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February 2017

New to the Collection: Samuel Tuthill’s Mark Medal

2016_032 Samuel Tuthill name side
Mark Medal made for Samuel Tuthill, 1816. New York. Museum Purchase, 2016.032.

According to a county history, Samuel Tuthill (1767-1851), the owner of this engraved medal (at left), moved from Southold, at the eastern end of Long Island, to the new settlement of Newtown in Tioga County, New York, in 1793. Tax and census records from the 1790s and the early 1800s show Samuel Tuthill making a home and raising a family there.  As part of building their community, in 1793 area Masons established Union Lodge No. 30.  Samuel Tuthill became an active member of the Newtown lodge; from 1813 to 1826 he served as Master at least four times.  Newtown citizens changed the name of their town to Elmira in 1808.  A few years later Samuel Tuthill was one of the men who received a dispensation from the Grand Chapter of New York to form a Royal Arch chapter, Elmira No. 42, in 1815.  The Grand Chapter granted the group a warrant the following year.

After taking the mark degree, Tuthill commissioned a craftsman to make this silver medal for him.  In the shape of a shield topped with a Bible and a square and compasses, Tuthill’s medal resembles others made around the same time such as this example from Connecticut and another from New York.  On one side Tuthill had his name, “Saml Tuthill,” incised in the metal with what is likely the year he took the mark degree, 1816, and stylized renditions of Masonic symbols such as an arch with a keystone, a pavement and the letter G.  Within the arch there are three letters from a form of cipher writing Masons sometimes used among themselves. 

On the reverse side of his medal (at right, below) Tuthill had the name and number of his chapter engraved.  At the center, within the circle containing the letters of the mnemonic associated with the mark degree, Tuthill asked the engraver to depict Tuthill’s mark, the emblem he chose to represent himself as part of the mark degree.  As his personal symbol, Tuthill selected a bird, probably a dove, in flight holding a spring in its beak.  Men who had taken the mark degree chose many kinds of symbols, Masonic and otherwise.  Tuthill’s dove may have related to Freemasonry; the symbol indicated a messenger in English Masonry but was not commonly used in American Freemasonry.  Alternately, the dove may have symbolized peace, a meaning of the symbol that was popular at the time.  A county history relates that Tuthill briefly lead a company of recruits from his county during the War of 1812.  In 1816, a few years after his service, peace may have been a virtue on Samuel Tuthill’s mind.  

2016_032 Samuel Tuthill mark side
Mark Medal made for Samuel Tuthill, 1816. New York. Museum Purchase, 2016.032.

References: 

History of Tioga, Chemung, Tompkins, and Schuyler Counties, New York (Philadelphia: Everts & Ensign, 1879), 260.

Barbara Franco, Masonic Symbols in American Decorative Arts (Lexington, Massachusetts: Scottish Rite Masonic Museum of Our National Heritage, 1976), 49.

Gary L. Heinmiller, compiler, “Craft Masonry in Chemung, Schuyler and Tioga Counties, New York” (Onondaga & Oswego Masonic Districts Historical Societies, May, 2010), 3, 4, 24.

Proceedings of the Grand Chapter of Royal Arch Masons of the State of New York, vol. 1, 1798-1853, (Buffalo: Published by the order of the Grand Chapter, 1871), 129.

Ausburn Towner, Our County and its People:  A History of the Valley and County of Chemung, (Syracuse, New York: D. Mason, 1892), 75, 176, 422-423.


Research into Socks Reveals the Role of Women Played in the Growth of American Freemasonry

Before researching these items from the Scottish Rite Masonic Museum & Library, an invitation for the Westbrook Masonic (Maine) Fair and pair of colorful, miniature socks, I thought they were created by Arthur W. Greely, Treasurer of Esoteric Lodge, No. 159, whose name is printed on the outside of the envelope. However, as I continued my research and learned more about the fundraising technique of sock socials, I became convinced that the creator of the invitation and socks was Alice D. Greely, Arthur’s wife.

S-l1600Masonic Fund Raising Letter and Socks, 1904.
 
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Masonic Fund Raising Poem
January 1904.

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Envelope Addressed to Mrs. B. F. Joy
February 25, 1904.

 

Sock socials were a fundraising technique practiced by many women’s organizations. R. E. Smith, author of The Ladies’ Aid Manual: A Practical Work for Ladies’ Aid Societies writes that women would “meet and plan to make any desired number of miniature socks,” which would be sent along with a printed invitation similar to the invitation presented below.

 Sock Social Invitation

This little sock we give to you
Is not for you to wear;
Please multiply your size by two
And place inside with care
In silver or in cents,
Twice the number that you wear
(We hope it is immense.)
So if you wear a number ten,
You owe us twenty, see?
Which dropped in the little sock
will fill our hearts with glee.
So don’t forget the place and date,
We’ll answer when you knock,
And welcome you with open arms--
But don’t forget your sock.

In brief, each person invited to a sock social received a sock, and each sock served as that person’s invitation to the social. The person “had to have the sock to get in at the social,” the Chillicothe Constitution-Tribune reported, and in “the sock, he or she would put money."

Considering this information, I believe it is more likely that Alice D. Greely produced the invitation, as well as the two miniature socks. Alice was the wife of a Mason, as was letter's recipient Edna Joy, and both women would have been eligible for Eastern Star membership. That said, my research into both women’s possible Eastern Star ties proved inconclusive. All that we know for certain is that Edna Joy and her husband, Benjamin F. Joy, a prominent local photographer, were invited to the Westbrook Masonic Fair, which was held for the week of February 15, 1904, and run by the lodge, chapter, council and Eastern Star. According to the American Tyler, the proceeds from this Masonic fair were to be used to build a “new Masonic quarters” in Westbrook.




