PARADE TO GLORY THE STORY OF THE SHRINERS
AND THEIR HOSPITALS FOR CRIPPLED CHILDREN
By Fred Van Deventer
YORK, 1959 WILLIAM MORROW AND COMPANY
1959 by Fred Van Deventer
Published simultaneously in the Dominion of Canada by George J. McLeod
Printed in the United States of America.
Library of Congress Catalog Card Number 59‑5505
of Contents Preface‑Es Selamu Aleikum in I Apostles of Good Cheer
i II From All of These q III "Better Than They
Knew" 21 IV The Legend of Araby 3 2 V In Death a Mystery
5 3 VI Hard Times‑and Growth 63 VII Fleming Says
Farewell 71 VIII The Wells of Zemzem 83 IX The
Power of the Throne 91 X End of an Era 112 XI Presidential
Approval 120 XII With Charity for All i 2 q
XIII The New Century 136 XIV To Faraway Places 152
XV "Our Lives, Our Fortunes" 164 XVI The Wells of
Zemzem Run Dry 172 XVII The "Bubbles" Speech x‑78
XVIII Temples of Baby Smiles 191 XIX Unto the Least of
These 204 XX Guests at the White House 209 XXI Dreams of
Grandeur 217 XXII International Good Will 224 v XXIII
The Great Depression 231 XXIV The Second World War 24‑7
XXV The Right to Go to Lodge 256 Appendix Rank of Temples
According to Dates of Charters 277 Derivation and Significance of
Temple Names 282 Cities with Temples 285 Past Imperial
Potentates 288 Past Imperial Treasurers 292 Past Imperial
Recorders 293 Shriners' Hospitals for Crippled Children,
Directory 293 Index 29'7
Selamu A leikum
is a story on how Parade to Glory came to be written.
Several years ago, when Florence Rinard (Mrs. Van Deventer) and I appeared on
the television show "Twenty Questions," we took a short vacation in the
southland. On our return, we were fortunate enough to meet on the Norfolk‑Cape
Charles, Va., ferry, Mr. and Mrs. John Willey, who also had been vacationing.
Mr. Willey is the editor of William Morrow & Co., the publishers of this book.
course of time, Mr. Willey and I had lunch together in New York, and at that
luncheon I explained to him that ever since I had become a member of Crescent
Temple, I had hoped someday to write the story of the Shriners and their
hospitals. Mr. Willey expressed interest, and at his suggestion I approached
Mr. George E. Stringfellow, who was then the Imperial Chief Rabban and also a
member of Crescent. We had first come to know each other through my
broadcasting of the news and also through the "Twenty Questions" program.
Imperial Sir George, without whose help, guidance and friendship this book
could never have been written, presented the idea to the Imperial Divan, then
headed by Imperial Sir Gerald Crary. More
interest was expressed, further meetings were held, and the Imperial Divan
approved the project in Minneapolis. Imperial Sir Thomas W. Melham, who had
been elected in Minneapolis, signed the official documents that had been
prepared by Legal Counsel Robert P. Smith.
followed many thousands of miles of travel, seeking information wherever it
might be found. I spent well over a year gathering information and photographs
before ever one line was put to paper. They came from libraries from Maine to
California and from Florida to the far northwest, from Recorders of all the
temples, from emeritus members of the Imperial Council, from Past Imperial
Potentates, from Arabic scholars, from the Shrine rooms in the George
Washington National Masonic Memorial, from the late Noble Charles Bender of
Mahi Temple, who had spent untold years and treasure collecting Shrine
had been other histories of the Shrine written, the last one before the
hospitals were really established, and there had been the legendary histories
created by some of the early leaders of this great fraternal Order. But there
never had been a story written about the glamour of the Shrine, the charity of
the Shrine as well as the laws and the administration of the Shrine. This,
then, is that story‑not a history in the exhaustive sense, for there are
thousands upon thousands of anecdotes that could be told that are not included
all who have helped, including my wife Florence and my daughter Nancy, I am
indeed grateful. The book has made me a better Shriner and a better Mason. I
hope it will you too.
FRED VAN DEVENTER
Princeton, N. J. January 1959
IMPERIAL POTENTATE 75 PROSPECT STREET EAST ORANGE, N.J.
Fred Van Deventer, Princeton, N.J.
Pursuant to a resolution of the Board of Directors of the Imperial Council,
Ancient Arabic Order Nobles of the Mystic Shrine, you were commissioned to
write a comprehensive history of that Order.
Imperial Sir George E. Stringfellow was selected as chairman of a committee of
the Imperial Council to approve your manuscript, with power to select the
other members of that committee. Other members selected were Deputy Imperial
Potentate Clayton F. Andrews, Imperial Recorder George M. Saunders, Past
Imperial Potentate Galloway Calhoun and Past Imperial Potentate
Harold M. Lloyd.
undersigned members of that committee have read your manuscript. We concur
that it is a work worthy of the Shrine, that it gives a true and authentic
picture of the Shrine from its inception to the present time. We commend it to
every Shriner and to every Mason, all of whom have the opportunity to become a
member of our fraternity.
feel that "Parade to Glory" is a story that is typically American and we take
pleasure in approving it in its entirety.
CRESCENT TEMPLE NO. CLINTON AVE.& WALL STREET TRENTON, NEW JERSEY January
28,1959 George Inermate
PARADE T0 GLORY
Apostles of Good Cheer
spring and summer of 1870, the "13" craze swept New York City and among its
more ardent devotees were Walter Millard Fleming, M.D.; William J. Florence,
actor; Charles T. McClenachan, lawyer; William S. Paterson, paper merchant;
George Millar, printer; and William Fowler, restaurateur and wine merchant. As
much as anything else, the craze over "13" could be attributed to the
aftermath of the War between the States, a flouting of all omens of ill‑luck
in an effort to forget. There were those who insisted on sitting down to their
luncheons at exactly 1z:13 at tables set for thirteen. Games were invented in
which "13" played the dominant role, and attempts were made not infrequently
to have thirteen persons at social affairs.
the luncheon tables set for thirteen guests was one on the second floor of
Knickerbocker Cottage located at 426 Sixth Avenue, a popular bistro operated
by Fowler and patronized largely by members of the Masonic fraternity, which
was about to erect a new temple on nearby Twenty‑third Street. The fraternity
had survived the political chicanery of the thirties that had produced an
anti‑Mason political party, largely supported by Thurlow Weed in an effort to
defeat Andrew Jackson, who was a Mason. But by the late thirties, the
anti‑Masons had been maneuvered ‑by Weed and William H. Seward into the Whig
party, where they promptly lost their identity.
APOSTLES OF GOOD CHEER 3
thirty years later, Masonry was prosperous. There were many lodges of the
first three degrees. The Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite was growing rapidly;
and if the Knights Templar were a bit slower, it could be attributed to the
cost of uniforms that every member must own.
were thousands of Masons in the New York of 1870, many of them with businesses
and offices that abounded in the vicinity of Twenty‑third Street. Banded
together as they were in the spirit of fraternalism, it was quite natural and
customary that they should carry that spirit outside their lodge rooms, and
many of them made it a habit to visit Knickerbocker Cottage, which was housed
in the old Varian Homestead, a large white house in the Dutch style, erected
at Twentyeighth Street when that area was on the outskirts of the city. Its
rooms were large and charming. The food was good and Knickerbocker Cottage had
attained a certain notoriety because of both the size and the quality of its
were several Masonic luncheon tables in Fowler's place, mostly made up of the
same groups, day after day. Fowler promoted the idea of little cliques and was
a member, or an honorary member, of most of them, for he was a popular host.
But the most popular of all of the luncheon tables was the one on the second
floor in a room that overlooked Sixth Avenue, a table set for thirteen. Faces
at the large round table might vary from day to day, and there were occasions
when its thirteen chairs were not filled, but no matter how many sat down at
12: 13, nor who attended on a given day, this table was one for fun. Perhaps
the jokes were better. Perhaps there was more natural wit. Perhaps the select
coterie was composed of the more natural extroverts who welcomed only those
who could contribute to the merriment.
Fleming was an accepted member of that table for thirteen, and so were
Florence, McClenachan, Paterson, Millar and others; and Fowler himself spent
more time in the "13" room than elsewhere for here was the gayest of all gay
company. For Dr. Fleming to be admitted to this select group was something of
an achievement. It testi‑
4 PARADE TO GLORY
to his personal charm and his developing practice as a physician, for Dr.
Fleming had hung out his shingle on Twenty‑eighth Street less than a year
Always, except in an emergency, Dr. Fleming made it a point to complete his
morning rounds at nearby St. Elizabeth's Hospital and his morning calls at the
homes of his patients before I 1: 45. Then, with his Homburg at a jaunty
angle, he walked from his office to Fowler's in time to sit down with his
cronies at exactly 12:13. He was just thirty‑two years old, but already he had
begun to develop an expanding waistline, across which dangled a heavy gold
chain, attached to an equally heavy gold watch. He sported long, flowing
sideburns that dropped below his massive jowls; and even in a day when the
cleanshaven man was a rarity, they attracted attention. His clothing was of
the very best and, all in all, he radiated strength and character. He was
exuberant and effervescent, but nevertheless he appeared to have a certain
majesty about him. He was a large man, some five feet, nine inches tall and
inclined to corpulence. The result was that he walked with a certain
ponderousness, which belied his inner self.
Fleming was also a determined man. He had left a successful and lucrative
practice in Rochester, New York, to become a part of this great city that was
developing at the mouth of the Hudson and that even then‑five years after
Appomattox‑was still celebrating the end of the bloodiest war in history.
Parts of the Confederacy were still prostrate and sometimes starving, but in
New York the only problem was to find new worlds to conquer. The French Empire
was about to crumble before Bismarck and Victor Emmanuel would soon take over
Rome and, in effect, restrict the temporal power of the Papacy to the Vatican
grounds. But neither event would interrupt the flow of the finest wines and
brandies to a city that was literally "living up" the preservation of the
York boasted of more than a million people, 900,000 of them on Manhattan
Island, and was still growing. Factories sprang up almost overnight, and so
did the splendid but architecturally grotesque mansions of the city's growing
number of millionaires. The handsome, APOSTLES OF GOOD CHEER S silver‑mounted
carriages of the new‑rich were drawn by matched pairs of whites, grays, bays
and blacks over cobblestoned Broadway and Fifth Avenue, carrying
ostrich‑plumed ladies to their milliners or to their favorite theaters, of
which there were many. Show business was booming, and names still mentioned
with awe in the history of the theater were just coming into full prominence.
was scarce, but money was free and easy. When Fisk and Gould almost (but not
quite) cornered the nation's gold supply in 1869 and thereby precipitated
"Black Friday" on the New York Stock Exchange, the city staggered momentarily
and then resumed its swagger. The golden spike had just been driven at
Promontory, Utah, and now the millionaries could ride swiftly, if not
comfortably, from New York to San Francisco. They wouldn't even worry about
the Indians, for wasn't General George Custer, the dashing, flamboyant and
perhaps inept hero of the Civil War, on guard? The scandals of Grant's
administration were yet to come and if anyone at all gave the matter a
thought, he could not have conceived of the panic of 1873. There was poverty,
of course, and plenty of it, but even the poor had their beer, delivered by
lumbering wagons and drunk as often as not under the gaslights of the
indeed a time to be alive. The past was gone and best forgotten. The present
was for living, and Fleming, Florence, McClenachan, Paterson and all the rest
believed in living it to the fullest. But for Fleming there was also the
future; and so it was that, sometime in the spring of 1870, there came to him
while he sat at the table for thirteen at Fowler's an idea which developed
through various vicissitudes (including use of the figure 13) into the Ancient
Arabic Order Nobles of the Mystic Shrine for North America.
knows the exact date when the idea came to the popular doctor. No one knows
what germ of thought, what gem of wisdom, or what casual story by one of his
comrades gave the doctor his in spiration. Still, the time is clear, and so
are a few other essential facts, some of them contained in the Ritual of the
Order, which now lies in glory and splendor in the Shrine rooms of the George
6 PARADE TO GLORY
National Masonic Memorial in Alexandria, Virginia. Hand‑lettered in flowing
design and illuminated with a now fading red ink, is the title page. It reads:
The First Complete. Ritual of the
Ancient Arabic Order of the
Nobles of the Mystic Shrine Written for the establishment of the
Order in the Western Hemisphere by
Walter M. Fleming, M.D. of New York The Ritual undoubtedly
is in Dr. Fleming's handwriting. It bears many corrections and, despite
official changes, is in essence the same Ritual used in later years. The lodge
room setting remains unchanged. There was succor then and now f or weary Sons
of the Desert. The robes and other paraphernalia follow the chart today as
they were laid down by the versatile doctor, and even the ceremony and most of
the words are little removed from the original.
APOSTLES OF GOOD CHEER In 1950, when the Shrine rooms in the George Washington
National Memorial in Alexandria, Virginia, were created, Mecca Temple of New
York City (the first in America) generously contributed the original Ritual
along with other memorabilia belonging to Dr. Fleming and William J. Florence,
one of America's truly great actors and comedians, who was credited by Dr.
Fleming and others with being a co‑founder of the Shrine. On the inside cover
of the Ritual, there is a notation, handwritten and signed by Dr. Saram R.
Ellison, the second Recorder of Mecca Temple, which says: "In the latter part
of 1901, Noble George W. Millar and I visited Dr. Walter M. Fleming, at the
Imperial Hotel, his wife being sick at the time. He presented us with this
Ritual, having found it in an unused trunk. He said it was the first complete
Ritual of the Order. I had it mounted and bound, and it has been in our safe
ever since." These and no more are the incontrovertible facts of the origin
and founding of the Shrine. The remainder is partly fact, partly legend,
partly fancy, partly fiction. But out of the welter of fact, fancy, legend and
fiction has sprung the most colorful of all fraternal organizations. The
Shriners have played and marched their way into a glory of fraternalism
hitherto unknown in the world. And yet, considering its weird beginnings, its
playfulness, its arguments (even with basic Masonry) it is perhaps amazing
that the Ancient Arabic Order Nobles of the Mystic Shrine continued to exist
leaders of the Shrine, in the years since Dr. Fleming wrote his Ritual, have
tried to describe just what the organization is. One of the best of these
descriptions came from the pen of the late Dr. Hubert M. Poteat, a professor
at Wake Forest College and a Past Imperial Potentate. He wrote: The Shrine
appeals to the strong manhood of North America for a variety of reasons. In
the first place, the oriental pageantry and the magnificence of costumes and
regalia appeal to men who may be old in years but who are still young in
spirit. Little boys play cops and robbers; Shriners play Moslems and infidels.
second place, the Shrine provides opportunity for fun and 7 8 PARADE TO
GLORY play and mirth on a truly magnificent scale. Shriners are apostles of
good cheer and happiness and as such are performing a very vital function in
this tragic modern world of ours. Indeed it may be said that we have been
"called into the Kingdom for such a time as this." A further important
principle of the Shrine is toleration in the field of religious opinion. One
of the most tragic phenomena of our times is the endless warfare among the
people of different faiths and beliefs. In other words we expend most of our
energies fighting one another instead of the devil. The Shrine will have none
of it and instructs its initiates that they are to recognize the right of
every human being to worship God as he sees fit, without interference or even
criticism from any man who walks this planet.
there is one thing our harassed world needs more than another today, it is
brotherly love. This can be found nowhere in a finer or truer form than in the
Mystic Shrine. This does not mean for a moment that all 'Shriners are the
perfect embodiment of this quality. However, Shriners in general do live by
is the weak and fallible nature of man that he needs all the spiritual
strengthening he can get; and the Shrine teaches its initiates as all Masonic
bodies do, that God IS and that it is our duty to worship and to obey Him, to
esteem Him as the chief good and to fight with all our power against atheism.
story of the Shrine, then, is the story of men with reverent minds and merry
hearts, men from every walk of life‑presidents, prime ministers, actors,
judges, musicians, generals, admirals, mechan ics, doctors, lawyers,
merchants, chiefs and no doubt a thief or two. And it is a story worth the
Chaipfer2 From All of These S HRINERS play Moslems and infidels with reverent
minds and merry hearts. Indeed! But Shriners are more than little boys grown
tall. With all their fun, they have not forgotten charity. With all the
splendor of their parades, they do not and cannot forget that first of all
they are Master Masons with all of the humility they are taught by the craft.
For most of the more than eight hundred thousand Shriners in North America, it
is a matter of considerable pride that they wear the scimitar and crescent in
their buttonholes as they go about their daily lives. It is with equal pride
that they don the red fez with black tassel for more formal ceremonial
occasions. But all of the fun, splendor and charity had to have a beginning,
and this beginning must have come at some meeting in either 1869 or 187o
between Dr. Fleming and Billy Florence.
is no record of that first meeting, but it is more than likely that it came
about when the handsome, gay, devil‑may‑care actor called on Dr. Fleming for
treatment of some minor ailment, which in itself was something of a plume in
the hat of a doctor new to New York. Billy Florence in 1869 was established as
the toast of the theatrical world. It might be said that he was the George M.
Cohan or Jack Benny of his day. He lived in the better hotels that lined Fifth
Avenue, 9 10 PARADE TO GLORY and Dr. Fleming's house was just around the
corner from the Fifth Avenue Hotel. Both were Master Masons and while Florence
did not work at the craft with the same zeal as Dr. Fleming, he had, at that
time, attained higher degrees. Once the business of medicine was out of the
way, there was probably an inquiry about basic lodge, and after that an
invitation to lunch and perhaps a bottle of wine. Thus are friendships born,
and in truth Fleming and Florence were kindred souls, each with an insatiable
zest for life and a gorgeous thirst. There was perhaps also some sort of
adoration on the part of the young doctor for the handsome and popular star,
for in reality Walter Fleming was a frustrated actor, whose life had been
channeled by a doting father into the world of healing.
were others too, in 1870, who undoubtedly contributed in some measure to the
beginning of the Shrine, but just who contributed what is still subject to
considerable controversy. Fifty years after the founding of the Shrine, James
McGee, who became the twenty‑eighth member of Mecca Temple, and was the last
survivor of an original thirty, wrote from memory his history of the
organization, but it was labeled by Louis N. Donnatin, a Recorder of Mecca
Temple, as "the ravings of a diseased mind." McGee carried his argument to the
floor of the Imperial Council in 192o and in the light of subsequent
revelations, it is more than likely that his story is nearer the truth than
any other. All versions of the early and formative years of the Shrine are
agreed, however, that four men carried the burden, with an assist from a
fifth. These men were Fleming, Florence, McClenachan, Paterson and Fowler.
Their backgrounds in life and in Masonry are important in the light of their
M. Fleming was born in Portland, Maine, June 13, 1838, the younger of two sons
of Dr. L. D. Fleming, who soon moved to Rochester, New York, and established a
lucrative practice in a house on St. Paul Street in the heart of the thriving
town. Both boys attended nearby Canandaigua Academy, and both boys
matriculated at Albany Medical College.
ALL OF THESE 11 The exact date when Walter entered Albany College is
not known, for all of the early records of that institution have been
destroyed by fire, but it must have been during the years when Webster and
Clay were trying to save the Union and avoid the inevitable conflict between
the North and the South. The best guess is that he enrolled in 1857, for the
record shows that, without even having been graduated, he was named surgeon of
the First Cavalry of the New York National Guard in 1858. In 1861, he served
as surgeon to the Nineteenth Regiment of the same organization with the rank
of lieutenant or ensign.
records of the Adjutant General's office show that Fleming was "discharged in
N.E.Va. dated August 3, 186 1 on tender of resignation in consequence of
physical disability." The nature of the dis ability was not explained and
Fleming himself never mentioned it, though in 1907 he applied for a pension.
Undoubtedly his injuries were incident to the first movement of Northern
forces into Virginia, which began on May 24 and continued until after the
Union disaster at Bull Run in late July.
his discharge, Fleming returned to the Albany Medical College and received his
degree in 1862. Dr. Fleming then hung out his shingle in the same house with
his father on St. Paul Street in Rochester, and it is apparent that in the
ensuing years he developed quite a following and an extensive circle of
convivial friends. In 1867 he was chosen by the city council in a competitive
election with other doctors as one of two city physicians.
that same year, his father died and Dr. Walter assumed the entire practice,
but life in Rochester grew boring. Mrs. Mellan Lucas of Del Ray Beach,
Florida, Dr. Fleming's granddaughter, recalls that in his later years he was
an inveterate reader, so perhaps out of the daily press or the periodicals of
the time, there came to him the desire to travel and participate in some of
the glamour of which he read. In any event, the Rochester Union and Advertiser
on April 3, 1869, revealed that the doctor had sold his practice in order to‑
remove to New York City. Two days later the same newspaper reported a farewell
12 PARADE TO GLORY party given for the doctor. The paper said: "It
having been announced that Dr. W. M. Fleming was about to leave Rochester and
take up his residence in New York, a considerable number of his friends
decided to give a complimentary entertainment and invite him to accept the
honor. . . . The party having gone through the courses of a splendid supper,
moistened with sparkling wine, the feast of reason and flow of soul followed .
. . and the evening was protracted until well toward midnight when the party
separated." And so the doctor cut his ties in Rochester and moved toward his
destiny with the Shrine.
Dr. Fleming arrived in New York in 1869, he had just received his symbolic
Masonic degrees from Rochester Lodge No. 660. He was initiated an Entered
Apprentice December 14, 1868, passed to Fellowcraft the following day and
raised to the sublime degree of a Master Mason January i i, 1869; and it is
apparent that from that time, Masonry more and more dominated his life. It is
possible that his interest in fraternalism caused the estrangement of his wife
and certainly it alienated the wife of one of his two sons, Dr. Walter S.
mother opposed my entering the Masons," said the third Walter Fleming, a
grandson now living in New York City. "I think she f elt that my grandfather
had dissipated a f ortune in the various orders he served." Perhaps he did,
for he died virtually penniless though certainly he had an active and
lucrative practice in New York for almost forty years. At the 1902 meeting of
Albany's class of 1862, Dr. Fleming reported that he had become a qualified
examiner in insanity in the Supreme Court of the City of New York, that he was
a member of the New York County Medical Society, the Medical‑Legal Society and
the Physicians' Mutual Aid. In addition, of course, he practiced extensively
among the members of the theatrical profession and was one of the first
physicians to be attached to the Actors Fund of America. He wrote extensively
on insanity and related subjects, including drug habits and dipsomania.
Strangely enough, the only medical paper FROM ALL OF THESE 13
written by him still on file in New York's extensive medical library concerns
diseases of the chest, including asthma, for which he believed snuff was not a
Fleming's growth in Masonry is almost unbelievable, and most of it can be
traced to his interest in and his love of his own Masonic child, the Ancient
Arabic Order Nobles of the Mystic Shrine. For example, it is notable that at
its official birth, the founders of the Shrine decreed that it would be
available only to those Masons who had attained the 320 in the Scottish Rite
or the Knight Templar degree in the York Rite. Yet, when he wrote the original
Ritual, Dr. Fleming had received only his first three basic Masonic degrees.
can be little doubt that private and informal agreements on the prerequisites
for Shrine membership were made among the men who sat at the table for
thirteen in Fowler's restaurant and that formal creation of the fun
organization would be delayed until Dr. Fleming had obtained them.
Accordingly, he received the 4th to 32nd degrees in Brooklyn's Aurora Grata
Consistory on May 31, 18 Two weeks later, June 16, 1871, the initial meeting
of the founders of the Shrine was held officially in New York's Masonic Hall.
On March i q, 1872, Fleming signed the bylaws of Columbian Commandery No. i,
thus completing all of the Masonic degrees prior to the official founding of
Mecca Temple on September 26, 1872.
Indicating his zeal for Masonry is Fleming's own account, written for the
one‑hundredth anniversary conclave in 19 1 o, when he was the oldest living
past commander and too ill to attend, of how he literally saved Columbian
Commandery from extinction in 1873.
Commandery was at a low ebb, largely in debt and scantily attended. The
proposition of my acceptance of the office of Commander was an astounding
surprise. However, through the influence of my offi cial comrades in arms and
their persistent insistence, I acceded to their wishes to rescue the oldest
Commandery in the state. . . . These ambassadors and advisory council
comprised several enthusiastic members of both Commandery and the several
bodies of the Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite. I was at this time an
enthusiastic worker in all of the grades of Scottish Rite Masonry, and became
enthused with the same spirit of 14 PARADE TO GLORY perseverance and
success in the Order of Knighthood. I at once proceeded to resuscitate
Columbian. Had a "calling of the clans" from all the departments, and
supported it to the full with both my counsel and my purse and with renewed
zeal devoted all my energies to newly equip the Commandery, increase the roll
of membership, arouse a new interest that would defy the angry waves of time
and the storm of persecution. . . .
proceeded to make the paraphernalia and the work interesting and attractive. I
then personally assumed the responsibility of all the monetary requirements. I
resumed the usual banquets which had been long abandoned because of lack of
funds required to sustain that interesting part of the ceremony. I then
proceeded to equip the entire official corps in a full coat of mail armor,
helmets, swords, staves, spears, hawbucks, leggings and gauntlets, all of
which was strictly authentic and produced by the best costumers in the City of
New York. Popularity and success following on the new regime, both officers
and members seemed at once to take a new and splendid interest.
Fleming then goes on to relate that he equipped Columbian with a superb silver
service and that he spared no expense to obtain the finest in every kind of
equipment to make Columbian the acknowl edged leader. At the same time he
continued to work in the Scottish Rite, and for the three consecutive years
that he served as Commander of C'olumbian was responsible for Knights becoming
Scottish Rite Masons and vice versa with the result, as he puts it, that "two
separate series of rites or orders ultimately became almost a united family."
With all of this, he said, "I found it rather an arduous task to keep pace
with all of the requirements in all the complicated ritualistic renditions,
official and subordinate, for the several years during which I struggled to
equip myself commendably in somewhere near a dozen prominent official
positions, including at the same time instituting and fathering of the Order
of the Mystic Shrine, the formation of Mecca Temple, first in the City of New
York, and many temples following, also the Imperial Council of the Order for
the entire jurisdiction of the United States and adjacent territories." The
fact is, of course, that Fleming needed Columbian and the Scottish Rite in
order to get his own brain child in operation.
ALL OF THESE 15 The second of the four men who created the Shrine was
William Jermyn Florence, who was never much more than a so‑so Mason, even
after the Shrine came into existence. But he was a real personality. He romped
and played across most of America and Europe from the time he first became
smitten with the stage. Actor, producer, writer, poet, tune‑smith, comedian,
monologuist, playwright‑he was everything in the theater. He loved it and the
people loved him.
a roly‑poly man‑at least in his later years. He was described by one of his
contemporaries as being about five and a half feet tall, and weighing perhaps
two hundred pounds. His voice was gentle and musical and his eyes constantly
twinkled with mirth. He was an ardent fisherman and made annual pilgrimages to
Canada for the salmon.
Florence was born William J. Conlin on July 26, 1831, in Albany, New York, one
of a large brood produced by Mr. and Mrs. Benjamin Conlin, who had migrated
from Ireland. The record of his early life is at the least confusing. Not
until he achieved success on the stage did that record attain anything
of the reports of Florence's early life reveal that the C'onlins moved to New
York City from Albany about 1845, principally because of better economic
opportunities. Eventually most of Florence's brothers obtained employment with
the city government, as did many others of Irish descent in those days. One
brother, Peter, eventually became a police inspector. Another worked in the
street department. But young Billy Conlin would have none of it. At the time
of his death in 189 r the New York Times reported that he worked at a
mechanical trade, earning enough to help support the family and to provide
tickets for the theaters and music halls that abounded. Another story of those
years is contained in a book called Songs o f the Florences published by Dick
and Fitzgerald in 186o. This story undoubtedly had Florence's approval, and it
revealed that "the popular delineator of Irish character was educated at
Princeton, N. J., and assumed the active duties of life as a bookkeeper in a
well known mercantile house in Burling Slip, New York City." But even though
this 16 PARADE TO GLORY revelation may have been approved by
Florence, it is to be doubted. There are no records in Princeton that he ever
attended any school there and indications are that the family was too poor to
afford a private‑school education even for so talented a youngster as Billy
the years from 1845 to 1849 young Conlin began building up for himself
something of a reputation for Irish dialect and finally he joined the Murdoch
Dramatic Association, a sort of touring stock company, and as Peter in The
Stranger he made his first stage appearance in the Richmond Theater in
Richmond, Virginia, on December 6, 1849. He was just eighteen years old. And
thus began one of the most fabulous careers in all the history of the American
close of the 1849 season, Conlin was transferred to New York. He appeared
under the management of Brougham and Chippendale at Niblo's theater,
Brougham's Lyceum, the Broadway and other theaters of the day, largely in
Irish dialect parts, among them that of Dolley in Rob Roy. Sometime during
this period, he changed his name to William Jermyn Florence, Florence being
his mother's maiden name. Whether he changed his name legally or simply
adopted it, was never revealed by Billy himself, but it was as Florence that
he lived for the rest of his life, and it was as William J. Florence that he
married Malvina Pray on January i, 18 Malvina Pray was a pretty little thing,
and was recognized even then as the premiere danseuse of the New York stage.
She had first appeared as one of the Pray sisters, but when her sister married
Barney Williams, another luminary of the New York theater, Malvina continued
alone. It is likely that Florence and Malvina met while they appeared on the
same program at Niblo's theater. The marriage resulted in the formation of one
of the most famous of all married teams in the theater, comparable today to
Lunt and Fontanne. They created The Irish Boy and the Yankee Girl, with which
they toured America and Europe for years, and it was while on such a tour that
Florence first became a Mason in Philadelphia. The records of Mt. Moriah Lodge
5 show that William J. Florence was initiated, passed and raised by virtue of
a special dispensation at a special meeting of the lodge on October 12, 185 3.
For youngsters, FROM ALL OF THESE 17 Mr. and Mrs. William J.
Florence were doing all right. Their biography reports that on this same
triumphal tour they received complimentary benefits and services of silver in
Baltimore, Washington, New Orleans and Charleston. Pittsburgh also must have
been on the itinerary, for on the following June io, 1854, he received his
Mark Master degree in Zerubbabel Chapter No. 162. He received his Royal Arch
degree two days later. He is listed on the minutes of the chapter as a
comedian and classified a sojourner. It was not until December 5, 1855, that
he was admitted to Pittsburgh Commandery No. i.
obvious from the record of Mt. Moriah Lodge that his interest in Masonry
lagged in the ensuing years. He was suspended December 22, 1857, for failure
to pay his dues, but was restored to good standing February 24, 1863. He was
again suspended December 22, 1868, for failing to pay his dues, but once again
paid up on December 26, 1871. It is notable that this restoration came after
the first meeting of the original thirteen members of the Shrine and during
that period when Dr. Fleming was equipping himself with advanced Masonic
degrees. These dates are important in the light of later developments.
Professionally, success followed success for the Florences until, individually
and as a team, they became the toasts of the theatrical world, both in the
United States and in Europe. They made their first European appearance in
London in 1856, playing at the Royal and Drury Lane, and their biographers
report that they were frequently visited by the Queen and the royal family.
Certainly the Florences received one and perhaps more gifts from the then
Prince of Wales.
home, even during the war years, their success continued, and thus in 186‑7
when it was announced that the Florences again would tour Europe, C. T.
McClenachan conceived the idea of making the young actor an ambassador of good
will to the Scottish Rite bodies of England. After an agreement with the
actor, McClenachan and two other inspectors general of the Scottish Rite in
New York conferred the degrees on him at the old Metropolitan Hotel on April
21, under special dispensation. Florence was accredited to Aurora Grata Con‑
18 PARADE TO GLORY sistory in Brooklyn, with the notation that the
actor was about to travel abroad.
if anything, Florence ever did for the Scottish Rite is not known, but it was
on that trip in 1867 that he set the stage for the famous lawsuit over Caste,
a play by an English writer named Robertson. Florence himself related that he
was so impressed with it that he visited the theater where it was playing four
times, and during those four performances succeeded in memorizing the entire
Robertson had sold the American rights to the play to Lester Wallach, owner of
Wallach's theater and from time to time Florence's producer and manager, but
Florence returned to New York and succeeded in producing the play before
Wallach could get it on the boards. Wallach brought suit for damages in a case
that Florence eventually won by a Supreme Court decision, which hinged on the
fact that there was no international copyright convention. Having won the
suit, Florence in a condescending letter to Robertson sent the author a check
for fifty pounds, not because he owed it, but because he wanted to be fair.
Robertson returned the check with a scathing retort. By and large the New York
press thought Florence had perpetrated a rather scurvy affair, but even that
failed to dim his popularity‑nor was it ever dimmed.
Charles T. McClenachan, the third important Mason to participate in
establishing the Ancient Arabic Order Nobles of the Mystic Shrine, was a
lawyer of some repute. He had been born in Washing ton, April 13, 1829, but
had established his practice in New York, and it was there that he became
known as one of the outstanding Masonic ritualists in America. He was an
active participant in all branches of the fraternity, and was the active
Deputy for the State of New York in the Scottish Rite.
Perhaps more important in the eventual scheme of the Shrine than he was ever
given credit for was the fourth important Mason‑William Sleigh Paterson,
destined to become the first Recorder of Mecca Temple and of the Imperial
Council when it was formed in 1876. Paterson
Charles T. McClenachan was born at Haddington, Scotland, March 6, 1844, and
thus was the youngest of all those Masons actively associated with the
formation of the Shrine.
Paterson's family migrated to the United States in 1847 where he received his
education, which included mastering the French, German, Spanish, Italian,
Latin, Greek and Arabic languages, all of which he used as a proofreader in a
rather large printing establishment. He received all of his Masonic degrees in
New York. He served as secretary of the Scottish Rite bodies of New York from
1872 to 1889. Because of their intimate association over the years, Paterson
perhaps knew 20 PARADE TO GLORY Fleming better than anyone else and, because
of his knowledge of Arabic, helped more than anyone else in creating the
legends of the Shrine.
fifth man who assisted in the founding of the Shrine was undoubtedly William
Fowler the restaurateur, who was not one of the original "13" but rather
carried card No. 24 of Mecca Temple. Fowler loved fun and the Shrine was
created for fun. William Fowler, Jr., who succeeded to ownership of the famous
restaurant, recalled in 1914 in a letter to Saram R. Ellison, Recorder of
Mecca Temple, that "from about 18']O to i 88o when my father was proprietor of
Knickerbocker Cottage, we had there the Masonic Club. The membership consisted
of those prominent in the Scottish Rite, and the first duty of one joining the
club was to send his picture to be hung upon the walls of the club room, and
we finally had a very valuable collection of pictures. At this time, Dr.
Fleming was in the height of his popularity‑as was supported by Charley
McClenachan, Henry Banks, George Millar, Bill May, Genl. Roome, D. Northrup
and many others of note.
distinctly remember on a certain Sunday afternoon, my father coming downstairs
and telling me that they were hatching, up in the club, a new order to be
called the Mystic Shrine and that in his opin ion unless they got rid of some
of the `barnacles,' they would find trouble in starting.
know my father was one of the original organizers of the Shrine and it was
natural for all hands to meet at his place and `talk it over.' " Of course,
after f orty‑four years, young Fowler's memory might leave something to
accuracy. Dr. Fleming was new in New York, and he could not possibly have been
at the height of his popularity. But there seems to be no doubt that it was at
Knickerbocker Cottage that the Shrine was "hatched" and that it was around
that table for thirteen that preliminary discussions were held until finally a
formal meeting was held on June 16, 1871, at the old Masonic Hall on
Thirteenth Street, a meeting at which they could not possibly have foreseen
the glorious future of that which they were about to create.
Chapter 3 . . . Better khan they Knew F ANY of the founders of the Shrine
could have foreseen in 1871 that the organization eventually would grow to its
present astounding size and importance, they would undoubtedly have kept
better records. But they didn't and even those records that are available are
subject to a certain amount of skepticism. For that reason, much is left to
the imagination and a true picture of those early years can be drawn only by
deduction from a few facts.
young Fowler's letter that really sets the stage for the story of the original
"13" meeting around the table in his father's restaurant. It was there, then,
that the first discussions must have been held con cerning the new Ritual that
Dr. Fleming says‑in his own handwriting ‑he wrote in August of 187 o. How many
times they discussed it, how many actual persons read the Ritual, how many
were considered to be a part of the inner circle or even the nature of the
discussions can only be left to speculation. But there appears to be no
question that the first formal meeting of thirteen was held June 16, 187 1.
Fleming said so, and so did Paterson. The trouble is that their statements do
not dovetail, and if any records of the affair were kept, they have been lost.
early history of the meeting, Paterson recalled that it was 21
BETTER THAN THEY KNEW
that evening that it was decided to confine membership in the Shrine to men
who had received advanced Masonic degrees, in either the York or Scottish
Rite. On the other hand, Fleming reported to the second annual meeting of the
Shrine's Imperial Council in 1877 that it was at the 18‑7 r meeting that the
Order was conferred on the thirteen Nobles, including Florence and himself.
But at that time, Fleming was not a member of any of the Scottish or York Rite
bodies, and it must be assumed that formal organization was delayed until he
could acquire the higher degrees. That took something over a year to
accomplish, and it was not until September 26, 1872, that Fleming called the
original thirteen together again. Invitations were extended to Billy Florence,
Sherwood C. Campbell, James S. Chappell, Oswald Merle d'Aubigne, Edward Eddy,
Charles T. McClenachan, George W. Millar, John A. Moore, Albert P. Moriarty,
William S. Paterson, Daniel Sickels, and John W. Simons. Of these thirteen,
who according to Fleming had had the Shrine degree conferred on them at the
first meeting in 187 r, only eleven showed up. Florence was presumably on
tour, but no reason is given for the absence of Sherwood Campbell.
8 7 2 meeting, like the original one in 18‑71, was held at the old Masonic
Hall on Thirteenth Street, and it was there that Mecca Temple, Ancient Arabic
Order Nobles of the Mystic Shrine, was organized. Finally, at long last,
Fleming's dream had come true. And even though vicissitudes of fortune might
lie ahead, Fleming was so sure of success that minutes were kept in an old
"order" book, still preserved in the Shrine Rooms of the George Washington
National Masonic Memorial. These minutes are in Dr. Fleming's handwriting, but
are signed by Paterson, who was elected Recorder (secretary) of the infant
Strangely enough, the first thirteen sheets of the "order" book in which the
minutes were kept have been cut out. There are some who believe those thirteen
sheets represented minutes or notations of the 1871 meeting and that, because
Fleming was not a member of the higher Masonic orders at that time, he
destroyed all records of the session. There are others who believe that the
"order" book was sim‑ 24 PARADE TO GLORY ply one that had been used for
some entirely different purpose and was used to avoid buying another one.
Fleming's Ritual and he called the boys together and thus he presided at the
1872 session. The object, he formally told them, was to form a temple to be
known as Mecca, and he started the meeting by reading a letter of advice and
instruction from Florence. Unfortunately, that letter or its contents have not
been preserved‑nor were its contents inserted into the minutes. If they had
been, some of the controversy in later years might have been avoided. Of
course the fact is that if such a letter ever existed, Fleming may simply have
forgotten it when he wrote the minutes and turned them over to Paterson.
of the eleven members present on September 26, 1872, were elected as officers
of Mecca Temple. Fleming, of course, became the Grand Potentate, and it is
likely that he had a slate of the other officers prepared that was steam‑rollered
through. As the minutes show, those elected were: Charles T. McClenachan,
Chief Rabban; John A. Moore, Assistant Rabban; William S. Paterson, Recorder;
Edward Eddy, High Priest; James S. Chappell, Treasurer; George W. Millar,
Oriental Guide; and Oswald M. d'Aubigne, Captain of the Guard.
minutes record that the other offices were left vacant until a subsequent
meeting "and there being no further business, the Temple was closed in
harmony, subject to the call of the Grand Potentate." Dr. Fleming now had his
new Order underway. He must have gone home that evening with a sense of pride
and fulfillment. But it was not to be easy sailing. Reporting to the Imperial
Session in 187 7., Fleming said that after that 1872 organizational meeting
"the order remained quiet and inactive until within the past year or more,
when on the return of Brother Florence from Europe, where he had witnessed the
work exemplified in the most impressive form, he was exceedingly enthusiastic
to promote the promulgation of the Order." When Dr. Fleming reported that the
Shrine had been quiet and inactive after its formation, he meant just that.
The minutes of the meetings of Mecca Temple are quite revealing. The second
session of . . BETTER THAN THEY KNEW 25 the temple was not held until January
12, 1874, a year and a half after it was constituted. Again the meeting was
held at Masonic Hall on Thirteenth Street, when McClenachan moved that a
committee be appointed to revise and perfect the Ritual and to facilitate the
exemplification of the Order. The third session was called for December 13,
1875, at the new Masonic Temple on Twenty‑third Street, but a quorum failed to
show up, according to the minutes, and so the meeting resolved itself into an
informal discussion of matters relative to the Order and "the session closed
in harmony." From these minutes and Fleming's own statement that the Order had
remained inactive until 1875, it might be presumed that the doctor was too
busy with his private practice and his duties in the Colum bian Commandery and
Scottish Rite to give much attention to his own brain child. But this is not
exactly true. According to James McGee, No. 2 8 in the Mecca Temple roster,
Fleming was constantly busy creating new members. In a letter to Saram R.
Ellison, Recorder of Mecca Temple, in c q 14, McGee wrote that the Shrine
"became general anteroom talk at all Scottish Rite and Commandery gatherings.
Fleming kept tab at many of these occasions on scraps of paper, putting them
down as regular meetings and in later years styling them as first and second
meetings at Masonic Hall, 1 14 East Thirteenth Street. This was where the
Scottish Rite held their meetings. . . . These crude memorandums were all in
the handwriting of Noble Fleming and were passed over to Noble Paterson, who
became Recorder, to dress up with some degree of regularity and arrange as
best he could to make a creditable showing. . . . The same looseness prevailed
in keeping a record of those on whom Noble Fleming had conferred the Order.
The slips or memorandums, same as the so‑called meetings, were handed to
Paterson and he collated them the best he could to show connecting links. No f
ees were charged. . . . It was natural that errors should creep in, but no one
complained, forgetting there was a hereafter." Nevertheless, in the first
report of membership, which was not rendered until September of 1876, there
were only forty‑three Nobles,
BETTER THAN THEY KNEW 27 all but six of them in New York City. Furthermore,
Fleming reported on the lack of activity in the Shrine during the first four
years of Mecca Temple, from the scene and at the time, while McGee wrote from
memory when he already was an old man. McGee's letters to Ellison are
important because they also reflect on the controversy which developed in
later years on the true history of the Shrine. In any event, Fleming called a
fourth meeting of Mecca Temple to be held June 6, 1876, at the Masonic Temple
in New York, and it was at that meeting that the Imperial Grand Council came
into existence. In the light of his own statement of lack of activity and the
"exceeding enthusiasm" of Florence to promote the promulgation of the Order,
it is to be presumed that Florence called on Fleming after his return from a
European tour and said, in effect, "Hey, what gives? Let's get going or drop
the whole idea." Fleming got going.
proceedings of that meeting of Mecca Temple and the formation of the Imperial
Grand Council are intact and are rewarding in the light of later developments.
These proceedings record that: "Pursuant to a call of the Past Potentates and
legally constituted Nobles of the Ancient Arabic Order of the Nobles of the
Mystic Shrine, the following named Nobles of the Order assembled at Masonic
Hall, corner of Sixth Avenue and Twenty‑third Street, in the City of New York,
N. Y., on Nahar et Talata, the sixteenth day of the fifth Arabic Month, Jamaz
ul Awwal, [sic] 1293 A.x., answering to Tuesday, June 6, 1876 A.D., at two
o'clock P.M., for the purpose of organizing the Imperial Grand Council of the
Ancient Arabic Order of the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine for the United States
of America." This was the first occasion in the four years since its formation
that the Shrine had used any Arabic nomenclature except in the Ritual itself,
and even in the Ritual some of the words, phrases and titles that were
supposed to give connotations of the Orient were in fact Hebrew rather than
Arabic. For example, the titles of Chief and Assistant Rabbans, the second and
third highest offices, have no Arabic translation, but in the Hebrew tongue
refer to teachers.
twenty Nobles (all from Mecca Temple) attended that 2 8 PARADE TO GLORY
first session of the Imperial Grand Council. They were Fleming, Paterson, and
McClenachan, of course; and, in addition, George W. Millar, John A. Moore,
William V. Alexander, John E. Bendix, Edwin Du Laurens, Edward M. L. Ehlers,
Peter Forrester, William Fowler, William D. May, Sidney P. Nichols, Aaron L.
Northrop, James A. Reed, W. Wallace Walker, J. H. Hobart Ward, all of New York
City; George F. Loder, Grand Potentate of Damascus Temple, Rochester, New
York; Samuel R. Carter, also of Damascus Temple; and George Scott of Paterson,
New Jersey. Mecca members absent at the first Imperial meeting were (according
to the proceedings) William J. Florence, Bensen Sherwood, Philip F. Lenhart,
Charles P. Marratt, and Angelo Noziglia.
Conspicuous by its absence from the list of those either present or absent is
the name of James McGee; for according to the records of Mecca Temple, McGee
was just as much a member at that time as any of the rest and around this very
point hinges some of the controversy that was to develop in later years. In
any event, McGee held card No. 2 8. Marratt held card No. 29, and William D.
May, card No. 3o. Also conspicuous by its absence from either list is the name
of William T. Hardenbrook, who carried card No. 2 5 and who was the editor of
a Masonic newspaper and participated with McGee and others in the controversy
over the history of the Shrine.
official proceedings of the first session of the Imperial Council then report:
"A Temple was opened in due form, Illustrious Walter M. Fleming, Grand
Potentate of Mecca Temple presiding." Fleming announced the deaths of Sherwood
Campbell, James S. Chappell, Oswald d'Aubigne and Edward Eddy, after which
"The Imperial Grand Council of the Ancient Arabic Order of the Nobles of the
Mystic Shrine for the United States of America was then duly organized." Yet
that organization just possibly might have been premature. Officially, the
only members of the Shrine present were from Mecca Temple and on the face of
it there was no real need for a national organization. But Fleming was
prepared for any objections that might . . BETTER THAN THEY KNEW 29 arise. He
had created Nobles in several other cities, and had given them titles of "Past
Potentates" so that they might create their own temples in other cities. And
with that in mind, he submitted his slate of candidates for Imperial Grand
officers. Those elected were: Walter Al. Fleming, Imperial Grand Potentate;
George F. Loder of Rochester, Deputy Grand Potentate; Philip F. Lenhart of
Brooklyn, Grand Chief Rabban; Edward M. L. Ehlers, New York, Grand Assistant
Rabban; William H. Whiting, Rochester, New York, Grand High Priest and
Prophet; Samuel R. Carter, Rochester, New York, Grand Oriental Guide; Aaron L.
Northrop, New York, New York, Grand Treasurer; William S. Paterson, New York,
New York, Grand Recorder; Albert P. Moriarty, New York, New York, Grand
Financial Secretary; John L. Stettimus, Cincinnati, Ohio, Grand First
Ceremonial Master; Bensen Sherwood, New York, New York, Grand Second
Ceremonial Master; Samuel Harper, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Grand Marshal;
Frank H. Bascom, Montpelier, Vermont, Grand Captain of the Guard; and George
Scott, Paterson, New Jersey, Grand Outer Guard.
first meeting of the Imperial Council didn't last long, but there was certain
groundwork to be done, and the nobility got right to the task. The officers,
or those who were present, were installed by McClenachan, the ritualist, who
didn't take an office, presumably because he was too busy with other affairs.
meeting then took care of the following business: Established New York City as
the Grand Orient, or headquarters of the Imperial Council; Approved a plan to
create five Past Potentates in each subordinate temple in order that they
could be made honorary members of the Imperial Council; Created a committee to
write statutes and regulations for the government of the Imperial Council and
its subordinate temples, whereupon Fleming appointed McClenachan, Ehlers and
Ward to that task; Established fifty dollars as the f ee f or a charter for a
new tem‑ 3 0 PARADE TO GLORY ple, ten dollars as the annual temple tax to the
Imperial Council, and ten dollars as the minimum initiation fee for each new
member; Passed a resolution making it official throughout the United States
that all Shriners must be members in good standing of either the Scottish Rite
or Knights Templar.
Business completed, the boys dispensed with the reading of the proceedings,
closed their session and presumably retired for some of the fun they all
expected to have when they became Shriners.
was born an organization which, over the years, though not Masonic, would
become the playground and the showcase of Masonry. Trials and tribulations lay
ahead. There were days and even years of discouragement for Fleming, for in
the infancy of the Shrine, he carried the burden almost alone. There was no
exemplification of rites. There was no money, except what Fleming and a few
others contributed from their pockets. There were no insignia by which
Shriners could be designated. Very simply, Fleming and his associates didn't
have much of an inducement for prospective members. Mostly, new members were
obtained by personal contact where Fleming's magnetic personality would become
the motivating force. But this was too slow. The Shrine would never become
great under those circumstances.
Something new was needed, something that would attract prospective Nobles by
its glamour and its promise for the future. Thus it was that sometime during
the fall and winter of 1876, Fleming began to devise a plan and‑perhaps with
the help of Florence, Paterson, McClenachan and others‑to create a legend. He
surrounded the Shrine with mysticism as thrilling as the Ritual itself. It was
real cloak‑anddagger stuff. And though the stories he told were to be
challenged in later years and called figments of his own fertile imagination,
they did attract members. Even Fleming changed his stories from time to time,
and he made greater use of the great name of Billy Florenceoriginally for the
single purpose of promoting the growth of the Shrine. But, since Fleming told
his stories with such sincerity, there were many who accepted them as historic
fact. Others did not.
BETTER THAN THEY KNEW 31 Even as late as 1892 when controversy over the
legend reached its height, Charles T. McClenachan declared it made no real
difference whether the stories might be true and that the Shrine Ritual
contained no more myth or fiction than Blue Lodge Masonry, the Chapter, the
Commandery or even the Christian religion. McClenachan, who was an authority,
held that no ritual need be strictly the truth and that few ever were. But
there are always those who insist on absolute truth. They are the ones who say
George Washington never chopped down the cherry tree or threw a dollar over
the Rappahannock; they are probably right, but history was not damaged by such
legends, and if they placed a halo of honesty and strength about the head of
Washington, which would reflect itself in the eyes of American youth for
generations to come, who is to say the creation of the myth was wrong? Chapter
4 T1te Legend of Arab HE legend of the origin of the Ancient Arabic Order
Nobles of the Mystic Shrine begins with the second annual session of the
Imperial Grand Council, held at the Masonic Temple in Albany, New York,
February 6, 1877. The legend was given voice by Dr. Fleming in his first
annual address, reporting on his activities. The circumstances of how he
arrived at the content of the speech delivered that cold winter day,
climatically so different from the hot sands of the strange Islamic world of
the Arabs, are lost, if they were ever known, but it was the first effort to
surround the new American order with authentic antiquity.
some five years," Dr. Fleming said, "since I came into possession of detached
and mutilated sections of the translation of the Ritual of the Arabic and
Egyptian Order of the Mystic Shrine, brought to America by one of the foreign
members and representatives, through the hands of Brother Oswald Merle
It was exceedingly imperfect and incomplete and to a great extent badly
translated and filled with unintelligible symbolisms. Another portion was
brought from Oriental Europe by 111. Brother William J. Florence, 320 and some
of the vague history and Ritualistic sections were brought from Cairo, Egypt,
by Ill. Brother Sherwood C. 32 THE LEGEND OF ARABY 3 3 Campbell, 320. Those
portions in the possession of Brother Florence were marked, and referred to
certain sections of the Koran for notes and allusions, which greatly
facilitated the compiling and revising of the Ritual to its present
was a task of no small magnitude, and was undertaken and completed through the
efforts of Brother Florence and myself, aided by a professional linguist and
Arabic scholar." Just whom Fleming meant in his reference to a professional
linguist and Arabic scholar is not known. It might have been Paterson, who did
know some Arabic; but as it later developed, it probably was Albert L. Rawson,
an artist who had illustrated several books dealing with early Mediterranean
religions. Rawson was not a Shriner at the time but became one later and
participated actively with Fleming in publicizing the Order.
Fleming, in his address, went on to relate the circumstances and dates of the
founding of Mecca Temple and the formation of the Imperial Council, and then
he said: "The original plate engravings, for the production of Dispensations,
Charters and Diplomas of the Imperial Grand Council, were executed in Paris,
France, and the designs were taken from the arches and gateways of the
Egyptian Temple of the Sun. The printing and colored transfers were perfected
in the City of New York, where also the Statutes and Ritual were printed and
the Grand Seal procured." Only a few copies of the original charters are still
in existence. Some of them have been destroyed by fire, and others have been
lost. Those extant are really works of art, and may well have been the product
of Rawson, some of whose art work, illustrating a volume on the Eleusinian
theory of esoteric religion, is similar in style to the original charters.
Fleming also reported in 1877 on more earthy problems. He said that the work
since the formation of Mecca Temple had involved both a large expenditure and
accruing indebtedness; but, he said, a few hundred dollars would place the
Imperial Grand Council out of 3 4 PARADE TO GLORY debt f or the
obligations of the past. It is noteworthy that Fleming contributed most of the
expenses of the formation of the Order, and that he was not to be repaid the
advances for a number of years.
the Shrine was growing, Fleming reported. The second temple to be formed was
Damascus at Rochester, but dispensations also had been granted to Al Koran in
Cleveland, Syrian in Cincinnati, Mount 'Sinai in Montpelier, Vermont, and Naja
and Cyprus in Albany.
good doctor may or may not have been slightly embarrassed by some of the
report he had to make. He said, for example: "All who have received the Order
are evidently exceedingly well pleased with the impressiveness of the
Ritualistic work and the sublime tenets of the Order. It could no doubt be
made a most powerful Order, devoted to the welfare of Masonry in this country.
Temple," Dr. Fleming said, "is not exemplifying the work at present, as the
matter was left entirely to one or two others and myself, and my time has been
so fully occupied with the duties of Most Illustrious Grand Potentate, in
promoting the establishment of temples, and the various requirements of the
Imperial Grand Council, that it was impossible for me to carry on the work at
home in a subordinate temple." Dr. Fleming also explained that he thought the
Shrine should be exclusive.
has been the desire," he said, "of the Grand Council as well as the membership
subordinate to make it a select Order, uncontaminated with discordant elements
and unworthy membership. There should be at least one branch of Ancient
Craftsmen, select and free of the inappreciative and the unworthy. We trust,
therefore, that, as it is a consummation most devoutly to be wished for, all
will proceed with care, caution and judgment, in regard to whom they honor
with admission." By and large, it was the most successful meeting of the
Shrine to that time. It had taken Fleming six long years to bring the infant
Order thus far, but he could return to his medical practice in New THE LEGEND
OF ARABY 35 York, confident that the new fraternity was on its way. It
was to grow beyond the wildest imaginations of its founders, who "builded
better than they knew" in the early days. Certainly one of the factors of that
building was the aura of Oriental mysticism that Fleming had injected at the
half‑century later, McGee declared that Fleming eventually regretted having
mentioned the story of the Ancient Arabic manuscripts; but upon his return to
New York from Albany he wrote or with Paterson helped to write the "origin and
history" of the Order, which was included in a brochure obviously designed to
spread and build it. It contained the statutes and regulations which had been
adopted in Albany and full particulars on how new temples could be
established. But the important part of the brochure was the embellishment of
the legend. This 1877 brochure, which was found among the Paterson papers,
reports: The Order of Nobles of the Mystic Shrine was established in Mecca,
Arabia, and became an acknowledged power in the year 5459, equivalent to the
year of Our Lord 1698.
Ritual was compiled and arranged at Aleppo, Arabia, and issued by Louis
Marracci, the great Latin translator of Mohammed's Al Koran. This mysterious
Order continued to thrive in Arabia from that date to the present time. It was
revised and instituted at Cairo, Egypt, in 5598, equivalent to June 14, 1837.
Order was primarily instituted for the purpose of promoting the organization
and perfection of Arabic and Egyptian inquisitions, to dispense justice, and
execute punishment of criminals whom the tardy laws did not reach to the
measure of their crimes. Being designed to embrace the entire pale of the law,
and composed of sterling and determined men who would upon a valid accusation
fearlessly try, judge, and if convicted, execute the criminal within the
hour‑leaving no trace of their acts behind. . . .
recent history informs us that Oriental Europe is permeated with secret
organizations, comprising a selection of the highest and best educated classes
of the Mussulman nations; their ostensible object being "the strife of Islam
or Mohammedanism against the infidels"; and among the latter are supposed to
be included Christians, Israelites, Mussulman 3 6 PARADE TO GLORY princes
and potentates, who are suspected, together with the Khedive of Egypt, of
being favorable to Christian institutions.
most prominent and powerful of these orders is the Bektashy, or Nobles of the
Mystic Shrine. Its offshoots and satellites are the Darkawy, Khowan, Ab Del
Kader El Bagdadi, and the Issawiye, similar in obligation and purpose. These
are not altogether politico‑religious societies as generally supposed by the
outside world. Although ostensibly appearing as such there is a deep and
hidden meaning beneath the exposed superficial exterior, as promulgated to the
orders are closely allied to the famous "Illuminati," which fraternity
exercised such vigilant power during the reign of King Frederick William of
real object of all of these Orders is to gain all possible power of reign and
rule; to exercise these powers for the best welfare of country or land; and to
fearlessly purify it of all base and sordid element of whatever nature,
independent of creed, sect or nationality; their foundation being the
acknowledgment of Deity or one ever‑loving and true God....
Bektashy, or Nobles of the Mystic Shrine, as it is known in America, is of
necessity divested of its inconsistent Islam dogmas and its ritual adapted to
the consistencies of Christian institutions and American laws, and is destined
to become a powerful order here in America.
jewel of membership, or the insignia of the order worn by its disciples, is
the Crescent, formed by the claws of a tiger, united at the bases and bound
with gold, bearing the additional emblems of the head of a female Sphinx, on
one side and a pyramid, urn, and star upon the other, also bearing the date of
the reception of the order and the Latin motto "Robur et Furor"‑signifying
strength and fury.
particular history then includes considerable detail concerning the origin of
the Crescent as a symbol of power and authority, and it goes on to say: In i
8o i the Sultan Selim 111, having previously presented Lord Nelson with a
crescent richly adorned with diamonds, founded the Order of the Crescent,
which, as Mohammedans are not allowed to carry such marks of distinction, has
been conferred on Christians alone.
Temples of the Order of the Crescent, or Nobles of the Mystic Shrine, were
instituted in various cities of Europe many years ago, and now, although
possessing all the powers, material and paraphernalia of THE LEGEND OF ARABY
3 7 the Inquisition, if required, still continue to thrive as social and
charitable organizations, impressing on its disciples its purifying tenets and
attributes, while always on the alert to arouse into executive action should
an emergency arise.
