RufusPutnam

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RUFUS PUTNAM LODGE

Location: Rutland

Chartered By: Everett C. Benton

Charter Date: 06/11/1913 1913-45

Precedence Date: 05/04/1912

Current Status: Active


PAST MASTERS

  • Arthur Peebles, 1912
  • Walter C. Brown, 1913
  • Charles E. Carroll, 1914
  • Frederick W. Moody, 1915
  • Maurice Menges, 1916
  • J. Warren Moulton, 1917
  • Robert C. Ferguson, 1918
  • Lawrence L. Strong, 1919
  • Joseph E. Ware, 1920
  • Olin C. Blaisdell, 1921
  • William E. Hunt, 1922
  • Frederick M. Ela, 1923
  • Charles J. Campbell, 1924
  • Robert Brown, 1925
  • John N. Dickson, 1926
  • John B. Coffin, 1927
  • Walter J. Bell, 1928
  • Frank Carroll, 1929; N
  • Mark L. Read, 1930
  • Edward R. Nyberg, 1931
  • Robert Dea, 1932
  • Mark A. Putnam, 1933
  • Robert F. Adams, 1934
  • Lloyd H. Campbell, 1935
  • G. Edgar Fay, 1936
  • Dominic V. Spiotti, 1937
  • George M. Campbell, 1938; N
  • T. Emmett Myers, 1939
  • Donald M. Lincoln, 1940
  • Albert J. Thomas, 1941
  • Russell H. Gray, 1942; N
  • Rodney E. Gray, 1943
  • Henry L. Howe, 1944
  • Clifford L. Adams, 1945
  • Raymond D. Libby, 1946
  • Edwin H. Johnson, Jr., 1947
  • Harold E. Anderson, 1948
  • Robert W. Carr, 1949
  • William O. Wylie, 1950
  • David C. Robertson, 1951
  • George F. Scheckleton, 1952
  • Rudolph W. Lindgren, 1953
  • F. Wyman Rogers, 1954
  • Carl W. Olson, 1955
  • Carl Gunnard, 1956
  • Andrew R. Annala, 1957
  • Rollins L. Hale, 1958
  • Sumner E. Taylor, 1959
  • Andrew G. Horne, 1960
  • William T. Auger, 1961
  • Klaus F. Helle, 1962
  • Otto W. Hakkila, 1963
  • Phillip G. Nichols, 1964
  • Richard W. Barakian, 1965
  • Robert S. Hansson, 1966
  • Elwood E. Williams, 1967
  • Kenneth F. Locke, 1968
  • Joseph S. Jennette, 1969
  • David H. Eddy, Jr., 1970
  • Franklin Lang, Jr., 1971
  • Virgil L. Gardner, 1972
  • Robert J. Hoover, 1973
  • Robert E. Strand, 1974
  • Lawrence P. Storm, 1975
  • Donald G. Chisholm, 1976
  • Lee F. Merlin, 1977; N
  • John H. Pepper, 1978
  • Roger D. McCauley, 1979
  • Joseph M. Schwartz, 1980
  • Robert G. Buthen, 1981
  • John K. Andrews, 1982; PDDGM
  • Carl E. Enberg, 1983
  • Steven G. Olson, 1984
  • Bradford L. Hendrickson, 1985, 1986
  • Jay A. Jolicoeur, 1987, 1991, 1992, 1994, 1998, 2001
  • Elwood G. Johnson, 1988
  • Edward E. Wilkins, Jr., 1989
  • Daniel T. Craig, 1990
  • Charles A. Craig, Jr., 1993
  • Timothy D. Pierce, 1995, 1996
  • David W. Eaton, 1997
  • Charles J. Gove, 1999, 2000
  • Edward E. Wilkins, Jr., 2002
  • Christian M. Stevens, 2003, 2004
  • Paul K. Michalczyk, 2005
  • Lee F. Merlin, Jr., 2006
  • Thadeus J. Owoc, Jr., 2007, 2008
  • Raymond W. Clinton, 2009
  • Gary H. Riggs, 2010
  • Mark H. Campbell, 2011
  • Adam J. Jolicoeur, 2012
  • Mark H. Campbell, 2013
  • Dennis R. Frazier, 2014, 2015
  • Gregory A. Goodhile, 2016

