Early History of Cunningham Chapter No. 187 R. A. M.
On August 23, 1909, several enthusiastic Companions residing in Lakewood assembled to discuss the advisability of organizing a Chapter of Royal Arch Masons in this city. The meeting was held in the Masonic Lodge Room at the corner of Detroit and Warren Roads. At this preliminary meeting Companion Philip H. Keese acted as temporary chairman and Companion Richard B. Sanders as Secretary.
A circular was sent to Capitular Masons residing in the vicinity and on August 31, 1909 twenty-one companions responded to the call of the organization committee. A motion was drawn asking Thatcher Chapter No. 101 R. A. M. and Cleveland Chapter No. 148 to recommend the issuance of a dispensation from the Grand High Priest of the Grand Chapter of Ohio to the proposed organization in Lakewood.
During the organizational meetings the selection of a suitable name was widely discussed and several names were suggested, but happily, Most Excellent Companion O. B. Hannan 33°, Past Grand High Priest of the Grand Chapter of Ohio and a charter member of Lakewood Lodge No. 601 F. & A. M., was present and bearing the proxy of the Grand High Priest. He was introduced and accorded the Grand Honors. He was deputized to inspect the rooms in which the new chapter was to hold a convocation, and being satisfied with the surroundings he recommended to the Grand High Priest that a dispensation be granted. Most Excellent Companion Hannan, realizing that the name of a living man could not be given to a chapter, suggested the name of William Moore Cunningham 33°, Past Grand High Priest of the Grand Chapter of Ohio, as a suitable name, so the Chapter bears the name "Cunningham" in memory of that great and illustrious Mason.
At this meeting the following officers were selected for Cunningham Chapter U. D., R. A. M. for the year 1910:
The first stated convocation was held April 5, 1910. Aside from the officers present were Companions: J. A. Cannon; J. A. Mastick; H. McKinley; J. O. Gordon; J. A. Brumagin; D. R. Robertson; G. W. Moses; Ernest Trautman; J. M. H. Frederick; L. W. Thomas; R. B. Sanders and twelve visitors.
It was decided to make a charter fee of $5.00; Initiation fee $30.00 and annual dues $3.00. The first and third Thursday evenings as meeting nights and to use the Masonic Lodge Hall at Warren Road and Detroit Avenue.
The first petitioner for the degrees was Brother Burton E. Carpenter, who was also the first petitioner of Lakewood Lodge No. 601 F. & A. M. There were seventeen other petitions read at the first convocation.
Most Excellent Companion Gibson H. Robinson, Past Grand High Priest was the first Inspecting Officer on April 26, 1910.
--From Cunningham Chapter's 50th Anniversary booklet, 1960.
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