Craft Masonry in Ontario, Seneca and Yates Counties, New York

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Craft Masonry in Ontario, Seneca and Yates Counties, New York

Compiled by R.’.W.’. Gary L. Heinmiller

Director, Onondaga & Oswego Masonic Districts Historical Societies (OMDHS)

February 2010

Seneca County - 1876

Onondaga County was formed in 1794 by the splitting of Herkimer County.

Cayuga County was formed in 1799 by the splitting of Onondaga County. This county was, however, much larger than the present Cayuga County. It then included the present Seneca and Tompkins Counties and part of Wayne County.

In 1804, Seneca County was formed by the splitting of Cayuga County.

In 1817, Seneca County was reduced in size by combining portions of Seneca and the remainder of Cayuga County to form Tompkins County. Part of this territory, the current towns of Covert and Lodi, were returned to Seneca County in 1819.

In 1823, Seneca County was reduced in size by combining portions of Seneca and Ontario Counties to form Wayne County.

Ontario County,_New_York

In 1789, Ontario County was split off from Montgomery. The actual area split off from Montgomery County was much larger than the present county, also including the present Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Erie, Genesee, Livingston, Monroe, Niagara, Orleans, Steuben, Wyoming, and Yates Counties, and part of Schuyler and Wayne Counties.

In 1796, Ontario County was reduced in size by the splitting off of Steuben County. In 1802, Ontario County was reduced in size by the splitting off of Genesee County. The actual area split off from Ontario County was much larger than the present county, also including the present Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Erie, Niagara, Orleans and Wyoming Counties and parts of Livingston and Monroe Counties.

In 1821, portions of Genesee County were combined with portions of Ontario County to create Livingston and Monroe Counties.

In 1823, a portion of Seneca County was combined with a portion of Ontario County to create Wayne County. The same year, a portion of Steuben County was combined with a portion of Ontario County to create Yates County.

Yates County

On March 30, 1802, Ontario County lost 6,540 square miles of land through the partition of Genesee County,including the present Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Erie, Niagara, Orleans and Wyoming Counties and parts of Livingston and Monroe Counties.

In 1821, Ontario County was reduced in size by combining portions of Genesee and Ontario Counties to create Livingston and Monroe Counties.

On 5 Feb 1823 Yates County was formed from 310 square miles of Ontario County, including the area that included Vine Valley, Middlesex, Penn Yan, and Dresden, New York.

On 1 Jan 1826, 60 square miles of Steuben County was partitioned and added to Yates, which included Starkey, Dundee, and Lakemont, New York.

On 5 Apr 1828, 10 square miles was partitioned from Yates, and passed to Seneca and Tompkins Counties, mostly in the forest.

On 17 Mar 1860 Ontario County was authorized to gain land from Yates, but it was never put into effect.

On 18 Apr 1946 Yates gained 10 square miles from Schuyler and Seneca Counties, which produced the current borders of Yates County.

Lodges of the Ontario-Seneca-Yates Masonic District

Ontario County


Lodge Name







12 Oct1792

Forfeit 8 Jun 1832; see also Canandaigua No. 294, 11 Jun 1853




2 Sep 1807

Prev. No. 160; renumbered No. 33 in 1839


Mount Moriah


09 Jul 1804

Forfeit 4 Jun 1835; revived as Palmyra No. 248, 8 Mar 1852



Sackett's Harbor

27 Mar 1805

Ceased to work




13 Feb 1806

forfeit 1835; succeeded by Avon Springs No. 570, 30 Jun 1865




10 Jun 1848

forfeit 9 Jun 1881; preceded by Naples No. 447c, Jun 1825, surrendered 1830; forfeit 9 Jun 1881; succeeded by John Hodge Lodge No. 815, instituted 3 Sep 1885




14 Jun 1806




19 Jun 1848

Prev. No. 303, 5 Mar 1818; forfeit 1835; fire 1893 . . . All records except charter were lost




02 Sep 1807

Restored 1836; renumbered No. 33 in 1839 [q.v.]




07 Sep 1808





07 Mar 1810

Last recorded meeting, 27 Dec 1830; warrant destroyed by fire; no GL record that a new warrant was issued. A 'considerable number of members' became Charter Members of Milo Lodge No. 108 in 1846. [GL Proc 1906]




07 Dec 1811

Forfeit Dec 1829; revived 19 Jun 1858 as No. 443; No. 200 restored 9 Jun 1859; merged with Garoga No. 300 in 1999





formed from merger of Garoga No. 300 and Sincerity No. 200




11 Jun 1816

renumbered No. 45 in 1839




20 Nov 1816

In 1815, a Masonic lodge was founded at the tavern of Reuben Buck with 14 members; soon increased to over a 100. Dr. Philip N. Draper was the last member to be buried by Masonic honors, in 1827. The last meeting was held on 17 Dec 1828.




05 Jun 1817

surrendered in 1832; revived as No. 406, 8 Jul 1856




05 Jun1817




11 Jun 1853

Prev. Lodge at Canandaigua was Ontario No. 23, 12 Oct 1792; forfeit 8 Jun 1832



Clifton Springs / Rookwood

11 Jun 1853

a successor to Abiff No. 373c of Palatine and Ephratah (Fulton Co.), 10 Jun 1823; forfeit, 5 Jun 1834

Organized at Garoga, Fulton Co., NY, where it met until Jan 1906; then at Ephratah, Fulton Co., moving to Clifton Springs on 3 Nov 1911. Note: Brothers of Clifton Springs, being desirous of a Lodge, visited & joined Garoga Lodge in Fulton Co. Having attained a majority they cleverly spirited Garoga Lodge away (145 miles due west!) to Clifton Springs, Ontario Co., NY. Merged with Sincerity No. 200 to become Garoga-Sincerity No. 200 in 1999.




