Laying of the Downers Grove Masonic Temple Cornerstone From The Downers Grove Reporter July 18, 1924

Hundreds of members of the Masonic fraternity, headed by the colors of various Masonic bodies, marched in a parade here Saturday afternoon preceding the laying of the cornerstone of the Downers Grove Masonic Temple, in the process of erection at East Curtiss and Washington streets. This was changed Saturday morning from the original plan, so that Mr. Jones, who is recovering from an operation, and who has done a vast amount of work in connection with the Temple association and who was chairman of the corner stone laying ceremonies, could at least see the marchers. With the Siloam Commandery band making the music for the paraders and with the uniform of the Knights Templar giving a touch of military color, the parade was interesting to the spectators, many of whom had never before seen a Masonic event of this magnitude.

The laying of the corner stone was under the direction of David P. King, Acting Most Worshipful Grand Master of the State of Illinois, and was completed by members of the Grand Lodge. Mr. King, in a short talk preceding the ceremonies, told why the laying of the corner stone for a Masonic Temple was accompanied by such pomp and precision.

He said that the organization was the outgrowth of the operative fraternity of masons who were actual builders. They erected many of the churches, castles, and public buildings of Europe and England. When the craft changed its purpose from operative to speculative or symbolic Masonry, they carried into the new life as many of the customs of the old as possible. Mr. King explained that as the laying of the corner stone signified that the craftsmen were carrying out their ancient objects as builders, this ceremony was as nearly as possible the ceremony used hundreds of years ago by the operative masons.

At appropriate intervals the Oriental Quartet, of Chicago, sang selections and the chants which have also been handed down as proper to be sung at corner stone layings.

The following articles were placed in the corner stone box, 'so that future generations might know something of the learning and state of progress of the people who builded thus well.'

List of Grand Lodge officers at corner stone ceremonial.

Grove Lodge, No. 824, A. F. & A.M. Booklet, containing History of the Lodge; By-Laws; List of Members, past and present; Past Masters and present officers of Lodge; Roll of Honor in World War (1914-1918); and a brief regarding the Relationship of the Masonic Temple Association to Grove Lodge

Grove Chapter, No. 230, R. A. M. Booklet, containing History of Lodge; By-Laws; Officers for 1924; and List of Active Members, with a few autographs. Chapter Penny.

Vesta Chapter, No. 242, 0. E. S. Papers, containing a History of the Chapter; and list of Past Matrons and Patrons, Present Officers, and present members.

Downers Grove Chapter, No. 55, Order of The Builders, Papers containing a History of the Chapter, Past Master Builders and Present Officers, and List of present Members.

Masonic Temple Association Papers, giving a brief history of the organization, and short outline of its activities.

Trestle-Board of Grove Lodge, for April and July 1924.

Small American Flag.

Trowel, presented to Grove Lodge, No. 824, A. F. & A. M. on the occasion of a visit from Honor Lodge, No. 1, A. F. & A. M., on September 20, 1919.

The Downers Grove Reporter, dated July 11th, 1924.

Clippings from The Reporter of May 2, May 9 and July 4th, 1924, giving publicity to the activities of the local Masonic 'orders.

Photographs taken on May 3rd, 1924, on the occasion of turning the first spadeful of earth for the New Masonic Temple.

As a fitting touch to the corner stone ceremony, Mrs. C. G. Graves, a charter member of the local Eastern Star, and one of its Past Matrons, placed a basket of flowers on the stone. She was escorted to the place by two of the Grand Lodge officers.

Burr C. Downes, president of the Masonic Temple association, and the man to whom a great deal of the credit for the success of the project thus far is given, spoke the final words of the day. He was Acting Grand Orator, a place which he is qualified to take. Mr. Downes gave a brief history of the temple building and expressed his appreciation, on behalf of the association, for the help which had been so cheerfully accorded those in charge. He paid a tribute to the workers in Vesta Chapter who nave accumulated a fund for furnishing the building.

The ceremonies were opened by Henry C. Tank, a Past Master of Grove Lodge.

The final of the afternoon's program was enacted at the Methodist church where a dinner was given in honor of the Grand Lodge officers. The meal was prepared by the ladies of the church and was much enjoyed by those privileged to attend. The Oriental Quartet won the hearts of the diners with their close harmony and popular songs of today and yesterday.

Most of the businessmen, at the request of Grove Lodge, closed their places of business during the ceremonies. The stores were decorated, as were many homes, with the National colors and words of welcome for the visiting craftsmen.

Only one thing marred the day. The rain of the morning, it is thought, was responsible for the cutting of the expected attendance to less than a third of those who had sent acceptances. As it was representatives from almost every Masonic body of the vicinity were present.

 

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