A Bumpy Road

When the Morgan affair occurred in 1826, the feelings aroused by that incident put many lodges out of business in Ohio and throughout the East. The last recorded minutes of Hiram Lodge were on February 5, 1827. In 1833 the Grand Lodge minutes note that Hiram Lodge No. 18 had done no business and held no elections since 1829 at which time Ezra Griswold was Master.

At the Grand Lodge in October 1846 the Grand Master reported he had issued a dispensation to Hiram Lodge at Delaware on July 20, 1846, and on August 14, 1846, the Lodge met again although several of the Master Masons present were not former members of Hiram Lodge. Hiram Lodge has ever since been actively pursuing Masonic work.

The Lodge met in the rooms of the Sons of Temperance over a store at the northwest corner of Sandusky and William Streets. There were seventeen members when the charter was restored.

In 1850 two members of Hiram Lodge lost the foundry that they operated at the northwest corner of Sandusky and Spring Streets by fire and the Lodge circulated various Lodges asking aid for the brethren but received little or no response. In those days it seems Masons attempted to secure assistance from brothers in other Lodges rather than taking out insurance as is the modern way of recovering for such calamities.

Another problem that existed in the 1850s was the practice of some members of the Lodge to become intoxicated, a number was expelled for this reason and there was considerable controversy in the Lodge about this social problem at that time. October 10, 1853, the Lodge amended its by laws by stating that the use of profane language shall be considered grossly un masonic, and it was also considered un masonic for a member of the Lodge to engage in the manufacture or traffic of ardent spirits for a beverage.

Since January 1854 the Lodge had been using the third floor of the South part of the Thomas Evans building but the rooms were hot in warm weather and cold in winter and very uncomfortable. In 1855 the Lodge moved to the Powers building on the east side of Sandusky Street, known as Oak Hall.

On May 16, 1863, Ezra Griswold died. He had come from Connecticut to Worthington in 1803 where he was one of the founders of New England Lodge No. 4. He published a paper in Worthington that he took to Columbus where it came The Ohio State Journal. In September 1821 he came to Delaware bringing his printing plant with him and on October 12, 1821, issued The Delaware Patron and Franklin Chronicle. His office was in a tavern building on the east side of Sandusky Street where he combined the occupation of printer and tavern keeper. In 1824 he went into a brick building at the southwest corner of Sandusky and North Streets (Central Avenue) and for several years he printed the minutes of the Grand Lodge. He was the main support of Masonry in Delaware until his death at seventy one years of age, having been W.M. Of Hiram Lodge for many years, High Priest of Delaware Chapter and apparently the only person active in Delaware Masonry during the dormant period of the Morgan episode.