The earliest recorded history of King Solomon Lodge begins with a meeting of fifteen Master Masons, all having been tried by strict examination and known to each other as Master Masons, that was held on March 14, 1881 in Tombstone, Arizona Territory, with the idea of requesting a dispensation to work from the Grand Lodge of California. Brother Wells Spicer was appointed chairman and Brother Thomas R. Sorin, Secretary.
After a discussion of the many problems facing them in establishing a new lodge, a request for dispensation was prepared and sent to the Grand Master of California bearing the name of those fifteen Master Masons; in addition, twelve others who desired to assist in establishing the new lodge in Tombstone, Territory of Arizona. The petitioners asked for the name Solomon Lodge, which was approved by the Grand Lodge of California.
The petition was granted, and on June 4, 1881 the dispensation took effect. In it the Grand Master MWB Samuel C. Denson appointed Brother Wells Spicer as Master; Brother Thomas R. Sorin, Senior Warden and Brother Heyman Solomon, Junior Warden. A dispensation was issued by the Grand Master during recess of the Grand Lodge and was in effect only until the next meeting of the Grand Lodge. The next meeting of the Grand Lodge was in October 1881 at which time the dispensation of Solomon Lodge UD had to be returned with all necessary documentation in order to obtain a charter. The application for the charter was denied; however the dispensation was extended by endorsement of the Grand Lodge of California until October 1, 1882.
There is no explanation as to why the request for a charter was refused, however in a letter from the Grand Secretary of California to Brother Sorin it said that the Grand Lodge of California required that a lodge be "free and clear of encumbrances" before a charter could be issued.
The petitioners were recommended by the Master of Arizona Lodge No. 257 (Now Arizona No. 2 in Phoenix) as being proficient in the various arts and sciences necessary for them to open and govern a well-regulated lodge. The dispensation reflects a total of twenty-seven Master Masons were members of the lodge at the time it was issued. The first aprons and other regalia required to open the lodge were ordered from the Regalia and Lodge Supplies Company, Columbus, Ohio, with the understanding that the supplies would be delivered in time so that the officers of Solomon Lodge could be properly installed. On June 10, 1881 a letter was dispatched from Columbus advising Brother Spicer that the deadline could not be met, but that they would ship the order by freight as soon as it could be done safely.
The first by-laws approved by the lodge are dated June 11, 1881, and reflect the dues to be fifty cents per month to be paid quarterly, in advance. In these bylaws it is also noted that the rent for the "hall" would be $125.00 per month, however there is nothing to indicate of what "hall" the brothers were speaking. The original lease for the "hall" with Ed Schieffelin shows that we leased the second floor and a store on the southwest ground floor "for such purposes as may be deemed appropriate". The building was described as "Schieffelin Hall or Masonic Hall".
Solomon Lodge UD first met in Tombstone in a building situated on Allen Street, the exact location is lost to antiquity. The members had come up with a building plan that met the security requirements of the Grand Lodge of California, which required a meeting place on the second floor of the building.
1881 records show it must have been a pretty good year as far as growth of the Lodge was concerned. There were twenty-nine petitions for degrees and seventeen for affiliation on file. During this period of time Mr. Virgil Earp, brother of Wyatt Earp, US Marshal in the Tombstone area, petitioned the Lodge for membership. His petition was duly received and referred to the required committee, which responded favorably, however, upon presentation to the membership of the Lodge, his petition was rejected. His application shows that he was employed as chief of police, resided in Tombstone and was 37 years old. His petition was signed by, Brothers Solomon and Spicer. Brother Wells Spicer, the first Master of the lodge, had an office above the infamous Crystal Palace Saloon, right next to Marshall Earp.
In 1882 Ed Schieffelin had his brother construct such a building, made of adobe that would provide adequate space for several activities of the camp. The building became a showplace, the center of social activities for the people of Tombstone. King Solomon Lodge No. 5 was the first occupant of the building leaving the bottom floor for a dancing area, dining and a small theater. The Lodge met on the third Saturday of each month to conduct its usual business, and continued this practice until 1941. To this day, Schieffelin Hall is the largest freestanding Adobe structure in the United States. One can note the construction of the building by observing the stress cables that stretch the length of the lodge room due east and west.
