History

Kavanaugh Lodge 36, A.F. & A.M. History

At a special meeting called by D. F. Lawton, grand 
lecturer of the Grand Lodge of Wisconsin, for the purpose 
of organizing Kavanaugh Lodge, at the village of Elizabeth, 
Jo Daviess County, State of Illinois, June 16, 1845. The new 
Lodge resolved that this Lodge adopt the by-laws of 
Dubuque Lodge, Dubuque, Iowa, for the government of the 
new lodge, and would be allowed to work under the dis- 
pensation of the Constitutional Laws and Edicts of the Grand 
Lodge of Wisconsin." 

After the business meeting the Lodge adjourned until 
9 o'clock the next morning. The new Lodge met at 9 o'clock 
the following morning, worked till noon, met again at 1 
p.m., worked till 6, met again at 7 p.m. and worked till 
9:30 p.m. The Lodge met morning, afternoon and evening 
for six consecutive days.

At the close of this six days of Lodge meetings, a 
committee was appointed to negotiate with a certain Mr. 
Barker for the use of a suitable room and the secretary 
procure a book to record the proceedings of the lodge. It 
was resolved to meet on the first and third Saturdays of each 
month. 

As candles were the only means of illumination. Lodge 
met at six o'clock (p.m.) in all the summer months. For 
heating, the fuel bill was about $1.50 for one half cord of 
wood, 25 cents to saw it and another 25 cents to carry it 
up into the Lodge hall. 

At a special meeting June 23, 1946, called by the Grand 
Master of Illinois, this Kavanaugh Lodge surrendered to the 
Grand Lodge of Wisconsin Territory, the dispensation under 
which it had been working and come under the jurisdiction 
of the Grand Lodge of Illinois. Brother William Vance was 
to be the first master of Kavanaugh Lodge, August Mitchell 
the first senior warden, and William Warwick the first Junior 
Warden. August 1, 1846, the Lodge was meeting in the 
upper story of John Winter's store. 

Brother Wm. Bothwell was secretary and his penman- 
ship was very easy to read, and we are indebted to him for 
much of the early history of Kavanaugh Lodge. On April 1, 
1847, the Lodge room rent had been raised to $4 a month, 
and a motion was made, that a committee be appointed to 
make inquiry about building a lodge room, hire money and 
report at the next meeting. But about one month later, on 
motion, it was resolved to abandon the idea of building a 
Masonic Lodge on the stone walls. No further mention is 
made of building a lodge hall for the next twenty-two years. 
In 1850 the Lodge was paying less rent or $16.70 for a year, 
and candles for illumination were down to 12 cents a 
pound. 

Some of the Lodge expenses in 1853 were washing 
aprons 25 cents, spit boxes for lodge room 40 cents, wash- 
ing lodge room 50 cents, candles 10 cents per pound, 
snuffers 45 cents, two candlesticks 20 cents, postage for five 
letters 10 cents, and hauling stove 20 cents. 

May, 1865, the first mention of different lighting was 
when a committee was appointed to procure six lamps and 
suitable oil, for the use of the Lodge. The total cost of the 
same was $4.80. Mention is made of paying the usual 
funeral expenses of a deceased brother, said expenses to be 
$33. Also the secretary was instructed to procure a suitable 
desk for all the Lodge books and papers, the cost not to 
exceed $20. The tyler was instructed to make arrangements 
for the winter's supply of cord wood. 

November, 1867, a committee was appointed to take up 
the Lodge carpet, put fresh straw under it, and lay it down 
again. 

February, 1868, a committee of three was appointed to 
confer with a committee from the Presbyterian Church to 
consult about building a church and Masonic Hall under the 
same roof. About two months later, the committee reported 
they had not accomplished anything so the committee was 
discharged. 

A motion was passed to sell shares to all members for the 
purpose of building a Masonic Hall. A committee was ap- 
pointed to draw a plan of a building and the probable 
cost. The new Masonic Hall was dedicated in 1869. It was 
a two-story building, with a full basement. This was the 
first brick building erected in Elizabeth. About 20 years later 
other brick buildings were erected on Main Street. This 
Masonic Hall, although a century old, stands today in ex- 
cellent condition. We, today, owe a debt to our ancestors 
who built so well. The first floor of this building has 
housed a hardware store through most of these years.