Table of Contents Pioneers and Pathmakers Gallery
Living Well Gallery
Generosity Gallery 14 Leadership Gallery 18
We are where you are.
Everyman Gallery 24 The Beginning 29 Art Glass Windows
Brotherly Love, Relief and Truth Missouri Masonic Museum
The Masonic Home of Missouri built the Masonic Museum, a permanent five themed gallery museum, to weave together the historical significance of the fraternity, the history of the Grand Lodge of Missouri, and the history of the Masonic Home of Missouri, while providing an opportunity to share the historically significant Masonic items from individuals, lodges and chapters throughout the state of Missouri.
The Pioneers and Pathmakers gallery features some of the important Masonic founders of our country and state. Masonry can claim nine signers of the Declaration of Independence, 33 or more generals of the Continental Army, and 13 signers of the U.S. Constitution. It is fitting that this gallery prominently feature the first President of the United States – Worshipful Brother George Washington.
Pioneers and Pathmakers Gallery
On April 30, 1789, while Master of his Lodge, George Washington was inaugurated the first President of the United States, taking his oath of office on a Masonic Bible. During his second term in office, George Washington presided as Grand Master of Masons, pro tem, to lay the cornerstone for the Capitol in Washington, D.C. This momentous occasion is captured in a mural called George Washington Laying the Cornerstone of the National Capital, 18 September 1793 painted by Allyn Cox for the George Washington Masonic National Memorial in 1952. The Masonic Home proudly displays a replica of this mural within the museum. In the mural, George Washington is holding a gavel. A replica of this gavel is located below the mural, generously donated to the Masonic Home for the Masonic Museum by PGM Glenn Means. The story of Freemasonry in Missouri begins with the Louisiana Purchase. Masons would help found the early settlements in the new territory, establish local governments, schools, and eventually help establish a state government. To quote MWB Ray V. Denslow, “It has been said that ‘Freemasonry follows the flag’” but the development of the Mississippi Valley is one where Freemasons helped “raise the flag.”
The historic Lewis and Clark Expedition is featured within this gallery, as both were Masons in the Louisiana Territory. Meriwether Lewis received his degrees at Door to Virtue Lodge No. 44, Albemarle County, Virginia in 1797. Upon his return from the famed expedition, Lewis would be appointed Governor of the Louisiana Territory by President Thomas Jefferson. While Governor, Lewis and his fellow Masonic Brothers in the new territory petitioned the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania for a lodge in the Town of St. Louis. In 1808, the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania granted a warrant to Meriwether Lewis (Master), Thomas F. Riddick (Senior Warden) and Rufus Easton (Junior Warden) for Saint Louis Lodge No. 111. A year later in 1809, William Clark would receive his Masonic degrees in St. Louis Lodge No. 111. Within the Pioneers and Pathmakers Gallery, Brother Clark’s Masonic apron is on display. Brother Clark’s apron is generously on loan to the Masonic Home from St. Charles Lodge No. 241, St. Charles, Missouri.
Replica mural of George Washington Laying the Cornerstone of the National Capital, 18 September 1793
The story of the early territory and formation of the state is a rich tapestry of Masons whose stories intersect with each other, intersect with the creation of lodges, and ultimately culminating in the creation of the State of Missouri and the Grand Lodge of Missouri, A.F. & A.M. These Masons include Missouri’s First Governor – Alexander McNair, Missouri’s first Representative to Congress – John Scott, one of Missouri’s first U.S. Senators – Thomas Hart Benton, a man whose public service career would culminate in President Abraham Lincoln’s Cabinet – Edward Bates, and many more.
In addition to learning about the Masons that founded our state, there are artifacts on display from the three lodges chartered by the Grand Lodge of Tennessee that are responsible for the formation of the Grand Lodge of Missouri, A.F. & A.M. On February 22, 1821, representatives from Missouri Lodge No. 12, Joachim Lodge No. 25 and St. Charles Lodge No. 28 held an organizational meeting in St. Louis, Missouri. On April 21, 1821, the Grand Lodge of Missouri, A.F. & A.M., was organized. The first installation of Missouri Grand Lodge Officers was held on May 4, 1821, with Most Worshipful Brother Thomas F. Riddick becoming the first Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Missouri, A.F. & A.M. Just as the pioneers carried Freemasonry to Missouri, the Missouri Masons would help spread Masonry west, and the Grand Lodge of Missouri would help establish lodges in Kansas, Nebraska, Wisconsin, Illinois, Iowa, New Mexico, Utah, Washington, California, and Mexico, making it the Mother Lodge of the West. On display in the gallery is the original Dispensation and Charter granted by the Grand Lodge of Missouri to the first lodge in the Utah Territory. This military lodge was only in existence for a few years before the troops were called back to Washington D.C. due to the Civil War.
