From MasonicGenealogy
Jump to: navigation, search



Location: Uxbridge

Chartered By: Francis J. Oliver

Charter Date: 12/10/1818 III-167

Precedence Date: 12/10/1818

Current Status: Active


  • Horace Seaver, 1818-1820
  • John Starkweather, 1821-1822, 1827, 1828
  • Pliny E. Capron, 1823
  • David Holman, 1824-1826
  • David D. Paine, 1829-1834
  • Royal Cummings, 1835?-1844
  • Hiram Clark, 1846-1855
  • Joseph Jefferson, 1856, 1857
  • Zadok A. Taft, 1858-1861
  • Charles A. Taft, 1862-1866
  • Crysis T. Scott, 1867-1870
  • Cyrus F. Baker, 1871, 1872
  • William Foster, 1873, 1874
  • Daniel W. Taft, 1875, 1876, 1885-1887
  • Arba C. Slater, 1877, 1878; SN
  • Orville B. Seagrave, 1879, 1880; Mem
  • Theophillus C. Ball, 1881, 1882
  • Thomas Finchon, 1883, 1884
  • John R. Scott, 1887, 1888
  • William L. Johnson, 1889, 1890
  • Lemuel F. Sumner, 1891-1893
  • Waldo E. Rawson, 1894
  • James H. L. Keegan, 1895, 1896
  • James Preston, 1897, 1898
  • Edward J. Prest, 1899, 1900
  • Joseph W. Preston, 1901, 1902
  • D. Wendell Taft, 1903, 1904
  • Charles A. Barton, 1905, 1906; Mem
  • William F. Waterhouse, 1907, 1908
  • Frank W. Scribner, 1909, 1910
  • Herbert R. Sayles, Jr., 1911, 1912
  • John H. Branagan, 1912-1914
  • Merton L. Griswold, 1915, 1916; SN
  • Charles E. W. Matthews, 1917, 1918
  • Albert E. Donald, 1919, 1920
  • Henry B. Stevenson, 1921, 1922
  • George B. Gunn, 1923
  • William E. Perkins, 1924
  • Roy P. Jackson, 1925
  • Carl G. Hockett, 1926
  • Wade B. Phoenix, 1927
  • Howard J. Holbrook, 1928; N
  • Earl H. Christopher, 1929
  • Robert W. Taft, 1930
  • Herbert S. Wood, 1931
  • Frank A. Scribner, 1932
  • William J. Smith, 1933
  • Robert S. Way, 1934
  • Kenneth E. Holtham, 1935
  • Lester P. Cramb, 1936
  • Axel H. Johnson, 1937
  • Milton L. Goldthwaite, 1938; SN
  • Verne W. Bassett, 1939
  • Joseph S. Hall, 1940
  • Herb C. Thompson, 1941
  • Charles E. W. Matthews, 1942
  • N. Herm Lindquist, 1943
  • William J. Taft, 1944
  • Harold E. Melvin, 1945-1947
  • George Wharton, 1948
  • Lester A. Sheldon, 1949
  • William J. Lynch, 1950
  • Amory A. Aldrich, 1951
  • Arthur R. Wyman, 1952
  • Beryle E. Doble, 1953
  • Raymond W. Moore, 1954
  • Elton C. Jones, 1955; N
  • Louis J. Caron, 1956
  • Robert W. Taft, Jr., 1957
  • Philip E. Thomas, Jr., 1958, 1977; SN
  • Earl D. Aldrich, 1959
  • Robert A. Taft, 1960
  • 'Abraham Levin, 1961
  • JohnR. Andrews, III, 1962
  • Richard F. Doble, 1963
  • Fred P. Grant, Jr., 1964
  • James W. Blackburn, Jr., 1965, 1984-1986; SN
  • Albert G. Berghuis, 1966
  • Philip A. Feddema, 1967
  • Kent B. Andrews, 1968, 1981
  • David A. Gaskell, 1969, 1979
  • Edward D. Barnes, 1970, 1971
  • John H. Blackburn, 1972
  • Thomas J. Gange, 1973
  • Ivan E. Mitchell, 1974
  • Gregory B. Clarke, 1975, 1976
  • 'Charles R. McLAm, 1978
  • Paul Pirell, 1980
  • Richard G. Johnson, Sr., 1982
  • 'Randy L. Dwight, 1984
  • Craig S. Wallace, 1987; PDDGM
  • Clifton C. Valarose, 1988, 1989
  • Carl W. Ruth, 1990
  • Michael E. Nelson, 1991, 1992
  • Albert J. Lodi, 1993, 1994
  • Charles H. MacGregor, 1995
  • Mark S. Watson, 1996, 2002, 2007, 2008; PDDGM
  • Ronald E. Howland, 1997, 1998
  • David E. Parker, 1999
  • William W. Butler, 2000
  • Walter H. Bennett, 2001
  • George C. Noble, 2003
  • Edward J. Palmer, 2004
  • Glenn T. Watson, 2005, 2006
  • William A. Brown, 2009
  • Jonathan K. Neitz, 2010
  • Peter D. Pendergast, 2011
  • Jonathan K. Neitz, 2012


  • Petition for Charter: 1818
  • Consolidation Petition (with Granite Lodge): 1993


  • 1918 (Centenary)
  • 1943 (125th Anniversary)
  • 1968 (150th Anniversary)



1873 1874 1876 1879 1881 1911 1912 1920 1924 1925 1947 1949 1958 1959 1967 1973 1976 1984 1994 2005 2010


  • 1918 (Centenary History, 1918-244; see below)
  • 1968 (150th Anniversary History, 1968-175)


From Proceedings, Page 1918-244:

HISTORY OF SOLOMON'S TEMPLE LODGE 1818-1918, by Rt. Wor. William L. Johnson

As we assemble here to celebrate the one hundredth birthday of the pioneer Lodge in the Twenty-second Masonic District we are reminded of the words of our genial poet Holmes:

"Little of all we value here,
Wakes on the morn of its hundredth year,
Without both feeling and looking queer:
In fact, there's nothing that keeps its youth,
So far as I know, but a tree and truth."

Little did our fathers dream when they formed the Lodge one hundred years ago tonight that we would assemble now to praise their work; but they built upon a strong foundation and their faith has made us strong through the truth.

Tradition tells us that previous to the formation of the Lodge the Masons of Uxbridge and the surrounding towns were wont to meet and consult in private houses. These meetings finally resulted in a petition to the Grand Lodge for a Charter in the name of Solomon's Temple Lodge, to be located in Uxbridge. This petition was favorably received by the Grand Lodge and a Charter was issued bearing the date of December 9, 1818, and signed by Francis J. Oliver, Grand Master, and John Soley, Grand Secretary. Curiously enough the names of the Senior Grand Warden and the Junior Grand Warden do not appear upon the Charter.

The original petitioners were twenty-two in number and their names follow:

Daniel Carpenter. John W. Slocum. Welcome Whipple. Ezek Pitts. Ezekiel Preston. David D. Paine. Richard Olney. Pliney E. Capron. Luke Prentice. Cheney Taft. Jesse Aldrich. Andrew Brown. Horace Seaver. Benjamin Taft. Frost Draper. John Starkweather. Charles S. Capron. Israel Mowry. Job Carpenter. Danforth Draper. Calvin Prentice. Alpheus Baylies.

They were all men of standing and influence in the community. Many of their descendants have brought honor and reputation to the good town of Uxbridge and even the lapse of one hundred years has not effaced the memory of their character and ability.

I want to say a few words about one of the Charter Members because of a very pleasant privilege which is mine tonight. Alpheus Baylies appears last upon the list, but he was really the moving spirit of the Lodge. He was a prosperous farmer Iiving near Williams Hill in the north part of the town, some two miles from the center. Though past the meridian of life he was as active in Lodge duties as he was influential in town affairs. He arranged a place for the first meeting, a little schoolhouse next to his own residence. He was on the committee to secure a hall for meetings, then on the building committee for the new hall, then on the dedication committee. He was the first Treasurer of the Lodge and served on the committee on character for all applicants for the degrees.

Through the kindness of Miss Annie E. Goldthwaite, a descendant of Alpheus Baylies in the fourth generation, I am pleased to present to the Lodge tonight the original apron worn by Brother Baylies at the first meeting of the Lodge. It is beautifully made of silk and has been carefully preserved, the initials of the owner being worked in, as was a frequent custom at that time. The erudition of the Right Worshipful Grand Secretary has explained what puzzled me greatly. The apron is a Royal Arch apron, and shows that Brother Baylies had taken his Chapter Degrees. The Royal Arch Degree was then conferred in Blue Lodges and the custom of this early day allowed Masons of higher rank to wear these aprons at Blue Lodge meetings and such he had undoubtedly done.

Fortunate indeed is the Lodge in any period of its history when it has a member of his attainments and energy to conduct its affairs, but doubly so when it is a new venture looked at with doubtful eyes by many worthy people. All honor to Alpheus Baylies and his co-workers. May the Lodge honor his memory at each succeeding anniversary.

The original records of the Lodge show that there were sixteen members present at the first meeting. The organization was as follows:

  • JOHN STARKWEATHER, Worshipful Master pro tem.
  • PLINEY E. CAPRON Senior Warden.
  • JOHN W. SLOCUM . Junior Warden.
  • ALPHEUS BAYLIES Treasurer.
  • CHARLES S. CAPRON Secretary.
  • ANDREW BROWN Senior Deacon.
  • DAVID D. PAINE . Junior Deacon.
  • FROST DRAPER Senior Steward.
  • ISRAEL MOWRY Junior Steward.

A committee was formed to arrange for a permanent place of meeting and the Luther Spring's hall in North Uxbridge was secured and here meetings were held regularly till the next November. These pioneers were too energetic to be satisfied with a public hall. On June 3, 1819, it was voted to build a Masonic Hall and a strong committee was appointed to carry the vote into effect. They secured permission from the town to build a second story on the Academy building, situated on the town common, and on November 25, 1819, the first meeting was held in the new hall, and it has been continuously occupied ever since.

'I'he Dedication of the new hall was the first public function of the new Lodge and it must have brought a full measure of pride and satisfaction to the faithful members. Alfred Baylies was the Chairman of the Committee of Arrangements: David D. Paine and Frost Draper were a committee to remove the Lodge furniture to the new hall, and Joseph Thayer and Jacob Chapin were a committee to prepare toasts. The oration at the Dedication was given by Reverend Brother Benjamin Wood, and the Grenadiers, the crack military organization in this section, turned out in force to honor the occasion. Alas that the records of the Lodge are so silent as to the full programme of the day! It would be a matter of great interest to us at the present time.

The early records of the Lodge sometimesthrow an interesting light upon the manners and customs of the people. March 23, 1820, at a regular meeting it was voted to refresh but once during a meeting. May 25, 1820, it was voted that the Brethren who partake of refreshments shall pay to the hands of the Secretary six cents and shall be called upon if not paid quarterly. Again the wisdom of our present Grand Secretary makes this curious vote clear. Six cents was the universal price at that day of a drink of New England rum! At the annual meeting in October a moderator was chosen to preside.

The meeting of May 6, 1824, seems to have been a very interesting one. There were seventy-one members present, the largest number recorded in the early records. The Lodge opened at two o'clock in the afternoon and the Brethren then proceeded to the meeting-house where an oration was delivered by Reverend Brother Otis Converse, after which they returned to the Lodge-room and partook of a bountiful collation. A side-light on the esteem entertained for clergymen in the early part of the last century is shown in the vote of December 22, 1825: Voted, that the Rev. Samuel Judson be invited to attend the next regular meeting, make a prayer, and listen to a Masonic discourse by Rev. Bro. Benjamin Wood and to partake of the refreshments furnished." All of which he did, though he was not a Mason.

It was more of a tribute to the distance some of the members had to come than to the thirsty proclivities of the Brethren when the Lodge voted, December 27, 1827, to have the Tyler furnish refreshments at each regular meeting, and these to consist of cheese, biscuits, and cider. At a subsequent meeting it was voted that the office of Tyler be put up at auction for the year ensuing. Brother Jesse Aldrich bid forty-five cents for the privilege and was declared elected. The next year he must have felt that he had overcharged the Lodge, however, for he bid fifty cents and was again elected. Now we have to pay our Tyler a substantial sum for his services, and I am constrained to think there was a connection between the nature of the refreshments and the desirability of the office. The members would certainly want to keep on the right side of the Tyler when he had the sole charge of the refreshments, both solid and liquid, and this made it worth while to pay a substantial sum for the privilege. I find no record that this vote was ever repealed, but no Brother would dare to bid for the position at the present time.

Either there was a growth in prohibition sentiment or the Lodge needed money when we find a vote, March 12, 1835, to sell, among other things, five decanters, twelve tumblers, five stone jugs, four pitchers, one punch-bowl, and a large waiter.

We now come to the trying period of Masonry, the time of the Morgan excitement. In this section the agitation was very strong and the most bitter feelings were aroused. From 1835 to 1845 there are no records of the Lodge and it is probable that no meetings were held. Royal Cummings was the Master during all this period, and though not a single member joined in the ten years, we honor him for his fidelity, for he preserved the Charter and the early records during all this time and kept up his interest in Masonry, as is evidenced by his subsequent activities.

