The Hancock-Henderson Quill, Inc.

La Harpe Masons Celebrate 150 Years With Meal and Rededication Ceremony

Saturday, October 21 was a big day in the history of La Harpe Masonic Lodge #195. The Grand Master in Illinois and his line of officers (20 in all) came from all four corners of the state and conducted an impressive rededication of the lodge commemorating 150 years. Prior to the ceremony, R & D Foods of La Harpe catered a delicious meal at noon to approximately 100 Masons, friends and family. At 2:00 p.m., the rededication ceremony was conducted by Most Worshipful Grand Master Noel C. Dicks of Arthur, consisting of the age-old traditional pouring of the elements: corn-wine-oil. A symbol of a lodge was carried in and presented by La Harpe Masons. One by one, Grand Lodge officers presented their particular element to the Grand Master. The ceremony was enhanced by organ music from Judy Dowell, wife of Willis "Bud" Dowell, elected Junior Warden of La Harpe Lodge. After the ceremony, introductions were made. Past Grand Master John R. Louden, Jr. presented a gift from La Harpe Lodge to the present Grand Master Noel Dicks and his wife Iris. In the Quill's 1956 news of Lodge 195's 100th celebration, it said that a Lodge had started as early as 1839 meeting upstairs in the "Oatman Hotel" where the Route 9 Cafe is, but surrendered its charter in 1844 due to unrest in Hancock County due to trouble with Mormons which was quite violent making it dangerous for their existence. Twelve years later, the present Lodge organized in 1956, the 195th in Illinois.

La Harpe Lodge Worshipful Master Jo Campbell (right) and Grand Master Noel C. Dicks (left) during opening ceremonies at La Harpe Lodge #195..

Grand Master Noel C. Dicks was first to be served during a dinner catered by R & D Foods of La Harpe, with Delbert and Rhonda Kreps and their crew.