1. Past Presidents of the
N.S.G.W., in districts too remote from San Francisco to enable them to
attend our sessions, are invited to form themselves into affiliated Assemblies,
under the following conditions:
2. That this assembly initiate them by administering the ritual, and furnish them copies thereof, and assist them in securing suitable paraphernalia.
3. That all branches be required to use the same password and ritual as, and paraphernalia similar to, the parent Assembly.
4. That all branches receive and retain the dues, fines and assessments of their own members.
5. That, until such time as a sufficient number of Branch Assemblies shall be instituted to require some other plan (for the sake of uniformity), such affiliated Assemblies be required to furnish this Assembly a copy of their roll of membership and of the names of all candidates for initiation; that their By-Laws and Rules be subject to approval by the parent Assembly; that this Assembly hold an annual session, at which the annual password will be chosen and all matters of Ritual, By-Laws, Rules, etc., passed upon; that at such annual session the members of the affiliated Assemblies shall be entitled to all the rights of members of this Assembly.
6. That no affiliated Assembly be organized with a membership of less than twenty-five.
7. That affiliated Assemblies be instituted only by this Assembly and not by any affiliated Assembly.
8. That the Assembly to be instituted pay all the expense of an initiating team from this Assembly for the purposes of institution.
9. That no person, having been suspended or expelled from one Assembly, shall be eligible to membership in another Assembly without the consent of the Assembly or suspending or expelling him, or without the consent of this Assembly in annual session.
10. That no person now or hereafter to become a member of one Assembly shall be eligible to membership in another Assembly without first paying all fines, dues and assessments due from him to the Assembly which he leaves.
As far as can be ascertained the first branch assembly was San Jose No. 2, instituted between June 13, 1913 and March 18, 1914 *24 East Bay Assembly No. 3 followed on the latter date and Southern Counties Assembly No. 4 on June 20, 1916. Thereafter no assemblies were instituted for five years. On August 13, 1915, Frank B. Bonivert, Governor of San Francisco Assembly, announced that he would institute a new assembly on the 23rd of that month but the records are silent as to where, and no new assembly in fact was instituted. Later it was announced that a new assembly would be instituted at Livermore, but this did not materialize and a month after this the association determined that past presidents living within a radius of fifty miles of San Francisco should join San Francisco Assembly. On April 6, 1917 the United States entered World War I, and for the next two years the time necessarily was not ripe for fraternal expansion. As a matter of fact, no assembly was instituted until April 29, 1921, when Marin No. 5 came into being.
*24 The only evidence on this subject is that which is to be found in the minutes of San Francisco Assembly, and these do not always offer complete information. The files of the Grizzly Bear Magazine are helpful but in every case did not give coverage.
On January 9, 1915, James F. Stanley of San Francisco Assembly No. 1, was appointed District Deputy Governor for the purpose of supervising assemblies No. 2 and 3. He appears to have continued in office indefinitely. The years brought a need for a closer coordination and on April 9, 1920, San Francisco Assembly appointed a committee of three “to meet Assemblies 2,3,4 and all other assemblies.” A month later, on May 14th, a report of the committee recommending the establishment of a State Assembly and appointing James F. Stanley as State Governor was approved. On May 8, 1920, a meeting of representatives of all assemblies was held. The following were in attendance:
From San Francisco
Assembly, James F. Stanley, Fred H. Jung, Henry E. Faure,
John G. Schroder, Harold T. Dupont and Thomas C. Conmy.
From East Bay No. 3, E.A. Theils, J.G. Beatty, J.J. Mulgrew.
From Southern Counties No. 4, William I. Traeger.
From San Jose No. 2, none.
At this meeting (May 8, 1920), it was decided to call the new body the State Assembly of Past Presidents. James F. Stanley was elected State Governor for the first year, and upon his shoulders fell the brunt of the organization work. On June 5th a resolution signed by James F. Stanley, Henry E. Faure, and F.H. Jung was passed by the San Francisco Assembly. This resolution transferred the powers of parenthood from the original assembly to the new state organization.
WHEREAS, San Francisco
Assembly No. 1 Past Presidents Association at its
regular meeting held on the 9th day of April 1920, voted to issue a call for
delegates from all of the Assemblies of the Past Presidents’ Association, for the
purpose of forming a governing body for all of the Assemblies of the Association
San Francisco Assembly No. 1 at the time of the call being the presiding
Assembly of the Past Presidents’ Association, N.S.G.W.,
WHEREAS, the above mentioned delegates met on the 8th day of May 1920,
and voted to form a governing body composed of three delegates from each
assembly of the Association; therefore be it,
RESOLVED, that all of the powers contained on pages 3, 4 and 5 of the
By-Laws of San Francisco Assembly No. 1, compiled in 1903, and such other
powers adopted later, for the purpose of governing the Branch Assemblies
of the Past Presidents’ Association, be and they hereby are transferred and
surrendered to the governing body, known at the present time as the State
Assembly of the Past Presidents Association, N.S.G.W., and be it.
FURTHER RESOLVED, that the above mentioned transfer and surrender
become effective immediately upon the adoption of this Resolution.