Caption
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Fund Raising Letter from Mrs. Arthur W. Greely to Mrs. B. F. Fox, February 25, 1904. Collection of the Scottish Rite Masonic Museum and Library, MA 260.004.

References

Beckford, William Hale, and George W. Richardson. Leading Business Men of Bangor, Rockland and Vicinity. Boston: Mercantile Publishing Company, 1888. Accessed: 25 January 2017. https://archive.org/details/leadingbusinessm00beck_0

GenDisasters.com. “Ellsworth, ME Masonic Block Fire, Jan 1907.” Accessed: 25 January 2017. http://www.gendisasters.com/georgia/14194/ellsworth-me-masonic-block-fire-jan-1907

Grand Lodge of Maine. Membership Card Records: Card Listing, 1820-1995. Accessed: 25 January 2017. http://www.mainemason.org/genealogy/index.asp

Grand Lodge of Maine (1907). Twenty-first District. In Proceedings of the Grand Lodge, 1907, (Vol. 21, pp. 278 – 281). Portland, Maine: Stephen Berry.

Grand Lodge of Maine (1909). Annual Address: Consolidation of Lodges. In Proceedings of the Grand Lodge, 1908 - 1909, (Vol. 22, pp. 21). Portland, Maine: Stephen Berry.

“Here and There.” American Tyler 18, 14 (1904): 314-319. Accessed: 25 January 2017. https://catalog.hathitrust.org/Record/000056270    

“Here and There.” American Tyler 18, 17 (1904): 410-415. Accessed: 25 January 2017. https://catalog.hathitrust.org/Record/000056270

“Masonic Buildings.” American Tyler 20, 12 (1905): 262. Accessed: 25 January 2017. https://catalog.hathitrust.org/Record/000056270

Pollard, Ralph J. Freemasonry in Maine, 1762-1945. Portland, Maine: Tucker Printing Company, (no date). Accessed: 25 January 2017. http://www.mainemasonrytoday.com/history/Books/Pollard/index.htm

“Skating Parties, Bobsledding, Dancing Were Popular Then.” Chillicothe Constitution-Tribune, February 2, 1950. Accessed: 31 January 2017. https://www.newspapers.com/newspage/17760368/

Smith, R. E. “Fancy Sock Social and Entertainment.” In Ladies’ Aid Manual: A Practical Work for Ladies’ Aid Societies, 48. New York: Eaton & Mains, 1911. Accessed: 25 January 2017.
https://books.google.com/books?id=8i8bAAAAYAAJ&lpg=PA48&ots=TXjyr7GfzI&dq=%22sock%20social%22&pg=PA48#v=onepage&q=%22sock%20social%22&f=false


Roof of the World Lodge

 

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Roof of the World Masonic Lodge, ca. 1914. Unidentified Maker, Cerro de Pasco, Peru. Gift of Dorothy Krueger, Collection of the Scottish Rite Masonic Museum & Library, 99.051.

The Scottish Rite Masonic Museum & Library owns hundreds of photographs of Masonic and fraternal organizations from around the world and uses HistoryPin to map these photographs by place and time. Visitors to our HistoryPin site can browse through our photo collection, comment on photographs and videos, and contribute any stories or information they may have about a particular image. This 1914 photograph shows members from Roof of the World Lodge No. 1094 at the summit of Mt. Meigs in Peru and is featured on our HistoryPin page.

The Grand Lodge of Scotland chartered Roof of the World Lodge No. 1094 in Cerro de Pasco, Peru in 1911. Considered the highest Masonic lodge in the world, the group met at an altitude of 14,208 feet above sea level. American executives and engineers employed by the various mines and construction camps in Peru made up most of the membership. In 1914 the lodge requested a special dispensation from the Grand Lodge of Scotland permitting them to hold a regular lodge meeting at the summit of Mt. Meiggs in the Peruvian Andes at an altitude of 17,575 feet. The dispensation was granted and on August 29, 1914, twenty-six Master Masons held according to some­­ the highest regular meeting of its kind in the history of Freemasonry. This photograph commemorates that 1914 meeting. Dorothy Krueger donated the photograph to the Museum & Library in 1999.

George King Phillips III
George King Phillips III, 1927, in Transactions of the Grand Chapter Royal Arch Masons of the State of Michigan Seventy-Ninth Annual Convocation, Gift of the Supreme Council, 33º, Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite, Northern Masonic Jurisdiction, USA, Collection of the Scottish Rite Masonic Museum & Library, 17.9764.M624 1927.

 The photograph was passed down in the family by the Krueger’s grandfather George King Phillips III (1869-1939) of Grand Rapids, Michigan. Phillips became a Master Mason in 1902, and among other accolades, received the Supreme Council 33°in 1920. He served as Grand High Priest of the Grand Chapter of Royal Arch Masons of Michigan in 1926. The photograph hung at his office with a typed caption and a 1916 newspaper article from the American Tyler-Keystone, a Masonic publication active in the late 1800s and early 1900s. The article reported a  contribution of $137.25 to the Masonic War Relief Association of the United States by Roof of the World Lodge No. 1094 in 1916. It also quoted a note from the lodge secretary about the monumental meeting at Mt. Meiggs. According to the 1914-1915 Grand Lodge of Scotland proceedings there were five active lodges under its jurisdiction in Peru in 1914. The Roof of the World lodge last met in the early 1990s, in San Isidro, Lima, Peru.  

To find this photograph and more on the map, visit our HistoryPin page at https://www.historypin.org/en/person/64613.