Jamestown #352

Jamestown Lodge No. 352

Stated Meetings:
Third Thursday
Jan-Jun/Sep-Dec @7:30 PM
6 1/2 N LIMESTONE ST
JAMESTOWN OH, 45335
History
Chartered October 18th,1865
On Tuesday, November 11, 1864, the initial petitioners for Dispensation met for their first official meeting.
The first Lodge Hall was the upper room of the Davis Building, just two doors south of the present Lodge room.
Jamestown Lodge was one of the early ‘moon’ Lodges which held meetings on Tuesdays before each full moon.  Since the Lodge remained opened all year this caused two meetings to be held in some months.  In years like 1884, the Lodge met 13 times, twice in September (the 2nd and 30th).  The second occurrence of a full moon in any calendar is called a ‘blue moon’, therefore extra meetings were held by Jamestown Lodge once a blue moon!
On July 21, 1900, Brothers J. L. Ginn, J. H. Sanders, and Jess Taylor, Trustees of Jamestown Lodge #352, were instructed to enter into an agreement to build our present Lodge room for the sum of $2,000.00, and to sell the old Lodge room to the same firm for the sum of $40-0.00.
In 1938, Right Worshipful Brother Harry B. Pickering was appointed as District Deputy Grand Master of the 8thMasonic District.
Right Worshipful Brother Royce Pauley was installed as District Deputy Grand Master of the 8th Masonic on November 2, 1972.
On November 4, 1989, Right Worshipful Brother Waiter R. Jones was installed as District Deputy Grand Master.
With continued remodeling and redecorating, the building has been kept in a good state of repair to the present day, and membership has grown from the original 58 members to 104 at the present time.
More History…
Jamestown Lodge No. 352, Free and Accepted Masons, was chartered on October 18, 1865, with the following charter members: J. W. Pulliam, M. O. Adams, G. W. Wright, J. T. Houston, H. H. Gibney, E. Doherty, A. D. Dowden and J. R. Kendall. The first officers included the following: J. W. Pulliam, worshipful master; A. D. Dowden, senior warden; M. O. Adams, junior warden; J. T. Houston, treasurer; D. N. Foreman, secretary; J. R. Kendall, senior deacon; Samuel Zortman, junior deacon; John Zeiner, tyler. The lodge owns the second floor of the Adams store building, where it has well-appointed quarters for the work of the lodge. The order expended approximately three thousand dollars for its share of the building. The present officers are Frank Johnson, worshipful master; H. L. Bowermeister, senior warden; H. C. Fisher, junior warden; M. T. McCreight, treasurer; J. D. King, secretary; Otto Thorpe, senior deacon; J. Leroy Spahr, junior deacon; F. W. Ogan, tyler; C. E. Thuma, master of ceremonies; J. H. Sanders, L. C. Walker and J. H. Perry, trustees; C. E. Thuma and C. E. Ream, grievance committee; R. H. Glass and J. H. Perry, stewards. The past masters of the lodge are J. W. Pulliam, J. T. Houston, John Zeiner, G. E. Bailey, D. M. Shrack, W. F. McMillan, F. W. Alden, J. B. Christopher, W. H. Blair, L. C. Walker, W. A. Paxson, M. J. Flannery, Frank McGuire, R. W. Christy, Charles Clark, H. K. Laird. C. E. Thuma, Frank Shigley, F. W. Ogan, J. D. King, R. H. Glass, C. E. Gerard, J. H. Perry, L. W. Dunham, G. K. Dennis and Otto Thorpe. The present membership is ninety.
Jamestown Lodge
150 Years of Brotherly Love, Relief and Truth
1864 – UNDER DISPENSATION
A group of Masons — led by Joseph W Pullum, Adolphus D Duden and Morgan O Adams — met for the first time as Jamestown Freemasons on November 14, 1864, under special Dispensation from the Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons of Ohio.
In the first year of its existence, Worshipful Brother Pullum read 39 petitions for advancement our fraternity, and the founding Brethren wasted no time in beginning their degree work. Thomas H Adams and John M Taylor (Entered Apprentices from Xenia #49) were Passed to the Degree of Fellowcraft during the very first tyled meeting. They hold the honor being the first candidates for any Masonic degree in this new Lodge.
The exhibition of work took a remarkable upturn on the second meeting.
On December 13, Brothers Adams and Taylor returned to be Raised to the Sublime Degree of a Master Mason. Followed closely behind them, John C McMillen and Lisben L Syfers (both from Xenia) received their Fellowcraft Degrees. And then four Initiates became the first Entered Apprentices of a country Lodge barely six weeks old: Thomas Haughey, Elijah Huzzy, William S Johnson, and William B McClain.
Throughout 1865, Jamestown would continue an impressive speed of degree work.
Meeting            EA   FC   MM   Ttl Degrees/mtng
November 14             2         =    2
December 13        4    2    2    =    8
January 10, 1865   4    3    2    =    9
February 7         1    3    2    =    6
March 7                 2    3    =    5
March 18           2             =    2
April 4            5    1    1    =    7
May 9              5             =    5
June 6             5    5    2    =    12
July 4             3    4    3    =    10
August 1           2    2    4    =    8
September 5        1    2    3    =    6
October 3               1    2    =    3
These numbers certainly appear staggering. It’s difficult to imagine fifteen Entered Apprentice ceremonies between April 4 and June 6, or even the 42 TOTAL degrees between April and August. But one must also keep in mind that the Ritual of the time was different than it is now.
1864 – OUR EVOLVING RITUAL
Before there was a uniform Code for the state, many Lodges naturally evolved their own Ritual through repetition and instruction. Indeed, these variations were also brought from other Masons from the Eastern seaboard, by demits from other states, and through travelling lecturers.