William Clarkâ€™s Masonic Apron
The Masons featured in the Pioneers and Pathmakers Gallery laid the foundation for generations to come. They faced many struggles but Masonry persevered, and their efforts would be far reaching to light the way for those to come.
The Living Well Gallery embodies some of the history of the Masonic Home, especially the life of the residents of the original Masonic Home located on Delmar Boulevard in St. Louis, Missouri.
Living Well Gallery
The Masonic Home placed a pronounced focus on education for the children living in the Home. The Board and Staff made sure the children living at Masonic Home gained academic, moral, and practical knowledge. They attended local public schools, and the Masonic Home assisted them in attending higher education and trade schools. By the 1930s, young people lived at the Masonic Home until they finished advanced schooling or military service and established themselves at work. This gallery also features many people who were important to the formation of the Masonic Home. Past Grand Master John R. Parson was instrumental in raising funds for the establishment of the Masonic Home as Chairman of the Triennial Committee of the Grand Encampment of Knights Templar in 1886. PGM Parson served on the Masonic Home Board for 22 years, including the year he was Grand Master in 1892. He served on the Home Board from 1886, two years prior to the Masonic Home opening, until 1908. The Masonic Home Board honored him in 1918 as â€œThe Father of the Home.â€? In 1904, PGM Parson became Grand Secretary of the Grand Lodge of Missouri, A.F. & A.M. and would serve in that capacity for 17 years. On display is an apron from Tuscan Lodge No. 360 that was signed by PGM Parson, as Grand Secretary, in 1906. Tuscan Lodge followed
the unusual practice of printing the brotherâ€™s warrant onto his leathern apron. The Lodge then filled in the form just as if it had been printed on paper. Past Grand Master Noah M. Givan is also featured within the gallery. PGM Givan served as Grand Master in 1878, and was elected as the first Masonic Home Board President in 1886. He would make an impassioned call to the Grand Lodge assembly for the Masonic Home that is still meaningful today: The undertaking in which we have engaged is not a small one. It involves not the work of a day, or a year, or a generation even, but the united efforts of every Mason in the State for all time to come. It involves labor, sacrifice, anxiety, devotion, liberality, confidence, faith, hope and charity.
Masonic Apron Signed by Secretary John R. Parsons
Dr. Morris Leftwich and his wife, Ella D. Leftwich, are featured leaders for serving as the first Superintendent and Matron of the Masonic Home. They were placed in charge on April 1, 1889 and welcomed the first resident four months later, a 12-year-old girl named Della Gale Farthing. Their skills and compassion would set a standard in raising children and caring for the elderly that would become the foundation of the Masonic Home for the next 100 years. Dr. Leftwich would resign from his position with the Masonic Home a few months prior to his passing on December 4, 1898. Dr. Leftwich would be memorialized in the second Order of the Eastern Star Chapel built on the Delmar Campus with a beautiful piece of art glass that has been restored and is on display in this gallery.
Masonic Home of Missouri Board of Directors 1898
The Order of the Eastern Star was a strong supporter of the Masonic Home, both financially and for the care of the residents. The Order would fund the construction of the first chapel dedicated in 1897, contribute financially through per capita beginning in 1904, fund the construction of a second chapel dedicated in 1928, and fund the removal of the chapel art glass windows upon the sale of the facility in 1991. The Order of the Eastern Star also furnished items needed for the operation of the Home, built a playground, arranged special trips for the children, and arranged special activities, entertainment and treats for the elderly residents.
