Jim Tresner, 33, Book Reviews Editor
My 5th grade teacher, Mrs. Vance, started each day by writing a sentence on the blackboard which she asked us to copy into a special notebook. I lost the notebook long ago, but I remember many of those sentences. One of my favorites is Lighthouses neither fire cannon nor ring bells to call attention to the light-they just shine.
In keeping with the "Masonic Heroes" theme of this issue of the Scottish
Rite Journal, here are reviews of some books about Masonic heroes-especially
those who, like the lighthouse, just shine.
Joseph Murrow, universally called "Father Murrow" in Oklahoma, is one of the most interesting characters in American Freemasonry. He served as a Southern Baptist Missionary in Indian Territory (later the state of Oklahoma) for 70 years. He helped to start more than 100 churches, founded an Indian orphanage which is still in operation, an Indian School (now Bacone College), and numerous other charities. During the early part of the Civil War, Father Murrow met Albert Pike when Pike was the Confederate Commissioner of Indian Affairs, and the two men became friends.
Murrow soon became active in Masonry, teaching the esoteric work and holding schools of instruction. He was responsible for forming the first Lodge, under a charter from the Grand Lodge of Arkansas, in his area. He served as Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Indian Territory and founded the first Eastern Star Chapter in what would become Oklahoma. He also helped to found the Scottish Rite in the "OK State." As he travelled in his missionary duties, he carried in his wagon a homemade altar, three chairs, and three wooden candlesticks so that Masonic Brethren could set up Lodges for the practice of the ritual.
The book is a fascinating account of the life of this man who saw the church
and the Lodge as partners in the betterment of humanity and who compiled
an unequalled record of service to both. There are technical limitations
in the publication. It is more or less "home-published," but the information
is excellent and well worth reading.
This is a collection of essays about famous Freemasons. Over the past several
years, each essay appeared in the Scottish Rite Journal. It is helpful to
have them in this convenient format. The essays are short and compact, giving
good information in little space. And they make good reading. Desaguliers
is here, as is Joseph Warren, Meriweather Lewis, William Clark, Roscoe Pound,
and other Brethren. Some of them are known to all of us; others are unsung,
but all have interesting stories. The writing style is light and easy to
read, and the information and research are first rate.
The Masonic Service Association has numerous "Short Talk Bulletins" and digests about famous Masons. These valuable booklets are often overlooked, but they provide interesting information at a rock-bottom price. The following are especially interesting. Please order by number and title. Shipping, handling, and postage are included in each price. Also, ask for a free catalog. You will find many more interesting publications at very reasonable prices.
"Elias Ashmole" 10-47 50¢ (One of the first speculative Masons)
"Buffalo Bill Cody" 1-85 50¢
"Jeremy Ladd Cross" 6-83 50¢ (Helped create the modern Masonic Ritual)
"John Hancock" 6-74 50¢
"Frank S. Land" 3-69 50¢ (Founder of DeMolay)
"Anthony Sayer" 4-41 50¢ (The first Grand Master of the first Grand Lodge)
"Paul Revere" 1-23 50¢
"Famous American Freemasons" #219 $2.00
"Masonic Membership of General Officers of the Continental Army" #222 $2.00