- 1 SPENCER LODGE
- 2 REFERENCES IN GRAND LODGE PROCEEDINGS
- 2.1 ANNIVERSARIES
- 2.2 VISITS BY GRAND MASTER
- 2.3 BY-LAW CHANGES
- 2.4 HISTORY
- 2.4.1 70TH ANNIVERSARY HISTORY, MAY 1941
- 2.4.2 75TH ANNIVERSARY HISTORY, OCTOBER 1946
- 2.4.3 CENTENARY HISTORY, NOVEMBER 1971
- 126.96.36.199 PROLOGUE
- 188.8.131.52 IN THE BEGINNING . . .
- 184.108.40.206 LODGE QUARTERS . . .
- 220.127.116.11 DISTRICT DEPUTY GRAND MASTERS
- 18.104.22.168 OTHER GRAND LODGE APPOINTMENTS
- 22.214.171.124 MEMBERSHIP
- 126.96.36.199 ANNIVERSARIES
- 188.8.131.52 RELIEF
- 184.108.40.206 SERVICE
- 220.127.116.11 EDUCATION
- 18.104.22.168 ORDER OF THE EASTERN STAR
- 22.214.171.124 CHAPTER
- 126.96.36.199 DeMOLAY
- 188.8.131.52 MEETINGS
- 184.108.40.206 DEGREES
- 220.127.116.11 FIRE
- 18.104.22.168 PLAYS
- 22.214.171.124 PICTURES
- 126.96.36.199 COLLATERAL MASONIC BODIES
- 188.8.131.52 ROSTER
- 184.108.40.206 THANKS
- 2.5 EVENTS
- 2.6 GRAND LODGE OFFICERS
- 2.7 DISTRICTS
- 2.8 LINKS
Chartered By: Sereno D. Nickerson
Charter Date: 12/11/1872 1872-260
Precedence Date: 11/03/1871
- George P. Ladd, 1871
- Edwin A. Hill, 1872-1875; SN
- Isaac Niles, Jr., 1876, 1877
- James H. Ames, 1878-1880
- Charles H. Allen, 1881-1883
- James Holmes, 1884-1886
- Walter E. Barton, 1887, 1888
- George S. Green, 1889-1891
- Nathan E. Craig, 1892
- Erwin S. Tirrell, Jr., 1893-1896
- Frank S. Eaton, 1897, 1898
- Frederick W. Boulton, 1899, 1900
- Charles H. Green, 1901, 1902
- Harry S. Tripp, 1903, 1904
- John G. Prouty, 1905, 1906; SN
- Arthur F. Warren, 1907, 1908
- Walter S. Wiggin, 1909, 1910
- W. Harry Vernon, 1911, 1912
- DeWitt Tower, 1913, 1914
- Frederick B. Traill, 1915, 1916; SN
- George H. Burkill, 1917, 1918
- Elton F. Prouty, 1919, 1920
- John E. Goddard, 1921, 1922
- Charles M. Durell, 1923, 1924
- Edward F. Jerome, 1925
- Albert L. Blanchard, 1926, 1927
- Edmund H. Squire, 1928, 1929; N
- Ambrose L. Tower, 1930, 1931
- Henry Cote, 1932, 1933
- Raymond M. McMurdo, 1934, 1935
- Leslie D. Marden, 1936
- Clayton F. Fisher, 1937, 1938
- Frederick W. Flint, 1939, 1940
- Norman F. MacLeod, 1941
- C. John W. Sperry, 1942, 1943
- John Beatrice, 1944
- Ernest L. Roberts, 1945
- Evert M. Story, 1946
- Walter H. Lyon, 1947
- George T. Ensom, 1948
- Harold R. Frazel, 1949
- Helmer G. Anderson, 1950
- Wesley S. Stevens, 1951
- Robert M. Bemis, 1952
- Wendell P. Barthemlee, Sr., 1953
- John S. Konrad, 1954, 1974
- J. Harry Robertson, 1955
- Samuel K. Cook, 1956
- Everett E. Messier, 1957
- Scott L. Allen, 1958; N
- Harold E. Lindberg, 1959
- Wendell D. Ring, Sr., 1960
- Herbert P. Dobie, 1961
- David J. Smith, 1962
- Gordon H. Carey, 1963
- Clarence L. Smith, Jr., 1964
- Joseph E. Marsh, 1965
- Robert L. Olmsted, 1966
- Stuart E. Gilbert, 1967
- John I. Gilbert, 1968
- Robert A. Anderson, 1969
- Philip E. Kennen, 1970
- Charles E. Forkey, 1971
- George E. Vinton, Jr., 1972
- Neil T. Mulrain, 1973, 1976, 1986; N
- David L. Konrad, 1975
- Wendell R. Nygren, 1977
- Philip F. Mulrain, 1978
- Arthur M. Kinne, 1979
- Wayne D. Allen, 1980, 1984, 1993
- Paul F. Gatto, 1981
- George J. Seymour, Jr., 1982, 1983
- Mark S. Lammi, 1985
- Karl K. Makela, 1987
- Robert F. Kelly, 1988
- Walter H. Belcher, 1989
- Robert A. Hartman, 1990
- Robert K. Mase, 1991
- Robert R. Tremblay, 1992
- Henry C. Wheaton, 1994
- Walter J. Golden, Jr., 1995, 2002
- Kenneth R. Wheeler, 1996
- Ronald C. Engvall, 1997, 1998
- David W. Sweet, 1999
- Philip D. Harding, Sr., 2000, 2001
REFERENCES IN GRAND LODGE PROCEEDINGS
- Petition for Dispensation: 1871
- Petition for Charter: 1872
- Consolidation Petition (with Meridian Sun and Hayden Lodges): 2002
VISITS BY GRAND MASTER
- 1873 (Nickerson; hall dedication, Special Communication; see below)
- 1927 (Simpson; hall dedication, Special Communication)
- 1941 (Schaefer; 70th Anniversary, Special Communication)
- 1946 (Wragg; 75th Anniversary, Special Communication)
- 1952 (Roy; reception for Junior Grand Warden Clayton F. Fisher)
- 1971 (Jaynes; Centenary, Special Communication)
- 1975 (Maxwell)
- 2003 (Hicks; Consolidation) not described in Proceedings
- 1941 (70th Anniversary History, 1941-129; see below)
- 1946 (75th Anniversary History, 1946-270; see below)
- 1971 (Centenary History, 1971-448; see below)
70TH ANNIVERSARY HISTORY, MAY 1941
From Proceedings, Page 1941-129:
By the Historical Committee:
Worshipful Harry S. Tripp, Chairman ;
Worshipful Edmund H. Squire;
Worshipful Frederick W. Boulton;
Worshipful W. Harry Vernon
In preparing this historical sketch of Spencer Lodge the committee has tried to make it not too long and tiresome, but to touch briefly on the interesting events during the past 70 years.
The origin of Spencer Lodge was in consequence of the desire of a group of Spencer Brethren, members of Hayden Lodge of Brookfield, Massachusetts, to organize a Masonic Lodge in their own home town.
These Brethren met Oct. 23, 1871, to organize this Lodge. Brother Henry R. Green called the meeting to order, Brother Jeremiah W. Drake was elected Chairman and Brother George G. Wright, Secretary. Then followed the election of officers — Brother George P. Ladd, Worshipful Master, Brother Edwin A. Hill, Senior Warden, Brother Isaac Niles, Jr., Junior Warden, Brother Henry M. Tower, Treasurer, and Brother George G. Wright, Secretary.
A committee was appointed to select a name for the Lodge and chose that of Spencer.
A committee was appointed to present a petition to Hayden Lodge for their consent to the granting of a dispensation by the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of Massachusetts to the Spencer Brethren for the organization of such a Lodge.
