Worshipful Master David "Dave" Reagan     -     Secretary & Editor John "Corky" Daut
January 2010 Issue
It’s Happening At Waller Lodge

By Corky

The Grand Lodge Of Texas is well represented at Waller Masonic Lodge this year. We have two members who are District Deputy Grand Masters. Brother “Bob” Podvin, DDGM of District 108 and Brother Gary Mosmeyer, DDGM of District 30D.
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Waller Lodge had it’s 112th Birthday and Christmas party December 19th.. A good time was had by all and those not there were greatly missed.

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Two Fifty Year Awards were given at the December Meeting to Brother Frank Stevens of Houston Lodge #1189 and Brother William Rowefrom Waverly Lodge #61 in Missouri. Brother Maurice Tucker had his 50 yr. award mailed to his home. Brothers Ed Locklear and J. Fred Loofs received their 25 years awards.

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The bad weather really dealt us a bad blow this year for our 3 day Civil War Reenactment fundraiser at the Liendo Plantation. After all of the bills were paid and the profits were divided with our partner, Waller Lodge, we had only made $921.90 for each Lodge. That was only 37% of last year’s $2,576.00 profit per Lodge, so the bad weather really hurt us.

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Please say a prayer for,

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Brother Wayne Schultz had a pace maker installed.in December.

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Brother Ed Locklear went to the hospital the week before Christmas with a 104.7 temp. He had an internal infection.

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Corky, Nellie and Valerie endured the Holiday season with what I’ll have to call bad colds since there were no swine around and we had to miss the Lodge Christmas Party.

Masonic Temple Bell Ringing In Fort Worth Since 1855

By Elizabeth Zavala - Fort Worth Star Telegram
From the Rural Lodge Newsletter

It rang in good times and bad, at sunrise and sunset. And if its metal could talk, it would recall the beginnings of Fort Worth and the settlers who forged what would become the city and county seat on a bluff facing the Trinity River.

No one really knows exactly how the 16-inch bell thatwas cast in London in 1782 made its way to North Texas, but its caretaker, Fort Worth Masonic Lodge No. 148, has kept it safe and an active part of the community since the 1850s. Local historians believe that the bell, which is kept at the Masonic Temple on Henderson Street, is one of the oldest historic treasures left in Fort Worth.“It has a clean history," said Clara Ruddell, who works for the Fort Worth Convention and Visitors Bureau and is a local historian and member of the Tarrant County Hitorical Commission. "[Pioneer] JC Terrell wrote about the bell and who brought it here, and we have the bell itself. He [the bell] can’t come with a better provenance."

In early days, bells were used to alert residents of the newly formed settlements in the West. Historic documents say the bell was central to the growing community and served many purposes: It announced the stagecoach; it ushered out the old year and welcomed the new; it was the fire alarm, it called people to eat, rang for weddings, urged students to school, and tolled for deaths and funerals.

Back then, the newly formed Fort Worth had no other bell than the one that belonged to Lawrence Steel, part of the group of 10 men who organized the first Blue Lodge, which became Lodge No. 148, the first Masonic Lodge chartered in Fort Worth in 1855. They met in a room above a tavern and hotel run by Steel at the northwest corner of what was then the public square. That area is on the bluff near the 1895 Tarrant County Courthouse, at Belknap and Main streets.

Bob Holmes, curator of the Masonic Temple Library & Museum, with "Mason." The bell was cast in London in 1782 and brought here in 1855.
"Those early settlers and organizers included Julian Feild, Capt JC Terrell, Capt EM Daggett, John Peter Smith and Col Middleton Tate Johnson, according to Reminiscences of the Early Days of Fort Worth, by Terrell.

Steel kept the bell at his hotel until 1871, when it was purchased by the Lodge and its school. The bell eventually became known as the Masonic Bell, and today the fraternity affectionately refers to it as "Mason."

