Thursday, January 21, 2010

Treasure Chest Thursday--Charles Stark Masonic Book

     This little blue Masonic booklet belonged to my maternal great grandfather, Charles Stark. Like many of the Stark/Frederick treasurers that have come into my possession, this was in a box of items from my maternal grandmother, Martha Marie Frederick Stark's, estate. When I first found the book, I only looked at the face value of old book. As I began to dig into my family genealogy, particularly the Stark family, it began to reveal some long forgotten or perhaps never known, secrets.

     Opening the book to it's cover pages, on the right hand top, I have the actual signature of my great grandfather, deceased since 1895. It also lists his address at 6 Fayette, Pittsburgh, probably at the time he joined this Masonic group in 1874. I have not figured out what is written on the left hand top of the page. However, on the bottom are dates from the 1860's--the Civil War era. He was a soldier, enlisted in the union cause at Wheeling, (West) Virginia. His service rightly deserves it's own blog, which I have yet to write. For now, it is suffice to say, that he served. From his pension file his service was:

-May 15, 1861 mustered into the with the 2nd Regiment of the Virginia Infantry. 

-January 4, 1864 mustered out of the 2nd regiment of the Virginia Infantry.

 -March 5, 1864 he re-mustered as a veteran volunteer in Company D, 5th West Virginia Cavalry. This Company became Company H, 5th West Virginia Calvary during the summer of 1864. 

-January, 1865 Charles reenlisted in the New Company H, 6th West Virginia Calvary. 

-May 22, 1866 mustered out at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.

     Blue from the covers has bled onto many of the pages due to water damage. My great grandfather's name is listed on the top page at the bottom--the last name. He became a member of the Allegheny Lodge # 223 A. Y. M., Allegheny City, Pennsylvania, on April 27, 1874 and was active until his death in 1895.
1874 Map of Allegheny City
Allegheny County, Pennsylvania
Diamond Square

1874 Pittsburgh City Directory

        Allegheny Lodge 223 met on the second Monday of each month in the Masonic Hall Diamond Square, Allegheny City until 1895.

     According to Charles obituary, Masonic Lodge 223 assisted in payments for the funeral.

Charles Stark featured on other Blogs on Flipside: 

Updated April 4, 2021

© 2010, copyright Linda Hughes Hiser


  1. What a treasure to have this book.

  2. That is very cool Linda. I can't figure out what it says either. Could it be the name of the particular Masonic group he belonged to? Just guessing stuff here.

  3. Yes, indeed a treasure! What I would give to have my g-g grandfather's Sons of Temperance book, assuming that he had one --- which with all of their ritual,password, handshakes, and signs, I am sure they did. You are a lucky gal!

  4. How cool to have his signature and all this information. Thanks for sharing your family treasure.

  5. I am awesomized. How is that for a new word. How wonderful to be the owner of such a treasure!
    Was he a member of the GAR too?
    Wonderful gifts that our ancestors leave us.

    BTW I have, in appreciation, for your encouraging words have given you an award...A Blogger's Best Friend Award...The badge is at this address:

    Instruction are on my blog post.

  6. A.Y.M. = Ancient York Masons, from the Old Grand Lodge of York in York England.

  7. they sell these books on ebay for a really cheap price! great quality! you should all check it out!