RisingStar

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RISING STAR LODGE

Location: Stoughton; Canton (1810); Sharon (1814); Stoughton (1817)

Chartered By: Josiah Bartlett (Joseph Laughton as Deputy)

Charter Date: 12/10/1799 II-151

Precedence Date: 12/10/1799

Current Status: Active

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NOTES

MEMBER LIST, 1802

From Vocal Companion and Masonic Register, Boston, 1802, Part II, Page 38:

  • R. W. Peter Adams, M.
  • W. Benjamin Capen, S. W.
  • W. Joseph Richards, J. W.
  • Nathan Gill, Tr.
  • Abraham Capen, S. D.
  • Amos Upham, J. D.
  • John Atherton, Steward.
  • Consider Southworth, Steward.
  • Nathan Bird, Tiler.

No. of Members, 21.

PAST MASTERS

  • Peter Adams, 1800-1804; SN
  • Benjamin Capen, 1805, 1806
  • Amos Upham, 1807, 1808
  • Elijah Crane, 1808-1811
  • Thomas Kollock, 1812, 1813
  • Consider Southworth, 1814, 1815
  • William Dunbar, 1816
  • Elijah Atherton, 1817-1820; Mem
  • Willard Gould, 1821
  • Joel Talbot, 1822
  • Thomas Crane, 1823
  • Lemuel Gay, 1824, 1825, 1852; SN; Mem
  • Jonathan Reynolds, 1826, 1827
  • Nathaniel Blake, 1828, 1829
  • James Swan, 1830, 1831, 1851
  • Azel Capen, 1832-1834, 1850; Mem
  • Ansel Capen, 1835, 1836
  • Samuel Chandler, 1837-1839; SN
  • C. A. Southworth, 1840, 1841
  • John H. Wales, 1842, 1843; Mem
  • Simeon T. Drake, 1844-1846
  • Ebenezer W. Tolman, 1847, 1848
  • Benjamin Huntoon, 1849
  • George Talbot, 1853-1857
  • Ezra Talbot, 1858-1860
  • George B. Blake, 1861, 1862
  • Jonathan R. Gay, 1863, 1864, 1868; SN
  • Benjamin Ward, 1865, 1866
  • Bradford Kinsley, 1867
  • George F. Walker, 1869, 1870, 1874
  • Joshua Britton, 1871-1873
  • Leander G. Britton, 1875, 1876
  • Elmer W. Walker, 1877, 1878
  • James H. May, 1879, 1880
  • Robert Jackson, 1881, 1882
  • Albert E. Standish, 1883-1885
  • Ira F. Burnham, 1886, 1887; SN
  • George O. Wentworth, 1888, 1889
  • Franklin Gay, 1890, 1891
  • H. Augustus Monk, 1892, 1893
  • Frank M. Packard, 1894, 1895
  • Christopher Farrell, 1896, 1897
  • Lemuel W. Standish, 1898, 1899
  • Webster Smith, 1900, 1901
  • Edgar F. Leonard, 1902, 1903
  • Oscar A. Marden, 1904, 1905; Memorial
  • Frank L. Packard, 1906, 1907
  • Ernest B. Southworth, 1908, 1909
  • Edward W. Gage, 1910, 1911
  • George H. Dears, 1912, 1913, 1919, 1920
  • Ralph S. Blake, 1914, 1915
  • Edgar A. Marden, 1916, 1917
  • Paul S. Jones, 1918
  • Fred D. Leonard, 1921, 1922
  • G. Arthur Sprague, 1923, 1924
  • Owen E. McGarvey, 1925, 1926
  • Carl G. Jansson, 1927, 1928
  • Peter Wood, 1929, 1930; N
  • George T. Whiting, 1931, 1932
  • Kendall F. Forbes, 1933, 1934
  • Vincent M. Hall, 1935, 1936
  • Richard I. Winroth, 1937, 1938
  • John M. Pond, 1939, 1940
  • Robert T. Evans, 1941, 1942
  • Clarence A. Perkins, 1943
  • William B. Henry, 1944, 1945
  • William F. Sievers, 1946, 1947; N
  • H. Fayette Munson, 1948, 1949, 1977; SN
  • William T. Wood, 1950
  • Theron M. Porter, 1951
  • William Calder, 1952
  • Oscar H. Hagg, 1953, 1974, 1975, 1978
  • Carl G. Larson, 1954
  • Louis E. Hanks, 1955
  • Albert O. Hagg, 1956; N
  • Henry W. Brilliant, 1957, 1973
  • Bronie W. Mackeys, 1958
  • Bruce M. Grindle, 1959
  • Fred L. Morse, 1960
  • Earl D. McMann, 1961
  • William B. Smith, 1962
  • Edward D. Harwood, 1963
  • Manson Glover, 1964
  • Charles D. Horner, 1965
  • Ronald M. Wallace, 1966
  • George A. Giddings, 1967
  • Harold J. Taylor, 1968
  • Henry D. Riet, 1969
  • Robert G. Cushing, 1970
  • Robert D. Fors, 1971
  • Robert A. Stetson, Jr., 1972, 1978, 1979
  • Lawrence J. Barnett, 1980
  • Matt E. Hemon, 1981
  • Clarence A. McCorrison, 1982
  • William N. Davis, 1983
  • Richard A. Phillips, 1984, 1999, 2000
  • William H. Kershaw, 1985
  • James W. Williams, III, 1986
  • Norman W. Gay, 1987 RW
  • Alan G. Leishman, 1988, 1991-1993, 1996, 2001, 2006
  • Robert K. Gair, 1989
  • David W. McCarter, 1990
  • Boyd W. Walls, 1993, 1997, 1998
  • Raymond C. LeMons, 1994
  • W. Stanton Putnam, 1995
  • Dennis B. Ruggiero, 2000
  • Philip S. Cutler, 2002
  • James W. Pearce, III, 2003; PDDGM
  • Michael V. Sanmarco, 2004, 2005
  • Walter H. Dearing, 2007, 2012
  • Edward W. Redmond, 2009, 2010 DDGM
  • Robert S. Maltby, 2011

REFERENCES IN GRAND LODGE PROCEEDINGS

  • Petition for Charter: 1799

ANNIVERSARIES

  • 1899 (Centenary)
  • 1924 (125th Anniversary)
  • 1949 (150th Anniversary)
  • 1974 (175th Anniversary)
  • 2000 (200th Anniversary)

VISITS BY GRAND MASTER

BY-LAW CHANGES

1869 1872 1880 1885 1886 1890 1897 1909 1912 1914 1916 1920 1921 1949 1927 1942 1944 1957 1966 1968 1970 1972 1974 1990 1991 2003 2004 2007 2009 2010 2013

HISTORY

  • 1899 (Centenary History, 1899-103; see below)
  • 1924 (125th Anniversary History, 1924-655)
  • 1949 (150th Anniversary History, 1949-155)
  • 1974 (175th Anniversary History, 1974-284)

CENTENARY HISTORY, DECEMBER 1899

From Proceedings, Page 1899-103:

HISTORICAL ADDRESS BY W. IRA F. BURNHAM.

It is eminently fitting that the centennial exercises of Rising Star Lodge of Masons should be celebrated in this church, for it was upon this historic and hallowed ground, one hundred years ago, that its constitution occurred.

In a building a little to the right, its first meeting was held, while in a Hall located a little to the left, they met for upwards of half a century. Indeed, so many events in the history of the Lodge occurred in the First Parish church, or its immediate vicinity, that the very atmosphere of the place seems rich with pleasant memories of the past.

In the preface to a book of poems by that distinguished writer, Oliver Wendell Holmes, may be found these lines:

"Deal gently with us, ye who read.
Our largest hope is unfulfilled,
The promise still outruns the deed,
The tower, but not the spire we build.

"Our whitest pearls we never find,
Our ripest fruit we never reach,
The flowering moments of our mind
Drop half their petals in our speech."

As we contemplate the task of reciting the history of Rising Star Lodge, we fully appreciate the sentiment expressed in these lines, for, strive as we may to do justice to its honorable records of one hundred years, we fear it will be

"The tower, but not the spire, we build."

We do not propose at this time to discuss the origin or antiquity of Freemasonry, but students of Masonic history have demonstrated beyond a doubt that Masonry existed previous to the building of King Solomon's Temple, more than three thousand years ago.

From its earliest institution it has grown in strength, influence and numbers until it is impossible to find a civilized community on the face of the globe where members of the Craft are not to be found in goodly numbers.

To Massachusetts belongs the honor of first introducing Freemasonry into America.

  • April 30, 1733, the Grand Lodge of England granted a commission to establish St. John's Grand Lodge at Boston.
  • May 30, 1769, the Grand Lodge of Scotland granted a commission to the Massachusetts Grand Lodge, also at Boston.

These two Bodies were united into one Grand Lodge, March 5, 1792.

The earliest authentic Masonic record referring to Rising Star Lodge is the presentation to the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts, May 11, 1799, of a petition, signed by Abram Capen and others, of Stoughton, praying for a charter to hold a Lodge in that town. This petition was referred to the next Quarterly Communication, at which Communication the committee, having under consideration the expediency of discontinuing the granting of charters to new Lodges, made a favorable report, which was unanimously adopted.

At the Quarterly Communication of the Grand Lodge, held Dec. 9, 1799, a committee having been previously appointed to reconsider this vote, reported that this policy be generally adhered to, but they also recommended the dispensing with it so far as that the petitioners from the town of Stoughton (for reasons set forth in a representation accompanying the report) be erected into a Lodge, by the name of Rising Star Lodge, and that a charter be granted to them. The charter was therefore received by the petitioners, Dec. 10, 1799, signed by Samuel Dunn, Grand Master; Joseph Laughton, Deputy Grand Master; Daniel Oliver, Grand Secretary.

The names of the petitioners appearing on the charter are as follows: .

  • Peter Adams
  • Joseph Richards
  • Abram Capen
  • William Capen
  • John Atherton, Jr.
  • Benjamin Capen
  • Nathan Gill
  • David Wadsworth
  • Amos Upham
  • Consider Southworth

Peter Adams was one of the first resident physicians of what is now the town of Stoughton. He was the son of Rev. Jedediah Adams, one of the early ministers of the .town, who held his pastorate for nearly fifty years, a man of character and learning. Dr. Peter Adams was a graduate of Harvard University. He attained a high reputation as a physician, and possessed the confidence and esteem of his fellow-men. All the petitioners whose names appeared upon the charter of the Lodge were men of distinction in the community, nearly all of them holding positions of public trust and honor.

The first meeting or Communication held under the charter of Rising Star Lodge occurred Jan. 9, 1800, at the house of Lemuel Drake, which was located at what is now the beginning of Freeman Street, partially facing Wyman Street. This house in later years was known as the old Austin house. It may be of interest to know that it was in this house also that the first Catholic church meeting was held. The house is not in existence at the present time.

At the first Communication of the Lodge the following-named officers were elected:

  • PETER ADAMS, Worshipful Master.
  • BENJAMIN CAPEN, Senior Warden.
  • JOSEPH RICHARDS Junior Warden.
  • NATHAN GILL Treasurer.
  • ABRAM CAPEN, Secretary.
  • DAVID WADSWORTH, Senior Deacon.
  • WILLIAM CAPEN, Junior Deacon.
  • AMOS UPHAM, First Steward.
  • JOHN ATHERTON , Second Steward.

The Lodge was successful from the very beginning of its career, receiving many applications for degrees and making many Masons; observing, however, due care as to the character of the applicants as testified to by the rejection, according to the records, of those considered unworthy.

The first candidates to receive degrees in the Lodge were Elijah Belcher and Major Robert Swan.

During the first year of the existence of the Lodge fifteen Masons were raised, twelve of whom became members of the Lodge.

The first public appearance of Rising Star Lodge occurred Feb. 22, 1800, the anniversary of the birthday of George Washington. The records state:

"The Lodge, with a number of visiting Brethren, walked out of the Hall and joined a procession of militia and schoolboys, which was then formed, in order to pay funeral honors to the memory of our late Worshipful Brother, George Washington, late General of the armies of America. The procession moved from the meeting-house to the burying place and back again, moving in order into the meeting-house, where the Rev. Mr. Richmond delivered an oration suitable to the occasion. The Brethren then walked from the meeting-house into the Hall and sang several funeral anthems."

