MASONRY  IN  NORTH  DAKOTA

 

Chapter 5

 ___________________________________________________________________________________________________

SHILO LODGE 105, FARGO — 1874
              (Spelled Shiloh after Jan. 1. 1875)

 

BISMARCK LODGE NO. 120, BISMARCK — 1876

 ________

BEGINS NOW A new era in the annals of Masonry, in  North Dakota, an era reaching far back into the past, coming on down through the present and looking on into the future.

       Two lodges only, figure in this era and their positions are unique. They are Shiloh Lodge No. 1, of Fargo, and Bismarck Lodge No. 5, of Bismarck. Many lodges are older than they, but how many lodges have existed under three separate jurisdictions within the space of ninety years and survived to tell the story?

 

       Shilo (as it was originally spelled) Lodge No. 105, received its charter on January 14, 1874, from the Grand Lodge of Minnesota; became Shiloh Lodge No. 8 on June 7, 1879, in the Grand Lodge of Dakota; and finally, Shiloh Lodge No. 1, on June 13, 1889, in the Grand Lodge of North Dakota, which name and number it retains today.

       Bismarck Lodge No. 120 received its charter on January 12, 1876, from the Grand Lodge of Minnesota; became Bismarck Lodge No. 16 on June 8, 1880, in the Grand Lodge of Dakota; and finally, Bismarck Lodge No. 5, on June 13, 1889, in the Grand Lodge of North Dakota, which is its present designation.

       These two fine lodges came from small beginnings, when the country was new and untried, have grown constantly with the years and gloriously reflect the progress and prosperity of their cities and state. Today, Shiloh No. 1 stands first in number of members on the roster and Bismarck No. 5 stands third. Great men have come and gone in each of them and their influence and example have spread far and wide.

       We shall deal with their histories separately, though we associate them together in one era.

________

 SHILOH LODGE NO. 1, FARGO

        Just as the church goes hand in hand with the founding of a new community, so the Masonic fraternity is found wherever men of like character and habits congregate together with the purpose in their hearts and minds of making an honest living and of raising their families in peace and harmony.

       So it was with those early settlers who crossed the Red River, about 1870, and established the community of Fargo. As early as 1872 we find them interested in Masonry and before that fall was over they had petitioned the Grand Lodge of Minnesota at St. Paul to grant them a dispensation to hold regular meetings and to confer degrees. The dispensation was granted on November 22, 1872, and they were in business, almost before their organization was complete. In fact, their first Worshipful Master, W.'. Brother W. H. Smith, was found to be a member of another lodge, not having filed his demit with the Grand Lodge, and W.'. Brother Samuel G. Roberts was selected to succeed him.

       Thus began the momentous history of this great lodge and we now refer you to the fascinating story of its first twenty-five years, as told by M.'. W.'. Brother Frank J. Thompson, and edited by M.'. W.'. Brother Sylvester J. Hill. Both were outstanding men and Masons whose wisdom, foresight and untiring devotion to Masonry were invaluable to the Grand Lodge of North Dakotain their time.

       M.'. W.'. Brother Thompson was Worshipful Master of Shiloh Lodge from 1885 to 1890; Grand Master of North Dakota in 1890-1891; and Grand Secretary from 1892 to 1910.

       M.'. W.'. Brother Hill served as Worshipful Master of Shiloh in 1884; and was Grand Master in 1908-1909.

       Surely, theirs was a service never to be forgotten in the annals of Shiloh and the Grand Lodge and the following history is symbolic of their accuracy and their devotion to the truth.

HISTORY OF SHILOH LODGE NO. 1

Prepared by M.'. W.'. Brother Frank J. Thompson
and used by M.'. W.'. Brother Sylvester J. Hill
at the Twenty-Fifth Anniversary Observance.
November 22, 1897

 To the Grand Lodge of North Dakota, A.'. F.'. & A.'. M.'.:

        Brethren: When I was asked a year ago to prepare a sketch of the early history of Shiloh Lodge No. 1, I little realized how much of that work was already done and only needed copying and a few additions to make it complete. We who knew Brother Frank J. Thompson, know what a master hand he was in delving into the past and putting into permanent shape early records and incidents. Among the papers coming into my hands as Secretary of Shiloh Lodge I found this history complete down to the time of the admission of Shiloh into the Grand Lodge of Dakota Territory and to him is due credit for this paper down to that time.

