DANSVILLE LODGE No. 306 and PHOENIX LODGE No. 115
By Richard E. Eades
DANSVILLE LODGE No. 306
On November 15, 1817, a petition was formulated for the organization of Dansville Lodge No. 306. The following names were affixed to this petition: Abel Baker, Neil Boyden, Elihu Warner, Ebenezer Bullock, Timothy Atwood, Amaziah Hammond, Ezekiel Evingham, Warren Patchin, William Lemmon, Arad Sheldon, Nathaniel Brayton, and Samuel Stillwell.
Recommendation for this Lodge was made by Genesee Lodge No. 138, Town of Richmond, County of Ontario, November 17, 1817, and also by Union Lodge No. 261, Lima, which at that time was also in Ontario County.
The warrant of this Lodge was issued on June 5, 1818, and the Lodge was constituted on October 10, 1818, with Warren Patchin as its first Master. By December, 1821, more than 20 persons had joined the Lodge.
In 1822, the Master was Merritt Brown, the Senior Warden Thomas Keith, the Junior Warden Jacob Sholl, and the Secretary pro tem James Faulkner. Their signatures appear on a Certificate of Membership issued by Dansville Lodge No. 306 to Daniel F. VanDeventer, under date of July 29, 1822. This rare Masonic document, elaborately inscribed on sheepskin about six by ten inches in size, came into the possession of Phoenix Lodge in 1939. It is a treasured memento of days long past.
On June 5, 1835, the warrant was declared forfeited, since no returns had been made since that of December 27, 1830. Reaction to the Morgan affair of 1826, which spread throughout New York during this period, had undoubtedly helped to extinguish the lights of Dansville’s first Lodge.
PHOENIX LODGE No. 115
Although the Lodge had been lost, the spirit of Masonry continued to burn, and on September 12, 1844, nine men petitioned to have the old warrant renewed. However, in the intervening period, Grand Lodge had renumbered the few remaining lodges. Citing the history of the forfeiture, Grand Lodge refused use of the old warrant, and advised the petitioners to apply for a new warrant.
Consequently, a petition was made on May 2, 1846 to form a new lodge in Dansville, with a recommendation by Evening Star Lodge No. 44, Hornellsville. The petitioners were: *John Culbertson, B. C. Cook, William Haas, John Wiley, *Aaron Brown, *Chester Bradley, Isaiah Horton, *Merritt Brown, *Morgan Hammond, *Warren Patchin, *Joseph Richardson, James Bronson, John A. Larkin, and *Javan Bradley. The eight names preceded by *, along with Amaziah Hammond, were the 1844 petitioners. As a result, a charter was granted Phoenix Lodge No. 115 on August 18, 1846. It is interesting to note that the choice of name was particularly appropriate. The phoenix of mythology was a bird that was consumed in fire but rose from its own ashes. So Phoenix Lodge rose from the ashes of the first Masonic Lodge in Dansville.
The charter officers of Phoenix Lodge, installed on September 10, 1846, were: Merritt Brown, Master; John Culbertson, Senior Warden; Javan Bradley, Junior Warden. The first meetings were held in Merritt Brown’s two‑and‑a-half‑story building on the southeast corner of Main and Ossian streets, facing Main. The ground floor of this building was occupied as a hardware store. Candles were used in those days for lighting the Lodge rooms. Three years later the Lodge moved to what was then called the New Shepard Block, and took possession of rooms on the third floor.
According to the original bylaws, the regular meeting of the Lodge was to be “on the Monday preceding the full of the moon in each quarter of the year I.E. commencing in December on Monday 27th and so on once in three months unless the W.M. shall by the advice of the Wardens and brethren see fit to meet oftener. The hour of meeting shall be at 4 o’clock P.M.” By 1851, the bylaws had been changed to provide that regular meetings were to be held “on the first and third Tuesdays in each and every month.” Thus the present Lodge dates from the “roaring forties,” when traffic was in full swing on the Dansville branch of the old Genesee Valley Canal. Between 1845 and 1850, the population of the village increased from 2,213 to 4,090 ‑‑ nearly 85 percent in five years.
