History of Montgomery Lodge No. 94

Instituted January 8,1827, Chartered January 16,1828

     On the recommendation of Milford Lodge No. 54. The Grand Lodge of Ohio granted a Charter to 8 members, William Crane, R. Cunningham, F. Barman, Abraham Crist, Jeremiah Leyman, James W. Robinson, J.A. Reeder, and John Cross. The members met and elected J.W. Robinson, Worshipful Master, J.A. Reeder, Senior Warden, and Abraham Crist, junior Warden.

After only four years on November 10,1832 the Lodge met and adjourned without day Grand lodge was informed and due record was made in Annual Proceedings.

The Lodge jewels (Hand made by a Reading Jeweler) were loaned to Batavia Lodge by the Grand Lodge and later sold them.

Fourteen years later on October 21,1846 Grand Lodge session in Dayton adopted a resolution to resuscitate Montgomery Lodge No. 94 and voted to refund the price of Jewels sold to Batavia Lodge for fifty-three dollars ($53.00).

 By the generosity of the members of Batavia Lodge, the original jewels were returned to Montgomery in a presentation at our Stated Meeting in June 2016.

     The Lodge met ever since first in 1846 in various homes in Montgomery and while the present Temple was being completed in 1961 met at the Pleasant Ridge Temple. Our first meeting place in Montgomery was Sage's Tavern, now Bartons Bakery (1828 to 1832). After Grand Lodge gave consent to work again in 1846, our home was James Ayers Building now Pure Oil Station (1846 to 1879). In 1879 we moved into D. Parrotts store on the second floor. This building was also known as the Denmand Building and we met here from 1879 to 1937. We moved into the basement of our present Temple May 22,1937 and remained in this room until our present Lodge Room was dedicated by M.W. Grand Master Daniel C. Jenkins, January 16,1962.

     Abraham Crist came from Montgomery County; New York located on the Walkill River and settled here in 1797. Many feel this was the start of the name of this community and out Lodge. He located where the Golf Club in on Cooper Avenue. Cunningham Road is named after R. Cunningham and his home was located south of Washington School of where the Indian Hill Ranger Office is located.

     Dues at the time of Charter were .12 1/2 per month payable in advance. Our Stated Meetings are on the Tuesday on or before the full moon of the month and of no full moon changes in any month, the Stated meeting in such month shall be held on the last Tuesday of that month. This can cause 13 meetings in some years.

     Original fees for Initiation were E.A. $7.00, F.C. $3.00, and M.M. $5.00.

     The Bible now inside our Altar was presented to the Lodge by the Ladies of Montgomery, January 1,1847 and was in constant use until the members raised in 1949 by W. Brother Clyde R. Ball purchased and presented the present Bible.

     On the records of the Lodge we find that some families have fourth and fifth generation members. The Todd Family contributed both officers and members along with the Blair and Strawser families. Another name found on the minutes is the Ragabaugh family.

     Membership when chartered in these years is as follows:  

Chartered 1828 - 34 members W.M. J.W. Robinson    
25 years old 1852 - 34 members W.M. W.M. Jones    
50 years old 1877 - 44 members W.M. J.A. Muchmore    
75 years old 1902 - 68 members W.M. George Arstingstall    
100 years old 1927 - 225 members W.M W.R. Ranz    
125 years old 1952 - 367 members W.M. C.L. Volk    
150 years old 1977 - 497 members W.M. Harold W Varney    
175 years old 2002 - 654 members W.M. L John Lasonczyk    

     Montgomery Lodge has been served by 116 Worshipful Masters and 39 Secretaries in its 188 years (to yr 2016).


     From minutes of Milford Lodge #54, April 7,1827 - On motion, resolved that the Jewels of Milford Lodge be loaned to Montgomery Lodge to be returned before our Stated meetings until we could obtain our own. The borrowing of Jewels from Milford was quite a chore, as they had no roads as we know them today and transportation was difficult. In our records we have an invoice-letter concerning our Jewels from a Reading, Ohio jeweler which was hand delivered to three different addresses.

     Milford Lodge is the Mother Lodge and the one who gave us our backing. Records show we received their recommendation and through this, our Charter from the Grand Lodge. Montgomery Lodge later became the Mother Lodge of Pleasant Ridge Lodge #282.

