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Location: Needham

Chartered By: Percival L. Everett

Charter Date: 06/09/1875 1875-73

Precedence Date: 05/18/1874

Current Status: Active


  • Emery Grover, 1874, 1875; Mem
  • James E. Chapman, 1876
  • Edward A. Mills, 1877
  • Edward Dorsey, 1878
  • Edgar H. Bowers, 1879
  • Aaron Twigg, 1880, 1889
  • Issac R. Stearns, 1881, 1882
  • Henry S. Locke, 1883, 1884
  • Eldridge G. Leach, 1885
  • Albert E. Miller, 1886
  • George Adams, 1887, 1888, 1890
  • T. Frederick Peabody, 1891, 1892
  • William C. Freeman, 1893, 1894
  • Norman C. Munson, 1895, 1896
  • Frederick D. Sutton, 1897, 1898
  • Charles Stanwood, 1899, 1900
  • George A. Adams, 1901, 1902
  • John N. Twigg, 1903, 1904
  • Leonard Dawson, 1905, 1906
  • James H. Whetton, 1907, 1908
  • Allston R. Bowers, 1909, 1910
  • Theodore McIntosh, 1911, 1912
  • Horace A. Carter, 1913, 1914; N
  • Clifford M. Locke, 1915, 1916
  • Harley E. Crisp, 1917, 1918
  • Carleton G. McIntosh, 1919
  • Robert B. Hill, 1920
  • Samuel H. Wragg, 1921; N
  • Walter E. Queen, 1922
  • Herbert N. Mitchell, 1923
  • Henry S. Rogers, 1924
  • Arthur S. Hamilton, 1925
  • Ralph G. Adams, 1926
  • Arthur W. Littlehale, 1927
  • Freeland L. Huston, 1928
  • Peter D. G. Hamilton, 1929
  • Edward Seaver, 1930
  • Laurence E. Eaton, 1931
  • Arnold MacIntosh, 1932
  • Harold A. Smith, 1933
  • David Murdock, 1934
  • T. James Crossman, 1935
  • Waldo H. Rice, 1936
  • C. Carson Stanwood, 1937
  • Chester W. Eaton, 1938
  • Henry R. Gilbert, 1939
  • Paul B. Richwaen, 1940
  • John H. Peterson, 1941
  • Arthur L. King, 1942
  • Francis E. Stanwood, 1943
  • Frank L. Cheney, 1944
  • Chester R. Mills, 1945
  • Howard H. McEvoy, 1946
  • Victor M. Lonsbrough, 1947
  • Amos Hamburger, 1948
  • Gilbert W. Cox, 1949
  • Lewis R. Doering, 1950
  • Jerry Bond, Jr., 1951
  • Clifford L. Heald, 1952; SN
  • John N. Hall, 1953
  • Alfred E. Johnson, 1954
  • George H. Krech, 1955
  • Kilburn L. Child, 1956
  • Manson H. Carter, 1957; N
  • Clarke H. Wertheim, 1958
  • Laurence G. Eaton, 1959
  • Irving J. Ryder, 1960
  • H. Milton Hoitt, 1961
  • Everett D. Roper, 1962
  • Erlon W. Towne, 1963
  • Richard W. Eaton, 1964
  • Henry M. Heald, Jr., 1965
  • Wallace H. Richardson, 1966
  • Willard H. Wiggin, 1967
  • Herbert G. Dunphy, Jr., 1968
  • George D. Krech, 1969
  • Robert H. McCraw, 1970
  • James E. Dolan,, 1971
  • Alexander J. Smith, Jr., 1972
  • Ralph I. Sewall, 1973
  • Lawrence A. Morrison, Jr., 1974
  • Ralph A. Brosman, 1975
  • Carl A. Gordon, 1976
  • Warren W. Morris, Jr., 1977
  • Clyde J. Kay, 1978
  • William A. Thompson, Jr., 1979
  • Thomas P. Scott, Jr., 1980
  • Robert M. Eaton, 1981
  • Edwin J. Brailey, Jr., 1982
  • Peter A. Morrison, 1983
  • Robert A. Jeffery, 1984
  • David I. MacFarland, Jr., 1985
  • Richard E. Smith, 1986
  • Donald C. Gibb 14, 1987
  • William E. Holland, 1988; N
  • Thomas A. Stark, 1989
  • Scott D. Inglis, 1990; DDGM
  • Jeffrey L. Gardiner, 1991
  • David W. Kinney, 1992
  • James L. Bond, 1993
  • A. Theodore McIntosh, 1994, 2013
  • David P. Newcomb, 1995 PDDGM
  • Wilfred G. Corey, 1996
  • Kenneth M. Morrison, 1997
  • Roger H. Ambuter, 1998
  • Edward K. Ambuter, 1999
  • Jeff Rosenberg, 2000
  • David S. Sewall, 2001
  • William J. Cummings, 2002
  • David W. Boston, 2003
  • Robert G. Kispert, 2004
  • Craig E. Austin, 2005
  • Douglas L. Armstrong, 2006-08
  • Derek C. Eaton, 2008-09
  • Christopher C. Blood, 2009-10
  • Donald LaLiberte, 2011
  • D. Michael Umbarger, 2012


  • Petition for Dispensation: 1874
  • Petition for Charter: 1875


  • 1924 (50th Anniversary)
  • 1949 (75th Anniversary)
  • 1974 (Centenary)
  • 1999 (125th Anniversary)



1875 1878 1879 1892 1897 1901 1903 1905 1906 1907 1912 1927 1932 1937 1938 1949 1956 1975 1976 1981 1985 1988 1989 1990 1999 2001 2013


  • 1924 (50th Anniversary History, 1924-75; see below)
  • 1949 (75th Anniversary History, 1949-67; see below)
  • 1974 (Centenary History, 1974-72; see below)
  • 1999 (125th Anniversary History, 1999-35; see below)


From Proceedings, Page 1924-75:

History of Norfolk Lodge
By Wor. Leonard Dawson.

The origin of Operative Masonry dates back into antiquity, but organized Freemasonry or the beginning of Operative and Speculative Masonry, which bodies had existed side by side from an early date, was established on June 24, 1717, over two hundred years ago, when four Lodges in London, England, first met and erected themselves into the Grand Lodge of England, which is the parent of every Grand Lodge in the world, and which gave the commission to Rt. Wor. Henry Price, First Provincial Grand Master in 1733, giving him the authority for the formation of Masonic Lodges in New England. Since that time the growth of Freemasonry has been phenomenal. Many Lodges in England and America can now boast of a membership larger than the total membership of the parent Grand Lodge.

The Grand Lodge of Massachusetts dates back to July 30, 1733, and from this organized body Freemasonry was introduced into the town of Needham on June 10, 1811, nearly one hundred and thirteen years ago, when Meridian Lodge was granted permission to change its location, after fourteen years' sojourn in the town of Watertown, to the town of Needham, in that part of the town which is now the town of Wellesley. The Charter for this Lodge was issued December 11, 1797. It was signed by Paul Revere, Grand Master. Meridian Lodge unfortunately on July 20, 1862, lost this precious document by fire. The Lodge met in Needham until September 13, 1843, a period of thirty-two years, at Smith's Tavern on the Boston and Worcester turnpike road. The structure was later known as Elm Park Hotel, but a few years ago was removed, its grounds now being used for park purposes. Many residents of Needham became members of Meridian Lodge, among them being Rt. Wor. Peter Lyon, who was Master in 1817. His son Peter was selectman of Needham for many years, and no doubt "Lyon's Bridge" in Greendale was named in memory of this old family. Wor. Seth Dewing received his degrees in 1809 and served as Master seven years. He died January 10, 1883, nearly ninety-five years old, having been for several years the oldest Mason in Massachusetts, a total of seventy-four years. Andrew Dewing, one of his ancestors, purchased an estate and settled in Needham in 1644, twenty-four years after the landing of the Pilgrims at Plymouth. Other Needham men belonging to Meridian Lodge were Ebenezer Fuller, James Smith, Simeon Grover, who was Junior Deacon about 1841, John Tolman, Thomas P. Weston, Royal McIntosh, Leonard Kingsbury, Luther Smith, Alvin Fuller, and many others.

After Meridian Lodge moved from Needham in 1843 the residents of the town who desired to become Masons affiliated with nearby Lodges, and in 1874, thirty-one years later, the history of Norfolk Lodge, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons, of Needham, Massachusetts, commenced, its official date being May 18, Anno Domini 1874, Anno Lucis 5874, when the Grand Master of Massachusetts issued a Dispensation to hold meetings in Needham. Prior to this official act twenty-eight of the Masons then residing in Needham, being interested and devoted to the great principles of Freemasonry and being desirous of meeting in closer relationship with each other, held several meetings preliminary to taking definite steps for establishing a permanent Lodge in the community.

The first meeting was held April 6, 1874, and the records state that about twenty of the Craft assembled. Edgar H. Bowers was chosen chairman and Emery Grover secretary of the meeting. It was unanimously decided that a Lodge should be constituted in this town and steps were immediately taken to have a subscription list in furtherance of the object, also to negotiate to procure the use of suitable quarters for Lodge purposes. At a meeting held April 22, 1874, a committee consisting of Edward Dorsey, Edward A. Mills, and Aaron Twigg was appointed to procure the recommendation of Constellation Lodge, of Dedham, it having Masonic jurisdiction over the town of Needham. A committee consisting of Edward A. Mills, Emery Grover, Edward W. Proctor, Edward Dorsey, and James E. Chapman was also appointed to prepare a petition to the Grand Lodge, asking that a Lodge be constituted in Needham.

It was also voted that the style and title of the Lodge shall be Norfolk Lodge, of Needham, Massachusetts. The name at this time without doubt was after the county of Norfolk in which county the town is located. It was also voted that the regular communications be held on Monday evenings on or before the full moon of each month. This was done in order that the Brethren might return home by the light of the moon and this custom was carried on until April 11, 1892, and you Brethren will appreciate this practice when you return to your homes tonight by the light of the full moon. On April 29, 1874, the first officers of the Lodge were chosen as follows:

  • Worshipful Master, Bro. Emery Grover
  • Senior Warden, Bro. Edward A. Mills
  • Junior Warden, Bro. James E. Chapman

At this meeting it was also decided to purchase necessary furniture, twelve officers' collars and jewels, besides aprons for the members. It will be interesting here to note that Mrs. John P. Edwards wrote me a short time ago of the interest taken by the ladies in the early formative period of the Lodge. She stated that some of the members' aprons were made by the ladies and her machine was used because Mrs. Grover had only a single-thread machine, while hers was a double-thread machine, and they desired to have the aprons sewed with a double-thread machine.

At the meeting held April 29, 1874, the following Brothers were elected by request of the Worshipful Master-elect :

  • Treasurer, Bro. Eldridge G. Leach
  • Secretary, Bro. Edward W. Proctor
  • Chaplain, Rev. Bro. Stephen G. Abbott
  • Senior Deacon, Bro. Edward A. Dorsey
  • Junior Deacon, Bro. Edgar H. Bowers
  • Senior Steward, Bro. George M. Hodge
  • Junior Steward, Bro. Benjamin T. Harding
  • Marshal, Bro. Aaron Twigg
  • Inside Sentinel, Bro. John T. Edwards
  • Tyler, Bro. Lewis Armstrong

On May 18, 1874, the last important preliminary meeting was held by the petitioners and on this same date the Most Worshipful Grand Master issued a Dispensation empowering the Brothers to form and open a Lodge. The first regular communication of Norfolk Lodge was held May 20, 1874, when sixteen members were present. The first application was received at this meeting from B. Davis Washburn and the Lodge then proceeded to rehearse the Entered Apprentice degree.

Thus was Norfolk Lodge, Ancient, Free and Accepted Masons, formed in the town of Needham, at a time when the population, which included both Needham and Wellesley, numbered about 4,100 souls, whereas today, in both these towns it is estimated there are about 16,000 people; 8,000 in each town, not including the student population of Wellesley, which is about 2,500. As a comparison the total valuation of Needham in 1874 was about four and a half million dollars ($4,500,000), whereas today the valuation in both towns is about thirty-four million dollars ($34,000,000). These figures are here given to show the growth in this vicinity from farming and wood lands to two towns of beautiful homes, the environment of the best.

For one year the Lodge operated under Dispensation granted by the Grand Master, during which time applications were received and degrees conferred upon eight candidates. The interest in the early days of the institution pf the Lodge was marked by the earnestness of the officers and members.

B. Davis Washburn was the first candidate to receive his degrees in Norfolk Lodge, the dates being as follows:

  • Entered Apprentice, June 29, 1874;
  • Fellow Craft, July 27, 1874;
  • Master Mason, September 21, 1874;

but Bro. Washburn never signed the by-laws of the Lodge. It was a Grand Lodge regulation until 1876 that members who had received their degrees must also be elected to membership, ind the signing of the by-laws in some cases was one year lifer the member had received his degrees.

Worshipful Henry Stoddard Locke, father of our preset Treasurer, Worshipful Clifford Mansfield Locke, was the first member who received his degrees in Norfolk Lodge p sign the by-laws. Brother Locke was entered as an BPPrentice October 19, 1874, passed to the degree of Fellow Craft November 23, 1874, and raised with Bro. William Pierce and Bro. David P. Henderson December 21, 1874. He signed the by-laws September 13, 1875. Bro. David Franklin Henderson referred to will be remembered by many of the older members; he was for many years captain of the Roxbury Horse Guards. His genial manner endeared him to his friends. It was with a great deal of pleasure and pride, when serving as Tyler, that he would arrange to have the shoe shining brush always ready for the new candidate and make him shine up his shoes in good style, so that he could make a good appearance when entering the Lodge.

On April 19, 1875, a committee was appointed on by-laws and seal.

On May 31, 1875, it was decided to hold a public installation.

The following petition, with its dignified and respectful wording asking for a Charter, was presented to the Grand Lodge Communication held June 9, 1875.