1871 the Ritual was brought to America by one of the transient foreign members
and representatives with instructions to place it only in the hands of
prominent high‑grade Masons for establishment and exemplification as had been
done in Europe. Owing to the fact of Masons being regarded as a choice of the
best men in the land, and having already passed the ordeal of obligation, the
Order of Nobles of the Mystic Shrine would be regarded as safer with them than
with the unobligated masses, and make it, if necessity required, a
deliberating and executive body of inquisitorial nature, as when originally
1877 history is similar in content, but not in style or spelling, to a history
of the Order printed in 1893 which had been "compiled and collated" by Fleming
and Paterson, and it is this latter "or igin of the Order" which over the
years has been most quoted. In 1902, Fleming wrote a letter to George L. Root
of Mohammed Temple, Peoria, Illinois, authorizing him to use the later version
in a book he was preparing. Fleming wrote: "I am in receipt of yours of the
13th inst. relative to using my `History of the Shrine.' Personally I have no
objections, especially if for distribution to the Nobles of the Order. I do
not think Noble Paterson would object either if credited to its authors." The
legend of the Shrine became permanent with the publication of this later
history. It probably was written in 1883 while Fleming was still the Imperial
Potentate, for it is mentioned in the official proceedings of that year, but
the first known publication came in a pamphlet issued by Imperial Recorder
Frank Luce, who had succeeded Paterson. It is dated 1893.
history says: The Order of the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine was instituted by
the Mohammedan Kalif Alee (whose name be praised!), the cousin‑german and
son‑in‑law of the Prophet Mohammed (God favor and preserve him!), in the year
of the Hegira 25 (A.D. 644) at Mecca in Arabia, as an inquisition, or
Vigilance Committee, to dispense justice and execute punish‑ 3 8 PARADE TO
GLORY ment upon criminals who escaped their just deserts through the tardiness
of the courts, and also to promote religious tolerance among cultured men of
all nations. The original intention was to form a band of men of sterling
worth who would, without fear or favor, upon a valid accusation, try, judge,
and execute, if need be, within the hour, having taken precautions as to
secrecy and security.
"Nobles" perfected their organization, and did such prompt and efficient work
that they excited alarm and even consternation in the hearts of evildoers in
all countries under the Star and Crescent.
Order is yet one of the most highly favored among the many secret societies
which abound in Oriental countries, and gathers around its shrines a select
few of the best educated and cultured classes. Their ostensible object is to
increase the faith and fidelity of all true believers in Allah (whose name be
exalted!). The secret and real purpose can only be made known to those who
have encircled the Mystic Shrine according to instructions in "The Book of the
Constitution and the Regulations of the Imperial Council." Its membership in
all countries includes Christians, Israelites, Moslems and men in high
positions of learning and power. One of the most noted patrons of the Order
was the late Khedive of Egypt (whose name be revered!) whose inclination
toward Christians is well known.
Nobles of the Mystic Shrine was sometimes mistaken for a certain order of the
dervishes, such as those known as the Hanafeeyeh, Rufaeeyeh, Sadireeyeh, and
others, either howling, whirling, dancing or barking; but this is an error.
The only connection that the Order ever had with any sect of dervishes was
with that called the Bektash. This warlike sect undertook to favor and protect
the Nobles in a time of great peril, and have ever since been counted among
its most honored patrons.
famous Arab known as Bektash, from a peculiar high white hat or cap which he
made from a sleeve of his gown, the founder of the sect named in his honor,
was an imam in the army of the Sultan Amu rath 1, the first Mohammedan who led
an army into Europe, A.D. 136o (in the year of the Hegira, 761). This Sultan
was the founder of the military order of the Janizaries (so called because
they were freed captives who were adopted into the faith and the army),
although his father Orkham began the work. Bektash adopted a white robe and
cap, and instituted the ceremony of kissing the sleeve.
Buktasheeyeh's representative at Mecca is a Noble of the Mystic Shrine, is the
chief officer of the Alee Temple of Nobles, and in 187'7 was the chief of the
Order in Arabia. The chief must reside either at THE LEGEND OF ARABY
39 Mecca or Medinah, and, in either case must be present in person or by
deputy during the month of pilgrimage.
character of the Order as it appears to the uninitiated is that of a
politico‑religious society. It is really more than such a society could be;
and there are hidden meanings in its simplest symbols that take hold on the
profoundest depths of the heart.
the modern promoters of the principles of the Order in Europe, one of the most
noted was Herr Adam Weishaupt, a Rosicrucian (Rose Cross Mystic), and
professor of law in the University of Ingol stadt, in Bavaria, who revived the
Order in that city on May 1, 1776. Its members exercised a profound influence
before and during the French Revolution, when they were known as the
Illuminati, and they professed to be teachers of philosophy. From the central
society at Ingolstadt, branches spread through all Europe. Among the members,
there are recorded the names of Frederick the Great, Mirabeau, a Duke of
Orleans, many members of royal families, literary, scientific and professional
men, including the illustrious Goethe, Spinoza, Kant, Lord Bacon, and a long
list besides, whose works enlarge and free the mind from the influence of
dogma and prejudice.
Frequent revolutions in Arabia, Persia and Turkey have obscured the Order from
time to time, as appears from the many breaks in the continuity of the records
at Mecca, but it has often been revived. Some of the most noted revivals are
those at Mecca and Aleppo in A.D. 1698 (A.x. i i io) and at Cairo in 1837 (A.x.
1z53), the latter under the protection of the Khedive of Egypt, who recognized
the Order as a powerful means of civilization.
year A.D. 804, during a warlike expedition against the Byzantine emperor
Nikephorous, the most famous Arabian Kalif, Haroon alRasheed, deputed a
renowned scholar, Abd el‑Kader el‑Bagdadee, to proceed to Aleppo, Syria and
found a college there for the propagation of the religion of the Prophet
Mohammed (God favor and preserve him!). The work and college arose and the
Order of Nobles was revived there as a part of the means of civilization.
Order of Nobles of the Mystic Shrine in America does not advocate
Mohammedanism as a sect, but inculcates the same respect to Deity here as in
Arabia and elsewhere, and hence the secret of its profound grasp on the
intellect and the heart of all cultured people.
Ritual now in use is a translation from the original Arabic, found preserved
in the archives of the Order at Aleppo, Syria, whence it was brought in 186o,
to London, England, by Rizk Allah Hassoon 40 PARADE TO GLORY Effendi,
who was the author of several works in Arabic, one of which was a metrical
version of the Book of Job. His "History of Islam" offended the Turkish
government because of its humanitarian principles, and he was forced to leave
his native country.
year 1698, the learned Orientalist, Luigi Marracci, who was then just
completing his great works, "The Koran in Latin and Arabic with notes," and
"The Bible in Arabic" at Padua, Italy, was initiated into our Order of Nobles,
and found time to translate the Ritual into Italian. The initiated will be
able to see how deeply significant this fact is when the history of the
Italian society of "Carbonari" is recalled. The very existence of Italian
unity and liberty depended largely on the "Nobles" who were represented by
Count Cavour, Mazzini, Garibaldi and the king, Victor Emmanuel.
Although Marracci was confessor to his Holiness, Pope Innocent XI, for several
years, yet he was censored by the College of the Propaganda at Rome for having
aided and abetted the work of a secret society, and the book was condemned to
be burnt. A few copies were saved and one is still preserved in the library of
the Synagogue, which stands just inside the ancient Roman gate of the City of
Babloon, called by the Arabs Fostat, in the Middle Ages, and now known as Old
making the present version, the translator has had the benefit of the work of
Alnasafi, of Marracci and of Hassoon. The rendering is literal where the idiom
permitted, except where a local reference required the substitution of
American for Oriental names of cities.
work was perfected in August, 1870, under the supervision of Dr. Walter M.
Fleming, 33', Sovereign Grand Inspector General, A.A.S. Rite, and past Eminent
Commander of Columbian Commandery No. i, Knights Templar, New York, who
received his instructions and authority from Rizk Allah Hassoon Effendee, who
had competent jurisdiction for America.
Ritual is known in Arabia as "The Pillar of Society," which is an honorary
title given only to persons of very great distinction in the service of truth,
justice and mercy, and the support of learning and culture, and was by
courtesy attached to this work as originally written by the renowned Alnasafi
Hafiz, the Persian poet.
salutation of distinction among the faithful is: "Es Selamu Aleikum!" (Peace
be with you!), to which is returned the gracious wish, "Aleikum es Selamu!"
(With you be peace!).
jewel of the Order is a crescent, formed of any substance. The most valued
materials are the claws of a Royal Bengal tiger, united at THE LEGEND OF ARABY
41 their bases in a gold setting which includes their tips, and bears on one
side of the center the head of a sphinx, and on the other a pyramid, urn and
star, with the date of the wearer's reception of the Order, and the motto:
Arabic‑"Kuwat wa Ghadab." Latin‑"Robur et Furor." English‑"Strength and fury."
The constitutional authority for promulgation of the principles and practice
of the Order was confided to Dr. Walter M. Fleming, 33░,
and his associates, William J. Florence, 32'; Edward Eddy, 33'; John W.
Sherwood C. Campbell, 3z░;
Oswald Merle d'Aubigne, 3z░;
James S. Chappell, 32'; John A. Moore, 32' (the last seven have since entered
the unseen temple) ; Charles T. McClenachan, 33'; Albert P. Moriarty, 33';
Daniel Sickels, 33'; George W. Millar, 33'; and William S. Paterson, 33';
together with Albert R. Rawson, 32' (the Arabic translator), all prominent
Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite Masons and Knights Templar of New York, N. Y.,
who instituted the first temple of the Order in that city under the title of
"Mecca Temple, Nobles of the Mystic Shrine," on Sept. 26, 1872.
Walter M. Fleming, 33░,
was chosen its presiding officer, who is also called "The Shayk, or the
Ancient," and also the Illustrious Potentate. He is known in the Persian
temples as "The Shayk Alee," that is to say, the supreme Shayk. Ill. William
S. Paterson, 33' was elected the Recorder.
June 6, 1876, "The Imperial Council for North America" was formed, and the
first officers elected (as in Arabia) for the term of three years. 111. Walter
M. Fleming became Imperial Potentate, and Ill. W. S. Paterson, Imperial
prerequisite for membership in Europe, Asia, Africa and America is the 3z░
A.A.S. Rite (z8 in England), or a Knight Templar in good standing.
generous proposition to make the Order of Nobles an organization for the
exercise of charity, the improvement of the mind, and an ally of the
Fraternity of Free Masonry in the United States, was primarily adopted by the
then was the history prepared by Fleming and Paterson. Fact? Well, hardly.
Noted Arabic scholars in the United States in 1958 could find little if any
fact in Fleming's report. Fancy, fiction, 42 PARADE TO GLORY myth,
legend? All of these. But what difference? The Shrine was formed as an
organization where Masons might seclude themselves from the cares of the world
and as Masons enjoy each other's company in good fun.
then was the cloak‑and‑dagger stuff, but it is to be noted that in this
rendition of the history of the Shrine, Billy Florence played a comparatively
inconspicuous part. Yet Florence (with Flem ing's help) had tried to get in
the act a year earlier. In 1882 Florence wrote a letter for publication in the
official proceedings of 1883: . . . I have long promised myself the task of
writing a brief account of the first glimpses I had of the working of our
Order, while on a tour in Europe some years since, and now give a portion
September, 1870, I was in the city of Marseilles, France, and having occasion
to call on Duncan, Sherman & Co., Bankers, I was told by one of the
gentlemanly clerks that there was to be a ceremony of an unusually attractive
character, at a hall near the Grand Hotel de 1'Univers, and knowing me to be a
Mason, invited me to be present, offering to be my guide and voucher. My
curiosity was excited by his glowing hints as to the Oriental wonders to be
seen there, and I really cannot say whether I ate any dinner or not that
evening, so anxious was I to keep the appointment.
been introduced to the anteroom of the hall, in which the Mystic Shrine was
concealed, I found a number of distinguished persons in animated conversation
on the subject of our visit. One of these men was the British Consul at that
port, another the Austrian Vice‑Consul, and there were dukes and counts,
bankers and merchants, scholars and artists, musicians and other
professionals, all of whom seemed absorbed in the question of how the French
of Marseilles had succeeded in getting possession of such interesting secrets.
Illustrious Grand Potentate of the evening was the celebrated Yusef Churi Bey,
and the Temple was called Bokhara Shrine.
Yusef had visited Bokhara, where he was made a member of the Mystic Shrine in
that famous city of the Persians, and brought away a hastily written sketch of
the Ritual and Laws of the Order. It would be impossible to give a complete
narrative of the ceremonies of that Communication of the Nobles of Bokhara
Shrine, and I must content myself with a mere outline.
costumes were exact duplicates of Oriental patterns brought from THE LEGEND OF
ARABY 43 Persia by Yusef Bey. In his long service as an attache of the
Persian Consulate, he had seen many countries, and profited by studies and
observations in each, and was therefore well fitted to conduct such an
furniture of the Temple was the most peculiar I ever saw, and must have been
gotten up by some one well skilled in stage scenery, for there were very well
contrived dramatic effects, representing the sandy seashore, the rough, rocky
hillside, the gloomy cavern, the solemn tomb, and a transformation scene which
was at first a cemetery, full of tombs and monuments inscribed with the names
of the departed, with epitaphs on their virtues and worth, when in an instant,
the lights having been lowered, the scene changed to a sumptuous banqueting
hall, with small tables for groups of 3, 5, 7, and q.
not describe the work of the Temple any further than to say, that the
intention is to enact a drama very much like our own, which had for its object
the same lesson; and there can be no better or more zealous workers in a good
cause than those French brothers who celebrated the Mysteries at Marseilles on
duties prevented a sufficiently long stay in Marseilles to witness a second
performance, and I therefore begged Yusef Bey to allow me to have a copy of
the Ritual and Laws, which I received on the day I sailed for Algiers.
Algiers the Shrine of the Mogribins was in full operation, meeting each week,
on Friday evening. Abu Mohammed Baki was the Shayk, and among the members were
nearly every one of the many consuls, vice‑consuls, and other diplomats of the
port, many of the most noted merchants and bankers, and not a few of the
learned and gifted Mohammedans, who are passionately fond of perpetuating
ancient customs which increase their social pleasures.
Shrine is referred to by the Moslems generally as "The Order of the Unwritten
Law," in distinction from the "Written Law," which is the Koran.
costumes and furniture of the Shrine in Algiers were gorgeous in silk, wool,
and fine linen, decorated with embroidery in gold, silver and colors; and the
swords, spears, and other articles used by the guards and officers in the work
were genuine steel, many of which had been in actual service in the field of
battle. . . .
were many more letters in the same vein and as often as not in similar
language. There was one addressed to Fleming from 44 PARADE TO GLORY
Abd‑el‑Makri, writing for the Shayk Mohammed Baki of the Shrine at Algiers,
reporting that "during the past three months, many of the most wealthy and
famous men of this province, including nearly every officer of the government"
had become members. And quite modestly Florence reported that he had been made
an honorary member of both the Shrine of the Mogribins in Algiers and the
Bokhara Shrine in Marseilles.
printed in the official proceedings of the Shrine of North America for the
year 1882 were letters, addressed to Fleming, reporting on Shrine activities
in Cairo, Alexandria, Jerusalem and Damascus. And such reports revealed as
much as anything else that not only in North America, but throughout the
Islamic world there was a revival of the Shrine as originally created by the
a pleasure to be able to inform you," said the letter from Cairo, "of the
reestablishment of our order generally throughout the Eastern world, nearly
every kingdom or sovereignty being now rep resented at the General Assembly of
Nobles, which meets once in three years at Mecca." And there was one rather
down‑to‑earth notation that "the banquets during the year have been catered by
Ismail Tibneen, chef de cuisine, to His Highness the Khedive." Fleming learned
from the letter that the Shrine at Alexandria held its meetings in the ancient
palace of the Ptolemies.
there was more. Much more. And every word was designed to convince American
Masons of high degree that membership in the Ancient Arabic Order Nobles of
the Mystic Shrine was of consider able importance. The translations printed in
the Proceedings presumably were by Rawson the artist, but if the originals
were ever preserved, they have not been discovered.
Between 1882 and 1892, there also appeared in the official Proceedings of the
Imperial Council letters from John Worthington, a member of Mecca Temple and
the United States Consul on the island of Malta in the Mediterranean. As it
later developed Worthington was quite a personage and, perhaps inadvertently,
the cause of much
furor that was to come over the myths and legends that were being created.
Worthington's letters reported on visitations made to Shrine Temples
throughout the Mediterranean area. They also reported expenses for the
entertainment of visiting Nobles who stopped briefly at the Island of Malta to
obtain a pass which would gain them entrance to the various Shrines in that
part of the world. For his work in entertaining the visiting Nobles and for
visiting the various temples of the East on behalf of Fleming, and as his
deputy, Worthington was paid five hundred dollars a year from the Imperial
Treasury. But alas and clack, Worthington failed to report just which Nobles
were entertained, and in so far as the record shows, there was but
Furthermore, in the light of later developments, the pass wasn't much to start
with. Today's Arabic scholars declare its inscriptions are better as art work
than as grammar and that they probably were made by some Algerian sailor who
stopped off in Malta. Today's Arabic scholars go further. After reading the
translations printed in the Proceedings, they state unequivocally that there
is no historic fact THE LEGEND OF ARABY 47 to support any of the
statements, places or names contained in all of the various letters. And
perhaps most important of all is the fact that none of the Arabic originals
has ever been found.
Sam Briggs of Al Koran Temple in Cleveland succeeded Fleming as Imperial
Potentate in 1886, he continued these reports from the East and continued to
pay Worthington his five hundred dollars a year; but when William B. Melish of
Syrian Temple of Cincinnati succeeded Briggs in 1892, he indicated forthwith
that he was tired of all the "rot and rubbish" and intended to put an end to
it, perhaps even going so far as to issue an official pronouncement
proclaiming as false all matters that had pertained to the Oriental origin of
Augustus Peters, who had succeeded Fleming as Potentate of Mecca Temple, was
upset, and to prevent any such action by Melish he sent Charles T. McClenachan
and George W. Millar to Cincin nati to interview him. McClenachan penned the
report of that interview.
appears," he wrote, "that the Imperial Potentate desires to make the
organization of the Shrine a gentlemen's club on a Sunday School plan, which
is entirely at variance with the views of your committee, and, as they
believe, of the great majority of the Order. We believe we are in touch with
the originators of the subordinate temples in this country, that the Oriental
myth is one of the most essential portions of the institution, that to
eliminate the myth is to emasculate the Order to such an extent that its
progress would not only be stopped but that the society would fail and die
out. Whatever there is of truth as well as whatever there is of myth, must be
retained." McClenachan said it was against all expediency to tell our youth
that William Tell never shot the apple off the head of his son or that George
Washington never chopped down the cherry tree, and that it was just as
expedient to eliminate the myth of the Shrine.
was unimpressed. He told his visitors that he understood and believed that
Noble Florence and three or four others, sitting 48 PARADE TO GLORY
around a table in New York, had in a jolly way concocted the Ritual and
started the Society. He asked McClenachan if he knew of a Ritual that Florence
had brought to this country or if he believed Florence had ever been initiated
in Beyrouth. Yes, indeed, said McClenachan. He firmly believed that Florence
had been initiated in Beyrouth or somewhere else, and that he had brought a
Ritual to this country.
unimpressed, Melish told the Mecca Committee that "all this Oriental and
Eastern stuff was humbug and rot," that there were no Eastern temples, and in
his opinion Worthington should be stopped from writing his rubbish; that we
had better come down to a gentlemen's society and stop talking Oriental
nonsense. He said Sam Briggs had told him that whenever a Potentate asked
about the myth of the Shrine he always replied that there was no truth to the
McClenachan and Millar were generally unhappy about the interview with
Imperial Potentate Melish and frankly said that the impression left on the
committee was that Melish was not a Shrine enthusiast. Certainly there were to
be repercussions of the visit at the Imperial Council session held in
Cincinnati in 1893, when Mecca Temple and others joined hands to defeat Melish
Amazingly enough, no mention is made in McClenachan's report of Dr. Fleming,
who had only recently retired as Potentate of Mecca Temple. It would have been
logical to assume that McClenachan and Millar, who had been so intimately
associated with the founder of the Order, might at least have mentioned him in
their conversations with Imperial Potentate Melish. But it was not to be. As a
matter of fact, after Fleming had turned over the power in the Shrine to Sam
Briggs in 1886, he attended only one imperial session of the Shrine. That was
in 1893 when he helped to organize the opposition to Melish.
the death of Dr. Fleming in 1913, the battle over the truth or falsity of the
Fleming‑Florence tradition raged on. Dr. Saram Ellison, revered Recorder of
Mecca Temple, and Louis N. Donnatin, who succeeded Ellison, acquired extensive
collections in an attempt to prove that Florence was initiated into some
Oriental mystery and conveyed that idea to Fleming. At the same time James
LEGEND OF ARABY 49
the way to the floor of the Imperial Council in an attempt to disprove it. He
even wrote his own history of the Shrine and on the back of one copy Donnatin
wrote that it was the product of a diseased mind. But was it? In essence,
McGee simply contended that Fleming and Fleming alone created the Shrine, that
Florence's only significant contribution was the use of his name and that
eventually Fleming regretted hav ing introduced the Oriental myths and legends
concerning its origin. And some years later McGee was given concrete support
by Charles P. Fleming, one of the doctor's two sons. But Fleming himself never
publicly admitted that his history was fiction. As late as i qoo, with
considerable embellishment, he reiterated the ancient Arabic origin of the
battle continued privately and on the floor of the Imperial Council. At times
it was bitter and personal. Louis Donnatin and Cyprian C. Hunt, the Potentate
of Mecca Temple, even obtained statements from contemporaries of McGee to
disprove his allegations. One of these was William Ten Eyck Hardenbrook, who
carried Mecca's card No. 25, three ahead of McGee's No. 28.
Hardenbrook was a Masonic journalist, perhaps the earliest in New York, but
like McGee, he was far along in years when his opinion was sought. But he was
positive in his statement. "I hereby refute," he wrote to Potentate Hunt, "any
statement made by any member of the Order to the effect that (it) is not
founded upon a somewhat similar Arabian Order of ancient origin and existing
at the time of the formation of Mecca Temple. . . . It was through the efforts
and instrumentality of William J. Florence who brought the original Arabic
manuscript Ritual and its English translation to this country that the Order
owes its institution and foundation in the United States. This document was on
several occasions the subject of discussion and debate with the view of
adapting its provisions to Masonic customs and usages prevailing at that time.
I often had the Ritual in my possession for the purpose of study and
suggestion for such arrangement as would make it useful and adaptable for the
initiatory work of Mecca Temple. As the pioneer Masonic journalist 50
PARADE TO GLORY in New York, being the owner and editor of the Masonic
Newspaper, this work was naturally referred to me. The adoption of the
insignia, jewels and paraphernalia of the Order was also a matter of frequent
consideration and the jewel, consisting of the pyramid, Sphinx head, Star of
Bethlehem upon the keystone uniting two claws of the royal Bengal tiger in the
form of the crescent was finally adopted upon my recommendation and from a
design which I furnished Dr. Fleming." That was a pretty definite statement,
and by most rules of evidence would have been considered final. After all, he
said, he had had the original manuscript in his hands, but since it never
could be found, there existed some doubt. An ancient Arabic manuscript, even
if it were shredded and in a bad state of disrepair, would be an invaluable
addition to any museum and would have been treasured and guarded.
so, the argument continued and on occasion took on the tones of attempting to
prove that the founding of the Shrine in the United States was centered in
either the Scottish or York Rites. It was not until 1927 that anything like a
final statement was made, and that came from Charles P. Fleming, one of the
doctor's two sons. Melish had implied in an article printed in the New York
Herald Tribune that the origin of the Shrine was still shrouded in mystery.
Apparently he was misquoted, but it came to Charles Fleming's attention and he
immediately issued a long statement which appeared in the Bridgeport,
Connecticut Star. Fleming also transmitted a clipping of his statement to
Recorder Donnatin at Mecca Temple. In his letter, Fleming said that "at the
time the article by Brother Melish was published in the Herald Tribune, an old
friend of mine in Bridgeport urged me to make a statement as to the true facts
of the Shrine's origin. I demurred at first, but finally consented. My
decision to do so was grounded on the fact that several times in his last
years, my father said he regretted the necessity of so much mystery regarding
the founding of the Order, but he deemed it essential at the time to gain the
interest of the public, and it soon got out of hand, and the
LEGEND OF ARABY 51 true facts were known but to a few. The statements I have
given herewith in the article enclosed I heard my father make many times to
old friends and associates, so there is naught contained therein that he would
object to my making were he still with us. I have heard my father say that he
could not recall more than two or three occasions that Florence even attended
ceremonies of the Shrine. He did nothing whatever concerning it beyond lending
the use of his name in connection therewith to his old friend, my father." He
declared that in the Shrine there was never any Oriental connection whatever
and that "the conception of the idea was my father's alone and that he
received his greatest and most valuable aid from Bro. Charles Thompson
McClenachan, who was considered an authority on all matters Masonic and who
was conceded to be one of the best ritualists in the country." Young Fleming
concluded: My father frequently stated that without the assistance of
McClenachan in the construction of the Order, it would have been "Love's Labor
Lost." Wm. Jermyn Florence, 32░
and the third factor in the Shrinal history whose name is more generally
linked and known throughout the land in connection with it than any other had
nothing whatever to do with the work of establishing the Order, beyond
permitting the use of his popular name in abetting and getting the Mystic
Shrine into the limelight of public attention and favor in the seventies and
inception of the Order, to give it emphasis and to add to its impressiveness
it was said to have emanated from "The Order of the Crescent" under the
"Throne of the Bektash." This however was purely a figment of Dr. Fleming's
imagination. The announcement of a visit of Brother Florence to this Order in
continental Europe, thereby imbibing the original idea, was purely garnishment
for the purpose of propagating the new Order.
Order was inaugurated in 187o at the Knickerbocker Cottage, 28th St. and 6th
Ave., later and more recently Moquin's restaurant. Its object, the exercise of
charity, the improvement of the mind, and an ally of the Fraternity of
Freemasonry of the United States.
the original charter, granting my father the authority to confer the Order
throughout the United States and Western Hemisphere. It was supposed to come
from Mecca, Arabia and is dated August 13, 52 PARADE TO GLORY 187o.
Actually it was conceived by my father, and drawn and made by Bro. Benjamin F.
Brady, whose office at that time was in Barclay Street, just back of the old
the words and ceremonials were conceived and compiled by my father. The charge
was taken from a poem by Francis Saltus, to be found in his book of poems
published posthumously under the title of Honey and Gall and slightly altered
to fit the requirements.
possess a copy of this book. The costumes were designed under my father's
suggestion, and in fact the entire onus of the early days fell upon his
shoulders, with the above stated able assistance of Bro. McClenachan.
not made a 33rd until September i q, 1872, over two years later, so the yarn
of Florence being but 32nd, turning over the promulgation of the idea to my
father because of his being a 33rd is exploded.
statement by Charles P. Fleming should have ended all of the discussion, but
it didn't. As late as 1941 Louis Donnatin compiled massive data designed to
prove that the records were essentially correct and that when Fleming and
Paterson wrote their histories they must have known what they were talking
about and were telling the truth.
Unfortunately, however, the facts as Fleming and Florence related them do not
stand up to the test of other facts. Arabic scholars have been consulted in
the preparation of this book and they never heard of a Shrine or anything like
it existing in all of the Middle East. The Bektash order of dervishes is
Turkish, not Arabic; and the Bektash cannot trace their origin to the Caliph
All (or Alee) as many of the dervish orders do. Weishaupt's Illuminati were
barred many years before the advent of the Shrine, and according to the best
historians never achieved a membership of more than two thousand in all of
what difference? Fact, fancy, legend, myth. Perhaps all of these. But
principally the Ancient Arabic Order Nobles of the Mystic Shrine is a
fraternal romance. It is composed of more than 8oo,ooo boys grown tall, who
maintain reverent _minds and merry hearts; who contribute generously of their
time and purse for the betterment of mankind.
Chapter 5 In Death a Mystery HE name of William J. Florence is so intimately
associated with the history of the Shrine that he cannot be ignored by the
simple expedient of saying that he participated in the crea tion of a fiction,
or that he did little more than permit the use of his name in promoting an
infant fraternity. But it is possible that his death contributed more to the
Order than his life.
is no record that he ever attended an Imperial Session of the Order and on
only a few occasions is he known to have attended meetings of individual
temples. He apparently was present at the meet ing of the original thirteen in
1871. He once attended a meeting of Lu Lu Temple in Philadelphia. He obligated
Sam Briggs, who was to become the second Imperial Potentate, at a theater in
Cleveland. And at least once he attended a meeting of Mecca Temple in New
York. There are unconfirmed statements that he visited Moslem and Damascus
temples. Frequently the Shriners appeared at a theater where he was playing,
and always he greeted them as a Shriner.
has been made of Florence's visit to Mecca Temple by those who have supported
the theory that Florence actually was the founder of the Order in America, but
here again there are differing versions of the same story. The official
minutes of the meeting on 53 54 PARADE TO GLORY September 29, 1882,
report that 111. Wm. J. Florence was "announced and introduced by 111. J. F.
Collins in an eloquent speech that touched on all the noble qualities and high
deeds of one who merited the title of `Father of the Order' in America. The
Grand Potentate [Fleming] cordially welcomed the illustrious Noble and
tendered him the hospitalities of Mecca Temple. Illustrious Noble W. J.
Florence accepted the welcome in a brief speech and said that when he assisted
in introducing the Order in this country he never expected to behold the
magnificence of ritual and ceremony which surrounded him, and the large
numbers who took such unalloyed pleasure in pursuing the unwritten teachings,
laws and ceremonies and participating in the celebrations observed by the
order. At Algiers, Cairo and Marseilles he was very much impressed with the
Arabian mysteries which he had then beheld for the first time and it resulted
in bringing before those found worthy in the U.S. an order whose teachings
were profitable. After the ceremonies of the evening, the Illustrious Noble
expressed his unbounded delight at the beauty and magnificence with which
Mecca Temple had imbued the weird Arabic ceremony and that he had never
witnessed such an exemplification in all of his travels." Those are the
official minutes of the meeting, but McGee gives a slightly different version
of Florence's appearance. He sets the date as December iq, 1884, on the
occasion of the first ladies' night ever held by Mecca Temple. If that date is
correct then he must have made two visits, for it is difficult to dispute the
official minutes of a meeting. McGee records that Fleming learned that
Florence was in the city unexpectedly and personally went to his quarters in
the Fifth Avenue Hotel and "refusing to take `no' for an answer personally
escorted him to Masonic Hall at Twenty‑third Street and Sixth Avenue." McGee
then recalls that Fleming greeted the actor with "one of his characteristic
and inimitable `welcomes' for which the doctor was long famous and concluded
his reception with a presentation to Florence of a Fez and an expensively
gold‑mounted pair of tiger claws. The visiting Noble [Florence] accepted the
same and after a hand‑ IN DEATH A MYSTERY S S shake with all of the
professional entertainers, preceded by a social bite and sip of the menu in
evidence, the widely known author, dramatist, actor and bon vivant took his
departure and in so doing remarked to this `chronicler' that said visit was
the very first time that he had ever been a participant in any sense at a
Mystic Shrine function." Strangely enough both dates and both visits may be
correct. Certainly it must be assumed that the minutes of the meeting in 1882
are correct, and tending to confirm McGee's story is the jewel itself which
was presented to Alecca Temple by Mrs. Florence after Billy's death. The jewel
has this inscription on it: Amir ul Umra William J. Florence August 1870 From
Mecca Temple, Mystic Shrine N. Y. Dec. 1884 This jewel and others belonging to
Florence were given to the Shrine Rooms in the George Washington National
Masonic Memorial and are now on display there. Among those jewels is also one
that Florence gave to Mecca Temple. In a letter dated September q, 1891, only
a few weeks before his death, Florence wrote to Fleming: "Ills. Sir‑Will you
please accept for Mecca Temple the enclosed jewelit is the first ever worn by
a Christian. With it take the earnest wish that our beautiful work will spread
from world to world till we are gathered to the sacred Shrine promised to the
faithful by our Father Mamoud. Yours in the bonds of fire, William J.
Florence." It was the last communication Fleming was to receive from his
friend. Billy was sixty years old and still as popular with audiences all over
America as he was in the days when he romped across the boards with his wife
Malvina. She had retired and was living in England, but Billy had formed an
association with Joseph Jefferson, and they began a tour of the country from
which Billy never returned.
death, there is one of the most unusual stories in American Masonic history.
56 PARADE TO GLORY Florence and Jefferson began their tour in
Philadelphia in November of 1891, appearing in Heir at Law. During the week of
November q, Florence contracted a slight cold, but continued to per form each
evening. On Friday, November 13, he was feverish and consulted a physician who
advised him to remain indoors. But Florence insisted on continuing on
Saturday, the 14th (the show must go on), and after the play that night gave a
dinner for Mr. and Mrs. Kendal at the Continental Hotel, where he had his
quarters. Florence, however, left the table before the conclusion of the
supper and took to his bed. Sunday, the 15th, he was much worse and several
consulting physicians were called in. According to the treatment in those
days, Florence was "bled" to relieve his suffering, but he continued to grow
worse and the newspapers report that he spent Tuesday and Wednesday "in a
comatose condition." The Philadelphia Press of Wednesday morning, November 18,
reported that "the actor's life had been despaired of" and that Mrs. Florence
"had been cabled for." "Those inquiring persons," said the Press, "who slipped
into the corridors of the Continental Hotel as late as one or two o'clock
yesterday [Tuesday, November 171 morning learned that Mr. Florence's condition
was just the same‑`a trifle better than the day before.' But suddenly both the
relatives and Dr. Dunnellen in Mr. Florence's apartment grew nervous and then
hurriedly exchanged a f ew whispers. The great actor was breathing with great
difficulty. The clock showed that it was within a few minutes of three
o'clock. Father Flannagan of St. Mary's church was sent for by Mrs. Williams.
[Mrs. Williams was Mrs. Florence's sister and a devout Roman Catholic.] This,
however, was without Mr. Florence's knowledge or, when he afterwards learned
of it, without his consent as to the necessity of it. He did not at any time
believe that he was in extremeness." However, the Press reported that the
clergyman must have had a different view and "apparently thought that the
comedian was close to the shadow of death and he administered to him the last
rites of religion." The Press also reported that Father Prat of New York "who
IN DEATH A MYSTERY 57 was a warm friend of the distinguished actor assisted in
the administration of the extreme unction." On Wednesday, November 18,
Florence slept most of the day under the influence of morphine which had been
administered to relieve pains caused by sciatica, but the Philadelphia Public
Ledger said that when he was awake, he chided his friends for their anxiety
about him, that he had a pretty strong case of sickness, but that he would
come out all right.
Conlin, Florence's brother and a New York police inspector, was so cheered
that he left Philadelphia to return to his work, but shortly after nine
o'clock that night, November i q, i 8q i, Billy Florence took a sudden turn
for the worse and died. His death occurred a comparatively few steps from
where he had been made a Master Mason in 1853.
Shortly after his death, Mrs. Williams and Mrs. Norman Wiard, Florence's own
sister, cabled Mrs. Florence in London: "Dearest Sister‑With unutterable and
profound grief we send you the terrible tidings that our beloved one suddenly
became worse and at 8:30 this [Thursday] evening passed away quietly,
peacefully and painlessly. His last thoughts and his constant words were in
tenderness for you. Telegraph dearest whatever suggestion you wish to guide
us. Everything has been done and all will be done as we feel you would have it
to be." Mrs. Florence replied in a long cablegram which was never made public,
but which the newspapers reported requested that funeral services for the
great actor be held in St. Agnes' Roman Catholic Church on Forty‑third Street
just off Lexington Avenue, in New York. The Philadelphia Press said that "the
great actor has given a great deal of money to this church and helped
materially to found it by a contribution of $15,000. Mr. Florence has been a
very benevolent man to the church of his faith‑the Roman Catholic‑and has
given thousands of dollars to charity." The announcement that Florence's
funeral would be held in a Roman Catholic church caused something of a furor
in New York, 58 PARADE TO GLORY where the newspapers raised the
question of how a Master Mason could also be a member of the Roman Catholic
church. The New York Sun reported in connection with the funeral arrangements:
"For many years Mr. Florence had been a Freemason and it was thought that the
Catholic authorities might object at having the funeral services at a Catholic
church. The law of the Catholic church is that a man who has been a Mason and
who dies without renouncing the Order cannot receive Catholic burial. Dr.
Brant, pastor of St. Agnes' Church said yesterday that he had proved that Mr.
Florence received the church's last sacrament and had, therefore, renounced
Freemasonry." "A few days before his death," Dr. Brant told a Sun reporter,
"Father Prat of this city, one of the most eminent friends, went to
Philadelphia to see him. Father Prat brought a priest from St. Mary's Church
in Philadelphia [Father Flanagan] to Mr. Florence's bedside. He heard Mr.
Florence's confession and gave him absolution. That proves that Mr. Florence
renounced Freemasonry for he could not have obtained absolution if he had not.
Mr. Florence was a good Catholic at heart. He and his wife were among the best
friends of St. Agnes' Church. He was intimately acquainted with my
predecessor, the late Father McDowell. A few years ago he presented to the
church a lamp that he obtained from the Shrine of St. Agnes in Rome. Other
tokens of his esteem of Father McDowell, and his respect for the church, are
in the place from which ever appropriately his funeral is to take place. He
had many friends among the Catholic clergy. Once he told a priest that
whenever he heard the gong on an ambulance, he always said a prayer for the
unfortunate who had been killed or injured. Billy Florence was a noble man,
and I am sure that when he became a Mason he did not do so with the idea of
being contrary to his church." Another New York newspaper inquired from Father
Shean, an assistant priest at St. Agnes' Church, about the matter and was told
that no attempt had been or would be made to inquire into the cir cumstances
of Florence's receiving the last sacrament in Philadelphia.
DEATH A MYSTERY 59 "We are bound to believe," said Father Shean, "that
the priest who administered the last sacrament to the dying man was convinced
that Mr. Florence had renounced Freemasonry and was, therefore, en titled to
the blessing. Of course, if we knew that Mr. Florence had not renounced
Masonry before his death and had not repented, only one course would be open
to us. The law of the church is perfectly clear and explicit. No member of any
secret organization can be buried from a Catholic church or have the last
rites administered to him. Our position in the matter is very simple. It is
not necessary for us to go behind the action of the priest in Philadelphia, as
we are bound to believe that he took all proper precautions." At the same
time, Edward M. L. Ehlers, Grand Secretary of the Masonic Lodges of New York,
announced that Florence would receive no Masonic honors since he had received
the last sacraments of the Catholic church. And also at the same time Father
Brant announced that no Masonic order would be admitted to the church for the
service, but that Masons would be admitted as individuals if they appeared
without uniforms. There is no evidence that any of them actually attended the
services, but the New York Times reported that there were two floral pieces
probably never seen in a Catholic church before. One was from the Actors'
Order of Friendship and the other from the Mystic Shrine. Both contained the
Masonic Square and Compass.
the funeral, the body was taken to a mausoleum in Greenwood Cemetery in
Brooklyn to await the arrival of Mrs. Florence; and when she arrived some days
later, the mortal remains of Billy Florence were taken to a grave in the same
cemetery, a burial plot that Florence himself had purchased, and over which
was raised a monument declaring that he was one of the founders of the Shrine
in North America.
are some rather strange circumstances in connection with the Catholic burial
of Billy Florence. First of all, and perhaps most important, is the question
whether he ever was a member of the Ro man Catholic Church. Records of St.
Mary's Roman Catholic Church IN DEATH A MYSTERY 61 in Albany,
was the only Catholic church in that city at the time of Florence's birth, do
not reveal his baptism. It is to be doubted that he was a member of that faith
in 1853 when he received his Masonic degrees in Philadelphia or when he
participated in the founding of the Shrine in 187 1. He continued to pay his
dues each year in all of the Masonic bodies until his death, excepting the two
occasions when he was suspended prior to 1871.
is no record of his marriage to Malvina Pray. Marriage licenses were not
required in New York at that time; and while some of the clergy occasionally
reported their weddings, Florence's was not one of them. Newspapers of January
i, 1851, made no mention of the wedding and subsequent biographies failed to
mention where the wedding was held and by whom they were married. Mrs.
Florence and Mrs. Williams, it is known, were devout Catholics, but when Mrs.
Norman Wiard (Florence's sister) died in 1927 in Tacoma, Washington, her
funeral was conducted by a Unitarian minister, her body was cremated, and the
ashes were buried in the Conlin plot in Greenwood Cemetery. Catholic law does
not permit cremation since it contravenes the Catholic teaching of the
resurrection of the body. That portion of Greenwood Cemetery in which the
Florence‑Conlin burial plot is located is unconsecrated by the church.
Furthermore, records in the archives in Washington show that when Peter Conlin,
Florence's brother, was married, the wedding was held in a Methodist church.
strange indeed were the circumstances of Billy Florence's death and burial.
Masons in general, and Shriners in particular, have never believed that he
renounced Masonry on his deathbed; that when priests administered the last
sacrament, it was done at the request of Mrs. Williams alone and that
Florence, already in a coma, had no knowledge of what was taking place.
Briggs of Al Koran Temple in Cleveland was the Imperial Potentate when Billy
died and waxed eloquent in his eulogy.
the Catholic church and the Freemasons behaved with rare and admirable tact,
now that Billy Florence's wholesome jovial body is under the turf and his
great generous soul rests in perpetual peace which 62 PARADE TO GLORY
at last awaits well‑doers of all creeds and no creed at all, the truth of the
matter begins to break like a morning futilely hid by window blinds. William
Conlin Florence, no matter what his fondness for the good priests he knew and
for the beneficence and beauty of the creed they preached, was a Freemason who
loved Freemasonry, who believed in its nobility, who practiced its charity,
who was true to its obligations and who never, even on his deathbed, renounced
it. He stood high up in its roll. He was proud of the honors it bestowed upon
him and none of its craftsmen ever failed to receive at his hands the fullest
exemplifications of its precepts. To impute against him that the last moment
of his life would reverse the thoughts and beliefs of a lifetime is to asperse
with insult the new grave in Greenwood.
statesmen, journalists, financiers all courted the genial Billy. Nobody was
the worse for knowing him. And, ah, the good dinners he ate! The good wine he
drank, and good stories he told and the good deeds he performed. Billy
Florence was an accessory to the existence of this Order which will stand as a
lasting monument, exemplary of his very life.
Dr. Fleming also had a last word. He told a New York Tunes reporter that "of
course Florence was a member of the Shrine at the time of his death. No secret
was made of it at the time. I is sued the proclamation of his death which was
printed in the Tunes and other newspapers. The story that he renounced the
Order on his deathbed is false. He was not accountable for anything he may
have said to the Philadelphia priest. And of course we have no positive
assurance that he did say anything like a renunciation." F DR. FLEMING exuded
a confidence not entirely justified by fact when he delivered his first annual
address to the second meeting of the Imperial Council in 1877, he may be
excused on the ground of his inherent enthusiasm and optimism and that indeed
his words were prophetic. Only once since he wrote it had the Ritual been
performed, and even that performance, like much of the early history of the
Shrine, is shrouded in a certain amount of mystery, occasioned by lost or
destroyed records and bad memories.
seems to be little question that the first full initiatory ceremonial was
given by Damascus Temple in Rochester, New York, but there are differing
reports of the number of candidates and the date on which it was held.
the earliest members of the infant Order was George F. Loder of Rochester, and
while there is no evidence that there had been a previous association between
him and Dr. Fleming during the years the physician practiced in the upstate
New York city, it must be considered likely. Loder, in later years, when the
controversy over the origin of the Shrine was at its height, declared that he
had been obligated by Florence in Dr. Fleming's office in June of 1872, but
Loder was depending on his memory since his certificate had been 63 64 PARADE
TO GLORY destroyed by fire and Mecca Temple had not even been organized.
Paterson in his recollection of those early years reported that Loder and
seven other Rochester Masons had been obligated on January 4, 1875. And just
to confuse the matter still further, a card was found in the records of Mecca
Temple, signed by both Fleming and Paterson, dating Loder's certificate as
June 26, 1875, but with the notation that "it ought to date from June 26,
1872." Oh, well! The boys cared little about records. What they wanted was
was a costumer with headquarters in Rochester, serving churches, lodges,
military schools and theatrical societies, and after becoming a Shriner he
returned to Rochester and organized Genesee Temple No. 2 of the Mystic Shrine.
There was no charter, for there was no Imperial Council. But as a created Past
Potentate, he had authority to organize and he had a copy of the Ritual. By
1875, he had obligated more than 135 members in Rochester, all of them with
the advanced Masonic degrees as prerequisites. And because Fleming wanted it
that way, Loder abandoned the Indian name of Genesee and established Damascus
Temple, conforming to what was to become a standard practice of naming temples
with some Moslem connotation. The Damascus charter actually is dated June 6,
1875, a full year before the establishment of the Imperial Council.
at about this time that Loder determined to perform the Ritual. From his
extensive costume wardrobes, he outfitted the brethren and rehearsed them
diligently and finally set the date of October 12, 1875. According to his own
statement and the records of Damascus Temple, Billy Florence was playing in
Rochester at the time and was present for the ceremonial. In addition, Loder
invited Fleming and Paterson to attend, which they did, and watched for the
first time the performance of the Ritual. There was one candidate‑J. Clinton
Hall, a stock actor and the manager of the Rochester opera house. He was the
first Shrine initiate in North America.
that point, Fleming and Mecca Temple had never performed the Ritual, and it
was to be many more ‑years before Fleming would have the opportunity to
preside as Potentate over the Ritual he had written.
TIMES‑AND GROWTH 6 5 He explained to the Imperial Council in 1877 that
his duties as Imperial Potentate had made it impossible for him to give time
and attention to Mecca Temple and its ceremonials, but actually there is a
suspicion that it was a lack of money which delayed activities in New York.
After all, the nation had been through a severe financial panic, beginning in
1873, and though there had been some improvement in general economic
conditions by 1876, the improvement was not sufficient to help many of the
fraternal orders. Well‑established lodges, Commanderies and Consistories were
feeling the pinch as members failed to pay dues, and a new Order such as the
Shrine was in a much worse condition. But, against almost insurmountable odds,
Fleming and Paterson persevered even though at the start of 1878 it was touch
and go whether the infant Order would survive. The formal session of the
Imperial Council, scheduled for Albany in February of 1878, was called off,
and an informal session was held in New York City. Fleming told the temples
outside of New York City that there was so little to report that the formal
session would not justify the expenses which would have to be borne by the
individual delegates. It is likely that Fleming knew that delegates would not
attend the Albany session and to avoid embarrassment to the new Order, he
decided to call it off.
Nonetheless, about thirty of the boys in Mecca Temple got together in the New
York Masonic Temple at eight o'clock on the evening of February 6, 1878, and
went through the procedure of an annual Imperial Session, but it was brief and
adjourned early. Fleming could report that he had granted a charter to
Oriental Temple in Troy, New York, which he said was in a "flourishing
condition." He also reported that he had granted dispensations for the
establishment of Mohammed Temple in New Haven, Connecticut, Pyramid Temple in
Bridgeport, Connecticut, Syria Temple in Pittsburgh, and Ziyara Temple in
Utica, New York. The proceedings also record, as they did in 1877, that
inquiries were being received and that "prospects are favorable for its
prosperity." This was not quite true. If there was any hope for the new Order
at all, it rested in the heart and soul of Fleming and a few of his closest 6
6 PARADE TO GLORY associates. The new temples were supposed to send
in some money to help carry on the work, but they were remiss; and when the
annual session was held at Albany in February of 1879, Fleming declared that
little had been accomplished even then "in our financial status or the
perfection of the work." "Still," the doctor said, "however embarrassed it may
now appear, we should not despair, as it is the universal and inevitable
result of the calamitous apathy of all branches of business, even where men
devote almost their entire time to promote its prosperity and success. The
crisis of the almost paralyzed commerce of the world, we trust, has passed . .
. and we have every reason to believe that the success and advancement of the
Order of the Shrine will be numbered among the first to make rapid strides
toward perfect position, and there stand second to none in the country." After
all, Fleming could point to the fact that the Shrine on December 31, 1878, had
425 members in thirteen temples, the largest of which was Damascus at
Rochester. And true to his prediction, the business panic was ending and the
year 1879 saw a turn in the fortunes of the new Order. Actually only thirteen
(note that mysterious figure again) new members were created during the year;
but when the fifth annual session was held in Albany on February 4, 188o,
Fleming was able to report that "although many of the subordinate temples
still remain inactive, and confer the three sections of the Order by
communication, some, far more energetic and active than their sister temples,
are fully and completely equipped with costumes, regalia, paraphernalia, and
all the requisite mechanism for the full exemplification of the ceremonies in
all of their details, and are conferring the Order in commendable and
impressive form, which, with the appropriate music, impress all who have
witnessed it most favorably, and the liveliest interest is manifested, and the
roll of applications for membership comprises a list of such magnitude, as to
palpably attest the favor with which it is received." Fleming gave full credit
in his report to Al Koran Temple of Cleveland for a fine new exemplification
of the work, and he pointed HARD TIMES‑AND GROWTH 67 to Sam Briggs in
particular, the Potentate of Al Koran. The pat on the back eventually led to
Briggs' election as Grand Assistant Rabban at the 18 8o session, his first
step toward his election six years later as the Imperial Potentate to succeed
Fleming. Briggs was not even present at that meeting.
Actually, the work that Briggs and Al Koran Temple had done during the past
year in creating a Ritualistic team and exemplifying the Ritual of the Shrine
acted as a tonic to the entire Grand Council. Fleming could report that he and
Mecca Temple also had followed the lead of Al Koran and that in January of 18
8o had initiated more than a hundred candidates in full form. Furthermore, for
the first time, Fleming felt confident enough of the future of the Shrine to
suggest that it was time for the Grand Council to crack the whip over the
temples and Nobles who were not complying with the rules and regulations.
much as any words he ever uttered, Fleming's report to the 18 8o session
revealed the trials he had endured. He said: I have personally assumed the
duties of answering all inquiries, and transmitted to the apparently
interested, copies of both the history and the Statutes and Regulations. And I
have found it no trivial task to com ply with all the demands made upon my
time, and the individual assumption of many of the obligations incurred in
behalf of the Institution; and with the exception of the personal aid of two
or three of our members, accessible in the City of New York, who have kindly
assisted me, as far as was possible for them to do, the duties, both mental
and pecuniary, have devolved almost entirely on your humble servant. Still, I
have not wearied or yielded to discouragement; but to the full measure of my
ability, I have endeavored to surmount all obstacles, and striven for the
success, prosperity, and advancement of the Order. I only ask in return the
aid and support of my constituents, in any capacity which I may assume in the
deliberations of the Council. I have no personal ambitions beyond the sincere
interest in the welfare of the Order, to which I have devoted so much time and
toil, and, I regret to say, not always encouraged by a like interest on the
part of others. . . .
Fleming was wordy and his text occasionally became involved, but he
nevertheless made his position quite clear. He thought if the 68 PARADE TO
GLORY boys wanted the Order at all, they ought to pitch in and help. By
unanimous consent, he was reelected Imperial Potentate for another three‑year
term and, of course, he accepted. There was no one else with the zeal and
determination not only to promote the Shrine but to hold it together. It had
been ten years since Fleming created the Ritual, and perhaps he was growing a
little tired despite his avowal that he had never yielded to discouragement.
He would soon be fortytwo years old, was growing a little paunchy from the
rich food and wine that he could afford as a result of his growing medical
practice. His interest also was developing in the treatment of mental
disorders, particularly dipsomania, and he was becoming a bit disconcerted by
the time, effort and money necessary to the development of the Shrine,
especially if the boys weren't interested enough to help him.
good thing Fleming didn't yield to discouragement and that he assumed the
leadership for another three years, for 188o was a crucial year. The annual
meeting was changed, as Fleming suggested, from a winter session in
conjunction with the Royal Arch grand session in Albany to a summer session in
conjunction with Grand Lodge meeting in New York City. What Fleming called the
Sixth Session of the Imperial Council was held just four months later on June
z, and it was this second session in the same year which led to some confusion
among the nobility as to the exact age of the Shrine. The number of sessions
is always one greater than the number of years the Shrine has been in
was little to report at the June session, but Fleming did, once again, bring
up the matter of money, of which there was a continuing shortage.
later, at the 1881 session, Fleming was able to report a total membership of
587, a gain of 149 during the year, but once more also had to report that
"expenditures exceed receipts." Apparently, however, Fleming was now getting
some financial assistance from Florence. At least, at the meeting in 1882, he
told the delegates that for eleven years the burden of expense "has fallen
almost entirely on your presiding officer and no insignificant amount upon our
Illustrious HARD TIMES‑AND GROWTH 69 Noble and Deputy, and, I may say,
instigator of the project, William J. Florence. A vote of thanks, therefore,
is eminently due Noble Florence for his interest in, tenacity to and
sacrifices for the Mystic Shrine, being first to bring it to available
disposal." Reacting to the recommendation for a vote of thanks, the Committee
on Transactions of Grand Officers reported: "Your committee in considering the
commendations contained in the address as applied to one whom we might almost
deem the founder of the Order, at least in this country, Noble William J.
Florence, join in great sincerity in wishing to pay just homage. Your
committee cannot but think, in the matter of the introduction of this Order,
Noble Florence built much better than he knew." That the Shrine was building,
there could be no question. At the ninth annual session held in the Masonic
Temple in New York in June, 1883, Fleming boasted that Mecca Temple, of which
he was still the Potentate, had nearly five hundred members. Seven
temples‑Mecca, Cyprus, Damascus, Moslem, Oriental, Pyramid, and Syrianwere
represented when the session got underway, the most since the organization of
the Shrine in 1876. Once again Fleming was reelected Imperial Potentate for
his fourth‑and last‑three‑year term. Loder, Ehlers and Briggs were again
elected as Deputy Potentate, Chief and Assistant Rabbans, but there was one
new officer who was destined to play a dominant part in the affairs of the
Shrine for the next forty years. He was William B. Melish of Syrian Temple,
Cincinnati, who became the Second Ceremonial Master. It was also at this
session that Florence and A. L. Rawson were elected emeritus members of the
Imperial Council. The election of Florence to this status is entirely
understandable, but the election of Rawson, as much as anything else,
indicates the power Fleming exercised over the Imperial Council. Rawson is a
rather fleeting character in the history of the Shrine. His position was never
exactly clear. On one occasion, Fleming described him as an Arabic scholar.
There were statements at one time or another that he actually had made a
pilgrimage to the forbidden city of Mecca, but authoritative historians fail
to include his name among the 70 PARADE TO GLORY infidels who have
successfully traversed the sandy road to Mohammed's holy city. The New York
City directories of the time list Albert Leighton Rawson as an artist, and
certainly he did do the pen‑and‑ink drawings for a work on esoteric religions
of the Mediterranean.
retrospect, it is possible to say that the 1883 meeting was the real turning
point in the life of the Shrine. From that moment it appears to have found its
place in the sun as evidenced by the activity of the nobility in their
principal part of the laborious work which characterizes the inauguration of
all newly formed institutions has been accomplished," Fleming reported in his
annual address. "The Oriental Ritual istic work has been perfected; the
dispensations, charters and diplomas are complete; the history and Statutes
and Regulations are in your hands and eminently worthy of your praise and
approbation. Our Proceedings have finally appeared, a compilation formidable
but complete with authentic information concerning the Order, together with
detailed recapitulation of the transactions of this Imperial Council since its
organization. The exemplification of the Work has been brought to perfection
and everything appertaining to the Order is now upon the high‑road to an
unprecedented success, and no obstacle now remains to a rapid advancement of
strength, power and superiority." Fleming would serve three more years, three
years in which would be established some of the traditions that were to make
the Shrine famous and a few other traditions that would bring down the wrath
of some Grand Masters and the prerequisite Masonic bodies. Fleming may have
completed, as he said, the laborious work of starting a new Order, but the
craft was not to have smooth sailing. There were still stormy seas ahead.
fer 7 Fleming Says Farewell N JUNE 14, 1886, the triennial conclave of the
Knights Templar was held in Cleveland and it was quite an affair. For two
weeks, the Cleveland newspapers had been filled with news of the impending
event. The city was decorated as never before. The City Hall was bedecked with
great festoons of red, white and blue cambric, and evergreens stretched across
the front, weaving a great sign of welcome. The county buildings also had been
made beautiful in anticipation of the great event, and on the day the Knights
gave their big parade one newspaper required six full columns to recount the
were fifty‑seven bands in the line of march, leading four thousand men, their
white plumes waving in the breezes that swept in off Lake Erie. The Plain
Dealer said that these magnificent parades are "pleasing to the eye and have
their proper place and appropriate use, but there is something in the Order of
Knights Templar more to be admired than gorgeous pageantry, something
transcending in importance all mere physical display such as its noble efforts
in the cause of benevolence. The fame of the Order is not measured by military
display, nor by the number and grandeur of its temples; its usefulness is
measured not by its age and wealth, nor the number and respectabil71
72 PARADE TO GLORY ity of its members, but by the bread it has fed
to the hungry, the clothing it has bestowed upon the poor, the destitute
widows it has aided and supported and orphans it has maintained and educated,
and the human wrecks it has rescued and restored to the sunlight of
happiness." Yes, all Cleveland paid its tribute to the Knights who enjoyed the
hospitality of the city. But theirs was by no means the only Masonic event
held in Cleveland on the same days. In a gaily bedecked hall on Superior
Street, nearly opposite Bank Street, Al Koran Temple of the Ancient Arabic
Order Nobles of the Mystic Shrine had made arrangements to entertain the
twelfth annual session and the fourth triennial conclave of the Imperial
Council, the last time the Shrine deliberately scheduled its annual affair
with that of another Masonic body. The thousands of Knights in Cleveland
couldn't possibly miss the place. Inside, a well of Zemzem had been set up and
there was a bountiful supply of camel's milk, available to Shriners and to
Knights who exhibited the slightest interest in the fun organization. Red‑fezzed
Shriners stood outside the hall, beer mugs in hand, and let all know that
there was still time for fun.
Reporting on the affair, the Plain Dealer said, "A business meeting of the
Shriners was held in the Asylum of Holyrood Commandery and at q o'clock began
the festivities of a banquet which were pro longed far toward sunrise. There
was nothing mystical about the banquet, but the lack of mystery was fully
compensated by the conviviality of the feast, washed down by good fellowship
and the best of Mumm's extra‑dry. Mr. Sam Briggs was toastmaster and the
various features of the evening were intermingled with the songs of the Arion
quartet and an overture of bells, given by a select band of the Nobles, was
received with great enthusiasm and applause. . . ." There had been other such
affairs, but this was the first time that the public prints had been quite so
plain in describing the conviviality of the Shriners and how they entertained
themselves. There had been a rather large banquet in Detroit in March of 1882
when Fleming, Briggs and twenty‑four other Nobles from‑Mecca and Al Koran
Temples had exemplified the Ritual for a number of new candidates in
Invitation to a Shrine Ceremonial‑typical of the period 74 PARADE
TO GLORY Moslem Temple. And there had been pilgrimages, principally by Mecca
Nobles, to Oriental Temple in Troy, New York, and to Pyramid Temple in
Bridgeport, Connecticut. But there had never been anything like the party that
Sam Briggs gave, even the one Mecca Temple had when "Tony" Pastor, the great
theatrical producer, and a few others were initiated in due form at New York's
Masonic Temple in a late night ceremonial.
Recorder William Paterson included that event in his history, written in 1893.
"On November 30, 1883," Paterson wrote, "a midnight session, in addition to
the regular one, was held for the benefit of Nobles G. B. Claflin, Gus
Williams [famous actor] and `Tony' Pastor, who were unable to receive the
order at an early hour on account of their theatrical engagements. They were
created Nobles in full form, and the temple was closed at one o'clock. The
next morning the public and the fraternity were startled by the report that
the top floor and roof had been burned out. This caused the loss of everything
on that floor, costumes, paraphernalia, etc., valued at $2,750. . . . The fire
always has been regarded as mysterious and the press throughout the country
gave the Nobles many adverse comments. The fire marshal, however, reported the
fire had been caused by a defective flue." Then there had been a pleasurable
pilgrimage to Medinah Temple in Chicago, April 16 to 21, 1884. Mecca's history
records that "for the nonce the pilgrims became boys again with all kinds of
old‑time games and tricks. . . . The soul of mischief pervaded the party. At
every stage, the platform was filled with spectators who quaintly inquired who
these fez‑bedecked Arabs were. . . . With them were a dozen dusky darkies,
arrayed in Arab costumes and supplied with liquid delight which they gave the
weary and thirsty pilgrims. . . ." Oh, those were great times for the infant
organization. Mecca even had a band, although it wasn't called a Shrine band.