At the meeting of representatives from the several assemblies held in San Francisco on May 8, 1920, it was decided that there should be three state offices, namely, Governor, Vice Governor and Secretary, but for the first year the Governor, James F. Stanley, was to exercise the power of all three. In other words, having faith in his ability and integrity the representatives of the assemblies created the State Assembly, elected him Governor and then for the period of the term delegated all powers to him. James F. Stanley proved equal to the task. If any man ever was dedicated to the Order of the Native Sons of the Golden West, it was he. The legal basis upon which he was empowered to function during that first year placed the entire responsibility of organization and administration on him. He appointed committees, one of the most important of which was the Committee on the Constitution. He visited the assemblies, and organized one new one, Marin No. 5, which he instituted on April 29, 1921.
The First General Assembly.
The first session of the General Assembly is only one which has been held
in two parts. A preliminary meeting was held in San Francisco on
July 16, 1921. Assemblies, No. 1, No. 2, No. 3, and No. 5 were represented.
The Constitution drawn up in the committee was reviewed, and sent to the
several assemblies for ratification. The assembly then adjourned
to meet on August 27th to elect officers and receive the ratifications
of the constitution. On that date the latter had been ratified and
the following were elected to the offices provided therein:
Governor General.....................................James F. Stanley (No.1)
Junior Past Governor General...................Henry E. Faure (No. 1)
Lieutenant Governor General.......................J.G. Beaty (No. 3)
Secretary-Treasurer General...................John T. Regan (No. 1)
Marshal General.....................................Ray B. Felton (No. 3)
Guard General ...................................Virgil L. Orengo (No. 1)
Sentinel General......................................Emil Bender (No. 1)
Trustee General......................................Newman Gohn (No. 5)
Trustee General ..............................William I. Traeger (No. 4)
Trustee General.........................Chas. A. Thompson (No. 2)
The Constitution made all Past Governors General permanent member of the General Assembly and the election of Henry E. Faure to that office conferred the honor on him. He was one of the original members of the association and had been Financial Secretary to 1915.
The General Assembly has met annually since 1921. Its session is held on the third Saturday in October and the business usually is fourfold, namely, initiation; legislation, pertaining to its own laws; legislation, endorsing projects; and election of officers. All of the actions taken since the first session in 1921 through the thirty-eighth in 1958 cannot be listed here. A few may be mentioned, however. In 1924, it was ordered that each assembly appoint a Homeless Children’s Committee to further the work of the Homeless Children in those parts of the state where there are no parlors or where there is need for help in that regard. In 1925 the General Assembly endorsed the proposition of having Native Sons Patrols in various part of the state. In 1927 a recommendation was sent to the Grand Parlor suggesting that parlors not participating in the Admission Day celebration endeavor to conduct an observance in their own localities. In 1930 there was passed a resolution endorsing California History contests in high schools. At that session, too, each assembly was ordered to close its meeting with the pledge of allegiance. The three Grand Vice Presidents were made ex officio members of the General Assembly, provided they are affiliated with the association. In 1932 it was resolved to keep in the General Assembly a roster of members who served or who may serve as Grand Officers of the Native Sons of the Golden West. In 1933 the Homeless Children’s project was endorsed. In 1934 the association went on record as opposing division of the State of California. In 1937 a resolution vigorously denouncing communism was adopted. In 1938 the General Assembly pledged the association to the dissemination of Americanism. In this same year a petition to the Grand Parlor was voted which looked to the seating of the Governor General, Lieutenant Governor General and Director General in the Grand Parlor in reciprocity for the ex officio membership in the General Assembly accorded the Grand President and Grand Vice President. This petition was not presented to the Grand Parlor because of the procedure involved. In 1938 also the General Assembly condemned the single tax as impractical. In 1939 the honors of Past Governor General were conferred upon James P. Cronin who had resigned as Governor General in 1927 prior to the completion of his term. In 1940 the State Park Commission was requested to continue at the close of meetings of the General Assembly and subordinate assemblies. In 1941 a resolution, pledging faith in the decisions of the President of the United states during the international crisis, was adopted. This resolution was sponsored by Grand President Schnarr. In 1941 also ex officio membership in the General Assembly was conferred on the Junior Past Grand President, and the association sought recognition by the Grand Parlor. In 1943 all Past Grand Presidents holding membership in the Association were made members of the General Assembly. In 1944 the General Assembly recommended a “Yes” vote on State Proposition No. 15, which sought to strengthen the Alien Land Law. In 1950 permanent membership in the General Assembly was extended to John T. Regan, retiring after twenty-nine years as Secretary-Treasurer General. In 1953 the General Assembly went on record as opposing changing historical names, and advocated cleanliness in public parks. In 1954 the number of Trustees General was increased from three to five, and District Deputy Governor Generals made members of the General Assembly. In 1956 membership in the General Assembly was given to all Grand Officers who belonged to the Past Presidents Association.
Affiliation with General Assembly. The Constitution of the General Assembly was ratified by San Francisco Assembly No. 1, San Jose Assembly No. 2, East Bay Assembly No. 3 and Marin Assembly No. 5. It was not ratified by Southern Counties Assembly No. 4, and
That organization existed independently for a number of years, finally disbanding about 1928.
There was also an independent
Past Presidents’ Association in Sacramento. The minutes of San
Francisco Assembly for January 14, 1916, indicate that Past Presidents
of Sacramento were asking for information about the association and James
F. Stanley was instructed to answer their inquiry. When the General
Assembly was formed on May 8, 1920, a representative from Sacramento was
present. The minutes read:
Brother J.J. Monteverde of Sacramento County Past Presidents’ Association,
which is not an affiliated organization, was invited to sit with us. Brother
Monteverde was made acquainted with the aims, purposes and work of the Past
Presidents Association with the idea of having the Sacramento County Association
affiliate with the other assemblies. Brother Monteverde promised to use his
efforts to bring about such a union.
