- 1 SAINT ALBAN'S 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
SAINT ALBAN'S LODGE
Chartered By: Francis J. Oliver
Charter Date: 08/11/1818 III-150
Precedence Date: 08/11/1818
Current Status: Active
- Josiah J. Fiske, 1818-1820; SN
- Samuel Druce, 1821, 1822
- Tru(e)man Clark, 1823, 1831, 1832
- Amos Cobb, 1824, 1825
- Isaac Hunt, 1826, 1827
- Simeon Thompson, Jr., 1828
- Preston Pond, 1829, 1830
- DARK 1833-1855
- Horace Palmer, 1856
- Harvey E. Clap, 1857
- Linus E. Carpenter, 1858, 1859
- John Littlefield, 1860
- J. E. Carpenter, 1861, 1862, 1865
- William R. Thomas, 1863, 1864
- Elisha White, Jr., 1866, 1867
- William H. Thomas, 1868, 1869
- George C. Forrest, 1870, 1871
- William H. Torrey, 1872, 1873
- Allen F. Belcher, 1874, 1875
- Isaac P. Carpenter, 1876, 1877
- James B. Mowry, 1878-1880
- George Samuel Wheeler, 1881, 1882
- William B. Crocker, 1883, 1884
- Michael Ryan, 1885-1887
- Robert W. Carpenter, 1888, 1889
- Fred S. Lane, 1890-1892
- Charles E. Martis, 1893, 1894
- Irving W. Lane, 1895, 1896
- Fred G. Mears, 1897, 1898
- William S. White, 1899
- E(dwin). P. Jewett, 1900, 1901; SN
- Howard E. Newton, 1902, 1903
- Charles W. Bemis, 1904, 1905
- William H. Trayes, 1906
- George R. Ellis, 1907, 1908; N
- Frank C. Carpenter, 1909
- Fred H. Richards, 1910-1912; Mem
- Harry Bridge, 1913, 1914
- Forrest Bassett, 1915, 1916
- Harry B. Lewis, 1917, 1918
- Francis M. Perry, 1919, 1920
- Percy B. Richmond, 1921
- William H. Rider, Jr., 1922
- Clifford W. Lane, 1923
- Raymond W. Leonard, 1924
- Herbert Dodkin, 1925
- Wallace E. Tiffany, 1926
- Russell E. MacKenzie, 1927
- Norman R. Smith, 1928
- Clarence E. Tucker, 1929
- Byron G. Ingalls, 1930
- Charles A. Burrell, 1931
- Alva E. Poole, 1932
- Henry A. Turner, 1933
- Corodon S. Fuller, 1934; N
- Stanley M. Gilmour, 1935
- G. Perley Nicholl, 1936
- Bhertel C. Rost, 1937
- William C. Law, 1938
- Samuel J. Johnston, 1939
- Wilfred E. Booth, 1940
- Harold E. MacKenzie, 1941
- John E. Warren, 1942
- Dexter G. Stripp, 1943
- Frank O. Law, 1944
- Robert S. Griffiths, 1945
- George P. Clark, 1946
- J. Lloyd Hayden, 1947
- Archibald L. Hanna, 1948
- Gale K. Swartwood, 1949
- Walter H. Hiller, 1950; Mem; N
- Earl W. Cook, 1951
- Charles H. Comey, Jr., 1952
- Elmer L. Burt, 1953
- W. Raymond Bearce, 1954
- Phelps K. Tracy, 1955
- Alfred Herschel, 1956
- Donald B. Lightbody, 1957
- Bennet B. Fuller, 1958
- Harold E. MacKenzie, Jr., 1959
- Charles A. Burrell, Jr., 1960
- Robert L. Wroe, 1961
- Wendell S. Young, 1962
- Arthur Holmberg, 1963
- Kenneth R. Ramsay, 1964
- Robert M. Grahn, 1965
- John C. Fuller, 1966; PDDGM
- Richard D. Leggee, 1967; N
- Robert E. St. John, 1968
- Albert J. Lengel, 1969
- Robert L. Gimler, 1970
- Howard G. Black, 1971
- H. Eugene Law, 1972
- Harvey L. Hansen, 1973
- George A. Chase, 1974
- George Reid, 1975
- Russell W. Harnden, Jr., 1976
- Richard C. Hobbs, Jr., 1977
- Frederick B. Watson, 1978
- Stanley M. Robinson, Jr., 1979
- Donald B. Poole, 1980
- William H. Andren, 1981
- George C. Upper, Jr., 1982, 1995; N
- William H. Echols, Jr., 1983
- John M. Henderson, 1984
- Paul V. Wolf, 1985
- John F. Platt, 1986; N
- William R. Godfrey, 1987, 1988
- Charles E. Burnett, 1989
- Barry W. Topping, 1990, 1991
- Frederick B. Wason, 1992
- David N. Barberie, 1993, 1994
- James E. Carroll, 1996, 1997; PDDGM
- Glen M. Cunningham, 1998
- Raymond R. Fuller, 1999
- Peter J. Hall, 2000, 2001
- John P. Hall, 2002
- Glenn M. Cunningham, 2003
- Thomas R. Smith, 2004
- Gary C. Hobel, 2005-2007
- James W. Haskell, 2008, 2009
- Randolph C. Olsson, 2010-2012
REFERENCES IN GRAND LODGE PROCEEDINGS
- 1968 (150th Anniversary)
VISITS BY GRAND MASTER
- 1863 (Parkman; installation; see below) not in Proceedings
- 1885 (Howland)
