Leeds & Grenville GenWeb: Orange Lodges in the Front of Leeds & Lansdowne

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Orange Lodges in the Front of Leeds & Lansdowne

Written by Paul Côté, [email protected]

From the Historical Society Of Front of Leeds and Lansdowne Newsletter, June 1996
Used with permission

Societies of many descriptions and names have existed in the Front of Leeds and Lansdowne Township since the days of the early pioneers. Masons, Oddfellows, Foresters, Knights of Columbus, Daughters of the Empire, Women's Institutes, Temperance Leagues, Catholic Women's Leagues, Ladies Orange Benevolent Associations, and, of course, Orange Lodges were some of the many societies that citizens of the township were involved in over the years.

The following list probably does not represent a complete accounting of all the Loyal Orange Lodges in the Township, but it is a start at recording them.

# 26This Lodge was Warranted (chartered) on July 11, 1845. The Warrant was issued to John McNichol. However, Thaddeus Leavitt's History of Leeds and Grenville published in 1879 states that the #26 was one of the oldest lodges in Central Canada "...having been organized upwards of fifty years.", or a beginning date of 1829 or earlier. He also states that it was reorganized in 1872 and gives the executive's names for 1879: J. A. Bradley, W.M.; William Dixon, D.M.; James Latimer, Secretary; and James Douglas, Treasurer, and further stated that it had a membership of over 50 at that time. The lodge hall was located in Lansdowne Village. The Fraternity was active in Lansdowne until 1982 when it amalgamated with L.O.L. #1 in Brockville.
# 51Its Warrant was issued on June 18, 1856, to Michael Cliff at or near Wilstead. This lodge is discussed further below. After an interesting history it amalgamated with #26 in 1950.
#100The "Dulcymaine" Lodge was Warranted on December 31, 1845 to Joseph Taylor, and was reissued on July 20, 1871 to Thomas W. Bradley. Thaddeus Leavitt's history states that it was instituted in 1864 and in 1879 had a membership of about fifty. The last verifiable date known for the Lodge was 1931. Presumably, it amalgamated with #26 at a later date. Membership in 1898 is shown below.
#194The Derry Lodge's history is uncertain. It began sometime between 1845 and 1874 and appears to have been absorbed by Lodge #511 by about 1880. It was located in Gananoque.
#233The Warrant was issued on March 7, 1850 to Thomas Scott at South Lake. It remained there until 1962 when it was amalgamated with #26 in Lansdowne. It was located on lot 4, concession 4, Leeds.
#346The Ladies Orange Benevolent Society, St. Lawrence Lodge, was Warranted February 1, 1921 to Mary A. Flack. It continued to operate until about 1985. The Ladies wing was not established until 1889.
#511This Gananoque Lodge's Warrant was issued on September 17, 1855 to Thomas S. Dick. By 1889 this lodge appears to have been absorbed by #51.
#650It was Warranted on October 9, 1855 to William Scott at South Lake. In April of 1857 it was absorbed by #51, which changed location from Wilstead to Lot 4, concession 3 at South Lake (across the road from #233).
#?Also in his Lansdowne coverage, Leavitt mentions that the Prince Albert Lodge O. Y. B. (Orange Young Britons) was established October 20th, 1876 and lists the 1879 officers as: N. Bowen, W.M.; J. R. Johnston, D.M.; F. Spidal, Secretary; and J. A. Bradley, Treasurer. This youth wing of Orangism was established nationally in 1869.
These other Lodges were discovered while researching this article:
# 27Escott, Escott Township, warranted Dec. 22, 1846 by James Brown, no other information
These two lodges have some information held by Queens University Archives, Kingston, ON. They have the call number A.ARCH 3730 (acc. 82-84):
# 183Schomberg Lodge, Elgin P.O., South Crosby Twp.; minute books, membership rolls and accounts, 1859-1950; held at Queens Archives, Kingston ON
 Height of Land no surrender Lodge, Newboro; minute book 1874-1889
The records of the following five are also at Queens Archives: A.ARCH 3187:
# 47Westport, 1896-1930
# 49Newboro, 1856-1909
# 650Burridge, 1881-1928
# 693Westport, Western Star Ladies Orange Benevolent Association, 1925-1927
# 2883Newboro, 1926-1950
Also in this collection: Provincial Grand Lodge of Ontario East, 1865-1957; District Lodge of North Crosby, 1860, 1908-1955.

Loyal Orange Lodge # 51 - The Nomad Lodge

This past summer (1995) John and Julie Cain of Marble Rock donated a collection of Orange Lodge minute books to the Society. They deal primarily with Lodge #51. There are, though, some books which deal with Lodges #194 and #511. The collection is incomplete (many years of records are missing); what remains has survived both fire and flood. The main body of the collection was reported destroyed by fire in 1909. Somehow these books survived to record the life of #51 from 1856 to 1924.

