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Thursday, June 21, 1979


PIX #1 - The officers of Fostoria Lodge No. 288 F. & A.M.: Front left to right: Jerrold Hoffman, senior deacon; Ken Matz, junior warden; Clyde Lindsay, master; V. Paul Cooper, senior warden; Robert Feisel, junior deacon. Back left to right: Gerald Matz, senior steward; L. Glen Marshall, chaplain; Harvey England, tyler; Charles Woessner, secretary. Not pictured are: Norman Bolen, treasurer; Tom Mandel, junior steward; and Chalmer Riggle, ed. officer.

PIX #2 - Fostoria's 65-year old Masonic Temple, 113 E. Tiffin Street.

PIX #3 - Floyd Mowery - 65-year Mason

PIX #4 - James Griffin - 65 year Mason

PIX #5 - Frank Longfellow - 60 year Mason

PIX #6 - Floyd Harrison - 60 year Mason

EDITOR'S NOTE: This is the second and last installment about the Fostoria Masonic Lodge which started in last week's edition.


In 1956, the lodge celebrated its centennial with a two-day day for members only, and another for members and families. Dinner programs and speakers highlighted the celebration.

It is not commonplace for a Mason who has been worshipful master to raise three sons in the lodge. That happened in 1958 when berlin Burgbacher participated in the initiation and raising of sons Robert, Paul and Berlin Jr. Robert Burgbacher later became master of the lodge. Paul Stearns, a Mason, saw his three sons Gwilym, Stewart and Joseph also raised in the Fostoria Lodge.

In 1932, when Fostoria celebrated the consolidation of Rome and Risdon and 100 years of progress, the Fostoria Masonic lodge participated by celebrating George Washington's Bicentennial, with emphasis on his Masonic activities. The city's historic pageant featured George Washington too.

It was in 1932 that Harry Sprout started serving the Fostoria lodge as secretary, and only in 1978 did he retire from that office after 46 years of meritorious service.


Became a Mason in 1877.

Started a library in the lodge in 1898...a signigicant activity which was a popular place for conversation and fellowship for many years. In 1902, he was honored by being made a 33-degree Mason, the highest award in Masonry. He was the first from the Fostoria Lodge to receive the degree. Died March 1909, Buried with Blue Lodge, Commandery, Scottish Rite and church services.


Became a Mason in 1872. Active in the lodge for many years. Crowned an honorary 33-degree Mason in 1919. Died Oct. 6, 1930, and buried with full Masonic ritual.


Became a Mason in 1941. A very active Mason in the 1940's and a Knight of the York Cross of Honor, was appointed a district deputy grand master for the 16th Masonic district.


Became a Mason in 1942. In 1949, started in line as an inspector for the grand council of royal and select masters. In 1960, became most illustrous grand master of the grand council of royal and select masters.

In 1953, he was crowned an honorary 33-dgree Mason, having previously been knighted in the York Cross of Honor.


Became a Mason in 1921. A member of the York Rite in Fostoria, but not the Lodge. In 1958, was crowned a honorary 33-degree Mason.


Not a member of Fostoria logdge, but a member of Fostoria Commandery, was crowned a 33-degree Mason in 1957. Was also 7th District chapter inspector. Active in Carey, Ohio lodge.


Became a Mason in 1958. In 1973, appointed a district deputy grand master for the 16th district.

Elmer Shessler, also a Knight of the York Cross of Honor, while not a member of Fostoria lodge, but a member of Fostoria York Rite Bodies, was appointed a deputy division commander of the 6th Division of Knights Templar of Ohio in 1974.

In addition to the Knights of the York Cross of Honor already mentioned, Fostoria lodge had the following members who have served as the presiding officers of the three bodies of York Rite Masonry in addition to the Lodge: Howard J. Porter (deceased), C. Robert Welch, R. Earl Smith, Verne O. Purkey, Norman R. Bolen and Charles J. Woessner.

L. Keith Lundy, a member of Fostoria Commandery, and Ralph Bernard, a member of Fostoria Council and Fostoria Commandery, are also knights of the York Cross of Honor.


In 1978, four living members of Fostoria Lodge had longevity record for continuous membership and were so honored by being awarded pins: Floyd Mowery, Shaker Heights - 65 years; James "Jim" Griffin, Fostoria, - 65 years (Griffin passed away April 6, 1979); Frank Longfellow, Pompano Beach, Fla, - 60 years; Floyd Harrison, Fostoria - 60 years. Harrison was the only to receive his recognition in person in lodge session. Others were unable to be present.

Quite a few Fostoria Masons have belonged to the Lodge ofr 50 years.


In 1919, brother Nelson Poe presented the Lodge an olivewood gavel which he bought from Jerusalem.

In 1911, Clement C. Martin, pastor of the Presbyterian Church, was installed as grand chaplain of the Grand Lodge.

In 1906, the lodge donated $10 for the relief of California earthquake victims.

In 1891, Rev. Chaplain Colier, a visiting Mason, made quite an impression at Lodge when he related his experiences. He was a war prisoner in the Civil War, and was to have been shot, however, he was recognized when he gave the sign of distress and he was spared from death.

In 1871, the first visitor from another Lodge fave an inspiring address on "Ancient and Operative Masonry". It was a special event and celebrated with an oyster supper which cost 50 cents per person.

In 1882, the lodge's chandeliers were sold to the Catholic Church and new ones installed for $1.40 each.

In 1951, a play "Greater Love Hath No Man" was produced and presented by the Lodge. It proved so worthwhile that it was later presented in many lodges in this area.

In 1951, brother Charles Gribble's 90th birthday was celebrated. He was presented 90 silver dollars and responded with a song. (Many Fostorians will remember that Gribble liked to sing in choirs, at service clubs and most anywhere). He was a great song leader.

In 1936, Nathan A. Cadwallader celebrated his 97th birthday, at which time he had been a Mason for 25 years. He lived to be 104.

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