Nathan Scofield - Masonic biography
Posted By: S. Ferrall - IAGenWeb volunteer
Date: 6/12/2011 at 07:00:33
Nathan Scofield, of Strawberry Point, one of the oldest Masons in Iowa, and probably the oldest member of the grand lodge in point of membership now living, recently returned from Burlington, where he attended the sessions of the grand lodge. To Mr. Scofield's lodge record is attached a bit of history which will prove of interest to members of the Masonic fraternity over the state, especially in eastern Iowa, where he is known by nearly every member of the great order.
Mr. Nathan Scofield was born in Essex county, New York, Nov. 6, 1827. He was made a Mason in Constellation lodge No. 67, at Colesburg, Iowa, Nov. 25, 1854, while that lodge was working under dispensation. He became a charter member of Strawberry lodge No. 130, at Strawberry Point, Iowa, Nov. 14, 1857, and was the first senior deacon of the local lodge. He attended the session of the grand lodge, held in Des Moines in 1858, when tere were no railroads leading to that city, and the delegates traveled there by means of the stage coach. It was a very wet season and during the sessions there was so much rain that the roads became impassible and Mr. Scofield was obliged to return home by boat, down the Des Moines river to Keokuk and then up the Mississippi to Dubuque, and from Dubuque to Manchester over the Illinois Central railroad, which had just been built.
In 1859 he represented his lodge at the grand lodge in Davenport, and in 1860 was a delegate to the grand lodge in Burlington. The trip to Burlington was made by boat from Dubuque, and the boat was tied at the wharf Sunday afternoon during that memorable cyclone which destroyed the village of Comanche, only a few miles distant. After the storm the boat proceeded to Burlington, but did not stop at Comanche, and not until they reached Burlington did the passengers hear of the distruction so near them while they were at Clinton. The session of 1860 was the last grand lodge attended by the late Oliver Cook, the first grand master of Iowa Masonry, and Mr. Scofield is undoubtedly the only Iowa Mason now living who has sat in grand lodge with every past grand master of the state. There are few if any Masons living today, who have attended more sessions of the grand lodge of the state than Mr. Scofield.
He is the only surviving charter member of Strawberry Point lodge, and still retains a keen interest in its work, notwithstanding his advanced age, being a regular attendant at all the lodge meetings, and assists in conferring the degrees. On the 80th anniversary of his birth, Mishna lodge, No. 565, at Pocahontas, planned a surprise and presented him with a gold headed cane as a mark of their regard for him.
~Oelwein Register, July 3, 1912
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