masonic presidents of the united states
From The Grand Lodge Of Pennsylvania Website
This is a small permanent exhibit in The Masonic Library and
Museum of Pennsylvania. It consists of a photographed portrait and the
(facsimile) signature of each Masonic President of the United States, and a
record of his Masonic career. The material is enhanced by photographs and
background information on the Great Seal of The United States and the Flag of
the President of the United States. The photographs and signatures are taken
from the booklet The Presidents of the United States of America which was
published by the White House Historical Association in cooperation with the
National Geographic Society.
Until recently, Thomas Jefferson and
James Madison were included in this gallery of Masonic Presidents, but since
their membership cannot be established as a certainty, their inclusion here was
based more on speculation than fact. Until their membership can be absolutely
proven, they should not be considered "Masonic Presidents."
Lyndon B. Johnson was initiated on October 30, 1937 in Johnson
City Lodge No. 561, at Johnson City, Texas, but completed only the Entered
Apprentice, or first, of the three Masonic degrees. For this reason, he is not
included in the gallery.
||GEORGE WASHINGTON (1732-1799)
|First President (1789-1797)
Initiated: November 4, 1752, Fredericksburgh (Fredericksburg) Lodge No. 4,
Brother Washington became Worshipful Master on December 20, 1788, and was
inaugurated President of the United States on April 30, 1789, thus becoming
the first, and so far the only, Brother to be simultaneously President and
Master of his Lodge.
||JAMES MONROE (1758-1831)
records lost) Initiated: November 9, 1775, St. John's Regimental
Lodge in the Continental Army. Monroe was not yet eighteen, but
"lawful age" had not yet been universally fixed at twenty-one.
Later, Brother Monroe took Membership in Williamsburg Lodge No. 6,
records lost) Initiated: The record for Brother Jackson has not been
located. He seems to have been a Member of St. Tammany Lodge No. 1,
Nashville, Tennessee, as early as 1800. It was the first Lodge in
Tennessee, organized in 1789, under a Dispensation from the Grand
Lodge of North Carolina. The name was later changed to Harmony Lodge
No. 1 on November 1, 1800. Brother Jackson is officially listed as a
Member in the Lodge Return to the Grand Lodge of North Carolina and
Tennessee for 1805. On December 27, 1813, the Grand Lodge of
Tennessee was granted its own Constitution. Brother Jackson was the
sixth Grand Master of Masons of Tennessee, serving from October 7,
1822 until October 4, 1824.
||JAMES KNOX POLK
June 5, 1820, Columbia Lodge No. 31, Columbia, Tennessee. Brother
Polk assisted in the Cornerstone Laying of the Smithsonian
Institution, Washington, D.C., May 1, 1847.
Governor of Tennessee 1839-1841.
December 1l, 1816, Lodge No. 43, Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Brother
Buchanan became Worshipful Master of Lodge No. 43 1822-1823; and in
1824 was appointed District Deputy Grand Master for the Counties of
Lancaster, Lebanon and York.
records lost during the Civil War) Initiated: May 5, 1851,
Greenville Lodge No. 119, Greenville, Tennessee.
Military Governor of Tennessee, 1862-1865.
||JAMES ABRAM GARFIELD
|Twentieth President (July 2 - September 19,
November 19, 1861, Magnolia Lodge, No. 20, Columbus, Ohio. Owing to
Civil War duties, Brother Garfield did not receive the Third Degree
until November 22, 1864 in Columbus Lodge No. 30, Columbus, Ohio. On
October 10, 1866, he Affiliated with Garrettsville Lodge No. 246,
Garrettsville, Ohio, serving as its Chaplain in 1868-1869. Brother
Garfield then became a Charter Member of Pentalpha Lodge No. 23 of
Washington, D.C. on May 4, 1869; in fact, he was one of the
Petitioners for the Lodge Charter.
May 1, 1865, Hiram Lodge No. 21, Winchester, Virginia. Brother
McKinley Affiliated with Canton Lodge No. 60, Canton, Ohio on August
21, 1867; and Demitted from same to become a Charter Member of Eagle
Lodge No. 431, also in Canton. Following Brother McKinley's death on
September 14, 1901, the name was changed to William McKinley Lodge
effective October 24, 1901.
Governor of Ohio, 1892-1896.
January 2, 1901, Matinecock Lodge No. 806, Oyster Bay, New York.
