THE FIRST 100 YEARS
SACRAMENTO LODGE No.40
Officers of the different Sacramento Lodges were installed separately in closed installations until December 17, 1857, when for the first time Most Worshipful Nathaniel Greene CURTIS , Grand Master of Masons in California and Past Master of Tehama Lodge No. 3, assisted by Brother Isaac DAVIS of Sacramento Lodge No. 40, acting as Installing Grand Master, Installed the officers of Tehama Lodge No. 3, Washington Lodge No. 20, Sacramento Lodge No. 40 and Union Lodge No. 58.
After Concord Lodge No. 117 received its charter the five Sacramento Lodges were installed in joint closed installations until December 9, 1938 when this practice was interrupted. Tehama Lodge No. 3 did not participate in joint ceremonies, choosing instead to hold its first public installation. On December 22, 1939, officers of Sacramento Lodge No. 40 for the first time were installed at an open public ceremony.
THE FIFTIETH ANNIVERSARY
On October 3, 1902, steps were taken to appoint a general committee with power to appoint sub-committees to arrange for the celebration of the Fiftieth Anniversary of Sacramento Lodge No. 40. The committee appointed January 2, 1903, was headed by E. C. ATKINSON, Chairman; W. M. PETRIE, treasurer, and J. B. GIFFIN, secretary. E. W. HALE was chairman of the finance committee. W. M. PETRIE was chairman of the invitation and reception committee. C. W. MORTON, served as chairman of the souvenir and printing committee. C. W. ILGNER served as chairman of the Literary and music committee. M. J. CURTIS served as chairman of the hall and decoration committee and W. D. KNIGHTS was chairman of the banquet committee. Others working on committees included: A. M. SEYMOUR, F. J. BIDWELL, H. H. STEPHENSON, James O'NEIL, E. C. HOPKINS, C. A. LUHRS, J. W. BOYD, J. G. CAMP, W. D. STONEFELT, W. K. COTHRIN, C. W. FRAZIER, P. S. LAWSON, H. WEINSTOCK, W. E. KLEINSORGE, R. C. IRVINE, F. L. ATKINSON and J. W. HUGHES.
On this date the officers of the Lodge were the following: Charles William ILGNER, Worshipful Master; Frank J. BIDWELL, Senior Warden; Harley Howard STEPHENSON, Junior Warden; William Monroe PETRIE, Treasurer; James Buchanan GIFFIN, Secretary; Frank TADE, Senior Deacon; John Hillis LIGGETT, Junior Deacon; Arthur McArthur SEYMOUR, Marshall; Edwin Carmi HOPKINS, Steward; and Thomas ROSS, Tiler.
Anniversary exercises were held at the State Capitol on Monday evening, July 27, 1903. A general invitation was extended to all Masons and their Ladies to attend the event. Literary exercises were held in the Senate Chamber of the State Capitol. The program included an address of welcome by the Worshipful Master, an invocation by Rev. W. E. STORY, selections by the KNICKERBOCKER QUARTET of SF, an address by Charles NUTTING, Deputy Grand Master, a bass solo by L. A. LARSON, and an address by Edward H. HART, Grand Orator.
At the close of the literary exercises guests were escorted to the Assembly Chamber and about six hundred persons enjoyed refreshments. Following the banquet, Edmund C. ATKINSON, Past Grand Master and the Master of Ceremonies, served as toastmaster. Mr. Larson rendered a vocal solo and the entire assembly joined in on "Auld Lang Syne." It is interesting to note that the guests did not depart until ten minutes of two in the morning.
On March 4, 1904, the Anniversary Committee reported the fulfillment of its duties and noted that it had prepared a full report of the proceedings of that celebration. Suitable souvenirs, membership roster, history of the Lodge, etc., fell in the category of items to be sealed in a copper box prepared for that purpose and suitably inscribed and deposited in the Archives of the Lodge - and not to be opened until 1953 - the year of the One Hundredth Anniversary of the founding of Sacramento Lodge No. 40. This action was accomplished.
On April 7, 1905, the Anniversary Committee offered the following financial report:
Amount subscribed for entertainment ...........................$1441.50
Amount subscribed, not paid in .......................... $ 120.00
Amount expended per Treasurer's
vouchers .......................... $1311.95
Balance on hand in Treasury
(which sum the committee
tendered to the Lodge) ......................... $ 9.55
According to the records the following five men are the only living members of Sacramento Lodge No. 40 who celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Lodge.
Edmund Mansfield ATKINSON ..................... July 25, 1896
William Edward KLEINSORGE, P.M ........ October 15,1896
Harry Montford CARROLL ................... December 18, 1896
George Albert HOLMES, Sr. .................. February 20, 1902
George Nesbitt COOK, Sr. P.M. .................... May 30, 1903
George Albert HOLMES Sr., of 511-20th Street, Sacramento, recalls that celebration. He cannot remember the exact numbers of persons in attendance but he does note that it was an enthusiastic gathering of brothers who looked to the past record of the Lodge with pride and at the same time speculated on its future. During the course of his life Brother HOLMES has witnessed many changes in civilization, in Sacramento and in Sacramento Lodge No. 40.
He remembers that in the old days when there were no automobiles that he and two other brothers would walk all the way down town, that is from his home on 20th Street to the then existing Masonic Hall (6th and K Streets). He would walk from the Lodge and think nothing of the little jaunt. Brother HOLMES was born in Sacramento and although he traveled throughout the United States he never remained away from Sacramento very long. He had a hand in the construction work of the present day Southern Pacific depot. Arthur SEYMOUR was the Worshipful Master who presided over his third degree installation ceremony.