A thumbnail sketch is in order for those not familiar with the Orange Order. Orangeism promoted Protestantism and loyalty to the Crown, but it also had other facets that drew members to the Order. It had a semi-religious nature that emphasised living by Christian principles. The Order was closely associated with local Protestant denominations; so much so that many Ministers were lodge members, or, at least sympathetic to the beliefs of the Order. It was also a social centre, a venue for ritual and ceremony, and probably most importantly, a Benevolent society: Lodge members financially aided other members in times of illness, and helped defray the costs of funerals of members who died.

The Loyal Orange Association was unique among the various societies in that it had considerable political influence. Sir Mackenzie Bowell, Prime Minister from 1894 to 1896, was a past Grand Master and Sovereign of the Grand Lodge Of British America.

Although some lodges allowed drink, there were many that were "Abstinence Lodges". This appears to be the case with #51. The account books that survive show large sums (compared to their revenues) spent on tea, crackers, and cheese.

The first list is of the members of Lodge 51 in 1856 when it was located at or near McCrones Corners (later Wilstead). This is probably only a partial one as the names were extracted from the minutes of the few meetings recorded at this location. It moved to South Lake in April of 1857.

William Buck   Joseph Landon  William Dickson
Edward Davis?  Charles Gardiner    George Cliff
Daniel Cliff   Richard Cliff  Andrew Hurst
George Richardson   William Samuel Sampson   Michael Cliff
John HurstEdward Anderson
The first good membership list for South Lake occurs in 1860. It shows 35 dues paying members in July. Number 51 had amalgamated with #650, one of the two South Lake Lodges, in 1857. The spellings in the list are reproduced as faithfully as possible.
1    Robert Ervine? 19   William Canners
2    Thomas Scott   20   George Cunningham
3    William Nuttell21   John Seals
4    John Beaty22   William Walker
5    William Galway 23   John Morton?
6    John Canners   24   Daniel Cliff & friend
7    Richard Hunter 25   John Scott
8    Robert Cunningham   26   John H. Canner
9    George Nuttell 27   David Walker
10   Robert Seals   28   John Drinnen?
11   Robert Brotherson   29   Treyton Rich
12   William Scott  30   Daniel Smith
13   James Rich31   William Tolen
14   John Scott32   William Shaw
15   James Coal33   William Murphy
16   Rueben Rich    34   Richard? Kidd
17   John Hirst35  ?    Kenny
18   William Dickson
By 1879 or 1880 Lodge #51 appears to have moved down the road to Gananoque Station. The Lodge minutes are missing for this period but attendance lists are available. The membership list for 1879 has several new names. The 1880 list has an extreme change over of members as shown below. It is probable that members with roots near South Lake took their certificates to Lodge #233, also located at South Lake, or one of the Lodges across the County line in Pittsburg Township. Lodge #912 was at Woodburn; Lodge #709 was at Pine Hill. The only surviving minutes locating #51 at Gananoque Station is the December 1883 minutes. This was the Lodge's last meeting at that location. In January of 1884 the Lodge moved to Gananoque.
1    J. Holdcroft   13   T. Clare
2    J. Toland 14   D. Toland
3    J. Lloyd  15   W. Spafford
4    R. Irwin  16   H. McPhersin
5    J. Seal   17   W. Goodbody
6    F. Stolicker   18   G. S. White
7    A. Sterling    19   John Buck
8    A. Yule   20   R. Quinn
9    H. Todd   21   James Galloway
10   J. Arlow  22   Richard Hunter
11   G. Gallaway    23   George Buck
12   E. Irwin  24   George McCormack
January of 1884 marked the third move for #51. Although nothing is stated in the minutes, it seems highly likely that the opening of the Thousand Island Railway played a key role. The rail line opened in December of 1883, and the lodge moved the following month. Perhaps there were strong links with the railway workers and the Gananoque Lodges. The following is a list of the members in 1884. Members indicated by * left the Lodge; ! indicates members admitted by certificate from other lodges.
1    John Seal (Master)  17   Richard Quinn
2    James Lloyd (Committee)  18   George Buck *Jan.
3    Robert Irwin (Treasurer) 19   W. A. Clifford !Jan.
