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THE FIRST 100 YEARS

OF

SACRAMENTO LODGE No.40

 

 

 

ISAAC DAVIS

 

 

 

                   Isaac Davis, an original petitioner of Sacramento Lodge, was born on the eastern shore of Maryland December 22, 1797; the fifth of eight children, six sons and two daughters. The family moved to Perry County, Ohio when Isaac was ten years old, and there he was raised on a farm. After marriage and the birth of his two children, Jerome C., and Elenora S., Isaac Davis moved to Knox County, Ohio and operated a large farm until his departure for California in 1851. In California, he acquired large tracts of land in Yolo County, and being financially independent he devoted nearly all of his time to fraternal activities although he was elected County Judge of Yolo County, serving from 1857 to 1859. The town of Davis (formerly Davisville) in Yolo County was named after Isaac Davis. Isaac Davis was initiated an Entered Apprentice Mason on September 13, 1826, passed to the degree of Fellowcraft and raised to the sublime degree of Master Mason on the same evening, November 9, 1826 in Somerset Lodge No. 76, Somerset, Perry County, Ohio. There is no record of his withdrawal but in the 1843 returns of Mount Zion Lodge No. 9, Mt. Vernon, Knox County, Ohio, Isaac Davis is reported as Senior Deacon. He dimitted from that Lodge October 3, 1845. In 1846, Isaac Davis is reported as having affiliated with Salem Lodge No. 87 F. & A. M. at New Salem, Fairfield County, Ohio from which he dimitted in 1847. This Lodge surrendered its charter in 1892. When Washington Lodge No. 20 F. & A. M. Sacramento, California was organized February 26, 1852, Brother Isaac Davis was one of the original petitioners and was elected an honorary member; also when Sacramento Lodge No. 40 was organized July 26, 1853, Bro. Davis was an original petitioner. He apparently maintained dual membership in both lodges. In May, 1853, the Grand Lodge of California appointed Isaac Davis a member of a special committee for the "Uniformity of the Work." This committee recommended that a Grand Lecturer be appointed who would be required to devote full time to instructing the Lodges of the State in ritualistic work and Bro. Davis was appointed as the first full time Grand Lecturer serving until 1856 when he was appointed on a committee on foreign correspondence for the Grand Lodge. At the laying of the cornerstone of the County Courthouse of Sacramento County on Sept. 27, 1854, the first cornerstone to be laid by the Grand Lodge of California, Bro. Davis served as Grand Marshal. The building located at the corner of 7th and I Streets, Sacramento, was used as the State Capitol from its completion date January 1, 1855 until the present Capitol was ready for use in 1869. Isaac Davis was also Grand Marshal at the ceremonies of the Grand Lodge when it laid the cornerstone on May 15, 1861, for this present State Capitol. He was one of the founders of Yolo Lodge No. 81 Yolo, California, which received its dispensation January 24, 1855, and its charter May 3, 1856, and was made an honorary member of that Lodge until his withdrawal in 1863. In 1861 he was also made an honorary member of Caymus Lodge No. 93 at Yountville. Withdrawing from Washington Lodge No. 20, Bro. Davis assisted in the organization of Woodland Lodge No. 156, Woodland, California which obtained its dispensation on July 18, 1862 and its charter on May 14, 1863. He was the first Worshipful Master of this Lodge and served during the years 1863, 1864, 1865, and 1866, withdrawing in December, 1867. On Nov. 4, 1867 Isaac Davis applied for affiliation with Tehama Lodge No. 3 and on December 2, 1867 he was not only elected to membership, but was elected Worshipful Master of that Lodge and after serving a year he was reelected December 7, 1868, and served as Master until his death. The last meeting over which he presided was held on Sept. 6, 1869. He passed away on the evening of Oct. 22, 1869 at his residence at the N. W. Corner of 9th and D Streets, Sacramento, at the age of 72 years. On Oct. 31, 1869 funeral services were conducted by Rev. William Henry Hill (Master of Sacramento Lodge No. 40 in 1869) at the Grace Episcopal Church located on 8th Street between I and J Streets. After the service Tehama Lodge took charge of the funeral procession and bore the remains to the City Cemetery where Masonic Services were read by the Grand Master Leonidas E. Pratt. In his subsequent address to the Grand Lodge, Grand Master Pratt said: "The example itself of such a career as his, is a treasure not to be excelled; and we shall honor ourselves in paying to his memory the extraordinary distinction usually accorded to Masters of our Art. A Past Grand Commandant and Past Grand High Priest of this jurisdiction, he should have been your Grand Master. The dignity of his character, his retiring modesty, his aversion to the arts and intrigues of a contest for preferment--too often prevalent even in this Grand Body--his disposition to decline rather than seek the suffrages of his brethren, alone kept him from that distinction. As a Grand Lecturer, his faithful services and high character were of incalculable benefit to the Fraternity. The circumstances of his burial did not seem to call for, or permit, the convening of the Grand Lodge; but in company with many of the Grand Officers, attended by a large body of Knights Templar and a goodly delegation of prominent brethren, I repaired to the City of Sacramento, and there performed the last rites due his hallowed dust..." Isaac Davis was a charter member and the first Illustrious Master of Sacramento Council No. 1 Royal and Select Master Masons organized Aug. 9, 1853. He was Illustrious Master during the years 1853, 1854, 1858, and 1859. He was the first Grand Master of the Grand Council of Royal and Select Masters of California, organized June 26, 1864. He was a charter member and the first Commander of Sacramento Commandery No. 2 organized June 5, 1853, and chartered Feb. 6, 1854. He was Commander during the years 1853, -54, -55, -56, and -58, and was Grand Commander during the year 1858. While a member of Woodland Lodge No. 156 F. & A. M. Bro. Davis at the age of 69 years petitioned for the degrees of Scottish Rite Masonry in Palestine Lodge of Perfection No. 3 Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite in Sacramento. His petition was granted, the fees remitted and the degrees conferred upon him by E. H. SHAW, Inspector General for California. In 1868 he attained the 32nd degree which was probably communicated by E. H. Shaw. The charter of Palestine Lodge was revoked on January 15, 1874 by order of the State Supreme Council and Scottish Rite Masonry was dormant in Sacramento for about 24 years. The Rite was reorganized in April 1895 and the Isaac Davis Lodge of Perfection No. 4 was named after Bro. Davis as a tribute to the esteem in which he was held by his brethren.

 

 

Transcribed by Sally Kaleta.

Proofread by Betty Vickroy.


2007 Sally Kaleta.

 

 

 


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