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"History of Eau Claire County Wisconsin, 1914, Past and Present"
Chapter 31 - Societies and Clubs
Secret and Benevolent Societies
(-as transcribed from pages 450 - 455)
Masonic Lodge. The initial steps for the institution of Eau Claire Lodge, No. 112, F. & A. M. were taken by W. P. Bartlettt, H. C. Pubnam, D. R. Moon, L. B. Foote, H. P. Graham, William Mosher and George Mulks in the fall of 1857. A dispensation was granted in December to L. B. Foote as W. M., D. R. Moon as S. W. and W. P. Bartlett as J. W., and the lodge was instituted on march 26, 1859. The charter was received on June 14 and the first officers under it were as follows: L. B. Foote, W. M.; D. R. Moon, S. W.; W. P. Bartlett, J. W.; H. C. Putnam, treasurer; Thomas C. Spencer, secretary; B. F. Cowen, S. D.; Charles P. Mosher, J. D.; Charls Pringle, tyler.
The meetings were held in a frame building at the corner of South Barstow and Gibson streets until the following spring. The lodge room is described as about twelve or fourteen feet square and the ceiling about seven and one-half feet high, and the furniture as very primitive - a nail keg for an altar, a flat box for the master's rostrum and a soap box for cuspidor. the next home of the lodge was on the third floor of a building between Gibson street and Grand avenue East, which was consumed by fire on May 1, 1864, by which the lodge lost its records. It then moved into DeArmand's Hall on water street and returned to Barstow street, into the Burgar bulding, in January, 1866. Two moves were subsequently made into other buildings on South Barstow street, when, in March, 1882, the different Masonic bodies in the city united in a lease of more desireable accommodations in the Chappell block on Grand avenue East. The lodge occupied these quarters until 1893, when it moved into the Opera House block, soon after which steps were taken to establish a permanent home, which as accomplished by the erection of the Masonic Temple, corner South Barstow and Main streets. The first regular communication of No. 112 was held in it on February 6, 1899, with E. E. Vallier as W. M. It is the property of a corporation, known as the Masonic Temple Association, has an assessed valuation of $25,000 and is clear of all indebtedness. A very small proportion of the stock is owned by individual Masonic brethren and the balance is divided betweent he three Masonic bodies.
Following is a list of the living Past Masters of this lodge: G. Tabor Thompson, F. H. L. Cotten, J. G. Ferry, Goerge B. Wheeler, A. B. Jones, E. E. Vallier, George J. Nash, D. D. Lockerby, Thomas A. Hobbs, R. L. Meader, Warrent A. Smith, Walter Bonell, Charles E. Shane, F. N. Herrick and Fred W. Thomas. The present officers are: O. W. Moehle, W. M.; L. A. McKinley, S. W.; A. O. Kromrey, J. W.; George B. Wheeler, treasurer; D. D. Lockerby, secretary; L. A. Budahn, S. D.; August Stock, J. D.; M. Benson, chaplain; J. H. Gadsby, tyler; L. A. leFevre and L. E. Jones, stewards; C. E. Shane, F. H. L. Cotten and T. A. Hobbs, trustees. The present membershi is 425. In point of membership it is one of the strong lodges of the state and in point of influence and prestige it stands second to none. Three of its members have been chosen as Grand Master: F. H. L. Cotten, E. J. Farr and George B. Wheeler - an honor accorded to no other lodge in Wisconsin, and, in addition, a number of its members have been permanent members of the Grand Lodge. The affairs of the lodge have for many years been in capable hands and it is recognized as a pwoer for good in the community.
WOODMEN OF THE WORLD. Eagle Camp, No. 54, Woodmen of the World, was instituted on the evening of November 28, 1899, with the following charter members: Dr. J. F. Farr, J. D. Fanning, Edward Hanson, Edward H. Randall, George E. Richardson, William H. Schwahn, H. J. Leinenkugel, John Huebsch, Thomas D. Dudgeon, H. J. Patterson, L. G. Hart, William Sutter, R. E. Parkinson, W. J. Davis, J. P. Leinenkugel, Frank McCoove, Edward Costello, W. J. Mills, Joseph Mills, Charles Wilk, E. J. Frisevold, Walter J. Conway, W. H. frawley, Joe Evans, Dan McGillis, W. L. Garderzik, Dr. E. S. Hayes, James M. Charles. Deputy Commander Harry J. Hurley was the instituting officer.
The first officers of the camp were as follows: Consul commander, H. J. Patterson; advisor lieutenant, Edward H. Randall; banker, H. J Leinenkugel; clerk, Thomas D. Dudgeon; escort, Joe Evans; watchman, W. J. davis; sentinel, William Sutter; physicians, Dr. J. F. Farr and Dr. E. S. Hayes; manager for one year, William Schwahn; manager for two eyars, John Huebsch; manager for three years, James D. Fanning; delegate to head camp, J. M. Charles.
The regular camp meeting nights were the second and fourth Tuesday of each month. The camp has been in continuous operation since, and has lost by death since its organization only four members, namely: H. J. Leinenkugel, who died May 25, 1902; Eugene Phelps, died November 20, 1905; H. J. Patterson, died May 12, 1910, and George Lilly, died October 11, 1913.
The camp is prospering at the present time, introducing new members at every meeting. Since the organization the meeting nights have been changed to the third Monday night of each month at I. O. O. F. Hall. The following are the officers for 1914: Consul commander, M. J. Mills; advisor lieutenant, Alb Cook; banker, J. P. Meyer; clerk, J. P. Leinenkugel; escort, John Modl; watchman, E. R. Fox; sentinel, S. C. Erity; manager, three years, Charles Wilk; manager, two years, George M. Betz; manager, one year, Edward J. O'Brien; physician, John Montgomery.
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