- 1 WILLIAM NORTH 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
WILLIAM NORTH LODGE
Chartered By: Charles C. Dame
Charter Date: 03/11/1868 VII-230
Precedence Date: 03/26/1867
Current Status: Active
- Hiram N. Hall, 1867
- Theodore Adams, 1868, 1869
- Atwill F. Wright, 1870, 1871
- William Livingston, 1872, 1873
- C. E. A. Bartlett, 1874, 1875
- Crawford Burnham, 1876, 1877
- Elisha H. Shaw, 1878, 1879; SN
- Edward A. Salmon, 1880, 1881
- Jefferson A. Knowles, 1882, 1883
- Charles H. Hobson, 1884, 1885
- John H. Coggeshall, 1886, 1887
- Virgil G. Bernard, 1888, 1889
- Charles W. Money, 1890, 1891
- Harry K. Boardman, 1892, 1893; SN
- Arthur S. Cutler, 1894, 1895
- J. Munn Andrews, 1896, 1897
- Charles F. Flemings, 1898, 1899; SN
- C. S. Livingston, 1900, 1901
- David W. Dewar, 1902, 1903
- Arthur Dow Prince, 1904, 1905; N
- Amos F. Hill, 1906, 1907
- Walter I. Chase, 1908, 1909
- Harry L. Wheeler, 1910
- Frank W. Dobson, 1911, 1912
- Royal K. Dexter, 1913, 1914
- Harwood I. Wright, 1915, 1916
- H. Hutchins Parker, 1917, 1918
- Herbert L. Trull, 1919, 1920
- F. Leon Gage, 1921, 1922
- Harold D. MacDonald, 1923, 1924; N
- Herbert W. Horne, 1925, 1926
- Paul L. Perkins, 1927, 1928; N
- Arthur Bartlett, 1929, 1930
- John W. Fraser, 1931
- Lester H. Cushing, 1932, 1933
- Andrew G. Jenkins, 1934, 1935; N
- Royal K. Dexter, Jr., 1936, 1937
- Arthur A. A. Stewart, 1938, 1939
- Donald R. McIntyre, 1940, 1941
- Charles L. Hildreth, 1942, 1943
- George H. Upton, 1944, 1945
- William G. Haynes, 1946, 1947
- J. Frederick Burtt, 1948, 1949
- Harry R. Cullum, 1950, 1951
- Norman D. McLoon, 1952, 1953
- B. Randolph Cady, 1954, 1955
- Robert E. Picken, 1956, 1957
- Norman E. Brooks, 1958, 1959
- John T. Johnson, 1960, 1961
- William L. Rust, 1962, 1963; N
- James S. Johnston, 1964, 1965
- Bernard L. Yetton, 1966, 1967
- J. R. Mansfield, Jr., 1968
- Douglas A. Davis, 1969
- Norman D. McLoon, Jr., 1970, 1971
- Ernest Shepherd, 1972, 1973
- James S. Logan, 1974, 1975; PDDGM
- Peter C. Picken, 1976
- Robert Matley, 1977, 1978
- Nicholas Geourgoulis, 1979, 1980
- Ernest F. Mackness, 1981, 1982
- Richard B. Howatt, 1983, 1984
- Robert C. Wood, 1985, 1986
- Jeffrey P. Kimball, 1987, 1988
- Edward D. Mackness, 1989, 1990
- John A. Antonetti, Jr., 1991, 1992
- Timothy J. Hanks, 1993, 1994; N
- John A. Antonetti, Sr., 1995-1997
- Arthur B. Dunham, Jr., 1998, 2011-2014
- Walter D. Catton, Jr., 1999, 2000
- Walter Cinsavich, 2001, 2002
- Richard Clondike, 2003
- Joseph C. Roux, 2004-2006, 2010
- Walter E. Barker, Jr., 2007, 2008, 2015
- Michael V. Correia, 2011
The Lodge was named for Rt. Wor. William North, Past Senior Grand Warden.
REFERENCES IN GRAND LODGE PROCEEDINGS
- 1917 (50th Anniversary)
- 1942 (75th Anniversary)
- 1967 (Centenary)
- 1992 (125th Anniversary)
- 2009 (150th Anniversary)
VISITS BY GRAND MASTER
- 1868 (Dame; Constitution of Lodge and installation)
- 1899 (Hutchinson; 3 visits)
- 1907 (Blake)
- 1909 (Flanders)
- 1917 (L. Abbott; 2 visits, including 50th Anniversary; Special Communication)
- 1920 (Prince; 3 visits)
- 1922 (Prince; 3 visits)
- 1923 (Ferrell)
- 1942 (Schaefer; 75th Anniversary; Special Communication)
- 1947 (Wragg; reception for Junior Grand Warden Paul L. Perkins)
- 1956 (W. Johnson; reception for Deputy Grand Master Andrew G. Jenkins)
- 1957 (Jenkins; reception for Grand Master)
- 1960 (Eaton; reception for Senior Grand Warden George H. Upton)
- 1966 (Eaton; Andrew G. Jenkins Night; Special Communication)
- 1967 (Booth; Centenary; Special Communication)
- 1978 (Melanson; memorial service for Past Grand Master Jenkins)
- 1990 (Darling)
- 2003 (Hicks)
- 1942 (75th Anniversary History, 1942-100; see below)
- 1967 (Centenary History, 1967-124; see below)
- 1992 (125th Anniversary History, 1992-105; see below)
75TH ANNIVERSARY HISTORY, APRIL 1942
From Proceedings, Page 1942-100:
By Right Worshipful Paul L. Perkins
"The moving finger writes; and having writ,
Moves on; nor all your piety nor wit, Shall lure it
back to cancel half a line
Nor all your tears wash out a word of it."
The immutable record of history is often arranged in profuse and uninteresting detail that wearies many listeners, to their general disgust with the subject. They will be spared the ordeal in the present case, because of the unavailability of the dusty archives to the distant perspiring historian of the glorious story of this outstanding Lodge, as well as his general distaste for lengthy series of dates. Those older members who prefer to hear again the names of those devoted founders of William North Lodge will sympathize with the difficulties attendant upon this task, under these circumstances, and will bear their disappointment in true forgiving charity and Masonic silence.
Periods of upheaval and the hardships of war sometimes have a tendency to unite men and recreate in them a deeper interest in the social, ethical and religious values that often grow lax in times of prosperity. Such was the case at the close of the devastating and exhausting struggle between the States. The Masonic wheel of destiny was definitely on the upturn and the yearnings of human hearts for a better philosophy of life gave rise to the chartering of many new Lodges. It was in this era of an awakening interest in the soul satisfying social values that two groups of Lowell men petitioned the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of Massachusetts for charters for two new Lodges in our community. William North Lodge is the result of the efforts of the second group.
On March 26, 1867, this Lodge was instituted with full ceremony in the ancient forms and under dispensation became the fourth Lodge in Lowell. Exactly one year later, it was chartered. Names of conspicuous figures in the annals of our Craft have been chosen many times to perpetuate the memories of departed Brethren whose Herculean efforts have advanced the reputation and ideals of our association. Those original builders of this Lodge found at hand the living example of those principles which had inspired their creative impulse to found a new instrument in the hands of the Great Architect of the Universe, and adopted as its name, the name of their ideal.
William North was born in Wethersfield, Connecticut, in the closing years of the eighteenth century and had come to Lowell from New Hampshire thirty-three years prior to the granting of our dispensation. His record in our city had included public service in the Common Council, the Board of Aldermen, the School Committee, the Vice-Presidency of the City Institution for Savings and as a Founder of St. Paul's Church. His occupation was that of overseer of dyeing in the Middlesex Company. He had served as Master of Seneca Lodge, No. 55, in Torrington, Connecticut, and affiliated with Pentucket Lodge of this city September 27, 1845. He served as Master in 1849, District Deputy Grand Master in 1857, 1858 and 1859, Senior Grand Warden in 1861 and Honorary Worshipful Master of William North Lodge in 1868. He also served as Master in Libanus Lodge, No. 49, Somersworth, New Hampshire, for three years. Those who knew him still tell with enthusiasm of his great heart, his integrity, his moral rectitude and his religious and spiritual fervor. Such was the individual whose name gave luster to our Lodge and whose life became its inspiration.
From the beginning, this Lodge prospered and grew and assumed its honored place in the useful life of the city. So firmly were its roots implanted in the rich soil of Masonic tradition that its efforts have been constantly rewarded. William North Lodge assisted in the laying of the corner stone of the Lowell City Hall and performed that same ceremony at a similar occasion for the Grace Universalist Church. The roll of its contributions far outstrips the knowledge of any man and the intricate web of its influence extends to the infinite.
Seventy-five years of service to God and man — a glorious record and a bountiful heritage. We who have been spared the tribulations of organizing and building; we who receive in trust a debt-free, mature unit, in a well-knit association; we who receive the accumulated wisdom of seventy-five years of stainless reputation are but the temporary trustees of a sacred trust, deeply obligated to preserve for posterity an unsullied, vitally alert and useful body of sincere intelligent humanitarians devoted to the fundamental truths exemplified in our ritual.
Seventy-five years of brilliant achievement lie behind — the future is in the hands of the present. No man can look forward and know the future. Experience justifies the belief that ups and downs will come but that the momentum we gather is the surest guarantee for the future. It appears certain that we stand on the brink of changes in the world social structure. A new order o>r society has already started to unfold before us. The extent and direction of those changes can and will be influenced by two great institutions—the Christian Church and the Masonic Fraternity. The extent of influence these great towers of strength may exert depends on you and me.
May God, in His infinite wisdom, guide and protect William North Lodge.
CENTENARY HISTORY, APRIL 1967
From Proceedings, Page 1967-124:
By Wor. Lester H. Cushing:
FIRST QUARTER CENTURY, 1867-1892
On Saturday, March 16, 1867, at a meeting called by Bro. C. E. A. Bartlett, a group of young enthusiastic Masons, members of Pentucket and Ancient York Lodges, met at Masonic Hall on John Street and voted unanimously to present a petition to the Most Worshipful Grand Master of Masons in Massachusetts asking for letters of dispensation to form a fourth Lodge in Lowell. Although Kilwinning Lodge had been organized only the year before, it was still felt that the interests of the rapidly growing Fraternity would be best served by having another Lodge. It was voted to call the new organization William North Lodge. The petition was worded as follows:
"To the MWG Lodge of the State of Massachusetts the undersigned petitioners being Ancient Free and Accepted Master Masons having the prosperity of the fraternity at heart and willing to exert their best endeavors to promote and diffuse the genuine principles of Masonry respectfully represent that they are desirous of forming a new Lodge in the City of Lowell to be named the William North Lodge. They therefore pray for letters of dispensation or a warrant of constitution to empower them to assemble as a legal Lodge to discharge the duties of Masonry in a regular and constitutional manner according to the original forms of the order and the Regulations of the Grand Lodge.