It was a private musical organization conducted by the famous cornet soloist
Liberati, who was a member of Mecca. Liberati's band played at Troy, New York,
Bridgeport and New Haven and on any other pilgrimage
76 PARADE TO GLORY Mecca Temple happened to make. But the first real
Shrine parade of which there is record, the first of thousands of parades all
over North America, the first of the parades that were to become more gorgeous
and resplendent with each passing year, the first of the parades that were
later to make the Shrine the showcase of Masonry, even though it was not
Masonic, was held in Baltimore on June 7, 1884. The occasion was the
investiture of Boumi Temple by Lu Lu Temple of Philadelphia. The
representative of the Imperial Council was James McGee.
though Lu Lu Temple itself was only four months old, it was intensely active
and determined to make the Baltimore pilgrimage one to be remembered.
Seventy‑seven Nobles of Lu Lu and the St. Alban's Commandery band made the
trip to Baltimore by special train and, escorted by the charter members of
Boumi, marched from the station to the Carrollton Hotel. A newspaper report of
the day said the Nobles "attracted much attention, not only on account of
their fine appearance, but by the red fez that rested on their heads, giving
them somewhat the appearance of Turks." After dinner at the hotel, headed by
their band, the Lu Lu Nobles again paraded, this time to the Masonic Temple,
where in "magnificent costumes and with gorgeous paraphernalia costing over
fifteen hundred dollars which Lu Lu had brought with them," the Ritual of the
Order was enacted.
it was with this background of fun and accomplishment that Fleming and his
Imperial Divan arrived in Cleveland for the Imperial Session of 1886. In
fifteen years he had come a long way with his Ancient Arabic Order Nobles of
the Mystic Shrine. From the original thirteen who had met at Masonic Hall in
New York and agreed to organize a temple, the Order had grown to more than
three thousand members. Already there were nineteen temples in operation and
eight more were to be created at the Cleveland session.
destined to be the last but one Imperial Session Fleming ever attended.
Whether he stepped down as Imperial Potentate from choice is not recorded in
the Proceedings. They simply say that on ballot Sam Briggs of Al Koran Temple
was elected Imperial Potentate for the ensuing three years. Fleming never
explained why he lost in‑ FLEMING SAYS FAREWELL 77 terest in the Imperial
Council. As Past Imperial Potentate he had full rights and voting privileges
for life; and besides he continued to serve as Potentate of Mecca Temple for
another two years. On occasion, he did send his regrets by mail, but mostly
there was no response‑from 1886 to 1g13‑when his name was called on the
session floor. It is likely that Fleming simply wanted to retire from the
national picture to devote more of his time to Mecca Temple, which was growing
with phenomenal speed and was engaging frequently in social functions and
Fleming was forty‑eight years old. He had spent vast sums of his own f unds
and perhaps too much time in cultivating the Shrine. He was having some
difficulties at home, which eventually were to lead to divorce. But in his
annual address in Cleveland there was no evidence of bitterness.
now, illustrious Nobles," he concluded, "after twelve years of official
service and the many honors of which I have been the recipient at your hands,
I am about to retire from the throne of the Im perial body of the Shrine and
submit its destinies to the tender cares of others not less earnest and loyal
than myself, others whose zeal and constancy entitle them to the recognition
of your suffrage and your confidence. . . . Although I most willingly yield up
the scepter and power, I cannot say it is without pain. No official, it
matters not how arduous his duties nor how imperative the exactions on his
time or attention may have been, can yield up his position without a
realization of something like a throe of regret. . . ." William Melish then
moved that a committee draft resolutions expressive of the sentiments of the
Imperial Council for the services of Walter Millard Fleming and providing that
a suitable testimonial be procured for him. With that Dr. Fleming made his
adieu. The infancy of the Shrine was over. For the present at least, it would
follow a course set by Sam Briggs of Cleveland, and Briggs was a character who
might have stepped out of the Arabian Nights.
energetic as Fleming, he was at the same‑ time more dynamic and more openly
convivial with Shriners wherever he might find them.
78 PARADE TO GLORY In his first annual address to the Imperial Council
session in Indianapolis on June zo, 1887, Briggs told the temple
representatives that "in your sessions, I desire that the cultivation of the
social features be encouraged and that every effort be put forth to promote
harmonious relations among the nobility else our title is a misnomer.
Increased membership is of secondary import to the necessity of inculcating
the intimate acquaintance and fellowship of those already in possession of the
attributes of our Order, to the end that, with the opportunities afforded by
our institution, it may exist in favorable contrast with other organizations,
and that soon may be realized to the fullest extent the desire of the Prophet
that‑`Ye shall sit on seats facing one another; all grudges shall be taken
away out of your hearts.' " Briggs had a reputation as a tippler of no mean
proportions. One story is told about him which illustrates the way he ran Al
Koran Temple, which almost literally was his temple for the twenty‑five years
he served as its Potentate. Once or twice each year, he would approach his
treasurer and inquire as to the extent and availability of funds, whereupon
there would be a "traditional" feast and the proportions of the feast were
limited only by the extent of the funds. There was never anything left over
from one year to the next. An associate and former captain of the Al Koran
patrol recalled long after Briggs' death that "there always was one or more
jugs of booze at Shrine meetings and occasionally they became something just
short of riotous." Briggs always served as toastmaster at the feasts, and when
the hubbub reached such proportions that he could not get attention, he would
start breaking dishes.
of the fun of being a Shriner in those years derived from the pilgrimages of
one temple to another. The most extensive journeys were organized by Mecca
Temple, no doubt instigated by Fleming, but managed by James McGee. Two of
these pilgrimages stand out because important "firsts" were achieved.
September of 18 86, Iq.s Nobles from Mecca Temple chartered a train to take
them to St. Louis, where they would participate in the activities incident to
the creation of Moolah Temple. Actually, Medi‑ FLEMING SAYS FAREWELL 79 nah
Temple of Chicago considered Moolah her baby and ran the show. After weeks of
preparation, the Chicago nobility took their costumes and paraphernalia to St.
Louis, rented a building and set up a headquarters, where refreshments were
constantly available. Medinah's quartet sang at any time, and then on
Wednesday evening there was a magnificent procession of two thousand Nobles,
some in evening dress, others in costume. Among those in costume were
twenty‑four of Medinah's well‑drilled Nobles who, according to a Mecca report,
"carried scimitars and executed intricate movements en route, such as stars
and crescents with bands of music interspersed." It made a very impressive
sight and may well have been the first appearance of an Arab patrol.
January Zo, 1887, Mecca chartered another train and, joined by some Nobles
from Lu Lu in Philadelphia and Boumi in Baltimore, visited Almas Temple in
Washington. The Washington depot was alive with Nobles when the Mecca train
arrived; and to furnish music for the occasion the United States Marine Band
was present under the direction of John Philip Sousa, who was to become one of
the most illustrious Nobles of Almas Temple. The entire nobility marched
through the streets of Washington to Willard's Hotel and that night held a
ceremonial. The following day, again led by Sousa and his Marine band, the
Nobles paraded along Pennsylvania Avenue to the Treasury steps, where they had
a picture taken. Again on the march, the Meccans paraded through the arch at
the White House before going onto their train for another visit with Acca
Temple at Richmond.
much as anything else, these pilgrimages prompted members of the nobility who
were not actually members of or representatives to the Imperial Council to
attend the Imperial Sessions. The practice that was to build the Shrine
conventions to mammoth size began June zo, 1887, when the Imperial Council was
the guest of Murat Temple in Indianapolis.
of the Shriners were housed at the Dennison House, the leading hotel of that
time in Indianapolis. After an informal reception 8 0 PARADE TO GLORY the
visiting delegates and other members of the nobility escorted Sam Briggs from
the hotel to the Scottish Rite temple. They were togged out in full evening
dress and wore their fezzes. It was more of a procession than a parade, but it
attracted attention, particularly the banquet that followed the ceremonial
during which fifteen initiates crossed the hot sands of the desert. James
McGee described that banquet as "perfect and without flaw, performed as it was
by one hundred Nubians (actual full count)." Murat Temple, he said, had
forgotten nothing in an effort to set a pattern and incentive for other
convention cities to live up to. Three hundred Nobles attended the banquet
that the Indianapolis News said was the most elaborate ever laid in Indiana.
Twenty toasts were drunk that night. And when the festivities were over, Sam
Briggs could think back on his first year as Imperial Potentate and find it
pleasing. He could report almost five thousand members in a total of
thirty‑seven temples. And there was money in the bank so that travel expenses
of the temple representatives could be paid.
it went. With each successive year, there was some innovation. On June 25, 18
88, the first Imperial Session outside the United States was held at Toronto,
Ontario, where Rameses Temple was the host, and although the Canadian oasis
was only a year old‑having been chartered in Indianapolis‑the Shriners there
attempted to outdo the boys from Murat, and perhaps they did. For this
convention, the ladies were invited, and they arrived in the Canadian city by
the hundreds. Mecca Temple‑and others‑had chartered special trains, and
Rameses Temple chartered the Lake steamer Cibola for a moonlight cruise on
Lake Erie not only for Shriners but, significantly in the light of later
developments, for their lady friends.
Equally important to the festivities of the Imperial Session in Toronto was
the serious side of the meeting. Recorder Paterson reported that 3,299 Nobles
had been created during the year and that the total in good standing at the
start of the year was 7,2 io. There were forty‑eight temples, thirty‑two of
them under charter and the remainder under dispensation, but in connection
with the creation of new temples, Briggs was perturbed. Some of the newer
FLEMING SAYS FAREWELL 81 said, had failed to evidence the prosperity
hoped for, and because of their failure he had hesitated to grant
dispensations for still more new temples. On the other hand, when applications
were received, the enthusiasm was so great, he said, that he hesitated to deny
the request. He therefore suggested that some guarantee be made to the
Imperial Council that cities requiring new temples would be able to support
didn't always live up to his recommendations, and, as it developed, it was a
good thing he didn't. A case in point is that of Morocco Temple of
Jacksonville, Florida, which was chartered at the Toronto session. The
granting of that charter had been a touch‑and‑go affair. In a letter still in
the possession of Morocco Temple, Chief Rabban James H. Thompson of Chicago
wrote to Henry S. Ely, one of the Jacksonville organizers, that he had better
move swiftly. "Pardon me for not replying earlier, but Sam Briggs was over
from Cleveland and I didn't get home until 5 A.M. He approves of your temple
name and will give you Georgia and Alabama (in addition to Florida) but you
must be expeditious as a person in Macon, Georgia, has been to New Orleans and
received the degree preparatory to starting a temple there." The dispensation
was issued as promptly as Thompson had promised, but when the boys in Morocco
got together for their first meeting, they found they had only six members,
when seven were required. A hurried message to Briggs brought a telegraphic
response that they might include at their original ceremony Thad M. Chapman of
Montpelier, Vermont, to join Morocco.
months later when the yellow fever epidemic laid Jacksonville waste, Morocco
Temple and the Jacksonville Knights Templar were leaders in the fight against
the plague, which struck a fourth of the city. Dr. Baldwin, the Recorder of
Morocco, was himself a victim of the fever. Jacksonville was a city of 20,000
in August of 1888 when the epidemic struck. Almost five thousand persons were
affected and 42'7 died before freezing weather reached the city in November
and destroyed the virus. The city was panic‑stricken after the eighth of 82
PARADE TO GLORY August when the epidemic was announced. Trains and boats out
of the city were loaded with those who sought to flee, but when they arrived
at other ports and stations, they were turned back.
those who worked hardest against the fever was Dr. Joseph Y. Porter, later to
become Florida's first state health officer, who carried card No. 17 in
Morocco Temple. Altogether various temples, Commanderies and lodges of Masons
contributed more than ten thousand dollars to assuage the suffering in
Jacksonville; and when the Imperial Session of the Shrine met in Chicago on
June 17, 1889, Briggs reported: "The tokened pestilence, where death is sure,
has made sad inroads on the community where was located the youngest of our
chartered temples, Morocco, at Jacksonville, Florida, and a history of the sad
matter is the most doleful chronicle of the year 1888. . . . The officers and
members of Morocco Temple, aided by associate Knights Templar, organized
themselves into a relief corps, and full knightly with their armor on,
displayed the beauties of fraternal love and affection to all the suffering,
irrespective of race, creed or affiliation." This was the first major charity
ever undertaken by the Shrine. Only a few months later temples from all over
the United States contributed thousands of dollars for the relief of victims
of the Johnstown Flood of May 31, 1889. In the years that followed, every
Imperial Potentate urged Shriners everywhere to carry on works of charity; and
the record is replete with the results of these pleas, culminating in the
glory of the Shriners' Hospitals for Crippled Children.
at the 1889 session of the Imperial Council that the last of the original
thirteen members of the Shrine bade farewell to the national organization.
William S. Paterson retired as Imperial Recorder and was succeeded by Frank M.
Luce, who was to become one of the most controversial officials in all the
history of the fraternity.
was reelected for another three‑year term as Imperial Potentate, and William
B. Melish of Cincinnati was advanced to the office of Chief Rabban. ‑
It was the end of an era.
Chapfer 8 the Wells of Zemzem AMES McGEE said the Shrine was formed as a
"relax" where Masons might escape the cares of the day and the serious
formality of Masonic fraternalism, yet meet together as brothers who had been
tried in the Faith and found true. Certainly when Fleming wrote his original
Ritual he had something of the sort in mind; for he divided it into three
sections, the first and third containing moralistic teachings, couched in the
terminology of the desert, the Islamic faith of Omar and the Oriental
pageantry and splendor of the Arabic Nabob. But in the second section Fleming
let his imagination run riot, creating‑as it were‑fun for both the novitiate
and the obligated believer.
inevitable that under such circumstances, feasting should become as much a
part of Shrine affairs as it was a part of tribal ceremonies in ancient Araby.
Masons were famous for the banquets served on occasion, but early there
appeared on Shrinal banquet tables the wines and liquors never seen at purely
possible and even probable that Fleming himself introduced the custom.
Certainly he had participated happily in the feast prepared in his honor when
he left Rochester, where the wine had flowed freely. It is even possible that
his whole idea of the Shrine developed from his 83
WELLS OF ZEMZEM 8 5 reading of the second version of FitzGerald's second
translation of the Rubgiyat of Omar Khayyam, which was published in 1868, just
two years before Fleming wrote his ritual. The Rubaiyat is indeed filled with
terminologies that have found their way into the Shrine. The word divan, name
of the officer group in the Shrine, has three Oriental meanings‑a book of
philosophical poems, the ruling power, and the room or banquet hall from which
the power emanates. Frequently Omar mentions the Sultani, the Temple, the
Alchemist, Naishapur and Babylon, Mahi, Mahmud‑but all through his writings,
Omar refers most to the grape, and thus it is quite possible that Fleming
should instill some of Omar's philosophy (and his own) into the activities
incident to ceremonial feasts. In any event wine did appear at the earliest
Shrine feasts, and it was inevitable that it would create problems.
as early as the fire that destroyed the upper floors of New York's Masonic
Hall following a Shrine function for Tony Pastor, there was criticism of the
nobility, as Paterson himself mentioned. But with the advent of Briggs the
situation took a more serious turn. Announcements of Shrine meetings referred
either openly or covertly to the bibulous evening that would lie ahead. One
invitation to representatives attending an Imperial Council session in
Cleveland showed a bottle being opened at the Oasis of Al Koran. Newspapers
began to mention "the debauchery of Shrine meetings," and the still infant
Order was both condemned and defended in Masonic periodicals.
was a drinker of copious proportions and his own temple was one of the chief
offenders; but as the pressure grew greater to curb the activities of some of
the temples, he was forced to bring the matter to the attention of the
Imperial Council at its session in Pittsburgh beginning May 6, 18go.
"Allusion is deemed necessary," he said, "to communications making justifiable
complaint as to unworthy meeting notices and also newspaper comment as to the
conduct of such sessions. It is hardly necessary to refer to the fact that the
Imperial Council has frequently disapproved of the discreditable levity
recorded first in the `notices,' and 86 PARADE TO GLORY afterward observed at
the meetings. I submit the same to your attention without further comment." A
committee was assigned to look into the various practices and came back with a
resolution, which was adopted. It said that the "Imperial Council emphatically
condemns all such immoral and vulgar practices and declares that repetition of
such proceedings shall be sufficient cause for the revocation of the charter
of any such temple." The resolution further held the Potentate of each temple
responsible for stopping the offenses on the penalty of expulsion.
the resolution didn't succeed in its purpose. In 1895, the Scottish Rite
bodies of Ohio took official notice of the problem. Illustrious Aena T.
Carson, 3 3
Deputy for Ohio said: "It is well known to you [that is, the Scottish Rite]
that there is an organization called the Mystic Shrine of which very many of
you are members. One of its rules is that none can become members except
Scottish Rite Masons or Knights Templar. This organization has been meeting in
rooms occupied by the Scottish Rite and therefore the profane world looks on
it as a Masonic Rite, and we are giving that charge some color from the fact
that the so‑called Masonic periodicals are publishing in their journals news
and meetings, et cetera. Now, I wish to call to your attention the character
of some of the circulars that have been issued by some of these Shrine bodies
that hold their meetings in lodge rooms, owned or operated by Scottish Rite
Masons. Some of these circulars are infamous, vulgar, obscene and coarse and I
have no doubt that had the attention of the Post Office officials been called,
as it should have been, to some of these circulars, the authors and senders of
them would have been arrested for abuse of the privilege of the United States
obscene circulars are a disgrace to the organization that permits them to be
sent out and are certainly a disgrace to any Masonic body that allows any
organization to meet in their rooms that sends out such coarse and obscene
literature." Carson then said that, if he saw any more of these circulars, he
would suspend the charter of the offending organization. Imperial Potentate
Melish, who was serving his second term in that office, was equally indignant:
THE WELLS OF ZEMZEM 8 7 Wholesome criticism, and even unkind or unjustified
comment can do no harm if the temples of the Order are properly conducted and
kept within their proper sphere. If the conduct of Shriners is such as to make
them unfit tenants of a Masonic Temple or Templar Asylum, then let the Mystic
Shrine be expelled from such quarters. But it is claimed the Shriners control
matters in such instances, and that to oppose them makes discord in Masonic
bodies. The government in the matter should be the Imperial Council, it being
the duty of that body to uphold the dignity of the Order.
that no man has a right to commit acts in his capacity as a Shriner which
would reflect upon his character or subject him to discipline as a 32' Mason
or Knight Templar. That the temples in some few locali ties are a disgrace is
undoubtedly true. I believe it is confined to less than ten per cent of the
temples. When examples of riotous drunkenness, given by officials of high
rank, have gone unrebuked by the Imperial Council, it is small wonder that
some temples have permitted excesses of this nature. Turning a Shrine meeting
into a drunken debauch seems to be the sole idea of a few Potentates and a few
temples. Some of the notices issued make the drinking feature more prominent
than the work.
Newspaper accounts have reached me which indicate that the impression made on
the public is that a Shrine meeting, in that locality at least, means a
hilarious drunk. In one very prominent temple, the Poten tate permits and
encourages the assembling of a large number of his Nobles on each Sunday
morning; provides beer, whisky, cigars, etc., in unlimited quantities, and
does it openly and defiantly. Is it any wonder that such a gathering is
disgraced by scenes which are indescribable? Is it any wonder that hundreds of
Nobles of that temple never go near its meetings, but quietly "let things go"
rather than oppose a popular but unprincipled man? I am not one of those who
decry the use of wine. I believe in the creed with which I closed my annual
address to you in 1893: "Pleasure without intemperance, hospitality without
rudeness and jollity without coarseness should here prevail among all of the
true Faith." As a result of the criticism, the Imperial Council again prepared
and adopted a resolution which prohibited all coarse and obscene literature in
the Shrine and gave the Imperial Potentate the power to decide whether the
literature might be in violation and suspend any and all who might have
second resolution did no more good than the first one. If anything
complicated the situation even more, for while many of the notices were
eliminated and some wild parties in the lodge rooms were abandoned, the
offenders simply went into the open. As one Shriner put it, "The Shrine was
formed as a drinking society, and it still is." Particularly at national
conventions were the red‑fezzed Shriners on a glorious toot. Many if not most
of the boys drank long and frequently from the holy well of Zemzem, a watering
place near the Kaaba in Mecca. Others supplied themselves and their friends
with large quantities of camel's milk. Texans called it tarantula juice, and
in 1897 they had enough of the stuff that they influenced the dele‑ THE WELLS
OF ZEMZEM 89 gates to select Dallas for the 1898 meeting, implying,
of course, that there would be more of the same at the next session.
Augustus Peters, Potentate of Mecca Temple, was quoted in 1897 by the Detroit
News. He said, "Of course we have business to transact. This is a great
organization. This talk about no prosperity is bosh. If there is no prosperity
there would be no Shriners. If there were no Shriners, life would be one long
hollow blank. We are going to adopt resolutions at the convention that will
show this conclusively and all the citizens of the country will believe it.
The Dallas people want the next meeting of the Imperial Council. We will have
to see what inducement they have to offer. Their tarantula juice is very fine.
It takes hold of a fellow's internal economy. It warms the alimentary tract
and makes one have visions of the gates of paradise.
expect to have three hundred bottles at the meeting. Each representative will
take two bottles and go to one side with his face to the wall and drink and
ponder. If when the two bottles are gone the members see views of Dallas that
are sufficiently inviting, then the next meeting will be there. If there is
anyone who does not get through the two bottles by noon, he will be taken by
the neck and the seat of his bloomers and ousted from the hall and disgraced
forever." Obviously Peters was kidding. He and most of the other Shriners
didn't care what the papers printed about them, and they printed plenty. But
all of this, and more, gave the Shriners a bad reputation. And since almost
everyone looked on the Shriners as "high‑up" Masons, the various Grand Masters
about the nation began to express themselves in no uncertain terms. More
resolutions were passed. The Imperial Potentates cautioned the boys again.
late as 193o Grand Master O. C. Hagmeier of Oregon leveled a blast at the
Shrine based on reports that Al Kader Temple of Portland had procured some
excellent whisky as a gift for the Imperial Potentate when he visited the
temple. Prohibition was still in effect and the procuring of the liquor and
the acceptance of it was a violation. It was a sharp attack. Hagmeier said he
could foresee in the not too distant future a resolution by the Grand Lodge of
Oregon 9 0 PARADE TO GLORY that would automatically deprive a man of his
Masonic standing if he should become a member of the Shrine. But no action was
ever taken. All through prohibition the Shriners had their liquor, and the
stories they tell of those days indicate the fun they had. For example, El
Maida Temple of El Paso, Texas, sent their justly famous drum corps to the
Imperial Session in Toronto in 193o and brought back several hundreds of
bottles of good Canadian whisky. It was not difficult to get the stuff through
Customs, either. They simply took the heads off their drums, stuffed the drums
with the whisky, replaced the heads, stored the drums carefully in their own
private baggage car and rolled homeward.
pressure increased from the Masonic bodies, and under the goading power of
successive Imperial Potentates, the liquor problem in the Shrine subsided.
Many Shrine temples occupy quarters in Ma sonic temples, where liquor is
strictly forbidden. Temples which occupy their own mosques have abandoned for
the most part the use of liquor within the temple. The few which still permit
it keep it confined to club rooms, and it never graces the banquet tables of
the nobility; which does not mean, however, that liquor no longer plays a part
in Shrine functions. It does. But it is usually to be found only in private
Strangely enough, the elimination of liquor as an integral part of Shrine
functions didn't come about as the result of either Imperial or Masonic
edicts. Rather, with the advent and development of the Shrin ers' Hospitals
for Crippled Children as one of the world's great charities, the Shrine and
the Shriners suddenly grew up. Whatever drinking was done, was for the most
part in the privacy of hotel rooms. They spent money, time and effort to
create fun for themselves and for the public; and in the process they created
exactly what Fleming and Briggs had sought‑a fraternal order of the highest
merit, composed of gentlemen of quality. With that development, the Shrine
grew beyond the wildest dreams of its founders.
9 The Power of the throne HEN Sam Briggs retired in 1892 after six years as
the Imperial Potentate, he could boast of considerable accomplishment. He had
created thirty new temples and the membership had jumped from three thousand
to more than twentytwo thousand Nobles. Yet Briggs had done more than just
develop the Order in size. He also had established important precedents and
changes. He had brought about one revision of the Ritual and had set the stage
for still another one. But more than anything else, he had created a
continental asmosphere in the Shrine. It was no longer dominated by Mecca
Temple and its Orient was no longer New York. Beginning with the Imperial
Session in Cleveland in 1886, the representatives had held successive sessions
in Indianapolis, Toronto, Chicago, Pittsburgh, and Niagara Falls; and now, in
1892, at the western cow town of Omaha, Nebraska, the Shriners held their
first national parade.
Briggs' six‑year tenure as Imperial Potentate, he had encouraged the
attendance at the Imperial Sessions of the rank and file of the nobility, but
not until 1892 did the attendance reach such pro portions that the Shrine
could command certain dispensations from the cities where it might choose to
hold its conventions. Many ladies had 91 92 PARADE TO GLORY attended
the Imperial Session in Toronto in 1888, and even more had appeared at the
scenic wonder of Niagara Falls in i 8q i, but there appeared to be a mass of
them in Omaha.
Omaha World‑Herald reported (possibly with tongue in cheek) the arrival of the
Shriners at the Paxton Hotel on August 15. It was hot, of course, but the only
dampening of the spirits of the Shriners was internal. More than 850 Shriners
had registered at the tents of the Paxtonite tribe by that Sunday evening. The
Nobles of Tangier Temple (Omaha) were the hosts and they had prepared well.
The next day, the World‑Herald said in its leading story that there was a
concert in the Paxton Tent "and skillful men played upon instruments of silver
and brass and the music they made was most pleasing to the ear for it was like
the soft sighing of the winds as they sway the branches of the palm trees in a
green oasis and it fell upon the ears of the pilgrims that heard it as welcome
as the sound of the lapping waters to the thirsty Sons of the Desert. The
music was by a band called the 3rd Infantry from a place called Fort Snelling
in the land of Minnesota and they were brought here by the tribe of Zuhrah
from that same place and there was also with the Temple of Zuhrah a quartet of
sweet singers who filled the whole air with their harmony and lo, they did go
out from the tents of the Arabs and even into the tents of the Philistines,
which is across the street, even into the tents of the World‑Herald and they
did most sweetly sing to the staff. And now when it came time that Allah (may
His name be ever adored) had set aside for his children to rest, they retired
to their tents and all was silent in Arabia." After the big night parade, the
Omaha World‑Herald was forced to abandon its Oriental style of writing of the
Shriners and their exploits. It was too big, too startling‑too everything‑to
be couched in the flowing melodic wordiness of Omar and Hafiz. The Omaha
reporters switched, rather, to the breezy, descriptive style of the West:
Noise! Shriners! Fezzes! Shriners! Dress suits! Noise! Red Fire! Shriners! Sky
rockets! Camels! Elephants! More noise! More dress suits! More Fezzes! And
that was the grand parade of the Nobles of the Mystic THE POWER OF THE
THRONE 9 3 Shrine last evening and it was one of the most unique
sights that has been seen in Omaha in years. There were i,6oo Shriners in the
line, marching twelve abreast and they made a fine display in their dress
suits and red fezzes. . . .
of Police Seavey headed the parade with a squad of policemen. Following this
was the 2nd Infantry band and behind this was the Thurston Zouave drum corps.
Noble France, chief of parade, and his aides, Nobles Potter, Williams,
Anderson, Smith and Horton on prancing steeds of Arabia, headed the first
division of the Shriners. There were forty platoons, twelve Shriners to a
platoon. The 3rd Infantry band headed the second division of Shriners,
numbering 26 platoons. Then came 22 more platoons. Then came the elephant of
which so much has been written and so many tall stories told. It was not a
very big elephant, but it was a work of genius. The elephant was of mechanical
construction and was made for Moslem Temple in Detroit. It is about four feet
high and a perfect imitation of the two‑tailed beast. And when his trunk is
gently pulled, he trumpets "Shriner Welcome." . . .
elephant was mounted on a wagon drawn by six horses and had a coal‑black slave
at his side to make him talk, and at the cry of "play ball" from the faithful
followers behind him, he would scream most loudly. Then came 7o Nobles of
Moslem dressed in tunic, Zouave trousers and fezzes. They were a sight for the
gods and attracted a great deal of attention.
at last came the camels that have been talked of so much. There was no
imitation about them. They breathed and wobbled their frightened riders about
like a school in a Kansas cyclone. To Tangier had been given the honor of
guarding the camels. They were preceded by 6o of the Nobles on foot, and on
each side of them walked ten Nobles dressed in wild, weird costumes of blue
trousers and blouses and each was armed with a big wood saber about six sizes
too big for him. . . .
start to finish, the parade was one glittering pageant. Red and blue fire
lighted up the scene with a spectral glare and skyrockets and Roman candles
added their showers of fire to the general combustion. Imperial Potentate Sam
Briggs reviewed the parade from the veranda of the Paxton Hotel and as each
temple passed, they raised aloft their voices in their Shrine yells and waved
their handkerchiefs and made sure they were seen.
Temple made the great hit here as they came before the reviewing stand. They
deployed right and left and executed several intricate maneuvers that brought
out considerable enthusiasm from the spec‑ 94 PARADE TO GLORY
tators. The teams drawing the Michigan elephant were frightened at i 6th
Street and Capital Avenue and turned out of the parade and into the crowd.
Detective Vizzard grabbed the leaders by the bit and stopped them. His bravery
and presence of mind averted a panic and also loss of life. Moslem had the
Great Western Band of Detroit with them and the Detroit Commandery gave
several fine drills while marching.
such was the impartial report of the first big parade the Shrine ever held at
an Imperial Session. Here was the first pageantry with the mechanical elephant
and the camels. Here were the first cos tumes. Here were the red fire and the
fireworks, and perhaps even the first patrol, although it was unofficial and
was not called a patrol. Still, the boys from Moslem did march and execute
first official Shrine patrol is claimed by Zuhrah Temple of Minneapolis and
did not make its appearance in an Imperial parade until two years later in
Denver. There they were dressed in white trousers and blue coats and wore a
sort of yachting cap, and emanated, as most Masonic marching units did in
those days, from the Commandery. The first official Zouave patrol dressed in
Arabic costume is claimed by Medinah Temple of Chicago and appeared at an
Imperial Session sometime later, although it had made an appearance in St.
Louis when Moolah was instituted in 1886.
who arranged for such a parade as that in Omaha? The boys from Tangier Temple?
Certainly they had made elaborate preparations for holding the finest Imperial
Session since the organization of the Shrine twenty years before, and they
proved to be fine hosts. Briggs? Or perhaps William B. Melish, who succeeded
him? Details are buried somewhere in the musty, dust‑covered archives.
matter, except that the Shriners did have a good time in Omaha. "The Shriners
have a right royal style of enjoying themselves," said the World‑Herald. "Good
fellowship reigns supreme. Every Shriner is a good fellow and so is his
neighbor. The hotel rotundas are filled with the music of bands, cheering the
Nobles on to renewed attacks upon the punch bowl. Then at intervals, all the
merrymakers at one headquarters form a line and, led by the band, will march
THE POWER OF THE THRONE 9 5 through the streets to other headquarters
and there they are royally entertained. Then they go on to pay their respects
to other temples. Good feeling is everywhere and there is nothing else." There
was sorrow, however, in the official session of the representatives held in
the Masonic Hall. There Briggs announced the death of Billy Florence and
eulogized him, and he also announced the death of David Kalakaua, King of the
Hawaiian Islands, 3 3
and a member of Islam Temple of San Francisco.
under these conditions that Briggs passed from the Imperial picture. He had
been a colorful, romantic, dashing figure‑the exact fellow for the job in the
six years he held it. But, as thousands of names were added to the rolls,
there had been resentment that one man should hold the power for so long. In i
8qo, a resolution had been adopted, and it had been confirmed in 18q i,
abolishing the triennial term of office, effective with the end of the second
Briggs delivered his annual address, he saw a great future ahead: "The Shrine
is now so well founded and in addition to the mere social features, so much
real dignity pervades the whole, it looks as though the Shrine has come to
stay, and we trust it will, for it certainly fills a department in the cabinet
of secret organizations long desired and yearned for. So hail to the Shrine.
May it ride on in power, in glory and usefulness and prove a refreshing Oasis
as we wander over the weary desert of life. May all the Shriners guard it with
jealous care and permit none to join its caravan or to become influential in
its courts who through thoughtlessness or viciousness pervert its beautiful
work and thereby bring it into contempt." With these words of caution for the
future, Sam Briggs was succeeded by William Bromwell Melish, of Cincinnati,
one of the most controversial and one of the most powerful figures in the long
history of the Shrine. From the day of his election as Imperial Potentate in
1892 until his death in 1927, it could well be said that he was Mr. Shriner.
Both Fleming and Briggs served longer officially as Imperial Potentate, but
neither of them could match the vast power Melish wielded for so long.
6 PARADE TO GLORY Melish was a big man both physically and mentally,
and‑what is perhaps more important‑he was an indefatigable worker in business,
in civic life and in Masonry. From the time he entered the Bromwell Brush and
Wire Goods Company, in 1871, he was a natural leader and a born salesman. He
organized the Convention League of Cincinnati and later merged it with the
Cincinnati Chamber of Commerce, of which he became president. He headed the
Knights Templar Masonic Mutual Aid Association, and during the first World War
he headed the Masonic War Relief Association. From 1896 to i goo he served as
senior aide‑de‑camp on the staff of Governor Asa G. Bushnell of Ohio and from
1897 to igo8 was an active member of the Cincinnati Waterworks Commission.
first became a member of the Imperial Divan in 1883 when he was elected
Imperial Second Ceremonial Master under Walter Fleming, and he held various
posts in the Shrine under Briggs. He should have been aware of the internal
politics of the organization, but Melish was never one to play politics. To
him, right was right and wrong was wrong and there was no middle ground. The
result was that his first year as Imperial Potentate was not a particularly
happy one; and when the Imperial Council assembled June 13, 1893, in
Cincinnati, he faced defeat on three major decisions he had made during the
year. Eventually the defeat was to be engineered by Imperial Recorder Frank M.
Luce, who had been suspended by Melish, and by a group from Mecca Temple,
headed by McClenachan and Millar, who were upset by Melish's refusal to pay a
small bill for advertising in a New York Arabic newspaper. The incidents were
entirely unrelated and were reflected only in the political opportunism
necessary to bring about Melish's defeat.
Temple and the city of Cincinnati had outdone itself in preparations for the
Imperial Session. Eleven thousand tricolored gaslights had been installed on
each side of Fourth Street, down which the parade was to pass. The Cincinnati
Enquirer records that "it was a sight worthy of the noble Order whose
‑festivities transformed the city into a Mecca for the nobility." Just as the
parade was about to
POWER OF THE THRONE 97 get under way to escort the Imperial Potentate from
the Grand Hotel to the Scottish Rite Cathedral, there was a burst of fireworks
and red light was touched off along the entire line of march, making the
greatest display ever witnessed in the Queen City by the Ohio. The parade
itself lasted only a half‑hour, but it included four bands, an elephant, two
camels and a corps of bicycle couriers, dressed in Arabic costume.
the gaudy glamour of lights and the garlands of Shrine banners that hung from
the buildings could not forestall the unhappy session of the Imperial Council
in store for Imperial Potentate Melish. Repercussions from it were to be heard
until the 1894 session in Denver, in fact.
trouble was that Melish failed to fit into the mold that had been created for
the Imperial Potentate by both Fleming and Briggs. When Melish assumed office
in Omaha, there were already rumblings of the financial depression and panic
that was to follow in 1893. Farmers were unhappy with the Silver Purchase Act
of the government. Railroads were beginning to feel the pinch that was to
bankrupt many of them, and the Shrine's financial condition was not good, even
though more temples were being created and the membership had risen to more
than 2 7,ooo Nobles.
had inherited as his Imperial Recorder Frank M. Luce of Medinah Temple in
Chicago, who, like Briggs, was a railroad man, and who had first taken over
the office in 1889 when Paterson retired. Briggs had left all of the business
affairs of the Shrine to Luce. He couldn't be bothered with detail. Because of
his business sense, Melish began to have trouble with Luce shortly after
taking office. He discovered, he said, that Luce was not paying over promptly
to the Imperial Treasurer the monies which he received from the several
temples. He discovered that the postage bills were enormous; and when he
questioned Briggs about some of the huge postal expenses from the previous
year, he was told, "'Oh, that was for fifteen bottles of champagne." Melish
didn't approve of such goings‑on, and there were other financial affairs that
also violated his sense of good business. He 9 8 PARADE TO GLORY
thought the appropriation in Omaha for a $2,500 gift for Sam Briggs was all
wrong and that the annual payment of $5oo a year to John Worthington for his
services as representative of the Shrine in the East was all nonsense and that
he wouldn't pay it.
our Constitution and in its government of the Order as at present
established," Melish told the Imperial Council in his annual address, "there
is no authority for the creation of foreign representa tives, or
`Representative to Temples in the East,' etc., etc. . . . While I do not
question the antiquity of the Arabic Orders from which we inherit our mystic
rites, and do not decry the lessons, symbols, rites and customs held in such
high esteem by those who practiced them centuries ago, yet in the conduct of
the business of this Imperial Council for North America, we certainly ought to
make alliances only with our own and await overtures from them, or else ask
for recognition at their hands through recognized channels of communication."
Furthermore, he refused to pay for the advertisement inserted in an Arabic
newspaper called Kawkab, printed in New York.
after the close of the Imperial Council session of 1892," Melish told the
Imperial Council, "the Imperial Recorder drew a voucher on the treasury in the
sum of $213.10 in favor of the Oriental Publishing Company for advertising in
a paper called Kawkab.
contract for advertising accompanied the bill, and finding that the contract
was claimed to have been made prior to our last session and was to run a year,
I declined to approve the payment of the bill until the matter could be
investigated. No mention is made in our proceedings of 1892 of this bill, and
consequently it did not have the approval of the Imperial Council. Since
rejecting the bill, I wrote the Oriental Publishing Company, asking for their
authority to advertise a list of the Officers of the Imperial Council, and
ordering a discontinuance of the advertisement if no contract is in force. I
have heard nothing from them and have neither seen nor heard of their
publication." But these difficulties were unimportant, in comparison with the
trouble with Recorder Luce. Their dispute not only concerned de‑ THE POWER OF
THE THRONE 99 tail, but rested equally on basic rules as to where the real
power in the Shrine might lie. Melish had taken the position that he was the
head man of the Shrine and that every official of the Imperial Council, every
temple, every temple official and in fact every Noble was subordinate to the
Imperial Potentate. Recorder Luce thought otherwise. He believed that he had
been elected to run the office of the Shrine and intended to do it. He
believed further that in these affairs the Imperial Potentate should not and
dared not interfere. The fact is that Briggs and Luce had built a rather
powerful political machine in the Shrine, which they didn't intend to have
several letters had crossed between them, Luce on September 6, 1892, just
three weeks after the Omaha session, had written to Melish: "Don't try to run
me; I am not built that way." And on September 15, he had made his position
more explicit. He wrote to Melish: "We might as well understand each other
from the start. I will attend to my business strictly and not interfere with
you in the least, and on the other hand I want you to keep your hands off of
me. There are certain things you have the right to advise me about, but I
think you are going beyond the limit when you endeavor to lay down rules to
me, as you started in to do. I will get the printing of this office done
wherever I please and it is none of your business what printers I patronize;
and on the other hand you can get your printing done in Japan if you so
desire. I do not care. I expected that this year would be smooth and pleasant;
that you and I could get along well together, but if you keep up the same
racket that you have commenced, I am afraid you have run up against a snag."
To this rather remarkable letter challenging the authority of the Imperial
Potentate, Melish had made haste to reply. "I am surprised," he wrote to Luce,
"at the disrespectful and defiant tenor of your letter. The Imperial Potentate
is the executive head of the Order, and all officers of the Imperial Council,
as well as all temples and all Nobles, are under his direction and control. He
has the right to do all such acts as in his judgment the interests of the
Order may require." 100 PARADE TO GLORY Melish frankly told the Recorder that
his letter was offensive and that such insubordination would not be tolerated.
But there was more. When Melish had called Luce to task for not paying over to
the Imperial Treasurer such funds as came into his hands in the proper manner,
Luce again defied the Imperial Potentate. "If you think you can suspend me
from office," he wrote to Melish, "try it." Melish had bided his time, even
though the controversy continued. Then, in January, when Luce had printed what
Melish considered to be an incorrect list of temple officials, Melish advised
all Potentates and Recorders not to use the Luce list if received, and he
specifically forbade Luce to issue it. Luce ignored Melish, and at this point
Melish issued an order suspending him. He appointed William H. Mayo of St.
Louis as Acting Imperial Recorder until the meeting of the Imperial Council in
course, the entire dispute had to go before the Imperial Council when it met
in Cincinnati in 1893. In his annual address, Melish, as we have seen,
detailed what had happened and gave his reasons for the action he had taken.
When Luce was called on for a report, he submitted what facts and figures were
necessary and then said that his defense to the charges that had been brought
against him would be given by a committee. Actually, his defense was never
submitted because of a parliamentary maneuver inside the Imperial Council.
Following established custom, the actions of the Imperial Potentate were
turned over to various committees, which then would report back to the
Imperial Council with recommendations for approval or disapproval. The action
regarding the Imperial Recorder went to the Jurisprudence and Laws Committee,
composed of J. L. Dobbin, Harrison Dingman, Bun F. Price, George H. Burnham
and Lawrence M. Knepfly. After holding hearings, the committee reported to the
Imperial Council: That they have carefully examined the law and the facts
pertaining to said case, and, after duly considering the same, believe that
the Imperial Potentate was fully justified by law and precedent in the course
adopted by him. Your committee are of the unanimous opinion that during the
THE POWER OF THE THRONE 101 interim of the sessions of the Imperial Council,
the Imperial Potentate is by the constitution of this body endowed with the
same powers as those of the Council itself. If this be not true, then there is
no authority whatever in the Order except when the Imperial Council is in
careful investigation, we find it to be the universal law in all Grand Secret
Society bodies, Masonic and otherwise, that the presiding officer of the Grand
Body is the absolute and only authority when the Grand Body is not itself in
session, and when the Constitution of a Body fails to clearly express the
authority of a presiding officer, precedent, custom and usage must govern in
determining the extent of his authority.
be granted that the Imperial Potentate has the same powers that the Imperial
Council has during the interim between sessions, except when they are
specially limited by the Constitution itself, then the matter is clear. The
Constitution, Sec. 3, gives the Imperial Council the right to try, discipline,
suspend, or expel its members for violation and disobedience of its
Constitution, regulations and edicts.
committee believes the Imperial Potentate has the same right, subject of
course to an appeal to the Imperial Council.
such power is inherent in the office of Imperial Potentate during the interim
of sessions of the Imperial Council, then an officer occupying a position of
trust and confidence could deliberately rob the body, squan der its funds,
obstruct and set at defiance its laws, and for a period of three hundred and
sixty‑five days in the year, say to the presiding officer, "What are you going
to do about it?" Common sense must certainly dictate that the presiding
officer has some power in the premises to protect the interest of the Order
over which he presides and whose interest he is to protect. . . .
committee are of the opinion that if an Imperial Potentate can suspend the
work of a chartered temple, he can certainly suspend an officer from office
for cause, even if he be elective. A charter for life is cer tainly as
important as the election to an office for one year; both are subject to good
behavior and can be corrected by competent authority. Imperial Potentate
Briggs . . . quoted Sec. 4, Art. 5 which reads: "During the recess of the
Imperial Council, he (the Imperial Potentate) is invested with a general
supervision of the Order throughout the jurisdiction." Your committee are of
the opinion that this clause of the Constitution gives the Imperial Potentate
the power to supervise, correct, and remove any officer if the good of the
Order demands it. The Imperial Council endorsed the acts of Imperial Potentate
Briggs in the fullest sense.
102 PARADE TO GLORY The committee then called attention to an order issued
by Grand Master Dean of the Grand Encampment of Knights Templar, specifically
ordering Grand Recorder Parvin not to distribute a number of circulars which
were held to be calculated to bring disrespect and disgrace on the Grand
Encampment, and pointed out that the actions of the Grand Master had been
upheld by the Grand Encampment.
conclusion, your committee desire to state that they are of the unanimous
opinion that the act of the Imperial Potentate in suspending Noble Frank Luce
from the office of Imperial Recorder is in accordance with the law and should
logic was sound, of course, and eventually would be enacted into Shrine law,
but such questions are not always decided by logic, either in secret societies
or in any other human endeavor. Melish's opponents had prepared well for the
his suspension, Luce had contacted the officials of Mecca Temple, who by that
time had become bitterly opposed to Melish and his policies. With the added
power of Briggs behind them, Mecca Temple and Luce had formed a committee to
fight the reelection of Melish in Cincinnati and to bring about the
restoration of Luce to power.
the nobility began to arrive in Cincinnati for the Imperial Session, they were
greeted at the station with invitations to attend a meeting on Monday evening
to confer on matters that were to be presented to the Council session. The
invitations were signed by George W. Millar, Charles L. Field, Frank Locke,
Walter M. Fleming, Joseph S. Wright, William A. Stiles, A. B. McGaffey, H. H.
McGaffey, Sam Briggs, E. F. Allen and Charles W. Cushman. Of those who signed
the call, three were officers in the Imperial line and two were former
meeting was held, and the waters of Zemzem flowed freely. Briggs was present
with all his charm. So was Walter Fleming, but he apparently played a lesser
part. It is easy enough to form a pic ture of the event. The Imperial
Potentate ‑was painted as a high‑handed dictator who wanted to make the Shrine
into a Sunday School pic‑ THE POWER OF THE THRONE 103 nic, who wanted to
destroy the traditions so laboriously built since 1872, and who had been so
manifestly unfair to Recorder Luce, who had served faithfully under dear old
this had reached the Cincinnati press and the anticipated debate was watched
with interest by the citizenry. It was under these conditions that the debate
began on the resolution presented by the Jurisprudence and Laws Committee
supporting and approving the action of the Imperial Potentate in removing the
Imperial Recorder from office.
Lawrence M. Knepfly of Hella Temple in Dallas and Noble Allen Andrews of
Hamilton, Ohio, a member of Syrian Temple, spoke on behalf of the resolution.
Opposed to the resolution were John W. Smith of Medinah Temple in Chicago and
Curtis H. Winsor of El Riad Temple of Sioux Falls, South Dakota. John W.
Smith, it developed, was the only Noble ever officially listed as a guest of
John W. Worthington at Malta. He had been traveling in the Mediterranean and
incurred an illness which required his sojourn on the island over a period of
weeks. Since Worthington was the American consul, it was not only natural, but
obligatory, that he be contacted. That both men were Shriners only added to
their association. But, as it was later pointed out, Smith was well able to
pay his own way at Malta, and did, which was one of the reasons why Melish
declined to pay Worthington the five hundred dollars he had been voted.
was present by specific arrangement with Medinah Temple and obviously to
defend Luce. Shortly before the convening of the Imperial Council,
Representative John A. May had resigned, and at a special election, Smith had
been named to replace him as one of the four Medinah representatives.
course of the debate, Smith attempted to show that Melish's actions were not
only illegal but heartless. He presented a letter from Luce to Melish in which
Luce explained that he had been de layed in his office affairs because of the
illness of his wife and the death of his baby girl. The letter as presented by
Smith was dated January 6. Actually, Melish answered the charge by saying that
Luce 104 PARADE TO GLORY had changed the date of his letter from
January q to January 6 and offered in support the letter itself.
from being heartless, Melish actually had written Luce: "It is with the
deepest regret that I learn of the sad affliction to yourself and wife in the
death of your little girl. I hope that Mrs. Luce may have a rapid recovery to
health, and that the burden of sorrow may be lifted as speedily as human
hearts can heal, although it takes a long time." Luce denied that he ever
received the letter of condolence, but again Melish was ready and submitted a
letter from Luce in which he said, "I do not care to have any letter from you
stating that you are sorry for anything." At one point in his debate, Smith
argued that there is no authority for a presiding officer to suspend an
elected officer in any secret society, but again the Jurisprudence and Laws
Committee was ready with a defense. They pointed out that Smith had served as
Grand Master of the Grand Commandery of the State of Illinois and that in its
Constitution, it was expressly provided that the Grand Master "may suspend
from the functions of his office any officer of the Grand or subordinate
Commanderies or arrest the charter or dispensation of a Commandery." As it
turned out, the debate had little real effect on the outcome of the issue.
That had been decided at the caucus on Monday evening. Furthermore, the
delegates who had pledged themselves were put on the spot when Sam Briggs
moved, when the debate was concluded, that a roll‑call vote be taken on the
issue. The final vote was seventy‑five to forty‑seven, with ten
representatives not voting. Fifteen were absent. Neither Luce nor Mecca Temple
had presented one iota of evidence, but they had won.
declared that, as a result of the vote, Luce was entitled to all books and
papers of the Imperial Council, and Imperial Recorder Mayo immediately handed
them over. But the drama was not ended. Melish was to suffer three more
defeats in his home city. The Council, by virtually the same vote recorded in
the principal issue, THE POWER OF THE THRONE 105 ordered the $500 paid to
Worthington, and the $213 advertising bill for the Arabic paper Kawkab also
was approved. But the severest blow of all came at the election of officers
when, again by almost the same vote, Melish was defeated for reelection as
Imperial Potentate and in his place went Thomas J. Hudson of Syria Temple in
Perhaps the crowning insult so far as Melish was concerned came later when the
official proceedings were printed and distributed. In these proceedings, at
the proper point, Luce had inserted above his own signature this statement:
"The presentation of the differences between the Imperial Potentate and the
Imperial Recorder by Noble J. W. Smith and Noble Curtis H. Winsor, being so
fair, and the vote of the Nobles of the Imperial Council such a complete
vindication of the Imperial Recorder, all letters and papers that might have
been here inserted are withheld as no further defense is necessary." It was
the position of Syrian Temple that neither Luce nor his representatives had
made such a statement in the Council session and that, therefore, the
statement could not properly be recorded in the official proceedings. Perhaps
they were right. In any event, Melish, who was still the Potentate of Syrian
Temple, resolved to play the game differently when the Imperial Council
assembled in Denver in 1894.
June of 1893 to July 24 of 1894, the economy of the country grew progressively
worse. Railroads, banks, retail and manufacturing businesses failed. Farmers
were in despair through failure of the corn crop. The government itself
resorted to borrowing, principally from the House of Morgan, and then
borrowing again to pay off the first loan. Labor disputes were rife. Just
after the Cincinnati session, the famous Homestead, Colorado, steel and iron
strike and its pitched battle occurred; and, just before the Denver convention
of 1894, Eugene V. Debs led the Pullman strike in Chicago, which was broken
when federal troops were ordered out by President Cleveland. On the very day
the Shriners arrived in Denver the Chinese‑ 106 PARADE TO GLORY
Japanese war broke out. But all of these things were secondary to Melish and
the year, Syrian Temple had prepared an open letter to Shriners everywhere
detailing the Melish‑Luce affair. This had been mailed in advance to all of
the representatives, and when the remainder of the nobility arrived in Denver
they were handed copies of the pamphlet. Melish's fight to vindicate his
actions and his administration was common knowledge and was reported
prominently in all of the Denver papers. Syrian Temple brought a delegation of
ninetyfour Nobles, and though Mecca Temple continued to display animosity
toward Melish, it was mostly verbal. There was no organized opposition, and
when Luce presented his annual report, he announced that for personal reasons
he would not accept reelection under any circumstances. One report in a Denver
paper said that he had been forbidden to run by Medinah Temple. Luce told the
nobility: "You will pardon me if in closing this report I repeat what I said
one year ago, `that owing to other and important duties, I would not for any
consideration be a candidate for reelection.' ' At the election of officers,
Melish defeated Charles L. Field of Islam Temple, San Francisco, to resume his
office as Imperial Potentate and the long bitter feud was ended. Melish and
Syrian Temple felt they had been vindicated at last, and for the more than
thirty years that followed, Melish was ever to be a power in the Order.
Because of the financial condition of the country, only about one thousand
Nobles were present in Denver, but they made a good showing in the parade,
appearing in full dress with their red fezzes. And they had a good time.
Zemzem wells were set up in all of the hotels by various temples and there was
a great deal of marching back and forth to drink freely of the cooling waters.
Sixty weary Sons of the Desert were initiated at a ceremonial function. The
ladies gazed in awe at Mt. Evans and the Denver citizenry enjoyed the pranks,
especially the appearance of James A. Fox, Potentate of Aleppo Temple of
Boston, who looked like President ‑Grover Cleveland and was frequently
introduced as such.
108 PARADE TO GLORY There were four bands in the parade, and the Zuhrah
patrol from Zuhrah Temple of Minneapolis created quite a sensation. Forty
Nobles had been organized into a marching unit. They wore white flan nel
trousers, white shirts, blue coats, brilliant flowing red neckties and
yachting caps. Their intricate maneuvers while marching attracted the
attention of everyone. This was the patrol under Captain John Shuey that is
claimed to be the first in Shrine history.
Denverites laughed at the appearance of ex‑mayor Wolfson astride a camel, and
they laughed even louder when it was announced that the wild Arabian asses
that had been kept in one of the Denver parks would not be able to participate
in the parade. The asses had grown so fat they couldn't get into the cars
provided for their transportation.
Officially the Denver session was important beyond the vindication of Melish.
A resolution was presented officially delineating the power of the Imperial
Potentate to suspend in any year until the next meeting of the Imperial
Council any officer of that Council. But there was one matter of perhaps even
Imperial Potentate Hudson in his annual address reported: "Doubtless many, if
not all of you, are aware of the fact that there exists in the states of Ohio,
Illinois, Missouri, Texas and perhaps other western states, organizations
composed of our colored fellow citizens, who have pirated our title almost
verbatim, and for this and other various reasons, after conference with a
number of the officers of this Council, it was deemed advisable to have our
body duly incorporated not only that we might hold our present style and title
exclusively, but that should it become necessary to own property, we would be
able to hold same as a Body with a legal status." Corporate entity actually
had been obtained from the state of New York, but the matter had been referred
to a committee for one year, and the action of the Imperial Potentate in
initiating the program was not approved.
right to full title in the name of the Order and its emblems THE POWER OF THE
THRONE 109 was to plague the Imperial Council for more than a score of
years to come.
at the Denver Session, the Committee for the revision of the Ritual that had
been working at its task for several years made its report, and the new Ritual
was adopted unanimously.
Melish assumed again the office of Imperial Potentate, and the Imperial
Recorder's office was placed in the hands of Ben Rowell of Boston, who was to
serve in that capacity for many years. And when they began to examine the
books, they made the startling discovery that the Imperial Council was broke.
Melish used the word "bankrupt" to describe the condition of the treasury when
he reported to the next session of the Imperial Council, held at Nantasket
Beach, a summer resort near Boston.
some respects the meeting in 1895 was unique. For the first time the Imperial
Potentate, Imperial Recorder and Imperial Treasurer were housed in the same
hotel, which incidentally provided "room and eats on the good old American
plan for $3.so a day." And for the first time the Imperial Council began
operation on the basis of a fiscal year in an attempt to clear up deficits and
live within its income. Thus, reports of all descriptions from the various
temples were based for that one year on a span of time beginning January 1,
1894, and ending on April 30, 1895.
annual report, Melish declared that because of the bankrupt condition of the
treasury following the meeting in Denver, he had ordained that expenses be
held to a minimum. As a result, he said, he had made only two visitations
during the entire year. One was to Aladdin Temple in Columbus, Ohio, which was
near his home in Cincinnati, and the other was to Louisville, where Kosair
Temple became the first to portray the new and revised Ritual that had been
approved at Denver. Melish had also presided both as Potentate of Syrian and
as the Imperial Potentate at a ceremonial in his own temple on February z 2,
1895, when 219 candidates received the Mystic Rites, the largest class to that
time in the history of the Shrine. And 110 PARADE TO GLORY the Shrine was
growing rapidly. More than 7,ooo new members were initiated by all of the
various temples from January 1, 1894, to January 1, 1895, making a total of
37,348. The estimated worth of the seventy‑one temples in forty‑three states
was placed at $348,928.85, a sizable amount for a fraternal organization that
was not yet twentyfive years old.
Temple of Boston had become the largest in Shrinedom. It boasted 2,573
members. Mecca was still second with 2,378, Lu Lu of Philadelphia was third
with 2,315, Medinah of Chicago was fourth with 2,107, and Syrian was fifth
with 1,25 5. By and large they were a happy group of men, but once again in
1895 as he had in 1893, Melish realized that jollity, camaraderie and
hospitality were not enough.
his first term as Imperial Potentate, Melish had challenged the various
temples to develop some local charity. Some had responded and others had not,
but during his second term he put the pressure on the temple Potentates in a
letter to each of them, urging them in some manner to undertake a
philanthropic enterprise. This time most of the temples responded. Some
collected money from the members which was turned into baskets of groceries
and clothing at Christmastime for the unfortunates, whether they were Shriners
(even Masons) or not. Most of the charity was showered on non‑Shriners, of
course, since most Shriners didn't need it. But there were a few who had found
themselves in straitened circumstances, and for them Mecca Temple set up its
own employment agency to help the Shriners help themselves. Over the years
these charitable enterprises were to grow until eventually there would be
created what has been called the "world's greatest philanthropy," the Shriners'
Hospitals for Crippled Children.
at this session, Melish won his point with respect to the power of the
Imperial Potentate. A resolution was adopted which said: "The Imperial
Potentate is the executive officer of the Order within the Jurisdiction of
this Imperial Council. He may suspend until the next session of the Imperial
Council, or for a less time, any THE POWER OF THE THRONE 111 official of
the Imperial Council, or any temple or officer thereof, for violation or
disobedience of the Constitution, Regulations, or Edicts of the Imperial
Council." Melish was largely instrumental also in having the Imperial Council
officially decline the Charter which had been obtained by Hudson and Luce in
the previous year from the state of New York. Incorporation, the Council said,
is "neither desirable nor necessary." So, Melish left office, the last
Imperial Potentate ever to serve more than one year. For him, it had been a
triumphant year, for he had managed to institute some reforms that were
necessary if the Shrine was to continue. Principal among these was a more
businesslike way of conducting the fraternity's affairs. There was still much
to be desired, for Rowell as the Imperial Recorder and the various temple
Recorders didn't care too much about records. Nevertheless there were signs
that the Shrine was reaching maturity; and even if he were not in authority,
Melish was to make it a point to be around to challenge constantly the
Imperial Council to do better. Under his whiplash, they did so in the years
Chapfer 10 End of an Era N 1886, when the Shrine had held its first convention
in Cleveland, it could boast of 3,039 members. Ten years later, when the
Imperial Session again was held in Cleveland with Al Koran Tem ple as the
host, the Shrine had grown to 41,502 members. It was almost unbelievable, even
to the Imperial officials. But there it was in official figures, and it became
plain to harassed Officers that with growth there naturally would be problems.
It was for this reason that in Cleveland, the Imperial Council declined to
change the annual meetings of the Imperial Session to triennial affairs, the
plan followed by the Knights Templar.
Order is young," said the Jurisprudence and Laws Committee in declining to
sanction the change, "and some of its features, not to say principles, are
evolutionary, and some of the measures adopted for its government are still
experimental. . . . [But] as we understand it, the only argument made against
the position we maintain grows out of financial considerations." Actually the
panic of 1893 was over and there was prosperity on every hand. And if the
world generally was in a turmoil, it didn't appear to affect either the Shrine
or the‑ United States. The Ethio pians had slaughtered 4,6oo Italian troops
and 3,ooo natives under 112 END OF AN ERA 113 Italian command in a surprise
attack at Adowa on February 2 8, but it meant little or nothing to the
Shriners. Nor, for that matter, did the slaughter of S,ooo Armenians in
Constantinople by the Turks in late August, just a month after the Cleveland
meeting. Three weeks before the session convened on June 23, Britain had
granted a wireless patent to Marconi, but the Shriners had never heard of it,
and it was to be many years before a parade would be broadcast. H. A.