"The brotherhood helps keep the memory alive," said Robert P "Bob" Holmes, a master Mason and curator of the Masonic Temple Library & Museum. In keeping with its rich tradition, officials included the bell in the dedication of the Fort Worth Police and Firefighters Memorial on 5 June, said Kevin Foster, research director for the memorial. Mayor Mike Moncrief opened the ceremony by ringing the bell to announce the names of the firefighters and police officers killed in the line of duty. Their names are etched on the granite structure in Trinity Park.

Foster spent hours researching histories for the memorial. His mission became clearer when he discovered how the bell was used in the death of Deputy City Marshal Columbus C Fitzgerald on 25 August 1877. He was shot and "mortally wounded" when he "tried to quell a disturbance near the Cold Springs Race Track on the city’s north side," according to historic accounts. He died the next day.

"At the time of his death, the fire bell began tolling the news. A lynch mob formed, and 12 men were made special officers to guard the jail," historic accounts indicate.

" "Knowing what I knew [about the history], it became a goal to get that bell for our dedication," said Foster, who is also historian for the Fort Worth Police Department and secretary of the Police Officers Association.

Since then, Mason has been invited to various events throughout Tarrant County and has been used at several weddings held in the cathedral at the Masonic Temple.

" Holmes said. "A couple tolled the bell three times for 'I love you,’

Mason also holds a special place in the hearts of Holmes and Ruddell. It was Ruddell’s inquiry about the bell for historic purposes that opened the door for her and Holmes to meet on 12 July 2004. The pair have been together ever since. Inquiries The Masonic Bell is available for events. For information, call Bob Holmes at 817-999-2590. "

"Masonic labor is purely a labor of love. He who seeks to draw Masonic wages in gold and silver will be disappointed. The wages of a Mason are in the dealings with one another; sympathy begets sympathy, kindness begets kindness, helpfulness begets helpfulness, and these are the wages of a Mason." [BENJAMIN FRANKLINK]

Non-fiction Freemasonry Book Reveals Its Ancient Egyptian Origins
Author: Jeffrey Lewis

A Book Review

Freemasonry continues to pique and hold communal interest. The interest is so high, that popular fictional thrillers were created to engage the widespread pangs of curiosity. Jeffrey Lewis author of a new book release; believes a lack of knowledge of freemasonry's origins, contributes to the Freemason mystique. Lewis states "It is time to unveil the source of the esoteric thrill, Ancient Egypt, by satisfying the hunger of the inquisitive with non-fiction. Revealing the symbols and their meaning will bring significance to the 'artifacts' viewed in 100 museums around the world, offer an alternative perspective to already written books, and the likely re-write of 'Googled' Egyptian mythology." The genuine and original Freemason Symbols are "lost" along the Banks of the River Nile, Egypt in plain sight. They are 'lost', only insofar as they are not understood in the Current Era. For 5000 years, the Symbols remain un-deciphered except to those of religious stature in Ancient Egypt. Jeffrey Lewis' soon to be released book; 'The Untold Religion of Ancient Egypt' exposes the Symbols and their meaning. The research discovers that the Symbols serve separate groups of Ancient Egyptians, very differently. Similarly, current-day translated hieroglyphics also reflect allegorical 'doublespeak' and have alternative meaning. Together, the symbols and hieroglyphics reveal a religious format, supportive of all groups within the 'Ancient Egyptian' society.

An independent Llumina review praises 'The Untold Religion of Ancient Egypt'…

"In its current form, it is a solid work of scholarship; its combination of a unique and fascinating argument with convincing evidence will make it a valuable resource for future studies.

One thing I'd particularly like to commend you on is the research involved in this manuscript; you draw on a deep well of information which was clearly meticulously sought out and studied, and readers will recognize and appreciate that tremendous effort. I was also impressed with the variety of sources—you don't simply rely on one or two reference points but a wide array of historic and modern texts. This lends an additional air of credibility and authenticity to the work as a whole".

The stunning non-fictional investigation reveals an alternative religion hitherto unknown or unrecognized throughout the world."

