(Meetings): Stated Meetings Fourth Tuesday, except July
Brief History Grand View Lodge
By Wor. Bro. Eric Johnson
GRAND VIEW MASONIC LODGE #1112 PEORIA HEIGHTS, ILLINOIS
The Grand View Masonic Lodge evolved out of a meeting of a group of men assembled at the school house in Peoria Heights on September 8, 1922. Their goal was to pursue organizing a Masonic club in the Heights. The first priority was to establish regular meeting sites for their meetings, and eventually finding a home for their new Masonic lodge. During their first recorded meeting of September 8, 1922, officers were elected and committees identified. Those present included Earl L. Galbraith, Guy M. Deobler, T. C. Steinway, and William C. Hoag who was elected president of the group. This group organized what was to become the Low 12 Club as evidenced by their By-Laws dated December 5, 1922.
Among the committees appointed was one to seek out signatures of other Masons to support a new Masonic lodge. A building committee was appointed and meeting nights were selected for the second and fourth Thursday monthly.
Incorporation papers were received from the Secretary of State, Louis Emerson, and recorded during the January 16, 1923 meeting along with the authorization of paying the fee of $1.75 to officially record the incorporation of the Low 12 Club. This struggling club continued its momentum with dues of twenty-five cents for each meeting. The club considered the sale of bonds to members and soliciting support from other prominent businessmen throughout the community.
The minutes of the February 26, 1923, meeting reflect that the building committee was authorized to pursue (from the church board Peoria Heights Congregational Church) the purchase of the church building. It is noted that on March 6, 1923, the building committee had entered into negotiations with the church board (Peoria Heights Congregational Church) to purchase the grounds and building for $1800 and a contract for deed was dated March 26, 1923.
Information gleaned from Peoria Heights 75th anniversary celebration booklet states that the building was originally constructed as a three room frame school house in 1896. Outgrown by 1916 the structure was moved to the back of the grounds and sold to the Peoria Heights Congregational Church for $100. The Low 12 Club, later to become known as the Grand View Lodge, became the third tenants of the building before they eventually sold the building back to the school district.
The efforts of the Low Twelve Club set the stage for the first recorded meeting of the Grand View Lodge U.D. A.F. and A.M. on October 30, 1923. The meeting was called to order by R.W. Master Clarence Lefler, acting as proxy to M.W. G. M. Arthur E. Wood, of the Grand Lodge of Illinois. The special Dispensation, dated October 22, 1923, was read that acknowledged that Temple Lodge #46 and Illinois Lodge #263 supported the petition of Grand View Lodge. Further, Brother William C. Hoag was appointed the first Master, and other officers dully appointed. The Dispensation is to continue in full force until the next Annual Communication of our Grand Lodge.
The first Master Masons raised by Grand View Lodge #1112 were Brothers Harry Earl Seal and Sim Sharps on December 22, 1923.
The MWGM Arthur E. Wood was not able to journey to Peoria Heights to present the official charter dated October 30, 1924, and prepared a writ of special proxy to be read by Brother Henry J. Fredrich of the George Washington Lodge #22 at the meeting of Nov 11, 1924. This document affirmed the lodge now officially recognized as Grand View Lodge #1112 and the appointments of Brother Earl Galbraith as Worshipful Master along with other officers of the Lodge. This was the climax of the efforts that started in the school house meeting and continued for the next two years.
During a meeting of the Low Twelve Club on January 4, 1924, it is noted that they established a rental fee of $10 per night. Other renters included the Golden Rule Club, the Church and eventually the Eastern Star. During the November 21, 1924, meeting the club donated the bell on the building to the Peoria Heights Congregational Church.
The goal of the Peoria Heights Low 12 club had been achieved and during a meeting on November 25, 1930 they officially voted to make the Master, Senior and Junior Wardens, Secretary and Treasurer of Grand View Lodge #1112 as the officers of the Peoria Heights Low Twelve Club. This was a movement towards the eventual demise of the Low Twelve Club.
It was recorded on August 26, 1952, that the Peoria Heights School District offered to purchase the Lodge property located on Toledo Ave. at Prospect Ave. for $7,200. This offer was eventually accepted.
Grand View Lodge minutes of November 24, 1953, reflect that the Lodge reported the purchase of land for the future lodge had been completed. The lot (75 ft x 137 ft) was owned by L.M... Hopkins and located at the corner of Division Street and Prospect Road in Peoria Heights.
Construction of the new lodge was completed and dedication for the new lodge was held on August 27, 1955. Everett Berg was Worshipful Master and one hundred ninety-three members and guests were present for the gala event.
Members of the Grand View Lodge have taken a special interest in the development and growth of the Peoria Heights community as well as reaching out to Peoria and communities throughout the state. Their community interest is evidenced by Brothers Ray Picl, Sr., Earl Carter, Dickson (Guy) Yates and Rolland Lowder each of whom served as Mayor of Peoria Heights. Donnett Swank served as Police Chief and Chuck Eckhoff served on the zoning board.
Grand View Masonic Lodge #1112 continues to meet at 7PM on the fourth Tuesday each month.