The Lodge continued to hold its meetings in the house of Lemuel Drake until Dec. 25, 1800, when it removed to a Hall in the tavern of Benjamin and Abram Capen, located at the junction of Pleasant and Park Streets, known at that time as Rising Star Hall.

The Lodge was, even at this early period, particular that all its members should be well versed in Masonry; hence we find that Feb. 26, 1801, the Lodge voted to raise no candidate who was not proficient and well versed in the lectures.

In the First Parish Church occurred the constitution, or public installation of the officers, of Rising Star Lodge, on Wednesday, Oct. 21, 1801, and in all probability this was the grandest occasion the town of Stoughton had ever witnessed within its borders up to that time.

The officers of the Grand Lodge were present, and at that time included such well-known and illustrious names as Samuel Dunn, Most Worshipful Grand Master; Paul Revere, Joseph Revere, Benjamin Russell and others. From the records we learn:

"The Lodge proceeded to the meeting-house after taking a circular march, attended by an excellent band of music, where a sermon was delivered by Rev. Mr. Richmond, after which the Lodge was publicly installed in AMPLE FORM. The procession then moved from the meetinghouse to the Hall, and there partook of an elegant dinner. A number of toasts were drank, and a few entertaining songs were sung."

The Lodge, from its very earliest day, endeavored to have its members conduct themselves in accordance with the teachings of the Institution. Accordingly, under date of Sept. 9, 1802, we find, by the records, the Lodge demanding from one of its members public acknowledgment of his wrong-doing and the asking of pardon for his offence. The following year, 1803, two members were expelled for conduct unbecoming Masons.

The first death among the members of the Lodge occurred in October, 1803. On the twenty-seventh of that month the Brethren assembled at the house of William Blanchard, in East Stoughton, now Avon, and proceeded to the Baptist Church in Randolph, thence to the burial place, where, for the first time, Rising Star Lodge performed the beautiful and sublime service of our Order over the remains of their late Brother, Joseph Richards, who was one of the original petitioners for the charter, and first Junior Warden of the Lodge. A faithful, exemplary member of the Order, whose life was an ornament to Masonry.

The first quarterages, or dues, were voted Dec. 13, 1804, as follows: " All members living within fifteen miles of the place where the Lodge holds its meetings shall be charged with fifty cents each quarter, they being absent, notwithstanding."

Among those who were associated with the early history of Rising Star Lodge may be found many familiar family names, the descendants of whom still reside in this immediate vicinity: Adams, Southworth, Drake, Capen, Talbot, Dunbar, Upham, Swan, Wales, Huntoon, John Atherton, Jr., and Elijah Atherton, who was one of the first resident justices of the peace of what is now the town of Stoughton. Another illustrious member of the Lodge was General Elijah Crane, of Canton, who was made a Mason in Rising Star Lodge, June 26, 1804; was elected as proxy to the Grand Lodge, Nov. 15, 1804; was elected Master of Rising Star Lodge, Dec. 1, 1808, and served three years; was reelected Master, Nov. 12, 1818, and served to April 27, 1820, at which time he was appointed District Deputy Grand Master by the Grand Master-of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts. He afterwards achieved the high honor of election as Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts in 1832, and served for the year 1833. Elijah Crane was. born in Milton, Mass., Aug. 29, 1754, and died in Canton, March 21, 1834. He was a descendant,in the fifth generation from Henry Crane, who was one of the colony which emigrated from Great Britain under John Winthrop, and settled in Dorchester in 1630.

He was a man of large,' erect stature, well-developed form, and graceful carriage. He always took deep interest in military affairs, and attained the high position of Major-General of the First Division of the militia of Massachusetts., In politics he was a Federalist, and was liberal in his religious views. He was sheriff of Norfolk county about twenty years, and was employed to a large extent on public work, he being among the first to develop the granite quarries in this vicinity. He was a man of impartial and sound judgment, with a rigid adherence to the right, and was frequently sought as arbitrator by his neighbors and townsmen.

St. John's Day, June 24, 1809, was celebrated by Rising Star Lodge. They marched to the meeting house (Universalist Church), where an able oration was delivered by Brother William Dunbar, of Canton. The choir of the church performed some very excellent music. The exercises being ended, the Lodge, with guests, repaired to the open field opposite the meeting house, on the spot where now stand the houses owned and occupied by Mr. Fred Savels and Mr. Henry Fitzpatrick. Here, beneath a large tent spread for the occasion, a banquet was served, toasts were drank, and after-dinner speaking was enjoyed.

The Lodge, during this time, continued to grow in numbers, receiving many members from Canton and Sharon, to which its jurisdiction then extended. In 1810, the large number of Masons made up from these two towns enabled them to outvote the Stoughton members. After two years of agitation, they finally decided to remove the Lodge to Canton.

Accordingly, March 15, 1810, Rising Star Lodge held its Communication in Canton, at the house of Amos Upham, nearly opposite the residence of George Leonard, at Canton Corner. After holding its meetings at this place for a few years, the question of another removal was raised, and on March 3, 1814, the Lodge voted to change its place of meeting to Sharon. Under date of July 28, 1814, they held their first meeting in that town, at the house of John Savels.

May 20, 1815, the Lodge voted to again change their place of meeting, this time to the house of Jonathan Cobb, located in the town of Sharon, and known as Cobb's Tavern. Meetings were held at this place, commencing Sept. 14, 1815.

The question of removal back to Stoughton, however, was soon discussed. Aug. 20, 1817, a committee was appointed to consider the matter. Sept. 25, 1817, the Lodge voted to remove to Stoughton, and after an absence of seven years, nine and a half months, the regular meeting of Jan. 22, 1818, was held in Rising Star Hall, Stoughton, where they continued to hold their regular meetings until April 21, 1831.

June 17, 1825, the Lodge attended in a body the laying of the Corner-stone of Bunker Hill Monument, taking carriages, and riding over the road from Stoughton to Boston. This was a great and important event, particularly to the members of the Masonic Fraternity. General Lafayette, the friend of Washington,.was present on that occasion. The enthusiasm with which he was greeted by his Brother Masons; the dignified ceremonies of the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge; the eloquence of the orator; the lofty triumphal arch, erected by the Masonic Brethren, and bearing the legend, The arts pay homage to valor, so impressed our ancient Brethren, that returning to their homes, they cherished evermore recollections of a day never to be forgotten.

July, 1825, the Lodge attended the laying of the Cornerstone of the Court-house at Dedham.

It would be well for us to consider the circumstances and environments of its members during the first quarter of a century of the history of Rising Star Lodge. In the present time of rapid transit, by steam and electric cars, annihilating space and reducing towns to neighborhoods, with the modern conveniences of gas and electric lighting, we little appreciate the conditions under which our ancient Brethren lived and discharged their Masonic duties.

It was not an uncommon thing for members of the Fraternity to be compelled to either walk, or drive, long distances to attend Lodge meetings, and in heavy storms and cold weather it must have been most,discouraging and severe, and at the expense of a great many personal comforts. The furniture of the Lodge-room was rude and uncomfortable. The heating was done by wood-stove fires, and the lighting by tallow or spermaceti candles, the Brethren buying the spermaceti in quantities and moulding their own candles.

Their love for their noble Order, however, prompted them to the faithful discharge of their duties, and we find the meetings of the Lodge generously patronized.

In the matter of charity, looking after sick and indigent Brethren, their widows and orphans, or performing the funeral rites of the Order, at the request of a Brother, — these duties received their prompt and loving attention, and no opportunity to do a kindness to their fellowmen was ever overlooked or neglected. And yet, under what we should consider discouraging environments, Rising Star Lodge, through the thrift, industry and economy of its members, was in sound financial condition, with a substantial treasury, and owned some Bank stock.

The winter meetings of the Lodge were made interesting to the Brethren through lectures delivered by eminent members of the Craft on the subjects of science, astronomy, etc.; and the power and influence of the Lodge were enhanced by their frequent celebrations of the Feast of St. John, and the attendance on visitations and installations of the Lodges in the neighboring towns.

In 1827 what is known as the anti-Masonic excitement broke out. Its general history has been told many times. We will, therefore, simply say that it originated in the State of New York, having been set on foot by the disappearance of one William Morgan, of Batavia, in the autumn of 1826, who, it is said, was about to publish a book exposing the secrets of Freemasonry. The charge was made that the Masonic Fraternity were responsible for his disappearance. On this circumstance an anti-Masonic party was formed, which extended into several States and became a potent political factor in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

Probably in no town of the Commonwealth did this anti-Masonic feeling or excitement prevail to a greater extent than in the town of Stoughton. Members of the Fraternity were shunned and ostracized. Doggerel verses were composed and sung to them as they passed along the street. Even their little children were pointed out as playmates to be avoided. Ties of friendship, neighborly interest and acquaintance were ruthlessly sundered. The Masons were charged with being in league for the destruction of the Government and no longer entitled to the privileges of citizenship. These bitter and malignant feelings were carried into the town councils, and in the April town meeting of 1831 all the Masons on the jury list were thrown out as being unfitted to serve in that capacity, because of their connection with the Order. The following is the vote as it stands upon the town records: "Voted, To accept the report of the Selectmen on new list of jurymen, with the following exception: Leonard Hodges, Elijah Atherton, Benjamin Capen, Jonathan Reynolds."

Under such bitter persecution many of the Lodges, particularly those in the country towns about Boston, yielded to the force of circumstances and either surrendered their charters or omitted their meetings at intervals, until the war of bigotry had subsided. Not so the earnest, fearless and valiant Brethren of Rising Star Lodge. With consciences void of offense toward God and man, assured by the positive knowledge of their own integrity and good intentions, that no Mason had ever taken upon himself any obligation that would in the least degree improperly affect any duty he owed to God, his country, his neighbor or himself, they stood nobly for the right, with no surrender of principles, and so bequeathed to their successors an unsurrendered charter and an unsullied, full, complete and unbroken record of regular Communications of Rising Star Lodge. Patriots of social freedom! For what they did and what they endured, with truly Masonic patience, fortitude and charity, we honor them today.

The Declaration of the principles of the Freemasons of Boston and vicinity and their denial of the charges brought against them, challenging the community at large to their favorable consideration, was signed by sixty-four Masons from Stoughton, Canton and Sharon, fifty-three of whom were members of Rising Star Lodge.

No doubt many who engaged in the anti-Masonic movement were sincere and honest in their opposition, as they constituted many of the best and most prominent citizens of the town, but with the lapse of time the great majority were long ago convinced of their error, and we now find the descendants of those very men the most stanch upholders of Masonry to be found in the town of Stoughton.

We would not have you think that the Masons were without friends and supporters outside of the Fraternity, for we are proud to say they found many broad-minded, just and courageous citizens ready to stand by them, who had faith in their integrity, and having known them as moral, peaceful, honest and charitable neighbors, could not and would not believe them guilty of the ridiculous charges brought against them. Their aid, support and comfort were appreciated then, and will be remembered with gratitude by surviving Masons as long as time shall last.

During the continuance of the anti-Masonic excitement and for some time subsequent, covering the period of sixteen years, from 1830 to 1846, no Masons were made in the Lodge, but the ardor of. the Brethren was not quenched, as we find them pursuing the even tenor of their way and attending to their duties, regardless of the disturbance around them. The first Mason to receive degrees in the Lodge after the restoration of peace and confidence was George R. Walker, in February, 1846. He was born Sept. 14, 1814, in the town of Norton, Mass., and died at his home in Winnemucca, Nev., Nov. 23, 1893. He was an active, zealous Mason for nearly half a century, and was instrumental in the organizing, of several Lodges and Chapters on the Pacific coast. He was honored and respected by the general public, as well as by the members of the Fraternity.

In October, 1830, the Lodge attended in a body the laying of the Corner-stone of the Masonic Temple in Boston, located on the corner of Temple Place and Tremont Street.

The room occupied by the Lodge, from, the year 1800, with the exception of the time that they were in Canton and Sharon, was located on the northwest side of the Capen Tavern, on Pleasant Street, and was built for the Lodge by Brothers Benjamin and Abram Capen, and known as Rising Star Hall. The building was enlarged in 1831, and a room fitted up by the Lodge on the southerly, or Briclgewater, side of the building, and was known as Masons Hall. It was dedicated by the Grand Lodge, April 21, 1831. The Hall on this occasion was crowded with members of the Fraternity and their friends. After the ceremony of dedication was completed, an Address was delivered by Royal Turner, of Randolph; an excellent production, which gave great satisfaction to the Brethren and their supporters.