Suggested Retail Price: US$21.95, CAN$21.95

Masonic Anniversaries
Brother Years
Bob Scarborough49
Chester H. Beaty39
Robert F. Willie31
Wes Mersiovsky20
Herman Flannagan13
Happy Birthday To
John W. Reese, JR.79
Doyle Sitton75
Ed Locklear76
Chester H. Beaty 68
John W. Loofs63
John Leatherman61
John N. Daut, Sr.57
Delane Corley31

The George Washington Masonic Memorial
Author: Jeffrey Lewis

A Book Review

On February 22, 1910, George Washington’s 178th birthday, Masonic leaders from across the nation met in Alexandria, Virginia and formed an association for the purpose of building a great memorial to honor America’s foremost Freemason.

On February 22, 2010, the 100th Anniversary of the founding of the George Washington Masonic National Memorial Association, will be a day of great festivities. In honor of the occasion, the Conference of Grand Masters of North America, hosted by the Grand Lodge of Virginia, will be held in nearby Arlington. Delegates will attend the Association’s Annual Meeting and celebrate the 100th Anniversary and Washington’s 278th birthday at the Memorial. At the Annual Meeting, a new portrait of George Washington as a Freemason will be unveiled. Painted by local artist, Christopher Erney, the portrait will be a new interpretation of Washington. Prints of the portrait will be available at the meeting.

Complementing the portrait is a new video. It presents George Washington as the inspiration for the founding of America and explores the founding of the George Washington Masonic National Memorial Association. Underwritten by the Masonic Charity Foundation of Oklahoma, it will be available on DVD and as a download from the Memorial’s website for Masonic education. The Memorial's new logo to commemorate the occasion was also designed by local artist Christopher Erney. The logo combines the Washington Family Crest with numerous Masonic symbols. Its Square and Compasses is taken from the Memorial’s 1923 cornerstone affirms the Association's motto "In Memoriam Perpetuam" as it supports Freemasonry in a new century of service.

Following the Annual Meeting, the International Order of DeMolay will rededicate the colossal bronze statue of George Washington in Memorial Hall and reaffirm the role of DeMolay young men in Freemasonry. The statue was a gift to the Memorial from the DeMolay and 2010 marks the 60th Anniversary of its unveiling by President and Past Grand Master Harry S. Truman. On display during the celebration will be the Trowel and Gavel used at the 1793 Cornerstone Laying of the United States Capitol by George Washington and the 1752 Fredericksburg Lodge No. 4 Bible upon which a young Washington took upon himself his Masonic obligations.

The new White House Stones Exhibit will be inaugurated at the celebration. Each stone in the exhibit is marked by one of the Scots Masons who helped build the White House in the 1790s. The stones were discovered during the restoration of the White House by President Harry S. Truman in 1948. President Truman had the stones labeled and one was sent to each U.S. Grand Lodge and other Masonic organizations. The Exhibit reassembles nearly 50 stones.

The Exhibit also includes minute books from Lodge No. 8 of Edinburgh recording the stonemasons’ marks and noting those who have “gone to America.” A matching Minute Book of Federal Lodge No. 1 will show those Scots masons forming the first lodge in 1793 on White House grounds. The exhibit is supported by the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry, Southern Jurisdiction, Valley of Washington, Orient of the District of Columbia, and by the Grand Lodge, F.A.A.M., of the District of Columbia.

By the time a man is wise enough to watch his step, he's too old to go anywhere. -- Billy Crystal

The Small Town Texas Masons E-Magazine

Don’t miss reading the monthly Small Town Texas Masons E-Magazine at, http://www.mastermason.com/STTM-Emag/

This Month features The Tyler Lodge No. 1233, A.F. & A.M. and The Sam Houston Oak

This Month's Humor

On a bitterly cold winters morning a husband and wife were listening to the radio during breakfast. They heard the announcer say, "We are going to have 8 to 10 inches of snow today. You must park your car on the even-numbered side of the street, so the snowplows can get through."

So the good wife donned her winter clothes and dutifully braved the cold and wind and moved her car.

A week later while they are eating breakfast again, the radio announcer said, "We are expecting 10 to 12 inches of snow today. You must park your car on the odd-numbered side of the street, so the snowplows can get through."

The good wife went out and moved her car again.

