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One Hundred Year History of Mt. Moriah Lodge No. 77

1848 to 1948

BACK in the days of the tallow candles, quill pens and the old fashioned stoves which were heated with wood, when Andersontown was a small community, Mt. Moriah Lodge came into existence. It was born not by mere chance but by the untiring efforts of a few energetic and leading citizens of this compact little settlement on the banks of White River.

     As the pages of history are turned back for more than a century, events began to unfold themselves so that we might relive for a short time and visualize how our own Masonic Lodge was founded. As we carefully turn the pages back to 1848 we find according to the records, men interested in Masonic work, men who were apparently Masons previous to the time of their settling in Andersontown. Now they wished to bring to this town a Lodge for Masonry. We say they were apparently Masons previous to settling here as our histories and records do not record their ever taking the work in Andersontown. They came here from various places in the country and could have been Masons in older Lodges in more settled regions.

     The professions of these men who were interested in Masonry varied and represented many types of business and professions. For example, we find in the old pages yellow from age: Boot and Shoe Maker, Butcher, Cabinet Maker, Sheriff, Lawyer, Tinner, Farmer, Commercial Merchant, In­surance and Doctor. The ages of these early leaders were from 34 to 54 years, most of them being below the 40 year mark. These were the men who were making history.

     On May 23, 1848, we find where this group made applica­tion to the Grand Lodge of Indiana for Dispensation. It is recorded as such: "Your committee on Charters and Dispensations recommend that a Dispensation be granted to the brethren at Andersontown, Madison County, to be called Mt. Moriah, Under Dispensation and that Henry Wyman be the first Worshipful Master, Adam Reid, the first Senior Warden and Robert Worster, the first Junior Warden,"

     This petition was received and granted by the Grand Lodge in 1848 when E. Deming was the Grand Master and A. W. Morris was the Grand Secretary of the Indiana Grand Lodge. A copy of the original Dispensation reads "Annual Return of the name and rank of the officers and members of Mt. Moriah Lodge A. L. 5848 held in the Masonic Hall in the town of Anderson, County of Madison, State of Indiana, under a dispensation dated 26th May A.D. 1848 from the Grand Lodge of the State of Indiana with a statement of Admissions, Initiations, Passing and Raising which have taken place since the granting of said dispensations."

     Officers who were elected to assume other offices in Mt.Moriah Lodge were: Robert N. Williams, Secretary; G. T. Hoover, Treasurer; Townsend Ryan, Senior Deacon and John H. Davis, Junior Deacon.

     During the time when the lodge was operating under the Dispensation the seven officers of Mt. Moriah Lodge conferred the work on seven candidates consisting of: Richard Lake, George W. Bowen, Addison D. Williams, John Galli­more, Ransom A. Atherton, Charles Dasy and Burkett Edes. Initiation fees at that time were $15.00, the Grand Lodge receiving seventy-five cents of this amount. A few years later George W. Bowen and Addison D. Williams became Masters of this Lodge.

     Apparently, this group of Masons, at least the first seven, had been meeting for some time prior to the granting of the Dispensation as on Thursday, May 30th, 1848, A. L. 5848. a motion was made to change the Stated Meeting from Thursday evening preceding full moon to Saturday evening preceding full moon.

     The Masonic work of this group went on in earnest. Dur­ing the course of one of the meetings a motion was made and seconded by Bro. Wyman and Bro. Ryan to procure a Charter and purchase Jewels from the Grand Lodge. The charter, according to the records, was received from the Grand Lodge on June 1, 1849. It is thus written in the rec­ords: "Mount Moriah Lodge Under Dispensation. Your Com­mittee finds the by-laws and work of this lodge, correct and ask the adoption of the following resolution: Resolved - That a charter be granted to Mt. Moriah Lodge No. 77. That Henry Wyman be the Worshipful Master, Adam Reid the Senior Warden, Robert Worster the Junior Warden of said Lodge." Henry Wyman, the Worshipful Master, duly in­stalled the following officers: Adam Reid, Senior Warden; G. W. Bowman, Junior Warden; P. S. Hayward, Senior Dea­con; Ransom A. Atherton, Junior Deacon; Richard Lake, Sec­retary; G. T. Hoover, Treasurer; Robert Wooster, Tyler; John Gallimore and Burkett Edes as Stewards. This event was then followed by the regular and colorful ceremony of instal­lation on June 4th, 1849, by the Deputy Grand Master, Bro. Anthony, who was appointed by the Grand Lodge of Indiana to make the formal installation.

     This evidently was an energetic group of individuals who believed in getting things done as the minutes dated June 9, 1849, (five days after the official installation) read that a committee was appointed to superintend the construction and erection of a Masonic Hall.

     When Mt. Moriah's first Master settled in Andersontown in May 1832, the total population was sixty people, old and young, living in nine families. The country north of White River had just been open for settlement. This was during the period when the Delaware Indians were numerous in the region between Muncie and Anderson. Chief Anderson's tribe consisting of 1000 Red Skins was ruled from Chief An­derson's Teepee which was located at 9th and Main where the Old Doxey House stood, which is now the site of the Mil­ner Hotel

     During the organization of Mt. Moriah Lodge in 1848 and 1849 the population had grown to 382 white persons, now a thriving place. Brother Wyman took a leading part in the affairs of the county. Beside his interest in Masonic work he was among the first Physicians to practice medicine in this community. He was also identified with the Pioneer Press, editor of the Western Telegraph and was a member of the state legislature 1837 and 1838. We were fortunate enough to find in the records that Henry Wyman was made a Master Mason in 1827 in New York. We presume this to be New York City. He was in his early forties when he was Master of this Lodge.

     Early settlers of Indiana organized Masonic Lodges in log cabins of the wilderness. The first lodges were organized at Vincennes, Lawrenceburg, Vevay, Rising Sun, Madison, Charlestown, Brookville, Salem and Corydon, receiving their Dispensations and Charters from Ohio and Kentucky. On December 3. 1817, delegates from these lodges met at Cory­don to make arrangements for organizing a Grand Lodge for the territory of Indiana. Hence Mt. Moriah received the Dispensation and Charter by which it now operates from the Grand Lodge of Indiana.

     Mt. Moriah purchased on May 17, 1849, two shares of stock from the Grand Lodge at the cost of $25.00 per share, for the erection of a Grand Masonic Hall in Indianapolis.

     The first meeting place for the newly organized Mt. Moriah Lodge members was located in a room on the second floor of the Court House. This lodge room was used for five years until 1854 when it was moved to the United States Hotel on the south-west corner of 9th and Main Streets.

     During the early period a ballot was taken on a candidate preceding each degree, before he was permitted to advance to the next degree in Masonry. One very interesting fact was that the lodge was opened and closed in due and ancient form on all three degrees each meeting night.

     In the year of 1850, March 23, Henry Wyman was granted a demit from the lodge, having left the city. However, on December 25th, 1852, he returned and petitioned the Lodge for readmission which was granted. Demit dated January 23, 1864, was again granted.

