History of Laurel Wreath Lodge No. 149


In our installation ceremony the Charge to the Lodge sentimentally expresses the hope (to paraphrase the words a bit) that our children's children may celebrate with joy and gratitude the heritage we pass along from generation to generation. The list of our Past Masters will testify that we have been realizing the desire in a considerable way, evident more substantially if the whole Lodge rosters over the years and the family interrelationships are considered.

The Snowdens, long connected with early Laurel history, gave a start with Dr. DeWilton Snowden our second Worshipful Master and his sons John and William. Dr. John Cronmiller, third on the list of Past Masters, was followed by Thomas Cronmiller in 1903 and LePage Cronmiller in 1907. Likewise we go from Past Master Edmund Hill in 1883 an 1884 to Past Master E. Roy Hill in 1925 and his son E. Burns Hill. In more recent years Past Master David M. Fisher, Sr. in 1890, Past Master Hugh A. Fisher 1920 and Past Master D.M. Fisher, Jr, in 1926.

This brings us finally to our record string of Past Master, grandfather, son and grandson in John R. Jones in 1909, J. Russell Jones in 1941 and 1942 and Russell Lowery Jones in 1974.

Other father and son continuities include Charles F. Shaffer, Sr. and Jr.; Armstrong, Montgomery and LeRoy; Donaldson, L.C. and DeWitt; McCeney, George P. and G. Bowie; Whitman, E.W. and E.C. Block, Harry and Albert; Brasher, Thomas, Sr. and Jr.; Warren, Bryan Sr., Jr. and Morris; Beall, Glenn, Jack, Mark and Gary; Sweitzer, Roland Sr., Jr. and Gregory; Cook, Carlisle and Robert ; Thomas, Fred Sr., Jr., Joseph and Robert; Morris, Caulder and Ralph; Stevens, Andrew and Clifford; Chamberlin, John and David; Mauck, Otis and Carl; Flester, John and John Jr.; Barton, Robert and Gregory; Phelps, Albert and Herbert; Holden, Carl and Randall; Tharpe, W.C., Sr. and Jr; Vogts, Edward and Arthur; Diffendals, Charles and Michael and Murphy, Edward and Robert. Additional family links can be found among the Curley, Brashear, Fairall, Milstead, McLellan, Donaldson, Whittaker, Pritchard, Harrison, Ricks, Haslup, Fisher, Gray family names plus Gray grandson and cousin E.S. Sagle. Perhaps the most notable link between past and present is in the Bond family; the brothers Thomas D. and Robert V. both charter members and Albin M. admitted shortly thereafter, who were respectively, the great granduncle's and great grandfather of our current Brother John W. Bond, Jr., as well as on the maternal side of Brother James Welsh.

When the list of collateral and maternal family relationships are combined, evidence is that Laurel Wreath Lodge can well take pride in its record of passing the torch of Freemasonry on to succeeding generations.