Nov. 18, 1847, Paul Dean, of North Easton, delivered a lecture before Rising Star Lodge, and was proposed for membership on the same date. The records show this proposition was acted upon favorably, Dec. 16, 1847. In January, 1849, the officers of the Lodge were publicly installed by R.W. Bro. Dean.

Among other important events in the history of the Lodge is their presence in a body at the depositing of the model of the monument to General Joseph Warren, Charlestown, June 24, 1845, and the dedication of his statue, June 17, 1857; also at the inauguration or dedication of Franklin's statue, Sept. 17, 1856.

The Lodge, being desirous of recognizing the services rendered by the older members, who passed through the most trying experiences in its history and had so loyally supported the principles of Masonry under discouraging and adverse conditions, on June 24, 1859, voted to procure all the portraits of those, members that could possibly be obtained, and to present the Secretary of the Lodge, Worshipful Brother Ansel Capen, with a gold pencil, which was successfully completed Sept. 15, 1859. These portraits now hang upon the walls of the Lodge, and are prized most highly by the present members.

As Masons we cannot look upon their venerable faces without being profoundly moved. They seem to speak to us from the past, conjuring us, by our Masonic vows and brotherly ties, to preserve spotless and pure the principles of true Masonry as fostered and promoted by them in the years that are passed.

Previous arrangements having been completed, Rising Star Lodge, in March, 1859, removed from Masonic Hall in the Capen Tavern, in which building they had held their meetings for fifty years, four months and thirteen days, to a new building erected by Nath. Morton for a boot factory in 1858, located in Morton Square, facing south. The large Hall in this building was occupied by Mechanic's Division, Sons of Temperance. The smaller Hall was occupied by Stoughton Lodge, 72, I. O. O. F., Mt. Zion Royal Arch Chapter and Rising Star Lodge of Masons. The first meeting was held March 17, 1859.

Dec. 23, 1862, the officers of the Lodge were publicly installed in Bethesda Hall by the Most Worshipful Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts, after which the members, accompanied by the Grand Officers and invited guests, repaired to Chemung Hall, where a banquet was served.

In March, 1863, the Lodge voted to recommend that a Dispensation be granted to Blue Hill Lodge of Masons at Canton, to whom a charter was issued March 9, 1864. The petitioners, or charter members, were composed almost entirely of Masons made in Rising Star Lodge, hence the ties that have ever existed between Rising Star and Blue. Hill Lodges partake of the paternal and filial, which are deeper and stronger than even fraternal ties can possibly be.

Paul Dean Lodge of North Easton, whose charter was granted in 1868, bears practically the same relation to Rising Star Lodge as does Blue Hill. Being our legitimate offspring, we naturally take a deep interest in their welfare and success.

Oct. 14, 1864, the Lodge attended in a body the laying of the Corner-stone of the Masonic Temple in Boston, the one partially destroyed by fire Sept. 7, 1895, located at the corner of Boylston and Tremont Streets. June 24, 1867, they also attended the dedication of the same Temple, which was a day of great and unusual importance to the Masons of Massachusetts.

Sept. 20, 1881, Rising Star Lodge participated in the union memorial services as a tribute of respect to their deceased Brother, the late President James A. Garfield.

Oct. 20, 1882, at the visitation of the District Deputy Grand Master, the Lodge, having had under consideration for some time the commutation of the Grand Lodge tax, and after listening to the earnest remarks of District Deputy Grand Master Baalis Sanford of Brockton, voted to commute their tax, and the same was carried into effect Nov. 25, 1882.

April 24, 1884, at the request of District Deputy Grand Master John H. Swain, of North Easton, the officers of the Lodge, accompanied by many of the Brethren, presented themselves at the Masonic Temple in Boston and exemplified the. work of the entered apprentice degree with credit to themselves and satisfaction to the officers of the Grand Lodge.

April 5,1885, the Lodge voted to buy the building in which the Hall they occupied was located,— Morton's Block,— and remove the same to the Drake lot, which has now come into their possession, through the decease of Worshipful Brother Simeon T. Drake and wife, who bequeathed to the Lodge the land referred to, together with house and land adjoining, as well as two smaller properties, located at the junction of Monk and Washington Streets, the whole property valued at about $5,000. The vote included not only the removal, but rebuilding and repairing, the whole expense not to exceed $2,100. The building was accordingly purchased, and moved in a southeasterly direction, 144 feet, to its present location. The rebuilding was completed, September, 1885; the total cost, including purchase, was $2,547.41. The Lodge disposed of the property at the corner of Monk and Washington Streets for $1,350, in May and June, 1885.

After considerable discussion regarding the improvement of Masonic Block, a committee appointed for the purpose submitted plans of the architects employed by them, May 9, 1889. After a thorough consideration and discussion of the several plans submitted, the one known as No. 2 was finally adopted, by a vote of the Lodge. June 13, 1889, the Lodge voted to sell the Simeon T. Drake property, known as the homestead, and the sale was reported as consummated Sept. 5, 1889. In carrying out the plan for the rebuilding and refurnishing of the building and Lodge-room, the cost of the complete changes and furnishings amounted to $9,361.

Jan. 9, 1890, the new Lodge-room was appropriately dedicated by the public installation of the officers of the Lodge by Right Worshipful Bro. Sereno D. Nickerson, Recording Grand Secretary of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts. A banquet followed, which was enjoyed by the members of the Lodge and their guests, to the number of two hundred and thirty, the largest and most successful occasion in the history of the Lodge for many years.

Among the very ancient possessions of the Lodge, which are highly prized by the members, may be found:

  • A Master's Carpet, or Masonic chart, known also as a Masonic flooring, procured by the vote of the Lodge, June 24, 1813. We believe it to be the most unique and original of anything of its kind in the country.
  • The original seal of the Lodge was made by Bro. James Beaumont in 1812, and bore the number of the Lodge, which at that time was No. 52.
  • A low-twelve glass bell was presented the Lodge by Bro. Isaac Copeland, May 14, 1814.
  • Sept. 25, 1817, Bro. James Beaumont, in behalf of Bro. Capt. John Williams, presented the Lodge with two elegant

Masonic pitchers, which were made to his order in England. One of these pitchers was lost during the time the Lodge held its meetings at Cobb's Tavern, Sharon, in 1817, and was restored to the Lodge by Mr. Warren Cobb, of Sharon, who discovered it at the tavern, in July, 1871, after it had been missing for fifty-four years.

  • The ancient Bible, borne in the public processions of the Lodge, was presented by Bro. Jonathan Wales, Dec. 10, 1818.
  • The rough and perfect blocks of ashlar were .presented to the Lodge by Bro. Azel Capen, Oct. 14, 1832.
  • The Masonic chart or Master's Carpet, now in use in the Lodge, was procured in June, 1858.
  • The collection of portraits of the early members of the Lodge, to which reference has already been made, were procured in September, 1859.
  • A Tyler's sword was presented, June 29, 1863, by Abram Bromade, of King Solomon's Lodge, Charlestown.
  • The large Bible used on the altar of the Lodge was procured April 2, 1863.
  • A picture of Washington opening a Masonic Lodge was presented by Bro. C. A. Southworth in 1871.

A recent acquisition, through Bro. Enos Reynolds, of Brockton, is the Masonic apron formerly worn by our Right Worshipful Brother, General Elijah Crane. Madame Lafayette, seeking to make the most acceptable present to her husband's friend, General Washington, wrought a Masonic apron. This gift was cherished by Washington, and after his death was presented to the Washington Benevolent Society of Philadelphia, and is now considered most precious by that Society, so we in our modest way cherish this apron worn by Brother Crane as a most valuable heirloom.

At the time of the institution of the District system by the Grand Lodge in 1801, Rising Star Lodge was included in the Fourth Masonic District; in 1835 was changed to the Fifth; in 1867 to the Thirteenth; in October, 1880, to the Nineteenth; in December, 1882, it was changed to the present Masonic District, Twenty-two.

The Lodge has been recognized in the appointment of District Deputy Grand Masters as follows:.

  • 1815, Dr. Peter Adams.
  • 1820, General Elijah Crane.
  • 1825, Thomas Tolman.
  • 1835, Elijah Atherton,
  • 1837, Lemuel Gay.
  • 1845, Samuel Chandler.
  • 1849, Paul Dean.
  • 1866, Jonathan R. Gay.
  • 1868, J. Mason Everett.
  • 1888, George F. Walker.
  • 1896, Ira F. Burnham.

Right Worshipful Bro. [http://masonicgenealogy.com/MediaWiki/index.php?title=MAGLGWalker George F. Walker was also elected Senior Grand Warden of the Grand Lodge in 1894.

From the date of the charter to the present time the Lodge has held one thousand one hundred and twenty-seven regular and three hundred and forty-one special meetings. They have celebrated the feast of St. John, either in Stoughton or neighboring towns or cities, on fifteen occasions. They have performed the Masonic burial service at fifty-one Masonic funerals. From the date of the charter to the present time three hundred and fifty-nine Masons have signed the By-laws of the Lodge and become members.

The office of Secretary has been filled by twenty-nine Brethren, notably among whom are Worshipful Bro. Ansel Capen, who served twenty-four years as Regular Secretary, and, becoming impaired by age, the office of Corresponding Secretary was created. This office was filled by him for seven years. Bro. Leonard A. Thayer has served the Lodge as Secretary twenty-nine years, and has just been elected for the thirtieth consecutive year.

Forty-three members have had the distinction and honor of serving as Worshipful Masters of the Lodge, fourteen of whom are living at the present time.

The officers and members of the Lodge have comprised the leading business men and most influential citizens in the community. In patriotism they have not been lacking. In the Civil War, when the life of the Nation was in danger, representative members entered the ranks to battle for union and equality, and to offer up their lives, if need be, that the Nation might live.

On the Roll of Honor may be found the following names :

  • Bro. George Wendell Dutton. Enlisted, April, 1861, as Captain of Company K, Ninth Regiment, Massachusetts Infantry Volunteers. He participated in twenty-two of the principal battles of the war; was wounded in July, 1862, and conveyed to the Epiphany Hospital in Washington; rejoined his regiment at Fredericksburg, and was promoted to Major, Aug. 26, 1862 ; was Military Superintendent of Old Capitol Prison, Washington, D.C., in 1865, and had charge of the conspirators concerned in the assassination of President Lincoln. At the time of his discharge in 1866 he was Brevet Lieutenant

Colonel.

  • Bro. F. A. Richardson. Enlisted in August, 1861, in the First Regiment Massachusetts Cavalry; was discharged for disability in 1864. He served with credit both in the ranks and in a clerical capacity.
  • Bro. Leonard A. Thayer. Enlisted September, 1862, in Company D, Fourth Regiment, Massachusetts Volunteers. He participated in the battle of Port Hudson, and was present at the surrender of that place, in 1863.
  • Bro. John A. Bowdlear. Entered the service as private, in April, 1862, in the Thirty-second Massachusetts Infantry Volunteers; was wounded Feb. 6, 1865. He participated in twenty-eight principal battles; was discharged February, 1865, having risen from private to Captain of his Company.
  • Bro. John B. Whitman. Enlisted April, 1861, in Company I, Twelfth Regiment, Massachusetts Infantry Volunteers, as Sergeant; was promoted for bravery, and was Captain.of the Company at the time of his discharge in 1864.
  • Bro. George O. Wentworth. Entered the service in October, 1864, in Company F, Thirteenth Regiment, Iowa Infantry; was in the battle of Nashville, Tenn.; also at Raleigh, N.C., at the time of Johnson's surrender.
  • Bro. Henry H. Waugh. Enlisted April, 1861, as Sergeant, Company 1, Twelfth Regiment, Massachusetts Infantry; reenlisted in July, 1864, in Company C, Fifth Regiment, Massachusetts Infantry, as Sergeant.
  • Bro. David T. Ward was a veteran of the Mexican War. Enlisted in September, 1862, as Sergeant, Company A, Fourth Regiment, Infantry Volunteers, and served with distinction.
  • Rev. Bro. A. St. John Chambre. Entered the service as Chaplain, First Regiment, Infantry, Newark,. N. J. ; participated in the battle of Bull Run, and all the battles of the Peninsula.