The first stated meeting of which there is a record was held on June 18, 1882 with thirty-five Master Masons in attendance. The reasoning behind this day was so that the members of the Lodge could join their ladies after the meeting for an evening of socializing and relaxation on the lower floor of Schieffelin Hall. After a grueling week of rigorous labors on various ranches, stores, mines and hotels located within and outside of Tombstone they needed an evening of entertainment and refreshment.
Several copies of telegrams originating in Tombstone sent by Solomon Lodge to member's families reporting the untimely death of a brother are on file. (None of them giving specifics how the brother met his death). We also buried several sojourning Masons in Tombstone, the cost of the funeral being borne by the Lodge. We have telegraphic reports of a brother passing away in another location, the Lodge in that town requested what action they should take and the status of the deceased brother, i.e. if he was in good standing or not, and what amount the Lodge would pay for a funeral, apparently a custom in those days. One such response to a reported death by the Lodge was very brief and to the point: Bury him.
Schieffelin Hall - circa: 1882
On March 23, 1882, delegates from Phoenix, Tucson and Globe met in convention to consider the propriety of establishing a Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons of the Territory of Arizona. The meeting was held in Tucson with the Masters and Wardens of Solomon Lodge UD being admitted to seats. On the day following, March 24, 1882, the fledgling Grand Lodge, much of which remains unchanged to this day adopted a constitution. Grand Lodge officers were duly elected and appointed.
The Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of the Territory was first opened at 1:00 P.M. March 25, 1882, with Worshipful Brother Ansel M. Bragg, Past Master of the Lodge located in Tucson, serving as Grand Master.
Each Lodge represented then petitioned the new Grand Lodge for a charter, all of which were granted; Solomon UD being chartered as King Solomon Lodge No.5. Grand Master Morris Goldwater, uncle of the late Senator Barry Goldwater, signed the Charter.
The Lodge name was changed from Solomon to King Solomon because Masonic tradition is such that a lodge should not be named after a living man; one of the petitioner/members name being "Solomon", hence the addition of "King" to the lodge's name.
King Solomon Lodge No. 5, at that time consisted of sixty members and by their bylaws established the third Saturday of each month as the date of its stated communication.
On June 20, 1882 a shipment of a letter G, one ballot box, three gavels and blocks, one canvass, one low twelve bell, a tyler's sword, a Bible and receipts for dues were received at the lodge hall together with several other items as ordered by Brother Spicer at a cost to the lodge of $733.54 including boxing and freight from Columbus, Ohio. Notices to pay dues were in this shipment also, an item still being sent out each year by the lodge secretary, in some cases without effect. As our records show, Brother Thomas R. Sorin, one of our founding fathers, was suspended for non-payment of dues in 1895. On August 31, 1914 Brother Sorin petitioned the lodge for reinstatement, including a check for an amount equal to the dues of which he was in arrears. He remained an active member of the lodge for many years until his death at eighty-nine in 1924.
A public installation of officers and dedication of King Solomon Lodge No. 5 was held on September 9, 1882, by Most Worshipful Brother Ansel M. Bragg, Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of the Territory of Arizona. In his letter of response accepting the honor of conducting the dedication and installation of officers, the Grand Master suggested that music would be appropriate; however, that possibly vocal music could be arranged and that if necessary it could be by members of the fraternity.
In the Grand Master's report to the Grand Lodge in 1882, he states that he visited Tombstone at which time he constituted and installed officers of the Lodge. From that day to this the members of King Solomon Lodge have labored for the advancement of Freemasonry; indicating lessons of morality and justice; admonishing and encouraging the Brethren to practice toleration, kindness, charity, and brotherly love.
King Solomon Lodge No. 5 has met in the same lodge room longer than any other lodge in Arizona. It is the only one of the original five lodges that established the Grand Lodge of the Territory that still meets in its first permanent meeting place.
It has continued to be a credit to the fraternity and a symbol to the community of Tombstone. Two of its charter members have served as Grand Masters of Masons in Arizona: Benjamin Titus, charter Senior Warden in 1885 and Artemus L. Grow in 1895. Five other members have served as Grand Master; G.W. Cheney in 1890; E.A. Hughes in 1918; J.A. Ivey 1942; R.J. Lopshire in 1965; V.D. Hegge in 1986 and most recently Michael Bishop in 2009. There were numerous appointments of Grand Lodge appointive offices and committees over the years to members of the lodge.
