History of Newton Falls Lodge (1872 to 1972)

On April 15th 1872, Grand Master Alex W. Newcombe issued a dispensation to a group of fifteen Master Masons in the vicinity of the Village of Newton Falls, Ohio, to establish a Masonic Lodge. This dispensation granted authority to form and open lodge after the manner of Ancient Free and Accepted Masons and to admit and make free and accepted Masons, according to the ancient custom, and not otherwise.


These fifteen Master Masons were members of Old Erie Lodge Number 3. Of Warren, Ohio and we would assume to have been sponsored by Old Erie Lodge Number 3. The names of those on the dispensation were: Edward Spear, Lyman T. Soule, Elton F. Shaw, Davis Lowry, W. S. Hosier, J. W. Little, L. C. Merrill, A. Elwvell, L. W. Humphrey, Mark Ames, John Patterson, J. E. Brown, N. C. Smith, M. Templeton, and E. W. Williams. Grand Master Alex W. Newcombe appointed Brother Edward Spear to be first Worshipful Master, Brother Lyman T. Soule to be first Senior Warden, and Brother Nelson C. Smith to be first Junior Warden of this lodge.


On May 13th 1872, the Brethren listed in the dispensation met and organized by electing Brother Edward Spear Chairman and Brother E. Williams Secretary. The dispensation was read and adopted unanimously. The Worshipful Master and Wardens named in the Warrant recommended the appointment of the following subordinate officers: Treasurer, J. W. Little; Secretary, L. C. Merrill; Junior Deacon, E. F. Shaw; Senior Deacon, W. S. Hosier; Tyler, L. W. Humphrey. Whereupon said meeting adjourned Sine Die. Signed by Edward Spear, Chairman and E. W. Williams, Secretary.


After the meeting to accept the dispensation, Worshipful Master Edward Spear took the East and after appropriate remarks directed the officers named in the Warrant to take their appropriate stations and proceed to business by opening a Lodge of Master Masons. The Lodge then proceeded to adopt the General By-Laws, Meeting Nights, Time, Degree Fees, Dues, Election of Officers, Charity Committee, and Trustees. This concluded the first meeting of Newton Falls Lodge U. D.


On October 28th 1872, a Charter was read, issued to Newton Falls Lodge Number 462 Free and Accepted Masons of Ohio, signed by Grand Master Asa W. Battin and granted at the Grand Lodge Communication held in Columbus, Ohio, October 15th 1972. W. Brother Thad Ackley of Old Eric Lodge Number 3 of Warren, Ohio with proxy from Grand Master Asa W. Battin constituted Newton Falls Lodge number 462 after which the Grand Marshall declared the Lodge duly constituted.


The first set of officers of the new Lodge were installed on January 6, 1873 by Worshipful Brother Thad Ackley of Old Erie Lodge Number 3 of Warren, Ohio


The first Lodge home was the second floor of the Ames building at the rent of $75 per year.


On April 16, 1883, consent was given to form Charity Lodge in Palmyra


On December 20, 1890, Brother Carroll F. Clapp acted as W. M. for the funeral of L.C. Merrill with Brethren of Old Erie, Palmyra, Garrettsville and Ravenna assisting.


On December 9, 1895, committee appointed to see about forming a chapter of Order of the Eastern Star, and on December 30 they were authorized to go ahead and get names for the Order.


On December 28, 1896, the Trustees were authorized to complete negotiations for a new hall in R. W. Smith block entering into a lease for 10 years at $100 per year with option of another 10 years at $10 per year.


On April 6, 1897, the Lodge moved into their new quarters.


On June 30, 1898, Grand Lodge was opened by P.G.M.C.F Clapp acting Grand Master for purpose of laying cornerstone of the New Public School building. Line of march was taken to school grounds where the cornerstone was laid by the Grand Master assisted by the Grand Lodge officers and Brethren in due and ancient Masonic form. An interesting item of this occasion was the price of 25 cents per plate for the dinner served by the Ladies of the Eastern Star.


