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About Arnold Colt
Republican Farmer & Gazette, 26 Sep 1832
"Died - In this Borough, on Friday last, after a short illness, Arnold COLT, Esq, aged 72 years. He was born at Lyme, Connecticut, whence he migrated to this place about 44 years ago. On Sunday last, in pursuance of his request he was buried agreeably to the usages of the Masonic fraternity, and followed to his long home by the largest concourse of people ever witnessed in the place on such and occasion."
Rural Amity Lodge, No. 70.
The first Masonic service in this valley, of which we have any record, was the Masonic funeral sermon, "a discourse delivered in the Masonic form," at Tioga Point, August 18, 1779, on the death of Capt. Davis and Lieut. Jones, by Dr. Rogers.
It may be observed that Col. Proctor, commander of artillery under Gen. Sullivan, was an ardent Mason, and had been given a warrant to form and hold a traveling military Lodge, the first warrant of this kind granted to the American army.
There were some settlers at Tioga Point who had been made Masons before they came thither; and diversified as their individual opinions were on public questions, as Masons they met each other as chosen brethren. About 1795 Arnold Colt, Secretary of Lodge No. 61, at Wilkes-Barre, came to Tioga Point to reside; and with other Brethren soon petitioned the Grand Lodge for a warrant to hold a Lodge at Tioga Point, with Arnold Colt, Master; Stephen Hopkins, Senior Warden, and Ira Stephens, Junior Warden. The warrant was issued July 6, 1796; it is on parchment and still preserved. For various reasons the first meeting was delayed until May 21, 1798, when it was held at the house of Mr. George Welles, now better known as Pike's Hotel, burned in 1875. Clement Paine, already a Mason, was made Secretary. Arnold Colt's residence was brief, and in 1799 Col. Joseph Kingsbery was elected Master and re-elected annually for sixteen years. The Lodge met alternately at Ulster and Tioga Point, and was likened to "a Palm tree sprung up in a desert. Around the altar of that lodge the angry waters were stilled! The Yankee and the Pennamite sat down together for the first time, and ate and drank, and gave to each other the hand of brotherly love." The lodge was a place where our forefathers loved to meet; many of the members came a day's journey to attend its meetings. A portion of David Paine's house was finally rented, and later, as seen, the upper room of Athens Academy. While for a season in later years they suffered from the general debasement and persecution, they revived, reorganized in 1847, and have ever since enjoyed unusual prosperity. Among the more prominent speakers of early days were Noah Murray, who delivered a discourse June 25, 1798; Clement Paine, Joseph Kingsbery, Moses Park and Samuel Satterlee, already known to our readers. Many of the pioneers were devoted Masons for long periods, even to 50, 60 and 70 years. An excellent history of this lodge has been printed, prepared by Joseph M. Ely, Jr.