By 1853, Phoenix Lodge had rented its rooms to four other organizations: Dansville Chapter #91, Royal Arch Masons; Council of Safety #1; and two Odd Fellows groups: Genesee Encampment #44 and Livingston Lodge #232. However, in rejecting a request by the Cadets of Temperance made in February, 1854, the Lodge decided not to rent its rooms to any more societies. In less than a month, Phoenix itself would be looking for a new home. On Friday, March 3, a fire destroyed a large portion of the business section of Dansville. The Lodge rooms were in the path of the conflagration, and suffered heavy loss in furniture, regalia, books, records and so forth. A committee of three members was appointed on April 18 to collect the remaining furniture, and procure a room. On June 6, the Lodge approved the proposal to rent a room on the “third story of Mr. Tousey’s brick building” (later known as the Herald Building and today owned by the Traxlers.)
These Masons of yesteryears had some practices which are interesting and somewhat different from today’s. For example, in regard to funerals, the brethren assembled in the Lodge rooms, and would march to the house or church, wherever the funeral services were held, and after services they would march to the cemetery and return in good order (all on foot) to the Lodge room for dismissal. No funeral was conducted by the Lodge without the Great Lights being carried in the procession by the oldest member present.
Today, some people are unable to spend one afternoon and evening at a convention of instruction. Compare this practice with that of 1857 when the District A.G.L. came to Dansville, was introduced on March 10, then met with the brethren on March 11, 12, and 13 for instructional sessions from 10‑12, 2‑5, and 7‑?.
The Lodge was also concerned with the actions of its members outside the Lodge rooms. In July, 1857 the secretary was directed to summon two brothers to either be present at the next meeting or face charges. At their appearance, they were informed that they were accused of being intoxicated in public on the Fourth of July. Although no further formal action was taken by the Lodge against either brother, the point had been made.
Phoenix Lodge, like all of America, was affected by the Civil War. We lost Brother George Hassler on September 15, 1862 from a wound received in the battle of Manassas
(Bull Run), and in 1864, the death was announced of demitted brother Eliphalet T. Grover, who apparently served in the ranks of the Confederacy. On April 18, 1865, resolutions were drafted regarding the death of President Lincoln.
On a happier note, on April 7, 1863, resolutions expressive of the Lodge were adopted in behalf of Rev. Brother Isaac R. Gibbard, who had accepted the office of Chaplain of the 143rd Regiment of New York State Volunteers. Soon after the war ended, Phoenix received a circular asking for assistance to Clara Barton in her work of searching for missing soldiers. Miss Barton was later to assist in the formation in Dansville of the first local society of the American Red Cross, now known as Clara Barton Chapter #1.
On March 17, 1865, the Lodge again moved, this time to the newly rebuilt Shepard Block, and rented the room called “Continental Hall”, located north of the northeast corner of Main and Ossian. We also changed the source of lighting, receiving our first gas bill on June 5, 1865.
Although the Civil War was over, Phoenix Lodge’s trouble over boundary lines of jurisdiction were just beginning In May, 1866 a committee from Phoenix was appointed to meet with a similar committee from Naples Lodge No. 133 to establish a line of jurisdiction regarding Springwater Valley. Apparently this attempt at peaceful settlement failed, for on August 8, 1867, the secretary of Phoenix was instructed by the Lodge to send a copy of charges primarily involving a jurisdictional dispute against Naples to the Grand Master. At a meeting held on August 16, 1867, Naples Lodge adopted a resolution listing countercharges against Phoenix to be sent to the Grand Master. In January of that same year, we were involved in an exchange of letters with Liberty Lodge No. 510, again regarding jurisdiction in the Springwater Valley, but in this case, an amicable agreement was reached. Apparently territorial jurisdiction was a problem in many areas of New York, for on January 10, 1870, the Grand Master issued an edict regarding candidates and jurisdiction which was ordered to be spread upon the minutes of every lodge in the state.
