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Tri-Counties Genealogy & History by Joyce M. Tice
History of Union Lodge No. 108
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Bibliographic Information for your source citations on any use of this reprinted material: HISTORY OF UNION LODGE, NO. 108, F. & A.M., TOWANDA, PA., 
CODDING, James, A History of Union Lodge No. 108, Free and Accepted Masons, Towanda, Pa. Held under a warrant from The Right Worshipful Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania and Masonic Jurisdiction Thereunto Belonging. by James H. Codding, Past Master.Towanda, Pa., 1899, Reporter-Journal Printing Co., Towanda, Pa., Reprint publication on Tri-Counties Genealogy & History by Joyce M. Tice, 2004,


It would be pleasant and flattering to narrate, that the career of the Lodge was of unbroken growth and prosperity – that it progressed and did not recede. But candor forbids. After a few years of success in its membership the Lodge declined greatly and but for a few faithful members must have ceased its works and become extinct. There was no want of harmony in the membership, nor lack of ability or attention on the part of its officers. Its financial management was unsound, but could have been remedied. And after all there was no lack of funds. But causes entirely outside the Lodge were surely working its dissolution. A remarkable convulsion, almost national in its effect, saved it from that fate.

The twenty-one members at the close of 1807, had increased to twenty-four in the next year and to twenty-seven in the year following. Such are the returns to Grand Lodge, though the minutes are not quite in accord. This may be explained, perhaps, by the statement that Grand Lodge dues were computed by the month, per capita (seven cents per month), and also, that the clerical work was not so clean cut under Bro. Scott’s successors. And the following, which was agreed to, May ---, 1811, would indicate that memory was considered more reliable than written record:

"Resolved the Secretary summons foregoing and present Worshipful Masters Treasurers and Secretarys from 1809 to 1811 to meet at the house of Brother Ebenezer Tuttle in Wysox on Saturday the 11th day of May to make a return of said lodge to the Grand Lodge".

Vibrating somewhat backward and forward the high water mark of the early time was reached with the close of 1816, thirty-two members. This number was for that period a satisfactory showing, and as Lodges were then conducted, was considered a sufficient membership for mutual enjoyment and protection. In the following year eight resignations announced the proposal to establish a new Lodge. The record is as follows: Oct. 23, 1817,

"The Petition of Sundry Brethren for a dismission from this Lodge for the purpose of establishing a new Lodge in Towanda read. Moved and Seconded that a vote be taken on the subject. Vote taken and negatived. Motioned and seconded that the question shall remain open until the next communication for consideration. Vote taken & carried in the affirmative".

At the following meeting the petition was granted, and upon the further question of a

"recommended to the Grand Lodge, Motion made By Brother Grant, Vote taken and carried in the affirmative".

This was not quite the end, for in the early part of 1818 trouble was apparent among those who withdrew. The record of this matter is very imperfect, but the following can be deciphered:

"The Committee called on Bro. Ridgeway who delivered up the paper in question who stated he had not withheld it from them if duly called upon by any one who had a Just claim to it if they would give him the privilege to Erase his Name as an officer from the same".

At the next meeting the difficulty was ended with apparent good feeling. This loss was recouped by seven initiations, but the tendency was downward. At the end of 1822 twenty-eight members were reported. Thence the list fell to twenty-two in 1824, then to thirteen in 1825, and finally for 1827 and 1818, but ten were included as members.

When the new County of Bradford was created the citizens of Wysox had excellent reasons to expect that the County Seat would be located on the beautiful plains between the Wysox Creek and the Susquehanna River. And at this day, after eighty-five years, it is to be regretted that such location was not made. The loss of manufactures and trade, by placing the town along the cramped hillside has been great and unavoidable. But the influence of William Means was a potent factor, and the town of Towanda was separated from the Lodge by a wide river, and sufficient distance to make the creation of a new lodge a mere question of time. The time soon came, and the question was met as before stated. The gravitation of all business interests towards the new legal center was not speedy, but it was decisive. Had nothing else intervened, the brethren of 108 had nothing to expect but a further depletion and a surrender of their Warrant. They had before them death by exhaustion.

The new Lodge at Towanda was constituted August 18, 1819, as Evergreen Lodge No. 163. It had twenty-one charter members. Destiny had marked out for its career a curious and stormy youth.

There were no better men than its members, but they entertained strong opinions as to personal and Masonic independence. Some movements in the lower part of the State, about that time, gave them opportunity, in 1823, to expostulate the Grand Lodge about annual dues and some other questions. And they went to extreme lengths; so that in 1824 their Warrant was vacated for withheld dues. But this roused fresh vigor and a broadside of complaint was published, the consequence being the expulsion of five leaders by direct action of Grand Lodge. Brother Kingsbery, then a District Deputy Grand Master, did his best to settle the difficulty. And with some success. For the Warrant was revived in 1826, the Lodge resumed work, but the would could not heal, and March 2, 1829, the Lodge surrendered its Warrant.

So it happened that the members of No. 108, though much reduced, did not give up, but held to their Warrant. And in 1839, after the anti-masonic cyclone had passed, when the brethren in the center of the County were looking for some authority, under which they could organize, the Warrant of No. 108 was the only one available for their purpose. Old No. 70, at Athens, ceased work in 1830; No. 150 at Troy had surrendered, and the first re-organization in the County was to be within the original jurisdiction of No. 108. No. 163 revived in due time, but No. 108 then occupied its place. So upon return of its Warrant Lodge No. 163 was located at Monroeton, where it now works in peace and prosperity. Dduring the closing years of this first period of its existence Bros. William Myer and Harry Morgan were the Lodge. In 1830 and 1832 they called together some brethren to celebrate St. John’s Day, "with the ladies". In 1831 they mustered five members and "Resolved that the note against Wm Foster and Isaac Myer be renewed and collected. Closed in harmony".

Their fidelity is worthy of remembrance as long as this Lodge shall endure.



In the minute books, preceding 1830, are some suggestions and statements which sound strange and amusing after so many years. Conditions are so different that most of these things would be impossible now. Social and business relations have changed greatly, and so far as Freemasonry adapts itself to them, in administration or discipline, it meets with like change.

It will be remembered that in the early days, without assuming jurisdiction the Lodges were willing to adjudicate neighbors’ quarrels, questions of fraud or debt, if the parties were Masons. And it must be said to their credit, that the efforts of the Lodges along these lines, met quite as satisfactory, if not more conclusive, results, than the litigation of later years. But the paragraphs referred to, are not frequent as to disputes. Union Lodge has been singularly fortunate in that respect. Harmony has been the rule, from it beginning.

The extracts are given as souvenirs of the old time. But little comment is needed, and the original phraseology will be followed.

As to tardiness:

Sept. 21, 1809. "Resolved that every member that attends the lodge if not at the Lodge room by the hour appointed shall pay twelve and half cents unless he can render a reasonable excuse to the satisfaction of the three first brothers that attends".

But the Lodge revenues were not increased thereby.

A trial in which both parties are defendants:

Oct. 11, 1810. "A charge Made by Brother A. – W. – against Brother A. – C. W. – was brought by brother George Scott. Motion made by Bro. Theron Darling & seconded by Broth. Chester Gridly that the trial of both come forward at our next Regular Communication".

And the result was as follows:

Feby 7, 1811. "The Committee to settle the dispute between Brother A-W- and Brother A-C-W- reported that their opinion was that A-C.W.- do acknowledge that he has said many things derogatory to the principals of Masonry and against the character of Brother W. – and is sensible of his error. Which report was complied with. And the committee further report that their opinion is that A – W – ought to make acknowledgement to the Lodge that he has said many things derogotery to the principals of Masonry which he had not ought to have said and is sensible of his error. Which was complied with and the two agree to drop all disputes and live like Brothers".

A darker trouble was presented:

Mch 3, 1812. "Motion made and seconded that a committee be appointed to enquire into the conduct of ----------- ------------ for passing spurious bills".

Difficulties in bookkeeping are suggested:

July 23, 1812. "Motioned and seconded that a man be appointed to take the books and settle with each member and two others to set with him when Difficulties shall arise".

And a peculiar settlement:

Sep.9, 1813. "Bro Myer Rec’d one Watch estimated at 10 dollars and fifty 2 cents, twelve dollars in cash and an order on Eben. Tuttle of 10 dollars for the arrearages of ----------- ------------ due to the lodge".

Past Masters

C. B. Patch

E. H. Mason, M. D.

A. H. Kingsbury

Geo. D. Montayne

Henry Mercur

Patrick Phelan

The first candidate initiated by the Lodge, caused anxiety, and he was severely punished:

Dec. 2, 1813. "Brother Asabel Johnson Proposed that Brother ---------- --------- Should be Expeled from the Privileges of Masonry for the following Reasons to Wit, for Antimasonick conduct in as much as he was Withdrawn himself from this Lodge and Not paid his Dues to the Lodge for the year A.D. 1808 to this Time. Also he has Not paid A. Number of the Brethren their Just Dues when he was owing them Money".

The death of a member caused the following order:

June 30, 1814. "Every Brother a Member of this Lodge shall wear black Crepe or Ribband on the Left Arm and Blue Ribband in the Button Hole of the Coat on the Left for three Months as a Badge of Mourning".

The following relate to refreshment:

Jany 19, 1815. "Voted that every Brother that attends at Every Monthly Communication should pay to the Stewart twelve & half cents to Purchase Refreshment for the Brethren".

Jany 11, 1816. "Resolved that there be no Cake and Cheese the present year But that every brother be allowed to call for what he chooses and also that no liquor be admitted into the lodge room the present year".

April 11, 1816. "Motioned and seconded that the Vote Taken on the 11th Jany 1816 Past as it Respects there Being no Cake & Cheese & Liquor Be Repeled & Motioned and Seconded that Refreshment Be had at our Regular Communications & at the Expence of the Lodge"

The watch received in 1813 has further history:

Oct. 27, 1814. "Next on Motion Made and seconded Rezolved that the Treas is authorized to Dispose of the Watch in his hands for whisky or any other way he may think most advisable".