Influence on the Ritual came across the ocean as well, from the two competing Grand Lodges in England (prior to the formation of the United Grand Lodge of England in 1813), as well as the Grand Lodges of Ireland and Scotland – all four of which had chartered Lodges in the New World before the modern, state Grand Lodge jurisdictions were established.
While the Ohio Grand Lodge did established a uniformed Code in 1859, there was resistance to its initial spread. Many Lodges – and specifically our bull-headed Brethren – either preferred the Ritual they had been taught, or else found it difficult to ‘unlearn’ what they had already committed to memory. So while the state had adopted a uniform Code, it’s very likely that even the men of Jamestown maintained their own variations through the original degree work of this Lodge’s first, highly-active year.
Especially in the case of the Master Mason Degree, this fact is evidenced.
On February 29, 1912, Jamestown Lodge was reprimanded by the District Lecturer and he “demanded of us to put on the Master Mason Degree with the full twelve fellowcrafts.” A committee was eventually formed seven months later “to put on a show at the Opera House to raise money to buy robes for putting on work in third degree.”
Receipt of the robes is recorded in the regular business on November 21. Nevertheless, from the February 20, 1913 visit:
“The District Lecturer gave us a good, instructive talk and made a very favorable report in every way except the way in which we confer the third Degree. And again requested us to [use] the twelve fellowcrafts and suggested that the Worshipful Master appoint a Master of Ceremonies to organize a team at once and drill them.”
There is no recorded time when the full Master Mason Degree was performed. However, the following year, the District Lecturer observed the Raising of Brother Clyde Armstrong and the minutes only indicate a “small number of instructive remarks.”
Likewise, both the Entered Apprentice and Fellowcraft Degrees performed by the Brethren in 1865 would differ somewhat from today’s Ritual, though there is no indication of Jamestown being Inspected in any degree other than the Master Mason until May 5, 1918, when Brother Claud H Chitty was Initiated (Inspected by Right Worshipful Brother A R Huston of Circleville.)
1865 – A LONG HISTORY OF RELIEF AND AID
Abroad in 1865, a Russian playwright worked on a novel that would become arguably the greatest novel ever written: Leo Tolstoy released War and Peace. And Lewis Carroll in England published Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. But in America, John Wilkes Boothe placed a gun to the back of President Abraham Lincoln’s head.
We were a nation reeling with shock and sorrow.
Tragedy wasn’t far from Jamestown Lodge in its first year of operation. On September 5, 1865, the Lodge passed a motion for aid for Worshipful Master Joseph Pullum, who had sustained losses not only by fire but also by thief. One can only imagine this tragic event pulled the Brethren of this new Lodge together into an even tighter group.
By the exercise of Relief, Jamestown continued as a beacon of aid and support in an unforgiving world. Between 1865 and 1882 — just 17 years — the Lodge granted aid 24 seperate times. 11 benefited Brethren from around Ohio and beyond, 7 assisted Lodges (3 building new halls), 3 to the families of late members, and 3 to help fund Masonic projects.
Only once was aid refused. The minutes of September 2, 1873 solemnly state that “the scarceness of funds in the Treasury” was the cause for our first ever denial. A collection was taken up from those present, though no total was ever specified.
For many years, details into individual meetings are sparse, at best. The necessity for meticulous note-taking was absent during the tenures of our first few Secretaries, and conditions in the minutes didn’t improve until Brother William K Shifflet took over in December 1882. Before Shifflet, no one sat at the desk for more than three terms in succession. He maintained his seat until November 1898 — sixteen years.
In fact, many times in the oldest ledgers ONLY the grant of aid was deemed worthy for posterity. Reasons for the aid were periodically scrawled across the page — widows and orphans; yellow fever; a fire in Michigan; ‘a National Masonic Educational Instute for Orphans of Masons.’ The amount sent to each weren’t always specified, and there were times when the minutes reflected only the fact that a collection had been taken from all those present.
It is interesting to note that in the same year that Jamestown Lodge sent aid six times (the most in any given year thus far), The Ancient Arabic Order of Nobles of the Mystic Shrine was founded in New York. From the Shrine’s origins in 1870, they are one of the most recognizeable Masonic branches in the world today whose charitable endeavors are inspiring and truly life-saving.
On May 3, 1884, a committee was established to receive “funds for the relief of the members who suffered loss from the effect of the late tornado.” In all, 18 Jamestown “Master Masons in good standing” received the help. The following year, on September 22, the remainder of the tornado fund was given to Fayette #107.
A special meeting was called on March 27, 1913, “for the purpose of a donation to the Dayton flood sufferers and upon motion which was duly seconded, it was a unanimous vote.”
The minutes of June 24, 1915 read, “Motion and second and carried that this lodge become a member of the Masonic Relief Association, and that Brother Frank Shigley be placed in charge of Masonic Charity for Sojourners.” And then on June 28, 1917, “Moved, seconded and carried that Lodge donate $25 to Red Cross. Moved, seconded and carried that Lodge remit dues to any Brother who is called to service of US during war for the time he is in service.”
It was also reported on July 18, 1940 that Brother Delvan E Hilton was in the hospital at the Soldier’s Home in Dayton, yet he was “getting along fine. Brother Nelson also reported that he took Brother Hilton a box of cigars, as ordered by Lodge.” …I’m sure his doctor was most appreciative.
Our Jamestown Brethren assisted in the war effort during WWII. Through the last half of 1942, the dining room hosted members of the Red Cross “for the purpose of making bandages for war work.” Along with numerous donations to the war fund, they installed a stove for the benefit of the Red Cross workers.
On November 19, 1943, it was motioned and carried that “the Dues of our members in the services of the Army, Navy or Marines be suspended for the duration of the War.”
An F5 tornado touched down in Trumbull County, Ohio on May 31, 1985, and it travelled 47 miles through Ohio and Western Pennsylvania. Aid was immediately and unanimously approved at the very next meeting, June 20.