In 1874, the Lodge again moved, this time to rooms in the newly erected Maxwell Block, just south of the corner of Main and Ossian, above the premises today occupied by the Outdoor Store. At the dedication of these new rooms held on June 24, R.W. R. D. Jillson of Hornell acted for the Grand Master who was ill. Large delegations were present from many neighboring lodges for the day’s activities which included a dinner at the Hyland House, dedication at the Lodge rooms, orations, etc. at the Presbyterian Church, and an evening dance at the Hyland House. Phoenix Lodge was justifiably proud of its new rooms, and on January 2, 1877, District Deputy Grand Master William J. LaRue conducted our first known public installation of officers.
Unfortunately, Phoenix was about to encounter serious financial reverses. First, certain officers of the Lodge used Lodge funds for their personal affairs, not just once, but twice. (1876 and 1880). Although different people were involved each time, the Lodge lost so much money that, in order for us to be able to pay our 1880 Grand Lodge dues, the Master, James H. Jackson, loaned the Lodge $100. He requested no interest on these funds, merely asking that they be credited on the Secretary’s books against his annual dues.
As a result of these incidents, the Lodge filed a certificate of incorporation in the New York Secretary of State’s office on November 8, 1880. The Lodge previously had been incorporated on March 18, 1868. Furthermore, on July 17, 1883, an amendment to the bylaws of the Lodge was adopted to require the Secretary and Treasurer to furnish $500 bond each on the eve of their installation or within two weeks thereafter. Previously, on December 21, 1880, a similar amendment had been proposed, but a letter from the Grand Secretary dated January 12, 1881 stated that, at that time, such a rule would not be proper.
Further financial trouble again arose in 1887, this time because the treasurer had deposited the Lodge’s funds in the First National Bank of Dansville, which subsequently failed. Although the treasurer was cleared of any wrongdoing, the Lodge found it necessary to levy a $3 assessment on each member.
Despite these financial reverses, members of Phoenix were willing to donate some money to certain Scandinavian Masons of Red Wing City, Minnesota who, in 1880, requested funds to build a church since they claimed to have been proscribed by the pastor and members of the Swedish Lutheran Church to which they belonged. Interestingly enough, a draft for the exact amount raised was returned to Phoenix from Minnesota in 1899, since the project had failed to materialize.
Use of Lodge funds to help the needy has been a tradition for many years. For example, in 1871, money was sent to Grand Lodge for the relief of Chicago brethren who had suffered from a devastating fire; in 1900, for the relief of hurricane‑devastated Galveston; and in 1906, for Masonic brethren who suffered in the San Francisco earthquake and fire. In responding to an 1886 letter from Grand Lodge requesting local lodges to help pay off the Hall and Asylum debt at a cost of $6 per member as of December 31, 1885, Phoenix Lodge borrowed $350 from the Citizens Bank in 1889 in order to meet its obligation. A framed document from the Grand Master certifying that we paid a total of $546 is currently in the possession of the Lodge.
Despite its financial problems, or perhaps because of them, Phoenix began to become involved in various activities involving public relations. For example, on March 6, 1878, the Lodge sponsored a public address by Brother William Raines of Rochester on the subject “Masonry: Its Aims and Results.” On August 21, 1879, a basket picnic and ball celebrating the 33rd anniversary of the Lodge was held at the Stones Falls picnic grounds and the nearby Grange Hall, with R.W. William Brodie as the main speaker. On January 6, 1885, that same gentleman, who by now had been chosen Grand Master, presided at a public installation of Phoenix’s new officers.