The Sacramento group failed to affiliate, however. June J. Longshore of Sacramento Parlor No. 3 and who in 1929 was the organizer and first Governor of General John A Sutter Assembly, No. 10, advises that the independent group was out of existence when he became a past president of this parlor in 1925. Little is known of its doings and no records appear to be available.
Under the rule of the General Assembly there have been in all sixteen subordinate assemblies of which eleven are in active existence. The subordinate units now will be discussed.
San Francisco Assembly No. 1. This assembly although established on January 27, 1900 took subordinate status on June 5, 1920. Since then the old assembly has continued in the traditions inherited from the founders. It steadfastly has adhered to the ritual exemplifying it in full for each candidate or groups of candidates. In some assemblies the exigencies of the situation have caused short form or abbreviated ceremonies to be used. San Francisco Assembly, also, consistently has met regularly as a lodge in a formal meeting place. Again the exigencies of the situation have forced some other assemblies to meet at the call of the chair, or at dinners. These words are not written in disparagement of some of the policies pursued by the newer assemblies. The fact that most of them are in fine shape is a tribute itself to the wisdom of the fraternal society, and it may be that modern conditions will compel all ledges radically to modify the modus operandi. Until the near future brings a clearly defined pattern it is well that the association have one assembly operating along traditional lines, while the aberrations from formality practiced by some of the others may be treated as experimentation. Since 1921 the Governors of San Francisco Assembly have been
1921 W.J. Daugherty
1923 Edward Bode
Henry Meyer Fred Bode
1922 George Strohmeir 1924 Virgil L. Orengo
Harry Howse Carl Prignitz
1925 Henry C. J. Toomey 1942 Lloyd Doering
E. Baumeister Normal Walker
1926 Harry A Sanford 1943 Victor De Ganna
W. L. Stobing Henry C. Storti
1927 A.J. Mazzini 1944 John J. Lewis
Gabriel A. Molin J. Emmett Chapman
1928 Fred T. Greenblatt 1945 Emmett P. Joh
Fred A. Schuler William J. Keane
1929 Ben A. Orengo 1946 William E. Hawley
Fred C. Wilhelm Lewis A. Geigerich
1930 Ellis A. Blackmann 1947 Dewey S. Mayerhoffer
J.F. Schwenger Matthew Calegari
1931 Fred Amark 1948 Garfield Torres
Henry F. Rickleffs Angelo Devincenzi
1932 J.H. Sylvester 1949 Arthur F. Hawley
Joseph E. Tracy Charles Y. Stanley
1933 Fred T. Kane 1950 James A. Bailey
John Kirrane Dr. Francis J. Colligan
1934 Anton L. Solari 1951 Charles M. Craig
Hubert J. Caveney
1935 Frank D. Martell 1952 Daniel J. Sheehan
Joseph E. Augustine Victor C. Faure
1936 Dr. L.A. Wener 1953 Jerome Lipman
Gustav Ritter George H. Cerasi
1937 James W. Brady 1954 Leo Travers
Raymond Conroy Al Cordes
1938 Armen Nishkian 1955 William Mancuso
Paul Pasquet Charles B. Herren
1939 Roy Bruneman 1956 Clarence A. Rossi
Raymond O’Neil William F. Harnett
1940 Peter T. Conmy 1957 Paul Curien
Louis J. Peter Emmett H. Marrujo
1941 Albert H. Schmidt 1958 Charles J. Knabenschuh
Albert Grosskeof Arthur Norstrom
The past governors of San Francisco Assembly constitute a group that has given much service both to the General Assembly and the Grand Parlor. Virgil Orengo, Armen Nishkian, John J. Lewis, Henry C. Storti, William Keane and Lewis A. Geigerich have served as Governors General, while Ben Orengo, Hubert Caveney, and Albert Schmidt have held General Assembly office. William Mancuse is now an officer of the General Assembly and will become Governor General in 1960. William P. Daugherty, (Grand Trustee 1918-19), George Cerasi (Grand Trustee 1958-59), Clarence Rossi (Grand Trustee 1955-58) and Emmett P. Joy (Grand Historian 1944-53; 1957-58 and Grand Trustee 1954-57) are former Grand Officers. John J. Lewis currently is serving his second term as Grand Trustee, Leo M. Travers is Grand First Vice President and will be Grand President, 1960-61, while Peter T. Conmy, as Past Grand President currently is Director of Historical Research.
San Jose Assembly No. 2. The organization of San Jose Assembly No. 2 constituted the first expansion of the Past Presidents Association. The exact date when this took place has not been determined because of the dearth of records. The formation of branch assemblies was possible as early as 1903, but it is unlikely that there was any expansion prior to 1906. A diligent search of the minutes of San Francisco Assembly for the period August 24, 1906 through March 18, 1914, the date of the institution of East Bay Assembly No. 3, brings to light only one reference concerning an assembly at San Jose. This was on June 13, 1913 when a committee “to inaugurate or institute as Past Presidents’ Association in San Jose” was authorized. It is very likely that the assembly was instituted shortly after that date but even the Grizzly Bear Magazine which usually carried new items concerning new assemblies is silent. The minutes for March 10, 1916 advise as follows, “Reports of Committees J.F. Stanley reports that San Jose Assembly No. 2, Past Presidents’ Association is about to be reorganized and Oakland Assembly No 3 is progressing favorably.”