To the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts:

We the undersigned, Master Masons, to whom your Most Worshipful Grand Master issued a Dispensation, bearing date May 18, 1874, empowering us to form and open a Lodge, now returning our Dispensation, with a record of all our proceedings, and a. copy of our by-laws, respectfully pray, if these be approved, for a Charter of Constitution, empowering us with those who may hereafter join ns, under the name of Norfolk Lodge, of Needham, in the County of Norfolk, to perform all the ceremonies and discharge all the duties at said Needham appertaining to Ancient Craft Masonry, in accordance with the Constitution of the Grand Lodge.

  • Emery Grover
  • James Edwin Chapman
  • Edward Augustus Mills
  • John True Abbott
  • Elbridge Gerry Leach
  • Edward Dorsey
  • Edgar Howard Bowers
  • Stephen Gano Abbott
  • Theodore Frank Hanks
  • George Bell Hodge
  • John Flint Edwards
  • Aaron Twigg
  • Lewis Armstrong
  • John Nathaniel Menzel
  • William Henderson Norton
  • Thomas Coke Eaton
  • Ernest Balthaser Wassermann
  • William Scott
  • Edward Waters Proctor
  • Benjamin Franklin Harding
  • Andrew Theodore Bemis
  • John Manlove Hodge
  • Albion Robur Clapp
  • George Edward Otis
  • Isaac Bhoades Stearns
  • David McDougal Livingston
  • George Frederick Gould
  • James Smith

Needham, June 7, 1875.

It is interesting to note that nearly all parts of the town were represented on the Charter list; several from Grantville (now Wellesley), from Needham Plains (now Needham), from Highlandville (now Needham Heights), besides Charles River Village. Four of the above members from Needham Plains became Masters, Wor. Bros. Grover, Chapman, Leach, and Bowers. Three of the above from Highlandville also presided in the East, Wor. Bros. Mills, Dorsey, and Twigg. At the same Grand Lodge Communication, the Committee on Charters made report as follows:

In the Grand Lodge, Quarterly Communication, June 9, 1875.

The Committee on Charters respectfully report that they have carefully examined the by-laws, Records and accompanying documents, presented by Norfolk Lodge, of Needham, now working under Dispensation and find them to be in accordance with the Grand Constitutions and Masonic usage.
< f> All dues having been paid the Grand Lodge, your Committee would recommend that a Charter be issued to Norfolk Lodge as prayed for.

Ivory H. Pope, William J. Stevens, William E. Wilson, 'Committee.

The report was accepted, the recommendations were adopted, and a Charter was granted Norfolk Lodge, of Needham, which Charter is now in a good state of preservation. On this Charter are borne twenty-eight names. Seven became Worshipful Masters of Norfolk Lodge. Thomas Coke Eaton, whose name appears on the Charter, was Past Master of Phillips Lodge No. 67, of Phillips, Maine.

Emery Grover, the first named on the Charter, was the first Worshipful Master and occupied the position two years, in 1874 and 1875. lie received his degrees in Dalhousie Lodge, Newtonville, being entered an Apprentice February 9, 1870, passed a Fellow Craft March 9, 1870, and raised to the degree of Master Mason, April 20, 1870. He served as District Deputy Grand Master for the Twenty-FIrst (21st) Masonic District in 1888, 1889, and 1890. He was made an honorary member of Norfolk Lodge December 21, 1885.

Rt. Wor. Emery Grover after serving as Master was elected to various offices and in all served the Lodge as an officer for forty-one years, during thirty-three of which he was Treasurer. He installed the officers of Norfolk Lodge into their respective positions at fifteen different times. He was a trial justice of Norfolk County for thirty years, from 1868 to 1898, when he received an appointment to be Judge of the District Court of Northern Norfolk County at Dedham in 1898. He occupied this position to the time of his death, a period of twenty-two years. He took an active interest in town affairs, having served fifty times as moderator, and was a member of the school committee for over twenty years. For thirty-two years he was an officer in the Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company of Boston. On June 25, 1894, at the ladies' night held by the Lodge, I recall his making an address on the twentieth anniversary of Norfolk Lodge, and also on June 23, 1899, he gave a brief historical talk reviewing the steps which led to the gathering and promotion of Norfolk Lodge twenty-five years previous. On November 12, 1917, Norfolk Lodge presented him with a gold jewel bearing the cross keys supporting a past District Deputy Grand Master's jewel.

On January 1, 1917, he, with Mrs. Grover, celebrated their fiftieth wedding anniversary in the Lodge apartments, to which all the members of the Lodge and many friends were invited. He died suddenly while on his way to attend court at Dedham on March 5, 1920. Had he lived until April 24, the following month, he would have received the Henry Price Medal from the Grand Lodge for fifty years of active Masonic service. As a man, a judge, and a Mason, he was all that our affections could desire; genial and considerate, he was indeed an ornament to the order to which it was his pride and privilege to belong. His Past Master's apron is now in possession of Worshipful James Henry Whetton, Past Master of Norfolk Lodge. Brother Whetton has arranged matters so that it will later become the property of Norfolk Lodge, to be preserved in its archives. It was worn by the writer at the laying of the corner-stone of the George Washington Memorial at Alexandria, Virginia, on November 1, 1923.

The good work of Wor. James Edwin Chapman, the second Master, and Wor. Edward Augustus Mills, the third Master, and many other members of the Charter list, whom many of us had the pleasure of knowing personally and of whom we can testify to their Masonic worth, their loyalty to the Craft, and also to their deep interest as citizens of the town, will long be remembered.

Your historian recalls an incident which is worthy of mention here.

Thirty-three years after the organization of the Lodge, when your historian was serving as Master, arrangements were made to hold the Lodge's first Past Masters' Night to confer the degree of Master Mason. Wor. Bro. Edward A. Mills, having been living in anther state, attended this Lodge communication, it being his first visit in eighteen years. The Marshal was requested to conduct Rt. Wor. Emery Grover to the East, Wor. James E. Chapman to the West and Wor. Edward A. Mills to the South. Rt. Wor. Bro. Grover, when seated near me in East, stated I was making a mistake, as these were not the officers to confer the degree, but upon my advising the Lodge that the Worshipful Brethren who were then occupying the East, West, and South, were the first three officers of the Lodge, and that they had not been together for a great many years, the tears came into the eyes of Rt. Wor. Bro. Grover and he could hardly respond. He stated it was somewhat of a surprise and his mind went back to early struggles of the Lodge.

I should be remiss in my duty if I did not mention one who stands out strongly among the Charter members, Worshipful Edgar Howard Bowers, who received his degrees in Dalhousie Lodge with Right Wor. Emery Grover in 1870. He was the fifth Master and first Senior Deacon of Norfolk Lodge; his record as Secretary for a period of thirty-one years is one of a painstaking and efficient re-Border of events. To him many of us owe a great deal for our Masonic education, because he was ever ready to give information on matters pertaining to Masonry and especially to Norfolk Lodge. His ready wit and jovial manner were characteristic of this estimable Masonic gentleman. For many years he served the town in its highest capacity, that of Selectman. He installed his son, Wor. Allston Rice Bowers (who is Chairman of the Executive Committee on this Semi-Centenary), as Wor. Master June 21, 1909, and on June 26, 1910, presented him, on behalf of the Lodge, a Past Master's jewel. At that time Wor. Bro. Bowers, Sr., in part stated that:

To attain the rank of Past Master in our Ancient Fraternity and to sustain the dignity of the position, is an honor second to none in all the range of human preferment, and I confidently assert that no mere civic honor to which one may be promoted can ever obliterate or overshadow this.

Upon his retirement as Secretary, the Lodge (having grown to two hundred and eighty members) showed its appreciation by presenting him with a gold Past Secretary's jewel on June 11, 1917, it bearing also the insignia of a Past Master. He received the Henry Price Medal, April 24, 1920, for fifty years of active Masonic service. On January 20, 1920, he assisted the Master in the East, which was his last work in the Lodge, and it was coincident that within a few days of that date, forty years previous, as Worshipful Master of the Lodge, he raised to the sublime degree of Master Mason our oldest living initiate, Bro. George William Southworth. Brother Southworth remembered the event and presented Wor. Bro. Bowers with a gold Masonic watch charm. Wor. Bro. Bowers died at Needham, January 15, 1921.

Worshipful Aaron Twigg is the only member living who was a Charter member of Norfolk Lodge. Brother Twigg received his degrees in Hong Kong, China, being raised March 1, 1870, in Zetland Lodge, which Lodge is under the English jurisdiction. He was a Charter member of United Service Lodge in that city also, and was admitted to Constellation Lodge, of Dedham, August 14, 1872. He was elected Master of Norfolk Lodge in 1880, being the sixth Master, and served by re-election in 1889. He is a Charter member of Sagamore Lodge, Medford. He therefore enjoys the distinction of having been a Charter member of three different Lodges. On April 24, 1920, he received the Henry Price medal for fifty years of active Masonic service. Those who attended the occasion will remember his youthful spirit as he sang songs in a good tenor voice and recited poetry to the enjoyment of all. He, also, has served the town as Selectman for a number of years. Yesterday morning Wor. Bro. Clifford M. Locke and myself visited him at Medford. He was sorry he could not attend this occasion, but sent Masonic greetings to all.

The last name on the Charter list is that of James Smith who, as previously stated, was made a Mason in Meridian Lodge, then located in Needham. He was made a Master Mason February 8, 1827, and was the first member to be elected an honorary member of Norfolk Lodge on October 11, 1875.

On February 26, 1877, Wor. Emery Grover in behalf of the Lodge presented Brother Smith an elegant gold-headed cane, he being the oldest member and also it being the fiitieth anniversary of his admission to Masonry. He Passed away at Highlandville (now Needham Heights) March 28, 1894, and was buried with Masonic honors, as he had requested it in 1886, having been a Master Mason over sixty-seven years. We cherish with a great deal of pride his Masonic diploma, blue silk sash, and apron which he gave in custody to the Lodge for preservation on Dec. 17, 1888, sending his Masonic greetings and requesting that his gift be laid up in the archives of Masonry as a memorial of him.

A most notable event occurred on July 1, 1875, at a regular communication of the Lodge when the Lodge was Constituted by the Grand Officers. All twenty-eight Brethren were present who petitioned for a Charter, besides several visitors.

The Grand Lodge officers entered at four and one-half o'clock. There were present of the Grand Lodge,

Thus it will be noted that there were present from the Grand Lodge three Past Grand Masters and two distinguished Brothers who afterwards became Grand Masters, Most Worshipful Brother Everett and Most Worshipful Brother Endicott. Past Grand Master Winslow Lewis was a distinguished physician in Boston and took active interest jn the affairs of the city. He died at Grantville, then a part of Needham, on August 3, 1875, only a month following his visit at the Constitution of Norfolk Lodge, and this visit may possibly have been his last Masonic service. Norfolk Lodge was then Constituted by the Grand Lodge agreeably to ancient Masonic custom and proclamation was made thereof by the Grand Marshal.

On this occasion the Grand Lodge opened in Ample Form at 4.15 p.m. The Master was qualified by Rt. Wor. William D. Coolidge; Rt. Wor. Charles W. Titus; Rt. Wor. William H. Chessman. A procession was formed and the Grand Lodge was escorted to the Congregational Chapel where the first public installation ceremonies of Norfolk Lodge were held. The chapel building, now used as a two-family dwelling house, is still standing at the corner of Chapel Street near the Needham Chronicle office, and it is rather singular that the celebration which we are now holding is within sixty feet of that building. Following the installation ceremonies the Lodge was closed and the Brethren returned to Parker Hall, where two hundred or more partook of a banquet which had been prepared. The record of this event concludes as follows: <blockquote? The exercises of the day were very interesting and creditable to the Lodge. The hearts of the Brethren were encouraged to believe that Norfolk Lodge will do good in the Town of Needham; that it will be a source of benefit and pleasure to themselves and an honor to the Masonic Fraternity. </blockquote>

On July 12th, 1875, it was voted: "That this lodge does hereby declare that it now adopts the name of 'Norfolk Lodge' in commemoration of the Masonic virtues of that eminent man and Mason, His Grace Thomas Howard, Duke of Norfolk, Grand Master of English Masons in the years 1730 and 1731." And at the following communication the seal of the Lodge was changed to be the coat of arms of Thomas Howard, of England, the eighth Duke of Norfolk, enclosed by beaded circle surrounded by the words "Norfolk Lodge, Needham, Mass. May 18th, 5874," the whole being enclosed by a border of two circles, the inner beaded the outer plain. The suggestion to name the Lodge in memory of the illustrious Mason was made by Most Worshipful John T. Heard, Past Grand Master.

Thomas Howard was a direct descendant of the famous family of Howards in England, the premier house in its history, which house was established by Sir William Howard, Knight, Chief Justice of the Common Pleas of England, who died A.D. 1308. The ancestral residence is Arundel Castle, in Sussex. The old castle at Arundel was used before the conquest of England in 1066. It was occupied before the line of Howards by the lines of Montgomery, Albani, and Fitzalan. The first Duke of Norfolk married the heiress of the famous Arundel Castle. In the family of Howard was Thomas, the fourth Duke, who was executed in 1572 for conspiring in favor of Mary, Queen of Scots. Thomas, second Duke of Norfolk, 1454-1524, won the battle of Flodden over the Scots. One of the Howards was the Lord High Admiral of England who defeated the Spanish Armada. Thomas, fifth Duke of Norfolk and Earl of Arundel, 1594-1614, collected the famous Arundel marbles now at Oxford. The house of Howard, without doubt, is of Saxon origin, •!S certain Saxon coins have been found on the estate bearing the name of Howard. The name has been written as Haward, Howard, Howward, Haeward, Iloword, and sometimes with the final "e."

