KING HIRAM ROYAL ARCH CHAPTER
1876 – 2000
The First 50 Years 1876 – 1926
Today, May 6, 1926, we are assembled for the purpose of celebrating the Fiftieth Anniversary of King Hiram Royal Arch Chapter, a notable event in the existence of any organization, but records show that while our chapter is fifty years old, Capitular Masonry in Attleboro is many years older. Let us refer for a moment to the life of Capitular Masonry in Attleboro. We find that in 1816, one hundred a ten ago, Adoniram Chapter was instituted here, at that time known as East Attleboro, and held their meetings in the old Balcom Tavern which was situated on the southeast corner of Park and South Main streets opposite our present quarter, and Rev. Richard Carrique, minister at the Universalist Church here in Attleboro at that time, was the first High Priest. In the year 1818 Adoniram Chapter attended the lying of the cornerstone of the Universalist Church. (opposite Balcom Tavern- South Main at Park Streets). In 1825 Adoniram Chapter was moved to Taunton where it remained until 1845 when it again moved, this time to New Bedford, where it is still in existence. From 1825 to 1876, a period of fifty-one years, Attleboro was without a Royal Arch Chapter.
On Saturday evening, February 19, 1876, a number of Royal Arch Masons assembled (probably in Masonic Hall) and Companion Daniel H. Smith called the meeting to order, and here we find the beginning of King Hiram Royal Arch Chapter. Companion Edward Sanford was chosen Chairman and Companion John T. Bates, Secretary, and a committee was appointed to report on a name for a Chapter of Royal Arch Masons which it was proposed be formed, and the committee reported the name, “King Hiram Chapter of Royal Arch Masons” which was unanimously accepted.
The report of the meeting shows that a nominating committee was chosen at this time to present a list of Companions who might act as Officers in the new Chapter and the report of the committee was accepted, and the Companions appearing in the records as the Officer during the period Under Dispensation were installed into their respective stations at the time the Constitution a few months later.
We also find in the records of this meeting of February 19, 1876 that Companions Thomas G. Sandland, Daniel H. Smith, and Edwin H. Cummings were appointed to represent the petitioners of the new Chapter at the next Convocation of the Grand Royal Arch Chapter of Massachusetts, and request the necessary Dispensation which they evidently did, for on March 7, 1876 a dispensation was granted to seventy-six Companions to form a Chapter of Royal Arch Masons by Most Excellent Alfred F. Chapman, Grand High Priest of the Grand Royal Arch Chapter of Massachusetts, who appointed Companion Thomas G. Sandland as Most Excellent High Priest, Companion Daniel H. Smith as Excellent King, and Companion Edwin H. Cummings as Excellent Scribe with continuance to them of the said power and privileges until such time as a Charter should be granted.
On March 22, 1876 the first Convocation of King Hiram Royal Arch Chapter, Under Dispensation, was held, at which thirty Companions were present and regular business transacted, at which time it was voted that the Regular Convocations should be held on the Wednesday evening after the full of the moon, that a committee be appointed to confer with Ezekiel Bates Lodge A.F. & A.M. for the use of the hall, that the first three officers and the Treasurer be a committee to procure regalia and working tools, that the fee for the degrees be $30.00, and that a committee of three be appointed to present a code of By-Laws at the next convocation in consequence of which the new Chapter was ready to begin to make its history.
On July 12, 1876, less than three months after the first regular Convocation was held, the vote whereby the regular convocations depended on the full of the moon was rescinded to comply with the By-Laws adopted, and it was voted that the regular convocation be held on the second Thursday of each month, and records fail to show any change of meeting nights in the fifty years following.
On November 24, 1876, Most Excellent Alfred F. Chapman, Grand High Priest of the Grand Royal Arch Chapter of Massachusetts, with a Suite, was present for the purpose of Constituting King Hiram Chapter of Royal Arch Masons and install the following Officers who had been serving under dispensation into their respective stations.