In 1882 our lodge bylaws were changed for the first time; the dues were increased to one dollar per month payable in advance, quarterly.
The lodge had ranchers, miners, storekeepers, professionals, and men of many other walks of life on its rolls since its inception and this mixture of membership is still apparent today, all meeting on the level, acting on the square and living by the plumb as all masons have been taught since time immemorial.
The first financial tragedy to befall King Solomon Lodge was in 1884 when the local bank was robbed and failed which caused some concern to the brethren as to how to rectify the secretary and treasurer's books. Apparently over a period of time, it was solved to everyone's satisfaction according to the audit committee's report of 1887.
The first typewritten correspondence on file is dated 1894. Other material in our archives, being handwritten in the very beautiful, flourishing style with metal pen or quill, so prevalent in those days; needless to say, also very difficult to read; in some cases requiring four or five people to interpret the writings.
Time has not changed many things, especially between the Grand Secretary and the secretary of King Solomon Lodge. We have a letter from the Grand Secretary dated in 1882 asking the secretary of the lodge to get something straightened out and not to make the same mistake again. There is little change in correspondence in a hundred years, only now the mail is somewhat faster and the response quicker from both ends of the chain, especially since the advent of the computer.
The records of the lodge also show that a Royal Arch Masons Chapter & Commandery (Cochise Chapter No. 4) met in the lodge room from 1881 to 1888, Brother Thomas Sorin serving as the Excellent High Priest.
Records also show one brother as being twenty-seven months in arrears in his dues in 1883 and finally suspended for non-payment of dues. He must have been one of the original members since the lodge was only two years old at the time. Here again, things haven't changed in over one hundred years. There are still a few members who must be reminded of their dues requirement each year.
In 1891 Brother Thomas Lawrey was elected to serve the lodge as Worshipful Master, but declined to be installed. Brother Charles C. Warner was elected in his place and duly installed. We also show the Daughters of Rebecca as renting the hall from the lodge for $2.50 per month in case they held a meeting. For the first time on May 10, 1891, the officers and members of King Solomon No. 5 were called upon to recommend to the Grand Master, several Master Masons in Willcox area for a dispensation to organize a new lodge, and to certify the principle officers as to their proficiency.
Our annual return to the Grand Lodge in 1894 shows only fifty eight Master Masons on the rolls of the lodge, a decrease of some sixteen members through death, demit and suspension for non-payment of dues.
Venus # 12, Order of the Eastern Star, has been a part of the history of King Solomon # 5 since being chartered on November 12, 1903, and has been a very important part of the Fraternity, and has made many contributions for the betterment of the Lodge. Grand Officers of the chapter have included Alice W. Lutley, WGM, 1916-1917; Joseph Arthur Ivey Sr., WGP 1924-1925; Merle Cowan, WGM 1994-1995; Ray McRoberts, PMWGP, 1985-1988.
Stated Meetings are held at 8:00 P.M. on the second and fourth Fridays of each month. (Dark July and August). Visitors (and new members!) are always welcome.
On June 13, 1904, Deputy Grand Master Right Worshipful Brother Charles C. Warner was killed in an accident at the Copper Queen mine in Bisbee. A contingent of Master Masons from King Solomon Lodge No.5 made the arduous trip to Bisbee to attend the funeral and pay their respects.
May 5, 1906 the lodge received a letter from the Very Worshipful Brother Roskruge, Grand Secretary, congratulating the lodge in the manner and with the speed in which the lodge responded to a request for funds to assist the distressed brethren in San Francisco following their terrible and tragic earthquake. We had given $250.00 toward the relief of our less fortunate lodge brothers of California.
July 18, 1908 upon a motion being duly made and seconded the lodge donated $25.00 to Fredericksburg Lodge No.4 of Virginia as a contribution towards the building of a memorial to that great Mason, man and patriot, George Washington.
September 29, 1908: Because of the Territorial Fair being held in Prescott, in conflict with the annual communication of the Grand Lodge, the Grand Master Cyrus G. Jones delayed the annual communication until the third Tuesday in November.
