THE FIRST 100 YEARS
SACRAMENTO LODGE No.40
NOTES OF INTEREST
NOTES OF INTEREST
The first installation of the officers of Sacramento Lodge No. 40 was held Friday evening, May 26, 1854. Past Grand Master Townsend A. THOMAS was the installing officer. At this meeting, our Lodge recommended that dispensation from the Grand Lodge be issued to form two new Lodges: one to be called Volcano Lodge at Volcano, Calaveras County, and the other, Union Lodge at Sacramento.
On December 7, 1855, a resolution was unanimously adopted suggesting that the Grand Lodge of California should be permanently located in the City of Sacramento.
On November 7, 1856, one hundred copies of the printed Masonic Burial Service, arranged by the Right Worshipful Grand Secretary, Alexander G. ABELL, were ordered for the use of our Lodge. On the same date Brother W. F. KNOX was appointed to serve as our representative on the committee for selecting the location and supervising the erection of the proposed new Masonic Hall.
On June 12, 1857, its first Masonic trial was conducted by our Lodge. The charge was "conduct unbecoming a Mason." The accused Brother was found not guilty.
From about July, 1857, to about April, 1882, the Secretaries of our Lodge kept a "Black Book" in which were inscribed the names of all men within the jurisdiction of the Grand Lodge of California, who had been rejected for membership in the subordinate Lodges, suspended, or expelled, together with the dates of the action taken. In the event that a member was reinstated, the date of the restoration was shown. Information for this record was supplied by the Grand Lodge. This custom, however, was gradually discontinued as it became too much of a burden upon the secretaries, but it was not until 1891 that the Grand finally dispensed with the ruling, although it continued for a while to provide the subordinate Lodges with circulars containing the names of those who had been rejected, suspended, or expelled. The Lodges are no longer required to keep a file on the subject.
On December 4, 1857, it was decided that the Lodge would not vote for more than one degree at a time to any candidate. It was also determined that the Secretary, heretofore unpaid, should receive an annual salary of $75.00 and 5 per cent of all collections for the faithful discharge of his duties but not until he discharged the duties to the satisfaction of the finance committee. The salary was to be paid in quarterly installments of $18.75.
On December 2, 1859, our Lodge recommended that the Grand Lodge grant a dispensation to open a new Lodge at Franklin, in the county of Sacramento.
THE W. F. KNOX JEWEL
Immediately following the joint installation ceremonies of the Sacramento Lodges by the Most Worshipful N. Greene CURTIS, Grand Master of Masons of California on December 27, 1860. Brother W. H. HILL on behalf of the members of Sacramento Lodge No. 40, presented Brother W. F. KNOX, the retiring Worshipful Master with a beautiful Past Master's jewel as a token of the respect and in appreciation of his services as Worshipful Master of our Lodge during the years 1857 to 1860 inclusive. The jewel made of pure gold, is now a treasured possession of our Lodge, it having been presented to us by the relatives of Brother Knox after his passing. The diamond which was originally set in the jewel was retained by the family. It has been replaced by a beautiful moonstone.
THE LAYING OF THE CORNERSTONE OF THE STATE CAPITOL
During the Twelfth Annual Communication of the Grand Lodge of California held in Sacramento City on Wednesday afternoon, May 15, 1861, the Most Worshipful Grand Master, N. Greene CURTIS, assisted by the Deputy Grand Master and the Grand Wardens laid the cornerstone of the State Capitol. After the ceremony, the Grand Lodge officers returned to the Masonic Hall and the Grand Master, in behalf of the fraternity of the City of Sacramento, invited all of its officers and members to partake of a banquet to be given in the Pavilion of the State Agricultural Society, located at the N. E. corner of 6th and M Streets, at 7:30 o'clock that evening. The members of the banquet committee were W. F. KNOX (Sacramento Lodge No. 40), J. H. CULVER (Tehama Lodge No. 3), Richard DALE (Union Lodge No. 58) and John WHITELAW (Concord Lodge No. 117). The report of the Banquet Committee indicated that $1,694.00 had been raised by subscription of which amount $100.00 had been contributed by the State of California. The cost of the Banquet was $1,523.00, leaving a balance of $170.24.
