At a meeting of the officers and Past Masters of West Shore Lodge No. 681 on May 14, 1956, Ashby B. Paul, D.D.G.M., suggested that the Lodge, with membership approaching 800, might want to sponsor a new lodge.

Under the leadership of Harry L. Parson, then Worshipful Master, the West Shore Lodge group agreed to investigate seriously the possibilities and to appoint a Survey Committee consisting of three Past Masters: Paul B. Dohner, Lester P. Reed and John D. Weaver.

Discussions ensued with Masons living in the area who were not members of lodges in the area. Sixty of these men met October 3 and indicated that they would like to join in the fellowship of a new lodge. Three weeks later they came together again at the West Shore Lodge Building, this time joined by Masons from local lodges that had shown a desire to help form a new lodge.

At this October 24th meeting the fifty Masons present made decisions which transformed the idea into actuality. Nine men were elected Warrant Officers and the name "Lowther Manor Lodge" was selected from among those suggested. Formative Masons began the process of resigning from their former lodges and signing the petition for creation of the new lodge.

Official sponsorship was confirmed November 16 when West Shore Lodge heard reports from the Survey Committee and voted to sponsor Lowther Manor Lodge. Tribute was paid the Committee for the faithful performance of its mission, an important facet of which was its
directive that a petitioning group should be gathered together without actively soliciting membership away from functioning lodges in the area. In this particular the Committee was significantly successful, since only five men resigned from West Shore Lodge at the November 16 meeting to join the new lodge. Of these, one resigned to become Warrant Master, another to be Junior Warden, another to be the Historian, a fourth was the son of the Warrant Junior Deacon and the fifth a son of one of the new Trustees.

 By the time of the third meeting, November 30, Warrant Master Hykes was able to report that he had taken a petition with 57 names to Grand Secretary Avery three days previously so that the Grand Lodge could place the request for a new lodge on its agenda for action December 5. The 104 Masons present heard that the first official meeting of the Lodge would fall on Lincoln's Birthday and on each second Tuesday thereafter. Before adjournment Brother Crist was called upon to give a brief resume of the history of Lowther Manor.

On December 5 Brothers Parson, Myers, Knorr, Landis, Witmer and Crist drove to Philadelphia to purchase equipment, to attend the annual Grand Communication and to hear Grand Master Nitsch announce the news that the Grand Lodge had approved the petition and authorized the constitution of Lowther Manor Lodge No. 781 on February 9, 1957.

A final gathering of the whole body of petitioners occurred January 22. The more than 125 men present heard final plans for February 9 activities in various reports from the warrant officers.

"Bonum nomen, bonum omen" (Good name, good fortune) seemed an appropriate comment to the name and number authorized by Grand Lodge. The lodge number granted was exactly 100 higher than that granted to Squire Henry Bowman, Warrant Master, and his fellow twenty-one charter members of West Shore Lodge No. 681, forty-two years before. Helping to establish the friendly link between the two Lodges was Squire Henry's grandson, Edward N. Cooper, Jr., who was to be found among the petitioners for Lowther Manor Lodge.


CREDITS: Excerpted from “The First Fifty Years - A History” compiled by Bro. Donald J. Redlich, P.M. Original work is “Historical Sketch” by Bro. Rupert G. Crist, Ph.D. 1957.