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History of Triple Lodge #835 Ancient, Free and Accepted Masons Granite City, Illinois In the early 1860's Venice Lodge No. 621 A.F. & A.M. was chartered and served the craft in the southwestern part of Madison County until August 21, 1886, when from force of circumstances the charter was surrendered to the Grand Lodge of Illinois.  The few members residing in the district, while without a meeting place, maintained their standing in the order through the Grand Lodge for serveral years.  With the building of the St. Louis Merchant' Bridge in 1890 and the laying out of the towns of Madison and Granite City, new life was added to the district.  Early in the Spring of 1894 a meeting was called of all Masons residing in Venice, Madison, Granite City and surrounding  territory for the purpose of organizing a lodge of Masons in the Tri-City district.  A dispensation was obtained  from the Grand Master, Leroy A. Goddard, April 24, 1894 and a Lodge U.D. was instituted May 5, 1894 by the D.D.G.M. of the 26th District Brother Henry T. Burnap of Alton, Illinois.  This district then included the Tri-Cities.  Brother Burnap later was Grand Master of Masons in Illinois.  The following brethren were installed as officers of the U.D. Lodge:

Brother Julian Winslow Scott, M.D - Worshipful Master

Brother Charles Henry Campbell - Senior Warden

Brother Thomas Pulmmer McFee - Junior Warden

Brother Burell Ogletree - Treasurer

Brother Charles Lucas Gibbs - Secretary

Brother Frederick Kohl - Senior Deacon

Brother Gustave Adolph Niemann  - Junior Deacon

Brother John Wesley Clark - Tyler

The record of this meeting shows members present:

Thomas W. Kinder, J.J. Cahill, Emil Reif. Visitors recorded were:

W. L. Gilham, Herman Cobb, James E. Law, C. L. Coats, John Seitz, W. Y. Nixon, Paul Harvey, Wm. F. Sinclair, G. W. Harman, G. H. Gilham and George Phaucost, all of Franklin Lodge No. 25 of Alton, Illinois. Brethren E. J. Eggman and Horace Eggman of East St. Louis Lodge No. 504 and Wm. Champion of Telluride Lodge No. 56, Telluride, Colorado.

This being in the days of mud roads, horses, and buggies, candles, coal oil lamps and no steam heat or telephones, the meeting was a successful one.

The Lodge worked Under Dispensation until October 3, 1894 when a charter was granted by the Grand Lodge of A.F. & A.M. of Illinois, then is session, to Triple Lodge No. 835 located in Venice, Illinois. The lodge was so named because the members lived in the Tri-Cities.

Charter Members

Frederick Kohl

Emil Reif

John Wesley Clark

Charles H. Campbell

Charles Lucas Gibbs

Thomas P. Mcfee

Burrell Ogletree

Gustave A. Nieman

Julian W. Scott

Benjamin Wood

Joel J. Parker

Thomas W. Kinder

John J. Cahill

Erick H. Buente

Henry C. Robinson

John Sidney Course

Constituted

Brother Henry T. Burnap, D.D.G.M. of the 26th District, constituted Triple Lodge No.835 A.F. & A.M. on October 27, 1894 with the following officers:

DR. Julian Winslow Scott - Worshipful Master

C.H. Campbell - Senior Warden

J.S. Course - Junior Warden

B. Ogletree - Treasurer

C.L. Gibbs - Secretary

Meetings were held on the first and third Saturdays in Brathurn Hall, Main Street, Venice, until 1896 when the lodge removed to the Schmeider Building on Second and Granville Streets in Venice, later known as Kohl's Hall (now I.O.O.F. Hall)

 

After a few years complaints were made that meeting on Saturday night prevented many members from attending. Notices were accordingly sent informing all members that a proposal to change the day of meeting would be voted on at the next stated meeting. At that meeting the membership voted to change the meeting dates to the first and third Wednesdays. This was in 1915.

During the spring of 1904, several members who lived in Granite City became desirous of forming a lodge on their town. Permission was granted by Triple Lodge No. 835 to divide the district and on October 22, 1904, sixteen members demitted to become charter members of the new lodge in Granite City; to be known as Granite City Lodge No. 877.