Thomas Howard, the eighth Duke of Norfolk, in whose memory the Lodge is named, was the eldest son of Lord Thomas Howard, second son of Henry Howard, the sixth Duke of Norfolk. He succeeded his uncle as Duke of Norfolk in 1701 and died December 23, 1732; he was interred at Arundel. He was born December 7, 1683, and May 26, 1709, he married Mary, daughter and sole heir of Sir Nicholas Sherbourne, Bart., of Stonyhurst, County of Lancaster. His brother Edward succeeded him in 1732 as the ninth Duke, as Thomas had no issue. There are only two known paintings of Thomas, the eighth Duke of Norfolk; one when young, inscribed Thomas, son of Lord Thomas Howard, aged eight years; the other is a half-length painting, sitting, in a large wig. This painting is at Arundel Castle.

Thomas Howard, the eighth Duke, had in all twenty-two different titles, the principal ones being, First Duke, Earl, Baron of England, and Grand Master of Free and Accepted Masons of England. He served as Grand Master of Masons in England from 1730 to 1731. He succeeded Lord Kingston, was active in the affairs of the Grand Lodge, was invested and installed at an Assembly and Feast held at Merchants-Taylor's Hall in the city of London on January 29, 1730, in the presence of a brilliant company, nine former Grand Masters being present. This was the only time the Duke of Norfolk was present at the Grand Lodge during his tenure of office, as he was absent for some time in Venice. His interest in the prosperity of the Institution is evidenced both by his having personally Constituted several Lodges prior to his departure, and having sent home many valuable presents from abroad. The munificence which the Duke of Norfolk displayed towards the Grand Lodge is acknowledged in the official minutes, but the following description (in part) from Dr. Anderson's writings of His Grace's gifts are richer in particulars:

  1. Money to the Fund for Masonic Charity.
  2. A large Folio Book of the finest writing paper for the records of the Grand Lodge, most richly bound and gilded, and on the frontispiece, in vellum, the Arms of Norfolk amply displayed with the inscription of his noble titles.
  3. The old trusty sword of Gustavus Adolphus, King of Sweden, that was worn by his successor in war, the brave Bernard, Duke of Saxe-Weimar, with both their names on the Blade: which the Grand Master ordered the King's Sword Cutler to adorn richly with the Arms of Norfolk in silver on the scabbard; in order to be the Grand Master's Sword of State in the future.

We have a letter on file from the late Bro. Henry Sadler, Grand Secretary of the Grand Lodge of England, in which he states that this sword is still used as the sword of state.

His Grace, Thomas Howard, Duke of Norfolk, granted the first real authority to any person in America to issue warrants for the formation of subordinate Lodges. The Imputation was issued to Bro. Daniel Coxe, Esquire, of New Jersey, who was "Nominated, constituted and appointed" Provincial Grand Master of the Provinces of New York. It was dated "London, on the fifth day of June, in the year 1730, and of Masonry 5730," but search has been made in vain and there is no record whatever, either in the United States or English Masonry, where he ever performed one act exercising the authority conferred. Three years later, however, the Grand Master of England issued a deputation to Henry Price, of Boston, appointing him Provincial Grand Master of New England. }y virtue of this authority, Brother Price organized a provincial Grand Lodge on July 30, 1733, and granted a warrant for the First Lodge in Boston, which he Constituted on the 13th day of August (the following month), and which in 1783 united with another Lodge, Constituted by Bro. Thomas Oxnard, Provincial Grand Master and successor to Brother Price, under the name of St. John's lodge, now the oldest Lodge on this continent.

Prom this constituted Grand Lodge and the Massachusetts Grand Lodge (Scottish Constitution), united with it m 1792, all Lodges in this State have received their authority to meet, and Norfolk Lodge has always been proud that it meets under the jurisdiction of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts.

During the early years of Norfolk Lodge there were many periods of financial hardships as a vote taken on February 7, 1876, will illustrate. "It was decided that an organ should be purchased and at such price as the committee should determine and on terms such that the Lodge shall have not less than six months in which to commence payment for the same." Assessments were made from time to time for the members to pay an equal amount to defray expenses for entertainment, and there are records showing that the Lodge had to borrow money to meet some of its obligations.

The first gift to the Lodge as recorded was by Wor. James B. Chapman on December 25, 1876, when it was voted that the thanks of the Lodge be tendered the Master for the handsome cushion upon which to carry the Holy Writings presented by him.

At the festival of St. John the Baptist held June 24, 1878, two of the toasts there given are most interesting and they also apply today. They were, First: "The Grand Lodge of Massachusetts. Its lead we are only too glad to follow and its command we ever feel safe to obey." Second: "The Clergy. In us they find no antagonism but most cordial cooperation in striving for the good of mankind." On these great principles handed down to us by our early Brethren, Norfolk Lodge has ever tried to follow and keep in their footsteps, for upon them rests the strength of our Institution, because the Ancient Landmarks are in them contained, a belief in God and of those Ancient Masonic customs which have come down to us through the ages.

The first Proxy to the Grand Lodge was elected on May 21, 1883, and Wor. Edgar H. Bowers again attended Grand Lodge.

For a few years the matter of capitation tax of the Grand Lodge on members caused some concern amongst a few of the Brethren, but on December 10, 1884, the Lodge voted to assume and pay the tax of June 11, 1879, for its members who had individually commuted it, and the Treasurer was authorized to borrow money sufficient to pay for that purpose and give notes not exceeding six per centum per annum, but at the following meeting in January 1885, a generous subscription was received from Bro. James P. Ingols, also a letter from the Grand Master, Samuel C. Lawrence, covering a check in aid of the payment of the amount to be paid, thus liquidating the amount clue the Grand Lodge. Resolutions were passed to the Most Worshipful Brother, thanking him for his deep interest and expressing the hope that he may reap a rich reward of "Corn, Wine and Oil" for all his labors. There is no doubt that our Most Worshipful Brother did enjoy the Masonic service he rendered to the Craft and the exalted position in which he was esteemed by his Brethren was extended throughout the Commonwealth.

You will be interested no doubt in the shortest record and without doubt the shortest regular communication; the record is of the communication held November 3, 1884. ■Alter stating that eight officers were present, the records state:

The Lodge was opened in form on the third degree thirty-five minutes past seven o'clock and closed in form on the third degree at forty minutes past seven o'clock.

Attest, Sec'y. Pro tem.

On March 20, 1885, a request was made by the Grand Lodge asking Norfolk Lodge's advice regarding the formation of a Lodge in Medfield, and a resolution was passed favoring the same provided the Grand Master should see fit to do so. I do not find where a Lodge was organized, but the jurisdiction of Norfolk Lodge extended some distance at that time.

The ladies usually attended the public ceremonies of installation held near St. John the Baptist's Day and many times spread the table for the banquet. On many occasions they happily surprised the members of the Lodge, after their communication was over, by having prepared elaborate suppers and banquets in the adjoining apartments, and there the members would meet their wives, mothers, sisters, and daughters, making the meetings some of the bright spots in life, and in the history of Norfolk Lodge, enjoying, as the records sometimes state, "a season of true Masonic refreshments in a feast of reason and flow of soul," and closing by singing "Auld Lang Syne."

Norfolk Lodge has always attended divine service at one of the several churches as invited, at or near St. John's Day on June 24, of each year. It is a pleasure which Norfolk Lodge has enjoyed by observing by special appointment these festal days and honoring the memory of eminent men of past ages whose lives and characters have illustrated the cardinal principles of Freemasonry which we should aim to perpetuate.

The Brethren who have received the highest honors in Freemasonry, who have been or are active members of Norfolk Lodge, are Brothers Horace Albert Carter, Charles Dana Burrage, and Robert Edward Denfeld.

Rt. Wor. Horace A. Carter received his degrees in Norfolk Lodge in 1895. He was elected Worshipful Master, 1913 and 1914. He was appointed District Deputy Grand Master for the Fifth Masonic District in 1916 and 1917, was elected Junior Grand Warden of the Grand Lodge in 1919. On May 19, 1919, Norfolk Lodge presented him with a beautiful gold jewel, the emblem of that office. Brother Carter enjoys the distinction of being the only member of Norfolk Lodge to occupy a position on the Board of Grand Officers in the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts. He is now serving his seventh year as an active member of the Board of Masonic Relief. His interest in Masonry and in Norfolk Lodge has endeared him to its members. He has made many gifts to the Lodge. On February 24, 1924, he sent from Jerusalem while visiting there, when taking a trip around the world, a piece of an ashlar from the quarries of King Solomon, also a gavel, the handle made of olive wood and the head of the gavel made of stone from King Solomon's quarries.

Bro. Charles Dana Burrage received his degrees in Norfolk Lodge in 1898. He served as Marshal, Senior Deacon, Junior Warden, and was elected Senior Warden, at about which time he was chosen Most Excellent Grand High Priest of the Grand Royal Arch Chapter of Massachusetts and found it necessary to resign his position in the Lodge, which was much regretted by his Brethren.

Brother Burrage was elected President of the Massachusetts Convention of High Priests, Order of High Priesthood, at the annual meeting in March, 1922, succeeding Most Excellent Warren B. Ellis, who had held the position for thirty-one years, and on retiring was made president emeritus. Brother Burrage has been reelected at the annual meetings in 1923 and 1924. His son, Robert Heywood Burrage, received his Master Mason degree at the fiftieth annual meeting of Norfolk Lodge held last Monday evening, May 12, 1924.

Most Wor. Bro. Robert Edward Denfeld has received the highest distinction in Symbolic Masonry. He became affiliated with Norfolk Lodge on October 7, 1878, at a time when serving the town as High School principal. He served as Junior Deacon in 1879, Senior Deacon in 1880, Junior Warden in 1881, and was elected Senior Warden May 1, 1882, but I find no record of his installation. He dimitted October 23, 1882. Bro. Henry Stoddard Locke, Junior Warden, was elected Senior Warden by Dispensation granted by Most Wor. Samuel C. Lawrence to hold an election on account of the vacancy. Brother Denfeld in 1885 became superintendent of schools in Duluth, Minn., and served in that capacity for thirty-one years. He served the Grand Lodge of Minnesota in many positions and on January 22, 1914, was elected and installed Grand Master of Masons of Minnesota. In 1915 he was raised t0 the honorary thirty-third degree at Washington, D. C. The sons of many members have also become members of Norfolk Lodge, including the first Master, whose father, Brother Simeon Grover, was a member and his own son, Edwin M., later became a member. The present Master's father, Bro. George E. Mitchell, and also the father of the Master-elect, Bro. Henry D. Rodgers, have been members for a number of years.

Wor. Bro. Charles E. Stanwood who served as Master at the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Lodge, has the honor of having the largest Masonic family connection, as his four sons, Harold E., Francis J., I. Ross, and Augustus T., also his son-in-law, Bro. Alfred J. Kroog, are all members at the present time.

Pour members of the Lodge have been honored by having been elected by the people to serve as Representatives of the General Court, Bro. William Carter, Wor. Bro. Charles E. Stanwood, Bro. William H. Carter, and Wor. Samuel H. Wragg, the present representative.

Bro. Enos H. Tucker served as State Senator. Rt. Wor. Horace A. Carter served on the Governor's Council in 1912 under Gov. Calvin Coolidge, now President of the United States. Bro. William H. Carter is the only member to serve as a member of Congress.

The members of Norfolk Lodge who served in the great Civil War and whose memory we cherish, are as follows:

  • Elias Washburn Adams
  • George Adams
  • Joseph Emery Fiske
  • Alonzo Evander Foss
  • Emery Grover
  • William Horrocks
  • Albert Dexter Kingsbury
  • Henry Tucker Mansfield
  • John Henry Whittemore

Brother (and Dr.) Kingsbury was the first Commander of Galen Orr Post, G. A. R.; Wor. George Adams and Bro. John H. Whittemore also occupied this position. Bro. Wm. Horrocks was an officer of the Post for many years. Brother (and Dr.) Mansfield was an honorary member of Norfolk Lodge, a member of the Loyal Legion and much loved by the citizens of the town. Of the above, Bro. Elias W. Adams is the only living Civil War veteran.

During the World War thirty-five members joined the colors and their names are here given in honored memory of that great struggle for liberty and righteousness. Twelve became commissioned officers. On the silk service flag, which now has a prominent place in the Lodge-room, is worked in blue silk the name of each Brother under his respective Star.

  • George Chenery Anthony
  • Ralph Alvin Badger
  • Wilbur James Blades
  • Walter Leslie Brown
  • Manson Hildreth Carter
  • Elmer Holbrook Cook
  • Lester Woodworth Cornwall
  • Kenneth Everett Creed
  • Roger Wilson Cutler
  • Pierpont Folsom DeLesdemier
  • George Rupert Southwell Denton
  • George Rushraan Dolloff
  • Redington Fiske
  • Rolla Edwin Healey
  • Kenneth Smith Herdman
  • Ray Currier Hall
  • Roy Wales Hall
  • Albert Louis Littlehale
  • Roy Frederic Littlehale
  • Henry George Moeller
  • William Robert Moeller
  • Harold Pierce Newell
  • Charles Wood Pease
  • Robert. Andrew Pidgeon
  • Walter Kerr Queen
  • Percy Hall Quinlan
  • David Smith Rose
  • Otho Lester Schofield
  • Robert Schulze, Jr.
  • Philip Simon
  • Augustus Taylor Stanwood
  • Ralph Starkweather
  • Wolfert Gerson Webber
  • Ralph Graham Wilmot
  • Percy Edwin Wye

During the fifty years that have passed we have been honored by four visits from the Grand Masters. The first was on July 1, 1875, which has already been described in full, when Most Wor. Percival Lowell Everett Constituted the Lodge. The second visit was on September 7, 1902, when Most Wor. Charles T. Gallagher, Grand Master, and Officers of the Grand Lodge visited Needham for the purpose of laying the corner-stone of the Town Hall, the building in which we are now holding our festivities, a handsome structure in the Colonial style of architecture. Worshipful George Albert Adams, our present Marshal, was Master of the Lodge and cordially welcomed the Most Worshipful Grand Master, and then, under escort of Gethsemane Commandery, of Newtonville, the Lodge and the Grand Lodge marched over some of the principal streets to the site of the new edifice where the ceremonies were conducted, and the stone was laid with due and ancient ceremony, according to established Masonic visage and pronounced "Well made, truly laid, true and trusty." Those of us who were present will never forget the occasion ; the day was glorious and a large body of Masons attended, and more than three thousand persons, visitors and Masons, witnessed the laying of the corner-stone. It was an eventful day in the history of Masonry in Needham. It bore the admiration of all who beheld it on account of the simple, yet beautiful and impressive ceremony.