'They have nominated and do recommend Worshipful Bro. Hiram N. Hall to be the first Master, Bro. Theodore Adams to be the first Senior Warden and Bro. Atwell F. Wright to be the first Junior Warden of said Lodge. If the prayer of the petitioners be granted, they promise a strict conformity to the constitution, laws, and regulations of the Grand Lodge."
The following 44 brethren signed the petition, some using their full names and others using only their initials:
- C. E. A. Bartlett
- Henry B. Fiske
- Daniel W. Horne
- Loring Aldrich
- Alden J. Gifford
- I. A. Foote
- Edwin Lamson
- J. E. Downs
- George L. Huntoon
- Geo. E. Pinkham
- A. F. Nichols
- M. S. Wright
- C. R. Caswell
- John C. Hall
- James D. Foote
- Luther Richards
- Weare Clifford
- A. E. Persons
- Jonathan Rice
- Theodore Adams
- J. J. C. Brown
- John Willey
- J. A. Richardson
- James Dean
- Warren S. Foote
- E. A. Thisell
- John C. Blood
- A. F. Wright
- Geo. F. Scribner
- John C. Woodward
- Samuel Hyde
- A. B. Wright
- Hiram N. Hall
- J. W. Abbott
- O. A. Brigham
- A. G. Caswell
- A. K. Lynch
- Caleb Crosby
- H. B. Bacon
- C. R. Kimball
- William Walker
- Crawford Burnham
- Milo G. Hallett
- Jas. F. Sleeper
Ancient York Lodge at a meeting held March 19th, and Pentucket Lodge at a meeting held March 21st, voted to recommend to the Grand Master that the petition be granted. The next day, March 22nd, the petition was presented to the Grand Master and on March 26 was granted. This was fast action, only 10 days between the first meeting and the granting of the petition.
The following is a copy of the Dispensation:
"To all persons to whom these presents may come, Greeting:
Whereas a petition has been presented to me by sundry Brethren, praying to be congregated into a regular Lodge under the name and title of William North Lodge with permission to hold the same in the City of Lowell. And whereas the said petitioners have been recommended to me as Master Masons in good standing by the Wor. Master, Wardens, and Brethren of Ancient York and Pentucket Lodges holden in the city of Lowell and their petition having been countersigned and approved by our District Deputy Grand Master for the Seventh Masonic District. Therefore, I, Charles C. Dame, Grand Master of the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of Massachusetts, reposing full confidence in the recommendation aforesaid and in the Masonic integrity and the ability of the Petitioners, do by virtue of the authority of my office and of ancient usage hereby grant this Dispensation, authorizing and empowering our trusted and well-beloved Brethren aforesaid to form and open a Lodge after the manner of Ancient Free and Accepted Masons and therein to admit and make Freemasons according to the ancient custom and not otherwise.
And the Dispensation is to continue in full force until the regular Quarterly Communication of our Grand Lodge aforesaid to be holden in the City of Boston in the month of March A.D. 1868, A.L. S868, unless sooner revoked by me or by authority of our said Grand Lodge. And I do hereby appoint Bro. Hiram N. Hall to be the first Master, Bro. Theodore Adams to be the first S.W. and Bro. Atwill F. Wright to be the first J.W. of said Lodge.
And it shall be the duty of said Master and Wardens and their associates, and they are hereby required, to return this Dispensation with a correct transcript of all the proceedings had under the authority of the same together with an attested copy of their By-Laws to our Grand Lodge aforesaid at the expiration of the time specified for examination and further action in the premises as shall be deemed Wise and Proper for the advancement ot the general interest of the Craft.
Given under our hand and seal of Our Grand Lodge aforesaid at Boston this twenty-sixth day of March A.D. 1867 — A.L. 5867."
Charles W. Moore Grand Secretary
Charles C. Dame Grand Master
Why was the Lodge named after William North? This gentleman, born in Wethersfield, Connecticut, July 13, 1794, came to Lowell in 1834 at the age of forty. He was an overseer of dyeing in the Middlesex Company. He soon became involved in community affairs, serving on the Common Council, the Board of Aldermen, and the School Committee, and becoming Vice President of City Institution for Savings. He had become a Mason early in life and had consistently followed the fortunes of Masonry through good and bad times with his customary fidelity. He had retained the vivacity of youth and had endeared himself to the younger brethren by familiar yet dignified intercourse. In fact, the local brethren often referred to him as "Father North". He was a Christian man, one of the founders of St. Paul's Methodist Church and very active in its affairs for many years. He served as Master of three Lodges: two years in Seneca Lodge No. 55 in Torrington, Connecticut; three years in Libanus Lodge in New Hampshire; and after he came to Lowell, was Master of Pentucket Lodge during seven of its most prosperous years. He was elected a member of Mount Horeb Royal Arch Chapter April 21, 1846, and held the office of Excellent King in 1847. He was admitted a member of Ahasuerus Council, R. and S. Masters, in 1857, and served as Treasurer from that year until his death. He became a Charter Member of Pilgrim Commandery, K.T., October 10, 1855, and was its first Prelate, serving in that office until his decease. He also served the Grand Lodge as District Deputy Grand Master, 1857-1859, as Senior Grand Warden in 1861, and as a member of various committees. Such a man, civic-minded, full of spiritual and religious fervor, and with a great love for the Masonic Fraternity, was the one whose name was chosen to be an inspiration to our Lodge.
Four days after the Dispensation was granted by the Grand Master on March 26, 1867, the first communication was held on March 30, at which time the Lodge was organized. At this meeting the Dispensation was read. It was voted to meet on the first Wednesday of each month, fifty dollars was set for the initiation fee, and a committee with Bro. C. E. A. Bartlett as Chairman, was appointed to draw up the constitution and By-Laws for the Lodge. The first regular communication was held April 4, 1867, at which time seven applications for degrees were received and investigating committees appointed. At this meeting the officers used the jewels of Pentucket Lodge. On May 1 the seven applicants above mentioned were accepted, and two more applications were received. On June 19 Edward A. Fiske and Jeremiah Clark were the first two candidates to be raised to the Sublime Degree of Master Mason. On October 2, Bro. C. E. A. Bartlett reported for the committee on By-Laws, which were then adopted.
The Lodge was constituted on March 26, 1868. The meeting was called to order at 5:30. A procession was formed and proceeded to the Masonic Armory, where the brethren enjoyed a sumptuous banquet. Later in the evening the charter was read and presented to the Lodge by Most Worshipful Grand Master, Charles C. Dame, who then installed the following as officers of William North Lodge:
- Hiram A. Hall, Worshipful Master
- Theodore Adams, Senior Warden
- Atwell F. Wright, Junior Warden
- George F. Scribner, Treasurer
- Henry B. Fiske, Secretary
- C. E. A. Bartlett, Senior Deacon
- Alonzo K. Lynch, Junior Deacon
- Alfred F. Nichols, Senior Steward
- Lorin Aldrich, Junior Steward
- J. A. Dean, Inside Sentinel
- W. S. Foote, Organist
- S. K. Fielding, Tyler
On May 6, 1868, Right Worshipful William North presented jewels to the Lodge. A few years later Right Worshipful Brother North entered the Celestial Lodge above, and in the records we find this inscription:
Right Worshipful Brother
Born July 13, 1794
Died January 3, 1872
Aged 77 years
A very few years later a very meaningful memorial was erected to mark his noteworthy career. In the old belfry of his beloved church was placed a huge bell to ring out the appeal of the church for worship. This bell bears an inscription cut into its very metal, which reads as follows:
Presented to St. Paul's M. E. Church, Lowell Mass., By the Sons of William North, for many years an Active and Zealous member of the Church, who died January 3, 1872, Aged 77 years.
The bell was cast in Boston by William Blake and Co. A special bell chamber, with huge timbers carefully built in to support the big bell, was necessary in the old tower. The bell is very heavy, and requires a very strong man to pull the rope before its swing can be accelerated enough to bring out its deep resonant tone. For ninety years now it has occupied its lofty home, sending out its occasional note of victory as well as a call to worship the Most High God in the beauty of holiness. What better memorial could climax such a pilgrimage of usefulness! He was a true pillar in the Church of God, carrying out the old Masonic definition of the pillars in the Temple that "in strength will God establish this House." Symbolically applied, God firmly established the moral and spiritual edifice of this true man. And St. Paul's Church Bell, the William North Bell, is an enduring monument vibrating the hopeful tones of security, faith, and loyalty, so that all generations may be reminded of the sweetness of his character, and the deep devotions of his life to the end that his example may be an everlasting inspiration.
In tones that float upon the air,
As soft as song, as pure as prayer,
The bell to honor William North,
Its message ever pealing forth,
This is the church not built on sands,
Emblem of that not built with hands,
Come, worship here, come worship here,
Your everlasting God revere.
In February, 1872, William North Lodge, along with the other Masonic bodies in Lowell, moved into the new Masonic Temple on Merrimack Street, which was destined to be our Masonic home for fifty-eight years, 1872-1926. The man largely responsible for this move was the Honorable Hocum Hosford, who was Master of Kilwinning Lodge and Eminent Commander of Pilgrim Commandery in 1870 when he started a new building on the site now occupied by the Dutchland Tea Room and Morse's Shoe Store. He proposed to the trustees of Lowell Masonic Association that he finish the third and fourth floors in such a manner as they desired and lease the same for ten years with the privilege of another lease for the same period. This proposal was accepted. On the third floor was the main lodge room, named Hosford Hall, 49' x 38', the Armory, a small hall, 3(7 x 20^ and various ante-rooms and lockers. On the fourth floor was the banquet hall, kitchen, sodality room, and an ante-room for each lodge. At this time William North Lodge, although only five years old, had 111 members.
During this period the custom of having an anniversary celebration each year was instituted. On March 24, 1869 there was an informal celebration of the first anniversary of the constitution of William North Lodge. The first annual banquet was held on our fifth anniversary, March 20, 1872. At the ninth anniversary on March 8, 1876 it is recorded that a toast was given to our four departed brethren and to Right Worshipful William North, the beginning of our custom of having an annual IN MEMORIAM. Until our fifteenth anniversary on March 1, 1882 there was always degree work as well as a banquet, but on this occasion the program consisted only of a banquet, speaking, and entertainment. From the very beginning each anniversary closed with the singing of Auld Lang Syne. It is interesting to note that the price of tickets during these years was only $1.00, that beginning in 1884 an amount not to exceed $60.00 was set aside for entertainment, and that no special celebration was scheduled for our twenty-fifth anniversary. In fact, the records contain no details at all about our twenty-fifth except that the price of tickets was raised from $1.00 to $1.50.
The following information, gleaned from the records, throws considerable light on the thinking and policies of the Lodge during this early period. The by-laws stated that the regular communications should be held on Wednesday on or preceding each full moon. In 1870 William North Lodge, Kilwinning Lodge and Ahasuerus Council were admitted to the Lowell Masonic Association as equal partners. On January 7, 1871, it was voted to obtain photographs of the Past Masters and place them in the Holy Bible on the altar. Then on February 13, 1877 the Lodge voted that the Past Masters procure photographs to be placed in the Temple. During 1878 the name (not mentioned) of a clandestine Mason was stricken from our rolls. On May 15, 1879 the first Ladies' Night was held: "a social gathering of members and their friends in Masonic Hall under the auspices of William North Lodge." The entertainment consisted of musical selections and readings, and refreshments were served. Only members could buy tickets, and it is recorded that there was a cash balance of five dollars left over.
