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Chartered September 15, 1756
History of Harmony Lodge No. 22
from A.D. 1756 - A.D. 1983
A.L. 5756 - A.L. 5983
Compiled by Robert Pinkston
Taken from the Masonic Light dated October 1958. Written by R/Wor. Brother Walter E. Jenkins, now P.D.D.GM. and past Secretary of Harmony Lodge No. 22, having served the lodge well for over 24 years.
An Old Town and An Old Lodge
Nearly two and one-quarter centuries have passed since Masonry first made its recognized appearance in the Province of South Carolina. Much has been written in efforts to authenticate the early Happenings, the ties, grants and warrants by the Mother Country, England. The severance of those ties, the establishment of its own Grand Lodge supremely based on the Great Light and passed down through the ages, is in the recorded happenings of the individual Subordinate Lodges. This is the history of one of those first Lodges, the Lodge at Beaufort now known as Harmony Lodge Number 22. Turning the pages of time backward one of the great historians of the era, Brother Albert Gallatin Mackey, establishes the fact that the Lodge at Beaufort on Port Royal Island was in active existence as early as the year 1751. Processions and celebrations by this august body were noted quite frequently by the newspapers of that and succeeding years. The Carolina Gazette gives an account of the celebration of the Festival of St. John the Evangelist by a new Lodge in Beaufort. Another historian, Brother Frederick Dalcho, records the name of the new Lodge in Beaufort as "Port Royal Lodge. ' The list of the Grand Lodge of England record the fact that in 1756 a warrant was granted this Port Royal Lodge in South Carolina and assigned Number 126 in Hutchinson's lists.
During the early part of the nineteenth century the Ancient, or York Masons, made their entrance into South Carolina with several of the Lodges of the Modern, or Free Masons, going over to them. The Lodge at Beaufort was among that number, believing that the Ancients were the more authentic, or derived more nearly from the original Body in the Mother Country. It was listed as Number 41 on the register of the Grand Lodge of Ancient York Masons.
In 1808 the two Grand Bodies united into one Grand Lodge, but soon devided again. In 1817 another attempt was made which proved successful and was ratified by both Grand Lodges on December 26 of that year. A new Corporate Charter was obtained bearing the name of the "Grand Lodge of Ancient Free Masons of South Carolina" which has endured unsullied to this day. After the Union, and the assignment of Numbers, the Lodge at Beaufort was listed as Harmony Lodge Number 22. In 1828 it was suspended and for many years it appeared that Masonry was extinguished in the area, but a spark from its altar burned anew and on March 4, 1851, the Lodge was revived and the warrant restored, free of expense. That same spark, so typical of true Masons, has burned to the present day reminding us that, "Thus doing and acting, we shall fulfill the duties required of us as "Free and Accepted Masons," and the better to fit ourselves for a seat in the Grand Lodge above, where the Grand Architect of the Universe Himself presides, and will so continue to do through the endless ages of Eternity."
-Walter E. Jenkins, Secretary
This article, and the answers to some of my questions, as to the age of Harmony Lodge, after I became a Master Mason prompted me to search for the actual date when Harmony Lodge Number 22 was first Chartered. Portions of this article will be repeated in the history, as to numbers and dates, which were an important part in establishing that date.
In our research, we find in A. G. Mackey's History of Freemasonry, that there was a Masonic Lodge in Beaufort as early as 1751.
''On 27 December 1751 being the Festival of St. John the Evangelist, at 10 o'clock, the members of a Lodge of Free & Accepted Masons met at the house of Mr. Nathaniel Greene at Beaufort (on Port Royal Island) and at 11:00 went in procession from thence, properly clothed with ensigns of their Order, to church, to attend Divine Service, where, after prayers, an excellent sermon, suitable to the occasion, was preached by their late worthy Master, the Rev. Mr. Peaseley. From church they returned in the same processional order to Mr. Greene's, where an elegant entertainment was provided, to which all the company of note on the Island were previously invited. After dinner and the usual healths drank, the whole was concluded with the greatest order and good fellowship. The procession was saluted by a discharge of the cannons from all the vessels in the harbor, both at going to, and returning from, church." (1)
From the South Carolina Gazette, 8th of January 1753. "The 27th past (December 1752) being the Festival of St. John the Evangelist, the Free & Accepted Masons in this town commemorated the same in the usual manner. At Port Royal there was a procession, a grand feast, and at every health drank, guns fired. "
This was the first notice of a Masonic Lodge in Beaufort. "One thing, however, is certain, that the Lodge in Beaufort was the third Lodge which was in active existence in South Carolina, and that its existence begun not later than the year 1751." (2)
The original warrant issued to the Lodge in Beaufort, on Port Royal Island, as follows as listed on the register of the United Grand Lodge of England. "September 15, 1756 No. 250 renumbered 1770 No. 174, 1780 No. 140, 1781 No. 141, and in 1792 No. 126. Kept on list until 1813." (3)
"Now if the warrant for the Lodge at Beaufort was not granted by the Grand Lodge of England, until 1756, and yet, if, as the record proves, that the Lodge in Beaufort did celebrate a Masonic festival in December, in 1751 & 1752. Then the difficulty can only be explained in one of the two following modes; either it was working at the time (1751) under the warrant of the Provincial Grand Master, and found it necessary, in 1756, after the decadence of the Provincial Lodge, to apply for a warrant to the Parent Authority in England; or it was acting under some implied, promised, or expected authority from England, which was not realized until 1756." (4)
In a letter which I received from Bro. Terance Haunch (Librarian and Curator of the United Grand Lodge of England) April 28, 1976. He states, as I had expected, that in the period of time of these Warrants, that a Lodge might at first simply be known as for example, "The Lodge at Port Royal" without an actual name. This was the apparent case of the Lodge in Beaufort, as there can be found no American Name or Number for it, other than Bro. Mackey stating that Fred Dalcho called it "Port Royal Lodge." Bro. Dalcho was considered by Bro. Mackey, as very unreliable.
For the first time in our research, we find in the precedings of the Grand Lodge of Ancient York Masons, of 1791, that the Lodge in Beaufort was in attendance and registered as "Beaufort No. 41." This has to be the same Lodge that was warranted in 1756 as No. 250 on the England Register, and later in 1792 being renumbered to No. 126 on the England Register until 1813. We must insert here, from Mackey's History of Freemasonry, the following "In 1756 a warrant was granted for Port Royal Lodge in South Carolina, to which the number 126 is affixed in Hutchinson's List." This statement is incorrect in that in 1756 the Lodge in Beaufort was listed as No. 250 and
(1) South Carolina Gazette, January 10, 1752.
