Warren C. Hubbard Lodge

Warren C. Hubbard Lodge No. 964

Second oldest lodge in the current lodge

October 15, 1990

Warren C. Hubbard Lodge No. 964 enjoyed sixty five years of brotherhood under that name and chose to continue in Masonic fellowship by a union with Wakan Lodge No. 1054. Warren C. Hubbard Lodge No. 964 “Whence came you and how have you traveled?”

A meeting of Master Masons was called to order on Friday evening April 4, 1919 in Tuscan Hall, Masonic Temple, to consider the advisability of organizing a new Masonic Lodge. The meeting was called by the Rev. Bro. Harry G. Greensmith and was presided over by R∴ W∴ Wallace W. Rayfield, D.D.G.M. from Webster.

R∴W∴ Bro. Rayfield supervised the election of:

Bro. Harry G. Greensmith    Worshipful Master
Bro. Willard J. Smith             Senior Warden
Bro. Ralph T. Coe                   Junior Warden
Bro. William R. Tuttle           Secretary
Bro. Ernest Petry                    Treasurer

Bro. Greensmith suggested and moved that the name for the Lodge be presented to the Grand Master as Warren C. Hubbard Lodge and that he be petitioned to grant the using of the name. There were twenty five signers of the petition to form the lodge.” (From minutes of 4/4/1919) On April 19th the second meeting was called to further the discussion and prepare for the work of the lodge. The initiation fee was set at $100. (I would comment that in retrospect to our fee today, they put a real value on their membership.)

On Saturday, May 31st, in a meeting opened by Ancient Craft Lodge No. 943, Warren C. Hubbard officers took their stations and places, presented the work of opening the lodge in due form and exemplified the 1st Degree in a satisfactory manner.

On Saturday June 7th, at a Special Communication of Ancient Craft Lodge, the officers of Warren C. Hubbard Lodge exemplified the 2nd & 3rd Degrees in a satisfactory manner and received a Certificate of Proficiency from Ancient Craft Lodge.

The following was considered newsworthy at that time. Would it be today? On June 13, 1919 the Times Union published “New Masonic Lodge to be Instituted”, calling it the Masonic event of the season. On June 14th The Democrat & Chronicle headed a column with “Will Institute New Lodge in Masonry.” On June 19th The Post Examiner reported on the upcoming institution of the-lodge on June 20th.

The Provincial Grand Lodge, F & A M of the State of New York opened in due form at 7:15 PM on June 20, 1919. The Dispensation from the Grand Master of Masons of the State of New York, M∴ W∴ William S. Farmer, for the instituting of Warren C. Hubbard Lodge No. 964 was read.. Thus was Warren C. Hubbard Lodge No. 964 activated.

There were 43 charter members registered in the records. They came on demits from twenty three Lodges within New York State. One week later June 27th, at the meeting before the summer recess, eighteen new petitions were received. Plans for the 1919 – 1920 year called for 6 1st degrees, 6 2nd degrees and 6 3rd degrees, in all 18 degree presentations.

To change course for a bit, let us recall to the scene two of the brothers involved.

Who was the Rev. Warren Calhoun Hubbard?

Born in Brooklyn on Jan 7, 1850. Studied for the Episcopal ministry and was ordained a Priest in Trinity Church, Seneca Falls on May 1, 1873. In 1877 he was made Rector of St. Pauls church in Brooklyn and was called to the Rectorate of Trinity Church in Rochester on July 15, 1890. This pastorate extended until December of 1889 when he returned to the staff of St. Lukes Church in Brooklyn. It is said of him that “Brother Hubbard’s utterances as a clergyman distinguished him as a man of unusual power and eloquence.