On June 8, 1889 dues were set at $1.00 per year for those who had paid the Grand Lodge Commutation Tax of $10.00 and $2.00 till 1894 for those who had not paid said tax, also one could become a life member on payment of $20., and the Secretary, Treasurer, Chaplain and Tyler were exempt from dues. On January 16 it was voted to request the Trustees to buy a piano for the banquet hall. On April 2, 1890 the Lodge voted that the Board of Trustees be requested to lay the matter of building a new Masonic Temple before the several Masonic bodies of Lowell for an opinion as to the necessity for and advisability of the same. On October 11,1890, William North Lodge, together with the other Lodges and Pilgrim Commandery, assisted the Most Worshipful Grand Master of Masons in Massachusetts in the ceremonies of laying the corner-stone of the new City Hall. On April 7, 1891 the Board of Trustees of the Lowell Masonic Association voted to have the Masters of the Lodges find out whether the members would be willing to subscribe $100 per share of stock for a new Masonic Temple. On June 17, 1891, the Lodge voted to accept the assessment of the Board of Trustees for $275 as its share of the expense for a new organ.
In September 1891 a new compact of the Lowell Masonic Association was adopted. This compact provided for joint ownership of property, three trustees to represent each Masonic body, two meetings per year (June and September) for the Board of Trustees, an annual full report to the several bodies, and payment of rent quarterly. The first quarter of a century closed with William North Lodge firmly established, sound financially, with excellent leaders, and increasing steadily in numbers: 321 members reported at the annual meeting in October, 1893, a gain of 210 in the twenty-year period since moving into the Temple on Merrimack Street.
During this early formative period the following were some of the outstanding leaders: Wor. Hiram A. Hall, who was the first Master, 1867, 1868 and who served on many committees; Wor. Theodore Adams, who was the second Master, 1869-1870, and who served as Secretary for 33 years, 1875-1908; Wor. C. E. A. Bartlett who called the meeting which led to the formation of the Lodge, who was chairman of the Committee on By-Laws, and who was the fifth Master, 1874-1876; Wor. Elisha H. Shaw, who was Master 1878-1880 and later served as District Deputy Grand Master; Wor. Charles H. Hobson, who was Master 1884-1886, and who remained extremely active in Lodge affairs throughout his long life; Wor. Charles W. Morey, who was Master 1890-1892 and who gave the IN MEMORIAM at several Anniversaries; Bro. George F. Scribner, the first treasurer, who served for 28 years until his death in 1895; Wor. William E. Livingston, who was Master, 1872-1874, and later in 1895 succeeded Bro. Scribner as treasurer, which office he held until ill health forced his retirement in 1902. How could William North Lodge fail to lay a good foundation with leaders like these?
SECOND QUARTER CENTURY, 1892-1917
This twenty-five year period was one of great activity for William North Lodge: many meetings and special events, an increase in membership from 321 to 558, and several important changes in the By-Laws.
In the spring of 1895 William North Lodge accepted an invitation to lay the corner-stone of Grace Universalist Church at the corner of Princeton and South Canton Streets. Accordingly, on May 25, 1895, a procession of members of William North and Sister Lodges, escorted by Pilgrim Commandery, proceeded from the Temple to the Merrimack House, where the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge was received. The procession then continued on to Princeton Street, where Most Worshipful Edwin B. Holmes, assisted by William North Lodge of Lowell, Arthur S. Cutler, Master, conducted the ceremonies of laying the corner-stone aggreeably to the forms and customs of Ancient, Free and Accepted Masonry. A collation was served at the Temple later. The following communication was later received from the officers of Grace Universalist Church: "Resolved that heartfelt thanks of the Society be extended to William North Lodge, A.F. and A.M., to Pilgrim Commandery, K.T., and especially to the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of Massachusetts, and also to all members of the Order of whatever body that kindly participated in the event."
Twice during this period the Lodge ran into difficulty because of the provision of the By-Laws that the regular meeting be held on the Wednesday on or preceding each full moon. In December, 1895, because the meeting date fell on Christmas Day, the following dispensation was obtained from the Grand Lodge: "Whereas the by-laws state that the monthly communication be held on the Wednesday on or before the full moon of each month, and whereas Wednesday of the present month falls on Christmas Day, dispensation is granted authorizing said Lodge to convene on the 18th instead, and transact all Masonic work and business which may regularly come before the Lodge." Again in October, 1903, a dispensation was obtained to convene the Annual Meeting on October 14 because there was no Wednesday on or before the full moon in October.
On June 24, 1896 a petition for the formation of a fifth lodge in Lowell was presented from Wiliam H. Brown and others. The matter was referred to a committee of three, which reported to the Lodge on October 21 that the necessity for a new lodge was not sufficiently apparent to justify one, and the petition was rejected.
In the fall of 1897 the Lodge took two important actions which involved plans for the future. At the annual meeting on October 6 it was voted "that the sum of $1,000 be taken from the treasury of the Lodge and set apart as a fund to be known as the William North Lodge Building Fund and that ten per cent of the gross receipts of the Lodge be added to said Building Fund each year hereafter (amended on Dec. 8 to twenty per cent of money received from candidates), and that said fund shall not be used for any purpose other than the purchase, erection, or ownership in whole or-in part of a Masonic Temple in the City of Lowell, Massachusetts, unless otherwise voted by two-thirds of the members present at a Regular Communication of the Lodge, and after at least one month's notice of such action shall have been given on the notice of a Regular Communication." Thus was started the Building Fund which was later put into our present Temple built after the disastrous fire of 1926. On November 3 it was voted that the Finance Committee be directed to procure a photostatic copy of the charter to be used in the Lodge Room and that the original be carefully preserved in a place of safety.
In 1903, in order to meet the rapidly growing needs of the Lowell bodies, Pollard Hall, much larger than Hosford Hall, was added on the third and fourth floors over the Pollard Store Annex, a much needed and welcome addition to our Masonic Apartments.
On January 28, 1904, the Lodge held its Second Ladies Night (the first was in 1879). It was called a reception to the ladies and included a "sumptuous" banquet in the Masonic Apartments, followed by an entertainment and dancing in Colonial Hall. A Ladies Night was also held in 1906 and again in 1908.
During this period Bro. Arthur Dow Prince, who had joined William North Lodge in 1891, started his rapid progress up the Masonic ladder, serving his lodge as Marshal in 1897, Senior Deacon, 1897-98, Junior Warden, 1900-1902, Senior Warden, 1902-1904, and Worshipful Master, 1904-1906. He then became Proxy to the Grand Lodge in 1906 and District Deputy Grand Master, 1910, 1911. At this time, Wor. Harry L. Wheeler, our oldest living Past Master, presided over the Lodge, 1910-1911. At the Annual Meeting on October 31, 1906, the dues were set at $4.00 per year, the initiation fee at $25.00 with Past Masters exempt from paying dues.
It is interesting to note the Most Worshipful John A. Blake, at the Fortieth Anniversary on March 27, 1907, made an address and presented a Chaplain's Jewel to Rev. Bro. Ransom A. Greene, who had served as Chaplain for twenty-five years. Also at a Past Masters' Night held on February 12, 1908 all living Past Masters participated in the work of the evening.
At the Annual Meeting on October 7, 1908, Brother Theodore Adams, who had served as Secretary for thirty-five years, declined to be considered for re-election, whereupon the Lodge adopted the following resolution: "That we accept with regret his refusal to continue longer in the office which he has graced with his genial presence for so many years.
"That we hereby bear witness to his painstaking accuracy, his wise counsel, his unfailing courtesy and devotion to the interest of William North Lodge, and his steadfast loyalty to things Masonic.
"That we extend to him our heartfelt wishes for his health and happiness and our sincere hope that blessings without number shall crown his days.
"That this resolution be spread upon the records of the Lodge, and that a copy thereof be sent to Worshipful Brother Adams".
Theodore Adams' letter of reply addressed to Wor. C. F. Flemings, Secretary, is so well expressed and so truly represents the attitude of a real Mason that your historian has inserted it in this history of William North Lodge. It reads as follows:
"Having received from the hands of the worshipful committee a copy of the resolutions passed by William North Lodge on account of my retirement from the office of Secretary, together with the liberal gift that accompanied them, I wish to tender my sincere and heartfelt thanks for the good will so graciously expressed, and for the glittering present so generously bestowed.
"During a pleasant official life in William North Lodge of nearly half a century I have formed many friendships which are very dear to me, and though absent, my heart and sympathies-are with you, and I hope that each and all may enjoy every satisfaction and delight that disinterested friendship can afford".
During the latter part of this period the following interesting items appear in the records. At the Annual Meeting, October 27, 1909, the Lodge voted that the Fund of $503.39 now deposited in the Central Savings Bank be designated the Charity Fund and five dollars of each initiation fee be added to this fund. On December 14, 1910, it was voted that $100. be appropriated and placed in the care of the City of Lowell as a fund, the interest of which shall be used for perpetual care of a lot recently purchased in Edson Cemetery and $25. be set aside for a suitable marker for the Brother buried there. At the forty-fourth Anniversary, March 22, 1911, the records note that all seven living Charter Members and every living Past Master, but one, were present. In the minutes of the April meeting when Rev. Bro. Ransom A. Greene was about to retire, it is recorded that 511 members were raised during the twenty-nine years he served as Chaplain. On September 6, 1911, the Finance Committee and Treasurer were authorized to spend up to #100. to provide a suitable monument for the burial lot in Edson Cemetery belonging to William North Lodge. At the Annual Meeting October 4, 1911, it was voted that the regular communications be held on the second Wednesday of every month (our present system), that the membership be limited to 600 (later withdrawn), and that the Secretary be paid $150. per year (later raised to $300. and then to $500.) At the annual meeting October 9, 1912, the initiation fee was set at $60, and the dues at $4. (as before). On June 13, 1913, the new Masonic Apartments were formally dedicated with corn, wine and oil, to Free Masonry, Virtue, and Universal Benevolence; on this occasion 787 Masons, including twenty-five Grand Lodge Officers were present.
On April 8, 1914, the Lodge held a Military Night in honor of our Brethren who were serving in the National Guard. During the evening Captain Thomas Colby Kittredge was raised to the Sublime Degree of Master Mason in Due Form. 426 sat down to dinner in the banquet hall, the largest number ever. Over fifty military brethren were present in full uniform and took part in the work. This description is taken from the Secretary's records: "The intermingling of the beautiful, spotless uniforms of the military brethren, and the immaculate dress of the regular Lodge officers presented a sight to the members that will never be forgotten. One of the prettiest events of the evening was the unfurling of the American Flag as the band played the Star Spangled Banner with everyone on his feet. The flag was suspended in the West, and at a given signal was released from a small roll and flew to its full size to the surprise of all."
