Argo-Summit Lodge

In the fall of 1920, the idea of starting a Masonic Lodge in Argo and Summit was first conceive by Bro. Wilbur Woodard, who was able to interest enough brother Masons residing in Summit to occupy the various chairs, and he conducted a little school of instruction in the rear room of the village drug store. Meetings of this kind were held until the spring of 1921. The enthusiasm of some of these pioneers subsided during the winter, but Bro. Woodard persisted in his efforts and after a while conducted the meetings in the basement of his home.

The seed was thus sown for future developments. After the various brother, Masons in the two communities had endeavored to secure some organization. A meeting was called and notices sent to all the Master Masons ion Argo and Summit for the purpose of organizing a Masonic Club as the forerunner of a regularly constituted lodge.

The first meeting was called and held at the Knights of Columbus Hall in Argo on October 10, 1923, there being forty-four Master Masons present. Bro Walter W.H. Schwedler was elected chairman, and Bro. Chas. L. Geneson was elected secretary. The organization was called the Acacia Club.

Regular meetings were held thereafter in the basement of the Congregational Church of Argo. The club continued to hold these meetings, which were social in their nature. Various brothers started to perfect themselves in the work with a view to holding chairs in the contemplated lodge. In the meantime, the condition of Bro. Woodard’s health compelled him to withdraw from actual participations in the work.

The perseverance and splendid application of the “I WILL” spirit manifested by a few brothers to learn and perfect themselves in the preparatory work finally resulted in the belief that they were capable of forming a lodge, and they proceeded to redouble their efforts with aid of R.W. Bro. Harry J. Lord, D.G.M., and Bro. Roscoe C. Clark, D.G.L. At this time, Bro. J. Bishop was elected president of the Club, the organization having in mind making him their first Master.

A petition for dispensation, recommended by LaGrange Lodge, No. 770, Riverside Lodge, No. 862, and Berwyn Lodge, No. 839 was filed with Grand Lodge of Illinois, and the new Argo-Summit Lodge was instituted on July 14, 1925. The first meeting was held in the new lodge hall on Archer Avenue in Argo on August 4, 1925. The first candidate was raised to the sublime degree of Master Mason on August 25, 1925, and the lodge was constituted on November 16, 1925 as Argo-Summit Lodge, No. 1133.

In the fall of 1994, the Lodge Master, W. B. Floyd Burbridge employed the Junior Steward Gary D. Carter to form a committee to replace the lodge aprons. The committee of one soon was three with Nick Caprio and L.J. “Larry” Von Arb. The first fundraiser in may years was planned and was a great success, with the help of all members. The committee of one was renamed The Cornerstone Club. The Cornerstone Club continued to run fundraisers until they had saved enough money to approach the lodge member with the plant to move to a newer building. After four years and three plans to move failed, Setki “Sam” Dardovski joined the team. The members passed the hat to raise money to put down on the building at 6039 South Archer Road: Summit, Illinois. In the fall of 1999, W. M. Sam Dardovski closed the lodge at 6222 South Archer Road and reopened at the new lodge at 6039 South Archer Road. The move was made after a unanimous vote at lodge and without the use of lodge funds.

The last speech made at the final meeting at 6222 South Archer Road, November 1999:

“Now gentlemen let the word go out far and wide to friends and foes alike. The most famous Masons are no lost in history. The famous Masons are here and now, they are the lodge members that have accomplished this move. They are the brethren that see a wrong and unite to make it right. They are they men here tonight that can best work together and get along. They are all the Brethren of Argo-Summit Lodge, No. 1133 A.F. & A.M. So my brethren don’t dream of and brag on the heroes in the past. If you want to see a famous Mason come to lodge and help. You won’t just see one you will become one”!