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Location: Taunton

Chartered By: Josiah Bartlett

Charter Date: 06/12/1798 II-130

Precedence Date: 06/12/1798

Current Status: Active



From Vocal Companion and Masonic Register, Boston, 1802, Part II, Page 30:

  • R. W. John W. Smith, M.
  • W. William Seaver, S. W.
  • W. Foster Swift, J. W.
  • Jonathan Ingell, Jr., Tr.
  • James Hodges, Sec.
  • David Vickery, S. D.
  • William Carver, J. D.
  • Thomas Weatherby, Steward.
  • Seth Johnson, Steward.
  • William Davis, Tiler.
  • Hilliard Earl
  • Isaac Shaw


From New England Craftsman, Vol. I, No. 2, November 1905, Page 64:

We have received from Rt. Wor. Brother George H. Rhodes of Taunton, Mass. a very neatly printed book giving biographical sketches of the Past Masters of King David Lodge, from its organization in 1798 to 1866, when Alfred Baylies Lodge was organized. The book also gives portraits of many of the masters mentioned.

Rt. Wor. Brother Rhodes deserves the thanks of his associates for his work in perpetuating the memory of those who in the past have upheld the interests of freemasonry in Taunton. We hope that he may conclude to extend his work so it shall include the four lodges which are now established in Taunton.

Note: Most of the biographies and pictures of early Masters of this lodge are taken from that booklet, available in the Library at our Grand Lodge.


  • Seth Padelford, 1798, 1799; Mem
  • John Wilson Smith, 1800; Mem
  • William Seaver, 1801, 1802, 1803; Mem
  • Foster Swift, 1803, 1804; Mem
  • Seth Johnson, 1806; Mem
  • Hillard Earle, 1807-1809; Mem
  • Simeon Tisdale Carver, 1810; Mem
  • Gilbert Everett, 1811; Mem
  • James Crossman, 1812-1814; Mem
  • Thomas W. Turpin Bicknell, 1815; Mem
  • Seth Presbrey, Jr., 1816, 1817; Mem
  • John Presbrey, Jr., 1818-1820; Mem
  • Thomas Clark Brown, 1821, 1822, 1828, 1848; Mem
  • James Williams Crossman, 1823, 1846, 1847; Mem
  • Samuel Caswell, Jr., 1824; Mem
  • John Baylies, 1825; Mem
  • William Ware Crossman, 1826, 1827; Mem
  • James Thurber, 1830, 1831; Mem
  • John Howard, 1832-1845; Mem
  • James Mann Cook, 1849-1852; SN
  • William Cox, 1853-1855; Mem
  • William Moulton Parks, 1856-1858, 1864; Mem
  • Edward Mott, 1859-1861; Mem
  • Jeremiah Jones Whitmarsh, 1862, 1863; Mem
  • John Edward Browne, 1865, 1866; Mem
  • Charles Henry Titus, 1867
  • Charles Frederick Johnson, 1868-1870
  • Charles Andrew Reed, 1871
  • William Edward Wilcox, 1872, 1873
  • Alfred Baylies Hodges, 1874
  • Henry Newton Hopkins, 1875, 1876
  • Abner Coleman, 1877, 1878
  • George Frederick Soule, 1879
  • Lorenzo Luce, 1880
  • Marcus Almon Dary, 1881
  • James Alfred Messinger, 1882, 1883; Mem
  • Isaac Dean Paull, 1884, 1885
  • Daniel Lampson Brownell, 1886, 1887
  • George Bryant Warren, 1888
  • Edward H. Temple, 1889-1891; SN
  • James P. Williams, 1892, 1893
  • Henry D. Atwell, 1894
  • Walter T. Soper, 1895, 1896
  • Albert E. Robinson, 1897, 1898
  • Shubael F. Hammett, 1899, 1900
  • Edwin N. Clark, 1901
  • Nathan P. Shedd, 1902
  • John H. Eldridge, 1903
  • William M. Dean, 1904
  • Charles F. Foster, 1905
  • Frank P. Lincoln, 1906
  • William E. Pratt, 1907
  • James C. Brown, 1908
  • Willard W. Morse, 1909
  • Eugene H. Brownell, 1910
  • George A. Bosworth, 1911
  • Lewis E. Higgins, 1912
  • James D. Donaldson, 1913
  • Levi L. Wetherbee, 1914
  • Ralph D. Dean, 1915
  • Edward W. Burt, 1916, 1917; N
  • Clifford H. Macomber, 1918
  • Stephen W. Pollard, 1919
  • Charles H. Walker, 1920
  • Arthur S. Sartoris, 1921
  • Lucius T. Cushman, 1922
  • Arthur R. Knox, 1923
  • Louis T. Wood, 1924
  • Henry W. Atkins, 1925
  • Ralph L. Witherell, 1926
  • Harrie W. Forbes, 1927
  • Clarence W. Boyden, 1928
  • Francis C. Sartoris, 1929
  • Charles S. Cowin, 1930
  • Robert W. MacGlashing, 1931; N
  • Stetson W. McKenney, 1932; N
  • Oscar C. Hall, 1933
  • Charles N. Hackett, 1934; N
  • Earle A. Hopkins, 1935
  • Carleton B. Henry, 1936; N
  • David A. MacAdam, 1937
  • George Cleathero, 1938
  • Robert W. Williams, Jr., 1939
  • William H. Stevenson, 1940
  • Kenneth A. Terwilliger, 1941
  • A. Milton French, 1942
  • George F. Riley, 1943
  • Kenneth F. Richardson, 1944
  • Myron T. Briggs, 1945
  • Robert W. Williams, III, 1946, 1998; Bio/Mem
  • Lynton L. Drinkwater, 1947
  • Donald H. Campbell, 1948
  • Albert C. Pero, 1949
  • Thomas Hughes, Jr., 1950
  • William F. Gay, 1951
  • Stuart E. Cushman, 1952
  • Stanley D. Briggs, 1953
  • Robert F. King, Jr., 1954
  • William E. Baker, Jr., 1955
  • G. William Hurst, 1956
  • William F. Gimpel, 1957
  • Neil S. Sweet, 1958
  • Gerald M. DeCosta, 1959, 1973
  • Richard W. Boyden, 1960
  • Gilbert Wrigley, 1961, 1974
  • James T. McAloney, Jr., 1962
  • Alfred R. Nason, 1963, 1975
  • David W. Harrison, 1964
  • Raymond W. Crane, 1965
  • John G. Loja, Jr., 1966
  • Richard W. Davidson, 1967
  • Toon W. Wong, 1968
  • Sumner T. Varnum, 1969
  • Stanley Young, 1970
  • Roland E. Gooch, 1971, 1972
  • Albert C. Watson, 1976, 1985, 1995
  • Jeffrey J. Jackson, 1977, 1980, 1996
  • Norman R. Gwilliam, 1978
  • Herbert A. Anderson, 1979
  • Emile J. Rouleau, Jr., 1981
  • William R. Epp, Jr., 1982
  • Charles E. Rouleau, 1983
  • Neil S. Sweet, 1984
  • Lawrence J. Ducharme, 1986
  • Richard H. Williams, 1987, 1989
  • Andrew G. Forbes, 1988, 1991
  • George F. Sylvia, Jr., 1990
  • Gerald R. Blanchard, 1992, 1993
  • Keith A. Rogers, 1994
  • Charles E. Rouleau, Jr., 1997
  • John M. Martin, 1999, 2000
  • Michael J. Douglas, 2001, 2002
  • Joseph S. Mozzone, 2003, 2004
  • John W. Ruggles, II, 2005, 2006
  • Jonathan Siskind, 2007-2011
  • Christon J. Riendieau, 2012
  • S. Joshua Pack, 2013, 2014
  • Michael R. Durocher, 2015, 2016 DDGM
  • Amaro Cabral, 2017



  • 1898 (Centenary)
  • 1923 (125th Anniversary)
  • 1948 (150th Anniversary)
  • 1973 (175th Anniversary)
  • 1998 (200th Anniversary)



1869 1870 1875 1883 1886 1897 1901 1902 1905 1911 1913 1914 1920 1921 1928 1933 1937 1940 1945 1954 1959 1962 1972 1980 1985 1990 1993 1997 1998 2004 2012 2014


  • 1923 (125th Anniversary History, 1923-129; see below)
  • 1948 (150th Anniversary History, 1948-103; see below)
  • 1973 (175th Anniversary History, 1973-133; see below)
  • 1998 (200th Anniversary History, 1998-82; see below)


From Proceedings, Page 1923-129:

One hundred and twenty-five years ago, on June 12, 1798, a Charter was granted the Masons of Taunton for an organization under the name of King David Lodge. The names of the Charter members were as follows:

  • Seth Padelford
  • William Seavey
  • Abiathar Ingell
  • Nathaniel Terry
  • Samuel Crocker
  • Philip Padelford
  • William Carver
  • Samuel Wilde, Jr.
  • James Sproat
  • Enos Williams
  • William A. Crocker
  • Benjamin Harris
  • John W. Smith
  • David Vickery
  • Apollos B. Leonard
  • Thomas Weatherby
  • Daniel Crossman

The first meeting places were at the homes of the Brothers and at the old Weatherby Tavern. The first work was conferred in Academy Hall, situated where the Bristol Academy now stands. In 1807 the Lodge met at the Weir, where it remained up to 1817. On January 10, 1810, occurred the death of Wor. Seth Padelford, the first Master. On St. John's Day, 1816, the Lodges of the neighboring towns celebrated the day with a dinner and an address by Rev. Bro. Richard Carrique, of Attleboro. On December 18, 1818, it was voted to build a Masonic Hall, which was dedicated on St. John's Day, 1820, and was occupied up to 1837, when, owing to the anti-Masonic excitement, it was sold at auction. From 1830 to 1846 only three members were admitted. During this period the Charter was retained and meetings held by several faithful Brothers. It is a fact that all the Lodges in this section, at that time, with the exception of Fellowship, of Bridgewater, and King David, gave up their Charters.

At the revival of Masonry in 1846 an agreement was made with the Odd Fellows to occupy their hall. This arrangement continued until 1865, when a contract was made to occupy the upper story of the new Central Passenger Station. From 1861 to 1865 the Lodge worked day and night making members who were soldiers or were about to become such; about fifty members taking part in the Civil War. On February 10, 1864, occurred the Masonic burial of three Brothers who were killed in battle and were brought home. A Masonic service was held in the Broadway church, Reverend and Worshipful Brother Charles H. Titus officiating, and the remains were interred in Mt. Pleasant Cemetery.

The seventy-fifth anniversary was held April 12, 1873, with an address by Rev. Bro. Lewis B. Bates, and a banquet served in Music Hall, in which the Grand Officers participated. In December, 1866, Alfred Baylies Lodge received its Charter; in 1867 Ionic, and in 1873 Charles H. Titus, the Charter members for these Lodges withdrawing from King David. January 19, 1881, the Lodge-room now in use was leased for Masonic purposes and dedicated by officers of the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge. On June 15, 1898, occurred the celebration of the one hundredth anniversary, and it was one of the largest gatherings of Masons ever held in Taunton and an occasion long to be remembered by those who participated.

During the past twenty-five years the Lodge has moved forward, increasing in membership and influence. Special meetings of more than ordinary interest have been held. On June 17, 1908, the one hundred and tenth anniversary w'as observed with Wor. Albert Brying Robinson presiding as he had previously done at the one hundredth anniversary. There have been many interchanges of visits with Lodges of nearby cities. The Cable Club, composed of Masons of the New York and New Haven Railroad, and the Trowel Club of the New England Telephone Company have made fraternal visits and worked degrees.

The Taunton Masonic Corporation, composed of representatives of the Lodges meeting in Masonic Hall, bought the paraphernalia of King David Lodge and leased the hall we now occupy. The Masonic Home is an established fact.

Our patriotism was again shown in the late World War when thirty-one of our members enlisted, many of them seeing service over there, Bro. Andrew Leslie Jencks giving his life to the cause and Clifford Haskins Macomber being called to the ranks the day after he was installed Master, spending the next two years in France, returning home shortly after the Armistice was signed.

The character of the men composing King David Lodge is evidenced by the positions of trust and responsibility held by them in every walk of life.

King David Lodge was the thirty-first Lodge in the state to receive a Charter. It has had eight District Deputy Grand Masters, two Grand Chaplains, one Recording Grand Secretary, one Grand Sword Bearer, two Grand Stewards, one Grand Pursuivant and one elected Most Worshipful Grand Master, who declined to serve. There were seventeen members at the institution of the Lodge, three hundred and eleven at its one hundredth anniversary, and five hundred and fifteen to date. Seventy-two Masters have presided, twenty-six of whom are living. One thousand three hundred and thirty-one regular communications have been held.


From Proceedings, Page 1948-103:

By Right Worshipful Edward W. Burt.

More able men than I have bent their energies to the compiling of Masonic data embodied in the history of King David Lodge and have brought to light interesting facts which were published in the history of King David Lodge in 1898, at the One Hundredth Anniversary. Perhaps much was lacking, and as the years go by, there is little likelihood of some things being made known to us of this later generation. Today we go back to the beginning in 1798 and try to select items of interest in the history of King David Lodge up to the present time. One Hundred Fifty years is a long time to men who have learned to travel at the speed of sound; a long time to an organization which pauses for a time to review its own past.

If careful records had been made and preserved during that century and a half, data for several volumes might be available, but secretaries, as well as other officers, can be careless and the periods we might like to know the most about seem vague indeed. There are but very few remaining Brethren who remember our Centennial Celebration. Most of us remember the present and the immediate past, but lose the vision of the past before our own experience began. After all, Lodges are but men, and their histories are nothing more than the composite record of those men who left the impress of their own personalities upon the men who follow them; upon the Lodge whose history they made.

My assignment is to hark back a century and a half and tell the story of our Lodge in as few words as possible, touching only some of the high spots. A committee of five undertook the task of preparing the historical sketch for the Centennial Celebration, and but one is assigned to cover the last one hundred and fifty years, and he realizes that he is hardly qualified for such a task.

Quite naturally, it will be necessary to use some of the facts and data appearing in the previous historical sketches and add to them by gleaning a few pertinent facts from the records of the past twenty-five years.

King David Lodge is nearly as old as the government under which it exists. Its charter was granted on June 12, 1798, a little over nine years after the inauguration of our illustrious and Worshipful Brother, General George Washington, as President of the United States.

We find the petitioners for a charter for King David Lodge meeting in the old Weatherby tavern, kept by Thomas Weatherby, one of the petitioners, on April 2, 1798. The remaining charter members were Seth Padelford, Nathaniel Terry, William Carver, Enos Williams, John W. Smith, William Seaver, Samuel Crocker, Samuel Wilde, Jr., William A. Crocker, David Vickery, Abiather Ingell, Philip Padelford, James Sproat, Benjamin Harris, Appollos B. Leonard and Daniel Crossman.

It was at Josiah Crocker's house May 23, 1798, that the next meeting of the petitioners was held to choose the officers, and the results of this meeting made Seth Padelford, Worshipful Master; William A. Crocker, Senior Warden; John W. Smith, Junior Warden; Samuel Crocker, Secretary; William Seaver, Treasurer; Nathaniel Terry, Senior Deacon; David Vickery, Junior Deacon; Thomas Weatherby, Steward.

The first work was conferred in Academy Hall, where the Old Colony Historical Society building now stands. The records show that on July 27, 1798, Brother James Sproat proposed the name of John Seaver to be made a Mason free of expense, and to serve as Tyler, one year alone or two years with Leonard Porter, the present Tyler.