(2) Albert G. Mackey History of Freemasonry, page 23.
(3) History of Freemasonry & Concordant Orders. Also List of Lodges from United Grand Lodge Register, London, England.
(4) Albert G. Mackey. History of Freemasonry.
did not atain the No.126 until 1792. The "Hutchinson List" which Mackey referred to, list the Lodges in America, England and other Countries under the year which they received their warrant, and by the England number which they held at the time the list was compiled, which was April 18, 1792, this information Bro. Mackey did not point out in his book. This list which we have copied a portion of is in the possession of the Grand Lodge of Iowa, in an appendix to their copy of the second edition of Hutchinson Spirit of Masonry 1796.
During the latter part of the eighteenth century, the Ancient or York Masons made their entrance into South Carolina with several of the Lodges of the Modern, or Free Masons, going over to them. The Lodge at Beaufort was among that number, believing that the Ancients were more authentic, or derived more nearly from the original body in the Mother Country. It was listed, as stated as Beaufort No. 41 on the register of the Grand Lodge of Ancient York Masons.
With this next bit of information, it would appear that Beaufort Lodge No. 41 changed its name to Harmony Lodge No. 41 sometime after 1791.
Taken from the Charleston Courier dated May 16, 1806.
We are sorry to state, that on Monday afternoon last, as Mr. John Branch was sailing round Pigeon Point, by a sudden jibing of the sail he was thrown overboard, and before assistance could be afforded, was unfortunately drowned Notwithstanding a most diligent search by a number of inhabitants his body was not found until this morning, when it was decently interred in the Presbyterian burial ground. Being a worthy companion of the Royal Arch Chapter of Rhode Island, his funeral was attended by the companions of Unity Royal Arch Chapter of Beaufort, and by the brethren of Harmony Lodge No. 41, Ancient York Masons. His acquaintances lament his loss as a worthy man, and Society is bereaved of an honest, industrious and sober citizen.
His friends and relatives at the Northward will hereby receive notice of this melancholy and unfortunate event.
In 1808 the two Grand Bodies united into one Grand Lodge, but soon divided again. At a Grand Convention of Ancient York Masons, held at Columbia on the first day of May in the year 1809, Beaufort Lodge No. 41, (along with 16 other Lodges), was represented by Brother Benjiman Jenkins. However in 1817 another attempt was made which proved successful and was ratified by both Grand Lodges on the 26th of December 1817. A new Corporate Charter was obtained bearing the name "The Grand Lodge of Ancient Free Masons of South Carolina," which has endured unsullied to this day. After the Union and the assignment of Numbers, Beaufort Lodge No. 41 was listed as Harmony Lodge Number 22.
In 1828 Harmony Lodge No. 22 was suspended, and for many years Masonry seems to have been extinguished in the town of Beaufort. A spark, however from it's Altar was always preserved by that truly zealous Mason, Brother John M. Baker, who was one of its members and had been its Master in 1822. Through his exertion the Lodge was revived and their warrant restored, March 4, 1851, free of expense to the following Officers; John M. Baker, Worshipful Master; D. L. Thompson, Senior Warden; and George P. Elliott, Junior Warden.
Part of an article written by Mr. Gerhard Spieler and published in the Beaufort Gazette Tuesday July 27, 1982.
"Elizabeth Baker Davant related what it was like for a Confederate girl to return home to Beaufort, after Gen. Lee's surrender and after four years' absence. She wrote her story for her granddaughter, Maner Davant, in 1922.
The end of the war found young Elizabeth Ann Baker and two aunts in Charlotte, N. C. to which they had fled from Columbia before its burning by Gen. Sherman. To leave Charlotte for Beaufort, a pass had to be obtained from the military, for the entire South was treated as a conquered province. "This was humiliating. . . it was galling to Southern pride to ask any favors of the Yankees 'wrote Elizabeth Ann Baker.
At Wilmington, N.C. new passes had to be obtained. Railroads southward were still torn up; travel had to be by boat. The three ladies were advised to take a steamboat to New York where they would find boats headed for Beaufort.
On June 1, Elizabeth Ann and her aunts boarded the passenger ship Perit for New York. The following morning, a stop was made at Beaufort, N.C. Here, a Union general noticed the masonic symbols which "Aunt Mary" wore on her watch chain, having inherited them from her father. Upon learning her story, the general said he was also a Mason and asked to borrow the masonic insignia. "Aunt Mary" gave them up, telling Elizabeth Ann that "he is a Mason, therefore he is honest."
In her story, Elizabeth Ann told that the Union general soon "returned with his hand full of banknotes, amounting to $50.00, and told her that the Masons in his command asked that she would accept them, and let them know if they could serve her in any way."
After reading the above article, I referred back to my notes on the History of Harmony Lodge No. 22, and from other information as to dates furnished me by Mr. Spieler. It is my belief that the "Aunt Mary" mentioned was the Daughter of our own Wor. Bro. John M. Baker, Master of the Lodge in 1822. As stated before the Lodge was suspended in 1828, however W/Bro. Baker kept the spark of Masonry burning in Beaufort, and the Lodge was Reinstated free of all expense in 1851 with W/Bro. Baker as Master.
It was very fortunate for the three ladies that Aunt Mary was displaying the valued Masonic emblem of her fathers, when they stopped at Beaufort, N.C. on their trip back to Beaufort, S.C. It proves that most Master Masons are always ready to assist those in distress, especially the wife, widow or orphan of a Master Mason.
The Baker family plot is in the Baptist Churchyard in Beaufort, S.C. and contains among others, Elizabeth M. Baker (1799-1843) first wife of W/Bro. John M. Baker, who left nine children. W/Bro. John M. Baker died in 1863, during the exodus from Beaufort, he is probably buried elsewhere.
Many thanks to Mr. Gerhard Spieler for the above and other valued information, which he has given me in my efforts to compile this History of Harmony Lodge No. 22, Beaufort, S.C.