1897 Order of the Eastern Star Chapel located at the Masonic Home in St. Louis
The Gallery features one of Missouriâ€™s most famous Order of the Eastern Star members â€“ Laura Ingalls Wilder. Laura Ingalls Wilder was one of 25 Charter members of Mansfield Chapter No. 76, Order of the Eastern Star. Mansfield Chapter No. 76 was Instituted and Constituted on May 15, 1897, and Laura served as Esther that first year. She would go on to serve in many capacities including Worthy Matron, Secretary and District Deputy Grand Lecturer. Laura Ingalls Wilder is best known for her popular childrenâ€™s books the Little House on the Prairie series. She began writing the fictionalized version of her childhood on the frontier in 1932, and completed the series over the next eleven years. The Laura Ingalls Wilder Historic Home & Museum in Mansfield, Missouri has graciously loaned the Masonic Home a few precious items from her personal wardrobe. The Masonic Museum has on display a handkerchief Wilder embroidered and a pair of stylish gloves she wore. 13
The Generosity Gallery shares those stories of Masonic generosity that helped make the Masonic Home of Missouri a reality. It shares both individual stories and how Masonic Lodges, Eastern Star Chapters and other organizations contributed to founding and sustaining the Masonic Home.
Generosity is not just measured in wealth shared; there is also generosity of time and talents. Featured in this gallery is Rev. John Davis Vincil, a man that generously gave of himself to the Fraternity. Rev. John D. Vincil petitioned Athens Lodge No. 127, at Albany, Gentry County, was initiated in June, passed in July and raised on August 12, 1854. In 1866, MWB Vincil was elected Grand Master, serving nearly eighteen months in what was known as the â€œlongâ€? term. This was due to the change of holding Annual Communication from May to October. MWB Vincil would again hold the office of Grand Master in 1868. He was an integral part in the formation of the Order of the Eastern Star in Missouri in 1875, serving as the first Worthy Grand Patron. When the General Grand Chapter of the United States was organized in 1876, he was selected to serve as the first Most Worthy Grand Patron. It was during his tenure as Grand Secretary of the Grand Lodge of Missouri, a position he held for 27 years, that he actively participated in the creation of the Masonic Home of Missouri, serving on the original Board of Directors. An orphan himself, Rev. Vincil was passionate about the need for and the creation of the Masonic Home of Missouri. In 1904, PGM Vincil would be honored with a dinner celebrating his 50 years in Masonry. The Golden Jubilee program from this dinner is on display in the Generosity Gallery, and his 15
Grand Master’s Jewel is on display in the Leadership Gallery. The original call for the creation of the Masonic Home came from Grand Master John C. Ralls 1846-1847. At Grand Lodge Annual Communication in the fall of 1875, then Grand Master Ralls introduced a resolution that was adopted, recommending “a select Committee be appointed to enquire into, and report upon, the expediency and necessity of making suitable provision for the erection of a ‘Home’ for the indigent widows and minors (orphans) of worthy (deceased) Master Masons… to be located in some suitable and healthy place.” Paying tribute to Past Grand Master Ralls and his original call to action, the Masonic Home created the Most Worshipful Brother John C. Ralls Master Builder Society to recognize Lodges who supported the Masonic Home during its historical 125th Anniversary celebration in 2014. A special plaque commemorating this anniversary and each Lodge’s level of support in that program is now permanently on display in the Generosity Gallery. Directly below the plaque is a display that includes two of PGM Ralls official state documents. One from his service in the state militia during the Black Hawk War in 1832 and the other his official appointment by Missouri Governor Lilburn W. Boggs to lieutenant colonel in 1837. Also in the display case is a unique Grand Master’s Jewel engraved with the following: “Presented by the MW Gr Lodge of AF AM Masons of Missouri” “For MW John Ralls P Gr Master In token of Fraternal regards” “May 5861”. The back of the Jewel is engraved with the words “Friendship”, “Morality” “Brotherly Love”.
Past Grand Master Jacob Lampert’s legacy of generosity is featured in the gallery. PGM Lampert and his family came to the United States from Holland via England in 1858 when he was two years old. By the time Lampert and his family moved to St. Louis in 1876, he had completed his apprenticeship as a cigar maker. At the age of 22, he became involved with Masonry in Itaska Lodge No. 420, and he would have the honor of serving as Grand Master in 1912-1913. He supported the Masonic Home throughout his life, and shared this spirit of generosity to the Masonic Home with his family. In 1926, his sister, Mrs. Rosa Graff, funded a swimming pool at the Masonic Home’s campus on Delmar Boulevard in memory of her brother. On display are several of PGM Lambert’s personal items, such as his 33rd degree Scottish Rite ring, a silver lighter cover from the Moolah Temple Orchestra (where he played first violin) and a silver leaf given to him by George Washington Lodge No. 9. These items have been graciously loaded to the Masonic Home by PGM Lampert’s family and the Grand Lodge of Missouri.
