Eunice Lodge No.830

Free and Accepted Masons

Lodge History

EUNICE LODGE No. 830, CALEDONIA By Allen J. Roggen There is evidence that Masonry existed in Caledonia in the early 1800’s. The records show some contradictions, but the information seems authentic and worthy of repeating. In the archives of Eunice Lodge there is a record book of the Social Lodge No. 439 located in the hamlet of York, south of Caledonia. A warrant had been issued by Grand Lodge to Harris Seymour, Master. The warrant was dated June 1, 1825. Social Lodge 439 existed for only 2 years. The last record of a communication was made on November 1, 1827. The jewels of Social Lodge can be seen, framed and hung on the wall of Eunice Lodge Temple. Evidently the Morgan period took its toll here too. The Social Lodge record book lists many names familiar to us today. Green, Hall, Ramsdall, Williams, Guthrie, McDonald, Joy, Holloway, and others. Many of these early lodges had interesting by-laws. Social Lodge had these interesting items. Article 1: The Lodge shall assemble regularly on the Thursday preceding the full moon, except when the moon fulls on Thursday in which case it shall meet on that day. Article 2: The Lodge shall assemble at 4 o’clock and shall not sit longer than 10 p.m. unless absolutely necessary. Article 3: It shall be the duty of every Brother as soon as convenient after Lodge is closed, to retire to his lodging or his labor. Another lodge, named Red Jacket, existed in Caledonia at about this time. No written records have been found to substantiate this, except this interesting letter written to Eunice Lodge in 1911 by a Mrs. Louise E. Nelson of Batavia. This letter referred to a Master Diploma presented to her father, James Gibson. Mrs. Nelson was 95 at the time. The letter and Diploma reveal this information. Mr. Gibson was made a Mason in Lodge No. 796 under the registry of Ireland in April 12, 1801. He was given a demit June 1, 1801. Soon after, he immigrated to America, settling in Boston. Mrs. Nelson indicated she had a long white feather, which her father wore to Masonic functions in Boston. This could indicate some membership in a Templar degree. Mr. Gibson and his daughter came to Caledonia in 1818 and purchased two adjacent stores on Main Street. Then, he built a residence between them. Mrs. Nelson asserts that Masonic meetings were held in the white store. The store referred to was the same structure as the Guthrie Building, where many years later Eunice Lodge would hold its early communications. Mr. James Gibson was sent to Canandaigua to stand trial for his part in the Morgan Affair. (His part in the Morgan Affair is unknown). He was tried and acquitted, but because of his Masonic connections his business was boycotted by the Anti-Masons. He was forced to sell his business and became a farmer. The Morgan Affair brought forth from the Anti-Masons vile denunciations of the fraternity of Free Masons which emanated from a partisan press, from the pulpit and resounded in the streets and workshops. So viciously were the lodges of Central New York assailed that nearly all of them were compelled to succumb to the opposition. When the present Eunice Lodge Temple was being remodeled a wooden tiler’s sword was located in a partition, leading to the belief that a Masonic Lodge had met there; perhaps during the Morgan Period. The beginning of Eunice Lodge was on March 23, 1899 when local Masons, who were members of nearby lodges at Scottsville, Avon and LeRoy, called an informal meeting at Red Men’s Hall. At this meeting it was unanimously voted to organize a Masonic Lodge in Caledonia. A. K. Fowler was the first chairman. It was decided to call the Lodge, Caledonia Lodge, F. & A. M. On March 31, 1899 a second meeting was called. Officers were elected and appointed as follows: Master, Charles Menzie; Senior Warden, Charles E. Deichman; Junior Warden, William Lawson; Secretary, Donald A. Scott; Treasurer, Simon W. McDonald; Senior Deacon, William H. Dixon; Junior Deacon, Daniel Mullen; S.M.C., E. R. Logan; J.M.C., Deforest F. Lindsley; Tyler, William Handly; Trustees, W. W. Straight, John Barks, Fred Wollett. The other Charter Members were: Frank Blakesley, William Buckley, Sr., Watson Hannley, R. B. MacNaughton, E. L. Morrison, E. L. Place, John Roberts, Jerome Simpson, James Tennent, F. D. Wollett, Fayette W. Van Zile. Application for the