Samuel Ellis Wishard 1835-1914 by Bro. Michael Robinson 32° KCCH

samuel ellis wishard 1835-1914

Samuel Ellis Wishard 1835-1914


Samuel Ellis Wishard was born on March 7, 1835 in Rockville, Parke County, Indiana. He was the son of Archibald Lytle “Archie” Wishard, born November 10, 1807 in Carlisle, Nicholas, Kentucky and Livonia K. Fisher born August 25, 1817 in Ripley, Adams, Ohio. The Wishart family is of Scotch descent, and it is said that his ancestor George Wishart was burned at the stake as a friend of John Knox. We later find Alexander Wischart who was born in Edinburgh in 1600. His son William had a grandson named George, a physician, born in 1700 at South Leith, Midlothian, Scotland and died in Edinburgh June 12, 1785. Dr. George Wishart was the father of William Henry Wishart, the immigrant ancestor of this family. William Henry was born September 17, 1729 in Thornhill, Perthshire, Scotland and died May 31, 1814 Nicholas County, Kentucky. He married in 1771 in County Tyrone, Northern Ireland to Susannah Elizabeth Lytle born March 28, 1753 in Cornwall England died Jan. 16, 1795 in Nicholas County, Kentucky; their story follows and was included in the biography of our subject.


“The name of Samuel Ellis Wishard figures on the pages of pioneer history in Oregon, for he became a resident of the state in 1852 and was for many years one of its substantial citizens, passing away in Portland at the age of seventy eight. Mr. Wishard was a great grandson of William Wishard, a native of Scotland, who was born between the years 1720 and 1725. He was a man of excellent constitution and of good habits, who enjoyed educational opportunities that gave him considerable standing in the community. By trade he was a weaver. He was driven from his home by religious persecution and took refuge in County Tyrone in the north of Ireland, a Protestant section of the Emerald isle. There he obtained a position as coachman with Lord Lytle, who had married Lady Jane Stuart. (It does not appear that Densel Lytle was actually a Lord, but he was a very wealthy land owner. His wife Jane Stuart’s parents are likely the source of the titles. It should be noted that William Wishart was nearly the same age as Densel and Jane Lytle.) The following account of the romantic marriage of William Wishard to Susanah Lytle was written by their great grandson, Samuel E. Wishard: “Wishard, now acting as coachman, became interested in Susanah Lytle. His affection was reciprocated by the young lady, who finally left her home and was clandestinely married to Wishard, in opposition to the wishes of her parents. Miss Lytle’s brothers pursued them with the purpose of taking the life of Wishard and recovering their sister. Wishard made his escape, but the sister was secured and brought back to her home, while it was supposed that her husband had taken a vessel for America. Mrs. Wishard was kept in close confinement, lest she should again escape and follow her husband. During this period her first child was born, and named William, after the name of the child’s father. After the expiration of two years the Lytle family heard that the vessel on which Wished had sailed had been wrecked. It happened, however, that he had taken another vessel and about the time that they heard of his destruction he returned in disguise. He came to the old Lytle estate, where he was recognized and befriended by one of the tenant families. Susannah’s health becoming somewhat impaired by close confinement, her family was obliged to allow her some liberty in the open air. On one of these occasions while walking out for her health, Wishard secretly secured an interview with her after their long separation. A second arrangement was made for their escape. Interviews were frequently secured and the matter was kept secret until a vessel was found coming directly to America. When the time arrived for the departure of the vessel, Mrs. Wished went out with her child for her usual walk and never returned to her father’s house, for Wished took her. With her husband she came directly to America, a short time before the Revolutionary war, probably about 1773. They landed at Philadelphia and settled nee the city, on what was then called “The waters of Brandywine.”

While there residing, the son Samuel was born, December 18, 1775, to Mr. and Mrs. William Wishard and it was exactly a half century later that the birth of Samuel E. Wishard occurred. It was also at the Brandywine home that the first daughter, Annis, was born in the September which preceded the battle of Brandywine, one of the momentous engagements of the Revolutionary war. In the meantime the father, William Wishard, had enlisted in the American army and was made a sergeant, serving throughout the period of hostilities and receiving his discharge at the close of the war”…[1]

 During the Revolution William served as a Sergeant in Capt. Wendell Ivey’s Company, Col. Proctor’s Battalion of Westmoreland County Militia, in service at Brandywine and Germantown. On May 5th, 1779 he was commissioned Ensign in Capt. William Gutherie’s Company Westmoreland County Militia in service on the western frontier of Pennsylvania 1779-80.[2]

…“While there residing, the son Samuel was born, December 18, 1775, to Mr. and Mrs. William Wishard and it was exactly a half century later that the birth of Samuel E. Wishard occurred. It was also at the Brandywine home that the first daughter, Annis, was born in the September which preceded the battle of Brandywine, one of the momentous engagements of the Revolutionary war. In the meantime the father, William Wishard, had enlisted in the American army and was made a sergeant, serving throughout the period of hostilities and receiving his discharge at the close of the war. The birth of his fourth child, Jane, occurred June 25, 1777, and it was subsequent to this time that the family removed to Redstone Fort. As the years passed eight other children were added to the family while they were still residents of Pennsylvania. In the autumn of 1794 William Wishart started by boat down the Brandywine river, thence down the Ohio to the mouth of the Licking river, after which he proceeded up the latter stream to the point where Fleming creek empties into the Licking. There he settled in what is now known as Nicholas county, Kentucky, and there another child, James, was born. It was in that county that the mother, Mrs. Susanah (Lytle) Wishard, passed away. It was in 1794, when William moved from Pennsylvania to Kentucky, that the name spelling changed from Wishart to Wishard. About 1798 William Wishard married again, his second wife being a widow, Mrs. Betsy Rhoades, and by this marriage there were two sons, Andrew and Robert, making the family fifteen children in all.

Of the eight children born at Redstone Fort, John Wishard was the seventh in order of birth He was born June 3. 1792. He and three of his brothers – Abram, Samuel and James – removed to Indiana between 1825 and 1830, John Wishard becoming a resident of Johnson county, ten miles south of Indianapolis. He married and had eleven children, eight sons and three daughters. Two of the sons died in infancy and six of the number reached adult age. Of these Andrew died at the age of twenty one and James when twenty seven years of age. A sister, Jane, died at the age of eighteen. Others of the family lived to advanced years, some passing beyond the seventieth milestone on life’s journey, others reaching more than their eightieth year, while still another, Dr. William Wishard, was ninety three when he passed away.

It seems that the call of the west was always felt by the Wished family. It brought the great grandparents of Samuel E. Wishard to the new world and took them from Pennsylvania into Kentucky. It took the second generation (Samuel Wishard born December 18, 1774 in Chester, Pennsylvania and died September 21, 1858 in Vermillion County, Indiana) into Indiana and the third and fourth generations were well represented in Oregon.

It was in the year 1852 that Archie Wishard left Indiana with his family and crossed the plains after the primitive manner of travel at that time. He settled near Lebanon, where he secured a donation land claim. Samuel E. Wishard came with his parents to Oregon when sixteen years of age and assisted in the development of his father’s donation claim. He subsequently removed to Portland, where for more than forty five years he made his home. ” [3]

The 1850 census found our subject Samuel, then age 15 living with his parents and Farming with his father on their land valued at $1,000 in Adams, Parke, Indiana. As noted they came to Oregon in 1852. In the mid 1850’s trouble with the natives resulted in the Oregon Indian Wars of 1855-56. Samuel enlisted in L.B. Munson’s Oregon Mounted Volunteers. For this service Samuel received a pension, which took effect on June 27, 1902 and was cancelled on June 4, 1914, about a month after his death.

[1] History of Oregon Illustrated Vol. 3 by: Charles H. Carney The Pioneer Historical Publishing Company Chicago – Portland 1922. It appears that the author of this article was Samuel Ellis Wishard born December 10, 1825 in Johnson Indiana the son of John Lytle Wishard. John, born in 1792, was the younger brother of Samuel born in 1775, who was the grandfather of our subject Samuel Ellis Wishard born in 1835.

[2] D.A.R. application for Wishard

[3] History of Oregon Illustrated Vol. 3 by: Charles H. Carney The Pioneer Historical Publishing Company Chicago – Portland 1922


Archie died on January 31, 1859 and was buried at Sand Ridge Cemetery in Lebanon, Linn County, Oregon. In 1860 Samuel was a Carpenter living with his mother and 7 siblings. She passed away on July 27, 1876 a month shy of her 59th birthday. He may have gone down to California after this, as there is a Samuel E. Wishard who registered to vote in Sacramento on July 31, 1866, it is not verified that this is the same person, and it is known that there were a few Samuel E. Wishard’s associated with this family. By 1870 our Samuel Wishard, still unmarried was living in Portland. He was a Carpenter working for the Rail Road and was living in the R.R. Mess House with a number of other carpenters and Rail Road works.

On December 27, 1870, Samuel married Sarah Francis a daughter of Dr. John Parker and Adeline (Duvall) Powell, who also crossed the plains in 1852. Dr. Powell, born October 4, 1822 in North Carolina, was the first Physician in Eastern Multnomah County in the Powell Valley, he was also the County Coroner for a number of years. He died in Gresham October 30, 1909, a town he is given partial credit for founding along with two other unrelated men named Powell. Sarah Francis Powell was born in 1849 in Macon, Missouri and was therefore an infant when her parents crossed the Plains; this means she was also 14 years younger than her future husband, whom she married at the age of 21. Samuel was listed as a Carpenter in 1860 and is found as such in succeeding Census records through 1910 when he was retired and claimed no occupation. The Wishard’s were in Portland in June of 1877, but within a couple years they had moved north. The 1880 Census shows that he and his wife Sarah were then living in Walla Walla, Washington. Here again the record shows that he was living near a number of Rail Road employees, including Carpenters, Rail Road Workman, Machinist and Rail Road Firemen; a good indication he was working with the Rail Roads, and suggesting that he had likely worked with the Rail Road since the 1860’s. They returned to Portland and Samuel is listed as a Carpenter (House) in 1900, assumedly meaning he was building Houses. [1]

Masonic History

“In the latter part of the year 1868, a few brethren, among them being Worshipful Brother Irving W. Pratt, discussed the advisability of organizing a Masonic Lodge on the East side of the river.