     A movement to buy the Universalistic Church in 1927 to be the new home of the Lodge was started. When checking the title limitations and agreements W.B. Edwin L. Strawser he found the Church would have first rights on all day and night meetings. The plan was dropped. The Lodge continued to look toward a new home and in 1937 move into our new home.

     With the money gathered from the drive to buy the Universalistic Church, and slowly adding each year by the Lodge another movement to purchase a new home was started. A concerted drive to obtain money was begun in the Lodge, and plans obtained for the new Temple continued. After enough interest was shown and a number of pledges turned in, it was decided to proceed. When monies did not materialize the Lodge used up what monies it had, and then made an agreement with the builder to just finish the basement in 1937 and met there until 1961 when the second floor was added and the Lodge finally completed.

     Laying of the Cornerstone was on October 1,1961, just 115 years after the Grand Lodge resuscitated the Lodge in Dayton, October 21,1846. The program was under the direction of M.W. Brother Willian M. Judd, P.G.M. acting under the direction of the Grand Master M.W. Brother Charles Strayer.


     In 1909, the Worshipful Masters of Pleasant Ridge, Sharonville, Madisonville, and Montgomery honored Brother Richard Snyder, who had presided at many of the convocations when the actual Past Master Degree was conferred. In cooperation with the Past Masters and Brethren of these Lodges he was presented with a Music Cabinet on June 12,1909 at Pleasant Ridge Temple. This music box was used for many years at the conferral of degrees in our Lodge. Brother Foster Todd took great pride in operating this machine, and after his death and the installation of the organ in our Lodge room, it was given to his daughters.

     1954-In our Altar is a gavel made from a limb off the Redwood Tree (General Sherman) in Sequoia National Park. This gavel was made by a Mason and handled only by Masons and given to the Lodge by Bro. Robert Lint. This gavel was made along eith another, which is at Washington Memorial in Alexandria, Virginia.

     1953-Special note, a presentation of four 50 year pins by W.B. William M. Judd to James L. Radabaugh, Emery Radabaugh, William Barman, and Harvey Pence. Bro. Harvey Pence wasn't present, being ill, however the others were in attendance. The unusual thing being that these four Brethren received the Entered Apprentice, Fellowcraft, and Master Mason Degrees as a class and now the Grand Lodge gave each a 50-year pin. Another unusual thing is all of these Brethren are related. At this meeting a 50-year Past Master Apron was presented to Worshipful Brother George Arstingstall.

     1959-Brother Milton Cochran Nite, May 12,1959. After 50 years of consecutive service as Tyler, a night was set aside for Brother Milt with W.B. Chester Hodges as speaker. Among those in attendance R.W. Brother Warren M. Kern, R.W. Brother Armor Reiter both being District Deputies under Grand Master Hodges. Brother Cochran served pro tem in 1907 and 1908 and served until November 22,1966 when he was elected Tyler Emeritus which office he held until called to rest by the Grand Master above on Aug.15, 1967.

     Seven members of Montgomery Lodge #94 have served as District Deputy Grand Master of the First Masonic District. They are:

     R.W. Brother Harold Cowles            1970 - 71 - 72

     R.W. Brother H. Clayton Powers *   1974 - 75 - 76

     R.W. Brother George Ward *            1989 - 90 - 91

     M.W. Brother Ronald R Rogers *      1984 - 85 - 86 , he then went on to be installed Grand Master of Grand Lodge of F. & A.M. of Ohio in October of 1999

      R.W. Brother L. John Lasonczyk *    2011 - 12 - 13

      R.W. Brother Jeffrey Root *              2017 - 2018

      R.W. Brother Charles Armstrong *    2019 - 2021 

      * = These brethren all wore the same District Deputy Grand Master Jewel, which is the oldest jewel assigned to the district.

     November 25,1969-At a special meeting of Montgomery Lodge No. 94, R.W. Brother Harold R. Cowles was installed as District Deputy Grand Master of the First Masonic District by R.W.B. Dale E. Fox, Junior Grand Warden of the Grand Lodge of Ohio. November R.W.B. CHARLES Brigham, Senior Grand Warden of the Grand Lodge of Ohio, installed 20,1973 R.W. Brother H.Clayton Powers as District Deputy Grand master of the First Masonic District.

