Made a Mason at Sight

Two new brothers were added at sight in the last week, and Chris Hodapp at the Freemasons for Dummies blog gave them both a terrific introduction to the fold. Welcome to the newly made brothers Shaquille O’Neal and Brother Richard Dreyfuss. Dreyfuss, Hodapp reported, was made by M:.W:. Grand Master Jesse Villarreal of the Grand Lodge of D.C., and O’Neal by M:.W:. Grand Master Frederick B. Summer of the Most Worshipful Prince Hall Grand Lodge of Massachusetts F&AM.

With the at sight making coming with some contention, I thought it interesting to look at what other notables have been made at sight n the last 100 years.

The following list was composed from the terrific website of Brother Paul Bessel which you can find here.

Men Made Masons at sight.

Apr. 28, 1863 – Joseph A. Gilmore, an American railroad superintendent from Concord, New Hampshire, member of the state senate, and served two terms as Governor during the Civil War.

1897 – Samuel W. Pennypacker, Governor of Pennsylvania. Most notable, during Pennypacker’s term in office, he signed into law the Child Labor Act of 1905, which set a minimum and standard for young workers. He also created the Pennsylvania State Police and the State Museum, overseeing the completion of the new state capitol building.

1897 – Lloyd Lowndes, former Senator and Governor of Maryland.

1898 – John Wanamaker, the father of “Modern Advertising” and a pioneer in marketing. In his role as a businessmen he reportedly in the 1890’s gave to his employees free medical care, education, recreational facilities, pensions and profit-sharing plans.

1902 – Cyrus A. Dolph, businessman and financial counselor and promoter of the railway enterprise in to the Pacific Northwest. He was variously a Bank President, surveying company director, attorney, and seated judge. his greatest focus, it could be said, was to build and bolster the young Pacific Northwest.

1902 – Solomon Hirsch, active civic builder, Hirsch was a lifelong member of the Portland, Oregon, Library association belonging to several community organizations as well as the Chamber of Commerce. Early in his career he served as the presidential appointed Ambassador of Turkey in 1889.

Feb. 1909 – William H. Taft, then President Elect of the United States.

1921 – Bishop William A. Guerry was the discoverer of the grave of General William Moultrie, hero of the American Revolution for his repulse of the British fleet at the battle at Sullivan’s Island, South Carolina on June 28, 1776.

1923 – Tasker G. Lowndes, Chairman of the Maryland State Board of Education

1924 – Dr. Robert Wilson, whom no information is available on the web.

1928 – Andrew and Richard Mellon, were civic builders, industrialists, bankers , and philanthropist’s from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

1930 – George A. White, U.S. Army Major General in command of the 42st Infantry Division in World War II and founder of the American Legion.

May 12, 1933 – Frank P. Carter, businessman and philanthropist.

1934 – Gen. Charles P. Summerall, Army Chief of Staff 1926 – 1930, later to become president of The Citidal, The Military College of South Carolina, from 1931 to 1953. Summerall was also decorated with the Distinguished Service Cross, the Distinguished Service Medal, the Silver Star for his command of the 1st Division in World War II.

Jan. 17, 1936 – Douglas MacArthur, Chief of Staff to the U.S. Army, MacArthur was the American General and field marshal of the Philippine Army.

1938 – Dr. J. Ryan McKissick, of whom no information is on the web.

Dr. Henry N. Snyder was the president of Wofford college and a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church in whose capacity he argued in favor of racial segregation, publishing an autobiography, An Educational Odyssey, in 1947.

Dec. 16, 1941 – General George C. Marshall, called the organizer of Victory by Winston Churchill for the Allied victory in World War II, Marshall was the Chief of Staff of the Army, Secretary of state, and the Secretary of Defense. In 1953 Marshall was awarded the Nobel Prize for the post war European Recovery Program given his name and dubbed the Marshall Plan.

Jesse H. Jones, Texas politician and entrepreneur. Jones served as Secretary of Commerce from 1940 to 1950 and after he headed the Reconstruction Finance Corporation from 1932 to 1945 which worked to fight the Great Depression financing the industrial expansion of World War II.

1949 – Gen. George H. Decker was Chief of Staff of the United States Army from 1960 to 1962. Decker was made commanding general of the 5th Infantry Division in 1948, later to be assigned to the Office of the Comptroller of the Army as Chief of the Budget Division.

