Lodge No. 125
A short history of Hermann-Humboldt Lodge Nr. 125 F & AM from 1811 - 2010 !
Over two hundred years ago to be exact, in 1810, several German speaking members of Concordia Lodge , NR. 67 of Philadelphia, formed a resolution to organize a Lodge in which the German mother tongue would be used for all proceedings for all time. It was at first intended that Concordia Lodge, which was constituted in 1795, should be a German Lodge, but being unable to get the necessary authority to conduct the deliberations in German, it became an English speaking Lodge .It took fifteen years of striving before the Right Worshipful Grand Lodge recognized the benefit of granting a charter to a Lodge permitting the use of the German language in its proceedings.
On December 12, 1810 a petition was drawn up by ten members of Concordia Lodge, No. 67, asking permission to withdraw and present a petition to the Grand Lodge in the endeavor to procure a charter to hold a Lodge in the German tongue. Their petition was granted by Concordia Lodge on December 14, 1810.
The petition signed by Christian Sheetz, Jacob Belsterling, John C. Lindenmuth, Daniel Ley, Charles Hupfeld, William Geisse, Philipp Geisse, Andrew Bush, Christian Blumner, Frederick Schroeter , and Lewis Enters, was presented to the Grand Lodge on December 24, 1810 and granted on December 27 th.
The contitution of Hermanns Lodge NO. 125 and the installation of its officers took place at Grand Lodge on Friday ,January 25, 1811. Christian Sheets ,Esq. was installed as Worshipful Master , Jacob Belsterling as Senior Warden and John Christopher Lindenmuth as Junior Warden.
The growth of the new Lodge was slow owing to in part to the Anti-Masonic movement and sentiments of the early part of the nineteenth century .The records show that on March 26, 1847, after being in existence over thirty-six years the Lodge had but 38 members. Ten years later with the arrival of of waves of German speaking immigrants the Lodge consisted of 103 members and at the close of 1859, it numbered 125 members.
The fiftieth anniversary of Hermanns Lodge was fittingly celebrated and it should be noted that Br. Wilhelm Geisse ,one of its Charter Members had the pleasure of taking part in the ceremonies. Not long thereafter the Civil War broke out and one of the first to depart for the field of battle was the Worhipful Master of the Lodge, Brother Friedrich Philipp, who entered the United States Army on August 1, 1861, as Lieutenant of Company A of the Cameron Dragoons.
During this trying period in American History, Hermanns Lodge did its share to alleviate thr sufferings and assist the families of the brethren who were in the military.It should be mentioned here that Hermanns Lodge always enjoyed the reputatition of having been exeedingly liberal with respect to charity. It also endeavored to take a prominent part in anniversaries and celebrations of historic occasions. At the laying of the cornerstone of the Schiller monument in Fairmount Park ,which took place with Masonic ceremonies in 1885, the Lodge played an important part.
From 1873 until 2004 the Lodge held its meetings in the Masonic Temple at One North Broad Street In Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. One of its members ,Brother Anthony Bournonville, in 1852 was unanimously elected Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania- the first ethnic German to occupy this prestigious office!
Hermann, now Hermann-Humboldt Lodge # 125 ( merged in 2002 ) has always cherished and honored the sacred heritage of its founders: furtherance of Masonic principles; preservation of the German language in ritualistic work; active Interest in all German endeavors and undertakings and fraternal benevolence! The proceedings continue to be conducted in German and the German language along with English, is still spoken at all of its festivities and meetings. It can be justly said that Hermann-Humboldt Lodge ranks among the most important German institutions of this country and earnestly endeavors to carry out the fundamental principles of Freemasonry and make them universally beneficial!