- 1 DANA J. FLANDERS 1850-1933
- 1.1 TERM
- 1.2 BIOGRAPHY
- 1.3 MEMORIAL
- 1.4 SPEECHES
- 1.5 NOTES
- 1.6 CHARTERS GRANTED
- 1.7 CHARTERS RESTORED
DANA J. FLANDERS 1850-1933
Junior Grand Warden, 1888
Grand Master, 1909-1911
M. W. Brother Flanders' Grand Master's Gavel
Picture courtesy of Wor. Richard J. Poor of Merrimack Lodge.
From New England Craftsman, Vol. IV, No. 4, January 1909, Page 112:
Dana Judson Flanders, the new Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts, was born in Plaistow, Rockingham County, N. H., December 20, 1850. He is a lineal descendent of the original Flanders who came to this country and was elected a freeman in Sudbury, Mass., in 1643. One of his ancestors obtained an honorable record during the period of the American Revolution. Brother Flanders attended school in his native town. When he was thirteen years of age his father became agent of the Boston & Maine Railroad, and a place was found in the office for his sou to render some measure of service. Fie learned telegraphy and from the age of sixteen to eighteen he was employed most of the time in substituting for agents and operators who were taking vacations, and also in giving instruction to agents. When he was eighteen years old he was taken into the office of the superintendent of the road. By diligence, faithfulness, and aptitude for business he was called from time to time to fill several clerical positions in the general office until in 1874, when but twenty-four years old he was appointed to the responsible office of General Passenger Agent. He is well informed as regards general interests of railway traffic and communication, lie has been president of the New England General Passenger Agent's Association, and also of the American Association which includes the railroads of Canada, Mexico and the United States. He has served as alderman in the city of Maiden, where he deservedly enjoys the reputation of worthy citizenship.
Brother Flanders was made a Mason in Gideon Lodge, Kingston, N. H. in the winter of 1872-3, and only a little later was exalted to the Royal Arch degree in St. Alban Chapter in Exeter, N. H. Brother Flanders dimitted from the New Hampshire bodies and acquired membership in Merrimack Lodge and Pentucket chapter of Haverhill. In Merrimack lodge he served as senior warden and worshipful master. In the Grand Lodge he has served as district deputy grand master for a period of three years and was junior grand warden in 1888. He received the Council degrees in 1875 and about 1885 the degrees of the Scottish Rite. He received the thirty-third degree at the session of the Supreme Council, September 21, 1897. Fie received the Templar degrees in Haverhill commanderies in which he has ever been actively interested. He was elected grand commander of the Grand Commandery of Massachusetts and Rhode Island, October 27, 1904, and it was his privilege to preside over the Grand Commandery during its centennial year, one of the most notable years of its existence.
Brother Flanders comes to his new office with the advantage of a wide experience and the wisdom oi matured manhood. Fie takes up its duties with the assurance of the unanimous support and good wishes of the fraternity.
FROM PROCEEDINGS, 1933
From Proceedings, Page 1933-95:
On May 3 the sad news reached us of the passing of Most Worshipful Dana J. Flanders, our loved and honored senior living Past Grand Master, after a long period of failing strength. In spite of the infirmities of the body, however, his brilliant mind retained to the very last its keen interest in all that concerned the Fraternity he loved so dearly, and which had honored him by entrusting to his care as Grand Master the direction of its destinies and fortunes. Up to a few months ago he attended with great regularity the meetings of Grand Lodge and of the Board of Directors, in whose deliberations he took an active and interested part.
His funeral services took place on a sunny afternoon in May at the church he so dearly loved, the First Universalist of Malden, and in the affairs of which he maintained the keenest interest to the day of his death. A great outpouring of Masons attended the services, and the beautiful offerings of flowers testified to the love and affection in which he was held by those in every walk of life. The service was gently simple, exactly as he would have had it, and was concluded, in accordance with his expressed wish, by the repetition of the Lord's Prayer in which the entire congregation joined. It was a beautiful service, and held no hint of gloom or unreasoning grief, more like a gathering of loving friends, come to sit for a space with their departed Brother, serene in their faith that in the words of the Master, he had but gone before to prepare a place for those that love Him.
Most Worshipful Brother Flanders was born in Plaistow, N.H., December 21, 1850, and died in Malden, May 3, 1933. Brother Flanders was educated in the public schools of Plaistow and at Atkinson Academy.
At the early age of thirteen he learned telegraphy with his father, who was station agent at Plaistow. He was soon engaged, by the Boston and Maine Railroad, and remained in its service as telegraph operator and instructor, clerk, General Ticket Agent, General Passenger and Ticket Agent, and Passenger Traffic Manager until 1910. On retiring from the railroad he became President of the Malden Trust Company, and retained connection with it until his death.
Brother Flanders served the city of Malden as an Assessor and as an Alderman. He was a leading member of the Malden Universalist Church, and served it for many years as Chairman of the Board of Trustees. He was long one of the Trustees of the Massachusetts Universalist Convention and President of the Convention in 1905 and 1906.
