The centennial history book of Lebanon Lodge #7 includes biographical sketches of Past Masters and in one case a Past Senior Warden, Roger Chew Weightman.
Br. Weightman was a printer by profession and was the first to petition Lebanon Lodge after its founding. He was initiated on December 6 of 1811, passed two weeks later, and raised 8 days later. He went on to serve as Senior Deacon and Senior Warden of the lodge. He was also very active in the DC Militia. When the war of 1812 began he was called away and never progressed to the oriental chair.
He was active in the Battle of Blandensburg and was captured by the British Troops marching to burn the White House. The White House reported that the British Admiral teased him by telling him to take a memento, and when he choose something of value the admiral said he had to choose something worthless. (See https://www.whitehousehistory.org/the-burning-of-washington).
After the war, our brother settled into a number of public offices for Washington, including Alderman in 1821-1823, He served as the 8th Mayor of DC from 1824-1827, when he resigned to become the cashier of the Bank of Washington. In an interesting note, in1822 he ran against Mayor Carbery and fought the matter in court during Carbery’s entire term. We also know that there were handbills printed promising voters for him would be rewarded and insulting Carbery, if he did not print himself, he was certainly involved in this.
He would plan the inauguration of John Quincy Adams, work to build the Washington Monument, involved in The Columbian Institute for the Promotion of Arts and Sciences. In 1833, the Grand Lodge elected him as Grand Master, though he never served as Master of a lodge.
He and his family would throw tremendous balls for the elite 400 of Washington which became a social scene of the year until his wife’s passing in 1839.
His interests in military history never ceased. During the civil war, he helped organize and defend Washington, which would put him at odds with his oldest son. Richard Hanson Weightman who fought under Gen Sterling Price and killed in 1861 in Springfield Missouri
The Grand Lodge Historian, Br. K. N. Harper said “He had an unsullied reputation and possessed many ennobling traits of character and was a successful business man and a dignified courtly gentleman.”
William Winston Seaton, Past Master, Congressional Reporter, Publisher, Mayor, but not a Dickens Character.
Lebanon Lodge #7, Past Master William Winston Seaton served as Master of Lebanon Lodge #7 in 1818- 1821, and again in 1825-1827. He served as the Grand Master of the Grand Lodge from 1822-1824.
He with his brother in law Joseph Gales were publishers of the National Intelligencer. The National Intelligencer was the only paper covering Congressional Debates from 1812 to 1820. Their archives serve as a basis for understanding the politics of the time. They also had keen insight from 1824-1837. Seaton was active in the York Rite, and an intimate of many important political people. He would eventually become Mayor of DC.
In 1842, when Charles Dickens visited America, MWB Seaton entertained the author and was said to have entertained him very well. The History of the Grand Lodge and of Freemasonry in the District of Columbia with Biographical Appendix by WB Kenton Harperon on page 338 says suggests that the Cherryble Brothers in Nicholas Nickleby “might seem to have been inspired by the subject of this sketch and his partner, so nearly akin in every gentle characteristic.”
The only problem with this is that Nicholas Nickleby was published in a serial format from 1838 to 1839. Yet, if our brothers in writing the history of the Grand Lodge could see our brother in these legendary characters that speaks well for our brother. Indeed, in the depictions of the brothers and MWB Seaton there is a bit of a semblance. It should be noted that Dickens visit to America was generally considered a bad experience with Dickens being fairly critical of American society and downright disdainful of DC itself. Of note, is that during this time the office of Master is titled Right Worshipful Master, and the Wardens are the Worshipful Senior Warden and the Worshipful Junior Warden.
Barristers Lodge No. 48
On December 4, 1940, Barristers Lodge No. 48 elected and installed Herbert S. Fessenden as Worshipful Master. WB Fessenden was a Special Assistant to the Attorney General of the United States and a member of the Supreme Court bar. He was also a member of the National Society of the Sons of the American Revolution because he was the great-great-grandson of Nathan Fessenden, a member of the Massachusetts Minute Men. Nathan served in Captain John's Parker's company in the famous Battle of Lexington as well as the Battle of Bunker Hill.
Barristers Lodge No. 48
This November, we look back to Barristers Lodge No. 48 in 1973. The Stated Communication, although brief to move to the Grand Lodge Visitation in conjunction with Centennial Lodge No. 14 and Theodore Roosevelt Lodge No. 44, was presided over by Worshipful Master O. Harold Folk (seated on the left).
Worshipful Brother Folk, born in Moselle, SC, was a veteran, government official, and businessman in the Washington, DC area. He moved to Washington, DC in 1938 to work for the Agriculture Department, but was called to active duty in the Army for World War II and assigned to the Selective Service in Washington, DC.
For his service, he received the Distinguished Service Award and the Gold Medal. Following the war, Worshipful Brother Folk joined the World Bank and specialized in Middle Eastern affairs, serving as an advisory to King Saud of Saudi Arabia from 1960 to 1962. Masonically, he became a 32nd degree Mason and served as Potentate of the Almas Temple of the Shrine.
During the Grand Visitation in November 1973, Worshipful Brother Folk was presented at the altar for his receipt of his Certificate of Service as Master.
