Updated: May 2, 2020
In the year 1861, a group of Master Masons living in Reynoldsburg and vicinity and being members of Hebron Lodge No. 116, decided a lodge in this community would be warranted due to the distance to Hebron to attend lodge. Subsequently, they petitioned the Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons of Ohio for a Dispensation to form a lodge in Reynoldsburg. Accordingly, on the twenty-fourth day of February 1862, a Dispensation was granted by the Most Worshipful Grand Master of Masons in Ohio, George Rex to the brethren to form a lodge in Reynoldsburg, Franklin County, Ohio.
Original signers of the petition for Dispensation were: R. W. Meredith, J. Taylor, M. D. Brock, R.R. Johnson, J. Beckwith H. Booper, G. Tussing, L.W. Babbitt, J. Dickey PDDGM., and J. Noe.
The Grand Master appointed the three principal officers to govern the newly formed lodge. Appointed were: M. D. Brock, Worshipful Master; J. Dickey, Senior Warden; and L. W. Babbitt, Junior Warden. M. D. Brock was a past Deputy Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Ohio and J. Dickey was a past District Deputy Grand Master. The new lodge adopted its bylaws. The meeting nights were set to be held each month on the Wednesday night preceding the full moon and two weeks thereafter. The fees to be changed were set at $10.00 for the Entered Apprentice degree, $5.00 for the Fellowcraft degree, and $5.00 for the Master Mason degree. Yearly dues were established at $1.50.
The lodge was constituted as Reynoldsburg Lodge No. 340 by District Deputy Grand Master Cornelius Moore of Cincinnati under the charter dated October 21, 1862. Pataskala and New Albany Lodges were formed by brethren belonging to Reynoldsburg Lodge under similar circumstances to those of our lodge.
From the time the lodge was chartered until 1873, meetings were held in rented quarters. In 1873, a building was purchased in which to hold meetings. The purchase price was $734. Part of the building was rented out to a grocer. Rent was sometimes paid in form of produce. A notation in the lodge minutes states, "During refreshment, apples tendered as rent were enjoyed by the brethren".
In the year 1882, the brethren decided to purchase a lot in the village of Reynoldsburg on which to build a new lodge. Lot No. 14 was purchased for the sum $445. This lot was adjacent to the I.O.O.F. hall. A new lodge building was subsequently built on this site.
In the year 1891, a motion was made and approved stating that no more smoking would be allowed in the lodge room while lodge was in session.
For a ten month period in 1892-3, by permission of the Grand Lodge, our lodge room was rented to Jasper Lodge No. 579, K of P. In the early 1900's, the lodge discontinued the practice of heating with coal. Services were installed for natural gas and provided by the Ohio Gas Co. With the advent of the telephone, service was obtained. Not only did the lodge secretary find this a very useful and time saving device for the transaction of business, but this was one of the first phones in the community and was often used by others.
Masons in Ohio first observed St. John's Day in 1908. By order of the M. W. Grand Master, the brethren first observed this day by attending Reynoldsburg Methodist Church on Sunday, December 27, 1908.
The brethren and their families have always enjoyed family outings. A favorite outing of the early years was to charter a railroad car from the old Ohio Electric Railroad Co. and travel to Buckeye Lake for a group picnic. In 1908, the lodge paid $33.20 to charter the cars for this trip. The lodge still enjoys sponsoring a picnic each summer and a Christmas party each year to promote unity among the brethren and their families.
On May 17, 1910, our lodge was dedicated by the Grand Lodge All the Grand Lodge Officers were present including M. W. Bro. B. F. Perry Jr.
With WWI, many problems faced the brethren and the lodge. One interesting highlight during this period comes from a stated meeting held on Sept. 18, 1917. A motion was unanimously carried to remit the dues of all members serving in the Armed Forces, for the duration of the war. The lodge invested all resources possible for the purchase of "Liberty Bonds". Our lodge room was offered to the American Red Cross for whatever uses it could best serve.