Page 14 - Montana Freemason Feb 13
P. 14

Montana Freemason  February 2013                          Volume 86 Number 1

Roy E. Ayers (November 9, 1882 - May 24, 1955),             Brother Ford was a member of Tyrian Lodge No.
                                                          236 of the Grand Lodge of Kansas, EA degree - March
                 born Lewiston, MT. Ayers was the         3, 1905, FC degree - July 21, 1906 and MM degree -
                 eleventh governor of Montana. His        August 30, 1905. Dimitted Tyrian Lodge No. 246 on
                 education was attained at Lewistown      Nov 23, 1955 to affiliate with Helena Lodge No. 3 on
                 High School, and at Valparaiso           March 3, 1911. Received 50 Year award on Nov 23,
                 University, where he earned a law        1955.
                 degree in 1903. Ayers entered public
service as the Fergus County attorney, a position he
held from 1905 to 1909. He served as a member of
the Montana Board of Education from 1908 to 1912,          J. Hugo Aronson (September 1, 1891- February
was judge of the Montana Tenth Judicial District
from 1913 to 1921, and served as a State Supreme                              25, 1968), was born in Gallstad,
Court justice from January 1922 to November 1922.                             Sweden. While working for Frank
He also served as a member of the U.S. House of                               Young in Columbus he got the
Representatives from 1933 to 1937. Ayers was elected                          nickname “The Galloping Swede.”
governor on November 3, 1936. During his tenure,                              On December 8, 1917, he enlisted in
state bond interest rates were lowered; the budget                            the U.S. Army and served as a private
deficit was eliminated; and legislation was sanctioned                        with the 20th Engineers in France. He
that strengthened the authority of the governor. He       was honorably discharged on July 17, 1919. Aronson
retired from political life and returned to his ranching  returned to Columbus operating a farm and working
interests. Governor Roy E. Ayers passed away on           in the oil fields at Elk Basin, Wyoming. In 1923, Hugo
May 23, 1955, and was buried in the Lewistown City        went to Sunburst, working for a drilling company.
Cemetery.                                                 Hugo was able to open a rig-building outfit under his
                                                          own name and started advertising as “The Galloping
  Brother Ayers was a member of Captain Scott Lodge       Swede.” He added a trucking business, and at the
No. 98, EA degree on Feb 8, 1920, FC degree on April      time, Hugo was the largest rig-builder in Montana.
7, 1920, MM Degree on June 16, 1920.                      When oil was discovered in Kevin-Sunburst fields,
                                                          Hugo built the first building in Oilmont. In 1928 he
                                                          founded Gallop City near Conrad. It was the largest
                                                          of the oil-fields camps, a community which boasted
 Samuel Clarence Ford (November 7, 1882                   500 inhabitants. Aronson’s political career began with
                                                          his election as Cut Bank City Alderman in 1934. A
                    – November 25, 1961) born in          Republican, he served three terms in the Montana
                    Albany, Kentucky. Educated in the     House of Representatives as a member from Glacier
                    public schools of Kansas, and later   County 1939-1944, and for the next eight years was
                    at the University of Kansas, where    a member of the Montana State Senate. Aronson
                    he earned a Law degree in 1906.       was elected governor of Montana on November 4,
                    Ford established a legal practice,    1952, and second term in 1956. As Governor, Hugo
                    as well as a public service career    battled over oil and gas leasing that arose out of the
in Helena. He served as assistant U.S. attorney for       discovery of oil in the Williston Basin in 1951; he
Montana from 1908 to 1914, was the attorney general       worked for better schools, for prisoner rehabilitation,
of Montana from 1917 to 1921, and served as a justice     for oil conservation, and for highway development.
on the Montana State Supreme Court from 1929 to           Following his second term as governor, the Aronsons
1933. Ford secured the Republican gubernatorial           retired to Bigfork, Montana.
nomination, and was elected governor on November
5, 1940. He was reelected to a second term in 1944.         Brother Aronson was a member of Shelby Lodge
During his tenure, the budget was balanced; World         No. 143, EA - Jan 15, 1925, FC Degree - Feb 26, 1925,
War II was dealt with; and the Missouri River             MM Degree - March 12, 1925. Dimitted Shelby No.
development project was launched. After running           143 2/28/1935 and affiliated with Cut Bank Lodge No.
unsuccessfully for reelection, Ford left office and         82 on 2/28/1935. He was also a member of the Algeria
retired from political life. Governor Ford was buried     Shrine, York Rite, and Scottish Rite Masonic bodies.
in the Forestvale Cemetery.

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