05 Mar1818

Forfeit, 1835; 'quietly existed' with charter intact thru 1836/37; revived No. 139, 19 Jun 1848


Rising Virtue


08 Mar 1819

last return, Jun 1831; revived as Walworth No. 254, 8 Jun 1852




19 Feb 1820

went into darkness' ca 1830; revived as Geneseo No. 214, May 1851 [Livingston County]. Orlando Hastings built the attic for the use of Comet Lodge and Billings Chapter.


Penfield Union


05 Apr 1821

surrendered in 1828; revived as No. 154, 7 Dec 1849 [q.v.]




08 Jul 1856

Previously No. 283




01 Jun 1825

Surrendered 1830; revived as No. 133, 10 Jun 1848; forfeit 9 Jun 1881; succeeded by John Hodge Lodge No. 815, instituted 3 Sep 1885




09 Jun 1826

surrendered 1830


Avon Springs


30 Jun 1865

successor of Genesee No. 130, 10 Feb 1804, forfeit 1835




04 Jun 1867

successor Genesee No. 138, 14 Jun 1806


John Hodge


03 Sep 1895

instituted date; Preceded by Naples Lodge No. 447, Jun 1825; surrendered 1830; revived as no. 133 , 10 Jun 1848; forfeit 9 Jun 1881; fire 1961





Seneca County









12 Jul 1846

Previously Junius No. 291; Met until Dec 1826; Officers elected 27 Dec 1839; last recorded meeting, 16 Apr 1840; Forfeit, Jun 1843; revived as Seneca No. 113.




13 Jun 1846

Destroyed by fire 5 Apr 1850; reissued 6 Jun 1850; scorched by fire 12 Oct 1874 & reissued; destroyed by fire Feb 1885; reissued 3 Jun 1885; Prev. Lodge in Ovid, Meriden [sic] No. 184, 6 Sep 1809; surrendered 1832







Interlaken / Farmerville

03 Dec 1850

Prev. No. 357




06 Sep 1809

Surrendered 1832; revived as Union No. 114, 13 Jan 1846



Seneca Falls

04 Mar 1851

fire 16-17 Jan 1869




05 Jun 1817

met until Dec 1826; Officers elected 27 Dec 1839; last recorded meeting, 16 Apr 1840; Forfeit, Jun 1843




Jul 1854




07 Mar 1823

forfeit 5 Jun 1834; see Farmerville No. 183, 3 Dec 1850




06 Jun 1823





Yates County








Penn Yan

08 Jun 1846

Preceded by Vernon No. 190 [Ontario County]; last meeting 27 Dec 1830




03 Jun 1847

First named Reading; changed to name Dundee, 4 Jun 1858; see Reading No. 366c, of Reading, NY, 6 Jun 1823




04 Jun 1585


Seneca Lake

West Dresden

11 Jun 1853

destroyed by fire; reissued 8 May 1902




06 Jun 1823

Steuben County; First named Reading; changed to name Dundee, 4 Jun 1858




23 Feb 1855

Dispensation date

Ontario County Lodges

Ontario Lodge No. 23, Canandaigua, New York

History of Ontario Co., NY, Published 1878, Organizations, Chapter XXVI, pages 63-64

ONTARIO LODGE, No. 23, the pioneer lodge of Free and Accepted Masons in Ontario County, had its origin in a petition made for a charter by nine brethren of Canandaigua to the Grand Lodge of the State of New York. Application was made 31 Oct 1791, by Timothy HOSMER, Samuel MELLISH, Judah COLT, Otho J. TAYLOR, John CHAPIN, Jr., Benjamin WELLS, Seth MEED, William ADAMS, and Thomas MORRIS. The petition was recommended by Wooster Lodge, No. 15, Colchester, New London, CT. The prayer of the petition was granted, and Timothy HOSMER was made Master of Ontario Lodge, No. 23, whose warrant was received 12 Oct 1792. In June, 1800, the Grand Lodge, desiring to amend the constitution, sent copies of the changes proposed to every lodge, desiring its assent by resolution of the lodge. If ratified by two-thirds of the several lodges, the rules and regulations "should be considered as the constitution of the Grand Lodge."

Judah Colt was born on 1 Jul 1761 in Lyme, CT. He left Connecticut in 1795 and moved to Erie County. He soon decided that the lake shore was inhospitable, so he looked to join earlier pioneers in the hill country south of Erie. In 1796, he attempted to buy thousands of acres of land from the Pennsylvania Population Company, but they declined, hiring him instead to replace Thomas Rees, Jr. as their agent, a job he held until his death in 1832.

Colt established Colt's Station in 1797 in present-day Greenfield. That same year he built the "earliest road after the American occupation" in Erie County (after Old French Road) as a supply route from Lake Erie. Soon goods that were traveling by ship from Buffalo to Erie were being transported overland to his settlement. He extended the road in early 1798 to French Creek, where he established a boat landing. He continued the road to the forks of the creek at Wattsburg later that same year. Colt's wife joined him at Colt's Station in May 1798. In the absence of a minister, Colt conducted the first Protestant service in the county on 2 Jul 1797.

