Masonic Temple


Dedication of the New (First) Masonic Temple at Grand Forks.  Special to The Globe.  Grand Forks, N. D., Feb. 24. – Tonight was a great night in the history of the Masonic circles in this part of the state, as the dedication of the new Masonic temple was completed at one of the greatest social functions ever held here.  The ceremonies were attended by over 500 Masons from all parts of the state.  Nearly all the grand lodge officers were present.  The members of that body conducted the formal exercises.  Grand Master Stockwell gave an address.  The dedicatory exercises were followed by a reception, ball and banquet.  (The Saint Paul Daily Globe, Wednesday Morning, February 25, 1903, Page 3)

Dinnie Bros. Get Contract.  New Masonic Temple Will Be Started Soon – Plumbing Goes to Spriggs.  Constructions Work Will Cost $98,648 – Plumbing Will Be $9,283 and Wiring Will Be $15,000 – Entire Cost Will Be About $130,000 – Will Be One of Finest Buildings in State.  The contract for the construction work on the new Masonic temple for this city was let yesterday to Dinnie Bros., their bid being $98,648.50.  A number of bids were offered and some of them were very close.  Spriggs Bros. will do the plumbing and heating work, their contract calling for $9,281.50.  The cost of lighting and wiring will be about $6,000, no contract for this work has yet been let.  The stage and setting will probably cost about $15,000.  The entire cost of the structure is figured at about $130,000.

Work will be commenced on the new building as soon as possible.  It is believed that it will take over a year to complete the building.  The structure will be of white pressed brick, trimmed with buff Bedford stone.  It will be located at the corner of Fifth street and Bruce avenue, the main front being on Bruce avenue toward the new $200,000 Grand Forks county court house.  Both buildings have much the same general lines.  Crowning features of the lodge home are the auditorium, capable of seating about 1,000, and the banquet hall, large enough to accommodate about 800 persons.

The Basement.  In the basement is the main dining hall, 80 by 80 feet, with a capacity of about 800.  There is also provision made for a small banquet hall.  The kitchen is 80 by 40 feet, and there are, in addition, living rooms for the custodian of the building.  These are located in the northeast corner of the building.  Also there are store rooms, a refrigerator room, etc.

Main Floor.  On the first or main floor there is the office of the secretary; the Ionic and Doric Blue lodge rooms, each 45 by 27 feet, and which can be converted into one room.  On this floor provision is also made for the Eastern Star, the Masonic library, the Templar parlors, and the club rooms, the card room and the billiard room.  There is also the main foyer leading to the various departments.

Second Floor.  On the second floor is the big auditorium, located in the southeast corner.  To the rear is the main foyer with cloisters down either side, making it open so that the auditorium can be entirely surrounded.  The stage is fifty feet from the apron to the rear, and it is 63 feet wide, with a 31 foot opening.  From the curtain the stage depth is 30 feet.  The property rooms, etc., take up the remainder of the floor.

Third Floor.  The third floor leads to the gallery of the auditorium with property rooms along one side.  There is also the Knights Templar locker room, along the front, being 20 by 80 feet.  The whole building will be 85 by 138 feet.  (Grand Forks Daily Herald, Thursday, May 29, 1913, Volume XXXII, Number 180, Page 10)

Page 1.  New Masonic Temple Dedicated Tuesday Evening By Officers of North Dakota Grand Lodge.  Large Crowd of Members Was Present.  Address by W. L. Stockwell Was Feature of the Ceremonies.  Urged Masons to Stand For Ideal.  Grand Lodge Will End Its Annual Session This Afternoon.

Attended the dedication exercises and reception held Tuesday night at the new Masonic temple of Grand Forks.  Besides the members of Acacia lodge No. 4 of this city, most of the members of the grand lodge now meeting here were present.  The ceremonies were held under the auspices of Acacia lodge No.4 , Rev. J. K. Burleson, worshipful master, presiding.  The officers of the grand lodge, headed by Grand Master F. H. Sprague, of Grafton, acted as the dedication committee.

Ladies Admitted.  Following the strictly Masonic part of the ceremony, the ladies were admitted to the gallery of the auditorium to hear the dedicatory address delivered by W. L. Stockwell of Fargo, grand secretary of the state.

