In the summer of 1842 Morris Brown of Milton Township called together the few scattered Masons of the county and they held a meeting in the woods on the Mission farm just below the present site of Volmar's park. Several meetings were held there and on April 29, 1843, a dispensation was issued and Wood County Lodge No. 112 was organized.
The Lodge's charter was granted on October 20, 1843 with Jairus Curtis, Emelius Wood, Morris Brown, Morrision McMillen, Martin Warner, Silvanis Hatch, Leonard Pierce and David Maginnis named as charter members.
The original location of the Lodge was the second story loft of Emelius Wood's log house, which stood on the banks of a creek about one mile northwest of the present village of Tontogany. The location is said to have been the most accessible location at the time because several trails leading to the settlements centered near Mr. Wood's cabin. The first meeting of record was held June 7, 1843. The jurisdiction of the Lodge at that time is said to have extended over ten thousand square miles
In September, 1847, the Grand Lodge granted permission to hold Lodge in Center Township and on February 21, 1849 Wood County Lodge held its first meeting in the new hall in Simon Eaton's residence. Eaton's residence was located on what is now Napoleon Road in Bowling Green. Meetings were held there until after Mr. Eaton's death. In 1854 rooms were secured of George H. Thomas in the hotel building on the corner of Main and Wooster Streets.
After a brief period of occupancy in a William Hood property on South Main Street, the Lodge returned to the Thomas Hotel in 1860. In 1870 the Lodge moved to the third floor of the Rogers Block on North Main Street where meetings were held for over twenty years. In 1892 the Lodge found quarters on the third floor of the Exchange Bank building on the northwest corner of Main and Wooster Streets. In 1894 the Lodge moved to the third floor of the Cunning and Whitehead Building on North Main Street.
Early in 1920 the Bowling Green Masonic Temple Company was organized. On March 6, 1920 it purchased its present Masonic Temple at 159 North Main Street. The second, third and fourth floors were remodeled and made ready for occupancy in 1921.
Over the years, Wood County Lodge has been one of the leading Lodges in the Eleventh Masonic District. Three of its members have served as presiding officers of Grand Masonic bodies. In 1932 and 1961 respectively, William H. Smith and Earl Bailey served as Illustrious Grand Master of the Grand Council of Royal and Select Masons of Ohio. Steven L. Gatton served as Right Emminent Grand Commander of the Grand Commandery of Knights Templar of Oregon in 2006. Earl K. Solether, F. Fredrick Fether, C. Robert Smith, and Jeremy Z. Sharninghouse each served as district deputy grand master of the Eleventh Masonic District. Drew B. Silvieus and William D. Newsted have each served as District Education Officers of the Eleventh Masonic District.
Excerpts from Wood County Lodge No. 112's 164th
Anniversary Reconsecration Ceremony
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