     As the Lodge progressed many furnishings were added such as drapes, carpets, stoves, chairs, candlesticks and etc. Previous to this however all necessary equipment was pur­chased to open the lodge in due and ancient form.

     Dues and initiation fees were small but in accordance with the value of money of that day. For example: A heating stove for the lodge complete with pipe and a load of wood cost the lodge $17.25, thirty-six chairs and three brass candle holders totaled $31.35, aprons fifteen cents apiece, a new carpet $15.00. For laying a complete floor in the new lodge room across the street from the Court House $10.00 yet the lodge carried a balance of cash on their books of $100.54 in 1852.

     In the year of 1852 Mt. Moriah Lodge No. 77 observed the 4th day of November "The Centennial of George Washington being made a Mason." For this special event Madison Lodge No. 44 and Middletown Lodge No. 53 were invited to attend a large dinner. The membership of all three lodges adjourned to the court room of the Court House after the dinner to hear an elegant address delivered by Henry Wyman who was asked to come for that occasion.

     For several years the annual Installation of Officers was a public celebration and a real event. Bands and parades were held for it was surely an outstanding honor to be in­stalled as an officer in the Masonic Lodge.

     For your personal information and a comparison to our way of thinking to-day we are incorporating a few resolu­tions passed in the earlier minutes of yester-years. The Wor­shipful Master in 1850 appointed a committee from the lodge to confer with the Sons of Temperance. Presumably, as a result of this committees work the following article was thus written in the By-Laws: "Prohibiting intemperance, swearing and gaming under penalty of reprimand, suspension or expulsion of the member so offending." On May 10th 1851, the following resolution was adopted: "Resolved that hereafter each member of the Lodge be required to pay his Grand Lodge dues in addition to his assessed annual dues instead of this lodge paying the same. This to take effect and be in force from its adoption." For many years it was cus­tomary for the candidate to pay his initiation fee on the day his Entered Apprentice degree was conferred.

     In 1857, several resolutions were passed to conform with the thinking of that day. Four of which were as follows: "Each candidate shall be examined in open Lodge for proficiency before advancing to the next degree." "After a peti­tion has been received and put on the minutes it cannot be withdrawn except by three-fourths vote of membership." "Any member knowing a Brother to be under the influence of drink shall report to the Worshipful Master. First offense. Reprimand; Second offense, Suspension indefinitely; Third offense, Expulsion from Lodge." "Same procedure for gamb­ling or use of profane language except expulsion."

     During the dark days when the country was torn asun­der by the Civil War, the increase in memberships was al­most at a stand-still. Many Masonic Lodges in the South were practically ruined financially, and their Temples laid low by the ravages of War but the brotherly love still pre­vailed among men and Masons even though the terrific dif­ferences in opinions existed regarding the cause of the Civil War. In September 1866 a communication from the Frater­nity of Columbia, South Carolina was acted upon and thus is written in the minutes.

     "Motion made to donate $50.00 to help rebuild their sac­red altars laid to waste by the ravage of war." Our Lodge again readily donated to a Masonic Lodge in Virginia to help restore the Temple so men could again meet as Masons.

     On July 25th, 1855, the Lodge was again moved to the upper south room and the north-west room of the court house. Arrangements were made with the county commissioners to pay an annual rent of $25.00, the lodge to stand all damages and to see that the court house door was locked when they left. The room was plastered and white-washed in preparation for their first meeting in this new lodge room. This lodge room was used until 1862.

     In the year of 1862 the Lodge was moved to me top floor of the Lee M. Trees building on the east side of the public square and maintained this location for four years until 1866 when a new and more suitable place was secured. This was on the top floor of the Schuster building, south-east corner of 8th and Main Street over Henderson's drug store. There was an out side stairway leading up to the entrance of the Masonic rooms of the building. Several of our present members remember going up this flight of stairs into the Lodge rooms. The Lodge remained here until it moved into a building that would be a permanent home built by and for the membership of Mt. Moriah Lodge along with the Ander­son Loan Association. The actual dedication of the new building will be found further along in this book.

     The date will be found inscribed on the Corner Stone of our present Temple located on the east side of Meridian Street between 10th and 11th Streets.

     In gathering the information pertaining to the Lodge locations we found many conflicting statements in various historical records. We believe however, these aforesaid loca­tions to be as nearly correct as we were able to prove.

     Ground was broken for this stately edifice in March 1895. The corner stone was laid by J. A. Thompson on the 21st of May following, and on the 23rd of March, 1896, it was for mally dedicated. The building is four stokes high, the front constricted of stone and architecture both graceful and artistic. The rooms devoted to lodge purposes are finished and appointed in elegant style, particularly the main hall which is one of the finest in Indiana, if not in the entire country. The ceiling is arched and a pretty gallery extends along the north, south and west sides of the hall and at an elevation that affords a fine view to those who occupy it. A spacious banquet hall is situated in the second story where the order can entertain its guests, in that sumptuous style for which it is so justly noted, without inconvenience or un­necessary expense. The kitchen supplied with a range and all other appliances and utensils necessary to a well regula­ted culinary department is situated upon the same floor. The rooms upon the first or ground floor are used for busin­ess purposes, and the front rooms of the second story for offices.

     The building was erected at a cost of $40,000. It is the finest in the country and members of the Masonic fraternity are justified in feeling proud of it.

     The following article was taken verbatim from the An­derson Herald dated February 8, 1895, one of the articles removed from the corner stone when opened in 1948.

"Morning Herald - February 8, 1895







     A deal was consummated yesterday where by the Masons purchase a 30 x 48 feet piece off the rear of James L. Bell's eleventh street property, and which insures the erection. of a new and elegant home for that order.

     When the Anderson Building and Loan Association an­nounced that they would build on South Meridian Street this year the Masons at once took time by the forelock and opened negotiations for part of the building.

     The Association had purchased the two lots on Meridian Street, just across the alley from Mrs. Griffith's annex to the hotel. They had a forty-eight feet frontage and ran back seventy-two feet.

     In the deal which was completed yesterday the lot is ex­tended thirty feet and the Masons purchase from the Asso­ciation half of their original purchase or twenty-four of the forty-eight foot frontage, with the understanding that they are to combine forces and erect a three story building that would lay anything else in the city clear in the shade.

     The general arrangement and construction of the build­ing has already been settled upon and the contract for plans and specifications will be let within the next week.

     It will occupy the entire lot - 100x48 feet _ _ will be of red pressed brick, three stories high, heated with steam, and lighted by electricity throughout. The front will be made especially attractive, even to the windows, which will be of the finest of plate glass and artistically arranged. It will be a modern building in every respect and built in a manner that will insure its popularity as well as beauty for ages to come.

     The ground floor will be made into two rooms and an en­trance to the second and third. The second will be put into offices and the third will be converted into the finest Masonic home in the great State of Indiana.

