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WILBRAHAM MASONIC LODGE

(originally named NEWTON LODGE; name change 12/11/2002.)

Location: Wilbraham

Chartered By: William Sewall Gardner

Charter Date: 09/13/1871 1871-51

Precedence Date: 11/10/1870

Current Status: In Grand Lodge Vault.


PAST MASTERS (NEWTON)

  • Edward Cooke, 1871
  • Albert S. Newton, 1872, 1873
  • Chauncey L. Peck, 1874-1878
  • Myron A. Bliss, 1879, 1880
  • Henry Clark, 1881-1883
  • Joseph A. Parker, 1884, 1885
  • George L. Streeter, 1886
  • Frederick Pease, 1887, 1888
  • Fred W. Green, 1889, 1890
  • Merrick H. Cooley, 1891, 1892
  • James Stephens, 1893, 1894, 1903
  • Charles E. Fletcher, 1895
  • Charles C. Beebe, 1896-1898
  • Calvin G. Robbins, 1899, 1900
  • Lurin J. Potter, 1901, 1902
  • Clarence P. Bolles, 1904, 1905
  • Delbert H. Eaton, 1906-1908
  • James K. Butler, 1909, 1910
  • James O. Martin, 1911
  • Frank Bosler, 1912
  • Allen J. Robb, 1913, 1914
  • M. Luther Bruner, 1915, 1916
  • Ernest L. Thompson, 1917
  • William H. Dickinson, 1918
  • Alexander D. Cormack, 1919
  • Joseph H. Mosher, 1920
  • James P. Cormack, 1921
  • Raymond F. Gurney, 1922
  • Raymond H. Beach, 1923, 1924; N
  • David B. Miller, 1925; N
  • E. Warner Eldridge, 1926
  • Donald M. Macauley, 1927
  • Charles R. Stephens, 1928
  • Ellery C. Gebo, 1929
  • Carleton M. Lewis, 1930
  • Frederick D. Robbins, 1931
  • E. Leslie Hill, 1932
  • Walter D. Maynard, 1933
  • Sprague L. Wight, 1934
  • Thomas S. Bower, 1935
  • Frederick R. Strasing, 1936
  • William H. Eaton, 1937
  • Herbert F. Swetland, 1938
  • Andrew Rogerson, 1939
  • Hallam H. Whiting, 1940
  • M. Joseph Glaucey, Jr., 1941
  • Frederick W. Colby, 1942
  • Wesley G. Chapman, 1943
  • Edward Robson, 1944
  • Ralph W. Bennett, 1945
  • Howard L. Converse, 1946
  • Gordon W. Holdridge, 1947
  • Francis O. Brundy, 1948
  • Frederick M. Cohn, 1949
  • James Hamburger, 1950
  • Errol M. Beebe, 1951
  • George J. Hill, 1952
  • George W. Brundy, 1953
  • Harold F. Sweetland, 1954
  • Henry C. W. Dautrick, 1955
  • Gilbert E. Stacey, 1956
  • Walter L. Woods, 1957
  • Charles F. Bradley, 1958
  • Bennett W. Beeson, 1959
  • Truman E. Robbins, 1960; N
  • Henry W. Dunwoody, 1961
  • Everett W. Proctor, 1962
  • Weirtyd A. Tourville, 1963
  • Edward H. Godfrey, 1964
  • Spencer W. Moore, 1965
  • David G. Robbins, 1966
  • Richard H. Tucker, 1967
  • William W. Schubach, 1968, 1991
  • Harry P. Hayden, 1969
  • Gilman A. Randall, 1970
  • Richard E. Scarlett, 1971
  • Forest H. Norris, 1972
  • Geoffrey A. D. Long, 1973
  • Richard Goulding, 1974; N
  • Richard A. Elsold, 1975
  • Norman F. Smith, 1977
  • Alton Wilkins, 1978
  • Richard Elwin Hatcher, 1979
  • Emerson L. Purcey, 1980
  • Wendell A. Shepard, 1981, 1985; N
  • Theodore E. Cooledge, 1982 DD DGM
  • Frank R. Marshall, 1983, 1984
  • Hayden B. Tibbetts, 1986
  • Neil B. Hilt, 1987, 1988; N
  • Louis W. Franklin, 1989
  • Richard D. Bready, Jr., 1990
  • Curtis H. Knowles, 1992
  • Gordon S. Fountain, 1993
  • Richard D. Bready, Sr., 1994
  • Edwin G. Thorn, 1995
  • Philmore H. Smith, Jr., 1996
  • David E. Pace, 1997, 1998
  • Donald F. Haynes, 1999
  • George W. Walsh, 2000
  • Gerald F. Kane, 2001, 2002

PAST MASTERS (WILBRAHAM MASONIC)

  • Gerald F. Kane, 2002
  • Alfred B. Roy, Jr., 2003, 2004, 2007, 2008
  • Joseph T. Mascaro, 2005, 2006
  • Stuart J. Johnsen, 2009
  • Nicholas E. Creanza, 2010, 2015
  • Joseph N. Westcott, 2011, 2016
  • Robert W. Clarke, 2012, 2017
  • George R. Sachs, 2013, 2014

REFERENCES IN GRAND LODGE PROCEEDINGS

ANNIVERSARIES

  • 1920 (50th Anniversary)
  • 1970 (Centenary)
  • 1995 (125th Anniversary)

VISITS BY GRAND MASTER

BY-LAW CHANGES

1874 1924 1933 1949 1951 1956 1964 1965 1971 1975 1982 1984 1996 2001 2005 2007 2010 2012

HISTORY

  • 1920 (50th Anniversary History, 1920-385; see below)
  • 1970 (Centenary History, 1970-490; see below)
  • 1995 (125th Anniversary History, 1995-239; see below)

50TH ANNIVERSARY HISTORY, NOVEMBER 1920

From Proceedings, Page 1920-385:

By Right Worshipful Chauncey E. Peck.

It is always an interesting matter to look up and study the early history of an organization which has existed for fifty years. Of course there are other Lodges, and other organizations, which have been doing their good work for a much longer period, but today we members of Newton Lodge feel a certain justifiable pride in the fact that the principles of Freemasonry have been taught and exemplified here in our own home town by the members of Newton Lodge for fifty years. And we trust that those same principles may be taught and carried out here in the years which are to come.

In the year 1870 there were about twenty Master Masons living in, or near, Wilbraham, and the subject of organizing a Lodge here had been mentioned at different times when some of the Brethren chanced to meet. But the first definite step was taken on October 6, 1870, when eighteen of the members of the Fraternity met at the home of Bro. S. Foskit to consider the question. The following is a copy of the record kept of the meeting, by Bro. Albert S. Newton, who was bookkeeper at the Academy for many years.

The first Master of Newton Lodge, Rev. Edward Cooke, D.D., was Principal of Wesleyan Academy here for ten years, 1864 to 1874.

Thursday evening, October 6, 1870.

An informal meeting of the Masonic Brethren of Wilbraham and vicinity was held at the house of Bro. S. Foskit for the purpose of an exchange of opinions concerning the feasibility of a Masonic Lodge in this town.

The Brethren were invited to meet at the written request of Bro. Albert S. Newton, and responded cheerfully. There were present Bros. Edward Cooke, William Kent, Stebbins Foskit, Asa Boothby, William H, Day, A. Fitzroy Chase, C. G-. Robbins, C. M. Parker, L. J. Potter, D. N. Haskell, G. W. Tupper, W. F. Morgan, J. S. Morgan, J. W. Green, W. M. Green, H. H. Calkins, J. Glover and A. S. Newton. Bro. Cooke was chosen chairman and Bro. Newton secretary.

After a pleasant exchange of opinions, in which it was the desire of the Brethren that a Lodge should be formed, provided the location and expense should be favorable, a committee, consisting of Bros. Kent, Foskit, and Cooke, was appointed to ascertain more definitely the location and probable expense of a Lodge-room, and report at the next meeting.

Voted to meet at the house of Bro. Cooke on next Wednesday evening at 8 o'clock to hear the report of the committee and take such further action as may be deemed best.

Adjourned.
ALBERT S. NEWTON, Sec.
Approved October 12, 1870.

Wednesday evening, October 12, 1870.

Met according to adjournment, Secretary's report read and accepted. Committee's report given, stating that the tenement over R. R. Wright & Son's store could be secured and fitted up at a moderate expense for a Lodge Room. A motion made by Bro. Newton, that a Masonic Lodge be established in Wilbraham, was carried unanimously. It was voted that the tenement mentioned by the committee be secured for a Lodge Room, and the same committee were continued in office, with instructions to engage the tenement, and also to ascertain if the building could be purchased, and report at the next meeting. Adjourned to next Wednesday evening at 8 o'clock, at the house of Bro. Foskit.

A. S. NEWTON, Sec.
Approved October 19, 1870.


Wednesday evening, October 19, 1870.

Met according to adjournment. Bro. Foskit chosen chairman pro tern. Committee's report given. A motion made by Bro. Bliss that the report be laid upon the table not being carried, it was voted that the report be accepted. The committee were then instructed to secure the tenement over R. R. Wright & Son's store for 5 years, with the privilege of having it for 15 years more, and have the lease made out to that effect. The party occupying the tenement having stated that he would move immediately, Bro. Robbins was requested to move his goods at the Brethren's expense. Voted that at the next meeting the name of the Lodge be selected, and the Worshipful Master, Senior and Junior Wardens be nominated.

Adjourned to meet at the place selected for the Lodge Eoom next Wednesday evening at 7 o'clock.

A. S. NEWTON, Sec.
Approved October 26, 1870.


Wednesday evening, October 26, 1870.

Met according to adjournment, and after examining the new Lodge Room adjourned to Bro. Foskit's house. Bro. Foskit was chosen chairman pro tern. Voted to call the Lodge "Newton" Lodge. Bro. Edward Cooke was nominated Worshipful Master; Bro. A. Fitzroy Chase, Senior Warden, and Bro. Job W. Green, Junior Warden.

The first Wednesday evening of each month was selected for the regular monthly meetings. Bros. Jones, James Morgan and Kent were chosen as a committee on repairs. Adjourned to meet at Bro. Bliss's house next Wednesday evening at 7 o'clock.

A. S. NEWTON, Sec.
Approved November 2, 1870.

Four other meetings were held in November, and at the one on November 16, 1870, the Dispensation having been received, "it was voted to dissolve the meeting." The Lodge was then opened under the name of Newton Lodge. The record is as follows:

Wednesday evening, November 16, 1870.
Met at Bro. Cooke's house according to adjournment. On motion it was voted to dissolve the meeting, which was then accomplished.

