1835 -- 150 YEARS -- 1985
NOTE Good Faith Lodge was Under Dispensation from April 8, 1834, through August 20, 1835, receiving her charter August 21, 1835, from The Grand Lodge of Kentucky.-- Forward --
This history of Good Faith Lodge No. 95, F. & A.M., has been compiled .and printed through the efforts of the Triple "E" Travelers Club
The first one-hundred years was documented by Henry F. Childress.
With every good intention, reprinted and brought up-to-date by the triple "E"'s
President . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. Donald Elmore
Vice President . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Bob Baird
Secretary. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Bob Oliver PM
Treasurer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Dave Huff
Corresponding Secretary........................Wally Hennemann PM
To Donald L. Elmore and Tomas Ashley for their time and effort in making this book possible, to the Triple "E" Travelers Club.
History of Good Faith Lodge No. 95
In the year 1834 Andrew "Old Hickory" Jackson, a Mason, was the President of the United States, which then consisted of 24 states composed of, fifteen million people. The little cross-roads town of Florence, known as Maddenstown in 1821, renamed Connersville in 1829, and finally incorporated as Florence in 1830, was in 1834 a community of 63 people and 20 houses. In that horse and buggy era of candle light and handle bar mustaches, Florence served as a way station for the stage coach line. Such was the setting when 16 Master Masons banded together in Florence and formed Good Faith Lodge No. 95 in 1834.
By the year 1892 the town's population had dwindled from 374 in 1870 to 250 and the Lodge's Roster had declined to ten members. In order to bolster the membership it was decided to move the Lodge to Erlanger
and combine with the Masons there.
The rest of the history of the Growth of our Lodge can be read in the following pages of this book called "150th Anniversary and the Roll Call." This is a very interesting book to all Masons to see the many struggles by our Masons in the past to keep our Lodge what it is today.
This Book of Roll Call has been published by a branch of Good Faith Lodge No. 95 F. & A.M. known as Triple "E" Travelers Club, sometimes referred to as the "Work Horse of the Lodge". Any member of the Lodge can become a member of this Club. The dues are only two dollars a year. This money and all the money we raise is used to better our Lodge in one way or another. Many repairs, decorations, and improvements are needed throughout the years and that is where the Triple "E" spends this money.
Free Masonry has always been the Champion of Liberty, Equality and Fraternity. Today, however, there are forces which, by guile, would deprive us of our Freedoms. Now, more than ever before, we as Masons, should stick together. The very heart" of our American Way of Life is the Free Enterprise System as represented. by your local business people. This Roll Call comes to you with the compliments of those businesses whose names appear within its cover. If you have not done so, patronize them, you will be treated to a service that is absent
Free and Accepted Masons
April 8, 1834 -- August 20, 1960
We frequently say: "a million dollars," or "a hundred years," with very little conception of the scope of either. Therefore, when we say that Good Faith Lodge No. 95 is one hundred and twenty-ﬁve years old it is in a rather superﬁcial way that we regard it; but when we look back over a century and a quarter of progress, and realize that: in I834 twenty-four states, with a population of less than 15,000,000, comprised the entire Union; that Andrew Jackson' (Old Hickory) was President of the United States; that the day this Lodge came into existence Henry Clay, 2 United States Senator from Kentucky, and Vice-President John C. Calhoun locked horns in a stormy session in the Senate over the "Force Act," it is then we begin to comprehend the meaning of a century and a quarter of time.Click HERE for next page Click HERE for main Page of Website
It was on the morning of Tuesday, April 8, I834, that Abram Jonas, 3 Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Kentucky, came to Florence, at the request of Reuben L. Bristow 4 Adam Finch 5 and several other Masons,
and opened Good Faith Lodge, U.D.; and by mutual consent J. C. Foster was selected as Master.
It is doubtful whether any Lodge ever had a more unique beginning; for the minutes show that after the Grand Master had opened the new Lodge, Gabriel Tandy, a Fellow Craft from Burlington Lodge No. 56, which had
shortly before surrendered its charter, 6 applied for raising to the sublime degree of a Master Mason; and that with the consent of the Grand Master, he was balloted on, and raised. It is also recorded that at the second meeting two candidates applied for membership, and that both were rejected one month later.