Episode Reveals More of
by Gerhard Spieler
Elizabeth Baker Davant and her two aunts were helped onward to their old Beaufort, S.C. home in 1865 by the aid of Northern officers who were also Masons, at Beaufort, N.C. That episode, briefly told in a recent article, caught the attention of Beaufort Masons and may add a new episode to their local history.
The young Confederate girl and her two maiden aunts found themselves at war's end in Charlotte, N.C. All three were originally from Beaufort, S.C., as was indicated by the following comment written by Elizabeth Baker Davant in later years:
"The taking of Beaufort by Yankees, was one of early incidents of the war, and all the white inhabitants had left in a panic, leaving their houses, furniture and everything just as they were. My aunts never seemed to doubt that they could go to Beaufort and take possession of their home without question. So we began right away to plan our trip, with Beaufort as our objective point,"
On the round-about journey home, the young Elizabeth recalled the following incident: "The next morning, (June 2) while the day was still young, we stopped at Beaufort, N.C. and here occured an incident, to explain which, I must make a slight digression. My Grandfather was a Mason of high degree, and believed in the order as he did his religion. He died in 1863, and when he knew the end was near and realized that he would leave his two daughters (these aunts of mine) alone and unprotected, he told them that he wished them to take the woman's degree in Masonry, and then he could die content, knowing that no Mason would ever fail them in any trouble.
"They consented and he sent for some of his brother Masons and his daughters were initiated. He had several Masonic symbols in silver, indicating the degrees he had taken, and after his death, his eldest daughter, Aunt Mary always wore them on her watch chain.
"To return to the Perit, when we stopped at Beaufort, N.C. a Yankee officer, wearing a general's uniform, came on board. Observing the Masonic symbols on my Aunt Mary's chain, he approached her, and politely began to question her about them. When she had told him all he wanted to know, and that we were refugees trying to get home, he asked if she would allow him to have the symbols a little while.
''She readily handed them to him and he went on shore. I asked her if she was not afraid she would never get them back. She answered "No, he is a Mason therefore he is honest." In a little while he returned with his hand full of banknotes, amounting to $50, and told her that the Masons in his command asked that she would accept them, and let them know if they could serve her in any way."
Elizabeth Baker Davant stated that her grandfather was "a Mason of high degree" in Beaufort. Robert V. Pinkston Sr.'s copy of A. G. Mackey's 1861 History of Freemasonry in South Carolina mentioned "John M. Baker, was one of its members and had been its Master in 1822. Through his exertions the Lodge (in Beaufort) was revived and their warrant restored, March 4, 1851."
The Baker family plot at the Baptist Church of Beaufort's cemetery contains the gravestones of Julia Baker (1854-1907); Elizabeth M. Baker (1799-1843), first wife of J. M. Baker; Julius Joseph Baker (1841-1847); Francis B. Baker (1765-1845) and John T. Baker (1829-1867). John M. Baker died in 1863 and his burial place is not known.
Mrs. Joseph C. Perkins, a collateral descendant of Julia A. Baker, the poetess, once stated that "Anne Baker, sister of Samuel Baker and aunt of Julia Baker, was 18 when the family had to refugee to Allendale, S.C.... Anne Baker went to Columbia where she signed Confederate government currency, signed A. Baker-Treasurer." That information ties in with The Davant Family genealogy which said that "Frank Fickling Davant . . . married Miss Elizabeth Ann Baker, Sept. 13, 1866," and was the Anne Baker Mrs. Perkins mentioned. The deTreviHe House, 701 Greene Street was a Baker home in antebellum days.
The following information was taken from the Grand Lodge Preceedings of the year 1861.
Wor/Brother J. H. Nash, Past Master of Harmony Lodge No. 22 was appointed to serve the Grand Lodge as Grand Steward.
From the Preceedings for the year 1865, Wor. Brother J. A. Johnson, Past Master of Harmony Lodge No. 22 was Appointed to serve the Grand Lodge as Grand Steward for the year 1865.
In the 1860's during the Civil War and finally at its end on April 9, 1865, Harmony Lodge Number 22 along with many other Lodges over the State of South Carolina felt the terrible truth of General Sherman's dictum in the fires that lit the footsteps of the army that marched to the sea. All of the records of the Lodge were lost or destroyed in those fires. A new Charter was issued to Harmony Lodge Number 22 on November 20, 1866 signed by Wor. Brother Albert Gallatin Mackey as Grand Secretary of the Grand Lodge of Ancient Free Masons of South Carolina. This Charter still hangs in the appropriate place in Harmony Lodge Number 22.
From the proceedings of the Grand Lodge we find the following. Elected to serve the Grand Lodge for the year 1866 as Deputy Grand Master Worshipful Brother James H. Nash, Past Master of Harmony Lodge Number 22 in Beaufort. The records indicate that W/Brother Nash was not reelected to serve for the year 1867.
Appointed to serve the Grand Lodge as Junior Grand Deacon for the year 1871 Worshipful Brother William Elliott P/M of Harmony Lodge No. 22 W/Brother Elliott was also appointed to serve as Senior Grand Deacon for the years 1872 and 1873. As the list of Past Masters in the appendix indicates, W/Bro. Elliott served as Master of Harmony Lodge Number 22 for a number of years.
To serve the Grand Lodge as Grand Chaplain for the year 1878 Rev. Bro. John Kershaw of Harmony Lodge was appointed, and served also in 1879 and 1880.
From the proceedings of the Grand Lodge of Ancient Freemasons for the year 1883.
A Special Communication of the Grand Lodge of Ancient Freemasons of South Carolina was held in the town of Beaufort, in the hall of Harmony Lodge, No. 22 on November 29th 1883 at 12:30 PM.
W.Bro. W. H. Lockwood, as Grand Master
W.Bro. B. B. Sams, as Deputy Grand Master
Bro. A. P. Prioleau, as Senior Grand Warden
Bro. Charles Cohen, as Junior Grand Warden
Bro. W. T. Mason, as Grand Treasurer
Bro. G. A. Crofut, as Grand Secretary
Rev. Bro. John Kershaw, as Grand Chaplain
Bro. S. B. Fowles, as Senior Grand Deacon
Bro. T. H. Harmes, as Junior Grand Deacon
Bro. George Holmes, as Grand Steward
Bro. A. Burkart, as Grand Steward
Bro. W. H. Calvert, as Grand Tyler
All the foregoing being the officers of Harmony Lodge Number 22 to whom, by dispensation of the Grand Master, full power was given to conduct the ceremony, hereafter mentioned, after the ancient form.