Companion Thomas G. Sandland Most Excellent High Priest
Companion Daniel H. Smith Excellent King
Companion Edwin H. Cummings Excellent Scribe
Companion Joseph M. Bates Treasurer
Companion John T. Bates Secretary
Companion Edwin C. Crandall Captain of the Host
Companion Edward C. Martin Principal Sojourner
Companion George A. Worcester Master of the 3rd Veil
Companion George K. Webster Master of the 2nd Veil
Companion James A. Codding Master of the 1st Veil
Companion Charles T. Draper Tyler
The Charter presented on this occasion is the one we are still using and is in good state of preservation and in the Chapter room at the present time, taking an active part in the celebration of the Golden Anniversary.
In the years, 1880 ~ 1881 ~ 1882, King Hiram Royal Arch Chapter was honored by the Grand Royal Arch Chapter of Massachusetts by the appointment of Excellent Companion Daniel H. Smith as District Deputy Grand High Priest of this District, and Excellent Companion Edward C. Martin acted as District Deputy Grand Captain of the Host, and in 1883, Right Excellent Companion Daniel H. Smith served as Deputy Grand High Priest in the Grand Chapter, thereby becoming a permanent member of the Grand Royal Arch Chapter of Massachusetts.
On June 14, 1894 an invitation was received from Bristol Lodge of North Attleborough to join with them in the lying of the corner stone of the Public Library in North Attleborough on June 16, 1894, which was accepted, and many of the companions attended. On October 11, 1894, King Hiram Royal Arch Chapter joined with Ezekiel Bates Lodge in keeping Open House during the
Bi-Centennial Celebration of what was at that time the Town of Attleborough.
On February 8, 1900, a committee was appointed to submit a design for a Mark, which was done, and at the next meeting approved and accepted, and the same appears on the Keystone used in the work of the degrees, and also on our seal.
In the year 1903, King Hiram Royal Arch Chapter was again honored by the appointment of Excellent Companion William S. Metcalf to serve as Grand Master of the First Veil of the Grand Royal Arch Chapter of Massachusetts.
On January 14, 1904, the Chapter was approached in regard to a new lodge room, and a committee for investigation was appointed consisting of Companions H.H. Curtis, D.E. Makepeace, and Excellent Companion C.V.J. Christensen, who reported at the next meeting that the rent for the new quarters would be four hundred dollars per annum, at which time it was voted to accept the terms and have new quarters, our present quarters, in the Bronson Building at the corner of North Main and County Streets, occupation of which took place in 1905.
On January 10, 1907, Excellent Companion Clarence E. Dunbar announced that March 7, 1907 would be the Thirty-First Anniversary of King Hiram Royal Arch Chapter, and it was voted to observe it by having a Ladies’ Night.
In the years, 1911 ~ 1912, King Hiram Royal Arch Chapter was again represented in the Grand Royal Arch Chapter, this time by Excellent Companion Clarence M. Dunbar who was appointed District Deputy Grand High Priest of this District, who selected Companion Charles L. Barrows as his District Deputy Grand Captain of the Host.
In 1917, it occurred to several Companions of King Hiram Royal Arch Chapter that closer and more friendly relations between Adoniram Royal Arch Chapter of New Bedford (the first Chapter known to have existed in Attleboro and well over one hundred years old) and King Hiram Chapter now located in Attleboro would be to the advantage of both Chapters. An original drawing of the old Balcom Tavern, had been located, and at a convocation held on April 12, 1917, it was suggested by Companion R. L. Cooke that a framed copy be presented by King Hiram Royal Arch Chapter to Adoniram Royal Arch Chapter. It was so voted, and on May 15, 1917 a number of Companions of King Hiram Chapter sojourned to New Bedford and made the presentation. The desire result was obtained a short time after, King Hiram Royal Arch Chapter accepted an invitation to visit Adoniram Chapter, and our Officers preformed the work of the evening, with a return visit being made later by Adoniram Chapter whose Officers performed the work in our Chapter room with many friendships springing out of these two visits.
