"HISTORY OF WABASHA COUNTY"
Compiled by Dr. L. H. Bunnell
Published Chicago by H. H. Hill, Publishers, 1884
Republished Currently by Higginson Books
The establishment of the masonic order in the city of Wabasha was effected at a very early date; the organization of the first lodge of the A. F. & A. M. at this point antedating the incorporation of the city about a year and a half. The population of the city at that time probably aggregated six hundred, among whom were several who, remembering the old days when they were wont to be called from labor to refreshment, determined to establish a lodge of the craft in the new home they had chosen for themselves in the then far northwest. Accordingly a petition for a dispensation to open and conduct a masonic lodge, to be known as Wapahasa Lodge, No. 14, of Wabasha, Minnesota, was forwarded to Grand Master A. T. C. Pierson. A Dispensation was granted October 22, 1856, and on the 7th of January, 1857, a charter was issued, under the authority of the grand lodge, empowering S. L. Campbell, J. J. Stone, F. J. Collier, S. A. Kemp, Lindsay Seals, Wm. Pierson and B. A. Grub to open a lodge of A. F. & A. M., to be called Wapahasa Lodge, No. 14, of the State of Minnesota. The lodge was organized in due form with S. L. Campbell, W. M; J. J. Stone, S. W.; and F. J. Collier, J. W. The original lodge room was in a new building on the corner of Walnut street and the Levee, which had been erected for general merchandising purposes by Campbell, Gambier & Pendleton. This building was at that time the best store building in the city, and the new lodge room, in the upper story was a very creditable meeting-place for the craft. The site upon which this landmark of early times stood was the ground now occupied by the Midland railroad depot, and the old building is now used as a paint shop, corner of Main and Walnut streets. From their quarters in the upper story of this structure the Masons subsequently removed to the upper story of the brick building on Main street, between Alleghaney and Pembroke streets, at that time occupied by Luger Bros. as a furniture warehouse and salesroom. From Luger's, in 1870 the lodge removed to the third story of the Campbell House block, since burned. The upper story of this building, which stood just west of the present Masonic block, corner of Main and Alleghaney streets, had been erected by special contract with the members of the Masonic order, who had contributed six hundred dollars toward the erection of the block, in consideration of which, and a stipulated rental, a lease was executed for a specified term of years. In 1878 the craft removed to the third story of John Schirtz' building, one block east of the Campbell House, and there remained until the completion of their own building, Masonic block, of which they took possession December 1, 1880. This building was the outgrowth of a desire on the part of the fraternity in this city to secure a prominent location for themselves by erecting a building of their own. Accordingly, in 1880, the Masonic Building Association was organized, having for its object the erection of a suitable masonic building. The capital stock was placed at ten thousand dollars, shares ten dollars each. Only fifty per cent of the face value of the shares was called for. The building was erected, and care taken to regulate the issue of stock so as to insure its absolute control by members of the order. The conditions of the issue were such as provided for the gradual redemption of all stock certificates by the masonic lodge in its corporate capacity, and this result is being steadily reached. The one hundred shares, and of those outstanding all are held, with two exceptions, by members of the masonic fraternity. The annual rental of the lodge room is fixed at one hundred and fifty dollars by the board of directors. Masonic block is a substantial brick structure, solid stone foundations, tin roof, and rises two stories above the basement, with side walls of thirty feet. It fronts fifty feet on Main, corners on Alleghaney street, and has a depth of eighty feet. Only the west half of the block is owned by the masonic fraternity, and of this they occupy only the second story, the main floor, 25X80, being occupied by the United States post-office department, at a rental of one hundred and eighty dollars per annum. The lodge room proper is 24X50 feet within walls, with ceilings of 12 ½ feet. It is very handsomely furnished and decorated, the symbols fo the order duly displayed, and all the appointments in excellent taste. The anteroom 12X30, and the preparation-room, of same size, are also comfortably carpeted and furnished, and there are ample closets and cabinets for the regalia and other insignia and paraphernalia of both blue-lodge and chapter. The cost of building, in round figures, was five thousand dollar; cost of furnishing, about nine hundred dollars. The whole number of master masons who have been connected with Wapahasa lodge from its institution, nearly twenty-seven years ago, to date, aggregates two hundred and four. The present membership is seventy, and twenty-four have gone out from the earthy portals at the call of the Grand Master, to lay the designs upon their tressleboards before Him and submit their work for inspection.
