History Notes

The following letter is probably a first for any lodge in North Carolinaletter


Sunday, December 17, 1899

At 4 o’clock p.m. there assembled in the office of the Commissioner of Labor and Printing (Supreme Court building) Metrs. W. Elliott White, W. E. Faison, N. S. Clark, D. P. McLean, John Hodgson, C. F. Snider, 0. B. Parrish, Z. P. Smith, L. O. Rogers, H. C. Butler, W. T. Harding, Master Masons in good standing, and members of Wm. G. Hill Lodge, No. 218, for the purpose of taking the preliminary steps looking to the establish- ment of a new Lodge of Ancient, Free and Accepted Masons in the City of Raleigh. The causes leading up to this action and briefly as follows:

For the past three years, since the election in 1896, Wm. G. Hill Lodge has been governed and controlled by a faction or “ring”. Each successive year has witnessed bitter personal fights upon those who refused to be controlled by the faction in power, and instead of time healing the differences, the fight became all the more bitter, until at the last election, held December 11, 1899, the strength of the candi- dates of each faction being equal , after fifty-six (56) ballots the contestants were withdrawn by their friends with the distinct under- standing that the then Senior Warden should have the unanimous support of the faction. But the faction which had controlled the Lodge for three years broke faith, and after a sufficient number of the other faction had retired gave their support to and elected a Past Master from their ranks. This was the “straw that broke the camel’s back”. The air was full of protests, and threats to withdraw and organize a new Lodge. On the following day the sentiment of even the most con- servative seeming to hair crystallized in a demand for a new Lodge, Metrs. W. E. Faison, W. T. Harding, C. F. Snider, Z. P. Smith and O. D. Green met by appointment at 7 p.m. at the office of the Commissioner of Labor and Printing, and after an exhaustive discussion of every phase of the question, continuing until 12 p.m., unanimously agreed that the only practicable solution of the question was the establishment of a new Lodge. This conclusion having been reached, the names of those who had protested against the action of the faction in control were divided among the above- named five brothers to be interviewed during the next two days. The meeting then adjourned to assemble Thursday evening, December 14, at the same time and place, and report. On Thursday evening seventeen (17) were reported as having expressed themselves favorable to a new Lodge. When- upon a meeting was set for Sunday afternoon at 4 o’clock, at the same place, when all those who had, or should decide to withdraw from No. 218 were to attend and proceed to take the necessary steps to organize the new Lodge.


On motion of Bro. Z. P. Smith, Bro. H. C. Butler was called to the chair and Bro. W. E. Faison acted as Secretary.

The list of names of those who had signified their intention of withdrawing from PJo. 218, was read as follows: E. H. Vaughn, D. P. McLean, John Hodgson, O. B. Parrish, W. A. Faison, A. L. Chamberlain, W. E. Faison, C. F. Snider, O. D. Green, Z. P. Smith, W. T. Harding, F. F. Harding, A. H. Green, L. G. Rogers, M. S. Clark, C. M. Pritchett, Thomas Pence, John Adams, H. C. Butler, W. E. White, W. L. Nowell, W. R. Smith, W. I. Horton, A. G. Atwood.

The chair announced the first business in order to be the selection of a name for the new Lodge.

Bro.. W. T. Harding suggested the name “Raleigh”, Bro. Z. 0. Smith “Brotherhood”, Bro. 0. P. McLean, “Friendship”, and Bro. John Hodgson “Fraternal”, when, after some discussion, all the other names being withdrawn, “Fraternal” was unanimously adopted as the name.

The naming of the three financial officers being next in order, Bro. 0. P. McLean suggested Bro. W. E. Faison as Worshipful Master, and he was unanimously chosen. Bro. Z. P. Smith suggested Bro. W. T. Harding as Senior Warden, and he was unanimously chosen. Bro. M. S. Clark suggested Bro. H. C. Butler as Junior Warden, and he was unanimously chosen. Bro. Z. P. Smith suggested Bro. C. M. Pritchett as Secretary, and he was unanimously chosen. Bro. Z. P. Smith suggested Bro. M. S. Clark as Treasurer, and he was unanimously chosen.

Bro. W. E. Faison then stated that ho desired the appoint]ve offices to be filled in the same way.