     The arrangement for the ground floor will give the Build­ing and Loan Association a room on the north side, with a 24 foot frontage. It will run back the length of their original lot, seventy-two feet. The Masons' room on the other side will run back 100 feet and will have the 24x34 foot annex behind the building. It will be arranged as a model store with a fine basement that may be used for retailing if neces­sary.

     The exact arrangement of the second floor has not as yet been decided upon, but it will be arranged so that the offices will be in suites and especially desirous for profes­sional men.

     The Masonic home on the third floor will be cut up into such rooms as will be handy for them. The 48x100 feet will give them plenty of room to do this and should make a de­lightful place.

     Work on the new structure will begin as soon as the plans are prepared and the weather will permit. It will be completed by September or October 1st and be occupied.

     The Masons will furnish their quarters in a manner that will be fully in keeping with the structure and give them precedence in this over all other lodges in this part of the State.

     The consideration in the deal closed with Mr. Bell yester­day is about $1,000.00."

     Other articles removed from the corner stone are as fol­lows: (1) Red book containing the names of officers and members, (1) copy Morning Herald, (1) copy The Democrat, (1) copy The Telegram, (1) copy Morning Herald, (1) copy The Bulletin, all dated May 21, 1895, except one copy of the Morning Herald which is dated February 8, 1895,' (1) book of By-Laws, sheet of paper containing names of officers, directors and stockholders, (1) Sheet containing names of Eastern Star members dated June 15, 1895, (1) card with the name W. J. Wolley, (1) 1796 Silver Dollar, (1) Blue rib­bon, (1) 1877 Silver Dollar, (1) copper piece with the im­print of Iron Nails and Glass, (1) Coin inscribed with the dates of 1857-1856 G. W. Hughel, (1) 1853 Half Dollar, (1) 1854 Half Dollar, (1) 1855 Half Dollar, (1) 1893 Columbia Half Dollar, (1) Fare Token. (1) 1891 Dime, (1) Key Stone with the name of W. L. Cook inscribed on one side, (1) Noti­fication card dated 1890, (1) Northwestern Masonic Aid As­sociation Card dated 1874-1895, (1) Muncie Commandry Card No. 18 K.T., (1) paper twenty-five cent piece, (1) paper ten cent piece, (1) Real-Estate card with the name of H. J. Blacklidge, (1) $100.00 Confederate Bill, (1) $50.00 Confed­erate Bill, (1) $20.00 Confederate Bill, (1) $5.00 Confederate Bill, (1) $5.00 Railroad Note, (1) $2.00 Farmers Merchant Bank Note, (1) $1.00 Confederate Bill, (1) $2.00 Confederate Bill and a fifty cent confederate piece.

     Those present at the opening were Asa McKinley, Robert Berry, Richard Hopkins, Frank Forcum, James Cain, Omer Springer, Carl A. Cottom and Otto A. Cottom, who was visiting in Indiana from California. Brick was removed from the top of the stone by Bro. Henry Lambert, a member of Mt. Moriah Lodge who is an operative as well as a specula­tive mason, to allow the box to be taken out. After examin­ing the box closely is was discovered that it had been sealed tightly and the contents were in perfect shape. The box was made of copper and was approximately 6x8x7. The box was taken to the office after it had been opened with a blow torch and the contents were examined by those present.

     It is our desire to re-place all the items in this box along with many other items after the Centennial celebration and reseal them again in the Corner Stone.

     Brother Thomas J. Stephens of Mt. Moriah was appoint­ed as Deputy Grand Master for Madison and Hamilton Counties on September 6, 1873.

     One of our members, James A. Thompson, served a total of twelve years as Worshipful Master of Mt. Moriah Lodge during the interval from 1866 to 1907, the exact years to be found on a chart found elsewhere in this book. His son, Frank Thompson, also has been one of our outstanding members and also served as our Worshipful Master.

     Seeing the need to advance with the times and being de­sirous of having good music the Lodge voted and purchased on organ on April 28, 1874. This was properly installed and used for a number of years.

     Mt. Moriah was active in many other communities in addition to our own. September 11, 1875, the Winchester Lodge invited Mt. Moriah Lodge No. 77 to participate in lay­ing of the corner stone of Randolph County Court House.

     A communication from Grant Lodge No. 105, F. & A. M. and Samaritan Lodge No. 391 of Marion, Indiana, inviting this Lodge to participate in the ceremonies of laying the corner stone of the Grant County Court House on Wednes­day, June 1, 1881, was read and received, on motion the invi­tation was accepted.

     The lodge was invited to attend the ceremonies of laying the corner stone of the Kosciusko County Court House at Wabash, May 25, 1882, and was accepted.

     On July 8, 1882, the Lodge met in a called meeting for the purpose of making arrangements for the laying of the corner stone of the new court house in Anderson, to be laid on the 17th of August 1882.

The Board appointed the following committee:

     B. F. Aiman to confer with Masonic Order.

     Geo. Ross to confer with Odd Fellows.

     Ino L. Forkner to confer with Red Men.

     J. J. Netterville to confer with Knights of Honor.

     Ins. F. Thurston and Jacob Bronnenberg to confer with the citizens.

     A. C. Davis and Allen Richwine to confer with the churches.

     B. F. Aiman, Randle Biddle, B. B. Campbell and Jesse L. Henry as a committee on printing.

     And the board orders that Mt. Moriah Lodge No. 77, F. & A. M. be requested to take charge of the ceremonies of laying said corner stone. Mt. Moriah Lodge No. 77 recommended the selection of Gov. Porter as orator of the day for the 17th day of August.

     On motion the lodge appropriated one hundred dollars out of the Lodge funds to be used for defraying expenses in­curred on the 17th of August 1882 connected with the corner stone ceremonies of Madison County Court House. The Lodge also agreed to guarantee payment for 500 dinner tickets on the 17th of August at a cost of 25c each. It was ordered that all Masons Marching with the Order in line of March in the procession on the 17th of August be given dinner tickets at the expense of the Lodge.

     On August 17, 1882, the Lodge met and formed in pro­cession and marched to the fair grounds for dinner after which they proceeded to the court house square where the ceremonies of laying the corner stone were performed under the direction of Grand Master Bruce Carr. Immediately after the close of G. Master Carr's address the Masonic order was withdrawn from the square and marched to the Hall.

     The laying of the Corner Stone of the New Madison County Court House took place on the 17th day of August 1882 and in many respects is the greatest event in the county's history. No civic demonstration before or since has equalled it in the "pomp and circumstance" that render such occasions memoriable. Extensive preparations were made for the occasion not only by the Board of Commission­ers, but by the city authorities of Anderson, the various fra­ternal societies and citizens generally. At a session of the Commissioners' Court it was ordered that the honor of lay­ing the corner stone be tendered to Mt. Moriah Lodge F. & A. M. of Anderson. Invitations were extended to the different social and benevolent orders throughout the county, and also to the Masonic Lodges in adjoining counties to be present and participate in the exercises. The early morning trains brought a number of Masonic delegations of citizens and by the time the procession was formed and ready to move, which was not until two o'clock in the afternoon, the streets around the square were almost impassable on account of the throngs of people. The parade was a grand spectacle and was witnessed by thousands of citizens who crowded the sidewalks along the line of March. The music of the bands was inspiring and the courtly Knights and Patriarchs in their handsome uniforms rendered the scene and occasion not only interesting but impressive. Major John T. Wildman was Grand Marshall. His aids were J. P. Barnes, C. K. McCul­lough and L. J. Burr on the part of the Masons.