A. S. NEWTON, Sec.


Newton Lodge, November 16, 1870.
Met at Bro. Cooke's house. The Lodge was opened in due form, when the Dispensation received from the Grand Lodge was read by Bro. Newton. The Dispensation reads as follows:

To All to Whom These Presents May Come:

Greeting: Whereas a petition has been presented to me by sundry Brethren, to wit: Edward Cooke, Albert S. Newton, Stebbins Foskit, Calvin G. Bobbins, William H. Day, J. W. Green, J. S. Morgan, Edmund Jones, Edwin B. Newell, W. Franklin Morgan, Lurin J. Potter, W. L. Collins, Asa Boothby, A. Fitzroy Chase, Charles M. Parker, Walter M. Green, William Kent, D. A. Atchinson, W. W. Amadon, D. N. Haskell, H. H. Calkins, and William T. Eaton, praying to be congregated into a regular Lodge under the name and title of Newton Lodge, with permission to hold the same in the Town of Wilbraham, in the County of Hampden, and Commonwealth of Massachusetts. And whereas said petitioners have been recommended to me as Master Masons in good standing by the Worshipful Masters, Wardens and Brethren of Hampden and Roswell Lee Lodges, holden at Springfield, and of Thomas Lodge, holden at Palmer, in said Commonwealth, and their petition having been countersigned and approved by our District Deputy Grand Master for the Tenth Masonic District.

Therefore I, William Sewall Gardner, Grand Master of the M. W. Grand Lodge of Massachusetts, reposing full confidence in the recommendations aforesaid and in the Masonic integrity and ability of the petitioners, do by virtue of the authority of my office and of ancient Masonic usage, hereby grant this Dispensation authorizing and empowering our trusty and well beloved Brethren aforesaid to form and open a Lodge after the manner of Ancient Free and Accepted Masons and therein to admit and make Freemasons according to the ancient custom and not otherwise. And this Dispensation is to continue in full force until. the Quarterly Communication of our said Grand Lodge, to be holden in the City of Boston in the month of September, A.D. 1871, A.L. 5871, unless sooner revoked by me, or by authority of our said Grand Lodge. And I do hereby appoint Brother Edward Cooke to be the First Master, Brother A. Fitzroy Chase to be the First Senior Warden, and Brother Job W. Green to be the First Junior "Warden of said Lodge, and it shall be the duty of said Master and Wardens and their associates, and they are hereby required to return this Dispensation with a correct transcript of all proceedings had under the authority of the same, together with an attested copy of their By-Laws, to our Grand Lodge aforesaid at the expiration of the time herein specified, for examination and such further action in the premises as shall be deemed wise and proper for the advancement of the general interests of the Craft.

Given under our hand, and the seal of our Grand Lodge aforesaid, at Boston this tenth day of November, A.D. 1870, A.L. 5870.

WILLIAM SEWALL GARDNER, Grand Master.
Attest: SOLON THORNTON, Grand Secretary.

The Master then selected the following officers for the ensuing year or until our annual communication: Treasurer, Bro. S. Foskit; Secretary, Bro. A. S. Newton; Senior Deacon, Bro. C. M. Parker; Junior Deacon, Bro. L. J. Potter; Chaplain, Bro. A. Boothby; Marshal, Bro. W. Kent; Senior Steward, Bro. J. S. Morgan; Junior Steward, Bro. W. H. Day; Tyler, Bro. C. B. Robbing.

A committee on By-Laws was chosen, consisting of Bros. Foskit, Newton and Chase. .A committee of 5 was then selected to select and procure the furniture of the Lodge. The committee were Bros. Chase, Foskit, Kent, Collins and Parker. The Treasurer was authorized to pay William Herrick's bill for moving goods. A special communication was appointed for Wednesday evening, November 23, in Binney Hall at 7.30 o'clock. Closed in due form.

A. S. NEWTON, Sec.
Approved.

Four other meetings were held in Binney Hall (One of the buildings of Wesleyan Academy) in the months of November and December, and the time was occupied by the Brethren in perfecting themselves in the ritual, preparing for the work they expected soon.

At the meeting on December 21, 1870, Right Worshipful S. B. Spooner, then the District Deputy Grand Master, with several Brethren from Springfield was present, and the record reads: "Work was exemplified upon the First Degree in Masonry, and under the thorough instruction of Bro. Spooner much information was acquired. It was a rich treat to officers and members."

On January 4, 1871, Newton Lodge was opened in the new Lodge-room for the first time, and for practically fifty years we have occupied the same quarters. At this meeting six petitions for membership were received. They were the first applications for the degrees in Freemasonry received by Newton Lodge. Four other meetings were held in January, at which the officers were still preparing for work upon the degrees.

At the meeting Wednesday evening, February 1, 1871, Bro. Joseph Hastings, Jr., was made an Entered Apprentice Mason, he being the first Mason made in Newton Lodge. At the same meeting four other petitions were received, among which was my own, and I was made a Mason in Newton Lodge on March 17, 1871.

At a special meeting of Newton Lodge held February 8, 1871, an invitation was received from Roswell Lee Lodge, of Springfield, for the members of Newton Lodge to visit them on Saturday evening, February 11. The invitation was accepted, and Bros. Kent and Collins were appointed a committee to make provisions for conveying those who expected to attend. The records do not mention it, but they probably attended. Five meetings were held in February, five in March, and five in April, so it is evident that the Brethren had the work for which they had been so carefully preparing.

At the regular meeting held May 3, 1871, four petitions were received and bills amounting to about $250.00 were ordered paid. At the meeting on May 24, RW. District Deputy Grand Master William J. Sawin for the Tenth Masonic District was present, with about forty visitors, and made his official visit. Refreshments were served by the Lodge. Brother Sawin also made a visit to the Lodge on June 2, and "under his able supervision further light was imparted."

At the meeting on June 7, 1871, it was voted that the committee on music be authorized to purchase an instrument at a price not exceeding $125.00, which was done during the month at that price.

None of the officers of the Lodge had been installed while working under the Dispensation (Officers of Lodges under Dispensation ore never installed in Massachusetts) and at the meeting held September 6, 1871, "The Lodge" voted unanimously to have an open installation of officers on the receipt of a Charter, and I insert the following record:

Newton Lodge, Wednesday evening, October 25, 5871.

A charter having been granted Newton Lodge, F. & A. M., by the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of Massachusetts, and October 25 having been selected for the ceremony of Constitution of Lodge, Dedication of Hall, and Installation of Officers, the Lodge was convened at 3 o'clock p. m. at their Hall for the purpose of Constituting the Lodge and Dedicating the Hall, which was ably performed by D. D. G. M. Sawin, assisted by officers from other Lodges detailed by him for that purpose.

After the Grand Lodge had retired, Newton Lodge was closed in due form on the Third Degree in Freemasonry.

In the evening the public Installation of Officers took place in Fisk Hall (Another of the Academy buildings) before a large audience, after which the craft were called from labor to refreshment. Supper was provided in the chapel of the M. E. Church for all who desired, and about 250 participated. Speeches were made by D. D. G. M. Bro. Sawin, by P. Et. W. Bro. Spooner and others, and a pleasant time was enjoyed by all present. During the afternoon and evening the Wilbraham Brass Band, under Bro. Hastings, did escort duty to the Grand Officers. A large delegation of Masons were present from Springfield, Palmer and other places, and everything passed off satisfactorily.

A. S. NEWTON, Sec.
Approved.

The truncheon holders of the Senior and Junior "Wardens were presented to the Lodge by Bro. A. S. Newton, and Bro. George S. Taylor of Chicopee presented the rod holders of the Stewards, and the thanks of the Lodge were voted to them at the meeting held January 12, 1872. The clock which hangs in the west of our Lodge-room was presented to the Lodge by Bro. Edmund Jones, and the case in which the collars and jewels of the officers are hung was made and presented to the Lodge by your historian. The marble tops of the pedestals of the W. Master, Senior and Junior Wardens were presented to the Lodge by Bro. A. S. Newton, and the thanks of the Lodge was voted him at the meeting held February 7, 1872, and also the thanks of the Lodge for the refreshments provided by him for that evening.

Forty meetings of Newton Lodge were held in the first year — November 16, 1870, to November 8, 1871. At a special meeting of the Lodge, held on March 22, 1872, under a Dispensation two petitions were received and balloted upon. And at meetings held on March 27 and 29 the three degrees were conferred upon the candidates. The reason for such haste was that those who presented the petitions were about to remove to a distant State. At the annual meeting of the Lodge, held November 6, 1872, the records show that thirty-three Masons had been initiated since February 1, 1871, when the Lodge first began work upon the degrees, and that the total number of members was then forty-eight, and three others who had not yet received the Master Mason degree, which was a very encouraging increase from the twenty-two charter members with which the Lodge first started.

At the meeting on November 12, 1873, an invitation was received from Doric Lodge, of Thompsonville, Conn., inviting Newton Lodge to visit them on the evening of November 20 to witness their work, and Bros. Foskit, Warner, and Collins were appointed a committee to make all necessary arrangements. The arrangements were properly made, and about twenty-five of our members attended, and had the pleasure of witnessing the Connecticut work and enjoying the new experience, as well as the refreshments provided at the close, although the long ride home, in horse-drawn vehicles, after midnight, was a trifle tiresome.

At the regular meeting July 1, 1874, after the usual business had been transacted, an alarm of fire sounded from the church bell, and it was learned that Brother Foskit's barn, quite near by, was on fire. There were more than thirty members present, and most of them were excused at once, and helped very much in preventing the fire from spreading to other buildings. The Lodge was closed with only the traditional number present.

The first burial service conducted by the Lodge, of which I have found any record, was held Sunday, November 19, 1876, over the remains of our Bro. Edmund Jones, who died November 17. The regular funeral services were held in the Congregational Church, of which he was a member. Then "the procession reformed and proceeded to the Woodland Dell Cemetery, where, in accordance with the request of our Brother, his remains were deposited in the tomb with the usual ceremonies of the order." About eighty Brethren were present, including twenty visitors.

At a social communication held January 26, 1877, about one hundred and forty-four members, visitors, and ladies were present, and the Worshipful Master gave an address on the history and traditions of Ancient Freemasonry.