Brother Flanders took his degrees in Gideon Lodge No. 84, of Kingston, N. H., in 1873, and dimitted in 1875. He immediately affiliated with Merrimack Lodge, of which he was Master in 1879 and 1880. In 1887 he dimitted from Merrimack Lodge to become a Charter Member of Converse Lodge. He was also a Charter Member of The Lodge of Stirling in 1912. Brother Flanders was District Deputy Grand Master for the Tenth Masonic District in 1884 and 1885, by appointment of Most Worshipful Samuel C. Lawrence and Most Worshipful Abraham H. Howland, Jr. He was Junior Grand Warden of the Grand Lodge in 1888, and Grand Master in 1909, 1910, and 1911. Upon his retirement from the Grand Mastership, he was elected a Director of the Grand Lodge and retained that position until his death.
He took up with energy and enthusiasm the work of founding and endowing the Masonic Home, which had been so effectively started by Most Worshipful J. Albert Blake. He was a member of the Board of Masonic Relief from his retirement as Grand Master until his death.
Brother Flanders was identified with all branches of Freemasonry. He was Grand Commander of the Grand Commander of Massachusetts and Rhode Island in 1904-05, being in office when the Grand Commandery celebrated its hundredth anniversary on May 24, 1905. He was coronetted an Honorary Member of the Supreme Council, thirty-third degree, in 1897.
Such, in briefest outline, is the life record of one of the great Masons of his day and generation. He gave more than fifty years of devoted service to the Craft. The gratitude of the Craft was expressed in great honors, but to him the honors meant far less than the opportunity for service and the resulting affection of the Brethren He loved the Brethren and they loved him. He has gone home full of years and of honors' Our hearts go with him.
From Proceedings, Page 1933-344:
Born at Plaistow, New Hampshire, December 21, 1850
Died at Malden, Massachusetts, May 3, 1933
M. Wor. Bro. Flanders' education was in the public schools of Plaistow and a few terms at Atkinson Academy.
At the age of thirteen, he learned telegraphy with his father who was then the station agent at Plaistow. Subsequently he was a telegraph operator and taught telegraphy up and down the line of the Boston & Maine Railroad until February 22, 1869, when he came to Boston as telegraph operator in the office of the superintendent of the railroad. Until July 1, 1874, he was telegraph operator and clerk in several of the railroad's offices. His ability won him advancement. On the latter date, he was appointed General Ticket Agent. On December 18, 1884, he was appointed General Passenger and Ticket Agent, and in August, 1906, he was appointed Passenger Traffic Manager, which position he held until he retired on October 1, 1910. He moved to Haverhill in 1869 and subsequently took up his residence in Malden, remaining there during the balance of his life. He served as Alderman of the city of Malden; Trustee, Vice President, and President of the Universalist State Convention; President of the Board of Trustees of the Malden Universalist Parish for sixteen years; President of the New England General Ticket and Passenger Association (1879); Vice President and President of the American Association of General Passenger and Ticket Agents (1895-1890); President of the Association of Knights Templar Commanders; Member of the New England Association of Past Grand Commanders, Knights Templar; and Sons of the American Revolution. He became a Director of the Malden Trust Company in May, 1897, was elected Vice President in August, 1909, and acted in that capacity until his death. He was also Director, Vice President, and President (1890-1893) of the Kernwood Club of Malden.
M. Wor. Bro. Flanders is survived by his widow, Eliza Duffill Flanders (married December 17, 1874) and by two sons, Herbert Merritt Flanders and Howard Nelson Flanders.
M. Wor. Bro. Flanders was very active in Masonry. He received his Blue Lodge degrees in Gideon Lodge No. 84, of Kingston, New Hampshire, being raised a Master Mason February 24, 1873. He took his degrees in St. Alban Royal Arch Chapter, of Exeter, New Hampshire,in 1874. From these bodies he dimitted in consequence of his removal to Massachusetts. He received his Council degrees in Haverhill Council in 1875 and his Commandery degrees in Haverhill Commandery, K.T., in 1876.
In the Scottish Rite, he joined the Lodge of Perfection in Haverhill in 1889, and the other three bodies in Boston in 1893. On December 21, 1897, he was coronetted an Honorary Sovereign Grand Inspector General, 33°.
After dimitting from Gideon Lodge, he joined Merrimack Lodge, of Haverhill, where he served as Senior Deacon, Senior Warden, and Master, in the latter office for two years succeeding November 5, 1879. From Merrimack Lodge he dimitted on December 7, 1887, to become a Charter member of Converse Lodge, of Malden. In 1883-84-85, he was District Deputy Grand Master for the Tenth Massachusetts Masonic District. In 1888, he was Junior Grand Warden of the Grand Lodge and was Grand Master of Masons in Massachusetts during the years 1909-10-11.
His Royal Arch membership was transferred to Pentucket Chapter, of Haverhill, and he was in line in that Chapter until he moved to Malden and dimitted in 1886. He also served in the line of Haverhill Council, R. & S. M. In Templar Masonry, he became Warden in 1878 and continued in line, serving as Eminent Commander of Haverhill Commandery in 1882-83-84.