Becquerel discovered in that year the radioactivity of uranium, but it would
be a half‑century before its destructive force would be utilized by man.
bothered the Shriners in those days was the Shrine. It simply was too good a
thing to let slip. One of the more controversial issues before the Cleveland
meeting was that of prerequisite member ship in other Masonic bodies. What
happened when for one reason or another a Shriner failed to continue his
membership in either the Scottish Rite or the Knights Templar? The 1896
convention attempted to answer the question.
Imperial Council approved the following statement, with respect to the
problem, by the Jurisprudence and Laws Committee: Since good standing in
Templar or Scottish Rite Masonry is the basis of membership in this Order, it
is fair that suspension or expulsion by either, as held by the Imperial
Potentate, should disqualify one for mem bership in this organization. It is
true an applicant, in order to enter here, need not belong to both the other
societies, but having rendered himself unworthy of affiliation in either he
ought not to find shelter here on the ground that the other took no notice of
his shortcomings. This we regard as correct interpretation of the spirit of
our Order, for by this rule we hold up the highest standard of manhood, and
preserve on the highest plane the friendly and fraternal relations between the
Arabic Order and Templar and Scottish Rite Masonry.
the same time it should be set forth as a true statement of our law, that
there is nothing in its provision that in any way disqualifies a Noble for
continuous membership in the Temple or in any way subjects him to discipline,
if, having been a member of either or both the prerequisite orders, he
voluntarily and honorably withdraws_ from either or both of them and lives
without offense against their laws.
114 PARADE TO GLORY But though the Imperial Council approved that
statement in 1896, it was by no means a permanent interpretation of Shrine
law. It just couldn't work. If advanced Masonic degrees were to be a
prerequisite, they must be a permanent prerequisite. Otherwise those Masons
who wanted to be Shriners and nothing else could go through the motions of
becoming 3 z
Masons or Knights Templar and then drop them as soon as they had experienced
the Shrine. A similar program also might be evolved with respect to basic
later years as disagreements developed within several of the Masonic
jurisdictions, there was a movement (which died aborning) to make the Shrine
entirely independent of the Masons. But the spir itual thread and the moral
teachings of Masonry, the Rites and the Shrine were too closely interwoven to
be raveled by those who had been rebuked for violations of the law. As a
matter of fact (as will be seen) the real trend was exactly the opposite as
one Imperial Potentate after another, in various forms, adopted as the theme
of his year in office a closer association with Masonry and the Rites.
other change was made in Cleveland which also was to be temporary. Following
the lead of other fraternal organizations, the Imperial Council ordained that
of the thirteen officers in the Im perial Divan, the last five should be
appointed by the Imperial Potentate. The trial‑and‑error method of government
in the Shrine was still in operation and would be for years to come.
the year that followed, the new Imperial Potentate, Harrison Dingman of Almas
Temple in Washington, experimented a bit. There were no dissensions or
problems, he reported to the twenty third annual session held in Detroit,
beginning June 8, 1897, but he did report that he had taken the first steps
toward the possible establishment of Shrine temples outside of North America.
Noble J. Lew Rake, a member of Rajah Temple in Reading, Pennsylvania, planned
a business trip to England and reported to Dingman that there had been reports
that a number of Masons in York, England, had expressed a desire to organize a
temple there. Accordingly, Rake was appointed a special deputy of the Imperial
Potentate and authorized END OF AN ERA 115 to investigate. But the whole
affair ended right there. The British Masons simply were not interested in the
breezy program of the American fun‑loving Shriners.
Several thousand Shriners arrived in Dallas, Texas, June 12, 1898, to be the
guests of Hella Temple, but the Shrine did not make the front page of the
local papers until two days later. The nation was at war. The Maine had been
sunk in Santiago Harbor on February i 5. Admiral Dewey had destroyed the
Spanish fleet in Manila Bay on May i. Just as the Shriners arrived, the
Marines landed outside Santiago. Thirty transports with z 7,ooo American
soldiers were afloat somewhere off Tampa, Florida, under the command of
Admiral Sampson. But the Shriners were determined to have fun anyway. The
Order was still growing despite the war and most of the Shriners were too old
for military service anyway.
Dallas News reported on Monday morning, June 13, that "the advance guard of
the Shriners hit Dallas yesterday afternoon. They hit it hard and the jolt was
felt for blocks around. In fact, ever since their arrival, they have kept up a
succession of jolts that kept the church bells ringing and awoke the
chickens." "The only event of importance today [Monday, June I3]," reported
the News, "is the opening of the Hella cistern at the Oriental Hotel. This
cistern is reported to contain nothing but Adams Ale. Every devout Shriner is
requested to come and bring his fellow along." But that was only the
beginning. If Detroit had been gay, Dallas was gayer, as the Hella Shriners
had promised, even with a war in full swing.
Dallas News sent its cartoonists (it was before the day of newspaper
photography) to depict for the readers what the Shriners were doing. One
cartoon showed a Noble astride a camel with a bot tle and glass in his hand.
Another showed the fez‑topped gentlemen gathered around the Hella cistern. And
the writer telling the people of Dallas of the profusion of red fezzes said,
"The Shriners made the town look like it had a bad case of measles and it
sounded like it was in the center of an attack on Guantanamo. . . . The
average Shriner 116 PARADE TO GLORY never ventures out of doors without his
fez for fear of catching cold and the only thing that can surpass his voice in
volume and density is a well‑trained fog horn, skillfully handled. The
Shriners are a unique class. They are made up almost exclusively of
businessmen and yet during their sessions of the Imperial Council they throw
all of ‑this to the winds. They are usually dignified, but on such occasions
as this they relegate their dignity to the ashbarrel, give a whoop and turn
things loose. They do not violate any of the laws of decency or decorum. Long
experience has taught them how to have a good time without any violation." By
the time the official escort parade was ready to start on Tuesday morning,
June 14, the Dallas newspapers could no longer keep their story on the inside
pages, war or no war. After all, one railroad president from Columbus, Ohio,
had brought the boys from Aladdin Temple to Dallas in his own private car, in
which his large bathtub was filled with sparkling Zemzem water. Another group
of railroaders from Palestine, Texas, sent their band to march in the parade,
and a professional band from Dallas also participated. There was a long line
of carriages, drawn by matched black and white horses, containing all of the
representatives to the Imperial Council. In the last vehicle was Imperial
Potentate Albert B. McGaffey of El Jebel Temple in Denver. His equipage was
drawn by two black and two white horses, each of them led by what appeared to
be a Nubian slave.
were several reasons for the selection of Buffalo as the meeting place for the
1899 Imperial Session. Most important, perhaps, was the fact that members of
Ismailia Temple wanted to enter tain the Imperial dignitaries and had
campaigned in Dallas for the meeting, wearing special signs on their shirts
saying, "Put me off at Buffalo." Furthermore, they elected their George L.
Brown as the new Oriental Guide, the lowest elective office in those days, and
he wanted to show off his town and his temple. But perhaps equally important
was the fact that Ismailia Temple had been in the forefront of charitable
activities, which now had reached important proportions.
AN ERA 117 As early as i 8qo, three years after receiving its charter,
Ismailia Temple had introduced a charitable enterprise which in the years to
come and in various forms was to be one of the foundations of the Order. On
April q of that year Ismailia had given a Grand Ball, attended by the elite of
the city, and followed it on July 18 with an outing by the shores of Lake
Erie. The press reported at the time that the Nobles appeared in gorgeous
regalia, the talk of which brings memories to all who attended. From the two
events, Ismailia Temple raised more than $ i,8oo, all of which was applied to
the Newsboys' and Bootblacks' Home. This perhaps was the first instance of a
Shrine temple's raising funds through public enterprise.
temples raised their charitable funds through gifts of Shriners, and Imperial
Potentate Ethelbert F. Allen of Ararat Temple in Kansas City, Missouri,
reported in Dallas that seventy‑one of the seventy‑eight temples had that year
engaged in some form of charity. For most of them, it was contributions of
money or food at Christmastime. Others sent their charitable gifts to Masonic
Homes in their respective states, but there was no doubt that charity, just
for the sake of sweet charity, was pretty well established by the end of the
century as a prime tenet of Shrine policy, although it was not yet a part of
too, Buffalo was perhaps chosen because of its nearness to Niagara Falls,
which was just coming into its own as the great haven for honeymooners and
sightseers from everywhere. The con vention held at the resort city in i 8q i
had attracted a fair crowd, but it was before the day of Imperial parades, and
it rated only passing mention in the press. Now things were different. The
parade was important, and Buffalo's extensive German population loved a
Actually, when the parade was finally held on June 14, 1899, it was a rather
mixed‑up affair. The event had been planned, all right, except for one thing:
the parade was bigger than the Nobles of Is mailia had anticipated. Month by
month, new units‑were being formed in the temples, and it seemed that most of
them arrived in Buffalo 118 PARADE TO GLORY unheralded and unsung.
It was too late to change the line of march, which had been arranged toward
its end in a sort of circular movement. When the head of the parade reached
the point where it should normally cross its own line of march, the end of the
parade was still passing that corner. The front of the parade had to wait. And
jammed behind the head, of course, were all the rest.
only really important report in the entire official session was negative
rather than positive. The Imperial Potentate reported he didn't think it
necessary to encumber any special committee or take up the time of the
Imperial Council with a program to establish temples in England, Mexico or the
Sandwich Islands. He didn't even mention the Philippines, for which there had
been agitation for a new temple because of the American civilian and military
personnel established there following the Spanish‑American War.
ended the prime effort to establish temples outside of North America. Mexico
and, of course, Hawaii eventually were to have temples of their own, but under
later interpretation. Hawaii was then considered to be a part of North America
because it was a territorial possession of the United States.
ended the era of the Gay Nineties. The Shriners had shown all America that
they could be the gayest of the gay, and if their parades had not yet reached
the size and gorgeous military splen dor of the Knights Templar, certainly
there was evidence on which to predict the future.
January i, i qoo, the Shrine had 55,455 members. Patrols and bands of various
types were forming so fast that regalia manufacturers were hard‑pressed to
keep up with them, especially to make each design different from the next. The
Shriners had more fun than anybody, and if there was some complaint about the
ribald meetings, certainly officials at the top were attempting to control it.
it had been a glorious decade for the infant fraternity, but even then no one
could really foresee the future or imagine its growth in the half‑century that
was to follow. Nor could they fore see the trend or the extent of the Shrine
charity that was to come.
AN ERA 119 For the moment, they looked forward only to the next year and
the next Imperial Session, which was to be held in Washington, D. C., where at
least some of them were to meet William McKinley, a Mason but not a Shriner,
who was the President of the United States.
hapfer Presidential Approval HERE have been many Shrine parades larger and
more gorgeous in their panoply than that of i qoo, but somehow that Imperial
Session in Washington, D. C., has carved for itself a place not to be usurped
by bigness and splendor alone. It was perhaps like the comparatively small
battles of Trenton and Princeton at the Yuletide season of 1776. As battles
go, they were pretty small, but they represented a turning point in the
Revolution and convinced Washington that his tatterdemalion army could win
independence for colonial America.
was with the affair in Washington, which was already celebrating the victory
over Spain and was in the mood for any jollity the Shriners could provide.
were seventy‑nine temples under charter all across the land, and three more
were under dispensation. It seemed that every member who could raise the funds
wanted to attend the Imperial Session in Washington. After all, it was the
capital of the nation. They would have a chance to see and perhaps shake hands
with the popular William McKinley. They could see the beautiful buildings and
even the Smithsonian Institution.
records were ever kept of just how many Shriners and their families arrived in
Washington for the three days of whoopee and, 120 PRESIDENTIAL
APPROVAL 121 of course, the more serious business of the Imperial
Council Session. But there were enough. The Washington Post reported on May 2
2 that the "city is in possession of the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine." Never
before had Washington been decorated for an event as it was for the nobility.
One of the committees from Almas Temple had offered prizes for the best
decorations in downtown Washington, and the merchants and realtors had
responded. The red, green and yellow colors were everywhere. Some merchants
had even erected miniature mosques across the fronts of buildings and in store
windows. Jewelers were offering souvenir silver spoons commemorating the
Imperial Potentate John H. Atwood of Leavenworth, Kansas, arrived, he was
greeted by a section of the Marine Band, dressed in Arabic costume for the
occasion. They marched him to his headquarters in the Riggs House and then
proceeded to play for hours in the lobby of the hotel, establishing the custom
of bandplaying in the hotels at Imperial Sessions which has never been
came the morning of May 23. The newspapers had prepared their readers for the
great event when Atwood would be escorted from the Riggs House to the Columbia
Theater, where the Imperial Session was to be held. Column after column in the
Post had detailed the line of march, the temples that would participate, the
bands (most of them hired) that were to lead each section. And the people
responded. The sides of Pennsylvania Avenue were black with spectators when
the mounted Washington police began to move at exactly q:00 A.M.
the police came the Arabic‑costumed Marine Band, the Colors and then what was
to remain in the memory of Washingtonians for years‑an Arabic horse patrol of
one hundred members of Almas Temple. They had scoured the Virginia and
Maryland countryside for the finest horses to be found; and while they did not
ride with the precision that was to be achieved in the years ahead by many
Shrine horse patrols, they were decidedly the hit of the parade. Cheers went
up everywhere as they passed.
President McKinley Reviews the Shriners, Washington, 1900 After them came the
patrols of various temples, headed by bands and, of course, the straggling
evening‑suited Nobles. Down Pennsylvania Avenue they moved, with only an
occasional deserter from the ranks who could not pass an oasis without letting
his thirst get the better of him. With cheers ringing on every hand, the
parade reached the Treasury Turn and then moved into the White House grounds,
where they were greeted by President McKinley, who stood on the South Portico
and reviewed the full three thousand who were in the line of march, every band
playing "Hail to the Chief," and every Shriner shouting a greeting to him.
Imperial Potentate Atwood was the last in the parade. He sat in a gorgeous
barouche, drawn by six prancing black horses in shining harness; and as he
passed the President, he stood ‑and salaamed in fitting manner.
124 PARADE TO GLORY "It was impressive," the Post said, "to see the
President of the United States stand to receive and to respond to the
salutation of his brothers in the Mason's craft. It was impressive to see the
long line that stretched in varicolored hue from one end of Pennsylvania
Avenue to the other, and it was impressive to think that all these men, so
fantastic and strange, with 50,000 others, are bound together by the most
solemn vows to stand for all that man can hold most dear, all that makes a
nation great, all that goes to improve mankind at large." But with this
parade, reviewed by the President, the festivities were only just beginning.
Atwood was a great orator of the flowery persuasion. He had traveled untold
thousands of miles, visiting tem ples, creating new ones and spellbinding the
nobility. His speech at the opening of the Imperial Session was a masterpiece.
receiving the welcome of Noble John W. Ross, Commissioner of the District of
Columbia, and of Past Imperial Potentate Harrison Dingman on behalf of the
other Masonic bodies, Atwood responded in part: "By the shore of the Gulf of
California; where the green waters of the St. Lawrence lave the shores of the
Thousand Isles; amid the mighty forests where rolls the Oregon; and where the
tireless tide of the Atlantic forever frets the Narragansett coast; in the
pineland of the north and the palm lands of the south and in the measureless
pastures of the boundless west, the black tents of our many tribes cast their
shadows in the setting sun; from every clime and from every corner of the
continent, we, the representatives of all these many tribes, have come as
Moslems to their Mecca, and as citizens and guests to the city that capitals
the mightiest empire seen by the sun, or washed by the waves of any sea. There
are those among us who, as subjects and citizens, owe allegiance to a
different power than here is seated in incomparable splendor by the banks of
the Potomac; but they will join with us, whose nation this is, in paying
tribute to you, the denizens of our capital city, and they would not stay my
tongue when I say that here stands the metropolis of a realm, matchless in‑
PRESIDENTIAL APPROVAL 125 deed‑an empire above whose tropic islands of
the sea flashes the Southern Cross, and over whose continental provinces the
pale polestar stands as a steadfast sentinel. . . .
the walls of your homes and palaces of your great municipality prove to be
made of stones from the quarries of Estherphane, and may they lift their heads
high as the topless towers of Ilium, to stand forever as a symbol of liberty,
as a token of freedom, until in the rush and roll of the coming years, time
shall have become eternity, and earth be remanded to chaos again." But even
with this tribute to Washington and the patriotism he inspired among the
nobility, Atwood was by no means finished. There was still his tribute to the
Shrine itself. In his flowery words, he set a pattern that the Shrine was to
follow in the years ahead.
Shriner," he said, "proclaims the doctrine of joy‑teaches the lesson that such
joy as enters unto man's life is a boon and a blessing, sent to alleviate the
darker hours that must come to all. . . .
us remember, too, that a smile adds beauty to the plainest countenance, while
a frown can but mar the features of the most beautiful; that the light of
pleasantness and peace in the eyes of man or woman, makes dark places bright,
while scowls are centurions in the cohorts of darkness. . . .
lessons man is coming fast to learn, as is made manifest by the growth of our
noble Order. For in the years of its life upon this continent, it has waxed
exceedingly and grown to proportions that are magnificent indeed. From sea to
sea and from Montreal to Mexico, our temples lift aloft their heads to flash
back the splendors of the rising sun." Judged by the oratorical standards of a
half‑century later, Atwood's remarks would have been a bit too verbose. But in
i qoo the standards had been set by the then reigning prince of oratory, Wil
liam Jennings Bryan, and the Imperial Potentate was wildly cheered by the
principal work of the session was the adoption of a resolution which as much
as anything else spiked the efforts of a renegade 126 PARADE TO GLORY group
which had claimed exclusive jurisdiction for the Scottish Rite in the United
States. Walter M. Fleming, among others, had participated in the effort to
establish once and forever the supreme jurisdiction of the Northern and
Southern Supreme Councils as the only authoritative voice of the Scottish
Rite. This had been a sore rankling in the Masonic bodies for some time. And
the action of the Shrine in Washington, confining its membership to Knights
Templar and members of the two American Scottish Rite jurisdictions, as much
as any other one event, eliminated the efforts of the renegades.
Otherwise, the representatives and the Imperial Divan hurried through the work
they had to do in order to participate in the great night parade; and if the
people of Washington had been astounded by the morning parade, they were to be
dumbfounded by the night affair, even the worldly‑wise reporters for the
capital newspapers. "They passed, it seemed, in unending myriads," said the
Washington Post. "The music of the bands was continuous. The order was
perfect. The whole scene was wonderful. Then the lights sprung up and the
whole city was flooded with illumination that far surpassed anything that had
ever been thought possible. The scenes were spectacular to a degree. They were
in no regard below the standard the most fertile imagination could possibly
have conceived. Nothing equalling their demonstration of strength upon the
most historic thoroughfare in the nation's capital will ever be seen again in
the history of Shrinedom until the Nobles again make their pilgrimage to this
oasis. The Shriners gave Washington such a spectacle as even the capital of
the nation does not often have an opportunity to see. Perhaps never before did
three thousand men march down Pennsylvania Avenue, attired in evening dress to
the music of a dozen bands, and lighted on their way by fires of every color."
And if the Almas horse patrol and the precision marching of the Al Koran foot
patrol had stolen the show in the morning, then the red‑fezzed gentlemen from
Oriental Temple in Troy, New York, stole the night parade. Attached to the
lapels of their evening suits, the Troy men had attached large red artificial
roses, in the center of 128 PARADE TO GLORY which was a tiny electric
bulb, and on the proper order, they would stop and suddenly the lights would
gleam, powered by dry batteries, which was something of an innovation in those
parade ended in Monument Park, where the greatest fireworks display in history
was held, or at least that's what the Washington reporters said. The first
fiery piece was a giant Shrine pin in red, green and yellow fire, and the
last, of course, was a giant flag, which sprang to life as the Marine Band
played "The Star‑Spangled Banner." The parade and the fireworks lasted so long
that it was almost eleven o'clock before the representatives sat down for the
Imperial banquet, held in the grand ballroom of the Riggs House. The decora
tions were on the most lavish scale ever devised in Washington, according to
the Post. The entire ballroom was like a conservatory, filled with pink, red
and white tropical foliage.
the crowning event of the entire three days was the reception given by the
President and Mrs. McKinley, members of the Cabinet and their wives at the
White House for the nobility. Like the Riggs House, the Blue and East Rooms
had been decorated profusely. Two bands, including the President's own
Marines, played constantly, and five thousand persons were greeted by Mr.
McKinley in a space of two hours. It was McKinley's most lavish reception
during his tenure in the White House. He was a devout Mason and Knight
Templar, but never became a Shriner.
Following in normal line, Lou Winsor, a member of Saladin Temple in Grand
Rapids, Michigan, was elected Imperial Potentate, and he was destined to make
a great contribution to the traditions of the Order. At the next session in
Kansas City, the Imperial Council would celebrate its silver anniversary and,
like the next several sessions to come, it was to be bigger and better than
12 With Charity for All
was and is nothing so dear to the heart of a Shriner as a pilgrimage. Ever
since the day of the Mecca pilgrimage through the great West, Nobles from
every temple have moved from place to place, just to visit with their
fraternal associates and to see the wonders of the world. There was‑and is‑no
significance other than the fun they have. In playing at Moslems and infidels,
they have no thought for the hot sands that must be traversed to touch the
Kaaba in the holy city of Mecca by the true pilgrims of the Islamic faith. But
they do have itchy feet, and for those who can afford it, there is a
pilgrimage somewhere almost anytime.
Winsor and his retinue made the great pilgrimage to Hawaii. It was the
crowning event of his administration.
course of the nineteenth century, Hawaii had become a crossroads of the
Pacific, with ships of many lands stopping there. Yet geographically, if not
ethnically, the islands‑lying some two thousand miles off San Francisco‑were
closer to the United States than to any other nation, and trade had been
building up between the two countries. More Americans, attracted by the
climate of the islands, were migrating there. The result was that the people
of Hawaii, a republic since 1893, when Queen Liliuokalani was over
130 PARADE TO GLORY
thrown, voted to be annexed to the United States. Congress passed the
necessary legislation, and the islands became a territory in 1900. Meanwhile,
Masonry in Hawaii was growing. Also, a number of Masons of the higher degrees
had become members of Islam Temple in San Francisco and, on their visits to
the mainland, would enjoy themselves within the shelter of that Oasis. It was
by no means surprising, then, that at the meeting in Washington the nobility
of Honolulu asked for and received ‑ with the blessings of Mother Islam ‑ a
dispensation to open a new temple in Hawaii to be known as Aloha. (If the name
lacked Arabic meaning, it was sufficiently foreign to the English tongue to be
used.) Shortly after he assumed office, Imperial Potentate Winsor expressed
the thought that he would enjoy constituting Aloha Temple himself, and his own
Saladin Temple, of which he was still the Po tentate, undertook the work of
organizing the pilgrimage. Accordingly, on February 25, i qo i, the Imperial
special train steamed out of the Grand Rapids station, bound for Medinah
Temple in Chicago, where the traveling nobility would be entertained. In
Chicago, the train grew in size, and it continued to grow until, when the
caravan reached San Francisco, there were 114 Nobles and 58 ladies aboard.
They visited temples all across the land and on March 14, after a long sea
voyage, Aloha Temple was instituted under designation. The charter would not
be granted until the i 9o i Imperial Session in Kansas City.
was the first of many pilgrimages made to Hawaii, until now each succeeding
Imperial Potentate makes the Imperial cruise to the islands. Altogether Winsor
and his party traveled 7,346 miles by land and 4,000 miles by sea. And perhaps
equally important to the pilgrimage itself is the fact that it was on the
first cruise to the islands that Winsor and twelve of his closest associates
gathered together and formed the Jesters, the first of the organizations
within the Shrine.
Including the pilgrimage, Winsor was able to report to the i qo i session of
the Imperial Council that he had spent nearly half his time during the past
year at Shrine affairs. The Shrine, indeed, was
a v V v x w O C O 4+ td v .b cd as N a A 132 PARADE TO GLORY coming a
major organization. Within a few years it would be almost compulsory for an
Imperial Potentate to devote his entire time to the job of administering the
affairs of the fraternity.
the Shriners arrived in Kansas City for their meeting on June i i, igoi, the
Nobles of Ararat Temple had done everything they could do to make the event a
joyful one. They had to try to live up to the session held in Washington, and
that was to be difficult, principally because the city administration had made
no arrangements for handling the crowds. But if the parade in Kansas City fell
a bit short of the desired results, the parade in San Francisco in June of
1902 made up for it, even though there were travel difficulties involving
Philip Shaffer, the Imperial Potentate from Lu Lu Temple in Philadelphia.
affair began well enough and attracted considerable public attention. Special
trains were popular in those days, and Shaffer and a group of Nobles from Lu
Lu and Boumi in Baltimore chartered one for the joyous trip across the nation.
At the same time, James McGee arranged another special train from New York in
association with temples in the New England area, and before the trains
reached Chicago something of a race had developed. Actually, the New York
train was so long that it had to be divided into two sections. McGee said it
was because the railroads didn't have water hoses long enough at some of the
way stations to water the entire train. But others along the line said that
was silly because the Shriners didn't need water anyway.
Mecca trains were well ahead when they reached Denver, and Shaffer suffered a
great indignity there when railroad officials put a slow train on the tracks
ahead of his special. Still further along in Colorado, the engine pulling the
Imperial Potentate's train broke a drive shaft. When Shaffer and his party
finally arrived in San Francisco, it was just barely in time for him to
participate in the parade.
arrived to gaze upon a fairyland. The Examiner reported: "The big, sometimes
prosaic city was transformed into a fairy region of beautifully blended hues.
So brilliant was the night that a crescent WITH CHARITY FOR ALL 133 moon
which hung in the western sky, vainly tried to win recognition among the
glowing crescents that in honor of the Mystic Shriners adorned the town."
Electric lights were just coming into their own and San Francisco made the
most of them. The Ferry Building was a beautiful sight. And spelled out in
electric letters five feet high over the City Hall, was "Es Selamu Aleikum,"
the traditional welcome greeting of the Shriners. But the article that
attracted the eyes of the people was that in the Examiner which reported that
on the least provocation the waters of Zemzem gushed forth, even on the ferry
ride across the bay from Oakland when the caravans discovered that there were
sands beneath the waters.
Zemzem and camel's milk flowed freely in San Francisco, it was by no means the
only important event of that time. There was the parade, the like of which the
West had never seen before. Three giant searchlights played their beams on the
multicolored marching columns. Colored fire burned from a dozen stands along
the line of march. Skyrockets and Roman candles were fired by the marchers at
every opportunity. And the big hit of the parade was a float entered by the
Masons of San Francisco. It was a giant prairie schooner, pulled by thirty
oxen and containing a number of pioneer Masons of the city. The wagon was
surrounded by cowboys and followed by a screeching band of Indians making
periodic attacks on the wagon. Behind this group was another float
representing an army camp; naturally the blue‑clad soldiers invariably saved
the occupants of the schooner.
Imperial Session itself took some notable actions that were to have a profound
effect upon the Shrine and its future. In the field of fraternal government,
there had been some difficulty within the Imperial Divan when temples failed
to reelect as representatives those who aspired to become Imperial Potentate.
Under the Shrine code it is necessary to be a member of the Imperial Council
to be elected to the Imperial Divan, but no provision had been made to keep
such a member in the Council. A temple could reelect_ or reject anyone as a
representative, and this had been done. It was even possible that 134 PARADE
TO GLORY a man who was about to be elected Imperial Potentate could be
rejected by his temple, in which event he could not hold the high office.
didn't seem quite cricket and the representatives proceeded to amend the law.
As adopted, it read: "An Imperial Potentate does not become a Past Imperial
Potentate until his successor in office is elected and installed. His temple
should elect him as a representative to the session of the Imperial Council
over which he is to preside as Imperial Potentate, but failure to re‑elect him
does not deprive him of any of his official rights or prerogatives as Imperial
Potentate." Meanwhile the development of Shrine charity had become ever more
dear to the heart of each succeeding Imperial Potentate. After the Galveston,
Texas, hurricane and tidal wave which caused six thou sand deaths, in
September of i 9oo, Imperial Potentate Winsor had sent a contribution from the
Shrine emergency fund. Both Winsor and Imperial Potentate Shaffer in the
following year called on the temples all over the land to send as much as they
could and they responded heartily. But, in addition, Shaffer once again called
for Christmas charity contributions.
they had in the past, the nobility responded with thousands of dollars that
were expended for Christmas baskets for the poor of their communities. In
addition, there were toys for the children and extra donations for the various
Masonic homes. By and large, none of the charity was expended on Shriners or
their families; but with the growth of the Shrine there was talk of a Shrine
home, patterned, on a national basis, after many of the jurisdictional Masonic
homes, and it was at the 1902 session of the Imperial Council that the subject
came before the nobility officially.
Morocco Temple of Jacksonville, Florida, made the proposal to establish a
national permanent home for indigent Shriners, and a school where the children
of such Shriners and the dependent orphans of Shriners might be educated, and
where the dependent widows of deceased Shriners might find employment and
the Committee on Jurisprudence and Laws could see no need WITH CHARITY FOR
ALL 135 for such charity. It reported to the session that "we can see
no necessity at this time for such action on the part of the Imperial Council.
Under the blessings which Allah the Great has bestowed on the oases in which
we have erected our temples, each member of the nobility has opportunity
afforded him to care for himself and those dependent upon him. Besides, the
spirit of charity, especially to those of the household of faith, is so
thoroughly inculcated in the hearts of the nobility that indigence is almost
unknown amongst Shriners, and, if known, it can find relief in each temple.
The many homes for orphans and widows which have been established by the
bodies, membership in which is prerequisite for admission to the Ancient
Arabic Order, and of which homes we are advocates and supporters, precludes
the necessity of establishing an eleemosynary institution under the auspices
or control of the Imperial Council. We therefore recommend that the
communication of Morocco Temple be printed in our proceedings and that no
further consideration be given to the suggestions offered at this time." The
Imperial Representatives went along with the recommendation, but there was
talk among the Nobles that perhaps some national charity, instead of local
effort by individual temples, might be desir able. The recommendation by
Morocco Temple and the rejection of it by the Jurisprudence and Laws Committee
both may well have been prophetic. With the passing of time, it became
apparent to the Shrine leaders that some national charity was not only
desirable but almost a necessity, though the charity was not to be for
Chapfer 13 the New Century xE astonishing growth of the Ancient Arabic Order
Nobles of the Mystic Shrine in the first decade of the twentieth century
brought its problems, among which was the question of where the Imperial
Council sessions should be held. Ever since Al Koran Temple had invited the
Imperial Council to hold its session in Cleveland, it had become customary for
the Imperial officers to await an invitation before deciding on the next
meeting place, and during the following years this had been a most
satisfactory arrangement. But, beginning with the i qoo session in Washington,
the expense to the local temple of entertaining the Imperial Session was so
great as to become embarrassing.
from the time the igoo parade marched under the White House portico and
cheered President McKinley, there were two distinct divisions of the Imperial
Session. There was the official meet ing of the representatives and the
Imperial Divan, where official business was transacted and laws enacted or
amended; and there was also the business of pageantry and parade. With each
passing year, as we have seen, the pageantry and parades were growing bigger
and more gorgeous. Decorations were more extensive and more costly, and
someone had to pay the bill. Still, it could not be denied that, if the mem136
THE NEW CENTURY 137 bership wanted to parade, it certainly had a
right to do so. Reports from various temples indicated that the units were the
very lifeblood of the organization. With each passing year, more temples added
patrols. As early as 1889, Lu Lu Temple in Philadelphia had appropriated money
to buy instruments and uniforms for an all‑Shrine band. Almas, Lu Lu and Al
Chymia Temples had horse patrols, and still the Shrine was growing and more
and more members wanted to participate in these activities.
the 55,455 members on January i, igoo, the Shrine grew to 149057 members on
January i, i 9 i o, and it was during this period that the problem of a
meeting place became important. There were no invitations from cities with
temples in 1902, and the session in 1903 was held at the summer resort village
of Saratoga Springs, New York. In 1904, it was held at the seashore resort of
Atlantic City, New Jersey, and it was there that the Imperial Council decided
to take some official action with respect to a meeting place.
Committee on Time and Place reported that the Imperial Council is a
distinctive body in itself, apart from the rank and file of the great Order
that creates it, and should not depend on an in vitation from a subordinate
temple in order to be guided for the selection of a place to meet. Therefore,
for future meetings it was the committee's opinion that the Imperial Council
would be wise in selecting a place (summer resort preferred) where there was
report was adopted by the Imperial Council, and the 1905 session was held in
Niagara Falls, New York, but there were difficulties. The boys liked to dress
up in their Arabic costumes and play Moslems and infidels. They liked the
weekly rehearsals of band and patrol. But what was the use of rehearsing
except to parade and what was the use of parading if there was no one to watch
and cheer? The fact was that when the Shrine took over a summer resort, there
was no one about except the Shriners and they all wanted to be in the parade.
result was that by 1906 the Shrine conventions were back in the cities again;
and except for Atlantic City and Miami, both of 138 PARADE TO GLORY
which offer parade crowds, the sessions since invariably have been held in
cities. After the Second World War, the Imperial Council contributed at the
rate of ten cents a member to the temple which entertained the Imperial
first city to win an Imperial 'Session after the ukase of 1904 was Los
Angeles. The Time and Place Committee, meeting in Niagara Falls in igo5
evidently had learned from the uniformed units that summer resorts might not
be as desirable as had been expected. Henry A. Collins of Rameses Temple in
Toronto, the first Imperial Potentate from a temple outside the United States,
had been elected to that exalted office at Niagara Falls, and he put his stamp
of approval on the invitation from Al Malaikah Temple. But the session never
reached Los Angeles. Instead, by an edict of the Imperial Potentate, it was
changed almost at the last minute to Chicago, because on April 18, 19o6, San
Francisco was almost destroyed by an earthquake and fire: We are meeting today
in the city of Chicago instead of in that beautiful city of Southern
California. This is owing to the dreadful catastrophe that overtook San
Francisco, and I will, in as few sentences as possible, give you my reasons
for postponing the meeting in Los Angeles and the convening of it in Chicago.
the dreadful news was flashed around the world that San Francisco, the
beautiful, had been almost entirely obliterated, and that want, suffering and
misery had predominated, the question arose in my mindwhat about the meeting
of the Imperial Council? . . .
considerable difficulty making up my mind as to the postponement of that
meeting. I was fully cognizant of the fact that the Nobles of Los Angeles had
gone to considerable trouble and expense to make the Assembly of the Imperial
Council what it would have been‑a pronounced success. . . . On the other hand
I had to give considerable thought as to the effect our making the pilgrimage
to Los Angeles would have on the Shrine body, and on the Masonic fraternity in
general. I knew we would be open to the charge of heartlessness and want of
proper consideration for the sufferings of others, so that in the cause of
common humanity, I felt it my duty to call off the meeting in Los Angeles and
assemble in the city of Chicago. . . .
NEW CENTURY 139 And as for the Imperial Council's assistance to
fire‑ravaged San Francisco, Collins reported: I telegraphed the Imperial
Treasurer to send the sum of $z5,ooo from our funds to Past Imperial Potentate
Field, fully realizing the fact in so doing that the man who gives quickly
gives twice. Whether I had the authority to so dispose of your funds is for
you to say. However, I did so, and I take the full responsibility for the
same. Correspondence with Noble Field will demonstrate to you how timely that
assistance was, and I am delighted to say that many Temples have promptly come
forward and by their donations have shown that they were in sympathy with the
sufferings of the Nobles of Islam Temple.
course, the action of the Imperial Potentate was approved. Though the loss of
life at San Francisco was placed at 452 (as nothing compared to the 6,ooo
lives lost in the Galveston hurricane and tidal wave in i qoo) the property
damage of $ 3 50,000,ooo was appalling. And just to show that the nobility
realized the inconvenience done to Al Malaikah Temple, Los Angeles was chosen
by acclamation for the 1907 session of the Imperial Council.
San Francisco disaster occurred less than two months before the Imperial
Council was due to assemble. The result was that only the barest of
preparations could be made for the session in Chi cago, but there was no
complaint of consequence. In fact, the charity extended to their fellow Nobles
made the Shriners feel good. The representatives adopted a resolution which
said: The organic law of our body being inadequate to cover in time the
exigency that then arose, he [Collins] wisely looked to the spirit of the law,
and his conclusion already has received your official approbation, and in all
the glorious history of the Shrine, no pages more splendid can be found than
that which proclaims the prompt action of our Imperial Potentate and the
wide‑reaching charity of our Order; not so much in the dollars as in the fact
that the timely gift was a tangible and material expression of the heartfelt
sympathy and devotion felt for the stricken brethren of the nobility from
every corner of our continent and from the far off islands of the sea; by his
prompt and happy action, Noble Collins made proclamation to the world that in
the minds and eyes of all Shriners the greatest of all things under the sun is
140 PARADE TO GLORY And so, once more‑and in quite forceful fashion‑the
sweet name of charity resounded in the figurative tents of the American sons
of Araby. The Shriners wanted to be charitable. It was all well and good to
have their fun and spend fabulous sums on themselves in the process, but they
wanted‑even though the want might be subconscious ‑something more tangible.
Fun without sharing could pall in time and the leaders were wise enough to
close of the annual session of i g i o, held in New Orleans, there were 120
temples, most of them with at least one parade unit and many of them with
several. While most of the Nobles who wanted to participate in the unit
activities probably could afford to finance themselves, there were many who
could not. It soon became apparent to the temple administrations, therefore,
that sending their units to all of the Shrine sessions was impossible, since
frequently this represented trips all the way across the nation. Railroad
fares, hotel accommodations, and meals, even at reduced rates, represented a
strain on the temple finances that at times became impossible. Since it was
unfair to tax the entire membership for the benefit of a few, some of the
temples began to raise money for these purposes from outside activities. A
number of temples resorted to raffles; others, to entertainments of one kind
or another, principal among which was an indoor Shrine Circus, apparently
originated in Detroit in 19o6. So successful have the circuses become that
there are now more than one hundred Shrine Circuses each year. Some of them
are used to support the units, others to raise money for the Shrine Hospitals,
but it is almost certain that the Shrine has been responsible, more than any
other organization, for preserving the circus as a part of the American way of
life. In i q i o, there were scores of circuses all over the United States,
performing under tents in large towns and small. There were big circuses such
as Barnum and Bailey, Ringling Brothers, Sells‑Floto, Hagenbeck and Wallace,
and there were dozens of small ones. Some traveled by railroad and some in
wagons and later in trucks. But by the end of the Second World War, there were
only THE NEW CENTURY 141 a handful, and were it not for the Shrine Circuses,
the man on the flying trapeze and the wild animal acts would be almost
extinct. The largest and most successful of the Shrine Circuses undoubtedly
has been that of Moslem Temple in Detroit, managed for many years by T. E.
(Eddie) Stinson, Recorder of that temple. Since 1922, the Moslem Circus has
earned f or the temple more than six and a half million dollars. It has grown
from a one‑ring affair in i9o6 to the largest indoor circus in the world,
entirely produced by the Moslem membership. Unit members operate the
concessions; and frequently such distinguished members as K. T. Keller, f
ormer president of the Chrysler Corporation, are to be found selling, or
giving away, candy and other sweets. The Detroit circus also has produced many
famous performers. Clyde Beatty got his first chance as a wildanimal man at
the Moslem Circus, and Stinson was responsible for the Concellos becoming the
foremost flying‑trapeze act in the business.
Temples all over North America also began to devote more and more attention to
the Ritual. Costumes became more elaborate and costly. Special units were
developed f or parts of the initiation. Elab orate equipment of all kinds was
created, some of it invented by mechanics who were members of the special
crews. Even the small temples entered the competition to have the best
ritualistic team. For example, when, in 1905, George W. Millar, one of the
original thirteen, was assigned by Imperial Potentate George L. Brown to visit
the comparatively small Moila Temple in St. Joseph, Missouri, officially, his
report to the 1905 Imperial Session was almost unbelievable: ,,When I entered
the Temple," he said, "little was I prepared for the scene of Oriental
splendor spread before my gaze. All the aesthetic senses were stirred to their
deepest by the elaborate and magnificent ensemble which greeted my vision. . .
. In the foreground the arid desert, its sterile waste stretching out into
apparently illimitable distance, here and there the whitening bones of dead
and gone devotees, who in their pious pilgrimages had toiled and strug‑
142 PARADE TO GLORY gled until they had fallen by the wayside, ever
with their dead eyes turned longingly toward the Kaaba in Mecca.
far in the east, there rose the fronded palms of a fertile oasis. Close by was
the pavilion of the Potentate, with hangings of Syrian cloth of gold, its
draperies of varicolored Syrian dyes. Within, a gorgeous divan and
many‑cushioned lounging places, and round about the bewildering adornments of
a Sultan's suite, the glittering panoply of a sheik's caravan. And there, the
Illustrious Potentate of Moila Temple, Noble Alvah P. Clayton [who was to
become Imperial Potentate at the 19o6 session] received your representative."
Of the ceremonial itself, Millar reported that "a stately caravan entered in
the far distant west to the drone of pipes and the monotonous rhythm of
Moorish drums and castanets. Ungainly camels, their awkward limbs concealed by
costly trappings, accompanied the cara van.
praised the kaleidoscopic convolutions of the Moila Arab Patrol as one feature
of the evening, but mostly he heaped praise upon the ritualistic presentation
of the temples were becoming well‑to‑do, if not wealthy, and there were
demands from the nobility that the Shriners own their own buildings and not be
dependent on the various Masonic bodies for housing space. As early as 19o8,
some temples erected their own mosques and built them in the fairyland designs
of ancient Arabia, replete with minarets and stately domes and decorated with
mosaic and murals.
uniformed units had also been created, among them the first Oriental Band in
Shrinedom. Like many other Shrine organizations, it was happenstance rather
than design that brought it about.
Chicago's great world's fair in 1893 to celebrate the city's recovery from the
disastrous fire caused by Mrs. O'Leary's cow, there were any number of Turkish
exhibits and shows, including the beau tiful and justly famed Oriental
dancers. To ballyhoo the shows, including the one which starred "Little
Egypt," there appeared on
outdoor platforms the spieler and two performers, one playing a reed horn and
the other a tomtom. Whether it was the horn and tomtom or the dancers that
lingered in the memory of the Medinah nobles is not recorded, but in 1899 the
redoubtable Frank Roundy, Potentate of Medinah and organizer of the first Arab
Patrol in the Shrine, suggested that Medinah needed a band. He commissioned
George J. Kurzenknabe, the temple organist, to form that band, and its initial
144 PARADE TO GLORY membership was composed of the organist and the
four members of the temple quartet.
such instruments as were used at the World's Fair could be found in Chicago,
and a German instrument maker was commissioned to design one. But when it was
finally completed, it cost twenty dol lars. Medinah's treasury in those days
couldn't afford twenty dollars for one horn and besides it just didn't sound
right. Inquiry continued, however, and in igoo, Kurzenknabe found a similar
horn, which sounded just right, at the establishment of Sing Fat and Company
in San Francisco. Best of all, the horn sold for one dollar.
the arrival of the horns and tomtoms, a silver triangle and a Chinese gong,
the band began rehearsals. There was just one tune, which for want of a better
name was called "The Midway." Thou sands of Shriners will remember some of the
words that were sung to it: "Mind what your mama says, and mind what your papa
says, And don't go near that hootchie kootchie dance." The band made its first
public appearance at the April ceremonial of Medinah in i qoo. By the time the
September ceremonial was held, there were several more members of the band,
but still just one tune, and the nobility was a bit tired of it, no matter how
sensuous it might be. Word reached the band that unless new tunes were to be
found, ripe tomatoes, seltzer bottles and whatnots would be brought into play.
Kurzenknabe hastily dashed off some music that would fit the strange reed
instruments and saved the band.
Medinah Oriental Band made its first parade appearance at the i go i session
of the Imperial Council, but the rough cobbled streets of Kansas City made it
difficult to play and the Medinah Patrol, which had been marching to the
strange cadences, complained. And rightly so. But two more years of rehearsal
improved the technique; and when the Orientalists marched at Saratoga Springs
they were such a success that they went high hat and looked down on ordinary
brass bands. The fact was that as they played "The Midway" at Saratoga, many
of the watchers were transformed into muscle dancers and THE NEW CENTURY 145
pseudo‑contortionists. Since then, the Oriental Band has become a standard
uniformed unit of almost every temple.
then at long last, the day came for Al Malaikah Temple to entertain the
Imperial Session of 1907 in Los Angeles; but it was an ill‑starred meeting
from the first. First of all, the postponement because of the San Francisco
disaster had produced some hurt feelings in Al Malaikah and had caused some
financial loss to the temple. Also, before the session even opened, the
special train in which Lu Lu Temple of Philadelphia had traveled across the
nation was wrecked just before it reached Los Angeles. There were no serious
injuries, but more than 250 of the Nobles and their ladies had to be removed
from the wreckage and placed on open flatcars to complete their journey. Much
of the baggage was left at the scene, totally unusable.
two days after the closing of the Imperial Session, occurred the worst
disaster in the long history of the Shrine. On that Saturday of May II, there
were a score or more of special trains carrying the Nobles and their ladies on
sightseeing tours of California. Some were from a single temple; others were
from a group of temples which had special cars made up into a single train.
Stops were being made at various points throughout the state. Among these
special trains was one carrying members of Rajah Temple of Reading,
Pennsylvania, Ismailia Temple of Buffalo, Al Koran Temple of Cleveland and
Kalurah Temple of Binghamton, New York. The train had left Los Angeles the
preceding afternoon, May io; and after an overnight stop in Santa Barbara, it
moved northward over the Southern Pacific tracks toward San Francisco, taking
the shore route so that the nobility might see the wonders of the Pacific
coast. Suddenly, near the town of Honda, sixty‑three miles north of Santa
Barbara, on a little peninsula that juts into the ocean beyond the town of
Lompoc, the engine crashed into a defective switch.
wheel of the engine was broken, so that it jumped the track and plowed into
the sandy terrain at fifty miles an hour. The baggage car buckled, fell on top
of the engine, then half‑buried itself 146 PARADE TO GLORY in the
sand. The dining car, which followed the baggage car in the train, buckled and
became little more than splinters. A sleeping car also jumped the track, but
was less damaged. The remaining two sleepers remained upright‑and fortunately,
for the Nobles in those cars formed the only rescue force for hours after the
accident. Altogether, thirty‑one Nobles or their ladies were killed in the
wreck, most of them from Rajah Temple. They had been in the dining car having
a late lunch. Twenty other Nobles were injured and they were removed to San
Luis Obispo by special trains provided by the railroad. When the trains
arrived at the station, they were met by a group of Masons in the town who had
been hastily organized into a relief corps that moved the injured to hospitals
and into private homes until arrangements could be made for their further
a horrible affair, but as usual the Masons and the Shrine rose to the occasion
to give what relief they could. The newly elected Imperial Potentate, Frank C.
Roundy of Chicago, was immediately notified, and he made arrangements with
banks in Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo to place unlimited credit at the
disposal of Past Imperial Potentate George L. Brown of Ismailia Temple for the
aid of the dead and injured. And he was authorized to call on all the
resources of the Imperial Council as well as the resources of Al Malaikah and
Islam Temples for what might be needed.
though the Los Angeles session had an unfortunate beginning and ending, the
pageant itself was magnificent, coordinated as it was with the city's own
Fiesta of Light, an outstanding parade of dozens of floats, displaying
thousands of multicolored roses and carrying beautiful girls just as in the
Rose Parades of later years. Millions of lights decorated the streets of the
city. As the papers of the day said, the scene beggared description. In fact,
it was, by far, the outstanding pageant in the history of the Shrine to that
Los Angeles and its "Fiesta of Light," St. Paul and Louisville entertained the
continental reunion of the Shriners; and if those cities lacked the facilities
for a rose parade, they certainly did every thing else to make the Shriners
welcome. Each succeeding Imperial THE NEW CENTURY 147 Session was
becoming larger and gaudier than the last. When George L. Street of Acca
Temple delivered his annual address in New Orleans in r q 1 o, he commented
that most Shriners thought nothing could ever exceed the decorations in
Louisville, but that New Orleans had really outdone itself.
all was not sweetness and light. With the tremendous growth of the fraternity,
new problems constantly were being called to the attention of the Imperial
Potentates. Frank C. Roundy, who had been one of the most popular of all the
high executive officers of the Shrine, realized that growth itself was a
problem because many thoughtless Shriners could be hidden in the multitude and
many of their misdeeds, according to Shrine law, never brought to light. But
his program was to uplift by policy and example rather than by use of the
whip. In his annual address in St. Paul in 19o8 he had declared, "We stand, it
seems to me, for the finer spirit of Christianity; for the spirit that says `I
am my brother's keeper. What comes to him comes to me. Where he goes, there I
go.' This being our spirit, the soul of this common country, the faith of all
the faiths that constitute our nation, we should as Nobles strive to spread it
ever wider and wider over this broad land." If Roundy seemed to refer
exclusively to the United States, that was not his intention. During his term,
he had sent Past Imperial Potentate Alvah P. Clayton to institute Anezeh
Temple in Mexico City, and he certainly was proud of all the Canadian Temples.
With the advent of Anezeh, the Shrine had become even more international in
spirit, even though it was confined exclusively to the North American
continent. Roundy, too, had been an assiduous worker, visiting most if not all
of the temples. So great and popular had he become that the Imperial Council
took the unusual step of commending him formally.
might be said that from the time he discovered the Shrine, Roundy's whole life
had been given to it. It was he, it will be recalled, who instituted Arabian
dress for the Medinah patrol. He served as director of Medinah and for many
years as its Potentate. His closest 148 PARADE TO GLORY associates
remember that he, along with most of the other early Shriners, was a drinker
of good whisky in no mean proportions. But in later years this tapered off,
possibly as a result of his year as Imperial Potentate. He told the nobility
in his annual address that as a result of his experiences, he could rightfully
say that good fellowship depended more on what you thought than on what you
one of the knottiest and most controversial problems in the first decade of
the new century was yet to be faced. Some of the Shrine leadership had seen it
coming, but it was not until Louisville that it had reached such proportions
that something had to be done about it. Perhaps it had really begun in Toronto
in 1888, when many of the representatives took their wives with them and
enjoyed the boat ride on the lake. With each passing year, more and more women
attended the Imperial Sessions. Then in Los Angeles in 190'7 the "Fiesta of
Light" parade included girls riding on the floats. The fact that the "Fiesta
of Light" parade was held jointly with the Shrine parade in no wise made them
a part of the Shrine pageant, but everyone didn't know that.
event, the result was that in i qoq in Louisville, women actually participated
in the Shrine parade itself. There were marching units and leaders of the
band. Some Shriners took their wives right onto the street with them. It might
well be that they enhanced the parade and made it lovelier than it really had
a right to be, but the fact was that such activity was strictly against Shrine
law; and when he issued the call for the 19 1 o meeting in New Orleans,
Imperial Potentate Street issued strict orders that no women were to appear in
the parade under any circumstances whatever.
Actually, the parading was only a part of the problem. In Pittsburgh, f or
example, wives, daughters, sisters and even mothers of Shriners had organized
a Ladies' Oriental Shrine, applied to Syria Temple for the privilege of
purchasing old equipment, and demanded space in the mosque for meetings,
recognition by the temple and the privilege of parading at the annual
sessions. And when the some 31,000 Shriners and their wives arrived in New
Orleans, it was THE NEWS CENTURY 149 noticeable that there were hundreds
of white f ezzes being worn by the women, some of them with the name of the
Shrine temple of their home city on the fez. In the Far West, there had sprung
up almost simultaneously another women's organization composed of relatives of
Shriners called the "Daughters of Isis." To correct the situation, Imperial
Potentate Street in his official order on the female organizations cautioned
temples and their officers against giving "any encouragement or support to any
organization of women or men, purporting to be an Oriental Shrine, composed of
the female members of the families of Nobles of our Order and I hereby forbid
any Temple of Nobles of the Mystic Shrine, its officers or members,
recognizing any such order of women." What had happened, of course, was that
the women had begun to see just how much fun the men were having as a result
of their Shrine membership, and they wanted in on the act. It was not to be.
Shrine meeting in New Orleans is still remembered by those who attended. It
was by far the largest session ever held up to that time. One hundred and
twenty‑one temples were represented, most of them, it seemed, by uniformed
units. Canal Street was a mass of light at night, but Bourbon Street was
dim‑as many of the Shriners wanted it. Jerusalem Temple had worked for a year
for the great event, and the great contribution of the city was the
reproduction of the great Mardi Gras parade, with all of the many carnival
clubs participating. Newspapers of the city devoted page after page to the
great event, decorating their pages with half‑column cartoons of the Shriners
in their baggy pantaloons, many of them smoking Turkish pipes.
Temple of Savannah, Georgia, won considerable fame by publicizing its famous
Chatham Artillery Punch, which the members claimed was made outside of
Savannah only on the rarest and most important occasions. Only a few members
were supposed to know the secret recipe dating to 1786, but astute reporters
for the New Orleans papers found one Noble who gave the ingredients. He said:
"Take the witchery of a southern belle, the magic of southern moon‑ 150
PARADE TO GLORY light, the melody of the mockingbird and mingle them with the
dew and you have it." It was notable that the Noble did not even mention
"mountain dew." The newspapers also were impressed by the fact that the
Shriners almost invariably doffed their fezzes when they entered the myriad
bars of the famous city. "It is because the Shriners are sworn never to wear a
fez where they would not take their wife, mother, daughter or sweetheart," the
the most famous Shriners at the New Orleans meeting was Simon Michale of El
Maida Temple of El Paso. He was the only Shriner present who had ever made the
real pilgrimage to Mecca. He wore the same costume he had worn on that famous
trip, and recalled that it was the hottest trip he ever made. "I stood against
the sacred stone‑that is the Kaaba‑and the sun was so hot it scorched my
forehead and my lips when I pressed them against the stone." In between the
parades and other social activities, the representatives took official action
on three of the mandates laid down by Imperial Potentate Street, all of which
are still a part of the Shrine law. The Imperial Council forbade any temple or
the membership of any temple to participate in any activity which might lead
to the development of a female organization based on Shriner relationship, and
it forbade the appearance of any but members of the Order, uniformed bands or
male servants in the parade. But there was one more request Street had made,
based on a standing resolution submitted at the i qoq session in Louisville.
This concerned so‑called temple headquarters being established at Imperial
Sessions for the dispensation of hospitality.
the years it had become customary for various temples to have special suites
of rooms at the hotels, where special gifts were handed out along with copious
quantities of Zemzem water. At New Orleans, for example, Islam Temple of San
Francisco gave out packages of raisins, sips of grape juice and even wines,
including champagne. Medinah Temple of Chicago gave away thousands of roses to
the ladies. As a result of all these activities, there had been some THE NEWS
CENTURY 151 rowdyism, and all too often some representatives had been
delayed in their attendance at official council sessions. This was frowned
upon and the 19 1 o session put a stop to it.
Furthermore, it was decided that liquor in any form would be forbidden in the
various temple headquarters at Imperial Sessions, in effect sounding the death
knell of the old custom of having hospi tality headquarters maintained by the
various temples. With each succeeding year, there were fewer of these oases,
until they virtually disappeared. There were other and better places to go,
particularly to the private suites of Potentates and other temple officials
and to the headquarters of various uniformed units.
Liquor, per se, by no means disappeared from the scene of Shrine functions,
but more and more it was frowned upon. The temperance movement was gaining
ground rapidly, particularly in various seg ments of the Protestant church,
and most Shriners were members of the Protestant churches. Prohibition was
being discussed openly, and in fact was only a few years away. But, equally
important, the Shrine was becoming more complex. The very size of it made it
so. With so many men, scattered over such a tremendous area, with sectional,
regional and even national influences, there were bound to be differences of
opinion and even jealousies (despite the universal Masonic background). These
could be resolved only by law. The Imperial Council was the lawgiver, and its
membership harkened to its task.
first decade of the new century had been one of growth, the second decade
would be even more so; but the second decade would be also one of startling
change, even though that change would be so subtle in its development that it
would pass almost unnoticed until it burst resoundingly upon the scene in
Portland, Oregon. New faces were appearing at the Imperial Sessions and
reaching the Imperial Divan, among them W. Freeland Kendrick of Lu Lu Temple,
whose flamboyant showmanship and almost unbelievable popularity with Shrmers
everywhere were to make him one of the most powerful Potentates in the history
of the Shrine. He was elected Imperial Outer Guard at the i q i o session of
the Imperial Council.
To Faraway Places HE decade that began in 191 o at New Orleans and ended June
2q., 1920, in Portland, Oregon, included what might be called the "glory
years" in the history of the Shrine. They were years of fun and frolic, years
of pilgrimage to far points of the world, years of growth more astounding than
even the first decade of the new century, years of problems created by that
growth, and, perhaps most important, years in which the Shrine was to be
affected by the events of history itself.
A. Hines of Al Malaikah (Los Angeles) was elected Imperial Potentate at New
Orleans. At the very least, he was one of the hardest‑working executives the
Shrine ever had. He served for fifteen months, one of the longest tenures,
occasioned by the fact that he had been elected in April and the 1911 session
in Rochester, New York, was not held until July. During that period, he
visited seventyone cities in North America and the Hawaiian Islands. He was
actually on the road in behalf of the Shrine for twelve full months and
submitted a bill for expenses at the end of his term for $6,500, which was
paid. It was an innovation and a portent of things to come, for the job of
Imperial Potentate had reached such proportions that it was a full‑time task.
It meant a year in which the Imperial Poten152 TO FARAWAY PLACES 153 tate
would have no time for his regular business, no matter what it might be.
the welter of knowledge Hines had gained in his service to the Shrine, he
developed some rather novel ideas, and he proceeded to submit them to the
representatives at the Rochester meet ing. He was a forceful writer and a
forceful speaker. He minced no words in his annual address. The Shrine, he
said, must face the fact that few cities in North America could properly
handle the annual sessions of the Imperial Council. They had become too big.
There was not enough hotel space. He suggested that perhaps North America
should be divided into four or five jurisdictions, each headed by a deputy
Imperial Potentate, each holding an annual session which could be attended by
the Imperial Potentate, Imperial Recorder and Imperial Treasurer. He also
suggested that the Shrine might buy five thousand or more acres of land in the
upper Middle West as a national headquarters. Hotels could be built there. He
would build a convention hall and sports fields, including a golf course.
to each Shrine temple," he said, "ten acres of ground on which to erect its
own headquarters as long as the temple obeys Shrine law. The temples could vie
with one another for the beauty of their respective places. Give to each
Shriner an acre of ground on condition that he build and maintain a one
thousand dollar bungalow." It was Hines' thought that the settlement could be
used on a yearround basis for recreational purposes, but too, he said, "It
would permit us to get away from the hoodlums that are in every city, who take
advantage of the occasion to make all kinds of disturbances, and for which we,
as an organization, get the credit." But this was only a part of the problem.
