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Location: Saugus

Chartered By: Charles C. Dame

Charter Date: 09/11/1867 VII-177

Precedence Date: 10/25/1866

Current Status: Active


This lodge is named for William Sutton, who was Senior Grand Warden at the time it was chartered.

Hall Dedication Address by Rt. Wor. Frederic L. Putnam, December 1906.


  • George Henry Sweetser, 1867-1869
  • Everett Houghton Newhall, 1870, 1871
  • John Roache, 1872, 1873
  • Charles Isaac Hitchings, 1874, 1875
  • Albert Henry Sweetser, 1876, 1877
  • George Cummings Stewart, 1878, 1879
  • Charles Herbert Sweetser, 1880, 1881
  • Henry James Mills, 1882, 1883 , 1900
  • Amos Tapley Stocker, 1884
  • Benjamin Newhall Johnson, 1885, 1886
  • James Riley Hughes, 1887, 1888
  • Adam Clarke Newhall, 1889, 1890
  • Marion Victor Putnam, 1891, 1892; SN
  • Fred Clarke Newhall, 1893, 1894
  • William Everett Houghton, 1895, 1896
  • Thomas Pranker Parsons, 1897, 1898
  • John Dawson, 1899
  • Edward Bryant, 1901, 1902
  • Frank Samuel Sanders, 1903, 1904
  • Alvah Maximillian Norris, 1905, 1906
  • Edmund Stuart Willard, 1907, 1908
  • James Clinton Gerry, 1909
  • Herbert Merrill Forristall, 1910, 1911
  • Walter Lysander Clayton Niles, 1912, 1913
  • Harry Rines Stanbon, 1914, 1915
  • John Husler, Jr., 1916, 1917
  • H. Everett Ferris, 1918, 1919
  • J. Walter Newhall, 1920, 1921
  • Harold Walter Coombs, 1922, 1923
  • Frank Ball Sloan, 1924, 1925
  • William Edgar Snow, 1926, 1927; N
  • George Augustus Burnham, 1928; N
  • Lewis Parker Sanborn, 1929
  • Kaler Alfred Perkins, 1930
  • Lewis Orrin Stocker, 1931
  • William Nason Dinsmore, 1932
  • Howard Elliott Shattuck, 1933
  • Crawford Hawkes Stocker, Jr., 1934
  • Paul Edmund Boyle, 1935
  • Laurence Frederic Davis, 1936
  • Herbert Preston Mason, 1937
  • Browning Winifred Rogers, 1938
  • Samuel Edward Gillespie, 1939
  • Frank Josiah Collins, 1940
  • Carl Herman Schiorring, 1941
  • Russell Robert Peterson, 1942
  • Benjamin Arnold Fullerton, 1943
  • George Harold Strath, 1944
  • Earle Winston Cousens, 1945
  • Robert Felton Collins, 1946
  • Tyler Claude Hall, 1947, 1948
  • Robert William Johnson, 1949
  • Theodore Francis Palady, 1950
  • James Ward Currier, 1951; N
  • Milton Waldo Chambers, 1952
  • William Henry Robinson, 1953
  • James Otis Smith, 1954; N
  • William Ernest Light, 1955
  • Ralph Brooks Orff, 1956
  • Raymond Egbert Morrison, 1957
  • George Arthur Smith, 1958
  • Wilfred Kimball Kenney, 1959
  • James Morrison Amero, 1960
  • Edward Emerson Elder II, 1961
  • Clayton Richard Foote, 1962
  • Sumner Coombs Widell, 1963
  • William Smith Perry, 1964
  • George Albert Carter, 1965
  • Reginald Lewis Morris, 1966
  • Warren Spence, 1967
  • Leonard Earle Card, 1968
  • Harland Payson Smith, 1969; N
  • Norman Glenn Clark, 1970
  • Alan Douglas McLellan, 1971
  • Ronald Clark Sawyer, 1972
  • Bruce Albert Carter, 1973, 2003, 2004
  • Robert Emery Tucker, 1974
  • Roy Louis Smith, Jr., 1975
  • Frederick Hilton Mills, 1976
  • William Allan St. Clair, 1977, 1993; PDDGM
  • David Bruce Smith, 1978
  • Edward Alexander Davey, 1979
  • Ronald John Marland, 1980
  • George Fromm Riddle, 1981
  • Robert Swazey Dalton, 1982
  • Peter Asher Miles, 1983, 1987
  • William John Macaulay, 1984
  • Philip Joseph Randazzo, 1985
  • Kenneth Lester Covey, 1986
  • Peter Crocitto, 1988
  • Earl White Ellis, 1989, 1994
  • James Edwin Donovan, 1990
  • Bruce Wayne Flashenburg, 1991
  • Russell Wilson Cutter, 1992, 2005
  • Charles Dana Lancaster, 1995, 1996
  • Mark Steven Gott, 1997, 2001
  • John Charles Lennerton, 1998
  • Malcolm Alex Hanson, 1999
  • Amos Franklin Cutter, Jr., 2000, 2005; PDDGM
  • Philip Augustus Littlehale, 2002
  • Stephen Harold Belyea, 2006, 2009
  • Steven Paul Neth, 2010
  • Thomas Anthony Lima, Jr., 2011; PDDGM
  • James Vincent Virnelli, Jr., 2012, 2013
  • Nelson Lee Miller, Jr., 2014, 2015
  • Alan Robert Welch, 2016, 2017; DDGM
  • Kevin M. Wildman, 2018
  • Ralph E. Gibbs, 2019
  • John J. Cole, 2020


  • Petition for Dispensation: 1866
  • Petition for Charter: 1867


  • 1917 (50th Anniversary)
  • 1942 (75th Anniversary)
  • 1967 (Centenary)



1870 1874 1875 1877 1878 1881 1884 1894 1907 1913 1920 1925 1927 1931 1945 1947 1949 1952 1954 1964 1977 1978 1989 1991 1996 2012


  • 1942 (75th Anniversary History, 1942-215; see below)
  • 1967 (Centenary History, 1967-419; see below)


From Proceedings, Page 1942-215:

by Worshipful Herbert P. Mason.

