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Location: Haydenville

Chartered By: Sereno D. Nickerson

Charter Date: 03/13/1872 1872-42

Precedence Date: 03/02/1871

Current Status: Active


  • Joel Hayden, 1872
  • Benson Munyan, 1873, 1874
  • John W. Lyman, 1875-1877
  • Elbridge D. Kingsley, 1878-1880
  • Albert C. Morton, 1881-1883; Memorial
  • Joseph Courtright, 1884, 1885
  • Wilmot L. Clark, 1886-1888; SN
  • Emil H. Miller, 1889-1891
  • Chauncey W. Fay, 1892-1894
  • William Noble, 1895-1897
  • Clarence D. Loomis, 1898
  • Samuel A. Ewing, 1900-1902
  • John W. Hill, 1903-1905
  • Thomas J. Curry, 1906-1908
  • John O. Belcher, 1909
  • Henry W. Hill, 1910, 1911
  • George E. Emrick, 1912
  • George M. Page, 1913, 1914
  • Franklin E. Main, 1915, 1916
  • Walter H. Thayer, 1917, 1918
  • Leon D. Drake, 1919, 1920
  • George E. Tennyson, 1921, 1922
  • Melvin L. Emrick, 1923
  • Howard F. Baker, 1924
  • Marcellus T. Cook, 1925
  • Hubert A. Smith, 1926
  • Charles A. Roberge, 1927, 1928
  • Robert M. Mathers, 1929
  • Cecil C. Loomis, 1930
  • Harry W. Tower, 1931; N
  • Frederick L. Smith, 1932
  • Charles N. Roberge, 1933
  • Earl F. Brewer, 1934
  • Leon B. Sanderson, 1935
  • Charles L. Jourdain, 1936
  • David P. West, 1937
  • Charles M. Damon, 1938
  • Leslie H. Packard, 1939
  • C. Hugo Stomberg, 1940
  • Robert C. Pielke, 1941
  • Warren E. McAvoy, 1942, 1943
  • Lucius A. Merritt, 1944
  • James Adam, 1945
  • George H. Hawksley, 1946
  • Victor E. Symons, 1947
  • Ledyard A. Southard, 1948; N
  • Clarence W. Holway, 1949; N
  • Walter E. Kellogg, Jr., 1950
  • Carl M. Bauer, 1951
  • Leston E. Parker, 1952
  • M. Wellington Graves, 1953
  • Amos C. Tomlin, 1954
  • George O. Conant, 1955
  • Ludolph H. Nehring, 1956
  • Ernest A. Parker, 1957
  • Robert M. Clark, 1958
  • Harold F. Russell, 1959
  • Robert G. Davidson, 1960
  • Francis H. Leamy, Sr., 1961
  • George W. May, 1962
  • Manley P. Bourne, 1963
  • Russell M. Mongeau, 1964
  • Richard C. Williams, 1965
  • Robert F. Burke, 1966
  • Lester T. Brooks, 1967
  • Robert C. Pomeroy, 1968
  • Robert H. Edwards, 1969, 1994; SN
  • Joseph A. Cybulski, 1970
  • Walter F. Southard, 1971, 1979; PDDGM
  • Stanley F. Szewczyk, 1972
  • Robert E. Stebbins, 1973
  • George J. Kall, 1974
  • Roman J. Kilmczyk, 1975
  • Theron B. Schmalz, 1976, 1977, 1991
  • George T. Brooks, 1979
  • Henry J. Warner, 1980, 1981
  • James A. Schmalz, 1982
  • Timothy M. Daley, 1983
  • Benjamin G. Hull, Jr., 1984; N
  • John L. Parrish, 1985, 1990
  • Richard S. Smith, 1986, 1987, 2002
  • Leo A. Provost, 1988; PDDGM
  • Ronald E. Wolf, 1989, 2003, 2004, 2007
  • David E. Hentz, Sr., 1992, 1993, 1995, 1996, 2005
  • James M. Brazeau, 1997
  • Kurt M. Brazeau, 1998
  • Arthur W. Wright, 1999
  • Wayne E. Brown, 2000
  • Donald F. Szewczyk, 2001
  • Mark W. Doane, 2006; PDDGM
  • David E. Hentz, Jr., 2008, 2010, 2013
  • Jason J. King, 2009
  • Erik C. Fawell, 2011
  • Fletcher A. Nehring, 2012


  • Petition for Dispensation: 1871
  • Petition for Charter: 1872


  • 1946 (75th Anniversary)
  • 1971 (Centenary)
  • 1996 (125th Anniversary; held in Goshen)



1879 1885 1891 1922 1925 1933 1938 1959 1970 1971 1974 1984 1992 1995 2010 2013


  • 1946 (75th Anniversary History, 1946-123; see below)
  • 1971 (Centenary History, 1971-201; see below)


From Proceedings, Page 1946-123:

By Worshipful Charles M. Damon.

