The History of Otsego, NY
FREEDOM LODGE, NO. 324, F. AND A. M.
A lodge of Free and Accepted Masons was first established in this village in the year 1809. The charter was granted by the grand lodge of this State, of which Hon. De Witt Clinton was Grand Master. It was dated March 1, 1809, and names Stephen Benton to be Master, Abijah H. Beach to be Senior Warden, and Sherman Page, to be Junior Warden. The lodge was organized as "Freedom lodge, No. 179." The communications were held in an upper room of the house of Stephen Benton, which stood on the site now occupied by the residence of Major C. D. Fellows. Here they were held until the building was destroyed by fire. In this fire a portion of the lodge records were destroyed, and the earliest date mow in possession of the lodge is January 19, 1815, when a meeting was held and the following officers elected, viz.: Abel Morse, M.; Roswell Wright, S. W.; Dr. Nijah Cone, J. W.; Daniel C. Hayes, Treas.; Sherman Page, Sec.; Gilbert Cone, S.D.; Elias Mead, J. D.; John Shepard, Steward; William Wilmot, Tyler. During the anti-Masonic period the lodge ceased its labors. It was reorganized as Freedom lodge, No. 324, in the month of January, 1854, with A. B. Watson as Master; R. G. Mead, S. W.; and A. D. Williams, J. W. The charter was granted Aug. 8, 1854.
The following persons have served as master, viz.: S. Benton, 1809; Abel Morse, Isaac Hayes, A. H. Beach, H. A. Beach, Henry Ogden, A. B. Watson, T. McCall, A. D. Williams, R. G. Mead, M. B. Luther, W. J. Thompson, . J. J. Rogers, L. S. Nye, D. P Loomis, C. Slade, G. B. Scofield, F. G. Bolles, C. C. Siver, T. C. Monroe, David Finch, O. F. Crane, A. H. Meeker, G. B. Fellows.
A banking office was organized in this village in 1867, by North, Siver, and Co., and continued by them until 1870, when it passed into the hands of the present proprietors, Thomas G. North & Co., comprising Thomas G. North and his father, Colonel Samuel North.
UNADILLA CHAPTER, NO. 178, R. A. M.
This chapter was originally organized under the name of Unadilla chapter, No. 73, under a charter granted by the Grand Royal Arch Chapter of the State of New York, dated at Albany, Feb. 7, 1822, signed by M. E. Ezra Armes, Grand High Priest; M. E. Richard Hatfield, Deputy Grand High Priest; M. E. Joseph Enos, Jr., Grand King; M. E. John Brush, Grand Scribe; M. E. Eb. Wadsworth, Grand Secretary, "Authorizing and empowering our worthy companions, Solomon Warner, First High priest, Heman Kelsey, King, and William Beach, Scribe of the chapter of Royal Arch Masons, to be by virtue hereof formed, constituted and holden at Unadilla, in the county of Otsego and State of New York."
On the 8th day of March, 1822, M. E. Joseph Enos, Grand King, being present on the occasion, proceeded to form, constitute, and install the following named companions as the first officers of this chapter; M. E. Solomon Warren, H. P.; E. Heman Kelsey, King; E. Williams Beach, Scribe; L. Nash, Captain of the Host; Sherman Page, Principal Sojourner; O. Loveland, Royal Arch Captain; E. Foote, M.1st Veil; J. Judson, M. 2nd Veil; S. Freeman, M. 3rd Veil. After the ceremonies of installation were concluded, on this the first meeting of the chapter, the following applications for membership were received: Isaac Hayes, Curtis Noble, Moses O. Benjamin, David finch, Joel Brass, Henry A. Beach, Roswell Wright, William Fairchild, William Wilmot, M. A. Perry, Silas Spalding, and Elisha Tucker. And it was voted that, "in consideration of Bros. Perry, Spalding, and Tucker being clergymen, they should be given the degrees on paying two dollars each." This first meeting of the chapter, it appears from the records, extended over a period of three days, during which time, in addition to the other business of organizing, installation, etc., the above-mentioned candidates for membership were all elected, advanced, passed received, and acknowledged, and exalted to the most sublime degree of Royal Arch Mason.
The minutes of this meeting were kept by Sherman Page, and afterwards copied into the book of records by Roswell Wright, Secretary.
At the regular convocation, held on the 3rd of November, of the same year (1822), the following officers were elected and installed: Isaac Hayes, High Priest; H. Kelsey, King; L. Nash, Scribe; A. B. Watson, Captain of the Host; H. A. Beach, P. S.; D. Finch, R. A. C.; Joel Brass, M. 1st V.; W. Fairchild, M. 2nd V.; H. Halford, M. 3rd. V.; C. Noble, Treas.; Roswell Wright, Sec.; Wm. Wilmot, Tyler. At the next election, held Dec. 23, 1823, the following officers were elected: H. A. Beach, H. P; Isaac Hayes, King; L. Baxter, Jr., Scribe; A. B. Watson, Captain of the Host; D. finch, R. A. C.; Roswell Wright, Sec.