Article I of the By-Laws provided that the regular meetings of the Lodge should be held "on the Wednesday preceding the full of the moon, at sunset during the year, and that officers be elected by ballot yearly on St. John the Baptist Day, June 24." In October 1799, the Lodge transferred its place of meeting to what the secretary was pleased to designate as "Masons' Hall," but the records do not show where it was located.

At the very beginning of its existence, it is evident that the members intended to place the Lodge on a firm financial basis, for at a meeting on January 28, 1801, the treasurer was authorized to "put out upon interest one hundred dollars of the money now in hands," and a healthy growth in both finances and membership has been shown since that time. On July 15, 1802, the Lodge voted to pay Brother Isaac Shaw $50.00 as rent for the exclusive right to a new hall, so it is assumed that the old quarters were outgrown although it is not stated. More likely a lodge-room in a new building had a lot of appeal.

Although the Masonic Fraternity does not foster lotteries, we find that the Lodge voted on August 3, 1803 "to purchase on account of the members, ten tickets in the Newport Masons' Hall Lottery." If the capital prize was won by these tickets, nothing is said about it in the records.

The Brethren early manifested a desire to perfect themselves in the work and in 1806 voted to pay the Grand Lecturer fifteen dollars to instruct the Lodge in the new mode of lecturing. Soon after that, in 1807, the Lodge moved to Weir Village, where it remained for ten years.

On January 7, 1810, occurred the death of the first Worshipful Master, Seth Padelford. Again in December, 1816, a committee was chosen to furnish a hall on Taunton Green, and in January following, the Lodge was removed to the former Masonic Hall on the Green. This was a two story structure with a shop below and a hall above, and was known as Masons' Hall.

The Lodge took steps to get satisfaction from one John Reed, Jr., who assaulted a procession of the Masons on their way to Church on a St. John's Day, 1816, and Reed finally admitted that he could give no reason why he did it and he meant no insult to anybody, and he was sorry for his foolish trick.

In 1819 the members began to show a disposition to have a hall of their own and a committee was appointed to inquire into terms. It was voted to build a Masonic Hall, which was dedicated on St. John's Day, 1820, and was occupied up to 1837, when, owing to the anti-Masonic movement, it was sold at auction.

From 1830 to 1846, only three new members were admitted, but during this whole period, the charter was retained and meetings held by several faithful Brothers. It is a fact that should be remembered by all, that of all the Lodges in this section at that time, the only ones which did not give up their charters were Fellowship Lodge of Bridgewater and King David of Taunton.

In looking over some of the early records, an interesting fact is disclosed. In some cases the records close by saying that "the day ended as it began, in uninterrupted harmony, brotherly love (doubt) and friendship." Evidently the ancient secretary did not care to be held responsible for such statements, so he frequently inserted "doubted" after such reports.

After a period of lethargy, there came a revival of Masonry in 1846, and an agreement was made with the Odd Fellows to occupy their hall. On December 8 of that year, Brother Alfred Baylies began his twenty-one years of continuous service as Secretary of King David Lodge, which shook itself from the period of slumber and organized for real business, and agreed to pay King Philip Lodge of Odd Fellows seventy-five dollars per year for the hall, with lights and fire. This arrangement continued until 1865 when the Lodge moved to the upper story of the new Central Passenger Station. From 1861 to 1865 the Lodge worked day and night making members of those who were already or about to be soldiers, and about fifty of said members took part in the Civil War. In 1864, on February 10, three of these Brothers who had been killed in battle were buried with Masonic services conducted in the Broadway Church, with Rev. Worshipful Brother Charles H. Titus officiating.

During the excitement of the anti-Masonic period, the jewels of the officers, in some unexplained manner, disappeared, but like "bread upon the waters" they returned after many days, for under date of June 12, 1849, we find in the records, "Voted, that the treasurer pay to John Doe two dollars for his honesty in returning the lost jewels which he found in the river. These were repaired and continued in use until 1868, when they were replaced by jewels now in use, the gift of Mrs. Sarah L. King in memory of her father, Samuel Crocker.

On September 25, 1866, the new hall in the Central Station was dedicated in due form by the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts, with Grand Master Charles C. Dame in attendance. An oration was given by Brother Charles H. Titus. On June 12,1873, the seventy-fifth anniversary was celebrated with an address by Rev. Brother Lewis B. Bates, and a banquet served in Music Hall. On this occasion, the daughter of Worshipful William E. Cox, in behalf of the ladies of the Lodge, presented the three great lights which are displayed upon our altar.

It should be of interest to the present generation to know that on September 5, 1877, King David Lodge exemplified the Third Degree in the Masonic Temple in Boston, and it is said that the work was done with a beauty and accuracy and impressiveness which elicited the highest praise.

As offspring of King David Lodge, there came into being in December, 1846, Alfred Baylies Lodge; in 1867, Ionic Lodge; and in 1873, Charles H. Titus Lodge, each of which has nobly performed its Masonic mission of good will and brotherly love, still maintaining their high standard of achievement.

On January 19, 1881, the present lodge-room was leased for Masonic purposes and dedicated by the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge. To the Taunton Corporation, composed of representatives of the Lodges meeting in the hall, we are indebted for our comfortable quarters, notwithstanding the two flights of stairs.

Not until September, 1890, were our Past Masters presented with Past Masters' jewels, and then thirteen were presented at one time. These were procured by funds realized from the sale of standing wood on a lot of land left to King David Lodge by Brother Nathaniel S. Godfrey.

On June 30, 1892, occurred another great Masonic event in Taunton, when the corner stone of the new County Court House was laid by the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts. All Masonic Lodges in the County participated in the ceremony, there being a procession of some eight hundred Brethren and two bands of music.

During the twenty-five years ending in 1923, King David Lodge has had interchanges of visits with various Lodges in nearby cities. The Cable Club, composed of members of the N. Y. N. H. & Hartford R.R., and the Trowel Club, composed of Masons of the New England Telephone Co., have been our guests and demonstrated their excellence in degree work.

In 1901 the Lodge delegated Worshipful Brothers Mott and Dary to carry fifty white roses to Rev. Brother Lewis B. Bates and wife on the occasion of the celebration of their fiftieth wedding anniversary. At this time, Brother Albert D. Davol was presented with a Treasurer's jewel by Worshipful Edwin N. Clark, in recognition of his long and faithful service as Treasurer.

In 1902 a contribution was made to assist in building a Masonic Temple in Washington, D. C, and the history of King David Lodge up to that time, with the full proceedings of the one hundredth anniversary, was off the press and ready for distribution. The material was arranged and the book printed by Brother Theron Gorham and reflected great credit upon his patience and superior work.

A Ladies' Night of unusual character was held in 1904. An entertainment was presented in the Park Theater by talent from Boston, supplemented by members of King David Lodge, who presented the Pageant of Shay's Rebellion. After the entertainment adjournment was made to Odd Fellow's Hall and music by the Salem Cadet Band was enjoyed by all. Mayor Brother Richard E. Warner and his wife received informally. Worshipful Brother Alfred Baylies Hodges, having recently retired as Secretary, was presented at this time with a Past Secretary's jewel. In this year, the first Lodge of Sorrow since 1873 was also held, the speaker being Rev. Brother John Barker of Athol, Massachusetts. The names of 118 deceased since the last observance were read by the Secretary, forcibly reminding the Brethren of the havoc the scythe of time makes among the human race.

On June 17, 1908, the 110th anniversary was observed, with Worshipful Albert E. Robinson presiding, as he had previously done at the 100th anniversary. The Third Degree was worked by Past Masters and the Charge was given by Most Worshipful Melvin M. Johnson. The principal addresses were given by Most Worshipful John A. Blake and Rev. Brother R. Perry Bush. Rev. Brother Lewis B. Bates gave the blessing, as he had done at the 75th and 100th anniversaries, and Worshipful Edward H. Temple was Toastmaster. Remarks were made by all Grand Officers, the Mayor of Taunton and the District Deputy Grand Master. The Temple Quartet furnished the vocal selections.

In May of this same year, a distinguished gathering of Grand Officers was present to enlighten the Brethren concerning the proposed Masonic Home. Later, the Masonic Home was purchased and King David Lodge contributed $100 to furnish a room. At this same meeting, Brother Herbert Haskins, who had been Tyler for sixteen years, was presented with $50. in gold. On November 17,1912, Right Worshipful Edward H. Temple, who had been appointed District Deputy Grand Master on December 27, 1910, made a visitation to the Lodge, and at that time, Worshipful Alfred B. Hodges, in behalf of the Past Masters and Officers, presented him with a loving cup, appropriately engraved. At the visitation of Right Worshipful William H. Allen, District Deputy Grand Master, of Mansfield, Worshipful Edwin N. Clark, in behalf of the Masons in Taunton, presented Rev. Ralph J. Magee with a chest of silver and gold pieces for his family, he being about to take up a new parish in Seattle, Washington. Since that time, this Rev. Brother has become a Bishop.

On Past Master's Night in 1916, Worshipful Lewis E. Higgins presented to the Lodge two stones from Solomon's Quarries in the Holy Land. These had been procured by him while on a trip to the Holy Land and he had them made into rough and perfect ashlers at considerable inconvenience and expense to himself.

On May 7, 1918, Worshipful Afred B. Hodges passed away He served the Lodge as Secretary for nineteen years, retiring in 1903, and was a tireless worker for the Lodge and for Masonry. He was succeeded as Secretary by Brother Albert C. Francis, who served until 1918 and was succeeded by Worshipful Willard W. Morse. When he was obliged to leave the city to accept a business proposition, he was succeeded by Worshipful Edward W. Burt in the latter part of 1919, and he continues to serve the Lodge in that capacity.

On the evening of November 12, 1919, the majority of our soldier members having returned from World War I, they were escorted to the lodge-room by Worshipful Brothers Henry N. Hopkins and Abner Coleman, both veterans of the Civil War, and introduced to the members. Then followed a program of speaking and vocal selections by a quartet, and chorus singing. Thirty-one of our members enlisted in this war, many of them seeing service on the foreign shores.

On June 11, 1923, occurred the celebration of our 125th anniversary, which was held in Odd Fellows Hall on Court Street. The distinguished guest of the evening was Most Worshipful Dudley H. Ferrell, Grand Master of Masons in Massachusetts. The Grand Master was first received in the lodge-room, where sixty-five members were present. He made brief remarks and then the Grand Officers retired and the Lodge closed. The members, guests and their ladies repaired to the main hall of Odd Fellow's Building where about four hundred and ten sat down to a banquet served by F. H. Miller of Providence, Rhode Island, under supervision of Brother Charles B. King. Following the banquet, there was a speaking program. Worshipful Arthur R. Knox, presiding Master, made the address of welcome and introduced the Grand Master, who was followed by Most Worshipful Arthur D. Prince. Then followed a concert program, consisting of the Myrtle Jordan Trio of violin, cello and piano and Edith Weye, mezzo soprano, and Florence Andrew, reader. The Park-Crotty Orchestra furnished music for dancing.

At a special meeting on August 17, 1923, Right Worshipful Gad Robinson, District Deputy Grand Master, stated that this meeting had been called for the purpose of taking action as to whether a dispensation should be granted for the formation of a Lodge of Masons in Rehoboth, Massachusetts, and it was voted that such dispensation be granted.

In September of this year, resolutions were adopted on the removal of ReV; Brother Elbert W. Whitney, who had served the Lodge as Chaplain for a number of years. He was also given a purse of gold by Rev. Brother Sturtevant, coming from the Masons of Taunton, and an engrossed copy of these resolutions were sent to him later. Brother Whitney was present at this meeting and several speakers were also present, including C. Roland Hodges, High Priest of St. Mark's Chapter, Right Worshipful Gad Robinson, District Deputy Grand Master, and Rev. Brother E. F. Burnham, each of whom extolled the virtues of Rev. Brother Whitney. Rev. Brother Morris E. Barrett gave an address entitled "Dreamers and Their Realization." On October 24, 1923, the Lodge made a donation of $250 to the Rainy Day Fund to assist in the maintenance of the Masonic Home, and in November came the annual visitation of the District Deputy Grand Master, at which time Rev. Brother M. J. Creeger delivered an address on "The Way Out." Then in February came the Masonic Charity Ball, which was very well received by the membership and their families. During this same month, Rev. Thomas E. Potterton, once our Lodge Chaplain, and Right Worshipful Arthur C. Staples were made honorary members of King David Lodge.

In April of 1924, a letter was received from the Grand Master concerning a proposal to amend the Grand Constitutions so as to provide for a per capita assessment on members, and on the 22nd, the Grand Master, Most Worshipful Frank L. Simpson, was present and presented facts and figures to substantiate the need of this assessment.

Three months later, on the 11th of June, the Lodge voted to present a flag of the United States to Eastern Star Lodge of Rehoboth, the same to cost no more than $75.00. At this same meeting, the announcement was made by the Worshipful Master that the Grand Lodge had unanimously voted that a per capita assessment of $2.00 be levied on all members beginning September 1, 1924, and thus began our Grand Lodge dues for the support of the Home and Hospital, and no more worthy projects have ever been undertaken by the Masons of Massachusetts.

As a result of the Masonic Charity Ball held in February, on July 1, 1925, the Ball Committee reported a balance of cash on hand of $848.47, and one member from each of the four blue Lodges was elected as a Board of Permanent Trustees to administer the fund.

A surprise came to the Lodge on October 28, 1925, when a communication was received from Attorney Albert Fuller pertaining to the will of our late Worshipful Brother Lewis E. Higgins. The will provided that after the death of his widow, certain real estate shall be held in perpetual trust and that one third of the income shall be paid for the relief of worthy Masons who are members of King David Lodge, or for the relief of widows and children of such members, and if all such third is not required for this purpose, the excess is to be paid to the Masonic Home at Charlton.

On September 15,1926, a letter from the Worshipful Master of the Lodge of Unanimity and Sincerity, No. 261, of Taunton, England, was presented by Brother A. J. Howard, Borough Electrical Engineer, who was on a visit to Taunton, expressing fraternal good wishes to the Worshipful Master and members of King David Lodge, thus continuing the good will which has been exchanged between the old and new Taunton.

At an annual visitation of the District Deputy Grand Master on November 10, 1926, Worshipful Ralph L. Witherell presented a Marshal's jewel to Brother Frank P. Mason in recognition of his fifteen years service as Marshal, and seventeen days later the Lodge was notified that the Grand Constitutions had been amended to change the fiscal year from September 1 to August 31.

In January 1926, Most Worshipful Grand Master Frank L.
Simpson made a fraternal visit to the Lodge, gave an address
and concluded by presenting a Veteran's Metal to each of the
following Brothers: Charles L. Johnson, Frederick A. Francis,
Gustavus L. Smith, George E. Pendleton, Charles H. Burbank,
 Nathaniel H. Wood, Henry N. Hopkins, Nathaniel J. Crossman
and William F. Grant. Also during this month, there was held
a special communication so that the Lodge might take part in
the laying of the corner stone of the Masonic Temple of Bristol
 Lodge at North Attleboro. Many members attended, and those
who were present can testify to the wonderful time they had as
 guests of Bristol Lodge.

In February 1928, King David Lodge voted that application be made for a permit or dispensation for holding or forming a Lodge of Instruction. The permit was granted and present members know something of the results.

Again on October 16, 1929, the Lodge received an invitation from Ezekiel Bates Lodge in Attleboro to be present as a guest at the ceremonies of the laying of the corner stone of a Masonic Temple in Attleboro. The invitation was accepted and another red letter day in Masonry was duly recorded.

