- 1 JOSEPH WARREN - SOLEY LODGE
- 2 REFERENCES IN GRAND LODGE PROCEEDINGS
JOSEPH WARREN - SOLEY LODGE
Chartered By: J. Philip Berquist
Charter Date: 01/21/1983 1983-3
Precedence Date: 09/23/1856
- Kenneth W. Wood, 1983, 1984; N
- Jackson B. Parker, 1985, 1986
- Francis X. Leiblein, 1987
- Carleton W. Crockett, 1988, 1989
- Leon J. Dodd, 1990, 1991
- Frederick J. Hunter, 1992, 1993
- Laurence R. Burr, 1994
- Daniel W. Kelliher, 1995
- James A. Maloy, 1996
- Gerald E. Downs, 1997
- Kendall F. Stewart, 1998, 1999, 2004
- Veton Z. Kepuska, 2000, 2001
- James K. Ray, 2002, 2003
- John W. Crockett, 2005, 2006, 2012
- Christopher J. Ray, 2007, 2008
- Malcolm C. Burwell, 2010, 2011
REFERENCES IN GRAND LODGE PROCEEDINGS
- Consolidation Petition: 1982
- 2006 (150th Anniversary; Special Communication)
VISITS BY GRAND MASTER
- 1983 (Berquist; Consolidation of Lodge, in Boston)
- 1984 (Richardson; Clambake at Masonic Home)
- 1987 (Ames; Clambake at Masonic Home)
- 1988 (Ames; Clambake)
- 1989 (Ames; Clambake)
- 1991 (Darling; Clambake at Masonic Home)
- 1992 (Darling; Clambake at Masonic Home)
- 1996 (A. Johnson; Clambake at Masonic Home)
- 2006 (Hodgdon; 150th Anniversary)
- 2012 (Stewart)
- 2006 (150th Anniversary History, 2006-153)
150TH ANNIVERSARY HISTORY, NOVEMBER 2006
From Proceedings, Page 2006-153:
By Donald L. Dawes, P. M.
The early history of both Joseph Warren and Soley Lodges has been thoroughly documented at previous anniversary celebrations and there is little this author could add to our early history. Soley Lodge moved to Lincoln from Somerville in 1960 and Joseph Warren Lodge merged with Soley Lodge and moved from Boston in 1983.
I would like to briefly tell the biographies of both our namesakes for reference. Given their age difference, they probably never met. They were both extremely dedicated Masons and it is most appropriate for their names to be joined, particularly in the name of a Masonic Lodge.
I have been a resident of Lincoln since before the Lodge moved here and can provide a short history based partially on my own participation during our early years in Lincoln ending with the merger.
Joseph Warren was born in Roxbury in 1741. He graduated from Harvard in 1759 and practiced medicine in Boston. He was an ardent Mason and a member of The Lodge of Saint Andrew, which met in the "Long Room"®of the Green Dragon Tavern. The Grand Lodge of Massachusetts was organized on St. John's Day, 1767 with Joseph Warren as Grand Master. It was at the Green Dragon that Sam Adams, Paul Revere, Warren, Hancock, Otis and others met and passed resolutions in opposition to British policies. Joseph was a member of the Boston Committee of Safetyy and in 1774 presented to the convention in Milton the Suffolk Resolves, advocating forcible resistance to the British. These were conveyed to Congress in Philadelphia in Paul Revere's saddlebags and endorsed by those present. On the night of April 18, 1775, he dispatched Dawes and Revere to warn the patriots that the British were marching on Concord. He was killed during the battle of Bunker (Breed's) Hill on June 17, 1775 at the age of 34.
John Soley was born in Charlestown February 1, 1765, making him 24 years younger than Joseph Warren. He attended the district schools, and, while a youth, displayed both intelligence and a good level of common sense. Charlestown was at the time an active shipping center. More than a thousand ships a year entered and left the port producing a good living for local merchants. John Soley took up merchandising and became quite a prosperous and respected merchant.