Colt realized that prosperity would be found near the lake, so he left Colt's Station for Erie in 1804. He joined the Presbyterian church in Erie that formed in September 1815, attending worship services in the old court house and soon becoming an elder. He built a frame building on Sassafras Street, known locally as the "yellow meeting house", which became the first regular place of worship in Erie. He served three terms as Burgess in Erie (1813, 1820-1821). Colt died in Erie on 11 Oct 1832 and is buried in the Erie Cemetery

An article on his Day Book from Greenfield, Erie, PA, appears at: .

For the Journal of Judah Colt see:

also at

a copy of which has been transcribed for the archives of OMDHS.

Dr. Timothy Hosmer was a native of West Hartford, CT. With a little more than an ordinary academical education, he became a student of medicine with Dr. Dickinson, of Middleton. But recently settled in practice in Farmington, at the breaking out of the Revolution, he entered the service of the colonies, as a surgeon, in the Connecticut line. Serving in that capacity through the eventful crisis, he retired, happy in the recollection of its glorious result, but like most of those who had achieved it, poor and penniless, a growing family dependent on his professional services for support. In the army he had acquired a high reputation in his profession; especially for his successful treatment .of the small pox, at Danbury, where an army hospital had been established for patients. The discovery of Jenner, having been but recently promulgated in Europe, its efficacy was a mooted question; with a professional boldness which was characteristic of the man, he espoused the new discovery, and used it with great success. His mate, in the army, was Dr. Eustis, afterwards Secretary of War.

Personally acquainted with Mr. Phelps, and hearing of his purchase in the Genesee country, partly from a love of adventure and new enterprise, and partly to escape from a large practice that was requiring too much of constant toil, in 1790, he visited this region in company with Major Thompson, with whom, for themselves and associates, he made the purchase of a township. Spending the summer of '90 in Avon; in '91 he brought on his two sons, Frederick and Sydney; erecting a log house, the first dwelling on the present site of Avon, where Mr. Merrill's house now stands. His whole family joined him in 1792. Coming into the wilderness, with other objects in view, he was forced by necessity — by the absence of others of his profession, to engage in practice, which he continued until relieved by others- Among the old pioneers who in those

primitive days, were in detached settlements throughout a wide range, you will hear him spoken of; and especially do they remember his disregard of fatigue, his long, night, wood's rides, prompted more by a spirit of benevolence than professional gain ; his good humor, and the kind words he always had to cheer the desponding settler, who was wrestling with disease, or the hardships of pioneer life. The Indians early learned to appreciate his professional skill, and personal good offices. They named him "At-tta-gus," the healer of disease. In a period of doubt as to their relations with the new settlers, he helped to reconcile them and avert a threatened danger.

When Ontario was organized he became one of its Judges, and succeeded Mr. Phelps as first Judge, which office he held until he was sixty years of age, the constitutional limitation. He possessed naturally a fine literary taste; and his well selected library was an anomaly in the backwoods. In his correspondence with Messrs. Wadsworth and Williamson, which the author has perused, there are indications of the scholar, the poet,* and always, of ardent, enlightened patriotism.

He died in November, 1815, aged 70 years. His surviving sons, most of" whom came to the country as junior pioneers, are William T., of Meadville, Pa.; George, of Avon, who in early years occupied a conspicuous position at the bar of W. N. York, the father of Wm. H. C. Hosmer, the author of "Yonnondio," "Themes of Song," and other poems; Who is justly entitled to the position that has been awarded him in the front rank of American scholars and poets. Geo. Hosmer pursued his early studies under the tuition of the Rev. Ebenezer Johnson of Lima; in 1799 entered the law office of the Hon. Nathaniel W. Howell, as a student; and in 1802 was admitted to practice, opening his office in Avon, then the only lawyer west of Canandaigua. In the war of 1812 he was upon the frontier as the aid of Gen. Hall. He is now 69 years of age.

Timothy, the early and widely known landlord at Avon, resides at the Four Mile creek, near Fort Niagara; Sylvester, in Caledonia; Albert in Hartland, Niagara co. An only daughter of Judge Hosmer is the wife of the Rev. Flavel F. Bliss, of Churchville. Frederick Hosmer, deceased, was a son of Judge Hosmer; he was the first merchant at Avon; another son, A. Sydney Hosmer, was long known as a tavern keeper at Le Roy ; he emigrated to Wisconsin, where he died in 1835.


Benjamin Wells, b. 12 Jul 1756 Hatfield, MA; d. 4 Jun 1828 Hopewell, Ontario, NY, m: Anna Chapin 23 Jun 1785 Hatfield, NY, d/o Col Israel Chapin; enlisted, 1775, under Capt. Israel Chapin. He was appointed ensign, 1777, lieutenant, 1780, and served to the close of the war in the Massachusetts Continental Line.