As late as February 12, 1930, the Taunton Masonic Corporation had in its hands a bequest of $500.00 to be placed in a building fund. There were other funds for the same purpose, representing profits from previous Masonic balls being held by permanent trustees, who were serving only by the approving action of this Lodge taken in July, 1925. It seemed good business to have these funds now in the hands of permanent trustees turned over to the Taunton Masonic Corporation, instead of having separate funds for the same purpose, so it was voted that our portion of the funds be turned in to the Building Fund now in the hands of the Masonic Corporation and that our trustees be released from their duties in this respect.

On October 1, 1930, the Lodge was notified that beginning on that date and continuing until otherwise ordered by the Grand Lodge, there shall be contributed for each initiate, one dollar for the George Washington Masonic National Memorial Association. This amount shall be added to the initiation fee by all Lodges and said amounts shall be collected by the District Deputy Grand Masters at their official visitations and remitted with the Returns. This would make it possible to complete and maintain this wonderful memorial to a great man and a great Mason.

Once again we had a fraternal visit from the Grand Master when Most Worshipful Herbert W. Dean honored the Lodge on November 18, 1931. Previous to the meeting, he was entertained at the Taunton Hotel. The principal purpose of his coming was to present Veteran's Medals to Brothers George H. Peck, William F. Roebuck, Walter I. Tinkham and Worshipful George B. Warren. These Brothers were all very much delighted, and how fine it is to receive bouquets while one is yet alive, because not one of these Brothers is now with us.

For many years two year terms for Masters seemed to be the rule, but of late years this practice has been abolished, although its resumption has been advocated many times. Other changes have been advocated and some of them placed in operation, one of which occurred on November 9, 1932, when the secretary was authorized to have all record books placed in the Safe Deposit Vault of the Bristol County Trust Company, where they remain today when not in use, as they are at present.

A lot of land in Easton, consisting of about eighteen acres, bequeathed to the Lodge by Brother Nathaniel Godfrey, was sold upon recommendation of the Worshipful Master and Wardens for the sum of $90.00, and the money placed in the hands of the Trustees and deposited in the Taunton Savings Bank. This fund now amounts to $125.00.

For the first time in its history, in April, 1933, all financial officers of the Lodge were bonded, and at the same time, another change was made, upon recommendation of the Treasurer himself, that he be authorized to draw money from the funds invested in Savings Banks only by authority attested' by the Worshipful Master and Secretary jointly, under seal of the Lodge.

On Sunday, June 25, 1933, following a St. John's Day service at the Unitarian Church, thirty-eight Brethren and guests journeyed to the Plain Cemetery to the grave of our first Worshipful Master and Charter Member of King David Lodge, Right Worshipful Seth Padelford, who died January 7, 1810. At the grave there were brief services consisting of the placing of a wreath on his tombstone by Worshipful Master Merton L. Young, a short address or memorial by Right Worshipful Edward W. Burt, and a short prayer and benediction by Rev. Wilton W. Cross.

This pilgrimage was a tribute to the memory of our Right Worshipful Brother and adjunct to and in connection with our celebration of the Two Hundredth Anniversary fcf the founding of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts.

On November 1, 1933, our good Brother Nathaniel Wood handed the Secretary an envelope on which was written, "To King David Lodge for Masonic Temple only," and asked him if he thought the Lodge would accept it under those conditions. The envelope contained a government bond of $100 value; it was accepted and now this fund is in the hands of the Trustees and worth $135.40.

November 21, 1934, occurred a never to be forgotten night. It was Past Masters' Night, and Worshipful Henry N. Hopkins presided in the East and gave the Master's work. At the time, he was ninety years of age and had been a Mason sixty-four years.

In January 1937, the Lodge decided to change the design on aprons usually presented to the Past Masters, to conform exactly to the requirements of the Grand Lodge, and Worshipful Earle A. Hopkins was the first Past Master to receive this design.

Colonel Paul D. Bunker, USA, a member of King David Lodge, stationed in the Philippine Islands, presented to King David Lodge through its secretary, a gavel made of molave wood from the old monastery built on one of the Islands, probably before Columbus discovered America. Brother Bunker was awarded many decorations, and gave his life at Corregidor in World War II.

A communication from the Grand Lodge received in September, 1937, was designed to impress upon the minds of all Masons in the Jurisdiction that there are at times impossible expectations dealing with the subject of financial aid to members and their dependents. It made it very plain that Masonry is not a beneficial society and that it does not and cannot pay death benefits, and while Masonic charity is proverbial, and while the Craft has done much to alleviate suffering and want on the part of Masons' widows and children, still the individual Lodge must not be expected from its slim revenues, to support widows and orphans.

Aside from a few of the outstanding events which from lack of space and time have been briefly referred to in this sketch, there have been interchanges of visits with other Lodges of adjoining cities. Children's parties have been held; members and their widows have been given sanctuary at the Masonic Home; large sums of money have been donated for the relief of worthy members and their families; Masonic balls have been undertaken for the pleasure of all; bequests of considerable sums of money have been received from Brethren who had a great love for Masonry; gifts of historical value have been received from time to time and placed in our cabinet of relics; all of these relics, etc., are under the supervision of our Treasurer. Many Veteran's Medals have been awarded for long and faithful service, and many noted speakers have graced our assemblies and inspired us by their words; families and widows have been generous in returning to the Lodge gifts that had been made to their loved ones who were members, and in many cases, Past Masters of the Lodge. The By-laws have been revised and amended many times, but the Lodge is still ruled as much by reason as it is by its By-laws.

On May 22nd last, a testimonial banquet at the Taunton Inn was tendered to the Secretary of King David Lodge, Right Worshipful Edward W. Burt, in recognition of his more than twenty-seven years of service in this capacity. No previous Secretary of King David Lodge has had such a long term of office. He was presented with a purse of money from his Lodge and a Distinguished Service Medal by the Grand Lodge. This was indeed a gala occasion.

Each year the Lodges in Taunton have joined together and attended one of our churches in observance of St. John's Day. These occasions have occurred on Sundays nearest June 24, and local churches have been hosts, upon invitation of their pastors.

Our visitor's register shows that Masons from all parts of the world have been present with us at various times, and this was especially so during the last World War, when we had many soldiers at Camp Myles Standish right within our midst. In this war about forty members of this Lodge served in some branch of the Armed Forces, and fortunately, not one of them gave his life.

King David Lodge was the thirty-first Lodge in the state to receive a charter. It has had ten District Deputy Grand Masters during its existence. During the past thirty-seven years, King David Lodge has been honored by the appointment of District Deputy Grand Masters on two occasions; in December, 1930, Right Worshipful Edward W. Burt was appointed, and in December, 1940, Right Worshipful Robert W. MacGlashing was appointed. It has also had two Grand Chaplains, one Grand Secretary, one Grand Sword Bearer, two Grand Stewards, one Grand Pursuivant and one elected Most Worshipful Grand Master who declined to serve. Ninety-eight Masters have presided, twenty-eight of whom are living. Sixteen hundred regular and many special communications have been held. The membership at the present time is 372. During the last quarter century, the invested Charity and Trust Funds have increased more than twenty thousand dollars. Our records amply illustrate the exercise of charity to Brothers, their widows and orphans, and King David Lodge enjoys its fair share of prosperity fostered by the realization of the value of Masonry. We feel that those who have been admitted as members are deserving of the honor conferred upon them, because we have tried to choose carefully, and we feel that we can leave the future of the Lodge in their hands with full assurance of their care and skill in perpetuating the excellent precepts of our wonderful institution.

No institution can be made great or preserve greatness by a mere declaration of principles, but must be made great and maintain greatness by the unselfish, zealous deeds of those who compose it. So Brethren, let us go forward, whatever may await us, with the positive assurance that in our institution of Freemasonry we find those principles of undying truth, justice and love by which our hearts are cemented together.


From Proceedings, Page 1973-133:

By Worshipful Robert W. Williams, III.

"Some of the most important lessons for the government of our future are derived from the history of the past."

Most historians have conceded that events of the past grow more nostalgic with the passing of time; even legendary. Our Brother Benjamin Franklin once said, "They clean up the history before they record it in the books."

While both of those opinions may be somewhat true, the early historians of King David Lodge were an exception to Franklin's quotation. They pulled no punches in their writings, citing members who had been reprimanded, suggesting the displeasures that often existed among Brethren.

Through their writings each Secretary has contributed to our wealthy recorded past. Some could be admonished for omissions. History should be the exact behavior of men, whether it reflects credit or discredit upon themselves. Only the wisdom of future ages can properly evaluate the past.

Except for the book that may have contained the signatures of our early members, we have in our archives almost every recorded word from April 2, 1798, when men first gathered to form a Masonic Lodge in Taunton.

Data compiled by historians for our Centennial in 1898, published by our Brother Theron Gorham, made my task much easier. We are indebted to historians Wor. Charles A. Reed (1871-72) (whose son, Silas D. Reed, was Postmaster here) and Wor. George H. Rhodes of Charles H. Titus Lodge (1877-79) for their research. Hon. Charles A. Reed was City Solicitor and he and Rhodes served for many years together on the Common Council in Taunton.

The Taunton of 175 years ago, with its population of 3,800, its lumbering stage coaches and its sleepy old taverns, was vastly different from the busy city of today with its more than 40,000 inhabitants. We have passed through the horse-drawn and trolley car era into man's successful flights to and from the moon. Yet the spirit of Freemasonry was apparent among the early settlers. We can tribute men like Seth Padelford and Samuel and William A. Crocker and their followers for the origin, growth and activity of the several Lodges in our city today. Where the first Lodge of Freemasonry in America (St. John's 1733) was convened in the Boston tavern known as the "Bunch of Grapes" (King St.) and the Lodge of St. Andrew (1756) of which the patriot Paul Revere was a member met in the "Green Dragon" tavern, so we learn the petitioners for King David's Lodge held their formulative meetings in Thomas Weatherby's Inn that was located at the corner of Main St. and Jockey Lane, now Weir St.

The first pages of our records tell of the gathering of petitioners, April 2, 1798, "at Thomas Weatherby's house". Being a spacious inn we are to assume his family held residence there. Attending that first meeting were Weatherby, Seth Padelford, William Seaver, James Sproat, Abiathar Ingell, Daniel Crossman, Enos Williams, Dr. Job Godfrey, William A. Crocker and Samuel Crocker, brothers. Sproat had recently moved from Middleboro, bringing much wealth and social distinction. He purchased the Nathaniel Leonard estate, standing east of the St. Thomas Episcopal Church, known then as the Wheaton House.

Seth Padelford was chosen chairman and Samuel Crocker as secretary of a committee that included Sproat and William A. Crocker, to wait upon neighboring Lodges, viz: Bristol of Norton, Eastern Star of Rehoboth and Fellowship of Bridgewater, for their "approbation to draw a petition to Grand Lodge".

The next meeting, May 23, 1798, was held at the home of Capt. Josiah Crocker, who also kept a licensed inn at Taunton Green in an ancient mansion located westerly to the new building now under construction at the corner of Broadway and Taunton Green. The meeting was held for the "purpose of choosing the officers to regulate the Lodge". Capt. Crocker had led a military company at Newport, R. I., at the close of the Revolutionary War.

Few are aware of the changes that had taken place in the social habits and the peculiar club life which clung to the licensed taverns of the early New Englander and his ancestors of the old country. No historic myth has less foundation than the fabled austerity and severity of manners some suppose prevailed in those days of dogmatic assumptions. The faithful historic student will hear all along the ancient ways the boisterious merriment and rollicking tales of the wayside inn. All the earlier Lodges in old England and here in staid New England were attached to, and sometimes took their names from some taverns which abounded in good cheer.

This was true when Bristol Lodge was formed at Norton and when King David Lodge was set up at Taunton Green. The steward as an inkeeper saw7 that "the tables were properly cloathed and uncloathed" as did our Thomas Weatherby.

In 1798 there were in Norton, with a population less than 1,800, eight licensed inns. In Taunton there were 20 licensed inns for less than 4,000 people. There was no lack of conviviality either in the Lodges or in the communities which sustained so liberally these ancient hostelries. Bristol and Fellowship Lodges were chartered in 1797. Bristol was removed to Attleboro in 1811 and thence to North Attleboro in 1830. Three years later it surrendered its charter during the anti-Masonic era (Morgan incident). The charter was restored by Grand Lodge in 1859. Eastern Star Lodge had been chartered in March, 1798. Because of lack of interest it surrendered the charter in 1822. King David Lodge helped to reestablish that Lodge in 1923.

As the clerk and historian of the First Parish Church, Church Green, Taunton (established 1637 as oldest house of worship in Bristol County, Mass.) I am convinced the idea for a Masonic Lodge here was first conceived by men of that parish. Ten of our 17 petitioners held membership in that church.

The 17 petitioners were ("denotes member of the church) Seth Padelford*, Samuel Crocker*, Nathaniel Terry, David Vickery, Abiathar Ingell, Thomas Weatherby, Enos Williams*, William A. Crocker*, Philip Padelford*, Daniel Crossman, James Sproat*, Benjamin Harris, Samuel Wilde, Jr.*, William Carver*, John W. Smith, William Seaver*, and Appollos Leonard*. T o petition for a Masonic Lodge one must be a Mason. With the kind assistance of Bro. Herbert C. Spriggs of Bristol Lodge, 1 have learned that all of the aforementioned petitioners — except John W. Smith, Enos Williams and Samuel Wilde, Jr. — first joined Bristol Lodge when it was held at Norton. William Seaver held membership in Union Lodge, Albany, N.Y., and joined Bristol Lodge in February, 1798. At this writing we (Grand Lodge also) cannot find where Bros. Williams, Smith and Wilde held their memberships. I suppose we may assume they may have joined Eastern Star Lodge whose original records (1798-1822) are lost.

I am also indebted for research by Rt. Wor. David E. Chaffee, Secretary of Fellowship Lodge. His records failed to prove any of our petitioners held membership there. All but Daniel Crossman and William Carver received the several degrees in Bristol Lodge. Bro. Carver was elected to Bristol Lodge December, 1797, and Bro. Crossman was elected a member in March, 1798.

While the name of Job Godfrey was found among the men who attended the April, 1798, meeting in the Weatherby Tavern, he was not among our petitioners. He is listed as having joined Bristol Lodge in October, 1799. A Job Godfrey, Jr. is among several men who joined King David's Lodge in August of 1798.

Among the many valuable books and documents included in our archives is a book, "Masonic Constitution", printed at Worcester, Mass., in 1798 by Isaiah Thomas, our fifth Grand Master. Compiled by Rev. Bro. Thaddeus Mason Harris (also member of Mass. Historical Society), the book contains a paragraph (page 235) among the minutes of the Quarterly Communication of Grand Lodge on June 11, 1798:

"The petition of several Brethren for holding a Lodge at Taunton, in the County of Bristol, by the name of King David's Lodge was granted."

Our Lodge records never refer to "David's" after meetings in late months of 1798.

(Another similar book printed in 1792 was given to our Lodge in 1963 by Bro. Edward H. Temple, Jr., of Marion. He found the book among his father's possessions when Rt. Wor. Edward H. Temple died in 1937. He was once City Treasurer of Taunton. When making an official visitation to his Lodge, Nov. 8, 1911, a total of 300 attended including 103 members. Three sittings were held for the dinner.

Rt. Wor. Bro. Temple gave (1920) a booklet of an oration given before our Lodge on September 13, 1798 by Bro. Benjamin Whitman of Old Colony Lodge, Hingham. No such meeting is recorded in our records and it is also noteworthy no recorded meetings are found from December 11, 1798 until Oct. 10, 1799. Between those dates several pages have been left blank. However, records show that 23 men joined the Lodge during that period.