Samuel L. Crane. Enlisted in September, 1862, Company K, Forty-third Regiment, Infantry.

  • Bro. James H. May. Enlisted August, 1864, Company I, Fourth Regiment, Heavy Artillery.
  • Bro. Edgar N. Lane. Enlisted August, 1864, Twenty-ninth Unattached Company, Heavy Artillery.
  • Bro. Horace M. Porter. Enlisted August, 1864, Twenty-third Unattached Company of Infantry.
  • Bro. Jedediah M. Bird. Enlisted April, 1861, as First Sergeant, Company A, Fourth Regular Infantry. W,as taken prisoner at Fort Buchanan.
  • Bro. and Dr. Isaac H. Stearns. Enlisted as Surgeon, October, 1862, Twenty-second Regiment, Infantry.
  • Bro. Persons Bartlett. Enlisted August, 1862, Company E, Thirty-fifth Regiment, Infantry. Was wounded at Antietam.
  • Bro. Charles A. Sampson. Enlisted as landsman on the Colorado.
  • Bro. Charles E. Stone. Enlisted August, 1864, Twenty-third Unattached Company, Infantry.
  • Bro. Henry E. Strout. Enlisted September, 1862, Company K, Fourth Regiment, Infantry.

The war record of these worthy Brethren we recall to-day with satisfaction and patriotic pride.

The charity of the Lodge from its first meeting has been wide and extensive. Financial reports show that in many instances twenty per cent of the entire expenses comprised charitable donations. No deserving Brother, widow Or orphan ever applied in vain for relief or assistance. Nor has their charity been confined to the members of the Lodge alone. Many instances of the thoughtfulness of the members of the Lodge is testified to by grateful hearts, and in this and many other respects has Rising Star Lodge proved itself a blessing to its members and the community.

This, in brief, is the history of Rising Star Lodge of Masons. However it may appeal to others, to the Fraternity, and especially the members of the Lodge, its untarnished record.of one hundred years of usefulness in the active duties of true Masonry fills the heart with just and pardonable pride.

We appreciate the sterling integrity of the men who founded this Lodge, whose characters are indelibly stamped into the. history of the town of Stoughton, and who were so instrumental in shaping not only its growth and progress, but the location of its business centre. We also realize the responsibility that rests upon us at the present time to preserve the ancient landmarks of Masonry and to transmit their glorious history unimpaired to our successors of future generations. We remember that, no institution can be made great or preserve greatness by a mere declaration of principles, but must be made great and maintain its greatness by the unselfish, zealous deeds of those who compose it.

We are taught in our ritual that truth is a divine attribute, and the foundation of every virtue. Let us, then, be true to our country, true to the community in which we live, true to our Lodge, true to the memory of its founders, and true to ourselves. May our Lodge remain in the firmament of Masonry a beacon light to guide humanity to higher and nobler aims in life, and may it prove true to its history of the past and be to future ages ever a RISING STAR!

125TH ANNIVERSARY HISTORY, DECEMBER 1924

From Proceedings, Page 1924-655:

By Right Worshipful Ira F. Burnham.

The Constitution of Rising Star Lodge took place in the old First Parish Universalist Church.

In a building a little to the right its first meeting was held, while in a hall located a little to the left the Lodge held its meetings for upwards of half a century.

In the preface to a book of poems by that distinguished writer, Oliver Wendell Holmes, may be found these lines:

"Deal gently with us, ye who read,
Our largest hope is unfulfilled,
The promise still outruns the deed,
The tower, but not the spire we build.

"Our whitest pearls we never find,
Our ripest fruit we never reach,
The flowering moments of our mind,
Drop half their petals, in our speech."

In reciting the history of Rising Star Lodge, we fully appreciate the sentiment expressed in these lines, for strive as we may to do justice to its honorable record of one hundred and twenty-five years, we fear it will be

"The tower, but not the spire, we build."

We do not propose to discuss the origin or antiquity of Freemasonry, but we believe, however, that its spirit was in the mind and conscience of men from the early days of civilization. From its first institution it has grown in strength, influence, and numbers, until it is now impossible to find a civilized country on the face of the globe, where members of the Crafl are nor to be found in goodly numbers.

To Massachusetts belongs the honor of firsl introducing Freemasonry into America.

April 30, 1733, the Grand Lodge of England granted a commission to establish St. John's Grand Lodge, of Boston. May 30, 1769, the Grand Lodge of Scotland, granted a commission to the Massachusetts Grand Lodge, also at Boston. These two bodies were united into one Grand Lodge, June 19, 1792.

The earliest authentic Masonic record referring to Rising Star Lodge is the presentation to the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts, May 11, 1799, of a petition signed by Abram Capen and others of Stoughton, praying for a charter to hold a Lodge in thai town. This petition was referred over to the following Quarterly Communication. The committee having under consideration the expediency of discontinuing the granting of Charters to new Lodges, made a favorable report, which was unanimously adopted.

At the Quarterly Communication of the Grand Lodge held December 9. IT'.)'.), a committee, having been previously appointed to reconsider this vote, reported that this policy be generally adhered to, but they also recommended the dispensation of it, in so far as the petitioners from the town of Stoughton (for reasons set forth in representation accompanying report) be erected into a Lodge, by the name of Rising Star Lodge, and that a Charter be granted to them. The Charter was received by the petitioners, December 10, 1799, signed by

The names of the petitioners appearing on the charter, Are as follows:

  • Peter Adams
  • Joseph Richards
  • Abram Capen
  • William Capen
  • John Atherton, Jr.
  • Benjamin Capen
  • Nathan Gill
  • David Wadsworth
  • Amos Upham
  • Consider Southworth

Peter Adams was one of the first resident physicians of what is now the town of Stoughton. He was the son of Rev. Jedediah Adams, one of the early ministers of the town, who held his pastorate for nearly fifty years, a man of high character, and learning. Dr. Peter Adams was a graduate of Harvard University. He attained a high reputation as a physician, and possessed the confidence and esteem of his fellow men. All the petitioners whose names appeared upon the Charter of the Lodge were men of distinction in the community, nearly all of them holding positions of public trust and honor.

The first meeting or communication held under the Charter of Rising Star Lodge occurred January 9. 1800, at the house of Lemuel Drake, which was located a1 what is now the beginning of Freeman Street, partially facing Wyman Street, and was known as Drake's Hall. The building in later years, was known as the old Austin house. It may be of interest to know that it was in the same house that the first Catholic Church Society meeting' was held.

At the first communication of the Lodge, the following officers were elected :

  • Peter Adams, Worshipful Master
  • Benjamin Capen, Senior Warden
  • Joseph Richards, Junior Warden
  • Nathan Gill, Treasurer
  • Abram Capen, Secretary
  • David Wadsworth, Senior Deacon
  • William Capen, Junior Deacon
  • Amos Upham, First Steward
  • John Atherton, Second Steward

The Lodge was successful from the very beginning of its career, receiving many applications for degrees and making many Masons, observing, however, due care as to the character of the applicants, as testified to by the rejection. according to the records, of those considered unworthy.

The first candidates to receive degrees in the Lodge were Elijah Belcher and Major Robert Swan.

During the first year of the existence of the Lodge fifteen Masons were raised, twelve of whom became members of the Lodge.

The first public appearance of Rising Star Lodge occurred February 22, 1800, the anniversary of the birthday of George Washington. The records state, "The Lodge, with a number of visiting Brethren, walked out of the hall and joined a procession of militia and schoolboys, which was then formed, in order to pay funeral honors to the memory of our late Worshipful Brother George Washington, late general of the Armies of America. The procession moved from the meeting house to the burying place, and back again, moving in order in the meeting house (the old First Parish Church), where Rev. Mr. Richmond delivered an oration suitable to the occasion. The Brethren then walked from the meeting house into the Hall, and sang several funeral anthems."

The Lodge continued to hold its meetings in the house of Lemuel Drake, until December 25, 1800, when it removed to a hall in the tavern of Benjamin and Abram Capen, located at the junction of Pleasant and Park Sts., known at that time as Rising Star Hall.

The Lodge was even at this early period particular that all its members should be well versed in Masonry, hence we find that February 26, 1801, the Lodge voted to raise no candidate who was not proficient and well versed in the Lectures.

In the First Parish Church occurred the Constitution and public installation of the officers of Rising Star Lodge, Wednesday, October 21, 1801, and in all probability this was the grandest occasion the town of Stoughton had ever witnessed within its borders up to that time. The officers of the Grand Lodge were present, and included such well known and illustrious names as Samuel Dunn, Most Worshipful Grand Master, Paul Revere, Joseph Revere, Benjamin Russell, and others.

From the records we learn, "The Lodge proceeded to the meeting house, after taking a circular march, attended by an excellent band of music, where a sermon was delivered by Rev. Mr. Richmond, after which the Lodge was publicly installed in Ample form. The procession then moved from the meeting house to the hall, and there partook of an elegant dinner, a number of toasts were drunk; and a few entertaining songs were sung."

The Lodge from its earliest days endeavored to have its members conduct themselves in accordance with the teachings of the Institution, accordingly, under date of September 9, 1802, we find by the records the Lodge demanding from one of its members public acknowledgment of his wrong doing and asking of pardon for his offense. The following year, 1803, two members were expelled for conduct unbecoming Masons.

The first death among the members of the Lodge occurred in October, 1803. On the 27th day of that month the Brethren assembled at the house of William Blanchard. in East Stoughton, now Avon, and proceeded to the Baptist Church in Randolph, thence to the burial place, where for the first time Rising Star Lodge performed the beautiful and sublime burial service of our Order over the remains of their late Brother Joseph Richards, who was one of the original petitioners for the Charter, and first Junior Warden of the Lodge. A faithful, exemplary member of the Order, whose life had been an ornament to Masonry.

The first quarterages or dues was voted December 13, 1804, as follows: "All members living within fifteen miles of the place where the Lodge holds its stated meetings, shall be charged with 50 cents each quarter, they being absent notwithstanding."

A lining those who were associated with the early history of Rising Star Lodge may be found many familiar family names the descendants of whom still reside in this immediate vicinity. Adams. Southworth, Drake, Capen, Talbot, Dunbar. Upham, Swan, Wales, Huntoon, and John Atherton. Jr. Elijah Atherton was one of the first resident justices of the peace of what is now the town of Stoughton.

Another illustrious member of the Lodge was Gen. Elijah Crane, of Canton, who was made a Mason in Rising Star Lodge June 26, 1804. He was elected as proxy to the Grand Lodge, November 15, 1804: was elected Master of Rising Star Lodge December 1, 180S. and served three years; was re-elected Master November 12, 1818, and served to April 27, 1820, at which time he was appointed District Deputy Grand Master by the Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts. He afterwards achieved the high honor of election as Grand Master of Masons in Massachusetts in 1832, and served for the year 1833. Elijah Crane was born in Milton, Mass., August 29, 1754, and died in Canton, March 21. 1834. He was a descendant in the fifth generation from Henry Crane who was one of the colony which emigrated from Great Britain under John Winthrop and settled in Dorchester in 1630. He was a man of large, erect stature, well developed form, and graceful carriage. He always took deep interest in military affairs, and attained the high position of Major General of the First Division of Militia of Massachusetts. In politics he was a Federalist, and was liberal in his religious views.

He was Sheriff of Norfolk County about twenty years, and was employed to a large extent on public work, he being among the first to develop the granite quarries in this vicinity. He was a man of impartial and sound judgment with a rigid adherence to the right, and was frequently sought as arbitrator by his neighbors and townsmen.

St. John's Day, June 24, 1809, was celebrated by Rising Star Lodge. They marched to the Meeting House (First Parish Church), where an able oration was delivered by Brother William Dunbar, of Canton. The choir of the church performed some very excellent music. The exercises being ended, the Lodge with guests repaired to the open field nearly opposite the meeting house, on the spot where now stand the houses occupied by Mr. Fred Savels and Mr. Henry Fitzpatrick. Here beneath a large tent spread for the occasion a banquet was served, toasts drunk, and after dinner speaking enjoyed.