- 1954 (W. Johnson)
- 1968 (Booth; 150th Anniversary; Special Communication)
- 1984 (Richardson)
- 1992 (Darling)
- 1968 (150th Anniversary History, 1968-106)
150TH ANNIVERSARY HISTORY, JUNE 1968
From Proceedings, Page 1968-106:
By Worshipful Robert M. Grahn.
Hervey Allen once wrote that "the past is a land of missing persons, and it is only by a combination of diligence and good fortune that anyone who is not monumentally remembered can be found there." This year, 1968, is the sesquicentennial year of the establishment of Saint Alban's Lodge. During the one hundred and fifty years since its beginning a lot of "past" has occurred. However, since we are presently celebrating the establishment of the Lodge, we will confine our comments to the origin and early years of Saint Alban's.
To discover the origin of our Lodge we must go back beyond 1855 when our charter was restored following the anti-masonic excitement. We must even go back beyond June, 1818. In fact, we must go back to 1797 to the Town of Franklin.
Montgomery Lodge was chartered in September, 1797, and remained at Franklin until 1808. During this period ihe closest Lodges were at Norton to the Southeast, Oxford to the West and Framingham to the North. This location gave Montgomery Lodge a considerable sphere from which to obtain its membership, and among this membership were many from the Wrentham and Walpole area. One of these, James Dupee of Walpole, received his degrees in the Lodge of Saint Andrew in Boston in 1778-9. He was never a member of that Lodge, however, but was a charter member of Montgomery Lodge and their first Senior Deacon.
In December, 1799, Rising Star Lodge in Stoughton received a charier and from its inception was very successful in gaining members. As this Lodge grew, it received many members from Canton and Sharon, and in 1810 voted to move to Canton.
While Montgomery Lodge and Rising Star Lodge were growing, so was Bristol Lodge in Norton which had been chartered in June, 1797. Bristol Lodge ranged far and wide in its membership, some drawn from Easton, Taunton. Pawtucket, R.I., Attleboro, Mansfield and Wrentham.
Owing to the formation of other Lodges and changes in membership, Bristol Lodge moved from Norton to Attleboro early in 1812.
Similar pressures were felt by Rising Star Lodge and in June, 181+, that Lodge moved from Canton to Sharon. The natural changes in membership which had been taking place during the early 1800's did not miss Montgomery Lodge, which early felt the pressures from the Lodges to the East and South of it. In consequence of this, in February, 1809, Montgomery Lodge left Franklin and moved to Medway, where it remained until March 4, 1818.
All of this moving and relocating of Lodges was typical of the effect of growth and interest in the Masonic Fraternity. In the nineteen years between 1797 and 1818 the number of Lodges in Massachusetts had more than doubled that of the first sixty-four years.
It was during this movement of expansion that fifteen Brothers, that is, Masonic Brothers, met at the Inn or Tavern of Moses Whitney in Wrentham, Fourteen of them resided in Wrentham, the other in Medfield. This meeting was held on the evening of April 13, 1818, agreeably to previous notice, to "consider upon measures proper to be taken with regard to procuring a Dispensation for a Lodge in Wrentham." Committees were appointed to wait upon Bristol Lodge and Montgomery Lodge "to obtain their consent for an application to the Grand Lodge for a Dispensation." This was done in proper time and at the April 22 meeting of Montgomery Lodge consent was cheerfully given and a committee appointed to confer with the Wrentham Brethren concernint; the funds and furniture of the Lodge.
