Clovis Masonic Temple

Clovis Lodge No. 417

Sometime in the spring of 1910, a number of Master Masons in Clovis and the vicinity began planning to organize a Masonic Lodge in Clovis, California.  The last Lodge in the area to be formed was Las Palmas which got its Charter in 1905.  Las Palmas's first Master, James C. Pottle, was the Inspector for the Masonic area and he is credited as helping to form Clovis Lodge.  Las Palmas Lodge was the sponsoring Lodge for Clovis and five of its members demitted to become Charter Members of Clovis Lodge.  The leaders of this movement are thought to be Leroy Taylor, Fred W. Smith, Luther E. Weldon, Lewis W. Gibson and Albert S. Kirkpatrick.  These brothers, together with Frank P. South, Frank Anderson, Nathan H. Hays, Herbert G. Johnson, Henry E. Hawkins, Guy Matheny, Harry E. Armstrong and Lewis W. Harvey petitioned the California Grand Lodge of Masons for a dispensation to form Clovis Lodge.  The Grand Master issued the dispensation and on June 16, 1910 Clovis Lodge UD held its first meeting in the John Good Hall.  Leroy Taylor was Master, Fred W. Smith was Senior Warden, Lewis W. Gibson was Junior Warden and Albert S. Kirkpatrick was Secretary.  Brothers Smith, Weldon, Gibson, South and Johnson were members of Las Palmas Lodge and Brothers Anderson and Taylor were from Fresno Lodge.  The other Brothers were members of Lodges in Eastern States.  Clovis Lodge, while under Dispensation, was successful and on October 3, 1910 the California Grand Lodge granted a Charter.  Special thanks to the late Glenn W. Reyburn for documenting the early history of Clovis Lodge and its charter members.

On June 16, 1912 a fire destroyed all of the Lodge records.  After the fire, Clovis Lodge met in the Freitas Hall on the corner of Fifth and Clovis.  In 1920 the members started to plan for a better location to meet, but it wasn't until 1930 that they purchased the vacant First Presbyterian Church at Fifth and DeWitt for $4,000.  At times during its 105 year history, Clovis Lodge membership exceeded 500 Master Masons.  On January 9, 2015 Clovis Lodge consolidated with Las Palmas-Ponderosa Lodge in Fresno.

Click Here for Clovis Past Masters from 1936 to 1959

Click Here for Clovis Past Masters from 1960 to 1984

Click Here for Clovis Past Masters from 1985 to 2014

This list is a work in progress and if anyone has pictures or information on any of these past masters, please contact the Lodge Secretary so that your information and pictures can be added to this page.

2010 - 1935

(numbers refer to findagrave.com memorial links)

Leroy taylor1910 Leroy Taylor  (1842 - 1924)  41696994  Leroy Taylor was born in Upper Jay, New York in 1842.  He moved to Illinois when he was a young man.  He joined the 7th Illinois Cavalry at 18 and served for four years in the Civil War.  Brother Taylor joined the Masons somewhere in Illinois in 1874.  He moved to Missouri where he was very active in teaching Masonic work. In 1892, he and his wife and five children, three sons and two daughters, moved to California.  They bought a 40 acre vineyard home at Shaw and Fowler which was just east of Clovis.  They then moved to the vicinity of Round Mountain, north of Sanger, and engaged in grain farming. 

On February 23, 1893 he affiliated with Sanger Lodge No. 316 at which time he listed his occupation as "merchant."  In 1902 he was Master of Sanger Lodge.  He helped organize a Lodge in Centerville, California.  He demitted to Fresno Lodge No. 247 where he was Chaplain for several years.  On March 7, 1910 he demitted and became a charter member of Clovis Lodge.  On November 22, 1912 he reaffiliated with Fresno Lodge. 

F W Smith1911, 1917 Frederick Walter Smith  (1879 - 1946)  125194464 Brother Smith was born in Seymour, Indiana on March 12, 1879.  He farmed in the Clovis area during the period of about 1909 to 1924.  His wife was a sister to Mrs. John Good.  They had no children.  Fred was Mrs. Anna Johnson's brother.  Mrs. Johnson was the wife of charter member H. G. Johnson.  Fred was initiated in Sanger Lodge No. 316 on November 21, 1904, passed on December 5, 1904 and raised on December 31, 1904.  On May 17, 1906 he demitted and affiliated with Las Palmas Lodge in Fresno.  In 1910 he demitted to become a charter member of Clovis Lodge.  He served as its first Senior Warden in 1910 and as Master in 1911 and 1917.  He was known for being a perfect ritualist.  During the first year of Clovis Lodge, he often rode a bicycle to Fresno, even at night, to receive coaching in the work.

He moved to McFarland about 1924 to farm in partnership with John E. Good.  He died in McFarland on August 6, 1946 after a long illness. 

