Masonic Homes of the United States and Canada
The reader in this connection may look over the allied items dealing with Charity, Orphans, Masonic Relief Association of the United States and Canada, Children's Exchange Bureau, Shrine Hospitals for Crippled Children, each of which will contribute some information as to the Masonic urge to provide systematic loving care for the dependent. The Masonic Home and its adjuncts, as the Infirmary in Nebraska and the Sanitarium in Iowa, hold an honored place in Masonic activities. Their beneficiaries are guests of the Fraternity and the several branches of the organization have given generously toward the success of this worthy object. Brotherly moue is the proper expression of the attitude of the Brethren to the occupants of Masonic Homes, and this term is preferable to the word Charity with the meaning often associated with it. Obviously the treatment of Masonic Homes must be condensed for such a purpose as ours. Only the leading facts can be included and these must lag behind the actual attainments as, every month in the year, some one or more Grand Lodges are receiving annual reports on Masonic Homes and enlarging their service.
Brother Frank S. Moses, Past Grand Master of Iowa, prepared in 1923 a report of the activities in Masonic Homes, Brother Jesse M. Whited in his Correspondence Report of She Grand Lodge of California has also summarized the situations and these general surveys of the field have been supplemented by numerous local articles at various times. These items have been checked with the co-operation of the various officials throughout the country.
Alabama has men, women, boys and girls as guests at a Masonic Home and School near Montgomery. The Grand Lodge has here 275 acres of land, 40 of which are in a beautiful grove, 100 in pasture and the balance devoted to the raising of food crops and carried on at a profit. The property includes a library, auditorium, a main building, cottages for the guests, hospital building, operating room, dental parlor, nurses' quarters, school building, a separate infirmary for old men and many other structures representing an investment of $450,000 and a large sum has been invested in beautifying the grounds, driveways, etc. The Grand Lodge dues annually are $1 for each Master Mason in good standing, 90 cents of which goes to the Home and 10 cents is applied to maintaining old Freemasons and their wives and widows on the monthly pension system administered by the Local Lodges. Three dollars is also obtained for the maintenance or normal income of the Home for each Fellow Craft passed during the year; the Grand Chapter donates annually $25 per capita for every Royal Arch Mason; the Grand Commandery usually gives $2,000 a year. The Lodges also take up a voluntary contribution just before each annual meeting. The total income of the Home is about $75,000 a year and expenses have averaged $6,000 per month. Alabama has also inaugurated an Endowment Fund amounting to about $10,000 to be materially increased each year.
Arizona assesses $10 from every initiate and affiliate for the Masonic Home Endowment Fund, and 50 cents every year is collected and paid into the Masonic Home General Fund for each Brother on the roll of membership on December 31. The combined funds were $202,624; $114,372 being in the Masonic Home Endowment Fund, and $88,252 in the Masonic Home General Fund. There is a Sanatoria for the care of tubercular patients at Oracle, a summer resort village in the foothills of the Santa Catalina Mountains, forty miles from Tucson. The site of sixty acres and the house with sixteen rooms are valued at $60,000. Grand Lodge Committee spent a further $8,000 erecting three four-room cottages and improving the main building. This Home has had no facilities, however, for giving medical or nursing care or for handling bedridden patients, only those being able to care for themselves being received as guests.
Arkansas maintains an Orphans Home and also a Relief and Pension Fund for Widows. It has had guests at the Home at an annual expense of $425 each. It derives funds from $1 per member, $11 fee and interest on investments of $200,000. The Orphans Home received 50 cents per member and $8 for fees of the Three Degrees out of the above, aggregating approximately $40,000 per annum. Pension and Relief Fund is made up by a $7,000 appropriation by Grand Lodge and approximately $5,000 voluntary contributions by Lodges annually.
California maintains two Masonic Homes, one at Decoto, Alameda County, which was dedicated in 1898, and is a Home for Aged Freemasons and their adult dependents, and the other located at Covina, Los Angeles County, for Dependent Children of Freemasons. By 1910 their Permanent Improvement Fund had risen to $17,000 and the previous year, 1909, Jacob Hart Nebb died, leaving the residue of his estate, amounting to $12,688 to the Decoto Home. The balance in the Permanent Improvement Fused was added to this, the two being called a Permanent Endowment Fund, which has now gone over the S480,000 mark. The capital is not touched, only the interest on investments being used. These Homes include- hospital units and guests have been maintained at these homes for $500 each yearly. The hospital may accommodate 70 patients, largely those that are helpless from the infirmities of age. The cost of maintaining children in the Home at Covina has been $600 per year each. The two Institutions represent an investment of some $1,621,689. Funds are raised from a $20 fee for each initiate or affiliate and 25 cents each year from each member. The Colorado Masons Benevolent Fund Association is practically a Committee of the Grand Lodge and has been in existence since 1902 and has accumulated in twenty-three years approximately S86,000. Lodges pay as dues to the Grand Lodge $1 annually for every member under sixty years of age and 10 per cent of that amount goes to the Benevolent Fund. The Grand Chapter of Royal Arch Masons of Colorado annually contributes to this fund 5 cents for every Royal Arch Mason. Only the income from the fund may be used for relief work. Grand Lodge created another fund of $40,000 for the relief of Freemasons who were in the military or naval service of the United States or for their relatives, and such relief is extended upon the recommendation of the Master of the Lodge where the Brother held membership. There is also a Grand Lodge Committee which cares for Freemasons in the two Government Hospitals in the State. One of these, near Denver, is for tubercular cases and has patients from all over the country.
The other is at Las Animas. The funds necessary for this Committee are provided by the Grand Lodge, Grand Chapter and Grand Commandery to the amount of S5,000 yearly. Members of the Committee visit these Brethren in hospitals every Sunday with flowers and theft furnish entertainment every week. Their families are assisted with advice and money when necessary and much valuable work has been done by the Committee assisting Brethren in these institutions with regard to their compensation from the Government and in similar matters. This Soldiers and Sailors Welfare Committee consists of nine members appointed by the Grand Master to extend relief and comfort to Freemasons who were employed in the military or naval service during the World War and the lives, children and dependents of these Brethren. The Grand Lodge has also planned a fund of $15,000 for establishing scholarships for the sons and daughters of Freemasons in institutions of higher learning.
