William David Sartor – “Father of the Lodge”

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William David Sartor – W.D. to his friends – was born in Butler County, Albama on 11 July 1836.

Not long after the war between the states broke out in 1860, WD married Mary E. Hurst on 15 November, 1860.  The wedding was presided over by John F. Ray in Autauga County.  Soon after WD would be marching off to war with Company K, 24th Alabama Regiment.

After arriving home, WD is listed as a founding member of First Baptist Church in Clanton, Alabama in 1872 and in 1877 founded the Clanton Masonic Lodge.

By 1900, WD (now 64 years old) was living with his son William H. “Willie” Sartor in Clanton

Four years later, at age 68 WD dies.  The date was November 13, 1904.  He received a Masonic Funeral.

The minutes of Clanton Lodge #423 from November 15, 1904 read:

“The brethern having been properly attired were formed in procession by marshal J. P. Van Derveer and marched to the late residence of the deceased brother where funeral services were conducted by brohter A. C. Swindall, pastor of Clanton Baptist Church.

After these services, the pallbearers took charge of the body and the procession marched to the Clanton Cemetery where the body of our deceased brother was interred with the usual Masonic honors in the presence of a large concourse of people.

The procession was reformed and marched to the Lodge Hall.”WD-Sartor

Resolution upon the death of William David Sartor by Clanton Lodge #423.

Hall of Clanton Lodge No. 423
A.F.&A.M Dec 3rd 1904

To the Worshipful Master, Wardens and Brethern of Clanton lodg No. 423 A.F.&A.M.

We your committee appointed to draft and present resolutions upon the death of our late Brother and Past Master William D. Sartor beg leave to submit the following:

Brother Sartor was born in Butler County, Alabama on the 11th of July 1836 and died at his home with his son Willie H Sartor in Clanton, AL on the 13th of November 1904 from injuries sustained by a fall – age sixty-eight years, four months and two days.

When quite a young man, he attached himself to the Baptist Church and ever afterwards adhered to that faith and order. He became a member of the Clanton Baptist Church at the time of it’s organization and remained an active and consistent member thereof until his death.

Brother Sartor was made a Master Mason while in the Confederate Army and upon returning to his home in Autauga County, Alabama affiliates with Autauga Lodge No. 31 at Autaugaville, Alabama, which he afterwards served as Worshipful Master.

He was one of the charter members of our lodge and it’s first Worshipful Master, to which position he was several times afterwards chosen. He was a zealous and enthusiastic mason – with him his lodge was next to his church.

With but few exceptions since the organization of our lodge on the first Saturday nights in September 1877, he has been presence at every communication and renders valuable service in making each mason raised in this Lodge. He was accepted as authority on all masonic questions and in fact, regarded by the members as the “Father of the Lodge”.

In recognition of the valuable services rendered by him, and of the love and esteem for him, this Lodge on the 2nd of September 1899 presented him with a beautiful Past Master’s apron. And on the 2nd of December 1899 conferred upon him the title of Honorary Life Member and whereas; The Grand Master of the Universe in His unerring wisdom and Providence has seen fit to call our esteemed friend and brother from earthly labor and toil to rest and refreshment above, therefore

Be it resolved; First, that we as a lodge recognized in our deceased brother those elements which characterized him as a loyal and devoted Mason.

Second, That our town and community have lost an upright, noble, and trustworthy citizen, our Lodge one of its most honored members, the family a kind and affectionate father.

Third, That we submit to the solemn mandate which has cast a gloom over our lodge and the community, and extend to the family our sincerest sympathy in this their sad bereavement.

Fourth, That a page in the records of this Lodge be set apart and these resolutions and preamble written thereon, that a copy be furnished to the family of our deceased brother and on to the Alabama Baptist and each of the community papers with request to publish the same.

Respectfully submitted
E. A. Matthews
J. R. Mullins
A. C. Smith

The apron of William David Sartor circa 1899