The Founding of Waynedale Masonic Lodge
The groundwork for the formation of the Lodge began in 1951, three years before a dispensation was granted. Charles E. Lewis made the necessary contacts to ascertain the requirements for a dispensation. Under the guidance of Elmer C. Forks, Junior Grand Warden of the Grand Lodge of Indiana, Brother Lewis started the momentous task of obtaining dispensation for what is now an active Lodge.
Back then it was necessary that the Masters and Wardens of all Lodges in the Fort Wayne area to give their permission for a new Lodge, all were contacted. Although some were fearful that they might suffer financially from the formation of a new Lodge in their midst, their consent was finally obtained. During this three-year period, many meetings were held and hours of labor and thought were devoted to the necessary arrangements. Finally, in early July of 1954, Brother Lewis reported that all arrangements were completed. A meeting was held at 2717 Lower Huntington Road to discuss the procedures required for entering a plea for dispensation. Attending this meeting were Charles E. Lewis, Alfred D. Noble, Edgar B. Noble, John O. Capin, John R. Capin, Philip J. Carsten, and Wayne T. Mitchell.
On July 14, 1954, seventeen Masons – the actual founders of the Lodge – met at the Waynedale Methodist Church to draft and sign a plea for dispensation. In addition to the seven brothers listed above, the following were present and signed the plan; James E. Bair, Glen F. Hedges, Raymond L. Hupp, Paul R. Huth, Arden McCoy, Victor A. McCoy, Elmer M. Sparr, William O. Sanroch, Donald H. Talbott, and Ernest L. Walker. Cont.
September 7, 1968
Construction of the Waynedale Lodge Building
In 1957, as a long-range project, John R. Capin, WM initiated a building fund.
In 1965, under the direction of Bennett A. Noel, WM the building site at 7039 Elzey Street was obtained through the mediation of William K. Geake and the generosity of Donald L. Cohagen, a brother Mason who formerly resided in Waynedale, and who ceded the lots for a fraction of their actual value.
In 1968, H. Stuart Trainer, WM appointed a building committee with Bill K. Winans and Shockley Lockridge to act as chairman and secretary. Tentative plans for the new temple were discussed. Sizeable donations came to the building fund. In 1967, Brother Winanas, WM announced the appointment of Brother Hugh M. Stinson as engineer-architect.
Early in 1968, the Grand Lodge Supervisory Board approved the building plans. Richard C. Fisher, WM launched a formal drive for pledges to the building fund. On September 7, 1968 official groundbreaking ceremonies were observed and excavation and construction began.
During 1969, under the direction of Edwin L. Teeters, WM, Brother Winans guided the brethren in the erection of the fine edifice. His tireless efforts inspired the many skilled (and unskilled) craftsmen who contributed countless hours of hard labor so that the Temple could be raised at a minimum cost. Finally, on December 3, 1969, Brother Teeters presided at the first stated meeting in the new Temple, the brethren rejoiced at their early occupation of the building.
John C. Conahan, who presided as Master when the Temple was dedicated on March 14, 1970 by MWGM Robert P. Joyce, aptly commented:
“The only way our Lodge of 225 members could erect such a magnificent edifice was through the combined efforts and contributions of so many members, aided by generous cooperation from members of other Lodges and from non-Masonic friends. Our heartfelt thanks go to all who helped, for they symbolically laid stone upon stone in building a Temple which will serve Masonry and the community for many years to come.”