The Lodge was then called to refreshment, "which seemed to be enjoyed by all present. After refreshment we were furnished some very fine music by the Jenksville Quartet. kt the annual meeting on November 7, 1877, an invitation was received from the District Deputy Grand Master requesting Newton Lodge to work the third degree at an exemplification to be held at Palmer on the next day. I copy from the record kept by the secretary:

The work and lecture having been exemplified, the Grand Lecturer (W. Bro. Avery) expressed himself as extremely well pleased with the correctness and impressive-ness of the work, saying that he had rarely seen it done as well. The following communication from the District Deputy Grand Master was received: "I cannot help expressing my satisfaction and pride in the manner in which your Lodge exemplified your work at Palmer. I am not given to flattery, but I feel impelled to say this to your credit because I think it is your due."

P. T. LITCHFIELD.

So it appears that Newton Lodge was doing good work as far back as 1877.

At the regular meeting held April 3, 1878, the Lodge voted to unite with the ladies of the South Church in the purchase of one hundred plates and cups, and Brothers Bliss and Robbins were appointed a committee to carry the same into effect." At the meeting on January 1, 1879, the committee presented their bill for crockery, amounting to $12.67, which was ordered paid. That crockery was kept at the Church and used in common by the Church and Lodge for several years. But, as that transaction was about forty-one years ago, and now each society has crockery and closets of its own, it is safe to conclude that the united ownership of any of those "plates and cups" has disappeared. I have mentioned this matter because it has been a question in the minds of some whether our Lodge had any interest in the crockery of the South Church Society.

For some years, about 1880, Newton Lodge was assigned to the Eighteenth District, which included the lodges at Palmer, Monson, Ware, Barre, Warren, and the Brookfields.

On January 23, 1879, an exemplification was held at Palmer, and Newton Lodge was assigned to work and lecture on the third degree. The Secretary made the following records: "Owing to the brief notice (only three days) which the Lodge had that they were to work the degree, some changes were made among the officers." Worshipful Brother Charles M. Avery, of Chelsea, was the Grand Lecturer who assisted in the work.

On February 21, 1880, a special meeting was held to attend the funeral of Bro. Job W. Green, who was instantly killed at the paper mills at North Wilbraham on February 19. It is supposed that he was caught on a shaft in the basement and whirled around until his left arm was torn from his body. The regular Masonic Services were held at Grace Chapel, after which the body was conveyed to Woodland Dell Cemetery and deposited in accordance with the last Masonic rites and ceremonies.

On April 27, 1881, a special communication was held to attend the funeral of Bro. William Kent, and the Lodge escorted the remains to Woodland Dell Cemetery, where the regular Masonic Services were held. Brother Kent was one of the charter members of this Lodge. Forty-six Masons were present at the funeral.

On August 25, 1881, the Lodge attended the funeral services of Bro. David A. Hoag and conducted the regular Masonic burial services at the grave in Woodland Dell Cemetery.

At the meeting held February 1, 1882, a committee presented resolutions of regret and sympathy relative to the death of Bro. Myron A. Bliss, who was Worshipful Master of Newton Lodge for the years 1879 and 1880, and a copy of the resolutions was sent to his bereaved family, and also entered upon our records.

At the meeting held July 4, 1888, a motion was made "That we take the necessary action to transfer Newton Lodge to Ludlow." After some discussion and amendment, the vote was taken and sixteen voted in favor, and twenty-one against it. So the motion was lost. At that time quite a number of the members of Newton Lodge resided in Ludlow, and the subject of moving the Lodge there had been discussed by the members, informally, for some time, and notice that the above motion would be presented to the Lodge was given at the previous regular meeting on June 6. Nearly three years later, or on March 4, 1891, a petition was presented to the Lodge, signed by eight Master Masons, saying that they were desirous of forming a new Lodge at Ludlow, that they had petitioned the Grand Lodge for a Dispensation, and requesting Newton Lodge to approve their action. This the members of Newton Lodge were willing to do, and glad to do, because, while we knew we should miss the attendance of the Ludlow members and the frequent and pleasant association with them, yet we realized that it was a great inconvenience to them to attend our meetings, so far from their homes, and that they would take more interest in the Fraternity if they could establish a Lodge in their own town. This they were able to do, and the membership of Brigham Lodge had increased to two hundred and twenty-two at the time of the annual report in 1919.

In 1885, Newton Lodge had a membership of eighty-seven. About twenty-eight received dimits to join Brigham Lodge. Other dimits were granted and some members were suspended until, in 1905, we had but forty-one members. This number has gradually increased until now, when we have seventy-one members.

On February 22, 1889, by invitation of Hampden Lodge, eighteen members of Newton Lodge attended the Masonic ceremonies connected with the laying of the corner-stone of the present Postoffice in Springfield. And, although it was in the winter time, the day was a fairly comfortable one for that time of the year.

The original entrance to our Masonic Hall was on the north end of the building, under the shed. But about 1889 it was changed to the present location, which was much more satisfactory to the members.

A fire- and burglar-proof safe, in which to keep the books and papers of the Lodge, was purchased in 1890 at a cost of $60.80, and has served its purpose for thirty years.

On July 11, 1905, Past Master James Stephens was killed by falling from the roof of Rich Hall (One of the Academy buildings.) on to the roof of the west part of the building. The funeral services were conducted at the grave in Woodland Dell Cemetery by Newton Lodge in the afternoon of July 13.

On November 9, 1903, Secretary William H. Day made the following entry on the records: This is the four hundredth page in this book which has been recorded by me, and ends 24 years' services as Secretary. W. H. D." It certainly was a long and creditable service he had rendered, and the members of Newton Lodge appreciated it.

On several occasions the Lodge has observed the anniversary of St. John the Baptist, and attended church services in different churches on the Sunday nearest to June 24, which is the Anniversary Day.

On October 27, 1897, Bro. Edward H. Brewer presented a gavel to Newton Lodge, which has been in continual use since that time, and we hope it will answer its purpose for many years longer. Brother Brewer had resided in Dalton, Mass., for several years, and died there October 22, 1911, but was buried with his ancestors in the Adams Cemetery

in this town. In his will he left a legacy of $200.00 to Newton Lodge, and also a legacy of the same amount to Unity Lodge, of Dalton, both of which were paid by the executor.

On October 14, 1919, W. Bro. Lurin J. Potter died. He was one of the charter members of Newton Lodge, and lie left us in his will $1000.00, which has been deposited in Springfield Institution for Savings, and the deposit book is in possession of our Treasurer. There are no conditions attached to either of these legacies, but I hope and trust that only the interest will be expended by the Lodge, and that the principal will be kept whole.

On September 3, 1913, Newton Lodge completed its subscription to the Masonic Home Fund at the rate of $5.00 per member, and has since made several contributions to the Rainy Day Fund for the support of the charity expenses of the Grand Lodge.

On June 11, 1914, and on July 7, 1915, by invitation of our Worshipful Master, the officers of Brigham Lodge occupied the several stations and conferred the Master Mason degree in our Lodge, and on September 7, 1915, the officers of Newton Lodge had the privilege of performing the same service for Brigham Lodge, and on June 12, 1916, the officers of Newton Lodge conferred the Entered Apprentice Degree in Indian Orchard Lodge. All of which tends to broaden the acquaintance of our members and helps to make us better Masons.

In 1893 your historian was appointed Grand Lecturer of the Grand Lodge, and began his first year of service with the year 1894, and continued to serve in that office for seventeen years, ending with the year 1910, when lie declined a reappointment because of the Town History work which he had been elected to do. In 1913 he served as Grand Pursuivant, and for the year 1914 was elected and served as Senior Grand Warden of the Grand Lodge, so that now Newton Lodge has a permanent member of the Grand Lodge.

Including charter members, Newton Lodge has had two hundred and sixteen members, with a present membership of seventy-one. Two of the charter members, Herbert H. Calkins and W. Franklin Morgan, are still living in this vicinity, and Edwin B. Newell in Framingham, Mass., and we hope that all of them may be present on this anniversary occasion.

'It has been an interesting work for me to read over the old record books and gather the items which seem to be of most importance in these first fifty years of the existence of Newton Lodge, and I believe you will all agree with me when I say that we are glad that those early Masons had the inspiration and the courage to start a Masonic Lodge here in Wilbraham. And we all believe that it has been a help and an inspiration to us as we have journeyed along the highway of life. And we hope and trust that those who shall succeed us will have the same help and inspiration.

Following is a list of the Masters of Newton Lodge. They were elected at the annual communication the first Wednesday in November and usually installed in the same month, but the year of their service is given as the next year:

  • Rev. Edward Cooke, D.D., 1871
  • Albert S. Newton, 1872-1873

  • Chauneey E. Peck, 1874-1875-1876-1877-1878
  • Myron A. Bliss, 1879-1880
  • Henry Clark, 1881-1882-1883
  • Joseph A. Parker, 1884-1885
  • George L. Streeter, 1886
  • Frederic Pease, 1887-1888
  • Fred W. Green, 1889-1890
  • Merrick H. Cooley, 1891-1892
  • James Stephens, 1893-1894
  • Charles E. Fletcher, 1895
  • Charles C. Beebe, 1896-1897-1898
  • Calvin G. Robbins, 1899-1900
  • Lurin J. Potter, 1901-1902
  • James Stephens, 1903
  • Clarence P. Bolles, 1904-1905
  • Delbert H. Eaton, 1906-1907-1908
  • James A. Butler, 1909-1910
  • James O. Martin, 1911
  • Frank Bosler, 1912
  • Allen J. Bobb, 1913-1914
  • M. Luther Bruner, 1915-1916
  • Ernest L. Thompson, 1917
  • William H. Dickinson, 1918
  • Alexander D. Cormack, 1919
  • Joseph H. Mosher, 1920

CHARTER MEMBERS

  • Daniel A. Atchinson
  • W. W. Amadon
  • Asa Boothby
  • Edward Cooke
  • Warren L. Collins
  • A. Fitzroy Chase
  • Herbert H. Calkins
  • William Kent
  • James S. Morgan
  • W. Franklin Morgan
  • Albert S. Newton
  • William H. Day
  • William T. Eaton
  • Stebbins Foskit
  • Job W. Green
  • Walter M. Green
  • D. N. Haskell
  • Edmund Jones
  • Edwin B. Newell
  • Lurin J. Potter
  • Charles M. Parker
  • Calvin G. Robbins

CENTENARY HISTORY, NOVEMBER 1970

From Proceedings, Page 1970-490:

By Worshipful Gilman A. Randall.

