Freemasonry and World War I

David P. Hullinger


It has been said that a historian goes out in the field after the battle and bayonets the wounded. The wounded of World War I have been bayoneted far beyond my poor power to add or detract, so I won't do it.

The connection between Freemasonry and the War has escaped examination. A chapter was set aside for it in a book, "Forward Freemasonry," to be published in celebration of the 150th Anniversary of the Grand Lodge of Wisconsin; and I had the honor of writing it. This paper is a revised version of that chapter.

It is sort of a jigsaw puzzle that has been put together for the first time. The pieces have been in the box for more than 75 years. The outcome is an eye-level picture of the War as seen by Wisconsin Masons.

And now, "Let us dig down and see what discoveries we can make."


At the time of the first World War, four-fifths of the world's Freemasons lived in the United States.[1]

The assassination of Archduke Ferdinand, the heir to the Hapsburg throne of the Austria-Hungary Dual Monarchy, in Sarajevo, Serbia, in June 1914, was said to have touched off the War. The War did not actually begin for another month, nor was it born a "world war." Austria first sought assurance that Germany would support her in a conflict with Serbia. Then she declared war. Germany, bound by treaty to support her neighbor, also declared war. Serbia had a treaty with Russia which had a treaty with France. Both declared war on Germany and Austria.[2]

A short war was expected. All European wars in the memory of those then living had been short ones. None of the nations so far engaged had fought a war in more than 40 years, however.[3] Indeed, there was abroad in America an "Era of Good Feeling": Modern weapons were so cruel and inhumane, it was thought, that there could never be another war.[4]

The standing armies of the nations were not large enough to prosecute a war, and each had to mobilize sizable reserves. Germany, long fearing a war on two fronts, had a plan to knock France out of the conflict while Russia was mobilizing, then deal with the latter later. Russia attacked Germany with her standing army, figuring to mobilize at the same time and bring new troops up afterward. It almost worked, but Russia's infrastructure was unable to support her armies in eastern Prussia. Meanwhile, Germany's plan to invade France through Belgium ran into unexpected resistance. Moreover, she too, had outrun the infra-structure; it was not yet a "mechanized" war, and horses dictated the speed of movement. Belgium had a treaty with Britain which guaranteed her neutrality.[5] Thus the British Empire, with her formidable navy and insignificant army, was brought into the conflict.

As battle plans most always do, Germany's failed to work out as expected, and the war would have no early end. The British navy blockaded the short German coast, and Ger-man submarines blockaded the British Isles. The two nations tried to starve each other out of the war.[6]

The United States properly believed the War to be Europe's business, declared neutrality and said the belligerents could obtain war materiel here, but they had to come to our shores to get them. Despite its pronouncements of impartiality, this aligned the nation with the Allies, for the British blockade prevented German ships from reaching American ports.[7]

Opinion in this country was divided from the outset. There was a substantial pro-German sentiment in the United States. Large German, Austrian and Hungarian populations lived in the United States then—nearly a third of Wisconsin's residents were of German or Austrian ancestry—and many had families in the old countries with whom they kept in touch. Many even had relatives serving in the armies of those nations.[8]

From 1914 through 1916, the Pabst Theater in Mil-waukee presented at least ten pro-German plays about the War, performed by troupes from Germany. These performers became the only source of news from Germany after her trans-Atlantic cable connection was cut. War news was biased in favor of Great Britain and her allies because of the ready availability of Allied propaganda.[9] In August 1916, a seven-day bazaar in Milwaukee raised $150,000 for German, Austrian and Hungarian relief.[10]


The War caught Freemasonry by surprise. In 1913, an entente cordiale existed between the Masons of England and Germany that received "great impetus" by the visit of Lord Ampthill, Pro Grand Master of England, and a delegation of Grand Lodge officers, to the German Grand Lodges at Berlin. The visitors were most hospitably received and entertained, and pledges of fraternal affection were made. Lord Ampthill was elected honorary Grand Master of the German Grand Lodges.[11] (In 1915, Lord Ampthill resigned his station "to be with his troops in the trenches in France.[12])

Loyalty of German Masons to Kaiser Wilhelm II (who was not a Mason) was abundantly shown that year at various festival communications, marking the 25th anniversary of his reign. A grand orator, speaking at a joint Festloge in Berlin in January, said:

"The celebration of this festival fills our hearts with thanks that we live in peace, feeling assured that wise counsel guides our destiny and leads us to enjoy happiness and contentment, and permits full enjoyment of our pleasure.[13]

In 1914, the (American) Masonic Standard had this to say about German Masonry:

"German Masonry stands very high in our estimation. The German brethren are philosophers and give to their Masonry a dignity and seriousness we well might imitate. German Masonry is more exclusive than in this country, and devotes its energies largely to education and philanthropy.[14]

The foreign correspondent for the Grand Lodge of Canada, in his report to its 1914 communication in July, concluded:

"We are entering upon that time when peace among English speaking peoples is to be the dominant note of centennial celebrations recalling the happy Augustan age when the temple of Janus was closed, when `the idle spear and shield were uphung,' when `the trumpet spake not to the armed throng' and when `birds of calm sat brooding on the charmed wave.' We cannot doubt that Masonry will be a potent factor in teaching the world that war among civilized peoples is unnecessary…. [15]

Before the printer's ink was dry, English speaking people were at war with civilized peoples.

As an international "secret society"—the fraternity itself was saying so—Freemasonry was suspect. European Masonry was far more exclusive than in America, a very small percentage of the populations of their countries. Non-Masons must have viewed it as an international spy ring. Consequently, grand lodges commenced to distance themselves from those of their countries' enemies.

In 1915, the Board of General Purposes of the Grand Lodge of England submitted an amendment requiring

"...all brethren of German, Austrian, Hungarian or Turkish birth to abstain from any Masonic meeting under English jurisdiction."

The measure would exclude naturalized British subjects, "many of whose sons and relatives were fighting in the ranks of English soldiery France." Nevertheless, it was passed.[16]

German Masonic writers countered:

International Masonry is dead, and notwithstanding efforts to the contrary, will remain dead. Let us, therefore, be German Freemasons and work in our own way. We will have nothing more to do with inter national relations...we will have no more official relations. Long live German Freemasonry. Down with international fanaticism! It has deceived the world long enough…. [17]

All seven German grand lodges severed ties with those of hostile nations. (Despite this action, representatives of German Grand Lodges were received at the annual communications of the Grand Lodges of New Jersey and New York less than a month after the United States entered the War.) Grand lodges in the United States were saddened by this action, believing the German brethren had abandoned their Masonic senses. (Fraternal relations between the Grand Lodge of Wisconsin and a reorganized United Grand Lodge of Germany would not be renewed for 35 years.)[18]

Early in the War, the Cologne Gazette accused "international Freemasonry of having successfully plotted the world disaster; of directly prompting the assassination at Sarajevo.[19]

An Amsterdam newspaper blamed the Masons of the United States for the entry of this country into the War.[20] After the War, General Erich von Ludendorff, "casting about for factors that brought about his defeat, declared that the Masonic lodges of the world worked, at the command of the Grand Lodge of England, to discredit the cause of Germany…. [21]

Also after the War, it was reported in the Masonic Tidings:

...An important Congress was held in Berlin during the closing week of July [1918] of grand masters and chief dignitaries of the Grand Lodges of Freemasons of Germany, Austria, Hungary, Turkey, Bulgaria and Finland [the Central Powers]…. It appears (to have been) convened at the insistence of the Kaiser (to organize) concerted action...with a view to peace propaganda in the direction of the Freemasons in (Allied) countries.[22]

The Grand Orient of France seized the opportunity, using the War as an argument, to try to regain the recognition it lost in 1877. Fraternal ties with the Grand Orient were severed by grand lodges in the United States, when the French dropped the requirement for a candidate to profess a belief in Deity, and removed Holy Scripture from its altars. The Grand Orient petitioned grand lodges around the world to restore fraternal relations. Several grand lodges permitted their members to fraternize with French Masons and lodges, reserving recognition for future consideration. Wisconsin Foreign Correspondent Aldro Jenks wrote, "This is quasi-recognition. Masonry exists for the ages, not for the present moment." Grand Master Willard S. Griswold proclaimed in 1918:

"Oh, let it be burned into our thought in the midst of the perils that surround us that Masonry without its God is a poor creed, and without its Bible is an empty, unmeaning form, `a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury and signifying nothing'...any-thing that calls itself Masonry and has not the one true God and the one Holy Book, is not Masonry in fact, and can never be recognized as such.[23]

The fledgling Independent and National Grand Lodge of France, consisting of three lodges with a total membership of 75, also sought recognition, but was ignored as "too insignificant and too recent of origin to make it a successful claimant.[24]


Grand lodges around the nation lamented the unfortunate "European war," as they called it, and did not take sides. In none of Wisconsin's Transactions or Foreign Correspondence did any grand lodge appear to have called it a "world war."