R∴ W∴ Bro. Hubbard was made a Mason in Altair Lodge No. 601, Brooklyn in January of 1882. He received his 32nd Degree in New York Consistory in March 1886. On Sept. 17 1889, in New York City, he received the highest honor in Scottish Rite Masonry, being hailed a Sovereign Grand Inspector General, 33 Degree and Honorary Member of the Supreme Council. Additional Masonic Activities were:

Worshipful Master of his Lodge 1886, 1887, 1888
Grand Chaplain of Grand Lodge State of New York, 1892-1894
Exalted, Royal Arch Mason, Ionic Chapter No. 210 Dec. 26, 1890
Dubbed a Knight Templar, Cyrene Commandery No. 39 Feb 27, 1891
Served as Eminent Commander of Cyrene Commandery 1896
Member of Doric Council, Royal & Select Masters
Served as Grand Chaplain Grand Council and as Grand Chaplain of Grand Commandery 1905 until his death
Member of Damascus Temple
Commander in Chief of Rochester Consistory 1892. His election marked the beginning of a new era of prosperity in Rochester hitherto unknown

(Condensed from a biography written by J. Hungerford Smith, 33º)
R∴W∴ Warren Calhoun Hubbard was called to his eternal reward 5/31/1911.

Recognized as the founder and also called the “father” of Warren C. Hubbard Lodge was Bro. and Rev. Harry Gladstone Greensmith. He was born at Wombwell, Yorkshire, England in 1868 and came to Rochester in 1886. A graduate of the University of Rochester and Rochester Theological Seminary, he was ordained a Baptist minister and served as pastor of North Baptist Church for sixteen years.

His Masonic affiliations were:

* Raised in Genesee Falls Lodge No. 507 on May 2, 1901.
* Exalted in Ionic Chapter No 210 and served as High Priest.
* Knighted in Cyrene Commandery No. 39, Dec.12, 1912.
* Greeted in Doric Council, No.19 Royal & Select Masters 5/22/16 Served as Illustrious Master, 1922 & 1923.
* Grand Chaplain, Grand Council 1930.
* Member, Damascus Temple, Lailah Rook Grotto, Roch. Consistory

W∴ Bro. Harry Gladstone Greensmith, after 76 years of service to God and man was called to the Eternal Realm Above on December 5, 1944.

We who are from Warren C. Hubbard Lodge No 964 do honor and give words of respect to these two men and Brothers whose names are linked to ours. Originally, Warren C. Hubbard Lodge was known as the schoolmasters lodge and not without reason. Many of the charter members were school teachers and leaders in the Rochester school system. A number of them were associated with West High School. In a discussion recorded in the minutes of a meeting in May of 1919 they were concerned with limiting the lodge membership to those living on the West side of the city This bias was overcome after a free discussion. They concluded that the entire city was their field. By the year 1925 it was noted that these brothers among others were associated with education and some were included in groups known as West High Class of Initiates.

High School Superintendents: (15 in all)

Arthur Simmons Jefferson High
Prof. William Hawley Monroe Jr. High
William Bennet West High
Frank Jenner Grade School Principle
Elmer Snyder Kodak School
Prof Nathaniel West #9 and West High
Prof Edward Bonner City Normal
Dr. James Spinning West High and Chairman Board of Education
Prof. Charles LaBounty
Prof. Charles Cook Teacher
Azariah Sias Teacher
Melvin Coon Teacher
Prof. Seth Conklin Teacher
Charles Holsworth Teacher
Arthur Croop Teacher

R∴ W∴ Theodore T. Benz received the Community Service Award bestowed by-the Masonic Service Bureau on April 29, 1949. R∴W∴ Willard J. Smith served as Executive Director of the Masonic Service Bureau for a number of years. Over the years, Warren C. Hubbard enjoyed many good times at picnics, Ladies Nites, trips, all of the usual pleasures which are so necessary to unite the family as part of Masonry. My Particular recollection of one of these occasions is of the great clambakes engineered by Bro. Ted Benz with the help of the Fellowcraft Club in the mid forties. A lot of work and a lot of pleasure.

In 1978 the City of Rochester started to levy a property tax on the Masonic Temple. This placed an added financial burden upon the lodges from which many never recovered. Loss in membership, which was also a problem, added to the concern. Warren C. Hubbard struggled until in 1985 action was taken.

Discussions began with Wakan Lodge No. 1054 to effect a con6olidation of the two groups. At a meeting on June 10, 1985 the membership present unanimously supported the Agreement of Consolidation to form Wakan Hubbard Lodge No.1054. On October 16th, with the approval of and participation of the Grand Lodge of the State of New York the new lodge was instituted. In the five years that have passed since the consolidation those who were members of Warren C. Hubbard have responded to the warm welcome extended by our brothers of Wakan.

R∴W∴ Stanley V. Peterson