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Orange Lodges in the Front of Leeds & Lansdowne
Written by Paul Côté, email@example.com
From the Historical Society Of Front of Leeds and Lansdowne Newsletter, June 1996
Societies of many descriptions and names have existed in the Front of Leeds and Lansdowne Township since the days of the early pioneers. Masons, Oddfellows, Foresters, Knights of Columbus, Daughters of the Empire, Women's Institutes, Temperance Leagues, Catholic Women's Leagues, Ladies Orange Benevolent Associations, and, of course, Orange Lodges were some of the many societies that citizens of the township were involved in over the years.
The following list probably does not represent a complete accounting of all the Loyal Orange Lodges in the Township, but it is a start at recording them.
This past summer (1995) John and Julie Cain of Marble Rock donated a collection of Orange Lodge minute books to the Society. They deal primarily with Lodge #51. There are, though, some books which deal with Lodges #194 and #511. The collection is incomplete (many years of records are missing); what remains has survived both fire and flood. The main body of the collection was reported destroyed by fire in 1909. Somehow these books survived to record the life of #51 from 1856 to 1924.
A thumbnail sketch is in order for those not familiar with the Orange Order. Orangeism promoted Protestantism and loyalty to the Crown, but it also had other facets that drew members to the Order. It had a semi-religious nature that emphasised living by Christian principles. The Order was closely associated with local Protestant denominations; so much so that many Ministers were lodge members, or, at least sympathetic to the beliefs of the Order. It was also a social centre, a venue for ritual and ceremony, and probably most importantly, a Benevolent society: Lodge members financially aided other members in times of illness, and helped defray the costs of funerals of members who died.
The Loyal Orange Association was unique among the various societies in that it had considerable political influence. Sir Mackenzie Bowell, Prime Minister from 1894 to 1896, was a past Grand Master and Sovereign of the Grand Lodge Of British America.
Although some lodges allowed drink, there were many that were "Abstinence Lodges". This appears to be the case with #51. The account books that survive show large sums (compared to their revenues) spent on tea, crackers, and cheese.
The first list is of the members of Lodge 51 in 1856 when it was located at or near McCrones Corners (later Wilstead). This is probably only a partial one as the names were extracted from the minutes of the few meetings recorded at this location. It moved to South Lake in April of 1857.
William Buck Joseph Landon William Dickson Edward Davis? Charles Gardiner George Cliff Daniel Cliff Richard Cliff Andrew Hurst George Richardson William Samuel Sampson Michael Cliff John HurstEdward AndersonThe first good membership list for South Lake occurs in 1860. It shows 35 dues paying members in July. Number 51 had amalgamated with #650, one of the two South Lake Lodges, in 1857. The spellings in the list are reproduced as faithfully as possible.
1 Robert Ervine? 19 William Canners 2 Thomas Scott 20 George Cunningham 3 William Nuttell21 John Seals 4 John Beaty22 William Walker 5 William Galway 23 John Morton? 6 John Canners 24 Daniel Cliff & friend 7 Richard Hunter 25 John Scott 8 Robert Cunningham 26 John H. Canner 9 George Nuttell 27 David Walker 10 Robert Seals 28 John Drinnen? 11 Robert Brotherson 29 Treyton Rich 12 William Scott 30 Daniel Smith 13 James Rich31 William Tolen 14 John Scott32 William Shaw 15 James Coal33 William Murphy 16 Rueben Rich 34 Richard? Kidd 17 John Hirst35 ? Kenny 18 William DicksonBy 1879 or 1880 Lodge #51 appears to have moved down the road to Gananoque Station. The Lodge minutes are missing for this period but attendance lists are available. The membership list for 1879 has several new names. The 1880 list has an extreme change over of members as shown below. It is probable that members with roots near South Lake took their certificates to Lodge #233, also located at South Lake, or one of the Lodges across the County line in Pittsburg Township. Lodge #912 was at Woodburn; Lodge #709 was at Pine Hill. The only surviving minutes locating #51 at Gananoque Station is the December 1883 minutes. This was the Lodge's last meeting at that location. In January of 1884 the Lodge moved to Gananoque.
1 J. Holdcroft 13 T. Clare 2 J. Toland 14 D. Toland 3 J. Lloyd 15 W. Spafford 4 R. Irwin 16 H. McPhersin 5 J. Seal 17 W. Goodbody 6 F. Stolicker 18 G. S. White 7 A. Sterling 19 John Buck 8 A. Yule 20 R. Quinn 9 H. Todd 21 James Galloway 10 J. Arlow 22 Richard Hunter 11 G. Gallaway 23 George Buck 12 E. Irwin 24 George McCormackJanuary of 1884 marked the third move for #51. Although nothing is stated in the minutes, it seems highly likely that the opening of the Thousand Island Railway played a key role. The rail line opened in December of 1883, and the lodge moved the following month. Perhaps there were strong links with the railway workers and the Gananoque Lodges. The following is a list of the members in 1884. Members indicated by * left the Lodge; ! indicates members admitted by certificate from other lodges.