The Lodge during this time continued to grow in numbers, receiving many members from Canton and Sharon, to which its jurisdiction then extended. In 1810 the large numbers of Masons made from these two towns enabled them to outvote the Stoughton members. After two years of agitation they finally decided to remove the Lodge to Canton. Accordingly, March 15, 1810, Rising Star Lodge held its communication, in Canton, at the house of Amos Upham, nearly opposite the residence of George Leonard, at Canton Corner. After holding its meetings at this place but a few years the question of another removal was raised, and on March 3, 1814, the Lodge voted to change its place of meeting to Sharon. Under date of July 28, 1814. they held their first meeting in that town, at the house of John Savels.

May 20, 1815, the Lodge voted to change again its place of meeting, this time to the house of Jonathan Cobb, located in the town of Sharon, and known as Cobb's Tavern. Meetings were held at this place commencing September 14. 1815.

The question of removal back to Stoughton, however, was soon discussed. August 20, 1817, a committee was appointed to consider the matter. September 25, 1817, the Lodge voted to remove to Stoughton, and after an absence of seven years and nine and a half months the regular meeting of January 22, 1818, was held in Rising Star Hall, Stoughton, where they continued to hold their regular meetings until April 21, 1831.

June 17, 1825, the Lodge attended in a body the laying of the corner-stone of the Bunker Hill Monument, taking carriages, and riding over the road from Stoughton to Boston. This was a great and important event, particularly to the members of the Masonic Fraternity. General Lafayette, the friend of Washington, was present on that occasion. The enthusiasm with which he was greeted by his brother Masons; the dignified ceremonies of the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge; the eloquence of the orators; the lofty triumphal arch erected by the Masonic Brethren, bearing the legend. "The arts pay homage to valor," so impressed our ancient Brethren that, returning to their homes, they evermore cherished recollect ions of a day never to be forgotten.

July, 1825, the Lodge attended the laying of the cornerstone of the courthouse at Dedham.

During this first quarter of a century of the history of Rising Star Lodge it would be well for us to consider the circumstances and environments of its members. In the present time of rapid transit by steam and electric cars, annihilating space and reducing towns to neighborhoods, with the modern conveniences of gas and electric lighting we little appreciate the conditions under which our ancient Bi-ethren lived and discharged their Masonic duties.

It was not an uncommon thing for members of the Fraternity to be compelled either to walk or drive long distances, to attend Lodge meetings, and in heavy storms and cold weather it must have been most discouraging and severe and at the expense of a great many personal comforts. The furniture of the Lodge-room was rude and uncomfortable. The heating was done by wood stove fires, and the lighting by tallow or spermaceti candles, the Brethren buying the spermaceti in quantities and molding their own candles. Their love for their noble Order, however, prompted them to the faithful discharge of their duties, and we find the meetings of the Lodge generously patronized.

In the matter of charity, looking after sick and indigent Brethren, their widows and orphans, or performing the funeral rites of the Order at the request of a Brother, these matters received their prompt and loving attention, and no opportunity to do a kindness to their fellow man was ever overlooked or neglected. And yet, under what we would consider discouraging environments, Rising Star Lodge, through the thrift, industry, and economy of its members, was in sound financial condition, with a substantial treasury, and owning some bank stocks.

The winter meetings of the Lodge were made interesting to the Brethren through lectures delivered by eminent members of the Craft on the interesting subjects of science, astronomy, etc., while the power and influence of the Lodge was enhanced by frequent celebrations of the feast of St. John, and by attendance on visitations and installations of the Lodges in the neighboring towns.

In 1827, what is known as the anti-Masonic excitement broke out. Its general history has been told many times. We will, therefore, simply say that it originated in the state of New York, having been set on foot by the disappearance of one William Morgan, of Batavia, in the autumn of 1826, who it was said was about to publish a book exposing the secrets of Freemasonry. The charge was made that the Masonic Fraternity was responsible for his disappearance. On this circumstance an anti-Masonic party was formed, which extended into several states, and became a potent political factor in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

Probably in no town of the Commonwealth did this anti-Masonic reeling or excitement prevail to a greater extent than in the town of Stoughton. Members of the Fraternity were shunned and ostracized. Doggerel verses were composed, and sung to them as they passed along the street. Even their little children were pointed out as playmates to be avoided. Ties of friendship, neighborly interest, and acquaintance were ruthlessly sundered. They were charged with being in league for the destruction of the government, and no longer entitled to the privileges of citizenship.

These bitter and malignant feelings were earned into the town councils and in the April town meeting of 1831 all the Masons on the jury list were thrown out as being unfitted to serve in that capacity because of their connection with the Order. The following is the vote as it stands upon the town records: Voted "To accept the report of the Selectmen on new list of Jurymen, with the following exception: Leonard Hodges, Benjamin Capen, Elijah Atherton, Jonathan Reynolds."

Under such bitter persecution, many of the Lodges, particularly those in the country towns about Boston, yielded to the force of circumstances, and either surrendered their Charters or omitted their meetings at intervals until the war of bigotry had subsided. Not so the earnest, fearless, and valiant Brethren of Rising Star Lodge. With consciences void of offense toward God and man, assured by the positive knowledge of their own integrity and good intentions, that no Mason had ever taken upon himself any obligation that would in the least degree improperly affect any duty he owed to God, his country, his neighbor, or himself, they stood nobly for the right, with no surrender iif principles, and so bequeathed to their successors an unsurrendered Charter, and an unsullied, full, complete, and unbroken record of regular communications of Rising Star Lodge. Patriots of social freedom, for what they did and what they endured, with truly Masonic patience, fortitude, and charity, we honor them today.

The declaration of the principles of the Freemasons of Boston and vicinity, and their denial of the charges brought against them, challenging the community at large to their favorable consideration, was signed by sixty-four Masons from Stoughton, Canton, and Sharon, fifty-three of whom were members of Rising Star Lodge.

No doubt many who engaged in the anti-Masonic movement were sincere and honest in their opposition, as they constituted many of the best and most prominent citizens of the town, but with the lapse of time the great majority were long ago convinced of their error, and we now find the descendants of those very men the most staunch upholders of .Masonry 1o be found in the town of Stoughton.

We would not have you think that the Masons were without friends and supporters outside of the Fraternity, for we are proud to say that they found many broadminded, just, and courageous citizens ready to stand by them, who had faith in their integrity and having known them as moral, peaceful, honest, and charitable neighbors, could not and would not believe them guilty of the ridiculous charges brought against them; whose aid, support and comfort was appreciated then, and will be remembered with gratitude by surviving Masons as long as time shall last.

During the reign of the anti-Masonic excitement referred to, and for some time subsequent, covering the period of sixteen years, from 1830 to 1846, no Masons were made in the Lodge, but the ardor Oo the Brethren was not quenched, as we And them pursuing the even tenor of their ways, and attending to their duties, regardless of the disturbance of the social elements.

The first Mason to receive degrees in the Lodge after the restoration of peace and confidence was George R. Walker, in February, 1846. He was born September 14. 1814, in the town of Norton, Mass, and died at his home in Winnemucca, New, November. 1893. He was an active, zealous Mason for nearly half a century, and was instrumental in the organizing of several Lodges and Chapters on the Pacific coast. He was honored and respected and held in high esteem by the general public as well as by the members of the Fraternity.

In October, 1830. the Lodge attended in a body the laying of the Corner-stone of the Masonic Temple in Boston, located on the corner of Temple Place and Tremont Street.

The room occupied by the Lodge from the year 1800. with the exception of the time that they were in Canton and Sharon, was located on the northwest side of the Capen Tavern on Pleasant Street, and was built for the Lodge by Brothers Benjamin and Abram Capen. and known as Rising Star Hall. The building was enlarged in 1831 and a room fitted up by the Lodge on the southerly or Bridgewater side of the building, was known as .Masons' Hall. It was dedicated by the Grand Lodge April 21. 1831. The Hall on this occasion was crowded with members of the fraternity and their friends. After the ceremony of dedication was completed, an address was delivered by Royal Turner, of Randolph, an excellent production which gave great satisfaction to the Brethren and their supporters.

November 18, 1847. Paul Dean, of North Easton, delivered a lecture before Rising Star Lodge, and was proposed for membership on the same date. The records show that this proposition was acted upon favorably December 16. 1847. In January, 1849, the officers of the Lodge weir publicly installed by him.

Among other important events in the history of the Lodge is their presence in a body at the opening of the model of the monument to General Joseph Warren, Boston, January, 1845, and the dedication of the monument itself. June 17, 1857.

The Lodge also attended the inauguration or dedication of Franklin's statue, .September 17, 1856.

The Lodge, desirous of recognizing the services rendered by the older members who passed through the most trying experiences in its history, and had so loyally supported the principles of Masonry under discouraging and adverse conditions, on June 24, 1859, voted to procure the portraits or pictures of all that could possibly be obtained, and to present the Secretary of the Lodge, Worshipful Brother Ansel Capen, with a gold pencil, which was successfully completed and accomplished, September 17, 1859. These pictures now hang upon the walls of the Lodge and are prized most highly by its present members.

As Masons, we cannot look upon their venerable faces as they gaze out at us from their frames without being profoundly moved. They seem to speak to us from the past, conjuring us by our Masonic vows and brotherly ties in preserve spotless and pure the principles of true Masonry as fostered and promoted by them in the years that are past and gone.

Previous arrangements having been completed, Rising' Star Lodge, in March, 1859, removed from Masonic Hall in the Capen Tavern, in which building they had held their meetings for fifty years, four months, and thirteen days, to a new building erected by Nath. Morton for a boot factory in 1858, located in Morton Square, facing south. The large hall in this building was occupied by Mechanics Division, Sous of Temperance. The smaller hall was occupied by Stoughton Lodge No. 72, I. O. O. F., Mt, Zion Royal Arch Chapler, and Rising Star Lodge of Masons. The first meeting was held March 17, 1859.

December 23, 1862, the officers of the Lodge were publicly installed in Bethesda Hall by the Most Worshipful Grand Master of Masons in Massachusetts, after which the members accompanied by the Grand Officers and invited guests repaired to Chemung Hall where a banquet was served.

In March, 1863, the Lodge voted to recommend a Dispensation be granted Blue Hill Lodge of Masons at Canton, to whom a Charter was granted March 9, 1864. The petitioners, or Charter members, were composed almost entirely of Masons made in Rising Star Lodge, hence the ties that have ever existed between Rising Star and Blue Hill Lodges partake of the parental and filial, which are deeper and stronger than even fraternal lies can possibly be.

Paul Dean Lodge, of North Easton, whose Charter was granted in 1868, bears practically the same relation to Rising Star Lodge as does Blue Hill: being one of our legitimate offspring, we naturally take a deep interest in its welfare and success.

October 14, 1864, the Lodge attended in a body the laying of the corner-stone of the Masonic Temple in Boston, the one partially destroyed by fire September 7, 1895, located at the corner of Boylston and Tremont Streets.

June 24, 1867, they also attended the Dedication of the same Temple, which was a day of great and unusual importance to the Masons of Massachusetts.

October 16, 1878, the officers of Rising Star Lodge, accompanied by a delegation of its members, were present at the Masonic Temple in Boston, at the request of the District Deputy Grand Master, Frederick D. Ely, of Dedham, for the purpose of exemplifying the work of the Entered Apprentice degree. After performing the work of the degree, remarks highly complimentary were made by the Grand Lecturer, who stated the work was as near perfection as it was possible for a Lodge to attain.

September 20, 1881, Rising Star Lodge participated in the union memorial services as a tribute of respect to their deceased Brother the late President James A. Garfield, held in the Universalist Church.

October 20, 1882, at the visitation of the District Deputy Grand Master, the Lodge, having had under consideration for some time the commutation of the Grand Lodge tax. after listening to the earnest remarks of District Deputy Grand Master Baalis Sanford, of Brockton, voted to commute their tax, and the same was carried into effect November 25, 1882.

April 24, 1884, at the request of District Deputy Grand Master John H. Swain, of North Easton, the officers of the Lodge, accompanied by many of the Brethren, presented themselves at the Masonic Temple in Boston and exemplified the work of the Entered Apprentice degree with credit to themselves and satisfaction of the officers of the Grand Lodge.