In March 1889, the first annual Masonic Ball was held in the Heckman Opera House, and on August 8, the Lodge started to sponsor an annual excursion to Niagara Falls. The memory of our past financial difficulties apparently still influenced our actions, as documented by the June 16, 1896 motion that Phoenix celebrate its 50th Anniversary, provided it could be done without a personal assessment or without taking any money from the treasury. The Lodge approved the motion and thus, at the meeting of July 21, since not enough money had been received from individual subscribers, the proposed celebration was abandoned.
Again, the choice of the name “Phoenix” proved prophetic, since a period of major growth was to come in the early 20th century, following the difficulties of the late 19th. In terms of membership, our growth was exemplified by the ceremony of January 16, 1923, in which Brother Carl Bastian presented W.W. S. Oberdorf with a Past Master’s apron on behalf of the 74 members who up to that time had been raised during his administration. W.W. S. Oberdorf also edited “Tidings of Home,” which provided information to members of the Lodge concerning activities of both the Lodge and individuals. The first issue of this publication was dated January 1, 1920. In order to stimulate attendance and make the meetings more interesting, a short program of addresses, readings, and musical selections was initiated as a part of the regular meeting on September 19, 1922. On April 2, 1924, a Fellowship Club was formed, with Brother Richard Rover as president. Under club auspices, an orchestra was organized, with Brother Louis Rhind as director. On May 20, 1924, the Fellowcraft Orchestra made its debut and rendered a program which was much enjoyed.
Beginning January 20, 1920, the dramatization of the second section of the third degree was given in full regalia by a degree team led by W. Brother E. H. Griswold. On June 8, 1925, the team worked at the centennial commemorative program of Morning Star Lodge in Canisteo. By 1929, the reputation of the team was such that, at the exemplification of May 21, there was such a large attendance that the Lodge room was insufficient to accommodate all who wished to see the drama.
Financially, the Lodge apparently was in much better shape than previously. On September 10, 1918, the quota of $1,253 which had been assigned to Phoenix for helping to relieve Grand Lodge from debt was completed, for which the Lodge received a certificate and the commendation of Grand Lodge. In January, 1921, the Grand Lodge report showed that Phoenix was the first lodge to complete its quota for funds to be used for erecting and equipping the Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Hospital in Utica. On September 16, 1924, the trustees reported that all necessary steps had been taken for incorporation of the Lodge under the Benevolent Orders Law. Our financial improvement was documented on March 5, 1940, when W. Brother E. R. Griswold gave a talk on “The Financial History of Phoenix for the Past Forty Years,” calling the attention of the members to the sound business principles which had been practiced over that period.
Phoenix Lodge members were active in other areas as well. On February 15, 1922, the Livingston Council of Social and Educational Service was organized at Mt. Morris. Members of Phoenix were present and took an active part in the organization. On November 5, 1926, the Livingston Masonic Council was reorganized to promote Masonry in the district. W. Elmer R. Griswold represented Phoenix on the Executive Committee.
On August 27, 1930, fifty‑four brothers of Phoenix attended the Livingston District clambake at Long Point, Conesus Lake. On June 18, 1935, Warren Patchin Lodge No. 883 of Wayland celebrated its 25th anniversary. Phoenix Lodge was awarded a trophy for having the largest number of members in attendance from a visiting lodge.
On December 18, 1936, Phoenix was awarded a trophy by the Ruling Masters’ Association for having the largest total attendance at visiting nights in lodges of the district during the year. In December, 1941, Phoenix was awarded the attendance trophy given by the Ruling Masters’ Association to the lodge which had the largest percentage of attendance at the visitation nights during the year.