He became a Charter member of Beauseant Commandery in 1886. He was installed as Junior Grand Warden of the Grand Commandery of Knights Templar of Massachusetts and Rhode Island in 1899 and continued in line, serving as Grand Commander for the year following October 27, 1904; thus being Right Eminent Grand Commander at the observance of the one hundredth anniversary of the Grand Commandery in May, 1905.
At the time of his death he was a member of Converse Lodge, Tabernacle Royal Arch Chapter, of Malden, Haverhill Council, R. & S. M., Haverhill Commandery, Knights Templar, and of the Scottish Rite bodies in Boston, and was an honorary member of Merrimack Lodge and Beauseant and Cambridge Commanderies. Most Worshipful Brother Flanders was the senior living Past Grand Master of Masons in Massachusetts from 1926 until his death last May. For several years recently his body had been visibly weakening, but his zeal for Freemasonry never slackened. He attended Grand Lodge and meetings of our Board of Directors after he had laid aside almost ail of life's other activities outside of his home and church.
Brother Flanders was a great asset to Freemasonry in Massachusetts. He had many friends and no enemies. He was quiet and reserved, slow to wrath, and wise in council but, withal, definite and clear in his judgments and pronouncements and firm and determined wherever necessary. Kindly, courteous, and gracious in manner, conservative in thought and decision, his accomplishments were many and valuable although not spectacular.
Perhaps the two most widely remembered incidents of his Masonic life were his service as Right Eminent Grand Commander of the Grand Commandery of Knights Templar of Massachusetts and Rhode Island in the year of its one hundredth anniversary and his dedication of the Masonic Home at Charlton. Yet of vastly more permanent importance was his long service as Chairman and Member of the Board of Masonic Relief and its Executive Committee during the early years of the operation of the Home when its plans and policies were shaped and molded into permanent form. It was in the council chamber and conference room where his experience, wisdom, tact, and knowledge of human nature vitally influenced the determination of debatable questions, that Brother F'landers' usefulness will be appraised at its highest value by those who sat with him month after month and year after year.
Outside of his fraternal life, he was a successful railroad executive, a careful and accurate banker, a sincere Christian gentleman, a true friend, a respected citizen, and an affectionate and beloved husband and father.
Death has taken his body from us but death has not destroyed his influence. The effects and consequences of what he did and said will outlast even the memory and the lives of those who were privileged to know him in the flesh.
FROM NEW ENGLAND CRAFTSMAN, 1933
From New England Craftsman, Vol. XXVIII, No. 9, May 1933, Page 228:
For the third time within a period of seven months, death has struck down a past Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts. Two of these men, Dudley Ferrell and Leon M. Abbott, might reasonably have looked forward to years of more extended usefulness — the third, Dana J. Flanders, whose passing is recorded on another page of this issue, was the senior past Grand Master, and died at the ripe age of 82 years.
To the younger generation of members his face and figure will not be familiar, for the reason that because of infirmities he was unable of late to be present at many of the gatherings of the fraternity he loved so well, and to which he gave such devoted and distinguished service. To members in the early part of this century, however, he was a very real personality.
His sense of duty, and conscientious consideration for everything pertaining to the Craft, his regular attendance at the meetings of grand lodge, and the graceful charm of his kindly nature, typified a man well skilled in the arts of Freemasonry. He was much loved.
No claim upon his sympathy was too small to be ignored. He was a gentle man and a worthy Mason.
His passing will be mourned by many of the older men, and his deeds of charity and pure beneficence will exalt his memory to greater heights than any monument of wood or stone. He has lived, and the fruits of his labors live after him.
FROM COUNCIL OF DELIBERATION, 1933
From Proceedings of the Massachusetts Council of Deliberation AASR NMJ 1933, Page 59:
Dana Judson Flanders, 33°, came to this world at Plaistow, New Hampshire, on December 21, 1850, and departed from it at his home in Malden on May 3, 1933. His education was in the public schools of Plaistow and a few terms at Atkinson Academy.
At the age of thirteen, he learned telegraphy with his father who was then the station agent at Plaistow. Subsequently, he was a telegraph operator and taught telegraphy up and down the line of the Boston & Maine Railroad until February 22, 1869, when he came to Boston as telegraph operator in the office of the Superintendent of the railroad. Until July 1, 1874, he was telegraph operator and clerk in several of the railroad’s offices. His ability won him advancement. On the latter date, he was appointed General Ticket Agent. On December 18, 1884, he was appointed General Passenger and Ticket Agent and in August, 1906, he was appointed Passenger Traffic Manager, which position he held until he retired on October 1, 1910.
He moved to Haverhill in 1869 and subsequently took up his residence in Malden, remaining there during the balance of his life. He served as Alderman of the City of Malden; Trustee, Vice President and President of the Universalist Convention; President of the Board of Trustees of the Malden Universalist Parish for sixteen years; President of the New England General Ticket and Passenger Association (1879); Vice President and President of the American Association of General Passenger and Ticket Agents (1895-1898); President of the Association of Knights Templars Commanders; member of the New England Association of Past Grand Commanders Knights Templars; and Sons of the American Revolution. He became a Director of the Malden Trust Company in May, 1897, was elected Vice President in August, 1909, and acted in that capacity until his death. He was also Director, Vice President and President (1890-1893) of the Kernwood Club of Malden.