Connecticut has long supported an incorporated Masonic Charity Foundation. It has a Home and Hospital at Wallingford, valued at $600,000, the Hospital Unit having facilities for the care of 100 patients. This unit was largely paid for by special assessment of $5 for each Brother and the Eastern Star of Connecticut levied a tax of $1 per member to furnish and equip it. It has an Endowment Fund of $100,000. Here at the Home in Ballingford are adult guests, of whom one-third ma! be classed as permanently helpless infirmary cases. They have been maintained at an average cost of $460 for each guest per year. The Grand Lodge also assists other needy cases in outside locations. Connecticut Freemasons pay $2.15 per annum for charity and $10 is collected from each initiate or affiliate.
Delaware has a Home at Wilmington for the aged and indigent, each Lodge contributing annually for its maintenance $2 per capita, $10 for every affiliation during the year and $10 for every candidate initiated. There is an investment in real estate and equipment of $29,480. The auditor's report of 1924 showed a total investment of $178,000. Delaware also has arranged for the distribution of four scholarships each year of $125 each in memory of their first Grand Master, Gunning Bedford, Jr. These may be used in any school or college grade, but the Committee having charge of the awards prefer the University of Delaware. If the student makes progress in his studies the scholarship will be continued for four years. Contributions to this will also be received from the subordinate Lodges in proportion to their membership, the fund being gradually increased each year.
District of Columbia Freemasons established a Home and Infirmary about 1914, valued at $150,000, which shelters adults and children. Its maintenance expense has been annually about $520 for each guest. An Endowment Fund of S107,000 has been accumulated. Each District Freemason contributes 75 cents annually for this charity, and each initiate $5.
Florida has a Masonic Home on a ten acre site at St. Petersburg which, with the improvements there, represents an investment of $103,000. This property was purchased at a Sheriff's Sale and has since then attracted an offer for it of S250,000. The assessment upon the Brethren for the support of the Home is $1 per capita and for emergency relief 25 cents. There is a $5 assessment upon every initiate for the Masonic Home Building Fund, which is not applied to maintenance but restricted to new work for bettering the Home facilities. There are two Relief Committees. The Emergency Committee comprises three members, appointed by the Grand Master, to handle all relief for members of Lodges in the State and the Fund for that purpose is obtained by the per capita tax plus a special appropriation turned over to the Committee at the close of each Grand Communication. If this amount is not sufficient the Committee has authority to supply deficiencies from the Masonic Home Fund.
Relief is furnished on the request of Lodges, where the applicant is worthy and the Lodge unable to furnish the required relief and on the approval of the Committee the relief is granted, a smalls monthly allowance being considered better when enabling applicants to remain at their residences rather than at the Masonic Home. The Masonic Relief Committee, as in Jacksonville, comprises one member from each of the five local Lodges and is supplied with funds by them on request of the Committee and then an appropriation of 25 cents per member is turned over to the fund, which is used exclusively for sojourning Brethren and not for Florida Freemasons. Each local Lodge has its own Special Committee for the relief of its members.
The Masonic Orphan's Home is four miles from the City of Macon on the hills overlooking the valley of the Ocmulgee River where there is a farm of 152 acres under a competent agriculturist to instruct the hoss. There is also a print-shop with Linotype Machines, presses and other equipment and with an instructor to teach ten of the boys at a time. The Come is for Children only none being accepted under five nor over fifteen years. The endowment in 1925 was $175,000. The Grand Lodge dues are $1 per capita yearly and 45 cents goes to the maintenance of the me. Widows, as w elf as elderly or decrepit members, are supported in their own home communities from fund of $120,000 appropriated annually by the Strand Lodge. This fund is administered by a Committee of Relief, which as a rule pays the individual compliant an amount equal to that given by the local or interested Lodge.
At the session of 1869, Idaho Freemasonry, with seven Lodges and a combined membership of 279, established the Orphan's Fund by an annual assessment of $1 per member for "the support and duration of the orphans of deceased members or the Children of indigent Freemasons whom the Grand Lodge might deem worthy of assistance." The principal must remain intact forever and the fund was placed in the control of a Board of Trustees consisting the Grand Master and the Grand Wardens, hut in 86 provision was made for a Board of three members elected annually by the Grand Lodge. The annual assessment was reduced to 50 cents in 1895. An amendment was adopted in 1885 whereby the benefits of the fund were also applied to "the support and clothing of poor and indigent Freemasons." Since that time the proper title for the fund has been the Grand Lodge Orphan and Indigent Fund." mother amendment was passed in 1909 providing or the support and clothing of indigent widows of deceased Freemasons. The fund grew from $294 in 1870 to $117,089 in 1923.
There was expended for relief in 1890, $289 and in 1923, .$4,875. The Trustees lo not deal with individual cases or applications except through the Lodges. Applications are made through the Lodge Officers and when preparations are made, the check is sent to the Worshipful Master and he is responsible for spending the appropriation in his best judgment. There may be expenses not filling within the laws providing for the expenditure in this fund such, for example, as funeral expenses, but the Trustees do not consider these as coming rithin their jurisdiction and they must be taken care of by the Lodge or from some other source.
Illinois has a Masonic Home and Hospital at Sullivan on a fine farm donated to the Grand Lodge for that purpose. Adult guests are fraternally cared for there. The Masonic Horne for Children is at La Grange, a suburb of Chicago, and trains children for useful citizenship. The realty value and investment in these institutions approximates $1,000,000, and the operating expenses have been $200,000 annually or a little over $400 per annum per guest. The Freemasons of Illinois contribute 62 cents per capita annually and the appropriations and donations from other Masonic Bodies and interested Brethren amply support these worthy establishments.
Indiana has a splendid Home at Franklin, on an estate of 270 acres. The land and buildings are valued at approximately $1,250,000. The Order of the Eastern Star, Knights Templar and Scottish Rite have been very liberal in contributing toward the erection of the necessary buildings and the support of the Home and Hospital. Here are entertained adults and children at an annual operating cost of $347 per guest. An Endowment Fund of $200,000 has been accumulated. The Grand Lodge per capita for the Home is $1 and .$5 is charged for each Initiate, the latter being placed in the Endowment Fund.
