Lodge No. 125

History (Humboldt)

A brief  history of Humboldt Lodge Nr. 359 F.& AM. 1866 - 2002

Humboldt Lodge #359 was founded through the efforts of a number of former members of Hermann Lodge # 125 and brethren of seven other lodges. They saw the need for a second German speaking lodge in Philadelphia. With the assistance of Hermann Lodge they petitioned the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania on December 4th 1865 for a warrant . The new lodge, Humboldt lodge # 359 , named after the famous German naturalist and explorer Alexander von Humboldt (1769-1859) , was constituted on March 1 st 1866.The first officers ,installed by the R.W. Grand Master Br. Lucius H. Scott were: Bro. Wilhelm Spunk as Worshipful Master, Bro. Friedrich Lindemann as Senior Warden, Bro. Mayer Eichholz as Junior Warden.- Bro. Wilhelm Spunk, W.M. being well versed in Free Masonry, served as a teacher of the ritual in Humboldt Lodge , as well as in the newly founded German speaking  sister lodge Teutonia No.367 in Reading, Pa.- Humboldt lodge participated in the cornerstone laying of the present Masonic Temple, corner of Broad & Filbert Streets in Philadelphia in 1868, and also in the laying of the foundation of the monument of the lodge,s patron saint Alexander von Humboldt in Fairmount Park in Philadelphia. Brother Adolph Eichholz a renowned lawyer and the son of one of the founders of Humboldt lodge served as Worshipful Master in 1893  and as District Deputy Grand Master during the time of the 50th Lodge Anniversary. He and two other Past Masters translated the Masonic Ritual into accurate German. At that time the membership had grown to 135 members. In 1919 various attempts were made to change the degree work from German into the English language .The Right Worshipful Grand Master Brother James B. Krause and the District Deputy Brother Adolph Eichholz were instrumental in in granting the German speaking lodges in Pennsylvania the privilege to continue their ritualistic work in German on a permanent basis.- The worldwide depression from 1932 to 1941 and the Second World War had many negative effects on fraternal life in general and German fraternal life in particular. The drastic reduction in immigration from German speaking countries during that time hurt lodge membership, but immigration increased after World War II . At the end of 1956 the lodge had 229 members.

The Humboldt Circle was established in 1951 from within the lodge membership and their families, to host social affairs of the lodge. These served to bring lodge families closer together and attract awareness to Masonic principals, fellowship and brotherly love, especially in the German community.- At the 100th Anniversary Humboldt Lodge received the Grand Master and his Grand Lodge officers and delegations from 11 lodges. To honor our patron we travelled to Fairmount Park to lay a wreath at his monument!- Over the years Humboldt Lodge maintained special relationships with other German speaking lodges,such as its mother lodge Hermann # 125, sister lodge Teutonia # 367, in Reading  as well as Schiller Lodge # 345 in Scranton, Mozart Lodge # 121, in Pennsauken,NJ.Germania Lodge # 160 in Baltimore,MD. and Armenius Lodge # 25, In Washington, DC.

Humboldt Lodge supported The Grand Lodge Charities with yearly contributions to the Masonic Villages in Elizabethtown and Lafayette Hill

Humboldt Lodge also contributed $ 1000 to the Immanual Lutheran Church for their Bell Tower and $2000 to the German Heritage Foundation and to various other charities and Individuals in need.

In 1991 Humboldt Lodge celebrated its 125th Anniversary, with the Grand Lodge and  lodges from the German community in participation.

During the 1990,s it became increasingly difficult to attract German speaking members . The membership fell below 90 brothers. With mutual agreement and the support of Hermann lodge No. 125, our "Mother Lodge", Humboldt Lodge # 359 merged with Hermann Lodge #125 in 2002 to form the new "Hermann-Humboldt Lodge # 125."