Societies and Orders of Adams New York
“Rising Sun Lodge, No. 124, F. & A. M.,” was organized, probably in 1806, with Robert Merrick as the first W. M. Regular meetings were held until the anti-Masonic times of 1827, when the lodge was suspended. In March, 1851, it was resuscitated with the same name, the number being changed to 234. The officers and charter members were B. Wright, W. M.; J. C. Cooper, S. W.; J. Griswold, J. W.; Dennis Waite, Almanson Tibbetts, Herman Strong, J. H. Whipple, Elijah Wright, and Titus Bassett, members. The present membership is more than 200. An elegant hall was formally dedicated in 1867. The principal officers are, D. W. White, W. M.; T. T. Carter, S. W.; D. E. Taylor, J. W.; and F. J. Kneeland, Sec’y.
“Meridian Chapter, No. 86, R. A. M.,” was chartered Feb., 1824, with 31 members and Joseph Enos, H. P., and H. P. Pond, Sec’y. Succumbing to the excitement of 1827, its last meeting was held March 5, 1828.
A dispensation was granted February 26, 1867, to form a new Chapter at Adams, which is at present known as “Adams Chapter, No. 205, R. A. M.” It was organized with 30 members, and the following officers: T. C. Chittenden, H. P.; C. K. Stearne, E. K.; H. C. Brodie, E. S. The Chapter has at present 85 members, officered by R. H. Huntington, H. P.; A. B. Watkins, E. K.; and John Boss, E. S.
Among the members who have become distinguished in State and National councils are B. B. Babcock, at present the Eminent Commander of the Grand Commandery of Ohio; and R. H. Huntington, the Grand Scribe of the Grand Chapter of New York.
“Wenona Lodge, No. 323, I. O. of O. F.,” was chartered Oct. 18, 1847, with C. W. Rogers, P. G..; H. B. Whipple, N. G.; S. D. Hungerford, V. G. It had a very prosperous career for about twenty years, when its meetings were discontinued. There were at that time only about 40 members, a great deal of the interest having centered in Collins Lodge, in the adjoining town.
“Oriental Encampment, No. 75, I. O. of O. F.,” was formed by the following members withdrawing from Montezuma Encampment, at Watertown: J. D. Houghton, Alexexander Dickinson, S. D. Hungerford, G. G. Grenell, J. S. Dodge, Justus Eddy, Gr S; Dodge. This, too, was long since discontinued.
The Good Templars’ Lodge, No. 50, was instituted during the early spring of 1866 by State Deputy A. L. Smalley. The charter members were D. E. Gardner, D. A. Dwight, Mrs. Dr. Walter Webb, Carrie Z. Webb, Mrs. B. Randall, Anna Bosworth, Anna Penney, James Penney, L. M. Cowles, O. N. Bosworth, Geo. Estabrook, B. Randall, Milo Randall, L. R. Webber, R. F. Steele, and others.
The lodge occupied Odd-Fellows’ Hall for their meetings.
The first officers were: W. C. T., D. E. Gardner; W. V. T., Mrs. B. Randall; W. S., D. A. Dwight; W. A. S., Carrie Z. Webb; W. T., Milo Randall; W. F. S., James Penney; W. Chaplain, L. R. Webber; W. M., Geo. Estabrook; W. D. M., Anna Penney; Lodge Deputy, D. A. Dwight.
This lodge continued in existence for over six years, during which time much good was done in the cause of temperance. Every clergyman, and most of the leading men and women of the place, became members; about 300 in all.
Although the lodge went down, yet a strong temperance sentiment remained in the community, which manifested itself in the spring of 1875, when, under the action of the Local Option Law, the town was carried for ” No License.” Numerous meetings were held in each school-house and church in the town, at which stirring appeals were made by all the clergymen and many of the laymen of the town. Strong efforts were made by the friends of license by the use of influence and money to prevent this desirable object. The town has been carried for ” No License” each year since, this year — 1877 — by treble the majority of the first year. At first the law was attempted to be evaded, and, finally, defied, but a few prosecutions brought the rum-sellers to their senses, so that the law is now as operative as any law against crime in the town.
Another powerful temperance revival commenced during the summer and fall of 1877, which reached its climax in a series of meetings commenced on the 23d of September by Mr. J. R. McKelvey, which continued for one week, as the result of which 321 took an iron-clad pledge to abstain from everything that can intoxicate, as a beverage, including malt liquors, wine, and cider. As is the case in all such revivals, some have fallen away; yet some who are the most benefited have firmly kept their pledge, and, as a result, very much good has been done.
The Adams Library
The Adams Library was formed April 12, 1831, with Cyrus Eddy, William Chittenden, Walter Webb, Forester Dexter, and Wells Benton, trustees. Wells Benton was appointed librarian,
The society had accumulated about 600 volumes of standard books, and the library was successfully maintained about fifteen years, when the interest in the project had so much diminished that the annual dues of the members remained unpaid, and the property passed into the hands of private parties.
The Adams Cornet Band was organized July, 1877, with sixteen members, and L. A. Hawes leader. It is composed largely of the members of the old “Hungerford Collegiate Institute Band,” which was organized in 1870, by C. R. Horth, leader. It is reckoned a good band.
The “Rural Cemetery Association” was formed under the general act, January 17, 1848, by thirty-three citizens, who elected Samuel Bond, Samuel Niblock, Jesse Wright, Nathan Saunders, Heman Grenell, Samuel Harmon, Calvin Wright, Peter Doxtater, and Wells Benton trustees, and Peter Doxtater president. An acre of ground, which had been given for burial purposes by David Smith, in the early settlement of the place, was secured, and additions made to its area until it includes 41 acres. The location is fine, and has been beautifully improved by the association by laying off walks, grading the ground, and the erection, in 1850, of a handsome receiving vault. The present trustees are, A. B. Gilbert, W. H. Wheeler, N. Green, Joseph L. Greene, S. H. Pitcher, J. A. Washburne, W. W. Wright, Erastus Hale, Henry C. Jones. President, Nelson Green; Secretary, W. H. Wheeler.
“Elmwood Cemetery” is governed by an association bearing its name, formed in 1867. That year 181 acres of ground west of the railroad were secured for a burying-ground, and surveyed and platted by J. H. Curtis, of Boston. The design is very elaborate, yet remarkable for its chaste beauty, including natural groves, terraces, lawns, sequestered walks, and fountains throwing streams eighteen feet high. Approaching the cemetery is a wide avenue, lined with elms; and this noble tree has been liberally planted throughout the grounds, in appropriate keeping with the name of the cemetery. Seldom has Nature done so much for a spot consecrated to the dead, and, aided by the adorning hand of the artist, this has become one of the finest cemeteries in the county.
The association was reorganized April 26, 1876, with James M. Cleveland, Rufus P. White, Austin W. Ingraham, George W. Bond, Henry O. Kenyon, Mark D. Manville, Austin W. Fisher, Solon D. Hungerford, William E. Overton, and Philip Stearnes trustees. President, James W. Cleveland; Secretary, N. M. Wardwell; and Treasurer, R. H. Huntington.