A letter dated August 12, 1914 from the Grand Secretary is filed, in which he asks for information concerning a Brother Phillip C. Canter, of Tucson Lodge No.4, of whom he had been queried by several brothers and also from the brother's mother, as the brother had been arrested, suspected of killing a calf with some other fellows brand on it. Brother Canter was arrested in the Fairbank area. The lodge was requested to investigate the matter and forward the information to the Grand Secretary. As a matter of note: Brother Canter is not listed as a member of Tucson Lodge No.4 in the proceedings of the Grand Lodge for 1916.
In August 1914 The International Order of Odd Fellows Lodge refused to pay an increase in rent, and advised the lodge that it was going to hold meetings at some other place and King Solomon Lodge would not be able to rely on that income for future budgeting.
King Solomon #5, rented the hall they now occupy, from Schieffelin Hall Company for $20.00 per month until September 1915. At that time A.B. Waruekros owned 5/6 interest in the building and Mrs. Harwood owned 1/6 interest. They offered to sell the hall to King Solomon Lodge for $2000.00, plus the 1915 taxes. The offer was accepted and three trustees were elected, E.A. Highes, William A. McSparrow and William A. Fowler were the first trustees to serve in that capacity, whose duty was to oversee the property.
In August 1917 The Lodge requested of Most Worshipful Brother Charles C. Wolf, Grand Master of Arizona, the propriety of using lodge rooms for a Masonic Club, to have the club room restricted to lodge members and their guests. The Grand Master's reply was unofficial since the lodge had not asked for an official ruling. In it the Grand Master advised that he saw no impropriety in club rooms, providing the club rooms were furnished by funds other than those of the lodge, and that the club was self supporting.
Also in 1917 the Grand Master directed that each lodge was to keep a War Book listing all members of the lodge who had been called into Federal Service, listing his full Masonic history and military service. Unfortunately our War Book can not be located in the archives, so we have no real record as to who had been called into service during the "big war".
Under the auspices of King Solomon Lodge No.5, The Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons of Arizona was duly convened for the purpose of laying the cornerstone of Tombstone Union High School. The ceremony took place at 2:30 P.M., December 16, 1922 with the board of education members, faculty and entire student body of Tombstone Schools in attendance, with Most Worshipful Brother Fletcher M. Doan, Past Grand Master, acting as the proxy for Most Worshipful Louis G. Moyers, Grand Master, as he, the Grand Master was unable to attend the ceremonies.
On May 4, 1923, King Solomon Lodge in concert with Arizona Consistory No.1, Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite and other Masonic bodies in the Tucson area, in a formal setting, presented to the Tombstone High School an American flag, school banner and Pillars of Bronze. The Tombstone High School band and chorus supplied the music.
In November 1927 the lodge was hooked into Tombstone's electrical system and did away with the Delco generating plant that had been in use for many years. A committee purchased new lighting fixtures, some are still being used to this day in the lodge room as well as the theater on the main floor. King Solomon Lodge was notified of the death of Very Worshipful Brother George Roskruge, and the appointment by most Worshipful Grand Master Brother Lloyd C. Henning, and Brother Harry A. Drachman as Grand Secretary. Brother Roskruge passed away at his home in Tucson, July 27, 1928.
On December 19, 1933 King Solomon Lodge No. 5 and Venus Chapter No.12, Order of the Eastern Star held the first joint installation ceremony in Schieffelin Hall. During the same meeting it was resolved by both bodies that a resolution was to be sent through the Grand. Lodge of Arizona to President Roosevelt, thanking him for his efforts to aid the distressed in our country and asking the blessings of the GAOTU upon him, and his deeds and actions during this trying time.
December 21, 1935 Worshipful Brother Alvin S. Cook was elected secretary of King Solomon Lodge No.5 and was re-elected to that office until January 6, 1958 when Worshipful Brother Cook is shown on the minute entries of the lodge as pro-tem Tyler. Records of the Lodge also reveal that Worshipful Brother Cook was the driving force that kept King Solomon Lodge No. 5 both financially and in membership during this period of trials and tribulations within the Tombstone community both fiscally and in population, almost resulting in the demise of King Solomon Lodge. It was through Worshipful Brother Cook's efforts and zeal that our lodge exists today. Worshipful Brother Cook served the lodge for over twenty-three years as secretary in addition to previously serving as Worshipful Master.