On July 10, 1911, the petition of John W. Barkley was received committee reported favorably and on July 24, 1911, he received his EA degree and his FC degree on August 7, 1911, and received his MM degree August 21, 1911, passed his proficiency in MM degree and signed the Constitution on September 4, 1911.


On June 9, 1920, a committee of five was appointed to investigate and make a report on possible site for a proposed Masonic Temple.


On February 2, 1920, the Lodge voted unanimously to approve petition of Carroll F. Clapp Lodge UD of Warren, Ohio.


On March 1, 1920, meeting nights were set as first and third Monday nights of each month by vote of the Lodge.


On May 3, 1920, Demit was granted to John W. Barkley


On April 3, 1922, dispensation to use IOOF hall for meetings was granted by Grand Master until repairs were completed on R. W. Smith Hall. This dispensation expired on the 18th day October 1922.


On February 14, 1924 W. M. John Johnson appointed committee to assist New Temple committee in arranging for the removal of the first spade of earth and lying of the cornerstone of the New Temple. Those appointed were Brother F. W. Beuchler, Chairman; Elmo Hawley and Herbert Bate.


Acting under proxy the Grand Lodge of Ohio was open in special emergent communication at Newton Falls, Ohio on the 4th day of May, 1924, for the purpose of laying the cornerstone of the new Masonic Temple in course of erection at theta place. The several stations of the Grand Lodge were filled by the following Brethren:

  • Brother B. Frank Thomas
    • Acting M. W. Grand Master
  • Brother W. Mansell
    • Acting R. W. Deputy Grand Master
  • Brother L. D. Boylan
    • Acting R. W. senior Grand Warden
  • Brother A. G. Ewing
    • Acting R. W. Junior Grand Warden
  • Brother Frank Rood
    • Acting R. W. Grand Treasurer
  • Brother A. Weiss
    • Acting R. W, Grand Secretary
  • Brother Rev. W. J. Jones
    • Acting R. W. Grand Chaplain
  • Brother G. P. Gillmer
    • Acting R. W. Grand Orator
  • Brother Andrew Lawton
    • Acting R. W. Grand Marshal
  • Brother W. F. Hawley
    • Senior Grand Steward
  • Brother J. A. Remalia
    • Junior Grand Steward
  • Brother W. G. Bate
    • Grand Architect
  • Brother Harry Leyser
    • Steward
  • Brother C. F. Garder
    • Bearer of Great Lights
  • Brother Paul Carson
    • Steward
  • Brother Edward Higley
    • Past Master with Light
  • Brother H. P. Hoffman
    • Past Master with Light
  • Brother J W. Humes
    • Past Master with Light
  • Brother C.  J. Rood
    • Past Master with Golden Vessel (corn)
  • Brother C. E. Tinker
    • Past Master with Silver Vessel (wine)
  • Brother J. B. Beard
    • Past Master with Silver Vessel (oil)
  • Brother A. B. Fairchild
    • Grand Tyler


In his remarks to M. W. Brother Campbell M. Voohrees, Brother Frank Thomas stated that Newton Falls Lodge is located in the center of the Western Reserve and has the dignity, the purpose and ambition to render service now and leave an inheritance to their posterity. The building will be fine structure and a credit to Masonry.


On May 16, 1925 M. W. Grand Master James B. Ruhl and staff dedicated our Lodge room to Masonry. The Oration was delivered by Brother H. B. Turner of Warren, Ohio, followed by parade and return to Lodge for closing.


On May 2, 1927, the Lodge voted to give all new members their own copy of the bible. The first member to receive a bible was Brother John Edwards. This policy is being currently carried out by the Lodge.


On May 16, 1927, the Lodge voted its Honorary Membership on R. W. Brother Frank Thomas who was Deputy Grand Master of the Grand Lodge.