Our charter signed the 12th of June, 1798, by Most Wor. Josiah Bartlett (1798-99, 1810) made King David Lodge the 46th within the jurisdiction of Grand Lodge. Some Lodges surrendered charters and now our Lodge is the 32nd oldest among the 349. Our charter is dated only ten years after Massachusetts was admitted as the sixth state into the Union and one year after Paul Revere was the Grand Master.

Research has convinced me that Samuel Crocker was the guiding influence among men to seek a Lodge in Taunton. An influential man in the community, his name is linked before and after the Revolutionary War as a businessman here. It is because of his grandfather that our Lodge is so closely tied with the First Parish Church.

A William Crocker settled in Scituate in 1636 and thence to Barnstable. A son, Josiah, was born there and married Melatiah, daughter of Gov. Thomas Hinckley of Plymouth Colony. Their grandson, Josiah, born Oct. 30, 1719, came to Taunton to minister unto the people of First Parish Church, 1742-65.

Rev. Josiah Crocker married first Rebecca Allen (died 1759) and then Hannah Cobb, 1761. She was sister to David Cobb and Sarah Cobb, the latter the wife of Robert Treat Paine who signed the Declaration of Independence. Rev. Josiah and Hannah had a son, Josiah, who later was an innkeeper on what is now Broadway. The innkeeper and his wife, Abigail, had sons Samuel and William Allen, both petitioners for King David Lodge.

Samuel first married Salley Leonard. They had three daughters. Marian married Thomas W. F. Bicknell; Sarah married Samuel Bass King and Abigail married David George Washington Cobb and later Charles Richmond, a business associate of her father.

Samuel's second wife, Elizabeth Baylies (1811), was a sister to Francis and William Baylies. (Memorial Park off Somerset Ave., once known as Baylies Park, was named for that family.) Our Masonic Temple at 66 Winthrop St. was once the home of Francis Baylies. He joined our Lodge in 1810 and while never presiding in the East, he was elected Grand Master in 1834. He declined to serve. Elected to Congress, he later served on a mission to Buenos Aires at the request of President Andrew Jackson. When Francis died in 1852 Masons here made their first public appearance in 30 years to attend his funeral.

William A. Crocker, Samuel's brother, had three sons. Samuel Leonard first married Hannah, then Caroline Thomas. Another son, William Allen Leonard, married Frances Church Thomas. The three girls were granddaughters of Most Wor. Isaiah Thomas of Worcester. Our first Bible, upon which we opened lodge on this anniversary day, was printed by Bro. Thomas in 1792.

William, their father, died at age 30 and Samuel raised his brother's three sons. Samuel Leonard's daughter, Caroline, by his first wife, Hannah, married Darius Nash Couch. Couch distinguished himself in the Mexican and Indian Wars and, in 1861, was commissioned a Brig. General. He organized the Second Pennsylvania militia that resisted Gen. Robert E. Lee's invasion there in 1863 during the Civil War. He was an unsuccessful Democratic Party candidate for Governor of Massachusetts in 1865; was Collector of Port of Boston, 1866-67, and was Adjutant-General of the state of Connecticut, 1883-84.

While Samuel Crocker served our Lodge as Secretary for two years, he did not want to preside in the East. He was associated with the firm of Crocker and Richmond, was for ten years President and Treasurer of Taunton Mfg. (1823), Whittenton Mill and Nail Works, Hopewell Mills, Brick Mill and Machine Shop, and Calico Print Works.

Samuel served in the Massachusetts House of Representatives (1809-12), was Senator (1813-16) and returned to the House 1825-32. He was a trustee of the Bristol Academy and, at the time of his death in 1853, was the last surviving petitioner of King David Lodge.

His daughter, Mrs. Sarah L. King, gave the jewels now worn by the officers. Mrs. King, wife of Samuel Bass, also gave the money to construct the stone wall that surrounds the First Parish Church and bequeathed a trust for the upkeep of the wall and grounds. She left another amount of money for one of the beautiful windows in the sanctuary, given in memory of her father. Another window was given by Samuel Crocker Cobb to the memory of Sarah L. King and Abby C. Richmond. In 1889 another window was given by children of the family in memory of General David Cobb and his son, David George Washington Cobb, the latter a member of King David Lodge.

The influence of the Crocker family is held in perpetuation today by the Crocker Building (site of the family home) and Crocker St. Samuel's grandson, Samuel Crocker Cobb, was Mayor of Boston (1873). William Allen, son of William Augustus (brother to the first Samuel Crocker) was a noted industrialist here and in New York. He helped found the Bristol County Bank in 1832, Taunton Branch Railroad, 1835-36, Taunton Locomotive Mfg. Co., and New Bedford Railroad (1839), Taunton Copper Mfg. Co., and he was an active member of St. Thomas Episcopal Church. He died in New York, 1871.

Seth Padelford was chosen the first Worshipful Master of our Lodge. He served until June 24, 1800. Born here in 1752, he was an esteemed citizen of the town and the county. He was graduated from Yale U. in 1770, his mother selling land to further his education. He was district attorney and named Judge of Probate Court in 1783, an office he held until his death in 1810.

Once a Selectman in the town, he was the head of all legal societies in the county, gave monies to construct Bristol Academy (1792) and was its treasurer and trustee. He married Rebecca Dennis and they had 12 children. Their home was on the site of what is now the Superior Courthouse. The cornerstone of said courthouse was laid in 1892 by Grand Lodge officers.

Our Brother Llwellyn M. Padelford is a descendent to Seth Padelford. His Padelford genealogy proves that during the King Philip War (1675-76) Seth's ancestor, Jonathan, was the sole survivor of an Indian Massacre that took place somewhere in western Massachusetts.

We placed a wreath upon Seth Padelford's grave at the old Plain Cemetery (between Broadway and Washington St.) on June 3 in memory of him and all Past Masters of this Lodge. On his headstone is inscribed, "For he was wise to know, and warm to praise, and strenuous to transcribe in human life the Mind Almighty." He was District Deputy Grand Master, 1803-06.

William Augustus Crocker, Samuel's brother, was named Senior Warden; John W. Smith as Junior Warden; William Seaver as the Treasurer; Samuel Crocker as Secretary; Nathaniel Terry and David Vickery as Deacons; Thomas Weatherby as Steward; James Sproat as Marshal, and Leonard Porter the Tyler.

Although no name is attached to the office of Chaplain until 1822, we find that the Rev. John Pipon signed the records on December 8, 1802. He was the 11th minister of the First Church (now First Parish) 1800-21 and his name is found among those at most regular communications of our Lodge during that era. He also taught at the Bristol Academy that was located across the street from the church, near the present site of the Old Colony Historical Society which was the second Bristol Academy.

Members of King David Lodge held a special meeting and attended the funeral services of Rev. Pipon at the church. A tablet, to his ministry, hangs on a wall within the sanctuary. He was Grand Chaplain of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts and the Masonic Districts of Maine, 1805.

On December 5, 1821, Rev. Luther Hamilton was proposed for membership. He came to Taunton to succeed Rev. Bro. Pipon. Rev. Bro. Hamilton was appointed our Chaplain December 25, 1822, holding that office until he left the town in 1831. He was Junior Warden in 1828-29 and Senior Warden in 1830. He was District Deputy Grand Master, 1827-30.

It was Rev. Bro. Hamilton who influenced the members of the First Church to change from Congregationalism to Unitarianism. The fourth meeting house (present sanctuary) was dedicated during his ministry in 1830. He left here for a Gloucester parish and was later elected to the House of Representatives. When he died (1853) he held a position in the Custom House, Boston. A tablet to his memory hangs in the First Parish Church.

The minutes of the first book of records includes the original by-laws of the Lodge. They were revised in 1819 when Alfred Baylies was Secretary. Born in Dighton in 1787, he had been made a Mason in Rising Virtue Lodge, Hampden, Me., in 1807, less than 20 years of age. A tall, robust man, he was an eminent physician and a man firm to his convictions.

Correspondence in our archives proves Dr. Baylies was adamant in his opinions, often refusing to yield to those handed down from Grand Lodge. Named Secretary in 1818 he served two years and Was elected again in 1824 for one full year. He was elected in 1846 and served faithfully 21 years, a record not broken until Rt. Wor. Edward W. Burt had held office for 33 years (1920-53).

In 1866 a group of King David members petitioned for a Lodge named for Alfred Baylies. On the date of the presentation of the officers' jewels by Mrs. King and Mrs. Guild in 1868, the Lodge gave Bro. Baylies a gold-headed cane. His kind letter of appreciation and his love for King David Lodge are worded in a letter contained in our archives.

The original by-laws called for meeting "on the Wednesday preceding the Full of the Moon, at sunset, during the year, and that all officers be elected by ballot yearly on St. John the Evangelist Day, June 24". While the dates for the election of officers have been changed, first to December, then November and now to June, several attempts to have a stated date of the month for meetings have failed.

The first meeting was held in Academy Hall on July 6, 1798. Samuel Fales, Simeon Tisdale, Isaac Shaw and George Crossman were proposed for membership ; also, Leonard Porter, "to be initiated free of expense provided he would serve as Tyler for one year". At a July 27, 1798 meeting James Sproat proposed the name of John Seaver to be made a Mason free of expense and serve as Tyler "one year alone or two years with Leonard Porter, the present Tyler".

We can assume that Seth Padelford, as Treasurer and Trustee of Bristol Academy, was responsible for the Lodge meeting there. The first structure, built at a cost of $5,000 on land purchased from Mrs. Hannah Crocker, was later moved to Washington St. near St. Mary's Church. The third such private school in the Commonwealth, its papers of incorporation were signed in 1792 by Gov. John Hancock. Fees for degrees in the Lodge were fourteen dollars.

In October of 1799 the Lodge transferred its place of meeting to Mason's Hall. Income the first year was $293.18. Expenses added to $262.65. Members were assessed fifty cents each meeting to pay for refreshments.

Meetings were held in a new Mason's Hall on Main St. in 1802. Quarters were also leased to the town's School Committee. In 1807 the Lodge met in a hall near the bridge at Weir Village. The Lodge paid owner and Bro. John Presbrey $1.00 per meeting. For several generations the family of Presbrev conducted a grocery business in that building.

Presbrev and others erected a building on Taunton Green (site of the present First Bristol County National Bank) and leased said building to the Masons for 999 years. First meeting was held there Feb. 23, 1820. We have a copy of the document drawn between Bro. Presbrev and others and King David Lodge that was recorded in the Northern Registry of Deeds here.

When Masonry was nationally scorned upon as a result of the William Morgan incident in Batavia, N. Y., many Masonic buildings were sold and charters surrendered. Our meeting hall was abandoned in 1836 and sold in auction to Crocker and Richmond, then moved to the corner of Weir St. and Galligan's Ct. Lodge furnishings were stored in the top floor of a building on Summer St. owned by John Howard. Plans were made to stand adjourned until "Wednesday evening proceding Thanksgiving at Howard and Brown's Wholesale Store for the purpose of discussing the propriety of surrendering the charter".

This building, so long familiar to the residents of Taunton, at the head of Neck of Land, was built by John Howard and Luther Woodward. It was raised in 1833, as shown on a second floor timber. It was two stories in front and five in the rear, the lower stories being entirely of stone. From the rear a short canal was cut to connect with Taunton River so scows could go from the store to vessels to aid in discharging cargo.

The Lodge met there Nov. 1836 to Dec. 1846. John Howard was Master 1832-45, and to him we are indebted for the preservation of the charter, some furnishings, and privileges extended to Masonry during that era. After his death the building was purchased by James H. Anthony, then to A. K. Williams and Co. The Morton brothers leased the building and established a laundry there in 1882, continuing until 1886 when more modern improvements forced to move to the present site at Post Office Square.

For ten years members met secretly. A list of members, widows, and orphans was drawn to distribute monies of the Lodge. Only three men were admitted to membership during that period.

In 1830-32 occurred the great political contest for Congress from this district. Fought with great energy and much bitterness, James L. Hodges of King David Lodge and cashier for many years at the Taunton Bank, was the National Republican candidate. He was opposed by Micah H. Ruggles of Fall River, the anti-Masonic candidate.

"Jacks" and "Bats" were names of reproach applied by anti-Masons to all outside the Fraternity who did not agree with them in their opinions and join them in their persecution of the institution and its members. The Jacks openly defended Freemasonry. The Hats stood aloof and said nothing, seemingly taking no interest in the matter. To them the anti-Masons manifested the most intense hatred.

Our Bros. James W. Crossman and Charles R. Vickery, heading the campaign, are recorded as counting within ten the total votes cast for the candidates. James L. Hodges was elected. He was Town Treasurer (1826); County Treasurer (1826-31); member of the Mass. Senate; for several years Congressman, and active in First Parish. He joined our Lodge with David G. W. Cobb, Oct. 22, 1817. He died March 8, 1846.

At a June 12, 1849 meeting it was voted to pay John — two dollars for his honesty in returning the lost jewels of the Lodge. They \\ere found in the river under Westminister St. (now Cohannet St.) near the Taunton Daily Gazette, once the Westminister Hotel. The jewels, now in our archives, were worn until Sarah Leonard King, daughter of Samuel Crocker, gave new jewels to the Lodge in 1868 to the memory of her father.

Meetings have since been held in Union Hall on Winthrop St., owned by King Philip Lodge, IOOF; Washburn Hall; the upper floor of the old Central Railroad Station (1867) and since given way to a modern shopping center, and in 1880 to the Skinner Block at 76 Main St.

Our new Masonic Temple was purchased from Louis Wordell in 1960 and dedicated Oct. 12, 1963 (1963 Mass. 229-230) by Most Wor. A. Neill Osgood who now holds honorary membership in our Lodge. Our first meeting was held there Sept. 12, 1962.

The old stone cottage, fronting our Lodge room, holds much Tauntonia within its walls. Built in 1831-32 by Joseph L. Lord, Taunton's seventh postmaster, it was sold to our Bro. Francis Baylies. It was said Bro. Baylies, a most gracious host and distinguished and learned man of his day, possessed one of the best libraries in the state. This house was once owned by Hon. John F. Sanford, Speaker of the Mass. House of Representatives (1872-75), and Hon. Edmund Hatch Bennet, Taunton's first Mayor (1865-68).

In the spring of 1818 a Dr. Wiley, a newcomer to Taunton, practicing medicine, had never met with favor among other doctors. Unfortunately a patient of his died and the cry of malpractice was heard among the community. He was captured by a mob April 8 on Westminister St. and carried to a site near where the new Durfee Trust Co. is now located near School St.

When Dr. Wiley was about to be tarred and feathered, he gave a sign. Brothers Asa Dean, F. A. M. Carver, James Crossman, James Woodward, John Porter, William Hodges and Nathaniel Crandall, all members of King David Lodge, rushed to Dr. Wiley's aid. He was whisked to the inn where the Post Office is now located, placed in a carriage and he departed hurriedly from the town never to be seen again. A medal commemorating the event was hammered and, until we moved from 76 Main St., was in possession of the Lodge. It is the hope the present holder will return it to King David Lodge where it belongs.

In 1866 Alfred Baylies and others petitioned for a Lodge in his name. Other members petitioned in 1867 for Ionic Lodge and in 1873 for Charles H. Titus Lodge. Rev. Bro. Titus was the Worshipful Master of our Lodge in 1867, Grand Chaplain 1868-70, and Recording Grand Secretary, 1871-78. We have a picture of him and his officers when he presided in King David Lodge.

