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.

z167

Underwood 1871 (2)

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

and

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-ulysses-s-grant1

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

1915-2018

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

1838-1882

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

Picture1

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

Picture2

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 http://pages.uoregon.edu/ehteague/lazarus/

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

3

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. http://pages.uoregon.edu/ehteague/lazarus/

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

5

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.

6

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.

7

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. 

8

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.  

9

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.  

10

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.

Marriage

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.

27459128_2049432968668437_5455704591935112234_n

Brethren,

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.

Brother Commander John E. Otterstedt, 32°, Knight Commander of the Court of Honor has Passed.

534

Brethren,
The roll of the workmen has been called, and one Master Mason, Brother Commander John E. Otterstedt, 32°, Knight Commander of the Court of Honor, 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.

John Edwin Otterstedt was born March 1, 1938 in Portland Oregon. He received the 32° May 14, 1978 in the Portland Valley. He was invested with the KCCH on October 9, 1995. He rebuilt the pipe organ at the Scottish Rite Cathedral in Portland. He affiliated with Eugene Valley on February 3, 2009. He was Raised a Master Mason in Orenomah Lodge #177, he later affiliated with McKenzie River Lodge #195 and Beaverton Lodge #100. He was a Teacher. He Died on January 5, 2018 in Portland, Oregon.

Letter from Albert Pike to Rocky P. Earhart December 31, 1885 by Michael Robinson 32° KCCH

Pike 18755 Rocky P Earhart

Letter from Albert Pike to Rocky P. Earhart December 31, 1885

In the vault of the Portland Scottish Rite are a number of letters written by Albert Pike to members of the Orient of Oregon. Brother Pike’s writing is challenging to decipher, and after failing to discover what the first word of the letters was, I was not hopeful as to my success. However after some effort it was possible to translate his writing, except that aforementioned first word. That was solved by WB Dan Gray who quickly revealed that the word was Mortified. The letter comes after the Secretary General William Morton Ireland (1834-1892) had been sick for some time with pneumonia.

Ireland

Brother Ireland was Initiated in Union Lodge #121 in Philadelphia on January 10, 1856, and served as Master of that Lodge in 1862. Wm. Ireland rose through the ranks of the Scottish Rite receiving the KCCH on May 8, 1872, Inspector General Honorary May 5, 1874, receiving the Grand Cross the same day. He became an Active member of the Supreme Council and was crowned on October 18, 1882 and at that time elected General Secretary. He took up the Secretaries work, which had been mostly done by Pike in 1877, helping to relieve Pike’s burden, and was officially elected to that position as mentioned above.

 

Orient of Washington, 31st December, 1885
Brother Rocky P. Earhart, 33°
Inspector General in Oregon:
Dear Brother
Mortified and beyond measure disgusted and indignant I am compelled by duty to the order as well as to myself, to write you this letter.
The Secretary General has been sick since the 3rd instant, having had pneumonia. The physician has ceased with visiting him, and he sits up all day, he has not yet got down stairs.
Many letters addressed to me having failed to reach me, and since to embargo has been removed, these now have reached me being full of complaints of unaccountable neglect and delay in every way, on the part of Brother Ireland, with, in some cases, inclusion of myself in the censure, than have to explore the chaos of papers on his table and in an unlocked closet, and have found many letters addressed to him, some mailed as long ago he-
1 Pike 12-31-1885
[page 2]
___(missing corner of letter)___pened, and several in like condition, addressed to my-(self) __(missing)__ow where others to me are locked up unopened, in a drawer. I have found money in letters, many orders and drafts, not collected, and scattered about in various places.
Among other unopened letters, I found yours of 10th October last, delivered by carrier, 16th October, and your large registered package of 5th October, delivered 14th October. After several days had passed, I opened the letter last night, in the presence of Brothers Webber and MacGrotty, found your letter, the account stated by you, and the money order, $559.75. These I have placed in the hands of the Treasurer-General.
I cannot find your letter ordering patents for William Valentine Spencer. I have gone through the Register of Patents, to find data for 33° Patents for Brothers Christopher Taylor, John R. Foster, and F. N. Shurtliff, and can find none.
I can find no data for Ladies certificates for Mrs. Wygants, or her daughter, or for Brother Taylor’s relative, and there is nothing here to show were Brothers Henin, deLin, Colburn and Ackerman have applied for Patents. I send you blank slips to cover all the cases; and, if they are sent to me, registered, when filled up, (ther)e will be no delay, I assure you.
2 Pike 12-31-1885
[page 3]
(Irelan)d’s conduct is unacceptable ___(missing corner of letter)___ were he has been demitted for months __(missing)__ he has been devotedly paying attention to almost every evening, all this year, except while away, and who has been nursing him while he has been sick, been with him all day and evening for a month ending yesterday, and though he is sitting up all day, is still with him all day and until 9 in the evening. He seems to have neglected nearly everything: he has certainly not appropriated any money to his own use.
I see that you charge commissions on the money received for the 33° Degree. No commissions on such money’s have ever been allowed: and no account charging them can pass. The Statute giving commissions has never been considered to refer to any degrees except those that Deputies can confer, as well as Inspectors General.
So you will have to remit $112.50. I will insist on Ireland going over your accounts. If you order any thing for a time hereafter, you had better enclose the letter to the Secretary General in an envelope addressed to me, and register your letter.
I do not know what the result will be, when I hand he-
3 Pike 12-31-1885
[page 4]
___(missing corner of letter)__ have taken charge of, and _(missing)_ and my letters, ___(missing corner)___ps locked up. But there has to be a new Dispensation and order of things at all costs.
If you have written to me during the year, in respect to the answers spoken of herein, the letter or letters have been kept from coming to my hands.
Always truly and fraternally yours
Albert Pike 33°
Grand Commander
(PS) Does Bro. Shurtliff spell his name leff or liff?
Is there an s at the end of Wygant?
4 Pike 12-31-1885

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.