Early in 1915 a movement to build a Masonic Hall in Granite City was stated and as the project required support of all Masonic bodies in the district to finance the plan, pressure on Triple Lodge was brought to a head in July 1915 and on August 4, 1915, Triple Lodge decided to move to Granite City to widen its' field of operations and aid in building a Masonic Temple. All the necessary steps were taken and dispensation was obtained in September 1915 to consolidate the jurisdiction and on October 6, 1915, Triple Lodge located at 18th and "D" Streets in McNary Hall where meetings were held until May 3, 1916 on which date the first meeting was held in the Masonic Temple which was then being erected at 20th and "C" Streets, the present location. At this date no heaters had yet been placed nor was there any carpet on the floor.

The Temple was dedicated May 13, 1916 and the first work in the degrees in the new building was on May 24, 1916 when the E.A. Degree was conferred on Brethren H.C. Hahn and Edgar Hendricks.

Slowly the membership of the Lodge increased even though no public functions or shows were held that might advertise the lodge.

The health of the membership was remarkable as far as sickness and death were concerned. For several years in succession there was not a death, even during the "flu" epidemic of 1918 and 1919 only one member, Brother Harry Pollard, succumbed to the dreaded disease.

On October 16, 1920 Triple Lodge celebrated the twenty fifth anniversary with a reception for the Past Masters. The record shows that eleven were present, all those then living.

Grand Lodge

The years 1921, 1922, and 1923 were uneventful other than conferring degrees and paying fraternal visits to neighboring lodges.

In May, 1925 Triple Lodge participated in a corner stone laying of the Y.M.C.A. building at 20th and "E" streets, Granite City by Grand Master R.C. Davenport.

Harmony and good fellowship exists and no dissentions mar the peace of the Lodge. This happy atmosphere greets the visiting Mason, urging him to come again.

The year 1925 has now passed into history as the most successful one in point of number Triple Lodge as had; having held 24 stated meetings and 43 special meetings and raised 30 members to the M.M. Degree. Lack of time to clean the trestle board leaves some work over for 1926.

Since 1926 the History of the Lodge will be found in the record of the minutes of each meeting.

 

 

May our Lodge continue to grow with the coming years. "So mote it be"

January 1, 1943

James Kerr, Secretary

 

The Lodge history as shown here is a condensed version of Brother Jim's original historical record

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Addendum - Worshipful Brother James Kerr served as Master of the Lodge for the years 1908 and 1909 and then as Secretary from 1910 until 1945. During the year 1945, he resigned the office of Secretary and entered the home at Sullivan, Illinois where he remained a member until he was called to rest on February 28, 1951. His remains were returned to Granite City where Masonic funeral services were conducted by Triple Lodge on March 3, 1951.

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The post depression years found Triple Lodge busy with Masonic work and the Lodge continued to grow and prosper. The records of the Lodge show that support was given to the community during the World War II era when blood drives and other efforts were conducted by officers and members. Membership and financial growth continued throughout the 1950's, 60's and 70's. 1984 and 1985 brought great distinction to Triple Lodge, as E. Gene Ross, a past master of our Lodge, was elected to the Office of Most Worshipful Grand Master of Ancient, Free and Accepted Masons of the State of Illinois.

In the later part of the 80's, Triple Lodge again joined forces with Granite City Lodge No. 877 and purchased two pieces of property adjacent to the Lodge and constructed a parking lot. In addition, the Lodge has continued to renovate and modernize the present location throughout the 90's.

Lodge Room

The Lodge celebrated its 100th Anniversary in October of 1994. Worshipful Brother Dale O'Bear served as Master and Triple Lodge hosted a celebration which included a Rededication Ceremony conducted by Most Worshipful Brother John R. Louden and the other Grand Lodge Officers. A centennial coin was minted and distributed to the members of Triple Lodge as a constant reminder of the benefits of Masonry to Granite City and the surrounding communities.

Meeting Times

The Masons of Triple Lodge 835 meet on the 
1st and 3rd Wednesday of each month.

 

You can see dates and times for our other
activities on the Events and Calendar pages.

Master of the Lodge

douglascomersm1

Douglas Comer is the Master 
of the Lodge.
You can learn more about
Triple Lodge No. 835 on
the About Us page.

Picture Gallery

ParadeView pictures of our recent and past events in our online image gallery