Luther Weldon 1912  Luther Edward Weldon  (1869 - 1948)  34730606  Brother Weldon was born in Texas on September 7, 1869.  He and his family moved to California while he was in his late teens and he worked in the Clovis area as a ranch hand and farmed with his father.  In 1894 he became a fireman for the Clovis Flour Mill.  After the Mill burned down in 1896 he became a builder of several houses and was the head carpenter when the Presbyterian Church, which later became the Clovis Masonic Temple, was built.

He was initiated in Sanger Lodge No. 316 on September 26, 1902, passed October 14, 1902 and raised October 24, 1902.  He demitted to Las Palmas Lodge on March 5, 1906 and demitted to become a charter member of Clovis lodge.  He acquired the Clovis Dray and Ice Co and continued to operate that business until his death on October 24, 1948.  He was the last surviving charter member of Clovis Lodge. Bro Weldon was active in Clovis Civic affairs and served on the Clovis school boards, was a City Trustee and was the Mayor at the time of his death.  The Luther Weldon School in Clovis was named in honor of him.

Lewis Gibson1913 Lewis Wills Gibson  (1857 - 1937)  100723457 Brother Gibson was born in Springfield, Missouri on December 27, 1857. He was initiated in Sanger Lodge No. 316 on December 20, 1902, passed on January 24, 1903 and raised on February 21, 1903.  He demitted to Las Palmas Lodge No.366 on February 2, 1906 and demitted from Las Palmas to become a charter member of Clovis Lodge.

Brother Gibson was an early day merchant in Clovis.  He erected the store building at Fifth and Pollasky streets and he and his sons operated a general store there until he sold to Carl Merriman about 1920.  He then engaged in developing raw land to fig orchards.  He built a family home in Clovis on Baron and Third Streets. 

He was a public spirited citizen and was active in the Methodist Church until the Clovis Christian Church was organized.  He also served as a school board trustee, Clovis City Board member and Mayor.  He died in Clovis in 1937.

Guy Matheny1914 Guy Fawkes Matheny (1870 - 1956)  157250843 Brother Matheny was born in Salem, Oregon on April 10, 1870.  He was initiated in Burnside Lodge No. 683 (Illinois) on April 28, 1907, passed on June 1, 1907 and raised on June 8, 1907. 

He demitted from Burnside Lodge in 1910 to become a charter member of Clovis Lodge. 

He and his family bought a farm on Fowler Avenue near Shaw about 1908.  After a divorce and second marriage, he moved to Los Angeles where he owned and operated an apartment house.  He was issued a demit from Clovis Lodge on February 27, 1927 and there are no records of him affiliating with any other Lodge.  He died on March 14, 1956 in Los Angeles.

19151915 Vinton Julius Clifford

 

 

 

1916 and 19271916 & 1927 Charles Taylor Reyburn

 

 

 

1918 and 19191918 & 1919 Fred Burnell Blakeley   (18?? - (1930) There are no known pictures of Fred Burnell Blakeley.  If anyone has any pictures, please contact us.

Brother Blakeley was raised a Master Mason in Midway Lodge No. 426 in Taft, California.  He affiliated with Clovis Lodge about 1913 and served as its Master in 1918 and 1919.  On February 17, 1922 he demitted from Clovis Lodge as he had been elected to membership in Turlock Lodge No. 395.  His occupation was listed as Plummer.

 

 

19201920 Emory Everett Reyburn (1869 - 19??) Brother Reyburn was born in Salida, California and petitioned Clovis Lodge for the degrees of Masonry on February 12, 1914.  At that time he indicated that he was farming in Fresno County.

 

 

 

19211921 George Jay Tyler Brother Tyler petitioned Clovis Lodge for the degrees of Masonry in November of 1913.  In his application he indicates that he is 37 years old and that he was born in Hastings Michigan.  At that time he indicated that he lived in Eggers Colony and that he was a vinyardist in the Enterprise Colony.

 

 

 

Herbert Johnson1922  Herbert Guary Johnson (1866 - 1927)  100724574 Brother Johnson was born in New York.  He became a Mason in Minneapolis (Minnesota) Lodge No. 19 by being initiated on February 21, 1893, passed on March 9, and raised on March 23.  He demitted and affiliated with Las Palmas No. 366 on February 7, 1906 and in 1910 demitted to become a charter member of Clovis Lodge.  He was Master in 1922 and after the then secretary died, he served as Secretary until 1927.

He was a farmer and salesman.  He established the Johnson Insurance Agency in Clovis which his widow continued after his death on February 11, 1927.  He and his wife also farmed in an area just north of Clovis.

 

19231923 Ralph Adolph Matthews (1892 - 1940)  63414576  Brother Matthews petitioned Clovis Lodge in December of 1919. In his application he stated that he was born in Missouri and that he was "farming in vicinity of Clovis".  He was the first of the Matthews brothers to serve as Master of Clovis Lodge.

 

 

 

1924Robert Roy Landers1924 Robert Roy Landers (1893 - 1974)  89186332  Brother Landers petition for the degrees of Masonry to Clovis Lodge is undated.  In it he states that he served one year in the U.S. Army.  He was then in the "Stage Business in Clovis three years" and "Ranching six years Clovis Calif."