Lebanon Lodge No. 7
On October 10, 1911, Lebanon Lodge #7 hosted the final event of its week-long Centennial Celebration at the New Willard Hotel. As a parting gift for ladies in attendance, the Lodge handed out this handsome souvenir pin which included the Masonic square and compasses with a tall cedar of Lebanon. The history doesn't end there. This specific pin depicted in the image above was given to Minnie M. (Tomlinson) Sparrow, the wife of Brother Frederick Kroeber Sparrow.
Brother Sparrow was raised as a Master Maston on August 2, 1907 and was a direct descendant of Thomas Sparrow, one of Baltimore County's first land grants and the namesake of Sparrow's Point and other famous "Sparrow" locations throughout Maryland. Brother Sparrow was a veteran of the Spanish War and a member of General Nelson A. Miles Post. He passed to the celestial lodge above on April 8, 1942 and was laid to rest at Arlington National Cemetery.
Brother Sparrow and Minnie had a son, Thomas Kroeber Sparrow, Jr., who went on to become a famous American mycologist. His wife, Anna (Gabler) Sparrow, inherited this pin from Minnie and bequeathed it to her granddaughter Emily Sparrow upon her passing. Emily simply wanted to learn more about this pin and contacted Singleton Lodge earlier this month. She was over the moon that we were able to deliver her this very detailed history of the pin.
Wm. R. Singleton No. 30
Did you know that Singleton Lodge conferred the FC Degree upon a Congressman from Georgia? At the Stated Communication held on September 19, 1968, the Brethren of Singleton welcomed Bro. William Stuckey from Eastman Lodge #279, Eastman, Georgia and conferred the FC Degree upon him. After the degree was conferred, Bro. Stuckey presented a discussion to the Brethren on his position in Congress and the issues of the times. The discussion was well received by the Brethren.
Wm. R. Singleton No. 30
On March 22, 1918, the Brethren of William R. Singleton #30 called a Special Communication to discuss a decision that would create a legacy. On this day, the Brethren received a report from a committee appointed to investigate the relationship between the Lodge and the William R. Singleton Temple Association. The committee reported “that it be the sense [of the Lodge] that steps be taken to acquire ownership of the Temple and the ground upon which it stands…and that a committee of three be appointed to proceed at once to consummate this project.” It was at this meeting that the quest to acquire the Lodge that we still use to this day began. Let this miraculous work by our Brethren over 100 years ago serve as motivation to what we can accomplish today for our posterity.
Wm. R. Singleton-Hope-Lebanon Lodge No. 7
Brother Hilmer H. Krebs, Singleton Lodge's oldest Mason, passed to the celestial lodge on April 5, 2020 at the age of 105. He was raised on September 3, 1946 and was a Mason for 73 years. The above picture is the presentation of his 70th anniversary certificate from the Grand Lodge of DC. He was also an Honorary Member of Patuxent Lodge No. 218 of Maryland. Brother Krebs worked for the FBI for 27 years, and was honored on his 100th birthday by the Society of Former Special Agents of the FBI. Below is an excerpt from his obituary: "Hilmer was born on November 20, 1914 and raised on a farm in Wilson County, Texas, the son of Walter Adolph and Emma Helene Krebs. Hilmer graduated from the Texas College of Arts & Industries in Kingsville Texas in July 1940 and immediately set off for Washington, DC where he met and married Alice May Robinson. Three sons, Richard Dietrich, Raymond Mitchell, and Lawrence Walter honored life for Alice and Hilmer. Hilmer supported his country and community during his lifetime, serving as a Metropolitan Police Officer, a White House Police Officer, a US Coast Guardsman, and a Special Agent of the FBI. He was active in the Presbyterian Church and the Masonic Order in Washington DC, Maryland and Virginia."
Lebanon Lodge No. 7
Bro. Schuyler Colfax was the 17th Vice President of the United States (1869-1873). Bro. Colfax was born March 23, 1823 in NYC and moved with his family to Indiana in 1836. He was the owner and editor of St. Joseph Valley Register of South Bend, IN; a member of Congress from 1855-1869 and Speaker of the House from 1863-1869. Bro. Colfax’s Masonic career began, while serving in Congress, in Lebanon Lodge No. 7 on August 15, 1856. He was initiated in Lebanon Lodge, and passed and raised in St. Joseph Lodge No. 45 of South Bend, IN on September 5, 1856. He became President Grant’s first Vice President in 1869, serving until 1873. In 1873 he was implicated in the Credit Mobilier scandal, and although the charges were unproven, it ruined his political career. He makes a memorable appearance in Stephen Spielberg’s Lincoln as Speaker of the House, portrayed by actor Bill Raymond, during the vote for the passage of the 13th Amendment. Colfax was the presiding officer for the vote, and, unusually for a presiding officer, asked that his name be read in the roll call, and proceeded to vote for the passage of the 13th Amendment. The 14th Amendment was also passed during his Speakership.
Sources: 10,000 Famous Freemasons A Century of Lebanon Lodge https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lincoln_%28film%29