                                                                                                                                                      SYLVESTER J. HILL

        The history of a country, or a time, is a history of individuals and institutions peculiar to it. It is not in our province to write of the first except as they are identified with the second.

       We are designated to write of one of the institutions which forms one of the factors of our national life.

       Man is a social creature, and in that all men are similar, but from the difference in education, environments and tastes, which have given to the world the various institutions, religious and secular, some have sought ecclesiastical society while others have affiliated themselves with institutions which may be called secular.

       These varieties of tastes and inclinations have been the means of maintaining an economic equipoise out of which progress has been made possible. With the scale overweighted with one idea, or class of ideas, the  thought is  forced  downward  and  advancement  is   stifled  with  the dregs of arrogance of power.

       Our field is a small one and the interest but local, yet localities make communities and communities make nations. Some one must do the humbler work that others may do the greater.

       For a number of years after our civil war, still a living recollection in the minds of thousands, - the lands which now are called North Dakota were a Sioux Indian Reservation. The Star of Empire at length settled over it; the white men came and the red men were driven onward. The ranges of the buffalo and the antelope became the harvest fields of men. The blades of the wild grasses which for centuries had asserted the right to the sunlight were turned into the shadow of the white man's furrows and their roots were tossed and dried in the heat of the summer's sun. Daring and adventurous men crossed the Red River, the Rubicon which divided the white man's domain from the red man's.

       There was show of authority, but ere long the soil became the white man's to possess. Fargo was born in the timber and the White tents that dotted the woods along the river bank and back on the open proclaimed its birth and shone above the rich black alluvial soil like jeweled symbols of another era. The churches came and each was welcomed irrespective of its dogma or creed, the school, the civic organizations and the fraternal.

       On September 2, 1872, a few who were interested in Masonic work met in the old Headquarters Hotel for the purpose of organizing a Masonic Lodge. Through the kindness of Brother Gordon J. Keeney we are able to give herewith a copy of the original minutes of its first two preliminary meetings.

                                                                                                                                                                     Fargo, D. T. Sept. 2, A. D. 1872

        Meeting called to order by Captain Emerson.

       Mr. G. A. Egbert, on motion, took the chair.

       On motion A. Gamble was elected Secretary. Declined.  

       On motion Gordon J. Keeney was elected Secretary. Accepted.

        Remarks by different members in regard to the feasibility of organizing and perfecting a lodge of Free Masons at Fargo, D. T.

       Moved and supported and carried that a committee of five be appointed to confer with Captain Egbert, or others, as to the cost of a lodge room, the probable rents, if rented, etc.

       Committee named: H. Fuller, Ustis, O'Donnel, Carvel and A. Gamble to report on Tuesday evening next, Sept. 3.

                                                                                                                                      GEO. EGBERT, Ch.
                                                                                                                                      G. J. KEENEY, Sec.

                                                                                                                                                                     Fargo, D. T. Sept. 3, 1872

 

       Meeting called to order by the chairman.

       Minutes of last meeting read and approved.

       Report of the committee to confer with Captain Egbert in regard to lodge room called for. Committee reported through chairman Mr. Ustis, that the committee had conferred with Mr. Egbert and would report that Mr. Egbert would furnish a room 40 by 22 for $15.00 per month, including ante rooms. The floor to be deadened, with outdoor stairway, sides of room to be ceiled, papered overhead. The room to be 8 feet high, arched ceiling, the sides and partition between lodge and preparation room to be deadened.

       On motion the report was accepted.

       Moved, and supported, and carried that Secretary take the names of all who would stand an assessment of a certain amount to support a lodge for one year.

       Moved and carried that each person be assessed $5.00.

       Moved and carried that W. H. Smith be appointed Treasurer.

       Moved and supported that a committee of three be appointed to solicit aid from all good Masons to the support of the lodge.

       Committee named: Roberts, Hubbard and Smith.

       Present were:
       George Egbert              P. H. Collins
       Francis Pinkham            Hugh O'Donnell
       A.H. Moore                 G. K. Chapman
       A. Allen                   C. W. Savage
       S.G. Roberts               M. C. Stone
       D. DeCamp                  A. Gamble
       N.K. Hubbard               W. H. Fuller
       W.H.Smith                  H. E. Ustis
                     G. J. Keeney

 

       Moved and seconded that the meeting adjourn to meet in one week.

