F. & A. M.
1869 ‑ 1994
CLAYTON K. EVANS. PM
HARVEY W. KRAUSER
GEORGE C. REINKE, PM
H. RAYMOND McBRIDE, PM
HARRY F. YEAGER, PM
CARROL T. WHITELY, P.M.
EARL S. FRIES, PM
GEORGE S. ROBINSON, JR, PM
JULY 12, A.D.1869....A.L.5869
DECEMBER 27, A.D.1994....A.L.5994
Mt. Pickering Lodge, No. 446, Free and Accepted Masons was instituted on the 12th of July, 1869, and has ever been deservedly ranked among the best and most influential organizations in this vicinity. It has always attracted the leading men of this community to seek membership therein and they have succeeded in bringing and maintaining it to the present high position which it holds.
Many good men and true have enjoyed membership in Mt. Pickering Lodge, but many of them have passed to "The Great Beyond", and have failed to leave a record of facts that would be of interest to all of us who desire to know more about the members and the part they played in making the Lodge what it is today.
This is not the first effort in this direction. Just a few years prior to the death of our first Worshipful Master, Bro. J. Benner Evans, he wrote the early history, mostly from memory. This was necessary because all of the records of the first sixteen and a half years of the lodge had been destroyed by fire when the first lodge hall burned.
It is only fair to him that we preserve his work in its entirety, and add to it any facts that we may find in regards to the early history of the lodge. Accordingly, we will here copy a part of his work, concerning the formation of the lodge:
"It is an unwritten law of masonry that when a member of a Lodge is chosen to the office of Junior Warden it is his right the following year to be placed in the position of Senior Warden then one year later to succeed the Worshipful Master and when this rule is broken an unpleasantness is produced.
"About the year 1851 Dr. William D. Downing, then Senior Warden of Lodge No. 309 was defeated for Worshipful Master by the Junior Warden. Subsequently an effort was made to place the Doctor in the Chair of Worshipful Master but his magnanimity would not permit him to interfere to prevent the promotion of the occupant of the chair in the West.
In April, 1869, eight members ‑ J. Benner Evans, William D. Downing, Joseph P. Smedley, John Griffith, William Mullen, John Tonkens, Dr. A.K. Gaston, and Andrew Whitman withdrew from Lodge No. 309, and joined in application to the Grand Lodge for a Warrant. The following June the District Deputy Grand Master for the Chester and Delaware district, Bro. John Gregg, visited the above applicants and after a conference reported favorably, and the prayer of the petitioners was granted.
A meeting was held in the room of Lodge No. 309 in Downingtown on the 12th day of July, with the District Deputy Grand Master acting as Worshipful Master, and the lodge known as Mt. Pickering Lodge No. 446, Free and Accepted Masons was constituted in ancient form.
FIRST OFFICERS: Bro. J. Benner Evans, Worshipful Master
Bro. William D. Downing, Senior Warden
Bro. J. Benner Evans, Treasurer
Bro. John Griffith, Secretary
written record is found of a Junior Warden being installed. Bro. William Mullin
served the Lodge as its first
"It is a cause of regret that no complete record of this meeting exists. In fact, the only record of the first sixteen and one half years was written by Bro. J. Benner Evans, the first Worshipful Master of Lodge 446, just a few years prior to his death. Lodge records show that Bro. J. Benner Evans passed away in 1910. These early records were lost in a fire of which further reference will be made later. Some will recall that in 1938 Bros. Clayton Evans and Harvey Krauser developed and presented the 75th Anniversary of Lodge No. 446, covering 1869 through 1938. Many more will recall that in 1969 Bros. George C. Reinke, Harry F. Yeager, H. Raymond McBride, and Carrol T. Whitely enlarged this work to include the last 25 years of Mt. Pickering Lodge's first century. Many of the Brethren have a copy of one or both of these fine works. It is this record and the minutes of the Lodge, as well as observations given by many of our Past Masters, that reveal a wealth of Masonic lore worthy to be recorded for the 125th Anniversary of Lodge No. 446.
"The Lodge met for business in the second story of the building known as the "Laboratory", then owned by John Griffith. (This building stood, or was a part of, the building now occupied as a garage by Earl Dickenson). Although the petitioners for the Warrant had been very reticent about their intentions, and the community generally knew nothing of their efforts to establish a lodge, It was known that it would be impossible to meet in that building and a room was rented in a house occupied by Jacob F. Mosteller and now owned by Benjamin F. Mosteller." This house has been destroyed by fire. It stood where the house occupied by William P. Cornog stands today.
The fee for initiation and membership was fixed at $40.00. The annual dues $5.00. The Grand Lodge dues were $1.00 per year, and the charge for each initiation was $1.00. During this year the Lodge gained six by initiation and one by membership.
The officers elected to serve the lodge for 1870 were Bro. William D. Downing, Worshipful Master, Bro. John R. Johnson, Senior Warden, Bro. J. Benner Evans, Treasurer, Bro. David A. Moore, Junior Warden and Bro. John Griffith, Secretary. Bro. Johnson received the Master Mason degree in October, and Bro. Moore in December. They were elected to important office at the first election after they became members.
The Lodge first met after being constituted in the second story of the building known as the "Laboratory" ‑ then owned by John Griffith ‑ about one half mile North of Eagle on Route 100. When it was known that it would no longer be possible to meet in this building, a room was rented in a house occupied by Jacob F. Mosteller. This house was destroyed by fire. It stood where the house known as the William P. Cornog home now stands.
In the early part of 1870, the Lodge moved to Lionville and rented a room in the Odd Fellows Hall. A Building Committee was appointed during this year, and a plot of land was purchased from John Griffith at a cost of $115.00. This plot of land was a triangular piece along the west side of Route 100 at the southern corner of the land now owned by Earl Dickinson.) Upon it a Hall was erected at a cost of about $2500.00.
is interesting to note that twelve were initiated during this year. Apparently
little attention was paid to the residence of the petitioners ‑ one from
Bloomsburg, another from
was the year that the Lodge felt the effects of the discord aroused at the
completion of the Hall. There was only one initiation - Ernest M. Naile, a
1873 ‑ The year carried in regular form ‑ no loss or gain in membership.