REFERENCES IN GRAND LODGE PROCEEDINGS

  • Petition for Dispensation: 1912
  • Petition for Charter: 1913

ANNIVERSARIES

  • 1932 (20th Anniversary)
  • 1938 (25th Anniversary)
  • 1963 (50th Anniversary)

VISITS BY GRAND MASTER

BY-LAW CHANGES

1924 1952 1953 1956 1961 1978 1980 1981 1982 1983 1990 1996 1998 2007 2008 2010 2011

HISTORY

  • 1932 (Masonic History of Rutland, 1932-54)
  • 1938 (Masonic History of Rutland, 1938-179)
  • 1963 (50th Anniversary History, 1963-166; see below)

MASONIC HISTORY OF RUTLAND, APRIL 1932

From Proceedings, Page 1932-54:

Masonic History of Rutland
by Brother Louis M. Hanff

The history of Freemasonry in Rutland began in 1811, when Thompson Lodge worked under Dispensation. There were Masons in Rutland who were members of Mt. Zion Lodge, of Hardwick, and Morning Star Lodge, of Worcester; Nathaniel H. White, Rutland's first Post Master, became a member of Morning Star Lodge in 1797, and Zadoc Gates, in 1795, and Rowland Wheeler, who was raised in Mt. Zion Lodge in 1808. His diploma is in my possession. Thompson Lodge met at Luke Robinson's Tavern in the center village; it was torn down in 1882 to make room for the new hotel. Later, Daniel King fitted up a hall in the second story in the rear part of his tavern on Pound Hill which is still there. In 1911, Morning Star, of Worcester, and Mt. Zion, of Hardwick, observed St. John's Day with Thompson Lodge in Rutland. September 7, 1812, Andrew Smith was chosen a committee to "secure a warrant of Constitution impowering Thompson Lodge to work." The first record book of the Lodge is now in the archives of the Grand Lodge in Boston. Many of the pages are covered with newspaper clippings, it having been used as a scrap book by a Rutland family. G. Edward Smith of Boston discovered it and placed it with the Grand Lodge. The last record in this book was in 1826.

The gavel used in Thompson Lodge was presented to Rufus Putnam Lodge by J. W. Mark A. Putnam who found it among the effects of his grandfather, David P. Avery.

The last member of Thompson Lodge living in Rutland died in 1887, David W. Fletcher, who was raised June 18, 1827. His diploma and apron are in my possession.

At the time I was raised in Mt. Zion Lodge, July, 1901, as far as I was able to learn, there were but two Masons living in Rutland, one being a member of Mt. Zion Lodge and the other a member of a Vermont Lodge. Early in 1911, a little over 100 years after his ancestor Andrew Smith was prominent in starting Thompson Lodge, Dennis A. Smith and myself discussed the possibility of organizing a Lodge in Rutland. By this time there were fifteen or twenty members of Mt. Zion Lodge living in Rutland. Later, in the same year, after the approval of Barre and Worcester Lodges had been secured, a notice was sent to all known Masons in Rutland asking their presence at a meeting Nov. 4, 1911. At this meeting Bro. Ira Smith, of Boston, gave information and assisted materially in the matter of organizing a Lodge. A petition was drawn up and 23 signatures obtained. Another meeting was held on Dec. 4th. At this meeting, the name of Rufus Putnam was adopted and the names of Past Master Rev. Arthur B. Peebles, as the first Master, Walter C. Brown, first Senior Warden, and Charles E. Carroll, first Junior Warden, were suggested. I was chosen to present the petition to the Grand Lodge and to secure a hall for meetings.

Owing to a new ruling defining jurisdiction of Lodges, it was necessary to obtain the consent of other Lodges than those we had already. It was impossible to secure this consent before the term of M. W. G. M. Dana J. Flanders expired. Later, M. W. G. M. Everett C. Benton granted the Dispensation, and the Lodge met May 4, 1912, to receive it, and elected the officers.