Since 1894 Iowa has disbursed its benevolence through a Grand Charity Fund administered by a Board of three Trustees. This fund was started with an allotment of 10 cents per capita and used to supplement the benevolence of constituent Lodges as required. This per capita allotment has been increased several times and Special appropriations have been made from the general funds. This plan is most satisfactory in that it permits approved beneficiaries to live in familiar or chosen environment under the fraternal supervision of a local Trustee to whom the funds for each case have been remitted. Excess of receipts in this fund accruing through balances, donations and special appropriations have been converted into a permanent Grand Charity Fund, which amounted to $400,000 in 1925. In 1923 the Grand Lodge authorized an increase of $1 per capita in Grand Lodge dues for the establishment and operation of a Sanitarium; in 1925 the purchase of a piece of property for the purpose was approved and the institution is for the care of elderly and feeble dependents, with facilities for approximately one hundred guests.
The rules of admission to the Sanitarium are that "only those persons who are in need of daily nurse care shall be admitted to the Sanitarium or permitted to remain therein. No person shall be admitted to the Sanitarium who can be suitably eared for by allowances from the Grand Charity Fund; nor shall anyone be admitted against his will so long as he can be properly cared for elsewhere at a cost not to exceed the per capita cost of maintenance at the Sanitarium." The investment is about $200,000, including equipment, etc. Gland Lodge also derives income from a $10 fee for each initiate.
Kansas has a Home at Wichita for Freemasons, their wives, widows and orphans, valued at S350,000, and an Endowment Fund of $140,000. The Home entertains adult guests and children and has operated at an annual expense of $306 for each guest. The Home became overcrowded and additions were ordered in 1924, a $2 assessment being levied on each of its members. The regular per capita tax for charity is 50 cents and $5 is collected for each Brother personally when raised to the Sublime Degree of a Master Mason.
Kentucky was a pioneer in providing for its indigent Freemasons and their dependent wives, widows and orphans It has a Widows and Orphans Home at Louisville, with a valuation of $375,000. This Home contains adults and children and has operated at a yearly expense of $182 for each guest. Kentucky also maintains an Old Masons Home at Shelbyville where guests busy themselves on a small farm valued at $120.000. .&n Educational Endowment of $160,000 has been accumulated. The total accumulation of its Endowment Funds is $1,000,000; its per capita tax is $1.75 which includes the price of a Home Journal at 50 cents which is published by the Grand Lodge, and an Amendment provides for a fee of $10 from each Master Mason to apply to the Endowment Fund. In addition to these splendid achievements in the name of charity, it appointed a Committee to raise $1,600,000 by subscriptions payable over a term of years, to provide enlarged and modern facilities for the Home and Hospital.
Louisiana has disbursed relief from a permanent fund of $100,000 at the disposition of the Grand Master. A Home for Orphans was opened in 1925 at Alexandria and represented an investment of $250,000. The support of this institution has been from $1 per capita and $1 for each Degree conferred. Provision has also been made for a Home for the Aged.
The Grand Lodge of Maine distributes the income from a Charity Fund to beneficiaries direct through the Lodges. This invested fund of $85,000 is safely guarded by a constitutional provision that only the income can be used and no part of the principal expended. From 1864 the Grand Lodge operated this plan on an annual per capita tax of 20 cents and increased the Charity Fund from about $65,000 to the above amount. In 1924 the per capita tax was increased to 50 cents. The Lodges make application for their dependent members on blanks of prescribed form. These are submitted to the Committee on Distribution of Funds of the Board of Trustees. The total amount of money available is divided into units and the Committee votes to give the respective beneficiaries one, two or more of these units as the individual need requires. A check for the total sum appropriated is sent to the Worshipful Master of the Lodge of which the beneficiary is a member and he pays it out in installments as they are required. A typical case is that of an old lady who died at eighty-five and who had been dependent upon the Masonic Bodies for over twenty years. The Grand Lodge allowed her $150 a year with a like amount coming from the Grand Chapter, the local Lodge donating yearly from $75 to $100, with other gifts from the Chapter, Council and Commandery. This amount maintained a home for this lady among her old friends.
Massachusetts established a Home at Charlton in 1911, on a farm of 300 acres. The value of the Home is approximately $200,000 and it has cared for adult guests at an operating expense of $614 each per year. It has a Special Endowment of S363,000. This venerable Jurisdiction has maintained many charities. The Brethren have a General Charity Fund, a Rainy Day Fund, a \Var Relief fund, and finance a Masonic Employment bureaus 1 he total funds grouped under the head of Masonic Home and Educational Trust comprise several distinct funds and aggregate 31,389,000. $5 is collected from each initiate for the Grand Charity Fund. The charity work is provided for by the income of the funds and such appropriation from the current funds of the Grand Lodge as may be needed.
Michigan established a Home and Hospital at Alma in 1911, valued at some $300,000, including hospital facilities of 30 beds. The average expense has been about $560 per annum. It is interesting to note also that the average age of the guests is nearly 75 years. Michigan also disburses relief from a separate Charity Fund, and builds up a Reserve Maintenance Fund and a Building Fund for its Home and Hospital. Fifty cents per member goes to these purposes annually. In 1924 the Grand Lodge decided to devote an additional $1 for each member to a Fund to be used for another Home to be operated on the Cottage Plan.
Minnesota has had for years a Masonic Home managed by a separately incorporated Body and supported by individual subscriptions and appropriations from the Grand Lodge. The Grand Lodge took steps to assume the practical control of the Institution and greatly extended its usefulness by the construction, equipment and maintenance of an adequate Home and Hospital. A $500,000 fund for this purpose was subscribed. Another $100,000 was pledged for an endowment of this project. Minnesota has long had a Relief Fund from which disbursements have been made to all worthy beneficiaries according to their necessities, having a balance of $112,472 in that Fund in 1925. Revenue for the Masonic Home will be derived from $1 per capita of its membership and $5 from each initiate.