Ontario Lodge, No. 23, under date of 15 Nov 1800, returned reply "that the adoption of the proposed new constitution would be inexpedient and unadvisable." The lodge recommended Albany as an eligible place for session of the Grand Lodge, and opposed the formation of two Grand Lodges within the State. The response was signed by John CLARK, WM; Wm. SHEPARD, SW; Ezra PLATT, JW; and by Dudley SALTONSTALL and Peter B. PORTER, brethren. The new constitution was rejected. On 5 Nov 1804, the Grand Lodge was informed that Ontario Lodge had been frequently called upon, especially by travelers, for aid, and during a period of twelve years had bestowed in charitable donations two hundred and fifty dollars. The members of the lodge were often transient residents, and the moneys loaned, from their places of removal being unknown, were often lost, so that the losses were set down as two hundred dollars. The lodge procured its furniture at heavy expense on account of its distance from the supply, and its place of meeting proved expensive, so that it had become poor, and its treasury account reduced to two hundred dollars. In consideration of the circumstances, it was asked that the customary fees be remitted, and thirty dollars sent be received in lieu thereof. Financial troubles of the present in the erection of new Masonic halls were the same fifty years ago.

[Note: Peter B. Porter is recorded as having visited Zion Lodge in Detroit on 7 Dec 1807 as a visitor from Ontario Lodge (owner of Niagara Falls) in the Transactions of the American Lodge of Research, Vol. VIII, No. 2, 1961. This is ‘assumedly’ General Peter Buell Porter of Black Rock and Niagara Falls.]

In the spring of 1819 the lodge found it unpleasant and inconvenient to continue in former rooms, and, having accumulated some means, thought best to build a Masonic hall. The work was commenced and progressed considerably. A loan of one thousand dollars was secured on the property, and five hundred dollars was asked of the Grand Lodge to enable the lodge to finish the structure. The request was denied, from inability, and the lodge, struggling on, accomplished its purpose. The first return, from 19 Nov 1804, to 2 Jan 1809, gives the names of twenty-seven members. From 1809 to 1811 no return was made. In the return from 26 Dec 1811, to Dec 1815, there were thirty new members and twenty-one old, a total of fifty-one. The return of 1817-18 gives 22 old and twelve new members; total, 34. In 1819 there were six new members, and Millard FLINT died. In this year H. SEYMOUR was WM; Wm. GOODWIN, SW; P.B. UNDERHILL, JW; Manning GOODWIN, Secretary; and Jasper PARRISH, Treasurer. In 1820 Richard WELLS was Master; in 1823 John GREIG, and in 1824-25 Nicholas G. CHESEBRO, were Masters.

The last return was made in 1825, and the warrant of the lodge was declared forfeited in 1832, and, not having been surrendered previous to June, 1840, could not be revived. The papers from which the above has been gathered were copied by the Secretary of the Grand Lodge, and are on file at the Canandaigua Lodge. The petition for remission of dues-and for loan to complete building, present the lodge in the light of a self-sacrificing and benevolent association,- a fit example for the present searches after wisdom and instruction.

A statement made by the lodges of Ontario County, which forms part of the Twenty-first Masonic District, to Thomas H. BENNETT, D. D. G. M., presents the following summary or members:













Wm. P. Durrant

S. N. Anthony






Simeon C. Lyon

George Peck






Bolivar Ellis

S. P. Crocker






F. D. Vanderhoof

Edw. C. Corbin






H. B. Ferguson

J. J. Stebbins






L. F. Wilbur

M. P. Worthy,_Sr.

Joseph Smith Senior (12 Jul 1771 – 14 Sep 1840) was the father of Joseph Smith Jr., the founder of the Latter Day Saints. Joseph Sr., was also one of the Eight Witnesses of the Book of Mormon, which Mormons believe was translated by Joseph Jr. from the Golden Plates. In addition, Joseph Sr. was the first Presiding Patriarch of the Latter Day Saint church, a member of the First Presidency of the church, and a member of Ontario Lodge No. 23, F&AM, of Canandaigua, NY.

Joseph Smith, Sr. was born on July 12, 1771 in Topsfield, MA, to Asael Smith and Mary Duty. He married Lucy Mack in Tunbridge, VT, on 26 Jan 1795, and they had 11 children.

Smith tried his hands at several professions, including farmer, teacher, shop-keeper, none of which proved very successful. He moved his family to Palmyra, NY, in 1816 and began to make payments on a farm located on the edge of neighboring Manchester Township. He was raised to the degree of Master Mason on May 7, 1818 in Ontario Lodge No. 23 of Canandaigua, New York. Work on a frame house at the farm was halted by the unexpected death of Smith's eldest son, Alvin, in 1823. Smith subsequently failed to make payments on the farm. Lemuel Durfee purchased it as a favor to the family and allowed the Smiths to continue there as renters through 1830.

In 1824, rumors began circulating that the body of Smith's son Alvin had been exhumed from his grave and dissected. To dispel the rumors, from September to November 1824, he published a notice in a local newspaper that he and his neighbors had themselves exhumed the grave, and found Alvin's body undisturbed. (Wayne Sentinel, September 25, 1824).

Though a spiritual man, Smith showed little interest in organized religion and was content to allow his wife control over the religious upbringing of their children. This indifference bothered Lucy very much. After much prayer, she said she had received a divine witness that her husband would some day accept "the pure and undefiled Gospel of the Son of God." (Smith, 56)

Smith professed that he had visionary dreams with highly symbolic content, obviously related to his ambivalence about religious faith and sometimes presaging events to come. These dreams continued after the family's move to Palmyra, New York, until he had had seven in all; Lucy remembered five well enough to quote in detail. (Smith)

In the late 1820s, Smith's son, Joseph Jr., began to tell the family about Golden Plates, which he said contained a record of the ancient inhabitants of the Americas. In September 1827, Joseph Jr. said he obtained the plates, which Joseph Sr. testified he felt and lifted while wrapped in cloth. In the following years, Joseph Jr. claimed to translate the plates into English through the use of the Urim and Thummim, a sacred device given to him by an angel of God. When the work was near completion, at the end of June 1829, Joseph Sr., and seven other men signed a joint statement, testifying that they had both lifted the plates and seen the engravings on the plates. Known as the "Testimony of the Eight Witnesses", this statement was published with the first edition of the Book of Mormon and has been a part of nearly all subsequent editions.

