Shelby  County,  Indiana
Historical Articles

Fraternal Orders and Clubs

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Photo by Michelsen Photo & Slide Company,  Shelbyville, Indiana
Contributed by George Young

The  Shelbyville  Democrat
Shelbyville, Ind., November 28, 1914
[The beginning of the article is not on my copy.]
...secretary, H. G. Montgomery; treasurer, Edward W. Lewis; inner guard, Russell E. Goodrich; tyler, Paul C. Raymond, and esquire, Parrish Fuller.
          The memorial committee consists of  Frank J. Rembusch,  Allen Green  and  Dix W. Sayler, and they have arranged an excellent program.
          The program is as follows:
Overture --- Medley . . . . . . . Remick's Grand March --- "The Viking" . . . . King Orchestra.
Prayer . . . . . . . Rev. W. G. Eldred
"After Vespers" . . . . . . . A Twilight Meditation
Ceremony by Officers of Lodge.
Prayer by Chaplain . . . . . . . Thomas H. Campbell
Solo . . . . . . . Miss Margaret Birely
Eulogy . . . . . . . Henry G. Joseph
Solo --- "Thou Wilt Keep Him in Perfect Peace" . . . . Morris Sleeth
Memorial Address . . . Patrick J. Lynch
Closing Exercises . . . . . . . Lodge Doxology.
Benediction . . . . . . . Rev. W. G. Eldred
Grand Farewell March . . . . Orchestra
          The deceased members of the lodge for which the annual lodge of sorrow is held are  Milton B. Robins,  Cassius C. Kennedy,  Donald Kennedy,  Frank Miller,  Russell Williams,  Thomas B. Convery,  John Rembusch,  Edwin C. Messick,  A. L. Levinson,  Daniel DePrez,  Charles L. Davis,  Charles H. Tindall,  William T. d'Heur,  Charles H. Campbell,  Charles Major,  M. R. Montgomery,  Cornelius Means  and  Henry Friday.
Contributed by Phyllis Miller Fleming

          Freemasonry was first introduced into Shelby county, Indiana, through a dispensation from R.W. Able  C.  Pepper,  D.G.M., November 15, 1824. The charter issued bears date of October 5, 1825, when the lodge received the title of Lafayette Lodge No. 28, leaving it discretionary with the members to locate the lodge in such part of the county as they might deem expedient. Brothers:  David Tracy, W.M.;  Justus  Ferris, S.W.;  Joseph  Adams, J.W. The names of the first petitioners were: Dr. David Tracy, Justus Ferris, Joseph Adams,  Percy  Kitchell  and  John  C.  Walker. At first this lodge had no fixed quarters, but met at members' houses. Even for the three years that the lodge had to meet from place to place, it had a good growth, many of the best citizens of Shelby county becoming members of the order during the time. Among the more prominent are the following: Calvin Kinsley, Chandler  Huntington,  Erasmus  Powell,  Able  Cole,  William    Hawkins,  Nathan  Johnson, William  Goodrich,  William  Little, and possibly others whose names have been lost sight of with the passing of so many years.
          The charter was surrendered and the new charter issued under the date of November 25, 1828, constituting Erasmus Powell, worshipful master;  Josiah  Reed,  senior warden;  Nathan Johnson, junior warden, requiring the communications of the lodge to be held alternately at Hanover and Shelbyville, still retaining its original name and number. Under this arrangement, for several years more the lodge seemed to prosper and other prominent citizens became its members, among whom may be mentioned: Austin  W.  Morris,  Amaziah  Williams,  Mathias  Vanpelt,  Harmon  Updegraff,  Jacob  Rice, Richard  S.  Cummins  and  William  Hacker.
          At the semi-annual election there were elected on July 4, 1835, William Hacker, worshipful master;  James  Lisher,  senior warden; Harmon Updegraff, junior warden; William Goodrich, treasurer; John Walker secretary; Chandler Huntington, senior deacon;  Joseph  Thrasher,  junior deacon, and  John  Stout,  tyler.
Submitted by Jane Fullington.  [Chadwick's, see below]

