James Monroe McKaskle: Surprise at the Masonic Lodge

This entry is part of the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks series.  This week’s prompt is SURPRISE.  To see other posts in this series, view my 52 Ancestors in 2019 index

Have you ever been inside a masonic lodge? As a child, I often went with my parents to vote at New Hope Masonic Lodge in Liddieville, Louisiana. The lobby was occupied by the familiar faces of community members, nice ladies from church manning the polls, and those huge, aqua voting machines that made a satisfying “cha-ching” when my mom let me pull the lever. But anything beyond the lobby and behind the big wooden door was off limits — part of the building’s secret purpose.

I’d been away from the community many years when a current Mason told my dad about an old photograph he saw on the wall. It was hanging in their inner room, and he thought the man could be an ancestor of ours. During my Christmas 2017 visit home, the Mason met me and my father at the lodge and allowed us beyond that secretive door. Inside that room awaited one of my best genealogy surprises: a photo of James Monroe McKaskle, my 2x great-grandfather.

Photo of James Monroe “Jim” McKaskle, hanging at New Hope Masonic Lodge, Liddieville, Louisiana; dates stipulate years he served as Worshipful Master
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