- 1 ROSWELL LEE LODGE
- 2 REFERENCES IN GRAND LODGE PROCEEDINGS
- 2.1 ANNIVERSARIES
- 2.2 VISITS BY GRAND MASTER
- 2.3 BY-LAW CHANGES
- 2.4 HISTORY
- 2.5 OTHER
- 2.6 EVENTS
- 2.7 GRAND LODGE OFFICERS
- 2.8 OTHER BROTHERS
- 2.9 DISTRICTS
- 2.10 LINKS
ROSWELL LEE LODGE
Chartered By: William Parkman
Charter Date: 03/09/1865 VII-2
Precedence Date: 03/11/1864
- Ezekiel W. Clark, 1864, 1865
- Samuel B. Spooner, 1866
- George T. Weaver, 1867, 1868
- Joseph Holt Cooper, 1869, 1870
- John E. Shipman, 1871, 1872; Mem
- Benjamin S. Haskins, 1873, 1874
- Edward P. Chapin, 1875
- John A. Hall, 1876, 1881; SN
- Charles C. Spellman, 1877-1870
- Fred B. Southmayd, 1880
- Alonzo F. Ball, 1882
- Charles J. Sanderson, 1884, 1885
- Charles H. Churchill, 1886
- George A. Spooner, 1887, 1888
- William W. Bartlett, 1889, 1890
- John J. Dowd, 1891, 1892
- Benjamin C. Harvey, 1893, 1894
- Albert D. Otto, 1895, 1896
- Samuel D. Sherwood, 1897; Mem; SN
- Arthur H. Rogers, 1898
- George M. Howe, 1899, 1900
- Joseph L. Strong, 1901, 1902
- Howard O. Buck, 1903, 1904
- Theodore H. Nye, 1905
- Frank J. Pease, 1906, 1907
- Henry L. Hines, 1908
- George H. Chamberlin, 1909
- John H. Grant, 1910
- Dan J. Kimpton, 1911; Memorial
- Harry G. Shaw, 1912
- Leon E. Bartlett, 1913
- Howard C. Kelly, 1914
- William Edmund Turner, 1915
- Lewis S. Nash, 1916
- Dwight H. Keyes, 1917; N
- George A. Deane, 1918; N
- Marcus H. Smith, 1919
- Robert J. Black, 1920
- Harry G. Robertson, 1921
- Frank J. Strange, 1922
- Charles R. Bower, 1923
- Walter C. Ross, 1924
- Dana R. Johnson, 1925; N
- Earl D. Strong, 1926
- Raymond D. Jewett, 1927
- Charles M. Ladd, 1928
- George W. Streeter, 1929; N
- Charles W. Reed, 1930
- Philip C. McMurdie, 1931
- William G. Collenberg, 1932
- Leland G. Carlton, 1933; SN
- Frank B. Ramsdell, 1934
- Louis Y. Schermerhorn, 1935
- Albert C. Rowley, 1936
- Ralph G. Hall, 1937
- Fowler W. Wilbur, 1938
- Harold D. Shierman, 1939
- George W. Streeter, Jr., 1940
- Donald A. Bartlett, 1941
- LeRoy H. Wood, 1942
- Charles S. Reed, 1943
- Milton A. Hayward, 1944
- Nathan S. Garrison, 1945
- Milford D. Harder, 1946
- George W. Clark, 1947
- Roy A. Goddard, 1948
- Edward C. Leech, 1949; SN
- John Baird, 1950
- Alvin E. Hauser, 1951
- Christian L. Paulson, 1952
- Wilbur B. Londerville, 1953
- Carl B. Martens, 1954
- George L. Cobleigh, Sr., 1955
- Raoul J. Babineau, 1956; N
- C. Alan Morrison, 1957
- George H. B. Crumb, 1958
- Clarence D. Ewell, 1959
- Karl Marquardt, 1960
- Donald Craig, 1961
- Walter L. Richter, 1962
- Clayton N. Fuller, 1963
- Howard C. Corliss, 1964
- Richard R. White, 1965
- Harry A. Durant, 1966
- Robert E. Rancore, 1967
- Harold J. Elkas, 1968
- Richard C. Zoller, 1969
- Emmett E. Thomas, 1970
- John S. Aitcheson, 1971
- Donald L. Atkinson, 1972
- Stanley B. Dickinson, Jr., 1973
- William A. Fawcett, 1974
- Richard G. Thomas, 1975
- Raymond E. Huber, 1976
- Edward P. Austin, 1977
- Herbert J. Sturm, 1978, 1979
REFERENCES IN GRAND LODGE PROCEEDINGS
- Petition for Dispensation: 1864
- Petition for Charter: 1865
- Consolidation Petition (with Samuel Osgood Lodge): 1979
- 1965 (Centenary)
VISITS BY GRAND MASTER
- 1865 (Parkman; Constitution of Lodge and initiation; Special Communication; see below) not in Proceedings
- 1881 (Lawrence)
- 1893 (Acting Grand Master Shepard; Hall dedication; Special Communication)
- 1907 (Blake)
- 1911 (Flanders)
- 1923 (Ferrell)
- 1927 (Simpson; Veterans' Night)
- 1931 (H. Dean; reception for Deputy Grand Master Edwin L. Davis)
- 1938 (Perry)
- 1965 (Osgood; Centenary; Special Communication)
- 1966 (Booth; Dedication of Roswell Lee Monument; Special Communication)
- 1979 (Melanson; Consolidation; Special Communication)
- 1965 (Centenary History, 1965-141)
CENTENARY HISTORY, MARCH 1965
From Proceedings, Page 1965-141:
By Wor. G. Wallace Streeter.