The Dispensation being granted Nov. 3, 1871, a meeting was called Nov. 4, 1871, by Worshipful George P. Ladd in Denny Hall and a committee was appointed to secure quarters and estimates for furnishing the same. A committee was appointed to draw up a set of By-Laws.
A special meeting was held Nov. 21, 1871, at which time the Worshipful Master named the first appointive officers of the Lodge. The committee on quarters and furnishings reported that it would cost $900.00 to furnish the Lodge, and that the rooms in the Town Hall then building, would not be ready for four months. It was therefore decided to continue the meetings in Denny Hall until those quarters were ready.
The first regular communication of Spencer Lodge under Dispensation was held in Denny Hall Dec. 19, 1871. At this communication the By-Laws were accepted and adopted. These By-Laws were approved by the Grand Lodge Dec. 11, 1872, which is also the date of our Charter.
The first meeting in the new quarters in the Town Hall was a regular communication under dispensation in June, 1872. The first degree work of the Lodge was in October, 1872, and the first candidate was raised April 1, 1873.
The first official visitation was at a special communication Nov. 19, 1872. The first regular communication under our Charter was held Jan. 7, 1873. There were 20 Charter members, namely:
- Edwin A. Hill
- Charles H. Allen
- Isaac Niles, Jr.
- George A. Craig
- James H. Ames
- Henry R. Green
- L. Francis Sumner
- Edward E. Stone
- Emerson Stone
- William A. Barr
- George G. Wright
- John N. Grout
- Marquis Hall
- Sullivan S. Marsh
- Orin S. Worthington
- Bradford B. F. Whitman
- Jeremiah W. Drake
- Henry Belcher
- J. Edward Bacon
- George P. Ladd
None of these are now living. To the present generation the mention of these names means little, but to those of us who have known and mingled with these men, it recalls pleasant memories of a sturdy, upright group of men who have done much to make Spencer a busy, industrious town.
At this communication held Jan. 7, 1873, the Lodge received an official and fraternal visitation from the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of Massachusetts for the purpose of the solemn constitution of the Lodge and the dedication of the hall.
The Grand Officers who signed the Charter and who presumably constituted the Lodge and dedicated the hall (although there is no record in the Grand Lodge Proceedings) were Most Worshipful Sereno D. Nickerson, Grand Master, Charles Kimball, Senior Grand Warden, Tracy P. Cheever, Junior Grand Warden, Charles H. Titus, Grand Secretary, John McClellan, Grand Treasurer, and Percival Lowell Everett, Deputy Grand Master.
The Lodge-rooms in the Town Hall were very secluded but the long hard climb up three flights of winding stairs doubtless kept many of the older members from punctual attendance at the meetings except on special occasions. Several times during the occupancy of the Town Hall rooms, efforts were made to secure more convenient quarters, but the expense of preparing and furnishing them in new buildings under construction was considered too large and it was not until the good Grand Army decided to disband and give up their charter and rooms in the Bank Block opposite, that we decided to move.
Owing to relocating the stairway to the third floor through the club room, the safe, which contained our Charter, records and By-Laws, was moved over before the main staircase was taken out, but before the quarters were ready for occupancy, the Town Hall was burned in January, 1926, together with all of our regalia, jewels and furnishings, with the exception of one officer's chair which had been taken over to help in making some measurements in connection with the new settees.
The rooms not being ready, the Lodge meetings were held in the club room in February and March, 1926, and in the new Lodge-room on April 6, 1926, which was dedicated Nov. 8, 1927, by Most Worshipful Frank L. Simpson and suite.
Our nice altar was presented to the Lodge by a group of Worcester County physicians headed by our late Brother Dr. George W. Ellison.
The 50th anniversary of the Lodge was observed Dec. 11, 1922, with music by the Imperial Male Quartet of Worcester, Massachusetts. An historical paper was read by the Chaplain, setting forth some of the interesting facts of the Lodge and refreshments and a social hour followed. The Lodge had officially recognized the tenth, fifteenth, and twenty-fifth anniversaries also with appropriate services.
Owing to the loss of all of our property in 1926, it was necessary to procure new furniture and regalia, and as we had already spent considerable in changing over the rooms which we were to occupy, it became necessary to secure funds on a mortgage note. We have to thank many Lodges, Spencerian Chapter, O.E.S., and many individuals, for voluntary contributions to help us financially, which, with funds earned by entertainments, parties and balls, have enabled us to pay off this note which we are burning this evening.
Spencer Lodge has had 33 Past Masters (one of which was under dispensation), of which number 19 are still living. This number of Masters may seem small, but it is owing to the fact that nearly all have served two years, while one, Right Worshipful Edwin A. Hill, our first Master under Charter, served five, one four years and three, three years. There have been 11 Treasurers and 14 Secretaries, and the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge has honored Spencer Lodge by the appointment of our Past Masters as District Deputy Grand Masters, as follows:
- R.W. Edwin A. Hill, 1889
- R.W. John G. Prouty, 1914
- R.W. Frederick B. Traill, 1920
- R.W. Edmund H. Squire, 1934
385 members have signed our By-Laws and the present number of members is 156.
Spencer Lodge has been assigned to four Masonic Districts — 1872 to 1882 inclusive, in the 11th District; 1883 to 1910 inclusive, in the 18th District; 1911 to 1926 inclusive, in the 20th District; and since 1927, in the (Brookfield) 21st District.
During the so-called depression no candidates were raised from June, 1931, to January, 1935. As the result of a clause in the will of Brother George F. Upham deceased, the charity fund of the Lodge is amply provided for any calls that are liable to be made, and with our indebtedness cancelled, we look forward to a pleasant and prosperous future.
75TH ANNIVERSARY HISTORY, OCTOBER 1946
From Proceedings, Page 1946-270:
By Worshipful Elton F. Prouty.
Tonight Spencer Lodge is a very proud organization, and so happy that we can all be together here at this important epoch of our Masonic life; seventy-five years in the life of a person does not seem so unreasonably old, and yet when a Lodge nears that age, somehow it savors of antiquity. So many interesting things have happened in Spencer Lodge in these years that have passed that a long, long story could well be written, but that is obviously out of the question tonight and we shall merely attempt to relate to you, in something of a chronological order, some of the highlights during that period.
The mention of the names of the Charter Members brings to our hearts such a thrill as is experienced when one mentions the Flag or the Signers of the Declaration of Independence.
The origin of Spencer Lodge was in consequence of the desire of a group of Spencer Brethren, members of Hayden Lodge of Brookfield, to organize a Masonic Lodge in their own home town. These Brethren met seventy-five years ago today, October 23, 1871, to organize this Lodge. Brother Henry R. Green called the meeting to order, Brother Jeremiah W. Drake was elected Chairman, and Brother George G. Wright, Secretary. Then followed the election of officers as follows:
- George P. Ladd, Worshipful Master
- Edwin A. Hill, Senior Warden
- Isaac Niles, Jr., Junior Warden
- Henry M. Tower, Treasurer
- George G. Wright, Secretary
A dispensation was granted on November 3, 1871.
The first regular communication of Spencer Lodge under dispensation was held in Denny Hall December 19, 1871. At this meeting the By-Laws were read and accepted, being accepted by the Grand Lodge on December 11, 1872, which is also the date of our Charter.
The first meeting in the new quarters in the Town Hall was a regular communication under dispensation in June, 1872, and the first degree work of the Lodge was in October of that same year, Brother William W. Mason being the first candidate and being raised April 1, 1873. The first regular communication under our Charter was held January 7, 1873.
Of the twenty Charter Members, your historian recalls seven during their life time and was a close neighbor to two of them.