It is interesting to note that after the State Capitol was enlarged in 1952, some difficulty was experienced in locating the cornerstone, and it was not until communicating with the Grand Lodge that it was finally located.
On July 1, 1864, Sacramento Lodge No. 40 recommended to the Grand Master, the granting of a dispensation to form a new lodge at Elk Grove, Sacramento County.
On May 7, 1869, a committee was appointed to act with committees from the other Sacramento Lodges to purchase 5 acres of land adjoining the City Cemetery for a Masonic burial plot.
On April 29, 1870, Sacramento Lodge No. 40 agreed to contribute the same as the other lodges to defray the expense of sprinkling 10th Street from N Street to the City Cemetery.
On July 7, 1871, the salary of the Secretary was reduced to $75.00 per annum; the 5 per cent on collections to be discontinued.
On May 2, 1873, Sacramento Lodge No. 40 was presented with a picture representing King Solomon's Temple, by Bro. S. J. NATHAN "as token of his esteem to this Lodge and its members."
The Minute Book containing the minutes of the Lodge from December 4,1874 to April 6, 1888 is missing. It was presumably lost while the records were being transferred from the Masonic Temple at 6th and K streets to the present location.
On January 3, 1890, our representative to the Masonic Hall Association was instructed to act favorably with the other delegates in the purchase of a new pipe organ to be installed in the Masonic Hall.
On March 6, 1891, all other business being finished, the Worshipful Master requested that all who were not members of this Lodge retire. Bro. R. B. HARMON then arose and in appropriate words presented Sacramento Lodge No. 40 with a check for $500.00 on behalf of Bro. Jefferson WILCOXSON who realized that his time allotted upon this earth was fast drawing to a close. Bro. WILCOXSON who was unable to be present expressed the wish that no publicity whatever be given to the gift as it was intended for Sacramento Lodge only to know of its existence.
On August 5, 1892, a communication was received from David Lubin, President of the Historical Committee of the State Fair for 1892, requesting a loan of curios, relics, pictures, historical documents, etc. for exhibition in the historical section but he was informed that our Lodge was not in possession of any articles which would be of interest to the committee.
On March 3, 1893, the Secretary's salary was raised to $100.00 per annum to take effect July 1, 1893.
On May 5, 1893, a contribution was made to Fall River Lodge No. 276 of Burgettville, Shasta County which requested assistance to enable it to retain its Hall which it was liable to lose by a foreclosure of the mortgage. According to the records of Grand Lodge, Fall River Lodge No. 270 failed to exist after Oct. 10, 1895.
On April 1, 1898, a committee of three was appointed to draft suitable resolutions expressive of the high appreciation of Sacramento Lodge No. 40 for the work done by Detective FISHER and others in promptly arresting the assailants of our Brother CROLY and placing them in "felon cells" and on May 6, 1898, the following resolutions were unanimously adopted.
"Whereas, Brother E. J. CROLY, a respected and upright citizen of this community and a member of Sacramento Lodge No. 40 F & A. M. on the night of March 21, 1898, and in the sanctity of his own home, was assassinated (assailed) and almost killed by ruffians and thugs, and
Whereas, by the energy, vigilance and fidelity to duty of the peace officers of the City of Sacramento and particularly of Chief of Police Thomas DWYER and officer Michael FISHER, the assailants of Mr. CROLY have been detected and brought to speedy conviction and punishment, and
Whereas said officers above named have thereby earned and richly merit the confidence and gratitude of all good citizens.