The next week they are again having breakfast, when the radio announcer said, "We are expecting 12 to 14 inches of snow today. You must park..." Then the electric power went out.

The good wife was very upset, and with a worried look on her face she said, "Darling, I don't know what to do. Which side of the street do I need to park my car on so the snowplows can get through?"

After much deeper thought than he was accustomed to, the husband replied, "Why don't you just leave the car in the garage this time."

The Waller Lodge Electronic Newsletter Subscriber's Extra Features

Boys And Girls From The Other Side Of The Park

From; Backyard Pit at http://www.kera.org/tv/productions/nowherebuttexas/

  "I'll put you outside that fence with the city guys!"

No other words from Dean William Henry Remmert more terrified the orphans at Fort Worth's Masonic Home than these.

Beginning with their arrival they were daily reminded of the dread "City Guys" who lurked beyond the fence. While Home Guys fight for honor, women, kids and the American flag, City Guys mistreat girls, have no manners and won't fight for their country.

The school's age-old "Us vs. Them" method of social control only partly explains the Mites' football-field ferocity. Adding to their aggression was the subconscious anger they must have felt from having no fathers to watch them play, no girlfriends to meet them after the games and the indignity of being called "dirty orphans" everywhere they went. So they went out, not just to win football games, but to fill hospital beds with opposition players.

Like Spartan soldiers, they lived, ate, studied, worked and slept together in the dormitory. Many Mites, like Hardy Brown and Leon Pickett, carried the festering psychic trauma of seeing their fathers die.

Hardy's mother, instead of comforting him and his siblings, abandoned them. As a 185-pound fullback Hardy played with ruthless, relentless fury. He used the infamous, now-outlawed, "Humper" block to loosen teeth, pulverize noses and shatter cheekbones. He may have been the most vicious player in football history.

It is said that his blocks initiated the use of face masks.

Coach H. N. "Rusty" Russel In The Middle
In their heyday from 1928 to the onset of the Second World War, the "Twelve Mighty Orphans" built a record of 127-30-12 under coach H.N. "Rusty" Russell and his sidekick, Dr. E.P. "Doc" Hall, a Fort Worth physician who tended the Home boys and girls free for 45 years.

Though sponsored by Texas Masons, 450,000 strong, the Home could allot Coach Russell a meager salary but no football budget and no football.

In the beginning they used a soup can. But they overcame poverty, constant battles with the Texas Interscholastic League, jealous rival coaches and their spies, and unlucky coin tosses to beat the stuffing out of high school Goliaths with up to nine times their enrollment. They traveled to games in a smoky flatbed truck with newly installed side rails, "to keep the orphans from bouncing out." Their equipment was so inferior that Highland Park gave them new uniforms to wear in the 1938 playoff games, but the orphans never wore them. They did not accept gifts from City Guys.

They just continued to beat their would-be benefactors, twice in 1938, raising comparisons that year with another champion of America's little guy, the short-legged, knobby-kneed racehorse that nobody wanted, Seabiscuit. Seabiscuit surprised the bluenoses of the horsey crowd that year by beating Triple-Crown winner War Admiral by four lengths. The Mites were outweighed on average by 30 to 50 pounds per player in every game but had 30 to 50 times more grit and gristle and Seabiscuitosity. Most of their opponents had multiple coaches. The orphans had only one coach, but he had 700 plays in his playbook while theirs contained a dozen or less.

Former Dallas Times Herald and Fort Worth Star-Telegram sportswriter Jim Dent, himself on intimate terms with adversity, has captured the underdog spirit of the Fort Worth Masonic Home's football teams and the depth of meaning they conveyed during the Depression era. His affection for the subject lights up the page like a modern scoreboard.

He follows Hardy Brown from the moment of the father-killing shotgun blast to Hardy's final ball-carrying rush toward the ice-covered Amarillo goal line, and the other boys are as vivid and familiar as their nicknames: Doug "Fairbanks" Lord, Cecil "Crazy" Mosely, C.D. "Wheatie" Sealy, Leonard "Snoggs" Roach, Clyde "Teague" Roberts, Floyd "Brownie" Lewis and John "Arizona Pete" Mayo. Arizona Pete endured merciless beatings from a sadistic dean until the dean mysteriously drowned in the Trinity River during an outing with the boys.