The first decade of the Lodge was its period of greatest activity, for no less than one hundred and fifty-five joined the Lodge during that time, a truly remarkable record and an evidence of the high character and energy of its founders. How suddenly the change came! From 1829 to 1845 not one member was added to the Lodge and only three during the following ten years, making twenty-six years of almost complete stagnation. Just before the Civil War there was a great revival of interest in Masonry and the decade from 1858 to 1868 saw one hundred and thirty-one persons become members of the Lodge. So completely discouraged had the Lodge become in consequence of its long inactivity that we find a vote passed on April 9, 1851, to move the Lodge to Upton. Hiram Clark and Royal Cummings were appointed a committee to arrange for a hall and make the change, but fortunately the vote was never carried into effect. Another reason was the number and influence of the members of the Lodge resident in the town of Upton who regularly attended the meetings in Uxbridge until other Lodges were formed easier of access to the Upton Masons. There are now no members of Solomon's Temple Lodge who reside in that town.

Two Lodges have gone out from the mother Lodge in Uxbridge, Mumford River Lodge, of East Douglas, and Granite Lodge of Whitinsville. Both have made an honorable record in Masonic work and Granite Lodge has far outstripped the older Lodge in membership and opportunity.

I find the record of five members who have been District Deputy Grand Masters, Arba C. Slater, Orville B. Seagrave, Daniel W. Taft, William L. Johnson, and Charles A. Barton. Two have been elevated to the high and honorable position of Senior Grand Warden of the Grand Lodge, Daniel W. Taft in 1901 and William L. Johnson in 1918.

The usual term of office of the Master has been two years, but there have been notable exceptions. Royal Cummings and Hiram Clark each served ten years as Master, Zadok A. Taft and Charles A. Taft five years each, David D. Paine four years, while our first Master, Horace Seaver, served three years.

I cannot close without a brief tribute to three men who have left an indelible influence for good on Solomon's Temple Lodge.

Zadok A. Taft will rank as the greatest Master in our history. He was a plain, unassuming man, a farmer by occupation, and a born leader of men. He served the town in many offices with diligence and fidelity. He was devoted to the cause of education, serving many years as Chairman of the School Committee. He never spared himself or shirked a duty. He joined Solomon's Temple Lodge in April, 1857, and in December of the same year was elected Master, serving for five years. He mastered every part of the work without an apprenticeship! But this was only the beginning of his offerings to the Lodge. At the close of his term of service he was elected Secretary and served for eight years, was then elected 'I'rasurer and served for eighteen years, and was in that officeat the time of his death. Thus we have a continuous period of over thirty years of active duty in the most important offices in the Lodge. Modest and unpretentious by nature, he would be the last to claim what he so richly deserves, the crown of immortality in the memory of the Lodge.

Charles A. Taft may well be called the inspiration of Solomon's Temple Lodge. He was of a totally different type, dignified, persistent, and assertive, a banker by profession and thoroughly alive to all the important measures for the good of the community. He joined the Lodge also in April, 1857, and was elected as Senior Deacon in December of that year. He brought the ardor of youth and an intense love for the Craft into a Lodge dormant and cold. The result was an awakening that has not yet spent its force. He ably assisted the Master in every effort, served in the Warden's chairs, and in 1862 was elected Master, serving for five years. He has the distinction of raising more members than any Master in our history, no less than eighty-six having joined while he was in the Chair. He was active and energetic in the work of the Lodge as long as he lived. An abiding love for the Fraternity, sterling worth, indomitable perseverance, and great ability were his characteristics and the Lodge owes him a lasting debt of gratitude.

Daniel W. Taft deserves the title which has been given him of the best loved Master. He was not an original member of the Lodge, having been raised in Blackstone River Lodge where he had previously served as Master. He moved to Uxbridge shortly after the Civil War; and at once took an active interest in the Lodge. He was a man of large capacity, of great intellect, and unusual ability.He was a prominent and successful manufacturer, devoted to the interests of the community and ready at all times to give his best thought to the good of the town. He had that happy gift of attracting the earnest and enthusiastic regard of his friends. He was untiring in his devotion to Masonry. He was the standard authority on Masonic lore, a real teacher of the art. Night after night he would instruct a class of enthusiastic young beginners in Masonry, though his days were filled with solving intricate problems. He was known and loved in Masonic circles all over the State. He was my guide and counselor in every Masonic path as he was of many more who join with me in loving tribute to his memory.

Brethren, and what shall I say more? For time would fail me to tell of Seaver, of Starkweather, of Capron, of Holman, of Paine, of Morse, of Cummings, of Clarke, of Sweet, of Jefferson, of Scott, of Seagrave, of Finchon, of Keegan, of Preston, of Sayles, "Who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, stopped the mouths of lions, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the army of the aliens." These all died in the faith and through their labors we enter into a great heritage. Let us be worthy of our important trust.


From Proceedings, Page 1968-175:

By R. W. Philip E. Thomas, Jr.

As Solomon's Temple Lodge gathers to mark its 150th anniversary in this year of 1968 with jets screaming through the air faster than the speed of sound and man-made satellites circling the earth, it is difficult to visualize Uxbridge as it was on Dec. 10, 1818, when the Lodge held its first meeting. Sixteen of the 22 charter members were present in Luther Spring's Hall, sometimes known as the Spring Tavem, located in North Uxbridge at what is now the intersection of Rivulet Street and West Hartford Avenue.

The town's population was probably less than 2,000, since the official census of 1832 counted only 2,036 residents. Most men were farmers. The first woolen mill in town, a 20 by 40 foot building, had been erected by Daniel Day only eight years before on the West River. It was the second woolen mill in the country. In 1814 the Rivulet Mill came into existence, a small structure which used wool carted in by horses and wagons from Vermont. In those days, weaving was done in private homes, with the mills holding only carding and picking machinery. In short order the Ironstone Mill in South Uxbridge and the John Capron Mill in the town's center were started, but farming was certainly the town's mainstay in 1818.

Alpheus Baylies, said to be a prosperous farmer of the Williams Hill section, can be called "the father" of this Lodge. He arranged the early meetings of area Masons before it received its charter. Tradition informs us they met several times in a one-room district schoolhouse. Records do not reveal to what Lodges they already belonged, although it is known that Charity Lodge of Mendon existed before Solomon's Temple Lodge was organized. Among the most treasured Lodge mementos is the original diploma of Caleb Thayer, dated 1805, from that Lodge. Although not a charter member, he was a signer of Solomon's Temple By-Laws Feb. 4, 1819, also carefully preserved in the archives.

The original petitioners for a Grand Lodge Charter were: Daniel Carpenter, Welcome Whipple, Ezekiel Preston, Richard Olney, Luke Prentice, Jesse Aldrich, Horace Seaver, Frost Draper, Charles S. Capron, Job Carpenter, Calvin Prentice, John W. Slocum, Ezekiel Pitts, David D. Paine, Pliny E. Capron, Cheney Taft, Andrew Brown, Benjamin Taft, John Starkweather, Israel Mowry, Danforth Draper and Alpheus Baylies.

At the first meeting, Master John Seaver was absent and the Lodge was organized as follows: John Starkweather, Worshipful Master pro tem; Pliny Capron, Senior Warden; John W. Slocum, Junior Warden; Alpheus Baylies, Treasurer; Andrew Brown, Senior Deacon; David D. Paine, Junior Deacon; Frost Draper, Senior Steward; Israel Mowry, Junior Steward, and Jesse Aldrich, Tyler.

Since electric lights and paved roadways were far in the future, the first By-Laws provided that meetings should be held "on each Thursday preceding each full moon except when the full moon shall come on that day, in which case the Lodge shall be holden on that day." Moonlight must have lighted the path for many Masons of those days.

Fees were set at $5.00 for application, with a $10.00 initiation fee after unanimous balloting, $2.00 for the second degree and $3.00 for the third degree, considerable sums in those days. It is interesting to note that a two-thirds vote was sufficient to receive the second and third degrees and that several members advanced through all three degrees at the same meeting.

The meetings must have been examples of good decorum, since Article II of the By-Laws provided that "Every member shall address the master in due form and no brother shall interrupt another while speaking or treat his argument with levity or contempt; neither shall any of the brethren continue private conversation with each other while a brother is addressing the master."

Originally, Solomon's Temple Lodge, according to the By-Laws, was "an entered apprentice's lodge," although it conferred three degrees. Elections were set in May each year. "Election of the officers shall be held by ballot only, when no nominations shall be made but a majority of ballots appearing in favor of any candidate shall be conclusive and he shall be considered as duly elected to the office for which he was balloted."

In order that harmony be the strength and support of the Lodge, By-Laws provided the following: "That true brotherly love may at all times exist between brethren of the fraternity joined in social fellowship by the most sacred ties — if any difference of a personal nature does or may exist between two or more brethren of this lodge, it shall be the duty of the contending parties or either of them to apply to the master and wardens, who shall appoint a committee of three members before whom the contending parties shall state their differences and the committee shall decide thereon according to their best judgment.

"But if the parties be not satisfied with this decision, they shall appoint a fifth. It is provided always that if these four do not agree on a fifth brother, it shall be the duty of the master and wardens to appoint him. This committee of five shall hear the contending parties and shall decide, which decision shall be binding on the parties.

"If nevertheless either of the contending parties refuse to abide by the decision, or shall resort to legal prosecution for redress, he or they shall be deemed unworthy of the fraternity and shall be expelled from the society. Provided, also, if the contending parties shall absolutely in the first instance refuse to apply to the master and wardens, or to appoint a committee as before mentioned, they shall suffer the like penalty of expulsion."

Refreshments must have been an integral part of early meetings, as they are today, since the early By-Laws provided: "All expenses arising from refreshments shall be equally shared by all the brethren who shall partake of the same, except at annual meetings when the expenses may be taken from the funds of the lodge by a vote of the same. And every visiting brother on his first visit shall be exempted from the same."

Also provided in the original By-Laws was that they "be read distinctly once each quarter at least beginning at the annual election in May and oftener if required."

Most stringent of all By-Laws was this: "Any member of this lodge who shall absent himself from the same for the term of one year shall forfeit his membership unless he can render sufficient reason for so doing."

A total of 118 members were listed on an undated early record, including No. 41, Otis Taft, and No. 51, Otis Taft of Ux-bridge. The annual fee to Grand Lodge was $8.00 for the Lodge. Ministers were not charged fees for Lodge degrees nor annual dues, set at $2.00.

The Lodge's first meeting, Jan. 7, 1819, was attended by 17 members, with six visitors, and nine were proposed for membership. At the second meeting, Feb. 4, 1819, 17 members were in attendance, plus 15 visitors, and five were initiated. Apparently contrary to By-Laws, it was voted to appropriate $4.25 for refreshments from Lodge funds. It was also voted that "the next regular meeting be opened at 10 a.m." The hours of early meetings were seldom recorded, although it has always been assumed that most were held evenings.

At the meeting May 16, Luther Spring, owner of the meeting hall, was accepted and initiated, but there is no record of his ever advancing to other degrees, although his name appears on Lodge records June 27, 1827, as a committee member.

Fraternal visitations were an important part of early Masonry, as witnessed in this notation in the records of that meeting: "Voted that a committee of four be appointed to meet committeemen from Olive Branch, Morning Star, Charity and Fredonia Lodges at Samuel Wood's in Grafton for the purpose of arranging for the celebration of the Festival of St. John."

On June 3, the Lodge made its move toward providing private quarters. After voting that a sword be purchased for the tyler, it was voted that a committee be appointed to "select and report to the lodge a place suitable to erect a hall for the accommodation of Solomon's Temple Lodge." Oddly, according to the records, the committee reported at the same meeting and recommended "the north end of the town's common as the most suitable place for the proposed hall." Members also authorized a committee "to superintend the building of the above mentioned hall."

Meanwhile the town had voted approval March 3, 1819 of an article in the town warrant: "To see if the town will permit the erection of a private schoolhouse at the north end of the Common, between the cartway leading to widow Fanny Willard's backyard and the wall south of where the old blacksmith shop stands, providing said building can be erected by private beneficence."

Town history reveals that Solomon's Temple Lodge built the second story of what was to become known as the "Academy Building," to which total project 18 "proprietors" contributed 151,191.49 in material and labor. The exact nature of the agreement has never become fully known and later became the bone of contention in a seven-year lawsuit, opening in 1871. It was found at that time that there had been no act of incorporation, no school trustees, and Masons could not as a Lodge hold property in any case.

Tradition says that the early agreement, apparently unwritten, was that the academy was responsible for repairs to the north side of the 44 by 28 foot brick structure, also its west end and north roof, with the Lodge responsible for upkeep of the rest.

In any case, the Lodge voted October 28, 1819, that the new quarters be dedicated on Tuesday, December 7. Meanwhile, Grand Lodge connections were noted in the records of October 22, 1819 when R.W. James F. Rollins, District Deputy Grand Master, was paid $56.00, representing 16 initiates at $3.00 each, plus the $8.00 annual fee.