       On November 6, 1872 a petition was drawn up, signed and addressed to the Grand Lodge A.'. F.'. & A.'. M.'. of Minnesota. On November 22, 1872, M.'. W.'. Grand Master Grove B. Cooley of Mantorville. issued his dispensation to the Masons of Fargo authorizing them to Enter Apprentices, Pass Fellow Crafts and Raise Master Masons. The lodge was known as Shilo No. 105. (Spelled Shiloh after January 1, 1875)

       Owing to the great snow storms and lack of facilities of the then new railroad, the Northern Pacific, the returns of Shiloh did not reach the Grand Secretary's office at St. Paul in time for the annual communication of the Grand Lodge January 14, 1873. The dispensation, however, was renewed and on January 14, 1874, a charter was issued.

       The signers of the petition, so far as we are now able to ascertain, were:

                                                                                Samuel G. Roberts
                                                                               Alexander Gamble A.
                                                                               Francis Pinkham

 

       These brothers had demits and became members of the lodge when the charter was issued. The other signers of the petition, so far as we can ascertain were:

      Gordon J. Keeney     Jacob Lowell, Jr.
      George Egbert        W. H. Smith

       Brother Keeney withdrew before the charter was granted. Brother Egbert held membership in a lodge In Minnesota. Brother Lowell was a member of Social Lodge No. 48. Minnesota, and although named senior warden in the charter did not become a member of Shiloh until February 14, 1879.

       Brother W. H. Smith, although named as Master in the charter, never belonged to Shiloh, his membership being elsewhere.

       This chaotic condition could not exist except in a new country, but while it may have been contrary to the straight lines of a more crystalized civilization, never-the-less the lodge grew, Masonry flourished and Shiloh yet stands a monument to the spirit, rather than the letter, of the law in early days.

       A paper was circulated by Brother Alexander Gamble, agreeable to the action of the meeting, and the following brothers subscribed toward the support of the new lodge:

George Egbert G. J. Keeney
       A. Francis Pinkham         George A. Brackett
       A. H. Moore                John Ross
       A. Alien                   Jacob Lowell, Jr.
       S. G. Roberts              S. T. Bogardus
       H. DeCamp                  J. B. Blanchard
       M. R. Holbert              George Whitney
       W. H. Smith                J. C. Carvelle
       P. H. Collins              John Morene
       Hugh O'Donnell             H. G. Finkle
       G. A. Chapman              J. M. Stone
       C. W. Savage               W. B. Gaw
       M. C. Stone                George I. Foster
       Alex Gamble                H. S. Brown
       W. H. Fuller               T. C. Jones
       H. E. Eustis               F. Bergquist
                                  N. K. Hubbard

        The list of names was among the effects of Brother Gamble, who died on May 19, 1896, and procurred for us by Br. J. C. Probert, his son-in-law.

       As has been stated, the charter of Shiloh Lodge was granted January 14, 1874. Brother W. H. Smith was named as Master, Jacob Lowell Jr., Senior Warden and Samuel G. Roberts, Junior Warden. Alexander Gamble, A Francis Pinkham, John E. Haggart, Herbert C. Hill, W. D. Haddocks, Charles H. Clark, Peter C. Sloggy, John Woodliff, George A.

Strout, August Gewer, Charles W. Rossiter, Miles N. Beatty, Hugh Hynds. Frank W. Carswell, M. H. Richards, J. J. Gardner, Nahum B. Pinkham, J. J. Jackman and Andrew McHench were included in the charter list, all being made Masons after dispensation and before charter except Alexander Gamble and A. Francis Pinkham and the officers named.

       It will be seen from the minutes of the preliminary meetings that Brother George Egbert offered to furnish a room for the lodge. It was due to the efforts of Brother Egbert that an interest was aroused in the matter, nor did he cease his endeavors until the lodge was organized, although it became necessary for him to erect a building to give the lodge a home.

       The furniture of the lodge was of the most primitive character, a common dry goods box serving as an altar. The jewels were of tin, and can now be seen in the museum of the Grand Lodge Library, at Fargo. The making of them cost seventy cents as per bill rendered the lodge. Fortunately these were preserved through the thoughtfulness of Brother Alexander Gamble, who served as tyler of the lodge for a number of years.