Two traditions were born during this period, but only the second has continued to the present time. For fourteen consecutive years, Phoenix Lodge sponsored annually a notable public observance, commemorating the birth of George Washington. This series of patriotic services was held in the auditorium of the Presbyterian Church‑ ‑the first service on Sunday evening, February 20, 1921, the last on Sunday evening, February 18, 1934. All fourteen services had the hearty co‑operation of the pastors of congregations of the Lutheran, Episcopal, Methodist, and Presbyterian churches; all drew audiences beyond seating capacity and often beyond standing room; all were conducted under the leadership of R.W. W. Scott Oberdorf, by whom they were conceived when he was Master of the Lodge. Each was an outstanding event for Dansville and its vicinity. The speakers were of high rating, many of national and even international renown. The musical parts of each program earned unstinted praise. From every standpoint, this series of observances was a splendid contribution to the uplift of brothers and citizens generally. The first Roll Call Communication of Phoenix Lodge was held on October 17, 1933. W. J. Raymond Bressler, during the first year of his administration as Master, was the originator of the idea which has become an annual affair. Past Masters have a seat of honor in the East, and each reads the names of those who were raised or affiliated during his term of office. The names of those raised or affiliated by deceased Masters are also called.
During World War II, Phoenix Lodge gave of its financial resources. On June 17, 1941, a donation was made to the U.S.O. In 1942, and again in 1945, money was voted for the War Chest of Grand Lodge.
After the war, Phoenix turned its attention again to more pleasant affairs. In the parade of organizations held on August 13, 1946 during the celebration of the 100th anniversary of the incorporation of the village and town, Phoenix was represented by a float showing an important step in the advancement of a neophyte member. On October 1, 1946, M.W. Gay H. Brown, Grand Master of the State of New York, was the honored guest and speaker at the centennial celebration of Phoenix Lodge, attended by 291 persons, 140 of whom were members of the Lodge.
Although Phoenix Lodge voted on February 7, 1922, to rent the remainder of the top floor of the Maxwell Block and use the rooms for recreational and other activities, we had also been contemplating either building or buying a home of our own. On March 18, 1924, the Trustees reported that a Temple site on Main Street next to the Public Library had been purchased from the Shepard estate. On October 7, 1947, a committee consisting of the Master, Wardens, Trustees, Secretary, Treasurer, Past Masters, and Brothers Leon Schwendler and Gerald Chamberlin was authorized to look for a new lodge building. At a special communication held on October 15, 1952, the Lodge authorized the purchase of the Scoville property. On April 14, 1953, the washhouse on the Scoville property was moved to Williams Park for use as a shelter after it was donated to the village by the Lodge. On July 28, 1953, the cornerstone was laid for the addition to the former Scoville home, which was to be the new Masonic temple. M.W. William Strang, past Grand Master of the State of New York, officiated at the formal ceremonies. Finally, on November 10, 1954, the new temple was dedicated by M.W. Raymond Ellis, Grand Master of the State of New York, in the presence of 325 Masons. With no further need for the former Shepard property, it was reported on September 17, 1957, that Phoenix had sold the lot on Main Street and that the balance of the mortgage on the present Temple had been paid.
During the 1950’s, Phoenix became more interested in youth projects. On April 30, 1950, 39 Dansville and area youths were initiated into the local chapter of the Order of DeMolay. The first degree was exemplified by the Hornell degree team; the DeMolay degree was handled by the Olean degree team, and the installation and investiture was conducted by the Rochester degree team. Lewis Lemen was Master Councilor, with Brother Reginald Prideaux of the sponsoring Phoenix Lodge acting as advisor. On March 11, 1951, Donald Myers was installed as Master Councilor at the public installation of DeMolay officers by the Rochester installation team. For various reasons, this organization failed, and on February 21, 1956, Phoenix decided to bill DeMolay for rent and to no longer sponsor the local chapter. However, Phoenix did become involved in other youth‑oriented activities. In 1958 and again in 1960, we sponsored a youth talent show. Since 1972, Phoenix has sponsored an annual youth talent contest, with local winners participating in the Livingston Masonic District Youth Talent Contest.
