MASONIC LODGE 689

HISTORY OF THE HUNTERTOWN LODGE 689 F. & A.M.

 

From Dedication booklet 1912-1975

Huntertown Lodge No. 689 F & AM

Huntertown, Indiana

August 30, 1975

Huntertown is located about 10 miles north of Fort Wayne along the Grand Rapids and Indiana railroad and served by the Lima Road which was in part a toll road being surfaced by sawn plank.  Early settlers soon saw potential in the rich soil and business opportunities with the result WILLIAM T. HUNTER platted and sold lots.  A fast growing robust village developed with stores, taverns, a hotel, wagon shop, agricultural implement and grain dealers, etc.  A post office was soon to follow.

Many of these newcomers were Masons whose love for the fraternity prompted them to establish a Lodge in Huntertown.  The original petition bore the names of :

 

            T. M. ANDREWS                                  S. A. THORNTON

            J. O. BEARDSLEY                                IRA WERT

            F. C. WERT                                          H. F. BOYNTON

            CORWIN PHELPS                               THOMAS VANDOLAH

            HENRY KING                                      JAMES FLEMING

            DAVID McQUISTON                            F. C. BACON

            JOHN ANDERSON                              WILLIAM ROSS

            WILLIAM ANDERSON

SOL. D. BAYLESS of Fort Wayne, then Grand Master installed the first officers of this Lodge identified as Henry King Lodge #382 on June 24, 1869.  Their meeting place was above a drug store owned by F. C. BACON on the east side of Lima Road at about what is now Cedar Canyon Road

The Lodge prospered for a while but records show the charter was surrendered in 1882.

Some 30 years later, the plank road gave way to hard surfaced roadways, electric interurbans with their swift transportation competed with the fast more flexible rubber tired automobiles, the community continued to grow and attract business and professional people, among which was a popular medical doctor,  LYMAN T. RAWLES, a Mason and member of Angola Lodge, who thought the community needed the benefits of a Masonic Lodge. 

Through his efforts with the help from Masons of other jurisdictions then residing in the area, Huntertown Lodge was organized.

May 29, 1912 ELMER GAY, Grand Master of Masons in Indiana granted dispensation for Huntertown Lodge No. 689 with:

 

            LYMAN T. RAWLES as W.M.

            MORTON McCOMB, as S.W.

            JAMES PRESTON, as J.W.

            GEORGE V. KELL, as Treas.

            FRANK GREENWELL, as Sec’y.

            HARVEY FITCH, as S.D.

            ED PRESTON, as J.D.

            WM. BURNELL, as S.S.

            HESAKIAH HILLEGASS as Tyler

Meeting place was 2nd floor of the Huntertown Indiana State Bank (site of the present post office).  The necessary by-laws, furniture and supplies were secured promptly, with a vigorous, fast growing Lodge developing.

Within weeks requests for affiliation and petitions for membership swelled the original list to 30.  CHARLES L. TILDEN was the 1st to receive the Entered Apprentice Degree in this new Lodge.  His son, G. ROBERT TILDEN is one our present 50-year members.

On June 19, 1913 Indiana Grand Master JOHN W. HANAN conferred the actual Past Master Degree upon LYMAN T. RAWLES and constituted Huntertown Lodge No. 689.  Its officers duly installed were:

 

            LYMAN T. RAWLES, W.M.

            MORTON McCOMB, S.W.

            JAMES PRESTON, J.W.

            GEORGE V. KELL, Treas.

            HERSHEL HOLLOPETER, Sec’y.

            HARVEY FITCH, S.D.

            CHARLES TILDEN, J.D.

            JOHN RUNYAN, S.S.

            ALEXANDER BAKER, J.S.

            G. ROBERT TILDEN, Tyler

In making a search of the 1860-1900 history of early settlers of Eel River and Perry Townships, it is interesting to note that many names among these early developers still appear as active workers in our craft – such as DUNTEN, KELL, PARKER, HATCH, WOOD, FITCH, SIMON, RHOADS, SURFUS, JACKSON, WARNER, GUMP, McCOMB, HURSH, GRIFFIN, PHELPS, HILLEGASS and ANDERSON.

The areas of Wallen and LaOtto, as well as Huntertown were served by the Lodge which provided a needed function for communication and desirable social life in the communities.  A friendly spirit of competition developed between the 3 areas with picnics, plays and skits providing entertainment.  For over 40 years Huntertown Lodge observed St. John’s Day in June with a dinner and program in one of the 3 areas – many prominent personages of the day were guest speakers with the result, the spirit of Masonry continued to spread. 

