Early Masonic Lodges -- Organization of the Grand Lodge of Vermont -- Sketches of the Grand Masters -- Prominent Rutland County Masons -- Elective Officers of the Grand Lodge from its Organization to the Present -- History of Center Lodge -- Its Reorganization and Officers -- Rutland Lodge No. 79 -- Hiram Lodge No. 101 Royal Arch Masons -- Lodges in the Various Towns -- Odd Fellowship in Rutland County -- History of the First Lodge -- Grand Army of the Republic.


      Masonic lodges were chartered in this State as early as 1784, the first being Vermont Lodge, at Windsor, which for nearly a decade of years was the only organized body in this jurisdiction. Dorchester Lodge, at Vergennes, was organized in 1798; Union, at Middlebury, 1798; Washington, at Burlington, 1794; Franklin, at St. Albans, 1794; Center, at Rutland, October 15, 1794; Morning Sun, at Bridport, in 1800, etc. The Grand Lodge of Vermont, was organized in 1794; Noah SMITH, grand master; Enoch WOODBRIDGE, deputy grand master; John CHIPMAN, senior grand warden; Jonathan WHITE, junior grand warden; Nathaniel BRUSH, grand treasurer; Thomas TOLMAN, grand secretary; William COOLEY, grand senior deacon, and Roswell HOPKINS, grand junior deacon.

      Noah SMITH was a native of Connecticut, and we have reason to believe he was made a Mason in that State before he came to Vermont. He resided for a time in Rutland, and was a judge of the Supreme Court in 1789, '9I, '92, and '93. He died at Bennington and was buried with Masonic honors. Enoch WOODBRIDGE was a prominent citizen of Vermont, a judge of the Supreme Court in 1798, '99 and 1800, and the grandfather of our honored brother, Hon. Frederick E. WOODBRIDGE, of Vergennes. John CHIPMAN, the grand senior warden, was a native of Connecticut, and afterward the honored grand master of Vermont for eighteen years. In 1766 he left Salisbury, Conn., with fifteen other young men and became a pioneer settler of the Lake Champlain valley, at Salisbury. He was an aid to the first Governor CHITTENDEN, sheriff of Addison county for twelve years, was in the battle of Lexington, shouldered his musket and was with Ethan ALLEN at Ticonderoga, accompanied Seth WARNER's regiment to Canada, and participated in the capture of St. Johns and Montreal. He was at the battles of Hubbardton, Bennington and Saratoga, and commanded at Fort Edward and Fort George. He was made a Mason at Albany, N. Y., in 1779, and was a charter member of Dorchester Lodge, No. 1, at Vergennes. He died at Middlebury full of honors and years and received a Masonic burial.

      Nathaniel BRUSH was an honored citizen of Bennington. Thomas TOLMAN, the first grand secretary, and there has been but eleven since his day, was a prominent citizen of Vermont, and quite a public spirited and loyal citizen in the earlier days of the Mountain Republic, as it was called in the ancient days. William COOLEY, the grand senior deacon, was a resident of Rupert, and died esteemed by all who knew him. The grand junior deacon, Colonel Roswell HOPKINS, in his day was known and read of all men; clerk of the Legislature from 1779 to 1788, secretary of State from 1788 to 1801; an honored citizen and Mason, and received Masonic honors at his burial. The following brief biographical notes of other Grand officers must suffice us. John CHIPMAN, of whom we have spoken, was the second grand master. Jonathan NYE, the third grand master, was a prominent clergyman. Lemuel WHITNEY, the fourth grand master, was a giant in his day, both physically, morally and mentally; a native of Massachusetts, he came to Brattleboro in 1787, and died there April 4, 1847, and was laid to rest with the services of the institution he had so long loved and served so well. It is said of him: "The Masonic jewels he wore never invested a nobler man or covered a better heart."

