Callicoon Lodge 521
Callicoon Lodge No. 521 is the oldest lodge in the county by number, and the pages of its minute books, yellowed with age, record a story of great brotherly love, sacrifice and devotion. The movement for establishing Callicoon Lodge was inaugurated in the little hamlet of Thumansville (now Callicoon) by Aaron Hoagland, of the firm of Fraser and Hoagland, tanners and merchants, and Marcus Fraser, Jr., boss tanner for the firm. These two men were charter members of Monticello Lodge 460 and it was the communion with brethren of this lodge which inspired them to foster Masonry in, the western section of the county. Hoagland had been elected to membership in Lodge No. 460 on January 5, 1859, and the Frasers on August 10, 1859.
The first regular meeting of Callicoon Lodge under dispensation was conducted in the Thuman Hotel at what is now known as Callicoon Center on Saturday evening, November 16, 1861. The Master was Marcus Fraser, Jr.; the Senior Warden, Frederick Thuman, proprietor of the hotel which bore his name. W. B. Buckley was the Junior Warden; Adam Sander, Treasurer; William Hill, Secretary; Aaron Hoagland, Senior Deacon; John Best, Senior Master of Ceremony; J. D. Schemerhorn, Junior Master of Ceremony, and Thomas Delaney, Tiler. Other members present were Charles Lamb and Lemuel L. Pendell.
Sander and Hill were also members of Monticello Lodge No. 460. When the lodge received its charter there were 22 names on its membership roll. On June 20, 1862, the lodge assembled in its rooms over the Hessinger store at Callicoon Center, formed in procession and proceeded to the German Lutheran church, where it was duly consecrated and constituted by the Grand Treasurer, John W. Simons, acting as Grand Master. Assisting in the ceremonies were George E. Simons, Deputy Grand Master, and William G. White, Grand Marshal.
Marcus Fraser, Jr., the first Master presided over the lodge for the last time on September 20, 1862, when, like E. C. Howard, the Master of Monticello Lodge, No. 460, he went to the war. He mustered in as a first lieutenant of Company F, 143rd Regiment of Volunteers. Stricken with typhoid fever, he was taken to St. Aloysius Hospital in Washington, D. C., where he died on November 20, 1862. Hoagland went to the war with Fraser as orderly sergeant, followed the fortunes of the regiment and participated in all its battles. He was killed in action at Peach Tree Creek, near Atlanta, Ga.
Callicoon Lodge furnished more than its full quota in defense of the Union. There were six in all. Callicoon Lodge was removed from Callicoon Center to Jeffersonville in the year 1885 for better quarters for its meetings. The last stated communication was held at Callicoon Center on May 23, 1885, and the first communication was held in Jeffersonville on July 25, 1885. The meetings at Jeffersonville were first held over the store of Henry Krenrich next to the Mansion House. In the Fall of, 1886 the Masonic Hall was built, the first in the county. The upper floor was used for lodge purposes while -the lower floor was leased to Bro. Krenrich. Krenrich was elected Master in 1875 and served for ten years. It was through him that the lodge was moved from Call1coon Center to Jeffersonville in 1865.
The lodge celebrated its fiftieth anniversary in June, 1912, with a six-day fair and carnival. The net proceeds were $1,100 and all this without the employment of a single game of chance.
For years, particularly during the period from 1916, when the lodge conducted a motion picture theatre in their building, Callicoon Lodge was the most prosperous organization of its kind in the county. The erection of another theatre in the village and a loss of revenue from rentals have deprived the lodge of a great many of the material things but its Masonic record still stands and the will to continue is still manifest in William Lieb who was first elected Master when 25, re-elected at the age of, fifty and now, more than two-score years later, is serving for the third time. He was first elected in 1895 and served one term, then again in 1920, serving through that year and the three succeeding years.
During the early years of the lodge the Frasers, Thuman and Wenzel, were the lodge’s leading spirits. Then came Lieb, Krenrich and Valentine Scheidell, the latter of whom served eighteen years, of which 17 were consecutive. Bro. Krenrich was appointed District Deputy of the old Tenth Masonic District, which comprised the counties of Orange, Sullivan and Rockland. Bro. Lieb served as District Deputy of the Delaware-Sullivan District in 1930. Among his proud possessions is a Fifty-year Grand Lodge service medal.