1874 ‑ Election of officers resulted in only one of the former officers being advanced. Bro. John Beary, Junior Warden, was elected Worshipful Master. At several instances in the early life of the Lodge, the unwritten law of Masonry in regard to advancing the officers each year was broken. and we very often the record shows that this caused resignation of membership.
1875 ‑ Six new members were added to the roll. One of these was Bro. Daniel B. Lacey, who was admitted to membership from Lodge No. 340. Despite the resignation of two members, the Lodge had its first increase in membership since 1971.
1876 ‑ Five initiations, one resignation, and one death were recorded ‑ another gain in membership.
1877 ‑ This proved to be another stormy period within the Lodge, which continued for about three years. There was one initiation but five were suspended.
1878 ‑ One initiation and one death were recorded.
1879 ‑ This year the Wardens were not advanced. They felt an injustice was done and stayed away from the Lodge. Officers were readjusted by election. There were five initiations. The Lodge procured a dispensation to initiate B. Frank Evans, who was underage at the time. We think this is the only case of its kind in this Lodge. Five initiations, one death, and five suspensions were recorded.
The disruption within the Lodge had reached its height, and no work was done from September, 1979 until August, 1881. The recording of such periods is certainly of no credit to the Lodge, but is mentioned in order to give as nearly as possible a complete history of the Lodge.
1880 ‑ Bro. David A. Moore was elected as Worshipful Master for his third year. One death was recorded and by the end of the year the membership had declined to thirty‑two.
1881 ‑ Four were initiated and three suspended. The membership started to increase during this year. The fee for initiation was reduced to $30.00 and remained at this figure for many years.
1882 ‑ Records show many instances in the early life of the Lodge where newly‑initiated members were placed in important offices. There were six initiations; no deaths or suspensions.
1883 ‑ There were two suspensions and no initiations this year.
1884 ‑ Three were initiated and one was restored to good Masonic standing this year.
1885 ‑ There were three initiations this year. One of the candidates, after receiving two degrees, was unfortunate enough to have charges of un‑Masonic conduct preferred against him, by a member in Washington, D. C. These charges were not cleared until 1889, when he received the Master Mason degree. Two suspensions were recorded with the notation that Bro. Joseph Smedley's suspension was the direct result of not being advanced from Senior Warden to Worshipful Master.
1886 ‑ This was one of the darkest years in the History of the Lodge ‑ one initiated, two suspended, five resigned, and Bro. John Griffith, the first Secretary of the Lodge, died on April 9th.
Due to a severe snow storm, no election was held in December, 1886. This was the first time there was no meeting on account of the weather.
Sometime between 1886 and 1894 Bro. J. Benner Evans, the Secretary of the Lodge, apparently realized that there was no written record of the Lodge for the first sixteen and one‑half years. He developed the above record from memory and added the following written account.
"During the year 1871 eight additions were made to the Lodge, but from that time to about 1887, the losses were as great as the additions. At one time twenty‑three months passed without any one being initiated. In the Spring of 1875, three months elapsed without a meeting being held, and at the best, but three or four members were in attendance. Appearances indicated that the malcontents had deserted the Lodge, as rats are said to desert a sinking ship. It was contemplated surrendering the Warrant, and then applying for its restoration. However, it was said that this would still retain the enemies as members, and that idea was abandoned. Then, with an abiding confidence that the disturbing element would not come back, several applications for initiation and membership were made, and in the early fall five were entered, and it was evident that the Lodge had a new lease on life by the infusion of this new blood.
It was soon spread about that the Lodge was doing some work, and the malcontents returned and seemed to be elated at the bright prospects of the Lodge. Unfortunately the head and front of the schismatics paid his dues and attended the election. By his blandishments he succeeded in being elected Treasurer for 1876, and a few months afterward resumed hostilities. As a result of the wrangling, the membership again declined. Because of the internal dissensions, the Lodge failed to pay its Grand Lodge dues, and the Warrant was suspended, and was only restored when an unknown member paid the $48.00 due. (Bro. Evans omitted the name of the member who paid the $48.00, probably because he didn't want to "blow his own horn.")
"In 1887 and 1888 there were fifteen initiations. Since then the Lodge has moved along in harmony, its membership increasing steadily, and its influence spreading. In the Summer of 1894 it was resolved to move the Lodge to Byers.
Arrangements were made to take down the Hall and rebuild it near the railroad station. However, on August 15th, the day before the building was to be taken down, a fire of mysterious origin started in the building, and before dawn the following day, nothing remained but the foundation walls and smoking embers. The financial loss by the building of the building was slight, as it was fully insured.
However, uninsured contents of a possible value of $250.00 or $300.00 were destroyed, in addition to almost all the records. Its first minute book, covering the first sixteen years, almost all the duplicate returns to the Grand Lodge, all the applications for initiation and membership, and probably twenty copies of the By‑Laws were burned. A Bible, the gift of the women in the neighborhood, was among the articles lost. During the early life of the Lodge, Miss Fannie Griffith conceived the idea that a Bible would be a fine present, and succeeded in inducing twenty‑one women to give twenty‑one dollars which was placed in the hands of Reverend George A. Wolfe, then pastor of Hopewell M. E. church, who purchased a fine edition of the Holy Scriptures for the altar, and a smaller edition for other uses. The Jewels of the Lodge (twelve pieces) had been purchased at a cost of $53.00, and three of these were destroyed.
Since the fire, the Lodge has been meeting in a room at Chester Springs Station rented from the P. O. S. of A. The building was owned by David H. Hall.
It might be proper to pause here to say that Thompson Lodge, No. 340, and Phoenix Lodge, No. 75, very generously offered the use of their halls and paraphernalia without cost. The offer was highly appreciated, but owing to the distance, the Lodge could not very well avail itself of the kindness. During the time the Lodge met at Chester Springs, it supplied aprons for the use of the members.
The destruction of the hall necessitated a change of plans. A special meeting was called on the 27th of August to consider what best should be done. In the meantime, the Penn Mutual Fire Insurance Company had agreed to pay the loss, with a trifling abatement for cash, and the Lodge feeling able, it was resolved to build a brick edifice, limiting the cost to $2500.00. Had the original plan been carried out, it is possible that the Lodge would have had a home of its own at an earlier date. Suitable materials could not be obtained immediately, and the completion of the new hall and its occupancy necessarily delayed.
an expression of opinion be allowed, it might be proper to say that the
architect had drawn his plans admirably, and the committee has erected a
A note left by Bros. Clayton K. Evans and Harvey W. Krauser, historians for the 75th Anniversary, reads: "We feel very grateful for the work of J. Benner Evans in compiling this record, and in the part he played in causing the Lodge to be kept alive in its infancy."
