he Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons of Ohio was formed at Chillicothe, Ohio, January 4, 1803, where the delegates of six lodges met. The first Grand Communication was held at Chillicothe on January 2, 1809, with four lodges represented. Delaware, Ohio was founded May 9, 1808, and among the settlers was a number of Master Masons, some made in the East before they came west, and some made in Lodges at Chillicothe and Worthington. Among these was Moses Byxbe Jr., a member of Scioto Lodge at Chillicothe and son of the proprietor of the town.
On December 31, 1810, ten Master Masons: Moses Byxbe Jr., Reuben Lamb, William Little, Nathaniel W. Little, Arariah Root, Stephen Harrington, John Carpenter, Jonathan Catlin, Zar Sturdevant and Aaron D. Lebar petitioned the Grand Master for a dispensation and Hiram Lodge U.D. was permitted to organize. The Grand Master appointed Moses Byxbe Jr. W.M., Stephen Harrington, S. W. and John Carpenter, J.W. and the first meeting of the Lodge was held Friday, February l, 1811.
The first meeting room was in the dwelling house of Reuben Lamb that was the brick house that stood on the southwest corner of William and Union Streets and was built in 1809.
On February 28, 1811, the Lodge was constituted, all petitioners being present, and the first work was done that night conferring on Solomon Smith the degrees of F.C. and M.M.
In the early days it was customary to open on the E.A. Degree and if no business was to be transacted there, to close and open on the F.C. Degree, and so on through the M.M. Degree. The Lodge usually met at five or six o’clock in the evening and adjourned at nine thirty or ten and early historians noting that the minutes indicated that no work was done except to open and close on the degrees, speculated that no doubt the brethren waxed socially on the product of Brother Reuben Lamb’s Distillery that was nearby on the bank of the Delaware Run.
The early Masons in Delaware were active politically: Solomon Smith was sheriff, Reuben Lamb was recorder and Arraiah Root was surveyor, postmaster, and auditor.
Dues for Members living in town were four dollars a year, county members who could not readily attend the meetings paid two dollars a year, and the fee for the E.A. Degree was ten dollars. The F. C. and M.M. Degrees were five dollars each. Entered Apprentices were members of the Lodge and paid dues.
The first report to the Grand Lodge shows that after one year of operation, ten Master Masons were originally chartered, one died during the year and another joined, still another was passed and raised and another initiated, leaving eleven Master Masons and one Apprentice as the showing made to the Grand Lodge.
After operating for one year under the dispensation, the Grand Lodge chartered Hiram Lodge January 6, 1812, the ten persons who petitioned for dispensation, plus Charles Thompson, were the charters. The charter bears the date of January 15 A.L. 1812.