Jamestown Masonic Lodge #6
Interest in founding a Masonic lodge at Jamestown appeared as early as 1879, when Edward P. Wells called a meeting in his office December 6, 1879, to discuss the subject. Subsequent meetings were held and on August 2, 1880, an organization was perfected and a dispensation to operate a Masonic lodge was requested from the Grand Lodge of Dakota. There were nine petitioners and Casselton Lodge No. 3 was named as sponsor. The dispensation was issued January 27, 1881, with the following officers: W.'.M.'. Robert S. Wallace; S.'.W.'. James A. Atkinson; J.'.W.'. Orrin L. Churchill; Treasurer Edward P. Wells; and Secretary Edward H. Foster.
The charter was granted June 15, 1881, by the Grand Lodge of Dakota to Jamestown Lodge No. 19, and was re-issued on June 13, 1889, by the Grand Lodge of North Dakota to Jamestown Lodge No. 6.
The lodge first met over Kelly's store (Fourth Avenue South and Second Street West); then in the Wallace block; the Green block; the Knauf building; and finally it moved to the present beautiful temple, at First Avenue and Third Street Southeast. The cornerstone was laid August 3, 1916, and the temple was dedicated with impressive ceremonies on January 22, 1918.
Jamestown Lodge No. 6 has never lacked for men of high character and ability to carry on its affairs and to impress upon the community the importance of Masonry in its midst. A few of them have been such men as these: Robert E. Wallace was the first W.'.M.'. in 1881 and 1882; James W. Cloes was W.'.M.'. in 1887 and 1888 and was the first Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of North Dakota in 1889^90; George L. Mc-Gregor was W.'.M.'. in 1889 and 1890 and was Grand Master in 1894-95; Alfred Steel was W.'.M.'. from 1898-1900; Fred G. Kneeland was W.'.M.'. in 1907 and 1908, also in 1919 and became one of the "grand old Masons" in Jamestown Lodge; Herbert G. Proctor was W.'.M.'. in 1914, was secretary for many years, a war veteran and much beloved; William Hall was W.'.M.'. in 1915 and was Grand Master in 1942-43.
Albert W. Rabehl was W.'.M.'. in 1933 and was District Deputy Grand Master of District No. 8, from 1952-1960; Harry G. Poulson was W.'.M.'. in 1937 and was Grand High Priest R.'.A.'.M.'. in 1948; Kenneth R. Hall, son of M.'.W.'. William Hall, was W.'.M.'. in 1939, and was Senior Grand Steward of the Grand Lodge at the time of his unexpected passing in 1956; Clarence L. Robertson was W.'.M.'. in 1942, has been secretary since 1958 and has been a member of the Grand Lodge Committee on Policy and General Purposes for many years.
C. Eugene Dresser was W.'.M.'. in 194.3 and has distinguished himself in York Bite Masonry, serving as Grand Commander K.'.T.'. in 1962-63; Theodore F. Miles was W.'.M.'. in 1052 and was District Deputy Grand Lecturer for District No. 8 in 1954 and 1955; Gordon H. Hansen was W.'.M.'. in 1956-57; was District Deputy Grand Master of the new District No. 13 from 1961 until 1963, when appointed Grand Pursuivant; and George A. Conklin was W.'.M.'. in 1960-61 and has been District Deputy Grand Lecturer of the same district since 1961.
With Jamestown Lodge, the York Rite, the Eastern Star and several youth organizations located in the temple there is never a dull moment there. The lodge has always observed its anniversaries carefully and has been glad to entertain district meetings and schools of instruction whenever requested to do so. Past Masters' Nights are observed each year and numerous social gatherings mark its progress.
The fiftieth anniversary was celebrated February 11, 1931, when Worshipful Brother George W. Sartell was worshipful master, and it is noted that M.'.W.'. Brothers Charles H. Starke, Grand Master, and Walter L. Stockwell, Grand Secretary were present. Also Worshipful Brother Edward P. Wells, the first treasurer, who called the first meeting to. organize the lodge in 1879, was on hand to greet his old friends.
The seventy-fifth anniversary was held February 15, 1956, in the temple, under the leadership of Worshipful Brother Charles O. McAlpin,, worshipful master. M.'.W.'. Brothers Merle Kidder, Grand Master, and Harold S. Pond, Grand Secretary were present, as were nine fifty-year Masons and eight life members. W.'. Brother Fred G. Kneeland, past master, read the history and W.'. Brother Leslie R. Burgum of Jamestown, Attorney General for North Dakota at the time, was the principal speaker.
There is no more friendly lodge in all the state than Jamestown. Lodge No. 6 and to substantiate this fact the following illustration is sufficient. A few years ago the lodge decided to serve coffee, cookies and doughnuts in the dining room for a couple of hours in the afternoon each, day. The invitation went out to Masons, their families and friends, far and near. The Eastern Star ladies have assisted and from the beginning this undertaking has been a notable success. Not a week-day passes. that dozens of friends of Masonry do not drop in for a cup of coffee and a cookie, or a doughnut, to visit for a few minutes with a friend and drop a coin in the gift box on the way out. The proceeds go toward the charities of the lodge and Masonry has been strengthened physically, morally and spiritually thereby.