Perhaps Luther Spring did not relish the idea of losing the Lodge as monthly visitors, but in any case the records of November 11, 1819 revealed: "Voted that the work of this meeting be postponed until the next meeting, on account of being deprived of our usual privileges." A committee was voted to remove furniture to the new hall, and it was also decided that this "be the last meeting at L. Spring's Hall and the next meeting be at the new hall on the town's common."

Twenty-nine were present at the first meeting in the new quarters on November 25, 1819. Perhaps the most outstanding feature of Solomon's Temple Lodge is that it has met in those same quarters ever since, a record believed unmatched by any other Lodge in the United States.

The original "journal" records no dedication rites, with no entry on December 7, 1819, but the December 30 records noted it was "voted to thank Rev. Benjamin Wood and request a copy of the address given" and also "to thank the Grenadiers for the honors accorded at the ceremonies." A copy of Rev. Bro. Wood's address, printed in 1820, was recently given to the Lodge by Wor. Albert Andrews, Secretary of Montgomery Lodge, Milford.

Town history reveals that the north company of the militia, commanded by Otis Taft, disbanded in 1818 and joined the south company, commanded by John Grant, to become the famed L'xbridge Grenadiers under the command of Capt. John Carpenter. The organization broke up in 1831, with 16 answering the last roll call. Early 1820 records indicate that refreshments may have been largely liquid. On March 23, it was "voted that the lodge shall refresh but once at a regular meeting." On May 25, it was "voted that all brethren that partake of refreshments shall pay to the hands of the secretary 6 cents and shall be called upon if not paid quarterly." Six cents is said to have been the price of a drink of rum in those days.

Oddly, the first book of Lodge meetings contains records through April 12, 1821, while the second book repeats, almost word for word, the meetings starting June 19, 1820.

On Oct. 19, 1820, a committee was voted "to regulate the old subscription paper of subscribers for building Masons Hall, also to obtain a subscription for painting said hall, also to see it painted when sufficient funds are available for the purpose."

Refreshments voted at subsequent meetings came to 80 cents, $1.66 and even 62 1/2 cents for example. Lodge members came from a wide area as shown at the May, 1821 meeting when committee members included Brethren from Mendon, Smithfield, Douglas, Milford, Northbridge and Uxbridge.

The meeting in December 1821 must have been a short one. The record notes: "No work done, lodge closed, refreshments 50 cents, eight present." Perhaps it was a snowy night.

Attendance must nevertheless have been a problem even in those days before the automobile and television, since on December 26, 1822, it was "voted that the article which relates to forfeiture of membership be so amended that the absence shall not work a forfeiture of membership."

At the same meeting it was voted that "in the future we have no other refreshment than crackers, cheese and cyder and that there be paid therefore six cents." If indeed brethren had been "refreshing" with six-cent rum, those days apparently were over.


A rather unusual entry, if correct, on January 23, 1823, noted: "Voted to make 100 copies of Br. Woods sermon delivered at the funeral of Br. Saunders and to pay him eight cents out of the funds of the lodge." It is to be hoped the secretary meant that Bro. Wood was to be paid eight cents per copy.

On March 20, a committee reported $64.00 due on subscriptions for building the hall and £26.00 due for painting.

The meeting in May of that year must have been an interesting one, judging from this entry: "The names of the brethren were not so particularly minuted as usual as it was deemed impossible on account of the pressure of business to keep an account of who was refreshing, Each one, therefore, made his appearance, or not, as he chose at the secretary's desk, who found paid in $4.40." That's a lot of refreshing.

On September 18, the Lodge paid Samuel Prentice for tyling 75 cents.


Feb. 13, 1824. "Paid 20 cents for two letters from the Grand Lodge." Postage due, no doubt.

A gala meeting was held May 6, when 71 members were present, the largest number recorded in the early history. The lodge was opened at 2 p.m. and proceeded to the meeting house, now the Unitarian Church, where an address was given by Rev, Bro. Otis Converse. Brethren returned to the lodge room, where they enjoyed "a cold collation prepared for the occasion."

On Nov. 4 it was voted "to choose a committee to finish the south canopy and to report what quantity of cloth and fittings is left at the next meeting."

On Nov. 25 it was proposed "that from and after the communication in March our regular communications shall be once in two months, to meet at 9 o'clock a.m." The proposal decision was postponed in March 1825, until September, and there is no record of any action taken at that time. However, meetings continued to be held monthly, even through the summer. Appetites again came to the fore at that March meeting, when it was voted that the annual meeting be "followed by a good warm dinner."


On May 27, it was voted to attend ceremonies at the laying of the cornerstone of Bunker Hill Monument in Boston on June 17, as announced in a letter from Grand Lodge. No record was made of how many brethren attended or how they traveled.

It must be remembered in visualizing early Lodge history that the town in those days was served only by stages, the north-south route between Providence and Worcester and the east-west route from Boston to Hartford crossing in Uxbridge. The Blackstone Canal did not come into existence until 1828 and lasted only 20 years, while the Providence-Worcester railroad was not completed until 1847. Our ancient brethren undoubtedly traveled mostly by horse and wagon or on horseback.

On October 24, it was voted "to procure an orator to deliver an address at our next regular communication. It is understood that there will be a supper provided from the funds of the lodge."

On December 22, bearing witness to the esteem in which clergymen were held, it "was voted that the Rev. Samuel Judson be invited to attend the next regular meeting, make a prayer, and listen to a Masonic discourse by Rev. Bro. Benjamin Wood and to partake of the refreshments furnished." All this he did, although he was not a Mason.


March 23. Alpheus Baylies was chosen on a committee "to procure a set of lamp tapers equal to those in the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts." It was also voted "in the future each Mason made in this Lodge shall on receiving the third degree be presented with a monitor or Masonic chart and shall pay the price of the same in addition to the usual fee."

It must have been a busy meeting, since it was also voted "to purchase a Masonic mirror, price $2.50." Also approved was that "Wm. E. Capron be a committee to procure a copy of the constitution and by-laws of the Grand Lodge." Perhaps before that time, Solomon's Temple Lodge did without these important copies, although it was in communication with Grand Lodge through district deputies and also its Grand Lodge representatives, the first, Thomas Farnum, named Oct. 7, 1819.

On April 20. a committee was named to have the window blinds and sign painted and the blinds provided with proper fastenings. The sign referred to may be the same as now hangs on the outer eastern wall of the Lodge building, decorated with appropriate Masonic symbols. Records do not reveal when the present sign was first hung.


The quality of charity is revealed in the entry of July 5, 1827: "Voted that this lodge contribute to our worthy distressed brother Jose D. Garcia, an exile from Spain, $15.00 for his relief."

On November 1, it was voted to choose a committee of three to confer with two neighboring lodges relative "to hiring a lecturer to give lectures." Evidently, regular Lodge work, was at a temporary ebb.

December 27, it was "voted that the tyler provide at all regular meetings cheese, biscuits and cider for refreshments."


February 25, 1828. "Voted three members be a committee to take into consideration the petition of sundry brethren from Douglas for the purpose of locating a lodge in said town." The movement started with this action was not to come to fruition until 1877, when Mumford River Lodge of East Douglas was chattered. Solomon's Temple Lodge was in favor of the new lodge, even in 1828, as shown in the March 27 action, "The request of sundry brethren in favor of a new lodge in Douglas was taken up. Voted in favor of a new lodge being granted in Douglas."

It must have been a warm summer, since on June 26 it was voted "that the meeting in July be dispensed with and that the lodge meet next on the regular communication in August." This was the first instance of a summer recess for the lodge, in modern times an annual two-month hiatus in July and August.

On September 13, it was voted "to choose a committee of two to agree with Bro. Samuel B. Prentice on the sum he shall receive for tiling the ensuing year. Chose Bro. John Benson, Dr. William C. Capron. They report to give him $12.00 which was accepted."

Attendance was at a low point for the balance of the year, with only six present Oct. 16, eight on Nov. 20 and ten on Dec. 18. However, the first decade of the lodge was an active one, with 155 joining during that period.


This year marked the start of a 26-year period during which the young lodge fought for its very existence. Not one member was added to the lodge until 1846 and only three were added during the following decade. But the strains of the Morgan excitement and the misguided swell of anti-Masonic sentiment failed to shake the steadfast fortitude of the nucleus of brethren who made up Solomon's Temple Lodge, which remained to experience the great revival in Masonry in the Civil War period when 131 men were initiated between 1858 and 1868.

On April 16, 1829, the brethren voted "that coffee shall be substituted for cyder at our regular meetings" and that a committee be named "to procure an apparatus for preparing the coffee."

November 5. "Chose Bro. Charles A. Spring of Boston to represent this Lodge at Grand Lodge of the state for one year from installation of the officers of Grand Lodge in December next. The lodge having learned that Bro. C. A. Spring does not reside in the state, chose Bro. William J. Whipple to fill the above office."


The vote of the previous year regarding the substitution of coffee for "cyder" apparently bore further fruit, since on Feb. 4, 1830, it was "voted to form a temperate society connected with Solomon's Temple Lodge called Masonic Temperate Society." The records make no further mention of this society.

At the same meeting, Masonic troubles of the era first appeared in Lodge records with the entry, "Named a committee to lake into consideration seceding Masons."

March 4. our committee to whom was referred the duty of enquiring into the subject of seceding Masons and the manner in which they ought to be dealt with, beg leave to report: "That in the opinion of your committee all seceders have forfeited the confidence of the Masonic family and their conduct has rendered them unworthy of our protection as Masons, and we sec no reason why they should be allowed to fellowship with us as such when they are mingling their influence with the feeble exertions that arc making to destroy the institution, and as they have in our opinion richly merited expulsion we deem it an act of justice to them and for the interest of Masonry that they be dealt with accordingly, Timothy H. Morse, chairman."

May 6. It was "moved and seconded that the regular communications of this lodge hereafter be held quarterly instead of monthly as per by-laws." The motion apparently failed to pass, since meetings were held in June, although only seven attended and in July, with just five present.

On September 2, a report was given of an interview with a seceding Mason, "they have conversed with him on the subject and that he wholly renounces Masonry and represented it to be a dangerous institution, and the tenor of his whole conversation was such as led the committee to believe him to be actuated by that kind of misguided zeal which resists all human reason and which renders a man a useless and even dangerous member of any society whatever." Expulsion was recommended. Such was the sort of resistance which the Lodge faced and overcame. Nowhere in the Lodge records is there any mention of actual expulsions, although such must have taken place.

However, times were not easy on Masons or on Solomon's Temple Lodge. At the same meeting it was voted to amend the by-laws and meet only in March, June, September and December.

Evidently to rally the brethren, it was also voted "to choose a committee to provide refreshments at our next communication either by dinner at the tavern or in the hall as they may judge proper." Also voted was that the meeting would begin "at 9 o'clock p.m."

December 23. "Opened and entered lodge. Omitted the usual forms and ceremonies, voted our next communication commence at 10 o'clock before noon, closed without ceremony."


March 24. "Voted next meeting in September at 10 a.m." Eighteen brethren were recorded in attendance.

October 20. Meeting adjourned from September, Officers were elected and Jesse Aldrich was voted "to have according to his bid 55 cents each meeting for tiling the ensuing year." The action followed passage of a vote "that the office of tyler be put up for auction for each meeting the ensuing year." On Sept. 5, 1832, Brother Aldrich "bid 50 cents and it was struck off to him," so apparently he had the job well in hand.

Services came cheaply in those days, judging by 1968 standards, since the October meeting also included a vote "to accept Bro. Daniel Seagraves bill of fifty cents for washing the hall."

1832 - 1845

September 5. Twenty-one were present at this 1832 meeting. The next record is for a meeting February 28, 1833, when eight members and a visitor were present and the question proposed lor discussion was "Which is the best, to use ardent spirit as a drink or abstain from it?"

The next recorded meeting was on September 26, 1833, when eight attended. Officers were elected Octobr 24, 1833 for the last recorded time until 1845.

On March 12, 1835, it was voted "to sell 6 chairs, 1 looking glass, 5 decanters. 12 tumblers, 1 coffee boiler, 4 pitchers, 5 stone jugs, 1 pail, 1 bowl, 1 pr. andirons, 1 waiter, 4 lamps, 1 desk and 2 supporters," perhaps signaling the most crucial moment in the history of the Lodge.

Also voted at that meeting was to "name a committee to settle with the First Congregational Society on account of the society's making use of the hall as a place of worship the past season."

September 3, 1835. Four members were present: David D. Paine, Master; Luther Short, Senior Warden; Edmund Hill, Junior Warden, and Horace Emerson, Secretary. In those days, officers were listed without regard to whether they were elected or merely serving pro tern. Consequently there is no way to ascertain whether or not these four were regular officers. Timothy H. Morse, as far as secretary's records show, was the last Master, elected October 24, 1833, until January 23, 1845. The records do not show that Brother Morse was ever installed Master. David D. Paine, a charter member, was master from 1829 to 1833 as far as the official records are concerned.