       The first person raised a Master Mason in Shiloh Lodge was Hon. John E. Haggart on February 11, 1875. He was, perhaps, the first in civil life raised in North Dakota, and those who are named in the charter of Shiloh, excepting the officers, Alexander Gamble and A. Francis Pink-ham, are, in the order of their names, the first civilians raised to the degree of Master Mason in the state.

       The term civilian is used for on January 26, 1871, a dispensation was issued by the Grand Master of Minnesota and chartered by the Grand Lodge of that state January 10, 1872, for a lodge at Fort Buford, Dakota Territory, and known as Yellowstone Lodge No. 88.

       The charter was surrendered June 6, 1874.

       It was composed principally, if not entirely, of soldiers and when they were removed from the fort at the close of 1873 the lodge was left without a master, wardens or past master, and hence could not be opened. Brother Ben L. Perry, who constituted Shiloh Lodge, acting as the proxy of the Grand Master of Minnesota, convened the brethren at Fort Buford. They voted to surrender the charter. The building in which they met was owned by the lodge, and this was sold to pay his expenses; and the jewels, furniture and aprons were turned over to Bismarck Lodge, then under dispensation.

       After the issuing of the charter Brother Ben L. Perry, acting as the deputy of the Grand Master, constituted Shiloh and installed the officers. This was on February 9, 1874. Brother James S. Campbell, then a member of Brainerd Lodge at Brainerd, Minn., and a resident of that city, came to assist in the ceremonies. Brother Campbell afterwards moved to Fargo and affiliated with Shiloh, February 8, 1878, becoming the forty eighth member of the lodge.

       On June 22, 23 and 24, 1875, the Grand Lodge A.'.F.'. & A.'.M.'. of the Territory of Dakota was organized at Elk Point. Through someone's oversight neither Shiloh nor Bismarck Lodges were invited to participate in the formation of the new Grand Lodge. Subsequently they were requested to withdraw their affiliation with the Grand Lodge of Minnesota. At that time St. Paul was the headquarters of those living in the Territory along the line of the Northern Pacific. Minnesota was held in sentiment to be part and parcel of this portion of the Territory. The business interests of the people, as well as the fraternal, bound the residents of that state and our people by the strongest ties.

       To give up the relations with the Grand Lodge of Minnesota was like giving up a part of Masonry itself. The Lodges forming the Grand Lodge of the Territory were located in the southern part. It was almost a Terra Incognito. There were no means of direct communication. To reach the city where the Grand Lodge was held involved a trip via St. Paul, then to Yankton or Sioux Falls, and then by stage, involving not only hardships, but time, money and energy. Then too. the slight of not being consulted or invited to the convention for the organization of the Territorial Grand Lodge was not forgotten. The result was that Shiloh and Bismarck refused to leave their mother Grand Lodge. The Grand Lodge of Minnesota was loath to have them go. B.'. W.°. Brother A. T. C. Pierson, then the Grand Secretary of the Grand Lodge of Minnesota, championed our cause, maintaining that under the English rule of jurisdiction the lodges had the right to remain with their mother Grand Lodge if they so desired.

       The controversy between the two Grand Lodges became, to say the least, animated, and the Territorial Grand Lodge threatened to excommunicate them from the fold of legitimate lodges. The American rule of jurisdiction was maintained by Grand Lodges generally, and finally in January 1879, Shiloh asked permission to withdraw from the roster of Minnesota and affiliate with the Grand Lodge of Dakota. The request was freely granted by the former Grand Lodge then in annual session.

       The discussion waxed warm at all the meetings of Shiloh before the final decision was made to affiliate with the Territorial Grand Lodge.

       In May 1879, the members of Shiloh sent a petition to Grand Master Henry R. Wells of Minnesota, asking permission to affiliate with the Grand Lodge of Dakota Territory, but he having no authority to act, gave no sanction and referred the same to his Grand Lodge the following January.

       In the meantime the charter of Shiloh was sent to M. W. Brother George H. Hand, Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Dakota Territory, for proper indorsement, which was done on the 7th of June 1879, and thus closed an incident which for the time being became more or less a matter of controversy among all English speaking Masons — and often more heated than fraternal.

