History of San Diego, 1542-1908
PART SIX: CHAPTER 9: Secret, Fraternal, and Other Societies
The life of San Diego has been peculiarly rich in the activities of all the principal secret, fraternal, and benevolent organizations. To do them justice would require a volume. The most that this History can attempt is to present a sketch of a few of them, in their historical aspects.
The founding of San Diego Lodge No. 35, F. & A. M., is a somewhat celebrated event in Masonic annals of the Pacific Coast. It was the first Masonic lodge established in Southern California and preceded the first lodge in Los Angeles by a year.
Soon after J. Judson Ames arrived and began to publish the Herald, it was found that there were enough Masons in San Diego to warrant asking for a dispensation for a lodge. There is a tradition that this discovery was made at a picnic attended by most of the inhabitants in a body, as was the custom for many years.
The first mention of anything Masonic was in the Herald of June 19, 1851, and read as follows:
“Masonic.—All Master Masons, in good standing with their respective lodges, are requested to assemble at the Exchange Hotel, in the City of San Diego, on Friday evening, the 20th inst., to make arrangements for celebrating the anniversary of our patron saint, John the Baptist.”
The plans for this celebration seem to have fallen through, for some reason. A petition for a dispensation was drawn up, signed, sent to San Francisco, and was granted on the 1st day of August. This dispensation ran to Brothers Wm. C. Ferrell, W.M.; John Judson Ames, S.W.; John Cook, J.W.; and the following Master Masons: Daniel Barbee, Wm. Heath Davis, James W. Robinson, R. E. Raimond, and others. When the Semi-Annual Communication of the Grand Lodge assembled, on November 4, 1851, it was found that no meeting had been held and no returns received from “San Diego Lodge, U.D.” and the dispensation had expired. But Brother Ames, S.W., made application on the following day to the Grand Lodge to have the dispensation extended six months, to allow more time for organization, which was granted.
Although no meeting had been held, an attempt had been made to hold one, as the following advertisement, taken from the Herald of October 9th, shows:
“There will be a meeting of San Diego Lodge, F. & A. M., at the house of Col. A. Haraszthy (Old Town) on Friday evening next, the 10th inst., at half past six o’clock. A full attendance is urged, as business of importance is to be transacted.
Oct. 9th. Per order of WORSHIPFUL MASTER.”
After this, more vigor was put into the work, and the first meeting assembled on November 20, 1851, and was opened in the Master’s degree. The record of this meeting begins thus:
“At a meeting of San Diego Lodge U. D. of Free and Accepted Masons held at their lodge room in the City of San Diego, on the 20th day of November, A. D. 1851 A. L. 5851, met upon the call of the W. M.
“The brethren present were:
“William C. Ferrell, W. M.
John Judson Ames, S. W.
Daniel Barbee, J. W.
A. Haraszthy, Secretary.
Will. H. Moon, Tyler.
Louis Rose, Visiting Brother.
R. E. Raimond, Treasurer.”
Petitions for the degrees of Masonry were received from George F. Hooper, recommended by J. Judson Ames and Wm. Heath Davis, and from Colonel John B. Magrader, of the United States Army. The first named petition was referred to a committee consisting of Brothers Haraszthy, Moon, and Ray, and the latter was ordered on file.
At the second meeting, held January 8, 1852. the following were present:
“Wm. C. Ferrell, W. M.
John Judson Ames, S. W.
Daniel Barbee, J. W.
R. E. Raimond, Treasurer.
James W. Robinson, Secretary.
Wm. H. Moon, S. D.
J. Ankrine, J. D.
Louis Rose, Tyler.”
At this meeting George F. Hooper was initiated as an entered apprentice, and was the first person to be initiated in this lodge. The second was John C. Cremony, on March 29th; and the third, George P. Tebbetts, on April 15, 1852.
On May 11th in this year, the Grand Master, B. M. Hyam, visited San Diego and examined the records, but found the lodge not yet ready for a charter. The records state, under date of June 7th, that “a communication was received from the Grand Master respecting his examination of the records of this lodge, pointing out the un-Masonic and unconstitutional portions of the work of this Lodge. and granting San Diego Lodge U. D. a dispensation to continue until May, 1853, and requiring a copy of our adopted By-laws without delay.” Apparently, the lodge had never adopted any by-laws. At the same meeting, Brother John Judson Ames, as a committee, reported that he had purchased a seal for $25 and a Bible for $10, which was approved and payment ordered.