1866 – A SOLID CORPS OF LEADERSHIP
Election Night in November of 1866 witnessed Brother James L Houston succeeding Worshipful Brother Joseph Pullum in the East. Houston became the second Past Master of Jamestown Lodge, a title that wasn’t handed over lightly by our Founding Brethren.
All the way up to Election Night in 1882 — 18 years — only FIVE men would serve as Master of Jamestown.
WB Joseph W Pullum      1865, 66, 68
WB James L Houston      1867, 69
WB John Zeiner          1870, 71, 72, 73, 76, 77, 82
WB Granison E Bailey    1874, 79
WB Dennis M Shrack      1875, 78, 80, 81, 82, 85, 90
John Zeiner’s seventh term as Worshipshful Master in 1882 would serve only to drape the East in sadness as our Brother passed away while in office. Worshipful Brother Shrack, by special dispensation from the Grand Lodge, stepped in to finish the year.
But that November, as William F McMillen’s name was read aloud, the leadership of Jamestown Lodge began to see a trickle effect of new faces…
By 1892, W A Paxson became the eleventh Past Master and sat at the beginning of a Jamestown first: four new Masters in quick succession. M J Flannery followed Paxson in 1893, then Frank McGuire stepped up in 1894, and finally R W Christy sat down in 1895.
[McGuire returned to the hot seat in 1896 and ended the streak.]
22 new Masters were minted from 1923 to 1947, and that DOUBLED the number of Jamestown Past Masters in HALF the time of their predecessors! If the strength of a Lodge can be measured by the number of Masons in line to tackle the East, than the 25 year era that began midway through the Roaring Twenties was a VERY vibrant time in our history. (See the Past Master list near the end.)
Two Brethren sat in the East seven times each — Dennis M Shrack and John Zeiner.
Only three have come close, each serving as Master four seperate times.
WB William F McMillen   1883, 86, 91, 1900
WB Leonidas C Walker    1889, 97, 1901, 02
WB Steve A Brown        1989, 90, 97, 2007
Six men have served the East three times each.
WB Joseph W Pullum 1865, 66, 68
WB Ralph H Glass   1911, 12, 22
WB Claud H Chitty  1934, 35, 43
WB Vernon Weller   1981, 92, 94
WB Bill Brundege   1995, 96, 2002
WB James Williams  1999, 2003, 04
Fourteen have stepped into the hot seat twice.
WB James L Houston      1867, 69
WB Granison E Bailey    1874, 79
WB Frank McGuire        1894, 96
WB C Ernest Thuma       1903, 04
WB Frank Shigley        1905, 06
WB F W Ogan             1907, 08
WB John D King          1909, 10
WB Thomas Richard Sharp 1938, 48
WB Lawrence A Mason     1949, 50
WB Ellis Stethem        1974, 78
WB Byron Beekman        1977, 79
WB James R Stethem      1983, 88
WB Randall E Weller     1986, 2008
WB Michael Younker      1998, 2006
[* Side note: If Worshipful Brother Steve Brown were to sit as Master one more time after 2015, he would become the FIRST five-time Past Master in 133 years. The other two were Jamestown rockstars Shrack (133 years ago) and Zeiner (139 years ago).]
1868 – THE LEGACY OF OUR FOUNDING BRETHREN
As Worshipful Brother Joseph Pullum stepped back into the East (for the final time) in 1868, Albert Pike worked on the final revisions to “Morals and Dogma,” the degree system that would become the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite. Alfred Nobel had already patented dynamite, Alaska had been purchased, and Nebraska obtained statehood.
Worshipful Brother Pullum led and shaped and strengthened his Lodge as the world raced into the modern era around him. During his tenure in Jamestown, Ohio, he was witness to events that shaped the Grand Lodge of Ohio, as well as his own lodge:
The Election in November of 1870 was the first time that ALL officers (aside from the Tyler) had previous officer experience of some kind.
On April 16, 1872, the Brethren passed a motion to grant a dispensation for Jeffersonville Lodge. In that same year, the growing number of petitions necessitated the use of more special meetings than ever before.
In 1872, 21 total meetings were held, including four within a two-week span in October.
Also for the first time in recorded history, Jamestown closed down for two consecutive, summer months (June & July of 1876).
And finally on September 26, 1876, Worshipful Brother Pullum was witness to a Grand Lodge delegate who arrived to poll the Lodge on their opinions of “the recognition of Colored Masons.”
After his final stint as Master, Worshipful Brother Pullum went on to serve as Senior Deacon in 1869 & 1870, as well as Trustee in 1869 & 1872. On March 11, 1873, he was suspended for non-payment of dues, but was promptly reinstated the very next meeting. He enjoyed a quieter time in Jamestown Lodge before demitting out in September 18, 1877.
Adolphus D Duden — our first Senior Warden — had a much rockier membership. He was suspended for non-payment of dues on February 12, 1867, although reinstated a month later. Duden was again suspended on January 26, 1869. There is no mention of his reinstatement, but it was clearly a detail overlooked by the presiding Secretary because he reprised his role as Senior Warden in 1872. A few months after stepping down from his post, he was expelled for un-Masonic conduct (March 11, 1873).
Morgan O Adams — our first Junior Warden — remained active within the Lodge until his eventual demit on December 10, 1872. (Senior Deacon, 1866. Trustee, 1867. Senior Deacon, 1871.)
The short tenures of these men — within the Lodge that they helped establish — should not be looked upon as bleak or sad. Rather, all three should speak to the travelling craftsmen in all of us. Their mark has been left in the walls and the seats around us today; they are the reason you’re reading this 150 years later.
Whatever accomplishments which came before in the lives of these Masons — and whatever followed — will never have the same effect on every single man who has been Initiated, Passed and Raised in this Lodge. Their time, effort, patience, zeal and dedication has lived on to change the lives of every man lucky enough to call himself a Jamestown Freemason.
