Frank S. Land, Founder of the Order of DeMolay

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Frank Sherman Land

Birthdate: (69)
Birthplace: Kansas City, Jackson, Missouri, USA
Death: November 8, 1959 (69)
Place of Burial: Kansas City, Jackson, Missouri, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of William Sherman Land and Elizabeth Land
Husband of Nell Madaline Land
Brother of Etta Glenn Land

Managed by: Eldon Clark (Geni volunteer cura...
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About Frank S. Land, Founder of the Order of DeMolay

Find a Grave

  • Birth: Jun. 21, 1890
  • Death: Nov. 8, 1959
  • From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Frank Sherman "Dad" Land (June 21, 1890–November 8, 1959) was the Founder of the Order of DeMolay. A business and community leader in Kansas City, Land served as Imperial Potentate of the Shriners and is revered today as the Founder of the Order of DeMolay.


Land was born in Kansas, City, Missouri, and gained a reputation as the "Boy Preacher” at his Sunday school at Fountain Park Congregational Church Sunday School. He attended the Kansas City Art Institute. At age 21 he was elected president of the Municipal Art Club in Kansas City. He became a member of the Ivanhoe Lodge #446 on June 29, 1912 in Kansas City. His position was the Secretary of the Social Service Bureau of the Scottish Rite Bodies. Married Miss Nell M. Swiezewski on September 15, 1913 at Budd Park Christian Church, his best man was Sumner N. Blossom. He died on November 8, 1959 and is interred at Mount Moriah Cemetery in Kansas City.

Land was selected to act as the director of the Masonic Relief and Employment Bureau of the Scottish Rite of Freemasonry. This charity would come to help hundreds of families. A community leader who, at the age of 28, already had a successful business career as a restaurateur behind him, Land met Louis G. Lower in January 1919. Lower was a sixteen year old boy who had recently lost his father, Elmer Lower, a member of Ivanhoe Lodge. Frank S. Land gave up his social service job with the Scottish Rite and became full time Secretary General in the headquarters of the DeMolay organization in 1922. Lower came to be the director of the Municipal Auditorium (Kansas City).

Land was a past Potentate of Ararat Shrine Temple and served as Imperial Potentate of the Shrine in 1954-55. He was honored with the Knight Commander of the Court of Honor of the Scottish Rite and coroneted a 33° in 1925. He was named an honorary member of the University of Missouri chapter of Acacia Fraternity. He received the first International Gold Service Medal of the General Grand Chapter of York Rite Masons in 1951 for work in Humanities. He received the Grand Cross of the Southern Jurisdiction of the Supreme Council of Scottish Rite 33° in 1955. He was the president of the Kansas City School Board, a Director of the Columbia National Bank, and a trustee of the Harry S. Truman Presidential Library and Museum at the time of his death.

Today, every member of DeMolay International learns about Land through the book Hi, Dad! and chapter activities. Recipients of the Degree of Chevalier take a vow to honor Land's memory every year on November 8 by breaking bread with a fellow Chevalier, an active DeMolay, or a young man in his teens. DeMolay International also endows a scholarship in Land's name.

  • Frank Sherman Land - - Retrieved September 14, 2009
  • Find a Grave, Frank S. Land entry
  • "DeMolay International, History of DeMolay"
  • Frank S. Land entry in 10,000 Famous Freemasons
  • Frank Land Scholarship

Founded the Order of De Molay. Mr. Land was inspired to found the Order of DeMolay during World War I. Many young men lost their fathers in battle and were left adrift with no adult males to guide them on the path to adulthood. As a community leader and a member of the Masonic lodge, he modeled the organization on the idea that his Masonic brethren should take an interest in the young men of the community with the purpose of acting as their friends, advisors, and employers. He gathered a group of young men and suggested that they form a club. During that meeting, he also related the story of Jacques DeMolay, who had been a member of the Knights Templar in the 13th century and had been martyred for refusing to betray his friends by disavowing a forged confession. This standard of loyalty to friends appealed to the group, and they decided to name their club after DeMolay. The group quickly grew to many chapters and was given official approval by the Masonic fraternity to be considered as an appendant body, with each DeMolay chapter being sponsored by a local Masonic lodge. Mr. Land's influence grew both within and without the Masonic fraternity, and he associated with politicians, celebrities, and prominent business men. He was an inspiration and an example to many generations of young men who were members of the Order of DeMolay. Some of DeMolay's notable alumni are Mel Blanc, Frank Borman, Walt Disney, Buddy Ebsen, Paul Harvey, Alex Spanos, John Steinbeck, and John Wayne. The group is known today as DeMolay International and is one of several Masonic youth groups, which also include the International Order of the Rainbow for Girls and the International Order of Job's Daughters. (bio by: countedx58)

Burial: Mount Moriah Cemetery Kansas City Jackson County Missouri, USA

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Frank S. Land, Founder of the Order of DeMolay's Timeline

June 21, 1890
Kansas City, Jackson, Missouri, USA
November 8, 1959
Age 69
Kansas City, Jackson, Missouri, United States