April 5, 1885, the Lodge voted to buy the building in which the hall they occupied was located, Morton's Block, and remove the same to the Drake lot, which had now come into their possession through the decease of Worshipful Brother Simeon T. Drake and wife, who transferred to the Lodge the land referred to together with house and land adjoining, as well as two smaller properties located at the junction of Monk and Washington Streets, the whole property valued at about $5,000.00. The vote included not only the removal but also rebuilding and repairing, the whole expense not to exceed $2,100.00. The building was accordingly purchased and moved in an easterly direction one hundred and forty-four feet, to its present location. The rebuilding was completed. September, 1881; the total cost, including purchase, was $2,547.41.

The Lodge disposed of the property at the corner of Monk and Washington Streets for $1,350.00 in May and June, 1885.

After considerable discussion regarding the improvement of Masonic Block, a committee having been appointed for the purpose submitted plans of the architect employed by them, May 8, 1889. After a thorough consideration and discussion of the several plans submitted the one known as No. 2 was finally adopted by a vote of the Lodge.

June 13, 1889, the Lodge voted to sell the Simeon T. Drake property known as the homestead, and the sale was reported consummated September 5, 1889.

In carrying out the plans for the rebuilding and refurnishing of the building and Lodge-room the cost of the complete changes and furnishings amounted to $9,361.00. January 9, 1890, the new Lodge-room was appropriately Dedicated by the public installation of the officers of the Lodge by Right Worshipful Brother Sereno D. Nickerson, Grand Secretary of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts.

A banquet followed, which was enjoyed by the members of the Lodge and their guests to the number of two hundred and thirty, the largest and most successful occasion in the history of the Lodge for many years.

Among the very ancient possessions of the Lodge which are highly prized by the members may be found a Master's carpet or Masonic chart known also as a Masonic flooring, procured by the vote of the Lodge, June 24, 1813. We believe it to be the most unique and original of anything of its kind in the country.

The original seal of the Lodge was made by Brother James Beaumont in 1812, and bore the number of the Lodge, which at that time was No. 52.

A low twelve glass bel] was presented the Lodge by Brother Isaac Copeland, May 14, 1814.

September 25, 1817. Brother James Beaumont, in behalf of Brother Captain John Williams, presented the Lodge two elegant Masonic pitchers which were made to his order in England. One of these pitchers was lost during the time the Lodge held its meetings at Cobb's Tavern, Sharon, in 1817, and was restored to the Lodge by Mr. Warren Cobb, of Sharon, who discovered it at the Tavern in July, 1871. after an absence of fifty-four years.

The ancient Bible borne in the public processions of the Lodge was presented by Brother Jonathan Wales, December 10, 1818.

The rough and perfect blocks of Ashler were presented to the Lodge by Brother Azel Capen, October 14. 1832.

The Masonic Chart or Master's carpet now in use in the Lodge was procured in June, 1858.

The collection of pictures of the older members of the Lodge, to which reference has already been made, was procured in September, 1859.

A Tyler's sword was presented June 29, 1863, by Abram Bromade of King Solomon's Lodge, Charlestown.

The large Bible used on the altar of the Lodge was procured April 2, 1863.

A picture of Washington opening a Masonic Lodge was presented by C. A. Southworth in 1871.

A recent acquisition, through Brother Enos Reynolds, of Brockton, is the personal Masonic apron formerly worn by our ancient Worshipful Brother, General Elijah Crane.

Madam Lafayette, seeking to make the most acceptable present to her husband's friend, General Washington, wrought a Masonic apron. This gift was cherished by Washington and after his death was presented to the Washington Benevolent Society of Philadelphia, and is now considered most precious by that Society, so we in our modest way cherish this apron worn by Most Worshipful Brother Crane as a most valuable heirloom.

At the time of the institution of the district system by the Grand Lodge in 1801, Rising Star Lodge was incorporated in the Fourth Masonic District. In 1835 was changed to the Fifth; in 1867 to the Thirteenth; in 1880 to the Nineteenth. In 1882 it was changed to the Twenty-second and later to the present, Twenty-fifth Masonic District.

The Lodge has been recognized and honored in the appointment of District Deputy Grand Masters, as follows:

  • 1816. Dr. Peter Adams
  • 1820. Elijah Crane
  • 1825, Thomas Tolman
  • 1833, Elijah Atherton
  • 1838. Lemuel Gay
  • 1844, Samuel Chandler
  • 1849, Paul Dean
  • 1866, Jonathan R. Gay
  • 1888, George F. Walker
  • 1896, Ira F. Burnham
  • 1907, Oscar A. Harden

Right Worshipful Brother George F. Walker was also elected Senior Grand Warden of the Grand Lodge in 1893.

From the date of the Charter to December, 1899, the Lodge has held 1127 Regular and 341 Special Meetings. They have celebrated the feast of St. John, either in Stoughton or neighboring towns or cities, on sixteen occasions. They have performed the Masonic burial service at fifty-one Masonic funerals. During the same period. 359 Masons have signed the By-Laws of the Lodge, and become members.

The office of Secretary has been filled by twenty-nine Brethren, notable among whom was Worshipful Brother Ansel Capen, who served twenty-four years as regular Secretary, and on his health becoming impaired by age the office of Corresponding Secretary was created for him. This office lie occupied for seven years.

Brother Leonard A. Thayer served the Lodge as Secretary thirty years. Worshipful Brother George F. Walker served us Marsha] for twenty-three years. Fifty-five members have had the distinction and honor of serving as Worshipful Master of the Lodge.

The officers and members of the Lodge during its history have comprised the leading business men and most influential citizens in the community.

In patriotism they have not been lacking. In the Civil War, when the life of the nation was in danger, representative members entered the ranks to battle for union and equality, and to offer up their lives, if need be, that the nation might live.

Twenty members constituted the Roll of Honor, notable among whom was Brother George Wendall Dutton. He enlisted April, 1861, as captain of Company K, 9th Regiment Massachusetts Infantry Volunteers. He participated in twenty-two of the principal battles of the war; was wounded in July, 1862. He rejoined his regiment at Fredericksburg, and was promoted to Major, August 26, 1862. Was military superintendent of Old Capitol Prison, Washington, D. ('.. in 1865, and had charge of the conspirators concerned in the assassination of President Lincoln. At the time of his discharge in 1866, was brevet lieutenant-colonel.

  • Brother George W. Pratt. Enlisted September, 1862,. mustered out of service July 30, 1863. He has been a most faithful town officer for a period of twenty-two years. Was state Department Commander of the G.A.R. in 1923. Has rendered invaluable service in research work, and is of the highest authority on the history and records of all the soldiers from Stoughton participating in the different wars of the nation.

Brother F. A. Richardson. Enlisted in August, 1861, in the 1st Regiment Massachusetts Cavalry. Was discharged for disability in 1864. He served with credit both in the ranks and in a clerical capacity.

  • Brother Leonard A. Thayer. Enlisted September, 1862, in Company D, 4th Regiment Massachusetts Volunteers. He participated in the battle of Port Hudson and was present at the surrender of that place in 1863.
  • Brother John A. Bowldear. Entered the service as private in April, 1862, in the 32d Massachusetts Infantry Volunteers; was wounded February 6. 1865. He participated in twenty-eight principal battles. Was discharged February, 1865, having risen from private to captain of his company.
  • Brother Jonathan B. Whitman. Enlisted April, 1861. in Company I, 12th Regiment Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry, as sergeant. Was promoted for bravery, and was captain of the company at the time of his discharge in 1864.
  • Brother George O. Wentworth. Entered the service in October, 1864, in Company F, 13th Regiment Iowa Infantry. Was in the battle of Nashville. Term. Also at Raleigh, N. C, at the time of Johnston's surrender.
  • Brother Henry H. Waugh. Enlisted April, 1861. as sergeant, in Company I, 12th Regiment Massachusetts Infantry. Re-enlisted in July, 1864. in Company C, 5th Regiment Massachusetts Infantry, as sergeant.
  • David T. Ward was a veteran of the Mexican War. Enlisted in September, 1862, as Sergeant, Company A, 4th Regiment Infantry Volunteers, and served with distinction.
  • Rev. Brother A. St. John Chambre. Entered the Service as Chaplain, 1st Regiment Infantry, Newark, N. J. Participated in the battle of Bull Run, and all the battles of the peninsula.
  • Brother Samuel L. Crane. Enlisted in September, 1862, Company K, 43d Regiment Infantry.
  • Brother James H. May. Enlisted August, 1864, Company I, 4th Regiment Heavy Artillery.
  • Brother Edgar N. Lane. Enlisted August, 1864, 29th Unattached Company Heavy Artillery.
  • Brother Horace M Porter. Enlisted August, 1864, 23d Unattached Company of Infantry.
  • Brother Jedediah M. Bird. Enlisted April, 1861, as First Sergeant, Company A, 4th Regiment Infantry. Was taken prisoner at Port Buchanan.
  • Brother Dr. Isaac H. Stearns. Enlisted as Surgeon, October, 1862, 22d Regiment Infantry.
  • Brother Persons Bartlett. Enlisted August, 1862, Company E, 35th Regiment Infantry; was wounded at Antietam.
  • Brother Charles A. Swampson. Enlisted (date unknown) as Landsman on the "Colorado."
  • Brother Charles E. Stone. Enlisted August, 1864, 23d Unattached Company Infantry.
  • Brother Henry E. Strout. Enlisted September, 1862, Company K, 4th Regiment Infantry.

The war record of these worthy Brethren we recall today with satisfaction and patriotic pride.

The charity of the Lodge, from its first meeting, has been wide and extensive. Financial reports show that in many instances twenty per cent of the entire expenses consisted of charitable donations. No deserving worthy Brother, or widow or orphan ever applied in vain for relief or assistance. Nor has their charity been confined to the members of the Lodge alone. Many instances of the thoughtfulness of the members of the Lodge are testified to by grateful hearts, and in this and many other respects has Rising Star Lodge proved itself a blessing to its members and the community.

A most important event in the history of Rising Star Lodge was the celebration of its hundredth anniversary, which occurred December 10 and 11. 1899, acting under a Dispensation from the Grand Lodge authorizing them to form in public procession for the purpose of attending the celebration of the Centennial Anniversary.

The Lodge was duly opened without form, at 1.30 P.M. Sunday, December 10. A procession was formed, and proceeded to the Town Hall, where exercises were conducted according to the following program :

  • Hymn — Guide Me, O Thou Great Jehovah, Harvard Quartette
  • Invocation — Chaplain, Rev. Bro. Henry B. Smith, Grand Chaplain of the Grand Lodge of New Hampshire
  • Quartette — Lead, Kindly Light, Harvard Quartette
  • Scripture Lesson — Chaplain
  • Prayer — Chaplain
  • Response — Come, Gracious Spirit, Harvard Quartette
  • Sermon — Rev. Bro. Charles H. Puffer
  • Hymn — When the Mists Have Rolled Away, Harvard Quartette
  • Benediction

At the conclusion of the exercises, the Brethren to the number of one hundred and twenty returned in procession to the Masonic Hal] and the Dodge was closed.

On Monday, December 11. a special communication of Rising Star Lodge was held at Masonic Hall. After the reception of the Most Worshipful Grand Master and suite, with the representatives of the Grand Lodge, the Lodge was formed in procession and marched to the First Parish Universalist Church, which was completely filled with invited guests, and the following program was carried out:

  • Organ Prelude — Bro. Edwin A. Jones
  • Anthem— The Lord is King, Harvard Quartette
  • Prayer — Rev. Bro. Charles A. Skinner, Grand Chaplain of the Grand Lodge

  • Response — R. Wor. Charles T. Gallagher, Deputy Grand Master of the Grand Lodge

  • Selection — Hosanna, Harvard Quartette
  • Reading Charter — R. W. Bro. George E. Walker
  • Centennial Hymn — Harvard Quartette
  • Historical Address — Wor. Bro. Ira F. Butnham
  • Hymn — "Eternity", Harvard Quartette
  • Oration — Rev. Bro. A. A. Berle
  • Selection — Praise Ye the Father, Harvard Quartette
  • Benediction
  • Organ Postlude

At the conclusion of the exercises the Brethren formed a procession, and marched to the Lodge-room.