17 i w pratt

Irving Washington Pratt Master 1869 -1872

That was at a time when the only means of communication across the Willamette River were row boats or some other crude craft, and naturally, the membership of the new lodge would necessarily be made up of those who could conveniently attend on the East side of the river.

[1] U.S. Federal Census records 1850, 1860, 1870, 1880, 1900 and 1910.

The first meeting of the Lodge under a dispensation, was held March 6, 1869 with Irving W. Pratt as Worshipful Master, John Harrison as Senior Warden and John Parker as Junior Warden. The meeting was held in what was termed the “Odd Fellows Hall” located at what is now known as East First and Oak Streets. This was not, however, a building owned by the Odd Fellows, but one in which this order, together with that of the Order of Good Templars, a temperance organization and the Druids occasionally met. In the immediate vicinity of the building was a small settlement, which subsequently was increased considerably by its proximity to the landing of the Stark Street ferry.

The brethren found it very difficult to meet the expenses of fitting up their lodge room and carrying on the business, but were kindly assisted by securing a loan of $250.00 from Ladd & Tilton Bank.

One of the original members of the Lodge, Brother A. M. Loryea, furnished a complete set of officers’ jewels which were of such a substantial nature that they are still used by the officers of the Lodge (1923).

Only one candidate was initiated, passed and raised, prior to a charter being granted by the Grand Lodge, that being Worshipful Master Samuel E. Wishard.

A charter was received from the Grand Lodge on June 24, 1869 and the Lodge was formally dedicated by Past Grand Master A. A. Smith with the following charter members: Irving W. Pratt, Worshipful Master; John Harrison, Senior Warden; John Parker, Junior Warden; J. T. Smith, Treasurer; J. M. Mack, Secretary; Samuel E. Wishard, Senior Deacon; Martin Elam, Junior Deacon; G. W. Smith, Tyler; A. M. Loryea and Hugh Glenn, members.

1867-69 avery a smith gl

Avery Arnold Smith Grand Master of Oregon 1867-68 and 1868-69

Brother Pratt was a teacher in the Portland Public Schools and eminently qualified by learning and character to preside over a Masonic body, and he acted as Master of Washington Lodge for the years 1869 to 1872 inclusive. Subsequently, owing to his residence on the West side of the river and difficulty in attending his own lodge, and also by reason of the appeals of the brethren of Portland Lodge No. 55 then being organized, he transferred his membership to Portland Lodge and acted as its Master.”[1]

According to his Scottish Rite record Brother Wishard was Raised in May of 1869 in Washington Lodge U.D. in East Portland. He was appointed Senior Deacon for 1870 and 1871, and was elected Junior Warden in 1872. He did not serve as an officer in 1873 or 1874. Samuel Wishard was elected Master of Washington Lodge #46 for 1875 and again for 1876. After that he moved to Washington State as shown above, for an unknown amount of time. After 1876 Samuel was not found serving as an officer for Washington Lodge #46.

There is no indication that Brother Wishard ever joined York Rite, the Shrine or Eastern Star He did however join the Scottish Rite and was an early member. Samuel petitioned the Scottish Rite and received the 14° Lodge of Perfection on September 21, 1875. He joined the Ainsworth Chapter of Rose Croix 18° on September 19, 1876 and the Multnomah Council of Kadosh 30° on June 11, 1877.[2] He received the 31° and 32° on June 18, 1883 in the Portland Valley.[3] His name was found among the Charter members of the Oregon Consistory, which was chartered on March 9, 1891.

“He was ever an exemplary representative of the craft, loyal to its teachings and the sterling worth of his character was recognized by his brethren of the fraternity and by all with whom he came into contact.”[4]

Samuel Wishard and his wife Sarah lived at 474 E. Stark, and the 1910 Census shows that they never had any children. Samuel died on May 19, 1914 in Portland, Oregon and was buried in the Fairview section of the Lincoln Memorial Park. His wife Sarah lived on another 20 years and passed away on June 20, 1934, she was buried with her husband.


[1] The Masonic Analyst November 6, 1923 page 23 by Brother Lytel W. Matthews SD

[2] Oregon Scottish Rite Index and Member History page and photo #86

[3] Scottish Rite Ledger Book 1 1870-1893 page 57

[4] History of Oregon Illustrated Vol. 3 by: Charles H. Carney The Pioneer Historical Publishing Company Chicago – Portland 1922

Michael Robinson

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.

Eldridge Hill Thompson by Bro. Michael Robinson 32° KCCH

54 Eldridge Hill Thompson

44th Inspector General

“During the forty-three years of his residence in Portland, Eldridge Hill Thompson firmly wrought himself into the very fabric of the city’s life and left behind him the imperishable monument of splendid dreams realized. A natural leader of thought and action, he had a genius for organization and an aptitude for successful management which made his work of lasting value. Although his industrial activities made heavy demands upon his attention and energy, Mr. Thompson found time for legislative service and was one of Oregon’s most prominent Masons, filling many high offices in the order, of which he was an exemplary representative. A native of Killingworth, Middlesex County, Connecticut, Mr. Thompson was born January 16, 1846, and was of Scotch lineage. His father, Hiram Thompson, was born November 22, 1816, in Killingworth, and on November 28, 1839, was married there to Marilla Hill, a native of the same town. She was born March 24, 1818, and was also of English parentage.”[1] Hiram was the son of Charles Thompson and his wife Lydia Nettleton of who little was found. Marilla the wife of Hiram was the daughter of Arden and Flora Davis Hill. Arden Hill born in 1796, can be traced back to John Hill born in Northamptonshire, England in 1615. John came to Connecticut prior to September 26, 1649 when he married Katherine Post of Cambridge, Massachusetts, they settled in Guilford, New Haven, Connecticut and the family remained there for the next five generations. James Hill born February 28, 1712, married Hannah Nettleton on November 15, 1744 and they settled in her home town of Killingworth, Middlesex, Connecticut. James and Hannah Hill had a son also named James born on November 30, 1749 and he was the father of Arden Hill born in 1796.[2]

Hiram and Marilla Hill Thompson “had a family of seven children: Flora Eliza, who was born August 3, 1841; Eldridge Hill; Elmore Washington, born July 6, 1849; Ella Maria, born February 27, 1852; Elbert Addison, born October 8, 1854; Fannie Marilla, born April 3, 1857 and Frank Edson, born August 12, 1860. Eldridge H. Thompson, the eldest son, attended the public schools of Killingworth and when a boy of twelve went to Illinois with his parents, who settled in the town of Cherry Valley, in Winnebago County, June 27, 1858. During the Civil war he espoused the cause of the Union and enlisted at Rockford, July 4, 1862, when a youth of sixteen, as a private in Company C, Sixty-seventh Regiment of Illinois Volunteer Infantry.”[3] “In May of 1862 rumors that the enemy in great force was advancing on Washington, resulted in an urgent call on the governors of States to forward immediately to Washington all the volunteer and militia forces in their States. In response to this call the Sixty-seventh, Sixty-eighth, Sixty-ninth, Seventieth and Seventy-first Illinois Infantry Regiments were organized and mustered into United States service for three months. These Regiments relieved the veteran forces at Camp Butler and Camp Douglas, which were sent to the front. The Sixty-seventh Regiment was organized at Camp Douglas, Chicago, June 13, 1862, where it remained during its term of service doing guard duty. Company C of the 67th Illinois Infantry was commanded by Captain Hiram R. Enoch who received his commission on June 13, 1862.”[4] Eldridge H. Thompson remained with that company until October 4, 1862, when he was honorably discharged at Chicago. According to the Surgeon Lewis Westfall in a letter dated 1865, during this service Thompson suffered from chronic diarrhea and although he spent much of his time in the hospital, he did complete the terms of his service.

He reenlisted on January 1, 1868, becoming a private in Renwick’s Elgin Battery, afterward known as the Fifth Illinois Independent Light Artillery. The Independent Battery was organized in Elgin, which is half way between Eldridge’s home in Cherry Valley and the city of Chicago, by Captain George W. Renwick. This Battery was posted to the Department of Kentucky in December of 1862. After enlisting in January of 1863 Eldridge, now 17 years old was sent to join the unit in the District of Western Kentucky where the company remained until April 1863. They were then transferred to the 23rd Army Corps until August 1863. During that time Capt. Renwick resigned on May 27, 1863 and the 1st Lt. Andrew M. Wood was promoted and took command on June 30, 1863. As part of the 23rd Corps the Battery took part in operations against Confederate General Morgan in Kentucky between July 2-26, and was part of Burnside’s Campaign in East Tennessee August 16 – October 17. At some-time during this period Eldridge Thompson suffered a reoccurrence of his battle with dysentery. On September 1, 1863, he was transferred to Louisville, Kentucky, as a private in Company A, attached to the Seventeenth Regiment of the Veteran Reserve Corps. He entered the sick list on January 15, 1864. Soon after his 18th birthday his health again improved.  He was transferred June 4, 1864, at Cairo, Illinois, as ordinary seaman to the United States Navy and assigned to the Mississippi Squadron. On July 15, 1864, he was appointed acting master’s mate on the U.S.S. Siren. Again dysentery took hold on February 3, 1865, but he was able to return to duty on February 18. Surgeon Westfall sent a letter from the Steamer Siren to W. Grier Surgeon, “you are hereby requested to receive E. H. Thompson Act. Masters Mate, affected with Chronic Diarrhea in the hospital under your direction, and to provide for him according to the rules and regulations of the Navy. Lewis Westfall Surgeon located Memphis Tennessee. Dr. Westfall later reported that “since coming to this boat his diarrhea has seemed to be checked several times, but a slight error in diet has always caused it to return.” Eldridge Thompson finally resigned from the service on April 4, 1865.


