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Ancient Free and Accepted Masons
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100 Year History of Burns Lodge No. 97 A.F. and A.M.

June 12, 1890 to June 12, 1990

(Note: On 10-01-1997 the Lodge name was changed to Robert Burns to reflect the heritage of our name for which the City of Burns & the Lodge were named.)

            In response to a petition to the Grand Lodge of Oregon to grant a charter for a lodge in Burns, which, by the way, is not of record in the Grand Lodge archives, the Grand Lodge referred the matter to its committee on Charters and Dispensations.  At a meeting of the Grand Lodge in Portland, Oregon, June 11, 1890, the committee reported as follows: "We, your committee on Charters and Dispensations, beg leave to report: that, we have carefully examined all the papers in reference to Burns Lodge and recommend that the prayer of the petitioners be granted and a Charter be given them.  Fraternally submitted, D. Linn, H.V.V. Johnson, J. H. Irvine, Committee". (From Grand Lodge Proceedings, 40th Annual Communication, page 61.)

            The Charter for Burns Lodge No. 97, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons was granted June 12, 1890 and signed by: Christopher Taylor, Grand Master, James F. Robinson, Deputy Grand Master, Julius C. Moreland, Grand Senior Warden, N. P. Bunnell, Grand Junior Warden, S. F. Chadwick, Grand Secretary.  In the Charter, the principal officers of Burns Lodge were named as follows: C. A. Sweek, Worshipful Master, Isaac Baer, Senior Warden, and J. B. Huntington, Junior Warden.  Under this charter, Burns Lodge No. 97, was actually instituted on Saturday, September 20, 1890 at its first Special meeting in the Odd Fellows Hall, Burns, Oregon.  This was accomplished by District Deputy Grand Master, Patsy Daly under a directive of the Grand Master dated July 10, 1890.

            Present at the meeting were the following charter members: C. A. Sweek, raised September 25, 1885, Canyon City Lodge No. 34, J. Durkheimer, J. B. Huntington, J.C.Welcome, S. E. Donnington, T. A. McKinnon, and visiting brothers:

                G. W. Zumwalt, Jennings Lodge No. 9
                W. J. Johnson, Prineville Lodge No. 76
                 J. S. Robertson, Canyon City Lodge No. 34
                 C. F. McKinney, at large
                 Patsy Daly, Prairie City Lodge No. 60
                 James Raheimer, Canyon City Lodge No. 34
                 D. L. Grace, West View Lodge No. 103, Millersville, Missouri
                 T. D. Harris, Lakeview Lodge No. 71
                 James Robbinson, Canyon City Lodge No. 34.

            District Deputy Grand Master Daly proceeded to open the lodge on the Master Mason Degree in due and ancient form.  He then appointed James Robbinson as Grand Marshall and proceeded to install the following officers of the lodge:

                        C. A. Sweek, Worshipful Master
                        J. Durkheimer, Senior Warden
                        J. B. Huntington, Junior Warden
                        J. C. Welcome, Treasurer
                        T. D. Harris, Secretary
                        S. E. Donnington, Senior Deacon
                        T. S. McKinnon, Junior Deacon
                        W. J. Johnson, Tyler
                        Geo.  W. Zumwalt, )
                                                       )  Stewards
                        John A. Robertson, )

The Worshipful Master expressed thanks and appreciation from the lodge to Brothers Daly and Robbinson for their kindness and advise.  After remarks by brother Robbinson, the lodge was closed in Due and Ancient form.

Thus, through the initiative of the 15 above named Master Masons, Burns Lodge No. 97, A.F. & A.M. came into being.  Brother Isaac Baer, whose name appears as Senior Warden on the Charter, was not present at the institution of the lodge and appears to be somewhat of an enigma. He signed the lodge register December 15, 1890 as a member of Burns lodge, and on that date he was elected to be Tyler for the next year. However, he was never installed in that office.  Further, the minutes of the meeting of January 5, 1891 disclose that the expense of institution of the lodge in the sum of $100.00 was borrowed from E. D. Gray and secured by a note signed by Brothers Isaac Baer, J. C. Welcome and C. A. Sweek. on November 2, 1891, the minutes disclose that Brother Baer was granted a dimit, but we have not been able to find any evidence that Brother Baer ever was a member of Burns Lodge.