He is proud possessor of a 50 year gold button--a rare and worthy jewel. He is pleased to note that he was able to attend the most recent Roll Call of the lodge. A few months ago when this was being written he looked forward to attending the 100th Anniversary of Sacramento Lodge No. 40. "This Lodge is a lot larger today than it was in my day," muses Brother HOLMES, "but growth is a sign of progress." Someday there may be three generations of the HOLMES family in the Masonic order for Brother HOLMES' son is a member of Sacramento Lodge No. 40 and there are two grandsons of younger age who may be able to carry on the tradition and celebrate the 150th anniversary of Sacramento Lodge No. 40.
THE SEVENTY-FIFTH ANNIVERSARY
The Seventy-Fifth Anniversary was observed on Thursday, July 26, 1928, under the direction of Worshipful Master Charles Madison SMITH and the officers of the Lodge and a general committee, headed by Past Master Joseph H. STEPHENS, Grand Master Will H. FISHER, Deputy Grand Master Gustav A. HINTAFF, Senior Grand Warden Charles M. WOLLENBURG, Grand Secretary John WHICHER and other Grand Officers were among those present. Dinner preceded exercises held in the Sacramento Memorial Auditorium. Approximately 3,000 persons were in attendance. The program of entertainment included a concert by the Ben Ali Temple Band A.A.O.N.M.S., an address of welcome by the Worshipful Master, a talk, "Why We Celebrate" by James Buchanan GIFFEN, Past Master, remarks by Deputy Grand Master G. A. HUTAFF, an address by Grand Master Will H. FISHER, a soprano solo by Miss Florence Ringo, a chorus of "Together," "Lay me down to sleep in Carolina" and "The Song Is Ended" by the Ben Ali Chanters, A.A.O.N.M.S., and a tenor solo by Mr. Edwin EMHOUSE.
In addition there was a program of music and classic dancing, a presentation of "Arabian Sandstorm." and finally, a grand ball, in which thousands participated.
The committee of Sacramento Lodge No. 40 which arranged the program comprised the following: Joseph H. STEPHENS, chairman; Edward P. DELL, vice-chairman; Herman B. WEAVER, secretary; Richard B. PRIDEAUX, Treasurer; and Charles Madison SMITH, Worshipful Master. The following brothers served on the committee: Dougal H. McALPINE, James B. GIFFEN, Charles Wesley FRAZIER, George N. COOK, J. Fontaine JOHNSON, Wallace H. RENWICK, Martin A, BASLER, Arthur F, HENNING, George C. CALDER, Walter P. TANGUARY, Julian J. PRUGLY, Rodolph P. BETTENS, Frank D. TALBOT, Royal B. GIFFEN, John H. MILLER, Richard P. BURR, Wm. D. KNIGHTS, John H. BLAIR, Wm. E. KLEINSORGE, Charles G. ILGNER, Harley H. STEPHENSON, Frank TADE, George C. BASSETT, Delos S. WATKINS, William E. APPLETON, Allyn L. BURR, Ralph L. SKINNER, and Ralph E. HILL.
The celebration was financed entirely by subscription from 276 out of approximately 590 members. The total amount contributed was $2,115. 50. Total expenses were $2,027.17, leaving a balance of $88.33 which was deposited with the Lodge.
Officers of the Lodge at this time were: Charles Madison SMITH, Worshipful Master; Frank DeWitt TALBOT, Senior Warden; Royal Bertram GIFFEN, Junior Warden; Frank TADE, (Past Master), Treasurer; Julian Insco PRUGH (Past Master), Secretary; Edwin Ellsworth EARL, Chaplain; George Victor REYNOLDS, Senior Deacon; Walter Eugene STODDARD, Junior Deacon; James Arthur COWSILL, Marshal; Walton Elias HOLMES, Senior Steward; Frank Llewellyn RICHARDSON, Junior Steward; and Omar Humm BLANK, Tiler.
MEMBERS OF SACRAMENTO LODGE NO. 40 WHO BECAME
GRAND MASTERS OF MASONS IN CALIFORNIA
The only Grand Masters who were members of Sacramento Lodge No. 40 at the time of receiving the honor were James Lawrence ENGLISH, Grand Master in 1861 and Edmund Clement ATKINSON, Grand Master in 1866.
John Ashby TUTT, Grand Master in 1851 and a member of Tehama Lodge No. 3 at the time, was an original petitioner of Sacramento Lodge No. 40 and remained a member of our Lodge until August 4, 1854 when he dimitted to Tehama Lodge No. 3, after he had assisted in the organization of our Lodge. It may be repeated here that Tehama Lodge No. 3 recommended that a dispensation be issued to the original petitioners of Sacramento Lodge.
Morris March ESTEE, Grand Master in 1888-1889 was initiated an Entered Apprentice Mason, July 1, 1864, passed to the degree of Fellowcraft July 22, 1864, and raised to the Sublime Degree of Master Mason on August 12, 1864, in Sacramento Lodge No. 40. On December 6, 1867 he dimitted from our Lodge and affiliated with California Lodge No. 1, San Francisco. He was master of that Lodge in 1872 and was a member during the years he served as Grand Master.
© 2007 Sally Kaleta.