1887 ‑ A dispensation was asked for a special election. This was granted. In the first year Bros. J. Benner Evans, B. Frank Evans, and Daniel B. Lacey were elected Trustees and Bro. Daniel B. Lacey, Representative in the Grand Lodge. Seven were initiated, two restored to membership and four suspended. The Lodge Banquet and Tyler's salary (two strange items to be in the same bill) $69.67.
1888 ‑ Bro. Henry A. Jenks was re‑elected Worshipful Master. The Lodge called a special meeting at 2:42 P.M. There were two other initiations during the year, 3 suspensions, and 1 death.
About this time the Lodge rented its room to Camp No. 298, P. O. S. of A. for $1.00 per meeting. This sum was later reduced to 80 cents per meeting. This was a busy year. There was a great deal of correspondence in regards to clandestine lodges in the state, particularly the Cornean Rite (ED note: "Cerneau Rite", a spurious Scottish Rite body). There were many of their members traveling about the county, attempting to visit the regular lodges or gain Masonic recognition from our members.
The Grand Master ordered the Lodge to advance the Brother who had had the charges of un-masonic conduct advanced against him in 1885, as the charges had not been sustained. However, they were not to advance him until they heard further from him.
The balance in the treasury at the close of this year was $17.69, and this included a worthless check for $10.00.
1889 ‑ Bro. Henry A. Jenks was again elected Worshipful Master (this was his third successive year in that office). There was one initiation, one restoration, and one death. The Brother who had been halted in 1885 received the Master Mason Degree July 8th. Prior to this time there was no record of any inquiry being made of the Grand Secretary as to any objections being on record against the petitioners. This is the first year that the Lodge omitted the August meeting.
1890 ‑ Four were initiated, one restored, and one suspended. About this time the Lodge held family suppers annually. The Life Membership fee was fixed at $50.00.
1891 ‑ For the first time three tellers were appointed to conduct the election, previously there had been two. This was one of the most prosperous years in the history of the Lodge as eleven were initiated, one admitted, and no losses. The membership reached 54.
1892 ‑ This was another good year in attendance by members and visitors. Six were initiated; one suspended.
1893 ‑ There were seven initiations, one resignation, one suspension, and one death. The Hall was also rented to the Jr. OWAM at this time to bring the income from the rentals to more than enough to pay the taxes on the building.
‑ Ephraim G. Saul presented his petition for the initiation and
membership on December 10th of this year, but passed away before his petition
could be approved. This is the only time that this has happened in the history
of this Lodge. One petition was withdrawn. At the time of the withdrawal, the
Lodge owed the petitioner $100.00. (This seems rather strange.) However he
again petitioned the Lodge five years later and was approved. (He also paid
$100.00 that year.) At
the meeting held on the 16th of July, it was decided to move the hall to Byers,
and a Building Committee was appointed consisting of Bros. David H. Hall,
Charles A. Broome, and A. M. F. Stiteler. On August 13th the contract to move
the Hall was given to Beerbrower Brothers. The next morning found the Hall
destroyed by a "mysterious fire". which necessitated a change of
plans. In the meantime the Building Committee purchased the plot of ground on
which the Hall now stands, for $200. The Lodge called a special meeting on the
27th of August, at Chester Springs, rented a room from the P. O. S. of A. (the
former O. W. Mosteller ‑
Pickering Mill at
1895 ‑ Since the new hall was near completion, it was decided at the January meeting to dedicate the building on the 21st of February, to invite the officers of Lodges No. 75, 309, 322, 340, and to give each member of our Lodge one ticket. On February 4th the motion to dedicate the new hall was rescinded. Thus, we learn that the building was never dedicated, and we were unable to learn the reason for that action.
We find that an elaborate banquet was held soon after the Hall was completed, costing $180.00. Bro. Aaron H. Slonaker was the last one to be initiated at Chester Springs, Bro. Charles E. Pike was the first one to receive the Master Mason degree at Byers.
When the building was completed, the Building Committee turned it over to the Lodge at a cost of $2552.11. The cost of the furniture was $406.95, of the carpet, $200.43, of the heater, $62.94, with an additional charge of $90.00 for installing it. The building was accepted by the Lodge, with a deficiency of $326.55. This deficiency was paid in two months. The total receipts for this year were $3291.35, which included $1670.50, paid by the Fire Insurance Company, $65.00 from an entertainment, and a value of $107.00 placed on gratuitous labor. The total expenses were $3155.50.
1896 ‑ It was during this year that the first petitioner was rejected and the objection was never removed. Thus, we can readily see that they must have been very careful as to whom they gave petitions, to have existed twenty‑five years without rejecting anyone. The Grand Lodge reduced the fee for each initiation from $8.00 to $2.00.
1897 ‑ There were two rejections this year. One of them was soon removed. The other one made several attempts to have his removed but was never successful.
‑ There was one rejection this year and it was never removed. One of the
petitioners resided in Phoenixville. He had never resided in this community,
and no inquiry was made of Phoenix Lodge in regards to him. A few years
previous, Pottstown had initiated a man from
1899 ‑ About this time and continuing for several years, the members of the Lodge held a Family Picnic. These picnics were occasions which were looked forward to by many of the members, and also by those who hoped to be members in the near future. However, there were some who did not favor this kind of entertainment, and did everything in their power to discredit them and the sponsors. The debt on the Hall was reduced to $200.00. The membership had now reached one hundred and one.
1900 ‑ Four petitions were rejected during this year. Two of the rejections were soon removed. The other two were never removed. This is the first year that we find a committee of Instruction appointed. Many of the members were not satisfied with the change in the office of the secretary as they felt that an injustice had been done Bro. Evans in removing him as they did. This was more keenly felt by the older members who realized the effort that he had exerted to keep the Lodge in existence, when the others, who had opposed his election at this time, had deserted the Lodge. He had not only given his time, but of his money also, paying the bills when the Treasury was empty. He had always worked earnestly and faithfully for the Lodge.