There is much to be said in favor of the practice of preparing histories of our Masonic Lodges at stated intervals. They remind us that we of the present are but carrying on a work which others have begun; they lead the contemplative to view with admiration the achievements of our predecessors and they inspire us with renewed ambition to cherish and maintain the ideals of Freemasonry upon which our Lodges are founded. And so, after the passage of seventy-five years in the life of William Sutton Lodge, it is fitting that we tell again the story of its formation and growth, honor those who gave it guidance and review its accomplishments.

William Sutton Lodge owes its origin to the efforts of a group of Masons who desired to form a Lodge in Saugus and who in 1866 held several preliminary meetings for that purpose. The building in which these meetings took place still stands in the same location on the northwesterly side of Boston Street, between the East Saugus bridge and the railroad crossing. At that time Brother Charles I. Hitchings, who became our first Secretary, operated a stitching room on the second floor of that building, and it was in his quarters that the meetings were held.

The selection of a name for the proposed Lodge apparently occasioned little difficulty. Brother Harmon Hall, who was one of those active in the movement and was the first signer of the petition and by-laws, proposed the name of General William Sutton, of whom more will be said later in this narrative, and the suggestion being favorably received, Brother Hall was delegated to wait upon Brother Sutton and to obtain, if possible, permission to use his name. At a subsequent meeting, Brother Hall reported to the group as follows: He had called upon General Sutton and had made known to him the wishes of his Masonic friends in Saugus, to which the General had replied that if it was the sincere desire of his Saugus friends to adopt his name as that for the new Lodge, he would cheerfully give his consent. Brother Hall's report was at once accepted and the name adopted.

Favorable action on the petition to the Grand Lodge, which was prepared by Brother Franklin S. Phelps, resulted in the granting of a Dispensation to form and open a Lodge after the manner of Ancient, Free and Accepted Masons. This was signed by Most Worshipful Charles C. Dame, Grand Master, and Right Worshipful Charles W. Moore, Grand Secretary, and was dated October 25, 1866. The thirteen Master Masons who signed the petition and to whom the Dispensation was issued were described as having been recommended as Master Masons in good standing by the Worshipful Masters, Wardens and Brethren of Mount Carmel and Golden Fleece Lodges, and were as follows:

  • Harmon Hall
  • Enoch T. Kent
  • Everett H. Newhall
  • Edward S. Kent
  • George Burrill
  • John Roache
  • Sebastian S. Dunn
  • Edwin H. Foster
  • Alfred W. Libbey
  • Jacob B. Calley
  • George H. Sweetser
  • George C. Stewart

  • Charles I. Hitchings

The first regular meeting under the Dispensation was held "at the Secretary's rooms" on Thursday evening, January 3, 1867, with the following organization, all of whom were present excepting only the Junior Steward:

  • George H. Sweetser, Worshipful Master
  • Everett H. Newhall, Senior Warden
  • Harmon Hall, Junior Warden
  • Jacob B. Calley, Treasurer
  • Charles I. Hitchings, Secretary
  • Edwin H. Foster, Inside Sentinel
  • George C. Stewart, Senior Deacon
  • Alfred W. Libbey, Junior Deacon
  • Osgood Peabody, Senior Steward
  • Edward S. Kent, Junior Steward
  • Enoch T. Kent, Marshal
  • John W. Skinner, Tyler

After the Dispensation had been read and accepted, eight applications for the degrees were received and referred to committees. According to the records, the Lodge closed "in harmony" at 10:10 o'clock.

The business quarters of Brother Hitchings were of course unsuitable for a lodge-room, and while steps for the formation of the Lodge were in progress, arrangements were made with Brother Hall, who was at that time engaged in erecting a large wooden building at the corner of Boston and Hesper Streets in Lynn, just beyond the East Saugus depot, to provide suitable accommodations for the Lodge in the third story. The work was pushed forward with dispatch and the building was completed and ready for occupancy by the Lodge at its second meeting under the Dispensation, held January 30, 1867. This building, which remained standing until recently, was named Sutton Hall and was occupied by the Lodge until late in 1882.

At a meeting held February 7, 1867, eight applicants were elected to membership. Of these, Albert W. Mugridge, Charles W. Newhall and Josiah Starr received the Entered Apprentice degree the same evening. These three, together with Benjamin F. Calley and George Houghton, were raised to the sublime Degree of Master Mason on May 11, 1867, this being the first occasion when the Master Mason's Degree was worked by the new Lodge under Dispensation.

A petition having been directed to the Grand Lodge, signed by the Brethren that a charter might be granted them, there was present at Sutton Hall on the evening of October 1, 1867, a full attendance of the officers of the Grand Lodge for the purpose of consecrating the hall and of instituting the Lodge. According to the Secretary's record of the proceedings that evening, the ceremonies were conducted in a very solemn and impressive manner by Most Worshipful Grand Master Charles C. Dame, assisted by other officers of the Grand Lodge, after which the officers, for the ensuing year were installed. The first officers under the Charter were the same as those who had previously served under the Dispensation, with the addition of the Reverend Pliny Wood as Chaplain. Brother Wood, who had first served"as Chaplain on February 1, 1867, was the Pastor of the East Saugus Methodist Episcopal Church from 1866 to 1868. After the installation, the gathering adjourned to Waverly Hall where about 175 persons sat down to a bountiful repast.

To quote further from the Secretary's records, at Waverly Hall "speeches and toasts by the Right Worshipful Grand Master Dame, the Right Worshipful Grand Secretary C. W. Moore, General William Sutton and others of the Grand Lodge contributed to the pleasures of the evening, making it a session long to be remembered."

Waverly Hall was situated at the northwesterly corner of Lincoln Avenue and Wendell Street, East Saugus. It was built in 1827 as the first church in East Saugus, on the site of the present church. In 1854 it was sold by the Church Society and was removed to the Lincoln Avenue location where it was used for fairs and entertainments. Many years ago it was again moved to Stocker Street, divided in halves and made into two dwellings.