In 1913, Order of Eastern Star organized a Huntertown Chapter which proved to be a most popular fraternal companion.  They were granted the use of the Lodge Hall and an improvement in décor, furnishing, and housekeeping, not to forget refreshment was soon evident.  Frequent social and dinner affairs made attendance and capacity crowds popular, even joint installations of officers which were public events was common place in those days.

Joint Lodges for Instruction were held with Avilla, Harlan, Leo and Churubusco and ledgers show large attendances with good exchange of visitors at these events.  Our proximity to Fort Wayne brought many visitors, from;  Wayne, Home, Sol D. Bayless and Summit City.  Huntertown for many years enjoyed the position of proficient ritualistic ceremonies. 

For over 20 years 2 stated meetings were held each month with frequent called meetings in addition to social nights.  Transportation during the winter months was often difficult – some “old timers” from LaOtto and Wallen areas resorted to the use of borrowed “hand cars” on the G.R. & I. as means of transport, being hand propelled kept them warm too. 

Membership in both O.E.S. and the Lodge continued to grow and in 1926 the Lodge entered into a contract with the Huntertown Bank to build an addition on the building to provide them with a social room, a better and safer stairway – with the result, 20 foot was added to the west side of the building.  The O.E.S. shared in the cost of furnishings – new Lodge room carpet, furniture, etc.

In 1930 Huntertown Bank closed their doors as bankrupt.  Wise negotiations were made with the receivers to prepay the rent for 2 years to assure a meeting place.  At this time con-sideration was given to purchasing the building as a Lodge home.  Thru aggressive and wise leadership, it became a reality.

The bank receivers indicated they would accept $3,000 for the entire building.  This amount was raised by the Lodge membership by issuing mortgage bonds, bearing 4% interest.  Twenty $100 and twenty $50 denominations were issued and subscribed by members.  This was November 1934, the depth of the depression years, but the spirit of Masonry was well established.  $2300 was subscribed by 4 of the more affluent members.  The other $700 was soon raised by the others.  It took over a year to get the abstract and title cleared but on June 6, 1935, the transaction was made complete by JUDGE WM. BALLOU, receiver of the bank. 

A land survey disclosed a possible problem as on the north boundry line of our lot the building was “on the line.”  The owner of the adjacent property, being a worthy and devoted brother donated and gave the Lodge title to 6 additional feet of land which later proved beneficial when subsequent sale of this property was made. 

A quarter century anniversary was observed December 10, 1938 with a dinner at the Methodist Church.  It was attended by 17 Past Masters, 47 members and 17 visitors.  DR. LYMAN RAWLES, our 1st Master, gave an interesting talk on the organization and formation of our Lodge.

By 1945 the mortgage bonds had been retired – a cause for rejoicing, but talk for a new and larger Lodge Hall progressed.  Membership was now 152.  A couple years later 2 vacant lots located a block west of the Lodge Hall were purchased as a possible site.

In 1950 a canvas was made to solicit funds and pledges.  They were not sufficient enough to justify any concrete action but an active building fund was started which continued to grow.  The previously purchased 2 lots were sold and a larger adjacent plot was purchased in 1958. 

In 1970 an opportunity to purchase 2 acres on the north side of town (our present site) for $2,000 developed, with the stipulation it be used for a Masonic Temple.  Actual purchase was made in 1971 at which time the previously purchased site west of the Lodge Hall was sold for $6,100.  The building fund now over $15,000 and with the anticipated assets from the sale of our present building plus a lot of enthusiasm a building was actually started along with an aggressive fund raising program.  Some members told us they would make a contribution when they saw the building actually being started.  Many of these commitments are being fulfilled. 

Huntertown is privileged to have as members, several contractors and many skilled as operative craftsmen.  To credit any particular individual or committee with the Temple progress is not being done.  To say that discord and confusion did not arise or that the Temple was constructed with the skills and perfection of King Solomon’s masterpiece would be a gross exaggeration, but when needed most, harmony and solutions seemed to flow in, almost like Divine Providence.

Quite a few members made more than normal contributions in both time, effort, and money.  Help came from many sources including friends and neighbors.   A salesman applied his skills in obtaining materials at maximum discounts with contribution from unexpected sources.  Our fraternities of “Builders” demonstrated their operative skills as plumbers, electricians, carpenters, stone masons, cabinet makers, painters, and bearers of burden with an enthusiastic cooperative spirit guided by a succession of devoted officers and leaders and above all else, as Masons with a goal.

The O.E.S. and JD’s helped in nailing, painting, finishing and cleaning with encouragement and morale support to spur on the operative craftsmen.  The O.E.S. volunteered to assume responsibility for the kitchen, dining and social room, an important element in all Lodges.