In the history of Newton Lodge prepared for the Fiftieth Anniversary celebration by Rt. Worshipful Chauncey E. Peck, the third Master of the Lodge, he comments that "it is an interesting matter to look up and study the early history of an organization which has existed for fifty years." When a century has passed since its founding the matter becomes even more fascinating and your present historian has found it so.

It is notable that the nature of Wilbraham's population has undergone marked and accelerating changes over the period since the 1920 celebration. It has become increasingly suburban and satellite to an adjacent metropolitan area, as contrasted with its original status as a rural community largely self-contained, and self-supporting through agricultural pursuits, a few local industries, and the normal service needs generated thereby.

Thus a larger proportion of the population, and hence of the Lodge membership, is now composed of newcomers to the town. Some can even be described as transients who remain in residence only until their corporate employers see fit to transfer them elsewhere. This is neither their fault nor that of Newton Lodge, and we do gain by even a relatively brief association with these Brothers, but we also lose something of the stability of population which marked an earlier era. Rt. Wor. Bro. Peck's history of 1920 (1920 Mass. 385-405) gives a full account of the founding of Newton Lodge, and since copies are still extant, as well as the official records of the Lodge, this will not be repeated here, except to list the charter members in order to honor their memory as the founders of our Lodge. As listed in the Dispensation authorizing the formation of a Lodge, granted by Most Worshipful William Sewall Gardner at Boston on Nov. 10, 1870, they were:

  • Edward Cooke
  • Albert S. Newton
  • Stebbins Foskit
  • Calvin G. Robbins
  • William H. Day
  • J. W. Green
  • J. S. Morgan
  • Edmund Jones
  • Edwin B. Newell
  • W. Franklin Morgan
  • Lurin J. Potter
  • W. L. Collins
  • Asa Boothby
  • A. Fitzroy Chase
  • William T. Eaton
  • Charles M. Parker
  • Walter M. Green
  • William Kent
  • D. A. Atchinson
  • W. W. Amadon
  • D. N. Haskell
  • H. H. Calkins

The charter was granted as of Nov. 10, 1870 and Oct. 25, 1871 was the date selected for the ceremonies of Constitution of Lodge, Dedication of Hall, and Installation of Officers. The Lodge was convened at 3 p.m. at the Lodge Room over R. R. Wright & Son's Store, where it had been meeting since Jan. 4. 1871.

A public Installation of Officers was held in the evening in Fisk Hall followed by a supper at the Methodist Church attended by some 250 persons. It is interesting to note the existence of a Wilbraham Brass Band which "did escort duty to the Grand Officers during the afternoon and evening led by Bro. Hastings". Besides the Grand Master and his Suite, large delegations of Masons from Springfield, Palmer and even more distant places were present for the occasion. We were at first assigned to the Palmer 18th District and there is in the minutes for 1877 a record of Newton Lodge's receiving a special commendation from Wor. Charles M. Avery of Chelsea, Grand Lecturer, who had witnessed an exemplification of the Third Degree at Palmer, Massachusetts, by our Lodge. So we have a long tradition of good ritual work to uphold.

A major event of the first fifty-year period was a vote taken on July 4, 1888 on a motion to transfer Newton Lodge to Ludlow. Fortunately, for us, the motion was lost by a vote of 21 against to 16 in favor. But a number of the members of Newton Lodge resided in Ludlow at the time and a split was inevitable. It took place not quite three years later on March 4, 1891, when a petition was presented to the Lodge to approve an application made to Grand Lodge by a number of our members for a dispensation to form a new Lodge in their own town. The Wilbraham members of Newton Lodge, realizing the inconvenience of coming all the way over from Ludlow to attend meetings, regretfully, but willingly gave their approval and thus Brigham Lodge was established in Ludlow. This event, together with losses by death, demit, and suspension, reduced the membership to 41 by 1905. The number had gradually increased to 71 by 1920 and now, in 1970 stands at 230.

At a Special Communication on Sept. 8, 3920 a general committee was appointed to prepare for the celebration of the fiftieth anniversary of the constitution of Newton Lodge. It consisted of Brothers Peck, Bolles, F. A. Gurney, and J. P. Cormack. They must have put in a busy two months since the records give an account of a grand celebration beginning at 11 a.m. on Nov. 10, 1920, held at the "South Church", better known to our generation as the old Wilbraham United Church, recently razed. Most Worshipful Arthur D. Prince, Grand Master of Masons in Massachusetts, was present with a Suite of other distinguished Masons, as were many Brethren from this area. (1920 Mass. 383-412) Nearly a half page of the Springfield Union for Thursday morning, November 11, 1920, was devoted to an account of the proceedings, under the "byline" of Harvey L. Gray. Kind things were spoken of our Lodge by the Grand Master and other speakers which implied that small Lodges were often better examples of the spirit of Masonry than some of the large city Lodges, and commended Newton Lodge as a powerful influence for good in the local community. We hope this is still true.

It appears that the Lodge, at about this time, was becoming disenchanted with its meeting place. The quarters apparently were never ideally suited to Lodge use, although our forebears had "made do" with them for fifty years. However, a prospective increase in the rent seems to have prompted the appointment of a committee at the regular communication of Dec. 1, 1920 "to investigate the matter of obtaining a permanent home for the Lodge". Brothers Fred Green, Chauncey Peck, Frank Gurney, Ed. MacDowell and Charles Beebe were the committee.

A sombre note is struck in the record for April 26, 1921. This was a Special Communication held "for the purpose of attending the funeral of our Brother, Right Worshipful Chauncey Edwin Peck, who passed beyond on Saturday, April 23rd. M. W. Arthur D. Prince, Grand Master, and other representatives of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts were in attendance as well as some fifty local Masons. The Masonic Burial Ritual was performed at the graveside "a most impressive service under cloudless sky" according to the record of Bro. Frank A. Gurney, Secretary. Thus ended the Masonic career of one of our most distinguished brethren, who is still mentioned with respect and affection nearly fifty years later.

On Nov. 2, 1921, the committee on a permanent home for the Lodge, mentioned above, reported that the building housing the present quarters could be purchased for $3,500, with a down payment of $1,000 and a $2,500 mortgage to be paid off at $50. per year plus interest on the balance. VOTED not to accept this offer, but to seek a one-year lease, with privilege of renewal. Another committee was then appointed to find the approximate cost of a lot and building to be erected by the Lodge.

It may be inferred from the records during the next year or two that various solutions to the housing dilemma were explored. An important outcome of this activity seems to have been the formation on Feb. 15, 1922 of a corporation under the name of the "Wilbraham Masonic Building Association, Inc.". Named as incorporators in the charter are: Brothers James P. Corrnack, William H. McGuire, Jr., Frederick D. Robbins, Charles C. Stewart, Ernest L. Thompson, Fred W. Greene and Ed. G. MacDowell.

Sometime during the next year, the owners of the property at Main and Springfield Streets apparently saw fit to reduce their asking price to $3,000. Having just received a gift of $1,000 from the widow of Bro. Chauncey E. Peck, and some lesser donations, the Building Association evidently felt it wise to purchase and renovate the property, which they were able to do by borrowing $1,100 on a mortgage. The Communication of Wednesday, Oct. 3, 1923 was the first meeting held in the newly renovated quarters, the Lodge Room having been redecorated and the store beneath converted into a dining hall and kitchen. This seems to have settled the housing problem for a while, some thirty-five years, in fact. With this problem resolved the Lodge seems to have pursued a relatively even course, with no crises to record.

The records during this period were the responsibility of Wor. Raymond F. Gurney, who was Master in 1921, and became Secretary on Nov. 20, 1924. Raised in 1913, he is one of our veteran members, holder of the 50-year Medal, and also of the record for length of service as Secretary, his term extended until Oct. 11, 1958, a period of thirty-four years. Actually, it was longer because from the date on which his first signature as Secretary Pro Tern appears, namely Dec. 7, 1921, he evidently served frequently in that capacity until his official installation in 1924. This date marks the end of the term of service for his father, Bro. Frank A. Gurney, who was Secretary for some twenty-one years, beginning in 1903. The elder Brother Gurney was preceded in office by Bro. W. H. Day, one of the founders of Newton Lodge, who terminated 24 years as Secretary on Nov. 9, 1903.

These long terms of secretarial service lend consistency and continuity to the records, which is a help in research. Your Historian also acknowledges with thanks the personal aid of Bro. Ray Gurney, who has willingly answered questions and has often thrown additional light on various matters. For instance, but for him, we might not be aware that the Secretary's desk in the Lodge Room is the original one in use for nearly a century; the safe in which important Lodge records are kept is the one purchased for $64. in 1890. We also were reminded by him, and found in the minutes, that the rough and perfect ashlars with which the Lodge is furnished were given in 1928 by Bro. Charles G. Pease. The granite came from the quarry at Chester, Massachusetts and they were carved by Thomas R. Greene of that Town.

In 1938, when it was learned that the Quabbin Reservoir project was about to destroy the Town of Enfield, and with it Bethel Lodge, the latter kindly offered their furnishings to other Lodges in the area. A delegation from Newton Lodge drove over to Enfield in September, 1938 and brought back a carpet which was used until our new Temple was furnished in 1961. They also acquired the ceremonial chairs for East, West and South, which are still in use. There is a legend that an offer of Bethel Lodge's Jewels was declined, an action later regretted when it was learned that they had been made by Bro. Paul Revere. However, this story has been denied and its truth or falsity is impossible to establish at this distance.

The minutes over the years record the joy of the initiation of many worthy brothers, followed sooner or later by a sadder notice of their departure. We cannot, of course, give them all mention here. But one loss, in addition to Brother Peck already noted, seems important enough to be of interest. I refer to the passing on Feb. 16, 1938 of Wor. Bro. Fred W. Green, the ninth Master of the Lodge.

Bro. Green had served two terms as Master in 1888 and 1889 and on the night of his retirement from the second term was installed Treasurer, in which office he served for 46 years or until December, 1936, when he asked to be replaced, being then nearly 78 years of age. The minutes record a celebration on the evening of April 5, 1933 when "136 members of the craft assembled at South Church to honor Wor. Bro. Fred W. Green, n fifty-year member of Newton Lodge." After a dinner and a program of musical and dramatic entertainment, he was presented with a Veteran's Medal by Rt. Wor. James Matthew, District Deputy Grand Master for the Springfield 33rd Masonic District (to which Newton Lodge had been assigned at a Quarterly Communication of Grand Lodge in December, 1913.)