Mississippi maintains two Homes, one at Meridian, valued at $175,000, which cares for children, with all necessary equipment, including a well-managed hospital. The other Home, valued at $100,000, is located at Columbus. The operating expense of the Meridian Home has been reported at $28,734.67 per year, and the Columbus Home at $22,192.87. A farm was acquired by donation, covering 343 acres where the boys of the Homes reside and receive splendid vocational education and training as farmers. The charitable revenue is derived from $t per capita tax and $10 from those taking the Degrees. Grand Lodge authorized the creation of a fund of $20,000 for the erection of a hospital building at the State Sanatorium for tubercular patients and during 1924 Grand Lodge gave a supplement of $5,000 for this purpose. The Hospital Unit was completed in 1925 and named the Masonic Unit. The Masonic Home Maintenance Fund also contributes each vear a large sum of money to persons outside of the Home upon the recommendation of the Finance Committee. The Grand Lodge of Mississippi had a total Endowment Fund of $270,825, its Murphy-Martin Educational Endowment Fund alone amounting to $104,739.
Missouri has a beautiful Masonic Home at St. Louis, established in 1889, which houses both adults and children. A splendid Hospital was added to the plant in 1915; adult guests and children have been cared for by the Missouri Brethren at a cost of about $450 each per year. The total valuation of the assets in 1925 was S?1,380?000 including an Endowment Fund of $508,690. Charitable revenue is derived from a per capita tax of $1.50 and a $10 fee for the Degrees.
Montana opened its Masonic Home near Helena for Aged, Infirm and Destitute Masons and their widows in 1909. The original buildings cost $103,500 and were erected out of the proceeds of a per capita annual tax of $1 per member, and in addition thereto was purchased the site containing 590 acres, costing $10,000, a part of which price nas contributed. It has an Endowment Fund consisting of $24,328 cash and 13,000 acres of land given by the will of the late David Auchard, a wealthy cattle man and land owner of Lewis and Clark County, who died in 190 ; sultry bequests from others amounting to $7,000 and $"5,000 from the late William .s. Clark, Past Grand Master and former United States Senator from Montana. The net worth of the Home is over 5300,000. Guests have been maintained here at a per capita cost of $410 per year. The Home is Supported by $1 per capita annual assessment on all the Freemasons in the State, in addition to receipts from its Endowment Fund. Grand Lodge in 1923 placed a $10 initiation fee upon all candidates for the Entered Apprentice Degree, which goes to the Permanent Building Fund of the Home. In 1922 request was made of each Montana Freemason to make a voluntary offering of $10 for the purpose of erecting new buildings, this covering a period of five years. From that has been realized $21,907, which has been used to defray the cost of a new heating plant. A hospital unit has also been added.
There are Masonic Homes at Plattsmouth and Fremont. The Nebraska Masonic Home at Plattsmouth is a corporation, the Grand Lodge owning a large majority of the stock. The building, grounds and furniture cost $125,000 with an Infirmary valued at $140,000. The Grand Lodge appropriated $100,000 for the Infirmary, the Grand Chapter and the Grand Commandery $10,000 each, and the Nebraska Masonic Home paid the balance. The Home had a fund of $170,000 in bonds and mortgages in 1925. The War Relief Fund then amounted to $31,660 and the Orphan's Educational Fund $125,677. The Grand Lodge yearly dues are $2, 75 cents going to the Nebraska Masonic Home, 75 cents to the General Fund and 50 cents to the Building and Improvement Fund. S10 are collected from each initiation, $5 going to the General Fund and $5 to the Building and Improvement Fund. A fee of $10 for affiliation is collected on those whose demits are more than one year old. The Trustees of the Home pay annuities to dependent members or their families at their own homes or other institutions. The Home for Children at Fremont has building, grounds and furniture valued at $140,000 and this is managed by a Board appointed by the Grand Master of the Grand Lodge and the Grand Matron of the Order of the Eastern Star, each Body contributing funds for the support of this Home.
The Grand Lodge had in 1925 a Charity Fund of $2,512 to which every year ten percent of the net revenues are added. Charity and relief are administered directly by the Lodes, the smaller ones being, helped out by the Grand Lodge. As this record was written, a Lodge assumed the guardianship and education of two orphans. While aid to neighboring needy Brethren is given from the Grand Lodge Fund, gifts have been made to fire sufferers in Chicago and San Francisco, to assist the New Mexico and other sanitariums to building schools at Tokyo, etc. Nevada reports that real relief is handled in a masterly way by the Local Lodges, covering every charitable requirement.
New Hampshire established a Home at Manchester in 1903 at which time it was Valued at $30,000 and which cares for adult guests, which has since been enlarged by an addition valued at about $80,000 and which includes a modern infirmary. The Home is partially sustained by an Endowment of $50,000. They further have a War Relief Fund of $12,000, and a General Relief Fund of $12,000 from which they assisted worthy applicants. Charitable revenue is derived from a per capita tax of 75 cents, an initiation fee of $10 and an affiliation fee of $10.
New Jersey maintains a Home' and Orphanage near Burlington, on a large farm, the property being valued at $700,000. It there provides for adults and youthful guests. It has adequate hospital facilities for the sick and aged. The operating expense was about $530 each per year, and the Home has an endowment of $70,000. Charitable revenue is derived from 31 per capita and $10 from each initiate. New Mexico Grand Lodge has a Masonic Home Fund, started in 1889, which amounted to over $72,000 in 1925. The Grand Chapter and Grand Commandery also had funds amounting to $9,000 and $3,100 respectively in 1925. A Grand Lodge Masonic Relief Fund assists aged and indigent Brethren and their widows and orphans. Applications for relief are made through a Lodge to the Grand Lodge and the appropriation is paid monthly through the Lodges. The constituent Lodge affords all possible assistance before applying to the Grand Lodge Relief Fund. At any time that the Grand Lodge Masonic Relief Fund is insufficient to cover necessary disbursements, the Grand Master directs that additional sums be transferred from the General Fund. $6,100 has been expended in one year from this Relief Fund. New Mexico has a particularly difficult problem, due to the large number of Brethren afflicted with tuberculosis who come from all parts of the United States.
