History of Hamilton 144 F. & A. M.
A few short months before submitting a petition to form a new Lodge, a duel occurred between Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr, resulting in the death of Hamilton (July 12 1804). Hamilton Lodge 144 was named for Alexander Hamilton.
Grand Lodge was petitioned October 02, 1804, to form a new Lodge in the Town of Queensbury, Washington County.
The following is a list of brothers who signed the petition:
A Charter was granted on December 22, 1804 (some records show May 28 1805).
The original meeting place and officers are unknown, although it was reported to have been in the Oneida Building (Oneida Corners). We do know that Aeshel Clark, John Ferriss and Henry Spencer were among its first Masters.
Soon after its institution, the Lodge rooms were located in the rear of the 3rd story of the old Glens Falls Hotel (Glen and Warren Streets), and in whose kitchen the big fire of 1864 was started. The hotel had been erected in 1804 by John Ferriss.
Among the first initiates are included:
In a report to Grand Lodge dated December 27, 1812 the following is a list of members added to roster:
Nicholas Angle, Jeremiah Russell (Luzerne Supervisor 1793-1800, 1804), Johnathon Griffin, Israel Baldwin, Harman Palmer, Felix Alden, Samuel Day, Obadiah Knapp, Asahel Clark (attorney), Richard Wing, Alanson Fox, Lemuel Payne, Daniel Fairchild, Andrew Parsons, Daniel Scott, and Dorastus W. Alden.
The next report to Grand Lodge on June 01, 1814 added the names of: John Derby, Samuel Skinner (a tavern owner), John Ripley, and Hiram Cole.
John Ferriss, Henry Spencer & Felix Alden were former members of Livingston Lodge #28 of Kingsbury; A.S. Hall from Granville #55; Warren Hitchcock and James Palmeter (Glens Falls Assessor 1839) from Rising Sun 185 of Northumberland; and Moody Ames from Federal #33 of Hoosick.
During 1813-1814 the following were initiated: Bethuel Peck (physician & druggist, later served 2 terms as State Senator; elected President of Glens Falls Insurance Company in 1850) , Royal Leavens, Robert Wilkinson, Isaac Farr, and Levi Rugg.
John Ferriss built the center of educational activity in what is called City Park in 1813 and named it "The Academy". After his death in 1840, it ceased to exist.
Historically noteworthy to the State of New York during this period of time was the rise of a notable Mason, DeWitt Clinton.
At age 33, Clinton was elected to the U.S. Senate. He resigned in 1803 to become Mayor of New York City until 1815. In 1806 he became the 5th Grand Master of New York State. He served 14 consecutive terms until 1820.
On December 11, 1809 he dedicated the first "Free School" in New York City. This school, the first of its kind in the Nation, was built by Masons to provide education free of charge to the poor children of the city. This was forerunner of the public school system in the U.S..
In 1817, while still the Grand Master, DeWitt Clinton was elected Governor of New York. His greatest achievement was the building of the Erie Canal, sometimes referred to as "Clinton's Ditch", which he developed during his third term. The canal ran 340 miles from Buffalo on Lake Erie to Albany on the Hudson River. It was opened with full Masonic ceremonies on October 26, 1825.
James Holden, in a speech he made on May 15, 1913 at the dedication ceremony of a new Masonic Temple in Glens Falls, provided the following list of members of Hamilton Lodge as they were initiated or affiliated by years.
The following names listed in Vol. 39 of Individual Lodges in the Grand Lodge Library, but not mentioned in the Holden speech were:
Eden Chilson, Orville Clark (State Senator 1844-47), Hyman J. Cool, William H. Finn, Samuel Forbes, John F. Gazeley, Walter Green, William H. Lewis, E.G. Lindsay, Henry Martin, William May, Samuel Pange, Asa Ripley, Doeton Ripley, William Roberts, Calvin Robins, John Robertson, Levi Rug, Daniel Sanford, Peter D. Thorndike, Sylvanus Walker.
Other names in Holden's speech, but not listed in the membership roster, and may well have been visitors were:
In 1827 the last report was made to Grand Lodge. The date this Lodge ceased to exist is unknown. However, the "Glens Falls Observer" on February 18, 1828, published a resolution of the Lodge acknowledging the death of former Grand Master and New York State Governor DeWitt Clinton.
"At an extra communication of Hamilton Lodge No. 144, assembled in Masonic Hall in this village the 15th instant, the following resolutions were adopted:
Resolved that, whereas it has pleased Almighty God, the Supreme Architect of the Universe, in His Divine Providence to call from his labor worthy brother DeWitt Clinton PGM, of the Grand Lodge of the State of New York, we feel it our duty to pay his memory, the last tribute of respect.
Resolved, that the Worshipful Master, Wardens and Brethren of this Lodge show their respect for our deceased Worthy Brother, by wearing the usual badge of mourning thirty days.
E.G. Lindsey, Secretary"
Lodges in old Washington County as of 1813:
Warren County Early Lodges:
Saratoga County Early Lodges:
Past Masters of Hamilton Lodge with dates:
Grand Lodge declared Hamilton Lodge Charter forfeited in June of 1834 because the Lodge had failed to report for 6 years. All Masonic Lodges in the area ceased to exist between 1826 and 1847 except Greenfield Center.
Between 1822-1827, a schism occurred between upstate Masons and the Masons in New York City. Upstate Masons felt that Grand Lodge should be held in Albany and not in New York City, since Albany was more centrally located. In 1825, Stephen Van Rensselaer was elected Grand Master to heal the wounds. Van Rensselaer was a prominent upstate public servant. Early that year it was his vote in the U.S. House of Representatives which gave John Quincy Adams a sufficient majority to win election to the Presidency. The pact of June 7, 1827 resolved these differences.
On April 12, 1839, the Village of Glens Falls incorporated. First election of officers was held on June 4, 1839. Elected were John Ferriss, Trustee; James Palmeter, Dwight Hitchcock, Assessors; William Peck Treasurer; Orange Ferriss Clerk; Ira Green collector; Orange Ferriss Justice of Peace; John Ferriss chosen Pres. of Board of Trustees.
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