Again in 1920 we find King Hiram Chapter in the good graces of the Grand Chapter, this time being favored by the appointment of another one of our Companions, Excellent Companion Robert L. Cooke, who served the year as Grand Steward.
Nor is this all, for we have the good fortune at the present and most opportune time, while celebrating our Fiftieth Anniversary, of having among those who comprise the official family of the Grand Chapter still another Companion, Right Excellent Benjamin W. Taylor, who appointment as District Deputy Grand High Priest of the Third Capitular District brought another honor to our Chapter as well as to him personally, and whose official service in that capacity, assisted in his duties by Excellent Companion Howard E. White as District Deputy Grand Captain of the Host, was during 1925, and is again in 1926, a credit to our Chapter.
But let us reflect for a few moments and we realize that to those few Companions whose names appear on our Charter is due much honor and credit, for it is by their interest and enthusiasm that king Hiram Chapter was Constituted, and when we read in the early records, the reports of Annual Convocations, that on March 14, 1878 it was voted that the Treasurer pay to the Treasurer of Ezekiel Bates Lodge the cash on hand, and barrow the balance due the Lodge; and that on one occasion it was voted to pay the rent if satisfactory arrangements could be made with Ezekiel Bates Lodge: and another record shows that an assessment of two dollars was made on each member to pay the current expenses, and at a later date an assessment of Five Dollars for a similar purpose, and on another occasion the Treasurer’s report shows the large sum of twelve cents as a balance on hand, it is evident that the work was not without difficulty and perhaps danger, and what gold was in sight at the time was in no way dazzling to the eyes. But perseverance and devotion do not usually go unrewarded, and consequently the future of the Chapter both financially and socially was to be spelled only by “Success”. The financial report of the last convocation, held in September 1925, showed a balance in the hands of the Treasurer of $430.46, a Regalia Fund in the bank of $571.87, and Invested Funds in the hands of the Trustees of $7,694.34, a total of $8,696.67. Its loyalty to Country, State, City and individual can only be measured by the splendid service rendered by the Companions in many times of stress as well as in peace and in all walks of life, and the unknown and unlimited influence for good exerted by our Chapter is continually going on through our Companions, some of whom are removed from our midst as far as Alaska on the North, Texas and Florida on the South, and California on the West.
King Hiram Chapter has been fortune in having had officers, who were efficient, interested, and faithful from the date of its dispensation, many of the officers of the early years serving two terms, and in the case of two officers, Secretary and Treasurer. Companion George H. Herrick served as Secretary for twenty-six consecutive years, and Companion D.E. Makepeace served as Treasurer for twenty-five consecutive years, each of whom were rewarded with a special jewel for faithful service.
On some occasions Installations have been made somewhat public taking the form of a Ladies’ Night, which have added much to the social activities. “Past High Priests Nights” which called out many companions who did not attend regularly have been the means on several occasions of promoting the social life of the Chapter, and at one held on January 8, 1925, Right Excellent Companion Benjamin W. Taylor on behave of Excellent Companions W. P. Orr, Charles Thomae, and himself presented the Chapter with a golden urn for use in the work of the degrees. Excellent Companion Elmer E. King, Acting High Priest at the time accepting the beautiful gift for the Chapter, and thanking the donors for the gift: and the spirit which prompted these three Companions to make this gift is the same spirit which has and which will continue to make our Chapter succeed.
From a beginning of seventy-six petitioners, we have shown a good numerical increase, many have knocked at our door, and been exalted, but death has called a large number, many have demitted, and our membership has been otherwise reduced, our membership being at present Three Hundred and Forty-Nine companions.
Great oaks from little acorns grow, and as we review the past, live the present, and anticipate the future, may we trust that King Hiram Chapter will continue to be prosperous and a powerful factor for doing good, and our Fiftieth Anniversary prove to be only a golden milestone in its youth compared to the unlimited number of years to follow.