The concluding event of the Centennial celebration, was the banquet in the town hall at 6.00 P.M. for the members of Rising Star Lodge, the honored members of the Grand Lodge, the visiting members of the Fraternity, and their ladies and friends.

The banquet was a splendid occasion. Every available seat (350) at the tables was occupied, while the balcony was completely filled with the people of the town who came to enjoy the exercises. It was a gathering such as Stoughton had never seen before, comprising representative people from Stoughton and vicinity.

Wor. Bro. Lemuel W. Standish extended the welcome to the gathering, and introduced Brother Oscar A. Marden, as toastmaster for the occasion. The following toasts were responded to:

  • The Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of Masons in Massachusetts., Rt. Wor. Charles T. Gallagher, Boston, Deputy Grand Master of the Grand Lodge.
  • Masonry and the Church., Brother Henry B. Smith, of Troy, N. Y., Grand Chaplain of the Grand Lodge of New Hampshire.
  • Masonry in 1799., Rt. Wor. Sereno D. Nickerson, of Cambridge, Grand Secretary of the Grand Lodge.
  • Masonry at Home and Abroad, in Peace and in War., Brother General Curtis Guild, of Boston.
  • Masonry and the Law., Rt. Wor. Frederick D. Ely, of Dedham.
  • Our Sister Fraternal Order. Hon. A. S. Pinkerton, of Worcester, Grand Sire of the Sovereign Grand Lodge of Odd Fellows.
  • The Twenty-Second Masonic District, Rt. Wor. J. E. Smith, of Dedham, District Deputy Grand Master for the Twenty-Second Masonic District.
  • Masonry and Patriotism, Rev. Bro. C. H. Puffer, of Salem.
  • Our Sister Lodges, Wor. Bro. Charles E. Eager, of Canton.
  • The Cardinal Virtue., Rev. Bro. A. A. Berle, of Brighton.
  • Rising Star Lodge to Its Guests, Wor. Bro. Lemuel W. Standish, Master of Rising Star Lodge.

During the exercises music was rendered by Hunt's Orchestra, of Boston, and vocal selections by the Harvard Quartette.

November 1, 1900, Wor. Bro. John Tisdell Southworth, of Holbrook, a son of Past Master and a grandson of Wor. Bro. Consider Southworth, a Charter member of Rising Star Lodge, presented to the Lodge a memento in the form of a gavel made of wood taken from the gun deck of the U.S.S. "Olympia," the flagship of Admiral Dewey at the battle of Manila.

September 19, 1901, Rising Star Lodge attended public memorial services held in the town hall to observe with titling exercises the death of our late Brother, President William McKinley.

April 17, 1902, the Lodge extended a reception and entertainment to the ladies.

June 23, 1904, Brother Charles W. Long, presented the Lodge with new rough and perfect Ashler blocks.

February 14, 1905, paid Canton Institution for Savings note of $1000.00, by contributions and savings bank account.

April 13, 1905, Trustee's report showed:

  • Assessed value of land, $2,900.00
  • Building, 4,200.00
  • Furniture, 1,100.00
  • Rental Value, 900.00

April 15, 1906, Wor. Bro. O. A. Marden delivered an address on "Masonry as a Conservative Force."

May 3, 1906, Rev. Bro. L. O. Williams delivered an address on "The Service of Symbolism."

September 27, 1906, Bro. Edgar F. Leonard delivered an address on the subject "From Labor to Refreshment."

March 28, 1907. Bro. L. O. Williams delivered a farewell address.

January 10, 1908, the officers of Rising Star Lodge were publicly installed by R. W. Ira F. Burnham and suite. Music by the Harvard Quartette and other entertainment furnished, followed by a banquet.

June 3, 190!). amendment to the By-Laws: "The regular communication of Rising Star Lodge shall be held the second Thursday of each month." Prior to this time, the regular meetings were held Thursday on or before the full moon.

November 11. 1909, voted that Bro. Leonard A. Thayer be made an honorary member.

December 9, 190!), the Lodge presented a Tyler's Jewel to Bro. James W. Richardson, who was retiring after thirty-five years of service in the Lodge.

May 11, 1911. the Lodge was honored by the presence of Bro. John L. Bates, Ex-Governor of the state, who was present with a delegation from East Boston, members of Mount Tabor Lodge, to whom our Lodge members extended a reception.

October 12, 1911, Committee previously appointed reported the purchase of a safe and the placing of same in the ante-room.

October 13, 1911, a fire occurred in the Masonic Building, and damage was assessed to the amount of $981.66. State Department instructed the Lodge to install immediately an iron fire escape.

December 14, 1911, the Lodge was presented with the Past Master's jewel worn by Wor. Bro. Peter Adams, the first Master of Rising Star Lodge, bearing the date of 1801. This was a gift from Mrs. Martha Southworth and Mrs. Francis Bird, his great-granddaughters.

November 10, 1912, special communication was held for the purpose of attending the funeral of the late Bro. Gurden Southworth, who had served the Lodge as Treasurer for more than thirty-five years.

June 30, 1913, Rt. Wor. George Ferdinand Walker died in Monrovia, California. He had been a most earnest and devoted Mason for many years, occupying the most important offices in all the branches of Masonry. He was accorded the Masonic burial service in California. The body was cremated, and the remains were received in Stoughton by representative Masons from the different bodies. Appropriate services were rendered and his ashes now rest in Evergreen Cemetery.

December 11, 1913, Bro. Elmer W. Walker, at that time senior Past Master of Rising Star Lodge, presented the Lodge the Past Master's jewel of our late Wor. Bro. George F. Walker, and the apron worn by him when serving as Senior Grand Warden of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts.

January 18, 1914, a memorial service was held in the Lodge for several of our Brethren who had recently passed on. There was a proper address and appropriate music was rendered. The Lodge, in behalf of Mrs. Monk, was presented the Past Master's jewel of the late Bro. H. A. Monk.

June 11, 1915, the Lodge received from Mrs. H. A. Monk a copy of the sermon delivered by the Rev. Mr. Richmond at the Constitution of the Lodge.

March 8, 1917, committee appointed to procure United States flag reported its purchase, and the members of the Fraternity who were also members of the G. A. R. were conducted into the Lodge, and Brother George W. Pratt, on behalf of the committee, presented the flag to the Lodge.

April 16, 1920, the Lodge extended a reception to the Brethren who served in the late World War, including entertainment, music, readings, and an address by Lieutenant Brother Morton F. Bird, subject "In the Air." This was followed by presentation of Henry Price medals to

  • Wor. Bro. Elmer W. Walker, fifty-one years a Mason.
  • Bro. Abram C. Paul, fifty-seven years a Mason.
  • Bro. George W. Dutton, sixty years a Mason.

Refreshments were then served in the banquet hall; three hundred present.

December 9, 1920, the principal event of this period of our history was the payment in full of the Lodge note of $6,000.00 to the Canton Bank, which was secured by a mortgage on all our Masonic property. The funds were raised by subscriptions from the Brethren. It was voted that Brother John W. Wood, whose generous contribution made the occasion possible, should have the honor of applying the Haines that should destroy the mortgage which had for so many years worried the Brethren. As the Brethren gathered in a circle around the altar all joined in singing the Doxology while the mortgage burned to ashes, and our building was finally free from all incumbrances.

May 3, 1920, the Lodge was greatly benefited by the institution of Stoughton Chapter, Order of the Eastern Star, No. 108. Among their early acts was a contribution assisting Rising Star Lodge in liquidating the mortgage on their real estate. In many other ways they have been of assistance, and the Lodge may reasonably count on their support in all legitimate activities.

Rising Star Lodge is fortunate in the membership of some real workers, who are untiring in their devotion to the Lodge interests and their Brethren. We owe a debt of gratitude to Brothers Walter Holbrook, Ernest Fullerton, and Cleon Fobes for the thought, study, and time they have given to the remodelling and furnishing of Masonic Club quarters that are for the use and service of the Lodge, Chapter, and Order of the Eastern Star, in which most excellent judgment and consideration for the comforts, convenience, and pleasure of all have been displayed.

The Committee were most generously assisted in carrying out their plans for improvement by members of the Lodge and the Orders interested.

  • The Chapter contributed $250.
  • The Order of the Eastern Star contributed in furniture and furnishings the equivalent of $285.
  • Bro. Harry W. Goodwin donated a pool table.
  • Bro. Walter C. Holbrook donated a pool table, card tables, showcase for candy and cigars, and icechest
  • Bro. John Teed donated new flooring.
  • Bro. Edward C. Lindelof donated plumbing, furnishing materials and labor.
  • Bro. Win. E. Hawes donated modern lighting system and settee.
  • Bros. Percy and Louis Dykeman donated new flooring, paper, painting, and calcimining.
  • Bro. George A. Sprague donated a lavatory bowl and screen doors.
  • Bro. Clyde MacLean and Bro. John Pond donated painting woodwork, ceil inns. etc.
  • Bro. Werner T. Olander donated clocks.
  • Bro. Albert R. L. Winroth donated new screens, and decoration of old chairs.
  • Mrs. J. M. P. Kingman donated a large leather rocker.
  • Bro. Edgar S. Beale donated a counter.
  • Bro. Daniel Deacon donated coat hangers.
  • Bro. Ernest M. Fullerton donated a large mirror.

A large number of the members assisted the committee, by subscribing generously, in carrying out the improvements which give the Lodge social rooms with fittings and accommodations, second to none in the district.

February 22, 1922, an open meeting was held at the Lodge-room for the purpose of observing Washington's birthday. There was a service of song, with a solo by Brother Horace Nichols, and an address by Rev. Bro. Atwood Stansfleld on the subject "Creed of Honor."

During the present period of the Lodge history its members have maintained their reputation for charity and public interests that was manifest in the former years of their usefulness in the community.

The assistance of needy or indigent members of the Order in sickness or distress has received their prompt and Fraternal consideration. The Masonic Home, the Rainy Day Fund, and the Washington monument have received at all times their unqualified support.

The Lodge also generously contributed to the Evergreen Cemetery Fence Fund, where so many of their members are now peacefully resting from their labors.

The officers and members of the Lodge have continued to comprise competent mechanics, leading business men, and the most influential citizens of the community.

In love of country and patriotism the Lodge members have preserved their earlier reputation. From its numbers thirty-nine entered the service during the recent World War. seven of whom were commissioned officers, all ready, if necessary, to make the great sacrifice.

In all community service in the support of the government the members of the Lodge were eager and willing to do their part. They were largely represented on the Public Safety Committee, in the State Guards, and all other necessary movements in the support of the nation in the war, in the interest and cause of humanity.

WORLD WAR ROLL OF HONOR

  • Robert M. Atherton
  • Harold H. Bird
  • Morton F. Bird, Lieut.
  • Lewis M. Bullock, Capt.
  • Harold M. Curtis, Jr.
  • J. Edgar Deacon
  • Paul Esten
  • Walter Evans
  • Edward H. Ewing. Lieut.
  • Roy A. Fobes
  • Clinton A. Gould
  • Earl F. Hoyt
  • Carl E. Hansson
  • William Jenkins
  • David F. Johnson
  • Harry Kartstein
  • Julian Lakey
  • Frederick F. Lowe
  • Herbert E. MacCombie
  • Edgar Malcolm
  • Frederick G. Maynard
  • George McGarvey
  • Owen McGarvey
  • Peter J. McGarvey
  • Horace S. Nichols
  • Walter Parent
  • Harold A. Sprague
  • Herbert Mitchell
  • Lem Rubenstein, Capt
  • Algot N. Swanson
  • Channing Swan
  • George E. Turner
  • Caleb West, Major
  • Isadore Westerman
  • Rudolph Wyner
  • Isador A. Wyner
  • Andrea B. Lord
  • Clayton F. Luckenbach
  • Carl W. Randall

This, in brief, is the history of Rising Star Lodge of Masons. However it may appeal to others, to the Fraternity, and especially the members of the Lodge, its untarnished record of one hundred and twenty-five years of usefulness in the active duties of true Masonry fills the heart with just and pardonable pride.

We appreciate the sterling integrity of the men who founded this Lodge, whose characters are indelibly stamped into the history of the town of Stoughton, and who were so much instrumental in shaping not only its growth and progress, but the location of its business centre. We also realize the responsibility that rests upon us at the present time to preserve the Ancient Landmarks of Masonry, and to transmit their glorious history unimpaired to our successors for future generations.