From the records of proceedings of the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of Massachusetts, we find in 1871 that twenty-six Ancient, Free and Accepted Masons, residing in the Town of Williamsburg, County of Hampshire, and Commonwealth aforesaid, petitioned for dispensation to work under the title and designation of Hampshire Lodge. The dispensation was granted by the Grand Lodge March 2, 1871, returnable in March, 1872. By this grant of dispensation, Hampshire Lodge was instituted. The first three officers were Joel Hayden, Jr., Worshipful Master; Benson Munyan, Senior Warden; and John Wright Lyman, Junior Warden.

By a petition presented the Grand Lodge March 7, 1872, and signed by twenty-nine members —

  • William Skinner
  • Albert C. Morton
  • Chester B. Hosford
  • George Marks
  • Joseph Courtright
  • Hiram G. Hills
  • Alonzo S. King
  • Morris P. Purrington
  • Edwin H. Miller
  • John W. Woodard
  • Joel Hayden, Jr.
  • John W. Lyman
  • Edward C. Houghton
  • Esbon Sharpe
  • Robert Cartier
  • Edward I. Miller
  • Joseph Forsyth
  • Henry M. Brewster
  • Thomas M. Carter
  • Andrew Forsyth
  • Benson Munyan
  • Samuel C. Wentworth
  • Fred W. Crossley
  • Finley Z. Smith
  • John H. Strickland
  • Charles Short
  • Elbridge Kingsley
  • Warner S. Smith
Elijah H. Luce

all Ancient, Free and Accepted Masons praying that they, with all others who shall hereafter join them, may be erected and constituted into a regular Lodge of Ancient, Free and Accepted Masons, a Charter was granted March 13, 1872, giving full power and authority to convene Masons and transact all matters relating to Masonry.

Hampshire Lodge was constituted, its hall dedicated and its officers installed by Right Worshipful William J. Sawin, District Deputy Grand Master, in a Deputy Grand Lodge opened at Haydenville April 26, 1872. The lodge-rooms were located in the Hayden, Gere & Company Building in the Village of Haydenville. The only description of the apartments to be found is that given in the Grand Lodge records in a report by R. W. Brother Sawin, in part as follows: "Rich Brussells Carpeting extending through even to the stairways, the chandelier costing nearly five hundred dollars, the illuminated 'G' suspended in the blazing star." No other description is given, but undoubtedly all other furnishings corresponded favorably to complete the setting for the birthplace of Hampshire Lodge. In the same report it is noted that these magnificent apartments were erected and furnished mostly through the munificence of two leading manufacturers of the town.

There is no mention made as to whom these men were, but it would be natural to assume that the first was Joel Hayden, Jr., a partner in the Hayden, Gere Co., and who was our first Master. The second, we are lead to believe, was William Skinner, a Charter Member of Hampshire Lodge and owner of the Skinner Mills located in the small community of Skinnerville on Mill River, about midway between the Villages of Haydenville and Williamsburg. All of the Skinner Mill buildings, machinery and manufactured products on hand were lost in the Mill River Flood of May, 1874, and Brother Skinner moved to Holyoke.

We note in the records of Hampshire Lodge, July 7, 1881, receipt of a check for $300.00 from Brother William Skinner, as a gift to Hampshire Lodge. Brother Skinner was at that time a prosperous manufacturer in the City of Holyoke. From the continued interest of this Brother in the welfare of Hampshire Lodge, we may well assume that he was one of the two mentioned as leading manufacturers of the town and contributors in the furnishing of the first apartments of the Lodge.

Due to the disaster caused by the Mill River Flood May 16, 1874, little is known of the transactions of Hampshire Lodge during the first three years of its existence. On that date a dam located in the northerly part of Williamsburg, on the east branch of Mill River, broke away, allowing a vast amount of water to rush down the valley carrying everything before it, which lay in its path. The Hayden, Gere & Co. Building was destroyed and the lodge-rooms, with all their furnishings, were swept away. The following articles were later recovered: the Charter, picked up four miles away, stripped of its seal; the Tyler's sword; Letter "G"; Master's apron and jewel; Tyler's jewel and Lodge seal. We find stated in the Secretary's records of June 4, 1874, the next regular communication, as follows: "Our Lodge rooms, furniture, fixtures, regalia, all records and books were destroyed in the great flood of May 16." At that meeting the reading of the minutes of the previous regular and special communications was omitted on account of the loss of the Secretary's records.

