SamuelOsgood

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SAMUEL OSGOOD LODGE

Location: Springfield

Chartered By: Arthur D. Prince

Charter Date: 03/08/1922 1922-42

Precedence Date: 03/24/1921

Current Status: in Grand Lodge Vault; merged with Roswell Lee Lodge to form Roswell Lee-Samuel Osgood Lodge, 06/28/1979. Now a part of Indian Orchard Masonic Lodge.


PAST MASTERS

  • James P. Smith, 1921
  • Gurdon W. Gordon, 1922; N
  • Douglas Crook, 1923; N
  • Frank Johnson, 1924
  • Frederick A. Kennett, 1925
  • Peter L. Steinbeck, 1926
  • Theodore B. Winter, 1927
  • Thomas A. Pearson, 1928
  • Frederick Darmstaedt, 1929
  • Ralph S. Spooner, 1930
  • Allison M. Brackett, 1931
  • Ray P. Dunning, 1932
  • Robert H. Downey, 1933
  • Walter F. Lauffert, 1934
  • Edward Jones, 1935
  • Osmond W. Snow, 1936
  • Charles R. Clason, 1937
  • Grant B. Cole, 1938
  • Alexander Cameron, 1939
  • Harold R. Bond, 1940; N
  • Fred Dickson, 1941
  • Raymond H. Peat, 1942; SN
  • Edward M. Whitaker, 1943
  • Norman R. Vester, 1944
  • Marshall W. Potter, 1945
  • Mark E. Reynolds, 1946
  • Sidney H. Smith, 1947
  • Allyn K. Talmadge, 1948
  • Walter F. Babbin, 1949
  • Norman H. Ferguson, 1950, 1976
  • Austin C. Kimball, 1951
  • Oren L. Moses, Jr., 1952, 1957
  • Henry Clifton Walker, 1953, 1973
  • George M. MacPherson, 1954
  • Timothy C. Goodrich, 1955
  • Lorin E. Pappas, 1956
  • William H. Perrishere, 1958
  • Herbert A. Dunham, 1959
  • Robert B. MacPherson, 1960
  • Harold D. Chapin, 1961
  • Earl J. Morrill, 1962
  • Bernhard H. Kearnstrom, 1963
  • Harold Ellis, 1964
  • Garfield A. Woods, 1965; N
  • Robert J. Illig, 1966, 1970
  • Kenneth W. Roberts, 1967
  • Norman L. Morton, 1968
  • Bernhard Bystryinski, 1969
  • Herbert A. Everett, Sr., 1971
  • William H. Muldrew, Jr., 1972
  • Henry C. Walker, 1973
  • E. Raymond Turner, 1974, 1975, 1978, 1979
  • Robert A. Ferrier, 1977

REFERENCES IN GRAND LODGE PROCEEDINGS

ANNIVERSARIES

  • 1971 (50th Anniversary)

VISITS BY GRAND MASTER

BY-LAW CHANGES

1923 1924 1925 1926 1930 1935 1937 1938 1947 1960 1964 1973 1974 1975 1977

HISTORY

  • 1971 (50th Anniversary History, 1971-131)

50TH ANNIVERSARY HISTORY, MARCH 1971

From Proceedings, Page 1971-131:

By Worshipful Edward Jones.

Instituted March 24, 1921, Chartered March 14, 1922 and Constituted in the afternoon of April 20, 1922, named "to commemorate the memory of Reverend Samuel Osgood, D. D., Pastor of the First Congregational Church in Springfield (The Old First Church) from 1809 to 1854", 1971 marks the year wherein this Lodge has become 50 years young in the history of Masonry or one half century old in terms of ordinary time.

Originally conceived as a business and professional man's Lodge following the pattern of English Craft Masonry, within a relatively few years a more cosmopolitan body emerged.

Frequently thought of as the youngest Masonic Lodge in the District, it is interesting to note that Samuel D. Sherwood Lodge in Springfield was constituted in the evening of April 20, 1922 and Charles C. Spellman Lodge in East Longmeadow was constituted in the evening of the day following — namely on April 21, 1922. The official records of the Lodge from the first preliminary meeting held in the then Springfield Masonic Temple at the corner of Main and State Streets to the present speak strongly for the zeal and affection expressed by the Charter Members and all those raised therein or affiliated therewith in the following years.