Through the cooperation of Wor. Robert J. Merrifield, Secretary, we find that four members of our Lodge were among the 25 petitioners of St. James Lodge, Mansfield, in 1865. Our Bro. John Rogers signed the charter of St. James Lodge and our Bro. Charles M. Deane later was Worshipful Master there. Bros. Cyrus White and George W. Spaulding were the others who petitioned for St. James Lodge.

King David Lodge assisted in the institution of Social Harmony Lodge of Middleboro, later moved to Wareham; Star In the East Lodge, New Bedford; Eastern Star of Rehoboth (1923), and Ezra Lodge of Taunton in 1952.

When Ezra Lodge was instituted Jan. 30, 1952 our Rt. Wor. Carleton B. Henry, Treasurer, was the District Deputy Grand Master of the Taunton 28th District. Wor. Thomas Hughes, Jr., Worshipful Master of Lodge in 1951, was appointed first Master of Ezra Lodge and he did much to harmonize and properly organize the new Lodge. We gave Ezra Lodge rods for use by-Deacons and Stewards.

Rt. Wor. Bro. Henry presided over our Lodge 1936-37; was elected a Trustee 1937-42, and has been Treasurer since 1942. He was Master of the 25th Lodge of Instruction 1946-48 and appointed District Deputy Grand Master by Most Wor. Roger Keith in 1950. He has been our proxy and a member of the Board of Masonic Relief for many years.

In recognition to his long and faithful service, particularly for his work at Masonic Hall at 76 Main Street, he was presented the Distinguished Service Medal on January 29, 1958.

Each quarter century of progress has been properly noted, especially in 1898 and again in 1948. A Centennial book was published and a medal struck on our 100th birthday. In 1948, when Wor. Lynton L. Drinkwater presided, the 150th anniversary attracted almost 700 at the State Armory on Pleasant St. Rt. Wor. Edward Warren Burt chairmanned the various committees. Our Bros. John S. Williams and Henry A. Dickerman were recorded at the time as attending the 100th, 125th and 150th celebrations.

An outstanding Ladies' Night was held at the Park Theatre on Court St., in 1904. Talent from Boston, supplemented by members of our Lodge, portrayed the pageant of Shay's Rebellion. Music was furnished by the Salem Cadet Band. Wor. Alfred Baylies Hodges (1874-75) was given a Past Secretary's Jewel. He had served the Lodge faithfully from 1884. He was given the title Colonel for his service in the State Police. He was a native of Norton and his remains lay in Norton Cemetery.

Not until 1890 did our Past Masters receive jewels for their service. From monies gained through the sale of wood on a lot in Easton that had been bequeathed to us by Bro. Nathaniel Godfrey, 13 jewels were presented at one time. Attempts to give such jewels prior to that date had failed because of lack of funds.

In each of the wars in which our nation has been involved we have held meetings at all hours of the day to confer degrees upon men called into the armed services. About 125 were made Masons during the Civil War. Seven were killed. Sgt. George E. Payson, Corp. Thomas C. Brown 2nd, William F. Macomber, Jr. and George W. Standish were attached to the First Mass. Infantry; Sgt. Joseph Elliott and Sgt. Henry S. Benton were with the Seventh Mass. Infantry, and First Lt. Isaac Dean Paull, Sr. was attached to the 33rd Mass. Infantry. The Lodge paid for the transportation of the bodies and burial at Mt. Pleasant Cemetery off Crocker St. for Bros. Payson, Brown, Macomber, Standish and Paull.

Bro. Clifford Macomber was seated as the Worshipful Master of our Lodge December 3, 1917 by Rt. Wor. George Ellis of Foxboro. He was given a gold watch by presiding Master Edward W. Burt, then left the city next day to serve his country in World War I.

On Nov. 12, 1919 members who had fought in the Great War returned to their Lodge. Wor. Henry L. Hopkins (1875-77) and Wor. Abner Coleman (1867-69), both Civil War veterans, welcomed our Brethren. Wor. Bro. Macomber assumed the East to work the Master Mason Degree.

Our Bro. Andrew L. Jencks who was never Raised because he Was sent to France after his Fellowcraft Degree, was killed in World War I.

When Camp Myles Standish was a port of embarkation during World War II, Masons from all corners of the globe signed our register. About 40 members of the Lodge served their country. Two, Ralph L. Hopkins and Bernard C. Creswick, were stationed ;<t Hickham Field when the Japanese Empire bombed Pearl Harbor in a surprise attack December 7, 1941.

Paul D. Bunker was graduated from Taunton High School and attended the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. At VVest Point he was an outstanding half-back on the football team. In 1902 Walter Camp named Bunker to his All-American team, the only Tauntonian to gain such distinction.

During his years at West Point Bunker joined King David Lodge, receiving his Fellowcraft and Master Mason Degrees the same day, Aug. 26, 1902. In 1910, while stationed at Ft. Constitution at Portsmouth, N. H., Bunker was the winner of a sum of money given for a military essay contest he won. His essay was titled: "What measures taken in time of peace will secure the most results in time of war through joint action of the Army and Navy."

It is rather ironic that Bro. Bunker should win on that subject. He was a Colonel at Ft. Corrigidor when it was surrendered to the Japanese on May 7, 1942. Four other Tauntonians — Lt. Colonel Francis Conaty, and Pvts. Albert Whipple, Francis Galligan and Kenneth Lewis — were among the prisoners taken. Col. Bro. Bunker and Pvt. Whipple died in a prison camp. It will be remembered the guns at Corrigidor pointed only toward the sea. The Japanese approached from the rear via land.

The gavel used to open our Lodge this anniversary day was made of molave wood taken from the old monastery Santa Clara that was built at Manila, The Philippines, in 1630 A.D. Bro. Bunker had the gavel made and sent it to King David Lodge in 1936.

At the turn of the century lodges often exchanged visitations. On April 22, 1903, Wor. John W. Eldridge received Wor. George A. Thatcher and 115 of his members from Paul Revere Lodge, Brockton. Our Bro. and Mayor Richard E. Warner and Bro. Silas D. Reed, Postmaster here, chairmanned the affair. A total of 245 Brethren attended the meeting.

Three Rhode Island Lodges visited with us October 14, 1903 when Rt. Wor. Edward Mott made his official visitation to his home Lodge. The total of 116 officers and members of King David Lodge was augumented by 86 from Barney Merry Lodge No. 29 of Pawtucket, 34 from Jenks Lodge No. 24 of Central Falls, and 44 from Union Lodge No. 10, also of Pawtucket. Secretary Alfred Baylies Hodges recorded total attendance of 345.

Wor. Levi L. Wetherbee presided on Oct. 28, 1914 when 331 Masons attended a meeting to tribute Rev. Bro. J. Ralph Magee of the First Methodist-Episcopal Church. He was leaving for a Roxbury parish and was given a chest of silver and some gold pieces.

On Past Master's Night, 1916, Wor. Lewis E. Higgins (1911-12) presented the Lodge with two stones taken in their rude and natural condition from Solomon's Quarries at Jerusalem. He had purchased them while visiting the Holy Land and, at much expense to himself, had the stones finished here into rough and perfect ashlers which have been placed in the East of our temple.

Rev. Bro. Elbert W. Whitney, pastor of the Universalist Church, was honored in September, 1923. Our Chaplain for several years, he was leaving Taunton and was given a purse of gold by Rev. Bro. F. Raymond Sturtevant of the First Parish Church. Rev. Bro. Edmund F. Burnham of the Winslow Church and Rev. Maurice E. Barrett of Calvary Methodist Church also addressed the gathering.

When Wor. Bro. L. E. Higgins died in 1924 he bequeathed that one-third of the property owned by him at 41-47 Main St. (now Goodnows' but formerly L. E. Higgins Store of wearing apparel) would be left in perpetual trust with Morton Hospital (for any hospital that might succeed Morton Hospital) ; one-third to King David Lodge, and another one-third to accumulate for property upkeep. After 20 years two-thirds of the income was given to Morton Hospital. Any unused amounts of the one-third to our Lodge had been directed to the Masonic Home in Charlton. His generosity has brought much comfort to Masons, their widows and orphans.

November 21, 1934 was a memorable occasion. At Past Masters' Night our Wor. Henry L. Hopkins presided at age 90. He died at age 97 on August 15, 1942 when Wor. Kenneth A. Terwilliger presided. Bro. Hopkins bequeathed $1,000 to his Lodge. Treasurer Harrie Forbes died in 1942.

To his nephew, the late Wor. Earle A. Hopkins, is given most °f the credit for the institution of Taunton Chapter, Order of DeMolay for boys.

Earle, the father of our Bro. Ralph L. Hopkins, was Master of our Lodge 1935-36 and was the first to wear the newly designed Past Master's aprons. Several of our members have given of their time and money to further the cause of DeMolay and Rainbow Girls.

On Dec. 15, 1937, Wor. David MacAdam was seated in the East at an all-military installation. He was the first Worshipful Master in the city to open the doors of a Masonic Lodge to DeMolay. DeMolay and Rainbow Girls combined to entertain Masons and in the production of a minstrel show. Wor. Bro. MacAdam, a deputy chief of the Taunton Fire Dept., entered the armed services in World War II.

It was during the term of his successor, Wor. George Cleathero, that the Grand Lodge added a section to the Entered Apprentice Degree to explain some of its ritual. Bro. Charles King died during this period. He had catered dinners and collations to Masonry for many years. Wor. William H. Stevenson presided when each member was asked to contribute toward the Masonic Service Association to help our members and their sons serving in the military. New aprons for the officers were purchased and Wor. Robert W. MacGlashing was appointed District Deputy Grand Master of the Taunton 28th.

Wor. A. Milton French presided at 11 regular and ten special meetings during 1942-43. Several Brethren from Australia, New Zealand, England and Canada visited with us.

He was succeeded by Wor. George F. Riley who was installed to office by his brother, Rt. Wor. John E. Riley of Worcester. Wor. Bro. George was appointed Marshal in 1946 by Wor. Robert W. Williams, III, an office he held with distinction for many years. Wor. George presided at 28 meetings during his term of office as Master.

On March 20, 1940, Wor. Robert W. Williams, Jr. (1939-40) performed the first of several Masonic acts that would honor his family and this Lodge. On the above date he Raised his son, Robert III. The latter was installed Worshipful Master by his father on Dec. 18, 1946 making him the first member of Taunton Chapter, Order of DeMolay, to be seated in the East of a Masonic Lodge. Robert Jr. installed his son to the office of Secretary of this Lodge, Dec. 2, 1953.

It was notable that Wor. Kenneth F. Richardson, holder of the Past Master's Medal worn so honorably by Wor. Albert E. Robinson (1896-98), had the members sing "America" on V-E Day in 1945. Life memberships were increased to twenty times the annual Lodge dues. Wor. Ken presided at 25 meetings. Wor. Lucius T. Cushman died. He had qualified most of the Master-elects throughout the two districts for many years.

Wor. Myron T. Briggs (1945-46), in the presence of his father, Ellery, and his brother-in-law, our Bro. Clyde Drinkwater — both coming to Taunton and returning to Center Ossipee, N. H., the same day — Raised his sons, Stanley D. and Richard T., May 15, 1946. A delegation of 43 employees of the Mt. Hope Finishing Co. at North Dighton also attended to witness the Raising of their fellow worker Clinton V. Davis. Wor. Bro. Myron installed his son, Stanley, as our Master Dec. 2, 1953.

The first of two tributes to Rt. Wor. Edward W. Burt, superintendent of mails at Taunton Post Office, came on May 22, 1947. His 27 years of faithfulness to the Craft were recognized at a testimonial tendered him at Taunton Inn (now Marian Manor). He was presented the Distinguished Service Medal by Rt. Wor. Harold A. Goff of Rehoboth, D. D. G. M. Lt. Gov. Arthur W. Coolidge, Grand Master in 1944, was the speaker.

Rt. Wor. Bro. Burt was given a second tribute March 31, 1954. A gathering of 170 saluted his 52 years of membership and he was gifted with a sum of money. He gave an inspiring charge at the Master Mason Degree. He had retired as Secretary in December, 1953, after 33 years. He died in 1957, bequeathing the Lodge a sum of money toward a building fund.

When Wor. Donald H. Campbell presided in 1949 our Wor. Bros. Arthur Satoris and Ralph L. Witherell and Bro. Fred Fuller died. The three men had served the Lodge faithfully for many years, Bro. Witherell as Tyler. Grand Lodge increased its dues from two to three dollars. We properly observed the 200th anniversary of the Initiation of George Washington. The Taunton Lodges gathered Nov. 5, 1952 and Wor. Stuart E. Cushman presided. Our Hon. Bro. Joseph E. Warner, Judge of the Superior Court in the Commonwealth, gave a fitting talk. Wor. Bro. Cushman had been Raised by his father, Wor. Lucius T. Cushman (1921-22) in 1943. The elder Cushman had once held a Grand Lodge office and, though blind, was the liaison man between Masonry and the military at Camp Myles Standish during World War II. Wor. Albert C. Pero (1949-50) was elected Secretary in 1962 to succeed Wor. Robert W. Williams, III, who resigned to take up a national office in the duckpin bowling industry. The latter was elected Secretary again in June of 1972.

Several of our Worshipful Masters were once members of Taunton Chapter, Order of DeMolay. Wor. William F. Gay (1951-52) was the first Past Master Councillor of that Chapter to be seated as a Master of a Masonic Lodge.

Other Past Master Councillors to preside over a Masonic Lodge have been Stuart E. Cushman (1952-53), Robert F. King, Jr. (1954-55), and Richard W. Boyden (1960-61) who had been Raised and installed by his father, Wor. Clarence W. Boyden. Wor. Bro. King was only 28 when seated, the youngest known on record in this Lodge.

Wor. Richard W. Davidson (1967-68) and our present Wor. Roland E. Gooch were members of the DeMolay Chapter. The latter is the first man to serve two consecutive terms in the East since Rt. Wor. Edward W. Burt (1915-17).

Like diamonds, an envelope sealer gained value with age. When a new sealer was purchased in 1955, the salesman credited the Lodge with $20 for the old sealer that had been bought 40 years earlier at a cost of $15.

April 2, 1958 was another memorable occasion. On Past Master's Night Wor. James Garver Brown was given a certificate by Grand Lodge on the 50th anniversary of his serving in the East. Rt. Wor. Wendell G. Anderson of North Easton, D. D. G. M., made the presentation. Brothers Richard H. Peck and Adelbert H. Knowles, candidates of Brown in 1908, were present to receive Veteran's Medals. Another, Bro. Horace Ellis of Somerset, was unable to attend. Eight other 50-year members were among the gathering of 108.

In May of the same year Leslie Charles Noakes, born without the senses of speech and hearing, was Raised in our Lodge. A delegation from Metals and Controls, Attleboro, conferred the Third Degree.

Bro. Henry H. Culver died Feb. 6, 1959. He was 98 years of age and had held his membership for 65 years.

Wor. Neil S. Sweet presided April 22, 1959 when Wor. Willard W. Morse was presented with a Past Master's Certificate by Rt. Wor. John P. Lawry, D. D. G. M. of Eastern Star Lodge, Rehoboth. Bro. Lloyd W. Pratt, candidate in 1909, was present to receive his Veteran's Medal. Also in attendance was Wor. James C. Brown, Bro. Morse had been a guest of the Lodge for two days and was chauffered by our Wor. Whitney S. W. McKenney. Bro. Morse had once been Secretary of this Lodge and, in 1959, resided in Southport, Conn.

