ABOUT OUR LODGE
A Short History of Oliver H. Perry Masonic Lodge and Biography of Ira Dutcher
Business Man and first Worshipful Master of Oliver H. Perry and Oak Harbor Lodges
Oliver H. Perry Masonic Lodge No. 341 F&AM
Oliver H. Perry No. 341 F&AM was established in 1862 when the Most Worshipful Grand Master of Ohio, George Rex, issued a Dispensation authorizing the Freemasons of Port Clinton to form a legal lodge of Free and Accepted Masons. On March 6, 1862 the charter members, along with members of Sandusky Science Lodge No. 50, Bellevue Lodge No. 273, and Detroit Lodge No. 2, held the first meeting at Oliver H. Perry for the purpose of appointing the officers and filling the stations of the lodge. The first officers were Ira Dutcher, Master, Eli Reynolds, Senior Warden, and James Newcomer, Junior Warden. The officers then took their positions and on March 19, 1862 began work when William Cole, who was an Entered Apprentice at Fort Stephenson Lodge No. 225 in Fremont, was passed to the degree of Fellowcraft. At the annual meeting of the Grand Lodge of Ohio on October the 21st of the same year Oliver H. Perry was granted a charter and designated the serial number of 341. Originally a plot of land was designated for a lodge in Port Clinton by Ezekiel Haines in 1828. However, by the time the lodge was formed in 1862 the land had reverted to the owner. The first lodge meetings were held in the American House which was a part of the Lake House Hotel. In 1866 the lodge moved to the northwest corner of Perry and Madison. Then in 1875 due to rapid growth the lodge moved the southeast corner of Madison and Second. In 1895 the lodge moved to the the corner of Perry and Madison where it stayed until 2008 when the Lodge was moved to its present location at 118 Monroe Street.
Information for the history of Oliver H. Perry Lodge was
provided by the News Herald, Monday, March 3, 1975 edition.
Edited by Hayward Evans
Ira S. Dutcher first Master of
Oliver H. Perry No. 341 and Local Business Man
Leonard T. Evans, P.M.
A Biography of Ira. S. Dutcher
Ira S. Dutcher, a prominent citizen of
On July 4, 1838 he married Mary Ann Veeder (who was of Scotch, English
and Dutch decent) and set up housekeeping in Oswego, New York and for 13 years
he worked building elevators and mills on the Oswego River.
In 1852 Ira was sent for, to
build an elevator and install
machinery in mills in
In 1855 he was hired by a Mr. J. B. James from
Dutcher had opened a general store in
This is the point where many sources conflict on times and names.
One source states that in Port
Clinton he formed a mercantile firm partnership with John Jenney under the name
of “Dutcher & Jenney” and also took jobs at various locations in his mechanical
trade at the same time.
Another source states that he
remained in this venture for four years and sold out in 1863.
Still another source states that
Dutcher took in a partnership with a Barney Jacobs, a former employee, who,
after returning from duty with the 169th
Ohio Volunteer Infantry (likely in 1864 or 1865 at the end of the Civil War as
he had only enlisted in 1864) and shortly thereafter bought out Ira’s interest
in the business.
Barney then successfully ran the
business under his own name.
This store was reportedly located
a few doors west of the ‘Buggy Company’s Corner’ at Perry and Madison Streets.
Also, the newly founded “Ottawa
Democrat” (photo copies attached),
had listed in their ads on Aug. 15, 1862 and Nov. 28, 1862,
an advertisement of the P. P. Peck
& Co. of Port Clinton, showing Ira S. Dutcher as “Agent” (only 3 columns to the
right of “local and miscellaneous” column, stating the meetings of Oliver H.
Perry Lodge U.D. and Oliver H. Perry Lodge, No. 341 and signed Ira S. Dutcher,
Then another paper, the “Ottawa
started publication in the ‘brick
building’ (the old Lake Hotel) on
In observing the notices for Oliver H. Perry Lodge in the attached photo
copies of the Ottawa County Democrat, you will notice that on
The Dutcher's moved back to
In 1874 -1875 the Dutcher's built a new house on the property and called
After Ira’s death, the new house was occupied by his 2nd
daughter and her husband, Mr. & Mrs. J. A. Davey who then cared for Ira’s aging
The Dutcher's had a total of eight
children, the two older daughters, Mrs. N. A. Hadden and Mrs. J. A. Davey lived
Ira Dutcher’s political affiliation was the Whig Party originally, and in his first election, he voted for William Henry Harrison for President in 1836. Later he affiliated with the Republican Party and was active in the local political scene and acted as Catawba Island Township Treasurer and later Township Clerk and School Director.
In 1868 Ira became a member of the
On the morning of January 25th 1886 Ira S. Dutcher awoke with his usual composure and feeling in normal good health, but about 10 A. M., while sitting with his wife by the stove, he grasped his chest and said, ”I don’t know what is the matter with me”, and with that he passed to the Celestial Lodge Above at 71 years, 10 months and 12 days. Worshipful Brother Ira S. Dutcher’s funeral services were from his home and he was conveyed and buried at the Catawba Island Cemetery on January 27th 1886 by his many Brethren of Oliver H. Perry Lodge, No. 341 “who ‘came in body’ to do honor to their deceased Brother.
On this date of October 17th, 2007 and at 6:30 P.M., prior to the meeting of the evening, the Brethren of Oliver H. Perry Lodge performed a Memorial Service at the grave of Worshipful Brother Ira S. Dutcher in memory of all our Past Masters who have traveled the road to that “undiscovered country and that house not built with hands, eternal in the heavens”.