A few words regarding Gen. Rufus Putnam may well find a place in the history of the Lodge which was named in his honor. He came to Rutland in 1781, and bought the house built about 1760 by John Murray for his son. It was confiscated with the other property of his in Rutland during the Revolution and was sold by the Committee to Putnam. While here he became Town Constable, Moderator, and laid out the ten school districts. Many meetings of the Ohio Company were held in his house which is now owned by the Rufus Putnam Memorial Association and open to the public. Gen. Putnam made several trips to Ohio between 1785 and 1790, and in 1788, forty-four men began a settlement at what is now Marietta. In 1790, Gen. Putnam's family and others, 26 in all, left the home in Rutland for Marietta. In looking up Rufus Putnam's Masonic history I found that he and others who went to Ohio were members of American Union Lodge No. 1, which came into existence Feb. 13, 1776, in Roxbury, Mass. A Warrant was issued two days later and five days later the organization was completed. This Lodge worked in the Patriot Army, meeting in various places until April 23, 1783.

Many of the settlers of the new North-West Territory were Masons and soon after the arrival of their families, on June 28, 1790, American Union Lodge No. 1 was re-opened at Marietta, Ohio. Rufus Putnam was its fifth Master and the first Grand Master of Ohio.

Rufus Putnam Lodge met in the Town Hall for several months. We are indebted to members of Worcester and other Lodges for their assistance in many ways, a case of working tools being presented by Worcester Lodges. Members of our Lodge furnished much of the Lodge paraphernalia. Oct. 21, 1912, the Lodge voted to buy property owned by Mrs. Frances Pratt, consisting of a lot with two buildings thereon, one the present Masonic Hall, and the dwelling house in front of it. The dwelling house was later sold. The hall was moved to its location from its former location in 1898 where for nearly 100 years it was the Town Hall. It is now located on the site of the mansion of Col. John Murray from which he fled when about one thousand angry citizens of Worcester marched to Rutland to demand his resignation as Mandamus Councillor. Our members gave liberally of their time and money to remodel the interior and it was completed in time for the regular communication Jan. 20, 1913.

During its Dispensation the Lodge raised twenty-five members. Rufus Putnam Lodge was constituted July 1, 1913, with these Grand Officers present.

These Officers were installed by the Grand Master and Suite.

  • Arthur B. Peebles, Master
  • Walter C. Brown, Senior Warden
  • Charles E. Carroll, Junior Warden
  • Charles A. Hanson, Treasurer
  • Louis M. Hanff, Secretary
  • Dennis A. Smith, Chaplain
  • Charles L. Randall, Marshal
  • Frederick W. Moody, Senior Deacon
  • Frank B. Bacon, Junior Deacon
  • Maurice Menges, Senior Steward
  • George E. Smith, Junior Steward
  • Arthur F. Brown, Inside Sentinel
  • Frederick A. Kehoe, Tyler

The Charter Members were:

  • Charles E. Carroll
  • Arthur F. Brown
  • Walter C. Brown
  • Lewis R. Bigelow
  • Louis M. Hanff
  • George E. Smith
  • Frederick W. Moody
  • Lewis F. Morris
  • Maurice Menges
  • Lawrence E. Smith
  • Arthur B. Peebles
  • Benjamin P Child
  • Frank B. Bacon
  • Dennis A. Smith
  • John W. Moulton
  • John M. Wise
  • Charles L. Randall
  • George N. Lapham
  • Frederick A. Kehoe
  • Ira P. Smith
  • Charles A. Hanson
  • Clarence T. Oliver
  • Paul A. Loughman

After the address of the Grand Master, W. Rev. R. Perry Bush, Grand Chaplain, gave an address, concluding with these words:

"Most heartily, then, do I congratulate you of this delightful hill town of Rutland, as once again you receive the Charter for a Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons and assume the privileges and responsibilities which attend upon its acceptance, and In the name of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts I extend to your officers and members its congratulations and God-speed, and it is our earnest hope that you may be abundantly prospered and that the Lodge this day constituted may pursue an ever-increasing influence in this community until time shall be no more."