Therefore be it Resolved, that Sacramento Lodge No. 40 F. & A. M., heartily commends and applauds the effective and creditable work of Chief of Police DWYER and Officer FISHER in their excellent service in the arrest and conviction of assailants of Mr. CROLY, and hereby extends to each of them its sincere and grateful appreciation of their work and fidelity to duty, and
Be it further Resolved that these resolutions be spread at large upon the minutes of the Lodge and that an engrossed copy thereof be presented to each of said officers."
E. C. HOPKINS
W. D. KNIGHTS
JOSEPH W. HUGHES
On April 7, 1899 a resolution was adopted expressing the wish, the other Blue Lodges concurring, that the Masonic Hall Committee be authorized to purchase an organ for the benefit of the five Blue Lodges, the price not to exceed $500.00.
On May 5, 1899 it was ordered that 250 ballots, one third of which should be cubes and two thirds balls he purchased and that the ballot box used by the Lodge be suitably lined with a soft cushion.
On June 2, 1899 it was ordered that the Lodge purchase a set of working tools at a cost not to exceed $100.00.
On January 5, 1900, a communication from Tehama Lodge No. 3 was received extending a cordial invitation to all the members of Sacramento Lodge No. 40 together with their wives to attend its fiftieth anniversary.
On February 2, 1900 announcement was made that Bro. Charles W. FRAZIER, Past Master of Sacramento Lodge No. 40 had been appointed inspector of the 18th Masonic District.
On May 30, 1903, the following resolution was introduced by Bro. I. B. GIFFEN, and adopted---
"The Order in this City has grown to such an extent as to render our hall inadequate for its uses.
Be it resolved, That it is the sense of Sacramento Lodge No. 40 that the trustees of the Masonic Hall Association be empowered and authorized to sell the Masonic Temple and to arrange for a site and to build a modern Masonic Temple suitable for the requirements of the Masonic bodies of this City."
On September 4, 1903, the Committee on the 50th Anniversary of our Lodge recommended that the History of the Golden Jubilee be printed and together with a souvenir of the same be placed in a copper box suitably engraved and the box to be placed in the archives of the Lodge to be opened just before the celebration of our 100th anniversary.
Notice was also given that the Grand Lodge would lay the cornerstone of the Westminster Presbyterian Church (then located at the corner of 13th and K streets) on Monday, Sept. 7, and it was ordered that we pay our proportion of expense of a brass band for that occasion.
On October 2, 1903, a communication was received from the Westminster Presbyterian Church thanking the Lodge for our presence and assistance at the laying of the cornerstone of its building on Sept. 7, 1903.
On April 5, 1907, Past Master, William Monroe PETRIE presented a photograph of the original certificate of membership or diploma of Brother John Drake SLOAT, Rear Admiral of the United States Navy, dated October 16, 1805. On the morning of July 7, 1846 Brother SLOAT raised the flag of the United States at Monterey and proclaimed California annexed to the United States.
On May 3, 1907, the offices and members of our Lodge were extended a cordial invitation by Concord Lodge No. 117 to join with it in the celebration of its 50th anniversary on May 15, 1907.
A CRITICAL PERIOD IN THE HISTORY OF SACRAMENTO LODGE NO. 40
Perhaps the most critical period in the history of our Lodge extended from about the middle of 1908 to early 1912 during which all petitions for the degrees were denied by ballot and there was only one affiliation. This crisis was due, it is believed to the stand taken by one or two members who were determined that no petitions should be favorably acted upon.
In 1910, the membership was summoned to attend a special meeting at which every effort was made to create harmony among the brethren. Speeches were made and a committee appointed to bring about the desired effect, but apparently without effect.
The Most Worshipful Grand Master, on three separate occasions, at the request of the Lodge, issued a special dispensation for the reballoting upon the petition of a certain candidate who had been rejected, but it was not until another petitioner had been received by ballot early in 1912, that the candidate was subsequently elected to receive the degrees, and from thence on, elections proceeded in a normal manner.
