HISTORY OF LAFLIN LODGE NO 247 F.&A.M.
There is no subject more Interesting than the story of Masonry. Much time and space has been given to the study of Ancient Masonry. But Masonry in Laflin Lodge No. 247 deserve much more attention than it has received. Early in the year 1891, William Stockman called a special meeting of the Masons residing in and near the village of Mukwonago, to discuss the advisability of establishing a Masonic Lodge in Mukwonago. The call was answered by members from East Troy, Eagle, Waterford and Waukesha Lodges, who lived in the jurisdiction of Mukwonago. A Lodge was formed Under Dispensation, and on the fourteenth day of June, 1892, received Its Charter and became legally known as Laflin Lodge No, 247 F.&A.M. Of Mukwonago, Wisconsin.
The name was selected in honor of Grand Secretary John W. Laflin, who conducted the ceremonies of formal Installation,
The following officers were installed:
Worshipful Master William Stockman
Senior Warden J.M. Crawford
Junior Warden D.K. Smith
Secretary A.H. Craig
Treasurer F.C. Wallman
Senior Deacon James Johnston
Junior Deacon Benjamin Peacock
Tyler Nicolas Lotz
There were seventeen (17) Charter Members.
Brother William Stockman was our first Master, and served as Master under Dispensation from May 20, 1891 to June 14, 1892, when Laflin Lodge was granted Its charter. Brother Stockman was then elected Master, and served from June 14, 1892 to January, 1896. On January 1, 1897, he was elected Secretary, and served in that capacity until Jan. 1, 1921. At one time he was elected Grand Pursulvant of the Grand Lodge of the State of Wisconsin.
The first meeting was called to order in the Odd Fellows Hall, above the store owned by W.E. Lobdell, now the Central Food Market. Here the regular meetings were from held May 20, 1891 to sometime during the summer of 1894 at which time they moved to the hall above the Furniture Store which was owned by Brother Nicolas Lotz. The meetings were here until we moved into our Temple on June 7th 1927.
The rent for the Hall above the Furniture Store in 1895 was $50.00 per year and the fees for degrees was $25.00. The dues were $2.00 per year. On Jan 1, 1917 the dues were raised to $2.50 per year. On Dec. 17, 1919 the dues were raised to $3.00 per year and the fee for degrees was raised to $35.00. The Bible which rests on our Altar was purchased on March 20, 1901 for $6.00. In 1953 we had the Bible rebound, the cost of which was $37.50.
On Apr. 5, 1916, at a regular meeting, Brother Dr. L.E. Youmans, In behalf of the Lodge, in a few well-chosen words, presented Brother William Stockman with a Past Masters Jewel, and to Brother Isaac Blood a Masonic Emblem In commemoration of their fifty years of masonry, and to express the esteem and friendship of their brethren.Brother Ruben Humbert and Brother Lester Swan were given the three degrees In Masonry under Dispensation, owing to the fact that they were called Into the Armed Forces In 1917 and 1918. La Belle Chapter No. 40 OES which received Its Charter on Feb.22, 1893, paid $15.00 per year toward the upkeep of the building. The janitor, Brother E. S. Kellogg received $2.00 per year until 1898 when Brother M.W. Clefton became janitor and received 50 cents per month. On June 1, 1915, Mrs. Lotz raised the rent of the Hall to $80.00 per year. On Jan. 6, 1925, the fees for degrees was raised to $50.00 and, on August
17, 1926 the fees were raised to $100.00 per Year.
On July 5, 1927 the annual dues were raised to $10.00 per year. On Jan. 20, 1920 Mrs. Lotz raised the rent to $144.00 per year.
In the year of 1923, Laflin Lodge showed a remarkable Increase In membership, both by Initiation and affiliation, the membership now
numbering 125. It began to look as If we had about out-grown our present location. On July 17, 1923, our Worship Master, Brother Orlin Craig appointed Brothers Charles Hunter, Emil Wanner and Dr. J. C. Harland as a committee to investigate a possible location for a new Masonic Lodge. On March 1, 1924 the committee reported that they had found two locations, namely; the property now owned by the Frohna Electric Company, and a part of the lot on which the Chevrolet Garage now stands, owned at that time by Martin Brothers. The report was made by Brother Harland, but no action was taken. The committee was retained for further Investigation. On April 15, 1942, It was found that the property belonging to the late Ella Johnston Estate could be purchased for the sum of $2500. The funds we raised by subscription of the members, at which time $2665.00 was raised. On April 7, 1925, this location which is where our Masonic Temple now stands was Purchased.
On April 6, 1926, Worshipful Master, Ora Ahrens appointed the following committee to solicit funds for a new Masonic Temple: Charles Hunter, J.C. Harland, Dr. A. E. Boldt, H. R. Lobdell, and L. W. Hause. The total amount collected for the Temple was $17,892.50 and for the lot and the building $20,557.50.