On this anniversary evening it is natural for us to delve into the old records and trace the history of our Lodge down through the years; noting the important, the interesting and the amusing items which crop out on almost every page. But, also, we give attention to the memory of the man we revere, Roswell Lee. Born in Canaan, New York, October 14, 1777. Made a Master Mason of Day Spring Lodge No. 30, Hampden, Connecticut, November 26, 1807. Worshipful Master of Day Spring Lodge in 1812 and 1813. Major and Lieutenant Colonel in the war of 1812, commanding, for the greater part of the war, the important post of Fort Griswold at Groton, Connecticut. Later, he was transferred to the frontier at Sacket's Harbor.
From the army, appointed Superintendent of the Armory at Springfield in 1815. Founded the United States Armory at Rock Island. He was the first Master of Hampden Lodge, Springfield, in 1818, and served again in 1820 and 1824. Charter member of Morning Star Royal Arch Chapter, and High Priest in 1819, 1820, 1823, and 1824. Organized Springfield Council of Royal and Select Masters, and was its first Thrice Illustrious Master in 1818, 1819, and 1820. Charter member of Springfield Commandery No. 6 and its Generalissimo in 1826. He died August 25, 1833, age 56 years.
ROSWELL LEE — A STRIKING FIGURE. A man whom you would turn to look at as he passed you on the street. More than six feet in height, erect, dignified, his somewhat austere countenance lighted with a kindly and winning smile when he spoke. "Said an old armorer: 'He was every inch a soldier, and I used to look up at him and think he was about the equal of George Washington'. Admired, respected and loved by all; employees and citizens. Colonel Lee's name is and will be more often in the thoughts, and oftener on the lips of men than that of any other Superintendent, living or dead". Such was the tribute of one who knew him well.
ROSWELL LEE. PATRIOTIC CITIZEN AND CHRISTIAN GENTLEMAN. Active and interested in every effort to improve the material welfare of the town of his adoption, he was even more interested and active in advancing the spiritual life of the community.
The first Episcopal Church service in Springfield was arranged by Roswell Lee, who had obtained permission of the Government to fit up a hall in the office building at the Armory as a Chapel. Here services were first held in 1817 by Reverend Titus Strong, a rector of St. James Episcopal Church at Greenfield. Note the courage and the vision. There was but one building for religious worship in the town at this time, and there were but four families belonging to the Episcopal Church.
On May 24, 1821, the Church was organized for the first time and Colonel Roswell Lee was one of its wardens. A rector was procured, but he resigned after a year's service, and the organization lapsed, to be revived in 1838 under the leadership of Rev. Henry W. Lee, son of Roswell Lee.
A Christian gentleman? Yes, and more than that, a builder of religion in the community.
ROSWELL LEE. A DEVOTED MASON. To whom no Masonic duty was ever a task. In 1820 he was at the head of three Masonic bodies; Hampden Lodge, Morning Star Chapter, and Springfield Council, each of which prospered under his leadership. And it may be significant, in view of later developments, to note that in arousing and sustaining interest, he depended not on the printed page or written communication, but upon friendly and frequent intercourse with his Brethren. It is said of him that he knew personally more people than any other man in Springfield.