The Grand Lodge records of 1882, eight years later, give a report of the Grand Master's visit to Hampshire Lodge under date of May 9th, and addressing the Lodge on "Commutation." The Grand Master reported that all property of the Lodge except the records, which fortunately happened to be in the home of the Secretary, was swept away. Apparently there was some confusion in regard to the records. We have the Treasurer's recorded accounts dating from April 20, 1871, which appear to be original. The Secretary's records of communications begin with June 4, 1874, the date of the first meeting following the flood.

Hampshire Lodge continued to meet. The regular communications of June 4, July 2 and August 6 were held at the hall of the Haydenville House. At these meetings matters of emergency only were attended to. Reorganization, relief of the distressed, acknowledgements of letters of sympathy and of financial relief from other Lodges were made and recorded. A new seal was obtained from the Grand Lodge for the Charter. A committee was appointed to gather all information on the losses of the Lodge and of members and families in order that a detailed account of the same might be forwarded to the Secretary of St. Andrew's Lodge of Boston, as requested by said Lodge.

Recorded in the Extracts of Proceedings of the Grand Lodge the following account of the losses due to the flood of May 16, 1874, may be found. "The Mill River Flood took 142 lives and property valued at $2,000,000.00 in the villages of Williamsburg and Haydenville. Bro. Jerome Hillman lost his wife; Bro. Derby Kinglsey lost his wife and two children; and fourteen Brethren were stripped of their property. All families were saved except those of Bros. Hillman and Kingsley."

A relief committee was appointed to distribute funds received for the aid of the Brethren who lost by the flood. Contributions for immediate relief of the distressed as recorded were received as follows:

  • St. Andrew's Lodge of Boston, $1,000.00
  • Mountain Lodge of Shelburne Falls, 100.00
  • Lafayette Lodge of No. Adams (by collection) 59.50
  • Washington Lodge of Windsor, Conn. 25.00
  • Ionic Lodge of Easthampton 31.50

  • Morning Sun Lodge of Conway (amount not stated)

Jerusalem Lodge of Northampton, some of whose members suffered losses by the flood, offered the use of their lodge-rooms, regalia and furnishings, but same was respectfully declined.

The Treasurer's records show receipts under date of December 9, 1875, as follows: from Grand Lodge, $500; Hampden Lodge, $100; Belcher Lodge, $35.00; Huntington Lodge, $25.00. These amounts were apparently held by the Treasurer to offset the cost of new furniture and fixtures for the lodge-rooms.

On motion of Right Worshipful Brother William J. Sawin, at Grand Lodge, the dues of Hampshire Lodge for the year ending August 31, 1874, amounting to about $80.00, were remitted in consequence of the severe loss suffered by the Lodge in the Mill River disaster.

A committee was appointed to make arrangements for temporary quarters for communications until a permanent location could be obtained. These were obtained, through the generosity of the ladies of the Congregational Society, in the vestry of the Haydenville Church. They consisted of a large room used as a hall, two small rooms, one used as a preparation, and the other as an anteroom; also a kitchen and necessary closets. The rooms were furnished and jewels and regalia were obtained through the kindness of Right Worshipful Brother Knox of Worcester and the Brethren of Jerusalem Lodge at Northampton. In these comfortable apartments, Hampshire Lodge held regular and special communications and continued to function as usual.

However, anxiety grew as time went on for lodge-rooms of their own. On May 6, 1875, a committee was appointed to contact Cyrus Miller & Son in regard to a building for Masonic lodge-rooms and to inquire what rent other Lodges were paying for apartments. On September 2, it was voted to pay the Ladies Society $50 for the use of rooms for the past year. At a special communication for private installation of officers, this committee reported a proposition offered by Cyrus Miller — to give the use of his hall free for six months and then rent at $150 per year; Mr. Miller would fit up the hall except painting. This proposition was refused, and a vote taken to offer Mr. Miller $100 a year for ten years. The vote resulted in a tie and the matter was laid on the table tor further consideration.

On December 2, 1875, it was voted to hire the rooms of Cyrus Miller for five years at $135 per year, with the privilege of five additional years at $65, provided they were fitted up and furnished according to plan adopted by the Lodge, to the acceptance of a committee appointed by the Worshipful Master. On January 6, 1876, a committee of three was appointed to purchase furniture and the Lodge voted to pay a bill of $127.60 for a new carpet.