An earlier history of the Lodge indicated that Royal Cummings (spelled Cumings most of the time in Lodge records) was Master during the 1835-1845 period, but official records do not indicate that he was ever elected Master until 1846, when he served one term. However, he was an exceedingly active Lodge member, serving in many capacities and it is possible R.W. William L. Johnson, who wrote the centennial history, had information available to him which had been handed down by word of mouth from those trying days. Brother Cummings was listed as Master at the March 12, 1835 meeting.

The last words of the September 3, 1835 record were perhaps prophetical: "closed without ceremony." There are no records for the next 10 years, as witnessed in the record book by "Dan'l W. Taft" in November, 1868. The thick record book indicates that pages covering that decade could have been ripped out.

In any event, the next entry opens with the words, "By request of the district deputy grand master, Solomon's Temple Lodge met at the Masons Hall, Uxbridge, January 23, 1845."

It was "Voted to reorganize" and officers were elected, headed by Hiram Clark, Master.


June 17, 1845. Elisha Southwick was named "a committee 10 inform the applicants for Masons Hall the reasons why they could not obtain it for their abolition convention." An invitation was read from "Chepatched Lodge" to attend the July 1 anniversary of their lodge.

July 17. The treasurer reported having $240.67 and 60 charts.


May 7, 1846. Voted "closed and stand closed until the regular communication in September." Eight attended the communication.

September 3. "Voted a committee of three to get the work of the order in a thorough manner that they may be enabled to communicate same to the brethren when required to do so at die expense of the lodge." Evidently ritual work had suffered during the lodge's most trying days.

October 1. "Voted to choose a committee of six to visit the brethren generally in this and adjoining towns that formerly met with us but do not now, and ascertain the reasons why if any they do not, and solicit them in a cordial and brotherly manner so to do."

November 19. Royal Cumings elected master.

December 31. The By-Laws committee proposed that meetings be changed from the full of the moon to the first Wednesday each month, also "that committees be appointed by the chair." Also, "voted to choose a committee to ascertain whether a room can be obtained in East Douglas suitable for holding Masonic meetings."


March 24. "Voted that the hall be rented to the Society of Odd Fellows if they wish it for one dollar per evening, they paying all damage other than common wear, the rent to be paid quarterly." Uxbridge Lodge, Odd Fellows, was chartered that year.

April 29. Members turned down the change in meeting nights, but approved the naming of committees by the Master.

May 27. Disquantum Hall in Milford was reported by a committee to be available for occasional Masonic meetings at 50 cents each night,

August 26. Voted to buy two dozen aprons for $18.00.

October 27. "Voted that there be notice given the Worcester Spy and Woonsocket Patriot (newspapers of the day) of our next regular communication."


The Providence-Worcester railroad through Uxbridge had been completed and the canal connecting those cities, first opened in 1828, was closed. Stages through town were to keep running until 1866.


March 8. "Voted $5 to aid a "Masonic College in Kentucky."

August 3. "Voted to raise a committee of three to look up the papers and the claims this lodge has on the proprietors of the lower part of the building to keep the roof in repair."

March 21. "Voted to choose a committee of one to get legal information in regard to repairing the roof of this building." Evidently the leaky roof was proving to be a major headache.

April 9. "Voted to repair the roof cupola and take down the north chimney and put the stove pipe in the east chimney of the building." More important, it was "Voted to move this lodge to Upton the next meeting but one" and "voted to choose a committee to visit the hall in Upton."

August 6, "Voted to raise a committee of three to take into consideration the removal of this lodge to Upton and also in regard to the new lodge about to be established in Grafton."

September 10. Royal Cummings, secretary for several years, reported that he did not get the recommendation of the District Deputy Grand Master or Olive Branch Lodge on the proposed removal to L'pton, or in regard to the new lodge about to be established in Grafton."

October 8. Evidently the Upton move was found undesirable some time between meetings, because at this communication no mention was made of it and the Lodge "voted to get this hall shingled without delay."

December 3. The war over the leaky roof was not over, though, as brethren voted "that a committee of one be appointed to take charge of the lower room and take care of it until one-half of the expense of repairing the roof and interest is received." The secretary noted "Bro. Joseph Jefferson this day took possession of the lower room in this building."

At the same meeting, Royal Cummings (with two m's) was elected proxy to the Grand Lodge, evidently the first Solomon's Temple member so named.


March 19. A short record of activities: "Opened and closed." The following five years must have been trying for the Lodge, but meetings were held and recorded, with little activity and few brethren in attendance.


April 8. Zadock Taft became a Master Mason and was named the same night to "a committee of three to see about altering the stairs." He became the sparkplug and guiding light which lifted Solomon's Temple Lodge to new heights. He was elected Master in December, 1857, and served five years. He then served eight years as Secretary and followed with 18 years as Treasurer, the office he held at the time of his death.


January 27. The Lodge named its first relief committee "to pay out small sums of money in case of emergency."

July 21. The new committee reported it had "assisted a traveling brother to the amount of 66 cents, which was accepted." (We can only speculate in 1968 what sort of assistance was rendered for 66 cents. Certainly the committee did not appear to take their duties and responsibilities lightly.)

September 22. "Voted that the committee on ventilation repair the broken windows in the hall." (Evidently too much ventilation.)

November 17. Paid $5.00 to Bro. Aaron March for tyling for the year.


February 16. Voted to pay funeral expenses for a brother — $10.00. Also, the relief committee reported a visit to a widow, who was presented $5.00. The Lodge voted to reimburse the committee 40 cents for expenses. At the same meeting, a committee, named January 12, reported there was no insurance on the Lodge or its furnishings and Zadock Taft was authorized to arrange suitable insurance.

March 16. Voted to whitewash the Lodge room and entry, paper the anteroom, repair and paint the blinds, including "painting the outside trim and drawing sash."

April 13. Voted to purchase $500.00 worth of insurance for seven years at a cost of £13.00. Also approved duplicate lodge keys for Odd Fellows "at their expense."

The Lodge also voted to instruct the secretary to collect the debt owed by "owners of the lower part of this building."

December 2. "Voted that the installation be in part public." Members were each allowed to invite "three persons not Masons." Brethren of Blackstone River Lodge were invited and notices of the ceremonies were ordered sent to brethren in Northbridge, Upton and Hopkinton, as well as Blackstone.

Under the leadership of Zadock Taft, the Lodge had undergone a real reawakening.


April 5. Permission was voted for the Sons of Temperance to rent the hall. It was also voted to buy curtains for the Lodge room at a cost of $52.49.

November 22. Each member was voted permission "to invite two ladies to the installation." (Honest, that's what the records say.) The Lodge voted to hire singers, too.


February 21. "Voted to buy a chart, 3 doz. gloves and singing books."

April 17. Bro. Harvey Newell presented the lodge "a beautiful bronze letter G." The Lodge purchased a new seal for $ 12.21. A committee was named to provide Grand Lodge with names of brethren serving in the Army, the Civil War having begun. The chart and gloves cost $24.50; the singing books, $6.45.

November 14. Voted that each member could invite "one lady" to the installation. (Maybe things didn't work out the previous year.)

December 12. Voted the Lodge pay the traveling expense of one member to meetings of Grand Lodge, $6.25.


November 6. A vote of thanks was accorded to Zadock Taft "for the able and impartial and satisfactory manner in which he has imparted the duties of his office."


April 6. By vote of the Lodge, the Secretary was instructed to keep a record of the deaths of Lodge brethren. December 24. A committee was formed "to fit up the altar or procure a new one."


March 17. The new altar was approved. It cost $28.30. A dispensation was given by Grand Lodge to confer three degrees the same night to Albert A. Sherman, a soldier in the Civil War then raging.

July 14. "Voted to buy 6 doz. gloves, enough for all members." It was also voted to pay the expenses of a lecturer for St. John's Day.

It was also voted "to light and warm the lodge for £12.00 a year." for the Odd Fellows Lodge.


During the year, brethren approved purchase of three dozen "cane-seated arm chairs" at $32.00 a dozen, three stands at $25.00 each, settees at 75 cents per foot and a cabinet organ at $115.00. They also "voted to get one of the grand Lecturers to instruct the Lodge in the work and lectures."

After the tyler threatened to resign, "the pay being inadequate," he was voted 50 cents per meeting for taking care of the lodge room.


May 24. It was voted that "a committee of three be appointed to take into consideration the subject of improving the anterooms, also what can be done to enlarge them, if land can be procured on which to put an addition to this building, the probable expense of same, also for erecting an addition suitable for our present and prospective wants."

June 25. The committee report on "what can be done thereto" was accepted. A conference on jurisdiction was held by masters of lodges in Grafton, Milford, Oxford, Blackstone and Uxbridge.


March 14. "Voted to buy one-half the lot adjoining the lodge from Mr. Hudson for $350" but in April the deed was reported "objectionable" and the sale did not go through.

May 16. The Lodge purchased a belt and sword for the Tyler and collars for the officers. It was also voted "to buy white aprons for those who did not buy lambskins if required by Grand Lodge."

Bro. Daniel W. Taft was thanked for his gift of a Bible.

June 13. The Lodge paid $342.25 for a Lodge banner and collars. This banner is well preserved in a special case in the lodge room.


January 9. Solomon's Temple Lodge was then in the 12th Masonic District, evidenced in the records by the notation "The above degree conferred under the authority of DDGM H. C. Skinner of Milford, 12th Masonic District."

March 13. "After the lodge closed at 10 o'clock, the brethren formed a procession and marched to the hotel where a collation was prepared for them by mine host of the Wacantuck House to which the brethren done full justice."

June 14. The lodge bought insurance for the organ, $75.00; the banner and regalia, $150; and the lodge furniture, $75.00. It was also voted to pay the Grand Lodge Commutation tax of $9.00 at once or $1.00 a year for 12 years per member, with members to repay the lodge.

October 1. Renovations of the lodge room, including a new carpet, were approved.

December 10. The 50th anniversary celebration was held. The Unitarian Choir sang, R. W. Daniel W. Taft installed new officers, Charles A. Taft gave a historical address and the Rev. T. E. St. Johns of College Hall gave an address on "The Ideals of Masonry." Prayer was offered by the Rev. H. W. Conant of Providence. A banquet with 125 in attendance followed in the Wacantuck Hotel.

"At 12 o'clock low twelve the company separated, hoping that when another 50th anniversary comes around that Solomon's Temple Lodge will have an existence and will celebrate the event with joy and gladness."


March 20. "Voted to pay the Whitinsville Band $10.00 for service rendered during the funeral of Bro. Batchelor."

April 22. The lodge authorized a committee "to consider the matter of taking possession of the lower part of the building." Evidently the Lodge takeover in December, 1851, didn't last very long. The so-called "Macomber Academy" had operated in the lower room for several years and was said to have had 180 pupils in 1849, although how they were accommodated in this small building remains a mystery. The lower hall was also said to have been the site of the town's first high school in 1867. However, high school classes were soon moved to the then new Center School.

November 25. Progress reported on taking over the lower hall.

December 16. The committee reported more progress and listed the original proprietors who "were contributors to the building of the first floor of this building."


April 11. "Voted to purchase the lot of land in the rear of the Academy Building formerly owned by Samuel Hudson."

November 16. Crisis Scott, retiring Master who served three terms, was presented a past master's jewel by the Lodge, the first to be so honored, according to the records. (Later his name was spelled "Crysis").

December 1. "Voted to proceed legally to take possession of the hall below until such time as they shall receive compensation in full for the expense incurred in keeping the outside of this building in repairs, which are justly charged to the proprietors."


March 2. The committee reported that it had bought out residents of the lower hall for #30.00, but records arc vague on this point.

March 30. "Voted to build a cupboard in the lower hall for the storage of crockery." In July a committee was authorized to "clean up and repair the lower hall."

October 26. A letter was received from the Grand Master asking aid for brethren in Chicago following the great fire of Oct. 18.

November 23. A letter from Dr. Alonzo W. Bennett asked the lodge to surrender its rights to the hall so the town could build a new Town Hall just north of the Academy Building which would include suitable quarters for the lodge of Odd Fellows, as well as Solomon's Temple Lodge.


March 21. Brethren were summoned to court to surrender the lower hall.

April 18. The Lodge voted to give up all rights in the Academy Building provided the town would build a new hall with Masonic rooms to be rented by the Lodge.

About this time the lower hall was rented as quarters for the district court. After seven years of legal battling, the town was awarded ownership on September 15, 1879, with the Lodge allowed use of the upper hall, rent-free, by vote at a town meeting.


October 22. The Lodge rejected a motion to move to Whitinsville.

November 19. It was voted "inexpedient to move."


May 4. By-Laws were amended so that meetings in July and August could be omitted by vote of the Lodge.

August 3. "A petition was presented from brethren of East Douglas praying for letters of dispensation or a warrant of constitution to empower them to assemble a legal lodge to discharge the duties of Masonry." It was signed by 16 brethren and approved by Solomon's Temple Lodge.

December 19. Notice was given that Pliny Capron, 81, a charter member, had died in Providence.


October 10. The Grand Master wrote, asking aid for yellow fever victims in the South.


April 3. Grand Master, Charles A. Welch, spoke at a lodge meeting in Uxbridge, giving data including 26,000 Masons in Massachusetts at that time. The lodge paid $3.50 for his travel expenses. He also asked aid in reducing the Grand Lodge debt of $265,000 for the Boston Temple.