Just a word about the old lodge room. I first saw it around 1892 when, as a small boy, I helped my father, janitor Brother Frank T. Prouty, the ninth Brother to be raised, on September 30, 1873, sweep the famous old red carpet, the pattern of which were the emblems and various insignia of our beloved order and considered a thing of rare beauty in those days. This was used as a lodge room until the Town Hall was destroyed by fire in January of 1926 and we lost all of our regalia, jewels and furnishings with the exception of one officer's chair and our safe, containing our Charter, records and By-Laws, which had been taken across the street to the new quarters in the Bank Block.
To many of us, the original lodge room holds hallowed memories. Our ancient Brethren of Spencer Lodge ascended to their quarters by "a flight of winding stairs," consisting of many, many steps, and when the more aged finally arrived at the top and eventually regained their breath, they probably thought they were "moored in a peaceful harbor, where the weary shall find rest."
The last candidates to receive their Master Mason Degree in the old lodge room were Brothers Clayton F. Fisher and Leon K. Sebring. The first candidates to be raised in our present comfortable lodge room were Brothers Ralph Tower and C. J. W. Sperry.
This seems to be an appropriate moment to state that one of the reasons for the success of Spencer Lodge, that we cannot find mentioned in previous histories, is the perfect harmony that has always existed between the Brethren who live in Leicester and those who reside in Spencer. "Brethren" is exactly the proper word!
The records show that the tenth, fifteenth and twenty-fifth anniversaries were celebrated with appropriate ceremonies. The fiftieth anniversary was held in the old lodge room December 11, 1922, with music by noted Worcester musicians, refreshments and a very pleasant social hour. An historical paper was read by Brother Robert Armstrong, who was at that time our Chaplain and Pastor of the First Congregational Church in Spencer.
The seventieth anniversary was held May 23, 1941, with a reception to Most Worshipful Albert A. Schaefer, then Grand Master of Masons in Massachusetts. There was a marvelous program, the mortgage note was burned, and an interesting history of the Lodge was read by Worshipful Harry S. Tripp. This event was held in the First Congregational Church also.
Spencer Lodge has been in four different Masonic Districts — 1872 to 1882, inclusive, in the 11th; 1883 to 1910, inclusive, in the 18th; 1911 to 1926, inclusive, in the 20th; and 1927 to 1946, inclusive, in the (Brookfield) 21st.
We have been honored by the appointment of five District Deputy Grand Masters, as follows:
- Edwin A. Hill, 1888
- John G. Prouty, 1914
- Frederick B. Traill, 1919
- Edmund H. Squire, 1934
- Clayton F. Fisher, 1944
Right Worshipful Brothers Edmund H. Squire and Clayton F. Fisher have served as Master of the Sixth Lodge of Instruction — a most valued part of our Institution entirely unknown to us old timers, and making it possible for candidates to visit beautiful Worcester Masonic Temple at an early period in their Masonic career.
Incidentally, the Temple was designed by the late Brother George C. Halcott, Architect of Worcester, an Honorary Member of Spencer Lodge, and very much beloved by many Spencer Brethren. He also designed our Spencer Memorial Town Hall and planned the arrangement of our own Masonic quarters in the Bank Block.
Including Worshipful George P. Ladd, who served under dispensation in 1871, there have been thirty-seven Worshipful Masters. With a bow of reverence and respect to those who have gone, we read the names of those still living, in the order of their precedence:
- Wor. Harry S. Tripp, 1904-1905
- Wor. Walter S. Wiggin, 1910-1911
- Wor. W. Harry Vernon, 1912-1913
- Wor. Dewitt Tower, 1914-1915
- Wor. W. Frederick. B. Traill, 1916-1917
- Wor. Elton F. Prouty, 1920-1921
- Wor. Charles M. Durell, 1924-1925
- Wor. Albert L. Blanchard, 1927-1928
- Wor. Edmund H. Squire, 1929-1930
- Wor. Ambrose L. Tower, 1931-1932
- Wor. Henry Cote, 1933-1934
- Wor. Raymond M. McMurdo, 1935-1936
- Wor. Leslie O. Marden, 1937
- Wor. Clayton F. Fisher, 1938-1939
- Wor. Frederick W. Flint, 1940-1941
- Wor. Norman F. MacLeod, 1942
- Wor. C. John W. Sperry, 1943-1944
- Wor. John Beatrice, 1945
- Wor. Ernest L. Roberts, 1946
If memory serves us correctly, the youngest Brother to ascend to the Oriental Chair was Worshipful Brother Nathan E. Craig, at the age of twenty-eight.
Worshipful Harry S. Tripp served as Installing Master for thirty years and this important task has now been capably handled for many years by Right Worshipful Edmund H. Squire, and Right Worshipful Frederick B. Traill has served twenty-three years as Installing Marshal.
There have been eleven Treasurers and fourteen Secretaries, whom we will not enumerate, but will mention that Brother Charles S. Ross served fifteen years as Secretary and Brother Edwin W. Sargent is now in his twentieth year in that chair. Brother Alton Barr served twenty-four years as Treasurer, and Right Worshipful Edmund H. Squire has served us for sixteen years in that capacity.
Seventy-five years of accomplishment, joy and happiness interspersed by those too frequent moments of grief and sorrow when a beloved Brother is taken from us! Anecdotes that would interest you could be related by the score, but time does not permit.
Perhaps the most unusual meeting ever held was on that "heatless night" during World War I in the winter of 1917-1918. The thermometer registered twenty degrees below zero F., as several faithful officers gathered in our 10x12 preparation room, and clad in overcoats and mittens, caps pulled down over our ears, opened our Lodge, transacted business and closed in form. Teeth chattered as the words were said, but the work was faithfully carried out. Three Past Masters who were with us that night have gone to "that place not made with hands, eternal in the heavens," but surely Worshipful Charles M. Durell, who was a member of the group, will vouch for the accuracy of this story.
The preliminary details, final arrangements and ultimate completion of our present quarters was under the guidance of Worshipful Charles M. Durell and his efficient committee and faithful Brethren, and was dedicated by Most Worshipful Frank L. Simpson and his Suite on November 8, 1926. The nice altar was presented to the Lodge by a group of Worcester County physicians, headed by our late Brother Dr. George W. Ellison.
Our Lodge furnished several members of World War I and fourteen Spencer Brethren went through the rigors of that terrible World War II. Through the thoughtfulness of Right Worshipful Edmund H. Squire, their names have been inscribed on a beautiful Honor Roll of parchment, to be preserved for posterity. Many sons of Brethren also served and their names will later be suitably recorded.
Does seventy-five years seem a short time in the life of a Lodge? Well, just two weeks ago we had the privilege of raising a Brother who is a member of the first family to have four successive generations represented in the Lodge. Brother Henry R. Green was a Charter Member. His son, Worshipful Charles H. Green, was raised August 20, 1889, by Worshipful Walter E. Barton. The grandson, Brother Herbert H. Green, was raised October 20,1914, during the regime of Worshipful Dewitt Tower by his father, Worshipful Charles H. Green. The great grandson, David H. Green, became a Master Mason October 8, 1946, raised by Worshipful Ernest L. Roberts, Presiding Master. There have also been three generations in three families— Henry, Dewitt and Ralph Tower; Edward, Ralph and Gerald Stone; and Frank, Elton and Robert Prouty.
Now we must come to a close. The past year, under the capable leadership of Worshipful Brother Roberts, has been perhaps the busiest in our history. Our present membership is 166.
Many members have rendered valuable service over the years — some, to use a military expression, "far beyond the call of duty"' — and their work will never be forgotten.