The Grand Lodge Masonic Tubereular Sanatorium Committee, has "expressed the hope that our Sister Jurisdictions of Arizona and Texas would see their way clear to assist in furthering a national movement." The Committee on Grand Master's Address recommended that "we seek the co-operation in perfecting the necessary organization of the Grand Jurisdictions of Arizona, Texas and Oklahoma, and take all necessary steps to develop this important undertaking." At the United States Veterans Hospital No. 55, located at Fort Bayard, there is a Masonic Club known as the Sojourners' Club, to which the Grand Lodge, Grand Chapter and Grand Comrnandery of New Mexico, as well as Ballut Abyad Temple, Albuquerque, and constituent Lodges, Chapters, Commanderies and individual Brethren have contributed materially to its Building, Furnishing and Relief Funds. From the time of the inception of the Sojourners' Club, the Grand Lodge of New Mexico has annually contributed $1,200, this amount having been increased in 1925 to $1,500 per annum.
This is in addition to other donations from time to time to the Club. The Club Building was furnished early in 1923, and Leon M. Abbott, of the Sovereign Grand Commander, Supreme Council of the Scottish Rite for the Northern Masonic Jurisdiction, contributed $26,000. Among the additional larger donors were: The Grand Lodge of California, $1,000; Grand Lodge of New York, S2,500; Grand Lodge of Texas, $1,000; Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania, $2,50.0; Grand Lodge of New Jersey, S1,500; the Supreme Council, Scottish Rite for the Southern Jurisdiction, $1,000, and the Grand Lodge of New Mexico, $1,000. The Grand Bodies and Brethren of other Jurisdictions continue to contribute generously to the Club Relief Fund. The Grand Lodge, in the development of what is known as the Fort Bayard Undertaking, receives, through its Grand Secretary, contributions which are paid out by Grand Lodge warrants on requisitions approved by the Club Committee. The Club expended $5,000 from the Relief Fund alone in 1925. Work of a similar nature has also been done at the United States Marine Hospital at Fort Stanton. A Student Loan Fund is one of the activities of the Grand Lodge, enabling worthy young men and women to pursue their studies in accredited Universities by loans advanced by the Student Loan Fund Committee. Each year $2,00.0 is placed in this Fund from the Grand Lodge General Fund. The source of income for relief purposes comes from a S2 per capita tax for each Master Mason returned annually, $1 of which goes to the Masonic Home Fund, 50 cents to the Masonic Relief Fund and 50 cents to the Student Loan Fund. Plans were carried through energetically for the building of the Masonic Home and School.
New York has a splendid Home and Hospital at Utica It there cares for adults and children, with every necessary provision for their comfort and education. A splendid Memorial Hospital, with a capacity of 225 beds, has been dedicated. The annual operating expense of this Home and Hospital amounted to $400,000. The valuation of this property approximates $1,750,000. The Grand Lodge has accumulated a substantial endowment for this institution. The total of its other various special funds is over $1,000,000. Its revenue available for charitable purposes from all sources approximates $400,000 a year. The Grand Lodge of New York further distributes annually some $30,000 to beneficiaries outside of the Home. Many of the Lodges and districts provide for institutional care of their own members. The charitable revenue is derived from a per capita tax of 50 cents to meet current expense, and initiation fees of $3.50. The independent activities carried on in various cities and districts render it impossible to make an adequate review of the total of Masonic charity in this Jurisdiction. One of the early contributions to the Home was made by Edwin Thomas Booth, the famous American tragedian, who bestowed $5,000 upon the Home at Utica. North Carolina maintains a Home for Children at Oxford, with a farm and dairy herd in connection with the Home, the entire property being valued at about $750,000. The project includes such departments as a Printing Plant, Electrical Department, a Shoe Shop, Laundry and Sewing Rooms and also has an accredited Eight School. A large percentage of the children are non-Masonic, the institution never having been limited to one class of orphans. This Home has always had the hearty support of all the people of the State, owing to the reputation it has ever maintained for the generous care and liberal education of its guests. Its annual income has amounted to $161,331, derived from Local Lodges, individual contributions, appropriations from Grand Lodge and from the State of North Carolina, as well as proceeds from Departments of the Home such as the Singing Class, the Printing Office and Electric Shop. Children have been maintained here at a cost of $309 for each guest per year, exclusive of profits from activities in Departments before mentioned, or $270 each per year, taking into consideration these proceeds. Another Masonic Rome is operated at Greensboro by the Freemasons in conjunction with the Eastern Star and is for Old People, being valued at $100,000, and where adult guests have been cared for at $778 for each per year. The Grand Lodge of North Carolina levies a tax of $10 on each initiate, which goes into the Charity Fund, and from which appropriations are made for charitable purposes, but there is no direct tax levied for either of the Homes by the Grand Lodge.
North Dakota disburses relief from a fund to which every Master Mason raised during the year pays $5 and the Grand Lodge has also made provision for a contribution to this purpose of 15 cents per capita from its General Fund, the original plan contemplating the accumulation of about $5,000 annually to ultimately permit the erection of a Masonic Home. This fund, at the beginning of 1925, for example, was $38,690; the amount expended during the previous year for relief was $4,424. The individual Lodges assume their share of the burden, the intent being for the Grand Lodge Relief Fund to assist them in this benevolence.
Ohio has a Masonic Home and Hospital on 400 acres near the city of Springfield. It has cared for adults and children at an operating expense of $585 each annually. It is under the control of the Grand Lodge, but is also substantially supported by the other Masonic Bodies of Ohio. The valuation of the Institution approximates $1,000,000, its splendid buildings and equipment largely financed by donations and bequests from Brethren interested in Masonic benevolence. The Grand Lodge collects $1 from each of its members for charity. Included in the grounds of the Home above mentioned are 37 acres with a beautiful building, barn, garage and chicken houses, known as the W. B. Hillman Memorial for boys, so named by the Grand Chapter in honor of Brother Hillman, who, in 1887, was one of the early advocates of the institution, at which time he was Grand High Priest of the Grand Chapter of Ohio. Like the rest of the Home, the support of this institution comes from the annual per capita tax.
