Long standing tradition for New Lex Masonic Lodge – Perry County Tribune: News The following historic notes about New Lexington Masonic Lodge, were taken from a Masonic Directory, published in 1984. At that time the following called New Lexington Lodge home: New Lexington Lodge 250, Free and Accepted Masons of Ohio; New Lexington Chapter 149, Royal Arch Masons; New Lexington Council 75, Royal and Select Masters; New Lexington Commandery 57, Knights Templar; Carnation Chapter 167, Order of Eastern Star; Somerset White Shrine of Jerusalem; Carnation Assembly 201, and Order of the Rainbow for Girls.
In 1984 Lodge meetings were held at 113 1/2 Main St., in New Lexington. After a fire destroyed their building, a new Masonic Temple was built on Old Somerset Road, near New Lexington. New Lexington Lodge was chartered on Oct. 18, 1854, with a membership of 226 men.
The Lodge has deep roots and was chartered prior to the building of the Perry County Courthouse, in New Lexington. Perry County men of various vocations and professions, have been part of the lodge history. Many area men of today — have family members who have followed the Tenets of Freemasonry.
Historic dates and notables:
Feb. 4, 1865 — The Lodge resolved to remit dues of members serving in the U.S. Army; June 24, 1878. This was probably the biggest day in the entire history of Masonry in New Lexington. The Celebration of St. Johns Day. The Lodge opened at 8:30 a.m., with most members present. A parade of many Masonic organizations marched to the M.E. Church, where dinner was served to 784 persons, by members of the Church, at the expense of the Lodge;
May 5, 1887 — A communication was read by WM about the Perry County Commissioners extending invitations to the Grand Master, for him to lay the Cornerstone of the Perry County Courthouse, and May 18, 1887, was fixed for the ceremonies; June 18, 1902. Communication was read regarding the death of Bro. W.H. Grove, the first Master of the Lodge. He died Jan. 24, 1895; Feb. 5, 1903. An application for a Dispensation to organize a chapter of Eastern Star, having asked for permission to hold their meetings in the Lodge room was adopted; April 24, 1906. A letter from Grand Master of Masons, requesting donations for Bros. in California, on account of the earthquake and fire. Lodge donated $50 for this cause; May 24, 1915. A special communication was held to confer the MM degree of Merle Kishler. Roseville Lodge conferring the degree. The following were in attendance: Roseville 53, Crooksville 21, Shawnee 14, New Lexington 113, New Straitsville 7, for a total of 212. This was and probably still is the largest attendance ever assembled for a regular MM degree;
Jan. 23, 1915 — Mell G. Underwood was initiated. He later became a U.S. Representative and later a Federal Judge;
Aug. 18, 1915 — A special communication was called for the purpose of laying the cornerstone for Bethesda Hospital, in Zanesville, 20 brothers attended;
Aug. 1, 1918 — Brothers Josiah Brown, Perley Brown and James Brown became Master Masons. This probably was the first time in the history of New Lexington Lodge that three full brothers became Master Masons in the same evening;
Feb. 9, 1933 — Due to the Depression that now exists, a motion was made and approved that a “Welfare Committee” be appointed to assist the secretary in collecting the dues, and to help distressed Brethren;
Feb. 16, 1933 — Daniel C. Jenkins was initiated an Entered Apprentice. He later became a Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Ohio. Note: Bro. Jenkins is the only member of New Lexington Lodge to become a Grand Master;
Feb. 14, 1935 — The proceedings of the Lodge were typewritten for the first time;
Sept. 16, 1937 — Masons assembled in the Lodge room in commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the signing of the U.S. Constitution;
March 6, 1941 — Annual Father and Son banquet with 180 in attendance;
April 10, 1941 — It was noted that New Lexington Lodge had 40 brethren in the service, with one killed in action; Jan. 6, 1944 — This being the day that Allied forces invaded the continent of Europe, several of the Brethren gathered around the Altar and prayer was offered by Rev. H.H. Wilber, the Prelate of New Lexington Commandery, in behalf of the members as well as all others that were in the service of their country.
“So from a small beginning in 1854, and through its first 90 years, the Lodge had progressed through wars, and many other problems. They had built a new temple, furnished it with new furniture, with a strong and steadfast group of dedicated Masons. Thus Masonry had grown and survived the many trials and tribulations of the times, just as it will in the future, if we exercise the same fervency and zeal of their founding fathers.