Eventually, the boys had to enter the world of the City Guys. But in doing so they no doubt improved its manners, honor and treatment of women.

3 Masonic Home boys go on to University of North Texas
Doug Lord, played football under Russell in the early 1940s. He graduated from the Masonic Home in 1944 and received his bachelors and masters degrees in business in 1950 from North Texas State College.

Bruce Riddle was 4 years old when he went to live at the Masonic Home about a decade after the stunning 1932 season.  After graduating in 1956 he earned a bachelor of business administration degree from North Texas State University in 1961.

C.B. Sealey also played as a Mighty Mite on the very successful 1940 team. After graduating in 1941 he earned a bachelors degree in education at North Texas State College in 1948.

Twelve Mighty Orphans: The Inspiring True Story of the Mighty Mites Who Ruled Texas Football

Mighty Mites High school football has long been played beneath the Friday night lights, but the drama was never higher than when the Mighty Mites came to play. The Mighty Mites were the sons of deceased Master Masons who played for The Masonic Home and School on Fort Worth's southeast side. Small but agile, the team gained a secret weapon in Coach Rusty Russell. When he joined the team in 1927, he taught them how to use short passes and trick plays, leveling the playing field with their larger rivals. In 1932, the Mighty Mites tied with Corsicana for the state championship. Although they lost on penetrations giving the state title to Corsicana, these underdogs established themselves as the toughest team in the league, lifting people's spirits in the midst of the Great Depression.

Jim Dent, author of the New York Times bestselling The Junction Boys, returns with his most powerful story of human courage and determination.

More than a century ago, a school was constructed in Fort Worth, Texas, for the purpose of housing and educating the orphans of Texas Freemasons. It was a humble project that for years existed quietly on a hillside east of town. Life at the Masonic Home was about to change, though, with the arrival of a lean, bespectacled coach by the name of Rusty Russell. Here was a man who could bring rain in the midst of a drought. Here was a man who, in virtually no time at all, brought the orphans' story into the homes of millions of Americans.

In the 1930s and 1940s, there was nothing bigger in Texas high school football than the Masonic Home Mighty Mites—a group of orphans bound together by hardship and death. These youngsters, in spite of being outweighed by at least thirty pounds per man, were the toughest football team around. They began with nothing—not even a football—yet in a few years were playing for the state championship on the highest level of Texas football.

The Mighty Mites On The Field
This is a winning tribute to a courageous band of underdogs from a time when America desperately needed fresh hope and big dreams.

The Mighty Mites remain a notable moment in the long history of American sports. Just as significant is the depth of the inspirational message. This is a profound lesson in fighting back and clinging to faith.

The real winners in Texas high school football were not the kids from the biggest schools, or the ones wearing the most expensive uniforms. They were the scrawny kids from a tiny orphanage who wore scarred helmets and faded jerseys that did not match, kids coached by a devoted man who lived on peanuts and drove them around in a smoke-belching old truck.

In writing a story of unforgettable characters and great football, Jim Dent has come forward to reclaim his place as one of the top sports authors in America today.

Masonic Home Independent School District History

Masonic Widows and Orphans Home began with a resolution in 1885 to offer a permanent home for Masonic widows and orphans. In 1899, Masonic Widows and Orphans Home located at 3600 Wichita Street, Fort Worth, Texas, opens its doors to meet the needs of Masonic widows and orphans. Since 1911, while continuing to maintain financial support, the widows relocated to the Texas Masonic Retirement Center formerly The Home for Aged Masons in Arlington, Texas. In 1913, Masonic Widows and Orphans Home known as Masonic Home and School of Texas became recognized by the State Board of Education as Masonic Independent School District.

In 2005, Masonic Home and School of Texas closed its Fort Worth campus which included the residential childcare program and Masonic Home Independent School District. In 2007, the campus was sold and the administration offices were relocated to Hurst Texas.


