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I. O. O. F. Dedication

I. O. O. F. Dedication image
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Appropriate Ceremonies at the New Hall on Monday. A GOOD ATTENDANCE And a Splendid Banquet in the Evening. Capital Speeches by Mayor Hiscock, Judge Newkirk, Grand Master Wiselogel, Miss Emma E. Bower, and Others. The 78th anniversary of the founding of the Independent Order of Oddfellows in America was a fitting time at which to dedicate to the purposes and principles of Friendship, Love and Truth the new quarters of the members of the order in Ann Arbor and consequently on Monday, April 26, the ceremonies incident to the occasion took place in the lodge rooms in the Henning block. The exercises began in the morning at 11 o'clock when the members of Canton Ann Arbor, No. 30, Washtenaw Lodge, No. 9, and Otseningo Lodge, No. 295, marched to the depots headed by the Washtenaw Times Band to meet the visitors. At 2:30 o'clock the dedicatory exercises commenced and were in charge of the following corps of officers: W. F. Wiselogel, of Muskegon, Grand Master ; R. C. Reeves, of Dexter, Grand Warden ; George Scott, of Ann Arbor, Grand Marshal; Henry Richards, of Ann Arbor, Grand Chaplain ; Mrs. George Scott, Grand Herald of the North; Mrs. J. J. Ferguson, Grand Herald of the South; Mrs. C. S. Elmer, Grand Herald of the East ; Mrs. George W. Clarke, Grand Herald of the West; Chevaliers George W. Clarke, George H. Miller, Charles Winkle, Lawrence Curtis, John R. Wilcutt, W. F. Stiegelmaier, S. P. Hill and J. J. Ferguson, grand guards. Edward F. Winters auted as the builder. Past Grand Master Jonathan Sprague occupied a seat of honor besides the grand master as did also Grand Warden E. H. Sellers, of Detroit, who was unavoidably detained and did not arrive until after the ceremonies had commenced. The dedicatory ceremony commenced by the singing of the opening ode, after which Grand Master Wiselogel stated the object of the meeting. This was followed by the erection of the altar which consisted of seven stones of different hues arranged in the following order: The foundation was the white stone of Purity ; the next was a pink stone representing Friendship; then came the blue stone of Love, the scarlet stone of Truth, the green stone of Faith, the yellow stone of Hope, and the royal purple stone of Charity. The whole was surmounted by a white altar rail. The several stones were laid by the heralds of the north, south, east and west; the ladies holding these position being attired in flowing robes and headdresses of white, pink, blue and scarlet respectively. The "Magnificat" was then sung by the choir, Mr. and Mrs. Robert Staebler, Miss Allmendinger and Henry Meuth, after which C. E. Godfrey, chairman of the building committee requested that the hall be dedicated to the purposes and for the dissemination of the principles of the order. The grand master then ordered that by the power vested in him as grand master of the I. O. O. F. of the state of Michigan that the hall be dedicated to the business and purposes of Oddfellowship and for the dissemination of the principles of Friendship, Love and Truth and ordered that proclamation to such effect be made by the grand heralds, which was done. The herald of the north dedicated the building to the principle of Friendship by the sprinkling of water; the herald of the south to Love, world wide and ever enduring, with fire; the herald of the east to that of Truth with the sprinkling of grain; and the grand herald of the west crowned the whole with flowers in the name of Faith, Hope and Charity. Each part of the ceremony was followed by the singing of a verse of the dedication ode by the choir. Prayer by the grand chaplain followed and another selection of music by the choir, after which the grand master delivered the key back to the building committee, the doxology was sung by the members and the grand chaplain pronounced the benediction. Col. E. H. Sellers made a few brief but fitting remarks as did Grand Master Wiselogel and the afternoon ceremonies were ended. The building committee who had charge of the arrangements for the securing of this home for the order was as follows: C. E. Godfrey, chairman ; George Scott, secretary; John Mahlke, treasurer; Nicholas Glaser, Elmer Bancroft, W. S. Banfield, George Clarke, H. P. Danforth, W. J. Wilcutt, Herman Krapf. This committee at a special meeting held Wednesday evening finally surrendered the key and hall to the board of trustees, which consists of three members from each lodge as follows: Washtenaw Lodge, No. 9, H. Krapf, three years; R. E. Staebler, two years; George Scott, one year. Otseningo Lodge, No. 295, G. E.Godfrey, three years; George H. Miller, two years ; John Fischer, one year. The board of trustees has organized with Herman Krapf, president; John Fischer, secretary ; George