On May 23, 1915, William North Lodge attended the twentieth Anniversary of Grace Universalist Church, the cornerstone of which the Lodge had helped to lay in 1895. Two hundred William North members were present at the services.
In the records of December 8, 1915, we find the following notation by Secretary Charles F. Flemings: "In the death of Dr. George E. Pinkham we record the passing of one more of the Charter Members of William North Lodge. The ranks are growing thin, and soon we shall have naught, but their memory, but we shall never fail to bring to loving remembrance those who in the early years laid the foundation so well which now supports the William North of today."
On the Forty-ninth Anniversary March 8, 1916, more than 300 Brethren, including two of our five living charter members, were present in spite of the fact that the most severe snow storm of the year was raging outside. When we consider that the majority of the Brethren were dependent on street cars for transportation, what a display of Lodge loyalty! Fortunately, by the time the meeting ended the storm was over and the cars were running. During the first fifty years of the history of William North Lodge this entry frequently appeared in the Secretary's records on the occasion of the death of one of the members. "Carriages were taken to the home of the deceased and from thence to the cemetery, where all that was mortal of our late Brother was consigned to our mother earth in accordance with the solemn rites of our Ancient Institution." The last reference to the use of carriages was in the records for Nov. 10, 1919.
As 1917 approached, the committee for the Fiftieth Anniversary was appointed on Oct. 14, 1914, two and one-half years in advance, consisting of Right Worshipful Arthur D. Prince, Worshipful Charles F. Flemings, Worshipful Amos F. Hill, Worshipful Royal K. Dexter, Worshipful Harwood L. Wright, Master, Senior Warden, H. Hutchins Parker, and Junior Warden, Herbert L. Trull. The fiftieth anniversary program included a party for the children on Saturday, May 5, attended by over 400, including 300 happy youngsters, and the Fiftieth Anniversary celebration itself on Tuesday, May 8, 1917,
On that date the Lodge opened at five o'clock, the officers of the Grand Lodge were received and the original charter was read by the Secretary. Oramel A. Brigham, Albert C. A. Persons, Jas. D. Foote, Earl A. Thissell, the four living charter members, the oldest living Past Master, and Bro. Warren Clifford were presented the Henry Price Medal. The historical address was given by Worshipful Amos F. Hill, and then the Lodge was closed in form. Over 400 attended the banquet. Then followed the In Memoriam by Right Worshipful Arthur D. Prince, remarks by Most Worshipful Leon M. Abbott, Grand Master, Reverend Brother Edward A. Horton, Grand Chaplain, Most Worshipful Melvin M. Johnson, Past Grand Master, and Right Worshipful Frederick W. Hamilton, Grand Secretary, and an ode to William North Lodge by Worshipful Harry L. Wheeler. The entertainment consisted of a program by the Knickerbocker Club, assisted by the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra.
Right Worshipful Arthur D. Prince, in his eloquent tribute to those called home to the celestial Lodge above, spoke thusly:
"So with our departed members: dead, we may call them, but they live on elsewhere: gone they may be, but they are not forgotten. Let us take our leave of them, then, holding the firm faith of a blessed reunion, after we, too, have solved the dark mystery, which is always so near to us and yet so impenetrable. Let us say our farewell to them in the words, "Good-bye", "Au Revoir", and give to them the old, old meaning, "God be with you till we meet again."
The Grand Master, Most Worshipful Leon M. Abbott, closed his magnificent address as follows: "With every Mason loyal to the tenets of his profession, with every Masonic Lodge the world over a nursery of patriotism and good citizenship-standing for education, liberty, equality, and fraternity, we shall bear witness to the dawn of a new and eternal day, and there shall be no more wars or rumors of wars, for the former things shall have passed away; and brotherly love shall find its full and true and universal expression in the hearts and souls and lives of men." </blockquote> Alas, such a situation has not yet developed! But we still hope.
The following ode, composed by Wor. Harry L. Wheeler, Master, 1910, 1911, fitted into the program most appropriately:
"Two score years and ten!
Around the altar come to-night
The souls indebted for the Light
Bestowed by Thee—a Gift of Gifts,
A power that lifts
The darkness from the eyes of men
And welds their hearts as brethren.
As such we never can forget
The Giver of such wealth, or let
This year pass wholly by
Until we meet and testify
Our loyalty to Thee, O Lodge that we revere!
"Two score years and ten!
Beloved Lodge! Around thy blazing star await
Thy living sons to celebrate
Thy days—the days replete
With faith and hope and love,
Replete with deeds and thoughts
And teaching from above.
For this we greet thee, and rejoice
With heart and soul and voice:
And trust that God will ever bless
Thy future days with great success
O Lodge, we hold so dear."
THIRD QUARTER CENTURY, 1917-1942
This twenty-five year period was one of important happenings and tremendous activity. The period started while we were engaged in World War I, included the Great Depression of the thirties, and ended at the beginning of our involvement in World War II, all of which events had a profound influence upon the programs of the Lodge, the number of applications for membership, and the policies in regard to such matters as initiation fees, remission of dues, etc. Also at this time our Temple on Merrimack Street was destroyed by fire, we had to meet in temporary quarters in the First Universalist Church for over two years, and we built our splendid new Temple, which we have occupied since the Fall of 1929, and the finances of which were so well handled by the Trustees of the Lowell Masonic Association that by January, 1934, the last note was paid and we owned our Temple completely. It was a period of great fluctuation in membership; the number of members increased in the Post-World War I period from 558 in 1917 to 741 in 1926, a gain of 183 in 9 years; and then, due largely to the depression, declined from 741 to 551 in 1942, a loss of 190 in 16 years. It was a period of unusual and outstanding occasions, a period when Hallowe'en parties for the ladies became annual events, annual ladies' nights became the regular practice, an annual night of games was instituted, and the bowling league was started. It was a period when William North Masons not only did outstanding work in our own Lodge, but became very prominent in the activities of the Grand Lodge. Most Worshipful Arthur D. Prince served as Grand Master in 1920, 1921 and 1922; Right Worshipful Harold D. Macdonald was District Deputy Grand Master, 1930-1932; and Right Worshipful Paul L. Perkins was District Deputy Grand Master, 1938-1940.
Now let us consider more in detail just what happened during this intensely interesting period. First, what were the effects of World War I on our policies and meetings? On Sept. 12, 1917, the Lodge voted that a committee of five of the younger members be appointed by the Worshipful Master to act as a correspondence committee between enlisted members of William North Lodge and home, to keep them informed as to what was going on in the Lodge and to report their names to the Secretary. A Service Fund was set up to be used by the Service Committee under the direction of the Master for the benefit of members who had entered the United States service. On November 14, 1917, the dues of every enlisted brother were remitted for the duration of the war. On October 30, 1918, a William North Honor Roll was arranged for, to list the names of the thirty-six then known to be in the service of our country, plus any others later reported to have been in the Services. The following names of service men were read at this meeting:
- Alexander Greig, Jr.
- Colby T. Kittredge
- Fred A. Estes
- John Mather
- George W. MacNamara
- Mason D. Bryant, M.D.
- Harold T. Mather
- Hammond Barnes
- Andrew G. Jenkins
- Ariston K. Barrows
- Edward O. Tabor, M. D.
- Perley K. Knight
- Samuel H. Scribner
- David F. Caddell
- Sgt. Major:
- Frank L. McCool
- Roland Black
- Wallace A. Duncan
- Rufus A. Maxfield
- William E. Walmsley
- Frank C. Johnson
- George C. McKelvey
- Carl W. Mason
- Roy F. Wells
- John D. MacIver
- John W. Field
- Arthur F. Severance
- Harvey E. Symonds
- Charles C. Fogg
- John E. Clement
- George H. Upton
- Elwin A. Dearth
- Arthur E. Redman
- Fernald H. Nichols
- Hosmer W. Sweetser
- George R. Garmon
- Paul L. Perkins
The meeting of December 10, 1919 featured a "Welcome Home" to William North Servicemen, at which time beautiful souvenirs were presented to the 42 members who were veterans of World War I; 32 of whom were present on this outstanding occasion.
Important changes in the By-Laws were made soon after the end of World War I, probably due to the great rapidity with which the Lodge was taking in new members. On January 8, 1919 the limit of 600 members was removed. On December 10, 1919 the dues were raised from $4.00 to $6.00, but the following were exempt from dues: Past Masters, Secretary, Treasurer, Chaplains, Tyler, and members 60 years of age who had been paying dues for 20 years. It was also made possible for a member to secure Life Membership by paying fifteen times the annual dues. On October 11, 1920, it was voted to raise the initiation fee to $100. and the fee for affiliation to $50.
In connection with the changes indicated above, think of the fact that during Wor. Herbert L. Trull's first year as Master, 1919-1920, the Lodge held 10 regular and 25 special communications, at which 68 were initiated, 66 passed, and 65 raised, making a total membership of 645. On November 10, before the higher initiation fee became effective, 27 applications were voted on (21 accepted) and 5 more applications for degrees and 2 for affiliation came in. At the end of his second year in office the report at the annual meeting on October 12, 1921, showed 10 regular and 13 special meetings, with 49 applications accepted, 3 admitted, and 46 raised, boosting membership to 683. On January 14, 1920, a reception, open to all Masons, was given to Most Worshipful Arthur D. Prince, who had been elected Grand Master of Masons in Massachusetts the preceding month, our first Past Master to be so honored. The Committee in charge consisted of all the Past Masters, with Wor. Charles H. Hobson as Chairman. After a dinner at 6:30, Most Worshipful Arthur D. Prince, with Right Worshipful Frank W. Dobson as Grand Marshal, was received in the Lodge Room at 7:45. The address was given by Most Worshipful Melvin M. Johnson, Past Grand Master. Then the Grand Master presented the Henry Price medal to Right Worshipful Arthur G. Pollard. 500 were present to honor Most Worshipful Arthur D. Prince. On February 11th a committee was appointed to procure a portrait of our new Most Worshipful Grand Master. Then on June 16, 1923 a special communication was held for the purpose of presenting this portrait to the Trustees of the Lowell Masonic Association. The reception committee on this occasion consisted of the Past Masters of all the Blue Lodges in Lowell, with Wor. Robert A. Kennedy as Chairman. The presentation was made by Right Worshipful Frank W. Dobson, and the portrait was received for the Trustees by Right Worshipful Arthur G. Pollard, then President of the Board.
On December 6, 1922, during the first year of Wor. F. Leon Gage's administration, perhaps the most outstanding Ladies' Night in the history of William North Lodge was held in the Lowell Memorial Auditorium, using both the main hall and Liberty Hall. It was described as one of the most brilliant social events of the season, with 750 in attendance. At eight o'clock an entertainment was presented on the stage of the main auditorium, which was elaborately decorated with palms, followed by dancing till one o'clock. Dress was formal; tickets were sold only to Masons. In Liberty Hall a collation was served from 9:30 till midnight. Personally, your historian will never forget the attractiveness of the set-up. This quotation is copied from the Lodge records: "In the center of the hall was a long table decorated with huge candelabra and clusters of poinsetta and greenery, the color scheme representing the Christmas red and white. At the sides of the hall were large tables spread with a most lavish collation, while an orchestra played on the stage."
