully decorated Friday evening with flowers, and large pictures of several past masters graced the walls. The audience was called to order at eight o'clock by Worshipful Master N. Everett Buck, and after brief ceremonies the officers of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts were announced, and the hall was delivered into their charge for dedication. The Dedicatory ceremonies were conducted by Most Worshipful Charles A. Welch, Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts, assisted by Right Worshipful William H. Chessman, Senior Grand Warden; Right Worshipful Frank Morton, Junior Grand Warden; Past Grand Masters William Parkman and William D. Coolidge; Right Worshipful Tracy P. Cheever, Grand Secretary; Right Worshipful F. Lyman Winship, Grand Marshal.
At the conclusion of the dedicatory exercises, the audience adjourned to the banquet hall and partook of a collation, after which the company assembled in the new hall, and Worshipful Master N. E. Buck announced that the remaining exercises of the evening would be in charge of Past Master J. White Belcher, who, after brief remarks, offered pleasing and appropriate sentiments, which were happily responded to in turn by the visiting officers of the Grand Lodge and several of the prominent members of Norfolk Union Lodge, which, together with singing by a male quartette, occupied the time till nearly midnight, when the company separated, all feeling, and no doubt, being better, for having been present.
GRAND LODGE OFFICERS
- Henry A. Belcher, DDGM, District 24 (Brockton), 1891, 1892; Deputy Grand Master 1896
- Asa P. French, DDGM, District 24 (Brockton), 1897; SN
- Herbert F. French, DDGM, District 24 (Brockton), 1908, 1909; Junior Grand Warden 1912
- Richard S. Holiver, DDGM, District 26 (Quincy), 1987, 1988
- Richard F. Jope, DDGM, District 8, 2012, 2013
- Craig S. MacPherson, DDGM, District 26 (Quincy), 1999, 2000
- Frank Morton, DDGM, District 19 (Taunton), 1878, 1879; SN
- Warren G. Osgood, DDGM, District 26 (Quincy), 1947, 1948; N
- Aaron Prescott, DDGM, District 3, 1834; District 4, 1835; SN
- Benjamin Putnam, Grand Chaplain 1829-1833
- John B. Thayer, DDGM, District 19 (Taunton), 1880, 1881; SN
- Royal Turner, DDGM, District 3, 1831, 1832; SN
- Bradford L. Wales, DDGM, District 5, 1859; Senior Grand Warden 1857
- Albert Watmough, DDGM, District 26 (Quincy), 1965, 1966; N
- George E. White, DDGM, District 26 (Quincy), 1926; District 26 (Quincy), 1927; Senior Grand Warden 1939