     1975-A special meeting of Montgomery Lodge No. 94 was held May 13,1975 to honor W. B. Edwin Strasser for 70 years of Masonic service. The electric lights were turned off, and kerosene lamps and candles were lit to reflect the mood in which W.B. Ed was raised in August 12,1905. This was very impressive as M. W. Brother William Judd; P.G.M. presented W.B. Ed his 70-year emblem on behalf of the Grand Lodge. Among those present were W.B. Blair Strawser, son of W.B. Ed who as W.M. in 1940; Brother Neil Strawser, and Brother Lyle Shaw, grandsons of W.B. Ed.

     Many other days of note in the history are in the minutes and would be of interest, however to write all, would be recopying our minutes and make this history very long.

From the Grand Lodge Proceedings:

1808 - 1847, pages 174 and 177.

Page 174 - Petition was referred to Committee on Charters & Dispensations.

Page 177 - Motion to Grant Dispensation passed, also exceptions on recommendation of Milford Lodge #54 asking charter be granted. This did not pass.

1828 - pages 195 and 196. Charter and Dispensation Committee - Brother Anderson, reporting that charter be granted, January 15,1928. Deputy Grand Master Thomas Corwin of Lebanon presiding.

1829 - No report in Records of Grand Lodge.

1830 - Represented by Alexander Duncan.

1831 - No representative.

1832 - Represented by Alexander Duncan.

1833 - Represented by Alexander Duncan.

Page 383 - Shows in Abstract of Lodges that Montgomery ceased in 1832.

Page 286 - Grand Proceedings in 1838 that Jewels were forfeited to Grand


Page 291 - Grand Proceedings in 1838 two communications received from

           Montgomery Lodge and referred to Committee on Charters &


1846 - Page 571

     Your committee also finds the following facts to exist in relation to Montgomery Lodge. That on the 10th day of November, AD 1832, six brethren met and adjourned said Lodge without day, and that the same never met since; that the Grand Lodge received notice of the proceedings of said Montgomery Lodge. They also find that said Montgomery Lodge was directed to retain its Charter until a favorable opportunity should present itself to resuscitate said Lodge. They also find, on the examination of the papers before them, that said Jewels to the amount of $53.00, which Jewels were subsequently loaned to Batavia Lodge in Clermont County; that said, as aforesaid, the Grand Lodge has sold said jewels to Batavia Lodge. This Lodge now prays to be resuscitated, and that the Grand Lodge furnish them with a set of Jewels in place of those sold to Batavia Lodge, or refund the amount the Grand Lodge received for said Jewels. Resolved, that Montgomery Lodge be and the same hereby resuscitated and authorized to resume Labor, under its number, 94, and that the amount this Grand Lodge received on the salt of the jewels belonging to said Lodge be refunded.


Worshipful Master William E. Judd, past grand master of Ohio State Masons wields the trowel while Raymond Daniel’s, stone mason for the O.P. Gingham Stone Contractors of Madeira, holds the slab bearing the date of the now Montgomery Masonic Temple. A parade and cornerstone laying was held October 1,1961. Inside, dedication ceremonies were held after the cornerstone laying for the many members in attendance.

Acting under proxy, I convened the Grand Lodge of Ohio in special Emergent Communication at Montgomery, Ohio, on October 1,1961 for the purpose of laying the cornerstone of the new Montgomery Masonic Temple. The several station of the Grand Lodge were filled by the following Brethren:

Bro. William Judd…Acting M.W. Grand Master

Bro. Sam Hall…Acting R.W. Deputy Grand Master

Bro. Irvine Bollinger…Acting R.W. Sr. Grand Warden

Bro. H. Clayton powers…Acting R.W. Jr. Grand Warden

Bro. John Ivins…Acting R.W. Grand Treasurer

Bro. Clyde Ball…Acting R.W. Grand Secretary

Bro. Jos. G. Burg…Acting R.W. Grand Chaplain

Bro. Edwin L. Strawser…Acting R.W. Grand Orator

Bro. George DeSilver…Acting R.W. Grand Marshall

Bro. Ralph Bird…Acting W. Sr. Grand Deacon

Bro. Henry Brose…Acting W. Jr. Grand Deacon

Bro. William Ranz…Senior Grand Steward

Bro. Edwin Kuszler…Junior Grand Steward

Bro. Russell Bowen…Grand Architect

Bro. Albert Dunham…Bearer of Great Lights

Bro. Herbert Krombholz…Bearer of Light

Bro. Stewart Buckley…Bearer of Light

Bro. Lester C. Oberle…Bearer of Light

Bro. Milton S. Cochran…Acting Grand Tyler

                        Fraternally yours,

                        William Judd, Past Grand Master



I convened the Grand Lodge of Ohio in Special Emergent Communications at Montgomery, Ohio on January 16,1962, for the purpose of dedicating the Lodge Room of Montgomery Lodge No. 94.