Might I, at this point, digress and speak, not for our history, but of the honor of Most Wor. Bro. Gallagher? One thing I well remember he said in July, 1902, at the of the corner-stone of the Masonic Temple in Roxbury. Speaking of the patriot Joseph Warren who, at the time of his death at Bunker Hill, was Grand Master of Masons in Massachusetts, he said: "The body of Joseph Warren was thrice buried, first in the trenches where he was slain, at Bunker Hill; second, in the Granary Burying Ground, and finally on Warren Avenue in Forest Hills Cemetery. There was erected to his memory a marble monument on Bunker Hill, succeeding the first placed there by King Solomon's Lodge in 1794, the column unbroken, but white in its purity and full and upright in its miniature grandeur, indicative of his spotless life and sturdy character." The last sentence, I think, also can well be applied to his own life, which was one of usefulness and honor to the Craft.

The third visit was when Most Wor. John Albert Blake visited the Lodge in Masonic Hall, Kingsbury Building, February 11, 1907, when Wor. Leonard Dawson was Master, the occasion being one of a fraternal gathering, the two previous visits of Grand Officers being for official duties. The presence of the distinguished guests reflected lonor on Norfolk Lodge; the social and fraternal communion was notable.

Those who are acquainted with Most Wor. Bro. Blake are pleased to know that he is still doing active Masonic work. r»e have seen him so many times at the Masonic Home at Charlton where he is like a loving father to the guests lere- I personally like to think of him standing strong, sterling, and upright, like the pillars most remarkable in Scripture history, which were erected by Solomon at the porch of the Temple and which Josephus describes in part as follows: "moreover Hiram made two hollow pillars-one of these pillars he set at the entrance of the porch, at the right hand (or south) and called it Jachin, and the other at the left hand (or north) and called it Boaz." The initials of these pillars, Jachin and Boaz, are J. A. B., the same as those of our Most Wor. Brother, John Albert Blake.

The fourth visit was an occasion long to be remembered. Most Wor. Leon Martin Abbott, with a suite of Grand Officers and representatives of the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge, visited Norfolk Lodge on January 13, 1919, when Wor. Harley E. Crisp was Master, to pay respects to Rt. Wor. Horace A. Carter on his having been chosen to the honorable position of Junior Grand Warden. We are indeed proud of our Most Wor. Brother Abbott and we regret his inability to be with us on this occasion. He is one of the honorary members of our Lodge.

The visit tonight of our honored Most Wor. Dudley H. Ferrell is the climax of all. We know him to be a great leader in this time-honored Institution. His decisions are wise and just and our admiration goes out to him in his great work as leader of the oldest Masonic Grand Lodge on this continent, and we all welcome him here tonight, but I shall have to leave it to the future historian to record the story of this event in full and of his honored presence here.

The Lodge has had several places of meeting, but all have been within a few hundred feet of each other. From 1874 until September 29, 1879, the communications were held at Odd Fellows Hall, corner of Great Plain Avenue and Chapel Street (where the Crest and other buildings stand). From October 27, 1879, Masonic Hall in the Parker Hall Building was occupied until March 18, 1882, when Masonic Hall with nearly all the property of the Lodge was destroyed, on the morning of this date, by a fire which entirely consumed this building. (Parker Hall was located where the two bank buildings now stand, corner of Great Plain Avenue and Garden Street.)

On April 3, 1882, the Lodge returned to Odd Fellows building when Elliott Lodge offered the use of its hall and also its white aprons, which the Lodge accepted with thanks, and negotiations were made to continue meeting at that place at a rental of $50 per year, until May 13, 1887, on which date the Odd Fellows Building was destroyed by fire, and I here write in part from the records relating to the loss sustained:

On Friday night May 13, 1887, at low twelve a fire broke out in be basement of the Odd Fellows building in Needham which soon spread throughout the whole structure and quickly destroyed all its contents.

For a second time Norfolk Lodge suffered the loss of all its properties, files, and jewels, together with the beautiful and antique seal, the pride of the Lodge. The Charter, being the special charge of the Master, Wor. Albert E. Miller, was saved as were also the records and official copy of the by-laws.

Again Norfolk Lodge is homeless. Much of the work of the Lodge was the handiwork and free gift of the Brethren. These gifts and associations connected with their presentation can never e replaced and this record is made that the history of Norfolk Lodge may do justice to the self-sacrificing zeal of the Brethren who stood by it in trial and misfortune.<

Our Treasurer now has in charge a wax impression of the seal referred to above, it being the only impression made by this seal.

The Master and Wardens of Constellation Lodge, of Dedham, tendered to Norfolk Lodge the kind offer to use their Lodge-room and regalia after hearing of the loss by fire.

At a special communication held May 20, 1887, the Lodge met in St. Paul's Chapel, Moseley Building, corner of Great Plain Avenue and Chestnut Street, later known as the Bourne Building. The meeting was held in the apartments adjacent to the large hall now occupied by the Needham Theatre. Here the Lodge continued to meet until May 21, 1888, controlling the apartments, which were named Masonic Hall, Moseley Building. The Grand Lodge Tyler, Brother Henry Y. Parker, kindly loaned aprons and jewels for the regular communication held May 30, 1887.

On June 18, 1888, the first meeting was held in Masonic Hall on the third floor of the Kingsbury Building. This building is now standing and is located on the south side of Great Plain Avenue and east of the now New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad tracks. The Lodge met in a small room on the front or easterly side of the building until October 10, 1892, when the room was extended to the west side of the building; the hall, being practically doubled in size, was refitted and also provided with a new carpet. Here the Lodge met until July 26, 1893, when again the Lodge was visited by fire, which destroyed the carpet, altar, and furniture of the Lodge, this being the third time in its history that a like event had happened. The next regular communication was held August 14, 1893, in the banquet room of the Kingsbury Building; also the September and October communications were held there, the renovating being completed for the November, 1893, Communication.

On September 12, 1898, the apartments of the Lodge wre lighted by electricity for the first time; previous to this date kerosene lamps had been used. The new lighting proved a great convenience and was much enjoyed by the Brethren. The Lodge continued to meet in these apartments until June 24, 1907.

On September 9, 1907, the Lodge met at Bourne Hall, in the large hall now occupied by the Needham Theatre, and continued to hold meetings there until October 9, 1911, when arrangements were made to return again to the Kingsbury Building, where meetings were held until September 13, 1915.

On October 11, 1915, the first regular communication was held in the new Masonic Hall, 992 Great Plain Avenue, Needham, this property on the south side of said avenue opposite the Town Hall and Needham Common having been purchased by the Needham Masonic Hall Association. Extensive alterations had been made and a new building erected in the rear. The building and apartments now comprised a Lodge-room with suitable ante-rooms and parlor, together with a banquet room on the lower floor.

Early in 1923 the Masonic Hall Association installed a Frazee pipe organ in Masonic Hall at a cost of $4,000 and an organ recital was given on June 8, 1923. This instrument occupies the entire floor space of the organ loft, the console being situated directly under it. The entire action is electro-pneumatic.

The four panels which adorn the wall of the Lodge-room were formerly used by Dalhousie Lodge, Newtonville. On April 14, 1924, the Lodge took over the entire apartments on the second floor of the building which were vacated by the Needham Masonic Club, and also purchased the greater portion of the furniture.

In these Masonic Hall apartments we have now met for nearly nine years, where it has always been like "home, sweet home," living in "peace, unity and concord and with goodwill towards all.

During the period which has passed one communication was suspended, the four hundred and sixty-first regular, called for October 14, 1918; this was on account of the prevailing epidemic of influenza or grippe, when many persons succumbed to the dread disease. This suspension was in order to carry out the suggestion of the Emergency Health Board of the town. Authority to suspend meetings without Dispensation while the epidemic lasted was granted by the Grand Master.

The postponed meeting was held November 11, 1918, a memorable day in world history. The records state:

The lateness of the hour in opening this Communication, it being nine o'clock P. M., was on account of a 'General Town Celebration and Bonfire' on the occasion of the Allied Victory over the German Huns. This was a day of glorious celebration, November 11, A.L. 5918.

During these fifty years, Norfolk Lodge has been in three Grand Lodge Masonic Districts, as follows:

The Fifth District now comprises fifteen Lodges; it has the largest number of Lodges of any District in Massachusetts.

The ministers of the five Protestant churches in Needham, besides our honored Chaplain are all members of the Masonic Fraternity.

It is interesting to note the growth of the Lodge by each decade:

Periods of Ten Years Membership Increase Number of Members in Last Named Year
1874 28 (Charter members)
1874 to 1884 4★ 32
1884 to 1894 36 68
1894 to 1904 77 145
1904 to 1914 86 231
1914 to 1924 243 474

★ = This small increase is accounted for by a loss in membership from 1879 to 1884; five years of fourteen members.

From this table it will be noted that the Lodge has more than doubled its membership during the last ten years and has grown from its Charter list of 28 to 474; 750 have signed the by-laws of our Lodge. There have been thirty Masters of Norfolk Lodge of whom eighteen are now living; their names and year of election are as follows:

  • Rt. Wor. Emery Grover†, 1874-1875
  • Wor. James E. Chapman†, 1876
  • Wor. Edward A. Mills†, 1877
  • Wor. Edward Dorsey†, 1878
  • Wor. Edgar H. Bowers†, 1879
  • Wor. Aaron Twigg†, 1880, 1889
  • Wor. Isaac R. Stearns†, 1881-1882
  • Wor. Henry S. Locke†, 1883-1884
  • Wor. Elbridge G. Leach†, 1885
  • Wor. Albert E. Miller†, 1886
  • Wor. George Adams†, 1887-88, 1890
  • Wor. T. Frederick Peabody†, 1891-1892
  • Wor. William C. Freeman†, 1893-1894
  • Wor. Norman C. Munson, 1895-1896
  • Wor. Frederick D. Sutton, 1897-1898
  • Wor. Charles E. Stanwood, 1899-1900
  • Wor. George A. Adams, 1901-1902
  • Wor. John L. Twigg, 1903-1904
  • Wor. Leonard Dawson, 1905-1906
  • Wor. James H. Whetton, 1907-1908
  • Wor. Allston R. Bowers, 1909-1910
  • Wor. Theodore McIntosh, 1911-1912
  • Rt. Wor. Horace A. Carter, 1913-1914
  • Wor. Clifford M. Locke, 1915-1916
  • Wor. Harley E. Crisp, 1917-1918
  • Wor. Carleton G. Mcintosh, 1919
  • Wor. Robert B. Hill, 1920
  • Wor. Samuel H. Wragg, 1921
  • Wor. Walter K. Queen, 1922
  • Wor. Herbert N. Mitchell, 1923

† = Deceased. Past Masters of other Lodges who are affiliated with Norfolk Lodge are:

  • Wor. Joseph Satterlee, Past Master Wolcott Lodge No. 50, Stafford, Conn.
  • Wor. Fred M. Norcross, Past Master Bethesda Lodge, Brighton.
  • Wor. Frank E. Babcock, Past Master Wellesley Lodge, Wellesley.
  • Wor. Frank E. Porter, Past Master Soley Lodge, Somerville.

A few years ago the Past Masters of the Norfolk Lodge formed a Past Masters' Association, to keep up close fraternal relationship with each other and to discuss from time to time matters which may be of interest to Norfolk -lodge and to Masonry in general. Wor. James H. Whetton is now President; former Presidents have been Rt. Wor. Emery Grover and Wor. Clifford M. Locke. One new Lodge, Wellesley Lodge, of Wellesley, has been instituted, formed in part from our membership; four of its Past Masters received their degrees in Norfolk Lodge, Wor. Frank E. Babcock, Wor. Frank H. Vaughn, Wor. Arthur Dedrickson, and Wor. William S. Wilson. On April 8, 1912, Norfolk Lodge received the formal petition for recommendation of Wellesley Lodge, and at that meeting Norfolk Lodge unanimously resolved to recommend that the petition for a new Lodge be granted, and further expressed the earnest wish that the future of the new Lodge would be bright and prosperous and a credit to our Ancient Institution.

The seed of Masonry was sown in Needham when Meridian Lodge held its meeting in the town. It it fitting, however, that our Masonic descent should come from Constellation Lodge of Dedham, especially so when we consider that the town of Needham, prior to 1711, was a part of the shire town of Dedham. In like manner our Masonic descendants very properly go to Wellesley, especially so when we consider that prior to 1881, Wellesley was a part of the town of Needham. We therefore rejoice that we are linked together in so close a union.

Fifty years have passed since Norfolk Lodge was Instituted and note the advance in that period; from kerosene lamp to the electric light, controlled near at hand or by remote control; before the invention of the telephone, the electric car or automobile, the aeroplane or undersea boat, the radio-telegraph or radio-telephone, and yet the great principles laid down in this time-honored Institution remain the same and will stand the further tests of time.

It is impossible to predict what the future of Masonry will be in the town of Needham, but when we realize the accomplishments in the last half century and note its steady growth in a community which is larger in area than the Cjty of Somerville, the City of Everett, and the City of Cambridge combined, then who can tell what the future of our Fraternity will be in Needham, or throughout the world? With the great principles which are inculcated into our Order, having stones laid into its very foundation, such as liberty, justice, and equality, with the Holy Bible, the Great Light in Freemasonry, as our guide, and with a belief in God who is the ruler of us all, we must move steadily forward, and may, with these truths leading the way, arrive at a period when we shall embrace the entire race of man, looking forward to the time when one universal law of brotherhood shall bind all the nations of the earth.

Behold the acorn, from a tender root,
Puts forth a weak and unregarded shoot!
But Nature's faithful process once begun,
It gains new strength with each revolving sun
Till its firm stem the raging storm defies,
And its bold branches wave amidst the skies.