Five days later General Lee surrendered to General Grant at Appomattox, having served in the army, artillary and navy of the United States for the suppression of the rebellion for a period of two years six months and six days.[5] Navy records tells us that Eldridge H. Thompson was 5 foot 10 inches, with blue eyes, light brown hair and a light complexion. Eldridge H. Thompson applied for a pension for his service in the Civil War on July 14, 1908. A couple of years later fellow Scottish Rite Brother and U.S. Senator the Hon. George E. Chamberlain sent a letter to inquire about the state of the pension of E.H. Thompson of Bridal Veil pension #40300. The pension was accepted on April 23, 1913.

“Having proved his valor, patriotism and devotion to country in unmistakable terms, Mr. Thompson returned to his home in Illinois and remained in that state until 1882, when he came to Oregon, settling in Portland. Soon afterward he established the Portland Iron Works in association with Orlando Clark. He prospered in business and in 1888 turned his attention to the lumber industry, in which he achieved the full measure of success. Mr. Thompson organized the Brower-Thompson Lumber Company at Brower, Oregon, becoming manager of the business, in which he held a majority of the stock. For years he controlled the industry, maintaining a high standard of production, and kept the firm not only in line but also in the lead of its competitors. The plant was modern to the ultimate degree and furnished employment to a large force of men.”[6]

In 1887 the Latourell Falls Wagon Road and Lumber Company acquired the sole right to build a tram road, railroad, and logging road and flume or aqueduct over section 15. In return the owner had the right to travel over the road and also to work on the construction, receiving for his work, one share of stock for each day’s work. The Latourell Falls Wagon Road and Lumber Company built a wooden plank wagon toll road that started on the western slope of Larch Mountain and extended to the Oregon Railway and Navigation Company railroad line, which was located near the shores of the Columbia River. The construction of the railroad was viewed as an excellent opportunity to ship the mill products to the ports in Portland. The Latourell Falls Wagon road completed its construction to Latourell Falls in 1888. A wooden flume was constructed the same year to get the timber down the mountain to Latourell Falls. Logs or rough cut lumber could be sent down the flume to a small mill operated by Brower and Thompson. Brower and Thompson operated a small mill on Larch Mountain about three miles southwest of the Larch Mountain summit at an elevation of 1800 feet. From the Brower and Thompson mill, lumber was sent by wooden flume down Young Creek to Shepherds Dell before it reached the rail yard at Latourell Falls. The Latourell Falls logging camp consisted of a barn, a cookhouse, an office and warehouse, and 2 bunkhouses, and was located on Pepper Mountain. (Woodward 1975) The construction of the Latourell Falls Wagon Road and the development of the flume were responsible for the development of large scale logging in the dense forests on Larch Mountain

However trouble soon arose for Mr. Thompson. On June 21, 1894 Brower and Thompson Lumber Co. conveyed all of its property, real and personal by deed and bill of sale absolute in form to one E. H. Thompson in trust. The Declaration of Trust was never placed on record but Thompson immediately took possession of all property of the lumber co. and continued to manage, control and dispose of the same according to the Trust until removed by the Court in a law suit. On Aug 14, 1894 the Latourelle Falls Wagon Road and Lumber Co. commenced action to recover $4,865.63 from the Lumber Co. started a suit claiming that the transfer to Thompson was for the purpose of delaying and defrauding creditors. On April 22, 1895 the Wagon Road Co. recovered by judgment $2,000. Other suits were started on Aug. 23, 1895 by additional creditors. In January of 1896 the court ordered Thompson removed and the assets were transferred to Mr. Malcolm and sold off by Sept 19, 1899. The case went to the Oregon Supreme Court on October 28, 1901. Here a ruling came down stating that the Wagon Road Co. could not claim entitlement to the benefits of the property acquired and disposed of under the Trust and at the same time deny the validity of the deed from the lumber Co. to Thompson. The Court charged Thompson with repudiating his trust and violating his duties as trustee and had him removed, but the assignment to Thompson was valid and the transaction was not illegal. There was no evidence that Thompson’s intention was to defraud.[7]

By the 1900 census Eldridge Thompson and his wife was living in Portland in the home of their daughter Bertha, the wife of John Edward Werlein a member of Portland Lodge #55. Eldridge was listed as a travelling salesman, but every indication is that this was with the Lumber industry. In 1910 the census shows that the Thompson’s were still living in the household of their daughter Mrs. Bertha Werlein, but now Eldridge is shown to be an Employer at a Lumber Dealer. Later Mr. Thompson was connected with the Bridal Veil Lumber Company at Bridal Veil, Oregon. The company was begun in 1886 and lasted until 1960, at which time it was one of the oldest Lumber Mills in Oregon. In 1896 Mr. Thompson was removed from the control of Brower and Thompson Lumber Co. It is not clear when he started working for Bridal Veil Lumber Company. But he operated in the same region as Bridal Veil and probably had many connections. In 1906 the Bridal Veil Lumbering Co. made a huge timber deal acquiring 7,000 acres of the finest firs and larch. As the Lumbering Co. grew it also had investments and offices in Portland. Here Eldridge H. Thompson began working for the Bridal Veil Co. and in June 1910 he is found as the Superintendent of the Mill. In 1911 the Company opened a business in Portland as part of their expansion process. The managers of the Company were busily traveling around the country looking for people interested in purchasing Bridal Veil products. In June of the same year the logging railroad was extended into the woods. A new Mershon resaw was installed within the planing mill, “the planing mill was cutting an average of 100,000 board feet during a l0 hour shift with 12 men working on the floor of the mill. In April the box factory increased its output to 15,000 apples boxes per day on the advice of Nelson Emery, manager of the Company’s Hood River outlet, who expected the fruit growers to produce over 1,000,000 boxes of apple in 1912”..(Carr: 1991) By 1920 the box mill was producing 40,000 board feet of box shook each day. Most of the shooks (short, thin pieces of lumber) were used to manufacture meat crates and fruit boxes. [8]

BV 1910Bridal Veil Lumber Mill 1910

The 1920 census shows that Eldridge Thompson, now a widower, was a boarder in the home of 27 year old Carl Oldham, who was also a widower. There were six people living in the residence, all workers at the mill. Carl Oldham was the Book Keeper, Eldridge Thompson Superintendent at the mill. Ernest Thompson age 26, a Stenographer at the mill, Jay W. Hepner the saw mill Foreman, age 24, Lawrence E. Dunaway the 25 year old Efficiency man at the mill and Fred A. Jones age 27 the mill Time Keeper.

 “Mr. Thompson was married May 14, 1866, in Jeffersonville, Clark County, Indiana, to Miss Marguerite Jenkins, by whom he had two children: Lenora, who was born April 6, 1868, and is the widow of H. E. Nesne, of Fargo, North Dakota; Bertha, who was born September 3, 1872, and is Mrs. Edward Werlein, of Portland. The family left Rockford, Illinois, in 1882 and arrived in Portland on July 13 of that year. Mr Thompson’s first wife passed away November 20, 1910, in the Rose city and his second union was with Miss Lorena Posson, to whom he was married July 28, 1924, in Portland. Mr. Thompson was called to public office June 4, 1894, when he was elected to the Oregon legislature as a representative from Multnomah county, and served during the eighteenth biennial session thereof. He closely studied all questions brought before the house and his support of a measure was an indication of his firm belief in its value as a factor in good government. On May 12, 1888, he was mustered into the Grand Army of the Republic as a charter member of Farragut Post, No. 44, Department of Oregon, at Latoureil Falls and served successively as quartermaster, junior vice commander, senior vice commander and commander. After the disbandment of the post he joined George Wright Post, No. 1, G.A.R., at Portland and was honorably discharged from the Grand Army of the Republic, April 19, 1891, but rejoined that post August 28, 1918. Mr. Thompson’s Masonic activities constitute one of the most important chapters in the record of his life. He was initiated as an entered apprentice in Cherry Valley Lodge, No. 173, F. & A. M., at Cherry Valley, May 9, 1873; passed to the degree of Fellowcraft, July 11, 1873, and raised to the sublime degree, of Master Mason, August 8 of the same year. On September 26, 1873, he was dimitted from Cherry Valley Lodge and became affiliated with Star in the East Lodge, No. 166, F. & A. M., at Rockford, Illinois, January 16, 1874. He was dimitted from Star in the East Lodge, November 2, 1877, and on January 20, 1881, became affiliated with Rockford Lodge, No. 102, F. & A. M., with which he was connected until February 15, 1883. On December 6, 1886, he became a member of Willamette Lodge, No. 2, A.F.&A.M., of Portland. He was advanced in Free Masonry, March 12, 1895, by being elected in and admitted to Oregon Lodge of Perfection, No. 1, A.A.S.R, at Portland, at which date the following degrees were conferred: secret master (4th); perfect master (5th); intimate master (6th); provost and judge (7th); intendant of the building (8th); elected knights of the nine (9th); illustrious elect of the fifteen (10th); sublime knights elect of the twelve (11th); grand master architect (12th); and knights of the ninth arch (13th). Mr. Thompson was shown further preferment April 2, 1895, when he received the degree of grand elect perfect and sublime Mason, the fourteenth degree of the Scottish Rite, “Virtus junxit mors, non separabit.” His next advancement in the Scottish Rite was on July 16, 1895, when the degrees of knight of the east (15th), prince of Jerusalem (16th) and knight of the East and West (17th) were communicated, and the degree of prince of Rose Croix (18th) was conferred in Ainsworth Chapter of Rose Croix, No. 1, at Portland. On January 28, 1896, he received the degrees of grand pontiff of Sublime Croasis (19th); venerable grand master of all Symbolic Lodges (20th); noachite or Prussian knight (21st); knight royal axe or prince of Libanus (22d); chief of the tabernacle (23d); prince of the tabernacle (24th); knight of the brazen serpent (25th); prince of mercy or Scottish trinitarian (26th); knight commander of the temple (27th); knight of the sun or prince adept (28th); grand Scottish knight of St. Andrew or patriarch of the Crusades (29th) were received by communication and the degree of knight of Kadosh (30th) was conferred in Multnomah Council of Kadosh, No. 1, at Portland. On November 30, 1897, the degree of inspector inquisitor (31st) was communicated and that of master of the royal secret (32d)[9] was conferred in Oregon Consistory, No. 1, at Portland.

