Masonic lodge reclaims artifact

Published 3:07 pm Tuesday, February 27, 2018

A valuable artifact now calls the Clanton Masonic Lodge No. 423 home for the first time since its origins.

A ceremony took place on Feb. 24, as officers of the lodge accepted the original apron worn by William David Sartor, who is known as “Father of the [Clanton] Lodge.”

Sartor was deeply involved in the community, and according to the lodge’s records was a founding member of First Baptist Church in Clanton in 1872.

He died in 1904 and received a Masonic funeral before being buried in the Clanton Cemetery.

The apron had been boxed away in an attic for years before Sartor’s great-great grandson, who also shares the name of William David Sartor, found the apron and began researching his family history online.

He connected the loose ends and traced the apron’s origin to Clanton and Lodge No. 423.

“I didn’t know that much about it, but I just knew that it really needed to be back here [in Clanton],” Sartor said.

As part of the presentation lodge secretary Mike Wellborn read from the minutes of lodge meetings on Nov. 15 and Dec. 3, 1904.

The meetings were held shortly after Sartor’s death and honored him for his service as the first worshipful master of the Clanton Masonic Lodge.

According to Wellborn, aprons are often buried with the deceased, which makes it a unique circumstance that Sartor was not.

“We’re very thankful that the family contacted us with this meaningful article,” Worshipful Master Frank Mims said. “It is a great feeling to have it back home.”

According to Mims, the apron is an emblem of purity within the Masonic Lodge.