     Hon. Bruce Carr, Grand Master of the Masonic fraternity of the State, took charge of the exercises of the laying of the corner stone. The corner stone weighed five tons and was lifted to its place in the foundation wall by means of an im­mense derrick amid the profoundest silence of the multi­tude. Its dimensions are 6 ft. 3 1/2 in. x 3 ft. 11 in. x 2 ft. 6 in­ches. The face of the stone is neatly dressed and carved, the mouldings forming a panel on which is inscribed: A.D. 1882 laid by Bruce Carr, G. M. of F. & A. M. Deposited in the stone is the History of Anderson chapter, R. A. M. N. 52 with roll of officers; Mt. Moriah Lodge No. 77, F. & A. M.; Alex­andria Lodge No. 235, F. & A. M.; Independence Lodge No. 281, F. & A. M.; Pendleton Chapter 51, F. & A. M.; Proceed­ings sixth annual meeting of Grand Lodge, F. & A. M., In­diana 1882. Proceedings Grand Chapter, Royal Arch Masons, Indiana 1881. Forty-fifth semi-annual communications of Grand Lodge, I. O. E. Indiana 1882. Proceedings ninth an­nual meeting Supreme Lodge, Knights of Honor, Baltimore, 1882. History Quincy Lodge No. 230, F. & A. M. and many other interesting items and records.

     The growth of the lodge, for many years, was not un­usual, and it experienced its seasons of activities as all sim­ilar organizations do in the course of their existence. But a few years previous to 1865 the membership of Mt. Moriah began to increase to such an extent that it was deemed ad­visable to organize another lodge .

     Accordingly a Dispensation for Anderson Lodge No. 114 was granted by the Grand Lodge of Indiana on December 16, 1865. Our records show that the charter was received on May 30th of the following year.

     After fifteen years of a separate existance, but meeting in Mt. Moriah's hall, Anderson Lodge No. 114 requested a con­solidation with Mt. Moriah Lodge No. 77, hence on Septem ber 18, 1880, we find the following motion in our Lodge Minutes: "Resolved that for the good of Masonry in this jurisdiction that Mt. Moriah No. 77 and Anderson Lodge No. 114 be consolidated into one lodge." Soon after this we find this insertion: "Lodge No. 77 and No. 114 were consolidated and the original charters of both Lodges combined and the Lodge to be known as Mt. Moriah Lodge No. 77, retaining the officers and adopting the Rules, Regulation and By-Laws of Mt. Moriah Lodge No. 77."

     At a stated meeting on January 19, 1878, it was moved that the next representative of the Grand Lodge be instruc­ted to use all honorable means to have the Annual meeting of the Grand Lodge suspended for ten years and the Annual Grand Lodge dues applied on the Grand Lodge debt. This idea however was discarded and as you will notice in the chart our Grand Lodge meetings were suspended in 1880­1882-1884 to aleviate expenses of these years.

     It was customary, as indicated by many older members, for the membership to turn out in large numbers to march in a funeral procession of a deceased brother accompanied by a Band. To substantuiate this information our minutes record such participation and numerous bills were allowed for Band expense for this purpose. It is also recorded that Lodge members were appointed to visit the sick brethren and to sit all night with a deceased brother.

     It was very interesting, as your committee progressed in accumulating data, to notice the various agreements and commitments entered into by the Lodge compared to our present day costs. For example: The Lodge entered into an agreement with the Lodge custodian to clean and sweep the hall and ante rooms belonging to the Lodge, build the fires, to saw and carry up the wood from the street, light the gas in hall rooms and keep fresh drinking water supplied for use at all lodge meetings. Keep the aprons washed and iron­ed and keep the spittoons cleaned. For which services, if well done, he is to receive fifty dollars a year.

     July 23, 1894, at a regular stated meeting a motion was made by one of the members that "Smoking or Chewing of tobacco was ordered hereafter prohibited." Presumable this meant in the Lodge rooms. During the same year the Lodge dues were increased from $2.00 to $2.50 per year. This was a year long remembered by H. J. Blacklidge who was ap­pointed Grand Marshall. Brother Blacklidge served in this capacity until the year of 1903.

     On March 9, 1896, a special committee which was ap­pointed by Worshipful Master J. M. Watkins, gave a report to the Lodge on arrangements for Dedicating the new Masonic Temple. All old furniture was disposed for the sum of $150.00. New furniture was purchased for the Lodge and the dedication of the Temple took place on March 24 and 25, 1896. A reception was held between the hours of 2:00 p. m. and 10:00 p. m. On duty to escort the enormous crowd of 5000 people were six Master Masons at all times. Six new escorts of Master Masons replaced those every hour during the entire two days. Seventeen Past Masters also took part in handling the dedication ceremonies. Continuous lunch was served during the dedication period. On the evening of March 25th at 7:30 the formal dedication took place. The regular officers of the Lodge vacated their chairs in favor of the Grand Lodge officers for the occasion. A welcome ad­dress was delivered by H. J. Blacklidge. After the impressive ceremony refreshments were served in the Banquet Hall and music was played for entertainment. The Dedication was one of the largest in this part of the country. People came from all over the state to see the new and stately building. Many, many members took part in the dedication cere­monies.

     From the records of this period we find that the ground floor of the present temple was divided into two parts with a stairway dividing the two.

     On the north side was located the Anderson Loan Com­pany which at that time was part owners of the building. The south side was rented for a short time to the Carpenter and Strom Bicycle Store and later to the Interurban Com­pany to be used as the local station. Later this room was occupied by the Coppas restaurant.

     After the Anderson Loan Company sold out its interest in the building, the North half was rented to the Cozy Thea­tre for a number of years.

     The second floor of the building was first used for busi­ness offices and later by the Commandry as a drill room. The records also show that the Anderson Public Library occupied what is now our dining room and at one time the city bowling alleys were located here.

     On February 28, 1898, Richard Lake passed away. We make mention of this due to the fact that brother Lake was the first initiated brother of Mt. Moriah Lodge No. 77.

     In 1898, on December 12th, the Lodge received a petition from fourteen petitioners of Lapel, Indiana, for organizing a new lodge.

     The 50th Anniversary of Mt. Moriah was celebrated on Thursday, June 22, by holding a basket Picnic for all mem­bers and their families at Chesterfield. A special Big 4 Train was chartered to take the groups to Chesterfield. For enter­tainment the Lodge secured Elliott's Band and a speaker of note was secured for the occasion.