The Bible printed by Most Wor. Isaiah Thomas in 1792 and upon which this Lodge was instituted in 1798, was used to obligate the officers in 1959 and again in 1972.

The Lodge suffered the loss through death of 14 members in 1960. One, George G. Tolman of Bridgewater, was 95 and had held membership for 60 years.

For the third time within four years a Past Master's Certificate was given a Past Master of our Lodge. Wor. George A. Bosworth (1910-11) received the certificate from the hands of Rt. Wor. G. Ward Stetson, D. D. G. M., of May Flower Lodge, Middleboro, on March 29, 1961. Four of Bro. Bosworth's candidates in 1911 were present to receive Veteran's Medals.

Rt. Wor. Stetson presented medals to Bros. Harris R. Leach, Reginald Marvel and Adelbert R. H. Howard. The District Deputy then extended a courtesy to permit Wor. Robert W. Williams, III, to present a medal to his father, Wor. Robert W. Williams, Jr. Wor. Richard W. Boyden, presiding in the East, gave his father, Wor. Clarence W. Boyden, and Bros. George W. Robertson and Harold R. Hall life memberships in the Lodge.

Wor. Clarence W. Boyden, Trustee of Burial Property, arranged with representatives of Ionic and Charles H. Titus Lodges, for perpetual care of two lots at Mayflower Hill Cemetery held by the Lodges. Only two of the eight-grave lots have been used.

Seven courageous men attended the Feb. 4, 1962 meeting at 76 Main St. held the night of the worst snowstorm in years. Wor. Gilbert Wrigley presided; Treasurer Carleton B. Henry also occupied the West; Wor. Charles N. Hackett sat in the South; Wor. Robert W. Williams III acted as Marshal in addition to his duties as Secretary; Rt. Wor. Robert W. Mac-Glashing was Chaplain, and Wor. Stuart E. Cushman substituted for the Tyler. Bro. David W. Harrison, Jr., Senior Steward, advanced to the office of Junior Deacon.

In April, 1962, it was voted to change the date of election of the first five officers from November to June. If no full of the moon occurs in November the annual meeting was set for the second Wednesday. Fees for Initiation were increased to $100.

At a special communication July 24, 1962 the Lodge voted to loan $15,000 of its Permanent Fund and $5,000 from the Charity Fund to the Taunton Masonic Temple Corp., on a three-year note payable at three and three-quarters percent. The loan, approved by the Grand Lodge, was needed to complete the new temple on 66 Winthrop Street. All monies in our Housing Funds had been given toward the new temple.

Some hope does end in fruition. Our first meeting in the new temple was held Sept. 12, 1962. Wor. Gilbert Wrigley presided and 48 officers, members and visitors have been recorded in the minutes of that meeting.

Wor. Whitney S. W. McKenney was appointed District Deputy Grand Master of the Taunton 28th in December, 1962. One of the more staunch supporters to every man who sat in the East of the Lodge, he died at age 67 in October, 1963. His post was filled by Rt. Wor. Robert W. MacGlashing until December, 1963. He had been District Deputy 1940-42.

In December, 1963, Wor. Charles N. Hackett (1934-35) was appointed District Deputy Grand Master of the same district by Most Wor. A. Neill Osgood. Bro. Hackett served until December, 1965.

It would be an omission of our history not to commend Bros. MacGlashing and Hackett for their faithful devotion to this Lodge, to Masonry and to Taunton Chapter, Order of DeMolay. Bro. MacGlashing is now the Senior Past Master of this Lodge.

Masonry in Taunton took an ecumenical step forward on Feb. 12, 1966 by joining in a Fellowship Dinner with officers and members of Msgr. James Coyle, Knights of Columbus, of Taunton. Most Wor. Whitfield W. Johnson, Grand Master 1954-56, and Supreme Knight John McDivitt shared the speaking program.

During the 1950's and 1960's many of our members attended the All-Masonic nights held at Boston Garden and sponsored by Aleppo Temple, Ancient Arabic Order of the Mystic Shrine.

In January of 1968 the family of our late Bro. Walter Davidson gave new Working Tools to the Lodge in his memory.

In February of the same year revisions to Article VI, Sec. 4 (Charity), the establishment of a Sec. 5A (Relief Fund), and revisions to Sec. 7 (Permanent Fund) were adopted. Interest from Charity Funds (held by Trustees) is deposited in a Relief Fund for distressed members, their widows and orphans; interest from the Permanent Fund may now be paid to the general account of the Lodge. Grand Lodge dues were increased from three to five dollars.

When Bro. Donald Berthold died in June, 1969, it closed a span of 84 years that a member of King David Lodge had operated the printing business of Gorham Press on Leonard Street. Bro. Theron Gorham, admitted to our Lodge in 1886, had come to Taunton from Yarmouth, Mass., where he was born in 1848. Upon his death here in 1934 his business was continued by Bro. Berthold. Born in North Attleboro in 1906, he had held membership in the Lodge since 1933.

Wor. Toon Wai Wong presided in the East in 1969 when death came to our worthy Bro. Albert X. R. Piatt. Bro. Piatt had probably visited more Masonic Lodges throughout his worldly travels than most men. He had served in the Xavy during both World Wars and visited here at our 150th anniversary and to receive his Veteran's Medal. He was a faithful correspondent with our secretaries and died at age 83 in Maroa, Ill.

The Lodge voted to give a wheelchair to Masonic Home in 1970. Our Lodge has sponsored several guests at the Home and Hospital and we contribute annually to the chicken barbecue held at Charlton in June.

Wor. Stanley Young died in office Nov. 7, 1971. He was succeeded by Wor. Roland E. Gooch who, on June 21 s 1972, was the first to be reelected Worshipful Master since 1917. He appointed Wor. Gerald M. DeCosta chairman for our 175th anniversary.

It would be another omission of history not to reflect credit to Wor. Gerald M. DeCosta (1959-60) for his wisdom, energies and determination to the fulfillment of the erection of the new temple at 66 Winthrop Street.

As part of this anniversary the several Lodges of Taunton attended the June 3 morning worship service at First Parish Church at the annual observance of St. John the Baptist Day. We were escorted by Knights Templars of Bristol Commandery #29, Attleboro and St. John's Commandery No. 1 of Providence. The sermon was preached by Rev. Bro. John P. Christensen a member of St. Martin's Lodge, Chatham. A pilgrimage to the grave of our iirst Worshipful Master Seth Padelford followed.

Xot far from the grave lay the earthly remains of Elizabeth Pole. History relates that she, Richard Williams and others, did come from Dorchester (first from England on the ship Mary and John in 1630) to purchase Cohannet (Taunton) from the Indians for a jacknife and a pot of bean seeds. Her home was on Main St. where she had been buried after death.

In 1905 the Rt. Wor. George H. Rhodes, Past Master of Charles H. Titus Lodge and a Masonic historian of note, published a booklet of men who presided over the several Taunton Lodges. Included among his writings is a resume of Wor. Foster Swift, our fourth Master.

A physician by profession, Bro. Swift came to Taunton in 1792. In 1780, with others, he had been captured by the British while on the sloop Portsmouth" Imprisoned at St. Lucie, he escaped a year later with 12 others.

Dr. Swift built his home on Main St., opposite Cedar St. Before construction he had the tomb of Elizabeth Pole removed to Plain Cemetery. His new home burned to the ground in 1800 and the citizenry considered it divine retribution for disturbing the ancient maiden. Notwithstanding public emotion, he rebuilt his home on the same site. He presided over King David Lodge 1803-04.

While the ravages of time may have destroyed many valuable monuments of antiquity, Freemasonry still survives. But for how long? Since 1960 America has seen its greatest gap between generations; an era when religion and fraternities, such as ours, have been seemingly turned against. We cannot deny the declines in membership.

Which way ahead? Not in the way of bombs, angry retorts and demonstrations of double meanings, nor in political strength. Might is not right. Neither can the future be found in our deeds of the past. President Lyndon B. Johnson said: "We may choose one future over another. We cannot, however, maintain the past."

The future may be found only when man admits that he is accountable for his own actions; that human nature can be relied upon. We must, therefore, come down to belief, to the irreducible minimum, of a man — of what we truly believe. Not until we really identify God and man can we live in the expectation that man will live in accordance with the belief of the universal Fatherhood of God and Brotherhood of Man. This is the way ahead, the only course religion and Freemasonry can follow to sustain the future of all mankind.


From Proceedings, Page 1998-82:

The Days That Were
R. W. Robert W. Williams, III, Lodge Historian

Author David McCullough asks the question, "What makes good education? The book, the teacher and the midnight oil." Yes, and a lot of daytime researching. I have read and reread, searched and researched, sometimes causing me to miss a train or bus; gone down to the lower repositories of the Massachusetts State House, visited historical societies and combed every shelf in the Samuel Crocker Lawrence Library of our Grand Lodge, searching for the truth, and then to put the truth into history.

About a stone's throw from the intersection of Routes 140 and 123 in the center of the Town of Norton, a stone marker has been placed that tells of that site as the first meeting place of Bristol Lodges that were chartered by Grand Master Paul Revere in 1797. That Lodge and Fellowship Lodge of Bridgewater were the first in the area. In April of 1798, Eastern Star Lodge of Rehoboth received its charter from Grand Master Josiah Bartlett.

At a Quarterly Communication of the Grand Lodge at Concert Hall the 11th of June, 1798, the petition of several Brethren for holding a Lodge at Taunton, in the County of Bristol, by the name of "King David's Lodge" was granted.

Except for the book that must have contained the names of the first members of the Lodge, we have in our archives almost every recorded word from April 2,1798 when proponents to form the Taunton Lodge met. It would appear that Seth Padelford and Brothers Samuel and William A. Crocker inspired others to form the Lodge.

At a meeting held in Thomas Weatherby's house on April 2, 1798, Samuel and William Crocker, Enos Williams, Seth Padelford, William Seaver, James Sproat, Abiathar Ingell, Daniel Crossman, and Dr. Job Godfrey were present. The meeting place was actually Weatherby's Tavern, located at the corner of Main Street and Jockey Lane, now called Weir Street. Seth Padelford was chosen Chairman and Samuel Crocker as Secretary of a committee that included James Sproat to wait upon neighboring Lodges, viz: Bristol of Norton, Eastern Star of Rehoboth (chartered in April of 1798), and Fellowship of Bridgewater for their approbation to draw a petition to Grand Lodge. William Crocker had received his degrees in Bristol Lodge and was a Steward.

The next meeting was held May 23, 1798, at the licensed inn of Captain Josiah Crocker, father of Samuel and William Crocker and the son of the Rev. Josiah Crocker, who came to Taunton to preach at the First Church via Harvard College and the Town of Barnstable. Ten of the seventeen petitioners for the Lodge were members of that church; viz: Seth Padelford, Samuel and William Crocker, Enos Williams, Philip Padelford, James Sproat, Samuel Wilde, Jr., William Carver, William Seaver and Appollos Leonard. Non-members were Benjamin Harris, John W. Smith, Nathaniel Terry, David Vickery, Abiathar Ingell, Thomas Weatherby and Daniel Crossman.

Records of where Brothers Smith, Williams and Wilde received degrees are unknown (not shown in Grand Lodge), but it may be possible they went to Eastern Star Lodge when that Lodge was first chartered in early 1798 and lost in the first of April 1864 when Winthrop House was destroyed. Grand Lodge had purchased the property (where it is today) and erected a resident hotel, using the two top floors for Grand Lodge purposes. The original portrait painting of Paul Revere by Gilbert Stuart in 1813 was also lost in that fire. His daughter, of Newport, has done the work that was the gift of John Revere, Esq., grandson of the patriot. A copy now hangs in the Grand Lodge lobby and one in the Revere Room.

There is no record that Job Godfrey ever petitioned King David Lodge or any Lodge. A Job Godfrey, Jr. was among men who received degrees in our Lodge in August of 1798. William Seaver had received the first two degrees in Union Lodge, Albany, NY, when a Revolutionary War soldier. That Lodge is now known as American Union Lodge of Marietta, Ohio.

Our original charter shows the wear of 200 years and is secure in the Bristol County Savings Bank's Raynham branch. We use a copy of the original. Signed by Grand Master and Doctor Josiah Bartlett, he was a Revolutionary War physician and received his degrees in Union Lodge, Danbury, CT, in 1780. Three years later, he was a Charter member of King Solomon's Lodge in Charlestown. He followed M.W. Paul Revere in 1798, resigning after 1799, but returned to the East of Grand Lodge in 1810.

In 1792, the esteemed Seth Padelford and others, who were concerned with providing a better education for town children, procured a charter from Gov. John Hancock to establish a private school in Taunton. Thus, the Bristol Academy was built on Church Green. First meetings of King David Lodge were held on the second floor of the wooden building. The school attracted pupils from area towns that caused a new brick building to be erected which is now the Old Colony Historical Society. In 1851, the wooden building was moved to the rear of St. Mary's Church. It is numbered 124-128 Washington Street.

October 1799, the Lodge met in Mason's Hall (where that was, historians have never learned) and in 1802 a new Mason's Hall on Main Street was leased. The Lodge also leased its quarters to the town's school committee. In 1807, the Lodge moved to Weir Village to a building just over the bridge. The Lodge paid Bro. John Presbrey one dollar per meeting.

The members felt prosperous and purchased land at Taunton Green at what later was the site of the Bristol County Trust Company. When funds fell short of the cost, the Presbrey brothers drew up a 999-year lease to give the Lodge occupancy and to finish the work. We have a copy of that lease in our archives. The original had been registered in the Registry of Deeds.

The famous Morgan incident at Batavia, NY, turned into what was to be called the anti-Masonic era. William Morgan was a printer and Master Mason and when his application to further his Masonic education was rejected, he prepared to write a book that would reveal the signs, grips and words of the degrees. He was a heavy drinker of alcohol and was often locked up in the town jail. In the dark of night, he disappeared, never to be seen again. Freemasons were blamed; thus the anti-Masonic tag was applied to the Craft.

When some Taunton and other preachers of the Gospel pointed damnation against Freemasonry causing some members to abscond from Masonic meetings King David Lodge sold its building at auction to Crocker and Richmond, who moved the building to the corner of Weir St. and Galligan's Court (#37 Weir Street.) where it stands now. Furnishings were moved to John Howard's store on Summer St. where they remained hidden. Bro. Howard was the Worshipful Master from 1832 through 1845 and to him and a few others, we are indebted for their strength and support. King David and Fellowship Lodges never surrendered their charters during the anti-Masonic era.

Bro. Thomas C. Brown, a local merchant, was summoned before a meeting at the Winthrop Street Baptist Church. "Which will it be Mr. Brown, this church or Freemasonry?" He responded: "When I renounce Masonry, I shall renounce my God!" Thomas and his wife left the meeting and became active members of the Broadway Trinitarian Church (now Pilgrim Church). Freemasonry went public with the famous "Declaration of Freemasons of Boston and Vicinity" in 1831, to which 41 members of King David Lodge affixed their signatures, including the Rev. Luther Hamilton of the First Church and your historian's great-great grandfather, Abiathar Williams.

At a Quarterly Communication of Grand Lodge the Rev. Edward Taylor, Grand Chaplain and commonly called Father Taylor as the preacher at Boston's Seamen's Bethel, knelt and prayed: "O Lord, bless this glorious Order; bless its friends; yes, bless its enemies, and make their hearts as soft as their heads."

