Lodges

 

King Solomon’s Lodge No. 346 Marion Lodge No. 562 James Cochran Lodge No. 614

 

King Solomon’s Lodge No. 346.

The Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania having granted a Warrant to a number of Brethren of this place to establish a lodge of Ancient Free and Accepted Masons, and having authorized Past Master William L. Lafferty of Brownsville Lodge No. 60 to constitute the same. He is acting as R.W. Grand Master with the following Past Masters to wit: William Chatland of Brownsville Lodge No. 60 acting as R.W. Deputy Grand Master; Thomas Simmons, Worshipful Master of Fayette Lodge No. 228, acting as R.W. Senior Grand Warden; William Hunt of Fayette Lodge No. 228, acting as Junior Grand Warden; Rev. Charles W. Smith of Fayette Lodge No. 228, acting both as R.W. Grand Treasurer and Grand Chaplain; George Morrison of Fayette Lodge No. 228, acting as R.W. Grand Secretary; D. D. Williams of Brownsville Lodge No. 60, acting both as Grand Marshall and Junior Grand Deacon; Samuel J. Cox of Brownsville Lodge No. 60, acting as Senior Grand Deacon; Brother T. H. Haldeman of Fayette Lodge No. 228, acting as Grand Tyler.

The Lodge was then Constituted and the Officers duly installed on December 8, 1864. The Charter Members had all been members of Fayette Lodge No. 228. They were Constituted into a lodge in the old frame building which stood on the site of the present Odd Fellows Hall, and occupied it for about nine years.

The first meeting was held on December 12, 1864. There were but six members and two visitors present. A committee was appointed to prepare By-Laws, consisting of Brothers Abraham 0. Tinstman, Joseph T. McCormick and John Lane. Quite a number of petitions for initiation and membership were received and acted upon during the early stated meetings. The Lodge began to grow slowly and used care in the selection of its members.

The minutes speak of an emergency meeting held on January 30, 1873. Action was had upon the report of a committee stating that Brothers Welsh and McFadyen, who were erecting the Baltimore House, would arrange quarters on the third floor for Masonic purposes. The space would front on Water Street, fifty-five feet, and Peach Street, forty feet. Main hall to be forty-three by twenty-eight, with all the necessary smaller rooms of proper size, properly lighted and ventilated, with easy access. They offered to lease the same for a term of ten years at two hundred fifty dollars per year. By motion the proposition was not accepted. Thus ended the first effort to procure a hail for Masonic purposes only.

In the spring of 1873, they moved into the new lodge room of General Worth Lodge, International Order of Odd Fellows, which they occupied until they moved into Freemason Hall, South Pittsburgh Street.

On March 16, 1885, a permanent fund was created.

On October 4, 1886, a special meeting was held to celebrate the Centennial of the Independence of the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania. On May 29, 1889, a proposition was received from Mr. Worth Kilpatrick to build a hail for the use of this Lodge, located on South Pitts¬burgh Street, for the annual rent of two hundred dollars on a lease of ten years. On motion, a committee was appointed to meet Mr. Kilpatrick and accept his proposition. On October 21, 1889, a committee was authorized to procure furniture for the new hall but not to exceed one thousand dollars in expenditure for the same.

On April 21, 1890, the first meeting was held in the new hall known as Freemason Hall. Brother John A. Armstrong, Worshipful Master. There were present fifty-five members in addition to the Officers and seventy-five visitors.

A Special Meeting was held on December 8, 1939, to celebrate the 75th Anniversary of King Solomon’s Lodge No. 346. A dinner was served at the First Methodist Church. After the dinner, the Lodge convened in the Temple at 7:30 P.M. There were 266 Brethren in attendance representing lodges in some 14 various states. The main speaker for the evening was The Right Worshipful Grand Master, Brother Robert L. Lewis. Brother John Lathwood, Right Worshipful Senior Grand Warden, also spoke briefly.

The 100th Anniversary of King Solomon’s Lodge No. 346 was celebrated at the Stated Meeting held on May 5, 1964. Prior to the meeting, a banquet was served in the Methodist Church on South Pittsburgh Street. The meeting was attended by 163 Brethren. The featured speaker at the ceremonies was the Right Worshipful Grand Master, Brother Earl F. Herold. Among the Grand Lodge Officers attending the meeting were seven current District Deputy Grand Masters. Commemorative 100th Anniversary Plates were given as momentos of the occasion.

