|Col. Pinckney D. Bowles|
The Masonic Installation: Seldom are there public occasions which afford so much genuine pleasure and enjoyment as did the occasion of the public installation of Masonic officers and basket dinner in the Mertins’ grove on last Wednesday.
From early in the morning to the time the meeting took place, people came in from every direction – some to attend the Masonic meeting and some to attend the public speaking at the courthouse – and the town presented a scene seldom witnessed here.
The lodge was called to order shortly before 10 o’clock, and by the time the 10 o’clock train arrived, all the preliminaries had been arranged and Past Grand Master John G. Harris of the Grand Lodge of Alabama was brought in and introduced to the lodge.
The procession, which consisted of more than 100 Masons, was formed by Marshall O’Bannon of Brewton and marched into the grove, where a temporary rostrum had been arranged. Major Harris was then introduced by Prof. Liner. Before proceeding with his speech, Major Harris offered a short prayer. He then began his address, which occupied more than an hour, on the history and objects of Masonry. His address was characterized by all who heard it as the grandest effort of his life. It was replete with truth, wisdom and common sense, and was truly edifying, not only to the public, but to members of the fraternity as well.
After the address, Col. P.D. Bowles, as installing officer, installed the officers-elect of Greening Lodge No. 53, Burnt Corn Lodge No. 489, Mt. Union Lodge No. 541, Norris Lodge No. .301 and Georgiana Lodge No. 285; after which dinner was announced and everybody was invited to partake of the sumptuous spread of the most delicate and delicious as well as substantial viands that the appetite could wish for, spread out on two long tables reaching almost across the grove along side the Baptist church.
It was a pleasant occasion and will long be remembered by all who were so fortunate to be present.
Died, at his residence in Evergreen, Ala., on the evening of the 24th day of April 1896 after a short illness, Brother Samuel L. Witherington.
He was born in Conecuh County Oct. 22, 1858, aged 38 years, six months and two days. He was a member of Greening Lodge No. 53, A.F.&A.M.
He was a devoted lover of his family, a sincere Christian and an upright Mason. Those who knew him best loved him most, and all who met him was attracted by his face, which was always lighted by a smile. He held the confidence of all with whom he met. He was an honest man.
Whereas, it has pleased the great Architect of the Universe to call our brother Junior Warden from labor to refreshment, from the lodge on earth to the celestial lodge above, Therefore, be it Resolved by this Lodge, -
First, that in the death of Brother Witherington we have lost one of our brightest lights and a good man and faithful brother, his family a kind and affectionate husband and father, and the community one of its best citizens.
Second, that we will ever cherish the memory of our deceased brother, and will try to emulate his walk in life. Although a young member, he carried the tenets of the order into everyday practice.
Third, that while we deeply deplore his loss, we believe the reaper has gathered one who was reaped for the harvest, and that our loss is his eternal gain, and we bow in humble submission to Him who chasteneth us for our good.
Fourth, that the secretary send a copy of these resolutions to the Conecuh Record and the Evergreen Courant and request them to publish the same, and that these resolutions be spread upon the minutes of the lodge.
Fifth, that the secretary present a copy of these resolutions to the family of the deceased in token of our sympathy in this their sad bereavement.
J.T. Amos, J.C. Travis, M.W. Etheridge, Committee
Dr. A.H. Feagin of Georgiana attended the Masonic picnic Wednesday and while here gave us a pleasant call.
Hon. C.D. Henderson of Brewton was in town Wednesday to attend the Masonic celebration.