“At this time,” says Mr. Morse, “the Lodge occupied the Court House, a one-story, brick building consisting of one room only, without porch or entry, the Tyler with girded sword pacing back and forth in front, on the open street. There was little danger of any “cowans and eavesdroppers,” for the Pope had placed his ban upon us and the mass of the population felt safest some distance away from our place of meeting. It was said the priest forbade the women and children from even looking from the windows upon our frequent parades.”
The brethren in these early days were very fond of dinners and parades. The first celebration was held on June 24, 1852, when the following entries are made:
“During the day the nativity of our Patron Saint, John the Baptist, was publicly celebrated in due and ancient form.
“The procession was formed under the direction of Bro. J. W. Robinson, Marshall of the day, appointed by Bro. G. P. Tebbetts, when the procession moved through the principal streets of the city to the place appointed for that purpose.
“When the Throne of Grace was addressed by our Rev. Bro. Reynolds, Chaplain, in an appropriate prayer, and our Bro. J. J. Ames delivered a chaste and beautiful oration suitable to the occasion, when the procession returned to the hall and repaired to the residence of Bro. Robinson and partook of an entertainment and the procession then returned to the hall in good order.”
On July 15th in this year, Tebbetts was made a Master Mason.
On November 4th there is another entry which is worth quoting:
“This day Nov. 4, 1852, being the centenary era of the Initiation of Our beloved Brother Geo. Washington into the order of Masonry, Therefore it was resolved to celebrate the same in a suitable manner. At 12 o’clock A.M. the procession formed in front of the Masonic Hall under the direction of Companion W. H. Moon and proceeded through the principal streets and around the Plaza to the Hall where the Throne of Grace was addressed by our worthy chaplain Bro. Reynolds in an impressive prayer, after which our worthy companion James W. Robinson delivered an able and eloquent oration to the fraternity and a crowded auditory, which was listened to with deep interest by all. The exercises at the Hall closed by prayer by the Chaplain, and the procession again formed and marched to the residence of Phil. Crosthwaite and partook of a sumptuous dinner. Col. C. J. Couts and lady were invited guests. The brethren returned to their Hall and the Lodge closed in Pease & Harmony.”
On this day, Philip Crosthwaite, P. H. Hoof, and Joseph Reiner were made Master Masons.
Early in April, 1853, “Bro. George H. Derby, Past Master of Sonoma, Lodge, Cal.,” arrived in San Diego on business connected with the turning of the San Diego River, and on the 4th of that month, “being invited by Bro. W. C. Ferrell, W.M., presided at this meeting.” On the 13th of this month, it is recorded that “George H. Derby, a Master Mason and formerly Master of Temple Lodge No. 14,” petitioned for affiliation. Ten days later, “Bro. Geo. H. Derby was elected a member of this Lodge after a favorable report by the Comte.” At this time, on account of certain irregularities, the local lodge was in disfavor with the Grand Lodge; and Brother Derby, who was about to return to San Francisco before beginning his work on the river, was appointed an agent and proxy to represent the W.M. and officers and “to explain fully and frankly all the proceedings of this Lodge to the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge and to ask for a Warrant of Charter for this Lodge.” His intercession was successful, and on the 7th day of May following the charter was granted and Derby was delegated by the Grand Lodge to install the first officers under the charter. This ceremony occurred on August 14, 1853, after Derby’s return from the north, and the officers installed were as follows:
Louis Rose, J. W.
George H. Derby, Secretary.
S. W. John Hays, Treasurer.
P. H. Hoof, S. D.
S. Goldman, J. D.”
Derby took an active part in the affairs of the lodge during his stay, and was instrumental in putting it in working order. He acted as secretary and was on several occasions acting W.M. Before leaving San Diego, he gave Philip Crosthwaite, then Master of the local lodge, his Past Master’s jewel, and the latter afterward gave it to the lodge, which carefully keeps it to this day.
In 1855, at the celebration of St. John’s Day on June 25th, the oration was by Brother J. W. Robinson. On July 1st, some indigent Indians were furnished subsistence and arrangements were made to continue the same.