To some of us more elderly Brethren, "already in the Western Sky, the signs bid us prepare to gather up our Working Tools and part upon the Square," but as we contemplate "travelling to that undiscovered country, from whose bourne no traveller returns," we do so with no fear or foreboding for the future. We know well that the young Brethren now in the Lodge, and those to follow, will carry on the work of our beloved order with the same zeal, dignity and devotion that have characterized the work of their fathers. May the blessings of Heaven rest upon them and all that they shall do!
CENTENARY HISTORY, NOVEMBER 1971
From Proceedings, Page 1971-448:
By Right Worshipful Clayton F. Fisher.
Before proceeding with the Lodge History it might be apropos to mention a few facts about the Town of Spencer, which was incorporated a Town in 1853 and was 18 years old at the time the Lodge was instituted.
In 1870 there were 3,953 inhabitants but only 600 voters; (Today 8,800 population, 4,628 voters.) Tax valuation 1870— $1,341,000. (Today $39,000,000) Town taxes $18,000. in 1871; in 1872 $30,500; (Today $1,500,000.) State taxes in 1871— $5,925; (Today $20,000.) County taxes in 1871—$2,124; (Today $87,000.) The tax rate increased from $10.50 per thousand in 1871 to $16. in 1872, probably due to the building of a new Town Hall at $57,870 and completed in 1872. Spencer Lodge rented the entire top floor of this new building from June 8, 1872 until the Town Hall burned to the ground on Jan. 26, 1926. Lodge rent was $125. annually.
The Massasoit Hotel was completed in 1872 replacing Jenks Tavern which had burned. Richard Sugden was building a new Wire Mill to be operated by water with 26 ft. drop.
The Boston and Albany Railroad completed a freight depot in 1872, and the Townsfolk were hoping for a passenger depot as about 75,000 Spencer passengers annually used this means of transportation, having to board the trains in South Spencer, 3 miles from the center of Town.
The Spencer Savings Bank was organized in 1871 and one of the incorporators was our brother Henry R. Green. In 1875 they built the Bank Block and the G.A.R. occupied the top floor. Spencer Lodge now occupies the entire top floor and club room on the second floor, and the Lodge Trustees have purchased the entire building for the Lodge.
The Spencer Fire Department had two companies and 61 members. Today 4 companies, 56 men. The Spencer Free Public Library had 1775 volumes at that time. Today 20,752 volumes.
The Spencer Town Farm expenses were $2,000 with credits for farm products sold $1,325. Cost per person $2.47 per week, 15 persons involved.
The Y.M.C.A. met in the Union Block and our Wor. George P. Ladd was their Secretary.
There were 11 School houses; teachers' wages were $7. to $8. weekly. High School teachers' wages $25-$30 weekly; average 24 weeks of school annually.
The Spencer Congregational Church was without a Pastor, but soon Rev. Chester Howland served from 1872 to 1877. The Spencer Methodist Church was remodeled in 1872, its Pastor being Rev. Bro. Walter Nottage, our Chaplain.
The SPENCER SUN, Spencer's first newspaper, dated October 31, 1872 and printed in Spencer, was interesting to read. One item stated: "There is a flourishing Masonic Lodge in this Town". However, I found later that our Brother James H. Ames was editor which may have had something to do with that notice.
The Spencer Postmaster and Town Clerk was our Brother Emerson Stone.
Horses, saddled, or with carriages, were the usual mode of travel. It was an hours ride to Leicester or Brookfield and 2y2 to 3 hours to Worcester.
From the above I believe you may see that Spencer was an active growing Town. I only wish that time and space would allow for more, but I must proceed with the Lodge's 100 year history.
IN THE BEGINNING . . .
The first official meeting of Masons to form a new Lodge in Spencer was held in Town Hall on Monday, October 23, 1871. There probably had been several preliminary meetings, not recorded, to obtain information and obtain a petition form. At this meeting an original petition was signed by 32 Masons as follows:
- 1 Quinebaug Lodge, Southbridge
- 1 Artisan Lodge, Winchendon
- 1 Union of Strict Observance, Detroit
- 1 Meridian Sun, Shaftsbury, Vt.
- 1 Sacket Harbor, New York
- 1 Perfect Ashlar, New York
- 1 Blair Lodge, Chicago, Ill.
- 14 Hayden Lodge, Brookfield
- 1 Oxford Lodge, Oxford
- 2 Morning Star, Worcester
- 1 Montacute, Worcester
- 1 Paul Revere, Brockton
- 2 North Star, Ashland
- 3 members did not list name of Lodge.
The following officers were nominated and elected: George P. Ladd, Wor. Master; Edwin A. Hill, Senior Warden; Isaac Niles, Jr., Junior Warden; Henry M. Tower, Treasurer; George G. Wright, Secretary.
A committee of five was appointed to select a name for the Lodge and they proposed "SPENCER LODGE" and it was accepted. A committee of three Hayden brothers was appointed to present the petition to Hayden Lodge, Brookfield, for their consent to the granting of a dispensation by the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts to the brethren of Spencer Lodge for a new Lodge. This was granted by Hayden Lodge.
A committee of two presented the petition to the District Deputy Grand Master and to the Grand Master, and on November 3, 1871, just 100 years ago today, the Grand Lodge Committee for Dispensation reported: signed, accepted, and granted.
On November 4, 1871 Wor. Brother Ladd called a meeting in Denny Hall (long a landmark in Spencer, and then located where the David Prouty Junior High School is now located) for the purpose of receiving reports of committees.
The Charter Members who signed the original Charter were as follows. May we stand in honor of those valiant Masons who had the courage and foresight to request this Charter and to build a new Lodge here in Spencer.
- Edwin A. Hill
- Charles H. Allen
- Isaac Niles, Jr.
- George A. Craig
- George G. Wright
- L. Francis Sumner
- Edward E. Stone
- Emerson Stone
- William A. Barr
- Orrin S. Worthington
- Sullivan S. Marsh
- Henry Belcher
- James H. Ames, Jr.
- John E. Bacon
- Henry R. Green
- John N. Grout
- Bradford B. F. Whitman
- George P. Ladd
- Marquis Hall
- Jeremiah W. Drake
The signatures of George A. Craig, James H. Ames, Jr., and Bradford B. F. Whitman were not on the original petition. Also 15 original petitioners decided not to join Spencer Lodge. A committee of three was appointed to fit up a Masonic Lodge and to furnish estimate of furniture costs, etc., which was later reported at $900. A report was adopted to hold future meetings in Denny Hall until the Town Hall was completed. A committee consisting of the Master and Wardens was appointed to form a set of By-Laws. On December 10, 1871 the By-Laws Committee reported and the Lodge accepted the By-Laws approved by Grand Lodge.
On December 19, 1871 the first regular communication, under dispensation, was held in Denny Hall. The Committee on By-Laws reported and By-Laws were read and accepted. Bro. Isaac Niles, Jr. was appointed a committee of one to raise funds for furnishing the Lodge. That evening the Lodge proceeded to work for instruction on the first degree.
Thus you will see that Spencer Lodge proceeded quickly through its formation, obtaining furnishings and working the degrees. On Sept. 17, 1872, William W. Mason was the second applicant accepted and the first raised on April 1, 1873. On Nov. 19, 1872 the District Deputy Grand Master of the 11th Masonic District made his first official visit to Spencer Lodge. The second degree was worked on Brother Mason. On December 11, 1872 the Charter of Spencer Lodge was granted and the By-Laws accepted by Grand Lodge.
On January 7, 1873 the first regular meeting under the new Charter was held, the Lodge opening at 3:30 p.m. On this occasion, the Lodge received an official and fraternal visit by the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts, Most Worshipful Sereno Dwight Nickerson, Grand Master, and his Suite of six, who constituted the Lodge and dedicated the Hall. After dinner recess, the Grand Master and Grand Lodge installed the officers for the ensuing year. There were 49 brethren present. Initiation fees were #10. for each degree; dues were $4. a year.