Once again, there were heard criticisms of the Shrine from members of the
Masonic degrees. The criticisms were not so numerous as they had been in the
past, but they were there. They came mostly from the jealous and the
disgruntled, but they could not be ignored.
more we increase in numbers," Hines ‑told the Rochester session, "the more
necessary it is that when appearing before the pub‑ 154 PARADE TO GLORY
lic, as Shriners, we should not only collectively but individually maintain
our proud title of gentlemen, and the time must come when the wearing of the
Shrine jewel will have only that meaning. . . .
men who originated the Shrine in this country had little idea that the few who
were called together were to be the nucleus of such an institution as the
Mystic Shrine is proving today; if they had they would have commenced with
more stringent laws and probably would not have made the success of it that
they did. Be that as it may, the condition now confronts us of possessing a
wonderful power, a power that can be grasped with ease now, but which allowed
to go on in its pursuit of pleasure only, will dash itself against the rocks
of purposeless existence and go to pieces." In the light of subsequent events,
it may well be that Hines had a prophetic vision, for the purpose he sought
and pleaded for was to develop a goal or a program, even though his hope for a
permanent Mecca was to be dashed by the committee he appointed to investigate
the prospects. The committee reported back to the 1912 session of the Imperial
Council and its report was printed in the proceedings without debate. Nothing
more was ever heard of the idea until 1958, when the Imperial Council
authorized a permanent headquarters building in Chicago. After looking at many
pieces of property, a committee headed by Imperial Potentate George E. Stringf
ellow signed papers for the purchase of an entire building in the 6oo block on
Michigan Boulevard, to be occupied within a year after extensive remodeling.
It is notable that the entire operation‑purchasing and remodeling‑will be
within the budget of $ 8oo,ooo approved by the Imperial Council.
Shriners had a good time in Rochester despite the inadequacy of housing, and
they seemed not to have a care or thought outside their own pleasure, despite
the warnings from Imperial Po tentate Hines. But there were rumblings of
things to come. All over the world there was discontent. China had thrown over
the Manchu dynasty and Sun Yat‑sen had established a republic. There was
revolution in Mexico. The Balkans were seething with unrest, and Russia TO
FARAWAY PLACES 155 and Germany were taking sides in that controversy.
Even in the United States, liberalism was gaining. Unionism was on the march
and riots were by no means unique. Teddy Roosevelt was returning to the
political wars because he disagreed with the conservatism of William Howard
Taft. A new kind of life was in the making all over the world‑even for the
Shriners although most of them didn't know it.
Shriners returned to Los Angeles for their 1912 Imperial Council session and,
true to the reputation established in 190'] when the great rose parade was
held, the committee from Al Malaikah created another great pageant, but it was
subdued. It pictured the long‑dead era of the Spanish Missions, many of which
were even then decaying in picturesque ruin. It was more than a sight for the
Shriners and other visitors to Los Angeles to behold. It was an historical
event, a journey, as the Los Angeles Herald put it, into the land of
yesterday. There was no fanfare of trumpets. There were no splashes of color
to make the parade gaudy; no lively melodies to set the feet of spectators in
motion. There was only the meaningful black, the virginal white, the
devotional purple, the hopeful gray, and at the end of the long column as
though a guard of honor, there was a single Arab patrol, marching with
precision but without ostentation.
Shriners, of course, held their own parade which was as bright and brilliant
as the mission parade was somber, and the Shriners themselves were as gay as
ever. Despite the warnings to eliminate souvenirs, Oleika Temple of Lexington,
Kentucky, arrived in town with three thousand one‑ounce bottles of Kentucky
moonshine. But the Oleika Nobles contended the bottles were really not
souvenirs at all, but proof positive of a Kentucky Noble's ability to judge
good whisky, about which there had been some question raised.
greatest sensation of the entire session, however, was the escape from
captivity of two black snakes that had been brought to Los Angeles by Ballut
Abyad Temple of Albuquerque, New Mexico, for use in an Indian snake dance. A.
M. Fitz and‑ J. J. Sheridan were the custodians of the reptiles, and Fitz
admitted later that it was he 156 PARADE TO GLORY who had smuggled them
into his hotel room, where he had them lodged in a box. The trouble was that
he forgot to lock the box, or someone else unlocked it, for two of the snakes
escaped and slithered across some of the adjoining roofs. Reporters and
photographers arrived and the papers were filled with the episode, but after a
good deal of scurrying around chimneys and other rooftop impedimenta, the
snakes were finally captured and returned to their dens.
all, despite the subdued atmosphere of the pageant, the second visit of the
Imperial Session to Los Angeles was full of fun and went unmarred by the
disasters of 1907. There was important activity in the august chamber of
representatives, too, activity that was to have a profound effect on important
events of the future. Imperial Potentate John F. Treat of El Zagal Temple in
Fargo, North Dakota, reported at length in his annual message on his refusal
to grant a dispensation to Islam, Osman or Jerusalem temples to hold a
ceremonial in the newly created locks of the Panama Canal before water was
turned into them, and his refusal was sustained by the Imperial Council. His
argument was that Imperial law prescribes that dispensation for visiting
ceremonials could be granted only in those states and territories where no
Shrine temple existed. Taking the literal meaning of the law, he said the
Panama Canal Zone was neither a state nor a territory. It did not fall into
the same category as dispensations granted to hold ceremonials in the
Territory of Alaska. The Alaskan ceremonials have been held with great
success, beginning in i qoq, by Nile Temple of Seattle, the travelingest of
all temples. Including the i qoq ceremonial, Nile has visited Alaska
thirtyfive times, creating Nobles in one or more cities while there. But in
addition, Nile has made fifteen pilgrimages to the Orient, creating almost two
thousand Nobles (including General Douglas MacArthur) in Manila, Shanghai,
Tokyo, Yokohama, Hong Kong, Okinawa and Taipei. Most of the nobility created
in the Orient have been in some manner in government service, either as
military or civilian personnel. (In addition to Nile, Aahmes Temple of
Oakland, California; Afifi TO FARAWAY PLACES 157 of Tacoma, Washington; Al
Malaikah of Los Angeles; Aloha of Honolulu; and Moslah Temple of Fort Worth,
Texas, have made pilgrimages to Europe, performing ceremonials‑principally for
the military‑in Paris, Heidelberg and Frankfurt.) With this example before
them, there was dismay among the members of Islam, Osman and Jerusalem temples
at the action of the Imperial Council in refusing the dispensation for the
Panama Canal ceremonial; and there was further dismay in the months that
followed, for William J. Cunningham of Boumi Temple in Baltimore, who was
elected Imperial Potentate in Los Angeles, also refused the dispensation on
the same grounds followed by Imperial Potentate Treat. He so reported to the
Imperial Council when it met in Dallas, Texas, May 13, 1913, and again the
action was upheld. Yet, within a month after his election, Cunningham had
granted another dispensation for a ceremonial in Alaska.
Dallas session is still one that is talked about by those who were there. The
city had grown from the western cow town of 40,000 persons that had
entertained the Imperial Session in 1898 to a metropolitan city of more than
ioo,ooo. But the Shrine had grown too. From the 79 temples and So,ooo members
of 1898, the Shrine had grown to 13 3 temples with almost 200,000 members, and
it seemed that most of them were in Dallas. Members of Hella Temple set up a
hospital and a special corps of physicians in Fair Park to handle the huge
throng, estimated at between S S,ooo and 60,000, more than half the total
population of the city.
Special trains began arriving on Sunday, May ii, and for the Shriners who
arrived early, there was the excitement caused by the destruction by fire of
the Nieman‑Marcus store, one of the biggest in the city. But it was not until
Monday that the real crowds began to arrive, taxing the facilities of the
railroad yards. Among the early arrivals were the members of Al Chymia Temple
of Memphis, Tennessee, who wanted the 1914 session in their city. They all
wore placards which called Memphis the "largest dry‑city in the United States
and the wettest dry city in the world." But the Imperial Coun‑ 158
PARADE TO GLORY cil was unimpressed. It selected Atlanta, Georgia, for the
Dallas News reported that all day long the camels and elephants were coming.
The downtown streets rocked to the rhythm of the marching bands, and the pomp
and splendor and merrymak ing went on until midnight in the streets, then
continued much longer at dances that were held throughout the city. The
illumination was such as Arabia had never known, and the Shriners also got
their first taste of Texas life.
of the entertainments given for band and patrol members, there was suddenly a
shot from a six‑shooter held in the hands of a cowboy‑attired Texan. A Negro
boy let out a wild shout. There was another shot and a wilder yell from a
flying black form that overturned a table and sent dishes crashing. The
Shriners fell back in amazement. Some dodged behind posts. Some ducked under
the tables, and others simply threw themselves to the ground. Even some of the
Dallas hosts were awed when the pistol was pointed at them. But it was all a
put‑up job of entertainment. Still, one Shriner from Mecca Temple said they
might as well have been shot as scared to death.
parade on Tuesday night, May 13, brought together the largest crowd ever
assembled in Texas. The Shriners paraded for an hour and a half in Oriental
finery that transformed Dallas into a new Baghdad. And after it was over, the
Shriners were served with a mammoth barbecue, the biggest, the Nobles of Hella
Temple said, in the history of the world. It included five hundred beeves,
served on six thousand feet of table, with gallons of pickles and barrels of
festivities were by no means dimmed by the reports to the Imperial Council of
Shrine activities in disasters that had affected the nation during the past
year. A series of storms had brought tornadoes and floods that had created
havoc through much of the Middle West. On March 23, a tornado struck Omaha,
Nebraska, killing 140 persons and injuring 350. Six hundred and forty‑two
houses were destroyed TO FARAWAY PLACES 159 and more than a thousand
damaged. More than two thousand were homeless. Tangier Temple of Omaha with
the help of other temples contributed to the relief of the stricken city, and
the Tangier Temple patrol voted to give up their trip to Dallas and put that
money into the relief fund.
was in the Ohio valley that the greatest disasters occurred. On March z 3 the
streams were so swollen that fear was expressed that the levees would not
hold. Already there was distress up and down the Ohio from Parkersburg, West
Virginia, to the Mississippi and in most of the tributaries. A Masonic Relief
Committee was formed even then, but the greatest disaster was yet to come.
Sometime after 5: 30 on the morning of March 25, the dam on the Miami River
above Dayton burst. By ten o'clock that morning, Dayton was flooded and to a
large extent destroyed. As the waters poured down on Hamilton, Ohio, and the
other towns and villages near at hand, they also were affected.
soon as word reached Cincinnati, Past Imperial Potentate William B. Melish
communicated with Imperial Potentate Cunningham, who immediately authorized
ten thousand dollars for relief from the Imperial treasury. The Potentate of
Syrian Temple called a committee together within an hour after the news was
received and the committee reached Dayton before nightfall. They found
indescribable horror and called for help. Within twenty‑four hours, four
carloads of foodstuffs and medical supplies were on their way, sent by Syrian
Temple. Thousands of cans of food were included. And later, motorboats to
distribute the food were sent from Cincinnati by motor truck. Other cities up
and down the Ohio and its tributaries where there were Shrine
temples‑Parkersburg, Columbus, Indianapolis, Terre Haute, Evansville and
Louisville‑all reported they would handle their own relief. Imperial Potentate
Cunningham issued an official distress call to temples everywhere and they
responded willingly with money to ease the suffering.
these and other events in the history of the Shrine that prompted the Dallas
News to report in 1913 that the Shrine object is "to aid the distressed,
comfort the afflicted, protect the innocent, har‑ 160 PARADE TO GLORY
monize rank and station, obliterate intolerance and perpetuate the welfare of
mankind." It was a noble object, and nearer to material fruition than the
Shriners of 1913 dreamed.
Elected as Imperial Potentate at the Dallas session was William W. Irwin of
Osiris Temple in Wheeling, West Virginia, and he brought a new sparkle to the
task, aided and perhaps urged forward to some extent by Dr. O. W. Burdats, a
Past Potentate of Osiris, who was to gain a reputation during his life as the
most fun‑loving Shriner in the realm. It was Irwin who made possible three
great pilgrimages in 1913 and 191 q.‑Osman and Jerusalem Temples to the Panama
Canal Zone and Nile Temple to the Philippine Islands. As much as anything
else, the pilgrimages reflected the expansion of the United States into a
world power, the dispersion of Americans to the four corners of the earth and
their insistence that their Masonic affiliations should be maintained and
their Masonic life nurtured even in the strange nations they inhabited.
early as 1911, Shriners in the Canal Zone, members of several temples in the
United States, had organized themselves into a Shriners' club; and because
they always seemed to have fun, other Masons with the prerequisite degrees
sought affiliation. Imperial Potentates Treat and Cunningham had declined
dispensation for ceremonials in the Canal Zone because, technically, these men
had no Masonic residence: the Canal Zone not being included in any
jurisdiction of either the Knights Templar or Scottish Rite. In 1912, however,
Grand Commander William B. Melish of the Knights Templar issued a dispensation
for the establishment of a Commandery in the Canal Zone and, later the same
year, the Consistory of Louisiana announced it had adopted the Canal Zone into
these obstacles removed, Imperial Potentate Irwin granted the dispensation for
a ceremonial in the Canal Zone, to be held on Labor Day, September 1, 1913.
That Osman Temple was chosen for the pilgrimage was largely due to the
tireless‑efforts of J. Harry Lewis, Osman Potentate and editor and publisher
of The Crescent, a national
162 PARADE TO GLORY magazine for Shriners, and W. O. Washburn, the Chief
Rabban of Osman.
is a story told that, when the question of making the pilgrimage first went
before the Osman Divan, Lewis had wired the chairs electrically in advance so
that, when he asked for a rising vote and slyly pressed a button, the entire
membership of the Divan immediately arose to its feet.
Paul made a great holiday of the departure of the Osman party. There were
ceremonies at City Hall and at the State Capitol, with messages from the mayor
and the governor for other mayors and gov ernors who would be met on the trip.
As the special train, carrying 165 Nobles and their ladies, including the
Osman band and patrol, steamed out of the station on the night of August i q,
1913, factory whistles in the city let loose with a cacophony of "good speed."
The ceremonial in the Canal Zone was held on a stage erected on the floor of
Miraflores Lock in the Canal. Afterward a plaque was erected atop the lock
above the exact spot where on September 1, 19 13, the only ceremonial ever
held in the Panama Canal was enacted and 170 weary Sons of the Desert were
created Nobles of the Mystic Shrine.
pilgrimage of Jerusalem Temple to the Canal Zone followed a convocation of the
Scottish Rite, where additional Masons received the prerequisite degrees. It
was held on a new pier at Colon on the night of March 28, 19 14.
Pilgrimage of Nile Temple to the Philippines was far longer, and was less
impressive only because it could be repeated at some future date. Three
thousand Nobles of Nile Temple cheered the Shrine ship Minnesota as it sailed
from Seattle at high noon on December 30, 1913. After tourist stops in Japan,
the ship arrived in Manila on January 30; and on the night of January 31, 140
additional Sons of the Desert were rewarded for their efforts by becoming
members of the Shrine. The ship then visited China and returned to Seattle on
March 12, having covered 14,000 miles. Two hundred Nobles and ladies,
representing twenty‑nine temples, were represented on the pilgrimage.
FARAWAY PLACES 163 Those were indeed halcyon days, all too soon to be
shattered by the turn of world events. And if only a few Shriners and only a
few temples could make the world‑wide pilgrimages, other temples could and did
make lesser pilgrimages. To extinct volcanic craters, to deep caverns, to the
California desert, and just to towns within their jurisdictions, the Shriners
moved in their effort to have more fun themselves and to make more men
Shriners so that they, too, could join in the fun.
Chapter 15 "Our Lives, Our Fortunes" T WAS during the year that William W.
Irwin served as Imperial Potentate that the last two of the original "13" who
formed the Shrine passed the veil into the valley from which there is no re
turn. Dr. Walter M. Fleming died at the home of his son in Mount Vernon, New
York, on September q, 1913, and George W. Millar died in New York March 28,
1g14, forty‑two years after the founding of the fraternity.
January r, 194, the Imperial Recorder would report, the Shrine had passed the
200,000 mark in membership. It had been fortytwo years of fun, frolic and
service to their fellowmen; forty‑two years during which the Shriners had
become known everywhere as "high‑up Masons" and during which they had replaced
the Knights Templar as the foremost parading organization in the world.
Imperial Session, which began May 12, 1914, in Atlanta, Georgia, army
recruiting stations reported that they had had a flood of applications from
the young men of Georgia, who were impressed by the war scares in Mexico and
Europe and by the Shrine uniforms. The young men combined the two and decided
that army life must indeed be wonderful.
was quite a show that the members of Yaarab Temple of Atlanta, the people of
Atlanta, and the Shiners put on. The Atlanta 164 "OUR LIVES, OUR
FORTUNES" 165 Journal (with perhaps exaggerated but pardonable pride)
called the session the biggest convention in the history of the world and
declared the city's decorations were the most stupendous ever known. There
were 30,000 flags and ioo,ooo yards of bunting, all of which cost $ 3 o,ooo.
Four thousand Shriners were housed in railroad trains in a railroad section
that had been named Shrine Park. Streets were roped off for dances that began
at eleven o'clock in the evening and continued until the bands went to sleep.
For the first time in Georgia Tech history, the students were given an extra
day off to watch the great parade. All the clubs in the city kept open house
for the Shriners. One Shriner in a wornout police uniform arrested half the
people on Peach Tree Street, and directed traffic for an hour. One group of
twenty Shriners made up a Kazoo band and toured the city playing the "Hootchie‑Kootchie
Dance," and required the girls to dance.
it was over, the Atlanta Journal editorially declared it to have been the
merriest and most enchanting week in the life of Atlanta. "The Shriners have
proved themselves to be royal guests. Every hour of their sojourn has been
glorious with color and music and brimming over with good fellowship. They
came in caravans of joy, rich‑hearted pilgrims from every section of the
western world and this oasis bloomed a thousand times more brightly . . ." But
behind the pageantry and the fun, there was more serious business, too. With
Mexico torn by revolution and the Marines already in Vera Cruz, a resolution
was offered to the Imperial Council calling on all temples to render every
possible service to refugee Nobles who might be expelled from Mexico and
permitting the temples to call on the Imperial Council for a refund in any
monies expended in behalf of the refugees. The Imperial Council never got
around to acting on the proffered resolution, but there was talk about it and
it was tacitly admitted that the Imperial Potentate would so act.
there was the resolution by David B. G. Rose of Kosair Temple in Louisville,
which in essence was development of the 1902 resolution by Morocco Temple of
Jacksonville, Florida, calling for the establishment of a Shrine tubercular
sanitarium. Rose's resolution 166 PARADE TO GLORY called for the Imperial
Potentate to appoint a committee of five to investigate the possibility of the
establishment of a benevolent institution for dependent Shriners and their
families "in the name of, by, and through the influence and support of the
A.A.O.N.M.S." It was another step in the movement of the Shrine toward the
development of a Shrine project. However, though the resolution was adopted
and the committee of five appointed by the new Imperial Potentate, Frederick
R. Smith of Damascus Temple of Rochester, New York, the idea failed to muster
much support. The committee reported to the Imperial Council in 19 15 at
Seattle, Washington, that the development of such an institution would be a
benevolence worthy of the Order, but that at the present time it would be
inadvisable and impracticable. The cost, the committee said, would be
unwarranted; besides the Masonic Order maintained charitable and benevolent
institutions in almost every jurisdiction, and since all Shriners were Masons,
these institutions could be used. The extensive territorial jurisdiction of
the Shrine, the location of such an institution and the selection of its
guests made the whole thing almost impossible. The special committee moved to
abandon the project and the Imperial Council unanimously agreed.
the Shriners left Atlanta, they did so with merry hearts and reverent minds,
but just six weeks later Gavrillo Prinzip, a Bosnian Serb terrorist, shot and
killed Archduke Ferdinand, heir to the Aus trian throne, an event that in
itself attracted comparatively little interest among Americans but one which
would precipitate other events leading to war, which officially was declared
July 2 8 by Austria against Serbia. Events moved swiftly in Europe and as the
winter holidays approached, all Europe was in flames. In the United States,
there was interest, particularly because Canadians had answered the call of
King and Empire, but there was little thought that the United States would
ever be drawn into the conflict. Among Masons, however, there was a
realization that fraternal brothers at some time or other might need help, and
on November 28, William B. Melish organized the Masonic War Relief Association
of the United States. Arthur McArthur, Grand Master of the Grand Encampment of
Knights Templar, was "OUR LIVES, OUR FORTUNES" 167 elected president, and
Bernard G. Witt, General Grand High Priest of the Royal Arch Masons, and
Imperial Potentate Frederick R. Smith served as vice president; but it was
Melish, as chairman of the executive committee, who really operated the
sent an appeal for funds to all Shrine temples. The object of the association,
he said, was to aid the sufferers from the European war, and "as Masonry is
universal, so too will this charity embrace the people of all the nations at
war. . . ." By the time the Shrine assembled in Seattle on July 13, 1915,
nearly ten thousand dollars had been raised by the temples alone for the
Masonic charity. In the years that followed, the Shrine contributed thousands
upon thousands more from the Imperial treasury. Individual temples and
individual Shriners contributed still thousands more. Most of the money was
used for the maintenance of two orphan asylums‑one in Paris, the other near
London‑where the destitute victims of the conflict were treated with great
understanding without regard for race, creed or national origin.
this was only the beginning of the Shrine's part in the war. Even as the
Imperial Council assembled in Seattle, the Shriners and for that matter most
Americans had begun to realize that the war in Europe was no small Balkan
squabble. There was horror at the starvation of the Belgians. There was even
greater horror at the senseless sinking of the Lusitania in May of 1915 with a
loss of American lives. Of course the Shriners paraded in Seattle as if there
were no war. Times were good. American farmers were feeding the Allies.
American industry was supplying much of the material of war. Still, there was
an undercurrent of tension that went beyond regular Shrine affairs. Some
American boys already had joined the Lafayette Escadrille. Others had joined
up with Canadian forces. During the Imperial Session itself, the Liberty Bell
passed through Seattle on its way to the San Francisco Exposition, and the
Imperial officers and representatives went in a body to see it.
Officially, about the most important event of the three‑day meeting in Seattle
was the decision to have a special ceremonial presented 168 PARADE TO GLORY in
19 16 in Buffalo to show various temple officers how to execute it. The
proposal for such a ceremonial came from Charles Symmes of El Riad Temple in
Sioux Falls, South Dakota, who had gained something of a reputation as a
ceremonial director. As so frequently happens, since he made the proposal, he
could do the work. He was named chairman of the committee and when the
ceremonial was presented in Buffalo, it was quite an affair.
York designers and decorators had prepared special stage scenery; and from all
over the continent the best patrols, ceremonial producers, singers, dancers
and musicians participated in the great cere monial. The officers were chosen
for their individual talents, but it was to Symmes, who directed the entire
affair, that the Nobles gave their applause.
almost the same time that the Shiners: were meeting in Buffalo, the
Republicans and Democrats were nominating Charles Evans Hughes and Woodrow
Wilson for President, and for the three months of the campaign the people
would hear "He kept us out of war." But it was a foolish hope and was not to
be. Many of the Shriners knew it, for already they were being called upon for
work that sometimes verged on "cloak and dagger" stuff. Henry F. Niedringhaus,
Jr., of Moolah Temple was elected Imperial Potentate at Buffalo; and while he
continued to make his regular visitations, even after the United States
entered the war near the end of his tenure, he also devoted much time to war
had the convention in Buffalo closed when a bomb exploded in a Los Angeles
Preparedness Day parade, resulting in the conviction and long court fight of
Tom Mooney. And on July 30, there was the famous Black Tom explosion at
munitions loading docks in Jersey City, New Jersey. The bloody battles of the
Somme, which were being fought even as the Shriners met, continued on into
three months, the nation listened to the oratory of the politicians and
finally reelected Wilson, even though Hughes went to bed election night
convinced he had won. But even during the stirring times, there was a
noticeable trend toward patriotism. Parades were "OUR LIVES, OUR FORTUNES" 169
held designed to raise funds for the Red Cross and other patriotic
organizations, and whenever asked, the Shriners paraded too. After all, the
Shriners were not only the best parade group in every city, but were by far
the most colorful.
day the tensions grew. Unlimited submarine warfare was declared by the
Germans, and finally on February z, 1917, the United States severed diplomatic
relations with the Germans. Active prepara tions for American entry into the
war were stepped up. American merchant ships were armed, and on April 6, the
government declared a state of war existed with Germany.
Temples, as if they had planned it, swung into high gear. All available funds
were invested in Liberty Bonds. Special Liberty Loan auctions were held. The
Imperial Potentate was called in by Food Ad ministrator Herbert C. Hoover, and
the Shrine curtailed its banquet operations. For the temple units, it was
parade, parade, parade. And parade they did. Comparatively few of the Shriners
were called into the armed services, for most of them were too old to carry a
gun; but scores of them served as officers, and thousands upon thousands of
Shiners watched their sons march away.
1917 session of the Imperial Council had been awarded to Minneapolis, and
Zuhrah Temple went to considerable effort to prepare for it. But with the
advent of war, there were complications. Railroad travel was difficult, and
after long consultation with Charles E. Ovenshire of Zuhrah, who was to become
the next Imperial Potentate, Niedringhaus told the temples not to send bands,
patrols or other units. Hilarity would be out of place and the Minneapolis
session would be devoted exclusively to the business of the fraternity. Many
temple units which had raised funds for the trip to Minneapolis turned them
over to various war relief societies.
the circumstances, the Minneapolis meeting was rather dull. No banquets. No
parades. Just business. The representatives got it over with as quickly as
possible and decided to meet in Atlantic City in 19 18, when the war might be
over. But it wasn't over "over there" and in fact the Germans were just at
that time bringing the war almost 170 PARADE TO GLORY to the
beaches of New Jersey and New England. The Imperial officers and
representatives began to arrive at the coastal resort on Sunday, June z, 1918,
and that evening, just at dusk, the German submarine U37 stopped the passenger
steamer Carolina i so miles southeast of Atlantic City, ordered all hands and
passengers into small boats and then sank the craft with gunfire. Some of the
four hundred passengers reached Lewes, Delaware, and some were picked up by a
coastwise trawler and taken to New York, but one small boat with twenty‑nine
passengers and sailors aboard reached the beach at Atlantic City on the
morning of June 4. Shriners, some of them in "full regalia," as the New York
Times put it, joined townspeople in wading into the surf to pull the craft
ashore. The Lu Lu Temple band that happened to be parading near the point
where the lifeboat landed struck up "The Star‑Spangled Banner," and everyone
morning of June 5, the Shriners had contributed more than a thousand dollars
for the relief of the destitute victims of the Carolina and this was formally
handed to Noble Harry Bacharach, the mayor of Atlantic City, who responded
with a patriotic speech. In fact, much of the Atlantic City Imperial session
was flavored with patriotic fervor, and naturally so.
world so full of sorrow," Imperial Potentate Charles E. Ovenshire reported,
"the Mystic Shrine has added a touch of happiness with its ceremonials and
afforded an opportunity of touching elbows with friends and giving to one
another the moral support so much needed when civilization itself seems to be
tottering, while at the same time it has cooperated with every branch of the
government in every way." Ovenshire also praised the temples that had
organized units of women in their families to help with the war effort. It may
have been a technical violation of the rules which prohibited any organization
of women in the Shrine, but no one thought about such rules in the stress of
conflict. "Their [the ladies] work," Ovenshire said, "may well be an
inspiration to us, their spirit one to emulate, and their accomplishments a
spur to renewed effort on our part to give the boys "OUR LIVES, OUR
FORTUNES" 171 at the front every substantial evidence that we are behind
them with every dollar, all our time, all our effort and all our sincerest
wishes for their speedy and successful culmination of this crime of the ages."
And so it went. There were reports of temple funds that had been invested in
Liberty Bonds, of the thousands of dollars given to the Red Cross, the Y.M.C.A.,
the Salvation Army and other organiza tions that contributed to the war.
Ovenshire also reported that the membership in the Shrine had passed the
quarter of a million mark with 259,113 Nobles, 11,649 of them in the service.
Nearly 2,800 Nobles had been created while they were in uniform. Temple
service flags had become dotted here and there with gold stars, and for them
Ovenshire pronounced his benediction, "May Allah bless and protect them."
Among the stunts adopted by Shriners in the war effort was one created by
Salaam Temple of Newark, New Jersey, that offered a sack of flour to be
auctioned to the highest bidders for Liberty Bonds. Actually the sack of flour
crossed the continent several times and resulted in the purchase of more than
$8o,ooo in bonds.
Shrine, too, had been active in its own charitable way. When a munitions ship
exploded in the harbor of Halifax, Nova Scotia, on December 6, 1917, Ovenshire
had sent one thousand dollars to the Potentate of little Philae Temple in that
city and offered more as it was needed. A third of the city had been
destroyed, and as many as 1,6oo persons killed.
for the overtones of war, the Atlantic City session was devoted exclusively to
the business of the Shrine. There were always minute details relating to
jurisdictional lines and interpretations of Shrine law that had to be dealt
with, but largely it was an harmonious session. It was the last of the war
Chapter 16 the Wells of Zemzem Run Dry HE end of the war and the advent of
prohibition both presented major problems to Elias J. Jacoby of Murat Temple,
who was elected Imperial Potentate at the Atlantic City session. He had
selected his home city of Indianapolis for the 19 19 session of the Imperial
Council, but because the war did not end until November i i, 1918, he could
not anticipate with any degree of reality that bands, patrols and other units
could be invited. As far as he could foresee by the first of the year, the
Indianapolis meeting would again be strictly a business session.
date the Armistice was signed, Jacoby was in New Orleans. He was awakened
early by the shrieking of whistles and the ringing of bells, proclaiming
peace. By midday he had arrived at Hat tiesburg, Mississippi, on his way to
Meridian for an official visitation. Hattiesburg was one of the great war
training centers; and all morning long there had been speeches, parades and
joyous celebration at the news that the war was over. Of course the Imperial
Potentate also was asked to speak from a platform at the railroad station.
Again that evening, he spoke to the children in the Mississippi Masonic home
in Meridian, hoping they might be spared in the future the ravages of
THE WELLS OF ZEMZEM RUN DRY 173 As quickly as possible, Jacoby got
in touch with his committees in Indianapolis and made arrangements to expand
the convention into a full‑blown, prewar affair, but it was not until February
i, 19 19, that he issued a special order to all of the temples, advising them
that the patrols and bands would be invited to participate. It was short
notice, but they responded. They had waited three years‑since Buffalo in
19i6‑for a chance to parade. Furthermore, the Eighteenth Amendment had been
approved. The Volstead Act was less than a year away and it was obvious that
the wells of Zemzem were running dry.
units and the Imperial officers and representatives began to arrive in
Indianapolis on Monday, June q, r q 19, and they were greeted by as gaudy a
sight as Shriners had ever witnessed. The Murat Shriners had gone all out to
entertain their fraternal brothers. By Monday evening, there appeared to be a
band concert on every corner and in every hotel lobby. And every temple had
tried to think up something new by which they could have a good time.
Dickey of Moslah Temple in Fort Worth, Texas, brought along a lariat with a
cowbell on it, and he threw it at pedestrians in true Western style. And when
they were caught and well tied, Dickey demanded a contribution for the
Salvation Army. He got it, too. The boys of El Mina Temple in Galveston,
Texas, paraded around in horrible bathing suits, which prompted one
Indianapolis resident to remark, "When I was a boy, I wouldn't act up that way
out in the woods." Jerusalem Temple of New Orleans brought along five colored
women who were advertised as the champion praline makers of the world, and
they displayed their art on the street. New Orleans also brought along a
red‑hot Negro jazz band from Lower Basin Street that entertained throughout
the convention. Al Malaikah Temple had enough California fruit to invite the
whole city of Indianapolis to visit their headquarters.
the prize attraction of the three days was staged by Aladdin Temple of
Columbus, Ohio. Standing in the geographic center of Indianapolis is the
Soldiers and Sailors Monument, on the eastern and western sides of which are
pools, fed by huge fountains. The monu‑ 174 PARADE TO GLORY ment is set in a
circular plaza called Monument Circle, the traffic center of the city. In i q
i q, the monument was guarded and maintained by Civil War veterans, and they
looked askance at any frivolity affecting their charge. Attending the session
as members of the Aladdin patrol were Curt Lanimer, a female impersonator of
some note, and his buddy, Bill Sherry. After the escort parade on Tuesday,
Lanimer dressed up in his best dress and with Sherry proceeded to the
monument. With great ceremony, he left a note saying that he was tired of life
and proceeded to jump into the pool. Sherry then put on quite a show. He found
the note and in a loud voice proclaimed what had happened. As a crowd gathered
and at the proper moment, Sherry jumped in the pool to save the girl. Neither
was ever seen again. The guards jumped up and down at what they called the
desecration of their monument. But the Shriners meant no harm or disrespect.
They were simply having fun.
great night parade, the Indianapolis News said, would forever be known as "The
parade." And perhaps to that time it was the greatest of all Shrine
spectacles. There were five thousand Shriners in costume and another two
thousand who marched in full evening dress.
the session was over, the News said editorially: "There are conventions and
conventions‑but only one Shriners' convention. It is unique, unsurpassed and
unsurpassable, inimitable, incomparable, sovereign, unparalleled, supreme.
Indianapolis knows. Weeks will be required for recuperation. The streets will
seem temporarily a morgue." Indeed it was true. From that memorable week
forward, the Shriners were to be known as the great conventioneers, the finest
paraders, the most fun‑loving and fun‑provoking organization in all the
Americas. On January i of i q i q, there were 288,697 of them, and a year
later there were 363,744, and year by year more and more wanted to attend the
Imperial Session and participate in the fun.
Despite all the hilarity, the Imperial Council itself engaged in important
WELLS OF ZEMZEM RUN DRY 175 From time to time over the years since
18‑76, there had been demands for the revision of the Ritual, and some few had
been made as skeptical Nobles raised questions which as often as not were
subject to the cliche that "a little knowledge is a dangerous thing." There
were those who couldn't find the meaning of certain words. There were those
who said the Ritual as it stood didn't make much sense and still others who
demanded that the Ritual must be historically correct and factually
impregnable. Jacoby had finally appointed a committee to consider the
complaints. It is to Jacoby's credit that he named Past Imperial Potentate
Ovenshire as the chairman of that committee, which had met in Indianapolis in
November of 1918 and prepared a report to be submitted to the Indianapolis
session of the Imperial Council. The committee wrote: In our study of the
original Ritual, written by our beloved, departed Illustrious Noble friend,
Walter M. Fleming, and of the later Ritual adopted by the Imperial Council
July 24, 1894, many glaring errors were discovered, particularly in the
titles, terms and usages prevalent in the language of the Ritual. From an
academic standpoint, our Shrine and our Ritual would be held up to ridicule by
the savant, or even the progressive student of Arabic learning. Scarcely any
of the alleged Arabic supports of the Ritual could stand the test of
analytical examination without falling down completely. From such knowledge,
your committee is led to the conclusion that Noble Fleming and his alleged
twelve co‑humorists perpetrated a huge and most successful canard in the
origin of the Ritual of the Mystic Shrine and to the dear old doctor's eternal
credit be it said that he builded far better than he even suspected through
his joke, which has become the merry and substantial foundation of the
greatest, most liberal and most potent organization of friendly fellowship in
the world today.
revise the Ritual of the Shrine academically, to make it conform to Arabic
nomenclature, customs, practices and ideals would be to drastically
reconstruct the entire work of its ingenuous and humorous author and to
deprive it of all that has made it so attractively amusing to its many
thousands of admiring followers. The Ritual as it was has held its own with
little or no criticism or objection for nearly forty years; on its foundation
an organization of nobility numbering 3oo,ooo has been erected.
WELLS OF ZEMZEM RUN DRY 177 In the opinion of your committee any drastic
attack on the established foundation of our organization would be a grievous
Mason's Playground" is a place of kindly, wholesome humor. Noble Fleming gave
the Shrine such harmless humor in his conception of the Ritual. We would not
mar his work through cold conformation to Arabic‑or any other‑customs.
never again was to be an attempt directed toward a major revision of the
Ritual. The committee's report was received and unanimously adopted, but it
did not end the controversy over the back ground of the Shrine itself. That
was to continue for years to come, even though it was academic. The Shriners
who fashioned the fraternity had entered into an unseen temple, and the
records they left behind for the millions who followed were fragmentary. The
Shriners who investigated could not change the facts and, even if they could,
would not have been permitted to do so by the hundreds of thousands of
Shriners who enjoyed things as they found them. Besides, there were more
important things ahead.
Elected at Indianapolis in i g i g to succeed Elias Jacoby as Imperial
Potentate was W. Freeland Kendrick, the Potentate of Lu Lu Temple in
Philadelphia, and his election set off a chain reaction that was to give the
Shrine a soul‑a soul so big that it passeth understanding, a soul so big that
in the light of thirty years of service it transformed a playground for
"high‑up Masons" into a fraternity of love. It is likely that in the whole
history of humankind there never has been an undertaking by any group of men
that was created so suddenly or developed and perfected so quickly as the soul
of the Shriners‑their Hospitals for Crippled Children.
Chapter 17 The 'Bubbles" Speech HE atomic bomb was undreamed of, except by
perhaps a few scientists, when Freeland Kendrick became Imperial Potentate in
i q i q, and the application of the words "chain reaction" to other than
science was thirty years away. But the development of the Shriners' Hospitals
for Crippled Children was just that‑a combination of factors, events, desires,
needs and hopes, extending over a half‑century of time, all pointing toward
the same unnamed and perhaps unknown goal and triggered finally by a
Philadelphia civic leader into an explosion of philanthropic love that would
erase (or almost erase) crippled children from American streets. The concept
of the Shriners' Hospitals was to have an even more far‑reaching effect in the
years to come, for in less than thirty years other organizations and even
units of government would enter into active competition with the Shriners'
Hospitals for the privilege of treating and helping those who could not‑and
Masons in general and Shriners in particular, charity is a desirable human
trait, but one that is strictly personal and not an intangible thing that can
be imposed. Ever since the advent of Masonry into the New World, the lodges
had practiced charity of some kind; but it was done without ostentation
certainly, and more often than 178 THE "BUBBLES" SPEECH 179 not in
complete secrecy. Masonic fraternalism does not permit the glorification of
the fortunate at the expense of the unfortunate. For most of the years of
their fraternal existence, as we have seen, the Shriners had practiced charity
of some kind. From the example of the first Christmas basket delivered by the
members of Mecca Temple to some unnamed and now unknown family of New York
back in the early eighties, the idea had spread. Eventually every temple of
the Shrine had helped wherever, whenever and however it could.
the idea of Shrine charity was by no means unknown when Freeland Kendrick
became the Imperial Potentate. But the time had not been right or the idea
hadn't quite suited when other attempts had been made to develop a goal for
the Shrine beyond "the mere pursuit of pleasure." Perhaps the difference, as
much as anything else, was Kendrick himself, for Kendrick‑Philadelphia tax
receiver in i q i q; later, mayor of the city‑was a consummate politician, a
masterful showman, a devout Shriner and egocentric enough to believe that he
could and should leave a lasting memorial to himself within the fraternity.
Perhaps most important of all, he was a softie when in the presence of an
orphaned, destitute or crippled child.
are hundreds of stories about Freeland Kendrick during the many years he
served as Illustrious Potentate of Lu Lu Temple. There is no question that he
held the temple in the palm of his hand or that he cracked the whip over the
membership when it suited his purpose to do so. He was lovable and successful.
He built Lu Lu into one of the top temples of Shrinedom. He gave the
membership of Lu Lu something to remember as long as they lived in the
ceremonials and shows he put on for them. Seldom would he walk into a temple
when he could ride a charging white prancer, a camel or an elephant, and the
boys loved it and him. But there are those, too, who will tell you that he
also almost ruined Lu Lu Temple by failing to provide adequate trained
leadership for those years when he would not serve as the undisputed leader.
Freeland Kendrick doesn't remember the exact date when her husband first
became interested in orphaned, destitute and crippled 180 PARADE TO
GLORY children, but it must have been shortly after he was elected Imperial
Outer Guard at New Orleans in 19 1 o, perhaps even a year or two later. In any
case, Kendrick himself remembered the event. He had gone, he said, to the Home
for Incurables at Forty‑eighth Street and Woodland Avenue in Philadelphia for
the purpose of taking three or four of the little patients of that institution
for an automobile ride. It is likely that Mrs. Kendrick enticed him there, for
she was active in charitable work in Philadelphia at the time. In any event,
as he recalled it later, "What I saw there, what I heard there and what I
sensed there made such a profound impression on me that for days and weeks I
could not drive the sad scene from before me. This visit to the incurable
institution prompted the birth of the idea to inaugurate a movement among the
Shriners of North America for rehabilitating orphaned, friendless and crippled
children." Thus, when Kendrick went to Indianapolis, knowing he was to become
the Imperial Potentate, he had a well‑thought‑out plan. He had enlisted the
aid of Philip D. Gordon of Karnak Temple (Mont real), who had served for many
years as chairman of the Jurisprudence and Laws Committee, and was one of the
most powerful men in the Order. Privately, he had discussed his idea with
other leaders of the Shrine, and found differing opinions. Being a great
politician Kendrick could shrug off‑as if they were unimportant‑those who
disagreed with him. But as a result of the differing opinions, he determined
to tie his idea for the establishment of an institution for children to the
patriotic fervor of the Shriners. The war was just over. Peace would lie
ahead, and his institution could easily become a peace memorial.
a great showman, Kendrick had an unerring sense of timing, and so it was that
his great proposal was held until the very last minute of the last day of the
i g i q session of the Imperial Council. It was hot in Indianapolis. The
Representatives were tired and wanted to get away. And it was at this
precisely chosen moment that Gordon arose to offer a resolution. It read:
Whereas it is the opinion of this Imperial Council, in this year wherein the
peace of the world has been established, it would be fitting that some
D. Gordon, Karnak Temple, Montreal lasting and tangible memorial be
established showing to the world at large that we as a body of loyal and
patriotic citizens from the various sections of the great North American
continent and from which thousands of our membership have enlisted and scores
have paid the supreme sacrifice in the cause of justice, liberty and
democracy, for all of which our beloved order has stood so prominently, And
whereas, W. Freeland Kendrick, the Imperial Potentate‑elect, has already
intimated to this Imperial Council his wish that such a memorial, if possible,
take the form of a home for friendless, orpharied and crip pled children, in
which charitable work he has already taken such a keen interest in his home
state of Pennsylvania, now be it
182 PARADE TO GLORY Resolved, that this Imperial Council place itself on
record as favoring such a proposition, the memorial to be styled "The Mystic
Shriners' Peace Memorial for Friendless, Orphaned and Crippled Children," and
that a committee be appointed by the incoming Imperial Potentate, with a view
of purchasing a suitable site for this purpose and making all other
arrangements necessary, and be it further Resolved, that a special assessment
of one dollar be made on each member of the Order, to be collected by the
subordinate temples, in December next, from their membership in addition to
the annual dues for rg2o, and remitted to the Imperial Recorder when making
their annual returns for the year i y i q.
Kendrick's name was attached to the hospital program from the very start, if
the Imperial Council would just adopt it. But it was not to be‑at least not in
Indianapolis. The resolution never came to a vote and wasn't even debated. But
it did permit Kendrick to discuss his proposal wherever he went during the
year he served as Imperial Potentate.
almost the same time Kendrick visited the hospital for incurables in
Philadelphia, another event of far‑reaching importance in the future of the
Shriners' Hospitals was taking place in Atlanta, Georgia.
Memorial Hospital (now Emory University Hospital) had allotted two beds to
little cripples who received free surgical treatment from Dr. Michael Hoke.
The demand for the beds was great, but even greater was the need for a
convalescent home where the children might be cared for after surgery, thus
making the two hospital beds available for other cripples. Dr. Hoke was an
inspired doctor and surgeon and, perhaps more important, a man with a vision.
Everywhere he went he sought aid for his projects‑not for himself but to
provide more beds for more crippled children. But the kind of help Dr. Hoke
needed was not easy to find, until, by coincidence, it developed from two
sources at almost the same time.
Coincidence? Well, perhaps it was the inscrutable workings of the Master
Architect of the Universe. ‑ A railroad worker in Atlanta had been
injured in falling from a THE "BUBBLES" SPEECH 183 train. It was an
unusual injury, which failed to respond to normal treatment. Weeks dragged
into months. The worker's funds were exhausted. His family was destitute. At
that point, an appeal was made to Forrest Adair, head of the Scottish Rite
bodies of Atlanta, where the worker was a member. Adair engaged Dr. Hoke to
care for the worker, and in the many weeks that followed before he eventually
returned to his job, Adair and Hoke met frequently. Hoke told his story of the
needs of crippled children to Adair as he did to anyone else who would listen.
Simultaneously, a group of Atlanta women under the leadership of Mrs. William
Clarke Wardlaw, began selling pencils on the streets of the city to equip a
convalescent home‑an event which also im pressed Adair. The women raised $ i,
i oo in their project, and Adair obtained $5,000 more from the Scottish Rite
bodies. With this money, the combined group of women and Masons rented two
cottages in the suburbs of Atlanta which on September 1, 1915, opened for
patients with Dr. Hoke as chief surgeon and Miss Lillian Carter as
superintendent. The hospital had twenty beds.
years that followed, this hospital became known as the Scottish Rite Hospital
for Crippled Children. It treated thousands of crippled children from all of
Georgia and even the surrounding states. New buildings were built. Nurses'
homes were erected. Thousands of dollars were expended, but most important of
all to the future of the Shriners' Hospitals for Crippled Children‑which were
still seven years away‑were the rules and regulations drawn up by Dr. Hoke and
Adair. They were simple, but definite. No patient might pay. If the patient
could pay, he should be in some other hospital. The patient must be under
fourteen years of age and, in the opinion of the doctors, have a reasonable
chance of being helped. The hospital was for orthopedic cases only. It was not
to become a home for orphaned children. It was open to all in need, no matter
what their color, their religion or their nationality. The rules have never
been changed. They are exactly the same rules eventually adopted for the
government of the Shriners' Hospitals, and it is quite possible that without
the de‑ 184 PARADE TO GLORY velopment of the Scottish Rite Hospital
in Atlanta, the Shriners' Hospitals would never have been brought into being.
the year he served as Imperial Potentate, Freeland Kendrick traveled more than
150,000 miles and managed to visit most of the temples in North America. It
was a popular administration, for Kendrick was a popular man. The committee of
the Imperial Council that went over his report of the year declared him to be
a "pleasing and forceful speaker. His big heart has reached four hundred
thousand of our nobility. He has made good to the full satisfaction and
benefit of all." And everywhere he went the Imperial Potentate discussed his
project which would give the Shriners a goal. Thus when he arrived in
Portland, Oregon, for the forty‑seventh session of the Imperial Council, he
felt certain enough of the success of his project to go considerably farther
than the original resolution offered in Indianapolis. He recommended that the
Imperial Council authorize a tax of five dollars (instead of one dollar) on
every Shriner, effective immediately, to establish a Shriners' Home for
Friendless, Orphan and Crippled Children and that a committee of seven be
appointed by the incoming Imperial Potentate to select a site and arrange for
immediate action in the construction of the Home.
the committee to pass on the recommendation came in with its report, however,
it went only so far as to open the matter for discussion on the floor. After
discussion, the committee suggested that the project be returned to the local
temples for a vote. The committee said its members believed in the idea, hoped
it would be enacted, but that it felt that a matter so important should be
passed on by the local temples. This report reached the Imperial Council on
the morning of Wednesday, June 23, 1920.
the report was read, there was a noticeable murmur in the meeting room, a sort
of stir that Kendrick could sense. He hurriedly talked with some of his
associates, including Gordon. There were fur ther discussions during the
luncheon hour, with the result that when the program was called up for
discussion in the afternoon of that fate‑ THE "BUBBLES" SPEECH 185 ful
Wednesday, Kendrick had a substitute resolution to offer. With Deputy Imperial
Potentate Ellis Garretson of Al Kader Temple (Portland) in the chair, Kendrick
took the floor.
"Imperial Sir," he said, "I have changed the original recommendation somewhat,
as I believe it will come nearer to meeting with your approval in the present
form and will bring about the object desired.
recommend that at this session of the Imperial Council a resolution be adopted
authorizing the establishment of a hospital for crippled children to be
supported by the nobility of the Mystic Shrine of North America on an annual
per capita basis and to be known as the Shriners' Hospital for Crippled
Children." In this manner, Kendrick eliminated one of the strongest objections
to his original idea. He had taken out the word home and substituted the word
hospital, an institution to all intents and purposes an exact duplicate of the
Scottish Rite Hospital in Atlanta. Many of the representatives had freely
expressed themselves about establishing an orphan asylum. They didn't like it.
But a hospital where crooked bodies could be straightened‑well, that might be
different. Then, too, Kendrick in his new resolution reduced the annual per
capita tax on the Shriners from five dollars to two dollars.
new resolution was read, the assembled nobility of the Shrine murmured
noticeably and then the venerable William Bromwell INIelish of Syrian Temple
rose to his feet. Graying, and inclined at times to be peevish, he was
nevertheless still the hard‑headed businessman who had guided the Shrine out
of the morass of near bankruptcy in the middle nineties. He was still the
respected senior Past Imperial Potentate.
want to present my views on this matter,:" he said, "and I do so with some
reluctance, but I do so with the responsibility resting on me as representing
the temple to which I belong. I think that this project is one that we ought
not to go into at this time. I think it has not had enough consideration. I
doubt its practicability. . . . I believe it to be a project that is not
within the province of the Order of Nobles of the Mystic Shrine as it is
contemplated, for this reason: It is pro‑ 186 PARADE TO GLORY posed
that this home, if established, or number of homes, if established, shall
start out to take care of every crippled child that there is in the United
States, and care for them by the Order of the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine; not
the crippled children of Shriners, or children of any sort that are now the
wards of the several temples, but to go outside of this Order and to take
every child that may be admitted under the rules that may be established, with
a knowledge before us now that there would probably not be more than five per
cent of them that had anything to do with the families of Shriners. I don't
think that a burden of this sort ought to be put upon this Order." There was
more. Melish went on for more than fifteen minutes. It was cold, simple logic.
The Shrine, or the Shriners, he said, should not undertake a project involving
millions of dollars without the en tire nobility having a chance to make its
decision. The Imperial Council had no right to select seven men from its
membership and give them carte blanche to commit the Shrine to the expenditure
of untold sums.
sat down, there was a nodding of heads among the delegates. His argument had
been sound. There was no animosity toward Kendrick. His motives had not been
questioned. Then, from his seat near the front of the city auditorium, arose
Forrest Adair. He was a striking man, with a heavy black mustache and thick
black hair. Like Melish, he was a power in all of the Masonic circles of his
home state. But unlike Melish, he was inspired. He could foresee the
opportunities that would lie ahead.
arise, unlike my friend, Past Imperial Potentate Melish, without reluctance,
but with enthusiasm," he said.
fell over the auditorium as if the representatives could sense what was to
come. Adair continued: "I was lying in bed yesterday morning, about four
o'clock, in the Multnomah Hotel, and some poor fellow who had strayed from the
rest of the band‑and he was a magnificent performer on a bari tone horn‑stood
down there under the window for twenty‑five minutes playing `I am only blowing
bubbles.'" There was laughter, for even though it was prohibition days,
was still plenty of Zemzem water and camel's milk available, and the
representatives could understand what had happened.
you get it?" Adair asked, and there was more laughter. "And after a while,
when I dropped back into peaceful sleep, I dreamed of a little crippled
children's hospital, run by the Scottish Rite fraternity in Atlanta, Georgia,
which has been visited by a number of members of this Imperial Council, and I
thought of the wandering minstrel of the early morning, and I wondered if
there were not a deep significance 188 PARADE TO GLORY in the tune that he was
playing for Shriners‑`I am only blowing bubbles.' "We meet from year to year;
we talk about our great Order; we read the report of the hundreds of thousands
of dollars that are accumulated and loaned to banks and paid us for our
mileage and per diem, and on our visitations we stop in some oasis and we are
taken in an automobile by a local committee, and he first drives us by and
shows us; `This is our temple, our mosque. It is built of marble brought from
Maine or Georgia. The lot cost fifty thousand dollars; we could have sold it
for two hundred thousand before we built upon it. The building cost us a
million, and it could not be put up now for two and a half million.' " `What
is that wonderful hospital over there?' " `That is the hospital of the Sisters
of St. Mary.' " `What big school is that in the distance?' " `That is a school
erected and maintained by the Catholic church.' "And we get here and we hear
the baritone. That fellow told us what we are doing." The hush over the
auditorium deepened. Already, there could be no doubt that Adair was
delivering an inspired message, a message that was to become known wherever
Shriners gathered as the "bubbles" speech. One member who heard it was so
shaken that in later years he purchased three copies of Sir John Millais'
famous painting of a boy blowing bubbles, one of which now hangs in the
Greenville, South Carolina, unit of the Shriners' Hospitals. But once started,
Adair did not let up. There are, he said, four hundred thousand cripples in
the United States "and unfortunately they are in the alms houses; they are in
the homes; they are mendicants; they are paupers; and the best alms you can
give is that which will render alms unnecessary.
Brother Melish goes back to these other resolutions which have been postponed
from year to year, while we blow more bubbles and sing again `Hail, Hail, the
Gang's All Here.' This resolution has been changed. It does not establish,
Brother Melish, a home. The THE "BUBBLES" SPEECH 189 word there is `hospital;
the Shriners' Hospital for Crippled Children.' I presume that any intelligent
committee that may be appointed by the incoming Imperial Potentate will
provide rules that, in the first place, no child be admitted unless in the
opinion of the surgeons, after careful examination, its trouble can be
corrected or benefited." At the Scottish Rite hospital, Adair said, no
feeble‑minded were admitted. He said that the Atlanta institution had started
with only eight thousand dollars in capital, but that it had had no hard time
getting money‑all it wanted‑"as long as God Almighty continues to put an
occasional drop of the milk of human kindness in our blood." Adair described
some of the work that had been done in Atlanta, naming the names of the
children whose crooked bodies had been improved. He said: This resolution
merely recognizes the fact that we appreciate that the responsibility is upon
us, and while we have spent money for songs, and spent money for bands‑and
they mean so much to us, let us keep it up‑you cannot put your finger on a
thing that I know of that has been done for humanity that can be credited to
the Shrine as an organization. If this is established, these little rules and
regulations that Brother Melish is so afraid of, will be taken care of by a
competent committee. If they don't do it right and devote themselves too much
to Catholic children, the Negro children, we can fire them and get another
committee. I apprehend we will not want to restrict it to the crippled
children of Shriners. We don't. The first prerequisite with us is that the
child's trouble may be corrected or improved. The second prerequisite is that
they shall be financially unable to pay. You could not get your child in that
hospital [Atlanta] if you would pay a thousand dollars a week, because you
would be depriving some little pauper of a bed.
to see this thing started. For God's sake, let us lay aside the soap and water
and stop blowing bubbles and get down to brass tacks. . . . Let's get rid of
the technical objections. Let's blow all the dust aside. And if there is a
Shriner in North America, after he sees your first crippled child treated, in
its condition, and object's to having paid the two dollars, I will give a
check back to him for it myself.
that within two, or three, or four or five years from now we will be impelled
from the wonderful work that has been done, to establish more of these
hospitals, in easy reach of all parts of North America, 190 PARADE
TO GLORY and let it be known that while our friend, the enemy, is now about
the only institution that is establishing hospitals and schools and things of
that kind for the benefit of humanity, the Shrine is going to do them one
better. And every argument that Brother Melish makes, every argument that
Brother Melish has presented against this, is, to my mind, an argument in
favor of it.
sat down to thunderous applause. There was no doubt of the feeling of the
session. He was followed by others‑Noble Robert Colding of Atlanta; Noble Opie
of Ararat in Kansas City; Noble Charles E. Ovenshire of Zuhrah in Minneapolis;
Noble Edward C. Day of Algeria in Helena; Noble Henry Lansburgh of Almas in
Washington; Noble F. F. Whitcomb of Tangier in Omaha; and Noble J. Harry Lewis
of Osman in St. Paul.
just as Deputy Imperial Potentate Garretson was about to put the question to a
vote, Kendrick offered a brief appeal.
time has come," he said, "when we should do something big. And what can you do
as big as to furnish a hospital for a poor little crippled kid? Suppose it is
black; suppose it is Catholic; God put it here on earth and it is up to us to
help it. And it means Canada as well as the United States, for our
jurisdiction is North America." Again there was applause and then silence as
the representatives waited for a vote. Now Melish once more rose to his feet.
"I want to say just one word," he said. "I think I know how this thing is
going. I think the duty of us all, the duty of myself first, is that if action
is to be taken today, as it is, upon this matter, that we want to go before
the world showing that the vote was unanimous, and that is the way I am going
to vote." And so he did. The vote was unanimous.
is just one additional note of the Portland session at which the hospitals
were approved. In later years, at least four temples claimed as their own the
wandering minstrel who played, "I'm Forever Blowing Bubbles." Chapter 18
Temples of Babe Smiles Y ACTION of the Imperial Council at Portland, the
Shriners had put themselves in the hospital business and a highly specialized
hospital business at that. The committee of seven ap pointed by Imperial
Potentate Ellis L. Garretson of Afifi Temple in Tacoma, Washington, knew
nothing about hospitals. Only one of the seven men was a doctor. Furthermore,
they had only the vaguest idea of what was expected of them; and, as it
developed during the year, there was wide variation among the committee
members on that point.
Garretson did not announce his appointments until nearly four months after the
project was approved, and when he did there was some clucking of tongues and
raising of eyebrows. Named as chair man of the committee was Sam P. Cochran of
Hella Temple in Dallas, an outstanding Mason and Shriner, but also a devout
Christian Scientist. There were some of the leaders in the hospital movement
who thought that he might not devote himself to the hospital movement because
of his faith, but they were mistaken. Cochran continued as chairman of the
hospital movement in its various legal entities for twenty‑four years. He
worked long and hard in that difficult period of establishment. _
Appointed with Cochran on that first committee of seven were
TEMPLES OF BABY SMILES 193 Philip D. Gordon of Karnak Temple, Montreal; W.
Freeland Kendrick of Lu Lu Temple, Philadelphia; Bishop Frederick W. Keator of
Afifi Temple, Tacoma, Washington; Oscar M. Lanstrum of Algeria Temple, Helena,
Montana; John D. McGilvray of Islam Temple, San Francisco; and John A. Morison
of Kismet Temple, Brooklyn.
direction of the Imperial Potentate, the committee met in St. Louis, October
30, r92o. The problem was where to begin. The committee had been instructed to
build a hospital for crippled children. But what crippled children? Where were
they coming from? Where would they be treated? By whom? The one man who might
have guided them‑Forrest Adair‑had not even been made a member of the
committee. For two days, the seven men talked about the task they had
accepted, and about the only concrete result was agreement that they should
seek some advice, which they proceeded to do. A subcommittee talked with
leading orthopedic surgeons at Vanderbilt, Louisville and Washington
University clinics; and they talked with the great Mayo brothers at their
clinic at Rochester, Minnesota. Al Chymia Temple in Memphis already was
engaged in helping with the erection of a crippled children's hospital in
Memphis, and the committee looked over the work being done in that city.
six months of work and research, six of the seven members agreed that a
hospital should be built somewhere in the Mississippi valley‑near a medical
school‑and by the time the 1921 session of the Imperial Council was held in
Des Moines, Iowa, these six were agreed on a plot of land adjacent to the
Barnes Hospital and Washington University's Medical School in St. Louis. John
Morison, who had been elected secretary of the committee, disagreed. If, as
Adair had pointed out in Portland, there were 400,000 crippled children in the
United States alone, one small hospital wouldn't help much. It was not the way
the Shriners did things. It would be far better, he argued, to build no
building at all, but simply allocate money to pay for surgical services for
crippled children in local_ communities all over North America.
194 PARADE TO GLORY After more than four hours of debate, the members of
the Imperial Council turned down the minority report and decided to erect a
building. They accepted Cochran's majority report after he read a letter from
Nathaniel Allison of Washington University, president of the American
Orthopedic Association. "The plan you are considering," Allison wrote, "seems
to me, and I am sure appeals to the great majority of our members, is one that
makes it possible to take the first step toward the national solution of the
problem of the cripple." But perhaps the clinching argument came in a telegram
from Dr. William Mayo, himself a Shriner. He said: "I approve of the principle
of the building of Shrine hospitals for the care of crip pled children.