Jany 7, 1819. "Motioned & Seconded that the watch that belongs to the Lodge which was taken of ----------- ---------- some years since be set up at Public auction & sold to the highest bidder and was set up and Cried and sold to B. Wm. Myer for three Dollars and Eighty-five cents".

A committee appointed to devise a plan for the collection of lodge dues, reported the following scheme:

Dec 6, 1821. "Resolved that the Lodge receive good merchantable boards and shingles at four Dollars per thousand and they will receive hogshead staves at ten Dollars per thousand and they will receive wheat at one Dollar per bushel rye and corn at fifty cents per bushel oats at twenty five cents per bushel ** that the lumber and grain be delivered by the first of April next the lumber to be delivered on the bank of the river at the mouth of the Wysox crick and grain to be delivered at Myers mill".

And that a possibly erring brother might know his duty:

Dec. 11, 1823. "B. Wm Myer & H. Morgan appointed a Committee to converse with B --------------- concerning the Principals of Masonry &c".

Such extracts might be multiplied, but they are enough. They are introduced to illustrate the changes which four score years have made. Some other paragraphs were marked for insertion here, but reflection suggests that they be left untouched. They allude to matters of trouble and disgrace and even the anonymous mention may yet cause pain. The grave which has long closed over the principal actors, ought to hide their faults.

The minutes relating to charities are also left uncopied. Our brethren were liberal and anxious to aid and they acted without ostentation. Frequent entries demonstrate this. And not merely to their own household. Whether far away, "for the relief of distressed brethren in Algeiras", or at home, "for a cow for the widow D---- and children", they gave according to their ability, and more. They were noble men and believed that the principles of their Fraternity were for daily use.



It is customary, and no doubt truthful, in writing the history of Lodges which ante-date 1826, to speak of the anti-masonic movement as closing the labors of the lodge, compelling the members to hide their affiliations, and meet only at long intervals by stealth, and so await better days. Such, however, was not the experience of Union Lodge in that crisis. Its relations to that period have been told. Had the Lodge been prosperous and strong, it might have been torn in the fierce blast; as it was, it simply waited, instead of expiring from other causes.

One of the most astonishing exhibitions of human passion and weakness, ambition and surrender, mendacity and acquiescence, is found in that remarkable time. The effect was chiefly political, though churches joined in the attack; the principal end in view was pubic office and control, though families divided as if upon a question of private morality. The occasion presented itself for agitations by shrewd men, and the most unscrupulous schemer could not have better used the opportunity.

The story is difficult to tell, not because of any lack of contemporaneous records and literature, but because they are so unreliable. Any one who examines the newspapers of that day, the notices, the broadsides, the speeches, the sermons, the pamphlets and the books, will lay them down in disgust and despair, wondering through all, what is the truth?

One feature is certain: the attack was upon and against the Masonic fraternity, and the end proposed was its complete destruction. No half-way measures, no ideas of reform were tolerated. Absolute extermination was the cry, and eternal disgrace to its adherents.

The storm came suddenly, and from a clear sky. It is easy now, after seventy years, to say that it was preceded by threatening indications. The Craft was prosperous beyond precedent; some say it was too much so; that in that very fact were elements of danger. The Fraternity was united; some say that therein was confusion, because of imperfect union of some discordant parts. There was a large number of lodges; some say, too many, because of the rivalry in efforts to succeed. That in rapid growth is lack of strength, may be true Masonically as well as physically. It is very certain, that when trouble came, the number of deserters and traitors, was the leading element in the compound of disgrace and shame.

In the cemetery at Batavia, N.Y., since 1882, has stood a granite column resting upon a cubical base, and surmounted by the semblance of a human figure. It was erected by "volunteer contributions: and bears four inscriptions. That upon the South side is pertinent here, and is as follows:

"Sacred to the memory of William Morgan, a native of Virginia, a captain of the war of 1812, a respectable citizen of Batavia, and a martyr to the freedom of writing, printing and speaking the truth. He was abducted from near this spot in the year 1826 by Freemasons and murdered for revealing the secrets of their Order".

Erase from this "Lie in Stone" all except the one date – 1826 – let that stand as the date of Morgan’s disappearance, because every other statement of that inscription, direct or inferred, is probably false.

Who was this man, whose alleged abduction could shake Grand and subordinate lodges, put one hundred thousand men upon the defensive and raise perjury and desertion to a premium?

He came to Rochester about 1823. He settled in Batavia in the same year, perhaps. His business was that of bricklayer and stonemason. If he was born in Virginia, there is no record, or sure knowledge of that fact. That he had been a Captain under General Jackson at New Orleans was asserted, but even a reward could not draw out the proof. That he was a "respectable citizen", no one who knew him, professed to claim. Some extenuated his dissipated habits, but none denied them. He was often in trouble over small debts, for which in those days he was liable to personal arrest. He was, in 1836, about fifty years of age; his wife twenty-three. She was a native of Virginia, and they had two small children. He was never a property owner in New York, nor anywhere else, so far as evidence goes, though it was asserted that he had seen better days. The exact details of his personal appearance were much in demand, a little later, but are not needed here. And in spite of steel plates and granite effigy, it is true that no authentic portrait exists. The probabilities are that he was not a native of the United States, but had seen considerable of wandering life, more perhaps, than he chose to tell.

He claimed to be a Mason, and was admitted within the Lodge rooms. His experience in life gave him a certain readiness of manner and smoothness of speech which imposed upon the Fraternity. But not long, for his habits alienated and disgusted. He had been included among the petitioners for a new Chapter at Batavia, but a revised application purposely omitted his name and he became very angry.

For several years David C. Miller had conducted a newspaper in the town, the Batavia Advocate. He had before done work upon an old so-called expose of Masonry and he and Morgan now proposed to make some money by publishing a fresh one. By way of advertising, and for rousing interest and excitement, the promise of what was coming was given out, and the "Advocate" editorially dwelt upon it.

This course produced exactly the desired result. Zealous but indiscreet brethren expostulated and threatened. The sounder heads advised wisely a course of entire inaction, which unwisely was not followed. Morgan and Miller professed to feel in personal danger, and thus concentrated attention to them. Miller anticipated that his office would be burned, and so easily enough a fire was discovered, with plenty of water carefully prepared for its extinguishments: That fire was on Sunday evening Sept. 20, 1826. The day following Morgan was removed from Batavia.

On that same Sunday evening a party had come from Canandaigua with a warrant, charging Morgan with larceny. He was then upon jail limits (The incarcerated debtor by giving bond to the Sheriff was allowed substantial liberty within certain limits – usually a square mile, the jail being the center.) for debt. The criminal process being superior to the civil detention, he could be thus taken. Monday morning, the 11th, Morgan voluntarily joined the party at the tavern and ate breakfast with them. His partner, Miller, hearing of the warrant, went to the hotel and protested against the proceeding. At Morgan’s own request to "drive fast and leave the place", the constable started. There had been a recent trouble between Morgan and Miller. Canandaigua, forty-eight miles distant, was reached that evening. There was no appearance against him and the accused was discharged. But to insure further detention, an execution for a small debt was produced, and upon it Morgan was taken to jail. Here he remained till evening the next day, when the debt was paid, he was released and entered a carriage going northward. But an evil thing had occurred, somebody has furnished him liquor, and under its influence he for an instant resisted when taken from the jail and it was afterwards said that he cried out "murder". The party passed through Rochester, and soon turned westward upon the Ridge Road. Thursday morning, Sept. 14th, after several changes and stops, they reached Youngstown, dismounted, walked to the ferry, crossed to the Canadian side, and a little later all returned and Morgan was placed in what had been the magazine of Fort Niagara. While there more liquor, and more outcry. So far, as to route, stopping places and dates there is no dispute. All else is involved in contradiction, contention, bitterness. On the one side it was asserted that Morgan went willingly and freely, without restraint, pursuant to an agreement and was passed over to Canada according to his own wish. On the other it was published, preached, lectured and talked that Morgan was gagged and bound, abducted violently, closely kept from all observation, and after a brief imprisonment at the Fort, was taken out and drowned in Niagara River.

On the day after Morgan left Batavia, David C. Miller, the publisher, was arrested on the suit of a business partner, one Johns, the allegation being fraud. It amounted to nothing more than a mixed drunken row, and to fan the rising excitement. Mrs. Morgan, alarmed at her husband’s absence went to Canandaigua. A special agent went over the same ground a few days later and the facts reported by them, with embellishments, created intense feeling. Again inconsiderate masons, by thoughtless words, injured themselves. They opened the way for charges afterwards used with deadly effect.

A call from "Many Citizens" met response in a public meeting September 25 at Batavia. About a week later western New York was flooded with circulars inflammatory in character, calling for information of Morgan. Then conventions began to be held, searches made, denunciations issued, and the storm began to rage. Politicians saw early that a rare opportunity was offered, and with consummate skill events were molded to form a new party based upon deadly hostility to Freemasonry. Newspapers gave a strong impetus to the movement, and very soon prosecutions were commenced. From the officer who served the first warrant to the casual driver of a relay of horses, all were sooner or later implicated. Conspiracy and abduction were the charges, and in fear of what might come, some plead guilty and went to prison. Eli Bruce, Sheriff of Niagara County, a man of irreproachable character, was with the party at the Fort. He was soon arrested but discharged by the magistrate. His Masonic standing was too great however to allow him to escape. Gov. Clinton, himself a distinguished Mason, had issued three proclamations in aid of justice, and finally removed Bruce from office. He was then indicted and imprisoned for two years and four months, the longest penalty imposed upon any participant. From the severity of his sentence, his consequent broken health and early death, he is remembered as the "Masonic Martyr". In the counties of Genesee, Monroe, Orleans and Niagara, in the years 1827, 1828, 1829, and 1830, these indictments and trials had their course. They were marked by great popular excitement, false swearing, contempts of Courts and few convictions. By legislative enactment special counsel were employed to prosecute, and the prosecutor became a politician as well as officer of the law.