Two meetings were held in May at Moses Whitney's to determine ways and means for establishing a Lodge in the town and to prepare a petition for Dispensation to be signed by Brethren in the vicinity of Wrcntham to be presented to "The Grand Lodge of the Most Ancient and Honorable Society of Free and Accepted Masons of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts."'
After completing the collection of names for the petition it was voted that the Lodge be called the Wrentham Lodge, also that the Master and Wardens be elected and named on the petition. It was then voted that Bro. Josiah Jones Fiske be the first Master; Bro. John Whiting, 2nd, first Senior Warden; and Bro. Lowell Holbrook, first Junior Warden. Also that Brother Samuel Drucc be the committee to present the petition to Grand Lodge at the next Quarterly Meeting.
Thus on June 10, 1818 Grand Lodge received the petition for a dispensation for a Lodge in Wrentham. This was rejected. However, they did sec fit to grant a charter leaving a blank for the name to be filled in later. The name "Wrentham" was considered too local and unsuitable.
On the following Wednesday the Wrcntham Brethren again met and this time voted that the name of the Lodge be Saint Alban's.
The first board of officers was completed at this meeting and consisted of Brothers Josiah J. Fiske, John Whiting, 2nd, and Lowell Holbrook as previously chosen and: Samuel Druce, Treasurer; Lewis W. Fisher, Secretary; Alfred Day, Senior Deacon; Jesse Whiting, Junior Deacon; David A. Fisher, Senior Steward; Austin Saunders, Junior Steward.
The complete list of petitioners and the charter members of Saint Alban's is as follows: Josiah Jones Fiske, Lewis W. Fisher, Lowell Holbrook, David A. Fisher, Samuel Druce, Alfred Day, John Whiting, 2nd, Jesse Whiting, Austin Saunders, Ames Archer, Moses Whitney, Lli Richardson, Jr., Daniel Blake. Asa Gowen, Senaca Hills, Nathaniel Polley, James Dupee, Samuel Cowell, Jr., Lemuel K. Brastow, Cyrus Cornstock, Chester Bugbee, Job Jenckes, Luke Jenckes, Darius Ballow, David Cargill and Samuel Belcher.
As might be expected, most of those named were from Wren-tham. There were, however, three from Franklin: Brothers Gower, Richardson and Hills; two from Foxborough; Brothers Polley and Belcher, and one from Medfield: Brother Brastow and one from Walpole: Brother James Dupee, the same one who had been a charter member of Montgomery Lodge. This group represented a substantial cross section of responsible citizenry with merchants, farmers, lawyers, manufacturers, lavern keepers and mechanical tradesmen represented. Some in future years were to become involved in more substantial business and Civic roles.
Soon after these first meetings, arrangements were made to hire the hall of Day's Academy. This was a private Classical School chartered by the Legislature in 1806. The present Public Library in Wrentham is situated on the site of the old Day's Academy. There is a certain rightness in this, which is no doubt wholly coincidental. The Library is the Fiske Memorial Library and was a gift to the Town of Wrentham from the grandchildren of Josiah Jones Fiske, our first Worshipful Master.
"Josiah Fiske was a lawyer of marked ability and an extensive practice. His office at Wrentham became a favorite resort for students; perhaps few lawyers unconnected with Law Schools had superintended the legal instruction of a greater number of young men." He became State Senator from 1823 to 1826 and was a member of the Governor's Council in 1831. His later interests included the ownership and operation of cotton mills in his native town of Sturbridge, in the village of Fiskdale which commemorates his name.
A lease was arranged with the trustees of Day's Academy for the hire of their hall for Masonic purposes for ten years at fifteen dollars per year. The hall was improved for Masonic purposes by the Lodge and was dedicated as Masons Hall on June 25, 1821.
Henry Fiske and George Porter, both of Wrentham, were the first candidates proposed in Saint Alban's Lodge and George Porter became the first candidate to be raised to the Sublime Degree on October 7, 1818.
The Lodge operated without By-Laws until the committee appointed to draw them up reported to the Lodge on October 14, 1818. We are still in possession of the original set of By-Laws as presented by the committee in addition to the Secretary's copy containing the signatures of the first forty-nine members of the Lodge.
The first article of the By-Laws fixed the maximum membership at eighty. It also specified that the members shall assemble at such place in Wrentham as the majority of members present shall appoint on the Wednesday preceding the full of the moon in every month, and if the full of the moon happens on Wednesday, that shall be the regular time of the meeting."