The Grand Lodge was opened in ample form on the First Degree of Masonry.
The acting Grand Master announced that the Grand Lodge had been convened for the purpose of laying the corner-stone of the new Court House for Beaufort County.
The order of the procession being read, the procession was formed, and headed by an excellent band of music and followed by many Masons and citizens, proceeded down Bay Street to the site of the Court House, presenting an imposing appearance; in fact the whole town in all its holiday participated.
There a fine platform had been erected, upon which was an organ and other necessaries; Upon reaching this, the procession halted and opened ranks, and the officers ascended the platform while the Craft formed around.
The ceremonies were opened with the Invocation, delivered by the acting Grand Chaplain Rev. Bro. John Kershaw, and at the conclusion thereof, Mrs. Kershaw presiding at the organ, the Craft sang with fine effect the opening ode, "Father of Love and Might.''
The acting Grand Treasurer then deposited in the stone a casket containing the following articles:
Roll of the County Officials
List of Custom House Officials
Copperplate containing names of Beaufort town authorities
Roll of Town Council of Port Royal
$100 Confederate Bonds
Cards of Hume Bros. & Co. and Jno. G. Nichols & Co.
Sailing Rules of Beaufort Yacht and Sporting Club
Newspaper of the Day
Brooklyn Bridge Medal, Coins, etc.
The stone was then lowered into position by the acting Grand Master, by three regular motions, was tried by the plumb, square and level, and pronounced "well formed, true and trusty.''
The corn, wine and oil were respectively poured upon the stone by the acting Deputy Grand Master, the acting Senior Grand Warden, and the acting Junior Grand Warden; and the public grand honors of Masonry were given by three times three.
The hymn, "O praise ye the Lord, prepare your glad voice," was well rendered; when the acting Grand Master delivered an explanatory lecture with the usual exhortation, after which the closing ode, "Hail Masonry Devine," was sung.
The Grand Stewards took up a collection, the proceeds whereof were to be devoted to a Mason who with his family were in great distress, and received fifty dollars.
After Benediction by the acting Grand Chaplain, the procession returned to the hall of Harmony Lodge Number 22, where the Grand Lodge was closed in ample form.
G. A. CROFUT,
Grand Secretary pro tem.
The Lodge had prepared an ample colation, to which the visiting brethren were invited, and which was greatly enjoyed. The entire affair was conducted in a highly creditable and admirable manner, and those having the conduct thereof deserve many thanks.
As stated previous, all of the records presumed destroyed in the Civil War. We can find no record of the actual place where Harmony Lodge number 22 held its meetings, other than in one of the brother's home. It is said however, that the Lodge did meet in the upstairs room, over several of the different merchants on Bay Street. A lease with one of these merchants, we find recorded in the Court House in Beaufort, from Julia E. Sanders to Harmony Lodge Number 22 A.F.M. in Lease Book number 1 on page 118 dated January 25, 1912. Portions as follows: I Julia E. Sanders do hereby lease unto Harmony Lodge Number 22 A.F.M. the upstairs hall in the building at the foot, on the south end of Scott Street in the Town of Beaufort, also the upstairs room in the adjoining building, to hold the same for the term of five years, from the first day of December 1911, with the privilege of re-leasing at the expiration of the lease, for the additional term of five years, on the same terms as this lease, and the Lessee above named promises to pay for the rent of the Hall and room above mentioned, the sum of Eight Dollars per month, payable monthly. It is per the agreement that I, the Lessor above named to allow the lessee to connect with my electric meter Free of expense, so long as my husband, W. F. Sanders uses electric lights for his own purpose in his store budding. That the lessee, the Lodge above named, shall have the right to make such repairs and improvements as may deem necessary, provided 1, the above named Lessor am willing, and deduct the cost thereof from the rent. It is expressly agreed that if there is default in the payment of the rent above stipulated, for sixty days, after the same is due. the said Lessor, her agent or Attorney, shall have the right to re-enter and repossess the said premises, and to expell and remove therefrom the said lessee, or any other Person or Persons occupying the same.
I n witness thereof the said parties have hereas to interchangeable set their hands and seals the day and year above mentioned (Jan. 20, 1912) Julia E. Sanders (LS) Harmony Lodge Number 22 A.F.M. by W. M. Steinmeyer, W/M
The following information is taken from the Proceedings of The Grand Lodge Of Ancient Free Masons of South Carolina. Years as Noted.
Wor. Brother Fulton W. Poythress then a member and Past Master of Port Royal Lodge No. 242 was appointed DDGM for the 2nd District for the years 1937 and 1938. In 1938 R/Wor. Brother Poythress was appointed Grand Representative to the Grand Lodge of New Zealand. This Comission he still retains.
In 1942 R/Wor. Bro. Poythress Affiliated with Harmony Lodge No. 22 and is still very active in the Lodge with Lectures and work in the degrees.
Wor. Brother Walter E. Jenkins Past Master of Harmony Lodge No. 22 was appointed DDGM of the 2nd District to serve for the years 1951 and 1952.
At a special communication of the Grand Lodge of Ancient Free Masons of S.C. was held at Yemassee, S.C. on May 22, 1961 for the purpose of Consecrating and Dedicating the new Masonic Temple of Mt. Moriah Lodge NO. 196, R/Wor. Brother W. E. Jenkins acted as Senior Grand Deacon.
R/Wor. Brother Walter E. Jenkins was also appointed Grand Representative to the Grand Lodge of Mississippi in 1953. He acted as Grand Steward at the Annual Communication of Grand Lodge April 28-29, 1960 at Greenville, S.C.
R/Wor. Brother Jenkins served Harmony Lodge No. 22 as Secretary for some 24 years, retiring from that office in December 1976.
The Worshipful Master of Harmony Lodge No. 22 filed charges with the Grand Lodge, that Port Royal Lodge No. 242 in Port Royal, S.C. had received Petitions from, elected to membership and conferred the Degrees upon eight candidates, each of whom were living in Beaufort and therefore, in the jurisdiction of Harmony Lodge No. 22 at the time his petition was presented to Port Royal Lodge No. 242. Following receipt of the charges, the Grand Master notified the Worshipful Master of Port Royal Lodge No. 242 of the complaint and directed him to see that:
A committee was appointed to investigate the complaint.