Index 266

Mr. Thompson was initiated into the mysteries of the Ancient Arabic Order of Nobles of the Mystic Shrine and received the seal of Mahomet in Al Kader Temple Oasis of Portland, January 20, 1900. On March 2, 1908, he was shown further Masonic preferment by being elected knight commander of the Court of Honor by the Supreme Council of the thirty-third degree of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite for the southern jurisdiction of the United States. Mr. Thompson attained the ripe age of seventy-nine years, passing away in Portland, December 14, 1925, and his death was mourned throughout the state. The elements were happily blended in the rounding out of his nature, for he was one who in signal degree united the refinements of life with the sterner qualities of manhood. Gifted with keen powers of discernment and a broad grasp of affairs he had a career of unusual activity, of varied experience and marked usefulness, and in contemplating his many admirable traits in the bright light which things of good repute ever invite his name and character stand revealed and secure.”[10] Brother Hill received the degree of 32° Knight Commander of the Court of Honor on October 24, 1907. He was elected Inspector General Honorary 33° on October 20, 1915 and was Coroneted 33° in Portland December 4, 1915. He died December 14, 1925 in Portland, Oregon and was buried at Greenwood Hills Cemetery in Portland Oregon.

  • [1] History of the Columbia River Valley From The Dalles to the Sea, Vol. II,  Pages 847-849
  • [2] Genealogy derived from
  • [3] History of the Columbia River Valley From The Dalles to the Sea, Vol. II,  Pages 847-849
  • [4] History of the 67th Illinois Infantry 1862
  • [5] Civil War Records of Eldridge Hill Thompson, Pension index, Navy records and unit service records.
  • [6] History of the Columbia River Valley From The Dalles to the Sea, Vol. II,  Pages 847-849
  • [7] Oregon Supreme Court Case Oct. 28, 1901
  • [8] History of the Columbia River Valley From The Dalles to the Sea, Vol. II,  Pages 847-849
  • [9]  Degrees received 4th-13th March 12, 1895 – Lodge of Perfection; 14th April 2, 1895 – Lodge of Perfection; 15th-18th July 16, 1895 – Rose Croix; 9th-30th January 28, 1896 – Council of Kadosh; 31st-32nd November 30, 1897 – Consistory. 
  • [10] Oregon Supreme Court Case Oct. 28, 1901

Michael Robinson

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.

James Benson Underwood

6 1867 James B Underwood

James Benson Underwood


James Benson Underwood was born on September 18, 1838 in Canandaigua, Ontario, New York. He was the son of James Madison Underwood born 1808 in Vermont and his wife Lydia the daughter of Hiram Collins; she was born in 1808 in New York. The Underwood family can be traced back to John Underwood, born in 1585 in Dorset, England. His son Joseph born 1614 came to Hingham, Massachusetts in 1637. Many of our subject’s ancestors arrived in Massachusetts in the 1630’s.  Our subjects father James Madison was the first of the family to be born outside of Massachusetts since the arrival of the families that make up his ancestral tree. Our subject’s great-grandfather David Underwood, born in 1742, served as a Private in the Massachusetts Militia during the Revolutionary War. His son David moved his family to Vermont before settling in Middlesex, Yates, New York. Our subject’s father James Madison Underwood went with his father to New York and after his marriage to Lydia Collins in 1829 they settled in Ontario County, New York, where their children were born. The eldest son was David Collins Underwood, born December 26, 1829. He was named for his father’s father and his mother’s surname. The 2nd son of the family was Hiram Collins Underwood, named for his maternal grandfather of the same name. The 3rd son born to the family was our subject James Benson Underwood. Another son Adam died young and a daughter Annar died when she was about 17. At the time of the 1850 census the family was found in Middlesex, Yates, New York. James M. was a Farmer with $5,500 in Real Estate. The household contained his wife, her mother Ann Collins, sons Hiram and James B, daughter Annar and 12 year old Ede Waters. Missing was David Collins Underwood. David had heard the call of the Gold Rush and had boarded a ship and sailed to California in 1849. In 1852 the father James M. Underwood died in New York.

D.C. Underwood Dead

“David C. Underwood, died at his residence in this city, August 14, 1882, of dropsy. He was born in Ontario county, state of New York, on the 26th day of December 1829, where he resided with his parents in New York until the great gold mining excitement in California, in 1849, when he came to California by way of the Horn. He remained but a very short time in the Golden State, and in 1850, sometime in December, arrived in Oregon, at the mouth of the Umpqua River. Sometime in 1851 he Made his way up the Umpqua river, and settled on a farm a few miles southwest of Oakland, Oregon. He was elected probate judge of Umpqua County in 1854, and filled the office faithfully. During the rebellion Mr. Underwood enlisted in the army where he held the rank of first lieutenant. He was in the service some four years, and after being honorably discharged he sold his farm in Umpqua and removed his family to Cottage Grove in this county, where he formed a partnership with Mr. E.W. Whipple and engaged in the mercantile business, and succeeded well. Some three or four years ago Mr. Underwood sold out his business at Cottage Grove and removed to Eugene City, and engaged in business with his brother, the late J.B. Underwood. Mr. David C. Underwood was a man of sterling worth, an excellent citizen, a kind and generous neighbor, and an affectionate father and husband. He leaves a large family to mourn his untimely loss, and a wide circle of friends, here and in the Umpqua. His generous hospitality and genial disposition made his house a resort, far and near, by neighbors, friends and strangers who lived in the Umpqua.

He belong to the order of Masons and A.O.U.W.[1]; the orders joined in paying the last sad tribute to his memory, the Masonic order occupying the first place for the reason that he was a member of long standing in that order. Thus another chapter of human life is ended, and a worthy citizen gone to his long home.”[2]

 In 1859 James Benson Underwood, than 20 years old, boarded a ship sailing out of Angelica, New York around the Horn to California and on up to Oregon. He went to Douglas County where he joined his brother David. Prior to the June Communication of the Grand Lodge in 1859, D.C. Underwood had taken the first two degrees of Masonry. He was a Fellow Craft Mason in Winchester Lodge #16 in Winchester, Oregon. There were 19 members of the Lodge, which meet on the Friday before the full moon each month. David completed his degrees and was Raised a Master Mason and by December. Whether by a show of competency or a dire necessity he had gained enough confidence from his Brothers to forego being a Warden first and was elected Worshipful Master for the year 1860. He was elected again for 1861. On September 19, 1861 the Lodge changed its name to Oakland Lodge #16. Then in the Spring of 1862 the Master of Oakland Lodge #16 wrote the Grand Master, Dr. James R. Bailey, “stating that by a vote of said Lodge, they desired the privilege of surrendering their Charter, as they were all either going into the army or to the northern mines.” The request was granted and the Lodge ceased activity. As noted David enlisted and served as a Lieutenant for the next four years. David Underwood appears again on June 21, 1871 as the Charter Senior Warden of Cottage Grove Lodge #51.

J.B. Underwood applied for the degrees of Masonry in Winchester Lodge #16 in the Fall of 1860 or Spring of 1861 in the Lodge where his brother was Master. He is listed in the 1861 Annual Communication as being a FC in that Lodge. However, having relocated to Eugene a request was made on his behalf for a dispensation from Winchester Lodge, allowing Eugene City Lodge #11to confer the Master Mason degree upon him; this was granted.  Brother Underwood was Raised a Master Mason on June 24, 1861 in Eugene City Lodge #11. In November of that same year he was elected Secretary of Eugene City Lodge #11 for 1862. He continued in that position in 1863. He did not serve as an officer for the next couple years before returning in 1867 when he was elected Master of the Lodge. He was elected Secretary again for 1881 and died in 1882.

Underwood JB 1861 mm request (2)

Resolved: That Eugene City Lodge No. 11 A.F.&A.M. do hereby request Winchester Lodge No. ___ A.F.&A.M. to grant this Lodge a dispensation to confer the third degree on Bro. J.B. Underwood now a fellow craft belonging to said Winchester Lodge, by request of Bro. Underwood.


Underwood 1871 (2)

John C. Ainsworth’s Scottish Rite Records May 1870, page 1


James Benson Underwood received the degrees Dec. 18, 1871, page 13

  1. B. was an attorney living in Eugene City when he received the Scottish Rite degrees 4°- 32° inclusive on December 18, 1871 from Ill. Brother John C. Ainsworth 33°. He was the 31st member to receive the degrees in Oregon and the first Mason from Eugene to join the Scottish Rite. He affiliated with the Portland Bodies on July 2, 1872. He was later granted a demit on May 15, 1877.


Hon. J.B. Underwood Dead

“Mr. J. Benson Underwood, of this city, died at his residence, on Thursday evening, August 3, 1882, at 6:30 PM, of dropsy, after an illness of several months, but only six weeks confinement to his bed.