     In the year of 1900 Lodge dues were again raised to $4.00 per year and initiation fees were increased from $20.00 to $30.00. J. A. Thompson was appointed chairman of a com mittee to solicit donations for payment of our Temple debt.

     Our beloved J. A. Thompson who served as Master of the Lodge for so many years was appointed District Deputy Grand Master and served in this capacity in 1901 and 1902.

     The first telephone was installed in the Temple in 1903 as nearly as we can find from the minutes of the Lodge.

     The first Lamb Skin aprons were presented to Mt. Moriah candidates on October 19, 1905.

     July 1908 the Lodge voted to contribute $10.00 toward a fund for the building of the Washington Masonic Memorial.

     At the time of the January stated meeting 1911, the fol­lowing petition was read to the Lodge and was ordered made a part of the record.

     "To the Most Worshipful Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons of the State of Indiana:

     The undersigned petitioners, being Master Masons in good standing and residents of the State of Indiana, having the prosperity of Free-Masonry at heart-are desirous of organizing a new Lodge in the City of Anderson, County of Madison, and State of Indiana, to be called Fellowship Lodge.

     We, therefore pray for a dispensation empowering us to open and hold a regular Lodge of Master Masons at the place aforesaid and therein to discharge the duties and enjoy the privileges of Free-Masonry in a regular and consti­tuted manner.

     We nominate and recommend Brother George S. Parker to be appointed Worshipful Master. Brother Curtis C. McGuire, Senior Warden and Brother William H. Morsches as Junior Warden of said Lodge.

     Should the prayer of this petition be granted, we promise a strict conformity to the Constitution, General Regulations and Edicts of the Grand Lodge.

     The only Lodge whose jurisdiction will be affected by the organization of the proposed new Lodge will be Mt. Moriah Lodge No. 77 and with whom we would ask to be granted concurrent jurisdiction embracing the City of Anderson and surrounding territory.

     The following members of Mt. Moriah Lodge No. 77 trans­ferred their Membership to Fellowship Lodge No. 681. They are therefore Charter Members of that Lodge. Fellowship Lodge No. 681 met in Mt. Moriah Temple until 1942. In that year they moved to their new quarters on Deleware Street. There is a very warm attitude existing between the two lodges. Each wishing the other the very best.

H. L. MillspaughAugustus T. DypGeorge Lilly
John H. EmmertSamuel C. MorrisAlbert W. Collins
Danial GochlerWill J. McKeownS. L. Van Petten
George O. PalmerEdgar B. A. KellamThomas M. Jones
Clement W. HooverRobert P. GrimesGeorge S. Parker
E. Mortimer WilsonWm. W. DurbinCurtis C. McGuire
Edward PodmoreCharles J. RozelleRoss W. Eshelman
Wm. H. MorschesFrank I. RemyB. Perry Remy
Joe M. KeltnerLee F. Hunt

     Late in the year of 1931 the Lodge authorized the re­modeling of the facing of the building. No change had ever been made on the original which was constructed of heavy rough stone. (Note original picture) To keep abreast of the advancing times it was felt that a new modern up-to-date front should be constructed. This work was completed in 1932 when Russell Dare was Worshipful Master. It was a decided improvement adding beauty to the building.

     The front as it now stands has a light, smooth stone fac­ing from the ground up to the roof. It is the outstanding building in the block.

     Prior to this remodeling program which cost over $28,000.00, the stairway was located in the middle of the building. This was moved over to the extreme north side to eliminate cutting the space in half by the stairway. Dur­ing this remodeling program the basement was enlarged for banquets. A large steel beam was installed to strengthen the entire structure. The building was more beautiful and more practicable for the Lodge. The one large room on the ground floor is more suitable for renting rather than two small rooms divided by a stairway.

     The beautiful murals on both sides of the lodge room walls were painted in 1938 at a cost of eighty-five dollars each. Each mural tells a complete story. They add color and distinction. It would be well to study each one closely. Dur­ing the same year the lodge ordered a new set of Jewels for the officers at a cost of $100.00.


     During Mt. Moriah's long history the Temple was dam­aged three different times by fire. First in 1912. The follow­ing record was taken from the Fire Department Headquar ters: January 26, 1912 -received an alarm of fire at 10th and Meridian Streets and ascertained the fire to be Masonic Temple at 12:35 p. m. Laid 300 foot of hose, worked 40 min­utes. Men on duty: Brown, Riggs, A. Miller, (Shinkles day off) Shinkle reported at fire.

     On May 19, 1937, at 10:55 p. m., the Masonic Temple again suffered damage by fire and the last time on November 21, 1941, at 10:25 a. m., which took three hours to extinguish.

     The third fire visited the temple during a period when the lodge was working over time to confer the degrees on candidates. In order to complete the heavy schedule the of ficers carried on their work in the Temple without heat. Each wore their heavy coats to keep warm. The schedule was completed as arranged for before the fire hindered their work.

     Early in 1941 a Gavel made from the wood of an Acacia tree was presented to the Lodge by R. G. Thompson of Or­lando, Florida.

     During the summer of 1942 the interior of the Temple was completely renovated throughout. The ceiling of the lodge room was decorated to represent the star-decked can opy. The Columns were decorated to represent those which supported King Solomon's Temple. The beautiful work is an inspiration to those who enter the sacred portals. The quiet­ness affords time for thought to the members who visit the room.

     Wilbert O. Rhoton was appointed as Grand Marshall of the Grand Lodge F. & A. M. of Indiana and served in 1946 and 1947 - Brother Rhoton has been a pillar of strength in Mt. Moriah for many years and we are proud of his Masonic achievements.

     During the year of 1925, Paul Tupman, Worshipful Mas­ter of that year, along with Earl Jackson and Harry Hale, made a trip to Ayr, Ontario, near Toronto, Canada, to attend the funeral of Dr. John C. Rogers, a deceased brother whose home was originally in Canada. He was made a Master Mason in his home lodge of Ayr, Ontario, Canada. Brother John C. Rogers was Master of his home Lodge in 1895. He attended this Lodge many years and was well known prior to his death.

     The organization of Bethel 13 of Jobs Daughters took place on May 13, 1929, when by a vote of the Lodge a dona­tion of One Hundred Dollars was made to the local organiza tion of Jobs Daughters and the Secretary was instructed to draw an order for that amount in favor of Brother John A. Jones for Jobs Daughters.

     The Order of DeMolay was organized December 16, 1937, with Mt. Moriah Craft Club as the sponsor. In 1942 the spon­sorship was taken over by the Madison County Scottish Rite. The DeMolay was first installed here by the Muncie Chapter.

     Many Lodges were visited by the officers and members of Mt. Moriah Lodge over a long period of years. Two of the most notable trips were visits to Alexandria, Virginia.