The re-organization took place on April 30, 1916. *25 The ritual team from San Francisco Assembly initiated one hundred twenty-four candidates. The following were the reorganized charter officers: Governor, Charles A. Thompson; 1st Vice Governor, Jesse M. Waterman; 2nd Vice Governor, Walter L. Chrisman; 3rd Vice Governor, R. Shephard; Sergeant-at-arms, Leland S. Roll; Recording Secretary, Charles Deitz; Financial Secretary; J. Anthes; Treasurer J.J. Sassensath; Inside Sentinel, George M. Warren; Outside Sentinel, R.A. Knapp.
Heading the charter offices of San Jose Assembly is the name of Charles A. Thompson, who served as Grand President 1927-28, and was for many years City Judge of Santa Clara. Walter L. Chrisman, served three terms as a Grand Trustee.
Joseph Ganong of this assembly served as Governor General 1925-26. Interest lagged in the late twenties, especially after the depression began. San Jose Assembly No. 2 was dissolved by the General Assembly meeting in Oakland, October 21, 1933.
Santa Clara County Assembly No. 2 in October, 1937, Peninsula Assembly No. 15 was instituted for the past presidents of San Mateo and Santa Clara Counties. The assembly flourished for a few years, but declined during the war. In these years the membership shifted almost entirely to San Mateo County. In 1954 the Secretary-Treasurer General re-organized Peninsula Assembly for the past presidents of San Mateo County parlors and looked to the institution of a new assembly in Santa Clara County. This materialized on October 12, 1955 when Governor General John J. Lewis instituted Santa Clara County Assembly No. 2 *26 The charter officers were, Milton Moenning, Governor; William S. Burke, Junior Past Governor; Very Tucker, 1st Vice Governor;
*25 Data on reorganization
taken from Grizzly Bear Magazine 19:2, p. 26
*26 Organization meetings were held on April 15th and December 2, 1954.
Anthony Trigger, 2nd Vice
Governor, John Nelson, Jr.; 3rd Vice Governor; Sam Marinello, Marshal;
Frank Thomas, Secretary-Treasurer; John Russo, Inside Sentinel; Fred Simpson,
Outside Sentinel; and John Sullivan, Art Voelkers and Richard Castro,
The instituting officers were John J. Lewis, Governor General; William Keane, Junior Past Governor General, Peter T. Conmy, Secretary Treasurer General; and Robert W. Brazelton, Acting Marshal General. The new members were initiated by the team from San Francisco Assembly No. 1, consisting of Charles B. Herren, William Keane, William E. Hawley, William Harnett, Henry Meyer, Charles M. Craig and Charles Knabenshuh.
Among the charter officers should be noted the names of Milton G. Moenning and William S. Burke, who served three and four terms, respectively, as Grand Trustees of the Grand Parlor, and John Sullivan who served as Grand Parlor Committeeman.
East Bay Assembly No. 3. The second expansion of the Past Presidents’ Association was to the East Shore of San Francisco Bay where on March 18, 1914 to serve the past presidents of the parlors of Alameda and Contra Costa counties, East Bay Assembly No. 3 was instituted in Oakland. *27 The San Francisco past presidents met there in a special session and launched the new assembly which had a charter roll of one hundred and sixteen of whom seventy-two were present. The initiation was rendered by the following team, Chaplain, William Melander; Governor, William P. Garfield, 1st Vice Governor, John M. Glennan; 2nd Vice Governor Frank B. Bonivert; 3rd Vice Governor, Thomas C. Conmy, Sergeant-at-arms, Dan Q. Troy; Secretary, Philip Neuman; Inside Sentinel, A.Alvarez.
The instituting team was as follows: Chaplain, James F. Stanley; Governor, Frank B. Bonivert, lst Vice Governor, John Glennan; 2nd Vice Governor, Dan Q. Troy; 3rd Vice Governor, Thomas C. Conmy; Sergeant-at-arms, William Meander; Financial Secretary, William P. Garfield; Inside Sentinel, A. Alvarez.
The charter officers were installed by James F. Stanley and comprised the following: Governor, Harry G. Williams; Chaplain, James F. Hoey, lst Vice Governor, William G. Muntz; 2nd Vice Governor, Andrew Summers; 3rd Vice V=Governor, John Brennan; Recording Secretary James P. Barry; Financial Secretary, Lincoln G. Jackson;’ Sergeant at-arms William T. O’Connor; Inside Sentinel, W.J. DeBois; Outside Sentinel, A. Kihn; Trustees, Joseph R. Knowland; William J. Dolan and D.C. Dutton.
*27 The minutes of San Francisco Assembly for December 25, 1913, February 3rd and February 27, 1914, give preliminary accounts of the organizing process. On March 18th a special meeting was held in Oakland and data on the institution has been taken from the report. An account of the institution also may be found in Grizzly Bear Magazine 14:6 (April 1914), p. 4 supplement. A preliminary meeting had been held at a banquet on February 23rd. Harry G. Williams presided. The meeting was addressed by Grand President Monahan, Past Grand President Fitzgerald and W. H. L. Hynes and W. T. O’Connor (ibid; p. 20).