1869 – THE ZEINER ERA
The election of November 1869 is an important one, because ALMOST ALL of the major players of the next dozen years are shuffled into positions of leadership, and they would shape Jamestown Freemasonry into the very definition of Masonic excellence. (In fact, the only remaining name missing from this list is only two years away from turning in his petition — Dennis M Shrack would be duly Initiated on May 21, 1872).
After returning to the Senior Warden’s station during the previous election, John Zeiner decided that he was finally ready to take over the reigns of Jamestown Lodge. He would leave behind him a short but incredible legacy as the third new Worshipful Master.
Within the next twelve years, Zeiner sat in the East seven times. His first four years happened in quick succession, four years in a row. He remains the ONLY Master to sit in the East more than twice without a break.
The rest of the officer’s line is a celebrity snapshot, yet their list of offices held fails miserably at commemorating their contributions from meeting to meeting, for years.
Worshipful Master John Zeiner, Demitted in February 7, 1865
Tyler, 1865
Senior Warden, 1867, 69
Worshipful Master, 1870 – 73, 76, 77, 82 (Died while in office)
Steward, 1875
Senior Warden Granison E Bailey, Initiated November 28, 1865
Secretary, 1868, 69, 77, 78
Trustee, 1868, 69, 73, 74
Senior Warden, 1870, 71 – 73
Worshipful Master, 1874, 79
Junior Warden/Treasurer Thomas J Lucas, Initiated May 9, 1865
Trustee, 1866, 71
Junior Warden, 1870
Treasurer, 1866 – 1872
Last tribute, May 29, 1872, age 78 at time of death
Senior Deacon Joseph W Pullum
Worshipful Master, 1865 – 1866, 1868
Senior Deacon, 1869 – 1870
Trustee, 1869, 72
Dimitted out, September 18, 1877
Junior Deacon Moses Sanders, Initiated May 9, 1865
Tyler, 1866
Junior Deacon, 1870, 71, 72, 78, 86
Trustee, 1871, 72, 77, 82, 85, 86, 89 – 91
Last sad rites, November 17, 1903
Secretary Cyrus K Marshall, Initiated May 18, 1869
Secretary, 1870 – 72, 75, 76
Trustee, 1875
Expelled for NPD May 22, 1888
On April 16, 1872, these are the Jamestown Brethren who passed a motion to grant the dispensation for the Brothers in Fayette County to organize Jeffersonville #468. The petition addressed to the Grand Master was presented, and the recommendation granted to establish their Lodge on September 10 of the same year.
1879 – JAMESTOWN’S SOCIAL SIDE
A group of gathered Masons is boisterous with conversation and laughter, and that’s a tradition that predates even Anderson’s Constitution! Jamestown has proudly maintained this unwritten pillar of the Masonic community.
The Brethren called the Lodge to refreshment and enjoyed an oyster dinner at Florence & Strongs on January 7, 1879 (followed by cigars and candy at Brother M L McCreght’s store, then they resumed work in the lodge room).
After Raising Brother Frank McGuire on July 17, 1891, the Lodge – consisting of more Masons than previously recorded – “repaired to the Wickersham House and banqueted in right royal style.” And they continued the practice of feasting like kings on various wild game, donated goats, hunted rabbits, and a “water mellon feast” (among many others).
On November 20, 1925, “The committee on Game Supper recommended that due to the scarcity of game and the new advent of Thanksgiving that the game supper be omitted this season and that we have a supper for Installation New Year’s Eve for Masons and ladies, making a charge per plate to cover costs of same.”
A Father and Son Banquet became a favorite event nearly every year through the 30’s, 40’s, 50’s and 60’s.
Jamestown members were also present at several cornerstone layings. While most of the details about these events have been lost or were otherwise never recorded, a few instances do survive within our many ledgers.
One such instance was the Bowersville School House cornerstone ceremony on June 7, 1915. While details were not initially contained, a motion was carried “to secure a copy of the Greene Co Journal which contains report of the laying of the cornerstone.” This can be found attached to page 240 in the ledger dated May 11, 1905 – January 4, 1917.
It reads, “One of the most impressive ceremonies held in this section in years, was performed at Bowersville, on Monday afternoon at 2:30, when the Grand Lodge of Ohio, Free and Accepted Masons, laid the cornerstone of the new Jefferson township centralized school building, according to ancient Masonic usage. …Grand Master, Edward C Rector; Deputy Grand Master, L W Dunham; Senior Grand Warden, C E Thurna*; Junior Grand Warden, G K Dennis*; Grand Treasurer, L C Walker*; Grand Secretary, John H Perry*; …Grand Chaplain, W F Cole; Grand Marshall, R H Glass*; Senior Grand Deacon, Otto Thorpe*; …Grand Steward, J D King*; Grand Steward, C W Sharp*; Grand Tyler, James A Watkins*; Bearer of Great Lights, M T McCreight*; Past Master of Light, C E Gerard*; …Past Master of Silver Vessel, Frank Shigley*; …Principal Architect, Harley Owens; Steward, Ora Reeves*; Steward, J O McDorman; Tyler, Frank Fisher. …Prof. L S O’Day, of the Bowersville schools, presented the trowel to the Grand Master and invited him to proceed with the work.”
[* denotes a Jamestown member]
Another entry in the minutes from April 16, 1936 merely states that a committee was“appointed to see about the laying of corner stone for the new school building.” And our Brethren were invited by West Milton #577 to the laying of the cornerstone for a new school building on June 21, 1938.
It was reported on November 12, 1940 that tragedy had befallen Jamestown again when Ralph H Glass “passed away, very suddenly, on Sunday afternoon in Yellow Springs, when he went to witness and take part in the laying of the cornerstone of the new Federal Building.”
When the Village of Jamestown government offices sought to move out of the old Opera House in October 1996, the Brethren were on hand for the cornerstone laying.
Jamestown was a Lodge of Masonic education and philosophical discussion since its Founding. To that effect, many presentations were brought before our Brethren for mental digestion.