"The War will undoubtedly be of short duration. Modern implements of war are too destructive to admit of a long drawn out conflict.[25]

"No one knows of any adequate reason for the war being waged in Europe.[26]

In 1916, when the population of the United States was about 100 million, Aldro Jenks pontificated:

"If the present sinful conflict now being waged will put a stop to waste and wicked expenditure on pleasures it will not have been without beneficial results. The whole world has been living beyond its means, and a simpler life some manner be taught to the masses.[27]

In his address to the Annual Communication of the Grand Lodge in 1915, Grand Master Bernard F. Keeler said:

"The past year has been one which has wrung the hearts of all true Masons because of the terrible conflict between nations in progress across the water. Just at a time when the world was congratulating itself on the achievements of Christian civilization came an appeal to arms, and another attempt to settle questions of right or wrong by military genius and physical prowess.[28]

Also in 1916, the United States increased the authorized size of its army from 150,000. Wisconsin Masonic writer Lt. Col. Jerome A. Watrous (retired), a veteran of the Civil and Spanish-American Wars, wrote:

"The country now has a law authorizing an army of 500,000 men. Fifty per cent of the men who apply to enlist are rejected because they have weakened their bodies and intellects with cigarettes and strong drink and other voluntarily taken on habits. There are enough of the class mentioned, and the pool room population together with loafers and tramps, to recruit an army ten times as large if they were self respecting, honorable, wholesome men and dependable citizens.[29]

A year later, it would be reported extensively in the Masonic Tidings under the title, "Alarming Conditions," that the rate of VD among soldiers was 181.5 per thousand. Joseph E. Marcombe, editor of The American Freemason, wrote in January 1918:

"I applied to a brother of medical profession whom I know to be exceptionally well informed. "Physicians who know will testify that 25 percent of our manhood has suffered the worst of these diseases by age 35. And 65 percent from another of these diseases by the same age."

The Masonic Tidings devoted two pages—29 inches—to address this issue. The treatment for VD in those days was almost as bad as the disease itself, and the numbers are numbing.[30]


The United States entered the War on April 6, 1917. The tune changed, and Henry M. Ross, Grand Master of Vermont, exhorted, "Heretofore we have had someone to fight for us; now we must fight for ourselves.[31]

The War was the first conflict of which the Grand Lodge of Wisconsin took official cognizance. At its 1917 annual communication in June, a "thrilling moment" was recorded.

The Grand Master, Cyrus S. Stockwell, was asked "to retire to the parlors of the [Scottish Rite] Cathedral, where upon the Deputy Grand Master Willard S. Griswold assumed the chair. Griswold called up the Grand Lodge, as in came the Grand Master followed by his father Cyrus D. Stockwell, Past Grand Senior Warden, and his son, Cyrus G. Stockwell, clothed in the uniform of a soldier of the United States. In the absence of the organist, the brethren sang two verses of `America' which made the 'welkin ring.'"[32]

The Grand Chaplain Philip H. Lindley resigned to volunteer as chaplain of the 6th Regiment, Wisconsin National Guard. His resignation was not accepted, and his station was listed as "Grand Chaplain, in France.[33]

The Grand Lodge supported all five Liberty Loan Drives with funds from its own treasury, and urged its subordinate lodges to do the same. It also remitted the per capita tax of Masons in the armed forces (provided their own lodges had done the same; not every lodge did, however, and only two-thirds of per capita taxes of the servicemen were remitted).

