Gustave Albert Lehman, fourteenth Master of Broad Ripple Lodge, was born the 16th day of December, 1874, in Magdeburg, Buckau, Germany, the son of Cristian Carl and Pauline Charlote (Yuckel) Lehaan, the eighth of eleven children, Bruno, Roezchen, Arthur, Louise, Herman, Emil, Carl, G. Albert, Anna, Elsbeth and Paul. (Bruno and Paul incidentally were also later raised to the Sublime Degree). Five of these emigrated, at different times, to the U.S.A., namely, Bruno, Louise, G. Albert, Anna and Paul. The parents also came to America and stayed for about one year (1898-1899), and later for about two years (1905-1906), but on account of age, could not acclimate themselves to new conditions and became homesick and consequently returned to Germany in 1906.

G. Albert, as he was generally known about Broad Ripple, attended public schools at Buckau, Germany, and at the age of 14 was apprenticed out to learn the machinist trade. After serving three years and nine months, he was declared a journeyman machinist and as was the custom, left home for further training. He travelled on foot from city and town until March, 1893, when by the assistance of his oldest brother, Bruno (who had arrived in America, March 22, 1881), landed at Baltimore, Maryland, on the 22nd of March, 1893. He made his home, temporarily, with his brother Bruno, at Pittsburg, Kansas. After two years here he left this city to see America and spent three and one-half years roaming crisscross over the U.S.A., parts of Canada, and Mexico.

After three years he arrived at Indianapolis, in February, 1898, being employed at the trade of machinist. It was in the early part of this year that he took out his first papers to become a citizen of his adopted country. When the Spanish American War broke out, he with other young men, presented themselves at the Recruiting Station at Pennsylvania and Washington Streets, where now stands the Odd Fellow Building, to enlist for service. After advising the officer in charge of his having only his first papers, he was told to sign the list and that he would not need any second papers, which he accordingly did. With his company, he drilled around Monument Square to prepare for active duty, but before his company could be mustered in to the U. S. Army, word came from Washington that Indiana had filled her quota and no more soldiers would be needed. Although disappointed, he felt he had done his duty and was a full fledged citizen, which seemed true until the World War.

He again returned to Pittsburg, Kansas, the latter part of October of that year (1898). During his stay at Indianapolis, he met his future wife, Mary Wurth, born at Altenheim, Baden, Germany whom he married on June 21, 1899, at Pittsburg, Kansas. To this union two daughters were born, Gertrude (who in 1918 married Ralph A. Reldy, and died in November 1933 at the age of 33, leaving four children, Albert, Elenore, Ann and Barba Jean) and Alberta, (who in 1928, married John A. Cross, who have two sons, Raymond and Kenneth).

In 1901 he, with his wife and daughter Gertrude, moved to Indianapolis and, after renting for some years, in 1906 moved to 622 Bernard Avenue, and in November 1923, moved to a tract of land consisting of ten acres located on Raymond Street, east of Arlington Avenue, known as R.R. 9, Box 665.

For years, G. Albert desired to become a Mason and finally, in October 1911, presented his petition to Broad Ripple Lodge and was elected to membership on December 1, 1911. He was subsequently initiated, December 8, 1911; Passed, January 12, 1912; and Raised, January 26, 1912.

He immediately took an active part in the work of the lodge and was appointed Junior Deacon for 1914. He advanced rapidly and in December, 1916, was elected Master to serve during 1917.

All know that 1917 was a busy year. The World War had been in progress since 1914 and in April, 1917, the U.S.A. also declared war against Germany. It was this year that he received the highest honors of Blue Lodge Masonry, and perhaps the bitterest disappointment in all his life. Although he had forsworn allegiance to any foreign Prince and Potentate, especially Emperor William II of Germany, and sworn allegiance to the Flag of his adopted country, he was actually not a citizen, legally, because he was misled by the United States Military Officers in 1898, and had not actually taken out his second (and final) papers, the only legal way to become one during 1917-1918. Although truly Americanized, he was subjected to all manner of humiliation and was continually watched and spied upon. Yet with all, he suceeded in establishing the status he so earnestly sought for, on November 11, 1918 he met the U.S. Naturalization Officer, and, after further questioning, was assured that if not the first, he would be one of the first German born to receive his final papers, which he secured on December 30, 1918.

G. Albert was a member of Royal Arch Chapter, No. 146, Royal Select Masters Council, No. 2, Order of Eastern Star, Chapter No. 815, and Englewood Christian Church.

After his period of service as an active officer, Brother Lehman ever took a decided interest in all matters pertaining to the Lodge’s welfare. His attendance record was probably unequalled among the membership and his wise council was a valuable contribution to the forward progress of the Lodge.

Lodge Events of 1917

Nineteen Hundred and Seventeen- the year we were finally drawn into conflict with those who for three years had been struggling at War – was marked as one full of activity. In January, the Lodge passed a resolution to borrow $1000.00 with which to repay a like amount borrowed of S. G. Dawson to furnish the Temple at the time of its completion. A loan was executed with the Broad Ripple State Bank, the Worshipful Master signing two notes each for $500.00. One of these notes was later retired prior to the close of the year.

During the year, thirty-six candidates received their degrees. Five members passed to their reward, three of whom were buried with Masonic Honors, the Master officiating.

Many of the Brethren having responded to their country’s call, the Lodge issued paid-up memberships to all of its members enrolled in Service. An Honor Roll was also prepared and hung for many years in our Tyler’s room.

The high light of our year, Past Master’s Night, had its inception in 1917 when on October 26, the first of an very long series of such splendid annual meetings was held.

On November 21, the Master took Archie and Jack, the two sons of our deceased Brother James West, to the Masonic Home. Archie was graduated from the Masonic High School after which he entered Franklin College, graduating therefrom in June, 1936. His brother Jack, left the Home in June 1933, graduated from Technical High School at Indianapolis in 1934 and subsequently entered Depauw University.

The year was closed with a public joint Installation of officers with Broad Ripple Chapter 315, O.E.S.

The additions to our membership were:

By degrees:

Chas. H. Greenwood Edward J. Stickleman Alfred J. Clark
John W. Murray John E. Smith Nicholas A. Gentleman
Chas. L. Rouse Forrest M. Logan Frank W. Sharp
Wm. E. Briggs James West Wm. D. Moffat
John I. Cline Edgar F. Nicewander Chas. S. Earl
Harold C. Pursel Howard Boring Albert A. Ashley
Alexander West Wm. A. Peacock Warren B. Chrisman
Arthur L. Steward Budd L. Morrison Henry Shaeffer
James A. New Wm. L. Moffitt Wm. R. Cawthon
Earl H. Cawthon Neal M. Bowen Wm. V. Burrows
Walter J. Holtz James A. Dawson Frank B. Sourbier
Lawson O. Malley Edward E. Stevens Virgel N. Mohr

By Affiliation:

Joseph R. Young