When parents bring a child into the world, they have dreams of what their child’s life might be like. Sometimes life changes and those dreams can’t become reality. Even as early as the late 1890’s, families needed help caring for their children. The Ohio Masonic Home (OMH) began as a refuge for the children of Masons. In 1897, the first applications were received for 42 children. The first children to call The Ohio Masonic Home, “their home” were Nellie and Nina Shaffer. They arrived on April 20, 1897.
As time marched on, OMH made needed changes to continue to take care of widows and children of Masons. Story after story is documented of those who called The Ohio Masonic Home “their home.” By 1956, another change was making OMH a home strictly for adults.
A special piece of history, is the marriages that came from children who grew up together, fell in love and became husband and wife. Other children came full circle, starting and then choosing to live the later years of their lives at The Ohio Masonic Home.
A monument depicting the early years in OMH history has a special place on the campus and in people’s hearts. A plaque near the foot of the monument expresses the values of Masons past and present. “The devotion to these young lives embodies the high ideals of Freemasonry.”
Dick Snow spoke at Grand Chapter in early October sharing some memories of the days when children walked the halls and called OMH “their home.” He remembers people such as Jim Zeigler, Warren Swisher and Paul Dunaway as well as the marriage of Richard McKeever to Doreen Reed. A special memory has stayed with Dick throughout his life, the prayer that was said by the children before every meal.
“Our kind and Heavenly Father,
From whom we all are fed.
Thanks today for our home and friends,
And thanks for our daily bread.
All we eat and drink and wear,
Proves our Heavenly Father’s care.