History of Lodge 518
This Lodge had its beginnings on November 11, 1872, when, at a Stated Meeting of Philanthropy Lodge No. 225, in Greensburg, Pennsylvania, a petition was presented and unanimously adopted, that "twelve regular Master Masons, formerly members of the Lodges mentioned against our respective names, and at this time not members of any lodge, pray for a Warrant of Constitution, empowering us to meet as a regular lodge at Greensburg, Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania, to be called Westmoreland Lodge No. – and there to discharge the duties of masonry, in a constitutional manner according to the forms of the order and the rules and regulations of the Grand Lodge".
There were twelve Warrant Members as follows:
On December 3, 1872, District Deputy Grand Master Richard Coulter approved the application for a Charter for a New Lodge, and this Charter was issued and dated on the following day, registering the New Lodge as "Westmoreland Lodge No. 518 to be held in Greensburg, Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania."
A Special Communication of the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania was held in the Masonic Temple, Greensburg, Pennsylvania at 12 o'clock noon on December 27, 1872, for the purpose of opening and constituting a New Lodge by the name of Westmoreland Lodge No. 518. Brother Samuel C. Perkins, Grand Master, directed by dispensation, District Deputy Grand Master Richard Coulter to open and constitute Westmoreland Lodge No. 518, which was done later that day. A Special Meeting of the Lodge was held at 7:30 p.m. with Brother Jacob Turney serving as Worshipful Master, for the purpose of adopting temporary by-laws, establishing the Third Tuesday of each month as Stated Meeting Night, designating the Masonic Temple on Main Street, Greensburg as the place of meeting.
Stated Meetings were held on January 21, 1873 and on the prescribed Tuesdays during February and March, during which time the officers were appointed and the description of the Seal adopted. The Seal was officially adopted at the June Stated Meeting and by-laws were adopted at the July Stated Meeting. On September 3, 1873, Grand Lodge approved these by-laws. After one year, Westmoreland Lodge No. 518 reported 12 Charter Members, 2 Admissions and 13 Initiations.
In subsequent years, the following members of this Lodge have served the these Grand Bodies of our Fraternity: Brother John S. Sell, Worshipful Master of Westmoreland Lodge No. 518 in 1892, served as Right Worshipful Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania during the years of 1920 and 1921. His picture had been displayed in the Lodge Room of the former Greensburg Masonic Temple and has since been donated to the Masonic Homes in Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania and now hangs in the Sell Chapel at the Masonic Homes.
Brother Maurice A. Hammer, Worshipful Master of Westmoreland Lodge No. 518 in 1929, served as Right Eminent Grand Commander of the Grand Commandery Knights Templar of Pennsylvania during the year 1948–1949. His Commandery sword is displayed at the Greensburg Masonic Center.
Brother Paul L. Davis, Worshipful Master of Westmoreland Lodge No. 518 in 1934, served as Most Puissant Grand Master of the Grand Council of Royal and Select Masters of Pennsylvania, during the year of 1971.
Brother David L. Keifer, Worshipful Master of Westmoreland Lodge No. 518 in 1978, served as District Deputy Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania for the years 1981–1985 in the Thirtieth Masonic District.
Brother James L. Ernette, Worshipful Master of Westmoreland Lodge No. 518 in 1980, served as District Deputy Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania for the years 1986–1991 in the Thirtieth Masonic District. Brother Ernette is presently serving as the Right Worshipful Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons of Pennsylvania. He was recently installed as the Grand Master on December 27, 1997 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.