On August 2, 1912, our Lodge decided to set aside a sum, not to exceed $300 as a nucleus for the establishment of a Masonic Library for the use of all members of the fraternity and the Board of Trustees of the Masonic Temple Association was authorized to establish such a library. A resolution was also adopted creating the office of librarian who would cooperate with other librarians appointed from other Lodges, members of the Masonic Temple Association, the librarian to be appointed by the Worshipful Master and to hold office for one year.
On January 11, 1916 the first funeral was conducted by Sacramento Lodge No. 40 under the ruling of the Grand Lodge whereby it was no longer necessary that the members meet at the Lodge rooms and open Lodge in due form and return to the Lodge and close. It was made mandatory however that the Secretary must make a record to show that the Brother was buried by the Lodge, giving a list of officers present and the date of the funeral.
This was in accordance with the provisions of Sec. 164 amended at the 1914 annual communication of Grand Lodge. A letter from the Grand Master dated March 24, 1917 stated that when the funeral is held in the Lodge Room, the Lodge must be formally opened.
On February 16, 1917 there was a banquet and a presentation of a jewel to the retiring Master, Allyn L. BURR, by the 25 men who had been raised during the year 1916. An account of the evening was rendered by Secretary Irvine as follows:
"The foregoing can hardly be considered as a part of the
records of this Lodge as it was not opened in due form but I have
inscribed them here as a token of brotherly love to the above named
Brethren for the pleasure given their guests and the thought also
Came to me that in the years to come perhaps when many of them
had entered that "Temple not made with hands," some of their sons
or even grandsons might be looking over the archives of good old
No. 40 this page would be testimony that their ancestors were among
the good fellows that contributed to the welfare and pleasure of their
brethren and guests and helped swell the roll of 1916. I therefore
dedicate this page to the class of 1916.
Fraternally and Sincerely,
R. C. IRVINE, Secretary"
Note: The 25 men raised during the year 1916 were:
Henry Edwin MARVIN
Clarence Hugh MILLER
George Albert SPENCER
Paul Adrian BAUER
Lemuel Oscar LUMRY
Loucien Garton BRAYTON
Henry "R" BROWN
George Collis HICKINGBOTHAM
Frank Veach MAYO
Edward Stratten JONES
Charles Henry MAUERHAN
Donald Harvey ARMSTRONG
George Washington BARR
Hans Andreas DAAE
R J CLARK
Leslie Thomas SHOWLER
Franklin Addison MORAST
George John HENLE, Jr.
Benjamin Howard MARSH
Garrett Gillis DOTY
Gustav Henry WENDT
Arthur Matthew SCHROTH
Harry Andrew HAMILTON
Charles Leslie SWANTON
Of these 25 men Brothers MILLER, SPENCER, LUMRY, HENLE, HICKINGBOTHAM, BARR, SCHROTH, and SWANTON are still members of Sacramento Lodge No. 40.
On September 6, a committee consisting of Bros. James B. GIFFEN, P.M., W. H. RENWICK, W.M., R. C. IRVINE, Secretary, Frank TADE, P.M., H. H. STEPHENSON, P.M., and F. F. ATKINSON was empowered to employ a stenographer and interview the old Masons regarding the early history of California Masonry so that it could be filed in the archives for future generations. So far as it can be ascertained, this was never accomplished.
On Sept. 3, 1920, a vote of thanks was extended to Bro. William DUPEN for a very beautiful and useful "Low Twelve" gong which he had recently presented to the Lodge and the Secretary was instructed to write him under the seal of the Lodge thanking him for the gift.
On January 5, 1923, an emblematic perpetual calendar for the secretary's desk was presented to the Lodge by Bro. Charles F. WRIGHT.
On August 3, 1923, Bro. Fredd MOORE announced that he was organizing a class to read to Bro. John REEVES who eyesight had failed. A class large enough to supply a reader each night was desired. The Lodge was closed out of respect for our Brother Warren G. HARDING, President of the United States who had been called from labor the day before at 7:30 P.M. in San Francisco.