       From 1875, the year following1 the granting of the charter, Shiloh was always marked present in the Grand Lodge of Minnesota until it withdrew in 1879, but was not represented in the Grand Lodge of Dakota from the date of its affiliation in 1879 until the session in Aberdeen in 1884, when the writer was Master, and from that time Shiloh has always taken its share of the work of the Grand Lodge, Brother Frank J. Thompson, I think never having missed a session from 1885 until his death.

       I well recall some of the difficulties of the trip to Aberdeen made by the members from the north. From Fargo to Morris, Minn., thence to Browns Valley by rail and team from there to Graceville where we reached the Fargo Southern, now the Milwaukee, which was then under construction and had reached as far as Graceville, and then changing again for Aberdeen. The return trip was made by way of St. Paul as the easier and quicker route.

       Shiloh has passed through all the various stages of existence incident to a new country, from the crude hall with a dry goods box for an altar, with a plank laid across beer kegs for seats, to the commodious and comfortable quarters it now occupies in the temple.

       Considerably over one thousand petitions have been accepted by the Lodge, and over one hundred and fifty have been rejected, some of them several times. All of the minute books of the lodge prior to 1881 were destroyed in the great fire of 1893. so that the work of Brother Thompson in getting at the early history of the lodge involved not only a search of the records of Minnesota and Dakota, but also personal interviews with many of those connected with its organization.

       Brother Thompson had secured and left photographs of the three buildings on Front Street which were the earliest homes of the lodge, which show the primitive conditions existing at the time. He tried to find pictures of all the homes of the lodge, but failed to obtain those of the old Chapin block, Sheehan building and the Temple burned in 1893.

       When I became a member of Shiloh it was using a room in the Chapin block over the saloon of Mr. William O'Neil, on the site now occupied by the Porterfield Drug Store. From there it moved to the Sheehan building standing close to the present site of the Grand Theatre. This was a small building and not well adapted to the growing needs of the Masonic Bodies of the city, and the further fact that the session of the Grand Lodge was to be held in Fargo in 1885 incited the members to seek larger and better quarters. An agreement was finally reached by which Brother Andrew McHench erected the Temple on Eighth street, now Dakota Business College, the lodge taking part of the second and all of the third floors, moving in there in the early winter of 1884-85.

       The coming of the Grand Lodge, the first time it had met in the northern part of the Territory, was one of the great events of those days.

       On April 24, 1885, Brother Thompson as W-'-M.'. appointed the following committee "to entertain the Grand Lodge and Grand Chapter at its coming session": Brother Isaac E. West, Sylvester J. Hill, Andrew McHench, Harry C. Southard, Henry Krogh, W. W. Houghton, James S. Campbell, T. C. Paxton, and George H. Hopper. Of this committee but one remains a member of Shiloh Lodge, and at least six of them are dead.

       At this same meeting the master was authorized to have the charter framed; the secretary to .purchase three dozen lambskin aprons, and a committee was appointed to confer with the other bodies for the purchase of a "lodge lantern."

       In the list of officers for the meeting of November 28, 1884, appears the name of S. T. Connick "as Tyler" and at the same meeting his petition for affiliation was presented, and from that date to the time of his death, December 26, 1906, it is rare indeed to find any other name as tyler of the lodge.

       Under date of December 13, 1889, I find this entry: "At this time Brother Skuse presented a. complaint against our Brother Bowers for his extreme proficiency with the setting maul, and in conclusion presented him with one in miniature. Brother Bowers was on this occasion the one 'knocked out' and so stated." Brother Bowers continued using the "maul" until his death in 1895.

       The membership of the several Masonic bodies having increased to the extent of making the hall on Eighth street too small, a committee was appointed to look up larger quarters. This committee made its report February 14, 1890, recommending a ten, year lease on all of the third floor, and two rooms on the second floor of what was then known as the Chapin Block, and more recently as Elks hall. This lease called for a rental of $750.00 per year, to be divided among all the Masonic bodies. Shiloh alone now pays 5840.00. These quarters were occupied until the great fire of 1893, when all the furniture and paraphernalia was destroyed.

       Shiloh still had in its possession that "bright lexicon in which there is no such word as fail" and in imitation of our ancient brethren, held their lodge with only the cloud capped canopy for a covering.

