Page 18 - MFM March 2016
P. 18

The First Scottish Rite Class in the Montana Territory

                                       Reid Gardiner (3)

    On May 15, 1881, MWPGM Robert C.                    On April 11, 1887, Cornelius Hedges
Jordan, 33°, Active Deputy for Nebraska,               was also elected Wise Master of Helena
of the Southern Jurisdiction, Ancient and               Chapter of Rose Croix. Judge Hedges, was
Accepted Scottish Rite, arrived in Helena,              an honorary member of Eastern Montana
Montana Territory to communicate the                    Consistory at Livingston.
Scottish Rite degrees and organize a
Lodge of Perfection and a Chapter of Rose              Robert Carrell Jordan, 1825-1899. On
Croix in Helena.                                  September 23, 1857, he was a delegate to a
                                                  meeting in Omaha to organize the Grand Lodge
   Cornelius Hedges was a member of the first     of Nebraska and was elected to become its first
class to take Scottish Rite. Other members of     Grand Master, a post he held for three years.
that class were: Harry R. Comly, would become     He was a member of Capitol Lodge No. 3 in
A. & A.S.R. Active Deputy’ for Montana; A.        Omaha. The Grand Lodge of Nebraska has the
J. Davidson,; Richard Lockey; William N.          Jordan Medal awarded to and worn by the oldest
Baldwin; Daniel M. Dellinger; John C. Major;      living Mason in Nebraska.
James H. Moe; and Henry Cowden.
                                                      In 1895, Thomas H. Caswell, Acting
    On May 16, the class took the 4° to the 13°,  Sovereign Grand Commander appointed
and in the evening of the 17th, they received     Cornelius Hedges as Deputy for Montana upon
the Perfect Elu Degree, 14°, to complete the      PGM Harry R. Comly leaving the State for
degrees of the Lodge of Perfection. On the 18th,  California.
in the afternoon and evening, Brother Jordan
communicated all of the degrees of the Chapter                         Class of 1881
of Rose Croix, and the first six degrees of the       Cornelius Hedges, a Helena Attorney and
Council of Kadosh.                                Judge, was a member of Helena Lodge No.
                                                  3. He served as Grand Master in 1870, Grand
    The 26th through the 30th degrees were        Historian in 1871, and Grand Secretary from
received by the class on May 19. On the 20th,     1872 to 1907.
the final day, they received the 31° and 32° in
the Consistory, and had a class picture taken.        Harry Comly, a Helena Attorney and Speaker
                                                  of House. Was a member of Morning Star Lodge
    An election was also held that day; Judge     No. 5 he served as Master in 1874. In 1875, he
Hedges was elected Venerable Master of the        was elected Grand Master. He was appointed
Alpha Lodge of Perfection and Orator of the       as the first Inspector General of Montana. In
Helena Chapter of Rose Croix.                     California he became a member of San Diego
                                                  No. 35.

    In August, 1883, General Albert Pike,             Ausalem J. Davidson, was a Merchant. He
Sovereign Grand Commander of Scottish Rite        was a member House of Representatives, Third
                                                  Session, 1893, State Legislative Assembly.
Freemasonry, visited Helena for three days, and   Member of Helena Lodge No. 3. Served as
Hedges, in his journal, noted that he spent a     Grand Master in 1882.
large amount of time with Gen. Pike.

    Cornelius Hedges had been elected to receive      Richard Lockey, operated several successful
the 33° by the Supreme Council, A. & A.S.R.,      businesses. The ground for the State Capital was
on October 23, 1884. In August of 1885, Albert    donated from one of his holdings. He served
Pike again visited Helena. On August 16, Albert
Pike conferred the degree of Inspector General    as director of the Helena National Bank for 21
Honorary, 33°, on Cornelius Hedges.               years. He was a member of Helena Lodge No.
                                                  3. and served as the Sixth Grand Treasurer from
Page 18                                           1910 to 1923.
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