Urania Lodge 311

Freemasons of Plain City Ohio

Lodge History (1976-1992)

In an attempt to update the history of Urania Lodge #311 meant that one would have to go back and read all the minutes of the Lodge from 1975 to the present time (1991). While some brothers are mentioned by name it would be impossible to name all who gave so willingly of their time, money and items to make the lodge a more attractive and pleasant place in which to hold meetings. There is still a lot more to be done since the move from the third floor of the previous Lodge Hall to the present one (102 E. Main Street) such as painting, putting up gutters and general maintenance.

The custom of Memorial Day breakfast and degree work was started in 1930.

When the Lodge was sold in preparation for the move to the new location, the new owner found some old pictures of Past Masters of Urania Lodge in the attic. These he gave to some boys who in turn sold them to the General Store in Marysville. W. B. Robert Dull learned of this, purchased them and gave them to the Lodge. They can be seen in the lobby of the hall today.

Over the years many things have been donated to the Lodge to make it more functional. W. B. William Cooper donated an audio system. Bro. Charles Ferguson gave a podium. Both were greatly appreciated.

A highlight of the Dedication of Urania Lodge #311 was when M. W. G. M. of Masons in Ohio, M. W. Bro. Robert D. Sager presented a 65-year pin to P. M. Elton M. Kile. Gifts were presented to the Grand Master and his wife. The Aladdin Temple Piccadors presented a musical program.

In 1975 a letter was received and read by W. B. Cooper from the Secretary of East Short Lodge #709 in Cleveland, Ohio which stated that they were giving Urania Lodge #311 their jewels as they had a new set donated to them. On October 15, 1975, W. B. Russell Noble accepted the jewels presented because he was the longest tenure member present.

On November 19,1975, Bro. Thad Seeley and Bro. Earl Bower were presented their 50-year pins.

In 1976 a check in the amount of $2500.00 was received from the estate of Cary B. Holycross.

It was also state by the secretary that we were not keeping within our budget. The kitchen had taken a lot of money. However, plans were made to go ahead and install cabinets at a cost of $626.00.

In 1977, utensils for the kitchen were needed. Bro. Howard Grimes and his wife, Mildred, donated knives, forks and utensils. Elizabeth Chapter #56 OES, made a donation of $150.00 toward the purchase of plates and the Lodge paid the balance. W. B. Robert Dull and his wife donated glasses.

In 1978, the dues were increased to $20.00 a year and each degree to $30.00.

Bro. Howard Grimes gave a report on seeking bids for the blacktopping of the parking lot. Sister Ruth Kline of Elizabeth Chapter #56 OES gave $1000.00 and specified that it be used for blacktopping or painting the Temple.

In 1978, Elizabeth Chapter #56 OES built and installed cabinets in the preparation room.

On October 8, 1978, W. B. Russell Noble was appointed by Grand Officer Daniel Iceman as District Education Officer for the Ninth Masonic District for the year 1979.

Fifty-year pins were presented to Bro. Robert Chapman, Bro. Russell Perkins, Bro. Robert Jackson, Bro. DeWitt Norris, Bro. John Scott. A cake was furnished by W. B. Allen Duhl with all the names on it.

In January 1979, the dues were raised to $30.00 and the fee for each degree was increased to $40.00 The reason given was that the other Lodges were higher and that they came to Urania to get their degree work and then did not return.

W. B. Robert Dull made a frame complete with brass clips for inserting the names and year of those who served as Masters of the Lodge.

A display case was purchased for the purpose of displaying memorabilia, old manuals, jewels, Masonic and Eastern Star Jewelry. The old jewels of Urania Lodge were put in the display case.

District Education Officer W. B. Russell Noble said that the Worshipful Master should wear a hat at all times.

In 1980, the west side of the building was sandblasted and exit lights were installed. The east wall was stuccoed and the west wall repaired and the double doors were blocked in.

Mrs. Walter Fee gave three electric fans to Elizabeth Chapter, OEA and Urania Lodge. Meryl George gave an organ to Elizabeth Chapter, OES.

A 60-year pin was presented to Bro. J. M. Jackson and a 50-year pin to Bro. William Youman by the DDGM R. W. B. James McBride, Installing Officer for W. B. Allen Dull.

W.B. Leland Williams gave up the secretary’s position which he had served for 11 years because of ill health. On April 20, 1981, a Masonic Service was held for our departed W. B. Leland Williams.

Elizabeth Chapter, OES installed a new oven and stove in the kitchen.

On February 5, 1982, MWB Jerry Razor, PGM, presented a 50-year pin to Bro. E. L. McCabe.

On April 22, 1983, W. B. E. Glen Keyser presented a 50-year pin to Bro. John McKitrick. Because of ill health, the presentation was made at the McKitrick residence.

Repairs to the kitchen roof, a problem for some time, were made at a cost of $354.00.