He was initiated into King Solomon's Lodge on January 11, 1791 and elected Worshipful Master in 1794. He held office for three years (1794, 1795 and 1796) and greatly endeared himself to the Lodge and the Craft. He was appointed to the committee to obtain land in Russell's pasture and erect a monument to Major General and Most Worshipful Joseph Warren and his companions who fell during the battle of Bunker Hill. The monument was dedicated on December 2, 1794 by Wor. John Soley, Master of the lodge.
"Nations in all ages have endeavored to perpetuate the brilliant actions of their heroes, thereby to inspire the living with a spirit of emulation and to discharge the obligations they owe to those deeds of valor by which their rights are secured."
John was a prominent and charitable man and was greatly esteemed. The public offices he held included Justice of the Peace, councilor and judge of the lower court. He was treasurer of the old Charles River Bridge Corporation and a director of the Massachusetts State Prison. He was elected and served in the State Legislature during the years 1813 and 1814.
Wor. Bro. Soley was elected an Honorary Member of his lodge in December, 1806. He served as Senior Warden in 1808. He was admitted a member of St. Andrew's Royal Arch Chapter, March 23, 1795 and elected as King, October 21, 1796.
He was active as an officer in the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts:
- Junior Grand Warden, 1803, 1804
- Senior Grand Warden, 1805, 1806
- Grand Secretary, 1811-1818
- Most Worshipful Grand Master, 1826, 1827, 1828
He was the 12th Grand Master to serve after the union in 1792. He died April 6, 1851, at the age of 86, in Bristol, R.I. at the home of his son-in-law.
It is interesting to note the relation of the two men whose ages differed by 24 years and that the lodge bearing John Soley's name was instituted 23 years after the one bearing Joseph Warren's name.
THE LODGE IN LINCOLN
My wife and I moved to Lincoln in 1958. There was no lodge in Lincoln at the time so I attended my mother lodge in Cambridge. There was an active Square and Compass Club composed of Masons from many lodges (predominately Corinthian in Concord) who met socially more or less regularly at various houses just to stay in touch. In late 1959 we began to hear rumors that a lodge in Somerville was looking for a new location that would be easier to get to and might provide more fertile grounds for new candidates. Lincoln was considered a good choice since it is easy to get to both from the city and the outlying suburbs. By this time many of the lodges members lived outside of Somerville. There were at the time five lodges in Somerville, three of which met at the apartments in Gilman Square.
Wor. Alfred C. Walton of Soley Lodge stands out as an energetic backer of the move. He was a lawyer and helped to pass many legal hurdles that came up in the process of moving and securing a new building. Two prime backers from Lincoln at the time were Wor. Harold Lawson (Corinthian) and Wor. John W. Barber, Jr. (John Abbot) who were neighbors along Route 2 in Lincoln. Wor. Lawson was a farmer with a fresh produce stand on the highway and had many good opportunities to talk to prospective affiliates and candidates.
From the Abstract of Proceedings of The Grand Lodge of Massachusetts, June 8, 1960:
To the Most Worshipful Grand Master, Wardens and Members of Grand Lodge:
Soley Lodge has submitted a petition praying that its charter be amended so as to change its location from the City of SomerviUe to the town of Lincoln. It appears that Soley Lodge has been losing ground for several years and despairs of survival in its present location.
The Town of Lincoln is unoccupied Masonic territory and is contiguous to three other towns in the same category. Therefore, a move to Lincoln holds considerable promise of renewed Masonic interest. Satisfactory facilities for holding Lodge meetings are available in the Farrington Memorial Building on the Concord Turnpike within the Town of Lincoln. This location is exceptionally accessible and has ample parking facilities.
After due notice, the petition as here presented was unanimously approved by Soley Lodge at its regular communication held May 16, 1960. The Committee on Charters and By-Laws therefore recommends that the petition be granted to become effective September 1, 1960.