Wor. Bro. Flanders is survived by his widow, Eliza Duffill Flanders (married December 17, 1874) and by three children, Herbert Merritt Flanders, Howard Nelson Flanders and Ruth Louisa Flanders.
Wor. Bro. Flanders was very active in Masonry. He received his Blue Lodge degrees in Gideon Lodge No. 84 of Kingston, New Hampshire, being raised a Master Mason February 24, 1873. He took his degrees in St. Albans Royal Arch Chapter of Exeter, New Hampshire, in 1874. From these bodies he demitted in consequence of his removal to Massachusetts.
He received his Council degrees in Haverhill Council in 1875, and his Commandery degrees in Haverhill Commandery, K. T., in 1876.
In the Scottish Rite, he joined the Lodge of Perfection in Haverhill in 1889, and the other three bodies in Boston in 1893. On December 21, 1897, he was coronetted an Honorary Sovereign Grand Inspector General, 33°.
After demitting from Gideon Lodge, he joined Merrimack Lodge of Haverhill where he served as Senior Deacon, Senior Warden and Master, in the latter office for two years succeeding November 5, 1879. From Merrimack Lodge, he demitted on December 7, 1887, to become a charter member of Converse Lodge of Malden. In 1883-1884-1885, he was District Deputy Grand Master of the Tenth Massachusetts Masonic District. In 1S88, he was Junior Grand Warden of the Grand Lodge and was Grand Master of Masons in Massachusetts during the years 1909-1910-1911.
His Royal Arch membership was transferred to Pentucket Chapter of Haverhill and he was in line in that Chapter until he moved to Malden and demitted in 1886. He also served in the line of Haverhill Council, R. & S. M. In Templar Masonry, he became Warden in 1878 and continued in line, serving as Eminent Commander of Haverhill Commandery in 18S2-1883-1884.
He became a charter member of Beauseant Commandery in 1886. He was installed as Junior Grand Warden of the Grand Commandery of Knights Templars of Massachusetts and Rhode Island in 1899 and continued in line, serving as Grand Commander for the year following October 27, 1904; thus being Rt. Em. Grand Commander at the observance of the one hundredth anniversary of the Grand Commandery in May, 1905.At the time of his death he was a member of Converse Lodge, Tabernacle Royal Arch Chapter of Malden, Haverhill Council R. & S. M., Haverhill Commandery Knights Templars and of the Scottish Rite bodies in Boston and was an honorary member of Merrimack Lodge and Beauseant and Cambridge Commanderies.
Ill. Bro. Flanders was quiet and unassuming in manner, kindly and considerate in all his contacts, but was nevertheless firm and decided in his opinions. He was a wise advisor and counsellor, a successful administrator and a warm and loyal friend. Few men have been more beloved by their associates. His life, day by day, exemplified the principles of Freemasonry and the Golden Rule.
CORNER STONE LAYING IN MALDEN, JULY 1908
From Proceedings, Page 1908-89:
It may be a matter of curiosity, and perhaps wonderment, to some of those present to-day to account for the presence of the representatives of this Fraternity for the purpose of laying the corner-stone of this, our latest addition to the Christian churches of our city, and for their information or enlightenment I may say that from time immemorial it has been the practice to call upon these representatives to set this public mark of their approval upon the beginning of public buildings of all kinds, and particularly upon churches, which are the embodiment of the principles upon which our civilization rests.
In former times the members of the Guilds or Associations of Masons not only designed the buildings and laid the foundations, but their members wrought in the quarries where the stones were raised and completed the edifice from corner- stone to turret or spire. That there is something more than tradition for such claims, history, both scriptural and profane, proclaims in innumerable cases, but perhaps more conclusive evidence is shown in the fact that the location of the ruins of the most ancient structures furnish evidence of the Masters who not only contrived the fabrics which immortalized them, but with mallet and chisel and square and plumb really did the work which our operative mason does to-day, and left their marks of identification upon every stone.
So down through the years we find the operative material builders so closely connected with the speculative moral builders that it is difficult to distinguish between them, the one creating and building churches, schools, hospitals and philanthropic institutions of all kinds, while the other promulgates the Christian doctrines of Charity, Morality and Brotherly Love.
The intimate relationship of the members of the churches and the Fraternity of Speculative Masons is perhaps as well exemplified in this community as anywhere else the country over — in fact the leading spirits in this old Parish were the responsible and leading officials in the organization of Mt. Vernon Lodge, which celebrated its Fiftieth Anniversary within the last twelve months. Charter members and later additions to its membership, together with Father Greenwood, its first chaplain, would make an almost perfect roll-call of the First Parish. The names of Hill and Bartlett and Sprague and Richardson are of frequent occurrence in the collateral records of the Parish and the Lodge. Father Greenwood was Grand Chaplain of this Grand Lodge in 1862, and the names of other representatives of the cloth are not unknown to Masonry.