Upon institution of the lodge, the officers immediately went to work.  On October 6, 1890 a special committee consisting of J. Durkheimer, J. C. Welcome, and T. D. Harris was appointed for the purpose of procuring a suitable building site for a Masonic Hall.  The By-Laws of the lodge were adopted, section by section, on November 3, 1890, and on December 1, 1890 the lodge decided to continue to rent the Odd Fellows Hall, including wood and lights, for $8.00 per month for the next six months.  Brother J. E. Ragen was awarded a contract for making a suitable wardrobe for the lodge, the cost not to exceed $10.00.  And the first petition for degrees was received from John W. Sayer.  Further, at the stated meeting of December 15, 1890, three more petitions, those of John I Newman, J. Nat Hudson, and Leon M. Brown were received.

In the first year of the lodges existence, 11 petitions were received and 7 of those candidates were raised.

In the minutes of the March 21 1891 meeting, the Grand Secretary, S. F.Chadwick, is thanked for sending to Burns the lodge property of East Gate Lodge.  Although there isn't any record of what the property consisted, it is believed that it was the officers' stations and the alter.  Also on this date, we find an entry for the payment of $2.50 to the Gage Sisters for making 4 dozen aprons for the use of the lodge .

For four days, the 6th, 7th, 8th & 9th of November, 1895, the lodge entertained a Grand Lodge visitation consisting of Most Worshipful Grand Master Morton D. Clifford and Right Worshipful Grand Lecturer Geo.  McD. Stroud.  During the visit, these grand officers passed and raised a candidate from Prineville Lodge No. 76, Brother M. R. Biggs.  Later, the lodge paid board in the amount of $8.00 and team and buggy hire in the amount of $12.00 for the grand officers.

In March, 1894, the lodge acquired a regular meeting hall when it rented space from P. F. Stenger for $15.00 per annum.  Until the new lodge hall was constructed in 1910 however, the lodge also rented space from the Odd Fellows lodge and C. H. Voegtly.

Again on May 19, 1896, Most Worshipful Grand Master Morton D. Clifford visited Burns Lodge, and during the sojourn, he granted a special dispensation for the passing and raising of Brother James F. Mahon on the same day.

A bill- was presented to the lodge by Bong Gee ,January 6, 1896 in the amount of $1.75 for the washing of 2½ dozen aprons.

The first record of a joint installation with Burns Chapter No. 40, Order of Eastern Star is stated in the minutes of December 20, 1897.

On Tuesday, the Fourth of July, 1898, Brother Presley Smith was raised in Burns lodge , which probably was a unique event in the annals of masonry.

A distinctive picture of George Washington was presented to the lodge by Brother Chas. H. Voegtly, December 16, 1899.  Said picture now hangs in the dining room of the lodge.

At a stated communication of the lodge on January 17, 1899, a committee consisting of three brothers of the lodge was appointed to review the By-Laws and make recommendations thereon regarding the meeting night.  The committee suggested that the By-Laws be amended as follows: "The stated communications of this lodge shall be held on Saturday on or before the full moon of each month."  This meeting schedule was instituted beginning January 13, 1900.

Also we find that during the early years of the lodge’s existence, the affairs of sick, disabled, and deceased brother masons were taken charge of by the lodge, including the funeral expenses, shipping of remains, and administering of estates.

Beginning in January, 1901, the By-Laws having been amended accordingly, the lodge now meets on Saturday of each week.  The change was occasioned by the insistence of Past Master W. S. Marsden.

The lodge dues had been set at $1.50 per month, and during the last two years of the 1800's and the first years of the 1900's, the lodge experienced difficulty in collecting the dues from its members.  Many exhortations and threats of dropping from the rolls appear in the minutes for those years.  Further, many members had dues remitted in exchange for various services that benefited the lodge.

On January 4, 1902 the lodge voted to purchase 12 cuspidors for the lodge hall.  And on January 18, 1902 a setting mall was ordered for use in the lodge.