Joseph Smith Sr. was baptised as one of six founding members, when the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints (called the Church of Christ until 1838) was organized on April 6, 1830. When Joseph Jr. saw Joseph Sr. come up out of the water, he is reported to have cried, "Oh! My God I have lived to see my own father baptized into the true church of Jesus Christ!"

In January 1831, Joseph Smith, Sr. and his family moved to the church's new headquarters in Kirtland, OH. He was ordained to be the church's first Presiding Patriarch on 18 Dec 1833.

Smith moved with his family to Far West Missouri in 1838 and from there to the church's new headquarters at Nauvoo, IL, in 1839. Old age and illnesses had taken their toll and by the end of summer 1840, Smith realized he was dying. He called his family around him to administer patriarchal blessings.

Joseph Smith, Sr. died on September 14, 1840.

January 8, 1893 - Copyright © The New York Times

Ark Lodge No. 33, Geneva, New York

Ark Lodge No. 160, chartered 2 Sep 1807; renumber No. 33, 1839.

1807: The first secret society organization was formed, Ark lodge. No. 33 of Free and Accepted Masons, the lodge finding its first home in the splendid old Colonial building on Exchange (then Water) street, erected in 1804 by Colonel Pearly Phillips, which some years later, 1813, became the home of the Tillman family and the scene of many brilliant social affairs During the Morgan excitement Ark Lodge No. 33 was kept together by seven members who, at times, were required to meet secretly.

The first petition for a Masonic Lodge in Ontario Country came in October of 1791. The Charter was granted to Ontario Lodge # 23 on October 12, 1792. This sparked Freemasonry in the new settlements. The birthplace is today known as Canandaigua.

In June of 1807 there went out a petition for a Lodge in the Village of Geneva. The Mother Lodge, Mount Moriah made the recommendation. DeWitt Clinton was the presiding Grand Master of Masons of the State of New York, as well as the Governor of New York. In September of that same year, Ark Lodge No. 160 was chartered, with Philetus Swift named as the Master. The group met at the home of Brother Pearly Phillips on Exchange Street, and numbered 21 Brothers. In 1839 Grand Lodge issued Ark Lodge the number 33.

From 1857 until 1907 Ark Lodge went through a transitional period. Corydon Wheat was five times Master, three times District Deputy Grand Master. He was a great administrator, ritualistic and was known as "Master Builder." From 1874 to1899 the Lodge saw a period of great prosperity, harmony and peace. In 1903 the Masonic Temple Corporation came into being, and in 1907 the Lodge celebrated its 100-year anniversary.

In 1919 Ark Lodge recommended a Charter for Geneva Lodge No. 965, which then became a daughter Lodge. In 1921 the new President of Hobart and William Smith Colleges affiliated to Ark Lodge, and was coroneted honorary 33rd Degree Scottish Rite. In 1932 Lodge membership reached an all-time high with 668 members.


Ref: “The three patriarchs: Philetus Swift, Polydore B. Wisner, Wells Whitmore.” Geneva, NY: Ark Lodge, No. 33, F. & A. M., 1918. 16 pages. Contains a portrait of Philetus Swift and a picture of his home near Phelps, N.Y. Copy located in the Library of the Grand Lodge of the State of New York.
Ref: Ark Lodge No. 33, F&AM – 175th Anniversary – 1807 to 1982, booklet. 68 pages. Compiled by Dr. John H. Stelter, Lodge Historian.

Past Masters
Starting with the 95th Master, when there were 486 members of Ark Lodge:
1957 Randall, George b. 1900, Marcellus, NY; d. 28 Aug 1979; Raised 2 Jun 1937; occ. Trucking.

1958 Arquitt, Elihu E. b. 1 Jan 1910, Louisville, NY; d. 25 Nov 1969; Raised 1952; VA Hospital Nursing Assistant.

1959 Randall, Charles R. b. 5 Sep 1925, Geneva, NY; Raised 4 Jun 1947; Watch Repairman.

1960 Goebert, Bernard E. b. 13 Aug 1918, Lyons, NY; Raised 1952; President, Goebert Auto Supply Corp.

1961 Reifsteck, Robert E. b. 4 Jun 1918, Gorham, NY; d. 3 Apr 1981; Raised 21 Apr 1954; Red & White Grocery

1962 Case, Francis M. b. 23 Sep 1919, Phelps, NY; Raised 21 Apr 1954; VP William Ports Son, Inc. (scrap metal)

1963 Vogt, James E. b. 30 Sep 1933, Geneva, NY; d. 5 Oct 1979; Raised 16 Feb 1955; Manager, William L. Vogt & Sons Lumber.