With Grand Lodge approval our Charter was moved to the new Temple, October 20, 1973 – 1st meeting held October 25, 1973.

 

Some work remains to complete our physical Temple – a stone exterior, air conditioning and seating arrangements are necessary additions but the entire project has been accomplished without indebtedness, a tribute to the philosophy of Masonry, evidence that the brotherhood of man under the fatherhood of God lives on. 

                       

 HUNTERTOWN LODGE #689

Altekruse, Fred B.

1924

Dearduff, William L.

1969

Arnold, Dewey S.

1939

Dice, Keith M.

1951

Arick, Walter A.

1919

Dickes, Fred R.

1944

Bailey, Carl R.

1957

Dickes, Philip W.

1952

Bailey, Eldon W.

1957

Dixon, Hubert T.

1948

Bailey, Ross

1969

Doster, DeMore D.

1948

Baker, Larry L.

1972

Doster, Ned R.

1948

Barker, Calvin M.

1951

Doty, Richard E.

1957

Barker, Tom E.

1969

Dunten, Donald E.

1917

Baughman, Keith P.

1952

Dunten, Jean M.

1929

Baur, David G.

1974

Emrich, Clifford

1946

Baur, Donald

1968

Emrich, James A.

1963

Bauserman, James

1969

Engle, Richard W.

1949

Beltz, Donald P.

1951

Etter, Thomas D.

1952

Bender, Robert B.

1967

Faylor, Everett W.

1947

Benward, Keith G.

1960

Faylor, Wayne L.

1947

Blake, George F.

1966

Felger, Joseph A.

1954

Blake, Jerry K.

1969

Fensler, Edward L.

1945

Bockman, David M.

1971

Flancher, Charles W.

1965

Bockman, John F.

1971

Fortmeyer, Howard

1947

Bockman, Roscoe H.

1943

Freck, Loren W.

1954

Boleyn, William W.

1955

Fritz, Kenneth P.

1961

Bond, Clyde S.

1957

Frock, Charles E.

1954

Bowser, Glenn E.

1956

Fryback, George L.

1944

Bremer, Harold H.

1928

Furr, Ronald E.

1962

Brindle, Earl T.

1949

Gaunt, Irvin W.

1958

Brown, Russell A.

1944

Gause, George E.

1944

Bryan, Darwin P.

1949

Gause, Paul W.

1952

Buchanan, James F.

1953

Geller, Donald G.

1945

Bueker, Ralph, Jr.

1952

Genth, Donald L.

1969

Bunn, James, Jr.

1949

German, Erwin R.

1947

Bunn, Russell L.

1937

Gibson, L. Edward

1973

Burgan, Phillip A.

1968

Gongwer, Frank D.

1945

Caldwell, Robert L.

1938

Gordon, Joe E.

1953

Campbell, Bernard

1947

Graham, James E.

1927

Campbell, Larry L.

1963

Gray, Paul W.

1952

Campbell, Maynard

1956

Green, Russell H.

1956

Campbell, Raymond

1940

Greulach, Ned D.

1950

Campbell, Richard L.

1950

Griffis, R. Wayne

1953

Childers, John A.

1963

Grimes, Clovis C.

1957

Churchward, Paul A.

1972

Gross, Luther M.

1969

Cook, Stephen W.

1972

Gump, Lloyd D.

1952

Cook, Vincent S.

1948

Gump, Walter C.

1942

Craft, James W.

1948

Hague, Warren D.

1954

Crance, Donald A.

1956

Hand, Kenneth E.

1953

Crooks, Donald L.

1958

Hankins, Willard S.

1959

Crouse, Ira W.

1924

Harrod, Roger L.

1955

Croy, Lawrence A.

1949

Hart, Richard R.

1953

Cummins, Gordon

1956

Harter, George B.

1943

Daniels, Edmund R.

1968

Hatch, Floyd A.

1963

David, Jack V.

1964

Hawkins, John L.

1972

 

Hawkins, Lloyd J.

1954

McDougall, Paul E.

1949

Hayner, Lester D.

1958

McDuffee, Lee R.

1931

Heck, Ted L.

1970

Mackey, Clinton

1946

Hedges, Charles A.

1954

Mackey, Kenneth M.

1945

Hellwig, Eric R.

1924

Maggert, Orlie E.

1949

Hollinger, Delbert O.

1964

Mallon, James M.

1942

Holmes, William W.

1955

Martin, Albert L.

1953

Hontz, Joseph A.

1955

Martin, Edmund N.

1958

Hosler, Howard P.

1944

Martin, Eugene D.

1957

Houser, Carl E.

1944

Martin, Harold O.

1954

Houser, James A.