‑ There was one suspension, one death, three rejections, two were
removed, and two petitions withdrawn. During this year a member of the Craft in
1902 ‑ Eleven were initiated this year. The February meeting was omitted on account of a blizzard. Bro. Slonaker, the janitor, had the hall in readiness when Bro. Goodman arrived on the train, but while the railroad men were turning the engine around, they decided to return on the train.
4th of November marked the Sesqui‑Centennial Anniversary of the
initiation of Bro. George Washington into Freemasonry at
1903 ‑ The stated meeting in March was a very well attended one. A special meeting was held on the 24th of March to raise three candidates. One of the members (not being satisfied with the appointments for the year) began to create discord that was very detrimental to the harmony of the Lodge, and it developed during the next few years.
1904 ‑ This is the first year that all the floor officers and all of the committees were filled. Bro. J. Benner Evans resigned his membership this year, but the Lodge did not accept the resignation, and instead, voted him a life membership. A few years later Bro. Evans, in his remarks in the Lodge, said that "he could not understand why the Lodge would not accept his resignation as he had out‑lived his generation."
1905 ‑ The initiation of James S. Nodine in November, 1904 was the last initiation until August, 1907. The Lodge was now passing through a period of very bitter hostilities, and was divided against itself. When this warfare began the Lodge had a membership of 143, and when the smoke began to clear, the membership had dwindled to 136.
1906 ‑ No work was done this year, due to the trouble which had now reached its height. The Lodge spent more for charity than in any previous year. About this time the Lodge rented stables for the shelter of the horses during the meeting.
1907 ‑ The storm now seemed at its worst, and one of the members preferred charges of un-masonic conduct against another member. This brought the matter to the point where the Lodge was forced to take action. They decided that a trial was not necessary, and so the charges were dropped.
The Right Worshipful Grand Master, Bro. George W. Kendricks visited the Lodge on the 24th of June and presided over the meeting. The petitions of Clayton K. Evans and I. Newton Evans had been withdrawn, and their fees returned in May of this year, but they were both approved at the June meeting. We believe that very few members of the Fraternity can boast of that honor and we doubt if any Lodge can duplicate this meeting. These candidates were initiated in August and September. This was the first work since November, 1904. Bro. George P. Tustin died on the 11th of May and the Lodge was without a Representative in the Grand Lodge for the rest of the year. Bro. Tustin had served 16 years.
1908 ‑ Harmony was returning to the Lodge, and when this became known outside the Lodge, several petitions were presented. Six were initiated this year. The membership had now reached the number it had been before the difficulty arose, and the prospects for the immediate future looked bright. The attendance had increased and a renewed interest was visible. There was $290.00 spent for refreshments and $75.00 for charity.
1909 ‑ The past difficulties seemed to be ironed out, and the work of the Lodge moved along fairly smoothly. There were six initiations, one resignation, one suspension, and one death. An iron fence was erected in front of the Hall, at a cost of $105.60. This fence seemed very necessary at the time of its erection, but a few years ago it was sold for $2.00, as junk. During this year the Lodge decided to build sheds for the shelter of the horses. A strip of land, six feet wide, was purchased from Bro. A. M. F. Stiteler, at a cost of $35.00. The labor on the sheds cost $270.00, and the lumber cost $729.50. The Building Committee, for the sheds, included: Bros. Thomas F. Furry, Charles A. Broome, and Granville Prizer.
1910 ‑ Bro. J. Benner Evans died January 3, 1910. He had been a member of the Fraternity for almost fifty‑seven years and, as heretofore noted, had been influential in guaranteeing the success of Mt. Pickering Lodge No. 446.
1911 ‑ Three were initiated, one resigned, and one was suspended.
1912 ‑ One man petitioned the Lodge for initiation and membership this year and was approved, but never presented himself for initiation. This is the only case of its kind in this Lodge, and it is something that very rarely happens anywhere. Some of his friends said that he had lost his nerve, while some others said that his good wife had said "Thou Shalt Not Go".
1913 ‑ Several of our members attended the ceremonies at the dedication of the Grand Lodge Hall at the Masonic Homes at Elizabethtown, Pa. on the 5th of June. The Grand Lodge dues were raised from $1.00 to $2.00 per member.
‑ Bro. Alfred O. Keene, late a member of Lodge No. 623, at
‑ The initiation fee was raised in May of this year, from $30.00 to $40.00.
During this year the Lodge asked permission to send Bro. George C. Marshall to
the Masonic Home, at
The Worshipful Master and the preceding Worshipful Master received letters from the Grand Master, stating that the preceding Worshipful Master had permitted the Degrees to be conferred on a candidate who was physically disqualified, and they were ordered to send the person in question to the Grand Master's office. This was done. After an X‑ray examination the Grand Master decreed that the preceding Worshipful Master had not violated the Landmarks of Freemasonry.
1916 ‑ The Lodge purchased a used piano at a cost of $145.00. During the last few months of this year there was a great deal of sickness in the community, especially among the young people. An air of gloom pervaded our Annual Meeting as two young men of the community died that day, and many more were very low. One of our members died about three weeks later.
1917 ‑ The initiation fee was raised from $40.00 to $60.00. The following resolution was passed as our country was at war: "We pledge our loyalty and support with our lives, if need be, and our every energy and our worldly goods, to the end that justice and right may prevail, and permanent peace might be established." A voluntary contribution of $2.00 was given by every member to a relief fund in the Grand Lodge.
of our members were in the service and saw the horrors of the war. It is a
regrettable fact that we do not have a complete list of them. The Lodge
remitted the dues of all who were in the service and in arrears at the annual
meetings while they were away. Some of our members had the honor of being
present at a Lodge held "At Sea" on their way to
1918 ‑ After Bro. A. M. F. Stiteler's death a special election was held, and Bro. Oscar M. Lumis was elected Representative in the Grand Lodge. The Lodge installed a new heater as a cost of $142.00 and purchased a $100 Liberty Bond.
1919 ‑ It was decided to erect oak steps in front of the hall and also make other necessary repairs. In order to do this, it was found necessary to raise a good portion by subscription. $447.00 was raised in this manner.
1920 ‑ Eleven were initiated one resigned. New By‑Laws were adopted and the initiation fee was raised to $80.00. An extra meeting held in November to confer degrees.