dispensation to Grand Lodge was made in October 1899. Grand Master W. D. Pownall issued the dispensation on the recommendation of Past Grand Master William A. Brodie of Geneseo and the immediate Past Grand Master William A. Sutherland of Rochester. In his letter of recommendation dated October 14, 1899 Most Worshipful William Sutherland said, he strongly urged the issuance of a charter to the brethren in Caledonia. He continued, “They are most literate, industrious, Scotch Presbyterians,” He also stated, “Brother James Tennent, who by all means is the wealthiest man in Caledonia, was born and brought up there, but moving West has acquired a large fortune. He has returned to his native place, and has put in gas, waterworks, fire company, etc. and now is enthusiastic over the new Lodge. He will be the Treasurer and guarantees all the funds necessary.” While waiting for the Charter the officers practiced their work and demonstrated their proficiency before Oatka Lodge of Scottsville. The early meeting rooms of Eunice Lodge were in the Guthrie Building on Main Street. Presently it is the Church of God. On September 26, at an informal meeting the Lodge changed its name to Eunice Lodge in memory of the deceased Eunice Tennent, the daughter of James Tennent who had done so much for the community and the lodge. On November 2, 1899 at a regular communication the lodge began its work under Dispensation with 22 Charter members. Candidates became members so rapidly that it was necessary to hold many special communications to properly speed the work. The Charter finally arrived on May 2, 1900. It was signed by Grand Master Hon. Charles W. Mead. Feeling the need of a Temple of their own the lodge at a communication on May 18, 1905 appointed a committee to incorporate a Masonic Temple Association. On November 2, 1905 the Masonic Temple was organized. On November 15, 1905 the Master appointed two committees of three members each to investigate possible locations for a site for the Temple. On April 17, 1908 the present Temple on Main and State Streets, a three story stone building built in 1831-33, was purchased for $7,500 with possession to be taken September 1, 1908. The dedication of the Temple took place on March 23, 1909. The ceremonies were under the direction of M.W. Judge Nelson Sawyer. Afterwards a banquet was held in the banquet room on the second floor. Worshipful Brother Charles Menzie was the toastmaster. Speeches were delivered by Judge Sawyer, Wm. A. Brodie, A. P. Sedgwick, A. K. Fowler, and others. A gavel made from one of the timbers of the Temple was presented to M.W. S. Nelson Sawyer. The 25th Anniversary of the lodge was celebrated with an Anniversary Dinner held at Springbrook Inn on May 15, 1925. Past Grand Master S. Nelson Sawyer and George W. Tinklepaugh were the speakers. “Old Timers’ Night” was observed on February 5, 1931 by a roll call of brothers who had been members for 25 years or more. Brothers responding were presented with billfolds. On October 1, 1931 Bro. Charles C. Hermansen presented the lodge with the rough and perfect ashlars. Bro. James (Rip) Collins of Zetland Lodge No. 951 of Rochester, baseball player with the Cardinals, told many stories and experiences of and in the baseball world, on January 18, 1934. On December 3, 1936 R.W. J. J. Ooley, D.D.G.M., paid his official visit to his home lodge. A most unusual incident happened on November 18,1937 when three generations of the Burt family were in attendance at lodge at the same time: Brother Frank B. Burt, Eureka Lodge Union City, Pa., Brother H. P. Burt and Brother J. M. Burt of Eunice Lodge. Brother Frank Burt was raised in 1873. October 2, 1941, a check was received from Mrs. M. S. Rabinowitz in memory of her husband, Bro. Morris Rabinowitz. It was subsequently used to purchase the apron case in the anteroom. Past Master Joseph W. Ward, N. Y. Assemblyman for Livingston County, related experiences in Albany on March 4, 1943; also visited and spoke at several other lodge meetings. On June 1, 1944 P. M. Leon Washburn of John Hodge Lodge of Naples, N.Y. presented the officers of Eunice Lodge with aprons inscribed with the insignia of the station. On October 5, 1944 a memorial plaque was unveiled by Bro. Nathan Dinion of Hiram Lodge, No. 1 of New Haven, Conn. This plaque listed the names of brothers who were servicemen in World Wars I and II. On November 