It might be well at this point to refer to the curious circumstance that although the Lodge was regarded from the time of its inception as situated in Saugus, Brother Hitchings' stitching rooms where the preliminary meetings and first regular meeting under the Dispensation were held, and Sutton Hall where the Lodge regularly met until 1882, were both within the corporate limits of Lynn. There can be no doubt, however, that from the beginning the Lodge was regarded by everyone as a Saugus institution. The first petition to the Grand Lodge was for permission to form a Lodge "in the town of Saugus," the Charter gave authority to convene Masons "within the town of Saugus" and the Secretary's records for those years always began with the words "East Saugus" or "Saugus," followed by the date. In the report to the Grand Lodge of his activities for the year 1867, the Grand Master includes a reference to having instituted William Sutton Lodge at Saugus.

The first petition for the degrees received by the Lodge under the Charter was from Charles H. Bond, then age twenty-one years, and residing at Cliftondale, occupation cigar manufacturer. Evan Evans, who served as Tyler from 1887 to 1918, William Thomas and J. W. Kingsley were proposed for membership on the same night, and all four were elected at the following regular communication.

At a communication held on November 26, 1867, General Sutton presented the Lodge with a full set of jewels and officers' regalia, which are still in use. This was one of several occasions on which the cordial relations between the Brethren of the Lodge and General Sutton were exemplified. On March 18, 1869, the General presented to the Lodge an oil painting of himself. This portrait is well preserved and now hangs on the north side of the lodge-room. At the occasion of the installation of the officers on January 9, 1873, Right Worshipful Brother Sutton was presented by the members of the Lodge with a gold Masonic charm. Two years later, in January, 1875, he gave to the Lodge a beautiful and costly banner which was accepted with suitable resolutions expressing the thanks of the Lodge.

General Sutton was held in the highest esteem by the members of the Lodge and it may be well at this time to give a brief summary of his life. He was born at Salem on July 26, 1800, and during most of his lifetime was engaged in the tannery business and the shipping trade. He lived a life of most unusual activity and public service. He served for forty-five years as President of the First National Bank of Salem, declining re-election at the age of eighty. He was a Director of two insurance companies, was for twenty-five years Treasurer of the Essex Agricultural Society, during thirty years was head of the Salem Fire Department, and served in other capacities. He was for five terms a Representative to the General Court, was State Senator for two years and was a member of the Governor's Council. His keen interest in military affairs resulted in his becoming a Major-General in the U. S. Army during the Civil War. Being too old for active service, he was detailed to the Medical Department and received honorable mention at the close of hostilities for his services. In Freemasonry he became a member of Jordan Lodge in Peabody when he was twenty-two years of age. Later he became a member of Essex Lodge in Salem and held membership in and served in various Masonic organizations. In 1866 he was Senior Grand Warden of the Grand Lodge of Masons in Massachusetts. He received the Thirty-third Degree in 1862. By his will, he left his Masonic library to the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts. The Lodge of Perfection at Salem and Sutton Royal Arch Chapter in Lynn were both named for him.

General Sutton's death occurred at Peabody on April 18,1882, when he was eighty-two years of age. A committee of William Sutton Lodge was appointed to attend his funeral and it was ordered that the lodge-room be draped in mourning for six months.

In those days it was seldom that a public building of any importance was erected that the Grand Lodge of Masons was not called upon to lay the cornerstone. Accordingly, we find that on October 17, 1874, a special communication was held for the purpose of attending the exercises of laying the cornerstone of the new Town Hall in Saugus. These ceremonies were performed by the then Grand Master, Sereno D. Nickerson, assisted by other distinguished officers of the Grand Lodge. Worshipful Brothers John Roache and Everett H. Newhall of our own Lodge served as Grand Stewards and Brother A. J. Dearborn acted as Architect.

On January 11, 1877, a charity box was presented to the Lodge by Brother Edward S. Kent. This resulted in the appointment of a committee at the next meeting to draw up a suitable by-law to provide for a charity fund and such a by-law calling for the election of Trustees of the charity fund was adopted May 10, 1878. In the many years' which have since elapsed, the Lodge has administered its charity funds with due regard to the purposes for which they have been provided and the wishes of those who have contributed.

In May, 1882, a committee was appointed to secure better accommodations. The records imply that another tenant desired additional space, but evidence outside the record indicates that the quarters were becoming unsuitable, owing to the offensive odors of the leather business being carried on by the tenant. Whatever the cause, the Lodge desired to make a change and in December, 1882, held its first communication in the building in which our present quarters are situated. That building was then known as "Sweetser's Hall," having formerly belonged to Charles A. Sweetser, but in 1882 was owned by Brother George A. Sisson and used by him for the conduct of a grocery business. The arrangement between the Lodge and Brother Sisson provided that the Lodge, through its committee, should superintend the work of planning, building and arranging the new quarters, including a remodelling of the building, and should take a lease for ten years at a rental of $250.00 per annum. Substantial alterations were made, including the abandonment of the pitched roof and the substitution of a flat one. The only entrance at that time was on the south side. Beginning with the communication held September 13, 1883, and ending with the meeting of February 14, 1884, this hall was referred to in our records as Sisson's Hall. In November, 1883, an appropriation was made for furnishing the lodge-room and $713.17 was expended for this purpose.

On February 22, 1884, the new hall was dedicated, with a public installation of officers, and the record of this special communication for the first time refers to it as Masonic Hall. The dedication ceremonies were conducted by Most Worshipful Abraham H. Howland, Jr., Grand Master of Masons in Massachusetts, and other Grand Officers. Worshipful Amos T. Stocker was installed as Master, succeeding Worshipful Henry J. Mills. A banquet was held, Brother Benjamin F. Calley read a history of the Lodge, a tribute was paid to the memory of Right Worshipful William Sutton and entertainment was provided for the members and their ladies. The presiding Masters of Mount Carmel and Golden Fleece Lodges of Lynn were among the two hundred who attended on that occasion, which was another notable event in the life of the Lodge.

Subsequent events affecting these quarters might here be related. Steps were taken in 1894 to purchase the Masonic Hall property, resulting in its acquisition by the Lodge in that year. In May, 1904, it was voted to build an additional room to be used as a preparation room and to install a fire escape, which was done at an expense of approximately $200.00.

On Sunday, January 28, 1906, in the early morning hours the building was partially destroyed by fire. After consideration of various proposed plans for alterations or rebuilding, it was finally determined to remodel the old building rather than to rebuild and $4500.00 was appropriated for this purpose. The new quarters were dedicated on December 20, 1906, by Most Worshipful John Albert Blake, Grand Master, accompanied by a large group of Grand Lodge Officers. Worshipful Edmund S. Willard was Master of the Lodge at the time of this ceremony.