The regular meeting of March 3 was held in the new hall, so-called, which was the one now occupied by the Lodge. It was voted to dedicate the new hall, to invite Jerusalem and Ionic Lodges to attend and to hire an organ, with a man to play it for the occasion. It was voted to pay the balance due the Ladies Society, namely: $25.00, for rent of the church parlors.

The new hall was dedicated March 9, 1876, by R. W. John E. Shipman, District Deputy Grand Master, Jerusalem and Ionic Lodges being present. Refreshments were served at the Hotel of Loomis & Son.

A new set of jewels was presented the Lodge by R. W. Brother Sutton. Reference is made to this gift in a report of the Grand Master at a quarterly meeting of Grand Lodge in 1882, as follows: "The Jewels now used by Hampshire Lodge were the gift of our late Bro. R. W. William Sutton, and the Brethren retain a grateful sense of the sympathy and generosity so liberally extended to them by the Fraternity in their time of trouble.

At the February meeting of 1877, it was voted to procure a picture of R.W. Brother Sutton to hang in the lodge-room and at the March meeting the committee on resolutions presented the portrait of General Sutton, forwarded by R.W. Brother Titus, Grand Secretary, to the Lodge. From this action came the practice of hanging the portraits of Past Masters on the lodge-room walls. On June 2, 1881, it was voted that Past Masters be requested to present the Lodge with their portraits — the Lodge to pay one-half the cost. This practice was apparently followed, in part at least, until about 1920.

These new apartments occupied the whole upper floor of the building and consisted of a lodge-room, preparation and anterooms, and a reception parlor. Light was furnished from oil lamps and the rooms were heated by wood stoves. Refreshments were usually served in the reception parlor. When a large attendance was expected, or on special occasions, the Brethren partook of refreshments served by the Ladies Society at the church parlors, or repaired to the Haydenville House, where supper was served by Byron Loomis.

Apparently many enjoyable meetings were held in these cozy apartments. The membership increased quite rapidly from about forty in 1874 to about eighty-five in 1888. There was the usual number of demits requested and in most cases, granted. The payment of dues appeared to be more important at that time than in later years. Suspensions of delinquent members were voted without hesitation, and in a few cases, we find them voted back into membership at the next regular meeting, on payment of dues in full. It is interesting to note that the initiation fee varied only slightly from that of the present time and the dues were but one-third of the amount of the present ones.

After the ten year lease of the lodge-rooms at $135 per year for the first five years and at $65 per year for the second five had expired, we find no recorded complaint in the minutes of communications of the $220 per year rent which is recorded in the Treasurer's accounts, as paid thereafter. But due to this raise in the rent, action was soon started to obtain other apartments. As a result of this action, the building was purchased about four years later for $2300. At the special communication of November 20, 1890, the officers of Hampshire Lodge were installed by Worshipful Brother Munyan. After the work of installation was completed, Worshipful Brother Munyan took pleasure in notifying the Worshipful Master, Brother Emil H. Miller, that the committee of ten appointed for the purchase of the building had fulfilled their duty and that the Lodge for the first time was meeting under its own roof.

The first floor of the building was rented to proprietors of the village store. The income from this source aided materially in paying off of the Lodge debt. On November 1, 1900, it was voted to make the last payment on the building, amounting to $150.00 plus interest. After being relieved of payments on the building, the rooms were redecorated and new carpets were purchased. A new Letter "G" was procured to hang in the East. The inside of the store on the first floor was painted and during April, 1903, the lodge-rooms were wired for electricity. In 1905 the building was painted, and in 1906, was supplied with running water from the town's new water system. In 1908, a new set of officers' collars was purchased. During the summer of 1909, a new safe was obtained. A United States Flag was purchased for the lodge-rooms in 1921. The roof of the building was slated, the building painted and a steam heating plant was installed and new officers' aprons were purchased during the same year. In order to finance all of these improvements, the Lodge again went into debt on short term notes, with the Haydenville Savings Bank. On June 3,1920, it was voted to change the By-Laws increasing the fees for degrees by $5.00 and the dues by 100%. In 1927, it was again voted to increase the fees for degrees, and in 1930, Lodge dues were raised to the present day amount. In 1940, the Lodge paid off its last debt.

In 1917, the renting of the first floor was discontinued. These rooms were renovated, refinished, and used for reception purposes. In 1920, the Masonic Club, later known as the Hampshire Club, was formed. The reception rooms were furnished and with a small room made into a kitchen, were used both by the Club and the Lodge, for entertainments, reception and refreshments. In 1921 both the lodge-rooms and reception rooms were rented to the Order of Eastern Star for part time use.

