Millburn Lodge No. 127 History

(Formerly Known as Antioch Lodge No. 127)

The following History was compiled by the Centennial Committee of the Lodge, with the assistance of some of the older Brothers. It starts at the time the Lodge was organized in 1853. The first communication was held by special dispensation from the Grand Lodge, on June 8, 1853 at Antioch, Illinois. The communications were called on the first Thursday preceding the full moon, the initiation fee to be $1.00 and the dues $.75 per year, payable, $.37 for the first half and $.38 for the last half.

On September 15, 1853, there were conferred, two 1st Degrees, one 2nd Degree and one 3rd Degrees being conferred on the same Brother.

Application was made to the Grand Lodge on September 19, 1853 for a Charter, the Charter was granted and dated October 3, 1853 and the first communication under the Charter was held on October 13, 1853.

On the stated communication of August 29, 1861, the Worshipful Master called the Lodge from refreshment to labor for the purpose of considering the proposition of a Brother, that if the Lodge would advance him $100.00 he would build a hall suitable for Masonic purposes and give the Lodge a ten year lease. After discussing the motion it was thought impractical. A motion was then made and passed that an order be drawn on the Treasurer for $7.50 to pay the rent at their same location from May 1st through November 1st, 1861.

At this time there were thirty members of the lodge. A Bible was presented to the Lodge on October 11, 1863 and was used until it was replaced in 1951.

On April 8, 1869, the first meeting was held at Millburn, Illinois, and on October 28, 1869, the Grand Lodge granted the request for Millburn as the permanent location of the Lodge.

The Lodge rented Hughes Hall on February 3, 1887 for $30.00 a year and on September 1st, 1887 a committee was appointed to investigate the purchase of the building known as the Strang Store, size 30 feet by 60 feet for $850.00. At the next meeting of September 29, 1887 the committee did not report, so on motion, they were discharged and a motion made and passed that the Lodge buy the Strang Store building for a meeting place. On January 1, 1888 the building and lot were paid for and the annual dues were raised to $1.50 per year.

On August 4, 1892, a petition was presented by some of the Brothers, that a new Lodge be formed at the Village of Antioch. The petition was granted by the Grand Lodge on September 1, 1892, said Lodge to be known as Sequoit Lodge No. 827.

A hanging lamp was presented to the Lodge on September 13, 1894, by the Young People’s Literary Society.

Two Brothers were raised to the Sublime Degree of Master Masons on June 7, 1900 and it being Low Twelve, the Master declared the Lodge closed until and then immediately opened on June 8th as an emergency session to raise another rother, the candidates being examined one at a time.

On August 23, 1900 a motion was made and carried that a committee of three be appointed to see to the enlarging and repairing of the Hall. In 1901 an addition was built on the west end of the building.

The Magic Lantern we are still using was procured on January 19, 1902. It was operated by with an oil lamp until 1934, at which time a Brother wired it for electricity.

After some discussion on July 5, 1906, the carpet that is still on the floor was purchased for $64.93. This same year another addition was built on the west end of the building.

On February 13, 1908, a committee was appointed to meet with a committee from the Eastern Star, to see about purchasing a desk suitable for both secretaries. This desk is still in use.

In August, 1911, it was decided to put a cement sidewalk on the north and east sides of the building. The cost being $19.20 including $1.50 the man charged for digging the trench for the sidewalks. To start the year of 1913 there were 78 members of the Lodge.

The By-Laws were amended on March 19, 1914 to read that the meetings shall be held on the first and third Thursdays of each month instead of the first Thursday preceding the full moon, and that the annual meeting be held on the first Thursday of December.

On July 18, 1918, a communication was received from the Grand Master, ordering that effective January 1st, 1919, that all ritual work will now be conducted in the English language as nearly as possible.

In 1919 an addition of eight feet was built on the entire north side of the building and the cement sidewalk that was put in on this side in 1911 was carefully taken up and sold.

Great joy was expressed on August 5th, 1920, when the Lodge Hall was wired for a Delco Power System and put in use.

At the close of 1921 there were 133 members.

The available land on the south and west of the Hall was purchased on July 1, 1927.

There were 135 members in good standing at the close of the year 1928.

In April, 1930 the Hall was wired for electricity to be furnished by the Public Service Company, the Delco System having outlived its usefulness.

Permission was granted to the Eastern Star in April 1930, to build an eight by ten addition on the rear of the building.

On April 18th, 1940 the Secretary sent out notices to the members that a vote would be taken to change the name from Antioch Lodge to Millburn Lodge, and on May 16, 1940 it was voted on and passed, and the request was then sent to the Grand Lodge.