September 25. "Voted to pay one-half the bill rendered by Judge Nelson against the town of Uxbridge and Solomon's Temple Lodge which would be $75.00."

November 27. Grand Master Brother Welch was present for the public installation of Orville B. Seagrave at "Orthodox Congregational Church." Supper tickets were $1.00 each.


July 29. Voted to commute the Grand Lodge tax and assess each member $5.00. "This will free you further payment of the Grand Lodge Temple Tax and this lodge from further trouble on its account." By Aug. 31, the tax had been paid for 132 members.

October 14. Twenty-two members of the Lodge petitioned to form a new Lodge in Whitinsville. It was chartered Sept. 14, 1881, as Granite Lodge.

November 11. "Previous to the installation of Wor. T. C. Ball, he was caused by the district deputy grand master to receive the past master's degree in accordance with the customs and regulations of the ancient constitutions of Masonry."

One of the brethren was paid $18.00 for watching 18 nights with an ill brother, the usual fee.


June 9. The Odd Fellows asked to swap their cupboard for our wardrobe in the anteroom.

October 1. The Grand Master proclaimed mourning for assassinated President Garfield.


December 21. A committee was named to buy a fireproof .safe. At the following meeting, #65 was voted to pay for it. (The Lodge still uses this safe.)


October 1. "Voted that funds left invested or at interest be deposited in the name of lodge trustees." Thanksgiving turkeys were purchased for recent Masonic widows. This custom was followed by the Lodge for many years.

December 3. A letter was received from Bro. Daniel Southwick of Farnumsville, a Blackstone native who became a member of Solomon's Temple Lodge at "Spring's Tavern" in 1819. He wrote that he had attended the lodge regularly until the "Morgan excitement when the lodge was closed two or three years." He was born in the Blackstone section of what was then the town of Mendon, Aug. 19, 1792. He was 96 and had been a Lodge member nearly 70 years when he died on Jan. 3, 1889, in Farnumsville.


October 30. At the installation of Daniel W. Taft "the brethren formed in procession and marched to the vestry of the Unitarian Church where refreshments were ready for 75 or more but on account of the inclemency of the weather there were but 25, after which we were favored with remarks from several of the brethren." DDGM Orville B. Seagrave made his official visitation during the same communication. He represented the 19th District. He died in that office on Feb. 26, 1886, at the age of 48.


February 26. Brethren voted to purchase inside blinds for the lodge room.


May 3. "Voted to purchase furniture for the lodge room to replace that owned by the Odd Fellows."

October 7. The lodge paid out {5132.00 for new furniture, $89.76 for a new carpet, and a painting bill of $81.00.

December 9. An exemplification was mentioned for the first time in lodge records, when it was noted "$5.00 was voted for the lodge share of the exemplification at Douglas." It was also voted to buy new tables for the anterooms.


May 1. After nearly 72 years of Lodge Meetings lighted with candles, whale oil lamps and kerosene lanterns, the Lodge "voted to light the hall with electric lights." Ten were deemed sufficient, to cost $22.00. The first electric bill was $2.50, paid in June.


April 7. Brethren took steps to protect furnishings by voting "holding of coffee parties in the main hall, whereby the carpet and furniture is greatly damaged, be forbidden."


June 29. A letter was read asking that Solomon's Temple Lodge form an Eastern Star Chapter. Orion Chapter actually came into existence in 1907 and has met in the quarters of Solomon's Temple Lodge and shared its facilities since that time.


January 10. A letter was received from Grand Lodge forbidding ciphers to be printed or cause to be printed, and reminding that no member could buy or sell a cipher under penalty of expulsion. Brethren of 1968 can well sympathize with their brethren of 73 years ago in their quest of perfect ritual, but restricted to word of mouth instruction.

April 4. The Grand Lodge apron of Bro. Edward Payson Clarke was presented to the lodge by Bro. Lawson A. Seagrave.


Dr. William L. Johnson began his two years as District Deputy Grand Master of the 19th District, which included Southbridge and Quinebaug.


March 31. "Voted to buy a visitors' register, an organ for $42.50, new windows for $27.00." At the same meeting, brethren "voted not to contribute to the aid of Cuban brethren, this being the time of the Spanish-American War and the Cuban fighting."

August 4. Members took part in the dedication of the Civil War Monument on the Town Common. The lodge room was rented to Rathbone Lodge, Knights of Pythias.

October 27. Grand Lodge asked for an assessment of $1.00 a year per member for its charity fund. Solomon's Temple Lodge voted that "we do not acceed to this demand."


February 8. R. W. W. L. Johnson brought up the subject of presenting past master's jewels to each past master as a gift from the lodge. A committee was appointed.

May 10. The committee reported jewels would cost #25.00 each, but several might be purchased for as low as $16.50 each.

June 7. The matter of past master's jewels was voted indefinitely postponed.


March 16. Modern transportation was becoming available, as evidenced by this entry by the Secretary. "An omnibus will leave the lodge room at 7 o'clock to visit Granite Lodge."

December 11. It was voted "that a jewel of the senior grand warden of the Grand Lodge be presented by the lodge to Bro. Daniel W. Taft."


January 8. The jewel mentioned above was presented by Bro. William L. Johnson to the senior grand warden.

February 5. Sixteen members were suspended for non-payment of dues. Others responded to a campaign to bring their dues up to date. One suspended brother owed $48.00, representing 24 years at the annual dues of $2.00.

December 3. "Voted to renovate the lodge and buy a new carpet."


April 28. A copy of a speech concerning early days of the Lodge by Charles A. Taft, recently deceased, was presented to the Lodge.

September 2. An apron belonging to Warren Rawson, said to pre-date chartering of the Lodge, was offered for the archives. The records do not specify whether such an apron actually was presented.


June 15. It was noted that $600.00 had been collected for the Central Massachusetts Masonic Relief Association.

September 28. Thanks was offered to Augustus Story, Secretary, for his gift of a box to hold Lodge jewels.


February 21. A committee was appointed "to ascertain if the floor of the lodge room is of necessary strength to ensure no accident if exceptionally strained by the gathering of a large number of people." The action was taken after Granite and Mumford River Lodges had been invited to attend a third degree exemplification.

April 25. The newly formed Orion Chapter, Eastern Star, was voted free rent for one year.

November 21. Grand Master J. Albert Blake installed William F. Waterhouse as Master. Ceremonies were held in Odd Fellows Hall, located on the third floor of the Taft Block at the intersection of Mendon and Main Streets.


May 14. A committee was authorized to look into the purchase of an electric fan to cool the lodge room. The lodge voted $50.00 to enter a float in the Old Home Week parade.

December 31. The Third Degree was conferred. Then the lodge "partook of refreshments, several brethren staying to see the new year in."


October 28. "Voted to pay half the cost of an eaves trough on the south side of the Lodge, the town to pay the other half of the expense." (If that same trough is here today, it leaks in spite of all repairs, and right over the outside door to the Lodge.)

November 25. Voted to buy detachable Grand Lodge jewels for the Worshipful Master, Senior and Junior Wardens to wear at Grand Lodge meetings.

December 23. A committee was authorized "to look into buying past master's jewels for the living past masters of this lodge." Also voted was a committee to see about getting a telephone installed in the Lodge. The first telephones in Uxbridge were installed in 1894 and there were 126 phones in town in 1906.


January 20. The committee recommended buying past master's jewels at $25.00 each. The Lodge voted to draw $100.00 from the bank, since there were insufficient funds in the regular account to buy the jewels. February 17. Ordered eight past master's jewels.

March 31. Jewels were presented by Grand Master, D. J. Flanders, to Theophilus C. Ball, William L. Johnson, Lemuel F. Sumner, James Preston, Edward J. Prest, D. Wendell Taft, Charles R. Barton, and William F. Waterhouse. Ninety-six "partook" of supper at 50 cents each. Frank W. Scribner was Master and Brother Barton was District Deputy at the time.

June 16. The Treasurer reported only about $10.00 in the treasury and it was voted to get $75.00 from the Trustees.

September 5. Voted to check a rumor that the "court house" below was to move to Town Hall, or elsewhere.

November 8. The Town was to build a cellar and install a furnace to heat the court room and offered to heat the lodge room, also. The Lodge turned down the offer. The Town didn't dig the cellar, but did install a furnace in a small addition at the northwest corner of the building.


April 10. Formed a committee to celebrate the Lodge centennial. A $30.00 life membership plan was authorized, with interest to be fur use of the Lodge but principal to be used only after a two-thirds vote of those present. Bro. E. Raymond Newell, a Lodge Trustee for many years, became a life member Jan. 4, 1912. He died Aug. 26, 1968.

October 5. A picture of Grand Lodge Officers was presented to the Lodge by Past District Deputy, Brother Barton. A past Master's jewel was presented from the lodge to retiring Master Brother Scribner by R. W. Joseph Hoyle, new District Deputy of Blackstone.


February 1. Voted that the Tyler "buy a new water pail, stand and waste pail for the anteroom."

April 15. The Town paid half the cost of new roof shingles.

May 30. The Lodge voted to oppose a Grand Lodge fee of $5.00 per initiate for the Masonic Home Fund. Grand Lodge voted the fee at its June Quarterly Communication.


Wor. Herbert R. Sayles, Master, died in office during the summer. Bro. John H. Branigan, Senior Warden, took over the East.


January 8. An American Flag was presented to the Lodge by Wor. Lemuel F. Sumner. The standard was presented by Wor. Bro. Branigan.

February 5. Announcement was made of a meeting of the District Past Masters Association, to be held in Blackstone on February 27.

November 26. Howard J. Holbrook became a life member. He was to become Master of the Lodge, its Treasurer for many years, District Deputy Grand Master, and is an active Lodge member in 1968.


September 23. Banquet tickets sold for 50 cents.

October 21. "Voted $5.00 to the Samaritan Society to help employ a district nurse." A "bountitious" repast was served after the meeting.

December 16. "Wor. Bro. Johnson of the trustees gave a report on the new fire escape."


January 20. Eight applications were read at this meeting, believed to be a new high.

May 11. "Voted to attend worship at the North Uxbridge Baptist Church and the Congregational Church in June."

June 25. Members "took autos" to the Baptist service.

November 2. A total of 169 were present for a Third Degree supper, during which Wor. Harry S. Nelson, Master of Blackstone River Lodge, and who was to become District Deputy in 1963-1964, raised William C. Ross. Officers of Excelsior Lodge also took part in the Degree work.


June 28. The Lodge purchased a $500.00 Liberty Bond.

September 27. "Voted that dues of soldiers and sailors be remitted."

October 25. Withdrew Lodge savings to buy more Liberty Bonds.

November 8. "The Henry Price Medal was presented to Wor. Dan Hill, a 50-year member." This entry appears to be in error, since there is no record that Bro. Dan Hill was ever Master of this Lodge. He may have been presented the Veteran's Medal.


Senior Warden, T. A. Southwick, who had been present at the February 21 meeting in 1918, enlisted in the Army and died in service. A letter was received from relatives on May 23 and a resolution on his death appears in the Lodge records of September 19.

November 6. It was voted that the secretary be instructed to place on the records that this meeting was held as the October meeting, which was postponed on account of an epidemic of influenza."

December 8. A centennial service was held in the Unitarian Church. The address was by Dr. E. A. Horton, Senior Grand Chaplain of Grand Lodge.

December 10. One hundred and fifty marched to lower Town Hall for the centennial banquet. R. W. Myron L. Keith, Deputy Grand Master, was present with other members of Grand Lodge. Charles E. W. Matthews, presiding Master, extended the welcome. R.W. Charles A. Barton was master of ceremonies. Addresses were given by the Deputy Grand Master, Brother Barton and Dr. William L. Johnson, who read the Lodge history and presented the apron of founder Alpheus Baylies to the Lodge as a gift from Miss Annie E. Goldthwaite. The apron was later framed and occupies a place of honor in the Lodge room. Stephen McGowan, Past Grand Master of Rhode Island, attended the rites.

December 13. A Ladies Night was held in Town Hall, with entertainment by a quartet, a reader and an orchestra for dancing. Flags and buntings were used for decorations. Many brethren were away in the service of their country and the influenza epidemic further reduced attendance.


February 13. The Senior Grand Warden's jewel of Daniel W. Taft was presented to the Lodge.

November 25. In spite of a rainy night, 85 brethren attended ceremonies marking 100 years in the present Lodge room. R. W. Frederick W. Hamilton, Grand Lodge Secretary, gave the address. Dr. Johnson read from the records of November 25, 1818, and Albert E. Donald presided as Master. Secretary Marshall Wentworth wrote a special account of the appearance of the Lodge room on this occasion which may well be studied by future generations to give them a deeper insight into Lodge history.

December 4. After 100 years, a committee was authorized "to check into the matter of securing new quarters or enlarging the present quarters of the lodge."


January 29. "Voted $35.00 to support a French orphan."

March 4. "Voted to raise life memberships to $100.00, dues at $4.00 a year, and fees at $15.00 for applications, $15.00 for the first degree and $10.00 for the second and third degrees."

November 11. A total of 132 were present at a banquet for a visitation by R. W. Dr. Merton L. Griswold, new District Deputy.