Thereupon, Bro C. M. Pritchett suggested Bro. W. E. White as Senior Deacon, and he was unanimously chosen. Bro. Z. P. Smith suggested Bro. O. D. Green as Junior Deacon, and he was unanimously chosen. Bro. Z. P. Smith suggested Bros. F. F. Harding and W. R. Smith as Stewards, and they were unanimously chosen. Bro. W. T. Harding suggested Bro. Thomas Pence as Tyler, and he was unanimously chosen. Bro. Z. P. Smith suggested Bro. Z. P. Smith as Marshal , and he was unanimously chosen.

On motion, the office of Chaplain was left vacant.

Bro. W. E. Faison suggested as Finance Committee Bro. C. F. Snider, L. C. Rogers and John Hodgson, and they were unanimously chosen. Bro. W. E. Faison suggested as Special Charity Committee Bros. D. P. McLean, A. L. Chamberlain and D. B. Parrish and they were unanimously chosen.

The selection of officers being completed, a general discussion of the outlook for the new Lodge was had, and it was decided that application be made for demits and certificate of recommendation at next regular meeting of Wm. G. Hill Lodge, December 25, 1899, and a Dispensation be at once asked for.

Bros. W. E. Faison and O. D. Green were instructed to visit Dr. R. J. Noble, Most Worshipful Grand Master, at Selma , and interview him in reference to the action taken.

All present having signed requests for demits, etc. the meeting Adjourned.

W. E. Faison, Sec.

Masonic Mall, Raleigh, N. C., December 28; 1899Special Communication of Raleigh Lodge, No. 500, held this evening, with The following officers and members present:
W. E. Faison W. M. W. E. White S. D.
W. T. Harding S. W. O. D. Green J. D.
H. C. Butler J. W. F. F. Harding Steward
M. S. Clark Treas. W. R. Smith Steward
J. P. Smith Sec. Thos. Pence Tyler
Z. P. Smith Marshall
               Members; C, F, Snider, L. G. Rogers, John Hodgson, D. P. McLean, A. L. Chamberlain, D. B. Parrish, W. A. Faison.

The Lodge was opened in due form, and the Worshipful Master stated that this communication was held for the purpose of organizing under Dispensation of the Most Worshipful Grand Master, R. J. Noble, which was read by the Secretary.

The election of Treasurer and Secretary was gone into, resulting in the choice of Bros. H. S. Clark and C. M. Pritchett, respectively, as decided at preliminary meeting.

The Worshipful Master announced the appointed officers, as named above, and who were chosen at preliminary meeting.

Bro. O. D. Green, of committee to visit the Grand Master, reported that the M.W.G.M. had suggested the name “Raleigh” for the Lodge when he learned it was to be organized, and insisted that it should be so named. On returning to the city, and consulting the majority of the members, the change in the name was made.

On motion of Bro. W. T. Harding, the first and third Friday nights of each month were selected as the nights for the regular communications of the Lodge, and the Finance Committee were instructed to confer with the committee of Wm. G. Hill Lodge in regard to meeting hall.

On motion, Bros. W. E. White, H. C. Butler, and Z. P. Smith were appointed a committee to draft by-laws.

The Secretary was instructed to purchase necessary books and stationery for his office.

No further business, the minutes were read and approved, and the Lodge closed in due form.

Z. P. Smith, Sec. protem.

Collecttions: Special Charity, 66¢; Dues: F. F. Harding, $1.00; D. P. McLean, $1.00; H. C. Butler, $3.00; John Hodgson, $1.00.


Masonic Hall, Raleigh, N. C., January 5, 1900
Regular Communication of Raleigh Lodge, No. 500, held this evening, with the following officers and members present:
W. E. Faison W. M. W. E. White S. D.
W. T. Harding S. W. O. D. Green J. D.
H. C. Butler J. W. F. F. Harding Steward
M. S. Clark Treas. W. R. Smith Steward
C. M. Pritchett Sec. D. B. Parrish Tyler
               Members: C. F. Snider, D. P. McLean, John Hodgson, A. L. Chamberlain, E. H. Vaughn, L. 0. Rogers.

Visitors: A. M. Jenks, Haron, 361, Michigan; J. R. Norman, Wm. G. Hill, 218; H. B. Jordan, Cary, 198.

Lodge was opened in due form. Minutes of special communication read and approved.

Bro. C. F. Snider reported that he had seen the Worshipful Master of Wm. G. Hill Lodge in reference to meeting hall , and had been advised by him to send a committee or communication to that Lodge.