On April 8, 1873, Granison E Bailey “entertained the Lodge with a description of King Solomon’s Temple and the manner by which it was built.” And Brother H Camp of Olseago #285 (Olseago, Michigan), “delivered an appropriate lecture on the history of Masonry,” at our Installation of Officers on November 29, 1882.
Brother Jesse Taylor – from a lodge in Kansas – sat in on a meeting, and expressed his thanks to the lodge for a allowing him “to sit in the lodge room in which his father had been made a Mason,” December 27, 1895. His father was John F Taylor, who was one of two first Fellowcrafts and one of two first Master Masons EVER to be Passed and Raised (back in 1864).
“Quite a good social discussion took place under miscellaneous business in regard to the ‘Code’ and the teachings of the order and many other good things pertaining to the order. This discussion was free, and almost all the Brothers entered into it, and taken as a whole it was an excellent meeting and a goodly number of the Brothers were in attendance,” March 16, 1905.
“Brother Glenn K Dennis gave us a talk about the Masonic Home at Springfield, which was very instructive,” October 21, 1915. And then on February 2, 1922, “The Special Communication was called for the purpose of instructions. We had a number of interesting talks. Brothers C Ernest Thurna and Frank McGuire gave us talks along the line of efficiency and strict adherence to the Code and principles of Freemasonry.”
Ray N Linton “gave talk on the Masonic Service Center for the Army at Lawton, Oklahoma,” on December 18, 1942. And on May 31, 1945, Robert Lee Ringer was on furlough and talked about the Masonic Club at Guadiqual Canal, where he was stationed.
An unknown, visiting Mason from an unspecified lodge presented newly-Installed “Worshipful Master Max Wallace with a book from the Scottish Rite of Miami Valley to record his year’s activities,” January 17, 1963. Then on January 7, 1966, Illustrious Brother Robert Clark, Most Wise Master of The Chapter of the Rose Croix, attended the Fellowcraft Degree upon Brother Curtis Grider.
When Brother Warren Tidd was Raised in the Master Mason Degree (April 30, 1970), Brother Arthur Deal — a traveling Mason from Europe — was in attendance. Brother Deal also participated in the closing of a special meeting on April 6, 1972, by closing the Bible “in the ritualistic form of England.”
March 21, 1973, just before a Master Mason Degree: “Brother Layman McCombs, Prophet Monarch of the Grotto, and Worshipful Brother William Jordan, Master of St Andrews Lodge #619 of Springfield, were introduced. At this time, the Brethren from the Grotto introduced themselves. They assumed their stations and proceeded with the evening.”
“Right Worshipful Brother Billy Joe Jones, Grand High Priest, gave a short talk of Royal Arch Masonry and the need for members in that fraternity,” September 15, 1988.
1879 – THE BUSINESS AND UPKEEP OF A COUNTRY LODGE
Modern Masons are perfectly aware of the headaches from a building’s monthly maintence and the annual budget restrictions that hinder those efforts. The first time the Jamestown ledgers reflect upon this well-known concern, a motion to insure the Masonic Hall was carried on September 23, 1879. Much would follow.
Every 3-4 years, a committee was routinely appointed for the purpose of redecorating the lodge room, ante room, or dining room. Sometimes this only included painting and hanging pictures, other times, however, they were much more specific in their committee demands — like changing the outside hall door to swing outward (October 13, 1910, been that way ever since), or laying an asphalt tile floor in the dining room (January 20, 1955).
Nevertheless, this fastidious approach to the care of our Lodge garnered attention. A clipping from “The Ohio Mason” on December 23, 1921 (fixed to page 189 in the ledger dated February 1, 1917 – May 18, 1922):
“The Columbus party left in autos at about three pm and made a delightful drive of fifty-one miles to Jamestown, Ohio, in about two hours… no one being late for dinner at 6:30, which was such a one as we might expect from a lodge in a small country town, consisted of chicken, the finest ever… The quarters of Jamestown Lodge are the finest we ever saw in a small town, and the light effects – which were put in by a member of the lodge – we have never seen equaled anywhere; the various colors of the rainbow being thrown into the dome giving a very pleasing effect… In the ante rooms and hallway eighteen photos of the deceased members of the lodge, almost life size, neatly framed and tastefully arranged, were hung as a loving tribute of affection, giving one the impression that the brethren of Jamestown Lodge are indeed a band of brothers in fact as well as in name… May the lodge and the town continue to grow and prosper.”
As mentioned earlier, the business conducted during the early decades of Jamestown Lodge remain shrouded in mystery. The same is true for details that we today easily take for granted. A quick examination of different purchases, donations, changes and upgrades help to unleash the imagination…
New regalia and working tools, January 31, 1882.
New altar, January 16, 1883.
Our first increase in annual dues was to $4 and was adopted into the by-laws on August 14, 1883.
Our first meeting night switch was from Tuesday to Friday (March 24, 1891), then to Thursdays (October 5, 1900). It was changed from the 1st Thursday to “on or before the full moon” (December 15, 1911), and finally to the 3rd Thursday on January 20, 1921.
Coal box and urinal removed, December 31, 1909.
Phone taken out, August 18, 1910. (The installation of the phone was overlooked in the minutes, although a dated telephone bill from July 5, 1905 confirms one was in use for several years at least! On January 28, 1915, it was re-installed, then it was removed again on November 9, 1917.)
Old organ sold, October 9, 1913.
New lesser lights and robes, November 21, 1913.
Roof repairs mentioned for the first time, May 14, 1914.
New Officer’s jewels, March 20, 1924
New book shelf for Grand Lodge reports, June 21, 1928.
New kitchen stove, July 18, 1929.
New Bible, December 18, 1931
Framed our Charter, December 17, 1932.
Installed pool table, May 20, 1949.