He was a regular attendant at Grand Lodge at a time when a trip to Boston meant a ride of more than two hundred miles on horseback, and no expense account was ever rendered. He gave freely of his time and talents, and counted not the cost in his efforts to establish Masonry securely in Springfield.
ROSWELL LEE. A HUMAN INDIVIDUAL, who met all men, particularly his Brethren in Freemasonry, 'on the level', and without condescension.
ROSWELL LEE. A MODEST MAN. Admired and looked up to by old and young for his sterling character and unusual attainments, he never seemed to realize that he had other qualities than those possessed by the most humble citizen.
Modest, even in death. The notice of his passing in the New York Sun was less than two lines long, and even that contained an error, as it recorded him as 'Superintendent of the Army' in Springfield. The local newspaper, the Springfield Republican, then strongly Masonic in character, displayed no front page headlines and no obituary of superlatives. Just a single paragraph, placed as I think he would have wished, on the inside of the paper. A single paragraph, but eloquent in its very restraint of affection for the men and sincere grief at the loss of so valuable a citizen. Listen.
"Died, in this town on Sunday evening last, Colonel Roswell Lee, Superintendent of the Armory, aged 56. In the death of Col. Lee the government as well as the community at large has been deprived of a valuable and efficient public officer, and an amiable and courteous citizen. In the various offices of public trust which have been confided to him, he has uniformly acquitted himself to the highest satisfaction of the Government and the public. During nearly the whole of the late war, he commanded the important post of Fort Griswold at Groton, Conn., and was subsequently stationed on the frontier at Sackett's Harbor. In 1815 he was appointed to the superintendence of the U.S. Armory in this town. During the 18 years of his sojourning with us he had gained in an eminent degree the friendship and affection of a multitude of our citizens, particularly of those connected with the Armory, and in all the relations of life he sustained the character of a virtuous and honorable Man."
ROSWELL LEE. ORGANIZER, BUILDER, PATRON SAINT OF MASONRY IN SPRINGFIELD. May the four Masonic bodies which he helped to establish, continue for other centuries to exemplify the Masonic principles which meant so much to him.
HISTORY OF ROSWELL LEE LODGE
By Worshipful Alvin E. Hauser.
Hampden Lodge was instituted in 1817. Forty-seven years later several members of this Lodge considered the advisability of creating a new Lodge. Included in this group were Brothers Ocran Dickinson, John A. Gamber, Daniel Reynolds, and T. T. Merrick. At a meeting held on February 17, 1864, in a room at the old hall on State Street ten brothers were present. Brother Isaac D. Gibbons presided. It was on that night that these ten decided to form a new Lodge to be called "Roswell Lee Lodge" in honor of the first Master of Hampden Lodge and Commandant of the Springfield Armory.
At this meeting a committee was appointed to prepare a petition to be presented to the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge, praying for a dispensation to work. This petition was presented and signed at the next informal meeting held on February 21, 1864. With two exceptions the signers were all members of Hampden Lodge. Saturday evening was decided upon for holding future meetings of the newly formed Lodge.
At a regular communication of Hampden Lodge held on the fourth day of March, 1864, the petition to form a new Lodge was presented. It was unanimously voted to grant permission to the petitioners to organize a new Lodge to work under dispensation. It was also voted that "Roswell Lee Lodge" be allowed the use of Hampden Lodge's old jewels and regalia, and to grant "Roswell Lee Lodge" use of the lodge rooms for one year.
The first regular communication of Roswell Lee Lodge was held on the 21st day of March, 1864, to receive the dispensation granted by the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge. This dispensation authorized and empowered the petitioners already named to form and open a Lodge after the manner of Ancient Free and Accepted Masons according to the ancient custom and not otherwise. Brother E. Webster Clark was appointed the first Master; Brother I. D. Gibbons, first Senior Warden; Brother W. T. Ingraham, first Junior Warden; Brother O. H. Greenleaf was chosen Treasurer; Brother Samuel D. Spooner, Secretary; Brother Burrall Riggs, Senior Deacon; Brother Charles A. Call, Junior Deacon; Brother Robert Morris, Senior Steward; Brother George T. Weaver, Junior Steward; Brother J. E. Taylor, Chaplain; Brother P. H. Lawrence, Marshal; and Brother George D. Rollins of Hampden Lodge, Tyler. Brother Rollins continued as Tyler until our removal to the new Lodge hall at the Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance building in 1874.