On Saturday evening, November 26, 1984, several brothers traveled to the home of Bro. Emery Seeley for the purpose of presenting our brother his 50-year pin. The presentation was made by our DDGM R. W. B. Robert Brown.

Bro. Charles Walk and his wife, Sister Judy, underwrote the remodeling and move of the Ladies Rest Room and a new Men’s Rest Room. The Stevedore’s Club made use of the kitchen and dining room with their Annual Bean Supper on February 11, 1984. Several attempts have been made by Urania Lodge to form a Fellowcraft club and they have not been very successful. Discussions have been held as to what a Fellowcraft club can and cannot do.

A parking lot maintenance fund was set up by Bro. Charles Walk along with a check for $300.00 Purdum Blacktop Co. was selected to blacktop the area for $4700.00

Bro. Ben Fry and his wife, Sister Mary, celebrated 50 years of married life at the Jerome Twp. House at New California on December 30, 1985.

Bro. Howard Grimes presented a check to the Secretary of the Lodge from Elizabeth Chapter, OES, to help pay the utilities. A garbage disposal unit was given to the Lodge by Bro. Bud Dunmire and his wife.

Urania Lodge was host with the Ninth Masonic District Officer’s Association meeting. Thirty brothers were present from 16 Lodges.

Bro. Ben Fry was installed as W.M. on November 29, 1985. It was an open installation and the outstanding feature was the presence of W. B. Fry’s 96-year-old mother. Also honored were Past masters and Masonic Widows.

Bro. Elton Ballard donated a security light to make the area more visible for meeting and events being conducted at the Temple. On June 2, 1987, W. M. Ben Fry and Russell Noble traveled to the Springfield Masonic Home and presented a 65-year pin to Bro. John M. Jackson.

W. B. Leland Walk was elected President, Ninth Masonic District Officers Association for 1988.

On May 4,1988 Bro. M. D. Norris received his 60-year pin.

In 1989 a contract was given to B. and M Blacktopping Co. for a two course spraying job consisting of a mixture of sand and liquid after a crack sealer had been applied to the parking lot.

W. B. Keyser asked the Trustees to get busy to see about an exhaust fan in the kitchen. This is a requirement if we expect to serve food.

In 1990 50-year pins were presented to W. B. Bill Penrose and Bro. John Scoby. Honorary memberships were given to Bro. Wayne Cofeen of Avery Lodge and Bro. Loren Faulk of Ostrander Lodge.

W. M. James Dixon said he would like to get pictures of Past Masters of Urania Lodge. Several Brothers said it had been tried but with little success. W. M. Dixon with the assistance of his wife, Sister Ruth, wrote letters, made phone calls, made trips to Columbus, Lancaster, Dayton, Kenton, Marysville and elsewhere for information on relatives, friends and anyone who might have knowledge that would result in a photograph. The results were very rewarding. Pictures began to come in, big and small. Without the help of Joe Hofbaur, photographer for the Plain City Historical Society, the cost would have been much higher. He took all the pictures and enlarged or reduced them to 5×7 size. This created a problem as frames were needed. The W.M. made enough frames to go past the year 2000. As of this date we have all the pictures of the Past Masters from the year 1900 to the present except two – W.M. Frank Arthur (1919) and W.M. R. P. South (1920). We have four pictures prior to 1900. As of this writing we have 76 pictures in the lobby.

The Masonic and Eastern Star Emblems on the front of the Lodge building were taken down, repaired, painted and replaced. The painting was done by Bro. James T. Converse.

In 1991 W.M. George Rose who has worked with young people for about 35 years came up with an idea and met with the Plain City Police Department. Out of this meeting came a Masonic first. A Joint Safe-T-Fest Day was held at the Masonic Temple for the purpose of alerting young people against drugs, alcohol, using the emergency system, how to deal with child molestation, how to register bikes against theft, fingerprinting and photographing of our youth. Plain City Police car, Plain City Fire Dept vehicles and equipment along with personnel from each were on hand to explain the jobs they do and to let the youth know that they were their friends. All had fine programs. In all, 78 children were registered. Refreshments were served and three different bands played throughout the day.

The next year, as a result of this first Safe-T-Fest Day, sponsored by a Masonic body, 17 other Lodges followed Urania Lodge’s lead. W. M. George Rose was invited to speak to other lodges and districts on this subject.

In 1992, the second Safe-T-Fest was held at Pastime Park on the 4th of July. The members of Urania Lodge prepared a float for the parade. Bratwurst and wiener sandwiches were served and in the evening, ice cream and cake.

Four lots in Forest Grove Cemetery were donated to Urania Lodge by a Bro. Rathmover.

Lodge Brothers donated money to buy paint and to paint the house of our departed brother W. B. Richard Wilt’s widow.

It was decided to combine Past Masters night, Widows Night and Friendship Night into one event.

 

 

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