1964 Abraham, Mitchell J. b. 15 Oct 1916, Geneva, NY; Raised 21 Feb 1945; Syracuse Herald Newspaper distributor.

1965 Colegrove, Howard C. b. 3 Feb 1932, MacDougall, NY; Raised 5 Mar 1958; NY State Electric & Gas.

1966 Crosier, Raymond W. b. 7 Jul 1899, Hall, NY; d. 11 Jan 1976; Raised 18 Apr 1923; R. W. Crosier Heating Oil Service

1967 Meeks, Robert L. b. 2 Dec 1930, Greenwood, MS; Raised 19 Nov 1958. Bank Teller.

1968 George, Harry b. 1 Apr 1938, Wilkes Barre, PA; Raised 7 Mar 1951; Supervisor, Seneca Army Depot.

1969 Khoury, Anthony J. b. 28 Jun 1928, Geneva, NY; Raised 20 May 1953; Teacher, Geneva Middle School.

1970 Drennen, Allen M. b. 23 Jul 1932, Grove City, PA; Raised 20 May 1964; Owner, Drennen Memorials.

1971 Merrill, Reginald G. b. 30 Jan 1918, Watertown, NY; Raised 23 Feb 1945; Dentist.

1972 Fuller, Ervin R. b. 21 Mar 1917, Titusville, PA; Raised 21 Feb 1948; Auto Mechanic..

1973 Crane, Walter H. b. 18 Mar 1918, Hornell, NY; d. 29 Oct 1973; Raised 18 May 1966; Machine Operator, Sharon Optical Co.

1974 Galleher, David C. b. 25 Dec 1944, Norwalk, CT; Raised 15 Apr 1972; X-Ray Technician, Geneva General Hospital.

1975 Perry, Kenneth M. b. 28 Jan 1940, Ozone Park, L.L, NY; Raised 20 Apr 1971; Science Teacher, Geneva High School.

1976 Rouse, Charles A. Sr. b. 16 Mar 1908, Lancaster, NY; d. 16 Feb 1981; Raised 16 Jun 1943; Maintenance, Hobart College

1977 Marsh, Jerard M. b. 24 May 1948, Oswego, NY; Raised 17 Nov 1971; Pharmacist, Carl’s Drug Co.

1978 Goebert, Stephen S. b. 2 Dec 1949, Geneva, NY; Raised 17 May 1972; VP, Goebert Auto Supply Co.

1979 Haich, Roger D. b. 31 May 1932; Raised 3 Mar 1975; RF Communications.

1980 Smith, Erwin W. Jr. b. 19 Feb 1937, Geneva, NY; Raised 15 May 1974;

1981 Abraham, Thomas C. b. 22 Nov 1944, Geneva, NY; Raised 19 May 1976; Teacher, Penn Yan Academy.

1982 Todd, Keith W. b. 28 Aug 1941; Raised 7 Jun 1978; Cahier, Geneva Federal Savings and Loan.

At which time W.’. Todd was the 118th Master and there were 227 members.
Philip Becker, Geneva, was born in Bavaria, Germany, 19 Jan 1835, where he was educated. He came to the United States in 1854, first locating in Brooklyn, NY, for one year, then came to Geneva, and has been in the hotel business 25 years. He has been in his present location 21 years in the "Kirkwood." Through polite attention to commercial men and the general public, together with efficient management it has become one of the leading hotels of the place. 11 Feb 1861, he married Mary FINCK of Geneva, formerly of Rochester, and they have had five children: John H. (deceased), Fannie L., Henry H., Edward (deceased), and Louis (deceased). Fannie L. married James C. BEEBE, of Syracuse, and they have one daughter, Inez B. Henry H. is in company with his father under the firm name of Philip Becker & Son. He married Mary E. STEELE of Romulus, NY, and they had a son, Eldreth J., who died in infancy. Philip BECKER is a member of Ark Lodge No. 33 F&AM.

Kirkwood Hotel - Corner Exchange and Castle Streets - Geneva, New York

Early 1900s


Charles Danford, only child of Charles and Cloa Maria (DANFORD) BEAN, were born in Marion, Wayne, NY, 1861. His early years were spent in New York City, where he was a pupil at St. John's Trinity Parish School and North Moore Grammar School; he also attended the Franklin Academy, of Prattsburg; and he received his preparatory education for college at the Union School, of Geneva. He then matriculated at Hobart College, from which he was graduated in a class of eighteen. He was one of the three chosen by the faculty to speak twice at commencement. While attending college he was a member of the choir and several of the societies, and then accompanied his father on a pleasure trip to Europe. Upon his return to this country he took a post-graduate course at Hobart, and about the same time commenced the study of law under the preceptorship of his uncle Major BEAN, and of Judge FOLGER. He became a member of the Hobart Cadets and commenced the study of military tactics under the auspices of a United States officer. He has been honored by a number of institutes of learning in recognition of his articles in various legal publications and his writings on the laws of fraternities and societies. Syracuse University conferred upon him the degree of Bachelor of Philosophy; Allegheny College, that of Master of Arts; and the Southern Normal University College of Law has honored him with the degree of Doctor of Laws.