     In the year of 1940 thirty-four Masons from this Lodge headed by Worshipful Master W. O. Rhoton chartered a bus to visit the national shrine located at Alexandria, Virginia. This group took with them two candidates and the Master Mason degree was confered on them in George Washington's home lodge. Worshipful Master W. O. Rhoton confered the Master Masons degree on his son-in-law, Robert Mace. The other candidate to receive his Master Mason degree was Reason Holloway. Both received their sublime degree on July 5, 1940. The entire group were gone three days and returned happy for their experience.

     The officers who took part in the work at Alexandria, Virginia, were: Wilbert O. Rhoton, Worshipful Master; Er­nest F. Taylor, Senior Warden; Russell Dare, Junior Warden; George H. Davis as Treasurer; Walter Broshar as Secretary; Omer L. Springer, Senior Deacon; James O. Cain, Junior Deacon; Cloe Pettigrew, Senior Steward; Carl Rifle, Junior Steward; George Jarrett as Tyler.

     Each member of the sojourning party was permitted to sit in the chair used by George Washington when he was master of the lodge. The chair was taken from its glass case for the occasion.

     A vote of thanks was given to Robert I. Berry for his un­tiring effort to make the trip a success.

     January 13, 1947, new robes and aprons were purchased for the Craft. It was during this meeting that the same plans were made for a second trip to Washington and a committee composed of Past Master Robert Berry, Brother Wm. Heuch­ans and Brother Wilbert O. Rhoton were instructed to check the costs and pertinent details. A reservation committee con­sisting of Harvey Burton, Senior Warden; Richard Toye, Senior Steward; and Virgil Miller, Junior Steward started their work of taking reservations for this trip.

     The second trip to the National Shrine was conducted again in 1947, headed by Worshipful Master Asa McKinley. Having heard the wonderful stories told by the preceeding group a total of 80 members in two chartered busses made the trip.


     Mt. Moriah was the first Lodge in Indiana to adopt the plan of a one dollar voluntary contribution to the George Washington National Masonic Memorial from each newly raised Master Mason. The Lodge recently sponsored a con­duted bus trip to the shrine at Alexandria, Virginia, National Memorial to Washington the Mason.

     The officers of Mt. Moriah Lodge were entertained by Alexandria Washington Lodge No. 22, the historic Lodge over which the Father of Our Country presided as Worship ful Master, and had the opportunity of conferring the Mas­ter Mason degree upon two candidates. The two newly raised Brethern, Newton Hilbolt and Gilbert Hoch, deeply im­pressed by the rare privilege that had been theirs, requested that they might be the first to make a voluntary one dollar contribution to the Memorial.

     Officers who filled the chairs on this memorable trip in­cluded: Worshipful Master, Asa McKinley; Senior Warden, Harvey Burton; Junior Warden, Frank Forcum; Treasurer, Arthur Springer; Secretary, Russell Dare; Senior Deacon, Amos Gilmore; Junior Deacon, Kenneth Stephenson; Senior Steward, Richard Toye; Junior Steward, Virgil Miller; Tyler, Joe D. Fox.

     The first section of the Master degree was conferred by Senior Warden, Harvey Burton. Worshipful Master Asa McKinley raised Brother Hilbolt and Past Master Donald Ridge raised Brother Hoch. The Bible presentation was made by Richard Toye, Lecture by Virgil Miller and the Charge was given by Senior Grand Warden Brother John W. Thorn­burgh.

     Upon their return from Alexandria, members of Mt. Mor­iah Lodge voted $100 contribution to the Memorial Associa­tion, and announced that the Lodge will, in the future, adopt the one dollar plan for maintenance of the Masonic shrine on Shooter's Hill.

     Accompanying the Mt. Moriah delegation was John W. Thornburgh, the Senior Grand Warden, who also was personal representative of Grand Master W. Henry Roberts. At the memorable meeting in Alexandria, Brother Thornburgh was presented with a certificate of honorary membership in Mt. Moriah Lodge by Robert I. Berry, Past Master.

     Eighty Masons made up the party. They represented ten Indiana Lodges.

     The party made stops at Forbes Field, Pittsburgh, Gettys­burg battlefield, Arlington National Cemetery, Mount Ver­non and various points of interest in Alexandria and the National Capital.

     The trip was made all the more memorable by reason of the fact that the party stood on the Gettysburg battlefield on the eighty-fourth anniversary of Pickett's famous charge. Later, at the site of Lincoln's immortal address, the guide in charge offered $5.00 to the member of the party who could repeat the classic accurately. The award went to Senior Grand Warden Thornburgh who, as a lad, had recited the address at Memorial Day exercises in Brownsburg.

     In the last few years many Grand Lodges have passed legislation providing for the voluntary contribution plan amounting to $1.00 for each newly raised Master Mason. The new Mason is thus given the privilege of making a con­tribution to the Masonic Memorial honoring George Wash­ington as his first Masonic act. Indiana has not seen fit to adopt this plan as yet, but Mt. Moriah Lodge, encouraged by the example of Newton Hilbolt and Gilbert Hoch, has sent notice to the other 537 Lodges of Indiana that it will pursue this plan of its own accord.

     It is the interest of individual members that makes any organization function. The growth of an organization is spontaneous when careful planning is accomplished. Fore thought is responsible for successful activities. One of our oldest members after fifty faithful years as a member of this great fraternity was the first to see the need of a long range plan in celebrating our one hundredth anniversary. During a regular stated meeting on August 12, 1946, Brother Caleb Shinkle presented the subject of our Centennial and asked the Lodge to appoint a committee at the next stated meet­ing. This committee to start work on the program and make plans for the event.

     This suggestion was followed and at the February 1947 Stated Meeting the Centennial Committee was appointed. Those on the committee were Robert Berry, Wm. Heuchans, James Cain, Wilbert Rhoton, and Frank Forcum. At the ex­piration of their respective terms as Worshipful Master, Bros. Asa McKinley and Harvey Burton were added to the original committee. We are thankful to Brother Shinkle for his foresight. To plan such a program has been a tremend­ous task and the Committee has been busy since its first or­ganizational meeting collecting data, material, pictures and meeting regularly making plans for the purpose of celebra­ting our 100 years as a lodge in this community.

     One of the most outstanding achievements of the lodge was to publish a monthly bulletin. The bulletin now known as "The Cabletow" is mailed to every member of Mt. Moriah Lodge. It has grown in popularity each year and is anxiously awaited each month. Many educational, interesting and val­uable materials have been published. It is impossible to use even a small partion of the countless items that have found their way into these folders. They have been going through the mail since 1946. Prior to this postal cards were mailed showing only meeting dates. The Cabletow is a worthwhile project and meets with the approval of all concerned. We have taken the following items from our February 1949 "Cabletow." Many others have been as good but we have chosen these to use in our history work.


     The teachings of Masonic emblems are very important to a large and influential body of men, Free-masons, and they can not be even uninteresting to the public at large. A fraternity of more than three million men of the best classes of society, banded together for purposes of mental and moral improvement, derive their sublime instruction from these emblems. Freemasonry it is known, forms a happy center of reunion of worthy men desiring a select society of friends and brothers who have bound themselves in an obligation to love each other, to afford aid and assistance to each other in time of need, to animate one another to acts of virtue and benevolence, and to keep inviolable the secrets which form the chief characteristics of the Order.