After the investigation, the Grand Master ruled that, the eight brethren were not members of either Lodge, and that each of them must either (1) petition Harmony Lodge No. 22 for affiliation, or (2) apply to Harmony Lodge No. 22 for a certificate, by means of which he can then apply for affiliation to any regular Lodge. The two Lodges were directed to adjust their records, in regards to the eight brethren, in accordance with instructions which would be sent them by the Grand Secretary.
The above being settled in accordance with Masonic Law, it disclosed the need for concurrent jurisdiction in many cases.
At the annual communication of the Grand Lodge in 1954, it was resolved, that since the best interest of Masonry in the Beaufort-Port Royal area will be served if the said Lodges, Harmony Lodge No. 22 A.F.M. and Port Royal Lodge No. 242 A.F.M. shall have exclusive concurrent jurisdiction in all of the territory over which the Lodges now have jurisdiction.
This brought HARMONY together between the two Lodges, a relationship which is still being enjoyed by both Lodges today.
On Friday, December 30, 1955 at 4 PM M/W Brother J. Ansel Eaddy, Grand Master opened an Occasional Lodge in the school gymnasium at Ridgeland S.C. for the purpose of making Major General Jacob Edward Smart, a Mason at Sight.
The First Degree was conferred by the officers of American Lodge No. 98.
The Fellow Craft Degree was conferred by the members of the 4th District. Wor. Bro. James P. Darby Master of Harmony Lodge No. 22 acted as Senior Warden and Bro. Joe Villa, Senior Warden of Harmony Lodge No. 22 acted as Junior Warden, and gave the Lecture. The third Degree was then conferred by the Grand Lodge Officers. Wor/Bro. James P. Darby also acted as one of the Fellow Crafts in this Degree.
Wor. Brother Jamie Robert Harley, Past Master of Harmony Lodge No. 22 was appointed DDGM for the 4th District for the years 1967-1968.
Since 1756 when the Lodge received its first Charter from the Grand Lodge of England, it held its meetings in some of the members homes, and later in rented rooms over the merchants along Bay Street, for almost 200 years, until October 29th 1952 when the Lodge took the first step toward building its own temple. A parcel of land was purchased from Bro. James G. Thomas on Depot Road. The deed was recorded in the Clerk of Courts office on the above date. Then on January 8, 1964 the Lodge purchased an adjoining parcel from Clifton S. Thomas. After this purchase, it was time for the members of the Lodge to begin the largest task it had ever undertaken, that of raising enough funds to start the Temple which they had long awaited for.
In 1967 at a regular meeting of Harmony Lodge No. 22, Worshipful Bro. Clayton H. Cooler, having been elected to that office at the December meeting, appointed a building committee to study the possibility of building a Masonic Temple. The first meeting of that committee set for April 17,1967. Members of Port Royal Lodge No.242 were invited to meet with them to see if the two lodges could get together, and build a temple to be used by both Lodges. As they had already started to build their own Lodge, there was no one from Port Royal Lodge at that meeting.
The issue was discussed at length at several regular meetings of the Lodge, and at the June 8, 1967 meeting, Wor. Bro. Elmer H. Whitney stated that the committee proposed to send a letter to all members of Harmony Lodge, to ascertain if they were ready to support the building of a Masonic Temple.
The results were favorable, and at the September 14, 1967 regular meeting, Wor. Bro. Daniel J. Peterson reported that proposed plans were being drawn for the new Lodge Building.
At the December meetings, the Senior Warden at that time was transferred from Beaufort, and with the Lodge in the process of getting the new building started, Wor. Bro. C. H. Cooler was elected to remain as Master for the year 1968. The building committee continued to work, and on March 14, 1968, Wor. Bro. D. J. Peterson reported that work was still progressing on the plans and specifications. He hoped to nave them ready soon to present them to the members.
The plans were submitted to the brethren at the regular meeting of April 11, 1968, and were asked to study them and give any suggestions as to any changes that may be needed. May 9, 1968 at the regular meeting, Rt. Wor. Bro. Walter E. Jenkins, Secretary of the Lodge, gave a report of the finances of the Lodge, stating that $28,310.00 was in First Federal Savings & Loan. It was estimated that the cost of the new Lodge would be between $42,000.00 and $44,000.00.
A motion was made and unanimously carried to proceed with the building of the new Lodge as drawn. The first to be owned by the members of Harmony Lodge No. 22 in its 200 plus years of existence. The officers were urged to canvas the membership for donations, so that the amount to be financed could be established, and kept as low as possible, at present was estimated at $15,000.00.
On June 13, 1968, Rt/Wor. Bro. W. E. Jenkins reported that a total of $4,510.00 had been collected from the brethren to be added to the building fund, bringing the total to $32,820.00.
A motion was then made, that the secretary make the necessary request to the Grand Master, for his approval of the plans for the new Masonic Temple, the motion was second and duly carried.
At the meeting on August 8, 1968, Wor. Bro. C. H. Cooler reported that the contract to build the Temple was signed with Coastal Cabinet Co. on July 31, 1968, and stated that the ground breaking ceremony would be held at the site on Depot Road, on August 8, 1968. The brethren were asked to continue their efforts in securing additional funds for the building.
At the meeting of September 12, 1968, it was reported that an additional amount of $2,972.00 had been collected and added to the fund. By this time the building had been started, and it was the hope of the brethren, that they would be able to move in by January 1, 1969.
During the time the building was being constructed, the brethren of the Lodge were very busy repairing and refinishing the furniture which they had been using in the old Lodge room, downtown on Bay Street, that it would be in like new condition, when they moved into the new Lodge.
January 1 passed and it seemed that the finishing touches on the building were moving along slow, but on February 13, 1969, the members of Harmony Lodge No. 22 held their first meeting in their very own Masonic Temple with 70 members and 9 visitors in attendance.
The next meeting to be held in the new lodge was on February 27, 1969. A special communication for the purpose of conferring the Fellow Craft Degree on 4 Entered Apprentice Masons. At which time, the writer of this history received his Fellow Craft Degree. On April 10, 1969 plans were made for the Grand Lodge to come to Beaufort for the purpose of Dedicating and Consecrating the new Masonic Temple. The date was set for May 3, 1969 at 6:30 with a dinner being served at 7:30. This was to be an open meeting with the wives and friends in attendance. Over 200.
