Masons (also known as Freemasons) belong to the oldest and largest fraternal organization in the world. Today, there are more than two million Freemasons in North America and 13,000 in Minnesota. Masons represent virtually every occupation and profession, yet within the Fraternity, all meet as equals. Masons come from diverse political ideologies, yet meet as friends. Masons come from varied religious beliefs and creeds, yet all believe in one God.
Many of North America's early patriots were Freemasons. Thirteen signers of the Constitution and fourteen Presidents of the United States, including George Washington, were Masons. In Canada, the Father of the Confederation, Sir John A. MacDonald, was a Masons, as were other early Canadian and American leaders.
Beyond its focus on individual development and growth, Masonry is deeply involved in helping people. The Freemasons of North America contribute over two million dollars a day to charitable causes. This philanthropy represents an unparalleled example of the humanitarian commitment of this great and honorable Fraternity. Much of that assistance goes to people who are not Masons. Some of these charities are vast projects. The Shrine Masons (Shriners) operate the largest network of hospitals for burned and orthopedically impaired children in the country, and there is never a fee for treatment. The Scottish Rite Masons maintain a nationwide network of over 150 Childhood Language Disorder Clinics, Centers, and Programs.
In Minnesota, the Minnesota Masonic Charities helps enable local lodges in providing matching funds for programs in their individual communities. At Eveleth Lodge, these include scholarships for graduation high school seniors, Books for Bikes reading program at the school, and fundraising efforts annually for the band, languages, and athletic groups. They also perform public service activities in their communities. Eveleth Lodge's recent efforts include helping a Veterans group who assist soldiers abroad, the food shelf, and churches.
The Masons' Mission
Masons are men of good character who strive to improve themselves and make the world a better place. They belong to the oldest and most honorable fraternity known to man. The Masonic experience encourages members to become better men, better husbands, better fathers, and better citizens. The fraternal bonds formed in the Lodge help build lifelong friendships among men with similar goals and values.
Facts about Freemasonry
Freemasonry is the oldest fraternal group in the world. It began with the cathedral builders in the middle ages. Records date the origin of Freemasonry to before 926 A.D. Before 1599 A.D., only operative stonemasons could belong.
Freemasonry is not a secret organization. A man must ask to join- no one will ask him. Freemasonry uses the working tools of the stonemasons to teach lessons in morality. The basic tenets are taught in three "degrees": Entered Apprentice, Fellowcraft, Master Mason. Among the ancient lessons still taught in Masonry are: Temperance, Fortitude, Prudence and Justice, Brotherly Love, Relief and Truth, Faith, Hope and Charity.
History of the Eveleth Freemasons
Sometime during the year 1897, a group of Masons, including Dr. C. W. More, John Hearding, J.C. Poole, A.C. Osborn, W.D. Ellsworth, H.D. Vowell and several others met in the old D.W.& N. depot and talked over the matter of forming a lodge of Masons in Eveleth.
In November 1897, it was agreed that Mr. Hearding and Captain Jack Edwards should go to Tower and ascertain the attitude of Vermilion Lodge toward forming a lodge in Eveleth. The Lodge started operating under dispensation March 20, 1901. Informal meetings were held and the first minutes of a regular meeting are shown in the records to be on July 10, 1901. Meetings were first held in a room upstairs over what was then First National Bank building located on the corner of Grant Avenue and Monroe Street, but upon advice from the District Deputy Grand Master, Seldon Fraser, meetings were discontinued for the reason that voices could so easily be heard through the thin board walls. The Lodge was then moved into J.C. Poole's building on Grant Avenue over the J.C. Poole Hardware Store.
Among the bills paid by the lodge at these early meetings are noted the following: Mrs. F.R. Campbell, 3 dozen aprons $3.50; G.W. Mulligan, cigars $6.00; Max Shapiro, 5 gallons oysters $10, and many items of groceries all indicating long busy degree meetings and regular communications with social gatherings and luncheons culminating the meetings.
The Grand Lodge granted the charter for Eveleth Lodge No. 239 at its session in January 1902.