J. Henry Johnson
Lester B. Young
A Majority of the Committee
The report of the Committee was accepted, and upon motion duly made and adopted, the charter of Soley Lodge was amended, thus changing the location from Somerville to Lincoln, effective September 1, 1960.
The first meeting in Lincoln, our 820th regular, was held in the new apartments at Farrington Memorial on September 19, 1960, with the following officers installed:
- Wor. Master, Wor. Alfred C. Walton
- Senior Warden, Bro. Joseph J. Yannizee
- Junior Warden, Wor. Harold E. Lawson
- Treasurer, Wor. Llewellyn F. Ralston
- Secretary, Wor. John E. Elliott
- Chaplain, Rev. Bro. William T. Howe
- Assoc. Chaplain, Bro. Frank E. Julien
- Marshal, Wor. Arthur J. Williams
- Senior Deacon, Wor. John W. Barber, Jr.
- Junior Deacon, Bro. Thomas H. Lynes
- Senior Steward, Bro. Thomas E. Bates
- Junior Steward, Bro. Norman J. MacLeod, Jr.
- Inside Sentinel, Bro. Harry B. Knowles, Jr.
- Tyler, Bro. Warren D. Russell
- Organist, Bro. Joseph A. Stanley
Attendance: 48 Members, 22 Visitors
A Special Communication of The Grand Lodge was held in Lincoln November 12, 1960 with M. W. [http://masonicgenealogy.com/MediaWiki/index.php?title=GMEaton Laurence E. Eaton, Grand Master, presiding, for the purpose of dedicating the hall. The friendly and cooperative spirit of the Trustees of Farrington Memorial Inc., many of whom are Masons, contributed much to the establishment of the present comfortable, if somewhat snug, quarters. The move brought a great deal of renewed Masonic spirit which was demonstrated many times in preparing the hall for occupancy. The donors of various furnishings were acknowledged:
- The Point Within a Circle was given by Mrs. Doris Underhill Campbell in memory of her father, Hon. Bro. Charles L. Underhill and her brother, Bro. A. Perry Underhill.
- Our Altar was given in memory of Bro. Seth C. Howard by his widow and son.
- The Stands and Tapers at the East, West and South were the gifts of Wor. Brothers Walton, Perkins and C Coyle respectively.
- The Rough and Perfect Ashlers were the joint gifts of Bro. John G. Klein and Bro. Howard W. Emerson.
- The Tyler's Sword, formerly belonged to Bro. John H. Lord, father of Mrs. Harland B. Newton of Lincoln, and American Flag were presented by Wor. Harold E. Lawson.
- The Rod Stands were the gift of Wor. Arthur J. Williams
- The Letter G was provided by Bro. Harry Krone.
- The Truncheon Holders and Master's Gavel Block were gifts and the work of Wor. John Pollock.
- The Knockers on the door were made from a model furnished by Wor. Earl W. Perkins, which was taken by Bro. Thomas E. Bates who had them cast by Norman Leach of Jefferson Foundry in Salem and machined by Bro. Arthur Bodge at Advance Machine Tools of Newton Highlands.
(This acknowledgement traces the provenience of many of our furnishings still in use today.)
It soon became obvious that this cozy arrangement was too cozy and that we needed a building of our own. The room we met in, though reasonably large, contained several pillars on the floor that made conducting candidates and visitors difficult. It was virtually impossible to avoid obstructions when moving around the hall. Wor. Bro. Lawson formed the "Builders Club of Lincoln" in the winter of 1963 for the purpose of buying and operating a suitable piece of real estate for the lodge. Soon after that time, February 18, 1963, then Bro. Tom Bates obtained and put on sale some attractive "I Bought Brick" (for the New Temple Soley Lodge A. F.& A. M.) coins which sold for $1.00. We raised a surprising amount of money with these. We learned of the availability of the "New South School" from the Codman Estate Trustees. This "Little Red School House" had been used by the town for years until the 1950's, then by the Air Force for children at Hanscom Air Force Base. When their children were moved to new classrooms at the base, the building and land reverted back to the Codman Estate. By April 15, 1963 the "Builders Club" was in the process of frantic fund raising to complete the transaction. The Builders Club borrowed a sum of money from the lodge to speed up the completion of the transaction. We all used our imagination to raise money. Some members of the lodge cooked and sold burgers and other quick foods and beverages at town celebrations. This author fixed watches and clocks under the name "Hourglass Horology" donating the proceeds to the Builders Club. The transaction was completed and we set to work readying the building for an opening in September. The work took longer than we expected and we officially moved into the building for our 851st Regular Communication on October 21, 1963 for a first degree and Official Visitation by Rt. Wor. Richard P. Nyquist. The attendance was as follows: 39 Members 7 Visitors 34 Suite 2 Candidates. The Lodge was closed in form at 10:00 o'clock.