On December 27, 1902, at the annual installation of officers, the lodge was addressed by Past Worthy Grand Matron, Order of Eastern Star, Clara A. Marsden, wife of Brother W. S. Marsden, a Burns lodge Past Master.

April 4th, 1903, the lodge began deliberations for the construction of a lodge hall and a committee was appointed to investigate the proposition and report to the lodge; but on the 25th of April, 1903, the lodge voted to reject a building proposition at this time.

The stated communication December 28, 1903, annual installation of newly elected officers, was attended by members, their families and friends of the order, and the minutes read as follows:  "the master of ceremonies announced the marriage of Brother R. A. Miller, Worshipful Master of this lodge and Sister Nora E. Whitaker of Burns Chapter No. 40, O.E.S., and after the ceremony had been solemnized in the presence of the assembled members and guests, the Worshipful Master invited Past Master Brother A. W. Gowan to conduct the installation ceremonies...".

On November 25, 1905, the stated meetings were changed to the 1st and 3rd Saturdays in each month, and on December 20, 1913, the stated meetings were changed to the 1st and 3rd Mondays of each month, which schedule remains to the present time.

Committees were appointed to investigate the financing for and the building of a Masonic Hall, March 3, 1906, November 16, 1907, May 7, 1908, and January2, 1909.  On May 15, 1909 the lodge approved a $2400.00 payment by the Trustees to A. E. Young for the purchase of property for a lodge hall. In order to finance the construction of the new hall, a subscription list was prepared and twenty-nine members signed the obligation.  The amounts obligated by each member ranged from $100.00 to $1000.00. The Burns Chapter No. 40, O.E.S. also signed the subscription list with an obligation of $500.00. The total subscription was $10,950.00.

The good works of the lodge continued throughout the 1930's and two members of the lodge, Ulysses S.Hackney and Charles W. Loggan, initiated an idea that has become a landmark function for Burns Lodge.  They devised a plan to use the Malheur Cave for an outdoor meeting of Masons in Oregon.  Their plans were successful, and the first official outdoor meeting of Masons in the Western United States was held at the Malheur Cave.  At a stated meeting September 19, 1938, the minutes disclose that the lodge voted to hold its next regular meeting at the Malheur Cave if a special dispensation could be procured.  Accordingly, a committee was appointed to make arrangements for the meeting and consisted of:  Nelson B. Higgs, Raymond Weeks, and Earl Hagey.  A special dispensation was issued by Most Worshipful Grand Master F. C. Howell for the lst Malheur Cave meeting to be held October 1, 1938.  At 8:00 P.M., an old fashioned "Buckaroo" supper was served at the entrance of the cave.  After supper the lodge was opened in the cave on the Master Mason degree, and this degree was conferred upon Brother Fellowcraft William Merle Bennett.  Forty-nine masons registered, and twenty-one different lodges from seven states and one foreign country were represented.  Five short speeches were given by various attending brothers, and a hand made butcher knife, made by Walter Booker, was presented to the Worshipful Master by Brother C. E. Gregory, Park Falls Lodge, Park Falls, Wisconsin.  Lighting was by gas lanterns.

Two notes contained in the minutes by C. W. l,oggan, Secretary, are of interest.  At a place in the minutes where they are water smudged appears this note:  “This blot was caused by a drop of water falling from the ceiling of the cave, and the last entry” (Note: These minutes were written in Malheur Cave, and an old bench was used as the secretary's desk.  CWL, Sec.).

The meetings at Malheur Cave have become an annual event that has entertained thousands of masons from all the world, and they are still flourishing at this time.  The lodge acquired legal title to the cave property in 1953.  A bronze plaque honoring Brothers Ulysses S. Hackney and Charles W. Loggan for their part in establishing the cave meeting was dedicated by Right Worshipful Junior Grand Warden, Shalor C. Eldridge at the cave meeting on September 7, 1946.