BRIEFS CONCERNING THE LODGE

  • The Masons of Connellsville organized the Comas Club in 1921. The Club sponsors various fraternal and fellowship activities for members and their families during the year, among which are the George Washington’s Birthday Banquet and seasonal outdoor parties. The intent of the programs is to enable Masons in this area to become better acquainted.
  • In testimony of the long and faithful service of Brother Ross Stanley Matthews to Freemasonry, “The Ross Stanley Matthews Room” was dedicated in the Connellsville Masonic Temple on June 22, 1962. The Room is used to display and preserve records and momentos of Freemasonry.
  • During the first five years, the Lodge Room was lighted with candles and later with kerosene lamps.
  • The large picture of Brother George Washington which hangs in the East in the Lodge Room was presented to the Lodge by Brother Alva J. Cochran of James Cochran Lodge No. 614 in 1908.
  • Henry Clay Frick, at the age of 22, was made a Mason in King Solomon’s Lodge No. 346, Connellsville, Pa., in 1872. He later resigned in 1877, but, both during his tenure as a Brother and afterward, the Lodge has enjoyed the benefits of his goodwill and generosity. Even in later years, the goodwill and generosity was continued by his daughter.
  • Brother William H. Thornley, Jr., who was initiated in King Solomon’s Lodge No. 346 on April 23, 1946, was elected and is currently serving as The Right Eminent Deputy Grand Master of The Grand Encampment of America.

 

Marion Lodge No. 562.

It was early in the year 1882 when Scottdale was quite a young town and the industrial development of this community was in its infancy, that some Master Masons living here conceived the idea of a Masonic Lodge for this area. Because of the foresight, energy, and the struggles of these brother masons and the devoted services of a long line of active Masons down through the years we are able to celebrate this year the 125th Anniversary of our Lodge.

Acting upon a petition presented by nine Master Masons, who had resigned memberships in their respective Lodges, and recommended by King Solomon Lodge No. 346, the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania on June 8, 1882 granted a warrant for Marion Lodge No. 562 to be held in Scottdale or with a distance of 5 miles thereof. At a special meeting of the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania held in Masonic Hall corner of Pittsburgh and Stoner Streets, Scottdale, on December 20, 1882 Marion Lodge No. 562 was constituted with nine charter members. The first stated meeting of the Lodge was held on December 20 at which time Brother Zachariah X. Snyder was elected the first Worshipful Master.

Of the nine charter members, Bro. Z. X. Snyder appears to have been the active spirit in the formation of the Lodge as first Worshipful Master; he had an ambition to make Marion Lodge among the foremost in the district. Born in East Huntingdon Township, he was educated in the Mount Pleasant Classical Institute and Waynesburg College. He became prominent in education affairs in our state and nation. He was made a Mason in Marion Lodge No. 497 of Waynesburg in 1874, a Lodge that became extinct two years later. It is the opinion of our late Brother Charles H. Eicher, historian of the Lodge, that Brother Snyder suggested “Marion” as the name of the Lodge to perpetuate the name of his original Lodge.

The first home of the Lodge known as Masonic Hall was in the Patterson Building, corner of Pittsburgh and Stoner Streets. It is recorded that seven hundred dollars was borrowed in 1883 to furnish the hall. This was the location of Marion Lodge until 1886 when the meeting place was changed to the Loucks Building on Pittsburgh Street. On April 1, 1947 Brother Eldin G. Daugherty, on behalf of the Lodge reported on the purchase of the Eicher and Graft building at the corner of Pittsburgh and Chestnut streets in Scottdale. For the next eight years improvements were made to the building in order to have suitable Lodge Rooms. In the summer of 1956, Marion Lodge moved to its new location at 229 Pittsburgh Street, Scottdale, PA.