At the next regular communication five petitions were received. Among them was that of R. J. Webster, who was the first to knock at the West Gate in Roswell Lee Lodge and receive the Entered Apprentice degree.
On the 14th of March, 1865, Roswell Lee Lodge received its Charter and was duly consecrated. Its officers were installed in due and ancient form by Most Worshipful William Parkman, Grand Master of Masons in Massachusetts.
A special communication was called on June 24, 1874, for the purpose of participating in the dedication of the new Lodge Rooms in the Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company building on Main Street. A procession was formed of Roswell Lee (140 members in line), Hampden, Chicopee, and Ionic Lodges; Morning Star Chapter and Commanderies from Springfield, Hartford, Newburyport, Northampton, Greenfield and Hudson. There was a collation in City Hall. The afternoon was devoted to the dedication of the hall by Most Worshipful Grand Master, Sereno D. Nickerson.
By request of Brother Charles F. Downing, Superintendent of Construction of the New Post Office Building, a special communication of Roswell Lee Lodge was called on February 22, 1889, to participate in the ceremonies connected with the cornerstone laying of the Post Office. These ceremonies were performed by the officers of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts, Henry Endicott being the Most Worshipful Grand Master.
On March 11, 1889, Roswell Lee Lodge celebrated its Silver Anniversary. Invitations were sent to Masons, their wives and lady friends. The Philharmonic orchestra performed and a Glee Club of fourteen voices, under the leadership of Brother W. F. Miller of Ludlow, sang a number of selections. An odd coincidence occurred on this occasion. The Master of Roswell Lee Lodge, Wor. W. W. Bartlett, was the son of Asher Bartlett, Past Master of Hampden Lodge, and the Master of Hampden Lodge, Frank E. Cooper, was the son of Past Master J. H. Cooper of Roswell Lee Lodge.
On the afternoon of February 9, 1891, fire was discovered in the upper story of the Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company building, and, before the fire could be extinguished, a large portion of the robes, regalia and paraphernalia of the several bodies was either wholly or partially destroyed. The Lodge room was rendered useless for the season by damage from water. While the loss was being satisfactorily adjusted, the owners of the building not deeming it advisable to immediately refit the upper stories of the building, the Brethren were called to a mass meeting of Masons at Gill's Hall on February 15, 1891.
At this meeting it was unanimously voted to purchase a building for Masonic purposes. A committee of twenty-one members, consisting of three from each of the seven different bodies, was appointed to carry out the project. Although Hampden Lodge and DeSoto Lodge of I. O. O. F. kindly offered us the use of their Lodge Rooms until matters could be adjusted, it was finally decided to hold our meetings in the old quarters.
At a regular communication on March 7, 1891, it was voted that Roswell Lee Lodge join with Hampden Lodge in granting permission to certain petitioners to Grand Lodge for a dispensation, authorizing the forming of a new Lodge in Ludlow, Massachusetts. Said Lodge was to be called Brigham Lodge. This Lodge received its Charter the following year. On October 21, 1892, the laying of the Cornerstone of the new Masonic Building was celebrated. A parade, including 1200 members belonging to the Order, was the largest held in years. The ceremonies were performed by Most Worshipful Samuel Wells, Grand Master of Masons in Massachusetts.
At a regular communication held on April 1, 1893, it was voted to allow the Springfield Masonic Hall Association to purchase all the Masonic furniture, including the organ, for an amount not to exceed $14,000.00.
On July 1, 1893, at a regular communication it was voted that the Worshipful Master act in conjunction with the Worshipful Master of Hampden Lodge to make the necessary arrangements in anticipation of the dedication of the new Masonic Building nearing completion. Tuesday, October 24th, 1893, was the day selected. A special communication was called at 1:30 P.M. for the purpose of assisting in the ceremonies with Hampden Lodge. These were performed by Most Worshipful Harvey N. Shepard, Grand Master of Masons in Massachusetts, in the presence of 240 Brethren.
At the end of the ceremonies the Officers and many brethren took positions in the parade, which was under the direction of the Chief Marshal, Henry M. Phillips. To Brother Edward P. Chapin, Past Master of Roswell Lee Lodge, the Masonic fraternity of Springfield will ever be grateful, as it was largely through his efforts as Chairman of the Building Committee that the project of a Masonic Headquarters of our own was brought to realization.