From this date on the records are mostly routine. Spencer Lodge is now on its way and during the year 1873, thirteen candidates were raised; this number was never surpassed in the next fifty years.
LODGE QUARTERS . . .
Our preliminary and first few meetings, under dispensation, were held in the Old Town Hall, Denny Hall, and Town Schoolhouse. From June 1872 until the destructive fire in January, 1926, our quarters were on the top floor of the new Town Hall. There were 88 stairs to climb from the entrance level to the top floor and so, from time to time, as new buildings were erected, committees were appointed to investigate the Sugden, Bank, Marsh, Kingsley, and Union Blocks, but cost was prohibitive. Also through the years 1878 to 1888, we sublet to the Odd Fellows, Rebeccas, Royal Arcanum, Royal Society of Good Fellows, and Society of the Iron Hall. This must have been of material benefit to the exchequer. In October 1922 a committee was appointed to look up and report on the prospect of securing new quarters. In April 1923 and from then until September 1925 meetings and discussions "pro and con" relative to the G. A. R. Hall versus the vacant Universalist Church were considered; finally being settled by unanimous vote of September 1, 1925 to begin alterations in G.A.R. Hall to fit it for occupancy for Spencer Lodge.
The disastrous fire of January 29, 1926 completely gutted the Town Hall building. All Masonic fixtures, furniture, regalia, jewels, altar, Bible, etc., were destroyed. Fortunately the Master's Chair, safe, and O. E. S. piano had been previously moved to G. A. R. Hall. It was also fortunate that the Lodge records were in the safe or in the vault of the Spencer Savings Bank.
On February 5, 1926 our regular meeting was held in our new Club Room, because of the recent fire. The Building Committee was authorized to inquire about new furniture and regalia. The Building Committee was given the additional task of providing funds to cover the work to be done. On February 1, 1927 the Building Committee made a very complete report of their work which was accepted by the Lodge, ordered spread upon the records and the committee discharged with thanks. Their report, in part, indicated a labor of love by our members. Just listen to some of it.
Bro. Doctor Ellison, and the Physicians of Worcester and surrounding areas provided funds for our altar.
Carpenter work was furnished by Bro. Ralph Stone at cost.
Electrical work (over 1000 hours) donated by Brothers George A. Bemis and Ambrose L. Tower.
Carpets, linoleum and shades by Wor. W. Harry Vernon at cost. Bro. Philip Longley installed them at no cost to the Lodge. Plumbing and heating furnished by Brothers Charles Ross and Harold Bemis at cost plus 10%, in addition to personal labor without charge.
Club Room rug and money by Brother Joseph Lemerise.
Club Room Lamp, working tools and money by Miss Mary Allen (daughter of Wor. Charles H. Allen).
Bible, Moose and Caribou heads and generosity as to price of mirrors and other gifts by Mrs. Ida Prouty (widow of R. W. John G. Prouty).
Master's Chair by Leicester members, their wives and sisters. Master's gavel by R.W. Edmund H. Squire.
Range and Water Heater by Spencer Gas Company.
Deacon and Stewards Rods by Bro. George C. Halcott.
Donations of money by members amounting to over $2500.
Complete furnishings of kitchen and dining room, over draperies and over $100 in cash donated by Spencerian Chapter, O. E. S. Worthy Matron, Martha Burkill and fifty sisters of Spencerian Chapter contributed $250. that they had raised by personal work, such as cooking, sewing and candy making. A Whist Club of eight sisters added $40. to the fund by paying 50 cents per meeting for a stated period.
The only indebtedness was a note held by the Spencer National Bank in the amount of $2500.
On November 8, 1927 the new Lodge Quarters were dedicated by M. W. Frank L. Simpson and Suite. (1927 Mass. 274-275)
Our records state: "The Grand Master and his suite then proceeded with the ceremony of dedication of these rooms, which was most impressive. Owing to the illness of one of the members of his suite (R. W. Charles H. Ramsay, Grand Treasurer) The Most Worshipful Grand Master made his remarks very brief and retired immediately with his suite—." From then until 1950 we were quite content with our beautiful quarters.
On Oct. 3, 1950 the matter of the Bank Block changing ownership was brought up and Wor. Harold Frazel appointed a committee to protect the interest of Spencer Lodge. On Nov. 7, 1950 our rent was raised to $65. monthly and the Master, Helmer Anderson, and Wardens were authorized to sign a lease for five years with the option to renew.
On Oct. 7, 1958 motion was made to form a Building Committee which would investigate and then incorporate as a building commission so as to obtain and hold building funds. From the above it is obvious that because of new ownership of the building and again possibly because the Lodge Quarters are on the third floor, that some members of the Lodge desired to relinquish our present quarters and build a new Masonic Temple.
From January 7, 1960 to August 20, 1963 The Trustees, Wor. Raymond M. McMurdo, Chairman, presented plans of a new Temple and visited sites, and finally purchased the Bemis property at Main and Watson Streets as the future site of a new Masonic Temple.
On November 1, 1966 Wor. Helmer Anderson, Chairman of Building Trustees, asked for a survey of the Bank Block, as to cost of repairs and approximate valuation as the owners were contemplating selling. On January 3, 1967 "The Lodge votes to NOT buy the Bank Block at the offered price of £$35,000."
From May 2, 1967 the Lodge and Trustees took under advisement the plans for a new Masonic Temple and further consideration of the Bank Block, and on October 15, 1968 Wor. Robert Olmsted, Chairman of the Building Committee, reported on both projects suggesting that an architect prepare plans for a new Temple, with Lodge facilities on the ground floor and dining facilities, etc., in the basement of the Bemis property. On March 11, 1969 several sets of plans were viewed and studied by members. In September 1969, Wor. Robert Olmsted reported the Architect's "guesstimate" of $120,000 for a finished building. On March 3, 1970 Wor. Robert Anderson reported for the Building Committee and passed out printed facts and figures of the Bank Block (our present quarters). No action was taken.
On March 14, 1970 Chairman Wor. Robert Olmsted mailed to all members a report of the Building Committee stating that increases in construction costs suggested that Spencer Lodge table this venture (of a New Masonic Temple) as unfeasible. The Building Committee recommends that the Board of Trustees enter into an agreement, on behalf of Spencer Lodge, to purchase the present Lodge Building (Bank Block) at the selling price of $32,000 as defined in their report.
On April 7, 1970 the Lodge voted to "give the Trustees a vote of confidence, which gives them authority to sell the Spencer Lodge property on Main and Watson Streets, and to purchase our present quarters, namely, the Bank Building. Total unanimous vote 40, including 9 Past Masters."
Now that the Bank Block is in the hands of the "Trustees of Spencer Lodge, A. F. & A. M." it is to be hoped that these Trustees will do all possible to provide Spencer Lodge with their home at a reasonable cost and to so operate as to make the entire building a credit to our fraternity, and a pleasure for the tenants to stay and occupy their quarters, as older buildings in Town are being modernized and improved and our building needs to keep up with this trend.
To say that this ends any desire to actually seek a new Masonic Temple on ground level with a basement dining hall would be a fallacy, because there are a number of Brethren who would like to see that dream come true, however, the committee realized that an expenditure of $120,000 was unfeasible. Our present investment of $32,000 may pave the way for future consideration of a new Temple. Who can say? The thought, when we took over our present quarters in 1926, was that this was to be our permanent home, but later events showed that change was desired by some and it can happen again sometime, although frankly, I feel, as do many others, that our quarters are adequate and as attractive and pleasant as any of the better Lodge quarters in Massachusetts.
DISTRICT DEPUTY GRAND MASTERS
Our Grand Lodge has favored Spencer Lodge by the appointment of the following brethren:
- April 21, 1888 through 1889, R. W. Edwin A. Hill was our first District Deputy Grand Master for the 18th Masonic District.