Concerning these charities, Mr. Morse said:
“In those early days there were many calls for charity from brethren just arriving from the East who had become sick and disabled, while some were strapped and wanted a slight loan, which occasionally was repaid but more often not. Many times help was given to sick and blind Indians and others, for the Lodge believed in charity and practiced it.”
The following year, the Feast of St. John was celebrated on June 24th, as the record shows: “Proceeded to march in regular order to the Gila House. Oration by Kurtz, then procession to the dinner hall & partook of a dinner, return to the hall & closed in Pease & harmony.” On November 3d of this year, E. W. Morse was initiated, and a month later resolutions of sympathy for the death of his wife were adopted.
In 1857, George Lyons was made a Master Mason on March 30th, and E. W. Morse on April 8th. In August, Joseph Smith preferred charges against Morse for “threatening to blow my brains out.” A committee recommended that Smith withdraw the charges, but he refused, and after an investigation and listening to Morse’s explanation, he was exonerated. Morse’s own account of this affair was as follows:
“An officer of the Lodge got into an altercation with another party in my store. I ordered them both out. My Masonic brother, a big six-footer, refused to go and prevented the other party from going. I jumped behind the counter and called out: “Get out of my store, or I’ll blow your brains out!” whereupon he went out.
“In recalling those old times, I can see where “the even tenor of its way” was often ruffled by family jars and quarrels, charges of brother against brother—the succeeding lodge trials, most of them, it now seems to me, frivolous and childish. I suppose the same principle applied to our small lodge as to small villages and towns.”
In 1858, while Thomas R. Darnall was W.M. of the lodge, he went down into Lower California as manager in charge of a party of miners and prospectors. The party lost a number of their animals, and at last caught the thief in the act of stealing one of them and by accident or otherwise shot him. For this the whole party was arrested and imprisoned, but Darnall found means to bribe an Indian to carry a letter to San Diego, stating that they expected to be summarily shot or sent to the City of Mexico for trial, and asking for help. The Masons at once gathered at their hall and began to devise means to rescue Darnall and the other Americans. As it chanced to be steamer day, word was sent to the lodge at Los Angeles that their aid might be needed, and they replied by the first mail: “If you wish help, notify us at once, and we will join you with fifty mounted men.” The Mexican population of Old Town, becoming aware that an armed expedition was in preparation, sent a courier to their countrymen, advising them to release the imprisoned Americans at once, or “those terrible Masons” would be upon them. The advice was taken and the whole party released and soon returned safely to San Diego. “This,” says Mr. Morse, whose version of this somewhat celebrated incident has been used, “shows that the Masons were held in fear, if not in loving regard, by the mass of the Mexican population.”
A number of quiet years followed, in which the work of the lodge was carried on without a break. In 1870 the place of meeting was removed to Horton’s Addition, a change which caused some feeling. In 1880, plans were drawn up for a temple to be erected in co-operation with the I. O. O. F. on a lot which had been purchased on the northwest corner of Sixth and H Streets. The cornerstone was laid on March 7, 1882, with imposing ceremonies. Acting Grand Master W. W. Bowers presided, and the principal address was made by W. J. Hunsaker. The new hall was occupied, for the first time, on July 29, 1882, and has ever since been used as the home of this strong organization. Its subsequent history has been one of uninterrupted prosperity. At present it has about 140 members. Following is a list of the Masters of this lodge, with the years in which they served:
|William C. Ferrell (1853)||L. H. Plaisted (1881)|
|Philip Crosthwaite (1854-5)||Simon Levi (1882)|
|J. W. Robinson (1856)||Simon Levi (1883)|
|D. B. Kurtz (1857)||Simon Levi (1884)|
|Thomas R. Darnall (1858)||W. A. Begole (1885)|
|D. B. Kurtz (1859)||D. Cave (1886)|
|George A. Pendleton (1860)||George M. Dannals (1887)|
|Marcus Schiller (1861)||George M. Dannals (1888)|
|D. B. Kurtz (1863)||E. T. Blackmer (1890)|
|Marcus Schiller (1864)||J. K. Blackmer (1891)|
|D. B. Kurtz (1865)||W. J. Mossholder (1892)|
|D. B. Kurtz (1866)||W. J. Mossholder (1893)|
|D. B. Kurtz (1867)||G. Forster (1894)|
|D. B. Kurtz (1868)||G. C. Arnold (1895)|
|D. B. Kurtz (1869)||W. L. Pierce (1896)|
|W. H. Cleveland (1870)||E. J. Louis (1897)|
|W. A. Begole (1871)||M. J. Perrin (1898)|
|W. A. Begole (1872)||Nat R. Titus (1899)|
|W. A. Begole (1873)||W. E. Budlong (190O)|
|W. A. Begole (1874)||Sam Ferry Smith (1901)|
|W. A. Begole (1875)||G. A. Warden (1902)|
|F. N. Pauly (1876)||John B. Osborn (1903)|
|F. N. Pauly (1877)||M. A. Graham (1904)|
|J. W. Thompson (1878)||A. H. Gilbert (1905)|
|W. W. Bowers (1879)||H. A. Croghan (1906)|
|W. W. Bowers (1880)|
San Diego Commandery No. 25, Knights Templar, was organized at a meeting held in the Backesto Block on June 22, 1885. Those present were : Garrett G. Bradt, John Peck Burt, Charles Merwin Fenn, Edwin Ben Howell, Edward Wilkerson Bushyhead, Nicholas Ridgley Hooper, Joseph A. Flint, Henry Madison Jacoby, Norman Henry Conklin, John S. Harbison, John Arm McRae, and Thomas McCall Gruwell. A petition to the R. E. Grand Commander was drawn up and signed, praying for a dispensation to form and open a commandery, and recommended by the lodge at San Bernardino. The dispensation was granted on July 27, 1885, and at the first succeeding meeting of the lodge the following officers were chosen:
|N. H. Conklin||Eminent Commander.|
|G. G. Bradt||Generalissimo.|
|John P. Burt||Captain General.|
|C. M. Fenn||Prelate.|
|J. A. Flint||Senior Warden.|
|H. M. Jacoby||Junior Warden.|
|John S. Harbison||Treasurer.|
|Edwin B. Howell||Recorder.|
|John A. McRae||Sword Bearer.|
|E. W. Bushyhead||Standard Bearer.|
|N. R. Hooper||Warden.|
|Thomas A. Bishop||Sentinel.|
This lodge is a prosperous one and has at the present time over one hundred members.
Constans Lodge of Perfection, No. 8, A. & A. S. R., is the third oldest Masonic lodge in the city. It was organized May 13, 1887. The first Venerable Master was J. D. Rush. The lodge has 65 members.
The first meeting for the organization of a lodge of the Order of the Eastern Star was held on April 5, 1888, and a charter was granted in the following October, to “Southern Star Chapter, No. 96.” The first officers were:
|Lucy L. Dannals||Worthy Matron.|
|George M. Dannals||Worthy Patron.|
|Anna E. Kooken||Associate Matron.|
|Abbie A. Jenks||Associate Conductress.|
|Maria M. Lowell||Warder.|
|James S. Clark||Sentinel.|
The present membership is more than 125.
Silver Gate Lodge No. 296 held its first meeting July 31, 1889, and received its charter October 10th following. Among the first officers were : D. E. Bailey, W.M. ; A. E. Dodson, S.W. ; James Wells, J.W. It has 150 members.
Constans Chapter of Knights Rose Croix, No. 5, A. & A. S. R., was organized December 3, 1900. Wise Master N. H. Conklin and Secretary Harry R. Comly have served in the same capacity from the first. The membership is 63.
San Diego Council Knights Kadosh, No. 6, A. & A. S. R., was organized March 2, 1903. James MacMullen was the first Commander, and Harry R. Comly, Recorder. This lodge has a membership of 55.
San Diego Consistory, No. 6, A. &. A. S. R., was constituted April 28, 1904. George M. Dannals has been Master of Kadosh and Harry R. Comly, Registrar, from the beginning. The lodge has 51 members.
San Diego Chapter, No. 61, R. A. M., is a flourishing lodge with 125 members.
