Bloomingburg Lodge No. 449
Celebrating 150 Years!
Chartered December 23rd, 1870
Chartered December 23rd, 1870
The dedication and constituting of the charter was held December 23, 1870. Bloomingburg Lodge originally met as a moon lodge until 1931 when they changed to a set meeting night. As a moon lodge they met on the Friday preceding the full moon and if the moon was full on Friday they met on that evening.
The lodge hall burned in 1912 and was rebuilt in the same year at t cost of nearly $6,000.00. The first meeting was held in the new hall on October 25, 1912. It was again damaged by fire in October 1964. The lodge hall has always been on the lot where it now stands.
J.C. Badger had a hardware store in the lower room for a few years. Wrobble’s Bakery occupied the room for many years. Howard Foster had a grocery for ten years, followed by Joe Evans, the Vernon family, and since 1990, the Pettit family has operated a grocery.
In 1992, lodge member WB Floyd A. (Tony) Perone was appointed District Deputy Grand Master of the 8thMasonic District (1993-1995), being the first member of Bloomingburg Lodge to be so honored. In 2001, Lodge member WB Jeffrey L. Thompson was appointed District Deputy Grand Master of the 8th Masonic District (2002-2004), the second member of Bloomingburg Lodge so honored.
The original Lodge dues were $3.00, and subsequently reduced to $2.00 in 1895. To meet the demands of the growing economy, they were increased as follows: $3.00 in 1918; $5.00 in 1919; $7.50 in 1951; $12.50 in 1961; $20.00 in 1987; $30.00 in 1993. They were again increased in 2000 to the current dues of $40.00.
Bloomingburg Lodge, Free and Accepted Masons, was organized, under dispensation, September 30, 1870. Their first stated meeting was held October 7, 1870, there being but ten members at that date. The lodge was constituted December 23d of that year, under charter granted by the grand lodge of Ohio. Its charter members were John Brown, J. M. McCoy, William Noble, V. M. Durflinger, Edwin Alexander, treasurer, A. B. Elliott, William M. Jones, John Ott, D. M. Haysand, C. D. Hays.
The lodge prospered and enlarged the small hall they had provided at first, on the corner of Main and Cross streets. At the close of 1873 the membership was thirty-three, which by 1881 had increased to fifty-eight, not including deaths and removals. The society was incorporated in March, 1 88 1, by William Clark, J. M. Noble, Henry Fulton, Henry Casey and J. M. McCoy, trustees. In October,1914. This lodge enjoyed a membership of ninety-seven and was in a flourishing condition. It had the misfortune to have its lodge rooms burned and all their furniture destroyed in April, 19 12. But, like true brothers, they went to work and by November of that year were holding lodge in their new and magnificent hall, which was the second story of a fine yellow pressed-brick, two -story building, all owned by the order. It stands on the site of the old lodge rooms and cost, together with furniture and value of lot, about eight thousand five hundred dollars. There are few, if indeed any, lodge rooms in Ohio in towns of much larger size that possess so fine, well-arranged hall. They have a large banquet hall, kitchen, lobbies and reception rooms in addition to a good-sized hall. The Order of the Eastern Star is exceptionally strong here. The elective officers serving in 1914 are: Worshipful master, Forest M. Hains; senior warden, John N. Browning; junior warden, Allen P. West; secretary, G. W. Gordon ; treasurer, Henry Casey ; senior deacon, Claude Andrews; junior deacon. John Foster; chaplain, Robert G. Andrews; tyler, James W. Willis; master of ceremonies, J. Y. Stitt; stewards, Howard Foster and C. S. Edwards. The trustees are J. M. Klever, Nathaniel Roler, W. T. Elliott, J. P. Leavell.