The membership of the Lodge between 1888 and 1919, a period of about thirty years, varied but little, averaging about eighty. In 1920, a gain of 39 members was made and continued to increase to a total of 139 members in 1928. During the depression years of 1934 to 1939, the membership dropped to 103. The present membership of Hampshire Lodge is 122. The Lodge has experienced the usual percentage of demits and suspensions. Only one member has been discharged and there have been no Masonic trials.

The Lodge has had three representatives to the Grand Lodge.

Right Worshipful Brother Albert C. Morton, in 1899, and Right Worshipful Brother Wilmot L. Clark, in 1900, served as District Deputy Grand Masters for the Thirteenth Masonic District, which included Morning Sun Lodge at Conway, Mechanic's at Turners Falls, Bay State at Montague, Hampshire at Haydenville, Jerusalem at Northampton, Republican at Greenfield, Orange at Orange, Mountain at Shelburne Falls, Harmony at Northfield and Pacific at Amherst.

Each year a Lodge of Instruction was held by the District Deputy Grand Master at some one Lodge in the District. At these meetings, later known as exemplifications, the various Lodges took part in exemplifying the Ritual.

During about 1914, the Districts were reorganized and Hampshire Lodge was included in the Holyoke 17th Masonic District with five others — Pacific at Amherst, Jerusalem at Northampton, Ionic at Easthampton, Mount Holyoke at South Hadley andMount Tom at Holyoke.

Right Worshipful Harry W. Tower served the 17th Masonic District as Deputy Grand Master during 1941 and 1942, with a full corps of District Deputy Grand Officers selected from the Lodge. Worshipful Brother Robert C. Pielke served as Marshal; Worshipful Brother David P. West as Treasurer and Worshipful Brother Frederick L. Smith as Secretary.

Hampshire Lodge has three living members holding the fifty year medal — Brother Oscar H. Emerick, in 1937; Brother Edward A. Currier, in September, 1938; and Worshipful Brother William Noble, December, 1938.

Considering the transportation facilities of the early period, the officers and members traveled on fraternal and special visitations quite extensively. Some of the special celebrations attended were as follows: Dedication of the new hall of Jerusalem Lodge; taking part in the laying of the corner stone of the new Court House at Northampton, Hampshire County; Centennial Celebration of Republican Lodge; dedication of new Lodge-rooms, Republican Lodge at Greenfield; dedication of new Masonic Temple, Jerusalem Lodge; Centennial Celebration of Pacific Lodge; Centennial of Mountain Lodge at Shelburne Falls; and attending a clam bake of Jerusalem Lodge at Meadow Park. All of these travels took place during the so-called horse and buggy days. It may also be noted that Brother Tanner, in 1907, gave a very interesting account in open Lodge of his visit to a Lodge in London, and in 1910, Brother William Cordes gave an account of his travels through the western states. For entertainments and social gatherings at home, the Lodge has held

card parties, smokers, annual sugar eats and kraut suppers, also pool and checker tournaments. During recent years, the Lodge has put on a strawberry festival during the month of June on the date of the annual meeting of the Lodge of Instruction. A few matters of special interest to members of Hampshire Lodge are — the adoption of the practice in 1920 of omitting regular communications for the months of July and August; annual church service attendance, originated by Rev. Brother Robert H. Life in 1922; winning of the attendance banner at the outing of the 17th Masonic District, September 12, 1925; institution of the first Lodge of Instruction of the Holyoke 17th Masonic District in October 1928; changing the date of the annual meeting of the Lodge from November to September in 1929, to conform to the Grand Lodge fiscal year; the holding of the first annual roll call meeting January, 1937; and vote of the Lodge in November, 1943, to purchase and present Past Master's Jewels to all Past Masters, instigated by our present Worshipful Master, Brother George H. Hawksley.

Hampshire Lodge has had two members as residents at the Masonic Home in Charlton — Brother Jacob D. Staab and Brother Wellington I. Thayer. During their stay and on several occasions since that time, regular visits have been made to the Home by members of the Lodge.

In the earlier days, the Lodge contributed to the relief of the distressed by furnishing necessities of life. The records show that various members or their families were aided by the Lodge in the delivery of a barrel of flour, five dollars worth of beef, a cord of wood, a ton of coal, payment of house rent, and in one instance, the furnishing of a man nurse for a member seriously ill. Other contributions of relief to the Craft were forwarded to more distant localities — to the sufferers in the Johnstown, Pennsylvania, Flood and the San Francisco Earthquake, to the Chelsea Masonic Relief Fund and the Grand Lodge Rainy Day Fund.

