A Brief History of Euclid Lodge

 101 in Lyndon, Kansas

Chartered on October 19, 1871

Our special thanks to the Editing Committee Research Committee who produced this History in 1971. They are Joseph Wischropp, Leo L. Richardson, Ralph Stanley, Dr. George H. Hoerman, Carl E. Manning, and Walter Osborn. Paul R. Oldham has updated this history from new documents furnished by the Osage County Historical Society.

 Lyndon was surveyed into town lots on March 7, 1870, by the Lyndon Town Company. The town was originally called Osage Centre, but was changed to Lyndon, named after the town of Lyndon, Vermont by Judge L.D. Bailey, who helped organize the Lyndon Town Company. The Lyndon Town Company was comprised of Madison Snow, William Haas, Samuel C. Gilliland, and B.J. Hall. Each member donated 44 acres for the town site.

In the Fall of 1870, after successfully founding the town of Lyndon, Kansas, it was found there were sufficient Master Masons among the citizens of the town and community to form a Masonic Lodge. Several persons proceeded to do this in a regular manner.

Corinthian Lodge 79 of Burlingame, Kansas chartered Euclid Lodge 101. It was determined the first three signers were competent to confer the degrees of Ancient Craft Masonry and it was recommended that they be chosen for the three principal officers of the Lodge.

The list of Officers are as follows: Samuel C. Gilliland, Worshipful Master, William M. Haas, Sr. Warden, E.R. Dove, Jr. Warden, R.C. Gilliland, Sr. Deacon, T.M. Wallace, Jr. Deacon, Henry Lamond, Sr. Steward, George McMillien, Jr. Steward, W.A. Cotterman Secretary, and William Hancock, Treasurer.

The first meeting of Euclid Lodge 101 was held in February, 1871 on the second floor of the hardware store built by J.W. Hammond at 631 Topeka Avenue. This happens to be the same lot where Euclid Lodge 101 started and now occupies the upper floor.

J.W. Hammond was the first to receive the Degrees of Ancient Craft Masonry in our Lodge. He was Initiated in March, Passed in April, and Raised to the Sublime Degree of Master Mason on May 3, 1871. He was also the first Masonic Funeral in our Lodge in December, 1871. The Minutes revealed that by August 26, 1871 we had conferred fifteen First Degrees, fifteen Second Degrees, and nine Third Degrees.

In the Fall of 1871, the Lodge members decided to raise $500.00 for the purpose of building a second floor on the building Brother Hod Jenness was then erecting. A committee was appointed to sell 500 shares of stock at $5.00 each, bearing 12% interest. The $500.00 was to be given to Brother Jenness; he, in turn, was to give the Lodge a ten year lease. The results were almost nil and two weeks later the interest was raised to 20%, but still no results. After several attempts failed to raise $500.00, $278.00 was accumulated and for this Brother Jenness gave the Lodge nearly a two year lease.

In December, 1871, arrangements were made for a Masonic New Year’s Ball. The admission was $2.00 per couple for the Ball and Supper. The committee in charge of this event reported all expenses were paid with a profit of $8.15. In February, 1872, a note of thanks was tendered to the widow and children of Brother Handcock for the Bible they had presented to the Lodge. On May 28, 1873, the Trustees were instructed to prepare the necessary papers for Incorporation of Euclid Lodge 101. The papers were complete by June 4, 1873.

The Lodge remained on the second floor of the Hod Jenness Building from the Fall of 1871 until December, 1876. The Lodge then moved to the Averill Hall which had been built in 1870 and had a hall on the second floor and was located at 613 Topeka Avenue. The Lodge members paid for the first year’s rent by making certain needed repairs. The yearly rent was $50.00. Most of this work was done by Monroe Pettigrew. Monroe was a new Petitioner to the Lodge and he was rewarded all three Degrees for his work as his pay. In December, 1876, a committee was appointed to secure sawdust to cover the Lodge floor and also to build a sandbox for the stove. They also were instructed to acquire four spittoons for the Lodge.

The Lodge met in Averill Hall from 1877 until June, 1884, when they returned to the Hod Jenness Building at 620 Topeka. They moved, after one year, to the John Howe Hall and remained there until June, 1886. They had nearly completed building the second floor of the middle building at this time so they moved into their almost completed building. Some weird financing failed, and they accumulated a $600 debt which eventually was turned over to the Citizen’s State Bank.