From the beginning this Lodge was a very active one. This is accounted for from the fact that it was the only Lodge in the territory comprising what are today Kenton, Campbell and Boone counties.
1 Andrew Jackson was a Mason. .
2 Henry Clay was Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Kentucky in 1820-21.
3 Abram Jonas was a member of Grant Lodge No. 85, at Williamstown, KY.
4 Reuben L. Bristow had just moved to what was then Boone County, from Bourbon County, where he was a member of DeWitt Clinton Lodge No. 86.
5 Adam Finch had also recently moved to Boone County from Bourbon County, where he had been raised in Paris Lodge No. 2 in 1825.
6 Burlington Lodge No. 56 opened September, l818; surrendered its charter September 1, 1831.
7 Temple Lodge No. 64, of Covington, was instituted on August 29, I820, and surrendered its charter August 27, 1834.
The Lodge cash book indicates that the following were the charter members: Reuben L. Bristow, J. C. Foster, Thomas Reed, James C. Carter, N.J. Hopkins, William D. Scott, M. B. Clarkson, Joel Kirtley, William R. Stephens, George W. Clay, Samuel G. Menzies, Thomas Tupman, B. W. Eldridge, Fountain Perry, Adam Finch, and Henry Pierson.
Under the date of August 25, 1834, the committee on Lodges U.D., made the following report to the Grand Lodge: Good Faith Lodge U. D., situated at Florence, Boone County, Kentucky, procured a dispensation from the Most Worshipful Grand Master since the last Grand Annual Communication; and have paid their dues, made their return, forwarded a copy of by-laws, and sent their representative. The by-laws have been
examined, which are in accordance with the usages and principles of the Order, and indeed some articles are inserted, which although not very common, your committee is of the opinion that they are very creditable and proper, and of much importance. The work of the Lodge has not been forwarded, and the reason given by the representative is, that it was not known to be necessary. A continuance of the dispensation is prayed for, which your committee deems. to be reasonable, and they submit the following resolution:
'Resolved: That the dispensation heretofore granted Good Faith Lodge, U. D., be continued until the next Grand Lodge - Communication; and that George H. Clay be Master, Samuel G. Menzies be Senior Warden, and Reuben L. Bristow be Junior Warden, of said Lodge.' "
A charter was granted by the Grand Lodge on August 2l , 1835, and we were given No. 95, which we have retained. During our one hundred and twenty-ﬁve years of existence our charter has never been arrested or
questioned in any way.
In writing the history of this Lodge, we are sincerely impressed with the fact that from the beginning until the present the membership has consisted of the representative men of the community, who made very definite
contributions to its betterment; and that in a larger way, thousands who never saw the inside of the Lodge room have been its beneficiaries.
Not withstanding the one hundred and twenty-ﬁve years of continuous activity of this Lodge, there is no continuity of thought connecting the minutes of one meeting with another; therefore, we take the liberty to give
outstanding excerpts from our records of the past one hundred and twenty-ﬁve years, which, because of constantly changing conditions and customs, we trust will be of interest to the readers of today.
For many years the representatives to Grand Lodge, meeting in Louisville, were compelled to go by stagecoach.
The minutes frequently read that: "the Lodge closed in peace and harmony at l/4 past 4 o'clock," or, "l/2 past 4 o'clock."
Rent in the l830's seems to have been very reasonable, as the Lodge paid twenty-four dollars ($24.00) per year for their Lodge room.
For many years the officers were elected for a term of only six months. The elections were held on the two Saints John's days.
At that time the Deacons and Stewards were elected, instead of being appointed. This custom prevailed until 1844 and resumed starting 1960.
A hundred and twenty-ﬁve years have not changed the fact that committees are still reporting progress, and asking for further time.
The poor Secretary had just as much trouble in the collection of dues in 1834 as he does in 1960.
The two Saints John's days were always observed in a befitting manner. A minister or orator was procured to deliver an address, after which the members of the Lodge would parade, and then have a dinner.
