James Mellen Gleason – Knights Templar

James Mellon Gleason

  • 1876

    Second Assistant Guard

    1876-1877 •
    Boston Commandery, Boston, Massachusetts

  • 1878

    Third Guard

    1877-1879 •
    Boston Commandery, Boston, Massachusetts

  • 1879

    Junior Warden

    1879-1881 •
    Boston Commandery, Boston, Massachusetts

  • 1881

    Senior Warden

    1881-1883 •
    Boston Commandery, Boston, Massachusetts

  • 1883

    Captain General

    1883-1886 •
    Boston Commandery, Boston, Massachusetts

  • 1886


    1886-1888 •
    Boston Commandery, Boston, Massachusetts

  • 1888

    Eminent Commander

    1888-1890 •
    Boston Commandery, Boston, Massachusetts

  • 1891


    1891-1898 •
    Boston Commandery, Boston, Massachusetts



The Guards shall challenge with spirit, examine with
caution, admonish with candor, relieve with alacrity,
protect with fidelity, and valiantly defend their
respective posts.


The Treasurer shall demand and collect all the funds
from the Recorder at each conclave, give his receipt
for the same, pay all demands against the Commandery,
when duly approved hy the Standing Committee on Finance,
and keep a correct account of all receipts and disbursements,
He shall deliver to his successor in office, immediately after
the election and installation of his successor, all the property
of the Commandery remaining in his possession.


The Wardens shall prepare the candidates, accompany them
through the ceremonies, and introduce them into the Commandery.


The Captain-General shall proclaim the orders of the Eminent Commander,
assist him in council, and, in the absence of the Eminent
Commander and Generalissimo, preside over the Commandery.


The Generalissimo shall assist the Eminent Commander in the various
duties of his office ; receive his orders on all occasions, and see
them duly executed ; and, in his alsence, preside over the Commandery.


It shall be the duty of the Eminent Commander to convene regular and special
conclaves of the Commandery ; to preside, when present, at all such conclaves ;
to instruct his officers and the members generally in the mysteries
of the Orders ; to dispense justice, reward merit, encourage truth, and diffuse
the sublime principles of universal benevolence.


From Proceedings, Page 1918-271, Grand Master’s Address:


I exceedingly regret to be obliged to announce the decease of R.W. Brother James M. Gleason who passed from us on Tuesday, October 15, 1918.
He became a member of this Grand Lodge in December, 1878, and was elected to Permanent Membership in 1887. For more than thirty years he cherished
a deep interest in this Grand Body. Always present at the Quarterly Communications, always willing to serve in any capacity, prompt and efficient in
every duty, wise and sympathetic in every case of want or distress – such was Brother Gleason, whose cordial greeting and cheerful disposition we shall
greatly miss. His work was well done, his years full of activity, and his life crowned with charity and good will.

From Proceedings, Page 1918-491:

R. W. James Mellen Gleason, son of Josiah, Jr. and Susan Reed Morse Gleason, was born at Wardsboro, Vermont, October 6, 1833. He received his education in
the public and private schools in his native town, at Springfield Wesleyan Seminary, Springfield, Vermont, and at French’s Commercial College, Boston, Mass.
He had taught school in Vermont four terms, probably the greater part of a year, when at twenty-three, in common with so many other New England country boys, he
gravitated to Boston for his life work. Here he was a bookkeeper for seven years, and of the next seven years a hotel proprietor for three years. On March 1, 1870,
he became Cashier of the John Hancock Mutual Life Insurance Company, filling that position more than twenty-four years, when he became Treasurer, and served in that
position until his retirement from business in 1911.

His genealogical record shows him to be in the eighth generation from Thomas Gleason, of Sulgrave, Northamptonshire, England, who came to this country about 1632. It
would be impossible to select a characteristic of our Brother which would apply singly to his many-sided life. He was an “all-round” good man, and viewed from any
point measured up to the full stature of manliness. He was genial and wholesome to meet, faithful to every trust and to his friends, loyal to his country, his home, and
to the Masonic Fraternity of which he was an honored member, charitable beyond anything we shall ever know, a liberal contributor to any cause which merited his attention
and sympathy. As a memorial to his father and mother he caused to be erected in his native town a town hall which is said to have cost fifty thousand dollars. He was not
given to discussing his gifts even with his close friends, and it is therefore impossible to record his benefactors.