4    Arch Yule 20   Hamilton G. Dick !Jan.
5    Humphrey Todd (F. of C.) 21   Edward Hunder !Jan.
6    Joseph P. Arlow (Dy. Master)  22   Abram Meggs !Jan.
7    George Galway (Secretary)23   Uriah Kelsey !Jan.
8    Edward Irwin (Committee) 24   James E. Kenny !Jan.
9    Thomas Clare   25   James Moore !Jan.
10   Wm. Spafford (Committee) 26   William Storey !Jan.
11   Henry McPherson27   John H. Cook !Feb.
12   Wm. Goodbody (Chaplain)  28   Cornelius Cook !Feb.
13   John Buck (Committee) *Mar    29   Frank Patch !Feb
14   Geo. McCormack 30   Lyman S. Knapp !Jan.
15   Joseph Case    31   Frank Stoliker !Mar.
16   Richard Hunter *Jan.32   Benjamin Case !Mar.
Other members admitted during the year according to the minutes:
April: ? Montrose, A. Dick
May:   Sam Johnston,  Isaac Knight
June:  R. W. Greenizen, James Beaty
July:  George Cotman, James Harwood, George Taylor (MP),
  William Emry, Charles Neremier
Six of those admitted in January had been members of Lodge #194. Lodge #194 appears to have closed in Gananoque in 1880, possibly amalgamated with #511. Lodge #511 ceased to exist by 1889. The membership books are missing from this date forward. Tucked in one of the later minutes books, though, was the "Annual Return of Protection L.O.L. 51 To The District Lodge of Gananoque and South Lake, For The Year Ending December 31, 1920". The following, then, is the last available membership list for #51.
1    David Andrew   39   H. Langridge?
2    J. O. Abrams   40   Wm. Edwards
3    Rich'd Anderson41   Spencer Cummings
4    Geo. I. Brewster    42   Leslie Andrew
5    Jas. Brewster  43   W. O. Lennox
6    Chas. E. Burr? 44   Ross K. Lloyd
7    Frank Coote?   45   W. H. Kinneard
8    Rev. W. Cox (Toronto)    46   Garnet Harris
9    J. H. Fawcett  47   Frank Wright
10   N. R. Gardner  48   Robert Benson
11   Tho's Gordon   49   Hadden Sly
12   Geo. Hampton   50   Geo. L. Carpenter
13   Roy P. Kemp    51   Bernard Mathews
14   E. E. Leaky    52   Walter Abrams
15   L. Loshow 53   Geo. W. Gardner
16   Jas. G. Lawson 54   R. M. Brewster
17   John G. Lloyd  55   A. Lucy
18   John Miller    56   Martin Perry
19   Geo. S. Mastin 57   D. C. Caird
20   R. R. Mills    58   Jas. Beatty
21   John S. McEntire    59   Geo. J. Anderson
22   Tho's McQuinn  60   J. A. Murphy
23   J. C. H. McEntire   61   Wm. Waring
24   Geo. O. Brien? 62   Ross Anderson
25   Jas. S. Purser 63   M. J. Woodcock
26   Jas. Seal 64   Cedric Wheeler
27   T. E. Seal65   Cifford Shaw
28   Geo. A. Smith  66   Hurik Wheeler
29   A. J. Seal67   Lewis Wheeler
30   Robt. Sinclair 68   Tho's Andress
31   H. Todd   69   J. A. Calvert
32   Jos. Wadsworth 70   Wm. Pratt
33   Fred Wheeler   71   D. Dano  (suspended)
34   John L. Wheeler72   G. Meggs (suspended)
35   Robt. J. Webster    73   H. Weir  (suspended)
36   David J. Walker74   J. A. Webster (died)
37   N. A. Webster  75   R. Anderson Jr.
38   John Young(W'drew by certificate)
By 1950 the membership appears to have declined to the point that #51 was not a viable lodge. In that year it amalgamated with L.O.L. #26 in Lansdowne. South Lake Lodge #233 followed suit in 1972. Lodge #26 appears to have been the last lodge to survive in the Township. It closed in 1982 and it's surviving members joined Lodge #1 in Brockville.

For those who wish to research for individual members of specific lodges, the news is not good. There is no central repository of Orange Lodge information. Early lodge books, if they have survived, are held by private individuals, various archives, or local historical societies.

Members Of "Dulcymaine" Lodge #100
12 July 1898

The Historical Society has a photo of these members taken on that date: the anniversary of the Battle of the Boyne, and the most important date on the Orange calender. The membership seems quite small for a lodge. The average membership for an Orange Lodge was between 25 and 40 people. Dulcemaine is an area about 5 miles north of Lansdowne, Ontario.

1.   Robert Austin  10.  Wm. Sliter
2.   Jerry Patience 11.  John E. Steacy
3.   Thomas G. Kendrick  12.  R. J. Steacy
4.   Matt Steacy    13.  Evans Steacy
5.   ? (from Seeley's Bay)    14.  John Patience
6.   Alex (A.K.) Steacy  15.  Harvey Austin
7.   James Patience 16.  John Cook
8.   Sam Fair  17.  John Stennit
9.   Jas. Greer18.  (California) John Steacy

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