Bro. Green had also served the Town for more than thirty years as Selectman and some twenty years as Assessor. His occupation, too, had made him a conspicuous citizen, for beginning in 1879 at the age of twenty, he had driven the stage between the village and the railroad at No. Wilbraham continuously until July 1, 1917, except for four years of service as Postmaster during Cleveland's first administration. He had made five trips a day and it was estimated that he had in the course of his work, driven a distance equal to more than six times around the world. The citi/.ens had presented him a gold watch on July 4, 1917, of which he was very proud. The minutes of a Special Communication on Feb. 18, 1938 state that he was interred in Woodland Dell Cemetery on that day after a Masonic Funeral which followed the regular funeral service at South Church. He had not lived quite long enough to witness the burning of the mortgage dating from 1923 which took place at a ceremony in May, 1938. A letter of congratulations from the Grand Lodge appears in the record.

The sixtieth anniversary of the Lodge was observed on Nov. 19, 1930, with a party, complete with cake and the proper number of candles, held in connection with the Annual Installation of Officers. The first duty of the newly installed Master was to cut the cake, in which activity he was assisted by the Wardens.

It appears from the record, that down the years finances have often been a problem for Newton Lodge, as for many others. We have had few wealthy members, and although we have received with gratitude several gifts and bequests of one or two thousands of dollars, which have kept us afloat, these have not freed us from the need to be frugal. For example, a bequest of $2,000 received in January, 1940 from the estate of Wor. Charles C. Beebe had to be used immediately for needed repairs and enlargement of the Lodge Room. Ten years later on Nov. 1, 1950 a committee composed of the Worshipful Master, Wardens and Wor. Brothers Cohn and Holdridge were appointed "to investigate lodge finances and determine the amount of increase in dues needed to keep the Lodge in solvent condition." The following year dues were increased from a total of $8 to a total of $11.

By 1955, we may infer from the records a fact confirmed by the memory of many present members, to wit; that time was finally taking its toll of the ancient building where the Lodge had met since its inception. It was becoming all too evident that new housing arrangements would have to be made. On Jan. 5, 1955 a committee appointed previously to investigate the possibility of renting other quarters reported that the Grange Hall could be obtained if necessary. Public installations were already being held in the Memorial School Auditorium, and several communications where large turnouts were expected seem to have been held in the Fireplace Room of the old United Church edifice (which was razed in 1962). But beginning in September, 1958, we find the meetings being held regularly in Foskit Memorial Hall. (The Grange) However, a year convinced the Brethren that facilities at the Grange Hall did not meet their needs, and they directed the Building Committee to approach the United Church seeking to rent the so-called Fireplace Room. Evidently they were successful, and the record shows meetings being held there from 1959 until the new Temple on Woodland Dell Road was ready for occupancy in the Spring of 1961.

The old Wright Store building, having finally been actually condemned, the Building Association had decided to sell the property and build elsewhere. They were encouraged in this project by the gift of a suitable site on Woodland Dell Road from Bro. J. Loring Brooks, who had also given land for the new United Church building and made other valuable and generous contributions to the Town of Wilbraham, Architectural services were offered by Bro. Paul B. Johnson of Agawam. The last meeting ever held in the old building before it was sold was the communication of January 15, 1958.

Later in the month, on May 24, 1961, Newton Lodge held its first communication in its new Temple, the occasion being Past Masters' Night. This communication was preceded by a dinner in the old Linked Church Parish House, after which all present picked up their chairs and carried them over to the new Lodge Room.

The January, 1962 regular communication received as guest Bro. Paul Johnson, who was informed by Bro. Goulding of his election to Honorary Membership in Newton Lodge in recognition of his donation of architectural services in the design and construction of the new Temple. He was also presented a tape recorder.

On April 11, 1962, a Special Communication was held for the purpose of dedicating the new Masonic Temple. M. W. Laurence E. Eaton, attended by a Suite of twenty-three distinguished Masons, was received at 8 p.m. and with his Officers conducted a most impressive ceremony. (1962 Mass. 83-84)

The Lodge has been very happy in its new home. However, the loss of revenue due to the disbanding of the local Eastern Star Chapter, together with rising costs of maintenance and services, once more gives us cause for concern. In 1968, Wor. Bro. Richard H. Tucker proposed a drive for funds with which to retire the £10,000 mortgage which was necessary in order to build the new Temple. It was suggested that every member who could, pledge #75. to be paid over a three year period (normally #25. per year) so that the burning of the mortgage might be accomplished as the final act of celebration of our centennial year. This would make it possible to carry on without a drastic increase in dues. As of this writing many Brothers have responded and we are still hopeful of achieving our goal.

A personal interest in such matters moves your historian to remark upon the improved musical facilities which the new Temple affords. An electronic organ was purchased in May, 1961 through the efforts of Bro. Philip O. Buddington who served the Lodge faithfully as organist for about eighteen years, from January, 1949 when he was first installed until his departure from town in 1967. He was made an Honorary Member.

It docs not seem fitting to end this account of Lodge doings without acknowledging service beyond the call of mere membership on the part of several other faithful brothers. Therefore be it noted that Wor. Frederick M. Cohn has served us well as Secretary since Oct. 11, 1958 and we hope he will continue the tradition of his predecessors for long service. Rt. Worshipful Truman E. Robbins our D.D.G.M. in 1966-67 has served Newton Lodge faithfully as Treasurer since Nov. 13, 1963 when he took over the office from Bro. Herman Nieske, who had held the office for three years. No one is likely even to approach the record of service as Treasurer held by Wor. Fred Green, but Wor. Sprague L. Wight put in a respectable twenty-four years in the post, and the Lodge expressed its gratitude at the Communication of Oct. 7, 1959 by a rising vote of thanks.

Bro. Wight was succeeded for the year 1959-60 by Wor. Gilbert E. Stacey, who has also helped the Lodge raise funds by organizing for a number of years an annual auction. He is presently serving as Chairman of the Masonic Building Association.

It is also appropriate to record here the Lodge's admiration of the culinary talents of Bro. Richard Goulding, who has acted as Chef for many a fine meal served the Lodge over a number of years past, and especially appreciated after the O.E.S. surrendered its charter in 1968.

Gifts to the Lodge, not mentioned previously, include a Bible, presented on April 7, 1942 by Wor. Bro. Charles Gardner of Indian Orchard Lodge to replace the one which had been in use for over SO years; a new ballot box given us by the Eastern Star on April 6, 1960; a new altar, donated by Bro. Harold W. Brown and built by Wor. Truman Robbins, dedicated on Nov. 6, 1963; a beautiful electric clock, installed on the West wall of the Lodge Room, a gift of Bro. Joe Mueller and Mrs. Mueller; and quite recently a set of working tools given in memory of our late Brother Robert C. Godfrey, Jr., purchased from donations to the Lodge in lieu of flowers, amply supplemented by Wor. Edward H. Godfrey. Bro. Robert had served a number of years as Auditor. There have been other gifts, some relatively large and some more modest, but all received gratefully, such as the McGuire Fund, the interest from which is used for charitable purposes, and the many contributions to the building fund. If your historian has omitted specific mention of some of these, it is hoped that the difficulty of tracking down all such information in the Lodge records will be understood.

Our own centennial observance vividly recalls another historic occasion, not long past, in which our Order took an appropriately active part. This was the Bicentennial of the Town of Wilbraham, celebrated in 1963. Not the least important action of the Lodge in November of that year was the message for the 250th anniversary of the town, sent by the officers to be enclosed with others in a copper "time capsule" which was buried in Crane Park. The message read in part: "To the Residents of Wilbraham in the year of the Twenty-first Century, 2013 A.D.:

The 230 members of Newton Lodge, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons, extend to you the hand of fellowship in the sincere belief that our links with the past make a strong foundation on which to build for the future . . . Our fervent hope and prayer is that by the time this message is read the world will have learned to live together as brothers and sisters, that the petty quarrels resulting from different ideologies and greed will have been put behind and that the United States of America and all of its parts are truly united in charity and justice."

These sentiments are still appropriate and Newton Lodge, if it lives up to its tenets must contribute importantly to the achievement of this goal. We hope that our brethren in the Sesquicentennial year 2020 A.D. will be able to take pride in our part in that achievement.

125TH ANNIVERSARY HISTORY, NOVEMBER 1995

From Proceedings, Page 1995-239:

Bro. Peck's 50th Anniversary History, given above, was included in this text.

November 10, 1970
A ONE HUNDRED YEAR HISTORY OF NEWTON LODGE

by Wor. Gilman A. Randall, Master, 1970

In the history of Newton Lodge prepared for the Fiftieth Anniversary celebration by Rt. Worshipful Chauncey E. Peck, (see preceding chapter) the third Master of the Lodge, he comments that. "It is an interesting matter to look up and study the early history of an organization which has existed for fifty years." When a century has passed since its founding, the matter becomes even more fascinating, and your present historian has found it so.

It is notable that the nature of Wilbraham's population has undergone marked and accelerating changes over the period since the 1920 celebration. It has become increasingly suburban and satellite to an adjacent metropolitan area, as contrasted with its original status as a rural community largely self-contained and self-supporting through agricultural pursuits, a few local industries, and the normal service needs generated thereby. Thus a larger proportion of the population, and hence of the lodge membership is now composed of newcomers to the town. Some can even be described as transients who remain in residence only until their corporate employers see fit to transfer them elsewhere. This is neither their fault nor that of Newton Lodge, and we do gain by even a relatively brief association with these brothers, but we also lose something of the stability of population which marked an earlier era.

Rt. Wor. Peck's history of 1920 gives a full account of the founding of Newton Lodge, and since copies are still extant, as well as the official records of the Lodge, this will not be repeated here, except to list the charter members in order to honor their memory as the founders of our Lodge. As listed in the Dispensation authorizing the formation of a Lodge, granted by Most Worshipful William Sewall Gardner at Boston on Nov. 10, 1870, they were: Edward Cooke, Albert S. Newton, Stebbins Foskit, Calvin G. Robbins, William H. Day, J. W. Green, J. S. Morgan, Edmund Jones, Edwin B. Newell, W. Franklin Morgan, Lurin J. Potter, W. L. Collins, Asa Boothby, A. Fitzroy Chase, Charles M. Parker, Walter M. Green, William Kent, D. A. Atchinson, W. W. Amadon, D. N. Haskell, H. Calkins, William T. Eaton.

