a profound difference "

Together we make

                              

HISTORY

William T. Boyd Lodge No. 79 was organized by a small group of Cleveland citizens whose love for the orders persuaded them to formulate a Masonic Club, and later petition the Grand Lodge of Ohio to become a Masonic Lodge.  One of the leaders in this organization movement was Brother Robert Wilson.  He was born at St. Thomas, British West Indies, August 22, 1872 and arrived in America at the age of eighteen years.  Seven years later, he was made a Master Mason in Cadthagarian Lodge No. 47 of Brooklyn, New York serving later as Worshipful Master of that Lodge.  In 1912 he came to Cleveland and joined by Demit Eureka Lodge No. 52.  Seeing the need for another lodge in Cleveland, he undertook the leadership for this purpose and organized a club whose membership totaled 96 in all,  these 96 men praying to become a Masonic Lodge petition the Grand Lodge of Ohio for a dispensation, and on September 20, 1919 their prayers where answered by the Grand Lodge, and a dispensation was granted to the group to become a Lodge "Under Dispensation."

The Charter of William T. Boyd Lodge No. 79 was received at the Annual Communication of the Grand Lodge or Ohio on August 18, 1920, and on Setember 20, 1920 Grand Master John C. Logan the Nineteenth Grand Master of the State of Ohio journeyed to Cleveland where, with the assistance of a number of leaders in Masonry, the William T. Boyd Lodge was created.  Over these past six decades, William T. Boyd lodge have produced a number or leaders in Masonry, each with a meaningful contribution to his lodge, and while we cannot mention each of them because of the time and space it would take to do so, we will mention the fame and accomplishments of P.M. Leland D. French 33 who was raised in William T. Boyd Lodge No. 79.  On April 26, 1924 and through his dedication, love and labor for the order had risen to the position of Ohio's highest ranking Prince Hall Mason in Scottish Rite Masonry, that of the Sovereign Lieutenant Grand Commander of the United Supreme Council, ancient and accepted Scottish Rite Masonry, that of the Sovereign Lieutenant Grand Commander of the United Supreme Council, ancient and accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry, Prince Hall affiliation north jurisdiction, USA.  William T . Boyd himself was never a member of this great lodge which was named in his honor.  He was however, one of the Pioneers of Prince Hall Masonry here in Cleveland, Ohio.  He was made a Master Mason in Union Lodge No. 5, in Indianapolis, Indian in 1850.  He came to Cleveland, Ohio in 1851 and participated in the organization of Eureka Lodge No. 14.  He was elected Worshipful Master of that lodge in 1857.  He and the other members of Eureka Lodge No. 14 withdrew from that Lodge when it decided to continue it's relationship with the National Grand Lodge organized Excelsior Lodge No. 11 and Brother William T. Boyd was elected it's first Worshipful Master.

In 1869, William T. Boyd was installed as the tenth Grand Master of the state of Ohio, held the office for six years, and while Grand Master he served as Chairman of the Committee of Foreign Correspondence.  He would remain as Dean of the Department of the collection of pamphlets and documents dealing with Masonry from Grand Lodges, Grand Orients and Supreme Councils.  These materials were said to amount to over three thousand in number, and was regarded as the most complete collection of Masonic Documents of any Black Mason in the country.  He is also accredited with originating the plan to honor Prince Hall on a day of annual recognition, he being the founder of Prince Hall Masonry here in America, and express the hope that other lodges would follow the example of the Grand Lodge of Ohio.
The first meeting of William T. Boyd Lodge U.D. was held in the Masonic Hall at 2326 East 55th Street on October 7, 1919.  The minutes show that the appointed Worshipful Master Robert Wilson was ill and the following brethren were in these situations.

  • Homer Weaver (acting) W.M.
  • John Hodge (acting) S.W.
  • Owen Branningan, Treasurer
  • Wm H. Jordan, Secreatary
  • C.B Shaw
  • Raymond Pollard. J.D.
  • Wm. C. Fisher
  • Richard Hawkins. J.S
  • Clinton Ramsey Tyler

The first officers elected in Boyd Lodge after the charter was received were:


  • Robert Wilson, W.M
  • James F. Green, S.W.
  • Samuel Sams, J.W.
  • Owen Branningan, Treasurer
  • Wm. H. Jordan, Secreatary
  • J.W. Brown, S.D
  • Hobart Penland, J.D.
  • Wm. Clark, S.S
  • Lawyer Collins, J.S.
  • T.J Berryman, Chaplain
  • Wm. Bessie Tyler

The second meeting place of the lodge was at 2332 East 55th Street.  By this time, the Prince Hall Temple Association had been organized and the property was purchased by Excelsior Lodge No. 11, Robert Frost No. 82. Eureka Lodge No. 52 and William T. Boyd Lodge No. 79.  The Lodge remained in quarters until the latter part of 1941 when the property was purchased by the United States Government to erect a Housing Project.  While efforts were being made to secure another meeting hall, temporary meeting places such as the Funeral Parlor of P.M.  French, the Phyllis Wheatly and the Royal Hall at 5217 Woodland were used.  In 1943, the building at 8932 Quincy was purchased by the P.H. Temple Association and remained the place of meeting until the accelerated growth of the craft dictated the new and larger quarters were necessary.  The search for a new home was completed when the present building at 1624-28 East 55th was purchased