     For instance, the emblem of the plumb - of justice - symbolically implies that only by Divine morality, man can adjust himself to fill an acceptable place in the Temple of God. To be an upright man, to do justly, are excellent steps in human life; but to act uprightly gives a superlative degree of excellence. When Joshua had brought the Israelites through Jordan in Canaan, he took twelve stones from the miraculously dried-up bed of Jordan. Joshua pitched in Gil­gal and calling around him the tribes of Jacob, thus com­manded them: "When your children shall ask their fathers in time to come, saying: What mean these stones? Then you shall let your children know, saying, Israel came over this Jordan by dry land. For the Lord your God dried up the waters of the Jordan from before you until ye were passed over, as the Lord your God did to the Red Sea, which He dried up from before us until we were gone over; that all the people of the earth might know the hand of the Lord, that it is mighty; that ye might fear the Lord your God for ever."

     In this spirit the emblems of Masonry have been made to commemorate important eras or events in their history, and to preserve our ancient legends and traditions from fall­ing into oblivion.


     The Holy Bible is many things to Freemasonry; it is - if we may so speak - the Bible itself, and as such, it is a symbol, one of the Great Lights, it is a part of the furniture of a Lodge, without which no Lodge can make Masons, it is a fundamental requirement for fraternal recognition, for no man is a regular Mason who comes from a Lodge not dis­playing it on its Altar; It is one of the sources of Masonry itself essential in its history, the quarry from which so much of the Ritual has been wrought; and it is a Sacred Object, the salutation of which it is a culmination of a Mason's vows. As a Bible, it lies open, free to every man who is left free to interpret it as he can best understand it; as a symbol, it represents, "The Book of Truth, The Scroll of Faith, The Record of the Will of God as man has learned it in the midst of the years."

     On June 9, 1947, Brother Rhoton gave a talk on the future of Masonry in Anderson and asked the Lodge to study about a new Temple to take care of all Masonic organ izations in Anderson. These timely remarks were effective to the extent that Bro. Robert Berry made a motion that "The Worshipful Master take under consideration for thirty days and appoint a committee to study ways and means to plan for a new Masonic Home in the years to come." Motion was seconded by Bro. Robert Mace and was carried.

     One of the finest, most thought of parts of Masonry in Indiana is the Masonic Home in Franklin, Indiana. This in­stitution decidedly comes in the realm of our beliefs and feelings. When the call came from the Grand Lodge of In­diana that it was necessary to expand the facilities of the home and embark upon a building program for additional space, Mt. Moriah Masons came forward with contributions totaling $1881.00. On the evening of November 15, 1947, Worshipful Master Asa McKinley presented this amount to Past Grand Master Orvis A. Dellinger and Superintendent Paul Reardon as our part in the Building Fund.

     The memorial Plaque located on the second floor in the lobby of the Temple lists all the names of members of Mt. Moriah Lodge who served in the various Armed Services of the United States during World War II. This Plaque was purchased from the Pittsburg Plate Glass Company on No­vember 11, 1946, and was placed in honor of those whose names appear engraved upon the Plaque.

Members of Mt. Moriah Lodge No. 77, F. & A. M., who served our country in World War II.
George Elmer Albright Guy Wilbur Lauderbaugh
Ralph Clinton Ambrose Joseph Albert Lewis
Harold J. Anderson Paul Lapple Long
Orval Ralph Ashby Gerald Edwin Loudenback
Sherman Kaylor Austin Voris Francis McFall
William Earl Baker Dewitt Clinton Markle
John Lewis Balser George Fredrick Marshall
Lewis Charles Benjamin Bill L. Martz
Jack Marion Biddle Charles Everett Mattox
Charles Eldon Birkett John Frank Maynard
Wayne Eugene Bookout Wilbur Blaine Miller
Thomas Wallace Boyd Paul Edward Moore
Elton Edgar Brouhard Eugene Morgan
Lawrence Alonzo Brown Fred Leo Mowrey
Ralph Dennison Brumfield Lester R. Mullins
Elmer Charles Bryant Robert Edwin Nagel
Thomas Edward Bryant Charles Clawson Newman
Lee Leroy Bushong John Curtis Newman
Richard Lee Caldwell James Clayton Norris
James Murray Camp Donald William O'Brien
Arthur Leroy Chapman Albert William Padgett
Donald Ervin Collins Chauncey Charles Parker
Herschell Paul Cook Donald Keith Partain
Donald Ward Cornelius Collin Scott Pearson
Frank James Custis Joseph Alva Perkins
Paul Martin Danner James Hugo Piper
William Edgar Davis George Calvin Prather
James Carson Dull Hubert Charles Priser
Harry Dexheimer Dwyer Daniel David Quickel
Joseph Albert Ehrhart Raymond Leander Rariden
Charles Gene Ewald Ralph Henry Ridenour
Robert William Ewald Donald Robert Ridge
Farrell John Farmer Closser Willburn Riggsby
Jesse Leander Fowler George Albert Rinker
Jesse Dee Garr Lewis Sanford Risk
Harry Alfred Gascho Lawrence Howard Robbins
George Robert Genda Louis Harvey Roberts
Evan George Melvin Edward Runyon
Fred Anson Gold William Marrol Sanders
Joe Gordon Edmund Thomas Sczesny
Glen David Greenland Cecil Howard Sharpe
Robert Meyer Hallam Richard Call Sigler
Charles Albert Hartzell Devon Everett Smith
Orville Clark Heagy William Robert Smith
Carmell Clifford Hemphill Carl Ira Stahl
Joseph Edwin Henderson Austin Stinson, Jr.
Galen John Hessler, Jr. John Theodore Straub, Jr.
Randolph Highbaugh Marion A. Striker
Carl Snider Holycross Earl Townsend
Wilbur Hugh Hopkins John Basil Mitchell Troup
Charles Harold Imel Fredrick Harold Turner
Everett Milton Imel Richard Paul Wallace
Walter Carl Isanogle George Walter Warfield
Rex Eugene James Louis Francis Weaver
Marvin Russell Jenkins Donald Eugene Webb
Virgil Johns Raymond Cecil Weston
George Graden Jones John Herbert Wilding
Hilbert Albert Jones Lowell Arthur Williamson
Joseph Lee Jones Owen David Wilson
Robert Russell Jones Robert Craft Wilson
Kermit Eugene Kirby Vercell Lavern Yonkers
John Lewis Krall George Franklin Young
Joseph Lowman Larmore

Harvey Weir Cook * Fayne A. West *
Donald Robert Wright *

     Brother Cook was born in Wilkinson, Indiana, June 30, 1892. In 1916 he withdrew from college to enlist in the French Army as an ambulance driver. He then trans­ferred to the United States Army Air Service, receiving his training at Tours, France. At the close of World War I he had advanced to Captain. In July 1942 he was promoted to Colonel shortly before sailing for the South Pacific to take command of an air field. Colonel Cook was in command of a group responsible for rescuing Captain Rickenbacker and his comrades when they were adrift at sea. In the course of duty he was killed in an airplane crash. His death came on on unidentified South Pacific Island, March 25, 1943.