Several should be built. . . . The plan is laudable and worthy of the great
body of Shriners." Well, now! Here was something new. Not one hospital, but
several hospitals. Not fifty or a hundred or a thousand crippled children, but
tens of thousands of crippled children. Not one hospital to which children
would travel hundreds of miles for treatment, but several hospitals located in
various sections of the North American continent. Somehow, this caught the
fancy of the Shriners. It was big. It was worthy of them. As long as they were
going to do this thing, they would do it right.
so, at Des Moines, Forrest Adair brought in a new resolution on the last day
of the session. He would have that Imperial Session elect a committee of
seven, clothed "with full authority to se lect and purchase sites, and to
erect and maintain hospitals for the treatment of poor children afflicted with
club feet, curved spines, tubercular spines and joints, infantile paralysis
and such diseases and deformities that come within the scope and province of
orthopedic surgery; said hospitals to admit no pay patients, but only those
whose parents or guardians are financially unable to pay for such treatment. .
. . These hospitals shall be located in various parts of the jurisdiction as
rapidly as the funds may be available." Of course there was discussion. Some
Bhriners argued that the Shrine shouldn't set up the hospitals and tax the
Shriners to maintain TEMPLES OF BABY SMILES 195 them and still deny
access to their services for the Shriners themselves, whether they could pay
or not. But Adair argued that such a system wouldn't work. If some patients
paid and others did not, he said, human nature would automatically give the
paying patient better service and treatment. Other representatives, no doubt
imbued with another great light, demanded that the word charity be eliminated
from the resolution and that all reference to the "poor" be stricken out. And
thus what was delivered at Des Moines was not the "Shriners' Charity
Foundation" but "The Shriners' Hospitals for Crippled Children," a gift from
men with merry hearts and reverent minds.
Elected to succeed Morison as a member of the committee was Forrest Adair, and
in the year that followed, the accomplishments were almost unbelievable.
Imperial Potentate Ernest A. Cutts of Alee Temple of Savannah, Georgia, was
able to report to the 1922 Imperial Session of San Francisco that during the
year he had spoken to 250,000 Shriners and that the Shriners had taken the
hospital movement to their hearts. It was an inspiration to him, and he
ordered the trustees to speed up their work. And they did. The committee
incorporated the Shriners' Hospitals for Crippled Children under the laws of
Georgia and the Dominion of Canada. They set up rules and regulations for
operation. There would be local boards to operate the various hospitals under
the Imperial Board of Trustees. The hospitals would be under the direction of
a staff orthopedic surgeon and a competent hospital administrator. The
surgeon‑in‑chief at each hospital would be selected not by the Board of
Trustees but by a board of nationally known orthopedic surgeons‑surgeons, as
Cochran told the San Francisco session in 1922 "that you could not buy for
money." All five of the advisory surgeons (including Dr. Hoke) assembled in
San Francisco, at their own expense. Through the long history of the Shriners'
Hospitals, not one member of the international Advisory Board of Surgeons has
ever received one penny for his services.
committee also set up rules and regulations for the admission of crippled
children to the hospitals, and it was here that the 196 PARADE TO
GLORY committee, under the tutelage of Adair, adopted in the simplest possible
language the Atlanta plan: that to be admitted a child must be from a family
unable to pay for the orthopedic treatment received; must be under fourteen
years of age; must not be mentally incompetent; and must be, in the opinion of
the surgeons, one who could be cured or improved. The hospitals were not to
become asylums for indigent incurables. They were to be hospitals in the
finest sense, hospitals for the curing or helping of children who otherwise
would go through life saddled with their deformities and their pain.
has never been a change in that policy. No patient at any Shriners' Hospital
has ever paid one penny for any service received. The doors have been open
equally to Jews, Catholics, Negroes, Mohammedans, foreigners and even an
occasional child of a Shriner.
the preliminary difficulties out of the way, the committee began the laborious
task of selecting sites for the hospitals. St. Louis was still the first
choice, but there were legal problems in connection with acquiring the
property, and construction was delayed for several months. Thus, while the St.
Louis unit was the original hospital, it was not the first hospital to get
under way. That honor went to Shreveport, Louisiana, and El Karubah Temple.
The cornerstone of the Shreveport unit was laid by Imperial Potentate Ernest
A. Cutts on May 12, 1922, and it opened its doors to the first patient on
September 16 of that year in a remodeled house adjacent to the Masonic Temple.
hard did the committee work during the second year of its existence that it
was able to report to the Imperial Shrine session in San Francisco on June 13,
X922, that locations had been selected for ten hospitals and that construction
was underway at most of them. Eventually, the Shrine erected seventeen
hospital units in the following cities: Shreveport; St. Louis; Minneapolis‑St.
Paul; Montreal; Portland, Oregon; San Francisco; Los Angeles; Spokane,
Washington; Salt Lake City; Philadelphia; Honolulu; Springfield,
Massachusetts; Mexico City; Lexington, Kentucky; Chicago; Winnipeg, Manitoba;
and Greenville, South Carolina.
San Francisco Examiner Imperial Potentate Ernest A. Cutts at laying of
cornerstone of San Francisco Hospital Unit, 1922 Thousands of Shriners who
arrived in San Francisco a few days before the opening of the 1922 Imperial
Session on June 13, were present when the cornerstone was laid for the
hospital unit there, and when the session itself opened, it was evident that
there would be no debate. The Imperial Council had been "sold" on the
movement, and for that matter so had much of the rest of the nation. National
magazines and newspapers were keeping the public apprised of every Shrine
report to the Imperial Council in 1922, Cochran had a prophetic vision of the
days ahead: "I believe that time will demonstrate that you have set an example
and outlined a plan of development which will lead, in the course of time, to
the institution of a great plan of humanitarian care of all those classes of
people whom we find in every city and among all populations who become objects
of charity or affectionate care 198 PARADE TO GLORY on the part of
the people among whom they live. This work is going to practically eliminate
from the streets of your cities in the course of the next generation or so the
crippled child." And so it has. It has not been easy. There can be little
doubt that the pioneering efforts of the Shiners. to aid the destitute
crippled child has motivated other organizations, including various units of
government, to give attention to the problem. Experts in the field have
learned that while the crippled child has not been eliminated and probably
never will be, it can be helped and is being helped.
Meanwhile, in Greenville, South Carolina, W. W. Burgiss, a philanthropist, was
so impressed with the work the hospital movement was doing that he built and
bequeathed an entire unit to the Imperial Board of Trustees. His gift amounted
to more than $350,000, but nowhere does his name appear in the hospitals
except in the "Book of Gold," a book composed of pure gold sheets, on which is
inscribed the name of every donor to the hospital movement. A similar "Book of
Gold" is enshrined in every hospital operated by the Shriners. Hundreds of
donors have bequeathed millions of dollars, maintained as an endowment fund
for the operation of the hospitals, which now costs almost seven million
dollars a year. Many of the donors are Shriners, many of them are not. The
Roman Catholic Bishop of Wichita, Kansas, wrote to the chairman of the board
of the St. Louis hospital unit about a Catholic boy from Wichita, named Jerry:
"Certainly the Shriners' Hospital in St. Louis as well as the members of the
Shriners' organization in Wichita are deserving of orchids and congratulations
for the magnificent care of this dear little boy. It is a medical wonder that
a little fellow like Jerry, born without arms and legs, can be equipped to
take his normal place in his home and later on in society. I have never failed
to send in my check to the Shriners when they conduct the annual circus here
to raise funds for the wonderful Christlike work they are doing for
handicapped children." The letter was signed by the Most Rev. Mark K. Carroll.
addition to the Shrine Circuses‑held all over the United States and Canada to
raise funds for the hospitals, more than forty TEMPLES OF BABY
SMILES 199 annual football games are played. One of the more
notable ones is the Los Angeles North‑South game, played between high‑school
stars from the north and the south of California, which draws more than i
oo,ooo patrons. Another is the North‑South College All‑Star game in Miami. The
"Oyster Bowl" is promoted by Khedive Temple of Norfolk, Virginia, and played
in the Municipal Stadium in that city. In twelve years, it has earned more
than $800,000 for the endowment fund. In Charlotte, North Carolina, Oasis
Temple promotes a game between all‑star high‑school seniors from both North
and South Carolina, and one can only surmise what the Governor of North
Carolina says to the Governor of South Carolina after the game is over. The
list could go on, but the most famous and the first of the Shrine games is the
East‑West College All‑Star game, promoted by Islam Temple in San Francisco, a
game that has been called "football's finest hour." Every year since 192 5 the
best of the nation's collegiate football players assemble in San Francisco
during the holiday season, giving up their vacations at home to play a game
which has as its motto, "Strong legs run that weak legs may walk." During all
that time, not one player has received one cent more than his expenses. Not
one of the Shrine leaders who direct the game has ever received a penny. None
of the coaches or officials have been paid. The entire profit of the venture
originally went to the San Francisco unit of the hospital system, but in later
years after the San Francisco hospital had become self‑sustaining, the funds
were turned over to the general endowment fund for distribution to all
hospitals, but with emphasis on the Los Angeles unit. At the time that the San
Francisco hospital became self‑supporting, the chairman of the local board of
trustees was John McGilvray, one of the original national trustees and in
later years the vice president of that group. And like others on that first
board, including Bishop Keator, Dr. Lanstrum and the others, he gave of his
own treasure to make the hospitals the "world's greatest philanthropy." The
game is really the by‑product of a fun festival that was 200 PARADE T O
GLORY called a baseball game between the Nobles of Islam Temple and the San
Francisco Elks. The earnings of that game were divided among the charities of
the two fraternities. But the Shrine hospital needed something more, and
Captain E. Jack Spaulding suggested that possibly a football game between the
two fraternities might be arranged. Still, the human wreckage that might
result when older men started committing mayhem on the gridiron was hardly to
be countenanced, and as a substitute the nobility of Islam Temple created the
All‑Star game, with William Coffman as director. He still is as this is
Shrine East‑West game provides one of the greatest football classics in the
nation. Some of the greatest stars the game has ever known have appeared. But
the Shrine East‑West game is more than just a football game. It is a classic
of love and sacrifice for a goal that transcends the yards gained, the passes
thrown or the runners stopped. This is a game played that Joe, with two
clubfeet, may walk and even run and play like other children. It is played for
little Mary, who lies in a plaster cast as the curve is removed from her
spine. It is played for Ralph and Ruth, Nancy and Bill, Sue and Dick‑white,
black, yellow, Protestant, Jew, and Catholic‑who lie in the Shriners'
Hospitals, and for others who are waiting to reach that Mansion of Mercy.
should be stated right here that one young man, whose deformities were
corrected in the San Francisco hospital, eventually played in one East‑West
procedure of the game is always the same. By the middle of October, the
players have been invited, and according to their own lights have accepted or
rejected the invitation. Only the Ivy League of all the nation's collegiate
associations does not permit its students to participate, and this only since
1952. Arriving in San Francisco, the players of both squads are taken to the
hospital to meet the little boy or little girl who has adopted him for the
time of the visit to the Golden Gate. Each child has a ‑pipe‑cleaner image of
a football player, dressed in the colors of the school he represents. The
Bill Coffman of Islam Temple and Howard "Hopalong" Cassady, All‑American Back
from Ohio State, with "Carlo" from Nicaragua Before the East‑West Game, San
from left to right (rear) : Bob Mitchell, University of Illinois;
unidentified player; Mickey Jumarki, University of West Virginia; and Jim
Orweg, University of Michigan‑with Nurse June Stett and "Ross" and "Don"
Photos by Haas & Associates 202 PARADE TO GLORY little patient sings the
school song as best he or she can. They have a cup of tea together and become
friends. And it isn't always easy. Many a strong, stalwart football star,
seeing the twisted bodies, the plaster casts and the smiling faces for the
first time, suddenly excuses himself, walks through the front door of the
hospital and finds a place to cry. Cry unashamedly. And vow that in the game
ahead ‑well, it is best illustrated by a story written by Bud Spencer, sports
editor of the San Francisco News, of Joe Sullivan, twenty‑one‑yearold,
crew‑haired halfback from Dartmouth, who shyly approached his hostess and
said: "Hello, Princess." "Hello," she answered.
little girl sang her song and showed Joe her miniature painted in the oak
green of Dartmouth. He leaned down so that she could pin it on his lapel. And
then they waited. Uncertain, bashful. But in a moment, as is a woman's way,
the girl broke the stalemate by reaching under her pillow and bringing out an
added gift. "Here," she said, and handed Joe a leather case.
turned it over once or twice, not knowing quite what to think.
made it," she told him, a queer mixture of pride and shyness in her voice. "I
made it just for you. I knew you were coming. I even know your name. Your name
is Joe Sullivan and it's a key case." The next day, the East team moved to
Santa Clara University to begin training for the New Year's Day game. After
each day's scrimmage, when the big fellows had showered and had their din ners,
Joe went off alone and wrote to his "princess." And Joe couldn't forget what
the nurses had told him. His "princess" needed something more than science and
medicine. She had been a very sick girl. Sometimes, Joe kept thinking,
inspiration can do more than all the other things put together. Then Joe was
hit with an idea. He knew the game was to be televised, and he knew his
"princess" would be watching. So he wrote to her that on Saturday, every play
TEMPLES OF BABY SMILES 203 would be strictly for her. "And don't be
surprised if I intercept a pass or two just for you." And he did.
through the afternoon, his "princess" was the happiest girl in the hospital.
That Joe was playing one of his greatest games just for her was a secret
locked in her heart, but the nurses immediately noticed a turn for the better
in her attitude. A few weeks later, they wrote to Joe that she was taking her
first steps in the therapeutic pool.
Bowl games followed the San Francisco experiment. But San Francisco led the
way. It is spectacular as the colorful Shrine parade units fill the field
before a game. It is spectacular with the brilliant play of the young
athletes, whose names are known by every follower of the autumn sport‑names
like Johnny Lujack, of Notre Dame; Herb Joesting and Bronco Nagurski of
Minnesota; Bob Waterfield of U.C.L.A.; George McAfee of Duke; Brick Muller of
California. In all, more than 125 schools have contributed more than 1,6oo
players to the contest, and as the New York Sun once said editorially: "There
has always seemed something peculiarly fitting in the bringing together of
fine young athletes in a laudable attempt to do something useful for
physically handicapped boys and girls." And so it has.
Chapfer 19 Unto the Least of these 'T O ONE knows the thousands of hours,
days, weeks and months that have been spent by the national and local boards
to make the Shriners' Hospitals what they are. The men gave unstintingly of
their time and talent. Without exception, they were men of vision and, like
Dr. Hoke in 1914, were inspired by an almost fanatical zeal to be of service.
As the years passed, and one after another the original board members passed
into the unseen temple, new men were appointed and eventually elected by the
Imperial Council. And with each passing year, there was more and more to be
done by both the local and national boards. At the national level, the
hospitals had become truly big business as the board appropriated and
administered almost seven million dollars for operations alone. And the local
boards, composed of leaders of their communities‑bankers, industrialists,
lawyers, doctors, businessmen‑devoted more and more of their time to the
handling of their local affairs. In many cases it was a full‑time activity.
And the competition for membership on the national board became almost as keen
as competition for membership on the Imperial Divan.
the retirement of Sam P. Cochran in 1934 as Chairman of the Board of Trustees
of the Shriners' Hospitals for Crippled Chil204 UNTO THE LEAST OF THESE 205
dren, W. Freeland Kendrick was elected to that post. He retained it until
1949, when he, too, retired, to be succeeded by Galloway Calhoun of Tyler,
Texas, the Imperial Potentate in 1948‑1949 and a member of Karem Temple in
Waco, Texas. During the years, the Georgia Corporation had given way to the
Colorado Corporation. The Imperial Potentate, the Deputy Imperial Potentate,
the Imperial Chief Rabban, the Imperial Treasurer, and the Junior Past
Imperial Potentate were made members of the governing board. But the changes
in operating procedures were rare and, even then, largely to simplify the
work. The children were not affected.
first patient to be admitted back in 1922 was a little girl from the red clay
country south of Shreveport, Louisiana, a tot with a club foot who had learned
to walk on the top of one foot rather than the sole. The first child to be
admitted in Minneapolis was a Blackfoot Indian boy, suffering from the
deformities. of polio. Since that time, more than one hundred thousand
children have been treated. Some of them remained for months in the various
hospitals. Others received treatment in the out‑patient clinic. Many of them
received surgery in techniques developed in the Shrine Hospitals and now
accepted by orthopedic surgeons as standard. Thousands of the children have
been fitted with arm and leg braces and artificial limbs, most of them made by
expert technicians in special workrooms in the hospitals. The results have
been astounding. It is almost impossible for the lay mind to conceive of the
work that has been done, the results that have been achieved and the happiness
that has been created.
knows how many million man‑hours of work have been contributed, not only by
the paid staff in the various hospitals, but by Shriners and their wives who
work as volunteers in many ways to contribute to the program. And from these
millions of hours of work, thousands of children have been and are permitted
to lead normal lives, who otherwise would have become mendicants or public
charges, destined to go through life in pain and misery, wards of poor
administrators, suffering in shame and defeat. Walter M. Fleming, who was
himself a doctor, would have been proud to have seen the glory that came 206
PARADE TO GLORY to his Order that was organized for fun and frolic, and then
paraded its way into the hearts of Americans everywhere.
the very start, the hospitals kept accurate records of the patients, and it is
to the everlasting credit of the management that not once since that September
sixteenth in 1922 has there been the slightest defamatory remark made about
the hospitals. There has been only praise, praise of the highest order, praise
from the medical profession, praise from those who have a different religion
or nationality or color from the Shriners themselves.
the hospital records are couched in medical terms, they do not reveal the true
story behind many of the patients. They do not reveal the story that can be
learned only by visiting one of the hospitals and seeing the children and
talking with them. If the author may be permitted in this book just one
personal note, it would be to describe these hospitals. In the many visits I
have made, I have heard but one child cry, and that was a three‑year‑old tot
who had just arrived for treatment and was still a trifle scared and a bit
homesick for its mother. I have seen a boy of seven without either arms or
legs feeding himself with a contraption manufactured in the hospital. He has
learned to control it with his back muscles. I have seen a little girl lying
on a plain plank board, and she had been strapped to it for three months, as
each day the surgeons forced her twisted body back to normal. She would be
there three more months but she was happy and smiling. I have seen boys and
girls whose entire lower extremities were encased in grotesque plaster casts,
but they would leave the hospitals, walking erect instead of crawling on hands
and knees, which is the way they entered.
deformities of the children are not pleasant to think about, but it's
wonderful to see the children themselves. Somehow‑perhaps through some angelic
power‑the staff in the hospitals is able to instill in these unfortunate
children the hope for a normal life. Even while they are the guests of the
hospitals, they begin to lead that normal life. They go to school. They engage
in handicrafts. They play and sing. They watch movies and television and
listen to the radio. Their food is better‑and there is more of it‑than in most
homes in America.
THE LEAST OF THESE 207 Many of the famous stars of the stage, the movies,
radio and television have visited the hospitals and entertained the children.
Roy Rogers with Trigger and Red Skelton, both of whom are Shriners, visit the
hospitals many times each year. There are Boy and Girl Scout troops. There are
playrooms and playgrounds. There are pretty dresses and dress‑up suits for
those special occasions.
Literally thousands of children have achieved success in life as a result of
the work done at the hospitals. Dozens of boys have become doctors. Scores of
girls have become nurses. One girl became a medical missionary in Africa. Many
are priests, ministers, dentists. Others enter into the work‑a‑day life for
which they are equipped. They marry and have children, and there have been
several cases where the daughter of a former patient has entered a hospital,
troubled with the same congenital deformity that afflicted the parent.
frequently Shriners maintain their interest in patients after they are
dismissed. For example, an American Y.M.C.A. worker from Kansas City was sent
to Sao Paulo, Brazil, and there he encountered a poorly paid teacher, whose
daughter‑a pretty little thing‑was afflicted with a congenital hip deformity.
After much letter‑writing she was admitted to the Philadelphia hospital. Her
father obtained a teaching job in Philadelphia and together they learned to
speak English. After she was dismissed from the hospital, she returned to her
home, became a dental technician and met a young dentist. They each received
scholarships to the University of Rochester to complete their education. When
they arrived in New York, they were met by the Shriners from Mecca Temple and
entertained there. When they arrived in Rochester, Damascus Temple took over,
arranged their wedding for them‑and then gave them a reception. Their whole
happiness, it might be said, could be traced to the Shrine.
years passed, the malcontents who had resented the two dollar assessment
realized they had been wrong. The Shriners not only accepted the fact that
they had the hospitals, but prided them selves on it. Almost every weekend,
some of the temples near the various hospitals would arrange entertainments
for the children. The bands played. There never was a time when a toy was not
available for one of the tots, and after every case of major surgery there was
an extra toy which the child prized most of all. Many of the former patients
still have as many as ten or twelve toys, representing the ten or twelve
operations they endured, always smilingly.
towns where the hospitals were located also took them to their hearts. In
Greenville, South Carolina, a local barber visits the hospital every week to
cut hair‑free of charge. In another hospital, the town's theater owner makes a
film available and an operator to run the machines which had been contributed
by the local Shrine temple. School boards provided teachers, and the local
hospitals and even the Navy joined forces to provide blood and bone banks, all
then, was the "soul" the Shrine had been seeking all the years of its
existence. This was the glory toward which they had been parading since that
first procession from the Dennison House to the Scottish Rite Cathedral in
Indianapolis in 1887.
Chapfer20 Guests at the White House JUNE of 192 3, the Shrine had come a long
way from that first meeting of the original thirteen in New York on that June
night in 1871 when the decision was taken to found a new Order. The Shrine
could boast of a half‑million members, only one of whom had been a member for
fifty years. He was the venerable James McGee, No. 2 8 on the rolls of Mecca
Temple. The Shrine owned scores of temples scattered across a continent. It
owned a chain of hospitals, some already in operation, others under
construction and still more to come. And the Shrine prided itself that among
its membership was the President of the United States. In tribute to Warren G.
Harding, the forty‑ninth annual session of the Imperial Council was held in
Washington, D. C., June 5‑6‑7, 1923.
bigger and better sessions of the Imperial Council were to come in later years
as both the Shrine and the cities grew, but until 192 3, there had never been
a session like that one. There are still some of the old‑time Shriners who
have been attending sessions for fifty years who declare the Washington
meeting was the biggest, gaudiest and most spectacular of all that have ever
been held. Certainly it was among them.
of the most famous names in American history were to 209
AT THE WHITE HOUSE 211 play a part in that session‑the President, a member of
Aladdin Temple in Columbus, Ohio; General John J. (Black Jack) Pershing, Army
Chief of Staff, wartime commander of the allied forces, and a member of
Sesostris Temple in Lincoln, Nebraska; and John Philip Sousa, most f amous of
all band conductors and a member of Almas Temple in Washington.
January of 1921, Leonard P. Steuart, later to become Imperial Potentate and
Imperial Treasurer, had just been elected Assistant Rabban of Almas Temple,
and with other members of the Divan of that temple he began making plans for
entertaining the Imperial Session in 1923 in Washington. The invitation
actually was presented to the Imperial Council at its 1921 session in Des
Moines, and included as a part of that invitation was a letter from the White
House. It said: "Your letter informing me that Almas Temple, Ancient Arabic
Order Nobles of the Mystic Shrine, intends to invite the Imperial Council to
meet in Washington during June of 1923 has interested me very much. Of course,
being President of the entire country, it would not quite be proper for me to
indicate a special preference for any particular city as a location of such a
gathering, but being, during the Presidential term, a resident of Washington,
I am very glad to say to you that if the Imperial Council shall determine to
hold the Imperial Session in Washington, you can be assured of my great
pleasure and readiness to make every possible contribution to the success of
action was taken on the invitation at the 1921 meeting, but it was the
consensus that when the invitation was presented again in San Francisco in
1922 it would be accepted.
of committees from Almas Temple went to work immediately, determined to make
the affair a wing‑ding that would never be forgotten. And even before the
great day arrived, it was apparent they had succeeded. The Washington Post
printed a seventy‑twopage special edition, devoted entirely to the Shrine.
Pennsylvania Avenue from the Capitol to the White House was decorated with
hundreds of lighted arches. An ingenious loudspeaker system was 212 PARADE
TO GLORY set up so that the million or more people who would watch the parades
would know what was going on, and later could dance in the street to the music
of the world's famous bands.
Sunday before the opening of the Imperial Session, special church services
were held throughout the city; and it seemed that the entire city gathered
around the Masonic Temple in the afternoon for a sermon and songs by the
chanters of Zuhrah Temple. Temples as far away as Pittsburgh entertained the
various pilgrimages on their way to Washington, and it appeared that
Baltimore's Boumi was as popular as Washington itself.
Saturday night before the opening of the session on Tuesday, June 5,
prohibition agents made a series of spectacular raids on bootleggers and
speakeasies in the city, but they confiscated only a few cases of beer and a
small amount of corn whisky. As a matter of fact, the Shriners had learned
that alcohol was not necessary for them to have fun. The Washington Post
commented after the Shriners had been in town one day that "there was only one
limitation of the extent to which the throngs went in enjoying themselves and
that was the limit, or rather the abjurgation placed on them by their
leadersthat their pleasures be without intemperance, the jollity without
coarseness and their happiness without sin." As a result, every kind of clean
pleasure ever found was to be found in Washington. Pennsylvania Avenue swarmed
with Shriners and townfolk alike, and the Shriners entertained in their own
local fashion. There were Indian dancers from New Mexico, cavorting next to
square dancers from Missouri. The people were having so much fun that
uniformed patrols could not drill and bands could not march.
aircraft carrier L angley arrived in the Potomac River to participate in naval
demonstrations, and the army air service‑attempting to gain attention‑flew two
bales of cotton from Atlanta, Georgia, to New Bedford, Massachusetts, where it
was manufactured into Masonic aprons and then flown back to Washington, where
they were presented to Imperial Potentate "Sunny Jim" McCandless of Aloha
Temple (Honolulu) for distribution as mementos of the great occasion.
AT THE WHITE HOUSE 213 On Tuesday morning, the great escort parade was held
before the amazed eyes of a million persons. The Washington Post observed that
there never had been a parade like it in the history of the city, and in the
reviewing stand, beside the Imperial Potentate, were President Harding, Mrs.
Harding and General Pershing.
parade was so long that McCandless sent Deputy Imperial Potentate Conrad V.
Dykeman to Keith's theater to get the session under way. The opening
ceremonies had been scheduled for 10:30 A.M., but McCandless, Almas Potentate
Steuart and the President did not take their places on the stage until almost
two o'clock. Noble Harding told the nobility: "Your exceptionally courteous
patience in waiting for the Imperial Potentate and myself, you may be sure, is
greatly appreciated. It was not in our hearts to keep you, but we sat in
fascination watch ing the most wonderful parade it has ever been my privilege
to see. . . .
like the atmosphere of fraternity. I rejoice in the knowledge that I am
addressing a body where every heartbeat is loyally American, where every
impulse is American, where every commitment and consecration are to the
Republic and its free institutions. . . ." The President spoke for twenty
minutes, interrupted frequently by applause, about the joys of fraternity and
the blessings of Masonry in particular.
George Washington National Masonic Memorial was under construction in nearby
Alexandria, Virginia, during the time of the Imperial Council session, and the
Imperial Council visited it in a body. They also went on to Mount Vernon,
where McCandless laid a wreath on the tomb of Washington. McCandless and the
Imperial Divan were greeted by Governor E. Lee Trinkle of Virginia who
declared: "This is still the land of Washington. May I not hope that you and
through you all the Shriners of the earth may be baptized with the spirit of
Tuesday evening, June 5, 19 23, the President, attired in evening dress and a
fez, attended the Imperial Potentate's banquet, and President and Mrs. Harding
and General Pershing, Washington, 1923 afterward at his request, he toured
Pennsylvania Avenue in a White House car with McCandless and Steuart.
Thousands of persons had gathered in the street all the way from the Capitol
to the White House for the merrymaking and the dancing. The Presidential car
left the Willard Hotel at I I: 20 o'clock and proceeded slowly along "the road
to Mecca" toward the peace monument, up the avenue on one side and back to the
White House on the other. Whenever he was recognized ‑and it was unusual to
find the President wearing a f ez‑he was given a rousing cheer. On Wednesday
afternoon, the President and Mrs. Harding gave a garden party at the White
House for members of all the Ohio Temples, and on Thursday he opened the White
House to all the Shriners. They swarmed through the entire lower floor, making
themselves at home with Noble Harding. The occasion was unprecedented in all
the history of the White House. No tickets or invitations were required‑only
the password of a Shriner to be a personal guest of the President.
was a great night parade on Wednesday night, again reviewed by the President
and Mrs. Harding, and on Thursday night
PARADE TO GLORY there was a mammoth pageant and parade, depicting the great
Masons in American history, including, of course, Washington, Paul Revere,
Putnam, the Adamses and scores of others. The evening was climaxed by a
ten‑thousand‑dollar fireworks display at the foot of the Washington Monument,
which Noble Harding and his guests watched from the south portico of the White
the last burst of shells, thousands of people swarmed out of the stands, some
of which collapsed. The crowd formed a milling mob from Eleventh to Fifteenth
Streets and the police were helpless to control them. At that time, a false
fire alarm brought screaming engines into the street and a panic was narrowly
averted. But none was hurt, and the bands struck up and dancing went on until
daylight in Pennsylvania Avenue.
the outstanding features of the session was a massed band, performing in the
American League baseball park. It was a band of chosen musicians from every
Shrine band present, and it was con ducted by Sousa in the first performance
of his new march, "The Shriners." The Shriners were all having so much fun
that it was difficult for the Imperial representatives to get down to work,
and actually not much was accomplished in the official meetings. But there was
one debate, which went on for almost four hours, on the old question of
whether or not the Shrine should be incorporated. The proponents felt that
only by incorporation could the rights and privileges of the Shrine, its
emblems, badges, Ritual and even the fez itself, be protected from the Ancient
Egyptian Order Nobles of the Mystic Shrine, a widespread Negro organization,
which was incorporated. But in the end, the opponents, who argued that the
Shrine was a fraternity and not a business, won out, although the subject was
to come up again and again over the years.
the 1923 session of the Imperial Council reached its end. There would never be
another one exactly like it. Noble Harding had a whale of a time for four
days, and he enjoyed every minute of it. It was his first and last Imperial
Council session. He died in San Francisco August 3, 1923, just two months
2 1 Dreams of Grandeur T HE twenty years that followed the Washington session
of the Imperial Council were years of plenty‑and then depression and war. The
Shrine troubles of the thirties were brought on, to a large extent, by the
plenty of the twenties.
membership when the Shrine met in Washington was almost 55o,ooo. By 1927, it
had grown to 580,000, the high‑water mark of the period. Temples were
prosperous, the nation was on a binge, and the Shrine was a part of it. When
the Shrine met in 1924 in Kansas City, the Kansas City Star reported that the
decorations were the most lavish in the history of the Order. Entire areas of
the city were roped off to take care of the throngs. The Star, which had
reported Shrine activities in two columns in i 9o i, now devoted almost the
entire paper to the session and its activities. Sousa was on hand again to
conduct the massed bands. The nobility arrived en masse. If there was Zemzem
water about, it was not in physical evidence; but the gaiety was spontaneous
and the Star said, "This is no time for the killjoy and the solemn face. It
simply cannot be done. Such enthusiasm! Such rollicking spirits! Who could
hold out against it?"
1925 and 1929, Al Malaikah Temple of Los Angeles entertained the Shriners in
two of that city's gaudiest affairs. In 1925, the great Los Angeles Coliseum
was converted into an immense Moorish
Festival of light, Los Angeles Coliseum, 1929 palace, with thousands upon
thousands of lights in myriad colors, the greatest lighting event in the
history of the world. But, in 1925, it also rained. And it rained again. The
parade had to be postponed. The Shriners swamped the sporting‑goods stores and
held up traffic by fishing in the streetcar tracks and in the gutters. The
most popular costume was a bathing suit. Some of the Shriners put on water
wings which, according to the Times, made them look like dear little Cupids
with red panties. The city of Los Angeles had erected a major railroad city,
and scores of special trains arrived from all over the continent, many of them
decorated in gaudy colors. Some were complete with radio and loudspeaker
1926, the Shriners were the guests of Past Imperial Potentate Freeland
Kendrick, who had become Mayor of Philadelphia and was presiding over the
sesquicentennial celebration of the signing of the Declaration of
Independence. The Shriners took over the staid city, and Kendrick helped them
do it. The 1927 and 1928 conventions were held in Atlantic City and Miami,
where there was ample playground for the Shriners and their families and also
plenty of hotel space; but in 1929, as we have noted, the Shriners were back
in Los Angeles again for an even bigger and gaudier affair than that of 1925.
Angeles Evening Herald‑Express DREAMS OF GRANDEUR 219 The great efforts
at lighting in 1925 were surpassed as great searchlights moved like giant fans
over the ioo,ooo persons gathered in the Coliseum. Four hundred thousand more
tried to get in and couldn't. The floats were as beautiful as those in the
rose parade in Pasadena and there were more of them. The movie industry
participated for the first time, and among the stars prominent in the affair
were Wallace Beery, himself a Shriner, who was the vice‑chairman of the
affair. Others were Alonte Blue, Ann Pennington, Leo Carrillo, Bessie Love,
Laura LaPlante, Conrad Nagel, Louise Fazenda, Joe E. Brown, and Jean Hersholt.
Almost every temple had a bathing suit brigade, reminiscent of 19 2 5, but the
weather in 1 q2 q was perfect. One group wearing bathing suits was sprinkled
by a fire company when it approached the station house. Another group of
Florida Shriners stood at a main intersection, stopping the streetcars, then
flirting with the girls, and frequently kissing them.
a great fling and the boys enjoyed it, not knowing there was trouble ahead for
the nation, for the temples at home, for the hospitals and for the Imperial
first real evidence that the temples were facing financial difficulties came
in the 1925 report of Imperial Potentate James E. Chandler of Ararat Temple
(Kansas City). "The conditions of the present day are very different," he
said, "from those prevailing several years ago. I find that temples about the
jurisdiction are having difficulty in maintaining themselves properly because
of insufficient income. In order to bridge over these gaps the membership is
being constantly asked to subscribe money, or buy tickets to various
entertainments instituted for the purpose of raising funds. The name of the
Shrine is being hawked about the streets and the public is being solicited in
connection with money‑raising schemes. These practices should be discontinued
for the reason that the Order is being criticized, not only by our own
members, but outsiders as well." Chandler then recommended that legislation be
enacted forbidding any promotional scheme which had connected with it a
gambling device, a lottery, raffle, prize contest, or gift enterprise.
Actually, most 220 PARADE TO GLORY of the fund‑raising enterprises
were for the purpose of sending the uniformed units to the Imperial Council
sessions, and that was getting to be an expensive proposition. The Imperial
Council agreed with Chandler after a long debate and forbade the money‑raising
operations. To compensate the temples for these losses, also as recommended by
Chandler, the Imperial Council ordered that minimum dues in the Shrine be set
at ten dollars, with an additional two dollars for the hospitals. This
precipitated bitter debate. Some temples argued they didn't need the money and
should not be forced to assess it under those conditions. Others argued that
it was unfair to assess the entire membership to send a few of the boys in the
uniformed units on a four‑ or five‑day vacation. In the end, Chandler won his
point, but he had to agree that one dollar of the five‑dollar increase should
be forwarded to the Imperial Council as the annual subscription price of a new
national Shrine magazine, which he also recommended and which after more long
debate the Imperial Council established.
were problems in connection with the founding of the Shrine Magazine. First,
there was the problem of The Crescent, a magazine devoted to the Shrine and
published by J. Harry Lewis, Past Potentate of Osman Temple in St. Paul. At
one time Lewis had had a circulation of about 6o,ooo copies, but when the idea
of a Shrine magazine was first broached, his circulation began to fall off. In
1925 it was down to about half its top figure. Lewis felt, and the Imperial
Council agreed with him, that if the Shrine was to establish its own magazine,
he should be paid for his assets. The major hurdle, however, was the fact that
some of the Shriners didn't see the need for such a magazine, even if the
Elks, the Moose, and other fraternal organizations had found them not only
eminently satisfactory but profitable. One of the opponents of the magazine
argued that, if the Shrine was to assess each member a dollar a year for the
magazine, it would be much better if that dollar went to the crippled
children. But underlying most of the argument was the fact that the individual
temples were somewhat jealous of their position and wanted no encroachment of
the national organization beyond its present position. One of the DREAMS OF
GRANDEUR 221 debaters argued that the position was similar to the
division of authority between federal and state governments.
debate went on for more than two hours, and after considerable parliamentary
maneuvering the proposal was defeated by the representatives. But an hour
later there was a motion to reconsider, and after another hour of debate the
magazine was approved. Chandler was appointed chairman of the publication
committee by Imperial Potentate James C. Burger of El Jebel Temple (Denver),
who along with Imperial Deputy Potentate David Crosland of Alcazar Temple
(Montgomery, Alabama) became a member of the committee. They hired Fred O.
Wood of Kansas City as general manager. By the time the 1926 session of the
Imperial Council was held in Philadelphia, the committee had two issues of the
magazine off the presses. And it was a pretty good magazine. There was a short
story directed toward men. There was a page of Shrine history by the venerable
William B. Melish. There were news from temples, a message from the Imperial
Potentate, and other features designed to meet the needs of the Shrine in the
dissemination of information.
was more grumbling and bickering, however, much of it inspired by the
Recorders of some ninety‑eight temples, who felt the method of collection of
the dollar‑a‑year subscription price was in volved and dangerous. But in the
end, the Imperial Council went along for another year. By the time twelve more
issues had been printed and distributed, the Imperial Council had little to
distract it with respect to the magazine, but in 1928, at Miami, a bombshell
exploded and Chandler and his committee were unprepared for it.
printed report circulated among the representatives showed that the magazine
had a profit of $113,o 13,015 for the second year of its operation, but no
sooner had Chandler moved the adoption of the re port than Noble Arthur H.
Diamant of Mecca Temple demanded to know where the profit might be. The
Shrine, he said, had contributed $1, i oo,ooo, and if the magazine actually
was showing a real profit, some of the money should be in the coffers,
whereupon Imperial Potentate Clarence M. Dunbar admitted that the magazine had
not shown 222 PARADE TO GLORY a real profit. Yet, what Dunbar and
everyone else in the convention missed was that the money paid by Shriners to
the magazine committee was not a contribution at all. It was a subscription
price for the magazine. The point was that for two years a group of the
nobility had objected to having the magazine forced upon them. If it was worth
the money and they wanted to subscribe, that was one thing, but to be forced
to subscribe was another.
hard core of opposition had three resolutions ready when the magazine report
was filed. The three resolutions came from Alcazar (Past Imperial Potentate
Crosland's temple), Syrian (Past Imperial Potentate Melish's temple) and from
Noble Lee Thomas of El Karubah Temple (Shreveport). All of them were designed
to accomplish the same thing‑the liquidation of the magazine. This was the
bombshell. Chandler and his committee did not know it was coming and they had
not assembled facts and figures to combat the issue. And they couldn't get
them ready in time for the debate that followed the presentation of the
resolutions through the Jurisprudence and Laws Committee.
1928 session ordered the liquidation of the magazine. In the end, the Shrine
paid several hundred thousand dollars to buy out the contracts of the
personnel, the paper manufacturer and the printing firm. But the Shrine was
out of the magazine business. In later years, there were many Shrine leaders
who felt the 1928 session had made a grave error in eliminating the
publication, but it was done, never to be revived.
establishment of the magazine had not been the only controversial issue before
the 1925 session of the Imperial Council. Imperial Potentate Dunbar during his
year of service had managed to travel widely and visit almost all of the
temples. He had witnessed great enthusiasm among the nobility. He had observed
scores of ceremonials at which thousands of new Nobles were created, but he
had also noted a net decrease in total Shrine membership of more than five
thousand as temples suspended members of the nobility for non‑payment of dues
and thousands more took demits. He had presided at the dedica‑ DREAMS OF
GRANDEUR 223 tion of one new mosque and he had noted others in process of
construction, but he also had noted severe financial difficulties for some of
those temples that had overextended their financial position. He made note of
the fact that the enthusiasm of many Nobles, particularly officers of temples,
to create beautiful buildings was leaving those temples in dire financial
distress. It was his position that, if and when those temples defaulted on
their building bonds, the Shrine as a whole would be injured. He also noted
that the act of the temples in assessing their membership in order to meet
their contracted financial obligations was creating almost insurmountable
problems, including loss of membership.
some other Imperial Potentates, it would appear that Dunbar was close to a
prophetic vision. Even though the country was just entering its greatest era
of prosperity, Dunbar could see difficulties ahead, and to prevent those
difficulties he recommended the passage of a resolution, presented by Past
Imperial Potentate Burger, designed to limit the authority of a temple to
contract financial obligations beyond its ability to pay. Technically the
resolution provided that a temple could not enter into a building or other
program in which the financial obligation exceeded ten dollars per member
without first obtaining the approval of a special committee of the Imperial
was great debate on the issue. The opponents contended that this was an
invasion of local rights by the Imperial Council, but in the end, the
high point of Shrine membership of the period came on January 1, 1927, when
there were 587,133 Nobles. From that point, there followed a gradual decline
to 517,827 on January 1, 1932, and a precipitate decline to 3o6,470 on January
1, 1942. But when the Shriners met in Los Angeles in 1929, there had been no
evidence of the troubles ahead. Leo Youngworth of Al Malaikah Temple became
the Imperial Potentate and devoted himself to his task. At the 1930 session in
Toronto, Ontario, he obtained more publicity for the Shrine than it had ever
fer 22 International Good Will HERE was one major defect in the fabulous 1929
convention in Los Angeles. It was so stupendous, so glamorous, so beautiful,
so big that there were no invitations for the 1930 meeting. No other city felt
that it could prepare such an Imperial Session and that the city and the
temple might suffer by comparison. But Shrinedom and other temples failed to
realize the capabilities of the new Imperial Potentate, Leo V. Youngworth.
Youngworth was a fraternity man. He had worked long and diligently in most of
the various degrees of Masonry. He had lived with the Hollywood show, which
was in its heyday. He was a lawyer by profession and like Kendrick had more
than the average share of showmanship in his makeup. The Imperial Council left
to him the selection of the time and place for the 1930 session.
not until August 21, 1929, a little more than two months after the Los Angeles
session, that he made an official visitation to Toronto. After several
conferences with the officers of Rameses Tem ple while he was there, an
official invitation was issued and accepted for the 1930 session, to be held
June io, i i and 12. To Youngworth, the Toronto session was a challenge.
Perhaps it could not emulate the glamour of Hollywood, but there were other
attractions. It would 224 INTERNATIONAL GOOD WILL 225 add an international
flavor absent since the session of 1888, and of course there was no
prohibition in Canada.
Toronto selected as the convention city, the director general was appointed
along with his various committees and Youngworth began to dream.
impressed with the wonderful possibilities," he reported to the Imperial
Council, "of making this session of the Imperial Council an outstanding
Masonic demonstration. The fine feeling of our Canadian neighbors and their
kindly attitude toward our own country prompted a desire to do something that
would further develop the fine friendship which has existed between our
English‑speaking peoples for so many years. The thought occurred to me that it
would be a great object lesson to the world to have the Governors of the
various states of the United States and the Premiers of Canada, the Grand
Masters of the various states and provinces, as well as the representatives
from Cuba and Mexico, assemble in Toronto and join with us in a meeting that
would be outstanding in its accomplishments." With this thought in mind, he
called his Divan together in Philadelphia on October z to discuss these
various possibilities, and the Divan was just as enthusiastic as Youngworth
himself. The stock market crash of October z q was still almost a month away.
While there were some indications that the future would not be as bright and
rosy as some people seemed to think, there certainly was no indication of
panic. True, the farmers were suffering, but this was a periodic phenomenon
and no cause for particular concern. True, the Shrine membership was shown to
be declining somewhat, but again it was certainly not serious enough to worry
other ideas that Youngworth offered to his Divan at the Philadelphia meeting
was one that the Shrine should create a magnificent "peace monument" to be
erected along the shores of Lake Erie, eternally facing across the border to
the south. The Great War was only twelve years behind the world and everyone
was looking for something that would prevent another such holocaust. The peace
monument would serve not only to commemorate the 150 years 226 PARADE
TO GLORY of friendship between Canada and the United States, but would serve
also as a memorial to the entrance of ancient Free and Accepted Masonry into
the continent of North America. And what better organization could offer such
a monument than the Shrine, which was the only Masonic organization with
international jurisdiction? Questionnaires were sent to the several temples,
and 95 per cent of them endorsed the entire program as enthusiastically as had
the Divan. With this support behind him, Youngworth contracted with Noble
Charles Keck, a noted sculptor and a Noble of Kismet Temple (Brooklyn) to
erect a monument to cost no more than $ 5 5,ooo and to be unveiled on the last
day of the Toronto session.
Youngworth worked incessantly toward the project. He conferred with President
Herbert Hoover and Prime Minister Mackenzie King and won their cooperation.
Finally the great session arrived. Two hundred weary Sons of the Desert were
admitted into the Oasis of Rameses on Saturday, June 7. The Shriners from all
over North America‑depression or no depression‑began to arrive on both
Saturday and Sunday. On the Sabbath, the giant stadium at the Canadian
National Exhibition grounds was filled to overflowing as the chanters of
several temples participated in a giant open‑air religious service.
an auspicious beginning of the 1930 session of the Imperial Council. It was
friendly, international, religious and fraternal. And the glamour was added on
Monday, June q, when Youngworth arrived with two special trains from Al
Malaikah Temple. The Globe described it: "The sight of the first rank of
marching Shriners, swinging up from the Bay Street subway and turning onto the
broad thoroughfare of Front Street displayed a richness of color and light.
The sun came out from behind the clouds and struck the marching ranks. They
reflected the beams of gold and red, glinting and shimmering like even waves
of light, with Union Jacks fluttering in the breezes from ranks of spears."
And the Shriners really were having a whale of a time. They had so much fun
that there wasn't a single Shriner present when the Toronto police raided a
gambling hall that had been set up especially INTERNATIONAL GOOD WILL 227
for the convention by some thugs from the United States who had expected to
make a killing. When the police arrived the gamblers were sitting around
trying to think of some way of drumming up some business.
Toronto contributed immensely to the session. Seven thousand schoolchildren
paraded for Imperial Potentate Youngworth, and a children's choir gave a
concert in the Coliseum that the Globe called splendid. And, of course, the
Shriners entertained their Canadian friends. One fat Shriner had a toy balloon
that he used to play a flute. There was the proverbial six‑foot‑seven Shriner
pulling a toy cannon, and occasionally shooting it off. One fezzed Potentate
with a tin whistle held the crowd spellbound on Young Street as he directed
traffic and flirted with the girls. Two Shriners with a combination hurdygurdy
and calliope blocked Young Street traffic for a half‑hour.
Wednesday a cold downpour of rain delayed the parade, but the Shriners
continued to have fun in the hotel lobbies. Street cleaners tried in vain to
sweep the wet streets and clear them of paper ribbons that floated down from
the hotel rooms. Even during the rain there was one procession of Nobles,
dressed in ladies' nighties, pushing babycarts. Another group fashioned a
wedding party, with one Shriner serving as the blushing bride.
then the rain ceased, and the great night parade of Wednesday moved on time.
The Globe wrote: "The greatest spectacle that this city or perhaps any other
city ever witnessed kept what seemed to be half the population of Toronto
awake and out of bed for hours after midnight. The procession was a river of
light, flowing between great human banks with the golden moon overhead
scarcely visible against the display of skyrockets that fountained up streams
of multicolored sparks to the sky." But it was all just a prelude to the big
event on Thursday afternoon, the dedication of the peace monument. At the
opening Governor Albert Ritchie of Maryland declared that "here if anywhere
will dawn the peace for which the world is waiting.'‑" Youngworth in his
address of presentation declared that "our hope must be that somewhere
INTERNATIONAL GOOD WILL 229
somehow these mutual understandings shall be arrived at, that war will be
impossible and that universal peace will be enthroned." He called on 6oo,ooo
Shriners to continue in thought, word and deed their support of world peace.
This moment, he said, "symbolizes our longings for international harmony to
the end that universal peace and good will may rule the thoughts of the
world's peoples. Our only fight is for one God, for home and for humanity
against all forms of radicalism, realism and anarchy." Prime Minister King
spoke by radio from Ottawa and said: "I should like to add the thanks of the
Canadian people as a whole for the inspiring monument which your Order is
erecting on the shores of Lake Erie and which you are now about to dedicate in
the cause of peace. It is indeed a worthy addition to the art treasures of the
province of which Toronto is the capital city. It will be cherished by Canada
as a national possession and by our continent as an abiding symbol of
international good will." Secretary of State Stimson, speaking for President
Hoover from Washington, said that "during the past year earnest efforts toward
the creation of a lasting peace have been made by some of the great na tions
of the earth and your influence has been powerfully asserted behind these
efforts. The impressive monument you are unveiling today signifies your
consecration to this cause. I am therefore happy to greet you and bear witness
to the sentiments with which the government and the people of the United
States accept the encouragement and the assistance of your great Order. That
this meeting, composed so largely of United States citizens, should take place
on Canadian soil is in itself significant. Our two nations have been offering
to the world an example and practical demonstration of the benefits in the
direction of lasting peace which can grow from a treaty of naval limitations."
Mrs. Youngworth unveiled the statue, and in accepting it, Mayor Wemp of
Toronto said: "The motto of your great order is `peace be on you,' and `on you
be the peace.' This with you on this great occa sion is no mere gesture, no
empty phrase. You have put your creed into your deed and have erected,
dedicated and consecrated this
Turofsky Inscription, Peace Monument, Toronto
memorial as an altar of sacrifice and a stone of remembrance to those of our
sons and daughters who passed by the path of duty to immortality in the cause
of peace. Your generous gift, so nobly conceived, so worthy of the great
cause, so expressive of the ideal of harmony and concord is gratefully
accepted by this city as a sacred trust, as a great object lesson, unifying
and vivifying, that animates all. May the life of our two nations flow in one
gracious river, the confluence of many streams to the ocean and haven of peace
and prosperity. And may there be no ebb to that tide of international amity
which is now flowing so full and clear and strong between our two nations."
23 The Great Depression T HE years of the great depression were the most
difficult for the Shrine since the first ten years, when Dr. Walter M. Fleming
held the struggling organization together by hard work, the strength of his
own character, funds from his own purse and his indomitable will for success
of his brainchild. The Imperial Potentates who carried the burdens of the
Shrine during the depression were without exception equipped with the same
character and will as Fleming, and that they did not contribute to the
finances of the Shrine in those trying years was due only to the fact that the
fraternity had grown so large that any contribution they might have made would
have been insufficient.
Beginning with Clarence Dunbar (Palestine) in June of 1927 and including
Thomas C. Law (Yaarab) in July of 1942, all of the Imperial Potentates devoted
most of their time to assuaging the wounds of the temples, incurred in the
lush days of the Roaring Twenties, and to devising ways and means of holding
the Order together. Dozens of ideas were submitted, argued and debated at the
Imperial Council sessions and some positive changes were made, most of them
helpful. The Imperial Potentates who served following Dunbar were Frank C.
Jones (Arabia), Leo V. Youngworth (Al Malaikah), Esten A. Fletcher 231
232 PARADE TO GLORY (Damascus), Thomas C. Houston (Medinah), Earl C.
Mills (Za‑GaZig), John N. Sebrell (Khedive), Dana S. Williams (Kora), Leonard
P. Steuart (Almas), Clyde 1. Webster (Moslem), Walter S. Sugden (Osiris), A.
A. D. Rahn (Zuhrah), Walter D. Cline (Maskat), George F. Olendorf (Abou Ben
Adhem), and Law.
problems they faced were manifold, among which was the fact that the Shrine
had no Masonic standing as such. True, the law of the Shrine required that all
members must be members in good standing of a Blue Lodge of Masons and/or the
York or Scottish Rites. But after the stock‑market crash of 1929, many members
of the Shrine found they could not continue the expense of paying dues in all
of the bodies requisite to the Shrine. Some of them, the Shrine liked to feel,
would gladly have continued the payment of the Shrine dues if they could have
dropped the others. But the Shrine would have no part of that. The result was
that demits and suspensions mounted sharply. And what puzzled the Shrine
officials the most was the fact that there were far more suspensions than
demits. The largest number of demits in any one year was 11,200 in 1932. But
suspensions reached the fantastic total of 27,000 in 1931; 33,000 in 1932; and
45,000 in 1933. That was the high mark, but still there were 33,000 suspended
in 1934 The Shrine was certainly no different from other fraternal bodies. The
Masons themselves lost heavily. So did the Scottish and York Rites, the
Knights of Columbus and the Knights of Pythias. But the fact was that the
various Masonic orders were the largest and wealthiest. The Blue Lodges, the
Rites and the Shrine‑sometimes individually and sometimes collectively‑had
entered into stupendous building programs for temples, cathedrals and mosques.
After all, in the lush days of the twenties, they could foresee sufficient
income to pay off bonds and mortgages. They did not foresee the huge loss of
membership incident to the depression. No organization was more affected by
this loss than the Shrine; f or in addition to the mosques that had been
erected, the Shrine also was committed to the support of its hospitals and,
with the loss in membership, the income for the operation of the THE GREAT
DEPRESSION 233 hospitals was curtailed by just about one‑third. Yet the
hospitals had to be kept in operation at all costs. It is even possible that
the existence of these hospitals is what held the Shrine together at all
during part of the time of the depression.
yet, despite the losses, the extravaganzas of the Imperial Sessions continued.
They may not have been as large as some before and some that were to follow,
but they took place just the same. The 1931 session was held in Cleveland and
the escort parade lasted more than four hours. The city was decorated in
fantastic colors and lights, and the night parade brought a sense of awe to
the more than million persons who watched it. In 1932, the Shriners moved on
to San Francisco, where Islam Temple had imported movie stars from Hollywood
to add glamour to what might otherwise have been a dull affair. President
Herbert Hoover sent a message to the Shriners in 1932 that he expected them to
help get the nation back on its feet. The Californians proclaimed there was no
depression and that the 1932 session would be the means of starting the nation
back toward recovery. But it was not to be. Things were getting worse.
after time during the depression years efforts were made to change the Shrine
law on jurisdictional lines, and each of them failed. The matter of state
lines was particularly annoying. Every tem ple was fighting for every member
it could possibly obtain. To do otherwise, they argued, might lead to temple
bankruptcy. Syrian Temple in Cincinnati pleaded for the right to create Nobles
in the Kentucky towns across the Ohio River. Wheeling wanted some jurisdiction
in Ohio. Davenport, Iowa, wanted to create Nobles residing in Illinois. And so
it went. But the Imperial Council turned a deaf ear to all such proposals that
did not bring with them agreements between temples in adjoining states.
Jurisdictional Lines Committee, however, was kept busy enough rearranging
territory within the respective states. It was argued that, where
jurisdictional lines were held absolute, it frequently developed that a
prospective member of the fraternity would not join because he would be
required to travel too far to reach his temple when 234 PARADE T O GLORY
actually there was one closer at hand, but forbidden to him because of the
exclusive jurisdiction maintained. It appeared that the officials of some
temples would rather lose the prospect entirely than to sacrifice him to a
sister temple. Jealousies and frictions developed, and only the tact of the
Imperial officers prevented open conflict.
all of this time, one temple after another lost its holdings. Several mosques
in cities all across the nation were sacrificed to the bond or mortgage
holders, and occasionally they were taken over for unpaid taxes. One temple
became so involved with mosque and country club property that it surrendered
its charter and immediately was granted a new one under a different name. No
one suffered and the Shrine was never criticized. It was an action that had to
Debates continued year after year over whether to reduce the minimum dues
required by the Imperial Council, but no action ever was taken.
temples were having their difficulties, so was the Imperial Council, which was
supported by membership contributions collected by the local temples. Every
year during the depression the reserves of the Imperial Council treasury were
being depleted. The law provided that each temple must contribute fifty cents
a year from each member for the support of the national organization,
particularly the Imperial Sessions. And each year, as the membership
decreased, there was a further reduction in the income of the Imperial
Council. But the Imperial Council did not change its ways.
argued‑and correctly so‑that the plan of representation for the various
temples was set up for times of plenty. That is, each temple had
representatives according to its membership, most of them with four or more.
Each representative received fifteen cents a mile, one way, to pay his
railroad and Pullman fare to the session, plus an additional fifteen dollars a
day for three or more days at the session. Whenever the sessions were held in
the Middle West or the East, it was comparatively inexpensive, for most of the
temples were in that part of the country; but when the Imperial Session was
held on the West Coast, the cost doubled, because of the additional travel
GREAT‑DEPRESSION 235 For example, the Imperial Session in San
Francisco in 1932 cost more than double the expense incurred in the 1930
session in Toronto and the 19 3 r session in Cleveland. Despite statements to
this effect in debate on the issue, the Imperial Council held three sessions
on the West Coast during the decade of the depression‑i932 in San Francisco,
1936 in Seattle, and 1938 in Los Angeles. But the only concession the Imperial
Representatives ever made was to reduce the mileage pay from fifteen cents to
ten cents a mile.
3 6, the Imperial Council treasury was f urther depleted when Freeland
Kendrick, who had succeeded Sam P. Cochran as chairman of the hospital board
of trustees, declared that the hospitals needed financial help. The
contributions had been so reduced by the reduction in temple membership that
they simply could not continue to operate unless something was done. Many
suggestions were made. One was to increase the hospital contribution of the
remaining membership, but to this the temples cried out in horror. They would
lose even more members, they said, and instead of providing more money for the
hospitals, it would provide less. Another suggestion was that the
representatives contribute half of their per diem pay for the Imperial
Sessions. That also was turned down. In the end, the Imperial Council simply
appropriated $100,000 to the hospital board from the Imperial treasury and
provided no method to replenish the coffers.
somehow, the Shrine managed to struggle through. Imperial headquarters cut its
expenses. The Imperial Potentates didn't travel as much as some of their
predecessors. When mosques, temples or cathedrals were lost, the Shriners held
up their heads, stuck out their chins and fought ahead in smaller quarters.
Those who maintained their membership seemed to have about as much fun as
ever. Of course, the ceremonials were smaller. There were fewer candidates.
The audiences were smaller because of the costs of travel. Some temples
reduced their ceremonial sessions to two and even one a year‑a few had none at
this occurred, of course, against a background of significant world
developments. Prohibition was ended in the United States, an 236
\ PARADE TO GLORY event applauded by most Shriners. The first
session where there was a legal supply of Zemzem water, camel's milk or
tarantula juice since that memorable convention in Indianapolis in i 9 i 9,
came in Minneapolis in 1934, and the boys made the most of it. True the
manufacturers of the stuff did not have as large a supply on hand as they were
to have in later years, but there was some‑and enough.
had moved into power in Germany and was creating something of a disturbance.
Another man by the name of Stalin had been making his influence felt from the
Kremlin in Moscow and another Shriner had become President of the United
States, the first since Harding who had even been a Mason. Franklin D.
Roosevelt had been made a Shriner in Cyprus Temple in Albany while he was
Governor of New York, and though he did not work at the business of fraternity
as Harding had done, he nevertheless was a Shriner and he let it be known. He
sent Attorney General Homer S. Cummings to deliver his personal welcome to the
Nobles at the Imperial Session in Washington in 1935. The President's letter
said: Fellow Nobles of the Imperial Council of the Mystic Shrine: I take the
very greatest of pleasure in extending to you a most hearty welcome on the
occasion of this decennial pilgrimage to the capital of your country‑the
Mecca, not only of the more than one hundred temples of your organization, but
of the more than one hundred millions of our citizens, whose interest,
cooperation and loyalty are vital to the successful functioning of our
genuine organization has its own merits‑its own distinct contribution to make.