Within these same walls, it’s difficult for many of us to picture Jamestown Lodge with a pool table, or an organ, or even working tools fashioned before 1882. Still, we continued to grow, modernize, and evolve with an ever changing world.
“A donation from the OES of $15 to help purchase carpet for our anti-room was presented and on motion it was accepted and a note of thanks returned to this order for same,” December 27, 1906.
January 19, 1922, “The decorating committee, Brothers Charles W Sharp, C Ernest Thuma and Otto Thorpe, having completed the work of installing a modern and efficient light system and redecorating the entire quarters, submitted their final report, which was accepted and committee discharged.”
“Heating committee reported that Mister Neal Hunter agreed to install a heater and guarantee to heat the room for $97.50,” the ledger reads for October 21, 1926. “Mister Hunter states he will guarantee to heat the room or remove it.” But on December 16, 1927, “Motioned and seconded and carried that the stove committee be instructed to see Mister Hunter and tell him that the heater would not heat the room and would ask him to remove it and also see if he had any other stove or heater he would like to try on same proposition.” (The following meeting, it was reported that Mister Hunter would indeed replace the heater for $165.)
March 17, 1932, “Secretary instructed to acknowledge receipt of Washington Picture from Congressman Schuyler Otis Bland.”
“Trustees to see about insurance increase on building and contents, including the new carpet,” April 3, 1947.
“A vote of thanks extended to Brother Lawrence A Mason for the picture screen,” June 19, 1947.  On March 15, 1951, “It was agreed that Brothers Clark, Paul Langdon, Robert Gerard and Burr would meet at Dayton Film Supplies Inc. in Dayton Ohio, on Saturday noon, March 17 to purchase one of two different makes of projector.”
Three chairs were donated by Brother Neal Hunter for the three stations in 1950, “which originally came from the pulpits of two Jamestown churches.” Additional chairs were acquired from Wittenberg University on June 17, 1973.
New windows were installed on February 20, 1969.
“Brother Vernon Weller moved and Brother Russell Weller seconded to have picture of our Past Masters taken and displayed in the ante room,” March 17, 1977. On April 21, 1977, a motion was passed to purchase “a projector and three trays for slides for degree work.”
It came before the lodge that “the glass in the entrance door had been broken a couple times, and [the matter was] referred to the Trustees for action,” March 19, 1981.
Then on January 18, 1990, “Made a motion to purchase carpeting for the dining room, ceiling fans and necessary wiring and switches for the lodge room, new world and celestial globes.”
THE ADAMS BUILDING
The very first house built in Jamestown, Ohio was the Parker House property, and it was used at the time as a tavern. The tavern would later fall into the care of Zina B Adams, who later had four sons: Morgan O Adams, Samuel Adams, John Quincy Adams and Thomas H Adams.
With the exception of Samuel, all three brothers were prominent Jamestown Masons and popular members of the community.
Thomas H Adams built the structure which currently stands at 6 1/2 N Limestone Street around 1865, around the same time that Jamestown Lodge received its Charter.
All lodge furniture and paraphenalia were ordered to be moved to our current premises on January 31, 1901.
The Brethren (led by Leonidas C Walker) didn’t wait long to invite everyone around for a glimpse of the new lodge room. During a Special Communication on March 5, 1901, we were “assisted by Most Worshipful Brother Allen Andrews, Past Grand Master, and Brother S B Ercus, District Lecturer, as well as a constitutional number of members and visiting brethren from Xenia Lodge #49, Leonare Lodge, Sabina Lodge, Fayette Lodge, New Burlington Lodge, and others …to dedicate our new lodge” and to raise Brother Charles W Sharpe.
The Jamestown Masons would not be alone for long, however. On May 21, 1901, the Brethren passed a motion to “permit the Chapter of the Eastern Star to use the Lodge room, ante rooms, and banquet hall for their meetings provide said organization pay the additional expenses incurred.”
 A BRIEF TOUR THROUGH THE HIGHLIGHTS
The Jamestown Lodge history thus far has stepped forward and backward in time whenever a subject begged to be explored. However, we have now arrived at a point where all those storylines have marched AROUND many of our noteworthy milestones.
Following are a few highlights which perferate everything you’ve read so far, and a few snippets from the world just beyond the lodge walls.
1871
On May 4, the first game of Major League Baseball is reported to have been played. A few months later on August 29, the Brethren passed a motion for aid from J F McKinney to establish National Capital of a National Masonic Educational Institute for Orphans of Masons.
1884
In the same year that the exterior, stone structure of the Washington Monument was completed, notes were scrawled in the ledger that Jamestown Lodge closed without doing any business at all (July 1), citing that “the weather being almost oppressive and no business of importance” was deemed worthy of the break.
1888
A motion was made on February 21 to hold meetings every two weeks. Worshipful Master Jason B Christopher immediately declared this “out of order.” Then in November, the Washington Memorial was open to the public.
1893
“The Panic of 1893” began on May 5, when the New York Stock Exchange crashed and ignited an economic depression. On December 15 of the same year, we passed a motion to “present Mrs Kate Boteler, Mrs Sallie Shrack, Mrs Tibbitts and Mrs Mary Jidd turkeys, oysters, etc … as Christmas tokens of the lodge.”
1896
Henry Ford completed the Ford Quadricycle on June 4, his first vehicle that would eventually lead to the building of his empire. Then on November 13, Worshipful Master Frank McGuire suspended the “rules governing the election of officers,” and the Secretary “announced that according to authority vested in him he cast thirteen ballots for John Philip Frank for Tyler which was the entire vote of the lodge.”
1912
“Communication from twelve members of various lodges who reside at Cedarville asking Jamestown #352 to give consent to their forming a Lodge of F&AM to be [groomed] as Cedarville Lodge was read and laid on table for consideration,” December 19.
“Petition for dispensation of Cedarville re-read and ballot ordered which was unanimous to granting request of said Brothers,” January 16, 1913. …A couple months later on March 25, four days of rain flooded the Dayton area.