Looking back over these seventy-five years of toil, tribulation and rejoicing, we find two dark periods in the history of Hampshire Lodge. The first occurred near the end of the thirty year period when membership remained at practically a halt.

The lack of new members, discontinuance of the renting of the first floor of the building, and consequently a serious decrease in revenue, resulted in the question being raised as to the advisability of changing the location of Hampshire Lodge to Northampton. This matter was brought up at the annual meeting of November 7, 1918, and a committee appointed to investigate. On December 5, 1919, the matter was discussed and the committee was granted more time for investigation. On February 6th, the committee reported, the report was accepted and the committee discharged. There was no record made of the discussion and no action was taken. In 1920, a sudden change took place. The membership increased by leaps and bounds, and the Lodge interest was revived.

The second covered the period of 1934 to 1937. Loss by death, demit and suspension, together with the lack of new members, had ^gain caused the officers and members considerable anxiety. The financial condition of the Lodge not only troubled the officers and members, but was such as to be of vital concern to the Grand Lodge, and we feared the loss of our charter. Through the kind, yet firm advice of our late Brother, R.W. Frederick W. Hamilton, Grand Secretary, and R.W. Brother David Glassford, District Deputy Grand Master for the 17th Masonic District, the Lodge took the necessary drastic action and our previous hidden difficulties were brought to light.

Since that time, Hampshire Lodge has again prospered. The sincerity and efficiency of its officers is beyond reproach and Lodge interest has been restored. And so it seems quite fitting at this time that we observe this, our first anniversary celebration. And continuing in the practice of those truly Masonic virtues — Faith, Hope and Charity — Hampshire Lodge looks to the future with confidence of continued progress.


From Proceedings, Page 1971-201:

By Right Worshipful Ledyard A. Southard.

To commemorate this centennial observance of Hampshire Lodge it seems fitting to consider our beginnings and perhaps assess briefly our role as an institution in the society of the future.

By dispensation of the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of Massachusetts, M. W. William Sewall Gardner, Grand Master, Hampshire Lodge was instituted on March 2, 1871.

A charter was granted March 13, 1872 and signed by M. W. Sereno D. Nickerson, Grand Master, in consequence of a petition presented to the Grand Lodge signed by:

  • Henry M. Brewster
  • Thomas M. Carter
  • Robert Cartier
  • Fred M. Crossley
  • Joseph Courtright
  • Andrew Forsyth
  • Joseph Forsyth
  • Joel Hayden, Jr.
  • Hiram G. Hills
  • Edward C. Houghton
  • Chester C. Hosford
  • Alonzo S. King
  • Elbridge Kingsley
  • Elijah H. Luce
  • George Marks
  • Edwin H. Miller
  • Edward I. Miller
  • Albert C. Morton
  • Benson Munyan
  • Morris P. Purrington
  • Esbon Sharpe
  • Charles Short
  • William Skinner
  • Finley L. Smith
  • Warner S. Smith
  • John H. Strickland
  • Samuel C. Wentworth
  • John W. Woodard
  • John W. Lyman

all Ancient Free and Accepted Masons as charter members. Hampshire Lodge was constituted, its hall dedicated and its officers installed by R. W. William J. Sawin, D. D. G. M., on April 26, 1872. The first three officers were Joel Hayden, Jr., Worshipful Master; Benson Munyan, Senior Warden; and John W. Lyman, Junior Warden.

The Lodge rooms were located in the Hayden, Gere & Company building in the village of Haydenville. The apartments were erected and furnished largely through the generosity of the town's two leading manufacturers. Who these two men were is not recorded, but it is generally assumed that they were Bros. Joel Hayden, Jr. and William Skinner both charter members of the Lodge.

Regular communications were held on the first Thursday of each month. The Lodge prospered and increased its membership to about forty, when it met with disaster in the Mill River Flood of May 16, 1874, "losing all its fixtures, furnishings, regalia, records and books". (1874 Mass. 39-42) As a consequence little is known of the transactions of the Lodge during the first three years of its existence. The charter, stripped of its Seal, was found four miles away. The Tyler's Sword, and the Lodge Seal were also recovered. The Lodge, nevertheless continued to meet. The earliest record extant states that the Communication of June 4, 1874 was held in the upper hall of the Haydenville House with the following officers present: Benson Munyan, Master; John Lyman, Senior Warden; Joseph Courtright, Junior Warden; Chester C. Hosford, Treasurer; Warner S. Smith, Secretary; Marcus M. Fisk, Senior Deacon, Pro Tern; Robert Cartier, Junior Deacon; Elbridge Kingsley, Senior Steward, Pro Tern; George Marks, Chaplain; Albert C. Morton, Marshal; Elijah H. Luce, Tyler; George F. Smith, Inside Sentinel.

