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The 1919 Club Newsletter – November 2018

DeMolay Headquarters

From iconic Masonic buildings to converted homes, a skyscraper, and even the Kansas City Federal Reserve Building, DeMolay has called several locations home since 1919. Our first home was the historic Kansas City Scottish Rite building at 15th & Troost, which was the home of our first sponsoring body and was where the first DeMolays were obligated. We occupied this building from 1919 until 1923 when we needed more space. While we looked for our own space, we were able to rent offices in the Kansas City Federal Reserve Building. The space leased was on the west side of the 12th floor. The opportunity to own our own home came in 1927 when we purchased a house located at 201 E. Armour Blvd. This would be our home for almost 30 years. In 1956, we demolished the headquarters to build a new five-story building on the same site. The building would be shared with Phillips Petroleum Company, who paid the $1 million construction cost over a 25-year lease. During construction, we had temporary space about one block away at 136 E. 36th St. On March 23rd, 1958, we moved back to 201 E. Armour Blvd. where we stayed until 1984 when we decided to build the current headquarters. At the same time, a potential buyer for the entire property at 201 E. Armour accelerated our move from that location, so we moved to commercial office space at 1805 Grand Ave. We only spent one year there before relocating again to one of the buildings next to the current headquarters. In November of 1986, we moved into our new home of 10200 N.W. Ambassador Drive.

  • Scottish Rite Building at 15th & Troost (’19-’23)
  • Kansas City Federal Reserve Building (’23-’28)
  • The original house at 201 E. Armour Blvd (’28-’56)
  • Property across street 201 E. Armour Blvd.  ('56 - '58) 136 E. 36th St.
  • Building shared w/ Phillips Petroleum Company at 201 E. Armour Blvd. (’58-’84)
  • 1805 Grand Avenue ('84- '85)
  • Glass Building next door to 10200 ('85-'86)
  • 10200 NW. Ambassador Dr. (’86-present)

More information about the various homes of DeMolay can be found in the July 1969 issue of the Cordon, which was the special 50th anniversary edition, and in the 1985 Report of the Grand Secretary, which is included in the Proceedings from that year.

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From Dad Land's Speech Notes

Only a Building by Edgar A. Guest

You may delve down to rock for your foundation piers
You may go with your steel to the sky;
You may purchase the best of the thought of the years
And the finest of workmanship buy;
You may line with the rarest of marble each wall,
And with gold you may tint it, but then
It is only a building, if it, after all,
Isn’t filled with the spirit of men.

You may put up a structure of brick and stone,
Such as never was put up before;
Place therein the costliest woods that are grown
And carve every pillar and door;
You may fill it with splendors of quarry and mine,
With the glories of brush and of pen,
But it’s only a building, though ever so fine,
If it hasn’t the spirit of men.

You may build such a structure that lightning can’t harm

Or one that an earthquake can’t raze;
You may build it of granite and boast that its charm
Shall last to the end of all days.
But you might as well never have builded it at all,
Never cleared off the bog and the fen,
If after it’s finished its sheltering wall
Doesn’t stand for the spirit of men.

For it isn’t the marble, nor is it the stone,
Nor is it the columns of steel,
By which is the worth of an edifice known,
But by something that’s living and real

Senior DeMolay Spotlight

Robert Wadlow

  • Tallest man in the world
  • DeMolay in Alton, IL
  • Master Mason in Alton, IL
  • Grew to be 8’11” tall before his death on July 15th, 1940

At age eight he was taller than his father. When he graduated high school, he was 8' 4".  Wadlow became the world’s tallest man one year before his death. When he passed away, he stood at 8' 11" and weighed 439 pounds. Wadlow became a celebrity after his 1936 U.S. tour with the Ringling Brothers Circus. He appeared with Ringling Brothers at Madison Square Garden and the Boston Garden in the center ring. During his appearances, he was dressed in his normal clothes and refused Circus request to wear a top hat and tails. In 1938, he did a promotional tour with the International Shoe Company. They provided him his shoes free of charge. Examples of the shoes still exist in several locations throughout the U.S., including Snyder's Shoe Store of Ludington and Manistee, Michigan, and the Alton Museum of History and Art. He continued participating in tours and public appearances, though only in his normal street clothes. Wadlow rationalized that he was working in advertising, not being exhibited as a freak.

Come back next month for more speaking notes of Dad Lands, spotlights on Senior DeMolays who have done remarkable things, and fascinating pieces of DeMolay history!

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