- Dec. 1913 through Dec. 1915, R. W. John G. Prouty was our second District Deputy Grand Master for the 20th Masonic District.
- Dec. 1918 through Dec. 1920, R. W. Frederick B. Traill was our third District Deputy Grand Master for the http://masonicgenealogy.com/MediaWiki/index.php?title=MASouthbridge20_1911-1926 20th Masonic District].
- Dec. 1933 through Dec. 1935, R. W. Edmund H. Squire was our fourth District Deputy Grand Master for the 21st Masonic District. His Marshal was Wor. Mark L. Reed of Rufus Putnam Lodge, Rutland.
- Dec. 1943 through Dec. 1945, R. W. Clayton F. Fisher was our fifth District Deputy Grand Master. His Marshal was R. W. Frederick B. Traill of Spencer Lodge.
- Dec. 1961 through Dec. 1963, R. W. Scott L. Allen was our sixth District Deputy Grand Master for the 21st Masonic District. His Marshal was Wor. Harold E. Lindberg of Spencer Lodge.
OTHER GRAND LODGE APPOINTMENTS
- December 3, 1912 Wor. Walter S. Wiggin was elected an Associate Member of the Board of Masonic Relief of Grand Lodge. On Oct. 7, 1913 he resigned from this position.
- December 1946, R.W. Clayton Fisher was appointed Committeeman for Zone 4 A and B of the Grand Lodge Service Committee, covering the Barre 13th, Fitchburg 13th, Blackstone 20th, Brookfield 21st and Worcester 22nd Masonic Districts and is still serving.
- December 1947, R. W. Brother Fisher was appointed Grand Pursuivant of our Grand Lodge serving R. W. George D. Robertson, Senior Grand Warden.
- December 1951, R. W. Clayton F. Fisher was elected Junior Grand Warden of our Grand Lodge. He was also appointed Representative to the Grand Lodge of Guatemala near the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts, and is still serving in that capacity. Brother Fisher is a permanent member of our Grand Lodge.
- On March 25, 1951 a reception for our Junior Grand Warden, R.W. Clayton F. Fisher, was held in the Congregational Church with catered dinner (by Kendall of Fitchburg), serving 237 Brethren and 34 Grand Lodge Officers. Most Worshipful Thomas Sherrard Roy, Grand Master, was received with his 34 member Suite at 8 p.m. There were 425 in attendance. Soloist was Bro. Beverly Ottoway, Organist was Bro. F. Theodore Hopkins. Wor. Wesley S. Stevens presented Brother Fisher with the Junior Grand Warden Jewel. Most Worshipful Brother Roy presented Brother Fisher with the Henry Price Medal, the highest honor that can be bestowed from our Grand Lodge.
- In December 1957, R.W. Brother Fisher was appointed interim Director of Service of our Grand Lodge, under Most Worshipful Andrew G. Jenkins, with the specific task of reorganizing the personnel of the Service Department and to increase its efficiency. Due to the new Zone Managers and District Representatives and their activities, blood donations were increased from 4000 to 8000 pints. Brother Fisher retired upon the appointment of R.W. Oliver Rutherford as our present Director of Service late in 1958.
Throughout the years there has been a quiet growth in our Lodge averaging about six new candidates per year. However, there have been active years when candidates have increased two and three fold. The highest years were 1946 with 21 candidates; in 1923, 19; in 1958 and 1961, 18 each; the lowest years were 1912, 1932 and 1933 with none; 1895, 1902, 1903, 1915, 1934, 1940 and 1946, with one each. From the listed years I would assume that wars and economic conditions had a certain effect in the dearth of candidates.
On March 1, 1892 the first Leicester candidate, Asa G. Kent, was raised. Between that date and October 10, 1922 a total of 34 Leicester men joined Spencer Lodge. During the last 50 years and up to May 1971 an additional 107 Leicester residents have joined, a total of 141.
On November 5, 1895 "consideration for Life Membership was discussed, but no action taken." I find no further records that this subject was ever again mentioned.
On January 24, 1922 our last Charter Member, Wor. Charles H. Allen, was laid to rest.
On October 6, 192S the Lodge voted "that after a Brother has been a Mason for forty years his name should automatically be presented to a committee to investigate conditions and recommend that he be made an honorary member. Today it is the general custom to request and vote on honorary membership for all Masons who have been members of our Lodge for forty years.
In the first fifty years there were twenty Charter members and two hundred eighty-three candidates or a total of three hundred and three members through October 10, 1922. In the last SO years and through May 31, 1971 there have been added three hundred and twenty-seven members or an overall total of six hundred and thirty. These figures are subject to last minute correction prior to our 100th Anniversary meeting. Two hundred and fifty-nine brethren have died; ninety-nine have demitted; thirty-nine have been suspended. Our present membership is two hundred and thirty-three.
During the years, such records as I have found enumerating the number of Masons present at our meetings has fluctuated greatly, and seemingly the pendulum sways back and forth, not so much due to our being involved in building projects, etc., as much as upon the personal involvement of the membership in projects and committee work.
I believe that Masonry has a great deal to offer in these trying times as a means of stabilization of concrete thought and action; and I believe that our fraternity should include every clear thinking, upright, honest and conscientious man who is interested in the preservation of our common ideals and heritage.
During our 100 years of existence there have been several Anniversary celebrations:
December 12, 1882 the 10th Anniversary celebration was held with the ladies invited and present. The evening was very pleasantly spent in social intercourse and in listening to readings, recitations, songs, after which a collation was served in the Banquet Hall. In these past 10 years 64 candidates were raised. We are now well established as our records indicate, and there was plenty of routine activity.
On November 2, 1887 the Lodge voted to have a 15th Anniversary celebration and appointed a committee of six with Wor. W. E. Barton, Chairman. After all this preliminary, there is no record of the celebration having occurred.
On November 18, 1890 the Lodge voted to hold an 18th Anniversary celebration on January 20, 1891, later changed to February 17, 1891. No records indicate why an 18th anniversary was required, however, a three-part committee of three members each were appointed for entertainment, reservations and supper. This affair was to be held for members and their families, yet no record of this affair was tabulated. I guess somebody wanted to hold a party.
On January 7, 1898 the 25th Anniversary celebration was held, with a social for Masons and their families with singing and with selections on the graphophone. There were 102 present. A collation was served in the Banquet Hall after which R.W. Edwin A. Hill gave a short history of the Lodge. Singing and a general social hour followed in the Lodge room until a late hour. On December 11, 1922, Monday evening, Spencer Lodge observed the 50th Anniversary of the receipt of its Charter by giving a social and entertainment to the members and their ladies. A very pleasing musical program was by the Imperial Male Quartet of Worcester. Midway in the musical program, Brother and Reverend Robert G. Armstrong read the history of the Lodge. Committee Chairman was Wor. Arthur F. Warren and the Master of Ceremonies was Wor. Elton Prouty. Excerpts from the history reads: "Fifty years! A golden Anniversary! In that time this Lodge has received a total of 300 members into its fraternity. In that time the financial condition of the Lodge has become firm and secure. In that time a Temple of Manhood has been created in the hearts of hundreds of men, a temple reared by the level, plumb and square. For after all, it isn't the outer furnishings of the Lodge. It isn't fine marble, splendid plush, magnificent lighting that creates the man. But it is the spirit of the fine Masonic principles more enduring than wood or stone, finer than softest plushes or silks, more lasting than earth itself, that sinks into the heart of a man and bids him stand, a just and upright Mason, ever to walk and act as such." Of those who attended that Anniversary, I know of only nine that are still alive: Bro. and Rev. Armstrong, who has demitted, and a few trusting souls still faithful to our Lodge.