Mr. Underwood was born in Canandaigua Co. New York, September 18, 1838, his age at the time of his death being 43 years, 10 months and 15 days. He came to Oregon in 1859, and settled with his mother’s family in Douglas County. Desiring to study law he came to Eugene City in 1861, and he and the late J. M. Thompson both engaged at the same time reading law with the late Hon. Stokely Ellsworth. In 1863, Mr. Underwood was admitted to practice law, at once formed a partnership with Mr. Ellsworth, which continued until 1865. In 1866, he formed a partnership with Hon. G. B. Dorris, which continued until 1868. Mr. Underwood held many important positions of trust during his lifetime, and was never satisfied at being idle. He was elected school superintendent of Lane County in 1863, was elected to the legislature in 1865, was a partner in the Springfield Milling Co. for many years and also engaged in merchandising with the late Judge Stratton at one time, and Mr. S. H. Friendly at another time. He then became a partner in the Eugene Milling Co. and also engaged in merchandising with Messrs J.G. Gray and T.W. Osborn. Upon the election of Grant to the Presidency the first term he was appointed Postal Agent for the Oregon Division, which position he held for two years. He was twice elected President of the Common Council of Eugene, and several times a member of the Council. He was one of our most enterprising, public spirited and liberal hearted citizens, and took a lively interest in every proposition to advance the welfare of the city, which fact will make his death a great loss. He leaves a wife, three daughters and one son to mourn his death. The deceased was a Mason of 20 years standing, and was buried by that order at 3 PM yesterday, the business houses remained closed during the funeral.”[3]

As noted he was elected President of the first town council with Eugene Skinner serving as Mayor. After the death of Skinner the position of President of the Council was essentially the same as being Mayor, and the current list of Mayors starts with J.B. Underwood. As Postal Agent he covered an extremely large territory and he travelled extensively, including trips to southern states in pursuit of mail robbers.

He built the finest residence in Eugene, “where the charm and beauty of the three daughters, made it a gay and popular meeting place for the younger generation.” After his death at age 44, his widow converted it into a boarding house for UO students. She probably had to do this to pay their debts. Her husband’s obituary, after praising his brilliance, boldness, and energy, said that “the principle cause of his financial reverses and death was the too free use of strong drink.”[4] As will become apparent his affinity for gambling also attributed to his financial difficulties.

Underwood picture aft 1867 (2)

Resolved: That Bro. J.B. Underwood be requested to sit for a picture for the use of the Lodge and an order be drawn on the Treasury for payment of the same. (picture found at beginning of this article)

Underwood House

The J.B. Underwood House 413 Willamette St., built about 1878.

Among the other enterprises which involved Brother Underwood, was real estate. In 1866 the Lodge was paying rent to H.C. Owens and Brother. In November a committee was formed to determine whether or not to terminate the lease when it ended in 1867. Around March the committee approved the lease submitted by Underwood and Stratton. Underwood was Master of the Lodge at this time. The Lodge continued to pay rent to Underwood and Stratton for the Lodge building at the NE corner of 8th and Willamette through 1868. After which the payments were made to Underwood alone.  On January 1st 1872 Brother Underwood offered to sell the building and lot, (24 x 120) for $4,000 to the Lodge. The committee did the math and did not find this to be a workable idea. Brother Underwood was then allowed to withdraw the proposal. The Lodge paid another years rent and in early 1873 a new proposal was submitted. This time Underwood and Norris Humphrey, in a document dated Jan. 15, 1873, offered to sell the building with a smaller lot (24 x 95) for $2,700. This time the Lodge accepted the offer paying $1,000 down and $460 a year until principle and interest were paid off. In 1877 J.B. Underwood presented a proposal to rent the downstairs portion of the building for a Wells Fargo Express office and Pharmacy. This offer was rejected in favor of Brother Horace Crain and the Crain Brothers Jewelry store which occupied the space for many years.

1873 Underwood proposed sale - Copy

Proposal to sell the building to Eugene City Lodge #11 by Underwood and Humphrey Jan. 15, 1873

1874 Building payment

Payment for Lodge building March 4, 1874


The Trial of William Osburn


President U.S. Grant

In September of 1872, just prior to the general election, in which President Grant won a second term, Brothers James Benson Underwood and William Osburn made a $20 bet on the State election in Pennsylvania. Early in October Brother Underwood met Brother Osburn on the corner of Willamette and 8th Streets, where Brother Osburn paid him the $20. Later that same day while passing Mark Stevens Store, Brother Osburn expressed a desire to win his money back and after much bantering they agreed upon a bet. Brother Underwood bet Brother Osburn $20 that New York would go for Grant, and $20 Pennsylvania would do the same in the upcoming Presidential election. Brother Underwood expressed the thought that this would likely result in a split with neither winning nor losing. Brother Underwood pulled out two $20 gold pieces and offered to put them into the hands of Mark Stevens, but Brother Osburn said no, “it was too long to stay without the use of the money, we are both members of the same lodge and ought to understand each other.” Brother Underwood said alright and shook hands over the bet after calling Mark Stevens to witness. The morning after the election, having seen how the election had generally gone throughout this State and the Country, Brother Underwood took $200 from his safe and went down the street to bet it on the elections. Benson had been with the telegraph operator Frank Colman until he closed at midnight, and was told indications were every Northern state went for Grant. He ran into Brother Osborn in front of his store talking with Brother Bristow. Brother Underwood “upbraided” him for his foolish bet and asked for his $40. Again Brother Osburn wanted to get even and negotiated a change in the parameters of the bet. After some debate they agreed to the same bet, with this difference, New York would go for Grant by 25,000 and Pennsylvania by 50,000 – each bet being separate, totaling $80. Brother Underwood took out his money and put it the hands of Brother Bristow. Brother Osburn went into his store, supposedly to get the money. He returned empty handed and said that there was no need to put the money up front, saying “we are all Masons and our words are good to each other”. They called Brother Bristow to witness the bet, which he wrote down and put in his pocket. Again Brother Osburn lost the bets, but this time he accused Brother Underwood of already knowing the outcome when he made the bet. Brother Underwood said he would swear out an affidavit that he had no such knowledge and went to talk to Brother Bristow, who agreed the bet should stand and that it was not possible for anyone to know the majorities in these large states the morning after the election. William Osburn refused to pay the debt and after four years Brother Underwood made a formal complaint to the Lodge having exhausted all efforts to resolve the matter. Brother Underwood stated that his attempts to settle the matter had been futile and that “much hard feeling has been engendered and many hard words spoken over the matter”. Brother Osburn held an account against Brother Underwood of about $100, which Underwood refused to pay until Osburn would pay what he owed. Finally Brother Underwood agreed to take half of what was owed him and would settle the matter through an intermediary. Brother Osburn agreed and Brother Underwood sent him a list of eminent Brothers from the Lodge. However, Brother Osburn then rejected the notion and started a law suit to collect on the account held against Brother Underwood. At his wits end Brother Underwood submitted the complaint to the Lodge in a letter dated July 19, 1876 on the official stationary of the Office of Special Agent Post Office Department for Eugene City, the office given to him by President Grant. After describing the situation Brother Underwood closed his missive hoping that “wisdom, justice and right will dictate, believing that Brethren should dwell together in harmony. I am willing to lay all my grievances before you and abide by your decision.”

On December 28, 1876 the Grievance Committee met and took statements. The Committee determined that the two brothers bet and swore that if they lost they would pay up, that Osburn indeed lost and refused and still refuses to pay, and that the matter should be refered to the Lodge for a Masonic trial. On January 15, 1877 a Special Communication was called and Lodge was opened on the MM degree. A Masonic trial was commenced and both Brothers Underwood and Osburn plead guilty to the obvious charge of gambling. Some of the witnesses were heard on the 15th, but much of the case was heard and decided on January 22, 1876. As it stood William Osburn bet J. Benson Underwood $20 and lost, he doubled down and lost again now owing $40, he again doubled down and lost $80. He then changed tactics and stated that Underwood had cheated and known the results before the bet, saying that he had spoken to Frank Colman the telegraph operator just after the bet was made and that Colman told him that Ben Underwood already knew the results. Problem was that upon examination Mr. Colman stated he had no such conversation with Osburn. Mr. Mark Stevens was also called, his account agreed with Brother Underwood’s assessment. Osburn’s testimony differed in a few key ways. First he stated that the original bet in 1872 was for $40 and that he only paid half and never paid the other $20. He also stated that he tried to bet Underwood the night before the presidential election but Underwood wasn’t interested, changing his mind in the morning and making the majority bets as noted. However Osburn’s witnesses did not agree with him as to what was said and what happened. Underwood’s best witness would have been Brother William Bristow, but unfortunately he had died in 1874. Under cross examination Osburn admitted that he sued Underwood for the money he owed for paint, but did not deduct the money that he admitted he owed Brother Underwood. The evidence being heard and the trial coming to an end the ballot was spread on the guilt or innocence of Brother Wm. Osburn. There were 26 voting members in the lodge for the vote. In spite of pleading guilty from the start to gambling five brothers voted him not guilty of the gambling. The majority felt there should be punishment of some sort but the majority rejected suspension. As to the matter of Osburn violating his Masonic Obligations; 10 found him guilty and 16 innocent, as such he was deemed not guilty. The punishment was a reprimand given him by the Worshipful Master Joseph G. Gray. Brother Underwood did his best to abide by the ruling of the Lodge, but eventually it ate at him. On January 15, 1879 he wrote a letter to the Lodge in which he stated “I cannot and will not fellowship with members who are now received and accepted as True men and Good Masons in Lodge and in order for harmony to prevail and the great and good purposes of this noble and charitable order may not suffer on my account.” To that end he paid up his dues and made the request for a demit. Cooler heads must have prevailed and talked him down as his demit was not acted upon and Brother Underwood continued his membership in Lodge #11 until his untimely death.

In February 1880 Brother Underwood headed a committee to buy an organ from the Crain Brothers Jewelers. A deal was struck with the York Rite R.A.M. Chapter #10 to split the cost with Eugene City Lodge #11. They did however forget to buy the stool, which was picked up by Lodge #11 to the relief of the organist.

