Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Adlai E. Stevenson - Bloomington Lodge No. 43

Adlai E. Stevenson (1835-1914) Twenty-Third Vice President of the United States. Born Oct. 23, 1835 in Christian Co., Ky. Educated at Centre College in Ky. The family removed to Bloomington, Ill. in 1852, and he was admitted to the bar in 1857. He served as master in chancery and district attorney. He was U.S. congressman to the 44th and 46th congresses, 1875-77; 1879-81. From 1885-89 he was first assistant postmaster general, and vice president of the United States from 1893-97. Received the degrees in Metamora Lodge No. 82, Metamora, Ill. (now extinct) sometime in 1858, and was master of same in 1862. He later affiliated with Bloomington Lodge No. 43, Bloomington, Ill, and was master in 1874. He was grand orator of the Grand Lodge of Illinois in 1895-96, and while vice president, addressed that body, saying: "I have been a member of the Masonic fraternity from my early manhood, and the more I have known of its principles, the more I have mingled with the members of this order, and the darker the shadows gather around me, the dearer the Order becomes." He was exalted in Peoria Chapter No. 7, R.A.M., Peoria, Ill. about 1866. Belonged to Metamora Council No. 38, R. & S.M. at Metamora, Ill. and DeMolay Commandery No. 24, K.T. of Bloomington. He demitted from the latter in 1904. On June 24, 1875 he delivered an oration on St. John's Day at Bloomington, Ill. On Nov. 3, 1887 (while first assistant postmaster general) he addressed a Masonic gathering in Washington, D.C., the minutes of St. John's Lodge No. 11 of that date stating: "Immediately the grand lodge retired, our lodge was formed in procession and proceeded to LaFayette Lodge where we were entertained by a very interesting address by Brother Past Master Stevenson of Bloomington, Ill." He was present at the dedication of the Mary Washington monument at Fredericksburg, Va. by the Grand Lodge of Virginia on May 10, 1894, being vice president at the time. His grandson, of the same name, who became governor of Illinois and Democratic presidential nominee in 1956, is not a Mason. Died June 15, 1914.

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