Grand lodges around the nation rallied around the War, but the government would not deal with the 49 grand jurisdictions separately. Furthermore, the "supreme War authority at Washington" ruled that no lodges of any kind would be permitted to hold meetings within the limits of any military camp. "Nothing should be allowed to detract attention from the intensive training which would at some time mean saving of lives rather than losing of them," a Masonic writer agreed condescendingly.[34]

At a meeting in Washington, D.C., in December, Treasury Secretary William McAdoo called upon representatives of 27 grand lodges to form a single great force to coordinate Masonic Relief efforts for the troops. An organization, which later became the Masonic Service Association, was established, but Wisconsin declined to join it. The Grand Lodge of Oregon led a different movement to establish a national grand lodge system, but it found no followers.[35]

To be German in America at that hour was unpopular. Anyone or anything with a German name was "fair game for abuse," though most German-Americans were loyal to the United States. The prestigious Deutscher Club in Milwaukee became the Wisconsin Club. Sauerkraut became "liberty cabbage." German shopkeepers who did not conspicuously support the Liberty Loan drives were threatened with boycotts, and others had their homes decorated with yellow paint. Even dachshunds were subject to abuse. The German language was not taught in most public schools around the country, not even in Milwaukee.[36] Many communities, especially those called "Germantown," changed their names.

German-speaking lodges in Illinois, Michigan, Ohio, California, Connecticut and Colorado converted to English. Illinois had nine such lodges. When six voluntarily shifted, its Grand Master ordered the others to do the same. Two lodges obeyed the edict, and when the Grand Master arrested the charter of the last one, it, too, fell into line.[37]

Aldro Jenks stated that he thought no lodge in America should be permitted to work in any other language but English. However, C. C. Rogers, editor of the Masonic Tidings disagreed:

"Let us not forget that we are all Masons. As such we should exercise the spirit of tolerance, even though others may exercise an intolerant spirit. We should be lenient in dealing with our American Masons of German descent, and who forsooth, in years past by our free consent, have made use of the German language in conferring the Masonic degrees."[38]

Wisconsin's only German-speaking lodge, Aurora No. 30, was not under pressure to change, and continued to work as always. Two members of Aurora Lodge served in the American armed forces during the War.[39]

There was considerable anxiety throughout the land about Wisconsin's loyalty to the cause. Germans were not the traitors many newspapers said they were, however, and Wisconsin was the first state to send in a complete registration for the draft. She oversubscribed her share in the great Liberty Loans, and gave half a million dollars more to the Red Cross Fund than she was asked.[40]

The War generated a large rush to join the fraternity by young men about to enter the service. Grand Masters issued more than 650 dispensations waiving balloting restrictions on petitioners for Masonic degrees.[41] Perhaps this was because fathers of the petitioners recognized that returning soldiers who lost limbs or digits in the War would be barred from ever becoming Masons.


The matter of military lodges occupied some of the attention of the nation's Grand Masters. Wisconsin has always opposed the chartering of military lodges on grounds that candidates are better known in their own communities. A scoundrel could be made a mason in a military lodge who would never have passed muster at home. Furthermore, a military lodge might be chartered by any grand lodge within the jurisdiction of another. Wisconsin has held that a method was available for men in the service to receive their degrees by the normal process; namely, election in his home town lodge followed by conferral of the degrees by courtesy in a regular lodge near his military post.

Dispensations for military lodges were issued by a few Grand Lodges, but most were aloof. North Dakota chartered a military lodge "somewhere in France." It was attended by Sgt. Clarence E. Peck of Harmony Lodge No. 142, who wrote:

"A colonel was Worshipful Master. No tools were brought from the States, and everything used was made by hand from an old mess kit."[42]

The Grand Lodge of New York chartered Sea and Field Lodge No. 3 in Bordeaux. A letter from a Kentucky Mason stated that he was present at the conferring of degrees on a class of more than 50—all three degrees, in a single night. The obligations only were given [probably in unison], the rest of the work was staged "while candidates saw the remainder of the ritual as though watching the season's latest hit show.[43]

Ohio, despite the opposition of its Grand Master (who held that "no necessity for it exists in this country, it is not practical elsewhere, and dangerous to the Craft"), authorized dispensations to military lodges with "certain restrictions."[44]

Masons raised in military lodges got a mixed welcome among the fraternity when they returned home. Some jurisdictions accepted them if properly certified; others not unless properly "healed." In 1920, Grand Master Charles E. Shane held that a soldier could demit from Sea and Field Lodge No. 4 in Marseille if a proper demit could be procured, either from that lodge or from the Grand Lodge of New York. The decision was approved by the Committee on Jurisprudence.[45]


Until the United States entered the War, the American flag was deemed to be inappropriate furniture for a lodge. In 1916, Aldro Jenks wrote:

"We love the flag but we think that any ostentatious display thereof is entirely out of place and not is just as well to attend to the legitimate business of Freemasonry and take it for granted that all are filled with the requisite amount of love and devotion to country."[46]

The War created a great patriotic movement by Lodges to acquire the national emblem for their lodge rooms. Some even had flagpoles erected outdoors. By the end of the War, nearly all Lodges had "Old Glory" in their rooms.[47]

A custom originated during the War of families to display "service flags." A service flag showed a blue star for each member of the household in the armed forces. (A gold star indicated that a serviceman had died in the War.) The flag was proudly hung in a front window of even the humblest home. Many Lodges adopted the custom, and had service flags on display in their lodge rooms, with a star for each member in the armed forces. In large lodges, where stars had to be continually added, the service flag was always out of date. After the War, Henry L. Palmer Lodge No. 301 had a flag with 104 stars "for those who enlisted under the banner of `Old Glory' to defend the country, to protect the chastity of woman [sic], home and family, and in defense of human liberty.[48] It had one gold star for a brother who died of pneumonia at Camp Custer in Michigan. The large influx of veterans as candidates for the degrees after the War would have required either adding stars for many years or adding none after the end of the War. Neither seems to be satisfactory, and service flags disappeared from display. None are known to exist anymore.[49]

General John J. Pershing, a Mason:[50] arrived in France in May 1917 with no soldiers. By January 1918, only 100,000 American soldiers were on French soil, and none had yet seen any action. The first engagement of American troops was in February, and the first battles were fought at Chateau-Thierry and Belleau Wood in June. Five months later, the War ended: November 11, 1918. At the end of the War, 2 million "doughboys" were "Over There."[51]


In August 1917, Kenwood Lodge No. 303 conferred the Master Mason degree on Major H. B. Einfeldt as soldiers and guardsmen occupied all the stations.[52]

Lt. Goodrich gave a demonstration of bayonet work to Washburn Masons in December.[53]

In the spring of 1918 an appeal went out for "smokes for American boys in France." "Tobacco to a soldier is not a luxury but a necessity." $3,000 was raised for the purpose.[54]

In November, the four principal officers of the Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite [Valley of Milwaukee] magnamously signed the following statement;

"All of us may not have the privilege of serving under the colors and meeting the enemy on the battlefield, but those of us who remain at home can serve our country and aid those who are in the trenches by condemning sedition, disloyalty and treason, and by doing all in our power to bring to justice those who are guilty of such conduct."[55]

After the War, Maj. A. L. Nash spoke in Manitowoc Lodge on his experiences in the War. "War today is a wonderfully scientific and terrific game; [it] was becoming more destructive each month it continued." Afterwards, Lt. Archie Lill recounted his experience in the tank corps.[56]

Past Grand Master David G. Harlowe received a souvenir from Lt. H. H. Helliwell of Co. G, 9th Infantry, 20th Division AEF; a "relic in the shape of a gas mask."[57]


The War ended at 11 A. M. (European Time) November 11, 1918. (Wisconsin schoolchildren observed the moment for more than a quarter of a century by facing the east for one minute at 11 A. M.)

The Milwaukee Sentinel editorialized:

"One hundred years from now—yes five hundred, indeed a thousand years from that glad day, untold millions will recall what happened November 11, 1918; and untold millions will not forget America and what her armed forces and patriotic people did in making that day one of the most notable in all time."[58]

[Who remembers today?]

The Grand Master of Tennessee, in an "eloquent address," exclaimed in February 1919:

"Not since the morning stars sang together has there been but one more memorable day than the eleventh of last November...".[59]

And Grand Master David G. Harlowe observed in his address at the 1919 Communication of the Grand Lodge:

"Changed indeed is the situation today! The roar of the battle has ceased; the enemy has been completely vanquished; he who aspired to rule the world has been dethroned, while all the petty minions of autocracy have lost crowns and sceptres. Democracy has triumphed; humanity breathes a purer atmosphere, and civilization enters upon a new era."[60]

More than 4 million American citizens were in the service by the War's end. Over 350,000 were casualties. The transactions of the Grand Lodge for 1919 saluted 3,665 Wis-consin Masons who served in the War—more than one-tenth of Wisconsin's Masons, still without mention of a "world war." Of the 94 who gave their lives in the nation's service, the tribute quotes, "... with tears in our eyes," a verse of Longfellow's "Psalm of Life":[61]

"Life is real! Life is earnest!
And the grave is not the Goal;
Dust thou art, to dust returnest,
Was not spoken of thy soul."