At the regular communication of March 3, 1894, a petition for the formation of a new lodge to be called Springfield Lodge was presented. At the next regular communication April 7, 1894, said petition was approved and the use of paraphernalia and jewels tendered while under dispensation was granted by the Grand Lodge. One year following, after receiving a Charter, the records show that at the regular communication of April 6, 1895, thirty-four members demitted to become members of Springfield Lodge. The first Master of Springfield Lodge, Wor. Bro. Harry W. Haskins, was our Senior Warden and the son of our venerable and much beloved Past Master, Benjamin S. Haskins.
A special communication of the Officers of Roswell Lee Lodge was called, pursuant to an invitation for the purpose of assisting in the ceremonies tending the laying of the cornerstone of the new High School Building by the Grand Lodge of Masons on Tuesday morning, June 1, 1897. At eleven o'clock in the morning the officers of the lodge, together with the officers of Hampden and Springfield Lodges acting as escort to the Grand Lodge, formed a procession. They proceeded to the site of the building where about 9,000 people witnessed the impressive ceremonies.
To show that the interest in Freemasonry was not lagging in those years, three more petitions for the formation of new lodges had been presented. One was for the formation of a new lodge in Springfield called Esoteric Lodge, one for a new lodge in Indian Orchard to be called Indian Orchard Lodge, and a petition for the formation of a new lodge in West Springfield to be known as Mount Orthodox Lodge.
On the occasion of Roswell Lee Lodge's 11th Past Masters' Night, March 22, 1913, the lodge had the honor of being most pleasantly surprised by the presence of our honored and illustrious Brother Thomas R. Marshall (33rd Degree Mason) and Vice-President of the United States, who was a guest in the city. The brethren listened to a most brilliant fifteen minute speech along the lines of Freemasonry. The attendance totaled 525. The Lodge, tip to this time, contributed largely to charitable purposes. It was one of the first to be placed on the Honor Roll for funds pledged for the support and maintenance of the Masonic Home in Charlton, Massachusetts.
March 13, 1915 heralded the 50th Anniversary of Roswell Lee Lodge with the Springfield Municipal Auditorium selected for the planned activities. Prominent and distinguished Masons attended the celebration from throughout the State. Included were Most Worshipful Melvin Maynard Johnson, Grand Master of Masons in Massachusetts, and his suite of Grand Lodge Officers. A reception committee from the Lodge greeted the Grand Lodge Officers at the Union Station on their arrival and escorted them to the Hotel Kimball.
Following a reception at the hotel, the group was driven to the Springfield Municipal Auditorium Building, and Grand Lodge was formally opened in the Mayor's Audit Office. A banquet followed in the Springfield Auditorium. Immediately following the banquet, the Grand Master was formally introduced and cordially welcomed by Wor. William Edward Turner. Members of the accompanying suite were also introduced.
The third degree was exemplified by the Past Masters of Roswell Lee Lodge comprising the following: Wor. E. Webster Clark, Leon E. Bartlett, Charles C. Spellman, Samuel D. Sherwood, Joseph C. Strong, Howard O. Buck, Charles H. Churchill, Arthur N. Rogers, George H. Chamberlin, Fred G. Southmayd, George M. Howe, John J. Dowd, George A. Spooner, Howard C. Kelly, and Benjamin S. Haskins.
Wor. Samuel D. Sherwood delivered the charge. The candidate raised on this auspicious occasion was Bro. Robert Valentine Stephen. In the Grand Master's address, he expressed the opinion that the 1500 Masons attending this special event was the largest gathering he had personally witnessed through his many travels. Following the Grand Master's remarks, Lodge was closed in due form.
The Lodge's 75th aniversary was celebrated on April 19, 1940 with the evening's event planned to include Past Masters' Night. Following the Anniversary dinner in the banquet hall of the Temple, the Lodge was opened by the regular line officers who completed the work of the first section of the degree.
The Anniversary address was capably handled by Wor. Howard C. Kelly, who was complimented by Wor. Wallace Streeter for the fine results he had obtained, with the arduous task of preparing the anniversary script. For the program, Wor. Howard highlighted the life and character of Roswell Lee, stressing the part of his life career as a supporter of the church. According to the records, this distinguished Mason and soldier had been instrumental in the formation of Christ Episcopal Church in the City of Springfield. It was therefore only fitting that Very Reverend Percy T. Edrop, Dean of Christ Church Cathedral, delivered the Anniversary prayer. Lodge was closed in due form at the conclusion of the evening's activities.
