Stated Meetings: 1st and 3rd Thursdays of each month.
Freemasonry came to Weston in December of 1841 when several Freemasons who belonged to lodges in Missouri and other states were given permission to meet as a Lodge “Under Dispensation.” This permission came from the Grand Lodge of Ancient Free and Accepted Masons of Missouri. The Grand Lodge “governing body for the fraternity in Missouri” had been chartered and set to work on May 4, 1821, more than three months before Missouri officially became a stste on August 10, 1821. Weston Lodge, Under dispensation, held its meetings in a two-story frame structure on the same site as the current building. The Lodge met on the second floor and from December 1841 until October of 1842 this proposed lodge was regularly visited by representatives of the Grand Lodge to observe and review their ritual proficiency, their observance of the traditions and laws of the fraternity, and their individual and collective ability to administer the business and charitable affairs of the lodge.
On October 11, 1842, Benjamin Holladay signed the official register of the Grand Lodge meeting in St. Louis as “Jr. Warden of Weston Lodge, U.D.” Later that same Day, Holladay was on hand when the Committee of Lodges Under Development recommended “That Charters be granted to the above named Lodges (which included Weston), bearing even date with this report, and their representatives be permitted to take their seats in this Grand Lodge and be entitled to all rights and privileges of members.” The Lodge was formally Chartered as Weston Lodge No. 53 on October 11, 1842 with the following officers: Dandridge Holladay, Worshipful Master; A.M.Belt, Senior Warden; Benjamin Holladay, Junior Warden. Dandridge Holladay was one of Benjamin Holladay’s five brothers. He brought them to Weston along with his mother to help manage and direct his many businesses, which included a dry goods store, drug store, meat packing plant, a hotel and various farm properties. All of this was accomplished by age 23. It is interesting to note that Benjamin Holladay was also the town’s first Postmaster!
Fire virtually destroyed large segments of the business district in Weston in 1855, 1859 and 1884. The building where the Lodge met was destroyed in each of these fires but was quickly rebuilt by the members. The third fire occurred on November 1, 1884 and on November 29th the Lodge met in a special communication in the Odd Fellows Hall “for the purpose or receiving bids for the rebuilding of the Masonic Hall”. The secretary was the ordered to open and announce the bids, which was done, and Shell & Brene being the lowest bidder at $3193.00, was awarded the job.
Work on this, our present home, began in December of 1884. It was completed in the first week of September, 1885 and on September 11th, the Grand Master, R.F. Stevenson, opened a Specific Communication of the Grand Lodge of Missouri for the purpose of “dedicating the new hall to Universal Masonic Benevolence.” The furniture of the lodge room, the pedestals and chairs at the officers stations, the altar, as well as the secretary and treasurer’s desks was acquired by the Lodge for it’s dedication. The other principle furniture found throughout the lodge building was acquired between 1885 and 1990.
The dining room on the first floor was rented out for many years to a druggist. The Lodge received an annual rent of $120 for the space. The Lodge was able to retain one exceptional piece of furniture from the old drug store and visitors note that it makes a beautiful divider between our kitchen and dining area. When folks visit they appreciate the old tin ceiling in the lodge room as well as the use of stained glass in the windows that look out onto Main Street. The stained glass window at the top of the stairs is the work of Dr. R.W. Calvert, a former dentist as well as a Past Master of his Lodge in Platte City, MO
The Masonic family of Weston includes The Weston Chapter No. 4, Royal Arch Masons, Chartered October 16, 1847; The Weston Commandery No.2, Knights Templar, Chartered October 22, 1853; and Weston Chapter No. 197, Order of the Eastern Star, Chartered October 10, 1901.
Many brethren of the Weston Masonic family and sisters of the OES have served their respective organizations with great distinction on various state committees or as district officers. The first Grand Commander of the Grand Commandery of Knights Templar of Missouri was George W. Belt of Weston. He also served as Master of Weston Lodge No. 53 in 1851. James N. Burnes, who served Weston Lodge No. 53 as Master in 1862 and again in 1968-70, was Grand High Priest of the Grand Chapter of Royal Arch Masons of Missouri in 1863. Joseph H. Collison, Master of Weston Lodge No. 53 in 1985, also served with distinction as Potentate of Moila Shrine Temple in St. Joseph in 1977 and, for several years now, has been treasurer of Moila Shrine. Collison, also served a four year term on the Board of Directors of the Masonic Home of Missouri.
Lewis C. Cook, Master of Weston Lodge No.53 in 1961, was Grand High Priest of Missouri Royal Arch Masons in 1973-74 and was Grand Master or the Grand Lodge of Ancient, Free and Accepted Masons of the State of Missouri in 1975-76.
The officers of the Grand Chapter of Royal Arch Masons of Missouri conducted a business meeting in the Lodge room on June 9, 1973. Weston Lodge was host for a very unusual joint meeting of the Lodges of Freemasons in Kansas and Missouri on December 6, 1975. The officers of the Grand Lodge of Missouri opened a Special Communication in the Lodge room on that date with nearly 300 brethren in attendance.
On the 50th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor, December 7, 1991, the brethren of Weston Lodge dedicated a flag pole and base with a bronze plaque at the entrance to Weston Bend State Park. The masonry work for the base was performed by the lodge members led by stone mason James Hayden.
Thanks to the efforts of Richard Hickman, Master of the Lodge in 1992, the brethren and their families were presented the opportunity to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the lodge at a gala evening of dinner and fun at the Kansas City Airport Hilton Plaza Inn on October 10, 1992. The guest of Honor was the Grand Master of Missouri, Frank Ames Arnold. More than 100 people were in attendance.
After a remodeling of our building, a special Communication of the Grand Lodge of Missouri was called at Weston on October 1, 1994 by Grand Master Gordon Hopkins for the purpose of laying a corner stone and rededicating the home of Weston Lodge No. 53.