Stated meeting of July 18, 1936 the lodge was opened for business, bills paid, no further business, the lodge closed. Ten hand-written lines included signatures of the Secretary and Master. Probably one of the shortest meetings on record. A new stove was the big item for discussion at the January 1937 stated meeting; many speaking in favor and many against, however the minutes of February show the new stove was installed and operated well enough to keep the lodge room warm.
At a stated meeting held on February 20, 1937 the Master of the lodge had certain portions of the minutes stricken as being unconstitutional and that the master had power to appoint a janitor for the lodge and that it was not up to the lodge to elect one. A motion was made and seconded that the matter be brought up to the Grand Master, as to the masters ruling and his authority to override the wishes of the lodge members. A reply was noted in the June 16, 1937 minutes in which the master was deemed correct in his actions and that the lodge members were in error in challenging his authority.
Our lodge taxes for 1937 were $55.53, a slight drop from today's assessments, as far as taxes are concerned. For the first time since the lodge was established there is a notation in the minutes that due to the lack of a quorum no meeting was held May 15, 1937.
In February 1938 the account with the defunct Cochise County State Bank in the amount of $19.35 was written off from the books of the lodge. As a matter of interest this bank was owned by Worshipful Brother Robert Cowan's grandfather and was operated out of Grandpa's hip pocket, according to Worshipful Brother Cowan lending money to those who needed it usually with a handshake as a binding trust.
On February 6, 1939 during an official visit of the Grand Master, Most Worshipful Brother Orin J. Anderson, Brothers Ivey and Brukman presented a framed painting of George Washington to the lodge. This painting was hung in the balcony of the lodge room, it later was moved to the North wall of the Lodge for all to see.
On April 7, 1941, a first in the records of the lodge, King Solomon Lodge No .5 accepted an invitation from Eppes-Randolph Lodge No. 32 in Tucson to confer a second degree.
On January 15, 1942 Key Rituals Nos. 48 thru 52 were received from the Grand Lodge Secretary, with the instructions that they are to be issued to the master, wardens and deacons and if lost or destroyed a fine of $10.00 shall be levied against the lodge. The keys are to be returned to the lodge secretary and issued to the new officers, taking their receipts thereto, sending a copy of the receipt to the office of the Grand Secretary.
Most Worshipful Brother J.A. Ivey, a member of King Solomon Lodge No. 5, made his official visit as Grand Master of Masons in Arizona, on June 1, 1942.
On February 7, 1944, a feasibility study was conducted to pipe natural gas into Schieffelin Hall. No action was taken because of the shortage of pipe during the war. The lodge moved and seconded that the Wolf Ranch in Hereford be sold for the best price the lodge trustees could get. The ranch was bequeathed to the lodge at the death of Brother Wolf. It was eventually sold for $4000.00.
As there was no quorum for the December 1945 meeting officers were not elected. A dispensation was obtained to hold elections in February 1, 1946. The dispensation was granted and Brother Lyman B. Matthews was elected to serve as Worshipful Master and his slate of officers duly installed. 1945 is also the first year of record that the lodge gave a Past Masters apron to the outgoing master. A Past Masters Jewel was presented in previous years.
Roy Four American Legion Post met in our lodge rooms for a period of time but on August 6, 1946 the legion post decided to move to another location.
On June 6, 1947, Brother Rudolph Stefan one of the founding fathers of the City of Sierra Vista and was a member of Huachuca Lodge No. 53, was elected a member of our lodge. Also in 1947 the Tombstone Rifle Club asked permission to utilize the downstairs portion of the building for an indoor rifle range, but upon due and thorough consideration by the members, and taking into consideration the deteriorating condition of the walls, it was felt that the building was not a safe place for such an activity and wisely denied permission.
In 1950 a special committee of Masons was selected to assist the Helldorado committee in assisting and entertaining visiting masons. There are no further instances of this being done during the famous Helldorado Days held in October of each year in Tombstone. Roy Four, for whom the Tombstone American Legion Post is named, was made a Master Mason on November 18, 1950.