While the conventional method of presenting a history usually calls for treatment of the overall pattern in chronological order by dates, this historian has chosen to follow a sectional pattern by meeting places, membership, finances and recognitions.

MEETING PLACES

By charter, of course, the Lodge is limited to holding its regular meetings within the corporate boundaries of the City of Springfield. From its initial meeting in 1921 until January 7, 1926, meetings were held in the "Old" Masonic Temple aforesaid. This period was one of great activity. In addition to the organization of the Lodge, By-Laws were adopted at a December 13, 1921 meeting (and amended on numerous occasions since that time) and some indication of work accomplished is reflected in the fact that 118 communications, regular and special, are reported in the official minutes, or an average of a little over 25 per year were held. From January 7, 1926 through April 27, 1937, meetings were held in the then "New" Masonic Temple on upper State Street. These were crucial years encompassing the stock market crash of 1929 and the ensuing "Great Depression." Only 123 communications, regular and special, or an average of about 11 per year were held during this period. Samuel Osgood Lodge was not alone in experiencing lack of work and financial stress. The "New" Temple itself ran into dire financial difficulty which, in fact, occasioned a court order to "padlock" the building under the watchful eye of a deputy sheriff. This was the prime reason for the Lodge seeking the temporary quarters made available through the generosity of our sister Lodge in Indian Orchard.

Only two meetings were held in the Indian Orchard Temple; one on May 25, 1937 and the other on June 20, 1937. During this period, arrangements were made to hold future meetings in the Melha Temple at 347 Worthington Street in Springfield proper. This last mentioned Temple served as our meeting place from September 28, 1937 through February 18, 1943 or for about five and one half years. Seventy two meetings were held during this period or about 13 per year. The ups and downs of the economy are again reflected in the low rate of activity as compared with the first five years of the Lodge's existence. Dut to the lesser cost for rent and curtailment of other expenses, the Lodge emerged strong financially and the adversities experienced undoubtedly drew the Brethren together in an even more strongly knit Brotherhood.

From March 16, 1943, the date of the 318th communication of the Lodge to and through September 20, 1960 or the 707th communication, meetings were held in the Odd Fellows Temple at 185 Mill Street in Springfield. This period of about sixteen and one half years reflects activity second only to the first five years of the Lodge's existence. The records indicate that an average of 23.5 meetings per year, regular and special, were held during this tenancy.

On October 1, 1960, the date of its 708th communication, the Lodge moved its home back to the Masonic Temple on upper State Street where it still resides. As of September 22, 1970 when the 909th communication was held — or approximately ten years after its last move — the records indicate that nearly 20 meetings per year were the average measure of activity.

Thus, with the exception of the first five years of its life when Masonic activity was at a peak, Samuel Osgood Lodge appears to have enjoyed its greatest average number of meetings per year while housed at its former Mill Street address. Statistics are usually considered to be deadly but a number, as far as our Lodge is concerned, appear to be fully justified.

MEMBERSHIP

From the original 101 Charter Members in 1921 who, of course, then held dual memberships, the overall total rose to a net of 153 in 1924 and then declined steadily (due to deaths and demits primarily among the original Charter Members and the economic stress brought on by the Great Depression) until by 1939 and 1940 our total membership had shrunk to 89. From there on, however, steady growth to a maximum net total of 257 in 1961 and equalled in 1963 took place. For various and sundry reasons not easily ascertainable (except for the fact that there has been an increasing demand on each person's available time) the membership steadily declined to a total of 208 reported at the last annual meeting as of September 30, 1970.

In addition to those who have been elected to honorary membership as members of other Lodges, 435 have been admitted to active membership during the years up to the report at the last annual meeting either by being raised within the Lodge or by affiliation. This number together with the original Charter Members plus 5 additional so designated at a later date bring the gross total to 541 who have held membership in the Lodge.