On October 17, 1927, Brother L. D. Boylan in behalf of Brother D. M. Bailey Sr. presented Newton Falls No. 462 with a stone taken from the quarry where the stone for the erection of King Solomon’s Temple was procured.


With the economic conditions that prevailed after the stock market crash, at a special meeting called on January 26, 1931, it was decided there was no chance of refinancing the Temple Company. During the 30’s the Lodge revised its fees and dues and proceeded on a rental basis for their Lodge room.


On March 25, 1940, the Lodge voted its second Honorary Membership to M. W. Brother Dillon Crist. Under his direction and outline, a committee was appointed to go into matters of purchasing Temple from Sixth Broad Street Company.


On March 2, 1942, the Lodge voted authority for Trustees to proceed with payment of $500 as option on Temple to be held in escrow by the Union Savings & Trust Company until option was approved by the Sixth Broad Street Company.


On April 6, 1942, the Worshipful Master was empowered to appoint five members to act as incorporators of the Falls Temple Company for the purpose of filing the corporation papers and other business necessary to complete the forming of a non-profit corporation. Also to spend $25 for the purpose of filing the corporation papers.


On April 20, 1942, the W. M. appointed Brothers Chas Finnical, A. W. Thomas, Frank Ticknor, Fred Dresher, and G. M. Thomas to form the Falls Masonic Temple Company Trustees. On May 4, 1942, the Lodge authorized the making of a Photo static Copy of the Charter to be displayed in the Lodge room and the original Charter to be put in a safe which is currently the Union Savings & Trust Company vault in the Newton Falls Branch. A resolution was passed authorizing and directing the Trustees of said Lodge to secure and execute on behalf of the said Lodge an option to purchase from the Sixth Broad Street Company of Cleveland, Ohio, within sixty days from the 15th of April 1942 for the sum of $25,500 the property known as the Masonic Temple, located at 6 io Broad Street, Newton Falls, Ohio, including the land and all buildings there on and further authorized said Trustees to pay the sum of $500 to said Sixth Broad Street Company to secure the same, and whereas a corporation not for profit has been organized under the laws of the State of Ohio to acquire and hold title to said land and buildings and to operate and maintain the same known at “Falls Temple Company”. Now, therefore, it is hereby resolved that said Trustees be, and hereby are, authorized to assign to said corporation all of the right, title, and interest of Newton Falls Lodge No. 462 F. & A. M. in and to said option.


On April 14, 1947, the Lodge sanctioned the purchase of the lot abutting the South East corner of the Temple and fronting on South Center Street for $1,000 by the Falls Temple Company Trustees. On August 18, 1947, the present frame work of the Temple Trustees was adopted by the Lodge ipon reception of resolution from the Board of Temple Trustees.


On February 28, 1948, the Robertson Fellow Craft team of Cleveland put on Master Mason degree in a most impressive manner before over 300 members and guests present


On March 27, 1950, the Lodge conferred an Honorary Membership upon R. W. Brother John W. Barkley making the third Honorary Membership bestowed by our Lodge.


On December 10, 1951, installation of officers was performed by R. W. Brother John Barkley and R. W. Brother Lyle Corp as Marshal. At conclusion of installation Worshipful Master Clarence Graver presented R. W. Brother Barkley a gavel made form pieces of wood collected from his boyhood home, his church, his schoolhouse, and Lodge in which he was raised. The wood was assembled and gavel turned by E. Hallock, father-in0law of Ernest Clabaugh S. W. At the meeting held on February 4, 1952, permission was rented Job’s Daughters the use of Ball Room for their meetings, rent free, but to maintain room in good condition.


On March 12, 1953, a special meeting was held to celebrate the Sesqui Centennial of Masonry of Ohio. A large group from Edwin F. Griffith’s Lodge No. 749 of N. Royalton was present. At this meeting a plaque was unveiled which bore the names of all Master Masons who were in the Ministry Public School Superintendent, and those who were elected local, township, county, or state office. Main address of the evening was given by Brother Robert Ailes of Carroll F. Clapp Lodge, Warren, Ohio.