The minutes of that meeting record the fact that all the Lodge property had been lost in the flood. At the same time a relief committee was appointed by the Master consisting of Bros. Thomas M. Carter, Elijah H. Luce and Chester C. Hosford who were "to receive and disburse all funds received for the brethren who lost by the flood." By vote of the Lodge the Master was added to this committee. It was also voted to have the Master appoint a committee "to draw up a vote of thanks and send a copy of the same to each Lodge and Brother who assisted in our relief."

The Regular Communications of July 2 and August 6, 1874 were also held in the upper hall of the Haydenville House. The apartments known as the "Upper Hall" were furnished and Jewels and Regalia were obtained through the kindness of R. W. Brother Knox of Worcester and the Brethren of Jerusalem Lodge of Northampton. The next Regular Communication of the Lodge was held on September 3, 1874 in the vestry of the Haydenville Congregational Church. Subsequently, the Master's Apron and Jewel, the Tyler's Jewel and the Letter G were recovered.

On December 2, 1875, it was voted to hire from Cyrus Miller the upper rooms of the present Lodge building for a period of ten years. The rooms were furnished by the Lodge and the Jewels were presented by R. W. William Sutton. The first meeting was held in the new Lodge rooms on March 3, 1876 and the apartment was formally dedicated about a week later on March 9, 1876 by R. W. John E. Shipman, District Deputy Grand Master.

Hampshire Lodge, like all institutions, has had its good times and bad. In 1888, the membership had increased to about eighty-five, but was down to seventy-five by November 7, 1919. The records of November 7, 1918 show that a committee was appointed to investigate the feasibility of "changing the location of the Lodge to Northampton." Apparently the report was unfavorable although no record of the committee's report or any discussion thereon was made. The end of World War I soon changed the picture. In 1920 a gain of thirty-nine members was made, a record which has never been equalled. By 1928 the membership had increased to one hundred and thirty-nine. The Great Depression was no stranger to Hampshire Lodge.

Economic conditions contributed to an annual loss in membership so that by 1939 the membership was reduced to one hundred and three. Public suppers, sugar eats and card parties enabled the Lodge to survive. Since 1939 the Lodge has continued to prosper reaching a high of one hundred and ninety-seven members in 1963. Since then the membership has averaged just under two hundred.

In November, 1890, the Lodge purchased the building in which its apartments were located and continued to rent the first floor to the proprietors of the village store until April, 1917. In 1920, the Masonic Club, later known as the Hampshire Club was formed. The rooms on the first floor were furnished and used by both the Club and the Lodge for refreshment and entertainment. The following year a heating plant was installed and on May 5, 1921 the use of the building was given to Joel Hayden Chapter, O. E. S. By a vote in 1927, the Club was taken over by the Lodge and thirteen years later it had paid off its capital indebtedness.

A few matters of special interest to members of the Lodge are: the adoption in 1920 of omitting regular communications in July and August; annual Church service attendance, originated by Rev. Brother Robert H. Life in 1922; winning attendance banner at the outing of the 17th Masonic District on September 12, 1925; institution of the first Lodge of Instruction for the Holyoke District in October 1928; the presenting of Past Masters' Jewels in 1943 and winning first prize for its float in the Town of Williamsburg's 175th Anniversary Parade in 1946.

In 1947 a group of teachers chiefly from Northampton High School and Smith Agricultural School formed the Pedagogues Square Club of Hampshire Lodge and worked its first candidate February 20, 1947. Over the years teachers in various Lodges of the 17th District were raised to the sublime degree of Master Mason. On November 23, 1948 the Club worked the third degree in Townshend, Vermont.

Another group of active Lodge members is found in Florence Congregational Church. At one time there were about twenty Past Masters who were its communicants. From this number it was always an easy matter to form a team to work the third degree. Sometimes even an occasional minister was raised.