     Brother Cook was a member of Mt. Moriah Lodge No. 77. He was Initiated June 9, 1919, Passed July 27, 1920, and was Raised to the Sublime degree of a Master Mason on July 31, 1920.

     Donald R. Wright, born May 22, 1922, at Alexandria, Indiana, was inducted into the Armed Forces of the Uni­ted States on February 18, 1943, and was sent to Miami Beach, Florida, with the 8th Air Force. He received his basic training at Davidson College, North Carolina. At the time of his death he was a second lieutenant and was located in Ontario, Califor­nia. Two planes collided in mid-air causing his death. Lt. Wright was awaiting or­ders to be shipped over-seas just prior to the accident. He received his wings May 23, 1944, at Jackson, Missis­sippi, as a fighter pilot.

     Fayne A. West, born Aug­ust 6, 1924, was inducted in­to the Armed Forces of the United States in the Tank Division 735 of General Pat­tons 3rd Army and was at­tached to Headquarters. He received his training in Fort Lewis, Washington. On Feb­ruary 1, 1944, he was shipped overseas and met with an ac­cident on April 18, 1945, which caused his death. He was formerly connected with Delco-Remy. His body was re­turned to the United States on February 12, 1949, for burial.

     Brother West was Initiated September 24, 1941, Passed on November 12, 1941 and was Raised to the Sublime Degree on November 22, 1941.

     Friday, April 30, 1948 - Mystery Lodge held by Worship­ful Master H. J. Burton. The evening was divided into two sections. Past Master O. L. Springer conducted a "Right and Wrong" demonstration on Masonic Law. Brother Leo White then introduced the second section after the lodge was called from Labor to Refreshments. Officers and members of the Anderson Chapter of DeMolay then proceeded to confer the initiatory degree of DeMolay on the son of Ernest Young. The work was impressive and well done. This was the first time in history that a DeMolay Chapter had conferred a degree legally in a Blue Lodge Room in the State of Indiana. The Lodge was then called from Refreshments to Labor after the lodge room was purged and the Worshipful Master was thanked for an interesting and different meeting.

June 12, 1948


     With a special dispensation from the Most Worshipful Grand Masters of the State of Indiana and the State of Ill­inois, a contingent of officers and members made a trip to Decatur, Illinois, as guests of Ionic Lodge No. 312 to witness the Master Mason degree as conferred by Ionic Lodge and to exemplify the Master Mason degree as conferred in Indiana. To witness this event there were 338 Master Masons present from 62 different Lodges representing 11 States, such as New York, South Carolina, Iowa, Illinois, Michigan, Okla­homa, Arkansas, Missouri, Tennessee, Wisconsin and Indi­ana. Brother Hugh Albert Shreve was the candidate. The first section was conferred by Senior Warden Frank Forcum and Bro. Shreve was Raised by Worshipful Master Harvey Burton, Bible presentation by Brother Arthur Ford, Charge given by the Right Worshipful Deputy Grand Master Brother John Thornburgh, Lecture by Senior Steward Brother Virgil Miller. As this history goes to press, plans are being com­pleted for Mt. Moriah to entertain Ionic Lodge on May 7, 1949.

     One of the finest and most altruistic services ever inaug­urated by the individual members of Mt. Moriah Lodge was started during the year of 1946. It was thought that through individual contributions it would be possible to spread cheer and joy among the boys and girls in the Masonic Home at Franklin, consequently, at all dinners given in the Temple a free-will offering was given by the members and the Brothers gave freely for this purpose. The money collected was exchanged for crisp new one dollar bills and each boy and girl in the home received one for their Christmas pres­ent by mail. This plan was started in the year when Robert I. Berry was Master and the kiddies were made very happy.

     The next year when Asa McKinley was Master it was agreed by the members to continue the plan. The members contributed freely during the year. On a cold Christmas Eve December 24, 1947, a trip was made by several members to deliver the presents in person. This time as a gift the group loaded five bicycles into a truck, three for the boys and two for the girls and started on the trip to the Franklin Home. Well, everyone knows what a bicycle will do to the heart of any boy or girl especially if neither had ever had one of their own to ride before. Never before had anyone ever seen such uncontrolled joy and spontaneous gratitude as shown by the boys and girls when their eyes rested upon five brand new shining bicycles, one for each cottage. After spending a pleasant Christmas Eve the group started back to Anderson. They had made the boys and girls happy and they too were happy. The members making the trip included: Mr. and Mrs. Asa McKinley, Wayne Robertson, Russell Dare, Mr. and Mrs. Robert I. Berry, Mr. and Mrs. Cloe Pettigrew, Mr. and Mrs. Richard Hopkins, Mr. and Mrs. Keith Pettigrew.

     1948 - This year marked another grand Christmas for the many children in the Masonic Home. Worshipful Master Harvey Burton and his wife presented five super-delux wagons as Christmas gifts from the members of Mt. Moriah Lodge. Each Wagon was filled with candies, fruit and nuts much to the delight of those precious little kiddies. Christ­mas is the time of the year when good will comes naturally.

     In each year appropriate gifts were also given to each of the elderly ladies who are in the Home as guests of Mt. Moriah Lodge. Mrs. Ida Stitsman, Mrs. Berdie Skowden and Mrs. Alice Gierhart.

     It's the happiness that we help others to enjoy, that counts. Over a period of three years the members of Mt. Moriah have contributed to help bring happiness to those who are not as fortunate as we. What we do to make others feel that we have an interest in them gives them a feeling of security, something they can hold on to and remember for years. A boy or girl will do tomorrow those things for which they are conditioned to do today. It is up to us as adults and Masons to remember this as we go through life. As we carry on our daily work remember too, that we are building character in the generation that will follow ours and anything we can do to this end will be beneficial to society as a whole.

     On October 4, 1948, the Lodge dues were again raised from $5.00 to $7.00 annually. Admission fee for the degrees was increased to $75.00. This increase was effective January 1, 1949. by a vote of 72 "yes" and 34 "no" votes. The increase in the cost of maintaining the Temple and every other phase of expense necessitated the increase and was justified.

     Each and every year it has been the custom of Mt. Moriah Lodge to hold an annual Past Masters Dinner in honor of all Past Masters. These gatherings are an inspira tion to the entire membership. Here we find assembled fine men who have served the Lodge in by-gone years. During the evening all Past Masters are in charge of conferring the third degree upon the candidates. Their work is well done and it is a pleasure to watch them raise a candidate. We learn one lesson from this event. Masonry is effective and is such that regardless of age it still is a Magnetic Power to those who know and study and love it for the teachings we learn.