Tucker Lodge No. 42 F.&A.M.
2327 Main Street, Tucker, GA. 30084
Lodge Phone: 770-938-6513
Working under the jurisdiction of the Grand Lodge of Free & Accepted Masons of Georgia
History of Tucker Lodge No. 42
(As written by B. E. Hopkins, P.M. and Robert B. Cook, P.M.)
Along about mid-year in the year 1940 certain of the Craft became weary of having to travel to a nearby town, namely Chamblee, Clarkston, Norcross and even Sweetwater, to attend Lodge, so these Craftsmen set out to form a new Lodge. Here are their names (charter members):
J. H. Andrews, William W. Andrews, Kelly C. Cofer, G. R. Etheridge, N. P. Ewing, W. B. Frazier, B. T. Harrison, M. L. Lynch, H. A. Morgan, C. E. Morris, C. C. Singleton, F. J. Westbrook, W. G. Westbrook, J. H. Bailey, I. L. Britt, R. W. Britt, Reid H. Cofer, J. L. Gober, T. J. Humphries, J. W. Pickens, P. B. Summerlin, Elmer Cain, S. M. Garner, F. M. Mansfield, D. T. Matthews, Troy H. Adams, R. D. Bame, John T. Carroll, W. A. Couch, D. D. Hopkins, Sr., J. W. League, Walter Muddiman, C. A. Plummer, Sr., and C. O. Westbrook.
A petition was made to the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of The State of Georgia for a new Lodge in the town of Tucker, Georgia. This petition was made by R. W. Britt, D. T. Matthews, and J. H. Andrews. No paperwork of these transactions or dates can be found, we must assume that these brethren had held meetings at some location in Tucker.
The first minutes of the Lodge were January 1941 after having been chartered on October 29, 1940 and having been constituted on December 9, 1940 these brethren were issued the number 42. The first officers were R. W. Britt, Worshipful Master; D. T. Matthews, Senior Warden; J. H. Andrews, Junior Warden; K. C. Cofer, Secretary; D. D. Hopkins, Treasurer; C. C. Singleton,
Chaplain; W. B. Frazier, Senior Deacon; Mark Lynch, Junior Deacon; Troy Adams, Senior Steward; N. P. Ewing, Junior Seward; and I. L. Britt, Tyler.
The first minutes are dated January 13, 1941, the by-laws for Tucker Lodge No. 42 were read in open Lodge for the first time. The Most Worshipful Grand Master at the time was M. Preston Agee, the Deputy Grand Master was Zack Arnold, the Senior Grand Warden was E. D. Wells, and the Junior Grand Warden was Dewey H. Wollstein.
The best knowledge these writers have is that the Lodge met in an old wooden two-story structure on the corner of what was then called Idlewood (Main Street) and First Avenue, and information tells us that Dr. Andrews had a drugstore on the ground floor. (2012 note: There is some evidence that this building was built in 1908 by Howard Grant; and that Dr. Andrews had
a drug store and medical office on the bottom floor and that Tucker Lodge met in the Odd Fellows Hall on the second floor.)
The minutes from 1941 thru 1947 are just, in general, various degrees being conferred. Excerpts from the minutes of the Lodge in 1945:
29 March 1945, committee meets to discuss selling stock and forming Tucker Masonic Temple Association.
9 July 1945, voted to form temple association.
27 August 1945, charter presented to Lodge.
4 September 1945, voted to sell stock for $50.00 per share.
8 October 1945, Worshipful Master ordered temple association to meet for election of
26 November 1945, Worshipful Master ordered that money in building fund be
transferred to temple association.
On July 22 1946 Tucker Masonic Temple Association meets and here are some extracts
On 22 July 1946, at a duly called meeting of the stockholders of The Tucker Masonic Temple Association, Inc., the undersigned were appointed by Mr. Kelley Cofer, Chairman, to examine into several offers of property to the corporation as a building site for its permanent quarters. One of the propositions given the committee for study came from Cofer Brothers. It involved a lot fronting on Idlewood Drive, fifty feet with a depth of 105 feet. Cofer Brothers were to build on the lot at their expense a one-story theater building, and the corporation was to build the second story with legal title to the actual land and the ground floor being in Cofer Brothers.
