M.W. Stephen Titus Hosmer 1798-1815

 

Stephen Titus Hosmer

On the retirement from office of William Judd the delegates saw fit to choose as his successor a man who had never held office in the Grand Lodge before. Stephen Titus Hosmer was born in Middletown January 10, 1763, to Titus Hosmer and Lydia Lord. His course at Yale was interrrupted by the Revolution but he returned to graduate in 1782. Following the profession of his father he read law in the offices of Hon. Samuel W. Johnson and Hon. Oliver Ellsworth. The latter became his guardian at the death of Titus Hosmer. Returning to Middletown to practice he made it his permanent home and there married January 4, 1785, Lucia Parsons, the daughter of General Samuel H. Parsons, an eminent Revolutionary officer and Mason.

We have no record of service in the Revolution but he was repeatedly elected a member of the State Council. After the adoption of the State Constitution in 1818 and the orrganization of the Supreme Court he was appointed Chief Justice. This office he held from 1819 to 1833 when he retired because of the age limit .

He had a remarkable memory and his attainments in theology, history and general literature were very extensive. Many of the decisions of the Court were written by him and are evidences of a vast amount of work. As a recognition of his ability he received the degree of Doctor of Laws from Yale in 1823.

It seemed to be his object to render himself as agreeable as possible to the members of the bar, sometimes furnishing prescriptions for human ailments whether a corn cure or liquid blacking and handing them to those who needed them. He always designated these prescriptions as the very best.

There is a record of his receiving his Masonic degrees in St. John’s Lodge, No.8, of Stratford and becoming a Master Mason December 23, 1782. Some time after he returned to Middletown he must have affiliated with St. John’s, No.2, for he was Master from December 23, 1794, to June 21, 1798.

He was elected Grand Master May 16, 1798, while still Master of St. John’s. Twice during his term as Grand Master, in 1809 and 1815, he was called to serve as Master of his Lodge for yearly terms. During his term of office he was privileged to sign the charters of nine Lodges of which all but two are still active. He died in Middletown August 6, 1834.

Through the courtesy of Mr. W. W. Gager, of Waterbury, we have been able to secure a silhouette of this brother, who holds the record of years of service as Grand Master.