At this point I think the following statement would be appropriate. All of the members of Harmony Lodge No. 22 are to be commended for their time, efforts and their contributions in bringing to reality the dream of all of the members, as well as those of the members who have since gone to the Celestial Lodge above.
As noted I was not a member of the craft during this time, but my personal thanks and praises go out to each and everyone of them who had a part in fulfilling their dreams of someday owning their Masonic Temple.
A plaque displaying the names of the members on the Building Committee, during this period has been placed on the wall downstairs, in recognition of their many hours of devoted service in seeing their dream come true.
Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of Ancient
Free Masons of South Carolina
May 3, 1969
The Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of Ancient Free Masons of South Carolina was called in Special Communication and opened in ample form on the First Degree in a room adjoining the Lodge Hall of Harmony Lodge No. 22 at 6:30 p.m., with the following Grand Lodge Officers present:
William H. Grimball...................................Grand Master
Herbert L. Middleton, Jr.....................Deputy Grand Master
Jesse C. Branham, D.D.G.M............as Senior Grand Warden
H. Wallace Reid..............................Junior Grand Warden
H. Curtis Sheely.....................................Grand Treasurer
H. Dwight McAlister, P.G.M.....................Grand Secretary
Eugene G. Beckman.................................Grand Chaplain
Leonard F. Bastian, Sr.......................Senior Grand Deacon
Norman R. Watkings........................Senior Grand Deacon
Norman E. Wood, D.D.G.M.............as Junior Grand Deacon
Claude D. Roberston.........................Junior Grand Deacon
James R. Finley.......................................Grand Steward
Rober J. Councill.....................................Grand Steward
J.W. Fooshe.........................................Grand Marshal
Leon R. Jernigan...............................Grand Pursuivant
Auburn J. Bridge, D.D.G.M..................... as Grand Tiler
Henry F. Collins..............................Past Grand Master
Walter E. Jenkins......................................P.D.D.G.M.
The Grand Master announced that the purpose of this Special Communication was to dedicate the new Masonic Temple of Harmony Lodge No. 22.
The procession was formed by the Grand Marshal and the Grand Lodge proceed into the Lodge Hall where the new Temple was dedicated in accordance with the ancient usage of the Craft.
Before the ceremony, the Grand Master made some introductory remarks and gave some instructions to the visitors explaining the ceremony and the Public Grand Honors. The Brethren on the sidelines were asked not to participate in the Public Grand Honors.
Following the ceremony the Grand Master introduced the Grand Lodge Officers and gave to each one the opportunity of making any remarks they desired. Several of them spoke briefly congratulating the officers and members on the completion of their beautiful building. The Grand Master stated that his address would be given at the banquet which was to follow the closing of the Lodge and Grand Lodge.
The ladies and other non-Masons were then excused from the Hall, the Lodge was purged, the Grand Lodge and Harmony Lodge were called from refreshment to labor and closed in ample and due form respectively with the Grand Lodge Officers in the chairs.
Then the Craft, the Grand Lodge Officers, and guests assembled in the dinning room where a delicious banquet was served. which was enjoyed by all.
The Grand Master made a very interesting and inspirational talk on the subject of "Faith." He called upon all to have faith in God, faith in our country, and faith in the democratic process.
The Worshipful Master then recognized the members of the Building Committee and others who had labored unselfishly in the construction of the new building.
The Grand Master then called upon the Grand Chaplain for the
William H. Grimball,
At the regular meeting on January 13, 1972, the secretary, R/Wor. Brother Walter E. Jenkins presented the Lodge with a check in the amount of $8,115.87, which was received from the estate of our late brother Marlin Price Cain, who having been called to eternal rest on May 6, 1971, but left in his memory this amount, to the brethren of the Lodge he loved so well.
A motion was made, seconded and unanimously carried that we make the amount an even $8200.00, and pay it on the mortgage of the Lodge building.
On August 10, 1972, Brother secretary announced that he had received an additional amount of $305.01 from the estate of brother M. P. Cain, and made a motion that the amount of $305.00 be applied to the mortgage of Lodge building. This motion was seconded and carried. As a result of the above, the finance committee of Harmony Lodge No. 22 met in October of 1973 to look at the possibility of paying off the mortgage on the Lodge Building. After reviewing the status of the funds of the Lodge, it was decided that it would be in the best interest of the Lodge, to pay off the mortgage, at this time.
The mortgage was then paid off, and at the annual Ladies Night Banquet of Harmony Lodge No. 22 which was held at the Beaufort High School on November 1, 1973, the announcement was made, and Wor/Bro. Pinkston was presented with the mortgage which had been marked PAID IN FULL. Harmony Lodge No. 22 will forever be grateful! to our late brother Marlin Price Cain for his love of Freemasonry, and for his generosity to Harmony Lodge No. 22. It is through this kind of love that Free Masonry continues to prosper in this great nation in which we live. Brother Marlin Price Cain was laid to rest on May 10, 1971 in the National Cemetery, with the last Masonic Rites being conducted by the Brethren of Harmony Lodge No.22.
Masons Mark Anniversary
By Gerhard Spieler
Tonight, Sept. 15, 1976, Beaufort Free Masons will place a commemorative stone in the wall of their Lodge on Depot Road to mark the granting of a warrant, dated Sept. 15, 1756 by the Grand Lodge of England.
The original warrant, numbered 250, read "Port Royal at Beaufort, Port Royal, Carolina." It was recorded as meeting every other Wednesday. No. 251 on the same list read "Solomon's Lodge in Charles Town, South Carolina" founded in 1735.
Beaufort's Masons, however, had earlier meetings and the researches of Walter E. Jenkins, Clayton Cooler and Robert V. Pinkston have brought forth old documents attesting to them. The South Carolina Gazette, Jan. 10, 1752 printed the following:
"On 27th December 1751, being the Festival of St. John the Evangelist, at 10 o'clock, the members of a Lodge of Free & Accepted Masons met at the house of Mr. Nathaniel Greene at Beaufort (on Port Royal Island) and at 11 went in procession from thence, properly clothed with ensigns of their Order, to church, to attend Divine Service, where, after prayers, an excellent sermon, suitable to the occasion, was preached by their late worthy Master, the Rev. Mr. Peaseley.