There is not much more to be said as the history of our Lodge is much like that of any country Lodge. Starting with twenty-three members twenty years ago, we have 193 at present. In conclusion I will say that in glancing over the names of our Brethren who met in Thompson Lodge, I notice that they were prominent in town and church affairs, filling town and state positions and I feel that the same holds good today. Masons are in the forefront in carrying on the affairs of town and church in the communities in which they reside.

MASONIC HISTORY OF RUTLAND, JUNE 1938

From Proceedings, Page 1938-179:

By Worshipful Charles E. Carroll:

"As in a building Stone rests on stone, and wanting the foundation
All would be wanting, so in human life
Each action rests on the foregoing event,
That made it possible."

So with Rufus Putnam Lodge, the vitality and strength of the organization today rests upon a foundation of foregoing events that made it possible. These events which trace back through the past twenty-five years show a sustained devotion to Masonry difficult to equal. Not a year has passed that lagged in enthusiasm. Not a year has closed without some progress being shown.

I will not attempt to record the events previous to our twentieth anniversary. A hand now stilled has done this much better than any effort I might make. Only the story of the past five years remains for me to relate, and this must be brief and largely statistical.

The sands have run swiftly, and were it not that we are gathered here to close this brief chapter of our history, the rapidly changing years would have expressed themselves only in the "increasing streaks of gray o'er our foreheads."

As we pause to mark the occasion with suitable exercises there are those among us whose thoughts will carry back to our first years, and the men whose names are engrossed on our Charter. Twenty-three Brothers comprised our first roll of members. Only six remain with us, three of whom reside in Rutland, and one each respectively in California, Connecticut, and Massachusetts.

The recent passing of Brother Louis M. Hanff, whose foresight with that of our late Brother Dennis A. Smith, envisioned the possibilities of Masonry in Rutland, brings to this occasion a touch of sadness. He was our first Secretary, our guide in the acquiring of our property and the rebuilding of our Temple, a sincere friend, an honored citizen. His life's work is a story of service for the town he loved. The late Most Worshipful Brother Ferrell said of a friend, "We will never think of him and never speak of him without the picture coming before us of this man going out of his way to help his fellow men. In the knowledge of men there are recorded only a few of the many deeds of kindness he performed." This might be very well said of Brother Hanff.

The first six Worshipful Masters of Rufus Putnam Lodge came from its Charter members. Of these, two have died, three live elsewhere than Rutland, and the historian of this twenty-fifth anniversary is the lone home-town representative of this pioneer group.

There have been twenty-five Worshipful Masters. Each one marks a period in the history of this Lodge. It stands to the credit of each of these men, that "they fought the good fight, they finished the course, they kept the faith." Each year the wonderful spirit of Rufus Putnam Lodge has been preserved, each year the Lodge has grown better because of its Master, and each year the Master has become a better man because of the Lodge.

Three of our Past Masters have died. Of the remaining twenty-two, all of whom are still members of our Lodge, eight reside in various parts of the State and Country, and the four who reside in Holden, together with ten of Rutland, remain actively interested in the welfare of the Lodge.

Closely associated with us from the beginning of our Lodge, has been our first District Deputy Grand Master, Henry H. Dyke, of Quinsigamond Lodge, Worcester. Our history would be incomplete if it did not record his devotion to us, and our esteem and respect for him. He made it possible for us to receive our Dispensation, and has confidently travelled with us down these many years. He is an Honorary member of our Lodge, and with every one of us he bears that grand old name of gentleman.

No great events have marked the past five years. We have carried on the orderly routine of Lodge activities, gone our way as we have deemed that Masons should, struggled for no achievements, but with Brotherly Love, Relief and Truth lived in harmony with ourselves and neighbors. During the past five years, twenty-four Brothers have been raised and two have become members by affiliation, there have been fourteen deaths and twenty-three have left for various reasons. Our present membership is 188.

