Senator Charles D. Cook
Samuel F. Jones and John P. Jones
and the role of Freemasonry in
pioneering Sullivan County
WHEREAS, many of the men who founded Sullivan County were Free & Accepted Masons, which is an ancient brotherhood of men who are faithful to Deity and dedicated to the building better character and better communities; and
WHEREAS, Samuel Frisbee Jones and John P. Jones are remembered as founders and pioneers of the Village of Monticello, Town of Thompson and County of Sullivan, in that they each served as early Supervisors of the Town of Thompson and as prominent members of the Masonic fraternity while local Freemasonry and the United States itself were both in their infancy; and
WHEREAS, in addition to serving as a local postmaster for 38 years and as the first Clerk of The County of Sullivan, the Hon. John P. Jones also served as a Senator representing the Second Senatorial District of New York from 1835 to 1838, as well as a member of the U.S. presidential Electoral College; and
WHEREAS, Samuel Frisbee Jones, who was born in 1775 in Cornwall, Connecticut; and John P. Jones who was born January 16, 1779 in Goshen, Connecticut; relocated to the wilderness later to be known as Sullivan County in 1804 before there was a community established on the hill which they named “Monticello,” in order to work with their wives and children to profitably build upon the natural resources indigenous to the mid-Hudson and upper Delaware river valleys, while giving thanks to their Creator and acknowledging the brotherhood of man and sisterhood of woman, according to Masonic beliefs; and
WHEREAS, John P. Jones is credited with commencing construction on the first European-style house in Monticello in the fall of 1804, which he and his fraternal brothers followed during coming months by construction of the first Masonic Temple in Sullivan County, situated above the old Curley Hotel at the corner of what is today known as Broadway and Pleasant Street; this at a time when there were fewer than 20 log houses in the community and the forests so dense that it is said that travelers lost their way along Broadway while traversing that tree-blazed trail;
WHEREAS, Samuel F. Jones is credited as having been the first Master of the Masonic Lodge which met in Monticello for the greater part of the six years which elapsed before Sullivan Lodge No. 272 was warranted by in 1816 by the Hon. DeWitt Clinton, then Grand Master of Masons in the State of New York and also Governor of the State; and
WHEREAS, the passage of time has taken its toll on the memorial stones marking the earthly remains of the men and women who pioneered the community of Monticello and its environs; and
WHEREAS, the current members of Monticello Lodge No. 532, the Sullivan Masonic District, and the Grand Lodge of the State of New York, acting jointly and in concert with the Town of Thompson and Village of Monticello, have committed themselves to restoring the memorial stones of the Jones family to a condition befitting the founders of this great community, to serve as a much needed reminder to all of the people living here today of their shared and equal part in the American heritage and dream;
NOW THEREFORE, I Senator Chares D. Cook, do hereby
PROCLAIM, That the Honorable John P. Jones and the Honorable Samuel F. Jones are founding fathers of the Village of Monticello who braved the wilderness to establish for themselves, their families, and for posterity a growing, vibrant community, in which all may take pride and benefit; and I direct that copies of this Proclamation, suitably engrossed, be transmitted to Monticello Lodge #532, Sullivan Masonic District, County of Sullivan, Town of Thompson, and Village of Monticello, with the prais and endorsement of the New York Senatorial Fortieth District for this cooperative joint community-building and historic preservation work.
In witness whereof, I have have hereunto set my hand on this, the twelfth day of August, One-thousand-nine-hundred-ninety-six.
Engrossed copies of the above Proclamation may be found in foyer of Monticello Lodge No. 532, Free & Accepted Masons; and the office of the Village Manager of the Village of Monticello.