       The meeting was held in Island Park with many of the members of Auvergne Commandery, Knights Templar, acting as guards to prevent the approach of cowans and eavesdroppers. Arrangements were again made with the owner of the burned building, and it was rebuilt as a two story building, the Masons to have the second floor. This building was used till the erection of the present temple.

       On November 22, 1897 was celebrated the twenty-fifth anniversary of the granting of the dispensation for the Lodge. Special invitation was extended to the officers of the Grand Lodge of North Dakota; to all the Lodges in the state, and also the neighboring Lodges in Minnesota.

       Brother Ben L. Perry of Minneapolis, Minn., who had delivered the charter and constituted the lodge and Brother Charles W. Rossiter, one of the early past masters of Shiloh, were guests of honor.

       A banquet prepared by Brother George Pirie was partaken of by about three hundred, after which talks were given by Brothers Perry, Rossiter, Thompson and others. A frame containing the pictures of the masters of the lodge for the first quarter of a century was placed on the wall.

       This paper might be continued indefinitely, giving incidents in the history of the lodge, but I believe the early facts are mainly given here and are what was asked for by the Grand Lodge.

                                                                                      Fraternally submitted,
                                                                                      Sylvester  J.  Hill

 ________

BISMARCK LODGE,  NO.   120—BISMARCK—1876

       History is filled with surprises, which is another reason that makes it such an interesting study to one who has made it a life-long enterprise. It was toward the end of M.'. W.'. Brother John A. Graham's long and useful life that he told us the following story which we have authenticated and which we will use to prepare the history of Bismarck Lodge. It does not appear in the usual accounts and may be new to some.

       Major General George A. Custer and Major General Thomas L. Rosser, with identical ranks at the close of the Civil War, had been classmates at West Point and close personal friends, both graduating in 1861 and going directly into Army service, General Custer with the Union forces and General Rosser with the Confederate, as the former was from Ohio and the latter from Virginia and Texas.

       They met several times on the field of battle, at first General Rosser gaining the advantage, but later the victory coming to General Custer and it was to him that the flag of truce was handed, at Appomattox Court House.

       During the war General Rosser married Betty Barbara Winston of Hanover Court House, Virginia, and to them were born three children. When the war was over his army career was ended and he found it hard to support his family. However, he had specialized in engineering at West Point, and was able to obtain employment as chief engineer of a surveying crew laying out the Northern Pacific Railway, from Bismarck, North Dakota, to Livingston, Montana, in 1872, and thither he moved with his family and two brothers-in-law; one of them being Brother E. T. Winston, the first secretary of Bismarck Lodge.

       General Custer had remained in the Army and was sent to Fort Abraham Lincoln at Bismarck and there the two friends met once more; this time General Custer in the role of protector of General Rosser against the depredations of Indians along the railroad right-of-way.

       The Winston Brothers, who accompanied General Rosser and his family to Bismarck, operated a lumber business there in which they evidently were successful. They immediately built a home on First Street facing west, between Broadway and Thayer Avenue, which has been remodeled and enlarged and is still used as a residence.

       The original dispensation for the instituting of a Masonic lodge at Bismarck was granted by Grand Master Charles Griswold of the Grand Lodge of Minnesota in June 1874, but the lodge was not organized for work until Thursday, September 9, 1875, when twelve brothers met at the Winston residence on First Street and elected the following officers:

                W.'. Brother (Col.) Clement A.
       Lounsberry ----------------------Worshipful Master
       Brother John A. McLean ----------Senior Warden
       Brother (Col.)  E. M. Brown -----Junior Warden   
       Brother John A. McArthur --------Treasurer
       Brother E. Thomas Winston -------Secretary
       Brother Wm. M. Falconer ---------Senior Deacon    
       Brother Samuel Whitney ----------Junior Deacon
       Brother Orlando S. Beal ---------Tyler

 

       The charter members were: The officers listed above and Brothers John Davidson, Perlin B. Gavitt, Robert Macnider and Joseph C. Dodge.

       Col. Lounsberry founded the Bismarck Tribune July 11, 1873; Brother McLean was a merchant and the first mayor of Bismarck; Col. Brown was the first receiver of the United States Land Office at Bismarck; Brother McArthur was a druggist; Brother Winston was in the lumber business; Brother Falconer was a store clerk; Brother Whitney, a butcher; and Brother Beal, a gunsmith.