1921 ‑ At this time an order was issued for all members who were members of the order known as the "Eastern Star", to resign their membership in that order or to stand expelled in the Lodge. None were expelled and this committee does not know how many resigned from the Eastern Star.
1922 ‑ The By‑Laws were printed at a cost of $89.30. The Lodge was now in better shape, financially than at any previous time.
1923 ‑ The hall was painted and papered, and electricity was installed this year. Also during this, and the following year, a goodly sum was contributed, by popular subscription, to the George Washington National Memorial Fund. One hundred and five members voted at the election this year.
1924 ‑ When the Grand Lodge fee for each initiation was raised to $40.00, the initiation fee was set at $100.00. Funds were placed in the hands of the Charity Committee as two members were reported in need of assistance. $130.76 spent in repairing the Masonic Clothing.
1925 ‑ As there was plenty of work on hand, there was a good attendance of members and visitors throughout the year. The Annual found 106 voting members in attendance.
1926 ‑ Due to sickness among the members of the Lodge, a large amount was spent for charity.
‑ The June meeting had now become known as "Strawberry Night"
1928 ‑ It had long been the desire of Bro. Bayard A. Conard to have the meeting night changed from the Monday evening before full moon to the second Monday of each month. He asked Bros. Clayton K. Evans and Oscar M. Lumis to present a resolution to that effect. The resolution was presented on the 30th of January and was acted upon and passed at the March meeting. Due to the time of the full moon there was no meeting in February, but in the meantime Bro. Conard had passed on without seeing his desire fulfilled. Electric fans were installed at a cost of $79.07.
‑ Bro. John S. Young was admitted to the Masonic Home at
1930 ‑ There were 107 voting members at the annual election. The stewards bill for the Annual Banquet was $414.11.
‑ The Lodge erected cement steps and a walk leading to the road at a cost
of $250.00. Bro. George Hazlett and wife were admitted to the Masonic Home at
October of this year the Bi‑Centennial of Freemasonry in
District and by various other Lodges in
‑ Bro. Jacob Deery was the first Fifty Year member of Mt. Pickering
Lodge. Bro. John M. Goodman was admitted to the Masonic home at
‑ There were no initiations this year. Bros. Harry P. Gray and William T.
Hall died on November 18th. This was the second time that this Lodge has lost
two members by death on the same day. Bro. William B. Joslyn, Grand Master died
this year. He had some close acquaintances in this Lodge, who missed him very
much when they attended the Grand Lodge or any meeting for instruction in the
June meeting was attended by a visitation from Fernwood Lodge #543. The Worshipful
Master of that Lodge, Bro. Charles W. Davis, who had lived in this community
for many years had many close friends in this Lodge, and was pleased to bring
his members to visit our Lodge at the June meeting. Since that time this Lodge
has exchanged visits with Fernwood Lodge and they are always enjoyable
occasions. Anyone visiting Fernwood Lodge will always find a special welcome.
At the above meeting there were 82 visitors, representing twenty‑two
Lodges, and three Grand Jurisdictions. The annual banquet was prepared by
1934 ‑ This was another year without work but the attendance was good. The June meeting was attended by 102 visitors, representing twenty‑three Lodges, and two Grand Jurisdictions. Owing to the ill health of Bro. Furry, Bro. Oscar M. Lumis acted as Treasurer for the last half of the year.
1935 ‑ This was another year without any initiations. The June meeting bore an atmosphere of sadness due to the passing of the Treasurer since the last meeting. Bro. William J. McClellan of the Grand Lodge Lecture Corps delivered a lecture at this meeting. The meeting was attended by 157 visitors, representing 45 Lodges, and 9 Grand Jurisdictions.
The Right Worshipful Grand Master, Bro. Otto R. Heiligman, and the District Deputy Grand Master William R. Krause, visited this Lodge in July, when Bro. J. Hause Dewees was elected Treasurer. This was the second time for this Lodge to entertain the Grand Master, but this occasion was quite different from the one in 1907. At this meeting there were 38 visitors, representing 18 Lodges, and two Grand Jurisdictions.
1936 ‑ Bro. William J. Walton of Rock Island Lodge No. 658 of Rock Island, Illinois, died at the Homeopathic Hospital and was given a Masonic burial by the members of Mt. Pickering Lodge. His two sons later became Worshipful Masters of this Lodge.
The June meeting was attended by 101 visitors, representing 37 Lodges, and five Grand Jurisdictions. The work this year was the first since 1932, and this was the first year since 1929 to show an increase in membership, even though eleven petitions were rejected.
1937 ‑ District Deputy Grand Master Walter R. Krause attended the February meeting and addressed the Lodge. After his talk on the George Washington Memorial at Alexandria, Va., and the need for funds to complete it, the Lodge pledged $50.00.
This was the first year that the Right Worshipful Grand Master initiated the practice of taking a collection during the annual banquet for the Masonic Homes at Elizabethtown. They collected $22.25.
1938 ‑ District Deputy Grand Master Walter R. Krause visited the Lodge. Bro. Matthew Galt was appointed Grand Secretary to replace Bro. Harold N. Rush because of his death. No new members were added.
1939 ‑ Most Worshipful Grand Master of Delaware, Bro. George E. Vandergrift, visited our Lodge for the June meeting which was attended by 41 members and 99 visitors. Bro. Harry L. Adkins, a member of the Grand Lodge Lecture Team, addressed the Lodge on the "Landmarks of Freemasonry". There were no new members.
1940 ‑ The horse sheds were sold for $50.00. The Lodge Hall was redecorated and painted inside and out at a cost of $280.00. For the first time on record the District Deputy Grand Master presented two emblems to Bros. Louis C. Deery and Vernon L. Fisher, who had fifty years of continuous membership. During the summer the Worshipful Master, Bro. Allen W. Murray, accompanied by the Right Worshipful Grand Master, William H. Brehm, and members of the Lodge assisted in the corner stone laying of the new Warwick High School.
1941 ‑ Two more members, Bros. George B. Smiley and John M. Goodman, PM, received their fifty‑year emblems. The Soldiers Welfare Fund was well supported.
