Masonic History

Hiram Lodge No. 4 Established

On the fourth day of April 1848 the Grand Lodge granted to Brothers Clement Beckett, John Cornell and William Beckett, Master, Senior, and Junior Wardens, respectively, a charter. The Lodge was to be known as Hiram Lodge No. 4.

Hiram Lodge No. 4 was the first Lodge constituted under the Union Grand Lodge. The Following was said in the 1956 Mortgage Burning Program concerning Hiram Lodge No. 4:

During the Administration of Charles Datcher, Most Worshipful Grand Master, in the year of 1848 and by the authority emanating from the M.W.G.L. for the District of Columbia formed by convention of three regular warranted lodges, did of the fourth day of April 1848 grant to Brothers Clement Beckett, John Cornell and William Beckett, Master, Senior and Junior Wardens, respectively, a charter authorizing and empowering them to hold a regular and constituted lodge of Free and Accepted Masons. The Lodge was known as Hiram Lodge No 4 and meetings were to be held in “Georgetown,” D.C. The Craft at that time, not having a regular place of meeting, held their Lodges in various places. Hiram Lodge being composed of mostly Georgetown residents, held their meetings in the different homes of that section. It was sometimes referred to as the Georgetown Lodge.

The Lodge (Hiram No. 4) being the first lodge constituted under the Prince Hall Grand Lodge gives it the distinction of being the oldest chartered lodge of the District of Columbia under the Prince Hall Grand Lodge for the same. From the homes of the brothers of Georgetown, Hiram Lodge moved to 5th & Virginia Avenue, S.E. in 1897. Here for many years the lodge carried on its regular work and maintained its support to the Grand Lodge.

Under the leadership of W.M. Harry J. Lancaster, S.W.; N.E. Wittle, J.W.; George B. Lee, and a large membership we were able to move with the Craft, in the year of 1929, to the then New Temple at 10th and U Sts., N.W. Here the long sought after dreams of the Craft in general were at last established, a place of meeting worthy of the Craft and its good principles. But this dream was short lived; dark days of adversity descended and again the Craft had to find an ark to waft them over the sea of trouble, a place to afford protection from the inclemency of the seasons. This was afforded by the Scottish Rite Temple on Eleventh Street. In 1933 the Craft lost the U Street Temple due to financial difficulties during the Depression.

Here Hiram Lodge played an important role, for it was one of its Past Masters, in the person of Louis W. Roy, Sr., then Most Worshipful Grand Master, who with unfailing leadership, held the Craft together for seven years. Aside from P.G.M. Louis W. Roy, Sr., Hiram Lodge is proud of having another Past Grand Master, in the person of Barry Hampton, and through the years have had many Grand Lodge officers to serve.

Our records show a membership of only ninety-five in 1918 which was 70 years after the granting of a charter. In 1948, under the leadership of Brother F.K.D. Anderson, W.M. Willis Green, S.W., and William B. Smith, we moved with the Craft back to 10th and U Sts. with a membership of 218. Since that time many of the old have passed but much new has been added and now we the Master Nathaniel Lewis, the Senior Warden William Wyatt and the Junior Warden Woodee T. Lewis, officers and brothers, join with the Craft in rejoicing at this great and triumphant location, even of burning the mortgage on this Temple at 10th and U Sts., N.W.


Elections

The Following Officers were elected for 1849: On motion resolved that we go into an election for officers. Carried.

The following Grand officers were Elected
Richard Phiske R. W. G. M.
Denis Bourbon D. G. M.
William Brisco R. S. G. W.
J. Ft. Davis R.W.J.G.W.
R. Garnet G. S.
Joseph Frazier G.T.
Philip Hamilton G.C.
Henry Dade G. Pur.
Clement Becket G.T.
William Ford G.M.C.



On A motion it was resolved that a vote of thanks be returned to the W.M., Dep. Grand Master and Grand Sec. Adopted. On motion the Lodge adjourned.