From Proceedings, Page 1949-67:

By Reverend Brother Harry Woods Kimball.

No one knows how long ago the first Mason arrived in Needham, but in the history of Bristol Lodge, North Attleboro, which was organized in 1797, one hundred and fifty-two years ago, it is recorded that among the charter members were men from the Town of Needham. So the roots of our Masonry go far back into the dim past.

Norfolk Lodge is tonight celebrating most joyfully its 75th anniversary, for it is a most firmly established institution in our community. For the 50th anniversary of the Lodge, Worshipful Leonard Dawson wrote a long and detailed history which fills forty pages in the Proceedings of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts for the year 1924. That history must have been the result of many hours of research and of hard work.

For the history of the first fifty years of Norfolk Lodge, therefore, I shall simply briefly stress the highlights of this splendid history by Brother Dawson. Masonry began officially in Needham 138 years ago when Meridian Lodge of Watertown was granted permission by the Grand Lodge to change its location to the Town of Needham. The Lodge met in Needham until 1843. After that year the residents of the Town who desired to become Masons were obliged to affiliate with nearby Lodges until, in 1874, the Grand Master issued a dispensation to hold Masonic meetings in Needham. At that time twenty-eight Masons residing in the Town took definite steps towards establishing a permanent Lodge in the community. A petition was presented to the Grand Lodge asking that a Lodge be constituted in Needham and that the title of the Lodge should be "Norfolk." The first regular communication of the Lodge was held on May 25, 1874, when sixteen members were present. Wor. Henry S. Locke, father of our present Treasurer, was the first member to receive his degrees in Norfolk Lodge and to sign the By-Laws. William Pierce, grandfather of R. W. Laurence E. Eaton and Wor. Chester W. Eaton, applied at the second meeting and was initiated at the fourth, on August 24, 1874. The petition for a charter carried twenty-eight names, headed by Emery Grover, who was the first Master of the Lodge. On the fiftieth anniversary only one of these charter members was living, Worshipful Brother Aaron Twigg. However, one name stands out among the charter members, Worshipful Edgar H. Bowers, who was the first Senior Deacon of Norfolk Lodge and its fifth Master. For thirty-one years he was a painstaking and efficient Secretary; for many years he also served the Town in its highest capacity, that of Selectman.

At the banquet which followed the installation of the Lodge, more than two hundred sat down.

The ministers of the various Protestant churches in Needham have always been active in Masonry and today all except one are members of the Blue Lodge. The Rev. Harry W. Kimball of the Congregational Church, served Norfolk Lodge as Chaplain for twenty-one years. In view of this cordial relationship, it is interesting to find recorded that at the festival of St. John the Baptist in 1878, of the two toasts given, one was "The Clergy. In us they find no antagonism but most cordial cooperation in striving for the good of mankind."

Two living members of Norfolk Lodge were especially mentioned by Leonard Dawson in his history. Brother William H. Carter is the only member to serve as a member of Congress. Right Worshipful Horace A. Carter served as Worshipful Master in 1913 and 1914; then he became District Deputy Grand Master for the Fifth Masonic District, and in 1919, was elected Junior Grand Warden of the Grand Lodge.

Norfolk Lodge has twice suffered, through fire, the loss of all its properties, files and jewels, and in the fire of 1887, when the Odd Fellows building was destroyed, it lost also the beautiful and antique seal, the pride of the Lodge, but the Charter was saved and all the records.

On October 11, 1915, the first regular communication was held in the new Masonic Hall on Great Plain Avenue. During the long history of the Lodge, only one communication has been suspended. This was in 1918 on account of the prevailing epidemic of influenza.

At the time of the fiftieth anniversary, 750 members had signed the By-Laws. At that time Worshipful Herbert N. Mitchell was the Master of the Lodge. In the very beautifully printed program of this anniversary, there were pictures of six members of the Lodge which would indicate that they were considered outstanding among the membership. These were R.W. Emery Grover, the first Master; Wor. James E. Chapman, the first Senior Warden; Wor. Edward A. Mills, the first Junior Warden; Wor. Edgar H. Bowers, who received the Henry Price Medal in 1920; Wor. Aaron Twigg, the only living charter member; and Bro. George W. Southworth, who at that time was the oldest initiate of the Lodge, having been initiated in 1879. Brother Southworth was for many years editor and owner of The Needham Chronicle and was a much beloved man in the community.

Three hundred fifty members sat down at the anniversary banquet, and with the guests, there were about four hundred in all. The Grand Master, Most Worshipful Dudley H. Ferrell, and ten other officers of the Grand Lodge, also all the Masters of the Lodges in the 5th Masonic District, were present. A very beautiful booklet, printed in gold and blue, with the seal of the Lodge, containing a complete program of all events and a half-tone picture of the officers of the Lodge, was at each plate. On the following evening, the Lodge held a Ladies' Night in the Town Hall and it is recorded that nearly every seat in the hall was taken.

Wor. Leonard Dawson concluded his history of the Lodge with this prophecy: "With the great principles which are inculcated into our order, having stones laid into its very foundations, such as liberty, justice and equality, with the Holy Bible, the Great Light in Freemasonry as our guide, and with a belief ln ^°d who is the ruler of us all, we must move steadily forward and may, with these truths leading the way, arrive at a period when we shall embrace the entire race of man, looking forward to the time when one universal law of brotherhood shall bind all nations of the earth."


After the fiftieth anniversary of the Lodge, the first important event in its history was a special communication for the purpose of laying the cornerstone of the Evangelical Congregational Church December 7, 1924. There were twenty Grand Officers present, and Brother Joseph Willett of Norfolk Lodge represented both the Church and the Lodge in the spreading of the cement. The Grand Master, Dudley H. Ferrell, delivered an appropriate address for the occasion. There were several thousand persons present.

Also in 1924, Norfolk Lodge appropriated $250 to furnish a room in the name of Norfolk Lodge in Williams Hall at the Masonic Home at Charlton.

It is also recorded that in this year Right Worshipful Horace A. Carter returned from a trip around the world, in which he brought the fraternal greetings of Norfolk Lodge to the Lodges of the Far East. He gave to the Lodge a most vivid account of his trip and of his Masonic experiences while on it.

In 1925 the Lodge received a legacy of $250 under the will of Lydia A. Grover, whose husband was the first Master of the Lodge and whose name stands first on the list of charter members.

In 1926 occurred the death of Charles Dana Burrage, who was an officer of Norfolk Lodge for eleven years. He wrote several booklets on Masonry and was a most talented speaker in the Lodge.

At the time of the fiftieth anniversary of Norfolk Lodge, the only living charter member was Wor. Aaron Twigg. Brother Twigg died in 1927. His was a rather notable Masonic record. He received his degrees in Hong Kong, China, being raised in Zetland Lodge there. He was a charter member of United Service Lodge of China; later he became a charter member of Sagamore Lodge, Medford. So this Brother had the distinction of being a charter member of three different Lodges. He was elected Master of Norfolk Lodge in 1880 and was re-elected in 1889.

Also in 1927, there came before the Lodge a petition for the formation of a new Lodge in Needham. Regarding this petition, the records read, "Wor. Herbert N. Mitchell offered the following motion 'that Norfolk Lodge recommend the formation of a new lodge within its jurisdiction.' The Worshipful Master declared the vote unanimously carried."

At this same meeting, Past Master Charles E. Stanwood raised his son, Brother Charles Carson Stanwood (who became Master in 1937), he being the youngest of five sons, all of whom were raised in Norfolk Lodge by their father. It may be noted further that on June 8, 1931, Wor. Charles E. Stanwood assisted in the raising of his grandson, Wor. Francis E. Stanwood, who later became Master of the Lodge on September 13, 1943. This was the first time in our history that a Master had raised five sons or a son and grandson in our Lodge and that three generations of a family served as Master.

In 1928 the question of a new lodge-room was raised and it was suggested that such a room be rented at a rental of $3,000 a year in a new block to be built on the former site of the Baptist Church. A committee reported that Norfolk Lodge should own its own property, and instead of paying rental, should spend the proposed rental in improvements on its own property. The report of the committee was adopted. The question was again raised in 1946, and after careful consideration by the Directors of the Needham Masonic Corporation, it was concluded that to leave the present location would be unwise financially and that the cost of major construction at the present location was far too great for our present financial situation. It is our hope that the time will come when through legacies, gifts and the accumulation of funds, we may have large and more modern apartments.

In 1929 the Treasurer's report showed that the members of the Lodge contributed nearly $1,000 for the Masonic Hospital Fund.

The gavel now used at each meeting of Norfolk Lodge has this inscription on a silver plate:

"Used by Wor. Walter K. Queen presiding at two meetings of Masons as follows:
First at Little America 78° 35'00 South
In the Antarctic Zone February 1, 1934

Second near Ellesmere Island 72° 23'00 North
In the Arctic Zone September 12, 1937

Presented to Norfolk Lodge A. F. & A. M.
Bro. George E. Hall
March 9, 1931

This gavel is made from an Original Rafter
Taken from Faneuil Hall in 1805"

On December 11, 1944, Bro. Colonel Curtis R. Low presented a gavel made from a stone from the quarries of King Solomon at Jerusalem and acquired by the Colonel while on a "round the world" flight to the various theatres of World War II.

It was during the time that Henry S. Rodgers was Worshipful Master that I became a Master Mason and I would like to record here that while the ritual work of the Lodge has always been given in an impressive manner, it is my conviction that no one has given it with a greater impressiveness and perfectness than did Wor. Brother Rodgers.

At Christmas time in 1936, the Lodge had a turkey dinner, with a Christmas tree and presents for all members present. The records report that this was a great success, but I cannot find that it was ever repeated.

In 1941 Mrs. Albert M. Miller presented to the Lodge a Masonic apron which was more than a hundred years old, and thanks of the Lodge was extended for this priceless gift.

At about this time a notation is made that a member of Norfolk Lodge had presented the Charity Fund with a gift of $500. In 1946, the Lodge received a bequest of $300 from the estate of Brother James R. Ruiter.

The 700th regular communication of Norfolk Lodge held on October 12, 1942, was a notable one for at that meeting the mortgage on the Masonic apartments was burned. The record states, "We now owe no man anything," but it had taken twenty-seven years to accomplish this. At the time the building became Masonic property, Wor. Clifford Locke was the presiding Master. The original mortgage was for the sum of $19,000. Most fittingly, the match was applied to the mortgage by Wor. Brother Locke.

In 1942 it was voted that the Norfolk Lodge dues of members in the Armed Forces of the United States during the present war be remitted for the duration of their service.

The February meeting of 1945 was notable for the fact that the meeting was held in a cold hall. The Lodge was entirely destitute of fuel oil, due to rationing restrictions during the War emergency. However, a load of wood had been procured to ease the cold for a short period. The scheduled dinner, the Fellowcraft Degree and the Fraternal Visit of Right Worshipful Fred Hale Hitchcock, District Deputy Grand Master for the Brighton Fifth District, was held as planned. With the temperature steadily dropping, and with the thermometer at 46° in the lodge-room, the work was carried on in the banquet hall, where the temperature was two or three degrees higher. Lt. Roger D. Goodwin, home on a few days leave from the Army, was initiated following the regular work of the evening. In 1944 a Roll of Honor was dedicated, beautifully painted with the crossed flags of the State and of our Country, over the colored seal of Norfolk Lodge, the two Masonic columns, the Great Lights, and the names of twenty-two members of Norfolk Lodge in their Country's service at the time of the dedication. And at this time this Resolution was adopted: "that inasmuch as Officers of Norfolk Lodge have laid aside their Masonic duties to answer their Country's call, it is the sense of this meeting that these brothers shall, at the first annual meeting after their return, be eligible for election or appointment to the office next above the one held at the time of their leaving the line."

Most rightly Norfolk Lodge feels greatly honored in having one of its members elected to the office of Grand Master of Masons in Massachusetts, and the Lodge has held three receptions to Most Worshipful Samuel Holmes Wragg, with printed programs and many most distinguished visitors. On the third occasion, November 7, 1947, M.W. Brother Wragg was honored by the presentation of a framed scroll commemorating his term as Grand Master, signed by all of the living Past Masters of Norfolk Lodge. The scroll had travelled 18,000 miles by air to be signed by Wor. Peter D. G. Hamilton at Guam. Also presented at this time by the Past Masters of the Lodge was an Honorary 33° jewel, M.W. Brother Wragg having attained that honor September 25, 1946, the only Needham Mason to have been so honored up to this time.

In 1946 a Needham Chapter of the Order of DeMolay was instituted and Norfolk Lodge did much service in helping to bring this about.

In 1948 it was voted that the sum of $2,000 be transferred from the Reserve Fund of Norfolk Lodge for the purpose of renovating the Lodge apartments and furnishings.

The ten oldest members of the Lodge are Bro. William Henry Carter, Bro. Henry Howard Upham, R.W. Horace Albert Carter Wor. James Henry Whetton, Bro. William Arthur Probert, Bro. Frank Livingstone Warner, Wor. Theodore Mcintosh, Rev. Bro. Hugh MacCallum, Bro. Urban H. Nickerson and Bro. Harry McMath, all but one of whom are wearers of the Masonic Veteran's Medal for fifty years faithful service.

The members donated $536.50 in 1947-48 to the Grand Master's Fund for Relief at the Masonic Home and Hospital.

Through the generosity of Bro. Alan B. Stephens, the original copies of the regular and special communications of Norfolk Lodge from May 25, 1874, through 1944, have been beautifully bound in five volumes.

In the course of this brief history of Norfolk Lodge, the names of quite a number of well-known members have been mentioned and their activities in Norfolk Lodge commented upon, but there are a few other names that in all fairness must be stressed because of what they have done and been in Masonry.