Masonic writers fantasized a role for Freemasonry in the peace that was to follow the War. But Woodrow Wilson, Lloyd George, Clemenceau and Orlando, not one of them were Masons. In view of the animosity that existed among the grand lodges of belligerent nations, how could Freemasonry have had any influence on the peace?


The jigsaw has been assembled for the first time. Some of the pieces are still missing. Are there, laid up in the archives of constituent Lodges, service flags from World War I that could be on display in a Masonic museum?

It was called, "The War to End All Wars." Perhaps that is an oxymoron. Then again, was not every war a war to end all wars. Wars are fought to resolve something once and for all, aren't they? But they don't.

It is folly to second guess history. It does not happen in a belljar under a vacuum. It takes at least two people to make it. None of them has absolute control of any of the others.

Conventional wisdom, even in my childhood, was that the world was spoiling for a war. Friederich Engels, the disciple of Karl Marx, had predicted such a contest in 1887.[62] Yet the War caught our Fraternity in all nations by surprise. As Freemasons in European countries were the cream of their societies, I must conclude that World War I took almost everybody by surprise.

I once heard it suggested that if all the Masons of the world could have gotten together on this, the War could have been prevented. If so, the Catholic Church, with a larger membership and a Pope, could have prevented the War. If the Pope could not prevent the War, how could Freemasonry have stopped it? Freemasonry has no Pope. Freemasonry was no more able to prevent the War than it was to start it.


[1] Transactions of the Grand Lodge of Wisconsin, 1919. Foreign Correspondence, p. 63. (NOTE: Hereafter, I will use "Trans." and "FC" where cited.)

[2] Everett, Susan and Young, Brigadier Peter, The Two World Wars, p 19ff.

[3] Everett, et al, Op. cit., p. 8. Hindenburg had retired from the German Army without ever having commanded an army in combat.

[4] Recollections of my mother. She told of Civil War veterans who visited schools and expressed this sentiment. This will be supported by the reference in note 25.

[5] Everett, et al, op. cit., p. 19. Also, Albrecht-Carrie, Rene, The Meaning of the First World War, p. 42. "Infrastructure," as used in this paragraph, is an anachronism; it was not used until the 1970s. But it seems to make the point: The roads and machinery weren't adequate enough in Europe to support a war of this magnitude. The trains could get the troops to a railhead, but horses had to get them to the front with food and ammunition to keep them up there.

[6] Everett and Young, ibid. pp. 103, 162

[7] Everett and Young, ibid. pp. 50, 76,

[8] Milz, William, Wisconsin Masonry During World War I, Transactions of Silas Shepherd Lodge of Research, 1992, p. 74.

[9] Becker, Gerhard, German Theater in Milwaukee, 1914 to 1918, Milwaukee History, p. 6. I find no other source to confirm the cutting of the Atlantic cable. The paragraph cited is heavily footnoted, and the evidence suggests that it might have been so.

[10] Wells, Robert W., This is Milwaukee, p. 181.

[11] Masonic Tidings, September 1914, p. 5. (NOTE: Hereafter, I will use "MT.")

[12] MT, April 1915, p. 4-5.

[13] MT, September 1914, p.5. The Grand Orator is idntified only as "Adler."

[14] Loc. cit.

[15] Trans. 1915, FC p. 19.

[16] Trans. 1916, FC p. 36.

[17] Trans. 1917, FC p. 160

[18] Trans. 1918, FC pp. 91, 97; Fuenfundsiebzigstes Jubilaeum der Aurora Loge No. 30, F. u. A.M., p. 27. (Freemasonry was abolished in Germany under the Nazi regime during the 1930s.)

[19] MT, February 1920, p. 1

[20] MT, June 1917, p. 11, quoting River Falls Times of 5/26.

[21] MT, February 1920, p. 1.

[22] MT, August, 1919, p. 30.

[23] Trans. 1918, pp.20,21.

[24] MT April 1919, p. 2.

[25] MT, September 1914, p. 11. (See note 4.)

[26] Trans. 1915, FC p. 156.