This church, the fifth in lineal descent from that first meeting-house erected on or near Bell Rock in 1649, by the people and for the people, is intended to represent in the broadest manner the doctrine of the fatherhood of God, and let us hope and pray that its occupants and sponsors may forever disseminate the principles of true Philanthropy, Morality and Charity, which are all embraced in the one word Christianity.
The decision of the Parish to remove and rebuild in this location was not reached without many regrets at leaving the location of more than a hundred years of hallowed memories, but the changes incident to the growth in population made it imperative that some change should be made, and at last this spot was decided upon as being in every way adapted to the needs of a living and growing community. This church is to be built by the generous contributions of its friends and the faithful members of this old First Parish, in addition to the funds obtained from the sale of its old property, which has been handed down to them through many generations of earnest and faithful men and women. Money has been accumulating for a matter of a dozen years, the first fifty dollars being a bequest in the will of one of the parishioners.
Its endowment in wealth will be nil, but its endowment in faith and the desire for an institution which shall be big and broad for the upbuilding of the Kingdom in the community we hope and trust will be unrestricted. That there is need of such a church, and more of them, is admitted by every one who has the good of his country at heart. Those of us who can cover the past half century in our recollections know that in our mad rush for wealth and place and power during the third quarter and a little more of the last century, the church became much neglected, and the things for which it stands became to too great an extent lost in the materialistic whirl. The old-fashioned honesty and reverence for spiritual things which had been inculcated in the minds of the children by a thousand faithful believers was reversed by men who preached the doctrine of every man for himself and the devil take the hindmost, that the decalogue was misplaced in business or politics and the practice of the Golden Rule was an iridescent dream of crazy men. Have we not been reaping the fruits of such wanderings, and is it not true that a genuine reaction has set in which seems likely to restore the church to its rightful position in the affairs of humanity?
That this church may be a rallying point for all the people in an effort to bring about such a result,— that it may be a place where the troubled and heavy hearted shall find consolation and help, in turning their thoughts to heavenly things, a place where even the sinful soul shall find a new inspiration from the story of the Prodigal Son, and a place where the children, their footsteps guided to the altar, may receive religious instruction, which, with the education provided across the way, will make them fitting participants in the movement, is the sincere and earnest desire of its promoters.
FEAST OF ST. JOHN, DECEMBER 1928
From Proceedings, Page 1928-466:
Most Worshipful Grand Master and Brethren of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts: When your newly installed Grand Master approached me he came with this statement: "I have seen all of your colleagues, the rest of the Past Grand Masters, and you are the only one I have not invited or expected to say something at the Feast of St. John." What could I do? My natural modesty inclined me to say, "Brother Dean, get somebody else." Thai is what I used to do when I was Grand Master. I would get somebody else to make the speeches and they did it. They did it much better than I could. But I never backed out of anything, and when he told me that I must say something and gave me the subject as he has stated to you, "High Lights of My Administration," I tried to think of the high lights and then I tried to think of the inspiration for the high lights, and I could not help going back, as I must go back now.
He says that twenty years ago I presided at this Feast. I did not recollect that, and I did not think of it. but I did recollect that fifty years ago tonight I came into the Grand Lodge as a Master of old Merrimack Lodge, of Haverhill – I was elected Master of that Lodge on the first Wednesday in November, 1878. I had been Senior Warden for two years and then was called to go up. I took up the duties of Master of the Lodge and that brought me into circles that I had never experienced before; that I had never seen before. It seems a long time ago and it was a long time ago. I presume there are many of you who were not born at that time. I came in here and fell in with a coterie of members and representatives, and from thai lime I have been in the harness the most of the time. I do not think I have been out of some office here since that time. I wonder if yon would be interested to have me tell yon that when I came in here it was Bro. Henry Parkman who was the senior Past Grand Master. Everybody knew him then: everybody knew him to be a genial old companion; a genial old fellow who was welcome at all of the Lodge banquets and Lodge feasts, and who was really a nice old gentleman.
There was another Past Grand Master who came into the Grand Lodge when I came in there and I was afraid of him. I was a little fellow. You will remember I was less than thirty years of age. and when I saw Brother Coolidge walking into the Lodge and straight into the northeast corner. I was afraid of him. I did not dare approach him and speak to him at all. He passed out soon after my coming in.
I think the presiding Grand Master was Percival L. Everett. I don't know whether any of yon ever saw him or not. He was the nicest dressed gentleman, the best behiaved gentleman that you ever saw. His clothes fitted him like a glove. I do not think I had a chance to talk to him at all. I may have been introduced to him: I presume I was at that time. I will tell you this. It struck me, and I have remembered it ever since, that he was the best dressed man I ever saw, and when he got his regalia on, he did look nice up there. I think he wore a tall hat. I do not think he wore the present Grand Master's hat or one like it. I think he wore a tall silk hat. That was the kind of a hat, you know, that I wore as Master of a Lodge, and I thought he was about right.