The growth of the Lodge has been steady through the years starting with the nine charter members in 1882 to an impressive 400 current members. In these years there occurred several incidents that are rather interesting:

  • In 1917 out of 209 members of Marion Lodge, 21 of them served in the U.S. Army in support of World War I. Of the 21, Brother Howard C. Braddock made the supreme sacrifice.
  • On October 10, 1918 a stated meeting was opened at 7:30 p.m. and closed at 7:50 p.m. due to an order from the PA State Board of Health prohibiting meetings due to an Influenza epidemic.
  • For the first time in history Scottdale witnessed a cornerstone laying according to the ancient usages and customs of the Right Worshipful Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons of Pennsylvania, when the stone was set in place for the United States Postal Building on May 11, 1935. It was estimated that a crowd of 3,000 people watched the ceremony.
  • August 14, 1982 Marion Lodge celebrated its 100th Anniversary by having a special meeting at 3 p.m. in the afternoon followed by a banquet at Seven Springs Ski Resort at 6:00 in the evening. The event was attended by over 200 Masons and their ladies.
  • June 29, 2007 Marion Lodge participated in the 10th Annual “Meeting in the Hills” which saw over 700 brethren in attendance.
  • In the early 1990’s discussions began of erecting a new Lodge to be shared by the Scottdale, Connellsville, and Dawson Lodges. This dream came to fruition by the great determination and perseverance of many. This goal was realized on September 22, 2007 with the Datestone Laying and Lodge Room Dedication of Pleasant Valley Masonic Center.

The growth of the Lodge to 400 members at the present time and the achievements of the Lodge have been due to the services of many devoted and active masons. At the end of our 125 years of existence as a Lodge it is entirely fitting and proper that we hesitate and consider the many blessings Almighty God has bestowed on us as a Lodge and as individuals, and firmly resolve in the future to do his Will and live up to the teachings of our fraternity. May we express the hope that Marion Lodge No. 562 will continue in their activities for ages to come.

 

James Cochran Lodge No. 614.

In the fall of 1896, a number of members of the Free and Accepted Masons in Dawson and the vicinity, desiring a closer relationship with each other and a greater proficiency in the tenets and landmarks of the craft than an occasional meeting in their respective lodges afforded, met as per agreement in the office of Brother Philip G. Cochran. At the meeting, they discussed the advisability of joining in a petition to the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania to grant a warrant constituting them into a working lodge. This meeting resulted in the following named brothers joining in said petition: Harry J. Bell, Nathaniel S. McClure, David Young, William Bush, Philip G. Cochran, Charles O. Schroyer, Joseph B. Henderson, James S. Daugherty, William R. McManus, Richard Vaux, Martin W. Kribbs, William Sloan, Sr., and Thomas Muir Kirk. We owe our presence here to those thirteen men from over a century ago.

The above named brothers resigned from their respective lodges, and having received their certificates through brotherly good will and regular Masonic procedure, organized a regular lodge November 25, 1896. Buy a unanimous vote the name “James Cochran” was chosen as a memorial honor to our late and lamented brother James Cochran, only child of Philip G. and Sarah B. Moore Cochran. Thus, we see that the lodge in which we are no sitting was founded for three reasons: to bring the Dawson brothers closer; to make Masonic work more regular and proficient; and to honor James Cochran, a beloved brother of King Solomon Lodge # 346 of Connellsville. To celebrate the lodge becoming a fixed star in Masonic heavens, the group held a dinner at the Central Hotel of Dawson. Eight members and guests attended.

The early meetings of the lodge were held in the third floor room of the Dawson Opera House. The room was well suited for the gatherings, being elegant and dignified, with a frescoed ceiling and rich furnishings.

It was at the third meeting of the lodge that the first petitioner, Biddle T. Hornbeck, a yardmaster from Dickerson Run, sought membership. He was the first successful candidate. Also at that third meeting, the members took out an eight hundred dollar loan to pay for the startup expenses of the lodge. They paid two hundred dollars for the warrant from Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania. Our brothers used two hundred and fifty dollars to have Oliver McClintock carpet the floor. For the desks they had only to pay twenty-four dollars. They ordered lodge supplies at a cost of thirty-eight dollars. Insurance was eighteen dollars. White gloves were priced at one dollar and cents. Annual dues were three dollars and seventy-five cents. At year’s end the membership stood at seventeen.

In the early minutes, the secretary wrote “In the fraternal spirit of Free and Accepted Masonry, we greet and hail all brotherhood.” This voice from the Victorian past sounds quaint to us in the twentieth century. The minute books mention that the master’s hat was purchased at the W.J. Rainey Store. Few of us here remember that it existed in nearby Vanderbilt as a company store for the miners who densely populated the region. It was a time of great wealth and economic activity. There were at least a dozen millionaires in this small town of Dawson.