Among the first officers are noted several men who bear distinguished records both within and outside the order *28. Harry G. Williams was Grand President, 1922-23, and City Auditor of Oakland for many years prior to his death in 1941. James F. Hoey was Grand President 1920-21, and one time District Attorney of Contra Costa County. Joseph R. Knowland was Grand President, 1909-10; member of the legislature, 1898-1904; representative in Congress,. 1914 -1915.
Southern Counties Assembly
No. 4. Extension of the Past President’s Association to the Los Angeles
area, long desired but difficult of accomplishment, came in 1916.
In April of that year, the Grand Parlor met in Modesto and in connection
therewith on Wednesday evening, April 19th, San Francisco Assembly held
a special meeting at which thirty-three past presidents were initiated,
including a number from parlors in Los Angeles and Ventura Counties *29.
At the regular meeting of the assembly held in San Francisco on May 12th,
action was taken as follows:
Moved and seconded that money collected at Modesto be turned over to
Southern California Association when one was organized. Amended
by adding if formed within six months. Passed as amended.
At the July 14th meeting it was “moved, seconded and carried that Treasurer draw draft of $16 to Assembly No. 4, being money collected at initiation of brothers transferred to new assembly.”
Southern Counties Assembly No. 4 was instituted in Native Sons Hall, Los Angeles, on June 20, 1916 *30. Charles R. Thomas presided until officers were elected and installed. The charter officers were Governor, William I. Traeger; Chaplain, John T. Newell; lst Vice Governor, Eugene W. Biscailuz; 2nd Vice Governor, J.B. Coffey; 3rd Vice Governor, Peter H. Muller; Recording and Financial Secretary, Joshia F. Lyon; Sergeant-at-Arms, J.D. Taggart; Inside Sentinel, A. L. Cron; Outside Sentinel, Carl W. Grayson; Treasurer, Harry J. Leland; Trustees; Fred A. Stevenson; Charles R. Thomas and Harry G. Golsom. The following were appointed a committee to draw up By-Laws, J. D. Taggart, C. W. Grayson, J.B. Coffey, J.F. Lyon and F. A. Stevenson.
In 1921 when the General Assembly was formed Southern Counties Assembly No. 4, failed to affiliate. This assembly is not mentioned in the proceedings of the General Assembly after 1921. It continued to exist, however, and for a long time was listed monthly in the Native Sons of the Golden West Directory published in the Grizzly Bear Magazine.
*28 The minutes of the San
Francisco Assembly for March 27, 1914, indicate that Robert M. Fitzgerald,
Joseph R. Knowland, August Gerhard, and W. H. Dwyer were transferred to
the new East Bay Assembly No. 3.
*29 The minutes of the special meeting of April 19, 1916, show initiation of the following from Los Angeles area Parlors: La Fiesta No. 236, J.B. Coffee ; Santa Paula No. 191, H.W. Harwood; Los Angeles No. 45, A. L. Cron, J. T. Newell, E. W. Biscailuz, J. F. Lyon; Ramona No. 109, F. A. Stephenson, C. R. Thomas, H. G. Folsom, William Traeger, Harry Lelande, James D. Taggart; Cabrillo No. 114, J.H. Morrison; Corona No. 196, Peter H. Muller, Carl Grayson; Grizzly Bear No. 239, Edgar McFayden.
*30 Data Relative to institution found in Grizzly Bear Magazine 19:3 (July 1916), p. 18.
The last listing appeared in June 1928 at which time Walter E. Baskerville was Secretary. It is assumed that the assembly disbanded in the summer of 1928.
Among the charter officers of Southern Counties Assembly are noted a number of very eminent Native Sons. William I. Traeger was Grand President 1921-22, and later Sheriff of Los Angeles County and Representative in Congress, John T. Newell was Grand President 1930-31, Eugene W. Biscailuz retired in 1959 after service almost a quarter of a century as Sheriff of Los Angeles County. For many years a member of the Grand Parlor’s Board of Appeals, he is not (1959-60) Grand Historian of the Order.
Los Angeles County Assembly No. 4. In 1949 after Southern Counties Assembly No. 4 had been out of existence for over twenty years, there came into being, under rather unusual circumstances, Los Angeles Assembly No. 4. It appears that under date of August 2nd the Governor General was informed that petition had been signed by forty-two past presidents for a charter to operate as an assembly in Los Angeles County. The Governor General, according to Secretary-Treasurer General John T. Regan’s account, “granted a dispensation is provided in Section 2 of the Code of the Subordinate Assemblies,” *31
The Governor General designated
the Lieutenant Governor General to institute the assembly, on September
24, 1949, but he in turn requested Trustee General Dr. John A. Schwamm
to do so, and on the date above mentioned he performed this assignment.
In due time delegates were elected and credentials forwarded to the Secretary-Treasurer
General, certifying that there were forty-two members on the rolls.
The assembly, however, had merely a de facto existence for the following
provision of the law had not been followed,
Whenever twenty-five or more Past Presidents in good standing in the Native Sons of the Golden West shall petition for a charter to work as a subordinate Assembly of the General Assembly of the Past Presidents Association, the Governor General shall call for a note, either by mail or a special meeting of the Board of General Officers to act upon the same, with power to grant or deny the petition; provided that no charter shall be granted to any county where an assembly already exists. *32
As the assembly had been instituted and no charter granted, Secretary-Treasurer General Regan withheld the credentials of the delegates pending the General Assembly’s action on granting the charter. There was a considerable amount of opposition on the theory that Arrowhead Assembly No. 14, instituted in 1934, was drawing its membership from parlors in all parts of Southern California. The Grand President expressed the opinion that there was such a thing as fraternal jurisdiction
*31 See General Assembly,
Minutes 29th Session (1949), p. 3 and P. 9.
