Middle Grove Lodge

Middle Grove Lodge No. 42

The lodge at Middle Grove, Mo., made return for the year 1862. In 1863 a committee on this lodge reported that: 

“They had carefully examined the petition of the brethren of Middle Grove Lodge No. 42, and find a most deplorable state of feeling existing. Your committee recommended that the prayer for a new character be not granted until the brethren can say in truth ‘Behold how good and pleasant it is for brethren to dwell in unity.”

At the same communication of the Grand Lodge the Committee on Grievance reported:

”In the case of Middle Grove Lodge No. 42, your committee are perfectly satisfied that the Grand Master acted right in arresting the charter of said lodge, and as a portion of the brethren of that lodge have petitioned the Grand Lodge to restore them the charter, your committee would recommend that the charter of said lodge be placed in the hands of the Grand Master, and he be requested to visit that locality and try and restore harmony and brotherly love, and return the charter to those brethren alone who will pledge themselves to live together according to the teachings of Masonry.”

The lodge having expelled two brethren by resolution the committee proceeded to recommend their restoration to Mason privileges.

The cause of the disturbance in Middle Grove Lodge was somewhat amusing. It appeared that Brother Michael Rees was an artist and after having taken the likeness of Brother McNutt placed it in his showcase by the side of that of a negro for exhibition. McNutt, being informed of this outrageous action by Rees, repaired to the photograph gallery, expressing his opinion of Rees in terms that even the committee did not sanction, but at the same time they expressed their belief,

“That if any provocation can excuse such language, Bro. McNutt has that excuse in justification of his conduct. The plea used by Rees, that he did not think it would give offense, is beyond our comprehension, as this man Rees claims to be a Master Mason, and ought to know that our noble institution does not recognize negro equality. The lodge very wisely acquitted Bro. McNutt upon the charges preferred by Rees, and it gives your committee great pleasure to endorse this one act of right done by this lodge to balance its many errors.”

Whereupon the appeal of Rees was dismissed.