 Brother Underwood fell ill in the Spring of 1882 and by the beginning of July he had become bed ridden. He developed Dropsy, now known as Edema, an abnormal accumulation of fluid in the interstitium, located beneath the skin and in the cavities of the body, which can cause severe pain and manifests as swelling. On July 5, 1882 the Lodge paid a nurse $20.50 for service to Brother Underwood at a rate of $3 per day. This continued on until his passing. In total the Lodge paid $184.50 for medical and burial expenses for Brother Underwood. Some of those bills are included below.

Financial Com 1882b (2)

Finance Committee Report filed Dec. 20, 1882


Underwood JB 1882 died

Underwood DC 1882 dead

z934 (2)

1882 Underwood DR bill

1882 Dr for Underwood

1882 funeral expense

z939 (2)

Underwood ped 1

Underwood ped 2

Underwood ped 3

Underwood ped 4

[1] Ancient Order of United Workmen

[2] Eugene City newspaper August 1882.

[3] Eugene Newspaper August 1882

[4] Cemetery Marker Eugene Masonic Cemetery.

Michael RobinsonAbout 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.

New Historical Essay by Bro. Michael Robinson 32° KCCH

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[1] 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.[2] 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. [3] 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.

Eugene Valley first Reunion March 5-6 1920

6 1867 James B Underwood

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


[1] James Richardson Grand Commander of the Supreme Council of the Southern Jurisdiction of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry.

[2] This address was originally 2777 Centennial Blvd.

[3] From a letter from Harold F. Draper Eugene Valley Secretary on September 24, 1980


Michael Robinson

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.

Edgar Morey Lazarus by Michael Robinson 32° KCCH


Edgar Morey Lazarus (June 6, 1868 – October 2, 1939)

Edgar Morey Lazarus was born on June 6, 1868 in Baltimore City, Baltimore, Maryland. The story of Edgar Lazarus begins in Charleston, South Carolina, where his family was part of a thriving Jewish community that had existed since the early 1700s.  In fact, Lazarus claimed that his family came to the Americas from Spain in the 16th century with De Soto’s explorations. He was a descendant of Michael Lazarus (1730–1825) and Sarah Long (1738–1808). Their son Marks Lazarus was born February 22, 1757 in Charleston, South Carolina. Marks Lazarus belonged to the organization known as the Cannories. He served in 1775-1780 in Col. John Hayden’s Command as a private under Capt. Donnell in the South Carolina Troops in 1776. In 1779, he was under Capt. Lushington and in 1780 he was Sgt. Major under Col. John Hayden. He was engaged in the siege of Fort Moultrie and in the battles around Charleston and Savannah. In May 1780, he was made prisoner and probably detained until the end of the war. He was placed on the pension roll at the age of seventy-seven for service as private and sergeant in the South Carolina militia.[1] Marks died on November 1, 1835 in Charleston and was buried in the Coming Street Cemetery.

[1] Findagrave Marks Lazarus


Marks had a son named Joshua Lazarus who was born in Charleston on March 8, 1796. He married Phebe Yates on October 28, 1835, as was noted in the Charleston Observer. “His practical mind was ever active for good and for usefulness; whether acting as head of the Hasell Street Reformed Congregation of Israelites, for a sacred purpose, or President of the Hebrew Orphan Society, discharging the obligations of charity – in each he carried with him the confidence of his coreligionists. As a citizen, he was active and willing.”[1]  Joshua Lazarus was president of Charleston’s Gas Light Company from 1840 to 1856 and was instrumental in bringing gas lighting to the city. His success was followed throughout the Southern cities. Joshua Lazarus died in Charleston on June 1, 1861. His obituary remarked that “Had his life been spared, his ever active mind would quietly have worked out other improvements, which constantly employed his thoughts. He was buried in the Coming Street Cemetery.

The only son of Joshua and Phebe Lazarus was Edgar Marx Lazarus who was born in Charleston on April 1, 1838. His middle name came from his grandfather who fought in the Revolution. His father died in 1861 while Edgar was studying in Europe at the University of Heidelberg. He soon returned to Charleston and joined the Confederate Army. He married Rachel “Minnie” Mordecai, daughter of Moses Cohen and Isabel Rebecca “Lyons” Mordecai, on 19 Oct 1864 in Charleston, South Carolina. They were the parents of eight children. Minnie Mordecai, was the daughter of wealthy merchant Moses Mordecai, whose ships sailed throughout the Caribbean.  Following the war’s end in 1865, the Reconstruction government made life uncomfortable for wealthy former Confederates.  The Lazarus and Mordecai families sold what they could and in 1867 moved to Baltimore.  They soon reestablished their fortunes and became an integral part of Baltimore society.[2] Edgar M. Lazarus Sr. achieved success in Baltimore as a Commission Merchant but at the age of 46 he died in Baltimore, Maryland on December 26, 1884. He was buried at the Oheb Shalom Cemetery in Baltimore.

Edgar Jr. was born in 1868 as previously mentioned. Although many of the histories of Edgar state that his middle name was Marx or Marks like his father’s that is in question. It may be that he being a Jr. with the middle initial M. it was assumed it was the same as his father’s. However, the record of the Scottish Rite in Portland has the name Edgar M. Lazarus with the name Edgar Morey written below. Without other documentary evidence to the contrary this is assumed to be correct as this information would have been directly from him in 1892.[3]

[1] Obituary Charleston Courier (Findagrave)

[2] Biography by Edward H. Teague, head of the University of Oregon’s Architecture & Allied Arts Library

[3] Scottish Rite History book,  companion to the Scottish Rite photo album in the archives of the Portland Valley.


Scottish Rite History, companion to the Scottish Rite Photo Album 1890-1905

After attending public schools in Baltimore, Edgar attended the architecture program of the Maryland Institute of Art and Design where he graduated in 1888. He soon got a job in Washington as an architect with the U.S. Army Quartermaster Corps, designing utilitarian buildings for the military.

In 1891, Lazarus resigned from his civil service job and moved to Portland, Oregon where he began an extensive practice which produced many fine public, commercial and domestic buildings throughout the state. He provided designs in a variety of stylistic categories.

Masonic History

Edgar M. Lazarus was Raised a Master Mason in Concordia Lodge #14 in Baltimore, Maryland in February of 1890. He arrived in Oregon on June 10, 1891 and settled in Hillsboro.[1]  And before the year was up he affiliated with Portland Lodge #55 and was listed as a member in the 1892 Proceedings of the Grand Lodge of Oregon.  He was proposed for membership in the Portland Valley Scottish Rite Lodge of Perfection on January 5, 1892 by John Ulric Smith a member of Holbrook Lodge #30 in Forest Grove, who was a member of the Lodge of Perfection since September 1, 1891. Edgar was elected to receive the degrees on February 2, 1892. He received the 4°-6° on February 10, 7°-13° February 14 and the 14° on March 1, 1892. He was proposed for the Ainsworth Chapter of Rose Croix on July 19 and elected on August 16, 1892. He received the 15°-18° on October 18, 1892. He was proposed for the Multnomah Council of Kadosh on October 25 and was elected November 22, 1892. The 19°-29° were communicated to him on May 21 and the 30° degree was conferred on May 23, 1893. He was proposed for the Oregon Consistory on May 30 and elected August 29, 1893, but did not obtain the final two degrees for another nine years. He received the 31°-32° with the 6th Semi-annual Reunion Class on June 10, 1902. He joined the Al Kader Shrine on January 20, 1906 (#958). He does not appear to have joined any of the other bodies of Masonry.

His Scottish Rite sword was made by M.C. Lilley and Co. in Columbus, Ohio in about 1890 and is engraved with his name. The sword is still actively in use at the Scottish Rite and is in the care of Nathan Neff 32° K.C.C.H., Past Commander of the K.S.A.[2]

At the age of 53, he returned to Baltimore and married Fanny J. Hendricks in New York City on 17 Nov 1921. He had probably known Fanny for some time. She was born in Long Branch, NJ, where his brother, Joshua, lived. Her family, like his, were pre-Colonial Jews who kept in touch with each other over the decades. Fanny’s ancestors pioneered the use of copper especially in shipbuilding.

Lazarus was an avid horseman, artist, real estate entrepreneur, and ardent advocate for the architectural profession.[3]

The Lazarus couple’s subsequent life was one of leisure, frequently reported in the Society pages. They spent winters in California, traveled to Europe, Japan, Florida, and New York. They spent most of 1928 living in Paris. Edgar became more involved in art and his prints were accepted in juried exhibitions.

On October 2, 1939 in Portland, Edgar died after a brief illness. He is buried in Oheb Shalom Cemetery, Baltimore City, Maryland. In 1931, Lazarus’ wife Fanny inherited a large fortune from a New York uncle.


The story of his life and architecture comes from the biography of Edgar M. Lazarus by Edward H. Teague, head of the University of Oregon’s Architecture & Allied Arts Library.

Ellicott & Lazarus

In 1891, Lazarus resigned from his civil service job and moved Portland, apparently to work in real estate.  He soon teamed up with fellow architect William Ellicott to create the firm, Ellicott & Lazarus.  If Lazarus did not personally know Ellicott beforehand, he certainly knew who he was.   Born in Philadelphia, Ellicott came from a distinguished Maryland family whose ancestors founded Ellicott City.  Ellicott’s grandfather and uncles were Baltimore commission merchants just like Lazarus’s father. Ellicott’s education was impressive; he studied at Haverford, the University of Pennsylvania, and at a prestigious atelier in Paris.  What Ellicott & Lazarus designed is largely a mystery. Some of their known works include the first building for the Oregon Institute of the Blind (1893-94); the first Multnomah Amateur Athletic Club building (10th & Yamhill) (1893), and the Maryland University Hospital of Baltimore (1896).

