Eighty Years of Masonry in Northern Light Lodge

Eighty Years of Masonry in Northern Light Lodge

Masonry in Hope was established six years prior to Cooperstown and drew candidates and affiliates from Cooperstown territory.  During this time the branch train used to leave about 7:00 AM, and return about 4:00 PM.  Among its crew was John E. Johnson, the conductor.  On occasion after completing the run the Brothers were assembled, consisting usually of: 

J. E. Johnson, W. D. Marsh, David Bartlett, Charles Houghton, and William Stringer.  A few miles east of the river, they would pick up E. C. Butler, Ben Upton and Glen Dyson - and the trek was on for Hope, horse and buggy fashion.  Rain or shine they had to be back in time to take Old 58 out on its run in the morning.  On occasions, J. E. stepped out of the buggy on to the train and gave the high sign to go.  The long ride and the town rivalry prompted the idea of a Masonic Lodge for Cooperstown.

The first recorded meeting was held in the I. O. O. F. Hall on July 5, 1895.  Two informal meetings were held earlier.  At one of the previous meetings a request went to the Grand Lodge for Letters of Dispensation, which was granted, appointing the acting officers and the official date of meeting.

A set of by-laws as adopted, arrangements were made with the I. O. O. F. for the use of the hall at $7.00 per month.

A minute was made of borrowing $105.00 for organization expenses and the records show that this debt was paid November 15, of the same year.

According to Brother Dyson the name Northern Light was suggested by Brother J. N. Brown because of a very brilliant display of northern lights that occurred the night of organization.

On August 9, 1895, the first "work" was undertaken, the E. A. Degree being conferred on Maynard Crane and A. B. Stewart.  Brother Stewart received his F. C. Degree on September 6 and M. M. Degree on October 18, thus becoming the first M. M. raised in the lodge.

The charter was granted August 6, 1896, and still remains in the lodge.  Charter members were W. D. Marsh, J. E. Johnson, David Bartlett, B. A. Upton, J. N. Brown, Marvin Buck, George Stringer, B. B. Brown, Glen Dyson, William Stringer, S. B. Langford, R. C. Cooper, F. J. Stone, C. H. Mosley, E. C. Butler, Charles Houghton, Knud Thompson, W. C. Jimeson, and Alex Curry.  Eight of the members had been members at Hope.

In 1904 the lodge loaned its moral support and $25 to help organize a chapter of Eastern Star, which adopted the name of Northern Light.

In 1916 the order built the present building.

The latest brothers to be raised to Master Mason are: 

Scott Sayer, a third generation Mason, and Ricky Hazard, a 4th generation Mason in the Northern Light Lodge No. 45.

Source: Griggs County History 1879 - 1976 Page 52

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