A fact which strikes the Mason of today as unusual is that in the early history of this Lodge, the Brethren opened the Lodge in the Entered Apprentice degree, read the minutes, conferred the E. A. degree, and transacted such business as came up; after which they would go through the same process in the Fellow Craft degree and the Master Mason degree.
The minutes of this Lodge show that from April 8, 1834 to March, 1835, this Lodge received 12 petitions for membership, and that they accepted 8 and rejected 4.
On the first Saturday in May, 1834, Brother Reuben L. Bristow obtained the jewels of Burlington Lodge No. 56, which had surrendered its charter September l, l83l.
David Hoshall petitioned the Lodge on July 5, l834; received the E. A. degree on the first Saturday in August; received the F. C. degree on October 2, and at a meeting on October 3, received the M. M. degree, and took out a demit, as he was leaving the state.
July 10, 1834 this Lodge sent a delegation of members to Cincinnati, to march with Lafayette Lodge, F. and A. M., in honor of our departed friend and brother General Lafayette.
On Saturday, August 1, 1834 the committee appointed to settle with Brother Finch, Treasurer, reported: "We have examined the books of Brother Finch, and find that there is a balance on hand of Thirty-six Dollars
and Ninety-two and Three-fourth Cents ($36.92.3/4)."
At the same meeting the following bills were allowed: "Brother Tandy, bill of_ $1.37.1/2; bill of Brother Hopkins for $.06.1/4; and bill of A. J. McNeaI, for $.37.1/2."
$2.50 was donated out of the charity fund, on October 3, 1835, to Brother Petus Kosta, late of Poland.
April 2, 1836, buried Brother A. J. McNeaI". This was the first Masonic funeral this Lodge had. It was attended by many local Masons, as well as a number from Burlington.
We find a number of instances where two degrees were conferred on the same candidate at one meeting.
Another instance which surprises us is the fact that Milton W. Graves petitioned this Lodge on the 23rd day of June, 1836, was balloted on, and elected; on the 6th day of August he received his E. A. degree, and, in a
case of emergency, received his F. C. and M. M. degree on November 5. 1836.
The case of A. Graves was very much the same; he received his first degree on the 6th day of May, 1837, and received his second and third degrees on June 2nd, 1838.
May 6, 1837, a motion was made, seconded, and carried, that this Lodge furnish itself with a carpet, two alters, six spit-boxes, and three columns. On the same date, Brother Stuck presented two bills, amounting to $7.05.3/4, they were ordered paid.
From June 3, 1837 to May 5, 1838 nine candidates were rejected. On May 1, 1838 the by-laws were changed to read as follows: "No member in arrears with his dues shall be eligible to hold office, or to vote at the regular election of Lodge officers."
June 2, 1838, a petition was presented by a competent number of Brethren praying this Lodge to assist them in getting a dispensation from the Grand Lodge to hold a Lodge in Campbell County; by motion, unanimously agreed that this Lodge would do all they could in assisting our worthy Brothers in establishing their new Lodge. (This new Lodge was organized August 29, 1838; it was located at Bagsby's Precinct, and was named Campbell Lodge, U. D. It was never chartered, and ceased to function in 1839.)
July 7, 1838, Brother Kindrick, of Covington, presented a letter praying the assistance of this Lodge, in recommending a sufficient' number to the Grand Lodge, for the purpose of getting a dispensation to hold a Lodge in the City of Covington. It was unanimously agreed that this Lodge would so recommend. (Covington Lodge No. 109, is the present healthy "result.")
January 1, 1839, received ﬁve petitions, and raised two candidates. At a convocation of Past Masters, held in Florence, December 27, 1840, Brother Samuel Craig, the Master-elect of Good Faith Lodge No. 95, prayed to be passed to the degree of Past Master, which was done in ancient form. (The first time in this Lodge).
May 1, 1841, on motion, a committee was appointed to draft a form of a Lodge room, and ordered to report forthwith. Brothers Finch, Stuck and Lindsay, who were appointed, retired, and by agreement, reported their
draft as follows:
"A room 34 feet long, 20 feet wide, and a 9 foot story. To be completed in good order, with 7 windows, 4 doors, 10 panels, 3 venetian blinds, staining, and the house to be painted outside, except the back part; 2 locks on the door, and the work to be framed." Their report was received and accepted.