First, certainly, should be placed the name of Most Worshipful Samuel H. Wragg. He was Worshipful Master of Norfolk Lodge in 1921; in 1939 he was appointed District Deputy Grand Master of the Brighton Fifth Masonic District; the following year he was appointed Deputy Grand Master and, as we all know, was Grand Master of Masons in Massachusetts in 1945, 1946 and 1947. And yet, to us all, he is just Sam" and I am sure that for all the world he would not have it otherwise. I think the genuineness of his friendship and the humility of his spirit are what makes the Most Worshipful Samuel H. Wragg beloved by all.

Other members of Norfolk Lodge have served the Grand Lodge. Brother Horace A. Carter was Junior Grand Warden in 1919, and R. W. Brother Laurence E. Eaton, in 1940, was appointed Grand Standard Bearer and later served the Grand Lodge as Grand Sword Bearer, and is now a Grand Representative, representing the Grand Lodge of Delaware near the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts. He is also President of the Past Masters' Association.

Brother Frederick D. Sutton should not be forgotten. He was Master of the Lodge in 1897 and 1898, and for quite a few years, was the oldest living Past Master. He attended the Lodge meetings whenever he was able and was almost always honored in some way when he did. In 1933 Brother Sutton was presented with the Veteran's Medal for fifty years of service to Masonry, and with it, the greetings of the Most Worshipful Grand Master. A few meetings later, Brother Sutton gave the Lodge a very ancient Bible, and the gold lettering on the red leather binding reads: "Presented to Norfolk Lodge, A. F. & A. M., Needham, Massachusetts, on the sixtieth anniversary, May 14, 1934, A.L. 5934, by Worshipful Brother Frederick Davies Sutton." At the time of his death, October 25, 1944, he had been a member of Norfolk Lodge for sixty-one years.

Another member of the Lodge who will not soon be forgotten by most of us is Worshipful Brother George A. Adams. He was installed Marshal in 1908 and served continuously in this capacity for twenty-five years. No one who ever saw George A. Adams serve as Marshal is apt to forget the unusual way in which he performed that simple act. Speaking in the lodge-room soon after his passing, I said that the most impressive act I had seen in all my years in Needham was George Adams doing his part in the opening and closing of Norfolk Lodge. I shall always remember with gratefulness the sincere and dignified manner in which he opened and closed the Holy Bible and arranged the symbols of the Craft upon it. His reverential attitude as he paused for a moment at the altar before returning to his place in the lodge-room was a benediction. His heart and his mind were in the things he did, as well as his hands and feet. Thus he made a time-honored and venerable ritual, which might easily have become merely a routine act, live and take on the aspect of eternity.

Another name which stands out in a most memorable way is that of Brother Leonard Dawson. He was Worshipful Master in 1905 and 1906, President of the Past Masters' Association, and served as Secretary of Norfolk Lodge from 1917 to 1942, a total of twenty-five years. He became a life member in 1928. I quote a few words from my own eulogy which is inscribed in the records of the Lodge. "For nearly fifty years, Leonard Dawson has been associated with Norfolk Lodge and in all this long time, he has gone in and out among the brethren, beloved, honored and at length revered. If every one to whom he did a kindly service were to bring a blossom to his grave, he would sleep beneath a wilderness of flowers. We will never forget the sincerity and earnestness with which he gave the charges to new members. In his relations with his fellowmen, his purpose always was to meet upon the level and part upon the square."

One other name must surely be mentioned and that, as most of you can well imagine, is the name of Wor. Clifford M. Locke. He was Worshipful Master in 1915 and 1916. He has served Norfolk Lodge for thirty-one years as its Treasurer and a total of forty-three years as an officer of the Lodge. In 1942 he was awarded the Joseph Warren Medal for distinguished Masonic service. It is very largely due to Brother Locke's careful administration of the funds of the Lodge that it is in the strong financial condition that it is today.

In many of the histories of various Lodges, there is included a statement of the funds in possession of the Lodge, and therefore, here may be recorded that the funds in the treasury of Norfolk Lodge at the time of the annual report, September 1, 1948, are the following monies:

  • Charity Fund: $11,274.81
  • Reserve Funds: 19,655.75
  • Life Membership Fund: 762.21

There are many interesting incidents in these seventy-five years of the Lodge. I will mention only one, and this I cannot vouch for although it was told me on good authority. At one time so many officers of Norfolk Lodge were also officers of the Town of Needham that the Town was persuaded to change the time of its annual town meeting so that it would not interfere with the regular meeting night of the Lodge.

As was the experience of all Lodges, there had been a sharp increase in applications of candidates in Norfolk Lodge during and immediately after the period of the first World War. This sharp rise levelled off in the middle of the 1920s to a steady rise and continued through 1928, the high point in our membership showing on the Lodge returns of August 31st of that year as 502 members, when Wor. Arthur W. Littlehale ended his term as Master. Then came the depression years, when money was not only unavailable for degree fees, but for many, could not be afforded for annual dues. Many took dimits and many others were suspended for non-payment of dues, and a gradual decline in membership began to take effect. The returns of 1932 show the membership still at 486, after which there was a very marked decrease until in 1943, the low point of 378 members was reached.

A rise again set in during the term of Wor. Francis E. Stanwood, interesting to note because of the parallel with the years of the first World War days. Gross increases in membership are recorded as 31 on August 31, 1944, 39 in 1945, 33 in 1946, 37 in 1947, 18 in 1948 (when there were 478 members), and 24 in the present year. This gross increase of 182 members in six years brings our membership continually, subject, of course, to the decreases caused by deaths and a very few dimits, almost back to the high point of 1928, for as this writing takes place, we have exactly 500 members.

Looking back over these seventy-five years, we find that 1081 members have signed the By-Laws. Now, looking to the future, we find that Norfolk Lodge is stronger than it has ever been before. Age has brought no infirmities. The esteem and respect with which Norfolk Lodge is held in this community is the proof of its continuing worth. The men who have served Norfolk Lodge have kept the faith of Masonry; they have exemplified the principles of human brotherhood. Macaulay once said that "Men who do not revere the deeds of their ancestors will never do anything to be remembered by their descendants." In emulation, then, of these men who in the days that are gone have made Norfolk Lodge what it now is, may we so work and live that those who celebrate future anniversaries can look back and say of us, "They, too, exemplified the principles for which the founders stood."

So mote it be.

Let me close this history of Norfolk Lodge with an old Scottish Masonic toast which dates from before 1600 A.D.

"Weel may we a' be
Ille may we never see
Here's to the Maister
And the gude companie."


From Proceedings, Page 1974-72:

By Worshipful Chester W. Eaton and Brother Prescott B. Morse.

(For a more detailed history of Norfolk Lodge covering the earlier periods, please refer to: 1924 Mass. 80-119 and 1949 Mass. 67-78.)

On April 6, 1874 a group of Masons met and a committee was formed to establish a Masonic Lodge in Needham.

The first officers were chosen and elected on April 29, 1874. At this time we applied to the Grand Lodge for a dispensation to hold meetings in Needham. On the 18th of May 1874 this dispensation was granted by the Grand Lodge.

The first regular meeting of Norfolk Lodge, under dispensation, was held on May 20, 1874. Meetings were held on "full of the moon" in Odd Fellows Hall, corner of Great Plain Avenue and Chapel Street.

On July 1, 1875 Norfolk Lodge A.F. & A.M. was duly constituted. There were 28 brethren present when the charter was presented by the Grand Lodge officers.

On October 27, 1879 we held our meetings in Parker Hall. Our previous meeting place was destroyed by fire with the loss of the Lodge properties. We returned to Odd Fellows Hall for our regular meetings on April 3, 1882. Again on May 13, 1887 we were forced out of Odd Fellows Hall which was destroyed by fire. We again lost our properties in this fire.

After the fire, on May 20, 1887, we met in St. Paul's Chapel in the Bourne Building, corner of Great Plain Avenue and Chestnut Street. This meeting place continued until June 18, 1888 when we moved to the Kingsbury Building, now Stevens Building, current site of Youngs Furniture Company. On July 26, 1893 the Lodge Hall was again visited by fire which destroyed our carpet, altar and furniture. The August 14, 1893 meeting was held in the Banquet Room of the Kingsbury Building. In November 1893 we again met in the renovated Lodge Room until June 24, 1907.

On September 9, 1907 we returned to the Bourne Building for a larger hall which was also occupied by the Needham Theatre.

With an eye to the future, on April 11, 1911, the Needham Masonic Hall Association purchased land and building at 992 Great Plain Avenue, the site of the former Rimmele's Market.

The facilities at the Bourne Building were no longer suitable to us as a lodge hall, so we again returned to the Kingsbury Building on October 9, 1911. Our meetings continued there until October 11, 1915, when we moved to our new Masonic Hall at 992 Great Plain Avenue.

We continued to grow and on April 14, 1924 the Lodge took over the entire apartments on the second floor at 992 Great Plain Avenue. After 50 years, over 750 brethren have signed our By-Laws and our membership as of June 1924 was 474.

On May 12, 1924 we held our 50th Annual Meeting, this being our 517th regular meeting.

We commenced the celebration of our 50th Anniversary on May 18, 1924 with a parade which was followed by a church service in the Town Hall. On Monday, May 19th, a reception was held in the Lodge Hall with Most Worshipful Dudley H. Ferrell, Grand Master, presiding (1924 Mass. 73-119). A banquet followed in the Town Hall. On Tuesday, May 20th, we held a Ladies' Night at the Town Hall.

On Sunday, December 7, 1924, our 253rd Special Meeting, we laid the cornerstone of the Congregational Church with M.W. Dudley H. Ferrell, Grand Master, presiding with the assistance of our W. M. Henry S. Rogers of Norfolk Lodge (1924 Mass. 419-422).

By May 10, 1925 our records indicated that our membership was 480 with 12 life members.

On January 10, 1927 the fiscal year of the Lodge was changed from May 1st to August 31st, with dues of $8.00, and Grand Lodge dues $2.00. Membership as of August 31, 1927 was 490.

On September 12, 1927 a petition for a new lodge in Needham was granted -— to be known as Nehoiden Lodge.

On February 13, 1928 new lodge quarters were suggested, to be on the site of the First Baptist Church, to be rented: idea rejected.

On June 11, 1928 meeting, Bro. Samuel Smith was raised and this brought our active membership to 500. We reached a membership of 502 on August 31, 1928, and then due to stock market collapse and the beginning of the depression, our membership started to fall, and by August 31, 1930 it was down to 497.

Another step forward for Norfolk Lodge ... on April 13, 1931 the Masonic Service Committee was formed.

The world conditions were still showing their effect on our membership, as by August 31, 1933 we had fallen to 468 brethren.

A notable event for Norfolk Lodge took place on April 9, 1934 when Wor. Walter K. Queen returned our Lodge gavel with which he opened a lodge in his stateroom on the Jacob Ruppert at Little America. This gavel was also used on the R. M. S. Nascopie on September 11, 1927 while in Baffin Bay. This gavel was presented to the Lodge on March 9, 1931 and was made from a rafter taken from Faneuil Hall in 1805. This gavel was also used in our dedication.

In 1937 we remodeled our quarters with a new kitchen upstairs together with Banquet Hall. The Association Hall downstairs was turned over to Rimmele's Market which was expanding. Also during 1936 the Needham Masonic Hall Association was dissolved and the Needham Masonic Corporation formed.

In December 1939 Wor. Samuel H. Wragg was appointed Deputy Grand Master and a reception was held in his honor on January 26, 1940.

On March 11, 1941 Wellesley Lodge met in our Lodge Hall for their regular meeting as a result of a fire in their location at Wellesley.

At our June 9, 1941 meeting the Ancient Masonic Apron of Bro. Albert M. Miller was presented to the Lodge. This apron was 100 years old.

On April 3, 1942 Wor. Leonard Dawson died . . . our Secretary from 1917 to 1942, 25 years.

Due to the depression our membership was still suffering and as of August 31, 1942 we had but 387 brethren.

Another big event took place on October 12, 1942 when the mortgage on the Masonic Apartments was burned. At the time the Necdham Masonic Corporation was formed in the year 1936, the mortgage was $19,000. Norfolk Lodge had contributed to this mortgage each year since 1936. The February 8, 1943 meeting was moved to the Banquet Hall as the Lodge Room temperature was 46° . . . due to oil rationing, we were without heat.

On April 18, 1944 a Roll of Honor was dedicated to our members in the Armed Forces of World War II, with 22 members of Norfolk included. On January 15, 1945 a reception was held for M.W. Samuel Holmes Wragg who had been installed as Grand Master of Masons in Massachusetts on December 27, 1944. Born in Needham on June 9, 1882, raised in Norfolk Lodge December 8, 1913, installed W.M. May 9, 1921; D. D. G. M. Brighton Fifth District in 1939, D. G. M. in 1940. Later established the Samuel Holmes Wragg Fund. He was elected to Honorary Membership on September 10, 1945 and honored as a 33° Mason in September of 1946.

We honored another distinguished member on February 14, 1949. The evening was named "Worshipful Clifford M. Locke Night." He was raised on February 10, 1902, installed as W. M. 1915-16, Treasurer from June 10, 1918 to September 12, 1949, a total of 31 years. For more detailed events of the evening we refer to Norfolk Book of Minutes, page 297.

Seventy-five years had passed since Norfolk Lodge was formed, and on Sunday, May 1, 1949, we met at the First Methodist Church for devotional services. On Friday the 6th of May we had a Grand Lodge visitation at the Town Hall (1949 Mass. 64-78) ; Monday, May 9th was Past Masters' Night with the Fellow Craft Degree; Friday, May 13th ended the celebration with the Anniversary Entertainment and Dance at the Town Hall.

Over the past 75 years, 1081 members had signed the By-Laws. However, with deaths, demits and non-payment of dues during the depression years, and money unavailable for degrees, our gain was not rapid. As of May 6, 1949 on our 75th Anniversary, we had exactly 500 members. At the May 21, 1951 meeting, enlargement of quarters was again discussed ; however, the present building did not lend itself to major expansion. The Building Committee was alerted to look for future possibilities of new and larger quarters. The Committee later reported that a new location for the Lodge was found but the price was unreasonable.