1942 ‑ A Committee composed of Bros. Clayton K. Evans, David Stewart, and Wilber E. Walton was appointed to communicate with members in the Armed Service. A resolution, dated December, 1941, was adopted by the Lodge that members in the armed services were not to be charged dues from December, 1941, until the close of the present war. A picture of the building where the first Masonic Lodge was held in England was presented by Bro. Raymond Prizer. The Trustees were authorized to purchase a $200.00 Defense Bond. The Flag Ceremony was initiated in March as directed by the Right Worshipful Grand Master.
After special protection was directed by order of the Grand Master, a safe was purchased was purchased and placed in The Hall.
1943 ‑ Eight members of the Lodge were in the Armed Forces. The June meeting was attended by 43 members and 32 visitors. The Lodge was not called off for July and August.
Fifty‑year emblems were presented to Bros. Maurice L. Boorem, PM, Joseph B. Phipps, and Harry Hause. An order was drawn on the Treasurer for $50.00 to the Charity Committee.
1944 ‑ There were several applications for membership necessitating an extra meeting. The Worshipful Master appointed the 75th Anniversary Committee ‑ Raymond Prizer, PM, Daniel L. Evans, PM, H. Raymond McBride, PM, and David R. Stewart. The June meeting records 38 members and 111 visitors representing 33 Lodges and four visiting Jurisdictions ‑ Illinois, Virginia, New Jersey, and New York. A By‑Law change raising Life Membership to $150.00 was adopted January, 1945.
The 75th Anniversary of the Lodge was celebrated December 18th at St. Matthews Lutheran Church.
At the October meeting 50 members and 10 visitors were present.
1945 ‑ At the March meeting special mention was made of the 50th Anniversary of the opening of the present Hall. Remarks were made by Vernon Fisher who was Senior Warden at that meeting. He referred to the meetings that were held at Chester Springs.
At the June meeting there were 61 members and 110 visitors. Two extra meetings were held in June. Meetings in July and August were called off from labor.
The minutes of October reads approval of a stated meeting September 10th, and extra meetings September 13th, and October 5th. The new By‑Laws were adopted at the November meeting. In December, the Trustees were authorized to purchase dishes for the Banquet Room.
1946 ‑ District Deputy Earl Himmelberger made his first visit to the Lodge and presented a 50‑year emblem to Jones T. Shoffner, PM.
At the June meeting there were 72 members and 132 visitors, including visitors from Illinois, Tennessee, Kansas, and New Jersey. The July and August meetings were called off. Two extra meetings were held in June.
The District Deputy was present at the October meeting and announced the passing and burial of Past District Deputy Walter R. Krause. Membership now totaled 194.
1947 ‑ The April meeting authorized the Trustees to drill for water and bring water into the Hall. The cost of digging the well and the electric pump installation totaled $312.95. All the offices were filled by visiting Worshipful Masters and a Master Mason's Degree was conferred by Bro. Frank E. Hawk.
The June meeting was attended by 50 members and 98 visitors, including visitors from Illinois, Massachusetts, West Virginia, and Maine, as well as District Deputy Earl Himmelberger.
The minutes of October record that Walter S. Jardine, initiated September 8th was called from labor September 25th, 1947.
One hundred seventeen members were present for the December meeting. The Charity Committee asked for $50.00. A 50‑year emblem was presented to W. Warren Latshaw. Membership was now 202.
1948 ‑ Bro. John Goodman, former Secretary of the Lodge, who was initiated June 15, 1890, passed away January 10, 1948, at Masonic Home in Elizabethtown.
The June meeting records 74 members, 102 visitors, District Deputy Earl Himmelberger presented a 50‑year emblem to Bros. John S. Wells and Harry H. McBride.
When a notice was received that a Masonic School of Instruction was being organized at Pottstown, Lodge No. 446 made application for membership. The Charity Committee asked for $48.00.
On December 13th the Lodge assembled at the Hall for the annual banquet. Ninety‑five members and five visitors were present. The Regular meeting followed at 8:15 P.M. The Membership now stood at 212.
1949 ‑ The Trustees were authorized to have the Aprons repaired and to purchase new ones if necessary. In September, fifty‑year emblems were presented to Bros. Sherman Kirkpatrick and Herbert C. Saul. Membership climbed to 215.
1950 ‑ The June meeting records that 62 members and 84 visitors were present. During July and August the Lodge Hall was repaired and painted.
The Worshipful Master appointed a committee composed of George C. Reinke, PM, and J. Hause Dewees, PM, to procure pictures of all Past Masters and have them posted in the Hall. Masonic 50‑year emblems were presented to Bros. E. Edward Super and Robert G. Simpson.
1951 ‑ Harry H. McBride, Tyler, was called from labor January 18th, 1951. On March 19th Carroll T. Whitely was entered, passed, and raised as authorized by special dispensation. At the June meeting 76 members and 125 visitors were present. Bros. Harmon D. Rees and Ralph D. Essick received fifty‑year emblems.
The minutes of the stated meeting on June 11th and extra meetings June 18th and September 6th were separately read and approved September 10th. The membership now totaled 225.
1952 ‑ In April the Trustees reported that the Hall roof was in need of repairs. Upon authorization, the repairs were made at a cost of $274.00.
At the June meeting 47 members and 108 visitors, including visitors from New Jersey and Illinois, were present. The minutes of September 8th records approval of the minutes of the June 6th meeting.
Six extra meetings were held throughout this year. Ninety‑seven members were present at the Annual Banquet at the Hall. There were
now 243 members.
1953 ‑ A change in the By‑Laws was approved as follows: Initiation fee ‑ $110.00; Dues ‑ $10.00 per year.
Fifty‑year emblems were presented to Bros. Charles H. Place, Joseph M. Hartman, and Thomas J. Phipps.
The Trustees were authorized to repair the dining room tables and purchase new ones at a cost of $358.50. Repairs to the building including new tables totaled $911.77. At the June meeting 81 members and 107 visitors, including those from Ohio, New Jersey, Indiana, and Illinois, were present. The December meeting and banquet at the hall were attended by 101 members and five visitors.
1954 ‑ Charity expenses were $16.00. The Worshipful Master presented fifty‑year emblems to Bros. Ernest W. Cornwall and John W. Kenney. Membership had now reached 254.
1955 ‑ There were 65 members and 123 visitors at the June meeting. By approved changes in the By‑Laws, the initiation fee was increased to $135.00 and annual dues to $15.00.