*32 Code of the Subordinate Assemblies, Part I, Chapter I, Section I.
and cited the decision of
Grand President Ruse and modified by the Board of Appeals wherein it was
The jurisdiction of a Subordinate parlor is not defined by the Constitution
By necessary inference, however, it embraces all contiguous territory which
is closer to the meeting place of the Parlor than to the meeting place of any
other Subordinate Parlor. *13
The jurisdiction of Los Angeles Assembly was not defined, however, and the charter was granted. A motion followed which passed successfully assigning to the new assembly No. 4.
For several years Los Angeles
County Assembly No. 4 carried on, recruiting its members largely from the
past presidents of certain parlors in southwestern Los Angeles County.
Thereafter it declined. No per capita was paid after August 20, 1955
and the assembly was not represented at the General Assembly. Reports
were not filed and on October 5, 1957, the General Assembly meeting at
Long Beach dissolved Los Angeles Assembly No4
The charter officers of this assembly were Walter Hopcraft, Governor; Junior Past Governor, Earl Farwell; 1st Vice Governor, Ray Cook; 2nd Vice Governor, A.R. Tarleton; 3rd Vice Governor, Lawrence Ames; Marshal, Russell Copley; Secretary Walter E. Zuckweiler; Treasurer, Stanley Sargent; Inside Sentinel, Ralph Hankinson; Outside Sentinel, Fred Smith; and Trustees, Stanley Norwalk, Roy Olmsted and William Rueter.
Among the charter members is noted the name of Edward H. Both, now Grand Second Vice President of the Order, and now member of Arrowhead Assembly No. 14. He will become Grand President in 1961.
Marin Assembly No. 5. This was the last assembly instituted by San Francisco Assembly No. 1. The officers were elected on April 11, 1921 and the assembly instituted and officers installed on April 29, 1921. The assembly was comprised of Past Presidents of the three parlors of Marin County, namely, Mt. Tamalpais No. 64 of San Rafael, Seapoint No. 158 of Sausalito and Nicasio No. 183 of Nicasio. The first officers were Governor Newman Cohn; lst Vice Governor, Harry Thomas; 2nd Vice Governor, Frank Rogers; 3rd Vice Governor, George Murray; Secretary, Harry B. Hack; Treasurer, E. Connell; Sergeant-at-Arms, Lewis A. Hughes; Chaplain, Frank Daily; and Trustees, William Strittmatter, Russ H. Warden, and J. R. Hogan. This assembly started with a charter list of twenty-seven, including two distinguished Past Presidents of Mt. Tamalpais Parlor, Hon. Thomas J. Lennon, Justice of the Supreme Court of California, and Hon. J. Emmett Hayden, long a member of the Board of Supervisors of the City and County of San Francisco. *34
*33 Grand Parlor, Proceedings,
24th Session 1901, P. 32, has discussion of Grand President Ruse in re
Woodland Parlor No. 30. The discussion as modified by the Board of
Appeals is on p. 265. p. 10.
*34 Data on Institution taken from Grizzly Bear Magazine, 28:5 (April 1921)
Marin Assembly flourished for a number of years but failed to rally from the depression. The assembly was dissolved on October 16, 1937 by the General Assembly meeting in Sacramento. A few of its remaining members transferred to San Francisco Assembly No. 1 and one of them, Louis J. Peter of Mt. Tamalpais Parlor No. 64 was its Governor in 1940.
Marin Assembly No. 5 Reorganized. On August 29, 1949, the writer, then Grand President of the Order instituted Fairfax Parlor No. 307 at Fairfax, Marin County. There were at this time three parlors in that county. Mt. Tamalpais No. 64 of San Rafael, instituted in 1885, Seapoint No. 158 of Sausalito instituted in 1890, and Nicasio No. 183 of Nicasio, instituted in 1892. One other parlor, Marin No. 112 of Tomales, had been out of existence since 1892. The birth of a new parlor having a charter membership of one hundred fifteen brought a new enthusiasm to the parlors of Marin. Among the newly initiated members of Fairfax Parlor was Raymond H. Shone, then Police Judge of the City of Fairfax. He caught the spirit of the Order immediately and his qualities of leadership soon won recognition. An early president of the new parlor, he was elected a Grand Trustee in 1952 and was elevated through the higher offices in succeeding years, servicing with great distinction as Grand President, 1958-59. It was not long before he saw the worth of the Past Presidents’ Association and on October 18, 1952 became a member of San Francisco Assembly No. 1, having the intention of effecting shortly thereafter the establishment of an assembly in Marin County. In this venture he as assisted ably by Arthur Hecht of Mt. Tamalpais, Parlor, who as a Deputy Grand President had worked on the institution of Fairfax Parlor.
The new Marin Assembly No. 5 was instituted in San Rafael on February 16, 1953 with a charter membership of thirty-six. The instituting officer was Edward T. Schnarr, Past Grand President, who acted under the direction of Dr. John A. Schwamm, Governor General, who supervised the ceremony. An initiatory team from San Francisco performed the ritual.
