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Masonic Service Association of North America

Emessay Notes July 2003

Lodge Leadership Training

The Grand Lodge of Oregon introduced a program of Lodge Leadership Training in 2002. As part of this new program, each lodge attending developed a list of events or short term goals that were then incorporated under an umbrella or long term goal. A second training session will be held in Sept. 2003 which will expand on this theme.

Brother Bob Evans

When most people hear the name Bob Evans, they usually think about a familiar restaurant. However, the real Bob Evans has set aside his sausage business and the company that bears his name. Instead, he is currently working on easing the load of cattle farmers all across the nation with innovative farming techniques. Not only is Bob Evans a household name, he is also very proud to be a Master Mason. Bob was raised in 1940 in Morning Dawn Lodge #7 in Gallipolis, Ohio. He received his 32nd Degree in the Valley of Columbus. The values and lessons learned in Lodge have had a huge influence on his dealings in business. "I highly recommend a young person become a Mason," he said. "You will never find a Mason you can't trust." At age 84, Bob Evans is still very healthy and active. His face lights up as he talks to customers and staff at the original Bob Evans Restaurant in Rio Grande, Ohio. He gets a twinkle in his eye when he talks about his son, Bobby, the youngest of six children. "He just joined a Masonic Lodge in Bozeman, Montana," he said. "I just visited him, and I gave him my Masonic ring. He's very proud to be a Mason, and I'm proud of him." In 1948, Bob Evans started making sausage in his small restaurant in Gallipolis. In 1953, along with a few friends, he started the company that is now Bob Evans Farms. The company has grown from a "down on the farm" restaurant in southeast Ohio to a chain of 480 restaurants across 22 states. This year, the company's sales will top the $1 billion mark. Bob Evans retired from Bob Evans Farms in 1986. Since then, he has been working with 4-H as the only lifetime member in Ohio, and he is developing and promoting new ways to run a livestock business. He believes that profits will come from spending less, rather than producing more. In his desire to help those around him, and with living according to his ethics and integrity, Brother Bob Evans is truly following the Masonic tenets of Brotherly Love, Relief, and Truth. 

(Source: Beacon, Grand Lodge of Ohio, Winter 2003) 

Ulster County Gazette

If you have, or see a copy of, The Ulster County Gazette reporting on the death of George Washington, you can be sure it's a fake. This very interesting story was sent to MSA by Bro. William Maurer a Past Master of Athelstane Lodge #839, Pearl River, NY.

Once a historian begins to research a particular incident in Masonic history, he finds that many other authors have passed that way before. The more insignificant the person, or the studied document, or the subject is, the greater the tendency to find in the first checked and general resource, the same facts, easily and carelessly quoted from the same original and primary source. Letters, diaries, journals and newspapers, then, become important as a reliable resource. Each of these recorded the event of the time.

Now, with all this said, a fine primary source newspaper for researching the death and burial of Brother George Washington is known widely for another reason. The Ulster County Gazette, dated Saturday, January 4, 1800, is also the most copied and faked antique newspaper in history.

The Ulster Gazette was established in 1798 at Kingston, NY by Samuel Freer and his son, Samuel S. Freer and was printed until 1840 when Samuel S. died. For Washington's death on December 14, 1799, the Freers reported the account in their newspaper on December 28, 1799 and on January 4 and 11, 1800.

R. J. Brown and the Newspaper Collectors Society of America have compiled a list of newspapers where a famous date and lead story have been copied from the original and reprinted many times over. (www.historybuff.com/library/refhotlist.html) These old copies are available through antique shops and auctions for research and general interest for the collector. For the purist of ephemera and antique newspapers the counterfeit artifact is greatly reduced in value and often considered worthless.

Only two original copies of the Ulster Gazette of January 4, 1800 are known to exist. Since the early 1800's apprentice printers have copied this particular issue to learn type setting, printed it for anniversary events of Washington' birth, and death, and to sell on patriotic holidays. Hundreds of thousands of copies were subsequently printed and are available with little search. Why so many copies? Probably because it would be a "relic" and "collectable" reminding us of the life and death of George Washington.

The New York Public Library has had so many calls on this paper, that in 1951 a publication authored by R.W.G. Vail called The Ulster County Gazette and its Illegitimate Offspring was distributed. Here Mr. Vail (1890 - 1966) collected and examined many different copies and compared these with the originals. You may need to acquire the booklet so that you may explain to a Brother when he shows you this rare newspaper he found in the attic with grandpa's books and is not convinced you really are the expert you claim to be! The newspaper is interesting reading and does belong in your Masonic collection. Have fun with it.

 

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