      The fifth grand master was George ROBINSON, an honored citizen of Burlington. Phineas WHITE was the sixth grand master. The seventh grand master was George E. WALES, who served for two years. He was a genial and beloved member of the craft whose kindly nature and free heart proved his misfortune. He represented Vermont in Congress from 1824 to 1829. The eighth grand master was Nathan B. HASWELL, a sterling man, representing one  of the early, prominent and loyal families of Vermont. He occupied the Oriental chair from 1829 to 1847, during that period of storm and fire, when timid men quailed and lost heart before the violent tempest that surrounded them; but he, lion-hearted, like a towering monument took his position, firm and unyielding as the granite of our mountains, never hauled down the banner of Masonry, and never allowed a friend or foe to trample upon it under any circumstances. His firm position, while it brought him political ostracism, social and religious disfranchisement, gained the respect of his more considerate and thoughtful fellow men. While the fires burned dimly upon the altars of our lodges, there was a quiet and unostentatious band of men, who annually relit the three great lights, and the Grand Lodge never failed to convene for fourteen years, when not a single subordinate existed for it to represent.

      It was the Great Grand Lodge to him, and a gallant band of men stood beside him, and the roll is an honored one: Philip C. TUCKER, Luther B. HUNT, Lavius FILLMORE, Wyllys LYMAN, Barnabas ELLIS, John BRAINARD, Joseph HOWES, Ebenezer T. ENGLESBY, Dan. LYON, Oramel H. SMITH, John B. HOLLENBECK, Sumner A. WEBBER, William HIDDEN and David A. MURRAY. When the thunder had ceased and the clouds cleared away over the field of this terrific political and religious battle, these stalwart men stood erect, unharmed, God-like, consistent and faithful Masons. Among their associates were Samuel S. BUTLER, Barzillai DAVENPORT, Joshua DOANE, Samuel WILSON, Coit PARKHURST, Heman GREEN and Oramel WILLIAMS.

      George M. HALL was a prominent physician of the town of Swanton, and was grand master in 1868, '69 and '70. He was an eminent member of the order. L. B. ENGLESBY held the office from 1862 to 1867 inclusive, and honored it in every way. The others who have held the high office are living.

      Rutland has had but one grand master, Henry H. SMITH, who filled the office with ability and honor in 1876 and 1877. Mr. SMITH was born in Middletown, Vt., April 3, 1837; received a good English education; came to Rutland in April, 1854; studied law with Reuben R. THRALL and Charles L. WILLIAMS, and was admitted in September, 1858. He has held the office of county clerk since 1868.

      Among the men who were the early promoters of the plan of Masonry in Vermont were brother Nathaniel CHIPMAN, whose fame as a jurist has been excelled by few. He never released his interest in the lodge, or his punctual attendance upon its communications, whether upon the bench of the Supreme Court in the United States Senate, or as United States District judge, and during his residence in Rutland was a frequent if not constant attendant upon old Center Lodge. His name is recorded quite frequently as a visitor in Washington, Alexandria, Lodge, from 1797 to 1803, while United States Senator, that then being the nearest lodge to the national capital. His predecessor in the Senate, brother Isaac TICHENOR, was also a frequent visitor to the same lodge. He was made a Mason in a military lodge while a lieutenant under Washington in the regular army. His affiliation at the time of his death was with Rainbow Lodge at Middletown, of which he was at one time master.

      The following list of those who have been prominent in the Order in this county are given by Mr. CLARK: Ira ALLEN, Seth WARNER, Jonas FAY, Thomas CHITTENDEN, Martin CHITTENDEN, Gamaliel PAINTER, Ebenezer ALLEN, Heman ALLEN, Isaac TICHENOR, Israel SMITH, Nathaniel NILES, Daniel CHIPMAN, Samuel HITCHCOCK, E. D. WOODBRIDGE, David EDMUNDS, Thomas LEVERETT, Rev. William MILLER, General Sylvester CHURCHILL, Daniel BALDWIN, John STANLEY, Lyman MOWER, Martin FIELD, Jabez PROCTOR, Salmon DUTTON, D. AZRO, A. BUCK, Jeremy L. CROSS, Samuel GOSS, Jeduthan LOOMIS, Jonas CLARK, Norman WILLIAMS, Martin ROBERTS, Rev. Aaron LELAND, Reuben WOOD, Rev. Samuel H. TUPPER, Rev. Joel CLAPP, Hastings WARREN, Daniel L. POTTER, Henry STANLEY, Orlando STEVENS, David P. NOYES. Rev. Ira INGRAHAM, Robert B. BATES, Rev. Sherman KELLOGG, Roswell BOTTUM, John KELLOGG, Benson, Rev. Josiah HOPKINS, New Haven, Rev. Joel WINCH, Northfield, Dudley CHASE, Randolph, George B. SHAW, Rev. Truman SEYMOUR, Rev. Silas MCKEEN, D. D. 