March 17. The final $9.00 was paid to give the lodge 100 per cent subscription to the George Washington Memorial Fund. At the January 20 meeting, $10.00 had been voted for the Hoover Relief Fund for starving children.

April 21. Records reveal the death of Bro. Harold Burton Taft on August 7, 1918, an Army Sergeant, who was killed by machine-gun bullets while fording the Vesle River at Bazoches. The Lodge attended public services for him in town on June 12.

November 5. The Lodge helped to dedicate the World War II Memorial on the Town Common directly across Court Street from the Lodge entrance. The Common had been curbed in 1914, the same year the WCTU fountain was erected at the opposite end of the green.

December 8. Three brethren were named to incorporate the Masonic Building Association.


January 8. It was proposed that brethren more than 65 years of age who had paid dues for 20 years would no longer be required to pay dues, but the move was rejected the following month.

August 31. Voted to buy three or four dozen folding chairs. (These may be the same chairs now used at some of our banquets.)

September 28. A total of 168 were present for a visit by R. W. Dr. Griswold. The Secretary noted: "The stewards managed to get into the crowded lodge room a table from which sandwiches, coffee, doughnuts and ice cream were served. Each brother also got one or more cigars."

December 14. A supper was held in the recently dedicated parish house of "The White Church," with a crowd present for third degree ritual. Guests were present from other lodges of the 22nd District, which included, besides Uxbridge, Whitins-ville, Douglas, Medway, Blackstone and Franklin.


October 23. Another visitation brought out a crowd of 180. A turkey supper was served at $1.00 each.

December 23. More than 300 Masons and members of the Eastern Star attended St. John's services in the Congregational Church. Included were 60 members of Woonsocket Commandery.


January 24. It was reported that the Masonic Building Association had £1,931.60 in cash, plus land adjoining the Lodge.

February 24. Brethren discussed asking the Town to relinquish the lower room in the building. It was voted that "a collection be taken at each meeting for such purposes as buying refreshments."

June 12. After 106 years of meeting according to the full moon, members discussed meeting instead on the second Thursday of each month at 8 p.m. The Lodge voted this action on September 11 and the Lodge has met on that day of the month ever since.

Bro. Dan Hill died at 82 after nearly 60 years of membership in the Lodge. An apron presented to him when he joined the Lodge on December 8, 1864, was given to the Lodge. It was said to have been "second hand" and to date back to the years of the Lodge's founding.

Sec. Marshall Wentworth noted lodge membership at 201, including "75 distant" brethren. Eighteen were raised in 1920-1921 and 18 more in 1923-1924. He also noted "coffee served from a wash boiler" and alluded to the "slush fund, yellow dog and kitty" from which refreshment funds were obtained. He also noted he had been given "an addressing machine to use at home," instead of using the one "at the bank."

November 6. Voted to buy "a modern ballot box."

November 13. An apron belonging to Ephraim Baylies, who was raised in Solomon's Temple Lodge in 1822, and a Masonic Chart by Jeremy L. Cross, dated 1826, were presented to the Lodge.


February 12. "Voted to dispose of the old organ in the lodge room."

June 11. Secretary Wentworth commented "It was a very warm, muggy night with the lodge room very close, filled with Masons and cigar smoke, very oppressive." Present were 12 officers, 65 members and 8 guests. Bro. Arthur E. Seagrave presented the Lodge "a properly mounted stone which came from a quarry near Jerusalem from which the material for the original Temple of Solomon was obtained."

Plans were shown of the proposed new Lodge Building, which would cost an estimated $50,000 to $60,000. The land adjoining the present Lodge measured 75 feet in frontage and was 200 feet deep. Twenty-seven members had purchased $25.00 shares to a total value of $2,500.00, according to the report.

October 8. Wor. Theophilus C. Ball, who had been Master from 1880 to 1882, was presented the Henry Price Medal by R. W. Amos E. Whipple.

December 10. Lodge membership reached 210.


May 13. "When the lodge was at ease, cigars were passed — a $5.00 box — collection tonight, $2.88, including eight one-cent pieces. This is for future generations to see—it is not to be read as part of the record." (But it does make an interesting part of the record, doesn't it?)

June 10. Bro. George S. Stobbs presented the Lodge a photostatic copy of the record book of the Fredericksburg, Va. lodge, showing the signature of George Washington.

George B. Gunn at the same meeting presented a framed wood relic from the original Independence Hall, Philadelphia, built between 1732 and 1735 under the direction of Andrew Hamilton.

It was voted at this meeting to "ban smoking in the lodge room during business hours; also to use collections for the building fund instead of the purchase of cigars, and finally to drive harder for the new building in which only 10 per cent of the membership held shares."

September 9. Grand Lodge reported 317 lodges with a peak membership of 110,000 in 1921. About 5,000 Masons were being raised each year.

October 14. "Voted to buy a new stove to replace the rusty one in the anteroom." The Building Association reported $2,999.70 in cash and land assessed at $10,000.

November 11. A donation of $25.00 was voted to Florida brethren following a hurricane there.

December 9. Orion Chapter, Eastern Star, presented die Lodge a transparency installed over the Master's station, where it remains today.


January 13. The lodge appropriated £97.00 to buy a new stove for the northeast corner of the lodge room. "The old one is 50 years old and it's a wonder it hasn't burned a hole in the ancient blue carpet."

May 12. "Voted that the Master and Wardens be empowered lo renovate the lodge room and anterooms." Also "voted to allow the Methodists to use the hall while their church was being renovated."

June 9. Dr. William L. Johnson was presented the Henry Price Medal at the Quarterly Communication of Grand Lodge.

June 25. The Lodge entered a float in the parade marking the Town's 200th anniversary. It was a replica of the lodge room. Among those riding on the float and attired in Colonial costumes were John H. Branigan and Dr. Johnson.

In commenting on lodge collations, the secretary wrote: "The food was placed on a rough board seven feet long, seized and eaten."


January 26. A total of 104 Masons were present, leaving "six feet of floor space east and west." The formation of a Lodge of Instructions was discussed.

April 12. The Lodge voted to take no part in a Lodge of Instruction.

July 25. "The lodge has been painted for the first time in 25 years, yellow walls, brown woodwork, dark blue ceiling with clouds and a star over the secretary's desk, supposed to represent the sky at night."


September 13. "Voted to buy new officers' aprons."

December 12. "By a new custom, officers, including the secretary, appeared in evening clothes." (So that's when tuxedo garb appeared first in our lodge.)


March 13. Miss Sarah Hall of Upton presented the Lodge her grandfather's apron. He was raised in Solomon's Temple Lodge Dec. 27, 1823, according to his diploma, also given to the lodge.

April 10. Members voted "to ask the Grand Master to readjust the existing district to permit closer affiliation with Mumford River Lodge, East Douglas, and Granite Lodge, Whitinsville."

June 12. A discussion was held concerning purchase of Taft's Block, where local Odd Fellows were meeting in a third-floor hall.

September 11. Voted to empower the Master "to improve ventilation in the lodge room."

December 11. The banner case was moved from the right to the left of the Master's station. A new ventilator was in place in the northeast corner and another ventilator was in the center of the lodge room, exhausting through the roof.


January 8. Leroy A. Rollins of Granite Lodge was the first District Deputy of the newly formed Blackstone 20th District: Webster, Oxford, Mumford River, Blackstone River, Granite and Solomon's Temple.

May 14. Approval of the 44th Lodge of Instructions, to include the six lodges in the new district, was approved with only three dissenting votes.

December 10. Town water was brought into the lodge building, with a sink installed in the anteroom, replacing the familiar tin pail and dipper. A special door was cut in the staircase from the first floor, allowing use of the court's men's room during lodge meetings.


April 14. A full-length portrait of George Washington was presented to the lodge by Bro. Peter E. Holmes. With the Nation in the grip of a severe depression, extreme leniency was shown in the matter of dues collections.


June 28. Many brethren attended the 200th anniversary of Grand Lodge in Boston, "a very hot night." Our lodge was allotted 35 tickets.


May 24. "The lodge was packed for the first time in many years with 60 members, 26 visitors, plus officers, for a visitation by R. W. Edwin Crane of Blackstone."


September 12. "Voted to accept a two-volume Masonic Encyclopedia from late Wor. William J. Smith. It was also voted to "buy a new addressing machine for $65.00."


June 10. "Voted to repaint the hall and have a new lighting fixtures installed before September."


January 13. Purchase of a steel cabinet to hold records was approved.


November 7. Wor. Verne Bassett and other officers were installed by R. W. Philip E. Thomas of Blackstone, father of Philip E. Thomas, Jr., of Solomon's Temple Lodge, who served the district in the same capacity in 1965-1966.


December 12. John H. Branigan, Charles E. W. Matthews and E. Raymond Newell were named to a committee to buy the building and land from the Town so the Lodge could own the entire building and use it for its own purposes, the court having moved to quarters in Town Hall.


April 10. Miss Catherine D. Sessions presented the Lodge a framed Masonic picture. It had been her father's, a Lodge member.

June 12. "Voted to withdraw $1,000 from the bank to buy the court room and land." The sale was authorized by the Town at a meeting in February.

October 9. "Voted to join Orion Chapter, Eastern Star, in purchasing dishes and other supplies for the lower rooms, to be used as banquet quarters." Minor repairs in the lower hall had been approved at the September 11 meeting.


January 8. Members approved purchase of a $500.00 Defense Bond.

February 12. The first banquet was held in the lower hall, with Orion Chapter serving the meal.


January 14. It was voted to discontinue participation in the 44th Lodge of Instruction for the war's duration. It was also voted that the February meeting be left to the Master's discretion, depending on the oil shortage. A supply must have been obtained, since the meeting was held on schedule.

November 12. "Voted to mark the lodge's 125th anniversary on December 18." No record was made of this observance, since the lodge was without a secretary at the time.

A historical sketch of the Lodge from 1918 to 1943 was written by Rev. Bro. Roy B. Wintersteen. In it he noted 123 new members admitted during the quarter-century. By vote of the Lodge, the sketch was printed in pamphlet form and copies were presented to members and other interested parties.


December 14. Wor. Herman Lindquist presented the Lodge a service men's roll of honor.


April 12. Brethren stood in silence in respect to late Bro. Franklin D. Roosevelt.

June 4. "Voted to allow Bro. Leon Pease to move the stove out of the upper hall and clean up the corner."

September 13. The Lodge voted to buy a treasurer's desk to occupy the space formerly filled by the stove.


February 14. A new Bible for the altar was presented by Wor. Howard J. Holbrook.

October 10. R. W. Warren Johnson of Douglas spoke to members of the Grand Lodge's disapproval of "noise and horseplay" in degree work.

December 9. Marshall Wentworth, Lodge Secretary from 1919 to 1937, former Uxbridge High School principal, died in Braintree. His humor and detailed accounts of Lodge activities should serve as models for Secretaries to follow. The years of his efforts are recommended for all Masons.


March 13. Wor. William J. Taft presented the Lodge a new set of working tools.


Two prominent Lodge members died a few days apart: George B. Gunn on April 13 and Charles E. W. Matthews on April 26.


May 12. Lodge dues were raised to $5.00 annually.

November 10. Wor, George Wharton presented a gavel to the Lodge.

December 8. Voted: "to allow the Square and Compass Club use of the lower hall for its television set." It was also voted "that a committee of five be authorized to buy a new carpet and new chairs for the lodge room." Bro. Howard Holbrook reported the Masonic Building Association dissolved and its 44 shares turned into $1,100 in cash and given to the Trustees for the general Lodge funds.


January 12. A committee was named to look into storm windows.

April 13. Voted to buy 13 windows at no more than $30.00 each.

May 11. Approved purchase of a carpet at $9.40 per yard and chairs at $13.83 each; also re-upholstering officers' chairs and the altar.

September 14, After a lengthy discussion, it was voted to ban all smoking in the Lodge room (probably in honor of the new carpet).

October 12. Three burning tapers were presented for officers' stations by Bro. Howard Holbrook.

November 9. A Past Master's jewel was purchased for $60.00 for George Wharton (just a figure for comparison with 1968 prices).


April 12. Five red chairs were purchased for $137.50, with a new ventilating fan at $154.67.


April 10. Voted to buy a tank-type vacuum cleaner (which is still on duty in 1968).


March 12. Voted to get rid of the last kerosene kitchen stove and replace it with an electric model.

April 9. R.W. Howard J. Holbrook, new District Deputy, paid his home Lodge a Fraternal visit.

September 10. Markers for the altar Bible were presented to the Lodge by Wor. Amory A. Aldrich.


March 11. Voted to cover the lower hall floor with rubber tile.

December 9. Wor. Beryle E. Doble presented an electric clock for the Lodge room. Wor. John H. Branigan was presented his Veteran's Medal and the Lodge's first Past Master's apron in recognition of his long service to the Lodge.


October 13. Voted to accept $5.45 and the television set from the Square and Compass Club, then dissolved. The set was found inoperable and junked.

It was also voted to purchase a display case to hold the jewels of the late Wor. Bro. Charles Matthews.


January 12. Voted to remit Lodge dues of all 50-year members.