Masonic Children & Family Services of Texas (MCFS) continues to uphold the legacy of supporting children, families and widows by assisting in providing information, referral, and/or financial support.

The Computers For Masons Series
This Month By Scott Dunn Web Site

(Editors Note: The beliefs, ideas and opinions expressed in this article are strictly those of the author.)

Secure Flash Drives Keep You Safe On The Road

Scott Dunn

In a Sept. 24 Top Story, I described how to evade keyloggers when using a public PC by storing your personal information on a flash drive.

If you don't mind paying a little extra to maintain your privacy and security ($79.00), a specialized flash drive called IronKey can help you stay safe while using an untrustworthy computer.

Anyone concerned about security - and that's just about everybody - should consider using a flash drive to transport sign-in info and other personal data when traveling. Following my story on thwarting keyloggers, several readers suggested the IronKey flash drive as an even-stronger security measure.

Billing the device as the "world's most secure flash drive," the company claims IronKeys are waterproof, tamperproof, and able to endure extreme physical conditions.

Beyond the sheer ruggedness of its devices, each of which is encased in metal, the firm takes multiple approaches to securing your data. The first time you use an IronKey device, the product prompts you to create a master password and set up an account on the IronKey.com web site. As part of the sign-up process, you're asked to provide answers to personal questions that can be used to identify you if you forget your password.

You can also select images and provide a passphrase to help you authenticate e-mail sent to you by IronKey and thus avoid being fooled by a phishing mail. After you complete these steps, the product goes through its authentication routine and then is ready to use.

Hardened Flash Drive Is One Tough Nut To Crack.

The first time you use your IronKey flash drive, you need to enter the master password to do pretty much anything. If you forget or lose the password, you can sign in to the IronKey site to retrieve it. If you lose the drive itself, you can report it lost so that no one else can sign in to your account.

The setup routine creates an IronKey icon in the notification area of the Windows taskbar. When you click this icon, you're presented with a main menu and control panel. In this way, IronKey is similar to U3 flash drives and portable application suites such as winPenPack. (See my Oct. 18, 2007, Top Story for more on portable apps and U3 drives.) You can customize the IronKey menu by adding shortcuts to any other portable apps you install to the drive.

IronKey's identity manager lets you store user names and passwords for the sites you frequent, so you can sign in with a simple point-and-click. Because the IronKey device provides your password directly to any secure sites you visit, keyloggers see no keystrokes to capture.

IronKey preinstalls a version of Firefox on the drive, which means no cached or temporary files are left on the computer you're using. If, for some reason, you can't or won't use Firefox, not to worry. You can choose instead to open an Internet Explorer window while the IronKey drive is in place. The device inserts an icon onto IE's title bar to give you access to IronKey's menu choices.

These are only a few of IronKey's many security features. Others of note include the following:

§ You can store your work files in a folder protected with military-grade hardware encryption. IronKey will mount this folder as a drive, but only if you enter the master password.
§ The device's self-destruct feature obliterates your stored data if someone enters the password incorrectly ten times or tampers with the device.
§ The drive's built-in backup utility saves data securely to a folder on your computer. Not surprisingly, all these precautions don't come cheap. IronKey's personal version costs $99 for a 2GB drive and $149 for the 4GB model. The 8GB and 16GB drives will set you back $199 and $299, respectively. But the device might be a bargain for people who need to take their most-sensitive data and sign-in information on the road. If that describes you, an IronKey is one of the safest ways to go.

You'll find more information about the product on the IronKey site.

Create Your Own Secure, Bootable Flash Drive

If you don't want to shell out for an IronKey, you can still use a flash drive for added security when you have no choice but to use a shared computer. One strategy is to load an entire operating system onto a flash drive and then boot from it rather than the PC's hard drive.

Be aware, however, that many Internet cafés won't let you boot their computers using a flash drive. Even if you can boot a public PC from a flash drive, doing so is unlikely to evade hardware keyloggers.