Oklahoma has erected a new group of buildings at Guthrie to accommodate all of its wards, and give the children better school facilities than were obtained at Darlington. They care for adults and children at an operating expense of $328 per guest. Valuable property acquired at an early date enables them to expend $500,000 on this project and establish a healthy reserve fund. Their charity revenue is derived from $1.50 per capita and $1 for each Degree conferred. Other adult beneficiaries are provided for at their own homes.
Oregon has a Masonic Home, S350,000 having been raised for that purpose by voluntary contributions from the Craft, including $50,000 contributed by the Order of the Eastern Star. The Home has a value of S420,000. Yearly dues for the Home are $1 per member, $5 for each Entered Apprentice Degree conferred and $5 on each affiliate from outside the State for the Maintenance Fund; $5 on each Entered Apprentice Degree conferred and $5 on each affiliate from outside the State for the Building Fund. there is an Educational Fund with an irreducible principal of 5990,000, the income from which is used to assist in the education of 100 children yearly in the grammar and high schools. There is a revolving Student Loan Fund of $6,000 which is loaned to students in colleges and universities in amounts not to exceed 3300, repayable at 4% interest.
Pennsylvania, about the beginning of this century, took up the establishment of Masonic Homes and secured a tract of 1,000 acres at Elizabethtown between Lancaster and Harrisburg, including some forty-nine farms. Guests were received and housed in one of the farm buildings about 1910. Children were first admitted in 1913, though the Boys Home was not opened until June 1, 1914, and the Girls Home in January, 1915. All these buildings have since been abandoned. Grand Lodge Hall, valued at over $400,000, was occupied by adult guests in August, 1913. In 1914 the Boys were housed in a temporary building, and the Girls in another farm house in 1915. A gift from Brother NV. Harry Brown and Mrs. Brown has since been used to build the Brown Home for Boys, costing $95,000. The John Smith Home for Boys was opened in June, 1925, costing $250,000, with an Endowment of $200,000 executed by an agreement. The boys, upon reaching a certain age and attaining a certain grade in school, are transferred to the Thomas Ranken Patton Masonic Institution for Boys, built upon a farm adjoining the Homes tract. This was provided for under the will of Brother Patton, for many years the Grand Treasurer of the Grand Lodge. December 3, 1924, the Trustees reported a balance in hand of $1,545,105. Various branches of manual training are taught, the boys also continuing studying in the public schools. The girls are now housed in the Louis H. Eisenlohr Home for Girls, valued at $140,000. Louis Eisenlohr's brother, Charles J., and his sister Mary Eisenlohr, contributed $10,000 for furnishing this Home. Sick guests of the Pennsylvania Homes are cared for in the Philadelphia Freemasons Memorial Hospital, costing $320,000 completely furnished; capacity, 110 beds. After its three units were finished the Philadelphia Brethren handed Grand Lodge the balance of the fund to provide increased hospital accommodations as needed, amounting to $91,945, December 3, 1924. Since 1913, when Grand Lodge Hall was opened, there have been erected: John Henry Daman Memorial Cottage costing $41,000, Brother Daman having bequeathed his entire estate to Grand Lodge; Paul L. Levis Memorial Cottage costing $33,000; Gustavus Croetzinger Memorial, a completely equipped laundry, $12,000; Berks County Memorial, $33,000; Blair County Memorial, $7,000; Dauphin County Memorial, $80,000; Cumberland Valley Memorial, $8,000; Allegheny County Memorial, $336,000; and Lancaster County Memorial, $111,000. Illustrating the generosity of the Brethren, it may be noted that the per capita giving of those of Dauphin County was about S35 and of Lancaster County about $43. $10,000 was provided by the mother of Brother George M. McCandless from the estate, the income of which is used for the comfort of women guests in the Hospital. Grand Lodge has several legacies amounting to nearly $150,000, with which to build as future needs require. Strs. Exate E. Sell, widow of Brother John S. Sell, has given $100,000 for a chapel as a memorial to Brother Sell and agreed to give $2O.000 more for organ chimes, etc. Numerous gifts have been made by living donors and by the wills of others in aid of the work. On December 3, 1994, Grand Lodge had the following sums coming to it under Dequests from the following estates:
Brother Henry Crux...........................$132 062 Brother John NV. Nvilbrahan ..............95 434 Brother James NV. Orr.........................99,000 Brother J. Barren Hale and Mrs. Hale..16,000 Brother. tlbert F. Young.........................2 000 Mrs. Elinor Splane Sproal....................32,800 (This will be augmented then real estate is sold)
The brother and sisters of Past Grand Master William L. Gorgas of Pennsylvania, January, 1924, presented to Grand Lodge securities of the par value of $50,000, to be known as the William Luther Gorgas Memorial Fund, the income to go to the maintenance of the Homes, the Committee on Homes being given power to use part of the income for the relief of minor children of deceased Pennsylvania Freemasons. Numerous wills have been probated which will pay to Grand Lodge in the near future or at the termination of life estates the following amounts:
Brother Joseph D. Wilson....................................$100 000 Brother Thomas B. Dornan...................................250 000 brother Samuel J. Shannon.....................................30 000 Brother Jaeoh Gottman............................................5 000 Brother Charles Crane............................................30 000 Brother Charles E. Marshall.....................................5 000 Many- small legacies have also been received by Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania since the Homes were opened. It also manages by Trustees various Funds for charitable purposes including the Stephen Taylor Bequest of 815,800 and the Charles Jackson McClary Memorial Fund of $30,000, the income from each of which is turned over to the Homes for maintenance. The expenditures at Elizabethtown have amounted to about $2,500,000, augmented by large sums spent there by individuals and groups of Lodges The Brethren whose counties have erected buildings have established Endowment Funds for their care, to which Funds additions are being made from time to time. The Philadelphia Freemasons Memorial Hospital Fund amounted tov $28,023; the Allegheny County Fund, $6,250; the Berks County Fund, $1,000; and the Homes Endowment Fund to $200,000; these figures given as of December 3, 1924. The Homes Committee has at its disposal the income of $50,000, deposited by an anonymous Brother with a Trust Company, to provide higher education for a son or daughter of a Pennsylvania Freemason in or out of the Homes.
