A History of Sacramento Lodge #40

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Although several attempts were made to collect data pertaining to the history of our Lodge and brief histories were prepared for our fiftieth and seventy-fifth anniversaries, it was not until brother Charles Madison Smith, Worshipful Master in 1928 and Secretary from 1932 to September 1, 1950, brought the matter before Lodge at the stated meeting of February 3, 1938 that a real effort was made to preserve our valuable records and to collect such data as would complete their records for future generations and to make the writing of the history of the Lodge possible.

With due authorization from the Lodge, Brother Smith worked assiduously, far beyond his call of duty, to collect and preserve all material which would be historic interest and to that end prepared two albums. One contains a concise history of the formation of the Grand Lodge of Masons in California and a brief history of the organization of Sacramento Lodge No. 40 up to the time of the granting of its Charter. It also contains reproductions of photographs of several meeting places, etc., the original petitions or applications for affiliation accompanied by their dimits of the brethren who have served our Lodge as Worshipful Masters and with few exceptions a photograph of each Past Master. The second album contains a collection of original papers from California Lodges Nos. 1 to 117 with only a few missing, together with a record of their charters, etc.

Three years ago, foreseeing that some kind of the history should be prepared for our centennial celebration, an attempt was made to add to the information which had already been assembled. Although our third minute book is missing, a close study has been made of the available records and from them have been selected many items which it is believed may be of interest to the brethren. Note how differently the business of the Lodge was conducted in early days from the way in which it is now transacted. As many of the outstanding events occur during the formative stage of an organization, it is to be expected that with the passage of time, less interesting events occur, or it may be possible that we are too close to them to appreciate their significance.

Much time and effort has been expended in preparing the biographical sketches of our original petitioners and we are pleased that some information has been found in connection with each of them, although in some cases it is meager. Photographs also have been obtained for more than half of them. In an effort to secure a complete sketch of the Masonic history of the petitioners, many inquiries were made to Lodges and Grand Lodges throughout the United States and they have been very cooperative. In many instances however, the desired information was not available.

It is believed that the list of members which accompanies this history is complete with the date on which each either became a Master Mason or affiliated with the Lodge. Also with few exceptions, the date of which each membership ended is given. Some of the names which appear in the list are not present in our By-Law book and it was necessary to resort to other Lodge records for this information. Particular attention was given to be correct spelling of the names.

In the preparation of the history and the biographical sketches we wish to make grateful acknowledgments to the California Section of the State Library, the Society of California Pioneers, the California Historical Society, Brother Evon L. Wilson, Past Master of Three Pillars Lodge No. 613 and historian for the local Scottish Rite Bodies, Brother Ralph Shaw, member of the history committee of Tehama Lodge No. 3, Brothers Harold Scholefield and John J. Hakin, Past Masters of Washington Lodge No. 20, Sara Rodgers Burnett of Alton, Illinois, Samuel Lilienthal of San Francisco, Dorothy Firebaugh of Davis, California, author of the History of the Sacramento Union now in preparation for publication, Sacramento Book Collectors Club, publisher of The First History of Sacramento City, written in and 1853 by John Frederick Morris, M.D., With a Historical Note of the Life of Dr. Morris, by Caroline Wenzel, Dr. J. Roy Jones of Sacramento, author of Memories, Men and Medicine, and to many Lodges and Grand Lodges throughout the United States and Canada to which inquiries have been directed, including our own Grand Lodge of Masons in California whose recent publication 100 Years of Free Masonry in California has been a great assistance, to our own Brother Frederick Beckwith who edited the history of the Lodge and to our Worshipful Master, Boyd Collier and our Secretary, Harry M. Baker, for their assistance in corporation.

By the Committee on Research and Publications

Walter B. Stoddard, Past Master, Chairman

John N. Clark

Nathan Gartner, Past Master

Hilton F. Lusk, Past Master

Charles Madison Smith, Past Master