There remains but one thing more to record, and that the recent appointment by the Grand Master, of Worshipful Brother Frank Carroll as District Deputy Grand Master. We appreciate the honor that has come to Rufus Putnam Lodge, and consider it the outstanding event of our short history. In that little group of Brothers who carried the burden during those early years of our Lodge, there was a love of Masonry, a spirit of enthusiasm and progress that has become a tradition which has carried through all the intervening years, and we like to think that it was the loyalty and high standard ot work of all these Brothers that has made Rufus Putnam Lodge worthy of this honor.

In closing I am reminded of these lines:

Still on it creeps,
Each little moment at another's heels,
Till hours, days, years, and ages are made up
Of such small parts as these, and men look back,
Worn and bewilder'd, wond'ring how it is.

And I am "wond'ring how it is" the sands have run so very swiftly. I guess we view things this way as we grow older, but as we turn the glass tonight for the beginning of another period in our history, and see our members standing alert and ready for the burdens of oncoming years, I know the traditions of Rufus Putnam Lodge will be carried on, and the wonderful and brotherly love of Masonry will continue the help and comfort of not only our present Brethren, but many yet unborn in this beautiful hill-town of Rutland.

50TH ANNIVERSARY HISTORY, JUNE 1963

From Proceedings, Page 1963-166:

By Brother Joseph S. Jennette.

Early in the summer of 1911, several Masonic brethren met in the selectmen's room at the Town Hall to talk over the prospects and discuss the probabilities of starting a lodge of Masons in Rutland. Those who responded to the notice were Walter C. Brown, Frank B. Bacon, Dennis A. Smith, Louis N. Hanff, George B. Erskine, Maurice Menges and Lawrence E. Smith. Those present believed a good lodge could be maintained. Louis M. Hanff and Frank B. Bacon were authorized to visit the Grand Master and find out what was necessary to do in the matter. Charles E. Carroll was instructed to send notices to all Masons in Rutland at a date to be decided after the committee reported. At a subsequent meeting a report was made; and after hearing the reports, Louis M. Hanff was instructed to correspond with Lodges in Worcester and Barre to obtain approval of the petition; nothing definite was done until the meeting held in the reception-hall November 4, 1911, at which meeting Brother Charles E. Carroll presided. Clerk Louis M. Hanff reported that Mt. Zion Lodge of Barre approved the formation of a lodge in Rutland. Quinsigamond Lodge of Worcester desired more information as to what territory was to be covered, should a lodge be organized.

Brother Ira Smith was introduced and spoke of organization, cost of regalia and other necessary working tools.

It was then voted that the Masons present would approve of a lodge being formed, provided the amount of the assessment be not more than $10 on each member, and it was voted that the petition be circulated and signatures of Masons be obtained. Brother Ira P. Smith was authorized to confer with the Grand Lodge in relation to the organization of the lodge. The petition received signatures at this meeting and when presented to the Grand Secretary contained these names: Charles Elmer Carroll, Louis Maurice Hanff, Frank Barton Bacon, Charles Lemuel Randall, Homer B. Lovering, Charles Arthur Hanson, Arthur Francis Brown, Lawrence E. Smith, George Ethelbert Smith, Dennis Augustus Smith, George N. Lapham, Clarence T. Oliver, Walter Clay Brown, Benjamin Parker Child, Frederick William Moody, Arthur Bradley Peebles, Ira P. Smith, Frederick Alden Kehoe, John McGill Wise, Paul Abbott Longman, John Warren Moulton, Lewis R. Bigelow, and Lewis Frank Morris.