The present officers of Wapahasa lodge are: J. A. Peck, W.M.; C. J. Stauff, S. W.; B. Florer, J. W.; Paul Miller, Secretary; J. H. Evans, Treasurer; H. S. Elkins, S.D.; Pearl Roundy, J.D.; Thos. Roundy Tiler; Chas. Hirschy, S.S.; J. Geugnagel, J.S.
The names of those who have been stationed in the east, west and south since the organization of Wapahasa lodge, twenty-seven years ago, are herewith appended. The list will awaken many memories among the surviving members of the lodge and recall many names almost forgotten. The list is official.
Relief Chapter, No. 35, R. A. M. ~ Wapahasa Lodge, No. 14, had been in existence twenty-four years, and the Masonic building was just completed when the members of the craft deemed it wise to take steps toward the establishment of a chapter, that such as desired might receive instruction in the more advanced work of the craft, as exemplified in the higher orders of Masonry. A dispensation to form a chapter was accordingly petitioned for. This dispensation was granted December 12, 1880, and on October 11, 1881, a charter was issued by the grand chapter of the state, constituting Relief Chapter, No. 35, of Wabasha, Minnesota, naming the following as charter members: Jos. Buisson, C. J. Stauff, Francis Talbot, H. N. Smith, A. Campbell, A. J. Bent, W. H. Campbell, David Cratte and I. J. Pennock. The chapter has now had a successful and prosperous existence of over two years, during which time fifty-three members have been borne upon its rolls. Of these three have demitted (demit: to withdraw from office or membership: Merriam-Webster), leaving a present membership of fifty. The work of the chapter is now conducted under the following official leadership: J. H. Mullen, M.E.H.; J. A. Peck, King; B. Florer, Scribe; Paul Miller, C. of H.; Rev. Jas Cornell, Chap.; O. H. Porter, Sec.; Francis Talbot, Treas.; Chas. J. Stauff, R.A.Cap.; R. E. Stearns, G.M. of 3d V.; John Mealey, G.M. of 2d V.; H. S. Elkins, G.M. of 1st V.; Thos. Roundy, Sentinel.
Red Leaf Chapter, O. E. S. ~ No sooner had Relief Chapter, No. 35, R.A.M., been instituted and the work of instruction begun in their camp, than the establishment of a chapter of the Order of the Eastern Star was decided upon by the wives and daughters of the members of the masonic fraternity in this locality. The organization was effected, and on January 12, 1881, Red Leaf Chapter, No. 10, Order of the Eastern Star, was duly instituted with the following named charter members: Mesdames Franc D. Clarke, Mary I. Stauff, Ellen L. Dugan, Anna L. Walton, Carrie E. Krick, Emma S. Peck, Susan S. Robinson, Barbara Porter, Selma Oswald, and Messrs. W. A. Clarke, C. J. Stauff, E. J. Dugan, H. Oswald. Regular communications are held in the masonic temple on the first and third Fridays of each month. The chapter has had a healthy growth during the two years and a half it has been in existence, and there are now forty-eight members upon its rolls. One of the objects of the order being the promotion of the social life of its members, the ladies of Red Leaf chapter have recently furnished their closets in the anterooms of the masonic temple with the necessary linen and tableware for the tables that are spread from time to time in their banqueting-room. The funds for this purpose were raised at a very enjoyable masquerade given by the ladies of Red Leaf on January 18th, 1883. The officers of the chapter for 1883 are: Susan S. Robinson, W.M.; Chas J. Stauff, W.P.; Ellen L. Dugan, A.M.; Anna L. Walton, Sec.; Mary J. Stauff, Treas.; Emma S. Peck, Cond.; Mary R. Florer, A.C. The institution of Red Leaf Chapter has been a decided gain to the social life of the masonic order in this city. Its work in this direction, and in the care of the sick, and in such other ministries and helps as naturally fall within the sphere of the obligations of its members, is just such work as in everywhere needed to crown all fraternal association with the highest possible good. Red Leaf chapter is the only chapter of the Order of the Eastern Star in the county.