On June 15, 1926, Worshipful Master, Ora Ahrens appointed the following committee as a building committee:
William Kingston, Martin Hanson, and David Hunter. This committee worked with the Finance Committee to receive plans and bids. Brother John Topzant of Milwaukee presented plans for same and was hired as Architect. The cost of the project was as follows:
Furnishings 4, 765.95
Total Cost 42,926.95
Owning to the depression of the early-nineteen thirties, our membership Had dropped from 117 In 1928 to 60 In 1936.
LAYING OF CORNER STONE OF LAFLIN LODGE #247
October 30th 1926
ORA AHRENS W.M.
From 1927 Grand Lodge Proceedings October 30; Laying of Comer Stone of New Masonic Temple at Mukwonago, Past Senior Grand Warden, Fred L Wright, presiding. From the Mukwonago Chief of Nov. 4, 1926 Laflin Lodge Is host at the Ceremonies. Last Saturday, Oct.30th turned out to be clear, though somewhat Chilly for the exercises In connection with the laying of the cornerstone of the new Masonic Temple. A goodly number of Masons from Mukwonago, Waukesha and other places gathered at the present home of Laflin Lodge at 2:30 P.M. and marched through the principal streets of the village preceded by the school band, with the Waukesha Commandery Knights Templar acting as escort. Arriving at their destination, where a considerable number of spectators, both in autos and on foot, were gathered, the local Lodge Officers and those of the Grand lodge of Wisconsin who had charge of the ceremonies, occupied the temporary platform adjoining the stone, which bore upon its face the inscription: ‘Laflin Lodge F.& A.M.” D. H. Mooney, Grand Master 1926, the visiting Officers of the Grand Lodge then proceeded with the customary rites, Including the official inquires and examination concerning the stone itself and the symbolic use of corn, wine and oil. At Intervals during the exercises there were musical selections by the band, and, at the conclusion, there was a brief talk by Mr. Herbert N. Laflin of Milwaukee, Prominent both in legal and Masonic circles and son of Past Grand Master of Wisconsin, after whom the local Lodge is named. Last of all there was read by its author, a history of Laflin Lodge. Brother Asa H. Craig was one of our Charter members. At the conclusion of the ceremonies, LaBelle Chapter, O.E.S. served luncheon to a large number of town folks and visitors.•
DEDICATION OF OUR MASONIC TEMPLE
June 7, 1927
Laflin Lodge No. 247 F.&A.M.
Finance: Charles F Hunter, Joseph C. Hartand Rudolph F. Boldt Harvey R. Lobdell Laurel W. Hause
Building: William Kingston, David M Hunter, Martin S.Hanson
Furnishings: Ralph L Buell, Chris Stoecker, Charles E. Wood, Mrs. F. Hunter O.E.S. Mrs. M.L Walker, O.E.S.
Dedication Ceremony by the
Grand Lodge of Wisconsin
Herbert N. Laflin:
Presiding Grand Master
A.H. Craig, P.M.
June and Melvin Hillier W.T. Parkinson
Herbert N. Laflin
The brass Altar lights were presented to Laflin Lodge on July 19, 1927 by Brothers, John Yank, Henry Yank, Francis Kellogg and Chauncey Kellogg, all of Burlington Lodge. These brothers were all raised In Laflin Lodge.
Final action was taken on the purchase of the certificates of Indebtedness as well as the note of Mrs. Frank Blott, which appeared in the minutes of October 28, 1940 as follows:
Hall of Laflin Lodge No. 247 October 28, 1940 A regular Communication of Laflin Lodge No. 247 was held at Mukwonago, Wisconsin.
Officers present: Clarence Stoecker.WM. , Fred Short S.W. , Arthur Gibson, Laurel Hause, Fred Smith, Ferdinand R. Smith, Ruben Dettman , William Rintelman, Emll Wanner .
A Lodge of was opened In due form. Minutes of last recorded meeting read and approved. Emil Wanner reported that a voluntary group of Masons had been able, by a systematic solicltatlon among some of the members, and, through the un-solicltated generosity of Brother F.R. Smith and Mrs. Jessie Smith the wife of Lester Smith, raised enough money to purchase the certificates of Indebtedness against Laflin Lodge, and presented to the trustees all certificated, with the statement that all indebtedness was settled In full. Brother Ora Ahrens Introduced the following resolution: Whereas our Brother F.R. Smith with and our good friend, Mrs. Jessie Smith, by their generous contribution to the fund for the retirement of the
WORSHIPFUL MASTER–HAROLD BAUMGART
Grand Lodge Assessment: $956.05 Membership 113
Petitions for degrees: Merlin Howard, Richard Stevens
E.A. Jerry Calvert, Merlin Howard, Richard Stevens
F.C. Jerry Calvert, Merlin Howard, Richard Stevens
M.M. Jerry Calvert, Merlin Howard, Richard Stevens & John Tetzlaff
Deaths: John Colwill, Alexander Hunter, William Kuss, Elmer Schmidt, Fred Short & Orville Walters
HIGHLIGHTS: Discussion in the community of selling property for a new Bank being built.