          Growing out of the original Masonic lodges within Shelby county have come up higher degrees in this most ancient and honorable fraternity.  Shelby Chapter, No. 20, of Royal Arch Masons, was organized U.D., dated April 2, 1851, upon the petition of  William Hacker,  Fabin M. Finch,  Henry B. Hill,  Cyrus N. Williams,  Jacob W. Mills,  John W. Sullivan,  Samuel White,  Daniel Shew,  James Elliott,  Daniel Mowrer,  Joseph L. Silcox and  Benjamin J. Irwin, companions.  William Hacker was appointed high priest.  This chapter has never faltered during all these fifty-eight years of noble work.  In 1909 its membership was one hundred and nineteen. Its officers at that date were:  Robert W. Wood, M.E.H.P.;  Julius L. Thomas, E.K.;  Wilbur W. Israel, E.S.;  John Messick, treasurer;  George W. F. Kirk, secretary;  G[arnett] R[othrock] Fleming,  C.of H.;  Frank Bass, P.S.;  Edmond R. Moberly, R.A.C.;  Phillip E. Hoop, G.M.3dV.;  Oliver J. Glessner, G.M.2dV.;  L. Gordon Teal, G.M.1stV.;  C[aughey] S[teeley] Fleming,  sentinel.
          Shelby Council, No. 3, of Royal and Select Masters, was first organized U.D., dated August 31, 1855, and a charter granted by the Grand Council of Ohio.  This council participated in the organization of the grand council of Indiana, December 20, 1855, at which time it received its "No. 3" registry of the grand council of Indiana and in 1886 numbered in membership, thirty-five.  In April the membership was sixty.  Its officers at that date were:  Julius L. Thomas, Thrice Ill.M.;  Harry S. Downey, Rt. Ill.D-M.;  Frank Bass, Ill.P.C.W.;  John A. Young, treasurer;  George W.F. Kirk, recorder;  Robert W. Wood, C.G.;  Thomas E. Yarling, C.C.;  C.S. Fleming, steward;  Thomas E. Newton, sentinel.
          Baldwin Commandery, No. 2, Knights Templar, was first organized March 25, 1851, at the town of Greensburg, Decatur county, under the title of Greensburg Commandery, U.D. from M.E.  William Blackstone Hubbard, G.G. Master of Knight Templar of the United States, dated January 5, 1851.  This commandery participated in the formation of the Grand Commandery of Indiana, when it received its "No. 2," on the registry, and continued to work until June 30, 1860, when its members ceased to meet and the organization was dissolved.  But upon the petition of Sir Knights  Thomas Pattison,  William Allen,  Jacob Vernon,  Thomas H. Lynch,  Daniel Stewart,  Barton W. Wilson,  James Gavin,  Putnam Ewing,  Jacob V Berensdaffer,  Will C. Cumback,  James Elliott,  Robert Cones and  John Elliott,  Sir William Hacker as grand commander, authorized the transfer of the commandery to Shelbyville, Indiana, on the 18th day of March, 1865.  April 4, 1866, the commandery received a new charter and was changed to Baldwin Commandery, No. 2.  By 1886 this commandery enjoyed a membership of sixty-two knights, which number has increased to ninety-six.  Its present [1909] officers are:  Julius L. Thomas, E.C.;  Frank Bass, Gen.;  Everett E. Stroup, C.Gen.;  Thomas E. Yarling, S.W.;  Edward P. Moberly, J.W.;  Harry S. Downey, prelate;  John Messick, treasurer;  George W. Kirk, recorder;  Phillip E. Hoop, St.B.;  Elliott S. Gorges, Sw.B.;  Oliver Jay Glessner, warder;  C.S. Fleming, sentinel.
          The present officers of Shelby Lodge, No. 28, Free and Accepted Masons, at Shelbyville are as follows:  Thomas E. Yarling, worshipful master;  Harry G. Auman, senior warden;  Elmer E. Webster, junior warden;  David L. Wilson, secretary; John Messick, treasurer;  L. Gordon Teal, senior deacon;  Robert H. Mardis, junior deacon;  Eden H.D. Young, tyler.
          The Masonic order in Shelbyville has of late leased its lodge-room quarters. From 1852 to 1869 they owned a half interest in the building erected by themselves and the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, the three-story brick building on the northeast corner of the public square, the one now occupied by business and other offices.  This property cost in all, five thousand five hundred dollars and was sold (the half interest) to the Odd Fellows in 1869, for about three thousand five hundred, which money the Masons have had out on interest and had their lodge home in the DePrez building for over thirty years.  In 1899 they loaned this sum to the parties who erected the business block on South Harrison street, in which the lodge is now located, and of which they have a long lease.  Their hall is finely furnished and work in all degrees up to the Scottish Rite is carried on here with excellent effect.  Those advanced to the last named rite attend at Indianapolis.
Chadwick's History of Shelby County, Indiana, by Edward H. Chadwick, B.A., assisted by well known local talent, B.F. Bowen & Co, Publishers: Indianapolis, IN, 1909, pp 165-167.
Contributed by Phyllis Miller Fleming