He enjoyed the society of his friends, as is evident by the following list of clubs and societies of which he was a member, which also indicates the diversity of his inclinations.

New England Historic Genealogical Society
Boston Art Club
Appalachian Mountain Club
Bostonian Society
Young Men’s Christian Union
Vermont Association of Boston
Vermont Veterans Association of Boston and Vicinity, Honorary Member
Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company, Sergeant one year
Knights of Rome and Red Cross of Constantine
Edward W. Kinsley Post No. 113, G.A.R., Associate Member
Algonquin Club
Boston City Club
Middlesex Club
Massachusetts’s Republican Club
Siloam Lodge, No. 2, I.O.O.F.

But with all his associations and connections there is no doubt his membership in the Masonic Fraternity rested nearest his heart and claimed and received his most intense devotion.
In this he displayed the most untiring and efficient service as member of committee, or as a subordinate or presiding officer, without doubt obtaining more satisfaction from this
connection than from any other outside his business.

The following will indicate his activities in the various Masonic organizations. He received the Master Mason degree in Joseph Warren Lodge February 25, 1868, and membership March 24, 1868.
He was respectively Junior Deacon, Senior Deacon, Junior Warden, Senior Warden, and Worshipful Master two years, 1877-1879. He was Treasurer of his Lodge twenty-five years, 1880-1905, when
he was elected a Trustee, which office he held until his death.

In Grand Lodge he served as Grand Pursuivant, 1881 and 1882; Grand Lecturer, 1884 to 1887 inclusive; a member of the Auditing Committee 1878 to 1880 inclusive, the last two years Chairman
of the Committee; Chairman of the Committee on Returns 1880 to 1888, to which Committee he was later reappointed, being its Chairman at the time of his death; member of the Committee on Charters and By-Laws 1903-1907, and Senior Grand Warden in 1888. He was a member of the Worshipful Masters’ Association of Boston, and one of the organizers of the District Deputy Grand Masters Association of which he continued an active and honored member.

He received the Royal Arch Degree in Saint Andrew’s Chapter January 20, 18n. serving as Chaplain two years, 1884-85. He received the Super-Excellent Degree in Boston Council Royal and
Select Masters May 28, 1871, serving as Recorder seven years from 1873. He received the Order of the Temple in Boston Commandery No. 2, Knights Templars, November 20, 1872, when he served as Assistant Guard, Junior Warden, Senior Warden, Captain General, Generalissimo, and Eminent Commander. In Grand Commandery he served on the Committee on Ritual in 1884 and as Grand Lecturer
in 1890.

He received the Grades in Boston Lodge of Perfection, Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite, and served two years as Secretary. He became a member of Giles F. Yates Council of Princes of Jerusalem October 6, 1871, Mount Olivet Chapter of Rose Croix October 20, 1871, and Massachusetts Consistory Sublime Princes of the Royal Secret November 3, 1871. He received the thirty-third degree
and was enrolled an Honorary Member of the Supreme Council, Northern Masonic Jurisdiction, September 21, 1897. He received the Royal Order of Scotland September 19, 1898.

He died October 15, 1918. Funeral services were held at the Second Unitarian Meeting House, Coolidge Corner, October 20, 1918. Rev. Dr. Van Ness and Rev. Dr. Hamilton, Grand Secretary of the Grand Lodge, officiating. In keeping with the well-known desires of our Brother, the service was of the simplest character, only Boston Commandery being represented officially by a guard of
honor. After the ceremonies the remains were conveyed to Wardsboro, Vermont, for interment.

So passes a good man and a good Mason, one who “Iived respected and dies regretted.”

Signed by the Committee,
Dana J. Flanders
Daniel W. Lawrence, Senior Permanent Member of the Grand Lodge,
Leonard B. Nichols.