On May 23, 1941 the 70th Anniversary of Spencer Lodge, Wor. Frederick W. Flint, Master, was held in the Congregational Church with a catered dinner (by Kendall of Fitchburg) with 181 brethren at dinner, 213 at the meeting. Wor. Clayton F. Fisher was Chairman of the Committee and Chairman of the reception Committee to introduce the Suite. Most Worshipful Albert A. Schaefer, Grand Master, attended with a Suite of thirteen Grand Lodge Officers. (1941 Mass. 127-133) Selections were given by Aletheia Grotto Glee Club. The history was read by Wor. Harry S. Tripp. Addresses by the Grand Master and his Suite were given. Burning of the mortgage was by Wor. Charles M. Durell.
On October 23, 1946 the 75th Anniversary was held with Wor. Ernest L. Roberts, Master, at the Congregational Church with a catered dinner (by Kendall of Fitchburg) with 165 attending the dinner and 181 attending the meeting. R.W. Clayton F. Fisher was chairman of the Committee and also chairman of the reception committee. Most Worshipful Samuel H. Wragg, Grand Master, attended with a Suite of sixteen Grand Lodge Officers. (1946 Mass. 267-275) Soloist was Bro. Franklin G. Field and Organist was Bro. F. Theodore Hopkins. Addresses were given by the Grand Master and Suite. Lodge closed in Ample Form.
November 3, 1971. This, the 100th Anniversary is being consummated tonight and the copy of this condensed history, together with a detailed history by dates will be appended to our Lodge records for our later Historians to peruse, and to use as they see fit. Our Secretary will record the details of this meeting in his Lodge record book.
On February 11, 1873 the first Relief Committee was to be appointed but the motion was laid over. Charity has been in evidence throughout the years. Our Lodge has furnished nursing service and funeral services where necessary particularly in the early years.
On October 6, 1936 our late Brother George F. Upham of Bronxville, New York, left Spencer Lodge a fund of $50,000 the income of which was specified "for the relief of the poor, not necessarily Masons". A Committee was appointed to shape up an amendment to our By-Laws and to work with lawyers and our Grand Lodge in finalizing the Court's requirements for acceptance of the legacy. This was finalized on October 3, 1939 and action taken to place the income in the hands of Trustees of the George F. Upham Fund. There have been two Trustees from Leicester and two from Spencer since that time. The present Trustees are Bro. Leon C. Gould and Wor. Harold E. Lindberg of Leicester; Wor. J. Harry Robertson and Wor. Ernest L. Roberts of Spencer.
Our records are incomplete on service. At present our blood program is handled by the Senior Warden and a committee. Cards and flowers for the sick and indisposed are supplied by Bro. Raymond Rich and his group. They also send Christmas gifts to the elderly. Blood donations through the years have not been large as hoped for, but we are grateful to those who have donated, many three to five times a year to help our record.
We may hope to improve other areas of service, such as Service to each individual Brother, visitors for the sick and distressed, transportation and car pools, birthday card projects, contacting non-resident members, reception committee work and complete listing for the blood donor records.
Around 1930 the 34th Lodge of Instruction was instituted and we were active in it. In September of 1934, we were transferred to the Worcester 6th Lodge of Instruction and are actively a part of it.
All candidates are required to attend for additional information not given in the degree work. It is the duty of each officer who accepts a station in our Lodge to attend as often as possible, as it will improve his status and knowledge for the position of Master to which he expects to succeed. All Master Masons are invited to attend at any meeting. Lecturers and speakers are available to give the needed information regarding various phases of Masonry.
The following Spencer Lodge Brethren have served the 6th Lodge of Instruction: Name: Office, Year
- R. W. Edmund H. Squire: Master, 1938-1939
- R. W. Clayton F. Fisher: Master, 1940-1941
- Wor. Harold R. Frazel: Master, 1953-1954
- R. W. Scott L. Allen: Secretary, 1969-present
- Wor. Stuart E. Gilbert: Junior Warden, 1971-1972
ORDER OF THE EASTERN STAR
On March 6, 1894 "The subject of organizing a Lodge of the Eastern Star was introduced and after an explanation of the order by Bro. Reuben Prouty and some discussion the following brethren were appointed to obtain further information in relation to the order: Brothers Ames, Barton, Hoyle, Mullin, Green." There is no further mention of this until April 6, 1909 when Wor. Charles H. Green moved that we grant Spencerian Chapter, O. E. S., free use of the Hall until their Charter is granted. So voted. Spencerian Chapter was of inestimable assistance to our Lodge after the fire and when we moved into the Bank Block as shown in our report herewith.
On February 20, 1882 the Lodge voted to have a committee report on advisability of forming a Chapter Lodge. This evidently referred to a Royal Arch Chapter. However, I find no further reference to any conclusions or action, and we have no local Royal Arch Chapter.
On April 2, 1957 Spencer Lodge took the initiative in finding out the cost of a DeMolay Chapter, and on May 7, 1957 proceeded with a tentative organization. On October 1, 1957 we sponsored Spencer Chapter, furnishing meeting quarters but expenses to be supplied by Masons themselves and not from Lodge funds. On March 4, 1958 institution and installation of Spencer Chapter, Order of DeMolay was held in Leicester Town Hall and on October 6, 1959 it received its Charter at a meeting in Spencer Town Hall.
April 4, 1876 ". . . . No communication was held because of a violent storm which was in progress and brethren were unable to attend."
February 5, 1918 ". . . . there were only seven officers present due to coal shortage and no heat available. Meeting was held with all in overcoats and gloves."
March 7, 1922 ". . . . was a very stormy night. No lighting available. The Lodge was lit by two gas jets, a candle, a flashlight and a lantern."
April 7, 1925 ". . . . voted to charge a nominal price for suppers in the future." In the past all suppers and collations were free with committees donating much of the food.
Spencer Lodge has worked degrees at the Masonic Home on several occasions and elsewhere about the area for other Lodges and groups. The Hiram Associates and other groups have performed for us. We hope that this practice may be renewed and continued, as it is a pleasant way to improve our fraternal communications and friendships as well as to furnish entertainment for our brethren.
On February 7, 1928 R.W. Brother Squire reported damage by fire in the store below our rooms, ". . . . was repaired under the order of the Worshipful Master and supervision of Wor. Bro. Halcott and the Insurance Companies. Every detail of work recommended was done in a most thorough manner." A balance of $250. left over from insurance payments was voted to be used to reduce the note held by Spencer National Bank.
Some of our brethren had been interested in dramatics and had taken part in local plays for other associations in Town. We felt our talents might be used to raise funds to reduce our indebtedness, so we sponsored the following:
On November 9, 1928 Spencer Lodge's "Spencerian Players" produced the dramatic play "GRUMPY", the first show to be given in our New Memorial Town Hall, to a large and appreciative audience. It produced a gain of #250. to help pay off our mortgage.
On April 17, 1931 Spencer Lodge's "Spencerian Players" again produced Joe Lincoln's "SHAVINGS" to a large house, and later gave repeat performances at Crane's Sanitarium and Veterans Llospital at Rutland; Masonic Home, Charlton; and North Brookfield Town Hall. This time our finances were not assured due to three charitable performances and the North Brookfield show not being properly advertised. This show had a loss of $40. due to transportation of scenery, etc.
On December 4, 1934 a committee was appointed to obtain Past Masters' pictures: Wor. Henry Cote, Chairman; and Wor. Edward Jerome and Wor. Charles M. Durell. I found no official report of this committee, but I know that they were unsuccessful in obtaining pictures of all older Past Masters and did not follow through with the later Masters.