In December, 1824, the following named were elected officers: H. A. Beach, H. P.; Isaac Hayes, King; A. B. Watson, Scribe; D. Finch, Captain of Host; W. Fairchild, P. S.; Joel Bragg, R. A. C.; C. Noble, Treas.; Roswell Wright, Sec.; Wm. Wilmot, Tyler.
In 1825, the officers were A. B. Watson, H. P.; John Edgerton, King; C. s. Rogers, Scribe,; D. Finch, C. of H.; T. McCall, P. S.; J. Pooler, R. A. C.; C. Noble, Treas.; Roswell Wright, Sec.; and Wm. Wilmot, Tyler.
At the election for officers, Dec. 19, 1826, the following were elected: D. Finch, High Priest; R. McCall, King; A. D. Williams, Scribe; Rufus G. Mead, Capt. Of the Host; S. Betts, P. S.; J. Tyler, R. A. Capt.; C. Noble, I hays and E. Foote, Master of the Veils; Neil Robertson, Treas.; A. B. Watson, Sec.; Wm. Wilmot, Tyler.
Dec. 4, 1827, the following officers were elected and installed: H. A. Beach, H. P.; A. D. Williams, King; A. Peck, Scribe; H. Ogden, Capt. Of the Host; Arnold B. Watson, P. S.; D. Finch, R. A. Capt.; Isaac Hayes, Treas.; Wm. H. Havens, Sec.; Wm. Wilmot, Tyler.
The last records of the convocations of Unadilla chapter, No. 73, that can be found, are dated Feb. 5, 1828, when the chapter opened, transacted the usual business, worked the Mark and Past Masters degrees, and closed in the Royal Arch degree. As there was no records or minutes after this meeting, it is presumed that this chapter, as was the case with many other Masonic bodies of this State about that time, succumbed to the fierce fanatical war that was being waged by the enemies of the Masonic brotherhood, and which swept over the land like a tidal wave, seemingly carrying everything before it, entering largely into our State politics, and, for a time, placing the institution of Freemasonry under a ban, that no society less ancient and honorable, or founded upon any other principles than the cardinal Masonic virtues of faith, hope, charity, morality, and brotherly love, could have ever fully recovered from and assumed the proud position which it occupies at the present day, numbering among the active and ardent members of the Royal Craft the noblest, best, and most gifted of our representative men, in all stages and conditions of life, including judges, clergymen, professors, statesmen, etc.
We now pass over an interval of some thirty-six years, during which time we can find no movements or efforts on the part of the Royal Arch fraternity to reorganize their chapter until February 8, 1864, when the chapter was opened by M. E. Comp. M. B. Luther, by order of Most Excellent Comp. Joseph B. Chaffin, Special Deputy Grand High priest, who, being present, proceeded to constitute and dedicate the chapter in due and ancient form, under a new charter, dated Albany, N. Y. Feb. 3, 1864, and signed by the following grand officers: Darius A. Ogden, M. E. Grand High Priest; Horace S. Taylor, M. E. Deputy Grand High Priest; Seymour H. Stone, M. E. Grand King; Reese G. Williams, M. e. Grand Scribe; and John O. Cole, Grand Secretary, authorizing E. comp. Martin B. Luther to be the first High Priest, Arnold B. White the first King, and Hiram Edgerton the first Scribe of Unadilla chapter, No. 178 of Royal Arch Masons, to be held at Unadilla, Otsego Co., N. Y. After the ceremonies of instituting and dedicating the chapter and installing the three principal officers, the following were elected and installed for the ensuing Masonic year; Gilbert B. Scofield, Captain of the Host; Jabex J. Rogers, Principal Sojourner; Chauncey Slade, Royal Arch Captain; Delos O. Thompson, Master of Third Veil; Joel Bragg, Master of Second Veil; John Edgerton, Master of First Veil; C. S. Rogers, Treas.; David P. Loomis, Sec.; John Gray, Tyler.
The number of members now on the chapter register, in good standing, is fifty-nine, as per last report to grand chapter. The whole number of Royal Arch Masons entered on the register since the organization of the chapter, in 1864, is one hundred and nineteen. The decrease in numbers is accounted for, in part, by many of the Companions dimitting to form new chapters; Delaware chapter No., 251, of Walton, Delaware county, and Hillington chapter, No. 224, of Morris, drawing most of their chapter members from Unadilla chapter. The regular convocations held the first and third Mondays in each month, at Masonic Hall. The following are the present officers of the chapter: Frank G. Bolles, M. E. High Priest; David P Loomis, E. King; Taylor L. Arms, E. Scribe; Wesley Mulford, Treas.; Chas. M. Thompson, Sec.; Chas. P. Perry, Captain of the Host; Chas. S. Hyatt, Principal Sojourner; George B. Fellows, Royal Arch Captain; Justin dibbles, M. Third Veil; Z. C. Brewster, M. Second Veil; James O. Griffin, M. First Veil; M. B. Luther, Chaplain; C. M. Thompson, Organist; O. F. W. Crane, Tyler; H. E. Bailey, d. P. Loomis, and W. Mulford, Trustees.