Teutonia Lodge, No. 19, I. O. O. F. ~ The only subordinate lodge of the Independent Order of Odd-Fellows in this city works only in the German language, and is the outgrowth of the German Aid Society established in this city in 1860. This "aid" society was a local organization, having for its object the promotion of social relations among its members and the care of its members in case of sickness. It had a numerous membership and was in quite a flourishing condition for some years after it began operations. But it was soon apparent that its benefits could not be extended beyond the limits of its own pale, and as its members removed from the city, they were thenceforth debarred from all benefit connected therewith. Accordingly, in 1867, a committee of five was appointed by the society to take the situation under consideration, examine the workings of the various aid or fraternal associations having a national existence, and report which one, in their opinion, was the nearest allied in its objects and work to their own local aid society. This committee consisted of F. L. Riechter, L. Gintner, John Satori, J. T. Gintner and F. Kling, who, after due examination and consideration, reported in favor of the I. O. O. F. as most nearly answering the ends sought. The report of the committee was approved, and they were further instructed to proceed to Plainview, Wabasha County, where there was a lodge of the Odd-Fellows order, receive initiation into the same, and so be prepared to take all necessary steps to secure a lodge of the order in Wabasha. The duties assigned the committee were duly performed; a paper was circulated among the members of the "Aid Society" to ascertain how many of the members were willing to enter an Odd-Fellows lodge when formed, and all things proving satisfactory, the five members forming the committee of the Aid Society, being now members of the I. O. O. F. at Plainview, petitioned the grand lodge for permission to open and conduct a lodge of the I. O. O. F. in Wabasha. The petition was duly granted, and on September 25 the lodge was organized as Teutonia Lodge, No. 19, I. O. O. F., of Wabahsa, with F. L. Riechter, J. T. Ginthner, John Satori, L. Ginthner and F. Kling as charter members. The first meeting of the lodge was held in the hall in the third story of Schwirtz block, and continued to meet there until 1876, when they removed to the second story of John Satori's building, northeast corner of Main and Pembroke streets, which quarters they occupied till the completion of their own building in the fall of 1882. This is a solid brick structure, two stories in height, fronting twenty-eight feet on Main street and running seventy-five feet to the rear. The lodge room is 26X50 feet within walls, thirteen feet between joists, and very pleasantly and comfortable furnished. The anteroom is 18X24 and is furnished with cabinets for the insignia and paraphernalia of the encampment, and such other furniture as is necessary.