The Lodge at this time was very active with many local members and a great amount of interest in its activities. We were known as a country lodge where all received a hearty welcome and were made to feel at home. I believe that even though the number of active Masons has fallen that is still true.
There were many living Past Masters who could be called on for help as mentors or to fill a station in an emergency. One of my first meetings was a Table Lodge (our first in Lincoln) to thank the Lodge's Past Masters on behalf of the Lodge for their loyal support. It was our custom in those days to have a Past Master's night in the spring during which all of the stations were filled by Past Masters, who took over a portion or all of the degree work.
At the 860th Regular Communication on September 21, 1964 we noticed some changes in our hall. A large square and compasses and sign had been put up under the gable facing the street. Wor. John W. Barber, Jr., working with Wor. Walter Keppler and Bro. James Mills, had made and installed the lighted emblems of the third degree over the Master's station in the East as a gift to the Lodge. There was also a new picture of the Broken Column made by Bro. James Mills, a Police Department Photographer. It was at this same time the Lodge received the three traveling aprons for the Master and Wardens.
Music during the ceremonies was provided by Bro. Joseph Stanley playing on an old upright piano which, according to some, was unstable in tuning. In September of 1968, Bro. Fred Adams presented Soley Lodge a fine Hammond organ which has added greatly to the incidental music ever since.
The Lodge Hall has undergone almost continuous improvement since we moved in. The paneling dropped ceiling, chandeliers and new wiring was done in 1975. Wor. Bros. Joseph Dodd, Rene Arnaud, David Geoffrion and Bro. Thomas Norton contributed heavily of their time in this accomplishment. The carpeting in the Lodge room was replaced and the three principal officers' chairs were recovered under the leadership of Wor. Lloyd Perry During that time frame, the apartments in Gilman Square were lost in a fire. In due time Soley Lodge received its portion of the fire insurance settlement. This helped relieve our somewhat tight financial situation.
On April 2, 1979 we observed Soley Lodge's 100th anniversary. M. W. Arthur H. Melanson dedicated the Masonic Temple at the time of the celebration with a Special Communication of the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of Massachusetts. In addition, a Table Lodge was held on October 26, with Wor. Lloyd M. Perry presiding.
In 1982, we were approached by representatives of Joseph Warren Lodge in Boston, who proposed a merger with Soley Lodge. They brought a venerable, well-established group of the Craft from a static city location to an open and more accessible area. The idea was met with great enthusiasm and approved January 25, 1983 at a Special Communication of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts in Boston, M. W. J. Phillip Berquist, Grand Master presiding. It is fair to say that both Lodges have been enriched by this fortuitous event.
The author is very thankful for the assistance of Cynthia Alcorn, Librarian, The Samuel Crocker Lawrence Library, at the Grand Lodge of Masons in Massachusetts. She has provided invaluable help with the details for this sketch that were not easily available from our own Lodge records.
GRAND LODGE OFFICERS
- John C. Toto, DDGM, District 14, 2019, 2020
- James K. Ray, DDGM, District 6 (Somerville), 2000, 2001; Grand Marshal 2005-2007; Senior Grand Warden 2008
- Kenneth W. Wood, DDGM, District 6 (Somerville), 1988, 1989; N