1951 – Milton S. Eisenhower was president of Kansas State University, 1943, then Pennsylvania State University, 1950-56, and the Johns Hopkins University between 1956 to 1967 and again in 1971 – 1972. He was also brother of President Dwight Eisenhower.

1955 – Gen. Jacob E. Smart was a U.S. Army Air Force Colonel in World War II and Cold War era Air Force General who became Deputy Commander of the U.S. European Command in July 1964 when he later became an administrator at NASA.

1955 – George M. Leader, was an active social and economic conscious Governor of Pennsylvania.

1965 – Robert J. Lamont, whom little information is available on the web.

John S. Campbell, Jr, whom little information is available on the web.

Nov. 4, 1967 – Wallace M. (Wally) Shirra, Jr., American test pilot, Navy Captain, one of the original Mercury 7 astronauts, flying in the first three space programs logging more than 295 hours of space flight.

Dec. 13, 1975 – Admiral John C. McCain, Jr was a U.S. Navy Admiral who later became Commander, United States Pacific Command. McCain was decorated with the Silver and Bronze Star and because of his strong advocacy of naval sea power came to be called Mr. Seapower.

1976 – Fitz Eugene Dixon, Jr., was the American sportsman who variously became an owner and investor of every Philadelphia professional sports franchise, including the Eagles, the Phillies, the Flyers, and the Wings. His most notable but his most sports investment was the Philadelphia 76ers where he served as Vice Chairman when they won the Stanley Cup in 1974, 1975. In 1976. Dixon was also a philanthropist know most for his purchase of the Love Sculpture in 1976.

Mar. 8, 1976 – Robert Shevin was a member of the Florida House of Representatives in 1964 and a member of the Florida State Senate in 1966. He was elected 1970 to the position of Attorney General a position he served until 1979 when he ran an unsuccessful candidate for Governor of Florida in 1978.

Bert Thomas, President of Winn Dixie stores who championed the stores growth into 135 new stores into the 1980’s.

1982 – John E. Rakar, whom little information is available on the web.

1983 – Carl J. Finney, whom little information is available on the web.

1983 – Sen. George D. Aiken who was the Governor of Vermont from 1937 to 1941 and U.S. Senator of the state from 1941 to 1975. Of his many accomplishments Aiken was known for his work to break monopolies of major industries such as: banks, railroads, marble companies, and granite companies. He also is known for encouraging suffering farmers in rural Vermont to form co-ops to get crops to market and to get better access to electricity.

March 15, 1984 Muzyad Yakhoob, better known as Danny Thomas who was a consummate American performer of stage, television, and film. His most notable work was in the show of his same name, The Danny Thomas Show, as well as in Make Room for Daddy. Probably of greatest memory is Thomas’s founding of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in 1962.

1997 – James Rees, Executive Director of George Washington’s Mount Vernon estate and Museum center. Rees was formerly worked on the nationwide properties program of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, as Public Relations Director for The College of William and Mary and the Virginia Shakespeare Festival, and as a reporter for the Daily Press newspaper in Tidewater, Virginia.

1998 – Col. Paul J. Evanko served as Commissioner of the Pennsylvania State Police overseeing the command of more than 4,100 enlisted members. He is the recipient of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives Award for Distinguished and Meritorious Service, the U. S. Department of Justice Drug Enforcement Administration Award for Outstanding Contributions in the Field of Drug Law Enforcement and the Chapel of Four Chaplains Humanitarian Award.

Colonel Joseph H. Westcott, Deputy Commissioner of the Pennsylvania State Police.

Trooper Roberto Soto, is a distinguished member of the Pennsylvania State Police who is the recipient of numerous commendations and awards for his work in drug law enforcement. Soto is most noted for his letter of commendation from the Mayor of the City of Reading.

2001 – Larry Christenson is a major league baseball player who notably played his entire career with the Philadelphia Phillies from 1973 to 1983.

Walter Dunkle, was the vice-president and general manager for Westinghouse Electric.

Oct. 28, 2001 – Alan M. Hantman served as Architect of the U.S. Capitol, which is a federal agency responsible for the maintenance, operation, development, and preservation of the United States Capitol Complex. He served from February 1997 until February 2007

J.P. London, CEO of CACI International, Inc., which is a professional services and information technology company headquartered in Arlington Va.

Tony Russo, CEO of InPhonics, Inc.; which was an American company which sold wireless services and devices online.

Ronald D. Schiff, Associate Justice of the 5th District of Maryland and member of many state commissions and Task Force.