Curiously, Lazarus alone is credit with houses designed while this firm existed.  An early example is the James Cook home of c. 1891, which demonstrates the Queen Anne Shingle Style typically associated with Lazarus.  Features include steeply pitched roofs, turrets, multiple gables, a great variety of window styles, very little ornamentation, all sheathed in shingles.  The Noble house is a lot of fun with its windows gone wild.  The house built for Edward McKee, historically called the George F. Heusner house, is a local favorite.  Divided into four condominiums since the 1980s, the design of this house has fascinating eccentricities, such as an avoidance of right angles.  The two chimneys surging through a dormer is certainly distinctive.

Lazarus was certainly a man about town who enjoyed being member of various clubs and who’s life can be tracked in Portland’s Society news.   His design for an 1895 bowling alley for the Oregon Road Club is an example of the work he could obtain through his various memberships.

Lazarus was also active in Portland’s sports community.  He was a founder of the Portland Hunt Club an organization that staged horse rides and races in a variety of venues throughout the city.  He was a natural pick to design the second, greatly expanded building and grounds for the Multnomah Athletic Club which opened in 1901. The short-lived building burned in 1910.

Following the departure of Ellicott, Lazarus returned to civil service as a Superintendent of Construction of Public Works for the federal government. This assignment made him the onsite manager of small-scale federal construction projects, such as post offices, courthouses, and quarantine stations.  This position helped him secure a larger project, service as supervising architect for the new US Custom House.  The building was designed by the office of the Supervising Architect of the US headed by James Knox Taylor and the legion of draftsmen that office employed. The custom house is a fine example of Italian Renaissance design with exuberant decoration.

From 1898-1901 Lazarus was also designed the early buildings for three state schools: Eastern Oregon State Normal School (Weston), Oregon Agricultural College and the University of Oregon.

[1] Scottish Rite History book, companion to the Scottish Rite photo album in the archives of the Portland Valley.

[2] June 21, 2018

[3] “Discovering Edgar Lazarus: A Closer Look at a Legendary Portland Architectural Heritage Center Spring 2011 Wikipedia


Heppner Courthouse, Morrow County

In 1901 Morrow County wanted an architect for a new courthouse, and Lazarus won the competition.
For Lazarus the courthouse project helped him secure future large institutional commissions.  The building opened in 1903.  The eclectic design demonstrates the skill of local craftsmen and materials.  The craftsmanship is reminiscent of Vista House.

In 1903 and 1904, Lazarus was engaged in the design and construction of another courthouse, the extension of the 1875 post office and courthouse known today as Pioneer Courthouse.  The unpopular design by the Supervising Architect was replaced with the two wing version designed by Lazarus.

Lazarus, Private Practice, 1904-1909

Lazarus was also supportive of the Jewish community.  He designed the first Neighborhood House, an educational and social center which provided special assistance to new immigrants to Portland.  The Ahavai Shalom Synagogue built in 1904, was a Portland landmark until 1978 when it was destroyed.


Ahavai Shalom Synagogue

A design that one can attribute to Lazarus in 1904 is the home of  Judge Charles H. Carey best known as an historian and president of the Oregon Historical Society.  In the MDR archives is a letter from Mrs. Robert Latta who identifies the Carey house and others as a Lazarus work.  As someone who knew Lazarus, and was the daughter in law of his friend John Latta, Mrs. Latta has a great deal of credibility.


Clatsop County Courthouse

In 1904 Lazarus secured a major commission, the new courthouse for Clatsop County.  Designed in 1904, the building was not completed until 1908 because of financing problems.  In 1951 its dome was removed. 

The idea for a grand exposition organized around the centennial of the Lewis & Clark expedition began percolating in 1900. Portland’s leading architects drew lots for the major structures whose designs were completed by December 1903.   The building by Lazarus, the Palace of Agriculture at 90000 square feet was the largest building at the fair and perhaps the most spectacular with its massive gold dome. On June 1, 1905, The Lewis and Clark Centennial and American Pacific Exposition and Oriental Fair opened.  The fair ushered in a period of growth for the city; the value of building permits jumped 450% from 1905 to 1911. 


The Columbia Building designed by Lazarus in 1905, is emblematic of Portland’s growth after the fair.  The Columbia lasted until 1972 when it was demolished to make room for O’Bryant Square.

In 1905, Lazarus acquired property at 14th Ave. and Washington St. so that he could build a residential hotel the first of its kind in that section of Portland.  My research reveals that Franklin Hotel, the historic name identified for this building in the 1985 National Register nomination, is inaccurate, and is actually the name of another building a block away.  The correct names are more interesting.  In 1907, Lazarus leased the building to Mrs. A. B. Norton, so for a year it was the first Nortonia Hotel before what is now the Mark Spencer got that name.  In 1907, Dan Moore leased the building for year, and the name changed to the Danmoore.  In 1909, Lazarus took over management, and picked the name Ramapo Hotel for the building. In 1909, Lazarus managed the property and renamed the building Hotel Ramapo, probably after a prize-winning horse.  In 1955 the Ramapo became the Taft Hotel and today is a residential facility for people with special needs.   Very little of its outward appearance has changed over the years.

This fine Arts & Crafts home, the Lawrence, Whitehouse & Fouilhoux J. S. Bradley residence, was also designed by Lazarus in 1906.

The most lavish home designed by Lazarus was the residence for Lawrence, Whitehouse & Fouilhoux Mrs. Solomon Hirsch, widow of a respected Oregon politician who was an ambassador to Turkey.  Mrs. Hirsch was a local benefactor and leader in the women’s suffrage movement.  In 1937, the last heir of the Solomon Hirsch family left the property to the Portland Art Museum.  After contemplating converting the house into exhibit space, the museum sold the property to Standard Oil.  Lazarus agreed with decision, saying that it would be too difficult to restore the home.  In late 1938, the house, a major landmark on Burnside, was destroyed.  The site continues to be used as a service station.

Inspired by the successful showing of Oregon livestock at the Lewis & Clark fair, the Portland Country Club and Livestock Association was formed in 1906 to create a venue for promoting national livestock shows and sales with the corollary aim of improving breeds. Other entities became interested in the concept, and the grand scheme was to incorporate quarters for the Portland Hunt Club, the Automobile Club, the Kennel Club.    By January 1908 Lazarus had completed plans for the project.  The site selected was adjacent to the developing community called Rose City Park. By September 1908, the work was largely finished.   The complex included a grandstand accommodating 8000, an elliptical track, a jockey house, clubhouse, entrance building, and up to 20 other structures including a paddock, a pigeon house, barns, stables, and kennels.  The site became known as the Rose City Racetrack and featured events such as auto and bike racing, Oregon’s first airmail flight, and even colliding locomotives.  Sold to the city in 1921, this location is now the Rose City Golf Course.  The Jockey Clubhouse remains as a residence at 6134 NE Alameda.

Lazarus, Whitehouse & Fouilhoux

In February 1909, Lazarus joined Morris Whitehouse and J. Andres Fouilhoux to form the partnership, Lazarus, Whitehouse, and Fouilhoux (Lawrence, Whitehouse & Fouilhoux).  Morris Whitehouse as a native Portlander who studied architecture at MIT and in Paris and worked briefly in the firm, Whitehouse and Honeyman.  Fouilhoux was an engineer.  A major project of the firm was the Receiving Ward specifically the central domed section, of the Oregon State Asylum or State Hospital in Salem.  The Receiving Ward was planned so that three sections (the center and two wings) would be built over time. Major works also include the Mann Old People’s Home funded by Mrs. P. J. Mann as a memorial to her husband, and the Wickersham Apartments where Lazarus lived with his sister 1915-1921,   A major project was the design of another building for  Oregon State Hospital.  


State Hospital in Salem

Several fine residences designed by Lawrence, Whitehouse & Fouilhoux have not been clearly linked to the firm although their complete plans exist in OHS’s architectural drawing collections. The Edward A. King House has been inaccurately attributed to Whidden & Lewis or otherwise described as “architect unknown.”  The George L. Campbell Residence is another work whose architect is listed as unknown in most documentation but it is without doubt a Lawrence, Whitehouse & Fouilhoux design.  Especially intriguing are these two houses designed and built at exactly the same time.  Because the sides of the houses face the street they are especially difficult to see.   Mrs. Houghton, a widow, was the sister of Robert Howard.  The Howard family home of 1893 still exists at 1632 SW 12th Ave. Lazarus withdrew from the Lawrence, Whitehouse & Fouilhoux partnership in March 1910 and in May he went to Europe where he stayed for most of the year.  His companion for part of the journey was  world famous editorial cartoonist Homer Davenport with whom he shared an interest in race horses. 

About the Electric Building

In January 1910, the Electric Building opened.  Lazarus is credited as its architect while Carl Linde is identified as its superintendent of construction.  The original structure was a visual delight with terra cotta arches at its base, a  central section sheathed in a unique yellow brick, and its massive cornice embellished with lion motifs.  The 9-story structure was built above an existing power plant housed in the first three floors.  In 1941, Doyle Associates redesigned the ground floors and removed the arches.  The Electric Building initially puzzled me because its initial designs (drafted by Kable) were published in 1906 but construction didn’t begin until 1909.   The National Register nomination (1988) lacked information about the building history.  I dug into the Oregonian and found an article that cited David C. Lewis as the architect.  I followed up by consulting the Index to the Portland Daily Abstract and found, under Lewis, citations outlining the building history of the Electric Building, listed under the corporate name,  the Portland Railway Light & Power Company, established in 1906 after several mergers. A Feb. 1909 article in the PDA confirmed that David C. Lewis was commissioned to create the plans.  The Electric Building certainly fits well in Lewis’s body of work which includes several tall office buildings in downtown Portland.

Lazarus & Logan

Upon his return to Portland in January 1911, Lazarus formed a partnership with architect Frank Logan, an MIT graduate who had been a draftsman for Doyle and Lawrence, Whitehouse & Fouilhoux.  The major work of Lazarus & Logan was a South Wing for the State Hospital.  In 1914, Logan left employment with Lazarus, probably because an economic downturn made caused commissions to dwindle.