The charger officers of Marin Assembly were Arthur B. Hecht, Governor; Junior Past Governor, Raymond H. Shone; lst Vice Governor, D. Frank Monte; 2nd Vice Governor Henry Barboni; 3rd Vice Governor, Russell Striimatter; Recording Secretary, Marston J. Hecht; Financial Secretary-Treasurer, George P. Silveria; Marshal, Walter Mazza; Inside Sentinel, William Bemis; Outside Sentinel, Henry LaFranchi; Trustees, Joseph Avilla, Tony Faustine and Ally Pomi.
Fred H. Greely Assembly No. 6. On July 11, 1925, the fiftieth anniversary of the founding of the Native Sons of the Golden West, Governor General Virgil Orengo instituted in Marysville, Fred H. Greely Assembly No. 6. There were twenty-five names on the charter roll. In the institution of the assembly the Governor General was assisted by Director General James P. Cronin. The assembly was named after Fred H. Greely, Past Grand President and honored public servant of Yuba County. *35 The Charter officers were Governor, L. T. Sinnott; Junior Past Governor, Hon. E. P. McDaniel; lst Vice Governor, John P. Colford, 2nd Vice Governor, Seth Millington; 3rd Vice Governor, Harry A. Schroder; Marshal, O..H. Fuller; Recording Secretary, Barney J. Barry; Financial Secretary, Fred H. Greely; Inside Sentinel, W. H. Hibbard; Treasurer, Thomas J. O’Connor; Outside Sentinel, Charles E. Maloney; Trustees, J. Clarence Gray, James E. Oliver and W. H. Tregalis.
The membership of this assembly
was drawn from Past Presidents of the parlors in Yuba, Sutter, Glen, Colusa,
Butte, Nevada, Placer, Sierra, Shasta Tehema and Triinity Counties. *36
San Joaquin Assembly No. 7. On July 18, 1825, Governor General Orengo instituted in Stockton, San Joaquin Assembly No. 7. The new assembly drew its membership from the parlors of San Joaquin and Stanislaus Counties. The Governor General was assisted by James F. Stanley, Past Governor General; James P. Cronin, Director General; and John T. Regan, Secretary-Treasurer General. The charter officers were Governor Ray Dorcey; Junior Past Governor, A.. J. Turner; list Vice Governor, A. P. Krumb; 2nd Vice Governor, James Fitzgerald; 3rd Vice Governor, Roy Pognello; Secretary-Treasurer, W. A. Strong; Marshal, W. P. Rothenbush; and Inside Sentinel, Orlando Patter. *37
Fremont Assembly No. 8. The movement for a local Past Presidents’ assembly spread to the Central coast section in the summer of 1925 and resulted in the institution on August 22, 1925 of Fremont Assembly No. 8. A preliminary meeting was held on August 1st, at which James P. Cronin, Director General presided. *38 This assembly was to serve the interests of the past presidents of parlors located in Santa Cruz, Watsonville, Salinas, Holllister, Castroville and Monterey. The formal institution on August 22nd was in Foresters’ Hall, Watsonville. The following were the officers of institution and initiation, James P. Cronin, Director General; James F. Stanley, Past Governor General, Ray b. Felton, Past Governor General; William Dunlap, Guard General; Herbert D La Rosa, Trustee General; Richard M. Hamb, Grand Trustee; George Dethlefson, Grand Outside Sentinel; A. V. Mayrhoffer, Deputy Grand President; Ben Orengo, Sentinel General; and, Marvyn D. Cooney.
The charter officers of Fremont Assembly were C. J. Richardson, Governor; George Dethlefson, Junior Past Governor; R. M. Rountree, 1st Vice Governor; A. T. Sousa, 2nd Vice Governor; Monty Hellam, 3rd Vice Governor; J. E. Prendergast, Financial Secretary-Treasurer; George S. Tate,
*35 Fred H. Greely born July
5, 1856, was Grand Treasurer 1884-85 and Grand President 1885-86.
At one time he was District Attorney, and later until his death Auditor
and Recorder of Yuba County. He died August 28, 1934.
*36 Data on institution taken from Grizzly Bear Magazine 37 (August 1925), p. 36.
*37 Data on institution taken from Grizzly Bear Magazine 37 (September 1925) p.65.
*38 Data on institution taken from Watsonville Register and Pajaronian, July 20, 1925, 7-3 and August 24, 1925, 3-3
Recording Secretary; F. J. Scrivani, Marshal; L. P. Chavoya, Inside Sentinel; R. H. Martin, Outside Sentinel; Warren R. Porter, Amos Hutchings and P. Collins, Trustees.
Among the distinguished charter members was George G. Radcliffe, State Director of Finance, and a member of Watsonville Parlor, who traveled from Sacramento to be initiated. Among the charter officers are noted the names of George A. Dethlefson, Grand Outside Sentinel (1926-26) and Grand Inside Sentinel (1926-27) of the Grand Parlor, and Hon. Warren R. Porter of Watsonville who as Lieutenant Governor of California 1907-1911.
At the forthcoming General Assembly held in Oakland on October 17, 1925, Fremont Assembly was represented by George A. Dethlefson and P. Peterson. George Dethlefson was elected a Trustee General and re-elected in 1926 and 1927. On June 30, 1926, the membership of Fremont Assembly was twenty-eight. No per capita tax was paid after June 2, 1927, and no reports were filed thereafter. This condition persisted for several years. On October 15, 1932, the General Assembly meeting in Sacramento dissolved Fremont Assembly No. 8. A number of months later, Secretary-Treasurer General John T. Regan received a check for the cash in the treasury. There are no extant records showing the history of Fremont Assembly.