Brother Samuel Davis left his entire estate for accumulation until it amounted to $100,000; thereafter three-fourths of the income to be used for the relief of the children of deceased Master Masons of the State, and to be applied to keeping up the home life where a Brother dies leaving a widow and children. The Lodge of which the Brother was a member applies for a blank petition to be filled up by the mother and then the Lodge determines the amount to be allotted and agrees to pay one-half. Payments are made through the Lodge and every half year a report is made by it to the Committee on homes showing its receipts, the payments and the standing of the orphans in school, the home conditions and whether the aid continues necessary.
The Masonic Homes of Pennsylvania are maintained by direct appropriations by Grand Lodge and income on the estates and funds referred to herein. Every initiate pays, in addition to the fee fixed by the By-Laws of the Lodge, the sum of $40 which goes into the treasury of Grand Lodge marked as Masonic Homes Fees, winch have been more than sufficient to run the Homes, the surplus having been put into a Masonic Homes Reserve Fund amounting to over $250,000.
The Grand Lodge of Rhode Island in 1912 inaugurated a movement to establish a fund for the erection of a Masonic Home, at the same time appropriating $2,000 as a nucleus, to be augmented each year by a 10 cents per capita tax. Lodges and individual members are encouraged to donate such sums as they are able. In 1923 Grand Lodge voted to direct the Lodges to collect an additional fee of $o from each candidate for the Entered Apprentice Degree to be added to the Masonic Home Fund and which in 1925 amounted to over $40,000. A Board of five Trustees invest and re invest this Fund and may use the income only thereof, with the approval of the Grand Master, for the relief of, and for charitable, educational and welfare work among Freemasons, their families or widows and orphans. The individual Lodges of Rhode Island make every effort to handle this benevolent work among their own members, appealing to the Grand Lodge only when necessity demands. There is also an Educational Fund, established in 1923, which is created and maintained by an assessment of $1 per annum levied on each Master Mason within the Jurisdiction, and which enables a number of young men and women to continue their studies by providing College Scholarships to them. A Masonic Service Board also serves the Brethren by relieving distress in many ways such as obtaining employment for those in need and otherwise rendering aid and assistance.
The Grand Lodge of South Carolina instituted a Fund in 1907 for the erection of a Masonic Home and Orphanage, to which Fund were assigned all the surplus revenues of Grand Lodge. When this Fund should reach $100,000 the question of building was to be entertained. Meanwhile, such cases of present need were to be relieved by able Trustees of the Fund. By the time this Fund had actually reached the figure set, the Brethren had decided that it would be a much better policy to care for aged and indigent Freemasons and their wives or widows in their own homes or among their friends and to care for orphans the same way, by arranging for their support and maintenance at their own homes with their widowed mother, if they had one, and, if not, by having them cared for in the various orphanages already established in the State. In 1924, in lieu of the former method of adding to the Fund, an amendment to the Constitution was adopted which provided for an assessment annually of $1 per member of each Lodge. In 1925 the Fund amounted to $135,000, the interest on which, added to the $1 per capita tax, increases the Fund by about $30,000 each year, which is about the amount paid out each year. There are five Trustees to the Fund, none of whom receive any compensation.
The Grand Lodge of South Dakota receives 50 cents from each member of the Fraternity, taken out from the Grand Lodge dues for benevolent purposes. A Fund amounting to $118,025 is handled through a Board of Trustees, the interest only being used for charitable distribution among the needy. Conditions in South Dakota have not warranted the maintenance of a Masonic Home, it having been found preferable to distribute the funds where needed in the manner suggested above.
Tennessee established a Widows and Orphans Home at Nashville in 1892 and has provided an Old Masons Home and special building for infirmary. The properties represent an investment of $353,773, but the Board of Control in 1925 recommended that a cash fund be set up to meet the loss by depreciation of buildings and equipment, this being prorated as 3 per cent on brick structures, 2h per cent on stone, and 10 per cent on equipment and furnishings. On farm implements and trucks there is assigned a depreciation of 25 per cent. The Endowment Fund was $200,000. Hospital attendance is furnished. Homes operate on a budget system apt proved by the Ways and Means Committee of the Grand Lodge, which furnishes the funds. It was recommended that a voluntary offering of at least $1 per year for five years be pledged for permanent improvements, and after one year, was changed to a special tax of $1 per year for two years for each member of the subordinate Lodges and the result is a new fireproof, three-story dormitory for widows and their children. A new auditorium adjoining the school building is due to the generosity of the Order of the Eastern Star.
Texas has two Masonic Homes, one at Fort Worth which combines a Home, School and Hospital for Orphan Children and is on 210 acres of land, with a total valuation of $1,600,000. There is a Home for the Aged Masons, established in 1911 at Arlington, where widows are also maintained from the Masonic Home and School Funds. The Grand Chapter controls and manages the Home for Aged Masons and furnishes hospital care for about one-fourth of them. The Grand Lodge charitable revenue is derived from $1.25 dues with $10 raising fee, which goes to the Endowment Fund. A special building donation of $5 per capita was invited in 1922 and was paid. Among the Masonic institutions of Texas, including the Home and the School, Aged Masons Home, are the Templar Hospital, Home for Aged Members of the Eastern Star, Girl's Dormitory at the State University at Austin, the Dallas Children's Hospital the Children's Clinic, Welfare Center for Tubercular Soldiers at Kerrville, Student Loan Funds, Tuberculosis Sanitoria Commission and Masonic Employment Bureau.
Utah has a Charity Fund which is being added to each year by 10 per cent of the gross receipts of their Grand Lodge and further supplemented by the interest accruing on the capital already invested. A small portion of this fund is used for relief work, although the individual local Lodges, combined with the Board of Relief, handle most of the needy cases from Lodge and contributed funds.
In Vermont each individual Lodge cares for its own needy and deserving eases. The amount expended by each Lodge is reported with the annual returns. If it is found that any Lodge has expended more than $1 per member, the excess is repaid to the Lodge. If less than $1 has been used per member, nothing is repaid. This money is drawn from the General Fund of the Grand Lodge of Vermont, which is maintained by annual dues. They have on hand in a Permanent Charity Fund about $50,000, the income from which is to be available for benevolent purposes.