A second proposition came from P. K. Burns, where he offered some property on Lavista Road across from Thomas' store. He proposed to give the corporation a piece of land at said location, with the condition
imposed that the corporation erect a three-story building on it, putting offices on the second floor, and using the third floor as a Lodge hall.
After careful consideration of both of these propositions as they might affect the present and future welfare of the corporation and of Tucker Lodge No. 42 Free and Accepted Masons, your committee makes the following recommendations to the stockholders of the corporation:
That all offers of real estate or combination of real estate and building, which carry any conditions or qualifications which would prevent complete title to the property and the building being vested in the corporation, be graciously refused. That only clean-cut offers of sale of property as a building site for the Lodge be considered. By this we mean a straight sale so that the corporation will have clear title to the property. It is so recommended by this committee that the stockholders request the lot committee to re-contact Cofer Brothers and endeavor to obtain from them an unconditional offer to sell the corporation outright the 50 x 105 foot lot on Idlewood Drive. That if the lot committee is unsuccessful in obtaining a clean-cut unconditional offer of sale of a piece of property to be used as a building site, either from Cofer Brothers or others, that no purchase be made at this time and that the corporation take no further action until a more favorable time in which to buy and build, that is to say, when the costs of building have become more moderate and reasonable.
This 30th day of July, 1946
C. A. Plummer
W. N. Newsom
The minutes of January 12, 1948 state that communication from Reid H. and Kelley C. Cofer dated December 16, 1947 was read offering to give to the Lodge one lot on Main Street, with the provision that the Lodge pay for the moving of the dwelling thereon. In discussion it was understood that it would cost approximately $650.00. To move the house, after further discussion it was moved and seconded and so voted to accept the offer. The hat was passed and a free will donation of $215.50 was made with additional
pledges of $37.50 to go toward the expense of moving the house. The minutes from May 10th 1948 have a warranty deed from R. H. Cofer and K. C. Cofer to
Tucker Masonic Lodge No. 42 conveying lot for consideration of one dollar paid in hand by Senior Warden Brother Pennington with a silver piece for which it was returned to the Lodge and later moved, seconded and voted to be framed with appropriate engraving as a memoriam to be hung in the new temple.
The minutes of January 26, 1948 stated that a discussion was had relative to the rebuilding of flues and underpinning of the house that was moved, and the Master appointed a committee of J. B. Nall, C. A. Randolph, and O. L. Coffman to arrange for the settlement of the additional expense involved this committee to report at our next regular meeting.
The minutes of 17 February 1948 state that Bro. J. B. Nall reported that his committee had contacted Bro. K. C. Cofer about the underpinning of the house which was moved from the property which was being presented to the Lodge and that he stated that Cofer Brothers would bear that expense.
The house being moved is mentioned numerous times, but nowhere is it mentioned where the house was moved. This writer, with the help from others, was able to track down someone who knew where the house was moved. At the time the house was on Main Street and the lot given to the Lodge, Mr. and Mrs. Clyde Barrett and their children lived there. Mr. Barrett was a meat
cutter for Cofer Brothers. Mrs. Barrett told this writer that the house was moved, with their contents inside, to the now location of Bank of America, after which they lived another year or so. The house was moved about 500 feet.
The minutes from 1941 to 1949 state that funds had been donated, pledges made for monies, the hat passed for free will donations, on and on, until the building was started. 17 February 1948 meeting of the Masonic Temple Association states that Bros. R. W. Britt and D. D. Hopkins presented rough drafts of the plans of the Lodge at this time for discussion. The regular meeting of the Masonic Temple Association of 10 May 1948 states that W. Bro. Otis Britt stated that Tucker Lodge No. 42 is now in possession of the deed to a lot and offered it to the Tucker Masonic Temple Association for a period of 99 years or for the life of the association for the sum of one dollar. It was moved, seconded, and voted that the association would accept
the lot on lease as offered by the Lodge. On 17 February 1948 plans were presented to temple association and a vote was to start the lodge building. July 27th of 1949 at a temple association meeting of the board of directors, the building was to start, with $7,200.00 in the bank and an estimate of cost to build $35,000.00 to $40,000.00. 17 September 1949 the president of the temple association called to order the board of trustees at 9:30 a.m. and stated that the purpose for the meeting was to designate the proper
officers to sign checks since the building was now under way and the materials and labor bills must be paid. A motion was made and passed that K. C. Cofer and J. H. Andrews be authorized to sign checks. Meeting recessed until further call.
