Freemasonry is the oldest, largest and most widely recognized fraternal organization in the world. Founded in London, England in 1717, its current worldwide membership totals 3.6 million members, 1.6 million of which are in North America. With 120,000 Masons and 530 local Lodges, Ohio has one of the largest Masonic memberships of any state in the country.
As a fraternal organization, Freemasonry unites men of good character who, though of different religious, ethnic, or social backgrounds, share a belief in the fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of mankind.
The traditions of Freemasonry are founded upon the building of King Solomon's Temple, and its fraternal ceremonies use the working tools of the stonemasons to symbolize moral lessons and truths. For example, Masons are reminded at Lodge to "meet upon the level of equality, act by the plumb of uprightness, and part upon the square of virtue."
Like most organizations, one will get out of Freemasonry what he is able to put into it. However, membership in Freemasonry is not meant in any way to interfere with an individual's commitment to his faith, family, or occupation. Freemasonry is not and never can be a replacement for these important institutions, but rather it is a positive environment that reminds every Mason of his duty to God, his community, his family and himself.
Freemasonry provides opportunities for sincere, honest, forthright men who believe in God and desire to contribute to the improvement of their communities and themselves. Through our Masonic Fraternalism, we reaffirm our dedication and unity to become involved citizens who have a strong desire to preserve the values that have made and continue to make America great.
What is Freemasonry? A little something borrowed from MarylandFreemasons
The History of W.K. Ricksecker Lodge
The Mystery- Why W.K. Ricksecker?
William King Ricksecker was born June 26th, 1831 in Smithfield, Md. The family moved to Ohio where young William began his Masonic journey while a resident of Aurora. He took his three (3) degrees in Golden Gate Lodge #245 in Chagrin Falls.
EA - September 5th, 1856
FC -November 5th, 1856
MM – December 3rd, 1856
His Masonic journeys followed his business and civic life. Memberships moved to Summit Lodge, Halcyon Lodge and ultimately to Woodward Lodge until his death in December 1908. He was a member of: Cleveland Chapter RAM #148 serving as treasurer for 25 years, Holyrood Commandery Knights Templar #32 where he was an Eminent Past Commander, Scottish Rite Mason at Valley of Cleveland.
He was a prominent Businessman and civic figure. His death was reported on the front page of the Cleveland Plain Dealer on December 20th, 1908.
Further Mystery- The Harmon connection
The recorded request for a dispensation begins November 27th, 1907 with a letter from the Grand Secretary to C.F. Lowe regarding the need for consent of neighboring lodges with jurisdiction over Aurora. Many communications followed with emphasis on validating membership of petitioners and accuracy of potential membership lists which were sent to neighboring lodges.
A formal Petition was finalized and sent to Grand Lodge in September, 1908. It was not received 60 days prior to Grand Lodge convening and was not acted upon. As second petition was prepared and a letter from Grand Master Hoskinson was sent March 1st, 1909 to F.S. Harmon Past Grand Master indicating acknowledgement of the name W.K. Ricksecker and approving the dispensation.
None of the many previous communications had dealt with the name. Aurora Lodge was requested, but the name was already assigned to another lodge. The Harmon name was well known in Aurora and Frank S. Harmon was part of the family. Ricksecker’s daughter had married a Harmon and Frank Harmon was possibly a business associate. The communications involved Harmon as representative of the Grand Master and it follows that connection led to the name being selected.
The first meeting of the new lodge was held on March 23rd, 1909. At that meeting ten petitions were received giving the treasury a balance of $100. A portrait of W.K. Ricksecker was received and acknowledged in a letter to son Charles B. Ricksecker on January 21, 1910.
The lodge requested approval of the Grand Master to move into the refurbished second floor of the Village Town Hall in July, 1915. Approval was granted. The lodge approved a motion on February 22nd, 1916 to install electricity in the lodge rooms. The dedication on October 14th, 1916 was conducted by M.W. Brother E.S. Griffiths. This location remained the home of the lodge for 52 years.
A meeting was held on October 5th, 1926 for the purpose of forming an Eastern Star Chapter.
Other Lodge Highlights
- The current building completed in 1968
- A visit by M.W. Brother Ellenwood was perhaps the occasion of the 25th anniversary celebration.
- The installation of officers in December 1974 was conducted by R.W. Brother Charles Ward with M.W. Brother C. Scofield in attendance.
- The officers for 1996 were installed by M.W. Brother Smalley.
- R.W. Brother Harold G. Page became the first member of W.K. Ricksecker Lodge to serve the Grand Lodge when he was installed as District Deputy in 1982.
- The Master’s Chair was a gift of W.B. Guy Root in memory of his father E.G. Rood, who was the first Worshipful Master of our Lodge. It was received in May, 1981.