From church they returned in the same processional order to Mr. Green's, where an elegant entertainment was provided, to which all the company of note on the island were previously invited.
''After dinner and the usual healths drunk, the whole was concluded with the greatest order and good fellowship. The procession was saluted by a discharge of the cannons from all the vessels in the harbor, both at going to and returning from the church."
From this and other references, Robert V. Pinkston has determined from A. G. Maukey that the Beaufort Lodge was the third in active existence in South Carolina, begun not later than 1751. In a brief history of Harmony Lodge No.22 AFM, he writes:
"During the latter part of the 18th century, the Ancient or York Masons made their entrance into South Carolina with several of the Lodges of the Modern, or Free Masons going over to them. The Lodge at Beaufort was among that number, believing that the Ancients were more authentic, or derived more nearly from the original body in the Mother Country. It was listed, as stated, as Beaufort No. 41 on the register of the Grand Lodge of Ancient York Masons.
"In 1808 the two Grand Bodies united into one Grand Lodge, but soon divided again. At a Grand Convention of Ancient York Masons, held at Columbia on May 1, 1809, Beaufort Lodge No. 41, along with 16 other Lodges, was represented by Brother Benjamin Jenkins.
"In 1817 another attempt was made which proved successful and was ratified by both Grand Lodges on Dec. 26, 1917. A new Corporate Charter was obtained bearing the name The Grand Lodge of Ancient Free Masons of South Carolina, which has endured unsullied to this day. After the Union and the assignment of Numbers, Beaufort Lodge No. 41 was listed as Harmony No.22.
"In 1828, Harmony Lodge No. 22 was suspended and for many years Masonry seems to have been extinguished in the town of Beaufort. A spark, however, from its altar was always preserved by a truly zealous Mason, Brother John M. Baker, who was one of its members and had been its Master in 1822.
"Through his exertions, the Lodge was revived and their warrant restored, March 4, 1851, free of expense to the following officers: John M. Baker, Worshipful Master, D. L. Thompson, Senior Warden and George P. Elliott, Junior Warden."
A Processions.. With Music
A contemporary account of the festivities attending the opening of Beaufort College stated that... "On Nov. 4, 1802,...a procession was formed at M. Cross's Tavern in the town in the following order: Masonic Lodges of Beaufort & St. Helena - with music..."
The Festival of St. John the Evangelist seems to have been a day of celebration for Beaufort Masons. The South Carolina Gazette, Jan. 8, 1753, reported that, "The 27th past (Dec. 1752) being the Festival of St. John the Evangelist, the Free and Accepted Masons in this town commemorated the same in the usual manner. At Port Royal there was a procession, a grand feast and at every health drunk, guns fired."
The spirit of Masonry is exemplified in this quotation from the Grand Lodge of Canada Bulletin:
"Masonry has never identified itself with political parties or particular religious groups. But the true Mason does seek to evalutate moral worth. He does try to extend to all men, who are worthy among the races of mankind, the hand of brotherly kindness. He seeks to engender in all who come within Masonic influence, a love of truth. Whenever Masonic virtues are practiced, every noble cause is strengthened."
(Image - Plaque Solomon's Lodge)
In last week's story on Freemasonry in Beaufort, a mistake was made, on my part. In the records of the Grand Lodge of England, the Masonic Lodge of "Port Royal at Beaufort, Port Royal, Carolina" was entered as number 250. "Solomon's Lodge in Charles Town, South Carolina" was entered on line 251. This did not mean that the latter was founded after the lodge in Beaufort.
On the contrary, there is no doubt about the lodge in Charleston being founded previously, around 1735. Solomon's Lodge was entered on line 251 because that space happened to be vacant.
Robert V. Pinkston would also like to emphasize that others have contributed vastly on the history of the lodge in Beaufort before he took over the task.
The new cornerstone was duly cemented in, replacing an older one, Wednesday evening, Sept. 15, 1976, 220 years after the grand of a warrant to the Beaufort Lodge by the Grand Lodge of England.
Around the middle of August 1976, after some three years of research, all of the information was sent to the Grand Lodge for verification by the (then) acting Grand Master Rt/Wor. Brother James D. Penley. After some time and study by Rt/Wor. Brother Penley, and the Grand Lodge Secretary, M/Wor. Brother H. Dwight McAlister, we received a letter verifying the Date and authorizing Harmony Lodge No. 22 to replace the cornerstone and insert the date of September 15, 1756.
On September 15, 1976, 220 years after the date of its original Charter from the Grand Lodge of England. Some 15 members of Harmony Lodge No. 22 met at the Temple for the purpose of removing the cornerstone and replacing it with a new one displaying it original Charter Date. We did not deposit anything behind the stone, however the story of this historic event was written by Mr Gerhard Spieler, and published in The Beaufort Gazette on Wednesday, September 15, 1976.
At the 240th Annual Communication of the M. W. Grand Lodge of Ancient Free Masons of South Carolina, held at Myrtle Beach on April 28 and 29 W. Bro. Robert Van Pinkston Past Master of Harmony Lodge No. 22 was appointed to serve the Grand Lodge as Senior Grand Deacon for the year 1977. During that year until April of 1978, the Grand Lodge Officers were called to special communication 19 times, more (I think) than any other year. Under the direction of M. W. Brother James D. Penley Grand Master, new Masonic Temples were dedicated, a new Lodge on Hilton Head consecrated, and cornerstones were laid at Temples and Schools all over the State.
At the Annual Communication of the Grand Lodge held in April 1979, R/W Bro. Robert V. Pinkston was appointed to serve the Grand Lodge as DDGM of the fourth Masonic District to serve for the years 1979 and 1980.
On May 15, 1979 R/W Bro. Pinkston was appointed Grand Representative of the Grand Lodge of Sweden near the Grand Lodge of South Carolina.
At the Annual Communication of the Grand Lodge of Ancient Free Masons of South Carolina held on April 23-24, 1981 at Myrtle Beach, S.C. Wor. Brother Fred Gibson Horton, Past Master of Harmony Lodge No. 22 was appointed Junior Grand Deacon, to serve the Grand Lodge for the year 1981.
At the Annual Communication of the Grand Lodge held on April 22-23 at Greenville, S.C. R/W Bro. Robert V. Pinkston was appointed M.S.A. Hospital Visitation Committeeman of the 4th, 5th, and 7th Districts, to serve for five years.
