Lodge No. 43 History 1800-1890’s

The 1800’s

During this decade, the lodge membership continued to grow. There was degree work in most of the lodge meetings. Delinquent dues were still a problem and committees were assigned to make personal visits to delinquent members. There were tributes to the deceased General George Washington. Lodge No. 43 moved into the new lodge room. Lodge No. 43 was visited by the Grand Master of Pennsylvania for the first time.

The 1810’s

The Minute Book containing the records of the lodge from 1811 through 1816 has been lost.
In 1816, James Buchanan received his First Degree. Also, in 1816, visiting brethren – one was an officer of the Grand Lodge. A degree was conferred – there was some discussion on how the degree was conferred. After the Grand Lodge officer returned to Philadelphia, the Worshipful Grand Master sent a letter stating that he had been informed of certain forms and ceremonies of our lodge were different from those recognized by the Grand Lodge. Lodge No. 43 was instructed to conform strictly to the landmarks approved by the Grand Lodge without any deviations. This rebuke was not received kindly by Lodge No. 43. In fact, it was a revelation; Lodge members believed that they were operating in the true faith and could not believe they were censurable. Lodge No. 43 formed a committee to answer the Grand Master’s letter. In 1819, the Lodge meetings were well attended. A circular was sent to other lodges and to the Grand Lodge. The Grand Lodge responded to our circular with a communication from Josiah Randall the R.W. Grand Master. We rejected that communication.

The 1820’s

The Grand Lodge called our Warrant on November 4th, 1822. Tempers cooled and we received our Warrant back again a couple of weeks later. James Buchanan was elected as Worshipful Master for 1823. Not much else of interest happened during the 1820’s.

The 1830’s

The Anti-Masonic feeling was strong and took its toll on Lodge No. 43. We asked the Grand lodge to exonerate the lodge from paying its dues because of want of funds. Lodge meetings were poorly attended during 1830 and 1831. From January of 1832 to November of 1833, no meetings were held. During the years of 1834, 1835, and 1836, nothing of interest happened in those meetings
In 1837, it was a busy year – 12 stated meetings and 13 special meetings. A number of members who had withdrawn was readmitted in1837 and 1838. An attempt was made to establish a second lodge in Lancaster. No formal action was taken.

The 1840’s

These years were in general quieter than the previous decade for Lodge No. 43. However, there was still a problem of collecting dues. The first Grievance committee was appointed.
A new roof was placed over our lodge room – winning bid was $38.00 A donation was made towards the relief of the distressed in Ireland. Bro. Charles Howell offered a motion that gas be introduced into the lodge for lighting. This was passed and gas lighting was introduced in the latter part of 1850.

The 1850’s

First Board of Trustees was appointed. Permanent Fund was established.
Bro. Maungundans, Chief of the Chippewa Indians, asked for and received a donation for education aid for his two sons. It was resolved that white gloves were required as proper Masonic attire.
It was discovered that the 1798 property agreement between the Borough of Lancaster and Lodge No. 43 was never recorded. This was corrected in 1856. The Lodge building was extended along King Street. In 1864, sixty-seven members were initiated. This was the largest 1-year growth.
Lodge No. 43 recommended a charter for a new lodge in Marietta, which was approved as Ashara Lodge No 398.

The 1870’s

During the January 1870, stated meeting of Lodge No. 43, a petition was presented asking for the approval for a new lodge in Lancaster City. The petition was not in proper form so no action was taken on it. There was considerable opposition to having another Masonic lodge in this city.
The brethren who wanted this new lodge resorted to getting a petition signed by individual members. A resolution strongly condemning the petition was adopted during the February stated meeting of Lodge No. 43. This opposition was gradually overcome. Lamberton Lodge No. 476 was duly Warranted and Constituted June 23, 1870. During this decade, improvements were made in a matter of furniture, a new clock was purchase shares were substituted for settees, and all were upholstered in blue. Seven members withdrew to form a new lodge in Christiana. The 11 members withdrew to establish a new lodge in Mount Joy. In addition, the ceiling of the lodge room was beautifully frescoed.

The 1880’s

During the year 1880, only two members were initiated, the smallest number of initiations in any one year for 38 years. During the first 100 years of the existence of the lodge, 1089 members have been initiated and 108 and an admitted to membership, making a grand total of 1197 members.
The membership of the lodge on April 21, 1885 was 269. The centennial for Lodge No. 43 was on Tuesday, April 21, 1825. This was 100 years from the date of warrant in 1725.
Resolutions directing the trustees to procure a bookcase for the nucleus of a library, and that a library committee be appointed to take charge. An appropriation of $25.00 was made to the earthquakes sufferers of Charleston, South Carolina. Moreover, Lodge No. 43 became a member of the general Masonic relief association of the United States and Canada, for the detection of Masonic impostors. A contribution of $100 was made two sufferers of Johnstown’s great flood.
The right worshipful grand master, required each candidate to be examined as to his proficiency in the preceding degree in open lodge before advancement, and for some years, this custom was observed by the lodge.

The 1890’s

Electric lights were installed into the hall and the building of the lodge at the cost $770. The gas chandeliers were presented to Saint John’s Episcopal Church. An amendment to the bylaws was adopted exonerating all 50-year members from paying further lodge dues.