1905 Holyrood Commandery No. 32
Pictured above is a beautifully hand-painted plate
for Holyrood Knight Templar Commandery No. 32 in Cleveland, Ohio.
The History of Holyrood
Commandery No. 32, K.T.
The desire to organize a second Commandery in
Cleveland was inspired by the Twentieth Triennial Conclave of the Grand
Encampment Knights Templar of the United States of America, held in Cleveland,
August, 1877. The dignity and stateliness of this event made a deep and lasting
impression upon the members of our fraternity, also the general public.
Following the close of this Grand Encampment Conclave, the grand Commander of
Ohio, Sir Knight Brenton D. Babcock, issued to ten of Cleveland's leading
citizens, all Knights Templar, a dispensation dated September 10, 1877, to form
a new Commandery in Cleveland.
This dispensation remained in force until the 36th
Annual Conclave of the Grand Commandery of Ohio, which was held in the city of
Put-in-Bay, September 28 and 29, 1878. 'The action of the grand Commander, and
the exhibit of the new Commandery, was approved, and a charter granted for
Holyrood Commandery No. 32, K.T.
Following the instruction of the Grand Commandery,
on November 8, 1878, Right Eminent Sir Knight Brenton D. Babcock, serving a
second term as Grand Commander, delivered the charter, installed the officers,
and constituted the Commandery in due form.
Thus, these fourteen zealous Templars launched
Holyrood upon her course, and holding true to the spirit of knighthood, Holyrood
has become one of the fine Commanderies in the great commonwealth of Ohio.
The first conclaves of Holyrood were held in the
Asylum of our sister Commandery, Oriental No. 12, in Masonic Hall, Case
Building, corner of Superior and Wood Streets, near where our Federal Building
now stands. In March, 1879, Temperance Hall, located on Superior Street, near
the American House was rented and equipped for Commandery purposes.
Temperance Hall was also known as Army and Navy
hall, and was the home of Holyrood Commandery until 1883, when with other
Masonic bodies of Cleveland, it moved into the Masonic temple, corner of
Superior and east 6th Street. Many of us have fond recollection
associated with that beautiful Commandery asylum in that Temple.
In 1920, Holyrood moved into its Asylum at 3615
The Commandery has taken part in many public
affairs, appearing in the funeral cortege of two Presidents of the United
States, Sir Knight James A. Garfield, and Sir Knight William McKinley, and has
assisted in the dedication of Garfield's Monument and many Masonic Temples and
Churches in our city.
The highest honors of Masonic Grand Bodies in the
State of Ohio have been conferred on several members of Holyrood Commandery, as
follows, Sir Knight and Past Commanders, Edwin S. Griffiths, Mathew Smith, and
James B. Ruhl, as Grand Masters of the Grand Lodge, Sir Knight O. B. Hanna,
Grand High Priest of the Grand Chapter Royal Arch Masons, Sir Knights and Past
Commanders, John S. White and Roy S. Rogers, Grand Masters of the Grand Council,
Royal and Select Masters. In the Grand Commandery of Knights Templar of Ohio,
the following Sir Knights and Past Commanders have been elevated to the office
of Grand Commander. Henry P. McIntosh, 1893. Thomas J. Jones, 1920, Louis H.
( The Foregoing is reprinted from the “History of
Holyrood Commandery” which appeared in the program of the 75th
celebration, in 1953. )
COMMANDERY - Highlights of the fourth twenty-Five Years.
On November 30, 1957 Holyrood Commandery sponsored
an event that was to be copied widely throughout the jurisdiction of the Grand
Encampment of the United States of America. Assisted by several of the Royal
Arch Chapters of the 16th Capitular District of Ohio, 69 candidates
received the Chapter Degrees and the Orders in Holyrood Commandery. Exemplar in
the Order of the Temple was Sir Knight Richard L. McNelly, Illustrious Potentate
of Al Koran Temple. The Class was named in honor of our Past Commander, Sir
Knight Louis H. Wieber, Right Eminent Deputy Grand Master of The Grand
Encampment, who was present for the mass conferral of the Orders.
At Indianapolis, Indiana, in August 1958, Sir Knight
Wieber was installed as Grand master of the Grand encampment, for the ensuing
Triennium. A large delegation of Holyrood Fraters, with their Ladies, under the
leadership of the Eminent Commander, Sir Knight Willard F. Bub, were on hand for
this event. Besides the Officers and Past Commanders, 51 Sir Knights under the
direction of Sir Knight Alfred E. Newman, Past Commander, and Captain General,
participated in the Parade.
Holyrood along with Forest City Commandery No. 40,
and Bethany Commandery No. 72, also sponsored a TriCommandery Drill Competition
at Bethany's Asylum, in Akron, Ohio, on Saturday, May 7, 1960. This event
sparked the resumption of Drill Team Competition in the Grand Commandery of
Ohio. In three of those early Competitions, Holyrood placed first, and took
second place another time. Sir Knight Newman was the Drill captain for these
In 1969, Holyrood moved to our present quarters in
the Berea Masonic Temple. After ten years of occupancy, the leadership is now
being drawn from the surrounding areas. This augurs well for the Commandery,
which is now assuming a more local character.
Four living Past commanders have been singularly
honored in Masonry, Sir Knight Paul Pangrace is a District deputy grand Master
of the Grand Lodge, and Sir Knight Clyde Preston is a Past District Deputy of
the Grand Lodge. Sir Knight Paul Draeger has received the Knight Templar Cross
of Honor from the Grand Encampment, and Sir Knight Theodore Holt is a Past
District Deputy Grand High Priest of the Grand Chapter, Royal Arch Masons of
Ohio. Sir knight Norman Schneider is a District Deputy Grand Master of the Grand
Willard F. Bub, P.C.
Historian, Holyrood Commandery No. 32, K.T.
A special "Thank You" to Brother
Fred Lowstetter for sharing the pictures of this beautiful plate with our