In 1830-32, a great political contest for Congress was fought between James L. Hodges of King David Lodge and Micah H. Ruggles of Fall River, who was the anti-Masonic Party candidate. "Jacks" and "Bats" were names of reproach applied by anti-Masons to those outside the Fraternity who did not agree with them in their opinions. The Jacks openly defended the Masons. The Bats remained aloof and took no interest in the matter. Bro. Hodges won the seat and a torchlight parade marched through the center of Taunton. The National anti-Masonic Party nominated a candidate for President, and several states produced candidates for local offices. Only the state of Vermont elected the presidential candidate.

When Social Harmony Lodge was chartered in Middleboro several officers from King David Lodge assisted District Deputy Paul Dean. Bro. Pliny Merrick, raised in King David Lodge in 1821 and a young lawyer of great promise, gave an eloquent talk at the installation of officers in August. He afterward renounced Masonry, became a leader of the opposition and was the anti-Masonic party candidate for Governor, but defeated. He later served on the Massachusetts Supreme Court. He was suspended from Freemasonry by King David Lodge.

The Rev. Bro. Luther Hamilton was raised in King David Lodge in 1821. He came to Taunton to preach at the First Congregational Society (First Church) and convinced the members to adopt the new philosophy of Unitarianism. He served as our Chaplain, Junior and Senior Warden, and was appointed District Deputy Grand Master, 1827-30. He had succeeded the Rev. Bro. John Pipon who had been Chaplain of this Lodge and Grand Lodge. Brother Pipon died in 1821. Brother Hamilton left Taunton, demitting in 1837, affiliating with St. John's Lodge of Boston where he served as Master in 1841. He later affiliated with Washington Lodge of Roxbury (now Lexington) where he was Master in 1848.

Born October 16, 1783, and commencing the practice of law in 1810 - the year he officiated as Register of Probate for the first of seven years - Francis Baylies was raised in King David Lodge November 7, 1810. He was an outstanding orator, writer, produced two volumes of the Plymouth Bay Colony and had handwritten the first history of Taunton that was lost in a printing shop fire that destroyed one side of Main St. in 1838. Lost in the fire at the Court House were early records of births, deaths and marriages that were the property of the First Church and loaned to the town.

He had served a term in Congress and was appointed by President Andrew Jackson and sent to Argentina to settle a fishing dispute with that country and American fisherman. He failed but was summoned by the Grand Master to deliver the eulogy to our Bro. and Gen. Lafayette who had died in 1834. He was given the title of Right Worshipful and in December 1834, was elected Grand Master. When the day for installation of Grand Lodge officers arrived a courier appeared with a note in which Bro. Baylies had given a reason for his refusal to serve. The note was never found but Grand Secretary Charles W. Moore took umbrage to Bro. Baylies and suggested he (Baylies) feared for his political career.

Elected to the House of Representatives of the Massachusetts General Court Bro. Baylies filibustered for two days against a bill at its second reading that had it passed, would have outlawed Freemasonry in the Commonwealth. Nowhere in Grand Lodge records, or in the book Stalwart Builders authored by M. W. Thomas S. Roy, or in the Freemasons' Magazine that was the work of Bro. Charles Moore, can there be found reference to Bro. Baylies talk that saved Freemasonry. Your historian spent some hot summer days in the below-ground level repositories of the State House to read the Clerk's book that recorded that talk by Bro. Baylies. My late friend and once fellow newsman, State Senator John F. Parker made it possible. I have those talks in print. Many state legislators who were Masons heard the talks, but they never reached Grand Lodge for publication or acclaim. They were publicly printed in the Columbian Reporter in its weekly papers of April 22 and 29 and May 6 and 13 of 1835 in Taunton.

The stone cottage that fronts our Lodge room was the home of Francis Baylies from 1836, when he purchased it from Joseph L. Lord, who as Taunton's seventh postmaster had it built in 1831-32. Our Charles R. Vickery was the next appointed postmaster when Taunton had only 6000 inhabitants. Bro. Baylies occupied the stone cottage until his death October 28, 1852. Masons came from great distances to attend his funeral. His daughter, Harriet, lived there a short time until an auction disposed of some of his property. Masons marched through the streets to Plain Cemetery, Broadway for his burial. His grave, in desperate need of care today, is next to that of Samuel Crocker, the last surviving charter member.

At a June 12, 1849, meeting was voted to pay John _____ two dollars for his honesty in returning the lost jewels of the officers. He found them on the bank of the Mill River under the Westminster Street Bridge, now known as Cohannet Street. It is near the Taunton Daily Gazette building that was once the location of the Westminster Hotel. The jewels were tied together and placed among the others in the Lodge archives.

On April 13, 1868, Mrs. Sarah Leonard King, wife of Samuel Bass King and a daughter of Samuel Crocker, presented the jewels now worn by the Lodge officers. She was the lady who established the first home in Taunton for homeless women, the major financial contributor to the First Parish Church and paid for the stone wall that surrounds that church property.

In 1979, Bristol Lodge's Secretary, and now the Grand Marshal of our Grand Lodge, searched and found papers that proved his Lodge had loaned "some old and unused jewels to Lafayette Lodge of Cumberland, RI." With assistance from Edith Steblecki of Revere House in Boston and John Hamilton of the Museum of Our National Heritage in Lexington (Scottish Rite), the old jewels were the original jewels made by Paul Revere for Bristol Lodge in 1797. That story was enough for this historian to check the jewels in King David Lodge tied with string. A check with Bro. Hamilton proved they, too, were made by Paul Revere. No entry in Revere's books is shown. No mention in King David Lodge records makes note of our first jewels being the work of Bro. Revere. The jewels were first shown to the late R. W. Kenyon Carr, a Hyannis jeweler, who cleaned them and suggested to your historian, "You ought to check them out, they appear to be the work of a rare and talented craftsman." They are kept in the Lodge archives in the bank and brought before us on this anniversary day. This story was told in the spring 1990 issue of Trowel Magazine.

Meetings were held in Union Hall, Winthrop Street, owned by King Philip Lodge of the Odd Fellows; Washburn Hall, on the top floor of the old railroad depot (now a shopping mall); and in 1880, all Lodges except Alfred Baylies Lodge met in the new N.H. Skinner building at 76 Main Street. Alfred Baylies men were mostly from the Weir and that Lodge met in the Staples Building on West Water Street that was torn down several years ago. Alfred Baylies Lodge had joined us at 76 Main Street long before the demolition of the Staples building.

The Masonic Building at 66 Winthrop Street was purchased in 1960 from Louis Wordell and with pledges paid by Masons and the loan of the permanent and charity funds of King David Lodge, the Lodge room was added on to the rear of the stone cottage. Parking on the property accommodates about one dozen cars and that has been a major problem in an era when the automobile, not the dog, is man's best friend. Alfred Baylies Lodge was charted in 1866 and named for the faithful King David Lodge secretary, Dr. Alfred Baylies, who served Masonry well. He had been made a Mason in Rising Virtue Lodge in Hamden, ME, in 1807. Born in Dighton, September 16, 1787, he shows he was raised when younger than age 20. He returned to Taunton to practice medicine and on the first day of 1818, was admitted a member of King David Lodge. He died in his 9 Spring Street home July 2, 1873 at age 85. One year after Alfred Baylies Lodge was chartered, several men obtained a charter for Ionic Lodge, choosing to seek their own meeting place and keeping themselves somewhat aloof from the other two Lodges. It met on the top floor of Union Block, Main Street. Bro. Philo Washburn, member of King David Lodge and local embalmer, was a charter member.

George Holbrook Rhodes was raised in King David Lodge in 1870, demitted in 1872, and led another group of men who were granted a charter under the name of Charles H. Titus Lodge in 1873. The Reverend Titus was a native of Maine, was ordained a Methodist preacher and came to Taunton to the Central Methodist Church that was once located opposite the Cohannet School on Cohannet Street. He became a member of King David Lodge December 15,1858, and was Worshipful Master in 1867. He served as Grand Chaplain 1868-70 and Recording Grand Secretary 1871-78. We have a picture of him and his officers of 1867.

Bro. Rhodes was Master of that Lodge, 1877-79, served as Grand Marshal twice, Junior Grand Warden twice, a District Deputy Grand Master and member of Grand Lodge Committee on Education and Charity Trust. He was a member of every York Rite body and in 1897, the Scottish Rite, Northern Jurisdiction, honored him with the Thirty-third degree.

Taunton Masonry grew to a fifth Lodge in 1951, when a group of Masons, who came to the city during World War II joined with some Taunton Masons to institute Ezra Lodge. That Lodge survived until 1995, when it merged with King David Lodge. Wor. Thomas Hughes was the first Master, and he had been Master of King David Lodge 1950-51.

The Brotherly Love and Affection taught in the lessons of Freemasonry were proven true during the Civil War. King David Lodge worked degrees on 125 candidates from 1861 through 1865. Sixty-five members served in the Union Army and Bro. Philo Washburn twice was sent to Confederate country to return the bodies of fallen Taunton boys for burial here. Bro. and Lt. Isaac Dean Paull was killed at Laurel Hill, VA. When Bro. Washburn embalmed the boy, the bullet that killed Paull fell onto the floor. That bullet and the story are to be found in Old Colony Historical Society.

I am a Civil War buff and a member of The Civil War Trust that, through financial gifts, purchases property where battles were fought during the Civil War. If not protected, they would soon be turned into shopping malls that have done much to destroy main street shopping in cities and towns.

About three years ago, the Samuel Crocker Lawrence Library of our Grand Lodge purchased a book with statistics compiled by a Connecticut Brother that lists all Masons who were honored with the Medal of Honor. Not expecting to find a King David member who had fought in America's war - nor a member of any Taunton Lodge - I was surprised to learn that Brother Lowell Mason Maxham of King David Lodge, Taunton, had been so honored on August 24, 1896. I was aware of his Civil War service because there is a school on Oak Street named for him. A plaque hangs in the first floor of the Taunton City Hall attesting to the presentation. But nowhere in our records was it ever mentioned about the honor.

He was born in Carver, MA, on December 6, 1841 and died in Boston, February 13, 1931 at age 89. Brother Haxham was a member of Company F, Seventh Regiment that was commanded by Taunton's Colonel Darius Couch. He fought at the Peninsula, Fredericksburg, Anietam, Chancellorsville, The Wilderness, Spottsylvania, North Anna River and Cold Harbor. At Fredericksburg, where General Ambrose Burnside proved unqualified to lead an army, Bro. Maxham, though seriously wounded and in the face of deadly fire from the enemy at short range, rushed bravely forward and was among the first to enter the Confederate ranks to reach the crest of Marye's Heights and helped to plant his regimental colors there. He was wounded a second time and when wounded the next day he was carried from the field. One of 42 candidates when Wor. Jeremiah J. Whitmarsh was Master, Bro. Maxham was raised in King David Lodge June 20, 1864, and was mustered out of military service July 5. My climb to Marye's Heights in 1982 was easy.

The Lodge celebrated its centennial in style with a service in the First Congregational Society, a dinner at the Weir Street armory that was attended by Grand Master Charles C. Hutchinson, and at the Taunton Theater. Wor. Albert E. Robinson appointed Wor. Edward H. Temple as chairman, Wor. Alfred B. Hodges, Secretary and Wor J. Alfred Messenger, Treasurer. A centennial medal was struck and in 1902, a hardcover book was printed that told the story of the first one hundred years of the Lodge. Wor. Charles A. Reed, Taunton's attorney, compiled most of the history but died before the book was printed. He was the Master in 1871 and Grand Sword Bearer 1869-70.

Some members proved their worth in stretching forth hands to save a falling Brother. In the Spring of 1818, Dr. Wiley, a newcomer to Taunton, had never been warmly greeted by others practicing medicine. His young patient died and the cry of malpractice was heard in the community. He was captured by a mob on Westeminster Street and taken to a site near the corner of Taunton Green and School Street. There, awaiting him, were the tar and feathers, a treatment given to Tories in the eighteenth century. The Doctor gave the hailing sign of a Mason and seven members of King David Lodge dashed forward, rushed him through Taunton Green to the inn (located where our post office is today), put him in a carriage and he departed from the town never to be seen again. A medal had been struck to commemorate the event, but it was taken from our Lodge possessions the day we carried things from 76 Main Street to 66 Winthrop Street. Who has it? It is pictured in the history of 1798-1898.

Several Rhode Island Lodges visited the Lodge October 14, 1903 and Secretary Alfred Baylies Hodges recorded a total of 345 present. It was not unusual for the Master to receive the District Deputy and a Suite of 100 or more. When R.W. Edward H. Temple was Deputy, 1911-12, he would be accompanied by 150 and more, requiring two and sometimes three sittings at dinner.

At the turn of the century, two men came to Taunton to establish a clothing business at 45 Taunton Green. Three years later Bro. Lewis E. Higgins sold his share to Charles F. Foster and went to Providence. Brother Higgins returned and purchased the Main Street Property of the late Charles Reed, now in the name of Bro. Silas Dean Reed, his son and often the Master of Ceremonies in the Lodge. Brother Silas was a State Senator and postmaster. Brother Higgins opened a successful clothing store at 41 -47 Main Street. He served as Master in 1911 and in 1916 presented the Taunton Masonic Temple Corp. with two stones he had purchased from King Solomon's quarries when on a visit to the Holy Land. They have served Taunton Freemasonry since that time as our rough and perfect ashlars.

While on a planned motor trip to Michigan with his wife, Brother Higgins was taken ill in Rochester, NY, where he died. When Mrs. Higgins died a few years later the property on Main Street was placed in a trust; two-thirds to Morton Hospital or any hospital that might succeed Morton; and one-third to King David Lodge as long as there is a King David Lodge; otherwise the total funds go to the hospital. The Lewis E. Higgins Trust requires three Trustees; one must be a member of King David Lodge, one to represent Morton Hospital and one appointed by the Judge of Probate Court. R.W. Robert W. Williams, III was appointed by the court in 1980 at the death of Bro. Raymond E. MacCraw.

The Lodge held a membership of 515 when celebrating its 125th year. Wor. Arthur R. Knox appointed Wor. Levi L. Wetherbee as Treasurer. A worship service was held in the Winthrop Street Baptist Church and Rev. Bro. Thomas S. Roy of Brockton delivered the sermon. In 1951, Brother Roy would come back to Taunton to institute Ezra Lodge when he was Grand Master, 1951-53. He was recognized throughout Masonry as one of the most gifted speakers. A meeting was held in Odd Fellows Hall, Court Street and Grand Master Dudley H. Ferrell was received in the Masonic Hall.

In 1936, the Order of DeMolay was introduced to Taunton's young men and to Masonry. Wor. Earle A. Hopkins was the inspiration in the move and Taunton Chapter was instituted March 11, 1936, when New Bedford Chapter came to the city to work both degrees. Many members of Taunton Chapter have proven to be active in Freemasonry. Active for 16 years, R.W. Robert W. Williams, III was knighted an Active DeMolay Legion of Honor in 1985.

Wor. Henry N. Hopkins, at age 90, sat in the East for a third degree in 1937. He was Taunton's last survivor of the Grand Army of the Republic. For many years he would recite President Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address at Mayflower Hill Cemetery on Memorial Day when that day was actually held May 30.

The world was turned upside down again when the Japanese Empire bombed Pearl Harbor in Hawaii on December 7, 1941, and with Germany trying to conquer Europe a second time in a quarter century, World War II touched the lives of every man, woman and child. Brothers Bernard C. Creswick and Ralph L. Hopkins were at Hickam Field and escaped the bombing. Taunton Lodges worked degrees for men at all hours of the day and night. We had a desk at Camp Myles Standish in the north end of the city where servicemen came from every corner of the globe and from other nations. Lodges, working under dispensation, made sure the Master Mason Degree was conferred before a soldier left for the war zones. Myles Standish Camp was a port of embarkation.