On April 10, 1961, Phoenix had a Fathers and Daughters Night, which featured Robert Whitney’s magic show, filmstrips, groups singing and dancing. A Father and Son breakfast was held on June 18, 1961, and again on April 2, 1978. Since March 7, 1965, Phoenix has sponsored an annual Girl Scout Breakfast to coincide with Girl Scout Sunday. On January 6, 1979, Phoenix Lodge No. 115, with the backing of the other Dansville Masonic orders, signed an agreement to sponsor Junior Girl Scout Troop #1024. In February, 1966, we sponsored a Youth Snow Sculpture contest. Since 1967, Phoenix has conducted an Annual Basketball Free Throw Contest, with local winners participating in the Livingston Masonic District contest. Although Phoenix Lodge does not directly run the contest, it might be interesting to note that the Livingston Masonic District Annual Youth Essay contest has been won by Dansville resident Robert Kelly in 1975, 1976, and 1977, and by Monique Robinson, another Dansville student, in 1979. Since 1974, we have sponsored a scholarship enabling one child to attend the Methodist pre‑school program.
One of the most expensive projects undertaken by the Dansville Masonic bodies began in 1970, when we pledged to furnish a room in the new Noyes Memorial Hospital for $4000. In order to fulfill our promise, and to provide funds for other community service projects, we began to sponsor an annual Chicken Bar‑B‑Que, to coincide with the Dogwood Festival activities. On May 20, 1975, at the Annual Meeting of Grand Lodge, W. Richard Eades accepted, as the representative of Phoenix Lodge, a plaque awarded to our Lodge in recognition of our endeavors in the area of community service.
Over the past 11 years, teams representing Phoenix Lodge have won the annual Livingston Masonic District bowling tournament seven times: 1969, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1977, 1978 and 1979. Phoenix has taken second place in the tournament in 1969 and 1970. In League play the Thursday 3‑Man team composed of Howard Thompson, Vincent Whiteman, Walt Pryor, Dick Eades, and Don VanWagnen, won the 71‑72 season. Another team sponsored by Phoenix Lodge captured the championship of the “B” League in April 1948. Members were Edwin Barron, Carney Boswell, Robert Campbell, Gerald Chamberlin, John Collister, Walter Gerling, Sr., and J. Schultz Rectenwald. The same team again captured the championship of the “B” League in May 1949.
In 1962, Phoenix Lodge was represented in the Erie County Masonic Trap and Skeet Tournament by Gordon Nichols, Arch Maclntyre, John Owens, Charles McNair, and Gerald Chamberlin. They won First Place for a Visiting Team in both the Trap and Skeet categories.
On October 21, 1971, Phoenix Lodge celebrated its 125th Anniversary with R.W. Lloyd S. Cochran, then Deputy Grand Master, as the principal speaker. On September 21, 1976,
W. H. Dean Airy led members of Dansville Chapter #91, Royal Arch Masons in conducting a Masonic Rededication Service for Phoenix Lodge.
The largest membership of Phoenix Lodge was in 1931, when there were 300 on the rolls. By September 9, 1979, the membership had decreased to 197. On that same date, the permanent registry book listed a total of 1144.
Certainly, dedication has been the hallmark of many Dansville Masons. For example, Dr. Frederick Kuhn served continuously as secretary of the Lodge from 1916 through 1961. District Deputy Grand Masters of the Livingston Masonic District who have been members of Phoenix Lodge are:
C. V. Patchin 1918‑19
W. S. Oberdorf 1927‑28
Louis Rhind 1932‑33
Ray Finch 1940‑41
Frank J. Walsworth 1949‑50
Robert Wiard 1958‑59
L. Howard Hartman 1967-68
George Karns 1976‑77
Walter Shutt was appointed as Grand Sword Bearer for 1964‑65 and Vincent Whiteman as Grand Steward during 1977‑78.