Bro. Clayton Evans retired as Secretary at the December meeting, and Bro Earl S. Fries, PM, was appointed Secretary Pro Tem. Membership was 257.
1956 ‑ The June meeting records 52 members and 110 visitors present.
The RW Grand Secretary visited the Lodge at the June meeting.
The 24th annual visitation of Lodge No. 543 was observed by 46 members who honored the Lodge on Strawberry Night.
1957 ‑ The January meeting notice included appointment of Minor M. Dain, as District Deputy Grand Master of the Fortieth Masonic District. The Improvement Committee for the Lodge named by The Worshipful Master included Bro. Henry Waltz, PM; J. Hause Dewees, PM; Jones M. Acker, PM; I. Newton Evans, PM; Lester Shriver, PM; George D. Lumis, PM; J. Elwood Rittenbaugh, D. Sidney Slemmer, and C. Richard Levengood. At the May meeting, the Trustees were authorized to purchase the lot across from the Hall for parking. The Improvement Committee reported a plan for a two‑story brick addition to the rear of the present building at an estimated cost of $10,000.00 Included with the approval of this plan at the May meeting were porch and walk repair, addition of powder rooms, a drinking fountain for the Lodge room and the installation of a modern kitchen with a second story addition above it for future enlargement of the Lodge Room.
The Lodge resolved to purchase and present a Masonic Bible to all new members.
Bro. Clayton K. Evans, PM, was called from labor July 4th, 1957. He had been Secretary for 24 years. The September meeting mentions that District Deputy Grand Master Minor Dain was present for the first time when he presented a 50‑year emblem to Bro. I. Newton Evans, PM.
Trustee Clarence Rice, PM, was called from labor. Jones M. Acker, PM, was elected to replace Bro. Rice at a special election.
The powder rooms were the donation of Bro. Mooney, a neighbor, friend, and frequent visitor to the Lodge.
Membership as of December was 250.
1958 ‑ A resolution approved a Trustee recommendation to increase insurance on the building to $35,000.00 and the contents to $3,000.00. A donation was made to the Lionville Fire Company. At the June meeting 49 members and 88 visitors were present. Membership of December, 1957, was 247 of which 22 were Life Members. Perpetual Fund now totaled $2750.00. The Trustees were authorized to make an additional loan to make the final payment for improvements begun in 1957.
1959 ‑ A New Flag was presented to the Lodge by Bro. H. Raymond McBride, PM. District Deputy Grand Master Minor Dain visited the Lodge in March and was received with customary honors. There were 52 members and 68 visitors present at the June meeting. In September the parking lot was stoned at a cost of $128.97.
The Lodge was addressed in October by Past Right Worshipful Grand Master Charles H. Nitsch.
A communication regarding the George Washington Masonic National Memorial Association was read. 21 Past Masters were present for Past Masters' night. Membership totaled 251.
1960 ‑ In February Past Right Worshipful Grand Master Charles H. Nitsch and Past District Deputy Grand Master of District A, Bro. John H. Doherty, visited the Lodge.
District Deputy Grand Master Minor Dain visited in March. Right Worshipful Grand Master James B. Kilvington of the State of Delaware visited to address the Lodge. Special dispensation to give the "word of the chair" to Bro. William J. Whitely was received from the Grand Lodge.
Donations for the George Washington Memorial totaled $532.93. Membership now stood at 250.
1961 ‑ A Thank‑you Communication from Valley Forge Chapter No. 444, National Sojourners, was received on February 13th.
Joseph M. Hartman was admitted to the Elizabethtown Home. District Deputy Grand Master Minor Dain visited the Lodge. At the June meeting 64 members and 104 visitors were present. Membership now totaled 257.
1962 ‑ The Lodge accepted an invitation from Royersford Lodge No. 585 to journey in a group to the George Washington Memorial National Masonic Lodge on Saturday, May 26th.
The Worshipful Master issued an edict that all Past Masters were to wear their Past Masters jewels for the remainder of the year.
District Deputy Grand Master Minor Dain visited the Lodge at the March meeting.
A letter of appreciation for the opportunity to visit our Lodge was received from Llewelyn E. Mills, Past Grand Sword Bearer of The Grand Lodge of England.
Bro. Vickers Norwood, Worshipful Master of Lodge No. 199, New Jersey visited the Lodge. There were 48 members and 115 visitors present at the June meeting. Worshipful Masters from Lodges Nos. 72, 186, 273, 340, 304, 543, and 189 of Maryland were pleased to visit the Lodge.
District Deputy Grand Master Minor Dain advised by letter that he had examined the Secretary's Minute Book and found it in order.
The Amendment to Article VI of the By‑Laws, presented June 11th, was approved as follows: Add Section 3 ‑ Any member in good standing for 50 years may be constituted an Honorary member upon written application and a vote of the Lodge. The dues of such members shall be remitted except for Grand Lodge dues, if approved by the Grand Lodge.
Worshipful Masters of Lodges No. 75, No. 553, and No. 741 were pleased to visit the Lodge. Past Masters' night in November was attended by 68 members, of whom 24 were Past Masters, and eleven were visitors.
District Deputy Grand Master Minor Dain was pleased to visit the Lodge and was received with customary honors. He presented a 50‑year emblem to Bro. Daniel L. Evans, PM. Membership as of December 27th was 263.
1963 ‑ The Worshipful Master made it a practice to announce at each meeting the names of Bros. who had Masonic Birthdays that month. A letter of recognition and congratulation was sent to Bro. Harmon D. Rees on the occasion of his 90th birthday.
In March seven 50‑year members, on motion, were constituted Honorary members of the Lodge.
The Most Worshipful Grand Master of the State of Maryland, Bro. Ernest L. Poyner, was pleased to visit and addressed the Lodge in April.
The April meeting records 59 members and 48 visitors. District Deputy Grand Master Minor Dain was pleased to visit the Lodge and presented a 50‑year emblem to Bro. J. Maurice Knerr, and one was left in the hands of J. Hause Dewees to present to Bro. S. Morton Fulton.
A communication was received announcing the appointment of Bro. Martin R. Kiggens, PM, of Royersford Lodge No. 585, as District Chairman for the Grand Lodge Committee on Masonic Culture.
Twenty‑one Past Masters were present for Past Master's night. Sixteen storm windows and a storm door were installed at a cost of $333.00.
