History of Hiram Lodge No. 5 PHA F&AM

An independent constituent, established in 1850, was known as Friendship Lodge No. 5 and situated at Free Haven. In 1851, Mt. Lebanon Lodge # 5 was warranted to hold its monthly meetings in Mount Holly by the National Compact. In 1853 this lodge was listed as a suspended member of the National Grand Lodge. On October 31, 1876 Hiram Lodge No. 5 was established and situated at Snow Hill by the Most Worshipful Prince Hall Grand Lodge of New Jersey. Hiram Lodge No. 5 has been making good men better and serving the community of Lawnside for the past 139 years. Hiram Lodge No. 5 is a faithful lodge under the Jurisdiction of the Most Worshipful Prince Hall Grand Lodge, Free and Accepted Masons, State of New Jersey, as it is known today.

Hiram Lodge No. 5 has furnished several Elected Grand Lodge Officers of the Most Worshipful Prince Hall Grand Lodge of New Jersey. Most Worshipful Walter Miller was installed as Grand Master in 1893 and also served Grand Treasurer from 1859-1911. Right Worshipful Roscoe L. Moore served as Grand Treasurer from 1924-1930. HIRAM LODGE NO. 5 PHA F&AM: continued

Right Worshipful Isaac R. Bryant served as Assistant Grand Secretary, as well as, Editor and Chief of the Pillar during the years of 1949-1952. RW I.R. Bryant served as Grand Trustee from 1952-1954. He had the distinct Honor and privilege of being elected to the office of Senior Grand Warden in 1954, where he gave faithful service until his resignation in 1955. Throughout the years, Hiram Lodge No. 5 has continued to faithfully serve the Most Worshipful Prince Hall Grand Lodge of New Jersey, its Officers and members serving the Grand Lodge in various appointed positions, committees, and projects.

Hiram Lodge No. 5 has furnished some District Deputy Grand Masters and District Grand Lecturers. R.W. Elmer V. Bennett, now deceased, was District Deputy Grand Master for the 1st Masonic District from 1921-1923 and 1928. R.W. Hiram Jones, deceased, served as District Deputy Grand Master from 1949-1950. R.W. Gerald G. Hamm, Jr. served as District Deputy Grand Master from 2008-2011. R.W. Jonathan Lumpkin served as District Deputy Grand Master from 2011-2015. Hiram Lodge No. 5 has several District Grand Lecturers, namely: R.W. Van Farmer, R.W. Robert Harper, R.W. Fitzgerald Benson, Sr., and R.W. Jasper Lofton. R.W. Michael A. Wiggins served as District Grand Lecturer from 2011-2013, and served as Grand Lecturer for 2014 – 2015. RW John Gillard served as Assistant District Grand Lecturer. RW Leonard Long has served the Grand Lodge Photographer for many years and was granted the title of Grand Lodge Photographer Emeritus in 2011. RW Rodney Cunningham served as Assistant Grand Lodge Legal Advisor for many years. RW King I. Shabazz served as Assistant Grand Historian from 2010 - 2013. RW Carlyle Riche, Sr. served as Assistant Grand Lodge Photographer from 2011 - 2013. RW James Ferrell served as Assistant Grand Tyler from 2011 - 2013.

P.M. James M. Cooper was Secretary of Hiram Lodge No. 5 for 30 years before 1947 and a Mason for 50 years in 1962. P.M. Edgar A. Landin was Tyler of the Lodge for a great many years and 48 years as a Mason in 1962. As of 2015, the Lodge currently has some additional 50 year members namely: P.M. John R. Doughty, Bro. Richard Wise, and PM Lewis Moore, III. When Past Master John R. Doughty was Worship Master of Hiram Lodge No. 5, his mother, Mrs. Edna Doughty donated her corner store to be used as the permanent location of Hiram Masonic Temple (the current location, situated at 143 Warwick Road Lawnside, NJ 08045). Over the years, Hiram Lodge No. 5 continued to grow and a second floor was added to accommodate the increase in membership. In recognition of P.M. John R. Doughty, on June 3rd, 2013, the dining hall was name the ―John R. Doughty Fellowship Hall.‖


Ralph Smith, an ardent abolitionist of Haddonfield, acquired a tract of land and sold it to Negroes for a mere trifle. It was a station in a system developed for runaway slaves, the Underground Railroad. Those that found refuge in this community gave it the name, Free Haven. The name was subsequently changed to Snow Hill when a group of Blacks from Snow Hill, MD settled there. In 1907 the community was renamed Lawnside, its present appellation.

On March 23, 1926, New Jersey Governor Moore signed into law State Assembly Bill 561, dissolving Center Township, of which Lawnside was a part, and incorporating the Borough of Lawnside. On April 20, 1926, the First Election was held, and Lawnside was propelled into the local and national spotlight. Lawnside claimed a place in history, becoming the first independent self-governing African-American community north of the Mason-Dixon Line. The Lawnside Board of Education declared Dr. King ’s birth date a holiday just five days after his assassination in 1968, the first government entity in America to do so.