Recipients of Grand Lodge’s Dedicated Service Award have been:
Edward Hawk 1976
Kenneth Alexander 1977
Charles Culbertson 1979
As W. Ray Finch wrote in his foreword to the 1946 History of Phoenix Lodge printed in the 100th Anniversary Program, “Writing a history is a difficult assignment. No matter how perseveringly a historian delves into the past, nor how carefully he examines every known fact at hand, there is much that eludes him. Often only a vague and shadowy glimpse, not clear enough to be adequately reconstructed, is obtained. Often data are insufficient. Old records, made with the best intentions, may not be complete. The high lights are clear enough. It is upon the ‘low lights’ ‑‑ the scores of interesting ‘little things’ which have proved to be vital in the history of Phoenix and which have played an important part in progress of the Lodge‑‑that we lack full and exact information.” The following is a list of some of those “low lights” which, though not included previously, seem to be of more than usual interest.
Dec. 21, 1852 Minutes of this meeting are oldest available in Lodge archives.
Sep. 20, 1859 W. Brother Peck to gather $5.00 from the brethren for the Washington Monument.
Apr. 2, 1861 F. LaRue was raised and asked for a demit on the same night.
Dec. 20, 1870 Purchase of a Burdett organ was authorized.
Feb. 5, 1878 Permission was granted to Canaseraga Master Masons to form a new lodge at that place.
Sep. 7, 1880 An edict was sent by the Grand Master proscribing Masonic intercourse with Connecticut brethren. This proscription was terminated July 6, 1881.
July 5, 1881 An insurance premium of $9.00 per annum on furniture, organ and other property (1% of $900) was approved.
Oct. 7, 1884 Grand Master William A. Brodie assisted in conferring the Master Mason degree on Mark Bunnell and Arthur Lester.
Mar. 31, 1885 Grand Master Brodie officiated at the Masonic funeral service for Brother F. William Krein.
Dec. 21, 1886 It was reported that a Masonic emblem has been placed on the outside wall facing Main Street.
Dec. 16, 1890 A committee report accepted by the Lodge stated that it was not considered feasible to light the room with electric light. However, on Nov. 20, 1906, it was voted to install electric lights.
Apr. 19, 1898 Phoenix extended to Geneseo Lodge No. 214 our sympathy and invited them to use our facilities until such time as they shall have procured permanent quarters. W. George L. Krein reported on January 3, 1899 that he had attended the dedication of the new lodge rooms at Geneseo and had witnessed the installation of the new officers by Grand Master Sutherland.
Dec. 31, 1899 Members of the Lodge went to the Methodist Church on the invitation of the Rev. Dr. Chase, Chaplain of the Lodge, and listened to an address on the life and character of George Washington, whose death had occurred one hundred years previously.
Oct. 1, 1901 Suitable resolutions were presented on the death of President McKinley.
June 29, 1904 Members of Phoenix Lodge took charge of laying the cornerstone of the new St. Peter’s parish house.
Dec. 5, 1905 Phoenix agreed to cooperate with Dansville Chapter, R.A.M., in the installation of a telephone.
July 7, 1914 W. George L. Krein presented a set of working tools to the Lodge in commemoration of his 25th year as a Mason.
Jan. 4, 1916 Dr. Frederick Kuhn was installed as secretary of the Lodge, a position he held until the elections of December 19, 1961.
June 6, 1922 Brother Maxwell Sweet presented the Lodge with an oil painting of George Washington and a Masonic monitor 114 years old which formerly was owned by William Foote, his great‑grandfather.
Sep. 18, 1923 Exercises were held appropriate to the death of President Harding.
Dec. 21, 1926 An apron cabinet was presented to the Lodge by Brothers George Galloway, Leo French, and Dana Wells, each contributing a share of his handiwork.
Sep. 6, 1927 Brother Fred Miller presented a piano to the Lodge in memory of his daughter, who had died recently.
Feb. 21, 1928 A Past Masters’ communication was observed. For the first time, all stations and places were filled by officers in evening dress.
June 18, 1929 Our Chaplain, Rev. Brother Edward Brown Jermin, gave a masterly address on St. John the Baptist, in commemoration of St. John’s Day, June 24th.
Oct. 7, 1930 A gavel, the head of which was hewn from stone of the same quarry that supplied material for Solomon’s Temple, was presented to the Lodge on behalf of Mrs. Maude M. Koyle, a niece of Brother G. Frank Spencer.
