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Masonic Service Association of North America

Emessay Notes June 2008

Freemasonry's Mark on Idaho

Idaho Historical Society

Masonic fraternities have played an important role in Idaho's communities since gold rush days. This exhibit traces the mysterious origins of the Freemasons and their vital link to Idaho history from territorial times through statehood and into today. Enjoy rarely seen folk art and artifacts from lodges around the state and increase your understanding of this "society with secrets.

Idaho Humanity CouncilThe exhibit opens May 24 and runs through August 31. The Idaho State Historical Museum is located at 610 North Julia Davis Drive in Boise and is open from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm Tuesday through Saturday and from 1:00 to 5:00 pm on Sunday. For more information call 334-2120.


Idaho Masonic Exhibit

As noted on the front page of Emessay Notes, the Idaho State Historical Society is featuring an exhibit tracing the role the Masonic Fraternity has played in Idaho's communities "since gold rush days." The exhibit is on display at the Idaho State Historical Museum in Boise. Bro. Jim Voyles, PGM (ID) has been active as a docent at the exhibit and describes it as:

"I would estimate the exhibit to be perhaps between 3400 and 4000 square feet in area. It has artifacts gathered from lodges all around the state, and even includes a representation of a blue lodge room, approximately 10' x 18' in size, with the three principal officers stations, the altar, the great and lesser lights, the illuminated letter "G" suspended in the East, blue carpet throughout, the pillars Jachin and Boaz of the Fellowcraft degree, a master's carpet on the wall, the preparation room door ajar as if a candidate is about to be admitted, the columns, rods and other paraphernalia. They also dedicated part of the exhibit to the youth groups (DeMolay, Job's Daughters and Rainbow), the Eastern Star, the York and Scottish Rites and the Shrine. They also made extensive use of posters very rich with photographs and very informative descriptions of their respective subject matter. These posters cover the craft's earliest beginnings, its modem beginnings in Europe, its colonial and early American history, territorial Idaho history, and Idaho history, up to the present. And, they include information on the Anti-Masonic forces in early American politics and the events that spawned them; on Prince Hall Masonry; and on the issues that arose from time to time, between Masonry and various religious groups. All in all, it is a very thorough presentation of Freemasonry, from its beginning to the present."

(Information courtesy of the Idaho State Historical Society, the Grand Lodge of Idaho, James Voyles, PGM (ID) and the Idaho Humanities Council.)

Early Masonic Leadership

Masonic Leadership was never more evident in the colonies, territories or States in the U.S. and Provinces in Canada than in the early days of each area's history. The following article taken from The Beacon, June 2008, traces this history of Masonic Leadership in Ohio. If other States or Provinces have such information MSA would be happy to feature it in upcoming issues of Emessay Notes.

Masons Who Served as Ohio's Governor

Seal of Grand Lodge of OhioAt least 9 Masons have served 10 terms as Governor of Ohio, according to research performed by Right Worshipful Brother Thomas L. Brenneman, of Delphos, a Past District Deputy Grand Master in the 10th Masonic District.

The Masonic Governors served for some 45 years, about 25 percent of the history of Ohio.

There may have been more Masons in that position, but these are the ones known for sure.

  • Samuel Huntington 1808-1810
  • Return Johnthon Meggs 1810-1814
  • Thomas Worthington 1814-1818
  • Robert Lucas 1832-1836
  • William McKinley 1892-1896
  • Martin Davey 1935-1939
  • John W. Bricker 1939-1945
  • John Brown 1957-1957
  • James A. Rhode 1963-1971
  • James A. Rhodes 1975-1983

In addition, Arthur St. Clair was Governor of the Northwest Territory from 1787-1802 and was a Mason.

Also, Ohio has had eight native sons who were elected President of the United States. Four of those were Ohio Masons.

  • James A. Garfield 1881-1883
  • William McKinley 1897-1901
  • William H. Taft 1909-1913
  • Warren G. Harding 1921-1923


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