Past Masters

Wm. A. Peck

W. H. H. Gore

J. C., Irving

J. Russ Parsels

Wm L. Dimock

James H. Codding

For one year of these proceedings there was no proof of Morgan’s death. River and lake were dragged, cemeteries searched and expedients tried, but without result. Then came an incident which, as many professed to believe, furnished the missing link.

At Oak Orchard Creek, on the shore of Lake Ontario, forty miles East of Fort Niagara, a dead body lay on the bar, on the morning of Oct. 7, 1827. It was advanced in decay and unrecognizable as to features. A coroner and his jury were soon summoned. The height, general appearance, clothing (in one pocket some religious tracts) were noted; the verdict of "found drowned" recorded and the body buried. The publication of the inquest met the eyes of Thurlow Weed, then a young newspaper man, David C. Miller, and others, and political and other reasons suggested to them that this might be the corpse to sustain their case against the Masonic Fraternity. So Oct. 13th the body was exhumed and examined; ;then left in charge of a committee till they found their identification. Another inquest was impaneled and witnesses sworn. Mrs. Morgan professed to recognize the body, though failing in several particulars; and the clothing not at all that which her husband had worn. The verdict pronounced the remains those of William Morgan, and they were buried at Batavia with great demonstration.

It was claimed at the time that Weed tampered with that body in order to insure a verdict according to his wish. The charge is a serious one, and the reasons and evidence, too long to be recited here, should be carefully examined.

The funeral produced, as intended "a prodigious sensation". All Freemasons were cursed as accessories to a murder, and the air was filled with addresses and appeals for punishment and vengeance. Heaven had now revealed the truth and every member of a Masonic lodge should be treated as an outcast and outlaw.

But the story of that poor corpse was not yet ended. In September – the 24th – a Canadian named Timothy Monroe had been drowned, by the upsetting of a boat in the Niagara River, and his body had not been recovered. His widow and friends seeing the printed reports of the inquests, believed the body to be Monroe’s. She came with her son, and described the body and clothing so precisely that a third inquest could not be avoided. Once more the remains were taken up, and the jury decided the body to be that of Timothy Monroe. Mrs. Monroe testified not only to the clothing, but to special features, the mending, pockets and cut of the shirt, which had before escaped notice. Length of body when measured, careful examination of teeth and other details contradicted known facts as to Morgan’s appearance and the verdict was conclusive.

The body was again laid away, and the "Morgan monument" of 1882 does not mark the spot.

Close after the last inquest came a now celebrated phrase, When Weed was asked "what he would do for a Morgan now", he replied, "This is a good enough Morgan until after election". He afterwards denied the last part of the reply, but the evidence is against him. The politician came to the surface and he forgot himself.

More conventions, local, state and national; more addresses; and the storm eddied, whirled and shrieked along its fateful course. Men of every sort, astute and foolish, reverend and irreverend took up the cry. It announced candidates for every office; some were elected, others defeated. It rent political parties and changed long settled conditions. It dissolved business partnerships and forced good men to ruin. It entered churches, and refused fellowship and sacraments to all adhering Masons. It divided families; fathers disowned their sons and wives left their husbands. It was a curious, strange, fanatical time, without precedent and probably beyond imitation. Newspapers started, not by tens or scores, but by hundreds to promote the attack. Books honest and dishonest pored from the presses, and almanacs by the thousands, with horrible wood cuts, perversions and lies, brought to the most humble families the anti-masonic rancor. The spirit of the attack was not argumentative, logical, persuasive; it was malignant and persecuting in every line.

The Fraternity was at first defiant, denying any wrong. But as many withdrew, and some apostatized, the brethren generally settled upon a wise course. The storm was too violent to last, and by closing the Lodges, they hastened the end. When, by the surrender of the Fraternity at large, anti-masonry had apparently achieved its triumph, its own dissolution was at hand. It died suddenly, as it came, and few mourned its demise. Weed, Seward and some others had profited by it; the other chiefs sank in disgrace and oblivion.

It has been often noted, among the freaks of human nature, that when some subject of mystery agitates the public mind so-called confessions appear for the sake of notoriety alone. So in the anit-masonic time, narrations of every sort abounded from men who had never seen either William Morgan or a Masonic Lodge Room. His throat was cut, he was strangled, he was starved – in every case with Masonic accessories. The stories were not believed, but they were used, just like much other alleged Masonic matter in that time when it rained "revelations".

As an incontrovertible fact, no one can tell when or how William Morgan died. The passions aroused in 1826 have subsided now, and men are no longer discredited, because they may perchance be Masons. John Whitney was one of the actors in the scenes of 1826, and he lived until 1869. Mr. Weed’s statement that he died in 1861, is as false as the confession he put in Whitney’s mouth. Whitney was well acquainted, that is friendly, with Morgan and had much to do with his going away. When the announcement came that a book revealing Freemasonry was to appear, the brethren felt indignant, not so much at the publication as at the ingratitude. For Morgan had been much aided by them in the support of his family and it seemed a base act. But Miller had him in charge and had promised him a "half a million dollars". And just about that time it came to the Baravia brethren, with the force of demonstration, that they had been doubly imposed upon. Morgan was not a Mason at all. Carelessness had allowed this unusual thing to happen, and the position is which they were likely to be placed before the world promised to be mortifying in the extreme. To warn the Fraternity against him was considered proper, and it was publicly done. But like that which followed, it was not prudent. In August Whitney went to Gov. Clinton for advice. The result was a plan to buy Morgan off, purchase his separation from Miller and remove him to some other place for a new start. Whitney then saw Morgan who gladly accepted the terms. The difficulty was in escaping his creditors. If the debt for which he was then "upon limits" was paid, other executions would immediately follow. So the Canandaigua warrant was agreed to, and fifty dollars paid him at that time. In due time Morgan was sent for and did exactly as he had agreed. He went willingly, by daylight, in view of all, and but for the liquor at Canandaigua, would have left there without a sign. As it was, he was not bound nor in any way deprived of personal liberty. His eyes were sore and painful and his handkerchief over them as they traveled, led some observers to think him blindfolded. Along the road a few who understood the plan joined the party. They paid dearly for it afterwards. Canada was the objective point, and when Fort Niagara was reached, in the night, the river was immediately crossed. A Canadian committee was found, while Morgan waited in the boat. They were not quite ready to proceed with their part of the arrangement, and did not wish Morgan on their hands, so all returned to the American shore, and Morgan, with his own consent went to the magazine of the Fort. On the night of Sept. 17, the Canadian Masons came over, and Morgan went back with them. He agreed to wait where he should be located by those who came for him, until joined by his family or other permission given. He solemnly swore to reform his habits and again be a man. He was accompanied by the Canadians to a place near the present City of Hamilton, received his five hundred dollars, and it was supposed the affair was practically ended. Such was the statement of John Whitney, against whom no charge ever rested, save that of his Masonic connection. This statement was made in 1859, and the conclusion is given in his own words:

"What a tremendous mistake I made, what a tremendous mistake we all made, I needn’t tell you. Had we really put the miserable fellow to death, had he been drowned or poisoned before leaving Batavia, not half the uproar had followed. It was scarcely a week until we saw what trouble was before us. It was not a fortnight until Col. King sent a confidential messenger into Canada to see Morgan and prepare to bring him back. But alas, he who had sold his friends at Batavia had now sold us. He had gone. He had changed his name, changed his clothes, bought a horse and left the village within forty-eight hours of the departure of those who took him there; King sent a second person who employed an old Indian scout, thoroughly posted in the calling to follow him up. He found that Morgan had gone east at the rate of fifty miles a day to a point down the river not far from Port Hope. He had sold his horse and disappeared. He had doubtless got on board a vessel there and sailed out of the country. At any rate that was the last we ever heard of him".

Of this some corroboration can be furnished, but the whole matter is little more than a tradition now, and may be safely left just as it is.

And what, after all, did William Morgan actually publish? It is quite certain that he was not the author of all that was printed and attributed to him, and the evidence is almost as conclusive that one of it was from his pen. Before his deportation, Morgan surrendered all his manuscripts, and had the first of his work been in type, it could not have been finished. The first edition of the "Illustrations of Masonry" came from the Batavia press in December, 1826, and the probabilities are the David C. Miller prepared and published the entire book. As issued by him it was not a difficult task. Between 1724 and 1819 more than forty so-called Expositions of Freemasonry had appeared. The list may be found in almost any Masonic history, and they furnish a curious light upon the activity and ingenuity of the human imagination. Some of the later publications supplied ample material for the work Miller had in hand, and no new manuscript was really needed.

Morgan’s name does not appear on the title page of the "Illustrations", and considering the excitement which had been created, no particular authorship was necessary. If anything could sell the book, the circumstances were sufficient. But Miller’s profits were small, the book was discredited, and he died miserably near Cleveland, Ohio, about 1859.

New York and the New England States were violently agitated. Lodges closed, Grand Lodges met if they could, but in all cases held by a slender thread. Legislative investigations, acts against extra-judicial oaths and every possible embarrassing expedient, were set on foot. The Grand Lodge of Massachusetts, holding a charter of incorporation, surrendered it to avoid inquisitorial action., In Vermont, the anti-masonic party succeeded to the extent of casting the electoral vote of the State for its Presidential candidate.

In the Western States the excitement was not so great, and in some Southern States was very little felt, but the depressing effect was everywhere in the United States. When the re-action began there were probably not one-fourth the number of Lodges which existed in 1826.