We remember that no institution can be made great or preserve greatness by a mere declaration of principles, but must be made great and maintain its greatness by the unselfish, zealous deeds of those who compose it.

We are taught in our ritual that truth is a divine attribute and the foundation of every virtue. Let us then be true to our country; true to the community in which we live; true to our Lodge and the memory of its forefathers; and true to ourselves.

May our Lodge remain in the firmament of Masonry a beacon light to guide humanity to higher and nobler aims in life, and may it prove true to its history of the past and be to future ages forever a Rising Star.

150TH ANNIVERSARY HISTORY, DECEMBER 1949

From Proceedings, Page 1949-155:

By Worshipful William B. Henry.

Your committee has assigned me the Herculean task, on the occasion of this sesquicentennial celebration, to concentrate the history of one hundred fifty years of the life of this noble organization into fifteen minutes. Think of it, one minute for each ten years! However, perhaps it is a clever idea, for enumeration of historical events can be very tedious and dull, as some of you well know.

Many, if not all of you, know the general history of this Lodge, unique in this country because of its age and its uninterrupted record of communications, even during the chaotic years of the anti-Masonic period. So it will be my endeavor to touch upon a few highlights of its history, which you will find printed on your program, and give you here a few sidelights of its activities and kindred topics.

The petition referred to in the highlights was signed by Peter Adams, Joseph Richards, Abram Capen, William Capen, John Atherton, Jr., Benjamin Capen, Nathan Gill, David Wadsworth, Amos Upham and Consider Southworth.

We find in the records of the Grand Lodge under date of December 9, 1799, "The petitioners of the Town of Stoughton be created into a Lodge by the name of Rising Star Lodge and a charter be granted to them."

In the original records of the first communication held January 10, 1800, we find, "The following Gentlemen, which had been proposed one month were balloted for to be made Masons, Elijah Belcher, Major Robert Swan, Jr., Stephen Pennimon, Esq., T. Elijah Smith the 2nd. They all obtained a unanimous vote of the Lodge." It is interesting to note that our friend Robert Swan, the hardware merchant, is a direct descendant of the first two candidates, his mother being a Belcher.

Now I should like to quote a few of the old By-Laws of 1799:

  • "The Lodge shall meet at such place as a majority shall think fit, on the Thursday next preceeding the fulling of the moon,

excepting only such times as the moon happens to full on Thursday in which case the meeting shall be on that evening." This held until 1909.

  • "The Lodge may consist of Forty Members and no more unless a Majority shall think it expedient to alter the number."
  • "No Liquors shall be brought into the Lodge except by order of the Master."
  • "Every Brother visiting the Lodge shall pay 37}^ cents." "All members living within fifteen miles of where the Lodge holds its stated meeting shall be charged with fifty cents a quarter there being absent notwithstanding."

Just a few items from our old order book dated August 28, 1800:

  • "Brother Nathan Gill, Treasurer of Rising Star Lodge, these order you to pay to Bro. Nathan Gill two dollars and fifty cents in full for making collars and three jewels."
  • "Also to Bro. John Atherton, Jr. two dollars for cash paid for the Charter."
  • "Also to Bro. John Atherton, Jr. five dollars and fifty cents for candles, for time spent in service of the Lodge and for making ten aprons and fifteen pairs of Gloves."
  • "Also to Bro. Elijah Atherton five dollars he having presented that sum (by order of the Lodge) to the Widow of our late Bro. ____, deceased, as an act of Charity, she being in destitute circumstances."

During the 18th century Masonic Lodges took a much more active part in public functions than they do today, and Rising Star Lodge attended many such occasions. For example, under date of June 17, 1825, we find in our records, "The Lodge attended in a body the laying of the cornerstone of the Bunker Hill Monument, taking carriages and riding over the road to Boston." July, 1825, they attended the laying of the cornerstone of the court house at Dedham, and later, the dedication of the monument to Benjamin Franklin, General Joseph Warren and many more. There are two occasions I wish to call to the attention of the officers. October 16, 1878, "The officers of Rising Star Lodge, accompanied by a delegation of its members, were present at the Masonic Temple Boston, at the request of District Deputy Grand Master, Frederick D. Ely of Dedham, for the purpose of exemplifying the work of the Entered Apprentice degree." The work was highly complimented by the Grand Lecturer, who said, "The work was as near perfection as it is possible for a Lodge to attain." A similar occasion occurred April 24, 1884.

Rising Star Lodge has two offspring — Paul Dean Lodge of North Easton and Blue Hill Lodge of Canton. Most of the charter members of these Lodges were members of Rising Star -— in fact Paul Dean of North Easton was made a Mason in our Lodge in the year 1847.

March 17, 1859 (St. Patrick's Day) the Lodge met for the first time in our present building, then known as the Morton Block, and located in Morton Square, just south of the present freight sheds, facing Summer Street. This building was erected by Nathaniel Morton, the year previous, as a combination hall and boot factory. Soon after completion, the top floor was occupied by the Mechanics Division of Sons of Temperance, Stoughton Lodge No. 72, I. O. O. F., Mt. Zion Royal Chapter and Rising Star Lodge, A. F. & A. M. The Lodge remained a tenant until April 5, 1885, when the Brothers purchased the building and removed it to the Drake lot, which had come into their possession through the will of the late Worshipful Brother Simeon Drake. Since the railroad refused a permit to move the building across its right-of-way, one night members reputedly mustered every yoke of oxen within twenty-five miles of Stoughton and presto, the next morning the building was on its present site. After its safe arrival on the other side of the tracks, it was jacked up and a story added, making the present four-story structure. By September of the same year, the old apartments were again ready for use.

Then again, on January 9, 1890, after complete remodeling and refurnishing, the officers of the Grand Lodge installed Rising Star in her present lodge-rooms. In 1920 the second floor was converted into club rooms, redecorated and refurnished by a hard-working committee composed of Brothers Cleon Fobes, Walter Holbrook and Ernest Fullerton. The Royal Arch Chapter and the Eastern Star played an important part in the refurnishing.

We are also deeply indebted to our late Worshipful Brother Ernest B. Southworth and his committee for the excellent organ which we enjoy through the generosity of our most able organist, Reuben Willis. There are many other Brothers who have given service "beyond line of duty," but my fifteen minutes will not permit me to go into that.

As we review the activities of this grand old Lodge, we appreciate the sterling integrity of the men who founded it and stood by during its earlv and most difficult years, all of which emphasizes the responsibility that rests with us and the future, to preserve the Ancient Landmarks of Masonry and to transmit their glorious history unimpaired to our successors for future generations.

Now, Brethren, I am through. If my historic discourse has lulled you to sleep, wake up, wake up now and accept my thanks for your quiet and respectful attention, and allow me to hand over this paper in order that it may gather dust on the shelves of our archives until the historian of fifty years hence shall supplement it with a more eloquent record of the two hundred years of Freemasonry in Rising Star Lodge of Stoughton.

175TH ANNIVERSARY HISTORY, DECEMBER 1974

From Proceedings, Page 1974-284:

Highlights from 1949 to 1974
By Worshipful Clarence A. Perkins.

(Detailed histories of Rising Star Lodge for the earlier periods may be found in the Proceedings of Grand Lodge as follows^ 1899, pages 103-126; 1924, pages 655-691; 1949, pages 155-158)

Early in 1949, plans were begun for the 150th Anniversary of the Lodge, and a committee consisting of Past Masters was appointed to proceed with plans, which brought about the following :

The Church Service was held on December 4, 1949 at 3 P.M., in the First Parish Universalist Church under the direction of Wor. Clarence A. Perkins, Chairman, Wor. H. Fayette Munson and Rev. Matt Mees. Wor. Rev. John P. Robertson, Grand Chaplain of the Grand Lodge, was guest speaker.

Ladies' Night, under the direction of Right Worshipful William F. Sievers and Worshipful William B. Henry, took place in the Town Hall, where a fine banquet was enjoyed by all, followed by an evening of entertainment and dancing. The Regular Communication of Rising Star Lodge was held December 8, 1949, in the Town Hall. In attendance were the Most Worshipful Grand Master, Roger Keith, and his suite. Most Worshipful Brother Keith delivered an interesting address and closed the Lodge. (1949 Mass. 152-158)

At the beginning of 1965, a committee was formed to look into the possibility of a new temple, and great thought was given to the purchase of the James Lehan estate on Walnut Street, with the prospect of adding a building to the back of the house. It was finally agreed to purchase the same, and papers were passed December 28, 1965. A great effort was made to raise the money for this project, but it was finally decided this just could not be done, and the property was sold on March 30, 1972. The committee then looked into the possibility of purchasing the Lithuanian Hall on Wyman Street. After the pros and cons were considered, an architect was consulted, this was found to be impractical. In the meantime, many of the Masters and members put much time and effort into remodeling and making repairs to the Hall and lobby, which did make a great improvement.

Around the first part of the 70's, officer material began to dwindle, as many new members had positions which did not permit them to give of their time. Therefore, many of the Past Masters came forward and filled the different stations, and are continuing to do so. It is hoped that this situation will soon be overcome.

We hold all deceased brothers in special memory, particularly the following: Right Worshipful Peter Wood, one of our most faithful and hard-working members, who passed on October 15, 1967. Brother Reuben Willis, our organist for many years, whose music was always delightful, who passed on October 26, 1969. Brother William G. Gardner, our long-time secretary, who passed on January 2, 1967.

Brother Ellis G. Hawes, who succeeded Brother Gardner as secretary, carrying out his duties well, who passed on September 28, 1971.

Thanks are due Worshipful Oscar H. Hagg for his direction of the continuing paper drive, in a special effort to raise money for the Lodge. Having served as Master in 1953, he willingly volunteered to serve as Master in 1974 with the support of other Past Masters. Worshipful Brother Hagg was again elected as Master for 1975, and is to be highly commended for his service to the Lodge. We feel that with this kind of support, Rising Star Lodge will have another twenty-five years of successful continuity.

OTHER

  • 1810 (Petition to remove to Canton granted, II-436)
  • 1814 (Petition to remove to Sharon granted, II-593)
  • 1817 (Petition to remove to Stoughton granted, III-131)
  • 1920 (Suspension of the Master, for his refusal to participate in the district exemplification, 1920-183)

EVENTS

OFFICER LIST, DECEMBER 1831

From Masonic Mirror and Mechanics' Intelligencer, New Series, Vol. III, No. 24, December 1831, Page 186:’’

Officers of Rising Star Lodge, Stoughton, Massachusetts:

  • R. W. Azel Capen, M.
  • R. W. Ansel Capen, S. W.
  • R. W. Samuel Chandler, J. W.
  • Br. P. M. Crane, M. D. T.
  • Bro. Abram. Capen, Jr., Sec.
  • Bro. Wm. S. Belcher, S. D.
  • Bro. Wm. Wilson, J. D.

200TH ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION, MAY 1999

From TROWEL, Fall 1999, Page 18:

Rising Star Lodge, Stoughton Celebrates 200th Anniversary

The first public activity in celebration of Rising Star Lodge's 200th Anniversary was a Strawberry Festival held on the First Parish Church Green on May 22nd.

The perfect weather attracted over 100 townspeople to stop by for a generous serving of strawberry shortcake and friendly conversation. Attracting attention, also, was the display of the advertising card tables produced by the Lodge Officers of 1942. The tables were located on the north side of the green near the former Odd Fellows Hall where the Lodge hung a commemorative banner. This was the site where the Lodge first met in 1800 and 1801 and the green is the approximate location where the meeting house stood in 1799 and where the Lodge received its charter in 1801.

Working at the festival were Bros. George Slater, Howard Hansen. Arthur Slate, Claxton Joiner and Candidate Charles E. Altwein.


GRAND LODGE OFFICERS

OTHER BROTHERS


DISTRICTS

1803: District 4 (Southeast)

1821: District 4

1835: District 5

1849: District 5

1867: District 13 (Taunton)

1878: District 19 (Taunton)

1883: District 22 (Hyde Park)

1911: District 25 (Hyde Park)

1927: District 25 (Hyde Park)

2003: District 7


LINKS

Lodge web site

Massachusetts Lodges