Special Meeting of Harmony Lodge No. 22 held on Thursday, August 25, 1983. The Officers in their stations were W/M J. H. Waters, S/W E. R. Sarvis, J/W E. R. Hanna, Treas. Rt/Wor. F. G. Horton, Secretary Rt/Wor. R. V. Pinkston, S/D J. E. Lamie Act., J/D D. A. Kozak Act., Steward J. J. Peiratt Act., Chaplin A. W. Collum P/M., Tiler John H. Dyches.75 in attendance.
The Lodge being duly opened, Wor. Bro. Waters called it from labor to refreshment while the Deputy Grand Master, Rt/Wor. Jesse C. Branham and his party of present and past Grand Lodge officers retired, to be received officially.
The alarm was given, the party entered, with the Senior and Junior Deacons escorting the Deputy Grand Master to the Altar, where he was presented by the Senior Deacon to the Wor. Master, and was then escorted to the east and presented to the brethren by the W/M. after which the public Grand Honors were given. Wor. Bro. Waters turned the gavel over to the Deputy Grand Master.
After seating the Lodge Rt. Wor. Bro. Branham proceeded to introduce the brothers in his party. Rt. Wor. Bobby R. Faulkner (S.G.D), Rt. Wor. Henry H. Chambers (D.D.G.M. 3rd Dist), Rt. Wor. Phillip G. Russell (PDDGM) (MEC Member), Rt. Wor. Robert V. Pinkston (PDDGM) (M.S.A. Committeeman), Rt. Wor. Fulton W. Poythress (PDDGM), Rt. Wor. Walter E. Jenkins (PDDGM), Rt. Wor. Fred G. Horton (PJGD), Wor. Bro. Fred Miller P/M Washington Lodge No. 5, better known as Mr. Mason.
Rt. Wor. Brother Branham brought fraternal greetings from the Grand Lodge, and Most Wor. Brother T. Harry White Grand Master. He then gave us a report of their trip to Kingston Tenn. where they attended a Master Mason Degree conferred in a cave. There was around 80 S.C. Masons in attendance. 15 states and about 130 Lodges were represented at that meeting. The temperature in the cave was 56 degrees. He then turned the gavel back to the Master.
After the examination of the following Fellow Craft Mason. Thomas Odis Peeples, Charles Ray Warren, and Jerry Ancel Hunsinger, Wor. Bro. Waters stated that the Master Mason degree would be conferred by the OMAR PAST MASTERS UNIT. The
Lodge was then closed in short from and a Lodge of Master Masons opened in like manner.
The Degree was conferred by the following Past Masters.
W/M - Van Duncan W.Master of Old Fort No. 420
S/W- Ken Mays P/M Fellowship No. 400
J/W - Charles Frail, Jr P/M Union Kilwining No. 4
S/D - Ernest Williams P/M Summerville No. 234
3/D - Lester Carter P/M Orange No.14
St. - Phillip G. Russell P/M Fellowship No.400
St. · Bobby R. Faulkner P/M Solomon No. 1 & Old Fort No. 420
Chaplain - Fred Miller P/M Washington No.5
Treasurer - Fred G. Horton P/M Harmony No. 22
Secretary - Robert V. Pinkston P/M Harmony No. 22
Tiler - John H. Dyches Harmony No. 22
The working tools were presented by Rt. Wor. Bro. Jesse C. Branham Deputy Grand Master.
The Lodge was then called from labor to refreshment, Wor. Bro. Van Duncan asked Rt. Wor. Bro. Fred Horton to return thanks for the food which we were to receive.
After the delightful spaghetti dinner which had been prepared by Bro. E. R. Hanna (Junior Warden} and his assistants, the brethren returned to the Lodge room where they continued with the second section of the Masters Degree. Taking parts in this section were as follows: Senior Deacon - Phillip Russell, 1st base - Bobby Faulkner, 2nd base - Charles Frail, 3rd base Ernest Williams, Rt./Wor. Bro. Jesse C. Branham [Deputy Grand Master) sent each of the newly made Master Masons on their Masonic journey.
The C F C was played by Donald McIntosh P/M Solonom No.l, the other two were Harold Bunch P/M Washington No.5, and Walter Light S/D of Friendship No.9. The W F M was played by Fred Miller.
The Lecture was presented by Daniel McLaurin P/M Hamerton No. 332 with Sidney Wilson P/M Fellowship No. 400 operating the slides. Wor. Bro. Sidney Wilson is the president of the Omar Past Masters Unit.
The Charge was given by the Deputy Grand Master, Jesse C. Branham.
Rt. Wor. Bro. Horton presented the newly raised Master Masons with their Ahiman Rezon, Dues Card and Lambskin Apron, and congratulated each of them.
After an exchange of thanks and appreciations from the visiting brethren of Omar past masters unit and the Master and brethren of Harmony Lodge No.22, Wor. Bro. Van Duncan asked Rt. Wor. Brother Jesse C. Branham, Deputy Grand Master for his comments.
The Deputy Grand Master congratulated the brethren on the fine job they did on conferring the degree, and the three newly raised Master Masons on becoming the newest members of the oldest fraternal order. He charged each of them to return and support their lodge that they might become better men in their daily life. Rt. Wor. Bro. Branham is a member of the Omar Past Masters Unit, and Past Master of Fellowship Lodge No. 400.
The Lodge was then closed on the Master Mason Degree by W/Bro. Van Duncan, with the Deputy Grand Master charging the brethren.
The above is an account of the last (Degree) meeting held by Harmony Lodge No.22 prior to this book going to the press.
One can only wonder how the account of that first meeting of this Lodge, which was held over 225 years ago, would read.
As recorded earlier in this history, the Beaufort County Courthouse was built in the year 1883. In November 1883, the members of Harmony Lodge No. 22 acting as Grand Lodge officers laid the cornerstone.
With this history being printed this year (1983) before November, plans are being made to have the Grand Lodge officers come to Beaufort and convene for the purpose of removing and replacing the cornerstone.
This historical event will involve Beaufort County Council, as well, as it is the County Courthouse. It is our hope that the whole population of Beaufort will be involved, and we will be able to put back in the box, behind the stone, important documents that we hope will be of benefit to the people of Beaufort in the year 2083. Also a copy of this history.
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