The meetings were to be at "four of the clock in the afternoon and shall close at or before nine in the evening," The initiation fee was five dollars upon "nomination" and if he came forward for initiation within one year the candidate should pay an additional ten dollars. If he did not come forward, he should lose his five dollars. The candidate also paid two dollars on being made a Fellowcraft and two more on being made a Master Mason. On becoming a member, by vote of the Lodge, the candidate paid four more dollars, for a total of twenty-three dollars.
Josiah Fiske served as Worshipful Master from May 25, 1818 to January 17, 1821, when he dramatically announced his appointment as District Deputy Grand Master of the Fourth Masonic District and then stepped down from the East. During his term of service twenty-five candidates were initiated.
The balance of R.W. Brother Fiske's term was completed by Brother Samuel Druce, a contracting carpenter and postmaster of Wrentham. On December 9, 1818 when the Lodge was very young, Brother Druce had received the thanks of the Brethren for his kindness and liberality in presenting the Lodge with an Altar. Worshipful Brother Druce was elected to a full term of his own and held office until November 27, 1822. He initiated twenty-one candidates before being succeeded by Brother Truman Clark, a cotton or wool manufacturer at South Walpole. Early in this century the mill was converted to an electric car-barn and may be remembered by some of our older members.
An apron belonging to Worshipful Brother Clark is one of our oldest treasures, and is preserved in our Lodge relic case. Worshipful Brother Clark also served the Lodge as Master more years than any other — 1823, 1824 and during the troubled years of 1831 and 1832.
Amos Cobb of Franklin, another cotton manufacturer, was installed Worshipful Master on November 3, 1824, and served for two years. He later moved to Connecticut, where his son, Amos Cobb, Jr., became Grand Master of Connecticut Grand Lodge in 1869 and 1870.
Worshipful Brother Cobb yielded the Oriental Chair to Brother Isaac Hunt, a Walpole harnessmaker, who was duly installed on Nov. 8, 1826.
During the term of Worshipful Brother Hunt, the Reverend Brother Moses Thacher, Pastor of the Church at North Wrentham since 1823, applied for membership in Saint Alban's Lodge and was accepted. Although living in Wrentham and serving his congregation for about three years, Rev. Bro. Thacher had taken his degrees in Rhode Island without the knowledge of his neighbors. He was welcomed into Lodge on September S, 1827, and was chosen the first Chaplain of record in Saint Alban's Lodge.
In September, 1826, was struck the spark which ignited a seething undercurrent of Anti-masonic sentiment. The "Morgan Incident" is too well-known among Masons to dwell upon it at this time. It is sufficient to state that the outpouring of ill-will toward Masons raced across the East from New York to Ohio in one direction and to Massachusetts in the other. A small news-item in the Dedham Village Register of Nov. 2, 1826 tells us that "six persons accused of abducting Captain Morgan have been indicted by the Grand Jury. Excitement is great. . . . Masonry is in great disrespect. Members are insulted on the streets of Batavia." Five months later the same paper carried an ad stating that "Morgan's book is offered for sale at the Norfolk Book Store."
Anti-Masonry took on a political character, which appeared in full bloom at a meeting in Fall River on Nov. 1, 1828 and which resulted in political organization for the congressional elections of that year. By 1830 the movement had become powerful enough to elect three State Senators and about twenty members of the House.
Anti-Masonic feeling had its effect on Saint Alban's Lodge. Worshipful Simeon Thompson, Jr., served as Master in 1828 and initiated eleven candidates. During the next two years the Lodge was presided over by Worshipful Preston Pond, of Pondville, but no degree work was performed after December 17, 1828.
On May 13, 1829 Reverend Brother Moses Thacher delivered an address to the Lodge in which he appeared to recommend to the fraternity to look into itself to correct any abuses which may lend support to the anti-Masons. His intent went much deeper, however, and he cast his lot with the anti-Masons. In fact anti-Masonry became his career. He has been characterized as "one of the most active and dangerous, because one of the most talented, anti-Masons in the State." He was a speaker in great demand at anti-Masonic functions throughout New England, served one year as State Senator and edited an anti-Masonic newspaper for four years. He was expelled from Masonry on April 14, 1830.
By this time sentiment had its effect on Saint Alban's Lodge in Wrentham and on December 24, 1830 it was voted to procure a room and remove the furniture of the Lodge from Mason's Hall. The hall at the Inn of David Fisher was then obtained for a meeting room. However, from this time until September 5, 1832 only seven communications were held and these presided over by Worshipful Brother Truman Clark.
