History of Solomon #271

        Solomon Lodge No. 271 is located at 1930 W. Catalpa in Springfield, Missouri 65807. It was chartered January 11, 1868 when Most Worshipful Brother W. E. Dunscomb was Grand Master. The first Master was Worshipful Brother John Y. Fullbright.
        The lodge at one time was located at 305 1/2 E. Walnut in Springfield, which is now called Hotel Vandivort, from 1907 to 1980.

        Solomon Lodge No. 271, being under dispensation, was summoned by Right Worshipful Brother M.J. Hubble, District Deputy Grand Master of the 15th Masonic District on January 11, 1868. He installed the officers and set the lodge to work. Meeting 2nd Monday at 7:00 p.m.

The First Officers:

John Y. Fullbright--WM

Jonathan E. Teff--SW

W.F. Dunn--JW

J.M. Rountree—Treasurer (Pro Tem)

T.D. Hudson--Sec. (Pro Tem)

F.S. Jones—SD (Pro Tem)

E.A. Finney—JD (Pro Tem)

S.H. Jopes—Tyler (Pro Tem)


PAST AND PRESENT OF GREENE COUNTY, MISSOURI

By Jonathan Fairbanks and Clyde Edwin Tuck

        Solomon Lodge No. 271 had its beginning in the small and new village of Springfield. Several members of United Lodge No.5 decided that this United Lodge was becoming too large and that a new lodge should be formed. Out of this decision Solomon Lodge had its beginning.

        Our members have come from all walks of life, farmer, merchant, laborer, physician, lawyer, minister, teacher, newspaper person, officers of the law and many others.
        Freemasonry has been for centuries an important factor in the moral development of humanity.
        DeWitt Clinton says, “Of all the institutions which have been established for the purpose of improving the condition of mankind, Freemasonry stands pre-eminent in usefulness as it is in age.” In every country where the order flourishes will be found the enjoyment of the great liberty of its citizens; therefore, the rise and progress of the order is of interest to all people, and for that purpose, this short history of the Order in Greene County, Missouri is written. 

In the month of June, on Wednesday, the 23rd, in the year of 1841 there assembled the following gentlemen: Joel H. Haden, James R. Danforth, Constantine Perkins, Chesley Cannefax, Thomas Shannon, Thomas B. Neaves, Leonard B. Mitchell and John W. Danforth, Master Masons holding membership with lodges in several states. After discussing the question of organizing a lodge of Freemasons in the frontier town of Springfield, Joel H. Haden was chosen Chairman and John W. Danforth, Secretary. It was then resolved, “that we, a few Masonic Brethren assembled together, to sign a petition here presented to us soliciting the Grand Lodge of the State of Missouri to grant us a dispensation to confer the degrees of Masonry and transact all other business that may be transacted in regularly constituted lodge of Master Masons”.

        The request was granted July 21, 1841, by the Grand Lodge and the organization was effected under the name of Ozark Lodge No. 50, with the following officers:

Joel H. Haden, Worshipful Master

James R. Danforth, Senior Warden

Constantine Perkins, Junior Warden

John W. Danforth, Secretary

 

        On August 18, 1841, the lodge was set to work by the Grand Lodge and according to the by-laws adopted by the pioneer brothers. Regular Meetings were held on the fourth Thursday of each month at early candlelight. Among the duties of the Stewards was to provide sufficient candles and wood, and to keep the lodge room clean and well lighted. Ozark Lodge has the honor of being the first organized body of Freemasons in the Southwest part of Missouri. 
        The first persons initiated in the order were John P. Campbell (the founder of Springfield), R.A. Hubbard and Peter J. Stewart, which event on October 28, 1841, the work being done by John W.S. Moore of Hopkinsville Lodge No. 37, Hopkinsville, Kentucky, who was a visiting brother.
        The Lodge grew rapidly in membership and prominence and held its meetings in various places until March of 1842, a contract was made with the County Officials to rent the second story of the Courthouse, for which they agreed to plaster the rooms, and pay the annual rental of $50.00. 

Owing to some irregularities in the conduct of the lodge, the Grand Lodge of Missouri arrested the charter on October 18, 1847. The true and faithful craftsmen not discouraged but imbued with zeal and fidelity of the order, immediately took steps to reorganize. Which was done under the name of Greene Lodge No. 101 and a charter was granted by the Grand Lodge on May 12, 1848. The lodge increased in membership to such an extent that four years later, on May 6, the Grand Lodge issued a charter to a number of Masons organizing Taylor Lodge No. 5, the first officers: 

James J. Clarkson

Worshipful Master

William B. Farmer

Senior Warden

William R. Wilson

Junior Warden

        Both lodges did excellent work, until the tide of immigration to this section abated. The members of Greene and Taylor Lodges became convinced that in unity there is strength. They concluded that it be to the interest of the craft to unite in one body. A proposition to that effect was presented by Taylor Lodge, and was accepted by Greene Lodge on March 3, 1857. Thereupon, these lodges merged under the name of United Lodge No. 5, which lodge received its charter from the Grand Lodge of Missouri on May 30, 1857, and is now the oldest working Lodge in Greene County. 
        By applications and initiations, in time, United Lodge became too large. The brethren believed it to be to the welfare of the craft that another Masonic Lodge should be organized in Springfield. Hence, upon recommendation, the Grand Lodge issued a charter to Solomon Lodge No. 271, bearing the date of October 15, 1868. The lodge was set to work and instructed by Martin J. Hubble, District Deputy Grand Master. So well were they instructed that every Officer was fully qualified to perform all work in the several degrees prior to the permanent organization of this Lodge. 

 

The First Officers were:

John Y. Fullbright, Worshipful Master

Jonathan E. Teft. Senior Warden

W. F. Dunn, Junior Warden

J. M. Rountree, Acting Treasurer

T. D. Hudson, Acting Secretary

F. S. Jones, Acting Senior Deacon

E. A. Finney, Acting Junior Deacon

S. H. Hopes, Acting Tyler

From its inception Solomon Lodge prospered and demonstrated the wisdom of the fraternity by creating another Masonic Body in Springfield.

        With the continued growth of Springfield, it became necessary that a Masonic Lodge should be located on the northside of the city. Therefore, a number of brethren from United Lodge and Solomon Lodge were granted a charter on October 16, 1872, organizing the Gate of Temple Lodge No. 422.

        From the old records, one finds that the Masonic Lodges in Greene County in early days served not only as a social fraternal center, they also served in the capacity of settling disputes and difficulties between the members. Thereby avoiding resorting to courts of law, and unlike litigants at this age, in Civil Court the contending parties abided by decisions rendered by the lodges, without appeal therefrom. 

CONCLUSION

     The 100th Anniversary finds the United States in a War in Vietnam, but Freemasonry has survived many wars. The 100th Anniversary also finds the United States in “The Space Age”. Since 1945 to September 1, 2011, there have been only 25 days that, there was not a war somewhere in the World. But, wherever Good and True Freemasons go, to the Moon or other planets, Masonry will survive and flourish. 
        The Tenets of Freemasonry are such that wherever Freemasons gather there will be Fraternal and Brotherly Love. 
        (This material was originally compiled and published by The Missouri Lodge of Research, in the book entitled “LODGES OF SOUTHWEST MISSOURI” Volume XLVIII)

Addendum to the History:

     The 150th Anniversary of Solomon Lodge will be October 15, 2018. Plans are in motion to make this a momentous event...

     The country is no longer at "war" with any one entity, but does find itself, as always, in the lead role to end terrorism, defend human rights, and keep our planet clean and habitable for future generations.

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