       It is not known how long the lodge continued to meet at the Winston residence, as the above was taken from the Bismarck Tribune of September 15, 1875, and no other record has been found. All of the lodge records were lost in the fire of 1898 and our information is meager, indeed. The record states: "The lodge next met regularly over the store owned by McLean and McNider, etc." It moved several times after that until it finally came to rest on January 29, 1912, in its present commodious building on Third Street.

       Bismarck Lodge experienced some difficulties during its early years, due to circumstances beyond its control. Some of these are here explained.

       W.'. Brother Ben L. Perry, District Deputy Grand Master of the llth District of Minnesota, reported to the Grand Lodge of Minnesota at its Annual Communication in St. Paul, Jan. 12, 1875, as follows: "I have not visited Bismarck Lodge, U.'. D.'. as the road was shut up before I got away to go out west. I was there when they got their dispensation, in June, 1874, and stayed one week and instructed them in the work and they have good material. I can see no reason why they will not succeed in having a good lodge. One great reason of small attendance, which I said I would mention, is this. You are aware that when the Northern Pacific Railway started, a great many men rushed to the frontier, and now that the work of construction has stopped, they have had to leave the country."

       The same year, 1875, a committee consisting of Brothers J. C. Braden, J. S. Willard and H. Burmingham of Minnesota, recommended that the lodge be granted a charter; however, the recommendation was not adopted, for the reasons above stated, but the dispensation was renewed and the lodge began work that fall. Finally, a charter was issued on January 12, 1876, by the Grand Lodge of Minnesota, under the name of Bismarck Lodge No. 120, and has been in continuous operation since that time, though under different numbers, as we shall see.

       At the time the lodge was under dispensation, the Grand Lodge of Dakota, sponsored by the Grand Lodge of Iowa, was organized at Elk Point, Dakota Territory, June 22-24, 1875. Both Shiloh Lodge No. 105 and Bismarck Lodge U.'. D.'. were invited to transfer their membership to the Grand Lodge of Dakota, due to the territorial jurisdiction of the new Grand Lodge, but they did not see fit to do so, for several reasons.

       First, the lodges forming the Grand Lodge of Dakota were mostly located in the southeast corner of the territory, at Yankton, Sioux Falls, Vermillion, Elk Point, etc; Fargo and Bismarck had little acquaintance and less in common with them; whereas the Minnesota lodges were well known and the people of Minneapolis and St. Paul had become friendly through constant association in commerce and trade.

       Second, the railroad accommodations to the southeast part of the territory were poor and practically non-existent and one had to go to Minneapolis, then back to Yankton or Sioux Falls by train, and on by stage, using two or three days, as well as more money and energy for the trip. Minneapolis or St. Paul could be reached by one day's train travel and this seemed to be the logical place to retain their lodge affiliation.

       Third—and this should probably have been the deciding factor—the Grand Lodge of Dakota maintained that, under the American rule of jurisdiction, all lodges within its territorial borders were part of its constituency; while the Grand Lodge of Minnesota asserted that, under the English rule of jurisprudence, the lodges had the right to remain with their mother Grand Lodge, if they so desired.

       At any rate, the Grand Lodge of Minnesota refused to recognize the Grand Lodge of Dakota for several years and relations were strained—or non-existent—until, in its annual communication of 1880, the Grand Lodge of Minnesota declared its position as follows: "Resolved, that any Masonic-body holding authority from this Grand Lodge within Dakota Territory, so long as it shall desire to continue its connection with this, its paternal Grand Lodge, be permitted to do so, and that this, the M.'. W.'. Grand Lodge, will defend and maintain its rights and exercise authority over it, until such time as by its own free will and accord it shall desire to sever connection with us."

       In the meantime, on June 7, 1879, Shiloh Lodge No. 105 of Minnesota, at its own request, became Shiloh Lodge No. 8 of Dakota; and, in like manner, on June 8, 1880, Bismarck Lodge No. 120 of Minnesota, became Bismarck Lodge No. 16 of Dakota, and the controversy was ended amicably and peaceably for all concerned. Later, on June 13, 1889, they became Shiloh No. 1 and Bismarck No. 5 respectively, on the registry of the Grand Lodge of North Dakota, which names and numbers thev still retain.