In Pennsylvania the movement found first foothold in some of the western counties. The first attempt at organization was in June, 1829, when representatives of western counties appeared in State convention in Harrisburg. A candidate for Governor was named, who received 61,776 votes, against 78,219 for the Democratic nominee. This was an unexpected showing, and received encouragement by the holding of a National Convention at Philadelphia in Sept., 1830. In 1832 Governor Wolfe was again elected, receiving 91,335 votes against 88,165 for Joseph Ritner, anti-mason. But showing that politics prevailed along old lines, after all, the Presidential vote of that year was remarkable. Jackson received a popular National vote of 687,502, Clay 539,189, while the regular undoubted anti-masonic candidate received altogether but 33,108. Both Jackson and Clay were Masons – both Past Grand Masters.

In 1835 the Democratic party in Pennsylvania divided, and this accomplished the election of an anti-masonic Governor. The vote was, Muhlenburg, Democrat, 40,486; Wolfe, Independent Democrat, 65,804, and Ritner, anti-Mason, 94,023.

Past Masters

Wm Chamberlin

Edward Walker

Andrew J. Dowd

George W. Buck
Clarence T. Kirby

In the early part of 1828 a few petitions and memorials against Masonry were presented in the Pennsylvania legislature, and were "laid upon the table". In 1834 they came in quantities, and a resolution to propose a law disqualifying Masons as jurors was negatived. Committees of investigation were appointed, however, and Mr. Stevens reported a bill "to prohibit in future the administration of Masonic, Odd Fellows and all other secret extra-judicial oaths, obligations, and promises in the nature of oaths". The report bewailed the insufficient posers of the committee for an investigation, and contained among other "flings" at Gov. Wolfe, the following:

It was particularly desirable and intended, that the Governor of this Commonwealth should become a witness, and have a full opportunity of explaining, under oath, the principles and practices of the order, of which he is so conspicuous a member. ** It might not have been unprofitable, also, to inquire how many convicted felons, who have been pardoned by the present Governor, were brethren of this "Mystic Tie", or connected by blood or politics with members of that institution, and how few of these who could boast of no such connexion, have been successful in similar applications".

Such insinuations provoke a smile now; but they were seriously treated then.

Thaddeus Stevens was the "High Priest of Anti-Masonry" in this State, and his labors against the Fraternity were unrelenting and vindictive. But the session of 1834-35 passed without effect, and was succeeded by the more dramatic incidents of 1835-36. At that session the petitions and memorials came as usual; bills to suppress and oppress were presented and referred, but the supreme interest centered in the committee led by Stevens. A set of interrogatories based upon the alleged "expositions", was prepared to be submitted to distinguished Freemasons, and their attendance demanded by special resolution. In obedience thereto appeared the following Grand Officers: Tristram B,. Freeman, Grand Master; Samuel M. Stewart, Grand Secretary; Charles Schneider, Grand Tyler; Francis R. Shunk, a District Deputy Grand Master; George M. Dallas (afterwards Vice President) and Josiah Randall, past Grand Masters, and Joseph R. Chaldler, who became Grand Master in 1841, with other faithful Freemasons. One and all declined to submit to inquisition and refused to be sworn. Each presented in writing his reasons for that course. And after all these years, it is well worth the time and reflection of just and candid men to consider the protests presented to the committee. High-minded, argumentative, constitutional, they present the relations of the Fraternity to citizenship in a clear, enduring light.

It is difficult to select any particular extract, superior to the rest, but the following from the paper of George M. Dallas, will exhibit the nature of the arguments:

"The society of Freemasons is, in this State, strictly of a private nature. It is not incorporated. Like other voluntary associations, it is neither formed nor forbidden by law. Without, therefore, pausing to illustrate and enforce the remark that it would be equally constitutional to investigate the evils of the Society of Friends, or other societies of religion, or societies of politicians, or societies of convivial gayety, or of any of the countless combinations of partnership by which men strive to realize calmness of conscience, the enjoyment of life and liberty, the acquisition and protection of property and reputation, and the pursuit of happiness, I respectfully affirm to this committee my absolute conviction, that the proceeding which attempts, under the forms of legislation and through my own agency, to pry into, expose, condemn, and ridicule my personal doings and relations with this body of citizens, is as utterly inconsistent with the tenor and terms of the constitution, as its expansion to similar cases would be fatal to freedom".

Stevens tried his best to have the House proceed to extreme measures, as for contempt, but after two days of detention by the Sergeant-at-Arms, during which the House resolved, amended and deliberated, the witnesses were discharged, and the State paid the expenses of the fiasco. It was the end. No legislation against the Masonic Fraternity went upon the statute book. Stevens succeeded far better in another role at a later time.

In 1838, Ritner was again candidate for Governor, and received a large vote – 122,321 – but David R. Porter was elected having 127,825.

During that trying time our Grand Lodge was busy, but was far more anxious to pay its debts, than to attend to anti-masonry. There was keen appreciation of the situation of the subordinate lodges, and they were treated leniently. But in 1837, nothing remained but to enforce the laws and a large number of Warrants were vacated.

The list of 1826 exhibits 109 lodges at work in Pennsylvania. A report June 13, 1838, shows but forty-six, of which twenty-four were in the City and County of Philadelphia.

In Bradford County anti-masonry appeared as a keen political factor. If it persecuted socially, it has left little trace. By common consent the brethren closed the lodges, but if they chose, they celebrated their St. John’s Days in peace. Of apostates, none are recorded. The legislative list shows no anti-masonic petitions from this County. About 1830 Orrin P. Ballard started at Troy the Anti Masonic Democrat, which was edited by Thomas E. Paine. Mr. Ballard was a leading and prominent man in the party, and is remembered as an honorable citizen. The newspaper gave up early, for in 1832-3, it was bought by E. R. Utter, who removed it to Towanda and re-christened it the Bradford Argus, with Whig proclivities. The vote in the County during the anti-masonic time, was as follows:

  1829 1832 1835 1838
Wolfe, Democrat 1219 1685 1584  
Ritner, Anti-Mason 333 920 1239 2219
Muhlenberg, Democrat     419  
Porter, Democrat       2420

Was it the large vote polled for Ritner (There are a few now living, who may remember that Gov. Ritner visited Towanda in 1836. He was received with due ceremonial, but tradition preserves some foolish remarks made by him. A burlesque publication entitled "The Downfall of Freemasonry", gives a humorous account of the incident and his alleged embarrassed remarks. There is also a woodcut of the "Triumphal Entry" into town – two intoxicated individuals.) in 1838, that suggested to the suppressed Fraternity, that its time had come? It would seem so, for less than fourteen months after that election day, the brethren met to re-organize Union Lodge No. 108.

In considering, however, the vote cast in our State and County, for the years above mentioned, allowance should be made for the fact that the anti-masonic vote represented all the opposition to the Democratic candidates. No other parties were in the field, and many undoubtedly voted for Ritner simply from opposition to Democratic principles and nominees. No other reason can be assigned for the sudden disappearance of anti-masonry in the years following 1838.

And so the storm died out. It had accomplished no good beyond an undoubted benefit to the Fraternity it was intended to suppress.



In the calm which followed the storm the Fraternity was quick to recover lost ground. The evidence was soon apparent that it needed no effort to resume a better position than before. Caution only was required to exclude the unworthy and preclude the conditions which had contributed to the late disaster.

The brethren in and near Towanda, and from Wysox, assembled at the Lodge room November 14, 1839. The date was a regular one for a stated meeting. Eleven were present, to wit: Bros. Ethan Baldwin, Samuel Houston, Joseph C. Powell, Jesse Woodruff, Sidney S. Bailey, Adolphus Martin, Arunna Wattles, Alvin Whitney, William Myer, Peter Allen and Byron Kingsbery. Wattles, Whitney, Myer and Allen were members of No. 108, so far as it had any membership. Martin had resigned in 1823, the others belonged to No. 70 and No, 163, and as to them it was simply voted that they "be received as members of this Lodge". It was determined to meet next at Towanda, Tuesday, Dec. 10th. At that time appeared Bro. Harry Morgan of the "Old Guard", and Bros. Hiram Mix and James Smith, resigned members. Also Bros. Joseph Kingsbery, Wanton Rice, Philo Baldwin, Wm. B. Foster, Jr., Ebenezer Shaw, George H. Bull, John F. Satterlee, Ira H. Stephens, William Kelly, Jonathan Stephens and Wm. B. Spalding. Of these the first, fifth, seventh, eighth and eleventh named had certainly belonged to No. 70. The others were from other Lodges. The easy process of "voting in", admitted them all, and they agreed to meet a week later. Dec. 17th "the Lodge resumed its labors according to adjournment", voted another member, Bro. Guy Tozer, late of No. 70, and changed the stated time of meeting.

The Secretary made up his record with statement that "the officers elect for the ensuing year were duly installed", but a pen mark crossed out that entry. It probably was a fact that the installation occurred, but was found to be premature. Jan’y 15, 1849, furnishes a brief but suggestive item:

"A communication was received from the Grand Lodge & read. On motion & seconded, Voted that a petition be made out agreeable to the directions from the Grand Lodge".

And nothing further appears of record until June 3.

Twenty-six brethren had associated as Freemasons in possession of a Warrant, which they doubtless considered sufficient for their regularity. It is almost certain that they knew nothing of the vacation of the Warrant a little more than two years before. The communication from Grand Lodge doubtless informed them of the true situation and that certain formalities were yet to be observed.

But still other questions arose than those presented by requirement of Grand Lodge. It is a curious piece of inside history, nowhere given in full, but reasonably clear when the parts are put together.

Co. Kingsbery, under date of 14 Dec., 1839, wrote a letter which was read in Grand Lodge, and was in part as follows:

"I have now the pleasure to state to you that Anti-Masonry in this quarter is either dead or asleep. If dead, we shall not in any violent manner tread upon its ashes, but suffer them as time may operate to be scattered by the winds of heaven. If asleep, we shall not by any boisterous exultation wake the Monster up to any new vituperation, but endeavor to preserve the even tenor of our way in peace and quietness."