 

 

 

19251925 Herbert Joseph Clark (1875 - 19??)  Brother Clark was born in London, England.  He petitioned Clovis Lodge for the degrees of Masonry in December 1919.  He listed his occupation as "Farmer near Clovis".

 

 

 

19261926  Charles Edwin Matthews  (1877 - 1942)  63413172  Brother Matthews was born in Johnson County, Missouri.  He petitioned Clovis Lodge for the degrees of Masonry in June of 1918.  In his application he listed his occupation as "Farmer, Fresno Co. Cal."  He was the second of his brothers to serve Clovis Lodge as its Master.

 

 

 

19281928 Carl Sherman Merriman (1892 - 1970)  100769398  Brother Merriman was born in Burton, Ohio.  He first petitioned Clovis Lodge for the degrees of Masonry in January of 1921 and on a second petition in March of 1922 he was elected to receive the degrees of Masonry.  At that time he indicated that he was a clerk and merchant in Clovis starting in 1912.

 

 

 

19291929 Julius C. Galliano (1893 - 1967)  63415903  Brother Galliano was probably introduced to Masonry and Clovis lodge by his brother-in-laws, the Matthews Brothers.  He petitioned Clovis Lodge in October of 1923.  In his petition he listed his occupation was "Farming in Clovis."  He also indicated that he did two years (1917 - 1919) of "Military Service (Army Air Corps) as a mechanic."  He farmed on Copper Avenue north of Clovis for about 45 years.

He retired in 1966 after working for Fresno County for 15 years as a deputy tax collector. 

 

19301930 Dan Brent Hinds (1886 - 1952)  93834777  Brother Hinds was born in Nevada in about 1912 started working in the "woods" of Mendocino County, California.  Five years later he moved to Academy, California and worked in the stone quarries.  He later became a contractor and builder.   

In September of 1922 he petitioned Clovis Lodge for the degrees of Masonry.  He was initiated on November 10, passed on November 24 and raised on March 2, 1923.

 

 

19311931 George Samuel Croyle (1885 - 1968)  13787125  Brother Croyle received the degrees of Masonry in Salina Lodge No. 60 AF & AM in Salina, Kansas in 1910.  He affiliated with Clovis Lodge in 1924.  In his application for affiliation, he listed his occupation as "teacher".   In 1960 he was awarded his 50 year Golden Veterans Award.

He was living in Oregon at the time of his death.

 

 

19321932 Carl Foster (1895 - 1969)  33620685 Brother Carl was born in Joplin, Missouri and  served in the Army during WW I.

In 1921 moved to Fresno County.  In 1925 he petitioned Selma Lodge No. 277 for the degrees of Masonry.  He was initiated on March 20, passed on April 5 and raised on May 1, 1925.  In December of 1927 he petitioned Clovis Lodge for membership.  At that time he listed his occupation as Electrician. 

In 1925 he was the first service agent for the old San Joaquin Light and Power Co. in Clovis.  He was then a pipeline superintendant for Associated Oil Co for 26 years, retiring in 1961.  During this time he lived in both Mendota and Coalinga.  While living in Mendota, he was a School Board Trustee for the local school district.   He moved back to Clovis in 1963.

19331933 Dr. Milton Scott McMurtry (1880 - 1962)  34541019 Brother McMurtry was born in Batesville, Arkansas.  Brother McMurtry's acceptance into Masonry at Clovis Lodge was filled with problems and persistance.  He first petitioned in 1921 and was rejected at the ballot box.  In 1922 he had the same bad luck.  The same bad luck reoccurred in 1923, 1924 and 1925.   In May of 1927 he made his sixth application and he was accepted.  While the ballot box is secret, it was universal knowledge that a member of the Lodge felt that Dr. McMurtry had delivered bad medical care to either the member, himself, or one in the member's family.  Thus the black cubes.  This was a potential problem that Dr. McMurtry faced when he was the only medical doctor in Clovis for many years.

 

 

19341934 Robert Everett Thomas (1896 - 19??) Brother Thomas was born in Brownsville, Tennessee and from 1917 to 1919 served in the US Military during WW I.  From 1920 to 1924 he was a horticultural inspector for the County of Fresno.  Starting in 1924 he was the Postmaster for Clovis.

Brother Thomas petitioned Clovis Lodge for the degrees of Masonry on November 22, 1927.

 

 

19351935 George Edward Talbert (1892 - 19??) Brother Talbert was born in Omaha, Nebraska.  He petitioned Clovis Lodge for the degrees of Masonry on August 10, 1928.  In his application he states that he is the "Manager for Lincoln Nat'l Life Ins. Co. 'Ranches'".

On December 7, 1978 Brother Talbert received his 50 year Golden Veterans Award.

 

 

Click HERE to return to the Las Palmas-Ponderosa Past Masters Index page.

Last updated September 2, 2016