February 9. A total of 140 attended a supper and watched degree work by the Hirams Association of Worcester.

June 14. Brethren voted to allow Orion Chapter to install an electric organ in the Lodge room and to move the piano downstairs.

October 18. The Joseph Warren Medal was presented to War. Brother Branigan.


October 17. Wor. Bro. Branigan was elected Chaplain Emeritus after serving more than 25 years in that position.


June 12. Material was authorized for Bro. Peter Hofstra to build a new case at the right of the Master's station to hold Lodge jewels and other items for display, to match the banner case at the left.

October 18. Wor. Philip E. Thomas was installed Master at the first public ceremonies in many years. Wor. Beryle E. Doble headed an installation suite of Past Masters. More than 140 attended the rites in the Congregational Parish House.

November 13. A new Square and Compass were presented to the Lodu'e by Mrs. Merton R. Greenhalgh in memory of her husband, a Lodge member who died unexpectedly on June 14 at the age of 37.

December 11, The Lodge observed its 140th anniversary with a talk by Bro. Edwin Tuttle, Admiral of the Bellingham Navy Yard, and historical comment by Bro. Earl D. Aldrich, Senior Warden.


April 9. Extensive repairs to the roof, chimneys and upper outside walls at both east and west ends of the building were completed at a cost of $508.50.

May 14. Brethren agreed to raise dues to #7.00 a year.

November 12. Wor. Bro. Aldrich was seated at public installation rites and Wor. Bro. Thomas was presented a Past Master's apron by his officers, a custom since that lime.


August. Two brethren who had served several years as Lodge Secretaries died suddenly: Earl D. Taft on August 5 and Harley E. Keeler on August 12.

September 8. Air conditioning units for the Lodge were discussed as quarters were again hot and oppressive in the late summer heat. The consensus was that the cost would be inappropriate for the few times each year when the equipment might be in use.


March 9. The Lodge was exempted from Town taxes, since the lower hall would no longer be rented for fees and hence the property would yield no income.

May 11. A new addressograph was purchased for $161.00.

September 14. Arthur Cobb thanked the Lodge for blood donated to him and presented a picture of George Washington in Masonic garb.

Once again air conditioning was rejected as too expensive, "'and the boiler is giving trouble."


April 5. Wor. Bro. Branigan, an officer of the Lodge for more than 50 years and its leading light during much of that time, died at 96.

April 12. Wor. Robert A. Taft, immediate Past Master and the youngest to achieve that honor in Lodge history, as far as is known, died unexpectedly at 29 years of age.

May 8. Lodge officers exemplified the First Degree at Overseas Lodge, Cranston. R. I., home Lodge of Wor. Abraham Levin.

October 13. A First Degree painting was presented to the Lodge by the widow of Wor. Bro. Taft.


January 10. The heating system failed, four radiators were damaged and the boiler was repaired at a cost of $154.00.

October 10. A Past Master's jewel cost $90.39. Wor. Bro. Levin, explained "he had experienced a rugged year in the fact that as Marshal he was a former Navy man forced to parade each meeting between the Junior Warden and the Senior Warden, both ex-Marines." He referred to Harry C. Magowan and James W. Blackburn.

October 12. Wor. Richard E. Doble was installed Master by his father, Wor. Beryle E. Doble, at public rites in the Congregational Parish House.


January 9. A class of five candidates was named the "Ernest P. Wood Class" in honor of a long-time active Mendon member.

April 9. The First Degree was exemplified at Harmony Lodge, Cranston, R. L, by Solomon's Temple officers.


January 14. The new District Deputy, Philip E. Thomas, Jr., paid the Lodge a Fraternal visit. The Deputy's medal, worn by his late father, was pinned on him by R. W. Harry S. Nelson of Blackstone. Lodge members presented him a traveling case for his Deputy's apron at the February 11 meeting.

March 11. Masonic items from the late Wor. Herman Lindquist and John H. Branigan were presented to the Lodge.

Brethren voted to "adopt" Bro. Arthur Hughes of the Charlton Masonic Home and arranged to visit him and remember him on his birthday and at Christmas.

April 25. Lodge quarters were opened for public inspection at the request of the Uxbridge Historical Society.

May 13. All Past Masters, Trustees and other Officers, with Bro. Ernest P. Wood, were named to a committee to arrange the Lodge's 150th anniversary celebration in 1968.

At the same meeting, Bro. Edward S. Jones was presented his Veteran's Medal and in return presented the Lodge a check for $500.00 which was subsequently set aside for the anniversary celebration fund.

June 10. R.W. Howard J. Holbrook resigned after 33 years as Treasurer.

October 14. Wor. James E. Blackburn was installed Master at public rites, a few days after major surgery "White, shaky, but there."


January. The old boiler finally gave up the ghost with an explosion which damaged the entire heating system and blackened Lodge quarters. A new boiler was subsequently installed and the necessary repairs and renovations carried out, happily aided by the insurance settlement.

September 13. The Lodge was presented $150.00 by Miss Marion Dresser in memory of her three brothers, Arthur. Burtis and Wilfred. Lodge members.

A contract was let for interior painting in preparation for the anniversary celebration; the rest room was renovated, and a new sink and lights were installed in the kitchen.

December 8. Three members of the same class, Bro. Frank A, Scribner, Bro. Raymond J. Stinson and Bro. Charles E. Davis, received Veteran Medals, Bro. Stinson receiving his in Florida. Also receiving similar medals at the meeting were Bro. Herbert C. Bridges and Bro. S. Ralph Scott.


May 11. Eighteen 50-year members were elected honorary members, according to new By-Laws.

August 31. Lodge membership totaled 192, according to Secretary Elton C. Jones.

October 12. A Masonic Building Association Corp. was authorized to hold Lodge property.


January 11. The anniversary observance was set for October 19 at the Congregational Parish House, with Bro. Samuel Ramsey of East Providence engaged to give an address in a comic vein and representatives of Grand Lodge invited to attend the banquet and take part in subsequent festivities. Rev. Bro. Howard F. Smith, Jr., is to give the sermon at services October 20 in the Congregational Church.

April 11. A telephone campaign was suggested to boost attendance at Lodge meetings.


The last entry seems to bring us back to several other periods in Lodge history, when attendance could have been much improved. But the history of Solomon's Temple Lodge abounds in alternating periods of lethargy and activity and its members look ahead with full confidence in what the future may bring.

The strength of our Lodge is no better exemplified than in the succession of four generations of Tafts who have served as its Master. Daniel W. Taft was Master from 187+ to 1876 and again from 1884 to 1887. His son, D. Wendell Taft, was Master from 1903 to 1905. His grandson, Robert W. Taft, was Master in 1930 and 1931, and his great-grandson, Roberi. W.Taft, Jr., was Master in 1957 and 1958.

Daniel W. Taft in 1901 and Dr. William L. Johnson in 1918 served a term as Senior Grand Warden at Grand Lodge. Both had been District Deputies. Dr. Johnson and Theophilus C. Ball were awarded Henry Price Medals by Grand Lodge.

Others from this Lodge who served as District Deputies were: Arba C. Slater, Orville B. Seagrave, Charles A. Barton, Dr. Mcrton L. Griswold, Milton L. Goldthwaite, Howard J. Holbrook and Philip E. Thomas, Jr.

An outstanding Master was Charles A. Taft, who took office in 1862 and served five years in that capacity. He raised more Masons than any Master in our history, 85. Like so many others who continued to serve the Lodge in official and unofficial capacities for many years after relinquishing the Master's chair, he was active and energetic in its service as long as he lived.

Wor. John H. Branigan, who was Master in 1913, 1914 and 1915. was elected Trustee in the latter year and continued in that office until his death at 96 years of age in 1962. He rarely missed a meeting of the Lodge, served as its secretary for 25 years, and prided himself on knowing every word of ritual for every Lodge office. He was awarded the Grand Lodge Joseph Warren Medal.

Many others labored for the Lodge in the free offering of service to show their high regard for Masonry and everything for which it stands. In their Lodge and public lives, they exemplified the ideals for which the fraternity strives. To ihem all, the Lodge owes a never-ending debt of gratitude.

It was fated, perhaps, that Lodge anniversaries should be marked in trying times. The 50th anniversary was observed after the end of the Civil War, in 1868. The 100th anniversary was celebrated in 1918, just after World War I had ended, with an inllucnza epidemic raging. The 125th anniversary rites were held in 1943, during World War II. As the 150th anniversary approaches, the Vietnam War continues, constantly threatening to erupt into a larger war, even as peace talks continue in Paris.

The last 25 years has been a productive one for Solomon's Temple Lodge. A total of 161 new members has been added since 1913. The physical plant has been improved with a new heating system and renovations to the downstairs facilities. No longer is a leaky roof a major problem, although a minor leak developed as late as January, 1968, when an ice storm left its mark. The rugged brick building at the northern end of the Town Common, once known as the Academy Building and now in truth our Masonic Temple, seems as ageless as the Lodge itself, ready to serve another 150 years.

At the 50th anniversary celebration in 1868, the Secretary wrote, "The company separated, hoping that when another 50th anniversary comes around that Solomon's Temple Lodge will have an existence and will celebrate the event with joy and gladness." The third 50th anniversary is about to be celebrated with "joy and gladness." With God's help, there will be many more.

As Masons, we feel deeply the words of the prayer which closes most of our meetings: "Bless our humble labors for the promotion of truth and love, unity and peace. Continue to extend Thy gracious favor to our beloved institution and make it more and more an agency for good among men." Our reason for existence and our goals for the future are contained in those well-chosen words.


Sermon By Rev. Bro. Howard F. Smith, Jr. At Memorial Service Of Solomon's Temple Lodge

There are two main sources to which I am apt to turn when 1 am looking for sources of support for what I have to say. I have found in my ministry that these two sources contain so much wisdom of the ages, that 1 am convinced that the first source I shall cite relied heavily upon the second for its inspiration, just as I today lean upon both for verification of the faith that is mine. The one is a layman who wrote so much that is still quoted today, that I am sure you will recognize his words the moment I use them. It is from him that I took my topic for this morning. The second is the greatest compilation of the wisdom of the ages that has ever been compiled in the history of man. The first source said:

"All the world's a stage,
And all the men and women merely players:
They have their exits and their entrances;
And one man in his time plays many parts."

He then goes on to describe seven stages in the life of man, the reading of which I recommend to you all. Shakespeare's AS YOU LIKE IT, Act 2, Scene 7.

My second source, written over a period of time that covers many thousands of years before the first author was born, has this to say: "All things are full of labour; man cannot utter it; the eye is not satisfied with seeing; nor the ear filled with hearing. The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done; and there is no new thing under the sun." (Ecclesiastes 1:8,9.)

These quotations from Shakespeare and the Bible put me greatly in mind of Solomon's Temple Lodge, whom we honor this morning on the occasion of the observance of its 150th Anniversary. For, all through the years the actors have changed, but the words, the scenery, the raison d'etre, have remained the same. And in their beginnings, they merely took the wisdom and the words of countless generations before them and created a new spokesman for the values in life for which this great movement stands. Great has been the gift to humanity, and many the contributions to mankind, that have come

from this world-wide organization—given in a way in which God would have man give it, and in the true spirit of all the prophets of God. That is to say, not through loud boasting, but through quiet service. Not in the name of the individual Lodges, but through the devoted service of its members. For, if I were to pick out any one emotion, any one character trait, to give the worth of this Fraternity full expression, I would choose the word which best expresses the feeling we all have on this particular occasion: LOVE. Yes, LOVE. We think of it, all too often, as an emotion generated between man and woman leading, in its highest ideal, to the lifetime mating of two individuals suited for each other who unite for the additional purpose of creating new life and maintaining the ideal society of which we all dream.

Pure as this love may be in the eyes of man, there is an even purer form of love which is all too often felt only subconsciously —if at all. It is the love of which the Hebrew prophets spoke; which we in the Christian tradition like to feel that Jesus exemplified; and of which Paul spoke so feelingly in his first letter to the Corinthians. It is the only type of love which has any hope of bringing about a lasting peace in this world; of bringing into existence the brotherhood of man of which mankind has been dreaming since the beginning of lime. Only with this type of love of which 1 now speak can the Garden of Eden once again blossom in all its pristine glory. Only through this love can the most ancient of glories become once again reality, bringing more meaningfulness to the words from Ecclesiastes which I here again quote: "The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done; and there is no new thing under the sun." In Shakespeare's words, "THE PAST IS PROLOGUE".

I have said that the word which best expresses the worth of the Masonic Fraternity can best be summed up as LOVE. Hearken to the words of St. Paul as he writes to the Corinthians: "Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not love, I am become as sounding brass or a tinkling cymbal. And though 1 have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not love, I am nothing. Love suffereth long, and is kind; love envieth not; love vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. . . . And now abideth faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love."