1964 ‑ On March 26th permission was granted by the Right Worshipful Grand Master to hold an extra meeting in the Masonic Temple at the Masonic Home in Elizabethtown to confer the Third Degree on William F. Fitch. The District Deputy Grand Master was present at the April meeting.
The Worshipful Master continued the practice of recognizing Masonic Birthdays. The Valley Forge Chapter of DeMolay conferred a degree in the Lodge Hall.
After due process, the fee for initiation and membership was increased to $150.00, and dues were increased to $18.00 per year. There were 57 members and 75 visitors at the June meeting. District Deputy Grand Master Minor Dain was present at the September meeting and presented fifty‑year emblems to Bros. J. Hause Dewees, PM, Robert M. Oberholtzer, Frank W. Smedley, and William K. Yokum.
Lodge No. 322, West Chester, donated a beautiful blue floor rug for the Lodge room. Application for admission to the Masonic Home at Elizabethtown for S. Morton Fulton was received January, 1965.
1965 ‑ Clayton Seabold passed away at the Masonic Home on March 19th, 1954.
The June meeting records 64 members and 81 visitors, including members from Ohio, Indiana, Maryland, and Massachusetts.
District Deputy Grand Master Minor Dain presented fifty‑year emblems to George E. Scheetz and George R. McAfee at the October meeting. Twenty‑four Past Masters were present for Past Master's night.
S. Morton Fulton passed away at the Masonic Home in Elizabethtown in December.
1966 ‑ At the January meeting the 100th Anniversary steering committee was appointed: Bros. Harry Yeager, J. Hause Dewees, H. Raymond McBride, and George Reinke.
The April 11th meeting was designated as visiting night for the 40th Masonic District. Worshipful Masters appointed from Lodges 75, 254, 553, 585, and 741 were pleased to visit the Lodge.
At the June meeting there were 62 members and 161 visitors. Bro. J. Hause Dewees, PM, passed away May 22nd, 1966, after serving faithfully as Treasurer for 31 years. The Worshipful Master appointed Bro. I. Newton Evans, Jr., PM, as acting Treasurer.
The September meeting reports a contribution of $114.00 in support of the erection of the Prayer Statue at Freedoms Foundation honoring George Washington at prayer in Valley Forge. Twenty‑six Past Masters were present for Past Masters' Night and District Deputy Grand Master Kiggins presented 50 year Masonic emblems to Bros. J. Walter Eyrich, PM, and Howard S. George.
Warren W. Latshaw was called from labor on November 20th, 1966, Bro. Latshaw had been a member for 69 years, the longest membership on record for Lodge No. 446.
Bro. Martin R. Kiggins was appointed District Deputy for the 40th Masonic District on November 30th. Membership in December totaled 262.
1967 ‑ District Deputy Grand Master Martin R. Kiggins honored the Lodge with his presence in March. The 100th Anniversary Committee announced that the 100th Anniversary for Mt. Pickering Lodge No. 446 would be held September 27, 1969.
The Valley Forge General Hospital National Sojourners were present for a visit in April. The May meeting was designated Goodrich Company of Oaks night. Among the visitors present were members from Texas, Kansas, Maryland, Arkansas, North Carolina, and the District of Columbia. The June meeting was attended by 57 members and 55 visitors, including members from Indiana, Maryland, Maine, and Illinois. Bro. Franklin Gambein, R.W.P.G.M. of the Grand Lodge of Western Australia, honored our Lodge with his presence.
At the June meeting the Trustees were authorized to install the new heater. A Masonic Blood Bank was established by Grand Lodge announcement. The new heater was installed during the summer months at a cost of $1949.60. The Worshipful Master called attention to the installation of the ceiling altar light. The October meeting records 68 members and 10 visitors, of whom 21 were Past Masters. District Deputy Grand Master Martin R. Kiggins was present and presented 50‑year Masonic Service Emblems to Bros. J. Miles Acker, PM, and Norman G. Maxton. Ladies night was held in September and cost $299.75. The bus provided to transport members to Valley Forge for dedication of the "Washington at Prayer" statue cost $31.50.
Membership in December recorded a new high point for the Lodge ‑ 273.
1968 ‑ The Mr. and Mrs. Club of 1967 presented $1285.95 to the Lodge to assist with the 100th Anniversary expenses and other Lodge expenses. The March meeting records attendance of 60 members and 23 visitors including five Worshipful Masters from the 40th District and District Deputy Martin R. Kiggins. The April meeting records a communication from the Brandywine Shrine Club announcing a Testimonial Dinner honoring Bro. Edward C. Murray, PM, as Illustrious Potentate of Rajah Temple, on April 27th at Sunnybrook Ball Room. A communication was received reporting that Bros. Charles Oatman and Wilbur E. Walton, PM, had presented a 50‑year Masonic Emblem to Bro. William D. Harple at Phoenix, Arizona, in April, 1968, as directed by the Grand Secretary in March, 1968.
The April meeting records 72 members and 97 visitors including visitors from Indiana, Delaware, New Jersey, Maryland, and Massachusetts. Daniel L. Evans, PM, was called from labor on June 5th, l968. The October meeting, designated Past Masters' Night, was attended by 61 members and 4 visitors including 23 Past Masters. The Mr. and Mrs. Club of 1968 presented $990.00 to the Lodge to help with the Anniversary Expenses.
1969 ‑ All the Masters of the 40th Masonic District were present on Visiting Masters' Night, and we thoroughly enjoyed their company as well as that of their visiting Brethren.
The Lodge was well represented at Coventryville Methodist Church where Bro. Earl S. Fries, PM, gave an inspiring message on April 27th.
This has been and will continue to be a very busy year. Included in the Activities are Ladies Night, Chicken Barbecue, 100th Anniversary, and the Annual Banquet.
A huge crowd attended Ladies Night on May 10th at the Kimberton Fire Hall where they dines sumptuously and were royally entertained. On July 12th the Brethren and their wives had a very enjoyable evening on the Lodge grounds when they partook of a delicious chicken barbecue and toured The Lodge Hall.
The 100th Anniversary Committee reported that the Centennial would be celebrated in The Lodge Hall on September 27th at 4:30 P.M. followed by a banquet at 6:30 in the Elverson Fire Hall.