The following Brethren filled the several stations of the Grand Lodge:

Bro. Daniel C. Jenkins…M.W. Grand Master

Bro. William Judd…Acting R.W. Deputy Grand Master

Bro. Chester Hodges…Acting R.W. Sr. Grand Warden

Bro. Irwin Bollinger…Acting R.W. Jr. Grand Warden

Bro. William Hoffman…Acting R.W. Grand Treasurer

Bro. John Ivins…Acting R.W. Grand Secretary

Bro. Joe Burg…Acting R.W. Grand Chaplain

Bro. George Day…Acting R.W. Grand Orator

Bro. Samuel G. Hall…Acting R.W. Grand Marshall

Bro. Stewart Buckley…W. Sr. Grand Deacon

Bro. Philip DeRonde…W. Jr. Grand Deacon

Bro. Herbert Krombholz, Jr…Senior Grand Steward

Bro. Rolland Harmon…Junior Grand Steward

Bro. Russell Bowen…Grand Architect

Bro. Ed Strawser…Bearer of Great Lights

Bro. Frank Geminden…Bearer of Light

Bro. Blake Jenkins…Bearer of Light

Bro. George Reif…Bearer of Light

Bro. George Langhorst…Bearer of Symbol (Carpet)

Bro. Lester Overlie…Bearer of Symbol (Carpet)

Bro. Amos Light…Bearer of Symbol (Carpet)

Bro. William Ran…Bearer of Symbol (Carpet)

Bro. Arthur E. Parrott…Acting Grand Tyler

Bro. Milton S. Cochran was Honorary Grand Tyler

                   Fraternally yours,

                   Daniel C. Jenkins, Past Grand Master



     Acting under your proxy, the Grand Lodge of Ohio was opened in special Emergent Communication at Montgomery, Ohio on

May 20,1962 for the purpose of laying the Cornerstone of the Montgomery Presbyterian Church. The following Brethren filled the several stations of the Grand Lodge:

Bro. William Judd…Acting M.W. Grand Master

Bro. George DeSilver…Acting R.W. Deputy Grand Warden

Bro. Chester Hodges…Acting R.W. Sr. Grand Warden

Bro. Irwin Bollinger…Acting R.W. Jr. Grand Warden

Bro. William Graler…Acting R.W. Grand Treasurer

Bro. Clyde Ball…Acting R.W. Grand Secretary

Bro. H. Clayton Powers…Acting R.W. Grand Chaplain

Bro. Henry Brose…Acting R.W. Grand Orator

Bro. Samuel G. Hall…Acting R.W. Grand Marshall

Bro. John Seilkopp…Acting W. Sr. Grand Deacon

Bro. Earl Sams…Acting W. Jr. Grand Deacon

Bro. Ray Volk…Senior Grand Steward

Bro. Harry Thornberg…Junior Grand Steward

Bro. Harold Markl…Bearer of Great Lights

Bro. Milton Woods…Past Master with Light

Bro. Wendall Hall…Past Master with Light

Bro. Walter Ferris…Past Master with Light

Bro. Eugene Abbott…Past Master with Golden Vessel


Bro. Edward Hunter…Past Master with Silver Vessel


Bro. Harry Thornberg…Past Master with Silver

                     Vessel (Oil)

Bro. Hal Cowles…Acting Grand Tyler

                                    Fraternally yours,

                                    WM. M. Judd, P.G.M.

                                    per Sam G. Hall

In the preparation of this work we owe a debt of gratitude to those who have made this possible; Brothers Edwin L. Strawser, and H. Clayton Powers, both dedicated Past Masters who gave of their time and energy to make this History complete. To Brother George Mahew for the photography and to Mary Todd who through family found the painting of our second meeting place in the home of Mrs. Dan Reese (Emily Todd)? They both very graciously allowed its use in the preparation of pictures for this history. To Marion Kjellenberg who assisted in obtaining pictures of our first and third meeting places, and finally to all the Brothers who gave information on our Lodge History.

                                Joseph G. Burg

                                Preparation of Material

In 1985, Liberty Lodge #646 merged with Montgomery Lodge. In 1995 Pleasant Ridge Lodge #282 merged with Montgomery Lodge.