In April, 1879, the Lodge purchased eight jewels for $13.00, one bell for $3.00, and one dozen aprons with emblems at $2.25 each. One previous mention had been made of the purchase of Regalia when the Lodge was Chartered.

On February 21, 1880, the Tyler, E.S. Hackett was instructed to purchase the following for the use of the Lodge:

One dozen knives, forks, and spoons, a bucket and a pitcher.

One June 26, 1886, a motion was made to build two pillars for the Lodge Hall. The $12.00 invoice for the labor was paid in October. Insurance, in the amount of $21 was paid on the building. In the latter part of 1886, the Trustees were instructed to purchase the following for use of the Lodge: Lights for $88.00, a platform to be built around the Lodge, Carpet for less than $1 per yard, a stove, and to have a door cut between the Lodge Room and the Refreshment (Kitchen) Room.

Several good years, 1887 and 1888 followed. The O.E.S. was organized. More debt was accumulated and several demits were received. In those days members were tried before they were suspended for non-payment of dues. One member was appointed prosecutor and another for the defense. One Brother stated he was ill and could not pay and offered his sword as payment, but he was still suspended. The Lodge did keep the sword and used it at their Lodge meetings for two months and then returned it to him.

On January 31, 1895, the entire row of buildings on the east side of Topeka Avenue burned to the ground except for the J.W. Hammond hardware store and the Commercial Hotel. The first building to be rebuilt was the First National Bank which was the first building south of the J.W. Hammond Building.

In 1909 the Topping Drug Store building was replaced by the I.O.O.F. building. The Masons rented the building; however, they were again planning to build and had no problem in doing so. They chose the second floor in the Blums Building which was located at 610 Topeka Avcenue. They remained there through 1909 when A. Capper & Son offered them $600 for the Hall which they accepted taking a note for one year at 7%. The Lodge sold four dozen chairs, one stove, and the carpet to the I.O.O.F. Lodge. The carpet was to be credited for $35, one year’s rent.

By 1913 the lower level of the I.O.O.F. building had become Heaton’s Clothing Store. Frank and Charley Heaton purchased the I.O.O.F. building and opened a clothing store, and then sold the store to the Masons in 1920 for $1600. A motion was made to have the Lodge pay $600 down and secure a warranty deed. Another motion was made to rent to other Lodges and also to raise dues to $4.00 per year, half of which was to be applied to the debt. By the late 1930’s the debt had been paid. Records show that W.A. Cotterman, who was Secretary in 1871, and various other times was also Secretary in 1927.

Improvements were made in the Hall in 1931. Water was piped into the building and a lavatory, stool, and sink were installed. The labor and most of the items were donated by Lodge members. In 1935 a hardwood floor was laid.

The early 1940’s brought the following: Master’s chair, Senior Warden’s chair, Junior Warden’s chair, an Altar, and three pedestals. These items came from the Scranton Lodge which had sold its building.

The middle 1940’s saw the platforms both being enlarged. In the early 1950’s a gas ceiling heating unit was installed. In 1970 the Lodge was remodeled with donations from the Eastern Star and the labor was donated by Lodge members. New vinyl wall paper, new wiring, and new lights were completed. They noted, at that time, a new roof would be needed soon and the heating system should be replaced. The heating system was sufficient, but noisy. Shortly thereafter it was decided to sell the building to the Osage County Historical Society due to the cost of replacing the roof and the heating system. Today, the OCHS occupies the lower level of the building while the Masons occupy the upper level of the building.

In 2015 the Masons began remodeling the Lodge. The process began with small and inexpensive projects such as painting and cleaning. The lodge members then decided to re-do the stairway area. Materials were purchased by the Lodge and the labor was donated by the membership. In 2017 the membership decided to upgrade the electrical capacity to allow for 3 A/C units to be installed. These units were installed in June, 2018 and allowed the lodge to remain open during the hot summer months. This improvement worked so well that the membership now has decided to purchase gas heaters for the lodge room. Hopefully, they will be installed this year before the cold winter winds come.