"From this aspect of the elements of Masonry in this quarter a number of the old and respectable Masons, belonging to the three former Lodges in this County, have thought the proper time had arrived when they might take up their tools and go to work again. It has therefore been concluded to unite as many zealous Masons (and others more recently settled in the place) as could be well got together, and form a Central Lodge to meet in Towanda, the seat of Justice for Bradford County and go to work under the Wysox Charter". **

"I have great confidence in stating that if permitted to go on in the way we propose, we shall rear up a lodge more respectable and more useful than any lodge heretofore established in this Country".

This communication was referred to the Grand Officers with power to act. They found the Wysox brethren willing to loan their Warrant for a time, but not to transfer it permanently. So an effort was made to bring the Warrant of No 70 to Towanda. Later, in 1840, the Grand Officers reported as follows:

"That the duty has been attended to and that after matters were put in proper form the R. W. Grand Master issued his dispensation to proceed and re-organize the said Lodge (Meaning Lodge No. 70) but upon the application of the petitioners to those who have possession of the Warrant, Furniture &c., they refused to deliver the same to the applicants. This was made known to the undersigned and the dispensation was returned with an application to enter upon the Warrant, furniture &c. of Lodge No. 108, held at Wysox and Orwell in the same County. A dispensation to allow this was accordingly issued and on the 14th of August last returns were received by the Grand Secretary showing the revival and re-opening of Lodge No. 108 on the 24th of June last with 29 members (officers included). Your Committee offer the following resolution,

"Resolved, that the proceedings be sanctioned and the Committee discharged".

It thus appears that the brethren after starting out with the Warrant of No. 108, were disposed to relinquish it an tried to procure the Warrant of No. 70. Failing in this, they returned to the Wysox Charter, under some understanding or compact. That agreement, if such it was, may be inferred from what follows:

1st. A letter from Bro. Kingsbery to the Grand Secretary in 1842. He was writing abut a proposed revival of the Warrant of No. 163, for work at Monroeton, and opposed the project, because –

"Since we have commenced operations in Masonry in this borough of Towanda we have progressed and prospered far beyond our expectations and the probability is that within one or two years the Warrant of No. 108 will have to be returned to its original location, or about half way between Wysox and Orwell, at a place called Fullersville. Should this take place (and there can be no doubt of it) the Borough of Towanda will be deprived of a Lodge, the very place of all others in the County where there should be one".

2nd. Extracts from the Lodge minutes:

Oct. 19, 1842. "Notice was given by Br. Arunah Wattles that at the expiration of three months the Brethren of Wysox would ask for a restoration of the Charter of this Lodge to that place".

July 16, 1845. "The Old members of Union Lodge No. 108 through Bro. Arunna Wattles claim their charter".

"Voted that a Committee of three Masons be appointed to carry out the measures agreed upon by the members of Union Lodge No. 108, and that Jospeh Kingsbery, Arunna Wattles and I. H. Stephens be said Committee".

Two postponements were allowed the committee, the last one being Nov. 12, 1845, and at the following meeting Brothers Wattles and Martin each had "leave to take up his connexion with this Lodge". These withdrawals appeared to end the question, there being no further allusion to it.

Past Masters

John McGovern

Edward O. MacFarlane

Thos. M. Buttles

Morris E. Rosenfield
Wm. F. Dittrich

During these years the Lodge, as intimated by Bro. Kingsbery, had been singularly prosperous, the only ground for regret being the loss of the Wysox brethren. Bro. Allen withdrew in 1846. Bro. Myer was dead, and the number was reduced to two of those who for many years had formed the active majority of the Lodge.

Returning again to the record:

June 3, 1840 (not June 24), a meeting was held "Ethan Baldwin (P. M. Commissioned to install the Officers Elect) in the Chair". The installation was duly performed and two members admitted, Bros. Nathan Maynard and Harry Gore.

The stated meetings (excepting October and November) were held during the remainder of the year, but no work was done. It appears like a period of preparation, and at the election of officers Bro. Samuel Houston (This Brother wrote his name Huston, but the text has followed the spelling preferred by his descendants.) was called to the East. He had been Worshipful Master of Lodge No. 70, in 1829, and possessed undoubted qualifications for the station. They were needed, for the year 1841 furnished a record unbroken in this Lodge to this day. Twenty-four were initiated and twelve admitted, and the net increase of thirty-two in membership is the largest in any year of the Lodge’s history.

William B. Storm presented the first petition to the reorganized Lodge, but Asahel M. Coe was the first initiate, March 3, 1841.

The supply of material was not exhausted by the large amount of work. The Lodge had plenty to do in 1842, and the pause in 1843 was but a breathing space preparatory to 1844 and 1845. Meetings were held with great regularity and many extra ones became necessary. And from that time the regularity of stated meetings has never seriously relaxed. The first year of the Civil War was the time of most omissions, thirteen meetings only being held out of the regular twenty-four.

The wisdom of the removal to Towanda was amply demonstrated even at the time the Wysox brethren demanded the Warrant. A sound living Lodge was built up, and results obtained which would have been impossible at any point East of the river. Whatever the Wysox members hoped, would have been vain, because more than twenty-five years were to elapse before a Lodge became a reasonable experiment at any point between Wysox and Orwell. If any disappointment occurred it was for the good of Masonry that it should be so. Since that revival more than six hundred and fifty have been initiated and admitted in the Lodge.



It is intended to present relations of Lodge No. 108 to its Grand Lodge, not hereinbefore mentioned. It is an agreeable part of this work. No real troubles have ever arisen and the attitude of Grand Lodge toward this Lodge has been uniformly that of an indulgent parent.

There is a purpose in developing the facts supporting this assertion. Brethren are found, here and there, who profess to look upon the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania as a fat-away Sovereign and harsh critic. They acknowledge the need of a supreme body to prevent schism, and compel regularity in others, but they, the complainants, must be left untouched. They hold that Grand Lodge must maintain dignity and state, erect temples and support charities, but should charge no dues. The mere statement of these things is enough. There is no answer needed. Any brother who will patiently examine the proceedings of Grand Lodge since 1779, will speedily reach three conclusions: that Grand Lodge has been consistent; that its primary purpose has been to uphold and maintain the ancient Landmarks and Work, and that it has supported its own honor, dignity and credit to the utmost. Some of the best men of our Commonwealth have been its Grand Masters, and they brought to official station their best powers. And its membership, directly or indirectly, has been ourselves. From a careful examination of its career during the third decade of this century, the days which tried Masonic souls, one rises with admiration at the perseverance and care exercised to support burdens, which would have dragged ordinary associations to hopeless ruin, Honor, to whom honor is due!

In 1897 the difficulties of travel were discouraging, and postal communication comparatively slow and expensive. Under such conditions, each lodge was necessarily left to the management of all Masonic interests connected with it. An annual return was expected, but great latitude was allowed. Several years sometimes passed without compliance with rules, and Grand Lodge simply waited for the convenient time. Dues were sent irregularly and imperfectly, but no penalty was imposed until the default became great. That the Lodges should observe the Landmarks, and keep in reasonable touch with Grand Lodge, was all that was attempted to be enforced. Masters and Wardens were then, as now members, and also Past Masters. Each lodge, distant three miles or more from Philadelphia, could be represented by a proxy, any member of Grand Lodge being eligible. So without representation in the later sense, each lodge had, if it chose, one vote at least at the Grand Communications. Each Lodge was to pay annually

"at the rate of Eighty-Four cents for every member of which it may consist and one dollar for every initiation".

The eighty-four cents were considered apportionable, that is seven cents for each month of actual membership.

In 1808, Bro. George A. Baker, the Grand Secretary, was appointed "Proxy of this Lodge", and he so continued during his life. By his presence the Lodge was recorded as represented until 1816, the year of his decease. No successor was appointed until 1840, when Past Grand Master Bro. Michael Nisbet, then Grand Secretary, was chosen, to be followed a little later, after his death, by Bro. William H. Adams, who succeeded Bro. Nisbet in office.

Dec. 17, 1812, it was ordered –

"that partition be drawn by the Secretary to the Grand Lodge for the detension of Quarterages for the years 1812 and 1813".

What was intended, was probably a request for remission of dues. There is no other reference to such petition in the Lodge or elsewhere.

Oct. 27, 1814,

"Brother Joseph Kingsbery informed this Lodge that Lodge 70 rezolved that they wished to Join this Lodge to send an agent to the Grand with Petitions from the Two Lodges Requesting the Grand Lodge to send a Lecture Master or Reduce the Quarterly Dues".

This was warmly concurred in, and a committee appointed for conference, but no report appears.

April 11, 1816, a letter was presented from Grand Lodge, of which the record says:

"Being Read give considerable dissatisfaction".

That communication undoubtedly informed the Lodge that annual dues to Grand Lodge had been increased to one dollar. Small as the amount was, it troubled the members, and a committee was afterwards appointed to correspond with other lodges on the subject.

Oct. 28, 1819, it was ordered:

"That a delegate be sent from this Lodge to the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania in December 1819 for the purpose of obtaining a resolve in the Grand Lodge for the appointment of a Lecture Master for the subordinate Lodges of this State, provided the funds of this Lodge are found sufficient to defray the expense".

But whatever may have been the reason, no "delegate" went.

Nov 25, 1819:

"Bro. Worshipful Presents a Letter from Lodge No. 43, Lancaster, Pa".

The contents of the letter are not given, nor is further reference made to the subject in the Lodge minutes for more than three years, but the matter was of great importance.

Under date of Sept. 21, 1819, Lodge 43 addressed a circular to the Lodges of the State arraigning Grand Lodge for insufficient instruction and other matters. It led to altercation with other Lodges, during which No. 43 took more extreme grounds, and finally, Aug., 1822, issued the report of a committee advocating the establishment of a General Grand Lodge, and broad changes in the management of our Grand Lodge. It finally called for a General Convention to be held in Harrisburg in January, 1823. A temperate remonstrance from the Grand Master was followed by persistence in acrimonious argument. Grand Lodge replied by calling in the Charter of No. 43, but soon restored it. January 7, 1823, the Convention was held.