1915
As Babe Ruth hit his first career home run off of pitcher Jack Warhop, the Jamestown Brethren enjoyed fifty strong years of Brotherly Love. The excitement of the Installation of Officers on their anniversary year was evident even in the minutes of December 31, where the stewards were ordered “to see that Brother McCreight gets a jelly roll frequently.”
1923
A banquet was held in honor of Frank McGuire following his promotion to the 33rd Degree, November 7.
“The O. E. S. served supper to 75 members and visitors in honor of Brother Frank McGuire who was recently exalted to the 33rd Degree in Masonry. Brother McGuire was accompanied by Grand Master Brother Voorhees and a number of other personal Masonic friends. Among the out of town guests were Brother Martin J Spires, District Lecturer and Brother Clarence E Gerard who acted as Toast Master for the occasion. At the conclusion of the evening’s entertainment which consisted of – in addition to a grand feast – music by a number of the younger set and members of the Masonic families, speaking & etc. A Past Master’s Jewel was presented Brother McGuire – Brother W A Paxson making the presentation speech.”
Upon news of his death on October 26, 1924, “Brother McGuire served his lodge two or more times as its Worshipful Master and in practically every other capacity. He was very devoted to his lodge and it was a common occurrence for him to drive from his home in Columbus to Jamestown to attend lodge and return home same night – a distance of more than 100 miles.”
And finally at our Inspection on February 23, 1925, “Brother Dwight M McGuire of Kurmar #617, Columbus, Ohio, presented his father’s picture to the Lodge. He made quite an impressive presentation speech – dwelling on his father’s love for his home lodge.”
1937
On the same day that Crystal City, Texas erected a statue of Popeye, the Jamestown Annual Inspection was absent one very important witness — our Inspecting Officer. “Account of a misunderstanding,” the March 26 minutes read, “the District Lecturer failed to appear, which was a disappointment for all present.”
The Fellowcraft Degree continued anyway, and Brother Wilford D Seslar was Passed that evening.
On April 23, all were accounted for and Brother Seslar was Raised for Inspection. French “gave a talk on the Washington Memorial, asking the individual members to contribute $1 each towards its upkeep. J K Robinson told of his own visit to the Memorial.”
1938
“This was indeed a red letter date for Jamestown Lodge #352, April 1, 1938, on account of having with us Bro Louis B Blakemore, The Most Worshipful Grand Master of Ohio, who gave us several very interesting talks, which were well received.” Mrs Blakemore complimented the meal of the Order of the Eastern Star, as well as the redecorating of the Lodge.
On June 30 of the same year, Superman made his debut in Action Comics #1.
1949
On March 10, the Jamestown Brethren were facing a time crunch for conducting the funeral services of late Brother Orvin Glass. Their largest hurdle: Eastern Star’s Inspection had booked the lodge room. So, they re-arranged the dining room and held their heavy-hearted, special meeting with the kitchen appliances in audience.
Around the world, Communist progress prodded a Second Red Scare that would soon grip the United States…
1952
On November 4, the National Security Agency was founded.
A month later, “It was noted that Brother Frank Shigley had held office in this Lodge for 42 years and has been Treasurer for 32 years.” He was also complimented on “his most excellent attendence record in more than 50 years.”
He would pass away while in office in June 1957 — 36 total years as Treasurer.
1955
Jamestown was visited by “Brother Penney of Osterley Lodge No 6430, of the Province of Middlesex, England, who is a commissioned officer in the Royal Air Force and at this time stationed at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base on an exchange mission… Brother Penney gave an interesting talk concerning Masonry in England and the English Provinces,” on February 17.
A few weeks later in Montgomery, Alabama, fifteen year old Claudette Colvin refused to give up her seat on the bus to a white woman and was arrested. Racial tensions neared a boiling point.
1957
“The Worshipful Master appointed Junior Warden Brother Kenneth Fields and Senior Warden Brother Albert Liming as captains of opposing teams in a contest to improve our attendence. They are to choose sides and the side which has the best attendance record by the April meeting would receive a refreshment party to be given by the losing team,” January 17.
A month before the results were tallied, the FBI arrested Jimmy Hoffa and charged him with bribery.
1961
On the same day that President John F Kennedy delivered his first State of the Union Address (January 30), “Worshipful Brother Evans announced that Brother Roberts was the third generation of this family to become members of this Lodge and that all three generations were present.”
1964
“Brother Royce Lee Pauley was examined in the Master Mason Degree. This was a self accomplished act as Brother Pauley asked the questions and answered them.” He was only the second member to do this. First there was Brother Eugene Turner, and he was the Mason who made the motion to accept Pauley’s examination as satisfactory on February 1.
Just outside the walls of lodge room, “I Want to Hold Your Hand” vaulted to the top of the sales charts, and The Beatles became a household name in America.
1968
On April 2, “2001: A Space Odyssey” premiered in Washington DC. The Brethren passed a motion “to give an Assembly of Rainbow Girls permission to use the Temple for their meetings,” two days later.
1977
Just a few months after Elvis Presley performed his final concert, a remark was made in the minutes of November 19 that “Jamestown was one of only seven Lodges in this district that wore tuxes to every meeting.”
1990
For Jamestown’s 125th Reconsecration, Most Worshipful Brother John W McKahan presided, and commemorative coins were minted for the occasion. NASA launched the Hubble Space Telescope the same year.
2001
Officials in Xenia, Ohio opened a time capsule on February 27. Among the locked possessions: A history of New Burlington Lodge F&AM, a note from Xenia Chapter 36, RAM, and a member list from Jamestown Lodge – all preserved from 1901. Copies can be found on page 92 of “Greene County Ohio: Time Capsule of 1901” by Gillian Hill.
Only a few days beforehand, racing legend Dale Earnhardt died in a crash.
