Local History Collections

Collection ID: LH-224
Location: LH-224

(Description ID: 594591)

Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Library & Museums

Fremont Commandery No. 56, Knights Templar


Agency History
Scope and Content

The records of Fremont Commandery #56 of Knights Templar were donated to the Hayes Presidential Center in 1959. During its centennial anniversary (1997), the organization transferred additional records, those dating from 1947 to 1996, to the Center's holdings.

Agency History
The Knights Templar, also known as the Chivalric Rite, is a division of Freemasonry. The order was organized in 1897 in response to Fremont Masons who were active in Fort Stephenson Masonic Lodge No. 225 (established 1852) and Brainard Masonic Lodge No. 336 (established 1861). Isaac Keeler, editor of the Fremont Journal, secured a dispensation from the Grand Commandery of Ohio in 1897 to found the Knights Templar division. Keeler, a long-time member and officer of the Fort Stephenson Lodge, was instrumental in the success of the order. A Knight Templar and Knight of Malta in Toledo Commandery #7, Keeler became the Eminent Commander of Fremont ndery #56. He actively promoted the organization in the Fremont area until his death in 1907. The organization has always been active in fund raising, particularly the Eye Foundation, a charitable cause advocated by the Ohio Grand Lodge. Additionally, Knights Templar sponsors a DeMolay Chapter locally.. On entering its centennial year, the organization's membership stood at one hundred four.

Scope and Content
The records of Fremont Commandery #56 Knights Templar include minutes, financial records, annual reports, correspondence, membership rosters, printed material relative to Masonic ceremonies as well as several charters and certificates. The meeting minutes reflect the organization's activities, community service projects, membership, and communications with the Ohio Grand Lodge. Many of the financial reports and membership records appear in the minutes ledgers. The records of the organization are fairly complete throughout its one hundred-year existence with the exception of a six-year gap (1979-1985) in the minutes record.

Ac. 5445
2 linear ft.

Minutes Ledgers

1897 - 1912
1912 - 1919
1919 - 1927
1927 - 1939
1939 - 1947
1947 - 1956
1956 -1969
1970- 1978

Box 1

1. Minutes: 1985
2. Minutes: 1986
3. Minutes: 1987
4. Minutes: 1988
5. Minutes: 1989
6. Minutes: 1990
7. Minutes: 1991
8. Minutes: 1992
9. Minutes: 1993
10. Minutes: 1994
11. Minutes: 1995
12. Minutes: 1996
13. Treasurer's Record: 1897-1929
14. Membership Roster: 1897-1910
15. Programs; History; Songbook; and Misc. Material
16. Tactical Instructions; Funeral Service Programs
17. Newspaper clippings re: Masonic activities


Charters and Certificates: See LH-Oversize

Knights Templar Medals belonging to Isaac M. Keeler: Transferred to Museum Collection.