The first meeting preliminary to the organization of a lodge of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows in San Diego, was held at the house of James Pascoe on December 5, 1868. The formal institution was effected at a meeting held on March 23, 1869, held in the hall over Porter’s paint shop, on the corner of Seventh and K Streets. The name adopted was San Diego Lodge, No. 153, and the first officers were:
|John R. Porter||…. N. G.|
|Alex. M. Young||…. V. G.|
|F. Marlette||…. R. S.|
|S. S. Culverwell||…. T.|
After several changes, the lodge occupied the Temple at the corner of Sixth and H Streets, owned jointly by the Masons and Odd Fellows, which has since been its home. The lodge is a strong and prosperous one, with more than two hundred members. Following are lists of charter members:
|John R. Porter P. G.||Amos Crane P. G.|
|S. S. Culverwell P. G.||John Groesbeck P. G.|
|B. F. Nudd||W. C. Rickard|
|Charles F. Moore||John O. Hatleberg|
|Alex. M. Young||P. P. Willett|
|R. D. Case||A. C. Tedford|
The following is a list of the lodges of the I. O. O. F. in San Diego:
“Anna Rebekah Lodge No. 127.
Canton San Diego Lodge No. 22.
Centennial Encampment No. 58.
San Diego Lodge No. 153.
Silver Gate Rebekah Lodge No. 141.
Sunset Lodge No. 328 (Veteran Odd Fellows).”
San Diego Lodge, No. 168, Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, was instituted on June 8, 1890, in Horton’s Hall, with 30 charter members. The following were the first officers:
|J. M. Dodge||Exalted Ruler.|
|Thomas A. Nerney||Esteemed Leading Knight.|
|B. F. Harville||Esteemed Loyal Knight.|
|J. S. Callen||Esteemed Lecturing Knight.|
|J. W. Sefton||Treasurer.|
|J. E. Wooley||Tyler.|
|C. A. Brown||Inside Guard.|
|S. G. Montijo||Esquire.|
|J. P. Goodwin|
Credit for organizing the lodge is given to J. M. Dodge, who was then a member of Los Angeles Lodge, No. 99. The following original charter members are still members of the lodge T. A. Nerney, B. F. Harville, J. S. Callen, J. W. Sefton, Eugene Daney, John Kastle, D. Goehenauer, H. W. Alden, Walter T. Blake, E. M. Burbeck, W. F. Riley, F. W. Jackson, Robert C. Jones, T. J. Storey, J. E. Fishburn, James Vernon, A. G. Gassen, George O. Scribner, and J. M. Dodge. The lodge has had different homes, and its present quarters occupy the entire second floor of the San Diego Gas & Electric Light Company’s building, No. 937 Sixth Street, and are very handsomely fitted up. An Elk’s Hall Association was incorporated a few months ago, which acquired the lot on the northwest corner of Second and D Streets, 90x100 feet, and a very beautiful granite and brick building is now being erected which will be ready for occupancy early in 1907. The cornerstone was laid with elaborate ceremonies on June 9, 1906. The membership of this lodge numbers 381.
The first lodge of the Knights of Pythias, San Diego Lodge No. 28, was organized October 3, 1874, by Grand Chancellor L. M. Manzer, and is, therefore, nearly a third of a century old. The charter list contained 27 names, of whom only one, L. H. Plaisted, was then a member of the order, he having belonged to Pawtucket, R. I., Lodge No. 5. The three principal officers first chosen were: Chancellor Commander, E. F. Spence; Vice Chancellor, W. W. Stewart; Prelate, G. G. Bradt. The following is a full list of the original charter members:
|L. H. Plaisted.|
|Henry Bayly||J. M. Spencer|
|E. F. Spence||H. M. Covert|
|W. W. Stewart||E. M. Skinner|
|J. A. Gordon||A. Condee|
|G. G. Bradt||F. N. Pauly|
|E. W. Bushyhead||A. S. Grant|
|G. W. Hazzard||J. N. Young|
|C. B. Culver||J. G. Capron|
|J. W. Thompson||Philip Morse|
|R. G. Balcom||L. B. Willson|
|S. Statler||D. Cave|
|G. B. Hensley||C. W. Pauly|
|F. A. Veazie||Douglas Gunn|
Of the above, only two are now members, i.e., G. W. Hazzard and C. W. Pauly.
The lodge is a very strong and active organization. It is the oldest Pythian lodge in the district.