The Leadership Gallery pays tribute to leaders of the fraternity and the Masonic Home, and features Missouriâ€™s most famous mason and national leader.
U.S. President Harry S. Truman served as Grand Master in 1940-1941, during the dark times of World War II. As Senator, he helped guide the nation through that war, then as President he helped end it. Truman was initiated, passed and raised in Belton Lodge No. 450 in 1909. His petition and copies of the ledger books with those degree dates are on display via loan from Belton Lodge No. 450. The museum proudly displays the famous portrait of Harry S. Truman in his Masonic regalia. Also on display are his Grand Masterâ€™s Masonic Collar and Gavel, both on loan from the Grand Lodge of Missouri. The Harry S. Truman National Historical Site, maintained by the National Park Service, is responsible for maintaining the family homestead in Independence, Missouri, in addition to over 50,000 artifacts related to the Truman family. The National Park Service has graciously loaned to the Masonic Home items from their artifact collection that belonged to President Truman, such as his hats, masonic books, and various personal items. The display is rotated every few years with new items. This gallery features four additional Grand Masters that served our country during times of war when great leadership was needed: Mexican-American War, Civil War, World War I, and World War II. In 1847, while serving as Grand Master, John C. Ralls was selected Colonel of the Third Regiment of Volunteer Missouri Militia, and he marched over the Santa
Fe Trail to join the forces of General Sterling Price. Under the command of General Price, he served in the battle on Santa Cruz de los Rosales; the town was captured and Colonel Ralls was given the honor of receiving the sabers of the captured Mexican officers. Hamilton Gamble became the fifth Grand Master of Missouri in 1832. In 1851, MWB Gamble was asked to reside on Missouri’s Supreme Court. The Supreme Court consisted of three judges, and Brother Gamble would write the dissenting opinion on the famous Dred Scott Case arguing that Scott and his wife, Harriet, should have been awarded their freedom. In 1861, Brother Gamble would return to Missouri at the insistence of his brother-in-law, Brother Edward Bates, who was serving as Attorney General in President Lincoln’s Cabinet. Brother Gamble was a critical voice advocating Missouri remain in the Union. After Governor Claiborne Jackson, a Southern sympathizer, fled the capital at the onset of the war, Brother Gamble was appointed Governor. Prior to becoming Grand Master in 1935, MWB James W. Skelly volunteered for service in WWI and was commissioned to be part of the 12th Engineers (Light Railway) out of St. Louis. MWB Skelly was among the first 30,000 troops to go overseas, and he saw service in both England and France. During almost fifteen months of operations, the 12th Engineers participated in eight campaigns – more than any of its sister railway regiments. Captain Skelly was awarded the British Military Cross for Valor at Cambai, France on June 9, 1918 while his regiment was attached to the British Army.
Front row, left to right – fourth is James W. Skelly. Second row left to right – second is Forrest C. Donnell, fifth is Harry S. Truman
MWB James W. Skelly
In 1940, Forrest C. Donnell was elected Governor of Missouri during WWII. Brother Donnell was also elected to the office of Grand Master in 1942, while serving as Governor of Missouri. As a wartime Governor, Donnell had to implement cutbacks and deal with statewide shortages on gasoline, meat, coffee, etc. asking Missourians to do their part for the wartime efforts. After serving his term as Governor, Past Grand Master Donnell was elected to the United States Senate. It was said that Donnell showed no fondness for the politics of his fellow Missourian and often challenged the new President on his choice of appointments. Freemasonry has a long history of family involvement as fathers introduce their sons to the Craft. Orestes Mitchell, Sr. and his son Orestes Mitchell, Jr. epitomize that tradition and are also featured in the Leadership Gallery. Orestes Mitchell, Sr. was Grand Master in 1924-1925, and served as a Masonic Home Board Member from 1935 to 1938 during the Great
Depression. He supported building fund drives to address aging buildings and overcrowding. Despite the difficult financial times, the Masonic Home was able to build a nine-story brick Womenâ€™s Building that would open in 1938. Orestes Mitchell, Jr. was Grand Master in 1954-1955, and served on the Masonic Home Board from 1952 to 1955. In addition to recommending the change from Grand Master to Deputy Grand Master to be President of the Masonic Home Board, PGM Orestes Mitchell, Jr. spearheaded fundraising for construction and renovation of the Masonic Homeâ€™s campus on Delmar Boulevard in St. Louis. As Grand Master and Masonic Home Board President, his campaign through TV and radio appearances and letters to every Missouri Freemason raised over $800,000.00. By 1958, the Home was able to open a new ten-story residence hall and hospital. This would be the last building built at the Masonic Homeâ€™s campus on Delmar Boulevard.