In 1907 the mill property adjoining the lodge premises on the north side was destroyed by fire and it was only by the herculean efforts of the Fire Department that the Lodge building was saved. Suitable resolutions thanking the Fire Department for their services on this occasion were adopted and an entertainment and banquet tendered its members on May 22nd of that year.

Time does not permit us this evening to present the entire history of the Lodge and this recital is intended only to give an outline of its early days.

A detailed history, which we hope may be prepared and printed for distribution at a later date, would of course refer to many of our Brethren who have contributed in various ways to the maintenance and growth of our organization.


From Proceedings, Page 1967-419:

By Worshipful George A. Carter.

"Man's noblest toil shall pass away,
His fairest fame lasts but a day,
His world another world will be
Yet dieth not Fraternity!"

Thus did Brother Horace Hale Atherton end his excellent history of the first fifty years of the existence of William Sutton Lodge, A. F. & A. M., in the Town of Saugus. All of our Founding Fathers have long since been gathered into the land where their fathers had gone before, and but a few of our brethren remain who helped the Lodge celebrate that milestone in our progress. At our Fiftieth Anniversary, William Sutton Lodge had about 258 living members, and now, on the occasion of our One Hundredth Anniversary, the Lodge has 677 members. Truly, our Brother wrote wisely and well.

Thirteen Saugus Masons petitioned the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of Massachusetts for Dispensation to hold meetings as a new Lodge. The first meeting under Dispensation was held on Thursday, January 3, 1867, at 7:00 P.M. The brethren who petitioned for the Dispensation, all members of Mount Carmel or Golden Fleece Lodges of Lynn, and who became Charter members of William Sutton Lodge, were: Brothers Harmon Hall, Everett H. Newhall, George Burrill, S. S. Dunn, Alfred W. Libby, George H. Sweetser, Enoch T. Kent, Edward S. Kent, John Roache, Edwin H. Foster, Jacob B. Calley, George C. Stewart and Charles I. Hitchings. Bro. George H. Sweetser was appointed the first Worshipful Master by the then Grand Master of the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of Massachusetts, Most Worshipful Charles C. Dame, who also appointed Bro. Everett H. Newhall to be the first Senior Warden and Bro. Harmon Hall to be the first Junior Warden. The other Officers present at that first meeting were: Jacob B. Calley, Treasurer; Charles, I. Hitchings, Secretary; George C. Stewart, Senior Deacon; Alfred W. Libby, Junior Deacon; Osgood Peabody, Senior Steward; Edward S. Kent, Junior Steward; Enoch T. Kent, Marshal; Edwin H. Foster, Inside Sentinel, and John W. Skinner, Tyler. It should be noted that the Rev. Pliny Wood, Pastor of the East Saugus Methodist Church, served as the first Chaplain of the Lodge.

The first meeting under dispensation was held at 849 Boston Street, Lynn. The second story of this building was occupied as a stitching shop operated by Bro. Charles I. Hitchings, and it was in these rooms that William Sutton Lodge was organized.

After the first meeting, subsequent meetings were held in Sutton Hall, erected in 1866 at the corner of Hesper and Boston Streets, Lynn, until 1882, when the Lodge moved to the building called Sweetser's or Sisson's Hall in Franklin Square in East Saugus, where it was to remain for 81 years. It is interesting to note in passing that, although William Sutton Lodge was composed of Saugus Masons, the first two lodge halls were actually situated in Lynn for a period of 17 years.

The Lodge was constituted on October 1, 1867, by Most Worshipful Grand Master Charles C. Dame, and a large contingent of Grand Lodge Officers, among whom was R. W. William Sutton, who lent his name to our Lodge, and who, by his generosity and interest, helped the Lodge to grow and prosper.

The first application for the Degrees under the dispensation was received from Albert W. Mugridge, 25 years of age, who listed his occupation as grocer, who thus became our first candidate. On the same evening, Charles W. Newhall, Josiah Starr, Benjamin F. Calley, Edwin Roswell, Horace Brown, George Houghton and James H, Webber signified their desire to join the Lodge.

This seems to be a suitable place to insert a brief biography of R.W. William Sutton, for whom the Lodge was named, and whose generosity on many occasions provided gifts and lodge properties, many of which are in use to this day. William Sutton was born in Salem, Mass., on July 26, 1800, scion of a family whose roots and traditions extended to Lexington and Bunker Hill. His life was spent in many areas of activity and public trust. His business life was that of the tannery and the shipping trade, which he inherited from his father. He conducted both businesses from his majority until the age of 78. He was a Director of the South Danvers Bank, Salem Commercial Bank and Commercial and Holyoke Insurance Companies. He was also President of the First National Bank of Salem for 45 years. His public service included Treasurer of the Essex Agricultural Society, Head of the Salem Fire Department, President of the Charitable Mechanics Association and Overseer of the Poor. He also served five terms in the Massachusetts House of Representatives, two terms as State Senator, two years in the Governor's Council, Trustee of the State Insane Hospital and Rainsford Hospital.

His military career progressed by merited promotions from the Danvers Cadet of his youth to the rank of Major General. Too old for active service during the Civil War, he was detailed for hospital work, and received honorable mention at the close of his efficient service.

His Masonic career began in 1822 when he became a member of Jordan Lodge in Peabody. He then joined Essex Lodge in Salem when he was 34. He held many Masonic Offices, among which was the station of Senior Grand Warden of the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of Massachusetts. He was active in Scottish Rite Masonry, and received the honorarium of the 33° in 1862, and became an active member of the Supreme Council in 1875. The Lodge of Perfection at Salem, instituted in 1863 as the result of his efforts, bears his name, as does Sutton Royal Arch Chapter in Lynn.

William Sutton laid down his Working Tools and was raised to the Celestial Lodge Above on April 18, 1882. The first member of William Sutton Lodge to be raised to The Celestial Lodge Above was Bro. George Houghton, who was buried with Masonic honors on November 18, 1868.

On March 18, 1869, the portrait of Rt. Wor. William Sutton, which still graces our Lodge Room, was presented on his behalf by Brother Harmon Hall.