However, this thought, again, was not new with Paul, although it showed the growth of the man — for his early life was anything but an exemplification of the love of which he now spoke. For when we first meet him as Saul, his hands are stained with the blood of the early disciples, most particularly that of Stephen. Peter spoke of love before Paul wrote his Epistles when he urged his listeners: "Above all things have fervent love among yourselves." (I Peter 4:8) And Henry Drummond recalls for us that the spirit of love went even further back than that to the day of Moses when he reminds us that the Ten Commandments are full of the implications of love as the greatest emotion of all. Mr. Drummond writes: "Take any of the Commandments. "Thou shah have no other God before me.' If a man love God, you will not require to tell him that. Love is the fulfilling of the law. 'Take not his name in vain.' Would he ever dream of taking His name in vain if he loved Him? 'Remember the Sabbatli Day to keep it holy.' Would he not be too glad to have one day in seven to dedicate more exclusively to the object of his affection? Love would fulfill all these laws regarding God. And so, if he loved Man, you would never think of telling him to honour his father and mother. He could not do anything else. It would be preposterous to tell him not to kill. You could only insult him if you suggested that he should not steal—how could he steal from those he loved?" And so Mr Drummond continued through all the Ten Commandments. And then he ended with these words: "Love is the fulfilling of the law. It is the rule for fulfilling all rules, the new commandments for keeping all the old commandments, Christ's one secret of the Christian life."

This I find to be true. Where love abides one has a peaceful community of individuals. Where love is the key to existence, no sacrifice is too great to make for the welfare of each other. Where love guides the actions of an individual or a group, there is a feeling of brotherhood that is not possible in any other way. That is why I am proud to be a Mason. That is why I always find something new in the constant similarity of the meetings. That is why 1 never lire of watching the age old rituals being performed, for when one looks at them with the eyes of love, one is able to find something new in them previously undiscovered. It may be the inflection of the voice of the Master as he leads his Lodge through the age-old rituals. It may be in the responses of the candidate as he slowly becomes a Mason. It might just happen to be in the message of a member concerning a sick brother; or in a handclasp as Mason greets Brother Mason as they meet and greet at the meeting. It could happen in the camaraderie one feels as they break bread together before the meeting or during the social period following the meeting. It could even happen as they meet in the street. For there is a good feeling as stranger greets merely because he recognizes the symbol of their brotherhood through the pin or emblem declaring the individual a member of the Masonic Fraternity.

This is a love born of God and nurtured by man that reaches across the boundaries of race, religion, or color of skin. This is ;i love that is such as that of which Moses preached, Hosea exemplified, Jesus lived and taught, and all the disciples and apostles of Jesus and God have bespoken throughout the generations of men. Is this love easily come by? Does it happen to man merely because of the incantation of mystical words not to be repeated to strangers of the Fraternity?

Not at all—although these things help to create that peculiar brotherhood which one feels within the Fraternity. But that love must be engendered in the heart of the candidate before he is even permitted to start the path that leads to becoming a Brother. In the words of a little-known author named Bailey, "Let each man think himself an act of God, his mind a thought, his life a breath of God." Is this not the message of religion? Not the religion of the followers of Christ alone; but the religion of all true disciples of God? John Greenleaf Whittier put it this way: "He walked by faith and not by sight. By Love and not by law; The presence of the wrong or right he rather felt than saw."

Here we have the picture of a truly religious man. He need not be reminded constantly of what is right and what is wrong in the sight of God. He knows intuitively what it is—and the path which he must follow, narrow as it may be, and steep, is the only path he can take. He takes his guidance from the stars; his ideals from the Heavens, and his love from God. This is all he needs as he faces the trials and tribulations, the temptations and frustrations of life. He fears neither Satan nor the manipulations of man. In the words of Sir Galahad he can say, "My strength is as the strength of ten, because my heart is pure."

Clara Edmunds-Hemingway wrote:

"I wish that I might tower like a tree;
As straight as any pine, with strength to stand
Alive and green in winter, though there be
Deep blanketings of snow upon the land.
Though all the trees in sight may shed their leaves
Of faith; and winds among the branches moan;
Though every helpless bush about me grieves;
My faith in God shall let me stand—alone.
I would not be a clinging, twisted vine,
To drag my weight upon another's heart;
But be erect, whenever tempests hurled
Their javelins: when elements combine
To wrench my clinging roots and earth apart.
My faith must stand, in our bewildered world."

"My faith must stand, in our bewildered world" and "My faith in God shall let mc stand alone." These are statements that might have been made by any member of any worthwhile group or religion—for these are the things of which immortality is made. Here we have the keynote for the truth of the ages. These are but expressions of the past which have meaning for the present and portents for the future. As Shakespeare put it "THE PAST IS PROLOGUE."

So I close with a salute to Solomon's Temple Lodge of Ancient, Free and Accepted Masons on its one hundredth and fiftieth birthday; and in so doing to all Masonic Orders everywhere. For their roots are firmly set in the good earth of love; their hearts are strong in the expression of true brotherhood; and their future is securely bound to the ancient verities of all time. Go thy way, 0 man, firmly trusting in God, revealing the light of love to future generations of man, and living by the precepts of God in all your dealings with man. Firm in your convictions that right is might, may you ever remember that whatsoever new you may discover today, yet there is nothing new under the sun because "THE PAST IS PROLOGUE" to all we know or shall ever know in this finite world in which we live.

Sermon by Rev. Bro. Howard F. Smith, Jr., Minister of the Universalist Church, Providence, Rhode Island, at the First Evangelical Congregational Church, Uxbridge, October 20. 1968.


From TROWEL, Fall 1994, Page 10:

Solomon's Temple is Rich With History
By Bro. Ron Malkasian

It is often said. "A little knowledge is a dangerous thing," and since this writer has a little knowledge of local history, more than some, and much less than many, I shall, with this article, begin to subject you. dear neighbor, to an occasional onslaught of local history and/ or trivia.

On December 10. 1818. a group of 16 men met in the Spring Tavern at the intersection of today's West Hartford Ave. and Rivulet St. in North Uxbridge. These men. all professing a true faith in God. gathered in brotherhood to call to order the first meeting of Solomon*s Temple Lodge of Ancient Free & Accepted Masons.

Masonry was firmly established in Massachusetts by charter of the Grand Lodge of England in 1733, and was spreading to every corner of the young republic.

Masons today point with pride to America's founding fathers, many of whom were Masons, including Washington, Hancock. Revere. Franklin, and Lafayette. A list of 18th century Masons would read like a history of colonial and revolutionary America. So many founding fathers were Masons, in fact, that it was inescapable that the principles upon which this country was founded are deeply and undeniably Masonic. So it was on that winter day 175 years ago that 16 of the 22 original petitioners held their first meeting. Meetings continue to this day.

Alpheus Baylies, a prosperous farmer of the Williams Hill section, is said to be the "father" of this Lodge. He arranged the early meetings of area Masons before they received their charter. The original petitioners for a Grand Lodge Charter were Daniel Carpenter, Welcome Whipple, Ezekiel Preston, Richard Olney, Luke Prentice, Jesse Aldrich, Horace Seaver, Frost Draper, Charles S. Capron, Job Carpenter, Calvin Prentice, John W. Slocum, Ezek Pitts, David D. Paine, Pliny E. Capron, Cheney Taft, Andrew Brown, Benjamin Taft, John Starkweather, Israel Mowry, Danforth Draper, and Alpheus Baylies. John Seaver was elected the first Master of the new Lodge.

One of the first orders of business after organization was to find a meeting place of their own. Records indicate that on June 3. 1819. the Lodge voted to "Select and report to the Lodge a place suitable to erect a hall for the accommodation of Solomon's Temple Lodge." The committee reported at the same meeting that "The north end of the town's Common would be the most suitable place for the proposed hall."

As fate would have it the town, at its March 3. 1819 meeting, approved an article "To see if the town will permit the erection of a private schoolhouse at the north end of the common, between the cartway leading to widow Fanny Willar's backyard and the wall south of where the old blacksmith shop stands, providing said building can be erected by private beneficence."

Town records indicate that by agreement, Solomon's Temple Lodge built the second floor of this building for its use in what was to be called the "Academy Building." Records indicate that 18 proprietors raised $1,191.49 for the building.

On Nov. 25, 1819, 29 members were present at the first meeting in the new hall. The Lodge was the first to make use of the building and has met in the same quarters ever since, a record believed unmatched by any other Masonic Lodge in the country.

The private school or "Academy" was run by Mr. Abiel Jaques for about a year between 1820-1821, at which time Mr. Jaques took a sabbatical, and the students transferred to public schools. In 1822, Mr. Jaques returned, and he ran the "Macomber Academy" until 1829. In 1829. a new professor was found in the person of Mr. William H. Williams, who ran the institution until it closed in early December, 1831.

Late December. 1831 saw the opening of a Female Seminary operated by Miss Susan B. Brigham. Preceptress. This Seminary moved to other quarters in 1835.

The Lodge, true to its principles of service, allowed the hall to be used by many religious and fraternal organizations, such as in 1835, the First Congregational Society; in 1847, the Uxbridge Lodge of Odd Fellows: 1860, the Sons of Temperance; 1891, Court Purity, Order of Foresters; and 1898, Rathbone Lodge. Knights of Pythias.

Due to the fact that the building was constructed on town land, the ownership of the edifice was in question upon the closure of the schools. The matter remained unresolved until 1879 when the courts ruled that the building was the property of the town upon whose land it stood.

The Lodge, however, would remain rent-free by a vote of a town meeting.

This agreement was harmoniously accepted and remained in effect until 1941. when the town sold the lower half of the building and land to the Lodge in whose hands it remains. After the closing of the private schools, the lower portions of the building were used as a high school, bank, town offices, and then a court until 1940 when the court was moved to the Uxbridge Town Hall.




From Masonic Mirror and Mechanics' Intelligencer, Vol. II, No. 39, September 1826, Page 306:

At a regular Annual Communication of Solomon's Temple Lodge, Sept. 14, 5826, at their hall in Uxbridge, the following officers were unanimously elected for the year ensuing, viz.:

  • Rev. and R. W. David Holman, M.
  • Wor. William C. Capron, S. W.
  • Wor. Austin Macnamara, J. W.
  • Bro. Merchant Tobey, Treas.
  • Bro. Daniel Carpenter, Sec.
  • Bro. Adolphus Baylies, S. D.
  • Bro. Calvin Spring, J. D.
  • Bro. Rev. Benjamin Wood, Chaplain.
  • Bro. Joseph Thayer, Mar.
  • Bro. Luther Shove, Tyler.


From Amaranth, or Masonic Garland, Vol. I, No. 7, October 1828, Page 224:

Officers elected at the annual meeting of Solomon's Temple Lodge, held at Masons hall, Uxbridge, Mass. Sept. 18th. A. L. 5828.

  • Wm. C Capron, M. ;
  • Wm. Kent, S. W.;
  • T. H. Morse, J. W. ;
  • M. Tobey, T.;
  • Charles J. Rist, S.;
  • Royal Cumings, S. D.;
  • James Endicot, J. D.;
  • Angel Sweet, S. S.;
  • Alonzo A. Wiley, J. S.;
  • Rev. J. Taylor, C.;
  • Joseph Thayer, M.;
  • S. B. Prentice, T.


From Moore's Freemason's Monthly, Vol. XXVII, No. 4, February 1868, Page 128:

Officers for the ensuing year of Solomon's Temple Lodge, Uxbridge, Mass.:

  • Crysis T. Scott, W. M.
  • Cyrus F. Baker, S. W.
  • Earle Ingalls, J. W.
  • Zadock A. Taft, Treasurer
  • Daniel W. Taft, Secretary
  • Joshua T. Carter, S.D
  • Robert Foster, J. D.
  • Harrison C. Whetmore, S.S.
  • John Shippee, J.S.
  • Scott Seagrave, Marshal
  • George S. Ball, Chaplain
  • Aaron Marsh, Tyler.


From New England Craftsman, Vol. V. No. 8, May 1910, Page 293:

One of the most interesting events in the history of Solomon's Temple lodge. Uxbridge, Mass., took place Thursday, March 31, when eight past masters were presented with gold jewels.

The lodge was opened at Masonic hall but the brethren marched to the vestry of the Congregational Church where a bountiful banquet was enjoyed. After the banquet the brethren returned to Masonic Hall where the program of the evening was carried out.

Among the large number of brethren present were Grand Master Dana J. Flanders and officers of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts, also Grand Master Stephen Magown of Providence, R. I. Grand Master Flanders presented the jewels.

The Past Masters who received jewels and their terms of office were:

  • Theophilus C. Ball, 1880-82;
  • William L. Johnson, 1889-91;
  • Lemuel F. Sumner, 1891-94;
  • James Preston, 1897-99;
  • Edward J. Prest, 1899-1901;
  • D. Wendell Taft, 1903-05;
  • Charles A. Barton, 1905-07;
  • William F. Waterhouse, 1907-09.

An address of acceptance was made by Past Master Johnson for himself and associates. Interesting speeches were made 'by most of the guests and the evening will he long remembered as one of uncommon interest and pleasure.



1818: District 4 (Southeast)

1821: District 6

1835: District 6

1849: District 6

1867: District 12 (Milford)

1883: District 19 (Southbridge)

1911: District 22 (Blackstone)

1927: District 22 (Milford)

1931: District 20 (Blackstone)

2003: District 24


Lodge web site

Massachusetts Lodges