A Short History
1909 – 2014
The first discussion relative to the formation of a Masonic Lodge in Glendora occurred about 1907. Brother Jasper C. Mathias was the Senior Warden of Azusa Lodge No. 305, at the time, and one of the principle individuals in the formation of Glendora Lodge. It was by general agreement to defer further discussion of a new Lodge until Brother Mathias completed his term as Master of Azusa Lodge. After completion of his term, the subject was again brought up for discussion on March 1, 1909 with the following Master Masons meeting at the office of Brother Rolfe B. Bidwell, Jasper C. Mathias, Irving Mulholland, Andrew B. Rogers, William Braddy, Frank R. Smith, Hugh T. Gordon, Frank Taylor, Oscar R West, William G. Bain, Roland F. Blankenship, Wallace L. Howard, Keith M. Suydan, George B. Gordon, Nathan J. Ashby, Charles Ragan, John W. De Shields, Ira J. Mandeville, Charles F. Gordon.
At that meeting it was decided to organize a Lodge, and call it “Glendora Lodge”. (The name GLENDORA was created in 1887 by George Whitcomb from the word glen and his wife’s name, Lendora) The Grand Lodge of California granted a dispensation granting the newly formed Lodge to hold meetings and raise Master Masons on May 13, 1909.
May 22, 1909 at 8 o’clock P.M. the first official meeting under a Dispensation was called to order by Chairman J. C. Mathias and the first order of business was the election of officers as follows:
Jasper Chester Mathias – Master
Rolfe Bishop Bidwell – Senior Warden
Irving Harvey Mulholland – Junior Warden
Nathan James Ashby – Treasurer
Roland Foreman Blankenship – Secretary
Frank Richard Smith – Senior Deacon
Wallace Lawton Howard – Junior Deacon
Ira Judson Mandeville – Marshall
Andrew Berry Rogers – Chaplain
Keith McDonald Suydam – Senior Steward
George Basil Gordon – Junior Steward
Robert Kneeshaw – Tyler
In addition to those officers listed above, other charter members where;
William Braddy, William Guy Bain, John Walter De Shields, Hugh Taylor Gordon Jr., Charles F. Gordon, Charles Ragan, B. Frank Taylor, Oscar Roy West, Wyatt O. West , Willard Selwyn Wood
The First Stated Meeting was held at 8 O’clock P.M. on June 3, 1909 A L 5909 after normal business; Dr. Glenn Eugene Odell a local Dentist and Mr. Herbert Clifton Warren were introduced and initiated an Entered Apprentice Mason.
Doctor Glenn E. Odell had the honor of being the first to receive the Entered Apprentice Degree, while Brother Bert Warren on August 19, 1909 had the honor of being the first to receive the degree of Master Mason in Glendora Lodge.
The Charter was granted by the Grand Lodge of California in October 1909, at its Annual Communications. Then duly constituted, the Lodge was dedicated on October 28, 1909 at 7:30 pm. The Grand Master being unable to attend authorized the Reverend Dana R. Weller, then Deputy Grand Master to preside over the dedication.
Glendora Lodge was instrumental in arranging for the Grand Lodge of California to lay the cornerstone of the City Hall in 1921. Brother Charles Ragan was serving as Mayor at the time.
In 1934 Brother Col. Eugene F. Underhill a member of Genesee Falls Lodge No. 507 in Rochester, New York bequeathed Glendora Lodge the Valley Center property on which the Lodge Stands.
The membership was originally made up of Citrus Growers and Merchants. They were greatly involved in the growth of the City and in the Public Schools.
Bidwell, Gordon, Stanton and Whitcomb Elementary Schools were named for the prominent Glendora business and professional men who were also members of the Glendora Masonic Lodge. Additionally, Sellers and Sutherland Elementary Schools were named for prominent women who were wives of Masons of Glendora Lodge.
Glendora Lodge has always been proud of its ritual work. In 1951 Fred T. Moore, Past Master was appointed by the Grand Lodge of
California to serve as Inspector of the 618th Masonic District, Brother Fred Served in this capacity for two years. Today L. Joseph Babineau Jr. serves as the Inspector of the 765th Masonic District, and William J. O’Brien II PM, as the 2009 Grand Bible Bearer.
The Glendora Masonic Temple Association was formed and incorporated in 1959. The following year, while still meeting in the Bank of America building, the Lodge members elected to build a new Temple on the former Underhill property on (North) Valley Center. This resulted in the appointment of a building committee.
Ground was broken for this new edifice on May 4, 1963 and the Grand Lodge of California laid the cornerstone on September 14, 1963.
The first official Lodge function to take place in our new Temple was the Installation of Offices on December 14, 1963. Brother Thurman Merritt was installed as Master of the Lodge.
On February 15, 1964 the Grand Lodge Officers dedicated the new Temple which finalized several years of preparation and hard work of many of the Lodge members. That same year Brother Jack Lewis PM was elected to the Temple Board and has continuously served in some position of the Board since 1964. He is currently the President.
In February 1976, Brother Glenn Odell presented a check in the amount of $5,000.00 to the Glendora Masonic Temple Association for the purpose of retiring the mortgage.
The Mortgage Burning Ceremony took place at the temple on February 13, 1976. Brother Robert C. Odell, President of the Temple Association held the mortgage while his father Glenn Odell lit the candle which burned the mortgage. As a final climax to the evening, Brother Robert C. Odell was presented with the “King Solomon Award”, for his outstanding service to the Glendora Lodge through its building program; from its inception, to the planning to the building, and finally to the burning of the mortgage.
In 1993 the Sojourner Lodge No. 607 Consolidated with Glendora. Glendora Lodge has remained a healthy Lodge from its early days of 1909 to the present, with a total membership of approximately 170 members.