You Nobles of the Mystic Shrine, in your devotion to the maintenance of
hospitals for crippled children and to other enterprises of philanthropic
endeavor are daily attaining to the lofty standards implied in the titular
designation of your members. But you do not thus carry, as mere duty, your
share of the social load: you appreciate that the problems of life are too
serious always to be taken seriously; and you practice the belief that gaiety
of spirit is a healthful reinforcement of the things that make life sane and
this spirit Washington receives you; the preparations made throughout the
length and breadth of the city are the visible evidences of the warmth of its
feeling for you. The capital of your country invites you
relax in the cordiality of its welcome: that you may be fortified to renew
that journey, which, as we all know, will lie through both oasis and desert,
but which can never be entirely the one or the other.
Nobles, I bid you welcome to Washington. Franklin D. Roosevelt.
was no doubt that Washington had gone "all‑out" to entertain the Nobles. The
Washington Herald reported that "all the colorful Oriental pageantry,
thundering drums and music and intricate marching and counter‑marching have
come to town to make Washington forget the New Deal, at least until Friday."
There were boat races, prize fights, golf tournaments, pageants and the Navy
brought International New Photo 238 PARADE TO GLORY its ships up
t~he Potomac for the nobility to see. The city was brilliantly lighted as it
had been in 1923. Robert Smith, who later was to become general counsel of the
Shrine, was the Potentate of Almas Temple and the director general of the
convention, and Leonard P. Steuart, a former Potentate of Almas, was to be
installed as Imperial Potentate. To protect the nobility, detectives were
imported from cities all along the Eastern seaboard, including two hundred
that Mayor La Guardia (himself a Shriner) brought from New York.
as the Shriners began to arrive in Washington, the city's taxi drivers went on
strike, and although the strike was settled some thirteen hours later, it did
cause considerable jamming for a time. Alto gether, some i oo,ooo Shriners
invaded the city, determined to have a good time. And they did. One be‑fezzed
Noble, carrying a large Shriner doll, stopped traffic as he gathered a bunch
of pretty girls around him and offered to sell a Shriner for a dime. After
collecting a handful of dimes, he would grab another Noble from the crowd and
shout, "Here he is, girls. Have a good time." Eventually all the dimes he
collected were turned over to the hospitals.
the escort parade began to move on Tuesday morning, the crowd was somewhat
smaller than had been expected, for government offices had refused to permit
employees to drop their work for the event. Charles Fullaway, administrative
assistant in the Bureau of the Budget, said: "President Roosevelt has not
issued an order for departments to close and in the absence of such order, the
offices should not close." And they didn't. The President, himself, did not
see that parade, which was the biggest in Washington history, but he did
review, with Mrs. Roosevelt, the night parade on Wednesday. Unfortunately, it
poured rain, but President and Mrs. Roosevelt were protected by a canvas
canopy, and they and others on the reviewing stand were about the only ones to
see the parade, which was abbreviated by the storm. There was so much
scheduled for the three days of the Imperial Session that it could not be
postponed, and since this was the only event in which the President could
participate, the director general could not call it off. Only nineteen temples
sent their bands and patrols THE GREAT DEPRESSION 239 into the rain.
Fifty‑four others failed to show up. By the time the marchers reached the
reviewing stand, their brilliant uniforms were soaked, many of them ruined.
weather turned bright and brilliant on Thursday and a third parade was held
that night to escort Imperial Potentate Steuart to the pageant, but the
President had left earlier in the day to attend gradua tion exercises for the
cadets at West Point and only Mrs. Roosevelt was in the reviewing stand to
represent the White House.
Despite the rain, it was a successful convention, and the Washington Post was
inspired to say editorially: Pageants, parades and purple pants. That is an
alliterative phrase that goes a long ways in describing Washington in this
week of grace. Staid Washington, scarcely out of mourning for the death of the
blue eagle, is throwing back its dull and heavy veil of legislative cares and
learning to laugh and play, for about 6o,ooo men are here with an equal number
of smiles on their faces, and there is nothing more infectious than a grin of
good fellowship. . . . The colorful fanfare incumbent on bringing the
mysterious East to the heart of a planned economy seems somehow to emphasize
the essential Americanism of our vivacious visitors. The backbone of America
is nonetheless apparent because of the rakish trappings with which it is
concealed, and though carefree jollity is the password of the Shriner during
this one week, constructive charity is the watchword that binds him to his
brother throughout the year when they are scattered from the Atlantic to the
months after the meeting of the Imperial Council, Congress passed and the
President signed new legislation creating the social security program, which
was to have a profound effect on the manage ment of the Shrine and its
hospitals. When the income tax laws had been formulated, fraternal
organizations (after a considerable battle) had been exempted from paying the
levies; but when Congress passed the social security law, only charitable
organizations were exempted. When the Imperial Council met in Seattle in 1936,
Noble Thad Landon of Ararat Temple (Kansas City), the general counsel of the
Shrine, placed before the representatives a proposition that the Colorado
Corporation be made into a purely charitable organization for the
240 PARADE TO GLORY
operation of the hospitals and that a new corporation be formed in the state
of Iowa that would be purely fraternal. This was approved by the
representatives and the two‑corporation system was set up in December of that
dual‑corporation plan also served another useful purpose. As the work of the
hospitals became better known to the people of the United States and Canada,
hundreds of men and women (many of them neither Shriners nor Masons) began to
remember the Shriners' Hospitals for Crippled Children with outright gifts and
bequests in their wills. Since these funds were to be used exclusively for the
hospitals and not for the Shrine itself, the dual corporation was a much more
satisfactory operation. By 1955 the gifts, bequests, contributions from
special fund‑raising programs such as the football games and the annual
assessment to all Shriners had built up the endowment of the hospitals to the
point where their operation would be assured, even if another major depression
reduced the membership of the Shrine as it had in the thirties.
establishment of the Colorado and Iowa Corporations was accepted and approved
by the Imperial Council at its session in Detroit in 1937, when the Shriners
staged their usual glittering parades despite the depression. The low point in
Shrine membership because of the depression was still to be reached, but the
bands and patrols turned out in full force, many of them in new uniforms,
which prompted Imperial Potentate Clyde Webster to remark that this was a good
Instead of presiding over the Imperial Session in Detroit, Imperial Potentate
Webster had looked forward to being elected there. But it was not to be. In
1936 in Seattle, the Imperial Council had elected Hugh M. Caldwell of Nile
Temple (Seattle) as the Imperial Potentate, but after having served through
the Imperial "line" Caldwell had declined the office because of business and
health. His action moved Webster into the office of Imperial Potentate a year
ahead of his scheduled election to that office. Caldwell, incidentally, never
was permitted to call himself a Past Imperial Potentate. Instead he was
of the Imperial Council for life, even though he had not earned that right by
virtue of having served as Imperial Potentate.
Webster presided, Detroit was in a turmoil. The sit‑down strikes were at their
height, and there was some dissension among the visitors and the homefolks.
One newspaper commented, "The police who are ordinarily so active in
suppressing any unusual merriment, and are always greatly disturbed when the
townspeople are seen going home late and happy, seem to have been paralyzed by
some sudden and mysterious power. They simply looked on and smiled, like the
bartender in the play, who remarked reflectively when he sized up an awful
jag, `How I wish I could afford to enjoy myself like that.'" In 1938, the
Shrine was back in Los Angeles; and as much as anything else, the convention
was a prelude to the determination of Al Malaikah Temple to present her most
illustrious son as a candidate for Imperial Outer Guard. Harold Lloyd, the
great comedian of the silentscreen era, had worked long and diligently as a
Mason and as a Shriner to dispense cheer in a cheerless world, particularly
GREAT DEPRESSION 243
laid the groundwork for cooperation between Al Malaikah Temple and the
moving‑picture industry for the use of props and equipment in ceremonials at
unusual places, including the desert itself, Boulder Dam and the Carlsbad
Caverns. He had participated in the Shrine conventions of 1925 and 1929, and
now in 1938 as Chief Rabban of his temple, he was made Grand Marshal of the
affair. Here was a celebrity of the first rank, the first showman ever to
participate in Shrine affairs since Billy Florence was a member of the
original thirteen. And Lloyd believed devoutly in the brotherhood of Masonry
and the Shrine.
Shrine was there with all the panoply for which it had become famous, but in
addition there was the pageantry that only Hollywood could provide. Mary
Pickford was named the grand marshal of the parade of floats, and her
assistants, who rode in the parade, were the stars of the day‑Sonja Heme, Jane
Withers, Alice Faye, Michael Whalen, Warner Baxter, the Ritz brothers, Tyrone
Power, Tony Martin, Don Ameche, Irene Hervey, Myrna Loy, Eleanor Powell, May
Robson, Allan Jones, George O'Brien, Martha Raye, Dorothy Lamour, George Raft,
John Barrymore, Anita Louise and many others. In floats as spectacular as any
that ever appeared in the Rose Parade, Hollywood and Los Angeles put on a
parade and a pageant that would last in memory until ig5o, when the most
spectacular of all of them was held. The pageant in the giant Coliseum had as
its master of ceremonies the ebullient and popular Jack Benny.
1939, at the convention in Baltimore, Lloyd's name was presented as a
candidate for Outer Guard. He didn't win. He had not expected to win, but in
194o at Memphis, Tennessee, the actor was elected to the lowest rung of the
Imperial Line without a vote being taken. The other two candidates, who were
to be elected in later years, withdrew when they felt that Lloyd was the
overwhelming choice of the convention. Here, with the membership of the Shrine
still dropping, was just the man who would add another touch of glamour so
vitally needed at that particular time. He seemed to have that indefinable
something that would help to return to the Shrine the attractiveness
had built it to such stupendous proportions in the twenties. In Baltimore and
in Memphis, Lloyd clowned in an old N‑lodel‑T Ford that had been rebuilt to do
tricks, and the crowds loved it. In both Baltimore and Memphis, rain dampened
the enthusiasm of some of the visitors and townspeople alike, but the parades
and pageants went on just the same.
Elected as Imperial Potentate at the Los Angeles session in 1938 was A. A. D.
Rahn of Zuhrah Temple (Minneapolis), a swashbuckling, self‑made lumberman from
the north country, and perhaps he was exactly the man the Shrine needed in the
hectic days that marked the end ‑of the depression and the crisis in world
affairs. As he took over the administration of the Shrine, he could recall
that only a few months before the Japanese had bombed the American gunboat
Panay, that the Japanese were keeping up a relentless attack on the Chinese,
THE GREAT DEPRESSION 245 that the Spanish Civil War was at its height
and that many Americans had gone over to fight for the Loyalists, who were
being supported by Moscow. Only two months bef ore the Los Angeles meeting,
Hitler had taken over Austria as a prelude to the Second World War, and in the
United States, German‑American Bunds were being created. Spies were everywhere
and almost everyone felt that war was just around the corner. The only
question was whether or not the United States would get into the conflict. It
seemed almost certain that Canada would be embroiled, and there were nine
Shrine temples there.
August 25, 1938, after his election as Imperial Potentate in June, Rahn issued
his third general order to the nobility. It was strictly patriotic in
character. "The Imperial Council of the Ancient Arabic Order Nobles of the
Mystic Shrine," he wrote, "in reality lives under three flags, and the
membership in consequence is divided in its allegiance. It happens that 149 of
our temples owe allegiance to the Constitution and the flag of the United
States. The membership of one temple owes allegiance to the A'Iexican
Republic, and the membership of nine other temples are citizens of the great
British Empire. The Imperial Potentate feels some concern, particularly about
certain agencies in the United States which apparently are active in
destroying respect for constitutional government, and are planning in its
stead foreign conceptions of government which are diametrically opposed to the
guarantees of freedom of thought and action which are the very foundation on
which the government of this country rests. He is, therefore, suggesting the
following resolution which he feels the temples of this country might be
interested in adopting in full or in part and passing on to the nobility
through their magazines and other channels of information." In effect, the
resolution pledged every Shriner to reaffirm his loyalty to his flag and to be
"alert in preventing the growth of any influence in the jurisdiction which
will be derogatory to constitu tional government, and report any information
obtained of activities of adverse persons or organizations to the Imperial
Potentate, who, acting alone or in conjunction with other organizations of
patriotic 246 PARADE TO GLORY citizens, will, to the extent of his
authority, use every means in his power, and take such action as he may deem
necessary, to contribute to the defense of the liberties guaranteed to our
people under the Constitution and to counteract the efforts of those who would
work to destroy our present form of government." To make the Americanism
program of the Shrine official, Islam Temple presented a resolution which
would memorialize Congress and the President to establish a "citizens" day in
the United States, when certificates would be presented to all young people as
they reached their twenty‑first birthday in order to impress upon them the
privileges and prerogatives of citizenship. The resolution was passed, of
course. And throughout Shrinedom, patriotic affairs were being staged. The
largest was that of Moslah Temple of Fort Worth, Texas, which held a giant
Americanism pageant in the Texas Christian University stadium as part of the
Texas State Shrine Association meeting.
was the beginning then of the part the Shrine was to play during the following
decade, a decade to be climaxed by the Shrine's Diamond jubilee celebration in
Chicago at which President Harry Truman, a Shriner, would make the principal
speech, a speech in which he would condemn the ideological forces of the world
that would beat a path to still another war.
24 the Second World War Y THE time Walter D. Cline (Maskat) became the
Imperial Potentate of the Shrine on June 29, 1939, it was apparent that the
depression was over. It was just as apparent that the United States was moving
inexorably into a wartime economy as it began production of materiel for
Britain, France and the other allied nations. Prime Minister Chamberlain and
his umbrella had been to Munich and Czecho‑Slovakia had been dissolved.
Farther south, Mussolini had invaded the Moslem country of Albania and King
Zog had been forced to flee. Britain and France went on a war footing and
began conscription. Every thinking American knew or at least felt that war was
inevitable and the only question was "when?" These problems made Cline's year
as Imperial Potentate difficult, indeed. The list of new members was
increasing, but they did not overcome the higher rate of demits and
suspensions, and thus the over all membership continued to decline. There were
several reasons why. One of them was the fact that most of the some 200,000
men who had left the Shrine by one means or another during the depression
years were young men. This meant that most of the men remaining on the
membership rolls were middle‑aged or older, men at least past their physical
prime. And while many of these could and did par247 248 PARADE TO GLORY
ticipate actively with the marching organizations of their temples, and could
and did make a creditable showing in the parades, they nevertheless displayed
the fact that they were older. Brutal as it might sound, the fact was that
young men simply did not want to join an organization of older men for fun.
They thought there were other and better ways.
some seven thousand new Nobles were created during the year Cline served; and
when the convention met in Memphis in June of 1940, the Shriners appeared to
be just as gay, just as fun‑loving, just as noisy as ever. There were the same
stunts with an occasional new one; and if the parade was not quite as large as
had been held in other years, it was just as brilliant and glittering. But it
cannot be denied that there was something in the air, a tension that was felt
by almost everyone. Cline chose deliberately to ignore the growing war fever.
In his annual address, he said: "I think as your Imperial Potentate, some word
should be said about the attitude of our organization with reference to
'isms,' `ists,' `shirts,' and `fifth columns.' I shall only say what I have
said to some of you in numerous places. I have not appointed a committee on
Americanism because I felt, have felt all year, and feel today that if the
time has come when your leader, your Imperial Potentate, conscientiously feels
that it is necessary or important that he select a committee to tell you to be
loyal to your government, then Masonry has failed, and I am not ready to admit
that all the teachings and philosophies and obligations that you men must have
assumed from the time you took your Entered Apprentice degree until you passed
through the Masonic Rites, either York or Scottish, in order to entitle you to
wear a fez and sit in this convention, have failed to accomplish their
mission." Cline was a storyteller of some note. An oil prospector, he had made
a fortune, lost it and made another. He had served during the depression years
on various government boards, particularly the hous ing administration. He was
"earthy" in his manner and in his speech. He liked in later years to tell how
he was received in Memphis with THE SECOND WORLD WAR 249 all the pomp and
ceremony to which an Imperial Potentate was entitled, but that as a Past
Imperial Potentate, he carried his own bags to the train. Perhaps that is the
reason he concluded his annual address by telling the representatives, "I
would not sell the experience of being your Imperial Potentate for nine
million dollars, and I would not give you a plugged nickel for the job again."
He attended but one more Imperial Session. That was to cast a ballot for
Hubert M. Poteat for the post of Imperial Outer Guard.
though Cline wanted to steer a course for the Shrine that would not involve it
in the "isms" of the day, it nevertheless was clear to most of the Shriners
that a patriotic fervor was spreading across the entire jurisdiction. The
Shrine bands on frequent occasions were called into parades that were purely
patriotic in character. In his annual report to the Imperial Council in
Indianapolis in 1941, Imperial Potentate George F. Olendorf (Abou Ben Adhem)
remarked that during his year he had urged the nobility to rededicate itself,
individually and collectively, to the highest ideals of Americanism. "I am
proud," he said, "of the patriotic position the Shrine has taken throughout
its long and eventful history. Whatever the future may hold for us, I have
every assurance that the Order of the Mystic Shrine will be uncompromising in
its support of the democratic ideal and in those worthwhile things which
brighten, sweeten and enrich the way of life." Actually Olendorf never
appeared at the 1941 convention in Indianapolis. He was taken ill just before
his arrival and was sent immediately to a hospital. Deputy Imperial Potentate
Thomas C. Law (Yaarab) took over. Olendorf eventually recovered sufficiently
to be removed to his home in Missouri, but he died shortly thereafter. The
Indianapolis convention was a bright and splendid affair. Money once more was
becoming available after the long depression and the Shriners made the most of
their opportunities for fun and parading, and it was well they did. It was the
last of the wondrous affairs of the Imperial Council session until after the
Great War ended. Somehow, the Time and Place Committee seemed to feel that
this 250 PARADE TO GLORY would be true. Invitations for the 1942
session had been received from Portland, Oregon, and Atlantic City, New
Jersey, and another was expected from Boston, but the committee, "giving due
consideration to the uncertainties facing the country," recommended that the
decision for the next session be left to the Imperial Divan.
C. Law of Yaarab Temple (Atlanta) was elected Imperial Potentate in
Indianapolis, and he let it be known from the very start that the theme of his
year of administration was to be Masonic Unity. Throughout his term of office,
he attended every Masonic meeting for which he had credentials in his own
right and others where the privilege was extended because of his official
position in the Shrine. Everywhere he went, Noble Law felt that his theme was
welcomed with open arms. In his annual address at the Imperial Council session
(strictly business‑no parades) in Chicago on June 29, 1942, Law declared that
as a result of his efforts "it can be said without hesitation or apology that
the spirit of the Shrine has assumed a trend which leads to a happy middle
ground of mutual understanding (with other Masonic bodies) on which the
seriousness of the craft and the relaxation of our Order can meet in a true
brotherhood. Both are reaching the proper conclusion that the contentment
which the principles and precepts of Masonry bring, added to the pursuit of
happiness which the Shrine seeks, is true American democracy." Imperial
Potentate Law never abandoned this theme even after the day of infamy that
came on Sunday, December 7, 1941. All America, including the Shrine and its
leadership, realized what the Japa nese attack on Pearl Harbor would mean to
the nation and its people. Law and other members of the Imperial Divan were
well aware that America was unprepared, either physically or mentally, for the
road ahead. When the attack came, Law was halfway through his term in office
as Imperial Potentate and the nation had hardly begun to recover from the blow
before it was time for the annual session. Obviously, it would be unwise,
improper and almost impossible to hold a full‑blown Imperial Session with all
of its pomp, ceremony, parades and pageantry. In his annual call for the
Imperial Session, THE SECOND WORLD WAR 251 Law said: "Due to the
fact that our country is at war and due to the cost and difficulty in
obtaining transportation for uniformed units, a business session only will be
held." And that was confined to two days, rather than three, because of the
shortage of hotel space.
in the spirit of the times, the Imperial Council took steps to turn over the
management of its affairs to the Imperial Divan if if should develop that, at
some time during the war, even the rep resentatives proved unable to get
together for their annual session. Actually, the Imperial Session was
abandoned only in 1945, but the Shriners felt they must be prepared. The only
power not passed on to the Imperial Divan was the authority to elect new
officers at the bottom of the Imperial line. All others were to be advanced in
regular rotation with the Outer Guard and any other offices to be left vacant
until a meeting of the full Imperial Council could be held.
Shrine also put itself on a war footing. George H. Rowe of Ismailia Temple
(Buffalo) presented a resolution from the New York Shrine Council which would
create a War Activities Commit tee, designed to assist the government and the
membership in every possible way during the war emergency. Rowe was serving at
the time as the Imperial Oriental Guide, and he promptly was named chairman of
that committee. More than anything else, Rowe and his committee over the next
four years coordinated activities in the temples and promoted new ideas which
in any way might help the war effort.
Elected as Imperial Potentate was a distinguished Cleveland attorney, Albert
H. Fiebach, who for many years had served on the Jurisprudence and Laws
Committee of the Shrine. At the very start he let it be known that the Shrine
must do everything in its power to help win the war. How much the Shrine did
is revealed in the reports of the Imperial Potentates and the War Activities
Committee over the next three years.
meeting in Chicago in 1943 with only the representatives to the Imperial
Council present, Fiebach reported: "With civilization standing at the very
crossroads of destiny, at a time of national crisis 252 PARADE TO
GLORY and peril, men are impelled to turn to the serious philosophy of life.
Moved by these impulses, they naturally seek light and refuge in Masonry and
the Shrine. Here they find the most congenial forum for the profession of
their belief in God and of their devotion to country and flag. Symbolic
Masonry has prospered as has the York Rite, the Scottish Rite and the Shrine.
Last year for the first time since 1926, our Order showed a gain." Indeed it
was true. The tide had turned from the depression years. The spiritual feeling
of men, particularly in scores of training camps all over the United States,
had increased and with that increase had developed an apparent need for
fraternalism. It was also a fact that the nation had entered into a war
economy. More money was available and with more money in millions of pockets,
there was a better atmosphere for the development of the Shrine and its
prerequisite bodies of Masonry. Furthermore, individual temples, spared the
expense of sending their marching units long distances to participate in
parades, found greater activity at home. The War Activities Committee urged
the local temples to participate in every patriotic parade, and they did,
adding their colorful uniforms, precision marching and military music to
rallies for the Red Cross, the sale of war bonds, the return of wounded troops
and every other event that seemed appropriate.
some cities, the local temple took over the management of the sale of war
bonds, and in the course of four years of war, more than a billion dollars was
invested by and through the Shrine in these government bonds for the conduct
of the war. The Colorado Corporation (the hospitals) also invested all of
their available funds in government securities as a means of furthering the
some cities, the Shrine mosques became the center of wartime activities, both
as a place of work for Red Cross volunteers and as a center for entertainment
of all troops, but particularly Shriners and Masons. In those areas where
training camps were near at hand, the mosques were the scenes of dances and
other entertainments. Special committees were formed to make certain that
every Mason was personally
254 PARADE TO GLORY sonally invited to these affairs. Contacts were
maintained with other temples. Frequently a temple in one section of the
nation would write to a temple far distant, advising them that a Shriner or a
Mason had been assigned to a nearby camp. Wherever possible the visiting
Shriner or Mason was made to feel at home among his brethren.
perhaps singularly important that the Imperial Potentate elected in 1943 was
Morley MacKenzie, a Canadian and a member of Rameses Temple in Toronto. Canada
had been at war two years longer than the United States and had felt more of
the heartaches that go with it. But it was during his year as Imperial
Potentate that the tide of battle began to turn. Mussolini had been forced to
resign as premier of Italy and that nation had surrendered. George Patton and
his Seventh Army had invaded Europe from the south and just one month before
the Imperial Council session on July 5, 6, and 7, 1944, General Dwight
Eisenhower had directed the invasion of France. Already Patton was on the
march. Just as the Imperial Session was about to get under way, MacKenzie
wrote to all of the Potentates of all of the temples that "these are hours of
dedication. The crusading armies of free peoples have begun the greatest
mission of rescue in world history . . . the encirclement of Germany‑the noose
that must hang their tyrannical military despots and hasten Hitler's final day
of reckoning‑is being drawn about the Nazis. . . . Within us all a spirit of
solemn dedication, of earnest devotion, prays for Divine blessing, for
protection, for courage, for fortitude." But the war was not over, even though
the end was in sight. There were still sick and wounded troops to visit. There
were still entertainments to give. Almost every day, at some hospital or in
some training camp, the Shriners gave band concerts. They equipped recreation
halls with radios and jukeboxes. They conducted blood banks. And they bought
bonds. In some temples, there was a sort of secret committee which helped the
FBI and other government intelligence units as a clearing house for
G. Arvold of El Zagal Temple (Fargo) was elected Imperial Potentate in 1944,
and it fell to his lot to be the only head of THE SECOND WORLD WAR 255 the
Shrine in history not to have a meeting of the Imperial Council to preside
over. The session of 1945 was abandoned at the behest of the government, faced
with the almost impossible task of keeping the nation's transportation system
moving. Even the six hundred representatives could not be accommodated, and
the 1945 session was composed of the Imperial Divan and the necessary members
of the various committees of both the Iowa and Colorado Corporations.
time the 1945 session got under way in Chicago, the war in Europe was over.
The Germans had surrendered. Hitler and Mussolini were dead. In the Pacific,
Iwo Jima and Okinawa had been cap tured. The fleets were bombarding the
Japanese coastline, and the first atomic bomb was only a month away. And thus
it was that the big debate among the members of the Divan concerned the amount
of money that was to be expended by the Shrine in the development of special
display rooms in the George Washington National Masonic Memorial in
rooms were the dearest wish of Arvold, who had spent his lif e in show
business of one kind and another. He fought for the rooms. He organized them.
Mecca Temple gave her Shrine treasures for display. But some of the members of
the Divan were hesitant. They wanted to know how much money the Shrine was
going to spend, and for what. Arvold knew only part of the answer, but he had
f aith in the future, and as a result the motion to spend $25,000 went
through. Since that time, thousands more have been spent, until it is one of
the real show places of the memorial‑and the lodging place of Dr. Fleming's
original Ritual, his jewels and those of William J. Florence.
1945 meeting was the end of another era‑the war years, years in which the
Shrine had distinguished itself by its service to the country as a whole and
to Shriners and Masons in particular. And the membership was growing once
again. From the low of 3o6,ooo in 1942, the Shrine had grown to more than
400,000. Over the next decade, it would double in size.
Right to Go to Lodge
once said that America fought the Second World War for the right to go to
lodge meeting on Tuesday night; and KJ when the Shrine resumed its frolicsome
ways in San Francisco on July 23, 1946, Governor Earl Warren touched on the
point as he welcomed the Nobles to California.
William H. Woodfield of Islam Temple (San Francisco) had succeeded Imperial
Potentate Arvold at the abbreviated session of the Imperial Divan in Chicago
in 1945, and with the end of the war, he was determined to make the resumption
of Imperial activities an affair to be remembered. It was. The San Francisco
Examiner could think of no better way to report the event than to repeat the
story written in 1932 about the Shrine convention in that year: "By Allah,
'tis a noble sight. Behold, ye unbelievers, an enchanted city. Sheiks of the
desert smoking two‑bit cigars. Minarets and temples alight with magic fire.
Baghdad and Cairo. What were they com pared to San Francisco in the grip of
the Shriners. Revelry, pomp, music and marching patrols. It is all here again.
Brighter, louder, filled with more excitement than in those prewar years."
Franciscans were more excited by the advent of the Shriners than by the
founding of the United Nations a year before, when most of the great diplomats
of the world had congregated in the same city.
RIGHT TO GO TO LODGE 257
a day of celebration and the Shriners made the most of it. The guest of honor
was Noble General H. H. "Hap" Arnold, who had served during the war years as
commanding general of the Air Force. The Shriners were proud of him and proud
that he was a Shriner, as many of the commanding officers in all the services
were. President Truman sent his regrets and fraternal greetings, and Governor
Earl Warren (later to become Chief Justice of the United States) welcomed the
Shriners as the convention opened. Warren had served as Potentate of Aahmes
Temple and as Grand Master of the Masons of California. It was not surprising,
then, that he touched on fraternalism in his welcome address.
"America," he said, "is a fraternal nation. It is a land of fraternities, and
one of the greatest is the Shrine of North America. . . . Nations across the
waters do not understand this phase of our national life. . . . I wish all the
world could absorb this fraternal spirit and put it to work. It is all that is
necessary to solve the most troublesome problems of our turbulent times. . . .
If the world would adopt the same attitude toward the poor, the weak and the
underprivileged that the Shrine has maintained toward the crippled children of
North America, without regard to race, creed or color, it would dispel most of
the darkness around us. There is no gloom that cannot be driven out by the
sunshine of the Shrine."
was all so very true. The sunshine of the Shrine was spreading. In 1942, the
fraternity had reached the bottom of the depression years, but by 1946 the
membership had jumped an impres sive 150,000 members, and another quarter of a
million were to be added by July of 1958. The Shrine leadership was not
alarmed by this growth. They liked it. But there were problems. Syria Temple
in Pittsburgh became the largest of all the Shrine temples, with a membership
of more than 26,ooo. Al Malaikah of Los Angeles went into second place with
more than 2 2,ooo and Medinah of Chicago had more than 21,000. Of the first
ten temples in rank of size, Crescent of Trenton, N. J., was the smallest and
it had a membership of more than i i,ooo. None of the larger mosques could
seat all of the
PARADE TO GLORY 261 oppose an ideology that seeks to degrade human beings. We
oppose any philosophy that declares the police state to be the highest human
social achievement, and which would invade the sacred sanctuary of a man's
conscience, where only God may enter as judge.
"Masonry and Shrinedom have flourished in this soil of freedom. Shrinedom has
given me a greater appreciation of what it means to be an American. In the
'Shrine I have found myself surrounded by men full of the joy of living, men
of hope and optimism and understanding. They are loyal to the principles of
Masonry and of the Shrine, for they are identical with the principles of
brotherhood and liberty embodied in the ideals of Americanism. They are
dedicated to preserving these ideals. And they are ever vigilant against any
act or deed that threatens to rob us of our great heritage of freedom. This,
friends, is the Shrine. These are a few of the reasons why I wear this fez."
Imperial Potentates changed from year to year, there were changes in the theme
each sought to promulgate as his own lasting contribution to the fraternity,
but with each of them, there was the constant effort to acquaint the nobility
and the general public with the ravages of godless ideologies. A year before
he was elected as Imperial Outer Guard at the Chicago convention of 1949,
George E. Stringfellow of Crescent Temple (Trenton, New Jersey) attacked not
only communism but fuzzy‑minded liberalism as well. "Trend of government," he
told the Mid‑Atlantic Shrine Association after his election, "always follows
informed public opinion and since free institutions thrive on sound public
opinion, we as Masons should be partisan to the basic philosophies which made
S 1 as Imperial Second Ceremonial Master, Stringfellow told a lodge of Masons
that "we know that wherever communism takes over, Masonic lodges are closed
and leaders are killed. We cannot, at one and the same time, stand with God
and with Stalin. Some socalled liberals in this country would have you believe
this possible. The choice today is Stalin or God. We Masons choose God."
Support for the Shrine's fight against communism and other ide‑ THE RIGHT TO
GO TO LODGE 261 ologies inimical to the American way of life came from one
of the Shrine's most illustrious Nobles, J. Edgar Hoover, head of the Federal
Bureau of Investigation. In a statement written especially for this book, Mr.
Reply, Please R f w File No.
STATES DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION WASHINGTON 25, D.
October 17, 1958 THE SHRINE VERSUS COMMUNISM For many years the Imperial
Potentates, the Imperial Council and the Nobility of the Shrine of North
America have led a continuing fight against communism. It is refreshing to
see so great a fraternal organization as the Shrine put its full weight and
power against this dangerous menace.
canker of communism is the greatest threat to the liberty of the peoples of
North America. Like chameleons, the communists change their outward
characteristics according to the surroundings in which they operate.
propaganda is at times ludicrous, but we cannot ignore it for one moment.
and conquer. Hoodwink, lie, purge‑‑anything to conquer the liberty loving
peoples of the world and put them under the iron fist of communism.
Hypocrisy, guile, deceit and subversion are the hallmarks of communism,
disguised of course as sincerity, forthrightness, truth and peaceful
coexistence. Let each of us in the Ancient Arabic Order Nobles of the
Mystic Shrine continue to be alert to these insidious tactics of communism and
fight to our last breath to preserve the historic freedoms and liberty we now
262 PARADE TO GLORY All through his advancement in the Imperial line of
officers, Stringfellow, who had been a close associate of Thomas A. Edison,
continued this fight. In 1956 as the Imperial Chief Rabban he wrote an article
for American Mercury magazine called "Fraternalism Fights Communism" in which
he not only attacked the Communists, but historically called to the attention
of the public, as well as the Masons, the fact that the birth of this nation
was inexorably bound to the order of Freemasons‑that even the Boston Tea Party
was an adjourned session of St. Andrews' Lodge of Freemasons in Boston. Then
he set forth his own personal creed: "I believe in God.
believe in this nation, under God.
believe in our fraternities under God.
believe that this nation, under God, was destined to be protector and defender
of human liberty." No less a part of the Shrine in the postwar era was the
effort of its leaders to achieve some form of Masonic unity. In Masonry, the
Grand Lodge, and, by virtue of being head of the Grand Lodge, the Grand Master
are supreme; but in North America, the authority of the Grand Lodge and the
Grand Master is circumscribed by the political boundaries in which they exist.
In Canada there are provincial Grand Lodges and in the United States there are
state Grand Lodges, but there is no national organization. For this reason,
rules and regulations differ from state to state and province to province, and
in some states the Ritual takes on a slightly different form, even though the
meaning remains the same.
Blue Lodge Masonry (the first three degrees) there follow the Scottish and
York Rites, but even in the Scottish Rite, there are separate jurisdictions.
The Northern jurisdiction, with headquar ters in Boston, Mass., encompasses,
roughly, the northeastern United States, eastward from the Mississippi and
north of the Mason and Dixon line. The Southern jurisdiction, which has
headquarters at the House of the Temple in Washington, takes in the remainder
of the United 'States. The forms and practices of the two jurisdictions are
THE RIGHT TO GO TO LODGE 263 by no means identical. The Knights Templar of
the York Rite do have a national organization, but being the smaller of the
two Rites, they have less power and authority over Masonry.
the most potent national and international organization of Masons is the
Shrine, even though the Shrine is not a recognized part of Masonry. With the
almost fantastic growth of the Shrine during and after the Second World War,
some of the national Shrine leaders felt it incumbent on themselves to take
the leadership in promoting Masonic unity. The reasons were twofold. First and
foremost was their feeling that Masonry needed unity, which was impossible at
the Blue Lodge level. Second, the Shrine had found itself in frequent,
although inadvertent, conflict with Masonic laws as they varied from state to
state and province to province. For example, one state forbids all Masons
(including Shrine organizations) to meet as such on Sunday, no matter what the
purpose may be, except to attend recognized church services. In that state, a
'Shrine band could not perform on Sunday, even for the entertainment of
children at various hospitals. Other states have no such Masonic law.
Perhaps the major conflict between the Grand Masters and the Shrine, however,
was brought about by the basic concepts of the two organizations. Those men
who devoted their time and talents to the Blue Lodges frequently believed that
the philosophies and deep meanings of Masonic teaching left no place for fun,
particularly when that fun was engaged in openly by the Shriners and when the
public generally believed that the Shriners were "high‑up Masons." Some Grand
Masters resented the costumes, the entertainment and the frolic of the Shiners
because they believed it was a reflection upon the deep seriousness and
religious quality of the Blue Lodge.
the very beginning of the Shrine, Imperial Potentates had attempted to smooth
the ruffled feathers of some Grand Masters, and in 1942, as we have seen,
Thomas C. Law (Yaarab) had made Ma sonic Unity the principal objective of his
administration of the Shrine. In his report to the Imperial Council on June
29, 1942, Law said: "Generally it can be said without hesitation or apology
that the spirit 264 PARADE TO GLORY of the Shrine has assumed a trend which
leads to a happy middle ground of mutual understanding on which the
seriousness of the Craft and the relaxation of our Order can meet in a true
brotherhood." However, Law and the other Imperial Potentates who followed him
were not quite sure just how Masonic Unity was to be established‑if it was
possible at all. There was little hope by any of them that unification (as
distinguished from Unity) would be possible. But they did want amity if
nothing else. Galloway Calhoun sought to achieve the purpose by calling
attention to the fact that both the American and Canadian governments had been
built on the principles of Freemasonry and that most of the leaders of both
countries were Masons. He mentioned in particular Washington, Jefferson,
Joseph Warren, Paul Revere, John Hancock, Benjamin Franklin, and John
Marshall, and declared that "even such a rich heritage will not suffice now
unless Masonry of today, through us, can meet the needs of the hour." Being a
past Grand Master of Masons in Texas, Calhoun urged as a theme for the Shrine
a rededication‑"that Shriners return to the altars of their Blue Lodges and
rededicate themselves to the princi ples for which Masonry had ever stood‑the
performance of their duty to God, to country and to their fellowmen." Frank S.
Land of Ararat (Kansas City) became the Imperial Potentate in 1954. He was the
founder of the Order of De Molay for boys, and had watched it grow from a
nucleus in 1920 to more than a million and a half members during his year as
Imperial Potentate. He also was a close personal and Masonic friend of Harry
S. Truman, who had served (while still a United States Senator) as the Grand
Master of Masons in Missouri. He had watched the Shrine grow, and he also had
watched a growing apathy in the Blue Lodges. He had gathered statistics which
tended to prove that too many Shriners had taken their Blue Lodge and advanced
Masonic degrees just to become members of the Shrine. Land told the Imperial
Council in 1955 that 92 per cent of Blue Lodge Masons failed to return to
their own or another lodge after receiving the degrees and that 95 per cent
THE RIGHT TO GO TO LODGE 265 seldom attended meetings of their Rites. He
found the facts and the thought abhorrent, and pleaded with Shriners to take a
more active interest in their Blue Lodges, because the Blue Lodge was the
source of Shrine growth. George E. Stringfellow worked on the same theme. The
fact of the matter was that during the postwar years, men everywhere wanted to
forget the horrors of war, the mysteries of the atomic age and the f
earsomeness of the cold war. They wanted to relax in fun and jollity and they
found their desires fulfilled in the Shrine. They never forgot their Masonic
teachings, but they just didn't work at them.
because they wanted to play, the Shrine did grow‑and at an almost unbelievable
and fantastic pace. When Stringfellow took over from Thomas W. Melham in 1958
as the Imperial Potentate, there were more than 8oo,ooo members, a gain of
half a million since the start of the war. In every city, village, and hamlet
there were men who proudly wore the scimitar and crescent and, on ceremonial
occasions, their fezzes. The Imperial and regional sessions grew almost
unbelievably and it seemed that almost every session was bigger and gaudier
than the last.
been Calhoun's privilege to preside over the seventy‑fifth diamond jubilee
Imperial session, held in Chicago in 1949‑ Shrine leaders from every walk of
life were there to reveal, as much as any thing else, that American leaders
included many members of the Shrine.
Cobb led the baseball contingent. Sigmund Romberg was there from the field of
music, and Edgar A. Guest was there with a new poem about the Shriners. There
were Generals Clark, Doolittle, Wainwright and Hartle. Captain Eddie
Rickenbacker participated, along with bishops, university presidents, great
athletes, and Masonic leaders from all degrees. The highlight of the
convention was a major speech on foreign policy by President Truman, also a
President Truman went sleepless during most of his stay in Chicago. Quartered
at the Stevens Hotel, he was one of the principal victims of the old Shrine
trick of calling "Chloe" with a loudspeaker
RIGHT TO GO TO LODGE 267 throughout the night. Always an early riser, the
President arose even earlier on the morning after his speech and banquet
appearance, and departed for Washington.
in Chicago, too, that the Shrine elected its most glamorous Imperial Potentate
in Harold Lloyd, the motion‑picture star. Lloyd traveled incessantly during
his year, preaching Masonry and Americanism, and when he returned to Los
Angeles for the 1950 convention, the entire facilities of the motion‑picture
industry as well as Al Malaikah Temple were combined to make it the biggest
extravaganza in the history of the West Coast as a tribute to Lloyd.
parade was longer, the floats larger and more expensive. And crowning it all
was a huge electrical pageant in the Los Angeles Coliseum on the last night of
the convention. The Los Angeles HeraldExpress reported: "Down through the
years there has rarely come to humanity a spectacle of more beauty and
magnificence than the shimmering jewel with which the Shriners of North
America crowned their Los An geles convention last night‑the million‑dollar
electrical pageant in Los Angeles Coliseum. Like a great glowing heart, the
huge oval throbbed with light against the darkness of the skies above as
ioo,ooo spectators within the great bowl cheered and thrilled to the sight."
But that was not all. The motion‑picture stars themselves were there. Red
Skelton, himself a Shriner, led a camel in the parade, bearing a sign reading,
"Honest Red, the used‑camel dealer." Dan Dailey, Ruth Roman, Rhonda Fleming,
Arlene Dahl participated, and Roy Rogers, also a Shriner, put Trigger through
his paces in the parade that also included units from sixty‑seven temples.
There were fiftyone bands in the day escort parade. More than 200,000 Shriners
and their ladies taxed the capacity of Los Angeles for the session, but they
all came to say farewell to Harold Lloyd. And at night the late Cecil B.
DeMille directed the Imperial Potentate's banquet.
can be no doubt that the glamour of his presence in the office of Imperial
Potentate had attracted a great ‑deal of attention to the Shrine. Wherever he
went on his visitations to temples and
RIGHT TO GO TO LODGE 269 in other appearances before other organizations,
Lloyd drew huge crowds, and in the end the Shrine profited by increased
membership and perhaps more important a new interest in both the Shrine and
Masonry. They apparently were impressed by the fact that if the Shrine and
Masonry were so important to so prominent an actor, there must be something in
both worth investigating.
was succeeded in the office by Hubert M. Poteat of Wake Forest, North
Carolina, a member of Sudan Temple of New Bern, North Carolina, a professor of
classics at Wake Forest College, a musician, singer and composer of some note,
and perhaps the outstanding Ritualist in the long list of Imperial Potentates.
He also was a stickler for Masonic conduct and attempted to cure all the ills
of the growing 'Shrine in one short administration. But a single year was not
enough. The Shrine was too big, too widespread over the North American
continent. Too many temples were headed by men who did not know Shrine law and
cared less. They were interested in operating their own temples f or the
benefit of their own Nobility and all too often became embroiled in affairs
that never would have happened if they had known the law. In almost every
case, it was not so much willful disobedience of Shrine law as it was
ignorance of the law.
Perhaps Poteat's great achievement while in office came at the end of his
administration when he insisted that the contribution of every Shriner to the
hospitals should be increased from two dollars a year to five dollars a year.
It had been forecast that he would run into opposition when the matter was put
before the Imperial representatives, but it sailed through the legislative
process with hardly a murmur. The 'Shriners themselves now were in love with
their hospitals‑a fraternal love which perhaps has known no equal in the
history of fraternalism.
was to have been succeeded by Roland D. Baldwin of Morocco Temple in
Jacksonville, Florida, but he died a month before Poteat left office in
Atlantic City. He was a popular figure in the Imperial Line and was honored at
the 1951 session by being named an Honorary Imperial Potentate, the only one
270 PARADE TO GLORY Stepping up to the top office was Robert G. Wilson,
Jr., a Boston judge and a member of Aleppo Temple, who became interested in
the legalistic problems of the Shrine, including the questions of corporate
structure and the rightful jurisdiction of temples, particularly with respect
to the crossing of state lines. It was Wilson, too, who granted a dispensation
for a new temple in the last remaining state without one‑Delaware,
jurisdiction of which had been divided between Philadelphia and Baltimore.
in June of r q 5 2 Harvey A. Beffa of Moolah Temple (St. Louis) became the
Imperial Potentate and the first of several to realize that the Shrine had
grown into big business. During his admin istration, the membership passed the
700,000 mark, and Beffa, himself a big business administrator, could foresee
that someday the Shrine would reach a membership of a million or more. But in
the process of reaching that million, Beffa saw, better records must be kept,
not only in the Iowa and Colorado Corporations, but by local temples. Beffa
all too frequently did not endear himself to local temples when he found not
only their membership lists but their financial records in a deplorable state.
He found Recorders of temples who had no knowledge of the most rudimentary
bookkeeping practices. One Recorder who was asked to bring out his daily cash
journal, delivered a spindle containing penciled notations. There never was a
question of the misappropriation of funds, but Beffa knew that with the
increasing membership, adequate control would be a necessity and he
recommended uniform accounting systems, and he ordered the Imperial office to
L. Arnold, of Acca Temple (Richmond, Virginia), Walter C. Guy of Scimitar
Temple (Little Rock), Gerald D. Crary of Naja Temple (Deadwood, South Dakota)
and Thomas W. Mel ham of Tripoli Temple (Milwaukee), all important business
administrators in their own right, continued the effort to bring sense out of
chaos and dispel the ancient Shrine philosophy, originally adopted by Fleming,
that records within themselves were unimportant, that the only thing that
counted was fun. After all, when George E. Stringf ellow took office in 1958,
there were more than 8oo,ooo members.
272 PARADE TO GLORY
hospital endowments amounted to upwards of 125 millions of dollars. And in the
inflationary period after the Second World War, temples were becoming
immensely wealthy. It cost the local temples thousands of dollars to send
their units to Imperial and regional Shrine meetings to participate in the
parades and pageants. It was because of all of this that during the
administration of Imperial Sir Walter C. Guy the Imperial Council ordered a
uniform accounting system in all temples with uniform reports to the Imperial
Recorder. But it was not until the close of the administration of Thomas W.
Melham that all but a limited few of the temples had complied with the
leader in the effort to implement a businesslike structure and operation at
both the temple and Imperial levels was George N4. Saunders, Recorder of
Ararat Temple (Kansas City), who had been elected Imperial Recorder in 1948.
He was only the sixth elected Imperial Recorder since the formation of the
Imperial Council in 1876. William S. Paterson had served from 1876 to 1889,
Frank A‑1. Luce from 1889 to 1894, Benjamin W. Rowell from 1894 to 1928, James
H. Price from 1928 to 1943, and Everett W. Jacocks from 1943 to 1947.
Frederick W. Wilken, Recorder of Almas Temple in Washington, had been
appointed to fill out the unexpired term of Jacocks.
Saunders came well equipped for the task which lay ahead. He not only had put
Ararat Temple's records on a businesslike basis, but he also had been an
intimate associate of Thad Landon, for many years the Shrine's legal counsel.
It was Landon who established the corporate system of the fraternal and
hospital organizations and was responsible in no small measure for Shrine law
itself. Furthermore, Saunders was a student of the history of the Shrine, and
was one of the first to decry openly the legendary introduction of the Shrine
into North America. In a "short history of the Shrine" that Saunders wrote,
his opening remark was that the Shrine "is as American as apple pie."
Saunders who moved the Imperial offices of the Shrine from Richmond, Virginia,
to Chicago and began to bring order to the Imperial records. Each succeeding
Imperial Potentate has found
Motorcycle Patrol, Ararat Temple, Chicago, 1958 Oscar & Associates
in him a friend and advisor, with knowledge to support his opinions. The
record shows that he has been a leavening influence and a carryover of
authority from one Imperial Potentate to another. It was Hubert M. Poteat who
said in his annual report after his year in office that "if ever a man was
born for a job, that man is George M. Saunders." Saunders was ably aided and
advised in his work by Robert P. Smith of Almas Temple in Washington, D. C.,
who succeeded Thad Landon as the chief legal counsel. He had served as
Potentate of his temple and director general of the Shrine convention in
Washington in 1935 at which L. P. Steuart was elected Imperial Potentate. In
the years that followed his first appointment as legal counsel, it was Smith
who insisted that every Shrine temple must be legally as well as fraternally
on firm ground and he worked incessantly toward that end. The Jurisprudence
and Laws Committee of the Shrine might rule on
274 PARADE TO GLORY
law at the Imperial Council sessions, but it was Smith who kept the leadership
advised on legal matters in the world. Meanwhile, the rank and file of
Shriners, unconcerned with the inner workings of either the politics or the
records of their temples or of the Imperial Council, continued to have fun,
and it seemed (despite the 1950 convention in Los Angeles) more and more fun.
In 1951, the Shriners returned to New York City for their Imperial Session,
the first meeting at the birthplace of the Order since 1886, and the meeting
was so successful, and attracted so much attention in the press and on radio
and television, that another session was held in New York in 1953‑ Millions
lined Fifth Avenue for all the parades of both years, and for the first time
became acquainted with the most glamorous of all fraternal orders.
Miami in 1952 and in Atlantic City, Chicago, Detroit and Minneapolis in the
years following 1953, there was one great spectacle after another. Parades
lasted for five and six hours‑both morn ing and night. True, the red fire of
earlier years was replaced by flashing electric lights, powered by batteries
carried by the uniformed units. The electric canes and electric brief cases
that shocked those they touched had disappeared by Imperial edict. Torpedoes
and firecrackers were frowned upon, but these all had been replaced by
something else to entertain not only the Shriners but the townsfolk as well,
for after all, the Shriners were still men with reverent minds and merry
hearts, still playing at Moslems and infidels. They had acquired a soul
through the operation of their hospitals that had helped thousands upon
thousands of crippled children who otherwise would have been doomed to a life
of helpless invalidism. But they were still dedicated, as William B. Melish
put it in 1892, to: "Pleasure without intemperance, hospitality without
rudeness, and jollity without coarseness."
of Temples According to Dates of Charters (Where charter dates are identical,
dispensation date applies)
TEMPLE LOCATION , DATE OF
CHARTER I MECCA New York, N. Y.
Sept. 26, 1872 2 DAMASCUS Rochester, N. Y. June
6, 1875 3 MOUNT SINAI Montpelier,
Vt. Oct. 31, 1876 4 AL KORAN
Cleveland, Ohio Jan. 22, 1877 5 CYPRUS
Albany, N. Y. Feb. 6, 1877 6 SYRIAN
Cincinnati, Ohio Feb. 6, 1 87 7 7
ORIENTAL Troy, N. Y. Feb. 27, 1877 8 SYRIA
Pittsburgh, Pa. Feb. 6, 1878 9
PYRAMID Bridgeport, Conn. Feb. 7, 1878 io
KAABA Davenport, Iowa July 1, 1878 I I ZIYARA
Utica, N. Y. July I 1878 ,
12 MOSLEM Detroit, Mich. June 2, 188o
13 ALEPPO Boston, Mass. June 6, 1883
14 MEDINAH Chicago, 111. June 6, 1883
15 ISLAM San Francisco, Calif. June
6, 1883 16 Lu Lu Philadelphia, Pa. June
4, 1884 17 MURAT Indianapolis, Ind.
June 4, 1884 18 Boum1 Baltimore, Md.
June 4, 1884 19 PALESTINE Providence, R. I.
Jan. 2 8, 1886 2o KOSAIR Louisville, Ky. June
14, 1886 21 TRIPOLI Milwaukee, Wis. June
14, 1886 2 2 OSMAN St. Paul, Minn. June 14,
1886 23 ZUHRAH Minneapolis, Minn. June 14, 1886
24 ALMAS Washington, D. C. June 14, 1886
APPENDIX TEMPLE LOCATION DATE OF
CHARTER 25 EL KAHIR Cedar Rapids, Iowa June
14, 18 86 26 MOOLAH St. Louis, Mo. June
14, 1886 27 SALADIN Grand Rapids, Mich. June
14, 1886 28 ACCA Richmond, Va. June 20,
1887 29 OSIRIS Wheeling, W. Va. June 20, 1887
30 ABDALLAH Kansas City, Kans. June 2O, 1887
3I Isis Salina, Kans. June 20, 188‑7 32
JERUSALEM New Orleans, La. June 25, 1888 33
RAMESES Toronto, Ont. June 25, 1888 34 HELLA
Dallas, Tex. June 2 5, 18 8 8 35 SESOSTRIS Lincoln,
Nebr. June 25, 1888 36 KISMET Brooklyn,
N. Y. June 25, 1888 37 ISMAILIA Buffalo, N.
Y. June 25, 1888 38 ARARAT Kansas City, Mo.
June 25, 1888 39 EL JEBEL Denver, Colo. June
25, 1888 40 AL MALAIKAH Los Angeles, Calif.
June 25, 1888 41 ALGERIA Helena, Mont.
June 25, 1888 42 MOROCCO Jacksonville, Fla. June
25, 1888 43 EL RIAD Sioux Falls, S. D. June
25, 1888 44 BALLUT ABYAD Albuquerque, N. M. June
17, 1889 45 MOILA St. Joseph, Mo. June
17, 1889 46 AL KADER Portland, Ore. June
17, 1889 47 AFIFI Tacoma, Wash. June 17,
1889 48 TANGIER Omaha, Nebr. June 22, 1890
49 SAHARA Pine Bluff, Ark. June 2 3, 1890
50 ALHAMBRA Chattanooga, Tenn. June 2 3, 1890 51
EL ZAGAL Fargo, N. D. June 23, 1890 52 YAARAB
Atlanta, Ga. June 23, 1890 53 EL KATIF
Spokane, Wash. June 9, i891 54 ZAMORA
Birmingham, Ala. June 9, 189 1 55 MEDIA
Watertown, N. Y. June 9, 189 1 56 EL KALAH
Salt Lake City, Utah Aug. 16, 1892 57 AL CHYMIA Memphis,
Tenn. Aug. 16, 1892 58 BEN HUR Austin,
Tex. Aug. 16, 1892 59 KORA Lewiston, Me. Aug.
16, 1892 6o ZEM ZEM Erie, Pa. Aug.
16, 1892 61 HAMASA Meridian, Miss. June
14, 1893 APPENDIX 279 TEMPLE
LOCATION DATE OF CHARTER
62 NAJA Deadwood, S. D. June 14, 1893 63
RAJAH Reading, Pa. June 14, 1893 64
MOHAMMED Peoria, 111. June 14, 1893 65 INDIA Oklahoma
City, Okla. July 25, 1894 66 AHMED
Marquette, Mich. July 2 5, 1894 67 ALADDIN
Columbus, Ohio July 2 5, 18 94 68 TEBALA
Rockford, 111. Sept. 2, 1895 69 KOREIN
Rawlins, Wyo. Sept. 2, 1895 70 OASIS
Charlotte, N. C. Sept. 2, 1895 71 IREM Wilkes‑Barre,
Pa. Sept. 2, 1895 72 EL ZARIBAH Phoenix,
Ariz. June 21, 1896 73 SPHINX Hartford,
Conn. June 24, 1896 74 ALES Savannah, Ga.
June 9, 1897 75 BENI KEDEM Charleston, W. Va. June 9,
1897 76 EL KORAH Boise, Idaho June 14, 1898 77
ANTIOCH Dayton, Ohio June 14, 1898 78 MELHA
Springfield, Mass. June 14, 1898 79 ZENOBIA
Toledo, Ohio June 15, 1899 8o KALURAH Binghamton,
N. Y. May 2 3, 1900 81 KARNAK Montreal,
Que. May 2 3, 1900 82 ZA‑GA‑ZIG Des Moines,
Iowa May 23, 1900 83 ALOHA Honolulu,
Hawaii June 12, 1901 84 EL MINA Galveston,
Tex. June i i, 1902 85 GiZEH Vancouver,
B. C. July 9, 1903 86 SALAAM Newark, N. J. July 9, 1903
87 LUXOR St. John, N. B. July 9, 1903
88 ABBA Mobile, Ala. July 9, 1903 89 ABOU BEN ADHEM
Springfield, Mo. July 9, 1903 90 CAIRO Rutland,
Vt. July 9, 1903 91 JAFFA Altoona, Pa. July 9,
1903 92 YELDUZ Aberdeen, S. D. July 14, 1904
93 ZEMBO Harrisburg, Pa. July 14, 1904
94 CRESCENT Trenton, N. J. June 21, 1905
95 KHARTUM Winnipeg, Man. June 21, 1905
96 BEKTASH Concord, N. H. June 21, 1905
97 AAD Duluth, Minn. ‑ June 12,
1906 98 EL HASA Ashland, Ky. June 12, 19o6 280 APPENDIX
TEMPLE LOCATION DATE OF
CHARTER 99 ELF KHURAFEH Saginaw, Mich. May 8,19o7
i oo KALIF Sheridan, Wyo. May 8, 1907 I o I
ANEZEH Mexico City, Mex. May 8, 1907 102 KERAK
Reno, Nev. May 8, 1907 103 OMAR Charleston, S.
C. May 8, 1907 104 ABU BEKR Sioux City, Iowa July
15, 1908 105 CALAM Lewiston, Idaho July 15,
1908 I06 AL AZHAR Calgary, Alb. July 15, 19o8
107 MOCHA London, Ont. July 15, 1908
I08 OLEIKA Lexington, Ky. July 15, 1 qo8
i oq EL MAIDA El Paso, Tex. June 9, 1909 IIO HILLAH
Ashland, Ore. June 9, 1 qoq III NILE Seattle,
Wash. June q, 1 qoq 112 RIZPAH
Madisonville, Ky. June 9, 1 qoq I 13 HADI
Evansville, Ind. Apr. 13, I g I O 114 MIZPAH
Fort Wayne, Ind. Apr. 13, 1910 115 ORAK Hammond,
Ind. Apr. 13, 1910 116 KEM Grand Forks, N.
D. Apr. 13, 1910 117 KHEDIVE Norfolk, Va. Apr. 13,
1910 118 A41DIAN Wichita, Kans. Apr.
13, 1910 I I q MIRZA Pittsburg, Kans.
Apr. 13, 1910 120 ZORAH Terre Haute, Ind. Apr.
13, 1910 121 AAHMES Oakland, Calif. July
12, 1911 122 AL SIHAH Macon, Ga. July 12, 191 1
123 WA‑WA Regina, Sask. July 12,
1911 124 BAGDAD Butte, Mont. July 12, 1911 125
AKDAR Tulsa, Okla. May 7, 1912 126 BEDOUIN Muskogee,
Okla. May 7, I q 12 127 WAHABI Jackson,
Miss. May 7, 1912 128 PHILAE Halifax, N. S. May 13,
1913 129 AL BAHR San Diego, Calif. May 13, 1913
130 AINAD East St. Louis, Ill. May 13, 1913
131 AL MENAH Nashville, Tenn. May 13, 1913
132 NEMESIS Parkersburg, W. Va. May 13, 1913
133 EL KARUBA14 Shreveport, La. May 13, 1914
134 ALCAZAR Montgomery, Ala. May 13, 1914 135
MOSLAH Fort Worth, Tex. July 13, 1915
APPENDIX 281 TEMPLE LOCATION DATE OF
CHARTER 136 ANSAR Springfield,
111. July 13, 1915 137 ARABIA Houston, Tex.
July 14, 1915 138 KERBELA Knoxville, Tenn. July
14, 1915 139 ALZAFAR San Antonio, Tex. July
13, 1916 140 KAZIM Roanoke, Va. June 26,
1917 141 SUDAN New Bern, N. C. June 26, 1917
142 EGYPT Tampa, Fla. June 6, 1918 143 ABOU
SAAR Panama Canal Zone June 6, 1918 144 TEHAIN‑IA
Hastings, Nebr. June 6, 1918 145 HEJAZ Greenville, S.
C. June 24, 1920 146 KAREM Waco, Tex. June 24, 1920
147 MASKAT Wichita Falls, Tex. June 16, 1921
148 AL KALY Pueblo, Colo. June 16, 192 I
149 KHIVA Amarillo, Tex. June 16, 1921 150 AL
BEDOO Billings, Mont. June 15, 1922 151
ANAH Bangor, Me. June 15, 1922 152 MAHI Miami, Fla. June
15, 1922 153 TIGRIS Syracuse, N. Y.