On motion of Bros W. T. Harding, the secretary was instructed to send communication.

Bro. W. E. White, from committee on by-laws, reported, recommending the adoption of the by-laws of Wm. G. Hill Lodge with the exception of time of election and instal1ation which was fixed on St. John the Baptist’s Day, and the compensation of Treasurer, Secretary and Tyler to be amount equal their dues

.                On motion of Bro. C. F. Snider, the report of the committee was adopted.

On motion of Bro. C. F. Snider, the Master and Wardens were instructed to attend the Grand Lodge, which would convene in this city January 9th, 1900, and present application for charter.

Bro. W. E. White moved that after close of Lodge the E. A. degree be exemplified. Adopted.

Interesting remarks by visiting brethren Jordan, Jenks and Norman.

No further business, the minutes were read and approved, and the Lodge closed in due form.

C. M. Pritchett, Sec.

Collections: Specia1 Charity, $1.12. Dues: A. L. Chamberlain, $3.00; E. H. Vaughn; $3.00; W. R. Smith, $2.00; L. G. Rogers, $1.00; F. F. Harding, $2.00; C. F. Snider, $3.00; W. E. White, $3.00; M. S. Clark, $2.00; 0. B. Parrish, $1.50; W. T. Harding, $1.50.


Masonic Hall, Raleigh, N. C., January 19, 1900
Special Communication of the Grand Lodge of N. C., held this evening, with the following officers and members present:
B. S. Royster M. W. G. M. W. W. Parrish, as G. S. D.
John Nichol, as M.W.D.G.M. S. J. Hinsdale, as G. J. D.
T. W. Blake, as R.W.S.G.W. I. E. Green, as G. Steward
B. R. Lacy, as R.W.J.G.W. F. L. Mahler, as G. Steward
G. N. Walters, as R.W.G. Treas. R. H. Bradley, as G. Tyler
W. W. Willson, as R.W.G. Sec. W. F. Jones, as G. Marshal
Eugene Daniel, D.D., as G. Chap. F. A. Macon, as G.S.B.
H. I. Lean, as G. Pur.
The Grand Lodge of Ancient, Free and Accepted Masons of North Carolina convened in special communication at Masonic Hall in the office of the Grand Secretary, at Raleigh, N. C., Friday evening, January 19th, 1900, at 7:30 o’clock, and was opened in ample form, it appearing that a constitutional number of lodges were represented. The following lodges were represented: Nos. 40, 218, 229, and 396.
A procession was formed under the direction of the Grand Marshal, and Grand Lodge proceeded in a body to the Lodge room, where Raleigh Lodge, 500, was duly constituted and consecrated, and its officers installed, the beautiful and impressive ceremonies of the Craft.The following program was carried out:

Overture Music
      Prayer by Grand chaplain
Announcement by D.G.M. Music by Orchestra
Reading of Charter by G.S.
      Vocal Music
Consecration of Lodge Dedication by G.C.
      Lodge Constituted by G.M.
Installation of Officers Vocal Music
      Address by M.W.G.M.

The Grand Lodge then returned to the office of the Grand Secretary, there being no further business, the Grand Lodge was closed in ample form.