John W. Springer who is a Managing Partner of Capital Asset Management Group which is a strategic planning and development institute for financial independence.

July 21, 2003 – Senator Norman B. Coleman, Jr., is an Attorney, a former mayor of St. Paul, and Minnesota state Senator from 2003 to 2009. Coleman notably was embattled in a 6 month legal battle with Al Franken over the senatorial seat.

June, 2011 – Richard Dreyfuss, who is an Oscar winning American Actor who has appeared in numerous films from the aquatic masterpiece Jaws to the touching Mr. Holland’s Opus. Dreyfuss is noted recently for his work on the Dreyfuss initiative that will “create a broadcast special that will explore and educate its audience in a unique and entertaining way.”

Shaquille O’Neal who is a 19 year career vetran of the NBA. O’Neal is also an accomplished rap star, film actor, and civic developer as he has turned his eye to help Orlando homeowners from mortgage fraud and foreclosure.

Is there anyone I’ve missed? Let us know in the comments.

One item I do find interesting is the dichotomy between the groups in the eras in which they were “Made”.  From the social barons of industry to the more modern celebrity and politician.

In the mean time, welcome to the newly “Made” brothers.

Posted in Masonic Traveler and tagged .

A devoted student of the Western Mystery Traditions, Greg is a firm believer in the Masonic connections to the Hermetic traditions of antiquity, its evolution through the ages and into its present configuration as the antecedent to all contemporary esoteric and occult traditions. He is a self-called searcher for that which was lost, a Hermetic Hermit and a believer in “that which is above is so too below.” Read more about Greg Stewart.


  1. It’s a LANDMARK. Get over it, brothers. It happens way too rarely to be of concern. Besides, they are brothers now, with the same Obligation. Don’t supplant them in their laudable undertaking.

  2. The making of Freemasons at sight (FAS) is not a new concept, but as someone else has pointed out, it has usually been reserved for the rich and the elite of America. The list of FAS provided by Brother Bessel is an impressive one, but I would like to know what those men did as Freemasons.

    I am not aware of many of them identifying themselves as Freemasons publicly or for being known publicly for their involvement in the fraternity after they received their most auspicious honour. How about sharing with us, the names of FAS who became active members of the Craft, and what they did.

    How do any of them compare with famous men like Red Skelton, Harry Truman, John Deifenbaker (Prime Minister of Canada) or Ernest Borgnine all of which chose to become Freemasons the traditional way and who played active roles as Freemasons while in the public limelight?

    I for one would be far more impressed by what they do with this unique honour. I would be most happy to meet both Brother O’neil and Dreyfuss on the level ad would receive them warmly, but I would be overjoyed if they chose to live their lives on the square and take their responsibilities as freemasons seriously.

  3. Whatever they choose to do is up to them. Sovereign jurisdictions may do as they wish. No one else has to like it.

  4. I think many of the brothers really need to get back to their rituals and studies. The landmarks were written so that the Grand Masters would have some Governing laws in order to Govern their jurisdictions. I don’t think Albert Mackey was reserving the landmark ” make a mason on site” just for the rich. If you read the entire landmark in question, you might have a better understanding of what is to take place by the Grand Master. Read Brothers….leave the catchecism at home!

  5. I believe that author John J. Robinson may have been made a Mason at Sight, but I cannot confirm that right away. If any of our Cincinnati brethren could confirm, I would be grateful.


  7. December 3, 2011. Clifton Truman Daniel, grandson of Harry S. Truman 33rd President of the United States and Past Grand Master of Missouri. Mason at Sight Degree in Joliet, Illinois.

  8. I am in Mexico and we have an 80 year old gentleman that wishes to be a Mason before he passes away, which is eminent. We have the permission to grant this man his wish from the Grand Master but do not have the Ceremony. If you are reading this and know, please contact me at before April 19, 2013 (after which there will be no response to this e-mail address)… thank you in advance.

  9. Henry Nelson Snyder was an enlightened man who supported segregation because he saw no alternative in South Carolina in his adult lifetime. He was no worse than almost everyone else in his milieu and far better than most. He helped build a Christian college where freedom of thought was a cherished value. Wofford College was the first college in South Carolina in the 20th century to voluntarily open its doors to all races. That is part of his legacy.

  10. General George C. Marshall was made a “Mason at sight” by the Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of the District of Columbia before his death.

  11. Shaq O’Neil supposedly has a record as long as his arm… maybe “at sight” isn’t the best idea for some.

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