The scythe of time plus voluntary demits and suspensions reflect substantial but not unusual shrinkage.

It is interesting to note that the maximum number admitted in any one year was 19 and this number was equalled in each of five separate years. At the other end of the scale no members were admitted in each of four separate years.

FINANCES

Charter Member fees of $1440. plus fees from work of $1715. plus interest received less disbursements for the first year of operation left a balance on hand on February 13, 1922 of $1530.30. As of November 10, 1923, the balance on hand held by the Treasurer was $858.24 while the Permanent Fund was initiated with the deposit of $187.25 and the Charity Fund with the deposit of $65. to a grand total of $1110.49 in cash assets.

In spite of the withdrawal from the aforesaid funds for legitimate purposes, the total cash assets of the Lodge as of the report at the annual meeting in 1970 were: cash on hand held by the Treasurer $587.24; Permanent Fund $5385.12; Charity Fund $4654.09; a Special Fund $4544.51 and an Organ Fund of $200.94 to a Grand Total of $15,371.90.

The dilution of the value of the dollar over the years makes the statement that the Lodge has increased its cash assets by nearly fifteen times somewhat erroneous as the blunt reference does not take into consideration the lesser purchasing power of the dollar. However, the record certainly depicts the prudence exercised by the Brethren and rightly has earned the envy and acclaim of our sister Lodges.

RECOGNITIONS

Of the fifty Brethren elected to serve our Lodge as Worshipful Master during the past half century, seventeen have passed on to the Celestial Grand Lodge and one only, Wor. Bro. Robert J. Illig has served for two terms, one in 1966 and the other in 1970. The listing of these Brethren, of course, currently appears on the back of the Lodge Calendar and need not be repeated here.

Our first Master, the late Rt. Wor. James P. Smith, was a Past Junior Grand Warden of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts, and the second, the late Rt. Wor. Gurdon W. Gordon, was a Past Deputy Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts. In addition, five of our Past Masters, Rt. Wor. Bros. Crook, Johnson, Bond, Peat and Woods, have served as District Deputy Grand Masters. The first petition for the degrees received by the Lodge was that of Wor. Bro. Charles R. Clason, who later served as the 17th Worshipful Master of the Lodge.

While it is most difficult to single out from so many who were founders, were raised in or became affiliated with us over the years for special mention, it would be remiss not to refer to a few.

Rt. Wor. Bro. Douglas Crook, our third Master, most certainly rates the title of Mr. Samuel Osgood Lodge himself. He not only was a prime mover in the founding of the Lodge, but was a primary writer of our original By-Laws and served the Lodge as Secretary for a period of ten years.

Rt. Wor. Bros. James Matthew and Frank Beardsell, both Past District Deputy Grand Masters of their respective districts and both elected to honorary membership in Samuel Osgood Lodge were highly instrumental through their encouragement, advice and actual participation in assisting the Lodge to weather the stormy years.

The late Wor. Bro. Alexander Cameron merits the acclaim of his Brethren for his excellence in ritual and his service for many years as Lodge Lecturer and our late Bro. Julian R. Rand for whom the original "Dollar or More Fund" was renamed, served as Tyler for many years as well as in other capacities.

The late Wor. Bro. Peter L. Steinbeck, not only served the Lodge for many years as Marshal following his service in the East but, as this historian knows, was a bulwark of strength to the Lodge during periods of adversity. Other Past Masters in recent years have heeded the call for assistance by filling vacant line chairs and other Brethren, too numerous to mention here, have given of their time and effort seemingly above and beyond the call of duty.

It is of these things that a strong Brotherhood is made. As the record shows, in spite of ups and downs, Samuel Osgood Lodge can face the future — the second half of its first century of existence — with rare confidence.

OTHER

  • 1924 (Participation in Springfield temple cornerstone laying, 1924-335)
  • 1936 (Reduction of fees approved, 1936-38)

GRAND LODGE OFFICERS

DISTRICTS

1921: District 33 (Springfield)

1927: District 33 (Springfield)


LINKS

Massachusetts Lodges