The charter was granted as of Nov. 10, 1870, and Oct. 25, 1871, was the date selected for the ceremonies of Constitution of Lodge, Dedication of Hall, and Installation of Officers. The Lodge was convened at 3 PM. at the Lodge Room over R. R. Wright & Son's store, where it had been meeting since Jan. 4, 1871.

A public Installation of Officers was held in the evening in Fisk Hall followed by a supper at the Methodist Church attended by some 250 persons. It is interesting to note the existence of a Wilbraham Brass Band which "did escort duty to the Grand Officers during the afternoon and evening led by Bro. Hastings." Besides the Grand Master and his suite, large delegations of Masons from Springfield, Palmer, and even more distant places were present for the occasion.

We were at first assigned to the Palmer 18th District, and there is in the minutes for 1877 a record of Newton Lodge's receiving a special commendation from Wor. Charles M. Avery of Chelsea, Grand Lecturer, who had witnessed an exemplification of the Third Degree at Palmer, Mass., by our Lodge So we have a long tradition of good ritual work to uphold.

A major event of the first fifty year period was a vote taken on July 4, 1888 on a motion to transfer Newton Lodge to Ludlow. Fortunately for us, the motion was lost by a vote of 21 against to 16 in favor. But a number of the members of Newton Lodge resided in Ludlow at the time and a split was inevitable. It took place not quite three years later on March 4, 1891, when a petition was presented to the Lodge to approve an application made to Grand Lodge by a number of our members for a dispensation to form a new lodge in their own town. The Wilbraham members of Newton Lodge, realizing the inconvenience of coming all the way over from Ludlow to attend meetings, regretfully but willingly gave their approval and, thus, Brigham Lodge was established in Ludlow. This event, together with losses by death, demit, and suspension, reduced the membership to 41 by 1905. The number had gradually increased to 71 by 1920, and now, in 1970, stands at 230.

At a Special Communication on Sept. 8, 1920 a general committee was appointed to prepare for the celebration of the fiftieth anniversary of the constitution of Newton Lodge. It consisted of Bros. Peck, Bolles, F. A. Gurney, and J. P. Cormack. They must have put in a busy two months, since the records give as account of a grand celebration beginning at 11 a.m. on Nov. 10, 1920, held at the "South Church", better known to our generation as the old Wilbraham United Church, recently razed. Most Worshipful Arthur D. Prince, Grand Master of Masons in Massachusetts, was present with a suite of other distinguished Masons, as were many brethren from this area. Nearly a half page of the Springfield Union for Thursday morning, November 11, 1920, was devoted to an account of the proceedings, under the "by-line" of Harvey L. Gray. Kind things were spoken of our Lodge by the Grand Master and other speakers which implied that small lodges were often better examples of the spirit of Masonry than some of the large city lodges, and commended Newton Lodge as a powerful influence for good in the local community. We hope this is still true.

It appears that the Lodge, at about this time, was becoming disenchanted with its meeting place. The quarters apparently were never ideally suited to lodge use, although our forebears had "made do" with them for fifty years. However, a prospective increase in the rent seems to have prompted the appointment of a committee at the regular communication of Dec. 1, 1920 "to investigate the matter of obtaining a permanent home for the Lodge". Bros. Fred Green, Chauncey Peck, Frank Gurney, Ed. Mac Dowell, and Charles Beebe were the committee.

A sombre note is struck in the record for April 26,1921. This was a special communication held "for the purpose of attending the funeral of our Brother, Right Worshipful Chauncey Edwin Peck, who passed beyond on Saturday, April 23rd. M. W. Arthur D. Prince, Grand Master and other representatives of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts were in attendance as well as some fifty local Masons. The Masonic burial ritual was performed at the grave-side "a most impressive service under cloudless sky" according to the record of Bro. Frank A. Gurney, Secretary. Thus ended the Masonic career of one of our most distinguished brethren, who is still mentioned with respect and affection nearly fifty years later.

On Nov. 2, 1921, the committee on a permanent home for the Lodge, mentioned above, reported that the building housing the present quarters could be purchased for $3,500, with a down payment of $1,000 and a $2,500 mortgage to be paid off at $50 per year plus interest on the balance. Voted not to accept this offer, but to seek a one-year lease, with privilege of renewal. Another committee was then appointed to find the approximate cost of a lot and building to be erected by the Lodge.

It may be inferred from the records during the next year or two that various solutions to the housing dilemma were explored. An important outcome of this activity seems to have been the formation on Feb. 15, 1922, of a corporation under the name of the "Wilbraham Masonic Building Association, Inc." Named as incorporators in the charter are James P. Cormack, William H. McGuire, Jr., Frederick D. Robbins, Charles C. Stewart, Ernest L. Thompson, Fred W. Greene and Ed. G. MacDowell.

Sometime during the next year, the owners of the property at Main and Springfield Streets apparently saw fit to reduce their asking price to $3,000. Having just received a gift of $1,000 from the widow of Bro. Chauncey E. Peck, and some lesser donations, the Building Association evidently felt it wise to purchase and renovate the property, which they were able to do by borrowing $1,100 on a mortgage. The communication of Wednesday, Oct. 3, 1923 was the first meeting held in the newly renovated quarters, the Lodge Room having been redecorated and the store beneath converted into a dining hall and kitchen. This seems to have settled the housing problem for a while, some thirty-five years, in fact. And with this problem, resolved, the lodge seems to have pursued a relatively even course, with no crises to record.

The records during this period were the responsibility of Wor. Raymond F. Gurney, who was Master in 1921, and became Secretary on Nov. 20, 1924.
Raised in 1913, he is one of our veteran members, holder of the 50-year medal,
and also of the record for length of service as Secretary, his term extended until
 Oct. 11, 1958, a period of thirty-four years. Actually it was longer because
from the date on which his first signature as Secretary Pro Tern appears, namely 
Dec. 7, 1921, he evidently served frequently in that capacity until his official
installation in 1924. This date marks the end of the term of service for his father,
Bro. Frank A. Gurney, who was Secretary for some twenty-one years, begin
ning in 1903. The elder Gurney was preceded in office by W. H. Day, one of
the founders of Newton Lodge, who terminated 24 years as Secretary on Nov.
9, 1903.

These long terms of secretarial service lend consistency and continuity to the records, which is a help in research. Your historian also acknowledges with thanks the personal aid of Bro. Ray Gurney, who has willingly answered questions and has often thrown additional light on various matters. For instance, but for him we might not be aware that the secretary's desk in the Lodge Room is the original one in use for nearly a century. The safe in which important lodge records are kept is the one purchased for $64 in 1890. We also were reminded by him, and found in the minutes, that the rough and perfect ashlars with which the Lodge is furnished were given in 1928 by Bro. Charles G. Pease. The granite came from the quarry at Chester, Mass., and they were
carved by Thomas R. Greene of that town.

In 1938, when it was learned that the Quabbin Reservoir project was about to destroy the town of Enfield, and with it Bethel Lodge, the latter kindly offered their furnishings to other lodges in the area. A delegation from Newton Lodge drove over to Enfield in September, 1938, and brought back a carpet which was used until our new temple was furnished in 1961. They also acquired the ceremonial chairs for East, West, and South, which are still in use. There is a legend that an offer of Bethel's Jewels was declined, an action later regretted when it was learned that they had been made by Bro. Paul Revere. However, this story has been denied, and its truth or falsity is impossible to establish at this distance.

The minutes over the years record the joy of the initiation of many worthy brothers, followed sooner or later by a sadder notice of their departure. We cannot, of course, give them all mention here. But one loss, in addition to Bro. Peck already noted, seems important enough to be of interest. I refer to the passing on Feb. 16, 1938, of Wor. Bro. Fred W. Green, the ninth Master of the Lodge.

Bro. Green had served two terms as Master in 1888 and 1889, and on the night of his retirement from the second term was installed Treasurer, in which office he served for 46 years, or until December, 1936, when he asked to be replaced, being then nearly 78 years of age. The minutes record a celebration on the evening of April 5, 1933, when "136 members of the craft assembled at South Church to honor Wor. Bro. Fred W. Green, a fifty-year member of Newton Lodge." After a dinner and a program of musical and dramatic entertainment, he was presented with a Veteran's Medal by Rt. Wor. James Matthew, Dist. Dep. Grand Master for the Springfield 33rd Masonic District (to which Newton Lodge had been assigned at a quarterly communication of Grand Lodge in December, 1913.)

Bro. Green had also served the town for more than thirty years as Selectman and some twenty years as Assessor. His occupation, too, had made him a conspicuous citizen, for beginning in 1879 at the age of twenty, he had driven the stage between the village and the railroad at No. Wilbraham continuously until July 1, 1917, except for four years of service as Postmaster during Cleveland's first administration. He had made five trips a day, and it was estimated that he had in the course of his work, driven a distance equal to more than six times around the world. The citizens had presented him a gold watch on July 4, 1917, of which he was very proud. The minutes of a special communication on Feb. 18, 1938, state that he was interred in Woodland Dell Cemetery on that day after a Masonic funeral which followed the regular funeral service at South Church. He had not lived quite long enough to witness the burning of the mortgage dating from 1923 which took place at a ceremony in May, 1938. A letter of congratulations from the Grand Lodge appears in the record.

The sixtieth anniversary of the Lodge was observed on Nov. 19, 1930, with a birthday party, complete with cake and the proper number of candles, held in connection with the Annual Installation of Officers. The first duty of the newly installed Master was to cut the cake, in which activity he was assisted by the Wardens.

It appears from the records that down the years, finances have often been a problem for Newton Lodge, as for many others. We have had few really wealthy members, and although we have received with gratitude several gifts and bequests of one or two thousands of dollars, which have kept us afloat, these have not freed us from the need to be frugal. For example, a bequest of $2,000 received in January, 1940, from the estate of Wor. Charles C. Beebe had to be used immediately for needed repairs and enlargement of the Lodge Room. Ten years later, on Nov. 1, 1950, a committee composed of the Worshipful Master, Wardens, and Wor. Bros. Cohn and Holdridge were appointed "to investigate lodge finances and determine the amount of increase in dues needed to keep the Lodge in solvent condition." The following year dues were increased from a total of $8 to a total of $11.