Active Freemasonry in Wrentham had recessed; the Charter and silver jewels were returned to Grand Lodge.
"There is no death! the stars go down
To rise upon some other shore,
And bright in heaven's jeweled crown
They shine forever more."
(John Luckey McCreery)
"At a Special Communication of Saint Alban's Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons, held at the hall of Brother James E. Carpenter, Foxboro, on the evening of Feb. 8, A.L. 5856 for the purpose of reorganizing said Lodge in accordance with their petition to the Rt. Worshipful Grand Lodge of Mass. for the return of their charter, heretofore surrendered. The following brethren original members and petitioners for the return of their charter being present — to wit: Brothers
- Truman Clark
- Willard Plympton
- Daniel A. Cook
- Calvin Fisher, Jr.
Worshipful Truman Clark in the chair. . . "
So are recorded the opening lines of the minutes of the first communication held by Saint Alban's Lodge twenty-three years after the surrender of the charter.
On December 12, 1855 Grand Lodge entertained the petition "signed by seven brethren, former members of the late Saint Alban's Lodge in Wrentham, praying that the charter of said Lodge, may be restored to them and that they have permission to hold its future meetings in Foxborough."
This petition was acted upon favorably and the charter restored to the seven brethren. The three other brethren, not present at the first meeting were: Brothers Dupee Blake, Hiram B. Fisher and Levi N. Blake. These Brothers, together with Brothers \V. B. Sumner, Linus E. Carpenter, James E. Carpenter, John Littlefield, Thomas M. George, Horace Palmer and Amos Johnson organized and nominated a list of officers for the permanent organization.
The next meeting was held on Feb. 19, 1856 at Friendship Hall, which was located on the southwest corner of Main and Granite Streets. At this meeting Brother Horace Palmer was elected and installed Worshipful Master. After being informed that Friendship Hall could be had at the rate of one dollar an evening, the Lodge voted to hold its meetings there. A fire on March 17 made it necessary to meet again at the Hall of James E. Carpenter on South Street. This hall was later called American Hall. It is now used as an apartment building.
On April 5, 1857 the Lodge returned to Friendship Hall and continued to meet there until June 8, 1857. Worshipful Brother Palmer served a second year and was succeeded by Brother Harvey E. Clap. Worshipful Brother Palmer had initiated five candidates.
A committee appointed to make arrangements for a hall or room for future meetings reported that the one over the new store could be had for five or ten years at a rent of $75,00 per year." This report was accepted and on June 8 the Lodge occupied the hall in the Union Building at the North end of the Common. On Sept. 3. 1857 the Lodge voted that the hall used by Saint Alban's Lodge be hereafter called and known as Masonic Hall. At the same September 3rd meeting a committee was appointed to "consider the expediency of introducing singing into the exercises of the Lodge." There is no record of a report from this committee so we may infer that at that time singing in the Lodge was not expedient.
From the time of the restoration of the charter there was a steady increase in the membership of the Lodge. Worshipful Brother Clap initiated eleven candidates. His successor, Worshipful Linus E. Carpenter, presided from September 20, 1858 to October 29, 1860 and added thirty-two to the membership rolls.
On April 2, 1860 a resolution was adopted that Saint Alban's Lodge approve the plan of the Saint Alban's Association for providing a hall for the use of the Lodge at a reasonable rent. The fullillment of this plan was the dedication of a new hall and installation of officers by D. D. G. M., Wyzeman Marshall.
In his report to M. W. Winslow Lewis, Rt. Worshipful Brother Marshall wrote as follows: "Early in the Spring of 1860, it was proposed to build a hall for the use of the Lodge, as the place they were then occupying was very uncomfortable. To accomplish this (they) formed themselves into an association and erected the new hall at an expense of $3,200. The Lodge furnished it at an expense of $1,140 which was entirely raised by subscription among the members.
The principal part of the lower floor is let to Wm. H. Thomas for a printing office. On the second floor, 14 feet of the length is taken up in the stairway and ante-rooms. Over the anterooms there is a small refreshment room, which will accommodate thirty or forty very conveniently."
Another report of the occasion states: "the surprizing growth of the Lodge has awakened an unusual interest in its vicinity with a good roll of membership. They own a large and costly building together with a well furnished hall."