It is interesting to note that Roswell Lee Lodge, since it was instituted, has had only four Secretaries: Wor. Samuel D. Spooner, Wor. Alonzo Frederick Marshall Lander, Wor. Leon E. Bartlett, and Wor. Edward C. Leech, our present Secretary.
Rosewell Lee Lodge looks back at an illustrious past, and presents to its current members and officers a challenge to maintain previous standards while establishing records for future generations.
- 1924 (Participation in Springfield cornerstone laying, 1924-335)
- 1926 (Participation in Springfield hall dedication, 1926-29)
- 1936 (Reduction of fees approved, 1936-38)
CONSTITUTION OF LODGE, MARCH 1865
From Moore's Freemason's Monthly Magazine, Vol. XXIV, No. 5, April 1865:
Roswell Lee Lodge.
This is the name of a new and promising Lodge recently established at Springfield, Mass. Having worked a year under Dispensation, it was duly constituted by the M. W. Grand Lodge on the 14th of March, ultimo. The ceremonies took place in the Hall of Hampden Lodge, in the presence of a large number of Brethren. At the conclusion of these, and after a very excellent practical address by Grand Master Parkman, the Lodge was closed and the Brethren repaired to the Union House to supper, where a pleasant, and it is believed not an unprofitable hour was spent in social enjoyment and the interchange of views and opinions. The Lodge has done a large amount of work the past year, and starts on its new career with the most encouraging prospects. The officers are as follows: -
- E. W. Clark, W. M.
- Sam'l B. Spooner, S. W.
- John B. Hunt, J. W.
- A. E. Foth, Treas.
- W. T. Ingraham, Sec.
- G. T. Weaver, S. D.
- Robert Morris, J. D.
- James M. Porter, Marshal
- E. Cady, S. S.
- H. G. Shaw, J. S.
- Geo. D. Rollins, Tyler.
ST. JOHN'S DAY IN SPRINGFIELD, JUNE 1868
50TH ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION, MARCH 1915
From New England Craftsman, Vol. X, No. 6, March 1915, Page 191:
The celebration of the fiftieth anniversary of Roswell Lee Lodge of Springfield, Mass. on Saturday and Sunday, March 13th and 14th, was an event of notable interest to the lodge and to many others who were privileged to participate in the interesting exercises.
The lapse of a half century in the history of an organization rarely finds one living who was present at the beginning. Roswell Lee Lodge is one of few that have this honor, and its members were gratified by the presence of Ezekiel Webster Clarke, of Providence, R. I., who was the first Worshipful Master of the lodge.
The officers of the Grand Lodge reached Springfield early in the clay and were met by a committee who conducted them to Hotel Kimball where they were entertained. At 1.30 P. M. a reception was given to them in the mahogany room of City tlall, after which Grand Lodge I was organized in an apartment assigned for their use.
The Grand Lodge was represented by the following officers and permanent members: M. W. Melvin M. Johnson, Grand Master; R. W. Edwin A. Blodgett, as Deputy Grand Master; R. W. Chauncy E. Peck, as Senior Grand Warden; R. W. Thomas T. Booth, Junior Grand Warden; R. W. Charles H. Ramsay, Grand Treasurer; W. Frank Vogel, as Grand Secretary; W. Edwin L. Davis, Grand Lecturer; Past Grand Master John Albert Blake; District Deputy Grand Masters James B. Paige, Gurdon W. Gordon and Dan J. Kimpton; Rev. Edward A. Horton, Grand Chaplain; William M. Farrington, Grand Marshal; Robert G. Wilson, Senior Grand Deacon; Howard M. North, Senior Grand Steward; George W. Chester, Grand Tyler. There were also Past Deputy Grand Master William H. L. Odell; past Senior Grand Warden William M. Belcher; past Junior Grand Wardens Edmund P. Kendrick and Charles S. Proctor and other permanent members of the Grand Lodge. M. W. Edgar H. Parkman, past Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Connecticut and a relative of M. W. William Parkman who was Grand Master at the time Roswell Lee Lodge was constituted, was a special guest.