On January 2, 1925 the formation of Provident Lodge in Sacramento was approved, and we wished the original petitioners success.
On February 6, 1925 the formation of Three Pillars Lodge in Sacramento was approved and we wished the original petitioners success.
On Nov. 5, 1926 a request was received from Bro. R. R. CARRYL, a member of Courtland Lodge No. 1034, New York, asking the location of ground where he could pan out $5.00 per day in gold.
On Sept. 3, 1937, a special committee was appointed to compile biographies of our fifty-year brethren and also of any other members whose biographies would be of interest to the Lodge, a copy to be sent to Grand Lodge. Apparently this was never done.
On February 3, 1939, the Secretary was authorized to procure whatever materials he thought necessary to properly preserve certain historical data and records which he had just located and which it was deemed proper to carefully protect against destruction or loss. The Secretary was appointed a committee of one to correlate, arrange and mount the data referred to above, he having the authority to draw upon the membership for assistance in the preparation of such records.
On April 7, 1939, Past Master Charles Madison SMITH reported completion of the steps taken to preserve the records of the Lodge and it was the pleasure of the membership that it be one of the important duties of the Secretary of this Lodge to continue each year the records of this Lodge as brought up to date by our Secretary and to take such steps as may be necessary to carefully preserve these records.
On May 7, 1939, Secretary SMITH reported that the 19 volumes of the Proceedings of the Grand Lodge of California missing from the files of the State Library had been supplied by the office of the Grand Secretary; that the Proceedings from 1850 to 1938 were now available and that other volumes would be added as they were published.
At this meeting it was decided that it shall be required of each Master of Sacramento Lodge No. 40 as soon as practicable after his installation to have his photograph taken in the clothing and regalia of his official position and that the Lodge shall defray the expense of securing one copy of such photograph in order that it may be included in the book of History and Past Masters of our Lodge, the photograph to be mounted with the original papers executed by such Master at the time of his having either received his degrees in this Lodge or affiliating with us.
On June 2, 1939, the Secretary was authorized to prepare and to mail biography blanks to the entire membership of our Lodge and to arrange the biographies received in a suitable binder.
On July 7, 1939, a committee was appointed to purchase a safe to be used, in addition to the one the Lodge then owned, for the preservation of our records.
On December 22, 1939, the officers for the ensuing Masonic year were installed at an open public ceremony for the first time in the history of Sacramento Lodge No. 40.
On October 2, 1942 the Worshipful Master announced that the estate of our late brother William Domer Shonefelt, having been settled, Sacramento Lodge No. 40 received a one-eighth interest therein or a net sum of $2,025.25
On Nov. 6, 1942, a roll of honor of those members who served in World War II was prepared and presented to Sacramento Lodge No. 40 by Bro. John W. McPARTLAND.
On July 5, 1946, a letter dated June 1, 1946 was received from the M.W. Grand Master Arthur W. BROUILLET appealing for funds to restore the building of old Yolo Lodge No. 81 F. & A.M. Yolo, California which building was recently completely destroyed by fire.
On Aug. 2, 1946, Sacramento Lodge No. 40 donated $500 to Yolo Lodge No. 81 to assist it in rebuilding the Masonic Temple in Yolo which was recently destroyed by fire.
On July 11, 1947 Sacramento Lodge participated with other Sacramento Lodges in supplying replacement jewels for the officers of Yolo Lodge No.81, the original jewels having been destroyed by fire. It is interesting to note that Isaac DAVIS, an original petitioner of Sacramento Lodge No. 40 was one of the founders of Yolo Lodge No. 81 which received its dispensation Jan. 24, 1855 and its charter on May 3, 1856. He was made an honorary member of that Lodge. He withdrew from Yolo Lodge No. 81 in 1863.