1947

Martin, John W.

1962

Houser, Perry L.

1931

Meagher, Sylvester

1959

Houser, Randall L.

1955

Meek, Richard J.

1971

Houser, Robert J.

1933

Meek, Robert W.

1971

Hursh, Frank K.

1952

Meese, Richard M.

1947

Hyde, Raymond S.

1953

Miller, Charles R.

1949

Jackson, Robert G.

1953

Miller, David J.

1945

Jeffries, Jesse W.

1951

Miller, Kenneth G.

1941

Johnston, Cresson F.

1935

Miller, Roy S.

1925

Jones, George W.

1949

Mizzell, Thomas E.

1972

Kelham, Russell E.

1932

Murdock, Vance T.

1967

Kell, Jacob F.

1925

Myers, Edward E.

1962

Kessler, Max D.

1941

Noble, Howard C.

1933

Kesterson, Wayne N.

1956

Nofzinger, Ray

1957

Kidder, Orva T.

1950

Ordas, Arthur F.

1941

Kitson, Eugene

1943

Ormiston, Rodney E.

1941

Knafel, C. Darwood

1946

Otto, James A.

1924

Knelanger, Louis E.

1973

Overly, Ralph R.

1947

Knop, Willard A.

1945

Perry, Wilbur R.

1962

Kuhn, Melvin F.

1959

Peters, Gene

1956

Lahrman, Arthur C.

1973

Peters, Roy, Jr.

1962

Lahrman, Robert D.

1954

Phelps, Charles O.

1956

Lahrman, Robert II

1975

Porter, Gerald C.

1939

Lansaw, Rodney

1957

Ramer, Russell E.

1958

Lare, John L.

1949

Rhodes, Dalton L.

1948

Lee, Harold N.

1942

Richards, Charles Jr.

1953

Leiter, Glen H.

1944

Richardson, Harold

1926

Leiter, Robert S.

1946

Riley, Earl A.

1960

Lewis, Stewart E.

1969

Robinson, Merle E.

1914

Liggett, Jimmy H.

1948

Rogers, George M.

1944

Liggett, Joseph W.

1934

Rothman, Kenneth

1966

Lincoln, George W.

1952

Rowe, Russell R.

1928

Lindley, James E.

1974

Ruhl, Warren A.

1937

Lombard, Virgil R.

1962

Runyan, Gerald O.

1958

Lorenz, William C.

1966

Russell, Walter D.

1946

Lutter, Clarence S.

1949

Schaefer, Gale L.

1960

Lutter, James E.

1947

Schlatter, Joseph L.

1957

Lutter, William F.

1949

Schoeff, Marshall O.

1956

McComb, Bruce L.

1953

McComb, Danford M.

1951

McComb, James A.

1949

McComb, Keith L.

1953

McComb, Teddy L.

1972

Seifert, Karl R.

1955

 

Shank, Glenn A.

1943

Tilden, George R.

1912

Shenk, Francis E.

1955

Tilden, Kenneth J.

1944

Shenk, William E.

1961

Trueblood, George J.

1958

Sible, Robert W.

1942

Tucker, Howard G.

1956

Sigler, Lawrence L.

1955

Warner, Erman K.

1929

Simon, Neil K.

1956

Warner, Gaylord C.

1957

Simon, William R.

1929

Warner, James L.

1949

Sinders, Carl

1949

Warner, Joseph C.

1949

Smith, Grant E.

1936

Warner, Myron K.

1950

Smith, Harry M.

1942

Waters, Warren E.

1941

Smith, Raymond T.

1941

Waterson, H. Max

1953

Smith, Almon F.

1924

Watts, Arden J.

1949

Snider, Verlie H.

1955

Wentz, Robert

1967

Spade, Maynard J.

1946

Western, Howard H.

1952

Spangle, Wilbur A.

1959

Wetzel, Marshall B.

1949

Spitler, Robert L.

1939

Whan, Warren L.

1945

Stinnett, Clarence

1952

Whirledge, Thurlo T.

1928

Sunderland, John R.

1944

White, John R.

1973

Surfus, Donald E.

1955

Witham, Paul S.

1944

Surfus, Wayne H.

1929

Woodring, George M.

1947

Swihart, James R.

1961

Worman, William D.

1945

Thomas, Robert J.

1973

Yearling, Richard E.

1954

Thorn, Marvin G.

1958

Yoder, Loyal R.

1942

Thrush, Albert H.

1935

Young, Enos H.

1929

Thrush, Ambrose W.

1935

 

 

Thrush, Jack E.

1953

 

 

Thrush, Richard A.

1971

 

 

Thrush, Robert M.

1939