Copyright (c) 2015 -
Union Lodge # 3
A.F. & A.M.
At the termination of Brother Ford’s office, Brother Gustav Wilson delivered, in part, the following public statement: “You have been an industrious and diligent Master of the Lodge. It has prospered under your administration in all its workings. The economy of its finances has been your constant study and as presiding officer you have governed with more love than force. In all, you have discharged all duties toward the lodge faithfully and you have won the entire confidence of your brethren.” The lodge Minutes nowhere suggesting anything to the contrary, one may assume that this testimonial to Brother Ford would serve also for the other early Masters.
Minutes of the first twenty-
A more significant entry “$89.75 for nursing and funeral expense,” indicated early exercise of Masonic charity. On July 1, 1876, the lodge purchased ten acres of land for $180 for a cemetery. Provisions were made, among other things, for the burial of the indigent, and the general assistance of McMinnville Masons at funerals is recorded.
Highlight of the second quarter of Union Lodge No. 43 history seems to have been the building of the present Masonic Building on 3rd street in the fall of 1914. The Telephone-
The new Masonic Building replaced an earlier Temple build on the same site in 1882 at a cost of “not more than $4,000.” Before 1882 the lodge had met on the second floor of several buildings in the vicinity of 3rd and “C” streets; during the construction of the present building meetings were authorized in the Flynn Building at the southwest corner of 3rd and Baker streets.
Records in the cornerstone of the 1882 building were found water-
Brother Lewis closes his cornerstone history with the following paragraph: “The lodge since its organization has had a migratory existence but with the construction of this building it is to be hoped that the brethren have found a permanent home for many years to come.”
The new Temple was provided with electric fixtures for $250, carpets for $889, and a lodge set, including quarter sawed oak desk and altar with filigreed columns, and leather cushioned officer chairs with oak backs, etc. at a cost of $1468. Earlier in the century the lodge had received as a gift from Brother Captain H. L. Heath three heavy brass candle sticks for use at the altar. Brother Heath had salvaged these items from a ruined building in the Philippine Island during the Spanish-
In June 1897 the Lodge acquired its first addition to the Masonic Cemetery, two and one-
In February of 1910 the lodge received a letter from Brother J. C. Cooper which read, in part, as follows: “I think the time has come to change the dates for our Stated Meetings, and not be governed by the variable moon.” The Brethren agreed, and amended the by-
In 1918, in its 50th year, the lodge was presented a Masonic service flag in honor of the enlistment of its service brethren. Records also note the effect of war economy in a 10 per cent tax on fees and dues in excess of $12.
Recognition that a half century of Masonry in McMinnville had been achieved began, now, of course, to show itself for individual membership. In October of 1919, for example, nine of the brethren with 25 years or more membership were asked to give short talks. They were J. C. Cooper, C. H. Fleming, W. S. Link, O.O. Hodson, Dr. Leroy Lewis, E. C. Apperson, R. L. Connor, A. J. Axon, and J. E. Clark.
In September of 1916 Brother George F. Bangasser, member of the lodge for 40 years, on the eve of his departure for California was presented a Masonic ring. Brother Bangasser held the record for virtual perfect lodge attendance at that time. First 50-
At an early Past Master’s night, October 23, 1934, the Minutes record the attendance of eleven Past Masters and noted that ten others were living. As part of the program that evening W.>S. Link briefly sketched the lodge history and F. W. Sitton recalled boyhood impressions of Masonry, including memories of his father’s regular attendance in all kinds of weather.
During the third quarter of Union Lodge history it was also possible to look back over the years and note the long-
Rev. Joseph Hoberg, whose name appears first in the Minutes as the first chaplain in December 1895 served until 1919 and was succeeded in his 91st year by Emanuel Northup, who occupied the Chaplain’s Chair until 1933.
McMinnville Masons during the third quarter seemed to have concentrated particularly upon the study and perfection of their ritualistic work. A special interest in the symbolism and philosophy of Masonry was, perhaps, to be expected as part of recognition of historical growth. Also, during the Depression Years of this quarter there were, of course, fewer petitioners for degrees and all lodges had more time for such study.