UNADILLA LODGE, NO. 128, ANCIENT ORDER OF UNITED WORKMEN
A lodge of the above order was organized in this village Jan. 30, 1878, by Will C. Hickox, Grand Guide of the Grand Lodge of New York. The following officers were elected and installed for the ensuing year: Rev. Charles L. Pelletreau, P. M. W. and Chaplain; Frank G. Bolles, Master Workman; Taylor L. Arms, General Foreman; Chas. P. Perry, Overseer; James O. Griffin, Recorder; George e. Fellows, financier; Dr. Joshua J. Sweet, medical Examiner and Receiver; Rufus K. Teller, Guide; M. W. Day, Inside Watch; Frank Buckley, Outside Watch; George M. Burgiss, a. J. Williams, and A. H. Watkins, Finance committee; Robert Stenson, Wesley Mulford, and C. P. Perry, Trustees; L. S. Watkins, martin Siver, and Theodore Carr, Business Committee. The lodge starts off with about thirty charter members, and meet the first and third Monday evenings of each month. For the present they meet in the Good Templars - Hall while making arrangements for a permanent place of meeting. There is a beneficiary fund attached to this order, which gives two thousand dollars to the heirs of every deceased member, which is paid by an assessment of one dollar and five cents on each surviving member.
CENTENNIAL LODGE, NO. 288, I. O. O. F.
Was organized Jan. 27, 1876, by Mr. J. Lorton, of Durham, Greene Co., N. Y., with fifteen charter members. Rev. E. C. Herdman filled the office of W. C. T. for the first term. The lodge first held its regular weekly sessions in the Methodist Episcopal Church; since that time they have occupied and removed from several places until Feb. 7, 1877, when they moved into and occupied the rooms vacated by the Young Men - s Christian Association. They have occupied these rooms up to the present date. The lodge is in a very prosperous condition, and bids fair of doing a good work. The principal officers for the present term are C. s. Hyatt, W. C. T.; W. e. Jordan, W. R. Sec.; R. S. Balistere, G. L. D.
This educational institution was established in 1851, and the following were the first stockholders, viz.:
A. B. Watson, 33 shares; A. D. Williams, 16; L. B. Woodruff, 12; Erastus Kingsley, 13; Mrs. A. W. Noble, 8; Mrs. Anna and Curtis a. Noble, 4; C. I. Hayes, 8; Joel Bragg, 5; E. Odell, 5; estate of Isaac Hayes, 12; Mrs. Minerva Hayes, 7; Peter Weidman, 2; estate of Joel C. Bragg, 1; John Viney, 1; Daniel Bissell, 1; A. Judson, 1; John Colwell, 1; A. F. Amsden, 1; E. M. Packham, 3; L. L. Woodruff, 1; H. D. Blakeley, 1; Henry S. Woodruff, 1; Joseph P. Shaw, 1; Darwin N. Edson, 1; E. Carmichael, 1; Salmon G. Cone, 2; estate of N. H. Adams, 1; J. C. Gregory, 1; R. G. Mead, 2; Wm. J. Thompson, 2; John M. Betts, 1; Geo. R. Porter, 1; total, 139 shares.
A building 40 by 50 feet in size, and two stories in height, was erected in 1850, at a cost of $3,000. The school opened in 1850 with Dewitt Barker as principal. The following officiated as principals from its organization to the present time, viz.: Dewitt Barker, Mr. Ely, A. E. Burt, R. L. Thatcher, Mr. Webster, s. E. Smith, F. Bagg, Frank B. Arnold, J. H. Willetts, and J. O. Griffin, the present incumbents, assisted by Miss L. Maria Sperry.
The present board of trustees is as follows: R. A. Sands, Samuel North, Geo. B. Fellows, James White, L. L. Woodruff, B. C. Gregory, H. E. Bailey, Evander Odell, F. B. Arnold, W. H. Emory, and D. P. Loomis.
Colonel Samuel North is president and Hon. D. P. Loomis secretary. In august, 1875, academy received an endowment from the town of Unadilla, being moneys received upon the sale of stock in the Albany and Susquehanna railroad. The institution is now in a prosperous condition, and not too much praise can be bestowed upon its enterprising progenitors and those through whose efforts it has been sustained and fostered.
Transcribed by Holice B. Young
Original website created by Debbie Axtman
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