During this period, while we were still in the old Temple, activities of all kinds continued one after the other. In 1922 Wor. F. Leon Gage had the first Strawberry Festival on June 14, and the next year on May 12 he started the annual practice of having a lobster dinner in the spring of the year, in May or June. At this time nearly 400 attended our annual banquets in March; in fact, due to the capacity of our banquet hall, the number of tickets was limited to 400. Your historian distinctly remembers his disappointment when he was not allowed to attend the annual banquet on March 9, 1921, because he was not scheduled to receive his Third Degree until the following week. On April 25, 1924, a Masonic Ball, sponsored by the four Masonic Lodges in Lowell, was held in the Memorial Auditorium. On April 29, 192S, William North Lodge again had a Ladies' Night in the Memorial Auditorium featuring a concert by Miner-Doyle's Orchestra from 8:00 to 9:00, dancing from 9:00 till 1:00; and a buffet lunch in Liberty Hall, all under the direction of Wor. Harold D. Macdonald as Chairman. On April 28, 1926, a Special Communication, a joint meeting of all six lodges was held at the special request of our Grand Master, Most Worshipful Frank L. Simpson, in order that he might witness an exemplification of the First Degree by the officers of William North Lodge.
On June 3, 1926, the big fire occurred. Our Temple burned down. We were homeless.
Our first meeting after the fire was held on June 9, 1926, in Billerica through the courtesy of Thomas Talbot Lodge, at which time and place five candidates were raised, and the members enjoyed a dinner of steamed clams, boiled lobster and strawberry shortcake. Our next meeting, September 8, 1926, was held in the First Universalist Church, where we continued to meet for over two years. On December 8, 1926, the Lodge voted the Trustees full power to go ahead with building plans. By the next Spring land had already been purchased for the new Masonic Temple on Dutton Street on the site next to the Yorick Club, and all members of the Fraternity were asked to donate $100. On December 14, 1927, it was voted to transfer the money of the William North Building Fund to the Lowell Masonic Association to assist in the erection of our new Temple, said amount to be credited to the quota of $56,500 assigned to William North Lodge.
On Saturday, September 8, 1928, a special meeting was called for the purpose of assisting the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts in the ceremonies at the laying of the corner-stone of our new Temple. On this occasion, Most Worshipful Frank L. Simpson, Grand Master, opened a Grand Lodge at the Yorick Club and then joined the Masons of Lowell at the First Universalist Church. From there a parade of Masons, 2500 strong, led by Pilgrim Commandery in full uniform, marched to the site of the new Temple for the ceremonies. At the Lodge meeting, September 11, 1929, it was announced that on October 8, the date set for the dedication, for the first time we would enter "a Masonic House that is our own, built by our own money and devoted exclusively to the high purposes of our Craft."
Before recording the actual Dedication Ceremonies, let us go back to the events of the administration of Worshipful Paul L. Perkins, who was our Master the two years we met at the First Universalist Church. In one of his monthly messages to the Brethren he wrote: "We are out to run the Lodge for you, the way you want it run. Support us at the meetings and tell us what you think and what you want, Let's go!" Again in December of his first year he said: "At the last meeting attendance was the best for a long time. Some say we cannot do as well again. I say the good old William North spirit is not dead and that this meeting will be larger than the last. What is your answer? Are you coming?" The average attendance his first year was 161, and it was even larger the second year; 295, a capacity crowd, were present for our Sixty-first Anniversary, March 14, 1928. Wor. Paul Perkins constantly emphasized attendance, interesting meetings, special events for the brethren, and attention to the sick and unfortunate. He started bowling parties, which later led to the formation of the William North Bowling League, still active now after thirty-six years of continuous activity.
On January 11, 1928, Wor. F. Leon Gage, Chairman of a committee for investigation relative to the formation of a new lodge in Lowell, reported favorably, stating that it would stimulate Masonry in Lowell and not interfere with the enrollment of new members in the older Lodges. As a result, William Sewall Gardner Lodge was formed and made its first public appearance at the laying of the corner-stone September 8, 1928. Also to replace the old Building Fund a William North Emergency Fund was set up, started with contributions of #100. each from six members, Most Worshipful Arthur D. Prince, Wor. Harry K. Boardman, Wor. J. Munn Andrews, Wor. Herbert W. Home, Right Worshipful Harold D. Macdonald, and Bro. Jesse A. Viles, and to be built up by ten per cent of the money received from candidates for degrees. This fund, administered by the Worshipful Master, Treasurer, and Trustees of the Lodge, can be used upon recommendation to the Lodge by a majority of the committee and a majority vote of the Lodge, provided notice of proposed action is given one month in advance. On March 14, 1928, the By-Laws were amended to provide for the election of officers in September instead of October.
On October 8, 1929, the most important event in the history of Lowell Masonry took place; the dedication of our new Temple. At 4:30 P.M. the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge met in Grecian Hall and the Grand Lodge officers conducted the dedication ceremonies, which included an address by Most Worshipful Herbert W. Dean, presiding Grand Master. At 6:00 o'clock, the banquet hall which was crowded to capacity by over 600 Masons, was the scene of our celebration dinner. Among the Special guests were:
- Hon. Thomas H. Braden, Mayor of Lowell
- Most Worshipful Leon M. Abbott, Past Grand Master and Most Puissant Grand Commander of the Supreme Council of the Thirty-third Degree, Northern Masonic Jurisdiction
- Most Ex. Winthrop J. Cushing, Grand High Priest of the Grand Royal Arch Chapter of Massachusetts
- Most Ill. Olin D. Dickerman, Grand Master of Grand Council of Royal and Select Masters of Massachusetts
- R. E. Clarence B. Burleigh, Grand Commander of Grand Commandery of Knights Templar of Massachusetts and Rhode Island
- Most Worshipful Dudley Hays Ferrell, Past Grand Master and Commissioner of Relief for the Grand Lodge.
At 8:00 o'clock there was a concert in Grecian Hall, which closed with the singing of Home Sweet Home by the Masonic Choir. It is interesting to note that on this occasion a reprint was read of the address by Rev. Bro. Theodore Edson, D. D., 33°, made at the dedication of the Masonic Hall in Lowell at the corner of Merrimack and Worthen Streets, February 28, 1827, under the auspices of Pentucket Lodge and Mount Horeb Royal Arch Chapter. Also the decorations included a huge floral set piece displaying the insignia of Lowell Council #72, Knights of Columbus, and connecting it with the insignia of the Masonic Fraternity by the word FRIENDSHIP — a very gracious gesture on their part. Furthermore on October 6, when the Temple was open to the public and an estimated 10,000 went through it, the floral decorations included a beautiful basket of flowers from the YMCA.
The first meeting of William North Lodge in our new home was held the night after the dedication, October 9, when Brother Arthur Bartlett was installed as Worshipful Master by Most Worshipful Arthur D. Prince, assisted by Worshipful Paul L. Perkins as Marshal, at a public installation.
Our second meeting was a Special Communication in Grecian Hall for funeral services for one of our most outstanding members, Right Worshipful Frank W. Dobson, who was very active in the Grand Lodge as well as in his own Lodge and other Lowell Masonic bodies. The services were conducted by Rev. Dudley Hays Ferrell, Past Grand Master, and the Weber Quartet rendered appropriate selections.
On November 13, 1929 the Lodge voted that each member be assessed $3.00 in addition to his regular dues, for the purpose of paying William North Lodge's proportionate part of the maintenance charges of our new Masonic Temple. The assessment was reduced to $2.00 the following year.
Our first Ladies' Night in the new Temple, called a Midwinter Frolic, was held on January 21, 1931.
In connection with our Sixty-fourth Anniversary the records state that Bro. Otis A. Merrill (87 years old) and Bro. Thomas A. Boucher (84) had never missed an anniversary banquet since they were raised, and that Bro. James Whittet (84) had missed only one.
On September 9, 1931, Bro. John W. Fraser was installed as Worshipful Master, but due to business difficulties he had to leave Lowell in November and accept a position in Stamford, Connecticut. His approach to the duties of Master is symbolized by this poem which appeared in his first message to the Brethren:
"Stand off by yourself in your dreaming,
And all of your dreams are vain;
No grandeur of soul or spirit
Can by himself attain.
It is willed we shall dwell as brothers;
As brothers we then must toil;
We must act with a common purpose
As we work in a common soil.
And each who would see accomplished,
The dreams that he is so proud to own,
Must strive for the goal with his fellows,
For no man can do it alone."
Before he left, however, he held the first William North Halloween Party, which was so popular that it became an annual event, eagerly looked forward to, for twenty-three years. In November, Brother Lester H. Cushing, Senior Warden, became acting Master for the balance of the Masonic year and then was Master in 1932-1934, thus presiding over William North meetings for nearly three years.
This was the period of the great depression when candidates were few, many of the brethren were in financial difficulties, and some were unable to pay their dues. The Lodge adopted a very liberal policy, as is shown by this extract from the Worshipful Master's message to the Brethren in 1933: "Dues pay the running expenses of the Lodge. If you have just carelessly let the matter slide, please sit down and write a check. If you can't spare but a dollar or two a month, just send that to the secretary, and you will be surprised how soon you will be paid up. If you cannot pay your dues without injury to yourself or family, we do not expect you to pay them — but just drop us a line of explanation." As a matter of fact, the dues were remitted for 70 brethren each of the years ending August 31, 1933 and Aug. 31, 1934. This same policy was continued throughout the depression. The price of the tickets to the Annual Banquet was reduced from $2.00 to $1.50.
Although the Sixty-sixth Anniversary on March 8, 1933 was held just a week after President Roosevelt closed the banks, 315 brethren attended. This was the fifty-sixth anniversary attended by Wor. Cornelius S. Livingston and the fifty-third by Wor. Charles H. Hobson. From the beginning of the depression in 1929 until our Seventy-fifth Anniversary in 1942, the membership declined from 723 to 538. Nevertheless the Lodge had many activities during this period. From 1933 on, a typical year would include the Official Visitation of the District Deputy Grand Master, the Halloween Party in the Fall, the Games Night in the winter, the Ladies' Night in January or February, the Annual Banquet in March, the Bowling League on Thursday evenings, the Lobster Dinner in May, and the-Strawberry Festival in June. During this period, Willard G. Parker, himself a cripple, served as Chairman of the Sick Committee. What a wonderful job he did! His annual reports would show 1200 to 1900 contacts per year, including telephone calls to William North members, to their widows, and to other Masons, flowers to the sick, letters, Christmas cards, Birthday cards, radio programs, and some 500 personal calls on the sick. Facts worthy of special mention during this period are the following: On June 28, 1933 many William North members attended the 200th Anniversary of the Grand Lodge in the Boston Arena. At the February 14, 1934 Communication, it was announced that our Temple was completely paid for, the last note having been paid in January. On February 1, 1935, the Lowell Masonic Association took over the Lowell Temple Club, thus making all members of the Lowell Lodges eligible to enjoy the recreation rooms in the Temple. At the Sixty-eighth Anniversary on March 13, 1935, Wor. Charles H. Hobson celebrated his fiftieth year as a Past Master by giving the IN MEMORIAM. At the Installation of Officers, September 11, 1935, Worshipful Cornelius S. Livingston was installed for his twenty-first year as Treasurer, Brother Arthur R. G. Booth for his twentieth year as Marshal, Brother Frank B. Hill for his twenty-second year as Organist, and Brother Harvey B. Greene for his thirty-fifth year as Chaplain: nearly 100 years of service to the Lodge. Twice the Lowell Chapter of the Order of DeMolay were guests of William North Lodge; on October 12, 1936 their officers worked the Initiatory Degree, and on April 12, 1939 they worked the DeMolay Degree.