Our first Worshipful Master, Wor. George H. Sweetser, was visited by the Grim Reaper in December 1870, and the Lodge voted to drape the Lodge Room in mourning because of his death. The Lodge attended his funeral in a body on December 12, 1870.

The corner-stone of the new Saugus Town Hall was laid on October 8, 1874, by a delegation of Grand Lodge Officers headed by the then Grand Master, Most Worshipful Sereno D. Nickerson, assisted by the Officers and Members of William Sutton Lodge. Wor. Charles I. Hitchings was the Master and took part in the ceremonies. On November 11, 1875, Henry James Mills was elected to membership in the Lodge. He progressed to the office of Master of William Sutton Lodge in the years of 1882-1883, and served again in 1900. He was an indefatigable worker for Masonry, and was appointed to the office of District Deputy Grand Master and elected to the high office of Junior Grand Warden of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts. Henry J. Mills Royal Arch Chapter bears the name of this illustrious Mason.

After holding meetings for 17 years in Lynn, the Lodge, on December 14, 1882, moved to "Sweetser's Hall" which was leased for ten years from Bro. George W. Sisson for the sum of #250 per year. Many improvements were made on the building to provide suitable accommodations for the Lodge in the ensuing years.

The rough and perfect Ashlars, still in use, were presented to the Lodge on February 18, 1885 by Bro. Edward S. Kent.

In November 1887 the Lodge was twenty years old and the membership stood at seventy-two and the Charity Fund amounted to $916.30.

Rt. Wor. Albert H. Sweetser, our fifth Master, represented the Lodge in Grand Lodge for four years, was District Deputy Grand Master for three years and was Junior Grand Warden of the Grand Lodge for one year. He died July 9, 1889 and was buried with full Masonic honors.

On July 19, 1894 it was voted by the Lodge to purchase the Masonic Hall property for the sum of $4300, subject to a mortgage of $3000. We thus became landlords rather than tenants for the first time in our history. The Hall in East Saugus was to serve the Lodge well for the next sixty-nine years.

On the occasion of the Lodge's Thirtieth Anniversary in 1897, the membership had increased to 101, and the Charity Fund amounted to $1077.32.

Rt. Wor. Marion V. Putnam was the third Past Master of William Sutton Lodge to be appointed to the office of District Deputy Grand Master. He served in 1898-1899.

On Sunday, January 28, 1906, our Masonic Temple was partially destroyed by fire. A Special Dispensation permitted the Lodge to hold meetings in the Masonic Temple in Lynn for the next 10 months. It was then voted to remodel the old building at a cost of $4500, which was accomplished, and on December 12, 1906, the refurbished Lodge hall was rededicated to Masonry by Most Worshipful John Albert Blake, Grand Master.

In 1907 the Lodge was 40 years old and had 168 members. On April 6 of the same year the Lodge was again threatened by fire and was saved by the mighty efforts of the Saugus Fire Department. An adjacent mill was entirely destroyed. The Fire Department personnel were tendered a banquet and entertainment for their efforts on May 22, 1907. On October 19, 1911, the mortgage carried on the building was burned with appropriate ceremony by Most Worshipful Dana J. Flanders, Grand Master of Masons in Massachusetts.

In May of 1912 the Lodge voted to donate $25 to "The flood sufferers in the West," an example of the charitable work done by Masonry.

On December 18, 1913 the first Public Installation of Officers was held and Wor. Harry Rines Stanbon together with his line of Officers were installed by Rt. Wor. Marion Putnam.

The Lodge celebrated its 50th Anniversary in the year 1917. At the Annual Meeting the membership totaled 255, and the Charity Fund stood at $1330.20. On September 20, 1917, a Fiftieth Anniversary celebration was observed with a religious service at the Methodist Episcopal Church in East Saugus, led by Wor. John Husler, Master of the Lodge. In addition to the religious service, a tribute to William Sutton Lodge was read by Bro. Horace H. Atherton, Jr., and the Anniversary Sermon was delivered by Rev. Bro. Frederick W. Hamilton, Grand Secretary.

World War I saw a total of 17 members of William Sutton Lodge serving in the Armed Forces of the United States. Fortunately all returned to their loved ones and to the Lodge.

Wor. Everett H. Newhall, a Charter Member and our second Worshipful Master, joined the Silent Majority on June 18, 1918. His death removed the last Brother who petitioned for our Charter, and who then retained his membership. The years immediately following World War I saw a remarkable resurgence of Masonry in Saugus as well as throughout the United States. In the years 1919 through 1921 William Sutton Lodge raised a total of 128 candidates, the peak year being 1920, when 54 Master Masons were raised to the Sublime Degree, requiring a total of 33 Communications in that year.

On November 16, 1922, the Lodge voted to appoint a committee to "Consider ways and means for the construction of a New Masonic Building." The Lodge also voted to transfer $1000 from the General Fund to the Trustees of Real Estate, said sum to be temporarily known as the William Sutton Building Fund. This dream of our Brothers was to take 41 years to come to fruition in our present magnificent Temple.

In the year 1927 the Lodge celebrated its 60th Anniversary. The membership had increased to 478 brethren, and the Charity Fund amounted to $2,818.76.

In the year 1928, the Master of William Sutton Lodge, Wor. George A. Burnham, was unable to continue as Master for a second year, as was his successor, Wor. Lewis P. Sanborn. Since that time, the Masters of the Lodge have served one-year terms.

On September 19, 1929 the Lodge voted to accept the bequest of Bro. Samuel T. Patterson, who willed his residence in East Saugus to the Lodge for use as a Masonic Club.

Rt. Wor. George A. Burnham was appointed District Deputy Grand Master for the year 1929 and 1930, and served Masonry then and for many years thereafter with honor and distinction. Rt. Wor. Bro. Burnham was raised to the Celestial Lodge Above on January 24, 1961.

The Standing Committee report of Wor. Lewis 0. Stocker, Master in 1931, again mentions the desirability of accumulating a New Building Fund. He reported: "Our present building, as viewed now in the best judgement of competent builders, is good for about 15 years. . . " However, our Masonic Family was to meet in the old Temple for the next 32 years.