Virginia established a Masonic Orphanage near Richmond in 1890 on a tract of 65 acres. The plant has been valued at $250,000 and has cared for children at an operating expense of $335 for each guest. Charitable revenue is derived from $1 dues and a special tax of $1. Washington opened a Masonic and Eastern Star Home at Puyallup in 1914, with property valued at $100,000 and it enjoys an Endowment from bequests of $150,000. It has cared for adult guests at a net operating expense of $413 for each guest. It has permanent Relief Funds at 325,000. $150,000 additional was appropriated in 1993 by the Grand Lodge for the purchase and equipment of a site for a new Home and the furnishings of same. A site was purchased in 1924 at a cost of $78,625 near Zenith and the balance of the appropriation is to be used for expenses in connection with this project.
West Virginia has built a new Home for Masons, their Widows and Orphans at Parkersburg. The investment is apparently $275,000 and an Endowment Fund of $200,000 has been accumulated. It has a Permanent Relief Fund of $28,000. Revenues are derived from 50 cents per capita taxes, $10 initiation fee and a $2 special building tax.
Wisconsin has taken over the Masonic Home at Dousman, formerly in charge of the Wisconsin Consistory. This is a splendid tract of 319 acres, with practical farm buildings, and has been used as a Home for a limited number of adults. The new Home represents an investment of more than S250,000. The generosity of Brother W. A. Van Brunt provides the Home with an Endowment Fund of S200,000. Ample resources for its future are assured. The Order of the Eastern Star has started a hospital irs connection with this Home. Grand Lodge dues for Home and Building Funds are $1.50 per capita of the membership.
Wyoming appointed a Board of Trustees for a Masonic Home Fund in 1913, starting with $10,000, which amount in 1924 had increased to $48,000. Two funds have been provided, one known as the Temporary Fund, the other as the Permanent Fund. From the latter nothing can be drawn without an action of the Grand Lodge. This is all placed at interest under the direction of the Board. All receipts such as interest, per capita tax, and returns from other sources pertaining to these Funds are placed in the Temporary Fund during the entire Masonic year. At the close of the year, all funds in excess of the appropriations plus 3500 retained in the Temporary Fund, are transferred to the Permanent Fund. Emergency cases requiring either temporary or continuous relief are handled from the Temporary Fund. Wherever possible the local Lodges are expected to provide for their needy members and where this is impracticable the Board of Trustees of the Masonic Home Fund appropriates the funds necessary. In many instances the local Lodges agree to provide a certain portion of the total amount, the Grand Lodge supplementing this with further contributions. Income for charitable purposes is derived from a 50 cents per capita tax and from the interest of funds on hand, from which returns additions are made to the Permanent Fund each year from suers set aside from the Temporary Fund.
CANADA, Alberta has established a Benevolent Fund of about $100,000, the interest on which, together with a per capita tax of 50 cents per member, amounts to approximately $11,000 and which amount is annually expended for benevolent purposes. Monthly grants are made to needy Brethren and those depending upon them. The capital Benevolent Fund is augmented each N ear by a 50 cents per capita tax on the Grand Lodge membership and also by special contributions from Lodges and individuals.
British Columbia has a Grand Lodge Benevolent Fund amounting to approximately $150,000, the revenue being devoted to the relief of aged and Infirm Freemasons, their widows and orphans, generally by means of monthly payments. This Fund is maintained by voluntary subscriptions by the members, by a fee of $4 for each initiation in the Lodges, by ten per cent annually of the gross revenue of the Grand Lodge, and by any surplus which remains in the General Fund of the Grand Lodge after the year's business is wound up.
Manitoba. The Grand Lodge of Manitoba has no Masonic Home or Hospital. It has a Benevolent Fund of $185,000, the interest of which is devoted solely to charity.
Nova Scotia had an experience with joint management, a Home for Aged Men being established at Halifax. A Committee, of which Brother C. E. Puttner was Chairman, in 1904 solicited the support of every Lodge in the Jurisdiction that provision might be made for needy Freemasons. At the Grand Lodge Communication of the year, $900 was placed in the hands of Trustees named by the Grand Master. But the plan did not work well and the Grand Lodge withdrew. Another attempt by Brother Puttner in i905 was more successful, the assembled representatives of Lodges planning a Masonic Fair for the Armouries, Halifax, from September 25 to October 3, 190G, the net receipts being $17,406. In 1908 the Grand Lodge bought and im proved the Freemasons Home at Windsor, adding twenty rooms, and another wing to the Infirmary is under way. The Hone is maintained by a per capita tax of $1 per member and $5 for each candidate initiated. They also have an Endowment Fund of about $43,000.
Prince Edward Island . The Grand Lodge of Prince Edward Island has the smallest Jurisdiction in the world and maintains its Benevolent Fund from a per capita tax of 25 cents. The interest only from this Fund is used in dispensing relief to their needy Brethren and their widows and children, which more than amply covers necessary expenditures for this purpose. After investigation of a reported case the method of handling is very simple the Grand Lodge merely issuing a cheek for the amount necessary to meet the needs of the case.
Ontario. Grand Lodge of Canada in the Province of Ontario makes allowances for relief directly from the General Fund or others of its resources and also provides assistance jointly with Lodges through local boards. Amounts disbursed by Grand Lodge in 1924, for example, never reported as $10,885; grants made by the Lodges were $60,000 in addition to this sum. This amount was far below the sum contributed by the constituent Lodges as they have not been compelled to report their benevolent grants to Grand Lodge. There is a Benevolent Emergency Fund of S2,000. The above report mentions that two beneficiaries are cared for in Roman Catholic Institutions, at the expense of Grand Lodge.
Saskatchewan has a Grand Lodge Benevolent Fund with an invested capital that in 1925, for example, amounted to $182,000, the interest only being used for relief. The Government has a Home in the Province for the aged and infirm and the Grand Lodge Benevolent Fund has defrayed the charge of ana or the Brethren or their widows whom it has been necessary to send there.
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