      The later and more familiar names are Jacob COLLAMER, Charles LINSLEY, Julius CONVERSE, Leonard SARGENT, Rev. Kitteridge HAVEN, Luther L. DUTCHER, Horatio NEEDHAM, Daniel NEEDHAM, Hampden CUTTS, Merritt CLARK, Homer E. HUBBELL, Harvey MUNSILL, Frederick E. WOODBRIDGE, George F. EDMUNDS, H. Henry Powers, George W. Hendee, Franklin Fairbanks, John Prout, Charles H. Joyce, Kittridge HASKINS, Jacob ESTEY, R. W. CLARKE, B. D. HARRIS, Edwin WHEELOCK, Norman SEAVER, Edward S. DANA, George NICHOLS and J. W. HOBART.


      Center Lodge, No. 6, was the first lodge granted by the Grand Lodge after its organization. This was done at a session held as the record reads which "met at the house of Brother GOVE in Rutland "on October 15, 1794. The petitioners were Nathaniel CHIPMAN, Jonathan WELLS, Jonathan PARKER, jr., Israel SMITH and Cephas SMITH, jr. The charter bears date Bennington, January 9, 1795, and of Masonry 5795, signed Noah SMITH, grand master, Thomas TOLMAN, grand secretary. The first officers named were Nathaniel CHIPMAN, worshipful master; Jonathan WELLS, senior warden; Jonathan PARKER, jr., junior warden.

      Among the Rutland men who were prominent in this lodge in past years may be mentioned William STORER, the printer who taught Horace GREELEY, " the art preservative;" Medad SHELDON, father of Dr. Lorenzo SHELDON; Cordon NEWELL, who was for many years county judge; Jesse GOVE, at whose house the first grand lodge in Rutland convened; James and Ezekiel PORTER; Darius CHIPMAN, brother of Nathaniel and Daniel; William PAGE, jr., father of the late ex-governor, John B. PAGE; Samuel WILLIAMS, LL. D., and his son Charles K., both eminent men in the State; William GOOKIN, the manufacturer and merchant of Center Rutland; Dr. Silas BOWEN, of Clarendon, and many others of later years whom we cannot stop to note.

      In connection with this lodge Mr. Clark wrote as follows: "The by-laws of Center Lodge, No. 6, were models, and since I have made them a study, it has occurred to me that a single article would adapt them to the present as to make them far superior to those now in use. Some of the provisions will be given. The regular communications were on the second Monday of each month, at 3 o'clock in the afternoon, unless previously dispensed with; the festival of St. John the Baptist and St. John the Evangelist, was to be celebrated, which generally ended by one celebration on the 24th of June. There were twelve celebrations, the memoranda of which were preserved among the papers of the late Chauncey K. WILLIAMS. I cannot enumerate them in full. Charles K. WILLIAMS pronounced an oration St. John's Day, June 24, 1828, on the life of our distinguished brother De Witt CLINTON. The manuscript is undoubtedly in the possession of his family. It was never published. On other occasions orations were delivered June 24, before Center Lodge, by Rev. Amos DEWEY, Rodney C. ROYCE, William PAGE, jr., Rev. Ebenezer HIBBARD, Rev. Hadley PROCTOR, Rev. Nathaniel NILES, Silas H. HODGES, Cephas SMITH, jr., and Philip C. TUCKER, which was probably the last, in 1830."