As the great financial depression deepened in the early 1930's, Masonry in Saugus, as elsewhere, was adversely affected. Many distressed Brothers were granted dues remits, many demitted, and there was a scarcity of candidates. The years 1932 through 193S produced a total of 12 new Master Masons, 1933 being the low year, when only one candidate was raised to the Sublime Degree.

The year 1937, our 70th Anniversary as a Masonic Fraternity, saw a decrease in membership to 459 and the Charity Fund sink to $1605.19. This trend was to continue until 1943, when a low of 392 members was recorded by the Master in his Standing Committee Report.

It may be noted that in the Standing Committee Report of Wor. Carl Schiorring, Master in 1939, the so-called Patterson Club was proving to be a serious drain on the finances of the Lodge, and he recommended that it be disposed of. The property was finally sold in 1950, according to the Treasurer's Report of that year.

The 75th Anniversary of William Sutton Lodge was observed on October 29, 1942, at a Special Communication which was attended by Most Worshipful Albert A. Schaefer, then Grand Master of Masons in Massachusetts, and a distinguished Suite of Grand Lodge Officers. Wor. Herbert P. Mason read a history of the Lodge, which recalled many pleasant memories to the Brethren. The Lodge was entertained by the remarks of several eminent Masons, and by an octet composed of members of the Amphion Club of Melrose.

Rt. Wor. William E. Snow was appointed District Deputy Grand Master of the Melrose 7th Masonic District in 1945, and served with distinction throughout his term of office.

During World War II many of our Brethren served in the Armed Forces, some of whom gave their lives in the service of their Country.

After World War II interest in Masonry revived again and the Lodge was very busy processing a great many petitioners for the Degrees. In the years 1945 to 1950 there were 190 candidates raised to the Sublime Degree, with 44 brethren being admitted in 1947.

On December 19, 1946 the Lodge voted to change the Annual Meeting from the November Communication to the September Communication, and the election of Officers from September to June. In 1947 the Installation of Officers was moved from December to September. Wor. Tyler C. Hall, who was installed at that time, continued as Master until September 16, 1948.

The Lodge, on its 80th Anniversary in 1947, had a total of 464 members and a Charity Fund of $3106.35.

On July 19, 1947 the New Building Fund was depleted when the Lodge voted to transfer $500 of the $1000 in the Fund to be used by the Trustees of Real Estate.

On May 19, 1949 the dues of the Lodge were raised from $6.00 to $8.00 because of "inflation."

On September 18, 1952 the Building Fund was again increased by the transferral of $2275 from the Trustees of Real Estate.

On October 16, 1952 the Lodge voted that the fee for the Degrees be raised from $61.00 to $86.00. This increase was the first one to be made in 27 years.

In 1952, the Master, Wor. Milton W. Chambers, appointed a New Building Fund Committee composed of members of William Sutton Lodge, Henry J. Mills Royal Arch Chapter and Tontoquon Chapter, Order of Eastern Star. This Committee finally began the arduous task which was to culminate in the erection of our magnificent Temple. The Committee was composed of the following members of the Lodge: Brothers Harvey B. Poole, Lester F. Bicknell, Frank A. Bond, Horace C. Ramsdell, Oscar R. Bjornwall; Worshipful Brothers Milton W. Chambers and James 0. Smith.

The years of the 1950's were good years for the Lodge, with many candidates petitioning for the Degrees. The 90th Anniversary of William Sutton Lodge saw the membership soar to 647 Brethren and the Charity Fund stood at $5612.77.

In 1955 the local Red Cross gave the Lodge credit for over 300 pints of blood which had been donated by its members, in recognition of which, the Chairman of the Grand Lodge Service Committee presented 26 members with gallon pins.

Rt. Wor. James W. Currier was appointed District Deputy Grand Master of the Melrose 7th Masonic District for the years 1957-1958. He served and still serves his Lodge, District and Grand Lodge with Masonic knowledge and enthusiasm.

In 1957 due to the labors of the New Building Committee, the Lodge acquired land on Central Street, Saugus, for the purpose of erecting a New Temple. Unfortunately, because of a lack of parking space, this site was deemed not suitable for our use and was later sold.

At the Communication on April 17, 19S8, the Lodge raised five DeMolay members to the Sublime Degree. This class was composed of Brothers Charles Johnson, Jr., Arthur Jackman, Richard Campbell, Earl Ellis and Robert Reed. The Installation of Wor. James M. Amero, Master in 1959, was a semi-public affair, the first to be held in William Sutton Lodge in 46 years.

Rev. Bro. Charles B. McDuffee, Chaplain of William Sutton Lodge for over 30 years, who served Lodge and Community as a beloved religious leader, laid down his Working Tools and was buried with full Masonic honors on December 6, 1959.

The minutes of the June 16, 1960 Communication state that the New Building Committee be authorized to conduct a fund-raising campaign for the purpose of constructing a new Lodge Building, employing professional assistance if deemed necessary; and so at long last began the task which was to provide the Lodge and its Masonic family with a Temple worthy of our ancient institution.

The New Temple Fund Drive received further impetus when the Lodge, on May 18, 1961, voted to accept the recommendations of the New Building Committee, and engaged the services of Haney Associates, a professional fund raising group, to proceed with the organization of our first fund drive. The firm of Hutchins and French, Architects, was authorized to furnish complete working drawings of our new Temple at the November Communication.

At the September 20, 1962 Regular Communication, the Brethren voted to purchase the land on Adams Avenue where the Temple now stands; to negotiate a loan of $140,000.00, the sum then thought necessary to erect the Temple, and to contract with the Telfer Construction Company, with the firm of Hutchins and French, Architects, to proceed with the construction of the Temple.

Ground breaking ceremonies for the new building took place on November 17, 1962, using a "Gold" shovel presented to Wor. Sumner C. Widell, then Master, by Bro. Frank Bond.

Bro. Horace C. Ramsdell, who served the Lodge with devotion both as Secretary and Treasurer for a total of 23 years, was called to the land from where no Traveler returns, on December 26, 1962. His passing was mourned by all who admired his ready smile, wit and wise counsel.

An increase of dues from $13.00 to $16.00 including Grand Lodge dues was voted on April 18, 1963, and at the following Communication on May 16, 1963 the Life Membership fee was increased from $200.00 to $400.00.