Red Star Lodge, No. 153, K. of P., was organized September 28, 1887, with a charter list of 17 members from other lodges and 60 strangers. The institution was organized by J. M. Van Zant, who was at the time a member of San Diego Lodge, No. 28. The first officers were: Chancellor Commander, T. J. Monahan; Vice Chancellor, G. A. H. Sprague; Prelate, S. G. Montijo. The lodge was named by Chancellor Commander Monahan after his old lodge in Ohio. The present membership is over 400. Of the original charter members, 10 remain, i. e., J. W. Brenning, H. K. Coon, T. J. Dowell, M. German, George R. Harrison, George M. Hickman, H. J. Place, F. E. Severance, A. M. Thornburg, and A. M. Turner.
The Ladies’ Auxiliary, called the “Rathbone Sisters,” is represented by two temples: Woodbine No. 36 and Dunton Temple No. 3. The Uniform Rank, K. of P., is represented by Chevalier Company No. 6, attached to the Third Regiment, California Brigade, with headquarters at Los Angeles.
The Foresters are a flourishing organization, with the following Courts:
Court Coronado No. 3798, I. 0. F.
Court San Diego No. 7799, A. 0. F.
Court San Diego No. 28, F. of A.
Court Silver Gate No. 138, F. of A.
Palomar Circle No. 510, C. of F. of A.
Palomar Court No. 176, F. of A.
Silver Gate San Diego Circle No. 271, F. of A.
The Woodmen of the World have a strong membership. Their camps are Bay View Camp No. 7255, Miramar Camp No. 54, and San Diego Circle No. 161.
The Improved Order of Red Men are represented by Lodge No. 155, Coahuilla Tribe. The Eagles have San Diego Aerie No. 244. The Knights and Ladies of Security maintain Council No. 429. The Maccabees are represented by Hive No. 17, Ladies of M., and San Diego Tent No. 26, K. O. T. M. The Order of Pendo have San Diego Council No. 18 and Southwest Council No. 177. The Royal Arcanum meet in San Diego Lodge No. 1214. The Royal Neighbors of America, the Fraternal Grove, the Fraternal Aid, the Knights of Honor, and the Fraternal Brotherhood are all represented, the latter with two councils, San Diego Lodge No. 18 and Tourmaline Lodge.
The A. O. U. W. are represented in Emblem Lodge No. 103, Degree of Honor, and Point Loma Lodge No. 248. The O. d’H. S. assemble in San Diego Lodge No. 22, and Thusnelda Lodge No. 4.
There were a number of societies, other than secret, in San Diego at a very early day. One of the earliest of these was the San Diego Guards, organized in July, 1856. This was one of the most active of local organizations for four or five years, and nearly all the able-bodied Americans in San Diego were members. It was quietly dropped at the outbreak of the Civil War. George A. Pendleton and a few others who had served in the regular army were the moving spirits. An amusing tradition is that J. Judson Ames, he of the gigantic figure, used to march at the head of the column on public occasions with an ax on his shoulder. The following is a copy of the original muster roll of the company:
|Captain Geo. A. Pendleton.||4th Serg. Jos. Schycoffer.|
|1st Lieut. Wm. H. Noyes.||1st Corp. Jno. I. Van Alst.|
|2nd Lieut. D. B. Kurtz.||2nd Corp. Nath. Vise.|
|3rd Lieut. Jas. W. Connors.||3rd Corp. Edw. Kerr.|
|1st Serg. Andrew Cotton.||4th Corp. Frank Kerren.|
|2nd Serg. R. D. Israel.||1st Drummer Chas. Morris.|
|3rd Serg. Jas. Donahoe.||1st Fifer F. R. Maretowsky.|
|Ames, J. Judson||Alvarado||Brown, Jno.|
|Anderson, Jos A.||Blackstone, J. P.||Brinkerhoff,.I. P.|
|Barnes, E. W.||Leighton, Wm. H.||Robinson, Wm.|
|Couts, W. B.||Le Roy, Win. H.||Rathburn, Chas. S.|
|Grist, Andrew||Lyons, George||Reiner, Jos.|
|Chisumn, P. G.||Magee, H.||Smith, Jos.|
|Darnall, Thos R.||Morse, E. W.||Schiller, Marcus|
|Estudillo, José G.||Marron, José C.||Sutton, Ansen G. P.|
|Gerson, Chas.||Mannasse, H.||Smith, A. B.|
|Goldman, S.||Mannasse, Jose S.||Schneider, Edw. N.|
|Gitchell, J. R.||Mannasse, M.||Tolman, Geo. B.|
|Groom, R. W.||Maxey, A. E.||Whaley, Thos.|
|Hoffman, D. B.||Pond, J. P.||Ward, Isaac|
|Herald, Duane||Pond C. H.||Wall, E. A.|
|Jessup, W. H.||Ringgold, Walter||Wiley, A. C.|
This old organization of San Diego Guards was, of course, the legitimate forerunner of the modern militia (N. G. C.). The first military organization after the Civil War was known as the San Diego Light Guards, which organized on October 18, 1876, at Horton’s Hall. The first officers were: First lieutenant, A. P. Jolly; second lieutenant, Henry Bayly; orderly sergeant, W. H. Gladstone; first duty sergeant, J. H. Richardson; second sergeant, J. F. Bowman; third sergeant, J. N. Petty; fourth sergeant, Aug. Warner.
