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Societies


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Transcription contributed by Martie Callihan 22 December 2004

Sources:
The History of Warren County Ohio
Part IV Township Histories
Turtle Creek Township
(Chicago, IL: W. H. Beers Co, 1882; reprint, Mt. Vernon, IN: Windmill Publications, 1992)

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Masonic —The Lebanon Lodge, No. 26, F. & A. M., was chartered January 3,1815. The charter members were Thomas R. Ross, John Sheets, Nathan Kelly, David Roe, Martin Earhart, Daniel Gushing, George Kesling and Charles Stow. From the organization, the lodge had among its members a number of men of talent and influence For some time after the Morgan Anti-Masonic excitement culminated, the lodge held no meetings. It was afterward put in working order. In 1844, the lodge built a third story on the old courthouse, then used as a town hall, where its meetings were held for some time. In 1859, the present Masonic building of the lodge was erected. The present number of members is 115.

The Lebanon Royal Arch Chapter, No. 5, was chartered December 12, 1821. The charter members were Phineas Ross, Jephtha F. Moore, John Satterthwaite, George Kesling, Thomas R. Ross, William M. Wiles, Abner B. Hunt, Wallace Bratton and John Sheets. The present membership of the Chapter is seventy-nine.

The Miami Encampment, No. 2, K. T., at Lebanon, was chartered March 14, 1826. The charter members were Thomas Corwin, John Satterthwaite, Jonathan K. Wilds, Samuel R. Miller, John T. Jones, John Ross, William Greene, Charles Conoly and J. P. Reynolds. After a few years this Encampment ceased to exist

The Lebanon Council, No. 21, Royal and Select Masters, was chartered March 15, 1855. The charter members were Horace M. Stokes, Allen Wright, William Frost, John Van Harlingen, Ira Watts, William Adams, Jacob Koogle and others. The present membership is forty-two.

The Miami Commandery, No. 22, K. T., was chartered October 15, 1869. The charter members were John Kelly O'Neall, James S. Totten, Albert H. Kelsey, Alfred E. Stokes, Jehu Mulford, Josiah Hough, Abijah P. O'Neall, William J. Collett, James Frank Benham, Richard Lackey, William E. Frost, Sylvan B. Morris, Martin Brown, William Young, John Bone, Moses Harlan, Ambrose Taylor and William Jones. The present membership is eighty-eight.

Lebanon Lodge, No. 15, I. 0. O. F.—The charter of this lodge was granted June 25, 1842. The charter members were P. K. Wambaugh, Robert Nelson, T. S. Lamden, J. G. Rockhill, Otis Stanford, John C. Skinner and Amos Barr. The charter states the object of the lodge to be "the encouragement and support of brothers of the order when in sickness, distress or on travel and for purposes of benevolence and charity." The lodge held its first meetings in a third-floor room extending over three buildings, which were situated on Mulberry street, near the crossing of Mechanic and Mulberry. This room was occupied until the erection of the present Odd Fellows building, on Broadway, which was commenced in 1859. As shown by its number, this lodge was the fifteenth of the order in the State. It was the second in the county, the lodge at Franklin being the first in the county. When the Lebanon Lodge was instituted, the number of Odd Fellows in Ohio probably did not exceed 700; in January, 1882, the number of lodges in the State was 699, and their total membership 44,572. This lodge from its commencement increased rapidly in membership, and, while there were but two lodges of the order in the county, it had members in distant parts of the county. As new lodges were instituted in different parts of the county, they necessarily drew largely from the Lebanon Lodge. For several years past, the membership has averaged about 110. The property of the lodge is valued at about $12,000. The lodge has, by frugal and judicious management of its means, been able to respond to all calls upon its treasury, has paid considerable sums for the relief of those distressed by great calamities and assisted in railroad and other public enterprises.

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Cheyenne Tribe, No. 53, Improved Order of Red Men, was instituted by the Great Sachem, Robert Hedger, Chief of the Great Council of Ohio, February 25, 1869. The charter members were A. L. Ross, Jr., Joseph N. Turner, Ed M. Hale, James Brown, W. H. Mead, Isaac Smith, J. C. Hoover, Clayton Palmer, J. M. Vawter, E. H. Maple, O. T. Bone and J. C. Simonton. The first officers were: A. L. Ross, Jr., Sachem; J. N. Turner, Senior Sagamore; W. H. Mead, Junior Sagamore; Ed M. Hale, Keeper of Wampum; James Brown, Chief of Records; E. H. Maple, Prophet. There are now forty members.

Lebanon Lodge, No. 49, Knights of Pythias, was instituted March 4, 1873. The charter members were George W. Carey, W. A. Coyne, J. N. Turner, James Brown, A. B. Carey, J. H. Winner, J. E. Colvin, C. E. Sausser, Albert Booth, D. W. Jones, Edward Warwick, S. L. Conklin, G. W. Sausser, J. E. Bundey, W. S. Dynes, R. B. Corwin, George Patterson, J. N. Oswald, Isaac Smith, L. R. Marshall, T. K. Redd, Ed M. Hale, B. Fox, Joseph Perrine and John Perrine. The officers of the first term were: W. A. Coyne, C. C.; J. N. Turner, V. O.; James Brown, P.; A. B. Carey, M. E.; J. H. Winner, M. F.; J. E. Colvin, K. R. S.-, C. E. Sausser, M. A.; Albert Booth, I. G.; D. W. Jones, 0. G.; Trustees, Edward Warwick, S. L. Conklin, George W. Sausser; Clerk, John E. Bundey.

The Mechanics' Institute of Lebanon. This society was chartered by the Legislature in 1837, but the organization dates from a much earlier period. It is known that a meeting for the election of officers of a society in Lebanon named the Mechanics' Institute, was held November 7, 1831, and a lecture before the society was announced to be delivered by James D. Cobb, November 12, 1831, "in the Methodist Meeting-house at early candle-light." The organization is the successor of debating and literary societies of a still older date. The Lebanon Literary Society was chartered in 1811, with John McLean, Joseph Canby and Joshua Collett, Directors; Rev. William Robinson, Librarian; and Silas Hurin, Treasurer. Some of the books collected by this old society are now in the library of the Mechanics' Institute. Dr. Daniel Drake, in his "Picture of Cincinnati," published in 1815, speaks of a small but valuable collection of books at Lebanon. Debating organizations existed from the earliest times in the history of the town, and were attended by all the young men with literary tastes. The early meetings of the Mechanics' Institute were generally held in the old court house, which, after the erection of the present court house, became known as the Old Town Hall. The exercises consisted either of debates or lectures. The society was composed of the most influential and intelligent men of the town and vicinity. Eminent public speakers, such as Thomas Corwin and Thomas R. Ross, acquired much of their readiness in public discussions by participating in the exercises of the institute and the societies which preceded it. The institute early had a library, which, though not large, contained many excellent books which probably could not have bean found in any private library of its members. It contained a copy of Rees' Encyclopedia, which was probably for many years the only large encyclopedia in the town.

For several years preceding the civil war, the institute ceased to hold any public meetings, and its library was suffered to remain neglected. In 1863, chiefly through the efforts of W. D. Henkle, the society was re-organized. The second story of the town hall was fitted up for its library and reading-room and for the lectures and discussions of the society. In 1874, the room of the institute, with a part of its library and furniture, was destroyed by fire. On the 18th of October, 1877, the institute, by permission of the council, took possession of the library-room of the new public hall, where its meetings have since been held.

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