2009
The Loyal Order of the Royal Ohio Buckeyes was chartered on June 26. Merely twenty-four hours prior, King of Pop Michael Jackson passed away.
2010
Jamestown performed six Master Mason Degrees in one day, and it took the ENTIRE day. The Boy Scouts of America celebrated their 100th Anniversary.
2015
The Brethren of Jamestown carry on the torch lit by Joseph Pullum so many decades ago….
THE COMPLETE LIST OF JAMESTOWN PAST MASTERS
1.1865    Joseph W Pullum  (1866, 68)
2. 1867    James L Houston  (1869)
3.1870    John Zeiner  (1871, 72, 73, 76, 77, 82)
4.1874    Granison E Bailey  (1879)
5.1875    Dennis M Shrack  (1878, 80, 81, 82, 85, 90)
6.1883    William F McMillen  (1886, 91, 1900)
7.1884    W F Alden
8.1887    W H Blair
9.1888    Jason B Christopher
10. 1889    Leonidas C Walker  (1897, 1901, 02)
11.1892    W A Paxson
12.1893    M J Flannery
13.1894    Frank McGuire  (1896)
14.1895    R W Christy
15.1898    Charles Clark
16.1899    Herbert K Laird
17.1903    C Ernest Thuma  (1904)
18.1905    Frank Shigley  (1906)
19.1907    F W Ogan  (1908)
20.1909    John D King  (1910)
21.1911    Ralph H Glass  (1912, 22)
22.1913    Clarence Everett Gerard
23.1914    John H Perry
24.1915    L W Dunham
25.1916    Glenn K Dennis
26.1917    Otto Thorpe
27.1918    Frank Johnson
28.1919    H L Bowermeister
29.1920    Herbert C Fisher
30.1921    C L Ford
31.1923    D Lee Early
32.1924    Cliff C Kelso
33.1925    Frank E Burr
34.1926    William A Cook
35.1927    Ralph Elliot DeVoe
36.1928    Fred L Nelson
37.1929    Howard C Moorman
38.1930    Charles N Fudge
39.1931    Raymond H Sutton
40.1932    James Karl Robinson
41.1933    Rollo W Chitty
42.1934    Claud H Chitty  (1935, 43)
43.1936    Harry B Pickering
44.1937    Delvan E Hilton
45.1938    Thomas Richard Sharp  (1948)
46.1939    Edward Walker Irons
47.1940    Willard Gregg Thuma
48.1941    Byron W Nelson
49.1942    Wilford Dean Sesslar
50.1944    U Stanley Slusher
51.1945    Marion K Burr
52.1946    Leslie Harold Abersold
53.1947    Fred Fugate
54.1949    Lawrence A Mason  (1950)
55.1951    Paul Clark
56.1952    Warner Cummings
57.1953    Boyce Moore
58.1954    Paul Langdon
59.1955    Robert Gerard
60.1956    Russell Murry
61.1957    Adam Kadel
62.1958    Albert Liming
63.1959    Kenneth Fields
64.1960    Willis Glass
65.1961    John A Evans
66.1962    Wayne Houpt
67.1963    Max Wallace
68.1964    Robert Haggard
69.1965    Robert Brown
70.1966    Don B Stringer
71.1967    Wayne Turner
72.1968    Earl Houser
73.1969    Harold T Booher, Sr
74.1970    Royce L Pauley
75.1971    William B Jones
76.1972    Paul L Camp
77.1973    Frank LeMaster
78.1974    Ellis Stethem  (1978)
79.1975    Jerry Stout
80.1976    Don Wolf
81.1977    Byron Beekman  (1979)
82.1980    Robert Reisinger
83.1981    Vernon Weller  (1992, 94)
84.1982    Arnold Fife
85.1983    James R Stethem  (1988)
86.1984    Sherman Weller
87.1985    Raymond K Fletcher
88.1986    Randall E Weller  (2008)
89.1987    Walter R Jones
90.1989    Steve A Brown  (1990, 97, 2007)
91.1991    James R Brown
92.1993    Richard Grimes
93.1995    Bill Brundege  (1996, 2002)
94.1998    Michael Younker  (2006)
95.1999    James Williams  (2003, 04)
96.2001    Philip Brown
97.2005    Chris Gaston
98.2009    TL McClellan
99.2010    Darren Weller
100.2011    Joe Schlegel
101.2012    Davis Hawkins
102.2013    Tom Lowe
103.2014    Todd Lucas
104.2015    Kevin Basinger
[* Side note: The Master in 2000 has been expelled for gross unmasonic conduct.]
2015 – A GLIMPSE OF JAMESTOWN TODAY
Jamestown Lodge #352 F&AM has launched into the 21st Century healthier than ever! Seven new Masters have been minted in the past seven years, and the 2015 officer’s line beyond is entirely absent of Past Masters:
Senior Warden Charlie Roberts
Junior Warden Brady Black
Senior Deacon Robert Simmons
Junior Deacon Gale Gilbert
Marshal Nate Lucas
Senior Steward Jon Mullins
Junior Steward Scott Hudson
Tyler Kenny Black
The leadership corps exemplifies the zeal and dedication required to not only manage the lodge today, but also to strengthen it for tomorrow.
Worshipful Master Kevin Basinger
Secretary Davis Hawkins
Treasurer Todd Lucas
Chaplain Steve A Brown
LEO Tom Lowe
Trustee Jim Brown
Trustee Tom Lowe
Trustee Jim Campbell
The Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons of Ohio is surging through its 208th year — here in the 8th District, Jamestown Lodge thrives as a shining example of Freemasonry in the modern world. By upholding the invalueable tenents of Brotherly Love, Relief and Truth, the membership of this small, country lodge has bonded as close as the Brethren who sat for its Founding in 1864.
Led by Worshipful Brother Kevin Basinger, the future of the Craft in this small town has never looked so promising! And we thank The Great Architect for allowing us to be part of such an impressive history!