H. Miller, treasurer. The banquet in the evening at which 250 ladies and gentlemen sac down to the tables was an appropriate closing of the day's exercises. The catering was done by E. V. Hangsterfer to the entire satisfaction of every one and was an added feather in that gentleman's crown of success. Rev. T. W. Young, pastor of the First Baptist church, himself an Oddfellow, officiated as chaplain and Capt. C. H. Manly occupied the seat of honor as toastmaster. It was 9 :20 before the first number on the program, a piano solo by Homer B. Godfrey was called. After this Mayor Charles E. Hiscock was introduced by the toastmaster in a very complimentary speech, who in a businesslike and common sense way outlined the many advantages possessed by the "City in which we live" and also some of its shortcomings, which he hoped to see remedied to some extent during his coming two years of office. Speaking of the subject of secret societies in connection with the city, he said that Ann Arbor was a city of secret societies there being no less than 40 of them already in our midst (and more coming) and estimated that at least one-half of the voting population belonged to some one or other of them. Many do not believe in secret societies, but he was a fervent believer in them and their pleasant associations which develop a man's better nature. He had been amazed at the growth of Oddfellowship. Less than a century old it has made enormous gains in membership even rivaling that ancient and time honored sister society the F. & A. M. He concluded by hoping that they would long be spared to enjoy the beautiful home they had that day dedicated to the principles of Oddfellowship, which if lived up to will make them good citizens and worthy members of an honorable order. Grand Master Wiselogel in speaking to the toast of "Oddfellowsnip, what it does for its members," said that it seeks to elevate mankind and help them along the road of life. You seldom hear of an Oddfellow in good standing in his lodge who is the inmate of a poorhouse. Some are there, but it is not the fault of the order, which extends over the civilized world and whose members are always ready to help one arother. Oddfellowship is a progressive institution and is advancing without a parallel in this state, in which there are now 25,000 members, 450 subordinate lodges and 300 lodges of Daughters of Rebekah, dating from 1831. A cornet solo by Walter Crego was so well played that an encore was demanded, but the hour was too late and too much program left to indulge in such a thing. Col. Sellers, of Detroit, next spoke on the toast "The uniformed Rank; feathers and all," and gave a glowing account of the objects of that branch of the order. H. Wirt Newkirk had for his subject "The Daughters of Rebekah," and his witty speech was fully up to his usual standard, The humorous manner in which he told the story of Rebekah caused plenty of laughter among his hearers and the lessons he drew from it were worthy of emulation by everyone who is a member of the order. Miss Emma E. Bower was the only lady speaker on the program, but the reputation of the fair sex as speakers did not suffer in her hands and the many sly digs she gave the men in her reply to her toast the "Brothers of the order" were enjoyed fully as much by the men as by the ladies, particularly when she announced that there were "all kinds of Oddfellows, but the angelic Oddfellow had not yet been discovered." She spoke of the good features of fraternal societies and said she felt they were for the good of all who belonged to them. Dr. Conrad Georg being absent the toast master detailed Major Harrison Soule to respond to the toast "Benefits of and why it is a secret order." The major told a story of a man who was called upon to speak of "Milk," and who only referred to his subject by occasionally stopping in his remarks and saying "milk," and then proceeded to treat his subject in much the same way. His dry humor, however, proved very interesting. A piano solo by Miss Minnie Davis was charmingly rendered and then Past Grand Master Sprague, of Ann Arbor, paid a fitting and beautiful tribute to "American Oddfellowship," of which he is a veteran member and correspondingly well qualified to speak. Glen V. Mills' told why he became an Oddfellow and during his remarks gave Capt. Manly a Roland for his Oliver, that gentlemen having roasted Glen to a turn in his introductory remarks. Rev. W. L. Tedrow cordially responded for the "Brothers of other orders" with pleasant words of greeting and good fellowship, Capt. Manly thanked the guests for their attendance, Rev. T. W. Young pronounced the benediction and at about 11 :30 o'clock the guests dispersed for their homes. Among those present from out of town besides Grand Master Wiselogel and Grand Warden Sellers were L. Dean, Lloyd L. Lewis, Hiram A. Roe, A. N. Brown and Wm. J. Stewart, of Plymouth.