We have now travelled a long Masonic road. We have wandered across a wide area of Southeastern Massachusetts and have found our way to Masonic Hall in Foxboro. Our story doesn't end in 1860 of course; in a way we were beginning again, and now as we celebrate our one hundred and fiftieth birthday, we are on the threshold of another beginning. This Lodge continues to awaken an unusual interest in its vicinity; and thus may it be ever so.
- 1822 (Report of committee on proceedings in lodge, III-401)
- 1855 (Petition to remove to Foxborough, V-594)
- 1866 (Jurisdictional dispute, VII-87)
- 1872 (Participation in North Attleboro cornerstone laying, 1872-147)
- 1927 (Participation in North Attleboro cornerstone laying, 1927-187)
- 1929 (Participation in North Attleboro temple cornerstone laying, 1929-181)
- 1971 (table lodge)
OFFICER LIST, NOVEMBER 1826
From Masonic Mirror and Mechanics' Intelligencer, Vol. III, No. 2, January 1827, Page 9:
Officers of St. Alban's Lodge in Wrentham, installed Nov. 18, 5826, for the year ensuing, by Thomas Tolman, Esq., District Deputy Grand Master:
- Bro. Isaac Hunt, M.
- Bro. Simeon Thompson, Jr., S. W.
- Bro. Dupee Blake, J. W.
- Bro. Samuel Druce, Esq., Treas.
- Bro. Asa Ware, Jr., Sec.
- Bro. Levi N. Blake, S. D.
- Bro. Joseph F. Gilmore, J. D.
- Bro. Increase S. Pond, S. S.
- Bro. Hiram B. Fiske, J. S.
- Bro. Calvin Fisher, Marshal.
- Bro. Joseph Cobb, Tyler.
HALL DEDICATION, OCTOBER 1860
From Moore's Freemason's Monthly Magazine, Vol. XX, No. 2, December 1860, Page 62:
The new building lately completed in Foxboro, Mass., intended for the use of St. Alban's Lodge, and owned by its members, was publicly dedicated by Bro. Wyzeman Marshall, of Boston, on Monday evening, Oct. 29th, (under a commis sion of the Grand Master). After which, the officers elect were installed in Br. Marshall's Masterly manner, assisted by Brothers Gay and Tarbell, of Boston. A well filled hall of ladies added very much to the pleasures of the ceremonies, which were interspersed by some very fine music by Miss Johnson, and singing by Miss True, of Roxbury, and others. After the installation, we adjourned to the hall below, and partook of the "goodies" from the well filled tables. Sev eral sentiments were offered, among which was one by Dr. Littlefield, W, M.— "Not all the wisdom of former ages has passed away, as we occasionally have a Wiseman to Marshall us." To which Brother Marshall responded in a very eloquent manner. Brother Gay being called upon, gave a humorous song of country courtship. Having again repaired to the Lodge room, we were favored by a recitation from Shakespeare's "Romeo and Juliet," by Brother Marshall. It now being a little past "low-twelve," we concluded the pleasures of the even ing by a Quartette and "Old Hundred." The surprising growth of this Lodge has awakened an unusual interest in its vicinity. With a good roll of member ship they own a large and costly building, together with a well furnished hall, the furniture having been manufactured by Russell & Baker expressly for Ma sonic uses, and given by its members.
From Moore's Freemason's Monthly Magazine, Vol. XX, No. 3, January 1861, Page 76:
We have been politely furnished with a copy of the following report, which we take pleasure in laying before our readers:—
Boston, Dec. 8, 1860. M. W. Winslow Lewis, Grand Master:
Having been commissioned by you for the purpose of dedicating the new Masonic Hall in Foxborough, and invited by the Lodge to install their officers for the year ensuing, I feel that I cannot allow the opportunity to pass without giving you a brief account of our reception, and some of the particulars respecting the rise and progress of Masonry in that thriving town. Therefore, Most Worshipful, allow me to state, that I immediately associated with me a sufficient number for the purpose, and proceeded to Foxborough, — dedicated the new Masonic Hall, and installed the officers of St. Alban's Lodge.
We were received in the most cordial manner, and treated with every attention that gentlemanly conduct and good fellowship could bestow. The services were public — that is, as far as the ladies of the Brethren were concerned. I was informed there were two or three anti-masons present; but before the services were ended, they were disposed to think the order of much more importance, and of a more exalted character than they had ever dreamed of. The ladies lent enchantment to the scene, and shed a calm serenity over the ceremony, that, to my mind, made it far more impressive than it otherwise would have been.