The anniversary exercises were held in City Hall Auditorium beginning at 2.30 P. M. There was an audience of more than eight hundred persons, mostly Masons. The opening number was by an orchestra.
After the prayer by Rev. Mr. Colpitts and the singing of the Lord's prayer in a very beautiful way by the Apollo quartet, Wor. Bro. William E. Turner, the present master of the lodge,. briefly hade the guests and visitors welcome, mentioning that Roswell Lee lodge is proud of the fact that it is the largest in the grand jurisdiction and that during its 50 years of life it has never done anything to bring the least discredit upon Masonry. Music by the orchestra followed and then Charles Clark Spellman, past master of the lodge, read a paper upon the progress of the lodge, which was of marked interest. In the course of his address he paid tributes to the worth of the service and character of Ezekiel W. Clarke, the first master of the lodge: the late Samuel B. Spooner, the second master; Edward P. Chapin, the seventh master; William Parkman, Grand Master of the state, who constituted the lodge, and Roswell Lee, after whom the lodge is named. There have been 33 masters of the lodge and 10 of them are dead. Mr. Snellman also praised Hampden Lodge for its benevolent interest in its daughter lodge and mentioned the Masonic temple that the Masons of the city are to erect on State Street.
Two songs by tile Apollo quartet followed Mr. Spellman's address.
William Edmund Turner; Lewis Stanford Nash; Dwight Harley Keyes
Worshipful Master; Senior Warden; Junior Warden
First Three Officers of Roswell Lee Lodge, 1915
Grand Master Johnson gave the principal address of occasion, saying in part:
"The year of 1865, was one of great stress. The crvstalizing process of public Opinion reached as tense a condition as it did just before the Revolutionary war. During this period Masonry came prominently to the front and lodges were formed all over the country. This was due partly to the benefits that the soldiers had found that they had derived from Masonry but more because the principles of Masonry were found to fit with the thoughts of the time.
"Symbolic Masonry, is only a little more than two centuries old and is the direct outgrowth of the organizations of the operative Masons who built the Gothic architecture of Europe. The principles of Masonry are, however much older than that. They are the legitimate successors of the mysteries of ancient Greece, Asia and Egypt. Secret societies have always existed with the teaching of belief in God and immortality as their object. These beliefs are taught to-day by the Masons. The Masonic institution knows no distinction of race or creed. The four chaplains of the grand lodge are respectively a Universalist, a Unitarian, a Methodist and a Congregationalist. Masons meet behind closed doors not because they have anything in their philosophy to teach that is not taught from every pulpit in the land or knowledge to communicate that is not to be had in every school, but to keep out the rancor of the world and so see to it that no feelings creep in to destroy brotherly relations and to keep secret the methods of knowing one another.
"There is going to be a great opportunity for Masonry in the next few years. It is a time of ferment in national thought: a time of breaking loose from the old and turning to the new. Yet all improvements must be built upon the eternal verities of human intercourse. The Ten Commandments will last as long as man endures and they cannot be improved. The Masonic institution stands as the keeper of all that is good in the past and should see to it that the red flag 01 no < iod ami no government is not raised in this land.
"The first visits of organized bodies of men between the North and the South after the civil war were the visits of Masonic bodies of Massachusetts and Virginia. A great feeling of friendship was promoted by Masonry after the war. To-day there is a far greater war in progress, and yet there is in the hearts of the men in the trenches far more of the spirit oi brotherhood than is supposed. At Christmas time the English and Germans came out of the trenches and mingled as brothers. If left to their own wills they would throw down their arms, but they are caught in the grip of the master war. When the war is over Masonry can do much to promote permanent peace and international brotherhood by bringing together in bonds of Masonic union the brothers from the different countries. The speaker closed with a fervid hope for the day when war shall cease arid men loving their countries not less shall even more than country love their fellow-men."
The meeting closed with a march by the orchestra, during which the guests on the stage marched out in a body and assembled in Mayor Brother Frank E. Stacy's office in the Administration build ing preparatory to returning to the Hotel Kimball.
There was a banquet at 6.15 for the members of the lodge and guests. At 5.00 P. M. the lodge was opened with tyled doors and the work of the third degree was exemplified by Past <asters of the lodge.
The anniversary celebration was continued on Sunday with a service in the First Church with Rev. Edward A. Horton, Grand Chaplain, as the principal speaker.