On Sunday September 8, 1963, the laying of the corner-stone of our new Temple was accomplished by a large group of Masons headed by Rt. Wor. Charles F. Maxfield, District Deputy Grand Master of the Melrose Seventh Masonic District. A parade from Cliftondale Square to the Temple on Adams Avenue consisted of an estimated 1200 marchers drawn from Blue Lodges, Royal Arch Chapters, Commanderies, Eastern Star, Rainbow and DeMolay. Also in the line of march were representatives of other Fraternal Bodies, the Linn Village Drum Band, the Blue Belle Highland Bagpipe and the PAL Drum and Bugle Corps. Rt. Wor. Charles F. Maxfield delivered a stirring Masonic speech, and, assisted by the Master and Wardens, did a commendable piece of work.

On Wednesday, September 18, 1963, a Special Communication was held for an Official Visitation of Most Worshipful A. Neill Osgood, Grand Master of Masons in Massachusetts, accompanied by 16 Grand Lodge Officers, for the purpose of dedicating the new Temple. A Grand Lodge was convened and the ancient ritual of dedication was performed. Brother Gordon Mallar, architect, was presented to the Grand Master and turned over the Plumb, Square and Level. The Deputy Grand Master, Rt. Wor. Donald W. Vose, the Senior Grand Warden, Rt. Wor. John N. Hall, and the Junior Grand Warden, Rt. Wor. Frederick G. Caspar, offered their congratulations on the new Temple. Rt. Wor. Charles F. Maxfield, District Deputy Grand Master, commented on the example set by William Sutton Lodge, citing the improvement in other Lodges, which he said was due to our magnificent new Temple.

The author, as Senior Warden of William Sutton Lodge, was accorded the privilege of raising two of his sons, Bro. James E. Carter and Bro. Russell D. Carter, to the Sublime Degree on January 16, 1964, a rare privilege afforded few Masons.

At the March 19, 1964 Communication, the Lodge voted to request the Masonic Home at Charlton to recommend a resident Brother that the Lodge might "adopt." We were soon furnished the name of Bro. George L. Cook, a delightful Mason whom we were proud to add to the roster of William Sutton Lodge.

At the June 18, 1964 Communication, the Lodge voted to become co-sponsors with Henry J. Mills Royal Arch Chapter of the Saugus Chapter, Order of DeMolay. The vote, with none dissenting, allowed the Lodge, at long last, to assist in that most worthy effort, that of providing interested Masons to serve as advisors to the young men of this community.

At the Regular Meeting on September 17, 1964, it was pointed out that the mortgage on the Temple was larger than our ability to carry and that a new fund raising drive was necessary. The Lodge accordingly voted "The New Building Fund Committee be authorized to spend whatever monies necessary to conduct a new fund raising campaign." Wor. John Baxendale was retained as director of this second professionally conducted fund drive.

The Installation of Wor. George A. Carter in September, 1964, revived the semi-public Installation which has been continued to date.

Wor. Milton W. Chambers accepted the station of Secretary of William Sutton Lodge in the emergency created by the death of Wor. Wilfred K. Kenney on January 4, 196S and once more more is serving the Lodge.

In the spring of 1965, with the 100th Anniversary a scant one and one-half years in the future, Bro. Ellsworth F. Stevens, Service Committee Chairman, created a name-plate commemorating our Centennial. These identification badges were provided with each Brother's name and were in the shape and style of a Masonic Apron. The Centennial Fund has benefited greatly from donations received for these badges.

On April 16, 1966, a group of Officers and members of the Lodge, together with their ladies, and accompanied by Rt. Wor. Alfred Q. Smith, District Deputy Grand Master of the Melrose Seventh Masonic District, paid a Fraternal visit to Harmony Lodge No. 9, F. & A. M., Cranston, Rhode Island, where Wor. Reginald L. Morris and his Line Officers were pleased to present the Entered Apprentice Degree as exemplified in the Massachusetts Jurisdiction. Harmony Lodge returned the visit, and on June 4, 1966, Wor. Arthur Dennis, Master, and his Line Officers exemplified the Rhode Island version of the Entered Apprentice Degree while the ladies of the members of both Lodges were entertained with a Flower Arrangement Demonstration. The Lodge was honored by the presence of our District Deputy Grand Master and the Junior Past Grand Master of Rhode Island.

A rapidly developing financial crisis forced the Lodge on May 18, 1967 to adopt an assessment of $15.00 over and above the yearly dues of each Brother. The Lodge therefore enters upon its second century with a financial burden which although onerous will shortly be surmounted, and William Sutton Lodge will continue to prosper and grow. On Sunday, May 21, 1967, an historic event occurred when members of William Sutton Lodge of Masons and Saugus Council, Knights of Columbus, met to enjoy dinner together at a local restaurant and to listen to the inspiring words of Rev. Dr. Wilbur C. Zeigler. The event was attended by more than two hundred men.

William Sutton Lodge has now attained its Centennial Anniversary, a mere handful of years when measured by the vast age of our Ancient Institution. It has been the Mother Lodge of 1471 seekers of Masonic wisdom and truth. There have been good years and lean years, but always, from the memorable time when thirteen Masons met together in Brotherly Love and Friendship to establish our beloved Lodge, to the present time when 677 Brethren are proud to be known as members of William Sutton Lodge, our presence has been a force for good in the community. The Lodge has been extremely fortunate in having a steady succession of outstanding and dedicated Worshipful Masters who by their example and instruction have kept the great Masonic Truths ever in the view of the Brethren. The Lodge has been blessed with able and devoted Secretaries, those men who are the very cement and support of the Masonic Fraternity, who serve year after year in their essential stations, who keep the records and archives of the Lodge true and perfect, and who, by their knowledge of the business of the Lodge, support each Master in his ardous undertaking. The Secretaries of William Sutton Lodge in their order of service have been: Charles I. Hitchings, Dennis H. Newhall, B. F. Calley, Charles W. Newhall, Henry J. Mills, Clarence W. Fox, Fred C. Newhall, Albert H. Sweetser, B. F. Calley, Fred C. Newhall, A. Clarke Newhall, James C. Gerry, Henry J. Mills, Herbert M. Forristall, Horace C. Ramsdell, Milton W. Chambers, Wilfred K. Kenney, Milton W. Chambers.