King Solomon Lodge was getting modern. On May 2, 1955, it was decided to conduct a study to see if air conditioning should be installed in our lodge room. The National Sojourners Inc. Cochise Chapter met in our lodge room. No other information concerning its activities other than that our Worshipful Brother Lloyd E. Snapp was the president for a period of time and also served on the relief board.
During the year of 1955 the lodge was privileged to confer all the degrees on Verne D. Hegge as a courtesy to Corvallis Lodge No. 39, Corvallis, Montana. After which he petitioned for dual membership in our lodge. He was to become a Past Master of our lodge, and founding father and Charter Master of Huachuca Lodge No. 53 and ultimately became Grand Master of Masons in Arizona. Brother Hegge received his first appointment in the line of progression in King Solomon Lodge as Senior Deacon, by Worshipful Brother Hargrave, December 5, 1955.
On March 5, 1956 the first serious discussion was held about selling Schieffelin Hall and what price the lodge could get for a building in its present condition. On June 4, 1956, King Solomon received another request to sponsor a new lodge, this one in the Fry area (now Sierra Vista), and to have concurrent jurisdiction. The new lodge in Fry would utilize King Solomon's facilities until such time as it could find a suitable location. The request was looked upon favorably and Huachuca Lodge # 53 was born. Shortly thereafter, King Solomon was asked to sponsor a new lodge, this time, one to be located in the City of Benson. The action was looked upon favorably, except for the portion about concurrent jurisdiction, which was denied.
The first discussion on purchasing new officers aprons and jewel hangers took place on the stated meeting of September 2, 1956, due to the light turnout of members, further discussion was held in abeyance until the next stated meeting.
On December 3, 1956 a resolution was prepared and presented for the lodge to support the new lodge in Sierra Vista. It was adopted and sent to the Grand Master. A motion was made and seconded that Schieffelin Hall be listed with Randolph Realty in Tombstone for $20,000.00. The motion carried. In September 1957, no further action was taken on finding another location on which to build a new lodge hall, as there wasn't a buyer on the horizon for Schieffelin Hall. On February 3, 1958 the Board of Trustees of the lodge is given permission to negotiate the sale of Schieffelin Hall for any price over $10,000.00.
On March 14, 1958 King Solomon #5 sold the building to Mihran P. Narlian and Mr. & Mrs. Pete G. Pistonetti for $7000.00. WB Dale Lopshire was one of the trustees at that time and signed the deed on behalf of the Lodge. King Solomon was again renters and remained occupants of the same space in Scheiffelin Hall.
On June 3, 1957, Worshipful Brother Dale Lopshire directed the secretary not to issue dues cards to newly raised Master Masons until such time as the member had learned the proficiency of the third degree. On June 2, 1958 the Benson Gavel and Gauge Club advised us that we might use their facilities until such time as we were able to find a new location and build a new Masonic facility. A resolution was presented to the Lodge to move our meetings to Benson and after much discussion, a secret ballot was taken resulting in seven ayes and twenty-five nays, the resolution was defeated. King Solomon Lodge No. 5 stays in Tombstone.
On August 4, 1958 a Past Masters Jewel was presented to Worshipful Brother Dale Lopshire, the minute entry reading that the presentation was delayed because of the procrastination of our brother to make a decision as to the type of jewel he desired. In January 1959 Worshipful Brother F.H. Woodruff ordered the elected officers to wear black dinner jackets and other officers to wear black suits and ties providing it presents no hardship to the individual brother.
Randolph Realty advised the lodge that the prospective new owners ordered the Lodge to find new quarters within six months, according to the purchase agreement for the sale of the building. After this warning the Worshipful Master appointed a committee to report at their next meeting with a suitable location for a new lodge building. After this report moving plans were underway. In May 1960 there was a change in plans, the lodge was not going to move, however, the Worshipful Master directed that the floor plans of a new building be completed and presented to the lodge by the September stated meeting, just so we are duly prepared for any future eventuality.
Worshipful Brother Ralph C. Cowan, Past Master of Mount Moriah Lodge No. 19 in Douglas Arizona; son of Brother William Cowan, Junior Deacon of King Solomon Lodge in 1904 and the father of the lodge's Treasurer, Worshipful Brother Robert E. Cowan, was elected to dual membership in the lodge, making a three generation King Solomon Masonic family, the first and only one as of this date, February 1, 1960.
