DeMolay Centennial – First Executive Officer of Ohio

Our official, Ohio DeMolay lists includes a list of the Executive Officers of Ohio DeMolay. For those unfamiliar with DeMolay, the Executive Officer is the head adult leader in the state and represents the International Supreme Council. The first man listed is George Clark who began serving in 1926. He was not, however, the first!

In the November 1922 edition of The DeMolay Councilor, the following appears (with some errors I won’t go into here):

According to the announcement made last week by Frank S. Land, grand scribe
and national organizer, Charles Woodruff of Columbus, O., has been appointed
deputy DeMolay of the Scottish rites (SIC) in Ohio by Judge Alexander G.
Cochran of St. Louis. The appointment of Melvin M. Johnson as Massachusetts
deputy DeMolay also was announced.”

The next issue lists Charles Woodruff as a deputy member of the Grand Council.
(Thank you to Past State Master Councilor Pat King for this information).

Over the next two years, Woodruff’s name crops up in local newspapers as visiting the DeMolay chapters founded in the early years of the order in Ohio. Notes of a gathering in Toledo that would give birth to our Ohio State Council show him present and in charge.

One of the mysteries has been – what happened to Dad Woodruff? I came across the newspaper article clipped herethat answers the question. By 1930 Dad Woodruff had passed due, presumably, to his illness that led to his resignation in 1924.

He was a member of York Lodge # 563 and later a charter member of Kinsman Lodge # 617 which he served as Master in 1915. He was according to records of the Grand Lodge active in central Ohio Masonic activities for much of the late 19-teens’ and into the early 20’s. What else he may have done Masonically is not recorded in anything I have found.

I have been working on his history and will have more in next week’s post about the history of the Grand Lodge of Ohio’s position on DeMolay (I did a presentation on this at the recent Ohio Allied Masonic Degrees Ingathering in Columbus).


One of the lingering questions is… what happened between 1924 when Dad Woodruff resigned and 1926 when Dad George Clark took the helm?

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DeMolay Centennial – First Ohio State Master Councilor

I am REALLY  behind already on my weekly DeMolay Centennial posts… I have a couple that are still drafts and need to get posted.  Here’s the first.

With the Ohio DeMolay Conclave recently concluded, Conclave (what DeMolays call their annual statewide meeting) is on my mind. One of the highlights of this gathering is the installation of the State Master Councilor. What about those who served in those early years of DeMolay here in Ohio (when DeMolay itself was only a few years old).

The second State Master Councilor of Ohio was Gordon Scherer from Cincinnati. Brother Scherer was a well-known Cincinnati politician who served in the U.S. House of Representatives starting in the 1950’s. But what about the first one? His name appears on the list of State Master Councilors but what do we know about him? I searched through newspaper archives and genealogical sites to piece together a little bit on our first Ohio State Master Councilor.

His given name was Adelbert W. Savage. The 1910 Census shows him as the youngest of four brothers living in Elyria with their parents George and Martha.  His mother died in 1917 when Brother Dell was only 10 years old. Brother Dell Savage was from Elyria, Ohio, and served as State Master Councilor for 1925-1926. Hailing from Elyria, he was a member of David J. Nye Chapter.  A search of period newspapers reveals his name and that second Conclave held at Indian Lake on Orchard Island. The first was held in Elyria in 1925.

Searching for his name in newspapers pops up several DeMolay references! The March 31, 1926, Lima News and Times-Democrat reports him present in Kenton, Ohio, for the initiation of 20 new members into Kenton Chapter.

Dell was clearly a leader in his high school. A yearbook from 1923 has him attending a statewide YMCA leadership conference with other boys from his school. The local newspaper in 1924 has an article by him about the high school football team. in 1930 he is still in Elyria and is listed in the census as a student.

In 193

He married Loraine Davis on Christmas Day in 1945, probably on his return from the Second World War. He was a major in the United States Army during the war, serving in the Transportation Corps.  His obituary in the Elyria newspaper says he had lived in both Washington. D.C., and Elyria until moving to Florida in 1957. He died in Florida in 1969. His obituary says he was active in his local Presbyterian Church where he had been an elder.

I would love to learn more about this first leader of Ohio DeMolay. Hopefully at some point there will be an update to this post that I can share.





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