The Brothers who have served the Lodge faithfully and well in the several areas of the Service Committee over the years are too numerous to attempt to mention for fear of omitting some deserving Brothers.

It is coincidental that we celebrate our 100th Anniversary as the Grand Lodge of England observes its 250th Anniversary.

Thus ends this short history of One Hundred Years in the existence of William Sutton Lodge. The author acknowledges that possible errors, both of omission and commission, may be present, and that many items of interest could not be included in so brief an account. It is submitted with the hope that those who read it now and in the future may gain some pleasure, profit and fraternal knowledge of Masonry as it has progressed in Saugus, Massachusetts.


  • 1918 (Cornerstone laying of Saugus public library, 1918-62)
  • 2011 (Report on loan of bust of William Sutton, 2011-96)



From Moore's Freemason's Monthly, Vol. XXVII, No. 1, November 1867, Page 16:

This new and promising Lodge received its charter at the quarterly communication of the Grand Lodge in September, and was constituted in ancient form and with the usual ceremonies, on the evening of the 1st of October ultimo. It is located in the village of East Saugus, and in the midst of a growing and active population, affording a pretty certain guarantee, under proper management, of its future success; and that it will be so managed, the character and intelligence of the brethren composing its membership are a sufficient assurance.

We judge there were present to witness the ceremonies of institution, including the dedication of the hall and installation of the officers, not much less than a hundred and fifty brethren, among whom were large delegations from the two neighboring Lodges in Lynn, and in less numbers from other Lodges in the immediate vicinity. At the conclusion of these ceremonies a procession was formed, and the brethren marched to one of the large halls in the village, where a bountiful collation was spread for their refreshment, and where they passed an agreeable hour. Brief speeches were made by the Master of the Lodge, by the Grand Master, by Dr. Lewis, Gen. Sutton, (after whom the Lodge is called), Brothers Moore, Dadmun and others. The company separated at a seasonable hour, all feeling, we doubt not, that they had passed a pleasant and interesting evening. The officers of the Lodge are as follows : —

  • W. Master, George H. Sweetser
  • Senior Warden, Everett H. Newhall
  • Junior Warden, Harmon Hall
  • Treasurer, Jacob B. Calley
  • Secretary, Charles J. Hitchings
  • Senior Deacon, George E. Stewart
  • Junior Deacon, Alfred W. Libbey
  • Senior Steward, Osgood Peabody
  • Junior Steward, Edward S. Kent
  • Marshal, Enoch T. Kent
  • Sentinel, Edwin H. Foster
  • Tyler, John W. Skinner
  • Chaplain, Rev. P. Wood


From Liberal Freemason, Vol. II, No. 10, January 1879, Page 315:

The following having been elected officers of William Sutton Lodge, F. & A. M., they were publicly installed on Thursday evening, December 3d, by D. D. William L. Maxwell, assisted by P. M. Albert H. Sweetser of William Sutton Lodge: George C. Stewart, W. M.; J. B. Oliver, S. W.; Charles W. Sweetser, J. W.; Edward S. Kent, Treasurer; Benjamin F. Calley, Secretary; Henry J. Mills, S. D.; Amos T. Stocker, J. D.; Rev. P. M. Vinton, Chaplain; B. M. Johnson, M.; F. R. Boardman, S. S.; George T. Murray, J. S.; Benjamin C. Reed, J. S.; John W. Skinner, Tyler.

Interest was added to the occasion by addresses by members of the order from Maiden, Lynn, and other places. Choice reading selections were given by Miss Clara J. Calley, and vocal music by Mrs. Horace Lovering, Miss Mollie White, J. Sylvester Oliver and Charles L. Smith, while the organ accompaniments were rendered by Miss S. R. Stocker. The installation exercises being concluded, a banquet was served at which were scried one hundred and seventy persons.


From New England Craftsman, Vol. II, No. 5, February 1907, Page 188:

The newly elected officers of William Sutton Lodge, Saugus, Mass,, were installed Dec. 20, by R. W. Joseph Gleason, assisted by R. W. Charles S. Robertson as marshal.

The new apartments of William Sutton Lodge, Saugus, Mass., were dedicated by Most Wor. J. Albert Blake and members of the Grand Lodge, Dec. 20. The members of the Lodge were out in full force and gave a hearty welcome to the Grand Master.

William Sutton Lodge suffered by fire some months ago and the hall dedicated at this time is in the same building but much enlarged and improved over that destroyed. An interesting address by Wor. Br. Frederic L. Putnam, Grand Lecturer on Solomon's Temple, was an important feature of the evening, this address will be found on another page of this number.


From TROWEL, Summer 2012, Page 22:

The restored bust of Rt. Wor. William Sutton. Photo courtesy of Rt. Wor. Phil Nowlan.

New William Sutton Lodge Room Dedicated

Grand Master Richard J. Stewart presided over a dedication ceremony in November to consecrate the newly created and beautifully appointed lodge room of William Sutton Lodge in Saugus.

In the course of constructing the new lodge room, members became aware of an existing bust of Rt. Wor. William Sutton (33rd degree conferred in 1862 and Sr. Grand Warden 1866) presented to Grand Lodge in 1875. Sadly, it had been damaged (large hole in rear of head) and become quite tarnished with age. It had been relegated to the basement storage area at Grand Lodge. William Sutton Lodge trustees felt that this would be a most fitting object to add as a capstone to the decor of their new lodge room.

After considerable negotiations with the board of directors of Grand Lodge and with the assistance of the Grand Secretary, Rt. Wor. Jeffrey Gardiner, the bust was repaired at the expense of the lodge and is now on permanent loan from Grand Lodge to William Sutton Lodge. This bust of the lodge’s benefactor will be an attractive addition for the future proceedings of the lodge in a room that the Grand Master has aptly called “one of the most beautiful lodge rooms in the state.”

—Rt. Wor. Amos F. Cutter, Jr.



1867: District 2 (Charlestown)

1877: District 5 (Salem)

1883: District 7 (Lynn)

1911: District 7 (Malden)

1927: District 7 (Melrose)

2003: District 4


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