In 1887 he was elected justice of the peace for four years; in 1889 he was elected justice of sessions, and was reelected in 1890. For many years he has been known as "Judge." He has served as a delegate to several county conventions and is chairman of the general executive committee of his law class. He is president of the Endymion Military Preparatory School Corporation, the object of which is to establish and permanently endow a military academy and boarding school which shall have especial advantages and facilities for the instruction of young men. His business, social, fraternal and club connections are varied and numerous. Among them may be mentioned: Membership in the Geneva Chamber of Commerce; the Geneva Bar Association; the Geneva Equality Club; the Masonic Temple Club; the New York State Historical Association; Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks; Geneva Lodge, No. 1054, Independent Order of Odd Fellows; Umarken Grotto, V. P. E. R. For three years he served as secretary of the board of trustees of the New York Delta Chapter of the Phi Kappa Psi Fraternity, of Geneva; is now an active member of the Phi Kappa Psi Syracuse Alumni Association; also of the Phi Kappa Psi Homestead Association and the Society of Wayne, of New York; he is ex-president of the Delphian Historical Society; was an active member of the Trinity Chapter of St. Andrew's Brotherhood, which was afterward consolidated with the Trinity Boys' Club; vice-president and president of the Young Men's Christian Association Outing Club. For six years he served as a member of the reception committee of the Young Men's Christian Association, during a part of this time was also a member of the athletic committee, and for five years was one of the judges at the annual field day. At the present time (1910) he is historian of the Delphian Historical Society, and treasurer of the Delta Sigma Fraternity. In 1893 he was elected to the office of junior warden of Ark Lodge, No. 33, F&AM, and was reelected to the office in the following year; he was elected master of Ark Lodge in 1895, and reelected in 1896; he is a member of Geneva Chapter, No. 36, RAM, and of Geneva Commandery, No. 29, KT. Mr. BEAN is unmarried and devotes all his time that is not occupied with business matters to his societies and to literary work. He is a frequent contributor to the "Legal Gazette" and other legal publications; is the author of a history of Geneva and valuable papers on college fraternity matters.

Charles Washington FAIRFAX, son of George Henry ( 2 ) FAIRFAX, was born in Geneva, 2 Dec 1862. His education was received in the public schools of his native place, graduating from the Geneva Union and Classical School. While in school he worked mornings and evenings in his father's store, and like many other Geneva boys worked in the nurseries in the spring and autumn. After leaving school he worked as clerk in his father's store. In 1880 he formed a partnership with his brother, George S. FAIRFAX, who at that time returned from the west, and the firm took over the father's business, thus giving him an opportunity to retire from active life. For a number of years the business was conducted under the firm name of George S. & Charles W. Fairfax. The business grew and expanded with the growth of the city and in 1893 a third brother, Frank E. FAIRFAX, was taken into the firm. At this time Frank E., had just returned from the United States Naval Academy at Annapolis, suffering from typhoid fever, and he abandoned the navy to engage in business. One of the first things done by the new firm was to purchase the site on the west corner of Castle and Linden streets and to erect thereon the four-story building at a cost of $21,000. In the division of work, Charles W. took charge of the large interior decorating work, in which the firm was very successful, such as the decoration of churches and theatres. The firm had the contract for the Smith Opera House in Geneva. Such was the success of the firm in this line and in designing decorative schemes that the brothers were led to manufacture wall paper for their own use, taking for this department of the business the top floor of the building. This branch of the business was established in 1898 at a time when the wall paper trade was largely controlled by the Continental Wall Paper Company, which administered the affairs of some fifty-two plants. Notwithstanding the opposition of such a competitor, the firm found a market for its designs and its trade grew rapidly and it soon became necessary to erect a plant for the manufacture of wall paper. A site was secured on South Exchange street and without the assistance of outside capital, the firm erected a building one hundred by two hundred and ninety feet and equipped it with a plant having a capacity of three million rolls of wall paper a year. After four years in this building, the business was incorporated as the Geneva Wall Paper Company, of which George S. FAIRFAX was president; Charles W. FAIRFAX, vice-president and general manager, and Frank E. FAIRFAX, secretary and treasurer. The corporation has continued without change in officers to the present time. The capital stock is $70,000. 

From early life Charles W. FAIRFAX has been keenly interested in public affairs. In 1880 he joined the Hydrant Hose Company of the Geneva Fire Department and he has been successively secretary and foreman, and is still an active member. In the first election under the city charter of Geneva, in 1897, he was chosen an alderman on the Republican ticket to represent the fourth ward and from that time to the present (1911) he has been a member of the common council. No man has had a longer period of office under the city government and few have been as efficient and faithful. As he was slated for president of the common council early in 1907 he declined the nomination for alderman and W.L. YOUNG was nominated and elected. By the shift of political fortunes, however, he failed to receive the nomination for president of the common council. But before January 1, 1908, Mr. YOUNG decided to decline the office of alderman to accept the appointment of the board of assessors, and Mr. FAIRFAX was elected by the board to succeed himself. Thus his services in the council have been continuous. In the council he has been prominent as a member of the railroad committee, of which he has been chairman since 1902. Largely through his efforts the railroads have added more gates and flagmen for the protection of pedestrians at the various grade crossings. He has been chairman of the printing committee since 1907. For more than ten years he has been a member of the electric light committee and he is also a member of the committee on public improvements, finance and contingent expenses. He has also been appointed to practically all of the important special committees. He was the Republican nominee for mayor in 1909, and at the election in November was defeated. 

