of the Joseph H. Brown Lodge #751
From our 75th anniversary book,
by our historian, Bro Robert. E. Evans, Jr.
- The beginnings of the Joseph
H. Brown Lodge #751.
- In the spring of 1929 things
were looking good. -the troubles of the First World War were
over, employment was high, money was easily available. But the
warning signs of the Great Depression were just beginning to
be seen. It was making people a little uncomfortable.
A Masonic Lodge did not represent Holmesburg during this time.
But the citizens of Holmesburg, who were also masons, noticed
this situation and began to meet. They wanted to form a lodge
in the "Burg". The talk first started in the drugstore
belonging to Bro. Howard H. Lewis, or "Doc", as he
was affectionately known.
- He was very interested in
a lodge for Holmesburg becoming a reality. This hope was shared
among quite a few of the locals.
- It was not until Bro Joseph
W. Hartzag stopped in to see Doc, and told him that Bro. George
A. Williams was interested in getting something started, that
an actual meeting date was set, for any interested Brethren.
- Doc contacted George and arrangements
were formally made for the first meeting to be held at the Charles
P. McMenamy Post #178 of the American Legion, also called "The
Old Post Home.
- Bro. Lewis prepared by purchasing
a small ledger type of book, and at the top of the page noted:
"We, the undersigned Master Masons, belonging to Lodges
opposite our names, express willingness to withdraw our membership
to form a regularly instituted Masonic Lodge in Holmesburg"
Bro. Lewis became the first person to sign his name, address,
Lodge number, and jurisdiction, and thus became the first person
of record in favor of the formation of the lodge.
- Bro. Lewis then put the book
into circulation in the "Burg" and obtained ninety
seven names expressing a willingness to withdraw their membership
to form a new lodge. This book continued in use until January
- The first meeting was held
in March of 1929. The notice for this meeting , and the minutes
of the meetings held on May 1 and June 5 are missing. However,
it is known that only a handful of brethren attended, and as
closely ascould be determined , they were:
- Howard H. Lewis E. Leonard
George A. Williams Frederick P. Long
Russel R. Wright Charles Cook
Joseph W. Hartzag Robert V. Noble
William B.S. Clare Horace E Wright
Enthusiasm was not lacking, because at the second meeting, the
attendance grew to twenty three Master Masons. Another interesting
fact is that from the first meeting in March until the Lodge
was constituted in October, the warrant members and officers-to-be
regularly attended instruction and rehearsal of the work. This
was made possible by the kindness of the Tacony Lodge No. 600,
who made their facilities available.
- We will be forever grateful
to our good friends and Brethern from Tacony #600 for this brotherly
gesture. As a result of the efforts of the original brethren,
the Joseph H. Brown Lodge No.751 received it's warrant of constitution
on October 9, 1929.
- The first called meeting was
at the American Legion Hall at 8:30 PM, on April 10,1929, with
the agenda to organize the Masonic Lodge.
- The expenses were approved,
and the lodge received donations from some of the members that
amounted to $100. That was not a small amount of money in 1929.
Others were willing , and in fact did, advance loans to the Lodge.
- The original ledger book provided
all of this interesting history, and Bro. William S. Batezel,
who wrote the 25 year history, wondered how long the book would
continue to exist after the 25th anniversary. It was at this
meeting, opened by Bro. Lewis, when Bro George A. Williams, PM,
of Jerusalem Lodge # 506, was appointed to chair the meeting.
- The name of Joseph H. Brown
was officially presented by Bro. Lewis, and favorably approved.
- (1929) The
elected officers were chosen as:
Worshipful Master- Bro. George A. Williams, 1026 Foulkrod St.
Senior Warden - Bro. Russell R. Wright, 8068 Crispin St.
Junior Warden - Bro.Henry F. Hover, 4146 Rhawn St.
Treasurer - Bro. William B.S. Clare, 8438 Frankford Ave.
Secretary - Bro. Joseph W. Hartzag, 3335 Princeton Ave.
following fees were approved:
Transfer from your respective lodge $20.00
Yearly dues $10.00
Initiation fee $120.00
The second Wednesday of every month was agreed upon as the meeting