On July 11, 1947, Secretary Charles Madison SMITH, P.M., received a vote of thanks from the Lodge for having the By-laws Book reconstructed and for research work performed over and above the regular duties of his office.
On March 5, 1948, W. M. Volney SCOTT tendered both
his personal thanks and those of our Lodge to Bro. Frank MILLER for three
beautiful gavels which he presented to Sacramento Lodge No. 40. The gavels are
made from splendid specimens of lignum vitae and the handiwork is exceedingly
On September 3, 1948, a committee was appointed to endeavor to locate our missing minute book covering the period from December 4, 1874, to April 6, 1888. In spite of the exhaustive search made for this minute book it has not been located.
On October 1, 1948, Sacramento Lodge No. 40 agreed to participate with the other local Lodges on a pro-rata basis in the supplying to Georgetown Lodge No. 25, Georgetown, California, Masonic jewels to replace those recently lost in the disastrous fire which destroyed nearly all the Lodge effects.
On August 4, 1950, W. M. Alfred Merrill FISHER read a letter of resignation from the office of Secretary effective 12:01 o'clock A.M., Friday, Sept. 1, 1950, of Charles Madison SMITH, Past Master, due to ill health and Bro. Harry Murdock BAKER, Past Master, was appointed to fill the position.
On Sept. 1, 1950, a presentation from the officers and Past Masters of Sacramento Lodge was made by Past Master Walter STODDARD to our beloved outgoing Secretary, Charles Madison SMITH, and his loving wife, Mabel, although the latter was not present except in spirit. Brother SMITH was presented with a nice table model radio and also a beautiful table lamp for Mrs. SMITH who had been such a pillar of strength and assistance to Brother SMITH and who had rendered unseen service to our Lodge for many years.
On May 2, 1952, biographical sketches of Past Grand Masters James Lawrence ENGLISH and Edmund Clement ATKINSON, which had been prepared by Past Master Walter E. STODDARD were incorporated in the minutes of our Lodge. These biographies had been previously read by Worshipful Master Eugene HUSTON at a service held at the Sacramento City Cemetery April 5, 1952, when Grand Master Louis C. DRAPEAU paid tribute to the deceased Past Grand Master of this area.
On May 9, 1952, the ritualistic work of Bethel No. 159 of the International Order of Job's Daughters was exemplified before the members of Sacramento Lodge No. 40. Miss Patricia LUSK, Honored Queen of this Bethel is the daughter of Hilton E. LUSK, Past Master of Sacramento Lodge No. 40 and Associate Guardian of the Bethel.
On October 23, 1952, the marble cornerstone of the annex to the Public Works Building of the State of California at 12th and O Streets, Sacramento, was laid by Chester H. WARLOW, member of the California Highway Commission and Past Grand Master of Masons in California. The working tools of the craft were supplied by Sacramento Lodge No. 40.
On March 9, 1953, the Executive Committee of the Centennial Celebration of Sacramento Lodge No. 40 met at the home of Junior Warden John VINING. Those present were Boyd COLLIER, Worshipful Master; Forrest Robinson, Senior Warden; John VINING, Junior Warden; Past Masters Nathan GARTNER, Eugene HUSTON, and Walter STODDARD and members Fred AUFORTH and John CLARK.
During the meeting, the copper box which was sealed and placed in the archives of our Lodge on March 4, 1904, by the Committee on the Fiftieth Anniversary, was opened. In the box were found the following:
(1) 1904 Roster of Sacramento Masonic Lodges.
(2) Souvenir Booklet of the 50th Anniversary.
(3) Pamphlet entitled "Golden Jubilee - Sacramento Lodge No. 40 F.
& A. M. 1853-1903."
It was the consensus among those present that these documents, together with appropriate souvenirs of our Centennial celebration and other interesting documents he deposited in a box to be opened immediately prior to the celebration of our 150th anniversary.
© 2007 Sally Kaleta.
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