The following have served as masters in this lodge: John Brown, 1870; J. M. McCoy, 1871-77; A. B. Elliott, 1878; J. M. McCoy, 1879-82; William Clark, 1883-87; Samuel N. Brown, 1888; William Noble, 1889; J. M. Klever, 1890; Charles D. Hays, 1891 ; Solon Loofborrow, 1892-93; Samuel N. Brown, 1901 ; G. W. Gordon, 1902-03; J. M. Klever, 1904; F. M. McCoy, 1905-06; J. P. Leavell, 1907; J. Y. Stitt, 1908-09; F. E. Whiteside, 1910; V. M. Durflinger, 191 1; Claude Andrews, 1912; L. D. Exline, 1913. Jeffersonville Lodge No. 468, Free and Accepted Masons, was organized January 31, 1873, ^7 Col. C. Garris, of Washington C. H. The charter members were Mills Gardner, P. F. Johnson, James Straley, L. A. Elister, E. H. Bendle, Horney Robinson, J. C. Morris, William Wood, W. ]. Horney, George Miller, Asberry Moon. J. W. Roebuck, W. F. Roebuck, G. L. Bush and Urban Hidv. Of the present history of this lodge it may be stated that the records show that the present officers are: A. A. Allen, worshipful master; W. O. King, senior warden; L. A. Kessler, junior warden; M. E. Wilson, secretary; F. A. Chaney, senior deacon; S. C. Morrow, junior deacon; C. R. Marshall, chaplain; G. H. Brock, master of ceremonies; J. C. Todd, tyler. The membership of this lodge is ninety-eight. The blue lodge is the only degree of Freemasonry here represented.
Bloomingburg Lodge F. and A. M. was organized, under dispensation, September 30, 1870. The first stated meeting was held on the 7th day of October, 1870, there being at that time but ten members, who built for the use of the lodge a small, but neat room over the store room occupied by A. B. Elliott, on the northwest corner of Main and Cross streets. The lodge was duly constituted, December 23d of the same year, under a charter from the M. W. Grand Lodge of Ohio, the hall dedicated, and the following officers regularly installed at the Methodist Episcopal Church, Mills Gardner acting as M. AV. G. Master, C. Garis as D. G. Master, and A. J. Lewis as Grand Marshal: John Brown, W. M.j J. M. McCoy, S. W.; William Noble, J. W.; V. M. Durfiinger, Secretary; Edwin Alexander, Treasurer; A. B. Elliott, S. D.; William M. Jones, J. D.; John Olt, Tyler. These gentlemen, together with D. M. Hays and C. D. Hays, constituted the charter members.
May 17, 1872, the lodge was notified of the death of Edwin Alexander, who died at his father’s house, near the village. On Sunday, the 19th, the lodge met pursuant to a call, at their hall ; and from thence, together with numerous brethren from Fayette, Mt. Sterling, and New Holland, proceeded in procession to the home of the deceased, where an appropriate sermon was preached by S. A. Keen, of Fayette Lodge, after which the remains were taken to the cemetery, and deposited in the grave with the usual Masonic honors and ceremonies.
On the evening of May 20th, the lodge met in special communication, and adopted suitable resolutions, expressive of the sincere esteem in which the deceased brother was held, not only as a Mason, but also as a Christian gentlemen, a father; and a citizen.
The lodge prospered, and enlarged their hall during the year 1873, reporting at its close a membership of thirty-three—free from debt. At this writing (March, 1881) the lodge has a membership of fifty-eight (not including the one lout by death, nor the many others who, having removed to other jurisdictions, have withdrawn by permit), and is the purchaser of the entire property on which their hall is situated. In March, 1881,’it was incorporated, by ‘William Clark, J. M. Noble, Henry Fulton, Henry Casey, and J. M. McCoy, trustees.
Following are the officers for 1881: J. M. McCoy, W. M.; William Clark, 8. W.; C. Sturbe, J. W.; H. L. Wilson, Secretary; H. Casey, Treasurer; R. K. Watson, S. D.; A. A. Kerr, J. D.; L. Dillinger, Tyler; William Noble, W. Squier, Stewards.