In 1938, the Lodge received a gavel sent from Bro. Paul Delmont Bunker who received his degrees in the summer of 1902 before his graduation from the United States Military Academy at West Point. He was in the same class as Douglas MacArthur who would be made a Mason at sight by the Grand Lodge of The Philippines. Wherever Bro. MacArthur was in command in the Pacific, he would have Bro. Bunker as his coast artillery leader. The gavel was made of wood from a monastery that was built in The Philippines in 1492. The gavel is used on special occasions such as today. When Fort Corregidor surrendered May 6, 1942, Bro. Bunker tore a piece of the lowered flag on Topside and stuffed it inside his shirt, then destroyed the 14-inch guns that pointed only toward the sea. The piece of the flag is now in the museum at West Point. Bro. Bunker died in a prison camp on the Island of Formosa, March 16, 1943, age 62.(See Trowel Magazine, Spring, 1987. Also, Bunker's War by Keith Barlow, 1996.)

In 1942-43, Wor. A. Milton French presided at 11 regular and 10 special meetings; Wor. George F. Riley, who was installed by his brother R. W. John Riley of Clinton, conducted 28 meetings in 1943-44; and Wor. Kenneth F. Richardson presided at 25 meetings, one on V-E Day in April 1945, when the war in Europe ended. Wor. Lucius T. Cushman died. He had been Master 1921-22 and Grand Standard Bearer and Grand Sword Bearer. Although blind for many years, he qualified the Masters-elect for the entire 28th Districts.

R.W. Robert W. MacGlashing was the District Deputy 1941-42, and when Wor. Kenneth A. Terwilliger was Master in the same year, he appointed Bro. Robert W. Williams, III on a Masonic journey that has not reached an end. We placed Bro. Ken in the Masonic Home when his wife, Mary, died. He had some happy years at Charlton and died in 1997. He was the last of three guests we had at the Masonic Home. The Lodge participates in the Grand Master's Country Fair at the Home and shares with other Lodges in the Taunton and Attleboro 28lh Districts in a chicken barbecue at the home in July.

Brother Williams was seated Master in December 1946, the first Taunton Chapter DeMolay member to preside in any Masonic Lodge. He received the Meritorious Certificate in 1975, the Joseph Warren Medal in 1983, the Tenet Award from the Back Bay Square and Compasses Club in 1987. He was the first editor of the Trowel Magazine in 1983, following his retirement as a newspaperman of 47-years. He is a member of the Library and Museum Committee of Grand Lodge and the first member of the Lodge to be appointed a Grand Representative. He is not conversely associated with the Portuguese language but represents the Grand Lodge of Minas Gerais, Brazil, at the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts.

Wor. Roland E. Gooch was the first to serve two terms as Master, 1971-73, since R.W. Edward W. Burt in 1915-17. Wor. Stanley Young died in office in 1971 after suffering with cancer and Wor. Herbert A. Anderson died in 1980 when Master.

The Lodge observed its 175th anniversary in 1973. Wor. Gerald M. DeCosta was the chairman and Wor. Toon Wong was on the banquet committee and is the chairman of that committee for this 200th anniversary. He was Master 1968-69. A booklet was printed with the highlights of the 175 years. The next year found Alfred Baylies Lodge merging with King David Lodge. R. W. John L. Waterman was elected Honorary Member. His father and uncles had been King David Lodge members before Eastern Star Lodge was chartered a second time in 1923.

Brother Bernard C. Creswick gave the Lodge a gift of money, his portion of receipts of a Masonic club in Warwick, RI that closed. Bro. Harry Baxter-Green who was born in England and raised in King David Lodge in 1919 died at the age of 100 and a Mason for 62 years. In March your Master attended the graveside service for our Brother Anthony Porter Dean who died in February. He had been a member for 68 years and was 99 years of age.

Wor. James T. Mc Aloney, Jr., died in 1982 after fighting cancer. He was a contributing Mason and gave yeoman service to the Order of DeMolay. His sons, James, III and John, are members of this Lodge. Dad McAloney had been awarded the Meritorious Certificate and the Joseph Warren Medal. The Lodge recognized the many years of service given by R.W. Carleton B. Henry. He had been Master, 1936-37, Treasurer, Trustee, District Deputy Grand Master 1951 -52, and the fellow most responsible for maintaining the Masonic Hall at 76 Main Street.

Worshipfuls James C. Brown, Willard W. Morse, George Bosworth, Merton Young and Robert W. Williams, III have all been recipients of the Senior Past Masters Certificate on their 50,h year.

Several Past Masters have returned for a second year in the East, but Albert C. Watson (1976-77, 1985-86, 1994-95) and Jeffrey J. Jackson (1977-78,1980-81,1995-96) are the first to serve three terms since Taunton's Mayor Charles F. Johnson was Master from 1868 through 1870. Wor. John Howard had served from 1832 through 1845. R.W. Jonathan Ames of West Bridgewater was the District Deputy for 16 years during the anti-Masonic era and, as a builder in the Taunton area, often sat in King David Lodge. Worshipfuls Emile J. Rouleau, Jr., and his brother Charles E. Rouleau were Masters of Alfred Baylies and King David Lodges. Wor. Neil S. Sweet was Master in 1958-59 and 1984-85, then moved to Harwich to be Master of Pilgrim Lodge and for the past few years as secretary. He also holds the Joseph Warren Medal. When R.W. Charles N. Hackett was presented with the Senior Past Masters Certificate, our Brothers Elwyn Stafford and Kenneth Stafford were in attendance. They were his only candidates in 1934-35. Charlie succeeded R.W. Whitney Stetson Wilde McKenney who died in his first year as District Deputy. Charlie was Deputy 1964-65 and R.W. Newcomb Reid of Ionic Lodge was Deputy of the Attleboro 28th.

When Morton Hospital added a new wing, the Lodge gave $2,500 for a room to be named for Lewis E. Higgins. We contributed $ 1,000 toward the improvement to Taunton Public Library; have given to the Salvation Army, to the food kitchens in the city, to the Masonic Home and the Samuel Crocker Lawrence Library, to DeMolay and Rainbow, Royal Arch Chapter and the Shrine. Brother Bruno Wurzbacher purchased a bank certificate in the name of King David Lodge in the hope that the Lodge will place a wreath with red ribbon at his grave, and that of his wife, at Christmas.

Wor. Richard H. Williams was the third generation of the Williams family to be installed Master in 1987-88. He returned in 1989-90. He wears his grandfather's Past Master's jewel and his father's Past Master's apron. He served as Secretary for a few years, succeeded by Wor. Keith Rogers, who was followed by our present Secretary, Wor. Jeff Jackson.

Two former Alfred Baylies Lodge members have given loyal service to the Lodge. R. W. Malcolm F. Borden has been Marshal, Chaplain, Ritualist and a Trustee and Wor. Charles E. Rouleau has served many years as Marshal.

Harold Jack Williams received the Entered Apprentice Degree and then learned he had inoperable cancer. Grand Master Albert T. Ames instructed Wor. Andrew G. Forbes to complete the degree in the Williams home. He signed the by-laws and died a week later. The estate of Wor. William H. Stevenson gave the Lodge $1,112.91 to be placed in the Scholarship Fund.

Grand Master Ames attended the stated meeting no. 2000 on December 2, 1987 and returned to Taunton in 1988 to institute Metacomet Daylight Lodge, now one of the several in the state appealing to senior members. Ezra Lodge, the pride of Wor. Henry Kadetz, merged with King David Lodge in 1995. An honorary member of every Taunton and Taunton 28lh District Lodge, Wor. Bro. Kadetz bequeathed a gift of $1,000 to each. He came to America as a boy from Russia and chose to share his business success with the country that took him in. Since the rebellious 1960's, the result of the unpopular war in Vietnam, the ranks of fraternal organizations have thinned. Authors like Rabbi Harold Kushner have published books like Who Needs God and When All You've Ever Wanted Isn't Enough, Freemasonry? Who needs it? The answer from the not caring is too often "What's in it for me?"

At the last published figures, Freemasonry, including Grand Lodges, York and Scottish Rites and the General Grand Chapter of the Eastern Star expended seven hundred and fifty million dollars a year (two million a day) for the relief of Masons, their widows and orphans and for society in general. That figure includes the support of Masonic homes, medical centers, medical research, scholarships to educate our youth, support of the buildings we open to the public and the Scottish Rite and the Shrine hospitals for children and the Burns Centers supported by the Shrine. If and when society suffers without the Masonic Philanthropies and its tradition of caring charity.will the uninitiated still ask, "Who cares?"

In the past year, a committee comprised of members from King David, Ionic and Charles H. Titus Lodges met to consider the consolidation of the three Lodges into one. Proposed by-laws, a stated meeting and the decision to use the name of King David Lodge was placed before the members of the three Lodges. The vote to consolidate was made in April, and the result was almost unanimous to approve the proposal. On June 17, 1998, Grand Master Arthur E. Johnson will return to Taunton to conduct the ceremony of consolidation and to install the newly elected and appointed officers. Thus, from one Lodge in 1798, to five in 1951, and back to the single evening Lodge in 1998, this historian, who has given much of his adult life to DeMolay, Rainbow and Freemasonry, asks: "Will this be the last history to be written about a Taunton Masonic Lodge?"


  • 1819 (Petition for remission, III-211)
  • 1820 (Report on delinquency, III-295; Petition for remission, III-306)
  • 1821 (Report on delinquency, III-341)
  • 1848 (Petition for remission, V-174, V-179)
  • 1929 (Participation in North Attleboro corner stone laying, 1929-181)



From Masonic Mirror and Mechanics' Intelligencer, Vol. II, No. 1, December 1825, Page 2:

Officers of King David's Lodge, Taunton:

  • Bro. John Baylies, W. M.
  • Bro. John Howard, S. W.
  • Bro. Wm. W. Crossman, J. W.
  • Bro. Nathaniel Crandall, T.
  • Bro. W. A. F. Sproat, S.
  • Bro. Thos. C. Brown, S. D.
  • Bro. James H. Blake, J. D.
  • Bro. Ebenezer Lee, S. S.
  • Bro. Jacob L. Porter, J. S.
  • Rev. Bro. Luther Hamlinton {sic}, Chaplain.
  • Bro. D. G. W. Cobb, Marshal.
  • Bro. Frederick Crossman, Tyler.


From Masonic Mirror, New Series, Vol. III, No. 30, January 1832, Page 234:’’

Officers of Republican Lodge, Gill, Mass., for the current year.

  • R. W. James Thurber, M.
  • W. James Allen, S. W.
  • W. Wm. N. Spinney, J. W.
  • Br. Geo. Danforth, Sec'y.
  • Br. Thos. C. Brown, Treas.
  • Br. Ebn'r. Lee, S. D.
  • Br. Jacob L. Porter, J. D.
  • Br. --- Webber, Tyler.


From Liberal Freemason, Vol. IV, No. 11, February 1881, Page 350:

The new Masonic Hall of King David Lodge of Taunton, located in the upper story of Skinner's new block on Main street, was publicly dedicated Wednesday evening, January 19, before a large assembly of Masonic brethren and friends, including ladies. The dedicatory exercises were conducted by Grand Master S. C. Lawrence, and the following representatives from the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts: Edwin Wright, F. Lyman Windship, Henry G. Fay, T. P. Cheever, W. R. Alger, F. D. Ely, W. Marshal, and Henry J. Parker. At the conclusion of the exercises the parties adjourned to Armory Hall, where a banquet was partaken of, the programme closing with dancing.

The new hall is elaborately fitted up, and is said to be one of the finest in Massachusetts. King David Lodge is the oldest in Taunton, and one of the oldest in the State, its charter dating from 1798. For the last fifteen years the Lodge has occupied rooms over the Wales street Station.


From Liberal Freemason, Vol. XIV, No. 7, October 1890, Page 224:

At a meeting of King David's Lodge, F. and A. M., of Taunton, held September 18, 1890, Past Masters' jewels were presented to William Cox, J.J. Whitmarsh, Charles A. Reed, Alfred B. Hodges, Henry N. Hopkins, Abner Coleman, George F. Soule, Lorenzo Luce, Marcus A. Dary, J. A. Messenger, L. F. King, D. L. Brownwell and George B. Warren. The reason for the numerous presentations was that heretofore such things have been done by private subscription, but the Lodge recently voted to furnish all such jewels hereafter, and also to give them to those who had not been fortunate in the past. A collation was served during the evening, and it is easy to imagine that all concerned felt happy.


From New England Craftsman, Vol. VIII, No. 4, January 1913, Page 128:

The 114th installation of the officers of King David Lodge, Taunton, Mass., took place December 4th. The ceremony was conducted by Past Master William F. Pratt, assisted by Past Master Edwin N. Clark.

The new organization is as follows: James D. Donaldson, WM; Levi L. Wetherbee, SW; Ralph D. Dean, JW; Rev. E. W. Whitney, C; Albert C. Francis, T; Edwin H. Temple, S; Robert A. Waterman, SS; Louis T. Wood, JS; Stephen Pollard, IS; Frank P. Mason, M; Edward H. Newton, Organist; Geo. E. Hathaway, Tyler.

After the usual proclamation Past Master Clark, in behalf of the lodge, presented the retiring Master, Lewis E. Higgins, a Past Master's jewel, and Past Master Eugene H. Brownell, speaking for the officers of the lodge, presented a Past Master's apron. An adjournment was made to the banquet hall and a social hour brought to a close another memorable night in this ancient lodge.


From New England Craftsman, Vol. XXVII, No. 4, December 1931, Page 105:

A special communication of King David Lodge, A. F. & A. M., was held in Masonic Hall, 76 Main Street, Taunton, Mass., Wednesday evening, Nov. 18, 1931, when Most Worshipful Herbert W. Dean, Grand Master of Masons in Massachusetts, made an official and fraternal visit to present Masonic Veteran's Medals to brethren of King David Lodge, who have held continuous memberships for fifty years or more. The veteran brothers are: George H. Peek, William F. Roebuck, Albert I. Simmons, Walter I. Tinkham, and Wor. George B. Warren.

This is the first time the lodge has been honored by a visit from the Grand Master in more than three years, and a large gathering was present for the purpose of honoring the veterans, as well as the G. M.


Grand Master Visits King David Lodge

Grand Master Albert T. Ames has now made a complete cycle of the Masonic career of Wor. Richard H. Williams, Master of King David Lodge, Taunton. He had visited the Lodge on Oct. 31, 1979, as Grand Marshal for M. W. Arthur H. Melanson when Richard was Raised a Master Mason by his father, R. W. Robert W. Williams III. The Grand Master returned Dec. 2, 1987, when the 1798 Lodge celebrated its 2000th Regular Communication.

The Lodge paid tribute to its living Past Masters, presenting each with a stein suitably engraved with the anniversary date. Service pins were also given and the Lodge shared its own anniversary by presenting the Grand Master a check for $1,000 to purchase large-print books for the residents at Masonic Home. Another gift was made to Aleppo Temple, A. A. O. N. M. S., to benefit The Shriners Hospitals for Crippled Children. The gift entitled the Lodge to membership in the 100 Million Dollar Club.




1803: District 4 (Southeast)

1821: District 4 (Southeast)

1826: District 13

1835: District 5

1849: District 7

1867: District 13 (Taunton)

1878: District 19 (Taunton)

1883: District 23 (Taunton)

1911: District 28 (Taunton)

1927: District 28 (Taunton)

2003: District 16


Massachusetts Lodges