Hampshire Lodge has been honored by the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts on six separate occasions: R. W. Albert C. Morton in 1899 and R. W. Wilmot L. Clark in 1900 who served as District Deputy Grand Master for the Tenth Masonic District which included Morning Sun Lodge at Conway; Mechanics Lodge at Turners Falls; Bay State Lodge at Montague; Hampshire Lodge at Haydenville; Jerusalem Lodge at Northampton; Republican Lodge at Greenfield; Orange Lodge at Orange; Mountain Lodge at Shelburne Falls; Harmony Lodge at North-field and Pacific Lodge at Amherst. (This is almost certainly incorrect: the lodge was in the Greenfield 13th Masonic District from 1883.)

In 1914 Hampshire Lodge was included in the Holyoke 17th Masonic District, together with Jerusalem Lodge at Northampton; Pacific Lodge at Amherst; Ionic Lodge at Easthampton; Mount Holyoke Lodge at South Hadley Falls; Mount Tom Lodge at Holyoke and more recently, William Whiting Lodge at Holyoke was added to the district. Four Past Masters have served the 17th District as District Deputy Grand Master: R.W. Harry W. Tower in 1941 and 1942; R. W. Ledyard A. Southard in 1953 and 1954; R. W. Clarence W. Holway in 1963 and 1964 and the present District Deputy Grand Master, R. W. Robert H. Edwards. In 1941 and 1942 an Honorary Member, Very Worshipful and Reverend Sylvester P. Robertson served the Grand Lodge of the State of Washington as District Deputy Grand Master.

Other Masonic honors have come to the Lodge and its members. On October 3, 1963, R. W. Harry W. Tower was the recipient of the Joseph Warren Medal for long and distinguished service. Three of the Past Masters are holders of the York Cross of Honor: R.W. Ledyard A. Southard, 1955; R.W. Clarence W. Holway, 1955 and Wor. George W. May, 1971. The Lodge has also furnished Masters for the 16th Lodge of Instruction: R.W. Ledyard A. Southard, 1947, 1948; Wor. Ernest A. Parker, 1956, 1957; Wor. Harold F. Russell, 961, 1962.

R.W. Robert H. Edwards is at present serving as Senior Warden and Wor. Robert C. Pomeroy as Chaplain. Since 1946 eleven Past Masters of the Lodge have served as High Priests, Illustrious Masters and Commanders of the Chapter, Council and Commandery, while many others have served these bodies in various capacities. R.W. Ledyard A. Southard is a Past Grand Scribe of the Grand Royal Arch Chapter of Massachusetts, a Past Grand Principal Conductor of the Work of the Grand Council, Royal and Select Masters and the holder of the Benjamin Hurd Medal for meritorious service to Capitular Masonry. Hampshire Lodge is proud to have four sixty-year members and seven fifty-year members: Wor. Marcellus T. Cook, 67 years; V.W. Sylvester P. Robertson, 64 years; Bro. William W. Samson, 62 years; Wor. Melvin L. Emrick, 60 years; Wor. C. Hugo Stomberg, 52 years; Bro. Harry W. Warner, 51 years; Bro. C. Frederick Dyer, 51 years; Wor. Frederick L. Smith, Wor. Robert M. Mathers, Bros. Harold S. Smiley and Clinton W. Fitch, 50 years.

The Lodge is especially proud of its contribution to the Masonic Blood Bank Program. Under the capable and dedicated leadership of Wor. Francis H. Leamy, Sr., the Lodge (with the assistance of certain wives and friends) has contributed 529 pints of blood to date. From 1962 to 1970 inclusive, it has exceeded its quota. There is one five-gallon donor, Wor. Richard C. Williams; four four-gallon donors, R.W. Robert H. Edwards, Wor. Joseph Cybulski and Bros. Gabriel Mongeau and Allerton H. Smith; two three-gallon donors, R.W. Harry W. Tower and Bro. Carl Damon; four two-gallon donors, Wor. Robert Burke and Bros. Raymond Ford, Harry Nelson and Robert Newell and six one-gallon donors, Wor. Lester T. Brooks and Bros. Albert Adams, Alexander Gutowski, William Start, Stanley Szewczyk and Wor. Russell M. Mongeau, now deceased.

These are some of the highlights of our first one hundred years as a Lodge. In these times in which the traditional institutions of the family, the Church, the Puritan ethic of work, frugality and chastity are being seriously challenged by a different ethic and a new morality, it is to be wondered whether an institution such as Masonry will continue to occupy its position in the social structure. Let us continue to hope that an institution founded on the principles of friendship, morality, and brotherly love will be needed by all societies in all seasons and will continue to prosper till time shall be no more.




1871: District 10 (Springfield)

1883: District 13 (Greenfield)

1911: District 14 (Greenfield)

1927: District 17 (Holyoke)

2003: District 27


Massachusetts Lodges