F[RANCIS]. LYMAN WINSHIP 1827-1884
Grand Marshal, 1878-1880
Senior Grand Warden, 1881
From Proceedings, Page 1885-15:
One of our great English writers has said, 'Give us, oh! give us the man who sings at his work! He will do more in the same time, -— he will do it better, — he will persevere longer. One is scarcely sensible of fatigue whilst he marches to music. The very stars are said to make harmony as they revolve in their spheres. Wondrous is the strength of cheerfulness, altogether past calculation its powers of endurance. Efforts to be permanently useful must be uniformly joyous,— a spirit all sunshine, graceful from very gladness, beautiful because bright.'
In presenting to the Grand Lodge this memorial tribute to our deceased Brother, Rt. Wor. F. Lyman Winship, your committee can find no words of their own which, more fitly than those quoted, embody their feelings, as their thoughts recur to him whom they esteemed as a personal friend when living, and whose death recalls so many bright recollections of scenes in which he was a central figure. Brother Winship was emphatically ,a cheerful and no less earnest worker. Blessed with the happy faculty of attracting those who came within his range of influence, his presence in the social gathering was the assurance of a season of peculiar enjoyment. The gifts of poetry and song were his, and the ability to appreciate and reproduce aH that appeals to the laughing side of our nature. They who listened to him found themselves borne along by the exuberance of his spirits, which drew out, as by a touch of inspiration, the best there was in others. No circle was dull which included him. In his hearty greeting, his kindly jest, his ready, unconscious devotion of himself to secure the mutual good-will arid harmonious fellowship of those around him, lay the open secret of his success in winning hearts. And when to all this was added the inevitable conviction, which was deeply impressed upon all who came to know him aright, that the smiling exterior hid the heart of one who sympathized with those in suffering, and who. could offer acceptably words and deeds of comfort to those who were in need, it is no wonder that he became the recipient of a fraternal affection, such as is rarely felt even by those who are linked together by our indissoluble chain. He won our respect as well by his merits as a man, and by the ability, shown in his chosen profession, and as a laborer in fields of public usefulness.
Francis Lyman Winship was born in Brighton, Mass., January 25, 1827. He was a son of Jonathan Winship, a well known ship-master of the first part of this century. Capt. Winship was one of the first who visited the Northwest coast, where he was interested in the fur trade. After his retirement from the sea he settled in Brighton, arid established the Nurseries that became so famous. Lyman was born at the old homestead, now standing on Market street. When sixteen years old he entered a hardware store, in Dock square, as a clerk. There, and in the employ of the Boston and Worcester Railroad, as station-agent at Brighton, and as a train-conductor, his time was spent until, at the age of twenty-one, he associated with himself Mr. E. H. Story, of Brighton, under the style of Winship & Co., and continued the nursery business established by his father. About 1854 this concern was dissolved, and he entered the office of his uncle, the late General John S. Tyler, of Boston, and was for the rest of his life erigaged in the business of adjusting marine losses. He continued with General Tyler until that gentleman's death, in January, 1876, when he formed a copartnership with Theo. W. Gore, under the style of Winship & Gore, to continue the business, of General Tyler. In March, 1877, the business of Dixon & Winship and Winship & Gore was consolidated, and the firm of Winship Bros. & Gore established, which continued until dissolved by his death. An associate in business- says: 'Mr. Winship was, att his death, probably the soundest average adjuster in the United States. His cool disposition and clear head admirably adapted him for the solution of the trying and perplexing questions constantly arising; arid his perfect and easy command of figures enabled him to state clearly and accurately the most complex matters of account.' His command of the English language was great, and his opinions were models of-what such papers should be.
In the town of Brighton, the only public positions he held were those of Moderator of town meetings and Auditor of accounts. After the. annexation of Brighton to Boston, and upon the reorganization of the School Committee, in 1876, he was returned as a member from Brighton, and served upon the Board for seven years. His first work in that capacity was as. chairman of the Sewing Committee. Sewing had just been introduced into the schools, and the whole labor-of organizing its system devolved upon him. He devoted a great deal of time to this, and the sewing work of the Boston schools is to-day as he left it. Later, he resigned the chairmanship in favor of Miss Peabody, but was for a time on the committee. He was chairman also of the committee on the Horace Mann School for Deaf Mutes, in which he was much interested. Of His connection with this school one of its teachers writes: 'His kindly, generous nature led him to appreciate the difficult work of the teachers, and to sympathize with the children debarred by deafness from one avenue of intercourse with the world around them. He was always helpful and encouraging; wise in suggestion and legislation for the school. His interest in its welfare continued after his retirement from the School Board,:and we feel that his death,is a grievous-loss to us all.' The last term of his service was as chairman of the Committee on Accounts, a position, for which, of course, he was most admirably fitted. It was humorously told by one of his associates on that committee, that, when the hour came for which a meeting was called, Mr. Winship was always there, and the committee was called promptly to order even if he was the sole member present. He was for more than thirty years a member, and for sixteen years a. prominent officer, of the Massachusetts Horticultural Society.
In October, 1867, he married Mrs. Martha F. (Titcomb) Kinsman. She, with two daughters, survive to mourn his loss. Brother Winship's Masonic life began with his initiation in Bethesda Lodge, May 27, 1851. He became a member of the Lodge, July 12 of that year. He served, as Junior Deacon, Senior Deacon, and Senior Warden, and was Worshipful Master four years, from 1857 to 1860 inclusive. He served for, one year, 1866, as Secretary. He was Junior Grand Steward in 1864 and 1865, District Deputy Grand Master for the Fourth District in 1869, 1870, and 1871, Grand Marshal in 1878, 1879, and 1880, and, at the December Communication in the latter year, was elected Senior Grand Warden. The mere recapitulation of these offices, so acceptably filled by him, sufficiently attests his standing and his interest in the Fraternity. This is not the place in which to speak of his connection with other departments of Masonry, further than to, say that he was in them a respected member, and repeatedly honored by election to positions of trust and usefulness. During Brother Winship's last illness his love for his Masonic Brethren was shown by the pleasure with which he greeted those who visited him, and the messages he sent to those with whom he joined in spirit, though his wasting body could not obey our summons. He put worldly cares behind him, his thoughts were less and less of earth, affection lingered till the end, but at last — he fell asleep.
Brother Winship died at Allston, in the Brighton District, December 10, 1884. The Grand Lodge was then in session, and his death was announced to the assembled Brethren before the close of the Communication. His funeral, December 13, was attended by Bethesda Lodge, and members of St. Bernard Commandery, of which he had been Eminent Commander, and services at the Unitarian Church, in Brighton, were conducted by the Grand Lodge, W. Rev. Fielder Israel officiating as Grand Chaplain. xHis body was buried at Mount Auburn.
But while we have thus, left consigned to mother earth the remains of a beloved Brother; while our own hearts are full, and abound with sympathy for those who ihourn the loss of a loving husband, a kind father, and a wise counsellor, we can but feel that for him has dawned that brighter morning of which he dreamed when he was wont to sing:
"And this garment I've worn till it's threadbare to-day,
Shall become everlasting — to-morrow."
That 'to-morrow' is to-day with him now.