The whole number of members that have been connected with Teutonia lodge, since its organization sixteen years ago, is one hundred and eleven, one-half of whom are members at this date, the present number being fifty-six. Of the original charter members, but three remain, one of the number dying while still connected with the lodge here, F. Kling. The whole number of deaths in the lodge has been seven. Teutonia numbers among its members some of the most solid business men of the city, and is in a fairly prosperous condition. The three principal chairs of the lodge have been filled, as appears from the table herewith appended, since the institution of the lodge. The present officers of the lodge are: Carl Krebs, N.G.; Hermann Oswald, V.G.; Jos. Ginthner, secretary; Lucas Kuehn, treasurer; Michael Kuehn, R.S.N.G.; Peter Taverna, L.S.N.G.; Henry Baumgartner, R.S.V.G.; Godfred Ruckhaber, L.S.V.G.; J. T. Ginthner, ward; R. Eichenberger, cond.; F. Baumgarten, O.G.; Gabriel Loechler, I.G.; Fred Below, R.S.S.; H. S. Ammerland, L.S.S. Oriental Encampment, No. 24, I. O. O. F., of Wabasha, was instituted February 23, 1883, with eight charter members, the charter being countersigned by Grand Patriarch Romaine Shire, and Grand Secretary J. Fletcher Williams. The name of the charter members, as they appear on the charter displayed on the walls of the lodge- room, are: Herman Oswald, John Schermully, C. H. Crause, Henry Burkhardt, F. H. Milligan, M. D., Paul Casparis, E. J. Dugan and Michael Kuehn. The work of the encampment is conducted int eh English language, and the order has had a very satisfactory growth since its institution, about six months ago. The present membership is twenty-nine, and there is not a meeting of the encampment at which there is not one or more applications for membership. The stated meetings of the encampment are held on the second and fourth Friday evenings of each month, and are well attended, the interest in the work of the encampment being well sustained. The list of officers (elective) now filling the various chairs of Oriental. No. 24, are: Hermann Oswald, C.P.; John Schumuly, S.W.; F. H. Milligan, H.P.; E. J. Dugan, J.W.; Paul Casparis, scribe; Henry Burkhardt, treasurer.
Read's Landing Lodge, No. 81, I.O.O.F. This subordinate lodge of the Independent Order of Odd-Fellows is of recent institution, having been established about two years and a half since. It works in the English language and several of its members are from the city of Wabasha, two miles distant, the lodge of the order in that city conducting its work in the German language. Read's Landing Lodge was granted its charter February 26, 1881, and was duly instituted four days later, March 2, 1881. The charter members, five in number, were H. Burkhardt, P. Casparis, J. S. Walker, W. B. Mohler, S. B. Withrow. Of these W. B. Mohler was N.G., J. S. Walker, V.G., and Paul Casparis, Sec. The first meeting was held in the hall of Burkhardt's block, and this has continued to be their place of meeting. The hall is centrally located, easy of access, comfortably furnished, and commodious. It fronts twenty feet on Water street and has a depth of forty-five feet, ten feet of which are partitioned off, in the rear, for anteroom. The meetings of the lodge are held each Wednesday evening and are well attended, particularly after navigation closes, as several of the members are rivermen. Read's Landing, No. 81, has had a regular steady growth since its institution, and now numbers forty-eight members. One death has occurred since organization, that of O. A. Olsen. The chairs and stations of the lodge-room are filled for the present quarter as follows:
W. C. Piers, N.G.; Bruce Florer, V.G.; Paul Casparis, Sec.; C. H. Crouse, Treas.; Godfried Burkhardt, Ward.; Peter Gibson, Cond.; Henry Burkhardt, R.S.N.G.; William Cady, L.S.N.G.; John Sanborn, R.S.V.G.; O. F. Collier, L.S.V.G.; R. Watkins, R.S.S.; G. Burkhardt, L.S.S.; P. Peterson, O.G.; J. Johnson, I.G.; E. J. Dugan, P. Petersen, William Cady, trustees. Henry Burkhardt was the first P.G. and has been D.D.G.M. since the institution of the lodge.
Officers filling the three highest chairs in Read's Landing Lodge, No. 81, I.O.O.F., since its institution:
Wabasha Lodge, No. 577, K. of H., was organized here April 5, 1877, with ten charter members, who filled the various offics of the lodge for the first term of its existence. Names of charter members and designated offices being: F. H. Milligan, P.D.; J. G. Lawrence, D.; J. H. Mullen, B.D.; G. A. McDougall, A.D.; H. N. Smith , Chap.; E. Hogle, Reporter; H. P. Krick, Fin. Rep.; W. S. McArthur, Treas.; Jos. Buisson, Guardian; W. J. Dazell, Sentinel.