Then we had another gentleman; my legal friends will remember him, Charles A. Welch; and he was a man that you would like to see in the East. Upon occasions, Charles A. Welch would give you a dry joke that would set you laughing, and he did it regularly. It seemed to he a forte of his to pick up funny things and then say them in connection with his talk.
Sereno D. Nickerson came before him, and Sereno was as solemn, sober, and dignified a gentleman as you ever saw.
After Brother Welch came General Lawrence. I happened to be a Past Master of my Lodge at the time, and the first thing that I knew, upon the day of installation my old friend Nathan Kimball, "Nate Kimball" we called him, showed me a telegram from General Lawrence saying, "I have appointed Mr. Flanders District Deputy Grand Master for the 10th District." That is where Haverhill is located. 1 was in with the boys and some of you newly appointed District Deputies will understand. General Lawrence was one of that kind of men who did things, and when he started to do things you might as well sit down. They were going to be done.
That brings me to the point of another old gentleman who used to come in there. You will excuse me if I take up part of my time in telling these things. When I come to the high lights of my administration—there aren't any. (Laughter.)
There was an old gentleman who came into the Grand Lodge regularly. I saw him there, I think, the first time I came in and I saw him at every Grand Lodge meeting that, I attended after that until he passed away. Brother Lucius R. Paige. By the way, he was Deputy Grand Master of this Grand Lodge in 1852. I was two years of age when he was Deputy Grand Master of this Grand Lodge.
The Grand Lodge of Massachusetts carried out the fundamental principles of raising money and saving money for the charities of the Grand Lodge and had accumulated a fund of $50,000. When the old Winthrop House was burned here and they started in to build the Temple, they borrowed that $50,000 from the Trustees of that fund, and they did not pay it back. They had not paid it hack at that ltme, and Brother Paige used to come in there. He was an old man with long white hair. He wore one of those thick, heavy shawls over his shoulders, he would come in and walk up into the north-east corner and sit down and when opportunity offered, as it did, he would call the attention of the Grand Lodge to the fact that they had taken $50,000 of the trust fund, or charily fund of the Grand Lodge, and spent it in putting this building up. It was not enough, and they borrowed in the neighborhood of a half a million dollars more to pay for the building, and he did not know when he was going to get that $50,000 back. It came about because I have seen Brother Nickerson stand in the north-east corner — that is before he was Grand Secretarv — and move that the Grand Lodge appropriate $5,000 for the charity fund of the Grand Lodge. He did that and others did it until they had returned the $50,000 to Brother Paige and his co-trustee, and they had the $50,000 all clear, and then they commenced to build up another charity fund, and that charity fund ran up. I don't know how much there was of it, but I presume there was $150,000 or something like that when I came into office.
Brother Blake, my immediate predecessor, and I used to talk things over. We said, "We have got $150,000 and we are saving money now." Brother Holmes used to say, "We are going to save until we get a million dollars and then we are going to use it for the purpose of education." We looked forward to the time when we would build some college to educate the children of Masons. He said, "It is too bad, while we have Brother Masons who are being taken care of by their Lodges; some of them in the poor-house because they have nobody to pay their board. It is too bad that that fund should be kept there and the income of it not used in some way to help the destitute of our Fraternity."
That was our talk, and we talked it among the others, and we spread it, and finally Brother Blake came into office as Grand Master, and one of the first tilings he did. I think, was to have a committee appointed to purchase a home, or a site for one. He had a large committee who travelled up and down the Jurisdiction obtaining contributions. He did not ask for more than $5 apiece. He wanted $5 from all Masons. When they got enough and he had selected a site to buy, he had the permission of the Grand Lodge to buy it, it was the last day that he occupied the office of Most Worshipful Grand Master. I am trenching on some ground that Brother Johnson may go into later on, for Brother Johnson was Grand Marshal for Brother Blake. Brother Blake and his legal advisers and attorneys were l here. I presume Brother Johnson was there on the day of the Feast of St. John, and on the day when Mr. Flanders was to be installed as Grand Master they passed the papers for the Masonic Home at Charlton, and they paid $50,000 which Brother Blake had raised. They bought the Home the next day.
I said, "Well, Brother Blake, you have done a nice thing. You have given me a Masonic Home to run and take care of our destitute Brethren and you haven't given me a cent. I haven't got a cent to run it with." Brother Blake laughed at me and said, "Well, go out and get it, the same as I did." (Laughter.)
I am sorry my Grand Marshal is not here. I hoped he would be. If I had not expected to see him I would have sent for him and told him I was going to say something about him tonight.
I have heard from Brother Simpson, who has just retired, about the best Grand Marshal that ever was. I wondered what Brother Blake would say about his Grand Marshal and what I ought to say about my Grand Marshal. To tell you the truth about, it, when I was installed as Grand Master I was out of health. I had been out of health for two or three years, and it was a wonder to some of my friends why I undertook a job of that kind, but I presume it was because I had it thrown at me and I caught it. I appointed a Grand Marshal, and except Brother Ballard, I will agree with Brother Simpson that his Grand Marshal was the best that ever was. with all due respect to Brother Johnson. (Laughter.)