After this petition had been presented, it was learned that inasmuch, should a lodge be formed in Rutland, it would have joint jurisdiction over all adjoining towns with many other lodges and that the approval of lodges in Barre, Worcester, Spencer, Leominster, Fitchburg, Boylston, and Gardner would have to be obtained, since it was not possible to obtain these in time to have the dispensation allowed by Grand Master Dana J. Flanders, it was some time later that Grand Master Everett C. Benton granted the dispensation. Officers were elected in December of 1911: they were Worshipful Master, Rev. Arthur B. Peebles; Senior Warden, Walter C. Brown; Junior Warden, Charles E. Carroll. These men appointed the following to make a full slate of officers: Senior Deacon, Frederick W. Moody; Junior Deacon, Frank B. Bacon; Senior Steward, Maurice Menges; Junior Steward, George E. Smith; Chaplain, Dennis A. Smith; Marshal, Charles L. Randall; Inside Sentinel, Arthur F. Brown; Tyler, Fred A. Kehoe. Charles A. Hanson was elected Treasurer and Louis M. Hanff was elected Secretary. It was voted that the name of the Lodge be Rufus Putnam, after General Rufus Putnam, who was a prominent citizen of Rutland; and meetings were to be held on Monday prior to the full of the moon.

On May 4, 1912, the dispensation granted by the Grand Master was received by all members who signed the original petition to form this lodge.

The lodge met in the town hall for 8 months, from May, 1912, to January, 1913. The first communication in the new Masonic hall was a regular meeting held on January 20, 1913. The lodge and land were acquired from Francis A. Pratt for a total of $2050.

As we pause to mark this occasion with suitable exercises, there are few among us whose thoughts will carry back to our first years. Twenty-three brothers comprised our first roll of members. Only two remain with us now, Clarence T. Oliver, a member of our Lodge, and George S. Smith, now a member of Mount Zion Lodge.

The first six Worshipful Masters of Rufus Putnam Lodge came from its charter members. Of these, none are with us now. There have been 50 Masters of Rufus Putnam Lodge, and it stands to the credit of each of these men that "they fought the good fight, they finished the course, they kept the faith." Each year the wonderful spirit of Rufus Putnam Lodge has been preserved, each year the lodge has grown better because of its master, and each year the Master has become a better man because of the Lodge.

Sixteen of our Past Masters have died; of the remaining 34, William E. Hunt of Holden is the oldest living one and William T. Auger of Paxton, our 50th Master, is the youngest. The remaining Past Masters are still actively interested in the welfare of the Lodge.

Closely associated with us from the beginning of our Lodge until his death was our first District Deputy Grand Master, Right Worshipful Henry H. Dyke of Quinsigamond Lodge of Worcester. He made it possible for us to receive our dispensation and travelled with us down those early years. He was the only honorary member of our lodge.

Our lodge has shown rapid growth in membership, particularly in our last ten years. On our twenty-fifth anniversary we had 188 members, on the 40th we had 332 members, and today our 50th we have 545 members.

Our lodge has been honored by Grand Lodge on three occasions by appointments of three of our Past Masters as District Deputy Grand Masters for the Brookfield 21st Masonic District, Right Worshipful Frank Carroll serving during the years 1938 and 1939, Right Worshipful George M. Campbell for the years 1948-1949, and Right Worshipful Russell H. Gray for the years 1958-1959.

An event which has become an annual affair is our "Holden Night" first held in 1946. This meeting which is held in the Holden Town Hall in conjunction with Boylston Lodge brings together each year a large gathering of Masons from the Lodges in this vicinity.

The day after our 40th anniversary a tornado hit Worcester County causing great damage to life and property. Our lodge formed a disaster team helping Brothers in Rutland and Holden who were in need. A sum of $4,850 was sent from Grand Lodge to aid the Brothers in need.

In 1939, we purchased the Brown property to the north of this building and constructed a parking lot. Much work has been done by our members to improve our quarters: an addition was put on in 1959, and the refurbishing of our Lodge was completed in 1962. During these fifty years, many of those who worked so hard during our early days have left us, their places being filled by younger willing hands, working for the same purpose, "to make Rufus Putnam Lodge a better Lodge for all who are to follow."


GRAND LODGE OFFICERS


DISTRICTS

1912: District 21 (Worcester)

1927: District 21 (Brookfield)

2003: District 25


LINKS

Lodge web site

Massachusetts Lodges