At a Special Communication on June 7, 1940, the lodge celebrated its 50th anniversary.  Dr. W. G. Homan was the Worshipful Master and Ulysses S. Hackney acted as toastmaster.  A banquet was served by the O.E.S., after which all present adjourned to the lodge room for a program consisting of appropriate introductions, a reading of the lodge history, appropriate talks by numerous brothers, and closing remarks by Right Worshipful Senior Grand Warden Arthur D. Hay, Lakeview Lodge No. 71, the Grand Master's representative.  A very special event for the lodge was occasioned by the presence and introduction of Past Master C. A. Sweek, the first master of Burns Lodge, and probably the only living charter member.

In his remarks, Brother Hay informed the lodge that on Saturday, June 8, 1940, he as representative of the Grand Master, would lay the cornerstone of the new federal building in Burns.  He requested the presence of all Master Masons and instructed District Deputy Grand Master Ulysses S. Hackney to appoint past masters as grand lodge officers to assist Judge Hay in laying the cornerstone.  The following past masters were appointed:

U. S. Hackney Right Worshipful Deputy Grand Master

A. C. Byrd Right Worshipful Senior Grand Warden

Darrell Howser Right Worshipful Junior Grand Warden

R. M. Lowe Right Worshipful Grand Treasurer

Chas. W. Loggan Right Worshipful Grand Secretary

M. Schwartz Right Worshipful Chaplain

Geo. M. Shaw Worshipful Senior Grand Deacon

C. C. Page Worshipful Junior Grand Deacon

J. E. Loggan Worshipful Senior Grand Steward

Leon M. Brown Worshipful Junior Grand Steward

R. B. Harryman Worshipful Grand Standard Bearer

J. W. Sayer Worshipful Grand Pursuivant

H. D. Mars Worshipful Grand Orator

C. E. Dilliflan Worshipful Grand Marshal

Obil Shattuck Worshipful Grand Tyler


The cornerstone was laid after a meeting at the lodge hall at 2:00 P.M.

Since 1940, Burns Lodge has had fifty elected Masters and two honorary Masters, towit:

G. Earl Hagey 1941 Raymond Weeks 1942
C. Culver Page 1943 Chester A. Felt 1944
Edwin C. Eberly 1945 Richard E. Kriesien 1946
Morgan 0. Timms 1947 Robert R. Pearl 1948
Howard C. Maw 1949 Ernest J. Musick, Honorary 1949
D. Carrol Jordan 1950 Eldon A. Presley 1951
Dale C. Eggleston 1952 Truxton Dalton 1953
Miles 0. Langdon 1954 Norman W. Oliver 1955
Norman McRae 1956 Donald B. Higgins 1957
Milton A. McRae 1958 Marvel- G. Graven 1959
Frances M. Wolverton 1960 A. Wm. Krause 1961
Orman F. Carter 1962 Samuel A. Dunn 1963
Allan N. Voegtly 1964 Paul McCart 1965
Aubrey F. Lawrence 1966 John M. Quier 1967
Eugene D. Timms 1968 Guy Weller, Honorary, 1968
Robert K. Wood 1969 Floyd Garland 1970
Raymond Swarthout 1971 Dwight Hinshaw 1972
Dan B. Kincheloe 1973 Richard B. Tabor 1974
Richard A. Thompson 1975 Eldon Currey 1976
Henry C. Church 1977 Lee Means 1978
Allen Hart 1979 Richard Denstedt 1980
Duane Pinkerton 1981 Joe Hayse 1982
Richard B. Tabor 1983 Kim A. Reaney 1984
Jesse R. Hayes 1985 Wesley A. Basey 1986
Richard B. Tabor 1987 Gene Mackey 1988
H. Lee Wallace 1989 H. Lee Wallace 1990

Of the above named Past Masters 36 are alive and active at this time.  Our oldest living Past Masters are Adolph C. Byrd, 1939 and Raymond Weeks, 1942.