The  Shelbyville  Daily  Democrat
Friday, September 29, 1899
          Baldwin Commandry, No. 2, last evening worked on  Dr. Joseph Bowlby.  On next Wednesday night Baldwin Commandry will be inspected in drill and Ritualistic work by Past Grand Commander Nicholas Rucker, of Indianapolis.
Contributed by Phyllis Miller Fleming

History of Freemasonry in Shelby County.
          Freemasonry was introduced into Shelby Countv, Indiana, in an organized form, by dispensation from  R. W. Abel,  C. Pepper, D. G. M.,  November 15, 1824.  The charter issued, bears date, October 5, 1825, when the lodge received the title of Lafayette Lodge No. 28, leaving it discretionary with the members to locate the lodge in such part of the county as they might deem most expedient.  Brothers: David Tracy, W. M.;  Justus Ferris, S. W.;  Joseph Adams, J. W.  Names of the first petitioners:  Dr. David Tracy,  Justus Ferris,  Joseph Adams,  Percy Kitchell  and  John C. Walker,  five in number.  The lodge had no fixed location, but met at the member's houses.  The lodge for the three years it remained without a permanent location, had considerable prosperitv; manv of the prominent citizens of the county becoming member, either by initiation of affiliation.  Among the more prominent are the names of  Calvin Kinsley,  Chandler Huntington,  Erasmus Powell,  Abel Cole,  William Hawkins,  Nathan Johnson,  William Goodrich,  William Little,  and others.  This charter was surrendered, and a new charter issued under date of November 25, 1828, constituting  Erasmus Powell,  W. M.;  Josiah Reed, S. W.,  and  Nathan Johnson, J. W.,  requiring the communications of the lodge to be held alternately at Hanover and Shelbvville, still retaining its original name and number.  Under this arrangement the lodge for several years more seemed to prosper, and other prominent citizens became members, among whom are the names of the following brethren, viz.:  Austin W. Morris,  Amaziah Williams,  Matthias Vanpelt,  Harmon Updegraff,  Jacob Rice,  Richard S. Cummins,  and  William Hacker.  At the semi-annual election held on the 4th day of July, 1835, the following officers were elected, to-wit:  William Hacker, W. M.;  James Lisher, S. W.;  Harmon Updegraff, J. W.;  William Goodrich, Treasurer;  John Walker, Secretary;  Chandler Huntington, S. D.;  Joseph Thrasher, J. D.,  and  John Stout, Tyler.
          In consequence of having to keep up what really amounted to two organizations, one in Hanover, and the other at Shelbyville, it soon became evident that the lodge would have to dissolve its then existing organization.  Accordingly on the 25th of June, 1836, by formal resolution, the charter was surrendered to the Grand Lodge, which, however, was never called for by the Grand Lodge, but remained in the hands of the then W. M., William Hacker, until the meeting of the Grand Lodge in 1S45, when the Grand Lodge granted permission to the lodge to reorganize and resume labor.  At the communication of the Grand Lodge in 1845, application for a restoration of the charter was made which was granted, and the location of the lodge permanently fixed at Shelbyville.  From this time forth the lodge has met with much prosperity, and good success has attended its labors.  The following were the petitioners for the re-organization of the lodge, to-wit:  Stephen D. Ludlow,  William Hacker,  James Elliott,  William W. McCoy,  Jacob Rice,  Woodville Browning,  Jesse Smith,  John Morrison,  Nathaniel Teal,  and  Harmon Updegraff.  May 26, 1852, the Grand Lodge changed the title from Lafayette Lodge No. 28, to that of Shelby Lodge No. 28, under which the lodge is still successfully at work, and now numbers 152 members.  This lodge has furnished two Grand Masters of Indiana, two Grand High Priests and two Eminent Grand Commanders.
          William Hacker Lodge, U. D., dated January 3, 1867, was located at the city of Shelbyville, Shelby County, upon the petition of  Thomas F. Kirk,  William M. Parrish,  Joseph L. Irwin,  William F. Mason,  Daniel J. Shaw,  John S. Tevis  and  David L. Conrey.  June 3, 1867, the lodge was regularly constituted under charter dated May 29, 1867, as William Hacker Lodge No. 360;  Brother Jesse K. Jameson  being appointed W. M.;  William F. Green, S. W.,  and  John Messick, J. W.  This lodge, though the youngest of the family of Masonic organizations, in Shelby County, numbered thirty-six members in 1871.  This lodge was subsequently merged in the parent lodge, Shelby Lodge No. 28, under date of June 11,1879.
History of Shelby County, Indiana,  Brant & Fuller, 1887, Chicago, pages 421-422.
Contributed by Phyllis Miller Fleming for Darrell Smith

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Benevolent and Protective Order of the Elks
52 West Washington, first home.

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