On Saturday, May 2, 2020, MW Harold D. Ireland, Grand Master of Masons in South Dakota, will preside over the Final Masonic Burial Rites, for MWB C.W. Nash, our founding Master, at the Masonic Cemetery in Philip.
MWB Nash was Captain of Hatch’s Battalion, Minnesota Cavalry, which was sent to Ft. Pembina in the fall of 1863, during the Sioux uprising. Their military duties were to ensure the safety of local residents and to assist in guarding the border between Dakota Territory and Rupert’s Land, British Territory.
Within this military unit were a number of Masons who wished to continue their Fraternal Fellowship while stationed at Ft. Pembina and thus reached out to the Grand Lodge of Minnesota for an ability to do so.
MWB Nash was appointed the founding Master of Northern Light Lodge U.D., at Ft. Pembina, Dakota Territory, when it was given a Dispensation to operate as such, on September 18, 1863. He personally carried this Dispensation with him from St. Paul as the soldiers made their way north.
While pondering a proper name for his Lodge one winter evening, Nash witnessed a beautiful display of color and light high above him and was compelled to call his lodge, Northern Light.
This name continues today under the affiliation of the Grand Lodge of Manitoba A.F. & A.M.
A number of prominent individuals and soldiers from the Red River Settlement (present day Winnipeg) wished to join the Masons and, knowing of the Lodge operating at Ft. Pembina, traveled south to receive their Degrees.
When the soldiers from Minnesota were no longer needed along the border they returned home to Minnesota during the month of June, 1864. All the meeting records, membership list and the original Dispensation were returned and given to the Grand Secretary of the Grand Lodge of Minnesota.
In the meantime, the northern Brothers had petitioned MWB, A.T.C. Pierson, Grand Master of Minnesota to reinstate the Dispensation of Northern Light Lodge U.D., Red River Settlement, Ruperts Land, which he signed on May 20, 1864. He also appointed Bro. John Shultz to act a Master.
WB Shultz would later become the fifth Lieutenant Governor of Manitoba, serving from 1888 to 1895.
This original Northern Light Lodge U.D. became a cornerstone Lodge of three who originally formed the Grand Lodge of Manitoba, and it operates today as Northern Light Prince Rupert’s Lodge No.1, Winnipeg, Manitoba.
In its formative years the Grand Lodge of Manitoba held Fraternal authority of all lands to the west within Ruperts Land, including present day Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta and the Northwest Territories.
MWB Nash, returned to the Minneapolis, St. Paul area and was an active member of the community as well as the Masonic Lodge. He held a law degree and founded the Pioneer Printing Company. Prior to arriving in Minnesota he had also held the office of Mayor at Ft. Dodge, IA.
On April 21, 1868, a fire destroyed the building that housed the Grand Lodge of Minnesota, and all records from the past were consumed in the flames, but our unique history with Northern Light Lodge continued on.
WB Nash was nominated and elected, off the floor of the Minnesota Grand Lodge to the position of Grand Master without ever holding another office! And, on January 10, 1872, as Grand Master of Masons in Minnesota, he signed the Charter for Yellowstone Lodge No. 88, Ft. Buford, Dakota Territory, which became the first Chartered Lodge in what is now the State of North Dakota.
Thus, he became a Grand Master of Masonry, which eventually held leadership over several million square-miles, and a Father of Masonry for many historically recognized Lodges in the U. S. and Canada, including the noted Northwest Mounted Police Lodge No. 11, at Regina, Saskatchewan.
Schedule of Events:
-May 1: Welcome Steak Fry at 73 Steakhouse for fellowship
-May 2: 8:00 Breakfast and Program at Senior Center
-10:30 Masonic Rites at grave site in Philip Masonic Cemetery
For Lodging Reservations:
- Motel West, 421 Auto Ave, Philip, SD 57567, 605-859-2546
- Americas Best, 401 SD-73, Kadoka, SD 57543, 605-837-2188
- Lakota Lodge, 106 SD-73, Kadoka, SD 57543, 605-837-2151
- Sundowner Motel, 510 SD-73, Kadoka, SD 57543, 605-837-2296
Kadoka is about 20 miles south of Philip, and the roads are in good condition, so spending the overnight there should not create too much of a problem for those who have to travel back and forth.
The public is invited to attend the services and dedication at the cemetery, and all Members and Ladies from any Jurisdiction are welcome to attend both the steak fry and breakfast on Saturday morning.
The committee is asking that if you intend to attend the steak fry or the morning breakfas, to please contact the Brothers Philip Lodge No. 153 listed below within a reasonable amount of time. They will need this information in order to have enough provisions on hand for everyone when they arrive.
Master, Philip Masonic Lodge No. 153
PO Box 456
Philip, SD 57567
Mobile: (605) 515-3281
Past Master, Philip Lodge No. 153
22750 Cottonwood Rd
Quinn , SD 57775-3200
Mobile (605) 515-1590