In 1963 remodeling of Schieffelin Hall was about to begin and scheduled degree work to be conducted at Huachuca Lodge No. 53 in Sierra Vista and any further changes will be announced as they become known. In eighty years since establishing King Solomon Lodge No. 5 in 1882 the lodge must hold its stated meetings in a place other than Schieffelin Hall.
On January 6, 1964, the lodge held its stated meeting in the facilities of Huachuca Lodge No. 53 after permission was granted by the Grand Lodge, the duration of this move was only two months. In March 1964 the stated meeting was held back in Tombstone at the city town hall, the present day fire station. New carpet was installed in the lodge room in October 1966.
In 1966 the Historic Tombstone Adventures Realty Company purchased the building. Henry F. Hauser, former mayor of Sierra Vista and All American football player from Texas A&M was made a Master Mason and was subsequently elected Worshipful Master in December 1968.
Worshipful Brother Robert E. Cowan was elected Treasurer of King Solomon Lodge on December 14, 1967 a position he has held ever since.
On March 16, 1968 C. Reed Vance Director of Public Safety was made a Master Mason.
On April 23, 1973 Brother Herman H. Fisher, Principal of Tombstone High School was made a Master Mason.
For the first time in lodge history, talk is being made about an elevator for our lodge room and at the stated meeting of August 1973, a committee was appointed to study the needs for the project. A chair elevator was reported on by the committee, at which time it was found not a feasible project to be undertaken by the lodge, nor could a chair elevator be properly installed.
At the February 1975, the need for a fire escape from the lodge room was discussed at some length and a committee formed to discuss the matter with Mr. Love, the new owner of the building, and ascertain if he would object of the installation. The cost of a spiral staircase was estimated at $2500.00, plus the costs of cement for the base, The Lodge is to supply all the necessary labor and concrete. A special fire door exiting from the Lodge room that could only be opened from the inside was also considered as part of this project.
May 1976, once again the condition of the building is being discussed and whether the Lodge should be moved. The committee reported the building in pretty good shape and that there is no reason for the lodge to be moved at this time.
In December, 1979 the remaining members of that company, Harold 0. Love, Sarah Love, and Doris Slean in consideration of the high esteem held for the City of Tombstone and its inhabitants and as a public spirited action, graciously donated Scheiffelin Hall to the City of Tombstone. King Solomon Lodge has aided the city in the restoration of the building.
Our present Worshipful Master David A Santor, Captain of Police, City of Sierra Vista, was made a Master Mason on May 28, 1984. King Solomon Lodge No. 5 is one of the few Lodges within the State of Arizona that can lay claim to a Congressional Medal of Honor winner to have served as Worshipful Master, Worshipful Brother Artemus L.Grow, in 1893.
In 1984 Worshipful Brother George Mason designed, and had fabricated in Mexico the present fire escape. After personally transporting it from Mexico, he supervised and assisted in its installation being assisted by Wor. Bro. Henry F. Hauser and Wor. Bro. Jack W. Wright. This was followed by a complete renovation of the interior of the Lodge room, which included the installation of the fire escape door, patching and painting Of the walls; and installing new carpeting. New drapes were also installed that had been purchased by Venus Chapter No. 12 Order of the Eastern Star, all adding a beautiful touch to the Lodge room.
In 1986 under the immediate inspection and direction of Worshipful Brother Mason, a chair lift was installed for the benefit or the aged and infirmed brethren of the Lodge. W.B. Mason also being the driving force behind the tire escape and fire door being properly installed previously.
New Officers' aprons and jewel hangers were purchased by the Lodge, replacing those that had been in use for over twenty five years. The Lodge boasts of many family ties other than the Cowan family; WB John J. Thompson and his son Louis; WB Alvin S. Cook and his son WB Henry T. Cook; WB Charlie Jones and his son Kevin; Bro. Scotty Fuller and his three sons, Brian. Brand and Fellowcraft Bruce; W.B. John Irvin and his son Ed, and lately Bro. Bill Hunley Jr. and his son Entered Apprentice Bill the 3rd W.B. Jack W. Wright Worshipful Master in 1978 is the Grandson of W.B. Alvin S. Cook.