To commemorate this historical event, appropriate articles were deposited in a metal box to be opened on the occasion of our 100th Anniversary in 1976.
In Pursuit of the Century Mark ~ 1926 – 1976
The Chapter and Ezekiel Bates Lodge continued to meet on the top floor of the Bronson Building, located on the corner of North Main and County Streets until December 18, 1930 when our first meeting was held in the New Masonic Temple located at 71 North Main Street. It is a beautiful facility and will served us and the other related Masonic bodies very well.
On May 17, 1951, Excellent Companion Edwin H. Thomas was High Priest at the 75th Anniversary of King Hiram Royal Arch Chapter. A beautiful “Keystone” square and Compasses set made by the skilled craftsmanship of our Companions was presented to the Chapter and is still in use on our alter. (Unfortunately it disappeared shorty after the merger with Rabboni in 2000). That evening 194 Companions and guests were served a delicious dinner.
The Grand Royal Arch Chapter of Massachusetts has honored King Hiram Royal Arch Chapter by electing and/or appointing eleven of our Past High Priests to positions in the Grand Chapter.
• R.E. Daniel Henry Smith D. G. H. P. ~ D.D.G.H.P
• R.E. Clarence M. Dunbar D.D.G.H.P.
• Ex. Robert L. Cooke Grand Steward
• R.E. Benjamin W. Taylor D. G. H. P. ~ D.D.G.H.P.
• R.E. Charles Thomae Grand Scribe ~ D.D.G.H.P.
• R.E. William J. W. Russell D.D.G.H.P.
• Ex. Raymond W. Fales Grand Master 2nd Veil
• Ex. Ernest R. Bury Grand Steward
• Ex. Leon Newton Robinson Grand Principal Sojourner
• Ex. Wendell F. Hall Grand Steward
• R.E. J. Dale Osterberg D. G. H.P. – D.D.G.H.P. – Grand Master 2nd Veil
King Hiram Chapter was honored when R.E. Charles Thomae received the Paul Revere Medal given by the Grand Royal Arch Chapter of Massachusetts and the 1797 Distinguished Service Award given by the General Grand Chapter of Royal Arch Masons. This was the first time General Grand Chapter presented this Award.
The Grand Chapter has also awarded eight Benjamin Hurd Jr. Meritorious Service Awards to Companions of King Hiram. They are Companions:
Benjamin W. Taylor ~ Howard E. White ~ Charles Thomae ~ Ellis R. Westcott, Sr.
William J. W. Russell ~ Edwin H. Thomas ~ Leon N. Robinson ~ J. Dale Osterberg
King Hiram Chapter has enjoyed a variety of programs through the efforts of its Officers, Past High Priests, Members, and the ever-faithful ladies. Such programs as Grand Visitations ~ Ladies Nights ~ Public Installations ~ Dinners ~ Exemplifications ~ York Rite Festivals ~ and Church Services, which our members supported well.
Our members have contributed generously to the needs of the Chapter as well as charity to others ~ such as the High Priest Fund for remembering our sick Companions at Christmas and times of distress ~ also the Raymond T. Sewall Charity Fund of our Grand Chapter. King Hiram Chapter members, by their vote, were instrumental in the starting two new Chapters of Royal Arch Masons. Namely, Rabboni Royal Arch Chapter of North Attleborough in 1911, and Walter E. Marcy Royal Arch Chapter of Seekonk in 1952.
From our inception in 1876, our members have seen many important events, such as The Spanish American War, the development of the Automobile, the first flying machine, World War I, The Great Depression, World War II, Korean and Vietnam Wars, and finally the Apollo Landing of man on the moon. Truly our Chapter has developed over an era of world history.
Finally, it is especially fitting and proper that we recognize the most distinguished and faithful services of our present Secretary, Excellent Companion Edwin Henry Thomas, and our Treasurer, Excellent Companion Leon Newton Robinson, who were installed this Centennial Year into their respective stations for the 20th and 25th consecutive year. As this history reflects the faithful service of the past 100 years, the companionship of the present, and present day leadership of Excellent Russell Edward Adams, we look forward with faith in the future, being ever guided by the Wisdom of the “ Great Architect of the Universe” in whose Strength and Beauty, King Hiram Royal Arch Chapter has it’s purpose.