      Center Lodge was reorganized by a dispensation granted by Philip C. TUCKER, grand master, to Leland HOWARD, Calvin SPENCER, Dike W. HALL, W. W. BAILEY, Charles WOODHOUSE, Amasa POOLER, Ruel PARKER, Lorenzo SHELDON, O. H. ROUND, E. BAILEY, Truman L. REED, Abel DUNKLEE, Benjamin SMITH, Henry HOLDEN, A. DIKEMAN, Joel M. MEAD, Luther THRALL. Dike W. HALL, master: Ruel PARKER, senior warden; W. W. BAILEY, junior warden. The appointed officers were: O. H. ROUNDS, senior deacon; Calvin SPENCER, junior deacon; Joseph GASKILL, treasurer; Henry HOLDEN, secretary. The first meeting was held February 3, 1853. Miner HILLIARD was the candidate to receive the degrees. In January brother W. W. BAILEY, an efficient member, died, and a series of memorial resolutions were adopted. Until 1855 the duties of the principal officers were performed by brothers Barzillai DAVENPORT, Benjamin SMITH and O. H. ROUNDS. On the 26th of June, 1856, a public installation took place at the Congregational Church, Barzillai DAVENPORT, of Brandon deputy grand master, presided. An address was delivered before a large audience by Henry SMITH, of Claremont, N. H. After the address the lodge was publicly consecrated and the following officers of the lodge installed:  Benjamin SMITH, worshipful master; O. H. ROUNDS, S. W.; Ruel PARKER, J. W.; Joseph GASKILL, treas.; Amasa POOLER, sec.; Calvin SPENCER, S. D.; E. A. POND, J. D.; S. D. JENNESS, H. S. SMITH, stewards; J. H. Smith, tyler. The procession then moved to the Franklin House, where the lodge partook of dinner. The principal officers in each year have been as follows:

1856, O. H. ROUNDS, M.; S. D. JENNESS, S. W.; Z. V. K. WILSON, J. W. 

1857, Z. V. K. WILSON, M.; S. D. JENNESS, S. W.; E. A. POND, J. W. 

1858, E. A. POND, M.; E. V. N. HARWOOD, S. W.; Charles B. FROST, J. W. 

1859, E. A. POND, M.; Samuel WILLIAMS, S. W.; E. A. MORSE, J. W. 

1860, Samuel D. JENNESS, M.; O. H. ROUNDS, S. W.; J. W. CRAMTON, J. W. 

1861, Samuel WILLIAMS, M.; W. H. HOTCHKISS, S. W.; Moses HAYWARD, J. W. 

1862, Samuel WILLIAMS, M.; W. H. HOTCHKISS, S. W.; A. R. HOWARD, J. W. 

1863, W. H. HOTCHKISS, M.; A. R. HOWARD, S. W.; Ben K. CHASE, J. W. 

1864, Z. V. K. WILSON, M.; Ben K. CHASE, S. W.; William T. NICHOLS, J. W. 

1865, E. A. POND, M.; Charles H. SHELDON, S. W.; N. S. STEARNS, J. W. 

1866, Charles H. SHELDON, M.; Ben K. CHASE, S. W.; B. W. MARSHALL, J. W. 

1867, Charles H. SHELDON, M.; B. W. MARSHALL, S. W.; A. P. FULLER, J. W. 

1868, B. W. MARSHALL, M.; John A. SHELDON, S. W.; A. P. FULLER, J. W. 

1869, B. W. MARSHALL, M.; John A. SHELDON, S. W.; H. H. SMITH, J. W. 

1870, John H. SHELDON, M.; Henry H. SMITH, S. W.; Hiram A. SMITH, J. W. 

1871, John A. SHELDON, M.; Henry H. SMITH, S. W.; Hiram A. SMITH, J. W. 

1872, Henry H. SMITH, M.; Hiram A. SMITH, S. W.; C. F. ROLLIN, J. W. 

1873, Henry H. SMITH, M.; Hiram A. SMITH, S. W.; C. V. ROLLIN, J. W. 

1874, Hiram A. SMITH, M.; C. V. ROLLIN, S. W.; Thomas C. ROBBINS, J. W. 

1875, Hiram A. SMITH, M.; Thomas C. ROBBINS, S. W.; George P. RUSSELL, J. W. 

1876, Thomas C. ROBBINS, M.; George P. RUSSELL, S. W.; E. M. EDGERTON, J. W. 