Perhaps the outstanding event of the late thirties occurred when the Degree Team of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police were our guests. The speaker at the dinner was Wor. J. Delmar Graham, Past Master of the Builder's Lodge, Ottawa, Ontario. Their portrayal of the Third Degree was one of the most colorful ceremonies in the history of Blue Lodge Masonry in Lowell. The Lodge Room was decorated with the national colors of the United States and Canada. The Lodge was presented a plaque, bearing a gold replica of the emblem of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, surmounted by two Masonic emblems, with the date and the names of the men forming the team. Nearly 600 turned out for this unusual event.
An important change in the By-Laws was adopted in 1938. The initiation fee was reduced from $100. to $65. and the annual dues were set at $6. Exempt from Lodge dues were Past Masters, Treasurer, Secretary, Chaplains, Tyler, and all members initiated prior to the adoption of this amendment who are 65 years old and have paid dues for twenty years. No members initiated after the adoption of this amendment shall be eligible for exemption from dues.
Four hundred brethren celebrated the Seventy-fifth Anniversary at a Special Communication on Thursday, April 30, 1942. The Lodge met in Grecian Hall at 5:00 o'clock with Senior Warden, Charles L. Hildreth, presiding as acting Master. The Lodge accepted, with deep appreciation, the gift, by Brother Harvey B. Greene, of a framed group of pictures descriptive of the Masonic life of George Washington. The Lodge voted to send telegrams to Right Worshipful Paul L. Perkins and Worshipful Donald R. Mclntyre (our present Master), both of whom were away in the Service of our Country, expressing the thanks and deep appreciation of the Lodge for their part in making the Seventy-fifth Anniversary such an outstanding success.
Most Worshipful Albert A. Schaefer, Grand Master, was then received, after which the officers of the Grand Lodge were escorted to the banquet hall. The Invocation was given by Grand Chaplain, Wor. Rev. Robert Walker. After the dinner telegrams from both Right Worshipful Paul L. Perkins and Worshipful Donald R. Mclntyre were read to the Brethren. Then followed a short entertainment on the stage in the banquet hall.
After the entertainment, which was an Historical Pageant, Most Worshipful Albert A. Schaefer, Grand Master, gave an inspiring address most appropriate for the occasion: "Loyalty to Our Country and Fraternity in These Trying Times." Then the Lodge was closed in Full Form by the Officers of the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge.
LAST QUARTER CENTURY, 1942-1967
William North Lodge started the last quarter-century during World War II, when many of our younger members were going into the Service. At the Official Visitation November 11, 1942, R. W. Percy Silk, District Deputy Grand Master, announced that 40 Masonic Service Centers had been set up in the United States and that 5,000 Masons from Massachusetts were already in the service. At our Seventy-sixth and Seventy-seventh Anniversaries in 1943 and 1944, Worshipful Andrew G. Jenkins gave addresses honoring our servicemen.
At the Seventy-ninth Anniversary on April 10, 1946, the invocation was given by Brother Harvey B. Greene, serving his 47th year as Chaplain, and the address was by our own Past Master, Right Worshipful Lt. Col. Paul L. Perkins, whose topic was "Freedom and Disillusionment." One chair at the head table was draped with a Masonic apron in memory of Lieut. William H. Blake, Jr., killed in a bombing raid over Germany. Then on June 12, 1946 at a Veterans' Night, we welcomed our members home. At dinner there were two draped chairs in memory of our two brothers who did not return: Lieut. William H. Blake, Jr., and Capt. George V. MacNamara. In the evening the Third Degree was worked by a team of veterans with Lieut. Col. Paul L. Perkins as Worshipful Master. At this time he raised his son, Parker Wood Perkins, and presented to him the watch he had carried throughout his long service in the Pacific. All the candidates were veterans. The Lodge closed at 11:20. Since our Master, Donald R. Mclntyre, had entered the service soon after war was declared, Charles L. Hildreth, Senior Warden, started to preside over the Lodge, February 11, 1942.
The following members of William North Lodge are on our World War II Honor Roll:
- Abbott, Ralph R.
- Alexander, Donald C.
- Anderson, Harry
- Barris, Robert W., Jr.
- Bartlett, Clarence A.
- Berg, Carl H.
- Blake, W. Herbert, Jr.
- Bolton, Gerald F.
- Brooks, Norman E.
- Campbelle, Archibald
- Chicklis, John C.
- Dexter, Royal K., Jr.
- Fairbanks, John M.
- Farrow, Robert F.
- Flemings, Amos W.
- Freedman, Solomon S.
- Harrison, Maurice W.
- Hill, Elmer R.
- Hulslander, Ralph J., Jr.
- Johnson, Walter T.
- Johnston, Donald H.
- Johnston, William W., Jr.
- Kennedy, Robert M.
- Killerby, Walter E.
- Knutson, Herbert T.
- Latham, David A.
- Laycock, John F.
- Long, N. Gilmore
- Lowe, Harry G.
- McIntyre, Donald R.
- MacNamara, George V.
- Mather, John
- Nicholas, Nicholas N.
- Noonan, Ralph P.
- Olsson, Carl H.
- Perkins, Paul L.
- Perzel, George J.
- Phillips, William H.
- Picken, Robert E.
- Pickles, Joseph D.
- Reed, George B.
- Ritchie, William J.
- Shaw, Edwin T.
- Shires, William S.
- Slack, Roy W.
- Smart, Fred
- Stewart, Artemus J.
- Sutherland, Alexander B.
- Theodoros, Louis P.
- Titus, Harold A.
- Vlahos, Nicholas
- Wallace, Charles S.
- Wheeler, Lawrence A.
- Wheeler, Lloyd L.
The period 1944-1952, like that at the end of World War I, was one of extremely rapid growth for the Lodge. During Wor. George H. Upton's term (1944-1946) there were 21 regular and 29 special meetings and 70 candidates were raised; during Wor. William G. Havnes' term (1946-1948) there were 20 regular and 38 special meetings and 89 candidates were raised; during Wor. J. Frederic Burtt's term (1948-1950) 20 regular and 27 special meetings were held and 68 candidates were raised; during Wor. Harry Cullum's term (1950-1952) 20 regular and 28 special meetings were held and 65 candidates were raised; a total of 292 candidates in eight years, bringing the membership to a new peak of 757 in 1952. Since then the membership has fluctuated between 681 and 757, the figure of August 31, 1966 being 681. In spite of all this degree work the officers continued all our regular activities: Halloween parties, Ladies' Nights, Lobster Dinners, Bowling League, etc.
Some of the other important events of the first ten years of the last quarter century were the following: On January 29, 1947 a Special Communication was held to do honor to Right Worshipful Paul L. Perkins, newly elected Junior Grand Warden. Most Worshipful Samuel H. Wragg, Grand Master, and a Suite of twenty-six represented the Grand Lodge. On February 12, 1947, it was voted to change the By-Laws by making the annual dues $7.00 and eliminating the $1.00 assessment. On November 12, 1947 the officers of Kilwinning Lodge worked their Special Second Section of the Second Degree.
On March 29, 1949 a Distinguished Members' Night was held. At that time special honor was given to Brother Frank Goldman, President of B'nai B'rith; to Worshipful Donald R. Mclntyre, who received the Distinguished Service Cross in World War I and the French Croix de Guerre in World War II; to Dr. Louis A. OIney, Scientist, Educator, Editor, Author, Public-spirited Humanitarian. Present to assist in the program were General C. T. Lanham, Special Assistant to the Army Chief of Staff, Admiral Louis Denfield, Chief of Naval Operations and Rabbi William F. Rosenblum, Grand Chaplain of the Grand Lodge of New York. It was unfortunate that Brother Olney, one of the three to be honored, had been killed in an automobile accident February 11 after plans for this meeting had been made.
On June 14, 1950 the Lodge again demonstrated its usual foresight by voting to set up $200. to start a fund for the 1967 Centennial, with $100. to be added at the end of each fiscal year and the interest allowed to accumulate.
On May 9, 1951 at the conclusion of the Fellowcraft Degree a Masonic play, "The Rose Upon the Altar," was put on by fourteen members of Charles A. Welch Lodge of Maynard. On November 14, 1951 at 8:15 P.M. the Lowell Assembly No. 42 of the Order of Rainbow for Girls were guests of the Lodge and exemplified their Degree work. On December 12, it was voted to levy an assessment of $3.00, payable January 1, 1952 for the year ending in 1952. On February 13, an old-fashioned game night was held at the conclusion of the Degree work; this represented the revival of an old custom discontinued during the preceding years of numerous meetings because of the many applications for membership. On Sunday, November 16, 1952 at 4:00 P.M., a special service commemorating the Two Hundredth Anniversary of the Initiation of George Washington was held at All Souls Church. The subject of the speaker, Right Worshipful Reverend Francis Dee Taylor, Grand Chaplain, was "Washington, Man of Character." During this period Worshipful Harry L. Wheeler, our oldest Past Master, took the part of Worshipful Master at our annual Past Masters' Night and continued to do so each year until 1965, when advancing age caused him to decline that honor.
In these years, 1942-1952, several members who had served the Lodge for many years, entered the Celestial Lodge above: Wor. J. Munn Andrews (Master 1896-1898) on July 6, 1943 at the age of 78; Bro. Willard Parker, who had been Chairman of our Sick Committee for 20 years, on January 3, 1948 at the age of 70; Bro. Ora W. Hardy (Secretary 1925-1948) at the age of 67, on April 13,. 1948, the day before our Eighty-first Anniversary; Bro. Harvey B. Greene (Chaplain for 49 years, 1900-1949) on April 11, 1949 at the age of 83; Bro. Arthur R. G. Booth (Marshal for 21 years, 1915-1936) on May 17, 1949 at the age of 72; and Arthur D. Prince, our most outstanding Mason, on October 13, 1950 at the age of 83.
"He has laid down the working tools and is now
At home in the beautiful hills of God
By the valley of rest, so fair.
Some day, some time, when our task is done
With joy we will meet him there."