While commissions might have been few during the Lazarus and Logan partnership, both men were strongly involved in the two leading professional organizations of that time.  Lazarus was one of five individuals who found in 1911 the Oregon Chapter of the American Institute of Architects, a national organization founded in 1857.  Another architectural group was the Portland Architectural Club which promoted architectural awareness and education through exhibits and competitions.  In 1913 Lazarus was president of the Oregon AIA while Logan was president of the Portland Architectural Club. 

Lazarus was also a strong supporter of the Portland Art Museum where he was an occasional instructor in the museum school. Here he is pictured with art students in 1913, along with instructor, Sidney Bell.  Lazarus and others periodically loaned items from their collections for museum exhibitions.  Portraits of his grandparents by the French painter Daubigny were among items once exhibited. These ivory miniatures are now in the Gibbs Art Gallery, Charleston.  


Vista House

An automobile enthusiast, Lazarus was early on a supporter of the Columbia Scenic Highway engineered by Sam Lancaster and supervised by John Yeon.  In the summer of 1915 he was commissioned to draw plans for Vista House a memorial to Oregon pioneers that would also serve as a comfort station and observatory.  By October, his plans had expanded to incorporate the ideas entrepreneur R. R. Dabney who proposed the erection of a fine hotel on the site.   Lazarus described the Vista House works to be of a Tudor Gothic style.  In May 1916, Lazarus was contracted by Yeon to superintend the construction of the building. Vista House was completed on April 1, 1918, with its formal dedication, with great fanfare, taking place on May 5, 1918.   In 2005, after a five-year multimillion dollar restoration, Vista House once again displayed the fine craftsmanship that impressed its first visitors. 

The usual narrative about Vista House, in addition to associating the architect with poet Emma Lazarus, states that Lazarus was inspired in its design by early  modern German architecture specifically Jugendstil. What Lazarus himself said contradicts this assertion, and the building itself displays few characteristics of any variation of Art Nouveau.   Vista House is closely akin to medieval religious structures such as octagonal chapterhouses.  Its sensitivity to materials is in the Arts & Crafts tradition.  Marion Dean Ross like inspired the Jugendstil spin with a mild suggestion in his 1959 booklet, A Century of Architecture in Oregon, 1859-1959.

Professional Conflicts

For Lazarus, Vista House was a crowning achievement, but it was an achievement marred by two major disputes about compensation that played out in the press and encouraged the demise of this architectural practice.  Both disputes involved defining an architect’s fees as a percentage of the total cost of the work.  A 1917 auditors report revealed that the South Wing of the State Hospital cost 50% more than was reported in 1912 when it was completed.  Lazarus tried unsuccessfully to get paid the difference.  His suit against Multnomah County regarding Vista House pointed out that the projected 1915 cost ended with a final tab of approximately $100,000.  In 1919 Lazarus actually won additional pay for a disputed connected with the North Wing of the hospital.  But at the widely reported mediation meeting, an embittered state employee lunged at Lazarus who was spared from assault by the intervention of Governor Olcott.

The most tragic conflict, not reported in the press, was among Lazarus and his colleagues in the Oregon Chapter of the AIA.  In 1918, the membership petitioned that Lazarus be removed from chapter membership.  The petition, led by Morris Whitehouse, was basically payback by members against whom Lazarus had filed complaints or otherwise slandered over the years.   Specifically, William Knighton, Harrison Whitney, White, Fouilhoux, and David C. Lewis had major conflicts with Lazarus. The probable tipping point was when Lazarus struck a colleague at an exhibition jury.   Lazarus’s AIA membership ended in 1919.


Perhaps it was this growing alienation that encouraged Lazarus at age 53 to get married. Lazarus had probably known Fanny Hendricks for some time.  She was born in Long Branch, NJ, where his brother lived.  Her family, like his, were pre-Colonial Jews who kept in touch with each other over the decades. Fanny’s ancestors pioneered the use of copper especially in shipbuilding and the firm, eventually known as the Hendricks Brothers, thrived for almost two centuries. On November 17, 1921, Fanny and Edgar were married in New York City.  The subsequent life of the Lazarus couple was one of leisure frequently reported in the Society pages.  They spent winters in California, traveled to Europe, Japan, Florida, and New York.  They spent most of 1928 living in Paris. Edgar became more involved in art and his prints were accepted in juried exhibitions. In 1928, Fanny’s uncle, a single man, left a large portion of his estate to his three nieces, making the Lazarus couple, by today’s standards, the equivalent of millionaires.    


11On October 2, 1939, Lazarus died after a brief illness.  His obituary listed a few of his works, but even at the time of his death, only one of those, Vista House, still existed.  In 1969, the first review of his work, albeit limited to a few houses, was written by Carl Gohs in an Oregonian article.  In that article, Gohs observes that Lazarus, surprisingly is the least known among Oregon’s prominent architects.  Today I hope to have hoped to provide a glimpse of an architectural record that is slowly being revealed. By using resources that are increasingly available full-text online, such as newspapers and government documents, I have been able to increase the number of works built or planned from Lazarus from about 12 to almost 75.

Many of these works no longer exist but have importance in the social context of Portland’s history. Some works are disguised, like the Lowengard Factory & Warehouse which is now a fashionable building in the Pearl District. Some have historical and architectural importance, waiting to be confirmed as a Lazarus work, such as the Latta House at Waverly Heights, Milwaukee. Some are minor but indicative of the majority of works that occupied Portland architects in their careers, such as this Bakery, now Eugenio’s restaurant.

The discovery that inspired me early on to investigate Lazarus is this book, a catalog of the German architectural exhibit at the 1904 St. Louis’s world’s fair.  I found it in preparation for a talk about my library’s rare book collection for art history graduate students.  In browsing through the book I noticed handwritten annotations throughout, usually indicating color schemes and fabrics.

The bookplate indicated that Mrs. Edgar Lazarus gave the book to UO in 1941.  It was from the library of Edgar M. Lazarus who undoubtedly did all the scribbling.    I’m sure there is more about Edgar Lazarus waiting to be discovered.

Ed Teagu

Michael RobinsonAbout 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.


Frank W. Baltes Ca. 1882 by Michael D. Robinson 32° KCCH.

1897 Frank W Baltes

Frank W. Baltes Ca. 1882 

Frank William Baltes was born on March 19, 1860 near Oak Point, Washington, just across and upriver from Astoria. He was trained in the Printing business and became President and Manager of the F.W. Baltes Printing Co. in Portland by 1890, they specialized in “Books and Job printers”.

Cylinder press Baltes

On November 12, 1887 he filed a patent for a Receiving Table for Cylinder Printing Presses (serial # 254965). The combination, with a receiving-table, of finger guides, adjustably secured to said table and provided with laterally projecting arms, substantially as described, whereby the fingers are made to serve a twofold purpose-viz., guides to the sheet and stops for the fly-asset forth.

He printed the books and Reunion programs for the Scottish Rite for many years.

He was Raised a Master Mason in Temple Lodge #7 in Astoria on March 27, 1882[1]. He was appointed Senior Deacon to serve out the rest of 1882. He demitted from Temple Lodge and petitioned Portland Lodge #55 in Portland on February 2, 1883 and was received by affiliate on March 2, 1883. He was appointed Senior Deacon in 1884 and elected Junior Warden for 1889 and 1890. He was elected Senior Warden in 1890 and served as Master of Portland Lodge #55 in 1891. He joined Al Kader Shrine on May 17, 1888.

1897 F W Baltes 1891

Frank W. Baltes

Master of Portland Lodge #55 in 1891

He joined the Portland Scottish Rite and received the 4° on March 3, 1891, 14° March 17, 1891, 18° July 21, 1891, 30° January 26, 1892 and the 32° January 31, 1893. He was elected KCCH on October 19, 1897. He received his 50 year pin on December 25, 1931. He died on October 31, 1932 in Portland, Oregon. His Masonic service was held at the Portland Crematorium on November 2, 1932. He was buried in the Greenwood Cemetery in Astoria.


Baltes married page 69

Frank Baltes married Josephine May on Jan 17, 1895 in Tecoma, Washington

Baltes Printing

Baltes Company from the Portland Directory


0 cover

Early Reunion Program Printed by the F.W. Baltes Company

[1] The records of Portland Lodge #55 say he was Raised on March 27, 1881. First problem was he couldn’t legally join until he was 21, his birthday being March 19, that would leave 8 days to receive the degrees and give back his proficiencies. Second the Grand Lodge Proceedings show that he went through the degrees between May 1881 and May 1882.

About the author:

MDR Fall 2016

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.

Illustrious Bro. Thomas Duane Winbigler 33° has Passed Away.



The roll of the workmen has been called, and one Master Mason, Illustrious Brother Tom Winbigler, has not answered to his name. He has laid down the working tools of life and with them has left that mortal part for which he no longer has use. His labors here below have taught him to divest his heart and conscience of the vices and superfluity of life, thereby fitting his mind as a living stone for that spiritual building, that house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. Strengthened in his labors here by faith in God, and confident of expectation of immortality, he has been granted admission to the Celestial Lodge above. His Brethren mourn the passing of a great man and Mason.

Illustrious Brother Thomas Duane Winbigler, 33° (Teacher/Coach) was born on December 9, 1924 in Longview, Washington. He was a member of McKenzie River Lodge #195 and received the Hiram Award in 1998, he was an Honorary Past Master. He received the 32° on May 4, 1985 in the Eugene Valley Scottish Rite. He was Invested KCCH on October 18, 1993, Coroneted Inspector General Honorary 33° October 3, 2001, and in Portland on November 3, 2001. He was also a member of Al Kader Shrine. He died on February 2, 2018 in Eugene, Oregon.

His funeral will be ‪at 10 am on Tuesday the 6th of February‬ at Musgrove Mortuary 225 S. Danebo in Eugene.