Still, you may find booting from a flash drive useful in some cases. In my Mar. 20, 2008, Top Story, I discussed how to install a version of Linux on a flash drive . If you'd prefer to load Windows XP onto a flash drive, instructions are provided in WS contributing editor Mark Edwards's Mar. 27, 2008, PC Tune-Up column on the subject.

A Brother's Working Tools
From The Rural Lodge Newsletter

Henry O Studley (1838-1925) was an organ and piano maker, carpenter, and mason who worked for the Smith Organ Co., and later for the Poole Piano Company of Quincy MA.

Born in 1838 in Lowell MA, Studley is best known for creating the so called Studley Tool Chest, a wall hanging tool chest which cunningly holds some 300 tools in a space that takes up about 40 inches by 20 inches of wall space when closed. Studley joined the Massachusetts Infantry at the start of the Civil War and was captured in Galveston TX in 1863. After the war he returned to Quincy and joined the Rural Lodge. He died in 1925 and was remembered in his obituary in the Quincy Patriot-Ledger for his remarkable tool chest, among his other achievements.

The Studley tool chest

The Studley tool chest was loaned by Studley's grandson, Peter Hardwick, as part of an exhibit at the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of American History, until it was purchased by a private collector for an undisclosed amount of money. The current owner continues to lend the chest to the Smithsonian on occasion. It has been featured on an episode of The New Yankee workshop on PBS and is the subject of a May 1993 article in Taunton's Fine woodworking and a popular wall poster.

When closed and hanging on a wall it takes up an area of approximately 39 inches by 20 inches with a 9 inch depth. It opens to become a 40 inch by 40 inch tool chest. The chest is made out of mahogany, rosewood, walnut, ebony, and mother of pearl, materials that were probably taken from the Poole Piano Company's scrap material. The fine craftsmanship is exhibited by the fact that each tool fits snugly into its space, often with an audible click as the tool snaps into it's close-fit cavity. Sections of the chest swing out of the case to allow access to a second, and even third, layer of tools. The tool chest features Masonic symbolism, including the square & compasses.

A Little Military Humor

U.S. Navy discovers north pole.

It's Unclear Exactly When Freemasonry Established

By Robert Barron, Staff Writer

As steeped in tradition as the Masonic fraternity is, there seems to be no definitive date for the establishment of the organization.

One widely established theory is it came from stonemason guilds during the Middle Ages. The language and symbols are said to come from that era. Four lodges were established in London about 1717 and records are more accurate after that date.

Freemasonry quickly became popular in the United States. Historic figures such as George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, Paul Revere and John Hancock were Masons. A key concept of Masonry is the “the brotherhood of man under the fatherhood of God.”

Today, Masonry is a worldwide fraternity emphasizing personal study, self-improvement and philanthropy. It is believed to be one of the foremost organizations in spreading the ideals of the enlightenment, the dignity of man and the liberty of the individual; the right of all people to worship as they choose; the formation of democratic governments; and the importance of public education. Masons supported the first public schools in the United States and Europe, according to the Masonic Service Association Web site.

Well-known Masons include Stephen F. Austin, colonizer and a leader in the movement to make Texas a state; Gene Autry, singer and actor; and American frontiersman and politician Davy Crockett.

Among Masonic blacksheep are American Revolution traitor Benedict Arnold; comedian Michael Richards, for his racial insensitivity; serial rapist Paul Bernardo; baseball player Ty Cobb for his racial and anti-semitism; Henry Ford for his anti-semitism; and politician Wilbur Mills for his frolic with a Washington, D.C., stripper.

Masons have been the subject of a number of conspiracy theories and “one-world government” influence. Those theories generally fall into three categories: political, alleging control of the government; religious, alleging anti-Christian or satanic beliefs or practices; and cultural, usually involving public entertainment.

Some writers have connected Masons and Knights Templar with worship of the devil. Masonic writing states those ideas were based on misinterpretations of their doctrines.

Here are some of the "funnies" our grandparents enjoyed.

The Old Tiler Talks

Hand Picked
From the Old Tiler's Talk - by Carl H. Claudy, The Temple Publishers

"I have been thinking," announced the New Brother to the Old Tiler.