The last fifteen years are particularly noteworthy because of the numerous honors that came to William North members from the Grand Lodge. Wor. Andrew G. Jenkins was District Deputy Grand Master 1952-1954, and was assisted by Wor. George H. Upton as District Deputy Grand Marshal and Wor. Lester H. Cushing as District Deputy Grand Secretary. Then in December, 1956, he was appointed Deputy Grand Master, and in December 1957, he was elected Grand Master of Masons in Massachusetts, the second William North member to receive this high honor. Rt. Wor. Paul L. Perkins served as Deputy Grand Master in 1958. Wor. George H. Upton served as Grand Marshal during the three years that Most Worshipful Andrew Jenkins was Grand Master, was Grand Standard Bearer in 1956, and was Senior Grand Warden in 1960. During this same period Wor. Harry R. Cullum served as Grand Sword Bearer, Wor. Norman D. McLoon as Senior Grand Pursuivant, and Wor. B. Randolph Cady as Grand Standard Bearer. These high honors led to a series of receptions by William North Lodge to these distinguished Masons.
The first of these was a reception to Right Worshipful Andrew Gray Jenkins on February 8, 1956, the occasion being his appointment as Deputy Grand Master by Most Worshipful Whitfield W. Johnson. After the dinner the Grand Master was received in Grecian Hall at 8:00 o'clock. Four of the six living Past Grand Masters were present and spoke: Most Worshipful Melvin W. Johnson, Most Worshipful Claude L. Allen, Most Worshipful Roger Keith, and Most Worshipful Thomas S. Roy. The remarks indicated that "His (Andrew's) selection for this distinction was based on the need for a man of great ability, capable and willing to give exceptional service to the Craft, rather than as a reward for past performances."
It was brought home to the Masons of Lowell a fact that we already knew, that we had a "Masonic giant in our midst." The Deputy Grand Master's jewel, the one formerly belonged to Most Worshipful Arthur Dow Prince was presented to Right Worshipful Andrew G. Jenkins by his closest friend, Right Worshipful Paul L. Perkins, in an inspiring speech of brotherly love and affection, emphasizing that "the love of all those who are present and hundreds more who couldn't be here go with this gift of your Lodge to you." The Grand Master also presented Right Wor. Andrew Gray Jenkins the Henry Price Medal. The following poem, a part of the speech given by our honored guest, gives an insight into the character of this sincere, energetic, capable, yet humble man.
MYSELF AND ME
"I have to live with myself, and so
I want to be fit for myself to know;
I want to be able, as days go by,
Always to look myself straight in the eye;
I don't want to stand with the setting sun
And hate myself for the things I've done.
"I want to go out with my head erect;
I want to deserve all people's respect;
But in the struggle for fame and pelf
I want to be able to like myself;
I don't want to look at myself and know
That I'm bluster and bluff and empty show.
"I never can hide myself from me;
I see what others may never see;
I know what others may never know,
I never can fool myself, and so
Whatever happens, I want to be
Self-respecting and conscience free."
A year later, after he had been elected Grand Master on December 12, 1956, a reception to Most Worshipful Andrew Gray Jenkins was given on January 16, 1957.
After a dinner at 6:30, Most Worshipful Andrew Gray Jenkins was received in Grecian Hall at 8:00 P.M. Right Worshipful Paul L. Perkins, Master of Ceremonies, introduced as speakers five Past Grand Masters of Masons in Massachusetts: Most Worshipful Melvin M. Johnson, Most Worshipful Claude L. Allen, Most Worshipful Samuel Wragg, Most Worshipful Roger Keith, and Most Worshipful Whitfield W. Johnson. Most Worshipful Andrew Gray Jenkins closed his remarks with these words: "There will always be work to do, and I shall do my best to meet the requirements of the position, your expectations of me, the dictates of my conscience, and the precepts of Free Masonry." The meeting closed with the singing of "Home, Sweet Home" by the Masonic Quartet. It is worthy of note that this reception occurred on the thirty-ninth wedding anniversary of Andrew and Lillian Jenkins.
Another year later on January 8, 1958, a reception was given to Right Worshipful Paul L. Perkins, who had been appointed Deputy Grand Master in December by Most Worshipful Andrew Gray Jenkins. After a roast beef dinner at 6:30 P.M., the Grand Master was received in Grecian Hall at 8:00 P.M. Due to the absence of Most Worshipful Andrew G. Jenkins, because of illness, Deputy Grand Master Paul L. Perkins, acting as Grand Master, was the one to be received. Most Worshipful Whitfield W. Johnson replaced Most Worshipful Andrew G. Jenkins as Master of Ceremonies.
The fourth of the series of receptions was held on January 13, 1960 to Right Worshipful George H. Upton, who had been elected Senior Grand Warden at the December meeting of the Grand Lodge. After dinner at 6:30, the Most Worshipful Laurence E. Eaton, Grand Master, with a suite of 30, was received in Grecian Hall at 8:00 P.M. The guests who spoke in honor of the newly elected Senior Grand Warden were: Past Grand Masters, Most Worshipful Claude L. Allen, Thomas S. Roy, Whitfield W. Johnson, and Andrew G. Jenkins; Deputy Grand Master, Right Worshipful Carl C. Peterson, and Junior Grand Warden, George R. Dewhurst. The Senior Grand Warden's Jewel, formerly worn by Right Worshipful Charles E. Cooke, was presented to Right Worshipful George H. Upton. The latter responded to the speeches in his honor in an appropriate manner, paid tribute to Right Worshipful Charles E. Cooke, whose jewel he felt most honored to wear, and expressed his eager anticipation of an enjoyable year in the Grand Lodge and the hope that he could be of service to the Brethren.
During these later years, five more of our Past Masters were privileged to raise members of their families. On December 14, 1955 Worshipful Lester H. Cushing raised his son-in-law, Bernard L. Yetton, now Master of the Lodge during this Centennial Year. On May 14, 1952 Worshipful B. Randolph Cady raised his son, Byron Randolph Cady, Jr., and on May 14, 1958 raised his son-in-law, Everett Sargent Clement. On December 10, 1958 Worshipful Norman D. McLoon raised his two sons, Kenneth A. McLoon and Norman D. McLoon, Jr. (now Senior Deacon), the only time in the history of William North Lodge that a Past Master has raised two sons on the same night. On November 10, 1965 Worshipful Robert E. Picken raised his son, Peter Clark Picken. It is interesting to note that he was assisted by Worshipful Harry L. Wheeler, who also raised Peter's father and his grandfather, William T. Picken.
On April 14, 1954 the By-Laws in regard to dues were again amended. The annual dues were set at $10.00; members who had been initiated prior to September 14, 1938 and who had reached the age of 65 and had paid dues for 25 years were exempt from dues; no member initiated after Sept. 14, 1938 is eligible for automatic exemption from dues because of age or length of membership. Members will be automatically suspended if, after due notice, dues are not paid by July 1 of the current year. Members may be reinstated by a majority vote of those present on making written application and paying all sums due the Lodge at the time of suspension and any amount due during the current year when the application is made.
On June 13, 1956, in accordance with a change in the By-Laws, the officers who had previously been elected in September, were for the first time elected in June. Worshipful Robert E. Picken was the first Master to be so elected.
The following were some of the other recent important events of this period. On February 13, 1957 a Degree Team composed of former DeMolay members and advisors, with Worshipful Norman D. McLoon as Master, worked the Third Degree on Brother Elmer Garfield Swanson, Jr. On June 10, 1959, the Past Master's Jewel, formerly worn by Worshipful William G. Haynes, was presented to Worshipful Norman E. Brooks, a very appropriate action since he was appointed into the line of officers by Worshipful Brother Haynes.. In November, 1961, William North Lodge received a letter from Right Worshipful Oliver Rutherford, Director of Masonic Service, commending the Lodge for donating 108 pints of blood during that year up to November 13. The Lodge had been very active in blood donations for many years prior to this date, and has also been very active since then. On November 11, 1964, the Kilwinning Club of Boston (organized in 1924) with Worshipful Alexander Ritchie, Past Master of Dorchester Lodge, Dorchester, acting as Master, worked the long form of the Third Degree. With both the Kilwinning Degree Team and William North Officers dressed in kilts, it was a very colorful spectacle, much enjoyed by the Brethren present. On December 9, 1964 the Lodge had an old-fashioned Christmas party, the first one since the thirties, with buffet dinner, gifts and games. On January 13, 1965 the officers of Lowell Chapter of DeMolay exemplified the DeMolay Degree. May 12, 1965 was designated as Paul L. Perkins night, at which time Paul was presented the Veteran's Medal indicating 50 years of membership in William North Lodge. The Presentation was very impressively made by Most Worshipful Andrew G. Jenkins, his closest friend. On this occasion the long form of the Master Mason's Degree was worked by a Degree Team of Past District Deputy Grand Masters, with Right Worshipful Calvin A. Burger as Master.
The annual Ladies' Night was held in the Masonic Temple until 1959, then for four years at Vesper Country Club, back at the Temple in 1963, at the Blue Moon in 1964, and at the Speare House in 1965 and 1966.
On October 8, 1960 the Brethren of the Lodge were greatly saddened by the sudden and unexpected death of their Senior Warden, Howard Carl Dick, at the age of 51. He was born June 3, 1909 and raised June 14, 1950. It was the first time since 1876, when Junior Deacon Charles A. Bryant passed on, that a line officer had been called to the Celestial Lodge above while in office. His pleasing personality and perfect ritual made him an ideal officer.
On June 14, 1961 a very unusual event took place, perhaps the only one of its kind in the history of Masonry in Massachusetts. Five veteran's medals were presented by Worshipful Harry L. Wheeler to Right Worshipful Harold D. Macdonald, Brother George S. Drew, Brother Charles H. Erdis, Brother Lawrence W. Jordan, and Brother Frank L. McCool. The significant thing about this ceremony was that all five were members of the same class and were raised by Worshipful Harry L. Wheeler, who was Master fifty years ago. How remarkable; five brethren of the same class receiving their 50-year medals from the hands of the Master who raised them!
This was a period in which the Lodge lost many of its former leaders. Within a period of eleven years (1953-1964) eleven Past Masters were called home by the Grand Architect of the Universe: Wor. William G. Haynes (Master 1946-1948) in 1951 at the age of 65; Wor. H. Hutchins Parker (1917-1919) in 1953 at the age of 68; Wor. Royal K. Dexter, Sr., (1913-1915) in 1955 at the age of 80; Wor. John W. Fraser (1931-1932) in 1957 at the age of 75; Wor. Donald R. Mclntyre (1940-1942) in 1958 at the age.of 62; Wor. Arthur Bartlett (1929-1931) in 1958 at the age of 89; Wor. Charles A. Hosmer (Past Master by affiliation) in 1958 at the age of 78; Wor. Herbert L. Trull (1919-1921) in 1961 at the age of 81; Wor. Herbert W. Home (1925-1927) in 1963 at the age of 78; Wor. F. Leon Gage (1921-1923) in 1964 at the age of 86; and Wor. George H. Upton (1944-1946) in 1964 at the age of 72. Also Bro. Charles B. Frederic (Secretary 1919-1925) passed away in 1960 at the age of 98; Bro. Russell M. Fox (Organist 1938-1964) in 1964 at the age of 73; and Bro. William P. Atwood, our oldest member, raised on June 14, 1882, passed away in 1954 at the age of 100 years and two months, the greatest age recorded for any Brother.