I want to tell you that Harry Ballard took me in tow. My wife told him, "Don't let him stay out nights. Don't let him eat big dinners. Don't let him do this and don't let him do that." Harry followed me and we went from Cape Cod to the Berkshires. Someone has told me that I visited one hundred seventy-five of the Lodges of this Jurisdiction, and I asked them for money to take cure of the Masonic Home. That was my theme, "Masonic Home. Masonic Home." from one evening to another. At the end of my term we had paid for a heating plant up there, which I understand they have just revised and revamped, or torn it down. I don't know but they have done that. We furnished the home, with the assistance of the Lodges and the ladies, and we opened the Home, and when I went out of office we left twelve old men in the Home, and four of them were taken out of poorhouses.
That is one of the high lights of my administration. Harry Ballard would come around to my ear and tell me it was ten o'clock, and listening to him and harking back to what Mrs. Flanders had told me, that I had to be careful and look out for myself. I would say to the Master — who usually was sitting by my side — "Well, it is my bed time and I guess, if you will let me out of here, we will get out and I will go to the hotel and go to bed. or I will go home." By the way, I had some rides from my Springfield friends, as well as down the Cape. Automobiles had not got to the perfection that they have now. We had to ride from Springfield over to Westfield and we had to ride from Scituate to Hingham to take the train to Boston one night — and they gave me a ride! I always blamed the driver down there, because I said that he waited around to see fast East he could go. It was darker than a "n*****'s pocket." He drove at — I think it was sixty miles an hour. I don't think it was less than that and I had a good idea of distance and time, because I was on a railroad at that time and knew about it. He drove me one night, and I was scared. I told Harry Ballard, "The next time we will start earlier. We won't wait until the last minute." I thought he was hanging around there in give me a good ride — and he did.
The Springfield Brethren also gave me a ride. They said there was no limit on the speed they could make there, and I thought so. I have ridden fast; I have ridden faster since that time than I did then, but those two occasions made me think that we were taking chances. We were taking our lives in our hands in riding as we did. but we did that to cover the ground, and we did cover the ground. I got in the vicinity of $80,000 for fixing the Home and getting it ready, and then, when I went out of office, I left in the treasury as a maintenance fund for the Home something like $100,000. I got that by just talking to the Brethren, as I am talking to you tonight, and saying, "We have got a Masonic Home and we have got to maintain it and carry it along."
There is one thing you will be interested in. This charity fund, we held on till it got to be more than a million dollars. We were in the Directors' room one day. General Lawrence sat there. I did not have the courage to say I wanted to tackle that charity fund. I did not want to dig into that and yet I knew that unless the Grand Lodge set an example of contributing a certain amount which went each year for the maintenance of the Home we might get short, and we would not have enough to carry us. So l spoke about it and I did not make myself entirely clear. After the meeting had adjourned, after the Directors had gotten through with their meeting, General Lawrence came around to me and he said, "What do you mean? What do you understand? What do you want about this charity fund?" I said, "Well. General, I did not think I would have a chance to tell you what I really want to tell you now. We have got a fund there, the income of which will probably go up to $9,000. What I want to do with that is to take $3,000 of it and have the Grand Lodge pro vide that for the maintenance of the home. We have got a lot of people who are being taken care of, and it is hard sledding for the Lodges to take care of them." I said, "I would like to help the Lodges. Therefore, I would like to take $3,000 and give to the Lodges as they need it. The other third, the other $3,000, I would like to see go back into the fund to increase it." The General looked at me and said, "You can have it. You make out the orders and we will put them through the Grand Lodge tomorrow," and that is what he did. That was how the division of the in come of that fund came about; one-third of it to go to the Masonic Home; one-third back into the fund, to increase it, and the other third for the assistance of Lodges that were not able to take care of themselves.
I have taken up more time than I ought to lake up, Most Worshipful, and there may be some other high lights. I want to tell you, however, that I was better In health when I got through with the Grand Mastership. I was better in my mind. We bad established the Home, and opened it and we were, I think, the twenty-first in the sisterhood of States which had a Masonic Home. We started our Home and you have continued it. It has been going ever since and it is going better today, after the last three years of Brother Simpson, that it ever was before. Now we have a hospital.
I do not want to call that one of my high lights, be cause it is not, but the establishment of the Home was the high light of my administration. I am not going to tire you all out: therefore I am going to thank him for giving me a chance to say a word to you. I am very glad to meet with you. I have been here almost every time since fifty years ago. I shall not be here fifty years longer, but I will tell you that I will come whenever I am physically able to come — and the Grand Master invites me.
DEDICATION OF THE MASONIC HOME, MAY 1911
From Proceedings, Page 1911-50:
Brethren and Friends:
We have assembled here to-day to celebrate the consummation of our ardent hopes and desires for many years; the Grand Lodge charity, for which many of our Brethren have dreamed and prayed, has become, by this official act of the Grand Lodge, a reality, and we have at last in Massachusetts a Masonic Home designed for the shelter and refuge of our unfortunate Brethren and the dependent members of their families who may be eligible to take advantage of its protection.