Brother Stuck offered to build the house as per specifications, on the lot opposite Brother B. W. White's, for the sum $270.00, donate $50.00 of the money himself, and complete the building by December 25, 1841. He was awarded the contract, but it seems that they were unable to collect a sufficient amount, and the project was abandoned.
May 6, 1841, this Lodge laid the corner-stone of the Methodist Episcopal Church, in Florence.
May 15, 1841, the committee on new Lodge room reported that their collections and subscriptions amounted to $238.62.
June 4, 1842, a letter was received from Bradford Lodge, U. D., of Independence, asking this Lodge to join. them in a Saint John's day celebration, on June 24, 1842.
September 3, 1842, Brother H. L. Stuck presented the following expense account, for his trip to the Grand Lodge:
Dues to Grand Lodge .........................$10.00
Stage Fare ............................................$8.00
Expense Going and Coming .................$3.00
Board and Expense while There ......$2.47.1/2
Total Expense ............................. ..$23.47.1/2
May 12, 1843, a Masonic diploma was given to Brother David DeGarmo. who was about to leave this community.
November 4, 1843. a motion was made and carried that Brother C. C. White be allowed to furnish wood for the Lodge, for a period of six months. for fifty cents.
September 7, 1844, Brother "B. M. A." gave his note for payment of his dues. and was duly reinstated.
October 5, 1844, the Secretary presented a prospectus of "The Masonic Mirror," the official organ of the Grand Lodge of Kentucky.
January 4, 1845, "The Masonic Mirror" was presented to this Lodge in lieu of "Free-Mason." as arranged by the publishers.
May 3, 1845, the Tyler was allowed $.18.3/4, for washing the aprons. The dues of this Lodge were $1.50 per year, and the fee for the three degrees was $20.00.
April 4, 1846, the by-laws were changed to read: "The Tyler shall receive a fee of fifteen cents ($.15) for each summons or notice he delivers."
June 5, 1847, this Lodge donated $5.00 to the Florence Band for services rendered.
Sunday, July 4, 1847, at 8:00 A. M., Gilbert Booth was raised to the sublime degree of Master Mason.
September 23, 1848, this Lodge received a communication from the Grand Secretary of the Grand Lodge, saying that a clandestine Lodge had been opened at Ripley, Ohio, and warning the brethren against impostors.
August 4, 1849, this Lodge moved into its own Lodge room. This was the old Lodge room and school house in Florence, which was made famous by Prof. John Uri Lloyd's "Felix Moses, The Beloved Jew." This Lodge remained in that building until December 18, 1892.
August 4, 1849, a communication was received from the Grand Lodge of Kentucky indicating that it was possible that the Grand Lodge would be divided into two sections. This Lodge went on record as being
opposed to such a division, but expressed a desire to be connected with the Northern Kentucky section in event that such change was made.
October 6, 1849, a petition was received from a number of Masons of Petersburg, requesting this Lodge to recommend to the Grand Lodge that a dispensation be granted them to open a Lodge at that place. The request was granted.
June 1, 1850, the Committee appointed to plaster the Lodge room reported that the work had been done and all bills settled.
November 2, 1850, on motion, it was resolved that this Lodge have a quarter-cord of wood bought and sawed up, for the use of the Lodge.
On the afternoon of April 5, 1851, the Lodge was called from labour to refreshment, until early "candlelight."
May 3, 1851, this Lodge purchased chairs and settees.
June 7, 1851, the by-laws were changed to read: "The Lodge shall hold its stated meetings at early candlelight on the first Saturday in each month."
October 4, 1851, on motion, a committee was appointed to confer with the Trustees of the Town of Florence,
"For the purpose of devising some way of paying for the lot on which this building (the Masonic hall) stands." Committee, Brothers D. Decarmo and John McDearman.
November 1, 1851, the Committee on Brother F. B. Rust's proposition to confer with the Trustees of the Town of Florence, reported that the proposition was rejected.