The Everyman Gallery is a rotating display giving local lodges, chapters and individuals an opportunity to exhibit items of Masonic historical importance. The gallery currently features several gavels, including the Charles Lindbergh gavel and Mark Twain-Samuel L. Clemens gavel, both on loan from Polar Star-Rose Hill Lodge No. 79.
ship in Keystone Lodge throughout his life. During his solo, non-stop, trans-Atlantic flight, Lindbergh wore the square and compass on his jacket and his plane bore a Masonic flag given to him by his lodge brothers. The gavel on display is made of wood from the propeller of Lindberghâ€™s famous airplane, the Spirit of St. Louis.
Charles Lindbergh moved to St. Louis by 1925 to work as a flight instructor and chief pilot for the Robertson Aircraft Corporationâ€™s new air mail delivery system. He was raised in Keystone Lodge No. 243 in 1926, and flew the Spirit of St. Louis to aviation fame in 1927. Although he did not live in St. Louis after his historic flight, Lindbergh retained member-
Samuel L. Clemens was better known by his pen name, Mark Twain. He was an American writer, entrepreneur, publisher and lecturer. Among his novels are The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and its sequel Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. He was raised a Missouri Master Mason on July 10, 1861 in Polar Star Lodge No. 79, St. Louis, Missouri. During a trip
Samuel L. Clemens Masonic Gavel
to Palestine, he sent his lodge a gavel with this note: “This mallet is a cedar, cut in the forest of Lebanon, whence Solomon obtained the timbers for the temple.” Clemens cut the handle himself from a cedar just outside the walls of Jerusalem. He had it made in Alexandria, Egypt and presented to the Lodge on April 8, 1868. The Order of the Eastern Star has two displays within the Everyman Gallery. One display is dedicated to Lois J. Newman, who served as Most Worthy Grand Matron. As head of the General Grand Chapter, she guided the Eastern Star from 1988 until 1991. Sister Newman brought the 40th Triennial to St. Louis. She developed her significant leadership skills in Missouri serving as Worthy Grand Matron in 1962. The second display honors Worthy Grand Matron Mary Jane Truman for the year 1951-1952. On display is the original sceptre belonging to Grandview Chapter No. 365, Order of the Eastern Star and a crown donated to Grandview Chapter No. 365 by Miss Mary Jane Truman in 1933, when she served as Grand Esther of the Grand Chapter of Missouri, Order of the Eastern Star.
The Nipa Apron
In addition to the gavels, books of record, and working tools, the Everyman Gallery often features Masonic Aprons. One unique apron currently on display is that of Marshall Welch. Brother Welch was a member of Adelphi Lodge No. 355 and Camden Point Lodge No. 169 when he passed away at the age of 93. He left behind the story of the Nipa Apron:
After the Japanese surrendered and the group was waiting to be sent home, we created a “Square and Compass” time on an old ship to meet and practice ritual. After some time an old building that had been burned was found, and the story came out that the Japanese had found a Lodge roster and burned it down killing many of the members. Our group found some of the surviving Philippian members and decided to write our Home Lodges in the States to request the tools of a Lodge. With the requests filled, we were able to initiate the local men and rebuild their Lodge. On a night in 1945, of the open house of the new Lodge, the wives of the men presented us with an apron made of Nipa, a form of straw woven into cloth by hand. The Lodge continued with rotating members, as they were sent home and others came over seas. Brother Welch’s Nipa apron is on display along with its unique story. If your lodge or chapter is interested in loaning items of historical Masonic significance to the museum for a display, please contact the Masonic Home of Missouri at 1-800-434-9804.
At Grand Lodge Annual Communication in the fall of 1875, John C. Ralls introduced a resolution that was adopted, recommending: “a select Committee to be appointed to enquire into, and report upon, the expediency and necessity of making suitable provision for the erection of a ‘Home’ for the indigent widows and minors (orphans) of worthy (deceased) Master Masons… to be located in some suitable healthy place.”