W. W. Willson, as G. Sec.


A most impressive and solemnly beautiful ceremony was witnessed in Masonic Hall last evening by many invited guests, notwithstanding the unfavorable weather. The occasion was the consecrating and constituting of Raleigh Lodge, No. 500, A.F. & A.M. The beautiful rites were watched with keen interest by all present, and were conducted with dignified decorum and majestic grandeur. A beautiful setting to the rather awe-in-spring ritual was the soft and sweet music made by the orchestra and the singers. After the overture, Rev. Dr. Euguene Daniel, of the Presbyterian church, as Grand Chaplain, led in prayer. Then came the announcement of the formation of the new Lodge by ex- Congressman P.G.M. John Nichols as Deputy Grand Master. Next the charter was read by Mr. W. W. Willson, Asst. Grand Secretary. Now a quartette composed of Miss Nannie Nowell , Miss Mary Woodall, Mr. James E. Reed and Dr. H. A. Royster sang an appropriate and beautiful hymn. The next thing was the constituting of the Lodge according to the ancient usages. First was the presentation of the Worshipful Master, Mr. W. E. Faison, to the Grand Master. Then the Worshipful Master presented the other officers as follows: W. T. Harding, Senior Warden; H. C. Butler, Junior Warden; M. S. Clark, Treasurer; C. M. Pritchett, Secretary; W. F. White and 0. D. Green, Senior and Junior Deacons; F. F. Harding and W. R. Smith, Stewards; Thomas Pence (by proxy), Tyler. Then came the consecration of the Lodge. After prayer by the Grand Chaplain, the carnal refreshment was poured upon the Lodge from the golden cup, and the wine and the oil likewise from the silver cups. Now the Grand Master regularly constituted the Lodge and empowered it to meet as a regular Lodge. After an intermission, during which cakes and ices were served, came the regular installation of the officers. One by one they were presented to the Grand Master by the Grand Marshal. First, the Worshipful Master was intrusted with the insignia of office and the furniture and implements of the Lodge, At this function a lovely solo was sung by Miss Lula Briggs. Then each officer in turn was installed and invested with the insignia of his office, the Grand Master calling his attention to the qualities of character which the various emblems symbolize. After this the Grand Marshal proclaimed the new Lodge constituted and the officers installed in ancient and ample form. Grand Master B. S. Royster then addressed the Lodge as follows: “Brethern of Raleigh Lodge, No. 500, this should be an occasion of preculiar interest both to the Lodge and to the whole people of Raleigh. That aggressive zeal which inspires all undertakings that are worthy to live has brought these bretherns to determine upon setting themselves up as a separate Lodge. I congratulate you all, both brethren and citizens of Ra1eigh, that you now have a great triang1e of Lodges in this city. Around this very alter I have no doubt most of you pledged your vows. Within this Lodge-room many of you have received inspirations that have budded and blossomed forth into magnificent achievements.” Referring to the fact that the exercises took place on Gen. Robert E. Lee’s birthday, the Grand Master said: “Had it occurred to you that this Lodge springs into being on a day that is dear to the heart of every man south of the Mason and Dixon line? Had it occurred to you that on this day the South’s great captain, Robert E. Lee, was ushered into being? There are those here who followed their country’s great leader from 1861 to 1865. You should be proud that your Lodge has its beginning on the anniversary of the birth of the beloved captain of our cause,” Speaking of the early recognition of the brotherhood of many by Masonry, he said: “Before the suggestion of that expression in our Declaration of Independence that all men are created equal, the honored institution had been practicing it for centuries. We learned ages ago that all those artificial differences that divide mankind and that cause bitterness and woe and heart bleeding must not be permitted to cross the threshold of our sacred Lodge-room. I admonish you to practice these principles–guard the entrance of your Lodge-room–admit none within the reserved presents and to the sacred rites, unless they be such men as are worthy to bear the name of Masons. This institution of Masonry has lived for centuries because it has deserved to live. It inculcates love for the living God, virture; morality, temperance, the qualities that make men true and faithful in all the relations of life; It stands forth and protects God’s greatest creation – woman. You have her in her fairest aspect and her purest simplicity. I am proud to say to you that the new woman does not exist in North Carolina. I beg that you will observe that there is but one thing that endures. Fame is fleeting, popularity is an accident, riches vanish~ nothing endures but character. These are the words that were spoken by Horace Greely when he was almost at the end of this life and on the threshold of the one to come. Live so that you may be an honor to the fraternity and to your community.” After the address, there was a trombone solo by Mr. J. D. Turner. Then the doxology was sung and the benediction pronounced by the Grand Chaplain. And thus ended a most enjoyable and pleasant evening.


Masonic Temple Building
(Alexander Building)
133 Fayetteville St.
Designed by prominent South Carolina architect, Charles McMillan, this downtown Raleigh landmark is listed on the National Historic Register, and is the state’s oldest surviving steel-reinforced concrete building. Indiana limestone clads its first three floors, with tan brick and decorative terra cotta covering the upper stories. Built in 1907 as the Masonic Temple, this is North Carolina’s first skyscraper, towering seven stories. Traditionally, the building had retail on the first floor with offices above. The main floor was reserved for Masonic Temple ceremonies. The Alexander Building, as it was known in the 1950s, is currently occupied by the Raleigh Urban Design Center as well as a number of professional offices above.
Charity Plate found in the Lodge Office
Charity Plate found in the Lodge office
Charity Plate presented to the lodge by Oscar D Green the year he was Master
Charity Plate presented to the lodge by Oscar D. Green the year he was Master