On January 14, 1952 a pair of door knockers used in the old Masonic Hall, in the Kingsbury Block, was presented to Dover Lodge for their new Lodge Room.

A most unusual event was held on December 17, 1952. The four McCabe brothers, Raymond Welton McCabe, David Elton McCabe, Robert Gilbert McCabe, and William Ernest McCabe were raised by their father, Wor. A. Raymond McCabe, P.M. of Naval Lodge #184, Kittery, Maine.

On January 4, 1953 we again suffered a fire loss to our Lodge Hall at 992 Great Plain Avenue. Damage was done to the Lodge Room and some of its furnishings. Repairs were made and the Lodge quarters were again available on February 1st. The fire loss was covered by insurance. Our January 14th meeting was held in the lodge rooms of Wellesley Lodge.

On May 10, 1943 a plaque was presented by Wor. Clifford M. Locke and others to be attached to the Arch of Emblems which was donated by R.W. Horace A. Carter at the first meeting in the Lodge Room, October 1915.

At the November 12, 1956 meeting, R. W. Laurence E. Eaton, Grand Marshal of the Grand Lodge, was elected Honorary Member of Norfolk Lodge. Also during the year of 1957 we again honored R. W. Laurence E. Eaton as Senior Grand Warden and later Grand Master for the years 1960, 1961 and 1962.

On September 9, 1957 we recorded the gift of a new Hammond Organ from the Wor. Arthur W. Littlehale Fund.

The February 10, 1958 meeting records that Wor. John N. Hall was appointed District Deputy Grand Master of the Brighton Fifth District.

On May 11, 1959 we dedicated the Wragg Room in memory of M. W. Samuel Holmes Wragg. A bequest was made by M. W. Wragg and the room was refurnished with display cabinets for various memorabilia. The records of March 7, 1960 indicate that Wor. Chester W. Eaton was honored with the Joseph Warren Medal.

On September 10, 1960, a beautiful Altar Cloth with the seal of Norfolk Lodge embroidered thereon, made by Mrs. Marion Graham, was presented to the Lodge by her son, Wor. Carleton F. Graham.

The September 12, 1960 meeting was cancelled due to a hurricane; dispensation was issued by M. W. Laurence E. Eaton, Grand Master. The meeting was held September 19th.

The year ending on August 31, 1962 recorded 643 brethren in good standing.

In January 1963 a reception was held in honor of R. W. John N. Hall, Senior Grand Warden of the Grand Lodge.

At our meeting on September 14, 1964, the Needham Masonic Corporation reported the purchase of the property at 1101 Highland Avenue, Needham Heights, for future lodge use. A committee was appointed to study the situation.

On June 10, 1968, a Building Committee was formed with M. W. Laurence E. Eaton, Chairman. A fund raising committee was formed with Bro. Frank P. Ring appointed as Chairman by Wor. Jerry Bond, Jr., Chairman of the Needham Masonic Corporation. Plans were drawn and bids submitted, but fund raising was stagnated until the fall of 1970.

On December 7, 1970, a Special Meeting of the Lodge was held and it was resolved to authorize the Needham Masonic Corporation to proceed with construction of the new Lodge Hall on the condition that there would be no permanent mortgage or borrowing except in anticipation of pledges actually made.

The Fund Raising Committee was activated on February 8, 1971. Plans were made for a fund drive to begin April 6th with a kick-off dinner.

On September 3, 1971 the F'und Committee reported the sale of Great Plain Avenue Lodge building. Also reported that the minimum goal of the fund drive was met. Other commitments were pledged, plus further commitments from five other Masonic Bodies. On September 13, 1971 Norfolk Lodge voted to cancel the mortgage held on 1101 Highland Avenue and also voted to donate a sum from the Reserve Fund for the purpose of building a new Masonic Temple. Bids were received and accepted, and construction was scheduled to begin in November 1971, with completion planned for September 1972.

On a beautiful day, November 20, 1971, ground was broken for the new Masonic Temple. Many Masonic and Town of Needham dignitaries were present for the event. After a prayer and a few words about the new temple, many of the dignitaries took their turn at the shovel.

The new temple was finished on schedule and the dedication took place on September 6, 1972 (1972 Mass. 237-241). The National Colors were presented by the Manson H. Carter Post V. F. W. by Commander Andrew L. Lawson. A dinner was held in the new banquet hall for 250 brethren. Our guests at the dinner were M.W. Donald W. Vose, Grand Master, and his dedication suite. Fallowing the dinner, we met in the Lodge Room for a public dedication with 400 attending. The temple was dedicated by M.W. Donald W. Vose, Grand Master, with the assistance of his dedication suite. Many distinguished Brethren were introduced, including Wor. Arland A. Dirlam, the architect; P. G. M. Laurence E. Eaton, Chairman of the Building Committee; M. W. Joseph Earl Perry; M. W. A. Neill Osgood; Wor. John G. Stanley, Master of Nehoiden Lodge; R. W. Philip M. Turner, D. D. G. M. of the Waltham Fifth District; and R. W. Paul W. Rolston, D. D. G. M. of the Brighton Fifth District. The dedication suite also performed a ceremony at the cornerstone. Items were placed in the cornerstone by Wistaria Chapter, O.E.S.; Needham Chapter, Order of DeMolay; Nehoiden Lodge; Needham Assembly of Rainbow for Girls; Mt. Vernon Royal Arch Chapter; and Norfolk Lodge.

Norfolk Lodge has been fortunate in its choice of secretaries for the past 100 years. We find that Wor. Edgar H. Bowers served 31 years. Wor. Leonard Dawson served 25 years; Wor. Chester W. Eaton served 32 years; and seven other Past Masters served a combined total of 12 years. We also find that our treasurers have long service to our Lodge. Wor. Eldridge G. Leach served 10 years; Wor. Emery Grover, 34 years; Wor. Clifford M. Locke, 31 years; Wor. Arthur L. King, 15 years; Wor. George H. Krech, 8 years; and other Past Masters a combined total of 2 years.

Since our beginning in May 1874, we find that 1630 Brethren have signed our By-Laws, and that we now have a membership of 607.

The past century has been one of tremendous growth. From kerosene lamps to electric lighting; from horse-power to atomic power; from stagecoach to moon rocket. During this century Norfolk Lodge has also made tremendous progress; from meetings in various halls, we now have a new and modern Lodge Hall with complete modern facilities for the use in our continued growth and to the growth of the other Masonic Bodies.


From Proceedings, Page 1999-35:

On April 6, 1874, a group of Masons formed a committee to establish a Masonic Lodge in Needham. Officers were elected on April 29, 1874. On May 18, 1874, the Grand Lodge of Masons in Massachusetts granted a dispensation to hold meetings in Needham.

The first regular meeting, under the dispensation, was held on May 20, 1874. Meetings were held on the "full of the moon" in Odd Fellows Hall, at the comer of Great Plain Avenue and Chapel Street. On July 1, 1875, Norfolk Lodge, A.F. & A.M., was duly constituted. There were 28 brethren present when the charter was presented by the Grand Lodge Officers.

The early years saw Norfolk Lodge meeting at the old and new Odd Fellows Hall, Parker Hall, St. Paul's Chapel, Kingsbury Building and the Bourne Building, site of the Needham Theatre. Fires greatly influenced Norfolk Lodge's early history and meeting places. Many of our original records, documents and furniture were destroyed by three fires occurring in 1879, 1887, and 1893.

In 1911, the Needham Masonic Hall Association purchased the land and building at 992 Great Plain Avenue. The building was renovated and Norfolk Lodge moved into its new home on the second floor in 1915. Norfolk Lodge continued to grow and, during our 50th anniversary year, 1924, the meeting facilities were enlarged to occupy the entire second floor of 992 Great Plain Avenue.

We commenced the celebration of our 50th Anniversary on May 18, 1924, with a parade that was followed by a church service in Needham Town Hall. On May 19th, a reception was held in the Lodge Hall with Most Worshipful Dudley H. Ferrell, Grand Master, presiding. A banquet followed in the Town Hall. The anniversary celebration also included a Ladies' Night at Town Hall. During 1924, we laid the cornerstone of the Congregational Church. At the time of our fiftieth anniversary, Norfolk Lodge had 474 members.

Membership continued to grow and peaked at 502 shortly preceding 1929's "Black Tuesday". The annual dues during this period were $8.00 and Grand Lodge dues $2.00. During the Depression and well into World War II, the membership continued to fall and bottomed at 378 in 1943.

Despite the Depression and the World War, the fifteen-year period from 1929 and 1944 remained an active and positive one for Norfolk Lodge. In 1931, our Masonic Service Committee was formed. In 1936, the Needham Masonic Corporation was created to replace the Needham Masonic Hall Association. The Lodge quarters were renovated in 1937 complete with a new kitchen and banquet Hall. Despite the difficult financial times, the mortgage on the Masonic Apartments was burned on October 12, 1942.

Two notable items were presented to us during this fifteen-year period. In 1931, Wor. Walter K. Queen returned the gavel with which he opened Lodge in Little America. Not only was this gavel made from a rafter taken from Fanueil Hall in 1805 but was also used in our dedication. In 1941, the Ancient Masonic Apron of Bro. Albert M. Miller was presented to the Lodge; at the time, this apron was over 100 years old.

In 1944, Norfolk was proud to dedicate a Roll of Honor to our members in the Armed Forces of World War II. Twenty-two of our members are listed.

With the armistice and the return of peace, Norfolk Lodge membership again started growing and reached 500 brethren at the time of our 75th anniversary in 1949. The membership continued to grow and reached a peak of 657 in 1964.

In 1964, the Needham Masonic Corporation purchased the property at 1101 Highland Avenue as the location of a new Lodge. A Committee was appointed to formulate plans.

In 1968, building and fund raising committees were formed. Plans were drawn, and in December 1970, the Masonic Corporation was authorized to proceed with the construction. The Great Plain Avenue building that had served us for so many years was sold to assist in the funding of the new Lodge Hall. Ground was broken in November 1971 and the Lodge was dedicated on September 6, 1972.

In 1974, we observed our 100th anniversary with several gala celebrations commencing with a worship service at Carter Memorial Methodist Church, an anniversary communication and a ladies' night dinner dance. During our May 13, 1974 communication, M. W. Donald W. Vose, Grand Master of Masons in Massachusetts, was received. Our celebration included the burning of the mortgage.

During the years, Norfolk Lodge has been honored by having two of its members elected as Grand Master of Masons in Massachusetts. They are M. W. Samuel H. Wragg, 1945-1947 and M. W. Laurence E. Eaton, 1960-1962. M. W. David W. Lovering, Past Master of Nehoiden Lodge, now wears M. W. Samuel H. Wragg's Grand Masters Jewel.

Three of our members have been Deputy Grand Master. They are M. W. Samuel H. Wragg, 1940; R. W. Carl A. Gordon, 1993; and R. W. Ralph I. Sewall, 1998.

Many of our members have served, and are serving, as officers and active participants in Scottish Rite, York Rite, and The Shrine, and many are 33° Masons.

The past 25 years have witnessed the continued high attention to the tenets of our institution but with a continued change in our outward appearance to the community. Masonry at Norfolk Lodge encompasses excellent ritual as well as several charitable and community activities.

We have been deeply involved with the Town of Needham in many events and are frequently called upon to participate or lend personnel and space. The Lodge members currently sponsor the Independence Day Pancake Breakfast and co-sponsor the Holiday Tree Sale with Nehoiden Lodge. We have contributed funds and/or labor to Needham Food Pantry, Needham DARE Program, Rosemary Tot Lot, Needham Library, Little League, Needham Public Schools, Boston Marathon Cancer Drive and Needham Educational Foundation Spelling Bee.

Our involvement with other groups and participation in their events include Boy Scouts of America, Order of Rainbow, DeMolay, Needham Council for Aging, Needham Scouters' Club, Girl Scouts of America and Scouting for Food Collection.

Culture has changed during the past 25 years. New life-styles, living arrangements, and technologies have placed additional demands on the use of valuable free time. Organizations that meet on a regular basis during the evenings have found it difficult to attract and maintain their membership. Freemasonry, notwithstanding, remains a strong and vital part of Needham's culture and lifestyle. During the past five years, our membership has stabilized at about 300. We are attracting men of all ages and maintaining an interesting program, blending the ancient Masonic ritual with new and modern thoughts and technologies. The brethren work together on all projects from building a tool shed to retiling the Lodge Hall ceiling to the semi-annual Lodge cleanups.

Norfolk Lodge, A.F. & A.M., has enjoyed a magnificent history and looks forward to the future with optimism and the commitment to continue the high Masonic values which have brought us through our first 125 years.


  • 1901 (Transfer of districts)
  • 1912 (Dispute over jurisdiction)



From New England Freemason, Vol. II, No. 7, July 1875, Page 359:

A Special Communication of the M. W. Grand Lodge of Massachusetts was held at Needham, on Thursday afternoon, the 1st inst., for the purpose of constituting Norfolk Lodge and installing its officers. The M. W. Grand Master conducted the services. The ceremony of constituting the Lodge was performed in the Lodge-room, and was, of course, in private. When it was concluded, the Grand Officers were escorted by the members of the Lodge to the chapel of the Congregational Church, where the installation services were performed in the presence of a large number of ladies and invited guests. The W. Master was installed by Grand Master Everett, the Senior Warden by Past Grand Master Heard (acting Senior Grand Warden), the Junior Warden by R. W. Henry Endicott (acting Junior Grand Warden), and the remaining officers by Past Grand Master Coolidge (acting Deputy Grand Master). After these exercises were concluded, the Grand Master gave suitable words of encouragement and instruction to the officers and members of the new Lodge. At fifteen minutes past six, the Grand Lodge was closed in Ample Form. A collation followed, after which brief speeches were made by the Grand Master, the Past Grand Masters and others. The occasion was much enjoyed by all present.