After the ceremony, we repaired to the Banqueting Hall below, where were spread before us the delicacies of the season, — all that could be desired, — and the remainder of the evening was spent most happily in interchange of Masonic sentiment—singing by the ladies, which was excellent, — and by the gentlemen, which was excellent also. As I feel somewhat interested in the welfare of this Lodge, for certain reasons, which I will hereafter explain, I hope I shall not be thought intrusive if I give you some of the historical facts connected with it.
The Charter of St. Alban's Lodge was granted in 1818, and the Lodge was located in Wrentham. From the records, I should judge that it had a degree of prosperity, until the anti-masonic excitement arose, about 1830, when the Charter and Lodge-property were surrendered to the Grand Lodge.
In the fall of 1855, some three or four young men that had just been admitted to the institution, and felt desirous of having a Masonic home in their own village, after considerable effort, succeeded in getting the requisite number of the old members together to petition the Grand Lodge for the restoration of the Charter, with the privilege of holding their meetings, in future, in the town of Foxborough. Upon this petition, your humble servant happened to be one of the committee—and this is the particular reason why I feel so much interest in the welfare of the Lodge. The committee were divided, but finally recommended that the prayer of the petitioners be granted; whereupon, by a vote of the Grand Lodge, the Charter was restored Dec. 12, 1855. At the first meeting, four new members were voted in, — from that time to the present there has been a steady increase, — and when I looked upon the members there assembled observed the material with which they had augmented their number, I could not but feel that the committee had acted rightly in recommending the passage of the memorial.
Early in the spring of 1860, it was proposed to build a hall for the use of the Lodge, as the place they were then occupying was very uncomfortable in many respects.
To accomplish this, such members of the Lodge as felt a disposition to join in the enterprise, formed themselves into an association and erected the new hall at an expense of $3,200. The Lodge has furnished it at an expense of $1,140, which was entirely raised by subscription among the members.
This building is 56 by 35 feet, and two stories high. The principal part of the lower floor is let to Win. H. Thomas for a printing office; and on this floor we had our banquet — the cases being removed for the purpose. On the second floor, 14 feet of the length is taken up in the stairway and ante-rooms — leaving the hall about 41 by 34 feet in the clear and 14 feet high; — over the ante-rooms there is a small refreshment room, which will accommodate thirty or forty, very conveniently.
A Dispensation for a Chapter has been granted them; and as it is composed of the same material as the Lodge, it will undoubtedly succeed. I trust peace, happiness and success will always reign in their midst.
With much respect, allow me to subscribe myself
Yours, fraternally, Wyzeman Marshall.
INSTALLATION OF OFFICERS, SEPTEMBER 1863
From Moore's Freemason's Monthly Magazine, Vol. XXIII, No. 1, November 1863, Page 18:
The officers of this Lodge for the current year were installed by the M. W. Grand Master, assisted by several of the officers of the Grand Lodge, on the evening of the 25th September last. There was also a large attendance of members and visitors from the neighboring Lodges. The Lodge having been opened, the Grand Master and his suite were received in due form, when the former, by invitation of the Master, took the Chair and installed the following Brethren into their respective offices :—
- W. M., William R. Thomas
- S. W., William H. Thomas
- J. W., absent
- Treasurer, absent
- Secretary, Edwin W. Clarke
- S. Deacon, Elisha White
- J. Deacon, I. P. Carpenter
- Chaplain, C. A. Bradley
- Marshal, Eliphalet Smith
- S. Steward, William H. Skinner
- J. Steward, H. C. Wheaton
- Tyler, Albert Wilmarth
At the conclusion of the installation services Grand Master Parkman delivered an appropriate and interesting address to the Lodge, on the importance of the duties committed to them.
The Worshipful Master, on resuming the Chair, addressed the Lodge substantially as follows :—
"Brethren — I embrace this opportunity to acknowledge my personal obligations, and return my most grateful thanks for the honor you have conferred, in electing me to preside over this Lodge. I cannot say I have not aspired to this position, for I have ever considered the station of honor and distinction worthy the ambition of every Mason. But having attained it, and taken a survey of the broad field of its duties and responsible labors, in connection with my inexperience in Masonry, I confess I am filled with painful misgivings as to my ability to perform its important duties to your satisfaction. But while I realize my weakness, I assure you I accept this sacred trust with a full determination to do all in my power to attest my appreciation of the honor you have conferred, by laboring untiringly to advance the interest of Freemasonry, and the prosperity of St. Alban's Lodge; and while I invoke the blessing of God upon my humble efforts, I realize I must rely very much for success upon the hearty support and co-operation of the officers and members of this Lodge. Be it mine, therefore, faithfully to discharge the duties imposed upon me. Be it yours, ever to support and cheer by your well-timed efforts and kind approbation. And if, in any moments of weakness, it should be my misfortune to disappoint your expectations, remember then, my Brothers, that it was not my solicitation, but your kind partiality, that placed me here, and that I must ever rely upon you for the exercise of that broad Charity which as Masons we owe one to the other.