Dec. 26, 1822, the minutes of No. 108 read as follows:

"The Committee to whom was referred the communication from Lodge No. 43 also from the Grand Lodge beg leave to report that they view with regret the proceeding referred to and would suggest the propriety of a more general attendance of the members of the Grand Lodge who reside in the country in grand quarterly communication to redress the grievances complained of".

The report was adopted, but Bro. William Myer attended the Harrisburg Convention in behalf of No. 108. That meeting was presided over by Hon. Edward Herrick of No. 70, and reported twelve resolutions, ten of which recited alleged grievances. The eleventh called for another Convention to meet in Philadelphia on Feb’y 25, 1823, and the twelfth threatened indirectly the establishment of another Grand Lodge.

The second convention, for Feb’y 25, had before received the sanction of Grand Lodge, to be called however a Grand Committee. At its meeting Col. Joseph Kingsbery appeared as duly accredited by Lodges Nos. 70, 108, and 163, and was assigned important parts in the deliberations. The results were, in main, harmonious. They led to a new Ahiman Rezon, and promoted the independence of Grand Chapter.

In 1825, when brethren of No. 163 exhibited their own bill of grievances and proposed another crusade, No. 108 curtly replied:

"Resolved we do disapprobate their course of proceeding".

Grand Lecturers, appointed by Grand Lodge, made three visits, in the years 1824, 1826 and 1827, but the Lodge was in decline, and the benefits not appreciable. This Lodge was tenderly treated in those days, and notwithstanding its inability to meet or pay, was carried along by Grand Lodge until Feb’y 6, 1837, when fifty-five Warrants shared the same fate.

When, not quite three years later, brethren united to revive the Lodge, their efforts met cordial and affectionate response. No obstacles were interposed, no hard conditions presented. The old members and their associates went to work with the blessing of the Grand Lodge.

In 1843 the brethren petitioned for a remission of Grand Lodge dues. They amounted, with arrearages, to $239.00. The Lodge ought not to have been in distress, for it had loaned money, to be "paid in the Spring", but that season for payment was very backward. Grand Lodge was itself in debt, but received the request patiently, and upon the statements made remitted one-half, a very substantial gift for that time.

When the Lodge considered the purchase of a Hall in 1856, application was again made. The amount was then larger, for the brethren somehow indulged in fatal facility in allowing Grand Lodge dues to accumulate. The Finance Committee of Grand Lodge at first refused, upon the undeniably good grounds that to cut off income would be just as fatal to Grand Lodge as to anybody else, and all subordinate Lodges had equal right to purchase a Hall. But the request was not dropped and the Grand Lodge officers were friendly, and in Oct., 1858, a remission was granted of everything up to Dec. 27, 1857. The amount this time was $448.50, and it helped materially in the purchase of a home.

In 1843 Grand Lodge directed an important change. All business in subordinate Lodges, except conferring degrees, was thereafter to be transacted in a Master Mason’s Lodge. Thus quietly and effectually several customs and usages of the former time became obliterated.

In a867 the Ahiman Rezon was amended. The Constitution of 1825 had enlarged the voting power of a proxy on certain questions, but the revision established the representative system, to the great satisfaction of the Craft, as shown by its retention to our own day.

Past Masters

Samuel W. Buck

John N. Califf

F. Craft McKee

William H. Minor
Lester R. Frost

In 1868 the Lodge had again carelessly allowed itself to reach suspension by operation of law. But the Grand Master with great courtesy issued his "Dedimus potestatem’ under which the posers of the Warrant were restored and all acts legalized which had been doen during the forfeited time. While the law was strictly followed, its harsh effects wer fraternally averted.

The visits of Grand Lecturers have been mentioned. The system was not considered worth its expense and was discontinued before 1830. District Deputy Grand Masters were to take the Lecturer’s duties and more, and the results have been satisfactory. As early as 1812 the R. W. Grand Master had been requested to create such officers, but the first appointments were made in 1822 (A list of District Deputy Grand Masters for the Districts which included Bradford County is given in Appendix F.). Since that time, their visits have done much to diffuse Masonic knowledge, and create uniformity in work and usage.

Feb’y 27, 1861, Past Grand Master William Barger, by Authority of Grand Lodge paid an official visit. Some older brethren preserve amusing remembrance of the way in which this stern but kind brother performed his duties. He evidently had a special mission and proposed to perform it.

It was perhaps about 1815 that Pennsylvania brethren, who had visited Lodges in some other jurisdictions, began to bring home tales of the changes they had seen. Many were attracted by the novelties of what we generally call the "Webb work". So in some localities by design, and in others almost insensibly, a current of innovation set in. It was probably not deep, nor strong until after the anti-masonic time. But in the course of revival, Grand Lodge had not the means at hand to see that the Lodges re-commenced in the old ways. There were many strangers among the workmen, and the Lodges near the State lines were especially influenced.

To investigate these deviations and correct them, was particularly Brother Barger’s intention, and he mad himself understood. The effect was reasonably prompt and in most cases positive.

The next official visitation was by Brother Vaux, then R. W. Deputy Grand Master, May 6, 1867. His coming was unexpected, being the result of mere chance, but the greeting given him was very cordial. Brother George D. Montanye was then District Deputy, and used every effort to pay due honor to the distinguished Grand Officer. (Past Grand Master Vaux entertained a warm regard for Bro. Montanye, Years afterward, in Grand Lodge, the writer met Br. Vaux, and his first inquiry was for Bro. Montanye. He was told that Bro. Montanye was dead. "Not so", responded Bro. Vaux, "not so! My District Deputies never die; they are only translated".)

Oct. 16, 1883, Brother Conrad B. Day, R. W. Grand Master, accompanied by his Grand Officers, visited the Lodge. It was the first time a Grand Master had in person so honored No,. 108. The Grand Secretary presented an extended review of the transactions and minutes, noting errors of form and substance, and so far as time allowed instruction was given in the work.

Eight years later, Oct. 24, 1891, Brother J. Simpson Africa, R. W. Grand Master, with Grand and Past Grand officers, officially visited the Lodge. After the report of the Grand Secretary portions of the work were rehearsed and fraternal addresses given. As the visitors remained during Sunday in Towanda, opportunity was afforded for closer acquaintance and fraternal courtesy.

An important sequence to these visitations was the School of Instruction held by Brother William A. Sinn in Towanda in January, 1892. He was then Private Secretary to the Grand Master, and since became Grand Secretary of the Grand Lodge. The teachings of this accomplished and courteous Brother produced a wonderful effect for good. His instructions were imbibed by a class of brethren who have distinguished themselves and elevated the Lodge, by mutually assisting, correcting and teaching each other, and those who followed them.



From April, 1807, to December 27, 1899, fifty-nine different brothers have presided over the Lodge, duly called to that honor by the ballots of the members. The "six months term" was never adopted, and but four can be said to have served less than one year; one died in office; two resigned membership, one of whom expected to remove from the State. One occupied the Chair during the few meetings in 1839, for re-organization. The last was not strictly a Past Master of the Lodge, but he had presided in No. 163, and thus was counted a member of Grand Lodge.

Forty-eight served one year or less.

Four served two years each.

Three served three years each.

Two served four years each.

One served five years.

One served seven years.

No one served continuously longer than three years; four brothers have the distinction of presiding during that period – Bros. George Scott, Samuel Houston, George H. Bull and H. Lawrence Scott.

There has been one failure of election – a peculiar occurrence. In 1859, at the proper time, two members, unexceptionable in every way, were considered for the office of Master. One, Bro. E. D. Payne, received nineteen votes; the other, Bro. E. H. Mason, seventeen votes. Another brother received one vote and there was one blank. A discussion arose whether there was an election. Pending the debate two members were admitted. The Worshipful Master ordered another ballot, when Bro. Payne had nineteen votes, and Bro. Mason twenty-one votes. At a subsequent meeting Br. Mason offered himself for installation, but a protest being made, he withdrew. Both brothers renounced all claims and the consequence was a "holdover". Bro. Mason was subsequently elected, and Bro. Payne would undoubtedly have been also, but he had entered the Medical Service in the U. S. Navy.

The following list gives the names of the Worshipful Masters of this Lodge, in the order of seniority, with the years of their service. Of those now deceased, brief biographical sketches are presented. Of the living, some other hand may, some day, inscribe the record:

I. ORATIO GRANT – 1807. As hereinbefore stated, that he was a physician and for some years was assessed in Orwell, is all that we really know of the first Worshipful Master of No. 108. There is a tradition that he was buried at Towanda, but if so, his grave is unmarked and forgotten.

After serving as Master he immediately resigned, and after a fashion of the time, was made an "honorary member". In this capacity he frequently attended, performing many duties and appears to have been relied upon for certain parts of the work. He was unquestionably a bright, well educated man. The last mention of him anywhere, in existing record, is probably in the Lodge meeting of February 11, 1821.

II. GEORGE SCOTT – 1808, 1810, 1811, 1813, 1814, 1815, 1817. No one has, so far, in No. 108, served as Worshipful Master as many years as Judge Scott. His excellent ability made him worthy of this prominence, and the records show that whatever he did, was performed punctually and well. Called from the Secretary’s desk to "the East", he never served as Warden, and no one noted the omission. There are to be found many evidences of the warm affection in which he was held by his brethren. He is buried at Riverside Cemetery.

Some account of his life is presented in the list of Founders of the Lodge.

III. WM. MYER – 1809, 1816, 1821. A general account has been given of Bro. Myer as one of the "Charter Members". But pages would not suffice to recount his faithful work for the Lodge. His standing and influence as a citizen naturally gave him prominence, but his attachment to Masonry was shown by regular attendance, and punctual performance of every duty. In the first twenty-two years of the Lodge’s history he probably attended more meetings and performed more committee work than any other member. Nothing escaped him or was neglected. He accepted every duty – tyler, steward, secretary, treasurer, warden or master – he acted everywhere, and always reported promptly on everything committed to him. Among the names entitled to perpetual honor in Union Lodge, none can stand higher than that of Hon. William Myer.