The beginning of Roswell Lee Lodge was in 1864 when it was determined by several brethren of Hampden Lodge to enlarge the influence of Freemasonry in Springfield by a new lodge. The petition for a dispensation for this purpose was signed by sixteen brethren, all of whom, with two exceptions, were members of Hampden Lodge, the first Lodge in the city.
Hampden Lodge gave its approval of the movement and the Grand Lodge granted a dispensation on the 11th of March 1864. Brother E. Webster Clarke was appointed first Master; I. D. Gibbons, first Senior Warden; and W. T. Ingraham, first Junior Warden. The charter was received by the lodge March 14, 1865. It bears the names of fifteen brethren, and was called Roswell Lee Lodge in honor of the brother of that name who was the first Master of Hampden Lodge and the commander of the Springfield Armory. The Lodge immediately began a career of prosperity. Its incidents of Masonic interest are so numerous that space allows a bare reference to but few. Among those most prominent may be mentioned the celebration of its silver anniversary March 11, 1889, which was observed as a ladies' night with entertainment and dancing. The Lodge took part in the dedication of the Post Office building February 22d., 1889. The ceremonies were performed by the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts with Harvey N. Shepard as Grand Master in the presence of 240 Masons. A parade followed with some 2100 men in line, including delegations from commanderies from many towns in the Connecticut Valley. The Masonic fraternity of Springfield will ever be grateful to Edward P. Chapin, Past Master of Roswell Lee Lodge, for it was largely due to his efforts as chairman of the building committee that the project for a Masonic home was realized. On October 24, 1893, it assisted Hampden Lodge in dedicating a new Masonic Temple. The lodge also assisted in forming a social club which was opened in October 1893. This club is still in a prosperous condition and the social center of Masonic activities. The membership is about twenty-five hundred. The Lodge has been called upon to approve the petitions for several new lodges. On March 22, 1913, the lodge was honored with the presence of Brother Thomas K. Marshall, vice-president of the United States who was a guest in the city. The lodge has contributed largely for charitable purpose. It was one of the first to be placed on the Honor Roll for funds pledged for the support of the Masonic 1 Ionic in Charlton.
The by-laws of Roswell Lee Lodge have been signed by 1826 members, 978 of whom are now members, the largest lodge membership in the State.
A very handsome souvenir program was given to every one present at the celebration. It contains, among other interesting features, a picture of the present Masonic Temple of Springfield, the Waite monument erected in 1763, which is generously decorated with Masonic emblems, and which is said to be "the earliest Masonic landmark in the State." It gives an historical account of the lodge compiled by Secretary Alonzo F. M. Lander; a group picture of the charter members; a picture of the building in which the lodge held its first meetings; two pages of the pictures of thirty-two past masters of the lodge; a list of the present officers; pictures of the present master and wardens of the lodge; a portrait of Rev. Edward A. Horton, chairman of committees; a fine likeness of Grand Master Johnson, also of Wor. Ezkeiel Webster Clarke, the first Master.
GRAND LODGE OFFICERS
- Raoul J. Babineau, DDGM, District 33 (Springfield), 1960, 1961; N
- Leland G. Carlton, DDGM, District 33 (Springfield), 1934, 1935; SN
- Edward P. Chapin, Senior Grand Warden 1896
- George A. Deane, DDGM, District 18 (Springfield), 1928, 1929; N
- John A. Hall, DDGM, District 10 (Springfield), 1877, 1878; SN
- Dana R. Johnson, DDGM, District 33 (Springfield), 1928, 1929; N
- Dwight H. Keyes, DDGM, Springfield 33, 1922, 1923; N
- Dan J. Kimpton, DDGM, District 33 (Springfield), 1914, 1915; Memorial
- Edward C. Leech, DDGM, District 33 (Springfield), 1973, 1974; SN
- Samuel D. Sherwood, DDGM, District 16 (Chicopee), 1899, 1900; Memorial; SN
- John E. Shipman, DDGM, District 10 (Springfield), 1875, 1876; Memorial
- Charles C. Spellman, Junior Grand Warden 1882
- Samuel B. Spooner, Junior Grand Warden 1891
- George W. Streeter, DDGM, District 33 (Springfield), 1938, 1939; N
- Edward P. Allbe, Memorial
- Elisha Burr Maynard, Memorial
- George N. Parsons, Memorial
- Waterman S. C. Russell, Memorial
- Samuel D. Sherwood, Memorial
- Horatio Gates Stickney, Memorial