In September of 1906 the first meeting was held in the newly constructed lodge facility which we are in now. By 1907, changes were taking place. Dues had risen to five dollars and there we thirty-three brothers. In 1911 the lodge increase to fifty-five, but the dues were still five dollars per annum. Annual rent of the lodge room was two hundred and sixty dollars. The jewel for the retiring master cost fifteen dollars. One expense item usually found was for cigars. Imagine our brothers sitting around puffing on stogies after the lodge meetings! It was a gentlemanly activity in an era of gentility.

The 50th Anniversary was celebrated in 1947, and included several activities. On Sunday, April 27, 1947 the Brothers attended a church service in the Phillip G. Cochran Methodist memorial Church at Dawson. The pastor, Brother Sherman L. Burson of Lodge 684 of Pennsylvania delivered a sermon entitled “Let there be Light.” One hundred members and their wives attended. On Tuesday from five until six o’clock, a reception for the Grand Lodge Visitors was held in the lodge room. This was followed by a banquet attended by one hundred and twenty-five guests. Following the banquet, a special meeting was held to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the lodge. There were seventy-nine members present and forty visitors. The Right Worshipful Deputy Grand Master, Brother George H. Deike; the District Deputy Grand Master, Ross Stanley Matthews; and Brother Benjamin s. Barbour Grand Sword Bearer honored the lodge with their presence. Brother George W. Brady read the history of the Lodge. Brother Joseph B. Henderson, the only living charter member, reminisced about the days in which Masonry was in its infancy in Dawson. Brother W. Russell Carr, a son of District Deputy John d. Carr, spoke to the group. John D. Carr had labored incessantly to persuade the Grand Lodge to permit the constituting of James Cochran Lodge #614. Brother Carr presented many interesting remembrances of his father and of the stories told to him by his father of the establishment of the Lodge. The ceremony climaxed with a delivery by the right worshipful Deputy Grand Master, George H. Deike.

By this time the lodge had increased tenfold to one hundred and thirty-six members, an excellent growth from the original thirteen. It showed that the Masonic ideals were alive and healthy in the town and vicinity of Dawson in 1947.

In November of 1960 the lodge petitioned the court of common Pleas of Fayette County to form a non-profit corporation chartered n the name of Dawson Masonic Building Corporation to maintain the real estate of the lodge. The charter was granted in December of 1960.

On April 22, 1972, a special meeting of the James Cochran Lodge #614 was held to celebrate the seventy-fifth anniversary of the lodge. There were fifty-one members in attendance and fifty-eight guests. The Right Worshipful Senior Grand Warden, John L. McCain, acting as Right Worshipful Grand Master, accompanied by the Officers of the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania honored our lodge with a visit. As part of our festivities, five members were awarded their fifty-year pins. Nineteen past masters were present. Lodge Secretary, George W. Hixson read a history of the lodge. Brother John L. McCain, Right Worshipful Grand Senior Warden presented an address to the lodge, after which the Grand Lodge Party departed. A dinner was served at the Phillip G. Cochran Memorial Methodist Church. One hundred and thirty-five members and guests enjoyed the gala event. As a token of remembrance, each guest received a specially designed tankard with a glass bottom.

In the turbulent 1960’s and 70’s the members of James Cochran Lodge #614 carefully husbanded their resources and energies to ensure both the physical maintenance of the lodge building itself and lodge membership. Let us look at the impressive list of improvements to the building. In 1977 the entire building was resided with aluminum siding. The roof was replaced in 1984 and a new gas heater was installed in 1988. The downstairs dining room was brightened with new lights and new ceiling in the winter of 1988-89. The hallways were done at the same time. The lodge room was newly carpeted and painted during the year 1990. All the benches and chairs were repaired and reupholstered in 1994. These steps toward maintaining the lodge building itself show the commitment and dedication of its membership to the tenets of the craft of Freemasonry.

One hundred years from now, in the year 2097, the brothers will be meeting to celebrate the bicentennial of the fixing of a star in the Masonic heavens. They will remember the thirteen brothers who gathered together in the closing years of the 19th century. They will remember us as we gather together in the closing years of the 20th century. They will be looking forward to the beginning of the 22nd century. We send them our greetings and our wish that the true meaning of Freemasonry will live far into the future.

History for James Cochran Lodge compiled by Brother Anthony W. Keefer; September, 1997