Freemasonry in Maine 1762 - 1945

Author:  Ralph J. Pollard

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Picture of Abner ThompsonAbner B. Thompson, Ninth Grand Master

Abner B. Thompson was born in Middleborough, Mass., September 23, 1797, and died in Brunswick, August 4, 1871, just before he reached the age of seventy-four years. He took up his residence in Brunswick in 1817, and entered at once into active business life. He took an active part in the military affairs of the State and served in every capacity in the State Militia from private to Major General, and was for eight years Adjutant General of the State of Maine. He was State Treasurer for two years and State Senator one year. He was made a Mason in United Lodge, No. 8, in Brunswick, in 1823, and served his lodge as Master for five years. It was probably due more to the zeal for the institution by Brother Thompson than to any other person, that continuous sessions of the Grand Lodge were held during the anti-Masonic crusade. Appointed first as District Deputy Grand Master of the First District in 1834, he was elected Junior Grand Warden in 1836 and '1837. Brother Thompson was elected Grand Master the year following and served two terms, and before the close of his second term saw the clouds begin to rift, and Masonry again coming to its own. Brother Thompson received the Capitular degrees in Montgomery Chapter, was Grand High Priest of the Grand Chapter of Maine in 1855 and 1856. He was one of the charter members of Mt. Vernon Council, No. 2, and assisted in the formation of the Grand Council of Maine. He received the Orders of Knighthood in Boston Encampment in 1845, and was a charter member of Maine Commandery, No. 1.

Picture of Hezekiah WilliamsHezekiah Williams Tenth Grand Master

Hezekiah Williams was born in Woodstock, Vermont and was graduated from Dartmouth College in 1820. He was a lawyer and practiced for a time in Belfast, but later moved to Castine, where he resided for the remainder of his life. He was Selectman of Castine four years; State Senator from 1839 to 1841; a Representative to Congress from 1845 to 1849, and Register of Probate for Hancock County for fourteen years. He married Miss Eliza Patterson of Belfast, and raised a family of four sons and four daughters. The four sons were all in service during the Civil War, two with the Union Army, and the two youngest in the Confederate forces, both officers, one Colonel the other Major, in the Tenth Missouri Cavalry. The Masonic record of Brother Williams is rather obscure, but it is known that he was District Deputy Grand Master from 1829 to 1841, at which time he was elected Grand Master, serving one term only.

Picture of Thomas Westbrook SmithThomas Westbrook Smith, Eleventh Grand Master

Thomas Westbrook Smith, the eleventh Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Mane, was born in Dover, New Hampshire, February 22, 1785. His parents moved to Augusta in 1805, where young Thomas received his education, and later engaged in a mercantile career, in which he was successful. He was for forty years a director of the Augusta Bank, and for twelve years served as president of the institution. He received his degrees in Bethlehem Lodge, No. 35, serving as Master about the time of the Morgan excitement, and served the Grand Lodge as Most Worshipful Grand Master in 1842, 1843 and 1844, at just the period when Masonry was beginning to arouse to action. He died in Augusta, on March 11, 1855.


Picture of John Treat PayneJohn Treat Payne , Twelfth Grand Master

[Webmaster note: In the original text, it is spelled as Payne in the header but Paine throughout the text. We have left it as in the original.]  

John Treat Paine was horn in Wakefield, N. H.. August 20, 1801. He was residing in Shapleigh in York County, Maine, as early as March, 1828, and probably received his degrees in Fraternal Lodge, then of Shapleigh, now of Alfred. He represented Sanford in the State Legislature for five years in succession, from 1837 to 1841, and in 1841 was the Democratic candidate for Speaker. From January, 1842 to January, 1846, he was County Attorney for York County. Taking an active part in the affairs of the fraternity, both in his home lodge and in the Grand Lodge, his brethren of the Grand Lodge showed their appreciation of his ability and character by six successive elections to its most important offices. In 1841, he was elected Junior Grand Warden, and Senior Grand Warden in 1842, 1843 and 1844. In January. 1845. he was elected Grand Master, and, by a change in the Constitution, changing the time of the Annual Communication, held the office until June, 1846, when he was again elected and held the office for another year. In 1849, he removed to Melrose, Mass., where he resided until his death, and practiced law in Boston. In 1851, he was Representative to the Massachusetts State Legislature from Melrose. He died suddenly on July 21, 1865.

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