IV. ROGERS FOWLER – 1812. Died in office May 12th. Brother Fowler was descendant from a remarkable family which came to Boston in 1637. His father was Gordon Fowler, and Rogers, the fourth child, was born July 8, 1766. The family came to Monroe in the year 1800, and faced many privations and great toil in establishing a home. Rogers located on what is known as the Elias Parks place, and built his house where the "Parks residence" now is.

He was proposed in the Lodge May 21, 1807, occupation "carpenter and millwright". As a man of note and ability he was elected Colonel of a Regiment at the breaking out of War in 1812, but died before entering the service.

V. ASAHEL JOHNSON – 1812 (last half of year). What is known of Bro. Johnson has been stated in the account of his as a Founder (13) of the Lodge. He appears to have given due attention to the duties which devolved upon him, and possessed the respect of his brethren.

VI. LEMUEL STREATOR – 1818. But little can be learned of this brother, who was at one time prominent in County affairs. We have no record of his birthplace or age, and even his place of residence in Orwell has passed into dim tradition. Yet, he was appointed Sheriff of the County Dec. 14, 1818, elected County Commissioner Oct., 1821, and member of the Legislature in 1826. He died while serving in the House, and was buried at Harrisburg.

VII. HIRAM MIX – 1819, 1820, 1826, 1827. Co. Mix was the fourth child and third son of Amos Mix, heretofore mentioned as one of the Founders of the Lodge, and Amelia Pennoyer, his wife. Born Sept. 12, 1787, he came to Wysox with his father and early took up the mercantile business, and became well known. The store remained until very recently – the old yellow building near the watering-trough and across the road from the E. Myer Reed homestead. Bro. Mix was a very useful member of the Lodge. He was its Secretary for the years 1813, 1816, 1817 and the records without other evidence show a faithful performance of Masonic duties. In those days, when men gave notes for everything, including Lodge fees and dues, his services were often invoked to raise needed money. He removed to Towanda in 1822, and with his brother, St. John Mix, opened a store where the corner of the Mercur Block now stands, Main and Park streets. His residence was the Col. Harry Spalding house, which still stands (built in 1812) at the head of Mix avenue. The family was one of the best known of Towanda, his children being William, Harry, Hiram and Mrs. D. M Barstow, Mrs. Dr. Houston, Mrs. John F. Means, Mrs. Joseph Kingsbery and Mrs. St. John Mix. Col. Hiram Mix died 12, 1847.

VIII. HARRY MORGAN – 1822, 1828, 1829. The eighth W. M. of this Lodge was born in Wilkes-Barre, Pa., Feb’y 22, 1790, his parents being New England people, Left an orphan in his seventh year, he lived with his aunt, Mrs. Mary Gilbert, in Asylum and later with John Horton, Sr., of Terrytown. He early entered the employ of Judge Matthias Hollenback, and became familiar with Indian trade. Later he was located at Wysox in Judge Hollenback’s store, near the present farm residence of Bro. R. H. Laning. In time he bought the farm and built the brick house where he so long resided.

He was county Auditor, elected 1820, and 1827; County Commissioner, elected 1835; Associate Judge, elected 1846, and was besides a Justice of the Peace for forty years. Always composing differences he was a well-known peacemaker. HE was a consistent Christian and supporter of the church.

After his initiation in Union Lodge he was one of its most active members. His name is one of the noted ones for years, faithful to the Fraternity in all its vicissitudes, firm in his adherence in evil as well as good report. He died March 29, 1872, and was buried by his brethren in Wysox Cemetery.

Past Masters

W. Henry Dodge

Herbert S. Putnam

Henry C. Porter

C. Manville Pratt, M.D.
George B. Winter

IX. BURR RIDGWAY – 1823. Bro. Ridgway enjoyed a long life, both physical and Masonic. Born in Springfield, N.J., April 17, 1780, he was made a Mason July 20, 1814, and lived until Aug. 19. 1876. Of Quaker ancestry, he came to Wysox in 1803, and engaged in farming and milling. In 1812 he came to Towanda, a clerk for William Means, built and occupied a house where the Patton Block now stands. He was elected County Commissioner in 1813, served also as Deputy Prothonotary, was for a short time Prothonotary and Register and Recorder in 1821, and at various times filled Township offices.

In 1846 he finally settled in Franklin township where he died.

In 1814 he was proprietor by purchase of the Bradford Gazette, the pioneer newspaper of Bradford County, and owned it about three years.

As a Mason he was active. He at first united with those who proposed to start Lodge No. 163, but for some reason, not known, separated from them.

His record is that of a long, useful, honorable life.

X. STEPHEN WILSON – 1824. Of this Past Master there remains only the strange record that he was admitted as a Master Mason in 1819, was elected Treasurer for 1820, 1821, 1822, 1823, and without service as a Warden was elected W. M. for 1824. During that year he resigned his membership. The probability is that he removed, for he is found on the assessment lists of Wysox, 1819 to 1824 inclusive, but not after that time.

XI. LEMUEL C. BELDING, M. D. – 1824. The Doctor was quite a noted man in his time, coming to Pike Township, probably from New England. His name appears among the practitioners for a number of years. HE received the degrees in this Lodge in 1822, but his age is not given. He resigned in 1826.

He was a leading man in that curious organization known as the LeRaysville Phalanx --about 1843-44 – which made a brief headway along the lines of Fourierism and community of labor.

A letter dated Nov. 26, 1856, indicates that he then was at Polo, Ill. Craft’s History (1878) speaks of his as still living.

XII. ETHAN BALDWIN – 1839. Bro. Baldwin came to Towanda in 1812, aged about twenty-nine years. For a year or more he had resided in Burlington, but came from Washington Co., Pa. He lived on the "Powell farm" in North Towanda, and later removed nearer the Main Road. He was physician and lawyer, being admitted to the Bar of Bradford Co., in 1813. He was somewhat remarkable as an advocate, and gave also some time to mechanical inventions.

Initiated in No, 70 in 1817, he resigned to unite with the new Lodge, No. 163, and was its W. M. in 1822. In 1823 his name is prominently connected with a Mark Lodge attached to No. 61 at Wilkes-Barre. It is said he removed to Harrisburg in 1828, thence to Philadelphia, but he was certainly in Towanda in 1839-40.

XIII. JOSEPH KINGSBERY – 1840. The Masonic record of this distinguished brother belongs properly to Lodge No. 70, over which he presided eighteen years. He was called to the chair in No. 108, to aid by his great influence in the work of re-organizing. He resigned in 1845; was re-admitted in 1848, and died Jan’y 22, 1849, "considered by all the most learned and active Mason" in this District.

He was born in Enfield, Conn., May 19, 1774, lived in Sheshequin from 1793 till his death. His Masonic career began in Newtown (Elmira), in 1795, but he was with No. 70 from its constitution. He was of fine presence, tall, strongly built, of good education and possessed great influence. Probably no man was better, or more favorably known in this County in his day, than Col. Joseph Kingsbery.

XIV. SAMUEL HOUSTON, M.D. – 1841, 1842, 1843, 1847. Dr. Houston was born in Rockport, Mass., May 4, 1796. He graduated at Dartmouth College and from the Medical Schools of Boston. He began practice in New Hampshire, and came to Towanda in 1824. Though he died May 20, 1856, he is still remembered as an eminent man in his profession. Strong in likes and dislikes, firm in purpose, of great kindness of heart and integrity of character he would have been notable anywhere.

He affiliated with Lodge No. 70, June 5, 1827, was W. M. in 1829, and became a member of No. 108 at its revival. His work in this Lodge was enormous. Always active, always present, he was dignified and able at every point. Old members still speak of him as one of the best of Worshipful Masters. He was for some years the District Deputy Grand Master for this District. Buried in Riverside Cemetery.

XV. IRA H. STEPHENS – 1844. Born Nov. 2, 1802, he was a son of Capt. Ira Stephens, a Revolutionary Soldier of very honorable record, who became a charter member of Lodge No. 70. The son, Ira H., was made a Mason in that Lodge May 16, 1826, and served as Warden in 1828 and 1829. He labored actively at the revival of Lodge No. 108, and became its Worshipful Master in 1844.

Bro. Stephens was elected Sheriff of the county in 1839, and was Burgess of Towanda Borough 1943. For several years he kept a hotel on the spot where E. O. Goodrich afterward built the brick "Reporter" building. The hotel being sold, he removed to a farm in North Towanda, where he died Feburary 1, 1862, aged 59 years. Buried at Riverside Cemetery.

XVI. GEORGE H. BULL – 1845, 1846, 1848, 1849, 1850. Brother Bull came from Elmira to Towanda in 1826, following his father and two brothers to this place. He was merchant, Justice of the Peace, farmer (buying the McCord farm at Highland) and miller at the Towanda Creek Mills. Of somewhat stern appearance, he is remembered for his integrity, good judgment and a lively appreciation of wit and humor. As a Justice his office was on the North side of Public Square.

He probably was made a Mason at Elmira. His family had come from Connecticut. Probably no one here, during his time, gave more attention to Freemasonry. An expert at every point, he was justly considered, with Dr. Houston, a leader in the Craft. His last years were passed at Newark, N.J., but his remains were interred at Riverside, Towanda. He died July --, 1870.

XVII. H. LAWRENCE SCOTT – 1851, 1852, 1853. Brother Scott was the seventh child of Judge Scott, born in 1824. Not caring to follow the law to which he gave some attention, he engaged in farming. In 1851 he was elected to the office of Register and Recorder. In 1862 he became Collector of Internal Revenue for the 12th District of Penna., and held the office until 1869. He has since, in different ways, represented important business interests, and always with ability and integrity. He always lived in or near Towanda.

His Masonic record is most creditable. Initiated in 1847, he served as Senior Warden in 1850, as Worshipful Master in the years above stated. With a full knowledge of the ritual, he was known as an expert, impressive workman. In Chapter and Commandery he attained the same eminence, and filled the highest positions. He died Sept. 11, 1891, and was buried in Oak Hill Cemetery by the Lodge he had faithfully served.