In 1886, the Masonic Home of Missouri ceased to be just an idea passionately fought for by its founding fathers; the Masonic Home of Missouri became incorporated under Missouri Laws. The first Board of Directors was elected at Annual Communication, with Noah M. Givan elected as President. In addition, the Grand Lodge adopted a resolution “that the sum of $10,000 be pledged by this Grand Lodge, out of securities now on hand, for the ‘Masonic Home’”. On September 21, 1886, $35,000 was raised during the Grand Encampment of Knights Templar, which was gathering in St. Louis, Missouri. Following Annual Communication in 1888, the committee appointed to select a location for the Home acquired a site at the edge of St. Louis at a price of $40,000. The property consisted of fifteen acres near Forest Park which, at the time, was considered to be in the country. The only transportation to the Home at the time of purchase was the “narrow gauge R.R.” that ran on what would become the Hodiamont Street car tracks. The property had a two and a half story brick mansion with about 20 rooms, a good sized barn and a gardener’s cottage. The grounds extended north to Smith
Academy, and contained an apple orchard. The grounds to the west contained a garden and vineyard. It is this area that would later be developed for the “old people’s building” and the power house. The property would later be identified as located on Delmar Boulevard. On June 15, 1889, Grand Master James P. Wood convened a special session of the Grand Lodge to dedicate the Masonic Home. For some time after the Masonic Home opened, there were no residents. Then on July 12, 1889, the Masonic Home welcomed its first child into the Home’s family. She was a young girl named Della Gale Farthing, age 12, from Greenville, Missouri. She was admitted on the application of Greenville Lodge No. 446. After a while, those in need began to come in earnest.
History of the Chapels & Art Glass At the 20th Annual Session of the Grand Chapter of Missouri, Order of the Eastern Star held in Chillicothe in October 1894, John D. Vincil, Grand Secretary of the Grand Lodge of Missouri, Past Grand Master and past Worthy Grand Patron of the Grand Chapter of Missouri, Order of the Eastern Star, advised those in attendance of the need for a chapel at the Masonic Home in St. Louis, Missouri. The Grand Chapter appropriated $500 to begin the fund raising efforts. When the members returned home, they reported the need to their chapters and interest was awakened throughout the state.
The plans for a chapel with a 500 seating capacity were drawn by Brother G.U. Heimberger, and the cost to complete the project was $3,533. At the time of its construction, it was the only Eastern Star Chapel in the world. On October 21, 1897, the Chapel was dedicated by Grand Master B. Tygard and Grand Lodge officers. The following words were spoken by the Worthy Grand Matron in her address at the dedication ceremony: “It is a building dedicated to God, for the edification and happiness of the orphans and the aged, who are under the protecting wings of the noblest order on earth.” In 1924, the Order of the Eastern Star Advisory Board would bring to the attention of the Grand Chapter concerns that the original chapel was having structural issues, such as mildewed walls and a leaking roof, along with natural decay. A letter was sent to each chapter in the state calling for funds to begin building a new chapel, and the chapters responded raising $3,286.61. The Order of the Eastern Star would continue to raise funds to build a new chapel, while also furnishing items needed in the operation of the Home. After consultation with the Masonic Home Board, it was determined that the new chapel would be built on the same location, but permission was granted to enlarge upon the space. Prior to demolition of the original chapel, the Order of the Eastern Star removed the art glass in the chapel. All of the pieces were repaired, as needed, and installed in the new
chapel along with 7 new pieces. The new chapel was again funded entirely by the Order of the Eastern Star Chapters and Clubs costing $85,000-$90,000. Architect Brother H.L. Clymer designed the chapel with a seating capacity of 450 and a children’s platform of 140. The new Order of the Eastern Star Chapel was dedicated during Grand Lodge Annual Communication in 1928. The Masonic Home of Missouri in St. Louis would grow and change over the years. By the 1980s, the Masonic Home in St. Louis was facing significant issues. The Masonic Home of Missouri’s Board of Directors made the difficult decision to relocate the residents and sell the property. On December 30, 1991 the Masonic Home sold the property to the State of Missouri. Prior to the State demolishing the buildings, the Order of the Eastern Star paid $21,000 to remove the art glass from the Chapel for preservation and possible future usage or display.