1877, Thomas C. ROBBINS, M.; George P. RUSSELL, S. W.; E. M. EDGERTON, J. W. 

1878, Thomas C. ROBBINS, M.; Judah DANA, S. W.; Charles E. ROSS, J. W.

1879,Thomas C. ROBBINS, M.; Charles E. ROSS, S. W.; John N. WOODFIN, J. W. 

1880, Charles E. ROSS, M.; John N. WOODFIN, S. W.; Frank B. KIDDER, J. W. 

1881, Charles E. ROSS, M.; John N. WOODFIN, S. W. William H. BRYANT, J. W. 

1882, John N. WOODFIN, M.; Edward DANA, S. W.; Stephen W. MEAD, J. W. 

1883, J. N. WOODFIN, M.; Edward DANA, S. W.; Stephen W. MEAD, J. W. 

1884, Edward DANA, M.; Stephen W. MEAD, S. W.; Charles TURNER, J. W.



This was the second lodge in the town and its charter was granted by the Grand Lodge June 11, 1868, to Z. V. K. WILSON, J. Dunham GREEN, Samuel E. BURNHAM, L. L. PEARSONS, W. H. SCHRYVER, Silas T. HOLCOMB, Leander MORTON, M. M. CROOKER, Albert PRATT, N. L. DAVIS, Samuel D. JENNESS, William B. THRALL, Ben. TILLEY, Charles E. CAMPBELL, Fred. A. SHATTUCK, C. S. KINGSLEY and Nathan STEARNS. 

The roll of principal officers has been: 

1867, J. Dunham GREEN, M.; S. D. JENNESS, S. W.; N. L. DAVIS, J. W. 

1868, Nathan S. STEARNS, M.; William B. THRALL, S. W.; L. H. HAGER, J. W. 

1869, Z. V. K. WILSON, M.; L. L. PEARSONS, S. W.; S. T. HOLCOMB, J. W. 

1870, L. L. PEARSONS, M.; J. H. MCINTYRE, S. W.; S. T. HOLCOMB, J. W. 

1871, L. L. PEARSONS, M.; A. H. COBB, S. W.; Ion LIPPINCOTT, J. W.

1872, Ion LIPPINCOTT, M.; George E. CLARK, S. W.; Charles E. CAMPBELL, J. W. 

1873, L. L. PEARSONS, M.; A. S. MARSHALL, S. W.; John M. OTIS, J. W. 

1874, L. L. PEARSONS, M.; A. S. MARSHALL, S. W.; George E. CLARK, J. W. 

1875, A. S. MARSHALL, M.; George E. CLARK, S. W.; Samuel TERRILL, J. W. 

1876, A. S. MARSHALL, M.; Samuel TERRILL, S. W.; Henry CONNOR, J. W. 

1877, A. S. MARSHALL, M.; Samuel TERRILL, S. W.; Samuel E. BURNHAM, J. W. 

1878, Samuel TERRILL, M.; Samuel E. BURNHAM, S. W.; Byron H. RICE, J. W. 

1879, Samuel TERRILL, M.; Samuel E. BURNHAM, S. W.; Charles E. CAMPBELL, J. W.

1880, Samuel TERRILL, M.; Samuel E. BURNHAM, S. W.; Charles E. CAMPBELL, J, W. 

1881, Samuel TERRILL, M.; J. H. MCINTYRE, S. W.; Charles E. CAMPBELL, J. W. 

1882, John H. MCINTYRE, M.; William A. HILL, S. W.; Moses FORD, J. W. 

1883, John H. MCINTYRE, M.; William A. HILL, S. W.; Moses FORD, J. W. 

1884, John H. MCINTYRE, M.; R. R. Mead, S. W.; Moses Ford, J. W.



"History of Rutland County Vermont with Illustrations & 
Biographical Sketches of Some of Its Prominent Men & Pioneers"
Edited by H. Y. Smith & W. S. Rann, Syracuse, N. Y.
D. Mason & Co., Publishers, 1886
History of Rutland County
Chapter XVIII.
(pages 284-292)

Transcribed by Karima, 2002