By 1955 we may infer from the records a fact confirmed by the memory of many present members, to wit; that time was finally taking its toll of the ancient building where the Lodge had met since its inception. It was becoming all too evident that new housing arrangements would have to be made. On Jan. 5, 1955, a committee appointed previously to investigate the possibility of renting other quarters reported that the Grange Hall could be obtained, if necessary. Public installations were already being held in the Memorial School Auditorium, and several communications where large turnouts were expected seem to have been held in the Fireplace Room of the old United Church edifice (which was razed in 1962). But beginning in September, 1958, we find the meetings being held regularly in Foskit Memorial Hall (The Grange). However, a year convinced the brethren that facilities at the Grange Hall did not meet their needs, and they directed the Building Committee to approach the United Church seeking to rent the so-called Fireplace Room. Evidently they were successful, and the record shows meetings being held there from 1959 until the new Temple on Woodland Deli Road was ready for occupancy in the Spring of 1961.

The old Wright Store building, having finally been actually condemned, the Building Association had decided to sell the property and build elsewhere. They were encouraged in this project by the gift of a suitable site on Woodland Dell Road from Bro. J. Loring Brooks, who had also given land for the new United Church building and made other valuable and generous contributions to the Town of Wilbraham. Architectural services were offered by Bro. Paul B. Johnson of Agawam. The last meeting ever held in the old building before it was sold was the communication of January 15, 1958. Later in the month, on May 24, 1961, Newton Lodge held its first communication in its new temple, the occasion being Past Masters' night. This communication was preceded by a dinner in the old United Church Parish House, after which all present picked up their chairs and carried them over to the new Lodge Room.

The January, 1962, regular communications received as guest Bro. Paul Johnson, who was informed by Bro. Goulding of his election to Honorary Membership in Newton Lodge in recognition of his donation of architectural services in the design and construction of the new temple. He was also presented a tape recorder.

On April 11,1962, a special communication was held for the purpose of dedicating the new Masonic Temple. M. W. Lawrence E. Eaton, attended by suite of twenty-three distinguished Masons, was received at 8:00 p.m. and with his officers conducted a most impressive ceremony.

The Lodge has been very happy in its new home. However, the loss of revenue due to the disbanding of the local Eastern Star Chapter, together with rising costs of maintenance and services, once more gives us some cause for concern. In 1968, Wor. Bro. Richard H. Tucker proposed a drive for funds with which to retire the $10,000 mortgage which was necessary in order to build the new temple. It was suggested that every member who could, pledge $75 to be paid over a three year period, (normally $25, per year) so that the burning of the mortgage might be accomplished as the final act of celebration of our centennial year. This would make it possible to carry on without a drastic increase in dues. As of this writing many brothers have responded and we are still hopeful of achieving our goal.

A personal interest in such matters moves your historian to remark upon the improved musical facilities which the new temple affords. An electronic organ was purchased in May, 1961, through the efforts of Bro. Philip O. Buddington who served the Lodge faithfully as organist for about eighteen years, from January, 1949, when he was first installed until his departure from town in 1967. He was made an Honorary Member.

It does not seem fitting to end this account of Lodge doing without acknowledging service beyond the call of mere membership on the part of several other faithful brothers. Therefore, be it noted that Wor. Frederick M. Cohn has served us well as Secretary since Oct. 11, 1958, and we hope he will continue the tradition of his predecessors for long service. Rt. Worshipful Truman E. Robbins, our D. D. G. M. in 1966-67, has served Newton Lodge faithfully as Treasurer since Nov. 13, 1963, when he took over the office from Bro. Herman Nieske, who had held the office for three years. No one is likely even to approach the record of service as Treasurer held by Wor. Fred Green, but Wor. Sprague L. Wight put in a respectable twenty-four years in the post, and the Lodge expressed its gratitude at the communication of Oct. 7, 1959 by a rising vote of thanks.

Bro. Wight was succeeded for the year 1959-60 by Wor. Gilbert E. Stacey, who has also helped the lodge raise funds by organizing for a number of years an annual auction. He is presently serving as Chairman of the Masonic Building Association.

It is also appropriate to record here the Lodge's admiration of the culinary talents of Bro. Richard Goulding, who has acted as Chef for many a fine meal served the Lodge over a number of years past, and especially appreciated after the O. E. S. surrendered its charter in 1968.

Gifts to the lodge, not mentioned above, include a Bible, presented on April 7,1942 by Wor. Bro. Charles Gardner of Indian Orchard Lodge to replace the one which had been in use for over 50 years; a new ballot box given us by the Eastern Star on April 6, 1960; a new altar, donated by Bro. Harold W. Brown and built by Wor. Truman Robbins, dedicated on Nov. 6, 1963;a beautiful electric clock, installed on the West wall of the Lodge Room, a gift of Bro. Joe Mueller and Mrs. Mueller; and, quite recently, a set of working tools given in memory of our late Brother Robert C. Godfrey, Jr., purchased from donations to the lodge in lieu of flowers, amply supplemented by Worshipful Edward H. Godfrey. Bro. Robert had served a number of years as Auditor. There have been other gifts, some relatively large and some more modest, but all received gratefully, such as the McGuire Fund, the interest from which is used for charitable purposes, and the many contributions to the building fund. If your historian has omitted specific mention of some of these, it is hoped that the difficulty of tracking down all such information in the Lodge records will be understood.

Our own centennial observance vividly recalls another historic occasion not long past, in which our order took an appropriately active part. This was the Bicentennial of the Town of Wilbraham, celebrated in 1963. Not the least important action of the lodge in November of that year was the message for the 250th anniversary of the town, sent by the officers to be enclosed with others in a copper "time capsule" which was buried in Crane Park. The message read in part: "To the Residents of Wilbraham in the year of the Twenty-first Century, 2013 A.D.

The 230 members of Newton Lodge, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons, extend to you the hand of fellowship in the sincere belief that our links with the past make a strong foundation on which to build for the future .. . Our fervent hope and prayer is, that by the time this message is read, the world will have learned to live together as brothers and sisters, that the petty quarrels resulting from different ideologies and greed will have been put behind, and that the United States of America and all of its parts are truly united in charity and justice."

These sentiments are still appropriate and Newton Lodge, if it lives up to its tenets, must contribute importantly to the achievement of this goal. We hope that our brethren in the Sesquicentennial, year 2020 A. D. will be able to take pride in our part in that achievement.

Newton Lodge, A. F. & A. M.
Woodland Dell Road
Wilbraham, Massachusetts
1870-1995

November 10, 1995
THE PAST 25 YEARS OF NEWTON LODGE

Since the granting of our Charter on November 10, 1870, 774 men have signed our by-laws and become members of Newton Lodge. On August 31, 1995, our membership totaled 212, eleven of whom have been awarded the Grand Lodge 50-Year Veterans medal and certificate. Of interest is the fact that since 1970, the last 25 years, there have been 137 members that signed the By-Laws. Of that number, 62 have signed in the last five years! This is due in large part to the "Masonic Awareness Program" which will be covered shortly.

For a complete historic background of Newton Lodge, reference is made to the "One Hundred Years of History of Newton Lodge" which was so ably prepared by the late Wor. Gilman A. Randall for our 100th anniversary observance on November 6, 1970 [a copy is included in this program]. Newton Lodge has always been a staunch supporter of the Grand Lodge Blood program which ensures that our members and families will always have blood available should the occasion arise. Since 1952, the Lodge has consistently received the Grand Lodge Citation for exceeding its annual quota. This program is under the able leadership of Bro. Alexander MacKenzie and Bro. A. C. Bud Johnson.

It is worth repeating that on May 24, 1961, Newton Lodge held its first communication in the new Masonic Temple. In this connection the mortgage incurred was burned on Nov. 12, 1971, and the Lodge is free of debt.

In 1978, the Ralph Wesley Bennett Memorial Scholarship Fund was established to provide educational assistance to local high school seniors. In October 1980, the four antique deacons benches which were in the original lodge room at the corner of Springfield and Main Streets were refinished and placed in service (courtesy of Rt. Wor. Theodore E. Cooledge, Wor. Edward H. Godfrey, and Wor. Frederick M. Cohn).

Rt. Wor. Truman E. Robbins was the greatest benefactor of Newton Lodge. Truman was Master of the Lodge in 1960 and subsequently served as District Deputy Grand Master of the Springfield 33rd Masonic District. On May 14, 1980, Rt. Wor. Robbins was awarded the Joseph Warren Medal for Distinguished Service by the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts. His ritual was perfection and he was always ready to help. A skilled pattern maker and wood craftsman, Truman made an exact replica of the antique secretary's desk in our Lodge. This replica now serves as the Treasurer's desk.

Rt. Wor. Truman also crafted two reproductions of the antique candle stand which had been presented to the Lodge by Wor. Walter Maynard. The original candle stand is in the East and the reproductions are at the Warden's stations.

The Altar is Truman's work of art and will always remind us of him. Rt. Wor. Robbins passed to the celestial Lodge above on October 1, 1981. He bequeathed a substantial fund to the Lodge which was held in the Truman E. Robbins Memorial Fund for ten years in accordance with his wishes. A memorial plaque in his memory is mounted on the north wall of the Lodge room.

Wor. Frederick M. Cohn sat as Master of the Lodge in 1949. During his tenure, seven members signed the By-Laws. He served with meticulous distinction as Secretary of the Lodge from October, 1956, to October, 1984, a total of 28 years! He has been instrumental in assembling this history. In March, 1993, under the leadership of Rt. Wor. Edwin H. Carpenter, Newton Lodge joined the rest of the world by installing a computer system. The computer is linked to the Grand Lodge computer and also the computers of the Master, Senior Warden, Treasurer and Secretary. This is an invaluable asset which will enable us to serve our brethren more quickly and efficiently.

In September, 1991, the Lodge commenced the publication of the "Newton Hourglass". This monthly publication is produced and edited by Rt. Wor. Edwin H. Carpenter. Wor. Philmore H. Smith, Master of the Lodge, is co-editor of the publication and monthly faxes the current issue to Chevalier-Ramsey Lodge #4 in Brussels, Belgium, where it is displayed and "laid on the record". It carries not only news and articles relating principally to Newton Lodge and the Springfield 33rd Masonic District but also articles of general Masonic interest. Copies of the newsletter are retained in the archives of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts Library with the current issue being on display. The November 1995 issue will be enclosed in the Time Capsule which will be sealed on November 10, 1995. The publication has been very well received and is now firmly established as part of our continuing educational program.

In October, 1992, Newton Lodge, under the direction of Wor. Curtis N. Knowles, became a strong supporter of the D. A. R. E. Program (Drug Abuse Resistance Education). Bro. Dennis J. LaPlante, a member of Newton Lodge, is the D. A. R. E. Officer for the Wilbraham Police Department, who teaches and administers the program for the eight local schools.