R.E. J. Dale Osterberg
Ex. Hubert E. J. Berry
The Closing Years ~ 1976-2000
In the years immediately following the centennial celebration, King Hiram Royal Arch Chapter remained socially active having “special events” in addition to the usual Stated Convocations. It was not unusual to have over 150 in attendance at a Saturday Afternoon Installation of Officers, or that and more at a dinner and a rendition of the “Royal Arch Widow’s Degree”. Early in 1982 King Hiram participated at the “First Capitular Table Lodge” held at Bristol Lodge in North Attleborough were the five High Priests of the 14th Capitular District held the key stations and invited the Blue Lodge Brothers to visit and check out Capitular Masonry in the Attleboros.
But by the late 1980’s participation and interest in Capitular Masonry begin to fade. Not just within King Hiram, but throughout the District, Commonwealth, and Nation. The few who remain took little interest in “holding an office”, and by means of a strong inner core of Past High Priests such as, Edwin “Ted” Thomas, Steaven Zumalt, Johnny Pass, Roland Bourget, Earl Cook, Brant Bollivar, Russ Adams, and others, King Hiram Royal Arch Chapter was able to hold on for a few more years; sometimes only having nine or less in attendance to open. Key-Stone Royal Arch Chapter of Foxborough had already merged with Rabboni Royal Arch Chapter on August 23, 1988.
On June 12, 1997, the Excellent High Priest, Steaven Zumalt proposed that an invitation be extended to Rabboni Royal Arch Chapter of North Attleborough for them to merge with King Hiram to strengthen the York Rite in the Attleboros. This proposal was rejected by the North Attleborough Companions, and one year later lead to the formation of the United York Rite of the Attleboros. A Committee to explored the possibilities was formed and was composed of:
• Ex. Bruce Allen Bayley Chairman Rabboni Royal Arch Chapter
• V.I. Markeith Eugene Host Secretary Attleboro Council R & S.M.M
• Em. John Henry Nelson Bristol Commandery K.T. 28
• Ex. Steaven E. Zumalt King Hiram Royal Arch Chapter
• Ill. Roland Gerard Bourget Attleboro Council R & S. M.M.
• S.K. Robert Dale Libby Bristol Commandery K.T. 29
After several meetings the “ground rules” were established for the three York Rite bodies to meet individually on the same night. All bodies agreed to meet on the fourth Tuesday of each masonic month with exception of December, as it was in conflict with Christmas week. The several Grand Dispensations were obtained and the first series of meetings occurred at Attleboro on October 26, 1998.
By the spring of 2000, it became obvious that one meeting night per month was hardly enough time for all three bodies to conduct their business, let alone recruit and work candidates. On July 12, 2000, the “Committee” again met and mapped out a proposal to merge King Hiram Royal Arch Chapter with Rabboni Royal Arch Chapter. The Council and Commandery would revert to their original meeting nights.
On August 23, 2000 (twelve years to the day of the Key-Stone merger) M.E. Carmen D. Borgia, Grand High Priest ~ R.E. Bob Rudy Homberg, Grand Secretary, and a suite of Grand Chapter Officers conducted a merger ceremony to strengthen Capitular Masonry in the Attleboros with the consolidation of Rabboni and King Hiram Royal Arch Chapters. The ceremony took place at the Bristol Masonic Temple of North Attleborough as each body opened individually, but close in unity. Thus closed 124 years of separation, and began a new vista of fraternal companionship in the Attleboros.
