Valley Of Wilmington History

In the 1912 Proceedings of the Supreme Council is a report by Ill.: Barton Smith, 33°, Sovereign Grand Commander: "On January 30, 1912, upon petition signed by Ill.: Harry Jones Guthrie, 33°, and thirty-three Sublime Princes, 32°, residents of that jurisdiction, and upon the recommendation of the Illustrious Deputy for the State and District of Delaware, I ordered dispensation to be issued, authorizing the officers and others who may be hereafter associated with them, to open and hold a consistory of sublime Princes of the Royal Secret, 32°, of the Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite, in the Valley and City of Wilmington, in the District of Delaware, to be known as Delaware Consistory, and designated the first three officers thereof as follows:

Ill.: Harry Jones Guthrie, 33° - Commander-in-Chief
George Morrison Fisher, 32° - First Lieutenant Commander
Thomas Jefferson Day, 32° - Second Lieutenant Commander

The first Rendezvous of Delaware Consistory (U.D.) was held on March 20, 1912, in the Masonic Temple, Wilmington. The dispensation was read by Ill.: Harry J. Guthrie, 33°, and the Consistory opened in full ceremonial form. Ninety-six candidates were elected and the Consistory was called from labor to refreshment until the following day.

Upon reconvening on March 21st, Ill.: Amos H. Hall, 33°, Past Commander-in-Chief of Philadelphia Consistory, outlined and communicated the 19° to 31° inclusive upon ninety-four of the candidates. The first section of the old 20° was conferred in full ceremonial form by Brethren from Reading Consistory, with Ill.: Adam H. Schmehl, 33°, presiding and playing the role of the Duke of Holstein-Beck. The second section was conferred by Brethren from Philadelphia Consistory, with Ill.: J. Henry Williams, 33°, presiding and portraying Frederic II, King of Prussia. Music was provided by the Temple Quartette of Philadelphia..

Among the distinguished visitors were: Ill.: James H. Codding, 33°, Grand Secretary General and Deputy for Delaware, Ill.: Robert A. Shireffs, 33°, Deputy for New Jersey, Ill.: Stephen Smith, 33°, Active Member for New Jersey, Ill.: George W. Kendrick, Jr., 33°, Active Member for Pennsylvania, Ill.: A. G. Criswell Smith, 33°, Commander-in-Chief of Philadelphia Consistory, Ill.: Joseph Ashton, Jr., 33°, Commander-in-Chief of Trenton Consistory, Ill.: Clark E. Diehl, 33°, Commander-in-Chief of Harrisburg Consistory. Instructive and entertaining addresses were given by several of the distinguished visitors and the Consistory was called from labor to refreshment until the following day.

Upon reconvening on March 22nd, the ninety-four candidates received the 21° in full ceremonial form through the courtesy of the Brethren of Trenton Consistory, with Ill.: David H. Lukens, 33°, presiding and portraying the role of the Count of Westphalia. Music by the Rose Croix Octette of Trenton provided a perfect background for the work. Ill.: Joseph Ashton, Jr., 33°, conferred the 32° in ample form, which was followed by several short addresses from the distinguished visitors.

On June 7, 1912, Ill.: Brother Guthrie accompanied by Brothers Fisher and Hough presented in Trenton Consistory a handsome Loving Cup "for the excellent conferring of the 21°." We understand that it is still being used in the presentation of the 14°.

The Charter for Delaware Consistory was granted on October 3, 1912, and the Ceremonies of Constitution were held in the afternoon of April 29, 1913, in the Masonic Temple, Wilmington, with the following representatives of the Supreme Council:

Ill.: Harry J. Guthrie, 33° - Sovereign Grand Commander
Ill.: Edward S. Wyckoff, 33° - Grand Lieutenant Commander
Ill.: J. Henry Williams, 33° - Grand Minister of State
Ill.: Amos H. Hall, 33° - Grand Treasurer General
Ill.: James H. Codding, 33° - Grand Secretary General
Ill.: Elmer Barwis, 33° - Grand Master of Ceremonies
Ill.: Samuel Laughlin, 33° - Grand Marshal General
Ill.: Howard M. Brown, 33° - Grand Captain General
Ill.: A. G. Criswell Smith, 33° - Grand Prior

The Grand Secretary General, Ill.: James H. Codding, 33°, read the Charter and the following officers were elected and installed:

Ill.: Harry J. Guthrie, 33° - Commander-in-Chief Ill.: George M.. Fisher, 33° - 1st Lieutenant Commander Thomas J. Day, 32° - 2nd Lieutenant Commander Stuart J. Horn, 32° - Orator Samuel G. Cleaver, 32° - Chancellor William H. Weeks, 32° - Treasurer T. Argyle Souder, 32° - Secretary Leon Walker, 32° - Engineer and Architect Coleman B. Harris, 32° - Hospitaler Paul I. Murrill, 32° - Master of Ceremonies George W. Till, 32° - Standard Bearer William M. Mask, Jr., 32° - Captain of the Guard Harry Galbraith, 32° - Sentinel

One hundred and nine candidates and two affiliates were elected to membership. Several of the visiting Illustrious Brethren made short but interesting speeches and the Consistory was called from labor to refreshment.

In the evening labor was resumed and Ill.: Brother Guthrie conferred the 19° to 32° on one hundred and three of the candidates. The 21° was enacted in full ceremonial form by a cast from our own Consistory. Music was also furnished by our own Scottish Rite Quartette. At the close of the degree work, Ill.: Brother Guthrie presented a 33° jewel, a gift of the Scottish Rite Bodies of Delaware, to Ill.: George M. Fisher, 33°, in appreciation for the assistance rendered in constituting the four Scottish Rite Bodies of Delaware. Work was suspended until April 30.

In the afternoon, April 30, labor was resumed in the Auditorium of the Hotel duPont. The one hundred and three candidates received the 27° in full ceremonial form by a cast of Brethren from Trenton Consistory, under the direction of their Commander-in-Chief, Ill.: Joseph Ashton, Jr., 33°. The 32° was conferred in ample form by Ill.: Brother Guthrie. The Grand Master of Masons in Delaware, Most Worshipful Edward G. Walls, a member of the Class, spoke warmly of the work and its presentation. Brother Walter W. Bacon, 32°, Grand High Priest of the Grand Chapter of Delaware and Brother J. Bayard Hearn, 32°, Eminent Commander of St. John's Commandery, No. 1, Wilmington , contributed complimentary remarks. A sumptuous banquet in the Masonic Temple, with entertainment by the Rose Croix Octette of Trenton and our own Scottish Rite Quartette, closed the activities.

The ceremonies constituting Delaware Consistory were over. It had been a glorious two days of hard work. The presence of so many distinguished Brethren added immensely to the dignity of the transactions. Many new friends were made and a nobler and richer fraternal fellowship enriched the lives of all. The assistance of the Brethren from Trenton and Philadelphia will never be forgotten. Ahead of each Sublime Prince of the Scottish Rite Bodies of Delaware was a future bright with promise, a challenge.

Ill.: Charles E. Green, 33°, MSA
From "A History of the Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry in the State of Delaware"

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