On December 8, 1965 William North for the first time held its meeting in the form of a Table Lodge. The entire meeting took place in the banquet hall with the tables arranged in the form of a horseshoe or elongated semi-circle. The Master sat at the top of the shoe, the Senior Warden at the northwest extremity, the Junior Warden at the southwest extremity, and the brethren around the exterior margin facing each other. There was no degree work. Seven toasts were given: to the Grand Master and Grand Lodge; to the President of the United States; to the Worshipful Master; to the Wardens; to our Brethren in the Armed Forces; to our other officers; new initiates; visiting Brethren; and finally to all Masons wherever they appeared on the face of the earth. Following the formal meeting a Christmas party with tree and games was enjoyed.
On May 11, 1966 was Most Worshipful Andrew G. Jenkins Night. The Lodge room was filled to capacity, with extra chairs placed the entire length of the room. Most Worshipful Grand Master, Thomas A. Booth, accompanied by an illustrious suite, was received. He announced that he had called a Special Meeting of the Grand Lodge so that an account of this occasion would appear in the Grand Lodge records. The big event of the evening was the raising of his grandson, John Jenkins Byam, by Most Worshipful Andrew G. Jenkins. The candidates received their diplomas from the Grand Master.
In honor of this occasion four Past Grand Masters and the Junior Grand Warden were present: Most Worshipful Thomas S. Roy, Most Worshipful A. Neill Osgood, Most Worshipful Joseph Earl Perry, Most Worshipful Whitfield W. Johnson, and Junior Grand Warden, Right Worshipful Paul E. Brodeur.
Now our centennial year, 1967, is here. On September 14, 1966 Brother Bernard L. Yetton was installed as Master by his father-in-law, Worshipful Lester H. Cushing, assisted by Most Worshipful Andrew G. Jenkins as Installing Marshal and Worshipful B. Randolph Cady as Installing Chaplain. All Centennial Committees are functioning, and the planned programs indicate a wonderful celebration in April, 1967, of the first hundred years of William North Lodge, outstanding because of its excellent leaders, its fine spirit of fraternal fellowship, its numerous activities, and its high degree of participation in Grand Lodge affairs.
On January 11, 1967 a reception was held for Right Worshipful William L. Rust, who was making his first Fraternal Visitation to William North Lodge after his appointment in December to be District Deputy Grand Master of the Lowell 12th Masonic District. He is the eighth William North Past Master to be so honored. Worshipful James S. Johnston is serving as District Deputy Grand Marshal and Wor. John T. Johnson as District Deputy Grand Secretary. A large group of Brethren were present to greet and congratulate Right Worshipful Brother Rust. His first official duty was to present SO-year medals to Brother Carl I. Hilton and Brother Ernest A. A. Shafter.
On March 8 another outstanding event took place; the annual Past Masters' Night. The Long Form of the Third Degree was exemplified by a group of twelve Past Masters, with Worshipful Harry R. Cullum acting as Presiding Master, Worshipful Norman E. Brooks giving the Master's Lecture, and Right Worshipful William L. Rust delivering the charge. The Past Masters seemed to enjoy participating in the role of the Third Degree as much as the Brethren enjoyed witnessing their excellent work.
Two days later on March 10, the Grand Architect of the Universe called to the Celestial Lodge above our oldest Past Master, Worshipful Harry L. Wheeler, at the age of 90 years, 9 months, and 10 days. He was raised in William North Lodge, May 4, 1898, nearly 69 years ago, and was Worshipful Master, 1910-1911; almost 57 years have passed since he was installed as Master. We who knew him well for so many years will long remember his long and loyal service to our Lodge. Particularly do we remember his acting as Presiding Master at all our Past Masters' Nights from 1948 till 1965, and the impressive manner in which he gave the ritual of the Third Degree. His wish for his Lodge at the age of 90 would be the same as he expressed it in the last three lines of the Ode he wrote for our Fiftieth Anniversary:
"And trust that God will ever bless
Thy future days with great success
O Lodge, we hold so dear."
Your historian would like to close this history with two quotations from the Secretary's records on the occasion of our Fiftieth Anniversary in 1917: words just as true today as they were then.
"Let us emulate the example of those who have wrought well in the past, by performing, as far as possible, deeds of kindness and acts of benevolence, thus building higher and higher yet the walls of our Temple, that house not made with hands, eternal in the Heavens."
"Our Fathers' God, from out whose hand
The centuries fall like grains of sand;
We meet to-day, united, free, And loyal to our Lodge and Thee,
To thank Thee for the era done
And trust thee for the opening one."
And now may the excellent tenets of our Institution be transmitted through William North Lodge, pure and unimpaired, from generation to generation.
125TH ANNIVERSARY HISTORY, NOVEMBER 1992
For the history of the first 100 years please refer to page 124 of the 1967 Proceedings of Grand Lodge.
William North Lodge for the first quarter of the second century
Our first one hundred years ended in an anniversary week which started with a Sunday Divine Service and reception, a Tuesday evening Ladies Night and our one hundredth celebration in Lodge on our regular Wednesday meeting in April 1967. Worshipful Bernard Yetton was our Master and our guest was Most Worshipful Thomas A. Booth, Grand Master of Masons in Massachusetts, accompanied by his suite of Grand Lodge Officers.
William North's basic programs for this twenty five year period seemed to fall into a rather set pattern as follows: September started the Masonic year, October was the official visit of the District Deputy Grand Master, December was our annual table lodge (with the exception of the past three years when we held a family night dinner), February was a Fraternal Visit by our own District Deputy Grand Master, March was Past Masters' night, April our anniversary night and June the election and Installation of Officers. We seemed to have become creatures of habit.
Indispersed with these monthly set programs, however, were invited guest speakers, other forms of entertainment, the awarding of many fifty year veteran's medals and a large number of twenty five year pins to the brethren of William North Lodge.
William North Lodge like many other lodges and fraternities has suffered from the scythe of time. We have seen our membership drop from just over seven hundred members down to a little under four hundred members during this period. This is due in a great measure to the passing away of many of our older members and a lesser number of new candidates coming into the lodge. In this group of brothers called to their eternal home from 1971 to 1992 alone we lost fifteen of our Past Masters, three of whom were Right Worshipful and one Past Grand Master, Most Worshipful Andrew Jenkins. Several of these men were either under fifty years of age or just a year or so over. On the brighter side, however, we seemed to have stopped this roller coaster drop and are now looking into the future.
We have seen attendance on the sidelines go up and down during this period, with no one seeming to know exactly why or how to maintain the up side. However, it does not appear that this is strictly William North's situation.
We can look back over the past one hundred and twenty five years and say it has been great, but the future lies ahead and the Officers and Members now have a challenge before them to make our Lodge even better in the next quarter century. We are all aware of the fact that the world continues to change so rapidly - so Masonry must be looking to adjust where and when needed. May God Bless William North Lodge and May God Bless Masonry wheresoever dispersed over the face of the earth.
So ends the first quarter of our second century.
50TH ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION, MAY 1917
From New England Craftsman, Vol. XII, No. 9, June 1917, Page 310:
William North Lodge, Lowell, Mass., has recently celebrated the Fiftieth Anniversary of its birth by a series of notable functions, each of marked interest and individual excellence. The first event was a children's entertainment Saturday afternoon May 5th, when a program of amusement with refreshments was provided for a happy crowd of young people.
On Tuesday, May 8th, the formal celebration of the Anniversary was conducted by the Lodge. This included the reception of Most Worshipful Leon M. Abbott, Grand Master; Rt. Wor. Moses C. Plummer, Deputy Grand Master; Rt. Wor. William M. Farrington, Senior Grand Warden; Rt. Wor. Edward L. Chase, Junior Grand Warden; Rt. Wor. Frederick W. Hamilton, LL. D., Grand Secretary; Rt. Wor. Edward N. West, Grand Marshal; Most Wor. Melvin M. Johnson and Rev. Bro. Edward A. Horton. The Grand Lodge officers were met by a committee and conducted to the Masonic Apartments.
After these distinguished visitors had been presented, four charter members were introduced. They were Brothers Oramel A. Brigham, Earl A. Thissell, James P. Foote and Albert C. Persons. Then followed introductions of William E. Livingston, senior Past Master and Warren Clifford, first member under dispensation, then the reading of the Charter by Wor. Charles F, Flemings, secretary, and the historical address by Wor. Amos F. Hill.
There was a presentation of Henry Price Medals to six veteran brethren.
An excellent banquet was served. A touching tribute to deceased brethren was given in the "In Memoriam" address of Rt. Wor. Arthur D. Prince. Eloquent addresses were made by Most Wcr. Leon M. Abbott, Rev. Bro. Edward A. Horton, Most Wor. Melvin M. Johnson and Rt. Wor. Frederick W. Hamilton.
An anniversary entertainment of high character was given Tuesday evening by the Knickerbocker Club. After the Masonic exercises were concluded the Grand Lodge party were royally entertained at the Vesper Country Club.
The finishing feature of the celebration was a "Ladies Night" on Wednesday evening, May 9th. This began with Reception to the Most Worshipful Grand Master and Mrs. Abbott in Pollard Hall, Masonic Temple.
There was a fire program of vocal and instrumental music with readings, dancing and collation. Every feature of the anniversary celebration was a perfect success and a compliment to the brethren, in charge.
The principal officers of the lodge are: Harwood L. Wright, Master; H. Hutchings Parker, Senior Warden; Herbert L. Trull, Junior Warden; Wor. Cornelius S. Livingston, Treasurer; Wor. Charles F. Flemings, Secretary.
GRAND LODGE OFFICERS
- Harry K. Boardman, DDGM, District 11 (Lowell), 1897; SN
- Arthur B. Dunham, DDGM, District 8, 2018, 2019
- Charles F. Flemings, DDGM, Lowell 12, 1921, 1922; SN
- Timothy J. Hanks, DDGM, District 12, 2005, 2006; N
- Andrew G. Jenkins, DDGM, District 12 (Lowell), 1953, 1954; Deputy Grand Master 1956; Grand Master 1957-1959; N
- James S. Logan, DDGM, District 6, 2003, 2004
- Harold D. MacDonald, DDGM, District 12 (Lowell), 1931, 1932; N
- Paul L. Perkins, DDGM, District 12 (Lowell), 1939, 1940; Junior Grand Warden 1947; Deputy Grand Master 1958; N
- Arthur D. Prince, DDGM, District 11 (Lowell), 1910; District 12 (Lowell), 1911, 1912; Deputy Grand Master 1919; Grand Master, 1920-1922; N
- W. Warren Richardson, Jr., Deputy Grand Master 2003
- William L. Rust, DDGM, District 12 (Lowell), 1967, 1968; N
- Elisha H. Shaw, DDGM, District 11 (Lowell), 1890, 1891, 1892; SN
- George H. Upton, Grand Standard Bearer 1956, Grand Marshal 1957-1959, Senior Grand Warden 1960