XVIII. E. O’MEARA GOODRICH – 1854. Bro. Goodrich was born in Columbia township, June 23, 1824. His family came to Towanda about 1830, and here was always his home. HE was bread a journalist, in 1846 became proprietor of the Bradford Reporter and was its chief editor till his death. He was a remarkably graceful, clear yet fearless writer and his editorials always carried conviction.

His influence upon county politics was extensive. In 1860 he became Prothonotary, and later filled the office of Surveyor of the Port of Philadelphia almost twelve years.

In Masonry he began April 28, 1847, and his quiet, forceful way exercised great influence in the Lodge. His work was impressive and accurate. He died Jan’y 28, 1881.

XIX. GEORGE E. FOX – 1855, 1856. Born in 1823 at Owego, N.Y., he came to Towanda about the year 1847. He had found the life of a farmer uncongenial and entered upon the work of a clerk. He had special experience in the hardware trade but was familiar with merchandise in general, having charge at different time of mining stores at Shawmut and Barclay, Penn’a. His last years were spent near Easton, Maryland.

Bro. Fox was a careful workman in Freemasonry and gave much attention to its ritual. His views were not in entire accord with Pennsylvania work, but he gave his adhesion to what was required. As Secretary for several years, he had in his hands almost full control of all Lodge business. He died Oct. 4, 1880.

XX. HENRY J. MADILL – 1857. Bro. Madill was born March 30, 1829, at Hunterstown, Adams County, Penn’a. Two years later his family settled in Wysox, where his father practiced medicine. Henry received a good education and in 1851 began the practice of law. While a young lawyer he became a Mason and showed much interest in its affairs. He made an excellent Master, and was attentive and intelligent in the performance of his duties.

As a soldier in the Civil War he made a brilliant record. No one, anywhere, exhibited greater bravery or more consideration for his men. When the war closed he had earned two stars upon his shoulder straps.

He was Register and Recorder of Bradford County, elected in 1866; was Member of Legislature, 1879, and elected Prothonotary in 1890.

He died June 30, 1899. Interred at Wysox cemetery.

XXI. GORDON F. MASON – 1858. The eldest son (third child) of Eliphalet Mason, born January 19, 1810. Col. Mason was well known in Bradford County and a prominent, influential citizen. He was long identified with important interests – lands, banking and manufactures. He was Deputy Surveyor, 1830-33; State Senator 1846-49; first President of the First National Bank, and the first President of the Towanda Iron Manufacturing Company. In all projects to benefit Towanda, he was among the first during his career.

Our brother had a sincere affection for Freemasonry and was attentive to all his duties in the Lodge. His counsel and efforts were always wise and helpful, and he is entitled to most honorable remembrance. He died Oct. 26, 1882.

XXII. HENRY B. McKEAN – 1859,1960.


XXIV. E. HASTINGS MASON, M.D. – 1862. Dr. Mason, fifth child and third son of Eliphalte Mason, was born April 28, 1815, graduated from Jefferson Medical College in 1838. His active life was at Towanda, excepting about three years in Reading, Pa., and two years in California. His attainments were of superior rank, and in science, history, and local knowledge, he excelled. He was much devoted to Masonry, served several years as Secretary, and filled other offices. Very modest in all things, he was much respected for his knowledge and kind, pure character. He died February 3, 1871.

XXV. CALVIN B. PATCH – 1863. Bro. Patch’s family came from Owego, N.Y., to Towanda, in 1860, and he was here for many years a leading merchant in the business of groceries and produce. His affiliation with this Lodge seems to date July 3, 1861, but the record is not clear. HE was a zealous, interested Mason, a man of keen perception, kind, genial and charitable. No man could be more highly esteemed than he was by his brethren.

He was born July 8, 1835, and died February 11, 1877. Buried at Riverside.


XXVII. HENRY MERCUR – 1865. Bro. Mercur was the second son of the late H. S. Mercur, whose memory is justly held in high esteem by the old citizens of Towanda. Henry, the son, was bred to mercantile pursuits, and was in general business first with his father, and later in the wholesale grocery house of Fox, Stevens, Mercur & Co. His active career closed in the coal business.

He was initiated Dec. 12, 1860, being then twenty-one years of age. His interest in the Fraternity was shown so well that he was called to the office of Worshipful Master, and he performed the duties in a careful, punctilious manner.

He was a modest, unassuming gentleman, a valued friend and pleasant companion. He died July 21, 1882, and is buried in Riverside Cemetery.



Signatures of Worshipful Masters

1807 – 1867

(one half size )

XXVIII. GEORGE D. MANTANYE – 1866. The fourth son of the late Joseph D,. Montanye, was born Oct. 3, 1836, and was educated for the Bar. He possessed an unusually keen intellect, refined literary taste and great knowledge of human nature. In political judgment he had few equals. He served as District Attorney of the County and was for several years United States Collector of Internal Revenue.

In Masonry his services were brilliant and memorable. His faculty of saying and doing the right thing at the right time made him invaluable to the Craft, and as a District Deputy Grand Master he performed much work. Gentlemanly manners and obliging disposition made him a universal favorite. He died April 29, 1876. Interred in Riverside Cemetery.



XXXI. WILLIAM A. PECK – 1869, 1870. He was born in Smithfield township, Bradford county, Pa., January 24, 1833. After reading with the late Dr. E. P. Allen, he graduated as a physician from the University of Michigan in March, 1854. His first practice was at Dushore, but he soon removed to Berwick where he remained four or five years. He there studied law, then attended a law school at Poughkeepsie, N.Y., and practiced law for a time at Phoenixville, Pa. In Oct. 1861, he was commissioned as Surgeon of the 104th Regiment Penn’a Vols., and July 20, 1862, was honorably discharged. In July, 1863, he again entered the service as Surgeon of the 38th Penn’a Vols. His duties were numerous, as Medical Purveyor, at Chambersburg, and in other stations. After the muster out of his Regiment he came to Towanda and engaged in the work of the law, where he attained a leading place, with brilliant prospects, eclipsed by his early death.

He was made a Mason in Lodge No. 265 at Bloomsburg, April 2, 1855. After he affiliated at Towanda, his work became conspicuous, and he deservedly held high place in the hearts of brethren.

He died July 24, 1875, and is buried in Riverside Cemetery.

XXXII. Charles F. Cross – 1871.

XXXIII. HENRY H. McGAW – 1872. For many years few were better known in Towanda, they "Jersey McGaw". In this appellation was preserved the remainder of his native State, where in his boyhood he learned the trade of blacksmith with great thoroughness. He served faithfully and bravely in the Civil War, in the 9th New Jersey Infantry, and soon after came to Towanda. Of strong, vigorous mind, he was leading and forceful in all that he undertook. His Masonic work was accurate and impressive and the Lodge was much indebted to his strong, good sense, for careful management. He died at Elmira, N.Y., Jan’y 22, 1892, and is buried at Oak Hill, Towanda.

XXXIV. JAMES C. IRVING – 1873. Brother Irving was born in Scotland in 1834, where he was carefully trained as a gardener and florist. When his family came to the United States, they settled in Memphis, Tenn., but James remained in Jersey City, N.J., in the employ of Peter Henderson. Later he found place at or near Richmond, Va., and this location directed him into the Confederate Army. After the war he resumed work in Jersey City, and came from there to Towanda.

He was one of the most faithful Masons ever included in our membership, - always present, punctual, conscientious. His idea of Masonic duty was very strong and in its performance he was prompt and fearless.

He died Jan’y 2, 1884, and his remains were taken to Memphis for burial.





XXXIX. EDWARD WALKER – 1878. Born in Ulster, April 4, 1826, the first part of his life was passed there, engaged in lumbering and kindred work. He removed in later years to Towanda, where he continued in business until loss of health. But he never lost the respect and regard of those who knew him. His services as Warden and Master, were marked by very careful and conscientious performance of every duty. Of splendid physical build he became a subject of marked admiration when he took the East in the Lodge. He died Nov. 30, 1894, and was buried at Ulster.










XLIX. EDWARD O. MacFARLANE – 1889. Bro. Macfarlane was the eldest child of the late James Macfarlane and was born in Bloomfield, Perry Co., pa., March 24, 1849. His family removed soon after to Towanda. While pursuing studies at Towanda an opportunity offered to enter the U. S. Naval Academy, then at Newport. After graduation and some years of service, he resigned to connect himself with the coal business. He was a valued citizen, a noble man, and greatly beloved by his brethren. When he died, Jan’y 6, 1897, he was President of the Citizens National Bank of Towanda, Superintendent of the Barclay Rail Road and of the Long Valley Coal Company. His remains rest at Oak Hill.

L. SAMUEL W. BUCK – 1890. Many prospects of a brilliant career were extinguished by the early death of this amiable and accomplished brother. A graduate of Union College, a member of the Bar, and a trusted, efficient public officer, he was universally beloved and respected. His integrity was almost an axiom.

Masonry was congenial to him from his initiation, August 5, 1885, and the members were only too glad to recognize his ability at the annual elections. He was a clear, impressive accurate workman.

He was the second son of Hon. P. H. Buck, was born in Pike township June 9, 1855, and died at Towanda, January 26, 1891. Buried in Riverside Cemetery.









LIX. c. MANVILLE PRATT, M.D. – 1899.

The membership of the Lodge has also embraced several brothers, who have presided in Sister Lodges, and by virtue of that fact, ranked with our Past Maasters and as members of Grand Lodge. Their names are as follows:

I. ALBERT G. CRANMER – W.M. in No. 163 – 1862.

II. STANLEY W. LITTLE – W. M. in No. 471 – 1881-72.

III. GEORGE E. DAVIS – W.M. in No. 70 – 1878.

IV. GEORGE H. HONNETTER – W.M. in No. 387 – 1884

V. CHARLES H. WELCH – W.M. in No 70 – 1887-88.