Homes of this character have been established in other jurisdictions, and have been satisfactorily conducted for many years, with the addition in some of them of facilities for the accommodation and education of the children of deceased Masons, and the advantages here presented will enable us in the days to come to make provision of a similar character for our orphans. I anticipate with the fullest confidence that in the years to come our Brethren will not be satisfied until they have provided not only for the elderly Brothers, their widows and dependents, but as well for the little ones, both in the nature of a home and the fitting of these children to occupy positions in the world for which their fathers would have prepared them had they been permitted to live.
I will not occupy your time in rehearsing what is patent to any one who interests himself sufficiently to read the history of these Masonic Homes and educational institutions which are conducted and paid for by the contributions of Masons, not only in this country, but in other parts of the world. The establishment of this Home to-day is the result of no recent inspiration, but has been the growth of years. It was definitely referred to as a necessity by our Most Worshipful Grand Master Lawrence in one of his addresses to the Grand Lodge. It was taken up by Grand Master Briggs, and a committee appointed to consider the matter, but, on account of his decease, nothing came of it. In the meantime another fire to which our Grand Lodge has been unfortunately subjected delayed any movement in regard to it until my immediate predecessor conceived the idea of establishing a Masonic Home regardless of the fact that the funds of the Grand Lodge were not available in sufficient amount to pay for such an establishment. Brother Blake found a response on the part of the Brethren sufficient to warrant him in referring it to the Grand Lodge for their action; and he was authorized to arrange for a committee to solicit and receive subscriptions, and, upon obtaining an amount which would pay for a property suitable for a Home, to purchase it. Dec. 29, 1908, having met the conditions and being in possession of the necessary amount, this property was bought, and aa a matter of record I present herewith figures showing approximately the receipts through the contributions of the Brethren, and the expenditures up to the present date.
- General Fund, $141,085 90
- Room Furnishing Fund, 5,300.00
- General Furnishing Fund, 638.00
- Grand Royal Arch Chapter Fund, 1,000.00
- Knights Templars Masonic Home Fund, 266.80
- TOTAL $148,290.70
- Amount Pledged: $179,127.91
- Receipts re-stated:
- Masonic Home Fund, $141,352.70
- Furnishing, 6,938.00
- TOTAL $148,290.70
- Contribution of Grand Lodge, 10,000.00
- TOTAL $158,290.70
- Cost of Home, $50,000.00
- Repairs and additions, including contracts not completed, 23,000.00
- Furnishing, 5,300.00
- TOTAL $78,300.00
- Paid Treasurer Board Education and Charity Trust , 68,082.57
- Balance in hand (after satisfying outstanding bills and contracts), 11,908 13
- TOTAL $158,290.70
The sums noted have been contributed by about one-half of our affiliated membership in the Commonwealth. In the neighborhood of thirty thousand Masons have furnished the funds to purchase and place in order for occupancy our Masonic Home. In addition to the amounts used for the payment and repairs for the Home, we have in the hands of the Board of Trustees of the Education and Charity Trust the sum of $68,082.57 in the Masonic Home Fund, which includes $10,000 contributed by the Grand Lodge.
Our efforts have been directed during the last two years to getting in touch, through the various officers of the Grand Lodge, the Musters of the Lodges, and the influential Brethren who were interested in the project, with the additional membership who had not already contributed, and I am confident that it is within the truth to say that there has not been a time when the Brethren were so enthusiastically at work as they are to-day, and that results will be attained in the near future which will enable us to accommodate a considerable number of our Brethren.
It is impossible to estimate the exact cost of operating the Home without the experience of the next few months, or perhaps years, and I am not inclined to venture a statement as to what our expenses may be. I feel assured that the income obtained by the Grand Lodge from the funds already in hand, and the additions which will be made at an early date, will enable us to conduct the Home without incurring a dollar of indebtedness, and I am also in the hope that the Board of Relief will from time to time introduce residents here after considering the many applications which are now pending. Time, and the disposition of the Brethren in reference to furnishing of the necessary means, can alone determine the number who may be taken care of, but I am so confident that we may depend upon the efforts of the Brethren that I officially declare the Home open for the reception of such of our Brethren and their dependents as are entitled to its generous shelter.
Criticism and objection there has been, and I have no doubt there may be, but it is in the hearts of the Brethren of this Commonwealth that this Home should be established, maintained, and conducted upon a truly Masonic basis and for the benefit of those of us who are deserving and need its sheltering care, and I am satisfied to wait until time shall have removed all criticism and all objection on the part of any of the Brethren as to the wisdom of the movement in this direction. The time has passed for a refusal to join with the large majority in making the Home a success, and, as I have so frequently said, it is "up to us" to provide for and maintain this grand charity of our jurisdiction so that it shall be a credit, a, glory, and a satisfaction to every Brother.
- 12/08/1909 William Whiting, Holyoke
- 12/08/1909 Esoteric, Springfield
- 09/13/1911 The Lodge of Stirling, Malden