This seems to have died out in a little while, and it was not until early in April, 1881, that the organization of the City Guards was effected. The organization began amid considerable enthusiasm, with 60 names on the roll. The first officers were President, Douglas Gunn; secretary, Philo E. Beach; treasurer, O. S. Hubbell. The military officers were: Captain, Douglas Gunn; first lieutenant, Martin Lacy; second lieutenant, George M. Dannals. A successful entertainment was soon after given for their benefit, and on October 12th the company was reorganized, with the same officers as a company of the 7th Regiment Infantry of the National Guard of California. Douglas Gunn continued to act as captain of this organization as long as he lived. Upon his return from the East after retiring from theUnion, in the fall of 1887, he was presented with a very valuable sword by his comrades.
The present officers are: Ed. Fletcher, captain; H. R. Fay, first lieutenant; H. J. Schlegel, second lieutenant. The captains since organization have been:
Thomas A. Nerney,
John M. Smith,
Harry M. Schiller,
Richard V. Dodge,
The Third Division of the Naval Militia is commanded by Lieutenant Roscoe Howard, and uses the old U. S. S. Pinta as its headquarters.
The Society of Veterans of the Mexican War was organized January 12, 1878. Colonel Wm. Jeff Gatewood was chosen president; G. F. W. Richter, secretary. Others present were: Captain Ferris, Dr. Wm. A. Winder, Joseph Leonard, E. M. Rankin, D. B. Bush, and A. H. Julian.
The G. A. R. are strong in San Diego. The first post organized was Heintzelman Post No. 33. In 1882, Memorial Day was observed for the first time in San Diego under their auspices. Colonel E. T. Blackmer delivered the oration. Datus E. Coon Post No. 172, Heintzelman Corps No. 1, W. R. C., and Datus E. Coon Corps No. 84 are active branches. General U. S. Grant Circle, Ladies of the G. A. R., and Heintzelman Woman’s Relief Corps No. 1 represent the activities of the ladies of the G. A. R. The latter corps was organized in July, 1883, and was the first auxiliary of the G. A. R. organized in this state.
The Spanish-American War Veterans have a post called Camp Bennington.
John Morgan Camp 1198 represents the United Veterans of the Confederacy.
San Diego Parlor No. 168, N. S. G. W., were organized in 1887 and formally installed with imposing ceremonies, June 8, 1887. The first officers were: President, W. J. Hunsaker; first vice-president, W. E. Princely; second vice-president, C. A. Campbell; third vice-president, C. A. Loomis; treasurer, M. Klauber; trustees, W. H. Hooper, Harry Schiller, and B. Bacon. In September, 1887, Admission Day was celebrated, for the first time in San Diego, under the auspices of the new organization.
The Native Daughters of the Golden West also maintain an organization.
The first Pioneer Society in San Diego was organized February 12, 1872. Membership was to be limited to persons arriving before 1854. The following is a partial list of the first members:
W.B. Couts, December 26, 1849.
José G. Estudillo, native born.
George Lyons, December, 1846.
Thomas Whaley, July 22, 1849.
Marcus Schiller, September 22, 1853.
James W. Connors, October, 1852.
Wm. A. Winder, May, 1853.
John W. Leamy, October, 1851.
Daniel P. Clark, March 6, 1847.
T. G. Battaile, November, 1849.
Miguel Aguirre, native born.
Thomas P. Slade, May, 1849.
A. O. Wallace, October 22, 1852.
Thos. H. Bush, February, 1853.
