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Union Hall Association (Saint Paul, MN)



The following is the history of the Union Hall Association, written in 1923 for the organizations mortgage burning ceremony:

At a regular meeting of Perfect Ashlar Lodge No. 4, Free and Accepted Masons, held August 11, 1908, a resolution was passed by the lodge appropriating 500 dollars as first payment for the house and lot on the northeast corner of Sherburne Avenue and Arundel Street; at the same meeting Perfect Ashlar Building Association was ordered incorporated.

On August 24, 1908, the Building Committees worked several years independently of each other, trying to perfect plans for a fraternal hall, but each found the undertaking too great for any one lodge.

On January 15, 1914, Mars Lodge called a general meeting at St. James A.M.E. Church, all lodges in the city of St. Paul, male and female, being invited to send representatives. The following lodges did send representatives and did take part: Mars Lodge No. 2202, G.U.O of O.F.; Perfect Ashlar Lodge No. 4, F'., and A.M.; Pioneer Lodge No. 1, F. and A.M.; Corinthian Temple, S.M.T.; John Hayes Lodge, K.P.; Gopher Lodge of Elks; St. Paul Chapter No. 29, O.E.S.; and Household of Ruth No. 553, G.U.O. of O.F., at which time a temporary organization was formed, and lodge representatives instructed to take the matter up with their several lodges. All lodges wishing to join would be required to place the treasury the sum of 250 dollars each.

February 13, 1914, at the second meeting, by vote of the lodges, Mars Lodge of Odd Fellows and Perfect Ashlar Lodge of Masons were authorized to build a fraternal hall. Household of Ruth No. 553 and St. Paul Chapter No. 29, O.E.S., pledged the sum of 250 dollars, but did not care to enter the Building Association, and be it said to the credit of these two lady lodges, both did not pay the first note due on the hall of 250 dollars each.

On March 13, 1914, the representatives of Mars Lodge of Odd Fellows and Perfect Ashlar Lodge of Masons met at the home of Mr. Richard M. Johnson, 572 Kent Street, and effected a permanent organization, incorpating June 8, 1914, as "Union Hall Association," with the consent of both lodges and eight members from each lodge as representatives, as follows: S. Edward Hall, James E. Murphy, John H. Dillingham, Richard M. Johnson, Charles H. Miller, George L. Hoage, William T. Francis, Frank B. Simpson, John B. Johnson, Marion A. Bolling, Fred D. Parker, Clarence H. Roper, Charles Brown, Obadiah D. Howard, George B. Lowe, and William F.T. Chandler. The first nine named were elected the first Board of Directors.

The first officers elected by the association were: S. Edward Hall, president; James E. Murphy, vice-president; Charles H. Miller, secretary; Richard M. Johnson, treasurer; William T. Francis being selected as attorney for the association.

This corporation was left open so that any lodge could join at any time, the only requirement being that said lodge should pay in the same amount the holding lodges had paid. Perfect Ashlar Lodge purchased from Mars Lodge one lot, giving the association two lots on which to build; the total cash of both lodges was about 3,000 dollars and the two lots. The tax value of this property in 1922 was 30,000 dollars.

October 13, 1914, after invocation by Rev. H.P. Jones, the first dirt was turned for the future home of Union Hall.

December 13, 1914, with both lodges and many friends assembled, M.W. Bro. Huron J. Shelton, Grand Master of Masons for Minnesota, laid the cornerstone in ample form.

September 1, 1915, St. Paul Chapter No. 29, Order of Eastern Star, held the first meeting in the new building.

Formal opening of the Union Hall was held November 8, 1915, with an overflow of friends.

February 23, 1923, the final payment was made, and tonight we are burning the mortgage. The members of Union Hall Association have worked unceasingly to perfect this monument to our race, backed by the loyal support of the owners and many friends; all monies have come from our group and the members of the association have donated their services without hope of reward, with one exception, said representative being no longer connected with this association.

The Union Hall Association greatly appreciates the splendid support given us during these eight years of struggle, making this union of Masons and Odd Fellows a crowning success.

We thank you, one and all.


Found in 2 Collections and/or Records:

Mortgage Burning of Union Hall Association, March 1923

 Item — Box: 11, Folder: 2
Scope and Contents

Program contains a typed order of ceremony, a list of members of the Union Hall Association, and a history of the Union Hall Association. The following is a selection of names which appear in the document:

Rev. H.L.P. Jones; S. Edward Hall; Josephine Tatum; William T. Francis, Esq.; James E. Murphy; Rev. L.W. Harris; John B. Johnson, V; Earl C. Walker; and J.W. Kelly.

Dates: March 1923

Union Hall Association Officers, 1914

 Item — Box: 1, Folder: 5
Scope and Contents

Portraits of the officers in ovals. J.H. Dillingham, J.E. Murphy, W.T. Francis, attorney S.E. Hall, president, J.B. Johnson, F.B. Simpson and C.H. Mille.

Dates: 1914