On May 9, 1955, a highlight of Masonry was achieved with the burning of the mortgage and thus the symbol of freedom from debt on the Temple. A full program was held culminating in the burning of the mortgage in charge R. W. Brother John W. Barkley, Senior Grand Warden of the Grand Lodge of Ohio, W. Brother Brent Thomas and Brother Clarence Craver.


On a special meeting called on October 12, 1957, for the Past Masters night, the Lodge initiated the custom of giving a past Master’s apron to the retiring Master. R. W. Brother Joseph Barlow presented 22 aprons to living Past Masters who were present at the meeting. Another highlight of Masonry in Newton Falls was observed on October 28, 1957 at a special meeting called for the purpose of installing our District Deputy Grand Master, R. W. Brother Ernest Clabaugh. The installation was conducted by R. W. Brother Ed Jenkins, Grand Tyler of the Grand Lodge of Ohio, with the assistance of R. W. Brothers Joe Barlow, Don Anderson, Lyle Corp, Russell Moore, and Charles Templeton. He was then presented with his commission from Most Worshipful Grand Master Andrew J. White, Jr. for 1958. This was followed in 1959 by commission from M. W. G. M. Chester Hodges and in 1960 by M. W. G. M. Charles Cunningham.


On October 20, 1958, a memorable Past Masters meeting was held with presence of M. W. Brother John Barkley, P. G. M. of Ohio, M. W. Brother Merriman, P. G. M. of Idaho, and R. W. Brother C. Montis, Grand Marshal of the Grand Lodge of Ohio. after the degree work, M. W. Brother John Barkley presented W. Brother Brent Thomas with his 50 year pin and jewel with appropriate remarks dwelling on fact that he Brethren of Newton Falls Lodge should be cognizant of fact that this Brother was chiefly responsible for owning our Temple as he had purchased mortgage when it seemed the bank would foreclose and allow the Temple Company to pay off notes as money was available.


On June 20, 1960, unanimous consent was given to Meander Lodge from Newton Falls Lodge to form a new Lodge at North Jackson, Ohio.


The Brethren of Newton Falls Lodge No. 462 were pleased to issue their fourth Honorary Membership to R. W. Brother Ed Jenkins, Grand Tyler of the Grand Lodge of Ohio, an office he has held a number of years. He is considered Mr. Mason of Ohio and has endeared himself to all who know him by living the principles of Brotherly Love, Relief and Truth and by his services on the Trustee Board of the Ohio Masonic home.


In June 8, 1964, a special meeting was held honoring the senior member and senior Past Master of Newton Falls Lodge, Worshipful Brother Brent Thomas. A plaque was presented to W. Brother Brent Thomas with inscription of his Masonic History. R. W. Brother Donald Thompson, Junior Deacon of the Grand Lodge of Ohio gave fitting remarks as to W. Brother Thomas contribution to Masonry.


Further honor was bestowed upon our Lodge by the Grand Lodge of Ohio by picking Brother Clarence Brannon for District Lodge Education Officer for the 25th District. He held this appointment for the years 1970, 1971, 1972. On this note we close this brief history of 100 years of Masonry in Newton Falls Lodge No. 462. At this re-consecration service the Brethren of Newton Falls Lodge No. 462 are proud to extend their fifth and sixth Honorary Memberships to R. W. Brother Walter Ames, District Deputy Grand Master of the 25th Masonic District and to Most Worshipful Brother Fay L. Gullion, Grand Master of Masons in the Grand Jurisdiction of Ohio for their dedication to Masonry in general and in their efforts to bring this 100 years of Masonry in Newton Falls Lodge No. 462 to a fruitful conclusion and laying the ground work for continued success in promulgating the Cardinal Virtues of Masonry.