On October 17, 1940 official notice from the Grand Lodge was received, granting permission of the change of name to Millburn Lodge. This request was granted at the Grand Lodge Session on October 9, 1940. At the close of 1944 there were 111 members of the lodge.

A building fund was started on May 17, 1945 for the purpose of building a new Temple, and to date, very good progress has been made, and we hope to build a new Masonic Temple in the very near future.

At the Grand Lodge session of October 1951, we had the honor of having a Brother member of our Lodge appointed as District Deputy of the twenty-first District by the Grand Master.

To date, we have 176 members in good standing, an increase of sixty-five Brothers in the past nine years.

On October 3, 1953, a Centennial Celebration was held, and several Brothers were honored for their long service in the Lodge.

And so has the past century of Masonry gone by for our Lodge, with great hope that our next one hundred years will be as progressive, unified and strong as the past has been.

A resolution was passed on June 3, 1954 to the effect that the Lodge has a vacation on the third Thursday in July and the first Thursday in August.

On January 20, 1955 the contract was let for construction of a new Temple, and a one hundred year lease was granted to the Order of the Eastern Star.

Appropriate Ground Breaking Ceremonies were held for the new Temple on March 19, 1955. Also in March the Twenty-first District School of Instruction was started.

The Grand Master was present on September 24, 1955 for the grand occasion of the corner stone for our new Temple.

Our first regular meeting was held in the new Temple on March 1, 1956, Dedication Ceremonies were held, the Grand Master being present. Prior to this in the month of March, a new rug was purchased for the Lodge Room.

On December 15, 1956 the first Masonic Installation of Officers was held in the new Temple.

The Constitution of the Rainbow Girls Assembly was held on April 22, 1957 and in 1958 the DeMolay was transferred from Antioch to Millburn.

The Altar, Registration Desk and Slide Projector were dedicated in memory of three departed Brothers on the Past Master’s Night, October 15, 1959.

The interior of the Temple was badly in need of paint, so on May 18, 1961, several Brothers started this job.

The Right Worshipful Deputy Grand Master visited our Lodge on June 15, 1961 in honor of the appointment as Grand Lecturer of one of our Past Masters.

In September of 1964 the kitchen was enlarged and remodeled by several members and the expense of this project was paid for by The Order of the Eastern Star.

In April, 1964 the Lodge Room was greatly improved with the installation of 75 theater type seats as a joint project of this Lodge and The Order of the Eastern Star and the faithful labor of some of our members.

The Lodge was again honored by the appointment of another Past Master of our Lodge as a Grand Lecturer in May of 1964.

A great achievement took place in January, 1965 by paying off the mortgage on our Temple, and on March 27, 1965, the Grand Master will be our guest as we have a Mortgage Burning Ceremony.

At the Grand Lodge Session of October 1967, we had the honor of having a Brother member of our Lodge appointed as District Deputy of the Fifth Northern District by the Grand Master.

On October 2, 1969, a library on the south wall of the Tyler’s room was dedicated by a Past Master of our Lodge to the memory of a Brother whose gift not only made this improvement possible but provided for future purchases of books and other library material.

On September 1981 the new aluminum flagpole was donated to the lodge by the Worshipful Master.

On April 21, 1983, stated meetings were changed to start from 7:00 P.M. instead of 8:30 P.M.

On November 15, 1984, stated meetings were changed from 7:00 P.M. to 7:30 P.M.

On November 23, 1985 a special meeting was conducted for 12 petitioners who were initiated in one day. This was a milestone in the history of Millburn Lodge.

In 1986 was the year for the major lodge improvement which included tiling and paneling the lodge room.

On August 16, 1990 the downstairs organ was donated to the lodge by a faithful brother.

On October 15, 1992 the by-laws changed the dues from $25.00 to $35.00 which started the following year 1993.

On January 6, 1993 it was moved and carried to stop giving out bible for the newly raised master mason.

On November 2, 1996 the Most Worshipful Grand Master of the Philippines visited Millburn Lodge and attended the installation of officers.

On October 2005 the By-Laws were updated to $200.00 which covered petition fee which included Petition, Degrees, Bible, Name Badge, copy of By-laws and apron. Dues were raised from $35.00 to $45.00 which started the following year 2006.

At the Grand Lodge Session of October 2007, we had the honor of having a Brother member of our Lodge appointed as District Deputy of the First Northern District by the Grand Master.

At the Grand Lodge Session of October 2009, we had the honor of having a Brother member of our Lodge appointed as Worshipful Grand Steward by the Grand Master for his term.