He has been prominent also in military affairs. He was a charter member of the Independent Battery of Geneva, and was lieutenant and captain. At the time of the Spanish-American war (1898), when the 34th Separate Company was called into active service, he was a leader in the movement to recruit a new company to take its place in the National Guard and he was commissioned first lieutenant of the new company by Governor BLACK, and continued with this rank until the organization was mustered out early in 1899. His military experience made him of great value to the various campaign marching clubs in many political campaigns. He was major of the Blaine and Logan Battalion of the Plumed Knights and colonel of the famous McKinley Regiment, which numbered an even thousand. In similar capacities he has been active in the management of other large parades in the city for many years. At the time of the firemen's convention in 1903, he was grand marshal of the parade and organized a telephone system for the handling of the precession during the line of march. In connection with the centennial celebration in 1906, besides serving on the general committee of arrangements and the finance committee, he was one of the marshals of the big industrial parade and grand marshal of the education day parade. When a large labor day parade was held in Geneva in 1908 he assisted the Federation of Labor in organizing the parade and was chairman of the committee which awarded the prizes for the best equipped and best drilled union in the line, and in 1909 he was one of the marshals of the firemen's convention, assisting William WILSON, grand marshal of the day, in organizing the parade. 

Earlier in life Mr. FAIRFAX took an active interest in athletics, especially in the track and in-door sports. He was the first physical director of the Young Men's Christian Association, when it was located in the Old Dutch Church. While the athletic department of the institution was under his direction a series of gymnastic exhibitions were given, and with the proceeds of these events the first equipment of gymnasium apparatus was purchased for the association. He was also the first physical director of Hobart College, when the first gymnasium was opened in Alumni Hall, on the south side of the campus. He filled this position for ten years. Students were required to spend two hours on three afternoons a week in gymnasium work, with optional work on the other three days. In later years he has enjoyed the automobile and he is one of the charter members of the Automobile Club, organized, May 17, 1904, and has been its secretary from the first. He took an active part in organizing and managing the annual runs of the organization. He is also a member of the Kandasaga Club; Ark Lodge, No. 33, F&AM; Geneva Chapter, No. 36, Royal Arch Masons; Geneva Commandery, No. 29, Knights Templar, of which he was eminent commander; Geneva Lodge, No. 1054, Benevolent and protective order of Elks. His home is at 423 Main Street.

He married, August 8, 1900, Gertrude, daughter of Joel PAGE, of Seneca Castle. She was a graduate of the State Normal School.


A genealogical account of the descendants of John Kelly of Newbury,” by Giles Merrill Kelly. Page 110.

585. Luther Kelly [John1, John2, Jonathan3, Jonathan4, Jonathan5, Ebenezer6], born 13 Oct 1803: married, first. C harry M. Hall, in 1825; she was born September 23, 1806, and died September 8, (23 ?) 1841. without children. Mr. Kelly married, second, in 1842, Jeannette E. Sage, who was born 6 Feb 1816. He died 14 Feb 1857 in Geneva. NY, the place of his residence for many years. "He was a man of enterprise and strong determination/' He gained a very considerable fortune in the drug business, in which he engaged before reaching his majority. He was prominently active in the Methodist Episcopal Church, also, in the order of Free Masons.

Ibid. page 150.


1000. i Sarah Elizabeth, b. 03 Mar 1843; d. 04 Apr 1853.

1001. ii. Mary A., b. 27 Dec 1844; d. 14 Jun 1860.

1002. iii. Luther Mortimer, b. 07 Apr 1846; d. 26 Jan 1849.

1003. iv Clinton, b. 11 Oct 1847; d. 19 Jun1849.

1004. v. Luther Sage, b. 27 Jul 1849. He entered Geneva College, Lima, NY; passed through his freshman year in that institution, and then, in the sixteenth year of his age, 1865, "being of a roving disposition, and desiring to see the West, and to experience something of the life on the plains, he traveled to Dakota, and thence to Montana. He spent nearly a dozen years in these Western wilds with his rifle, and from his quickness in shooting, and his solitary habits, was known among the Indians by names signifying, 'The man who never lays down his gun,' and 'The lone wolf.' "He was at length employed by Gen. Miles as his principal scout in his warfare with the Indians of that remote region. The Bismarck Tri-Weekly Tribune of November 21, 1877, contains an extended notice of this remarkable man, from which are taken the following extracts: "Accompanying Gen. Miles on his victorious return is a strange, brave man, known as "Yellowstone Kelly," * * * * Gen. Miles recognizes him as the best, the truest, and the most resolute scout in the army. * * * * Although a good talker under rare influences and circumstances, he is to the crowd and to the curious the most reticent man known to the service." "He is a gentleman all over, extremely polite and choice in his language." He is said to be a great reader, and to possess scholarly tastes.

From Fort Keough, Montana Territory, Mr. Kelly made, in 1878, a visit to his friends in the State of New York. Mr. Jarvis of Elmira. NY, who met this gentleman during his stay in that city, says that everything in his aspect, his manner, his personal appearance in all points, bear testimony to the truth of the representation given above. He is reserved, but not unsocial; observant, but assiduously polite. The piercing look of his dark eye is said to possess a strange, indescribable potency, to betoken a character at once strongly marked and inscrutable.

1005. vi William Dunham, b. 14 Jun 1852; married Charlotte L. Cook, at Waterloo, NY, 9 Oct 1877; secretary of the Maclntyre Coal Co., Elmira, NY; "a good churchman."

1006. vii. Anna J., b. 24 Dec 1855; Elmira N. Y.

1007. viii. Albert F., b. 29 Oct 1857; Elmira, N. Y.
Luther Sage ‘Yellowstone’ Kelly

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