With the construction of the Masonic Complex in 2003, the Masonic Home had space to both store and begin to display the art glass from the Chapels. One of the first pieces to be restored was the “Children’s Window” which is located on the first level of the Complex. This window was presented by the Children of the Home to the Order of the Eastern Star. They raised the funds for this window by holding musical concerts. Additional windows were restored and placed within the Masonic Museum dedicated on February 23, 2008. On June 14, 2014 the Masonic Home of Missouri celebrated 125 years of charitable service to the Masonic Fraternity. As part of the 125th Celebration, the Masonic Home restored, in partnership with several Lodges, Chapters and individuals, nine pieces of art glass. The final piece of art glass, “The Burning Bush”, was restored and placed on permanent display in the Masonic Complex lobby in June 2016. These art glass panes are now on display throughout the Masonic Complex in Columbia, Missouri.
Art Glass Windows
Originally funded by Missouri Lodge No. 1 A.F. & A.M
Dedicated in memory of Clifford C. Baker, Superintendent of the Masonic Home 1912-1915
Restoration generously funded by St. Louis Missouri Lodge No. 1
Restoration generously funded by Bonhomme Lodge No. 45
The Ascension Originally funded by St. Louis Commandery No. 1, K.T. Dedicated “In Memory of our Departed” Restoration generously funded by St. Louis Missouri Lodge No. 1
The Nativity Originally funded by Tuscan Lodge No. 360 A.F. & A.M Restoration generously funded by Tuscan Lodge No. 360
Reuniting Three Panes
In the original chapel, the large round Signet window was displayed between two other windows: The Exodus and The Blessing of the Children. The three windows have been reunited to their original positioning to be enjoyed today as the residents and children of the Home would have viewed them in the Eastern Star Chapel built in 1897.
The Exodus Originally funded by Moolah Temple A.A.O.N.M.S. in 1897 Restoration generously funded by the Moolah Guides, Swing Dance Club, Ceremonial Cast, Noble Lodge No. 684, Gregory Gates and Oliver Steed
Childrenâ€™s Signet Window Originally presented by the Children of the Home to the Order of the Eastern Star in 1897
Blessing of the Children
The Burning Bush
Originally funded by Ascalon Commandery No. 16 K.T. in 1897
Originally positioned behind the alter in the second chapel
Restoration generously funded by a private donor
Restoration generously funded by C.E. Gene Ridenhour, MD, 33 degree Mason
The Good Shepherd Originally funded by various Eastern Star Chapters and Masonic bodies Dedicated â€œIn memory of Dr. Morris Leftwich
First Superintendent of the Masonic Home of Mo. 1888-1898
Presented by the Eastern Star Chapters and Masonic bodies in which he held membership.â€?
Originally funded by an unnamed donor
Restoration generously funded by Marge Carney, Worthy Grand Matron, Grand Chapter of Missouri, Order of the Eastern Star
Dedicated in honor of Mrs. Morris Leftwich, First Matron of the Home
Originally part of a three-pane set, this piece features the watchword “Reward”. The first missing window is entitled “The Junior Princess” and features the watchword “Patience” and the words “of Missouri”. The remaining missing window, entitled “The Senior Princess”, features the watchword “Faith” and the words “Job’s”. Together, the three panes would have read, “Job’s Daughters of Missouri”.
Esther Originally funded by Nellie D. Hamilton, Past Grand Matron of the Order of the Eastern Star
Job’s Daughter’s Honored Queen Restoration generously funded by Missouri Job’s Daughters
Dedicated in honor of Golden Gate Chapter No. 58, O.E.S.
Originally funded by East Gate Chapter No. 367, O.E.S.
Restoration requested by the Order of the Eastern Star
Restoration generously funded by Tuscan Lodge No. 360
On permanent display in the Grand Chapter office
The Masonic Museum is open for visitors 9:00 a.m.â€“4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday when the Masonic Complex is open. Although no appointments are necessary, you are welcome to call the Masonic Home of Missouri at (800) 434-9804 with any questions you might have regarding availability or if you would like to schedule a group tour of the museum.
MASONIC HOME 6033 Masonic Drive, Suite A Columbia, MO 65202 573.814.4663 800.434.9804 Toll Free 573.814.4660 Fax www.mohome.org
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