D. Crichton, September, 1853.
E. W. Bushyhead, August 2, 1850.
Another San Diego Pioneer Society was formed at the residence of John G. Capron, March 1, 1888. E. W. Morse was elected president and Douglas Gunn, secretary. The date limit set was January 1, 1871. This and the former society seem to have survived but a short time. The only pioneer society now in existence is the Ladies’ Pioneer Society, of which Mrs. Mathew Sherman is president and Mrs. M. A. Steadman is secretary. This society was formed May 31, 1895. The first president was Mrs. Flora Kimball, and the secretary Mrs. Hattie Phillips. Membership is limited to those arriving before January, 1880. There are at present more than 100 members.
A New England Society was formed in San Diego on November 23, 1854, the officers of which were: President, O. S. Witherby; vice-presidents, Judge J. Judson Ames, Colonel J. R. Gitchell, and Captain H. S. Burton, U. S. A.; recording secretary; Captain George P. Tebbetts; corresponding secretary, Judge E. W. Morse. A committee was chosen to make arrangements for the celebration of Forefathers’ Day, but at this point the record ends. The present New England Society was formed a few years ago.
The San Diego Society of Natural History was incorporated in October, 1874, and has maintained an active existence to the present. The society has had but three presidents. The first was Dr. Geo. W. Barnes; the second, Daniel Cleveland. At the present time General A. W. Vogdes is president, and Frank Stephens secretary. The San Diego Lyceum of Sciences existed for some years, but is now dormant. On February 7, 1880, there was a fight between a badger and some dogs, which was witnessed by a large crowd. Someone who witnessed it wrote an indignant article which appeared in the Union, and that paper urged the immediate formation of a society for the prevention of cruelty to animals. A public meeting was held and the organization soon after perfected. The first officers were: M. S. Root, president; D. Cave, vice-president; George N. Hitchcock, secretary; E. W. Morse treasurer. The society was succeeded by the San Diego Humane Society, the present officers of which are: Dr. Thomas Gogswell, president; Mrs. H. L. Hall, secretary. The first W. C. T. U. in San Diego was organized Frances E. Willard, in 1884. Mrs. C. D. Watkins is president, Elizabeth Linguian, secretary.
Besides those which have been mentioned, San Diego has a large number of clubs and societies, such as are usually found in larger cities.
Return to Books.
HISTORY OF SAN DIEGO
PART ONE: Period of Discovery and Mission Rule
- The Spanish Explorers
- Beginning of the Mission Epoch
- The Taming of the Indian
- The Day of Mission Greatness
- The End of Franciscan Rule
Priests of San Diego Mission
PART TWO: When Old Town Was San Diego
- Life on Presidio Hill Under the Spanish Flag
List of Spanish and Mexican commandants
- Beginnings of Agriculture and Commerce
List of Ranchos in San Diego County
- Political Life in Mexican Days
- Early Homes, Visitors and Families
- Pleasant Memories of Social Life
- Prominent Spanish Families
- The Indians’ Relations With the Settlers
List of Mission Indian Lands
- San Diego in the Mexican War
- Public Affairs After the War
- Accounts of Early Visitors and Settlers
- Annals of the Close of Old San Diego
- American Families of the Early Time
- The Journalism of Old San Diego
- Abortive Attempt to Establish New San Diego
PART THREE: The Horton Period
- The Founder of the Modern City
- Horton’s Own Story
- Early Railroad Efforts, Including the Texas and Pacific
- San Diego’s First Boom
- Some Aspects of Social Life
PART FOUR: Period of “The Great Boom”
PART FIVE: The Last Two Decades
- Local Annals, After the Boom
- Political Affairs and Municipal Campaigns
- Later Journalism and Literature [new material in second edition]
- The Disaster to the Bennington
- The Twentieth Century Days
- John D. Spreckels Solves the Railroad Problem
PART SIX: Institutions of Civic Life
- Churches and Religious Life
- Schools and Education
- Records of the Bench and Bar
- Growth of the Medical Profession
- The Public Library
- Story of the City Parks
- The Chamber of Commerce
- Banks and Banking
- Secret, Fraternal and Other Societies
- Account of the Fire Department
PART SEVEN: Miscellaneous Topics
- History of the San Diego Climate
- San Diego Bay, Harbor and River
- Governmental Activities
- The Suburbs of San Diego