R.E. Markeith E. Host
Rabboni Royal Arch Chapter
A very special thank you to Right Excellent Markeith E. Host of Rabboni Royal Arch Chapter for his tireless efforts compiling the history of King Hiram Royal Arch Chapter and allowing us to use it on our website
King Hiram Royal Arch Chapter
Past High Priests
|Thomas G. Sandland||1876|
|Daniel Henry Smith||1877|
|Edward C. Martin||1878-1881|
|John E. Totten||1882|
|James A. Codding||1883|
|Benjamin P. King||1884-1886|
|Owen Bates Bestor||1887-1888|
|Henry T. Horne||1889-1890|
|Alfred R. Crosby||1893-1894|
|Arthur E. Codding||1895-1896|
|N. Justin Smith||1897-1898|
|Leo A. Heilborn||1899-1900|
|William S. Metcalf||1901-1902|
|Charles H. Parker||1905|
|Clarence M. Dunbar||1906|
|William B. Ingill||1907|
|William A. Spier||1908|
|Roy E. Draper||1909|
|Richard S. Harding||1910|
|Charles C. Barrows||1911|
|Elmer E. King||1912|
|Winthrop F. Barden||1913|
|J. Robert Fletcher||1914-1915|
|Norman J. Stone||1916|
|Robert L. Cooke||1917|
|Ernest T. Upham||1918|
|Ralph C. Estes||1919|
|Howard E. White||1920|
|James E. Totten||1921|
|Walter L. Gardner||1922|
|Charles D. Blaikie||1923|
|Benjamin Whittenmore Taylor||1924|
|William Prince Orr||1925|
|George A. Knowles||1927|
|John H. Heckler||1928|
|Arthur T. Sturdy||1930|
|George S. Bliven||1931|
|Edward A. Foster||1932|
|William H. Raymond||1933|
|Joseph H. Williams||1935|
|Harold A. Goff||1936|
|Leonard E. Sargent||1937|
|Thomas W. Worrall||1938|
|Robert H. Raymond||1939|
|Frederick W. Moehle||1940|
|Herbert Louis Thomae||1941|
|Clifford E. Pierce||1942|
|Ellis Royden Westcott Sr.||1943-1944|
|Hugh Cecil Pickering||1945|
|William J.W. Russell||1946-1947|
|Richard T. Bauer||1948|
|Raymond W. Fales||1949|
|William R.C. Hutchinson||1950|
|Edwin Henry Thomas||1951|
|Willard S. Robinson||1952|
|Ernest R. Bury||1954|
|Leon Newton Robinson||1955|
|Albert Ainsworth Jr.||1958|
|Ronald D. Ellis||1959|
|Wendell F. Hall||1960|
|John Dale Osterberg||1961|
|Hubert E. J. Berry||1962|
|Gordon L. Kirby||1963|
|Sam P. Loving||1964|
|Charles Frederick Jenks||1966|
|Wilfred T. Gallant||1967|
|John Keen Mackill||1968|
|Earl Clinton Cook Jr.||1969|
|George Nicholas Fountas||1970|
|Karl Leonard Friedland||1971|
|Roderick A. Dunn||1972|
|Donald T. Brown||1973|
|Richard I. Astin||1974|
|Richard Douglas Carmichael||1975|
|Richard David Cutler||1976|
|Russell Edward Adams||1977|
|Lorne W. Higgins Sr.||1978|
|Kenneth George McKenzie||1979|
|Steven Clarke Robinson||1980|
|Raymond Carl Oberg||1981|
|Melvin Dwight Anderson||1982|
|Albert Phillip Rothemich||1983|
|Geoffery A. Heins||1984|
|Christopher Charles Thomae||1985|
|Steaven “E.” Zumalt||1986|
|Johnny David Pass||1987|
|Robert Dale Libby||1988|
|Kenneth W. Carlson||1989|
|Burton Stanley Cole||1990|
|Roland Gerard Bourget||1991|
|Willie Vernon Booker||1992|
|Steaven “E.” Zumalt||1993|
|Brant Burt Bollivar||1994|
|Johnny David Pass||1996|
|Richard Douglas Carmichael||1997|
|Steaven “E.” Zumalt||1998-2000|