The Knights of Honor is a fraternal association of about ten years' standing, its avowed objects being the mutual improvement of its members, mutual assistance in case of need, and the establishment, maintenance and disbursement of a fund for the benefit of the widows and orphans of deceased members. By the terms of its charter five thousand dollars is the limit it may pay of beneficiary money in any given case, but according to the regulations of the supreme body only two thousand dollars is to be paid upon any full rate certificate, and one-half that amount upon a half rate. Assessments upon members are graded according to age, and the order has had a reasonably rapid growth. There is but one jurisdiction, and the whole order is assessed to pay death losses, without reference to grand lodge lines or limits.
The first meetings of the Wabasha Lodge, K. of H., were held in Masonic Hall, over Schwirtz' store, but the following year, 1877, the hall over J. Satori's store was rented and has been their place of meeting ever since. Two deaths have occurred among the members of the lodge here since its institution seven years since; its growth, however, has been slow, as the present membership indicates twenty-nine. Regular meetings are held the second and fourth Mondays of each month. The affairs of the lodge are managed by the following board of officers: W. S. McArthur, P.D.; Peter Munroe, D.; H. N. Smith, A.D.; Peter Gibson, V.D.; Frank Stuetzel, Rep.; John Satori, Fin. Rep.; W. S. McArthur, Treas.; Robert Van Dyke, Guide; L. Pfeilsticker, Guardian; L. C. Malin, Sentinel; H. N. Smith, Peter Gibson and John Schmidt, Trustees. The medical examiner is F. H. Milligan, M.C., and W. S. McArthur is representative to grand lodge, with Joseph Buisson as alternate.
Wabasha Subordinate Union, No. 215, E. A. U. was organized January 14, 1881, by E. G. Manley, Deputy Supreme President. The order has for its objects the benefit of its members socially and financially, the watch care over them in sickness, the performance of earth's last sad rites in case of death, and the payment of such moneys to the family of a deceased member as they are entitled to by the terms of membership. All persons between the ages of sixteen and sixty-five years, of sound bodily health, are admitted to membership, irrespective of sex. The Wabasha Union was organized with eighteen charter members, and up to date of August 10, 1883, had initiated eighty-one members, of whom sixty were in good standing and entitled to all the benefits of the order at the date above noted. The Union cares for its members in case of sickness, providing watchers and otherwise exercising fraternal care over those who are sick, but does not pay any stipulated sum in such case, only contributing, as the lodge may determine, to the support of those who really require assistance at such times. So also in case of death, while no burial fund is provided for the interment of deceased members, the general fund is drawn upon for burial expenses of those who could illy afford to have such expenses taken from the benefit fund to which they are entitled at death of such member. Benefits are rated according to amount of individual assessment each member elects to pay, and his age at date of initiation. The payments vary from twenty-five cents to one dollar per member per assessment, which is levied whenever there is less than three thousand dollars in the treasury of the supreme lodge, and the benefits accruing in case of death are from two hundred to three thousand dollars, according to age and class of assessment. Yearly dues are three dollars per member, and the annual death rate calls for about thirteen assessments every twelve months. The order meets a want, among those particularly who can only afford a small amount of insurance, and doubles that benefit by extending the provisions without regard to sex. Wabasha Union hods its meetings in the hall in Satori's block, corner of Pembroke and Main, which they rent jointly with the Knights of Honor. The present officers of Wabasha Subordinate Union, No. 215, E.A.U., are: H. A. Chadwick, P.C.; T. H. Roundy, C.; Bruce Florer, A.; M. W. Doud, P.; J. H. Piper, V.P.; H. P. Paine, Sec.; Julius Schmidt, Act.; H. P. Whiting, Treas,; W. T. Lackey, Chap.; Lucas Piper, Aux.; Erick Hovde, Ward.; Emil Eichenberger, Sent.; August Balow, Watch.; S. G. Smith, Trustee; F. W. Van Dyke, M.C., Med. Ex.