Brother and President Roosevelt visited the Grand Lodge of
Pennsylvania (in its present home, the Masonic Temple at One North
Broad Street) on November 5, 1902, for the Celebration of the
Sesqui-Centennial of Brother George Washington's Initiation into
Freemasonry. Governor of New York, 1899-1901. Brother and President
Roosevelt issued an Executive Order, dated, October 17, 1901
changing the name of the "Executive Mansion" to the "White House".
||WILLIAM HOWARD TAFT
February 18, 1909. Brother Taft was made a "Mason at Sight" within
the Body of Kilwinning Lodge No. 356, Cincinnati, Ohio, by Grand
Master Charles S. Hoskinson. His father and two brothers were also
Members of this Lodge. Brother and President Taft addressed the
Brethren, saying, "I am glad to be here, and to be a Mason. It does
me good to feel the thrill that comes from recognizing on all hands
the Fatherhood of God and the Brotherhood of Man." Brother and
President Taft visited the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania on the
occasion of a Special Communication held in the Masonic Temple (One
North Broad Street), on March 12, 1912.
||WARREN GAMALIEL HARDING
June 28, 1901, Marion Lodge No. 70, Marion, Ohio. Because of some
personal antagonism, Brother Harding's advancement was hindered
until 1920, by which time he had been nominated for President.
Friends persuaded the opposition to withdraw the objection, and on
August 27, 1920, nineteen years after his Initiation, Brother
Harding achieved the Sublime Degree of Master Mason, in Marion
Lodge. At his request, Brother Harding took the Oath of Office of
President of the United States upon the same Bible as was used by
Brother George Washington for the same purpose on April 30, 1789
(the Altar Bible of St. John's Lodge No. 1, New York City).
||FRANKLIN DELANO ROOSEVELT
October 11, 1911, Holland Lodge No. 8, New York City. Brother
Roosevelt participated in the Raising of his son Elliott (1910-1990)
on February 17, 1933, in Architect's Lodge No. 519, also in New York
City. He was present, but did not participate in the Degrees when
two other sons, James (1907-1991) and Franklin D., Jr. (1914-1988)
became Members of their brother Elliott's Lodge, on November 7,
1935. Brother and President Roosevelt was made the first Honorary
Grand Master of the Order of DeMolay on April 13, 1934 at the White
Governor of New York, 1929-1933.
||HARRY S TRUMAN
February 9, 1909, Belton Lodge No. 450, Belton, Missouri. In 1911,
several Members of Belton Lodge separated to establish Grandview
Lodge No. 618, Grandview, Missouri, and Brother Truman served as its
first Worshipful Master. At the Annual Session of the Grand Lodge of
Missouri, September 24-25, 1940, Brother Truman was elected (by a
landslide) the ninety-seventh Grand Master of Masons of Missouri,
and served until October 1, 1941. Brother and President Truman was
made a Sovereign Grand Inspector General, 33°, and Honorary Member,
Supreme Council on October 19,1945 at the Supreme Council A.A.S.R.
Southern Jurisdiction Headquarters in Washington D.C., upon which
occasion he served as Exemplar (Representative) for his Class. He
was also elected an Honorary Grand Master of the International
Supreme Council, Order of DeMolay. On May 18, 1959, Brother and
Former President Truman was presented with a fifty-year award, the
only U.S. President to reach that golden anniversary in Freemasonry.
September 30, 1949, Malta Lodge No. 465, Grand Rapids, Michigan,
along with his half-brothers Thomas Gardner Ford (1918-1995),
Richard Addison Ford (1924-) and James Francis Ford (1927- ). The
Fellowcraft and Master Mason Degrees were Conferred by Columbia
Lodge No. 3, Washington, D.C., on April 20 and May 18, 1951, as a
courtesy to Malta Lodge. Brother Ford was made a Sovereign Grand
Inspector General, 33°, and Honorary Member, Supreme Council
A.A.S.R. Northern Jurisdiction at the Academy of Music in
Philadelphia, on September 26, 1962, for which he served as Exemplar
(Representative) for his Class. Brother and President Ford was
unanimously elected an Active Member of the International Supreme
Council, Order of DeMolay and its Honorary Grand Master, at its
Annual Session held at Orlando, Florida, April 6-9, 1975; Brother
Ford held this post until January 1977, at which time he became a
Past Honorary Grand Master, receiving his Collar and Jewel on
October 24, 1978 in Topeka, Kansas, from the Hon. Thomas C. Raum,
Jr., Grand Master, Order of DeMolay.
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