The following is a list of the officers of the new Lodge:

  • Emery Grover, W.M.
  • James E. Chapman, S.W.
  • Edward A. Mills, J.W.
  • Elbridge G. Leach, Treas.
  • John T. Abbott, Sec.
  • Edward Dorsey, S.D.
  • Edgar M. Bowers, J.D.
  • Rev. Stephen G. Abbott, Chaplain
  • Aaron Twigg, Marshal
  • Theo. F. Hanks, S.S.
  • John F. Edwards, J.S.
  • Isaac R. Stearns, LS.
  • Lewis Armstrong, Tyler.


From Liberal Freemason, Vol. XII, No. 5, August 1888, Page 159:

The following officers of Norfolk Lodge, F. and A. M., of Needham, were recently publicly installed by P. W. M. Emery Grover; W. M., George Adams; S. W., Aaron Twigg; J. W., L. E. Morgan; Treasurer, Emery Grover; Secretary, E. H. Bowers; Chaplain, E. G. Leach; Marshal, F. D. Sutton; S. D., C. E. Stanwood; J. D., E. F. Peabody; S. S., W. C. Freeman; J. S., G. W. Fernald; I. S., J. H. Whittemore; T., T. C. Eaton. After the ceremony the company sojourned to the banquet hall, where a collation was served. This was followed by a social hour in the lodge room, with music by the Masonic Quartette, and speeches by Rev. S. W. Bush, Dr. E. G. Leach, and William Carter. Bro. Emery Grover was master of ceremonies. Altogether it was a most enjoyable occasion.


From New England Craftsman, Vol. XIV, No. 5, February 1919, Page 156:

Norfolk Lodge, A. F. & A. M. of Needham has had double honor come to it by the election of one of its Past Masters, Right Worshipful Horace A. Carter, to the office of Junior Grand Warden of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts and also to the Governor's Council of the State. On Monday evening, January 13, the lodge received a social and fraternal visit from the Grand Lodge in honor of the occasion and upwards of 200 brethren were present, the attendance being limited by the capacity of the room. At the supper which preceded the exercises Rt. Wor. Rev. Edward A. Horton, Senior Grand Chaplain, invoked the divine blessing and vocal music was given by a quartet. At the lodge session the guests were escorted into the lodge room by a committee of past masters with the Rt. Wor. Bro. Emery Grover as chairman. Bro. Grover in his usual felicitous manner presented the distinguished visitors, who were warmly welcomed on behalf of the lodge by Wor. Mas. Harley E. Crisp. He expressed the lodge's appreciation of the honor conferred upon it and upon Bro. Carter by their visit and assured them that this further proof of their interest in Norfolk lodge and its members would rivet still closer the bonds that bound them together. He invited the Grand Master to the chair and the other visitors to the seats of honor. The guests included: Most Wor. Leon M. Abbott, Grand Master; Rt. Wor. Benjamin Gilman, Senior Grand Warden; Rt. Wor. Horace A. Carter, Junior Grand Warden; Rt. Wor. Frederick Hamilton, Grand Secretary; Rt. Wor. Rev. Edward A. Horton, Senior Grand Chaplain; Rt. Wor. Edward N. West , Grand Marshal; Rt. Wor. George H. Dale, D. D. G. M., and other distinguished members of the Grand Lodge.

After the applause had subsided Grand Master Abbott, in an address scintillating with wit and wisdom, delivered the fraternal greetings of the Grand Lodge to the assembled brethren in general and to Bro. Carter in particular. It was a real pleasure to do honor to such a man, who by his devotion to Masonry, his virile patriotism and his unselfish labors in all good causes, had made a reputation for himself as one who was ever ready to serve others rather than himself; who sought office not for the fleeting glory that might go with it, but rather for the opportunities it gave the holder for the exercise of the cardinal virtues. It had been his good fortune and rare privilege to be closely associated with Bro. Carter in manj ways and he had always found him a man of keen business insight and sound judgment and with a heart aching to help those less fortunate than himself. His devotion to Masonry was known to all the craft and his associates in the Grand Lodge were proud to have him in their midst. He complimented Norfolk Lodge on the good work they had done and urged them not to weary in well doing. Rt. Wor. Senior Grand Warden Bro. Gilman, Rt. Wor. Grand Secretary Bro. Hamilton and Senior Grand Chaplain Bro. Rev. E. A. Horton followed along similar lines, each enlivening the proceeding's with wise humor and appropriate eloquence.

Rt. Wor. Junior Grand Warden H. A. Carter received an ovation on rising to respond. He said that the speakers had been all too kind in their remarks regarding him. He had tried in his humble way to be of service to the craft and to his fellow man and was not worthy of the encomiums that were being heaped upon him. However, he thanked them all most sincerely for their kindness and for the honors they had conferred upon him and no effort should be wanting on his part to perform faithfully the duties entrusted to him. During the evening another interesting ceremony took place when the Rt. Wor. Brother Emery Grover, who was one of the charter members of the lodge, presented it with a wax impression of the original seal of the lodge, taken at the time the lodge was instituted and the seal made and which had been in his possession ever since. The seal now used was not the original seal, which was injured by fire in the eighties and had to be recut so that there were slight variations from the original. The seal of the lodge bore the coat of arms of one Thomas Howard, Duke of Norfolk, who had been prominent in English Freemasonry, and it was after him the lodge was named and not after Norfolk county, as was often supposed.

Wor. Master H. E. Crisp accepted the gift on behalf of the lodge as another of the many tokens of Brother Grover's perennial interest in the lodge and its doings.

Altogether the evening will be long remembered by those fortunate enough to be present.


From New England Craftsman, Vol. XV, No. 7, April 1920, Page 220:

A very pleasant Masonic occasion was held in Norfolk Lodge, A. F. & A. M., Needham, on Saturday, April 24, 1920. The lodge was opened at 4.00 o'clock and the Entered apprentice degree conferred on five candidates sfter wh-L about two hundred members and guests under escort of the Marshal were conducted to a dinner which had been prepared.

After dinner the Bay State Quartette assisted by a lady reader gave an hour's entertainment which was enjoyed by ail present. There were seated at the head table Rt. Wor. Horace A. Carter, past Junior Grand Warden, representing the Most Wor. Grand Master, Wor. Aaron Twigg and Wor. Edgar H. Bowers, the only two living charter members of Norfolk Lodge. Wor. Bro. Twigg surprised the company present by singing several selections in a fine tenor voice although nearly 80 years of age, one selection being from II Trovatore which was finely rendered and which brought every one present to his feet in a round of applause.

After the banquet and social hour the brethren reassembled in the lodge room where Rt. Wor. Bro. Carter was received in accordance with Masonic practice. Two seats of honor had been placed near the East for Wor. Bro. Bowers and Wor. Bro. Twigg and in very choice words Rt. Wor. Bro. Carter stated that his mission was to present on behalf of the Most Wor. Grand Master two Henry Price medals to the two brothers who had been actively engaged in Masonic work for over fifty years. He explained briefly the Masonic life of Henry Price and spoke of the valuable service rendered the craft by Wor. Brothers Bowers and Twigg, how both had served the town as selectman for many years, besides holding positions of trust in the County.

The Secretary read the Masonic records of both brothers which showed that:

  • Wor. Bro. Aaron Twigg was made a Mason in Zetland Lodge, Hong Kong, China, under the jurisdiction of the Grand Lodge of England on March 4, 1870. In 1872 he became a member of Constellation Lodge, Dedham by affiliation and in May, 1874, became a charter member of Norfolk Lodge. Needham, he held various offices in the lodge for fifteen years, was Wor. Master in 1880 and again in 1889r he was Dist. Dept. Grand Marshal of the 21st Masonic District for Rt. Wor. Emery Grover in 1889-1890.
  • Wor. Bro. Edgar Howard Bowers received his degrees in Dalhousie Lodge, Newtonville, was raised to the degree of Master Mason on April 20, 1870, ho was the first Junior Deacon of Norfolk Lodge, in 1880 he was elected Wor. Master. Bro. Bowers served as an officer in Norfolk Lodge for thirty-eight years, serving as Secretary from 1882 to 1888 and again from 1893 to 1916, in all a period of thirty-one years. When he retired from active duty as an officer the lodge presented him with past secretary's gold jewel bearing also the Past Master's emblem. In accepting this jewel he stated "That he would be always ready for service." Rt. Wor. Bro. Carter then pinned on the breasts of the Wor. Brothers the Henry Price medals and both expressed their appreciation to tl Grand Lodge for the honor conferred, being recipients of jewels that meant much, both gave many reminiscences which was of great interest to the brethren present.

A reception was then given the distinguished brothers after which they retired with the Grand Lodge representatives, during which time the company sang Auld Lang Syne led by the Bay State Quartette.

Among others present were two brothers of Wor. Bro. Aaron Twigg, both members of Norfolk Lodge, Wor. John L. Twigg and Bro. George Twigg, also two sons, Bro. Harry L. Twigg, J. S. of Pequossette Lodge, and Bro. Horace Twigg of Monitor Lodge.

There was also present Wor. Allston K. Bowers, P. M. of Norfolk Lodge and se lectman of Needham, who is son of Woi Edgar H. Bowers and Bro. Edgar A. Bowers of Middlesex Lodge, a nephew and representative to the General Court from Framingham.


From New England Craftsman, Vol. XIX, No. 8, May 1924, Page 251:

At the regular meeting of Norfolk Lodge, A. F. & A. M., Needham, Mass., the officers of Constellation Lodge of Dedham, which is the mother of Norfolk Lodge, conferred the second degree on several candidates.

A pleasant feature of the evening was the presentation of three unusual gifts. Past Master Theodore Mcintosh loaned to the lodge for an indefinite period a Masonic apron, a lambskin and a diploma, belonging to his grandfather, Curtis Mcintosh of Needham. The diploma was issued by the old Constellation Lodge, 106 years ago in 1818, on the occasion when Mr. Mcintosh was made a master Mason.

Past Master Leonard Dawson, present secretary of the lodge, was presented by Wor. Bro. George A. Adams, on behalf of the menbers, with a Past Master's apron, in recognition of his many services to the lodge in the Past 30 years. Mr. Dawson, although taken by surprise, managed to convey his appreciation of the gift in his usual pleasing manner.

The lodge also received from Past Master Horace A. Carter, who is on a world tour, the gift of a gavel and small ashlar. The ashlar and head of the gavel are made of stone from King Solomon's quarries, in Jerusalem. The handle of the gavel is made of olive wood. Both are enclosed in handsome cases. The members and guests examined these gifts with much interest.


From New England Craftsman, Vol. XIX, No. 9, June 1924, Page 284:

Masons from all parts of the state, Sunday, May 19, in Needham, attended the exercises that marked the opening: of a three days' celebration of the Institution of Norfolk lodge, A. F. A. M., 50 years ago.

More than 1,000 members of the fraternity marched from the lodge hall to the town hall, where the opening exercises were held. led by Aleppo Temple band and drum corps, Shriners, under the direction of Louis Harlow.

Gethsemane Commandery, K. T.. of Newtonville, with Eminent Commander George A. B. Bacon in charge and 125 sir knights in line, acted as an escort to Norfolk Lodge. In line also were the members of Constellation Lodge of Dedham, the mother lodge of Norfolk Lodge, headed by Worshipful Master Ernest Chute; Wellesley Lodge of Wellesley, an offshoot of Norfolk Lodge, headed by Worshipful Master William S. Wilson; Meridian Lodge of Natick, which at one time met in Needham, headed by Worshipful Master William S. McRobert, and Rural Lodge of Quincy, headed by Worshipful Master William A. Stetson, Jr. Norfolk Lodge had 400 members in line, headed by Worshipful Master Herbert N. Whitehall.

Only Masons were admitted to the exercises in the town hall, but the spacious auditorium was crowded. Ministers of the town who are members of the fraternity had charge of the exercises. These were opened by invocations by the Rev. Corwin E. Wakin, Chaplain of the lodge, and the Rev. H. W. Kimball, pastor of the Congregational church. Scripture readings followed by the Rev. Mr. Kimball and the Rev. Albert J. Hughes, pastor of the First Baptist Church.

The anniversary sermon was preached by the Rev. Ben Franklin Allen, minister of the First Parish Church, who took for his theme: "Pillars of the Temple." He traced the progress of Masonry through the ages and told of the part it has played in the development of civil and religious liberty throughout the world.

Afterward Norfolk Lodge held a special meeting to receive Grand Master Dudley H. Ferrell, Deputy Grand Master Frank Simpson and officers of the Grand Lodge.


From TROWEL, Fall 1988, Page 29:

50-Year Past Masters Certificate and 3 50-Year Medals Presented

On March 14, M. W. Albert T. Ames, Grand Master, accompanied by a distinguished suite, paid a Fraternal Visit to Norfolk Lodge in Needham to present 50-year Veteran's Medals to Bros. Les Robbins, Abbot Rand, and William Carter. One hundred Brethren were in attendance where they later enjoyed a dinner catered by the wives of Norfolk Lodge Brethren and served by members of Needham DeMolay Chapter.

The Grand Master, Bro. Robbins, Bro. Rand, and Bro. Carter, with Wor. Donald Gibb, Master of the Lodge, at far right.

On that same evening, the Grand Master, accompanied by four Past Grand Masters and the District Deputy, journeyed to the home of Wor. Chester W. Eaton, who was Master of Norfolk Lodge in 1938 and a most diligent worker for the Craft, to present him with a 50-year Past Masters' Certificate. Three generations of the Eaton Masonic family were in attendance.

Seated, the Grand Master, Wor. Eaton, and M. W. Laurence E. Eaton, Past Grand Master and brother of the honoree.
Standing: M. W. J. Philip Berquist, M. W. David B. Richardson, Rev. and M. W. Arthur H. Melanson, all Past Grand Masters, and R. W. Carl A Gordon, D. D. G. M. of the Brighton 5th District.
(Photo and text credit: Wor. Donald C. Gibb.)




1874: District 12 (Milford)

1877: District 13 (Dedham)

1883: District 21 (Framingham)

1902: District 5 (Waltham)

1927: District 5 (Brighton)

2003: District 5


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