COLLATERAL MASONIC BODIES
A number of our Spencer Lodge brethren are members of the York Rite and Scottish Rite bodies; also, some have joined the "GROTTO" and the "SHRINE". Spencer Lodge has been honored by the services of the following brethren:
Grotto: Our Brother Frank O. Johnson served in line offices and was Monarch of Aletheia Grotto, Worcester, in 1958. Our late Brother Edmund J. Boyer served in line offices and was Monarch of Aletheia Grotto, Worcester, in 1965. (He died during his term as Monarch)
York Rite: R. W. Bro. Fisher has served in line offices in Worcester County Commandery, No. 5, Knights Templars and was Eminent Commander in 1957-8 and has been Treasurer since 1961. Wor. Bro. Frederick W. Flint also served in line offices and was Eminent Commander in 1963-4.
Our Brother Herbert J. Dickie served in line of Eureka Royal Arch Chapter, Worcester, and as Excellent High Priest in 1941. R. W. Bro. Fisher is currently presiding Puissant Sovereign of St. Matthew's Conclave, Knights of the Red Cross of Constantine at Springfield.
Scottish Rite: R. W. Bro. Fisher has served in line offices and as Sovereign Prince of Goddard Council, 16° Worcester in 1952 and 1953 and was created an honorary member of the Supreme Council, 33° in 1962.
Wor. Bro. John S. Konrad also served in line offices and as Sovereign Prince, 16° in 1956 and 1957. He also served in line and as Most Wise Master of Lawrence Chapter of Rose Croix, 18°, in 1968 and 1969; and was created an honorary member of the Supreme Council, 33° in 1970.
Brothers Fisher and Konrad have both served in the line offices of Massachusetts Council of Deliberation, 33°, at Boston.
The writer has accumulated a complete roster of all members who have joined our Lodge as well as a list of present membership, all Past Masters, Treasurers, and Secretaries for the record and so that it will not be necessary for future historians to again review our past records.
May I personally thank R. W. Robert P. Beach, Grand Secretary, for his assistance in furnishing photostatic copies of the original petition, and checking our first Master under Dispensation, Bro. George P. Ladd.
Also my thanks to R. W. Cedric G. Lindley, Jr., Secretary of Hayden Lodge, for a comprehensive search of Hayden Lodge records for the years 1870 to 1873 regarding the status of our Charter Members from that Lodge.
Thanks again to our Bro. Richard H. Green, a fourth generation member of Spencer Lodge, who was responsible for my being able to advise you about the statistics of the Town of Spencer during the years of 1871 and 1872 and other information used. . ... Here Endeth the record of Spencer Lodge for the first hundred years! It has been a pleasant, rewarding task to reread the minutes of all the meetings held in the past 100 years and to record those which are most important for us to remember. As I read each report, particularly where I knew the Master and Officers, (I know all but eight Past Masters—and those eight had died prior to our 50th Anniversary in 1922), my mind reverted to those men whom I again pictured in my memory and I felt and shared with them the action taken, as recorded by our thorough Secretaries.
The most difficult part of this history will be to re-write a "thumb nail" account for delivery at our 100th Anniversary, where I shall be limited to about 20 minutes. I am reminded of a story I read in the first copy of the Spencer Sun, viz: The Speaker said to his listeners "I am addressing my remarks to our posterity" to which one in the group replied "Yes, and if you don't stop soon—your audience will have arrived." The foregoing material should be informative and of particular interest to our brethren. I hope it has not been boring.
From the forming of our Country in 1775 and earlier, our founders have been numbered in our ranks, and today, men of every rank, creed, and occupation are members with us—so may we look forward for the pendulum to again swing back and that more men may find solace and inspiration in our great order. To me, Masonry is a glorious adventure in friendship. Every meeting I attend is a rewarding experience, and your regular attendance will give you back everything you have put into it—and more—to this I will personally attest.
What lies ahead for Spencer Lodge in the next one hundred years? "¿Quien Sabe?" (Who Knows?) Since our Grand Lodge was founded in 1733 — the principles have been there — the last 238 years have not changed them nor has any better solution been proposed. As long as there are dedicated men in the World — just so long will Masonry find a place for them in membership.
CONSTITUTION OF LODGE, JANUARY 1873
From Moore's Freemason's Monthly, Vol. XXXII, No. 2, February 1873, Page 53:
This is a new Lodge, located in the pleasant and flourishing town of Spencer, in the county of Worcester, and having worked its year of probation under a dispensation, and received a Charter from the Grand Lodge, was duly constituted by the M. W. Grand Master and his officers, on Tuesday the 7th of January ult.
The Grand Lodge present consisted of
- M. W. Sereno D. Nickerson, G. M.
- Percival L. Everett, D. G M.
- Henry Endicott, S. G. W.
- Charles W. Moore as J. G. W.
- Henry C. Willson, as G. Treas.
- Joseph B. Knox as R. G. Sec.
- Chas. H. Titus, as G. Chap.
- Wm. H. Chessman, Gr. Marshal.
- Nelson R. Scott, Grand Steward.
- Sumner Holmes as Grand Steward
- Geo. P. Ladd, Architect.
- Fred. A. Pierce, Grand Tyler.
The Grand Lodge was opened at 4 o'clock P. M., and immediately proceeded with the dedication of the Masonic apartments to the purposes of Freemasonry, in the usual form and with the usual ceremonies. The constituting of the Lodge immediately followed; at the conclusion of which ceremony the Grand Lodge took a recess until the evening; at which time it assembled in the beautiful hall in the large and imposing building recently erected in the centre of the village for public and other purposes. This hall, we understand, is capable of seating about six hundred persons. There were probably present on this occasion between three and four hundred, including ladies and other invited guests. The ceremonies of Installation were opened with singing by an excellent quartette. Bro. Edwin A. Hill, Master elect was then introduced and installed by the Grand Master; the Senior Warden, Bro. Charles H. Allen was installed by R. W. Henry Endicott, S. G. W.; and the Junior Warden, Bro. Isaac Niles, Jr., was installed by R. W. Charles W. Moore as J. G. W. pro tem. The remainder of the officers were then installed by the M. W. Grand Master, the usual proclamation was made by the Grand Marshal, and the ceremonies were closed with prayer by the Grand Chaplain; previous to which, however, the Grand Master addressed the brethren and the company present in terms and on subjects appropriate to the occasion, and was listened to with great attention and apparent gratification by the audience. The Grand Lodge then retired, and having been closed, the members were immediately conducted to the banqueting hall in the same building, where they were joined by some two hundred ladies and gentlemen in a bountiful and well spread banquet, and where an hour was spent in a very pleasant way. The speakers at the table, so far as we can recollect them were, the Grand Master, and Bros. Moore, Knox, Titus and others.
The apartments of the new Lodge are admirably well adapted to the purposes for which they are designed, and especially so is the principal hall, which is neatly frescoed and handsomely furnished. The Lodge itself is composed of young and enterprising brethren, and its future prospects are highly encouraging.
GRAND LODGE OFFICERS
- Scott L. Allen, DDGM, District 21 (Brookfield), 1962, 1963; N
- Clayton F. Fisher, DDGM, District 21 (Brookfield), 1944, 1945; Junior Grand Warden 1952
- Edwin A. Hill, DDGM, District 18 (Worcester), 1888, 1889; SN
- Arthur M. Kinne, DDGM, District 21 (Brookfield), 1984, 1985; Junior Grand Warden 1987
- Neil T. Mulrain, DDGM, District 21 (Brookfield), 1992, 1993; N
- John G. Prouty, DDGM, District 20 (Southbridge), 1914; SN
- Edmund H. Squire, DDGM, District 21 (Brookfield), 1934, 1935; N
- Frederick B. Traill, DDGM, District 20 (Southbridge), 1919, 1920; SN