History of the Eugene Scottish Rite Bodies
Willamette Lodge of Perfection #2 was Chartered on October 22, 1915. The change of name from the Willamette to the Eugene Lodge of Perfection was approved by the Supreme Council on October 22, 1947.
The James Richardson Chapter of Rose Croix was also Chartered on October 22, 1915, the name was changed to the Eugene Chapter Knights of Rose Croix and was approved by the Supreme Council on October 16, 1945.
The Eugene Council of Knights Kadosh #2 was Chartered on October 20, 1921, and the Eugene Consistory was Chartered on October 16, 1923.
The first home of the Eugene Scottish Rite was in the building at 45 West 8th St. which was owned by Eugene City Lodge #11. The U.S. Post Office was on the ground floor and the Masonic Lodge was on the 2nd story. The Scottish Rite meet here from 1915 until 1926 when the Masons built a new building at 10th and Olive St. The Scottish Rite, like the Blue Lodge met here from 1926 until 1972. In 1972 Eugene Lodge moved to its current location at 2777 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. At that time the Scottish Rite bought their own Temple at 1685 W. 13th St. This building had been owned by the Eugene Moose Lodge. The Scottish Rite sold this building in /about 2010/ and moved over to McKenzie River Lodge #195, renovating a room in the basement for an office. An aging membership and no access to McKenzie River that didn’t involve stairs resulted to a move back to Eugene Lodge #11 where we started a hundred years earlier. The Eugene Valley Scottish Rite relocated to Eugene Lodge #11, in about 2014, where they currently meet.
The first Reunion Class met at the Eugene Lodge on March 5-6, 1920.
James Benson Underwood
The first member of the Oregon Scottish Rite from Eugene was James Benson Underwood. J.B. Underwood was the 31st person to receive the degrees of the Scottish Rite from John C. Ainsworth 33°. Brother Underwood was born on September 18, 1838 in Ontario County, New York. He came to Oregon by ship leaving Angelica, New York, sailing around the Horn, arriving in 1859. He was Raised a Master Mason in Eugene City Lodge #11 on June 24, 1861. He was elected Master of the Lodge in 1867. J. B. was an attorney living in Eugene City when he received the Scottish Rite degrees 4°- 32° inclusive on December 18, 1871.
This Brother was the first official Mayor of Eugene and was part of the City Council for many years. He was also a Miller and was the U.S. Postal Agent for Oregon, Washington, Idaho and Montana under President U.S. Grant. Worshipful Brother Underwood died on August 3, 1882; he was only 44 years old. More details of the life of J.B. Underwood will be forthcoming.
Michael Robinson 32° KCCH Orient Historian, Eugene Valley Secretary
August 2, 2018
About the author:
Michael D. Robinson 32° KCCH, was the second Master Mason Raised in Esoterika Lodge #227, and the first member Raised in that Lodge to serve as Worshipful Master. He was elected Master in 2013 and 2014, and currently serves as Historian. He is also Historian for Research Lodge #198 and Eugene Lodge #11 and District Deputy of District #13. Brother Robinson was appointed Historian of the Scottish Rite Orient of Oregon in December of 2014. He was the recipient of the “Novus Astorum” from the Portland Valley Scottish Rite in 2010, and the Hiram Award from Esoterika Lodge in 2012. In March of 2015 he was made Secretary of the Eugene Valley, and Director of the Work for that Valley in January of 2017.