On December 19, 1949 an offer was made by S. J. Jolly to the Lodge for ten feet of property in the amount of $1,250.00, plus an additional $500.00 or the use of the wall. Original plans for lodge building were 40' x 70' (two-story with basement).
In January 1950 the temple association sold Mr. Jolly 10 feet of the property with use of wall rights. After a number of offers were presented for rental of the ground floor, the association approved a lease for 5 years to Lyon's Furniture Co. at $75.00 per month. By January 1950 the association had borrowed $1,000.00 and would need another $3,000.00 to finish building.
By September 27, 1950 a loan was made for $7,000.00 at $75.00 per month.
December 28th, 1950 reported that $19,949.00 was spent for the building.
How did Tucker Lodge get the number 42? Lodges in 1940 were already in the 400s? This writer wrote the Grand Secretary to find out this answer. His reply was that number 42 was originally issued to Leary Lodge, held at Leary, County of Calhoun, Georgia, chartered on October 31, 1889. Their charter was surrendered on May 7, 1925. It was reissued to North Highland Lodge, held at Columbus, County of Muscogee, Georgia, chartered on October 26, 1927. Their charter was surrendered on April 21, 1938. Consequently, the Grand Lodge reissued the number to Tucker Lodge.
In the year 1970, after Tucker Lodge had grown by leaps and bounds, Brother A. Gerald Williams reported to the Lodge that the temple association has recommended that the lodge hall be expanded by building onto the rear of building to the end of property line. The expansion was not to begin until after at least 50% of the building cost had been raised through the sale of stock in the temple association, and then only after being brought before the lodge members for their approval. Brother Gerald Williams made a motion that the recommendation be accepted. Brother Ralph Duffy seconded the motion. After several Brothers gave their views and ideas, a vote was taken and the motion carried. During 1970 and 1971 money was raised in different ways, even the Fellowcraft Club donated $2,000.00 toward the building, after having had a chicken fry. With the hat being passed, stock sales, etc. and money adding up, the brethren were ready to go, so a meeting of the temple
association was called to further discuss obtaining a loan and starting work on the expansion .
The temple association presented to the lodge brethren the offer of a loan at Tucker Federal for $50,000.00 at 8% interest for 20 years with payments of $428.00 per month. The Lodge approved and the plans were put out for bid. Three different bids were received in the $69,000.00 range.
The building committee checked out the work of the different contractors and decided to go with Chri-Char Inc. for $69,775.00 plus an additional $1,710.00 for restroom.
The October 30 1972 meeting of temple association states that building expansion was complete and all bills were paid.
From October 1972 until 1983 the temple association leased the downstairs to different groups, sold stock in the association, and with the Lodge by-laws being updated and the dues raised with $5.00 of each members dues going into the temple association, the loan was soon retired and a note burning ceremony was had. With a very active temple association, and with the help of a number of hard working, and dedicated Masons in Tucker Lodge, it has become one of the number one Lodges in the state. And from 1983 until the present time of this writing (April 2003), the Lodge is still among the best of the best.
This writer's view point as to why it has been a success, is that the Past Masters have stood behind the young men in the Lodge and encouraged them to proceed with all their good deeds. At any given regular meeting it seems that there are always six to ten Past Masters in attendance.
The research and preparation of this short history was done by two old Past Masters who dearly love our Tucker Lodge No. 42.
Addendum: In 2012, the Temple Association purchased a small pocket park located in the next block north of the meeting hall. It was named “Freemasons Square” and is to be used for community events and fundraising activities.
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