1 John Seal (Master) 17 Richard Quinn 2 James Lloyd (Committee) 18 George Buck *Jan. 3 Robert Irwin (Treasurer) 19 W. A. Clifford !Jan. 4 Arch Yule 20 Hamilton G. Dick !Jan. 5 Humphrey Todd (F. of C.) 21 Edward Hunder !Jan. 6 Joseph P. Arlow (Dy. Master) 22 Abram Meggs !Jan. 7 George Galway (Secretary)23 Uriah Kelsey !Jan. 8 Edward Irwin (Committee) 24 James E. Kenny !Jan. 9 Thomas Clare 25 James Moore !Jan. 10 Wm. Spafford (Committee) 26 William Storey !Jan. 11 Henry McPherson27 John H. Cook !Feb. 12 Wm. Goodbody (Chaplain) 28 Cornelius Cook !Feb. 13 John Buck (Committee) *Mar 29 Frank Patch !Feb 14 Geo. McCormack 30 Lyman S. Knapp !Jan. 15 Joseph Case 31 Frank Stoliker !Mar. 16 Richard Hunter *Jan.32 Benjamin Case !Mar.Other members admitted during the year according to the minutes:
April: ? Montrose, A. Dick May: Sam Johnston, Isaac Knight June: R. W. Greenizen, James Beaty July: George Cotman, James Harwood, George Taylor (MP), William Emry, Charles NeremierSix of those admitted in January had been members of Lodge #194. Lodge #194 appears to have closed in Gananoque in 1880, possibly amalgamated with #511. Lodge #511 ceased to exist by 1889. The membership books are missing from this date forward. Tucked in one of the later minutes books, though, was the "Annual Return of Protection L.O.L. 51 To The District Lodge of Gananoque and South Lake, For The Year Ending December 31, 1920". The following, then, is the last available membership list for #51.
1 David Andrew 39 H. Langridge? 2 J. O. Abrams 40 Wm. Edwards 3 Rich'd Anderson41 Spencer Cummings 4 Geo. I. Brewster 42 Leslie Andrew 5 Jas. Brewster 43 W. O. Lennox 6 Chas. E. Burr? 44 Ross K. Lloyd 7 Frank Coote? 45 W. H. Kinneard 8 Rev. W. Cox (Toronto) 46 Garnet Harris 9 J. H. Fawcett 47 Frank Wright 10 N. R. Gardner 48 Robert Benson 11 Tho's Gordon 49 Hadden Sly 12 Geo. Hampton 50 Geo. L. Carpenter 13 Roy P. Kemp 51 Bernard Mathews 14 E. E. Leaky 52 Walter Abrams 15 L. Loshow 53 Geo. W. Gardner 16 Jas. G. Lawson 54 R. M. Brewster 17 John G. Lloyd 55 A. Lucy 18 John Miller 56 Martin Perry 19 Geo. S. Mastin 57 D. C. Caird 20 R. R. Mills 58 Jas. Beatty 21 John S. McEntire 59 Geo. J. Anderson 22 Tho's McQuinn 60 J. A. Murphy 23 J. C. H. McEntire 61 Wm. Waring 24 Geo. O. Brien? 62 Ross Anderson 25 Jas. S. Purser 63 M. J. Woodcock 26 Jas. Seal 64 Cedric Wheeler 27 T. E. Seal65 Cifford Shaw 28 Geo. A. Smith 66 Hurik Wheeler 29 A. J. Seal67 Lewis Wheeler 30 Robt. Sinclair 68 Tho's Andress 31 H. Todd 69 J. A. Calvert 32 Jos. Wadsworth 70 Wm. Pratt 33 Fred Wheeler 71 D. Dano (suspended) 34 John L. Wheeler72 G. Meggs (suspended) 35 Robt. J. Webster 73 H. Weir (suspended) 36 David J. Walker74 J. A. Webster (died) 37 N. A. Webster 75 R. Anderson Jr. 38 John Young(W'drew by certificate)By 1950 the membership appears to have declined to the point that #51 was not a viable lodge. In that year it amalgamated with L.O.L. #26 in Lansdowne. South Lake Lodge #233 followed suit in 1972. Lodge #26 appears to have been the last lodge to survive in the Township. It closed in 1982 and it's surviving members joined Lodge #1 in Brockville.
For those who wish to research for individual members of specific lodges, the news is not good. There is no central repository of Orange Lodge information. Early lodge books, if they have survived, are held by private individuals, various archives, or local historical societies.
Members Of "Dulcymaine" Lodge #100
The Historical Society has a photo of these members taken on that date: the anniversary of the Battle of the Boyne, and the most important date on the Orange calender. The membership seems quite small for a lodge. The average membership for an Orange Lodge was between 25 and 40 people. Dulcemaine is an area about 5 miles north of Lansdowne, Ontario.
1. Robert Austin 10. Wm. Sliter 2. Jerry Patience 11. John E. Steacy 3. Thomas G. Kendrick 12. R. J. Steacy 4. Matt Steacy 13. Evans Steacy 5. ? (from Seeley's Bay) 14. John Patience 6. Alex (A.K.) Steacy 15. Harvey Austin 7. James Patience 16. John Cook 8. Sam Fair 17. John Stennit 9. Jas. Greer18. (California) John Steacy