Grand Officers.  The grand officers who took part in the ceremonies were F. H. Sprague, Grafton, grand master; H. Lord, Cando, deputy grand master; A. B. Taylor, Fargo, grand senior warden; W. J. Reynolds, Westhope, grand junior warden H. C. Vick, Cavalier, grand senior deacon, A. P. Lenhart, Bismarck, grand junior deacon; O. C. Cheney, Jamestown, grand sword bearer; W. L. Stockwell, Fargo, grand secretary; C. H. Hale, Grand Forks, grand junior steward; C. D. Lord, Park River, grand treasurer; L. G. Moultrie, Valley City, grand orator; D. M. McIntosh, Grand Forks, grand chaplain, and George Duis, Grand Forks, grand tyler.  At the conclusion of the exercises, Grand Master Sprague spoke briefly, urging the Masons present to always uphold the high ideals of the Masonic order.

Stockwell’s Address.  W. L. Stockwell, in his address, declared that the rules by which all Masons, as well as other men, should govern their conduct, were:  “Deal justly: live righteously, and act honorably.”  These, he declared, must be the guiding principles of Masonry if the order was to prevail.  Taking up the three rules one by one, he said that although there was much passion and hatred raging in the world at the present time, yet at no other time in the world’s history have there been so many men were concerned to right the wrongs of the weak.  Masonry, he said, gives men the desire to do what is right and to secure for their fellows a full measure of justice.

Righteousness Needed.  Righteousness, according to Mr. Stockwell, means to do what is right.  There is no middle ground, the speaker declared, between right and wrong, and no room for compromise between the two.   Victory, said the speaker, always eventually rests on the banner of righteousness and therefore it is the manner under which all Masons must be enrolled.  This program, he admitted, might seem to be idealistic, but it is nevertheless an ideal towards which all Masons must strive with the increased strength given by Masonry.  Honor, Mr. Stockwell declared, is the quality which raises a man above the common plane of mankind and places him in tune with the ideal.

Hold Honor Dear.  He urged all Masons to hold true to the highest standard in order that the best men of the nation might be attracted to the fraternity.  “Masonry,” said Mr. Stockwell in conclusion, “must endure so long as men seek fellowship, and the cry of the widows and orphans continues to be heard.  It must always stand for the highest ideals of human brotherhood and the best standards of manhood.”

Temple a Beacon.  “May this temple which we dedicate tonight always be a beacon set on a hill to give light, and knowledge to all.”  The auditorium rocked with applause at the conclusion of Mr. Stockwell’s address.  Rev. J. K. Burleson acted as master of ceremonies during Mr. Stockwell’s address, and introduced the speaker.

Miss Cross Sings.  Before and after the address solos

Page 9.  were sung by Miss Irene Cross, who is studying music in St. Paul, and made the trip to Grand Forks especially, in order to be present at the dedication of the temple, in which her step-father, the late William Spriggs, took the deepest interest.  Miss Cross has a dramatic soprano voice of unusual beauty and power, and her singing was much enjoyed by the audience.

Informal Dance.  Following the dedication and address most of the Masons and their ladies adjourned to the banquet room in the basement of the temple, where an informal reception and dance was held, continuing until 1 o’clock this morning.  Refreshments were served during the evening by the ladies of the Eastern Star chapter, assisted by a number of the young girls of the city.

Afternoon Session.  The meeting of the Grand lodge, held Tuesday afternoon, was featured by the address of Bruce Pollock, of Fargo, who delivered the address with which he won the Frank J. Thompson memorial prize in oratory, in the contest held at Jamestown in May.

Greetings From Minnesota.  T. Morris, former grand master of Minnesota, was a visitor at the session, bearing fraternal greetings from the Masons of the Gopher State to the North Dakota grand lodge.  Reports from a number of standing and special committees took up the greater part of the session.  The opening session of the grand lodge was held Tuesday morning, with 250 delegates representing 95 lodges in attendance.

Sprague’s Address.  The feature of the morning meeting was the address of Grand Master Sprague, who congratulated the Masons of North Dakota and America in general, on being at peace with all the world, while the other nations of the earth were plunged in war.  A report from the grand treasurer showed that over $1,000 had been subscribed by the Masons of the state for the aid of their distressed brethren in Europe.  Another report received was that on the Masonic cottage of the state tuberculosis sanitarium at Dunseith, which showed that 35 Masons had been cared for at the cottage during the last year, and recommended a number of improvements to the structure.

Closes Today.  At today’s session officers for the coming year will be elected and the grand lodge will close late this afternoon.  The annual dinner and meeting of the Masonic Veterans’ association will be held at 6 o’clock this evening, and the meeting of the grand chapter of Royal Arch Masons for North Dakota will be held Thursday.  (Grand Forks Daily Herald, Wednesday Morning, June 16, 1915, Volume XXIV, Number 193)


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