Apr. 7, 1931 The 150th anniversary of the founding of Grand Lodge was observed with the presentation of a history of Grand Lodge by R.W. W. S. Oberdorf and a history of Phoenix Lodge by R.W. C. V. Patchin.
Nov. 1, 1932 The Lodge entertained the members of Dansville Chapter No. 91, R.A.M., in the Masonic rooms with a smoker and social get‑together. Good‑natured rivalry in bowling between teams of the two organizations was manifest during the year.
Jan. 1, 1935 R.W. W. S. Oberdorf completed his 15th year as editor of “Tidings of Home.”
Dec. 17, 1935 W. Elmer R. Griswold, who at the close of the year retired as a Trustee of the Lodge, had completed eighteen years of faithful service in that office.
Feb. 18, 1936 A program was presented in commemoration of the birthday of George Washington. Rev. Brother Vaughn H. MacArthur gave a most interesting address on the life of Washington.
Feb. 25, 1936 A card party given by the Lodge was attended by 150 persons.
June 1939 Our Masonic library became a reality when Mrs. C. V. Patchin, in memory of her husband, R.W. C. V. Patchin, presented a bookcase to the Lodge, together with numerous Masonic volumes from Brother Patchin’s library. Brother F. J. Alverson presented a “History of Freemasonry” by Mackey in several volumes. Other brothers later added books to the library.
Mar. 4, 1947 William Organ and Alvin Polley, Jr. were raised by their fathers, Frank Organ and Alvin Polley, Sr.
Nov. 18, 1947 Major Reverend Marvin E. Utter, the most decorated Army chaplain in World War II, known as “the foxhole preacher,” gave an address on “Preparedness” at the annual roll call meeting.
Feb. 3, 1948 Brother Waltman presented to the Lodge a picture of the Masonic Shrine at Alexandria, Virginia.
June 5, 1951 Brothers: Clarence, Howard and Charles Culbertson were raised by their father, Fred Culbertson.
Nov. 6, 1951 Brother Lester Sahrle raised his sons, Brothers Robert and Clarence Sahrle, while Brother Howard Sahrle, a cousin, was raised by the Master.
May 20, 1952 A book on astrology by Alexander Ross was presented to the Lodge.
Apr. 6, 1954 At this, the first meeting in the new Temple, Brother Gerald Chamberlin and his wife presented the Lodge with a marble flag staff standard with the signets of the different Orders on the sides.
Sept. 1, 1959 The iron railing on the stairs was presented as a gift by the Allen family.
Nov. 5, 1963 It was reported that the basement game room had been completed.
Dec. 3, 1963 The altar will be draped for 30 days in memory of the assassinated President John F. Kennedy.
May 17, 1966 Brother Ed Mendeline presented a picture of Christ to the Lodge, which was placed in the living room.
Oct. 19, 1971 The railings on the front of the building were donated as an anniversary gift by the Edgar Allen family.
Oct. 6, 1973 A dance sponsored jointly by Phoenix Lodge and the local Knights of Columbus was well attended.
June 1, 1974 A spelling bee was held at an awards dinner. Winners W. Richard Eades and W. Gordon Nichols represented the Lodge at a community contest held in July.
Nov. 18, 1975 The Shrine Degree Team from Damascus Temple in Rochester exemplified the second section of the third degree.
Sep. 5, 1978 W. Richard Eades has been appointed editor of the District newsletter, the “Living Stone.”
Nov. 11, 1978 The Fellowship team from Yonnondio No. 163 exemplified the second section of the third degree.
May 15, 1979 W. Henry Van Middlesworth was presented with a Past Masters certificate commemorating his Mastership of Phoenix Lodge in 1929. At the same meeting, Brothers Glen Fogle and Edward Hawk were presented with 50-year pins by W. VanMiddlesworth, who had presided at their raising.