16, 1944 a light in the ceiling, over the altar and Bible, was given as a gift by Bros. Charles W. Carson and C. LeRoy Armstrong. On April 5, 1945 Charles W. Carson presented a set of Bible markers to the lodge in memory of his grandfather, the late P. M. Thomas Davenport. After another 25 years had passed the lodge celebrated its 50th Birthday. A dinner was held at the Caledonia High School on May 18,1950. R.W. Henry G. Meacham, who was then Grand Lecturer, was the guest speaker. Then at the end of the first 75 years of Eunice Lodge another anniversary was celebrated at the Caledonia Mumford Central School in September 1975. Most Worshipful Arthur Markewich and other Grand Lodge officers were in attendance. The Grand Master delivered the address. In 1956 Charles Russ was elected Master of the Lodge. W. Brother Russ is the third member of his family to be elected to the East. The minutes of 1960 show that Senior Grand Warden Clarence Henry gave the charge to fellowcrafts candidates. In 1966 Brother Henry was chosen Grand Master. A very important happening took place at a communication on November 21, 1963. The mortgage had been paid off and was (symbolically) burned on this occasion. The lodge rooms were redecorated in 1974 in preparation for the 75th Anniversary of the lodge. The first Installation Team of the Livingston District College of Deputies installed the officers of Eunice Lodge in January 1975. R.W. Eugene VanOverbake officiated. Worshipful Brother Charles Russ has served his lodge with great dedication beyond the call of duty. He has held an office in Eunice Lodge continuously since he was raised in 1947. During these years he has served as Master in 1956, as treasurer for 10 years, and as secretary 10 years. In 1979 he was awarded the Grand Lodge Dedicated Service Award. In 1981 he was appointed as Grand Representative of the Grand Lodge of Nova Scotia near the Grand Lodge of New York. Worshipful Masters of Eunice Lodge: Charles Menzie 1899 Charles Menzie 1900 Charles Menzie 1901 Charles E. Deichman 1902 W1lllam Lawson 1903 Donald A. Scott 1904 A. K. Fowler 1905 Simon W. MacDonald 1906 Frank G. Luther 1907 William H. Dixon 1908 Richard Reid 1909 Thomas Davenport 1910 Charles Menzie 1911 Edward L. Place 1912 W. V. Hamilton 1913 W. H. Pease 1914 Charles Perhamus 1915 Charles E. Deichman 1916 Frank G. Luther 1917 Alex Amond 1918 J. Glenn Espie 1919 Stewart Campbell 1920 Leo M. Woodward 1921 Emmett M. Day 1922 John H. Cameron 1923 John B. Hornbrook 1924 Harry H. Emerson 1925 Charles M. Sutherland 1926 Joseph W. Ward 1927 Sidney V. Clark 1928 Louis R. Purvis 1929 Roy B. MacNaughton 1930 Vernon B. Kirkham 1931 Donald R. Tennent 1932 James G. Flick 1933 Johnston J. Doley 1934 Philip J. Garbutt 1935 S. Clark Place 1936 Curtis E. Minster 1937 Howard P. Burt 1938 S. Clark Place 1939 Clarence M. Winslow 1940 Donald J. Lyttle 1941 Gerald F. Keith 1942 John H. Byam 1943 Roy H. Outterson 1944 James G. Flick 1945 Earl G. Stone 1946 C. LeRoy Armstrong 1947 Charles W. Carson 1948 Arthur H. Hawk 1949 Howard C. Russ 1950 Howard Hanna 1951 Harold Relyea 1952 Fred Russ 1953 Merle Scott 1954 Robert Bostwick 1955 Charles Russ 1956 Louis Johnston, Sr. 1957 Milton Hone 1958 A. Grant Simpson 1959 Robert Ely 1960 William Elkins 1961 Robert Washburn 1962 Lloyd Kennison 1963 Raymond DeVore 1964 Larry Fortner 1965 Allen Roggen 1966 Hugh Robertson 1967 Allen Roggen 1968 Arnold Palmer 1969 Louis Johnston, Sr. 1970 Howard Hanna 1971 Lawrence Marble 1972 Walter Howe 1973 Walter Howe 1974 Ronald Kenville 1975 Hugh Robertson 1976 Donald M1ller 1977 Francis Oberer 1978 Gerald Martin 1979 John Peters 1980 Harold E. Pletcher 1981 C. Eugene Hill 1982 Fred DeVore 1983 GRAND OFFICERS ASSISTANT GRAND LECTURERS 1936-40 John B. Hornbrook 1942-45,46-54 Gerald F. Keith 1970-73 Hugh H. Robertson Grand Representative of Nova Scotia 1981-83 Charles H. Russ DISTRICT DEPUTY GRAND MASTERS 1928-29 John B. Hornbrook 1936-37 Johnston J. Doley 1945-46 Gerald F. Keith 1954-55 Emmett M. Day 1963-64 Arthur H. Hawk 1972-73 Howard E. Hanna 1981-82 Hugh H. Robertson GRAND SWORD BEARER 1975-76 Allen J. Roggen MERITORIOUS SERVICE AWARD (Livingston District) 1970 Elmer J. Storm DEDICATED SERVICE AWARD (Grand Lodge) 1979 Charles H. Russ 1982 Eric R. Johnson DISTINGUISHED ACHIEVEMENT AWARD (Livingston District) 1967 Gerald F. Keith 1973 Johnston J. Doley 1977 Joseph W. Ward Sr.