[27] Trans. 1916, FC p. 155. The idea was not original with Aldro Jenks. It was around at the turn of the century. The statement comes from one who lacks credibility. I have known some past grand masters in my time. Not one has seemed to me to have taken a vow of poverty, and I presume Jenks did not include himself among the masses.

[28] Trans. 1915, p.5.

[29] MT, June 1916, p.12.

[30] MT, January 1918, pp. 8,9. The "worst" of the diseases is probably syphilis, "another" is gonorrhea. As a veteran of more than four years in the military, I find the statistics hard to believe. MT, February 1918 reported almost 25,000 new cases in a three month period from 31 cantonments toward the end of 1917. "Single men in barricks don't grow into plaster saints." (R. Kipling, Tommy Adkins.)

[31] Trans. 1917, FC p. 146. A clever turn of phrase, but I don't believe the Allies had been fighting our war. We had gotten involved in theirs.

[32] Trans. 1917, p. 92.

[33] Trans. 1918, pp 3, 98.

[34] Trans. 1919, FC p. 121.

[35] Trans. 1918, p. 19.

[36] Trans. 1919, FC p. 14; Austin, H. Russell, The Milwaukee Story, p. 177ff.

[37] Trans. 1918, FC pp. 14, 88; Trans. 1919, FC pp. 14, 34, 57; Trans. 1920, FC p. 20, 25, 27.

[38] MT, November 1918, p. 8.

[39] Fuenfundsiebzigstes, op. cit., p. 30: You'll have to translate this yourself; the Germans not only like long words, they like long, convoluted sentences.

[40] MT, September 1917, p.7; Fuenfundsiebzigstes, op. cit., p.28, 29, 30.

[41] Trans. 1918, p. 12; Trans. 1919, p. 12.

[42] MT, May 1918, p. 3.

[43] Trans. 1920, FC pp. 57-59.

[44] Trans. 1918, FC p 106.

[45] Trans. 1920, FC p. 14.

[46] MT, January 1916, p. 8.

[47] MT, June 1917, p. 5; MT, November 1920, p. 64.

[48] MT, February 1919, pp. 6, 13. The phrase "defend the chastity of women" also appears in an article about a Lodge of Sorrow in Bayfield (MT, April 1919, pp 11-12), and in an article about a reception for returning brothers of Damascus Lodge (MT, November 1919, p. 24).

[49] The service flag custom was revived during World War II, but has not been used since. The "tradition" of yellow ribbons only dates back to 1979 during the Iranian hostage crisis. There was no symbol for veterans of Korea or Vietnam.

[50] MT, April 1918, p. 2. Gen. Pershing was chosen to chase Pancho Villa into Mexico in 1916 because of his service fighting guerillas in the Philippines. He was the only active general to have commanded troops in combat. His experience in Mexico prompted his selection to head the American Expeditionary Force in France.

[51] Everett, Susan et al, The Two World Wars, p. 214. I recently saw the "doughboy" of World War I called a "G.I." G.I. (for "Government Issue") was the term for a serviceman of World War II, still in use as far as I know.

[52] MT, September 1917, p. 3.

[53] MT, January 1918, p. 12.

[54] MT, May 1918, p.11. In an age when smoking has gotten an almost universal bad name, one might wonder why men ever took up the habit. A century ago and before, the whole world smelled like a barnyard; tobacco was a fragrant aroma by comparison. We can't imagine the effluvia that emanated from the trenches during the war. Smoking was permitted during meetings and the conferring of degrees in the lodges. It was a practice which Grand Master David G. Harlowe deplored. (MT, January 1919, p. 23.)

[55] MT, November 1917, p. 6. The opening clause seems fatuous to us today. I wonder what the boys "over there" would have thought.

[56] MT, May 1919, p.12.

[57] MT, January 1919, p. 6.

[58] MT, November 1918, p. 9, quoting from the Milwaukee Sentinel of November 12, 1918. For many years, it was called "Armistice Day," but in the late 1950s it was changed to "Veterans Day," whereon veterans work while government employees take a holiday.

[59] Trans. 1919, FC p. 120.

[60] Ibid., p.1.

[61] Ibid., Appendix E. The number of Wisconsin Masons who served differs from the number in Milz's paper; mine was by actual count of the Honor Roll, while his was based on the number of per capita taxes remitted.

[62] MT, February 1919, p.5.


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September 24, 1994