Further, we have 10 living members who were raised 50 years or more ago, they are:

                        Newton Hotchkiss                    March 6, 1922
                        Frank H. Loggan                     September 1, 1924
                        Harry J. Loggan                      June 6, 1928
                        Arthur E. Thornburg                May 21, 1928
                        Adolph C. Byrd                       October 19, 1931
                        D. Carrol Jordan                     January 15, 1934
                        Raymond H.  Skidmore           February 17, 1936
                        Raymond Weeks                    October 16, 1937
                        Eldon A. Presley                     January 2, 1939
                        Billy Drinkwater                       March 15, 1939

The membership of Burns Lodge at the ten-year intervals has been as follows:

1890 (6) 1900 (61)
1910 (88) 1920 (139)
1930 (135) 1940 (109)
1950 (168) 1960 (181)
1970 (162) 1980 (130)
1990 (111)  

 From these figures, it is clear that our membership, as that of other lodges, has been decreasing since 1960 at a rate of 23.3 members every 10 years.

Members of the same family who have been  Masters of Burns lodge are:

                        Leon M. Brown            1899
                        Edward N. Brown         1935
                        R. A. Miller                   1903
                        Wm. Miller                    1912
                        I.S. Geer                      1907
                        1. Waldo Geer              1926
                        1. Schwartz                   1908
                        Maurice Schwartz          1938
                        J. E. Loggan                  1910
                        Chas. W. l,oggan           1922
                        J. M. Dalton                   1911
                        Henry C. Dalton             1918
                        Truxton Dalton               1953
                        A. O. Faulkner               1916
                        Chas. M. Faulkner         1919
                        Edward C. Eggleston     1917
                        Dale C. Eggleston          1952
                        Robert C. Lowe              1928
                        R. McKinley Lowe           1934
                        Morgan O. Timms           1947
                        Eugene D. Timms            1968
                        Norman B. McRae           1956
                        Milton A. McRae               1958

Members of the lodge who have served more than one term as Master are:

                        J. B. Huntington                1891-2-3
                        J.W. Sayer                        1894-5
                        W. L. Marsden                  1896-7
                        C. Culver Page                  1924 & 1943
                        Richard B. Tabor               1974-83 & 87
                        H. Lee Wallace                  1989-90

Throughout it’s history, Burns lodge members have held the following Grand Lodge offices:

Most Worshipful Grand Master Shalor C. Eldridge 1949-50

Right Worshipful Grand Pursuivant R. McKinley Lowe 1949-50

Worshipful Junior Grand Steward C. E. Dillman 1949-50

Worshipful Grand Sword Bearer Floyd H. Garland 1971-72

District Deputy Grand Master I. Waldo Geer 1927-29

Ulysses S. Hackney 1938-45

Chester A. Felt 1955-57

Edwin C. Eberly 1947-50

Miles 0. Langdon 1977-


On January 7, 1953, the lodge was incorporated under the name of Burns Lodge No. 97, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons.  The incorporators were Dale C. Eggleston, Dwight C. Allen, and Chester A. Felt.

The new lodge hall was constructed -in 1975-76 on property obtained from the City of Burns in a trade of cemetery property.  Financing was obtained through the sale of properties, savings funds, and a loan in the amount of $10,000 from Brother Miles 0. Langdon.

The loan was repaid from proceeds of the sale of the first lodge hall.  The cornerstone of the new building was laid and the lodge hall dedicated by Most Worshipful Grand Master Roland E. Gleason on April 23, 1977.  About 200 people attended the dedication including 26 Grand Lodge officers, other lodge members and friends.  In the evening of the 23rd, a District meeting was held in which the Grand Master dedicated the Blake cornerstone in the anteroom of the lodge.

Burns Lodge has had the privilege of serving with Burns Chapter No. 40, Order of Eastern Star since June 9, 1896; Assembly No. 22, Order of the Rainbow for Girls since October 5, 1931; and Malheur Cave Chapter, Order of DeMolay since 1956.  We own all of our property without obligation and have money in the bank under rational and safe management.

Through our ninety ninth year, we have raised 344 master masons, and we now have five candidates in the process of taking their degrees.  Our prospects for the future are very optimistic.

Respectfully and fraternally submitted this 4th day of July, 1990.

Dale C. Eggleston
Past Master & Trustee

Stay tuned for a continuation of at least the next 15 years



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