Sonoma County Assembly No. 9. This assembly was instituted in on January 19, 1929, by Governor General L. T. Sinnott. The ceremony took place in Santa Rosa and twenty-nine Past Presidents of Sonoma County parlors affiliated. The initiatory ceremonies were conducted by Fred Greenblatt, J. P. Colford, Ellis Blackman, Adolph Gudehus, James F. Stanley, Herbert De La Rosa, and J.J. Fransich. Charter officers included the following: Governor, Louis Basch; Junior Past Governor, George Peterson; lst Vice Governor, N. H. Arbini; 2nd Vice Governor, Henry Seegelkin; 3rd Vice Governor, J. L. Meeker; Marshal, John Seegelkin; Secretary, L. S. Lewis; Treasurer, John Hawkes; Inside Sentinel, Fred Cereghino; Outside Sentinel, Albert J. Kerner; Trustees, Louis Green, W. Anderson and J.P. Serres. *39
General John A. Sutter Assembly No. 10. This assembly was instituted by Governor General Sinnott on January 26, 1929 in Sacramento. The assembly draws its members from the parlors of Sacramento, Yolo, El Dorado, Amador and Calaveras counties. The initiatory team was composed of W. H. Hibbard, C.N. Miller, J. P. Colford, W. E. Tregalis, Elton Fitch, J. Clarence Gray and J.J. Bouquet. The charter officers were Governor, J. J. Longshore; Past Governor, Edward E. Reese; 1st Vice Governor, Walter Martin, 2nd Vice Governor, E. A. Keuckler; 3rd Vice Governor, Joseph Berry; Marshal, M. W. Longshore; Secretary, M. E. Greer; Treasurer, E. F. Mier; Inside Sentinel, C. C. Wackman; Outside Sentinel, A. H. Criss; Trustees, J. B. Miller, E. H. Kraus and E. F. Kennedy. *40 The charter membership was thirty-seven.
*39 Data on institution taken
from Grizzly Bear Magazine (March 1919), p. 28.
*40 Data on institution taken from Grizzly Bear Magazine (March 1919), p. 28
Napa-Solano Assembly No. 11. This assembly, made up of past presidents of the parlors of Napa and Solano counties, was instituted by Governor General Claude J. Frerichs on May 10, 1930. He was assisted by three Past Governors General, Ray B. Felton as Junior Past Governor General, James F. Stanley as Secretary-Treasurer General, and Virgil L. Orengo as Marshal General. There were forty-six charter members, who were initiated by the officers of East Bay Assembly No. 3. The first officers were Governor, Fred Flake; Junior Past Governor, George Winegar; 1st Vice Governor, Ed. L. Weber; 2nd Vice Governor, Frank Harrison; 3rd Vice Governor, Louis Carlenzoli; Secretary-Treasurer, Clarence Lommel; Inside Sentinel, John a. Brown; Outside Sentinel, Ed Molineri; and Trustees, Joseph Clave, J. L. Goodman and H. R. Thomas.
The assembly started with approximately forty-five members. Within a year the membership reached sixty-five. Thereafter there was a steady drop. In 1940 the membership was twenty-six. The war made the participation and leadership of younger men impossible and for this reason on October 17, 1942, the General Assembly reluctantly dissolved Napa-Solano Assembly.
Central Assembly No. 12.
In 1930, there was a manifest need for an assembly in the central San Joaquin
Valley, to serve the past presidents in the Counties of Merced, Madera,
Fresno, Mariposa, Tulare, Kings and Kern. A petition of thirty-three
names led to the institution on May 19, 1930 in Fresno of Central Assembly
No. 12. The instituting
officers were C. J. Frerichs, Governor General; L. T. Sinnott, Past Governor General; John T. Regan, Secretary-Treasurer General; and Arthur J. Cleu, Acting Marshal General. Officers of San Joaquin Assembly No. 7 initiated the candidates and the officers of the new assembly were installed by James F. Stanley, Past Governor General.
The charter officers were Governor, Lucius Powers, Jr.; Junior Past Governor, D. K. Stoddard; 1st Vice President, L. N. Barker; 2nd Vice Governor, D. J. Sullivan, 3rd Vice Governor, L. S. Schroeder; Secretary, John W. Cappleman; Treasurer C. B. Harkness; Marshal, Kenneth Hughes; Sentinel, Benjamin F. Cooper; and Trustees, A. E. Daneri, J. Wesley Smith, and George Haines. Among the names of charter members is noted that of Hon B. W. Gearhart, who served several terms in the House of Representatives, and of Frank M. Lane for a long time a school principal in Fresno and who served the Grand Parlor as a Grand Trustee for four terms.
Central Assembly started with twenty-seven members. Within three years the membership grew to forty-four, and then dropped down to thirty-three. The recognized leader of this assembly was Fran M. Lane. He had to combat lack of interest on the one hand, and difficult economic problems on the other. Frank M. Lane died on April 13, 1937 and, thereafter, there seemed no further interest in the assembly. Hence the General Assembly meeting in Sacramento on October 16th of that year dissolved Central Assembly No. 12.
Humboldt Assembly No. 13. On August 15, 1931, the officers of the General Assembly journeyed to Eureka and instituted Humboldt