27 November 2013

Quick Update and Happy Thanksgiving!

It's been over a week since my last post on researching fraternal societies, and I really was hoping to avoid that kind of time delay. 

My goal is to post at least once a week, and I missed the mark this time, didn't I? 

So, here is a quick update for ya'll on where I stand with my ongoing investigation into the fraternal life of Mortimer Lawrence. 

See how the box is empty? 

Yep, I was really hoping there would be some text there... but alas, there is not. 

These are the research goals I established for myself: 

  1. Contact the El Jebel Shriners and the Masonic Lodge of Denver to inquire on any available information on Mortimer Lawrence. 
  2. Research his Army unit from the Civil War to learn of the possibility of his involvement in the G.A.R. 
  3. Contact the college, if possible, in Ohio to determine if any records still exist. There may be some background work required, in order to determine what happened to the institution. 
  4. Search newspapers from Cleveland to see if I can find him listed as a member of a lodge.
  5. We have contacted the Ohio Farmer in the past, but never with this intent. My inquiry here would be specifically to see if they ever published information on local lodges. 
  6. Our family collection does include several letters from Mortimer, to his niece, Carrie Brown. Those are just begging to be transcribed and investigated in detail. They may or may not include specific mention of his fraternal activities, but I am sure they do include other information that will be helpful to this particular facet of his life. 

I did email the El Jebel Shriners, and got a simply reply back: we'll work on it, but its going to take some time. I took a quick dive into trying to connect the Ohio Farmer with fraternal organizations, but wasn't able to come up with anything. This was in the form of searching on Google, so I still need to actually directly contact them. 

The big time consumer was reading through all the letters that belonged to Carrie Brown. There is simply a great deal of material there, and I have now read or re-read about half of them. So far, nothing has led to any new clues about Mortimer's fraternal involvement, however, I have been able to add to his timeline a bit. I have more specific data now that indicates exactly when he was in what area of the country, and have recorded that in retirement, he traveled quite a bit. Perhaps there are records of him attending Masonic meetings in other states as a guest? It is worth pursuing as I progress through this process. 

Ultimately, I learned a little tiny bit this week, so I guess my box should not be totally empty... and all information is good information. I'll take these little nuggets and eventually make a story out of the collective. 

To all of you, Happy Thanksgiving!  I hope you have a wonderful holiday. I am so thankful for those that read through this blog and for the comments you contribute. Your ideas and feedback are truly appreciated by this writer. 

This year, I am especially grateful for my Mom.