Wor. Gordon S. Fountain, Master in 1993, had a remarkable year. During his tenure, twenty three (23) members signed the By-Laws! Significantly, Gordie appointed Bro. David Demos as the first chairman of the "D.A.R.E. Classic Golf Tournament" which has become a notable local event! (See below) The D. A. R. E. Classic Golf Tournament has resulted in substantial funds to support D. A. R. E. and related programs for the young people of our community. This year Bro. Dave Demos was joined by Bro. Joseph Mastrangelo who served as co-chaiman and helped immeasurably in making this year a banner one! These tireless, talented, and dedicated gentlemen have seen the returns nearly triple, and the local D.A.R.E program is now fully funded as well as several other related programs. Massachusetts has become the leading state in the country and sets D.A.R.E. standards for others to follow.

The Awareness Program of the Lodge produces several quality community events that have raised the visibility of Masonry immensely. In addition to the D. A. R. E. program, the Won Ralph Bennett Scholarship Fund is now augmented by a "Classic Wild Game Supper"; the Masonic Building Association produces the "Classic Country Steer & Pig Roast", and soon to be started "Classic Yankee Breakfasts" are just a few of the many endeavors.

The Lodge continues to conduct fund raising activities for the benefit of D. A. R. E., the Teen Center, the Bennett Scholarship Fund, Fountain Park (formerly the Pheasant Farm), the Spec Pond rehabilitation, and other worthy causes. The leaders and brethren deserve great credit for their support of these worthy activities. In addition to Rt. Wor. Truman Robbins, several Newton Lodge members have served as officers of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts and otherwise distinguished themselves.

  • Most Wor. Edgar W. Darling served with distinction as Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts in 1990, 1991, and 1992. The success of the "Awareness Program" heretofore mentioned was, in great part, attributable to his staunch leadership. By "opening the doors" of the Lodges throughout the Commonwealth, Freemasonry is again on the rise in membership. The Lodge's efforts to promote the general good of society has been duly noted, and the general public is dramatically "aware" of the Masons in their midst. The Lodge has instituted a Meritorious Service Award to be presented to qualified Lodge Members in Edgar's name!
  • Rt. Wor. Richard Goulding was installed as District Deputy Grand Master for the Springfield 33rd Masonic District in 1981 and 1982. He was awarded the Joseph Warren Distinguished Service Medal in 1987. Dick was chairman of the Masonic Building Association when the present building was being constructed. He was the original "Resident Chef for many years and served admirably.
  • Rt. Wor. Edwin H. Carpenter served as District Deputy Grand Master in 1985 and 1986. He was Master of Indian Orchard Lodge in 1977. Ned was awarded the Joseph Warren Medal in 1990. He is currently the editor of the "Newton Hourglass", the monthly newspaper produced by the Lodge.
  • Rt. Wor. Theodore E. Cooledge served as DDGM in 1989 and 1990. Ted was Master of the Lodge in 1982 and was appointed as Deputy Grand Master of the Grand Lodge in 1991. This is the second ranking office of the Grand Lodge. He was awarded the Henry Price medal by the Grand Master in 1991. He also serves as chairman of the Board of Directors of the Masonic Home in Charlton, Mass.
  • Rt. Wor. Neil B. Hilt served as District Deputy Grand Master in 1993 and 1994. Neil also served as Senior Grand Deacon of the Grand Lodge in 1992. Neil was also twice Master of the Lodge in 1987 and 1988. Neil organized the first-ever Masonic unit to march in the 1993 Peach Festival Parade.
  • In 1994, Rt. Wor. Wendell A. Shepard was installed by Most Wor. David W. Lovering, Grand Master of Masons in Massachusetts, as District Deputy Grand Master of the Springfield 33rd Masonic District, e was Master of the Lodge in 1981 and 1985. Wendell also served as Grand Standard Bearer of the Grand Lodge in 1991. Wendell was awarded the Joseph Warren Distinguished Service Medal on December 14, 1992, by Most Wor. Edgar W. Darling on the evening that he raised his son, Bro. Ronald A. Shepard, to the Third Degree.. The Lodge has instituted a Distinguished Service Certificate in his name to be awarded to Members that meet exacting criteria. We sadly report that Wendell passed away in January of 1995.
  • Wor. Hayden B. Tibbetts, was Master of Newton Lodge in 1974 and again in 1986. He vividly recalls being Lodge Marshal for the 100th Anniversary Celebration and having the honor of introducing the Grand Marshal of the Grand Lodge to then presiding Master, Wor. Richard E. Scarlett.
  • In December of 1994, Wor. Leslie P. Lohnes was installed a Grand Steward of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts. He was awarded the Joseph Warren Medal in 1995. Leslie was four (4) times Master of Belcher Lodge. He is Treasurer of the Lodge and chairman of the 125th Anniversary Committee!
  • Wor. Richard E. Scarlett was presiding Master in 1970 at the 100th Anniversary celebration. He was installed a Master of the Fifth Lodge of Instruction in 1981. Dick also served as Treasurer of Newton Lodge for twenty years!
  • Wor. David K. Ritchie, twice a Past Master of Longmeadow Lodge in 1986 and 1990, and an affiliated Member of Newton Lodge, was awarded the Joseph Warren Distinguished Service Medal in 1992.
  • Wor. Frank R. Marshall, Master of Newton Lodge in 1983 and 1984, was awarded the Joseph Warren Distinguished Medal in 1994. Frank is currently serving Rt. Wor. F. Carey Miller as District Deputy Grand Secretary for the Springfield 33rd Masonic District. He has been the Lodge Candidate Lecturer for 12 years and unfailingly conducts his classes on Monday evenings at the Lodge. Frank also labors with distinction as Secretary of the Lodge.
  • Wor. William W. Schubach also served twice as Master of the Lodge in 1968 and 1991. Bill raised his three sons, Bro. David M. Schubach, Bro. Richard M. Schubach, and Bro. William A. Schubach to the Degree of Master Mason. A quite uncommon honor!
  • In 1990, Wor. Richard D. Bready, Jr. was installed Master of the Lodge. In 1994, he installed his father, Wor. Richard D. Bready, Sr., as Master of the Lodge. Wor. George W. Bready, grandfather of Richard, Jr., was Master of the Lodge in 1953. There are currently seven members of the Bready family that are active members of the Lodge!
  • Wor. Richard E. Hatcher, Master of the Lodge in 1979, has this year retired as Lodge Organist after a full 15 years. His pre-opening renditions of "old favorites" will particularly be remembered as well as his gentle good humor.
  • Bro. William G. True has given sterling service as Lodge Auditor for many years. He is a holder of the Grand Lodge Veterans Medal.
  • Bro. Frederick M. Harwood was the first recipient of the Most Wor. Edgar W. Darling Award for Meritorious Service to the Lodge and the community. He is currently the TROWEL representative of the Lodge.
  • Bro. Byron I. "BIM" Musselman has performed as the Second Gate Craftsman for 37 years! His marvelous speaking voice and calm demeanor add greatly to this significant ritualistic part. He is also a holder of the Most Wor. Edgar W. Darling Award for his many years of exemplary service.
  • Bro. J. Willard Pickett has performed the highly significant part of "Third Gate" for many years. His mellow voice is calm, yet decisive, and his rendition retains the strict attention of the Candidates! He will initiate or join in on any "Barbershop Quartet" type of song.

The preceding are highlights of the Lodge and are not intended to, nor can they, diminish the sterling efforts by all the members and Past Masters. Their love and devotion toward the welfare of the Lodge, their Brethren, and the community has been notable in every aspect of their services! As we face the twenty-first century, we must put our trust in God and pray that Masonry will continue to flourish and that our basic tenets-Brotherly Love, Relief, and Truth-will be more widely recognized as forces for good, and accordingly, result in a happier, safer, and more peaceful world.

Wor. Frederick M. Cohn, Secretary Emeritus, Newton Lodge, AF & AM Assisted by: Rt. Wor. Edwin H. Carpenter, Editor, Newton Hourglass

The following are certifiable Old Timers!
Active Fifty Year Veterans Medal Holders

  • Bro. Charles I. Bowman, 68 years
  • Bro. Edward H. Abrahamson, 62 years
  • Bro. Everett P. Pickens, 61 years
  • Bro. Henry M. Colton, 61 years
  • Wor. Gordon W. Holdridge, 55 years
  • Bro. A. George Mallis, 54 years
  • Bro. William G. True, 53 years
  • Wor. Frederick M Cohn, 53 years
  • Bro. David M. Wight, 52 years
  • Bro. Arthur B. Magnuson, 52 years and the youngster of the lot,
  • Bro. Phillip O. Buddington, 51 years

Total 621 years of service!

Newton Lodge 125th Anniversary Committee

  • General Chairman: Wor. Leslie P. Lohnes
  • Wor. Philmore H. Smith, Jr.
  • Bro. David E. Pace
  • Rt. Wor. Theodore E. Cooledge
  • Wor. Curtis N. Knowles
  • Wor. Norman F. Smith
  • Bro. Stuart J. Johnsen
  • Wor. Frederick M. Cohn
  • Wor. Richard D. Bready, Sr.
  • Rt. Wor. Edwin H. Carpenter

LINE OFFICERS 1995-1996

  • Master, Wor. Philmore H. Smith, Jr.
  • Senior Warden, Bro. David E. Pace
  • Junior Warden, Bro. Robert L. Buckley, Jr.
  • Treasurer, Wor. Leslie P. Lohnes
  • Secretary, Wor. Frank R. Marshall
  • Chaplain, Rt. Wor. Edwin H. Carpenter
  • Marshal, Bro. John D. Lawor
  • Senior Deacon, Wor. Donald N. Haynes
  • Junior Deacon, Bro. John M. O'Donnell
  • Senior Steward, Bro. William L. Degon
  • Junior Steward, Bro. Stuart J. Johnsen
  • Inside Sentinel, Bro. Alfred B. Roy, Jr.
  • Tyler, Bro. Donald S. Johnson

GRAND LODGE OFFICERS


DISTRICTS

1870: District 10 (Springfield)

1883: District 16 (Chicopee)

1902: District 16 (Springfield)

1911: District 18 (Springfield)

1914: District 33 (Springfield)

1927: District 33 (Springfield)

2003: District 28


LINKS

Massachusetts Lodges


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