The furniture of the Lodge has a history in itself. The Master's podium, wardens' podiums, chairs and the altar were made in England, transported by clipper ship around the Horn to Baja California, transported by river steamer to Yuma, thence conveyed overland by mule team to Tombstone, where it is stil in use, having only recently been
Hauser in preparation for the 106th annual Communication of the Grand Lodge held in Sierra Vista, with Most Worshipful Brother Verne D. Hegge presiding as Grand Master. The original floor covering, depicting the several working tools of the craft, was woven in France, and was not discovered until new carpeting was to be laid. It was covered by newspapers of the 1880's, primarily the Tombstone Epitaph. Portions of the floor covering, were taken up, cleaned, framed and presented to the Grand Lodge of Arizona, Tucson Scottish Rite Bodies and to other Lodges in token of King Solomon's esteem. From the original twenty seven names on our petition for a dispensation from the Grand Lodge (of California we have steadily grown to our present day total of one hunderd and ninety three Master Masons on our rolls. Our members are cast to the four winds of heaven, in several states, Europe, the Far East, and even Central America.
Many influential men of the local community as well as those from Sierra Vista, Fort Huachuca and Huachuca City are members of our Lodge. Over the past few years it has become a custom of our Lodge to meet at least once each year to honor those who have served the Lodge as Worshipful Master, as well as those brethren who have served the fraternity for several years. It is not uncommon for us to have in excess of seventy five brothers, their ladies and friends in attendance at these functions of the Lodge.
We have named W.B. George H. Mason; W.B. Michael Vukobratovich; W.B. Henery F. Hauser, and our most recent. W.B. Robert E. Cowan as the lodge's Mason of the Year, presenting each with a suitably engraved plaque of commemorate the occasion.
In May 1987 MW Bro.Verne D. Hegge dedicated a plaque, presented by the Grand Lodge of Arizona on the one hundredth anniversary of the Lodge being constituted. This plaque is firmly attached to the outside lower door to the Lodge for all to see.
The officer's jewels of King Solomon Lodge are handmade, of solid silver and minted from ore taken from the mines of Tombstone during its heyday in the early 1880's. When the Master directs the officers to return their jewels, it is not in idle jest.
King Solomon Lodge is dedicated to those who have undertaken to labor, learn and teach those ennobling virtues, taught within the confines of its tyled lodge room and to the laudable uses and good purposes of Freemasonry in general.
August 10, 1987, Alex Gradillas, Mayor of Tombstone, is made a Master Mason in due and ancient form. (Epitaph article on Bro. Gradillas)
In 1987 all of our Lodge records were placed on a computer, reducing the space required for files and making the secretary's records of each member of the Lodge more quickly accessible, in addition to being able to update the mailing lists and the individual member's records, all of our financial records are computerized now. Our minutes are neater, with less errors, as is our correspondence; all giving the impression that our Lodge is a progressive body of Masons, willing to go forward with the times as long as it is for the good of the Lodge and our fraternity in general.
Our Lodge shall continue to progress and gain in numbers during the coming years, continuing to be a leader in Arizona Masonry, our local communities our churches and above all, teaching love and respect for our country and its flag.
In 1988, our Lodge established a Masonic on-call blood donor program. We have made arrangements with the Sierra Vista Community Hospital to oversee the administrative aspects of the program. None of this at any cost to the lodge or individual brother that may wish to participate in the program. According to the hospital records, we have eleven members that have signed up as blood donors, with hope that more wil come forward.
King Solomon Lodge No. 5 has another unique feature about it, probably not one that is claimed or wanted by any other Masonic Lodge...Schlefflin Hall Is Haunted ...only the lower floors of the building: no ghost has been seen or heard in the Lodge room, probably kept to the lower reaches by the infamous staircase of King Solomon Lodge, which often takes the breath of the heartiest of members and visitor alike.
An added bit of information concerning the formation of King Solomon Lodge. Our original charter was signed by Morris Goldwater, an uncle of Brother Barry M. Goldwater, former United States Senator and Republican candidate for president of beloved country. Brother Goldwater is also a thirty-third degree Scottish Rite mason of the Tucson Scottish Rite Bodies, having been coroneted in 1959 for services rendered to his country as a member of the armed services and of the U.S. Senate.
Researched and written by
Charles L. Jones PM
G. Marvin Biederman