Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Baldwyn Shriners - 1940s

-click to enlarge-

Tom Shellnut submitted this photo of some Baldwyn men during their initiation as Shriners. Tom writes:

This is the "fun" part of the initiation and is pictured in a hotel in Meridian in the late 1940's.

Standing from left to right: Frank Haney, my dad- E. A. Shellnut, Mr. Yarborough, (I think) Mickey's father, and M. Gordon. In front are, from left to right, a man from Rienzi, Mississippi, Cecil Nanney, and an unknown person. If anyone can fill in the blanks, please let us hear from you.

Goes to show that our fathers DID have fun!


Note: The photo is untouched, so the writing and facial markings are actually on the men... albeit the dress is customary for initiations such as this.

From the Hamasa Shrine Temple website:

All Shriners are also Master Masons, dedicated to improving themselves and their communities by living up to the high moral standards they have solemnly sworn to support.

There are Three Great Steps on the Life Path of a Freemason: Faith, Hope and Charity.

Charity is the greatest and most enduring, and Shriners are active supporters of charity as evidenced by the Shriners Hospitals for Children where care is provided at no charge to their parents. These hospitals treat severely burned and crippled children, and are supported solely by donations that Shriners generate from various projects.


  1. The shriners had meetings in their room above the Palmer pool room. we always wondered what they did when we could hear them banging on the floor, running and other loud noises they made.
    Guess that was some kind of fun, too.

  2. The man on the front right looks familiar, I believe from Baldwyn area. Could that be Tony Franks' father?


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  4. 8:15 AM:

    The facility on the floor above the poolroom was, for a long time, the Baldwyn Masonic Lodge, not any Shrine activity. Shriners could be and were involved in that activity, however. The so-called "Blue Lodge" was for the first three degrees of Masonry and those are the most important ones of the Order. The 'basic training" if you will.
    I had also wondered what the hullabaloo was all about! Found out in later years. The tapping and banging was actually a person knocking at a door wanting admission, and was a part of initiation and training.
    Many men from Baldwyn were involved in various societies such as the one above, the VFW, and others - all for the betterment of the community.