June 15, 1922 154 BEN ALI Sacramento, Calif.
June 7, 1923 155 TADMOR Akron, Ohio June 4, 1925 156 ALI GHAN
Cumberland, Md. June 3, 1926 157 ARAB Topeka, Kans.
July 29, 1932 158 ZOR Madison, Wis. July 12,
1933 159 SCIAZITAR Little Rock, Ark. June 8, 1938
16o TEHRAN Fresno, Calif. July 21, 1949 161
SUEZ San Angelo, Tex. July 1', 1951 162 ' Albany,
Ga. July 12, 1951 HASAN 163
KENA Alexandria, Va. June 19, 1952 164 EL BEKAL
Long Beach, Calif. June 20, 1952 165 NUR
Wilmington, Del. July 16, 1953 166 BAHIA
Orlando, Fla. July 14, 1955
Derivation and Significance of Names Adopted by Shrine Temples AAD Ancient
tribe of men standing seven feet or more, frequently mentioned in the Koran.
Name of two Pharaohs, the meaning of which is "the moon is born." ABBA Father
(Aramaic; not Arabic). ABDALLAH Personal name meaning "servant of God." ABOU
BEN ADHEM Personal name in narrative poem by Leigh Hunt. ABOU SAAD Good
BEKR Name of a friend and follower of Mohammed, the meaning of which is
said to be "father of the camel's foal." ACCA Port on the west coast of
Characteristic of a woman who is virtuous and refrains from anything crude or
One of Mohammed's names according to the Koran.
Presumably geographical name meaning "spring of Ad" or "obstinacy." AKDAR
Mightier or mightiest, fates or powers.
ALADDIN Personal name, technically meaning one who has a high religious
AZHAR The most flourishing. AL BAHR The sea.
BEDOO The Bedouins or those who live in the open.
ALCAZAR Spanish name meaning "castle" or "citadel." AL CHYMIA Alchemy.
Perhaps "Ali," father‑in‑law of Mohammed.
City in Syria.
ALGERIA Province in northern Africa.
ALHAMBRA Fortress of Granada with walls of a reddish color.
GHAN Personal name.
KADER Probably Al Kadir, the Powerful or the Mighty; one of the Koranic names
KALY Turkish word for "costly rug." AL KORAN The sacred book of the
MALAIKAH Arabic word for "the angels.
Arabic word meaning "diamond." AL MENAH The Port.
Probably Hawaiian, meaning "farewell," or Eloah, one of the Hebrew names for
"God." AL SIHAH Moslem sect, "the perfect ones. ALZAFAR The Victory. In
ancient times the capital of the Himyar kingdom; now a group of ruins in
Unidentified; in Arabic "ana" is the pronoun "L" ANEZEH A very powerful tribe
The helpers; title of the believers of Medina who assisted Mohammed after the
flight from Mecca. ANTIOCH Name of a city in Asia Minor; also famous city in
Native of Arabia.
Peninsula of southern Asia. ARARAT Mountain in Armenia where tradition says
Noah's ark landed. BAGDAD A city in Iraq, meaning "the gift of God."
282 APPENDIX 283 BAHIA Beautiful.
ABYAD White oak or white acorn.
BEDOUIN Nomadic Arabs. BEKTASH An Islamic saint, founder of a dervish order.
ALI Personal name, "son of Ali." BEN HUR Personal name.
KEDEM "Sons of the East," or "son of Adam." BOUMI Arabic for "owl." CAIRO
Capital city of Egypt. CALAM "Speech," a system of Moslem theology; the reed
pen used for writing in Arabic characters. CRESCENT Turkish emblem. CYPRUS
Island in the eastern Mediterranean.
DAMASCUS City in Syria, reputed to be the oldest city in the world. EGYPT
Country in northeast Africa. EL BEKAL Arabic or Moslem for "the
walled town." ELF KHURAFEH Arabic, "i,ooo gathered fruits." EL HASA Name of a
fortress in Arabia.
JEBEL The mountain.
KAHIR Name of Arabian Caliph; also name of the city of Cairo.
KALAH The fortress.
KARUBAH An Arabic word meaning "i,ooo female cherubs." EL KATIF Seaport on
the coast of the Persian Gulf.
KORAH The largest river in southern Persia.
MAIDA The Table: title of the fifth Sura of the Koran.
MINA The Port: name of place in the hills of Mecca.
RIAD Arabic, "the luxuriant gardens." EL ZAGAL "The play" or "pleasure" or
"shouts." EL ZARIBAH Hunter's paradise. GIZEH Town in Egypt.
Calm or still, one of the names of Allah.
Poems which celebrate valor in battle.
Mohammedan Caliph. HEJAZ Territory in Arabia on the Red Sea.
Site of the ancient city of Babylon.
Biblical term, and a town in Asia.
Indian empire; country in southern Asia.
Place mentioned in the Koran (Surah LXXXIX‑5).
The Mohammedan religion. ISMAILIA Moslem sect.
Port of Palestine. JERUSALEM Capital of Palestine. KAABA The sacred stone in
the great Mosque of Mecca.
Supreme head of the Moslem community.
KALURAH Persian word for "gleaming corn." KAREM Generous, noble, splendid.
KARNAK Name of a town in Egypt famous for its ancient palaces and temples.
Name given by the Ottoman Turks to St. Demetrius.
The black alluvial soil of the Nile valley; also the pronunciation of the
Arabic interrogative "how much?" KENA Capital city of an Egyptian province,
starting point of the route of the Pilgrims to Mecca.
Region east of Palestine (Trans‑Jordania); a city east of the Dead Sea.
KERBELA A place of pilgrimage west of the Euphrates.
KHARTUM The chief city of the Sudan.
APPENDIX KHEDIVE Title of Turkish viceroys in Egypt.
Country in Central Asia. KISMET Signifies "portion" of one's unalterable lot
in life and used in English to imply "fate." KORA An ancient town in India.
KOREIN Arabic for "little horn." KOSAIR Seaport on the African coast of the
Ancient city in upper Egypt. MAHI Turkish word of Persian
derivation meaning "fish." MASKAT Seaport on the Gulf of Oman.
Sacred city of the Mohammedans, capital of Arabia.
Town in Algeria. MEDINAH Sacred city of the Mohammedans.
Arabic, "main body of the sea." MIDIAN Biblical name of a part of northwest
"Sir" in Persian. MIZPAH Place name in Palestine. MOCHA Small seaport on
coast of Red Sea.
MOHAMMED Founder of religion of Islam.
Elevated to higher dignity or honor.
Title for one learned in the teachings of the Koran. MOROCCO A part of North
Africa. MOSLAH Arabic, "he was set all right." MOSLEM Member of Islamic
faith. MOUNT SINAI Mountain whence the Decalogue was promulgated. MURAT Name
of an Arab tribe. NAJA "Saved," or dynasty of Abyssinian Mamluks.
NEMESIS Goddess of retribution or vengeance.
River in Egypt.
Arabic, "heavenly light." OASIS Fertile spot in the desert. OLEIKA
Problematic; conceivably the diminutive of alakah. OMAR Personal name. ORAK
Perhaps Irak (Mesopotamia). ORIENTAL Pertaining to the Orient or East.
Chief of the Egyptian gods. OSMAN Personal name; the first Turkish conqueror.
PALESTINE Part of Asia Minor; the name means "the land of the Philistines."
PHILAE Islet in the river Nile. PYRAMID Tomb for ancient Egyptian rulers.
Title of Indian ruler or prince. RAMESES Name of several Egyptian Pharaohs.
Biblical name. SAHARA Desert in Africa. SALAAM Arabic salutation meaning
"peace." SALADIN Name of a famous Sultan of Egypt, meaning "the good in
religion." SCIMITAR A short, curved sword. SESOSTRIS Legendary conqueror of
the world and the name of several Pharaohs of the Twenty‑first Dynasty.
Fabulous monster formed by the head of a king on an animal's body.
SUDAN Area of sub‑Saharan Africa. SUEZ Name of a port city
at the head of the Red Sea.
Country in Asia.
Native of Syria, or pertaining to Syria.
Ancient name of Palmyr, a desert city built by King Solomon. TANGIER City in
Morocco. TEBALA‑ Place in Yaman.
Thought to mean "the primeval abyss."
Valley between the hills. TIGRIS River flowing into the Persian Gulf.
TRIPOLI City on northern coast of Africa.
Islamic sect founded by Mohammed.
Territory far south on the east bank of the Nile.
Exclamation signifying, "Oh, Arab." YELDUZ Turkish word for "star." ZA‑GA‑ZIG
City of northern Egypt in the Nile delta.
Town in the northwest of Spain.
Unidentified. ZEM ZEM Abundant water. ZENOBIA Queen of Palmyra in Syria.
ZIYARA Pilgrimage to holy place of a tomb.
Eastern province of Syria. ZORAH Common meaning is "a visit," and less common
is "a slave." ZUHRAH Arabic, meaning "flower."
Cities with Temples Aberdeen, South Dakota Bridgeport, Connecticut Yelduz
Temple Pyramid Temple Akron, Ohio Tadmor Temple Brooklyn, New
York Albany, Georgia Hasan Temple Kismet Temple Albany, New
York Cyprus Temple Buffalo, New York Ismailia Temple Albuquerque, New
Mexico Butte, Montana Bagdad Temple Ballut Abyad
Calgary, Alberta Al Azhar Temple Temple Canal Zone Abou
Saad Temple Alexandria, Virginia Cedar Rapids, Iowa El Kahir Temple Kena
Temple Charleston, South Carolina Altoona, Pennsylvania
Omar Temple Jaffa Temple Charleston, West Virginia Amarillo,
Texas Khiva Temple Beni Kedem Temple Ashland, Kentucky
El Hasa Temple Charlotte, North Carolina Ashland, Oregon Hillah
Temple Oasis Temple Atlanta, Georgia Yaarab Temple
Chattanooga, Tennessee Austin, Texas Ben Hur Temple Alhambra
Temple Baltimore, Maryland Chicago, Illinois Medinah Temple
Boumi Temple Cincinnati, Ohio Syrian Temple
Bangor, Maine Anah Temple Cleveland, Ohio Al Koran Temple
Billings, Montana Al Bedoo Temple Columbus, Ohio
Aladdin Temple Binghamton, New York Concord, New Hampshire Kalurah
Temple Bektash Temple Birmingham, Alabama Cumberland,
Maryland Zamora Temple Ali Ghan Temple Boise, Idaho El Korah
Temple Dallas, Texas Hella Temple Boston, Massachusetts
Davenport, Iowa Kaaba Temple Aleppo Temple Dayton, Ohio
Antioch Temple 286 APPENDIX Deadwood, South Dakota Lewiston,
Idaho Calam Temple Naja Temple Lewiston, Maine Kora Temple
Denver, Colorado El Jebel Temple Lexington, Kentucky Des Moines,
Iowa Za‑Ga‑Zig Temple Oleika Temple Detroit, Michigan
Moslem Temple Lincoln, Nebraska Sesostris Temple Duluth, Minnesota Aad
Temple East St. Louis, Illinois Ainad Temple El Paso, Texas El Maida Temple
Erie, Pennsylvania Zem Zem Temple Evansville, Indiana Hadi Temple Fargo, North
Dakota El Zagal Temple Fort Wayne, Indiana Mizpah Temple Fort Worth, Texas
Moslah Temple Fresno, California Tehran Temple Galveston, Texas El Mina
Temple Grand Forks, North Dakota Kern Temple Grand Rapids, Michigan Saladin
Temple Greenville, South Carolina Hejaz Temple Halifax, Nova Scotia
Temple Hammond, Indiana Orak Temple Harrisburg, Pennsylvania Zembo Temple
Hartford, Connecticut Sphinx Temple Hastings, Nebraska Tehama Temple Helena,
Montana Algeria Temple Honolulu, Hawaiian Islands Aloha Temple Houston, Texas
Arabia Temple Indianapolis, Indiana Murat Temple Jackson, Mississippi Wahabi
Temple Jacksonville, Florida Morocco Temple Kansas City, Kansas Abdallah
Temple Kansas City, Missouri Ararat Temple Knoxville, Tennessee Kerbela Temple
Little Rock, Arkansas Scimitar Temple London, Ontario Mocha Temple Long
Beach, California El Bekal Temple Los Angeles, California Al Malaikah Temple
Louisville, Kentucky Kosair Temple Macon, Georgia Al Sihah Temple Madison,
Wisconsin Zor Temple Madisonville, Kentucky Rizpah Temple Marquette, Michigan
Ahmed Temple Memphis, Tennessee Al Chymia Temple Meridian, Mississippi Hamasa
Temple Mexico City, Mexico Anezeh Temple Miami, Florida Mahi Temple
Milwaukee, Wisconsin Tripoli Temple Minneapolis, Minnesota Zuhrah Temple
Mobile, Alabama Abba Temple Montgomery, Alabama Alcazar Temple
Montpelier, Vermont Mount Sinai Temple Montreal, Canada Karnak Temple
Muskogee, Oklahoma Bedouin Temple Nashville, Tennessee Al Menah Temple Newark,
New Jersey Salaam Temple New Bern, North Carolina Sudan Temple APPENDIX 287
New Orleans, Louisiana St. Joseph, Missouri Jerusalem
Temple Moila Temple New York, New York St. Louis, Missouri Moolah
Temple Mecca Temple St. Paul, Minnesota Osman Temple Norfolk,
Virginia Khedive Temple Salina, Kansas Isis Temple
Oakland, California Salt Lake City, Utah Aahmes Temple El Kalah Temple
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma San Angelo, Texas Suez Temple India Temple San
Antonio, Texas Omaha, Nebraska Tangier Temple Alzafar
Temple Orlando, Florida Bahia Temple San Diego, California
Parkersburg, West Virginia Al Bahr Temple Nemesis Temple San Francisco,
California Peoria, Illinois Mohammed Temple Islam Temple
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Savannah, Georgia Alee Temple Lu Lu
Temple Seattle, Washington Phoenix, Arizona El Zaribah
Temple Nile Temple Pine Bluff, Arkansas Sheridan, Wyoming Sahara
Temple Kalif Temple Pittsburg, Kansas Mirza Temple
Shreveport, Louisiana Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania El Karubah Temple Syria
Temple Sioux City, Iowa Abu Bekr Temple Portland,
Oregon Al Kader Temple Sioux Falls, South Dakota Providence,
Rhode Island El Riad Temple Palestine Temple Spokane, Washington Pueblo,
Colorado Al Kaly Temple El Katif Temple Rawlins, Wyoming
Springfield, Illinois Ansar Temple Korein Temple Springfield, Massachusetts
Reading, Pennsylvania Melba Temple Rajah Temple Springfield,
Missouri Regina, Saskatchewan Abou Ben Adhem Wa‑Wa Temple Temple
Reno, Nevada Kerak Temple Syracuse, New York Richmond,
Virginia Tigris Temple Acca Temple Tacoma, Washington
Roanoke, Virginia Kazim Temple Afifi Temple Tampa, Florida Egypt
Temple Rochester, New York Terre Haute, Indiana Damascus Temple
Zorah Temple Rockford, Illinois Tebala Temple Toledo, Ohio
Zenobia Temple Rutland, Vermont Cairo Temple Topeka, Kansas
Arab Temple Sacramento, California Toronto, Ontario Rameses Temple
Ben Ali Temple Trenton, New Jersey Saginaw, Michigan Elf Khurafeh
Crescent Temple Temple Troy, New York Oriental Temple St. John,
New Brunswick Tulsa, Oklahoma Akdar Temple Luxor Temple
Utica, New York Zivara Temple 288 APPENDIX Vancouver, British
Columbia Gizeh Temple Waco, Texas Karem Temple Washington, District of
Columbia Almas Temple Watertown, New York Media Temple Wheeling, West Virginia
Osiris Temple Wichita, Kansas Midian Temple Wichita Falls, Texas Maskat
Temple Wilkes‑Barre, Pennsylvania Item Temple Wilmington, Delaware Nur Temple
Winnipeg, Manitoba Khartum Temple Past Imperial Potentates Date o f Election
and Length o f Service as Imperial Potentate *111.'. WALTER M. FLEMING June 6,
1876, to June 14, 1886 Mecca Temple *Ill.'. SAM BRIGGS June 14, 1886, to
August 16, 1892 Al Koran Temple *111.'. WILLIAM B. MELISH August 16, 1892, to
June 13, 1893 Syrian Temple *Ill.'. THOMAS J. HUDSON June 13, 1893, to July
25, 1894 Syria Temple *Ill.'. WILLIAM B. MELISH July 25, 1894, to September 3,
1895 Syrian Temple *Ill.'. CHARLES L. FIELD September 3, 1895, to June 23,
1896 Islam Temple *111.'. HARRISON DINGMAN June 23, 1896, to June 9, 1897
Almas Temple *Ill.'. ALBERT B. McGAFFEY June 9, 1897, to June 15, 1898 El
Jebel Temple *Ill.'. ETHELBERT F. ALLEN June 15, 1898, to June 15, 1899 Ararat
Temple JOHN H. ATWOOD June 15, 1899, to May 23, 1900 Abdallah Temple *
APPENDIX 289 "111.'. LOU B. WINSOR Saladin Temple May 23,
1900, to June 12, 1901 *111.'. PHILIP C. SHAFFER Lu
Lu Temple June 12, igoi, to June 11, 1902
*111.'. HENRY C. AKIN Tangier Temple June 11, 1902, to July 9,
1903 *Ill.'. GEORGE H. GREEN Hella Temple
July 9, 1903, to July 14, 1904 *111.'. GEORGE
L. BROWN Ismailia Temple July 14, 1904, to June 21, 1905
*111.'. HENRY A. COLLINS Rameses Temple June 21,
1go5, to June 13, 1go6 *111.'. ALVAH P. CLAYTON Moila
Temple June 13, igo6, to May 8, 1907 *Ill.'.
FRANK C. ROUNDY Medinah Temple May 8, 1907, to July 15,
1908 *111.'. EDWIN I. ALDERMAN El Kahir Temple
July i 5, 1908, to June g, 1909 *Ill.'. GEORGE
L. STREET Acca Temple June 9, igo9, to April 12, 1910
*111.'. FRED A. HINES Al Malaikah Temple April 12, IgI0, to
July 12, 1911 *Ill.'. JOHN F. TREAT El Zagal Temple
July i 2, 191 I, to May 9, 1912 *111.'. WILLIAM J.
CUNNINGHAM Boumi Temple May 9, 1912, to May 14, 1913
*111.'. WILLIAM W. IRWIN Osiris Temple May 14, 1913,
to May 13, 1914 *111.'. FREDERICK R. SMITH Damascus
Temple May 13, 1914, "to July 15, 1915 * Deceased.
290 APPENDIX *`Ill.'. J. PUTNAM STEVENS Kora Temple July 15,
1915, to July 13, 1916 *Ill.'. HENRY F. NIEDRINGHAUS
Moolah Temple July 13, 1916, to June 27, 1917 *Ill.'.
CHARLES E. OVENSHIRE Zuhrah Temple June 27, 1917, to June
6, 1918 *Ill.'. ELIAS J. JACOBY Murat Temple
June 6, 1918, to June 12, 1919 *Ill.'. W. FREELAND
KENDRICK Lu Lu Temple June 12, 1919, to June 24, 1920
*Ill.'. ELLIS L. GARRETSON Afifi Temple June 24, 19zo,
to June 16, 1921 *Ill.'. ERNEST A. CUTTS Alee Temple
June 16, 1921, to June 15, 1922 *Ill.'. JAMES S.
McCANDLESS Aloha Temple June 15, 1922, to June 7, 1923
*Ill.'. CONRAD V. DYKEMAN Kismet Temple June
7, 1923, to June 5, 1924 'Ill.'. JAMES E.
CHANDLER Ararat Temple June 5, 1924, to June 4,
1925 *111.'. JAMES C. BURGER El Jebel Temple
June 4, 1925, to June 3, 1926 *Ill.'. DAVID W.
CROSLAND Alcazar Temple June 3, 1926, to June 16,
1927 *Ill.'. CLARENCE M. DUNBAR Palestine Temple
June 16, 1927, to May 3, 1928 *Ill.'. FRANK C.
JONES Arabia Temple May 3, 1928, to June 6, 1929
*Ill.'. LEO V. YOUNGWORTH Al Malaikah Temple June 6,
1919, to June 12, 1930 * Deceased.
APPENDIX 291 *Ill.'. ESTEN A. FLETCHER Damascus Temple June 12, 1930,
to July 16, 1931 *Ill.'. THOMAS J. HOUSTON Medinah Temple July 16, 1931,
to July 27, 1932 *Ill.'. EARL C. MILLS Za‑Ga‑Zig Temple July 27, 1932, to
July 13, 1933 *Ill.'. JOHN N. SEBRELL Khedive Temple . July 13,
1933, to June 21, 1934 *Ill.'. DANA S. WILLIAMS Kora Temple June 21, 1934,
to June 13, 1935 Ill.'. LEONARD P. STEUART Almas Temple June 13, 1935, to
July 16, 1936 *Ill.'. CLYDE I. WEBSTER Moslem Temple July 16, 1936, to
June 24, 1937 *Ill.'. WALTER S. SUGDEN Osiris Temple June 24, 1937, to
June 9, 1938 *Ill.'. A. A. D. RAHN Zuhrah Temple June 9, 1938, to June 29,
1939 Ill.'. WALTER D. CLINE Maskat Temple June 29, 1939, to June 13,
1940 *Ill.'. GEORGE F. OLENDORF Abou Ben Adhem Temple June 13, 1940,
to June 12, 1941 Ill.'. THOMAS C. LAW Yaarab Temple June 12, 1941,
to July 1, 1942 *Ill.'. ALBERT H. FIEBACH Al Koran Temple July 1,
1942, to July 8, 1943 *Ill.'. MORLEY E. MACKENZIE Rameses Temple
July 8, 1943, to July 7, 1944 *111.'. ALFRED G. ARVOLD El Zagal Temple July 7,
1944, to July 11, 1945 * Deceased.
292 APPENDIX Ill.'. WM. H. WOODFIELD, JR. Islam Temple
July 11, 1945, to July 25, 1946 Ill.'.
GEORGE H. ROWE Ismailia Temple July 25, 1946, to May 29,
1947 *Ill.'. KARL REX HAMMERS Syria Temple
May 29, 1947, to June 10, 1948 Ill.'. GALLOWAY CALHOUN
Karem Temple June 10, 1948, to July 21, 1949 Ill.'.
HAROLD LLOYD Al Malaikah Temple July 21, 1949, to June 22,
1950 *Ill.'. HUBERT M. POTEAT Sudan Temple June
22, 1950, to July 13, 1951 *Ill.'. ROLAND D.
BALDWIN Morocco Temple Honorary
Ill.'. ROBERT G. WILSON, JR. Aleppo Temple July 13, 1951, to
June 20, 1952 Ill.'. HARVEY A. BEFFA Moolah Temple
June 20, 1952, to July 17, 1953 Ill.'. REMMIE L.
ARNOLD Acca Temple July 17, 1953, to July 2, 1954
Ill.'. FRANK S. LAND Ararat Temple July 2, 1954, to
July 15, 1955 Ill.'. WALTER C. GUY Scimitar
Temple July 15, 1955, to July 12, 1956 Ill.'. GERALD
D. CRARY Naja Temple July 12, 1956, to July 18, 1957
Ill.'. THOMAS W. MELHAM Tripoli Temple July 18, 1957, to
July 17, 1958 Past Imperial Treasurers *Ill. AARON L. NORTHROP
_ Mecca Temple 1876‑1882 * Deceased.
APPENDIX 293 "Ill. JOSEPH M. LEVEY Mecca Temple 1883‑1889 *Ill.
JOSEPH S. WRIGHT Lu Lu Temple 1889‑1894 *111. WILLIAM S. BROWN 1894‑1928
Syria Temple *Ill. JAMES C. BURGER El Jebel Temple 1928‑1937 Past
Imperial Recorders *WILLIAM S. PATERSON Mecca Temple 1876‑1889
*FRANK M. LUCE Medinah Temple 1889‑1894 *BENJAMIN W. ROWELL Aleppo
Temple 1894‑1928 *JAMES H. PRICE Acca Temple 1928‑1943 *EVERETT W.
JACOCKS Aleppo Temple 1943‑1947 FREDERICK WILKEN Almas Temple 1947‑1948
Shriners' Hospitals for Crippled Children BOARD OF TRUSTEES GALLOWAY CALHOUN,
Chairman Karem Temple Citizens National Bank Bldg., Tyler, Tex.
C. LAW, Vice Chairman Yaarab Temple 136 Forrest Ave., N.E., Atlanta i, Ga.
LEONARD P. STEUART, Treasurer Almas Temple i44o P St., N.W.,
Washington 5, D. C.
G. SEEGER, Trustee ‑ Osman Temple 85o Arcade St., St. Paul 6,
294 APPENDIX ROBERT GARDINER WILSON, JR., Trustee Aleppo Temple
2o Beacon St., Boston 8, Mass.
LLOYD, Trustee Al Malaikah Temple P.O. Box 47o, Beverly Hills, Calif.
MARSHALL M. PORTER, Trustee Al Azhar Temple The Court House, Calgary, Alta.,
Canada HARVEY A. BEFFA, Trustee Moolah Temple Solo Oakland Ave., St.
Louis io, Mo.
E. STRINGFELLOW, Imperial Potentate Crescent Temple 75 Prospect St.,
East Orange, N. J.
CLAYTON F. ANDREWS, Deputy Imperial Potentate Sesostris Temple Suite 434,
Stuart Bldg., Lincoln 8, Neb.
W. MELHAM, Junior Past Imperial Potentate Tripoli Temple 123 William St., New
York 58, N. Y.
M. SAUNDERS, Secretary (Ex‑officio) Ararat Temple Suite 234, 35 E.
Wacker Dr., Chicago 1, 111.
P. SMITH, General Counsel (Ex‑officio) Almas Temple 815 Fifteenth
St., N.W., Washington 5, D. C.
Shriners' Hospitals for Crippled Children ADMINISTRATOR ELEANOR BAIRD, R.N.
Lexington Unit, Richmond Road, Lexington, Ky.
ADVISORY BOARD OF ORTHOPEDIC SURGEONS Dr. Guy A. Caldwell, Chairman, Ochsner
Clinic, Prytania & Aline Sts. New Orleans 15, La. Dr. Joseph S. Barr, Boston,
Mass. Dr. John L. McDonald, Toronto, Ont., Canada. Dr. James Spencer Speed,
Memphis, Tenn. Dr. Carroll B. Larson, Iowa City, Ia. Consultant in
Anesthesiology: Dr. John S. Lundy, Rochester, Minn.
CHICAGO UNIT 2211 N. Oak Park Ave., Chicago 35, Ill. 6o Beds. Opened March 20,
1926. Dr. Harold A. Sofield, Chief Surgeon, Mable Ramspeck, Director. Temples
Affiliated: Al Koran, Elf Khurafeh, Kaaba, Medinah, Mizpah, Mohammed, Moslem,
Murat, Orak, Saladin, Tebala, Tripoli, Zenobia, Zor.
APPENDIX 295 GREENVILLE UNIT Box 179, Greenville, S. C. 6o Beds. Opened
September 1, 1927. Dr. Frank H. Stelling, Chief Surgeon. Luella Schloeman,
Director. Temples Affiliated: Acca, Alcazar, Alee, Al Sihah, Bahia, Egypt,
Hasan, Hejaz, Kazim, Kena, Kerbela, Khedive, Mahi, Morocco, Oasis, Omar,
Sudan, Yaarab, Zamora.
HONOLULU UNIT 1310 Punahou Street, Honolulu 14, Hawaii. 3o Beds. Opened
January z, 1923. Dr. Ivar J. Larsen, Chief Surgeon. Ethel Hensley Brown,
Director. Temple Affiliated: Aloha.
INTERMOUNTAIN UNIT Fairfax Ave. at Virginia St., Salt Lake City 3, Utah. 6o
Beds. Opened January 22, 1925. Dr. Sherman S. Coleman, Chief Surgeon. Anna
Grace Williams, Director. Temples Affiliated: Al Kaly, El Jebel, El Kalah, El
Korah, El Zaribah, Kerak, Korein.
LEXINGTON UNIT Richmond Road, Lexington, Ky. 5o Beds. Opened November 1, 1926.
Dr. Thomas D. Yocum, Chief Surgeon. Mrs. Garnett Radin, Director. Temples
Affiliated: Aladdin, Alhambra, Al Menah, Antioch, Beni Kedem, El Hasa, Kerbela,
Kosair, Nemesis, Oleika, Rizpah, Syrian, Tadmor.
ANGELES UNIT 3160 Geneva St., Los Angeles 5, Calif. 6o Beds. Opened March 1,
1952. Dr. George W. Westin, Chief Surgeon. Margaret H. Rose, Director. Temples
Affiliated: Al Bahr, Al Malaikah, Ballut Abyad, El Bekal, El Zaribah.
CITY UNIT Camelias No. 27, Colonia Altavista, Villa Obregon, Mexico City. 3o
Beds. Opened March 10, 1945. Dr. Juan Farrill, Chief Surgeon. Arthur J. Elian,
Secretary. Temples Affiliated: Abou Saad, Anezeh.
MONTREAL UNIT 1529 Cedar Avenue, Montreal 25, Que., Canada. 6o Beds. Opened
February 18, 1925. Dr. J. Gordon Petrie, Chief Surgeon. Flora M. Lamont,
Director. Temples Affiliated: Cairo, Karnak, Luxor, Media, Mocha, Mount Sinai,
PHILADELPHIA UNIT Roosevelt Blvd. and Pennypack Pk., Philadelphia 15, Pa. ioo
Beds. Opened June 24, 1926. Dr. John Royal Moore, Chief Surgeon. Theresa
Younger, Director. Temples Affiliated: Ali Ghan, Almas, Beni Kedem, Boumi,
Crescent, Item, Ismailia, Jaffa, Kena, Kismet, Lu Lu, Mecca, Nur, Osiris,
Rajah, Salaam, Syria, Zembo, Zem Zem, Ziyara.
PORTLAND UNIT Sandy Blvd. & N.E. 82nd Ave., Portland 20, Oregon. 8o Beds.
Opened January 15, 1924. Dr. Leo S. Lucas, Chief Surgeon. S. Dorothy Andrew,
Director. Temples Affiliated: Afifi, Al Kader, El Korah, Gizeh, Hillah, Nile.
LOUIS UNIT Kingshighway & Clayton Ave., St. Louis io, Mo. 120 Beds. Opened
April 8, 1924. Dr. George E. Scheer, Chief Surgeon. Hulda Gunther, Director.
Temples Affiliated: Abdallah, Abou Ben Adhem, Ainad, Akdar, Al Chymia, Ansar,
Arab, Ararat, Bedouin, Hadi, India, Isis, Kaaba, Midian, Mirza, Moila, Moolah,
Rizpah, Scimitar, Zorah.
FRANCISCO UNIT 19th & loth Aves., Lawton & Moraga Sts., San Francisco 22,
Calif. 6o Beds. Opened June 16, 1923. Dr. Frederick C. Bost, Chief Sur‑ 296
APPENDIX geon. Marguerite Peck, Director. Temples Affiliated: Aahmes, Ben Ali,
Islam, Kerak, Tehran.
SHREVEPORT UNIT Kings Highway & Samford Ave., Shreveport, La. 6o Beds. Opened
September 16, 19z2.. Dr. Ray E. King, Acting Chief Surgeon. Lucile Dudrey,
Director. Temples Affiliated: Abba, Alzafar, Arabia, Bedouin, Ben Hur, El
Karubah, El Maida, El Mina, Hamasa, Hella, Jerusalem, Karem, Khiva, Maskat,
Moslah, Sahara, Scimitar, Suez, Wahabi.
SPOKANE UNIT N. 820 Summit Blvd., Spokane i r, Wash. 4o Beds. Opened November
15, 1924. Dr. Norman R. Brown, Chief Surgeon. Emma Sargent, Director. Temples
Affiliated: Afifi, Al Bedoo, Algeria, Bagdad, Calam, El Katif, Gizeh, Nile.
SPRINGFIELD UNIT 516 Carew Street, Springfield 4, Mass. 6o Beds. Opened
February 21, 1925. Dr. Garry deN. Hough, Jr., Chief Surgeon. Dorothy Forsythe,
Director. Temples Affiliated: Aleppo, Anah, Bektash, Cairo, Cyprus, Damascus,
Ismailia, Kalurah, Kora, Melha, Mount Sinai, Oriental, Palestine, Pyramid,
Sphinx, Tigris, Ziyara.
CITIES UNIT 2025 E. River Road, Minneapolis 14, Minn. 6o Beds. Opened March i
z, 1923. Dr. Donald R. Lannin, Chief Surgeon. Miss Marie Oling, Director.
Temples Affiliated: Aad, Abu Bekr, Ahmed, El Kahir, Kaaba, El Riad, El Zagal,
Kalif, Kem, Naja, Osman, Sesostris, Tangier, Tehama, Tripoli, Yelduz, ZaGa‑Zig,
WINNIPEG UNIT 633 Wellington Crescent, Winnipeg, Man., Canada. 5o Beds. Opened
March 16, 1925. Dr. K. C. McGibbon, Chief Surgeon. Kathryn M. McLearn,
Director. Temples Affiliated: Al Azhar, Gizeh, Khartum, Wa‑Wa.
Aahmes Temple, 156, 257 Abou Ben Adhem Temple, 232, 249 Acca Temple, 79, 147,
270 Adair, Forrest, 183, 186‑igo, 193, 194‑196 Advisory Board of Surgeons, 195
Afifi Temple, 156, 191, 193 Aladdin Temple, 1o9, 116, 173, 211 Alaska, 156,
157 Alcazar Temple, 221, 222 Al Chymia Temple, 137, 157, 193 Alee Temple, 149,
195 Aleppo Temple, io6, 110, 270 Alexander, William V., 28 Algeria Temple,
19o, 193 Ali, Kalif, 37, 44 Al Kader Temple, 89, 185 A1 Koran Temple, 34, 47,
61, 66‑67, 72, 76, 78, 85, 112, 126, 136, 145 Allen, E. F., 102, 117 Allison,
Nathaniel, 194 A1 Malaikah Temple, 138, 139, 145, 146, 152, 155, 157, 173,
217, 223, 226, 231, 241, 243, 257, 259, 267 Almas Temple, 79, 114, 121, 126,
137, 19o, 211, 213, 232, 238, 272, 273 Aloha Temple, 130, 157, 212 al‑Rasheed,
Haroon, 39 Ameche, Don, 243 American Orthopedic Association, 194 Amurath 1,
Sultan, 38 Andrews, Allen, 103 Anezeh Temple, 147 Arabia Temple, 231 Ararat
Temple, 117, 132, 19o, 219, 264, 272 Arnold, H. H., 257 Arnold, Remmie L., 270
Arvold, Alfred G., 254‑255, 256 Atwood, John H., 121, 123‑125 Bacharach,
Harry, 170 Bacon, Lord, 39 Baki, Abu Mohammed, 43, 44 Baldwin, Roland D., 81,
269 Ballut Abyad Temple, 155 Banks, Henry, 20 Barrymore, John, 243 Bascom,
Frank H., 29 Baxter, Warner, 243 Beatty, Clyde, 141 Becquerel, H. A., 113
Beery, Wallace, 219 Beffa, Harvey A., 270 Bektash, 38 Bendix, John E., 28
Benny, Jack, 243 Blue, Monte, 219 Bokhara Shrine (Marseilles), "Book of Gold,"
198 Boumi Temple, 76, 79, 132, 157, 212 Brady, Benjamin F., 5z 42‑43, 44 239,
297 298 INDEX Briggs, Sam, 47, 48, 53, 6o, 61, 67, 69, 72, 74, 76, 77‑78,
8o‑82, 85, 90, 91, 93‑98, 101‑104 Brown, George L., 116, 141, 146 Brown, Joe
E., 219 Bryan, William Jennings, 125 Burdats, O. W., 16o Burger, James C.,
221, 223 Burgiss, W. W., 198 Burnham, George H., loo Caldwell, Hugh M.,
240‑241 Calhoun, Galloway, 205, 259, 264, 265 Campbell, Sherwood C., 23, 28,
32‑33, 41 Carrillo, Leo, 219 Carroll, Most Rev. Mark K., 198 Carson, Aena T.,
86 Carter, Lillian, 183 Carter, Samuel R., 28, 29 Cavour, Count, 40
Chamberlain, Neville, 247 Chandler, James E., 219‑222 Chapman, Thad M., 81
Chappell, James S., 23, 24, 28, 41 Charity, 82, 110, 116‑117, 118, 134‑135,
139‑140, 166‑167, 170‑171, 178‑179 Circuses, Shrine, 140‑141, 198, 258 Claflin,
G. B., 74 Clark, Mark, 265 Clayton, Alvah, 142, 147 Cleveland, Grover, 105,
io6 Cline, Walter D., 232, 247‑249 Cobb, Ty, 265 Cochran, Sam P., 191, 192,
194, 195, 197, 204, 235 Coffman, William, 200, 201 Colding, Robert, i 9o
Collins, Henry A., 138‑139 Collins, J. F., 54 Concellos, 141 Conlin, Peter,
57, 61 Conlin, William J., see Florence, William Jermyn Crary, Gerald D., 270
Crescent, 36, 40, 50 Crescent, The (magazine), 16o, 220 Crescent Temple, 257,
26o Crosland, David, 221, 222 Cummings, Homer S., 236 Cunningham, William J.,
157, Cushman, Charles W., io2 159, 16o Custer, General George, 5 Cuffs, Ernest
A., 195, 196, 197 Cyprus Temple, 34, 69, 236 Dahl, Arlene, 267 Dailey, Dan,
267 Damascus Temple, 28, 34, 53, 63, 64, 66, 69, 166, 207, 232 d'Aubigne,
Oswald Merle, 23, 24, 28, 32, 41 "Daughters of Isis," 149 Day, Edward C., 19o
Debs, Eugene V., io5 DeMille, Cecil B., 267 Dewey, George, 115 Diamant, Arthur
H., 221 Dickey, J. H., 173 Dingman, Harrison, loo, Dobbin, J. L., loo Donnatin,
Louis N., 10, 48‑49, 50, 52 Doolittle, James H., 265 Du Laurens, Edwin, 28
Dunbar, Clarence M., 221‑223, 231 114, 124 Dykeman, Conrad V., 213 Eddy,
Edward, 23, 24, 28, 41 Edison, Thomas A., 262 Effendi, Rizk Allah Hassoon,
39‑40 Ehlers, Edward M. L., 28, 29, 59, 69 Eisenhower, Dwight, 254 el‑Bagdadee,
Abd el‑Kader, 39 El Jebel Temple, 116, 221 El Karubah Temple, 196, 222
Ellison, Saram R., 7, 20, 25, 27, 48 El Maida Temple, 9o, 150 El Mina Temple,
173 El Riad Temple, 103, 168 Ely, Henry S., 81 El Zagal Temple, 156, 254 Emory
University Hospital, 182 Faye, Alice, 243 Fazenda, Louise, 219 Ferdinand,
Archduke, 166 Fiebach, Albert H., 251‑252 Field, Charles L., 102, io6 Fisk,
James, 5 Fitz, A. M., 155‑156 Fleming, Charles P., 49, 50‑52 Fleming, Rhonda,
267 INDEX 299 Fleming, Walter Millard, 1, 3‑7,9‑14,17, 20, 21, 23‑25, 28‑30,
32‑35, 37, 40‑45 47‑52, 54, 55, 62, 63‑70, 72, 76‑77, 78, 83, 85, 90, 95, 96,
97, 102, 126, 164, 175, 177, 205, 231, 255, 270 Fleming, Walter S., 12
Fletcher, Esten A., 231 Florence, William Jermyn, 1, 3, 5, 7, 9Io, 15‑18,
23‑25, 27, 28, 30, 32, 33, 41, 42‑44+ 47‑49, 51, 52, 53‑62, 63, 64, 68, 69,
95, 243, 255 Florence, Mrs. William Jermyn, I6‑17, 55, 56, 57, 59, 61 Football
games, 199‑203, 258 Forrester, Peter, 28 Founding, of Shrine, 6‑7, 9‑20, 209
Fowler, William, I, 2, 3, 5, 10, 20, 21, 28 Fowler, William, Jr., 20, 21 Fox,
James A., io6 Franklin, Benjamin, 264 Frederick the Great, 39 Fullaway,
Charles, 238 Hines, Fred A., 152‑154 Hitler, Adolf, 236, 245, 254, 255 Hoke,
Dr. Michael, 182‑183, 195, 204 Home for Incurables (Philadelphia), 18o Hoover,
Herbert, 169, 226, 229, 233 Hoover, J. Edgar, 261‑262 Hospitals, see Shriners'
Hospitals for Crippled Children Houston, Thomas C., 232 Hudson, Thomas J.,
105, 108, 111 Hughes, Charles Evans, 168 Hunt, Cyprian C., 49 Imperial Council
formed, 18, 27, 28, 33, 41 sessions 1876 (New York City), 27‑30 1877 (Albany),
23, 24, 32‑34, 63, 65 1878 (New York City), 65 1879 (Albany), 66 I 88o (Albany
and New York City), 66‑67, 68 Garibaldi, Giuseppe, 40 1881
(New York City), 68 Garretson, Ellis L., 185, I9o, 191 1882
(New York City), 68 George Washington National Masonic 1883 (New
York City), 69, 70 Memorial, 5‑7, 23, 55, 213, 253, 255
1886 (Cleveland), 72, 76, 77, 91, 112, Goethe, Johann Wolfgang
von, 39 274 Gordon, Philip D., i 8o, 181, 184, 193 1887
(Indianapolis), 78, 79, 2o8 Gould, Jay, 5 1888 (Toronto), 8o, 92, 148,
225 Grant, Ulysses S., 5 1889 (Chicago), 82 Guest,
Edgar A., 265 I 89o (Pittsburgh), 85, 95 Guy, Walter C.,
270, 272 i89i (Niagara Falls), 92, 95, 117 1892
(Omaha), 91‑95 Hafiz, Alnasafi, 40, 92 1893
(Cincinnati), 96‑97, 100, 102 Hagmeier, O. C., 89 Hall,
J. Clinton, 64 Hancock, John, 264 Hardenbrook, William T., 28, 49 Harding,
Warren G., 209, 213‑214, 216, 236 Harding, Mrs. Warren G., 213, 214 Harper,
Samuel, 29 Hartle, Russell, 265 Hawaii, 95, 129‑130 Headquarters, permanent,
154 Hella Temple, 103, 115, 157, 158, 191, 210 Henie, Sonja, 243 Hersholt,
Jean, 219 Hervey, Irene, 243 105 1894 (Denver), Io5‑Io6, 108‑109, 175 1895 (Nantasket
Beach), io9, i 1o 1896 (Cleveland), 112‑114 1897 (Detroit), 88, 114 1898
(Dallas), 89, 115 1899 (Buffalo), II6‑II8 I9oo (Washington, D. C.), I I9,
120121, 123‑128, 136 I90I (Kansas City), 128, 130, 132, 144 1902 (San
Francisco), 132‑135, 137 1903 (Saratoga Springs), 137 1904 (Atlantic City),
137 19o5 (Niagara Falls), 137, 138, 141 igo6 (Chicago), 137, 138, 142 300
INDEX Imperial Council, sessions (Cont. ) 1907 (Los Angeles), 139, 145 19o8
(St. Paul), 146, 147 19oq (Louisville), 146, 147, 148, 150 igio (New Orleans),
140, 147, 148151, 152 1911 (Rochester), 152, 153 1912 (Los Angeles), 154,
155‑156 1913 (Dallas), 157‑160 (Atlanta), 157‑158, 164‑166 1915 (Seattle),
166, 167‑168 1916 (Buffalo), 168, 173 1917 (Minneapolis), 169 1918 (Atlantic
City), 169‑171, 172 i919 (Indianapolis), 172‑177, 178, 180‑182, 236 1920
(Portland, Ore.), 151, 152, 184 1914 1qo, 191 1921 (Des Moines), 211 1922 (San
Francisco), 211 1923 (Washington, D. C.), 209‑216 1924 (Kansas City), 217 1925
(Los Angeles), 217‑218, 219, 222 1926 (Philadelphia), 218, 221 1927 (Atlantic
City), 218 1928 (Miami), 218, 222 1929 (Los Angeles), 217, 218‑219, 223, 224
1930 (Toronto), 90, 223, 224‑230, 235 1931 (Cleveland), 233, 235 1932 (San
Francisco), 233, 235, 256 1934 (Minneapolis), 236 1935 (Washington, D. C.),
236‑239, 193, 194‑195, 195, 196, 197, Imperial Council, sessions (Cont.) 1950
(Los Angeles), 259, 267, 274 1951 (New York City), 274 1952 (Miami), 274 1953
(New York City), 274 Innocent XI, Pope, 40 Irwin, William W., 160, 164 Islam
Temple, 95, 106, 130, 139, 146, 150, 156, 157, 193, 199, 200, 233, 246, 256
Ismailia Temple, 116‑117, 145, 146, 251, 258 Jackson, Andrew, z Jacoby, Elias
J., 172‑173, 175, 177 Jacocks, Everett, W., 272 Jefferson, Joseph, 55‑56
Jefferson, Thomas, 264 Jerusalem Temple, 149, 156, 157, 160, 162, 173 Jesters,
130 Joesting, Herb, 203 Jones, Allan, 243 Jones, Frank C., 231 273
1936 (Seattle), 235, 239, 240 Kismet Temple, 193, 226
1937 (Detroit), 240, 241 Knepfly, Lawrence M., 100, 103 1938 (Los
Angeles), 235, 241, 2431 Knickerbocker Cottage, 2, 3, 20, 51
244 Knights Templar, 3, 30, 71‑72, 81, 82, 86, 1939
(Baltimore), 243 112, 113, 114, 118, 126, 160, 164, 166, 1940
(Memphis), 243, 244, 248 263 1941 (Indianapolis), 249 Kora
Temple, 232 1942 (Chicago), 250‑251, 263 Koran, 33, 35, 40, 43
1943 (Chicago), 251, 254 Kosair Temple, io9, 165 1944 (Milwaukee),
z54 Kurzenknabe, George J., 143‑144 1945 (Chicago),
255, 256 1946 (San Francisco), 256, 258 Ladies' Oriental
Shrine, 148 1949 (Chicago), 259, 260, 265, 267 La Guardia,
Fiorello, 238 Kalakaua, David, 95 Kalurah Temple, 145 Kant, Immanuel, 39 Karem
Temple, 205, 259 Karnak Temple, 180, 193 Keator, Bishop Frederick W., Keck,
Charles, 226 Keller, K. T., 141 Kendrick, W. Freeland, 151, 176, 182, 184‑186,
190, 193, 205, 218, 235 Kendrick, Mrs. W. Freeland, 179, 180 Khedive Temple,
199, 232 KiMki ng, acenze, 22, 229 193, 199 1772249 INDEX 301 Lamour, Dorothy,
243 Land, Frank S., 264 Landon, Thad, 239, 272 Lanimer, Curt, 174 Lansburgh,
Henry, I9o Lanstrum, Oscar M., 193, LaPlante, Laura, 219 Law, Thomas C., 231,
232, 249‑251, 263264 Legends, 30‑52 Lenhart, Philip F., 28, 29 Lewis, J.
Harry, I6o, 162, Iqo, 220 Liberati, Alessandro, 74, 75 Liliuokalani, Queen,
129 Lloyd, Harold, 241, 243‑244, 259‑260, 267, 269 Locke, Frank, 1o2 Loder,
George F., 28, 29, 63‑64, 69 Louise, Anita, 243 Love, Bessie, 219 Loy, Myrna,
243 Lucas, Mrs. Mellan, II Luce, Frank M., 37, 82, 96, 97, 98‑io6, 199 18, 19,
20, 23, 24, 25, 28, 29, 30, 31, 41, 47‑48, 51, 52, 96 McGaffey, A. B., 102,
116 McGaffey, H. H., 102 McGee, James, 10, 25, 27, 28, 35, 49, 54‑55, 76, 78,
8o, 83, 132, 209 McGilvray, John D., 193, 199 McKinley, William, 119, 120,
123, 124, 128, 136 McKinley, Mrs. William, 128 Mecca Temple, 7, 10, 13, 14,
18, 23, 25, 27‑28, 33, 34, 41, 44, 47, 48, 50, 53‑55, 64, 65, 67, 69, 72, 74,
77, 78, 79, 8o, 89, 91, 96, 102, 104, I06, 110, 132, 158, 179, 207, 209, 22 1,
255 Medinah Temple, 74, 78‑79, 94, 97, 103, I o6, 110, 130, 143‑144, 147, ISO,
232, 257 Melham, Thomas W., 265, 270, 272 Melish, William B., 47‑48, So, 69,
77, 82, 86,94,95‑111, 159, 16o, 166‑167, 185186, 188, 18q, Iqo, 221, 222, 274
45, 48 2449, 76, III, 272 Membership, Shrine, 23, 25, 30,
34, 38, Luce, Mrs. Frank M., 103‑104 41, 44, 52, 66,
68, 69, 76, 80, 91, 97, Lujack, Johnny, 203 110, 112, 113, 118, 137,
157, 164, 171, Lu Lu Temple, 53, 76, 79, 110, 132,
137, 174, 2091 217, 222‑223, 232, 240, 247 145, 151,
170, 177, 179, 193 248, 255, 257‑258, 265, 269, 270
Lusitania, 167 Michale, Simon, 150 Millais, Sir John,
I88 MacArthur, Douglas, 156 Millar, George W., 1, 3, 7, 20,
23, 24, MacKenzie, Morley, 254 28, 41, 47, 48, 96, 102,
141‑142, 164 Maine, 115 Mills, Earl C., 232
Marconi, Guglielmo, 113 Mirabeau, Count de, 39
Marracci, Louis (Luigi), 35, 40 Mohammed, 35, 37, 39, 70
Marratt, Charles P., 28 Mohammed Temple, 37, 65
Marshall, John, 264 Moila Temple, I4I‑142 Martin, Tony,
243 Moolah Temple, 78‑79, 94, 168, 270 Maskat Temple,
232, 247 Mooney, Tom, 168 Masonic War Relief Association of
the Moore, John A., 23, 24, 28, 41 United States,
166‑167 Moriarty, Albert P., 23, 28, 41 May, John
A., 103 Morison, John A., 193, 195 May, William D., 20,
28 Morocco Temple, 81‑82, 134, 135, 165, Mayo, William H., 100,
104 269 Mayo brothers, 193, 194 Moslah Temple, 157, 173,
246 Mazzini, Giuseppe, 40 Moslem Temple, 53, 69,
74, 93‑94, 141, McAfee, George, 203 232
McArthur, Arthur, 166 Mount Sinai Temple, 34
McCandless, "Sunny Jim," 212, 213, 214 Muller, Brick, 203
McClenachan, Charles T., 1, 3, 5, 10, 17, Murat Temple, 79‑8o, 172, 173
302 INDEX Mussolini, Benito, Myths, 30‑52 Nagel, Conrad, 219 Nagurski, Bronco,
203 Naja Temple, 34, 270 Nelson, Lord, 36 New York Stock Exchange, 5 Newsboys'
and Bootblacks' Home, 117 Nichols, Sidney P., 28 Niedringhaus, Henry F., Jr.,
168, Nikephorous, Byzantine emperor, Nile Temple, 156, 160, 162, 240 Northrop,
Aaron L., 28, 29 Northrup, D., 20 Noziglia, Angelo, 28 169 39 Oasis Temple,
199 O'Brien, George, 243 Oleika Temple, 155 Olendorf, George F., 232, Omar
Khayyam, 85, 92 Opie, Noble, 190 Oriental Band, 142‑145 Oriental Temple, 65,
69, 74, 126 Origin, of Shrine, 5, 9, 32‑52 Orphan asylums, 167, 185 Osiris
Temple, 160, 232 Osman Temple, 156, 157, 160, 162, 190, 220 Ovenshire, Charles
E., 169, 170‑171, 175, igo Palestine Temple, 231 Panama Canal Zone, 157, 160,
161, 162 Parades, 113, 136‑137, 164, 169, 203, 208, 258, 272 1884 (Baltimore),
76 1887 (Washington, D. C.), 79 1892 (Omaha), 91, 92‑94 1893 (Cincinnati),
96‑97 1894 (Denver), io6, io8 1898 (Dallas), 116 1899 (Buffalo), 117‑118 igoo
(Washington, D. C.), 120, 121, 123‑124, 126, 128, 136 Igo1 (Kansas City), 132,
144 1902 (San Francisco), 132‑133 1903 (Saratoga Springs), 144 1907 (Los
Angeles), 146 igo9 (Louisville), 148 247, 254, 255 249 155 Parades (Cont.)
1912 (Los Angeles), 1913 (Dallas), 158 1914 (Atlanta), 165 1915 (Seattle), 167
igiq (Indianapolis), 173, 174 1923 (Washington, D. C.), 212, 213216 1929 (Los
Angeles), 218, 219 1930 (Toronto), 227 1931 (Cleveland), 233 1935 (Washington,
D. C.), 237, 238239 1937 (Detroit), 240 1938 (Los Angeles), 243 1939
(Baltimore), 244 1940 (Memphis), 244, 248 1949 (Chicago), 266 1950 (Los
Angeles), 267, 271 1951 (New York City), 274 1953 (New York City), 274 Pastor,
"Tony," 74, 85 Paterson, William Sleigh, 1, 3, 5, 10, 1837, 20, 21, 23, 24,
28, 29, 30, 33, 41, 64, 65, 74, 8o, 82, 85, 97, Patton, George, 254 Peace
Monument, 225‑230 Pennington, Ann, 219 Pershing, John J., 211, 213, 214
Peters, Augustus, 47, 89 Philae Temple, 171 Philippines, 160, 162 Pickford,
Mary, 243 Porter, Joseph Y., 82 Poteat, Hubert M., 7, 249, 269, 273 Powell,
Eleanor, 243 Power, Tyrone, 243 Pray, Malvina, see Florence, Mrs. William
Jermyn Price, Bun F., ioo Price, James H., 272 Principles, Shrine, 7‑8, 41,
112 Prinzip, Gavrillo, 166 Putnam, Israel, 216 Pyramid Temple, 65, 69, 74 35,
272 Raft, George, 243 Rahn, A. A. D., 232, 244‑245 Rajah Temple, 114, 145, 146
Rake, J. Lew, 114 Rameses Temple, 8o, 138, 224, 226, 254 INDEX 303 Rawson,
Albert L., 33, 41, 44, 69‑70 Raye, Martha, 243 Reed, James A., 28 Revere,
Paul, 216, 264 Rickenbacker, Eddie, 265 Ritchie, Albert, 227 Sickels, Daniel,
23, 41 Simons, John W., 23, 41 Skelton, Red, 207, 267, 268 Smith, Frederick
R., 166, 167 Smith, John W., 103‑104, 105 Smith, Robert P., 238, 273‑274
Ritual, Shrine, 6‑7, 21, 24, 25, 27, 30, 31, Sousa, John Philip, 79, 211, 216,
217 32, 33, 35, 36, 37, 39, 40, 42, 48, 49,
Spaulding, E. Jack, zoo 63, 64, 67, 68, 72, 76, 83, 85, 91,
109, Spencer, Bud, 202 141, 175, 177, 216 Spinoza,
Baruch, 39 232, Ritz brothers, 243 Stalin, Joseph, 236, 26o
Robson, May, 243 Stettinius, John L., 29 Rogers,
Roy, 207, 267 Steuart, Leonard P., 211, 213, 214,
Roman, Ruth, 267 238, 239, 273 Romberg,
Sigmund, 265 Stiles, William A., 102 Roome, Genl.,
20 Stimson, Henry L., 229 Roosevelt, Mrs. Eleanor,
238, 239 Stinson, T. E. (Eddie), 141 Roosevelt, Franklin D.,
236‑237, 238, 239 Street, George L., 147, 148, 149, 150
Roosevelt, Theodore, 155 Stringfellow, George E., 260, 262,
265, Root, George L., 37 270 Rose, David B. G., 165
Sudan Temple, 269 Ross, John W., 124 Sugden, Walter S.,
232 Roundy, Frank C., 143, 146, 147 Sullivan, Joe,
202‑203 Rowe, George H., 251, 258‑259 Sun Yat‑sen,
154 Rowell, Benjamin W., 109, 111, 272 Syria Temple,
65, 1o5, 148, 257 Rubaiyat, 85 Syrian Temple, 34, 47, 69,
96, 103, 105, 106, 1019, 110, 159, 185, 222, 233
Salaam Temple, 171 Saladin
Temple, 128, 130 Taft, William Howard, 155 Saltus,
Francis, 52 Tangier Temple, 92, 93, 94, 159, 190
Sampson, William, 115 Temples, see also names of temples
Saunders, George M., 272 lists of, 277‑288
Scimitar Temple, 270 Thomas, Lee, 222 Scott, George,
28, 29 Thompson, James H., 81 Scottish Rite, 3, 14, 23, 25, 30,
86, 113, Tibneen, Ismail, 44 126, 16o, 162, 183, 232,
262 Treat, John F., 156, 157, 16o Scottish Rite
Hospital for Crippled Chil Trinkle, E. Lee, 213
dren, 183‑184, 185, 187,
189 Tripoli Temple, 270 Sebrell, John N., 232
Truman, Harry S., 246, 257, 264, 265, Selim 111, Sultan, 36 266,
267 Sesostris Temple, 211
Seward, William H., 2 United States Marine Band, 79, 121,
128 Shaffer, Philip, 132, 134 Sheridan, J. J.,
155 Victor Emmanuel, King, 40 Sherry, Bill,
174 Sherwood, Bensen, 28, 29 Wainwright,
Jonathan, 265 Shriners' Hospitals for Crippled Chil
Walker, W. Wallace, 28
dren, 82, 90, 110, 177, 178‑2o8, 209, Wallach, Lester, 18
219, 220, 232‑233, 235, 238, 239, 240+ Ward, J. H. Hobart, 28,
29 252, 269, 272, 293‑296 Wardlaw, Mrs. William
Clarke, 183 Sheey, John, io8 Warren, Earl, 256,
257 304 INDEX Warren, Joseph, 264 Wilson, Woodrow,
168 Washburn, W. C., 162 Winsor, Curtis H., 103,
log Washington, George, 31, 47, 120, 213, Winsor, Lou B.,
128, 129, 130, 134 216, 264 Withers, Jane,
243 Washington University, 193, 194 Witt, Bernard G.,
167 Waterfield, Bob, 203 Wood, Fred O., 221
Webster, Clyde 1., 232, 240, 241 Woodfield, William H., 256
Weed, Thurlow, 2 Worthington, John, 44‑48, 98, 103,
105 Weishaupt, Adam, 39, 52 Wright, Joseph S., 102
Wemp, Mayor (Toronto), 229 Wesley Memorial
Hospital, see Emory Yaarab Temple, 164, 231, 249, 250, 263
University Hospital York Rite, 23, 232, 262 Whalen,
Michael, 243 Youngworth, Leo V., 223, 224‑229, 231
Whitcomb, F. F., igo Youngworth, Mrs. Leo V., 229
Whiting, William H., 29 Yusef Churi Bey, 42‑43 Wiard,
Mrs. Norman, 57, 61 Wilken, Frederick, W.,
272 Za‑Ga‑Zig Temple, 232 Williams, Dana S., 232
Ziyara Temple, 65 Williams, Gus, 74 Zuhrah Temple, 92, 94,
io8, 16q, 190, Wilson, Robert G., Jr., 2'70 212, 232, 244