"Interesting, if true," murmured the Old Tiler, crossing his legs and leaning his sword against the wall. "Sometimes people think they are thinking when they only think they think."

"Huh?" said the New Brother.

"I said, in other words, give me a cigar," answered the Old Tiler. "If you are thinking, or even if you only think you think and are about to tell me about it, I should have some nicotine as support."

"I have been thinking," went on the New Brother, holding out his cigar case, "that the Masonic fraternity writes one of its unwritten laws upside down. I understand it is un-Masonic for me to ask the best man I know to become a Mason. But if a man against whom I know nothing, except that he is only a fair, average sort of chap, wants to come into my lodge, it is equally against Masonic principles to blackball him, just because he isn't the best educated man in the world!"

"All that you say is true," responded the Old Tiler. "But I think you have only been thinking you thought."

"Ah, but I am not through!" countered the New Brother. "All that being so we stultify ourselves by that unwritten law. If it was the law that no man might apply for Masonry, and that only those who are asked could join, and we were careful whom we asked, what a wonderful personnel we could have!"

"Who, for instance, would you ask?" responded the Old Tiler.

"I know a lot of fellows I would ask!" was the immediate answer. "Dr. Bell, the famous eye man, and Jordan, the English professor, and Dr. Goodspeed, the eminent divine, and Tomlinson, the philanthropist; and that explorer fellow who did such wonderful missionary work...can't think of his name...and...and...oh, a whole lot of wonderful men! Think of the benefit to us all by having men like that in the fraternity."

"It would be wonderful, wouldn't it?" answered the Old Tiler.

"Of course it would! Well, why don't we?"

"Oh, that's simple enough. It wouldn't be Masonic."

"But why?"

"My son," answered the Old Tiler, "can you educate a man calling himself educated? Can you make a brick into gold be calling it gold? Can you make a silk purse out of a sow's ear by naming it a silk purse?"

"Of course not," was the ready answer. "But we...we Masons make things Masonic or not Masonic by the way we look at them."

"Oh, no, we don't!" cried the Old Tiler. "I have just been leading you on to see what you would say. Now I'll tell you what you want to know. We can't make a thing Masonic by calling it so because the principles of Masonry are fixed and unalterable. We agreed they were unalterable when we became Masons. Therefore, we can't alter them. While it would do you and me good if these fine men conceived a regard for the fraternity and became members, it would do us no good to make them Masons on our initiative. Then would then be above the fraternity, not humble members, glad of the blessings of the order. If we picked the men at our own pleasure we might get a higher type of personnel, but they wouldn't be Masons. They would be hand-picked men. We would deny its blessings to the men who need Masonry to shower them upon men who need them least.

"There is no man who cannot be ennobled by Masonic influence. No matter how good a man is, his faith and his morality and his righteousness may be strengthened by Masonic influence. But good men need Masonry much less than others not so good. I do not mean that Masonry should take in bad men, but men like you and me, the average man, the banker, doctor, lawyer, merchant, clerk, laborer, the everyday fellow, needs Masonry in his heart and in his life much more than the eminent men who devote their lives to humanity. Masonry is for all who want her blessings and can show that they deserve them. To restrict it to just a few, and those few picked by men with selfish interests at heart, instead of the interests of their candidates, would be un-Masonic, unnatural, and the death knell of the fraternity.

"There are plenty of clubs, associations, organizations, which hand-pick their members. They are useful, good to know and belong to. But they do no such work as do Masons. As well say no man may join the church of God or hear His ministers preach His word, save those who are invited and say, 'Let us have no candidates except those we choose.'

"After men apply for the degrees, then, indeed we can choose. But our choice should be dictated by the man's character, not his wealth or education or services. If he is a good man, able to afford the fees and dues, unlikely to become a charge on the lodge, and seeking Masonry, we want him. To give the blessings of Masonry only to those who need them least, would be un-Masonic."

"I guess you were right," answered the New Brother.

"Were right? I *am* right!" answered the Old Tiler.

"I mean, I guess you were right when you said I only thought I thought!" smiled the New Brother.

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