"Most Worshipful Grand Master and Members of the Grand Lodge of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts: In behalf of St. Alban's Lodge, we would return our sincere thanks for the honor you have conferred by this official visit, and for kindly consenting to perform these ceremonies. Be assured we shall long remember with gratitude the pleasure you have afforded us on this occasion, and I trust it may prove a new incentive for us ever to render St. Alban's Lodge worthy of your kind consideration and paternal care.
"We would also thank our visiting Brothers who have favored us with their presence on this occasion, and hope that very often in the future it may be our privilege to meet and welcome them to this our Masonic home."
At the conclusion of these ceremonies, the Lodge was called off to refreshment, after which it was again called on, when short speeches were made by several Brethren. The Lodge was then closed.
This Lodge was originally chartered in 1818, and was located at Wrentham. It struggled through the whole of the antimztsonic excitement, but came out of it in so crippled a condition that in 1838, we think, it finally surrendered its charter, but not its integrity, for it was one of the most staunch and faithful Lodges of that trying time. In 1855 a constitntional number of the old members, aided by a few young and enterprising Brethren, petitioned the Grand Lodge and obtained from that body a restoration of the Charter with the permission to hold their future meetings at Foxboro. It has now about an hundred members, a fine hall, and is one of the most prosperous Lodges in the State.
INSTALLATION, JANUARY 1888
From Liberal Freemason, Vol. XI, No. 10, January 1888, Page 318:
The officers of St. Albans Lodge, Foxboro, Mass., were installed on Monday evening, January 2d, by Wor. Bro. Alfred F. Chapman, in the presence of ladies connected with the families of the members of the Lodge. After the close of the ceremonies, the audience was invited to the banquet hall where the tables were elaborately spread with edibles prepared by the ladies and contributed for the occasion. In due season speeches were called for from the installing officers, members of the Lodge, and from two or three of the ladies ; the latter, however, quietly declined; but they had contributed richly to make the occasion a pleasant one.
The immediate Past Master, W. Michael Ryan, acted as Marshal, and Bro. Jacob Silloway as Chaplain during the installation of officers, and these are, W. M., Robert W. Carpenter; S. W., George S. Wheeler; J. W., W. W. Turner; Treasurer, William Carpenter; Secretary, F. S. Lane; S. D., Merton P. Wheeler; J. D., Preston H. Clark; S. S., Ivan Baer; J. S., Charles H. Cady; Tyler, George Foster.
GRAND LODGE OFFICERS
- John F. Platt, DDGM, District 28 (Attleboro), 1998, 1999; N
- James E. Carroll, DDGM, District 28 (Attleboro), 2002; District 16, 2003
- Donald M. Chambers, DDGM, District 25 (Hyde Park), 1987, 1988' N
- George R. Ellis, DDGM, District 28 (Taunton), 1917, 1918; N
- Josiah J. Fiske, DDGM, District 4, 1821, 1822, 1823, 1824, 1831, 1832; SN
- Corodon S. Fuller, DDGM, District 28 (Attleboro), 1941, 1942; N
- John C. Fuller, DDGM, District 28 (Attleboro), 1992, 1993
- Walter H. Hiller, DDGM, District 28 (Attleboro), 1956, 1957; Memorial; N
- E.P. Jewett, DDGM, District 22 (Hyde Park), 1905, 1906; SN
- Richard D. Leggee, DDGM, District 28 (Attleboro), 1970, 1971; N
- John F. Platt, DDGM, District 28 (Attleboro), 1998, 1999
- Fred H. Richards, DDGM, District 28 (Attleboro), 1929, 1930; Memorial
- George C. Upper, DDGM, District 16, 2006, 2007; N
- Lawrence E. Williams, DDGM, District 28 (Attleboro), 1996, 1997
- Seranus Bowen, Memorial
- Archibald Hanna, Biography
- Jacob Silloway, Jr., Memorial
- William Strange, Memorial